The Tyrant’s Cannon Fodder Male Empress Chapter 65

Chapter 65

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In a fleeting moment, Xue Yao almost rushed out to protect his cub but quickly regained composure.

The young princes daringly breached the Seventh Defense Formation Training Ground, enduring at most a reprimand and “gentle” disciplinary lash. Those who accompanied them were to receive a beating that could kill.

Xue Yao hastily picked up the hairpin thrown aside by the chubby cub, gently opened the cupboard, climbed out of the window, circled around, and returned to the training ground.

The three princes stood in the three corners of the training ground, each undergoing “interrogation.” The instructor needed to determine which prince was the ringleader of the offense.

Xue Yao discreetly moved in the direction of the Seventh Prince, intending to eavesdrop on the questioning.

The instructor, holding a slender little whip, repeatedly tapped his own palms, gazing at the Seventh Prince’s chubby face and quietly asking, “Your Highness, do you know that intruding into the Seventh Defense Formation Training Ground is very dangerous?”

The Seventh Prince, looking puzzled, asked in return, “What is Seventh Defense Formation Training Ground?”

The instructor was taken aback. “Your Highness, do you not know where you’ve just been?”

The Seventh Prince shook his head blankly and obediently replied, “There was a lot of water there, and Fifth Brother had to cross a narrow bridge. Your Highness was scared!”

The chubby little prince’s fearful gaze, blinking beneath long lashes, softened the stern instructor’s heart, making him speak more gently, “Your Highness, you didn’t want to go there. It was Fifth Prince who took you, wasn’t it?”

The Seventh Prince pouted, and his chubby baby face puffed up. His teary chestnut eyes stared at the instructor. “Your Highness is so scared!”

Xue Yao, who was eavesdropping nearby: “……”

Here it goes!

The fake Long Aotian emerged, willing to sacrifice dignity to escape punishment.

“It’s alright now! Your Highness, don’t be afraid. This time, we’ll make sure that even Fifth Prince knows how serious it is.” The instructor, taken by surprise with the innocent chubby face of His Highness, relaxed his guard, dropped the whip, and led the startled Seventh Prince to the tea pavilion for a break.

The Sixth Prince, who was still undergoing questioning, looked at the Seventh Prince, who had escaped without a whipping, displaying a face filled with astonishment and confusion.

Before leaving, the Seventh Prince turned to Sixth Brother and pointed toward the Fifth Prince at the other end, secretly making a “two, four, six” gesture, reminding the Sixth Prince: push all the blame onto Fifth Brother, or else, the twenty lashes of the whip would be shared by three people, becoming sixty.

The Sixth Prince understood Seventh Prince’s hint from a distance and struggled inwardly for a while, then cast a glance at the Fifth Prince in the distance.

Turning back to the deputy instructor, the Sixth Prince firmly declared, “It was Fifth Prince who led the way!”

The two princes who successfully shifted blame left the Fifth Prince behind and departed the training ground, one after the other, to safety.

Xue Yao was shocked.

How could the warm baby shift blame? Even if the old father could pretend not to see, how could a sweet baby do it?

He was nothing like the sweet baby in his memory!

The Fifth Prince, who was the older brother, truly showed responsibility.

The Fifth Prince raised his head with pride to face the questioning, readily admitting that he had taken his two younger brothers to the Seventh Defense Formation Training Ground and was willing to bear their punishment.

The intrusion into the Seventh Defense Formation Training Ground was resolved without any suspense.

In the end, only the Fifth Prince accepted the punishment.

The instructor lifted the whip and, before delivering the blows to the Fifth Prince’s backside, asked once more, “Your Highness, do you willingly accept the twenty lashes?”

“Proceed!” The Fifth Prince faced it with unwavering determination.

Xue Yao, in the crowd of onlookers, was deeply moved. The Fifth Prince was truly a responsible elder brother!

The instructor tightened his grip on the whip and delivered the resounding “crack” of punishment.

“Awu!” The Fifth Prince hopped forward, clutching his rear end.

He turned to the instructor in disbelief. “Why does it hurt more than the usual training sessions?”

The instructor gave a smile that said “naturally”, and raised his hand to deliver the second lash.

“Wait a moment!” The Fifth Prince took two steps back, appeared conflicted for a moment, and then with a resolute look, he whispered to the instructor, “Master, truth be told, it was Old Sixth and Old Seventh’s curiosity that forced me to take them inside just now!”

The instructor: “……”

Xue Yao: “……”

The plastic brotherhood that couldn’t withstand the test!

So, the three young princes were punished together, forced to squat in a horse stance.

