How hadn’t he known before that his son talked so much?
Rong Ting looked at Rong Heng, who had walked in together with Song Yuan, his expression bewildered.
He’d known that Emperor Father would be arriving within the next two days, but he hadn’t expected it would be today. After a brief moment of surprise, he immediately recalled his plan. His heartbeat quickened. He was tense with nervousness, and he constantly felt that he was doing something wrong, but he was this sort of person. Towards things he felt curiosity or doubt, he must understand them thoroughly. Emperor Father had once praised him for this. If he could not figure out something that he did not understand, he could not eat or sleep well.
After Emperor Father followed Empress Mother into the kitchen, he speedily ran to his bedroom and grabbed the jade pendant that originally belonged to Emperor Father from the bedside table.
If Emperor Father truly did not remember anything, he would not have any feelings upon seeing this jade pendant. But if Emperor Father truly hadn’t lost his memories, then he would definitely be puzzled as to why this jade pendant would be here, when it should be in the drawer of his hidden room.
Song Yuan hadn’t expected Rong Heng would follow her into the kitchen. She felt somewhat helpless. This was probably the Son of Heaven’s first time in the kitchen. “I don’t need your help in here.”
“Didn’t you say you were going to eat hotpot? You can’t be busy all by yourself ba.” Rong Heng had already taken off his coat coming in, and at this moment he was rolling up his sleeves, as if he wanted to help.
“The hotpot base is premade; I just need to cook it and add a bit of water. As for the vegetables, I’ve already bought them. They just need to be washed.”
Rong Heng was 1.8 meters tall, and the kitchen wasn’t very spacious. Standing there, he looked completely cramped.
If it were in the past, Song Yuan definitely would have taken full advantage of him, ordering him to chop and wash the vegetables, wanting to see him make a fool of himself.
But now, when this thought arose in her mind, she couldn’t help but give a bitter smile. Although her age on her ID card said she was 23, after having gone through so many things, she was no longer the ignorant and cheerful Song Yuan.
“Let me help you.” Rong Heng was bursting with enthusiastic curiosity. The kitchen was unfamiliar to him, whether it be in the ancient times or modern, but at this moment, thinking that he could be alone with her for a while, he was willing to do things he had never done before.
“There’s really no need.” Song Yuan pointed to the kitchen. “You can see how big this place is. It’s crowded with two people. Plus, you haven’t done these things before; who knows if you’ll be much help1. Rong Ting’s hungry, so let’s get dinner done earlier, okay?”
Rong Heng couldn’t bear her “okay?” Seeing her tired expression, and afraid that he really would be more of a hindrance, he could only put on an embarrassed look. “Then, I’ll head out first. If you need me to help with anything, just call me.”
Song Yuan lowered her head, looking at the vegetables on the kitchen counter, and gave a soft “mn.”
He used this tone, used “I” to refer to himself, just like when she had first met him.
It was Rong Heng’s first time visiting her home here. It looked warmer and more lived-in than the place in B City. He came out from the kitchen, circled around the dining room, and spotted Rong Heng sitting at the desk, practicing calligraphy.
This atmosphere made him feel indescribably content.
Out of the corner of his eye, Rong Ting glanced at his Emperor Father approaching him step by step. He tightly clenched his brush, his heartbeat quickening. Even the palms of his hands were sweaty.
It was the first time he had tried to pull a trick right under Emperor Father’s nose.
He held his breath and secretly drummed up his courage.
Rong Heng approached the desk and glanced over Rong Ting’s work. It was barely passable, making it clear that this child was not negligent with his studies during this period of time. There were several scholarly treasures on the desk, as well as a few books. One of them was a picture book of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. He picked it up, wanting to flip through it, but he discovered there was something beneath it. He took a closer look and found that it was a Guanyin jade pendant. At that moment, his expression grew startled, his eyes flashing with confusion and incomprehension.
Why was this jade pendant here? Hadn’t he placed it in the drawer of his hidden room?
Rong Ting quietly took note of Rong Heng’s expression. Seeing him like this, what more could he not understand? His heart was like a stormy sea, but he forced himself to calm down and continue to practice nonchalantly. But he was young, after all, and his acting skills were not up to par. His hand was weak, several of his characters were not well-written, and the strokes were nearly incorrect.
Rong Heng had been in power for many years; if someone else were to look at his expression at this moment, they would not be able to spot anything wrong. The monarch’s joy and anger were indiscernible, unable to be seen through by the people. But Rong Ting was his only son, and the two had lived together for many years. Moreover, Rong Ting admired and respected him, wanting to learn all his conduct and style. Naturally, he was the closest to Rong Heng. What other people would not discern from his expression, Rong Ting could do with just a glance.
“This character looks like it was written incorrectly.”
Rong Heng reigned in his emotions. Not giving the jade pendant another glance, he placed the book back down, pressing on top of the pendant.
“En.” Rong Ting lowered his head, acknowledging his mistake. He set down the brush, both hands hanging down. “I played basketball with the children in the community two days ago and used too much force. When I woke up this morning, my hands felt very weak.”
Rong Heng gazed at him thoughtfully, comforting him. “Since you don’t have much strength, don’t practice calligraphy today. Just read ba.”
