Sheng Peiyin came out from the Ninth Prince’s room and ran to the back door, in a daze by the fake mountain behind the residence. Her tears were replaced by calmness. She knew better than anyone at how to reveal her pitiful side in front of men. But besides feeling wronged right now, she was also angry.
The Ninth Prince actually doubted her!
How could she possibly betray Dazhou? In her past life, her father had been sentenced to death because Shen Xiao framed him for colluding with Jin people. She would never do something like this to drag her own father down. Even more, she almost died at the hands of the Jin people’s hands. How could she possibly have betrayed Dazhou?
She didn’t even tell her maids that they were transporting rice to the northwest. Even in her letters to her father, she said that she accompanied He Chen and the caravan to Gaonan City. She didn’t mention anything else. Yet, he dared to doubt her!
Letter? Sheng Peiyin’s expression changed.
She received ten letters from her father on the way to the northwest. Each letter asked about where she was at the time and she had replied in detail...
Could it be that someone had intercepted the letter?
Sheng Peiyin was shocked. If this was really the case, it somewhat did have to do with her. She started to panic a bit. If someone found out, they might really think father betrayed the caravan and colluded with Jin people.
No one must know about this.
She calmed down and plucked the leaves on her dreams. She grabbed her handkerchief and soaked it in water at the brook not far from her. She fixed herself up using the water as a mirror. There was no one she could rely on right now besides the Ninth Prince...
The Ninth Prince devoted himself to her. She knew that clearly. There would never be another person that would treat her as nicely as the Ninth Prince.
Though she loved His Highness crown prince deeply, she couldn’t let down the Ninth Prince anymore.
Sheng Peiyin turned to see Shen Zikai talking to a refined-looking man. As if he detected her gaze, Shen Zikai looked over. Seeing her, he revealed a tinge of disgust between his brows before shifting his head and acting like he didn’t see her.
Shen Zikai didn’t bother to conceal her expression and this caused Sheng Peiyin’s smile to freeze.
Just what happened? Why were all of them hostile towards her? As a woman, she had natural sharp senses. The first time she saw Shen Zikai, she didn’t miss the breathtaking expression in his eyes. But why did it suddenly become like this?
It must be Shen Ziqiao!
Who knows how many bad things Shen Ziqiao, that bitch, had said to Shen Zikai in order to deal with her. This must be why Shen Zikai was so indifferent towards her.
And His Highness crown prince...
Shen Ziqiao was the cause of this! If it weren’t for her, how would she have this ending today? All the efforts she placed into the capital was just ruined like that.
Even more, don’t mention changing Shen Zikai and Qi Zheng’s impression on her. They all knew that she had tried to kill Shen Ziqiao in the past. They were always on alert with her and they would never be close to her.
Watching as Shen Zikai’s figure slowly faded, Sheng Peiyin collected her depressed mood and wanted to go back for the Ninth Prince.
She just got close to the back door when she saw Qi Zheng’s lofty figure standing in front of her.
Sheng Peiyin froze and stared at the clearly familiar yet unfamiliar man in front of her. She didn’t think that Qi Zheng, a fool, would get to the status he did today.
No, Qi Zheng wasn’t a fool. How could a fool possibly have such a terrifying imposing manner? How could he wear such a confident look? He had been pretending to be a fool this entire time!
Understanding this, Sheng Peiyin subconsciously looked at Qi Zheng in fear.
She knew that she couldn’t beat this man.
“Eldest Master Qi, why are you here?” Ignoring the fear inside, Sheng Peiyin took a step forward and wore a polite smile on her beautiful face.
“Where are you going?” Qi Zheng stared coldly at her. He would never let himself off guard in front of the woman that almost killed Shen Ziqiao. He wanted to prevent her from hurting Jiao Jiao again.
The suspicion and alert in his tone hurt Sheng Peiyin. She sneered. “Could it be that Eldest master Qi thinks that I’m going to deliver news for Jin people?”
There was a sense of indescribable coldness in Qi Zheng’s voice. “I hope so. If there’s no need, don’t go out casually.”
Sheng Peiyin hmphed. “Many thanks for Eldest Master Qi’s reminder then!”
After that, she straightened her back and lifted her head as she walked by Qi Zheng’s side.
“Qi Zheng, Qi Zheng…” Shen Ziqiao jogged over from the pebblestone path and smiled, pouncing at Qi Zheng’s back.
Upon hearing Shen Ziqiao’s voice, there was a strong sense of hatred in Sheng Peiyin’s eyes. She turned to see Qi Zheng’s serious face softening and he looked at Shen Ziqiao gently and pampering.
Shen Ziqiao held onto Qi Zheng’s arms and smiled. “Okay, we can go now.”
The smile upsetted Sheng Peiyin and there was a ball of anger inside her heart.
“Let’s go.” Qi Zheng smiled and held onto Shen Ziqiao’s hands and the two walked out of the back door.
Just what was good about Shen Ziqiao? What exactly did Qi Zheng like about that idiot? The smile he wore as if he could pardon everything about her… Sheng Peiyin was so jealous.
Qi Zheng must be blind to be interested in Shen Ziqiao!
