Li Yuanying casually stated his playtime idea yet Li Zhi took it seriously and prepared well for it. The maps that he drew himself even listed places that they needed to check in at.
Given the short planning time, tools for clocking in was unavailable so Li Zhi simply searched for seals and asked servants to hold them at clock in points and to serve as witness.
Li Yuanying has a knack for reading map and directions. In a blink of an eye the team reached their first check point. There they met Li Zhi’s court lady with a round pleasing face. Sizi and Hengshan both wanted to stamp using the seal so Li Yuanying teaches them rock-paper-scissors and whoever wins get to do it!
Sizi and Hengshan quickly picked on and began to shout: “Scissors, rocks, paper–“
Sizi decided on scissors.
Hengshan made a small fist.
Hengshan blushed with joy: “Rock triumphs over scissors, I won!”
Sizi really wanted to stamp but accepted that she lost and obediently watched Hengshan approach the first check point and got their map stamp with the seal.
Taking advantage of the time when his teammates were busy, he figured out the route to the next check point.
Although he did not particularly want to win the race but if he could he would still want to emerge as the winner.
At this same moment the Emperor was leading a group of officials and saw the children playing, so he watched for a while. Seeing Li Yuanying and Sizi making a fuss in the pavilion his Majesty couldn’t help but sigh reminiscently: “When I took Yuanying to Taiji Palace, he was only five and the Empress often tend to him personally. Growing up together with my children they often played together”.
At the mention of the Empress, Li Er’s expression inevitably became sad. Since her passing there have been troubles in the palace and discord between the sons. He often thinks that if the Empress was still alive the children will definitely not do anything to make her sad.
His Majesty obviously cherishes the memory of the late Empress and his ministers did not interrupt.
Besides when Li Yuanying was mentioned the ministers didn’t want to say anything. This kid is a bit clever but if you want him to do serious business, he will definitely come up with new tricks to sneak out and play! It’s fine if he’s the only mischievous one but he often involves and badly influences the other royal children. Everyone who had been requested by royal decree to teach the children would definitely have had an encounter with Yuanying’s mischievous antics.
Zhangsun Wuji who was Li Zhi’s uncle often heard about Yuanying from his nieces and nephew had not experience Li Yuanying’s antics first-hand hence still had a good impression of him.
“Speaking of which, it’s time to bestow him with a title.”
Li Yuanying was already nine and all his older brothers had been given a title since the fifth year of Zhengguan. Leaving only him who was born late with no title and it would not be good to delay any longer. His Majesty heard Zhangsun Wuji’s suggestion and nodded “I really have to pick a good place for him. He is still young so I will send someone ahead to help him build his palace. Once he’s old enough in a few years he can then go to his fief.”
Li Yuanying who didn’t know that he was about to be promoted to the title of WangYe WangYe- refers to the emperor’s brothers continue on with Sizi and Hengshan and was ahead of Li Zhi and Chengyang to the final destination.
Chengyang who was normally mild temper still couldn’t help complaining: ” Ninth Brother went in the wrong direction when referring to the map. He almost ran into the residence of the Emperor! Fortunately, a kind lady helped us with direction else we wouldn’t reach here even by nightfall!”
Being a little embarrassed, Li Zhi corrected Chengyang: “That’s not just an elder sister that’s Lord Father’s Lady Wu (CaiRen) Cai Ren refers to Lady of Talents which is the 6th rank of the imperial harem in Tang Dynasty”.
Lady Wu was one level higher in ranking than Li Yuanying’s mother – Lady Liu (Bao Lin) Bao Lin refers to Lady of Treasure which is the 7th rank of the imperial harem in Tang Dynasty. Li Zhi has met her before when she entered the palace two years ago. She wasn’t much older than him only by three or four years. She was a beauty and was intelligent. It was said that father favours her and gave her the name “Wu Mei”.
Li Yuanying doesn’t care one bit about his brother’s concubines but was instead overjoyed that their team won. He smiled and ask Chengyang to record it. After all they still needed to tabulate the final results of their little game.
Li Zhi wasn’t too affected by him losing the game but instead urged Li Yuanying and the others to admire the “the Inscription” together.
Li Yuanying himself has no personal interest in seeing it but he had a mission. He walked a circle around it to scan it with his naked eyes before sending the image back to the library as a record to complete his mission.
The Myriad Realm library has a distinct advantage in which anything that has been archived in it can be called out for reference at any time. Unfortunately, that’s pretty useless to Li Yuanying for who would want to reread books? As for using this as a cheat during exams? That’s even more unlikely for him. Why should he cheat? If he doesn’t know the answer just leave it blank, after all it’s not like his tutors will reprimand him for it!
After completing his mission, Li Yuanying quickly lost interest in the inscription. Seeing that it’s getting dark, they should be returning back for a snack. None of the other children apart from Li Zhi had an interest in the inscription hence they quickly followed behind Yuanying’s footsteps in returning home.
Li Yuanying wanted to write a letter to report that he’s safe to his mother at night. Being a concubine to the previous emperor, it would not be appropriate for her to join the entourage to Jiucheng Palace. Sending the letter to the post department will ensure that his letter reaches his mother safely together with all the other letters intended for the palace in the Capital.
To ensure his letter reaches his mother quickly, Yuanying tried persuading the other children to also write letters to their elder brother, first prince Li Chengqian. Sizi thinks this makes sense and started drafting her own. Despite Sizi’s young age, her handwriting was much better than Yuanying’s as she was personally taught by the Emperor himself.
