Shen Xiao and Qi Zheng, and the rest were back!
Back then, when Qi Zheng left the capital, he was just an useless person who wasn’t stupid anymore in other people’s eyes. No one treated him as the future heir of Duke An residence. Even more, no one would’ve thought he became the hero of Dazhou one day.
He had beheaded the supreme khan of the Jin people! It was enough for the common people of the entire Dazhou to cheer for him with such exciting news.
For the past decade, Dazhou’s borders have been invaded by Jin people frequently. Although Shen Xiao and Du Ji, the two main generals, suppressed them, Dazhou’s emperor could never sleep in peace knowing that there was a threat that was always thinking about invading the country despite the Jin people never really threatening the country.
Now that they finally got rid of the Jin people, the Dazhou’s emperor had been relieved of a burden. How could he not be happy?
Qi Zheng’s spotlight covered that of Shen Xiao and Du Ji’s, becoming Dazhou’s common people’s hero.
Everyone knew that the emperor would definitely reward Qi Zheng after he came back. Obviously, he was going to be bestowed titles. Those who used to look down on Qi Zheng and even bullied him for fun were now hiding in their houses. They didn’t even dare to show their faces.
There was no way Qi Zheng could live a quiet and peaceful lifestyle as he did in the past.
All the influential families who had unmarried daughters in Dazhou probably hoped that Qi Zheng would be their son-in-law.
The heroes who won the victory battle in the northwest appeared in front of the city gates. The common people welcomed them all, each cheering for them.
There was only one exception.
Sheng Peiyin sat quietly in the horse carriage, looking at Shen Xiao who was riding the horse in the front in hatred.
Sheng Peiyin didn’t wear her confident and charming smile that she did in the past. She wore a plain-colored ordinary dress. She glanced at the people who ruined her family through the carriage window.
Shen Xiao… Qi Zheng...
She hated them. If they hadn’t set up this scheme and framed the Sheng Family, they wouldn’t all be beheaded, a consequence worse than in the previous life. How could she possibly accept this?
It was these two people! These two people caused her entire Sheng Family to be beheaded. If she hadn’t stayed in Minyue, if she hadn’t received the message her father did everything to send to her, she would probably be a ghost that died unjustly.
If she died again, she wouldn’t have a chance to be reborn.
Ever since she woke up after being reborn, she swore to change fate and make sure everyone in the Shen Family would live. How could she still wasn’t able to change it in the end? What went wrong? Didn’t everything go successfully?
It’s...it’s Shen Ziqiao!
That’s right. It was the moment she brought Shen Ziqiao to the Thousand Buddhas Temple. At that time, she felt something strange about Shen Ziqiao. It was because of this change that all her sweat and efforts went to waste.
She refused to accept this!
New and old hatred burned in Sheng Peiyin’s eyes. She clenched her fists tightly, her nails pinching her skin, blood dripping. However, she felt no pain.
Nothing hurt more than her entire family being beheaded.
In the crowd, there was another carriage stopped by the road. However, the owner was above in the restaurant. Shen Ziqiao smiled happily, her smile splendid as she stared at the handsome and spirited Shen Zikai and Qi Zheng. Hearing the cheering from the two sides, she felt proud for them.
Shen Ziqiao’s gaze landed on Qi Zheng’s indifferent yet handsome face. Maybe it was because of the many years of experience on the battlefield and the hardships he had undergone, his skin had darkened quite a bit. Plus, he had an icy imposing manner and he didn’t pretend to be weak anymore.
That’s right. Qi Zheng didn’t need to pretend anymore. He had the ability to protect himself.
As if he could read Shen Ziqiao’s thought, he felt her gaze on him. He looked up and his pair of dark eyes stared fixated at her.
Shen Ziqiao’s breath hitched, her cheeks rosy. She smiled brightly at him.
Like a diamond shining, her pair of clear and bright eyes caused Qi Zheng’s stiff face to soften. He withdrew his gaze and a really faint smile floated on his face.
Qi Zheng looked handsome anyway. The young ladies were all shocked after seeing the smile on his face and his softened expression. They all threw embroidered pouches and jade pendants at him.
Likewise, Shen Zikai noticed Shen Ziqiao who was in the restaurant. Seeing that people were throwing things at Qi Zheng, he didn’t hold back from laughing.
He lowered his voice to say to him, “Maybe Jiao Jiao had thrown an embroidered pouch here too.”
Qi Zheng said faintly, “With her needlework skills, there’s no way she’d be able to.”
Shen Zikai chuckled. “You dare to dislike her work?”
Qi Zheng faintly smiled but said nothing.
“What did my father talk to you about a while ago? Why do I feel like something’s off?” Shen Zikai asked curiously. Three days ago, Shen Xiao suddenly called Qi Zheng over for a talk. It was unclear what they talked about. Even Shen Zikai didn’t know.
Qi Zheng was also a taciturn person. He wouldn’t be able to get any information from him.
“Could it be that he didn’t want Jiao Jiao to marry you?” Before Qi Zheng could respond, Shen Zikai shockingly exclaimed.
