Shen Ziqiao walked out of the De’an Courtyard. Her mood was bright like the blazing sun, and her smile was splendid and brilliant.
Hearing Shen Ziqiao’s footsteps indicate her arrival, Hong Ying hurried over to welcome her. “Third Miss, you’re back. Are you ok?”
“Why would anything happen to me?” Shen Ziqiao replied. “I am in a good mood, so let’s go outside for a stroll.” Although she had been here for a while, she was nervous and frightened every day. She had yet to take some time to admire the beauty of the world.
“Then, the Qi Family did not come to talk about that matter?” Hong Ying was a straightforward girl. When she heard that the Old Madam planned to marry the Third Miss to a fool, she pitied the Third Miss. Then, when she found out that the Third Miss visited the members of the Qi Family, she was incredibly anxious and nervous for her. Yet, she had no idea what to do.
Shen Ziqiao smiled and said, “Talk about what? Mama Gu from the Qi Family has returned already.”
As long as she was not here to talk about the matter. Hong Ying’s smile returned and she said, “Third Miss, then where do you want to go and take a walk at?”
“Wherever is fine. I am not familiar with the place.” Shen Ziqiao said. She had only been to Thousand Buddha Temple and nowhere else.
“Then let’s go to Xiujin Courtyard. The lotus flowers there are blooming.” Hong Ying said.
Shen Ziqiao had not heard of this place, but she smiled and nodded. “Then let’s go there.”
Ping’er said by the side, “This servant girl will prepare the horse carriage.”
When she and the servant girls were happily walking out the door, Cui Ping laughed dryly and stopped Shen Ziqiao. “Third Miss, the Old Madam ordered me that no matter where you are going, you need to bring this servant girl with you too.”
“Is that so? Let’s go now.” Shen Ziqiao said casually as if she didn’t care.
Qi Family, outside the study.
Xiao Gu placed the two invitations with the characters for matchmaking written on the red wood writing desk. “Lord, look. These are Zheng’er and the Third Miss of Shen Family’s characters for matchmaking. I had someone look them over and they’re a match-made from heaven.”
“Shen Family and our Qi Family are well-matched.” Duke An, Qi Silin, gazed at the characters for matchmaking and asked without looking up, “Then how is that lady’s personality?”
And he’s picky about personality? It’s good enough that someone is willing to marry their daughter to a fool. Xiao Gu silently cursed, but smiled and said, “I had Mama Gu go and personally take a look. She said that the young lady is delicate, lovable, and generous. She’s quite different from the rumors.”
“Oh? What rumors are there?” Qi Silin asked faintly.
Xiao Gu bit her lips and said, “This…”
“Rumors have some ounces of truth in them. You should work harder to find a wife for Zheng’er.” Duke An raised his head and glanced at Xiao Gu, standing up.
His tall and sturdy body made Xiao Gu feel an invisible pressure looming over her. She looked down and she said, “Yes, Lord. I understand.”
He’s just a fool, so how is she going to pick a wife for him? Xiao Gu felt as if Qi Silin was too biased towards his eldest son.
Even if he placed all his attention and pampering on the fool, could he really inherit the title of Marquis? The only person that can be Duke is her son. Her Feng’er!
Duke An walked to the door and looked at Xiao Gu who was standing there, unmoved. He raised his eyebrows and said, “Are there any other problems?”
Xiao Gu snapped out of her trance and pursed her lips, smiling at him. “Nothing, Lord. Where are you going?”
“I’m going to visit Zheng’er.” Duke An said.
Qi Zheng was in the room playing with crickets alone.
Once he saw Qi Silin coming in, he expressionlessly continued to play and acted as if he didn’t see his father coming in.
Duke An sighed and sat next to him. When Zheng’er was young, he was smart, witty, and talented. If it weren’t that his wife passed away and he neglected Zheng’er which caused him to become severely sick at one point, how could he have become a fool?
All these years, he had been feeling guilty.
“Your mother wants to settle a marriage with Shen Family’s daughter. I heard that her personality and moral conduct are pretty good.” Duke An softly coughed and asked, “Do you like her?”
Qi Zheng who kept his head down deepened his gaze. He dryly laughed and said, “I don’t like her.”
Duke An didn’t expect his son to respond to him. All these years, Zheng’er seemed to be resentful towards him and rarely talked to him. “Then, you want your mother to find another lady for you?”
Qi Zheng curled his lips up into a disdainful smile, but didn’t respond.
“Then what type of ladies do you like?” Duke An asked again. As a father, he never treated Zheng’er like a fool. He just felt that...his son was a bit innocent.
Duke An asked some more, but Qi Zheng didn’t answer him anymore.
“Then I will be going now.” In the end, Duke An left once again in disappointment.
Qi Zheng placed the bamboo stick in his hands down and slightly narrowed his gaze as Duke An’s figure disappeared by the door. That woman still has not given up the thought of settling a marriage for him...
Shen Family’s Third Miss? Qi Zheng recalled a cute and delicate young lady in his mind.
She probably refuses to marry him! He heard that she was infatuated and obsessed with the Ninth Prince.
Shen Ziqiao brought Hong Ying and her sister as well as Cui Ping to Xiujin Courtyard.
Xiujin Courtyard belonged to the wealthy He Family’s property. It was surrounded by mountains and waters, extending in all directions. There were all sorts of rare flowers and grasses, beautiful scenes captivating people’s attention. This place was almost as beautiful as the Summer Palace. Maybe the author had described the palace according to the Summer Palace.
Xiujin Courtyard had appeared in the novel countless times. It was the first time where the heroine and the head of He Family met.
Shen Ziqiao leaned against the lakeside’s railing and glanced at the lotus flowers, recalling the scenes in the novel. She realized that she was unclear with a lot of the scenes.
It’s her fault for only picking certain scenes to read and neglecting the development of the storyline.
“He Family actually gifted this courtyard to the court and even allowed tourists to come in casually to visit. This… this is too…” When Hong Yu heard that after He Family built this and privately opened it for common people to tour around, she was so shocked that she didn’t know what to say.
Shen Ziqiao laughed and said, “That is the way of rich people.”
Cui Ping pursed her lips and said, “Ordinary people do not dare to come in.”
Hong Ying pointed at the peak of the mountain from afar and said, “Third Miss, look. Does that not look like a Buddha?”
“It does.” Shen Ziqiao nodded and murmured, “Look at how nice the place is. It must be expensive. He Family is the richest.”
Hong Ying sincerely kowtowed and heard Shen Ziqiao mumbling to herself. “Third Miss, what did you say?”
Shen Ziqiao smiled and shook her head, saying, “Nothing. You all can look around and there is no need to accompany me. I will just sit here for a bit.”
Cui Ping’s expression changed and she said, “Third Miss, you can’t send the servant girls away. Ninth Prince will definitely be in the villa today, so you must not go. The Old Madam will beat these servant maids.”
“Hm? The Ninth Prince’s villa is nearby?” Shen Ziqiao asked curiously, having a bit of memory.
“Third Miss…” Cui Ping gave her the look as if she should stop pretending.
Shen Ziqiao giggled and said, “I am not going. I am really not going.”
However, it was obvious that Cui Ping didn’t believe her. Hong Ying, this girl, said that she was going to pick some rare fresh flowers to put it in a case. Hong Yu, on the other hand, was more reliable and earnest. She did not walk around because she was curious, but she stayed to serve Shen Ziqiao instead.
Cui Ping did not believe that Shen Ziqiao came to the Xiujin Courtyard in order to watch the lotus flowers only. She trained her eyes on Shen Ziqiao.