Shen Ziqiao brought Hong Yu and the sister back to Qiao Xin Courtyard. She had someone find the Golden Sore Ointment and she personally applied it on Hong Ying’s face.
Hong Ying was overwhelmed by the sudden affection and avoided Shen Ziqiao’s hand, saying, “Third Miss, this servant girl… this servant girl doesn’t dare.”
“Sit down!” Shen Ziqiao tugged on Hong Ying’s hands and gently pushed her down on a seat. “What do you mean you do not dare? You took the beating for me and I am incredibly happy that I have such a loyal and protective servant girl like you.”
“Third Miss, let this maid do it for you.” Hong Yu walked over and took the Golden Sore Ointment from Shen Ziqiao.
Shen Ziqiao glanced at the two sisters. When she heard that they had quarreled with the Old Madam’s confidant, she originally thought that they were fools. However, after seeing Hong Ying’s red and swollen face, she was moved by how she took a stand for her with Lady Li.
She did not believe in the system of societal classes. Therefore, while she was Shen Ziqiao, she did not care much about the servant girls’ attitudes until she saw Hong Ying protecting her today. She knew that if she wanted to survive, she needed to transform herself and change her weak attitude.
Who was Shen Ziqiao? She was Shen Family’s legitimate daughter, doted by Shen Xiao to the point of being spoiled. Practically, given her attitude, anyone could bully her. And they did bully her. Therefore, if she couldn’t protect herself, how could she expect anyone else to protect her? And why should they when she herself didn’t stand up for herself? Slowly, but surely, as she analysed and assessed her situation she came to a realization:
If I don’t obtain respect and status in the Shen Family, how can I kick Sheng Peiyin off her status?
“You two can stay by my side and serve me,” Shen Ziqiao said in a low voice, “Hong Ying, just rest and recover for now. Once the swelling subsides, you can start work… I mean, you can serve me.”
Hong Yu and Hong Ying were both stunned. We are not even second-class servants girls, so how can we personally serve the Third Miss?
Cui Ping lifted the curtains and was about to walk in when she coincidentally heard Shen Ziqiao’s words. Her expression stiffened and she said, “Third Miss, the food is ready.”
Shen Ziqiao deigned to look at her, she asked Hong Yu to help Hong Ying out.
“Third Miss, this maid can serve the dishes.” Cui Ping’s mind was a mess. She was skeptical, wondering if Shen Ziqiao had planned on sending Cui Hong and the rest away.
They were placed by the Old Madam to serve by Third Miss’s side. Since the Third Miss dares to send Lady Li away, who is to say they would not suffer the same plight?
“It’s fine,” Shen Ziqiao said in an indifferent tone, “just place the dishes down.”
Cui Ping felt a sense of terror as she said, “Third Miss, it’s not that this maid didn’t want to go to the kitchen, but that something had come up suddenly. Therefore, I had Hong Ying go.”
“En.” Shen Ziqiao nodded nonchalantly. “I know.”
Is that it? Cui Ping glanced at Shen Ziqiao, looking at her carefully. Suddenly, she felt an unknown pressure hovering over for some reason.
Is she really the boisterous Third Miss who only knows to fuss around?
Cui Ping walked away with an apprehensive feeling.
Likewise, Cui Hong who was placed by Shen Ziqiao’s side by the Old Madam walked over and asked in a low voice, “How did it go?”
“She had the two sisters attend to her matters…,” Cui Ping said softly.
Cui Hong anxiously said, “Quickly tell the Old Madam.”
“So what if we tell her? Did you not see how she didn’t even give Lady Li face? Did the Old Madam do anything? No.” Cui Ping spat and recalled how Third Miss had treated Lady Li today. She still felt a sense of guilt.
“Could it be that the Lord is coming back?”
Shen Xiao and Shen Zikai had left home for about a year and it was about time they returned. They were thinking that Shen Ziqiao’s sudden change in comportment had something to do with it..
Cui Ping lightly shook her head, she felt that this new change was a result of something else entirely. “Even if the Lord is about to return, the Third Miss probably would not… be completely different.”
