Princess Nihong affectionately asked about Shen Ziqiao. Contrasting her indifference from before, the women sitting on their seats were all shocked.

The woman sitting on the bottom right corner from the master seat covered her mouth and chuckled. “Princess is very nice to Young Miss Shen. Those who are ignorant might think you two are mother and daughter.”

“Her mother was my benefactor. Therefore, I naturally treat Jiao Jiao like my daughter.” Princess Nihong said faintly.

Shen Ziqiao was shocked in her heart. As it turned out, she and Pan Madam knew each other in the past.

“Are you treating her like your daughter or your daughter-in-law? Princess, I heard that your youngest son isn’t married yet.” The young woman by the other side said with a smile.

Shen Ziqiao didn’t recognize the two women, but she could tell that the second woman was mocking her.

Shen Ziqiao lowered her head and sighed in her heart.

They were targeting her.

Princess Nihong’s expression didn’t change, yet she said in a distant tone, “Madam Beitang is joking. Jiao Jiao and Tang’er are like siblings.” Shen Ziqiao thought discreetly that Princess Nihong meant something else. Don’t joke around. How could Shen Ziqiao become my daughter-in-law with that personality of hers? It’s fine if I treat her as my daughter. But I must not let my beloved son marry a woman that isn’t gentle and considerate enough. That can’t be.

As a female side lead that didn’t have golden fingers, she knew that she could become a cannon fodder at any time.

Madam Beitang lightly chuckled and glanced at Shen Ziqiao from the corner of her eyes, seemingly pleased with Princess Nihong’s response.

Princess Nihong gently patted Shen Ziqiao’s shoulders, saying softly, “Go find your younger sister Zhao’er. She was wondering why you hadn’t come to visit her a few days ago.

***

She glanced at Sheng Peiyin, begging for help. She smiled sweetly. “Sister Sheng, come along with me.” Sheng Peiyin seemed to be waiting for Shen Ziqiao to say this. When she heard that, she smiled and stood up. “I haven’t seen younger sister Zhao’er in a while. Let’s go talk to her.”

Shen Ziqiao sighed. After saying goodbye to Princess Nihong, she followed Sheng Peiyin out.

“Sister Sheng, who were the two people talking?” Shen Ziqiao followed Sheng Peiyin to the courtyard on the left, confused about the two women targeting her.

“You don’t know?” Sheng Peiyin looked at Shen Ziqiao in shock. “You forgot about Madam Beitang and Madam Shen?”

Shen Ziqiao awkwardly laughed. “How could I remember that much? I’m a busy person.”

Sheng Peiyin snorted and said, “I think that besides the Ninth Prince, you can’t remember anyone.”

“Heh.” Shen Ziqiao dryly laughed. Indeed, she didn’t recognize anyone.

“Madam Beitang is Military Marquis Ying’s wife. As for her personality…” Sheng Peiyin sneered and said, “She has her eyes above her head, thinking that none of the ladies in the world could compare to her daughter. As for Madam Shen, she’s just easily swayed and an opportunist. There’s not much to say about her.” Shen Ziqiao nodded rapidly. Yet she was thinking in her heart that it was because these two madams didn’t worship the heroine that Sheng Peiyin didn’t like them.

Oh. She remembered now! It’s the Beitang Family!

Before the heroine entered the palace and became the one of the emperor’s many imperial concubines, she fought the most with Imperial Consort Beitang in the palace.

What’s the relationship between Imperial Consort Beitang and the Madam Beitang?

“Is Zhen Jing the name of Madam Beitang’s daughter?” Shen Ziqiao tested the waters.

“So you know her.” Sheng Peiyin pursed her lips, not liking that they were talking about Beitang Zhen Jing.

Shen Ziqiao decided that she was going to get along well with Beitang Zhen Jing and become friends with her. That’s her big backer! Her big backer!

Her enemies’ enemies are her friends! This sentiment was never wrong.

They walked through the corridor and arrived at an elaborate and unique building. There was a huge water jar in front with lotus planted in it. There was a spring on the left side and grape racks on the other side. The green vines swayed in the wind.

The arrangement was very exquisite that one could tell from a glance that the owner had a detailed and meticulous mindset.

“Third Miss Shen and Third Miss Sheng are here.” A maid on the stone steps saw them and smiled, calling out. “Our young miss was just talking about you guys.” The maid just finished talking when a young girl wearing a faint purple lotus design muslin paired with a pleated skirt walked out. She wore her hair into pigtails. The girl was cute and pretty. She seemed to be thirteen years old, around the same age as Shen Ziqiao.

The young girl glared at Shen Ziqiao, angrily saying, “Didn’t you say you won’t visit me anymore?”

“Younger sister Zhao’er, why are you so angry? Did Jiao Jiao anger you again?” Sheng Peiyin walked over and affectionately held onto Luo Zhaohua’s arm.

Luo Zhaohua pouted and turned around, ignoring Shen Ziqiao.

Shen Ziqiao felt this was awkward. She observed Luo Zhaohua. Although she was glancing at her angrily, she looked at her from time to time. Her lips pursed up.

She actually didn’t hate Shen Ziqiao. She was just waiting for her to give in first.

It could be that the original owner had fought with her…

Or that they got into a disagreement.

Shen Ziqiao lowered her head and walked over. She smiled, trying to kiss up, “Ah, Xiao Hua, don’t be angry. It’s my fault, okay?” Luo Zhaohua suddenly turned around and glared at her moodily. “How many times did I tell you? Don’t call me Xiao Hua. And this was your fault in the first place. Don’t make it seem like you are forced to say this.”

