The Regent’s Secret Chapter 53

Chapter 53

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In the room, there were only two people left. Li Yi didn’t know why Zhao Yuan had called him back and walked back to the bed.

Zhao Yuan spoke gently, “Where did the board hit you today? Let me see.”

Li Yi instinctively wanted to refuse, but Zhao Yuan grabbed his hand and brought him to his own bed. The force he used was very skillful, and Li Yi fell onto the bed without touching the injured area on his back.

Zhao Yuan coaxed him, “Just let me take a look, okay? If I don’t see it, how can I sleep at night?”

Li Yi was about to say that he didn’t believe Zhao Yuan couldn’t sleep, but when he looked up and met those deep eyes that were close at hand, he couldn’t say anything.

During the day, how had Zhao Yuan managed to endure the beatings and protect him, it was all vividly remembered.

Li Yi stood up, obediently took off his outer clothes, and then laid down next to Zhao Yuan. He raised his hand and lifted the edge of his shirt to reveal the skin on his left waist.

Following his hand, Zhao Yuan gently lifted it further up, revealing the entire scar. It was red, swollen, and bruised, which was somewhat shocking.

Li Yi laid prone, unable to see the face of the person beside him. After a moment, he didn’t hear Zhao Yuan speak, and he became a little uncomfortable. He wanted to get up and move away.

Suddenly, Zhao Yuan leaned over and pressed down on Li Yi.

Li Yi was startled, and his body froze, unable to move.

The next moment, he realized that Zhao Yuan was just reaching for the gold wound medicine on the small table next to him.

Soon, Li Yi felt the cool ointment paste on his back as Zhao Yuan slowly pressed and rubbed it, causing a tingling sensation to rush straight to his head.

Li Yi desperately bit his tongue, afraid to make any indecent noises.

Once Zhao Yuan finished applying the medicine, Li Yi breathed a sigh of relief. He had originally intended to apply the ointment for Zhao Yuan, but somehow ended up being the one receiving it instead.

Feeling a little resentful, Li Yi turned over and grabbed the medicine box to apply it to Zhao Yuan’s wounds.

Zhao Yuan laughed and shook his head, “With your technique, your highness, once you tend to my leg, we won’t be able to rest all day.”

Li Yi couldn’t argue with Zhao Yuan’s reasoning but still felt dissatisfied. “Can’t I at least apply it to one or two places to show my goodwill?”

Zhao Yuan laughed again, his eyes carrying a hint of wickedness. “What does your highness want to do? If you can’t handle what’s happening right now, what would happen later? I can’t guarantee that your highness will be able to leave this place unscathed.”

Li Yi couldn’t make out the meaning behind Zhao Yuan’s words but didn’t dare to ask. If Zhao Yuan didn’t have any other intentions, why drag him into the mud when he was already in a difficult situation?

In a few years, when the Shizi turned twenty, Dian Nan Wang would probably retire on the grounds of old age and hand over the throne to Zhao Yuan. From then on, he could live carefree.

Thinking of this, Li Yi softly bid farewell and left without waiting for Zhao Yuan’s response. He handed the medicine to Zhao Xi and walked out, leaving Zhao Yuan alone to stare blankly at nothing. After a while, a long sigh was heard from his room.

The next day, the new emperor summoned Guo Shen to the palace and praised him for being a role model for the scholars of the world in his strict teachings towards the prince.

At the same time, a messenger from the palace came to announce to Yin Wang that he had received an imperial decree at Pan Palace.

Li Yi knelt in front of the Dacheng Hall to receive the imperial decree, with a desolate spring scenery behind him. The remaining willows stretched all the way to the edge of the Pan Pool, and the voice of the little eunuch sounded particularly sharp.

“The Emperor knows that you were not raised by a father and have much ignorance. Fighting is originally evil, behaving abnormally and not cultivating benevolence and virtue…What you have done has burdened our ancestors and brought shame to the people… You should truly repent and reflect on your mistakes.”

The new emperor’s reprimand was several volumes long, and the little eunuch took half an hour just to recite it.

Li Yi knelt there and listened to Qin Wang scold him as an uneducated child without a father. Every malicious word that could be thought of was piled up in the historical records.

With a white face, Li Yi finally managed to straighten his back and receive the imperial decree. He had never been so humiliated in his two lifetimes, and he knew that it was the emperor’s revenge for what had happened yesterday.

Lu Wang, Li Di, may be stupid, but he was the new emperor’s eldest son and had been the heir to him for more than ten years during his father’s reign. Now, he had even been personally bestowed a royal title. Even if he was not capable, he could not be bullied by others.

Especially you, Li Yi. If you don’t behave and dare to provoke the new emperor, you will be in trouble.

When Guo Shen returned to the school from the palace and heard about Li Yi’s humiliation, his face turned green with anger.

The new emperor knew that he had a strong character and was never afraid of the emperor’s threats, but the thief was cunning and never touched him. He even wanted to reward him while humiliating the person he cared about most, which was like slapping him in the face.

After a few days, the new emperor officially issued an edict to strip the title of Yin Wang from Li Yi and bestow upon him the character “Yin,” reducing him from a prince to the lowest-ranked county prince.

