After lunch, Qi Zheng brought Shen Ziqiao back to his Qianlin Courtyard.
The first thing Shen Ziqiao did after entering the room was removing all the heavy dangling ornaments off her head and then she changed into a comfortable dress. She was used to being casual so she thought that it was tiring to wear jewelry.
Hong Yu brought water inside and helped Shen Ziqiao wash her makeup off.
“So tired!” Shen Ziqiao felt comforted and rolled on the bed with her blanket, preparing to get some rest back.
When Qi Zheng entered the room, he saw her child-like movement. He softly laughed and he looked at her with a pampering gaze that he didn’t even notice. He laid next to her. “Are you really tired?”
Shen Ziqiao turned and held onto his arms, leaning her face against his shoulder. She yawned. “I’m okay but this is my first time getting married. I don’t understand anything so of course I’m tired.”
“Then sleep for a bit longer?” Qi Zheng exclaimed in a gentle voice, “I’ll be with you.”
“You don’t have anything to do?” Shen Ziqiao found a comfortable position in his arms and listened to his steady heartbeat, her eyelids turning heavy.
“I have half a month’s worth of vacation. The most important thing is to be with you.” Qi Zheng rubbed his chin against her hair and his deep voice was mixed with a teasing tone.
Shen Ziqiao smiled sweetly and entered dreamland happily.
Qi Zheng glanced at her beautiful and bright face. He couldn’t help but kiss her a few times before hugging her and closing his eyes.
It was a peaceful and warm atmosphere here. However, in the main room, there was scolding coming out from time to time. The maids standing outside the room were trembling, afraid of being the unlucky one.
“That old fart! That bitch!” Xiao Gu’s heart from being so mad. She leaned against the bed and insulted. She felt a ball of anger in her stomach. She didn’t feel comfortable.
Nanny Su advised her, “Madam, be careful of people eavesdropping? If the Old Madam hears you guys, who knows what she’d do to you?”
“Let her hear it!” Xiao Gu exclaimed, feeling wronged, “Is she really my aunt? She ignored me all these years and she even passed the generational treasure to Shen Ziqiao. What did this mean? Did she not want to recognize me, her daughter-in-law?”
“It might not be that jade pendant. Maybe the brocade boxes are just similar.” Nanny Su sighed inside. If it weren’t for the madam wanting to marry the duke that badly, how could that tragic thing have happened? As a result, the Old Madam was disappointed in the madam. It made sense whatever she thought of her then.
Xiao Gu exclaimed in hatred, “It is that jade pendant!” Then she suddenly sat up and asked, “What is the Old Madam up to? She wants to hand the power of the household over to Shen Ziqiao?”
Nanny Su was also shocked hearing this. “That can’t be. The First Madam can’t even manage a household.”
“Old Madam wants to regard her highly. Even if she was an idiot, no one dares to say anything. Who knows what she likes about her? Because Qi Zheng likes her? So his entire family needs to like her?” Xiao Gu clenched.
Old Madam Qi adored Qi Zheng the most. It made sense for her to adore Shen Ziqiao too as a result.
Xiao Gu suddenly laughed. “So what if they’re so lovey-dovey right now? Could they keep this up for their entire lives? Qi Zheng will enjoy her until he finds another woman. He naturally treats her like a treasure since they just got married. But in a few days, if he encounters another woman who is more beautiful, he’d probably forget who his wife is.”
Nanny Su’s heart jumped. “Madam, you’re saying?”
“Have Yan Zhi and Yan Hong go and serve our First Madam.” Xiao Gu exclaimed.
“Madam...it’s hard to insert our people to the eldest master’s side.” Nanny Su replied. If it were that easy, she would’ve done so a long time ago. After those people got kicked, it was hard to even find an opportunity to insert people.
They had all underestimated Qi Zheng.
“We couldn’t find a way last time but it’s different now.” Xiao Gu laughed maliciously.
Nanny Su thought carefully before realizing what Xiao Gu was up to. She couldn’t resist the urge to laugh.
“Old Madam, now that the eldest master has gotten married and the emperor also bestowed him the title as General of Agile Cavalry. You can rest assured now.” Nanny Tian helped the Old Madam lay down and rest. Seeing how Old Madam had been smiling since yesterday, she was also happy.
Old Madam Qi smiled and said, “You don’t know how unwell I feel for the past days. I knew that he was pretending to be stupid but I couldn’t say anything. I watched him suffer all this time and I...I feel like my heart has been twisted so hard.”
“Eldest master and First Madam will definitely treat you well.” Nanny Tian said.
“I’m not worried about Zheng’er but rather Ruzhen.” The smile in Old Madam Qi’s eyes was replaced by worry.
Ruzhen was Xiao Gu.
Nanny Tian advised in a low voice, “You’re worried that madam will…”
“She is Imperial Consort Sun’s cousin. Gu and Sun Family have been close lately. Even more, Zheng’er is the empress’ nephew.” The empress and Imperial Consort Sun never got along. This wasn’t a secret.
Sun Family had been working to drag the crown prince down as the successor to the throne in secret while the empress had been trying to find faults in Imperial Consort Sun and the third prince. Their battle in the palace had extended to outside.
