Shen Zixin looked nervously at her mother. She already told Madam Zhou that she wanted to attend the Plum Appreciation Banquet. But the latter didn’t react to her words but stared at her in shock.
“Mother?” Shen Zixin softly called out.
Madam Zhou snapped out of her trance and wore a smile. “Xin’er, where did you find out about this?”
“I heard from someone.” Shen Zixin explained vaguely. “Mother, is there a way for me to enter the palace and attend the Plum Appreciation Banquet?”
Not anyone could attend the empress’ Plum Appreciation Banquet.
“Why not? You’re also the legal daughter of an influential family so you obviously can enter the palace. I’ll go make inquiries tomorrow. Mother will find a way to get you to enter the palace.” Madam Zhou exclaimed happily as if seeing her daughter being in the spotlight and envioused by all.
Shen Zixin nodded softly and ignored the heavy feeling inside her heart.
Second Master Shen had come back in the evening. Madam Zhou eagerly welcomed him and helped him remove his belt. “Lord, you’re back. What did you talk about with your elder brother in the study?”
Second Master Shen looked at his wife, feeling as if she was a completely different person from this morning. Shen Ziqiao was to return to her maiden home today but Madam Zhou wore a dark face. Why was she smiling so splendidly now?
“What are you planning now?” Second Master Shen asked and poured himself a cup of tea.
Madam Zhou smiled and exclaimed, “Lord, I have something to talk to you about.”
“Speak.” What else did she need to talk to him about?
“Lord, allow me to say something disrespectful. Old Madam’s body is becoming more and more worse. Our Xin’er is going to turn sixteen soon and she still hasn’t a marriage settled. As her mother, I am unable to sleep well every night. There are barely any young men in the capital who are worthy of Xin’er. I heard that the crown prince is going to choose a princess consort. You see…”
Second Master Shen exclaimed angrily, “Don’t even think about it!”
Madam Zhou froze. “Why? What’s bad about being the princess consort? Our Xin’er can afford to be one.”
“Ignorant woman!” Second Master Shen was unable to calm down his anger. “You think that it’s easy for Xin’er to be a princess consort? You’re not doing this for her sake. You’re hurting her instead. Our Shen Family values peace. You’re pushing the Shen Family to trouble by letting Xin’er fight for the position as the princess consort. Even if she is able to enter the palace, you think that she could become a princess consort? Even if she really did, you think her days would be good in the future? What exactly are you thinking?”
“Why not? Has it been decided who is going to be the princess consort already?” Madam Zhou hurriedly asked.
Second Master Shen gave her a detached look. “If we really wanted Xin’er to enter the palace, why would elder brother reject the palace invitation?”
Madam Zhou widened her eyes. “Brother-in-law, he...refuses to let Xin’er enter the palace and attend the Plum Appreciation Banquet? Why? He refuses our daughter to marry the crown prince just because his daughter married someone good?”
“You...you dumb woman!” Second Master Shen’s veins popped in anger. “Shut up! Xin’er used to be gentle and obedient. It’s because of your greediness that she had become a joke. I’m warning you. If you have any improper thoughts, I’ll divorce you!”
What? Madam Zhou was flabbergasted. She couldn’t believe these words had come from her husband’s mouth.
“What’s wrong with trying to get a good marriage for my daughter? I’m just thinking for my daughter, yet my husband wants to divorce me. What in the world is this?” Madam Zhou started crying, feeling wronged.
She wanted her daughter to have a good future and marry a good person. Was she wrong to think this?
Second Master Shen sighed in irritation. “Xin’er is also my daughter. Do I not want her to marry well? But it’s not that easy to be a princess consort. There are lots of schemes in the palace. Just one careless mistake and the entire family will be implicated. The Shen Family never sends their daughters into the palace. Don’t you know this?”
Madam Zhou weeped in a low voice, grumbling about not being able to find a good marriage for Shen Zixin.
“I’ll handle Xin’er’s marriage. You don't need to do anything.” Second Master Shen had to order in a deep voice. “Don’t you dare leave the house anymore.”
“Lord!” Madam Zhou called out loud only to see Second Master Shen waving his sleeves and leaving.
With Old Madam Qi protecting Shen Ziqiao, Xiao Gu had no opportunity to make things difficult for her new daughter-in-law. She clenched her teeth in anger.
Shen Ziqiao and Qi Zheng returned to Qianlin Courtyard.
“That Qin’er is really beautiful. How did she become Qi Feng’s concubine?” Shen Ziqiao came out from the restroom and climbed in bed, refreshed. She asked Qi Zheng who had washed up and was now leaning against the cushion reading his book wearing thin clothes.
Xiao Gu naturally failed to scheme him and ended up paying the price of his son too.
Of course, Qi Zheng wouldn’t tell Shen Ziqiao about this straightforwardly. He placed his book by the table and reached over to bring her into his arms. “Qin’er is Xiao Gu’s niece. I heard that she had gotten sick when she was young but after getting treated, her intelligence was still around when she was five or six. Feng’er frequently gets along with the Gu Family. Maybe...he was pitying his cousin so he took her in as a concubine.”
