CNC: Chapter 113

Parallel World

You Yu looked at the back seat and the remaining three sleepwalkers shook their heads in a confused manner.

207 looked at him and frowned thoughtfully. “229, what is wrong with you? This nightmare originally had only three sleepwalkers involved. Who is this Chi Nan you are talking about?”

You Yu didn’t have the heart to answer. He quickly opened the system that had resumed its normal operation and viewed the instance data.

He found that it wasn’t only Highway 404. No traces of Chi Nan could be found in You Yu’s Dream, Dusk Cruise, Candleman Festival, or 229 School.

Chi Nan was deleted from the sleepwalker data and had completely disappeared from the Nightmare World.

In You Yu’s mind, the scene of the Crying Boy falling into the sea of fire and silently burning appeared…

The ghost tunnel was a tunnel of time and space. Everything he saw was what had happened.

For some reason, the past had been changed.

Or rather, he came to the timeline where Chi Nan ‘didn’t exist.’

“Let me drive. You should take a break,” 207 suggested when she saw that You Yu’s state wasn’t right. “I have reported the occurrence of the ghost tunnel to the main system and the system will repair it.”

You Yu didn’t refuse. He got out of the driver’s seat and sat in the front passenger’s seat. 207 quickly started the car and drove at 120 km per hour toward the Dawn Base.

The endless gray wilderness outside the window quickly receded in You Yu’s vision. He twisted his head and stared at himself on the glass of the window that was splashed with rainwater.

His ‘self’ with green eyes and two tear drop moles had disappeared.

You Yu rolled down the car window and howling wind poured into the car, just like the moment when he jumped from the Room 206 infinite loop.

***

He was never a man who was swayed by emotions.

Back at the Dawn base, You Yu started to investigate the main system.

He found that this time, the bug record of the ghost tunnel was preserved while the Zi City collapse that he previously experienced hadn’t happened. The Nightmare World was running in an orderly and stable manner.

Chi Nan, like the Crying Boy in the past, had completely disappeared from people’s memories. The entire Nightmare World contained no traces of him.

You Yu was the only exception. Everything about Chi Nan was completely preserved in his memories.

Even the pocket watch that had been entrusted to Chi Nan was returned to him. You Yu opened the cover of the pocket watch and his fingers rubbed against the frozen 12:20 while something flashed in his eyes.

He closed the cover again and put the cold pocket watch in his pocket.

He walked out of the towering building of the Dawn Base and the entire base was covered by a rain curtain.

The rain caused the light shining on the ground to become wet and it was a wet and endless night.

Ever since emerging from the ghost tunnel, Dawn Base no longer had the always clear weather like before. It had been raining for half a month, and water stains and mold covered the walls of the base buildings. The air was moist and viscous, causing people to have a feeling of breathless suffocation.

Yet apart from You Yu, no one was surprised by the weather changes at the Dawn Base.

It seemed that in their cognition, the Dawn Base always had this ghostly appearance of endless night and endless rain.

It was You Yu’s cognition that was out of tune with everyone else. This Nightmare World was a strange existence to him.

The deviation of his memory from everyone else’s cognition could easily make people fall into endless self-doubt. Self-doubt that went deep into one’s bone marrow created a sense of existential nothingness and nothingness could quickly crush a human being.

However, this wasn’t important for You Yu. Everything in the outside world could be ignored.

He was convinced of Chi Nan’s existence. He firmly believed that his memories were the proof of Chi Nan’s existence, and he was also trying to find more traces of Chi Nan’s existence.

You Yu never doubted this.

He followed the path that Chi Nan had taken to the ruined cliff again. It was night when the first snow fell on the Dawn Base, and it was as wet and quiet as it was now.

The ruined cliff was so deep that no one knew where it led. The wind that swept in with the rain rushed from the bottom of the cliff and scraped against You Yu’s face like a knife.

Soon, You Yu’s body was soaked by the rain.

He wiped the water stains off his eyelashes and called out to the main system. “Can you arrange for me to meet with the dream god?”

[I’m sorry to inform you that dream makers can’t meet with the dream god.]

The system once again rejected him with a mechanical voice.

You Yu smiled with no surprise. “If I remember correctly, this is the hundredth time that you have rejected me.”

[Dream maker 229, please understand that you don’t have the right to meet with the dream god. No matter how many times you apply, the system will reject your application.]

“So…” You Yu was still smiling. “Can’t you give me a bit of sweetness? I am the world’s most senior dream maker.”

The system didn’t seem to know how to answer and it crashed.

