Chapter 4 – Abandoned Book Pavilion
Zhou Jiahan frowned slightly. "What's wrong with this girl?"
As the sky slowly turned clear in the morning of the next day, Zhou Jiahan woke up on time because she had long been used to getting up early.
She came in front of the mirror and examined this body for the first time. With red lips and white teeth, jade-like skin, and dressed in men's clothing, she looked like a child of good fortune who served under Guanyin. Her adorable appearance could attract people's affection, yet she carried a trace of tranquility and indifference that other people her age doesn't have in her brows.
Overall, she felt that this body was really too weak, it looks like she'll have to exercise more. Following after her a.s.sessment, she decided to have the entire room tidied up. It looked completely like new after an hour of cleaning.
"Young Master, was this all cleaned up by you?" The just woken up Xiao Ya was staring blankly the room that had still been messy last night, yet now it had become all clean and tidy. She then rubbed her eyes in doubt. "I didn't come into the wrong place, right?"
Zhou Jiahan came to a dazed Xiao Ya's side after she finished tidying things up and asked lightly, "Do you know where there is an unused library here?"
"Ah? Library? Does the Young Master want to read books?" Xiao Ya blinked her eyes. "But you didn't tend to read books before."
"That's before. If I don't read books, then how could I leave this place?" Even if it might be peaceful for the next few days, Zhou Jiahan wasn't going to obediently stay here and die.
However, in a place where she has no status whatsoever, death will undoubtedly be her final outcome. Sitting here and waiting to die was not how Zhou Jiahan does things.
So as of now, she first needed to get a better understanding of this world's framework as well as this residence's Prime Minister. In the end, what kind of person was this nominal father of hers?
"O-oh, the bigger library is at the back of the eastern garden, but Master had given the order that you're not allowed in there. We do have an abandoned book pavilion though, only there aren't really that many people that drop by there. I heard that that place's… a bit haunted…" The more Xiao Ya spoke, the smaller her voice got. She then swallowed, "Young Master, I don't think you should go there."
"Just tell me where that book pavilion is." Zhou Jiahan glanced at her once, her voice carrying an irrefutable command in it.
Xiao Ya was startled by her imposing manner that she subconsciously blurted out, "It's not far from here, just behind the garden in the north."
Afterwards, Zhou Jiahan walked out and headed north.
When Xiao Ya came back to her senses, she panicked and hollered worriedly after her. "Young Master, don't go!"
Zhou Jiahan arrived at the book pavilion mentioned by Xiao Ya and noticed that it was surrounded by weeds in every direction. The distance between the worn-down house and here was definitely not far, so both places should belong to the unregulated area of the Prime Minister's residence. With the unattended grounds and dead leaves scattered about, the age-old building appeared even more desolate.
Zhou Jiahan's lips curled up slightly. "This place is rather peaceful." She also wouldn't have to worry about being disturbed.
She pushed over the heavy door, inciting up a few inches of dust. On the interior, she saw that there were numerous books lying out here and there in disorder while the bookshelves were somewhat crooked with an unknown amount of dust acc.u.mulating on it. Looking further in, there was a set of staircases winding up to the right. And since the book pavilion has three floors, she reckon that the good books were obviously located on the highest level!
She headed up to the third floor where there weren't that many books. She randomly picked one up and read the t.i.tle on the cover: The Foundation of the Four Countries.
Zhou Jiahan already got what she wanted with her first pick. Examining the book in her hand closely, she was surprised to find that it didn't even have a single speck of dust on it.
She looked for a place to sit down and started reading diligently .
Since then, Zhou Jiahan ran to the book pavilion almost every day. Sometimes, she wouldn't even return, which caused Xiao Ya to worry to death everyday.
After being in each other's presence for so long, Zhou Jiahan was also clear about the ident.i.ty of this body of hers. She was the second son of the Prime Minister of Long Lin Empire, Zi Moyan.
On the surface, she still has an older half-brother and an older half-sister. According to Xiao Ya, she didn't seem to have met them yet.
Perhaps they didn't even know that they have such a 'brother' like her.
From the book, she learned that this world was in an era ruled by four countries: Yue Empire in the north, the Jiao Empire in the south, the Ming Ye Dynasty in the west, then there was the eastern empire that he resided in —— the Long Lin Empire.
After staying in the book pavilion for a few days, she got a general idea of what this world was like. Though what she was particularly interested in was the fact that this world actually had a country where women were respected!
That country was by the name of Jiao Empire, though she'd only heard of women being in power in fictional novels. She didn't expect it to actually exist in this world.
There was once that she had fallen asleep while reading in the book pavilion.
"Young Master! Are you there Young Master?" And in the end, she was woken up by Xiao Ya's voice in the distance.
She climbed downstairs and saw Xiao standing far in the distance, not daring to get any closer.
Once Xiao Ya saw her, the worry on her face disappeared. She then hastily held onto her. "Young Master, you scared me to death. I thought that you, thought you were…"
"What?" Zhou Jiahan frowned. "There isn't anything dangerous in the book pavilion. You needn’t worry." She then pushed her away and headed for the worn-down house she resided in.
Xiao Ya's mouth twitched. "Young Master, just don't go there anymore. I heard that it had foul things in there, otherwise it wouldn't have been abandoned!"
"I never believed that there are ghosts in this world," Zhou Jiahan replied indifferently. "Xiao Ya, it's getting late so go to sleep."
"Young Master!" Xiao Ya watch after the disappearing back in exasperation. Why didn't she believe in her words?
观音: Bodhisattva of Compa.s.sion or G.o.ddess of Mercy in English.