He could clearly talk! Why was he playing mute!
Song Yuan didn’t know if it was her imagination, but as soon as the white-haired handsome ge appeared, the shrewish woman who had just been cursing instantly became much quieter.
Song Yuan knew that it was the middle of rush hour right now. She really didn’t want to hold up other people from going to work because of this accident.
“Thank you.” Song Yuan placed her phone back in her back and watched the cars crawl along the road, as slow as snails. She felt apologetic in her heart, but she also didn’t forget to express her gratitude to the white-haired handsome ge. If it weren’t for his timely assistance, she really might have been hit by that woman in that chaotic incident.
Rong Heng looked at Song Yuan and said mildly: “No need to thank me. I can’t tolerate seeing such things happen.”
The expressions of the people around Rong Heng turned strange upon hearing his words.
Rong Heng’s driver had followed him out of the car. Hearing him open his mouth and speak, he looked shocked, as though he had seen a ghost.
The woman was also astonished. She had been so sure she was right. She thought these two were a couple, but they were only strangers? No, since they were strangers, why did this man look at her just now like he desperately wished he could kill her?
“I’m truly very sorry.”
Song Yuan was not that thick-skinned. She saw the drivers passing by rolling down their windows, looking very irritable. She understood them very well.
One time, she had been driving to work and encountered a rear-end collision that held her up for ten minutes and nearly made her late. She considered herself as normally having a good temper, but she had been quite upset that day.
“I’m very sorry, I’m very sorry.” Song Yuan apologized to the drivers passing by.
Someone else’s lack of basic decency1 was their own business. Although this incident wasn’t her fault, she was also an involved party.
Rong Heng watched her apologize to other people. He lowered his eyelids, covering up his true emotions. By the time he looked again at Song Yuan, he had recovered his previous gentleness. “This has nothing to do with you. You don’t need to apologize.”
Song Yuan was stunned, then laughed unconcernedly. “Right now, it’s my car that’s in the way.”
She tucked her hair behind her ear. The temperature in the early winter morning was quite low. She wore a white down jacket that made her skin look even fairer.
“Do you need any help?” Rong Heng looked towards her, his hands in his coat pockets. To be honest, his hands were trembling as he spoke to her, but he kept a gentle and tranquil expression on his face.
“Ah, I don’t need it.” Song Yuan waved her hand. “The traffic police are coming soon. Shouldn’t you be getting to work, too?”
Rong Heng let out an ‘en.’
“Then I’ll be leaving first.”
Song Yuan waved in farewell, her eyes curved into crescents. “Goodbye. Thank you for today.”
When Rong Heng saw her smiling expression, he was momentarily stunned.
His face changed the second his body turned. His mild and elegant face in front of Song Yuan became an expressionless one–serious and indifferent, one that gave others a feeling of great pressure.
The driver followed behind him and opened the back door.
The driver was now breaking into a sweat over his situation. Just when he settled in the driver’s seat, fastened his seat belt, and prepared to depart, he heard his boss, sitting in the back seat, say in a cold voice: “I don’t want my family to know about what happened today.”
The driver wanted to cry without tears. He never expected that his boss had never lost his voice in the first place. He could clearly talk! Why was he playing mute!
As the saying went, curiosity killed the cat. He didn’t want to know the boss’s secret.
He knew how deep the waters ran amongst the rich and powerful. The Xie family was one of the best of the best in B City-it was no exaggeration for the outside world to call the boss the Crown Prince.
The driver didn’t dare to think too deeply into it and just nodded repeatedly.
He knew what the boss was referring to. It seemed that the boss had to pretend to be mute for a while. If other people in the Lu family knew that the boss hadn’t lost his voice, then the boss would suspect him. He had worked with other people, and in the worse-case scenario he could resign. But he had been with the Xie family for several years now, and he was well-aware that it was all too simple and easy for these second-generation giants to kill off a person. Although his pay for driving his boss around was quite high, he didn’t expect that the risks were also so high.
“If you don’t do it and you don’t say it, then I also won’t go looking for you.”
The driver, hearing his boss say this, was even more afraid to lower his guard. He didn’t expect his boss to know what he was thinking in his heart.
