Living leisurely in Tang Dynasty
Living Leisurely in Tang Dynasty Chapter 44

Li Yuanying notified all his friends and then remembered that he hadn’t asked the Emperor for permission.

He ran over to meet his older brother and devoted himself to him for a long time. He told Li Er all about the Sunflower Garden, saying that he wanted to invite the Crown Prince to motivate the children just like how the Emperor did during the Shi Dian ceremony at the Imperial Academy’s open day.

Li Er was already aware about updates on the garden as he was the one who gave Yuanying permission to rope in Chengqian and the other princes on this project. After enjoying Li Yuanying’s favor, he decided to lift the ban on his children and allowed them to go out for a day.

Li Yuanying then happily ran away.

On the agreed day, the boy first counted his nephews and nieces and then went to the Wei family mansion to pick up Wei Shu. Wei Zheng has left for morning duty and so only Mrs. Pei and Wei Shu were home. He made swore to Mrs. Pei that he will bring sister Shu home safely and easily got permission to pick up his friend.

Yuanying shared popcorn and fish skin peanuts with the other children and proudly boasted about the rarity of these: “I’m sure you’ve never seen or tasted them before.”

Since Yuanying and Chengqian didn’t have much opportunity to spend time together and the last time there was popcorn involved they had “obstructions” between them, he missed out on trying them.

This time Chengqian finally got to try and tasted a few from the little cloth bag. It was indeed unique tasting. He was taken aback when he heard that corn is an easy crop to grow and peanuts can be planted in abundance under the soil.

He has never seen such crops before!

 “You are not allowed to mention this to your father. I want to surprise him with it!”

Hearing that young uncle only reserved a small batch of seeds for planting and has already eaten the rest, Chenqian could only promise to keep the secret. Otherwise, he’s pretty sure his uncle will probably be beaten up by the Emperor!

The last time their young uncle decided to cook sunflower seeds, father jumped in anger. Luckily a small batch was left or else father would never let this slide!

The Sunflower garden only started planting at the beginning of spring but the palace has already carefully planted several batches in its greenhouse fearing that the seeds left would be damaged. To harvest this new crop that can produce oil and be eaten, the workers in the greenhouse were super busy!

At this point, Chengqian could only persuade his uncle while eating popcorn: “Next time, please don’t turn all the seeds you find into food. I’m afraid father might fall sick from always getting angry at you.”

Even though he’s good friends with the children, Yuanying is well aware that the existence of the Myriad Realm Library cannot be disclosed to anyone. Like Sun Simiao said if others don’t have it but only you, how can this pass?

Since he cannot explain why corn and peanuts kept turning into snacks, he certainly couldn’t argue that he didn’t turn them into food himself. After all, it’s the system’s fault for giving him snacks. The seeds were just the accompanying gifts!

Li Yuanying responded vaguely: “Let’s talk about it later!”

Chengqian is well aware that his young uncle is not afraid of anyone nor heaven or earth and so decided to stop persuading him. The group departed on horses and carriages and quickly arrived at their destination. This land was given to Yuanying when his late father was alive. He picked the best piece and circled it. This place is surrounded by water on the front and on its backside the mountains. The whole mountain is part of the sunflower garden.

Many people had hoped to own this place but it was given to Li Yuanying, who was only 4  at the time! In the past few years, the farms have brought in excellent harvests thus bringing in lots of money to Prince Teng every year. Not to mention he has two other smaller farms under his name.

Therefore, Li Yuanying has never been short on money.

It is precisely because he’s rich that he can simply ask those below him to plant new crops like peanuts, corn, and sunflowers. When the farmers first heard that they are not to grow usual crops there were many complaints. Nevertheless, Dong Xiaoyi took care of it by first comforting them and then threatening them. Hence, the issue was taken care of and the farmers obediently planted whatever the prince wanted.

Since Spring began, Dong Xiaoyi has been living on the farm and spent his days monitoring the progress of the crops. He would first patrol the sunflower garden and then the other two farms under Prince Teng. Within a month, his scrawny body has become firm from all the work.

On this day, Dong Xiaoyi was inspecting the tender seedlings in the sunflower field and saw Li Yuanying and his party approaching from a distance. He immediately ran to greet them and brought them to tour the garden and introduced where the sunflowers, corn, and peanuts were planted.

The seedlings are still green and tender and look the same when viewed from a distance. Only when you look closely would you spot the difference.

Yuanying led the party around to view the crops before heading to the new school under the guidance of Dong Xiaoyi.

Before they got close, the sound of reading  could be heard from afar.

It is now March and peach blossoms are in full bloom. When the wind moves, the soft petals flutter gently, making the whole place look like paradise. Yuanying looked at the beautiful peach blossom tree full of pink flowers and asked Dong Xiaoyi cheerfully, “Will the peach tree bear peaches? Is it big? Is it delicious?”

Li Zhi was immersed in the beautiful view and the melodious sound of reading. Hearing Li Yuanying say such a thing, he didn’t know how to respond.

 “Young Uncle, you really know how to spoil the scenery!”

Li Yuanying was not happy: “What scenery? Don’t you want to pick your own peaches? It’s tastier when picked by oneself!” He also pulled Sizi and the others to support him: “Sizi, don’t you think I am right?”

When the choice is between ninth brother or young uncle, hands down Li Yuanying is the winner.  They all agreed that climbing trees and picking peaches must be fun. Although there are peach trees in the palace, they are not as big and good as the ones here. If they bear peaches, they must be big and sweet.

