Living leisurely in Tang Dynasty
Living Leisurely in Tang Dynasty Chapter 32

Fang Yi’ai wonders if God was playing a prank on him.

He knew that the Emperor intends for him to marry Princess Gao Yang. He also knows the other Emperor’s son-in-law personally and how miserable their lives were. So he intends to have fun now, lest it becomes impossible in the future!

Recently, he was obsessed with Su Qi Niang from Wan Cui mansion. He initially didn’t like listening to tunes from the Pipa but he likes the ones played by her. Unfortunately, Qi Niang is famously known as the “Lady of ONE encounter”, not someone you can easily invite. To get to her you need to go through tests and tribulations making it extremely troublesome. And so Fang Yi’ai became impatient.

He was in the mansion casually listening to music and drinking when he heard music coming from within a private room. He found out that it was played by Qi Niang and got angry so he decided to confront the group!

But who did he see? Gao Yang! He may not have seen the other princesses in person but he has met Gao Yang. After all, she was the most arrogant and domineering among all the princesses. She plays polo in riding clothes all day. There’s no way she will ride behind curtains carriages when she goes out.

Seriously, what is this!

He was dumbfounded. Isn’t this Beili? Isn’t this Wan Cui Mansion? Why is Princess Gao Yang here?

Seeing her fiancé standing there dumbfounded like a log, Gao Yang raised her eyebrows and looked at the ” future prince consort” who was kicking up an aggressive fuss just a while ago.

Fang Yi’ai took a long time before finding his voice and asked Gao Yang in disbelief, “Why are you here?!”

Gao Yang didn’t like this villian who wanted to snatch away their entertainer so she unhappily snorted: “You people are so strange, it’s just to listen to a little song. You can listen to it, why can’t we?”

Hearing that Gao Yang mention “we”, his heart skipped a beat and he felt a chill run down his spine. He walked over to peek into the private room. In addition to Su Qi Niang, there was also Li Yuanying, Chengyang, Sizi, and Hengshan!

His eyes darkened and he almost fainted on the spot.

This is meeting all of His Majesty’s most beloved children!

Seeing Fang Yi’ai, Yuanying invited him enthusiastically: “Oh it’s the beloved nephew Fang. Come, join us and listen to a song. Do you come here often? Do you know what are best tunes available here?”

Fang Yi’ai knew all about Yuanying’s stinky temper and hurriedly replied:  “No, I don’t come here often, today is the first time. Oh no! The second time. I just came to listen to music!”

Li Yuanying said curiously, “Of course, we’re here to listen to music. Otherwise what else can be done here?”

Fang Yi’ai’s back was dripping with cold sweat: “You can’t do anything else!”

Yuanying thought he was odd. Although he didn’t like this prospective nephew-in-law much, he wanted to know more about him before deciding whether to mess up his marriage with Gao Yang. He considers himself a very reasonable person. After all, Fang Yi’ai’s father is also the prince’s adviser and is trusted by His Majesty. If there is no decent reason to object, it will be difficult to call it off!

Yuanying invited him again to join them but Fang wiped the sweat off his forehead and shook his head repeatedly to indicate that he had another appointment with someone else.

Gao Yang couldn’t understand his actions. Seeing that he didn’t want to give Yuanying any face she sat next to Yuanying and said: “How dare he be so arrogant!”

Wei Shu said carefully: “I’m afraid it’s not about him being arrogant but that he is afraid.”

Li Yuanying and the others looked at Wei Shu.

She then expressed her guess: this may not just be a place to listen to music but is instead the land of wind and moon where men come to have fun.

Yuanying suddenly had a realization: “No wonder everyone has been saying that girls can’t visit.”

Gao Yang also reacted: “That’s why he ran away in fright!”

Sizi and Hengshan were dumbfounded.

Then Chengyang put forward the most important question: “Young Uncle, shouldn’t we leave?”

 If their father the Emperor found out about this outing, he will be furious!

Yuanying said calmly: “No hurry.”

He still wanted to chat with the people from Wan Cui Mansion. He gave the girls a reassuring look then picked up the bowl of tea and asked: “Is there anyone originally from the South here?”

Qi Niang who had witnessed how this group scared away the boy just stared at them in a daze before answering respectfully: “Yes, my mother is from the South.”

The mother she was referring to was Su Er Niang, although Er Niang has always claimed that she took Qi Niang in as a money-making tool for Wan Cui Mansion and only named her Qi Niang [1]Qi Niang directly translated to seven lady, not actually a very proper name, she was grateful still to mother for saving her life.

“This tea is delicious, do you know where it’s manufactured from? Do tell.”

Qi Niang explained that Er Niang’s god-brother would deliver tea from Jiangnan East Road to them every year. It’s a faraway place in the most south, called Fuzhou. The tea brewing method was also a knowledge learned from Fuzhou. If there are guests who don’t like alcohol, Er Niang would serve them tea instead. It can be regarded as a special feature of Wan Cui Mansion. In the past, many have tasted it and loved it. Some even dedicated poems to it.

“I want this tea. If your mother’s god-brother is delivering more tea, please send me a letter to the library in the Western city”

When Qi Niang heard this, a sudden realization donned upon her. She quickly bowed: “Su Qi Niang pays respects to His Royal Highness Prince of Teng.”

Yuanying was left stunned for a moment but after thinking about it, he understood how she could have guessed his identity and asked curiously: “Have you been to the library too?”

“I’ve been there, there were many music scores available.” When she visits, she usually covers the top half of herself with a curtain fence [2]a type of hat found in ancient China where thin cloths surround the hat, hiding the wearer’s identity. Although there were the occasional prying eyes, the library was generally quiet and peaceful.

