The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | Chapter 15: Getting close to the concubine (2)

Zhou shi’s face changed slightly. When the figure walked away, she spat on the ground angrily, “What a thing! Just a fallen woman who dared to exchange glances with me!”

Beside her, Li Mama glanced around the room and said, “This Concubine Wan doesn’t seem to know her place. Madam invited her over as a favor, but she didn’t appreciate it. Truly foolish.”

“Enough,” Zhou shi said impatiently, “You talk too much. I see that no one in this mansion is easy to get along with. Let’s go back to the courtyard; there are some things we need to discuss.”

Meanwhile, Han Yan walked to the flower garden in front of the Wanxiang Pavilion. The red plum blossoms of early winter were about to bloom, adding a touch of beauty to the scenery. The air was filled with a subtle fragrance, complementing the serene atmosphere of the garden.

On the central stone table was a chessboard. Han Yan, intrigued, pulled Zhuang Qin and said, “I’ve heard that Third Sister is a master at chess. How about a game with me?”

Zhuang Qin whispered, “Where did you hear such an exaggeration? I’ve only learned a bit. Fourth Miss, please don’t say things like that.”

Han Yan frowned for a moment but immediately smiled, “Why say so much? Come, let’s play.”

On the side, Zhuang Yushan was feeling frustrated. For some reason, Han Yan had been cold towards her all along. Although they were supposedly touring the garden together, Han Yan kept talking to Zhuang Qin, leaving her on the sidelines. Whenever she tried to join the conversation, she was either subtly ignored or dismissed. It seemed like Han Yan deliberately kept her at a distance.

Zhuang Yushan sensed Han Yan’s hostility, but she couldn’t understand why. She had been following her mother’s advice, trying to please and get close to Han Yan, but she seemed to keep a distance. Sometimes when she tried to speak, Han Yan either brushed her off or ignored her, as if intentionally maintaining a gap.

Zhuang Yushan sensitively felt that Han Yan harbored animosity towards her. But why? She had always followed her mother’s advice, trying to please and be close to Han Yan. Yet, Han Yan maintained an aloof attitude, seemingly holding the demeanor reserved for a graceful daughter of the Marquis Mansion. It was downright detestable. If it weren’t for Han Yan, this position should have been hers this time, no, it was rightfully hers from the beginning! Why was she being overshadowed by Han Yan? Her mother had insisted that she was clearly…

The more Zhuang Yushan thought about it, the more unwilling she became, and her pretty little face became distorted. However, Han Yan, who was playing chess, had a panoramic view of this scene, and calmly picked up a white stone and placed it on the chessboard.

Yun’er, the girl serving beside Zhuang Yushan, said angrily: “Miss, how could they do this to you?”

Hearing this, Zhuang Yushan’s heart skipped a beat, and she gradually calmed down. Turning her head, she saw that Han Yan and the others were engrossed in the chess game, paying no attention to her. An anger surged within her again. Since she was young, she had excelled in everything, drawing attention wherever she went. Now, in this mansion, she had to hide her talents, lower her head to please the women in front of her. It was unbearable. She turned around and said to Yun Er, “They are having fun on their own. I don’t want to wait here foolishly. Regardless of them, I’ll explore on my own.” With that, she walked away and headed towards the flower garden.

Yun Er quickly followed. However, Han Yan didn’t lift her eyes, and the serving maid, Shu Hong, handed the teapot to Ji Lan before leaving.

Han Yan seemed immersed in the chess game. After a while, she hesitated before placing a white piece on the board.

“I lost,” Han Yan sighed, wearing a bitter expression. “It’s the fifth game, why do I always lose?”

Zhuang Qin smiled, “You are too eager for quick success. Before making a move, although you think about it, you only focus on the immediate steps. From the first move I made, I was already strategizing. With every move you made, I had a corresponding counter-move.”

Han Yan was startled and looked up. The girl opposite was holding the chess pieces and said casually: “Life is like chess, and you have no regrets about your moves. Therefore, every time you play chess, you must treat it sincerely and don’t take any chances.”

“You are truly skilled, Third Sister,” Han Yan smiled. “I accept my defeat wholeheartedly.”

Zhuang Qin shook her head, “You are too kind. Let’s stop here for today. Concubine Wan is waiting for me to go back and make osmanthus cake together.”

Han Yan chuckled, “Concubine Wan really treats you like a child.” Then she added casually, “I envy you, at least your mother is still alive.”

Zhuang Qin, moved by the words, patted Han Yan’s head, “It will get better.”

The intimate gesture left Han Yan stunned for a moment, feeling a warmth in her heart. She smiled, “Hopefully.”

Zhuang Qin looked around and said, “I wonder where Miss Yushan went?”

As soon as the title “Miss Yushan” came out, it naturally showed that in Zhuang Qin’s mind, Zhuang Yushan was just a daughter of an outsider, whose identity was not recognized. Han Yan smiled: “Don’t worry about her. She can go shopping if she wants to. If we stop her, she will blame us.”

Zhuang Qin didn’t say much and left with her maid.

After Zhuang Qin left, Han Yan stood in place, lowering her head in contemplation. She muttered to herself, “I never knew before that Third Sister is so intelligent.”

Ji Lan draped a cloak over Han Yan, “The maid remembers that when Miss was young, she liked to follow behind Third Miss. However, as you grew older, your interactions with her  Hibiscus Courtyard diminished.”

There seemed to be some hidden story. Although her childhood memories were blurry, the vast difference between Zhuang Qin’s wisdom and her usual portrayal as an ordinary, timid illegitimate daughter intrigued her.

Why didn’t she hide this in front of me? Han Yan propped her chin with one hand, contemplating. As for Zhuang Qin’s chess remarks, what exactly was she hinting at? In her pondering, she saw Shu Hong entering.

“Did Something happen?” Han Yan asked.

Shu Hong shook her head, “Miss Zhuang Yushan just took a walk in the flower garden and returned to her courtyard. However…”

“However, what?” Han Yan’s eyes lit up.

“But the slave girl saw Li Mama next to Concubine Zhou, talking to Steward Lin for a long time. Li Mama also gave Steward Lin a gold hairpin. The slave girl was far away and did not dare to go closer. “

Ji Lan was surprised and said, “Li Mama has just entered the house, how come she is so familiar with Steward Lin?”

Han Yan’s eyes turned cold. Steward Lin has been working in the mansion for decades and is an old man in the mansion. When her mother was still alive, Steward Lin took care of everything. The Zhou’s came here with bad intentions, so the people around them were naturally not good people. The golden hairpin was not an ordinary thing. Li Mama gave it to Steward Lin, it must have been Zhou’s order, as a reward for taking care of it.

Just as Ji Lan said, Zhou shi had just entered the mansion, so how could he get acquainted with Steward Lin so quickly. Even though Steward Lin is a simpleton who can adapt to the changing circumstances, anyone with two minds will wait and see carefully for a few days. So, was Steward Lin related to Li Mama before Concubine Zhou entered the house, or was he bribed after entering the house?

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