Chapter 1: Keyboard Warrior
Ow ow ow ow!! Pain arced through every inch of his body as the stench of burnt flesh filled his nose. Wait a sec!Whats going on
Zu An was certain that he had been arguing with a bunch of people on an internet forum just a few seconds ago...
It was a stormy day. A thunderstorm was wreaking havoc outside his windows, but it did nothing to dull Zu Ans furious typing. He was trolling the absolute ** out of a bunch of users on a forum, insulting them to the point of speechlessness... ahem, which is to say, he was gently persuading them through heartfelt appeals to their sense of decency.
All of a sudden, there was a blinding flash of light accompanied by a thunderous cacophony. A basketball-sized clump of lightning drifted through his window, glowing with a strange, hazy red light.
Following that, Zu An remembered hearing an absolutely miserable scream ring out, followed by an utterly indescribable sensation. He vaguely recalled seeing the keyboard in front of him vaporize into dust along with his hands, which had been placed on the keyboard. More and more of him had been vaporized, until finally... everything became a blank.
Was I just hit by lightning What the hell was that thing Ball lightning As a highly qualified keyboard warrior, he had naturally read up on these phenomena before. He was naturally quick-witted, and instead of feeling frightened, he was overcome with excitement and eagerness. Holy **! Have I gained superpowers Maybe Im going to turn into the Flash! Or maybe even Captain Atom
He struggled to open his eyes, but everything in front of him was a blur. He had no idea where he was at all. Suddenly, a stabbing pain radiated into him from his fingertips. He jerked his gaze downwards andsaw something before him - although he wasnt sure if he was just seeing things.
There, floating in front of his fingers, was a keyboard. It looked identical to the one he normally used, but the keys looked gray and lifeless. He tried tapping on the keys, but none of them was budging at all. It was as though they were locked in place.
“You have successfully bound theKeyboard Warrior account. Upon fulfilling the necessary conditions, the relevant abilities shall be unlocked.” An icy voice reverberated in Zu Ans mind, scaring the crap out of him.
What the hell Zu An thought to himself. Why cant I be the Flash, Spiderman, Iron Man, or something cool like that Although theKeyboard Warrior title kinda fits my personality, it sounds... weird.
“So what do I need to do to unlock these abilities” Zu An asked hurriedly.
“Collect the secret manuals from the Twelve Unknowable Regions of this world and then embed them in the F1 through F12 function keys. Each time you collect a manual, youll unlock a corresponding ability,” the icy voice replied.
Only then did Zu An notice that the function keys on his keyboard were covered in strange runes. He surmised that these corresponded to those twelve so-called secret manuals.
“Good luck, Keyboard Warrior!” At these final words, the keyboard began to fold in on itself. It transformed into a shadow before seeping into his fingertip, vanishing from sight.
“Wait a second! What the hell are theTwelve Unknowable Regions, and how am I supposed to find these secret manuals” The words tumbled out of Zu Ans mouth, but no matter how he shouted, there was no response from the icy voice.
Zu An wanted to cuss. A keyboard This is bull**. Why do other protagonists get to start out with something cool, like the Midas touch and stuff, whereas I have all my abilities locked up On top of that, theTwelve Unknowable Regions sounds incredibly dangerous, and I doubt theyll just hand out secret manuals freely. And I need to get twelve of them! This is bull**!
The haze around him began to dissipate. He felt warm sunlight shining down on him, and he could vaguely make out the sounds of others speaking nearby.
“That was odd. Theres not even a cloud in the sky. Where in the world did the lightning come from It makes no sense at all!”
“This guys probably done so many bad things that the heavens have decided to exact divine retribution on him.”
“Hey, isnt that the useless son-in-law of the Chu clan He should have thanked his lucky stars that a fairy maiden like Chu First Miss would fall for him, but was he No! I heard that last night, on his wedding night, he actually snuck into his sister-in-laws bed!”
“Holy crap! Is he planning on bagging both of them”
“Ehehehe. Plenty of guys like to eye their sisters-in-law, after all.”
“No wonder he got struck by lightning! Serves him right!”
“Pity about that lovely Chu First Miss, though. So young, but already a widow.”
“Shh! The Chu clan might hear you gossiping. They are searching everywhere for this animal.”
Zu An was completely confused by what he was hearing. What is this nonsense What the hell is going on Everyones just watching, but no ones even called for an ambulance. When I recover, Im going to expose all of them and their shameless actions on social media!
“Out of the way! The coroners arrived,” someone shouted out.
