"Wen Qin" finally had the time travel she wanted for long, but she didn’t feel happy at all after she became "Liao Qing’er". She couldn’t get out of the gloomy state for a long period of time as if she had become a philosopher. Where would the thing start and where would it end? Would the beginning lead to a bright future or a trip doomed to end up with tragedy?
Of course, her sorrows mostly came from the deep guilt she felt for her mother the moment before she had time-traveled. She used to escape from her family and responsibilities as a daughter because she hated the abnormal atmosphere at home. Her father was cold-hearted and her mother was always full of dissatisfaction and complaints. The house was such a depressing place for her so she hid from it as well as her mother who was devoured by depression. There must be some direct connection between her mother’s death from asthma and her coldness. Every time she thought about this, she felt so guilty. She wished she could go back to her home in modern times and be a good daughter who would listen to her mother’s complaints and comfort her mother properly with the psychological knowledge she learned.
However, she couldn’t choose when or how she had the time travel and couldn’t decide who she would become, either. Thus, she wouldn’t be able to go back to the original world freely and had no choice but to act as an ancient lady obediently and bickered with her silly elder brother every day. In Liao’s Mansion, she always felt depressed and did nothing other than eating. Unconsciously, she got chubby. One day, she looked into the mirror and found her oval face had turned round. Then, she realized that, compared with the person never getting fat she was before, the new body she had right now was so easy to gain weight. She would get a double chin the next day if she ate food!
She tried to lose weight by being on a diet and doing exercise but she failed. Then, she gave up. She gained more weight instead and kept feeling upset so she became unprecedentedly anxious about going back to modern times. Even though everything around her was real, she felt it was illusory. Even though her new family was warm and happy, she couldn’t blend in. Gradually, she had a disease called "Rejection of Adapting the Ancient Life".
In fact, she totally could adapt to the slow life in ancient times and understood most of the traditional Chinese characters on the signs of the shops on the streets. She could also speak in classical Chinese, "Have you had your meal? You haven’t. I’ll fry some pig intestines for you, then!" As for the brilliant things that could amaze lots of ancient handsome men such as Qin, Go, Calligraphy and Painting, doing needlework, weaving, playing music with a rubber band or with chopsticks by tapping cups with different amounts of water inside, playing Five-in-a-Row, Chinese Checkers, or Fight-against-Landlords, inventing the first pencil in the Ming Dynasty, drawing a comic strip, and making cross-stitch, she could do them perfectly without paying much effort as long as she wanted to.
However, she seemed to have left her heart in the public toilet in the park before. She was just like a cow that was forced to drink water but still refused. After she had come to the Ming Dynasty, she still couldn’t blend in no matter how friendly Liao Zhiyuan and others were, how comfortable the life here was to her, or how romantic the atmosphere could be.
She seemed to want to strengthen her memory in modern times by showing obviously that she didn’t belong to the world she was in now. Except for not yelling she was a modern person having time-traveled here, she became more fashionable than she was before. She used modern words that ancient people could never understand on purpose and proved she was different from all people here by wearing strange clothes, having new hairstyles, and doing peculiar things deliberately. She did those things on purpose at first, but after she saw people’s shocked expressions, she thought, "I won." Then, she gradually developed such habits. When she had to apologize, she said "Sorry" first. When she bid farewells to others in the evening, she used "Good night". She failed to correct herself even though she had tried.
Although she was nicknamed "The Weirdo Liao Qing’er" because of these strange behaviors and was isolated by lots of ladies from the wealthy families in the capital, she didn’t feel sad. She just thought it was a pity that she didn’t get a friend who she could confide in. When the young barber knew the emperor had a pair of donkey ears, he told a burrow about it. Who would be her burrow, then? Who would see her donkey ears?
She came from another world and was like dust. Who could see her fragility? Where was she from and who was her heart going to? Who would call her in the next moment? The world was so wide but her trip was full of twists and turns. She had been through all pains and hardship in this world! How much love did she still have? How many tears would she shed in the future? She wanted God to know that she would never give up!
After being "abandoned" by Meng Ying who had the handsomeness of Akira Sendoh, Kaede Rukawa, and Kenji Fujima, she left the Liao’s Mansion where she was born and grew up at midnight while singing the song named "My Thankful Heart". She had taken away all the cash in the counting-house of Liao’s Family and was about to go to Changbai Mount to purchase ginseng. It was said the business of medicinal materials in Yangzhou City was booming and that place was the wholesale distribution center of Chinese herbal medicine around the country. Thus, long before she left her home, she had decided that Yangzhou City was her next stop.