The driver muttered to himself. He felt that the boss was completely different from before. If not for that face, he would think that the two were totally different people–the boss from before was very gentle and was very good to his drivers. He was unlike the average rich second generation. But then again, wouldn’t anyone who had undergone such a life-threatening situation have a change in temperament?
As winter approached, Rong Ting, contrary to what his mouth said2, very obediently substituted his traditional clothes for the down jacket and jeans that Song Yuan bought him. But he vehemently insisted on not cutting his hair, and Song Yuan didn’t want to force him. In any case, there were still a few months left before he went to school.
Song Yuan originally wanted to tell Rong Ting about today’s traffic accident, but she swallowed the words back.
Gugu hadn’t yet adjusted to the matter of his parents already being “divorced.” If she talked too often about other men in front of him, even if they were strangers, he wouldn’t be too happy.
“Christmas is coming soon. Since we’re free now, why don’t we go out and buy some things to decorate the house?” Song Yuan suggested. “It also happens to be Saturday that day. Grandma and Grandpa will come over, and I also want to invite my good friends over. We can have a little Christmas spirit in our house. What do you think?”
Rong Ting naturally had no objections.
After the mother and son pair finished eating, they happily went out to go shopping.
Song Yuan originally wasn’t particularly interested in this sort of holiday. From the perspective of a forever single3, anything that wasn’t New Years wasn’t considered a holiday. But she had seen several people in the owners’ group chat4 buying Christmas trees as a group, saying that they wanted to give their child an unforgettable memory. One of the mothers said that nowadays, the holidays were all for the children! Otherwise, who would want to waste their money and effort?
Song Yuan thought it made sense.
Rong Ting had never celebrated Christmas. The day before yesterday, he had spotted the neighbor decorating their Christmas tree and was very curious.
She didn’t want Gugu to envy others.
The two went to the nearby market. The household goods section had long been selling Christmas items. Song Yuan had Rong Ting go pick a Christmas tree as well as a Santa hat. Rong Ting was very excited. Although he hadn’t yet figured out what sort of holiday Christmas was or what a Christmas tree was, it didn’t dampen his enthusiasm.
Seeing Rong Ting looking so happy, Song Yuan thought a bit, then pretended to casually ask, “Gugu, do you know Santa Claus? If there’s any present you want, Santa Claus will help you get it. When you wake up, you’ll get the present you wanted.”
Rong Ting frowned at Song Yuan. “How could Empress Mother believe such rumors? No such thing exists in this world.”
Song Yuan was convinced5.
She wanted to give Gugu a surprise. While there was still some time left before Christmas, she wanted to feel out for what he wanted, secretly go buy it, then place it next to his bed when he fell asleep the night before. When he woke up the next day, he would definitely be very happy.
“Ei, we’re just chatting, don’t be so serious. I see all the other kids want presents. What about you?”
“The crown prince must not reveal his preferences to the outside6.”
“…You said outsiders. Am I an outsider?”
Rong Ting sighed. “Empress Mother need not spend money.”
Song Yuan didn’t expect it to be so difficult to give a gift. “I said Santa Claus is the one giving you a present. How am I spending money?”
“Santa Claus does not exist.” Rong Ting very seriously taught Song Yuan. “If Santa Claus did exist, would he not be very busy? So many people ask for presents. Rather than placing one’s hopes on others, it is better to rely on oneself to fulfill one’s wishes. If gu does receive a gift, then Santa Claus must be Empress Mother, or else Grandmother or Grandfather.”
Song Yuan stared at Rong Ting.
He wore a beanie hat and a black down jacket paired with dark jeans and snow boots. She didn’t know if it was her imagination, but she felt as though he looked better in traditional clothing.
“I really want to be your Santa Claus,” Song Yuan let out a sigh. “Other children get presents–I wanted to surprise you.”
Rong Ting looked at her, then finally shook his head. “Gu’s wishes have already been granted.”
“And Empress Mother?” Rong Ting asked her, as well. “What present does Empress Mother want?”
“What, you want to buy me a gift?” Song Yuan laughed at him again. “I’m twenty-two this year–oh, no, maybe it’s more than that. Anyways, I’m not a child anymore. I don’t need presents.”