As expected, this Xiao Hua must have a good relationship with the original owner. Shen Ziqiao smiled and pulled on her hands, “Okay, okay. It’s my fault. Don’t argue with me, okay?”

“Humph, you’re all smiles. Quickly come in.” Luo Zhaohua held Shen Ziqiao’s hands and smiled at Sheng Peiyin.

“Third Miss Sheng, this way please.”

Different from how she treated Shen Ziqiao, she was more polite and distant towards Sheng Peiyin.

Shen Ziqiao didn’t know who Luo Zhaohua was, so she allowed her to hold her hands and walk into the room. She heard her say in her ears in a low voice, “Although you’re in the wrong, I’m generous and forgiving. I left you the newest style of pearl hairpin that mother brought from the palace. You can take a small box of it when you leave. It contains all the different styles that you like.”

A kind person! Shen Ziqiao wanted to cry inside, touched by her action. “Xiao Hua, you’re so kind.”

Luo Zhaohua coquettishly scolded, “Don’t call me Xiao Hua.” Shen Ziqiao smiled and said, “Xiao Hua sounds pretty good. It’s easy to remember too. Don’t be too picky.”

“I won’t talk to you then.” Luo Zhaohua shook Shen Ziqiao’s hands away.

Sheng Peiyin glanced at them normally despite being ignored. She thought that Luo Zhaohua was just jealous of her reputation in the capital, thus ignoring her on purpose.

“Who requires you to personally go out and welcome them?” A gentle and pleasing voice rang in the hall.

Shen Ziqiao looked up to see a young girl wearing a hundred butterflies muslin embroidered with golden lace paired with a jadeite-colored pleated skirt. She wore a pure gold jade necklace. Butterfly laces were tied around her dress, making her look beautiful and glorious. She glanced over at Shen Ziqiao and the rest with her narrow red phoenix eyes.

Such a beautiful and alluring woman. She basically beat down Sheng Peiyin with her appearance.

“Sister Jing, let me introduce you guys. This is Jiao Jiao, the one I talked to you about before. This is Third Miss Sheng.” Although Luo Zhaohua was still fighting with Shen Ziqiao, she didn’t forget her manners.

She turned around to say to Shen Ziqiao, “You haven’t seen Sister Jing before, have you? You haven’t come to visit me for half a year already. Sister Jing used to live in Dongzhou. She just moved back to the capital three months ago.”

Shen Ziqiao smiled sweetly at Beitang Zhen Jing. “Sister Jing.”

Beitang Zhen Jing faintly nodded, her gaze landing on Sheng Peiyin who was behind Shen Ziqiao.

“Third Miss Sheng, we meet again.” Her voice indifferent and expression proud, gazing at Sheng Peiyin in disdain.

Eh? It seems like unfriendly sparks of fire are flying.

Shouldn’t Beitang Zhen Jing and Sheng Peiyin become enemies after they entered the palace?

Sheng Peiyin lifted her chin and proudly returned Beitang Zhen Jing’s indifferent faint smile. “Right, we meet again. I have been hearing about young miss Beitang lately. I didn’t think that I'd meet you here.” Shen Ziqiao moved to Luo Zhaohua’s side, inquiring about the situation through her gaze.

Luo Zhaohua returned a look of confusion.

Sheng Peiyin hated Beitang Zhen Jing. Shen Ziqiao turned her head to the side as the situation was benefiting her right now and she didn’t want to get involved. She was eager to see the two women put on an exciting and stirring fight.

“Why don’t we….” Luo Zhaohua smiled and said, “—go outside first? The banquet is about to begin.”

Beitang Zhen Jing placed away her disdainful gaze. She nodded at Luo Zhaohua. “Let’s go.”

It seemed like Beitang Zhen Jing didn’t appreciate her kissing up to her. Shen Ziqiao detected her indifferent attitude towards herself, so she didn’t purposely try to please her anymore. She followed behind Luo Zhaohua and walked out.

Seeing that Shen Ziqiao couldn’t distinguish between her enemies and friends, Sheng Peiyin was angry. She reached over and tugged Shen Ziqiao back.

“What’s the matter?” Shen Ziqiao looked at her in shock.

“That bitch thinks that she’s all high and mighty just because the empress likes her. Look at her. She didn’t even spare you a glance, yet you still try to kiss up to her.” Sheng Peiyin scolded. Straw bags are straw bags. She couldn’t even read people’s expressions.

Young miss Beitang didn’t seem to have done anything to her. She just treated her indifferently is all.

It’s not like she had a lovable appearance. Wasn’t it normal for people to act indifferent towards someone they met for the first time? The female side lead didn’t understand the heroine’s mindset.

“How did she offend you?” Shen Ziqiao asked in a low voice.

Sheng Peiyin humphed. “I saw her at the Ninth Prince’s residence last time. She said I—” She suddenly stopped talking.

At that time, she and the Ninth Prince were talking sweet nothings to each other in the room when Beitang Zhen Jing had suddenly appeared. She said that she was shameless and didn’t know to avoid being in the same room as a man. She was ruining her reputation. Beitang Zhen Jing also wanted her to stay far away from the Ninth Prince.

Nonsense!

Yet, she couldn’t tell Shen Ziqiao this. If the latter knew that she was still talking to the Ninth Prince, she would definitely be angry.

Shen Ziqiao stared at her with her pair of bright and pure eyes, waiting for her to continue.

Sheng Peiyin smiled and said, “It’s nothing. I’ll talk to you about it later on.” Shen Ziqiao nodded. She had already guessed the reason.

One mountain couldn’t have two tigers.