I’m Also Waiting for the Male Protagonist to Usurp the Throne Today Chapter 42

Chapter 42 Chip Chip!

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A top scholar emerged from Dengbang Hall. Without delay, they launched a vigorous publicity campaign.

Anxious not to offend the esteemed scholar, the proprietor sought out Third-Ranked Scholar Xu, requesting him to lend the radiance of his renowned name, offering in return their unwavering commitment to ensuring his prosperous settlement in the bustling capital city.

Scholar Xu was not good at dealing with people, but his friend made the decision for him, “Certainly!”

Scholar Xu blushed. “But wouldn’t this be improper?”

Dismissing Scholar Xu’s concerns with an air of indifference, his friend retorted, “Why worry? It’s not as if we’re breaking the law. What’s there to fear? Is the paltry stipend from Hanlin Academy enough to sustain your livelihood? And what about supporting your family back home?”

Scholar Xu thought about his impoverished hometown and fell silent.

His family’s financial situation was not good. They had accumulated debts to support his education and examination preparations.

Were it not for the tax reform, their family would not have had the courage to borrow money to send him to take the exam.

The Dengbang Hall orchestrated a symphony of vibrant publicity, its resounding echoes drowning out even the prestigious names of the Number One and Second-Ranked Scholars.

Amongst the grand procession of the Three Worthy Scholars, it was Scholar Xu’s handsome appearance that seized the attention of countless citizens within the imperial capital, resulting in a cart full of thrown flowers.

At first, only daring young ladies would throw flower bouquets at the young and promising Three Worthy Scholars. Later, men joined in, and it became a tradition in the capital to throw flowers at the Three Worthy Scholars during parades.

There were even careless individuals who accidentally threw the wrong things, and once, a bamboo-woven basket nearly struck down the Number One Scholar from his carriage. Consequently, in subsequent processions, the Three Worthy Scholars would ride on horseback, accompanied by a carriage specifically designated to catch the floral offerings cast by the jubilant populace.

Among the Three Worthy Scholars in this procession, Scholar Xu, with his exceptional appearance, received the most exuberant praise from the Dengbang Hall, naturally garnering the highest level of attention.

As the old adage proclaimed, “A towering tree invites the tempest”. In no time, the winds of envy began to carry whispered rumors.

“Have you heard how Third-Ranked Scholar Xu managed to secure his position? It is said that His Majesty likes male beauties. Just look at Third-Ranked Scholar Xu…”

“Indeed, on the day of the palace examination, Third-Ranked Scholar Xu remained in the palace until late at night. Who knows what transpired within those palace walls?”

“Isn’t the newly appointed Regent Prince the same? They say that he was initially a male favorite, forcefully elevated by His Majesty…”

Nurtured by the machinations of those with vested interests, the resentment and envy aimed at Scholar Xu’s achievement swiftly transformed into doubts concerning the Emperor and the newly anointed Regent Prince.

Particularly among those who failed to pass the palace examination that day, their inner resentment and jealousy were further stoked.

It wasn’t that their literary talent was lacking, but rather, they couldn’t match up to Scholar Xu’s exceptional looks!

In the realm of literature, there existed no unparalleled first, just as in the realm of martial prowess, there existed no invincible second.

Those who reached the stage of the palace examination could not help but feel a tinge of arrogance and self-satisfaction.

Prime Minister Ye idly toyed with the yarn ball in his hand, feeling bored before carelessly casting it aside, his gaze faintly betraying a chill.

Since Huo Caiyu could play him with candidates armed with fraudulent examination questions, he naturally had to return the favor in kind.

Didn’t the new imperial examination system claim to be fair and just?

When the power of the throne became oppressive and the people’s words turned fearsome, when one’s reputation had been tarnished, what use was there in talking about fairness?


Huo Caiyu, newly appointed as the Regent Prince, nearly succumbed to exhaustion as he navigated through the arduous labyrinth of ceremonial rituals at the Ministry of Rites. What followed were countless administrative responsibilities, accompanied by the Prime Minister’s orchestrated provocations, leaving him barely enough time to quench his thirst.

The Prime Minister had also revealed the insidious currents of public opinion. Contemplating his options, Huo Caiyu devised several strategies, pondering over which one would be more potent and resolutely extinguish the deliberately disseminated rumors.

