Li Yuanying raised his head and glanced at the sign “Imperial College” hanging on the door. He didn’t think that it looks special. Since the Crown Prince should be ranked first and the others ranked by seniority, he should be second, so he continues walking next to Li Chengqian.
After entering the Imperial College, Yuanying realized that Li Tai wasn’t with them but was instead with the Emperor. At this exact moment, Li Tai’s chubby figure was standing beside the Emperor as if afraid that others do not yet realize that he is his father’s most beloved son.
This is in line with the personality that Li Tai wants to portray – to be seen always learning. After all, he is known to have such a huge liking to literature that despite Empress Zhangsun being gravely ill, his priority was still to set up a literary hall in his mansion.
Li Yuanying saw the smile on Li Chengqian’s face disappearing gradually and was replaced by his usual gloominess.
Yuanying remembered the ill Empress Zhangsun telling Chengqian to take care of his younger siblings. At that time, he still couldn’t grasp the concept of life and death. So when he overheard this conversation Yuanying asked in eagerness: “What about me, what about me?” Hearing this, Empress Zhangsun laughed, and gently reply: “Then I’ll also entrust Yuanying, the uncle, to take good care of his nephews and nieces.” At that time, he happily agreed.
Looking at things now, he realized Chengqian had tremendous responsibility as the older brother. He has to take care of so many younger siblings. If your younger brother wants to stab you in the back, what do you do with him?
Yuanying nudges Chengqian.
Li Chengqian looked at him with gloomy eyes. He is twenty-one and so is considered an adult. When the Xuanwu Gate incident took place, he was still a young boy but that doesn’t mean he has no recollection of it. To secure the Emperor’s position, it was the norm for brothers to fight against each other to death.
Li Chengqian stared at Yuanying gloomy and Yuanying started to feel a little distressed for this eldest nephew.
Haih… being the Crown prince, he’s not allowed to act like Li Tai, a spoiled brat when facing his father the Emperor. Moreover, people around are all earnestly observing him eagerly waiting to point out his mistakes.
When the Crown Price commits an error, it becomes a huge commotion. Ministers would start writing advises. Just look at the people placed near his eldest nephew in the East Palace – Kong Yingda, Yu Zhining, Zhang Xuansu. Every single one of them are stern old man who likes sprouting advises. Such a terrible thought!
Yuanying thinks that Li Er must be afraid of being scolded himself, so he sends them to the East Palace to shift their attention towards Li Chengqian.
Such a bad father!
Li Yuanying reprimanded Li Er silently in his heart, and whispers to Chengqian: “Scholar Xiao, who is now editing books in Qing Que’s Mansion is very knowledgeable, have you met him?”
Li Chengqian was a little perplexed when Yuanying suddenly mentioned Xiao Deyan: “I’ve met him a few times.” The man is in his 80s and still energetic, it’s a pity that he was sent by the Emperor to assist Li Tai in compiling <<Comprehensive Gazetteer>>.
“Let’s visit him the next time we leave the palace. I’ve always liked him. Since Qing Que calls him teacher, I initially thought that he became his teacher at the Emperor’s insistence. I only found out much later that he was tasked to compile books. Seriously, how come the books that Qing Que is editing is taking such a long time? My book was printed all at once!”
Li Yuanying wasn’t able to poach the talented teacher so he subtly encourages Chengqian to do it. “Chengqian, why don’t you tell the Emperor that you also want to compile books, once he’s done helping Qing Que, let’s invite him over!”
Li Chengqian felt that the boy’s idea was unrealistic so he shook his head to decline.
“What? Me compiling books?”
He’s limited knowledge in this area and admitted that Li Tai is much better at convincing scholars to serve his cause.
Yuanying is aware that the book being compiled is related to geography, which content about topography and customs of various places.
I have to say that Li Tai’s topic is a good one. It’s practical and is easy to incorporate literary intentions. A good book in the making.
Yuanying might not be skilled in other things but using his brain for unconventional ideas is one of his key strengths.
“He’s studying geography, so you should study astronomy. Astronomy looks at changes in seasons and is useful to agriculture. Why don’t you just mention that topics related to agriculture need careful consideration based on local conditions? Let’s invite everyone working on <<Comprehensive Gazetteer>> to join this project.”
Li Chengqian was shocked. The others were a distance away so no one else heard their conversation but they all saw Li Chengqian suddenly came to a halt.
Li Yuanying thought that he stopped to listen seriously to his suggestion and so he happily stated his ultimate goal: “If it’s like that, it would be much more convenient for me to look for Old Master Xiao when I have questions!”
In Yuanying’s opinion, it’s too far to always have to visit Xiao Deyan in Wei Palace. It’s much closer if he’s in the East Palace!
Chengqian was silent for a moment before agreeing: “Okay, I’ll try.”
Yuanying thinks that his eldest nephew is great, a good nephew! Unlike Li Tai, who guards against him like guarding against thieves! All I want was to loan some talent from him.
Chengqian led Yuanying and his younger siblings to meet the Emperor.
Li Er has just settled in when he saw the group arriving. Yuanying was beside Chengqian, I wonder what he has to say to him!
When Chengqian stepped forward to pay respect, His Majesty keenly observes his eldest son who is smart since childhood.
