I’m Also Waiting for the Male Protagonist to Usurp the Throne Today Chapter 63 Part 2

Chapter 63.2 Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip.

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Zhong An bowed and stepped back to a corner before straightening his back, taking a brief breath, and wiping the sweat off his wrinkled face.

In silence, he held the broom and swept the clean blue stone pavement. After sweeping the entire stretch of the stone path, he returned to his own dwelling.

The Imperial Mausoleum had scarce human presence, and the eunuchs each lived alone.

Zhong An entered the room and closed the door behind him. He placed the broom down and sat silently at the table for a while. Suddenly, he looked up and retrieved a sparkling bracelet from the cabinet. Holding it in his hand, he examined it closely for a moment before letting out a sigh.

“His Majesty has grown so much… I’ve heard that he’s doing incredibly well now. You should be content,” he murmured.

Li Jinyu, who was discreetly following the weird old eunuch, felt a slight sense of confusion.

Quietly tailing Zhong An, Li Jinyu wanted to discover if there was anything unusual.

After all, he had nothing to occupy himself with in the mausoleum.

Observing Zhong An reminiscing and sighing over a bracelet, Li Jinyu’s curiosity was piqued once again— could it be that Zhong An recognized Emperor Jingchang from their childhood?

And who might this “you” be?

Judging by the style of the bracelet, it seemed to be designed for women. Could it be associated with the Empress Dowager?

However, if the bracelet belonged to someone close to the Empress Dowager, why would they be assigned to the mausoleum?

Li Jinyu leaned in, examining the bracelet closely. It had a smooth and slightly aged appearance, indicating its long history.

After listening for a while longer, Zhong An fell silent. His reminiscence concluded, and he returned the bracelet to its place, resuming his usual demeanor as an ordinary old eunuch.

With no further information to gather, Li Jinyu quietly withdrew.

Upon returning to the Emperor’s abode, Li Jinyu summoned General Huo Caijin. “General Huo, please investigate the background of the eunuch named Zhong An assigned to the mausoleum.”

Huo Caijin, still wearing the ghost-faced mask, spoke in a raspy voice. “Why does Your Majesty wish to investigate this person?”

Li Jinyu couldn’t fathom why he suddenly held such interest in that old eunuch. After contemplating for a moment, he replied, “Perhaps Zhen is merely feeling restless.”

Huo Caijin responded, “This official will comply with Your Majesty’s order.”

The number of palace workers dispatched to the mausoleum was few. If given a choice, most individuals who had made mistakes would prefer to be sent to the Laundry Bureau.

Despite the toil at the Laundry Bureau, it was still within the capital, where the Emperor and concubines resided. By utilizing money and connections, there were always opportunities for them to leave.

The Imperial Mausoleum was situated in such a remote location that only a few individuals would come across it in a year. Even in death, they would be disregarded and forgotten, truly abandoned in this place of exile.

Obtaining the relevant files proved to be a straightforward task. That very night, Huo Caijin brought Zhong An’s dossier.

Zhong An’s dossier was exceptionally clean, containing only one record of his entry into the palace and subsequent exile to the mausoleum for offending the Late Emperor. There were no other noteworthy incidents.

Li Jinyu flipped through the documents and pointed to a specific entry. “What is Zhenhua Palace?”

After entering the palace, Zhong An was assigned to Zhenhua Palace.

Huo Caijin remained silent for a moment before responding in a hushed voice, “It was the residence of the late Consort Dowager Zhong.”

“Consort Dowager Zhong?” Li Jinyu had never heard of this person and felt puzzled. “Who is she?”

“Consort Dowager Zhong was the Late Emperor’s most favored consort, almost elevated to the position of Empress. However, her excessive indulgence, coupled with her premature move to the Empress’ designated Jiaolan Palace before the Late Emperor could officially proclaim her as Empress, led to her being criticized by the censorate and falling out of favor with the Empress Dowager.”

Huo Caijin explained with a somewhat raspy voice, “The Late Emperor had no choice but to strip her of her noble title, leaving her only with the family name as a designation. Consequently, she lost the position of Empress as well.”

Li Jinyu scratched his ear, entering a pensive state.

Could it be that the “You” mentioned by Zhong An referred to Consort Dowager Zhong?