Unlike entertainers on government payroll, common entertainers were not officially educated in arts by professionals. Given that it’s a competitive trade and they rely on the same skill sets to make a living, no one would be willing to share their collection of music scores. Most would slowly collect their knowledge and insights by figuring them out on their own. But it’s different now! Music scores that they couldn’t even get after spending tons of money were now generously made available to all in the library. No one would stop her or her maidservants and no one spoke ill of each other.

Back then, Qi Niang thought that His Royal Highness the Prince of Teng was no ordinary person. Seeing him with her own eyes, she felt that Li Yuanying was different from others. He was born into royalty but had a pure heart. Even when he’s in a place like Beili, he never had any evil intentions. The boy instead was reminiscing about the past and his loved ones.

Qi Niang picked up her Pipa and gave it to Yuanying with both hands: “Qi Niang wants to dedicate this Pipa to His Highness to repay your generosity in making music scores available.”

When Yuanying heard this, he signaled Dong Xiaoyi to take the Pipa and send it to the mausoleum as a dedication to his late father in hopes that he can play it in the afterlife.

After they had finished chatting and were about to leave with the restless princesses, they heard hurried footsteps downstairs. Two columns of imperial guards were rushing into the mansion. The leader was Li Dejian, son of General Li Jing who was on friendly terms with Chengqian. Today Chengqian was sitting with His Majesty observing government affairs when suddenly reports came that Yuanying took the princesses towards Beili.

Chengqian knew it was going to be bad as soon as he heard it. Seeing that the Emperor ordered his men out of the palace to detain them with a serious expression. Chengqian quickly proposed to let Li Dejian handle it so as not to have anyone accidentally damage the reputation of the Princesses by not knowing their place or the seriousness of the matter. As for Li Yuanying, it’s precisely because he has done too much nonsense that it no longer causes anyone to raise an eyebrow whatever his next ridiculous antic is.

Seeing the situation, Yuanying felt that it was a good thing that someone is here to pick them up. He signals the children to go downstairs together. Seeing Yuanying with no signs of guilt and was instead cheerfully greeting him, Li Dejian didn’t know what to say or do.

The little ones need to return to the palace but Wei Shu should go home instead. Yuanying originally wanted to send Wei Shu home personally but Li Dejian firmly insisted that they all return to the palace now, not one person less. And so Yuanying orders Dong Xiaoyi to send Wei Shu home on his behalf.

When Wei Shu ignorantly stumbled into such an establishment she panicked. But due to her calm temperament she got into the carriage and gave Yuanying a worried look. Seeing Yuanying calmly waited for her to get on her carriage without worry, she felt slightly relieved. They can’t be entirely faulted for this,  after all none of them knew what or where Beili was.

Her grandfather once said that His Majesty is a reasonable person and she chooses to believe in her grandfather!

Yuanying was also optimistic, he led the four little lolis onto the carriage to return to the palace. Li Dejian stayed for a while longer and warned Su Er Niang and those present not to reveal to anyone what has transpired today. Er Niang has managed to run the mansion safely and steadily for so many years and is naturally not stupid. She immediately responded with sincerity and fear.

After Li Dejian escorted the children away, Er Niang turned to look at Qi Niang who was still looking at the end of the street. She patted the back of her hand and said, “Don’t just stand here, go in.”

Qi Niang returned to her senses and told Er Niang what the prince has told her.

“If he really wants tea, then it’s fine to just let him know when the time comes.” She paused and then reminded Qi Niang, “This Prince of Teng has honorable status. Today was most likely a chance encounter, it’s uncertain whether he’ll return here again in the future. Don’t birth any unreasonable thoughts.” (Er Niang)

“I know.” (Qi Niang)

People were all born different; some are precious since birth like stars in the sky; while others destined for hardships and poverty. She’s been living her life in this unkind place and have seen her fair shares of betrayal and abandonment. She knows better than anyone what’s reality and what’s fantasy.

Just seeing such bright and happy people made her happy.

That’s all.


To keep the incident of the children visiting Beili top secret, their carriage rode continuously until they reached the palace, not stopping for even a single inspection. When they’ve arrived, Yuanying jumped off first and helped the rest out of the carriage one by one.

The boy asked Li Dejian strangely: “How did brother find out that we were there and asked you to pick us up so quickly?”

Dejian is not a talkative person, he replied succinctly: “Someone reported to His Majesty.”

Yuanying wonders if it’s someone within the accompanying guards that had gave this tipped off. Since there’s no way to stop them, the only other option was to inform their guardian.

Gao Yang said angrily, “It must be that guy Fang Yi’ai who rat us out!”

Dejian was a little surprised.

He didn’t get the news that Fang Jun was also too.

The future prince consort met the princess in Beili. What on earth is happening? If His Majesty finds out about this, it’ll add fuel to the fire!

Yuanying didn’t think that he committed a huge mistake. After all they just visited the place and didn’t do anything indecent! He took the girls’ hands and followed Li Dejian to meet Li Er. On the way, he refuted Gao Yang’s guess: “Fang Jun left shortly before us, how can he get to the palace so quickly to file a complaint? I think you’ve wronged him!”

Gao Yang hummed: “Just look at his face, he looks like someone that will make complaints!”


1 Qi Niang directly translated to seven lady, not actually a very proper name
2 a type of hat found in ancient China where thin cloths surround the hat, hiding the wearer’s identity.
1 comment
  1. thesilentdarkangel has spoken 2 years ago

    Thank you for the chapter! 💕💕💕💕


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