It was just that there was nothing good to say about it. He even hoped she would never find out.
Song Yuan wasn’t full, so she got out of the car and headed straight to the 24-hour convenience store at the entrance of the neighborhood.
She loved this kind of convenience store. Back when she was in college, when she didn’t want to eat at the cafeteria, she would go to the school’s convenience store and buy oden1. There weren’t many people in this convenience store; there was even only one cashier. She stood at the counter and ordered oden and two chicken skewers, then went to the fridge and picked out a double skin milk2.
When she prepared to check out, someone had already handed over a hundred-yuan bill.
Song Yuan turned and saw that the person standing next to her was Rong Heng. She looked surprised. “Why are you here?”
The cashier, seeing the two were acquaintances, accepted the hundred yuan.
“Getting Rong Ting something to eat. I saw you when I came out.” Seeing that she had ordered a cup of oden, Rong Heng asked with concern, “Did you not eat dinner?”
After the cashier counted out the change, Song Yuan thanked Rong Heng and sat on a high stool in front of the store window to enjoy her meal. Rong Heng also sat down beside her. There were no other people in the store at the moment. Song Yuan’s favorite part was the radish in the oden–it was cooked to perfection.
“Want some?” Song Yuan asked him as she pointed to the paper bag that contained the chicken skewers.
Rong Heng shook his head. “No thanks.”
Song Yuan didn’t eat quickly, and she had a chat with Rong Heng. She felt it was amazing. Back in the ancient times, she and he should have been husband and wife, but now, she had no memories, and he had no memories either. They got along more like friends who had just met and were polite to one another. Just like this, where she didn’t remember him and he didn’t remember her, they had no relationship whatsoever in the modern times. If he’d still had his memories, it probably would have been a great burden on her.
They were sitting right next to the window and could see outside. Just then, several youths passed by. Their hair were dyed extremely conspicuous colors of green3, orange, and pink, respectively.
Song Yuan looked at their hair color, then turned to look at Rong Heng, a bright gleam of curiosity in her eyes.
“What is it?” Rong Heng wasn’t sure what she was wondering about.
Song Yuan pointed to his hair. “I’m curious, is your hair naturally white?”
She had a classmate who had dyed their hair white, but that was with white and black hair. Rong Heng was the only young person she had seen whose hair was entirely white.
She was more concerned about whether this was genetic. If so, then wasn’t Gugu’s hair in danger?
Although white hair was pretty cool, wouldn’t it be too conspicuous when he went to school?
Rong Heng was clearly confused by her question. For a moment, he didn’t know how to answer.
Seeing his stumped expression, Song Yuan quickly apologized. “Sorry, I almost forgot that you don’t remember anything.”
“It’s alright.” Rong Heng smiled gently.
Naturally he wasn’t born with white hair.
It was just that there was nothing good to say about it. He even hoped she would never find out.
“If you’re okay with it, you can go to the hospital to get it checked out.” As soon as Song Yuan spoke, she felt she was being a bit rude, but as a mom, it was normal for her to be worried about whether her son would inherit white hair? Wasn’t it understandable?
“Get a checkup at the hospital?” At first, Rong Heng didn’t understand her meaning, but when she saw the guilty and embarrassed look on her face, the smile on his face grew smaller.
She… thought he had a problem??
“I’m just wondering whether you lack any nutrition, like an iron deficiency. You can supplement it as soon as possible.”
Rong Heng was naturally angry inside, but he didn’t show it. Instead, he smiled and nodded. “You’re right, you must have carefully considered the problem. I’m an adult, and it doesn’t matter what color my hair is, but if Rong Ting inherited it, it wouldn’t be good, right?”
If Song Yuan hadn’t lost her memory, if she had an understanding of Rong Heng, then she would have heard at this moment that his mood was off.
Song Yuan breathed a sigh of relief at his words. “That’s right. I don’t know what elementary school is like now, but dyed hair is definitely not allowed. If Gugu’s hair turns white in the future, he might be constantly looked at by others in school. It’s not good for a child’s physical and mental development.”
“Mn, you’re right.” Rong Heng nodded softly and patiently.
The more Song Yuan interacted with Rong Heng, the more she felt that he had a good temper, treating everyone warmly and politely.
After finishing the oden, she was ready to head home, and the two of them walked out of the convenience store. She watched Rong Heng get in the car and leave before entering the neighborhood.
Song Yuan came home to find Song Haiping and Rong Ting both sitting on the couch, not saying a word. The TV was playing a TV show, but looking at the two’s expressions, it didn’t seem that they were focused on watching.
“What’s going on here? Why’s the atmosphere so heavy?” Song Yuan asked curiously as she took off her coat and stood by the coffee table.
At this moment, Song Haiping and Rong Ting held the same doubt–why did Yuanyuan (Empress Mother) marry into the palace and become empress?
But the two people who knew the truth had amnesia and had no idea4.
Song Haiping didn’t want to think about it anymore. The more he thought, the more his heart ached. He didn’t know how much suffering the little girl he had raised in the palm of his hand had gone through in the dog-eat-dog5 harem.
