“Sorry, after losing you for so long, I seem to have been a bit confused.”
The three worldviews of ancient era people were completely different from those of modern people. Especially Rong Heng, who was an emperor in ancient times. With the power to hold everyone’s lives in his grasp, the Great Ye dynasty had no such thing as ‘the Son of Heaven is punished for his crimes as one would punish the common people1.’ Although most of the time Rong Heng showed a gentle side, Song Yuan knew: the person who had once lain by her pillow did not care for other people’s lives and even disregarded them.
But this wasn’t the ancient era or the Great Ye dynasty! She knew that Rong Heng didn’t like having his weaknesses2 falling into the hands of others. He wasn’t the real Xie Heng, and every day there was the possibility of the truth coming to light. He wouldn’t allow himself to be put in danger, so with his personality and past methods, he would definitely turn from passive to active. If all the people in the Xie family died, then he could rest easy.
Drums pounded in Song Yuan’s heart, but her expression remained extremely stern. “The people of the Xie family did nothing wrong, and you have no authority here. If you’re really worried that you’ll be exposed one day, that’s okay. Why don’t you take the initiative to confess? You calculate how much of the Xie family’s money you spent. I’ll lend that money to you first, and you’ll pay them back. I don’t think they’ll dare to do anything to you. Rong Heng, don’t do anything irreversible. Using Xie Heng’s identity and still wanting to harm his family, that’s simply…”
Cruel and dishonorable3!
Of course, she didn’t dare to say these words. Her heart burned with anxiety. She only hoped that Rong Heng would quickly get rid of any thoughts he shouldn’t have!
Rong Heng was startled. At first, he didn’t understand her meaning, but when he gathered his thoughts, he was amused.
He seldom smiled. Ever since he was a young prince, he did not like to smile and always had no expression. When grown, he occasionally smiled as a facade. After counting carefully, the few times in his life that he truly smiled from the heart all seemed to be because of her.
“What are you thinking about every day.” Rong Heng was both cheerful and helpless. “Am I that kind of person in your heart?”
Seeing him still smiling, Song Yuan was even more alarmed in her heart.
“It’s true I don’t like this passive position very much, but the cost of murder or assassination  is too high. Currently, it’s clear that the losses outweigh the benefits. I won’t do something that doesn’t benefit me much.” Rong Heng looked at her, the smile in his eyes and his expression still present.
Song Yuan fell silent. It looks like he might have really considered it…
“Then why’d you say that? Don’t do those kinds of things, and don’t have those kinds of thoughts. You have to…” be kind.
Before she finished speaking, Song Yuan felt she was being too ridiculous. Advising an emperor to be kind was simply too stupid.
“I shouldn’t say this to you. You can’t hide secrets, and you can’t keep secrets. But if I don’t tell you clearly today, with your personality, you might be so scared you can’t sleep at night.”
The smile on Rong Heng’s face slightly receded. “Right now there are only three people in the Xie family who can make decisions. Elder Xie is in poor health, and each day lived is a day closer to death. He’s very old, and it looks like he won’t last longer than these next two years. Xie Yanjun–mn, that’s Xie Heng’s dad–it’s a bit complicated. In fact, if it weren’t for his indulgence, his illegitimate child raised outside wouldn’t have had such huge ambitions. Mrs. Xie knows that I’m not her son, but the real Xie Heng was already dead, and she was unreconciled, and of course, she also wanted revenge. She played some tricks on the paternity test, causing everyone to mistakenly think that I was Xie Heng. For Mrs. Xie, the illegitimate son, his mother, and Xie Yanjun are all her enemies. I think that with her means, she won’t let them go, and the last person she will retaliate against is Xie Yanjun. I’m guessing Xie Yanjun won’t live to be past fifty-eight years old.”
Song Yuan was dumbstruck, feeling as though she’d heard a made-up tale. When she returned to her senses, she asked nervously, “And you? Once she takes revenge on those people, will she deal with you?”
“Mrs. Xie is a very good person.” Rong Heng paused. “She and I have no grievances. What would she do to me?”
Alright, then. Song Yuan was also aware she was worrying blindly. With Rong Heng’s schemes and shrewdness, it was impossible for things to backfire on him.