“Fifth Brother! How could you drag Seventh Brother into this? He didn’t even want to go!” The Sixth Prince rarely expressed his displeasure toward the Fifth Prince.

The Fifth Prince smiled and tried to please his younger brother, “It’s a strategy. If none of us confess, they can’t whip us, only make us do the horse stance. Look, we get to practice our stances without the whip. Isn’t that good?”

The Sixth Prince reluctantly accepted his Fifth Brother’s explanation.

The Seventh Prince’s chubby face was filled with unhappiness.

The Fifth Prince cleared his throat, slightly stretched his legs, and peered over Sixth Brother’s head towards Seventh Brother. He tried to please, “Old Seventh, you’re short, no need to squat. If you stand up, they won’t notice. Just take it easy.”

The Seventh Prince, in his squatting stance, remained unmoved, completely ignoring Fifth Brother.

The Fifth Prince grinned and coaxed, “Old Seventh? Seventh Brother? Ignoring Fifth Brother now, eh?”

The Seventh Prince held a grudge. “No more brotherly bond from now on!”


Although the grain procurement matter was successfully resolved, Xue Yao still felt uneasy.

With only a year and a half left before the Crown Prince’s anticipated downfall, Xue Yao had a nagging feeling that unforeseen events might occur during this time.

Both the court and the common people were in a state of peace. Officials involved in the trial reform had already departed for regional offices, and the new policies for loans and grain distribution were running smoothly.

According to Xue Yao’s memory, the Crown Prince was accused by the censors.

The accusations mainly revolved around two aspects: first, the trial implementation of the new reform led to unbearable suffering for the county residents, resulting in famine; second, local officials secretly increased the interest rates on loans, while reporting to the Emperor showed balanced accounts.

The implication was straightforward: suspicion of the Crown Prince enriching himself and the loan system causing mass starvation among the local population.

Xue Yao speculated that the balanced accounts resulted from someone manipulating the grain purchase process, buying grain at high prices. In the first year, loans didn’t generate much profit, so not turning a profit was normal.

As for the claim that the reforms led to widespread famine, it was simply incomprehensible.

Xue Yao’s memory was not exceptional, but he had long realized that by concentrating, he could recall the details of any plot mentioned in the novel. This was undoubtedly a special ability granted to him by the system.

In the part of the plot where the Crown Prince was dethroned, the novel only recorded the content of the censors’ accusations. There was no detailed account of what had happened in the afflicted counties, making it impossible for him to understand why so many commoners had starved to death.

The occurrence of a large number of commoners starving to death was unlikely to be a false accusation.

After all, the Emperor, despite his vacillation regarding his wives, always regarded the Eldest Prince as the most important son.

If the situation hadn’t escalated to the point where a significant number of people died, the Crown Prince would never have been dethroned.

Even if he had squandered a million taels of silver from the Emperor, it wouldn’t have led to the Crown Prince’s downfall.

Therefore, Xue Yao was concerned that a sudden catastrophe might befall the afflicted counties, especially Pingrong County.

There was a system quest to control an epidemic in Pingrong County, so there was a possibility that a plague would originate there and spread to the two neighboring afflicted counties, causing the deaths of some commoners.

This disaster, resulting in a large number of deaths among the afflicted counties, would naturally mean that the Crown Prince wouldn’t be able to collect half of the loans he had distributed. The financial loss might have been covered by Crown Prince’s own funds, just barely balancing the accounts.

The deceased individuals, who the censors claimed had starved to death, had all their wrongdoings attributed to the Crown Prince, ultimately leading to his dethronement.

But this speculation didn’t quite hold water.

Given the Emperor’s favor for the Crown Prince, it was implausible that he would pass a judgment without verifying the cause of death.

After careful consideration, Xue Yao concluded that it would be best if he could get the Crown Prince to pay attention to the situation of the common people in Pingrong County over the next two years. Perhaps he could recruit some renowned physicians to stay in the region, ready to guard against the spread of any severe communicable diseases.

However, raising such a proposal out of the blue would undoubtedly arouse suspicion. If, in the future, an epidemic were to break out, others might even suspect Xue Yao of plotting and scheming.

Moreover, the Crown Prince had a busy schedule, and as a reader-in-waiting to the Seventh Prince, Xue Yao couldn’t easily seek an audience alone. It would be best if he could take the chubby cub along with him.

Over the next few weeks, Xue Yao diligently retrieved medical books from the Interstice Mall every night, studying with great dedication.

From being a novice to giving up.

Medical studies were not something one could grasp through last-minute efforts!

The content was vast and the knowledge across different fields varied widely. It wasn’t easy to gain a basic understanding of even one subject in five years, let alone applying it practically.

