With Mama Li’s support, Old Madam Shen sat up straighter and lifted the teacup from the table. However, she didn’t drink the tea. She kept her head down, staring at the steam. “You are very familiar with Miss Liu?”

“I have seen her a few times. Sister Yunmeng is very kind.” Shen Ziqiao smiled and said genuinely, “I truly like her.”

Not only wasn’t Old Madam Shen’s expression very good, but even Sheng Peiyin couldn’t maintain her smile.

Recently, Shen Ziqiao had been saying that she didn’t like Liu Yunmeng purposely pleasing her. How come she said she liked Liu Yunmeng a lot when in front of Old Madam Shen?

Did this straw bag see through something? Was she purposely deceiving her?

“Young girls her age are already mothers. What is good about her?” Old Madam Shen said with dislike, “I am tired.”

Sheng Peiyin reluctantly smiled and said, “Then we must not keep Old Madam from resting.”

Shen Ziqiao stood up and smiled sweetly, “Grandmother, we will be heading back. We shall come and pay our respects to you tomorrow.”

She must be coming here tomorrow to cause trouble! Old Madam Shen humphed in her heart.

Quickly walking out of De’an Courtyard, Sheng Peiyin had a calm look despite feeling an intense rage, the likes which she had never felt before. She felt like she had been made a fool in front of Shen Ziqiao, who treated her like a joke. As it turned out, she already thought Liu Yunmeng was a great woman. It was clear that when Shen Ziqiao said she didn’t like Liu Yinmeng, she was just toying with her and giving a half-hearted response.

Shen Ziqiao knew why Sheng Peiyin was angry. If she could, she really wanted to end relations with this heroine.

However, it wasn’t time for that yet!

“Sister Sheng! Sister Sheng, wait for me.” Shen Ziqiao helplessly sighed before pretending to anxiously chase after her.

“What does Third Miss Shen want to say?” Sheng Peiyin glanced at her coldly.

Shen Ziqiao tugged on her hand and asked in a low voice, “What is the matter with you?”

Sheng Peiyin sneered and asked, “What is the matter with me? I have been trying to help you all this time, but you must be looking down on me in your heart for talking bad about Sister Yunmeng. Since you like her so much, why bother putting on a show in front of me?”

“Sister Sheng, you misunderstood me. I really do not want her to become my stepmother.” Shen Ziqiao chuckled, acting like a spoiled child. “It is not like you do not know, but I am unfavorable to the Old Madam. If she finds out that I do not like Liu Yunmeng, she definitely will force my father to marry her. Now that I said I like her, Old Madam definitely will not like her now.”

They were talking in the garden. Although there were no maids passing by, it was hard to guarantee whether someone was standing in a hidden corner. Sheng Peiyin hurriedly covered her mouth and said, “What nonsense are you saying? If Old Madam hears it, she will give you a harsh punishment.”

Shen Ziqiao proudly raised her chin and said, “I am not afraid since my father will be coming back.”

Behind the fake mountains, a flicker of green flashed by.

“You really…” Sheng Peiyin burst into laughter. She knew very well that Old Madam Shen didn't like Shen Ziqiao, so her explanation wasn’t strange. “You always go against your grandmother. Are you not afraid of her getting angry at you?”

Shen Ziqiao snorted and said, “Well, is she not angry at me now? Whenever I displeased her, she would always go on a lengthy rant about my mistakes.”

“The Old Madam is trying to do good for you.” Sheng Peiyin smiled and said.

“Then I beg her not to be so nice to me.” Shen Ziqiao pursed her lips and said, “Sister Sheng, do you want to visit my place?”

Sheng Peiyin shook her head and said, “No, I have other matters to attend to. I will come and find you in a few days.”

“Ok.” Shen Ziqiao smiled and accompanied her to the door. Once Sheng Peiyin got into the horse carriage, Shen Ziqiao finally walked back to her Qiao Xin courtyard.

She was an intelligent female side lead.

Sheng Peiyin wanted her to dislike Liu Yunmeng, so she would be able to do as she wished. But if she didn’t dislike Liu Yunmeng, the Old Madam would definitely make Shen Xiao marry her. In order to prevent Sheng Peiyin from causing trouble, she was forced to say that she liked Liu Yunmeng a lot in front of the Old Madam.

The explanation that she gave Sheng Peiyin in the garden probably should’ve reached the Old Madam’s ears by now.  Like this, the Old Madam should probably still like Liu Yunmeng, this daughter-in-law.

Though, she didn’t know what Shen Xiao would think of this. He would probably like her.

After returning to Qiao Xin Courtyard, Shen Ziqiao picked up her writing brush and continued to practice her calligraphy.

Practicing calligraphy could mold her temperament. What she needed most right now was to stay calm no matter what she encountered.

As expected, Old Madam Shen quickly heard what Shen Ziqiao had said at the garden from her trusted aide. She laughed and said, “I did not expect that from her.”

Mama Li massaged her shoulders and said, “Old Madam, sometimes Third Miss is saying the truth and sometimes she is not. We do not know if her words are trustworthy.”

“That is all she can do. It is not like she could do anything.” Old Madam Shen relaxed and felt the ache in her chest vanishing a bit. “I think Young Miss Liu will not be able to connect with her.”

“But we don’t know if the Lord will take a fancy to her or not.” What Mama Li was most worried about was that Shen Xiao would refuse to marry anyone like before.

Old Madam Shen’s expression turned gloomy and said, “All these years have passed. Does he plan on living with her memorial tablet?”

“Old Madam…” Mama Li said in a low voice. It would do them no good if those words spread beyond that room.

“Are there any news about the Qi Family?” The moment Old Madam Shen thought of her short-lived daughter-in-law, she was angry. Therefore, she changed the topic.

Mama Li responded, “I heard that Duke An does not agree to the match and he wants Lady Qi to choose someone else.”

Old Madam Shen curled her lips into a disdainful smile. “Although he has an honorable status, he is still a fool. Someone like him wants to marry a good lady? Even respectable ladies will not marry a fool and ruin their entire lives.”

“Right? Duke An does not even think about who his son is.” Mama Li added.

“We do not need to worry. Lady Qi is an astute and powerful woman. She will give us a response sooner or later.” Old Madam Shen had spent her life examining people. Just one glance and she knew the type of person Xiao Gu was.

Mama Li glanced at Old Madam Shen’s expression and, seeing that she seemed to be in a better mood, she cautiously asked, “Old Madam, look. If Third Miss gets married, will she ask for the Lady’s dowry?”

Old Madam Shen’s expression changed when she heard this and she tightly knitted her eyebrows.

Xiao Pan’s dowry… That was no small amount.