The Tyrant’s Cannon Fodder Male Empress Chapter 33

Chapter 33

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As soon as Xue Yao heard that Consort Xi had extended an invitation, he felt a wave of anxiety, fearing she might not be able to decline the Emperor’s tour request.

While en route to Qingqiong Hall, he had already prepared for the worst-case scenario.

If there was no way to help Consort Xi and her child escape this disaster, how could he keep the Seventh Prince’s character stable, preventing him from becoming cold and cruel?

Xue Yao turned to look at the sedan chair, where the chubbly cub was fast asleep in a petite round seat, with his chubby face turned upward, looking particularly mischievous.

Unusually carefree.

I truly wish His Highness can continue to grow up so innocently.

Xue Yao took out a handkerchief, wiping away the drool from the baby’s mouth, his expression growing increasingly worried.

Consort Xi was sitting restlessly in the side chamber. As soon as she heard the pearl curtain rustle, she immediately stood up to look.

Xue Yao’s face turned pale as he quickly entered the hall, nodding in greeting to Consort Xi.

“There’s been a change… I’m terribly anxious, which is why I called you over!” Consort Xi took a few steps forward, grabbed Xue Yao’s hand, like a lifeline, and seated him in a chair, almost unconsciously treating this “little prodigy” as a small source of support.

“Your Highness, please don’t worry. There must be a way to deal with this. Did His Majesty mention the royal tour to you?”

“He mentioned it a few days ago.” Consort Xi frowned. “He wanted to persuade me to accompany him on an excursion to Bashu. Thanks to your early reminder, I pretended to have a fear of heights and tried to decline, but it annoyed the Emperor. He left without finishing his midday meal. It’s been four days since he last visited me.”

Xue Yao’s eyes brightened, thinking that the situation was better than expected. He said with joy, “The Emperor didn’t insist on your company, which is a good thing. His displeasure is likely temporary. After escaping this crisis, you can lead a peaceful life. The honor and favor that are rightfully yours will return in due time.”

“I thought the same way, but guess what? Yesterday, Old Fourth’s mother, Noble Lady Yi, came to visit me in the palace. She revealed that Chunfang, who once served Consort Tong, had been assigned to harm me! If it weren’t for your earlier warning, I wouldn’t have believed Noble Lady Yi’s words. Now, it’s irrefutable evidence. Old Fourth studied alongside the Third Prince at Consort Tong’s palace and had seen Chunfang there.”

Xue Yao wasn’t surprised. “I had my suspicions, but I wasn’t sure which mistress had planted Chunfang. I didn’t even know where the Chuxiu Palace is located. She must be acting on someone’s orders. Is the reason Your Highness called me today to inform me of Chunfang’s background?”

“No! Noble Lady Yi didn’t reveal such a secret to me for nothing. She did it to accompany the Emperor on the royal tour!”


What did this have to do with the Fourth Prince’s mother?

Consort Xi immediately recounted the detailed request from Noble Lady Yi.

Xue Yao, after hearing it, was left in a state of bewilderment.

How did things escalate to this point?

Why would the Emperor seek a Noble Lady from the cold palace to be a scapegoat?

His mind, when pondering harem affairs, seemed to be somewhat lacking, leaving him momentarily stumped.

Consort Xi had expected this astute little prodigy to provide guidance with a long-term perspective, but she hadn’t anticipated Xue Yao would appear so childishly perplexed.

“The Emperor could easily change his mind in these few days. Perhaps he will come to visit me again,” Consort Xi said. “Should I directly relay Noble Lady Yi’s request to the Emperor? Would that be appropriate?”

Xue Yao opened his mouth but hadn’t yet fully grasped the situation.

Consort Xi murmured her concerns, “This really puts me in a difficult spot. If I didn’t understand the trap hidden behind this tour, I wouldn’t obstruct other consorts’ requests to accompany the Emperor. But now that you’ve revealed everything to me, Noble Lady Yi is rushing headlong into a pit of fire. I can’t speak frankly to her, and it leaves me with a sense of indebtedness… Do you understand, Xue Yao?”

“Ah,” Xue Yao snapped back to attention, hastily responding, “Your Highness’ compassion is understandable. However, I don’t believe Noble Lady Yi will face difficulties due to accompanying the Emperor.”

