When Zhou Wen woke up, he suddenly realized that he was in a completely unfamiliar place.
He was lying on a wide bed with white bedding and cotton sheets that had an exotic touch. Although he had not yet figured out the situation, one thing was certain—this was definitely not the lousy bed in his own doghouse.
With these strange thoughts swirling in his mind, he suddenly became startled and sat up, exclaiming, “Where am I?!”
Looking around, the room was large and clearly had a western style. The wooden furniture exuded a strong antique vibe, and there was a metal candlestick on the bedside that could only be seen in medieval movies. The well-lit large windows let in a few faint rays of morning sun, indicating that it was already morning.
Feeling increasingly confused, Zhou Wen couldn’t help but scratch his head and mumble to himself, “Could it be those troublemakers’ friends of mine pranked me while I was drunk again? But wait, where in the city can you find a house like this? Even if there was one, they couldn’t afford it. What is going on here?”
As he spoke, he naturally looked toward the bed, where there was a large dressing mirror opposite him. When Zhou Wen saw his reflection in the mirror, he was stunned and speechless.
In the mirror, a young man with ear-length flaxen hair stared at Zhou Wen with the same stunned expression. He looked like a typical Caucasian, around the same age as Zhou Wen, with ordinary features and a well-proportioned face. However, his eyes were small and gave off a somewhat creepy vibe.
He was wearing a white pajama, and he looked thin and not very muscular, but that wasn’t the point. How could this person be sitting on the bed, and why did the bed look so familiar?
He shook his hand and brushed his nose, and the person in the mirror mimicked these actions exactly. Zhou Wen quietly crawled over to the opposite side and touched the mirror. His hand felt icy cold, clearly indicating that it was indeed a mirror.
“Oh my god! What’s going on here?!” Instantly realizing that the creepy guy in the mirror was himself, Zhou Wen yelled and threw the mirror to the ground.
Immediately afterward, with a loud bang, the door opened, and a golden-haired girl dressed in a maid’s uniform rushed in. Before Zhou Wen could say anything, she screamed and ran out, shouting, “The young master is awake, the young master is awake!”
Stunned by the sound of her receding voice, Zhou Wen was completely bewildered. What… what in the world is going on?
Before long, with a chaotic sound of footsteps, an elegantly dressed old man with white hair rushed into the room with a group of people. Seeing Zhou Wen staring at everyone in astonishment, tears immediately flowed from the old man’s eyes.
“Young master, you finally woke up. Your old servant was so worried.”
Suddenly being hugged by this old man, who was sobbing with tears and snot, Zhou Wen was startled and quickly pushed his head away with force. “Hey, what are you doing? Who are you guys?”
“Young master, I am Vince. Don’t you remember your old servant? Sob sob sob…” The old man still refused to let go.
No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t shake him off. Zhou Wen’s anger rose from the bottom of his heart, and he reached out and pinched the old man’s throat without hesitation. When Vince was uncomfortable and stuck his tongue out, Zhou Wen kicked him away.
He jumped onto the bed and made a defensive posture, shouting, “Stop! Don’t come over; can someone tell me what’s going on here?”
Vince, who was supported by someone, said, “No wonder the young master is like this. Yesterday, I didn’t have a chance to explain things clearly to you before you fainted. Everyone, go out. After the young master calms down, I’ll slowly explain everything for him.”
The people who came in obediently retreated, and soon only Zhou Wen was left in the room. He sat down on the edge of the bed in a daze and touched his face. After the commotion just now, he was sure that this was not a dream.
What’s going on? I had just lost my job yesterday, and, encouraged by my group of bad friends, I drowned my sorrows in alcohol, drinking until I was completely drunk and was sent home in a stupor. How did I wake up here and became someone else?
Wait a minute—after receiving so many years of materialist education, could I really be so foolish as to believe in something as meaningless as transmigrating to a different world? Yes, it must be one of those surprise programs produced by a TV station, with a set and two temporary actors trying to fool me. While I’m here worrying, I wonder how many people on the other end of the TV are laughing at me.
