Why did she cry?
Qi Zheng kept his eyes on the bawling Shen Ziqiao. The punches and kicks she landed on him were harmless. He just felt his heart feeling overwhelmed by her tears.
“Stop crying!” He said deeply, feeling embarrassed of some sorts.
Shen Ziqiao cried even louder. “Get lost!”
“Okay, okay. It’s my fault. Stop crying.” Qi Zheng pulled her into his arms, finding the situation hilarious for some reason. “Stop crying. I won’t give Sheng Peiyin another chance to hurt you anymore. Be good.”
“Why are you scolding me? If I knew why she was going to kill me, you think that I’d come out today?” Shen Ziqiao asked, weeping and wiping her tears and snots on him.
Qi Zheng’s eyes darkened and he slightly tightened his grip on her. “I have a courtyard near here. Your maids are all injured. Rest in the courtyard first and then I’ll have someone bring you guys back.”
It was unclear when Uncle Qun had set off a signal to ask for assistance outside. By the time Shen Ziqiao and Qi Zheng came out, there was a black flattop horse carriage waiting.
Seeing Shen Ziqiao coming out, the others hurried over and asked, “Third Miss, are you okay?”
“I’m fine, how about you guys?” Shen Ziqiao asked. She saw the wounds on Lady Meng and Hong Yu’s foreheads. Although the blood had been stopped, it still looked shocking to the eyes.
“Us maidservants are all fine.” Lady Meng responded.
“Where’s Uncle Qun?” Seeing the two boy servants no one else, Shen Ziqiao asked curiously.
Lady Meng gulped before replying with lingering fear, “He...He brought them away.”
Brought them back to Sheng Peiyin?
Shen Ziqiao looked back at Qi Zheng.
He flashed her a slight smile and said in a low voice, “Go to the courtyard to rest first. You guys can get in the carriage.”
After that, he pulled Shen Ziqiao back to the horse carriage. Lady Meng and the Hong Sisters had no choice but to go to the other carriage.
They quickly arrived at the courtyard. The maidservants wanted to stay by Shen Ziqiao’s side but Qi Zheng dismissed them to get treated. Then he summoned another two maids to help Shen Ziqiao change into a new set of clothes and to inspect her injuries while they were at it.
They finally settled down. Shen Ziqiao took a sip of tea and rested for a while before actually calming down.
It was unclear what Qi Zheng was busy with but she didn’t see him until at least the afternoon.
“Did you have someone send my elder brother a message? How come no one from the Shen Family appeared yet?” The moment Shen Ziqiao saw him, she hurriedly rushed over and asked.
“I already had someone go. Just wait for a bit longer.” Qi Zheng held her hands and walked back into the room. “Let’s talk about what happened today first.”
Shen Ziqiao also found today’s events to be bizarre. She thought that Sheng Peiyin would’ve at least waited for a while before doing something. Who knew the day came so quickly.
“Okay, you can speak first. How did you know that Sheng Peiyin sent someone to murder me? And how did you coincidentally appear there?” Shen Ziqiao sat up straight and proper, placing her hands on her knees and looking at Qi Zheng seriously.
Qi Zheng watched her trying to act like an adult. He didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. “I already saw your horse carriage at Shangpin Teahouse. I guessed that Sheng Peiyin must’ve seen you there too.”
“Therefore, she ordered people to murder me?!” Damn her! Did it need to be so dog-blood? Do all heroines have golden fingers? Murderers can just come on demand? So fraudulent!
“Tell me just what happened between you and her.” Qi Zheng didn’t think that Sheng Peiyin was a ruthless woman. Even more, she actually had the power to command assassins.
Uncle Qun had just told him that those were assassins trained by the Imperial Family.
“I haven’t encountered her in a long time. The last time was during my grandmother’s birthday. Could it be because I saved the little imperial grandson?” Shen Ziqiao suddenly recalled the gaze Sheng Peiyin gave her when she was at the east palace.
The gaze full of hatred and resentment. She thought it was really frightening every time she thought of it.
“Because you saved the little imperial grandson?” Qi Zheng knitted his brows slightly. Could Sheng Peiyin be Imperial Consort Sun’s subordinate?
At this time however, Shen Ziqiao was overwhelmed with emotions. Could it be because little imperial grandson survived that she’d die even quicker?
Sheng Peiyin probably wouldn’t get a chance to approach the crown prince so she knew that she won’t become the empress in the future. Thus, it lead to the attempt assassination today...
She won’t give up since she didn’t kill her today! Sheng Peiyin would definitely find another opportunity.
Shen Ziqiao was afraid but also furious at this.
From Sheng Peiyin’s perspective, she’d be killing her in order to give the Shen Family a blow. It’d also prevent Shen Xiao from hurting Old Lord Sheng in the future. However, Shen Ziqiao was innocent.
There was nothing she could do. Even if Sheng Peiyin killed her, Shen Xiao would just feel bad for a while. However, what effect would this have on the future?
To speak the truth, Sheng Peiyin just hated her.
However, Qi Zheng connected this to the palace’s ruthless and sinister methods.
He took in a deep breath. This was what he was most afraid of. He was most afraid of her getting implicated in people’s schemes when he didn’t have the power to protect her yet.
