He lowered his head, only to realize that his hair had unknowingly turned white.
How did she become pregnant? This question certainly made Song Yuan feel a bit awkward, but she felt that this aspect of education should really start as a baby. Very soon, Rong Ting would be going to kindergarten, and he would come into contact with more strangers and kids. There were some things that he needed to be conscious of.
It took nearly half an hour for Song Yuan to explain to Rong Ting how a woman becomes pregnant.
Finally, after Song Yuan spoke until her mouth went dry, she concluded very seriously, “Boys are different from girls.”
Although Rong Ting was ignorant on these matters, he was much more mature than other children his age. Though the subject of reproductive education was a bit difficult for him, he still understood what Empress Mother wanted to express.
He nodded his head. “I understand.”
Song Yuan gave a sigh of relief. “So I hope you can protect yourself and not hurt others. As a mom, I will try my best to protect you, but if there’s a day when something bad happens to you, or you see something bad happen to someone else, Mom hopes you won’t be silent. If you’re afraid, you can tell me.” She continued with some embarrassment, “I am a very timid person, but for you, I’ll become very brave.”
Rong Ting looked at her, his lips pursed. “I know. Empress Mother has always been very brave and strong.”
It was the first time someone had praised her for being brave and strong! Song Yuan was rather pleasantly surprised. Ever since she was little, everyone had always praised her for being cute or beautiful or kind, but even her own parents had never praised her for being brave. She had always thought that the phrase ‘timid as a mouse’ described her well.
“Not at all.” Song Yuan smiled modestly, but she couldn’t help asking, “Why do you say I’m brave and strong?”
“I think that every mother is very brave and strong.” Rong Ting tugged her hand. “Empress Mother is afraid of pain but still gave birth to me.”
Song Yuan was moved.
No matter who said such words, it couldn’t make her feel as moved as when they were spoken by Rong Ting.
He knew that she had once suffered so, and he felt distressed for her. For him to say this to his mother, it was worth it.
The next morning, Song Yuan took Rong Ting to the postpartum ward to visit Wu Siyu. When they arrived, Wu Siyu’s husband was just getting ready to head to the airport to pick up Wu Siyu’s parents.
When it came to newborn children, if they weren’t eating or pooping, then they were sleeping. Rong Ting curiously stood in front of the cradle, watching the sound asleep baby.
It was the first time he’d seen such a small baby.
Under Wu Siyu’s encouragement, he stretched out a finger and carefully and softly touched the baby’s chubby face. As soon as he touched her, he quickly drew his finger back and turned to Song Yuan with a look of astonishment. “Her face is so soft ah. Like cotton candy!”
Rong Ting liked the baby very much, but he didn’t dare to touch her again, in case he couldn’t control his strength and accidentally hurt her.
Rong Ting was still sighing with emotion the entire way home. “She’s so small ah. Empress Mother, was I so small before?”
Song Yuan had regained her memories now, and she felt as though Rong Ting had only been four months old just a few days ago. She remembered every little moment from his birth to when he was four months old. “You were smaller than her. She was 3.6 kilograms1. You were lighter than her. Let me think ah, you should have been 2.7 kilograms2.
“The weather was especially good on the day you were born. It had been rainy the entire time, but on that day, it was clear. Everyone said that it was an auspicious omen.
“You kept crying with your eyes closed, but your voice was so soft. Your Emperor Father kept saying that you would definitely be gentle in the future, but in the next few days, your cries became louder and louder, and your Emperor Father stopped saying that.”
Rong Ting felt that something was wrong when he heard this. He looked at her in astonishment. “Empress Mother, you…”
Hadn’t Empress Mother lost her memories? How could she know these matters?
Song Yuan belatedly realized she’d exposed herself.
But she’d never intended to hide it from him; it was just that she hadn’t known how to tell him. Now that he had asked, and given her abilities, she couldn’t think of a perfect excuse to dodge the question, so she could only answer honestly, “En, I remembered a few days ago, but I didn’t know how to tell you.”
Emperor Father’s amnesia was faked, but Empress Mother’s amnesia was real.
For a moment, Rong Ting was stunned. Then he couldn’t hold back and fiercely hugged Song Yuan’s waist. He lifted his head to look at her with some excitement. “Empress Mother, you remember? You remember that I am your son? Do you!”
Empress Mother had always been taking care of him, and she also knew that he was her son. But knowing was different from remembering.
For a moment of time, he wasn’t able to explain how it was different.
After seeing how happy he was, Song Yuan’s initial surge of guilt and sadness also lightened greatly. She leaned down to hug him, whispering softly, “I’m sorry ah.”
After apologizing several times, her voice choked up. “Empress Mother didn’t mean to.”
She wanted to tell him that it wasn’t her intention, that it wasn’t that she hadn’t wanted him.
She wanted to tell him, I’m sorry I wasn’t there beside you for those five years.
Rong Ting withdrew from her arms and stared at her reddened eyes and falling tears. He sighed and reached out a hand to clumsily wipe her tears.
“It doesn’t matter.”
He continued, “I know, Empress Mother. Before, I used to wonder, was it because I was not good? Was it because I was not bright? Why did my Empress Mother not want me? Why did she not take me with her when she left? Later, I saw the things you left for me, and I understood. My Empress Mother is the best Empress Mother in the world. It was not that she did not love me. I came here and reunited with you, and I’ve always been quietly observing you. I can see that Empress Mother truly loves me.”
Song Yuan felt extreme sorrow. She covered her face and sat on the floor. Her initial choked sobs grew into loud cries.
