Liang Jianhai kneeled in front of Old Madam Shen humbly. His navy-blue rough clothes hung loosely on him, making him appear to be skinny and thin like bones. However, his eyes were shining and full of vigor, revealing the astute temperament of a businessman.
“You’re saying that the Pan Madam has a trading company in Minyue, but the Pan Family is handling it right now?” Old Madam Shen stared at Liang Jianhai as if trying to see how genuine his words were.
“Replying to Old Madam, that’s the result of this servant’s investigation.” Liang Jianhai lifted his head. His slim face was still a bit startled. “This servant was almost caught by Old Lord Pan…”
If he was caught by the Pan Family, even if he didn’t die, he’d be skinned alive. Who let him betray his master?
Old Madam Shen hummed carelessly, feeling a bit distressed. Now, it seems like she couldn’t intervene with the trading company by Minyue.
Pan and Shen Family’s relationship was like fire and water. She didn’t want to give Pan Family a chance to target Shen Family.
“Okay, you can go.” Old Madam Shen waved her hands. She didn’t even bother to ask about Liang Jianhai’s condition after seeing his current state returning from Minyue.
Liang Jianhai’s expression was peaceful and calm. He lowly nodded before retreating.
In Old Madam Shen’s eyes, he was just a dog.
Liang Jianhai came out from Ci’an Courtyard and hurriedly walked as if there was a hungry tiger chasing after him. From here, it seems like he could see the courtyard Pan Madam used to live in.
Thinking of Pan Madam, there was a strange expression on Liang Jianhai’s face. It looked like guilt and pain. He quickened his pace, wanting to quickly escape from this suffocating place.
“Skinny Liang!” When he was about to walk out of the door, a severe voice rang.
No one had called him by that nickname for decades. He froze, not daring to look back to see who was calling him.
“Are you guilty? Do you feel ashamed to see anyone?” The mocking voice became closer and closer.
Liang Jianhai stiffly turned around to see the woman two feet away from him. It felt as though he had seen the delicate and witty woman standing behind the Pan Madam back then.
“Shaoyao…” Liang Jianhai smiled bitterly, not daring to look straight at Lady Meng.
“I originally thought you’d live quite a good life being Old Madam Shen’s dog, but who knew that you’re living worse than a dog right now. I wonder if the madam will be happy knowing this in Heaven.”
Lady Meng hated Liang Jianhai for betraying the Pan Madam and Shen Ziqiao. She was ruthless and showed no mercy, even if she and him were old acquaintances.
Liang Jianhai’s face turned ashen. He parted his lips but he didn’t explain for himself in the end.
“I have let down madam.” Liang Jianhai said in a low voice.
“Tch, you think so? Then what about the Third Miss? What did the madam tell you before she died? You actually betrayed the Third Miss. How do you have the face to see madam when you die? Are you not ashamed?” Lady Meng interrogated with hate.
Liang Jianhai’s face flushed. “I’ll naturally beg the madam for forgiveness. However, the Third Miss isn’t capable. If she has the Pan Madam’s dowry, she’ll end up losing it all.”
Lady Meng glared at him. “Bullshit! If Third Miss just rested on her laurels, then how could she be forced to this point? Not only didn't you help Third Miss snatch the dowry back, you even helped that old crafty woman. Did a dog eat your conscience?”
Liang Jianhai had been out of the capital for three months, so he didn’t know about Shen Ziqiao’s change. He just realized something. Wasn’t Lady Meng kicked out by Third Miss? Why did she appear here?
“Shaoyao, you...why are you here? Who let you back?” He shockingly asked.
Lady Meng sneered. “Naturally, Third Miss let us back. If it weren’t for her, we would’ve reunited with the madam.”
Liang Jianhai shockingly widened his eyes. How could the Third Miss let Shaoyao back? No. That’s not right. She said “they.” “...They? Everyone came back?”
“Of course. Liang Jianhai, we’re watching you.” Lady Meng didn’t want to talk to this traitor, but she couldn’t help it.
When she heard that Liang Jianhai went to look for the Old Madam, she couldn’t stop her urge to wait here for him.
Even if he couldn’t come to his realization, she just wanted to give him a good scolding.
How could Third Miss...Liang Jianhai found it unbelievable. Could it be that in the few months he left the capital, something happened?
“It’s good that you guys are back. I’m leaving now.” Liang Jianhai didn’t dare to look at Lady Meng. He turned around and quickly walked off. His thin figure looked gloomy and dejected.
Lady Meng glared at him in hatred, her eyes becoming a bit moist.
When Old Madam Shen found out that Shen Ziqiao had Lin Yi take over as the shopkeeper of the calligraphy supplies store, she just sneered and said nothing.
Within three days, Shen Zikai called Shopkeeper Fang back.
Shen Ziqiao fired Shopkeeper Li within the rice store that day. He was unwilling to accept this and caused a ruckus in the store right then.
“He dares to cause a racket?” Shen Ziqiao couldn’t help but laugh when she heard that Shopkeeper Li wanted her to give him an explanation. “Don’t mention how he gave customers less rice than they requested, but the shop also ended up making a loss within these three days. Does he really think water flooded my brain? Tell me that he can make a disturbance. Let’s go to the government office. By then, I’ll have him spit out everything he ate. As for how the government office may sentence him, we’ll see.”