“Gu wishes to be Empress Mother’s Santa Claus.”
The five-year-old boy said this in complete earnest. Song Yuan looked at him with a softened expression, her heart feeling very warm.
She stretched out a hand and gently pinched Rong Ting’s face. “You’re so good at talking. Your mother is no longer worried that you won’t be able to find a girlfriend.”
Rong Ting used to be embarrassed when he heard Song Yuan say things like these, but now he was already immune to it. “Empress Mother need not worry. Gu watched TV with Grandfather, and there was a saying: ‘The emperor’s daughter does not worry about marriage.’ Gu is the crown prince–there are many daughters of noble families who wish to enter the Eastern Palace.”
He paused. “However, the crown prince consort candidate is selected by Emperor Father and Empress Mother.”
Song Yuan followed along with his words. She touched her chin in thought and asked seriously: “So what is your type?”
“One must marry a virtuous woman when marrying a wife7.”
Song Yuan’s eyebrows rose. “What, from what I’m hearing, you still want to take in concubines?”
She couldn’t control matters in ancient times, but this way of thinking needed to change in modern times. Otherwise, wouldn’t she be watching a good child grow up into a scumbag man?
Rong Ting noticed that Empress Mother seemed to be abnormally sensitive towards the idea of taking in concubines.
How careless. He shouldn’t be discussing such matters with Empress Mother.
“Empress Mother, gu feels dizzy. “Rong Ting put on an act of pressing his temple.
Song Yuan was distracted just as planned. She hurriedly put down the potato chips in her hand and placed a hand on his forehead. “You’re dizzy? There’s no fever, and you don’t have a cold. Is the air in here not circulating? There are quite a lot of people here today. Go, go, go, let’s go back first. It’s definitely stuffy in here.”
Rong Ting secretly let out a sigh of relief.
He was only five. Such discussions were a long way off…
The mother and son pair left the supermarket. Although it was cold outside, the air flowed better than inside the store. They were exposed to the cold wind, but it was more comfortable.
Song Yuan held a shopping bag in one hand and held Rong Ting’s hand in another. The two walked in the direction of their neighborhood community.
A black car was parked outside the community. Rong Heng was sitting in the back seat, staring out the window.
The driver didn’t dare to make a peep. He could vaguely sense that the boss was not out here to relax. He should be–looked like–seemed to be chasing after a girl…
 素质: has a lot of different meanings, but the best-fitting meaning here is probably the quality of a person’s innate nature
 嘴上说不要身体很诚实: the mouth says no, (but the) body is very honest
 母胎solo: more literally, it means single since (existing within the) mother’s womb, or single since birth LOL
 业主群: lit. owner(s) group. From what I can tell, people living in the same building will often have their own group chat on WeChat. This GC is limited to those who own the place they live in, so tenants would not be included.
 佛了: the literal character meaning is “Buddha” or “Buddhism”, but it’s a homophone for the character that means “to be convinced” (by an argument)
 Have I talked about this before? This was probably a precautionary measure to guard against assassination attempts and the like, since any clever schemer looking to kill off or otherwise manipulate the crown prince (or anyone, really) could more easily do so by targeting their preferences (food, clothing, hobbies, (wo)men, vices, etc.).
 娶妻当娶贤: the “golden rule” for noble families when looking for a main wife. The general meaning goes something like “a good wife has both virtue and talent; a capable wife has talent but no virtue; a beautiful wife has no talent and no virtue.” In a similar vein, some Cnovels with ancient times settings will further explain that concubines can be beautiful since they mainly exist to serve their lord and give birth to sons to preserve the family line (who may, depending on the dynasty, inherit in the case of there not being a legitimate heir), but proper wives must be talented (to manage the household) and virtuous (to maintain a harmonious family).
Cheese: got my laptop fixed! i did lose all the files i had on it, unfortunately, but at least i wasn’t working on, like, a huge project or a paper or anything. that would have been DEVASTATING. take my word for it and remember to back up your computer regularly, kiddos _(:3 」∠)_ in fact, go back up your computer RIGHT NOW idc if you use a hard drive or upload to the cloud or whatever JUST DO IT