Zi City Bug (1)
The roof of the platform blocked the only moonlight. The inside of the carriage was pitch black and it was silent except for the wheels rolling over the rails.
There was a last mechanical sound and the train stopped.
The carriage fell into an unprecedented silence. It was as if the train was heading into the depths of a swamp. He was surrounded by a suffocating silence.
Chi Nan sat in his seat and made his breathing as light as possible. He used hearing instead of vision to perceive the surrounding environment.
He reached into his pocket to confirm that You Yu’s pocket watch was still there.
By the way, what happened with this sudden ‘power outage’? Where did You Yu go?
After around a minute, the iron door at the junction between carriages opened like a button was pressed and the sections were opened.
There was less than half a minute of silence before there was the sound of footsteps. Two people jumped from the platform and approached the carriage.
The current situation was unknown, so Chi Nan consciously got under the green leather seat to hide.
The footsteps approached and Chi Nan could tell that the two men on the platform had just boarded his carriage.
The light of two flashlights shone from the direction of the door. The beam quickly illuminated the front and back of the carriage.
“Is anyone there?”
“Speak if someone is there.”
Due to the special situation, Chi Nan didn’t intend to make a sound before he confirmed the other person’s position and identity.
“Brother Xian, it seems that you were blinded just now. There is no one in this carriage.”
It was the voice of a young man. At the same time, there were a few sharp sounds coming from the man’s direction, like a sharp iron tool had accidentally struck an obstacle.
Chi Nan’s hearing was keen. He guessed it was the sound made by an object like a knife scraping against the ground and he immediately grew alert.
There was a moment of silence before another person said, “No, I just saw a figure in this carriage.”
Chi Nan was a bit surprised because the other person’s voice sounded familiar… He carefully recalled it for a moment and finally found the source of the familiarity. It reminded him of the middle-aged uncle Guo Xian from 229 School.
However, didn’t Guo Xian already die in the nightmare? Chi Nan’s line of sight was obstructed and he didn’t dare to be sure.
“Are you certain you weren’t dazzled just now? After all, we haven’t seen a fresh sleepwalker in so long.”
“Maybe, but there is no need to worry. There must be someone coming when the train comes in. It just isn’t necessarily this carriage. The person whose voice was very similar to Guo Xian’s seemed to smile. “Besides, I already smelled it after getting on the train. This sleepwalker smells of energy and it is the particularly rich type.”
“Maybe this guy exchanged his favorability for something.”
“Check it again. Then we’ll change carriages.”
The person with the flashlight walked through the carriage and shone it in various locations one by one. Chi Nan silently moved his body back. The place where he was hiding happened to be in a blind spot and the searcher was a person with a lot of nerves. Chi Nan saw the light and running shoes passing in front of him back and forth twice. Fortunately, he wasn’t found.
Through the gap in the seat, Chi Nan clearly saw that he was holding a sharp machete in his hand. The blade was stained with blood that hadn’t been wiped clean.
“Brother Xian, there is really no one.”
“Let’s not waste time and go to the next carriage to check.”
Chi Nan, who was hiding under the seat, felt relieved. Yet coincidentally, You Yu’s pocket watch rolled out of his pocket with a clear sound.
The sound wasn’t loud, but the movement was enough to attract the attention of the two searchers.
Chi Nan heard the suspected Guo Xian seem to smile. “Look, I wasn’t wrong, right?”
“There really is someone.” The other man laughed. “Come out, we are here to save you.”
This was obviously addressed to Chi Nan, who was hiding in the darkness.
Chi Nan didn’t answer. He just picked up the fallen pocket watch, carefully wiped the dust on the surface with his sleeve, and carefully put it into his pocket.
“There is something wrong in this city. Don’t be afraid. We are a rescue team of sleepwalkers spontaneously formed to pick up the newly arrived sleepwalkers.” The man walked toward the seat where the sound was heard, his footsteps gradually approaching. “Now the city is very dangerous. You can’t handle it alone.”
Chi Nan shrank up. There was no way to retreat. He didn’t believe the words of these two men at all, but right now, he didn’t have anything around him that could be used as a weapon.
Finally, his gaze fell on the glass window.
Once the two pairs of shoes were only two steps away from him, Chi Nan stood up from under the seat. One of them met his iconic green eyes and exclaimed.
“Chi Nan?!” Guo Xian had regained his middle-aged uncle’s appearance. Now his eyes widened and he shone the flashlight beam directly on Chi Nan’s face.
Chi Nan blinked a few times under the strong light. At the same time, he clearly saw that the other person was Guo Xian, who had died in the nightmare instance.