Since the passing of Empress Zhangsun, this son has been a little depressed causing his studies to deteriorate. He rather prefers to leave the palace to go hunting. Even if he was punished and scolded, nothing much has change except that he looks more gloomy.
In comparison, Li Er much prefer Li Tai who is chubby and cute and likes literature. Seeing him brings joy.
His Majesty excused them from the ceremony and turned his eyes towards Yuanying; always having a hunch that this kid was about to cause trouble again.
If this brat hadn’t harassed Kong Yingda about attending the ceremony, he wouldn’t have ordered Chengqian to bring his younger siblings along. As for who’s the most troublesome in the group, it is undoubtedly Li Yuanying!
The Emperor glanced at Yuanying and warned him mercilessly: “This time, not only students from Tang are participating but also students from other regions. If you dare cause trouble, don’t even think about stepping out from the palace gate in the future!”
Yuanying instantly felt like he was being wronged. He just wanted to do his task. His brother is already suspecting that he would cause trouble!
Yuanying decided to ignore his brother and choose to run away to observe the 8,000 students present.
Arriving at the ceremonial hall, Yuanying leaned on the railing and looked down. There were lots of people standing next to each other.
It’s a pity that the students are not accustomed to queuing. They’re not forming a straight line.
Sure enough, where there’s people, there’s bound to be chaos!
Kong Yingda came over, frowning at the commotion below.
Yuanying caught a glimpse of Kong Yingda and ran over to him: “Old Kong, I don’t think the students are good, they can’t even line up properly.”
Kong Yingda was too lazy to pay him any attention.
Yuanying took a minute to think then requested for a large piece of paper which he then rolled into a trumpet shape. He held it and followed Kong Yingda to where the students were congregated.
Yuanying was young, but he is courageous. He held his paper trumpet and shouted at the group: “All of you! Line up according to your ranks, don’t you see Chancellor Kong is here? Don’t you know who he is? Confucius’s 31st descendant, the chief in charge of the Imperial College! Look at yourself, mediocre in your studies and can’t even line up properly, what a shame! Look at those coming from Baekje and Silla who are much better than you. To learn new knowledge, they chose to travel through mountains and rivers to study at Tang empire!”
The boy was listing their faults one by one. Seeing that the crowd was quiet, he became even more critical.
“I heard that Silla is ruled by a Queen. Girl Power, much more powerful than you, able to rule a country! If you’re going to continue being noisy and unable to line up, hurry up home to farm the fields and send your sisters, daughter-in-law, or mothers here to study instead!”
Hearing such piercing words from a child, the supervisors all blushed and consciously shut their mouths and arranged themselves accordingly.
Yuanying was still there commanding energetically: “Arrange yourself from short to tall and align with those on your front, back, left and right. Can’t you even do such a simple task? Look only at the back of the person in front of you!”
Around this time, the professors and teaching assistants also reacted. Seeing Kong’s annoyed face they quickly went down to supervise the students according to Yuanying’s method.
Seeing that the professors were no longer just standing around trying to use their glares to organize the students, the boy gave his “trumpet” to one of the professors and strolled back to Kong Yingda’s side.
“Old Kong , your supervisors are not very good at what they do.”
Kong Yingda glared at him.
Isn’t this the first time we’re organizing such a huge congregation? Kong Yingda thought that since our students are people with a heart for learning, they should be able to organize themselves. After all, even reckless soldiers in the army can line up orderly. Therefore, he only informed about the occasion and did not instruct his men about how to organize themselves.
All he needed to do was to be there In-person and instruct his team of professors. They should be able to quickly calm down the crowd. The kid just reacted quicker and impulsively rushed to the front and started yelling orders!
Yuanying wasn’t happy about being glared at by Kong Yingda. After all, he was just being helpful.
“I’m just telling the truth but you wouldn’t listen!”
Since he was not being appreciated, he was going to find other fun things to do. But as soon as he turned around, he was escorted away by the Emperor’s men.
Li Er was anticipating that his brother would cause chaos so he stationed men to keep watch. The veins on his forehead were ready to pop when he got the news that his youngest brother was shouting at the recruits.
This troublemaker, you can’t even lose sight of him for one second.
Seeing his older brother’s stinky face that hinted that he will be grounded, Yuanying settled down. He quietly slipped back to where Li Chengqian and Li Zhi was and asked Li Zhi if the ceremony is beginning.
Li Zhi nodded.
Li Yuanying stopped running and waited with the others.
Popcorn, coming soon to my possession!
As the auspicious time approaches, His Majesty led the group.
The new students were all in good spirits and all look like talented men with potential. More than 2,000 men were arranged according to their field of study – mathematics, law, literature, and so on. Looks like the future of the Tang empire would be filled with talents.
There were also another 6,000 more observing students who came from other countries. Some were here to learn basic knowledge, some for advanced studies, and they were also arranged according to their major.
His Majesty was in a good mood upon seeing this sight.
This was the academy that he wanted.
Occupying a large area and having lots of students!
The bigger the better, the more the merrier!
He wants to cultivate not only talents within his lands but also talents from foreign countries. He wants all talents to be of use to the Tang Dynasty!