Shen Ziqiao listened to Qi Zheng explain what happened at the Plum Appreciation Banquet and how the Ninth Prince had requested a decree for the emperor to bestow marriage.
She almost jumped up. No one knew better than her how deeply infatuated and in love the Ninth Prince was to Sheng Peiyin. Why was he going to marry Shen Zixin now? Did he just want to find someone as a replacement?
“Did the emperor agree?” Shen Ziqiao asked anxiously. The emperor wouldn’t agree to the Ninth Prince’s request and marry Shen Zixin to him right?
Qi Zheng naturally knew what Shen Ziqiao was worried about. He nodded lightly. “The emperor already agreed. Now...the imperial decree should reach the Shen Family.”
“I’m going to beat that bastard to death!” Shen Ziqiao angrily stood up but Qi Zheng brought her back in his arms.
“Who do you want to beat? The Ninth Prince? What can you do when the emperor had bestowed mariage?” Qi Zheng looked at her hilariously. She was like an angry little beast.
Shen Ziqiao hmphed. She was just unhappy that the Ninth Prince bullied people like this. She thought the Ninth Prince was getting revenge on the Shen Family. He was still doing this for Sheng Peiyin. “It’s not like you didn’t know he would sacrifice his life to save Sheng Peiyin. Who knew whether he was trying to get revenge this time? I can’t let Xin’er marry him!”
“If he was really doing this for Sheng Peiyin, why did he expose her on the Plum Appreciation Banquet? Why didn’t he help Sheng Peiyin in secret then?” Qi Zheng retorted. He was also a man. He thought that no matter how much a man loved a woman, they cared about their dignity. The Ninth Prince probably came to a realization.
However, Shen Ziqiao didn’t think so. She didn’t think that the Ninth Prince had forgotten about Sheng Peiyin already. Maybe the Ninth Prince also participated in what happened at the Plum Appreciation Banquet.
“He must have other plans!” Shen Ziqiao exclaimed assured.
“What schemes could he have in marrying your sister?” Qi Zheng asked. If he really wanted to deal with the Shen Family, the Ninth Prince definitely wouldn’t request a decree to bestow marriage.
Shen Ziqiao thought about it before asking in confusion, “Right. Why did he request a decree to bestow marriage? What did our Shen Family do wrong? Clearly, the Sheng Family was the one that betrayed the country. Even if the Ninth Prince wants to get revenge...what is he trying to do? What did this have to do with him?!”
Qi Zheng laughed out loud. “What are you conflicted over? The imperial decree has already been announced. Even if you want to object to it, you can’t. You may as well ask what the fourth aunt thinks about this.”
“What else could she think?” Shen Ziqiao muttered. Even if Shen Zixin agreed, Madam Zhou wouldn’t. “Is there something wrong with Sheng Peiyin’s brain? She knew her status but she still entered the palace. Now, she can’t even live.”
If even after all of this, she still lived, that was an incredulous golden finger she had.
“She probably still thinks that the Sheng Family is framed.” Qi Zheng said. He heard the woman yelling that she was framed in the hidden prison and wanted the emperor to bring justice to her family, saying that Shen Xiao had framed the Sheng Family.
Shen Ziqiao coughed and said hoarsely, “This woman has incredible thoughts.”
Nevermind. She should stop thinking about Sheng Peiyin. She might as well return to the city and discuss with Shen Zixin tomorrow.
“Let’s go back tomorrow.” Shen Ziqiao laid down and planned on resting well. That way, she’d have the energy to return tomorrow.
“No. We need to wait until at least your body gets better. Otherwise, what should we do if you get another cold? Don’t glare at me. I won’t agree. You need to recuperate.” Qi Zheng was determined in rejecting her request. After all, returning tomorrow to Shen Family or in a few days was the same.
There was no way Shen Family would reject the imperial decree. Plus, only they knew about the Ninth Prince and Sheng Peiyin. Even if Shen Family’s people knew that the Ninth Prince used to have a thing with Sheng Peiyin, they would only think of him as being a playboy and won’t treat it seriously.
“I’ll get better tomorrow.” Shen Ziqiao buried her face against the cup and smothered the words.
Qi Zheng chuckled. “We’ll see if you get better tomorrow. You have to drink medicine in a bit.”
It’s so bitter! Shen Ziqiao turned away, wanting to reject. Qi Zheng immediately said, “How else are you going to get better by tomorrow?”
Fine. She cherished her sister so in order to hurry and get better, she could only painfully drink this bitter traditional Chinese medicine.
How good would this be if it was Western medicine?...
Shen Ziqiao thought about this and finally fell asleep while feeling gloomy.
Qi Zheng glanced at her asleep expression and smiled, kissing her face. Then he quietly left the room and walked towards the study in the western side room.
Uncle Qun had already been there waiting.
“Eldest master.” Uncle Qun greeted and exclaimed in a low voice. “The Lord says that Sun Family seems to be restless.”
Qi Zheng walked behind the study with a gloomy expression. He read the letter that Lu Family’s uncle had given him, saying that Sun Family had been restless lately and up to no good.
A sneer floated on his face. “What is the Sun Family planning to do? The crown prince had jinxed his wife? Only they could think of rumors like this. They know nothing.”
“They think that the crown prince can’t marry Beitang Family’s eldest miss like this.” Uncle Qun said.
