The Tyrant’s Cannon Fodder Male Empress Chapter 69

Chapter 69

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“He’s already twelve.” The Fifth Prince felt that Xue Yao’s excessive protection might affect the Seventh Prince’s journey to becoming a “real man,” so he argued confidently, “One morning, when I was twelve or thirteen, I woke up and suddenly felt……”

“Aaaaah!” Xue Yao tightly covered the chubby cub’s ears and began to howl, trying to drown out the Fifth Prince’s unhealthy self-disclosure, protecting the chubby cub from contamination!

Seeing Xue Yao looking overwhelmed, the Sixth Prince quickly stepped forward and covered the Fifth Prince’s mouth. “Enough, Fifth Brother! Old Seventh will ask these questions when he’s ready.”

“Old Seventh is already asking.” The Seventh Prince looked curious.

“Your Highness, how can you still hear!” Xue Yao held onto His Highness’ head even tighter!

The chubby cub pouted, his baby fat cheeks looking extremely aggrieved.

The Seventh Prince, with a stern expression, stared at Silly Yaoyao, who refused to let go, and ordered with unclear pronunciation, “Phoenix (Presumptuous). Your Highness oh (wants to) listen to Fifth Brother!”

The old father couldn’t tolerate his child hearing such adult topics and firmly refused, “The obedient Your Highness shouldn’t listen to these. When we return today, I’ll give you an extra bowl of milk. How about we don’t listen to Fifth Brother?”

Fifth and Sixth Princes: “……”

How could a man easily compromise on such matters!

Even if there were a hundred bowls of sweet milk, the Seventh Prince would steadfastly refuse!

“Very well,” the Seventh Prince promptly accepted Xue Yao’s bribe.

“Let’s pretend I don’t have this little brother.” The Fifth Prince gazed into the distance with a world-weary expression.

The Sixth Prince sighed and shook his head. Then he turned to Xue Yao and said, “Let’s help him. Persuade our Eldest Brother to have this skilled eunuch reassigned to Consort Hui’s palace.”

“Absolutely not!” Xue Yao quickly explained, “This minor matter can be handled by me. If the Crown Prince intervenes, it might attract too much attention from the servants. If someone investigates this person’s past connection with Consort Hui, it could lead to rumors.”

The Fifth Prince found this reasoning logical. “How can we make it less suspicious?”

After some thought, Xue Yao replied, “Tomorrow, I’ll visit Consort Hui’s palace to see if there’s a young eunuch who wishes to serve in the Crown Prince’s residence. I’ll use the excuse of arranging for that young eunuch to transfer this skilled eunuch to Consort Hui’s palace. Most likely, nobody will pay much attention to him.”

Naturally, serving by the Crown Prince’s side held more promise than serving by an imperial concubine’s side. He wouldn’t have difficulty finding a eunuch eager to exchange duties. Pretending that the skilled eunuch was simply a hapless individual who got reassigned would ensure that he went unnoticed.


At noon, the Crown Prince awoke. As he opened his eyes, he saw his wife lying beside him, gazing at him with an innocent expression.

In the brief moment their eyes met, the Crown Princess blushed and lowered her gaze, rising to prepare her husband’s attire.

As she got up, her clothing became disheveled on the bed. Her top was pulled upward, revealing a portion of her waist, and her neckline loosened, unveiling a tantalizing shadow of her supple collarbone.

This tantalizing glimpse kindled a subtle air of aggression in the Crown Prince’s eyes, who had just awakened.

The Crown Princess quickly adjusted her neckline to prevent any breach of decorum on her part, which might lead to her husband’s daytime indiscretions.

A woman well-versed in the Four Virtues of Women had a habit of attributing her husband’s faults to herself. If her husband entertained impure thoughts during daylight, she would blame her own lack of restraint.

She had married a man who lacked any perceivable faults, be it in looks, conduct, or conversation, which she considered a significant advantage.

Fearing that she might increasingly fall short of deserving him, the Crown Princess carried herself with exaggerated restraint in her daily actions.

This manner of comportment had the power to quell a man’s desires.

However, most youthful men did not favor this type of sedation.

Having grown up in the palace, Lu Jinan was long weary of these prim and proper young women. This was why he pitied his wife more than he loved her—

In his presence, his wife behaved as if she were under constant scrutiny by an entire army, appearing constrained, clumsy, and awkward.

Before retiring for the night, the Crown Princess would have the palace maid extinguish the lamps before she removed her inner garments.

Three years into their marriage, Lu Jinan had yet to see what lay beneath her clothing. He relied on touch and imagination to piece together a complete image of his wife.

Despite being a prince, Lu Jinan had, in his youth, indulged in the “harmful literature” of the harem stories. His expectations of the marital bed were not as they are now.

He didn’t desire a woman who, during moments of intimacy, would rather bite her lip or damage the bedding than openly express herself.

However, bound by his parents’ decree and the matchmaker’s words, he had wed her, and with it came the responsibility of accepting her personality.

His youthful fantasies about women would forever remain confined to the realm of imagination.

The Crown Princess deftly fastened her husband’s belt, handling it with a gentle touch.

