Shen Ziqiao changed into the pleated skirt that Luo Zhaohua had someone prepare. After changing, a maid led her to another courtyard. However, Shen Ziqiao stopped and said to the maid, “The banquet hasn’t ended yet. Lead me back to the garden.”
Plum Appreciation Banquet was set in the garden.
The maid was under Luo Zhaohua’s order. Hearing Shen Ziqiao’s words now, a glint of shock flickered over their face but they led her back to the banquet.
Luo Zhaohua froze seeing her.
That quick? They already finished or did they never meet? What happened? She looked at her maid and the latter lowered her head and whispered a few words in her ears. Luo Zhaohua waved her hands and dismissed her, expressionless.
The banquet continued. Next, they were drinking and making poems. Shen Ziqiao wasn’t really interested. Although Tao Shuilian wanted to make things difficult for her, she was stopped by both Luo Zhaohua and Zuo Qingxin. Instead, Zuo Qingxin had been hard on her.
The banquet finally ended. Luo Zhaohua purposely kept Shen Ziqiao as she sent off the other guests. Then, she pulled her back into the room and asked, “Jiao Jiao, why didn’t you go see the Ninth Prince? He’s still there waiting now.”
Shen Ziqiao shook her head. She was going to but after changing her skirt, she suddenly recalled a question she always neglected.
If Sheng Peiyin already denied that she was Ma Beirong, why would she go and see her still? She didn’t recognize Ma Beirong herself nor would the latter know her either. Then why should they meet?
Therefore, Shen Ziqiao didn’t think that Sheng Peiyin wanted to meet her. Rather, she has some schemes up her hand.
She wasn’t an expert in scheming nor was she extremely intelligent. Since coming here, she had been pushing through without thinking much. Luck was half the reason why she was about to survive and live until today. However, luck would never always be with her. Especially after Sheng Peiyin transformed into Ma Beirong. She knew even better that Sheng Peiyin was much more lucky than her.
Although the plot had deviated from the novel, many details in the novel were still working to change the plot around. It was still in favor of Sheng Peiyin.
She didn’t want to face Sheng Peiyin head on after she just got back up.
“I thought there was no need to meet her anymore.” Shen Ziqiao naturally didn’t tell Luo Zhaohua about her thoughts. It was better if only she knew some things.
Luo Zhaohua was a bit anxious however. “Then what should I tell the Ninth Prince? I arranged this but you don’t want to meet her in the end. The Ninth Prince will think that I did a poor job arranging this and that I am playing with him.”
Although the Ninth Prince was just an idle prince, he was a prince at the very least. She’d suffer from offending him.
Shen Ziqiao was embarrassed. She did plan on meeting the Ninth Prince but she kept feeling like she had neglected something after coming here. She just understood after changing her clothes.
“I just understood some things too. Why don’t you just tell the Ninth Prince the truth? He’ll naturally understand.” Shen Ziqiao said.
Although Luo Zhaohua didn’t know why Shen Ziqiao suddenly changed her mind, she wasn’t really angry either. “What are you saying?”
Shen Ziqiao thought about it and exclaimed, “Everything might not look the same as it did on the surface and in reality.”
Sheng Peiyin wasn’t Sheng Peiyin. There was no way she wanted to meet her. Why did the Ninth Prince want to see her? Shen Ziqiao could probably guess too. It was for Sheng Peiyin anyway.
Shen Ziqiao was really unhappy thinking of this.
The Ninth Prince was going to marry Shen Zixin, yet he still paid a lot of attention to Sheng Peiyin’s matters. What was he up to? He still liked her?
Since he couldn’t forget about Sheng Peiyin, why did he request to marry Shen zixin?
Although Luo Zhaohua didn’t understand Shen Ziqiao, she still brought her message to the Ninth Prince.
Shen Ziqiao left the Luo Family. When the carriage left the Luo Family’s door, it was stopped.
“First Madam, it’s the Ninth Prince.” Hong Yu looked out of the carriage curtain. She wore a serious expression and seemed to be angry. She couldn’t help but look worriedly at Shen Ziqiao.
What did he want? Shen Ziqiao exclaimed unhappily, “Ask him what exactly he wants.”
“First Madam Qi, this prince wants to request your help.” The Ninth Prince’s gentle voice rang. It was hard to be hostile towards him when he was being polite.
Shen Ziqiao confirmed her thoughts. “Ninth Prince, why bother? Since she’s not her anymore, even if I go meet her, it’s still the same result.”
The Ninth Prince said in a low voice, “She already lost her mind. You used to be so close to her so maybe you can prove that she isn’t Ma Beirong.”
“I’m enemies with her, Ninth Prince.” Shen Ziqiao exclaimed hilariously.
“That’s why you know her the most.” The Ninth Prince said, “For the emperor…”
Shen Ziqiao cut him off. “Ninth Prince, you’re about to get married so don’t you think you shouldn’t be concerned over a woman that has nothing to do with you? No matter who the person is in the palace, as long as the emperor wants her, it doesn’t matter what other people do. Are you nervous that she might expose you one day or that you didn’t want to be abandoned by her?”
