Living leisurely in Tang Dynasty
Living Leisurely in Tang Dynasty Chapter 54

Hearing that he was praised, Yuanying couldn’t sit still. He decided to look for his older brother after playing with Li Xiang for a little while longer.

The Emperor was in the midst of discussing matters with his ministers.  Hearing that his younger brother was poking his head around somewhere outside, he reluctantly asked that he be let in.

As soon as Yuanying got permission, he ran inside happily. He didn’t sit next to the Emperor like he usually would but instead went to look at the wall where his article was posted.  

Sure enough, many famous memorials were posted on it. Among them are documents from Wei Zheng, Fang Xuanling and Zhangsun Wuji.

Yuanying scanned the wall until he finally found his article. He read his and then read the article next to it. He felt that his was not up to standard yet and had much room for improvement. But the Emperor likes it anyway and he thinks that it is good enough! If the Emperor says so, then it must be true!

Li Yuanying triumphantly ran back to Li Er’s side and sat down. He then lectured his older brother about how he should educate his son: “Just now Chengqian mentioned to me that you criticized him for not doing a good enough job. You can’t say that! If you praise him for a job well done then he will be more energetic the next time!”

The ministers didn’t know how to react to the boy’s statement. While this guy is young, he talks with sense and carried an experienced aura of “I’m telling you honest truth because we are good friends”. But he doesn’t think about his real age?!

Li Er is aware of Yuanying’s future plans on how he wants to raise his kids and said jokingly: “Didn’t you say that it’s fine to raise sons casually? Why are you worrying about Chengqian again?”

“You don’t understand! Even if you are biased, you can’t show it so obviously. You have to assure him that you are doing this or that for his good. It’s like telling him that you love him so much that all the great family business will be given to him in the future! If he hears this, he will become more motivated to work!”

His Majesty nodded. He suddenly remembered about the tea taxes and decided to ask him about it.

Li Yuanying looked at the people present, Zhangsun Wuji, Fang Xuanling, Wei Zheng. All of them are allies!

So he did not hold back and told them about his conversation with Xiao Deyan.

“Teacher said that it is difficult to change existing things. Since no one has opened up the tea business yet, I can make changes to it. As for future things, I haven’t been able to figure them out. Let others carry this burden in the future!”

Li Yuanying has no plans to be benevolent or righteous. He just holds the principle that Tang Dynasty belongs to the Li family. If the Empire is stable, he can live his good life without restraint and do whatever he wants.  The people and land are the fundamentals of a country. Only when the people can live and work in peace and contentment, can the country prosper! Therefore, he hopes that the Tang Empire continues for a long time!

Hearing this, His Majesty agreed that Yuanying’s idea while a tad naive was much stronger than others he has received.

Did Xiao Deyan also teach Qingque these things? This thought flashed in Li Er’s mind but it didn’t stay for long. Seeing his brother happy, Li Er decided to not ridicule him. He instead complimented him and ask him to go play by himself.

Li Yuanying happily ran away.

His Majesty Li Er and his ministers sat opposite each other. After a while, Wei Zheng spoke: “It’s not that no one sees this logic. Most who see it either dare not say it or don’t want to say it. There are already signs of this and I’m afraid it will cause a catastrophe in the future!”

Fang Xuanling and Zhangsun Wuji  both nodded in agreement.

The group started a new round of discussions.

Li Yuanying was not so troubled. He went home to let his mother know that the Emperor praised him. He then wrote the article again and ran out to present it to Xiao Deyan.

 Xiao Deyan didn’t expect the boy to make such a big commotion with his first attempt at writing. He also didn’t expect Li Yuanying to directly share their conversation to the Emperor.

Seeing Xiao Deyan showing signs of worry, Li Yuanying asked nervously: “Did I do something wrong?”

Xiao Deyan shook his head. “There is nothing wrong. This is a straightforward matter with nothing to hide.”

If it was someone else, there would be much hesitation and much worry. They will not bring up such a controversial topic to the royal family.

Like the issue on taxing tea leaves. The people in the Capital might have seen Li Yuanying making a fortune and want to copy him. But Prince Teng the initiator of tea business and he volunteered to pay taxes and then proposed that others do the same. This will inevitably cause a group of people to retreat from this business and another group to hate him for it.

If it was someone determined to profit from tea, why would they ask the imperial court to levy on tea?

Li Yuanying didn’t know Xiao Deyan’s thoughts. But since teacher affirms his actions, he happily asked him to point out the inadequacies in his writing.

He then went ahead and ask for a free meal before leaving in satisfaction. While he was walking, he ran into servants who were surrounding a crying toddler. The child looks to be about a year old and couldn’t speak properly yet so he cried and shouted: “Ball Ball, mine, the ball!”

