Li Yuanying who was in high spirits pulled his friends to sit around the long table and pulled out a drawing.
What he’s sharing is not the blueprint given to Dong Xiaoyi previously but a progress drawing of the ongoing construction. The construction of the village did not use special materials but the design is delicate, built-in reliance and along the mountains. The highest peak can only be reached using an “elevator” and the surrounding scenery can be seen from a distance. Looking down, you’ll also see beautiful tree houses of different types built in a circle along the mountain and the spaces between trees being connected by cables or horizontal ladders.
What’s more interesting is that there’s a waterwheel turning at the side of the small river at the foot of the mountain. This waterway can then directly supply water to all nearby houses systematically; when you toggle at the outlet water flows out but if you don’t the water source gets recycled back into the stream.
These are not ideas that ordinary people cannot create, it’s just that no one sane is willing to spend so much money creating these seemingly flashy things. But the little prince is different. for he is after all just a kid. As soon as he saw and liked the blueprint, he insisted on recreating it like for like! Spend whatever money is required on recruitment and construction! I want to make my drawing into reality.
“Ordinary houses at the foot of the mountain will be built first so that the people from Gaochang will have a place to settle down as soon as possible. The rest will be built slowly. I’m confident we will be done in a year or so. Pick now which house you want and I will reserve them for you!”
How can children not like this style of playing? Everyone was excited when they heard that they were to pick their own house and started discussing which tree house is the most unique, which has the best scenery, and who should live next to who! Li Yuanying is of course the most popular neighbor. The little lolis all pulled him to ask which house he has chosen, all wanting to be close to young uncle!
Of course he picked the largest tree in the middle: “This is mine, the biggest, the best!”
No one has any opinion about Li Yuanying’s shameless behavior. After all, this village belongs to him. They are all used to playing together, so whatever belongs to Li Yuanying belongs to them too! The girls quickly snapped up all the surrounding trees before allowing the boys to choose.
Di Renjie and Wei Shu were not people who would take advantage of others, so they did not participate. They only requested that Yuanying reserve a room for them in the future for visitations.
Yuanying didn’t object further and just set aside a nearby tree house for Di Renjie and his other friends to stay temporarily when they visit.
With this, the whole group eagerly waited for the construction to complete. They enthusiastically discussed all the novel and ingenious designs, wishing that they could stay in their village right now!
Right after, Yuanying invited entertainers from Gaochang to meet his friends to discuss about the upcoming banquet hosted by the Emperor. These performers were initially hesitant about leaving their homelands but after listening to the little prince through Dai Ting’s good words, they gradually calmed down and nodded in response to his orders.
They also gave a local Gaochang performance to the little lolis who were watching with great anticipation. The performers had flexible bodies that swayed to the sound of music and were beautiful. They also had smooth and bright voices unique to the Gaochang region.
Tang citizens are also skilled at dancing. Although the little lolis couldn’t really understand the language, they couldn’t sit still after watching the performance. They all got up and danced along to the rhythmic melody.
Li Yuanying took Sizi’s hand and led her in messy circles several times before swirling Xincheng and Hengshan around. He even made Wei Shu, the quietest one dance and dragged her to follow after the entertainers. This messed up the performers’ momentum but the boy had no remorse over it. When he was tired, he sat down and looked at the tired little lolis on the left and right feeling very satisfied.
When the dancers saw that the Royal children weren’t arrogant they gradually relaxed as well. They sat and chatted with Li Yuanying chaotically; both parties interchanging between languages albeit very badly.
Sizi and Hengshan were tired from playing and couldn’t understand the strange language so they quickly fell asleep on uncle’s lap.
After the interesting conversation, Yuanying finally realized that his two nieces were fast asleep next to him. He asked the performers to disperse and started carrying both girls into the carriage with Li Zhi’s help. He then asked Chengyang and Wei Shu to help take care of them as they rode back into the city.
Di Renjie used to feel that the Royal Family is ruthless and without mercy where even brothers killed each other for power. But after seeing how the children got along today, his perception was slightly changed. Maybe even in the ruthless Royal family, there are people like Li Yuanying!
Although Renjie is still young, he’s someone upright and has a scale in his heart that measure right from wrong. This trip made him think that Li Yuanying is a friend to be kept for long.
While the group of little radishes were having a great time, His Majesty Li Er was deeply worried about Hou Junji. After the general was imprisoned, he was full of resentment and angrily accused Li Yuanying of profiting more money than him!
However, whether it was Gaochang dignitaries who visited with their new ruler or Gaochang’s citizens who came back with Dai Ting, they all insisted that Yuanying’s group was the good guy. The one who robbed and hurt them was Hou Junji, all Yunaying’s party did was shield and protected them from the brutal slaughter. The little prince is now still working hard building a village to help them to settle down.
Li Er’s forehead twitched in annoyance when he heard these words.