“What happened to Consort Dowager Zhong now?”

“Deprived of her Empress title, Consort Dowager Zhong became sorrowful. She passed away due to illness before the Late Emperor’s demise.”

If it truly was Consort Dowager Zhong, what connection did she have with him?

Li Jinyu suddenly thought of something and cautiously inquired, “Did Consort Dowager Zhong… have any children?”

Huo Caijin remained silent for an even longer period this time, and after a while, he answered in a hushed voice, “Consort Dowager Zhong once bore a son, but his health was delicate from birth. He passed away when he was around three years old.”

Li Jinyu furrowed his brow. “In which year was he born?”

“In the twelfth year of Qiming.”

Qiming was the reign title of the Late Emperor.

“The twelfth year of Qiming…” Li Jinyu recollected the birth chart he had seen on his previous birthday. Emperor Jingchang was also born in the twelfth year of Qiming!

As he contemplated Empress Dowager’s perpetually aloof demeanor…

A bold idea suddenly emerged in Li Jinyu’s mind:

Could it be possible that Emperor Jingchang was not Empress Dowager’s biological child?

This idea caused a slight throbbing sensation in Li Jinyu’s head.

If his hunch was true, many previous anomalies could be logically explained.

It was precisely because Emperor Jingchang was not her own flesh and blood that Empress Dowager treated the original Emperor with such indifference.

But why would Empress Dowager raise the child of another consort?

Could it be that Empress Dowager’s own child had passed away, and she clandestinely substituted Consort Dowager Zhong’s child to raise?

Li Jinyu’s mind was in turmoil when he suddenly felt a pat on his shoulder. A raspy voice filled with concern reached his ears, “Your Majesty, don’t think too much.”

Li Jinyu looked up and found himself face to face with the menacing ghost mask worn by Huo Caijin.

He froze, taken aback.

The tone of Huo Caijin’s words felt strangely familiar.

Only one person had ever spoken to him in that comforting and supportive tone before.

Li Jinyu fixed his gaze on the ghost mask on Huo Caijin’s face, and his doubts resurfaced.

Could this “Huo Caijin”… actually be Huo Caiyu?

But wasn’t Huo Caiyu supposed to be at the border, engaged in battle… Why would he assume the identity of Huo Caijin and appear here?

Moreover, Li Jinyu had carefully observed earlier and noticed the absence of the Ziwei imperial aura that usually surrounded Huo Caijin.

Just to be safe, Li Jinyu concentrated his spiritual power once again into his eyes.

However, when he opened his eyes, he saw countless pale purple dots swirling in the air.

The Ziwei imperial aura accumulated within the Imperial Tomb was abundant. Even the furniture and surroundings were enveloped in its ethereal glow, making it impossible to determine whether the person before him possessed it or not.

Could he be mistaken once more?

But this peculiar sense of familiarity was not baseless!

Li Jinyu looked at “Huo Caijin” suspiciously, assessing him from head to toe, and cautiously inquired, “General Huo, how is your health?”

Huo Caijin calmly took a step back and replied with a hoarse voice, “Your Majesty, the treatment still requires daily attention.”

Li Jinyu wanted to command Huo Caijin to remove the mask and see if he was truly Huo Caiyu, but he felt somewhat hesitant.

What if his own yearning for Huo Caiyu had led to misplaced emotions? What if Huo Caijin truly resided beneath the mask?

It was said that a girl paid great attention to her appearance. If he insisted on having Huo Caijin remove the mask and scars showed on her face, wouldn’t it be his own wrongdoing?

Li Jinyu circled around Huo Caijin once more but couldn’t find any other suspicious details.

Huo Caijin stood still, allowing him to observe, and eventually, a slightly puzzled voice emerged from beneath the mask, “Your Majesty?”

“Nevermind. General Huo, you may go and rest for now,” Li Jinyu reluctantly gave up, waving his hand, refocusing his attention on himself.

Perhaps he was feeling a bit off due to the impact of Huo Caiyu’s words during the New Year…

It would be better to concentrate on considering the matter of switching the prince with a look-alike.


Li Jinyu planned to start with Zhong An.

Taking advantage of Zhong An’s absence while sweeping outside, Li Jinyu sneaked into Zhong An’s room invisibly and stole the bracelet.

