“Thank you, Your Highness Crown Prince.”
When Song Yuan got up, she discovered that the house was empty. She spotted the copybook1 Rong Ting had left on the desk. The child’s calligraphy was quite excellent–
【Gu has gone out with Grandfather. Do not miss us.】
Her lips curved up. After spending a few days with Gugu, she had begun to feel that having a child in the house was very interesting. In any case, she didn’t have a boyfriend or husband right now, so there was no one she needed to be emotionally invested in; raising a child was not that difficult for her.
Dad probably brought Gugu out to eat breakfast. He would definitely bring some back for her.
Song Yuan wasn’t in a hurry. She leisurely brushed her teeth, washed her face, and put on makeup. She checked the app for the results of the DNA test, but the report hadn’t been released yet.
Meanwhile, Song Haiping and Rong Ting were angered half to death by the other party and had no mood to eat breakfast, but the two didn’t forget to bring back breakfast for Song Yuan. Song Haiping bought two cases of baozi2, one case of steamed dumplings3, and some rice noodle rolls4 and prepared to return home.
Along their journey, Rong Ting didn’t want to acknowledge this grandfather who had treasonous thoughts in his heart.
Of course, Song Haiping was not angry with Rong Ting. From his perspective as the father, he was very tempted to scold his daughter. When he had divorced his ex-wife, she had been so young, but she had said in a milky voice: “Daddy, I hope that you will be emotionally responsible in the future.” At that time, he had laughed, and after laughing he had hugged his daughter and cried. His daughter had been so clever then, ah. With him as a bad example5, how could she still jump into the fire pit and get involved with a dog thing that had a dozen little wives, ne?
“Kid, as a matter of fact, you side with your father in your heart.” Song Haiping let out a sigh. “My Yuanyuan is so pitiful.”
Rong Ting was extremely dissatisfied with these words. “Gu’s heart only has Mother Empress.”
Grandfather had said such treasonous words, and now he even said that he sided with Father Emperor. He had never sided with Father Emperor; everything he did was for Mother Empress.
Father Emperor had power that could cover the sky. Mother Empress had nothing–she only had him.
“Then, about your father having a dozen little wives–why didn’t you say anything to him?” After Song Haiping returned to his senses, he had some thoughts about messing with the child, so he teased, “You can’t compare with Yuanyuan on this point. So your love for Yuanyuan is fake, and your love for your father is real.”
Rong Ting’s face puffed up in anger. His tiny fists were clenched. “As that person’s son, how could one comment on Father Emperor’s matters and interfere with the inner courtyard of Father Emperor’s harem? It goes against the tenets of filial piety.”
“When all is said and done, your love for Yuanyuan isn’t real. If you really loved her, how could you watch with eyes wide open while she suffers such wrongs?”
They soon arrived at the thirteenth building6, where Song Yuan’s home was located. When Rong Ting heard Song Haiping repeatedly denying his feelings for Mother Empress, he was so angry that he let go of Song Haiping’s hand. One lone person ran off into the thirteenth building. The elevator arrived just in time–he didn’t wait for Song Haiping and directly jabbed the ‘close doors’ button. By the time Song Haiping entered the building, the elevator doors had already closed.
Song Haiping froze for a moment, then smiled. “This kid…”
Song Yuan heard a knock on the door. She opened it and saw Rong Ting walk in without any expression. It seemed that the child had been angered and was still very angry.
“What happened?” Song Yuan asked him.
Rong Ting gave her a look full of grievances but didn’t say anything. He went straight to his room and shut the door. It was clearly an “I don’t want to deal with people, I want peace and quiet” appearance.
Song Haiping came in while Song Yuan was still puzzled over what happened.
“Yuanyuan woke up, la, just in time. Dad bought you your favorite xiaolongbao and steamed dumplings.” Song Haiping unpacked the breakfast as he greeted Song Yuan. “Quickly, eat while it’s hot. After eating, Dad will drive you to work.”
Song Yuan ‘oh’d and sat down at the dining table, but she still pointed to Rong Ting’s room and asked quietly, “Dad, did you mess with him again?”
Song Haiping was still in a complicated mood over this matter that was brought up.
He didn’t mess with Rong Ting, nor did Rong Ting mess with him; it was his father who was worse than pigs and dogs who had offended him.
But he also couldn’t talk about these things with his daughter. If Rong Ting really was his daughter’s son, then Rong Ting’s father was also the one his daughter chose. How was he supposed to ask her now, ne? Ask her why she wanted to be with such a man? Was that appropriate?
He had also done such things that betrayed the sentiments of marriage.
Now his daughter had met such a man. Was this retribution?
To tell the truth, he had been in the business world for so many years; the number of wicked things he had done in his early years was not few. He didn’t fear retribution, but he couldn’t pass it onto his daughter.
He was afraid that he would influence his daughter. He was afraid that, because she saw her dad was like this, she would think all men in the world were also like this.
Song Haiping’s heart felt pained. He lowered his head, and his hands trembled as he opened the xiaolongbao sauce packet. He lifted his head again, recovering the smiling face from before. “I didn’t mess with him. This little pup can protect his dad, ne. I just said a few words and he got so angry.”
“That’s no good. The child should only side with you, the mom, not the father.”
Song Yuan was just about to “educate” old Comrade Song–why didn’t he listen to her warnings again?–when she heard the words at the end. Her entire body froze up, and she disbelievingly asked him, “Dad, you believe me?”