In stark contrast, Li Jinyu found himself brimming with joy. Ever since he initiated his power struggle against the Prime Minister, numerous officials sought his counsel on matters of state, their conversations seemingly an endless repetition of wheeling and dealing.

Despite his zealous efforts to embody the cruel disposition of his predecessor, why did it seem that the ministers grew increasingly impervious to fear?

Now, with the Regent Prince in place, he could unabashedly delegate the affairs of the court!

…Yet, reality seemed to have a different plan.

Regent Prince Huo didn’t fully assume the all-encompassing authority Li Jinyu had imagined. Instead, he often consulted with him regarding the state affairs the ministers presented to him.

Li Jinyu felt something was wrong.

He delicately implied, “Aiqing, by appointing you as the Regent Prince, Zhen has entrusted you with full authority. There is no need for you to seek further confirmation from Zhen.”

Huo Caiyu set aside the documents, fell into a brief silence, and suddenly asked, “Has anything unusual occurred with Your Majesty’s health lately?”

Perplexed, Li Jinyu cleared his throat and responded, “Everything remains as it has always been.”

Except for the persistently nagging itch on both sides of his head.

“If Your Majesty is in good health, it is crucial to stay attuned to the sentiments of the officials. How else can Your Majesty maintain control over them?”

Li Jinyu gazed at Huo Caiyu’s earnest expression and couldn’t help but support his forehead. Why did he need to control the officials?

It’s you who should control the officials!

Unfortunately, such thoughts couldn’t be voiced so explicitly.

Li Jinyu felt as though he had returned to the days when Huo Caiyu diligently instructed him in calligraphy, his heart sinking with a sense of hopelessness in the face of Huo Caiyu’s conscientious and responsible nature.

Confronted by Huo Caiyu’s grave expression, Li Jinyu reluctantly settled beside him, joining in the perusal of the scrolls.


Huo Caiyu’s heart was not as virtuous as it outwardly seemed.

For the past few days, he had been engaging in daily discussions with His Majesty on matters of the state, driven by a desire to spend more time in the company of His Majesty.

As for the affairs of the court, he could certainly handle the intricate tasks alone, and deep within, he harbored no intention of usurping His Majesty’s authority as the Prime Minister did.

Yet, if he were to focus solely on governance, what purpose would there be in his role as the Regent Prince?

Since he held the regency, it was imperative to foster a close bond with His Majesty, ensuring that the relationship between the Regent Prince and the Emperor remained harmonious.

Firm in his decision, Huo Caiyu resolved to visit His Majesty each day.

As he imparted his teachings, Huo Caiyu suddenly noticed that His Majesty had been incessantly scratching his head, raising his perplexity. “Does Your Majesty find any aspect of these documents confusing?”

“No, Zhen…,” Li Jinyu didn’t know how to explain, and unable to resist, he scratched his head again before responding, “It’s just… itchy.”

Huo Caiyu’s gaze fell upon His Majesty’s head, and after a brief silence, he cautiously asked, “How long has it been since Your Majesty last bathed?”

He remembered that his Majesty was not particularly fond of bathing.

Li Jinyu’s face flushed instantly.

“Zhen… Zhen do bathe regularly!”

Though he didn’t bathe frequently, he used his spiritual power to cleanse his body!

The Roborovski hamsters were very clean!

However, faced with Huo Caiyu’s skeptical gaze, Li Jinyu became perplexed once again— could it be that he had indeed gone too long without bathing?

Could it be that bathing with water and cleansing with spiritual power were different for the human body?

Upon such contemplation, Li Jinyu also grew uncertain.

“In that case, let’s take a bath. Huo Aiqing shall accompany Zhen.”

Startled by the unexpected suggestion, Huo Caiyu’s hand trembled, and for a brief moment, he was on the verge of dropping the documents. His astonishment caused his mouth to agape as he uttered, “Your Majesty…”

Now, Li Jinyu’s subconscious mind had come to associate bathing with the enigmatic presence of the black cat, and only with Huo Caiyu’s reassuring proximity could he find security.

Of course, it was also to safeguard the secrecy of his hidden tail…

“You should cover your eyes.”


Once more, the silken bonds veiled Huo Caiyu’s eyes as Li Jinyu gently guided him toward the edge of the bathing pool.

