"Huh? Where... what?..."
The ten seconds of being in a frozen stupor was understandable. What followed next for Bai Feng was also within reason. First came the screams.
"Ahhhhhhh! What the Hell!"
His screams began like a neglected leaking water pipe. It started out as a small trickle before gushing endlessly. It ended in high-pitched squeals like a little girl confronting her first cockroach.
Some time during this forced acclimatization his body jumped off the ragged cloths that served as a bed. Between the spaces of those rags the bare earth could be seen. After some additional flaying and twisting like an epileptic patient, he abruptly stopped in a fit of coughing.
"Crap! Calm down, breathe, that's it breathe... okay, okay let's figure this out."
Maybe due to the sporadic movement stifled breaths and plain shock, Bai Feng collapsed onto the ragged bed. Luckily underneath those rags were normal soil so he was not injured badly but he experience the reason behind the term 'a hard ground'.
It was good he was alone, out of the eyes of others for his current position was definitely unsightly. His head was buried in the rags while his ass reached for the skies supported by his knees.
After some time, with a groan he finally collected himself and struggled to a sitting position.
First he began sorting his jumbled memories, with the realization that some were definitely not his. Half an hour later he gave out a long and heavy sigh.
Gone was his twenty plus years of living among his family in a technology riddled earth. Hello to a strange world as a lone twelve-year-old kid, living at the hight of poverty in a tech-less world.
He sighed again, as he allowed the jumbled thoughts in his mind to settle down.
Bai Feng recently got transferred out of the city to a rural province in China. His work entailed providing aid in a startup project supposed to last about five years. After its completion he was to return home, look for a wife, settle down and raise some filial kids to ease his older years.
He spent a late night stuffing himself with some street food before heading home to sleep.
'So much for the general plan.'
The kid whose body he now possessed was named Chu. That was his full name.
Someone from a common family, especially one like him occupying the lowest spot of society didn't have last names.
Only the rich and those in the military were entitled to such privilege. The best a commoner could do was earn some achievement to gain one of the general last names awarded by the provincial leader.
That alone was a task by itself because nobles would never allow easy access to the upper layers of society.
As he waded through these memories, he tried to gain the answers as to the workings behind this world's culture. He huddled up in the coarse rags as the biting cold now became apparent.
Calming his mind he focused on the basics. If he only allowed himself to panic, a hysterical breakdown was going to be the end result.
Chu was a male, which was still agreeable. He had to thank the god, whichever, whoever was in charge that at least he was transferred over to the same-sex.
He could not imagine the awkwardness having previously lived over twenty plus years of his life as a man only to wake up as a girl!.
The indecent thoughts that fluttered across his mind helped to take some strain from his tense nerves.
A twelve-year-old boy, month of birth long forgotten. Body in a malnourished state, very weak. Previous owner maybe passed on because of the condition and the damn cold.
It was nighttime so Chu covered himself the best he could to stave off freezing. Through the holes on the roof of the shack he could make out some faint stars in the pitch black darkness.
Since this was now his life, Bai Feng decided to adopt the name Chu. It was not going to benefit him keeping his full name until he was aware of his complete situation.
Huddling up, he scanned the memories to gain a basic understanding of his current position in this world.
Chu is uneducated born into a poor family in Song village. This village one of many scattered around the outer province of the Dana empire. The village borders the Great Western forest serving as a source of fur, firewood and early detection fodder in the event of a demon beast invasion.
Of course many now considered that invasion as an old wives tale passed on through generations. The forts in the north had never allowed such happenings, and stragglers making it through were normally dealt with up in the northern villages.
The village contained just under a thousand residents and the houses surrounded by a wooden palisade to keep beast and bandits out alike. The winters are deadly cold with blizzards being fierce and unexpected. It is now the end of autumn and within the next few weeks winter is expected with the first snow fall.
Chu sighed and rubbed his hands under the hole-filled rags resembling swiss cheese.
Being a son in a small village family is a plus since it means another breadwinner is around to share the workload. His father was a woodsman who made his living selling firewood to villagers and the trading post.
By the time Chu was eight he was already venturing along to the forest. His family was small with his parents and one sister.