Consort Xi paused, puzzled. “Why? Didn’t you say…”

“Because her situation is different from yours,” Xue Yao explained, “This may come across as disrespectful to Noble Lady Yi, but she lacks the influence to bear the blame for endangering the state due to her beauty. I suspect the Emperor’s invitation to accompany the tour might not have been sincere, perhaps just a courtesy or…”

After a moment of thought, Xue Yao continued, “I haven’t fully figured out the exact reasons, but Your Highness need not feel guilty for not obstructing Noble Lady Yi’s accompaniment. She is unlikely to be significantly affected by this matter. In the harem, apart from Your Highness, only Consort Tong has the capacity to shield the Emperor from blame, but I believe the Emperor won’t easily take action against her.”

“So, the Emperor still wishes for me to accompany the tour?” Consort Xi asked, her disappointment evident.

Xue Yao furrowed his brow and whispered, “It’s not just a wish. It’s more of a likelihood that when the time comes, the Emperor will directly order someone to accompany the tour, and you will undoubtedly be included, unless His Majesty personally promises to keep you in the palace. Now that the Emperor avoids meeting you, it’s complicated. He probably fears you might find an excuse to decline…”

“So, he’s deliberately avoiding me!” Consort Xi exclaimed, angrily standing up. “He acts tenderly in my presence, but now he’s pushing relentlessly, leaving me no way out! Men are truly not to be trusted!”

A certain man caught in the crossfire: “……”

Consort Xi turned and saw Xue Yao looking innocently, so she quickly clarified, “I’m not talking about you. You don’t fall into the category of men in my eyes!”

A certain man with bruised self-esteem: “……”

“I mean…” Consort Xi attempted to explain further.

“I understand!” Xue Yao hurriedly raised his hand to prevent Consort Xi from further pursuing the topic. “Your Highness, please calm down. Blaming anyone won’t change the situation. We can only wait for the Emperor’s next move. If he comes to see you again before issuing the decree, there might still be a chance.”

Consort Xi became even more anxious. “Then when will he issue the decree? The construction of the Road to Shu will take several years. Am I supposed to live in fear for years? It’s better to just die swiftly!”

These words reminded Xue Yao in an instant, sparking a vague thought in his mind that slipped through his grasp. He first focused on comforting her, “Your Highness, don’t worry. The Emperor will surely specify the list of companions before announcing the Road to Shu project.”

These words only heightened Consort Xi’s agitation.

A woman of such astonishing beauty, tears glistening in her eyes, clutching a handkerchief, appearing ready to crumble. In Xue Yao’s time, how many influential figures would willingly shield such a beauty from the wind and rain?

But now, the only man who could shield her from the storm had become the culprit intentionally summoning thunder and lightning to strike her.

Truly, emperors had hearts of stone.

But Xue Yao’s heart was tender. When a beauty wept, he didn’t consider the weight his eight-year-old shoulders could bear. He stood up, boldly and shamelessy declaring, “Your Highness, no need to worry too much. With me around, even if the heavens fall, I will climb onto the table to shield you and the Seventh Prince.”

Consort Xi, upon hearing these words, turned to look at him, and her tears burst forth.

Unexpectedly, in such dire circumstances, only this eight-year-old child earnestly strove to protect her and her son.

Even though Consort Xi didn’t have high expectations for Xue Yao, she was deeply moved. She took a few steps, bent down, and embraced the young child, quietly sobbing.

After Xue Yao returned to his residence from the palace, he kept recalling the fleeting thought he had earlier.

A certain remark by Consort Xi had triggered something in his mind.

“The construction of the Road to Shu will take several years. Am I supposed to live in fear for years?”

The construction of the Road to Shu will take several years…

Xue Yao’s mind continued to dwell on this sentence.

He didn’t know how many years it would take to complete the Road to Shu. In the novel, it was under construction for two to three years before being halted due to rising public discontent, hinting at the beginnings of a rebellion.

Although at that time, the public protests were far from a full-blown crisis, they had still alerted the Eldest Prince at the time.

The Eldest Prince…

A lightbulb suddenly lit up in Xue Yao’s mind.

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