CNC: Chapter 1
July 15th of the lunar calendar, the old site of 211 Yanhu Villa District, Changdong City.
“It has been 11 years since Bai Yingzhi’s fire tragedy. 11 years ago today, the female artist Bai Yingzhi and her husband were buried in a sea of fire in his house. The cause of the fire is unknown. After the accident, 13 corpses were found burned beyond recognition in the ruins…”
“At that time, Bai Yingzhi’s only son was rescued in time. He recovered and became the only survivor of that tragedy.”
The supernatural anchor Hei Cha (Dark Tea) turned on the flashlight. The pale light beam swept over the ground full of ashes and stopped on the yellowing wall near the window.
This wall was slightly different from other places. There were no traces of it being burnt black and was out of place in the mansion that had been reduced to rubble by fire.
Hei Cha’s hand paused under the camera. He just wanted to go over to take a look when the older brother in charge of filming interrupted him and said, “Speak louder. The noise is a bit unclear.”
Noise? This ghost house was quiet. Where was the sound? Hei Cha jokingly placed his face in front of the mobile phone camera and whispered, “Is this clearer? 13 people died here in that year so it is normal for there to be noise. Everyone, please bear with me.”
The cameraman brother’s hand shook obviously and the flashlight in Hei Cha’s hand seemed a bit weaker.
Fortunately, it was the 15th that night and the moonlight was just right. White light fell toward the ground.
“There is a popular forum post that says the surviving young master was born blind and possessed a very yin physique. He was possessed by evil spirits soon after birth. Bai Yingzhi spent a lot of money on Taoist priests and masters to suppress it but there was no way. She couldn’t hold back the strong yin. However, she was reluctant to send the child away. She kept raising him carefully until the ghost festival that year when the young master was 8 years old. Hundreds of ghosts came out and the possessed young master burned the entire house to the ground to find substitutes for the evil spirit.”
“At that time, Bai Yingzhi was preparing for a new horror movie. It has been too long so I couldn’t discover the name of the movie. In any case, it is full of supernatural events and is quite strange.”
The breathing of the cameraman became heavier. Hei Cha was also a bit scared after talking about it so he pretended to joke lightly, “Are you afraid? Where are you going?”
“Let’s hurry and leave. It looks like it is going to rain. This place is far from the city and it isn’t easy to take a taxi…” The cameraman licked his dry lips.”
“Okay, but you should hold the phone steady. Why are you shaking? The barrage is full of scolding.” Hei Cha said as he looked at the live broadcast screen.
“I’m not shaking. I’ve been steady the whole time. Don’t wrong me.”
“If it isn’t you who is shaking—”
Hei Cha felt bad the moment he said this. His throat became dry and he swallowed with difficulty while sweat dripped down his back.
The last trace of blood on the face of the man shooting with his mobile phone also faded…
[Who else is there except you?]
The line that raised a flag in horror movies made the atmosphere extremely strange in an instant and the two people tacitly fell silent. A moment later, the cameraman smiled wryly. “I was teasing you. I shook it just now.”
Sometimes a lie could ease the tension a bit.
“Okay, let’s walk through both floors before going back… “ Hei Cha’s voice had changed dramatically.
He hadn’t even taken two steps when the cameraman started to swear. “Fu*k, why are you suddenly patting me on the shoulder when walking. You will scare people to death.”
“How I can pat you when I am walking in front…”
The atmosphere instantly stiffened again. Hei Cha exhausted all his strength to barely say a few words. “Keep going…”
“Yes.” The cameraman couldn’t even swear at this time.
Less than three minutes later, the cameraman stopped again.
Hei Cha wiped the cold sweat on his forehead. “What’s the matter?”
The cameraman’s eyes swept across the phone screen and then Hei Cha, his face pale and stiff. “The camera, the camera… you aren’t…”
Hei Cha’s lips moved but they were too stiff to make a sound. The flashlight in his hand went out without warning.
“I can’t film you…”
The cameraman’s voice became very low. It was as if his fear would be completely awakened and become more substantial if he spoke louder…
A cold breeze blew.
A chill shot down Hei Cha’s back as he used shaking hands to take the phone from the cameraman and point the screen at the dark wall around him. The moonlight was very white and dazzlingly bright. Suddenly, the camera flickered like it couldn’t film anything.
