Living Leisurely in Tang Dynasty Chapter 36

Li Yuanying was so thoroughly annoyed with his older brother that he accidentally ate too much dinner. He didn’t feel like taking a dip in the hot spring and so he took the girls for a walk around the palace instead.

When his dinner was digested, Yuanying had a new idea. Since he was going to open an academy that would teach everything, he naturally needed to offer a course on medicine.

To teach people about medicine, you first need to have good medical books!

If Sun Simiao could record down all his knowledge and share them with others, wouldn’t that create many more genius doctors in the future?

He requested the girls to return home to play, while he went straight to look for Sun Simiao.

Sun Simiao often travels around the world. If I don’t try to make him stay now, it’ll be difficult to track him down next time!

Since Sun Simiao is famous for being skilled, the imperial physicians did not rush to bed but instead gathered around to ask him for medical advice.

Hearing that Li Yuanying came running, those present with Doctor Sun was astonished but quickly got up and left. All just to successfully avoid Li Yuanying, the little devil king.

Yuanying didn’t care about what others thought of him. He sat down beside Sun Simiao and excitedly told him all about his plans to open a big academy.

Once this kid wants to convince someone, he would spew one reason after another and can put forth long sentences in one breath: “Nowadays, there aren’t yet a proper collection of medical books and the number of doctors are quite limited. Lots of so-called traveling doctors are scams. Scamming someone off their money is not a big deal but human life is. First, let’s not talk about wrong medication killing another person, but should there even be a slight delay in administering treatment, there will be consequences to the patient. When the academy teaches those who want to study medicine, this will create many doctors. With that, the people wouldn’t have to worry about seeing a doctor!”

The old doctor that Yuanying’s idea was good, but difficult to achieve.

“When are you going to open this academy?”

“Once I return to my own land!”

Yuanying is well aware that his answer sounded like it would take place far into the future so he tried to convince Sun Simiao instead by telling him all about the library he has already set up, saying that he could put the books into the library first.

He actively lobbied: “Although I’ve already brought in books shared by the imperial doctors and they are available in the library, the books are too scattered. People who already know medicine need not read them and people with no knowledge will not understand them. Since you are so powerful, is there a way to compile a book that teaches people how to cure diseases? If you can compile it for me, I can just recruit a few good teachers to share the knowledge.  If you can compile it, I will ask Li Chunfeng to print lots of copies  so that everyone has a chance to read it!”

Li Yuanying kept talking and managed to persuade Sun Simiao.

When talking, the boy kept mentioning “common people” and “citizens” in a loud tone and it hit right at Sun Simiao’s heart. Coincidentally, scam doctors is a major pain point for the old doctor.

The methodical and systematic medical books that Li Yuanying kept mentioning have already been written by Sun Simiao successively over the years. He has already named it <<Prescriptions Worth a Thousand in Gold>> [1]Qianjin Fang –  early Tang compendium of herbal medicine by Sun Simiao which means that the human life is as valuable as a thousand gold.

In a way, the old doctor’s thoughts were the same as the young prince. He has just never mentioned it to others.

Sun Simiao pondered for a moment before promising in a warm tone: “Since that’s the case, I’ll stay in Chang’an for a little while longer this time.”

If Li Yuanying is indeed true to his words then it’ll be okay to hand the book over to him after completion.  After all, he wrote this book intending to prevent people from being cheated by quack doctors and to get timely treatment.

The boy was happy when he heard the agreement. Thinking back about Li Er’s irritating words, he moves toward Sun Simiao and raises one more request: “Can you also teach me how to diagnose sickness? You know, the type where you can tell what’s wrong with a person by looking at their face! Bian Que was able to do this. With just one glance at Marquis Huan of Cai, he was able to diagnose how severely sick he was. That’s so amazing! “

Sun Simiao shook his head:  “Doctors practice four methodologies in medicine -seeing, hearing, asking, feeling. But not many can tell a disease  by just seeing alone.”

Li Yuanying said disappointingly: “Oh. Even you can’t do it?”

“It’s not possible.” (Sun Simiao)

Sun Simiao looked at the boy carefully and shared his basic judgment from his observation: “Your Royal Highness has flushed cheeks and your eyes are bright. The color of your lips and tongue are lustrous too. All these indicate that your Highness’s body is healthy. Conversely, withered complexion, dull eyes, skin and lips, and different tongue coatings are all signs of illness. To determine the specific disease, further diagnosis is needed. For example, start from the patient’s daily life and see if a root cause can be identified or check the person’s pulse to see if there’s an indication of organ problems.”

Li Yuanying listened carefully and thought it wasn’t too difficult. He requested that the old doctor teaches him pulse diagnosis.

“There are many records in medical books on this topic but to hear the differences in pulse beat is difficult due to extremely subtle changes. One must discern quietly, otherwise, just a small difference might give completed different results.”

The implied meaning of Sun Simiao’s words was simple. It’s impossible for a playful person like Li Yuanying to calm down enough to learn this so let’s just forget about it.

But Li Yuanying would never admit that he cannot sit still and is not conscientious. He heard Sun Simiao and thought that the method of pulse diagnosis was extremely mysterious. He then said enthusiastically: “I want to learn it!”

Sun Simiao couldn’t refuse such a positive child, so he shared a formula for him to memorize.