On the other hand, Hengshan was unable to write hers as Li Yuanying had in the past frightened her that her fingers would turn ugly if she learns how to write at a young age. She thus hasn’t learned yet and was only able to plea with Sizi to include her name in her letter!
After that all the other children went back to sleep except for Li Zhi who stayed behind to conspire with Li Yuanying. He secretly whispered to Li Yuanying: “Are we really going to probe Du He tomorrow?” Du He is the son of Du Ruhui.
Du Ruhui pledge his loyalty to the Emperor early in his career and was commonly referred to as “Fang Plots & Du Decides” with Fang Xuanling. This means that Fang Xuanling has many ideas but is fickle minded while Du Ruhui was decisive and made accurate judgments with few mistakes. Therefore, His Majesty often summon both together when discussing issues. One to plot and the other for judgment, combining both swords to minimize drawbacks. These two men were the brains of Li Er and initially the former Emperor had once deliberately transferred them away to prevent them from making plans for Li Er!
It’s a pity that Du Ruhui’s lived a short life and pass away in his forties. After Du Ruhui’s death, His Majesty often called his name by mistake and feels sad once he remembers that he’s no longer alive. Princess Chengyang was then engaged to Du Ruhui’s unmarried second son, Du He.
As Princess Chengyang is only nine it would be another six years before she marries Du He. For Chengyang’s sake both Li Yuanying and Li Zhi decided to check out Du He’s character. If he is not good, then they would plot to ruin the engagement plans.
Li Zhi never thought of such plans at first, after all the decisions of his parents were final with no room for him to comment. But Li Yuanying is different. He was born different and dares to think what others don’t and to do what others dare not.
Ever since Li Yuanying became aware of what marriage meant, he looked at his three precious nieces and felt dissatisfied with the guys who marry them in the future. Our precious daughters have been raised with much effort from childhood to adulthood, how dare they try to marry them with just a little dowry? After all we do not lack in betrothal gift, why should the girl who marries become a part of a different family? It’s unreasonable!
If said man is a scoundrel, wouldn’t it mean that the girl will be aggrieved?
Li Yuanying gave Li Zhi a profound education on this ideology saying that he currently doesn’t care much about his sisters and that shouldn’t be the way! After serious reflection, Li Zhi decided to take a closer look at his prospective brother-in-law Du He together with Li Yuanying. So both whispered together, discussing how to test the guy who wants to pick their precious one tomorrow.
First, we need to test his temperament on whether he is impulsive, irritable and violent. This is very important. According to the system, it says that there are only two frequencies of domestic violence -Zero or Endless. His niece will definitely not win in a fistfight. Then, they needed to assess the home environment on whether there are any difficult relatives to deal with. After all, Chengyang will likely spend more time with them than her husband. On this topic, Li Yuanying doesn’t know much hence he’s handing it over to Li Zhi.
The two was not yet done dividing their tasks but they suddenly heard a rush of footsteps outside as if someone was surrounding their palace. Li Yuanying instructed the servant next to him: “Dai Ting, go and see what’s going on.”
Li Zhi glanced at Dai Ting’s back thoughtfully and said, “Young uncle, Dai Ting is really handsome.” Dai Ting has features that made him so beautiful that it was hard to distinguished whether he was male or female. His aura also doesn’t seem to be that of a mere servant. If it weren’t for the three fingers wide light red birthmark on his cheek, he might not be serving Li Yuanying.
“The appearance of a boy is not important.”
Li Zhi thought about it and agreed so he didn’t say more but waited for Dai Ting to come back and report on the situation outside.
Dai Ting was quick in his task and returned quickly to report to Li Yuanying: “Someone had attacked the palace at night, and his Majesty has ordered the guards to impose martial law in the whole palace.” So happen Prince Li Zhi was with Li Yuanying tonight so many guards were sent to protect them. Otherwise Li Yuanying would not have had such special treatment.
Li Yuanying said curiously: “Who would do such a thing and attacked Jiucheng Palace at night? Didn’t they know that the Emperor brought all the elite soldiers?”
“I heard it was Ashina’s association.”
Seeing that neither Li Yuanying nor Li Zhi had heard of this group, he continued to relay the news that he managed to acquire: Ashina association is a group made up of people from Turkic ethnicity and were middle-ranking generals after coming to Tang. But they have not been promoted and maybe wanted to “find another way out.”
These people are of great skills and bravery. They dare to attack the Jiucheng Palace at night with a group of less than a hundred people!
“Since we have so much of clarity on this incident. It should be all right?”
Dai Ting nodded and replied: “Yes, the guards are investigating whether there are any fish that have slipped through the net.”
“There is a mess outside, so let me just stay the night with young uncle.”
Li Yuanying had no objections, yawning he tucked himself into his thin quilt. He however made a condition clear to Li Zhi: “You can squeeze in with me but you are not allowed to kick me at night!”
Li Zhi retorted: “I never kick people when I sleep!”
The two children quickly fell asleep.
In the middle of the night, Li Zhi in his sleep heard a thumping sound
That was the muffled sound of him being kicked out of bed by Li Yuanying and his head hitting the floor!
Li Zhi touched his head and sat up glaring at Li Yuanying who was sleeping soundly.
This uncle likes to kick people in his sleep but tells others not to kick him!!!