Chi Lian could feel her head pounding. She had a painful headache that was thudding like the beating of a relentless drum. It would not go away no matter how much she wished it away.
Cars were honking loudly around her, urging her to get out of the way. She opened her eyes slowly and observed her surroundings.
'This is not the wild life park;' She thought. This was a modern city with tall exquisite buildings, shining lights and overly crowded streets. She could see some billboards which were advertising products like make-up, energy drinks and upcoming movies.
"Where in the world am I? She asked nobody really.
As far as she could remember, she was on a gorilla safari hike with her family in African country. Her fellow soldier in the United Nations army and best friend Angel had suggested the trip because they were celebrating retirement from the army at the age of thirty. The rest of her family tagged along because it sounded like a fun trip.
However on the hike in the mountain, a gunshot was heard and the gorillas they were viewing got spooked. The biggest one she was standing next to slapped her in its desperation to escape and she fell down the mountain, hitting her head on the rocks as she rolled. Chi Lian was sure she had not survived that fall.
"How am I still alive?" she asked herself.
A crowd of people was gathering around her. They were hovering and murmuring in hushed tones. Her head really hurt so she could hardly make out what they were saying. She was bleeding from her head and her body was in pain.
"Are you okay?" An elderly gentleman asked.
"Someone call the police." Another person said.
"What happened to me?" Chi Lian asked.
"You were hit by a car. It's amazing that you are still alive." The elderly gentleman said.
When he said that, the people around started to ponder on his words. Some of them had seen the girl being hit by the car with such deadly force that it should be impossible for her to be alive.
Chi Lian looked around her and noticed a phone on the ground right next to her. She pulled it and switched it on. The home screen was of a girl whose face looked strikingly similar to hers that the resemblance was so uncanny. However this girl looked young, not older than twenty three. She was obviously an occupant in a body that was not hers.
Suddenly, she felt this dense headache and put her hands on her head. Memories were overriding her mind like a flash drive receiving a large volume of information.
The owner of this body was a twenty two year old girl called Chi Lian just like her. She was a disgraced socialite because her father had been conned of all his wealth by his business partner who fled to the Philippines. Their family had lost their house and had to move to a house in a poor neighborhood slum with barely enough rooms for the family of six.
She had just graduated from school and had no money so she could not help her family. However, she had invested money in her fiancé Ji Haolin's company using her personal savings over the years. She owned thirty percent of his entertainment company rising stars.
However, when she went to ask for his help, he had turned her away and denied her involvement in the company. Even the paperwork he had proved that she had no hand in the company. Feeling betrayed, she was determined to confront him so she followed him to a hotel and caught him in bed with her cousin. The worst part was the smug look on her cousin's face as if she was the winner and Chu Lian the loser.
Outraged and furious, she took pictures of them with her cell phone and run out of the room. She planned to post that naked couple on the internet for revenge.
As she was running from the hotel, she was hit by a car that just continued speeding away.
"This can't be a coincidence." She thought to herself. This girl's fiancé and cousin were responsible for her death. But if she had been hit so badly, how was she still alive.
The sound of an ambulance arriving at the scene could be heard arriving. She was tied to a gurney, placed in the ambulance and driven to the nearby hospital.
The doctors were just as surprised as the onlookers at the scene of the accident when they noticed that she barely had any major injuries except for a few minor scratches.
"Are you sure you were hit by a car?" A female doctor that lacked gentleness as she prodded and poked her everywhere asked.
"It was nothing major." Chi Lian lied.
"We are still going to keep you for overnight observation." The doctor said.
Chi Lian thought about the one hundred Yuan note in her pocket. It was all the money she had left in the world. Staying in the hospital overnight would need money which she apparently didn't have.
"This is so unfair." She thought to herself. "I was a wealthy heiress who served in the army and saved many lives. I had all the money I could ever need and I was about to start enjoying it. How could I have transmigrated into the body of a poor girl?"
She looked around to make sure none of the doctors or nurses could see her and made her escape from the hospital.
She hailed a taxi and asked the driver to hurry to the address she had given him.
The driver was rather redundant. During the day, it would cost around twenty Yuan to go where she was headed. But night time was different in that area. "This place is not very safe at this time of the night."
"I will give you forty Yuan." She said. Her face was projecting confidence but her heart was bleeding tears.
The driver set off with a smile.
In the back of the car, Chi Lian was trying to have a conversation with whichever deity had deemed it worthy to send her into this world.
"If you brought me here at least tell me why."
"Am I in some sort of novel world? I don't read a lot of novels. Take me back to my world." She pleaded.
"Am I the villain or protagonist?"
Frustrated with the silence, she stopped asking questions. She was on her own it seemed. But she was a former soldier, if she could survive bullets in war, she would survive this. She was trained to be ready for all situations. She was dead in her old world anyway, there was no going back.
The sooner she adapted, the better for her.
This world looked like modern day China at least. She had not yet seen any big differences between here and where she had come from.
She lowered the window and looked at the posters and billboards. Some of them had pictures of a thirty something year old man gold rimmed glasses. 'We support the most handsome prime minister it said.'
"What a handsome man indeed." She thought.
There was a big one with the words, "Praise for the royal family." The people on it were dressed like traditional ancient Chinese royalty but a modern version.
"What movie is that?" She asked the driver.
The driver looked back at her like she was crazy not to know those people. "That's the royal family." He said proudly.
"What royal family?" she asked.
"The royal family of our great empire. The Chinese empire."
Chi Lian was very confused. What in the world was this place? There was no royal family or empire stuff where she had come from. Empires were stuff of ancient history.
"Who is the president of our country?" she asked.
"What is a president?"
"The leader of the nation, you know, voted into power by the people." Her question was pretty much obvious to her.
"Oh, you mean a prime minister. I don't know anything about a president. Every nation in the world is like this, one royal family as heads of the empire.
A prime minister who is in charge of everything to do with politics, and other ministers that do different work. This is basic primary school knowledge. Didn't you go to school?" he asked.
Chi Lian realized that the more questions she asked, the more foolish she sounded. She remembered the phone in her pocket. Why ask for information she could find on the internet.
The information she found amazed her. This world was basically the same as hers in every way except for leadership. It was an Empire. All countries were empires with royal families.
The common people could choose a prime minister who did the same job as a president. Ministers also existed. Basically, it was like Britain in her old world.
Chi Lian was relieved to know that she had not ended up somewhere too unfamiliar. Like a cultivation or apocalypse world where she would have to struggle for survival with monsters. She could handle this world with ease. She just had to find a way to make money.
She closed her eyes to take a small break and heard the sound of a computer being turned on in her head and heard a voice.
"Your virtual pet needs to be activated. Please choose yes or no."
"Huh." She opened her eyes.