The scarlet velvet curtains were moved to the side. A woman wearing a white indigo plum blossom designed beige collar pleated skirt walked in. She looked to be in her twenties with smooth skin, red phoenix eyes and dashing eyebrows. She had a small delicate nose with plump red lips. She slightly lifted her chin and maintained an elegant and solemn expression. Shen Ziqiao slightly froze at the sight.
She did look really pretty… but her imposing manner and expression was overly arrogant, feeling as if she was above everyone. When she walked in, she didn’t even look at Shen Ziqiao. Instead, she greeted Madam Zhou. “Great aunt.”
She addressed her by how she did at Madam Zhou’s maiden home.
Madam Zhou’s unhappy and disgusted expression vanished. Instead, her smile extended to the corner of her eyes. She personally held Chen Family’s young miss’ hands and sat on the other side of the kang stove bed. “Why didn’t you rest in your room? You’ve been traveling for the past few days, so you should rest well now.”
Chen Family’s young miss’ name was Xue Ling and she has a proud personality. Even though she was facing Madam Zhou, who was aiding her, she didn’t really bother to kiss up or please her. “I’ve rested for the night, and I feel much better now.”
“That’s good.” Madam Zhou smiled, eyeing Shen Ziqiao from the corner of her eyes. She purposely said intimately to Chen Xueling, “You came just in time. Jiao Jiao gifted me some gourmet food from the palace. Maids, please pass it to Young Miss Chen to try.”
She knew why Chen Xueling came to the Shen Residence even if no one told her. Chen Xueling heard that the cute little lady in the room was Shen Ziqiao. She looked over to see her pair of clear and pure almond eyes as well as her smooth and fair skin. She had a round face, and looked indeed beautiful.
However, the gaze on her was too presumptuous! She heard that Third Miss Shen was unruly and arrogant because she hadn’t a mother to teach her manners. She even dared to disobey and curse the Old Madam. She had no etiquettes at all.
If she really married into the Shen Family, this Third Miss will probably be the hardest to deal with.
“Second Aunt, you must really try it. The pastries from the palace are much more tasty than outside.” Shen Ziqiao smiled as she exclaimed, generously letting Chen Xueling eye her up and down.
Shen Zixin glanced at Jiao Jiao and Chen Xueling, feeling extremely anxious inside. When Chen Xueling entered the door, she had thought about pulling Shen Ziqio away, deeply worried that they might get into a fight after realizing how unfriendly Chen Xueling was. By then, Shen Ziqiao would be the one to suffer still.
Madam Zhou chuckled, and had Shen Ziqiao bring up all the pastries.
“Right, Jiao Jiao. Second Aunt brought you some since coming back.”
By the time a maid carrying a tinted tray walked in, a mama with a round figure walked in, angry. She curtsied before eyeing Shen Ziqiao furiously.
This was Madam Zhou’s wet nurse, Mama Zhang.
“Second Madam, this old servant is back.” Mama Zhang walked towards Madam Zhou and eyed Shen Ziqiao from the corner of her eyes. Madam Zhou detected Mama Zhang’s strangeness, so she lifted her brows and asked, “What’s the matter? Didn’t I have you get some swallow’s nest?”
Madam Zhang glanced at Shen Ziqiao and said in a peculiar tone, “Second Miss, this old servant is incapable and wasn’t able to get some swallow’s nest for tonics. That mama in charge said that Second Madam had already gotten her share long ago for this month. If Second Madam wants swallow’s nest, then you’d have to pay yourself or wait until next month.”
“Which blind servant dares to say that?” Madam Zhou asked angrily. She was at the very least, Shen Family’s Second Madam. She needs to listen to a servant’s words if she wants some swallow’s nest?
“That lady said that Third Miss ordered this, and that this is the family rule.” Mama Zhang also looked at Shen Ziqiao, only in disdain and not in respect.
Madam Zhou looked coldly at Shen Ziqiao and mockingly laughed. “So this is Third Miss’ family rule. It seems like I don’t know the rules.”
Shen Ziqiao wasn’t angry or mad. She said sweetly, “This has nothing to do with me. Old Madam had made this rule in the past. Second Aunt, did you forget? Oh, Second Aunt used to be the exception. You could get as much swallow’s nest and whatnot as you wished. There was no limit for you.”
If it weren’t that she let Lady Meng take over the departments, she wouldn’t have known how many things Madam Zhou had taken from home.
People could only get their fair shares of things per month, but the Second Household gets to have anything they want. Did they really take Shen Family’s people to be fools?
Madam Zhou wore a dark face. “You’re saying that Old Madam is biased to our Second Household?”
“Isn’t that so?” Shen Ziqiao asked shockingly. This was no secret. Who in the family doesn’t know that the Old Madam also gives the Second Household good things?
She originally didn’t want to settle past accounts. Who knew that Madam Zhou had caused trouble for Lady Meng and the rest in the past few days that she was in the palace. It was one thing to nitpick faults, but she even made things difficult for them. If it weren’t for Hong Yu who told her that Madam Zhou humiliated Lady Meng in front of everyone, saying that Hai Tang had offended her, so she had her beaten up, she wouldn’t have known so many things had happened in the past few days. Did they really think that she, Shen Ziqiao, was weak and useless? She defended her people greatly. Don’t expect good days when they’ve bullied her people.
She could worry about this in the future. She wasn’t anxious to settle accounts with Madam Zhou right now. Most importantly, she needed to deal with Chen Xueling right now. Otherwise, why would she be in the mood to stare at Madam Zhou’s cold expression?
