Name: Zhu Liangzhe
Birth Date: 1997
ID number: XXX……XXX
Marital Status: Not yet married
Education: Military-machinery field studies graduate
Cause of Death: Drowned saving a citizen
Honours: Posthumous Second-class award for unwavering loyalty
The last thing I saw before my death was a young girl falling into the water. As a soldier who’s dedicated to serving the country and its people, I jumped in after her without thinking. The waves were strong and freezing as the ice had just melted after the harsh winter. I was washed away after I managed to get the young girl aboard a rescue boat. It was merely water and yet it felt like a huge rock was being smashed into my face in those moments.
I lost conscious after getting washed away and never woke up.
And so, I, Zhu Liangzhe died at twenty-one just like that. To be frank, I was fairly indifferent about it. I didn’t have any regrets, I didn’t feel happy nor did I have a sense of satisfaction. My family has always served in the military since the Red Army. My parents would only be upset over my death for a while before changing their perspective and seeing it as me bringing glory to the family, and actually feel proud about it. I didn’t have any worries since I had an older sister who’d take care of them.
Oh yeah, for the record I was single.
I never had any goals while I was alive. I just went along with the daily training and lessons. I think that perhaps military school was suited for me since I’m the sort of person who lacks motivation and needs a push. I wasn’t an outstanding soldier to be honest. My grades were average. You know, the type that teachers don’t remember, and you have to reintroduce yourself every single time? When I started working, it was just to put food on the table. I never made mistakes and never stood out.
But thanks to this incident, I was awarded a posthumous second-class award and seen as a loyal solider. I’m sure that’s going to help me get my name recorded in history. Yeah, I don’t think it’s so bad to die a celebrated hero instead of being another face in the crowd with nothing to show. Instead of seeing it as the start of my life, I think it’s better to look at it as my one-and-only glorious moment.
It was perfect if I say so myself.
Alright, thinking time is up. Can I pass on now? Why am I still conscious of my own thoughts when they’re supposed to have been buried with me at my funeral? Aren’t I dead?! How do I still possess self-awareness? Based on the Principle of Materialisation, I’m supposed to have my lights out like a lantern when I die. So how the heck am I still able to consciously process my thoughts?
Don’t tell me humans really have souls and that we’re just unaware of it because they can’t communicate with the living? Can I safely assume that souls don’t exist if humans can’t see them? No idea. What am I even right now? I seem to just be an abstract thought without a body or limbs. I can’t seem to do anything other than think. I have no sight, hearing or smell, nor can I sense my surroundings.
I seem to be limited to just being able to think. Is this what happens after people die? So we lose everything and all that remains is our ability to think, and think indefinitely? A human corpse will corrode, so does our conscious escape our body and continue to exist or something? Uhh… So are these Zhu Liangzhe’s thoughts? Zhu Liangzhe is dead, so are these his thoughts or what?
Holy shit, now I’ve gone all philosophical.
I’d be chuckling right now if I had a mouth. The problem is… I can’t do anything right now. Since this the case, I’m just going to stop bothering with anything. Will my conscious disappear if I stop thinking? Alright ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening to my endless rambling. I won’t bother you any further. Goodbye.
“Troy! Troy! Troy, I beg you… Troy… Wake up… Troy… I’m beg you… Don’t… Don’t make mommy worry… I beg you, please wake up… How can I continue on living without you? I’m begging you, please wake up…”
Hey lady, could you please show some respect for the dead? Like, could you please not lie on my body and cry? Aren’t you aware that pressing your body on top of another person’s body will give them a hard time breathing? Do you want him to wake up or sleep for eternity?
Wait a second…
Why am I still breathing? I can smell the scent of grass and flowers wafting into my nose and down my throat with each gasp of air. I can taste a strong stench of blood in my throat that’s fumbling with my head. I can hear rain falling on the ground and the lady beside me crying.
How are my hands able to feel warmth? I’m more surprised as to how I have all these senses than why my hands are being held by someone.
I’m dead, and the dead aren’t supposed to have any senses. Just a moment ago, I only had my thoughts. So how do I suddenly have a sense of touch now? Aren’t I dead? How come I suddenly feel life again? I can hear my faint heartbeat.
I coughed violently and spat a mouthful of blood out, clearing out my throat. The chilly air blew into my lungs and gave all the cells in my body a wake-up call. I slowly opened my eyes as a few teardrops landed on my face. Still in my stupor, I looked at the grey sky that was still spitting.
