The Tyrant’s Cannon Fodder Male Empress Chapter 29

Chapter 29

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“Eldest Brother, stop hitting me! I’ve been working hard lately and have already turned over a new leaf!” The Third Prince’s mind was full of hastily memorized scriptures, which he was nearly forgetting due to the beating from the Eldest Prince.

Upon hearing this, the Eldest Prince paused his rhythmic beating, put one hand behind his back, squinted his eyes, and stared at his foolish younger brother. “Let me test you: During the reign of Duke Xiao of Qin, the court and the common people both disagreed with Shang Yang’s reforms. Later, Shang Yang advised the ruler on how to deal with the people’s objections. What did he say?”

The Third Prince, dizzy from the beating, gave the Eldest Prince a blank look, clearly an expression of complaint that the question was out of scope.

But the Third Prince didn’t dare to complain. Instead, he stammered to buy time, “Shang Yang? Ah… He was a capable man. Since everyone disagreed, he told the Emperor…”

The Eldest Prince scrutinized him. “Yes, he told him what?”

“He said…” The Third Prince, desperate to survive, stealthily glanced at his reader-in-waiting, hoping for a reminder through lip-reading.

However, this question was indeed beyond the scope of what the Third Prince had learned. Naturally, his reader-in-waiting didn’t know either and returned a similarly clueless gaze, locking eyes with the Third Prince.

The Third Prince was at a loss.

The Eldest Prince, completely impatient, raised his hand and started to rhythmically slap the back of his younger brother’s head. “Say it! Say it! Say it!”

“He said, he said! I remember now!” The Third Prince was on the verge of tears, tearfully clutching his head and looking up at his crazed eldest brother, his voice trembling as he stalled for time. “He… he first paid his respects to the Emperor…”

The Eldest Prince raised his hand and started a rhythmic lecture. “Warring States! Period! Had no! Emperor!”

Xue Yao struggled to hold back his laughter, almost feeling sorry for the clueless Third Prince!

“I mean! I mean, he first paid his respects to the King, and then Shang Yang…” This time, the Third Prince directed his plea for help towards the reader-in-waiting of the Eldest Prince.

This time he chose wisely. The reader-in-waiting, being erudite, was not perplexed by such questions.

The tutor of the Eldest Prince promptly responded to the Third Prince’s plea, mouthing the words for him to imitate: “Entice the people with benefits. Don’t share your initial thoughts.”

The Third Prince, failing to understand at first, finally grasped the shape of the words “entice with benefits” after the reader-in-waiting repeated them. He joyously looked up to inform his brother, “And then Shang Yang pulled out a sum of silver, enticing the King to collaborate with him on the reforms!”

The Eldest Prince was so astonished by his brother’s foolishness that he lost his rhythm for a moment.

Xue Yao was on the verge of bursting into laughter. He didn’t actually know what Shang Yang had said either, but he was certain that Shang Yang wouldn’t have tried to bribe the sovereign with silver.

The Third Prince feared he wouldn’t last till he saw the Father Emperor today.

The Eldest Prince’s face turned cold. Void of anger and eerily calm as if plotting fratricide, he coolly asked, “Is this your idea of hard work?”

The Third Prince also sensed the lack of logic in his answer. With a bite of his teeth, he defensively argued, “Eldesr Brother, which book from the Four Books does this question come from?!”

The Eldest Prince remained unflustered. “You’re turning thirteen next month. Do you plan to study the Four Books forever?”

Realization dawned on the Third Prince. The question was indeed out of scope!

He suddenly felt so wronged that he exploded, “Father Emperor only asked me to read through the Four Books first! Who could answer such arbitrary questions?”

“Hmph,” the Eldest Prince confidently stared at the Third Prince and called out to his most proud younger brother, “Old Seventh, Wei Yang said to Duke Xiao of Qin—”

But the Seventh Prince was engrossed in spinning his little pinwheel, ignoring his eldest brother.

An awkward silence fell.

The Eldest Prince, feeling a blow to his pride, turned and whispered a lure to the Seventh Prince, “Want to go catch tadpoles with me?”

The Seventh Prince’s eyes sparkled as he excitedly looked up at his eldest brother!

The Eldest Prince seized the moment to repeat, “Wei Yang said to Duke Xiao of Qin—”

For the promise of catching tadpoles, the Seventh Prince instantly lit up his tape recorder skills and answered without hesitation, “The people should not be concerned with the beginning but can be delighted by the success.”

“Well done.” The Eldest Prince turned back smugly, casting a disdainful glance toward his third brother.

The Third Prince’s face darkened. “That doesn’t count! Old Seventh, he… he’s not normal!”

With a raise of his hand, the Eldest Prince resumed his kinetic education. “You, offering silver! Bribing a sovereign! Is that normal?”

Xue Yao, barely containing his laughter, was interrupted by a servant’s request for them to enter the palace.

The Third Prince, his scalp numb from the beatings, wore a look of despair.

He had indeed put in a lot of effort to memorize his lessons, but after the rhythmic thrashing, he had almost forgotten everything. His mind was filled with “enticing the King with benefits,” unsure if Father Emperor would accept silver.

The Fifth Prince and Xue Yao, just before entering the hall, pleaded with the Seventh Prince not to respond randomly.

The Seventh Prince simply said, “Your son eats two mung bean cakes before sleep.”

Fifth Prince: “……”

Even Xue Yao couldn’t decipher the chubby cub’s train of thought.

Actually, the Seventh Prince’s reasoning was quite straightforward: Consort Xi had said, no answering Father Emperor’s questions meant no bedtime snacks, and since His Highness needed his mung bean cakes before sleep, he had to answer questions. Thus, he couldn’t agree to the Fifth Prince and Silly Yaoyao’s request.

