d impatiently prepared to turn and leave.
“Alright, just leave it to me.
I’ll handle it myself.”

Li Jinyu subconsciously reached out to stop it and blurted out, “No, you can’t harm him!”

The black cat turned around, a dangerous light flickering in its green eyes.

In that instant, Li Jinyu had already thought very clearly.

He didn’t want Huo Caiyu to die.

He was easy-going by nature, and even after becoming a spiritual creature, he didn’t have much ambition.
He was perfectly content to eat, drink, sleep, and run on his trusty hamster wheel every day.

At first, he was very resistant to taking on the role of Emperor Jingchang.
Wasn’t it better to just be a comfortable little hamster? Why bother being such a troublesome human?

In order to get out early, he had to diligently play the part of Emperor Jingchang and assist Huo Caiyu to the best of his abilities.

But later on, this reason changed slightly.

After bearing witness to the destitution plaguing the people of Qingshui Prefecture and the grotesque corruption of the officials, Li Jinyu gradually began to empathize with Huo Caiyu’s noble aspirations.

The position of Emperor symbolized not only power but also responsibility.

He couldn’t just be an Emperor who only cared about himself.

So he wanted to hand over the throne to its rightful owner.

He believed that after Huo Caiyu came to power, he would definitely be able to cleanse the murky officialdom, calm the turbulent mountains and rivers, and bring peace and prosperity to the world.

Therefore, he would never let the black cat kill Huo Caiyu!

Li Jinyu took a deep breath and faced the intimidating green eyes of the black cat.
His voice trembled, but he steeled himself.
“Huo Caiyu must become the Emperor.”

The black cat gazed at him with an incredulous expression, unsure of whether to admire the foolish hamster’s sudden boldness or be stunned by his wooden-headedness.
“Are you quite all right? What’s the benefit of him becoming the Emperor?”

“If he becomes the Emperor, I can leave the palace and it will be for the betterment of the world’s people!”

“The world’s people?” The black cat’s brows furrowed in suspicion, questioning whether the hamster’s brain was working.
“What have they to do with you?”

Li Jinyu hesitated for a fleeting moment.

He was indeed not a human being, so logically, the affairs of humanity in this world were not his concern.

But…


“Even if I am not a human being, isn’t a world that’s peaceful and prosperous still worth pursuing?” 

The black cat’s emerald eyes gleamed with contempt as it sneered, “In a peaceful and prosperous world, where will we demons go? It seems you’ve been raised by humans to be nothing but a fool.”

Finally, the black cat issued a warning, its voice dripping with menace.
“Do not meddle in my affairs, or do not blame me for my lack of mercy.”

With those words, the black cat flicked its tail in a dismissive manner, turned around, and vanished from Li Jinyu’s view in a flurry of agile leaps.

Gradually, the coldness in the air dissipated along with the black cat’s departure.

Li Jinyu remained standing in stunned silence for a few moments, before his legs gave out and he collapsed back onto his chair with a resounding thud, breathing deeply as he felt a wave of relief wash over him.

………

When Huo Caiyu returned empty-handed, Li Jinyu had already wrapped himself in his blanket and turned into a big dumpling.

After the initial shock had passed, he began to think about his next steps.

Huo Caiyu absolutely could not be put in danger.

He had worked hard to raise Huo Caiyu to this point, and now that he was striving for power, victory was on the horizon.
How could he let go now?

But how could he protect Huo Caiyu?

Li Jinyu recalled his conversation with the black cat.

The black cat had mentioned several times that it had disrupted Huo Caiyu’s arrangements… When was this? Why did he have no memory of it?

The only thing Li Jinyu could remember was the assassination attempt they had encountered on their way to Qingshui Prefecture.
At the time, they suspected it was the Prime Minister’s doing, but now it seemed to be related to the black cat.

But how did the black cat find the assassins?

Could it be that the black cat had taken over the body of some important person?

But it could move freely as a cat, right?

Thinking about how the black cat could move freely with its body, Li Jinyu felt envious.
He also wanted to turn back into a hamster!

Why did the cat have special privileges when they had both been struck by lightning together?

No, he must raise a dog in the palace!

He couldn’t let the cat be so arrogant in his palace!

As Huo Caiyu entered the room, he saw His Majesty pouting in bed, looking incredibly adorable with only his head sticking out.

“Your Majesty, this official has failed to bring back the black cat,” Huo Caiyu said, his voice softening with his heart.

Li Jinyu knew that Huo Caiyu had made an honest attempt but the black cat was notorious for being elusive.
He wriggled in bed, shifting to sit up.
“Zhen understands.”

Aware of Li Jinyu’s fear of cats, Huo Caiyu had taken extra precautions after returning from Concubine Lan’s palace, where cats of all shapes and sizes roamed freely.
He changed his clothes to avoid any trace of cat hair or scent that could potentially disturb His Majesty.