You Yu continued to say a bit playfully, “You are always rejecting me. Isn’t the dream god afraid that I will resign?”

The system crashed again. However, it wasn’t long before it finally answered in a colder voice.

[I hope you know that once you lose your identity as a dream maker, you won’t be able to continue staying in the Nightmare World.]

You Yu sighed. “It is really ruthless.”

“Still, I can tell you clearly that a joke is a joke. I will never resign voluntarily,” You Yu stated with a smile, serious and stubborn, “I won’t do such a stupid thing. I need the privilege of being a dream maker.”

Over the next two months, he made nightmares day and night and quickly saved up enough vacation and favorability points. Then he signed a confidentiality agreement and left the Nightmare World to enter reality for a two day trip.

The system asked him if he needed another identity to travel and You Yu refused. He chose to appear in the real world with his original appearance.

It was the hottest night of summer and dragonflies flew low in the yard covered with weeds. The humid air seemed like a heavy rain was brewing.

You Yu woke up in a dark ruin.

A familiar voice was heard downstairs.

“It has been 11 years since Bai Yingzhi’s fire tragedy. 12 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, 14 corpses were found burned beyond recognition in the ruins…”

“I see the barrage saying that I also came here last year. Yes, the response was really good at that time so this year I decided to take you to Bai Yingzhi’s house to find out…”

It was Hei Cha’s voice.

You Yu quickly obtained the information that from the time he re-entered the ghost tunnel, the timeline change caused things to go in the other direction.

In his current reality, little You Yu died in the fire 12 years ago and Chi Nan never survived in his body.

Footsteps came from the dilapidated staircase. “Now we are heading to the second floor. It is the bedroom of Bai Yingzhi’s only son, You Yu.”

“The deceased young master was born blind and had an extreme yin constitution. He was possessed by evil spirits when he was born. The accident happened on the Ghost Festival the year when the young master was eight years old…”

A flashlight shone through the corridor to a corner of the young master’s bedroom. The beam of light swept back and forth a few times before finally landing on You Yu’s face.

The camera in Hei Cha’s hand aimed at You Yu’s cold, white face. Hei Cha was so frightened that his breathing stopped and he froze in place. The live broadcast’s barrage directly exploded.

[F*k, is this a human or a ghost?]

[No matter whether he is a human or a ghost, he is so good-looking!]

Hei Cha couldn’t easily recover from the huge fear. He accidentally fell when moving backwards. His flashlight and filming equipment fell to the ground. He hurriedly took out the talisman he carried with him and threw it toward You Yu. “Hey, don’t come over here. I am the one who disturbed your house so I’m sorry… Eh, why aren’t you afraid of this?”

You Yu directly picked up the talisman that had fallen to the ground. “Let me borrow a fire.”

Hei Cha was dominated by fear. He trembled as he took out a lighter and handed it to You Yu.

You Yu took it and lit the talisman in order to illuminate the old mansion that had become a ruin. His lips pursed. “Your talismans are still as bad as ever.”

Hei Cha’s ‘professional skills’ were disparaged and the feeling of being unconvinced caused him to overcome his fear. He stood up and patted the dust off his body. Then he looked at You Yu with certainty. “It isn’t that my skills aren’t good. It is that you are a person, right?”

He finally calmed down and crouched on the ground to pick up his filming equipment. Then he found that his phone was broken and the live broadcast had long since been interrupted.

Hei Cha picked up the phone in a pained manner and rubbed it against his chest a few times. Then he looked at You Yu again. “Are you also here to explore?”

He took a closer look at the appearance of the stranger and Hei Cha suddenly felt a bit of panic in his heart. It was like some inexplicably familiar and difficult emotions were mixed together. It stretched out endlessly, like the heavy winter rain drenching his mood.

Hei Cha’s lips trembled and opened. He was about to call out a certain name, but before he could make a sound, the memory quickly faded.

It was a strange feeling.

“I’m here to find something,” You Yu said.

Hei Cha scratched his head. “Are you looking for something? It has been abandoned for years and there is nothing valuable here.”

The corners of You Yu’s lips raised imperceptibly. “It is something for my boyfriend.”

“Huh?” Hei Cha was dazed. Then for some unknown reason, he asked something mysterious, “This might be strange to ask, but do I know your boyfriend?”

You Yu looked over keenly. “What do you remember?”

Hei Cha was stunned for a second. Something flashed in his eyes before he shook his head in a daze. “What was I talking about…it is strange…”

“Sorry, I said something strange,” Hei Cha apologized to You Yu for his strange reaction. “Still, everything in the room has been cleaned. You shouldn’t be able to find what you are looking for.”

