He Chen quickly snapped out of his trance and forcibly suppressed the bitterness inside his heart. He smiled and chatted with His Highness crown prince. Qi Zheng took in He Chen’s expression and his deep eyes slightly darkened.
Everyone seemed to be happy with the banquet on the surface but in reality, not many were actually happy because they hadn’t found the traitor that colluded with Jin people. Therefore, everyone spoke with caution, deeply afraid that they might say something wrong and leak some information to the Jin people.
After a while, the crown prince had the female servant they took hostage to present a dance to everyone.
Jin people’s features were more prominent. They were tall and sturdy. Even women were much taller than people on the mainland. However, they had great figures. Many men couldn’t keep their eyes off the female servant’s globes.
Shen Ziqiao was also interested in the scene.
However, Qi Zheng and He Chen’s expressions weren’t so good. Qi Zheng even walked straight towards Shen Ziqiao, picking her up from her seat. In a low voice, “This place isn’t suitable for you. Go back.”
“How isn’t it suitable? I think it’s pretty okay.” Shen Ziqiao didn’t feel like she didn’t fit in at all. The Jin woman danced really well. She didn’t want to leave.
Qi Zheng watched as a few deputy generals looked at those female servants with desire. He unhappily covered Shen Ziqiao’s gaze. “It’s all men drinking here. What is a lady like you doing here? Hurry back!”
“What do you mean? There are other ladies here too.” Shen Ziqiao pointed at a few ladies that she had never seen before in this lounge, feeling like Qi Zheng was making a big deal out of this.
This is an explicit novel, okay? Although she hadn’t witnessed it happening to Sheng Peiyin, she felt like the rules shouldn’t be too harsh. Otherwise, how could Sheng Peiyin do anything with those male supporting leads?
But speaking of, Sheng Peiyin should only be having relations with the Ninth Prince, this male supporting lead, right?...
This was completely headed in a different direction from the original novel.
“You’re different from them.” Qi Zheng’s expression turned worse. Shen Ziqiao was pointing at General Du’s daughter and her subordinates. Likewise, Du Yane was also a deputy general, one of the rare female generals in Dazhou.
Shen Ziqiao pursed her lips and looked at him, feeling wronged. “How is it different?”
They had attracted a lot of attention just by talking, although the majority were still engrossed in dancing and singing.
“Jiao Jiao, listen to Qi Zheng and go back.” Shen Zikai had been listening to their conversation anyway. Seeing that Qi Zheng couldn’t convince his sister, he couldn’t help but add.
Shen Ziqiao pursed her lips at Shen Zikai.
Eh?! Shen Zikai shifted his gaze. Nevermind. Let Qi Zheng convince her himself.
“Be good. Go back for now. I’ll take you out tomorrow.” Qi Zheng’s voice softened as he tried to convince Shen Ziqiao. “Look, they’re all men here. What if the beast in them became alive and the scene stained your eyes? I can’t bear for that to happen to you. Be good. Return to your courtyard. I’ll bring you good food tomorrow.”
Isn’t a foodie’s weakness, food? Shen Ziqiao clenched her teeth and compromised even though she wanted to continue watching the amazing dance.
“Hmph, the emotionless general that killed people in cold-blood on the battlefield and was viewed by Yama by Jin thieves is actually afraid of a woman. He’s such a humiliation to us soldiers for lowering his voice and submitting to a woman.” A sharp voice rang. Coincidentally, the singing and dancing had come to a stop too. Therefore, the voice had rang in everyone’s ears.
Shen Ziqiao who was about to quietly leave, stopped and looked back at Qi Zheng behind her.
However, his expression was normal as if he hadn’t heard that.
“You sound like you aren’t a woman either.” A young man sitting behind Shen Zikai burst into laughter and mocked Du Yane.
That’s right, it was Du Yane who said this with a dark face after seeing Qi Zheng walk towards Shen Ziqiao.
“What did you say?” Du Yane glared at the person angrily, recognizing the person to be Qi Zheng’s subordinate, Wang Shixiang.
“You don’t understand what I’m saying? Miss Du.” Wang Shixiang said sarcastically.
Du Yane had normal features and a tall figure. It might be because she was regularly on the battlefield that her skin was a bit dark. She wasn’t really beautiful but she was still refreshing to the eyes.
She ignored Wang Shixiang and glanced at Qi Zheng who ignored her. “Qi Zheng, I thought you were a proper man but I guess you’re not really one. You actually listened to a woman. I overestimated you.”
“Yanyan, don’t be presumptuous!” General Du, Du Jie, who sat next to Shen Xiao shouted at her.
“What did I say wrong?” Du Yane asked, unaccepting of this. She just didn’t like Qi Zheng talking softly to a woman who only knew to act pitiful and cute. When she tried talking to him before, he wore a cold expression and refused to even give her a smile.
Why was he that gentle to that woman?
Especially the pampering smile in his eyes. It was so irksome that she wanted to stab Shen Ziqiao to death!