With that in mind, Zhou Wen stood up and walked to the window, raising his hand to pull open the curtains. Ha ha! You want to play tricks on me, Zhou Wen? It’s not that easy. Today, I will expose your tricks, sue you for violating my privacy, and make a few hundred thousand while I’m at it…
Outside the window, rows of exquisite European-style steep-roofed houses stretched out of sight, with roofs of red, yellow, and white of different heights and depths, forming a beautiful scenery. Men and women dressed in ancient costumes came and went on the wide, straight streets. Occasionally, a carriage passed by on the street. The sky was crystal clear and blue without a hint of impurity.
Finally, Zhou Wen knew that this wasn’t some TV show prank. As far as he knew, there was no place in the world with such a view. Even the small towns in Europe where the historic relics were best preserved couldn’t erase the modern atmosphere so thoroughly. Zhou Wen only needed one glance to confirm that this wasn’t his world.
Could it be that he really arrived in a different world?
As he saw a beautiful girl on the balcony of the house across from him, watering flowers with a cute rabbit-like, odd shaped beast on her shoulder and giving him a sweet smile, Zhou Wen felt dizzy and almost fainted again.
Backing up a few steps to the side of the bed, he kept reminding himself, “Stay calm; I must stay calm. After reading so many fantasy novels, I should have the basic ability to adapt, and this small surprise cannot defeat me!” He said this while taking deep breaths.
At that moment, the door creaked open, and the old man named Vince walked in quietly. “Young Master, are you feeling better right now?”
With a helpless nod, Zhou Wen said, “Tell me, what’s going on?”
After listening to the old man’s explanation, Zhou Wen finally understood that the previous soul that was occupying this body, named Saul Lowell, was the sole son of Gary Lowell, the lord of the Lowell territory in the Dinar Kingdom. He was sent to the Royal Academy in the city of Almak when he was young.
A few weeks ago, the lord suddenly passed away from illness, so the old butler Vince came to the academy with people to find him and take him back to inherit the territory. Unexpectedly, just yesterday when they met, before Vince could explain the reason for his visit, Saul fainted and just woke up now. What’s even more damning is that his consciousness suddenly switched with Zhou Wen’s!
“So you’re saying that you came to find me to inherit the territory?” Zhou Wen asked.
Vince looked at him in surprise. “Young master, are you still confused? The Lowell territory has been the private territory of the Lowell family since your grandfather’s generation. And you are the only son of the old lord, so it should be you who inherits it. Who else could it be? Please prepare quickly. After completing the withdrawal procedures, we will return to the estate. The letter of request to the king has already been sent to the capital.”
As he spoke, without giving Zhou Wen a chance to respond, the pretty blonde maid clapped her hands and walked in, holding a stack of clothes.
“Please change into your formal attire quickly. After meeting with the principal, we have to hurry back to the territory.” With these words, Vince disappeared from the room in a flash.
There were only Zhou Wen and the maid left in the room. He only noticed the girl then and was instantly struck by her beauty. She was at most sixteen or seventeen years old, with fair skin and exquisite facial features. Her big eyes were like a delicate doll’s. And although her maid’s clothing did not show off her figure, she was shapely and had a bright future ahead of her. Her slender legs were wrapped in knee-length silk stockings under her skirt, which made Zhou Wen’s blood boil.
Recalling the cosplay movies he had watched before, Zhou Wen immediately felt that those so-called beautiful girls were nothing compared to her. Excited, he felt a strong desire between his legs. Hmph, she called me young master, so I am her owner. In this wicked feudal society, an owner could do anything to a maid.
Now, a lonely man and woman were in the same room. He was a bundle of handsome dry firewood, and in front of him was a pile of beautiful bubbling flames. Why not do XX first, then OO, and then…
As a catastrophic tragedy was about to happen, the maid noticed Zhou Wen’s strange expression and lifted her head in surprise. “Young master, what’s wrong?”
Her gentle voice entered his ears, and her clear and innocent eyes made contact with his. It was like a bucket of ice-cold water pouring down on him, and Zhou Wen immediately woke up. This is not good. The situation is unclear, why am I still thinking about these things? Even if I need to take action, I need to understand the situation first.
