“Oh boy...”
--Dr. Samuel ‘Sam’ Beckett


Chapter One - Arrival


He suddenly woke up with a start, his body drenched and his silk garments sticky with sweat.


The pale-faced man gasped for air, his eyes wide as they roamed wildly over himself and his surroundings. His face scrunched in pain as a sudden influx of knowledge and information exploded in his mind.


“Young master! Are you alright?” A voice beside him called in alarm.


The young man turned to look at the source of the voice, and saw it was a young girl in red traditional undergarments. It was dark but her pale skin was like the moonlight, her undone hair like spilled ink that went below her shoulders. A pretty face, but perhaps too young for his tastes.


The young master smiled wanly at her.


“Just a drunken dream. Go back to sleep, Yu-er.”


His gentle tone made her wide-eyed in astonishment. It only grew when he gently motioned her to lie down and coaxed her to sleep.


The moment he was sure she had fallen back to deep sleep, the man massaged the temples of his head. Gritting his teeth, he forced himself to delve into the memories of the original Huang Ming.


‘My name is... Huang Ming…,’ he groaned inwardly as his head pounded with the effects of alcohol. Apparently the original Huang Ming had died in his sleep due to binge-drinking, and he had taken over his body just in time to suffer the after-effects.


He glared at the ceiling of his new home, cursing at the Patron that had sent him here without so much as a second thought. Then he sighed in defeat. What's the point of raging at an inconceivable being that was far beyond his reach? He was merely an Avatar.


‘At least this time it's a new setting that I've never been before.’


He took a look at the dark surroundings. The first thing he noticed was an ivory sculpture on a table, depicting a naked woman. He smiled tiredly.


‘Well that was random...’


More details appeared as he went deeper into his mind.


He was aged 23 years. Third son and young master of the powerful Huang family that held sway over the city of Tianxin, a large frontier city in the state of Wu. The original Huang Ming had a reputation for a roving eye (‘that explains the statue’, he thought) and a wastrel who fancied himself as a poet and scholar. The sleeping Yu-er beside him was a 15-year old maid of his household; apparently the original had ordered her to accompany him that night. To his relief, the original Huang Ming had died in his drunken stupor before doing anything. Not knowing any better and probably relieved, she had simply crept in to share his bed. For a moment, the poor girl was accompanying a corpse before he arrived to take over the body.


He closed his eyes as images of the stereotypical young master of a powerful family colluding with his cronies surfaced in his mind.


...He had men drag away the daughter of an indebted man... roaring with laughter as another person was forced to crawl between his legs in humiliation... knocking over a grandmother who dared to cross his path in the marketplace... ordering his servants to seize the precious pigs of a farmer...


He was disgusted with the memories of the original host.


‘Wow, I was such a scumbag.’


He sighed.


‘I can't live like this. I have to change myself to be someone respectable, or else I'll end up causing my clan to be wiped out by someone seeking vengeance.’


His head throbbed, reminding him that he was still suffering from a massive hangover.


‘Tomorrow... I'll start tomorrow... Geh...’