The Emperor sent troops to surround Sunflower Garden but Li Yuanying was still oblivious to this. The palace gate were already closed when Zhangsun gave the order. Due to this, Dong Xiaoyi couldn’t report this in time.
The next morning, he hurriedly visited to the palace to inform Li Yuanying.
Li Yuanying panicked and hurriedly rush over to block Li Er’s path in front of the council hall. The Emperor and his ministers were walking towards the hall and they all saw Li Yuanying moving a futon and sitting in front of the entrance from a distance. Looks like the guy intends to sit there in protest until the Emperor gives him an explanation.
Li Er was furious. He has already warned the kid to not cook precious crops like sunflowers. Fine! He did not fry them this time but instead made popcorn. After harvesting the corn, he boiled it, baked it, roasted it, and gave them away simply as gifts! The Emperor intended to show his brother some mercy as not all plants were harvested yet. Otherwise he would have punished Li Yuanying on the spot!
This b*stard dares to block my path as an act of protest!
Seeing that his older brother is strutting over fiercely, he knows what’s about to happen. He’ll get a good scolding from him. Yuanying was uncomfortable with this turn of events.
Since it’s already like this, its too late now to run away. He stood up and went over to grab his brother’s hand.
“Lord Brother, was the corn I told Sizi to send to you delicious? In order to give you the freshest corn, I made people cook it on the carriage so that it will be just right when we arrive at the palace! If you think it’s delicious, I’ll ask people to send more to the palace.”
The Emperor personally raised his younger brother. Once glance and Li Er can tell that these are nonsense statements that his younger brother made up on the spot. Judging from his actions, he obviously came here to fight! Looks like the people from Sunflower Garden are extremely loyal to him and managed to inform him about the latest happenings early in the morning.
Li Er glanced at Li Yuanying with a smile: “It’s delicious. Therefore, I’m planning to take everything. Will you give it to me?”
Li Yuanying remembered how he was robbed off his sunflowers the last time and his his face wrinkled into a bun. He followed Li Er to the council hall.
“There’s lots of corn. Lord brother! Too much for you to finish it alone. Why don’t I give you…. half?”
Li Er gave him no room for negotiation and said rather coldly: “I want it all.”
“The sunflower garden was given to me by our late father. You can’t rob my sunflower garden!”
“Didn’t you always say that ‘everything on this land belongs to the king?’ When you want a favour from me, you always say this to get me to help you out.”
Li Yuanying wanted to bite him.
Li Er glanced at him and asked: “You can also grow peanuts right? That thing is delicious and can also produce oil like sunflower seeds. It looks good.”
Li Yuanying reluctantly said: “The peanuts… I’ll give you half too!”
Li Er still had a ruthless expression on: “I want it all.”
Li Yuanying got angry and stormed away. After returning to his residence, he angrily kicked the Chinese parasol tree in the courtyard several times.
Lady Liu heard sounds and ran out. She saw her precious boy sitting on the ground, taking off his boots and rubbing his feet.
Someone already had inform Lady Liu that Prince Teng was outside kicking a tree. Seeing him sulking with his bruised toes, she was both amused and distressed. Lady Liu reached out to hug him into her embrace.
“You with this thin and tender body, how can your feet be harder than the tree? If you kick so hard, who’s the one who suffers?”
Yuanying turned around and stretched out his arms for a hug and said angrily: “I do not want to be friends with the Emperor anymore.” From now on, the Emperor is the worst and biggest villain in the world!
Lady Liu cautiously probe further and found out that the Emperor had sent troops to surround the sunflower garden and intended to take over everything on it.
“You can’t eat much anyway. Even if his Majesty doesn’t ask for it, you should have given it to him as a tribute.”
Him giving it to the Emperor voluntarily and the Emperor robbing him by force. How are they the same!
Lady Liu couldn’t comfort him with words and so she rubbed the soles of his feet instead.
“Okay, never mind. But don’t kick the tree again next time.”
The boy’s pain when away when mother coaxed him and so he nodded obediently and quickly put on his shoes.
Yuanying had been very busy lately and had rested well for a long time. Today, he decided to stay home and just read.
Li Yuanying’s anger typically doesn’t last very long. He soon ran off to look for Lady Wu of Talents.
If the Emperor doesn’t summon for her then Lady Wu is quite free. Seeing Li Yuanying coming towards her, she wasn’t even a little annoyed.
“What book do you want to read this time Your Highness?”
“There may be <<Liezi>> in the palace, I want to take a look.”
Lady Wu curiously asked him why he wanted this book.
<<Liezi>> was written during the Warring States Period and its full name is Lie Yukou and is a Taoist text
Hearing Lady Wu’s introduction, the boy felt that she has also read the book. He then told her about the conversation he had with Xiao Deyan. He was interested in stories and wanted to see what other interesting stories were in the book.
Lady Wu was quite fascinated with Xiao Deyan’s interpretation of the current taxation practise and how it’s bound to cause disaster. But right after she heard the boy say he wanted to read stories. This boy is very much still a little child.
“There are stories in it of course, but I’m afraid you won’t be interested in most of its content.”
That’s not a problem. He’ll just skipped the parts that he’s not interested in.
“As long as there are stories!”
“Your Highness doesn’t look very happy today. Did something happen?”
Hearing this question, Li Yuanying recalled his grievances the Emperor. The Emperor had forcibly robbed him of his corn and peanuts. His anger towards Li Er was blatant for all to see.