Xue Yao’s dream of becoming a self-taught miracle doctor was shattered!

Giving up on the pursuit of medical knowledge left Xue Yao feeling restless. When he couldn’t sleep, he would casually open the Multiverse Record Reference Line Mall and watch some mundane videos to aid his sleep.

The images from the Multiverse Record Reference Line Mall were rather dull since it didn’t allow for a free search of specific characters or plots. It could only be randomly refreshed.

To have the freedom to search, one needed to access the ultimate level, and the condition to unlock it was completing the “Tyrant’s Fluttering Heart” quest.

Clearly, Xue Yao had given up on such an eccentric mission, so he settled for the random images.

Most of the randomly appearing images depicted the daily lives of common people, with scenes of people working in the fields or peacefully sleeping at night.

One evening, the image that Xue Yao refreshed showed a simple bedroom. On a bed, an elderly person with white hair lay beneath a blanket, occasionally coughing.

Before long, the door swung open, and a middle-aged couple, accompanied by an elderly gentleman dressed as a physician, entered the room to diagnose the elderly man in bed.

The physician retrieved a small porcelain bottle from his bag, poured a pill into his palm, and helped the old man sit up, personally feeding him the pill.

The old man seemed to struggle to swallow, and the physician patiently assisted him. However, the elderly man suddenly coughed up a large amount of blood, unable to stop.

The physician’s face was stained with the blood, and the couple handed him a cloth, helping him wipe it clean.

Watching the image, Xue Yao couldn’t help but furrow his brow.

He had no idea what illness had befallen the old man, but the bloodstains on the physician’s face appeared almost black, a rather unsettling sight. Unable to watch any further, Xue Yao quickly hit the refresh button.

The subsequent image seemed to depict a medical clinic where an elderly gentleman sat behind a long table, coughing incessantly.

Upon closer inspection, Xue Yao realized that this elderly gentleman was none other than the physician from the previous image.

In this image, the physician’s coughing grew increasingly severe. He took a handkerchief from his sleeve to cover his mouth and nose. His body trembled, and the handkerchief he used to cover his mouth gradually became stained with dark blood.

Xue Yao hastily exited the mental space.

How could he have stumbled upon two consecutive images like this in the middle of the night?

After regaining his composure, an unsettling premonition arose in Xue Yao’s mind.

Was the system trying to tell him something?

From the old man to the physician, the coughing, and the thick black blood.

Could this be the beginning of the epidemic in Pingrong County?

Worried that these two images were a system warning about an epidemic, Xue Yao decided to urge the three young princes to seek the Crown Prince’s guidance on swordsmanship the following day.

Since the Crown Prince was not in the court at that moment, Xue Yao had no choice but to entertain the three young princes in the Crown Prince’s hall, patiently waiting for the Crown Prince’s return.

During that time, Xue Yao vividly narrated the heroic tale of the Crown Prince rescuing a songstress from danger, captivating the young princes with his storytelling.

The Sixth Prince, too, occasionally mimicked the dashing swordplay of the Crown Prince, recreating his heroic moves.

The Fifth Prince sighed after listening. “Among us brothers, it’s clear that Eldest Brother possesses the most extraordinary swordsmanship and the most handsome appearance. Mother Consort is constantly complaining that I can’t hold a candle to Eldest Brother.”

The Seventh Prince, upon hearing this, was shocked and immediately turned to Xue Yao for confirmation. “Your grandpa is the most handsome, right?”

Xue Yao glanced at the chubby face of His Highness and couldn’t help but chuckle. “Your Highness is the most adorable.”

The Seventh Prince was astonished!

Consort Xi often praised her own son, highlighting his facial features that combined her and the Emperor’s best qualities. She believed that there was no child in the world more beautiful than her son.

Such praise had led the Seventh Prince to overlook his own baby fat and form an unrealistic assessment of his own appearance.

Suddenly hearing the Fifth Prince declare that Eldest Brother was the most handsome among the siblings, the Seventh Prince couldn’t accept it!

The Seventh Prince stubbornly questioned Silly Yaoyao, “Is your grandpa more handsome than Eldest Brother?”

Xue Yao looked at the serious, chubby face of the little prince and thought of agreeing, but thinking of the Crown Prince’s perfectly handsome features, he couldn’t bring himself to say it!

So, he comforted the chubby cub, “Your Highness, you are the most adorable. We all love our adorable Seventh Prince, alright?”

The Seventh Prince lowered his eyes, thought for a moment, furrowed his brows, and then solemnly declared, “But your grandpa still wants to be the most handsome!”

Xue Yao: “……”

Can you, as a chubby cub, please not have so many unrealistic dreams!

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