“You said ‘wife and child,’ not me.”
Song Yuan woke up deflated.
In her earlier dreams, the emperor was callous and heartless. This time was different; his image seemed to gradually overlap with that of Rong Heng.
What he said was clearly correct, but why did she feel, even after waking up, an indescribable sense of powerlessness?
This dream left Song Yuan more despondent than the previous dreams. She lay in bed for a long time before she managed to calm her mind.
She could feel that the emperor in the dream did not lie, so why did she feel so uncomfortable?
No matter how many dreams she had, as long as she didn’t recall bits and pieces about the ancient times, she was like a bystander, always separated by a veil. Even with the dull pain, her mood lasted only half an hour before fading away.
“I had another dream.”
Song Yuan sat at the dinner table as she earnestly told Rong Ting, who was in the middle of dining on poached eggs.
To her, Rong Ting was both a son and a friend, someone she could pour her heart out to.
“What dream?” Rong Ting swallowed the poached egg in his mouth before asking.
Song Yuan spoke about the contents of the dream, including the emperor’s words, while Rong Ting listened.
“To think Emperor Father would draw eyebrows for Empress Mother.”
“Why are you focusing on such an insignificant and trivial thing.”
“I don’t think it’s a trivial matter.” Rong Ting squeezed ketchup on a slice of bread, not even raising his head. “It is not surprising that Emperor Father would say such words.”
“But my heart feels uncomfortable and suffocated.”
“Empress Mother need not force herself to recall such things. You have returned; it’s no matter even if you have forgotten them.”
Song Yuan grabbed the ketchup in his hand. “You don’t think it’s sour? Eat less of it. Also, have you forgotten the first time we met? Because I didn’t remember you, you threw a big temper, and your eyes were all red.”
Rong Ting’s expression was uneasy. “That was then, this is now.”
After chatting with Rong Ting, Song Yuan concluded that she hadn’t recovered her memory, so trying to consider the past from her dreams at all angles was self-inflicted torture, and she was never one to make it hard on herself.
Of course, something that gave her an even bigger headache occurred.
After meeting up with her college classmates, Chen Linjing pulled some strings and managed to get her some interview opportunities with some elite kindergartens in the neighborhood!
Song Yuan also discovered that good kindergartens required reservations, lotteries, and even layers of interviews for both the parents and child1…
Originally, Rong Ting was in kindergarten as a transition. There were still more than two months before he turned six. If he wanted to go to elementary school, he needed to wait until after September 1, so it would be best for him to spend the majority of the year in kindergarten2.
Song Yuan had recently been deeply influenced by the mom group. She figured that since she had the opportunity to take the interview, she should give it a shot. Maybe she would pass?
This community had many mothers, and Song Yuan spoke to several who had experience in kindergarten interviews. They said that some kindergartens wanted to know how many words the child knew and how many skills they had, as well as the parents’ educational backgrounds.
Song Yuan was stunned. She didn’t know that the requirements of being a parent were so high now.
She’d only known that the tuition for kindergarten was high; she didn’t know that good kindergartens also had high thresholds.
There were only ten days until the interview. Song Yuan, like she had with any other exam before this, chose to cram3. Having had long since handed in her English skills to her teacher, Song Yuan had no choice but to pick up the curriculum again in a manner that was somewhat reminiscent of her college entrance exam days.
Don’t ask Song Yuan how it felt. It was a headache, a huge headache.
She had read many novels of being reborn into a study tyrant. At that time, she’d thought that, if she could go back in time to when she was little, she would definitely become a study tyrant.
If you didn’t use your brain for too long, it would grow duller, just as if you don’t use a pen after graduation for too long, your handwriting would become much uglier. If she was reborn back to her school days, maybe her grades would be much worse than before her rebirth.
When Rong Heng came over, he saw Song Yuan with her hair tied in a round bun, an emaciated look on her face as she memorized English words.
It reminded him of how she looked while under the intense training of the General’s madam.
Her expression was exactly the same.
Song Yuan greeted him with a wispy voice. “Hi.”
Rong Heng was very curious. “What are you doing?”
“Memorizing words. I heard from the moms upstairs that many of the bilingual kindergartens hold the parent interviews in English. Too hard.”
Song Yuan didn’t know how it was with others, but in any case, she rarely used English after graduating, and all the suppliers she handled while she was in her uncle’s company used Chinese. She knew the words, but her English speaking skills weren’t up to par. Coupled with the fact that she hadn’t used it for a long time, she was really rusty.
Rong Ting emerged from his room, not looking surprised that Rong Heng was there. As he’d said before, the time for surprise had long passed.
Still, he obediently came in front of Rong Heng. Seeing the look of warning from Empress Mother, he didn’t offer a salute, but he still quietly called him Emperor Father.
Rong Heng looked at Rong Ting, his expression dazed, but he quickly responded with a warm smile. “Just call me Uncle.”
Rong Ting stared at him. He neither called him Emperor Father nor called him Uncle.
“He’s still not used to it.” Song Yuan came to the rescue. Rong Heng had said he wanted to see Rong Ting today, so she’d let him come.
“It’s okay.” Rong Heng wanted to reach out and touch Rong Ting, but the latter subconsciously took a step back and straightened his body.
Rong Heng’s hand was left suspended in the air. The man looked rather embarrassed.
It wasn’t that Rong Ting didn’t want to get close with his Emperor Father. It was just that he was not very close to his Emperor Father in the ancient times, and he had already grown accustomed to this way of living together. Now that Emperor Father was acting like a different person, he had only grown more confused. Emperor Father shouldn’t be like this; Emperor Father was acting too strange.
This… Song Yuan wasn’t able to salvage this.
She simply acted as though she didn’t see.