“You’re right. You’re not my elder brother’s sweetheart so in his eyes, you’re not a woman.” Wang Shixiang continued to talk smack. He disliked Du Yane. She always acted arrogant and looked down on people. She made it seem like she was the most powerful woman in the world.
Du Yane’s face turned ashen from anger. “Wang Shixiang, what did you say?”
“I’m talking normally.” Wang Shixiang replied.
Du Jie said once again, “Yanyan, sit down!”
“I want to duel with her!” Du Yane pointed at Shen Ziqiao, shouting angrily.
Shen Ziqiao stared at her, a bit embarrassed. Sister, can we not be so violent?... Duel and what not was really not suitable for her.
“Miss Du, please stop while you can. Jiao Jiao doesn’t even know martial arts so how can she duel with you?” Qi Zheng asked coldly, his eyes glancing warningly at Du Yane.
The difference in treatment provoked Du Yane even more. She looked at Shen Ziqiao in disdain. “As the daughter of a general, she doesn’t even know martial arts? Qi Zheng, just what do you like about her?”
Shen Xiao and Shen Zikai’s faces darkened and they stared unhappily at Du Yane.
Since when did this woman get to reprimand his Jiao Jiao? Duel? How many women in the world did she think could fight on the battlefield like her? She clearly wanted to seek an opportunity to bully Jiao Jiao!
Before father and son could say anything, Qi Zheng already replied faintly, “I like that she doesn’t understand martial arts.”
Instant kill! Shen Ziqiao thought that Qi Zheng was so handsome that she wanted to kiss him.
As a woman, Shen Ziqiao naturally could tell that this female general liked Qi Zheng.
Du Yane stared at Shen Ziqiao in jealousy. “You only know how to hide behind him?”
Shen Ziqiao nodded. “I can’t beat you so I won’t fight.”
“Useless thing!” Du Yane hmphed and cursed in disdain.
“My sister is a useless person? Are you saying that all women should be like you? You mingle with men every day and you don’t act like a lady at all. Are women like that what you call useful?” Shen Zikai exploded. Did this Du Yane think Shen Family was dead? She actually kept on humiliating Jiao Jiao in front of their faces.
Du Yane’s face turned red from the insult. She suddenly attacked Shen Zikai with the sword in her hands. Shen Zikai blocked it by kicking the chair besides him. Within a few moments, the two were already fighting in the center of the lounge.
“Elder brother…” Shen Ziqiao jumped, afraid that Shen Zikai might be injured.
Qi Zheng gently comforted her. “She’s not your elder brother’s match. Don’t worry.”
Shen Ziqiao complained, “It’s your fault for womanizing around. Look, you even dragged my elder brother down.”
What did this have to do with him? He treated Du Yane just like other people. Who knew why she enjoyed going against him?
“Enough!” Just as Shen Zikai was about to beat Du Yane, His Highness crown prince finally interrupted.
Du Jie and Shen Xiao both made a move at the same time, stopping their children.
“Father, let me go. I want to teach this bastard a lesson!” Du Yane struggled hard. It was one thing that she couldn’t beat Qi Zheng but she didn’t believe she couldn’t beat Shen Zikai either.
“Enough!” Du Jie shouted at Du Yane, “Just how much face do you want to lose?”
Everyone could tell that Du Yane was just jealous that Qi Zheng was good to Shen Ziqiao. Before the latter even came to Gaonan City, many had made fun of her, wanting to matchmake her and Qi Zheng. They even joked around saying that they’ll get to drink at their wedding after the Jin thieves were defeated.
Qi Zheng had an indifferent personality and he never bothered to explain anything. He didn’t even remember Du Yane’s appearance so why would he care about a joke?
He didn’t care but that didn’t mean Du Yane didn’t. She took it seriously and thought that Qi Zheng liked her. However, he was just reserved which was why he hadn’t confessed.
But Shen Ziqiao suddenly came.
She saw them by the brook that day too...
She had never seen Qi Zheng smile that gently. She hadn’t seen him talk in anyone’s ears like that...it felt as if he had become alive. He wasn’t the Yama that everyone was scared of. It was like he changed into a different person.
What was good about Shen Ziqiao? How was Shen Ziqiao worthy of Qi Zheng’s special treatment?
Du Yane wanted to rip Shen Ziqiao to pieces when she recalled Qi Zheng kissing her.
“Miss Du, Jiao Jiao is just a weak woman. Nevermind the duel. We’re hosting a banquet for Minyue’s caravan today. It’s supposed to be a happy occasion so let’s not end things on a bad note.” The crown prince said gently but there was a warning tint in his words.
Du Yane glared at Shen Ziqiao before agreeing.
Shen Ziqiao stood by Qi Zheng’s side innocently.
Du Jie laughed out loud and said to Qi Zheng, “It seems like not long in the future, we’re going to have to congratulate Deputy General Qi.”
Shen Xiao glanced at Qi Zheng and Shen Ziqiao, saying nothing.
He Chen’s gaze dimmed.
“Everyone, let’s continue to drink.” His Highness crown prince exclaimed.
Sheng Peiyin had been smiling at Du Yane, sitting by the corner.