Chapter 2 Chip Chip
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Li Jinyu, who lived as a hamster in modern society, took a keen interest in reading novels with his owner. Unfortunately, he wasn’t always brought along to read, so he could only catch fragments of the story.
In the part of the plot that he was able to follow, the story began with a crisis in the military where soldiers were struggling to survive with limited resources while fighting against foreign invaders. Meanwhile, the Emperor and nobles in the capital city were indulging in lavish lifestyle and ignoring the plight of their people. Young and passionate Huo Caiyu fearlessly confronted the Emperor during the Reed Flower Festival, calling out the corrupt officials. Enraged, the tyrannical Emperor promptly had him imprisoned.
However, he was quickly released with the intervention of the Prime Minister, pointing out that Huo Caiyu was the only son of the late General Huo, who had bravely defended the country and its people on the front lines.
Yet, according to the eunuch, Huo Caiyu was now on the brink of death.
Didn’t the Prime Minister come to plead for his release last night?
It suddenly occurred to Li Jinyu that he had spent last night burying under his blanket like an ostrich, attempting to shield himself with his spiritual powers.
Usually, Emperor Jingchang would indulge in revelry until late at night, and it was at these moments when he was most likely to let his guard down. In the novel, the Prime Minister took advantage of this opportunity and made his appeal.
If the Prime Minister had come to visit him during that time, Li Jinyu would not have been able to hear the eunuch’s message…
Now what! If Huo Caiyu dies, who will rebel?!
Li Jinyu paced back and forth in the room, ignoring the refreshments brought in by the eunuch. He was torn between whether to get involved or not, considering how he had already caused the plot to deviate. If Huo Caiyu died, he might have to live his whole life living in the tyrant’s shell. Li Jinyu immediately made up his mind.
He turned around and faced the nervous eunuch. He took a deep breath before deliberately coughing and saying, “Uh, tell someone to let him go.”
The eunuch’s eyes widened, seemingly disbelieving what he had heard.
Li Jinyu thought that he didn’t understand, so he repeated himself, “Release him.”
Trembling, the young eunuch immediately dropped to his knees with a “thud” and spoke, “Your Majesty, this slave has no right to intervene in the affairs of the inner prison. These matters are usually handled by the guards…”
Li Jinyu understood. “Where are the guards?”
“The guards have gone to the inner prison… to deliver the oral order.”
Li Jinyu was confused. “What oral order?”
Did he give an oral order?
The young eunuch did not dare to lift his head as he answered cautiously, “It’s probably an order to execute Huo Caiyu immediately…”
In the past, when His Majesty asked about someone who had been imprisoned, the guards would be shrewd enough to take care of the matter directly since the Emperor did not want to hear that person’s name again.
Unexpectedly, His Majesty wanted to release young Young Master Huo?
The guards might have miscalculated the Emperor’s intentions, and their actions could potentially anger him.
The young eunuch’s mind started to race, but he quickly pushed his thoughts aside. His own head was not even stable on his neck, how could he have the mind to think about someone else’s business?
Li Jinyu was momentarily perplexed and couldn’t pinpoint where he had misspoken. However, his top priority now was to find a way to save Huo Caiyu’s life!
He wished he could fly directly to the inner prison, but he also knew that he couldn’t reveal his powers to these humans, so he suppressed his anxiety and ordered, “Quickly find someone to release him!”
Since the original Emperor was a tyrant, it shouldn’t be a big deal for him to be a little willful and give orders…
A palace guard emerged from behind the palace gate, and simply responded before turning around and running out.
Li Jinyu breathed a sigh of relief, settled back on the dragon bed, and picked up a pastry to chew on, but it didn’t taste as good as before.
What if the guard didn’t make it in time? What if Huo Caiyu had already been executed?
Did it mean he had to play this tyrant for the rest of his life?
Moreover, he came to the world of a novel, where the original story revolved around the protagonist. If Huo Caiyu died, would this world collapse?
What would happen to him then?
