The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | Chapter 29: Walking in the snow in search of plum blossoms

“Hanyan, it’s been so long since I last saw you.” The girl in yellow held onto Hanyan’s hand tightly, her face filled with joy.

Hanyan looked at the girl in front of her, her thoughts drifting far away.

Deng Chan was her close friend from childhood. In her previous life, after the incident with the bandits, she stayed at home all day, and only Deng Chan was willing to play with her. The two had a deep bond, but unfortunately, Deng Shangshu made a mistake and angered the emperor. He was demoted to seventh rank, and Deng Chan married a bureaucrat from the Hanlin Academy. Less than a year after marriage, she fell ill and passed away.

Deng Chan had always been healthy, so when Hanyan first heard the news, she couldn’t believe it. Later, rumors spread that Deng Chan was tortured to death by her husband, who had some unsavory hobbies. Deng Shangshu only had one daughter, and after Deng Chan’s death, he couldn’t bear the grief and passed away shortly after. A year later, Lady Deng also passed away. The once glorious Shangshu Mansion fell into ruin.

Thinking of this, Hanyan’s heart tightened, and she held Deng Chan’s hand tightly. “I missed you so much!”

Deng Chan was startled by her sudden emotional outburst and quickly said, “Why are your eyes red? I wanted to visit you after Aunt left, but I heard you were at your uncle’s house. I heard that woman is your stepmother. Did she mistreat you?”

Hanyan’s emotions got the better of her upon seeing someone she thought had perished in the previous life standing before her now. She replied with a smile, “She’s just a concubine, how could she mistreat me? I’m fine. I’m just happy to see you.”

Deng Chan was initially taken aback. When she saw Hanyan at the Zhuang family’s funeral, Hanyan was crying and holding her hand, her eyes full of despair. Now, however, she seemed to be full of life and vitality. Their relationship was so close that Deng Chan could easily sense any changes in Hanyan. Although Hanyan still appeared naive and lovely before the Empress Dowager, Deng Chan couldn’t help but feel that there was more to her than met the eye. Beneath her innocence, there seemed to be something else hidden. Now, hearing Hanyan talk about Mrs. Zhou with such confidence, Deng Chan felt a sense of assurance. There was a strange and dazzling light about her, leaving Deng Chan momentarily stunned.

Seeing her in a daze, Hanyan jokes, “Why are you staring at me without saying anything? Is there something on my face?”

Deng Chan snapped out of her reverie, thinking she was being overly suspicious. Even if Hanyan had changed, it was for the better. The lively Hanyan was much more welcome than the lifeless one. She sincerely said, “I was worried you couldn’t move on before, but now it seems you’ve emerged from the shadows. I’m truly happy for you.”

“The days always have to go on.” Hanyan shook her head. “When I’m sad, it only brings joy to those who harm me and worry to those who care for me. So why bother being sad and giving pleasure to my enemies?”

“People who harm you?” Deng Chan was taken aback. Before she could finish her sentence, she heard a soft voice, “Fourth sister, why are you only talking to this young lady and ignoring your sister?”

Because of Concubine Zhou’s attitude earlier, Zhuang Yushan behaved in a similar manner. The other ladies in the room had already noticed them. Although they were chatting, their eyes glanced over here intentionally or unintentionally. Zhuang Yushan’s voice was not low, instantly attracting the attention of several other ladies.

Hanyan frowned. Zhuang Yushan was indeed asking for trouble.

However, Zhuang Yushan seemed oblivious to Hanyan’s expression and walked over, affectionately linking her arm with hers. “Younger sister Yan, you rarely move around the mansion. You’re always embroidering and writing in your room. I hardly ever see you. Now that we’re out together, we should have a good chat.”

Deng Chan had been observing this new illegitimate sister, and when she heard her words, she felt displeased. What kind of words were these? Saying that they hardly saw each other in the mansion was basically implying that Hanyan was being arrogant and making things difficult for her, the illegitimate daughter. In front of so many ladies, this would leave a bad impression of Hanyan, portraying her as difficult to get along with and mistreating her illegitimate sister!

Sure enough, the gazes of the other ladies towards Hanyan changed instantly.

Hanyan calmly took in everything, sighing inwardly. That’s just how the world worked. People always liked to latch onto gossip they heard, rather than believe what they saw with their own eyes. Although Zhuang Yushan was a bastard daughter, her actions against Hanyan lost her the grace of a young lady. It showed narrow-mindedness, even maliciousness. These ladies usually led trivial lives, and when they heard gossip about other families, they couldn’t wait to have more incidents to satisfy their gossip-loving hearts.

Deng Chan was about to speak up for Hanyan, but she felt Hanyan gently tug her hand. Startled, she looked at Hanyan, who had already met Zhuang Yushan’s slightly smug gaze and smiled faintly. “Why would Sister Yushan say that? Since Mother passed away, I haven’t been feeling well. I’ve been afraid of spreading my illness to others in the mansion. In fact, I’ve been eagerly waiting for Sister Yushan to come talk to me these days, but I understand that Sister Yushan must have been busy since she just entered the mansion, and didn’t have time for me.”

Zhuang Yushan was taken aback, her pretty face flushing red.

Hanyan’s words were clear; it wasn’t that she didn’t want to leave her room, but that she was bedridden due to illness and didn’t want to infect others. It showed her kindness. As for her half-sister, all the ladies in the room looked at Zhuang Yushan with disdain. Her legitimate sister was sick, yet she didn’t even bother to visit her, which was simply rude.

Deng Chan breathed a sigh of relief, while Zhuang Yushan tried to defend herself, “I didn’t… you’ve been well for a long time.”

Hanyan lowered her head, hiding her emotions, as if embarrassed. “Sister Yushan, everyone in the mansion knows about my illness. Mother just passed away, and I’ve been feeling unwell ever since.”

The mothers in the room, being mothers themselves, almost all knew about Hanyan’s recent loss and couldn’t help but feel a bit of sympathy seeing her young face, still full of innocence. They thought the child was filial, having lost her mother at such a young age. However, when they looked at Zhuang Yushan, they felt a sense of disgust. She was just a bastard daughter, yet she wanted to make trouble and spread rumors!

Concubine Zhou noticed something was wrong on Zhuang Yushan’s side and quickly called her over. Hanyan was relieved not to have to see Zhuang Yushan’s face and felt much lighter.

After Zhuang Yushan left, Deng Chan whispered to Hanyan, “I can tell your sister isn’t someone to be trifled with. She’s clearly trying to discredit you.”

Hanyan shrugged, “She’s just a clown, not worth our time.”

Deng Chan chuckled softly, “It’s only been a few days, and your eloquence has improved. I wonder who taught you.”

Hanyan smiled but didn’t respond. As she looked up, she saw another woman in palace attire entering, followed by several palace maids. She smiled gracefully at the ladies present. “Ladies, Her Majesty is waiting in the Plum Garden. She requests the presence of the Empress Dowager and the ladies to enjoy the plum blossoms together.”

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