The Regent’s Secret Chapter 38

Chapter 38

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Duke Dingguo Shen Yin left the court and was supposed to go to the lake with the Assistant Minister of Rites and a few colleagues to listen to a play. However, before he even got into the sedan chair, a servant came to report that the old illness had recurred in the Old Madam’s body, and the madam had already gone to ask for a physician.

If his Mother-in-law was unwell, how could he still go to the lake for leisure? Duke Dingguo hurriedly excused himself from the others and rushed back home.

When Shen Yin entered the mansion, he was about to go straight to his Mother-in-law’s courtyard, but the eldest maidservant by Madam Huo’s side stopped him, saying, “Old Madam is resting already for noon, Your Lordship may as well go to Madam’s side first.” She winked as she spoke.

Shen Yin became suspicious. When he arrived at the main hall, Lady Huo apologized first, “I have caused you to worry. Mother asked me to borrow her name to invite you back. Something major has happened in the palace.”

“You just reported to Niang Niang this morning,” Shen Yin said, his face darkening. “What has happened in the palace?”

Lady Huo sighed, “Niang Niang and His Majesty have clashed!”

“What?” Shen Yin was greatly troubled after hearing this. His own sister, who had been born with exceptional looks and talent since she was young, was not only knowledgeable and versatile, but also decisive and not inferior to a man. Therefore, they raised her to be quite competitive.

“Niang Niang must be confused. If she doesn’t rely on His Majesty in the future, will she still rely on Duan Wang?”

Naturally, Lady Huo agreed with the Duke Dinguo’s opinion and quickly explained how the matter came about.

Shen Yin said: “Although it is inappropriate for His Majesty to sneak out of the palace, but Niang Niang’s actions will only make His Majesty angry at her. Besides, Wei Che is already His Majesty’s confidant at such a young age, and his future is limitless. Even if they don’t get along well, they shouldn’t offend him.”

“I also advised Niang Niang like this, but Niang Niang always thinks that His Majesty is still young and needs to be taught and disciplined. In my opinion, Niang Niang has not been close to His Majesty for a long time. Suddenly seeing each other every day, one is still a child and the other has already grown up. How can they blend together?”

“You have been delivering letters to the palace frequently these days, be sure to persuade Niang Niang. This is a good opportunity for a mother and son to be close before His Majesty comes to power. Tell Niang Niang that if she wants to overthrow the Regent Prince and let the Shen family have a place after His Majesty comes to power, she must first follow His Majesty.”

Lady Huo agreed to each point and asked, “But Niang Niang has already revealed her intentions. Will the Emperor listen?”

Shen Yin shook his head and said with some helplessness, “It’s really better to be an uncle than a mother. Think about it, the Emperor was born as the crown prince, the old consort always held him dear, the late emperor had high hopes for him, and now he is the emperor. It’s impossible for him to endure being raised like this.” 

In the Ningan Palace, while waiting for the Emperor to come and apologize to her, Shen Zhi didn’t get a single word of apology from him even though Zhao Heng had stopped going to Pan Palace and came to pay his respects every day as usual.

The Empress Dowager was a little angry, but when she thought that the Emperor was no longer going to Pan Palace, she felt a little better. 

Zhao Heng, however, had never planned to obey and be obedient. He had not gone to Pan Palace in the past few days, because he was still thinking about what to do about Wei Che’s situation. 

When the Emperor figured out a solution, on this afternoon, as usual, Wei Che came to accompany Zhao Heng for training. After a few rounds, Zhao Heng called Wei Che over and sent away all the attendants.

The emperor arrived at a mountain pavilion at the end of the corridor and picked up a side of the scenery to sit down. Wei Che followed behind, his gaze following Zhao Heng. These few days, he had not been able to eat or sleep well, and his mind was filled with worries about the emperor’s health. He looked at the emperor as if he was afraid that the jade bottle would tip over at any moment, and even the strands of Zhao Heng’s hair seemed tense in his eyes. 

Zhao Heng was aware of Wei Che’s concern, and felt warmed by it. He said softly, “I’m fine.” 

He thought of the matter of his bloodline, but it was not convenient to explain it in detail to Wei Che, especially since the emperor had already made up his mind that the bloodline should not be awakened. Looking at the notes recording the onset of the blood poison made his teeth chatter, and he didn’t want to risk trying it himself.

