Living Leisurely in Tang Dynasty Chapter 13

Although Li Yuanying has been studying hard, he still continued with his shameless mischievous ways of causing trouble everywhere he goes.

In early May when Kong Yingda was assessing Li Zhi on his studies, Li Yuanying decided to watch them while having a handful of sunflower seeds and was cracking them loudly. The loud noise got on the teacher’s nerve and he confiscated them and kicked him out of the lecture hall.

It was said that Yuanying wasn’t happy about being reprimanded and yelled: “In a few months, the sunflower seeds that I have planted will grow into plants!”

Kong Yingda was furious and complained to the Emperor.

Due to this incident, Li Er led a group of ministers to the greenhouse to check out the ten sunflowers seeds that came to the Tang empire from across the ocean.  

Hearing that Li Yuanying found such rare crops but decided to fry them as food and only left ten seeds for planting; everyone was so furious that they almost developed liver disease!

According to the sunflower planting guide, these seeds not only look delicious but they also give high yield and have a short growing cycle. They also can be used to produce oil!

Such good rare crops but eaten carelessly by this kid!

Now the ten sunflowers are surrounded and closely guarded. Every day someone will check on them to see if they have bloomed into golden flowers and produced seeds!

As for the source of obtaining them, Yuanying honestly confessed that someone gave it to him and he planted it since it was interesting.

Although Yuanying couldn’t make his explanation clear, Li Er helped him to tidy up the mess and came up with a sensible explanation on his behalf: Being the previous Emperor’s youngest and most beloved son, his Majesty used to hold Yuanying on his lap even when meeting foreign envoys. Later when he passed away, Yuanying inherited most heirloom out of all the former Emperor’s children. When he moved into Taiji Palace, his belongings came in boxes after boxes; so many that it made people dizzy! Having so much stuff Yuanying probably doesn’t even know what he has so it’s not uncommon for him to bring out rare things from time to time.

After Li Er collected the fried sunflower seeds from Kong Yingda, he wanted to confiscate all of Yuanying’s other rare items!

For only God knows what other treasures will go to waste from his abuse?!  

Fortunately, His Majesty still wanted face and couldn’t be seen as snatching his younger brother’s things.

Li Yuanying had no remorse about the disturbances he caused in the classroom.

Seeing that his birthday is fast approaching, Yuanying happily wrote to his mother that he has grown up much and had read many books. He proudly boasted that in the future when he and mother go to their own fief, he can start classes to educate a group of good disciples who will dominate the imperial examination. This will definitely stun the Emperor! He started painting a beautiful picture of his future to his mom, sounding like he can’t wait to show his talents right away!

This letter was written together with Sizi and the other children.  Seeing that Yuanying wrote a thick stack, Sizi got curious and leaned over to see what he has written.Li Yuanying did not hide from her but instead shared his plans for the future.  

First, he wants to train a group that will play with him. These people must also be able to read, write and tell stories. He will then reward whoever tells the best story. With that, he will have endless stories!

Then he wants a group who will collect all the delicious food in the world for him. Whoever finds the best delicacies will be rewarded. That way he will have endless good food to eat!

If his area is far away from Chang’an, he will then secretly have night curfew but this is so that the city will be as lively as daytime every night!

Sizi listened happily and thought that Yuanying’s idea was great! But she quickly realized that if Yuanying goes to his fief she wouldn’t be able to follow.  

Seeing Yuanying so happy about it, the girl pouted her mouth and looked a little sad.

After going home, Sizi talked about this to her sisters, Chengyang and Hengshan.

“Once youngest uncle goes to his own land, he won’t be able to play with us anymore!” After speaking, Sizi’s started tearing. Being six, she doesn’t have good control over her emotions yet and couldn’t helped but cry if she’s sad.  

Hengshan who was younger also cried: “What can we do then?”

The two younger sisters looked at their older sister Chengyang tearfully. Chengyang couldn’t think of any idea to make Yuanying stay.

………

After Li Er and his ministers ended their discussion late in the night, he thought of his daughters and went over to check on them.  Upon reaching the door he heard his three baby girls sobbing again!

For past experience, it must have something to do with Li Yuanying. Did that kid tell them stories again?!

Li Er pushed the door and entered.

The three girls hearing sounds raised their heads and recognized their father.

Sizi was the first to rush to him and held his thigh crying: “Father, don’t let uncle leave!”

After much coaxing, Li Er finally got the gist of what happened. Seems like that kid is already planning to bring his mother to his own land and live an unrestricted leisure life!

Li Er snorted coldly but deep inside he felt a little complicated maybe due to Sizi’s reaction.    

