A Step into the Past Vol 1 Chapter 2
Book 1 Chapter 2 – Ancient Beauty
Xiang Shaolong woke up suddenly, his whole body in intense pain. He suddenly realized he’s now falling from a great height.
“Crash!” Tiles flew all over and he felt himself crashing through a roof right into a house, and landed on a man. Groans and the sound of bones cracking can be heard.
It was followed by a female’s scream and in his daze he seem to see the back of a naked woman running out, then he passed out.
Without knowing how many days have passed, in between bouts of consciousness, he seems to feel a woman taking care of him meticulously. Helping to clean his body and change his clothes, treating his wounds, feeding him goat’s milk. Finally on a certain night, he woke up. The scene that appeared before his eyes made him draw in a gasp of cold air.
Heavens! Where is this place?
He was lying on a soft and thick carpet, an oil lamp hanging on the wall. The dim light shone weakly in this crude house about 10 square meters large with mud and hay as walls and tiles as woof. On one side of the wall, rain coats and hats made from straw hung on it, and at the corner of the house there’s a fire pit with no fire. At its side there were cauldrons, stove, plates, bowls etc, primitive cooking equipment that can only be seen in museums. There were a few chests of different sizes on the other end, and there was a copper mirror on one of the chests.
Xiang Shaolong felt a chill in his heart.
That crazy director said he will only be here for 10 seconds, so why is he still in this nightmarish place. Could he really have gone back to Emperor Qin’s hometown.
Footsteps were heard.
Xiang Shaolong stared at the wooden door, his heart beating quickly, praying that this is only part of the experiment, a prank set up by Crazy Ma to trick him into believing that he’s really gone back to the past in that accursed furnace.
The wooden door was pushed open.
A beautiful lady wearing ancient hemp garment who could only possibly appear in movies appeared. She has a red scarf on her head, her long hair parted in the center, swept to the sides, tucked behind her ear and plaited into two braids. She carried a bottle, and on her feet she wore straw sandals and walked in.
She looked pretty, her figure nice and slim, and when her lively eyes saw Xiang Shaolong staring at her in shock, she was so startled she almost dropped the bottle. She hurriedly put it down, knelt down in front of him, her slender hands touching his forehead. She said some words very quickly in her melodious voice, her face full of joy.
Xiang Shaolong thought to himself, “It’s the end.” and fainted again.
The sunlight irritated his eyes, waking him up. The house was quiet without anyone else.
He’s in a better shape than the last time. Besides he’s always been optimistic, so he stopped trying to think and tried to get up. He came out from beneath the blanket and realized he is now dressed in a weird looking ancient clothing that is at least two sizes too small. His collar crisscrossed around his front from the back of his neck and dropped straight to the ground. At the bottom he was wearing an apron like leather shorts, and looked absolutely ugly.
Xiang Shaolong suppressed the urge to hide beneath the blankets again and looked ahead. He saw that the roof was recently mended and remembered that when he dropped down from the sky, he landed on a man.
Is that person dead or alive? If he has hurt someone, why is that pretty ancient young woman treating him so nicely!
With all these questions puzzling him, he stood up.
He felt a wave of dizziness, and after a moment he found himself leaning in front of the window, his hands grabbing the sill, supporting his body. The sunlight shone on his face, making him feel a little better.
What really happened? Has something gone wrong with that accursed experiment? Why isn’t he back yet? Will he be forever unable to return? Wouldn’t his family and friends be really worried? And there’s no way he can have his great revenge in bed with Zheng Cuizhi now.
Xiang Shaolong is so miserable that he could cry.
The weather is so hot, if only he can have a can of soft drink.
He looked out and saw the lush green grass, abnormally blue sky and clouds that looked even whiter and cleaner than cotton.
Xiang Shaolong’s heart lurched, and knew that he has really gone back to the past. Why else would there be such an unpolluted sky.
