“Although your arrival was unexpected, you are welcome here.”
Song Yuan didn’t dare to entertain the idea that her mom would instantly accept it.
Her mom was different from her dad. It was like this since she was a child: her dad would go wild with her. When she was in college, her dad learned to play games in order to get closer with her. He joined her in playing Honor of Kings1, joined her in playing PUBG2–whatever she wanted to do, as long as it wasn’t too deviant, her dad would support it with both hands.
Her dad had a saying: a dad can’t hit his daughter, nor could he hurt his daughter; otherwise, the daughter would be distant from the dad.
She had asked her father once: if she was a son, would he also be afraid that she wouldn’t like him?
Her dad said, he would be fine even if his son didn’t like him.
In short, her father’s doting toward her was gentle, careful, and had no bottom line.
Her mom was not the same. Although her mom was usually extremely busy and basically had no time to accompany her, she was still a strict mother. Song Yuan was also afraid of her mom.
But it was different this time. This matter had to be cleared up eventually.
She quickly returned to her room and found the DNA test results in her nightstand drawer.
In the living room, Chen Linjing was still glaring furiously at Song Haiping.
It was impossible for her to easily believe Song Haiping’s claims of crossing through space and time, transmigrating from ancient times to modern times, and so on. Few people with their IQ online5 would believe this sort of absurdity. She could only assume that Song Haiping was picking a fight.
Song Haiping was both helpless and despairing. “Do you not have a brain? What ‘paving the way for my son’? I don’t even have an illegitimate child, but even if I did, would I harm my daughter for him? Chen Linjing, won’t you use your brain?”
Chen Linjing was intent on eating Song Haiping’s heart at the moment. How could she listen to him explain?
Fortunately, Song Yuan came out at an opportune time and presented the DNA test report in her hands. “Mom, read this. I didn’t lie to you, and neither did Dad. Rong Ting really is my son.”
Upon hearing the latter sentence, Chen Linjing couldn’t calm down, but looking at her daughter’s face, she could only take the DNA test report and read through it. When she finished reading, she calmly and evenly said to Song Yuan, “Yuanyuan, do you know what you’re doing? Even if you have a good relationship with your father, how can you get involved in these kinds of matters? A report like this can be made with a bit of money. Yuanyuan, you know Mom can’t stand being lied to the most.”
Song Yuan raised her head, looking her mom straight in the eyes. There wasn’t even a hint of evasion in her gaze. “Mom, every word I’ve said is true.”
Chen Linjing looked into her daughter’s eyes.
The mother and daughter pair were silent.
Song Haiping sighed in his heart. “There’s no Yakult at home. Rong Ting was making a fuss about wanting to drink it, and there’s no fruit in the fridge, so I’ll take him out for a stroll. You two have a good talk.”
He took Rong Ting by the hand and went out. When he reached the door, he stopped again, turned his head toward Chen Linjing, and said: “Chen Linjing, I’m that kind of person in your heart. Let me tell you, in this world, there’s no one more important to me than Yuanyuan. I’ll say it again–Yuanyuan did nothing wrong. Even if you get made, you shouldn’t lay a hand on her. She’s not a little kid anymore.”
Song Haiping and Rong Ting left the house and entered the elevator.
For a while, the grandfather and grandson were silent.
It was Rong Ting who broke the silence first. He asked worriedly: “Would Grandmother lay a hand on Mother Empress?”
Song Haiping smiled. “She won’t. I was just saying that. In her heart, your grandma loves Yuanyuan very much. She’s never been fierce towards her, let alone lay a hand on her.”
Rong Ting was somewhat doubtful. “But from gu’s observations, Mother Empress seems to fear Grandmother.”
“Don’t you feel that your grandma looks very serious?” Song Haiping said with a smile, “Not to mention, I haven’t been afraid of many people for so many years, but she can be considered one of them.”
“Grandfather was actually henpecked.” Rong Ting was astonished.
Song Haiping’s complexion changed. “She ‘s no longer my hen6.”
