The horse carriage took an hour longer than usual to return to the Qi Family. Qi Zheng carried Shen Ziqiao out of the carriage. When the housekeeper and the others saw the scene, they all lowered their heads shockingly.
They had never seen the eldest master treat...someone so gentle and warmly.
It seems like rumors about the eldest master being forced to marry Third Miss Shen couldn’t be trusted. The eldest master didn’t look like he was being forced in the least bit. He was willing okay!
“Do you feel something strange?” Shen Ziqiao asked Qi Zheng in a low voice. Whenever the servants in the family saw Qi Zheng in the past, they’d be rushing over to flatter and kiss up to him, trying their best to please him. However, they appeared much more restrained today.
A smile floated on his face and he wore a sarcastic smile on his handsome face. “Imperial Consort Sun is betrothing her niece to Qi Feng. The servants...probably thought Qi Feng was going to be heir.”
In the past, they thought that Qi Zheng must be the future heir which is why they tried their best to please him.
Shen Ziqiao snorted. “How can that Qi Feng compare to you? One’s heaven and one’s dirt!”
Qi Zheng’s eyes brightened and his smile grew wider. “Then in madam’s eyes...this husband is that outstanding?”
“No one can compare to you!” Shen Ziqiao smiled.
Hong Ying and Hong Yu held in their laughs. They never knew that their young miss was that good at coaxing people, making the eldest master beam with joy.
The two returned to Qianlin Courtyard and went to rest. Shen Ziqiao went to the restroom as Lu Zhu rushed inside, pulling Hong Yu over.
Hong Yu wore an angry expression after hearing it. “Where are the two vixens?”
“They’re in the neighboring room. Don’t worry, Mo Zhu is watching them.” Lu Zhu said.
“Go and take a look too. I’ll tell First Madam about this.” Hong Yu patted Lu Zhu’s shoulders and turned to go inside the restroom.
Shen Ziqiao had already changed. Just as she was going to get out, Hong Yu rushed in and exclaimed, “Third miss, while you and the eldest master weren’t here, the madam sent two maids over, saying that she’s afraid there aren’t enough people to serve you guys. The maids are there to serve the eldest master…”
To serve Qi Zheng or to seduce him? Shen Ziqiao smiled. “Which two maids?”
“Ying Tao and Ying Mei.” Hong Yu said.
“Oh, it’s those two.” Shen Ziqiao recalled. They were Xiao Gu’s second-grade maids. They were charming and beautiful. She had seen them once before. Back then, Nanny Tian even advised her to keep Xiao Gu’s maids from the eldest master.
She specially emphasized those two restless maids.
“Young miss, what should we do now? Should we find an excuse to dismiss them?” Hong Yu asked nervously. Third miss and Qi Zheng had just gotten married. How could they allow another woman to intervene in their relationship?
“Find what excuse?” Shen Ziqiao retorted. Even if they dismissed two, Xiao Gu might send an extra four more over.
Shen Ziqiao came out of the restroom and was thinking about calling the two maids over so she could take a look when she heard a huge bang from the neighboring room. Next, she heard a woman weeping softly and begging for mercy.
“What’s the matter?” Shen Ziqiao was startled. She hurriedly stood up.
Hong Yu hurriedly exclaimed, “The eldest master is freshening up in the neighboring room.”
Shen Ziqiao’s face darkened. She pulled the curtains to the side and walked over. She stood outside the door and peered inside. It was a mess inside. There was a stool that had been smashed into pieces. Teacups and teapots had been shattered on the ground.
Qi Zheng stood in the center furious and disgusted. It looked as if a storm was about to approach. The maids were all frightened, getting on their knees.
“What’s the matter?” Shen Ziqiao walked inside as if she didn’t see the maid kneeling on the ground shivering wearing a red outfit. “Why is tea spilled on you?”
Seeing Shen Ziqaio, Qi Zheng’s raging mood improved a bit. He also relaxed too. He held Shen Ziqiao’s hands and said in a low voice, “It’s fine. Let me change and we can go to the Old Madam’s place together.”
“I’ll come inside with you.” Shen Ziqiao said, holding Qi Zheng’s hands as they walked back inside. She removed his belt for him. “That maid is from Xiao Gu’s side and she’s quite beautiful.”
Qi Zheng pinched her nose and exclaimed, “You paid attention, hm?”
Shen Ziqiao smiled and swatted his hand. “How can I not pay attention when she dares to seduce my husband behind my back?”
“Find an excuse to drive Xiao Gu’s people away.” Qi Zheng said disgusted. When he was freshening up in the room, the maid named Ying Tao actually splashed tea on him. Then she acted frightened and tried wiping it up with a handkerchief. Her body was so close to him that she may as well be pressed against him.
Qi Zheng was suspicious. He thought that Shen Ziqiao’s maids would never careless. He stared at the maid for a while and the latter thought he was attracted to her, acting limp and falling in his arms.
Seeing the maid’s makeup and her face, Qi Zheng knew what she was up to. Right then, he brushed her away and asked her whether she was sent over by Xiao Gu. Under a whim of anger, he smashed the table.
