The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | Chapter 40: Rebuking the Crown Prince

Chapter 40: Rebuking 

Zhuang Hanming was taken aback but did not want to worry Han Yan. He bit his lip and said, “Yes.”

Zhang Wei sneered and turned to leave. But then Han Yan asked again, “Fifth Brother, is that so?”

This time, both Zhang Wei and Zhuang Hanming couldn’t help but look at Han Yan’s expression.

Han Yan smiled at Zhuang Hanming, her rosy lips slightly curved, her cheeks flushed from the wind, and her delicate features still holding a touch of innocence. Yet, her bright, clear eyes were like exquisite glass, transparent but revealing nothing, their brilliance captivating. At this moment, Zhang Wei suddenly realized that this cousin, who had always been unremarkable, was actually a charming little beauty. His eyes filled with greed.

Seeing Han Yan’s gaze, Zhuang Hanming felt a sudden fear. His sister’s expression showed no hint of anger, but her smiling face was even more terrifying. Swallowing hard under Han Yan’s warning look, he finally spoke with difficulty, “Cousin… had a quarrel with me.”

Han Yan responded with an “Oh” and continued to smile, “So he slapped you, right?”

The people around couldn’t understand Han Yan’s attitude, even Zhang Wei grew cautious. Seeing Han Yan asking like this, he became suspicious, but Han Yan turned around and walked towards him with a smile.

Under the dim lights, Han Yan’s face was half-hidden by her gray mouse fur cloak, snowflakes falling lightly. Her dark hair draped with two strands over her delicate ears, making her skin appear as white as jade. The ever-present smile on her lips and her bright eyes made her seem more lively and cunning than other young ladies.

Zhang Wei’s gaze turned dazed for a moment as Han Yan stopped beside him, blinking her eyes sweetly and calling softly, “Cousin.”

Han Yan was petite, and Zhang Wei was already tall. Under the light, Han Yan tiptoed slightly, looking up with a smile, her shadow on the ground resembling a tender scene. Zhuang Hanming anxiously wanted to speak out, but someone covered his mouth, his limbs unable to move, heart filled with fear, worried that Han Yan would be bullied by Zhang Wei.

Zhang Wei had known about men and women at twelve and had frequented pleasure houses in recent years. He knew that some women naturally exuded an allure. He never imagined this allure would appear in a twelve-year-old girl who usually seemed dull. Though she made no suggestive moves, every action seemed to scratch at one’s heart, nearly driving him to pounce.

Zhang Wei squinted his eyes, calling softly, “Cousin…” and reached out to touch Han Yan’s cheek.

Han Yan’s eyes turned cold. Without hesitation, she slapped him, leaving five distinct finger marks on his face.

Han Yan took out a handkerchief from her pocket, wiped her hand disdainfully, and slowly smiled at the stunned crowd, “Returning your favor.”

Zhang Wei was initially stunned, but when he reacted, he became furious, grabbing Han Yan and ready to punch her. Han Yan’s calm voice stopped him, “Cousin, if you don’t want your family to be executed, you’d better let go of me.”

Hearing this, Zhang Wei’s hand paused, face darkened, “What do you mean?”

Jilan and Shuhong quickly stepped forward, rescuing Han Yan from Zhang Wei’s grasp and protecting her. Han Yan, unhurried, smiled at Zhang Wei, her words making him almost mad, “Cousin and Fifth Brother came here to admire the flowers, which is not a big deal. But why bring the Crown Prince?”

“The Crown Prince should be at the banquet. You bringing him here is a serious mistake. Quarreling and hitting Fifth Brother in front of the Crown Prince is another mistake. If the Crown Prince learns from this and handles disputes with his brothers the same way, you’re teaching him wrong, which is a third mistake. Furthermore, all these boys are from the Zhang family. If you mistreat Fifth Brother, might you also harm the Crown Prince? That’s a fourth mistake.” She spoke quickly, not allowing Zhang Wei any time to think. “The royal banquet tolerates no errors. Even if you deny everything, once the Emperor suspects, the Zhang family will be in great danger. Cousin, think before you act. Today’s slap is a reminder; otherwise, it will be worse next time!”

Zhang Wei opened his mouth, unprepared for his cousin’s eloquence, still suspicious yet fearful. The Grand Tutor favored them, but if the family’s safety was threatened, he would not spare them.

Lowering his head, Zhang Wei looked at his unfamiliar cousin, realizing she had maintained a smile throughout, inducing fear. His mother, Lady Zhou, was skilled and managed to become the Grand Tutor’s favorite despite her status as a concubine. However, she had moments of anger and frustration. This cousin, though, kept her expression controlled, making her terrifyingly flawless.

And she was only twelve.

Han Yan tilted her head, smiling sweetly at Zhang Wei like a little sister acting coy, her voice soft, “That slap was returned. Don’t bother Fifth Brother again, or I won’t just return one slap next time. Maybe… two slaps.”

She laughed freely, but Zhang Wei, feeling a flash of killing intent, stepped back in shock. Looking at Han Yan as if she were a ghost, he quickly called his brothers and fled. Only after they were far did Han Yan lower her gaze, looking at Zhuang Hanming running to her.

“Elder Sister, are you alright?” Zhuang Hanming asked anxiously. He had been terrified during the encounter, worried for Han Yan. To his surprise, Han Yan had easily dealt with Zhang Wei.

“How did you quarrel with him?” Han Yan’s face was now serious, causing Zhuang Hanming to shrink back, stuttering, “He… insulted you.”

Not hearing a response, Zhuang Hanming felt uneasy, looking up and softly saying, “Sister, don’t be angry. I won’t be impulsive next time.”

Han Yan sighed, patting his head, “Ming’er, next time, just ignore him. It’s not worth it.”

Feeling wronged, Zhuang Hanming began, “Sister…”

  • 2 July 2024