The Regent’s Secret Chapter 61

Chapter 61

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The window was covered in frost, and Li Yi laid quietly on his bed, his hands wrapped in layers of gauze. He had been thinking about the words that were spoken that night in the cave.

Zhao Yuan had asked him if he believed in him, and he had replied that he did.

Looking back now, what did he believe in Zhao Shen for? Did he believe he would pity a fool who had been deceived for years and was so foolish that it was laughable, and therefore spared him out of pity?

Shouldn’t he be grateful to tears that Zhao Shen calculated so accurately and left him with just enough breath?

It’s even more ridiculous that he worried about Zhao Shen’s return to Dian Nan, and he even personally advised him, “Go back early, don’t worry about anything else.”

There’s no need for him to worry. Dian Nan Wang Shizi is a hundred times smarter than him, able to deceive the people in the Pan Palace, deceive the Crown Grandson of Guanghua Emperor, so there’s no need for him to worry. 

A person who can endure for so long does not need his sympathy. He was wrong about Zhao Shen. He was like a fierce snake hiding in the forest, and he made the mistake of taking in a starving wolf as his pet dog. He deserved to be bitten.

He was afraid that Zhao Shen had already calculated his return to Dian Nan, and now he had surrendered to Chengqian Emperor. If so, there would be no homeland that he cannot return to.

He should be grateful to him, like he pitied a deer waiting to be sacrificed, and didn’t slit his throat and cut out his heart. Instead, he bled him and severed his limbs, leaving him to be sacrificed and devoured by the fierce dragon.

He should be grateful to him for giving me a few more days to survive.

That night, he even asked me if I wanted to paint or not.

Zhao Shen was so indecisive that it would have been better if he had taken my life directly. Did he think I would be grateful for sparing me?

There is probably no one more ridiculous than himself in this world. Compared to Zhao Shen, Li Yi hates himself even more. All his pride, self-confidence, and judgment have been shattered. 

He can see Zhao Shen’s cold eyes and the blade he wielded every night. 

Li Yi lifted his right arm, and after a moment of hesitation, his ring finger trembled slightly as he tried to move it. He turned his face away and let his right hand hang down in despair. 

On the outside, he looked like nothing was wrong, but inside, he felt empty. 

Only Li Yi himself knew that when Qin Wang usurped the throne and his loved ones left one after another, he never thought of death. But now, he sometimes thought about it. 

Li Yi did not know that he had also been poisoned. As Zhao Yuan had guessed, the first to discover Li Yi was the imperial guards, who had been watching them for a long time. At first glance, the wolf’s den was in such a mess that anyone would have thought Li Yi was dead. But when the imperial guards came forward to collect the body, they were shocked to find that he was still alive. 

This unbelievable thing even made Emperor Chengqian himself suspect that it was the spirit of Emperor Guanghua and his son protecting Li Yi from heaven. 

The imperial guards, disguised as an Imperial Forest Guard patrolling the Imperial Hunting Grounds, did a good job of cleaning up the traces in the den. Apart from Emperor Chengqian and his confidants, no one knew that Li Yi had not only had his wrists slashed but had also been poisoned.

Even if he had endured all of that, the Emperor could not blame Zhao Yuan for not killing him ruthlessly. He even felt a bit of hair-raising hesitation about whether to continue to the end.

The will of heaven was unpredictable, let alone the report from the imperial physician that Li Yi’s hands were probably crippled. As for this nephew who was already powerless, should he be completely eradicated or not? Emperor Chengqian was unable to make up his mind.

When Li Yi woke up, Zhao Yuan had already left the capital, at dawn. Zhao Xi once asked him, “Won’t the Emperor find another chance to kill His Highness?”

Zhao Yuan rode in the cold wind, unable to sleep for several days. When he spoke, his voice was hoarse, “If you killed your own brother and made your father angry, and then, when you were about to kill your nephew again, you found that no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t kill him, what would you think?”

“I would be scared. If it were me, I would definitely be afraid of vengeful ghosts coming for my life. Even if I didn’t admit it on the surface, I would still be afraid. Maybe I would want to drive that nephew farther away.” Zhao Xi replied.

Zhao Yuan nodded slightly and stopped his horse, Bai Yucong. “The Emperor has something on his mind, and Huan An has injured his hand. Don’t forget about Guo Shen. Li Yi will survive this.”

Looking back at the capital from outside the city gate, Zhuque Street to the south was cold and empty, with only sporadic figures.

Zhao Xi looked at Zhao Yuan’s figure and couldn’t help but recall the bustling capital when the two first entered the Zhuque Gate. He was still immersed in his nostalgic thoughts when Zhao Yuan turned and headed up the road.

Zhao Xi quickly spurred his horse to catch up, and they galloped southward along the main road.

It was still early in the morning, and several courtiers were already kneeling on the jade steps in front of the Dacheng Hall. The various officials who arrived slightly later quietly asked those who arrived earlier, and the crowd gradually divided into their respective groups. Some continued to wait where they were, while others quietly joined the leaders’ group and knelt down at the back in turn.

As the sun rose and the golden palace gates sparkled with dazzling colors, the morning bell echoed both inside and outside the palace. Emperor Chengqian arrived in his sedan chair.

As soon as the emperor arrived, he saw Guo Shen kneeling in front of him, with the former Crown Prince Tutor Liao Hong and the former Grand Academician of the Wenhua Palace, Zhan Ying, beside him. There were also many literati and a few scattered military officers behind them.

The emperor’s face turned cold. He knew very well what these people were here for. He hadn’t even dealt with Li Yi yet, but these people were already eager to force his hand.

