“Gugu, I want to apologize to you.”
When Song Yuan got home, Rong Ting was in the middle of playing games on the tablet.
He finally had something in common with the children of this time–he liked to play video games! Song Haiping had been rather obsessed with “Legend of the Three Kingdoms”1 since a while ago. Rong Ting watched him play for a while, became interested, and then plunged headlong into the game pit. But fortunately, Rong Ting had extraordinary self-control and wasn’t addicted to it.
Song Yuan felt that Rong Ting had even better discipline than her, so she wasn’t in much of a position to lecture him. One time, she had been searching the Internet on her phone in the middle of the night. Rong Ting had gotten up to go to the bathroom, saw that her bedroom light was still on, and in turn urged her to go to bed early, instead of staying up late…
When she thought back on this incident, she felt rather ashamed as a mother.
Song Yuan casually placed the paper bag on the table. Rong Ting glanced at it. “What is it?”
“Someone gave some apples.” Song Yuan thought of the white-haired handsome ge and couldn’t help letting out a sigh.
“Why is Mother Empress preoccupied?” Rong Ting became keenly aware of Song Yuan’s lack of enthusiasm. She had clearly been quite happy when she came through the door. What happened?
Even if Song Yuan’s brain was lacking, she still wouldn’t talk about it with Rong Ting. “I’m just tired from working overtime. I’m going to go take a shower.”
Once Song Yuan entered the bathroom with her pajamas, Rong Ting put down the tablet and got off of the sofa. He had previously learned from her how to boil milk, so he made her a cup of steamed milk and placed it by the bed.
Song Yuan came out after washing up to blow-dry her hair.
Rong Ting followed behind her. “Mother Empress, the light in your room is on.”
“Oh, it’s okay.”
Rong Ting was nervous. This was the first time he had made steamed milk for Mother Empress. He hoped that Mother Empress would quickly discover it and praise him, so he couldn’t help urging her, “Mother Empress, it’s not good to waste electricity.”
“You know it’s not good to waste electricity?” Song Yuan turned off the hair dryer, amused by his words. “It’s alright, the light in my room is energy-efficient. Or maybe you could help turn it off for me?”
Rong Ting’s expression was cold. “No.”
Things were not going to plan.
Song Yuan saw Gugu huffily return to the living room and sit on the sofa. She thought, then decided to return to her room to turn off the light. Wasting electricity was indeed a bad habit. The child has already pointed it out; if she didn’t correct it, then how could she set a good example for him in the future?
Rong Ting sat on the sofa, but he sneakily kept an eye on her. Seeing her enter the bedroom, he subconsciously straightened up and somewhat nervously glanced at the bedroom door.
Song Yuan spotted the cup of hot milk on the bedside table and immediately understood what was going on.
When she came out of the room, Rong Ting immediately withdrew his gaze and continued staring at the TV.
“Gugu, did you make steamed milk for me?” Song Yuan sat down beside him. She was very happy, and regardless of whether he would refuse or not, she hugged him.
Rong Ting struggled.
Song Yuan said warmly: “Royal Highness, let Mom hug for a little bit. It won’t kill you2.”
Rong Ting stilled, calming down, and even stretched out his little paws to hug her awkwardly.
The fragrance on Mother Empress smelled very nice. He breathed in deeply, wanting to engrave it in his memories forever. This was Mother Empress’s scent.
“Gugu, I want to apologize to you.” Song Yuan suddenly spoke. “Gugu, you will never, ever be an annoyance or burden to me. You and my parents are my most, most important people.”
Rong Ting was a little embarrassed, but he still said: “Gu knows.”
The old maid didn’t lie to him. She had said that when he was only two months old, Mother Empress loved to hold him and tell him that she loved him the most.
Rong Ting’s schedule was very regular. He would go to bed at around 9:30. Song Yuan would read him a bedtime story every night, but the child was no longer satisfied with children’s stories like “The Crow and the Pitcher”–he wanted to listen to thrilling stories. Song Yuan had no other option. During the day, when she had free time at the company, she would review Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin. Rong Ting loved Romance of the Three Kingdoms and said that he liked Cao Cao3 the most.