The Ninth Prince’s face paled hearing the harsh truth.
Shen Ziqiao didn’t need to look to know what his reaction meant. She shook her head and sighed softly. “Ninth Prince, live in the present and treasure it.”
If she hadn’t seen him sacrifice himself to protect Sheng Peiyin in the northwest, Shen Ziqiao wouldn’t be sympathetic towards the pitiful male supporting lead. If the Ninth Prince didn’t fall in love with Sheng Peiyin, his life wouldn’t be so much of a failure.
The Ninth Prince froze and then he heard her exclaim, “I don’t care why you want to marry my sister but please remember that it’s not a good feeling to betray someone else.”
Was she warning him to be good to Shen Zixin?
“Why...why did you change so much? The Ninth Prince has had this question in mind for many years. After he was mocked by her in Sheng Peiyin’s restaurant, she has looked at him in disgust ever since. That or she always hid from him like he was some ferocious beast. She was completely different from the Shen Ziqiao that always pursued him in the past.
He didn’t know that a person could change so quickly.
Shen Ziqiao laughed. “I had survived a near death experience. Back then, the Ninth Prince caused me to become a sinner whose reputation was tarnished at the Thousand Buddhas Temple. Why bother asking today now?”
She didn’t believe that he was ignorant of the matters in Thousand Buddhas Temple. He just turned a blind eye so that Shen Ziqiao could leave him alone.
The Ninth Prince froze. It was actually from then, huh?...
Right. Shen Ziqiao knew Qi Zheng at that time. Back then, he heard that the emperor had the intention of bestowing marriage to him and the woman was Shen Ziqiao. That’s why he wanted to use the fact that Sheng Peiyin and that woman were best friends to get Shen Ziqiao to marry Qi Zheng, that fool, in order to escape her pestering.
Who knew that Shen Ziqiao actually married Qi Zheng but he wasn’t a fool.
Shen Ziqiao ordered the driver, “Let’s head back.”
She noticed that Qi Zheng was already back when she returned and he was reading in his study right now.
“How long has the eldest master been back for?” Shen Ziqiao removed the cloak and asked Mo Zhu.
“About an hour. He ordered this maid to tell him when you’re back.” Mo Zhu replied.
Shen Ziqiao said, “It’s fine. I’m going to his study.”
Because Sheng Peiyin had transformed into Ma Beirong, Qi Zheng canceled his vacation and had only come back after a few tireless days of traveling. It was rare that he had come back this early.
Qi Zheng refused to let anyone close to his study. When Shen Ziqiao came, the boy servant outside the study had gently opened the door for her.
When she first came to this study, she was stopped by a servant. Later on, they were scolded by Qi Zheng. Ever since, she got the green light to Qi Zheng’s study.
When she entered, she saw Qi Zheng sitting behind the desk reading as if he hadn’t detected her.
He’s that focused? Shen Ziqiao walked slowly and tipped toe over. She was about to scare him when Qi Zheng suddenly brought her into his arms. He laughed. “You want to scare me just like that?”
“You already knew!” Shen Ziqiao hmphed. “I thought that you were actually focused on your book.”
Qi Zheng laughed. “Who can’t hear the way you’re walking?”
Shen Ziqiao’s face purposely darkened. “Are you saying that I’m not walking like a proper lady?”
“How dare I?” Qi Zheng sat her on his thighs. “Did you have fun at the Luo Family?”
“Mn, pretty good.” Shen Ziqiao leaned against his chest and listened to his heartbeat. “I encountered the Ninth Prince outside the Luo Family and we talked for a bit.”
Qi Zheng hummed softly, not really caring. “What did you guys talk about?”
“He wants me to visit Sheng Peiyin in the palace and find clues to prove that she is Sheng Peiyin.” Shen Ziqiao replied.
“What did you say?” Qi Zheng knitted his dashing brows.
Shen Ziqiao played with his fingers. “I obviously didn’t listen to him. Why should I point out Sheng Peiyin’s identity when the emperor likes her? Who would even do that?”
Qi Zheng curled his lips up. “Read to me.”
“Can’t you read it yourself?” Shen Ziqiao rejected. Her head felt dizzy looking at the traditional words.
“I like hearing your voice, especially when you’re stirred…” Qi Zheng lowered his voice, his lips pressed against her ears.
Shen Ziqiao’s face flushed and she glared at him.
Qi Zheng lowered his head and captured her lips, lightly sucking. His masculine aura took over her senses.
“Jiao Jiao…” Qi Zheng hoarsely called her.
He placed his hands on her thigh and asked panting, “Is it gone? Is your period gone?”
Shen Ziqiao had her period a few days ago so he had been holding in his desires.
“It’s been gone since yesterday.” Shen Ziqiao said in a small voice. She just finished when he captured her lips. The gentle kisses became feverish and passionate.
“Ah!” Shen Ziqiao felt herself being carried. She let out a gasp and placed her arms around his shoulders tightly.
“Qi Zheng, what, what are you doing?” Shen Ziqiao’s face was red. He...he’s not thinking about doing this in the study right?...
Qi Zheng carried her behind the screen of the study.