Whenever Shen Ziqiao stopped at a relay station to rest, she would read the imperial bulletin on her way back from Minyue to the capital. She always paid attention to the changes in the capital.
In the past, Sheng Beili had accused Shen Xiao of colluding with the Jin people, causing him to be cursed out by Dazhou’s common people. There were even people throwing stinky eggs and rotten vegetables at the Shen Residence. Old Madam Shen had been afraid to leave the house for a few months already. Shen Residence had been closed for a few days too.
Now that Shen Xiao had rendered meritorious service, it seemed like the common people that thought he colluded with the Jin people should calm down now.
Just who betrayed Dazhou?
Shen Ziqiao vaguely felt like the person was related to the Sheng Family. But who exactly was it?
“Jiao Jiao, Jiao Jiao!” Pan Lize’s anxious voice rang outside. Shen Ziqiao’s heart jumped, thinking that something happened so she hurried out.
“Third uncle, what happened?”
Pan Lize panted and exclaimed stammering, “News came from the capital...Your father… your father isn’t a spy. The real spy is, is that Sheng Beili!”
Sheng Beili? The person that accused Shen Xiao?
Shen Ziqiao was unable to process what happened for the moment. “W-what? Sheng Beili? Third uncle, what happened? How was it him?”
“I’m not sure. We’ll only find out after we get to the capital. I heard that Sheng Family has been searched and their possessions have been confiscated.” Pan Lize finished talking and revealed a splendid smile. “Sheng Beili is claiming that Shen Xiao was a spy when he was the spy himself. He finally got karma today.”
Was this a god-like development?
Shen Ziqiao thought that this result was expected but at the same time, surprising.
Just what was wrong with Sheng Beili? Why did he decide to accuse Shen Xiao? Wasn’t he putting himself in a vulnerable position?
She didn’t understand. There were lots of things that she didn’t understand. It seems like she needed to look for Qi Zheng or Shen Zikai after returning to the capital to find out what happened.
A month later, they finally returned to the capital. The day that they returned, Sheng Family, a total of thirty six people, were beheaded in the afternoon. Everyone in the capital all rushed towards the execution grounds to see how they were going to die.
Everyone was furious. Not only did Sheng Beili collude with the Jin people, he even framed their Dazhou’s hero. Shen Xiao was almost put in a bad situation because of him.
If Shen Xiao also died, Dazhou would lose two important generals.
The common people standing under the stage seemed to have forgotten that they had insulted Shen Xiao in the past and cursed the Shen Family. They had vented their anger and hatred on Sheng Family.
Shen Ziqiao’s carriage stopped close to the execution grounds. She sat quietly in the horse carriage. She could clearly feel the common people’s hatred and hear their sinister insulting words.
Traitor. Who didn’t hate traitors?
“Third miss, we don’t know where Sheng Peiyin is right now. If she’s in Minyue, will she be caught?” The entire Sheng Family was to be beheaded. It was different from the past life.
The plot was altered. Sheng Peiyin was unable to change Shen Family’s fate in the end.
Was it because she suddenly appeared?
Shen Ziqiao was a bit confused.
“Let’s go back.” Shen Ziqiao said, not wanting to see the thirty six people being beheaded.
Old Madam Shen didn’t know that Shen Ziqiao had come back today. She was bringing Madam Zhou and the others and getting on their knees, kowtowing in the direction of the royal palace. They found out that Shen Family’s people was going to be beheaded so Old Madam Shen was at ease, She had felt much better and refreshed as well.
“The emperor had just sent someone to announce a decree in order to comfort us. He rewarded us a lot of things.” Old Madam Shen was satisfied saying this, feeling grateful.
“Mother, I told you already. Elder brother would never be the spy.” Second Master Shen who returned to the capital for his work supported Old Madam Shen and exclaimed in a low voice.
Old Madam Shen had white hair and her face was sallow, contrasting her rosy cheeks from before. She looked to be much more skinnier. Thankfully however, she looked quite refreshed.
Second Master Shen and Shen Xiao were different. He had handsome features and a refined imposing manner, contrasting Shen Xiao’s tall figure and cold imposing manner.
He was a cultured and gentle scholar.
“I naturally believe you, elder brother. Sheng Family had framed him.” Old Madam Shen hated the Sheng Family to the bones. If it weren’t for them, she wouldn’t need to be worried all these days and even gotten sick. She almost lost her life as a result.
“Elder brother will be back in a few days.” Second Master Shen exclaimed. He hadn’t seen Shen Xiao in a few years.
Madam Zhou had been quietly following them. She resented Shen Xiao for not returning after so long while listening to Old Madam Shen curse out the Sheng Family. Next, she talked about how she was hard pressed for money because it was all that stupid girl’s fault. She had taken away half of the family’s assets and this caused her to lose a lot of money.
Madam Zhou pursed her lips.
Second Master Shen advised, “Sister-in-law had left this for Jiao Jiao…”
“Don’t mention Pan Madam, that bitch!” Old Madam Shen exclaimed angrily, “Her things? Since she entered our Shen Family, everything belongs to the Shen Family.”
