Yuanying’s letter was delivered to Wei Shu without any problem. This trip to Louyang Wei Zheng choose not to bring his wife and granddaughter along because Wei Shu’s father came home together with her mother and eldest brother, Wei Ying.
Wei Ying is much older than Wei Shu, about thirteen or fourteen. He has been accompanying his parents on trips all this while and has been separated from his sister for long. Naturally, he wanted to win his younger sister’s heart and hover around her everyday.
When Dai Ting came by to deliver a letter, Wei Ying guarded Wei Shu’s side vigilantly. No matter how he looked at it, he thinks that the messenger had ulterior motives due to his good looks. With such charming looks, he must be an evil spirit as told in legends! Wei Ying felt that this person is here to cheat his younger sister!
After Dai Ting left, Wei Ying pestered Wei Shu intending to read the content of the letter. Wei Shu is already annoyed by his constant pestering but since it was her elder brother she put up with his behaviour. Knowing his intentions, she became upset and kept the letter away so that Wei Ying would not read it.
Wei Ying became impatient and went looking for father to share what he saw, saying that a very good-looking man came looking for his sister with a letter from Prince Teng. Since when did sister become acquainted with Prince Teng? The Prince Teng that is rumored to be a very troublesome little devil king? Why does sister have contact with him?
Father is the eldest son who was bought up under strict discipline by Wei Zheng. When he heard that Wei Shu had a relationship with Prince Teng, he immediately called her out and lecture her.
Wei Shu chose remain silent.
Mrs. Pei heard the commotion and saw Wei Shu sitting down with red eyes, feeling extremely distressed. She felt sorry for her granddaughter and wanted to protect her.
“Who else behaves like you father and son? Don’t even send us 2 letters in a year but comes back home and straightaway show your attitude and prestige!”
Wei shu’s dad was a dutiful son and his face turned red when he heard Pei’s scolding.
“Shu’er is still young, I’m afraid she will be tricked.”
“So what about tricking? At least his coaxing makes Shu’er happy. Unlike you who makes her cry when you just came home.”
Father couldn’t refute these allegations.
Wei Shu was protected by grandmother but she was still not happy. She wiped away her tears and hid in Wei Zheng’s study reading her letter.
What Li Yuanying share in his letter were all happy things, mainly about what he ate and did along the way. In the end he obtained Xiangcheng Palace for nothing. After the renovation was completed, he will invite her over to play with him.
At the end, Li Yuanying made a statement and attached his calligraphy practice for Wei Shu to evaluate.
At the end of the sentence, he added a line of extremely small characters: It is best to praise me more, don’t learn bad habits from Old man Wei.
Wei Shu chuckled.
She regret not being born a boy, where she can be like Li Yuanying. Go wherever she wants and associate with whomever she wants.
Wei Shu carefully folded the letter to put it away. As she was about to pick up the calligraphy to review them she heard the door curtain rattling. She looked up to see her elder brother poking his head by the door, hesitating if he should enter.
Wei Shu hid Yuanying’s practice sheet under a book, already feeling much better than just now.
“Brother, what’s the matter?”
Seeing that his sister has stopped crying and didn’t look angry he boldly walked in holding a big red peach.
“I shouldn’t have ratted you out with father just now. I went out to buy this for you as an apology.”
Wei Shu is not a stingy person. Since her brother apologized she would not hold a grudge.
“His Royal Highness is not a bad guy like the rumors say he is.”
Wei Shu share all about how Prince Teng started a library and took in refugees. Wei Ying was dumbfounded and felt that everything had changed in the short few years he had left Chang’an.
In order to strengthen her case that Prince Teng is not an ignorant bully, she took out the hidden manuscript and showed Wei Ying the results of Yuanying’s calligraphy practice.
Wei Shu was stunned when she saw the poem written on the first manuscript.
Wei Shu flipped further and found the same poem all written on different days and progressively improving.
Apparently, Li Yuanying randomly picked a poem from the <<Book of Songs>> that he found interesting and practiced repeatedly every day. He felt that he has improved greatly and so he shared his progress with her.
