On her way back to the Shen Family residence, Shen Ziqiao noticed strange gazes following her wherever she walked. Because of this, she realized that someone had leaked what she had said - about being a jinx to the family - from De’an Courtyard.
“Third Miss, how can you say this about yourself?” Hong Ying was exasperated and flustered. These people in the corner whispered and muttered about her mistress. She awfully wanted to slap them in order to shut them up. What did they mean that Third Miss won’t have any kins? What did they mean that she will be lonely for life? Pah! Inauspicious remarks!
Ever since Shen Ziqiao had said that she was prepared for people to find out, so she didn’t care. After all, she didn’t plan to marry anyone. Instead, she looked forward to finishing the ending of the novel, so that she could return to her previous world. “We cannot control what people whisper to each other, so let it be.”
Hong Ying pulled Shen Ziqiao’s hair loose and muttered, “Even so, the news should not have leaked from De’an Courtyard. Old Madam…”
They all believed that Old Madam Shen didn’t genuinely adore and love Shen Ziqiao. Otherwise, she would’ve ordered the servants to stop spreading the news long ago.
Shen Ziqiao smiled and said, “Go take a shower.”
Hong Yu and Hong Ying glanced helplessly at her.
Old Madam Shen was truly not willing to let other people know that Shen Ziqiao was a jinx. After all, she even wanted to marry this stupid girl off to Qi Zheng. Contrary to common belief, Mama Li was the one who had accidentally leaked the news while chatting leisurely among her friends. In the end, news passed quickly from mouth to mouth, revealing the jinx to the entire Shen Family.
“Old Madam, this servant girl is guilty of death.” Mama Li kneeled down by Old Madam Shen’s feet. If only she weren’t so careless, how could she have ruined Old Madam’s plans?
“I know you resent her and dislike how she made you lose face in public. However, no matter what, she was still your mistress. Did you not know that gossiping about your mistress behind her back is a crime guilty of death?” Old Madam Shen glanced coldly at Mama Li, who had served her for countless decades. Her patience was running out and she might not have the will to hold herself back any longer.
Mama Li’s face streamed with tears as she pleaded, “This servant girl knows her mistake.”
Old Madam Shen sighed and replied, “Get up. Even if you didn’t say it, that stupid girl would have eventually slipped up herself.”
“The Third Miss will not benefit from revealing this.” Mama Li wiped the tears from her eyes. Her forehead had reddened from the kowtowing. After getting back up, she carefully carried a cup of tea over to Old Madam Shen. She didn’t seem to understand Old Madam Shen’s words.
“Did she not want to purposely ruin her reputation?” Old Madam Shen sneered as she explained, “For various, trivial reasons, she believes that she doesn’t need to marry Qi Zheng. Why does she think pulling tricks will do her any good?”
Mama Li ventured to say, “Third Miss has her heart set on marrying the Ninth Prince.”
At this, Old Madam Shen revealed a disdainful smile. She scoffed, “Tch, and you think the Ninth Prince will take a fancy to her?”
“Old Madam, what should we do now?” Mama Li asked.
“We wait.” Once Old Madam Shen finished speaking, she picked up the teacup and sipped from it. She uttered nothing else.
Within two days, the news had spread so far, that even Qi Zheng had heard of it.
Countless people found out that the Shen Family’s Third Miss originally intended to settle an engagement with Qi Family’s eldest master. As a result, more and more people ridiculed her behind her back. They mocked her fate and her temperament, believing that she only deserved to marry a fool.
When Qi Zheng, the fool in question, heard of the news, he chuckled and blurted, “Marry wife, marry wife!”
Uncle Qun held a sorrowful expression, standing next to Qi Zheng. In a deserted room, he complained in a low voice, complaining, “Xiao Gu clearly wants Young Master to… she is too extreme. You must not marry a woman like her. If the Lady finds out, her heart will break under the nine springs.”
“This might not necessarily happen.” Qi Zheng replied faintly. His narrow eyes were as black as an abyss. He pursed his lips tightly. The mature and chiseled edges and corners of his face exuded a terrifying, powerful, and imposing aura. He resembled a sword being drawn out of its sheath, or the shining of a diamond. This person here was a completely different person from the fool that everyone sees him as.
“The Lord definitely won’t agree.” Uncle Qun said.
Speaking of Duke An, Qi Zheng curled his lips into a disdainful smile. “I won’t allow anyone to dictate my marriage,” he asserted.
“Young Master, no matter what, you shouldn’t marry a jinxed woman.” If only her jinx worked on mothers-in-law, then he should quickly marry her so that the sinister woman could die as soon as possible.
Qi Zheng softly chuckled and replied, “Someone must have purposefully leaked these rumors. In all likelihood, Shen Ziqiao is unwilling to marry me.”
“Young Master, what do you mean?” Uncle Qun didn’t understand. “You’re saying that Third Miss Shen was the one spreading this? How is that possible? She won’t ever be able to marry anyone if people know that she jinxes her husband.”
“That is why I think Shen Ziqiao is quite interesting.” Qi Zheng grinned.