How am I alive?
Where is this place?
I died. I’m one-hundred percent positive I died. What on Earth is going on? The fact that I was still consciously processing thoughts after death was a surprise, but I don’t know what to think of being reincarnated. What in the world is going on? I’m mind-blown right now.
“Troy!! My son! My son! I’m so glad! I’m so glad! I’m so glad you’re still alive! Thank you Goddess Clementina for protecting my son! Thank you! Thank you!”
Before I could figure out what was going on, I got pulled into some lady’s embrace out of the blue with my head wedged in between two big round warm things… All that air I breathed in just now slowly began to get depleted and all I could smell was a strong flower-scent… What flower is this? I feel like I’ve encountered it before… But there’s a more important matter at hand so let’s put that aside for now… Miss, could you please let go of me, I’m suffocating here!!
After she let go of me, she anxiously cupped my face in her hands. A face so beautiful with eyes coloured blue like lightning, you’d think it was the perfect 3D sculpture appeared before me. One question… Why are her ears pointy? Her slender fingers slid across my face as she caressed my face and then she anxiously asked: “What’s wrong? You must be in lots of pain! It’s all mommy’s fault… It’s all mommy’s fault… Mommy shouldn’t have let you go and hunt Earth Dragons… It’s all mommy’s fault… I’m so glad you’re alright, my son… I’m so glad… Mommy will take you home… Mommy will take you home…”
Hey, uhh… Who are you miss? I mean, could you please tell me who I am? I just came back to life and am still having trouble trying to figure out what just happened. I know I passed on, so why am I here, and uhh… While everything I’m seeing looks familiar to the things I see every day, for some reason it feels foreign at the same time…
Especially, this lady in front of me who called herself “mom”…
“What’s wrong? Do you still recognise me? It’s me, I’m your mom!” She caressed my face in her palms and held it up so that our gazes would meet. Perhaps she noticed the look of bewilderment on my face. As she held my face in her hands, she shouted: “I’m your mom! Son… I’m your mom! Don’t scare me… Don’t scare mommy… You’ll be fine, you’ll definitely be alright!”
Thoughts that seemingly didn’t belong to me came gushing in. I looked at the lady in front of me, and called her “mom” is if it were natural to. She sniffled, pursed her lips and put on a smile filled with infinite happiness. She tightly held me in her embrace and cried on my shoulder.
I spaced out as she tightly embraced me. All I could feel were her supple breasts, her body warmth and smell her fragrance. It looks like I need to reprocess my thinking here. It’s safe to assume at this point that I’m living the plot of those dimensional travel novels I’ve always despised right now.
I looked at her pointy ears and thought to myself: “This is a rather unusual time-travel experience,” because I didn’t travel to the past nor future, but what appears to be a different world… My mom probably isn’t human. In fact, she resembles an elf… Hold up! My mom’s an elf! Doesn’t that make me an elf too then?!
I swiftly lifted my hands up to my ears and touched them. Eh? Human ears? What the? So I’m a human? Did this lady mistake me for someone else? I’m a human! How is it possible an elf give birth to a human? Could my father be a human by chance? If so, doesn’t that mean I’m a half-breed then?
My brain was overcome with these questions. And the more I thought about it about, the more questions I got. Wait, no. I didn’t get answers, they were more like: “It is what it is,” type answers that were supposed to be common sense knowledge here. The question is “why”? What’s with these conscious thoughts and memories? Do these memories belong to the original owner of this body? Have I inherited his memories? So, the original owner of this body is dead then.
This lady hugging me from the front is my mother… And… And…
“Your highness! We have finally found you!”
The sound of horse hooves approaching came from behind my mom. A group of people dashed out from the forest after seeing my mom and I, and let out a huge sigh… The leader of the people, I mean, elves, wore armour and looked quite handsome for a man, or should I say, he looks a little weak although handsome for a man? He walked up to us, knelt down on one knee, pressed his right hand to his chest, lowered his head and said: “It is dangerous here. Your highness, please take his highness and leave this place quickly.”
So my mom is the queen of elves now?! That’d make me the prince of elves then!! What the hell is up with this dimensional travel plot? What are the chances this is all coincidental? You’re telling me that I reincarnated, and then just conveniently woke up as the prince of elves?! I don’t buy it!
