Lei Lei time travelled to a small mountain village. She opened her eyes to see a crowd of elderly villagers standing in front of her.
A forty plus year old aunty sat at her bedside and seeing that she had awaken, joyously said: “Hurry, hurry! She’s awake, she’s awake!”
A group of people shouted as they surrounded her.
“She’s really awake!”
“You were doing well, why did you attempt suicide?” the aunty heaved a sigh. Suddenly seeing Lei Lei’s bewilderment, panic crossed her face at once, “You…you don’t recognise us?”
Lei Lei was unperturbed: “Yes, I don’t know you.”
Aunty paused: “Falling from such a height, it must be amnesia!”
Everyone looked at her pitifully.
Amnesia? Lei Lei almost fainted again, gnashing her teeth, half pleased and half depressed. Pleased that she had finally gotten her wish to time travel but depressed that she had been put into a Tian Lei script by that group of scoundrels. Moreover, they took the initiative and chose amnesia!
Laoniang refuses to be an amnesiac, Laoniang wants to do exactly the opposite! She smiled confidently: “No, I don’t have amnesia.”
Everyone was dumbfounded.
Aunty was sceptical: “ Then do you remember your name?”
Lei Lei replied: “I’m Lei Lei.”
Aunty shook her head: “This child really has amnesia, she doesn’t even remember her own name.”
After noticing that her hands weren’t their usual healthy skin colour but were fair and smooth with long fingernails, Lei Lei realised that she had transmigrated into someone else’s body. She regained her liveliness at once, full of curiosity towards her new identity: “Then what’s my name?”
Aunty smiled kindly: “Silly girl, you’re Chun Hua of course.”
Lei Lei almost fainted: “Chun Hua!”
“Correct, you’re Chun Hua. You’ve only been here at our Gu Yan Village for just over three months, saying that your relatives at Jinjiang City had refused to take you in.” aunty advised her carefully, “You’re so young, you still have a long road ahead of you. Everything was perfectly alright, why did you try to commit suicide? If not for that tree halfway down the cliff……”
Gu Yan Village? Jinjiang City?
“Wrong.” Lei Lei abruptly interrupted her and said resolutely, “I am not Chun Hua, I am Lei Lei.”
The aunty was flustered: “You’re spouting nonsense again!”
Honestly unable to accept the fact that she was “Chun Hua”, Lei Lei tried to convince her: “It’s true. Actually, I had purposely lied to you that time……”
“Quick! Hold her down and bring Doctor Zhao’s medicine here!”
“I haven’t lost my memories, I’m telling the truth!”
“Feed it to her!”
Seeing that bowl of black medicine, Lei Lei panicked, jumped up and looked for an escape: “I’m not drinking the medicine, I’m really not Chun Hua, I was bluffing you!”
Aunty cried out in alarm: “My goodness! She must’ve hurt her head! Hurry, hold her down quickly!”
Five burly men rushed forward to restrain Lei Lei and drag her back onto the bed.
“Wah ——” Lei Lei’s eyes widened in anger and she let out a blood-curdling scream, “Laoniang isn’t amnesiac! Do you hear me! Glug Glug……”
Aunty had used a pair of chopsticks to prop open her mouth: “Has anyone seen Chun Hua speak in such a loud voice before?”
Everyone shook their head.
“The fall definitely confused her, poor child.”
After she had gulped down the bowl of medicine and the chopsticks were removed, Lei Lei almost threw it all back up and weakly nodded her head repeatedly: “Right, right, I suddenly remember, I’m indeed Chun Hua.”
Everyone released their hold on her: “You should’ve said so earlier!”
Aunty took a look at the sky outside the door and instructed two strong young woman: “It’s getting dark, the both of you should stay here. From now on, we’ll take turns to watch over her, this girl is rather pitiful.”
Hearing everyone’s fading footsteps as they left, Lei Lei felt like crying but no tears came. I really didn’t lose my memories, damn those perverts, they’ve actually set up such an audacious story line!
2008 AD, certain month, certain date, late at night, certain room.
In front of the screen, someone stretched lazily as a lazy contented smile hooked their lip’s edge: “Entering a Tian Lei writing, it’ll be Lei whether you want it or not. Little guy, if I don’t let you suffer, you won’t actually know what’s awesome.”
A very small and shabby front desk with a very small wooden sign displayed on top. On it, were a few words written in red paint but the lighting in the small room wasn’t good and she needed to get closer to see it clearly: Jinjiang Time Travel Corporation.