As he dwelled on the situation, Li Jinyu grew increasingly anxious and restless. Li Jinyu threw down the pastry and stood up. “I’m going over there too!”
The Emperor setting up an inner prison to deal with palace-related affairs was not an uncommon practice.
The inner prison was specifically intended to deal with palace servants who committed offenses, and was considered a matter of internal palace governance and not subject to the jurisdiction of the three judicial offices. Sometimes, the Emperor himself would preside over the trials.
Generally, there were not many palace servants deemed worthy of imprisonment, so the inner prison had always been deserted and ignored. However, under the reign of Emperor Jingchang, the inner prison rapidly expanded into a tool for the Emperor to vent his tyranny and brutality. Several expansions were made, but they still couldn’t accommodate all the “prisoners” exiled by Emperor Jingchang. The identity of the “prisoners” expanded from palace servants who had committed offenses to various court officials and civilians who were disrespectful to His Majesty.
The inner prison was filled with the unjust souls taken away by Emperor Jingchang’s orders, but he had never set foot inside it himself.
The eunuchs scurried around, preparing the dragon sedan and notifying the inner prison.
Sitting on the slow-moving sedan, Li Jinyu wanted to urge them to hurry up several times, but he was too timid and afraid of breaking the rules. He could only shrink back silently each time.
When he arrived at the inner prison, Li Jinyu, who seemed to move slowly but actually impatient, quickly got off the sedan and saw a group of strangers kneeling before him, including guards, court officials, jailers, and some nearby palace servants.
He was so frightened that he instinctively retreated a couple of steps, even considering crawling back into the dragon carriage.
Fortunately, the person on the ground managed to catch his footsteps.
It was a young man who looked quite extraordinary, despite being covered in tattered clothes with many dried bloodstains.
To ordinary eyes, this was all there was to see, but Li Jinyu saw more.
The young man’s body was surrounded by tiny purple-gold light spots that hovered around him. Although they were sparse, they were imbued with a strong sense of intimidation that made Li Jinyu stiffen up and unable to move.
Despite not having tasted pork, he had seen pigs running.
That’s the imperial aura of Ziwei!
[T/N]imperial/divine ziwei aura/energy (紫薇帝氣) : lit, Imperial Energy of the Purple Star. In Chinese history and culture, the emperor was often seen as a divine or semi-divine figure, and the concept of “紫薇帝氣” is closely associated with the imperial power and authority. The North Star, which is the source of the energy associated with “紫薇帝氣,” was often considered to be a symbol of the emperor’s mandate from heaven, which granted him the right to rule over the people. The energy was seen as a manifestation of the emperor’s divine power and a reflection of his ability to govern the empire wisely and justly.
Although he had never seen the purple-gold aura of Ziwei, he had heard of it before. When he arrived in this world, Emperor Jingchang had a faint trace of it, but it was almost imperceptible, which indicated that this tyrant’s reign would not last long.
After he arrived, the imperial aura of Ziwei disappeared completely.
The man before him, shrouded with an even stronger Ziwei aura than Emperor Jingchang, was undoubtedly the future wise ruler, Huo Caiyu.
Li Jinyu’s heart skipped a beat, unsure if it was from being overwhelmed by the Ziwei aura or from fear. “What’s wrong with him?”
Is he going to die??
The person kneeling in front of him raised his head and replied, “Your Majesty, after being beaten with a stick, Huo Caiyu couldn’t hold on and passed out.”
Li Jinyu breathed a sigh of relief. As long as he was not dead, everything was fine.
As a demon, Li Jinyu was naturally afraid of the Ziwei aura, but since the man was now unconscious, he wasn’t as scared.
However, he wished to maintain a distance from him at the moment since he was still affected by the Ziwei aura.
“Let him go…”
Li Jinyu originally planned to throw this hot potato out and wait for the end of the plot, but seeing Huo Caiyu in such a critical state, he felt uneasy.
What if Huo Caiyu didn’t have access to the medicine he needed to be cured when he returned?
It was mentioned in the novel that the Huo family’s financial situation was not particularly good!
