Capital, east palace.
The crown prince wore a simple outfit and sat properly on the tutor chair. The funeral for the crown princess was already done. The little imperial grandson was at the empress’ place. He felt as if the east palace had lost its palace and it would never be as warm as it was in the past.
“Your Highness.” Sheng Peiyin walked in and glanced at the slim crown prince, feeling her heart aching. She walked to his side with a cup of ginseng tea. In a gentle voice, “You haven’t rested in a few days. Why not…”
“Leave.” The crown prince said deeply, not wanting to see Sheng Peiyin at this point.
Sheng Peiyin felt the corner of her eyes tearing up. Ever since she was purposely given the cold shoulder last time, she hadn’t approached him since up until the crown princess was severely ill did she find a chance for him to notice herself.
She had him see that she was bullied by palace maids, her body full of injuries in order to make him believe her. At that time, her heart soared in joy when he carried her into the room. She thought that he started pitying her again. But that was it. He didn’t let her return to his side again as if nothing had happened.
She could feel that the crown prince was moved by her but why did that feeling suddenly disappear?
Sheng Peiyin was unresigned to this. She already gave up too much for him. She must obtain him.
“Your Highness, don’t act like this. The crown princess won’t want to see you treating yourself badly either. Take care of your body.” Sheng Peyin got on her knees and caressed his knees, her gaze gentle and her voice soft. She looked at him tenderly.
The crown prince wanted to push her away but seeing her teary-eyed eyes, he paused. “Get up.”
“Your Highness, don’t act like this. Peiyin really...really...feels bad.” Sheng Peiyin weeped hard, her face cushioning between the crown prince’s legs, crying pitifully.
The crown prince sighed. “Let me ask you. What’s with the assassins?”
He did like Sheng Peiyin but he refused to keep a vicious and merciless woman by his side.
“What? What assassin?” Sheng Peiyin’s heart thumped and asked confusedly.
The crown prince knitted his brows and glanced at her fair and smooth milky face. “Did you have to do with Jiao Jiao’s ambushing?”
Shen Ziqiao again!
Sheng Peiyin clenched her teeth, suppressing the unhappiness forcibly. She asked shockingly, “When was Jiao Jiao ambushed? How come I didn’t know?”
The crown prince’s expectation for her was destroyed.
If she told him the truth, he might forgive her. After all, the assassins belonged to the Ninth Prince. He believed that she wouldn’t send people to kill Jiao Jiao. But he could believe that it was the Ninth Prince’s doing.
Yet she said she didn’t know...
Sheng Peiyin could feel the change in attitude in the crown prince immediately. She had a feeling that she couldn’t redeem his heart this time anymore.
“Your Highness!” Sheng Peiyin suddenly hugged his waist. “What happened with Jiao Jiao...I did know about it but I can’t tell you, I can’t.”
The crown prince knitted his brows in disgust, pushing her firmly. “Get lost!”
“Your Highness, the little imperial grandson is crying nonstop at the empress’ side. He’s throwing a tantrum looking for you.” Department Head Ning’s voice rang outside and interrupted Sheng Peiyin’s next step.
The crown prince pushed Sheng Peiyin away. “Department Head Ning, kick Sheng Peiyin out of the east palace and forbid her from entering the palace anymore.”
Department Head Ning’s figure appeared in Sheng Peiyin’s line of sight. “Yes, Your Highness.”
“Your Highness…” Sheng Peiyin called out in shock. How did it become like this?
What exactly did she do wrong? It shouldn’t be like this. Sheng Peiyin thought in a panic. She felt as if something had changed.
This shouldn’t be her ending.
The crown prince left the lounge in large strides, allowing Sheng Peiyin to call behind him however she wanted.
She was unresigned, unresigned!
Sheng Peiyin was kicked out of the imperial palace. She just got into the palace after much difficulty. Hatred boiled in her heart.
The crown prince came to the empress’ palace and the little imperial grandson was crying for his mother. No coaxing worked. The moment he saw the crown prince, he immediately pounced into his arm and cried even more.
“Be good, you’ll see your mother tonight.” The crown prince bitterly choked out. For the past few nights, he had been fooling the little imperial grandson who had been still learning how to talk that his mother had become a star in the sky.
The little imperial grandson had been coaxed by the crown prince for a while before he finally fell asleep in his arms.
“Your Highness, this palace maid will carry the little grandson into the room to sleep.” Xiao Yu carried the little imperial grandson from the crown prince’s arms.
“What are you going to do with the Sheng Family’s girl?” The empress asked the crown prince whose exhausted expression was hard to conceal. She asked in a low voice.
Even the empress could tell that the crown prince liked Sheng Peiyin. However, that woman wasn’t simple. If she wanted to take over as the crown princess, don’t blame her for being harsh.
The crown prince said, “Sheng Family is different from the past. I just had her kicked out of the palace.”
In the end, he couldn’t bear to hurt Sheng Peiyin.
The empress hmphed inside. “The battle in the northwest is urgent right now. Volunteer to go to the northwest. I wonder how Kai’er is doing now.”
