Chapter 1 Return to being Eleven Years Old
Qin Wanru thought the dream she had was absurd.
In the dream, her life ended in tragedy. In the dream, she was like an onlooker, watching herself being brought into the abyss of the nightmare. In the last scene of her dream, she was tortured to death, being cut in half at her waist, and her stiff, twisted body laid in a puddle of blood at the foot of the golden gates.
In the history of the Kingdom of Dongcang, she was the first ever woman to be put to death through the torturous punishment of cutting the body in half at the waist.
She could vaguely hear the familiar mocking and scoffing close to her ears.
The scene was very realistic that she could even taste the blood and feel the hopelessness of it…
“Wake up, Miss, are you having a nightmare again?”
The vaguely sounding voice next to her ears tore through the scene at the sun-flooded 99-layered golden gates and the scene started disintegrating into bubbles that scattered. Qin Wanru opened her eyes in surprise. Her fists were closed tightly and her sharp nails dug into her palm, giving her shooting pain from her hand. Her heart was pumping vigorously and her bloodshot eyes were staring intently at the edge of the tent on top of her head, and she covered in cold sweat!
“Don’t be afraid, Miss, it’s just a dream, it’s not real!” the girl said with a bright tone, and her voice was accompanied by the sound of hurried footsteps. The curtain around the bed was lifted and the face of Qin Huan, a maid of 12 to 13 years old, came into sight.
This was a lively and witty Qin Yue, instead of the Qin Yue from her previous life, who had been beaten up badly to protect her, and eventually died in the firewood shed.
This was the second day since she woke up. After she laid down to sleep the night before, her nightmares had brought back her memories of the past time and again. Some of the memories were intermittent, however, she was able to reconfirm through this that she had been reborn!
She was still in her own body, but she had been transported back to when she was a young 11-year old.
As she reached out with a weak and skinny wrist, she was so fair that one could see the veins just beneath her skin. She lifted up her head again to scan the surrounding and confirmed that she was indeed in the bedroom she used to sleep in when she was 11 years old.
When she weaved together the tragic bloody scenes, she finally realized who it was who pushed her into Jiuyou Hell.
“Are you alright, Miss?” Qing Yue continued asking her when she could not get a response from her, while she laid on the bed in a daze. Qin Yue reached out her hand to touch Qin Wanru’s forehead.
“I’m alright. How is Nanny Yu’s health?” said Qin Wanru with a hoarse voice, as she took Qing Yue’s hand, which she reached out at first, and sat up slowly.
Nanny Yu was the one who nursed her when she was a baby. It was just the day before that Nanny Yu made herself go to the laundry room because of Stewardess Fang’s criticisms on her. When Qin Wanru finally awoke and realized what had happened, Nanny Yu had fallen seriously ill from working herself too hard.
She had gotten the physician to come to give Nanny Yu a diagnosis and she was reminded of this matter immediately after she awoke.
“Why don’t you drink a sip of water to sooth your throat first, Miss? Don’t worry, Nanny Yu is getting much better. I just went to check on her a while ago and she told me she had a good night’s sleep last night. I guess she will be alright if she takes good care now,” Qing Yue supported Qin Wanru with her hand, and with the other hand, nimbly took a cup of warm water from the bedside table to offer it to Wan Qin.
“How about the arrangement we made yesterday?” asked Qin Wanru as she sat up and took over the cup to take a few sips. The warm feeling that went down with the water reminded her once again that she had indeed been reborn.
After handing the cup back to Qing Yue, her vision shifted to what was outside the window. She could see bright red ribbons knotted into the shape of flowers were hanging everywhere along the corridors. This was an indication that there was going to be a wedding. A wedding whereby the younger sister would marry in place of her older sister!
This was the marriage which she longed for but could not get. It was also because of this marriage that she was pushed into the abyss of death.
At that time, she was merely 11 years old.
How would a young man be willing to take an eleven-year-old girl as a wife?