Sunset came and the sky was dyed in multiple colors. Layers of clouds filled the sky and there was a slight breeze. The early summer’s night wind was really comforting.
The weather was really good but the Ninth Prince was in a bad mood.
The crown prince’s words were still lingering in his ears. He really couldn’t believe his ears when he heard the crown prince talk about what Sheng Peiyin had done in the capital.
Wasn’t the woman he loved a kind and gentle lady?
How could Sheng Peiyin purposely hurt the little imperial grandson in order to get close to the crown prince? How could she have the assassins assassinate Shen Ziqiao for her personal desires?
Although Shen Ziqiao’s actions were not the best, she didn’t hurt anyone or anything. Even more, she hadn’t done anything to Sheng Peiyin. Why was the latter so ruthless?
The Ninth Prince didn’t understand.
Sheng Peiyin walked in with her head lowered. Seeing that the Ninth Prince was actually standing by the window, she hurried over. “Why are you up? You’ve suffered such a heavy injury so you should lay down and rest.”
Hearing Sheng Peiyin’s voice, the Ninth Prince froze and tilted his head to look at her in difficulty.
“I’ll help you sit down.” Sheng Peiyin’s eyes teared up and acted as if she had suffered grievances but the concern she held towards the Ninth Prince was sincere.
“Yin’er…” The Ninth Prince held her hands and said, “How were your days in the palace when I wasn’t in the capital?”
“It was well.” Sheng Peiyin smiled and carefully helped the Ninth Prince over.
The Ninth Prince held her hands and asked, “Yin’er, have you seen Shen Ziqiao?”
Sheng Peiyin’s gentle face darkened when the person she hated was mentioned. “I just saw her. We’re good.”
The Ninth Prince wanted to ask a lot more but she didn’t in the end.
He couldn’t bear to in the end...
“Yin’er, let’s get married.” The Ninth Prince said.
Sheng Peiyin froze and there was a hint of struggle in her eyes. She then said bashfully, “You want to marry me just like this?”
“I’ll go propose marriage to the Sheng Family once we’re back at the capital.” The Ninth Prince smiled.
“Mn.” Sheng Peiyin gently leaned against his thigh. She thought this would be it then. She should stop thinking about the crown prince. There was no way he’d be interested in her. She wanted a man that would pamper and pardon her.
Only the Ninth Prince would be good to her without any complaint.
Qi Zheng held Shen Ziqiao’s hands and the two slowly walked on the street painted in beautiful colors.
“At what age did you start learning martial arts? Why are the calluses on your hands so thick?” Shen Ziqiao played with Qi Zheng’s fingers. There was a layer of thick callus between his thumb and forefinger.
“Five.” There was a smile in Qi Zheng’s eyes. Towards her childish manner, he only regarded her in the utmost pampering.
Shen Ziqiao wow’ed. “A brat like you learned martial arts at such a young age? Who taught you? Oh right, at what age did you pretend to be stupid?”
Recalling the hardships and bitterness when he was young, Qi Zheng’s face slightly darkened. He held her hands a bit tightly. “When I was five, my mother passed away. My master used to accompany my mother the entire time but then they started working in my yard. We would secretly practice in the middle of the night.”
“W-why?” Shen Ziqiao didn’t understand just what Qi Zheng had encountered for him to start being stupid.
Qi Zheng and her arrived at a small brook. The source of the water came from the spring water up the mountain. It flowed down the waterfall and the water was clear and transparent. There were a few fish playing in the water but they scattered upon hearing footsteps.
They sat down. Qi Zheng started talking about his childhood in a low voice. “My mother has had a weak body and my father had an affair. He originally planned on letting his lover leave the capital but then Xiao Gu told this to my mother. My mother was a resolute and upright woman. Hearing that her husband hid his affair and even had a son and daughter outside, she exploded with anger and made the days at home difficult for my father. That woman was also unwilling to leave the capital...She tried all sorts of methods to met my mother and in the end, wanted to commit suicide with her son in front of my mother. In the end, that woman didn’t die but her son did. My father wanted to bring that woman home and this caused my mother to spit a mouthful of blood. From then on, she hadn’t woken up.”
Qi Zheng exclaimed it simply, and emotionlessly as if he was retelling someone else’s story.
However, Shen Ziqiao was flabbergasted. This was too dog-blooded!
“Then...then what about the children?” Shen Ziqiao asked.
“I don’t know. After mother passed away, Xiao Gu married in not long after. Because my father felt guilty...I rarely see him. I thought that Xiao Gu was a good person and originally wanted to get close to her. But if it weren’t that I was almost poisoned, I wouldn’t have pretended to be stupid. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have lied until now.” Qi Zheng mocked at himself. “My mother’s death must have something to do with Xiao Gu.”
“You acted like a fool in order to be on guard against Xiao Gu?” Shen Ziqiao asked.
“I have to be careful of lots of people…” Qi Zheng lowered his voice. “Only fools can get more freedom.”
“Then what about that mistress?” Shen Ziqiao asked curiously. She didn’t seem to hear any rumors about Duke An having a mistress.