Crying Boy (1)
The bathroom’s lighting was a dull yellow.
Chi Nan could clearly see You Yu’s body in the mirror through the polished shower glass and through You Yu’s eyes.
You Yu deliberately looked at himself in the mirror with this type of scrutinizing gaze.
He knew that under the control of the sensory sharing, Chi Nan had to synchronize with his vision.
“Does it look good?” You Yu didn’t hold back as the corners of his lips curled up slightly.
“It is good.” At this moment, Chi Nan was still very honest, even if it was inappropriate.
You Yu refused to let go of such a good opportunity easily and continued to ask, “What is the difference between it and the body you used?”
Chi Nan looked in the mirror and thought very seriously. “The muscle lines are clearer, the shoulders are wider, and…”
He paused before finally coming up with the right wording. “It is more aggressive.”
You Yu was stunned by the words before smiling. “Thank you for your evaluation.”
However, Chi Nan obviously spoke too early. It was because in the next second, You Yu continued to do bad things. “Do you want to try it?”
This time, Chi Nan finally reacted. He was silent for a few seconds before imitating the mechanical voice of the system. “…It is prohibited to act like a hooligan with the system.”
“Unfortunately, this is no negative option for this question.”
You Yu turned the shower tap and warm water poured down his shoulders.
The familiar smell of the shower gel mixed with the warm water vapor rushed into one’s nasal cavity while the water flow left a warm and moist touch on one’s skin.
The strong sense of smell and touch activated Chi Nan’s senses that had been sleeping for a long time.
It was fresh, intense, and everywhere. This was what it meant to be alive.
The sound of water splashed down. Countless tiny water splashes occurred against the white tiles of the bathroom and You Yu’s voice melted into the sound of the water.
You Yu asked, “Can you read my thoughts at this moment?”
“No, the system only provides me with the sensory sharing. I can’t read your mind.”
You Yu clicked his tongue. “It is a pity.
Chi Nan: “?”
“Brother Nan, you’ve been gone for half a year and I’ve confirmed one thing.” You Yu leaned back and let the water blur the expression on his face.
“Can you tell me?”
“Of course, it is about you.” You Yu paused. “Brother Nan, I really like you and will continue to do so.”
Chi Nan was silent for a moment. “Okay, I understand.”
After taking a shower, You Yu, who had never dried his hair before, took a hair dryer and obediently started to dry his wet hair little by little.
“I’ve always had a question.” Chi Nan quickly regained his ability to think. “If my existence was completely erased from the Nightmare World and the real world, why weren’t the favorability points you spent on the ‘perpetual usage rights’ returned? Did the system make a mistake?”
You Yu shook his head. “I haven’t been able to find any relevant clues about this point. It is reasonable to say that the favorability system is the most core system in the Nightmare World and it is impossible for such a stupid mistake to happen.”
“The only possibility is that something went wrong when erasing you, causing the favorability of the ‘perpetual usage rights’ to be consumed and unable to be returned.” You Yu frowned. “Or it might be some type of hint.”
Chi Nan wondered, “Is it possible that we didn’t emerge from the bug of Zi City?”
You Yu’s face turned pale. He shook his head and didn’t speak. Chi Nan didn’t continue with this disappointing topic and looked out the corner of You Yu’s eyes at the paintings hanging on the walls of 206. “Are these all the Crying Boy?”
You Yu’s tense face finally relaxed and his eyes stayed on the countless paintings in order to let Chi Nan see the Crying Boy more clearly.
“That’s right. They are cuter than me.”
He still remembered that Chi Nan once asked him what he looked like in the Crying Boy.
The answer he gave was ‘cuter than me.’
Chi Nan didn’t respond to these words with bad intentions. He seriously examined the paintings before questioning it. “Have you learned to paint before?”
You Yu’s lips curled up and he made a sarcastic joke. “Don’t forget, the dream makers can do anything.”
The painting was very detailed. Chi Nan asked, “You have only seen this painting once, but you can remember the details?”
You Yu was very certain. “Yes, I remember every detail very clearly.”
“Then…can you paint one now?” Chi Nan wanted to feel the Crying Boy being born from his own hands through the sensory sharing.
You Yu understood Chi Nan’s expectations. “Okay.”
He didn’t hesitate and took a brush and paper. Then he started the familiar painting as usual.
In fact, You Yu also found it a bit incredible. He had only seen the Crying Boy when he entered the ghost tunnel the first time, but in the days that followed, the painting seemed to be engraved into his memory… To be precise, it was from his memory that all the details clearly emerged.
He just needed to hold a brush and he could easily restore the painting, as if he had been facing it for many years.
Yet as a child, he obviously couldn’t see anything.
Chi Nan followed You Yu’s senses and witnessed a new ‘self’ gradually taking shape and being born on the white paper. A vague sense of familiarity filled him. This feeling was about to emerge, but it was fleeting.
It was as if he had seen this scene a long time ago. It was as if someone held a paintbrush, eyes lingering on him and the painting paper. The paper made a slight rustling sound and his appearance gradually took shape on the white paper.
