Living leisurely in Tang Dynasty
Living Leisurely in Tang Dynasty Chapter 63

Hou Junji has been feeling very proud of his achievements lately and walks with a skip in his  feet.

Who else has defeat a country without a single soldier like him?

But before the Emperor managed to organize a victory banquet, criticism letters came in like snowflakes. The central topic was consistent: Old man Hou did not carry out his duty properly, if this trend picks on, it will cause disaster in the future!

This type of criticism was still considered polite speech. Some others were more direct by swearing directly at him. It is not uncommon for military generals to be scolded by civil officials at court. After all, military generals are naturally at a disadvantage when it comes to debating in a official setting.  

At first, Hou Junji thought that they were joking. After all, he has achieved great feat. Even if others are not asking for him to be rewarded,  why would they criticize him? But when more and more people step forward, he realized they were serious.

Hou Junji fumed with anger.

These bird literati who has never even seize half a human brain during war, how dare they criticize him one after another. Good soldiers earn their merit by fighting. We did not loot your family or rob your daughter. Why can’t we get some benefits after seizing a city? You want the cows to work, but you don’t give them grass, how can that be?

Hou Junji was filled with wicked fire but he wasn’t good enough with words to counter these people.  

After the  meeting, he went to look for the Emperor to air his grievances.

Li Er was also a little persuaded by the civil servants and felt that Hou Junji was not very humane. However, he did lead the army on a long journey to fight Gaochang. Li Er remembers his merits and so he consoled him with a few words.

Hou Junji saw that the Emperor was slightly siding with the civil servants and felt suffocated. He left the palace and he whipped a merchant who accidentally blocked his way to release his anger.

The peddler was too scared to rebuke him and so he dragged his cargo basket and crawled to one side. The welts on his arms were bleeding with deep wounds.

All the common people went silent and dare not speak. They silently watched Hou Junji leave. In the crowd was a teenager about 10 years old. His mouth was being covered by the old servant beside him.  He wanted to speak but his servant did not let go until Hou Junji was far away.

This young man is from Taiyuan. Surname Di and first name Renjie. He came to Chang’an with his father to meet his grandfather who was an official in the palace. Since the weather is good, he decided to walk around the city. Coincidentally, he saw the scene of Hou Junji bullying others.

Di Renjie was an enthusiastic young man and he wanted to stopthe beating. Fortunately, his old servant knew his temperament well and prevented him from acting. Many in Chang’an are from noble and aristocratic families, how can they dare to offend those in higher places.

Since Hou Junji is already far away, Di Renjie naturally couldn’t reprimand him. He stepped forward to help the embarrassed merchant and said: “I heard that there is a medical clinic in the Western City. Let me take you there to get treated!”

The merchant was grateful and followed him. When they entered the West city, everyone said that the best medical center was Thousand Gold Hall where old genius doctor Sun resides. Di Renjie went straight there and soon saw a library with many people queuing around it.

After sending the patient into the hospital, he left with curious intentions to explore the crowded library next door. He saw a black plaque with gold characters hanging in front of the library – “Tang Empire Library” was written on it.

People around saw him looking at the plaque intently and  immediately explained proudly: “These five words are written by the Emperor himself!” Then they explained the rules of the library to the boy.

Di Renjie looked at the people in queue and felt that he stood a chance so he queued up without hesitation. The queuing process was not boring as those in line told him lots of anecdotes about the library. Someone also told him about the latest newsletter and reminded him to check it out.

Di Renjie was fascinated.

Although Chang’an is sometimes filled with bullies, it is also filled with interesting places like this! He wished that the people inside would leave immediately, so that he could hurry in and take a look!

From all the conversations, he learn about a person he hadn’t noticed before: Prince Teng.

The youngest brother of the current Emperor who was personally raised by him. It is said that the eldest brother is like a father figure and the Emperor has been raising his youngest brother like his own son and brings him everywhere he goes. When Prince Teng created this library, the Emperor personally inscribed this plaque.  And on the day of the library’s grand opening, several princes and princesses came to watch the ceremony!

Some people praised Prince Teng’s contribution to scholars around the world and some praised the deep brotherly love between both brothers. Of course some  told of the mysterious story about “The rash King who lost his lover over a slip of tongue” saying that today’s reading club is managed by said courageous and strong-willed beauty.

Di Renjie listened with relish and after receiving a number plate, he walked in and his footsteps suddenly relaxed unconsciously.

There is nothing in this place, only books. Shelves full of books. The library has been open for nearly a year but the quantity of books did not decrease but has increased. Books which showed signs of wear and tear are re-copied and maintained with care. Everyone who steps in consciously wants to maintain this treasured place for readers. Under the bookshelves among the aisles, there are people holding onto books, reading like crazy.

Di Renjie’s family has never been short of reading material but he was shocked by the huge collection of books in this library. Thinking that his old servant was still in the medical hall next door, he didn’t stay for long. After reading one volume he returned the number plate and walked out of the library.

The old servant was waiting for him outside.

“Young master, we have been out for a long time, let’s go back.”

“Hold on. Let me read the library’s newsletter first.”

Di Renjie was already hooked. Of course, he wouldn’t agree to leave just like that.

A group of men surrounded the enthusiastic volunteer who was reading the newspaper to them. Today’s volunteer is obviously a newbie as he didn’t read very well and didn’t manage to interpret in simple layman terms well.  However, the group asked lots of questions and eventually the volunteer warmed up and gradually became more proficient, explaining the news sentence by sentence to the group.

Di Renjie listened with relish.

