Reborn: Femme Fatale First Daughter Chapter 441 – The Painting of King Jin’s Three Princesses

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Reborn: Femme Fatale First Daughter is a Webnovel created by Lian Shuang, 帘霜.
This lightnovel is currently ongoing.

Chapter 441 The Painting of King Jin’s Three Princesses

That single statement confused the two of them. Fortunately, they did not have to understand. The message just had to reach them.

Mo Xuetong and Luo Mingzhu arrived at a pavilion near the fake rock mountains. A maidservant served them tea and went to stand far away, leaving the two to chat over their drinks.

“Cousin Tong, did Ling Rui’er try to set you up in the palace the other day?” Luo Mingzhu frowned and asked about the incident that everyone was talking about that. She had been invited that day as well. However, Li Youmo’s mother had fallen ill, so Luo Mingzhu stayed home to take care of her instead. After that, she heard the madams and young ladies whom she was close to mentioning that thrilling scene. She had been so frightened sweat trickled down her back. She immediately felt that it was Ling Rui’er who wanted to plot against Mo Xuetong.

That was why she sounded so mean. She had never gotten along with Ling Rui’er in the first place.

“Forget it, it’s not a big matter. Anyway, she didn’t manage to get me into trouble. Instead, she got someone else into trouble. I am not the only one who bears a grudge against her now.” Mo Xuetong wiped the liquid on her lips and said with an uncaring smile.

The He family had two powerful backers, Consort Yu and Consort Zhao. After what happened, they were thoroughly embarra.s.sed. The two were not simple characters to deal with. It was said that Consort Yu knelt in front of Emperor Zongwen that day in his study, heavily pregnant, and pleaded with the Emperor. She was even more troubled by the matter than Consort Zhao was when it was Consort Zhao’s nieces who were in trouble. The Emperor was touched by Consort Yu’s kindness and even prepared gifts for her. In comparison, Consort Zhao, who had arrived after Consort Yu, did not receive any gifts from the Emperor.

Everyone in the palace wondered if Consort Yu was going to become even more powerful because of the child she was carrying.

However, no matter which consort it was, they were both closely related to He Yuxiu. Even if it was a game of chess, one had to see who was the one moving the chess pieces!

“That’s right. Ling Rui’er must have offended many people.” Luo Mingzhu said with a smile, having understood what Mo Xuetong said immediately.

The incident had happened at Cining Palace. It was the Empress Dowager who had been embarra.s.sed. No wonder she had been so angry she had gotten ill. The girl was her grandniece. It was not right for her to punish her, but neither could she just let her off. The Empress Dowager was furious, how could she not fall ill? The Empress Dowager had once plotted against Mo Xuetong’s and Luo Mingzhu’s marriages, so Luo Mingzhu did not like her much.

“Second Cousin, where is that place? Why have I never seen it before?” Mo Xuetong suddenly pointed at a garden beyond the fake mountains and asked curiously.

“Where?” Luo Mingzhu could not see what Mo Xuetong was pointing at from where she was sitting. She stood up and saw the inconspicuous garden. If they had not been standing so high up and facing that direction, they would not have seen it. “Oh, that’s the courtyard behind Aunt’s. It’s been left empty for a long while.”

Mo Xuetong was very interested in the abandoned garden. However, she did not show it. She asked curiously, “It is a nice garden, but why did you all abandon it? It would be nice if it was touched up and some things were placed in it. Or someone could move in. It looks quite s.p.a.cious.”

There were three main rooms and a few wing rooms on the sides. Even though it was not considered a large courtyard, it was more than enough for several people.

“I heard…” Luo Mingzhu hesitated before continuing softly, “Grandmother said that that is not an auspicious place. Someone once hung themselves there. That’s why it’s been locked up for so many years.”

It was not really anything special for people to die in homes. After all, it was a large family that had been around for several centuries. If every house and even the adjoining courtyards were all locked up, there would not be many courtyards left available in the Fu General Manor. Mo Xuetong thought that this was very suspicious. The Old Madam was not a superst.i.tious person.