Really? Shen Ziqiao couldn’t tell that Xiao Gu had this compassion at all.
Qi Feng might be interested in Gu Daiqin because of her appearance but with how competitive Xiao Gu is, how could she possibly let his son marry a fool as his concubine before he even got married?
Was it that simple?
“Xiao Gu doesn’t treat Qin’er that well either.” Shen Ziqiao brought up a question. “She scolds Qin’er like she’s scolding a child. She doesn’t care in the least bit that she is Qi Feng’s concubine.”
Qi Zheng sighed and patted her head. “Don’t take these things too seriously. Just listen and mind our own businesses.”
“I think grandmother wants me to get along with Qin’er.” Shen Ziqiao said. He suddenly carried her and placed her down. Seeing his handsome face, she asked, “What are you doing?”
“What can I do?” Qi Zheng chuckled lowly and captured her lips. She had been talking about Gu Daiqin since she had come back, nonstop. He was telling her who she should place her focus on.
His masculine breath entered her senses and Shen Ziqiao’s mind immediately turned blank. She couldn’t remember anything. She could only feel this man’s warm body on hers.
“Does it still hurt?” Qi Zheng lifted his head, panting while he stared at the flushed Shen Ziqiao with a burning gaze.
Shen Ziqiao lightly shook her head. “No, it doesn’t.”
Qi Zheng’s eyes brightened and his actions became more gentle. He lowered his head and sucked on her plump lips. His sturdy and warm palm slipped inside her clothes and held onto her tender globes, gently pinching them into different shapes.
Shen Ziqiao bit her lips feeling like she was shocked by electricity. Her toes curled in and she tightly held onto Qi Zheng’s shoulders.
His warm lips left her pearl-like earlobes and slipped down her fine neck, licking it. He left beautiful hickeys on her collarbone.
She didn’t know when he had removed her clothes. Qi Zheng tugged her undergarment down and her globes were exposed in his vision.
Qi Zheng felt blood rushing to a certain private part of his body. He was almost unable to control himself because of excitement. He panted hard and captured the bright red buds, his tongue flicking. Shen Ziqiao couldn’t help but moan.
His hand didn’t let go of her other globe, his thick fingers flicking her erect buds. Shen Ziqiao’s body shook a bit.
“Qi Zheng…” Shen Ziqiao weeped. “I don’t feel good…”
Qi Zheng let go of her and his palm came to her flat stomach, lightly rubbing her tender skin. “Where do you feel uncomfortable? Jiao Jiao, where?”
She felt uncomfortable everywhere! Shen Ziqiao bit Qi Zheng’s shoulders.
Qi Zheng lightly chuckled and his fingers slowly moved down, stopping at her inner thighs and softly pinching her wet flower bud. In a hoarse voice, “Is it here?”
Shen Ziqiao immediately clamped her legs together and harshly glared at him. Instead of looking fierce, she looked more charming to his eyes. Qi Zheng liked her so much that he pecked her face several times.
This matter...she shouldn’t always be passive.
They clearly experienced the same thing every time so why should she let him take control?...
Shen Ziqiao thought that she should get the upper hand!
She lifted her legs and wrapped them around his waist, her butt rubbing against his erection. While panting, “Don’t you feel unwell too?”
Qi Zheng groaned silently. This bad girl! He pressed her waist down, not letting her move around as he removed her slender legs on his waist. He extended two fingers and squeezed into her tight pathway.
“Mn…” Shen Ziqiao moaned, feeling weak. She couldn’t get her upperhand.
“What? Do you feel uncomfortable here?” Qi Zheng asked, chuckling.
“Bastard!” She cursed.
Qi Zheng’s eyes brightened as his fingers went deeper, at a rhythm.
Shen Ziqiao felt as if she was going to melt into a puddle of water.
“Jiao Jiao, so wet…” Qi Zheng kissed the corner of her lips and exclaimed in a hoarse voice.
“If you keep bullying me in the future, I’ll...ah!” Shen Ziqiao’s voice shattered. Before she could finish, he slowly entered her.
So tight! So soft! Qi Zheng was buried inside her. He thrusted in deeply and out slowly. Her tight sweetness enveloped his erection, and he almost couldn’t control himself.
Shen Ziqiao moaned following his movements.
Qi Zheng observed her expression. Seeing her flushed face but satisfied look, he unrestrained himself and continued to thrust quicker at a rhythm. His finger even softly pinched her flower bud, acting as stimulation. Shen Ziqiao felt even more weak.
Shen Ziqiao arched over and hugged his neck. Accompanying his fierce movements, she felt as if she was tossed by the waves.
It was unclear when snowflakes had fallen down from outside the window. However, the cold weather didn’t influence their passionate lovemaking in the least bit.