The next day, a thin layer of sweat appeared on Shen Ziqiao’s body as she hugged the blankets. Thankfully, the countryside was cool and chilly, so she had a comfortable sleep. If it weren’t for Hong Yu coming in and waking her up, who knew when she was going to wake up.
“Third Miss, the Qi Family’s people are here to pick up Young Master Qi.” Hong Yu brushed Shen Ziqiao’s hair for her. She was forced to wake up Shen Ziqiao since Qi Zheng’s subordinates were here to pick him up, and they wanted to thank the Third Miss in person.
Originally, Hong Yu was going to reject the request, but seeing that the Third Miss seemed quite close to Young Master Qi, she decided to ask Third Miss first.
“Then let him go. Did he expect me to set off firecrackers and send him off?” Shen Ziqiao said.
Hong Yu helped Shen Ziqiao wear an autumn green embroidered thin muslin along with a crescent moon white pleated skirt. Hong Ying brought over a bowl of rice congee and several kinds of pickled cucumbers.
Shen Ziqiao enjoyed eating it and said, “This tastes better than the ones made at all. Who made this?”
“It was Lady Meng.” After Hong Yu said this, she carefully observed Shen Ziqiao’s expression.
“Mn, she has great cooking skills.” Shen Ziqiao praised calmly and said, “I need to get to know the people that work here.”
After all, she was one of the bosses here, and she needed to meet her employees. Only after getting to know them would she be able to get along with them in the future.
Hong Yu was stunned and stared at Shen Ziqiao from her current spot.
“What’s the matter?” Shen Ziqiao asked confusedly, “Is there something on my face?”
Maybe so many years had passed, so the Third Miss had forgotten about Lady Meng and the rest. Hong Yu thought about this and said, “Third Miss, Young Master Qi is waiting for you outside.”
Shen Ziqiao dawdled and took a while before she finally brought Hong Yu out to see Qi Zheng.
There was a young man in a servant’s outfit standing behind Qi Zheng. Seeing that Shen Ziqiao had walked out, he bowed and said, “Third Miss Shen.”
“Have a pleasant journey, Young Master Qi. I won’t be seeing you off. Exit the door, turn left and head out.” Shen Ziqiao smiled a fake smile and waved at Qi Zheng.
Qi Zheng smiled foolishly at her.
Uncle Qun who stood behind Qi Zheng smiled slightly and said, “Thank you Third Miss Shen for helping our Young Master yesterday. It’s all this servant’s fault for losing the young master. This servant really doesn’t know how to repay Third Miss.”
“Repay the favor?” Shen Ziqiao revealed a mischievous smile and pointed at Qi Zheng, “Let your Young Master devote his time to me and let me order him around for a few days.”
When Uncle Qun heard this, his face turned green. Thankfully, he could tell that it was a joke and he stiffly smiled, saying, “Third Miss, you really enjoy joking around.”
“I’m not joking.” Shen Ziqiao said in a proper manner, “Your Young Master has dragged me down, so I’m seeking some compensation. I had to keep him safe from the wild beasts, giving him a place to live and food to eat. You guys must feel embarrassed to just say ‘thank you’ to me without giving me any compensation, right?”
They originally planned to just thank her, but they couldn’t say that anymore.
Hong Yu who stood behind Shen Ziqiao felt even more awkward. Third Miss, didn’t you want Young Master Qi to live in the wooden shed last night? How come after a night’s sleep, you claim that you were giving him a place to live and food to eat?
Qi Zheng stared at Shen Ziqiao with his dark eyes and a smile seemed to flicker through the deep part of his eyes.
Uncle Qun probably didn’t expect that Shen Ziqiao… Was so blunt. He didn’t know what to say right now.
“Uncle Qun, if you want to thank her, you need to give her silvers.” Qi Zheng said naively to Uncle Qun.
Shen Ziqiao’s eyes brightened.
One of the servants behind Qi Zheng said, embarrassed, “Young Master, Third Miss Shen won’t accept the silvers.”
Which young miss of an affluent family would care about money? Especially Third Miss Shen of the Shen Family, who spent an incredible amount of money daily. They would be mocked for repaying favor with money.
“Who said that?!” Shen Ziqiao smiled and said. When she looked at Qi Zheng, her gaze seemed to be saying 'you know your ways'. “Money is a good thing. Young Master, how much money are you planning to compensate me?”
