The construction of Prince Wei’s mansion was personally instructed by the Emperor. With Li Tai being in his twenties, he should have left for his own land but Li Er refused to let him go. The Emperor even visits his residence in person from time to time.
Li Yuanying is always running around everywhere. Except for Beili and Li Jing’s residence which was banned by the Emperor, there is no place in Chang’an City that he cannot visit.
The boy arrived at the gate of Prince Wei’s mansion and politely asked for permission to visit old scholar Xiao Deyan.
Li Tai also happens to be at home working on his book <<Comprehensive Gazetteer>>. Hearing that young uncle is here, all his old and new hatred for him came rushing to his head. If he has things his way, he wants to block him from entering. But thinking further, he remembers that his uncle is shameless. If you refuse him entry, he will cause a scene at your doorstep. Then others will spread rumors about how Prince Wei refused to meet his uncle and left him at the door!
Li Tai pinched his nose and called someone to welcome Li Yuanying in. He put down the manuscript in his hand and prepared to meet young uncle. He intends to try being as polite as he could.
However before Li Tai could greet him, the servant he sent out is already running back to him. The servant updated that as soon as the door was open, Li Yuanying ran towards old scholar Xiao’s place. He knows his way so there was no need for anyone to lead the way.
Li Tai felt irritable.
He was able to invite Xiao Deyan to his house all thanks to the book he was compiling.
At present <<Comprehensive Gazetteer>> has been in the works for several years and it is about time to wrap up. Unfortunately, he has not been able to influence those in his Literature Museum to fully support him. The talents in his literature hall are not as exceptional yet when compared to the ones his father recruited for his Hongwen hall in his youth. And now this b*stard Li Yuanying wants to steal Xiao Deyan!
Li Yuanying is well aware of how hated he is by Li Tai and so he chose not to meet him. He instead went directly to meet Xiao Deyan.
Even though it’s been quite a long since their last meet-up, the relationship between Li Yuanying and Xiao Deyan didn’t feel unfamiliar. He sat down casually, completely treating Xiao Deyan’s place as his own home. He also happily asked people to boil water and make tea.
After everything was done, Yuanying diligently asked Xiao Deyan how he has been – been eating well? any difficulties? does he lack anything? does he want him to run errands and so on.
“Everything is fine, I don’t need anything.”
Li Yuanying alone is as noisy as 10 people. Seeing that Xiao Deyan doesn’t need help, he told him about Sun Simiao: “He is just like you. Although he is in his seventies or eighties, he still walks and he rides more steadily than many in their youth. If not for his gray hair, he doesn’t look old at all.”
After talking about Sun Simiao’s appearance, he continued with his medical skills saying that the doctor was writing a medical book called <<Prescriptions Worth a Thousand in Gold>>. This book is a collection of all kinds of medical prescriptions whether traditional, proven, scientific or strange.
It is called <<Prescriptions Worth a Thousand in Gold>> because one method is able to save one life and human life is more important than a thousand gold!
“This is great! Many doctors cherish their skills and most following family traditions are reluctant to pass on or share their knowledge with others. Many recipes are often wrong and mos quack doctors harm people. Having this book is a great thing for doctors and the common people.”
With Xiao Deyan’s affirmation, Yuanying became happy and boasted: “I have made an agreement with Master Sun, when he is done I will publish it for him. Everyone who wants to read it will be able to. We want to cultivate more good doctors for the world so that people are less likely to encounter fake doctors.”
Xiao Deyan nodded but reminded: “I’m afraid it will cost a lot of money.”
Yuanying then told him about his Thousand Gold tea. The first batch is sold out and Su Dalang is already rushing back to the South.
On this trip back, Su Dalang has two tasks- ONE to bring back autumn tea for selling and TWO to buy surrounding tea mountains to increase scale.
With this tea, I’m not worried about paying for book printing.
After hearing about Yuanying’s busy month of May, Xiao Deyan felt that the child was smart but also worries that he would get himself into trouble.
Xiao Deyan paused and then gave him advice: “You are making a lot of money from selling tea. You may be criticized for it so think about how to deal with it in advance.”
Li Yuanying couldn’t understand so he asked humbly for advice: “What kind of criticism?”
Xiao Deyan reminded him of the rules and regulations of society: Scholars, farmers, businessman, artisans – four people four different industries. The wealthy must not compete for profit with servants.
Xiao Deyan looked warmly at the boy: “As part of the royal family, you shouldn’t be in business. Although you are not doing it in person, it is still inevitable that someone will make a fuss about it.”
Xiao Deyan also shared more rules that merchants have to observe. Merchants, businessmen, and their children were not allowed to participate in the imperial examinations. They also cannot choose the color of their clothes.
Although each family more or less has its own shop and business, few of them really show it to the public. Everyone wants face and will not publicly show that they are competing for profit with common citizens.
Li Yuanying became even more puzzled: “Everyone is a citizen of the Tang Dynasty, why can’t the children of merchants participate in the imperial examination? If there are some very smart people within this group, wouldn’t it be a waste of good talents?”
“The ministers are the leader of the people. If you are both an official and a businessman, who should be the judge to say whether you are doing good or bad? Work should be delegated and everyone should perform their duties. This way, the world will not be in chaos.”
Li Yuanying couldn’t understand. One moment it’s ministers, another moment it’s about business. It is all beyond his comprehension. He nodded earnestly, saying that he note them down and is mentally prepared to be scolded.
