While holding the teacup in one hand, Sheng Peiyin used the lid of the teacup to scrape against the tea. Glancing at the luxurious and poor-tasted room, a tint of disgust and annoyance flickered in her almond-shaped eyes.
She didn’t think that room was Qi Zheng’s. She thought it was just a regular scholar’s room which was why she led Shen Ziqiao over. If Shen Ziqiao really married Qi Zheng, with how valued Duke An is to the emperor, wouldn’t that be increasing Shen Xiao’s power?
But how could she vent her anger if she didn’t ruin Shen Ziqiao’s reputation? She wanted Shen Xiao’s children to have tragic endings.
“Sister Sheng, why did you come?” Shen Ziqiao observed Sheng Peiyin outside the door for a while, taking in her expressions. She couldn’t help but sigh, wondering if she could escape the golden heroine’s schemes.
A gentle smile floated on Sheng Peiyin’s beautiful face. “Jiao Jiao, where did you go?”
Jiao Jiao was Shen Ziqiao’s nickname.
“I just came from grandmother’s place.” Shen Ziqiao sounded dispirited. Naturally nothing good happens when Sheng Peiyin comes to look for her.
“I heard some rumors, so I came over… did Old Madam Shen scold you?” Sheng Peiyin observed Shen Ziqiao’s face. She knew that Old Madam Shen never liked this granddaughter. She must hate her even more after hearing the rumors.
She didn’t know what Old Madam Shen would do about her though.
Shen Ziqiao leaned against the bed, acting like she didn’t care at all. “I’m not ashamed at all. I don’t care what people have to say about me because I know it’s not true for myself. Is it a crime to save someone now?”
Sheng Peiyin didn’t expect these words from an idiot. “We all know you’re doing this out of good intention, but how could the public know? It’ll only ruin your reputation.”
“How could it? When Sister Sheng was in charge of the family, didn't you frequently hang out with men? As long as you explain for me, others naturally won’t misunderstand.” Shen Ziqiao revealed a splendid and innocent smile. Sheng Peiyin wanted to ruin her, but didn’t want to have a fall out with her at the same time. Therefore, why doesn’t she make use of that?
“You want me to explain for you?” Sheng Peiyin was stunned. She wanted to ruin Shen Ziqiao’s reputation, so how could she possibly explain for her?
“Sister Sheng, didn’t you personally see and hear Young Master Qi say that yesterday?” Shen Ziqiao looked innocently at Sheng Peiyin with her cute and round eyes. “There were so many people present yesterday. I wonder who spread those rumors. It seems like that person has enmity to me.”
This idiot… Sheng Peiyin regretted coming here today. She wasn’t willing to explain for Shen Ziqiao, but she was indeed present yesterday.
“Wise people won’t believe in the rumors. The more you try to explain, the more people will think you’re just trying to conceal the truth.” Sheng Peiyin faintly smiled.
Shen Ziqiao grinned. “Sister Sheng is right. I’ll just ignore it then.”
Sheng Peiyin looked up at Shen Ziqiao. She had a round and immature face. Although her eyes weren’t huge, they were captivating and spirited. She wasn’t that beautiful, but was considered quite delicate and cute. She always laughed out loud without a care for her image. Everyone knew her as the ‘idiot’ in the capital, infatuated and in love with the Ninth Prince. She became the laughing stock amongst the young unmarried misses.
Many people were confused as to how Shen Ziqiao and her became besties. Sheng Peiyin thought that she knew how ignorant and immature Shen Ziqiao was, but she felt as though she didn’t know this idiot enough with what happened yesterday at the Thousand Buddha Temple.
“Jiao Jiao, why don’t I go out on a stroll with you?” Sheng Peiyin asked gently.
Shen Ziqiao shook her head. “Grandmother doesn’t let me out.”
“Let me talk to the Old Madam.” Sheng Peiyin gently patted the back of Shen Ziqiao’s hands. She was confident that as long as she went to talk to the Old Madam, she’d definitely allow Shen Ziqiao to leave with her.
“It’s better if you don’t. Next time.” Shen Ziqiao didn’t appreciate her favor. She was worried that Sheng Peiyin would scheme her again.
She couldn’t guard against her schemes. The heroine’s might couldn’t be easily defended against.
Sheng Peiyin could only smile and nod, disappointed in her heart however.
De’an Courtyard, inner room.
Old Madam Shen hadn’t quelled her anger. She hadn’t scolded Shen Ziqiao enough. If it weren’t for Sheng Peiyin’s sudden appearance, Old Madam Shen definitely wouldn’t let her shameful granddaughter go that easily.
Mama Li who had served her for so many years delivered fresh tea and advised, “Old Madam please calm down. It’s not worth getting angry over Third Miss’ stubborn temperament.”
“It’s one thing that she is shameless and did that, but she shouldn’t have made the Shen Family lose face as well.” Old Madam Shen said angrily. She didn’t want to see that granddaughter who jinxed her mother, yet she couldn’t ignore the things she had done.
“Fourth Miss isn’t in the capital, so she won’t be dragged down by the Third Miss. Don’t worry. When the Fourth Miss returns, people will only see how refined and virtuous she is. It’d make the Third Miss look even more unruly and willful.” Mama Li patted Old Madam Shen’s back and said gently, calming her down.
“Zixin will come back sooner or later. How could she not be influenced by this? However, that child is bright and intelligent, completely different from that troublemaker.” When mentioning her favorite legal granddaughter, Old Madam Shen finally revealed a smile.
Shen Zixin was Shen Family’s Second Master, Shen Zhong’s daughter. Shen Zhong and Shen Xiao were both the Old Madam’s sons. Shen Zhong was the prefectural magistrate in Qingle Residence. He should be heading back to the capital for his position this year.
Shen Zhong had one daughter and one son. Both were young. Shen Family’s Second Madam brought the kids back, following her husband’s footsteps.
She was Old Madam Shen’s niece. In order to differentiate the different statues, people addressed her as Xiao Zhou.
“That’s right. The Third Miss can’t be compared to the Fourth Miss. Why not set up a marriage for the Third Miss? This mama thinks that Young Master Qi is a good match for her.” Mama Li smiled.
Old Madam Shen raised her brows. “Duke An’s eldest son?”
“He’s a fool.” Mama Li said, “Not only will becoming relatives with Duke An by marriage be beneficial to the Lord and the young masters’ futures, you’d still be able to control Third Miss.”
“Duke An still hasn’t asked for a decree to announce the heir…” She heard that the position of heir was going to be saved for the eldest son. She was unwilling to let Shen Ziqiao marry well. She didn’t want Zixin to salute Shen Ziqiao in the future.
Mama Li grinned. “How could the position of heir be for a fool? Even if Duke An is willing, Madam Qi still has a son.”
Although Qi Zheng was the eldest legal son, Madam Qi wasn’t his birth mother. His birth mother had already passed away due to sickness fifteen years ago. Xiao Gu was his second wife. She had two sons and a daughter.
Old Madam Shen stayed quiet momentarily before lowering her voice and saying to Mama Li, “Go make inquiries to see which son Duke An favors and want to make a heir.”
Mama Li nodded.