Because the Emperor disclosed the specific location and time of the mudslide, the Minister of Works assumed that the Emperor’s spies had already discovered the incident. This sent shivers down his spine, compelling him to truthfully recount the entire occurrence and the concealed reasons behind it.
After finishing, the Emperor remained tight-lipped.
The terrified minister knelt on the ground without daring to lift his head. However, the prolonged silence made him feel as if he would rather be dead. So, mustering courage, he reiterated his dilemma and took the opportunity to raise his eyes to observe the Emperor’s expression.
The Emperor’s expression was not one of dark anger but rather astonishment, mingled with an indescribable fear.
“Southern part of Mount Liang, west of Mocun Village, a sudden mudslide, seven dead, twenty-three injured…” The Emperor muttered to himself, his shocked eyes slightly flickering, and finally, he somberly concluded, “Hungry Ghost Festival.”
The Minister of Works thought the Emperor was repeating the disaster details he had just honestly disclosed. This frightened him into prostrating himself once again, his head touching the ground. “This humble subject’s lack of vigilance deserves death. However, the project has just begun, and it is not suitable to make this matter public, as it might disturb the people. I beseech Your Majesty to punish me for some other offense.”
The Minister of Works tried to persuade the Emperor with reason and emotion, attempting to lessen his own guilt. However, he never expected that the Emperor wouldn’t punish him at all.
The Emperor said that natural disasters were hard to prevent but should not be concealed. If such an offense was repeated, the punishment would be beheading.
After saying this, the Emperor allowed him to continue overseeing the project with caution. Not only did he not condemn him, but he also instructed him not to spread the matter further. He demanded that the Ministry of Works temporarily cease conscription and revise the project plan, extending the construction period for the Road to Shu from five to ten years.
When the Minister of Works left Yangxin Hall, his expression was one of extreme astonishment.
After the court dispatched personnel to survey the Shu province, they repeatedly sent reports saying, “The road construction is exceedingly difficult, and we request an extension of the project timeline by five to eight years.”
Yet no one dared to deliver this message directly to the Emperor. When the reports reached the Imperial Cabinet, Dong Zhongrui, the advocate for the Road to Shu project, returned them, insisting that the Ministry of Works should “recalculate.” They were adamant about keeping the construction period within five years.
They claimed it was “in consideration of the Emperor’s benevolent heart,” but in reality, it was a means to exert pressure on them, compelling them to push the labor force relentlessly without regard for consequences.
It was truly baffling that, right after commencing the project and encountering such a major issue, the Emperor not only remained unangered but willingly requested an extension of the construction period.
This matter was so perplexing that even the Minister of Works had doubts on his way out of the palace, wondering if he was in a dream.
Xue Yao had contemplated for a long time but couldn’t bring himself to resign from Consort Xi.
It was almost embarrassing to say it, but he couldn’t bear to leave the chubby cub.
The thought of parting made Xue Yao’s heart ache, so he fed the chubby baby five cartons of milk in three days.
His reluctance created a blissful springtime for the chubby cub!
The resolution was made on the fifth day.
Xue Yao decided that once he finished feeding an entire carton of Mengniu yogurt, he would immediately resign and leave the chubby cub. When it was time to act, act decisively!
However, on that midday of the same day, while Xue Yao was diligently practicing calligraphy in the study, a sudden alarm sounded in his mind!
【Host’s intervention in the storyline successfully extended the Road to Shu construction project to ten years. Based on the number of benefited commoners and the host’s contribution ratio, you have earned a total of 11,369 Whitewashing Points. Please continue making efforts.】
Xue Yao’s brain buzzed as he entered a state of disbelief mingled with incredible happiness!
Was this for real?
Was he going mad thinking about Whitewashing Points?
Saving a life was worth merely sixty or seventy Whitewashing Points, but now he was hearing about a reward of over ten thousand Whitewashing Points. What was going on?
“Successfully extended the Road to Shu project to ten years.” What does that even mean?
This matter was clearly a failure.
Just at that moment, school was over.
As soon as the lecturer left, the little princes buzzed around like little bees.
“Does Your Highness want milk?” The Seventh Prince, who had gotten used to being fed in recent days, eagerly reminded the absentminded Yaoyao to drink his milk.
