After lovemaking, Qi Zheng carried Shen Ziqiao to have some midnight snacks. Hong Yu and Mo Zhu walked over with their heads down as they placed the dishes on the table. They tried to ignore the ambiguous atmosphere.
“You guys can go.” Shen Ziqiao said awkwardly. She still had the overcoat over her but besides the undergarment, she had nothing else. She didn’t want to reveal her bare arms in front of the maids.
Hong Yu and Mo Zhu hurriedly left.
“It’s all your fault!” Shen Ziqiao immediately glanced at the pleasant Qi Zheng with a brilliant smile. If he controlled himself, she wouldn’t need to ask the maids to prepare some midnight snacks.
Qi Zheng laughed and kissed her. His gaze falling on her cleavage revealed under the collar. The black feathers on the overcoat highlighted her smooth and tender skin. Qi Zheng felt his blood rushing throughout the body whenever he remembered that she was wearing nothing underneath.
When he entered the room, he saw her wearing his overcoat. He thought if this was the case...she’d look beautiful for sure.
“Qi Zheng! What are you trying to do?” She Ziqiao felt warmth on her chest and looked down to see him licking her. She pushed him away.
Qi Zheng chuckled softly. He finally controlled his desire and asked, “Want to eat something?”
“What exactly did you do today?” Shen Ziqiao drank red date toad soup, curious as to why Qi Zheng didn’t come back home until late this evening after they left the Shen Family.
“The emperor wants to leave the capital in search of the cave dwelling in Tianxuan Mountain in order to cultivate. His mind isn’t on the court anymore.” Qi Zheng restrained his smile, telling Shen Ziqiao all about it.
Shen Ziqiao said, “Since the emperor is engrossed in refining pills and cultivating, then hand over the court matters to the crown prince. After all, he’s young and capable, steady and mature. He’d be a very good emperor too.”
Qi Zheng pinched her earlobes. “So his highness is that outstanding in your eyes, hm?”
“In my eyes, Qi Zheng is the best.” Shen Ziqiao knew what to say in this situation obviously.
“Honey, you have great taste.” Qi Zheng smiled in satisfaction.
Shen Ziqiao stared at him coquettishly. “Then...the emperor still refuses to back down?”
Qi Zheng nodded. “Right, let’s not talk about this anymore. Drink the soup quickly and rest.”
There was more to this than meets the eyes! Shen Ziqiao thought. She looked worried at Qi Zheng. She won’t tell him about what happened today for now in case it made him even more unhappy.
The couple had some snacks and then slept not long after.
The next day, Qi Zheng entered the palace early in the morning. After Shen Ziqiao had breakfast with him, she went back to sleep. By the time she woke up again, it was nearly early afternoon.
“First Madam, you’re awake?” Mo Zhu walked inside and held an old letter in her hands. “A driver outside sent it. He said a noble specifically said to give you this letter.”
Lu Zhu helped Shen Ziqiao freshen up and wear the pearl earrings. After all, she turned and grabbed the letter in Mo Zhu’s hands. “Noble? Did they say who?”
Mo Zhu shook her head. “The person that sent the letter over said nothing.”
Before she could read the letter, she saw Hong Ying walk inside angrily. “First Madam, the madam has gone too far!”
“What now? She started sending people over again?” Shen Ziqiao chuckled. If Xiao Gu didn’t stir trouble for her one day, she’d feel awkward.
Hong Yu exclaimed angrily, “The household is giving out new clothes for the servants and beautiful outfits of our sizes are already chosen. Our Qianlin Courtyard only gets the leftover. First Madam, the madam is purposely making things difficult for us.”
“Shut up!” Hong Yu scolded. “Are you saying that First Madam should go and argue with the madam over us servants’ clothes?”
Naturally, Xiao Gu did this for a reason. Maybe then, she’ll blame it all on the First Madam.
“What does this have to do with the madam? It’s the housekeepers’ fault.” Shen Ziqiao looked at Hong Ying. “It’s fine saying this here but don’t you dare talk smack about the madam when you’re outside.”
She mustn’t give Xiao Gu a chance to place the blame on Qi Zheng.
Hong Ying hurriedly nodded with a flushed face.
Shen Ziqiao read the letter and furrowed her brows while doing so. She glanced at the name on the bottom and wanted to throw the letter in the charcoal bucket.
Thinking this, she threw both the envelope and letter inside. “Tell the people outside to stop bringing these letters to me.”
Mo Zhu froze before replying, “Yes, First Madam.
Next, Shen Ziqiao went to Old Madam Qi’s place to play poker.
An hour later, Shen Ziqiao had lost everything.
“This old woman has lived for a really long time but I’ve never seen someone who plays as badly as you.” Old Madam Qi took the ingots of silvers Shen Ziqiao passed over and exclaimed to Hong Yu and Mo Zhu, “Today, your First Madam is treating you guys out for food.”
The two maids laughed in secret. They didn’t expect Shen Ziqiao to be able to play those good cards so badly.
Shen Ziqiao hmphed and acted as if she was participating in a battle of life or death. “I’m going to display my true strength now. Be careful. Don’t cry if you lose too much later on.”
