Qi Zheng’s coarse fingers slid across Shen Ziqiao’s hollow of her palm. The limp and numb feeling extended to her heart, making her widen her eyes for a moment. As if she was electrocuted, she quickly withdrew her hand, her face flushing. She didn’t dare to look towards Qi Zheng who was still in the carriage.
Her shy expression made her seem like an innocent young lady. Qin Zheng’s pitch-black eyes were shockingly bright.
“Jiao Jiao…” His rich and mellow voice rang in this narrow space. His voice was so sexy that it made Shen Ziqiao’s hair stand up.
“What are you doing?” Shen Ziqiao rubbed her hands and shifted her gaze as she asked this.
Qi Zheng lifted his brows and held her two restless hands. “You’re rubbing your hands too much. What? You’re shy now?”
Shy my ass! Shen Ziqiao glared at him. “Get lost!”
“Haha!” Qi Zheng laughed out loud and let go of her. “Such a child.”
Shen Ziqiao puffed angrily as she watched Qi Zheng getting out of the carriage laughing out loud. She clutched her flushed face and felt as if she was teased.
Although she was angry and unhappy on the surface, Shen Ziqiao was a bit confused.
What did Qi Zheng mean by this? He seemed...to be a bit ambiguous with her.
Was she overthinking? Or no?
“Third Miss?” Hong Yu and Lady Meng finally got in the horse carriage, looking at Shen Ziqiao in guilt.
Shen Ziqiao just recalled that they betrayed her. “You guys actually let Qi Zheng on the horse carriage?”
Hong Yu kept her head down and said ashamed, “This maid was stopped…”
Lady Meng hugged Shen Ziqiao. After confirming that she was fine, she said angrily, “That Young Master Qi is outrageous. Why can’t he say what he has to say in public? Why does he have to be alone with you? He even stopped us. Third Miss, you have to let Eldest Master talk to the Qi Family about this. Young Master Qi is ruining your reputation like this.”
Qi Zheng’s subordinates stopped Hong Yu and Lady Meng. They couldn’t get on the carriage at all.
When Shen Ziqiao heard them say that, her heart suddenly skipped a beat.
He specially came to see her? How did he know that she’d be leaving the palace at this time? Could he have been waiting for her this entire time?
It was better to not overthink, otherwise she’d be losing face for being one-sided.
“It’s fine. Qi Zheng just had some things to say to me.” Shen Ziqiao comforted Lady Meng in order to avoid her from offending Qi Zheng. That person doesn’t look easy to get along with at all.
Hong Yu noticed Shen Ziqiao’s flushed face with her sharp eyes. She recalled the gaze that Qi Zheng had of Third Miss when they were at Jinxiu Pavilion a few days ago...
She covered her mouth and chuckled.
Shen Ziqiao glanced at her smile, and glared at her out of humiliation.
When she returned home, both father and son were waiting for her. Seeing that she had come back safely, the two sighed.
They asked her some simple questions before letting Shen Ziqiao go back to rest.
Shen Ziqiao took a comfortable shower. After eating to her heart’s content, she laid in bed and went to sleep.
She was so tired that she felt like her body was falling apart, but she didn’t feel like sleeping. She had a lot on her mind and she couldn’t sleep peacefully.
She noticed that she was unable to consider everything that was happening right now from the perspective of a bystander. Unconsciously, she had become a character within. Plus, when she was unable to withstand it, she ended up changing some unchangeable plots.
Like Qi Zheng, like little imperial grandson.
Qi Zheng wasn’t a fool anymore. Little imperial grandson didn’t die. Sheng Peiyin might not be able to get in a relationship with the crown prince. This was all because she intervened.
She thought of the gaze Sheng Peiyin gave her before she left.
Shen Ziqiao was still unable to calm her mood down after recalling Sheng Peiyin’s hatred and disdainful gaze as if they had a huge enmity. She tried her best to think back to the grudges between Shen and Sheng Family.
Sheng Peiyin’s father died because of Shen Xiao, but what other grudges did they hold? The novel didn’t seem to describe it directly. It only said that the two were political enemies. While quarreling, Shen Xiao was the slightly better opponent. Official Sheng lost completely, causing his family to be ruined.
Based on her observations for the past few days, he didn’t think that Shen Xiao was a corrupted official with ruthless methods. He couldn’t possibly be that merciless to the Sheng Family. Maybe there was a misunderstanding?
Shen Ziqiao felt a headache. She hoped that the Shen Family could avoid Sheng Peiyin’s revenge. Of course, she hoped that Shen Xiao wasn’t as what the novel described, a corrupted official that does all sorts of atrocious deeds.
Based on the time, the issue between Sheng and Shen Family was probably about to take form.
But the Sheng Family right now was different from the past life. Under Sheng Peiyin, this reborn heroine, there were a lot of changes. Lord Sheng hadn’t left the capital for his new job. Instead, he stayed in the capital and he seemed to be in the Ministry of Revenue right now...
Shen Ziqiao was annoyed the more she thought about this. She really hoped that this had nothing to do with her.
She had no idea how Sheng Peiyin would deal with her and Shen Family, but as long as Sheng Peiyin couldn’t get close to the crown prince and the latter didn’t fall in love with her, then she wouldn’t have the opportunity to frame Shen Family. However, there was no way Sheng Peiyin would let it go just like that.
As she thought about this, Shen Ziqiao fell into a dream, a really long dream.
She dreamed of Sheng Peiyin becoming the crown prince’s woman, and then she started launching her ruthless revenge against the Shen Family...
After Qi Zheng and Shen Ziqiao separated, he went to pay respects to the empress.