Waiting until Rong Ting fell asleep, Song Yuan sneakily placed a set of the Four Treasures that she had bought on his bedside table.
It wasn’t that there were no good-quality sets nowadays, but rather that they weren’t cheap.
She hoped he would like it. Tomorrow was Christmas, and although the little fellow didn’t believe in Santa Claus, she still wanted to give him the joy of the celebration.
Early the next morning, Rong Ting woke up and prepared to go to the bathroom as usual. As soon as he got up, he noticed the large present on the bedside table.
There was a Christmas tree in the living room, and stickers pasted on the windows, giving off a very festive air. He naturally wouldn’t forget that today was Christmas.
He carefully opened the package and saw that inside held a set of the Four Treasures, and they seemed to be of high quality.
He was pleasantly surprised, and the corners of his lips curled up.
When Song Yuan woke up, Rong Ting was still in a pleasant mood. She saw him stroke the brushes and paper and said in an exaggerated tone, “Gugu, did you see that Santa Claus got you a present?”
Rong Ting originally wanted to say that there was no such thing as Santa Claus, but when he looked up and saw Mother Empress looking more pleasantly surprised than him, he silently swallowed back the disheartening words and nodded gently.
Mother Empress, it is not so. Santa Claus does not exist.
Santa Claus was neither a friend nor a relative, so why would he prepare such a pleasant surprise for gu?
Mother Empress is gu’s Santa Claus.
Today was Christmas, and both Chen Linjing and Song Haiping would come over. These two people who were both half a century old only held the concept that this day was a day for making money. On this day, supermarkets, clothing stores, and online stores held events. They were normally very busy, but seeing that this was their grandson’s first Christmas, they pushed through their business at hand to come over.
Before they arrived, Song Yuan took Rong TIng out to eat breakfast.
Rong Ting still wasn’t fond of eating outside, but today was special. Song Yuan specially brought him out to a nearby hotel for dim sum6.
The Cantonese style of dim sum was essentially to have small dishes of everything. Song Yuan ordered many things, but Rong Ting took the initiative to stop her. “Mother Empress, neither Grandfather nor Grandmother are present, and the two of us do not need to order so much; we wouldn’t be able to finish eating it all.”
The watier was shocked upon hearing Rong Ting call Song Yuan “Mother Empress.”
There were many young mothers these days, but none this young.
Song Yuan didn’t care about what other people thought, so such a gaze didn’t matter.
She used to be glued to her phone while she ate. Now, while she was with Rong Ting, she did her utmost not to touch her phone. After sitting down, she fished inside her bag for her cell phone, wanting to check where her parents were, when she discovered a small pink gift box in her bag. She took it out, somewhat surprised.
She had checked her bag while on the bus yesterday. Between yesterday night and now… if anybody wanted to surprise her, it could only be Rong Ting!
She looked up at Rong Ting.
Rong Ting seemed to be earnestly eating his shrimp dumpling7. Perhaps it was because of the cold wind that blew past just now that his ears were tinged with red.
Song Yuan opened up the box and found a hair tie decorated with pearls8.
“Gugu, is this from you?” Too touching! She received a gift! And it was from Gugu!
Rong Ting set down his chopsticks and said solemnly: “No, it was from Santa Claus.”
Song Yuan was so touched that she didn’t have the mind to care about breakfast. She took out her phone, looked for a good angle, and took a picture of the hair tie. Finally, she chose a good filter and uploaded it to her Moments to show off.
【Christmas gift. Thank you, my precious duckling10, love you!】
She had been popular since she was young, and there were many people connected to her Moments page. When this post appeared on her Moments, many people thought she was casting off the single status and sent her blessings–
“What! Yuanyuan, you’re dating! When did this happen!!”
“Congrats, Yuanyuan! When are you bringing your boyfriend out for us to see11? He must be a peerlessly handsome ge.”
“Hurry and form a singles bureau!”
“I declare my heart is broken. Yuanyuan, you actually starting dating behind my back~”
Song Yuan originally wanted to deny the rumors, but then she thought twice. Ji Junpei would definitely see her Moments post. For the sake of simplifying matters, it was better to let things follow the flow of the conversation12.