The courtiers were still arguing. One party thinks that the army of Tang must be benevolent and righteous. They must not abuse those who surrender. If you harm them now who will peacefully surrender in the future? The opposing party thinks that it is unjust to punish a victorious hero, if so who would fight for the country next time?
Both sides are justified and the quarreling hurts Li Er’s brain. In the end, he had to make Hou Junji stay in prison for the night.
In the evening, the girls woke up happy and full. They happily ran to father and talked about their great day. They also gave His Majesty a glimpse of the performance they watched and this made the Emperor feel better.
Sizi naturally talked about the village planned by Yuanying saying that they had all already selected their own tree house.
Hearing this, Li Er wonders how much money is going to be dumped into building this.
Thinking about how Li Yuanying got his money, Li Er’s head hurts again. His brother made a fortune easily from what Hou Junji did. Poor Hou Junji is still in prison and can’t get out!
The Gaochang people who followed Li Yuanying back all said that they did so voluntary. They even praised him saying that he takes after his big brother! With such a compliment, the Emperor cannot go around scolding Li Yuanying.
After patiently listening to his girls talk about the tree house, he sent them back.
While father and daughters were bonding, Yuanying also learned from Dai Ting that Hou Junji was being criticized to the point of being sent to prison.
He instantly felt that maybe Wei Zheng and the others were not that bad to him. After all, although they scolded him a lot, they had never punished him so severely.
Being idle, Yuanying took a jug of wine and ran to prison. He asked someone to open the cell door and sat opposite Hou Junji.
“Old man Hou, how on earth did you offend the other officials so badly? It looks like they now want to dug up your ancestral graves!” means to have no mercy, to completely destroy a person
Hou Junji got angry, turned around and ignored him.
The boy felt that the general was being unreasonable. I’m not even angry at him for accusing and framing me of wrongdoing but now he’s ignoring me. This old man is really petty!
“As soon as I heard that you were being detained, I came to visit with wine. Why are you keeping people a thousand miles away? to be arrogant and unapproachable Dai Ting informed me that you and General Xue treated them well on the journey, that’s why I’m here today.”
Hou Junji turned his head to stare at him.
It was still okay if no one brought the topic up, but now that it’s being mentioned, Hou Junji burned with anger. It’s so obvious that Li Yuanying made the most money out of this incident, how dare he come over, show off and pour cold water on him? Isn’t it obviously to see how pitiful he is!
The boy moved closer, sat down and poured a drink for Hou Junji.
Being imprisoned for a whole day, general Hou had not eaten anything good. Upon smelling the fragrant wine, he took it wearing a solemn expression.
Yuanying poured another cup and when Hou Junji was slightly drunk, the boy spoke: “You still don’t understand the Emperor, he is no longer Prince of Qin.”
Hou Junji looked at the boy with sharp eyes.
“Brother’s heart is with the four seas.” (Li Yuanying)
He took the empty cup from Hou Junji’s hand but did not pour more wine for him.
“If you wanted the treasures from Gaochang, the Emperor will never be stingy with you. But when you left for the expedition you represent the Tang Empire and you are acting upon the good name of the Emperor. If you start with this example, the rest will follow suit. Then the situation will become unmanageable.” (Li Yuanying)
If these words were spoken by others, Hou Junji would never have paid it any attention. But it’s different when Li Yuanying the little devil king says it. He was rather surprised that these words were uttered by the boy.
After the initial surprise, he sat there thinking seriously about his words.
In his early years, he followed Li Er who was still the Prince of Qin to war. During the Xuanwu Gate incident, he followed behind him and eliminated the previous Crown Prince. Regardless of whether it is public or private, Hou thinks that he is a man of merit and felt that it’s no big deal to take some stuff. He had traveled hard for several months through the severe cold of winter and the scorching heat of summer. Why shouldn’t he get some benefits?
However, His Majesty Li Er is indeed not the Prince of Qin anymore.
He is now the ruler of Tang Empire and the “Khan of Heaven” for his people. To play the role of a righteous King, his Majesty is even willing to endure harsh criticism from others.
Hou Junji raised his eyes to look at Li Yuanying, as if it was the first time he had known this little devil king.
Yuanying continued: “I heard that the year I was born, the Duke of Lai passed away and my elder brother was very sad. He would often call his name by mistake and then secretly wept. Later, when the Duke of Hu also passed, brother was also equally sad. Brother is a sentimental person and he is slowly losing those who lived through thick and thin with him. If you’re wondering who doesn’t wish this predicament upon you, it must be my brother, the Emperor. But what you are doing is pushing him into a dilemma!”
Hou Junji fell silent.
Yuanying instructed Dai Ting to leave a pen, ink and paper in front of Hou Junji.
“Leaving this to you.”
After speaking, he pushed the remaining jug of wine to him.
“This is also for you. Up to you if you want to get drunk or act however you pleases.”
Notes from the author:
Little Prince: When I’m serious, even I am afraid of myself