Li Zhi was speechless.

Dong Xiaoyi has served by Li Yuanying’s side for a period and is already familiar with his temperament. After the two princes finished arguing, Dong Xiaoyi introduced carefully: “This is the largest peach tree and it produces the largest peaches and the quality is good. Even if you simply pick any the quality is assured. However, if you are looking for the sweetest one then it’s the tree behind the school but it’s slightly smaller in size. Perhaps it’s because of the good quality of water and soil here, the produce here is tastier than the ones sold outside!”

Li Yuanying loves hearing such flattery. He immediately requested that a report be sent to him once the peaches were ripe, and he will bring his friends along to pick them.

The group continued towards the school and the sound of reading continued on. Whenever the teacher read a sentence, a group of children will recite the same; loud and neat.

The school was rebuilt from existing houses and there isn’t one that is big enough to accommodate 100 people. Hence, the students were divided into several houses according to their age and initial test scores. Some citizens living in the surrounding area heard about a school opening and sent their school-aged children over. In total there were nearly 150 students.

Different teachers have different teaching methods, and the progress of the children is not uniform. When they recite, it sounded more like a competition among classes and they all use their loudest voice. Yuanying is satisfied with this as he likes liveliness. The grand scene of more than a hundred children competing suits his preferences!

Dong Xiaoyi waited until the teachers finished a section before personally knocking on the iron bars. He knocked three times in accordance with the training instructions.

“Dang. Dang. Dang.”

Although the teachers weren’t aware that they have visitors today, they had an agreement that teachers were in-charged of education while Dong Xiaoyi handles the management of the school. In the future, these children will work under the Crown Prince and Prince Teng. They need to be taught well. We can’t raise a bunch of ungrateful and disrespectful white-eyed wolves!

As soon as the bells were sounded, the teachers got the students to exit their classes in an orderly manner and gather in an open space.

Only then did they see Li Chengqian and his group standing not far away. While commoners might not recognize the crown prince, these are educators and scholars so how could they not recognize him?

Seeing the prince observing them, the teachers quickly jumped up to make the students move more quickly. Can’t afford to  disappoint the crown prince!

These children were born poor with no parental upbringing, hence they weren’t aware of who the Crown Prince or Prince Teng is. But Dong Xiaoyi has been feeding them with ideology during exercise sessions every morning. Content is roughly as follow: The person currently giving you food and clothes is Prince Teng while the one giving you an education is the Crown Prince. As long as you take the opportunity to learn, more doors will open up to you in the future. For example, because Don Xiaoyi knew a few words, he has the opportunity to work by Prince Teng’s side!

For these children who have been struggling with basic necessities, it’s useless to tell them about contributing to the nation, benevolence, righteousness, or morality. You have to instead give them the hard truth about why it’s important to be educated so that they will be inspired to take the chance to change their future!

Dong Xiaoyi’s simple and blunt ideology is very effective. When the children heard that their benefactors is here, they quickly lined up. Even the more privileged children of existing citizens were influenced and they all raised their heads to look at the group in luxurious clothing.

The current living members of the Li family were blessed with good looks, especially Chengqian’s generation. The only one without the surname Li is Wei Shu who also looks handsome in male clothing.  The eyes of the children were fixed on this group of nobles.

Yuanying pokes Chengqian, indicating that it is time for him to speak!

On the way here, Yuanying and Chengqian have already discussed this speech. Li Yuanying repeatedly raised various opinions and in the end even changed Chengqian’s eloquence speech into plain simple daily language.

Although Li Chengqian has never liked literature but he still found it a challenge to speak bluntly in front of a hundred kids.

Looking up to face multiple pairs of bright eyes filled with expectations, Chengqian felt strange. He started reciting a simple straightforward speech to the children about his expectations.

The children listened earnestly and pledged to do their best by studying hard and not be lazy!

Even when the group left the Sunflower Garden and headed towards their “secret base”, Chengqian was still reminiscing about how he felt when giving that speech. He still felt lingering emotions in his heart.It’s just a group of helpless children, why is he feeling like this?

He couldn’t understand.

Since he’s unable to figure it out, Chengqian just thought that he will visit again to see how the children have progressed in his next visit.  

Li Yuanying had no feelings toward the incident. He was instead telling his friends all about the secret plan. Visiting  Sunflower Garden is part one; now it’s time for part two: eating roasted beef and watching elephants and horses fight!

Gao Yang who thought this trip was just to visit children was originally a little disappointed. Hearing this, her eyes lit up: “Really?”

“Of course, when have I lied to you!” (Li Yuanying)

Sizi held Yuanying’s hand worriedly “Young uncle, will father get angry?” The last time they accidentally went to Wan Cui Mansion, father threw a fit!

“Don’t be afraid, we’re just going for food and to play. Nothing else! Besides, the Emperor wouldn’t know if we don’t tell him.” (Li Yuanying)

Notes from the author:

Little Prince: If the emperor doesn’t know, he won’t be angry!

His Majesty Li Er sneezes. Thinking about it, it must be because the younger brother is going to become a trouble-making demon again.

  1. Ginkgo has spoken 2 years ago


  2. Ttp has spoken 2 years ago

    “My emperor senses are tingling again”

  3. thesilentdarkangel has spoken 2 years ago

    Hard truth is more beneficial.
    Sophistry are 1st world pestilence.


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