I’m Also Waiting for the Male Protagonist to Usurp the Throne Today Chapter 56 Part 2

Chapter 56.2 Chip Chip Chip…

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Due to the escalating war situation ahead, Huo Caiyu quickly arranged matters in the court and prepared the central army stationed at the heart of the capital city for departure. Carrying the tiger seal, he swiftly organized their affairs.

The other armies were being mobilized from different regions, and the orders had already been delivered. The Ministry of War would handle the subsequent logistics.

However, Huo Caiyu himself had to take a step ahead of the main army.

He needed to reach the front lines immediately.

Just like any other day, Huo Caiyu made all the necessary preparations, packed a simple bag, and left without any attendants. He bid farewell to his mother and sister, leaving home behind.

He had contemplated whether to bid farewell to His Majesty, but ultimately, he decided to hold back.

He feared that His Majesty might not be willing to see him.

He also feared that if he met His Majesty, he wouldn’t be able to control the impulses in his heart.

On this journey to the borderlands, Huo Caiyu didn’t possess absolute certainty of victory. Unlike most officials who had never left the capital city, Huo Caiyu was well aware of the hardships of guarding the borders.

If he were to die on the frontier, just like his father, it wouldn’t be a bad outcome, it seemed.

If his loved ones shed tears for him, maybe even His Majesty would breathe a sigh of relief, and perhaps there would be a touch of pity from His Majesty even after his death.

Huo Caiyu’s mind was filled with a whirlwind of emotions as he glanced towards the palace’s location. Holding the horse’s reins, he prepared to leave.

However, just around the corner of a nearby alley stood someone he never imagined he would see.

“Your Majesty?”

Li Jinyu stood there, staring at Huo Caiyu’s handsome face in astonishment. He opened his mouth, but no words came out.

He didn’t know how he mustered the sudden courage to rush out of the palace and meet Huo Caiyu.

But seeing Huo Caiyu like this, seemingly determined to leave, caught him off guard.

If he had been even a moment later, he might have missed him entirely.

In the end, he simply managed to say two simple words, “Huo Aiqing.”

Huo Caiyu slowly walked over and unexpectedly pulled him into a tight embrace. The strength of the embrace evoked memories of their reunion in Wuyi Lane.

In the span of a mere moment, Huo Caiyu regained control of himself and released the Emperor, his voice slightly husky. “How did Your Majesty come here?”

Li Jinyu uneasily scratched his ear and whispered, “Zhen wanted to see you.”

Huo Caiyu paused, and the somberness that had unknowingly gathered between his eyebrows dissipated.

Regardless, to receive the Emperor’s words of “wanted to see you,” it made his life worthwhile.

“It’s late, Your Majesty. Let this official accompany Your Majesty back to the palace.”

The capital city slept quietly in the depths of the night.

There were no pedestrians on the road, only patrolling soldiers and the sound of night watchmen’s clappers.

From a few subdistricts away, the rhythmic sound of wooden clappers could be heard, and a faint aroma of food and wine wafted from both sides of the subdistrict.

Huo Caiyu held the reins of his horse with one hand, while the other protected Li Jinyu. “Is Your Majesty feeling tired? Shall we rest on horseback?”

Li Jinyu shook his head and whispered, “Zhen is not tired.”

Huo Caiyu pressed his lips together and briefly surveyed Li Jinyu’s face from the corner of his eye. Summoning his courage, he gently extended his hand and held the Emperor’s right hand.

Li Jinyu neither resisted nor pulled away.

This filled Huo Caiyu with great encouragement, causing him to tighten his grip slightly.

It was as if a refreshing spring had entered his once parched chest, illuminating his dull eyes with a glimmer of radiance.

His Majesty wasn’t as cold-hearted towards him.

To receive such acknowledgment from His Majesty, Huo Caiyu’s heart felt content beyond measure.

After seeing His Majesty off at the palace gates, Huo Caiyu gazed at His Majesty’s concerned eyes. He longed to reach out and touch the Emperor’s face but forcibly retracted his hand.

The journey ahead was uncertain, with no knowledge of whether he would have the chance to see His Majesty again, or if he would return as an esteemed official or a condemned one.

Huo Caiyu desired to take a few more glances at the Emperor, but he feared that lingering would make it difficult for him to leave.

“Your Majesty, please return.” He lifted his gaze to the illuminated palace, pursed his lips, and added, “It is time for this official to leave.”

Li Jinyu raised his head and found Huo Caiyu’s face strangely elusive.

It felt as though Huo Caiyu would disappear entirely if he didn’t take the initiative to reach out and hold him.

Instinctively, Li Jinyu extended his hand and grabbed Huo Caiyu’s arm. “Wait.”

Huo Caiyu turned back, his voice filled with surprise. “Your Majesty?”

Suddenly, Li Jinyu felt a strange unease. The atmosphere between him and Huo Caiyu had undergone an extraordinary transformation over the past few days.

It was neither the initial opposition and hostility, nor the subsequent seamless cooperation. Instead, an indescribable weight seemed to hang in the air, making it difficult for him to catch his breath.

He couldn’t fathom why things had taken this turn.

It all seemed to have changed from that one night.