They haven’t found the mole that sold out the court. News of the crown prince leading troops on an expedition to the northwest had spread. At the same time, Shen Ziqiao received Shen Xiao’s letter too.
In order to search for Shen Zikai, Shen Xiao decided to go into battle with the crown prince. They were probably on the way there now.
He didn’t mention the mole or Sheng Family.
Shen Ziqiao found out that Sheng Peiyin was kicked out of the palace by the crown prince through Luo Zhaohua.
“I think I’m really lovable lately. Even heaven has heard my prayer, kicking Sheng Peiyin out. She won’t be able to threaten Shen Family in the future. Shen Ziqiao rolled on her head while hugging Luo Zhaohua’s letter. She almost started jumping up and down in joy.
Lady Meng and Hong Yu covered their mouths, laughing.
“Crown prince must have astute eyes. He must’ve known that Sheng Peiyin has impure motives.” Lady Meng said.
“You guys don’t understand.” Love is blind.
Loving someone meant that no matter what they did was correct. No matter what they did was good.
Although she didn’t know why the crown prince kicked Sheng Peiyin out of the palace. But since he did that, it meant that he didn’t like her enough.
What happened in between? Did it have to do with her appearance? Shen Ziqiao didn’t know nor was she interested.
As long as Shen Family wasn’t destroyed.
“Let’s go to Old Madam’s place and tell her that my father is already going to find elder brother so she doesn’t need to worry.” Shen Xiao was Dazhou’s general. With him going on an expedition to the northwest, many people would be calmed down.
By the time Shen Ziqiao came to the main room, she noticed that the three aunts were all inside. Each of them wore a worried expression.
“Grandmother, first aunt…” Shen Ziqiao entered and greeted them. She sat by Old Madam Pan’s side. “Grandmother, my father went to the northwest. They’ll be able to meet up with my elder brother. Nothing will happen to him. You can be comforted.”
When Old Madam Pan heard this, she finally smiled faintly and sighed. “Kai’er is auspicious. He’ll definitely come back safely.”
Second aunt pursed her lips and said, “Jin people came here with great fanfare. Who knows if our Dazhou can win the battle. The common people are worried that they aren’t able to buy any food with the battle taking place. Everyone is on the streets buying rice and food. If this persists...who knows what will happen?”
“They’re stealing rice?” Shen Ziqiao asked in shock. What was going on? It wasn’t like they had never gone to battle. Dazhou was a magnificent country. Since when was it afraid of the Jin people?
“That’s right. I’m scared that the price of rice will be raised unbelievably high in a few days.” Second aunt said.
The first aunt glared at her. “What is this nonsense? The northwest is far away from us.”
“I don’t know who spread the rumors saying that the Jin people will invade here soon.” The second aunt quickly retorted.
“Someone is purposely causing chaos, wanting to raise the price. With the business association here, the price of rice won’t be raised.” Old Madam Pan said. “Be careful of the Old Lord finding out if your husband wants to stock up on rice. See if he’ll beat him up.”
Second aunt’s face flushed, her thoughts exposed by Old Madam Pan. She stuttered, saying that she never thought that.
As expected, not long later, the rice prices went back to normal. After a few more days, it recovered to its normal and prosperous lifestyle.
Three months quickly passed by.
Good news finally came to the northwest.
The crown prince and Shen Xiao decided to ambush the Jin soldiers, splitting up. Who knew that the Jin soldiers had seen through their plan and had been lying in wait for them. The troops almost lost when another troop magically appeared. Not only did they save the crown prince but they also got back one of the cities conquered by the Jin soldiers.
The leader of this troop was Qi Zheng. Shen Zikai was with him.
Hearing that both Qi Zheng and Shen Zikai was safe, Shen Ziqiao sighed and her smile became more splendid.
“...Third Miss, Tianbao Company clearly has the right to participate in the business association but why did the He Family say no?” Hong Yu complained in her ears. She’d said that multiple times already and Shen Ziqiao finally got it.
“So what if we can’t enter? What’s wrong with that? It’s not like we’ll lose money.” Shen Ziqiao said indifferently.
To her, entering the business association was just an empty title. It didn’t matter whether they had it or not.
“Third Miss!” Hong Yu sighed. These days, they have been helping Shen Ziqiao handle some matters in Tianbao Company so when it has been losing money, they felt incredibly bad.
“We’re here, we’re here!” Shen Ziqiao said. “Sister Xiu is inside waiting for us.”
Hong Sisters looked at each other speechlessly. Sometimes, they felt like crying for having a foodie master.
“There’s finally a spot in Jinxiu Restaurant. It’s amazing how Sister Xiu was able to reserve a private room. I wonder if you know the owner of the restaurant. Where did they hire their chefs from? The food here is amazing.” Shen Ziqiao smiled. She thought that life was beautiful when she was able to taste the legendary gourmet food.
Jinxiu Restaurant just had its opening day this month. It was only the first day and there was a crowd here. Those who ate here all claimed that the gourmet food was the best in the world. This aroused Shen Ziqiao’s appetite. What a pity that this restaurant didn’t do takeout otherwise she would’ve people come get takeout for her.