The little imperial grandson was already fully recovered, and he was now bouncing in the princess consort’s arms happily. The empress was also delighted to see this scene. Even more, she was happier to see her nephew entering the palace to pay respects to her.
Before Qi Zheng could pay respects, the empress had him sit down already.
“You actually requested to see me today. In the past, if I didn’t summon you to the palace, you were unwilling to see me.” The empress didn’t put up a front in front of Qi Zheng. She treated herself as an ordinary woman teasing her own nephew.
Qi Zheng wasn’t old. He appeared to be indifferent and cold, but he was much more mature than his own age. Even more, one didn’t dare to approach him because of his inherent dignity and strong-will. However, in front of the amiable empress, he placed away his indifference and sat down, faintly smiling.
The princess consort greeted the empress before leaving with the little imperial grandson in her arms.
“Zheng’er, how does this bracelet of mine look like?” The empress revealed the verdant jadeite bracelet on her fair and smooth wrist.
Qi Zheng’s expression was normal, but he revealed a faint smile. “Aunty wears the best things.”
“So is this bracelet good or is it the person that gave me the bracelet?” The empress observed Qi Zheng, teasing him.
“Both are good.” A questionable flush appeared on Qi Zheng’s tanned face.
The empress looked lovingly at her late sister’s son. People don’t know about Qi Zheng’s hardships, but she did. He had to pretend to be crazy and a fool for a decade or so in order to survive in Duke Residence. Even more, it was to encourage himself to stay safe from Xiao Gu. What a pity that as the empress, she was unable to protect her nephew.
If it weren’t for Imperial Consort Sun, that bitch, that gained the emperor’s favor, how could she possibly not have the ability to protect Qi Zheng? That bitch framed her and the crown prince, causing them to lose the emperor’s trust.
She finally steadied her position as the empress, and the crown prince successfully became the successor to the throne. However, Qi Zheng had already suffered countless years as a result.
What she hated most was that Xiao Gu was actually Imperial Consort Sun’s cousin. Therefore, she had to be apprehensive of doing anything to Xiao Gu.
“She is a simple girl with a kind heart. No wonder you always want to protect her.” The empress sighed with feelings, but smiled happily on the surface.
Recalling Shen Ziqiao’s foolish personality, Qi Zheng exclaimed with a gentle gaze, “She’s just a stupid girl.”
“You think she’s a stupid girl? Then I’ll have her go work in the east palace. The crown prince even wants her to look after the little imperial grandson.” The empress pretended to say seriously.
Qi Zheng’s heart clenched and he suddenly stood up. “She can’t enter the palace!”
“Who can’t enter the palace?” The crown prince’s figure entered the vision. He wore an ivory white round neck robe which made him seem even more handsome and noble.
He walked in large strides and greeted the empress. He smiled as he looked at Qi Zheng, “When did cousin come? I haven’t seen you in quite a while.”
“Didn’t you want Third Miss Shen to enter the palace? You need to ask your cousin first.” The empress rarely saw a nervous expression on her nephew’s face. This was her first time seeing it.
The crown prince said “Oh. Cousin, I quite like Jiao Jiao. How about…”
“Don’t even think about it. I won’t let her enter the palace.” Before the crown prince could finish the words, Qi Zheng immediately rejected it.
His tone was quite determined. The empress and the crown prince exchanged a look. The crown prince looked at him calmly. “Cousin, why are you so nervous? Can you stop Jiao Jiao if she is willing to enter the palace?”
“She isn’t.” Qi Zheng said firmly. Hearing the crown prince address her as Jiao Jiao, Qi Zheng’s heart felt stuffed.
“How do you know she is unwilling? She seems to quite like the little imperial grandson.” The crown prince smiled.
Qi Zheng glared at him and said coldly, “She isn’t fit to enter the palace.”
The empress laughed heartily out loud. She hadn’t been in such a good mood in a while. She wiped away the tears from her eyes and exclaimed, “Crown prince, stop teasing your cousin now. Jiao Jiao is his beloved. Just give up. Don’t think that she’ll enter the palace to become a female official for you.”
“Ah, so that’s why.” The crown prince came to a realization but felt bad inside his heart. He thought that Shen Ziqiao was straightforward, and he was quite happy to talk to her. Who knew that Qi Zheng liked her.
Qi Zheng slightly blushed in shame. He tightly pursed his lips and stayed silent.
“Okay, okay. Let’s talk about the serious matter.” The empress had the crown prince and Qi Zheng sit down. “Zheng’er, you’ve thought clearly?”
“Aunty, I’ve thought clearly.” Qi Zheng said properly, his tone determined.
The crown prince immediately knew what the empress was referring to. Likewise, he also exclaimed in a proper manner, “Cousin, the northwest is different and you don’t have experience either…”
Qi Zheng looked down and said, “I want to earn my own riches and glory.”
He didn’t want to be the heir nor did he care about the protection of the Duke Residence. He wanted to earn his own riches and glory. He didn’t want it to be that person’s favor.
“You’re not going to propose marriage first?” The empress asked.
He had nothing right now. He was nothing either. How could Shen Xiao possibly agree to betroth his daughter to him?
Qi Zheng lightly shook his head.
The crown prince purposely asked, “Aren’t you afraid that Jiao Jiao is going to be another person's wife by the time you’re back?”
“She dares?!” Qi Zheng exclaimed sharply. If she dared to marry someone else before he had come back, he’d forcibly steal her.
The empress looked coquettishly at the crown prince and smiled at Qi Zheng. “This aunty will look after her for you. You need to come back safely.”
Ri: Well... things are getting interesting~ xd