The emperor’s good mood was ruined. He waved his hand, and the eunuch in charge of the imperial edict conveyed his command, “No court session today.”

The courtiers looked at each other, and many of them had already anticipated this result.

By the time Li Yi had barely regained his strength and wanted to stop them, it was already too late. Zhao Yuan had already entered the territory of Yongzhou at a gallop, while Guo Shen and the others were still at odds with Emperor Chengqian.

Guo Shen, Liao Hong, and Zhan Ying each pleaded for severe punishment of the murderer. Many of their students and followers also joined in the petition, and even some retired officials of the former dynasty came to join the commotion.

Li Yi had no scruples in front of Chen Banban and said bluntly, “My teacher is confused.”

Chen Banban had wiped countless tears by now, and he couldn’t stay silent any longer. He knelt down and said, “Lord Guo, Lord Grand Tutor, and Chancellor Zhan all know that we are facing a critical moment. They are willing to risk their lives to protect you, my lord. Your Highness, you must take good care of yourself. The late emperor and the Crown Prince are watching over you from heaven. You must take care of your health.”

Li Yi let out a long sigh. So many people were willing to sacrifice everything to protect him. He felt that just being alive was a victory in itself.

“What good will come from their protests? It will only bring harm to everyone,” he said.

Chen Banban shook his head. “It may not lead to a resolution, but the lords must know it. If we don’t make a fuss, they will come after us openly next time. Your Highness, you are already in this situation. How can we just let you go? Making a fuss may still give us a chance to survive. If we don’t, we’ll just stand by and watch you being harmed by others.”

“Banban, if you cry again, I’ll feel even worse,” Li Yi sat up from the bed. “Lord Liao and Chancellor Zhan are both retired. It doesn’t matter to them anymore, but Jijiu is not only risking his own future, but also the future of many of his students. He wouldn’t have gotten involved in the Eastern Palace affair if it weren’t for me. I’ve caused trouble for my teacher.”

Chen Banban disagreed, “As a scholar, he should serve his lord with loyalty. Your Highness, you’re underestimating Lord Guo.”

Li Yi realized that he had spoken carelessly due to his past life’s way of thinking.

However, a few days later, the Emperor issued a decree, accusing Li Yi of committing suicide. Then he denounced Li Yi for not changing his evil ways, despite the Emperor’s repeated teachings. The Emperor showed mercy due to their familial relationship and was very lenient towards him.

On the other hand, as for Li Yi, he not only lacked gratitude and contentment with his current peaceful life but also harbored resentment and dissatisfaction. He even used the mind of a petty person to judge the intentions of the present emperor and tried to use his own clumsy means to frame the emperor as unjust.

Later on, the article went on to describe how Li Yi, as the legitimate grandson of the Guanghua Emperor and the eldest son of the Chongde Crown Prince, had acted in such an unfaithful and unfilial manner, bringing shame to his ancestors.

What a typical official article, Li Yi almost applauded the author’s ability to distort right and wrong.

After being criticized mercilessly and being labeled as a completely unfaithful and unfilial person, the official decree finally came.

“As of today, the Hidden Prince Li Yi is stripped of his title and demoted to a commoner.”

The mouth of the little eunuch who had been talking nonstop turned into a goldfish blowing bubbles from this sentence on. Li Yi didn’t hear him say anything else.

He bypassed the eunuch and looked up at the sky. There were a few slow-moving clouds in the clear sky, and up close, the palace walls had melted snow, revealing the black color underneath.

Everything had come to an end.

When he knelt to express his gratitude during the grand ceremony, Li Yi prostrated himself with all his heart, thanking everyone who had fought hard for his life.

No matter how difficult the road ahead was, today they had gotten what they wanted by seeking justice, forcing the emperor to submit. Both he and they had survived, and by living, they had won this round and had hope for the future.

On the same day, in Dian Nan Wang’s Mansion.

Zhao Yuan stood in the study. Naturally, Dian Nan Wang knew about the hardships Li Yi had suffered in the capital. Moreover, Zhao Yuan was close to Li Yi, and Dian Nan Wang also knew quite a bit about him. Therefore, looking at the always silent Zhao Yuan, Dian Nan Wang felt a little guilty and wanted to make it up to him.

He let out a long sigh, “Did my son blame me for sending you to the capital as a hostage?”

Zhao Yuan raised his head, without any humiliation or forbearance, and without the heart palpitations that had almost killed him. His eyes shone brightly.

“If time could be reversed, no matter how many times I had to go to the capital again, I would not regret it.”

“Good! You are truly my son!”

Dian Nan Wang was very pleased with his son’s understanding of the overall situation, and began to talk about his arrangements for Zhao Yuan in the future with peace of mind.

After the king finished speaking non-stop, Zhao Yuan, who had been silent for a long time, only said one sentence, “I want to go to the army.”

Dian Nan Wang was stunned and said, “You know the rules of the Dian Nan army. Even if the king’s son joins the army, he has to start from the bottom.”

Zhao Yuan nodded and said, “Father, you just asked if I had any requests. Going to the army is my only request.”

What could Dian Nan Wang say to this?

On a winter night, the crystal-clear stream was floating with floating ice, and a slight touch of the fingers could make them cold to the bone.

Zhao Yuan buried his whole body in the stream, if he were still in the palace, it would be impossible to hide the fact that his blood power had been exhausted and he was poisoned.

Joining the army could be considered killing two birds with one stone. At this moment, the pain made every moment feel like an eternity. What could he use to resist this long-lasting, lifelong blood poison? He could use this time to slowly think about a person.

Starting from that morning when they first met in the Pan Palace, tonight was the beginning.

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