Qi Zheng hugged Shen Ziqiao tightly. His panicking heart finally calmed down after he hugged her gentle body. She really...worries him.
He just entered the city from the military camp today when he heard from His Highness crown prince that Shen Ziqiao had arrived in the northwest with the guards transporting rice. They will be entering the city tomorrow. Tonight, they’d be resting in the tavern hundred meters away from the city. However, soldiers were already dispatched to pick them up.
How could Qi Zheng even sit down knowing that Shen Ziqiao actually came to the northwest? Disregarding the crown prince’s protest, he immediately rushed over with his close guards, hurriedly catching up with the bearded man heading to pick them up.
The bearded man was the person that had stopped Shen Ziqiao in the middle of the night before.
Not long later, they were notified of the Jin thieves stealing rice. The moment he received the news, Qi Zheng’s heartbeat almost stopped.
Thankfully he made it...
“Are you crazy? Don’t you know where the northwest is? You think you belong here? What the heck is your stupid brain thinking?” After confirming that Shen Ziqiao was okay, Qi Zheng’s fear transformed into anger, shouting at her.
Shen Ziqiao pursed her lips and said, feeling wronged, “How am I supposed to know we’d encounter Jin people on our way here?”
“You’re still talking back!” Qi Zheng glared at her.
He Chen watched as Shen Ziqiao didn’t dare to retort, different from her usual unyielding attitude. He reached over to pull her behind as he knitted his brows
Qi Zheng looked at He Chen coldly.
He recalled Shen Zikai mentioning that Old Madam Pan wanted to marry Shen Ziqiao off to a man named He Chen. Even more, she came to the northwest with him this time.
It seemed like the man nervously protecting Shen Ziqiao was He Chen.
Qi Zheng felt his chest aching in pain for some unknown reason.
Shen Ziqiao hurriedly smiled. “Ah, it’s not the time to interrogate me right now. Look at how many people are injured. It’s more important to treat them first.”
“Come here.” Qi Zheng’s tone softened and said softly to Shen Ziqiao.
“How did you make it here in time to save us? Thankfully you did otherwise it’d really be over with us.” Shen Ziqiao smiled and moved to Qi Zheng’s side, smiling and kissing up.
He Chen’s expression darkened.
The bearded man walked over carrying his sword seeping blood. “Deputy General Qi, of the one hundred Jin thieves, seventy died and we took thirty hostage.”
“How many of us are injured?” Qi Zheng asked.
“Forty died and countless are injured.” The bearded man took a glance at Shen Ziqiao. No wonder Qi Zheng rushed over. It was all for this lady.
He had been suspicious since two years ago. He knew there was something going on with Shen Ziqiao and Qi Zheng. He knew it.
“Escort the injured and bring them into the city.” Qi Zheng ordered coldly.
Qi Zheng brought Shen Ziqiao onto the horse carriage. The latter heard Sheng Peiyin’s voice outside. “General Qi, the Ninth Prince is also hurt.”
Qi Zheng ordered coldly, “Du Qing, escort the Ninth Prince.”
Qi Zheng became silent afterwards and the horse carriage started moving.
He Chen and third uncle mounted their horses and followed alongside. Glancing at Qi Zheng’s tall figure, third uncle couldn’t help but become curious. He asked Shen Ziqiao sitting inside in a low voice, “Jiao Jiao, do you know that deputy general?”
They were just hugging. How could they not know each other? He Chen clutched the saddle in his hands tightly, feeling annoyed inside.
She didn’t act like a young daughter of a noble house at all. She actually hugged a man in broad daylight. Wasn’t she worried about her reputation?
He Chen really wanted to reprimand her but he knew that he had no right.
Shen Ziqiao heard the third uncle’s question and smiled. “He’s Qi Zheng. We knew each other from the capital.”
“You know him very well?” The third uncle asked again.
“Quite well.” Shen Ziqiao’s face flushed and she lowered her head to look at her hands which somehow had blood marks.
Third uncle glanced at Qi Zheng’s silhouette in deep thought. He saw how nervous that Shen Ziqaio was. He had seen how terrified Qi Zheng was to lose her. He must care about her a lot...
Oh no! The Old Madam was thinking about letting her marry He Chen when she was back home...
Third uncle looked at He Chen and felt a headache. He wasn’t blind. He could see how much He Chen cared for Shen Ziqiao. If it weren’t for her, why would He Chen hurry on every time so that they hopefully could make it to a tavern and rest? He even had people occasionally buy the local gourmet food to give to Jiao Jiao.
Sigh. Third uncle was worried about the situation.
By the time they entered the city, the sky was becoming bright.
Shen Zikai rushed over from the military camp after hearing the news and saw them by the city gate. He immediately ran over and cursed Qi Zheng, “Do you want to die? You’re already heavily injured and you’re still going to rush to save people.”
Qi Zheng’s face paled and he pointed at the horse carriage behind him. “Jiao Jiao is inside. I’m going inside the city first.”
“Quickly have a military physician check to see if his wound split open.” Shen Zikai was worried about Shen Ziqiao. She could only helplessly watch as Qi Zheng mount the horse into the city. Shen Zikai quickly had someone go find a military physician.
“Elder brother!” Shen Ziqiao saw Shen Zikai in the horse carriage and happily greeted. Disregarding the moving horse carriage, she immediately jumped down and ran towards Shen Zikai.
