Shen Ziqiao stopped goofing off after being provoked by He Chen. She started reading the account books in unprecedented seriousness. If she encountered something she didn’t understand, she humbly asked Old Lord Pan and the first uncle for help. Lady Meng almost went to burn incense for Pan Madam, thinking that this was all due to her manifestation.
Later on, she found out that Shen Ziqiao only decided to work hard because she encountered He Chen in Tianbao Company.
Lady Meng didn’t feel gratified anymore. Instead, she told Shen Ziqiao to get appropriate rest and not look at account books the entire time.
March was quickly here. Pan Family had a courtyard by the river. The banquet was set near there this year. The first aunt called Shen Ziqiao up early in the morning and freshened her up from head to toe. She transformed the cute and adorable little lady to a touching and charming beautiful woman.
“First aunt, is my makeup too heavy?” Shen Ziqiao glanced at herself through the bronze mirror, feeling like her face was as rosy as a monkey’s butt.
“You have to be beautiful on this special occasion. If you’re wearing a dark-colored dress, you need to have light makeup in order to contrast it. But you’re wearing simple clothes today so your appearance needs to be gorgeous.” The first aunt said, thinking that Shen Ziqiao didn’t know how to dress herself up.
“Heavy makeup and simple clothes, simple makeup and beautiful clothes. That’s where the saying came from.” The first aunt chuckled.
Shen Ziqiao wore a red bamboo-colored and plum blossom patterned collar close-knit top with a simple white skirt. Her hair was pulled up into a bun by a white jade phoenix head hairpin. By the mouth of the phoenix was a string of cherry corals. Her brows were dashing and she wore a blueish green flower patterned scarf. She wore a peach-blossom style makeup which made her appear charming and beautiful like a blooming Japanese rose.
“Third Miss, you’re so beautiful today.” This was the first time Hong Yu had seen Shen Ziqiao like this. She couldn’t help but sigh.
“Am I not pretty usually? I’m born beautiful so I’m beautiful no matter how.” Shen Ziqiao glanced at the mirror around the same height as her, thinking that as a female supporting lead, she looked pretty good.
As expected, people depended on clothes to look beautiful.
Lady Meng smiled. “Right, right. No one can compare to our Third Miss.”
Shen Ziqiao tugged on her dress. “First aunt, everyone’s busy attending to guests. It’s inconvenient for me to move around like this.”
First aunt said, “It’s convenient. Why isn’t it? Let’s go. Let’s go let Old Madam check it out.”
Seeing how beautiful and charming Shen Ziqiao looked, Old Madam Pan smiled and specially reminded, “Stay by my side today. Don’t run around.”
Shen Ziqiao didn’t quite understand. When the guests were here, Old Madam Pan brought her around and introduced her to everyone, wanting everyone in Minyue to know that Pan Family had a well-behaved and cute granddaughter.
A Madam held onto her hands and praised how fair and delicate-looking she was. Another young lady pinched her waist and said that she had a round butt so it’d be easy for her to give birth to children. Then, she started talking about a handsome young master who made great achievements and how many ladies wanted to marry him. What a pity that he wasn’t interested in anyone.
How is this a banquet in any way? This was clearly a blind date!
Shen Ziqiao finally understood what Old Madam Pan and the first aunt were up to. It just turns out that they were finding a husband for her.
She recalled what Qi Zheng said upon leaving the capital.
Who else could she marry if she didn’t marry him?
The entire day, Shen Ziqiao was in a daze. She was introduced to many people but she didn’t really remember any.
The banquet finally ended and she was thinking about removing makeup and then going to sleep. Who knew that Old Madam Pan pulled her to the main room to talk. “Jiao Jiao, do you like Minyue.”
“I do.” I’m well-fed here and I don’t need to face Sheng Peiyin or Old Madam Shen. She thought this was heaven.
“Then are you willing to stay in Minyue forever?” Old Madam Pan smiled.
Shen Ziqiao carefully asked, “Grandmother, why don’t I stay to be with you?”
“What’s good about staying by this old woman’s side?” Old Madam Pan smiled. “That’s it then. You don’t need to return to the capital anymore. I’ll have someone to talk to your father.”
Before Shen Ziqiao could ask anymore, Old Madam Pan dismissed her to go back and rest.
Walking to the door, she heard Old Madam’s voice. “I think He Family’s boy is pretty good. What’s his name? He Chen. He’s quite a match for Jiao Jiao too…”
Shen Ziqiao almost tripped over her feet.
He Chen? Don’t scare her like that.
She never thought about getting married in Minyue, even more so to He Chen...
Returning to her room, Shen Ziqiao immediately removed her makeup and changed into casual clothes. She lazily lied on bed and held onto Lady Meng’s hands, exclaiming, “Lady Meng, I don’t want to get married that quickly. What should I do? How should I explain this to Old Madam?”
Lady Meng didn’t want Shen Ziqiao to marry to He Chen either. She thought Qi Zheng was pretty good.
“Tell Old Lord that you’re still young and not rushing to get married.” Lady Meng said.
Shen Ziqiao sat up straight. “That’s right, that’s right. How old am I? Why would I rush to get married? I’m only turning legal next year. I need to develop and promote Tianbao Company for my mother.”
Shen Ziqiao went to look for Old Lord Pan the next day after finding an excuse.