After much consideration, Li Jinyu took a deep breath and intentionally put on a stern face to instruct the people beside him, “Find a clean place to clean him up, and then find—”
Um, what’s the name of the doctor in the palace?
“Find an imperial physician to treat his injuries.”
Mouths all around hung open in unison as they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
His Majesty would actually show kindness to heal the wounds of those who offended the imperial presence?
Li Jinyu was startled by their strange expressions, almost wanting to step back, but he held on and didn’t collapse. “Do you have a problem?”
Could they have seen through him?
Thinking that the Emperor was displeased with their skepticism, the people below broke out in a cold sweat. “These slaves dare not, Your Majesty!”
Without wasting any time, they commenced their work.
Watching the group of people take the unconscious Huo Caiyu and carry him away on a stretcher, Li Jinyu breathed a sigh of relief and prepared to sit back on the sedan chair. Just then, a eunuch approached him.
This eunuch was not young, about twenty or thirty years old, his face slightly pale with a hint of fear. He asked tentatively, “Your Majesty, where should Huo Caiyu be settled?”
By asking this question, he sought to ascertain whether the Emperor would forgive Huo Caiyu’s crime and deal with it according to proper legal procedures, or whether he would merely guarantee that Huo Caiyu would not be executed but rather subjected to prolonged torture.
Li Jinyu had no memories of the original Emperor, so he naturally didn’t know the intricacies of the situation. He replied casually, “Just pick a good palace.”
To avoid being asked any further, he quickly got into the sedan chair.
The eunuch’s expression shifted slightly. A palace? Inside the palace?
All the concubines lived in the palace. In the previous dynasty, when a minister was left to stay by the Emperor, he was also arranged to stay in the Wenhua Palace. But Huo Caiyu was obviously not qualified to live in Wenhua Palace…
Thinking of Huo Caiyu’s handsome and extraordinary appearance, the eunuch couldn’t help but shiver. Can it be…
He quickly interrupted his own wild thoughts and turned to do his task.
Do not try to guess the Emperor’s thoughts, or you will end up on a dead end.
In fact, Li Jinyu didn’t even get a good look at Huo Caiyu’s face.
The Ziwei imperial aura naturally had a deterrent effect on demons and monsters, and Li Jinyu, who was at least a spiritual hamster was still very afraid of Ziwei imperial aura even if he hadn’t done anything wrong. It was better not to get too close.
Li Jinyu returned to his bedroom, where he was the only one present. The feeling of not sharing a room with a human immediately soothed him.
He was still very afraid of dealing with humans. Li Jinyu’s species was the most timid and human-fearing Roborovski hamster. Even after gaining spiritual awareness, he only dared to engage in simple intimate interactions with his owner. For him, the two-legged walking animals that were several times larger than him were just too terrifying.
Now that he had transformed into a human, his fear of them had diminished slightly, but the shadow imprinted on his bones still could not be dispelled. If possible, he really wished he could stay in his bedroom with no one around, waiting for the protagonist to usurp the throne.
Li Jinyu rolled on the bed a few times. Despite his well-thought-out plan, everything felt off, and his whole body felt itchy as if he hadn’t showered.
After lazing around in bed for a while and finishing his lunch, Li Jinyu suddenly remembered that it was time for his daily exercise.
Even in modern society, after becoming a spirit, he still chose to stay in his owner’s house, so most of his instincts and habits as a hamster were well preserved.
A hamster typically runs over 20 kilometers a day, and if they don’t get enough exercise, they become restless. When keeping a hamster as a pet, they are usually provided with a hamster wheel, and Li Jinyu was no exception.
But now there was no hamster wheel for him to run on… and he couldn’t turn back into his original form, so his large body couldn’t run either.
Li Jinyu looked at his luxurious yet useless chamber and had half a mind to go for a walk, but he was afraid of encountering strangers.
After rolling and rolling around in bed for a while, his instinct to exercise overpowered his timidness. He stood up, determined to take a stroll in the palace.
Afterwards, he would need to figure out a way to make a giant hamster wheel for himself…
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