June in the capital was considerably sizzling and scorching hot. The blazing sun burned the ground. A study and gorgeous horse carriage stopped in front of the doors of the Thousand Buddha Temple. Not longer later, two young girls in their teenage years walked out of the carriage.
“The Ninth Prince will be coming today. Wait in the private room first. If I see him, I’ll send someone to give you a message.” One of the slightly older and beautiful young ladies said in a low voice.
This was Sheng Family’s Third Miss, Sheng Peiyin.
The other younger lady softly nodded, a complicated glint flashed by in her eyes. She was Shen Family’s Third Miss, Shen Ziqiao. She was thirteen years old today. She was cute and delicate, but willful and crafty. She was infatuated with the Ninth Prince since she was elevant. She swore to follow wherever the Ninth Prince was.
However, she seemed to be a bit different from usual. Sheng Peiyin glanced at her for a while, unable to explain what was strange about her though.
“What’s the matter?” Sheng Peiyin affectionately held her hands, asking gently.
Shen Ziqiao revealed a splendid and bright smile on her round face. “I’m just nervous.”
Sheng Peiyin faintly smiled, brushing Shen Ziqiao’s hair to the side. In a gentle tone, “Our Third Miss Shen is extremely beautiful. Any man with a good taste would be moved by you.”
The Ninth Prince saw Shen Ziqiao countless times, but still treated her like a ferocious beast; he was annoyed by her existence. Could it be that the Ninth Prince has no good taste? Shen Ziqiao sneered in her heart. Even if she wants to coax her, she should find a better excuse.
They entered the Thousand Buddha Temple.
There was a row of private rooms prepared for the Buddhist worshippers behind the Thousand Buddha Temple. Because the Ninth Prince was coming to listen to the abbot's lecture, many miscellaneous people were invited to other places, making this backyard incredibly quiet.
Sheng Peiyin brought Shen Ziqiao to one of the private rooms. There was sandalwood burning in the room. The light smoke filled the air and the fragrance calmed one’s heart.
“Put the curtains down.” Sheng Peiyin ordered a maid behind her. Pointing at a screen, she said to Shen Ziqiao, “Hide behind that. I’ll go outside to take a look.”
Before Shen Ziqiao could respond, Sheng Peiyin had pushed her behind the screen.
Shen Ziqiao only had time to see Sheng Peiyin’s silver white sparkling dress flicker halfway through before the sound of the door closing sounded.
The sun shone fiercely outside while the room was cool like the spring winds. The light was dim, so Shen Ziqiao couldn’t even see the arrangement in the room clearly.
Who knew that Sheng Family’s Third Miss, born in an affluent and influential family, would actually help her do something offending public morals.
Sheng Peiyin found her today, saying that she’d help play matchmaker for her and the Ninth Prince. She wanted her to hide in the Ninth Prince’s private room. While he was off guard, she would pester and hold him down. Then, Sheng Peiyin would come over along with the abbot, making the Ninth Prince take responsibility for Shen Ziqiao’s reputation…
Shen Ziqiao’s willful and crafty reputation was known to the public already. Therefore, people weren’t shocked by her actions. As for Sheng Peiyin, she really would do anything to get revenge.
If it was really for her, Shen Ziqiao wouldn’t mind. However, today was clearly a scheme. The Ninth Prince would definitely not be the one showing up in the private room.
How did she know she was schemed by Sheng Peiyin? Because she accidentally transmigrated into a rebirth and vengeance novel that she had read halfway. She became the villain’s daughter that the reborn heroine hated. She knew how the plot would develop, but didn’t know the ending.
She fell asleep when she was halfway done with the novel. When she woke up, in a daze, she just realized that she transmigrated into the novel’s cannon fodder. She was brought to the Thousand Buddha Temple with Sheng Peiyin. Unlucky enough, she was about to be schemed and framed by the heroine.
Shen Ziqiao walked out from behind the screen. The characters are dead, but she is alive. She refused to be schemeed just like that.
She pushed the door only to notice that it was locked outside. The plot was developing the same way she expected it to be. Sheng Peiyin was insistent on ruining her today!
While thinking about how to leave the place, there were footsteps traveling closer to the door.
Shen Ziqiao was helpless and had no choice but to hide behind the screen again. She was thinking that it’ll be fine as long as she didn’t appear later on.
The door squeaked open and steady footsteps rang outside. Then, the door closed. She heard men talking in low voices.
“Master, you can rest here for now. This servant will be waiting outside.”
“Okay, you can go.” The man responding had a deep and rich voice. Shen Ziqiao was stunned by the voice. It sounded really nice.
Next, the door closed softly. The room became quiet again.
Shen Ziqiao knew the man wasn’t the Ninth Prince, but rather the well-known Duke’s son, Qi Zheng, who was a retard. However, hearing the voice, she doubted the rumors. Could he not be Qi Zheng?
How come she heard no sounds now?
Shen Ziqiao pressed her ears against the screen, wanting to hear movements outside.
Suddenly, the screen was pushed down firmly. A tall figure stood in front of Shen Ziqiao. Before she could react, the man clutched her neck tightly.
“Who are you?” The man asked coldly. In the darkness, she couldn’t see his features clearly, only faintly seeing an outline.
Shen Ziqiao couldn’t say a single word because her neck was clutched. She could only slap the man’s arm firmly.
His arm was sturdy like steel. She couldn’t even move him in the slightest bit.
“Let...go....” Shen Ziqiao squeezed the words out with difficulty. That was clearly not how the plot should’ve developed.