Although Wei Shu is young, she understood the meaning of this poem. It was about the love between a man and a woman: two people making an appointment to meet outside the city and although the gifts they give each other were not very valuable in the eyes of others , but to each other they felt that they have received the most beautiful gift in the world.
Because it was a gift from the other party.
The emotion in the poem is pure and beautiful.
Wei Shu would not misunderstand Li Yuanying’s intentions but Wei Ying was watching from the side!
Since she has already taken the manuscript out and Wei Ying had already seen it, Wei Shu couldn’t think of a way to deal with the situation.
Wei Ying did see everything. He stared blankly at the manuscript that reads “Quiet Girl and Shu” that was written several times. He had read this piece of work before and felt that the written statement is a word play using his sister’s name. Thinking back about the meaning of this poem, Wei Ying was about to explode.
How dare Prince Teng write such a poem to his sister so openly?
Wei Ying snatched the manuscript from Wei Shu’s hands and read it again and again. Still angry, he showed it to Father despite Wei Shu’s protests.
Wei Shu knew she couldn’t stop him so she stopped chasing and sat back at her original place lost in thought.
Father quickly entered the room with the stack of manuscripts in hand and a serious expression.
Wei Shu lowered her head and said nothing.
“I’ve had a discussion with your mother. This time when we leave, we will bring you along. Back then you were young and weak so we had to leave you behind with your grandparents. This time you come with us.”
Wei Shu only nodded her head as response.
She knew that her free and easy days were coming to an end. Her dad wouldn’t allow her to go out, let alone make friends with Li Yuanying.
Father didn’t like Li Yuanying.
Because his behavior is very different from the norm. He lives too freely and without restrictions. It’s as if he was born to be a troublemaker, things that are precious to the common people are nothing in his eyes.
Therefore, while some people might like him, an equal amount would also hate him.
Seeing that Wei Shu was silent, father took away Prince Teng’s manuscript and left to his room to write Wei Zheng who was in Louyang a letter.
In the next few days, Wei Shu’s father got his new assignment and would be bringing his family along with him to a new place. This same period, Dai Ting dropped by to ask if Wei Shu had any letters to reply to Prince Teng.
Wei Shu had been sitting outside under a big tree waiting for Dai Ting. When she saw him, she pass him her letter.
After that, she sat alone under the tree looking at the sandy ground which she once used to practice calligraphy.
If she didn’t get to know Li Yuanying, she would be very happy to be following her family and elder brother on outstation assignments. But now, everything feels different.
Dai Ting saw that Wei Shu had a moody expression but due to his position it was inappropriate for him to probe more. Therefore he took her letter and hurried off to Luoyang.
Li Yuanying has already identified potential land and recruited good talents. He was gearing up waiting for Dai Ting to bring along Dong Xiaoyi and the others to start work. Dai Ting reached him but alone.
“What about the others?”
Dai Ting told Yuanying all about Wei Shu’s strange behaviour. He also went around enquiring about the Wei Family and told his master all that he had found out. Wei Zheng’s eldest son is back home with his wife and eldest son and now they have received a new outstation mission. Maybe Wei Shu’s moodiness was because of this? It’s all his own guess as he did not directly ask Wei Shu about it.
Li Yuanying nodded and read Wei Shu’s reply.
Her reply was normal. First, she praised his handwriting and sid that it has been improving steadily then she pointed out more areas for improvements. Finally, she mentioned that she will be joining her family for outstation assignments and Yuanying should not write her anymore letters. She is also not sure if they would ever meet again in the future. She hopes he will be safe and happy.
Yuanying was not happy reading this.
“Did you find out where sister Shu’s father is going to be transferred to? When do they leave?”
Dai Ting shared everything he knew.
Without further ado, Li Yuanying ran to look for Li Er.
“Brother, I’m going out”
“Didn’t you run around all day already?”
“It’s different this time. I may be gone for a few days.”
Li Er turned to look at him and motioned him to continue.
Yuanying didn’t explain too much but just said: “I’m leaving. When I’m back I’ll come by and say hi to you.”