“Young lady!” Shen Zikai purposely wore a taut expression. He remained unmoved even after Shen Ziqiao walked to him.
“Elder brother, don’t reprimand me. I’ve already had enough. I was just worried about you. That’s why I came. I’ve been good the entire way here. Who knew that we’d encounter the Jin people here.” Shen Ziqiao pursed her lips, feeling wronged.
“You don’t say!” Shen Zikai glared at her.
Third uncle and He Chen walked over. “Kai’er.”
Shen Zikai hurriedly greeted his third uncle. “You must’ve been tired traveling here. Hurry into the city and rest.”
“Right, where are the Ninth Prince and Third Miss Sheng?” He Chen asked.
The Ninth Prince took a hit for Sheng Peiyin. Who knows if he’s still alive or not.
A flicker of disgust flashed by in Shen Zikai’s eyes when the two people were mentioned. “I’ve already sent a physician over to treat the Ninth Prince. Let’s talk about this after we enter the city.”
Everyone entered the city and then Shen Zikai arranged them places to rest. No one cared about the Ninth Prince and Sheng Peiyin.
“Elder brother, where’s Qi Zheng?” Shen Ziqiao ate some warm porridge and took a warm shower, recovering her spirit. She then recalled not seeing Qi Zheng since she entered the city.
“Hm? Hmph. Even if he doesn’t die, he’d be halfway to death.” Shen Zikai replied moodily after just coming back from Qi Zheng’s place.
Shen Ziqiao froze. “What happened to him?”
“He took a hit to his shoulder by the Jin people in order to save General. He was supposed to rest since he hadn’t recovered yet. But the moment he heard you were coming to the northwest, he rushed over to find you, not caring about anything else. He had already been shot by an arrow once in order to save me in the past. Yet, he was able to lead us and charge out of the siege. It was the same this time…”
“He’s hurt?” Before Shen Zikai could finish his words, Shen Ziqiao had already stood up. She glanced at her pair of clean hands. The blood marks on her hands were his?
“The military physician had just bandaged his wound but he said he was going to head back to the military camp now. I can’t even persuade him no matter what.” Shen Zikai glanced at his sister’s expression and purposely sighed.
Shen Ziqiao knitted her beautiful brows. “Where is Qi Zheng right now?”
“Oh, in the courtyard next to yours.” Shen Zikai said. “But I don’t know if he went to the military camp yet. What do you need him for?...”
Before he could finish, Shen Ziqiao was already walking out in large strides.
Shen Zikai chuckled. Ever since Qi Zheng saved him last time, the two had become brothers. Of course, he already confirmed Qi Zheng’s feelings for Jiao Jiao. He didn’t know what his sister thought of him though.
Shen Ziqiao really had no thoughts right now. She really just wanted to give that bastard a beating.
“Qi Zheng!” Shen Ziqiao entered the courtyard to see Qi Zheng walking out. He had only a robe draped on him and she could vaguely see the bandages around his shoulders to his waist.
“Jiao Jiao, why are you here?” Qi Zheng pulled the robes around him and looked shockingly at Shen Ziqiao who was running towards him.
“Follow me inside!” Shen Ziqiao dragged him inside and tugged his robe apart. He glanced at the layer of bandage on his naked upper body and there was blood seeping out of it too.
Shen Ziqiao started tearing up. He was already severely injured, yet he still came to save her.
“Jiao Jiao, I didn’t get hurt last night. The Jin thieves are nothing to me. Don’t worry.” Qi Zheng pulled the robe back and smiled.
“Bastard!” Shen Ziqiao wanted to beat him but she didn’t have the heart to. “You’ve been hurt badly already, yet you still came to save us. Do you want to die?”
Qi Zheng froze. “The injuries aren’t serious. It doesn’t affect me.”
“You’re still lying!” Shen Ziqiao glared at him angrily.
“Why don’t I unbandage myself for you to see?” There was a faint smile in Qi Zheng’s dark eyes as he lowered his head to look at her angry face.
Shen Ziqiao hurriedly pulled his hands. “What if your wounds get split open again? Aren’t you afraid of pain?”
“I’m really fine.” Qi Zheng approached her and gently wrapped his arms around her waist. “It’s not serious and I’ve been used to these injuries. I went to save you because I was really worried for you, afraid that something might happen...Jiao Jiao, I’m actually really happy that you came, really happy.”
His voice was deep and magnetic, his warm breath spraying on her face. The two were extremely close and she could feel his burning temperature. Shen Ziqiao’s gaze landed on his sturdy and buff chest. Her face flushed quickly.
“Then you’re still going to the military camp? You’re already injured. Can’t you rest for a while?” Shen Ziqiao didn’t dare to raise her head and look at him. She could feel his burning gaze on her.
Qi Zheng’s magnetic voice softly rang. “Who said that I’m going to the military camp? You’re here...How could I bear to leave that quickly?”
Hm? Shen Ziqiao lifted her head to look at him. “You weren’t going to the military camp? Elder brother was lying to me?”
“Jiao Jiao, heh…” Qi Zheng gently laughed and lowered his head to kiss her puckering lips. He tightened his grip on her and hugged her.
Shen Ziqiao struggled for a moment before gradually relaxing and leaning in his arms. She stepped on her tippy toes and shyly responded to his kiss.