If one didn’t know to put their own safety before matters of principle, they’d be the ones to suffer in the future.
“Old Madam, don’t worry. The duke knows how to avoid these problems.” Nanny Tian advised, “The eldest master isn’t reckless either. He’d definitely think before acting. If he really wanted to participate in this, he wouldn’t have been pretending to be stupid all these years.”
“That’s right. Our Zheng’er is a wise person.” Old Madam started smiling again.
Nanny Tian said, “Hurry and get some rest.”
Old Madam Qi then got in bed and closed her eyes peacefully.
With the sun setting, the harsh wind in winter blew. The windows kept on making noises.
Shen Ziqiao woke up from her dream to see Qi Zheng reading besides her. He seemed to have heard something and was now smiling at her. “You’re awake?”
“Why is it so noisy outside?” Shen Ziqiao sat up hugging the blankets, unsure how long she actually slept for.
“It’s windy outside. It’s probably going to snow in a bit.” Qi Zheng brought her into his arms. “Did you sleep well?”
Shen Ziqiao smiled. “Mn, I’m feeling energetic.”
Qi Zheng’s eyes brightened. “Really? Then...then does it still hurt there? Let me apply ointment for you again, okay?”
The sooner she got better, the sooner he didn’t need to hold in his urges anymore.
Shen Ziqiao glared at him harshly.
Qi Zheng hugged her and patted her air, adoring her.
“Ah.” Shen Ziqiao smiled and pushed him again. The two hugged together before Qi Zheng pressed her down.
“Get up!” Shen Ziqiao hurriedly exclaimed, “We still need to go and pay respects.”
Qi Zheng wanted to lower his head to kiss her but raised his head upon hearing the words. “Pay respects to who? The Old Madam exclaimed that the weather isn’t that good so we don’t need to go over.”
“But what about mother and father…” Shen Ziqiao reminded softly. Although she didn’t like Xiao Gu, it seemed like she was implying for her to go and pay respects every day, otherwise she’d be considered unfilial.
“I’ll tell them about that. After we visit your family tomorrow, I’ll talk to the Old Madam about letting us move out.” Qi Zheng patted her head. He wanted her to live freely and not be restrained or hurt by others.
Shen Ziqiao kissed his lips and exclaimed, “We don’t have to rush. Grandmother is old. Who knows what will happen if she finds out you want to move out? Let’s just hold onto this for now. Qi Zheng, you don’t need to worry that I’ll suffer. I’ll make them suffer even more if they try to hurt me.”
Qi Zheng pursed his lips as if he had made up his mind.
Shen Ziqia hugged his waist. “Right, I haven’t seen the gifts that they’ve given to me.”
She pushed the blankets aside and ran out of bed barefeet. She grabbed the sandalwood small box and exclaimed happily, “Everything that everyone gave is here.”
Qi Zheng’s face darkened. He walked over to her in large strides and carried her princess style. “It’s cold outside and you’re still walking around bare feet. You didn’t even wear anything outside! What if you get a cold? You still act like a child despite being an adult.”
He scolded her.
Shen Ziqiao muttered in a small voice, “Isn’t the Di Long burning? I think it’s quite warm.”
“You’re still trying to find excuses?” Qi Zheng glared at her.
She wasn’t scared of him! Shen Ziqiao chuckled and kissed him several times. “Okay, I won’t do this in the future.”
Qi Zheng carried her back in bed. Seeing that she was hugging the small box, he laughed. “Aren’t you going to show this to me? Why are you hugging it so tightly?”
Shen Ziqiao showed him the greeting fits that Old Madam Qi and the duke gave.
Seeing the hairpin that Xiao Gu gifted, a cold glint flickered through Qi Zheng’s eyes.
“It’s such a beautiful jade pendant!” Shen Ziqiao shockingly called out. The jade pendant looked like a jade but it wasn’t really. It was a sparkling and transparent yellow color. It looked a plain shape but one could tell that the jade was definitely valuable.
Qi Zheng looked shockingly at this jade. He thought that was from Xiao Gu.
“This...is our family’s generational treasure. I’ve seen it at my mother’s place in the past.” Back then, his mother even told him to personally give the jade pendant to her daughter-in-law.
Who knew that the Old Madam had given this jade pendant to Shen Ziqiao.
“Generational treasure? “Are you sure it’s fine giving this to me?” Shen Ziqiao asked carefully.
Qi Zheng smiled. “It’s yours now. Is there an issue?”
Shen Ziqiao carefully placed it away. Then she opened the embroidered pouch Duke An gave her. She was flabbergasted too. This...five hundred silver banknotes. She counted it. There were twenty of them.
“That’s too many…” Shen Ziqiao asked strangely, “Your family is wealthy.’
“Place it away.” Qi Zheng exclaimed faintly as if he didn’t have any feeling towards the banknotes Duke An gave.
Shen Ziqiao thought she received a great income. She should be a rich woman now.
Seeing his wife suddenly hugging the small box and foolishly laughing, Qi Zheng’s unhappy feeling was gone just like that. He couldn’t help but lower his head and capture her lips.