After saying that, Yuanying ran away. He went home and quickly packed then called Dai Ting and a group of guards and left. He left so quickly that no one had time to react.
Within the next few days, it was Li Zhi, Sizi and the other children who first noticed that Li Yuanying was missing. Then Yan Lide, Yan Liben also noticed that the boy was missing.
In the end, everyone in the court realized that Li Yuanying is not hanging around with His Majesty lately.
Everyone wondered: where did the kid go?
Li Er instructed his men to tail behind Li Yuanying. He got news that Prince Teng rode a horse all the way west as soon as he left the city gate and stopped to stay in a small county town by evening. Early the next morning, he got up early and set off again, looking very anxious.
Li Yuanying brought his bodyguards and the Emperor also sent his guards to follow behind him. He wasn’t too worried about his younger brother’s safety but was more curious on what he was doing so suddenly running away.
Wei Zheng was also quite curious but before he could remain curious for long, a letter from his eldest son was delivered to him. The letter mentioned that they will be bringing Wei Shu along for assignments and about the incident of the poem Prince Teng wrote to her. It’s fine if the brat wrote only once to her, but he instead wrote it more than ten or twenty times. What ulterior motives does he have?! He has heard that Prince Teng begged His Majesty for a lady of talent last year; such a lustful and and promiscuous person at such a young age. He is really worried about his daughter associating with such a person and so he is bringing her along. He will finished up his handover procedure and leave with his child and hopes father will not be offended!
As soon as Wei Zheng read the letter, he felt dizzy.
Li Yuanying is not running away somewhere to play, he is chasing after his granddaughter!
If Li Yuanying catches up to them and make a scene, how will his granddaughter marry in the future?
Wei Zheng’s face twitched and he was at a loss at what to do with the letter. He struggled for a long time and decided to be thick skin and look for the Emperor with letter in hand. He hopes that the Emperor will send man to force that b*stard Li Yuanying to retreat..
If he didn’t stop him, Li Yuanying would really dare to outrageous things!
Li Er has been missing his good for nothing younger brother and was still deciding if he wanted to beat him after he has returned for running away so abruptly. After listening to Wei Zheng and comparing his location, he realized that Wei Zheng’s guess was right. Li Yuanying was chasing after his sister shu!
His Majesty had always knew that Li Yuanying and Wei Shu were good friends as he always invited her to play. Knowing the reason why Li Yuanying ran out in a hurry, Li Er calmed down and said slowly: “Children are always reluctant to part with friends. What’s wrong with him chasing after her to say their goodbyes?”
Wei Zheng knew instantly that His Majesty not only do not want to control his b*stard brother, he was also waiting to watch a good show. He was unable to air his grievances.
Catching up with them to say goodbye is something normal but judging from Li Yuanying usual behaviour, does he look like someone who would do something so mild?
Wei Zheng could only bite the bullet and beg: “Your Majesty, please get someone to bring his Highness Prince Teng home.”
“I’ve watched Yuanying grow up and believe that he will be sensible in his actions. Dearest Wei needn’t worry too much. He will come back by himself in a few days.”
Wei Zheng was rendered speechless.
If Li Yuanying is considered a sensible person then there would be no one in the world who is not sensible!
He will surely be back. My fear is that he returns not alone!
Notes from the author:
His Majesty Li Er: My younger brother is going to eat a cabbage (drinking tea) (watching the drama) [cabbage being eaten by a pig = a normal fellow (pig) chasing after a goddess (cabbage)]
Wei Zheng: Don’t stop me, I’m going to scold these brothers to death! ! ! ! !
In the previous chapters I discussed about Li Tai’s character. Of course, Li Tai in real history is not like this. Every character in the novel is based on personal imagination! I remember reading some information about Li Tai doing this after Chengqian rebelled. He went to hug Li Er’s leg and said: “If I become the crown prince, I will kill all my sons in the future and let my brother succeed me!” Li Er was initially moved by this and promised him the crown prince position on the spot! However, the Emperor soon realized that what he said was wrong and so he quickly reversed his decision…
Li Tai: Kill all my sons and let my younger brother succeed me!
Little round ball: qaq