However, today Yaoyao wasn’t quite himself. He maintained the posture of holding a brush, staring at the parchment with a vacant expression. The ink from the brush had already spread into a large blot on the paper.
The Seventh Prince’s chubby face drew close to Xue Yao. “Does Your Highness want milk?”
Xue Yao gradually regained his senses. The news of the project extension had left him doubting if he was dreaming. He raised his hand and pinched his own face hard!
“Aw!” Xue Yao exclaimed, clutching his face.
Seeing the normally sensible Yaoyao suddenly self-inflicting pain, the chubby cub beside him was thoroughly shocked!
The Seventh Prince hastily said in a weak voice, “Forget it, your grandpa won’t drink.”
“Drink, drink, drink!” Xue Yao turned around, picked up the chubby face of the little prince, and planted a hearty kiss on it. “From now on, Your Highness can have as much milk as you want!”
Over ten thousand Whitewashing Points! He had struck it rich!
He had the means to fill the chubby cub’s belly!
After finishing classes for the day, Xue Yao dashed over to Qingqiong Hall, intending to celebrate the victory with Consort Xi.
However, Consort Xi was unaware of the project extension and instead had a concerned look on her face as she recounted a strange incident that occurred in the afternoon.
The Emperor had paid a visit to Qingqiong Hall in the afternoon, but it wasn’t to see Consort Xi. He had a private conversation with the blessing practitioner, summoning her into the inner chamber.
The details of their conversation were strictly confidential, as the Emperor instructed the blessing practitioner not to reveal anything to the public.
After their discussion, the Emperor took the blessing practitioner away, stating that she was needed for official business to serve the court.
“His Majesty promised not to hold her accountable,” Consort Xi anxiously said, her eyes reddening. “Could it be that he intends to execute my blessing practitioner in secret?”
“No, Your Highness.” Xue Yao couldn’t contain his excitement. “It’s more likely that he’s appointing her to a position. After all, His Majesty should be aware that the blessing practitioner’s prophecy have come true. She can accurately predict the locations of natural disasters and the number of casualties. How could the Emperor not want to utilize her abilities?”
“Now, our concern should be ensuring that the blessing practitioner refrains from making any more precise predictions. As long as she continues to maintain an air of mystery and unpredictability, the Emperor won’t trouble her.”
Xue Yao was certain that the blessing practitioner hadn’t been executed because if he had intervened in the storyline and caused the death of innocent people, it would have resulted in a significant deduction of Whitewashing Points.
The official from the Directorate of Astronomy, Master Qin, had suffered punishment and injuries at the Eldest Prince’s instigation. According to the responsibility ratio, Xue Yao was liable for a maximum of thirty percent of the penalty, which resulted in a deduction of over ten Whitewashing Points.
The blessing practitioner had been directly acting on his advice and instructions. If she were to die as a consequence, he estimated that several hundred Whitewashing Points would be deducted.
The fact that he hadn’t lost a single Whitewashing Point indicated that the blessing practitioner was very safe.
“Are you certain?” Consort Xi found his inexplicable confidence intriguing.
Xue Yao smiled radiantly. “Your Highness can rest assured! Everything is sorted out. The project has been extended to ten years, which means the Emperor must be aware that the prophecies have come true. He just can’t announce it publicly!
“The incident occurred during the Hungry Ghost Festival, with such accurate predictions of natural disasters and casualties. If officials concealed this information before, and the Emperor unexpectedly learned the truth, he would certainly believe it wasn’t a rumor or human fabrication. Even as the Emperor, he would undoubtedly be wary of such precise prophecies coming true.”
Xue Yao, filled with relief, gazed earnestly at Consort Xi. “Your Majesty, we’ve turned a corner. We must inform the Eldest Prince promptly to fulfill the prophecy about the heavenly stones of retribution. If it comes true now, the Emperor will believe that he and Master Qin had no intent to deceive or rebel. He will trust them even more in the future.”
The victory of the Road to Shu project not only brought blessings to numerous common people but also brought Xue Yao substantial Whitewashing Points income, transforming the lives of Consort Xi and her son for the next decade.
That very night, Xue Yao received a system notification.