“Grandfather, in order to carry on my mother’s mission, I have to carry Tianbao Company forward. Plsu, I don’t want to be like my mother who married my father early on. My father held up my mother’s career and I don’t want to follow her footsteps. Plus, a person that always thinks about trying to steal my people is definitely not a good match for me.”
Shen Ziqiao said seriously to Old Lord Pan.
Old Lord Pan chuckled. “You’re right but in the end, ladies need to stay at home and teach their children.”
Shen Ziqiao immediately said, “Of course but I’m still young. That’s a future problem.”
“Fine, I’ll talk to your grandmother about it.” Old Lord Pan said.
It was unclear exactly how Old Lord Pan talked to Old Madam about this but Shen Ziqiao thought it was nice that Old Madam and first aunt hadn’t continued to talk to her about which young master was good for her and whatnot.
May quickly came. Shen Ziqiao already familiarized herself with the operations in Tianbao Company. Although she wasn’t as good as Pan Madam, she wasn’t as lazy as she was in the past. She’d still pay attention to things she needed to. This made the shopkeepers really satisfied.
By May, Shen Ziqiao received a letter Shen Zikai mailed to her from northwest military camp.
Besides being concerned with Shen Ziqiao’s life in Minyue, he told everything that happened in the northwest to Shen Ziqiao.
“Eldest Master already said that we don’t need to worry about war in the northwest. Third Miss, don’t worry.” Lady Meng smiled. Ever since eldest master went northwest, Third Miss was really worried about the war situation there.
“Mn.” Shen Ziqiao sighed. What she was most afraid of hadn’t happened. She didn’t hear any news of Shen Xiao and Sheng Peiyin’s father having any dilemmas either.
Some things might’ve been changing unconsciously.
It was unclear what Sheng Peiyin was doing right now. Did she successfully get close to the crown prince? Thinking of this, Shen Ziqiao felt really annoyed.
She was unable to understand Sheng Peiyin’s bizarre thoughts. Wasn’t it good that everyone was fine right now? Why must she find ways to deal with the Shen Family? Wasn’t this forcing the Shen Family to go against the Sheng Family?
She was most worried with the little imperial son.
She hoped that Sheng Peiyin wouldn't hurt that little cute boy.
Shen Ziqiao returned a letter to Shen Zikai and told him about everything that happened in Minyue. In the end, about how Old Madam Pan wanted her to stay in Minyue. She secretly treated this as a joke.
Another month has passed.
News came from the Shen Family. Chen Family had been waiting for Shen Family to propose marriage but after many times of hinting, Old Madam Shen ended up disliking Chen Xueling because of her character. Therefore, she didn’t want to talk about proposing marriage anymore.
It was unclear how they found out that Liu Family was going to give Liu Yunmeng at least 100,000 ingots of silver worth of dowries but Old Madam Shen immediately invited a matchmaker to propose marriage to Liu Family.
How could the Chen Family accept this? They went to Shen Family and caused a ruckus without another word.
In the end, Old Madam Chen even hit Old Madam Shen’s head. Now, everyone in the capital knew that Old Madam Shen was a despicable person that can’t keep her words.
After the Liu Family found out about Old Madam Shen’s personality, they didn’t dare to accept the proposal. They married Liu Yunmeng off to the Wang Family not far from the capital.
“Whoever becomes the daughter-in-law of this old woman must’ve done something atrocious in their past life.” After hearing Lady Meng’s words, Shen Ziqiao sighed with feeling. “Because heaven was jealous of my mother’s beauty, it led her to get such a mother-in-law.”
Lady Meng covered her mouth and chuckled. “That’s good now. Chen Xueling doesn’t need to marry into the Shen Family.”
That was a happy event worth celebrating over.
“She should actually marry into the family to deal with that bizarre old woman.” Shen Ziqiao chuckled.
In the blink of an eye, the scorching summer was already halfway over. Shen Xiao already had someone send a message to Shen Ziqiao, wanting her to head home sooner.
Shen Ziqiao said that she wanted to stay with grandmother some more so she refused to go back.
It was mid-autumn soon. Shen Ziqiao happily helped Old Madam Pan get ready. She heard that there was going to be a Lantern Festival in mid-autumn of Minyue. By then, lanterns would be hung on the streets. That’d look like a paradise. Shen Ziqiao looked really eager.
At this time, news came from the capital again.
The princess consort had fallen ill. The little imperial son was sent to the empress to be taken care of. A few young unmarried ladies were already conspiring secretly in the capital.
Shen Ziqiao became sorrowful. The princess consort was a really kind and straightforward person. Who knew that she escaped losing the little imperial grandson but still had fallen ill.
She really hoped that she could recover.
“Right, where’s Sheng Peiyin? Is she still in the east palace?” Shen Ziqiao suddenly called out shockingly.
This led Hong Yu who was doing needlework to jump.
“Lady Meng, have someone return to the capital and see if Sheng Peiyin is still in the east palace or not.” Shen Ziqiao suddenly became stirred.
Sheng Peiyin couldn’t stay in the palace! If she was, the princess consort’s illness obviously won’t get better.
Even more, she might take this opportunity to get closer to the crown prince.
Lady Meng thought that Shen Ziqiao paid a lot of attention to Sheng Peiyin because of what happened last time. “I’ll have someone find out right away.”
T/N: Kofi queue 1/1~