Shameless! Ever since Pan Madam entered the family, she hadn’t treated anyone nicely. When she died, she had taken all her things and claimed them as her own. Her excuse was that since she married into the Shen Family, even she belonged to the Shen Family.
She was used to spending money extravagantly so without Pan Madam’s dowry for the past two years, and a considerate decrease in income, she was unable to live her days luxuriously like she did in the past.
That old woman refused to take out her secret stash of money. She’d only let her daughter-in-law buy edible bird’s nest for her.
Second Master Shen knew that the Old Madam didn’t like Pan Madam so he stopped talking about her.
“Since elder brother is coming back now, we should set up a marriage for Kai’er.” As the eldest grandson of the Shen Family, he had already reached a marriageable age but he hadn’t even gotten engaged. This couldn’t be justified.
“That’s right. Pan Family can’t be in charge of Kai’er’s marriage. Does he not have me, his grandmother, in his eyes anymore?” Old Madam Shen hmphed. She didn’t plan on recognizing the marriage that Pan Madam had set up for Shen Zikai in the past.
Second Master Shen secretly sighed. Even if Old Madam personally found Kai’er a wife, she might not get her grandson on her side.
“Mother, elder brother can deal with Kai’er and Jiao Jiao’s marriage. Let’s not intervene.” Second Master Shen helped Old Madam on the bed and placed the sapphire blue damask cushion behind her back.
Old Madam Shen leaned against it and looked at everyone in the room. “Only Jiao Jiao and Xin’er’s marriage haven’t been settled yet. Hmph. How can Jiao Jiao, that wild girl, compare to Xin’er? Who in the capital doesn’t know that our Xin’er knows the four arts and is a beautiful lady too? If they’re not from an official’s family at the very least, they’re not worthy of my Yun’er.”
Madam Zhou immediately exclaimed, “I think that the eldest son of Duke An hasn’t gotten married yet. He had even done great service in the northwest this time. He has a brilliant future and is worthy of our Xin’er.”
“Duke An’s eldest son?” Old Madam Shen knitted her brows. “What’s his name?”
“Qi Zheng.” Madam Zhou hurriedly replied. She had considered all the young men in the capital and she was most satisfied with Qi Zheng.
“This name is familiar.” Old Madam Shen had forgotten that she wanted to marry Shen Ziqiao to this fool in the past.
Second Master Shen also had a favorable impression of Qi Zheng. “This Qi Zheng used ot be a fool. Who knew that he had made a man out of himself in just a few years.”
“Fool?” She seemed to recall something in her mind and Old Madam Shen’s face darkened.
Madam Zhou thought that Old Madam disliked how Qi Zheng used to be a fool. “He’s not stupid in the least bit now. Just look. The emperor will definitely value him in the future.”
“Nanny Li, why do I feel like Qi Zheng sounds so familiar?” It was as if Old Madam Shen didn’t hear Madam Zhou’s words. She cocked her head and asked Nanny Li.
Nanny Li looked at Second Master Shen and Madam Zhou. She was unwilling to mention this but even so, she wouldn’t be able to hide it. “You tried to set up a marriage between Qi Zheng and the third miss…”
After Nanny Li mentioned it, Old Madam Shen recalled that she did indeed want to marry Shen Ziqiao to Qi Zheng.
Her face darkened immediately. “What’s good about Qi Zheng? He’s not worthy of our Xin’er!”
If Shen Ziqiao didn’t want him, then he’s naturally not worthy of Shen Zixin.
Madam Zhou cursed Old Madam Shen out for being close-minded. No matter what, she needed to gain connections with the Duke’s wife. If she was able to set up the marriage with Qi Family before Shen Ziqiao came back, she could just say that she didn’t know if Shen Xiao asked about it.
Shen Zixin heard the conversation as she stood outside, her face flushing.
Qi Zheng...What type of man would he be?
She heard that he used to save her elder brother and then saved General Du with just dozens of people. This time, he even personally beheaded the Jin people’s supreme khan. She wondered what sort of hero he was.
Young ladies usually fall for heroes. Shen Zixin was no exception.
“Third miss is back!” It was unclear who shouted this, startling Shen Zixin who was lost in her thoughts.
“Jiao Jiao is back?” She lifted her head in shock. How come she received no news?
A maid hurriedly came inside and exclaimed, “Old Madam, third miss and third lord came back from Minyue together.”
The voice rang. Old Madam Shen who was drinking tea almost tossed the teacup out of her hands. Her face darkened and she started to feel stuffed. “She’s back? She could come back any time and she chose to come back now!”
Madam Zhou was also unhappy. She thought that with Shen Ziqiao’s return, it’d affect Xin’er’s marriage more or less. The only reason why they claimed Xin’er couldn’t compare to Shen Ziqiao was because of her dowry!
Some people were just interested in the female party’s dowry!
Second Master Shen was really happy however. He hadn’t seen Shen Ziqiao, that niece, in a while.
“Where is the third miss right now?” He asked.
“She’s coming over to pay respect to the Old Madam.” They watched as Shen Ziqiao and Pan Lize walked inside.