The skin on his limbs has scars from the burn and luckily his is healthy and his skin is now renewing the cells, so it’s not too serious.
After wallowing in self-pity for a moment, Xiang Shaolong felt his energy rapidly returning and his curiosity rising.
What is the world like outside? Can he really find the tyrannous Emperor Qin as depicted in the movies?
He pushed the door open and walked out. It turned out he is in a quiet little valley, a stream flowing down the back of the house out of the valley. On the right of the stream he seem to hear a girl’s singing. On the left is a mulberry forest, a place to cultivate silkworms.
Once he thought of the ancient beauty, Xiang Shaolong’s mood lifted and he walked towards the sound of the singing.
The girl was dressed in white, her skirt pulled up and tucked into the waist, revealing the thin chemise under the skirt and a pair of round and slender legs. She was squatting at the side of the stream washing clothes and cutlery, her expression languid and humming an unknown folksong.
Xiang Shaolong saw her revealing herself, and she’s quite pretty as well and desire filled him so he walked over. However he was still unsteady on his feet and stepped on a loose rock. He exclaimed in alarm and fell into the stream.
That beauty was startled and jumped into the water to help him.
Xiang Shaolong stood up in the chest deep stream and the girl happened to reach him and grabbed his hands to place it on her shoulder.
Xiang Shaolong was roused and took advantage of the situation to lean onto her fragrant body.
The lady spoke to him in shock and concernwith a string of words.
This time Xiang Shaolong’s brains is more alert and after some concentration he understood most of what she said. It sounded like a difficult dialect used around Hebei or Shanxi region. He vaguely figured out that she was reprimanding him for running around before he has fully recovered, and was so full of gratitude that he blurted out, “Thank you Miss!”
That lady was stunned for a moment. She stared at him and asked, “Where did you come from?”
This sentence may be difficult to understand, but Xiang Shaolong finally guessed the meaning and was immediately dumbfounded. What can he say? Tell her that he came from the 21st century in a time machine?
The two of them were still standing in the water, totally drenched. It doesn’t matter to Xiang Shaolong but that beauty’s clothes were thin and after being wet it showed off her curves, and she’s no different from being naked.
The lady saw Xiang Shaolong’s hot eyes staring at her chest. She blushed and immediately forgot her question, and hurriedly helped him to shore.
Xiang Shaolong can’t help but take the opportunity to lightly knock into her breasts and the lady’s face blushed even redder, but she did not object or reprimand him.
Xiang Shaolong was ecstatic. It seems that the beauties of this era is even more open than those in the 21st century. All those talk about not taking 3 steps beyond the house or having to marry the man once he sees her body were all far fetched, or it’s those hateful Confusionist lecturing about morals during later years.
So it seems that, even if he does not return to the 21st century for the time being, life would not be too boring.
Xiang Shaolong changed out of his wet clothes and sat opposite to the beauty, eating the rice she cooked, with vegetables, mutton and braised meat marinated with five spices.
Maybe because he’s hungry, but Xiang Shaolong enjoyed the meal, all the food tasted especially delicious, even better than peking duck or hamburgers.
The beauty ate and looked at him with interest at the same time.
Xiang Shaolong was thinking to himself that this is such a secluded place, and not a village or even another house could be seen, and yet she seems to be living a fulfilling life. Could it be that the past is really better than the present?
The beauty said something softly.
Xiang Shaolong asked in surprise, “What?”
The beauty repeated her words and this time he understood. She was saying that he’s very tall, and she has never seen someone so tall.
He was secretly laughing that people of this era must all be short, and asked her, “What is your name?”
The beauty shook her head to indicate she could not understand his question and encouraged him to repeat 3 more times before she replied, “The people of Mulberry Forest Village all call me Mei Canniang. (Pretty Silkworm Lady)”
This time it is Xiang Shaolong’s turn to not understand. By the time he clarified it, the two of them were laughing happily. So Xiang Shaolong told her his name as well. The conversation flowed with such tries, failures and continuous work, neither party wanting it to end. When Xiang Shaolong is 80% confident of understanding her dialect, he asked her about what happened the day he fell in through the roof.
