Chapter 32 Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip?
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After changing into casual clothes, Li Jinyu happily strolled through the streets, his eyes taking in the sights around him. Having seen the hardships of the people in Qingshui Prefecture, he became curious about the lives of the citizens in the capital.
Last time he had run out of the palace, his mind filled with the joy of successfully escaping and the unwillingness to chase Huo Caiyu’s carriage, so he didn’t pay any attention to the scenery of the capital city.
Perhaps due to being under the Emperor’s feet, the people’s spirits were much better than in Qingshui Prefecture. The beggars on the roadside were not as numerous and frightening as in Qingshui Prefecture.
The streets of the capital were bustling with people, but Li Jinyu preferred a quieter path to stroll. He munched on the boiled corn that Huo Caiyu had bought, enjoying the taste and texture of the snack.
Huo Caiyu followed behind him, looking somewhat helpless. “Why don’t Your Majesty sit down and eat?”
“This is alright.” Li Jinyu swallowed a mouthful of corn and wiped his mouth.
Moving his legs and teeth at the same time was too satisfying.
“Eating while walking is not good for the stomach.”
Li Jinyu felt that Huo Caiyu had been nagging him more often since their return from Qingshui Prefecture. He turned his head and saw Huo Caiyu looking serious, so he had no choice but to relent. “Then Zhen… I will finish eating first and then we can continue walking.”
Huo Caiyu and Li Jinyu settled down at a cozy tea stand, and Huo Caiyu ordered himself a cup of clear tea. With a flourish, he retrieved a small green jade cup from his sleeve and pulled out a small package of unidentifiable tea leaves to add to it. He then handed the cup over to the tea stand owner, asking him to brew it for him.
The tea stand owner chuckled at Huo Caiyu’s unusual behavior and shook his head. “Did this young master really bring his own tea leaves when he went out?”
“My younger brother loves this tea. Please forgive me for any offense,” Huo Caiyu replied gently.
The owner had no objection. After all, he generously paid him two coins, so why not accommodate his request?
As Li Jinyu nibbled on his corn, they waited for their tea to be served. When it finally arrived, Li Jinyu couldn’t help but exclaim in surprise, “Oh, they have this type of tea here too?”
“If you like it, that’s good.”
Li Jinyu finished the corn and took a sip of tea, closing his eyes in satisfaction.
Huo Caiyu couldn’t help but smile at Li Jinyu’s expression of contentment. He gazed at him, taking in every detail of his face, and felt a warmth spread through his heart.
Li Jinyu drank two sips of tea and was about to pick up the second corn, when a familiar and pleasantly surprised voice sounded. “Brother Huo and Brother Li?”
Li Jinyu looked up and saw a baby-faced young man walking towards them from the other side of the tea stand.
With a familiar smile on his face and a folding fan in his hand, Chi Zhongming sat down with them at the tea stand, curiously sizing up Li Jinyu and complimenting him, “Brother Li seems to be much rounder.”
The corn in Li Jinyu’s hand suddenly lost its fragrance.
He lowered his head and pinched his own stomach, looking worried, “Have I really gained weight?”
He couldn’t remember eating excessively, but perhaps he had been neglecting his exercise routine lately.
Chi Zhongming didn’t expect his casual comment to have such an impact on Li Jinyu. He could feel the weight of Huo Caiyu’s unfriendly glare and quickly backpedaled, attempting to smooth things over.
“You were just too thin before, Brother Li. Now, you look perfect,” Chi Zhongming reassured him, hoping to alleviate the tension in the air.
Li Jinyu still appeared doubtful and turned to Huo Caiyu for a more honest assessment.
Huo Caiyu spoke up without hesitation, “He’s right.”
He sincerely thought that His Majesty couldn’t eat well in Qingshui Prefecture, and now that he had returned to the palace, it was only natural that he would gain some weight.
Li Jinyu was naturally one hundred percent reassured by Huo Caiyu’s words, so he breathed a sigh of relief.
However, Li Jinyu couldn’t bring himself to take another bite of his corn. He made a mental note to spend an extra two hours on the hamster wheel tonight to burn off any extra calories.
Huo Caiyu’s gaze turned sharp as he glared at Chi Zhongming, his voice laced with anger. “What brings you here, Brother Chi?
“I came out to buy some food for my precious baby,” Chi Zhongming sighed, “He’s such a picky eater.”
Li Jinyu’s curiosity suddenly ignited.
He recalled a conversation back when they were in Qingshui Prefecture, where Chi Zhongning had mentioned having feelings for someone. “Precious baby? Who is it?”
Although Huo Caiyu was not as gossipy as Li Jinyu, there was a hint of curiosity in his eyes.
Was Chi Zhongming’s love interest also a man? Had they become lovers?
Chi Zhongming proudly rolled up his sleeves, revealing a furry little ball inside. With a flourish, he presented the tiny creature to his companions, “Look.”
The little ball unfurled to reveal a pair of sharp ears and sparkling blue eyes. It let out a lazy meow, stretching its paws.
Li Jinyu froze.
He stared at the ferocious, terrifying, violent, and evil beast, and the voice that came from his mouth sounded unfamiliar. “What is this?”
“It’s a cat, Brother Li. Have you never seen one before?” Chi Zhongming reached out and scratched the kitten’s chin, his face showing a sweet smile. “My cat has a temper and is quite picky about food. I have to put a lot of thought into his meals every day…”
Huo Caiyu had already noticed that something was off with Li Jinyu. He stood up and walked two steps towards him, but before he could say anything, Li Jinyu suddenly leapt into his arms, burying his head into his embrace.