She had brought Luo Mingzhu to the fake mountains just to find out information about the courtyard. She could not find out anything from her grandmother, so it seemed that her grandmother did not intend to tell her anything. In her past life, after the fall of the Fu General Manor, her grandmother had not left her any message as well on her deathbed. It meant that her maternal grandmother did not intend to tell her the truth at all.

Her eldest cousin was a man and might not notice such details. As such, her second cousin was the person who was most likely to know something about it. Mo Xuetong had always suspected that the room right across her mother’s had once been where Consort Jin stayed after fleeing for her life. It was a secluded spot and Consort Jin would be able to see Mo Xuetong’s mother from there clearly.

She had these thoughts in the past, but they grew even stronger in recent days.

Ever since Qin Yufeng gave her the painting, she had examined it thoroughly. Her mother’s face was especially clear in the painting. She could clearly see the intricate expressions on her mother’s face. It was impossible to paint something like that if one had not seen her mother up close in real life. The other two girls should be Princess Royal and Bai Yihao’s Mother.

Their features were not as clear.

The Princess Royal’s side profile was very clear but only the back of Bai Yihao’s mother could be seen. The three princesses of King Jin’s Manor appearing in a single painting was no coincidence for sure. But who would put in so much effort to paint this? What did it mean? And why was it not with Mo Xuetong’s Mother, Princess Royal, or with Bai Yihao? Instead, why was it at the Qin Manor, which had nothing to do with the three women at all? Was there something going on?

Mo Xuetong had specially visited her maternal grandmother today to find out what was up with that abandoned courtyard.

She had intentionally dragged Luo Mingzhu out to chat and had brought up the matter. However, she had received a ridiculous answer.

“Second Cousin, it is such a waste to leave such a big courtyard empty.” Mo Xuetong said, pretending to be curious.

“That is not a good place.” Luo Mingzhu looked around her. She made a move to speak but then stopped herself.

“What’s wrong with that place? It’s just that someone died in there. Isn’t it a waste to empty out and lock up a courtyard? I will tell Second Uncle that that is a good place to study in. First Cousin’s study can be placed there and flowers can be planted there as well. It’s so quiet anyway. It would be a good place to cool down in the summer after we decorate it a little.”

Mo Xuetong looked very excited and seemed as if she were going to speak with Luo Bin right there and then. However, she looked at Luo Mingzhu closely.

“Cousin Tong, don’t go. That’s not a good courtyard!” Luo Mingzhu said softly. She thought that Mo Xuetong really was going to head straight to the courtyard. She reached out to pull Mo Xuetong back into her seat at the table.

“Why?” Mo Xuetong looked at Luo Mingzhu with wide and confused eyes.

“It is not clean.” Luo Mingzhu’s voice was even softer than before. Her hands, which were holding on to Mo Xuetong’s were cold.

“Not clean? Why? Would the person who hung themself appear?” Mo Xuetong asked incredulously. Her eyes glowed and she seemed to be even more interested than before.

“Don’t, don’t ask anymore. It’s… It’s just not a good place.” Luo Mingzhu did not know what to say and instead tried to persuade Mo Xuetong not to go.

“Second Cousin, tell me!” Either you tell me or I will look for First Cousin and have him tell me.” Mo Xuetong appeared to be very interested as she shook Luo Mingzhu’s arm. She seemed as if she would not give up unless she was given a satisfactory answer.

Luo Mingzhu sighed when she saw how insistent Mo Xuetong was. She said softly, “I heard that someone once saw a figure in there. Sometimes, they heard voices as well. It is very scary. Grandmother told everyone to minimize their trips there and then locked up that place. She even ordered everyone not to speak nonsense. That’s how the matter was calmed down.”

“There’s a figure and voices there? When was that?” Mo Xuetong was startled when she heard that. She covered her mouth with a handkerchief, appearing to have been frightened. She asked softly and carefully, “Is it true?”

“Of course it is.” Luo Mingzhu said seriously, “My nanny once saw that. She even told me about it secretly. I didn’t know anything then and I went to ask Grandmother about it. After that, Grandmother did not allow me to go there again. The nanny was also moved somewhere else.”

