Modern World – Year 2017, an NPC vanished into thin air from the world famous Wuxia MMORPG. Players were excited as they had thought that it was a surprise event, but the developers denied it, claiming that it was a bug. After a while, the players lost interested in the NPC and developers did not bother to replace her as she was just a filler NPC and whose disappearance would not affect the story plot of the game.
At the exact same moment in another world, a teenage girl, who had been in a coma for weeks, opened her eyes and narrowed it as she found herself in an unknown location.
Her name was Gu Lian of House Gu. She was the first born child of Gu ZhiMo, the current head of House Gu. House Gu resides in the capital city of the Tian Xi Dynassty. It would’ve been a luxurious life for her if not for the fact that she was a mistress’s daughter.
In a world where mistresses are basically a servant, the child of a mistress would be treated as half a servant. Usually sacrificed, either through political marriage or murdered in conspiracy by the family to create opportunities for the legal wife’s children.
“Eldest miss, is your head still hurting?” Mei Xiang, her hand-maiden, asked while passing her a bowl of medicine. Mei Xiang was worried as Gu Lian kept going off in a daze ever since she woke up a day ago.
She shook her head slightly in response as she took the bowl and swallowed the brown putrid medicine in a big gulp.
“I’m fine, Mei Xiang, I just need some rest,” she said calmly, “Please leave me,” Mei Xiang nodded diligently as she quickly left the room.
Three days had passed since she was transmigrated to this world and her memories were still not fully sorted out. Her recurring headache made her wondered if she had unlocked a hidden scenario.
A notification like noise sounded in her head as she felt the intense headache subsides.
[System is downloading, please be patient.]
Is this… a cheat? She thought in surprise and her eyes grew wide as a bright blue screen popped out and floated in front of her.
As an ex-NPC who had gathered informations from players about their real word, Gu Lian understood clearly what this meant, and having her stats showed in numbered form was a also big relief for her.
This was previously the system that’ll only be bestowed by the master brain to players, happiness bubbled out of her as she tried stroking her system page.
[Player, please choose a sect]
A notification popped out as she fiddled with her system page, followed with information about the thirteen available sects.
She glanced at her system fondly, as she skimmed through the information provided.
Without hesitation, she chose to join the poison sect as she was well-versed with it. She wasn’t sure where she was, she had doubts that this was another game world when she first reached this place but the lack of players made her believe its real life more. Maybe an alternate historical universe, but real life nonetheless. And she had to prepare herself as she would soon be thrown into the family’s power struggle and she believe that taking her old field would be easier.
Gu Lian was an NPC in the “Five Poisonous Guild” in her past life, it was a guild filled with doctors who enjoyed playing with and experimenting with poisonous materials, mastering the art of poison. She had spent her entire childhood working hard, learning the poisonous arts from her guild.
After that, when she had mastered her art, she began adventuring as her NPC backstory was a traveling poison master. She had met many different people, the naive child gradually evolved into an experienced woman.
With the system in place, she no longer had to worry about the old Gu Lian’s problems. She nodded in relief, as she watched the old Gu Lian’s life flashed past in front of her like a movie on the screen of the system.
More days passed ever since she had been transmigrated into this world. A soft knocking sounded through her room door and Mei Xiang’s voice came from the door, “Eldest Miss, have you awaken?”
“Yes, please enter,” Gu Lian nodded slightly at door, allowing them entry. Mei Xiang entered with three other hand-maidens in tow, each holding an item with them, the most obvious being the pot used for cleaning herself up in the morning.
“Good morning, Eldest Miss,” Mei Xiang greeted her with a grin as she passed Gu Lian a cloth to wipe her face with, “Madam aunt is returning today, Lord had demanded that all young misses to accompany Madam Aunt today, we should hurry as to prevent scoldings from the main mother.
Madam Aunt was actually the youngest sister of her father, Gu ZhiMo. Her grandmother had given birth to madam aunt at a very old age and hence, she was pampered as the youngest child. She is only three years older than Gu Lian.
Gu Lian, who had recovered from her splitting headache, imitated a weak smile used often by the old Gu Lian, “No matter, I’m used to it.”
Mei Xiang led Gu Lian to the main house after dressing her up. As they stepped into the garden of the Main Mother’s quarters, Yan Shi’s hand-maiden, Yu Lan, walked up to them.
“How is the Eldest Miss doing? Main Mother had been worried ever since you went into a coma from the concussion.” She exclaimed with a big smile on her face. “Main Mother had given her consent for Eldest Miss to return and rest if you are feeling uncomfortable. Eldest Miss had just recovered after all!”