It seemed to be such a rainy day and the smell of damp rain lingered in the air.
This feeling made Chi Nan nostalgic and sad.
He didn’t know if it was because he shared You Yu’s body, but his perception of emotions was clearer and more concrete.
You Yu sensed Chi Nan’s mood swings in his consciousness and put down the paintbrush. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m slightly sleepy.”
You Yu put the painting he had just finished on the table. “Then go to sleep.”
Chi Nan was a bit worried. “But…”
“Coincidentally, I’m sleepy as well.” You Yu turned off the lights, rolled over on the soft bed, barely yawned, and closed his eyes.
Chi Nan’s new life made him happy enough to stay awake for three days and three nights, but this didn’t prevent him from closing his eyes and breathing lightly. He lay motionless on the bed to let Chi Nan inside his body sleep well.
Chi Nan couldn’t hear the voice in his mind, so You Yu could lie down and think about many things. For example, once Chi Nan woke up, they would go to the cake store to get a larger red velvet cake, or how to guarantee that his teeth wouldn’t decay after eating so many sweets.
He had already made preparations for Chi Nan to live in his body for a long time and to share his senses.
Chi Nan lay down for less than five minutes before falling into a deep sleep.
You Yu couldn’t see it, but he was sure that Chi Nan was asleep. Therefore, he made his breathing even lighter.
The rain outside the window started again. It became heavier and heavier, snapping and banging against the window.
The rain in the Nightmare World had been continuous ever since coming out of the ghost tunnel.
Why was it like this?
Originally, he thought the rain would stop with Chi Nan’s return, but now it seemed this wasn’t the case.
What was the implication of the continuous rain?
You Yu wasn’t willing to open his eyes. The familiar Crying Boy appeared in his mind. Behind Chi Nan in the painting was an endless curtain of rain…
What did this endless rain have to do with Chi Nan?
You Yu allowed his thoughts to float in the wet night while he felt Chi Nan’s presence with all his senses.
It was invisible, but the sense of presence in his body was vivid and clear. This was enough.
Unknowingly, You Yu also slept with absolute peace of mind.
The thing that woke them up was the ringtone of the communication device.
The ringtone was very anxious and the system spontaneously issued an alarm.
[Dream maker 229, please note that an urgent call request is coming from the Dawn Base.]
[Dream maker 229, please connect immediately…]
“Go and answer the phone.” Chi Nan had woken up and his voice was still a bit hoarse.
You Yu had never been so grumpy as he was at this moment. He took the communicator and saw that it was a call from 207. He slightly suppressed his impatience and rubbed his temples while getting straight to the subject. “What’s wrong?”
Heavy and rapid breathing came from the other end of the communicator. “Something went wrong.”
“It started to rain in all the nightmare instances…without any changes to the settings.” 207’s voice was trembling like never before. “Then the sleepwalkers in the instances started disappearing one by one.”
You Yu’s impatience instantly disappeared and his expression froze. “Disappeared? Do you mean they were directly teleported back to the Dawn Base?”
“No, they disappeared directly from the Nightmare World. Even worse, the sleepwalkers at the Dawn Base started to disappear one after another.”
You Yu quickly jumped up from the bed to change clothes. He confirmed that his system wasn’t in danger or affected by a bug and asked urgently, “How long ago?”
207 lowered her voice. “It has been going on for two hours and I haven’t been able to contact you during this time.”
You Yu checked his communicator again. There was nothing other than this call request.
Everything happened without his knowledge.
“What about the dream makers?” You Yu asked.
“The dream makers at the base are urgently looking for bugs but they can’t find a specific cause. We suspect—”
207 suddenly stopped in the middle of the conversation and You Yu frowned. “What’s wrong? Continue.”
207’s voice started to blur. “They are gone… 301, 811, 731, 101… The dream makers are also disappearing! How can this be? They were just standing beside me…!”
“Hello? What’s wrong?”
207’s voice was cut off and the other end of the communicator was dead silent.
You Yu received no response and started to try to call other dream makers, but no one responded to him. There was once again no bug in the system.
“Let’s hurry back to the Dawn Base,” Chi Nan said.
You Yu’s movements seemed to pause. Then he quickly activated the main system’s emergency passage to teleport back to the Dawn Base.
The towering base building was shrouded in viscous rain and the brightly lit base was so silent that only the sound of rain remained.
Through You Yu’s eyes, Chi Nan could clearly see that the originally dry base was covered with moss. The walls of the building were also crawling with mold.
“Unlike the bug of Zi City, the Dawn Base and main system are still running. This means the energy keeping the Nightmare World running hasn’t been cut off.” You Yu looked at the base that appeared even larger due to the absolute silence. “The only exception is that everyone in the world has disappeared. You and I are the only ones left.”
Chi Nan gazed at the world through You Yu’s eyes.
“Maybe we are already in the nightmare instance,” Chi Nan suggested, “I have a guess that we have been in a nightmare. From the moment we entered the ghost tunnel, we’ve already entered into a dream.”
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