Since the founding of the Qing Dynasty, no one had ever been granted the title of county prince. The emperor’s sons were princes, and those with more distant blood relations were county princes. Even Dian Nan Wang, who was of a different surname, was a duke.

The title of county prince was more of a public display than a true conferment.

In the first year of Chengqian, Li Yi went from the revered status of Crown Grandson to Yin Wang, and now he had become a hidden prince.

Crown Prince Consort fell ill and never recovered after the Crown Princei’s departure. She held on for a while on her sickbed, but could not survive the spring of the following year and passed away.

The young daughter of the Crown Prince, who was still in swaddling clothes, was born with some deficiencies. With improper care in the palace, she also passed away.

In just a few months, Li Yi sent countless loved ones away. He had to detach himself and rely on his blurred memories of his past life to endure the pain.

Zhao Yuan saw Li Yi calmly handle the new emperor’s accession to the throne, and just as he had finally overcome the grief of losing his father and grandfather, he had to face a series of deaths in the family.

When it rains, it pours.

Several times, Zhao Yuan worried that Li Yi would not be able to hold on any longer, but even though he looked emaciated, he always managed to stagger on.

It wasn’t until the Duke of Jin Guo also had a stroke and passed away that Li Yi himself fell seriously ill. Guo Shen was unable to personally take care of him and silently allowed Zhao Yuan to stay by his side every day.

At night, with the flickering candlelight, Li Yi woke up from his dream. He wasn’t fully conscious, and someone brought warm water to feed him.

He was weak, but he managed to smile slightly.

Zhao Yuan gently stroked Li Yi’s forehead and held him in his arms.

Li Yi felt comfortable being touched and let out a long breath before hoarsely saying, “Qi Yuan, I’m fine. You don’t have to stay with me every day.”

Zhao Yuan carefully raised his head and raised his pillow to help Li Yi speak more comfortably.

Li Yi shifted his body and leaned towards Zhao Yuan with his eyes closed. Zhao Yuan also leaned sideways to become his pillow.

For a long time, Zhao Yuan didn’t speak. Li Yi opened his eyes slightly and said in a relaxed tone, “See, I’ve survived. It’s not as bad as you think.”

Zhao Xi, who was guarding outside, heard the movement and hurried to come in and take care of Li Yi. Zhao Yuan remembered something and whispered to Li Yi, “I’ll be back soon.”

He went out to instruct Zhao Xi to reheat a bowl of porridge and clean his face with the remaining hot water. Zhao Yuan was about to go back in when Zhao Xi whispered, “Your Highness, has the fever gone down?” The Shizi didn’t allow him to stay inside and take care of Li Yi. He always stayed on his own at night.

Zhao Yuan nodded, “It’s gone down.”

Zhao Xi couldn’t help but say, “Your Highness, I really can’t tell. He looks so…”

Although he didn’t say it clearly, Zhao Yuan understood what he meant.

Zhao Yuan’s words, which he kept hidden from Li Yi, were leaked out on this late night.

“He refuses to bow down to that person.”

“I guess nobody expected that the Crown Prince would be the only one left standing today, despite being the most pampered and precious among them all.” Zhao Yuan spoke with a slight smile, his gaze becoming soft like water. “I am even afraid of him myself, as if nothing can bring him down no matter what happens.” 

“His Highness is exhibiting both gentleness and firmness,” Zhao Xi said, eloquently. “Besides, he is not alone. He has the Emperor, Guo Jijiu, and a group of veteran officials in the court who support him. Although it may not be enough to achieve everything, they can still fight to the death to keep him safe.” 

“You see it clearly,” Zhao Yuan sent Zhao Xi to get some porridge, but he knew in his heart that if it weren’t for these people, the new emperor would have already made a move to kill him. It was not wise to kill a relative without a valid reason, and there were still some concerns at the moment.

Zhao Yuan returned to the inner room and hugged Li Yi again, leaning towards him.

Li Yi opened his deep and clear eyes and stared at him without blinking. “If you become the king in the future and hold great power, will you give me a meal if I can’t make ends meet?”

Zhao Yuan smiled. “Sure, if that day comes, I will come to take you to my house and you won’t have to worry about anything.”

Li Yi felt sweet inside when he heard his answer. He plucked up the courage to ask, “What if the emperor wants to bully me?”

Zhao Yuan raised his eyebrows. “I have a powerful army. The emperor won’t dare to bully you.”

Their conversation was so ridiculous, but Li Yi felt sweet inside.

The candle flickered as he slowly moved his fingers to touch Zhao Yuan’s five fingers. The young man’s hand was one size larger than his own, and Zhao Yuan closed his hand and held Li Yi’s hand tightly, rubbing it gently.

Zhao Xi brought the porridge and Zhao Yuan fed Li Yi half a bowl. After all the fuss, Li Yi was tired and fell asleep.

Zhao Yuan took off his outer jacket and laid down next to him. Li Yi shifted closer to him while half-asleep, and Zhao Yuan smiled and tucked him in tightly.

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