Huo Caiyu froze.
Chi Zhongming looked at them in surprise. “Brother Li, this isn’t really appropriate in public, is it?”
Two strikingly handsome men were locked in a tight embrace in the middle of the bustling street. The sight of them drew the attention of passersby, who paused to stare at the unusual display of affection.
Regaining his composure, Huo Caiyu gave Chi Zhongming a warning glance and spoke, “Jinyu doesn’t like cats.”
With a gentle pat on Li Jinyu’s back, he comforted him, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here.”
Chi Zhongming tucked his own kitten back in his arms with a laugh. “Brother Li, are you really afraid of such a small cat?”
Li Jinyu’s fear diminished a bit, but he still nestled into Huo Caiyu’s embrace, only exposing half of his face, and obstinately declared, “It’s not fear, it’s dislike!”
Chi Zhongming laughed again and fanned himself. “Fine, fine.”
Huo Caiyu cherished the chance to hold his beloved in his arms and sat down, relishing Li Jinyu’s reliance on him. His expression softened considerably.
Chi Zhongming looked at them with envy. “Tsk, tsk. Brother Huo, why don’t you get a cat?”
Li Jinyu immediately lifted his head and widened his eyes in alarm. “No way!”
Huo Caiyu was now living in the palace. If he got a cat, wouldn’t they have a higher chance of running into that person who loved cats in the palace?
Chi Zhongming deliberately prodded, “Why not?”
“Don’t cats have a fierce temperament? Why would you want to keep one?”
“Brother Li, don’t you know? It is said that the person in the palace really loves cats, which has sparked a trend of adopting cats.”
Li Jinyu: “……”
The meaning of the phrase “those above set an example for those below to follow” was deeply understood by him this time.
He only wanted to find the black cat that scared him in the middle of the night. He was not looking to adopt one!
“Who said His Majesty was planning to adopt a cat? Perhaps he just wants to abuse them.”
Chi Zhongming put away his elegant folding fan. “If His Majesty really wanted to abuse cats for pleasure, why wouldn’t there be any follow-up actions?”
“Maybe he secretly abuses them behind our backs!”
“The ruler of the country, let alone with His Majesty’s temperament, how could such cruel behavior be hidden from the public eye?”
Li Jinyu had nothing to say.
Emperor Jingchang’s past reputation as a brutal and incompetent ruler was well known to the people, and his temperament was never kept hidden.
However, he could not have imagined that such a common impression of the Emperor could lead to such a result.
If His Majesty indeed wants to abuse cats, he must do so openly and confidently. The lack of such behavior would indicate that there is no truth to these rumors!
Chi Zhongming spoke in a hushed tone, his elegant folding fan still in hand, “It appears that His Majesty has changed for the better. Perhaps he desires to take control. The implementation of the Single Whip Policy has led to a significant decrease in taxes paid by the people, and many are secretly praising His Majesty’s wisdom and bravery.”
Li Jinyu was astonished. “What? Wasn’t the Emperor always shirking his responsibilities?”
He spoke loudly, causing the nearby tea stall owner to flinch in fear. “Young Master, please be careful with your words.”
How could he dare to discuss politics in public?
Li Jinyu smirked, enjoying the fear he saw in the owner’s eyes. He tilted his chin towards Chi Zhongming, indicating that he had not lost his usual flare for provocative discussions.
After all, as the villain who must eventually be overthrown by Huo Caiyu, it was his role to be audacious and daring!
The tea shop owner heaved a sigh and spoke up, “But this new tax policy has truly eased the burden on us common folk. It seems that His Majesty still cares for the well-being of his people.”
Li Jinyu: “…”
He couldn’t help but say, “I heard that the new tax policy was actually created by Official Huo. What does it have to do with the Emperor?”
Suddenly, Li Jinyu felt a slight vibration in his chest, and he looked up to see Huo Caiyu’s smiling face.
Chi Zhongming winked at Huo Caiyu and said, “Brother Li seems to be defending Brother Huo quite a bit.”
Huo Caiyu leaned in close to Li Jinyu’s ear and explained in a soft voice, still beaming with his charming smile, “When the new tax was implemented, they removed my name and attributed it to His Majesty’s decree.”
Li Jinyu asked, “Who did that?”
As soon as he met Huo Caiyu’s chocolate-brown eyes that were eagerly seeking praise, Li Jinyu realized who was the culprit.
His vision went black, and he almost passed out.
What did Huo Caiyu do?
The common people didn’t bother to think too much about it. They only knew that whoever allowed them to live peaceful lives was a good Emperor and a good official.
The Single Whip Policy that freed the people from heavy taxes and levies naturally received the support of the majority!
He had labored tirelessly for what felt like an eternity, all in preparation for this moment. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, one that could catapult him into the limelight and cement his reputation as a force to be reckoned with. How could he possibly let it slip through his fingers?!
The idea was undoubtedly Huo Cauyu’s, the result of countless hours of brainstorming and strategizing. And yet, he had given up the “naming rights” to himself, forfeiting the chance to put his name at the forefront of this groundbreaking initiative.
Looking at Huo Caiyu, who still looked very happy, Li Jinyu couldn’t control his nature for the first time, and suddenly leaned over and bit down on Huo Caiyu’s shoulder!
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1 thought on “I’m Also Waiting for the Male Protagonist to Usurp the Throne Today Chapter 32 Part 2”
!!!! HIS SHOULDER ?