This is the hard-earned reward for locating the inscription at Jiucheng Palace. It is said that it tasted better with ice. Li Yuanying passed the reward over to Dai Ting for preparation while he waited to taste it. Generously he replied: “Coke with Ice.”
Having not heard of such a beverage, Li Zhi was skeptical and asked “Is this alcohol?” Every male drinks in Tang Dynasty but this isn’t a feast. Li Zhi is having second thoughts about drinking anything with alcohol for he is afraid of messing up due to drunkenness.
“It’s not.” Li Yuanying grab his own Coke and started drinking. He then directed his attention towards the match between Fang Yiai and Du He. This match will be exciting!
Seeing Li Yuanying drinking, Li Zhi couldn’t resist the temptation and took a sip. The ice-cold Coke entered his throat, a little icy, a little sweet with a bit of bubbles bursting in the mouth.
“If it’s not good why would I drink it?”
Li Yuanying’s attention was on Fang and Du on the field. “Old man Fang and Old Man Du got along so well but look at the bad relationship between the sons, such peculiarity.”
This looks bad. See those ferocious looks on their faces, they are going to fight again on the polo field.
Li Zhi’s forehead twitched upon hearing Li Yuanying calling both seniors by their name directly but did not speak out to correct it. Knowing that Li Yuanying has not been afraid of heaven or earth since young no one would bother to find fault with him over trivial matters like name-calling. For it would be a waste of time and effort.
Li Zhi also turned his eyes towards the field.
While they were talking, Du He violently aimed his shot toward the eyes of Fang Yiai’s horse.
If Fang Yiai wasn’t able to retreat in time, his horse would have gone crazy over the sharp pain in the eye.
Li Zhi was secretly startled and couldn’t help but glanced at his Lord Father, only to see Li Er watching calmly without emotions on his face.
Li Yuanying watched with excitement, emptied his glass of Coke, and turned around to ask Dai Ting for another. He saw Li Zhi looking at his father.
“Why are you watching your father instead of the game? If you want his attention why don’t you go over to him. Why, are you shy?”
“It’s not that, I just wanted to see if father saw anything out of this.”
Li Yuanying also looked to His Majesty after hearing this and wanted to see if his Majesty really is going to let go of the matter of Du He and Fang Yiai fighting. At this same moment both their eyes met.
Li Yuanying turned away quickly and thought that this is why he doesn’t like being with his brother. His second brother always looked at him with eyes that imply “You went and did bad things again right?” Seriously where’s the brotherly love.
Yes, I have indeed gone around causing lots of trouble but his Majesty shouldn’t be like this. Can’t you give your brother a little bit of trust?
On the other hand, His Majesty has heard the whole story from Fang Xuanling. Fang Xuanling first pleaded guilty saying he was not strict enough in teaching his son but also said that both sides broke into a fight for a reason. Someone shot Du He with a slingshot. Du He thought it was his son hence wanted to retaliate. However, people around were witnesses and could testify that his son absolutely didn’t do it.
Fang Xuanling was an honest person who only state facts without accusing anyone of wrongdoing. Nonetheless, his Majesty was certain the culprit was Li Yuanying.
Such bullsh*t, only Li Yuanying will do.
Luckily his Majesty was there watching the match so everything went smoothly. The game was more intense than usual but apart from that, no other incidents happened. Fang Yiai won by a small margin and came down from his horse to bow to his Majesty.
The next match was for the older kids, third prince Li Ge and the rest of the participants were busy stretching before the game.
The Emperor wasn’t too concerned about this small conflict between the youths. He instead wanted to straighten out Li Yuanying and asked for him to be brought over.
Hearing this Li Yuanying was a little nervous. He came towards his brother looking innocent “Lord Brother, you called?”
“Tell me again how did the fight break out?”
Sensing the unkind glare in his Majesty’s eyes and Fang Xuanling’s bad mood, Li Yuanying quickly blink his eyes and said with a loud sigh: “I didn’t want to say this but since Lord brother is insisting I think that this incident happened all because of old man Fang.”
Hearing this, Fang Xuanling was so angry that he wanted to vomit blood. This brat, I wasn’t planning to find fault with you but how dare you involve me in this.
“How is this my fault?”
“A son’s shortcomings are his father’s fault. Nephew Fang is not young anymore like me a mere boy of eight or nine. He should know better; what’s right and wrong. How can he simply hit someone? Old man Fang you are a veteran who is known to be upright, I can’t believe Yiai is your son. I have heard that your wife is fierce and you fear her but you cannot not discipline your son just because of fear.”