She, the involved party, had taken a few days before she accepted this sort of thing. It took her dad one night to accept that she might have transmigrated to ancient times and had the crown prince with the emperor???
This was too unbelievable!
Song Haiping gave her a glance. Just like in the past, he raised a hand to stroke her hair. “Does not believing mean I want you to handle this all by yourself? In any case, wait until the results come out. Yuanyuan, don’t be afraid. Dad is here.”
Song Yuan was nearly moved to tears.
She had thought that even her parents wouldn’t believe such a bizarre thing. She would never have expected that her dad believed her.
This made her feel much more at ease. It was like a person who was keeping a secret had to bear everything by themselves, and then suddenly a trustworthy person was discovered by another, trustworthy person. That kind of relief felt so good, ah!
Song Haiping knew that he had upset Rong Ting. He was an adult–it wasn’t certain whether he was the other’s grandfather, but he couldn’t be too stingy, and he couldn’t cause the little grandson to hold a grudge against him.
To be clear, his father was no better than pigs and dogs, but the child was innocent. This child might be his Yuanyuan’s son!
Thinking up to here, Song Haiping approached Rong Ting’s room and reached out a hand to knock. “Kid, come out for breakfast. The xiaolongbao will get cold soon, and then they won’t taste good.”
From inside, Rong Ting ‘hmph’d twice, but Song Haiping didn’t hear it.
Song Haiping originally wanted to drive Song Yuan to work, but Song Yuan worried about Rong Ting being alone at home. It was getting late, so after hastily eating a few dumplings, she picked up her bag and car keys and said to Song Haiping: “Dad, I’m going to work. If you don’t have anything today you can help me look after Gugu, right?” She paused, then said seriously, “Dad, you really really can’t blame his dad in front of him anymore. It’s really hurtful for the child; no matter what, that’s his dad.”
Song Haiping nodded, reluctant and unenthusiastic. “Alright, ba, I know.”
“And don’t watch TV with Gugu. It’s bad for the eyes.”
“Don’t take him out to eat junk food. The weather has been dry lately, so have him drink more water.”
After Song Yuan finished her warnings, she felt she was becoming more like a mom.
Song Haiping saw her off at the door. “I say, don’t go to work, or just ask for a month off. This matter is not over yet, ah, and you can’t always leave the child alone at home, ba.”
Speaking of this matter, Song Yuan also had a massive headache. “I have no way to ask for leave for now, and it’s even more impossible for me to quit–Uncle will scold me to death. Let’s talk about this when I’m less busy.”
Saying these words, Song Yuan went out. She walked toward the elevator and pressed the button.
With her dad at home to watch over Gugu, she felt much more at ease.
At least she wouldn’t have to worry about Gugu getting into an accident.
Rong Ting had been pressing his ear to the door this whole time, listening to the movements outside. Hearing Song Yuan leaving, he opened the door, somewhat panicked, and rushed out.
Song Haiping wanted to block him, but he couldn’t stop him.
Rong Ting had a great many thoughts just now. He thought, did he really do something wrong?
He didn’t know much about the matters between Mother Empress and Father Emperor, and the old palace maid wasn’t willing to say much, but Mother Empress had been unhappy later. The old maid also let something slip once.
She had said that he was the only one Mother Empress cared for.
Song Yuan heard the sound of footsteps. She turned her head and saw Rong Ting chasing after her. She looked surprised. “Gugu, you…”
Before she finished speaking, Rong Ting was already on tiptoe, hugging her waist and rubbing lovingly7.
Song Yuan used this chance to bend down and hug him.
After staying in this position for a while, Rong Ting suddenly opened his mouth and said, “Mother Empress, I’m sorry. Gu is afraid of Father Emperor. Father Emperor is serious in both speech and manners and is especially strict towards gu. If Father Emperor truly caused Mother Empress grief…”
He stopped speaking.
In truth, he didn’t know what to say. Although he was not close to Father Emperor, Father Emperor also never once treated him badly. On one side was Father Emperor, and on the other was Mother Empress…
“Gu has never clearly understood the matters between parents, and is unable to make any judgements. There is only one thing gu wishes for Mother Empress to know: gu only wants you to be happy.” Rong Ting patted her on her back. “Gu will never force Mother Empress to do things that make her unhappy, nor let other people, including Father Emperor, force you. Gu swears by this8.”
Song Yuan heard these words and froze for a moment. After pondering over it, she hugged Rong Ting even tighter.
“Thank you, Your Highness Crown Prince.”
 字帖: a copybook for calligraphy
 包子: steamed stuffed buns. They’re similar to mantou in that they’re bun-shaped, but I think the term mantou can refer to both filled/unfilled buns OR just unfilled buns (depending on the dialect), while baozi refers to just filled buns. Xiaolongbao, for example, would be considered a bao/baozi, and not a mantou.
 蒸饺: steamed dumplings
 肠粉: rice noodle roll/steamed rice roll? A Cantonese dish. The characters literally stand for ‘intestine’ + ‘noodles’ because of the shape of the noodles. The inside is usually stuffed with shrimp, beef, vegetables, etc. and paired with seasoned soy sauce
 反面例子:as in an example of what not to do
 I dunno if this sort of system (at least on such a grand scale) is common in cities in general, or just in Asia, but I know this is a thing in Korea, too. There are these huge “super-neighborhoods” with multiple apartment complexes/buildings.
 眷念: to think fondly of
 说到做到: to be as good as one’s word; to keep one’s promise