He quickly covered up by asking, “What is your name?”
Upon hearing his question, the maid’s face revealed a faint and almost imperceptible disappointment. She quickly lowered her head and answered softly, “My lord, my name is Marlene.”
Zhou Wen didn’t notice her expression. At this moment, he was only thinking, what is going on and what should he do? He inexplicably arrived in this unfamiliar world and took over someone else’s body. Although it wasn’t his fault, he felt uncomfortable every time he looked at the unfamiliar face in the mirror.
To make matters worse, he was actually the heir to a piece of land. God, is this a joke?
Seeing him lost in thought, Marlene thought that Zhou Wen was grieving for his “father”. She comforted him softly, “Young master, the dead cannot be brought back to life, don’t be too sad. Let me help you get dressed.”
As she spoke, she was about to remove his pajamas. Zhou Wen was startled and thought to himself, this is not good. If her soft and delicate hands were to touch his body, he would probably lose control immediately, and it would be too late to regret it by then.
He quickly took the clothes from her and said, “No, no, dressing myself is a small matter; I can handle it.”
“But…” Marlene hesitated.
Without further ado, Zhou Wen pushed her out of the door and quickly changed his clothes. While changing his clothes, he had already made up his mind. Since he had come this far, he might as well make the best of it. He knew his own abilities and limits. If he ran away, he knew that he would become a beggar within three days, unlike the protagonists of those novels, who could easily thrive in a different world.
Besides, since God had given him a piece of land and he could eat and drink without worrying about his next life, why not just enjoy it?
As for why he suddenly arrived here and how to go back, he would worry about that later. With his mind made up, he opened the door and walked out without giving Vince, who was waiting outside, a chance to speak. He preemptively said, “Uncle Vince, I just heard the news of my father’s death, and my mind was a bit scattered. But now I have no qualms about the situation, so let us go.”
Seeing him suddenly back to normal, Vince was also very happy and quickly pulled him onto the carriage in order to head to the headmaster of the Royal Academy to handle his withdrawal procedures.
As the fourth carriage raced past them, Zhou Wen couldn’t help but wonder, “Why is our carriage so shabby?”
They were riding in a run-down carriage that could barely fit four people. The paint was peeling off everywhere, exposing the wooden boards inside. The horse pulling the carriage was old and thin, panting heavily as it ran. The whole carriage shook and creaked as if it could fall apart at any moment.
At Zhou Wen’s words, Vince couldn’t help but show a look of shame. He awkwardly said, “This is a rented carriage, a rented one.”
Zhou Wen just nodded and didn’t say anything more. In his heart, he couldn’t help but think, “As the heir to a piece of land, how could we rent such a shabby carriage? It’s undervalued.” Fortunately, the carriage soon arrived at the Royal Academy.
Zhou Wen naturally had no impression of this place where “he” had studied for many years. The famous Almak Royal Academy in the Dinar Kingdom was very large, and it looked like an independent small town. The academy taught literature, history, military, magic, and all other subjects, making it the most important talent training base in the kingdom.
The wide, tree-lined avenue, the well-designed tall buildings, and the male and female students walking their magical beasts all contributed to opening Zhou Wen’s eyes as an outsider.
Soon they arrived outside the headmaster’s office. It was a two-story western-style building with old walls that showed exposed red bricks in many places, giving it a distinct ancient feel. In the fountain pool in front of the building stood a graceful female statue that Zhou Wen did not recognize but guessed must be the guardian goddess of the academy.
After reporting their purpose to the guards at the entrance, Zhou Wen and Vince entered the headmaster’s office. The famous headmaster of the Royal Academy, Albert, was an old man with a white beard who looked like Leonardo da Vinci. His shiny and broad forehead showed his extraordinary wisdom. When the two entered, he lifted his head from the thick stack of documents on his desk.
After expressing his condolences for the “death” of Zhou Wen’s father, the headmaster, Albert, immediately handed over an expulsion order. The speed at which he did so suggested that he wanted Zhou Wen out of the academy as soon as possible.
