I’m Also Waiting for the Male Protagonist to Usurp the Throne Today Chapter 21

Chapter 21 Miao

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Last night, the black cat hanging upside down on the ceiling of his bedroom left a deep psychological shadow on Li Jinyu.

The cat’s sleek, obsidian fur was devoid of any stray hairs, and its yellow-green pupils glinted with a menacing intensity that sent shivers down his spine!

And it could even smile!

It was definitely not an ordinary cat!

…Even an ordinary cat was terrifying!

Li Jinyu couldn’t remember a grinning black cat in the novel. Emperor Jinchang had a bad temper, and no pets could survive under his hands.

And the chilly aura that appeared with that cat was exactly the same thing that had forced him to hide by Huo Caiyu’s side a number of times!

What was that cat exactly? Was it a cat demon or the incarnation of resentment?

Just the thought of living in the same place as a cat made Li Jinyu feel chilled.

Despite the fact that he was now a human, many times larger than any cat, the fear that had been ingrained in his bones during his days as a little hamster still haunted him. His restless heart could not shake off the terror that overcame him in the presence of cats.

Upon arriving at the scene last night, Huo Caiyu had been the first to enter the room, while Chief Kang had waited outside for a while. By the time he finally made his way inside, he had missed Li Jinyu’s cry of “cat” and was unaware of the terror that had gripped His Majesty.

Now, as he listened to Li Jinyu’s instructions, Chief Kang couldn’t help but wonder about the sudden interest in cats. He had never heard that His Majesty had any particular fondness for felines, and the whole situation seemed rather unusual.

Despite his doubts, however, Chief Kang quickly agreed to the task at hand.

“Oh, and give Huo Caiyu a plate of melon seeds.” Li Jinyu’s heart was filled with gratitude as he remembered Huo Caiyu’s heroic act of descending from the sky to save him when he was in agony last night. He decided to give away his favorite delicacy as a reward for saving the Emperor last night.

Chief Kang, not quite understanding the significance of a plate of melon seeds as a reward, simply nodded and replied, “Yes, Your Majesty.”

“Go quickly and search for the cat!”

There were no secrets in the palace, especially when it came to something as straightforward as owning a cat. Soon, the information on all the cats in every palace and courtyard was gathered and compiled.

Under the tutelage of Huo Caiyu, Li Jinyu had learned enough Chinese characters to roughly understand the book that Chief Kang had brought to him.

Majority of the imperial concubines held lowly status and were often deprived of the opportunity to see the Emperor for years on end. Their living conditions were substandard, and they were forced to endure a life of solitude and confinement. However, even in this bleak environment, they were granted one small comfort— the ability to keep pets. While it may have seemed like a trivial concession, these animals provided a source of solace and companionship for the lonely concubines.

Li Jinyu observed that the higher-ranking concubines typically abstained from keeping pets, while their lower-ranking counterparts often kept cats and dogs as companions. In the lonely and isolated palace, these little creatures— who could not understand human language but could sense human nature— brought a sense of warmth and companionship to the otherwise desolate halls.

However, it seemed that the higher-ranking concubines refrained from pet ownership out of fear that these animals might not understand the rules and inadvertently cause trouble for themselves, potentially angering the Emperor and jeopardizing their own position within the court.

Li Jinyu read through the thin book and confirmed again, “Is everything accounted for? There are no black cats?”

“Reporting to Your Majesty, the list of all the small pets in the palace is here.”

The symbolic significance of black cats had long been shrouded in ambiguity, and even commoners on the streets would often drive them away upon sight. Therefore, it seemed unlikely that any of the concubines within the palace would choose to keep such a cat, knowing that it would only invite unnecessary trouble upon themselves.

Li Jinyu was a little disappointed.

If one of the concubines owned the cat, he could find a way to smuggle the creature out of the palace. After all, he was still pretending to be a tyrant!

But if the black cat wasn’t owned by anyone in the palace, it meant that he would have to go out and look for clues on his own in order to solve the problem.

This realization made Li Jinyu feel dizzy.

He couldn’t shake the feeling that the ominous feline had singled him out for some reason. If he hadn’t been quick on his feet and sought refuge with Huo Caiyu, he might have already become the cat’s prey.


The thought of the cat’s bloody mouth made Li Jinyu shiver all over. To calm himself down, he decided to take a walk in the Imperial Garden before going to run on his giant hamster wheel.


