Timing was everything! Yuanying was still happy about making a new friend and then someone was send by Dai Ting to report that Tang Xuan is visiting from Li Mountains. The young prince immediately got up to greet him.
Tang Xuan grew a little taller than when they first met last year. He also is starting to look like a handsome young man as he grows older. Yuanying quickly introduce all his friends to each other.
Di Renjie greatly admired Tang Xuan when he heard that he taught children to read. He also felt that Prince Teng was different from other nobles; otherwise why do all the people he’s friends with so awesome?
“Ah Xuan. Why are you here in Chang’an?” (Li Yuanying)
“My grandfather got me a spot for the imperial examination. I arrive yesterday and after a night of rest, I needed to take an assessment today. I just only found time to drop by the library to send you a letter.” Tang Xuan smiled shyly, “I never thought that you would be here in person.”
Yuanying was naturally happy that his little friend remembered him. He personally poured him a glass of wine. Being young boys, they weren’t suppose to drink much so they all just tasted a small cup of it. Sun Simiao had already left for business and so this little tea room was vacated for Li Yuanying and his friends.
Dai Ting stood at a corner brewing tea for the group.
Returning from Gaochang, Dai Ting was still neither arrogant nor impetuous. He abide by his duty and followed by Prince Teng’s side closely. Learning that his master now loves tea, he even took up the initiative to learn how to brew it. Being a man of few words, he doesn’t speak if not spoken too.
But because Yuanying told him to share about Gaochang, he picked an encounter to talk about. Although his storytelling skill was not as vivid as Li Yuanying’s, but he won due to first hand experience of being there in person.
Before long, it was almost time for dinner. The group separated reluctantly and went home. Yuanying requested that his friends share their addresses so that he could invite them to play next time.
Di Renjie bumped into his grandfather at home and swiftly told him everything that had happened today.
Di Xiaoxu served as a secretary general of the executive bureau and was influential enough to speak his opinion during imperial court sessions. Hearing that Hou Junji hurt innocent citizens and then all about his violent expedition in Gaochang, he was very dissatisfied. How can he take a military salary and eat military rations but say that “If you want the horses to run, you need to allow them to eat grass. loosely translated as having to give “favors or special benefit” for getting work done”? This is unacceptable. This isn’t appeasing soldiers for the Empire’s good but is instead is recruiting the hearts of soldiers for a person’s own benefit so that the soldiers stay loyal to the general alone and is willing to die for him!
The Emperor has shown much grace. Even after hearing multiple criticism about Hou’s bad behavior, his Majesty still deliberately sought him out for a conversation. Right after that, Hou Junji vented his anger at ordinary citizens!
Such a narrow-minded warrior, how can he be rewarded again?
“Just continue playing as you do. Don’t worry about this anymore.” (Di Xiaoxu)
Di Renjie is a smart boy. By just looking at grandfather’s expression, he knew that grandfather will not sit idly and let this issue pass.
Early the next morning, Li Yuanying was thinking about Tang Xuan’s entrance examination and strolled to look for Kong Yingda, who he has not seen for a long time.
The teacher was busy reviewing students’ work. Seeing Li Yuanying poking his head outside, he put down his pen and rebuked: “Come in if you have something to say!”
If it weren’t because of his concern for his dear friend, Li Yuanying would never pay a visit to the black face bad mood Kong Yingda. Now that he has a favour to ask, Yuanying put aside his shame and sat down beside Kong Yingda.
“Are there many coming for the Imperial College Examination in the past two days?”
Kong Yingda glanced at him: “So what?”
Li Yuanying told him all about meeting Tang Xuan and said that the boy is a smart with a good heart and is close to those around him. Not only does he learn well, he even helps the whole village to do the same. If the Imperial College do not accept such a rare talent, we will definitely regret it in the future!
This Li Yuanying is definitely here trying to help his friend get in through the back door. This idiot doesn’t even bother to target the right person, don’t he know that I hate these actions the most? Kong Yingda had a sour expression on his face and asked: “Did he ask you to come look for me for this favour?”
“Of course not! I came on my own accord. He’s so smart, he’ll definitely pass the test!”
“If that’s the case, why are you here with me?”
Li Yuanying said confidently: “What if some of your subordinates are too stupid to understand his smartness and accidentally keep him out? If he doesn’t get enrolled into college then he can’t stay in Chang’an to play with me. You must take him!”
Oh, how daring of this kid to want to keep someone in Chang’an just to accompany him to play!
Kong Yingda almost tore his long beard.
“If he’s really is as smart as you say he is then he won’t fail the test. Don’t have crooked thoughts. You should take a good look at yourself. How long have you not come for class? You really think I wouldn’t know just because no one reports it?!”
Li Yuanying never afraid of being rebuked, countered: “It doesn’t matter if I go to school or not. I will never need to take the imperial examinations. I’m not literate, I can just read books by myself!”
Kong Yingda stared at him.
Li Yuanying stared back unwillingly.
Kong Yingda knows that this is a shameless fellow and it’s just a waste of time to reason with him. He waved his hands and said, “Okay, Tang Xuan right? I wrote it down, hurry up and get lost, don’t be a nuisance here.”
