Shen Ziqiao thought that Sheng Peiyin wouldn’t look for her anymore. At least not so quickly.
She hadn’t missed Sheng Peiyin’s expression of disbelief on the streets yesterday. Sheng Peiyin seemed to be confused as to why Qi Zheng had ignored her. Such a brilliant and glamorous beautiful woman was standing in front of him, yet he refused to talk to her.
To speak the truth, even Shen Ziqiao found it impossible.
Sheng Peiying was the lovable heroine. Normally, Qi Zheng should act like the other male side leads, worshipping her on a pedestal and listening to her…
Perhaps Qi Zheng really was different.
“Jiao Jiao, what are you thinking?” Sheng Peiyin was talking when she noticed that Shen Ziqiao’s gaze had drifted away. She wasn’t listening to her at all. Sheng Peiyin was annoyed and tugged on Shen Ziqiao moodily.
It hurts! Shen Ziqiao snapped out of her trance and rubbed her arm in pain. Stupid woman. She dared to pinch her!
“Sister Sheng, I’m listening, I’m listening.” Shen Ziqiao furrowed her brows unhappily.
“Then, you want to go with me?” Sheng Peiyin asked.
Shen Ziqiao was confused. She wasn’t even listening to Sheg Peiyin, so how did she know what she was talking about? “Go where?”
“It’s Princess Nihong’s birthday tomorrow. Come with me to celebrate her birthday.” Sheng Peiyin stared at Shen Ziqiao’s childish and immature face. In terms of appearance and talent, she was much better than Shen Ziqiao. She didn’t believe that Qi Zheng would actually be interested in Shen Ziqiao.
“No. Princess Nihong didn’t give me an invitation. It isn’t good if I go abruptly.”
Shen Ziqiao immediately rejected it. She knew that the princess was the emperor’s cousin. She was arrogant and indifferent. Her daughter-in-laws were really scared of her.
Only the young son that she pampered the most hadn’t gotten married yet.
Shen Ziqiao lifted her brows and glanced at Sheng Peiyin. Could it be that Sheng Peiyin and the princess’ young son had a thing?
It seemed like....she couldn’t remember anything about it.
“Who said that the princess has not given you an invitation? Your family probably doesn’t want you to go.” Sheng Peiyin smiled. No matter what, Princess Nihong would definitely invite Shen Ziqiao.
“I’m still reflecting at home.” Shen Peiyin bitterly smiled.
Sheng Peiyin said, “Let me talk to the Old Madam. You’ll be able to come with me tomorrow then.”
It was obviously best if she wasn’t locked in her room anymore. But Shen Ziqiao really didn’t want to go to Princess Nihong’s place.
“Then many thanks to Sister Sheng. I was going to be bored at home.” Shen Ziqiao smiled.
Sheng Peiyin glanced at her coquettishly, pretending to be angry, “I’ve done everything I can for you. Brat, you lack the conscience to do the same for me. You always hide your thoughts inside and keep things from me. Do you still treat me as your sister?”
Shen Ziqiao widened her eyes and looked at Sheng Peiyin innocently. “When didn’t I treat you as a sister?”
How would she dare to treat Sheng Peiyin as her sister? A sister like her was toxic.
“What’s the matter between you and Qi Zheng? Don’t tell me that you don’t know him. I’m not blind. He only talked to you yesterday.” Sheng Peiyin was bitter in her heart, yet she said in a gentle voice, “You already knew Qi Zheng before meeting him at the Thousands Buddha Temple?”
It seemed like Sheng Peiyin minded Qi Zheng’s indifference towards her. Shen Ziqiao found this hilarious. Could it be that outstanding men all have to love Sheng Peiyin and worship her? If she encountered a man that was slightly indifferent to her, she made it seem like she had suffered grievances. She’s a little bitch!
“I really don’t know him. I have never seen him before the Thousands Buddha Temple encounter.” Sheng Ziqiao said helplessly. She hadn’t lived in this strange and bizarre place before that encounter!
Sheng Peiyin didn’t believe in Shen Ziqiao’s words. “You lack conscience! You’re still not telling me the truth. If you didn’t know him before this, then why would he help you at the Thousands Buddha Temple? He even followed you to the village and he only talked to you yesterday…”
Shen Ziqiao half-smiled. “Sister Sheng, why do you think that Young Master Qi had helped me in the Thousands Buddha Temple?”
Before Sheng Peiyin could respond, Shen Ziqiao smiled and asked, “Sister Sheng is so strange today. You’re always talking about Qi Zheng. Could it be…”
“Nonsense!” Sheng Peiyin emotionally glared at her. “I’m just concerned for you. Weren’t the Qi and Shen Family talking about marriage earlier on? If I don’t get enough information, how could I be at ease to let you marry him?”
Shen Ziqiao purposely called out, embarrassed, “What marriage? Sister Sheng, you’re not even embarrassed to say this.”
Sheng Peiyin glanced at Shen Ziqiao’s bashful expression, wanting to slap the smile off her face.
An unmarried woman would obviously be shy when talking about marriage. However, Sheng Peiyin wasn’t an ordinary woman. She naturally wouldn’t pretend or put up a facade. Normally, she might pretend to be shy, but she forgot to do so today. When she saw Shen Ziqiao’s bashful expression, she thought that Qi Zheng and this straw bag really had a secret that she didn’t know. She was so jealous that her heart ached.
“Now you know to be shy? How come you didn’t know to act shy in front of the Ninth Prince?”
Sheng Peiyin couldn’t help but provoke Shen Ziqiao with the Ninth Prince.