Song Yuan fell silent for a moment, then sighed, feeling a bit uncomfortable. “Mrs. Xie is so pitiful.”
Not just anyone could bear the loss of a child5. Perhaps the motivation keeping Mrs. Xie alive was the desire to avenge her son.
“Pitiful?” Rong Heng let the word linger on his tongue. “Maybe.”
To have the ability and strength to get revenge was pretty good. There were many people in this world for whom even revenge was an extravagant hope.
“Also,” Song Yuan pulled out a black card from her pocket and handed it to him. “This is yours, right? I’ll give it back to you.”
Rong Heng didn’t take it. “Keep it. Rong Ting is my son too.”
“Child support?” Song Yuan laughed. “There’s really no need. Even if I keep this card with me, I won’t use it. I’m also really forgetful. If I accidentally lose it, it’d become a huge nuisance. As for raising the child… I have money. Really, raising Rong Ting isn’t a problem at all.”
“You weren’t like this before.”
“Did I have the right to refuse before?” Song Yuan gave no time to explain and stuffed the black card into his coat pocket. “It’s not the same now, I can say no.”
Rong Heng looked at her, but this time he didn’t speak.
He wanted to be a clear headed person but hoped for her to be a bit more muddle headed.
On the way here, he didn’t just think about what he would do if she liked someone else. He also recalled her past submissiveness, which must have only been superficial obedience.
If she had more options, would she still pick him?
After so many things, was what he truly wanted just for her to return to his side, or was he simply content with her returning to his side6?
He was also a person of flesh and blood, and he was also a person with self-respect. If he wanted their relationship to come to be, he wanted to be the only one.
“Yuanyuan, I don’t like to make things difficult for myself, and my life is precious too. Before today, I thought that my goals were very clear, and I hoped that you could come back to me, no matter what the reason was. Sorry, after losing you for so long, I seem to have been a bit confused.” Rong Heng placed his hands in his pockets, his posture tall and straight, just like when they’d met at the beginning of the year. “I came here a long time ago, but I sat in the car for an hour. To be honest, I’m really glad my misunderstanding happened. It was like a blow to my head that made me wake up. From your perspective, I’m standing right now, but actually I’ve already bent my waist. If something like this hadn’t happened, would I have been kneeling down before I even realized it?”
“I don’t know what I would do if you liked someone else, but I think I definitely wouldn’t grovel at the feet7 of someone who didn’t love me.”
He wanted to be with her, but he wanted to stand with her, not kneel.
He could bow his head to her, but he could never bend his knees for this love.
As she watched the car leave, Song Yuan stood in place for a moment, thinking back on Rong Heng’s words. For some reason, she smiled.
She returned to the villa. Before she had time to take off her coat, she saw her three friends standing at the entrance like door gods8, blocking her way. The stern expressions on their faces were exactly the same as that of a dean who caught students using their phones in class.
“What’s your relationship with him?” the three asked in unison.
Song Yuan felt her head hurt, but she still answered, “Friends, really just friends.”
“Yuanyuan’s mouth, deceitful demon!” Xie Ya walked up to her and scanned her up and down. “Based on my many years of experience reading novels and watching dramas and chasing CPs, if you and him don’t have anything going on, I’ll write my name upside down!”
“Yuanyuan, the three of us just had a little meeting. Do you want to hear our thoughts?” Zhang Man asked in a mild tone.
Song Yuan knew she wouldn’t easily get past this today. Who knew that Rong Heng would come over so suddenly?
She didn’t want to let her friends worry. Even if she and Rong Heng really didn’t have anything going on, even if she knew exactly what she should do, she still nodded. “En, let’s talk. I’ll listen.”
Zhang Man had been the smoothest talker out of the four of them since they were small, so of course it was her who became the representative speaker. “It doesn’t even need saying that a man like Xie Heng is exactly the type you like. He’s handsome and well-mannered, has a good figure and wears good clothes. If he were an ordinary person, we’d definitely support you with both hands and feet in taking him down, but he’s not ordinary. His dad has a lot of scandals in the news, and he’s also been in the newspaper with some old celebrities. There was an article ten years ago saying that the celebrity was pregnant and was forced to retire. Although we don’t know what kind of person Xie Heng is, he’s grown up in such an environment. Wouldn’t his world view on feelings be influenced by his dad? It’s like with children who grow up in a family with domestic violence. They see their dad hit their mom and get very angry, but many children will be influenced by their dads to become that kind of person.”
