The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | Chapter 8: Playing with He Lian

Waiting for Concubine Zhou to leave, Ji Lan and Shu Hong approached. Ji Lan said, “Miss, that Concubine Zhou doesn’t seem like a good person.”

“Don’t speak recklessly.” Before Han Yan could speak, Shu Hong interrupted Ji Lan, saying, “There are people around; don’t cause trouble for the Miss.”

Han Yan laughed heartily, “Shu Hong, don’t be so nervous. Keeping your face stiff like this will give you wrinkles.”

Shu Hong remained expressionless, and Han Yan teased, “Ji Lan, you don’t need to be so serious. Always having that stern face will give you wrinkles too.”

“Ji Lan, Shu Hong, I’ll take you out for a stroll today.”

Ji Lan’s eyes brightened, “Miss, are we leaving the residence?”

“Miss, you shouldn’t.” Shu Hong frowned, “If the Master finds out, it will be bad.”

“Don’t worry.” Han Yan was confident, “Father is busy enjoying family bliss now; he won’t think of us for a while. And we won’t use the main entrance. Shu Hong, keep the silver safe. We are going to East Gate to find a martial arts instructor for Ming’er.”

Shu Hong wanted to say a few words, but seeing Han Yan’s determined look, she swallowed her words. However, her brows still showed concern, while Ji Lan, overjoyed, hurriedly went back to prepare their things.

In Qingqiu Courtyard, there was a secret passage in the back wall that Han Yan discovered in her childhood. Back then, she used to sneak out of the residence with Ji Lan and Shu Hong through this passage to play. After learning about women’s etiquette, she stopped doing such things. But now, with a new lease on life, her mindset had changed. Women’s etiquette was just societal constraints; why let herself be unhappy for these norms?

Han Yan had Shu Hong find a maid’s outfit, and the three of them, dressed in simple cotton clothes, crawled out through the dog hole. Suddenly, while crawling, Han Yan burst into laughter, startling Ji Lan.

“What’s wrong, Miss?”

Han Yan shook her head, “I’m just thinking, this is quite enjoyable. Being a young lady from a noble house is so boring; it’s not as good as being a commoner.”

Ji Lan shook her head, “Commoners may not necessarily be free. Every family has its troubles.Miss’s life is something many commoners can only dream of.”

“Reasonable.” Han Yan nodded, more open-minded compared to her previous life. In this short life, she needed to do things she enjoyed. The prerequisite was to seek revenge for her mother.

The three crawled out from the dog hole, brushing off the dirt. To avoid detection, Han Yan disguised herself as a maid, and no one paid much attention to her. They didn’t hire a carriage, and since they rarely went out, they decided to walk and explore along the way.

Unnoticed by Han Yan, a stranger not far from the outer wall had been observing them. The man held a straw in his mouth, watching their departing figures with interest. “The young ladies from the Zhuang family are strange. They prefer crawling through dog holes instead of using the main gate,” he mused, shaking his head with a smile. “Interesting.”

On the bustling street, with people coming and going, vendors selling various goods on both sides, Ji Lan, who rarely left the residence, was excitedly exploring.

Although Han Yan found these things fascinating, she didn’t show it. Her gaze occasionally revealed a hint of curiosity. Shu Hong, ever composed, instinctively walked at the forefront, protecting Han Yan.

While strolling, Han Yan contemplated. If she had known the outside world was so interesting, she should have sneaked out more in her previous life. Her status as the daughter of the Marquis was almost just for show; Zhuang Shiyang never cared about her. After her mother’s death, fewer people in the residence paid attention to her. This lack of attention made it easier for her to go out.

Shun Chang Martial Arts Academy was the most famous one in the capital. The founder, Yang Qi, was the martial arts champion of the previous dynasty. The martial arts instructors in the academy were top-notch, and many prestigious families were willing to send their sons to learn martial arts there. Despite its great reputation, the academy had an unwritten rule: those who came seeking instruction could only practice inside. Han Yan had heard that even the thirteenth prince of the current emperor had been refused when he wanted a martial arts instructor from the academy to teach him in the palace.

Han Yan admired the former martial arts champion not only because he dared to refuse the current emperor directly but also because he established this rule, indicating a sense of fairness. The poor have always found life harder than the wealthy, and the same applied to seeking education. Keeping the students within the academy prevented the martial arts instructors from making any underhanded moves, ensuring they would wholeheartedly teach.

In this light, she became curious about the former martial arts champion.

As they walked, Ji Lan couldn’t resist glancing at stalls selling rouge and cosmetics. Han Yan teased her, “If you want to buy, just buy. Why are you so stingy? I didn’t know you were so frugal.”

“Miss,” Ji Lan said seriously, “Considering the current situation in the residence, we are short of silver. It’s not too late to buy these when we have more funds.”

Han Yan found it amusing, “I can afford a box of rouge, Miss. Buy two; one for you and one for Shu Hong.” She took out a few copper coins from her sleeve and continued, “Buy two. Each of you can have one.”

Shu Hong’s face turned slightly unnatural. “This servant doesn’t need those.”

“Do both of you want to save money for me so badly?” Han Yan was both amused and annoyed. “If that’s the case, let’s just save the monthly allowance altogether.”

Ji Lan didn’t say anything at this time, but Han Yan was moved in her heart. One penny stumps the hero; silver was indeed a big problem for her now.

Looking around, amidst the bustling crowd, with busy merchants and hardworking farmers, she wondered how she could quickly earn silver. She couldn’t think of a solution at the moment, but she noted the issue in her mind, knowing it would be a significant concern in the days to come.

Compared to the Northern Street, the West City was even more bustling, perhaps because it was on the edge of the commercial route, attracting more visitors. The streets were always lively and bustling. Consequently, the architecture was more intricate and elegant, with green tiles and red pavilions creating picturesque scenes everywhere. People crowded the streets, and Ji Lan and Shu Hong escorted Han Yan to the depths of an alley, where a tall building came into view. On top hung a pear wood plaque with the bold and powerful characters of ‘Shun Chang Martial Arts Academy,’ quite eye-catching.

Approaching the entrance, Ji Lan lifted the copper lock hanging on the vermilion gate and knocked. Soon, the door creaked open, revealing a refined young boy in a blue shirt.

Seeing the three women, the young boy was taken aback. “Do you have any business, Miss?”

Han Yan smiled faintly, “Please lead the way, young sir. We are here to find a martial arts instructor.”

Since its establishment, Shun Chang Martial Arts Academy had never admitted female students. The young boy was stunned for a moment, blushing, “You’re ladies.”

“Does Shun Chang Martial Arts Academy have a rule against women learning martial arts?” Han Yan smiled at him. This young boy was much cuter than Ming’er, so silly.

1 thought on “The Reborn Noble Girl is Hard to Find | Chapter 8: Playing with He Lian”

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