“It might not be so simple. Monitor Sun Family closely.” Qi Zheng said faintly. The reason why Imperial Consort Sun was able to get to this status was because of Old Lord Sun and her elder brothers. They had done her a lot of things. She didn’t fear the rumor that the crown prince had jinxed his wife. If their motive was so the crown prince couldn’t marry Beitang Zhenjing, that was impossible.
An emperor cannot lie. The crown prince and Beitang Zhenjing were already engaged. Everyone knew about this. Nothing could change it.
“Eldest master, you and the Ninth Prince...will be brothers-in-law not long in the future. Maybe the Ninth Prince will support the crown prince even more.” Uncle Qun said.
Becoming brothers-in-law with the Ninth Prince...the words seemed a bit profound.
“Eldest master!” Knocking came outside the study. It was another one of Qi Zheng’s shadow guards.
Uncle Qun came to open the door.
“What happened?” Uncle Qun furrowed his brows. This shadow guard was Tang Tian. He was arranged to monitor Xiao Gu in the capital. Since he appeared here, it meant that Xiao Gu had done something.
Tang Tian said, “Xiao Gu had entered the palace early this morning. When she returned, she was beaming with joy. She probably went to visit Imperial Consort Sun.”
Qi Zheng’s gaze darkened. “She went to the palace?”
“Right. After she returned, she immediately called Qi Feng over. They’re talking about his marriage.” Tang Tian replied in a low voice.
Xiao Gu couldn’t possibly be thinking about having Imperial Consort Sun beg the emperor to announce a decree for Qi Feng’s marriage, right?
Hilarious. Did she think that the emperor would bestow marriage to anyone?
“Uncle Qun, deliver a message to the crown prince. Have him respond to the empress. If Imperial Consort Sun keeps on inserting her people in our Qi Family, it’d be even more troublesome.” Qi Feng said in a deep voice. Even now, Xiao Gu hadn’t given up. He was thinking about whether it was time to officially fall out with her. Should he warn her not to hurt the Qi Family behind his father’s back?
“Right, eldest master.” Uncle Qun immediately answered and then revealed a hesitating expression.
“What?” Qi Zheng asked.
Uncle Qun furrowed his brows and looked at Qi Zheng worried. “Someone saw Nee Hu mother and daughter...appear in Bianzhou City.”
Qi Zheng’s face darkened and it was like the sky was thundering. Bianzhou City was close to the capital. They could return in just half a day. What was Nee Hu up to?
“Does the duke know?” Qi Zheng’s voice was still calm but Uncle Qun knew him well and knew that he wasn’t in a good mood.
“This...I’m not sure yet.” Uncle Qun said.
“Then let him know.” Qi Zheng said faintly.
Uncle Qun froze. He wanted the duke to pick the woman up? He looked at Qi Zheng disapprovingly. “Eldest master, this...probably...isn’t a good idea.”
It was better for the duke to be ignorant. That way, they could quickly send her away and keep her from the capital forever.
“What’s bad about it? He even disregarded my mother who was seriously sick back then for that Nee Hu. Wouldn’t he do what I expected of him for this woman again?” Qi Zheng sneered. Xiao Gu used Nee Hu and caused his mother to die in the past so he could do the same this time and make Xiao Gu lose everything.
Uncle Qun quietened down.
Capital, Duke An Residence.
Ever since Xiao Gu came out of the palace, she was in a good mood as if the anger accumulated in her chest had vanished. Her smile became more splendid. Even when she went to pay respects to the Old Madam and faced her indifferent attitude, she still smiled and wasn’t influenced in the least bit.
“Just wait. I’ll see how that old woman will continue to be biased towards that bastard after Feng’er gets married and becomes the heir. Back then, Nee Lu couldn’t beat me and now, her son can’t either!” Xiao Gu leaned against the bed and held the silver enamel hand warmer in her hands. She smiled as she looked outside the window.
“Madam’s wishes will come true for sure.” Nanny Su smiled.
“I didn’t expect the Ninth Prince to want to marry Shen Family’s fourth miss…” Xiao Gu furrowed her brows. “Could it be that Shen Family’s young ladies are all fairies?”
Nanny Su agreed. “That’s right. This Ninth Prince is such a strange person. When Shen Ziqiao pursued him in the past, he had said that he would never marry a woman whose surname was Shen in front of everyone before. Now, he was slapping his own face.”
“What did you say?” Xiao Gu’s eyes brightened and thought that she had heard wrong. “Our First Madam knew the Ninth Prince in the past?”
“Ah, madam, you didn’t hear about the rumors. Shen Ziqiao was shameless. She said that she’d only marry the Ninth Prince and used to pester him every day. She lost her face completely. I don’t know why the eldest master would like a woman like her.” Even more, they were so lovey-dovey, making others envious.
Xiao Gu laughed out loud. “I didn’t think that Shen Ziqiao, that bitch, would do something like this. This means that she likes the Ninth Prince?”
Nanny Su said, “This maid isn’t sure.”
“Who cares? As long as everyone thinks so, then she does.” Xiao Gu’s eyes brightened. If everyone knows that Qi Zheng married a woman who didn’t love him, she wondered what would happen.
What if this woman also made him a cuckold?
It was hilarious! Xiao Gu was in an unprecedented good mood.
“...He wouldn’t be able to divorce this woman either. The duke would definitely be disappointed in the eldest master. By then, the heir will go to the second master.” Nanny Su hurriedly kissed up.