When Zhangsun Wuji caught up with His Majesty, he was still fuming.
He has already killed his beloved chicken and sent it over, how dare Wei Zheng still rebuke him?! He simply taught his younger brother a lesson, why was this an issue to him? This little bugger is too good at finding faults with others!
Seeing Zhangsun Wuji chasing after him, he eased his anger a little and invited him to sit while complaining about Wei Zheng.
After he’s done complaining about Wei Zheng, His Majesty continued with Li Yuanying. It was his brother who started the cockfighting. He then ate his chicken and wrote a messy poem to provoke him. How come Wei Zheng doesn’t find fault with this but instead sides with him to rebuke me?!
“Your Majesty, you are the son of Heaven.” Wei Zheng’s point of view has always been that the Heavenly Family should be unselfish. Since you are the Son of Heaven, your words and deeds should set an example for the world, you shouldn’t indulge in personal desires.
As for Li Yuanying? He’s only a vassal king and at most will rule only a thousand households. Therefore, Wei Zheng’s requirements for him is naturally less.
not to mention……
Zhangsun Wuji looked helpless: “The Price of Teng is only how old? He’s two years younger than even Zhi Nu, why is your Majesty being so calculative with him?”
If it wasn’t for safeguarding His Majesty’s face, Zhangsun Wuji wanted to blurt this upfront: Why are both brothers so childish? Especially you, the Emperor. The boy is nine, are you nine too?!
His Majesty finally realized that it was a bit silly to compete with Li Yuanying.
Zhangsun Wuji saw Li Er’s expression softened and his mood relaxed. He smiled and asked: ‘The Prince of Teng is rude in front of your Majesty. But who’s fault do you think it is?”
Without the Emperor’s leniency, how could Li Yuanying be used to such a lawless virtue?
Hearing this the Emperor said angrily, “So you mean to say that this bitter fruit is my own making?”
“Whether it is or not, Your Majesty knows best.”
Since the Heavenly family should have no selfish feelings, it is naturally different from a common man’s family. His Majesty has already killed two blood brothers then lost his father and wife. Although he was comforted by his sons and daughters, he was still lonely.
With Li Yuanying his shameless brother around, it’s always lively. Apart from the unconstrained Li Yuanying, who else dares to stroke the beard of the Emperor?
It was his own unwillingness towards separating from his youngest brother; else he would have sent him off to his land.
Thinking back at all the other vassal princes, some of them were not even a few years older than Li Yuanying and Li Er has already sent them to various places. As for whether he is old enough to manage his fief well, it doesn’t matter. The imperial court would send manpower to do the necessary on behalf.
After His Majesty chatted with Zhangsun Wuji, his anger was gone, and remembers that he left his men waiting in court. So he got up with intention to go back to continue with the meeting.
Wei Zheng stood upright in the forefront in court as he was one of the prominent figures.
Li Er glanced at Wei Zheng and humbly admitted his mistake then promised that he would spare nothing in raising his younger brother and will never let him suffer any more grievances.
When the other ministers heard this, they all looked towards Wei Zheng.
Wei Zheng’s face stiffened. Since His Majesty made such a move, the whole thing is now sounding like he was deliberately backing Li Yuanying!
It’s not a good thing for ministers and vassal princes to communicate too closely, even if the latter was still a child. Liken to a person having wet shoes when they stand near the river, when you’re a person that persistently finds faults in others naturally others would eagerly be on a lookout to point out your mistakes!
This Emperor of theirs, calculative and his heart is not super benevolent!
Li Er seeing that Wei Zheng was rendered silent was secretly overjoyed. He chuckled for a bit before moving on to discuss other governmental affairs.
Li Yuanying soon discovered that his “special meals” has changed again.
This time it’s even more ruthless, every meal is just green vegetables!
He hates green vegetables the most!
Yuanying went to Li Zhi and the other children’s place hoping for a different meal, but the servants still served him the same “vegetarian meal”. The other children gave him helpless looks.
Li Yuanying repeated his old tricks and went to Wei Zheng to file a complaint, but this time Wei Zheng said that vegetables are expensive in winter and that His Majesty gave him vegetables to show his love for him, so just eat well and stop fooling around! He continued saying that many outside the palace walls can’t even afford a bite of hot rice. Even a bite of chicken will make them cry with joy!
Li Yuanying had no choice but to surrender to His Majesty; admitting his mistake and making all sorts of promises in one go.
However, Li Er didn’t intend to care about him, so he ignored him and continue doing his work.
Li Yuanying forcibly hugs the arm of the Emperor preventing him from looking at the memorial: “Brother, I’m hungry and thin!”
Li Er stood up and picked up Li Yuanying: “You’re still so heavy. What lose weight?”
When Li Er spoke, Yuanying knew that his anger was gone, so he quickly continued to act obediently. He stayed by His Majesty’s side the whole day, either pouring water or massaging his shoulders. He also volunteered to help grind ink, putting up an impression of being the most caring and best brother in the world!
At the end of the day, His Majesty finally decided to show him mercy and provided him a sumptuous dinner. He also ordered the imperial kitchen to cancel his “special meal”.
Li Yuanying was finally full, and walked back to his residence with Dong Xiaoyi.
