This was the first time Concubine Gao brought both Concubine Liu and Sun to Qiao Xin Courtyard.
Shen Ziqiao glanced at Concubine Gao who was drinking tea and sitting elegantly on the chair. Then she swept her gaze over Concubine Liu and Sun who were standing by the side with their heads down. A good-looking smile floated on her lips.
“The three of you guys must be quite idle to come here.” Shen Ziqiao slowly walked over and sat on the master seat, not even looking at Concubine Gao.
Speaking of, this Concubine Gao was a noble concubine. Therefore, she was considered half a master at home. She didn’t need to salute Shen Ziqiao.
However, so what if she was a noble concubine? She was still a concubine.
Seeing that Shen Ziqiao didn’t even place her in her eyes, Concubine Gao was secretly angry. This happened every single time. Whenever the Lord and Eldest Master came back, this stupid brat didn’t place anyone in her eyes.
“I’m scared that if we don’t come over, Third Miss will forget about all of us.” Concubine Gao placed the teacup on the table and glanced at Shen Ziqiao from the corner of her eyes.
Shen Ziqiao smiled and turned around. “Concubine Gao isn’t someone to be forgotten easily.”
“Third Miss is quite busy nowadays. It’s hard for you to remember us.” Concubine Gao looked at Shen Ziqiao as though seeing the Pan Madam who suppressed her in all aspects, the anger rose from her heart.
“Why not cut straight to the chase? Why did you three concubines come over? Not only wouldn’t I believe that you guys are just here to drink tea and chat, I bet you guys can’t muster the words either.” Shen Ziqiao was impatient, disliking people that were beating around the bushes. After all, they weren’t close to one another, so why bother acting like this?
Concubine Liu and Sun suddenly raised their heads. They looked at Shen Ziqiao, wanting to say something but then stopping in the end. They gazed at Concubine Gao from the corner of their eyes and said nothing.
Concubine Gao wanted to taunt Shen Ziqiao, but what a pity that the latter didn’t even bother to respond. She could only say, “Mama Cui had a maid bring over the fabric for the autumn outfits today. It doesn’t seem right. Third Miss, when the Old Madam was in charge of the household, she would never treat us that badly. Now that you’re in charge of the household, you can’t just treat us inhumanely.”
“Just how bad is the fabric?” Shen Ziqiao really wanted to glance at the sky in sorrow at a forty-five degree angle. This was only the first day she managed the household. Why are there so many issues already?
How was she going to live?
She now understood why women from the ancient times died that early on.
When Concubine Gao heard this, anger took over. “Third Miss, although I’m a concubine, I won’t allow people to just insult me like that.”
“Hm? Who insulted you?” Shen Ziqiao glanced at her, confused. She was clearly the one that said that she wasn’t treated like a human.
Concubine Liu hurriedly interrupted in a low voice, “Third Miss, this is actually what happened. In the past autumn, we received four types of fabrics. But this year, we only received two… We thought that the servants made a mistake, so we went to ask. However, they said you made the decision…”
Shen Ziqiao turned around to ask Hong Yu, “Who is in charge of this?”
“Mama Cui.” Hong Yu responded in a low voice.
Concubine Gao sat back down again, acting as though she wouldn't leave until she was given an explanation.
“Then have Mama Cui come over, so I can ask about it.” Shen Ziqiao replied.
She knew there was definitely something fishy behind why the housekeepers and mamas were that obedient today.
They probably had long thought of a way to drag her own.
After all, they were the old woman’s trusted aides.
Mama Cui was quickly called over. When she walked in, she raised her chin up and walked in proud. She didn’t even look at Concubine Gao.
“Third Miss, is there a reason why you called for this mama?” Mama Cui curtsied. Although she said it respectfully, one could tell she felt forced.
Of course. She was an experienced mama in the Shen Family, having some status. However, she suddenly had to work under an idiotic and unruly young miss. It was inevitable that she couldn’t accept the result.
Shen Ziqiao had never thought of letting the mamas accept her.
She was the master and they were servants. No matter whether they accepted the result or not, they must obey her orders.
“Concubine Gao said that the number of fabrics you gave them was wrong. What happened?” Shen Ziqiao asked.
Mama Cui straightened her body and looked down. “When this mama sent the fabrics to them, this mama had already counted them. There was nothing wrong.”
“Is that so?” Shen Ziqiao wore a faint and charming smile.
“Plus, I was only following Third Miss’ instruction. This mama didn’t think she had done anything wrong.” Mama Cui said confidently.
Concubine Gao humphed, thinking that Shen Ziqiao was purposely targeting her.
Shen Ziqiao looked up and took in Mama Cui’s expressionless face. She asked with a faint smile, “I ordered you?”
Hong Yu wanted to stand up and scold Mama Cui for babbling nonsense, but she was frightened back by Mama Cui. Since she dared to say this out loud, she naturally had a plan. Even more, since the Third Miss wasn’t nervous, she clearly knew how to handle the situation.
“In the morning, this mama asked Third Miss how I should deal with the fabrics for each concubine. You said to distribute it according to the past years.” Mama Cui responded calmly as though she had expected this already.