Coroner! Zu An was stunned. Shouldnt they call a doctor Are they shooting a historical drama here
Moments later, he sensed someone crouch down by his side, who then began poking and prodding the hell out of him. A voice reported, “Sallow face. Body charred black. Hands balled loosely. Eyes and mouth still wide open. Body streaked red and purple, but flesh relatively unharmed. It would appear that he was indeed electrocuted to death.”
Zu An was enraged to hear that. Dying was one thing, but dying in such an ugly fashion was simply unforgivable. He somehow mustered the strength to sit up, and he bellowed, “HEY! Can you at least put some makeup on me first before snapping pictures”
“ZOMBIE!!!” The crowd around him screamed in unison.
Zu An was stunned. Everyone around him was indeed dressed in ancient period costumes, although they were decidedly low-quality, unlike the extravagant, beautiful costumes he saw on TV. What was even more puzzling was the lack of cameras or cameramen nearby. In fact, he couldnt see so much as a cell phone anywhere! Nor did he see any telephone lines, cars, or any other traces of the modern world he was familiar with.
So I didnt die Have I transmigrated into another world As a huge fan of webnovels, Zu An had read about many situations like this before, so he wasnt too shocked by this development.
“W-w-what manner of freakish demon are you!” The coroners lips quivered as he pointed at Zu An in horror. He was so shocked that he fell flat onto his back.
“Im not a freak, jackass. Cant you even tell the difference between a person and a corpse I think you need to find a new day job.” Cough, cough. Smoke rose ceaselessly from his mouth and nostrils as he spoke, causing him to choke on his words. Probably an after-effect of being struck by lightning, he mused.
Looking down at himself, Zu An noticed that he was not dressed in his usual clothing, and his limbs were slimmer than he remembered them to be. A terrifying thought sprang into his mind. He hurriedly pulled open his pants and took a peek inside... A heart-wrenching shriek of agony ensued.
Where should have been agiant roc had been replaced by atiny chick. No man could withstand the mental anguish of that.
A sudden hush fell among the onlookers, and they hurriedly stepped aside to open up a pathway for an approaching figure. Some nervously lowered their heads and snuck secret glances at the new arrival.
Zu An subconsciously turned to look as well, and it finally dawned on him why the crowd was reacting in such a manner.
A woman dressed in white was walking serenely towards him.
Her eyes were clear, and her skin was snowy-white. Her perfectly shaped eyebrows looked like the masterpiece of a skilled artist. A gentle breeze seemed to accompany her every step, rustling the hem of her white dress and fluttering her beautiful black hair. A pale blue belt encircled her slender, willowy waist. She drifted towards him like an ephemeral fairy maiden amidst the clouds.
HOLY SHIT! Zu An floundered for the right words to properly describe this immaculate beauty before him, only to fail miserably. He cursed himself for not studying harder at school.
The woman came to a halt right before him and gazed down. Zu An feebly crawled to his feet and said, “Hey, babe. Do you have a boyfriend If you do, would you consider dropping him for me Otherwise, Im perfectly fine with being your secret lover too”
Displeasure clouded the womans face. She uttered coldly, “Its only been a few hours since our wedding, Zu An, and you suddenly cant recognize me anymore”
Wu-wu-wuuuh! Zu An was speechless. The beautiful woman before me, who looks so perfect that she could have come out of a portrait, is actually this poor bastards wife Not to mention, this poor bastard who had been killed by lightning was also named Zu An
This revelation suddenly brought a flood of information into his mind, which felt familiar yet foreign.
It felt familiar because this world was very similar to that of ancient China, sharing a similar language and culture. But at the same time, it felt foreign because this was a world of cultivation, a world where people could reach incredible heights of strength, becoming mighty enough to cleave entire seas with a slash of their swords, or leap beyond the horizon in a single bound.
It wasnt exactly the same as the world of the Xianxia cultivation novels he had read. In this world, power was mostly concentrated in the hands of the royal court. The stronger one was, the greater power and authority one would be able to amass.
This land was known as that of the Zhou Dynasty, and its current emperor was one of the most powerful cultivators in the land.
The Zhou Dynasty was an incomparably flourishing one, and it had lasted far longer than any of ancient Chinas dynasties. The highest-ranking princes and kings of the Dynasty were scattered throughout the lands, and below them were the dukes, the marquesses, the counts, the viscounts, and the barons. These nobles all had their own fiefdoms and private armies, and they jointly supervised their assigned territory alongside officials appointed by the imperial court.
The city Zu An was currently in, Brightmoon City, was the fiefdom of the Brightmoon Duke, also known as Chu Zhongtian.
His bodys previous owner was also named Zu An. He had been an orphan raised by an uncle, and he was notorious in the city for being a young neer-do-well. He had been untalented in both learning and cultivation, but had incredibly lofty dreams that vastly surpassed his reach. This fatal combination had purportedly enraged his uncle so much that the old man had died of anger.
