Old Madam Qi’s expression turned worse upon hearing Mo Zhu’s words. However, Qi Rui was still unsatisfied. But at this time, he saw the hint Qi Yun was giving him.
What’s the point of hinting him now?
Xiao Gu quickly sold the maids out because she wanted to hide this. She was sure that Shen Ziqiao wouldn’t dare to complain to the Old Madam but she didn’t expect her son to cause the ruckus.
If she knew, she probably would’ve bashed Qi Rui’s head with a chair.
“Good, good, good!” Old Madam Qi said that three times repeatedly and looked at Qi Rui sternly. “Our third master and also a scholar is actually arrogant and lascivious, placing no one in his eyes. Not only that, he disregards his manners and acts shameless.”
Qi Rui’s face paled. “Grandmother, what did I do?”
“You don’t even know your mistakes. Clearly, you have been undisciplined by your mother. Who is your elder brother? He’s our Qi Family’s eldest grandson and the future heir. How can people just send him impure maids over? How can you just intervene in his courtyard matters as you wish? You, a man that lives alone outside, actually dares to discipline your sister-in-law. You really...really lose our face!” Old Madam Qi was furious. She knew the type of person Xiao Gu was but she didn’t expect her to raise her son into a scoundrel.
“Grandmother…” Qi Rui had never been scolded by someone like this before. He...he got to bully Qi Zheng as he wished in the past. But how come he got a scolding just because he wanted to protect two maids?
He knew that he shouldn’t have intervened in Nee Shen courtyard’s matters but he was just trying to put in some good words for his maids. What’s wrong with that?
How come in these people’s eyes, it seemed like he had done something atrocious?
“Admit your mistake already!” Qi Yun glared at him. She knew about this too. Naturally, she knew that mother was doing this for Qi Rui’s good. It wasn’t something to be broadcasted, yet this Qi Rui was slow and took bullying Qi Zheng to be his habit. Even now, he still thought that Qi Zheng was the same person as he was in the past and he didn’t place Shen Ziqiao in his eyes either.
Others couldn’t tell but she was able to. Shen Ziqiao clearly wanted to stir up trouble by broadcasting this matter and making sure everyone finds out about this.
He just protected two maids no? Yet, Shen Ziqiao just had to bring this onto the issue of her brother-in-law wanting to intervene in his sister-in-law’s disciplining of the maids. She dug the hole for Qi Rui to jump into and caused him to become the laughing stock. Everyone in the residence knew about this and were laughing behind his back.
Qi Rui finally realized his mistake. The Old Madam didn’t look at him like he was her grandson but rather looking at a disgusting stranger.
“Grandmother, I’m at fault too.” Shen Ziqiao knew when to stop. She stopped pretending to be pitiful as she walked to Old Madam Shen’s side. In a low voice, “I didn’t want the maids in the courtyard to casually leave, scared that they may accidentally cause trouble.”
Qi Yun sneered. “Sister-in-law, you’re quite careful.”
Shen Ziqiao said helplessly, “I have to be. After all, I’m not really familiar.”
“Go kneel in the ancestral hall. We’ll decide what to do with you once your father comes back.” Old Madam Qi naturally knew why Xiao Gu sent the two maids over to Qi Zheng. Hmph. She’s quite impatient. Qi Zheng and Shen Ziqiao had just gotten married not too long ago and she was trying to put a wedge in their relationship. She’s probably apprehensive of Qi Zheng now.
Qi Rui’s face paled and his legs felt weak, falling on the ground. Let his father punish him?
“Madam’s here.” A maid reported outside. Xiao Gu had rushed inside.
“Mother, Rui’er made you unhappy?” It was as if Xiao Gu didn’t see Shen Ziqiao. She smiled and greeted the Old Madam before turning to scold Qi Rui, “Can’t I stop being worried for you for a moment? How did you upset the Old Madam? Quickly admit your mistake.”
Old Madam Qi looked coldly at Xiao Gu.
“Grandmother, I know my mistake. I won’t dare to do it again in the future. Don’t punish me...If father finds out, he’ll beat me to death…” Qi Zheng choked and begged Old Madam Qi.
Old Madam Qi stayed silent and closed her eyes to rest.
Seeing that she wasn’t moved in the least bit, Xiao Gu resented her. She gave Qi Feng and Qi Yun a look.
“Grandmother, third brother is still young so he didn’t consider the consequences before doing anything. Please have mercy and give him a chance to redeem himself.” Qi Feng also pleaded for him.
Qi Yun exclaimed, “Right, grandmother. It’s freezing right now and there’s no hand warmer or furnace by the ancestral hall. Third brother will definitely get sick.”
No matter how much the siblings try to plead for him, Old Madam Qi still didn’t talk.
Xiao Gu’s face stiffened. She looked coldly at Shen Ziqiao who was acting nonchalant. She finally lowered her status and kneeled in front of Old Madam Qi. “Mother, it’s all my fault. It’s my fault for indulging Rui’er too much, causing him to be insensible.”