Hearing Kong’s reply, Li Yuanying didn’t want to stay any longer and ran away immediately.
While Li Yuanying was helping Tang Xuan, Li Er was being bombarded by complaints again. This time, an additional charge for Hou Junji for bullying people on the streets. As soon as he left the palace, he hit someone outside the palace gate. It’s obvious that he hasn’t thought of repenting but is instead angry about the Emperor and his colleagues!
This time they came prepared and listed clearly what Hou Junji did in Gaochang and all the money he has collected. Some witnesses were also invited from Li Yuanying’s Sunflower Garden, determined to suppress the evilness of Hou Junji!
The Emperor had no choice but to issue an edict to arrest Hou Junji. His verdict will be discussed during court sessions.
Hou Junji was at the Emperor’s side since the early years. Li Er even requested that Li Jing share his knowledge of war with him. He had high hopes for Hou Junji.
After sending away the group, Li Er rubbed his forehead thinking. He then asked that a letter be sent to a few close confidants asking them to find a way to protect Hou Junji! Along the way, he has already lost too many important people, he cannot lose his beloved general just because he was a little greedy.
While Li Er was busy dealing with issues, Li Yuanying too didn’t stay idle. He took his friends to meet the tall and beautiful Gaochang people.
Li Yuanying counted the little radishes in the palace and then went to pick up Di Renjie and Wei Shu. Tang Xuan was still waiting for his exam results and could not join them.
The Di family knew from Renjie that he’s friends with Prince Teng. Seeing the young prince coming over in person without any hint of arrogance, the family liked him very much. Yuanying pretended to be innocent and good mannered to lure Renjie out. He then asked that a pony be given to the boy.
“Can you ride a horse? The girls are in the carriage. The few of us will ride horses.”
Yuanying prepared a docile red mare for Di Renjie and he stepped forward to stroke its head. The pony returned his touch gently; obviously very satisfied with his master.
Li Yuanying knew at a glance that his little friend was in harmony with the horse. He signaled for Di to ride and the few young teenagers left the city for Sunflower Garden surrounded by guards. Li Zhi and Gao Yang also rode on horses. Gao Yang was too impatient to sit in a carriage and so she wore men’s clothing and rode steadily on the road full of autumn colors.
Sunflower Garden is in full swing with construction. The building blueprint was provided by Li Yuanying. It was drawn so very idiot-proof that even an illiterate idiot could understand it. Dong Xiaoyi found a group of men to work on the construction.
This blueprint was provided by the system. Li Yuanying scanned the situation at Sunflower Garden into the Myriad Realm Library and the system generated a blueprint in accordance to the land. It also included things like cables for transportation, pulley lifting, ladders and so on. Fresh new ideas on construction.
Once this stockade village is successfully built, it is able to not only house the current visitors from Gaochang but also an additional batch of people. The outer corners could even accommodate guests visiting the area.
Originally, Dong Xiaoyi wanted to recruit people from his own village for help during the slow months but as soon as he got the drawings, he knew it was not feasible. He had to immediately get all the help he could and start working on the project. Fortunately, to ensure that the children’s education were not affected, the school’s operation was kept as it is.
As soon as Yuanying and his party arrived, Mei Niang who was now staying at the school came to greet them.
Li Zhi had met Mei Niang before and has also heard about the legendary rumor about his father spread by Li Yuanying. He wasn’t surprised to meet Wu Mei but only thought that she looked more energetic after leaving the palace. She looked exuberant and lively.
Di Renjie on the other hand, almost forgotten how to get off the horse when he saw her. He actually clumsily slipped off his horse. He followed Yuanying’s introduction: “This is Mei Niang, she is in charge of the school and library. Even the newspaper is created by her.”
At present, the newspaper copy delivered to Li Yuanying daily is personally copied by Mei Niang. The remaining copies are done by scholars hired by her. This way not only can she satisfy the Royal children’s need for news but also help underprivileged scholars earn a fixed income to live a better life.
Renjie listened to all Mei Niang had done and it became clear that this girl is not only beautiful but had a brilliant mind unlike ordinary people. This was the first time he is meeting such an outstanding lady and he didn’t want to be an embarrassment. He calmed himself down before introducing himself.
Although Mei Niang had never heard of the boy before, but since Yuanying brought him here personally she responded with a smile.
Yuanying didn’t notice that his new friend was a little nervous for he doesn’t understand the concept of being nervous. After introducing them, he ran off to lift the carriage’s curtain to let the little lolis down one by one.
Sizi suddenly looked around and says disappointingly, “The sunflowers and corn are all gone!”
Hengshan silently added: “The peanuts are gone too.”
Li Yuanying is now very knowledgeable about farming and so he confidently explained to the girls: “We’ll plant again next year. You have to let the land rest in autumn and winter, if not you won’t be able to grow good things.”
Yuanying held a little loli in each hand and greeted Wei Shu who was half a step behind: “Come on, I’ll show you the newly built village, it’s really pretty!”
Notes from the author:
Little Prince: It seems that I have accidentally done something that gave the Emperor a headache? Forget it, let him have a headache then!
Li Er: ……