Chapter 001: Transmigration
Wen Chi opened his eyes and saw layers of white curtains. The bed frame made of sandalwood was faintly visible behind the curtains.
He turned his head and saw the antique bedroom in front of him.
Wen Chi was stunned for a moment, until the little sleepiness in his mind was gone, he reacted with hindsight — — even after a sleep, he was still in this awful place.
Come to speak of it, it could be said to be unlucky. Wen Chi was originally a Beijing drifter* who lived in the 21st century. After graduation, he entered the screenwriting industry. Unfortunately, his graduation time was short and the experience was pitiful, and he could only work to death under other people in a small position.
*(T/N: 北漂 - Beijing drifter, referring to non-Beijingers seeking success in Beijing (from Pleco))
A while ago, his master helped him take over a job, an adaptation of a delayed drama work (novel). The master was busy, so he asked him to read the original work of the drama thoroughly and try to adapt it.
Finally, Wen Chi waited for this opportunity and naturally had to show his energy, so he spent two days and two nights reading the original script three times.
When he finished reading it for the third time, it was six o’clock in the morning, and the sky outside the window was still faintly blue, but the marble white color of the dawn sky already appeared on the horizon.
Wen Chi’s mouth was dry, so he stood up and stretched, then picked up his cup and prepared to go to the kitchen to get some water to drink.
As a result, as soon as he took the second step, he felt dizzy and giddy before his eyes.
Everything came so quickly that he didn’t have time to react.
A second before he fell into the darkness completely, he heard the muffled sound of his head hitting the wall after he fell, and with the severe pain, he lost consciousness.
Opened his eyes again.
He transmigrated into a book.
Into the danmei novel that he had read for two days and nights and three times.
Wen Chi closed his eyes and was paralyzed like a salted fish for another half an hour before he heard the creak of the door.
“Second Young Master, have you gotten up?” The Momo* of the mansion walked in with the water basin and gently placed the water basin on the wooden shelf in front of the bed. “Second Young Master, it’s time to get up for breakfast.”
*(T/N: 嬷嬷 - Momo; wet nurse)
Wen Chi was paralyzed and did not move, he asked: “Father is gone?”
Chen Momo replied, “Master has gone to the morning court.”
Wen Chi uttered ‘Oh’ with a blank expression, turned over to cover his face, and sighed in despair: “What will be, will be.”
“What are you talking about, Second Young Master? The old slave doesn’t understand.” Chen Momo was confused, “But, is someone coming to the mansion as a guest?”*
*(T/N: The raw Wen chi said is ‘该来的还是会来’ which could also be translated literally as ‘The one who should have come will come.’ That’s why Chen Momo was confused.)
Wen Chi turned over and turned to look at Chen Momo: “It’s nothing. Go ahead and do your job.”
Chen Momo felt weird, thinking that Second Young Master was really weird these two days. But it was the same thing, she didn’t dare to say it, so she had to quietly retire.
Wen Chi slowly got out of bed. The clothes of the ancients were complicated, with three layers inside and three layers outside. It took Wen Chi a lot of effort to wear it, and he finally tied up his belt crookedly.
After he washed, he walked out of the bedroom, and saw the breakfast that Chen Momo brought on the table outside — — the sliced pancakes and white porridge, as simple and the same as yesterday morning.
After eating breakfast, Wen Chi had nothing to do. So, he lay back on the bed and rested in his clothes.
Before long, he gradually fell asleep.
It was not known how long he slept, and then Wen Chi was awakened by Chen Momo’s call.
He opened his sleepy eyes and saw Chen Momo standing on his bedside, clasping her hands, looking a little worried.
“Second Young Master.”
“Master came back from the morning court.”
Wen Chi was stunned. The sleepiness in his eyes disappeared without a trace in an instant, and he sat up on the bed with a sigh of relief: “Father is looking for me?”
“Yes.” Chen Momo said, “Master wants you to come to the study at this moment.”
Wen Chi lived in Beiyuan courtyard, the most remote location in the mansion, which was also the courtyard where the original owner’s mother lived when she was still alive.