Old Madam Qi gradually opened her eyes and stared at Xiao Gu with a burning gaze. “Right, it’s your fault. You didn’t teach him the manners. At home, only Zheng’er is truly the legal eldest grandson. He’s the future of the Qi Family and the future heir. You have...judge the situation before doing anything. Don’t always treat people as fools!”
“Yes, mother. I’ll remember this.” Xiao Gu lowered her head and said.
“Leave.” Old Madam Qi waved her hands in disgust, dismissing Xiao Gu and Qi Rui. “Reflect upon your mistakes in your room. You’re not allowed to leave until you realize your mistakes.”
Even if he wasn’t punished to kneel, he was put on house arrest.
This was much better than letting Duke An come back and then punish Rui’er.
Xiao Gu pulled Qi Rui behind him as they retreated.
Qi Feng and Qi Yun naturally didn’t feel like staying either. They bid farewell and left. Only Gu Daiqin stood there, reluctant to leave Shen Ziqiao. In the end, she was dragged away by Qi Feng.
“Grandmother…” When Shen Ziqiao was the only one left, she moved closer to Old Madam Qi feeling a bit guilty. “It’s all my fault. I purposely had the two maids seek out third brother-in-law.”
Old Madam Qi chuckled. “Which woman is willing to see a charming maid by their husband’s side? Plus, it’s not like you order them to find Rui’er. They’re not any innocent people. You can’t be blamed for this.”
Shen Ziqiao said, “Third brother-in-law protects them because they already belong to him. Had I secretly sent them to my third brother-in-law, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“They deserved this!” Old Madam Qi hmphed. “Jiao Jiao, I can’t protect you for long. In the future, you’ll have to face even more obstacles and people. You have to know how to protect yourself and Zheng’er.”
Shen Ziqiao could feel Old Madam Qi being biased towards her and Qi Zheng but she didn’t know why. Was it because of guilt?
“Grandmother, I will.” Shen Ziqiao lowered her head. She’d be sure to protect her close friends and family.
“Okay, let’s continue eating.” Old Madam Qi smiled.
This was probably the most irritating and annoying night for Xiao Gu since she married Duke An.
Scold her own son? She didn’t bear to. But she was frustrated by him not meeting her expectations. Therefore, she smashed everything in the room, still unable to vent her anger however.
In the end, Qi Rui was put on house arrest while she fixed herself up and waited for Duke An to come back.
Shen Ziqiao finished eating to her content and then went back to Qianlin Courtyard. She heard about Xiao Gu venting her anger on objects in the room from Lu Zhu. “...All these years, I’ve never seen the madam suffer any losses. No matter what, the Old Madam would turn a blind eye. Who knew that she wasn’t softhearted this time?”
In the past, the Old Madam had turned a blind eye in order to protect Qi Zheng.
If she hadn’t done this, how could Xiao Gu tolerate Qi Zheng, the fool?
Speaking of, with Qi Zheng’s power now, he didn’t need to be apprehensive of Xiao Gu anymore.
“The madam will probably keep an even closer monitor of our Qianlin Courtyard. You guys have to be careful and make sure nothing goes wrong.” Shen Ziqiao ordered Hong Yu and Mo Zhu.
She just finished when Qi Zheng had returned, and caught the last of her words.
“What happened?” Qi Zheng walked in. Some remnants of snow still sit on his shoulders. He took off his overcoat by the door. Seeing the maids all standing here, he thought Shen Ziqiao got bullied.
“Eldest master.” Countless maids bowed and left the room under Shen Ziqiao’s order.
“Why did you just come back? Did you eat?” Shen Ziqiao delivered a cup of warm tea to Qi Zheng.
Qi Zheng’s rough fingers caressed her smooth face and drank the tea in one gulp.
“I’ll have someone prepare the shower for you?” Shen Ziqiao smiled and rubbed her face against his hand.
“Let’s talk first.” Qi Zheng’s voice was magnetic and deep, quite appealing in this quiet room. “Nothing happened in the past two days right?”
He must be suspicious because he heard her words.
Shen Ziqiao pulled him down to sit next to her and poured another cup of tea. “Nothing really happened. Just...I chased away two of your beautiful maids. Please don’t get mad at me.”
Qi Zheng lifted his brows and curled his lips. “You’re that brazen?”
“I offended Qi Rui.” Shen Ziqiao smiled.
“Hm?” Qi Zheng looked interestedly at her. “It seems like people didn’t bully you but the other way around.”
Shen Ziqiao stared at him coquettishly. “How dare I? I’m kind.”
She told him about what happened today. “...Not only did I offend Qi Rui, even Xiao Gu probably hates me to the bones.”
“She won’t dare to insert her people by my side anymore for sure.” A cold glint flashed by Qi Zheng’s eyes.
Shen Ziqiao held onto his arms and said in a low voice, “Grandmother is really biased towards us.”
Qi Zheng didn’t say anything. He smiled and patted her head.
“Right, I still have something to ask you. Sheng Peiyin was really released by the emperor? That Spiritual Master Zhou is helping her right?” Shen Ziqiao recalled what she was concerned with and hurriedly asked Qi Zheng.
“Do you still remember Ma Junfeng, the one we met last time in the forest?” Qi Zheng held back his gaze and asked in a deep voice.