One day, she happened to meet a handsome man in a dark suit who liked drinking aromatic hydrocarbons. He seemed to be a good man that looked cold but was actually passionate. She decided that she would pass her affection to this man! She wanted to make a change and say goodbye to her unrequited love for Meng Ying!
What? That man had a wife, kids, and concubines? It turned out that he wasn’t good at all. She didn’t want him! No matter she was in modern or ancient times, first, she hated mistresses; second, she hated men who had mistresses; third, she hated becoming someone’s mistress; fourth, she hated becoming a mistress unconsciously. In a word, she wouldn’t allow herself to become such a woman that always destroyed others’ families. Although she had a crush on him and couldn’t change her mind easily, she still marked Gao Jue as a man she shouldn’t get along with because she strongly supported monogamy and polyandry!
However, she never regretted that she had come to Yangzhou City because she finally found her burrow!
There was a beautiful girl named "He Danggui". She looked just like the prettiest character in the most popular manga. She had an aura of elegance and looked queenly, but people would not think she was unapproachable. Of course, Liao Qing’er didn’t keep badgering He Danggui mainly for her appearance. The reason why she had chased He Danggui persistently for three years and made friends with her at last by virtue of her sincerity was that the first time she met He Danggui, a voice-over sounded in her heart. It said, "This is the heroine who is omnipotent and kind-hearted. Follow her and you’ll always win!"
It was just kidding… The truth was Liao Qing’er felt she was "destined" to like He Danggui. She was attracted by one of He Danggui’s casual and cold looks which were just like the cool herbal drink named Summer Mo Mo Tea. Then, a loud voice was shouting crazily in her heart, "This girl is prepared for you by God. Go, Qing’er!"
Later, it was proved that her instinct was absolutely right. The friendship between Xiaoyi and her was just the same as the story narrated in the song often sung by her to Xiaoyi. When she sang it, Xiaoyi would beat time by her side, "We’re like summer and fall, but we can change winter into spring. You pull me out of a storm of love and I carry you to escape from the collapse of your dream. It turned out that not only lovers but also friends could change my whole life when I met them… If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t believe that friends could be more faithful than lovers… If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be sure that friends could do better in listening to my feelings than lovers did…"
She listened to Xiaoyi’s stories and Xiaoyi also listened to hers. They didn’t have to tell the whole story but just the parts they wanted to share. There would be a pair of quiet ears where they could store their own secrets well.
For example, every time Xiaoyi mentioned the key part about how she fell in love with Zhu Quan in her previous life, how he betrayed her, and how she was framed and locked in the Water Dungeon, she would just say it in a few words. For another example, Liao Qing’er didn’t know much about the history of the Ming Dynasty. She only knew that the first emperor of it was Zhu Yuanzhang and the last reign name was Chongzhen. Its last emperor, a seignior called Wu Sangui, and Lord Chuang, namely Li Zicheng, were the "three biggest fans" of the popular female star named Chen Yuanyuan. When the country was destroyed, Emperor Chongzhen even hanged all his wives and daughters to keep their reputation and cut off the right arm of his eldest daughter, Princess Changping…
This was all she knew about the Ming Dynasty from the official and unofficial history. Thus, she was very curious and excited about the successor of Zhu Yuanzhang and kept badgering Xiaoyi to get the answer, but Xiaoyi would never tell her. She just felt there must be a huge conspiracy behind it.
She knew Xiaoyi hid from her most of the cruel truth and wasn’t angry about her. She just felt sorry for Xiaoyi’s bearing too much. Such a girl was indeed good and made people want to be close to her and treat her well.
If in the beginning, she became a male unfortunately after coming to the Ming Dynasty, she might get out of the habits she had when she was a female before and wouldn’t develop her career in the circle of boy’s love in the Ming Dynasty. She would accept that her gender was changed now and try to find a good woman like Xiaoyi as her partner… They would fight for a prosperous life hand in hand…
She also didn’t tell Xiaoyi her stories completely and had distorted some facts. For example, she still couldn’t accept her mother had died of asthma so she told Xiaoyi her mother in modern times lived healthily as a retired blue-collar worker with a pension of twelve hundred yuan. Every morning her mother went to the park to practice the Taiji sword dance and she often went to the food market to buy discounted seafood in the afternoon. For another example, her biological father in modern times was rich but he wasn’t as conscientious and generous as she described at all. She often couldn’t get living expenses from him and saw him enjoying western food with female stars frequently outside tan French windows. He would tip the waiters at least four or five hundred yuan in front of those female stars.