There was a college classmate in her friends circle with whom she had a so-so relationship that couldn’t be considered particularly good. Amongst the comments giving their blessings, hers stood out: “Yuanyuan, you have a boyfriend? He’s so dependable, giving you a hair tie hahaha my boyfriend just loves to waste money; he gave me a Tiffany diamond ring. I’m so tired of him wanting to get married yet not being frugal.”
It wasn’t like she had a feud with this classmate. She really didn’t have any grudges. It was probably that they had worn the same outfit a couple times in the past, which was caught on camera and posted and discussed on the school forum. Since then, this classmate would compare everything with her. Apart from this, they hadn’t had any conflicts. There was one time when she felt uncomfortable due to her period, and she had bought food for her 13.
Song Yuan was a bit speechless.
Rong Ting, who had been paying attention to her expression, asked: “Mother Empress, do you not like this gift?”
He hadn’t known what gift to give to Mother Empress. If they were in the palace, he could have brought out any number of rare and exotic treasures. This was something he found on the day he had gone to the supermarket with Grandfather, after he had searched through the boutiques outside the supermarket.
Song Yuan hurriedly shook her head. She immediately used the hair tie to make a quick ponytail, which she waved in front of him. “Isn’t it pretty? I like it a lot. Thank you, Gugu.”
“It’s a gift from Santa Claus; why are you thanking me?” Rong Ting solemnly and earnestly refuted her. “If Mother Empress must give thanks, it must be to Santa Claus.”
Song Yuan calmed down after the outburst. What was she getting angry for? There was no need to get upset over such a disappointing response. And that classmate wasn’t such an important person.
What was there to be proud of in comparing boyfriends? If she had the ability, come compare sons with her!
This was something her son gave her.
 三国杀: a card game based on the Three Kingdoms period in China
 不会少块肉: lit. to lack/be short of a piece of meat/flesh. A colloquial term for “it won’t/can’t hurt (to do something)” or “no skin off my/your back”
 曹操: Cao Cao (different tones) was a Chinese warlord and poet who existed during the Three Kingdoms period. I’m not too familiar with the history or the story, but apparently Cao Cao is a rather controversial figure? Portrayed as a cruel and merciless tyrant, but also a brilliant ruler and military genius.
 枭雄: has been used to mean fierce and tyrannical or brave and valiant/outstanding. If I’m interpreting the MTL correctly, 枭雄 is used to refer to someone who thinks for themselves and is not easily deceived by others, if put in a nice way. If interpreted in a bad way, they could be seen as difficult to control (as a subordinate) or rebellious. The word 枭雄 uses the character for owl (枭), which is seen as a fierce and brave bird(?)
 刘备: a warlord who rose up against Cao Cao and led a movement to restore the Han dynasty, which was being controlled by Cao Cao through the figurehead Emperor Xian. Portrayed in literature to be a benevolent and human ruler who cared for his people and selected good advisers.
 喝早茶: lit. morning + tea. Seems to refer to having a meal with dim sum and hot tea, though, rather than literally just drinking tea.
 虾饺: sometimes called crystal shrimp dumplings, a classic dish served in dim sum. Recognizable by the smooth and transparent skin, the pleats (apparently there should be at least 7, but preferably 10 or more), and…being made with shrimp?? Ugh, now I really want some dim sum…
 The sound of crying [in joy]. Me too, Song Yuan, me too.
 珍珠发圈: I think this is along the lines of what the author means? I’m not a huge fan of pearl jewelry, but I’ll love and cherish it if it I was gifted it by my adorable little son ^^
 宝贝鸭: 宝贝 can also mean treasure, darling, or baby. 鸭 literally just stands for duck
 康康: slang for “taking a look”
 将错就错: lit. if it’s wrong, it’s wrong; to make the best after a mistake
 I’m not sure which “she” is which person LOL
Cheese: hnnnnng mother-son bonding chapters make me happy *wipes tears*
apologies for any mistakes in the chapters. the heat has not been conducive to effective translation work bc me brain no work good when broiled nonstop for a week+