“That’s so weird!” Mo Xuetong blinked her large and lively eyes in shock.

“Don’t worry. It’s fine now. Nothing will happen as long as you don’t go there.” Luo Mingzhu patted Mo Xuetong’s hand comfortingly and smiled when she saw that Mo Xuetong was frightened.

“Alright, I won’t go there.” Mo Xuetong answered obediently.

The two of them chatted for a while longer. Then, a nanny approached to say that the Old Madam was awake and invited them over.

The two left the fake mountain and returned to the Old Madam’s courtyard with their maids. The Old Madam had taken her medicine and a nap, so she looked much better than earlier in the day. When she saw the two cousins being kind and sweet to each other, she was very happy. They started chatting again.

Luo Wenyou came to enquire about the health of the Old Madam before returning. The major exam was happening soon and he wanted to give it a try. Even though he did not have to take the exam since he was from a n.o.ble family who had contributed to the building of the nation, Luo Wenyou wanted to become a scholar based on his own merits. That was why he wanted to take the exam.

Mo Xuetong and Luo Mingzhu chatted with the Old Madam for a while when they heard the servants outside say that Luo Bin had returned to the manor. They were Luo Bin’s niece and daughter respectively, so they had to greet him. Just as they were about to go to him, Luo Bin appeared. He sat down and had some tea while he chatted with them. As it was getting late, the two cousins had to return to their respective manors.

The Old Madam was very pleased when she saw that the two cousins were as close as sisters. She had the servants bring out plenty of food and other things for the two. They had to wait for the things to be brought up to their carriages before they could leave. Luo Mingzhu went inside to bid her mother farewell. Mo Xuetong asked Luo Mingzhu to bid her Second Aunt farewell for her while she stayed to speak with the Old Madam and Luo Bin.

When everything outside was done, Luo Mingzhu came out. The two boarded their horse carriages and returned home.

Mo Xuetong sat on the horse carriage thinking about the courtyard, the painting, her mother, the Princess Royal, and Shuanglan. She felt that there was an invisible net that linked all of them. However, she could not find the key and was unable to unravel this web.

The person who painted the painting must have seen her mother more than once. Otherwise, he or she would not be able to paint her mother’s verve. The Princess Royal’s side profile was in the painting. Did that mean that the person did not take a clear look at Princess Royal? Or was it that the person did not have a chance to take a clear look at the Princess Royal’s appearance? As for Princess Shuanglan…

Mo Xuetong wanted to believe that the person was helping Princess Shuanglan to conceal her ident.i.ty. That was why her face was not in the painting at all.

Who would do that?

What was the person’s purpose for doing that? Was he or she just not afraid of arousing suspicions?! The three figures in the painting would be recognized by those who have met her mother and Princess Mingzhu. As for the other figure, would someone else be suspicious of the third person’s ident.i.ty? Also, how did the painting end up in the Qin Manor?

In Mo Xuetong’s past life, she had seen the painting before. However, she only knew that the youngest girl in the painting was her mother. She did not recognize Princess Royal because she had never seen her. As for Princess Shuanglan, she had never even thought of that person before. After that, she had never seen the painting again. She only heard Old Madam Qin mention once that the painting had gone missing. It seemed that someone had stolen it from the old manor.

Everything was different in this life. There were too many things that Mo Xuetong did not have a clue where to start from. However, her intuition told her that the painting definitely had something to do with her.

Furthermore, the painting style was exquisite. This was very odd.

The horse carriage was very steady. It was so steady Mo Xuetong did not feel like she was on a horse carriage. She closed her eyes and rubbed her brows, feeling tired and sleepy.

Suddenly, it seemed as if the horse carriage had been run into by something. Mo Xuetong was jerked about inside the carriage. Fortunately, the carriage was lined with thick blankets and Mo Xuetong b.u.mped into that. Mo Lan reached out to Mo Xuetong wanting to help her up.

“My Lady, the front is blocked. There is someone fighting on the street!” Mo Ye lifted the curtains of the horse carriage and reported to Mo Xuetong.

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