On the other hand, Rong Ting had doubts about his Emperor Father’s answer. He had never seen his Empress Mother before transmigrating, so he didn’t know what Empress Mother had been like, but after this period of interaction, he felt that Empress Mother would not wrong herself by marrying the emperor, who had a harem of beauties.
“It’s nothing.” Song Haiping gave a random excuse. “I was discussing with Rong Ting. Tomorrow I want to take him to a resort to soak in the hot spring. A friend happened to give me tickets.”
“A hot spring? That’s pretty good. He has no class tomorrow, so you can bring him out to play.” Song Yuan looked at Rong Ting. “Do you want to go?”
Rong Ting was still a child, after all. Upon hearing he could go to a hot spring, he didn’t care to think about other matters in his excitement. “Really? Grandfather wants to take me to a hot spring?”
“Why, have you never gone to a hot spring before?” Song Haiping scoffed, “The crown prince has never been to a hot spring, isn’t that too strange? Your dad’s so stingy, he’s stingy with you too.”
Song Haiping would always diss6 Rong Heng, intentionally and unintentionally, in front of Rong Ting. After some time, Rong Ting had become immune to it, and he would no longer say to “take caution” like he did from time to time before.
Rong Ting didn’t take his words to heart; he was still excited over the hot springs.
Of course the Great Ye dynasty had heated baths and hot springs7, but he was still young, and the hot springs were not in the imperial palace; they were in the temporary palace lodgings8. He heard that it took no small amount of manpower and resources to go once, and even Emperor Father rarely went to one, let alone him. The last time Emperor Father had gone, he was just two or three, so so far, His Royal Highness truly hadn’t soaked in a hot spring before.
Song Haiping had originally made up a random reason, but seeing Rong Ting was so excited, he also couldn’t help but take it seriously. He immediately whipped out his phone to book a room. “Yuanyuan, want to go together? I can book two suites.”
“I won’t go. I’m tired of soaking in hot springs, so I’ll stay at home.”
Rong Ting: “…”
Empress Mother’s life was rather extravagant.
Although Song Yuan wasn’t going, she still had to pack Rong Ting’s luggage. Because the resort was in the suburbs, it would take three of four hours round-trip with traffic. If they stayed a little longer, it would be nighttime, so why not just stay for another night? Song Yuan was in a great mood as she packed Rong Ting’s clothes, even humming a song. Now she understood the celebratory mood some mothers had when they kicked their child out of the house for a day. It felt great when the child wasn’t home! She could do whatever she wanted. Even just lying on the bed and playing on her phone all day was the ultimate enjoyment.
“The hot spring will have a snack area. Don’t buy the grilled sausages there, it’s unsanitary.”
“Also, don’t soak in the hot spring for too long. You can switch between several pools.”
“I’ll put your face towel and bath towel in this bag for you. Don’t use the towels at the hotel. That’s right, take this collapsible kettle9 with you, and make sure to remind your grandpa not to use the kettle in the hotel.”
Rong Ting sat on the bed, listening to Song Yuan’s reminders. After hesitating a long moment, he got off the bed and tugged on her hand. He asked quietly, “Will there be other people in the hot spring?”
“Of course. Why, are you embarrassed? You have to wear swim trunks at the hot springs.”
“I am used to it!” Even if he wasn’t accustomed to it at first, he had to now. In any case, he never looked at other people in the hotel changing room. Whether or not other people were avoiding seeing things they shouldn’t see10, he would do so.
“Then why are you asking? Don’t say that there can’t be other people at the hot spring. Block booking is very expensive; we have to save a little!”
“Empress Mother, teach me.” Rong Ting hung his bun-like face, looking extremely embarrassed and hard-pressed. He asked awkwardly, “What should I do, to not look like it’s my first time at a hot spring…”
Song Yuan was shocked. “Why are you asking for that?”
“Grandpa can call me a little country bumpkin11, but I don’t want to hear other people say that to me.”
 关东煮: I think the English translation is sometimes fish cakes? They’re delicious, especially during the winter time. It’s a common street stall food.
 双皮奶: double skin milk, a Cantonese dessert made of milk, egg whites, and sugar.
 闷青色: dark green?? Kelp green?
 一问三不知: to reply “don’t know” whatever the question; absolutely no idea what’s going on; complete ignorance
 The raws actually said 人吃人的后宫 (person eating person), but I don’t think it really translates well in English
 Diss was in English in the raws
 汤池, 温泉: the second term is more along the lines of what we think of when we hear the word “spa” or “hot spring.” I’m not sure what makes the first term different, but it uses a character that could mean “soup” or “water in which something (e.g., medicinal herbs) has been boiled,” so it might be referring to something more man made???? Don’t quote me tho
 行宫: a temporary dwelling place for the emperor during inspections or travel
 非礼勿视: to look at nothing that is not consistent with propriety; to not look at things which do not conform to the rites; see no evil, hear no evil
Cheese: lol at rong heng’s crushed manly pride at the beginning. also, more foreshadowing at the future showdown?? i feel so bad thinking about how devastated rt will feel when he finds out that his dad basically strong-armed sy into marrying him (which is confirmed in chapter… 46? In the dream towards the end of the chapter). and with this much buildup, and it being such a huge knot in their relationship before sy ran away, ill be highly disappointed if there ISNT any resolution where rh’s deception doesnt get revealed