“We’ve long divorced.” Song Haiping knew that Rong Ting was now interested in his affairs and held the attitude of doggedly pursuing the answer7. This was a dangerous topic. He didn’t want to tell the child about the disgraceful things he had done in the past. Losing face was one thing; not wanting to be a bad example was another. “Okay, let’s not talk about this. Do you want anything else besides Yakult? Your mom probably won’t have the mind to pay attention to what you’re doing. You can indulge for one day.”
Rong Ting’s attention was diverted as planned.
The grandfather and grandson duo happily headed toward the supermarket outside the community.
It was getting dark by the time the two emerged with a bountiful harvest. It was early winter, and days were growing shorter. Song Haiping hurriedly led Rong Ting back to the community. Their time in the supermarket had gone by too quickly; almost an hour had passed in the blink of an eye.
Song Haiping originally thought that it would take a week for Chen Linjing to accept the situation. What he didn’t expect was that, when he brought Rong Ting inside the house, his ex-wife would step forward and crouch down, staring fixedly at Rong Ting. Rong Ting had very rarely been scrutinized with such intense focus, but he wasn’t embarrassed.
Chen Linjing stared at Rong Ting. In face, the last time when she had seen the photo sent by her former sister-in-law, she had thought that the child looked very similar to Yuanyuan when she was younger. It was also precisely the reason why she had come today–she had firmly believed that Rong Ting was Song Haiping’s son.
Thinking about it now, it was said that the son resembles the mother. Rong Ting truly looked like Yuanyuan.
“You’re called Rong TIng?” Chen Linjing’s attitude seemed calm, but looking closer, there was a cautious smile in her eyes.
She wasn’t good at dealing with children, but thinking about how this child with fair skin as smooth as polished jade8 was actually Yuanyuan’s child, her heart softened.
Rong Ting hesitantly looked at Song Yuan.
Song Yuan shot him an encouraging smile.
Rong Ting nodded. “Yes.”
“Song Yuan said that you’ll be six next spring. You’ve grown very well.” Chen Linjing paused, then asked, “Can Grandma hug you?”
Rong Ting’s eyelids drooped, and he gave a soft “en.”
He had already gotten used to it. Grandfather would often hug him, as would Mother Empress.
Chen Linjing wrapped her arms around Rong Ting and patted his back. “Although your arrival was unexpected, you are welcome here.”
As the winter nights approached, the temperature also dropped. Song Haiping reheated the food, and the four people sat down at the dinner table. Song Yuan was overjoyed inside! She loved having the family sit down and eat together! Her dad was here, her mom was here, Rong Ting was here–she felt that this winter was quite wonderful.
Only, when the food was almost finished, Song Haiping set down his chopsticks and said somewhat seriously: “Since everyone is here, I think we can discuss the issue of Rong Ting’s permanent residence registration. He should go to school. It’s not good for him to follow me around all the time every day, or else we’ll delay his development.”
Song Yuan naturally had no complaints. She also felt that Rong Ting should go to school.
“It’s not easy to get a registration now, but I can find someone around here.” Chen Linjing didn’t think it was a big problem. She had been involved in the business world for so many years, and she knew so many people in the city. It was all too easy for her to settle the matter of the household registration.
Song Haiping shook his head. “I’m not talking about that–getting a registration isn’t hard. What I mean is, under whose name should it be?”
Song Yuan’s complexion changed. She looked at Rong Ting, who was absorbed in eating, then shot a look at Song Haiping. “Dad, didn’t we already talk about this? Of course it’ll be under my name.”
Chen Linjing proved that she had been a couple with Song Haiping for several years. She couldn’t be clearer on the meaning of the other’s stance. She snorted. “What are you trying to say? Just say it straight.”
“Rong Ting, go help Grandpa grab a can of beer.” Song Haiping wanted to send Rong Ting away.
Rong Ting had not heard the conversation among themselves. He let out an “oh,” got down from his chair, and went to the kitchen.
“Yuanyuan is still young. She’s only twenty-two,” Song Haiping lowered his voice and said.
Just as he said this, he added, “Her life has only just started, and her future is long. What I mean is that Rong Ting can be registered under my name. It wouldn’t have much impact, would it?”
Chen Linjing frowned and looked at Song Yuan. “Yuanyuan, what do you think?”
Song Yuan was helpless. “It has a great impact on me and Rong Ting. I still want to register him under my name. I’m obviously his mom; if I told outsiders that I’m his sister, he would be very hurt.”
