The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | Chapter 18: The Richest in the Capital

Chapter 18: The Richest in the Capital

Zhuang Shiyang smiled. “It’s because you’re so tempting today, and I’ve been thinking about you all day. Your body is more passionate than usual. No servant would dare to come in.” Then, he suddenly frowned. “Why is there no servant to serve in this room?”

Concubine Zhou was surprised, “Didn’t my two maids go to welcome Master? And there’s also Li Mama. I just instructed her to rest after putting Yu’er to sleep.”

Zhuang Shiyang was furious when he heard this. “You’ve just arrived at the mansion, and you’re already using your own maids for everything. I still have a several maids in the Zhuang Mansion. I’ll have the steward bring you a few tomorrow, and you can pick a few.”

Concubine Zhou felt great joy but hesitated, “Fourth Miss said that the concubines in the mansion all use their own attendants this way. I don’t want to cause unnecessary gossip.”

“Who’s in charge of this mansion, me or her?” Zhuang Shiyang’s face was filled with anger. “I’m her father! She has no say in this mansion!”

Zhou Shi showed a look of fear. “But I don’t think the fourth miss likes us. Yuyu also mentioned it. Master, I think this fourth miss is very ambitious. She’s not as obedient as you say she is.”

Zhou Shi’s words were well-intentioned. She was complaining on the surface, but she was actually warning Zhuang Shiyang. She was implying that his daughter was two-faced and that her obedience was probably just an act. But after seeing how she acted in the past two days since she arrived at the mansion, Zhou Shi knew that this fourth lady was not to be underestimated. Even if she didn’t know what her next move would be, it was clear that she was not the kind of twelve-year-old girl who could do such things.

Zhuang Shiyang couldn’t help but start to suspect. Han Yan had always been close to Wang Shi, and she had never had much affection for him as her father. In fact, she was even afraid of him. Fortunately, Wang Shi had raised her well. No matter how he treated her, Han Yan would always be obedient and respectful in front of him.

But since Wang Shi died, he hadn’t paid much attention to his daughter. It wasn’t until Zhou Shi came into the picture that he realized that Han Yan had changed. She had gone from being extremely afraid of him to being subtly confrontational. The look in her eyes when she looked at him was no longer one of respect and obedience. Instead, it had a hint of confidence and something else that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. That look actually made him feel a little guilty..

This daughter unknowingly made him feel unfamiliar, creating a sense of being unable to control her. His strong sense of control led to anger at this unexpected change.

Concubine Zhou leaned gently against Zhuang Shiyang’s chest and said, “Fourth Miss lost her mother, so her rejection of me is understandable. But you are her father. Children should give their fathers face. What she said in front of the servants the other day was disrespectful, wasn’t it?”

Zhuang Shiyang was momentarily stunned, recalling Hanyan’s reprimand of Concubine Zhou not to wear revealing clothes. He had no idea when Hanyan had acquired such eloquence. His face darkened.

Seeing that her goal was achieved, Concubine Zhou quickly smiled and said, “Today, I went to see Fifth Young Master.”

Zhuang Shiyang didn’t expect her to suddenly say this and casually asked, “How was it?”

However, Concubine Zhou buried her face in his chest, her voice carrying both grievance and deep affection, “Shiyang, I really want to give birth to a son for you.”

Upon hearing this, Zhuang Shiyang, feeling satisfied in his masculine pride, hugged Concubine Zhou tightly, and they became entangled once again.

The night was enchanting, but in another corner of the mansion, sleep was elusive.

“Snap!” A beautiful green-glazed and pink butterfly porcelain bowl shattered on the ground. The sparkling bird’s nest was scattered all over. The maid on the side looked at the mess and couldn’t help feeling distressed. That was the bird’s nest porridge specially stewed in the kitchen for three whole hours, and now it was all wasted.

The woman on the bed glared at her, “He’s not here; what’s the use of this thing?” She gritted her teeth, “Did Master really stay at Fu Ling Courtyard tonight?”

The timid maid said, “The servant heard people say so.”

The woman on the bed was Concubine Mei, who, witnessing Zhuang Shiyang’s extreme intimacy with Concubine Zhou and her daughter, felt an unwarranted sense of threat. She didn’t have a son, and her position in the mansion relied on Master’s favor. Now, Concubine Zhou had a daughter, giving her an extra bargaining chip. Moreover, witnessing it today, though Concubine Zhou might not be as beautiful as her, she had a soft and graceful temperament that she couldn’t imitate. Zhuang Shiyang, used to bold and fiery women, might find some interest in this gentle woman. Men always liked novel things, and at her age, if she lost favor now, it would be difficult to regain it.

So, tonight, she deliberately dressed up, wanting to serve Zhuang Shiyang well and firmly grasp his heart. Unexpectedly, the servant by Zhuang Shiyang’s side suddenly came to inform her that Master would stay in Fu Ling Courtyard tonight. All her careful grooming and the soups she had ordered from the kitchen were all in vain. How could she not be resentful and hateful!

“Hypocritical fox!” Concubine Mei gritted her teeth, “You just entered the mansion and are causing trouble. Do you think all of us in Fu Yong  Courtyard are fools? An old woman also wants to stir up trouble!”

The maid beside Concubine Mei, noticing her expression, finally spoke up, “Mistress, when I went out earlier, I bumped into Fourth Miss’s personal maid, Jilan. We chatted for a while.”

Concubine Mei knew she wouldn’t bring this up without reason and gave her a sharp look, asking, “What did she say?”

“Mistress, according to Jilan, Concubine Zhou has been very attentive to Fourth Miss recently. Today, she even went to see the young master and brought many gifts. It seems like she’s trying to win favor,” the maid reported.

Concubine Mei was furious, “She’s just an unfavored young lady. Trying to win favor? Hmph, she’s willing to find a helper for herself!”

After taking a sip of tea to calm down, she looked up and asked, “What did Fourth Miss say about it?”

The maid leaned in and whispered, “According to Jilan, Fourth Miss is a bit naive. Seeing Concubine Zhou being nice to her makes her somewhat happy.”

Concubine Mei fell silent, absentmindedly playing with the patterns on her skirt. After a while, she stood up and said, “Jiaomeng, from today onwards, get closer to Fourth Miss and the maids around her. She wants to win over Fourth Miss? She must be dreaming!”

Though Fourth Miss wasn’t favoured, but she still had some influence within the family. If Zhuang Shiyang intended to raise Concubine Zhou to the status of the main wife, a few words from Hanyan as the legitimate daughter could make a significant impact. Concubine Mei couldn’t let this happen; she needed to find a way to bring Fourth Miss to her side.

As the season gradually turned colder, the winter sun no longer provided much warmth. The vendors carrying baskets in the morning outside the east gate of the city, selling hot food, emitted a comforting aroma.

In the capital, there was a saying that “the east is poor, the west is rich, the south is noble, and the north is chaotic.” It suggested that the east was where the poor resided, the north had disorderly conditions, the south was inhabited by officials and nobles, and the west was wealthy. This saying was believed to have originated from a wandering Daoist during the reign of the previous emperor. In reality, it was not so exaggerated, but it stuck because the east and north were closer to the outskirts of the city, with vast empty lands and mountains, naturally lacking in population.

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