But not too long ago, something improbable happened. This wastrel had somehow caught the attention of the eldest daughter of the Brightmoon Duke, theprincess of Brightmoon City. He had been summoned to the Chu Estate to become the dukes son-in-law.
How could such a wastrel be worthy of the noble Chu First Miss, who possessed such incomparable beauty Virtually everyone who heard this news shared the same thought: Even I would have been a better choice than him!
The beautiful woman clothed in white standing before him was none other than the First Miss of the Chu clan, Chu Chuyan.
Thankfully, Zu An managed to think on his feet when faced with her reproving question. Smiling, he reached out to hug her by the waist. “I knew youd be heart-broken to see me like this, so I thought Id tell a little joke to ease the tension.”
Since he had apparently been transmigrated into the body of this other Zu An of this parallel dimension, it meant this lady was now his wife! Thankfully she was not hideously ugly, or else he wouldnt have been so eager to accept her.
Chu Chuyan turned smoothly and stepped aside, avoiding his grasping claws. “Heart-broken Over you” Her calm voice had a cold edge to it.
Zu An brushed it off, thinking that she was simply too shy to behave intimately with him in public. He chased after her hurriedly, wanting to take this opportunity to leave a positive impression on her.
Unexpectedly, a figure leapt out to bar his path. Zu An blinked in surprise. A young woman dressed in green robes stood in his way. She had flat bangs, an exquisite coiffed ponytail, and was willowy. In fact, her waist was so dangerously slender that it was without a doubt the most alluring part of her.
Before Zu An could sing praises for her beauty, she cut him off acidly. “Have you forgotten your place You know the rules, get back in line.”
Zu An scanned his memories. Ah, right. This young woman was Miss Chus personal maidservant, Snow. How dare a serving wench like you speak to her master like this
His thoughts were interrupted by whispers coming from the bystanders.
“So thats the eldest daughter of the Chu clan There really are no words to describe her beauty.”
“Even her maid is gorgeous!”
“So that guy who was hit by lightning really is the cowardly son-in-law of the Chu clan How the hell did he pull this off”
“Everyone in the city knows that hes just mooching off his wife at the Chu clan. Look, even the maid despises him!”
Zu An was incredulous. Cowardly son-in-law! An odd look crept over his face. It looked like his previous self wasnt doing very well in this world. Still, he wasnt too concerned. So what if Im a lady-moocher Mooching requires talent as well! All of you guys want to mooch like me, you just dont have the skills to do so!
Leaving him behind, Chu Chuyan quickly boarded a carriage. Zu An tried to follow her in, but the maidservant Snow stopped him with a glower. The other servants seemed accustomed to this. Not paying any heed to him at all, the coach immediately began driving the carriage off.
Rage bubbled within Zu An. Look, lady, your husband just got hit by lightning, and hes feeling pretty weak right now. At the very least, you shouldnt be forcing me to walk back, right And so, throwing caution to the wind, he charged toward the carriage and scurried right in.
The carriage was filled with a faint yet mesmerizing scent. Chu Chuyan looked up from her book, startled to see him suddenly barge in. In the past, he had always obediently stayed outside! She stared at him in bewilderment for a moment there, not knowing what to do.
Just as Zu An was about to speak, the title of her book caught his eye: [Sweet Pampered Wife: Dominating Sword Immortals Ninety-Nine Days of Searching For Love]. He blinked. 
In a heartbeat, Snow furiously charged in after him. “Ugh, I swear, you...”
Chu Chuyan quickly hid the book inside her sleeves, a tinge of pink suffusing her flawless face. “Forget it, Snow. Just let him stay inside.”
Snow glared at Zu An before storming out to sit at the front of the carriage.
“Did you... see something just now” Chu Chuyans eyes flashed dangerously.
Zu An hurriedly shook his head. “I didnt see a thing!” So this world has pulpy romance fiction And the names are just as shameless as the sappy romance novels back on Earth. He had not expected an ice princess like her to favor such steamy novels.
He could tell, however, that she didnt believe him. Frightened that she might kill him to cover up her secret, Zu An hurriedly changed the subject. “Sweetheart, have you heard of anUnknowable Region Which one is closest to our home”
Her eyes widened noticeably. “Where did you learn of this phrase,Unknowable Region” Outside the carriage, a crafty look flashed acrossSnows eyes as well, but she hurriedly lowered her head to disguise it.
Zu An replied almost casually, “I heard someone mention it.”
“Impossible!” Chu Chuyan frowned. “Theres no way that an ordinary person wouldve even heard of this phrase.”
1. This is a Xianxia version of the female romance webnovels girls like to read these days...