The mother of the original owner was the only daughter of a small county magistrate when she was alive. She was married to Wen ChangQing, the assistant minister of the Ministry of Rites, as a concubine. Later, the county magistrate committed corruption and was executed. The mother of the original owner was also affected and was no longer favored by Wen ChangQing. Even when she committed suicide by hanging herself, Wen ChangQing didn’t even come to take a look.
From childhood, the poor original owner grew up in an environment with no father and no mother, and he was not spoiled or favored as he was born of a concubine. Even any servants could step on him.*
*(T/N: means the servants belittled or bullied him.)
It’s nothing more than a pitiful life experience. He was still a cannon fodder in the novel. He was born as a stepping stone for the protagonist......
Wen Chi suddenly felt a headache when he thought of the ending of the original owner in the novel.
According to the memory of the original owner, he walked the small winding path, and it took him a stick of incense* to arrive outside Wen ChangQing’s study.
*(T/N: Time needed to burn a stick of incense. Baidu said it is about 30 minutes in general, but it could also be ‘1 hour’ in other interpretations.)
He knocked on the door: “Father, are you looking for me?”
As he finished speaking, there was a steady voice from inside: “Come in.”
Wen Chi pushed the door and entered. The first thing he saw was Wen ChangQing sitting behind a big wooden table. This assistant minister of the Ministry of Rites was the same as described in the novel - in his thirties, he had a face with well-proportioned features, and had a mustache shaped like character 八 on both side of his mouth. He looked like a serious person.
Wen Chi just glanced at him, and then quickly lowered his head. He walked to the wooden table, and stood upright.
He looked at his toes in a daze.
“I heard that you are sick.” Wen ChangQing put down the accounts book in his hand frowned and looked at the second son whom he hadn’t seen for a long time. There was a little more concern in his cold words, “Do you get better?”
The sick person was the original owner, not Wen Chi.
But that was already a few days ago, and the original owner had long since disappeared (died from the illness).
Wen Chi obediently said: “It’s better, thank you father for your concern.”
Wen ChangQing nodded. As if recalling something, his serious expression gradually softened, and he sighed: “Unexpectedly, your mother has gone for some years. Now, you look like your mother. Whenever I look at your face, I can’t help but think of your mother.”
Wen Chi: “.......”
This familiar opening remark.
Here comes the story.
He listened quietly.
Sure enough, the next moment, Wen ChangQing’s words changed quickly: “It’s a pity that your mother left early and couldn’t witness the scene of you marrying with her own eyes.”
*(T/N: The word here ‘嫁人’ (get married) is usually used for women.)
Wen Chi almost spewed out old blood.
He continued to be silent.
Although he didn’t speak up, it didn’t affect Wen ChangQing in playing his role: “Now you are seventeen, and it’s about the age to get married. Father has found a marriage for you. When you return, you get ready and prepare.”
Wen Chi finally couldn’t bear it: “Father, I don’t want to get married yet.”
He remembered that the original owner said the same thing in the novel, but Wen ChangQing flatly refused.
He saw Wen ChangQing’s expression turn cold, and the warmth that was still hanging on his face disappeared in an instant: “You say it again.”
Wen Chi was very obedient, repeating it verbatim: “Father, I don’t want to get married yet.”
Before his words finished, Wen ChangQing slapped the table.
There was a ‘bang’.
Wen Chi shivered with fright.
Before Wen Chi said anything, Wen ChangQing was already irritated and he got up: “Asshole thing, your wings are hard, and now you dare to resist even your father’s words? Marriage matters, it’s the matchmaker’s words and parents’ orders, and it’s not up to you to decide!”
Wen ChangQing scolded him, spluttering and howling with rage. Wen Chi calmed down quickly. He remembered that a very crucial plot was about to usher in the novel — — now the court was worrying about the locust plague in Jin Prefecture.
Perhaps he could exchange a condition with this.
Before Wen Chi could say anything, Wen ChangQing interrupted him in a desperate manner, and raised his finger to the door: “Get out!”
