Chapter 1 – Yan Family
In the Xize County of the Great Chu Dynasty, the rooftops of the houses in Shaoyao Village were filled with billowing smoke.
The county was located in the western barren lands of the Great Chu Dynasty, close to the Rong Di Kingdom. Year after year, the war raged on and the villagers lived in great suffering.
Shaoyao Village, which was governed by the town of Daxing, was especially impoverished. In this village there were more than 50 households. Apart from the wealthy Yan family, all the other families had to tighten their belts to get by.
At this time, in the Yan family’s large house made of blue bricks and red tiles, the kitchen was bright and spacious. Within it, two maidservants and an old woman were busy preparing meals for the master.
One large iron pot was bubbling with pig’s trotters while the other had a three-tiered steamer filled with fat, white steamed buns.
The villagers passing by the Yan family’s gate could not resist stopping to take a few deep whiffs of the delicious aroma.
“In these years, there have been many wars. I’m afraid only the Yan family can eat meat and drink wine in our village.”
“The Yan family is so rich. Why don’t they give the widow of the third wife a good life? The orphan and widow of the third wife live in the dilapidated grass temple at the end of the village. It neither covers them from the sun in summer nor snow in winter. It’s so pathetic.”
“This is a family affair of the Yan family. What can we do about it? Let’s go back for dinner.”
At the end of the village, in the dilapidated grass temple, a woman with white clothes patched with one layer after another, was busy behind the stove with a chipped spatula.
In a large iron pot also with a chip, there were wild vegetables boiling with very little nutrients.
“Mom, we are back.”
The children returned and the woman’s face finally showed a faint smile. She took out a rough clay bowl from the cupboard and served the boiled vegetables from the pot.
“Came back just in time, wash your hands and let’s have dinner,” said the woman as she leaned toward the door. Then, she served the just-boiled vegetables and four rough buns on the table.
After setting the table, she saw her three thin daughters walk into the kitchen.
The woman saw only three daughters and not the youngest son come back, so she asked, “Qin’er, where is Little Si? Didn’t Little Si go with you and your sisters to cut firewood? Why didn’t he come back?”
The oldest girl is seventeen years old, and her name is Yan Shuqin.
The second girl is sixteen years old, and her name is Yan Shuxue.
The third girl is fifteen years old, and her name is Yan Shuyun.
All three girls were already of marriageable age, but no one came to ask for their hand in marriage. The reason was simple: the Yan family was too poor to afford a dowry.
As for the woman, she was madam Zhong Suxin of the Yan family’s third house. Mrs. Zhong married Yan Boxun, the third uncle of the Yan family. The first three pregnancies all produced daughters, which made the old man Yan Bozhen and old lady Jiang Yingyue, who valued boys more than girls, very angry. Finally, in the fourth pregnancy, a son was born. The child was good-looking, but unfortunately, there was a red tear mole on the corner of his right eye, which the old couple regarded as an ominous sign Before the fourth son was even a year old, Yan Boxun died, and the old man and old lady considered Mrs. Zhong, a widowed mother with orphans, to be a bad omen and drove her and her orphans out of the Yan family mansion.
Mrs. Zhong asked, and the three sisters in the Yan family looked left and right, only to find that they could not see a trace of their younger brother, Yan Xiaosi.
The second sister, Yan Shuxue, said anxiously, “Didn’t the younger brother go home from the mountain early?”
Mrs. Zhong patted her thigh anxiously and said, “This child, I’m afraid he’s playing around again.”
“Mother, don’t worry, I’ll go bring the younger brother back right now.” Yan Shulin turned and ran towards the outside.
She figured that Yan Xiaosi must be starving, and he often went to the weir a mile away from the village to catch fish and roast them to eat, so she ran towards the outside of the village.
The sky was getting darker and the light was gray and misty.
On the embankment of the weir outside the village, three sturdy teenagers surrounded by a slender boy of 13 or 14 years old, punching and kicking.
