The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | Chapter 20: Sinister Intentions

Chapter 20: Sinister Intentions

In the courtyard of Qingqiu Garden, a young man in a blue linen shirt sat by a stone table. Upon hearing footsteps, he turned and smiled at her, “Sister!”

Han Yan smiled and said, “Why sit outside? Aren’t you afraid of catching a cold? Mama has set up a stove inside. Come in. Jilan, brew a pot of Tian Shan Silver tea that we separated yesterday for the young master.”

Han Yan walked over with a smile. “Why not let your sister take care of you?”

Back in the room, Han Yan had Shuhong hand a small iron stove to Han Ming. Seeing him take a sip of the hot tea and warmth returning to his face, she asked, “Did Zhou Shi come looking for you yesterday?”

When Zhou Shi was mentioned, Han Ming’s expression changed instantly. He snorted, “She has ill intentions. I feel disgusted just seeing them.”

“Did you have any conflicts with them?” Han Yan expressed her concern. Her younger brother was still young, and she was not familiar with the dirty tricks played in the mansion. Considering his youthful nature, she worried that he might not be able to endure and would clash with Zhou Shi. If word got out, people might think that the outcast was being harsh on the newly entered concubine, and Zhuang Shiyang might become dissatisfied.

Han Ming shook his head, “I followed Fourth Sister’s advice and just treated them coldly. After they delivered the gifts, they left.”

Han Yan smirked, “Gifts? She really knows how to give gifts!”

Last night, Jilan came back with information and told Han Yan that Zhou’s mother and daughter had met Ming’er. They claimed it was a welcome gift for the newcomer to the mansion and sent many gifts. Upon a rough inspection, many of them turned out to be precious items.

Han Yan couldn’t believe that Zhou’s mother and daughter would be so kind-hearted. She was sure they had some ulterior motive. That same night, Zhuang Han Ming instructed the maidservant to bring something similar, which turned out to be the bird in this cage.

At that time, Zhou told Zhuang Han Ming that this bird was interesting and fond of beautiful women. If it saw a beautiful woman, it would flutter onto her to show affection. It wasn’t a big deal for the young masters of wealthy households in the capital to play with birds. Zhuang Hanming, being young, naturally became interested in such a novelty. However, he already disliked Zhou’s mother and daughter at that time, so he didn’t care about the bird. He simply handed it over to Han Yan, knowing that women liked these animals. Little did he know, when Han Yan saw the bird, she was shocked. At a glance, she recognized its resemblance to the mythical Peng bird described in ancient texts. Combined with Zhuang Hanming conveying Zhou’s words to her, she was even more certain that this was a lecherous bird.

Concubine Zhou was ruthless! If an ordinary young man saw such a novel bird, he would definitely seek out a beautiful woman to experiment with. When the Peng bird saw a beautiful woman and became affectionate, it would emit a charming fragrance. Just a whiff of it would make people lose their senses. In this way, the person would be compelled to have a relationship with that woman. Over time, he would become a waste indulging in women. Ming’er was only eleven years old this year, and Concubine Zhou wanted to empty Ming’er’s body!

Very few people in the capital recognized this Peng bird, and even the knowledgeable storekeeper from Yuebaoge today didn’t notice it. In this mansion, no one would know about it. Concubine Zhou’s move was both subtle and secure; in the future, if something happened to Ming’er, no one would suspect that bird! In the previous life, Ming’er was imprisoned in the dungeon because of a brothel woman. Han Yan wondered if it was related to this. As she thought about it, Han Yan’s face turned cold. It turned out that Concubine Zhou had arranged everything from the beginning!

Seeing Han Yan’s gloomy expression, Zhuang Han Ming also guessed what was going on and asked, “But what’s wrong with that bird?”

Han Yan didn’t want to tell him about this filthy matter and just said, “That bird is poisonous. Don’t get close to it.”

“What?” Zhuang Han Ming was furious upon hearing this. “They have such audacity! They dare to plot against me in this mansion! Sister, let’s tell Father!” He was about to get up.

Han Yan grabbed him, “What are you doing? If you tell Father now, it will make those two mother and daughter suspicious. They will continue to put things in your room in the future. It’s better to keep it quiet and let them calm down for a while.”

Zhuang Han Ming looked at her and said, “Sister, the bird is in your room now. What about your safety?”

“Don’t worry, today I went to the pawnshop and sold that bird along with the cage. If they like sending gifts, let them. We’ll exchange all of those things for silver. Spend it however you want!”

Zhuang Han Ming widened his eyes, “Sister, did you actually sneak out of the mansion?”

“Hush.” Han Yan glared at him, “Do you want everyone in the mansion to hear? This matter is unknown to anyone; you don’t have to worry.” She then took out a silver note from her pocket, “This is the silver note I got today. You keep it.”

Zhuang Han Ming shook his head, pushing the silver note back into Han Yan’s hand. “I don’t usually need money. Sister, you keep it. By the way.” Suddenly remembering something, he continued, “She also gave me a lot of clothing and trinkets. I noticed that those clothes are exquisite and valuable, and those trinkets are rare. Why not take them with you and sell them too, sister?”

Clothing? Trinkets?

Han Yan squinted her eyes, and a cold smile appeared at the corner of her mouth.

Exquisite clothing and luxurious trinkets were meant to induce laziness in Ming’er, turning him into a young master who indulged in pleasure without pursuing knowledge and skills. If Zhuang Shiyang saw this, he would think his son was all show and no substance, a prodigal son. This flattery, Concubine Zhou played it quite well!

“Take care of it when you have time. I’ll take care of the other trinkets; don’t waste the Concubine’s efforts.”

“Sister.” Zhuang Han Ming held her hand, his face serious. “I usually stay in the Imperial College and seldom go to the backyard. Besides, being a man, Concubine Zhou has some reservations about me. But you are different; be careful in everything.”

His words revealed genuine concern, and Han Yan was moved. Looking at the young man in front of her, she unconsciously realized that Ming’er had grown taller, too. His delicate face had gained a touch of the resolute character of a young man, losing some of his childishness. Since their mother’s death, Ming’er seemed to have grown up overnight. Han Yan’s heart softened even more.

Chen Mama, observing this pair of siblings, couldn’t help but sigh. After all, they were blood-related, and their feelings were genuine. In this mansion full of traps and malicious intent, these two delicate souls were truly pitiable. Fortunately, the girl was sensible, and her cleverness and wit were commendable. At least, in this mansion, she wasn’t easily manipulated.

On the other side, Zhuang Shiyang and Zhou had just gone through a passionate encounter.Concubine Zhou, with nothing on her body, leaned against the man, her voice alluring, “Master, in a few days, there will be a night banquet in the palace, and the ministers will bring their female relatives…”

Zhuang Shiyang, just having satisfied his desires, wore a satisfied expression. Upon hearing this, he smiled knowingly, “Of course, I’ll take you, my enchantress. You are the apple of my eye. If I don’t take you, then whom?”

“I am just a concubine.” Zhou Shi, with teary eyes, portrayed a variety of emotions, “Yu’er is just an illegitimate daughter. Following you, Master, I’m afraid people will gossip, given my status as a concubine.”

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