After the reading was concluded, Di Renjie dispersed with the crowd. He turned to look for his old servant but instead saw a finely dressed young man jumping out of his carriage and proceeded to ask workers from the medical hall to help him carry things down. Renjie took a closer look and realized that there were good wine, ornaments, medicinal materials, and all sorts of novelty items.  The apprentices were moving one item after another, as if it was a bottomless pit. No matter how much you remove the carriage can’t be emptied!

Who else but Li Yuanying. He divided the treasures with his friends and then move on to split some to the people he holds dear outside the palace. Xiao Deyan, Little Round Ball, Sister Shu … Now it’s Sun Simiao’s turn.

Doctor Sun is a very important character for Li Yuanying’s future plan. He naturally had to win his favour.  

Li Yuanying’s method of trying to get into someone’s good books is simple and crude. Just keep giving them good things!

And so he dragged a full carriage filled with treasures to Sun Simiao. Good wine, good items and medicinal herbs specially reserved for Sun Simiao alone. Li Yuanying was just about to enter the hall when he noticed Di Renjie, who was staring at his “gifts”, dumbfounded.

The two were about the same age. Yuanying smiled, revealing two pleasing dimples looking very innocent. He took up the jar of wine left in the carriage and invited Di Renjie: “This wine is from Gaochang, have you tried it? Would you like to try some? It’s just a small cup as you can’t drink too much. Master Sun said that children should not drink too much alcohol, otherwise they will not grow tall!”

Di Renjie has heard about wine from Gaochang but that is a far away place. Most of the time, this wine will only be send to the palace as tribute. He’s never tasted it. Hearing the boy’s invitation, Renjie was tempted.

“My surname is Di, my name Renjie, I am 10 this year. You can just call me Renjie. How about you?”

When Yuanying heard that the boy was also 10, he felt they were fated.

“My surname is Li, my name Yuanying. I am ten years old. You can call me Yuanying.”

When Di Renjie heard this name, he felt that it was little familiar but couldn’t recall where he had heard it before.

If he can’t remember then so be it. He happily followed behind Li Yuanying.

Yuanying greeted Sun Simiao  and then introduced his new friend to the old doctor.  

Sun Simiao nodded towards Di Renjie and then said:  “Bring home all the valuables.”

Li Yuanying retorted: “I’m not giving you anything valuables! None of these are as valuable as even half a bottle displayed in my room.”

Precious things in the eyes of the common man is very different when compared to the eyes of Li Yuanying!

Sun Simiao looked at him helplessly.

 The boy quickly took out the medicinal  herbs from  Gaochang.

God’s creation are wonderful and bountiful. While Gaochang is hot and rainy all year round, they have some rare medicinal materials that are hard to find in the Central Plains. Sun Simiao certainly liked these things. Seeing that Li Yuanying insisted on giving it to him, he did not refuse. He asked that everything be put away in the inner room.

After putting away things, Yuanying opened up the wine that he brought over. He asked that a set  of white jade cups be brought out to share the wine. This is indeed the best wine in Gaochang. A refreshing fragrant filled the air as soon as the bottle was opened. The beautiful dark red wine slowly filled the jade cup.

Li Yuanying has learned quite a bit about wine from Gaochang lately and pretended to be a pro.

“The taste may be astringent when it’s freshly poured. We will need to air it for a bit.”

While waiting, the two boys decided to get to know each other better. Hearing that Di Renjie was not from Chang’an, he became excited and started asking him when and why did he come here and if he encountered anything interesting on the way here.

Since his friend is so enthusiastic, Renjie reciprocated and told him about his home state and all the exciting encounters on his journey here. He was a lively and active young man who wouldn’t hesitate to stand up to injustice. Getting to know each other better, both could easily click.

Knowing that Renjie came from Taiyuan, Yuanying couldn’t help but sigh: “Your hometown sounds so fun! I told Zhi Nu to go to his land earlier, so that I can visit Taiyuan to play!”

When Renjie heard this, he suddenly remembered why Li Yuanying’s name was so familiar. Most sons of the late Emperor had the character “Yuan” in their name like Li Yuanji, Li Yuanjing, Li Yuanheng, etc. It was just a taboo for ordinary people to refer to royalty by their birth name and so not many were aware of their real names. Renjie knows this fact because his grandfather and father coincidentally mentioned this in a letter and he happened to have seen it, giving him an impression.

It’s quite obvious that Li Yuanying is the son of the late Emperor.

Thinking back, didn’t people mention that Prince Teng was studying under Sun Simiao? He just heard Li Yuanying address the Sun Simiao as “teacher Sun”. Isn’t his identity clear as day?!

Di Renjie said in surprise, “I didn’t expect your Highness to be Prince Teng.”

Yuanying didn’t even think about concealing his identity and readily admitted to it. “Yep! I just got my title from my lord brother last year.”

The wine has been sufficiently aired and was ready to be drank. Yuanying quickly nudge his new friend to try it out.

Di Renjie was also just a young kid. Seeing that Li Yuanying didn’t care much about status and ranking, he acted casually too. He took a sip of wine and tasted it carefully.

Both boys were still young and had not reached an age where drinking is a pleasure. Yuanying tasted the wine and thought it wasn’t very special, just better than the ones he has drank before. He happily retold the story to his new friend about how he got this wine. Firstly about how he ordered Dai Ting to follow the army to Gaochang. And then about how Dai Ting stole food from the tiger’s mouth.  There were ups and downs, thrills and dangers. Renjie’s heart beat in excitement listening to him. Oh how he wished he could have experienced Gaochang in person.

  1. Ginkgo has spoken 2 years ago


  2. SilentWatch83 has spoken 2 years ago

    LYY makes a new friend !!!!!!!!👍👍👍👍👍💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

    Thank you for the chapter! 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


error: Content is protected !!