It should have been her “ex-husband,” His Majesty the emperor, who taught him.
The bus that Song Yuan was waiting for had arrived. She said goodbye to Ji Junpei and hurriedly boarded the bus, and Rong Heng followed suit.
Ji Junpei stood at the bus station. He was still thinking about the gaze the white-haired man had given him just now.
There weren’t many people here by this point. Song Yuan sat by the window, and Rong Heng sat next to her. As before, he smiled and asked her if she would mind him sitting there.
This person was truly very gentlemanly and polite. He must be very considerate in his life.
After settling in his seat, Rong Heng inadvertently looked outside the window, as though watching Ji Junpei. As the car drove steadily, Rong Heng asked, “Was that your boyfriend?”
As Song Yuan tried to figure out how to answer, Rong Heng thoughtfully said, “Sorry, I was just a little curious. I didn’t mean to pry.”
“No, I just didn’t know what to say.” Song Yuan set the cardboard box on her lap and stared at the bag placed inside. She was silent for a moment before turning to smile at Rong Heng. “He’s not a boyfriend. I’m the mother of a child.”
“Then your husband must be very good,” Rong Heng said.
Song Yuan shook her head. “I’m not married.”
This was the saddest thing. She had a child, but no husband. No, not to mention a husband, there was no boyfriend in sight.
If she thought about it, she might shed a tear for herself.
Her statement could be very misleading. Other people might think that she had gotten pregnant before marriage and was a single, unmarried mother. But she didn’t intend to explain herself. After all, what she was saying was true.
Rong Heng’s expression didn’t change. It could even be considered mild as he said, “I think you’ll definitely have a good life in the future.”
Everyone liked to hear nice things. Song Yuan was no exception. She laughed, “I think so, too. Although my luck with marriage isn’t very good, I’m blessed to have my child. My child is especially good and wonderful.”
This was something she could say to strangers, but she couldn’t talk about the matter of Rong Ting with friends or acquaintances. The main reason was that it was too unbelievable.
Rong Heng smiled even more happily. “That’s because his parents have taught him well.”
Song Yuan froze for a moment. Rong Ting was definitely very, very good, but she wasn’t the one who taught him. It should have been her “ex-husband,” His Majesty the emperor, who taught him.
She had forgotten many things, and it wasn’t easy to say what kind of person His Majesty the emperor was, but based on Rong Ting’s behavior, he was rather good at teaching children–at least, he was better at it than her.
“En, his dad taught him.” Song Yuan didn’t avoid the topic. “His dad is good at teaching children. If the child had grown up under me, he definitely wouldn’t be as good as he is now.”
Rong Heng smiled lightly, as though he were happy, but he always had a smile on his face. Song Yuan couldn’t explain it. She only felt that this person had a gentle temper and was easy to get along with.
“What’s the box for?” Rong Heng asked her another question. “Is it heavy? Do you need help?”
“Not heavy, they’re all office supplies. I resigned, so today I’m taking all my cups and books and things back from the company.” The computer was returned to the company, but she was especially fond of putting little trinkets on her desk, which meant that her desk was always a little messier than others’.
Rong Heng was astonished. “Resigned? Why?”
Song Yuan often heard Rong Ting’s scholarly way of speaking, so at this moment, she didn’t notice that anything was off when Rong Heng spoke1.
“My household registration is in B City, and my son will be going to school next year. Although this place is also very good, the medical and educational environment there is much better.” Song Yuan shrugged. “Everything is for the sake of the child, so I can only resign from my job and take him to B City.”
When she was young, her parents had planned to have her study in B City, but both her mother and her father’s careers were based in this city, and they didn’t feel assured leaving her alone in B City.
“What a coincidence,” Rong Heng said, “I was getting ready to return to B City after finishing my affairs here. You might find the new environment unfamiliar. If you need help in the future, you can come find me.” He paused. “We’ve met a few times, but I still don’t know your name.”
Song Yuan also just came to the same conclusion. They’d been chatting with each other for such a long time, yet they still didn’t know each other’s names…
“Umm2, my name is Song Yuan. The Song from Song dynasty3, the Yuan from garden4. And you?” Song Yuan had always felt that her name was too ordinary, but being ordinary had its perks. Introducing herself was fairly simple.
“Me?” Rong Heng smiled. “My name is Xie Heng. The Xie from gratitude5, the Heng from…”
Seeming to not know how to explain it in a way she could understand, he simply reached past her and wrote the character “Heng6” on the misty window.
He leaned over, and the distance between them narrowed.
Once again, Song Yuan caught the unfamiliar scent on his body.
“This character is a bit familiar.” Song Yuan contemplated for a moment. Suddenly, she remembered. Hadn’t Gugu written this character before? The emperor’s name was Rong Heng!
This character seemed to be uncommon in her daily life. At the very least, she didn’t notice any of her classmates using it, so it had given her a deep impression.
Rong Heng’s expression sank slightly, and the smile on his lips faded. He asked her in a seemingly casual manner, “Is there someone else with this name?”
“En.” Song Yuan nodded. “My son’s dad seems to use Heng in his name.”
It was a strange thing for her to say, but Rong Heng didn’t even ask.
The topic was very easily skipped over. Based on the fact that the two got along quite well, when Rong Heng asked for her phone number, Song Yuan was very happy to exchange contact information with him.
If he had asked for her contact information a few days ago, when they had just met, she definitely would have thought that he was interested in her. Now, she wouldn’t make such a speculation. The other person knew that she was the mother of a child and probably thought that she was a single, unmarried mother. He definitely just wanted to make a friend, so Song Yuan had no qualms.
After learning each other’s names and exchanging numbers, they were no longer strangers, but friends.