“Would you like something to drink?” Song Yuan treated Rong Heng as purely a guest. And he indeed was a guest. “There’s juice and tea. What would you like?”
Rong Heng smilingly shook his head. “No need, I’m not thirsty. Are Uncle and Auntie not home?”
“My mom is out for business, and my dad is out to buy groceries.” Song Yuan saw him place down a box of gifts and had a bit of a headache. “You don’t really need to buy anything. My mom and dad will misunderstand you.”
Song Yuan couldn’t say, he was a person from the ancient times, so naturally he didn’t know that the things he’d bought weren’t fitting for the occasion4. He’d bought wine and tea for her dad and what seemed to be silk scarves and jewelry for her mom… it was really misleading. People who didn’t know would think that he was her boyfriend having his first meeting with her parents.
“Anyways, you should take it with you later. No need to be polite. If you feel embarrassed, you can buy fruit next time.”
As soon as the words were out, Song Yuan froze. Did she really take the initiative to ask for fruit?
“Alright. What fruits do you like?”
“…Gugu likes strawberries! He also seems to be lacking in iron, so he can eat cherries.”
“Okay, I’ll remember. And you?”
“Don’t mind me ah, my dad will buy me any fruits I like.”
She said this very frankly. Even if he brought fruit, it was for her son to eat. It had nothing to do with her.
Rong Heng had nothing more to say.
He suddenly discovered that whenever they’d quarreled before, she’d truly given way to him.
Song Haiping returned while they were talking. Although he’d learned from his daughter that Rong Heng would be coming, Song Haiping still wasn’t too pleased when he actually saw Rong Heng in their house.
Song Haiping, worried about his daughter and grandson being in the house, put down his groceries and said to Rong Heng, “Your car’s blocking the road. Come on, follow me to move the car.”
Rong Heng didn’t know how to drive; it was the driver who brought him here. His eyes darkened. He knew that Song Haiping had something to say to him.
He couldn’t refuse and could only calmly follow Song Haiping out of the house.
As soon as the door shut, Song Haiping couldn’t bother to keep pretending. He walked into the elevator and irritably pressed the “close doors” button. “Let’s not beat around the bush5. You, what are your intentions in the end. Don’t tell me that there isn’t, it’s no use. I’m not Yuanyuan.”
Rong Heng’s eyelids drooped. “I don’t quite understand what you6 mean.”
“You’re trying to pursue my family’s Yuanyuan ba?” Song Haiping sneered. “You should stop this thinking as soon as possible. I don’t care whether or not you have a son together. The road to heaven is wide7.”
Rong Heng sighed. “Uncle, you seem to have a deep misunderstanding of me. I’m not sure what I did wrong?”
“There’s no misunderstanding. I just want my daughter to be safe. You can enjoy your blessings in the Xie family alone; we won’t be persistent and hateful relatives.” Song Haiping was ruthless. “My daughter is pure and innocent, but her mom and I aren’t fools. You can show up any time, but anyone with a conscience knows not to involve his wife and child. You’re so good, sticking to them every day. Are you afraid of others not finding out your relationship with us ba?”
“So Uncle is worried about me.” Rong Heng understood.
Song Haiping laughed. “Me, worry about you? I can’t wait for you to hurry…” up and die.
But considering he was Rong Ting’s father, he didn’t curse him, even though he thought that way.
“Uncle, you don’t need to worry. I won’t do anything I’m not sure of. If there is certain danger, I won’t come look for them. Uncle, you also said I can’t involve my wife and child. I’ve had my own accident, and I won’t put them in danger.”
Song Haiping felt that these words weren’t right. “The child’s your child. What wife ah, who’s your wife. You’re really pasting gold on your face8 ah.”
“You said ‘wife and child,’ not me.”
Song Haiping felt his teeth itch. His fist also itched.
Just as Song Haiping was about to curse, he heard this shameless person say in a flat voice, “You really don’t need to worry. If there are two Xie Hengs who look exactly like, then people would wonder which one was fake. If there is only one Xie Heng, then no one will doubt it.”
What did that have to do with this!
Right when Song Haiping was about to open his mouth to speak, he was suddenly shocked. He looked at Rong Heng, his palms unknowingly beginning to sweat. As he reacted, he thought, what did this stinking shameless imposter mean? Could it be that the real Xie family’s Crown Prince had died without a sound?
Rong Heng watched Song Haiping sink into a deep contemplation and slowly said, “In short, you don’t have to worry. I won’t do things that I’m not sure of.”
 I don’t think this is as commonplace in America, but as far as I know it’s pretty normal in Asian countries (or places with a heavy Asian population) for reputable education institutions, typically private schools and academies, to have really strict application processes and be selective in their candidates. To be clear, this is for children as young as toddlers, not college-age students. Can anyone speak from personal experience about this?
 If I had to guess, it’s somewhere around Lunar New Years right now? That means Rong Ting would have to wait about 7-8 months to start the academic term.
 临时抱佛脚: to clasp the Buddha’s feet when danger arises; doing things at the last minute or making a hasty last-minute effort
 不合时宜: inappropriate for the occasion
 打开天窗说亮话: not to mince words; not to beat around the bush
 Rong Heng uses the formal “you”
 大路朝天各走一边: I’m not too sure on the literal meaning, but I think it’s something like “the road to heaven is wide, each going their own way.” Basically refers to when two people go their separate ways
 往自己脸上贴金: to embellish the portrayal of oneself; to make yourself out to be better than you really are
Cheese: i’m sure that Rong Heng’s confidence is supposed to be sexy and all, but it feels p manipulative in the context of how hes trying to butter up to sy while pretending he doesnt remember the past either. cant wait for him to get his just deserts and suffer for a little while