Pan Lize naturally didn’t take Shen Ziqiao’s words to be true. He gently patted Shen Ziqiao’s head and seemed as if he had seen his sister from twenty three years ago.
“Jiao Jiao, these things are for you to protect yourself. You don’t need to take it out. You just have to hide them carefully. If you’re in trouble in the future, at least you have a secret stash of money to protect you. If Qi Zheng treats you badly, you can also just leave without any worries.” Pan Lize said.
Shen Ziqiao had stopped crying and was wiping her tears with a handkerchief right now. Hearing her third uncle’s words, she broke into laughter. “Grandmother told me this before. Third uncle used to tell my mother this too?”
Pan Lize hmphed. “I’ve said it many times but your mother was stubborn and refused to listen to me. That’s why she left you siblings early on and just left!”
When Shen Xiao took a concubine in, Pan Lize had already advised his sister to leave the Shen Family. Even if Shen Xiao didn’t willingly take in this concubine, so what? With that sort of person, how could she have any good days in the Shen Family?
Yet, she just couldn’t bear to leave that Shen Xiao!
Pan Lize seriously warned Shen Ziqiao, “No matter who your husband is in the future, you have to make sure he doesn’t have any other woman, do you remember?”
“Ah, I do. If he dares to get another woman, I’ll castrate him.” Shen Ziqiao said harshly. She refused to let herself suffer from any grievances. Why should she?
Did, did it have to be so bloody? Pan Lize was frightened by his niece.
However, as her uncle, wasn’t it a bit inappropriate to talk to his niece about this? Pan Lize chuckled out loud and exclaimed, “Okay, okay. I won’t joke around. Your father and elder brother should be back tomorrow. Hurry back home and get ready.”
Weren’t they coming back after another few days? Shen Ziqiao asked in surprise, “They’re coming back in advance?”
“Right, they’re already at Guangling City. They’ll be here in another day.” Pan Lize smiled.
Shen Ziqiao happily cheered. They’re finally back.
“Hide these well. Don’t tell anyone about it.” Pan Lize pointed at the contracts on the table. “Your grandmother is giving you some more jewelry. She said that she’ll give you more when you get married.”
“Third uncle, I...I really don’t know what to say. You guys are treating me too well.” Shen Ziqiao sniffled. She was happy and also touched, feeling overwhelmed.
Pan Lize smiled and called her foolish.
She was his only niece, no?
Shen Ziqiao returned home with the house contracts that Pan Lize had given to her. She didn’t tell the family that Shen Xiao and Shen Zikai were coming back tomorrow either. She had Lady Meng put the contracts in a safe spot when she heard that Old Madam Shen had ordered someone to tell her to go to De’an Courtyard.
“...She’s probably going to ask about the eldest master. You just need to deny it.” Lady Meng ordered.
“I know what to do.” She was skilled at dealing with that old woman. It was a piece of cake.
Shen Ziqiao came to De’an Courtyard. Not only was Old Madam Shen there, but Madam Zhou was there too.
“Did you spread the rumors that Kai’er was already engaged?” Old Madam Shen glared at Shen Ziqiao. Whenever she saw how alike she looked to Pan Madam, Old Madam Shen felt an unknown ball of anger burning inside her.
“What?” Shen Ziqiao widened her bright and clear eyes. It was hard to tell whether she was pretending to be shocked or not.
Old Madam Shen looked at her doubtfully. “You really don’t know?”
“Since when did grandmother decide a marriage for my elder brother? How come no one told me? Which family’s young lady is she?” Shen Ziqiao wrinkled her brows and asked as if disliking Old Madam Shen for making her decision on her own.
Speaking of, when Pan Madam had settled a marriage for Shen Zikai with Young Miss Zhu, Shen Ziqiao wasn’t even born. After she passed away, no one else mentioned this. Even she had almost forgotten.
But if it wasn’t Shen Ziqiao, then who?
“You don’t know that your elder brother had gotten engaged but the people by your mother’s side should know. Could it be that they were gossiping in your ears?” Madam Zhou knew that Old Madam Shen was confused by Shen Ziqiao. Hmph. People were useless when they were old. Her mind was clearly muddle-headed.
Shen Ziqiao smiled. “I heard that second aunt has been finding ladies for my elder brother recently. Don’t you know that my elder brother has already gotten engaged? If servants knew already, there’s no reason that second aunt doesn’t know, right? Then why are you still looking for ladies for my elder brother?”
Madam Zhou hmphed softly. Thinking of what her husband said a few days ago, she endured this and didn’t continue to make things difficult for Shen Ziqiao.
She shouldn’t make things difficult for Shen Ziqiao otherwise her husband would only cherish this niece of his even more and think of that damned woman!
Old Madam Shen felt more and more easily tired. She had only spoken a few sentences when she felt her body going weak. She waved her hands and dismissed Shen Ziqiao. She had Nanny Li help her lay down on the bed.
Madam Zhou glanced at Old Madam whose face turned more and more sallow. There was a bad omen.
Old Madam...was going to die soon?
Her two sons had gotten engaged already. Plus, they weren’t that old. It was fine if they got married after a few years. But her daughter…her daughter couldn’t wait that long. She was already sixteen and she couldn’t wait another three years.
No. She must settle a marriage for Xin’er soon.
Tomorrow. She’d let Madam Wang go talk to the Duke’s madam. She wouldn’t have any other worries if she could quickly settle down Xin’er marriage with Qi Zheng.
Or maybe let the Second Lord talk to Duke An?
Madam Zhou couldn’t contain her smile thinking about having a son-in-law like Qi Zheng who had a prestigious background. Scared that her laughter would wake up Old Madam Shen, she hurriedly covered her mouth and left De’an Courtyard happily.
Duke An Residence, room.
Everyone in Dazhou was cheering about the victory battle. They finally beat the Jin thieves out of the wasteland and they didn’t dare to invade Dazhou anymore. But there was one exception.
After Xiao Gu heard that Qi Zheng had done a great service, she was unable to sleep or eat well.
“That fool… it’s that fool! How could he possibly have done a great service?” She grabbed Nanny Su’s hands, her eyes widening.
“Madam, quiet down. Duke An is in the study.” Nanny Su hurriedly reminded.
Xiao Gu angrily exclaimed, “Why not? Look at how he treats my son! My son is in highschool already and I wanted him to ask the emperor to announce a decree bestowing him the title as the heir but he refused. I knew it. I knew it. He wants Qi Zheng to be the heir. I won’t let him!”
“Madam…” Nanny Su sighed and advised, “Qi Zheng has the position as the eldest son. If he didn’t make any big mistakes, Duke An obviously can’t do anything about it.”
“What big mistake? If he doesn’t have any, then make one for him!” Xiao Gu hmphed. “I’ll kill whoever gets in the way of Feng’er being the heir!”
She had done everything she could to steadily keep her position as the Duke’s madam.
“Madam…” Nanny Su paused. Qi Zheng wasn’t the fool that they could control anymore.