Mei Canniang blushed slightly and said, “The man you crushed to death the other day is a bandit from a neighboring village called Jiao Du. He followed me home all the way from the market and was going to rape me. Luckily young master fell down from the sky and crushed him to death. I’ve buried him in the mulberry forest.” She paused for a moment, her face reddened to the ears and she lowered her head and said shyly, “I was married to two brothers, but they were forcefully conscripted into the army by bad people and were killed in Chang Ping.”
The battle of Chang Ping, isn’t it one of the famed battles between Qin and Zhao, where the army of Qin killed all 400,000 of the Zhao’s army. Xiang Shaolong hurriedly asked, “How long ago did this happen?”
Mei Canniang replied, “It happened 9 years ago.”
The battle of Chang Ping happened in 260BC, then isn’t it 251BC now. Crazy Director Ma wanted to send him back to 246BC which is the year Emperor Qin ascended the throne, and although he’s off by 5 years, but considering the facts he’s still quite accurate.
He asked, “What is this place?”
Mei Canniang replied, “Didn’t I tell you, it’s Mulberry Village!”
Xiang Shaolong asked, “Is this part of the kingdom of Zhao?”
Mei Canniang shook her head, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about? I only know what happens in Mulberry Village, the news of my husbands death were told to me by the people in the market.”
Xiang Shaolong exclaimed in surprise, “You really married two husbands at the same time?”
Mei Canniang replied, “Of course it’s true!”
Xiang Shaolong sighed quietly to himself. Although he has read a few books about the Warring States, but he’s not familiar with the customs during this period at all, so he put aside this question and continued, “Did you not bear any children for them?”
Mei Canniang replied quietly, “After the two fathers of the children left, life was extremely difficult and the children all died of sickness. Later I learned to keep silkworms and life finally settled.”
Xiang Shaolong felt pity for her, this beauty has suffered much.
Mei Canniang said quietly, “I have been praying to Heaven everyday, praying to her to bestow me a husband. Just when I was at my saddest, Heaven opened her eyes and dropped you for me. I am so ecstatic, from now on you will be Canniang’s husband.”
Xiang Shaolong was absolutely dumbfounded. But it’s not too bad as well, he need not put in so much effort to explain where he came from.
Hai! It seems that he’ll have to depend on her to support him. Suddenly he had a flash of inspiration, and thought that in 251BC, Emperor Qin is still destitute in Handan, the capital of Zhao. If he can find and befriend him, when he becomes the emperor in future, then won’t his fortunes rise as well, and can have anything he want, including beauties? Once he thought of this, his heart itched and he asked, “Do you know the way to Handan?”
Mei Canniang shook her head at a loss, then her face turned pale and she chewed her lower lips and stammered, “Are you thinking of leaving this place?”
Xiang Shaolong climbed over, stuck himself to her fragrant back, his hands reaching forward to hold her little tummy and said gently, “Don’t be afraid! No matter where I go, I’ll bring you with me.”
Mei Canniang’s body softened at his touch and she exclaimed happily, “Really!”
Xiang Shaolong nibbled her ear lobes and replied, “Of course!”
Mei Canniang’s two husbands were all coarse and unrefined men, so she has never encountered such flirtatious teasing, her slender body shook and she said, “I’m going to the market tomorrow, I’ll ask someone then! Someone will surely know where Handan is.”
Xiang Shaolong put his huge hand into her clothes and kneaded her voluptuous bosom, asking “That bandit Jiao Du, did he… heh… what you?”
Mei Canniang panted, “He just took off my clothes, and have not… Ai!” Her lips have been locked.
Xiang Shaolong felt an itch in his nose and sneezed. He woke up and saw that it was Mei Canniang teasing him with a mulberry leaf.
The sun has not risen.
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