Then, Wen Chi “rolled” very obediently.
*(T/N: 滚 means both ‘get out/lost’ and ‘roll’.)
Although he didn’t want to “roll”, his legs were completely out of his control, as if some program had been set in advance; he quickly walked out of the study.
It wasn’t until he walked back to Beiyuan courtyard out of breath that the mysterious power bound to his legs suddenly disappeared.
Wen Chi’s face turned pale, he bent over and propped his knees with both hands, panting like a cow.
Seeing this, Chen Momo in the room hurried over: “Second Young Master, are you okay?”
“Something...” Wen Chi’s eyes were dull, “Something terrible happened.......”
Chen Momo was frightened: “What’s wrong?”
Wen Chi shook his head, and when he got over, he entered the room desperately.
Wen Chi kept walking back to the bedroom, took off his shoes, and began to lie down on the bed again.
He thought over and over again, thinking for a long time, and finally thought that this matter might be related to the system of the protagonist.
The protagonist in the novel was named Wen Liang, who was Wen Chi’s half-brother. But Wen Liang’s mother Xu Shi* was Wen ChangQing’s formally and legally married wife. So, Wen Liang was also the eldest son of the Wen family. Everyone in the mansion knew how much Wen ChangQing pampered and spoiled Wen Liang.
*(T/N: ***氏 - Shi, followed after a married woman’s maiden name or surname, and what she was called after the marriage.
The format is “Husband’s surname-Her surname-Shi.
e.g. In this case, Wen Liang’s mother was called ‘Wen Xu Shi’ in full and ‘Xu Shi’ in short.)
Originally, Wen Liang was the one who had a marriage contract with the Crown Prince.
But five years ago, a fire broke out in the Eastern Palace, which not only burned many people to death, but also burned the Crown Prince severely, and even left his legs disabled.
Since then, Xu Shi had been trying to cancel the marriage contract.
The turning point of the story started two days ago. Wen Liang and his friends went out for a walk, and accidentally broke into an abandoned hut in the forest, and he picked up a colorful weird stone.
That night, Wen Liang accidentally triggered the system when he was checking the stone, and he immediately expressed his wish that he did not want to marry the Crown Prince.
So the next day, there were rumors reported from the Eastern Palace that the disabled prince had tortured and killed many people in the past five years.
Originally, these news were extremely suppressed, but it was passed on by someone who was interested, and it also passed into Wen ChangQing’s ears.
Wen ChangQing stayed up all night in sorrow. While he was reluctant to part with his son, he also refused to give up the way to join (the side of) the Crown Prince. Coupled with the flood of tears by Xu Shi, he decided to replace the original with a fake, which was to replace the eldest son with the second son.
Wen Chi recalled the plot line of the novel once again, and became more and more certain — — all of this was the work of that nasty system.
Maybe the power just now came from the mysterious power of the system.
How could he compete with the system?
The more Wen Chi thought about it, the more desperate he became, and he was so angry that he ate an extra bowl of lunch.
The matter was a foregone conclusion. Even Chen Momo received the order and brought four or five maids to Beiyuan courtyard that afternoon and was busy preparing for Wen Chi’s dowry.
Perhaps because of Wen Chi’s contribution to the family, Wen Liang’s mother, Xu Shi, had been very kind to Wen Chi in the past few days. Not only did she not make things difficult for him, but also sent over the food that the original owner could not eat at all like a steady stream of running water.
Wen Chi ate all of it, it tasted so good, and it made him gain some weight.
In a blink of an eye, came the day before getting married.
Chen Momo and the maids had all packed up his things — — in fact, there were only two medium-sized wooden boxes.
Chen Momo walked into the bedroom and saw that Wen Chi just ate the rose cake Xu Shi sent over and was lying down to rest again. She couldn’t help sighing, “Second Young Master, you are getting married tomorrow.”
Wen Chi was originally lying there relaxedly, and became paralyzed with nervousness after hearing this.
He stared at Chen Momo who walked to the bed step by step, and she seemed to be holding something like a picture book in her hand.