Huo Caijin was now the only person he could trust, so he presented the bracelet to her for identification.

Huo Caijin accepted it and examined it for a while before quietly responding, “The jade bracelet bears the imprint of imperial bestowal, but it lacks the phoenix pattern. It must belong to Consort Dowager Zhong.”

Li Jinyu pondered, stroking his chin, and suddenly raised his head to ask, “General Huo, are you quite knowledgeable about the palace’s belongings?”

Huo Caijin remained composed, answering openly, “As young ladies, we always pay special attention to jewelry. Moreover, when the imperial concubines adopt a certain style, it quickly becomes popular among the common people.”

Failing to find any evidence of deceit, Li Jinyu looked disappointed and redirected his gaze to the bracelet. “From this perspective, Zhong An does seem to be Consort Dowager Zhong’s person.”

It felt unreasonable to marvel at how the Emperor “has grown up” while looking at Consort Dowager Zhong’s bracelet.

Huo Caijin stood silently for a moment before speaking, “Your Majesty, why concern yourself with the elderly who suffer punishment in the Imperial Mausoleum? Your Majesty is the current Son of Heaven, with a stable throne. There is no need to worry about others.”

Li Jinyu glanced at her and shook his head, saying, “You don’t understand.”

What purpose did a stable throne serve him?

If Emperor Jingchang was truly not Empress Dowager’s biological child, and it involved the scandal of an imposter prince… then his claim to the throne would be considered illegitimate and morally wrong!

Wouldn’t that provide a perfect excuse for Huo Caiyu to seize the throne?

With this realization, Li Jinyu became even more enthusiastic.

With only a few days remaining in the fasting period at the imperial mausoleum, he decided to directly summon Zhong An for questioning.

As soon as Zhong An entered the room, he noticed Li Jinyu playing with a familiar jade bracelet in his hand, while Li Jinyu didn’t look up to acknowledge him.

He was initially startled, but then his heart sank, and he managed to maintain a calm expression.

“Your Majesty, how may this slave be of service?” 

Although Li Jinyu kept his head lowered, he discreetly observed Zhong An from the corner of his eye.

Upon entering the room, Zhong An was somewhat surprised but primarily focused on the bracelet in Li Jinyu’s hand, showing little signs of guilt.

Li Jinyu felt a sense of doubt in his heart, prompting him to speak more cautiously, “Zhong An, how many years have you been at the imperial mausoleum?”

Zhong An remained silent for a moment and replied in a low voice, “Your Majesty, it has been seventeen years.”

Seventeen years… That meant the original Emperor was sent here when he was approximately two years old.

Li Jinyu furrowed his brow and asked abruptly, “After all these years, have you revealed that matter to anyone?”

Zhong An was startled and immediately prostrated himself, his gaze unintentionally falling on Huo Caijin standing behind Li Jinyu.

Li Jinyu noticed Zhong An’s gaze, further confirming his suspicions. “This person is under Zhen’s command, no need to worry.”

Only then did Zhong An lower his head and respectfully respond, “As a servant within the Imperial Mausoleum, this slave only witnessed Your Majesty’s presence and have not disclosed any information to anyone.”

Li Jinyu nodded, understanding it within himself.

Observing the seamless exchange of dialogue between Zhong An and himself… the original Emperor Jingchang must have been aware of this matter.

Perhaps some faint traces were discovered during the previous ceremonies in the Imperial Mausoleum.

The act of switching the prince must have been known to only a few… perhaps only the one who gave the order and the one who carried it out.

Li Jinyu’s thoughts wandered, and he made a decision to take a risk.

He softly parted his lips and questioned, “Zhong An, there is still something Zhen is curious about… Why did she instruct you to switch Zhen?”

Zhong An was slightly taken aback, looking at Li Jinyu with confusion, as if not understanding why this question was being asked.

Li Jinyu maintained a serious expression. “Zhen wants to hear it directly from you.”

Zhong An trembled slightly and obediently replied, “Back then, Her Highness committed a grave offense. Fearing that Your Majesty would be implicated, she arranged for Your Majesty to be transferred to the favored Empress Dowager. It is hoped that Your Majesty understands and appreciates Her Highness’ painstaking efforts.”

If you enjoy this novel, support the Translator ginevre on her ko-fi account :))

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Leave a comment