As he took a walk to digest his dinner, Yuanying sighed. His weakness is too obvious; he became helpless as soon as the Emperor threatened him with FOOD. He’s no choice but to surrender obediently and to admit defeat! Therefore, it’s his goal to save money so that he can eat whatever he wants in the future!
As this pair of childish brothers ended their argument, the Tang Empire ushered in the first month of Zhengguan 14th year.
Last year, the Emperor requested to conduct a mass enrolment for the imperial academy, so this year more than 2,200 students were recruited. In addition, foreign students from around the region were also recruited bring the total number to roughly 8,000 students.
This huge amount is satisfactory to the Emperor so he visited the site to officiate the Shi Dian ceremony to pay tribute and offer ceremonial offerings to signify the beginning of the school term.
Li Yuanying heard about this ceremony from the system and that it’s a memorable event, so why not be present and record it.
On such a cold day, just convincing Yuanying verbally to attend such a lengthy ritual is extremely difficult so the system decided to offer him rewards. If this grand ceremony is recorded, he will be rewarded with Popcorn! Since this cold winter season is not suitable for planting “corn”, the system recommended that he do not open its package first to prevent the seeds from being spoiled due to improper storage.
In short, there’s something new to eat!
Li Yuanying who had just been manipulated by His Majesty developed a slight obsession with food. Hearing that there will be delicious food, he got excited.
This time when he gets his reward, he will secretly plant the peanuts without anyone knowing! Once he’s grown enough, he will sell it to other to try except for his brother who will get nothing!
Li Yuanying is also a vengeful kid!
Relying on his firm dedication to annoy his brother, Li Yuanying runs after Kong Yingda every day, to harass him about his hunger for learning in hopes of getting a slot to participate in the upcoming Shi Dian ceremony. Under Li Yuanying’s persistent harassment, Kong Yingda relented.
Li Yuanying hadn’t been to the Imperial College yet and had an impression that it was a place where a bunch of people sits around pondering about things. He never had an interest in it. But lately, he’s starting to consider himself as a learned person who reads so he’s starting to get a little curious about the academy.
Unfortunately for Li Yuanying his joy only lasted a few days. His Majesty made a decree making it mandatory for all Royal princes to attend the ceremony. He wants them to feel the atmosphere of studying in the Imperial College in hopes of preparing them to be the future pillars of the Tang Empire.
Now it’s Li Zhi’s turn to laugh at Yuanying: “Young Uncle, look, you didn’t need to beg Chancellor Kong, we can all go!”
Li Yuanying snorted and ignored Li Zhi.
On the day of the ceremony, Li Yuanying was woken up by Li Zhi super early in the morning. They dressed in formal wear and were led by the Crown Prince (Li Chengqian) to the Imperial College.
Yuanying felt that the journey was boring so he mischievously ran to Li Chengqian’s side to initiate conversation: “Chengqian, why are there dark spots under your eyes? You didn’t sleep well?”
He acted like he was concern for his nephew and urged earnestly: “Young people should not fool around just because they have youth on their side, you need to take care of your body!”
Li Chengqian was already in a gloomy mood. When he heard Li Yuanying a kid trying to pretend to be an adult, he didn’t know whether to be angry or to laugh.
Li Yuanying is naughty by nature but at the same time wants face. In the past when his mom told him that several children were older than him in age but are considered nephews and nieces, Yuanying felt that he was the elder, so he pretended to be an adult and often shouted “Eldest nephew”, “Fourth nephew”, “Eldest niece” imitating other adults.
As he got older his mother was gone, Chang Le married into his uncle’s clan and his younger brother Li Tai is gaining more favor from his father. Gradually there were more and more ambitious people around him.
Everything and person that has to change have changed. Only this uncle has stayed the same indulging in his own happy little world.
Li Chengqian showed a rare smile while answering: “I’ll remember, thanks young uncle.”
Li Yuanying was happy getting a response so he got closer and whispered: “I heard that you built a big stove outside the palace that can roast a whole lamb or cow! Is it true? Can you bring me along the next time you roast a whole cow?”
Dai Ting was the one who told him this before going to Gaochang. During sometime end last year, His Majesty reprimanded Li Chengqian for playing outside the palace instead of focusing on his studies.
Li Yuanying honestly didn’t care about how badly Li Chengqian got punished, he only wanted to know all the fun things he did. Hearing that he built a large stove that could hang a whole animal for roasting, he’s couldn’t get it off his mind.
It’s a pity that every time he meets Li Chengqian, there are many annoying old-fashioned people around so Yuanying couldn’t make his request to him.
Li Chengqian revealed his true nature after listening to Yuanying. He started to miss his younger carefree days. After being reprimanded last year, he moved his secret base to a new location and has never told anyone else about it.
After hearing Yuanying’s proposal, he quietly agreed: “Next time I’m going, I’ll get someone to let you know. Come if you are free.”
Yuanying’s eyes lit up and he lowered his voice: “I’ll be free!”
With a secret appointment to roast a whole cow, Li Yuanying decided that Li Chengqian will officially replace Li Zhi as the best nephew in the world!
The pair continue chatting while walking and unknowingly they reached the gate of the Imperial College.