Zhao Heng went to look for Wei Che to talk about the empress dowager’s anger.

“I still have to go to Pan Palace as usual in the future,” Zhao Heng said.

Wei Che was not surprised at all by the emperor’s words. He believed he understood the emperor well enough to know that Zhao Heng would not change his mind because someone was threatening him.

As an official, Wei Che had always been conscious of his duty to serve his sovereign. As the empress dowager had said, he was willing and even honored to do so.

If his Majesty cared for him, he would not feel any pain.

Wei Che smiled and said, “I have thick skin, Your Majesty need not worry. But since I am being punished and cannot always be by Your Majesty’s side, would you like to find someone suitable to fill in for me from time to time?”

“I have no other suitable person,” Zhao Heng said in a slow and lonely voice as he gazed into the mountains.

“Your Majesty rules over the Four Seas, there is nothing you cannot have. Your Majesty is joking, I am not worthy of such praise. When you praise me so highly, I am so happy that my *ss might fly up to the sky,” Wei Che said.

The emperor was amused by Wei Che’s remarks and scolded him for being vulgar, but he secretly thought, “I would like to see you fly with that *ss of yours.”

“I want to transfer you to the capital garrison,” Zhao Heng finally said his plan.

Wei Che’s face changed suddenly, and he quickly fell to the emperor’s feet and begged, “Please, Your Majesty, withdraw your order! I won’t go anywhere! I can’t be without Your Majesty!”

Zhao Heng felt sad in his heart and turned his face away, “I can’t protect you, so I have to transfer you to keep the empress dowager from getting to you.”

“I said, Your Majesty, I have thick skin, as long as you don’t kill me, I will be up and about the next day and follow you,” Wei Che said. He did not mention any other suitable person this time, wishing the emperor to know that he could follow him for twelve hours a day.

“What nonsense,” Zhao Heng had never seen Wei Che so clingy before. “I am doing this for your own good.”

“Your Majesty!” Seeing Zhao Heng not loosening his mouth, Wei Che became anxious. “The late Emperor ordered me to protect Your Majesty with my life and never leave Your Majesty’s side. I dare not disobey the late Emperor’s command!”

Even the late Emperor was brought up.

“You’re pushing it!” Zhao Heng became annoyed and was about to leave with a wave of his sleeves. Unexpectedly, Wei Che rushed over and grabbed his leg.

“Your Majesty, I won’t leave even if I die!” Wei Che was stubborn and really stood up to the Emperor.

The eavesdropping attendants around them were not completely unaware of the situation. It had only been a few days since the incident in the warm pavilion, and everyone wished they could stay far away and not appear in the presence of the Emperor today.

So even if the Emperor wanted someone to drag Wei Che away, no one responded.

Zhao Heng had to stand upright and say, “Let go! What about decorum?”

Wei Che obediently let go and knelt aside. Zhao Heng rubbed his eyes and nose, sighing, “Do you think I’m willing to let you go?”

“Your Majesty, it would be better to dismiss me from my position. I will return to my post as the Yunhui messenger and follow Your Majesty as a personal guard. I have not been able to fulfill the late Emperor’s entrusted tasks properly. It’s better to step down early.”

Wei Che was disheartened and wanted to go back where he came from.

Unexpectedly, Zhao Heng’s eyes lit up when he heard this, “Good idea, let’s do that!”

Wei Che was confused and looked at the Emperor, but Zhao Heng briskly commanded, “Get up! Follow me.” 

As they walked, Zhao Heng explained to Wei Che, “I’ll make it look good on the surface but you will stay as my personal Yunhui messenger for now, so we can still go to Pan Palace as usual. I’ll leave the position of the Commander of the imperial Guards open for you until the time comes.” 

“Your Majesty…” 

Wei Che wanted to kneel down, but Zhao Heng lifted him up and said, “I don’t need this kind of formality between us.” 

In Ningan Palace, the Empress Dowager eventually did not receive an apology from the Emperor, instead she received news that he went to Pan Palace again and inquired about Wei Che’s whereabouts, who had been demoted three levels and had become the personal guard’s Yunhui messenger. Shen Zhi was so angry that she smashed a teacup in front of the court ladies.

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