“Chi Nan, it is really you, right?” The green eyes were so unique that he couldn’t forget them even though he only saw them once. “I didn’t expect us to meet again, and it is even in this ghostly place. It is quite unexpected.”
Guo Xian suddenly laughed. The fat flesh on his face was so greasy that it almost dripped oil.
Chi Nan said calmly, “It was quite unexpected.”
“Why did you hide under there just now? Don’t you remember your old classmate?” Guo Xian pointed to below the green seat and raised an eyebrow. “Or do you feel guilty toward your old classmate? Your heart felt weak so you had to hide?”
He thought that Chi Nan would show a panicked and nervous expression due to his direct attack, but unfortunately, Chi Nan let him down.
Chi Nan shook his head. “I wasn’t sure it was you. It has been too long that I can’t remember.”
He also didn’t think he had done anything to be guilty for. Guo Xing had obviously died due to the system glitch rule.
Guo Xian: “……” There was nothing more embarrassing and disappointing than thinking the other person was afraid. The result was just self-inflicted sentimentality.
Sure enough, dead teammates were just cannon fodder in the eyes of the victor, right?
“It seems you have earned a lot of favorability during this time?” Guo Xian asked again.
“It isn’t bad,” Chi Nan replied honestly, “You said that the city is very dangerous right now. What is going on?”
Guo Xian pouted with dissatisfaction. He thought that Chi Nan would care more about his ‘resurrection from the dead,’ but the other person didn’t ask. This made Guo Xian even more frustrated.
However, the negativity that frustrated him soon dissipated. He explained, “A large number of dangerous elements have appeared in the city. They are hunting and killing the surviving sleepwalkers as food.”
Chi Nan saw Guo Xian smile.
This made him calmly say, “Are you part of this group of dangerous elements?”
Guo Xian and his companion were stunned for a moment. Then Guo Xian raised the knife in his hand and laughed. “Chi Nan, you are really a bit too smart. This isn’t necessarily a good thing.”
“…Thank you for the compliment and the reminder.”
Chi Nan was ready to break the window and jump out the carriage, even though he had never tried such a difficult escape technique.
“For the sake of us being old classmates, my knife will be fast, don’t worry.” Guo Xiao obviously gulped.
Chi Nan wondered, “Why?”
Guo Xian sneered. “Of course, it is to survive.”
The moment when Chi Nan was about to smash the glass and jump out the window, someone else was faster than him. A cold light flew from the other end of the carriage and rushed straight toward Guo Xian’s carotid artery.
Guo Xian’s eyes widened unexpectedly. He was stunned for less than half a second. Blood gushed out from the edge of the knife before he could scream. He immediately covered his neck and his face completely collapsed due to the convulsions of pain and terror. His expression was deformed.
Two seconds later, he fell silent at Chi Nan’s feet. A large pool of blood quickly gathered around his body.
Chi Nan stepped aside to avoid his shoes being stained with blood.
Guo Xian’s companion was stunned with disbelief. Before he could react and flee, another knife went straight through the back of his head.
Before he died, he screamed bitterly. Then he fell down with wide eyes. His body hit the carriage ground and made a ‘bang’ sound.
You Yu carefully didn’t step on the blood on the ground. He picked up the two men’s murder weapons and lighting tools and held them in his hands. “The next time I kill someone with my own hands, I want to ask Brother Nan to close your eyes.”
Chi Nan himself didn’t notice, but he relaxed when he saw You Yu. “It isn’t like I haven’t seen it before.”
After all, there were many sleepwalkers who died in nightmares of You Yu’s design.
“It isn’t the same. That was just work.” You Yu’s lips slightly curled up. “I also wasn’t chasing you at that time.”
Recently, he had encountered a series of gentle actions that made him almost forget that this guy was essentially sick.
“Where did you go just now?” Chi Nan asked.
“I went to the dining carriage.”
Chi Nan: “……”
You Yu’s expression was a bit troubled. “There is something wrong with the system. I can’t contact the main system or the dream makers outside. After entering the range of Zi City, the whole system seems to be completely blocked. This is a serious bug.”
“Correspondingly, my privileges have been frozen.” You Yu pursed his lips. All his advantages as a dream maker suddenly disappeared.
Chi Nan said, “It is a pity.”
You Yu said, “I can’t dispatch weapons. In order to deal with unexpected situations, I went to the dining carriage to get some items for self-defense. I didn’t expect to use them so soon.”
He wore gloves and wiped away the blood that accidentally got on Chi Nan’s cheeks, just like he had done the first time on the Dusk Cruise.
