He Chen told Shen Ziqiao simply what the business association’s decision was. While saying it, he observed her expression. After hearing his words, Shen Ziqiao’s originally indifferent expression lit up. Her pitch-black eyes became sparkling and she curled her lips up. It made her look much more charming.
She was actually really pretty, especially when she was smiling. Her eyes were bright like the stars in the night. Her smile was like the bright sun and it made one feel warm inside.
After realizing what he was thinking, He Chen unnaturally coughed softly. His handsome face flushed a bit. “What do you think? If you’re unwilling, the business association won’t force you.”
“Donate the bags of rice to the northwest's military?” Shen Ziqiao thought about it. Didn’t that mean donating them to her elder brother? What’s wrong with that?
“After all, 20,000 silvers is a lot to some trading companies.” He Chen thought that Shen Ziqiao was unwilling so he didn’t force her.
Shen Ziqiao hurriedly waved her hands and said, “No, no. I’m willing. It’s just 20,000 silver. Our Tianbao Company can afford it. Then...Then when are you guys transporting them to the northwest?”
He went to several trading companies and none of them were as willing as Shen Ziqiao. He Chen glanced at her in shock to see her happy expression. She didn’t feel forced at all.
“About half a month later.” He Chen said.
Shen Ziqiao smiled. “No problem. That’s it then.”
He Chen forze before realizing that she was kicking him out.
“Aren’t you going to consider it?” He Chen asked. “Although it’s beneficial to donate the bags of rice to the court, you have to consider the trading company’s capability first. Don’t try impressing people by feigning more than you can.”
Shen Ziqiao smiled. “Don’t worry, don’t worry. I’m not the type of person that cares more about my reputation than my money. My father and my elder brother are fighting in the northwest so I’m just doing this to cheer them on.”
So that’s what happened. He Chen revealed a faint smile on his serious expression, making him seem more gentle.
“Then I’ll be going first. I’ll have someone talk to you about the specific arrangements.” He Chen got up and bowed with his hands held in front, saying goodbye.
Shen Ziqiao got up to see him out. After he left, she immediately brought Hong Yu back to Pan Family.
“Grandfather, grandfather, third uncle is going to transport the rice to the northwest, right?” After she returned to Pan Family, Shen Ziqiao found out from her third aunt that the third uncle was going to transport the rice to the northwest with He Chen. She ran to the study to look for Old Lord Pan right then.
Old Lord Pan casually cupped the cup of tea and lazily opened his eyes to see Shen Ziqiao spinning around him like a puppy kissing up and acting obedient. “Hm? You don’t want to donate the rice to the northwest?”
“As a good citizen who loves the country and the ruler, why would I care about the silver? Donate! We have to donate!” Shen Ziqiao said firmly. “Grandfather, grandfather!”
“I can hear you. You don’t have to shout that loud.” Old Lord Pan dug his ears and glared.
“Let me go to the northwest as well.” Shen Ziqiao acted cute. “I want to visit my elder brother too. I have no idea if he’s injured or not. Grandfather, don’t pretend to be asleep. Wake up, wake up!”
Seeing that Old Lord Pan dared to close his eyes and yawn, Shen Ziqiao shouted and tugged on his cheeks. “Grandfather, I’m really worried for my elder brother. I want to go to the northwest, I want to go to the northwest!”
Old Lord Pan’s cheeks hurt from the tugging and his granddaughter’s voice was chirping loudly like a bird. “Enough, enough. Are you planning to annoy me to death?”
“Of course not. I love grandfather the most.” Shen Ziqiao held onto Old Lord Pan’s arms. Her heart soared thinking of how she could go to the northwest.
“If your grandmother hears you, she’ll scold you again.” Old Lord Pan said moodily. For the past year, Jiao Jiao immediately went to Old Lord Pan whenever the Old Madam wanted to find Jiao Jiao a marriage. In the end, he provoked his partner and he’d be scolded everyday.
Shen Ziqiao went to look for her third uncle happily.
Third uncle naturally couldn’t withstand her pleading. He was convinced easily and agreed to take her to the northwest.
In the evening, Shen Ziqiao’s happy mood was destroyed by Old Madam Pan.
“Where’s the northwest? That’s the center of war. Why are you, a lady, going there for? No, you can’t go!” Old Madam Pan objected.
Shen Ziqiao moved to her side. “Grandmother, I’m just doing this so that I can see my elder brother. Don’t you want to know whether he’s doing well in the northwest?”
Although news came saying that Shen Zikai was fine, they weren’t sure whether he got hurt or not.
Old Madam Pan was a bit moved.
Shen Ziqiao continued to persuade, “Plus, third uncle will be accompanying me. I will make it back safely. Grandmother, I’ll do whatever you want me to do once I’m back. I won’t let grandfather cause trouble anymore.”
I cause trouble? Old Lord Pan glared at her, unhappy at Shen Ziqiao for selling him out in order to go to the northwest.