As she adjusted her neckline, her gaze fell upon the tip of the Crown Prince’s chin. “For the past two years, I’ve had Mother Empress’ rewards for my daily expenses. I’ve saved a considerable sum of money that had no specific use, so I exchanged it for silver notes. Your Highness, the granaries you oversee require funding in various places. This savings of mine could be put to good use for the common people…”

She finished her sentence, produced a tightly knotted purse from her sleeve pocket, and offered it to Lu Jinan with lowered eyes. She dared not meet her husband’s gaze, as if fearing he might find her contribution modest.

Lu Jinan, who had initially intended to decline, couldn’t help but chuckle at his wife’s endearing gesture. He looked down at the purse and found it securely tied.

Based on his understanding of his wife, he suspected that there was something in the purse she preferred not to discuss face to face.

Out of curiosity, Lu Jinan accepted the purse without stating whether he would take it, and forcefully unraveled the knot. He shook out three neatly folded silver notes, and upon inspecting them, his expression changed instantly.

The Crown Prince gazed at his wife with a commanding look. “Where did you acquire such savings?”

The Crown Princess hurriedly explained, “Over the past two years…”

“Even if you had refrained from spending a single coin on anything for two years, you couldn’t have saved this much silver.” The Crown Prince suppressed his anger, his voice lacking its usual tenderness. He leaned down to interrogate his wife, “Have you touched your dowry?”

“No!” the Crown Princess hastily denied, “Most of this money was saved up over these two years, and there’s also… the bridal gifts you presented me in the past.”

Lu Jinan was taken aback. He raised his eyes to the ornaments in his wife’s hair, realizing they were all inexpensive jewelry. There was even a ceramic hairpin adorned with osmanthus flowers that he had brought from Jinling. The total value of these trinkets was far from being worth even ten taels of silver.

“You’ve sold the bridal gifts I gave you?!” 

The Crown Princess’s voice trembled slightly as she answered, “There are still quite a few left! There were too many of them, and I have no use for them. They were just lying around and never worn, and their quality deteriorated. I thought it would be better to use them to help the disaster-stricken people in their time of need.”

“You…” Lu Jinan was utterly speechless. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and regained his composure. He bent down, took his wife’s hand, and handed the silver notes back to her. “Go and retrieve the jewelries.”

The Crown Princess looked up at him and said, “I can’t use so many of these ornaments.”

Lu Jinan calmly reasoned with her, “It’s one thing to be modest in front of me, but if Father Emperor and Mother Empress discover you carrying such items all the time, how should I explain it?”

The Crown Princess had initially only considered using her own jewelries to exchange for some silver, to support her husband’s new reform. It was only after Lu Jinan’s reminder that she realized these ornaments weren’t just her possessions. They were a matter of her husband’s reputation.

Serving alongside the Empress daily, it was only a matter of time before the issue of the jewelries was discovered. The Empress might even question the Crown Prince!

The Crown Princess turned pale.

The teachings of the Four Virtues of Women had not prepared her for assisting her husband in dealing with the difficulties of his new reform. She had always tried to help by finding ways to reduce her own expenses to support her husband. Unexpectedly, she had made a foolish mistake. Feeling a deep sense of self-blame, her eyes welled up with tears as she helplessly gazed at her husband.

Lu Jinan’s heart softened once again when he saw the alarmed look in his wife’s eyes.

Two years ago, after her second miscarriage, when she struggled to get out of bed to welcome him back to the palace, she had worn the same apologetic expression of “I deserve to die.”

“It’s not a big deal.” Lu Jinan sat on the edge of the bed, gestured for his wife to sit on his lap, placed the silver notes in the purse, and handed it back to her. “Redeem the jewelries, and get back as much as you can.”

The Crown Princess nodded with her head lowered, her voice tinged with a hint of crying.

Lu Jinan wasn’t skilled at comforting women. He lowered his head in thought for a while and added, “I’ll buy more for you in the future.”

Originally, he had intended to console her, but when the Crown Princess heard this, she couldn’t contain her emotions any longer and bit her lower lip, tears falling uncontrollably.

She felt unworthy of Lu Jinan’s efforts to console her, especially considering she had just made a mistake and being scolded was only fair.

When her mother made a mistake in her childhood, her father would reprimand her even late at night, despite presenting a different face to others.

For some reason, Lu Jinan had never spoken to her in such a loud manner.

Women should not be pampered by men to this extent. Once accustomed, they couldn’t bear to be neglected.

She imagined that when Lu Jinan became the emperor in the future, he would have many young and fresh ladies sitting on his strong and capable legs. He would gently tell them, “I’ll buy more for you in the future.”

Just thinking about this, the Crown Princess couldn’t stop crying. She had been excessively spoiled and dared to cry with tears and snot in front of Lu Jinan.

“Don’t cry, Ranran.” Lu Jinan couldn’t understand why consoling his wife only made her cry harder, leaving him more at a loss.

Being a good husband wasn’t as straightforward as he had imagined.


The matter of reassigning the skilled eunuch was resolved by Xue Yao within three days.