As the spring season unfolded, the Imperial Garden erupted into a kaleidoscope of colors and textures. Every day, new blooms and buds sprouted from the ground, infusing the air with a heady aroma of blossoming life.

Yet, Li Jinyu’s serene walk was suddenly interrupted by the overpowering scent of powder. His delicate nostrils flared with discomfort, and he instinctively frowned. As he looked up, he saw a woman dressed in luxurious garb, approaching him with a simpering smile.

With a sickly sweet voice, she cooed, “Your Majesty, it has been too long. This humble concubine offers her greetings.”

Li Jinyu stepped back, feeling somewhat puzzled. “Consort Xian, aren’t you supposed to be under confinement? Why are you out here?”

Consort Xian lowered her head slightly, adopting a pitiful look. “How could Your Majesty be so heartless as to confine this concubine? It’s so boring to stay in the palace, so this concubine wanted to invite her family for a visit. This concubine was waiting at the palace gate for her uncle, but he was late, so she thought of walking in the Imperial Garden.”

Chief Kang stood behind Li Jinyu, secretly surprised by what he heard. Consort Xian had been able to maintain her position as the leading imperial concubine for so long. She was definitely not an ordinary person.

First, she put on a coquettish act and begged for mercy. Subsequently, she casually highlighted her main strength, which was her relation to the Prime Minister as his niece.

Even someone as ignorant as Chief Kang knew that His Majesty had almost completely delegated power to Prime Minister Ye, with the exception of the military power which was tightly held by Grand Marshal Meng. He could almost be called an uncrowned Emperor!

Consort Xian was using the Prime Minister to pressure His Majesty, all while maintaining a poker face.

Chief Kang secretly looked up at Li Jinyu.

How will His Majesty respond?

Li Jinyu was not particularly a deep thinker.

He furrowed his brow, casting a skeptical gaze over Consort Xian’s form as if to express his doubts about her intellect.

“Your period of confinement has not yet lifted. Who allowed you to leave? Return immediately! Should Zhen comes across you again, your period of confinement will be extended by an additional month!”

Stunned, Consort Xian’s eyes turned red as she cried out in grievance, “Your Majesty, these past few days, this concubine happened to acquire a small pet and wanted to present it to Your Majesty. How could Your Majesty be so heartless?”

A small pet?

Li Jinyu had a bad feeling.

Consort Xian was known for having highly accurate and up-to-date information. He had just sent Chief Kang to investigate the cats in the palace, and coincidentally, they had just encountered Consort Xian. Could it be…

Consort Xian loosened the delicate sleeves of her robes, revealing a fluffy yellow and white cat peeping out from within. Its dainty ears twitched slightly as it gazed up at Li Jinyu with bright, curious eyes.

Li Jinyu’s whole body stiffened instantly.

Before he could even shout “get it away”, the little cat jumped out of Consort Xian’s arms and leaped straight onto him, sniffing at his dragon robe before meowing twice.

Li Jinyu lowered his head and could see the little cat’s eyes full of a hunting desire, its ferocious mouth, and dangerous claws all in full view.

At this moment, he suddenly realized that when people were extremely petrified, their vocal cords would temporarily cease functioning.

In his mind, he had unleashed a deafening cry that would have sent every member of the palace into a state of shock. But in reality, he had remained utterly silent, conserving his vocal cords to avoid the risk of rupturing them.

To any onlooker, it appeared as though the Emperor was studying the adorable little feline with great concentration, his eyes unblinking and his expression intense. This display of fascination with the tiny creature left Consort Xian feeling elated and pleased with herself.

The palace maids had whispered to her about the Emperor’s newfound interest in small pets, particularly cats. And so, she had quickly acquired one from one of the other concubines, hoping to use it to gain favor with the Emperor.

And now, her efforts seemed to have paid off handsomely!

Consort Xian’s hidden joy had not yet fully blossomed on her face when she heard the Emperor ask sternly, “Did you deliberately bring this creature here?”

Consort Xian’s face immediately showed a gentle smile. “Yes…”

Li Jinyu pointed expressionlessly at the small cat hanging on him. “Take it away.”

Consort Xian was taken aback.

“Take it away!”

