Old Madam Shen wasn’t enthusiastic about Chen Xueling marrying into the family anymore. Shen Ziqiao was naturally happy about this. She hoped that Shen Xiao wouldn't propose marriage himself. Everyone could just act ignorant and put this in the past.
That was what Shen Ziqiao wanted. But clearly, someone didn’t want the first household to live freely.
Not long after Old Lord Pan came, Madam Zhou arrived. Since Madam Zhou handed over the items the Old Madam gifted to the second household, she hasn’t gotten a good attitude. She didn’t get to wear luxurious clothes as she did in the past either. She looked at Shen Ziqiao as if wanting to tear her apart.
“Jiao Jiao, you have to go to Minyue urgently? Then when are you coming back?” Madam Zhou came in and greeted the Old Madam and Old Lord Pan, and then smiled at Shen Ziqiao.
Madam Zhou’s face wasn’t as rosy as it was in the past, though they haven’t seen each other in just a few days. It was clear that her skin became less smooth and more dull as if she had grown a few ages older.
“I haven’t decided yet. When I should come back, I’d be back.” Shen Ziqiao smiled. She didn’t think that Madam Zhou actually cared about her.
Madam Zhou knitted her brows and reprimanded, “How can you not have an arrangement? Do you not need to come and serve tea to your mother when your father gets married? Kai’er is going to the northwest. As your father’s daughter, you have to be here. Otherwise, won’t you be making your father lose face?”
Shen Ziqiao didn’t reveal an unhappy expression upon hearing this. After all, it wasn’t like she could decide whether Shen Xiao could or couldn’t marry Chen Xueling. But it was her issue if she didn’t give Chen Xueling face. “If Chen Xueling marries into the family in the future, I will make sure to be filial and treat her like my birth mother. Second aunt, don’t you worry.”
She knew what Madam Zhou was thinking. She probably wished for her and Chen Xueling to fight the entire time. Who couldn’t tell what she was thinking?
Old Madam Shen lazily looked at Shen Ziqiao. She thought that if Chen Xueling really treated her like her daughter when she married into the family, then she’d be just finding trouble for herself.
She was even more unwilling to propose marriage to the Chen Family.
Madam Zhou originally wanted to incite Old Madam Shen to propose marriage to the Chen Family. She believed that Shen Ziqiao didn’t like Chen Xueling so Old Madam Shen would be very willing to let Chen Xueling marry into the family. However, Shen Ziqiao’s expression disappointed them.
Old Lord Pan shook his head gently inside thinking that it must be difficult for his granddaughter to not be influenced badly by this mother-in-law and daughter-in-law pair. One was greedy and insatiable while the other was narrow and petty-minded, wanting people to live worse lives than themselves. They didn’t even want their granddaughter to live well. How could the offspring taught by the elders be any good?
“Old Madam, I still need to go out so I won’t disturb you.” Old Lord Pan stood up and bid farewell, calling the siblings along too. He was unwilling to stay here and face them anymore.
“Mother, what do you plan to do with the Chen Family?” Madam Zhou exclaimed and turned to Old Madam Shen who was moaning from the loss of dowries.
Old Madam Shen waved her hands. “I’m old and useless. Let Shixiu decide on his own.”
She’s not planning to propose marriage to the Chen Family? Madam Zhou was furious. Did she want the Chen Family to hate her? What was wrong with her? She invited the woman to the family and forced Shen Xiao to agree to the marriage in front of Chen Xueling, but now she said that she wants nothing to do with this?
She wants nothing to do with this? Would Shen Xiao actively propose marriage? She wants nothing to do with this? What status would Chen Xueling have once she married into the family in the future?
This selfish, cold, and ruthless old woman. She only ever thought about herself. She thought that her children would be filial with her? Tch!
Madam Zhou said with a cold face, “If that’s the case, I’ll tell the Chen Family to wait for the news.”
Old Madam Shen impatiently dismissed Madam Zhou saying that she needed to rest.
Madam Zhou couldn’t say a single word. She left De’an Courtyard with an ashened expression.
Old Lord Pan brought the siblings outside to do some shopping.
Shen Zikai originally didn’t want Shen Ziqiao to follow along but he couldn’t withstand Shen Ziqiao’s cuteness. After all, it wasn’t like the desolate and remote outskirts. They were just shopping on the streets. Sheng Peiyin would never dare to make a move on her. Plus, the attempt assassination just failed yesterday. Sheng Peiyin probably would’ve never expected for her to come outside again today.
Plus, didn’t she have the brilliant and wise Shen Zikai?
He was swayed by his sister easily just like that. Shen Zikai had no choice but to helplessly agree to letting her out with him. However, he did add more guards.
“Third Miss Sheng is the owner of that teahouse?” Old Lord Pan glanced at Shangpin Teahouse from outside the carriage window and smiled, asking Shen Ziqiao.
Shen Ziqiao nodded, saying, “Right, Sheng Peiyin is the owner of many stores including clothing and fabrics stores. The businesses are really good.”
“Really? Let’s go to Shangpin Teahouse then.” Old Lord Pan waved his hands and entered the teahouse with the siblings in great fanfare.
They reserved a VIP room and sat down. Old Lord Pan acted wealthy and refused to order inexpensive dishes. In the end, he even rudely asked the shopkeeper to invite Third Miss Sheng out.
Especially after Old Lord Pan flung an ingot of gold on the table. Shen Ziqiao looked shocked, wanting badly to shove that ingot of gold in her embroidered pouch.
He’s so extravagant, no? That was gold, gold!