Qin Yuru was the eldest daughter of Qin Huaiyong, who was the army commander of Ninyuan. Qin Wanru, on the other hand, was his second daughter. While Qi Tianyu was the eldest son of the Magistrate of Jiangzhou.
Qin Huaiyong, being the army general of Jiangzhou, had a rather good relationship with the high ranking Magistrate of Jiangzhou, and so the two families were in good terms. Magistrate Qi had set his eyes of Qin Huaiyong’s eldest daughter, Qin Yuru since long ago, and had wanted her for a wife for his eldest son, Qi Tianyu, who was about the same age as Qin Yuru.
Magistrate Qi had time and again hinted to Qin Huaiyong about his desire for the two families to becomes in-laws, but was turned down by Qin Huaiyong for reason that his eldest daughter was still young and it was his wish for her to get married a little later. For that, the marriage between the two young people was procrastinated time and again until a month ago, when Qi Tianyu had passed the first round of imperial examination, that the general finally agreed to this marriage.
The wedding ceremony was brought forward since Qi Tianyu was going to the capital city to take the second round of imperial examinations soon. It was so that after the wedding, Qin Yuru could accompany Qi Tianyu to the capital city and take care of him while he took the examinations.
While the Qi’s were merrily preparing to welcome Qin Yuru as the bride, Qin Huaiyong’s wife’s family, the Di’s sent a letter to ask for Qin Yuru’s hand.
At that juncture, Qin Huaiyong’s wife became fidgety.
Qi Tianyu was in no way comparable to Diyan, the nephew of Qin Huaiyong’s wife. He was the son of the Count of Yongkang, who lived in the capital city. Qin Huaiyong’s wife had delayed giving an answer in marriage to the Qis time and again precisely because she had been waiting for Di Yan to ask for Qin Yuru’s hand in marriage.
Back then, however, regardless of how Qin Huaiyong’s wife dropped many hints to her sister-in-law, the count’s wife, she refused to offer the match. Feeling anxious about Qin Yuru being too old for marriage, coupled with the fact that Qi Tianyu finally passed the first round of the imperial examinations, Qin Huaiyong’s wife breathed a sigh of relieve. Little did she expect that when the Qis set the date the for the wedding, the count’s family sent to ask for the daughter’s hand.
The time lag was a mere twenty days and Qin Huaiyong’s wife became greedy.
The Qi’s and the Qin’s had almost completed all the necessary customs for marriage and it would be difficult to withdraw from the marriage. This compelled Qin Huaiyong’s wife and Qin Yuru to resort to an evil plan together, which was for Nanny Fang to persuade the ignorant Qin Wanru to take her sister’s place to marry Qi Tianyu.
They claimed that Qi Tianyu’s initial intention was to ask for Qin Wanru’s hand, but somehow, Qin Yuru took the marriage by force. Qin Wanru, unable to endure the humiliation threw a tantrum in front of her grandmother and insisted that she marry Qi Tianyu.
Before the old grandmother could clarify what exactly happened, Qin Yuru came up to her and expressed her willingness to let her younger sister marry Qi Tianyu in order to salvage her sisterly relationship with Qin Wanru.
The old grandmother thought that one sister desired to marry Qi Tianyu, while the other was willing to concede, and so she agreed to it since it was a good way of strengthening the relationship between the two families.
While this was the day Qin Yuru was supposed to marry Qi Tianyu, to cover up their evil plan, they would send Qin Wanru up the sedan instead, claiming that Qin Huaiyong’s did so because she had been bewitched. Qin Huaiyong’s wife also kept this a secret, giving the excuse that they were going to give Qi Tianyu a surprise.
Talking about surprise, this time, she was going to give these adults a huge surprise!
“Rest assured, Miss, I’ve made all the arrangements according to your instructions!” Qin Yue replied in response.
She had made the necessary arrangements yesterday. The sequence and flow of events had been carefully laid out and waiting to be realized!
“Did grandmother send anyone to hurry us?” said Qin Wanru after she sipped some tea, as she spoke with her usual clear and gentle voice. What was out of place was the cold look in her eyes, which was in contrast with her innocent countenance.