 Li Yuanying was never interested in memorizing things but this time he was interested in the art of diagnosing through a person’s pulse. He received the book in all seriousness. Once he has successfully learned it, he’ll know everything when he touches his brother’s pulse!

Carrying the goal of wanting to scare the Emperor to death with his new ability, Yuanying didn’t go to bed upon returning home. He instead read the book that the old doctor gave him.

Compared to others, Li Yuanying had great advantage. For as long as he finishes a book, the Myriad Realm Library allows him to store it and he can reread them at any given time. And within his Library, he doesn’t have to sleep. His body is fully nourished all the time, ensuring that he leaves the place in his best condition.

This allows Li Yuanying to have twice as much study time efficiently compared to others.

Of course, this was of no use to Li Yuanying in the past. After all, he rarely wanted to learn anything. He doesn’t lack anything and only wants to have fun. It’s not like there’s anyone who would play with him within the Myriad Realms Library.

This time the boy tried his best to learn the method of pulse diagnosis and the usefulness of said Library was revealed. He only needed one night to thoroughly read the medical book given by the old doctor. On top of that, he was even able to identify all the internal organs mentioned in the book with the help of the system.

The system directly gave Li Yuanying a simulation model. He could first understand the structure of the organs and bones of the human body and then the rules of blood flow and muscle movement.

Although the simulation model was quite creepy to look at due to its realness Yuanying was naturally a courageous person. He even curiously reached out and poked the bright red heart that beats in the chest of the model. Very interesting.


After helping him understand the basic structure, the system allows the model to simulate the pulse of various common diseases for Li Yuanying to practice.

In order not to exceed the outline, the system limited the scope of the simulation to those within the content of the medical book that he has just finished reading. This was also to not incorporate diseases that were discovered in later generations.

From the system’s point of view, this learning progress is normal. After all, everyone learns this way in the future so there shouldn’t be a problem.

Li Yuanying didn’t think there was a problem either. After all the system could simulate an actual replica of  Jiucheng Palace, what is the big deal in simulating a person.

The boy played with all the pulse conditions that he was interested in. He felt that it was very convenient to learn pulse diagnosis like this! He excitedly made a request to the system: “Why don’t you replace the dummy’s face with that of my brother?!”

The system replied in a straight-forward manner: “Custom models cost 100 points.”

Li Yuanying said curiously: “Didn’t you say I have lots of points?”

The system  went  silent for a while and then replied “Yes.”

After all, it’s quite rare to get a host that shows no interest in the library like Li Yuanying. He has accumulated so many points but has not used them.

Yuanying happily spent 100 points to replace the dummy’s face to that of Li Er. He then said to the system: “I want to see what a pregnancy pulse sounds like.”


The system silently switches the model’s body to pregnancy state.

Li Yuanying took the pulse of his pregnant “Brother” in all seriousness and finally felt that his revenge had been avenged. He then went to bed happy!

Early the next morning, Li Yuanying ran to Sun Simiao after breakfast and told him that he has finished reading.

Sun Simiao was secretly surprised.

The old doctor did a short examination and found that the boy wasn’t lying. He could recite the entire volume of the book! Not only did he merely recite them, but he also managed to recreate the correct posture of taking a pulse.

What’s even more surprising is that the boy was not merely pretending but has understood the content of the book by heart. He’s able to explain the methods of pulse detection in a clear-cut way!

If it weren’t for Li Yuanying’s naive statement yesterday about wanting to learn to diagnose diseases through sight, Sun Simiao would have been skeptical about him never learning this before.  

Since the Emperor is making a trip to Li Mountain, naturally many servants followed him here. With that, there are bound to be people who get sick or injured and need medical attention daily. Sun Simiao wanted to put Li Yuanying to the test and so let him check the patient’s pulse first before he would cross-check again.

The results were obvious: As long as it was a symptom mentioned in the book, Li Yuanying could diagnose them correctly. If it’s not within the book, Li Yuanying could only vaguely guess where the illness is in the body.

This alone was enough to shock the old doctor. Many who have studied medicine for half their lives might not necessarily be at this level!

If Li Yuanying weren’t royalty,  Sun Simiao would have chosen him as a close disciple and would teach him all he knows about medical skills.

Unfortunately, he is royalty and why would someone of such high status be willing to be a low-ranking doctor?

Sun Simiao sighed: “I’ll pass you a few more books to read. After that, I’ll sort out common pulse patterns that I’ve encountered before and pass you a copy for reference.”

Yuanying was overjoyed to have received the doctor’s affirmation. He went back and continued reading the books that Sun Simiao had picked for him.

When Sizi and the others came intending to play, Li Yuanying immediately boasted that he now knows how to take pulse. It only took him one night to learn! Since Sun Simiao the old genius doctor says that he has learned this skill, that should mean that he’s now proficient in it!

Both Sizi and Hengshan said in shock, “Young Uncle is amazing!”

Chengyang nodded in agreement.

Li Zhi and Gao Yang looked on in disbelief. They have never heard about him learning about pulse diagnosis. Could it be that the old doctor was so remarkable that he managed to teach someone in one day? Totally impossible!

If you were to brag about other things, you might get away with it but a lie about pulse diagnosis will be easy to expose.

Gao Yang lifted her sleeves up revealing a fair and delicate wrist. She then raised her eyebrows at Li Yuanying in disbelief: “Then take my pulse, let me see if you really have skills!”


1 Qianjin Fang –  early Tang compendium of herbal medicine by Sun Simiao

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