It was natural to be a time-space traveler. In this world, the ones who traveled far outnumbered those who did not. The question was where to go.
Sitting on a small stool and wearing open-crotch pants, Wang Bo raised his head and with his eyes blinking, looked vacantly at the old Chinese scholar tree in his yard.
"Oh my god. Who can tell me what dynasty that I've traveled to?"
It was the only information that he received after his time-traveling. In fact, it was already marvelous to know the name of the country as it was a small isolated village.
Among the over 100 villagers, the blind fortune-teller was the only one who could read. There were rumors that after 30 unsuccessful years of trying to be a scholar, the old man cried all day long and finally became blind. After that, he made a living as a fortune teller.
Although the villagers did not really believe him, there were some odd customs in this very ancient place. People preferred to comfort themselves at weddings and funerals. Thanks to that, he was able to barely make ends meet, and now and then he might even have a taste of meat when he got it right and received extra rewards from his guests. His life was not so bad.
He was the only one in this village who could actually write. Wang Bo could tell that the writings on the long white flag in the fortune-teller's hands were traditional Chinese characters. While the spoken language was hard to understand at first, he grew to understand it. It was Chinese with a strong accent. That was the reason why he thought he had traveled back to ancient China from the very beginning.
Gradually, however, as he learned from a few words spoken by the villagers, he doubted his judgment. The country they lived was Jin, Great Jin!
There was no such a dynasty in ancient China, except for the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), which this obviously was not because there was no chance that he could read the writings from that time.
So, this was not ancient China. He just traveled to a world that was quite similar to it.
In this small village, the old blind man was the only one who could answer his questions, but he could not ask the old blind man for help. He was still far too young. How could a three-year-old boy wearing open-crotch pants ask something like that?
Of course, he did not want to be seen as a freak.
This was not like a fantasy in which it was okay if you were a prodigy and talked like an adult at birth. Just three days ago, some guy in the neighboring village was beaten to death because he was talking crazily and was assumed to be a monster by his villagers. So it was wise to keep a low profile.
In his previous life, Wang Bo had a Ph.D. degree in Chinese literature and he was well versed in traditional Chinese, too. Furthermore, he had done some research on ancient Chinese history in his free time. So, besides traditional Chinese characters, he was not good at anything.
Technically, it was a transmigration of the soul rather than time-travel. All he had done was skip the Five-Flavored Tea of Forgetfulness from hell.
In his previous life, Wang Bo never had a strong body and worked in an office. At the age of 36, he choked on a mouthful of cold water and died. And when he was sober again, he found himself reborn into this world.
Maybe God was ashamed that Wang Bo lived for nothing and died for nothing in his previous life, so he was given another chance to live.
After years of adapting, he could finally fit in.
It was not really a problem of fitting in, as he was merely a newborn baby who could not even take care of himself.
He was born as one of the Zhou's and his given name was not Bo. As a matter of fact, he still did not have a name. He was called Little Shiba.
When you were born in the mountains like this, you would not really mind it. It was perfectly normal for a man reaching his adulthood to be without a name.
Having a family name was good enough.
The Zhou's were native mountain villagers and he was the fourth son in the family. His oldest brother, 18 years old, was an honest hunter and farmer who got married last year. His second oldest brother, 13 years old, who horsed around every day, was a little jerk and a real headache for the family. His third oldest brother was nine years old. And Wang Bo was three years old. The Zhou's also had a girl, 17 years old, who got engaged at the age of 10, and it was about time for her wedding.
The Zhou's oldest son was called Spikey; the second son Houndie; the third son Boxer; and the fourth son, Wang Bo, who should have been called Fourth Doggie. As for the daughter of the Zhou's, she was automatically overlooked, just as every other disadvantaged girl was back in the old days.
As the family already had too many little boys to feed, Wang Bo was called Little Shiba, meaning that they were not planning to have another little son.
The Zhou's were nothing but a normal family in this village, struggling on the barren fields and hunting. Though they did hunt, old Zhou was barely a skilled enough hunter to bring home much prey, and additionally, even if old Zhou got something, it was always traded for daily necessities. That explained why there was no meat on their table all year round, which nearly killed Wang Bo, who was used to lavish meals in his previous life. Fortunately, he was only suffering minor malnutrition for a three-year-old boy. The corn gruel they had every day kept him from starving and with a little luck, he could even have a taste of meat. That would be like the Spring Festival!