His Highness really wanted to eat those cakes!

Xue Yao and the Fifth Prince were unaware of Consort Xi’s threat to her son, but they sensed the little prince wasn’t inclined to cooperate. Both felt anxious, fearing that the Third Prince would lose face and seek revenge later on.

The six princes stood in line, with the Emperor seated at the head, scanning the room with a click of his tongue in dissatisfaction. “What’s Yuanzhao busy with now?”

The eunuch Cheng Dong stepped forward, bowed, and replied, “The Second Prince entrusted this servant to hand this letter to Your Majesty for perusal.”

The Emperor waved his hand in impatience. “I’ve no interest in his riddles. It’s too much. He didn’t come last time either!”

“Please calm down, Your Majesty. The Second Prince is engrossed in the Daoist arts, praying for your blessing…”

“Enough! Isn’t he the one who doesn’t like to leave his quarters? Issue a decree, I’ll confine him to his quarters for a month!”

Hearing this, Xue Yao remembered that there were seven princes in total. One was still missing from the hall.

The Second Prince had not shown up!

In the novel, there wasn’t much mention of the Second Prince because he was exceptionally… reclusive, a Daoist enthusiast, but not in the sense of practicing alchemy, rather in ideology.

The Second Prince occasionally wrote a single word or symbol on talisman paper, handing them over to be delivered to the Emperor or his brothers.

It was all very mysterious. No one understood what the Second Prince wanted to express.

He vaguely remembered that the Second Prince sided with the Eldest Prince, and when the Eldest Prince fell from power, he left to become a wandering monk.

The Emperor was at his wit’s end with this Daoist son. Punishments had been tried, to no effect. He couldn’t just execute him, so he left it to fate.

The questioning of lessons began in an orderly fashion.

With proper respect to age and status, the Eldest Prince went first, answering smoothly and scoring perfectly.

Due to the Second Prince’s absence, the Third Prince was next in line, set to stand out like a sore thumb against his brothers.

The nervousness wasn’t confined to the Third Prince alone. The Fifth Prince and Xue Yao were also on edge, fearing the Seventh Prince might blurt out an answer unexpectedly.

The Sixth Prince, being young, hardly understood the risks of answering out of turn.

The Eldest Prince, on the other hand, would have welcomed an interruption from Old Seventh, eager for a chance to embarrass the Third Prince into striving harder.

The room was filled with people wearing expressions of various emotions.

The Fifth Prince’s small head was covered in nervous sweat.

Xue Yao stood behind the princes, just like the other readers-in-waiting.

He watched the back of his Long Aotian ward’s head, silently praying the cub wouldn’t speak up.

However, when the Emperor asked the Third Prince the first question, Xue Yao saw the Seventh Prince’s little ears twitch.

It was over.

This was the cub’s way of showing eagerness to interact.

The little guy was listening attentively to the question, clearly ready to jump in with an answer!


Xue Yao swallowed nervously.

Just as the Emperor finished stating the question.

Suddenly, Xue Yao lifted his hand and silently… covered the Seventh Prince’s ears!

The Seventh Prince, who had been listening intently to the speech, heard at the moment of the Father Emperor’s inquiry, “So, a nobleman eats not to the point of fullness, and liveszzbzzbzzbzz…”

The Seventh Prince, his ears covered, tilted his little head in confusion. “? ? ?”

As soon as the Emperor finished asking, Xue Yao quickly withdrew his hand.

The cycle repeated several times.

The Emperor would pose a question — at the crucial moment, Xue Yao would cover the chubby cub’s ears — and then let go once the question was asked.

Moments later.

The Third Prince stumbled over a question.

And the Seventh Prince remained unaware of what the Father Emperor had asked!

In the end, the Emperor, frustrated, grabbed a memorial and flung it towards the Third Prince. “Ignorant fool!”

The Fifth Prince’s eyes sparkled, as if he heard the trumpets of victory.

Xue Yao had made a merit!

The Seventh Prince, thanks to a “sudden deafness,” hadn’t heard any of the Father Emperor’s questions!

When the examination was over, the princes left Yangxin Hall, walking together until they reached a fork in the road.

The Eldest Prince took the opportunity to criticize and educate each of his younger brothers in turn, dismissing them one after the other.

One by one, the other princes departed.

Turning the corner past the palace walls, out of sight, Xue Yao faintly heard the Eldest Prince humming a cheerful tune.

He was truly very satisfied!

Xue Yao felt uneasy, sensing a side of the Eldest Prince that was hidden from others.

This guy was nothing like the somber, deeply vengeful Eldest Prince from the novel!


Consort Xi had never paid much attention to Noble Lady Yi before.

There had been many consorts and concubines who sought her favor, but ever since Consort Tong’s betrayal, she no longer trusted their sweet words.

Therefore, even though she met Noble Lady Yi in person, her demeanor remained politely distant, neither close nor offensive.

Seeing no progress, Noble Lady Yi proceeded with her plan and presented a scented pouch she had embroidered herself.

Having recently been tricked by a scented pouch, Consort Xi couldn’t help but show a flicker of anger upon seeing the item, but she quickly smiled and accepted it.

Upon discovering there were no spices inside, Consort Xi let down her guard a bit, commending Noble Lady Yi for her exquisite embroidery, and then called for a maid to bring a hairpin to reciprocate the gift to Noble Lady Yi.

Noble Lady Yi, realizing her neutral stance meant the scented pouch wouldn’t win her any favor, resorted to her trump card, asking for the maids to be dismissed, and revealed to Consort Xi the secret that Chunfang was Consort Tong’s spy.

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