However, in the parking lot when those stars were absent, she came out from the darkness and approached her father. She said carefully, "Dad, I need fifty yuan to buy review materials and extra-curricular books."
Her father was scared and looked at her in unhappiness while frowning. Maybe he was afraid that the female star would be anxious or tired because of waiting for long, he opened his wallet in a hurry and threw a bill on her hand. He also replied hurriedly, "Don’t wait for me here again. Just go to the office for Secretary Li." The car door was opened and the engine began to work. The tail gas was smelt and her father left.
She had been waiting there for a whole night and her fingers were numb because of the cold weather. She didn’t catch the bill and it flew several meters away with the tail gas. After the car was gone, she went to pick it up. She asked him for fifty yuan and he did just give her that amount of money. The picture of Chairman Mao who was smiling kindly was on the bill. She thought she might have caught a fever because of being blown by the cold wind for a long time. Her forehead was hot and her chest felt cold. After getting out of the parking lot, she took a taxi on the roadside and it cost her forty-nine yuan to get home. She only got one yuan left at last.
That happened when she was twelve years old, but she could still remember it clearly when she was already twenty-two. Every time it occurred to her, she would think that "it was good to time-travel to the ancient times and become a daughter of a wealthy family". After that day, she hadn’t even sent a message to her father for two weeks. One day after school, Secretary Li was waiting for her at the school gate. He gave her an envelope and explained, "Mr. Wen didn’t have enough cash that day and had to talk business with some clients." She opened the envelope and saw ten one-hundred-yuan bills inside on which there were pictures of Chairman Mao who was smiling at her apologetically.
Although her father made amends, what happened that day seemed to have been imprinted on her mind and she could still remember it several years after she came to the Ming Dynasty. She didn’t tell these stories to Xiaoyi who was as strong as grass that feared no wind or rain although Xiaoyi’s life was much more miserable than hers. Liao Qing’er thought she was timid and weak. She still lived like a silly girl until now, kept saying "sorry" every day, and couldn’t accept the fact that she was already an ancient person. Her mother in the modern world died of asthma. Her over twenty years of life there was just a mess because she failed to find a job after she graduated, her fiance had a mistress, and he took away all their joint deposits as well… Would her father in the modern world spare some time to burn some incense for her mother and her?
Xiaoyi was always the smartest and toughest person. What trouble on earth did she get in this time? Why did Meng Xuan, Meng Ying, and the handsome man all say that she was dead?
How could that be possible? Where was her omnipotence as the heroine?
"Miss Liao, you shouldn’t stay here anymore. Just go. He Danggui isn’t in Tao Yan Yard. You shouldn’t waste your time here if you want to save her. You can get out of the city and go to Ten Mile Slope. He Danggui was poisoned and might be dead soon." Meng Ying told Liao Qing’er this calmly while she thought he was hateful.
Gosh! Why would she have unrequited love with such a cold-blooded man before? He even didn’t tell her that until now and also had no intention to help her save Xiaoyi! Meng Ying was such a jerk! She cursed in a hurry, "My goodness! You should’ve told me this earlier. I should’ve just let you commit suicide before!" Then, she ran very fast to get out of the peach grove. She heard Meng Ying calling her name again and again, but she didn’t turn around. After her repeated tests, she proved that he was a bad man and she shouldn’t get along with him anymore!
Now, even if he shouted again "Liao Qing’er, I’ve been loving you secretly for four years. I’ll cut my belly open if you are still unwilling to marry me", she would never look back at him. Why did he keep calling "Miss Liao"? Was he insane? Meng Ying, a jerk! Was he so proud of his handsome look? Did he think it was cool to be cold-blooded?
Her head hit on a "wall" and she was forced to take three steps back. The "wall" suddenly spoke like a human, "Miss Liao, calm down. I’ll help you find He Danggui. Just wait a minute and I’ll go with you."