“Yeah,” Tang Shi added, “his family’s definitely rich, but I think these wealthy families are really…”
Song Yuan nodded. “En, I know.”
The three of them breathed a sigh of relief when they saw her stance on the matter.
In fact, it wasn’t easy for them to stick a hand in their friend’s affairs–after all, they were all adults. But if they had to watch with eyes wide open as their bestie stepped into a relationship with too many uncertain factors, they’d feel anxious.
“It’s best if you can think that way. I used to watch TVB, and there were so many things going on in the wealthy families. You wouldn’t be able to handle it.” Xie Ya sighed, her tone growing more relaxed. “For an excellent man like this, just sleep for one night and forget him, don’t take it too seriously.”
Song Yuan looked at her in surprise.
Xie Ya finally reacted, subconsciously covering her mouth. Oops, accidentally said what was in her heart.
The author has something to say:
I used to like the kind of male lead who would sweep away all the bad things for the female lead. (I always felt that if you really loved someone, you should make her happy)
Some readers said that all the female leads in my words have one thing in common, and that’s that their feelings for the male lead are not well developed, and it seems like they can’t feel the female lead’s love for the male lead. (That’s because of my style. I didn’t specially write in the “I love you, but I love myself more” trait)
Someone said that many of the male leads I write are like licking dogs. Then I thought about it. I think men are much more rational than women in the face of emotions. Throughout the ages, there are many women who are resentful and few men who are idiotic (in love). I shouldn’t change my work and make him completely unrecognizable. For example, Rong Heng. Many people hate him, but the male lead I want to depict is just like this, remaining clear headed until death.
Rong Heng has double standards–he hopes that he’s clear headed and she is muddle headed. Now, he’s accepted and acknowledged that she’s also clear headed.
Everyone, no need to worry about how these two will have a HE (happy ending). The story will naturally have an explanation and ending.
[Author thanks readers for gifts, says they’ll continue to work hard]
 天子犯法与庶民同罪: the original phrase is 王子犯法，与庶民同罪, which comes from The Book of Lord Shang, written by Shang Yang (and probably his disciples). Basically, it means that even an emperor (or, in the original, a prince) should be punished for his crimes like the common people. (source, Wikipedia, Sohu)
 把柄: information that can be used against somebody
 狼心狗肺: lit. heart of wolf and lungs of dog
 The last part of this phrase was censored, so I filled it in with something that probably fits
 中年丧子: specifically, a middle-aged parent mourning the loss of a child
 The second half of the sentence uses 甘心, which typically means to be willing, but here, I think it’s more like being content with something and not wishing for more. So basically, does Rong Heng truly want her to come back to him, or is he content with her just physically being by his side, even if her heart is with someone else? is what I’m thinking the author meant.
 摇尾乞怜: lit. to behave like a dog wagging its tail, seeking its master’s affection
 Images of door gods are placed at entrances to block evil and bring in good influences
Cheese: well, this chapter explains the confusion i had about whether rong heng transmigrated here with his own body or into the real xie heng’s body
translated the author’s comments because it pertained to the story and provided some insight into both what other readers are saying and what the author thinks about her works and characters. any thoughts?
i think personally this story is pretty light on the romance spectrum, so i’ve long dropped any expectations for some healing/lovey dovey plot points haha. it feels like a realistic (or as realistic as you can get with a transmigration novel) depiction of two people who have feelings for each other but very different views on, like, everything. there’s a lot of disagreement and it’s very… not refreshing?? suffocating??? rong heng is clearly very prideful given his background and status, and i think it’s pretty realistic for an emperor to not be on his knees begging for her to come back, as frustrating and unfair as i think it is when he’s always been the dominant party in their relationship (at least when it comes to power). so while it’s not a refreshing face-slapping, wife-chasing kind of novel, i can respect the direction it’s going
idk, just my two cents