# 16. Xu Qi’an’s Diary *Today is the Jia-Wu day of the Bing-Xu month of the Geng-Zi year… what the fuck is this, if this were me earlier, then I would have no clue. At least I inherited some of the original Xu Qi’an’s memories.* *From my calculations, it should be the year of the Rat, the 18th of October in the Gregorian calendar. Mm, I need to start writing a diary, in any case I’m not any regular do-gooder.* *Uncle wasn’t wrong, I need to change how I live.* *This godforsaken peace of shit of a society, getting too high up isn’t necessarily a good thing. In ancient times, important officials getting their homes raided might as well be commonplace. What type of person could then live a comfortable life? After some investigation, it’d be the middle class.* *More wealthy than the common people, but also not high enough to be involved in political fighting at the top level. Taking a few setbacks in daily life wouldn’t be a big deal, so all in all, the middle class is best.* *Also: in the market I picked up a cash of silver.* *19 October. The sky is overcast. I must have money, the only thing more reliable in this world other than silver is gold. Even if merchants have no standing, really I can only say you win some you lose some. In a few days I plan to resign, to no longer be a bailiff at the constabulary. A monthly salary of two taels of silver and a dan of rice, how could I go and sleep the oirans at the Jiaofangsi?* *Also: in the constabulary I picked up a cash of silver.* *21 October. The sky is clear. Today Constable Wang took me to the Goulan to play. My view of the Goulan has changed, it’s a place where you can listen to music and watch plays, as well as enjoy desires of the physical kind. I’m still in Refining Body, and cannot lose my virginity. A thousand sorrows.* *I looked for ages, and not one of them was more beautiful than my aunt. Auntie is one of those full-figured beautiful women, but also with the attractiveness that only a housewife can have. The women in the Goulan are far too frivolous, are far too base.* *Looking at it this way, Auntie and Lingyue’s appearance is at the top of the bunch.* *Later, I picked up a cash of silver in the Goulan, just enough to pay off the food and entry fee… recently have I really waked into dog shit luck?*[^1] *22 October. Goulan, listening to music.* *23 October. Goulan, listening to music.* *24 October. Goulan, listening to music. Constable Wang asked me why I was so happy? Because free-riding makes me happy.* *25 October. Xu Qi’an oh Xu Qi’an, how far have you fallen? You can’t go on like this, have you forgotten your goal? Let’s set a goal first, earn 100 million.* *26 October. Goulan, listening to music.* *27 October. Goulan, listening to music. Today I didn’t pick up any silver, I had to pay a cash of silver. Pah, stuffy, smoky place. I’m not going there again.* *28 October. This world has gunpowder, has muskets. They also have soap bean[^2], and it works far better than expected. So making fragrant soap is a no-go. Damn these arcanists - right! Glass!* *I can make glass, glass is a good thing. This type of thing these ancient era people have definitely never seen.* *29 October. Oh, they do have glass. I need to think of a different path. Today at home I picked up a cash of silver, probably fallen from uncle’s private savings.* *30 October. Goulan, listening to music.* *31 October. I discovered another money-making plan today, I can improve paper. The bureaucratic tradition of the Great Feng is strong, and as long as I can make better paper, I can make bucket loads of gold, eat the best food, and sleep the prettiest oiran.* *Let me think, the process of making paper is…* (The rest of the paragraph has been crossed out) *Alright, let’s not worry about such a small thing like paper. I’ve got a better idea, making cement.* *I know the composition of cement: calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide, aluminium oxide, iron (III) oxide… to be combined according to specific physics and chemistry principles. Oh, I picked up a cash of silver in the market today.* *??? What’s wrong with me? I swear I’m picking up money with far too high a frequency. This doesn’t sit well with me.* *2 November. The cement plan has failed. theory and practice are really two different things. Fucking hell…* *3 November. Today I’ve managed to spend out the last of my savings. I wanted to borrow money from my uncle, but that poor cunt also doesn’t have any. After Xu Xinnian found out, he first displayed is contempt, and then mocked me, and finally gave me five taels of silver… apart from having a sharp tongue and being very full of himself, this cousin of mine is really not a bad brother.* If heaven births not I, Xu Xinnian, then the Great Feng forever will be in night that never ends… *I thanked him as so - his ears were so red, as he left in a huff.* *Oh Erlang, if we weren’t sworn brothers, I would’ve made you the matriarch of the house.* *5 November. Today with my colleagues in the constabulary, we went to the teahouse to moyu. When I first heard the storyteller tell his story, I suddenly thought, what if I copied down the other world’s wuxia novels, four great classics, and web novels? I’d be making money laying down… I’m really so good with these things.* *I’ve transmigrated for ten days now, and haven’t done a single thing. Aaaaaa, I’m falling apart.* *8 November. Rain. Perfectly reflecting my feelings. I clearly know a little about everything, but when I want to turn that knowledge into silver, to turn nothing into something, I find that I hardly know anything. I’ve really experienced the failures of exam-based education.* *Talking to Uncle today, I heard him talk about goings on at court, and told him about what things I’ve heard at the constabulary. I’ve suddenly found out that this world is far worse than I’d thought: corrupt officials can prance around without worry, if an official is only slightly corrupt then they’re seen as “good”, an incorrupt official is as rare as a virgin in a Goulan…* *9 November. Cloudy. Why hasn’t Miss Caiwei from the Sitianjian come to find me yet? Does she not want to know these legendary secrets of alchemy? That girl’s appearance is comparable to Lingyue, with a cute, delicate, egg-shaped face. Her eyes are big and beautiful, with my masterful pulling ability, I can’t guarantee that I’d get her. I don’t care if she’s the Sitianjian Grandmaster’s disciple, mostly in this cold and dreary world, I just want some love.* *Come look for me, I don’t want to fight any more.* *10 November. I still don’t want to give up on the novel idea, so I told my sisters a summary of the Butterfly Lovers. The story was very simple, as after all I’d forgotten a lot of the details. When I finished, Lingyue’s eyes were red, but Lingyin didn’t cry. I smacked her, and then she cried. I think she can take it at this age.* *11 November. Today I had wine with Clerk Li. When he was tipsy, he told me that the Zhenbei King’s[^3] consort was the most beautiful woman in court. I asked him exactly how beautiful is she, but he couldn’t respond, because Clerk Li had only heard it from Magistrate Zhu.* *When I got off work in the evening, I secretly asked Uncle. Uncle’s expression was very strange, as he tried his utmost to use the paltry vocabulary he possessed to describe this consort’s beauty. I summarised it as follows: Fuck me; big breasts.* *I think I’m starting to develop a tiny bit of interest and hope in this Consort…* *12 November. Until today, I’ve achieved nothing. I’ve lost face for transmigrators, I’ve lost face for Mother China.* *This marks the first month that I have spent here. They gave out the salary. I plan to work hard, business comes slowly…* *13 November. Goulan, listening to music.* --- [^1]: Lucky, because stepping on dog shit is not a common occurrence. But also stepping on dog shit is never a *good* thing. Now mostly used in the sense of undeserving good luck. [^2]: Gleditsia sinensis [^3]: 镇北王