Humans are strange creatures.  This is a kid that you’ve always found annoying but when you think about never seeing him again, you feel reluctant for him to leave. Ironically, that kid is a hopeless and heartless brat that can’t wait to get away from you. Such irony and is so irritating!

“Don’t worry, I won’t let him get what he wants. That kid wants to go to his fief?! Not until a few more years!”

“So young uncle won’t leave?”

His Majesty pat Sizi’s head and promised: “Father won’t let him go.”

The three girls were smiling with joy. 

The next day Sizi went to tell Yuanying about this piece of good news.

Li Yuanying can’t believe that he has been sabotaged by three little lolitas! He was so angry that he started pinching Sizi’s cheek. Sizi had to bite him before he would let go.

Although Sizi’s cheeks were now red, she wasn’t angry at all. Instead, she held Yuanying’s hand and said: “Uncle, you are not allowed to leave!”

Yuanying surrenders in defeat. After all, he realizes that his brother the Emperor wouldn’t have changed his mind over crying children.   

Oh well, if I can’t leave now then so be it, a few years make no difference. After all, Li Er can’t keep him in Chang’an for the rest of his life!

After playing with the children, he went on to visit Xiao Deyan who still looks like an old deity. Yuanying likes him very much and happily updated that he has finished all his reading.

“What am I supposed to do next?”

Xiao Deyan was a little surprised. Although the books were not long and are relatively simple but to finish them all within a month is no easy feat.  Especially for Li Yuanying who was still keeping up with his naughty tricks in class and his frequent playtime with the princesses.    

The teacher then decided to ask a few questions to test if the boy understood context and meaning. Having read lots lately, Yuanying wasn’t afraid and could easily deal with them so Xiao Deyan gradually increased its difficulty in which Yuanying’s answering speed gradually slowed down. 

Though the questions were difficult, Yuanying felt that a whole new perspective was revealed to him. He used to read books only with the aim of memorizing and understanding but Xiao Deyan’s questions showed him a completely different method of studying.

It turns out that reading is not just reading the surface!

By the end of the Q&A, Yuanying wasn’t able to make out answers anymore but he was sincerely happy.

“You are amazing!”

“No, I just happened to live a dozen years longer than others.”

Yuanying then listed all the parts that he didn’t understand and asked for advice. Only after that did he list out various classics he has heard from others and seek the teacher’s advice on which were worth reading.

Seeing the list, Xiao Deyan noticed a drastic improvement in Yuanying’s handwriting. Now they at least look like decent writing and are no longer ghostly scribbles like the past.  

“Some books are duplicates and some are not worth reading. I’ve marked them for you, you can try the rest.”

Li Yuanying happily thanked him, chatted for a while longer then happily left. On his way back he ran into Li Tai.

Seeing Li Yuanying coming out from Xiao Deyan’s place, the prince’s cheeks twitched again.

“Uncle went to teacher again?”

“Yes, I recently was recommended books by others and copied a list to ask teacher which were worth reading!” He then continued enviously: “Nephew, you’re so fortunate. If there’s anything you don’t understand you can consult him directly anytime.”

This kid still hasn’t given up on trying to steal teacher! Furthermore, Lord Father specifically picked him for me, what’s up with this kid? Li Tai forced a smile: “That’s natural. I can’t do without teacher for even a day. Even coming here to Jiucheng Palace, I had to trouble him to follow along.”

After separating from Li Tai, Dai Ting who was following behind Yuanying when he suddenly commented.  

“I guess no one has told him before but he looks so fake when he smiles? Ahh… all my nephews are really worrisome.”

Dai Ting didn’t show any expression.

After returning to his residence, Yuanying was notified that he should prepare to receive his official title soon. On his ninth birthday, the Emperor will formally bestow him with the title “Prince of Teng” and the official residence is now being built in Teng prefecture.

Li Yuanying didn’t know exactly where Teng prefecture was located so he went looking for Li Zhi.

Li Zhi was familiar with geography so when he heard Teng Prefecture he could describe where it was

“A place in the east, in the territory of Henan Province, not far from the sea.”

“Then I can play at the sea!”

Hearing that, Yuanying was happy but Li Zhi like the other children was upset and reluctant to see him go. Although His Majesty has announced that Li Yuanying will stay for the time being but everyone knows that one fine day in the future, perhaps in a few years’ time Yuanying will still have to leave. When two people are separated by long distance, It’s likely that they would never meet again.

“If everyone can be like you, there won’t be so much trouble in court.”

Li Yuanying raised his hand and hit Li Zhi on the back of his head. He then said while shaking his head “Even if the sky were to fall, those who are tall will support it, it will never become your problem. Why are you worrying blindly here?”

He then shares his new list of books from Xiao Deyan to Li Zhi and they started another round of studying.

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