Mom wiped the corner of her eyes, grasped my hands tightly and stood up. She then turned around and said: “You must protect the prince no matter what! Don’t worry about me. I can’t bear to see my son get hurt.”
She then turned around and gently caressed my face as she comforted me with a smile: “It’s alright, it’ll be fine now. My dear son, it’s fine now. Don’t be scared, mommy is here for you. Don’t worry, we’ll be home soon. I won’t ever let you come to such dangerous places again… It’s all my fault… It’s all my fault…”
I could feel her sincere motherly love towards me. It’s a pity that I’m not the original owner of this body… I watched her mournful face and saw her tears rolling down like a shattered diamond… I didn’t want to aggravate her any further so I just nodded.
And thus began my new life in a new and unfamiliar body.
This body felt strangely light. I looked down at myself and couldn’t see how I was any different to any other human. I just looked slightly leaner than before. I may have just whiled away in my previous life, but I did build a muscular body, so I wasn’t too comfortable in this leaner body.
Right now, I was wearing a simple piece of leather armour. However, underneath the armour was an evidently superbly made shirt. My cape was torn, shredded and covered in mud, while my shoes were so worn out they were ready to hit the trash can. These were equestrian boots, which means this person came to this place by via horseback. The scabbard dangling on my waist was empty. Where’s my sword?!
All of a sudden, images started popping up in my mind like a movie. There were cheers from the townspeople… Bustling crowds… Soldiers gathered around together… Myself waving with a smile as I rode atop my horse… The darkness in the forest… A large shadow trampling on troops… Cries of agony… While I was fleeing, a huge beast sent me flying and then stomped on me…
That flashback feels so realistic that it’s scary. I hastily touched my stomach and discovered it was evidently dented. The sudden surprise caused me to break out into a cold sweat. It’s a miracle that this body didn’t get reduced to mince-meat. If it did, it would’ve been pointless for me to be reincarnated. Looks like I was brought here to slay something but ended up getting killed instead…
I think that massive beast is called an Earth Dragon or something… They look similar to three horned dragons. It looked immune to magic and resistant to physical attacks from weapons. Facing a creature like that, I’m not surprised they failed. The dragon scales are too hard, and according to the memories of the original owner of this body, my men didn’t seem to have any heavy weaponry equipped.
Could it be possible that elves don’t possess any heavy firearms?
Seeing as how I don’t have any recollections of that, I gather that the memories I’ve inherited are very limited. I only have the memories of the day of my death. The only complete memory I have is of my mother.
Two troops walked up to us and dismounted. I took the reins and awkwardly hopped on. Mom clumsily mounted her house. I saw her glorious boobs jiggle as she mounted her horse. She wasn’t dressed in battle attire. She was dressed in a casual everyday dress. Mom evidently traversed their forest for a long time trying to look for me as her dress was tattered.
Mom trudged a few steps on her house, but then suddenly turned back, faced the troops and said: “Let’s head back to the palace now. Oh, right. All of you get changed.”
The captain froze for a second, but then quickly caught on to what mom meant. He commanded the troops below: “Throw some mud on your clothes, tear them, and splat some blood on them! Remember, we won! Our campaign was a success! We are the victors! Victory!”
Mom nodded and then said: “Have you prepared what I asked for?”
The captain took a bag out and said: “It is ready, your highness.”
Mom took the bag and opened it. I could hear the rattling of gold pieces. I leaned over to steal a peek and saw something shiny akin to gold, but seemingly resembling once live scales.
“These are Earth Dragon scales. Remember son, you were victorious this time. You’re returning as a victor. When we get back, scatter these in the crowds. It’ll be alright. Don’t worry about Earth Dragons and whatnot. Just stay by my side and everything will be fine. Please, don’t ever get yourself in trouble again. Mommy won’t let you go to such dangerous places like that again.”
Mom looked at me with adoration as she handed me the bag. The bag felt as heavy as a bag filled with gold. They were just some creatures’ scales so why were they so heavy?
I lifted my head and suddenly understood what happened earlier.
The waste-ground with snapped tree branches where I woke up upon arriving in this world was a pool of blood.
This bag of scales contained the weight of their lives…
And then, the rain stopped and the sun shined through the clouds. The sunrays reflected off my leather army as I caught a glimpse of faces filled with despair…
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