The Regent’s Secret Chapter 41

Chapter 41

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The mountain was high and steep, and as they entered the dense forest, Bai Yucong slowly led the way up the mountain path. Due to the steep incline of the mountain, Li Yi had to lean on Zhao Yuan’s chest for support. In order to ensure stability, Zhao Yuan held the reins with his right hand and lightly hugged Li Yi with his left.

“Qi Yuan, what good thing are you hiding in your arms?”

With no one else around, only a gentle breeze blowing through the trees, Li Yi leaned in closer and felt something in Zhao Yuan’s embrace, curious, he asked.

But just as quickly, Li Yi felt he may have overstepped his bounds and became too presumptuous. What if Qi Yuan didn’t want to or couldn’t tell him? So he quickly added, “It’s nothing, don’t feel obligated to tell me.”

The Shizi remained silent, and Li Yi thought the matter had passed. But when they reached a flat mountain top, Zhao Yuan stopped Bai Yucong and let go of Li Yi’s left hand, taking something out of his embrace and handing it to him.

Li Yi lowered his head to take a look, curious. It was a purse made for the palace, and just as he was about to ask, Zhao Yuan leaned in and whispered in his ear, “The reward you gave me…”

His voice was soft and slow, and at the end it curled up slightly. Li Yi blushed at once, not sure if it was because of Zhao Yuan’s breath or his words.

It was then that he remembered the purse he had given to Zhao Yuan before, which contained medicine pills from the Imperial Hospital. It had been five months since then, and such things were usually only used for a while before being discarded. Who knew someone would keep it from early summer to late autumn?

Li Yi silently handed the purse back to Zhao Yuan, not knowing what to say. But Zhao Yuan acted as if nothing had happened and changed the subject, “Thank you for helping me out. Qin Wang Shizi has been eyeing Bai Yucong for a long time, but now he’s completely given up.”

“Li Di doesn’t care to put anyone in his eyes except for myself,” Li Yi said, turning his head to the side. “He’s used to being arrogant. How did you end up crossing paths with him?”

Zhao Yuan thought for a moment and said, “When I first entered the palace, he wanted Zhao Xi to give him his boots, but I kicked that Zhao Xi down when he arrived and he couldn’t get up for a while. That’s how we started on the wrong foot.”

Li Yi laughed when he heard it, “Zhao Xi is your little eunuch who always greets people with a smile on his face?”


“You treat your subordinates well.”

Zhao Shen chuckled self-deprecatingly when he heard this, and when Li Yi was about to dismount, he supported him and helped him down easily.

After Li Yi landed, he smoothed out the hem of his robe with a flick of his hand. Without looking up, he said in a low voice, “It’s not easy for him to follow someone like me as his master.”

Li Yi was silent for a moment, then finally asked, “How can you bear all these things?”

The Shizi released Li Yi and stroked the long mane of his Bai Yucong, showing a rare melancholy. “My father has more than one son… If I can’t bear it, I won’t be able to go back to Dian Nan.”

“Your Highness, do you think I want to stay in Pan Palace?” Zhao Shen patted his horse and stood next to Li Yi again. “Standing outside and being humiliated every day, it’s not that I don’t want to leave, it’s that I can’t. Until His Majesty is reassured, the court won’t let me leave.”

Li Yi remained silent for a long time before asking, “Qi Yuan, when you ascend the throne in the future, will you blame me?”

Will you blame everything you have suffered today on the Li family of the Qing dynasty?

Zhao Yuan looked at Li Yi’s deep and affectionate eyes and wanted to say that the Zhao family had long had a rebellious heart, and from the perspective of the Li family, the emperor’s actions may not be entirely wrong, and his suffering was not without cause.

But he couldn’t say these words after all. He and Li Yi had different identities, and everything that came with these identities was like an insurmountable barrier. But because of these identities, he and Li Yi could meet in Pan Palace.

In the end, there was no solution.

“Your Highness,” It was unclear when Zhao Yuan had come close to Li Yi, lowering his head to meet his gaze. “It has never had anything to do with Your Highness.”

Li Yi was so captivated by the person in front of him that he momentarily forgot about the world around him. He heard the Shizi say, “No matter when or what, I will never blame Your Highness.”

When Zhao Yuan brought Li Yi back to Pan Palace, people’s eyes had changed towards him. In just a few days, various criticisms of flattery towards those in power were heard.

Now that Dian Nan Wang Shizi was taking care of the Crown Grandon’s horse, behind his back, everyone called him a horse slave.

Naturally, no one dared to bully Zhao Yuan in front of Li Yi. However, since the Crown Grandson was not often in school, Li Di had often caused trouble for Zhao Yuan in private.

