It’s the beginning of winter in the second year of Zhengde (1) when Ningbo city has an unexpected snowfall.
Snowflakes fall one after another blurring out the sky and ground.
In this lonely white world, there is only a single trace of wheels. The ox pulls a cart as it walks towards the Ye’s Fu (2), west of the lake.
Ye Jin, who is sitting on the cart desperately coughs once, and even though his clothes are clean and free of dust, he looked dispirited and a bit shabby.
Once Ye Jin starts to cough, the child sitting beside him quickly pulls a bamboo mug out of their bag, as if he had done this many times before. He hands the mug to Ye Jin, “Dad, drink some water.”
Ye Jin waves his hand, not taking the cup. He notices the child’s worry and says: ”It’s only a cold, it doesn’t matter that much. We are almost there. When you see your grandfather, you have to follow the rules. Don’t be naughty.”
“Dad, I know, I won’t be naughty,” the child says. He is about eleven or twelve years old with delicate features and cunning eyes. This boy’s name is Ye Chunqiu.
Now, Ye Chunqiu thinks: “I don’t know how grandfather is, but dad hasn’t gone home for thirteen years…” Thinking about this, Ye Chunqiu sighs. Inside his heart, his father is completely a legend.
His father became a scholar of Ningbo city in his youth due to his grandfather’s high expectations. Because of this, the Ye’s eldest son was definitely as talented as Wenquxing (3), anything he wrote was flawless and filled with elegant words. To the people living west of the lake, he was the future Jinshi (4)
In an era where learning is more valuable than anything else, nothing is as good as being a scholar. This kind of son had tons of people vying for his arranged marriage. Grandfather had trouble picking which one would be the best. Just as Grandfather had found the perfect match to arrange, who knew that dad would elope?
The girl he eloped with was Ye Chunqiu’s mom – and in a conventional story, the main girl would definitely be someone from a big rich family. However, she was from a poor family and an unusual farm girl.
After eloping, Ye Chunqiu was born but soon after, Ye Chunqiu’s mom died of an illness.
After that, Ye Jin didn’t marry again. He raised Ye Chunqiu by scribing for people who could not write.
Now…..Ye Jin finally decided to return home!
Looking at his gloomy dad, Ye Chunqiu can only shake his head.
Ye Chunqiu’s story is straightforward; he does not belong to this era. In his previous life, he also lost his mother at the young age. Only his father and he were left to live together, but since he lacked motherly affection, he was an extreme trouble-maker, falling short of his father’s expectations. In the end, when his father was dying, he only cared about finally having his freedom. When he finally realized his mistakes and wanted to repay his parents, none of them were alive anymore. Not only was his life a mess but he was unable to escape his regret.
Time-traveling to become three years old Ye Chunqiu, because of his protective father, life wasn’t too bad…eh…except being a bit poor.
After traveling a few miles more, a mansion reveals its structure. Ye Jin sitting on the shaft coughs again and smashes the eye, looking at the familiar mansion. Sentimental, he sighs and says: “Chunqiu, when I left with your mom thirteen years ago, I swore on my life, I would never come back, but now, I have to come back. Because you are getting older, life isn’t easy living outside with me. When I was at your age, I already took the county exam. Your grandfather said one sentence to me: ‘Learning is more valuable than anything else’, and now this phrase, I will give it to you, try hard to make a good impression to others.”
“Ok.” Thinking about studying, Ye Chunqiu feels depressed. In his previous life, he hated studying. Coming here, it seems like he can’t avoid destiny.
But….Dad is a very stubborn person. If he was not, he wouldn’t have eloped when he saw mom. Now as the father wants to create a learning environment, he returned to the Ye’s. This earnest wish…makes Ye Chunqiu feels some bitterness.
Ye Chunqiu is afraid Ye Jin would see his internal refusal so he hides at the other side of the shaft, closes the sleeves, and dazes.
“Ding….” A sound suddenly appears in his mind, then its robotic female voice:” Ding….System start.”
Ye Chunqiu is stunned for a second, as memories from his previous life come to mind.
Before Ye Chunqiu came to this era and after his father died, his life went completely downhill. At that time, he decided to join a secret lab project.
The lab would inject a “system” which is made of nanomaterials into his head. It was the newest technology, and the system would be only as thin as the hair – easily inserted into the brain, easily accessed with the mind, and all-knowing.
Ye Chunqiu’s feeling is replaced by a lost sense of joy.
The system is still here.
This thing…..Ye Chunqiu couldn’t know more about its value. The system stored in his brain is completely a treasure as long as it is needed. It could even find millions of ways to make glasses, not to mention all kinds of chemical formulas, and countless articles from all time periods.
What does this mean?
(1) Zhengde: the year count, usually based on the emperor of the time
(2) Fu: home/estate/mansion
(3) Wenquxing: In Chinese myth, it means the God who deals with writing/test. Use to describe people who are really good at writing.
(4) Jinshi: means a scholar who is the second place in the national exam.