Hearing Li Yuanying going on and on disrespecting Fang Xuanling, the veins on Li Er’s forehead wanted to pop.
If you ask this brat to write an essay, he wouldn’t even be able to produce a single line after the whole day. When it comes to causing chaos he has such eloquences.
Sensing that Yuanying isn’t going to stop talking, he shouted “Enough! Shut up!”
Fang Xuanling said with a bitter smile: “Your Majesty! I have failed in teaching my son.”
His Majesty waved his hand at Xuanling asking him to not take this to heart. Looking at Yuanying he felt his blood pressure spike “You go back and copy the book of rites from start to end. Do not leave your room if you’re not done.”
Seeing that Li Er had already condemned him, he had no choice but to follow the supervision guards with slumped shoulders.
Sizi and the other children wanted to ask their father for mercy but didn’t know what to say as they weren’t aware of the incident.
Li Zhi who knew everything was initially silent. Upon seeing Li Yuanying looking upset he decided to own up “Lord Father, I have done wrong in this too.”
Seeing Li Zhi owning up on his own accord the Emperor decided not to pursue further but instead told him to serve the same punishment as his uncle.
Li Yuanying looked at Li Zhi like he’s an idiot.
“Why are you so silly. If you do not say anything who would know?”
“If only you were punished, I would feel guilty.”
Li Yuanying thinks that his nephew is really stupid but still quite cute. Both went towards the library to take out a volume from the book of rites. Upon seeing it, they were flabbergasted. So many words, if we copy all of this our hands will fall off.
These books are not compliled by pages but by volumes. Opening the book, they see words in small fonts crowded together. Before even starting Li Yuangying wanted to faint.
“Did Lord Brother purposely make us copy the book with the most words?”
“I think it’s coz he thinks we have no manners.”
“Not us, just me. Initially, I was the only one being punished, you came looking for hardship yourself.”
“Let’s hurry up and get started, else we wouldn’t be done even by tomorrow.”
Li Yuanying dislikes writing but the Emperor wouldn’t just let him get away with this. So he sat next to Li Zhi and started copying.
Since I’m being forced to copy this, I might as well understand it so I can get a reward from the Myriad Realm library. Upon reading he found this book impossible, it has rules for everything from daily living to marriage and funeral rites to etiquette education. If one were to live by the teaching of this book they would be exhausted.
Luckily I’m not a learned person.
Li Yuanying was reading and copying the text attentively.
The evening sun was already setting when His Majesty dismissed the people around him to look for the two boys. He stood outside quietly observing them for a while before entering.
Li Zhi was the first to notice the arrival of the Emperor and wanted to get up and give his salutation but he was unable to due to the numbness in his legs from sitting too long.
This sudden action startled Li Yuanying who was fully concentrating on his work. Lifting his head, he saw the Emperor observing them from a not too far distance. Li Yuanying firmly believed that a crying child would get candy so he quickly threw away the pen and paper in his hands and complained to the Emperor.
“Lord Brother, my legs are numb. My hands are numb.”
He quickly shows off the pile of handwritten notes with a pitiful face. “These are my results. We have already copied so much. Can we stop now?”
The Emperor glanced at the thick stack of manuscripts in Li Yuanying’s hand and then towards Li Zhi’s stack which was not even half the thickness and went forward to check them out. Seeing Li Yuanying’s work, His Majesty felt his blood pressure rise and wanted to scold someone. How can these be considered work? A few pages are blatantly just gibberish and scribbles, such a waste to fine quality paper.
Checking Li Zhi’s work the Emperor looked slightly better but still turned towards Li Yuanying to scold him about causing trouble no matter day or night in whatever situation. Then, he scolded him for the way he copied the books filling them up with scribbles wasting his high-quality paper. Finally, he brought out old accounts and started counting all the past nonsense that Li Yuanying has committed in the past few years.
Li Yuanying being the thick-skinned kid that he is simply nodded in agreement with Li Er.
Feeling helpless, Li Er stopped his scolding and turned towards Li Zhi “Tell me, why did you find fault with Fang and the others?”
Li Zhi wanted to have an alignment with Li Yuanying instinctively looked towards him.
“Don’t look at him. You tell me what happened.”
Li Zhi couldn’t help himself but confess everything honestly.
Hearing that these two children went with the intention of helping Chengyang out by assessing her future husband, Li Er didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. However, one thing was certain. Li Yuanying really treats Chengyang and the children well and looks out for them like a real uncle.
“The future husband I chose for Chengyang was done with much consideration. You do not need to worry about it.”
Seeing the children rubbing their wrists he waved his hands helplessly. “It’ fine, don’t copy anymore. Go have a meal.”