A strange scene occurred. Then the image reappeared in the lens, much clearer than before. But in the lens… the blackened and peeling walls in the moonlight and the traces of time and fire faded—
The old house No. 22 from 11 years ago reappeared in front of them.
At 11:30 p.m., Changdong City Nancheng Business District.
A slender young man walked out of a store with a cane and the driver opened the door for him. Once the young man sat down, the driver glanced at him in the rearview mirror and said, “Young Master, I’m sorry.”
Tonight marked the 11th anniversary of the death of Mr and Mrs Bai Yingzhi.
“Yes, I know.” The young man’s voice was extremely light and the cold texture caused the atmosphere in the car to freeze.
The driver wanted to speak but he stopped. Finally, he just started the car in silence.
The young man kept his eyes closed as he leaned back against the seat in a quiet and exhausted manner.
Due to his weak body and long-term medication, the young man’s face was sickly pale. There were teardrop moles under the left and right corners of his eyes. The pair of teardrop moles matched in size, color and position. Combined with his deep and beautiful facial features, he looked unique and melancholy.
The young man’s eyelashes were thick and his eyes were narrow and long. It was a pity that these eyes would never have a chance to open.
His current identity was the only son of Bai Yingzhi, the blind young master of the forum legend who was possessed by evil spirits and the only survivor of the fire tragedy—You Yu.
Everyone thought that You Yu survived the accident and grew up peacefully after fading out of public view. 11 years had passed and no one knew that in fact, the real You Yu had died early in the flames.
The soul living in the body was called Chi Nan. Before entering You Yu’s body, he had been imprisoned for hundreds of years in a painting called ‘The Crying Young Man.’
The painting was known as one of the top 10 forbidden paintings. There were rumors that disaster and misfortune often occurred where it appeared.
Hundreds of years had made Chi Nan forget many things. His memories were intermittent and chaotic. He forgot why he was trapped in the painting. All of his past was sealed up in locked rooms. He only remembered that his name was Chi Nan.
He had traveled thousands of miles all over the world before finally being bought from the black market at a high price and hidden in the corner of the bedroom of a blind young man called You Yu in No. 211 Yanhu Villa District, Changdong City.
This lasted until the night when the fire occurred 11 years ago and the paint and frame binding him turned into ashes. Once he woke up, he found he was in You Yu’s body by accident.
Chi Nan didn’t remember what happened the night of the fire but after the fire, he regained his freedom and life. It was just that Chi Nan lost his eyesight because the original owner of the body was blind.
A blind man’s world wasn’t completely dark. It was just that the curtain was closed at the end of the colorful world, causing everything related to vision to completely disappear. He couldn’t even have the darkness.
Chi Nan sought medical treatment to restore the light of this body but they all ended in failure. If he could open his eyes again… Chi Nan silently made a wish.
Soothing music flowed in the car and Chi Nan unknowingly relaxed his nerves and yawned. Perhaps it was because his soul wasn’t human but he was able to fall asleep very easily and was particularly prone to sleepiness.
The driver looked in the rearview mirror again. “Young Master, sleep first if you are tired. I will call you when we arrive home.”
Chi Nan thought that it was only a 20 minutes drive and he could hold on for a while. However, it was like the pause button was suddenly pressed in his mind. Sleepiness rushed in and his forehead leaned against the window as he fell asleep.
Suddenly, a strange and suspicious voice rang at the edge of his consciousness.
[Welcome to the Dream World.]
[The dreaming system has captured your wish a moment ago. Can you please confirm it.]
The sound was cold and mechanical, without any emotions. It should make people feel vigilant and uneasy but Chi Nan sensed a hint of kindness from it. He decisively answered, “Yes.”
[The system has captured your goal: Restore your vision. Do you need the help of the dream god?]
Chi Nan thought for a moment. “Excuse me, who is the dream god?”
[The dream god is the creator of the Dream World and can help you realize any wish.]
[In the Dream World, you can accumulate goodwill by clearing the nightmare. Once you successfully pass through a nightmare instance and your favorability reaches a certain value, you can reach the wishing wall in the center of the system.]
Chi Nan questioned it. “Are you a regular business?”
The system was silent for a moment.
[We are a non-profit. You can rest assured that no fees will be charged to you.]
Three seconds later, the system added.
[You don’t need to compensate for any damage you cause during the process of clearing the nightmare. We can guarantee this.]
