There were a total of eight people coming over to urge the wedding procedures. They were all companions from Qi Zheng’s military camp.
Shen Ziqiao glanced at the gifts on the bed. There were phoenix crowns and rose-tinted capes, and wedding clothes, mirrors, and makeup. They were just recently sent over. The family had been preparing for tomorrow. Only she seemed to be the most idle. She didn’t need to do anything but wait to get married tomorrow.
The first aunt joked around, “We must have the Lord seek out a huge wedding gift from the Qi Family.”
“That’s right. We can’t let Qi Zheng think that marrying our Jiao Jiao is easy. Old Madam is still brooding, thinking that Qi Zheng had got between Jiao Jiao and He Chen.” The third aunt chuckled in a low voice.
Although she said this softly, Shen Ziqiao still heard.
She was a bit embarrassed. She didn’t think that He Chen would actually like her in the end. Didn’t he hate her in the beginning? He kept on picking faults in her as if she was full of shortcomings. He made it seem like he was losing face just talking to her.
In the end, he actually saved her when they were attacked by the Jin people.
Shen Ziqiao was really touched. Unfortunately, feeling touched isn’t love.
She already had Qi Zheng.
The two aunts were discussing tomorrow’s matter when a maid came and exclaimed that Princess Nihong was here.
Princess Nihong was a fortunate person. She had a son and daughter, and she was filial towards her parents-in-law. She also had an extremely good reputation in the capital. Shen Ziqiao and the two aunts were really touched that she took the initiative to come and be the wedding witness.
“I’ll go greet the princess.” The first aunt exclaimed hurriedly, walking out after moving the curtains to the side.
Shen Ziqiao and the third aunt walked to the courtyard door to see the first and Princess Nihong walking inside while talking.
“Jiao Jiao!” Luo Zhaohua was really happy to see Shen Ziqiao here. She hurried over to hold onto Shen Ziqiao’s arms. “Mother, I want to talk to Jiao Jiao in private so I won’t stay with you guys.”
“Princess.” Shen Ziqiao greeted Princess Nihong, wearing a bright smile and making people feel warm inside their hearts.
Princess Nihong scolded Luo Zhaohua for not knowing her manners but other than that, she let them go. She went to chat with the first and third aunt in another room.
Luo Zhaohua pulled Shen Ziqiao into another room.
The wedding clothes and head ornament that she was supposed to wear tomorrow was placed inside the room. Luo Zhaohua’s eyes brightened. “I was worried that your Old Madam would make you suffer. It seems like I worried for nothing now.”
“Father had asked my aunts to help me arrange these things.” Shen Ziqiao smiled and told Luo Zhaohua to sit here. “Are you coming tomorrow?”
“Of course. I’ve been waiting for this day for a really long time.” Luo Zhaohua murmured. Then she smiled and exclaimed, “I didn’t think that the emperor would bestow marriage to you and Qi Zheng. My mother was originally planning to be a matchmaker. She thought that you and Qi Zheng were a good match. Who knew that before she could say anything, the emperor had already bestowed marriage. My mother even resented the emperor for stealing her role.”
Shen Ziqiao’s face flushed hearing this. “He and I… how did princess find out?”
“I’m not sure. Didn’t you come to my house last time? Qi Zheng went as well. Then my mother talked to him. I’m not sure what they were talking about.” Luo Zhaohua said.
That time...it was already a few years ago. At that time, there were rumors about ehr and Qi Zheng at the Thousand Buddhas Temple. Her reputation was almost ruined.
Even then, the princess was willing to be her matchmaker? She still thought she and Qi Zheng were a good match?
“I also heard of something.” Luo Zhaohua lowered her voice as if saying a huge secret. Her eyes were really bright however. “I heard that your family’s fourth young miss wanted to marry into the Qi Family? However, before the Qi Family could give a response, the emperor had bestowed a marriage. Is that so?”
Shen Ziqiao was shocked. How did it spread? Didn’t only their family know? “How did you know?”
Luo Zhaohua revealed a pitiful expression. “From Low-level Officer Zhang’s madam. She’s known for gossiping and telling people all about it. You had just been granted a bestowed marriage when she went around telling people that Qi Family looked down on your sister. She said that your sister wanted to climb up the social ladder using Qi Family...now everyone knows.”
That Madam Zhang had gone too far! Shen Ziqiao shook in fury. Although she didn’t care about what outsiders said about her, Shen Zixin was from this world. She must feel really desperate after hearing all the gossip people were saying about her. Yet, this Madam Zhang knew nothing. She was just saying this to get pleasure. She never thought about how the girl she was talking about would feel.
“That stupid woman. She better pray she doesn’t have any information in people’s hands. Let her taste how it feels to be mocked by people.” Shen Ziqiao hmphed angrily.
“There’s no point in arguing with a person like her. It’s just unfortunate for your sister.” Luo Zhaohua exclaimed, “How is she going to get a marriage in the capital anymore?”
It was unclear whether Shen Zixin knew about the things said about her. No wonder she was so angry that day. She didn’t just lose a marriage.
“Clever people will know that these are only rumors. People won’t say anything after a while.” Shen Ziqiao said vaguely. Although she wasn’t sure if Shen Zixin would be able to find a good marriage in the capital anymore.
Luo Zhaohua knew that she was just comforting herself. “Your second aunt is ignoring you because of this?”