When Zhou Wen took the paper, although he had never seen the words on it before, he could clearly understand what they meant. Perhaps it was because he had entered Saul’s body and unconsciously become accustomed to the world’s writing and language, which saved him a lot of effort.
With suspicion in his heart, Zhou Wen decided to test him out. He suddenly got up from his chair, rushed to Albert’s feet, and screamed like (Dou E)*, “Principal…”
Caught off guard, Albert was shocked and quickly reached out to support him, “Saul, what are you doing?”
“Sob sob, when I think that I can no longer stay by the principal’s side to listen to your teachings in the future, I feel so sad. No, I don’t want to go back. I want to stay by your side and continue to learn.” Zhou Wen cried with tears in his eyes.
Albert was shocked, as if he had heard a dinosaur proposing to him, and said in a stern voice, “What!? Saul, your father had passed away, and it’s time for you to take up your responsibility. I’m touched that you have such deep feelings for the academy, but we can’t have a territory without a lord. You should go back as soon as possible. With your words, I’m already satisfied.” He even pretended to wipe away tears.
As a sly old fox, Zhou Wen saw everything with a fleeting glance. “Am I a fool? Your acting is so bad that even a blind person can tell that you’re pretending.” He tightened his limbs and threw himself onto Albert’s lap, determined to cling to him, acting like a persistent beggar who wouldn’t give up.
“Principal, I love my territory, but I love learning the truths of the world even more. Without your constant teachings, what’s the point of being a lord? Please let me stay!”
Without waiting for Albert to speak, Zhou Wen continued, “If you insist on me leaving, please give me two mementos so that whenever I see them, I will think of you and your teachings over the years.”
This was clearly blatant blackmail, but how could Albert not see through it? However, he couldn’t miss this opportunity to get rid of this troublemaker. He cursed the brat in his heart, and with a determined grit of his teeth, he took out two items from his drawer and handed them to Zhou Wen.
“Saul, as your teacher, I also want to keep a good student like you, but royal decree is difficult to defy. Here, I have two items as a souvenir for our parting,” said Albert.
They were a bronze ring covered in rust and a green crystal pendant. Without hesitation, Zhou Wen grabbed them and looked straight at him, his intention clear: “Old man, explain to me what these are for?”
After Albert explained, Zhou Wen learned that the ring was a summoning ring that contained a spell to summon a sealed griffin beast, and the green crystal necklace was a protective amulet that automatically blocked three fatal attacks for its wearer, making it a rare and valuable item among magicians.
It seemed that Albert spared no expense to send him away.
Knowing that it was time to wrap things up, Zhou Wen shed a couple more tears and said he didn’t want these things and wanted to continue studying. Albert, of course, did not allow it. After a bit of feigned reluctance on both sides, Zhou Wen finally got up and left, and everyone was happy, and the play had come to a satisfactory end.
Once they were out of the principal’s office, Vince was ecstatic. “Albert is the most powerful mage in the kingdom. The things he gave you must be treasures. I never would have thought that you had such a great reputation at this school, young master, to receive such valuable parting gifts from the principal.”
“Good reputation?” Zhou Wen couldn’t help but smile bitterly. If he really had a good reputation, why hasn’t any classmate come to see off this guy named Saul until now? But whatever this person had done was naturally unrelated to him. After putting on the ring and necklace, Zhou Wen jumped into the carriage and said, “Let’s go to my territory.”
Little did they know, at that moment in the principal’s office, Albert was speaking to himself with a stunned expression, “Oh no, I forgot to tell that kid the summoning spell…”
Not far away, a few young men and women who looked like students watched the galloping carriage and exclaimed, “Oh my god, this plague god finally left the academy. We can finally live in peace.”
Another person sneered, “Only one of the four academy’s plague gods has left, and you guys are so excited. Don’t forget there are still three left.”
“Shh!” Someone quickly covered his mouth, looking around cautiously as if afraid someone might overhear them. “Anyway, one gone is one less. Let’s go to the Velvet Flower Tavern. I heard they’re already celebrating this there.”
Zhou Wen didn’t hear the discussion between these people. He was sitting in the carriage, dozing off, his thoughts already drifting toward his own territory in the distance.