Old Madam Pan hesitated before saying right after, “If you want to know about your elder brother’s situation, ask your third uncle. You don’t need to go.”
“Third uncle is careless and negligent. How would he know if elder brother has been injured before or not? If elder brother purposely hides it from him, we won’t know anything.” Shen Ziqiao continued to beg.
I’m careless and negligent? Third uncle widened his eyes. He was known for his meticulousness in the trading company. How come he was careless and negligent in his niece’s eyes?
The first uncle couldn’t help but chuckle. “Mother, just let Jiao Jiao go. After all, she won’t be able to go to the military camp or the battlefield. She will just be in the city. Nothing will happen.”
Shen Ziqiao looked at her first uncle gratefully. Her first uncle was the best.
Old Lord Pan laughed. “Just let her go. She doesn’t even act like a lady. Maybe she’ll act like a proper lady after coming back from the northwest.”
“That’s right, mother. Just let Jiao Jiao go and explore. She might be scared of the scene in the northwest and won’t dare to run around anymore. She’ll act like a proper lady when she comes back home. By then, you can marry her wherever you want.” Third uncle laughed.
The corner of Shen Ziqiao’s lips twitched. “Don’t make it seem like I'm really wild or something. I’m clearly a gentle and virtuous lovable lady!”
In a residence within Xiangfu alley, a beautiful lady stood by the door and smiled at the man that just returned.
The man wore a lotus-colored robe. He was decent-looking. He revealed a gentle smile upon seeing the woman. “Peiyin…”
This woman was Sheng Peiyin. Who else could the man be if not the Ninth Prince?”
“Why did you come back so late today? Was there a lot of work in the trading company and the restaurant?” Sheng Peiyin welcomed him and held his arms gentle. “Ninth Sir, I feel really bad having you help me with these trivial matters.”
The Ninth Prince held her hands tightly. “Don’t say this nonsense. I’m willing to do anything for you. Peiyin, don’t you understand my feelings?”
Sheng Peiyin slightly teared up.
The two went back inside with their arms linked. Sheng Peiyin personally served and helped the Ninth Prince undress and shower.
“Right, I encountered Shen Ziqiao in Jinxiu Restaurant.” The Ninth Prince said. Then he removed his belt and entered the bathtub, his back against Sheng Peiyin.
Sheng Peiyin slightly narrowed her eyes, glancing at his clean back. “Oh? I didn’t expect you to encounter Jiao Jiao. Did she pester you again?”
The Ninth Prince paused, his tone a bit annoyed. He didn’t even realize. “No, it’s like she completely changed. It hasn’t even been two years and Shen Ziqiao changed a lot.”
Her pair of smooth hands caressed his shoulders. “Maybe she has her heart on someone else so she doesn’t care about you anymore?”
“Hmph, who else could she be interested in? However, He Chen seems to be very protective of her. When I said something about her, he’d retort back. He even said that Tianbao Company did better under her management. She didn’t seem that talented to me though.” The Ninth Prince recalled Shen Ziqiao’s splendid and bright smile, thinking that she was way different from the crazy lady from two years ago.
Sheng Peiyin’s expression darkened as she listened to his words. She wore a resentful gaze. The Ninth Prince never acted the way he did like today. He always talked about Shen Ziqiao. He always disdained talking about that woman in the past. Yet, he talked about her nonstop today.
He seemed to be pitying how Shen Ziqiao had stopped being in love with him.
Why did everyone think Shen Ziqiao was good? What’s good about an idiot? Sheng Peiyin wanted to burn her to ashes!
“Ninth Sir!” She placed away her resentment and said coquettishly, “Did you change your mind about Jiao Jiao?”
Sheng Peiyin bit his earlobes and blew gently in his ears.
The Ninth Prince shivered and felt a ball of fire rising in his lower abdomen. He quickly forgot about Shen Ziqiao and carried Sheng Peiyin into the bathtub, eagerly kissing her.
“How could I possibly think about any other women? Peiyin, you know my feelings. I don’t want anyone else but you…” The Ninth Prince’s hand went underneath her clothes and rubbed her smooth skin. The water in the bathtub seemed to be even more boiling hot.
Sheng Peiyin smiled faintly in satisfaction, her legs wrapped around his waist as if teasing him.
She would never let Shen Ziqiao steal away what’s hers.
Shen Ziqiao ruined her hard work in the capital so she’ll ruin everything she had in Minyue!
So what if they both had been reborn? She won’t lose to an idiot!
The Ninth Prince panted heavily and ripped Sheng Peiyin’s dress off.
The moonlight was bright outside the window. The maid’s face flushed upon hearing the moans and groans as she planned on bringing them some snacks. She hurriedly dropped the curtains and hid in the next room.
The next day, Shen Ziqiao was happily preparing to go to the northwest when she received some dampening news.