Chen Linjing “en”d. “Then let’s go along with Yuanyuan’s wishes, ba.”
Song Haiping was anxious. “What about Yuanyuan’s future?”
“What future? Her marriage?” Chen Linjing had put up with Song Haiping for long enough. “No matter what, if Yuanyuan wants to shirk her responsibility as a mother, then what will happen to Rong Ting? Don’t you know that this will have a great impact on the child? Yuanyuan is his mom, so she has the responsibility and obligation to take care of him. Moreover, if Yuanyuan meets someone suitable in the future and hides such an important matter from him, it’ll be a deceptive marriage. Put yourself in others’ shoes–no one wants to be deceived like a fool by others.”
Chen Linjing looked again at Song Yuan. Her tone was calmer than before. “Yuanyuan, Mom doesn’t want her daughter to be such a person. Be honest. Yes, Mom also knows that if you recognize Rong Ting as your own, your life will be much harder than others’, but this is not a reason or excuse for you to avoid your responsibility. He was brought into this world by you.”
“Mom and Dad can help you share the pressure of raising a child, such as helping you take care of the child when you’re busy with work, or giving a hand when you’re financially struggling. But we can’t take your place as his mom.”
Song Yuan nodded. “Mom, I know. I didn’t want to run away.”
Chen Linjing was greatly relieved, but she still couldn’t help glaring fiercely at Song Haiping.
She always felt that her scum ex-husband was teaching their daughter a bad lesson in the name of being good to her.
“In other words, your future does not lie with others.” Chen Linjingn’s tone eased again. “As for Rong Ting’s living and education expenses, don’t worry about it. Your mother, I, am still breathing.”
Song Haiping felt that this ex-wife of his was truly a schemer. But although he thought this, he didn’t forget to promise his daughter, “Yuanyuan, don’t be afraid. Dad is still here. All of Dad’s possessions are for you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry; Dad will do his best to help you.”
Rong Ting stood not far away, holding a beer can. He leaned against the wall, listening to this conversation, and he couldn’t help laughing.
Both Grandfather and Grandmother cherished their beloved daughter in their hearts, just in different ways.
He could rest easy. Mother Empress was right. She was truly very happy here.
 王者荣耀: a multiplayer online battle arena mobile game. Apparently it’s similar in playing style to Dota 2 and League of Legends, but I’ve never played or watched gameplay of either so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ most things multiplayer and competitive look the same to me LOL
 吃鸡: lit. eat chicken?? Apparently it comes from the English phrase “winner winner chicken dinner” LOLOL but yeah it’s the nickname for PUBG, another online multiplayer battle game, but this one’s a PVP shooter battle royale
 剑拔弩张: lit. with swords drawn and bows bent; fig. a state of mutual hostility
 从天而降: lit. to drop from the sky; fig. to appear unexpectedly
 IQ is online, as in one’s brain is functioning. For example, most cannon fodders in stories have their IQ offline
 惧内: lit. fearful [of] inside/inner; to be fearful or intimidated by one’s wife/girlfriend/partner. The raws here said “she’s no longer my 内 (inner),” which might be a reference to the inner courtyard where the madam lived, I think? Basically, he’s saying they’re divorced, but I’m carrying over the play on 惧内/henpecked
 打破砂锅问到底: lit. to break/smash open the earthenware pot and ask till the end
 粉雕玉琢: used to describe a person’s skin as fair as though smeared with powder and as delicate as polished jade
Cheese: on a random note, it only occurred to me this week that ikea is not, in fact, considered a high-end brand and is actually considered to be on the more affordable end of the spectrum (as far as furniture goes). almost all the furniture my family gets is from ikea, and trips always felt like a big deal (since we rarely ever go furniture shopping), so i just never considered that ikea was considered cheap LOL i only realized after i had to go to ikea this week for business-related purchases that i saw the pricings for things and was like “wow thats ridiculously more affordable than what i was expecting.”
tbf i think the last time i went to ikea was probably when i was like in junior high, so wayyyy before i ever had to think about big purchases like household furniture
is there anything like that in your life? things that you found out later in life were actually less high-end/luxury brand than what you had thought when you were younger (or vice versa)?