Shen Zixin wasn’t in the capital when Shen Ziqiao and Qi Zheng just started to get to know each other. Therefore, she didn’t know about the past rumors or that they even met each other over there.
No one had told her about that before.
Shen Zixin’s face paled as she stared at Shen Ziqiao frozen. Seeing her serious expression and how she seemed to be telling the truth, she wondered if she really had misunderstood Shen Ziqiao.
“...Xin’er, since I came back from Minyue, I never heard of the second aunt planning a marriage for you and Qi Zheng. If I knew, I would’ve told you. I only found out about the bestowed marriage later on. Who knew that you had misunderstood me already.” Shen Ziqiao said helplessly.
She liked Xin’er most of all the sisters in the Shen Family. This lady was definitely from her other sisters. She was innocent and kind. If it weren’t for the bestowed marriage, she wouldn’t be acting so narrow-minded.
“You’re telling the truth?” Shen Zixin asked softly, her pale turning paler.
“Xin’er, we’re sisters. Don’t you know the type of person I am?” Shen Ziqiao asked.
Shen Zixin froze. She used to like Shen Ziqiao a lot in the past because she was different from others. Whenever they met each other, she didn’t bother to put on a facade and would say whatever was on her mind. Even more, she pitied Shen Ziqiao for losing her mother at a young age. The Old Madam also disliked her so her life in the Shen Family wasn’t that good.
Was it because of this that she thought she should be living a worse life than herself? Did she feel imbalanced because she obtained the emperor’s bestowed marriage?
Who knew her thoughts were that dark and sinister?
Shen Zixin felt ashamed for thinking this.
“I’m not trying to stop you from entering the palace. Of course, you’d obtain riches and glory from marrying the crown prince but they’d already decided on the princess consort. At most, you’d be a Lady of Excellence. But if I’m being real, you’re just a concubine to him. Do you want to share a husband with other women? There’s no such thing as growing old together with your loved one. You think that’ll happen if you enter the palace? Even if you don’t plan on fighting, other people will fight with you. Xin’er, marrying someone who truly loves and treats you well is more important than riches and glory.” Shen Ziqiao didn’t want Shen Zixin to enter the palace. True, the crown prince was a good man but definitely not a good husband.
“Um...all men have concubines and mistresses. Why? You’re not going to allow Qi Zheng to take in concubines in the future?” Shen Zixin wasn’t as determined as before but hearing Shen Ziqiao’s thought, she couldn’t help but question.
Shen Ziqiao responded determined, “Right! I love Qi Zheng so I refuse to let him touch another woman besides me.”
“What if that day comes?” Shen Zixin was shocked, realizing that she had never really gotten to know Shen Ziqiao.
“If that really happens one day, our marriage will come to an end.” Shen Ziqiao chuckled softly. “But I believe that day won’t come.”
Shen Zixin pursed her lips. “You don’t need to act arrogant in front of me.”
Seeing that Shen Zixin didn’t seem to be as indifferent and hostile towards her as in the past, Shen Ziqiao sighed. “Then do you still want to go to the Plum Appreciation Banquet?”
“I...I need to think some more about it.” Shen Zixin waved her hands, not as enthusiastic towards going to the Plum Appreciation Banquet.
Shen Ziqiao smiled.
“I need to go back. I’ll come visit you in a few days.” Shen Zixin exclaimed coquettishly. She softly coughed, trying to hide the awkwardness.
“Let me see you out.” Shen Ziqiao went over and grabbed onto Shen Zixin’s arms, smiling.
After seeing Shen Zixin away, Shen Ziqiao felt the huge rock in her heart being placed down. She believed that Shen Zixin wouldn’t be narrow-minded anymore nor would she think about attending the Plum Appreciation Banquet.
Qi Zheng looked at the smiling Shen Ziqiao and he couldn’t help but smile. “You’re in a great mood, hm? What good news did your sister bring?”
“Call her fourth aunt.” Shen Ziqiao stared at him coquettishly. She smiled and walked over to hug him. “Qi Zheng, I’m really happy.”
“Hm? Why are you so happy?” Qi Zheng brought her into his arms in the meanwhile and chuckled lowly.
Shen Ziqiao looked around and exclaimed, “I’m not telling you. Go, go. Let’s head to the village quickly.”
“Let’s tell Old Madam about it first before leaving.” Qi Zheng looked at her pampering. She was the sunlight in his dark world. Whenever he saw her smile, he looked forward to the future.
The couple went to pay respects at Old Madam Qi’s place. Hearing that they were going to stay in the village for a while, she hurriedly nodded and told them to stay there longer.
In the end, she even rushed them to leave in case it'd be dark by the time they arrived.
Qi Zheng brought Shen Ziqiao to the village outside of the city.
“Old Madam, you’re just wanting to get a grandson that badly.” The nanny by Old Madam Qi’s side teased.
“When have you seen the eldest master as happy as he has been the last two days? Ever since his mother passed away, he hasn’t lived a good life. It’s all my fault. He finally has a lady that he loves deeply now. I just hope that they'll live good lives together.” Old Madam Qi lamented.
Nanny Tian massaged Old Madam Qi’s shoulders. “Old Madam, you should let go of the past. What happened with the late madam has nothing to do with you. Speaking of, if she was a bit more determined, she wouldn’t...it’s all that mistress’ fault. If she didn’t seduce the duke, how could he possibly have made that mistake?”
“It takes two to tango. If Nee Lu knew to admit defeat and that women needed to be gentle and soft towards their husbands...that bitch wouldn’t stand a chance.” Thinking of the bitch that looked like a white lotus, Old Madam Qi hated herself for having a soft heart back then.
“This maid thinks that the First Madam is really good. Look. Our eldest master’s heart is on her.” Nanny Tian smiled.
Old Madam Qi revealed a faint smile. “Back then, the duke’s heart used to be on Nee Lu, no? If they want a good future, it depends on how Jiao Jiao faces people’s schemes.”
“Eldest master and First Madam will have a beautiful future.” Nanny Tian said.
“Hopefully.” Old Madam Qi smiled.
Xiao Gu quickly found out that Qi Zheng and Shen Ziqiao were leaving the city. She was happy that her children were coming back but who knew that she’d hear about this.
“What? They’re leaving the city?” Xiao Gu’s expression turned gloomy. “As expected, she’s really different. She is living quite the comfortable life.”
She was planning on having people spread rumors about Shen Ziqiao disrespecting her elders and misconducting herself in her husband’s family when Qi Zheng had taken her out of the city.
“Madam, what should we do now?” Nanny Su asked.
Xiao Gu said with a dark face, “Hmph. Let them be happy for a few days. Wait until I enter the palace.”