“It’s here.” Lei Lei heaved a sigh of relief.
A lovely and innocent looking beauty sat right behind the front desk, eyes shining as she faced the computer.
Lei Lei moved forward curiously and realised that on the screen was a shiny and glossy roast duck! As she stared blankly, the beautiful lady abruptly raised her head and looked at her with glimmering eyes: “Hey, how’s Beijing’s roast duck!”
Lei Lei smiled at her: “It’s not bad.”
The beauty was pleased: “Then I’ll have it for dinner!”
Lei Lei hurriedly replied: “Ah, I’m here for an interview.”
The beauty rolled her eyes: “Interview? What interview?”
Lei Lei hesitated: “I heard that you’re setting up a time travelling business……”
“Of course.” Immediately, the beautiful lady coughed twice and casted aside the roast duck. Sitting upright, she nodded her head seriously, “Right, we have launched a time travel business recently and today is the last day to sign up for the selection.”
Lei Lei was anxious: “I want to join!”
“Register at the Human Resource (HR) Department.”
“Where is the HR Department?”
“It’s right here.” the beautiful lady smiled, “Hello, I’m Su Su, the General Manager of the HR Department……”
“Hello Manager Su! I’m Lei Lei.” Looking around: “Why is it just you alone?”
Manager Su replied: “Because I’m the General Manager of the HR Department.”
“As a part-time staff.”
Lei Lei started to sweat and sized up the furnishings around her with astonishment: “This can also be considered a corporation? You can really let someone time travel?”
“Besides us, who else on this earth can help you to accomplish your dreams of time travelling!” Manager Su was agitated, banging the table as she stood, causing the dust on the desk to disperse. Lei Lei took a big step backwards in shock. “This is our Research and Development (R&D) Department’s new project. It has been authenticated by the authorities, all procedures and designs are perfect and there are various customisable and special eras for you to choose from.” Saying this, her eyes suddenly shone as she pointed at the door: “See, they’ve all registered and are here for the selection today.”
Three girls talked and laughed as they pushed open a sliding door and went straight in.
Lei Lei was now slightly convinced: “There’s still a selection?”
Manager Su sat down and resumed an elegant demeanour with a meaningful smile: “Of course, there are too many applicants, the opportunities are limited.“
“Let me check.” Manager Su suddenly disappeared from behind the counter and various items immediately started flying. Quite a long time passed before a head popped-up from beneath the counter, “Unfortunately, the other genres are full, you can only go to Tian Lei script.”
Tian Lei script! Lei Lei avoided a leather shoe flying in her direction: “No, I’m not going, it’s too terrifying!”
“What’s wrong with Lei, Lei is so popular right now. It’s not yet certain that you’ll even get this opportunity.” Manager Su propped herself up with both hands on the counter and patiently talked sense into her “I think your name is very suitable, Lei Lei. Ah! One is Lei, two is still Lei. As they say, ‘Lei Lei more healthy’, little girl you can be rest assured, your future is promising.”
Lei Lei still couldn’t accept it and put on a smile: “Can I trouble Manager Su to check if there’s anything else?”
Catching a glimpse of that innocent gaze, Manager Su grudgingly obliged, extremely annoyed as she bent over and started flinging out countless junk once more. After what seemed like half a day, she joyfully poked her head out: “There is. There’s one more that isn’t full yet, time travel into a palace struggle, there’ll be physical abuse, do you want to go?”
Physical abuse? Lei Lei trembled and cautiously asked: “What method of abuse? Is it serious?”
“That……shouldn’t be a problem.”
“A hundred whips, handled with extra violence.”
“Ah, this……will I die from it?”
Manager Su stood up with an inconceivable gaze: “You won’t be killed.”
Lei Lei wiped her sweat: “That’s good then.”
Manager Su looked at her earnestly: “You will also have to suffer five stabs for the male lead and miscarry.”
“This……” Lei Lei considered carefully for a long time but still decided to give up □□ and reject Tian Lei. With gritted teeth, she nodded her head, “Alright!”
Manager Su was alarmed: “Giving you such a hard time like that and you still want to go?”
Lei Lei was silent for a moment: “I understand that these are all required by the plot’s setting, you are also not doing it on purpose.”
“Holy Mother!” Manager Su looked towards the heavens and heaved a deep sigh. She then jumped out from behind the counter and lifted her, pulled open the sliding door and kicked her in, “You still said you won’t go to a Tian Lei script!”