【Side Quest: Lu Qian’s Basic Personality Improvement achieved. Reward: 500 Whitewashing Points. Intermediate Improvement Quest has been triggered. Please continue making efforts.】
This news left Xue Yao so excited that he couldn’t sleep.
Indeed, the future behavior of Lu Qian, who had been known for being ruthless and cruel, had a direct connection to the Road to Shu incident.
However, the system mentioned that this side quest had only reached “basic completion,” which meant that there were still impending disasters that would seriously affect Lu Qian’s mental health in the future.
Xue Yao temporarily set aside any further thoughts. At least, the cub’s childhood would be comfortable and carefree.
Over 11,000 Whitewashing Points, Xue Yao happily calculated in his mind.
Exchanging for three meals a day would be enough for him to lie down and eat for ten years!
Suddenly, it occurred to him that with his current Whitewashing Points, he could unlock all the basic shops in the Rubik’s Cube.
Xue Yao quickly closed his eyes and entered the mental space.
The unified unlocking cost for the basic shops was 130 Whitewashing Points each. There were still seven shops left unopened. Without hesitation, Xue Yao began unlocking them one by one.
Wealthy and extravagant.
What intrigued him the most was the “Multiverse Record Reference Line Mall,” which he couldn’t afford to unlock earlier. So, he chose to unlock this shop first and opened the product interface.
However, there were no actual products displayed on the screen. Instead, it showed a scene as if it were a movie screen, playing a dull film.
The film portrayed a middle-aged woman in peasant clothing, busy weaving in a dimly lit and simple room.
Xue Yao patiently watched for a good twenty minutes, but the shop interface continued to play this monotonous and uneventful footage. The middle-aged woman didn’t encounter anything out of the ordinary.
In the lower right corner of the interface, there was a refresh button, similar to the Foodmart, with three chances to refresh.
Xue Yao tapped on it, and the film immediately changed.
It transformed into a group of people and horses transporting goods. Judging from the flags on the wagons, it was likely a convoy from some escort agency traveling through the forest.
After watching for a while, Xue Yao refreshed the film once more.
However, after exhausting the three refresh attempts, he still hadn’t grasped the purpose of this shop.
Could this be a cinema shop?
This storyline was incredibly perplexing, wasn’t it?
The Multiverse Record Reference Line Mall, initially thought to be related to functions like diaries, now appeared…
Xue Yao’s eyes brightened.
Could these images be what the people depicted were currently experiencing or were about to experience in the future?
In that case, this shop might be a precise preview of events for everyone in this world!
Xue Yao’s eyes widened.
Didn’t this mean he could foresee potential dangers he might encounter in the future and avoid them in time?
Without hesitation, Xue Yao clicked on the intermediate shop. A system dialog box popped up with the following information:
By opening the Level 2 Multiverse Record Reference Line Mall, the daily refresh limit will increase to 300 times.
Opening the Level 1 Multiverse Record Reference Line Mall allows the host to independently search and locate specific target individuals.
The conditions to unlock the Level 2 shop are:
① Spend 350 Whitewashing Points.
② Complete the Ultimate Quest of the【Personality Reversal】side story.
The conditions to unlock the Level 1 shop are:
① Spend 3800 Whitewashing Points.
② Complete the Ultimate Quest of the【Make the Cold-Blooded Tyrant’s Heart Flutter】side story.
Xue Yao: “……”
The Personality Reversal side quest was probably the one he had already achieved a basic level of completion in, so it should be feasible to complete the ultimate quest in the future. That was not a concern.
But what on earth was Make the Cold-Blooded Tyrant’s Heart Flutter?
Was this quest about him being a matchmaker for the Seventh Prince?
In the novel, that cold-blooded and highly intelligent Long Aotian wouldn’t fall in love with anyone!
The system needed to understand that someone with late-stage emotional communication disorder had only physical needs, not emotional ones!
Xue Yao exited the interface and lay down like a salted fish.
Indeed, such heaven-defying cheats were unlikely to lead to his success. The dream of the all-knowing old charlatan should be abandoned.
Just go look what other shops had to offer.
less than four months for my thesis defense but my experimental results aren’t looking great (˵ ͠ಥ‿ ͠ಥ˵) i’m very tired
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