Shen Xiao who was in the front turned back and glared at him with a dark face.
“No…” Qi Zheng replied faintly.
Shen Zikai didn’t pay attention however. He talked to himself, “We have the crown prince, no? If the old man refuses, we can ask the crown prince for help.”
The crown prince had gone back to the capital a few months in advance. He should be waiting in the palace for them right now.
Qi Zheng was really speechless.
Just how much enmity did this man have with General Shen? Were they really father and son?
“General Shen didn’t disagree.” Qi Zheng said helplessly. He knew that there was some issue between Shen Zikai and Shen Xiao. Although they didn’t seem like they had any issues on the surface, Shen Zikai… didn’t believe in Shen Xiao in some aspects.
He didn’t know what happened in the past.
“That’s good.” Shen Zikai sighed and laughed.
The streets in Dazhou were still bustling with noises and lively even after Shen Xiao and the others were welcomed into the palace personally by the crown prince. Everyone wore pleasant smiles on their faces.
Shen Ziqiao came down from Wufu Restaurant. She should be getting ready to go home and welcome her father and elder brother.
After she got inside the carriage, the lone carriage finally started moving and slowly drove out of the city.
As if feeling a gaze, Shen Ziqiao looked at that carriage suspiciously. She didn’t see anything strange so she put the curtains down and ordered the driver to drive back to the Shen Family.
Shen Family was also lively and bustling with noises. Madam Zhou ordered the maids around. They originally thought that Shen Xiao and Shen Zikai wouldn’t be back until after a while so they hadn’t finished doing some things. Now that they suddenly came back, they naturally needed to prepare everything.
There was still order despite them bustling around. Everyone wore smiles and it was as if the entire Shen Family had become active and lively.
Shen Xiao and Shen Zikai didn’t come back until the evening.
“Elder brother!” Shen Ziqiao had been waiting by the door for a while. She finally saw Shen Zikai and so she ran over and tightly grabbed onto Shen Zikai’s arms. “Elder brother, welcome home!”
Shen Xiao watched as his daughter greeted his son first and his gaze dimmed. He understood. Ever since that matter, Jiao Jiao seemed to have a misunderstanding. Unlike from before, she stopped chatting with him nonstop.
Pan Lize immediately cupped his hands in obeisance at Shen Xiao. However, he had an indifferent attitude and he didn’t smile genuinely like he did with Shen Zikai.
While Shen Xiao and Pan Lize were talking, Shen Zikai lowered his head to talk to Shen Ziqiao.
“Huh?” Shen Ziqiao’s face flushed. Hearing Shen Zikai’s words, she couldn’t help but burst into joy.
Shen Zikai said that Qi Zheng would be coming to propose marriage soon.
If she married Qi Zheng, the plot in this novel would completely change. No, it already did. As a cannon fodder, she had survived.
She had to survive and happily at that.
Shen Xiao and Shen Zikai were escorted to Old Madam Shen’s place. Shen Ziqiao followed behind them well-behaved. The entire night, she was so quiet as if she was invisible.
Likewise, it was also lively within the Duke An Residence. Despite people wearing smiles on their faces, they were still really careful.
Only Duke An laughed out loud without any worry.
Duke An pulled Qi Zheng to the master seat, ignoring Xiao Gu whose face turned ashen.
Duke An smiled gratified. He originally lost confidence in his eldest son and didn’t hope that he’d become any one powerful but who knew that he was actually that outstanding!
Qi Zheng still remained indifferent despite Duke An being happy. After he listened to his father praise him, he faintly said, “Father, I want to pay respects to grandmother.”
“Let’s go, I’ll come with you.” Duke An recalled the Old Madam who hadn’t been feeling so well lately.
“Then I’ll go check on the banquet that we’re preparing for Zheng’er.” Xiao Gu reluctantly smiled. She didn’t look at Qi Zheng.
She was afraid that she might reveal a hateful gaze at him.
Likewise, Qi Zheng was also indifferent towards her. Since coming home, he didn’t even call her mother or even greeted her.
Xiao Gu returned to her room boiling in anger.
“Madam, don’t be angry. It’s not worth getting angry over this.” Nanny Su hurriedly comforted.
“I heard that the emperor asked him if he was interested in anyone at the banquet today. The emperor is probably thinking about bestowing him a marriage, right?” Xiao Gu took a sip of tea and then finally suppressed her anger.
Nanny Su said, “After all, the empress is the eldest master’s aunt… Didn’t Madam Wang seek you out before?”
“Hmph. Madam Wang is trying to act as the matchmaker for the Shen Family.” She refused to let Qi Zheng marry Shen Family’s young lady.
“Shen Ziqiao?” Nanny Su’s expression changed. She had a deep impression of her. She resented her. If that woman had become a madam, then the days in Duke An Residence will be horrible.
“No, the second household’s young lady.” Xiao Gu hmphed. “If I let him marry a daughter from the Shen Family, the power over the household will basically transfer to him too. Dai’er should be coming to the capital soon.”
Nanny Su froze. Gu Daiqin?