Yuanying realized that this was his other grand-nephew, Li Xin who was younger than Li Xiang. He follows after his father and was plump but he is much cuter than his dad. The child was crying loudly and looked a little pitiful. Yuanying squatted down and pinched his cheeks covered in tears.

“What’s the matter?”

Little round ball (Yuanying’s nickname for the child) cried for a while before looking at Yunaying with his black eyes and blinked. He didn’t recognize the boy and started to flatten his lips to cry again.

“I am your young grand uncle.”

Little round ball couldn’t understand the whole thing so he repeated only the second half: “Young Uncle?”

“The rank is wrong. Just call me YaoYao like my other grand-nephew.”


Li Yuanying answered and asked why he was crying. Little round ball choked and say that his beloved ball had fallen into a hole. The servant next to him quickly explained that Little round ball was playing with a small ball. At the nearby rockery, a small hole has formed and the ball fell in and couldn’t be retrieved.

Li Yuanying went over to observe. The opening of the hole was hidden by vegetation so it was normal that no one had noticed it.

“If it’s lost, just forget about it. YaoYao will send you a new one another day!”

Little round ball stubbornly choked back tears: “Ball Ball!”

Seeing that he was persistent, Yuanying asked someone to fetch water and pour it into the hole at once.

Although the servants were puzzled, they obeyed and went to fetch water.

Li Tai happened to leave his study room and saw servants carrying water to the rockery. Frowning he asked people to find out what was going on.

When he got to know that it was Li Yuanying’s instructions, Li Tai’s heart was burning full of anger. He followed behind to see what young uncle was doing in his house!

Li Tai took a look and saw his son being very affectionate with Li Yuanying. The child was saying something incomprehensible: “Yao Yao! Ball Ball! Come out!”

“Just wait, the ball will come out soon.” He then explained to Little round ball patiently, “The ball is light. Just like how a leaf will float on water, the ball will also float on water. Once there is more water in it, your ball will float up!”

Although Little round ball didn’t quite understand the logic, he was just happy to hear that his ball would float up.

Li Tai watched the intimate interaction between his son and young uncle with a gloomy face. This guy has a thing for coaxing children. Sizi and all the other kids love him so much that they call for him every day!

Yuanying didn’t notice Li Tai’s arrival. He continued to order servants to pour water into the hole. Although the hole is quite deep, it is not too big. After one round, the ball emerges. The servant guarding the hole quickly picked it up and presented it to the toddler.

Little round ball happily took it and pulled Li Yuanying to play with him.

“I can’t play anymore, I need to meet your eldest aunt. Next time I’ll  play with you.”

He extended his pinky finger to Little round ball. “Come, let’s make a pinky promise.”

 Seeing that Little round ball didn’t understand, Yuanying demonstrated using his left and right pinky fingers.  

The child immediately understood and stretched out his tiny short finger towrds Li Yuanying.

After coaxing Little round ball, he noticed that Li Tai, the big round ball is present. Li Yuanying handed his grand-nephew over to Li Tai and said hello: “Qing Que, since when were you here? Why didn’t you say anything?! Here take your son back, I’ll come and play with him next time!”

Since young uncle managed to coax his son into a happy state, Li Tai couldn’t say anything bad to him. Not to mention he has a humble and polite personality to maintain to the public. All he could say was that he welcomes him to visit anytime.

Yuanying said goodbye to the little round ball and travel towards Zhangsun’s family mansion. He intends to invite his eldest niece Changle to visit Sunflower Garden soon.

Changle married into the Zhangsun family at 13 years old. Now she is already 18 or 19 and dressed up as a proper lady. Hearing that Li Yuanying would visit, she welcomed him in person.

Changle’s appearance and temperament mirrors that of Empress Zhangsun. Two years ago, His Majesty suddenly wanted to award the clans and contributing heroes with lands. This means that once a place was given to you, the family will always own it for the generations to come.

Zhangsun Wuji and his supporters were not in favor of such a practice. After persuading him to no avail, he requested that Changle to reason with the Emperor. After much effort,  Li Er finally retracted the hereditary order.

It can be seen from this that Changle is very similar to Empress Zhangsun.

Since Li Yuanying didn’t managed to meet her last time, this time he shamelessly  made an appointment. As soon as they met, he said with sweetness: “Long time no see, I miss you so much!”

Changle bluntly replied: “You said you missed me but last time I went to the palace, you went out to play by yourself.”

With Li Yuanying, Changle did not follow formal etiquette but casually invited him to sit down.

Notes from the author:

Little Prince: Steal away your teacher. Then steal away your son!

Fourth nephew: ? ? ? ? ?

  1. thesilentdarkangel has spoken 2 years ago

    Thank you for the chapter and your hard work! 💕💕💕💕

    • NekoMeow has spoken 2 years ago

      You’re welcome! Hope you enjoyed the chapter 😊😊😊


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