Chi Nan looked at him. “…Thank you.”
You Yu looked at the carriage window behind him insightfully and lowered his voice. “Next time, don’t try to do such a dangerous action, especially if you’re not sure.”
For some reason, Chi Nan avoided You Yu’s gaze. He was a bit surprised that the human gaze had a temperature.
“What is going on with Guo Xian? Didn’t he already die in your instance?” Chi Nan quickly got rid of these strange emotions and asked while looking at Guo Xian’s corpse.
“Thus, there is a serious bug in the system. The people who should be lying in the graves of the nightmares have crawled out and come to Zi City.” You Yu was troubled. “It is a mess.”
Chi Nan lowered his gaze and watched the gushing blood stain the floor under the green seats. He suddenly asked, “So after their deaths in the instance, their data is still left in the dream making system?”
You Yu looked at him in the darkness and didn’t answer immediately.
Chi Nan looked back at him and asked, “Or are the sleepwalkers who died in the instance actually dead?”
He wanted to confirm the cruel rule that seemed almost unquestionable to sleepwalkers and was accepted as common sense.
You Yu’s gaze paused for a moment as if he was considering it.
Chi Nan didn’t rush and waited for this person to decide whether to tell him or not.
“People can die in their sleep, but no dream can really kill people,” You Yu spoke casually, telling the shocking truth, “Brother Nan, all the fears they experienced in this world are just dreams.”
“However, the wishes are true. I can guarantee that,” You Yu added.
As calm as Chi Nan was, even he was stunned at this moment. “I understand.”
You Yu’s meaning was very clear. Dying in the Nightmare World wasn’t the same as death in the real world. This was completely contrary to the deep-rooted cognition of the sleepwalkers.
“However, I hope you can keep this a secret for me. If there isn’t the ‘death illusion’ to push them, no one would be willing to seriously clear the instances and I might lose my job.” You Yu smiled helplessly. “I took advantage of the current system loss that made me lose my identity as a dream maker to secretly tell you.”
Chi Nan nodded. The system never really said that being killed in the instance would cause the sleepwalker to die in reality.
All the horrific imaginations of death came from the sleepwalkers’ rumors and their own perception that scared themselves.
“I have no more secrets, Brother Nan.” You Yu looked at Chi Nan and emphasized.
Chi Nan blinked at him. “Mine have been long gone.”
You Yu smiled.
“In any case, the sleepwalkers who died in the instance were ‘losers’ and were completely eliminated from the game. Their memories of the Nightmare World were recycled and destroyed.” You Yu rubbed his temples in distress. “This Guo Xian, not only has he returned, but his memories of you haven’t disappeared. It seems that we have encountered big trouble.”
Chi Nan said, “Since Guo Xian came back, perhaps more sleepwalkers will be recalled, including those who successfully exchanged their wishes and left.”
You Yu sighed bitterly. “If you don’t mind the trouble, would you like to follow me to see Zi City?”
“Let’s go.” It just so happened that he was curious about ‘the dangerous city’ that Guo Xian mentioned.
Before getting out of the train, the two of them went to the dining carriage and took some knives as weapons, just in case.
It turned out that their actions were very correct. The moment that Chi Nan and You Yu stepped out of the carriage, they saw more than a dozen armed people coming toward them from all sides of the platform, like zombies.
They had various weapons in their hands and Chi Nan saw several familiar faces among them.”
“They are all sleepwalkers who have been cleared out.” You Yu was very certain as a dream maker that several of them were cleaned up by his hands.
“Are there enough knives?” Chi Nan picked up the long knife he snatched from Guo Xian and skillfully raised it to his chest.
He felt that he should really learn some self-defense methods and the dream maker in front of him was a good teacher.
You Yu was already holding a knife in his hand as his eyes quickly scanned the sleepwalkers surrounding him. “They are barely enough. They will be recycled after they are used.”
He saw an entry point and was ready to wield the knife when an object similar to homemade ammunition was thrown from not far away and landed precisely next to a sleepwalker.
Everything happened so suddenly that the sleepwalkers couldn’t react immediately. In a short time, there was an explosion and a fire illuminated all of Zi City’s train platform. The sleepwalkers who were moving forward were instantly blown up like popcorn.
Along with the loud explosion, a figure appeared at the end of the fire.
Chi Nan was really familiar with this figure. The person rushed anxiously toward Chi Nan and You Yu. Then he saw the situation in front of him and couldn’t hide the stunned expression on his face.
“Chi Nan? B-But…why are there two of you?”
The person who spoke was Hei Cha.