Before she got off the bus, Song Yuan rummaged through her box before finally taking out a Christmas-themed mug and handing it to Rong Heng. “For you, since you gave me two apples last time. It’s brand-new, and it was sent by a supplier of our company. I think it’s pretty nice, so I’ll give it to you.”
The mug was Christmas themed. The body was red, and there was a 3-D cartoon Santa Claus at the bottom of the interior of the mug. It was extremely cute.
Rong Heng was startled. He accepted the cup and said, “Thank you. I really like it.”
Song Yuan didn’t like to owe others. He had only given her two apples, but they weren’t familiar with each other. Now that she had gifted him the mug, she finally felt that they were even.
It was only after she got off the bus, said farewell to Rong Heng, and carried the box to the entrance of the community that she thought of something: was it inappropriate to give a mug?
It was definitely very inappropriate, especially now that many words were used as punny marketing7 by businesses.
At least, when she was in high school, giving someone a mug was equivalent to giving someone a lifetime8. It was an extremely ambiguous gift. It was also very popular for lovers to gift each other mugs, scarves, and the like.
She stopped in her tracks, shaking her head again. Don’t think too much. She felt that, given Mr. Xie’s excellent upbringing, he wouldn’t overthink it, nor would he misunderstand her intentions.
It was just an ordinary mug, and she had given it away in passing.
Rong Heng stood at the bus stop, holding the mug in his hand while laughing.
He suddenly recalled something. It had been his birthday. It was originally supposed to be very lively, but that day he’d had no desire to deal with people, so he’d snuck out of the palace to find her. She was not skilled in the Four Arts, but the general’s madam had been determined to cultivate her into a noble lady and had invited someone to teach her. She had been sitting in the pavilion in the heart of the lake, plucking the zither strings as though it were the most painful thing in the world.
Seeing him come over, she was extremely happy, and she very naturally asked him to help her produce a painting. That way, she could return upon finishing her task.
She was not skilled at painting, and the things she did paint had no sense of beauty. But when he took a closer look, he found them to be charmingly naive, and he grew to like them over time.
Seeing how pitiful she was, he could only begrudgingly help her “cheat.” Of course, he didn’t reveal even a tenth of his true skill, fearing that the general’s madam would become suspicious.
When she heard it was his birthday, she gifted him a cup. That cup had no aesthetic beauty to speak of. It should have been her masterpiece on the face of the cup, a… bear, supposedly.
She said it was a cup she had made herself.
He outwardly showed dislike, but he accepted it, and upon his return to the palace, he hid it in his bookcase, unwilling to show it to others.
A few days later, he had gone to visit his friend for a matter. When he arrived, he saw a silly looking cup on his desk. His heart full of suspicion, he asked what had happened to the cup.
His friend chuckled, unable to let go of the cup. “Yuanyuan made a set when she had nothing to do. My parents also received one.”
So everyone had one?
His expression had been cold. He returned to the palace and made a move to throw the cup. Then he thought again. It was the fault of the person, not the object. Why implicate the object?
Now it seemed that she had truly forgotten the past. She was able to heartlessly give away a cup.
It was good she had forgotten. He had not seen her so content in a very, very long time.
Rong Heng sighed.
Back at the hotel, Sun Qiming was already waiting. The suite was very quiet, and he grumbled in his heart, wondering what the boss wanted to see him for.
Rong Heng sat at the desk. It had been several months since his arrival. He loved to read books, and fortunately he remembered all the things she had told him. Thus, he was able to quickly accept the current situation. But it wasn’t enough. The Xie family was not peaceful. Although it was not as riddled with danger9 as the palace, he still could not let down his guard. Until he had a thorough understanding of the current era, he would continue to play mute.
Being mute was quite good. The more one spoke, the more one erred. The less one spoke, the less one erred. If one didn’t speak at all, then one could not err.
He recalled the person standing at the bus stop today, as well as the look in his eyes when he looked at her. Rong Heng turned a page. Without lifting an eyelid, he said quietly: investigate someone over the next few days.”
 In the previous sentence, Rong Heng asks her 为何, which is a literary or formal way of saying “why” or “for what reason.” Rong Ting uses this phrase whenever he asks “why” (e.g. see the title of chapter 3–there’s a reason why I initially translated the chapter title as “You’re living so miserably now, for what reason did you leave Father Emperor?”)
 那个: literally means “that (thing).” Used as a filler in speech, the same way that English speakers use “umm,” “uh,” “well,” etc. “That” doesn’t have the same feel as it does in Mandarin, so I took the liberty of making it more palatable for English readers
 唐宋元明清: Song Yuan actually says Tang-Song-Yuan-Ming dynasty, which is probably a mnemonic used to memorize the chronological order of the four most famous Chinese dynasties
 花园: literally (flower) garden. This is why I sometimes get “garden did etc. etc.” when I plug the raw sentences into Google Translate LOL The character Yuan is the second character (园)
 感谢: gratitude or appreciation. The character Xie is the second character (谢)
 珩: I’m still not exactly sure what this is referring to, but the majority of the images that show up are curved or semi-circular sculptures made from jade or stone. The dictionary meaning of this character says that it is the top gem of [the] pendant from [a] girdle. It’s most commonly used in names
 谐音来营销: literally this says “homophonic marketing.” Chinese characters have lots of instances where characters use the same tone or pronunciation, and lots of businesses (not just Chinese ones) might capitalize on these puns to make their marketing more effective
 One mug (yī bēizi, 一杯子) sounds like one lifetime (yībèizi, 一辈子). Thank GOD the author explained this in the text, or else I’d be scrambling for an explanation to give y’all
 危机与陷阱: crisis and pitfalls/traps
Cheese: rong heng almost getting jealous over someone else having the same character in their name as him like chill bro
also sorry for the late update! for whatever reason, the scheduling didn’t work, so the post didn’t get released at the usual time