How come it became like this...
Hong Yu was left alone to her confused thoughts. It seemed like Third Miss became much more shameless recently.
“How about 1,000 silvers?” Qi Zheng purposely asked hesitatingly, smiling innocently like a ten years old.
“You’re too polite. It’s settled, then.” Shen Ziqiao said.
Uncle Qun probably didn’t think that Shen Ziqiao would really dare to ask for silvers. He was quite surprised and gained more knowledge on her behavior.
Under Qi Zheng’s hurrying, Uncle Qun gave Shen Ziqiao a banknote worth one thousand silver.
Shen Ziqiao smiled and watched them leave, saying, “Have a pleasant journey. I’ll be watching you guys from here.”
Qi Zheng stood in the front and suddenly turned around when he heard her talk. He revealed a splendid smile and asked, “Can that 1,000 silver be considered as dowry?”
Seeing a super handsome guy smiling splendidly and brightly in front of her, Shen Ziqiao’s heart trembled. However, once hearing his words, her face darkened immediately. “Dowry my butt! Who wants to marry a fool like you?”
Uncle Qun held an unwell expression as he glared at her. Thankfully, Young Master didn’t need to marry such an unscrupulous woman. She doesn’t even act composed or virtuous, like an unmarried daughter of a noble house should act.
Qi Zheng slightly curled his lips, happily got in the horse carriage, and left.
Hong Yu held in the urge to cover her face and sigh. She pulled on Shen Ziqiao’s sleeves and said, “Third Miss, how can you actually… How can you ask Young Master Qi for money?”
“If I don’t take the money, wouldn’t it be my loss?” I’ll probably be struck by lightning if I don’t take the silvers.
“Third Miss, you…” Hong Yu stared at Shen Ziqiao’s happy expression as she received the banknotes, saying helplessly, “You weren’t like this in the past.”
Shen Ziqiao softly coughed and turned around to pat Hong Yu’s shoulders in seriousness. She said meaningfully, “Hong Yu, everyone changes. Do you like how I was back then? I was living such a chaotic life back then and ended up almost getting schemed against. I am doing all of this to survive.”
Hong Yu was shocked and asked, “Who dares to scheme against the Third Miss?”
“How else did you think I entered Qi Zheng’s room when I was at the Thousands Buddha Temple? Someone must’ve wanted to harm me.” Shen Ziqiao said.
“Does the Third Miss know who it is?” Hong Yu asked nervously.
Isn’t it just Sheng Peiyin? However, no one would believe her if she said this. The heroine's persona was very strong. She smiled and said, “If I knew, why would I be here?”
Hong Yu was already aware and believed that Shen Family wanted to harm Third Miss, so she couldn’t help but pity Shen Ziqiao even more. “Third Miss, this servant girl will always protect you.”
Shen Ziqiao nodded, feeling touched.
When they returned to the courtyard, they saw a few women wearing simple but coarse clothes standing under the steps. Hong Ying was chatting happily with one of them and she didn’t even notice Shen Ziqiao coming in.
“Third Miss, these are the women working in the yard. Do you still remember them?” Hong Yu tested and asked.
Shen Ziqiao nodded. Under Hong Yu’s surprised gaze, she replied, “I saw them yesterday. Of course I remember.”
Hong Yu sighed disappointedly. “That’s Lady Meng and Lady Lin. They're…”
“Third Miss is here.” Hong Ying finally noticed them and called out happily, cutting off what Hong Yu was about to say.
The row of people under the steps bowed at Shen Ziqiao and said in unison, “Third Miss.”
Shen Ziqiao smiled and nodded. She motioned for them to get up and said, “Please get up quickly, please get up quickly. We just came here, so please take care of us.”
Everyone stared at her in shock.
Did I say something wrong? Shen Ziqiao thought confusedly. She had just noticed that something was wrong. The way they gazed at her… Have we met before? Wasn’t I kicked to this place for the first time?
Why do they resent me?
Hong Yu walked to her side and introduced in a low voice, “Third Miss, this is Lady Meng, Lady Li, Hai Tang, Zhi Shui...They’re all the Madam’s previous personal maids and accompanying mamas.”
Madam Shen’s accompanying mama? Why is she here?
Shen Ziqiao was frozen.