“Jiao Jiao, listen to me. Sheng Peiyin might’ve been incited by someone else. Stay away from her in the future. I’ll have someone protect you. When I’m not in the capital, you have to learn to protect yourself. Wait for me to come back… I won’t let you suffer again in the future. Even more, I won’t let anyone hurt you.” Qi Zheng cupped her hands and stared at her brightly.
If this hadn’t happened today, he could’ve gone to the northwest and go on the expedition confidently and comforted, striving for his own honor and glory. However, he didn’t feel comfortable now.
What if she got bullied in the future when he wasn’t in the capital?
What did he mean? Shen Ziqiao stared at Qi Zheng, stunned. However, her ear tips were flushed.
“You don’t understand?” Qi Zheng smiled as he stared at her blushing face. His pitch-black eyes were sparkling bright like the stars at night.
“I don’t quite understand… Where are you going?” Shen Ziqiao lowered her head and asked softly.
“Northwest.” Qi Zheng said.
Shen Ziqiao suddenly lifted her head and stared at him in shock. “You’re also going to the battle in the northwest?”
“Yes, I’ll be back really soon. Before I come back, stay good and wait for me.” Qi Zheng pinched her palm hoping to receive an affirmative answer.
“Very soon is...how long? My elder brother said at least two years…” Shen Ziqiao pursed her lips and replied softly.
Qi Zheng stared at her passionately. “Yes, two years.”
“I’d be married in two years!” Shen Ziqiao chuckled, wondering why Qi Zheng took a fancy to her at this time.
“Marry who? Look at how old you are now. Even if I return after two years, you’d just hit legal age. Why are you rushing to get married? I won’t allow it.” The moment Qi Zheng thought of her becoming someone else’s wife after he came back in two years, he wanted to knock her out and take her to the northwest with him!
Shen Ziqiao slipped her hands from his grasp. “Whether I’m getting married or not has nothing to do with you. You won’t allow me? What gives you the right to say that?”
Qi Zheng glared at her upon feeling the loss.
“Jiao Jiao, wait for me. Wait two years. I’ll definitely come back and marry you. By then, we can move out of the Qi Family and live our own lives. You can sleep however long you want and eat however much you want. You can do whatever you want. No one can stop you, okay?” Qi Zheng held onto her wrist, tugging her into his arms and pushing her down to sit on his thighs. He trapped her and refused to let her leave.
It was quite an attractive offer!
Shen Ziqiao thought about it seriously before asking, “Why should I marry you?”
“Then who do you want to marry?” Qi Zheng immediately asked.
“Can I take it as you’re secretly in love with me and want to propose to me?” Shen Ziqiao couldn’t help but curl her lips up. She suddenly felt much happier.
Qi Zheng pinched the tip of her nose. “What do you mean by secretly in love with you? You can only marry me.”
Shen Ziqiao pouted and exclaimed feeling proudly, “I’ll consider it then. Who knows what sorts of young talented men I’d meet within the two years? If I encounter someone better, I’d be suffering a loss by agreeing to your proposal.”
This girl! Qi Zheng was mad and furious but he couldn’t bear to give her a beating.
“Who else can be better than me?” He cupped her face and kissed her firmly.
Shen Ziqiao widened her eyes as she glanced at his zoomed in face. Her lips were captured by his warm and moist lips. “Qi Zheng…”
She tried hard to struggle. This bastard. He dared to kiss her without her permission!
Qi Zheng captured her hands and sucked on her smooth lips a bit roughly and domineeringly. His teeth lightly grinded against her, forcing her to part her lips and welcome his arrival, letting him suck on her sweetness.
“Let go…” Shen Ziqiao punched his chest hard.
“Jiao Jiao, be good, be good. Don’t move.” Qi Zheng panted and hugged her tightly, shouting.
She sat on his thigh and quickly felt a change in his body.
Shen Ziqiao’s face flushed hard.
Qi Zheng’s coarse fingers delicately stroked her tender lips. His deep and hoarse voice rang in her ears, “Jiao Jiao, you’re already mine. No one can think about you besides me. What young talented men? Stay at home and don’t you dare go anywhere else. They have nothing to do with you, got it?”
“Don’t you think it’s too much of a matter of fact?” Shen Ziqiao stared at him moodily. “Let me go. Aren’t you tired?”
A certain part of his body was boiling hot and it was terrifying her. It pressed up against her thighs. He didn’t feel uncomfortable but she felt embarrassed.
Qi Zheng let go of her and tried his best to calm the beast inside of him.
“Eldest Master, Third Miss Shen, Eldest Master Shen is here.” A servant’s voice rang.
Shen Ziqiao’s face lit up and she glared at Qi Zheng, saying, “My elder brother is here. I’m going back now.”
She was going to tell him that she was going to Minyue. But after thinking of how arrogant the man was and how he even wanted to control her future, she decided against it.
Qi Zheng stood up and grabbed her arm. “Remember, don’t go and offend Sheng Peiyin. Act like you didn't know she was the culprit with today’s events. I will take care of it.”
“How are you going to take care of it?” Shen Ziqiao asked.
“You don’t need to know. Go back.” Qi Zheng smiled.
Shen Ziqiao pouted unhappily. “Then be careful. There is more to Sheng Peiyin than meets the eyes.”
“I understand.” Qi Zheng didn’t treat Sheng Peiyin as a simple woman. Since she could command assassins to go after Shen Ziqiao, she was much more ruthless than men in general then.
T/N: Merry Christmassss! <3
First of many updates to come!
Enjoy and stay safe y'all!