Hearing this, Lady Wu felt that the Emperor is deliberately robbing him because he wanted to see Li Yuanying angry.
“His Majesty is probably afraid that you will eat all the corn and peanuts. Then it’ll be too late to share the benefits with the common people. When he has collected enough seeds, he will naturally return the garden to you.”
“I will not care about him anymore!”
Lady Wu stopped persuading him. She gracefully located the book he wanted instead.
Even though Yuanying has seen her this efficient before, he still couldn’t help but ask curiously: “Why does it seem like you have read all the books here?”
“It’s always good to read more.”
His Majesty Li Er is the Emperor of a country and is naturally very busy. Even if he visits the harem, he won’t be able to stay for too long. Therefore, the concubines and wives will have to find things to occupy themselves with. Some concentrate on raising children, some on cultivating more beauty while others prefer fighting with each other. Lady Wu is not very interested in these things and only wants to acquire knowledge. She looked at Li Yuanying with a smile: “Your Royal Highness is free to travel and see the outside world. I can’t leave the palace gate, it’s not bad to gain exposure from books.”
Li Yuanying took the book and held it in his arms. As he walked out, he told Lady Wu about Princess Changle. Changle obviously wouldn’t listen to his advise and will not let herself live comfortably and happily like Gao Yang and the others!
Li Yuanying told Lady Wu what he thought: “There are no shortages of manpower so why can’t girls do whatever they want to do? When I marry my princess, I will let her do whatever she wants. “
“If your Highness’s words are heard by others, I’m afraid many girls will want to marry you.”
Li Yuanying likes to be complimented and was happy when he heard this. He didn’t intend to be humble at all.
“It’s useless to want to marry me. I’m wont simply marry anyone.”
Lady Wu asked him what does the girl he wanted to marry look like.
Li Yuanying thought for a while: “I haven’t made up my mind yet.” He extended out his fingers and said: “Only one point, she must be filial to my mother! Of course, if the princess is filial to my mother, I will also be filial to her parents. I won’t let her suffer.”
Lady Wu smiled and said no more. They went separate ways at the fork.
On her way back, Lady Wu was still thinking. Li Yuanying was born as the youngest son of the late Emperor. By logic, he should have had a hard time in this palace. However, he is born with luck on his side. His mom while low in rank is a cautious person and has done no wrong. With him having a free and open personality, those with bad intentions do not dare to touch him. This has made him gain favor with the Emperor.
Seems like the happiest person in the palace is Prince Teng who should logically be the least happy!
Li Yuanying was just his usual self when he asked for Lady Wu’s help to find books. Lady Wu was also used to him coming to her for help. Neither of them gave their actions much second thoughts.
But others thought differently.
His Majesty soon heard that his younger brother took out his anger on a tree and hurt his feet. He then sat on the ground rubbing it. Li Er was so overjoy hearing this that he ate an extra bowl of rice for dinner. Right after, he got someone to serve him a bowl of tea. When he received the fragrant tea, His Majesty thought of his bad younger brother again, and was happy all over.
He decided to visit the harem at nightfall. While on his way there, someone stopped him to inform that Li Yuanying has been frequently visiting the harem to visit Lady Wu. Even if Li Yuanying was the Emperor’s younger brother,it was still inappropriate for him to do so.
Li Er glanced at the whistle-blower and asked for her name. He then waved for others to take her away.
Seeing Li Er’s indifferent expression, she didn’t dare to say anything else and obediently followed behind towards Lady Wu’s residence.
Lady Wu was reading a book with the lamp lit. <<Liezi>> was a book she hastily read a while ago. Since Yuanying brought it up, she also took a volume and read it again.
Hearing that His Majesty is here, Lady Wu put down the book and stood up to greet him.
His Majesty stepped inside and sat down at where Lady Wu was reading. He picked up the book and glanced at it.
Li Yuanying just mentioned to him a few days ago about a story about a foolish old man moving mountains so Li Er naturally still remembers this book. No need to ask further questions,he can confirmed that the rumor is indeed true. Li Yuanying and Lady Wu are in close contact.
Li Er put down the book and glanced at Lady Wu with an inquiring gaze.
Lady Wu’s heart skipped a beat.
“You and Yuanying often see each other?”
Lady Wu was slightly surprised.
No matter how young Li Yuanying is, he is still a prince. After a year or two, he should leave the palace to his own mansion even if he does not go to his fief. This accusation is a laughable one but if someone really wants to make a fuss about it, it’s not impossible to build a case! Lady Wu didn’t dare to hide this and explained why they met many times.
His Majesty was still listening with a calm expression.
Of course, Li Er do not doubt Li Yuanying. He is suspicious of Lady Wu.
When Lady Wu first entered the harem, Li Er happened to have a fierce horse that no one could tame. He instructed that whoever tames it would be rewarded greatly.
Back then Lady Wu stood up and said that she could do it. She will just ask for three things: an iron whip, a hammer and a dagger. First beat it with an iron whip and see if it obeys; if it refuses, beat it with a hammer; if it refuses, kill it with a dagger. This way it will never dare to disobey!
A lady not more than 10 is able to speak in such a cruel way. It is hard for the Emperor to not suspect that she has ulterior motives for approaching Li Yuanying.
When Lady Wu finished her explanation, Li Er said lightly: “If I were to give you to Yuanying, would you be willing to go to him instead of being my Lady of Talent?”