The slender boy had a red tear mole on the corner of his right eye.
“I’ll kick you to death, you toad.”
The slender teenager laid on the ground with his head bleeding and his shaking body curled up.
“Yan Xiaosi, do you dare to flirt with Liu Chanchang again?”
“With your ominous appearance, how dare you peek at Liu Chanchang? You’re just a toad wanting to eat swan meat.”
“Pah, this bad omen is not even as good as a toad.”
Liu Chanchang was the daughter of Liu Qian, the village head of Shaoyao Village, known as the flower of Shaoyao Village.
Yan Xiaosi hugged his head, curled up on the ground, and dared not resist. “Big Brother He, I didn’t flirt with Liu Chanchang. It was Liu Chanchang who wanted to play with me.”
“Stinky kid, still daring to dirty Chanchang’s reputation. Erhe, Sanhe, give him a beating so bad that he would need to search the ground for his teeth.”
The leading teenager was called Chen Dahe, and the other two teenagers were his brothers, Chen Erhe and Chen Sanhe. Their father worked for Yan Boshu, the second uncle of the Yan family. Relying on Yan Boshu’s support and the fact that the Yan family did not care about Yan Xiaosi, they often bullied Yan Xiaosi.
Another round of punches and kicks fell on Yan Xiaosi’s body, and after a while, Yan Xiaosi laid motionlessly on the ground.
The embankment was stained with blood.
Seeing Yan Xiaosi motionless, Chen Erhe and Chen Sanhe panicked and looked at Chen Dahe.
“Big brother, this guy isn’t moving.”
“Did we kill him?”
Chen Dahe snorted coldly and kicked the blood-soaked teenager on the ground. “He is probably pretending to be dead, Erhe, Sanhe, continue beating him..”
It hurts, it hurts!
Yan Xiaoshi felt that her whole body was in terrible pain, like she had been crushed by a car.
Wasn’t she dead? On the way to the military, her Mercedes-Benz racing car collided head-on with a heavy truck coming in the opposite direction. The heavy truck directly crushed her Mercedes-Benz under it, and in that situation, there was no possibility of survival for her.
Could ghosts still feel pain? Yan Xiaoshi cursed in her heart. Damn it, nowadays, even being a ghost is not easy…
“Big brother, this guy moved. It looks like he really was pretending.”
“Brother, the broom star is moving. The broom star is really pretending to be dead,” exclaimed Chen Erhe and Chen Dahe gnashed his teeth.
The eldest Chen brother, Chen Dahe, glared at the small, thin young man lying on the ground, covered in blood, “This toad dared to play dead and scare me. Beat him until his mother doesn’t recognize him.”
Yan Xiaoshi closed her eyes and sighed at how hard it was to be a ghost, when a sudden punch and kick landed on her body. This time, she felt the sensation of fists and feet very clearly.
Who dared to hit her, Yanxiao Shi, dead or alive?
She suddenly opened her eyes, shooting out two beams of cold light, and glared at the three young men swinging fists at her face. She frowned, rolled away, then quickly picked up three stones from the ground and aimed them at the kneecaps of the three men.
The stones infused with a little bit of strength hit the kneecaps of the Chen brothers accurately, and the three men immediately fell to their knees, unable to move.
Yan Xiaoshi stood up, her head pounding with pain, her vision blurry, and some memories that did not belong to her flooded into her mind, forcing her to accept them.
After being forced to accept those memories, she finally understood that she was not being bullied by little ghosts in hell, but had returned to life as the youngest son, Yan family in Shaoyao Village, Daxing Town, Xize County of the Great Chu Dynasty.
The youngest son!
Yan Xiaoshi was horrified. Did she return to life in a man’s body?
Shit, I don’t want to be a man!
In front of the Chen brothers, she untied her belt with a bitter face.
Her action stunned the three Chen brothers.
Fortunately, she was still a woman.