Under Rong Heng’s scrutinizing gaze, Rong Ting felt that he couldn’t hold on much longer. In fact, this was the first time he had lied to Emperor Father, and he had been stunned as soon as the words left his mouth. Why had he lied?
Just now, he had nearly been unable to remain steady. When Emperor Father looked at the jade pendant, he had almost been unable to resist opening his mouth and explaining why the jade pendant was here with him.
Seeing Emperor Father heading towards the sofa, Rong Ting slumped his shoulders, breathing out a sigh of relief. He felt cold sweat along his back.
Eating hotpot at home wasn’t complicated, as hotpot bases were ready-made. After half an hour, Song Yuan called for the father and son to wash their hands and get ready for dinner.
Rong Ting went to wash his hands first. Rong Heng was a step behind. He entered the bathroom, closed the door, and took out the small jewelry box in his pocket. He looked around and finally placed it on one of the shelves of the bathroom cupboard. He wanted to give this gift to her face-to-face, but given her temperament, she would definitely refuse. He may as well place it here and wait for her to find it. After doing this, he felt like he was just like a thief giving gifts. How absurd.
The three people happily ate the steaming meal of hotpot. At least, on the surface, they were happy.
Rong Heng recalled the times when he would eat hotpot with her in the winter at the palace, and his expression softened greatly.
And Rong Ting? He was still in great shock over his world views being refreshed and overthrown. But he was still young, and his body was the most honest. He was hungry now and didn’t have the mind to think about other things. He began to strive to finish the beef strips piled up high in his little bowl.
As for Song Yuan, her current mentality was particularly zen. She had always been laid-back and passive . Now that she had returned to her own territory, with her parents’ backing and her son, having a meal with Rong Heng didn’t affect her mood at all.
Originally, Rong Heng wanted to brush up on some favorability, so he took the initiative to offer to wash the dishes. He knew that she particularly disliked washing the dishes. Now that he had said he would wash the dishes, she should be happy ba?
Song Yuan looked at him, silent for a moment, before pulling her lips into a smile. “No need. You must not have been in the kitchen before. Don’t you know we have dishwashers here? It’s pretty convenient, and it frees up your hands.”
Rong Heng was inwardly surprised, but he still said genialy, “Then that’s good. It really is convenient here.”
“Yes!” Rong Ting ate until his tummy was bulging. His bun face was flushed, and his little mouth chattered without stopping. “We have everything at home. There’s a washer. Throw in dirty clothes, and after waiting, the clothes are clean and almost dry. There’s also a dishwasher. Put the dishes in it, and it will clean by itself! That’s right, Emperor Father, did you see that disk? It’s a sweeping robot. Every day it turns and turns and cleans all the dust in the corners until they’re clean! Many things we do not have to do ourselves!”
Rong Heng: “…”
How hadn’t he known before that his son talked so much?
Song Yuan watched her little cub presenting the home appliances in a showing off manner, her gaze soft and indulging. Her family’s Gugu was the cutest cub in the world!
Rong Heng had originally been a bit helpless. When he inadvertently caught a glimpse of her expression, a smile unconsciously surfaced in his own eyes.
Rong Ting liked the globe that Rong Heng had gifted him very much. He sat on the carpet, turning it this way and that with his little paws. From time to time he would exclaim, “This world is so big! Empress Mother, come quickly, I want to see where we are!”
Song Yuan half-squatted next to him, helping him look. Finally, she found their city. She pointed with a fair and slender finger. “We are here.”
“Isn’t this place big? So why is it so small on this globe!” Rong Ting was shocked. “How big must this world be ah!”
It turned out that what Empress Mother said was true. This world is very big, and the Great Ye dynasty was not the entirety of the world.
Rong Heng wanted to thicken his skin and stay here a while longer, but the hotpot had been eaten, and the gift had been given; it would seem inappropriate for him to stay any longer. And so, he took the initiative to bring up going back.
Song Yuan straightened up and gave him a slight smile. “Alright then, be careful on the road.”
Rong Heng picked up the coat hanging on the side with a leisurely posture and an easy smile. “En, you too. Make sure to lock the doors and windows. If there’s anything, you can just call me.”
After Rong Heng left, Song Yuan prepared to head into the bathroom to change clothes and take a bath. After all, although hotpot was delicious, it was inevitable for the smell to cling to the clothes and hair.
She closed the door behind her and tied up her hair. Just as she was about to brush her teeth, she noticed a small, dark red box in the corner of the cupboard where the facial cleanser was located. She curiously and hesitantly picked it up and opened it. Inside were a pair of shiny diamond-stud earrings.
She didn’t even need to think about it to know who had placed the box there.
Song Yuan sighed softly, thinking back on the pink mug he had given back in B City. At the time, she had thought that the mug had been studded with rhinestones. Now, thinking about the diamonds inlaid in the mug, he was also one to do this sort of thing.
 帮倒忙: to be more of a hindrance than a help
 咸鱼: salted fish; doing nothing and wanting to do nothing
Cheese: diamond earrings and a mug don’t equal an apology, but i’d be happy to take them off your hands if you don’t want them @song yuan ($ u $)