On this day, Li Yi had followed the Crown Prince to the Wen Hua Palace for an impromptu meeting so he changed the time he arrived at school. Who knew that when he entered Pan Palace, he would see Zhao Xi falling into the pond. Qin Wang Shizi and Jin Wang Shizi were leading a group of kids by the pond, using bamboo poles to keep Zhao Xi away from the shore and laughing.

Unable to do anything, Zhao Yuan jumped into the pond and pulled Zhao Xi out, who almost drowned.

Li Yi had never expected to see this and was so angry that his voice trembled when he spoke, “Go, go, whichever one of you is articulate, explain it clearly to me!”

Upon receiving his order, an attendant stepped forward and scolded, “Your Highness, who has the guts to be so disrespectful while you, the Crown Grandson, is present? Which uneducated child did this dirty thing and tainted His Highness’s reputation? You are all given a chance to save face. If you dare to repeat this kind of behavior, I’ll have you all sent to the dyeing workshop where you belong…”

The court attendants never showed any mercy when scolding people. Once given the order by the Crown Grandson, the attendant became even harsher, and by the end of his scolding, everyone had fallen to their knees.

Li Yi’s anger had not yet subsided, and another attendant stepped forward to scold, “Every educated family should respect their pets. How come the princes and nobles of our dynasty are getting worse and worse? Even when beating dogs, you still need to look at the owner!”

The attendant’s scolding became smoother and smoother, and he had even gone too far. Li Yi heard the phrase “beating dogs and looking at the owner” and quickly stopped him.

He had lost interest in the class and ordered someone to call Zhao Shen to leave with him immediately.

Zhao Yuan led Li Yi to his sleeping quarters and settled Zhao Xi first before leaving to change his clothes. Li Yi entered the room, dismissed the attendants, and waited alone for Zhao Shen.

It was his first time in the Shizi’s room. The snow-white walls were adorned only with bows and arrows. The furnishings were all old, and even the beddings were slightly worn but spotlessly clean.

After changing his clothes, Zhao Yuan emerged from behind the screen, and Li Yi had finished examining the room. Upon seeing him, Li Yi asked, “Where did you put the silver that Dian Nan Wang gave you?”

Zhao Yuan poured tea for Li Yi and said, “Raising Bai Yucong requires a lot of money, and there are other expenses and arrangements to be made as well.”

Being alone in the capital, Dian Nan Wang was also hindered by the spies of Guanghua Emperor, and the amount given was not much.

The two sat face to face, and as Li Yi thought about Zhao Shen’s difficulties, he became more and more sympathetic towards him. He couldn’t help but stare at him with concern. Seeing Li Yi’s expression, Zhao Yuan said unconsciously, “It’s nothing.”

Li Yi’s heart, which had just calmed down, was stirred up again. “It’s nothing? Today I saw it with my own eyes! I thought that I…”

Zhao Yuan laughed and finished Li Yi’s unfinished sentence, “You thought that people would ‘look at the owner when beating the dog,’ right?”

“What are you talking about?!” Li Yi immediately became like a rabbit with its tail stepped on. “Who would dare say that about you? You are…”

“His Highness’s dog?” Zhao Yuan saw Li Yi’s embarrassment and inexplicably felt in a good mood. However, he deliberately lowered his voice and said coldly, “Bai Yucong now belongs to Your Highness. As they say, ‘horses, hounds, and women’ are the three things that a man should have. Having a horse alone is not enough. Adding dogs to the mix and combining it with the affairs of women is the true meaning.”

“Qi Yuan, how could I have such thoughts?” 

Li Yi was really worried that Zhao Shen would take it to heart and think that he was just a plaything, especially when he mentioned “horses, hounds, and women” together.

“Oh, it’s good that Your Highness has no such thoughts.” Zhao Yuan nodded coldly. Seeing Li Yi finally relieved, he suddenly hooked his mouth and asked, “Your Highness, if this dog is not good, what about the dog from ‘fox and dog friends*’?”
* referring to bad company or friends who are a bad influence

Only then did Li Yi react. Zhao Shen had been teasing him from beginning to end. He was so angry that he grabbed Zhao Shen’s wrist and twisted it hard. Unexpectedly, Zhao Shen lightly pressed down on his hand and caught it.

Li Yi tried to pull his hand back, but he didn’t have enough strength. Zhao Yuan leaned close to him, and his face showed no disrespect, but he said, “It was Your Highness who delivered it to the door.”

Li Yi became anxious and shouted, “Someone–” Only then did he break free from Zhao Shen’s hand.

After leaving the bedroom, Li Yi finally calmed down. It was clear that he had fled in a panic. Li Yi, who was a blank paper in terms of love, even though he had lived two lifetimes, was completely defeated by Zhao Shen.

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