According to the registry maintained by the Chief of Internal Affairs, the name of the skilled eunuch was Zhang Goudan  [dog’s te$ticles], and he was the fourth son in his family.

This might be the reason why this mysterious skilled eunuch was particularly secretive and unwilling to reveal his full name.

In the novel, the Fifth Prince always referred to the skilled eunuch as “Fourth Zhang” and only called him “Master” once before leading the troops into battle.

Xue Yao decided to address the skilled eunuch as “Old Zhang.” Although it might be inappropriate considering their age difference, it was still better than calling him “Goudan,” which felt less cordial.

Xue Yao hadn’t yet recovered the four hundred taels of silver that had been swindled away from Old Zhang. After all, this was within the Crown Prince’s jurisdiction. He could only settle the score with that swindler the next time he paid him a visit.

Old Zhang responded to Xue Yao’s assistance with these words, “I owe you my life. If you ever need my help, just call for me.”

Xue Yao had already planned that if the issue in Pingrong County remained unresolved by the Crown Prince, he would have to personally visit to assess the situation.

The people in the disaster-stricken county were both tough and superstitious. If he could bring Old Zhang along, it would make his tasks much easier.

Regarding the epidemic, there was still no significant development. Xue Yao arranged for Old Zhang to train the young princes in basic skills every three days in the rear garden.

He thought the chubby cub would decline extra training, but when he heard that Old Zhang would personally be the instructor, he eagerly went to the designated spot without even asking for milk to coax him.

It seemed that the Long Aotian cub had a bit of ambition. He usually avoided training with the royal instructors, likely because he found their martial arts skills lacking.

In Old Zhang’s first lesson, he didn’t teach them advanced martial arts. Instead, he asked the young princes to spar with him using eighteen different weapons, each for three rounds.

The Fifth Prince expressed his confusion, “The instructor mentioned that to master martial arts, we need to build a strong foundation. We haven’t even started practicing with spears, staffs, hammers, and whips. It doesn’t make sense to mix them all together.”

“I never intended to teach you all eighteen weapons,” Old Zhang said confidently, “Building a strong foundation in martial arts is correct, but you must first choose the right direction, selecting a weapon that allows you to leverage your strengths. The fundamentals for different weapons vary greatly. You’re all at the most flexible age, how much time do you want to waste on useless skills?”

Sixth Prince: “I want to learn swordsmanship, just like my Eldest Brother! Even if I lack talent, I can make up for it with effort.”

Old Zhang shook his head. “Effort can make a person stronger, while talent allows one to achieve twice as much with half the effort. The wisest choice combines both. Some individuals are naturally talented in different weapon areas, but many aren’t so fortunate. Uncovering the talents most suitable for your apprentices is the most critical responsibility as a master. These words were shared with me by a reclusive expert. If you wish to learn my skills, you must forget your own status and obediently follow your master’s instructions.”

The three young princes wore unhappy expressions on their faces.

“Then let’s spar with swords first!” the Fifth Prince suggested to Old Zhang.

“No problem,” Old Zhang replied with a serious expression, lifting his hand in a welcoming gesture. “Come at me together. Within three moves, if you don’t let go of your weapon, you can consider yourself to have talent in swordsmanship.”

Upon hearing this, the three young princes exchanged nervous glances and each selected a long sword, gripping it tightly.

Xue Yao felt very anxious.

In theory, the chubby cub did possess talent in swordsmanship, which was why the Sword Saint had pursued him to teach him the ultimate martial art.


His Highness has been nurtured to be so plump now…

Could he freely move his arms and legs?

The old father’s gaze upon his cub was filled with distrust.

“Are you ready?” The Fifth Prince raised his sword, preparing to strike.

“Ready!” The Sixth Prince and the Seventh Prince responded simultaneously.


The three imperial princes simultaneously launched their attacks, advancing towards Old Zhang.

Although Xue Yao widened his eyes, he still couldn’t quite grasp Old Zhang’s movements. He watched as Old Zhang, slick as a snake, dodged skillfully between the three young princes’ attacks.

A resounding clang echoed as the iron sword fell to the ground. Old Zhang ended the trial of facing all three opponents in a flash.

The Fifth Prince, nursing his twisted wrist, cast a frustrated look at his fallen sword not far away, his face gradually reddening.

Old Zhang had already taken the sword from the Sixth Prince, who had been kicked in the knee, causing his leg to tremble.

Old Zhang held the Sixth Prince’s sword and turned to look at the plumpest of the young princes in astonishment. “Your Highness, your skills have truly exceeded my expectations.”

“Hmph.” The Seventh Prince swung his sword with a flick, the blade shivering, his voice cold and proud as he said, “Let’s go for another three moves. Your grandpa can still evade as before.”

Xue Yao, wearing a despairing expression, stared at the shoe print on the chubby face of His Highness and sighed. “Your Highness, does your face hurt?”

“Hurts!” The Seventh Prince couldn’t hold on any longer. He threw his sword aside, cupping his reddened face, which Old Zhang had kicked, and rushed towards Silly Yaoyao, seeking comfort with a pout!

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