She just entered the courtyard to hear the maids looking for Pan Family’s two aunts. She didn’t even see MAdam Zhou. No matter how ignorant she was, she had an idea what was going on.
Shen Ziqiao sighed. She didn’t know about the rumors about Shen Zixin. She was still angry about what she had said that day. Now that she thought about it, although she wasn't the one at fault, it made sense that Shen Zixin resented her. “...My fourth sister must be mad inside. Don’t mention my second aunt.”
Therefore, she told Luo Zhaohua about what Shen Zixin had said to her. “Say, what should I do? Find another marriage for Xin’er?”
Luo Zhaohua pursed her lips. “Heaven knows. Her mother is capable so what does this have to do with us?”
Shen Ziqiao sighed helplessly. This topic became more serious. They couldn’t continue this anymore. They then started talking about Luo Zhaohua’s marriage. “I heard that you’re getting engaged to Jingping Marquis’ heir? When is the wedding day?”
“I don’t know.” No matter how open Luo Zhaohua was, she couldn’t help but become bashful when they were talking about her marriage. She was embarrassed and refused to say another word.
Shen Ziqiao wanted to see Luo Zhaohua seeing her like this. The latter’s face flushed and she wanted to dig a hole and jump down.
The two were enjoying themselves when Hong Ying came inside and exclaimed that the first and second madam were back.
Thet were Shen Ziwen and Shen Zifen.
Although Shen Ziqiao had an okay relationship with the two illegitimate sisters, they were still sisters in the end. Plus, they had come back for her marriage.
“Let them inside.” Shen Ziqiao said, personally going to the door to wait.
Her first aunt had been teaching her how to become a qualified young madam. She couldn’t live her life as casual as she did in the past. It wasn’t her home so she couldn’t act unrestrained. Plus, there was the Old Madam and Duke An couple. It was hard being a daughter-in-law and a grandson's wife.
Shen Ziqiao was learning the manners and etiquettes that she wasn’t really familiar with.
Seeing that Shen Ziqiao was personally waiting at the door for them, Shen Ziwen and Shen Zifen looked at each other in shock.
“Elder sister, second sister, I haven’t seen you guys in a while.” Shen Ziqiao welcomed them in.
“Congratulations, sister.” Shen Ziwen and Shen Zifen walked inside, congratulating the couple, saying things like hoping that they’d grow old together and give birth to a son soon.
Shen Ziqiao generously accepted the blessings.
Seeing that there were other guests in the room, they froze. “It seems like we came at a bad time.”
Luo Zhaohua smiled. “Whoever is here to congratulate her has come at a good time.”
Shen Ziwen smiled. She recognized the woman ahead to be the daughter of Princess Nihong, the fiancee of Wang Family’s heir. She naturally didn’t dare to neglect her. She hurriedly explained, “That’s right. It’s sister’s wedding. It doesn’t matter when people come to congratulate her.”
The atmosphere became lively all of a sudden.
Shen Zifen was a bit quiet. After entering the room, she glanced at the box on the makeup table from the corner of her eyes. There were all sorts of jewelry and she also saw the wedding clothes laid on the bed...
They had just checked out Shen Ziqiao’s dowry. There were a total of two hundred and sixty boxes. Besides marrying off princesses, no one else had ever married off their daughters like this in the entire Dazhou.
As expected, legal daughters get a different treatment. Besides the dowry left by Pan Madam, father had given Shen Ziqiao a lot of silvers too.
People really couldn’t compare themselves to others. Once they did, they’d feel like they were less than others.
Shen Zifen lowered her head. When she got married, she only got a total of three thousand silvers for her dowry.
“This is my gift for you. It’s not that much but please accept it.” Shen Ziwen took out a jasper stone hairpain.
It didn’t look that valuable but it felt heavy in her hands. It was probably quite valuable.
“Thank you elder sister.” Shen Ziqiao let Hong Yu accept it.
When Shen Zifen saw this, she hurriedly took out a pearl green jade hairpin and exclaimed the same thing.
Back when Shen Ziwen and Shen Zifen got married, Shen Ziqiao had given them five hundred silvers in dowry. Today, they had given her expensive gifts too.
“Third sister has lots of rare treasures. As long as you don’t mind our gifts.” Shen Ziwen couldn’t help but blurt out, exclaiming in a sour tone. One could hear the jealous. Shen Ziqiao thanked them.
Shen Ziqiao faintly smiled. “My mother left me all that. She enjoys collecting rare treasures.”
“Your mother is really nice to you.” Shen Zifen exclaimed embarrassed. She and Shen Ziwen were considered Pan Madam’s daughters as well but they got nothing.
Shen Ziqiao smiled but said nothing.
A maid’s voice rang outside again, “Third miss, fourth miss is here.”
Hearing that Shen Zixin was here, Shen Ziqiao froze. She watched as Luo Zhaohua went from being dispirited to being energetic and refreshed. She knew what she was up to.
“Don’t say anything bad later on.” Shen Ziqiao exclaimed.
“I won’t, I won’t!” Luo Zhaohua immediately said.
Shen Zixin had walked in. She wasn’t surprised that there were other people in the room. Instead, she greeted everyone.
“Fourth sister is here. Quickly sit down.” Shen Ziwen smiled and acted like the elder sister.