Seeing that the woman was weak, the man suddenly let go. The sternness and ruthlessness glint in his eyes immediately faded, transforming to a dull and confused gaze. “I...I thought you’re a thief.”
Shen Ziqiao panted heavily. Hearing the man’s pleasant voice, she hurriedly exclaimed, “I’m not a thief. Who are you?”
“Who are you?” The man followed along.
This conversation… Shen Ziqiao froze for a second before she pulled the dirt-yellow colored curtains to the side.
The dazzling sunlight penetrated through the rhombus-shaped window. The light landed on the man. Shen Ziqiao made eye contact with a pair of foggy-black and deep eyes.
This was a man with a tall and sturdy figure wearing an indigo blue robe, with a green belt around his waist. He was...very handsome. Shen Ziqiao didn’t know how to describe him. The man was in his twenties. He had sharp features and dashing eyebrows, making him look handsome and bright.
What a pity...He wore a dull gaze and childish expression, leading Shen Ziqiao to guess his identity.
“Why are you in my room?” The man looked at Shen Ziqiao and then at the screen on the ground. He wore a confused expression.
“You’re Qi Zheng?” Shen Ziqiao asked. She wanted to confirm whether the plot was developing the correct way or not.
The man nodded.
He was really Qi Zheng...Shen Ziqiao turned around and was about to open the door and leave, not having time to ponder over her thoughts when Sheng Peiyin’s voice rang outside.
Shen Ziqiao was startled and closed the door again.
Qi Zheng looked at her questioningly.
“Qi Zheng, someone purposely brought me over here. Can you help?” Shen Ziqiao knew that the man’s IQ didn’t match his age. Afraid that he might not understand, he especially explained, “Help me defeat bad guys.”
“I’m not a bad guy.” A super childish expression floated on Qi Zheng’s handsome face.
Before she could explain in detail, the door had been knocked open.
Shen Ziqiao who was standing by the door got thrown in Qi Zheng’s arms as a result.
“Ah, Ziqiao, you...how could you…” Sheng Peiyin was shocked as she stared at Shen Ziqiao in Qi Zheng’s arms. In a hurtful tone, she pointed at her. “The temple is a pure and peaceful place. Ziqiao, how could you…”
Shen Ziqiao quickly cut off her words. “I encountered Young Master Qi outside. He wasn’t feeling well, but I couldn’t find anyone to attend to him either. Therefore, I brought him here to rest. I was about to send someone to find you. Who knew that you came. Why did the abbot come as well?
Qi Zheng looked down at Shen Ziqiao. Looking at their position… it really ddi seem like Shen Ziqiao was supporting him.
There were other women behind Sheng Peiyin. After hearing Shen Ziqiao’s explanation, they snorted. “We thought that you were waiting here to pounce on the Ninth Prince when he arrives.”
“Nonsense. Why would I do that?” Shen Ziqiao said angrily. She turned around to look at Qi Zheng and exclaimed, “Young Master Qi, if you’re not comfortable, quickly sit down and rest. I need to go back.”
Qi Zheng looked at her and then at Shng Peiyin and the others. He revealed a weak expression. “My stomach hurts.”
A cold glint flickered by Sheng Peiyin’s beautiful face. She said in concern, “Ziqiao, you really shouldn’t have done that. Even if you encountered Young Master Qi, you guys shouldn’t be alone in a room. This...is not good for your reputation. How are you going to get married in the future?”
“I was just performing my daily act of kindness. How is that ruining my reputation? Are you telling me to be ruthless and just leave him to be?” Shen Ziqiao seemingly smiled at Sheng Peiyin, objecting to her words.
“You and Young Master Qi are alone in a room… it just won’t look good on you if it spreads.” Sheng Peiyin replied.
“Just let the dummy marry her.” It was unclear who said this.
Shen Ziqiao smiled at Sheng Peiyin, their gazes met in the air. They both knew each other’s thoughts. “When Sister Sheng was in charge, you often stayed in the same room as men too. Are you going to marry him as a result? I was just learning Sister Sheng’s ways.”
Sheng Peiyin’s gaze turned icy. She knew that Shen Ziqiao would find out about her scheme sooner or later. She didn’t expect her to be so calm when she bumped into her and Qi Zheng hugging each other.
“Even more, how can I choose who to get married to? Don’t fuss over me. Abbot, quickly find a physician for Young Master Qi. Otherwise, if something really happens, we all can’t assume the responsibility.” Shen Ziqiao said.
The abbot joined his hands and said, “Amitabha Buddha, this abbot will have someone invite a physician over.”
He heard that someone was doing something illicit behind the temple. Out of rage, he followed everyone over. Who knew that he had misunderstood.
Sheng Peiyin knew that her plan failed today. Although she was infuriated in her heart, she forced a faint smile on. “Ziqiao acts differently from usual. I have gained a new perspective of you.”
“I’ve just learned this from Sister Sheng.” Shen Ziqiao faintly smiled, her gaze cold.
When she was reading the novel, she didn’t really like the heroine. She pitied Shen Ziqiao who landed a tragic ending despite having nothing to do with the heroine. Now that she became Shen Ziqiao, she obviously wouldn’t admit defeat and die just like that.
Who would be willing to be a cannon fodder? She knew that she didn’t, at the very least.
Although there were only a few good people in the Shen Family, she wasn’t the Virgin Mary. Only a fool would sacrifice themselves for someone else.
Therefore, she could only find an opportunity to reverse the plot. She didn’t dare hope to be loved by everyone like the heroine. At the very least, she couldn’t just quietly leave the scene after being killed.
If she wanted to beat the reborn heroine...it was difficult, but she must persist!