The Regent’s Secret Chapter 48

Chapter 48

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Ten days before the summer solstice, the Ministry of Rites requested Li Yi to inspect the “sacrifices”. From this step, the curtain of the grand sacrifice was opened.

Li Yi knew that time was running out. Even if he took great risks, he must see Qi Yuan’s face. After the grand sacrifice of Fang Ze, it was likely that the army would be dispatched openly, and the Shizi would be the first “sacrifice” of the court’s war with Dian Nan.

In three days, according to the ritual, the Crown Grandson must first go to the imperial ancestral temple to inform his ancestors that he will represent his father to sacrifice to Fang Ze and pay respect.

Before the grand sacrifice, Li Yi only had this opportunity to leave the palace and had to pass on the message of his intention to see Qi Yuan. As for how to avoid the attention of others when they meet, he could only think of a way slowly.

After thinking about it, he didn’t ask his companions to pass on the message, but called for Ping An.

Ping An was still young and would not easily arouse suspicion. With a pure and sincere heart, he did not think about the situation and only obeyed his command.

When Zhao Xi received the note from Ping An, he felt that he had received many hot potatoes lately and had to shake his hands again to pass on the message to Zhao Yuan.

After reading it, Zhao Yuan saw that Zhao Xi was so worried that he couldn’t even smile. He knew that he was worried about his master’s safety, but he stuffed the note back and ordered, “Read it and burn it.”

Zhao Xi felt bitter and had nowhere to complain. The consort had repeatedly urged them to keep their master safe, but now Li Yi wanted to meet Qi Yuan in the imperial ancestral temple, which showed that there was something unusual to discuss.

At this time, it was better to avoid trouble. They were about to return home, so why take this unknown risk again?

However, Zhao Xi didn’t dare to advise his master. He knew his temperament very well!

Zhao Yuan was struggling to find a way to inform Li Yi that there was about to be a change in the palace. He didn’t expect to have a pillow as soon as he thought about feeling sleepy.

On the day of the sacrificial ceremony, Li Yi was nervous the entire time, especially after entering the temple. He was paying attention to every movement of the wind.

During the entire worship process, he only had two short periods of time to be alone – one was to burn incense and meditate before the worship, and the other was to change and rest after the worship.

If Qi Yuan could come, he would surely come to find him during one of these two periods.

Although the security measures at the Temple of Ancestors were not as strict as those in the palace, there were still enhanced guards during the ceremony. Li Yi’s mind was in turmoil, sometimes worrying about what if Qi Yuan couldn’t sneak in, and sometimes thinking about repeating the words he wanted to say in his mind to avoid forgetting anything important due to the pressure of time. He concentrated his thoughts, preparing more seriously than for the ceremony itself, thinking that he must remember everything perfectly to avoid any omissions.

As the fragrance of incense filled the room after the ceremony, Li Yi, who should have been meditating in tranquility, felt like a drum was pounding in his chest. Time passed, and every minute felt like torture.

It wasn’t until the Grand Preceptor requested an audience outside the room that the time for paying respects had arrived.

Li Yi entered the hall in his ceremonial attire, dispelling his distracting thoughts and began reporting to his ancestors.

After completing the ritual, Li Yi changed into his regular clothes and sat down, still extremely worried that he might not be able to meet with Qi Yuan today. However, the Shizi unexpectedly appeared from behind the screen.

Li Yi was shocked to see Qi Yuan. Since he had entered the temple, the room had been guarded so tightly that not even a fly could enter. When did Qi Yuan manage to get in?

As if sensing Li Yi’s thoughts, Zhao Yuan approached him quietly and said, “I sneaked into the Temple of Ancestors the other day and climbed up to the beams of the hall last night. Before His Highness burned incense in peace, the imperial guards had already inspected the room, so I couldn’t come down. I waited until His Highness left to pay his respects outside before I could sneak down from the beams. Since the imperial guards had already checked, they didn’t come back to inspect, so I was able to see His Highness smoothly.”

After hearing this, Li Yi couldn’t help but look up at the high beams in the ceremonial hall where Qi Yuan had stayed for hours. This was an incredible ability that Qi Yuan had never revealed before. His skills were no less than those of the imperial guards.

In order not to attract attention from outside, the two spoke with their ears almost touching. Li Yi was so close to Zhao Shen, but he had no time to care about their intimacy. He urgently said, “The Emperor wants to deploy troops to Dian Nan. Now that Royal Father is pretending to heal his sickness, they have been secretly preparing for war day and night, he may launch an attack at any time. You must hurry back to Dian Nan!”

Zhao Yuan was just as shocked as Li Yi was when he first heard this news.

Li Yi knew that this earth-shattering news would take some time to digest, but he couldn’t delay any longer. He said everything that he could say as Li Yi, but he struggled to keep the bottom line as the Crown Grandson.

After finishing, he urged Zhao Shen, “I can’t leave the palace now and can’t help you in any way. But this matter has reached a critical point. You must return to Dian Nan as soon as possible, preferably leave the palace and go tonight!”

“Your Highness…” Zhao Yuan looked up at Li Yi.

The person in front of him risked his life to reveal the news to help him escape, and yet he said he couldn’t help him.

Those close and anxious deer-like eyes were fixed on Zhao Yuan, full of concern and reluctance, but there was no disgust at all.

But he had already become his mortal enemy.

Zhao Yuan took a few moments to piece together the information from his mother and what Li Yi had said, and came to a terrible conclusion.

Perhaps Dian Nan already knew that the Emperor was about to take action, which led to the imminent upheaval in the palace.

At this moment, the court was in the light, while Dian Nan was in the dark. Li Yi might know that his own situation was now even more dangerous than Zhao Yuan’s.

Li Yi saw the shock and pain in the Shizi’s eyes, and he felt uneasy. He reached out and hugged Zhao Yuan tightly, whispering in his ear, “Go quickly! Don’t worry about me.”

After speaking, Li Yi grabbed Zhao Yuan’s arms so that he could see him clearly, “If we meet on the battlefield the next day, we’ll be enemies! A real man must die lying on the battlefield. If you die in the capital, how pathetic would that be? I can’t bear to see you end up like this!”

With that, Li Yi let go of Zhao Yuan, and with a heavy heart, he pushed the Shizi away.

Zhao Yuan grabbed him back and eagerly said, “Huan An, there may be trouble in the palace! Be careful on the day of the sacrificial ceremony! “

Li Yi was stunned and it took him a few moments to realize, “Qi Yuan, where did you get this information?!”

Zhao Yuan refused to answer.

Footsteps approached outside the hall, and the Minister of Rites stood at the door and said, “Greetings to Your Highness, it’s almost time. Please return to the palace.”

Li Yi wanted to delay, but Zhao Yuan shook his head at him, and he knew he couldn’t arouse suspicion. Despite his reluctance, he finally said, “I understand, please make arrangements.”

The Minister of Rites left, and eunuchs could come knocking on the door at any moment. Li Yi’s mind was in chaos and he couldn’t think straight, but he knew they had to part soon.

Footsteps approached again, and Zhao Yuan reached out and placed his right palm on Li Yi’s cheek. They looked at each other, but there was no time for farewells. Suddenly, Zhao Yuan turned and disappeared behind the screen.

Li Yi held back from looking up at the ceiling. When he was given permission, eunuchs entered and the imperial guard had already assembled at the white jade steps.

Li Yi walked out with wide strides.

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