From the moment she recovered her memories to this moment, she had hardly ever revealed her true emotions.
She always thought, she had returned home. Her child had also come here.
Those suppressed emotions, under Rong Ting’s childlike words, all poured forth from her heart. At this moment, she thought of many, many people, remembered many things, and finally thought of who she had been.
Rong Ting was at a loss. He lifted a hand, but for some reason, he placed it back down, only watching her silently.
He thought, Empress Mother did not need comfort at this moment. And he thought, after today, Empress Mother would feel happiness again.
That night, Rong Heng sat at the desk. He stared at the diamond stud earrings, his heart immersed in a deep pain.
What do you want?
Everything she wanted, he would use any means possible to find for her. But if she wanted to leave him forever, what should he do?
Then what about the calculations of that year, the empress position he had sincerely offered?
And what about those five years of yearning, those five years of deep-rooted longing?
The tiredness of his body and the pain in his heart made Rong Heng toss and turn on the bed before finally sinking into a muddled sleep. Ever since reuniting with her, he who seldom dreamed began dreaming again. He dreamed of when she had left and disappeared.
He was handling affairs as usual. Just when he was having a headache over the approaching war, the head eunuch who had been by his side for many years tremblingly came in. As soon as he entered, he dropped to his knees with an audible thud and bowed his head, his body quivering. Over the years, the head eunuch had followed him to see great winds and waves and the change in imperial power. Just what could have happened for him to lose his composure like this?
“Your, Your Majesty, Her Majesty the Empress3…” Here, the head eunuch heavily knocked his head against the ground. “Her Majesty…”
He felt an ominous premonition. He threw aside the memorial he had been reviewing and stood up with knitted brows. “What happened to the empress?”
Two months ago, there came a report that Meng Qingrong had died in battle. He had always wanted it to be kept hidden from her, but though such a big matter could be hidden for a while, it could not be hidden for a lifetime. On the day she found out he had died in battle, he had thought she would cry as before, but it was different that day. She behaved extremely calmly, and she only said the words “I know.”
It wasn’t like her. He would rather she cry bitterly, that she glare at him with hate and question him. It was better than this calmness.
The head eunuch didn’t answer him. The more he was like this, the more afraid Rong Heng became. How strange–all these years, all his fears had all been borne from her.
He knew that something major had happened, and he didn’t dare to delay a moment longer. When he arrived at Kunning Palace, he saw all the eunuchs and maids kneeling.
At that moment, many thoughts flashed through his mind, and each thought made his steps heavy.
She vanished soundlessly, just like that.
It was like he’d gone crazy. He didn’t trust any of the people around him and insisted on searching himself, scouring every corner of the imperial palace. He didn’t believe she would be so cruel. Rong Ting, still in swaddling clothes, seemed to perceive something and wailed loudly the entire time.
He didn’t know how long he had been searching. In the end, he had an absurd thought that she was hiding in the water. It had been very cold that day when he jumped into the lake.
The lake water was bitingly cold, but he still couldn’t find her.
After that day, he became very ill. After he woke up, he vaguely knew that she had left, but he wasn’t willing to acknowledge this truth in his heart, and he sent out all his spies to search for her. At that moment, the cruelty within him was triggered, and he even wanted to interrogate all the people in her palace. In the end, the reason why he didn’t do that was not because he was kind. He didn’t have such things like kindness. He had simply been caught in an illusion and was afraid that she would be sad when she returned and saw all the people from her palace injured.
Later, he went to the cold palace. Before entering the palace, the summer had been extremely hot, and she had laughingly wondered if the cold palace would be as cooling as air conditioning.
Even if the imperial guards he trusted had searched through every inch of the imperial palace, he still wanted to go see for himself.
He saw Imperial Concubine Li in the cold palace, and before he left, she stopped him. She no longer had the madness she’d initially shown, and she seemed much calmer.
She hesitantly opened her mouth to ask, “Has something happened to Her Majesty?”
Even if the news had been suppressed, the imperial palace had been in turmoil during this time. Imperial Concubine Li received even less information in the cold palace and only heard that something seemed to have happened to Her Majesty the Empress. She hadn’t believed it at first, but seeing the indifferent emperor so thin and discomposed, she believed it a little.
From the time of the incident until now, even the head eunuch, whom the emperor trusted, didn’t dare to say this in front of him.
“One day before,” Imperial Concubine Li knelt on the ground. Her head was lowered, her voice somewhat hoarse. “Her Majesty came to see me and gave me many books.”
“Perhaps I dared to hurt Her Majesty because I knew the empress would not harm me.”
He had no interest in listening to the rest. He returned to Kunning Palace, then picked up the sleeping Rong Ting. He looked around the large palace, but he could no longer see her figure, and he buried himself in the quilt with red eyes.
When he got up the next morning, the head eunuch knelt down in shock upon seeing him.
He lowered his head, only to realize that his hair had unknowingly turned white.
 7 jin (1 jin = 500 g) and 2 liang (1 liang = 50 g) is 3.6 kg, which is just a little short of 8 pounds. According to University of Michigan Health, the average birth weight for babies is about 3.5 kg, or 7.5 lb. So the baby’s weight is pretty standard.
 2.65 kg, which is about 5.8 pounds. A little on the smaller end of the spectrum, but still considered to be within normal range (by modern standards).
 Niangniang, the title used to address the empress and high-ranking members of the emperor’s harem
Cheese: too lazy to proofread again before posting, but comment below if i missed any typos and such?