As the quick-witted Chief Kang deftly plucked the small cat from Li Jinyu’s person and returned it to Consort Xian’s waiting arms, the Emperor remained impassive. His voice, however, rang out with unwavering authority as he pronounced, “Consort Xian has violated the sacred rules of the palace and shall be punished with three months of house arrest and a reduction in her monthly allowance!”

Consort Xian could hardly believe what she was hearing. “Your Majesty, what have this concubine done to deserve such punishment?”

But Li Jinyu was resolute, adding, “Leave the Imperial Garden at once!” The guards promptly escorted the unwilling Consort Xian away from the garden. Li Jinyu maintained his expression and walked to a pavilion, sitting down at a stone table with a chessboard carved on it. Then he collapsed with his head resting on the table.

Chief Kang was startled. “Your Majesty?!”

“It’s alright, it’s alright.” Li Jinyu weakly waved his hand. “Zhen just feels a little weak in the legs. Let’s take it slowly…”


Consort Xian stormed into her opulent palace chambers, her anger palpable in the air. Clenched tightly in her hand was a small, innocent-looking cat, who had unknowingly become the source of her latest scolding from the Emperor.

“Beat this little animal to death with a stick!” she spat out, her eyes burning with frustration.

The monthly penalty meant little to her, but the confinement was proving unbearable, and it had only gotten worse after her latest altercation with the Emperor.

The feline, meanwhile, sat blissfully unaware of the danger it was in, cleaning its paw with delicate licks. The palace maids, all too eager to carry out their mistress’s orders, moved forward to grab the cat by its scruff.

But before they could get close enough, a sudden hand shot out and scooped up the cat protectively.

Prime Minister Ye frowned and looked at the cat with some disdain before turning to Consort Xian and scolding her disapprovingly, “If someone has upset you, go find them and take it out on them. Venting on a little cat? How pathetic!”

“Uncle!” Consort Xian’s eyes brightened as soon as she saw Prime Minister Ye. She paid no attention to the cat as she went up to him and coquettishly complained, “This niece did cause trouble, but to His Majesty. How could this niece dare to be unhappy with him?”

“What about His Majesty?” Prime Minister Ye snorted and glanced around the Hexin Palace. “Looks like you’re living pretty well here. Why did you call me?”

Consort Xian pouted and motioned for the palace maid to bring tea, then turned to Prime Minister Ye and complained, “How is this niece living pretty well? She’s confined to the palace and can’t go out!”

“Isn’t it nice to live leisurely and wealthy in the palace?”

“This niece still wants to soar with His Majesty and have children!” Consort Xian gritted her teeth at the thought of how long she had been in the palace and yet had not been favored by the Emperor. “But now His Majesty is infatuated with a male pet who isn’t even of noble birth…”

“Huo Caiyu?” Prime Minister Ye’s indifferent expression softened slightly as he lightly scratched the cat’s chin with his finger. “Did you call me here for him?”

“It’s the main issue! Uncle, with your power and connections, do you have a way to…” Consort Xian’s eyes suddenly flashed with a hint of fierceness. “…make that male pet disappear for good?”


Hearing that His Majesty felt unwell while strolling the Imperial Garden, Huo Caiyu came to see him again.

Li Jinyu knew that Huo Caiyu was knowledgeable in pharmacology, so he obediently handed his wrist to Huo Caiyu.

Huo Caiyu paused for a moment before placing her fingers on Li Jinyu’s pulse, sensing it for a while before saying, “Your Majesty, there is nothing to worry about. However, it would be wise to take some rest and avoid any strenuous activities.”

Li Jinyu grumbled, his expression somewhat petulant. “Zhe was just trying to relax, but then Zhen ran into Consort Xian…”

Huo Caiyu heard the name that he disliked and pursed his lips, frowning slightly. “Consort Xian?”

“Yes, she was accompanied by a cat! That cat even pounced on me!” Li Jinyu continued his complaints, his voice growing more animated with each passing moment, disregarding his imperial image. “That cat was so big, so big! It even licked Zhen and made noises! It’s too scary!”

Huo Caiyu struggled to maintain a straight face as he listened to Li Jinyu’s tale.

Who would have thought that the tyrant Emperor rumored to be scarier than Yama was so afraid of cats…

This version of the Emperor seemed a bit adorable too?

“Zhen sent Chief Kang to investigate the cats in the palace not long ago, and Consort Xian came to find Zhen with a cat. Do you think she did it on purpose? Zhen wants to demote her!”

Why do humans like keeping cats so much!

