Chapter 1: Tyrannical Cruelty, Beaten to Death
After graduating from college, Liu Yangyang landed herself a horticulture job for a park. She was now three years into her post, having won the favor of her supervisors by keeping her head down and diligently doing her part. Now already twenty-six years old, she was quickly joining the ranks of leftover women destined for spinsterhood. Her family was anxious, often arranging blind dates for her to go on. As a matter of fact, Yangyang was scheduled to attend one after work today. The mere thought of it was incredibly irritating.
She’d just finished lunch and was whiling away the rest of break to sip water and read novels on her phone. She’d been reading a particular web novel, The Lord’s Escaped Consort, for three days now. In the novel, the female lead often found herself in all sorts of inexplicable trouble. The plot was quite trite and melodramatic. However, the writing was good and the story fast paced, fully capturing Liu Yangyang’s attention for the ride.
The plot was reaching its climax today. The male lead had finally recaptured his runaway-happy fiance, but she’d set an ultimatum that she had no intention of sharing him with an entire harem. Therefore, the male lead had made a grand, sweeping gesture and dismissed all of his wives and concubines. However, these women had been living lives of carefree luxury. They were deeply shocked by the descent of this unexpected calamity. Some wept bitterly after receiving the dismal tidings. In the end, they were allowed to stay after their mother-in-law, the old madame, made an appearance. However, some of the women bitterly hated the female lead as a result, and thus the road to revenge began.
All sorts of poisons and a variety of schemes and plots abounded. Although the female lead was an innocent, naïve girl, she managed to blaze a pathway through all the thorny obstacles by relying on her shield—the male lead with an off-the-charts battle ability. Today, one of the minor characters, a concubine who’d never even held hands with the male lead, had been exposed for scheming against the female lead. The male lead had ordered her to die by beating as an example to the rest. The scene was exceedingly gory, utterly brutal, and the highlight of the entire book.
Liu Yangyang was intently immersed in the story and absentmindedly reached out for a cup of water. However, her hand bumped into the cactus on the table instead, and its unforgiving spikes immediately poked bloody holes in her flesh. She frowned as she watched beads of blood trickle down her finger. For some inexplicable reason, a droplet of blood seemed to fall from her finger at a glacial pace. She could actually trace its entire trajectory before it landed on the table. This wasn’t how science worked! She wanted to blink, but couldn’t close her eyes at all.
When a blood drop finally landed on the table, the table had completely changed. What had been a well-worn, faux wood office desk had now turned into a rosewood table. It even looked like solid wood. This type of a table was worth anywhere from a couple thousand to ten thousand yuan! Liu Yangyang blinked. When did she ever have a habit of becoming lightheaded? The surroundings seemed to blur as her head spun. She was hallucinating, wasn’t she?
“Ah, Mistress Xiu, how did you prick your hand?” A voice suddenly sounded by Liu Yangyang’s ear. It so frightened her that she jerked up and fully came back to her senses. She opened her eyes wide in astonishment. This wasn’t the break room that she’d spent three years in! This was a room decorated in an antique style—hold it, just who decorates their house like this? How much money did all this cost?
But that was just the room—why was the young girl walking over also dressed in ancient clothing? What was going on here? Was this the mythical transmigration, the journey of a soul to another realm, that everyone talked about?
“Mistress Xiu, Mistress Xiu, what’s happened to you?” The girl garbed in clothes from olden days seemed to be very anxious. She lightly prodded Liu Yangyang twice before finally receiving a response.
Liu Yangyang’s eyes twitched as she stammered, “W-Where, where am I?”
The young girl burst out into frightened sobs, kneeling on the floor as she responded, “Mistress Xiu, please… please don’t scare this servant! What’s happened to you?”
Mistress Xiu? Servant? Am I in the olden times? Liu Yangyang surged to her feet. She needed to confirm her theory. She hastily ran outside, running into a small yard. It was brimming with an antique presence with a classical flair to its layout. In the middle of the yard stood a pavilion, aptly furnished with stone tables and seats. No matter where she looked, she couldn’t find any telephone cables, fluorescent paint, electric lights, or any other modern things at all!
My gosh, she’d really transmigrated! She was supposed to go on a blind date later this afternoon. This was simply too sudden! Had she landed in ancient times after being pricked by a cactus? What kind of bizarre transmigration method is this?? 
Deep breaths, stay calm, stay calm. Since I could come here, this means that there’s a way to go back. I wasn’t in an accident nor did I take a fall down a flight of stairs. My body over there is just peachy, I’m sure I can go back.
“Mistress Xiu, do you feel unwell? Do you want this servant to go find a doctor?” The girl in ancient dress ran over again, her expression still frantic.
“Mistress Xiu?” She seemed to have heard this name before. She said subconsciously, “Bai Xiangxiu?”
“What is the matter, Mistress Xiu? Is something wrong with your honored name?” the young girl asked, tears still fresh on her face.
“Xiaoshi?” Liu Yangyang was about to start sobbing. She stared at the young girl, hoping she’d deny the name. However, the other nodded, her face ashen with fright.
Damn my luck! Of all people to transmigrate into, she’d transmigrated into the body of the minor character who’d been beaten to death, Mistress Xiu! She wanted to weep, but no tears were forthcoming. She lost all energy as she collapsed in a pile on the ground. Xiaoshi kept crying, irritating Yangyang. Her head drooped out of resignation. “Eh, Xiaoshi, can you stop crying?”
“But this servant is afraid of how Mistress Xiu is acting!” Xiaoshi was only thirteen or fourteen years old. It was normal for her to be afraid.
“Alright, alright. I’m fine… but help me up first.” Liu Yangyang lifted her hand. She too wanted to cry, but she couldn’t even find the ability to. Xiaoshi hastily pulled her mistress up and led her to a seat on the bed. The bed was quite hard. Although there were quite a few blankets piled on top of it, it still wasn’t as good as a mattress.
“Have some water, Mistress.” Xiaoshi offered a cup of water, taking out a handkerchief to dab away at her own tears after her mistress accepted the cup. Liu Yangyang finally managed to calm herself down after drinking some water. Her first priority was to restructure the plot so that she wouldn’t be beaten to death. Any method of dying was fine, but this one was particularly tragic. She felt immensely depressed when she recalled what was written in the novel.
“Has anything interesting happened in the estate today?” Time was ephemeral in the book, so she could only identify how much time had passed from the novel’s events.
“In response to Mistress Xiu, everyone is busy organizing the new estate and readying it for the old madame’s birthday. We have been very busy, so nothing new has happened.” Xiaoshi had had quite a scare, but could finally breathe a sigh of relief now that her mistress was back to normal.
The old madame’s birthday had yet to arrive. This meant that less than a month had passed since the male lead had been awarded the title of a common-born prince. He’d just returned from the battlefield. Thank goodness. The female lead had yet to make her debut, and Liu Yangyang was far from death. As long as she didn’t create trouble or kick up a fuss, she might be able to live out her days if she quietly kept her head down. There would always be ways to get herself back to her world as long as she was alive.
She waved her hand and spoke with the proper demeanor of a mistress. “You are dismissed. I don’t need your services here.”
Liu Yangyang had learned take care of herself since she was young. She really didn’t like having someone waiting on her hand and foot, handing her water and arranging her clothes. She wasn’t a child!