Was there such a good thing?
Chi Nan suddenly said, “So this is a poverty alleviation project for special people?”
The system: [Zizizi—]
It seemed to be down.
Chi Nan realized his question was beyond it and asked seriously, “What will be the side effect if the wish fails?”
[After testing, the failure rate of the Dream World’s desire exchange system is 0. There is no possibility of failure.]
Chi Nan’s expression changed slightly and a bit of blood returned to his pale face. “What do I need to do in the Dream World? What does it mean to clear a nightmare instance?”
[You will enter the nightmare world built by a dream maker as a ‘dream visitor.’ For the specific rules, please explore it in the instance. After clearing the level, the dream maker will assign favorability points according to your performance. These favorability points will be used to make a wish. For example, the system estimates that your desire to ‘restore your vision’ requires 500 favorability points.]
The system’s explanation wasn’t very detailed but Chi Nan understood it.
In other words, he was inexplicably pulled into a poverty alleviation system called the ‘Dream World.’ He needed to cultivate favorability with the dream god of this world and use the favorability to realize his wishes.
Chi Nan wondered, “Is the work intensity high in the Dream World?”
The original owner was ill. If the work intensity was too high then he probably wouldn’t be able to handle it.
[The dream visitor’s time is completely free and you can arrange your own work and rest time reasonably.]
Great, Chi Nan was most afraid of staying up late. He thought about it before inquiring again, “Can every dream visitor redeem only one wish?”
[No, you can exchange countless wishes as long as you have enough favorability points.]
Chi Nan had an idea in his heart. “Okay, I understand. I can do it.”
[Congratulations on becoming the new dream visitor.]
It seemed that many people were pulled into this Dream World before him. Chi Nan suddenly thought of something. “What will happen if I fail to pass the instance?”
[It is irreversible death in the instance.]
Chi Nan’s heart thumped. “It is death in the instance but will it affect reality?”
System: [No comment.]
Chi Nan, “……”
It felt like he had taken one step on a thief’s boat but Chi Nan didn’t hesitate to step on with the other foot.
[Please enter your name in the Dream World. Please note that once you enter it, you can’t change it.]
Chi Nan was a bit surprised. This world was actually quite user-friendly and he could customize his nickname. In other words, he could live as himself in this world. His lips moved slightly and he spoke with confidence. “My name is Chi Nan.”
[The information has been entered. Please check the initial values of the dream visitor ‘Chi Nan’:
Dream God’s Favorability: 0
Nightmare Awakening Value: 0
Special Items: None
Dream visitor ‘Chi Nan’ should pay attention. Once the awakening value exceeds 90, it will affect your performance in the instance. Please stay asleep and refuse to wake up.]
[The dream visitor ‘Chi Nan’ is visually impaired so the system has been updated to a voice system.]
“Thank you.” He paused before asking, “How does the dreaming system pick people?”
[In front of the dream god, everyone has a chance.]
“…I have no more questions.”
[The first nightmare randomly assigned to dream visitor Chi Nan: You Yu’s Dream.]
Chi Nan was stunned. “What?!”
[I wish you a pleasant dream journey.]
Unfortunately, the system had completely blocked any sound and ignored his reaction.
You Yu’s dream… was this dream…
Who would fu*king believe that this was random?! He was suddenly looking forward to it. If You Yu’s memories were reproduced then the truth of the fire that year could surface.
After entering You Yu’s body, his guardian and psychiatrist had advised him not to visit the old place but Chi Nan had gone back to the old house several times in order to find out the truth. It was a pity that even if he used a psychic to try and communicate with the dead, the souls of the 13 people who burned to death and the young master You Yu couldn’t be found.
There were no traces of memories. No clues could be found in reality. This dream experience allowed him to not only regain his vision but to also understand the truth of that year, killing two birds with one stone.
The car abruptly stopped without warning. The brakes were pressed too fast and Chi Nan’s forehead bumped against the window due to inertia, causing him to wake up. The system’s inorganic voice had long disappeared.
“Master, we’re home.” The driver’s voice was heard but in the rearview mirror, there was no one in the driver’s seat.
Chi Nan’s eyelashes trembled as he noticed something. “This is…”
The driver gave a low laugh. “It is the old house.”
Oh boi! I am so excited! Please let it be some good horror mystery!
Ahhh I love it.