Old Madam Qi laughed out loud. “Go ahead!”
Nanny Tian poured water for them. Hearing the Old Madam’s hearty laugh, she also laughed too.
Old Madam...hadn’t been so happy in a while.
Though the First Madam acted like she was just fooling around with the Old Madam, she was actually trying to amuse her.
Another hour later, Shen Ziqiao lost again.
Old Madam Qi proudly counted the amount of money she won with the two maids.
Shen Ziqiao leaned against the table, feeling discouraged. “Just let me die of stupidity!”
She was never lucky with gambling before. She almost always lost. Who knew that even after changing places, it was still the same result.
Old Madam Qi couldn’t stop laughing. “Don’t cry even if you lose.”
“First Madam had just said this earlier.” Mo Zhu laughed and reminded Old Madam Qi. “Don’t make our First Madam cry.”
“Mo Zhu!” Shen Ziqiao exclaimed with a red face. “I don’t care. You guys have to treat me!”
“Fine, what do you want?” Old Madam Qi asked generously.
Shen Ziqiao thought about it carefully. “It’s best if we can have hotpot. Have someone buy a few catties of mutton and then use lamp soup as the base. Everyone can eat around the pot and get warmth at the same time. Grandmother, that’d be a fun experience.”
Old Madam Qi enjoyed being together with people so she said, “I’ll listen to you.”
Nanny Tian smiled. “This maid will have someone buy mutton right now.”
Shen Ziqiao helped Old Madam Qi sit on the bed while Hong Yu and Mo Zhu fixed up the cards.
At this time, a maid guarding the door outside walked in hesitatingly. “Old Madam, First Madam, a maid wants to see First Madam outside.”
“If they need anything, have them come back later.” Shen Ziqiao thought of the letter from this morning and she didn’t want to see the maid in the least bit.
Not long later, another servant came to report Luo Family’s eldest miss’ presence.
Luo Zhaohua? What did she need?
“Go work but just don’t forget about hotpot tonight.” Old Madam Qi smiled.
Shen Ziqiao nodded and then went out to greet Luo Zhaohua.
“...Instead of staying at home and waiting to get married, why did you come out?” Shen Ziqiao held onto her arms and sat down. Luo Zhaohua’s marriage was set in the beginning of spring.
Luo Zhaohua glared. “You think that I want to come outside? It’s freezing out here and it’s much warmer at home. The one time I come out and you’re scolding me. If you don’t want to see me, I won’t come in the future.”
“I don’t dare to scold you. I’m just joking.” Shen Ziqiao hurriedly kissed up. “Are you here to see if I got bullied or not? Don’t worry, I have a backer. Qi Zheng wouldn’t dare to bully me.”
“Who’s talking to you about this?” Luo Zhaohua exclaimed moodily. This woman dared to say anything. “Actually...someone specially asked me to come seek you out.”
Shen Ziqiao narrowed her eyes as if a cold glint had flashed by. However, she smiled and asked faintly, “Who?”
Luo Zhaohua pursed her lips and said moodily, “The Ninth Prince. He wants to meet you.”
“Zhaohua, do you know what you’re doing?” Shen Ziqiao’s face darkened a bit and stared at her sternly.
“I know this doesn’t fit the rules but he wants you to visit Sheng Peiyin…” Luo Zhaohua lowered her head, feeling guilty. She knew that it would be bad for her to visit the Ninth Prince in private. If someone finds out, who knows what sort of insults they’ll throw at her.
But...but Jiao Jiao used to be in love with the Ninth Prince cared about nothing...
Shen Ziqiao sneered. “Why should I go visit Sheng Peiyin? What does she have to do with me? Zhaohua, the Ninth Prince isn’t afraid of people talking about him but won’t you think about me? You think that I’m still the Shen Ziqiao from the past?”
Luo Zhaohua hurriedly said, “Of course I don’t think that. It’s just…”
“Just that your future husband’s family has a great relationship with the Ninth Prince so you thought you have to help him?” Shen Ziqiao asked coldly.
Luo Zhaohua’s face paled and she apologized softly, “I’m sorry. Don’t be mad at me, okay?”
She thought that there was nothing wrong with Sheng Peiyin. Even more, the Ninth Prince would owe her a favor. Not only that, didn’t Shen Ziqiao...she thought that she would agree to something little like this.
Shen Ziqiao stared at her coquettishly and she exclaimed in a low voice, “Zhaohua, you have to remember that I’m not the Shen Ziqiao in the past.”
She wasn’t the stupid original body that would sacrifice herself for the Ninth Prince.
Luo Zhaohua’s face flushed due to shame. “I know.”
Shen Ziqiao shook her head. “Don’t act like you owed me money. I’m not angry.”
“Jiao Jiao, you’re the best.” Luo Zhaohua finally sighed. “Say, why does Sheng Peiyin want to meet you? You used to be great friends with her but she didn’t feel the same towards you.”
“Probably...she wants to meet me before dying.” Shen Ziqiao said mockingly.
Luo Zhaohua didn’t think otherwise. But she thought it was strange that Shen Ziqiao said Sheng Peiyin was going to die soon. “Don’t you know yet? The emperor visited her and let her go.”