“Concubine Gao, didn’t you say you should receive four fabrics? Don’t bully me just because I’m just a child and just started managing the household, thinking that I don’t know anything.” Shen Ziqiao smiled. She seemed like she was just joking around though.
However, no one present thought that.
Concubine Gao thought that Shen Ziqiao was just scolding her for making a fuss out of nothing and trying to get some extra fabrics out of this.
Did she need to fuss over two worn-down fabrics?
Mama Cui didn’t take Shen Ziqiao’s words as a joke. However, she didn’t act scared at all. She wanted Shen Ziqiao to be angry. It’d be best if she punished her. That way, she could make a disturbance.
A young girl who only knew how to put on an attitude dares to go against the Old Madam? She clearly doesn’t know her strength.
“Mama Cui, then is it two or four types of fabrics?” Shen Ziqiao asked. She really didn’t want to manage these trivial matters.
Were the women of the residence all so bored that they had nothing to do? They’d get into a fight over something as little as this. Don’t they have any other ambitions besides fighting each other?
“Mama Cui, it’s best if you think it through before answering. Don’t just forget some things because you’re old, and end up making a joke out of yourself.” Concubine Gao glanced coldly at her, her voice a bit sharp.
“In the past years, Old Madam used her secret stash of money to give the concubines, young misses, and young masters, extra clothes and outfits. She never used the residence’s money at all, Third Miss.” Mama Cui didn’t even look at Concubine Gao. She just looked at Shen Ziqiao.
Shen Ziqiao really wanted to sigh when she met Mama Cui’s provoking and proud gaze.
Since when did the old woman have a secret stash of money? Could it be the Pan Madam’s dowry? With her personality, she probably wouldn’t bear to use her own money.
She wanted to force her to use her own money?
She’d only do that if she was bored and had nothing else to do.
“If that’s the case, let’s go and ask the Old Madam. Should I still take out money to give everyone extra clothes? After all, I can’t stop halfway. Since this occurred during the first year, this must continue during the second year. Mama Cui, I’ll leave this to you.” Different from Mama Cui’s expectation, Shen Ziqiao didn’t take out her own money to provide extra clothes for everyone. Instead, she wanted her to ask the Old Madam for silvers.
How could she muster such shameless words?
Mama Cui’s face flushed due to anger.
She underestimated Shen Ziqiao. She was shameless. It’s one thing if she didn’t have silver.s Why did she need to act like she did though? Since the Old Madam has silvers, then let her continue to be a good person.
Shen Ziqiao was very pleased to see the change in Mama Cui’s expression. She tilted her head to look at Concubine Gao. “Concubine Gao, you guys didn’t need to argue over something little like that. If the servants haven’t done a good job on something, just let a maid know. You guys don’t need to personally come. It’ll put your statuses to disgrace.”
What status could a concubine have?! Mama Cui shouted inside.
“Okay, now that everything is settled, you guys can go back.” Shen Ziqiao patted her hands and stood up, feeling like she’d become an expert in diffusing these situations one day.
Concubine Gao was confused. How exactly was the situation settled?
“Third Miss!” Mama Cui stopped her, her expression dark. “Letting the Old Madam pay for...it probably isn’t appropriate. This mama can’t muster the words.”
Shen Ziqiao stared at her, confused. “Why can’t you? Aren’t you the housekeeper? If there’s an issue,you need to let the Old Madam know in time.”
“Third Miss, Third Miss…” Shen Ziqiao had already left.
Mama Cui held in her anger, feeling like the Third Miss was becoming more and more outrageous. Which junior would scheme their senior’s silvers? She actually wanted the Old Madam to continue paying...
Concubine Gao stomped her feet in anger, glaring at Mama Cui and humphing. Then she left, infuriated.
Concubine Liu and Sun were used to being inferior and listening. Seeing that Concubine Gao left, they naturally left too.
Mama Cui calmed down and took a deep breath. After that, she walked out of the Qiao Xin Courtyard in small and quick steps, arriving at De’an Courtyard.
Shen Ziqiao returned to her room while humming on a song, leaning against the sofa. While she was at it, she grabbed a red bean cake from the low table besides her.
Lady Meng looked at her helplessly and shook her head. “Third Miss, you’ll anger the Old Madam by doing this.”
“I didn’t even do anything. She was the one that has nowhere to spend her money on. You might as well cut my skin than let me spend money on someone else. Even more, I don’t even have money.” Shen Ziqiao didn’t care. She had the intention of managing the household and making sure no one has any information against her, but she was just an ordinary person.
It’s not like everyone was a natural in managing the household and fighting. Since she couldn’t please everyone, she’d just please herself.
As of right now, she felt very pleased.
“Today just started. Who knows what trouble those servants might find for Third Miss in the future.” Hong Yu said worriedly.
Shen Ziqiao comforted, “Everything will be fine. We’ll just solve the issues when it comes our way.”
“Right.” Shen Ziqiao’s smile suddenly faded. “Besides writing a letter to grandfather, we also need to contact two people…”
“Shopkeeper Zhang and Fan.” Lady Meng said, reading her mind.
Shen Ziqiao sweetly smiled. “Lady Meng, you’re amazing.”
“Third Miss, the Eldest Master is here.”