Crying Boy (3)
“Of course, if I still have the opportunity.” The little boy shook the heavy chain on his hand with some regret.
You Yu stared at the little boy. The expression of the other person gave him an inexplicably familiar and intimate feeling. He also shook the shackles on his hands and made a clanging sound. “Where are they sending us?”
“We were bought by this group from human traffickers, so it definitely won’t be a good place.” The little boy narrowed his eyes slightly and looked at You Yu with caution and doubt. “You don’t remember?”
“Yes. I was knocked on the head and became stupid when caught by the human traffickers,” You Yu lied without changing his expression.
The little boy gave him a suspicious look. “…Oh.”
He obviously didn’t believe this nonsense, but it seemed that the truth of You Yu’s words had no substantial impact on him.
You Yu asked again, “Do you know who these guys are?”
The little boy lowered his voice. “They always wear lifeless black robes and have a blue, flaming snake totem around their necks. If my guess is right, they should be from the magician organization.”
“The magician organization?”
“Yes, I heard a few things about them when I used to sell paintings.” The little boy had a very calm expression and was completely free from the fear that a child should show when imprisoned. “The drunkards at the tavern said that the magicians would occasionally get fresh children from human traffickers and use them as sacrifices.”
“In any case, they bought us and it won’t be for a good reason.” The little boy shrugged indifferently.
You Yu looked at him with a scrutinizing expression. “Aren’t you afraid?”
The little boy looked into his eyes fearlessly. “What is there to be afraid of? Witchcraft? Ghosts? Or death?”
You Yu had encountered too much fear and timidity. At this moment, he couldn’t see the slightest hint of terror in the boy’s eyes. There was only a deep, black calmness.
He was more familiar with this deadly silent calm than anyone else.
Therefore, he smiled. “Are you a painter?”
The little boy shook his head with a helpless expression that was beyond his age. “It is just a means of making a living.”
“How did you fall into the hands of the human traffickers?” You Yu asked.
“I was sold by my mother. She has always hated me for selling paintings and not making money. She happened to be in urgent need of money, so she decided to use me. She made a deal with the human traffickers that will make her happy for a long time.”
“I’m sorry.” You Yu pursed his lips.
The little boy looked at him. “You are different from us. Are you a child of a rich family who was separated from your family and caught by human traffickers?’
You Yu shook his head. “Maybe. I can’t remember.”
You Yu looked at the boy’s tattered clothes and said with a smile, “So when you say roommate, do you mean that we will be buried in the same cemetery?”
“You are thinking too much. We won’t be buried in a cemetery.” The little boy leaned back. “We should be abandoned in the same mass grave and our bodies will most likely be placed side by side. It is because I am No 9 and you are No 10. The magician organization pays the most attention to order and rules.”
As he spoke, the little boy raised his shackled hand and flexibly pulled his collar downwards, revealing the number 9 tattooed in blue on his neck.
You Yu instinctively touched the same position on his neck and a bit of unhappiness flashed in his eyes.
He hated ridiculous marks being left on his body without his permission, especially now that Chi Nan was living in his body.
The carriage moved over the uneven gravel road and the interior of the carriage was violently bumped. The curtains dangled and damp rain and dark light leaked into the interior of the carriage.
You Yu simply climbed over from his position and pulled the curtain shut. Behind the curtain was a locked, barbed wire carriage door.
They were trapped like prisoners inside the cramped space of the carriage.
“Is it raining all the time here?” You Yu looked through the barbed wire covered with rust and saw the gloomy and depressing rain curtain.
The rain here was exactly the same as the Nightmare World for the past 229 days. He didn’t believe it was just a coincidence.
The endless rain must be some type of hint and clue. It was probably an important image that strung together the layers of the dream in this instance.
Why did the rain keep falling?
Chi Nan also stared at the gray and monotonous sky through You Yu’s eyes.
The little boy, No 9, seemed surprised by You Yu’s question. “Here? You talk as if you’ve come from far away.”
“Indeed, the place where I lived isn’t close to here.”
No 9 glanced at him. “Really? As far as I know, human traffickers aren’t willing to pay such a high freight fee and only pick up goods locally. Otherwise, it is too uneconomical.”
“It doesn’t matter,” You Yu said, “How long has it been raining?”
No 9 thought about it. “It has been raining for many months in a row. Even if it doesn’t rain, it is half overcast. It hasn’t been sunny for a long time.”
Just then, the carriage suddenly turned and headed for the trail on the right side of the road.
Through You Yu’s eyes, Chi Nan clearly saw the muddy water stirred up by the wheels splashing onto the tall stone sculptures on both sides of the road.
Starting from the intersection, countless stone sculptures stretched neatly along the direction of the main road in the rain curtain. A tall building stood at the end of the horizon, looming in the thick rain fog.
From Chi Nan’s point of view, the building that reached the sky was cut to pieces by the barbed wire.