Cats were such terrifying creatures, how could they be cute!

Hamsters are obviously the most obedient and adorable!

Huo Caiyu frowned slightly. “Consort Xian received the news immediately?”

He did not know the situation in the palace, but similar to the officialdom and military, if any action was taken, there would be unrelated people who would immediately know about it. Someone must have informed her!

And they reported it at the first opportunity!

How many conspiracies and plots surrounded His Majesty in the palace?

Huo Caiyu felt uneasy and cautiously asked, “Has Your Majesty considered straightening out the internal affairs?”

After Li Jinyu poured out his troubles and calmed down a bit, he hesitated at the question and asked, “Should we straighten things out?”

He knew that the imperial concubines and even court officials used many palace maids and eunuchs as spies, but the previous Emperor Jingchang had been reckless and unconcerned. Now, he didn’t want to deal with too many people.

Besides, in his heart, the palace would eventually belong to Huo Caiyu. He was just staying temporarily for now.

But this time, Consort Xian frightened him with a cat, making Li Jinyu somewhat displeased.

He instinctively turned to Huo Caiyu for help.

The palace would eventually belong to Huo Caiyu, so it shouldn’t be a problem for him to clean up his own house early, right?

Huo Caiyu hadn’t yet figured out what His Majesty’s look meant when he heard him say firmly, “Zhen will leave this matter to Huo Aiqing.”

“Your Majesty?”

“Go do it well!”

Huo Caiyu looked up in surprise and glanced at Li Jinyu.

Straightening out the palace’s internal affairs sounded like a troublesome and offending task, but it was an excellent opportunity to understand the power dynamics in the palace.

His Majesty actually trusted him so much? If he had any ulterior motives, he could completely use this opportunity to eliminate dissenters and install his own people!

Even if he currently had no power or subordinates, he may still be recruited by other forces.

Huo Caiyu couldn’t quite describe the feeling in his heart as he looked up to meet Li Jinyu’s expectant eyes. The words he wanted to say couldn’t come out.

After a moment, he lowered his head again and said in a solemn tone, “This official will definitely not let Your Majesty down.”

Li Jinyu was pleased to see Huo Caiyu agree so readily. It seemed that he also wanted to clean up his future home!

After all the commotion, another day had passed.

Chief Kang brought in the evening meal, which was still the same dishes Li Jinyu usually ate. Emperor Jingchang had a strong taste preference for meat and fish, but Li Jinyu’s own taste was milder. After trying the food, he gradually replaced it with things he liked from the Imperial Kitchen. If it weren’t for Chief Kang’s nagging about how the human body would get too “hot”, Li Jinyu might have just eaten nuts and grains every day.

Seven or eight vegetarian dishes would be considered extremely luxurious for an ordinary family, but for the Emperor’s meal, it seemed a bit shabby. Especially since Huo Caiyu had witnessed the extravagance and waste at the Consort’s place.

However, Li Jinyu didn’t think much of it and directly invited Huo Caiyu to sit down.

According to the rules, when the Emperor and his ministers ate, the minister would have a separate small table with individual dishes. But in Li Jinyu’s eyes, Huo Caiyu was the true Emperor, so he didn’t care about these rules.

Huo Caiyu’s movements paused slightly before obediently sitting down.

After finishing their meal, Li Jinyu happily brought out a plate of peanuts to snack on. Suddenly, Huo Caiyu stood up and said, “It’s getting late, this official should take my leave.”

Li Jinyu was startled. The peanuts in his mouth no longer tasted good. “You’re leaving?”

He turned his head to look out the window. The sky outside was noticeably darkening. The candlelight inside the palace cast ominous shadows across the room, turning the windows like a black mirror or a mouth with dangerous teeth.

Li Jinyu had been frightened by the black cat, so he immediately grabbed onto Huo Caiyu’s sleeve. “Don’t go!”

Huo Caiyu’s movement to leave paused. “Your Majesty?”

Li Jinyu wanted to ask Huo Caiyu to stay and sleep here, but he couldn’t think of a good reason. Even though Huo Caiyu already knew he was afraid of cats, he didn’t want to let him know that he was so afraid of them that he couldn’t sleep alone. Otherwise, what would happen to his tyrant image?

In a moment of urgency, Li Jinyu spoke without thinking, “Zhen commands you to attend to the Emperor in bed tonight!”

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