Seeing Li Jinyu’s absent-minded look, Huo Caiyu asked, “What’s troubling Your Majesty?”

Li Jinyu tilted his head, sighed heavily, and said, “Zhen is worried about you.”

Huo Caiyu froze for a moment.
“Worried for this official?”

“Yes, worried that something might happen to you.” Li Jinyu couldn’t imagine how the black cat might plan to harm Huo Caiyu, and was so worried that he felt like his head was going to go bald.
“If something were to happen to you, what would Zhen do?”

Although he didn’t know why His Majesty had suddenly become so concerned, hearing that his beloved was worried about his safety made Huo Caiyu’s heart swell with sweetness.
He took a few steps closer and said earnestly, “For Your Majesty, this official will never have any mishaps.”

Li Jinyu gazed at him mournfully, knowing all too well that Huo Caiyu’s assurance of safety meant nothing if the black cat demon was determined to act out.
But then a thought struck him: Though the black cat had made numerous threats, it seemed hesitant to directly confront Huo Caiyu.

Was it also afraid of the Ziwei imperial aura?


Li Jinyu suddenly looked up at Huo Caiyu.
“Has Huo Aiqing ever encountered the black cat before?”

Huo Caiyu was used to His Majesty’s occasional leaps of thought and replied, “No.”

“Really?” 

“Really.”

Li Jinyu nodded knowingly.

It seemed that the black cat was also afraid of Huo Caiyu’s imperial power, so it was using others as a proxy.
From this perspective, at least the black cat itself was not much of a threat, and its biggest threat was the assassination attempts by the human forces it was stirring up.

How to protect Huo Caiyu?

Li Jinyu suddenly brightened up.
If one were to talk about the person with the greatest level of protection in the human world, without a doubt, it would be the Emperor himself!

As long as he and Huo Caiyu stayed together every day, and he followed the Emperor’s standards for protection, wouldn’t that provide protection for Huo Caiyu as well?

He still had spiritual power to use!

If there’s ever a life and death crisis, he could still block bullets for Huo Caiyu! And then smoothly fake his death and escape!

…What was more, always following Huo Caiyu around could also ensure that he won’t be harassed by the black cat!

Perfect!

Li Jinyu instantly found the direction for the future, and immediately made a decision.
“Huo Aiqing.”

Huo Caiyu looked up.
“This official is here, Your Majesty.”

“From now on, you must never be more than five steps away from me!”

Huo Caiyu was stunned.
Although he was already used to the Emperor’s whims, he was still a little surprised.
“Your Majesty?”

“Starting from tomorrow, no, from this moment on,” Li Jinyu made a determined decision, and a kind of fatherly love spontaneously arose as he looked at Huo Caiyu.
He said seriously, “Zhen will protect you well.”

Huo Caiyu, who suddenly became a damsel in distress in Li Jinyu’s eyes for unknown reason, couldn’t figure out what His Majesty was thinking.

Why did His Majesty, who was still somewhat cold to him not long ago and unwilling to share a bed with him, suddenly become passionate today?

Huo Caiyu’s mixed feelings of surprise and entanglement couldn’t help but speculate about the Emperor’s intentions.

“In addition, Zhen wants to raise a dog!”

Huo Caiyu temporarily put aside his mixed thoughts and focused his attention back on the Emperor.
“What kind of dog does Your Majesty plan to raise?”

“The kind that can chase cats.” Li Jinyu remembered how the black cat could come and go from the palace without anyone noticing and felt annoyed.
He emphasized, “The fiercer, the better.”

In the past, the noble youths of the court had developed a liking for keeping aggressive dogs, which eventually gave rise to a fad for dogfighting.
However, this led to disastrous consequences, as the vicious canines were let loose on the streets, attacking innocent bystanders and causing widespread terror.
This, in turn, displeased the previous Emperor, who took measures to curb the trend and reprimand the major aristocratic families.

Eventually, the situation was brought under control, and the public’s safety was restored.

Huo Caiyu knew that the Emperor was afraid of cats and that he was only momentarily excited about raising a dog.
He suggested tactfully, “Your Majesty, raising aggressive dogs can pose a danger to people.
Why not pick a smaller and more endearing breed, such as the Pekingese?”

Pekingese dogs were cute and small and were a favorite pet in many households.

Li Jinyu knew the size of a Pekingese and immediately protested, “That dog is too small!”

“Small dogs make great pets.
They can amuse Your Majesty.”

“Why do we need to keep cats and dogs as pets?” Li Jinyu, speaking on behalf of hamsters, declared with pride, “Of course, hamsters are the best pets!”

Hamsters were tiny, adorable, and most importantly, harmless.
They couldn’t do any real harm, unlike cats or dogs that could be frightening.

Huo Caiyu was thoughtful, watching as Li Jinyu spoke about the advantages of having a hamster with such sincerity.

Could it be that His Majesty wanted a hamster as a pet?

 

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