“Why dismiss them? Even if we do, she’ll continue to send more. We need to make her afraid of sending maids over.” Shen Ziqiao smiled. Since Xiao Gu dared to send women over to drive a wedge between their relationship, she’ll teach that old woman a lesson.
Qi Zheng knitted his brows and asked, “Should I gift the two bitches to my father then?”
“Huh?” Shen Ziqiao froze. “This is a good solution but...it doesn’t mean that Xiao Gu will be afraid of sending women over again in the future.”
“Then what good solution do you have?” Qi Zheng smiled and asked.
Shen Ziqiao scrunched her nose. “I’m thinking now, aren’t I? Ah, let’s go and pay respects to the Old Madam first. I’ll continue to think about it after we return.”
“I don’t want the two maids to appear in front of us anymore.” Qi Zheng said in a dark voice.
“I’ll have Lady Meng monitor the two of them.” Shen Ziqiao said.
Shen Ziqiao didn’t immediately punish Ying Tao who seduced Qi Zheng. Instead, she helped Qi Zheng change his clothes and then the two went to Old Madam Qi’s room to pay respects.
They didn’t expect Old Madam’s place to be so lively.
Qi Family’s second master and the only young miss had returned from their grandparent’s home. Xiao Gu brought them over to pay respects to the Old Madam first thing.
Old Madam Qi was in a happier mood with Shen Ziqiao and Qi Zheng’s arrival.
When Xiao Gu married into the family, Old Madam Qi disliked her and treated her children nonchalantly as well. The three siblings weren’t close to their grandmother. However, it was different now. As the duke grew older and older, he would have to decide on the heir soon. If Qi Feng could gain the Old Madam’s favor, she would be able to put in good words to the duke.
Therefore, Xiao Gu wanted her children to please the Old Madam as much as they could. Old Madam may not like her but her children are the duke’s children too, her grandchildren. She couldn’t give them an attitude, no?
“Grandmother, we haven’t seen each other in a few days and you’ve become more beautiful.” After Shen Ziqiao greeted her, she smiled and moved to her side.
Old Madam Qi was delighted and patted the back of Shen Ziqiao’s hand. “You bad girl! You’re teasing me!”
Nanny Tian smiled by the side and exclaimed, “First Madam is saying the truth. You do look younger now that you’re in a delighted mood. If First Madam also gives birth to a chubby son, you’ll look even younger.”
“Just continue to joke around, why don’t you?” A smile floated on Old Madam Qi’s face and she glared teasingly at Nanny Tian.
The three siblings behind Xiao Gu all looked at Shen Ziqiao.
She wore a light green silver embroidered pattern butterfly top paired with a swan-yellow ruyi green patterned jacket, and her hair pulled up into a bun. Only a simple pearl white jade hairpin was inserted in her bun. Her hair was decorated with a pink blossom and she wore droplet-patterned earrings. Though she wore a simple outfit, she looked exceedingly gorgeous.
She was their sister-in-law?
Qi Yun looked at Shen Ziqiao fussily. She saw this woman in the past but seeing her now, she seemed to be different from what she recalled from her memory.
How could this woman have a great relationship with the old woman?
Whenever she went to pay respects to the old woman, she never got a good attitude.
Qi Yun hated her.
“The two of them are your third brother and sister. They just came back today.” Old Madam Qi finished talking to Shen Ziqiao and introduced them, her gaze faintly sweeping over the two.
Qi Rui hurriedly greeted Shen Ziqiao, “Sister-in-law.”
Shen Ziqiao smiled and nodded. “I didn’t know that third sister and brother are coming back today. I’ll have someone bring you the greeting gifts later on.”
Qi Yun snorted. “We don’t dare to trouble sister-in-law.”
“Yun’er!” Xiao Gu shouted unhappily. “Your elder brother is different now. You can’t be impolite towards your sister-in-law!”
She was scolding Qi Yun on the surface but in reality, she was mocking Qi Zheng for being a fool in the past.
How could a fool be an heir?
Old Madam Qi faintly smiled. “Right. Your elder brother is different from before. Our Qi Family will be depending on Zheng’er to bring glory to the family.”
Xiao Gu’s smile froze. “With Zheng’er and Feng’er, naturally they’ll bring glory to the family.”
“Didn’t you say that you’ve been busy with family matters and haven’t been feeling good? Now that Zheng’er is married, why don’t you rest and recuperate while Jiao Jiao manages the household?” Seeing that Xiao Gu was unwilling to come over and pay respects to her under the excuse that she was busy with family matters, she decided to have her hand over the power of the household.
“Mother, I’m good now. Plus, daughter-in-law doesn’t understand how any of this works, doesn’t she? Even more, she just married into the family so it’s not good to…” Xiao Gu laughed dryly but she cursed Old Madam Qi out in her heart. Damned woman. Who knew that Shen Ziqiao had just married into the family she wanted her to hand over the power of the household. If she really did, how could she maintain her footing in the family?
Old Madam Qi waved her hands impatiently. “Learn if you don’t understand. There’s no one who naturally knows how to the manage the household.”
Shen Ziqiao originally wanted to reject this but thinking of the two maids in Qianlin Courtyard, she didn’t say anything.