Empowered by his innate energy perception, Huo Caiyu required no assistance from Li Jinyu to navigate the path ahead. But if His Majesty wanted to hold his hand, he, in turn, wouldn’t speak a word of refusal.

Li Jinyu guided him to a set of steps adjacent to the water, carefully placing Huo Caiyu’s hand on the railing. “Be careful.”

Initially, his intention was simply to partake in his own bathing ritual, perhaps seeking to have Huo Caiyu serve as a protective charm against malevolent forces. But witnessing Huo Caiyu’s obedient agreement, a twinge of remorse tugged at his heart.

It felt unjust to have Huo Caiyu merely stand there, a passive observer while he indulged in the sanctity of his bath.

And so, an invitation was extended to Huo Caiyu to join him in the bathing pool.

If they were true brethren, then they should bathe together, each in their own tub!

This was the first time Chief Kang received such a command, and he momentarily hesitated before gently expressing, “Your Majesty, the bathing pool is cleaned daily.”

The bathing pool was a private bath reserved for the Emperor, with a pool large enough to be an entire palace room. Usually, the Emperor would bathe or play with his consorts there.

However, the Emperor had a particular fondness for the orchid-scented bath, though no one knew the reason behind it.

Li Jinyu avoided the bathing pool simply because it required a much larger quantity of water compared to the tub.

However, on several occasions while bathing in the tub, he encountered the black cat, leaving Li Jinyu with a reflexive psychological shadow associated with the tub.

Why not try the bathing pool?

The pool was so spacious, providing ample distance between Huo Caiyu and the potential encounters. It should be fine, shouldn’t it?

With such thoughts in mind, Li Jinyu summoned the courage to step into the bathing pool.

In accordance with the Emperor’s instructions, the bathing pool had been prepared with warm water well in advance.

Beneath the sprawling grandeur of the bathing pool’s chamber, an intricate network of subterranean pipes facilitated the circulation of fragrant vapors and enveloping warmth, ensuring the perpetuity of the water’s soothing temperature even on the coldest of days.

As for the bathing pool, its water was directly channeled from a nearby spring, heated in the furnace to a soothing warmth, and then poured into the pool through the water inlet pipe.

Of course, during the scorching summer, the heating process was omitted, allowing the pleasantly cool spring water to be used for bathing, providing utmost refreshment.

Within the expansive hall, a faint mist of water permeated the air, condensing on the enameled glass dome before coalescing into droplets that cascaded down. The stone balustrades and lacquered wooden floors of the hall carried a gentle moisture as a result.

Viewed through the veil of mist, figures appeared somewhat blurred.

Li Jinyu found great satisfaction in this ambiance—now, even if the blindfold were to slip off Huo Caiyu’s eyes, he would not be able to see him!

Listening to the rustling sound of the Emperor undressing, Huo Caiyu’s fingers slightly tightened their grip on the carved stone railing, feeling an inexplicable sense of nervousness.

Unlike their previous encounters, where Huo Caiyu had gallantly rescued the Emperor from the tub, this instance marked an intimate convergence, where they stood face to face, bared and vulnerable.

His eyes were concealed beneath the silk scarf, leaving him unaware of his surroundings. However, the sound of Li Jinyu’s entry into the water and the playful splashes it created sparked a whirlwind of imagination within Huo Caiyu.

Even though he couldn’t see the Emperor, the Emperor could see him clearly.

If he were to reveal his true feelings in front of His Majesty… his heart’s intentions would inevitably be exposed.

His Majesty’s fluctuating behavior, alternating between closeness and distance, warmth and coldness, plunged Huo Caiyu into inner turmoil. Each passing moment left him more uncertain than before.

In the past, he had been bold and unyielding, fearlessly standing up to corrupt officials in broad daylight, toppling them with unwavering determination. But now, in the presence of his beloved, he concealed his sharp edges and spirited demeanor. He approached His Majesty cautiously, like a delicate dance, guided solely by his ardent admiration.

Only because he couldn’t bear to lose.

He could bear any other losses, for a human’s life spans a mere century. If he couldn’t spill his blood for the prosperity of the nation, its people, and honor the teachings passed down by his father, how could he face his own conscience?

Only His Majesty’s favor was something he couldn’t afford to lose.

Therefore, he chose to conceal his inner stirrings and suffering, serving as a loyal sword in the Emperor’s grasp. His duty was to eradicate corruption, restore order to the court, diligently fulfill the Emperor’s wishes, treat him well, and yearn for his love.