Behind her, the door closed with a “Bang” and Lei Lei stumbled from being kicked. Looking up, she realised that this room was slightly darker than the one before. In front of her was a huge sign with “Finance Department” written on it. Her ears picked up the faint sound of voices.
Nothing can be done about it. Tian Lei it is, let’s go!
Turning away from the sign, Lei Lei immediately saw a gigantic desk. A gorgeous female sat inside, speaking to the three girls who had previously entered. They all stopped talking once they saw her.
Lei Lei walked up to them bravely: “Excuse me……”
The gorgeous lady raised her eyes at her, curling her hair with a pen: “I am the Finance Department’s General Manager, Accountant and Treasurer……my name is Zhong Hua Wu Yan, you can call me Manager Zhong.”
Lei Lei hurriedly said: “Hello Manager Zhong! I’m Lei Lei……”
Manager Zhong held out a hand: “Give it.”
“Registration fee, nineteen thousand nine hundred and ninety eight.”
Lei Lei remembered and hurriedly took out her card to hand it to her.
Manager Zhong frowned: “We don’t accept card.”
Fortunately, Lei Lei was well prepared and took out a stack of money from her handbag: “Here is twenty thousand.”
Manager Zhong counted that it was correct but looked troubled: “I don’t have change……”
Lei Lei sighed: “Forget about it.”
Manager Zhong laughed: “This little girl has good prospects!” Scrutinised her: “Average features.”
Lei Lei became nervous: “Am I no good?”
Manager Zhong threw her a flirty glance: “Wrong. This is exactly a time travelling female lead’s style. Haven’t you seen that all the pretty girls are supporting characters? For our interview, what we focus on is character and talent. If we really have to beautify you, there’s still the option of transmigration.”
Lei Lei nodded repeatedly.
Manager Zhong called for the three girls at the side with a wave of her hand: “Come over, it’s time for the interview!”
The three girls came over.
Manager Zhong took out a cheque: “This is a hundred thousand, who is willing to give up time travelling?”
The three girls were delighted: “Me!”
With a wave of her pen, Manager Zhong said: “Pass!”
The three girls: “What about the money?”
“Did I say that this money was for you guys?” Manager Zhong wasn’t happy, pointing to a door at the side, “Enter to continue your interviews.”
The three girls entered dejectedly.
Looking at Lei Lei the remaining applicant, Manager Zhong knitted her brows and waved the cheque: “I’ll really give you the money, are you willing to give up qualifying?”
Lei Lei was first happy, then shook her head: “I want to time travel.”
You have principles! Manager Zhong’s frown deepened as she took out another cheque: “Here’s a million, how about that?”
Lei Lei shook her head: “No.”
Manager Zhong sighed and not giving up, asked: “Ten million?”
“Alright!” With ten million, laoniang doesn’t need no time travel!
It turns out that she wasn’t un-corrupt, it was just the small problem of her huge appetite. After being in a daze for a long time, Manager Zhong couldn’t help but to exclaim in admiration: “I have good foresight indeed, time travel girls are money-grubbing, the bigger the appetite the better. You have the best prospects after all!” She waved her pen, writing a huge “excellent” before pointing to the door: “You can enter to continue your interview.”
Lei Lei became anxious: “What about the cheque?”
“Take it,” Manager Zhong laughed amusedly, “But it’s fake.”
The third room was even darker, to the point that they couldn’t even see each other. Only from the centre of the room was there a dim blue light that shone on two beautiful girls, one lovely and one cute. If it wasn’t for the huge human-sized sign beside them that had “R&D Department” written on it, Lei Lei would’ve almost taken this place for a nightclub.
The three girls from before were also stunned.
“I am the R&D Department’s General Manager and a staff member of the design team, Shu Ke. You can call me Manager Shu.” Startled, Lei Lei turned around only to find that the voice was coming from the corner.
Someone sat in the corner.
Not a female.
Not a male either.
Even more not……
It was mainly because this person was shrouded by a fuzzy halo, there was no way to tell if the person was male or female. The voice was gentle yet dignified, a distinctive yet mysterious kind of feeling. Resembling an illusion, seeming like a fantasy.
In an unhurried manner, the person started to speak again: “In order to reflect this selection’s fairness and prestige, our corporation has invited two esteemed guests, Jinjiang’s specially appointed editors Su Su and Lilith. They’ll be judging this interview with me, please listen to the topic carefully.” Indicating that it had started with a finger snap.