Uncle Qun didn’t think that a woman, who jinxes her husband, could be interesting in any way.
When the news about Shen Ziqiao being a jinx reached Sheng Peiyin, she dropped her current matters and rushed to seek Shen Ziqiao, wanting to know the full story.
“...You said this yourself? Why haven’t I heard you mention this in the past? Jiao Jiao, do you not know how important reputation is to a woman? Even if you do not want to marry Qi Zheng, you should not say something so tainted in order to force Lady Qi to back out of her decision.” Sheng Peiyin scolded Shen Ziqiao unhappily.
On such a warm day, she still dressed in many layers of clothes. She even covered her neck. The Ninth Prince must have exercised plenty of patience around Sheng Peiyin.
However, Sheng Peiyin will become the Emperor’s imperial concubine in the future. As her imperial uncle, won’t the Ninth Prince… find the situation awkward?
That’s right. The male lead of the book should be the Emperor, and he was the Ninth Prince’s nephew. Who will be made the cuckold? Plus, there were multiple cuckolds.
Ruining worldly views was exceedingly melodramatic, but the novel did receive popularity. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have read it.
“Jiao Jiao, are you listening to me?!” Sheng Peiyin was angry. She refused to allow her plan to turn fruitless after planning for so many months.
If Shen Ziqiao didn’t marry Qi Zheng, under Shen Xiao’s power and influence, will the Emperor grant her a marriage with the Ninth Prince? No. She must not hand her man over to a straw bag!
The Ninth Prince shall support the Sheng Family!
While eating white sugar sponge cake and sipping sour plum soup, she absent-mindedly listened to Sheng Peiyin reprimand, “I am listening. I am.”
“You…” Sheng Peiyin suppressed her anger. She finally asked, “What have you been thinking?”
“I was not thinking about anything. I just told the truth. I don’t want to marry Qi Zheng,” Shen Ziqiao answered half-ignorantly and half-seriously.
Sheng Peiyin glared at her. She argued, “This matter has not been settled yet. You’re already ruining yourself. Is this truly worth so much?”
“How is this not worth it? I just want to marry only one person.” Shen Ziqiao smiled sweetly. Her adorable and delicate face made her smile appear harmless.
However, to Sheng Peiyin, Shen Ziqiao’s pure, sweet smile made her look like a fool. “Do you still intend to marry the Ninth Prince?”
Shen Ziqiao bit the cake and kept her head down, feeling wronged as she replied, “He is not willing to marry me.”
“Did you not tell me, just the other day, that you don’t like him anymore?” Sheng Peiyin raised her eyebrows at her. She originally believed that she knew Shen Ziqiao very well, but she couldn’t seem to fathom her anymore.
“Compared to Qi Zheng, the Ninth Prince is obviously better,” Shen Ziqiao reasoned. She glanced at Sheng Peiyin’s unusual expression in her peripheral, laughing in her heart.
Talking to this straw bag will anger me to death sooner or later.
Sheng Peiyin pulled herself up and said, “Marriage is important in our lives. We do not get a say in this matter as long as our parents act as matchmakers for us. Plus, you are still young, so you do not need to worry so early. Why don’t I take you somewhere?”
“Where to?” Shen Ziqiao immediately asked as she had been cautious of Sheng Peiyin this entire time. She must not underestimate this woman’s schemes. Who knows where she laid her traps?
Sheng Peiyin reassured with a smile, “You’ll find out when you follow me.”
Sheng Ziqiao was brought to the bronze alley’s Liu Family. There, Sheng Peiyin held her hands as she explained, “Not too long ago, I got to know Miss Liu through Lady Tang. She’s a gentle person. I am confident that you will definitely like her.”
Assistant Minister Liu’s sister? The second wife, whom Old Madam Shen plans on marrying to Shen Xiao? Shen Ziqiao immediately understood Sheng Peiyin’s plan.
She probably does not want Shen Xiao to marry Miss Liu.
Because Shen Xiao pampers Shen Ziqiao the most, Sheng Peiyin plans on using her to handle the situation, preventing Shen Xiao from marrying Miss Liu.
“Ok,” Shen Ziqiao smiled and nodded. She replied, “I heard that Miss Liu is very talented. I have been admiring her for a long time.”
Sheng Peiyin snorted in her heart. She, who’s brain barely recognized a few words, admires someone else’s talent? Straw bags will always be straw bags. No matter how beautiful and gorgeous her clothes are, she’s still a fool that was better-kept hidden under the table.
Hearing that Shen Xiao was returning, Sheng Peiyin originally planned on torturing Shen Xiao by taking revenge on Shen Ziqiao. Now, however, she changed her mind. With the Ninth Prince involved, she couldn’t take a risk. What if the influence of Shen Xiao’s power forced the Ninth Prince to marry Shen Ziqiao?
She must have the Ninth Prince fall in love with her first, then force Shen Ziqiao to marry Qi Zheng, that fool. That’s the best way.
However, she didn’t expect Shen Ziqiao to ruin her reputation, crushing her qualification to marry Qi Zheng.