Huo Caiyu slowly released his grip on the stone railing, took a calm breath, and discreetly unfastened his attire. Without removing his innermost undergarment, he immersed himself in the water, deliberately selecting a spot neither too close nor too distant from the Emperor.

Li Jinyu overcame his initial trepidation and joyfully explored the expanse of the bathing pool, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings.

It was his first encounter with bathing in such a spacious pool!

Born and raised in a small cage with only sand for bathing, Li Jinyu once again experienced the extravagance of the human emperor.

It was just a tad too spacious. Taking a few extra steps, Li Jinyu’s view of Huo Caiyu became blurry.

Once, not even a wall could deter a fearless black cat, but now, the absence of Huo Caiyu’s figure sent a wave of unease through Li Jinyu. Hurriedly, he closed the distance between them.

Huo Caiyu carefully sprinkled water over himself, one hand clutching a towel for drying while the blindfold rested securely on his head.

Witnessing Huo Caiyu’s deliberate and tentative actions, Li Jinyu suddenly felt a pang of remorse.

What could Huo Caiyu have been doing?

It tugged at Li Jinyu’s heart to think that the future ruler, within the sanctity of his own bathing chamber, had to block his vision.

Overwhelmed by empathy, Li Jinyu gently pushed aside the warm water, leaning closer to whisper, “Huo Caiyu.”

Huo Caiyu raised his head, unable to see, yet his face still managed to align perfectly with Li Jinyu’s voice. “Your Majesty?”

Li Jinyu pondered, unsure of what he could offer. He hadn’t discovered a way to conceal his tail completely, nor could he conceive of a suitable gift for Huo Caiyu.

Ultimately, he could only suggest, “Shall Zhen give you a back rub?”


Huo Caiyu’s towel slipped from his grasp, falling gently onto the water’s surface.


Li Jinyu was seeing Huo Caiyu’s ** for the first time.

As a result of his lifelong martial arts practice, Huo Caiyu boasted an admirable physique. Underneath his sun-kissed complexion, the ripple of muscles could be felt, evoking the image of a lithe and agile gazelle, radiating strength at the slightest touch.

Until now, Li Jinyu had only explored the contours of his own body, and even during their shared slumbers, he and Huo Caiyu were always separated by layers of fabric. Only now did he truly perceive the physical form of another man.

In contrast to his own sheltered and tender frame, Huo Caiyu’s body emanated a primal force, an untamed vigor.

In that moment, a tinge of longing and self-doubt washed over him.

Hamsters would forever lack the raw power and intoxicating allure that permeated their own bodies.

No matter how much they exercise, hamsters remained adorably plump and fluffy, with no hint of muscular definition.

Li Jinyu recalled the details from novel— Huo Caiyu, in the later stages, had endured significant hardships and fought valiantly, leaving him adorned with an array of scars that were quite intimidating when he disrobed.

However, the Huo Caiyu before him hadn’t encountered the same ordeals as depicted in the novel. His back bore only a handful of faint marks—the remnants of a perilous encounter with assassins during their visit to Qingshui Prefecture.

Almost instinctively, Li Jinyu reached out and brushed his fingertips against those scars.

For reasons unknown, a faint sense of unease and tenderness blossomed in his heart as he touched those marks, which had faded into shallow traces.

It felt as though something was lodged within his chest, causing unfamiliar emotions to swirl and linger, quietly taking shape.

The skin beneath his fingertips quivered ever so slightly.

Soon, a raspy and restrained voice emerged from Huo Caiyu’s lips, “Your Majesty?”

Li Jinyu abruptly snapped back to reality, a flicker of unease prompting him to instinctively take a step backward, sensing an unusual undertone in the air.

Before he could respond, an intense itch tingled through his freshly washed head.

Succumbing to the irresistible urge, Li Jinyu reached up and lightly scratched his head.

He stood there, momentarily frozen, his gaze fixated on the shimmering surface of the warm water beneath him.

Within the water, a hazy reflection emerged, shattered and reassembled by the gentle ripples, yet revealing the unmistakable sight of a pair of round, furry ears atop a fair face!

Startled, Li Jinyu involuntarily took a step back, his footing faltering, and with a “plop”, he tumbled into the water!

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