Lei Lei listened attentively.
Under the dim blue lights, the lovely beauty Su Su who was seated on the left smiled: “All time travellers will have to learn poetries by heart.”
The cute beauty Lilith who was seated on the right smiled sweetly: “So the interview’s topic is to recite a poetry that is related to the moon.”
As expected of a Tian Lei script, Lei Lei thought gloomily. She turned her head to see that the other three girls were totally confident.
One girl recited: ”The moonlight before the bed……”
Lilith: “Good poem! Good poem! This is a necessity for time travelling! There’s personality!”
One girl recited: “When will there be moonlight……”
Su Su: “Good poem! Good poem! It’s creative!”
One girl recited: “A bottle of wine among the flowers……”
Both judges had a short discussion before nodding: “Not bad.”
It was Lei Lei’s turn.
Terrific! Laoniang refuses to recite the moonlight before the bed. With complete confidence, Lei Lei said: “The sea reflects the moonlight……”
It was silent.
Manager Shu who was in the corner said unhurriedly: “No creativity or personality, you can go.”
Having come with the resolution to time travel but being shoved into a Tian Lei script and spending twenty thousand, Lei Lei was already full of pent-up anger. Hearing that, she felt indignant and rushed up to Manager Shu, grabbing her by the collar and raising a fist: “Laoniang insists on travelling today, do you believe that I’ll beat you up?”
“Believe……yes I believe! Let me go first——” Nodding her head repeatedly.
“Is it creative?”
“We, we can talk things out! Let’s talk things out!” Turned towards the two judges.
Lilith: “It’s creative!”
Su Su: “It has personality!”
Manager Shu grabbed the sign: “Pass ——”
The spacious room was like a small public square, pitch-black with no boundary in sight, footsteps echoing for a while.
Manager Shu climbed up a tall instrument with great effort, “This Tian Lei script’s design has been completed, everything inside has been specially set up by yours truly. I spent lots of painstaking effort on this……groan……”
The two judges interrupted: “Since you’re now insisting on experiencing it, you first have to choose your ideal manner of time travel.”
Lei Lei nodded: “What methods are there?”
Lilith smiled sweetly and pointed to the side: “Let’s go with the most typical one, car accident, how about that?”
Seeing the huge lorry that was about the height of two people, Lei Lei immediately imagined her badly mangled body crushed flat at the scene and took a step back in fright: “No way no way!”
“Wait wait.” Lilith patted her shoulder charmingly and pointed to the other side, “How about falling into water and drowning?”
Lei Lei realised that she was starting to feel slightly suffocated and continued to back away in terror: “No, don’t!”
Lilith handed her a shiny knife and with a sinister smile: “This is an ancient knife we borrowed from the museum, you can commit suicide.”
“I don’t want!” Lei Lei’s hand weakened and the knife fell to the ground with a clang.
Su Su bent over to pick up the knife and blew on the tip: “Then……homicide?”
Wah, murder! Lei Lei fearfully took a few steps back and looked like she was about to let out a “Help” when a louder yell was heard: “Stop ——”
At that instant, Lei Lei felt her leg sinking.
With a thunderous clap, the spacious room shook noticeably and a dazzling blaze of lightning flashed past. Lei Lei wasn’t there anymore.
Manager Shu jumped down from the instrument: “So troublesome! Asked her stop, stop. Now, serves her right!”
The two judges wiped their sweat: “Tian Lei time travel isn’t bad either, we’ve finally settled one.”
Just to clarify on ‘Lei’ and ‘Tian Lei’, it refers to dramas/novels/scripts that are badly written and have stupid plots.
(‘☆’ marks words that will reappear in future chapters. Do take note of them as they will not be explained again)
1. Not her actual aunt, it’s just a respectful form of address for a woman that’s about your mum’s age↩
2. 老娘 (Laoniang) ☆ Literal translation – Old mother. Meaning – (more of a slang) It’s a way of referring to oneself when you’re angry and it puts one above (in seniority) the other person. (This isn’t the dictionary definition, just what I’ve gotten from watching chinese dramas)↩
3. Jianghu ☆ – The fictional world where all period dramas are usually set in↩
4. Blood racing / Righteous ardour↩
5. Loosely translated. From what I can find, its used as a hashtag when talking about the Lei genre↩
6. All four poems are loosely translated. I’m not sure about the other three poems but this is a classic one and also the only poem I know↩