The Regent’s Secret Chapter 44

Chapter 44

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Li Yi left Pan Palace after class, crossed the long street through the side door, and turned into the alley leading to his residence.

At a glance, he saw a few attendants standing straight in front of the courtyard at the end of the alley, indicating that Su Wang had arrived.

He walked at a steady pace, but couldn’t help but feel a wave of emotions because of past events. Every time he had to face Su Wang, he had to muster up all his courage. Li Yi had long hoped to forget about the past, but unfortunately, Zhao Yuan’s face would occasionally remind him.

Indeed, blood is thicker than water, and not one of his siblings would easily let him off the hook.

Zhao Yuan came to hand over the birthday invitation to Li Yi.

Li Yi respectfully accepted it and said, “On Your Highness’s special day, Li Yi will definitely pay a visit to celebrate. Your Highness need not trouble yourself to escort me.”

Zhao Yuan pointed to a circle chair by the window, signaling Li Yi to take a seat with him.

Li Yi took a seat to the right of the Su Wang. These days, Zhao Yuan came to him more and more often, staying for most of the day. Apart from playing chess with Li Yi, he would bring a stack of memorial papers to read. If he arrived when Li Yi was painting, he would instruct him it’s not necessary for him to receive him and just continue with the painting. The Su Wang would take care of himself.

If someone paid attention, they would quickly notice the changes in Zhao Yuan over these days and the change in attitude towards Li Yi from the Regent. The news quickly spread. The Regent loved painting and had collected many famous artists since coming to the capital. He was first fascinated by the paintings, but when he met the artists, he became fascinated by them as well.

If there were any unpleasant rumors, people would keep them to themselves. Su Wang held real power as the Regent, and speaking ill of him was no different from speaking ill of the emperor. Except for Guo Jijiu, who felt pained every time he heard the rumors. Li Yi could almost read “I am guilty and have not been able to protect Your Highness completely” on his face.

He wanted to tell his mentor that someone had not taken his favorite disciple’s accomplishments well. However, he realized that it should be “not yet” instead of “not.” 

Li Yi himself did not know when the other shoe would drop. Su Wang’s patience seemed surprisingly good, and besides not allowing him to avoid seeing him, he let Li Yi do as he pleased.

After Zhao Yuan finished delivering the birthday invitation and had a few sips of tea, he had to leave in a hurry, leaving his folding fan on the small table. Li Yi noticed and hurriedly picked it up, chasing after him. “Your Highness, please wait.”

Li Yi intended to hand the fan to Zhao Xi, but Zhao Yuan had already taken it. He saw that Li Yi was in a hurry, and the jade hairpin was slightly loose. He moved his hand to fix it for him while saying, “Except for urgent official documents, it doesn’t matter what I leave behind at your place.”

Li Yi didn’t believe him and deliberately asked, “What if it’s a palace token?”

Entering and leaving the palace required a palace token. Except for the emperor, the imperial guards only recognized the card and not the person.

Zhao Yuan was taken aback, shook his head and laughed. Li Yi was deliberately trying to cause trouble for him, but he found himself getting interested. He leaned in close to Li Yi and whispered, “Isn’t that perfect? We can stay at your place overnight…and head straight to court the next day.”

Li Yi was frustrated, realizing he had only hurt himself by trying to outsmart Zhao Yuan.

On the day of Prince Regent Qianqiu’s formal audience, the street in front of the Prince Regent’s residence was packed with well-wishers. Carriages of various princes and dukes waited in line to enter, while lower-ranking officials had to exit their carriages and walk in to offer congratulations in a timely manner.

However, Li Yi was personally received by Zhao Xi and entered the residence through a side door.

As the Prince Regent, Zhao Yuan was of the highest rank among the nobility and his gifts and ceremonies were no less grand than those of the Crown Grandson. Seeing Zhao Yuan in his ceremonial attire, Li Yi did not think of his past self, but rather imagined the same face covered in a twelve-layered crown and a royal robe when he was crowned as the emperor…

Did Zhao Shen ever think of him when he returned to the Forbidden Palace? Li Yi found it laughable. After all, he had contributed to the embroidery on the twelve-layered crown of the Emperor who founded the Great Cheng Dynasty. He had seen Dian Nan Wang Shizi in distress in the Palace and could imagine how much Zhao Shen wanted to kill him. However, Li Yi knew even more about Zhao Shen’s other misdeeds and how he deserved a harsher punishment.

So many past events should have been buried deep in the ground along with the deceased Emperor Guanghua, Crown Prince Huaide, Qin Wang, and Qing Wang Wang. However, Zhao Shen had buried himself, leaving only Li Yi. He didn’t know how to deal with these memories that had been deeply ingrained in his mind.

During the banquet, Li Yi looked at the table and noticed that nine of the ten dishes were ones he had often eaten in the Eastern Palace in the past. He couldn’t help but wonder if Su Wang had taken the chefs from the Eastern Palace to his own residence. As the serving girl brought each person a bowl of “San Shi,” Li Yi tasted it and was surprised to find that it was exactly the way he liked it.

This bowl of San Shi was undoubtedly made by Wei, the eunuch in charge of the Eastern Palace’s kitchen. He made San Shi with sea cucumber, abalone, and fish fins, all softened to the Shizi’s taste. He also used the broth made from dried scallops and ham to enhance the flavor. Only he could make this dish in the palace, let alone outside.

Li Yi never imagined that the most satisfying meal he had in years would be at Zhao Yuan’s birthday banquet. Sitting in the old mansion of Duke Jinguo, his maternal grandfather, he tasted the familiar flavors he had grown up with, feeling as if he had traveled back in time.

After finishing the banquet, Li Yi went to the garden to listen to the opera. When he opened the program, he realized that every single play listed was one he loved. At that moment, Li Yi couldn’t sit still any longer. He watched the first act quietly, then slipped out, feeling that he couldn’t stay any longer. He needed to find someone to bid his farewell ,he even decided not to see Su Wang, as he had planned.

Unfortunately, before he could find someone to leave, he was intercepted by Zhao Xi.

“Where is Da Ren going? Shall I accompany you? His Highness has instructed me to accompany you wherever you want to go in the mansion.”

Zhao Xi’s likable round face remained unchanged for ten years. He respectfully waited for Li Yi’s response.

From his words, it was clear that Zhao Yuan had instructed Zhao Xi to accompany Li Yi wherever he went, and he was not allowed to leave the mansion.

Instead of being flattered, Li Yi felt more and more uneasy. He tried to test Zhao Xi again and said, “Zhao Gonggong, I feel a little uncomfortable and want to go back earlier. Please apologize to His Highness for me.”

Zhao Xi couldn’t contain his happiness upon hearing this. He thought to himself that Li Yi was trying to set him up. The last time Li Yi caused trouble, he was the one who got punished. He was afraid that he would lose face again.

However, Zhao Xi continued to smile and replied, “His Highness has prepared a room for you in advance, in case you feel tired and want to rest. If you are uncomfortable, you should not force yourself to stay. I will go and call a doctor to see you.”

This conversation left Li Yi with no choice but to return to the prepared room with Zhao Xi. As expected, it was the same room he had stayed in before. All the old trees in the courtyard had been cut down. If he wanted to escape again, he had nowhere to hide.

Can’t wait until next week to see more? Want to show your support? Come to my Patreon where you can get up to 5 more chapters of The Regent’s Secret right away or get access to early chapters of all the available BL novels! Or go donate at Paypal or Ko-fi to show your appreciation! :)

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Leave a comment