“Old Lord, our Third Miss isn’t isn’t in the teahouse right now. If you need anything, you can order me.” The shopkeeper politely replied.
Old Lord Pan said oh and then said, “I heard that your Third Miss is well-known in the capital. I came here specially to seek her out. Here I thought I would get the chance to meet her today.”
“That’s unfortunate. Our Third Miss is the crown princess’ competent female official and it’s difficult for her to leave the palace.” The shopkeeper smiled.
“Ohh, so she’s also a female official. My bad. Third Miss Sheng is much stronger than my useless granddaughter.” Old Lord Pan complimented.
Shen Ziqiao stared at her grandfather, confused.
That shopkeeper naturally recognized Shen Ziqiao to be Shen Family’s Third Miss. In his heart, he was thinking that obviously their Third Miss couldn’t be compared to Shen Family’s Third Miss in disdain. That’d be lowering their Third Miss’ status too much.
Old Lord Pan and the shopkeeper chattered for a while before the latter left the private room in satisfaction.
“Grandfather, why are you making inquiries about Sheng Peiyin?” Shen Ziqiao asked moodily. That shopkeeper flattered Sheng Peiyin so hard making her seem like a wastrel in comparison.
“Why don’t I buy this Shangpin Teahouse?” Old Lord Pan suddenly asked.
Shen Zikai stared at Old Lord Pan in shock. “Grandfather, what are you planning?”
“Oh, it’s fine if we don’t buy it either. We’ll just open a Wufu Restaurant next to Shangpin Teahouse and do the same business. In short, whatever business that Sheng Peiyin decides to do, we’ll do the same business next to her store.” Old Lord Pan exclaimed carefreely.
“Grandfather, this… what sort of business is this?” Shen Ziqiao widened her eyes in shock.
Old Lord Pan’s smile gradually faded and there was a severe glint in his eyes. “We’re going to make Sheng Peiyin lose her business.”
She really thought that after hurting his granddaughter that she could still be the unmarried young miss that is well-known in the capital glamorously? She thought that the Pan Family was dead? Shen Family could tolerate Jiao Jiao beng bullied but the Pan Family couldn’t.
She knew how to do business, no? She knew how to scheme, no? She had a backer, no? Then let’s see who’ll win in the end.
Shen Ziqiao stared at Old Lord Pan teary-eyed. “Grandfather, how much would you have to spend then? Why not convert it to silvers and give it to me instead?...”
“Nonsense!” Shen Zikai scolded moodily.
“Grandfather, you really don’t…” Shen Ziqiao didn’t get to finish when Old Lord Pan stopped her with a look.
Old Lord Pan slammed his chopsticks and said, “The food here is ordinary and so-so. Let’s go back now.”
Shen Ziqiao bit her chopsticks. The food here was pretty good.
Sheng Peiyin was bad but the food was innocent.
Old Lord Pan walked out with his hands behind his back as if he was unwilling to stay any longer. The siblings hurried and followed out.
“Have Liang Jianhai and Pan Sanduo come meet me.” Old Lord Pan ordered Shen Ziqiao in a deep voice.
Shen Ziqiao hurriedly answered.
She returned to Shen Family to hear that Old Lord Pan was talking to the two men inside the room about something. When dusk arrived, Liang Jianhai and Pan Sanduo just left the Shen Family.
Even Shen Zikai had no idea what they talked about. Don’t mention Shen Ziqiao.
No matter how she pestered Old Lord Pan, she couldn’t get it out of him.
The next day, Old Lord Pan got ready to take Shen Ziqiao back to Minyue. The household matters were temporarily handed to Madam Zhou. However, the people in the departments still belonged to Shen Ziqiao. It was to prevent her things from being stolen again when she returned.
However, she wasn’t in the Shen Family and Shen Zikai went to the northwest too. Shen Xiao was the only one at home. If Chen Xueling really married into the family, she probably won’t get the power to control the household.
It didn’t matter whether she got to control the household or not. Shen Ziqiao just wanted people to watch over the dowries in the storage room for her.
The key was in her hand. If someone wanted to take her things, they’d need to break open the storage room’s door first.
Old Madam Shen and Madam Zhou must be apprehensive of this.
“When you’re at the Pan Family, you have to listen to your grandfather and grandmother. You can’t be unruly or playful…” Shen Xiao reminded Shen Ziqiao in the horse carriage. He actually didn’t want his daughter to go that far.
Shen Ziqiao nodded firmly. “Yes, father. I will remember this.”
“Get in the carriage. Be careful on your way.” Shen Zikai patted her head and said pampering.
“Father, Elder Brother, then I’m leaving now.” Shen Ziqiao felt bad and didn’t want to leave. She’d miss Shen Zikai the most.
Shen Ziqiao gritted her teeth and turned to step on the stool.
“Jiao Jiao.” In front of the alley, a horse carriage quickly drove over and Sheng Peiyin’s voice rang.
Not long later, the horse carriage stopped in front of Shen Family’s door. Sheng Peiyin got out of the horse carriage leisurely.
Shen Zikai’s face darkened. “Third Miss Sheng, do you have a matter here?”
Seeing how defensive Shen Zikai was, Sheng Peiyin was slightly shocked. Then seeing how Shen Ziqiao and Shen Xiao’s maids were all on alert and disgusted with her, she mostly understood.
“I have a few words with Jiao Jiao alone.” Sheng Peiyin didn’t purposely pretend to be gentle or lovable. She looked arrogantly at Shen Ziqiao behind Shen Zikai.