She thought that the Ninth Prince was Shen Ziqiao’s kryptonite. Even if Shen Ziqiao said that she would never like the Ninth Prince anymore when they were at the Shangpin Teahouse, Sheng Peiyin didn’t believe in this. She thought that Shen Ziqiao was only saying this for her face.
Shen Ziqiao sighed and said, “Don’t mention the Ninth Prince.”
Sheng Peiyin glanced at the upset Shen Ziqiao in satisfaction. She heard that he was going to get married.
What does this have to do with her?! Shen Ziqiao rolled her eyes. “Sister Sheng, let’s not talk about him. Why don’t you tell me what we should do when we’re at Princess Nihong’s place tomorrow?”
“Ok.” Sheng Peiyin’s smile deepened and she was in a better mood.
She didn’t know what Sheng Peiyin had said to Old Madam Shen, but the latter actually allowed Shen Ziqiao to attend Princess Nihong’s birthday banquet.
Princess Nihong’s husband was from the Luo Family. Her husband was a marquis. Rumor had it that Marquis Luo was terrified of her wife. Don’t mention taking a concubine in, but he didn’t dare to have a thing with any woman. He lived with Princess Nihong and she was in charge of the family matters.
Shen Ziqiao didn’t know if this was her first time at the Luo Family. She didn’t dare to look around. She sat up cautiously in the blue-ish green tented horse-drawn carriage. When she passed by the garden, she looked up to see all sorts of trees and plants. The building was glamorous and majestic, as expected from a prestigious and aristocratic family. The feeling was different.
They were brought to Princess Nihong’s courtyard. There were quite a few women sitting in the main hall. Princess Nihong wore a rose-colored gown with the word ‘shou’ (birthday in Chinese) embroidered on it. She sat up straight on the master seat, smiling faintly with her exquisite-looking face. Although she was smiling, it was a distant smile. The people around her talked to one another. She just nodded and answered from time to time, not really chatting enthusiastically.
There were a total of four chairs on either side of the hall. There was a table in the middle with refreshments and tea on top.
Shen Ziqiao walked in behind Sheng Peiyin. Everyone quietened down and observed them.
There was not a single person that Shen Ziqiao recognized, but she believed that everyone knew her.
Sheng Peiyin wore a new purple feathered muslin paired with a white embroidered pleated skirt. She combed her hair up and a pair of coral turquoise and beeswax hairpin was inserted in her hair. She wore a pair of exquisite butterfly designed golden earrings. The sunshine shone in from the crack of the window, shining on her earrings. It made her look more charming and generous as she looked extremely beautiful. The moment she showed up, she stole everyone’s attention. Meanwhile, Shen Ziqiao only wore a partly new green muslin embroidered with flower designs. She wore pigtails and she still possessed the innocence of a child. She stood next to Sheng Peiyin, congratulating, “Princess, may your happiness be as immense as the East Sea and you live as long as the Zhongnan Mountains…” Sheng Peiyin curtsied and sweetly congratulated the princess as well. “This is the scroll consisting of one hundred ways of writing ‘shou’ that Peiyin personally embroidered for you. Your Highness, I hope you won’t mind this gift.”
Princess Nihong faintly smiled. “Lady Sheng, you’re quite thoughtful. You must’ve taken a long time to embroider this scroll.”
Sheng Peiyin smiled and said, “Princess isn’t a common person like Peiyin. You naturally won’t be interested if I just gifted you anything. Therefore, Peiyin decided to put her skills to use and personally embroidered this scroll for you.”
“Everyone knows that your embroidery skills are incomparable to anyone else’s.” Princess Nihong’s smile became more warm.
While Sheng Peiyin was talking to Princess Nihong, Shen Ziqiao looked down and observed everyone. Her eyes were dazzled by the golden hairpins on their heads.
They were all wealthy and rich, yet she didn’t know any one of them. What if someone came to greet her? Wouldn’t she make a fool out of herself if she couldn’t recognize them?
Sheng Peiyin was obviously bringing her trouble.
“What’s wrong with the little unruly monkey behind you? How come she said nothing today?” Princess Nihong seemed to be saying this teasingly, her eyes smiling as she looked at Shen Ziqiao.
Little unruly monkey? Was she talking about her? Shen Ziqiao glanced strangely at Princess Nihong. Seeing that she was staring at herself, she couldn’t help but dryly laugh. She stupidly said, “Princess, happy birthday!”
Princess Nihong didn’t mind Shen Ziqiao’s foolishness at all. “I know you must’ve been bored at home all these days. Old Madam Shen said that you’re not allowed to leave the house to prevent you from causing trouble. Thank goodness for your Sister Sheng today, otherwise don’t think about leaving the house. Quickly come over.”
Shen Ziqiao was stupefied. Princess Nihong was that nice to her?
Why did it feel like the plot had gone on the wrong path?
“Your Highness.” Shen Ziqiao moved to Princess Nihong’s side nervously, cautiously greeting. She still hadn’t processed the situation yet.
She didn’t remember Princess Nihong being that kind to Shen Ziqiao.
“We haven’t seen each other for a few days, so why does it feel like you’ve changed?” Princess Nihong pulled Shen Ziqiao to sit on the wooden chair with her. “You became a little skinny. It’s all because you’re too playful and naughty, always angering your grandmother.”
“I didn’t.” Shen Ziqiao explained, “I’ve been obedient lately.”
Shen Ziqiao finished talking and gazed at Sheng Peiyin who sat besides her to see her stiff expression. Although she was smiling splendidly, it seemed forced. Probably this heroine didn’t know why Princess Nihong was that nice to her as well.
Silent cries. She didn’t know either. Can someone tell her whose side Princess Nihong is on?