“Then… someone is teaching her in secret?” Cui Hong asked, astonished.
Shen Ziqiao and Sheng Peiyin were very close, making Cui Ping bewildered and suspicious. “Let me go find Mama Li.”
As Mama Li listened to Cui Ping’s conjecture, she too became suspicious.
“You’re thinking that Sheng Peiyin has corrupted the Third Miss?”
Cui Ping nodded softly and said, “We are scared that she might have.”
“Head back and keep an eye on the Third Miss. If she wants to promote the two servant girls, let her. After all, we will let her know that she is not in charge of the family sooner or later.” Mama Li’s tone was mixed with unwillingness.
“Mm.” Cui Ping answered.
The next morning, Mama Li promoted Hong Yu and Hong Ying to second-class servant girls. Then, she transferred the other two second-class servant girls placed by Shen Ziqiao’s side by the Old Madam, keeping only Cui Ping and Cui Hong.
Shen Ziqiao didn’t comment on Mama Li’s arrangement.
Hong Yu and Hong Ying were incredibly ecstatic as they didn’t expect to be promoted to second-class this quickly. The two were about to kowtow at Shen Ziqiao but were stopped by her. Cui Ping and Cui Hong came in early in the morning to attend to Shen Ziqiao’s matters. But she handed over all the chores that the two were supposed to do to Hong Yu. Meanwhile, the two were given the cold-shoulder and they felt awkward.
Cui Ping carried the teacup over and smiled happily, saying, “Third Miss, you have been happy recently. Is it because of that matter?”
Shen Ziqiao took the teacup and scraped the lid of the tea against the edge of the bowl every now and then. “Do I look like I am in a very good mood? What could make me happy?”
She thought that it would take a lot of effort to find a servant girl who was loyal to her. She was very fortunate to have found a servant girl who genuinely defended her.
Hong Yu and the sister made her very happy. She had never seen these two girls in the book before. As it turned out, some people’s fates had changed because of her transmigration.
Shen Ziqiao was very happy to see the changes as it meant she had a chance to change her fate.
What happened in Qiao Xin Courtyard naturally spread to Shen Family’s Young Misses’ ears. Shen Zifen walked to Shen Ziwen’s room and asked, “Elder Sister, did you hear? That person in Qiao Xin Courtyard actually dared to drive away Old Madam’s people.”
Shen Ziwen was painting her nails when she heard Shen Zifen’s words, giving her a side glance. “Stop making a fuss out of nothing.”
“I’m not talking nonsense, but that person from Qiao Xin Courtyard is quite difficult to deal with. Didn’t you hear? She even dared to hit Lady Li.” Shen Zifen sat by Shen Ziwen’s side, wearing a worried expression.
“So what? Every time Father and Elder Brother were home, was she not like this too?” Shen Ziwen stared at her nails to her satisfaction. She had never placed Shen Ziqiao in her eyes.
“Well, you make it sound easy. It seems like she wants to replace the Old Madam and manage the household. If she really takes charge of the house, we won’t have any more happy days.”
Shen Ziwen laughed and said, “Just with her?”
“Elder Sister, do you know something?” Shen Zifen asked.
“Madam Qi has already taken her characters for matchmaking, so her marriage will probably be settled soon.” This made Shen Ziwen incredibly delighted.
Shen Zifen couldn’t hide her excitement either, asking, “She’s going to get married to that fool?”
“Who else does she want to marry?” Shen Ziwen snorted.
“Will Father agree?” Shen Zifen recalled how much Shen Xiao adored and pampered her, not wanting to hold too much hope.
Shen Ziwen said, “I just came back from Grandmother’s this morning and she will be visiting the Liu Family later on.”
“Ah? She’s going to visit Liu Family?” Shen Zifen asked confusedly.
“Assistant Minister Liu’s younger sister isn’t married yet…,” Shen Ziwen said in a low voice.
Shen Zifen guessed something and covered her mouth, laughing lightly.