Madam Zhou was mocked by Shen Ziqiao in front of Chen Xueling’s face. Thinking of how the latter would become her sister-in-law, she couldn’t help but feel ashamed and humiliated. “As expected, you’re meticulous at managing the household. You don’t even give this Second Aunt who had been away from home for so long, some face.”
Shen Ziqiao chuckled before saying slowly, “Old Madam made the family rules, and I was just following her rules.”
Madam Zhou’s face turned green from anger. Shen Zixin was anxious watching this from the side, giving Shen Ziqiao a look, advising her to stop talking.
Chen Xueling knitted her brows as she looked at Shen Ziqiao. She couldn’t handle her overbearing temperament. If she became her stepmother in the future, wouldn’t she have to live her days looking at her expression? Thinking of this, Chen Xueling was unhappy because of her arrogance.
“Third Miss, how can you talk to your elders like this? You’re junior to Second Madam, so you must treat her respectfully. Why do you have to keep holding onto this?” Chen Xueling’s voice wasn’t stern, but it revealed a disdainful tone towards Shen Ziqiao.
“Young Miss Chen, that’s the type of person I am.” Shen Ziqiao smiled faintly. She originally didn’t want to oppose Madam Zhou in front of Chen Xueling, but it was the former who wanted to suppress her. She wanted to make her power known before Chen Xueling entered the family, so how could she let her have her way?
Chen Xueling knitted her brows, thinking that Shen Ziqiao was just a stubborn and unruly lady. “How can you be the female owner of the household with that personality of yours? You’re too presumptuous.”
Because Chen Xueling stepped in, Madam Zhou forcibly suppressed ehr anger. “Sister, you don’t know but our Third Miss lost her mother at a young age, and was unresigned to Old Madam’s discipline, thus leading to this personality of hers. She needs to be disciplined some more.”
“In the end, this is an issue of her background.” Chen Xueling sighed.
Shen Ziqiao sneered, “I’m not sure what’s wrong with my background.”
If there was something wrong with her background, who of the Shen Family doesn’t have issues with their backgrounds then?
“My Second Aunt had passed early, but each of her children are educated and well-reasoned. In the end, it’s because my aunt comes from a literary family…” Chen Xueling ignored Shen Ziqiao, wanting to purposely mock her.
From Chen Xueling’s perspective, she would have to teach Shen Ziqiao in the future. Once she becomes the First Madam of the Shen Family, she would have to get along with Shen Ziqiao and her brother. In order to deal with this stepdaughter in the future, she needed to act tough and unyielding right now.
In the future, once she taught Shen Ziqiao the rules and manners, not only would Shen Xiao thank her, but even Shen Ziqiao would understand her hard work once she gets married.
It was unclear whether Shen Ziqiao would understand Chen Xueling’s intention in the future or not, but Shen Ziqiao understood Chen Xueling’s intention right now. In the end, she dislikes Pan Madam’s background.
“So Young Miss Chen is saying that there’s an issue with my mother’s background?” Shen Ziqiao’s voice coldened, not bothering to be polite anymore.
She really wanted to splash this cold and noble woman’s face with tea!
“Jiao Jiao, that’s not what Young Miss Chen meant.” Shen Zixin hurriedly comforted.
Chen Xueling was displeased with Shen Ziqiao’s attitude. She knitted her brows and asked, “How could the daughter of a businessman have any manners?”
“As someone without any manners, I have nothing to say to you. So be it. Second Aunt, I’m heading back now.” She looks down on the Pan Family and still wants to marry into the Shen Family? This Young Miss Chen is really narcissistic.
Madam Zhou didn’t seem to be worried about whether Shen Ziqiao liked Chen Xueling or not. She was sure that as long as Shen Xiao took a look at Chen Xueling, he would definitely agree to marry her.
Back when she saw Chen Xueling for the first time last year, she was already sure that Shen Xiao would never reject it.
Shen Ziqiao left Madam Zhou’s courtyard a bit disappointed. She knew that the candidate that the old woman chose wasn’t that good. She mustn’t let Shen Xiao marry Chen Xueling.
It was one thing that she was tall and mighty, but she’d definitely find ways to suppress her and her elder brother in the future. No matter how deep the love was in the past, it couldn’t withstand time. Shen Xiao probably didn’t feel as much for the Pan Madam anymore.
Even beautiful women couldn’t withstand time. Don’t mention that Pan Madam already died.
She returned to Qiao Xin Courtyard, and Lady Meng hurried over.
Seeing Lady Meng’s aging expression, Shen Ziqiao sighed. If it weren’t for Madam Zhou… she really didn’t know that Lady Meng would’ve almost married Liang Jianhai.
“Third Miss, Eldest Master has been waiting inside the room for you a while.” Lady Meng didn’t know that Shen Ziqiao already knew about her, so she smiled as she reported this.
Shen Ziqiao smiled as she walked in. “Elder Brother, I’m back.”
She knew why Shen Zikai came looking for her. He actually wanted to know about Chen Xueling’s personality and whatnot too. Therefore, Shen Ziqiao sat down and told him about what happened at Madam Zhou’s place without another word. She even expressed her strong disapproval of Chen Xueling.
“She actually dared to look down upon mother’s background in front of you?” An angry expression floated on Shen Zikai’s handsome face. What was that Chen Xueling trying to say? Don’t mention that she hadn’t married into the family, but even if she did, she needed to worship their mother as her sister. Yet, she dared to look down upon her.
Shen Ziqiao said, “Father will definitely dislike her. We don’t need to worry too much.”