From Li Yuanying’s point of view, if you were to scold me, just go ahead. After all, it’s not like your scolding will cause me to lose a piece of meat, so let it be!
Tea is ready and Li Yuanying personally prepared a bowl and gave it to Xiao Deyan.
Xiao Deyan is well aware that Prince Teng doesn’t care about his identity or etiquette and does as he wishes. Therefore he did not refuse and took a sip. It was summer and the heat is rising but after drinking, he felt a gust of wind and his body felt light.
“This tea is good, just right to drink in hot weather.” (Xiao Deyan)
“I kept the best ones for you. When you want to drink just get someone to cook a small packet, that will be enough for one serving!” (Li Yuanying)
Xiao Deyan took the silver box and looked at the picture on it.
“The painting is good but these two sentences are written too simply. Since you are studying in the palace, have you started writing poetry?” (Xiao Deyan)
“Haven’t been taught yet.” (Li Yuanying)
Everything that he thinks of, writes, and says came from his own initiative. Li Yuanying couldn’t help but add: “I don’t think they want to teach me, it’s always halfhearted and I don’t have the patience to learn!”
Children are much more sensitive than adults. He can distinguish between those who liked him and those who didn’t. Who taught him sincerely and who dealt with him perfunctorily.
Some time ago, the Crown prince published two good articles. When Kong Yingda investigated, the Crown Prince finally told him that it was co-written together with Li Yuanying. This is because while Yuanying proposed this and that, he doesn’t know how to put it into words and hence the final person in charge of writing became the Crown prince!
Also, the last time Li Yuanying attended court meeting he refuted the ministers until they became speechless!
Some of Kong Yingda’s disciples came to know about it and felt that it was better that this scourge couldn’t write yet.
Just look at him, just his mouth alone can kill. If he learn how to dance and write, wouldn’t all the scholars die of embarrassment?
You don’t want to teach, I don’t want to teach, no one wants to teach. Hence, Li Yuanying has no chance to learn properly and could only write things like <<Hanzi’s Fables>> which is at the level of telling stories to children.
Xiao Deyan said with a light smile: “If you don’t learn, you won’t be able to win against them. Only by learning their tricks can you win over them using their tricks.”
This is reasonable and Yuanying immediately patted his chest proclaiming that he must study hard.
Since he’s already here, the boy requested that Xiao Deyan teach him first. To learn a few tricks to go back and bluff some people!
Xiao Deyan did not refuse. He drank the hot tea and gave him tips for writing articles then taught him what books to read and what to pay attention to when reading.
Li Yuanying always loved listening to Xiao Deyan. He listened intently and soon it was twilight before he knew it.
It was only when someone came to ask if Xiao Deyan wanted to eat that Yuanying realized that it was late! After thinking, he casually asked to inform the palace that he would be staying over at Prince Wei’s place tonight. He is studying hard now and he can’t wait to get a pen and ink to try writing immediately. Must not lose momentum.
Since Li Yuanying wanted to eat and stay the night, Li Tai naturally came to know about this. He was so angry that he wanted to go over and ask someone to throw Li Yuanying out of the house.
When Li Tai went over, both Li Yuanying and Xiao Deyan had finished dinner. The boy sat next to Xiao Deyan and was reading a sample essay that Xiao Deyan had chosen for him. One old and one young, sitting under the lamp and chatting. It was a harmonious sight.
The blue veins on Li Tai’s forehead popped. He stepped forward to say hello to Xiao Deyan and then turned to ask Li Yuanying how was dinner. He then continued by asking why his uncle was here but did not visit his nephew.
“I have nothing to say to you when I see you. I didn’t come here to look for you.” (Li Yuanying)
Li Tai’s cheeks trembled and his chubby face which originally looked prosperous started to look a little hideous.
He has never seen anyone like Li Yuanying. No matter the situation, normal people would say a few polite words. This guy came to his Wei Mansion and eat and live and still say “I didn’t come to meet you”!
Seeing Li Tai’s face darkened, Yuanying remembered that he was a guest. He immediately pulled Li Tai’s chubby hand and said sincerely: “Did I not make you angry by talking to you the last time? I’m afraid that you’ll be unhappy so I avoided you. If I knew that you had let go of the past, I would chat with you first!”
Li Tai’s face twitched again.
How dare he mention that incident!
Can’t understand what father liked about this kid. The kid came beside him and started chatting nonsense endlessly. Even then father said: “It’s the first time your uncle is attending court meeting, why are you so calculative with him?”
He still remembers this incident in his heart. He remembers it firmly. Who said anything about letting go of the past?!
But since Li Yuanying had already made his statment as such, Li Tai couldn’t reply “No, I didn’t let go of the past, I still want to strangle you”.
Li Tai can only say: “Young uncle, this is your first time to court, it’s normal for you to not understand the rules.”
Li Yuanying nodded in agreement and since he has finished greeting Li Tai in a peaceful and friendly manner, he started asking Li Tai: “Do you still have anything to do with the teacher? If not, I will continue to talk with teacher, you can go back to work. Don’t bother entertaining me, I’ll just find a guest room when I’m tired from talking with the teacher.”
Li Tai: “…”
Li Tai sincerely felt that he still wanted to kill this b*stard.
The author has something to say:
Little Prince: Eat in your house, sleep at your house, and then still slap you!
Li Tai: _(:з”∠)_