The mountain villagers were good at survival. Their ability ran through Wang Bo's veins.
After three years, he had gotten used to the black Chinese cornbread and the yellow, shit corn gruel which did not make him feel gross anymore. The secret was to close your eyes and get it over with.
It was the loneliness that bothered him the most, which was not like an internet meme. It was true loneliness.
Imagine that a 30-year-old soul was trapped in a baby boy's body for three years, how much loneliness would he bear? He could not say or do anything he liked. He could not even put up a fight when people rubbed his face or flipped his small penis. What a f*cking life, wearing open-crotch pants!
Luckily, he was not a baby boy anymore. Though still wearing open-crotch pants, he was not getting molested anymore.
Now in May, the weather was getting warmer. He sat motionless on a small stool in his yard, staring steadily at the old Chinese scholar tree, with his thinking in a mess.
"Little Shiba, Little Shiba! Come here! Time for dinner." Without knowing how long had passed, he heard someone crying out in a rough but comforting voice. Wang Bo knew it was Little Shiba's mother. That is to say, the woman that he called "mother" now was calling him for dinner.
Wang Bo moved his ass from the small cold stool and ran home.
It was not like the previous life where people had three meals a day. Here they only had two meals: one around 10 in the morning; the other around five or six in the evening, and it was now the latter. These were the good times. When a food crisis occurred, they would have to put up with one meal a day.
As usual, they had corn gruel and black Chinese cornbread for dinner. They even had a plate of black pickles this time.
The whole family surrounded the table. Although women were inferior here, the villagers did not have too many rules. The six of them were sitting at the table, except for Wang Bo and his third older brother, who were both too young, eating on a small stool.
Generally, old Zhou liked Wang Bo, and for no special reasons, just that the little lad behaved well.
From his birth, this little lad had not brought much trouble to his father, who had five kids. It was true that mountain-born kids were easy to bring up, but still, Little Shiba was one of a kind. So far, he never pissed himself or crapped himself, which was unbelievable especially compared to his nine-year-old brother, Boxer, who had just crapped himself the day before.
Having something on his mind, Zhou did not say a word during their dinner. That was the reason why no one had the guts to make any noise, adding a heaviness to the table.
"Blah, Blah, Blah…!"
When hearing that sound, which was a specific movement when old Zhou finished his last bit, Little Shiba was focusing on his half bowl of black cornbread. It was the signal of the end of dinner.
Old Zhou had finished his meal. It was a rule for the rest of the family to stop eating until he had left the table.
The odd part today, however, was that he did not leave.
"Hua-er, Wang Tianlei is back home. We'll pick a good day for you. You should get ready for your wedding."
Hua-er, or Zhou Hua, was Little Shiba's elder sister.
She was engaged when she was 10. Her fiance, Wang Tianlei, the only son of five consecutive generations of his family, lived in the east end of the village.
Wang Tianlei was 19 years old. When he was 16, he should have married the 14-year-old Zhou Hua, honoring the customs of their village. However, he had been serving in the army for three years until yesterday.
"The only son!" Wang's mother was so obsessed with a grandson that, since the day her son had come back, she wanted her son to marry Zhou Hua as soon as possible.
Zhou Hua was not stunning, but pretty. Being a 17-year-old girl, she was full of youthful enthusiasm. What would have Little Shiba called it in his previous life?
Youth. Yeah, that was it.
What was more, she was diligent and capable and that kind of girl was popular in this village. If she had not gotten engaged at the age of 10, the Zhou's doorsteps would have been flattened by all those matchmakers.
Upon hearing this, Zhou Hua blushed right away and her head lowered to her chest. Little Shiba did not have to look at her face to know that her face was as red as roses by now.
Little Shiba did not have a say on this kind of thing. All he could do was stand by and treat himself to a rich meal when it happened.
What he did not expect was what a common wedding of two villagers could offer, and how it would bring incredible changes to his future.