But it shouldn’t have, right?

It was merely a single mistake. The traces on his body had nearly faded away under the soothing balm from the imperial physician, but the relationship between him and Huo Caiyu hadn’t reverted to its former state.

Li Jinyu paused, gazing at Huo Caiyu’s face, and softly said, “Take care of yourself on your journey.”

Recalling his conversation with the black cat, Li Jinyu felt concerned and tightened his grip on Huo Caiyu’s hand, speaking clearly and earnestly, “Zhen never blamed you for what happened before. Zhen doesn’t want you to die on the battlefield. All Zhen wants is for you to return safely.”

All Zhen wants is for you to return safely.

Huo Caiyu was taken aback and unconsciously released the tension in his furrowed brow.

Over the past two days, he had come to a realization. With their impending separation, he should set aside any unnecessary thoughts and leave a positive impression on the Emperor.

Perhaps, many years later, when the Emperor remembered those lost in battle, he might still cherish his memory.

However, the fact that the Emperor had ventured out of the palace late at night to find him, holding his hand and accompanying him on this long path, and urging him to return safely…

Huo Caiyu had believed that the Emperor had grown tired of him, no longer wished to see him, and their past connection was merely an oversight.

However, as he looked into His Majesty’s clear and unwavering gaze, and observed his tightly clasped hands, Huo Caiyu suddenly realized… he might have been mistaken.

His Majesty’s eyes were filled with concern and unwillingness, without a trace of evasion.

He had misjudged the situation.

He had underestimated the breadth of His Majesty’s thoughts.

His Majesty’s vision encompassed the entire world, holding the universe within his grasp, with the well-being of the nation at heart. The Emperor was skilled in discerning people’s abilities and was unafraid of delegating authority. So why did he believe that His Majesty would reject or even despise someone for a single mistake?

With such brilliance and splendor, how could he not feel love for His Majesty?

Huo Caiyu suddenly felt a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

He chuckled at his own excessive worries, realizing that he had unnecessarily burdened himself. He had been consumed by sadness, distanced himself, and even contemplated the battlefield as the only viable option…

Huo Caiyu gazed deeply at His Majesty, his voice trembling slightly as he said, “Your Majesty…”

He instinctively held Li Jinyu’s hands tightly, and a flicker of warmth ignited within his heart. This tiny flame grew stronger as it met His Majesty’s captivating gaze, and in an instant, it unleashed all the restrained impulses that he had suppressed in recent days.

It was late at night, and apart from the patrolling soldiers, no one disturbed them near the palace gates.

Let death come if it must.

He took a step forward, leaning in close to his beloved’s ear, speaking softly but with words that carried immense weight, “Your Majesty, I love you.”

Witnessing the sudden ripple of astonishment and surprise on the Emperor’s face, Huo Caiyu felt an unconventional sense of contentment welling up inside him.

He thought to himself, finally, it was spoken aloud.

What response would he receive from His Majesty upon hearing his confession?

Judging by the current reaction, there was no rejection, no aversion.

Huo Caiyu decided not to delve deeper into that thought at this moment.

He released Li Jinyu’s hand and retrieved a small, delicate object from his sleeve, placing it into Li Jinyu’s hand.

“This official has prepared a birthday gift for Your Majesty, a token of this official’s heartfelt sentiments. It is a few days late. Hoping Your Majesty won’t find it bothersome.”

Li Jinyu was still immersed in the sensation of Huo Caiyu’s confession when he felt something warm and solid in his palm. He instinctively took a look and discovered it was a piece of jade.

It was a meticulously carved jade in the form of a hamster.

The little hamster nestled against a finely carved jade piece, happily nibbling on a walnut kernel. Its tail curled behind, and its eyes closed with obvious delight.

Despite knowing that Huo Caiyu hadn’t seen his true form and that the jade sculpture might resemble Dumpling, Li Jinyu couldn’t help but feel that the jade hamster before him was himself.

“Huo Caiyu…”

He opened his mouth to speak but was suddenly interrupted by Huo Caiyu’s waving hand.

“This official must leave now. If Your Majesty has anything to say, please wait until this official’s return.” Huo Caiyu took two steps back, reluctantly gazing at His Majesty, a warm and joyful smile gracing his handsome face. “This official will do everything in his power to protect Great Di and ensure Your Majesty’s safety, even giving this official’s life if necessary.”

Li Jinyu’s heart tightened. “But Zhen told you not to…”

“However, if there is even a slim chance, this official will strive to survive with all his might.” After Huo Caiyu finished speaking, all the sadness and uncertainty that once filled his eyes disappeared completely. He regained the exuberance and confidence of his youth. Mounting his horse, he turned its head and cast a final glance at His Majesty, then vigorously flicked the reins. 

His agile figure seemed to be illuminated by a beam of light. “Take care, Your Majesty. This official shall return!”

The journey ahead was long, with no echoes for the mountains and birds to carry. The starry sky sparkled, and the future remained uncertain. Despite the chilling autumn wind that roared through the night, Huo Caiyu’s mood had changed significantly since his departure.

Goodbye, uncertain of when they would meet again.

But as long as his beloved Emperor eagerly awaited his return, he would give his utmost to come back with honor.

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