The old Gu Lian, being too naive, would’ve thought that Yan Shi was really worried about her and accept her kindness, but the current Gu Lian knows better.
Gu Lian smiled in respond, “Please help me thank main mother for her concern, but I’m feeling a lot better now… Actually I’m more worried about second sister, I heard she was sick, how is she now?”
Yu Lan’s eyes gleamed nervously, “Second Miss had already recovered, thanks for your concern. Let me lead you inside, we wouldn’t want Main Mother to wait too long,” she changed the topic quickly as she step to the side of the door.
Mei Xiang, aware of her position, did not follow her in. But she glared subtly at Yu Lan every now and then, angry that Yu Lan tried to get Gu Lian into trouble.
“Greetings mother.” Gu Lian said sweetly as she curtsy before Yan Shi.
Yan Shi narrowed her eyes as she looked at Gu Lian with contempt, prolonging the process. She would not respond so quickly as she enjoyed the view of watching the daughters of mistresses tremble with difficulty. Gu Lian understood immediately what Yan Shi was planning, she wanted her to tire of the curtsy pose and fall to the ground, shaking herself in the process. That would’ve been the case if she was not here, she ignored Yan Shi’s bad intentions as she stayed in position of a curtsy for a full 5 minutes. Gu Lian glanced at her stamina stat
She chuckled to herself silently, she could do this all day and not even tire, let alone falling to the ground. Yan Shi’s plans to humiliate her would not work today.
Yan Shi stared at Gu Lian as she steadily stayed in position for 10 minutes. “Take a seat, Ling Er,” Yan Shi, not wanting to embarrass herself, finally opened her mouth, “It looks like Ling Er had recovered perfectly,” she added sarcastically, smiling but the smile did not reach her eyes.
Gu Lian, who refused to continue with the pointless idle talk, thanked Yan Shi politely and sat down to the side, she was unwilling to go along with Yan Shi’s facade.
Before long, her second sister, Gu Qing, arrived. Gu Qing was born by the Yan Shi herself, and hence she was the main daughter of the Gu Family. She grew up pampered and spoilt by the whole family.
Gu Lian continued drinking her tea as she observed this second sister of hers as both mother and daughter chat.
After a few minutes, tired of listening to useless talks, Gu Lian blanked out as she began recalling what she had done when she was Gu Qing’s age. It would seem that she had spent her entire childhood working hard, learning poison arts from her NPC seniors or took care of her eldest senior brother’s poisonous bugs.
She sighed, admiring Gu Qing’s relaxed childhood as compared to hers.
More footsteps echoed through the hallway as her remaining sisters started to arrive.
Lord Gu, her body’s biological father, was not a loyal man. Not only did he have many mistresses, he also have more than ten bed maidens, and this was excluding the ones that were killed by the Yan Shi!
According to the culture of this world, Lords of the houses could take an unlimited amount of women if they wanted to. Some arrogant lords would even kidnap commoner women and keep them as his bed maidens, basically a personal prostitute. But bed maidens who successfully bear a Lord’s child would be promoted to a mistress.
Gu Lian counted around twenty half-sisters. She did not see any half-brothers, except for Yan Shi’s twelve year old son, Gu ZhiShu.
Yan Shi, being the main mother of the house, would never allow any woman other than herself to bear a son. This was to fully prevent any possibilities of disturbance to Gu ZhiShu’s future inheritance of the House Gu.
Mistresses who gave birth to sons would always die a mysterious death. Some die of poison, some die to childbirth, some die to a fatal illness and so on. The only thing in common with the deaths were that the son would always follow his mother’s death. Her biological mother was one of the mistress that tried biting off more than she could, as she had refused to kill the son in her stomach as she trusted Lord Gu to protect her from Yan Shi. But alas, he would not waste so much time saving a mistress, even though her mother was one of his favorites.
Mistresses who know their places well were left alone by Yan Shi. Hence resulting in the large amount of half-sisters in front of her.
Gu Lian noticed Gu Qing shooting daggers at her viciously. It was pure luck the old Gu Lian managed to survive so long in this god-forsaken place. She understood why Gu Qing hated her so much and so she responded with a weak smile, filling Gu Qing with rage and disgust.
Ancient civilizations think very highly of the first born child and the main wife’s children. For Gu Lian, a mistress’s child, to occupy the first born slot, was actually a humiliation to Gu Qing, who was the main daughter of House Gu.
Gu Lian looked away nonchalantly as her sister raged. Gu Qing was nothing more than a spoilt little child to her, slightly pissing her off is more than enough.