At this moment, his heart seemed to be grabbed by a powerful force. A feeling of familiarity like sadness was about to rise.
You Yu’s right eye became slightly wet.
“Brother Nan? What’s wrong?” After sharing the senses, it was easier for You Yu to detect Chi Nan’s mood swings.
Chi Nan was stunned for a long time before replying, “I seem to know this place.”
You Yu looked at the building in the rainy fog. “Don’t you think it looks a bit like the base building?”
“Who are you talking to?” No 9 asked when he saw You Yu leaning against the barbed wire door and starting to talk to himself again.
“Don’t mind it. I have a problem with talking to myself.”
Chi Nan couldn’t read his mind, so every time he communicated with Chi Nan, he needed to make a sound. He fooled the child with an explanation of talking to himself.
Fortunately, No 9 wasn’t a person who was interested in the secrets of others. He just looked at You Yu and didn’t intend to ask deeply.
“What is that building used for?” You Yu asked No 9.
“You don’t even know this?” No 9 was somewhat incredulous. “That is the Dawn Tower, a place everyone dreams of getting close to.”
“Dawn Tower?” You Yu repeated in a low voice. Then he raised his eyes and asked in a sincere manner that the other person couldn’t refuse, “Sorry, can you carefully explain about the tower?”
No 9 stared at him for a long time. He wasn’t a very patient child, but today, he was willing to say a few more words to this young master from a foreign country with beautiful eyes. He shrugged. “Okay.”
“A long time ago, this was a wild frontier that no one wanted to go to. Around 30 years ago, suddenly a tower appeared where you are looking.”
“Legend has it that on the highest level of the tower lives an ancient god who can fulfill all wishes of humanity. The believers who came to the tower built a city called the City of Dreams, and the tower was called the Dawn Tower.
You Yu’s heart suddenly stopped beating. “Can all human wishes be realized?”
“Yes, the legend is like this.” No 9 pursed his lips. “The City of Dreams isn’t a place where everyone can live. Now, the people gathered there are powerful people. There are troops stationed outside the city to guard the city and it isn’t easy for people to enter. Our wishes aren’t worthy of being heard by God.”
“Has anyone seen the appearance of that god?” A rare anxiety appeared in You Yu’s voice.
No 9 shook his head and said in a bored manner, “Have you seen those statues? No one has seen the god in the tower, so all the statues have no facial features.”
“Believers use the ‘faceless’ aspect to show respect to the god who is high above.”
No 9 pursed his lips in a mocking manner. “In fact, gods are generally middle-aged, right?
“Okay,” No 9 continued, “However, I have heard that something is wrong with the city. The residents have started to move away from Dream City one after another, but we have no way of knowing why.”
You Yu frowned slightly. “Since a year ago?”
No 9 looked at him with a complicated expression. “Didn’t you forget everything?”
“I guess,” You Yu said, “Maybe it has something to do with the perpetual rain.”
“Perhaps the god in Dawn Tower is angry. The rain keeps falling and bad luck follows,” he said with a helpless smile, “But…none of this matters to sacrifices like us who have to be prepared to die in the mass grave.”
You Yu didn’t speak. He looked at the incessant rain outside the window and the statues on both sides of the road.
After being immersed in the rain for a long time, the blank faces of the statues were covered with smooth moss. This seemed to herald ruin and an ominous feeling.
Just then, the mechanical voice of the system was heard in their heads.
[Congratulations to the sleepwalker Chi Nan and the dream maker 229 bound to Chi Nan for successfully reaching the second layer of the ‘Crying Boy’ nightmare. Please make a correct judgment based on the dream role and event development. I wish you both good luck.]
Chi Nan was always like a good student who was polite and liked to ask questions. “Do you have any hints?”
System: [The person who paints.]
After speaking, the system hid its voice and silence spread through the cramped space inside the carriage.
You Yu’s gaze swept to the easel behind No 9. Then he lowered it slightly and landed on the slightly raised callus on the second bone joint of his right index finger.
It was Chi Nan who opened his mouth first. “I have a guess.”
“Yes.” You Yu’s voice was muffled. He seemed to have guessed Chi Nan’s thoughts.
Chi Nan was silent for a moment before expressing his thoughts, “This boy might be the artist of the Crying Boy.”
The system hint was only a few words, but the exact information was almost explicit.
This nightmare was originally called the Crying Boy. The painter boy they met when they fell to the second layer of the dream and opened their eyes could never be a meaningless encounter.
Everything was the carefully calculated ‘coincidence’ of the dream god.
“The person who paints,” You Yu repeated these words in his heart and his blood gradually became cold. “In other words, this nightmare brought us back to before the birth of the painting.”
[Make a correct judgment based on the dream role and event development.]
At this moment, they understood the meaning of the system’s words. This was both a dream and reality.
Their judgments and choices would affect the world and determine whether the Crying Boy would come into the world.
This dream was a time loop. Chi Nan was the painting itself and a participant in the birth of the painting.
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