“I see.” You Yu lips curled in a regretful manner. “Thank you for informing me.”

It seemed that it wasn’t only in the Nightmare World. Everything about Chi Nan in reality was also nowhere to be found.

Hei Cha stood at the top of the stairs and saw this strange man descending from the upper floor. He walked through the ruined house and finally out of the house.

Hei Cha had a strange urge in his heart that caused him to chase the stranger out of the house. He was only a few seconds slower, but the stranger had already disappeared from the deserted garden.

There was only the cold white moonlight falling onto the waist-high weeds.

A layer of sweat appeared on Hei Cha’s back and he had to reconsider…was the other person a human or a ghost?

The thing that was even creepier was that the live broadcast video of that night disappeared without a trace along with the departure of the strange man. This live broadcast incident also became the most widely circulated unsolved mystery on the supernatural forum.

***

This was Tang Yu’s sixth successful pass through a nightmare instance. She had saved enough favorability to exchange for her wish and then she could really become a girl.

She couldn’t return to reality directly from the Dawn Base after redeeming the wish, so Tang Yu chose to return to Zi City and spend her last two days in the Nightmare World belonging to her.

Tang Yu lived in Apartment 207 of Building 57. In her memory, she was the only one in the entire Third North District.

Yet on this trip back, the window of 206 next door showed a warm yellow light.

Was there finally a neighbor?

Tang Yu moved upstairs quickly. She soon found that the new neighbor had planted mint on the balcony. The green mint leaves were still stained with water droplets and looked like they were being cared for.

It seemed that the other person was very gentle and loved life, Tang Yu thought.

Thus, she knocked gently on the door of 206.

Almost less than two seconds later, there was the sound of fierce footsteps heading toward the door and the door was quickly opened.

“Hello, I’m Tang Yu who lives next door in 207.”

She greeted her new neighbor very kindly. To her bewilderment, the moment the other person saw her, the brilliance and hope in his eyes faded before finally turning into a bottomless black.

It was as if the other person finally found his long-awaited hope, only to experience great disillusionment.

“Hello.” You Yu quickly regained his emotional stability. “My name is Chi Nan.”

The expression on Tang Yu’s face froze for a moment as a certain sense of familiarity came to her. However, it was fleeting and she soon forgot about it. She smiled and said to You Yu, “I will be here for the next two days so please give me more advice.”

Her gaze crossed over his shoulder and she accidentally saw the portrait hanging on the wall of Room 206.

The young man in the painting had a pair of green eyes and there were two tear drop moles at the corners of the eyes. There was an indescribable, solemn, and calm divinity on his face.

The background of the portrait was an endless rainy night, just like the entire Nightmare World.

There was never a sunrise and the rain was always falling. Gloomy weather could easily make people unhappy.

“That is my boyfriend,” You Yu introduced to Tang Yu.

Tang Yu made a low ‘ah’ sound after realizing this and immediately apologized for her rudeness after regaining her senses. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have looked into your apartment so rudely.”

You Yu smiled. “It doesn’t matter. He won’t mind.”

Tang Yu found that the good-looking man next door seemed to like to eat sweets. Tang Yu met him several times in the corridor, and he was holding various desserts in his hand every time.

On February 28th, the last day Tang Yu was staying in the Nightmare World, she drew a full stop on the calendar. The ink soaked through the thin calendar paper onto the 29th below.

The date rules in the Nightmare World were strange. Every February had 29 days.

It also happened to be her birthday, which was weird.

Did February 29th have any special significance in this world?

Tang Yu didn’t care much about it. Her thoughts were soon interrupted by the thunder outside the window. She looked at the black oppressive sky, and it seemed like a heavy rain couldn’t be avoided.

She might be in the Nightmare World, but Tang Yu still retained her living habits from reality. She pushed open the door and went to the corridor to collect her drying clothes. She just happened to bump into her neighbor, who was coming back from outside with a red umbrella.

“Did you just come back from shopping?” Tang Yu asked politely. She soon noticed that the other person was carrying a huge red velvet cake in his hand. “Eh? Is someone having a birthday?”

You Yu nodded and the corners of his lips raised in a smile. “Tomorrow is my boyfriend and I’s birthday.”


TL: I am holding my annual translation anniversary celebration event with the possibility of winning cash prizes just by participating. Please check out the details below.

Event Details

Proofreader: Kat

 

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Ketkai
Ketkai
24 days ago

This time’s time machinations is just :'(( it’s like a nightmarish different world. The thought if it’s real or something like an ‘instance’ to solve someday and wake up from.

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