There is nothing against child labor as such in this world. To survive one must find some means, especially in such a rural and dangerous place. Romanticizing about such things here can get you killed.
Every one has to be able to support themselves.
During the winter of last year, his father became injured by a wolf in the forest. After that their earnings dropped like a stone. Harsh situations lead to harsh measures. To cut cost the family ended up forced to consider selling his younger sister into slavery. In the minds of uneducated people, this was a widespread and normal thing.
Chu rebelled and left home so as to save his family such a tragic fate. He moved to the slum area outside the village walls and worked as a loader carrying firewood from the forest to the village. The little money earned he sent to his family as support.
The past Chu had a kind heart for his family.
But man was he an idiot!..
'How can someone dealing in firewood not even have the common sense to prepare for winter?'
Everything in his memories are from gossiping or listening to others. It was by mere luck he even knew the name of the country he was in. As far as how advanced technology was outside the village, whether this place had magic, cultivation or anything similar the boy was helplessly ignorant.
The poor guy couldn't read or write and didn't have money to buy his own axe to chop firewood. He was relegated to being a mere loader. What the heck would you expect from one scrounging to make a living.
All kinds of plans and counter plans began forming in his head. Some he rejected with speed. Given his current situation the best plan was the need to survive. Food, clothes, shelter became his top priority. After that would be the gathering of information.
Chu rubbed his hands and feet. Like it or not, this was his life now and unless he decided to kill himself to chance a return to earth. He found himself stuck here unless this turned out as a really bad dream.
'This is what you get for eating meat at night!'
What a transfer!
Chu woke up at dawn, this damn thing was no dream. Even though he had the memories of the past body's owner, it would be his first time venturing into this world. Just the thought of this made his mind falter between fear and excitement.
Rubbing his limbs and shaking his arms to ward of the numbness and cold, he sat up while covering himself like a cloak under the rag bedding.
The sunlight came streaming in through numerous cracks between the boards and the thatched roof. His present dwelling consisted of a simple six by six-foot square hut supported by rough cut branches and reject boards.
A roof constructed of smaller branches that supported some straw and twigs helped keep out the sun. Judging from the numerous rays and dots piercing through, it seems that during rain one needed to find an optimal place to rest between leaks.
Besides the rags on the bare ground, one corner had an old patched cloak hanging along with a shirt and pants. A rough staff used for support was beside a pair of worn boots. Another end had some stones with a blackened pot resting on them. That was the kitchen area, complete with a small knife spoon and a copper-colored mug.
"What the heck is this thing patched with? What the hell, is this a strip of vine?"
Chu muttered as his fingers poked their way out from a couple of holes in the cloak.
The door construed of some boards tied together with vines that shifted to one side opening the entrance.
"Not like I have anything worth robbing."
As he looked around the entire structure was flimsy held together by strings and vines. Under a hard breeze this thing had one hundred percent chance of collapsing. Scanning his memories it seems that it happened a couple of times in the past.
Now a blistering winter was going to descend upon him.
"Hahahahaha! OH my fucking god!"
This became one of the few times Chu ever felt like cursing in his life. He did not come from a rich family, but they were not this poor either.
If anyone looked at the scene they would find a malnourished thin child partly covered and laughing with tears streaming down his face while pummeling the ground with his little fist.
Chu finally settled down taking some deep breaths.
"Damn, this is freaking unbelievable."
Anything less and he may just sit down and wait to die. Maybe he might really undergo a transferred out from this nightmare.
He got up and stepped across to the 'kitchen', the little pot had some cold water mixed in with some roots. This supposed gruel turned out to be nothing more than flavored water. It was also his everyday breakfast. One cup in the morning and another in the evening. The taste was hell, it was like drinking down vinegar.
With that bitter liquid warming him up by burning the life out of his digestive system, it was time to get ready for work. This morning however, he kept the thin pants and shirt that he slept with on, while bundling himself into a 'strainer looking' shirt and pants covered by the patched cloak.
By the time he dressed himself someone banged on his door, making him jump and fearful the shack would fall over.
"Chu, Hey get up!"
The loud voice and banging continued until he yelled an answer. Grabbing his staff he pushed the makeshift door out and slided it to the side.
'Oh crap, have a little pity for my little shack man!'
It would be his first time entering into this strange world.