He didn’t place anyone in his eyes since he took advantage of how Mama Li was Old Madam Shen’s trusted aide. Don’t mention how he stole rice from the store, but he even stole silvers. There were a bunch of issues on the account book, yet he dared to confidently cause a ruckus in the store?
Shopkeeper Li quickly heard Shen Ziqiao’s response and he didn’t dare to make a disturbance anymore.
How did Shen Ziqiao know that there was an issue with the weight of the rice? There was a layer of honey on the tray to weigh the rice. Only he and the shop assistant weighing the rice knew...
He thought that the shop assistant betrayed him, so Shopkeeper Li had someone teach him a lesson. It was only after that did he realize he didn’t betray him. Shen Ziqiao had already tested him earlier.
Shopkeeper Li told Mama Li about this, but kept the part of him stealing silvers out. He only said that Shen Ziqiao knew about their relationship, so she didn’t want him in the store anymore. She purposely nitpicked and kicked him out. He wanted Mama Li to bring him justice.
When Mama Li heard this, she was furious and infuriated, thinking that Shen Ziqiao was completely targeting her. She already hit her daughter-in-law in front of everyone’s faces previously, and now she wants to target her nephew?
If Third Miss really manages the home or gets back her dowry, there will probably be no place for her in the Shen Family anymore.
Mama Li hated her, but was anxious at the same time. She couldn’t just stand there and do nothing anymore.
Shen Ziqiao didn’t know about her thoughts at all, nor was there a need to. She did things out of her own comfort and did what she had to. Life would be boring if they felt restricted the entire time.
Of course. As a modern person, Shen Ziqiao could sense danger when she encountered it. Therefore, she didn’t think that Old Madam Shen would just leave her be after what she had done recently.
It was rare for Shen Ziqiao to wake up early in the morning. She sat in the living room while Lady Meng and the rest stood by her. She was waiting for the housekeepers and mamas to come over and report.
The Mid-autumn festival was approaching and Old Madam Shen’s birthday was three days after it. Everything was bunched together and she felt a bit of pressure.
“What’s the time now? Why is no one here?” Hong Ying walked to the door to take a look, feeling as if the housekeepers and women were a bit late today.
Shen Ziqiao supported her chin and smiled. “Let’s wait some more.”
After another hour or so, a few people successively came in. They wore hesitant and nervous expressions, replying to Shen Ziqiao absent-mindedly.
Shen Ziqiao patiently waited another hour or so.
There were only five mamas and two young men in the living room. These people were previous Pan Madam’s people. Therefore, when no one else came to Qiao Xin Courtyard, they hesitated. They felt as though they shouldn’t go against Third Miss.
They had seen how powerful Pan Madam was before, so they thought that her daughter wasn’t any worse. Not to mention there were the Eldest Master and the Lord.
“It seems like the people that didn’t come won’t be coming. I’m really disappointed.” Shen Ziqiao sighed and placed her teacup down. “If they can’t even come on time, how could they accomplish great things? The family doesn’t need servants that don’t listen to their masters.”
“Lady Meng, go and see what jobs they are in charge of.” Shen Ziqiao was calm to the point it was a bit terrifying.
They felt as if they had just seen the young Pan Madam.
“Replying to Third Miss, there are a total of eight people that didn’t come. Mama Cui is the housekeeper of the courtyards, Mama Chen is in charge of the needleworks…” Not long later, Lady Meng listed everyone that didn’t come as well as what they were in charge of.
Shen Ziqiao smiled. “Tell them to pack their things and get lost. Don’t let me see them anymore.”
“Third Miss?” The five mamas were shocked. They thought that Shen Ziqiao would submit defeat.
“As for you guys, although you guys were late...it’s fine. Just do what you’re supposed to and don’t disappoint me.” Shen Ziqiao didn’t mind their terrified expressions. She turned around to order Lady Meng, “You guys all helped my mother in the past. It shouldn’t be hard to deal with the matters at home. You guys can replace the eight people for now. I heard that Hai Tang is great with needlework, so she can go to the Department of Needlework. Lady Meng, I’ll have you deal with the internal matters in the courtyards. Mama Cui is getting old, so there are some things that she missed…”
Straightforward, decisive, and concise! Shen Ziqiao immediately filled in the empty positions with her people right then.
Who said that Third Miss was an idiot and useless? Who said that she was easily bullied?
They must be blind!
After Lady Meng heard Shen Ziqiao’s words, her eyes brightened shockingly. She got on her knees. “Yes, Third Miss.”
Her hands were trembling.
Madam, we’re finally back!
Shen Ziqiao was satisfied with the opportunity.
Letting her manage the family? Don’t blame her for inserting her own people if something happens. Does the old woman object to this? So what if she did?
Shen Ziqiao knew that this day would come sooner or later, having the people from Liuyun Village come back home. She just didn’t think it'd come that quick.
The seven mamas present secretly sighed despite their backs drenched in cold sweat. They felt fortunate that they decided to come to Qiao Xin Courtyard. They all had the same thought.
Something big will happen to the Shen Family.