Crying Boy (4)
You Yu’s eyes were half lowered and his lips were in a straight line. The morbid paleness of his face made him look like he wasn’t a living person.
Suffocating thoughts and decisions. Even the sound of his heartbeat was drowned out by the rain.
You Yu didn’t think that Chi Nan was just a painting spirit of a forbidden painting.
Compared with the painting spirit that could bring disaster to people, he believed in his initial judgment more based on the clues from the past.
Chi Nan was the dream god, or part of the dream god.
This hypothesis was doubtful in many ways but You Yu always stubbornly believed his own instincts.
This nightmare gave a very clear hint. City of Dreams was equivalent to the Nightmare World in his cognition and Dawn Tower was the Dawn Base main building. The god who lived in the tower who could fulfill people’s wishes was undoubtedly the dream god.
If it was assumed that Chi Nan was the dream god then his existence predated the birth of the Crying Boy and he ended up sealed in the painting for some reason.
In a sense, the painting was the prison where Chi Nan was imprisoned.
However, if there was no Crying Boy then he might never have an intersection with Chi Nan…
He knew that the disappearance of the painting could bring about a change in the timeline and he knew what this meant. It was a choice.
You Yu’s eyelashes trembled slightly and his gaze shifted to No 9’s hand hanging down beside his leg. It was so thin that there was only a thin layer of skin wrapped around the bone. The blue veins were exposed and the knuckles of the fingers were covered with painting calluses.
If he wanted to destroy the painting then he needed to kill No 9. If he wanted to keep the painting then it was the opposite.
“You Yu, I want the Crying Boy to be born.” Chi Nan’s voice was as calm as usual.
You Yu’s expression froze and he didn’t speak.
Chi Nan continued. “There are two choices. We know what will happen in the timeline where the painting is born. The other choice is completely unknown and the risk is too great.”
You Yu was silent for a moment before wondering, “Isn’t it boring to be sealed in the painting for so long?”
“It was boring.” Chi Nan had always been honest. “However, it was also very safe.”
A complicated emotion that wasn’t appropriate for his age flashed in You Yu’s lowered eyes. “Brother Nan, you don’t look like someone who is afraid of the unknown and risks.”
“Yes, but the painting brought everything that I have now…”
Chi Nan paused before continuing calmly, “I don’t want to lose this experience with you.”
You Yu was stunned for a moment. “Is it worth being bored for so many years?”
Chi Nan didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”
You Yu seemed to laugh softly. “You are able to say things so calmly that it is easy to confuse people. Brother Nan, you are very foul.”
“Really?” Chi Nan’s tone didn’t fluctuate at all. “I’m sorry for that.”
“I just can’t help it.”
Chi Nan didn’t know that his honesty was the most foul thing.
“Can I understand it as you responding to my confusion?” You Yu asked shamelessly.
Chi Nan choked up. “Feel free.”
You Yu clasped his right hand with his left hand. He interlocked his own fingers together.
“Okay, I see.” He looked up at No 9. “How about we make a deal?”
No 9 looked at this young master who spoke strangely to himself, but inexplicably made him feel familiar and kind. “What deal?”
The young master’s left eye was dark and heavy, making it impossible to see through his true thoughts. Meanwhile, his right eye was a clear green color and was clean without any traces of impurities.
This contradiction and sense of opposition was perfectly presented on this pale face, making it difficult to look away.
“I can guarantee that you will survive the sacrifice, but you have to promise me one thing in return,” You Yu said.
No 9 stared directly into these bewitching eyes and pursed his lips in an unmoved manner. “But I’m not afraid of death.”
“…Oh.” You Yu was best at dealing with children who weren’t afraid of death. “I used to think the same way.”
No 9 looked at him suspiciously. “A young master with your status wouldn’t understand.”
In his cognition, the young masters of a rich family were raised with the love of their family. They couldn’t understand the wretchedness and hopelessness of struggling to survive in the mud, let alone ignore death.
You Yu shrugged. “This isn’t the first time I have been chosen as a sacrifice. The last one who tried to sacrifice me was my mother.”
“Why?” No 9 looked at him with a furrowed brow.
You Yu smiled indifferently. “Just like your mother, she used me as the capital of a transaction so she could get the benefits.”
“That is a pity.” No 9 shook the chain in his hand. “Now your mind has changed?”
You Yu nodded. “Because I have encountered the greatest good thing.”
He recalled Chi Nan’s response just now and the corners of his lips curled up uncontrollably.
No 9 told him, “I can’t be so lucky.”
“Don’t say it so desperately. No matter whether you believe it or not, I can predict it. I know that if you live, you will encounter something very interesting.”
After all, No 9 was still a child and some interest was aroused in him. “An interesting thing? Can you elaborate?”
You Yu nodded. He could easily see everyone’s inner desires. “You will paint a work that everyone will remember.”
He played a word game in a cunning manner and didn’t tell the other person that on a certain timeline, everyone would remember the painting but no one knew the artist of the painting.
No 9’s eyes flashed. “You aren’t lying to me?”
“I promise you with my most important thing that I haven’t lied to you.” His sincerity was hard to refuse. “It also isn’t a loss for you to think about something like living. Why not try it?”
No 9 was completely persuaded by him. “What do you want me to promise?”
You Yu looked at the Dawn Tower that was shrouded in rain. “Paint a portrait of the god in the tower.”
“Are you serious?” No 9 frowned in disbelief.
You Yu nodded. “This is my condition and it is easy.”
No 9, “……” It felt like he had boarded a thief’s ship.
In the end, he pursed his lips helplessly. “Okay. I can’t guarantee that I can do it. After all, no one has seen the god in the tower with their own eyes. It is up to you whether you want to save me or not.”
You Yu smiled. “Okay, deal.”
Then he complained in a low voice. “What a difficult child.”
Chi Nan answered, “I think he is quite like you.”
“I was so difficult as a child?”
“Now as well.”
You Yu, “……”
Chi Nan said, “Do you have a backup plan if No 9 can’t get close to the Dawn Tower?”
You Yu thought about it. “I can do it myself.”
Chi Nan, “……”
You Yu explained, “I’m not necessarily worse at painting than him. If it wasn’t for my respect for the rules of the system, I would’ve really painted it myself.”
“This is okay.”
You Yu smiled softly. “To be honest, I’m really jealous of this child.”
Chi Nan wondered, “Why?”
“Brother Nan, he met you in the painting before me. Can’t I be jealous?” You Yu was half serious and half joking. It wasn’t known if he was using jokes to cover up the seriousness or if he was deliberately bullying Chi Nan.
Chi Nan wasn’t prepared to talk without understanding the other person’s intentions.
The carriage moved forward along the fork in the road. The road got narrower and narrower and the carriage started bumping even more.
You Yu looked at the wet road and wasteland from behind the barbed wire. Through his eyes, Chi Nan noticed obvious cracks in the scattered statues on both sides of the road.
The further they went down the fork in the road, the more broken the statues became.
At dusk, almost all the statues passing by the carriage were visibly flawed.
“It seems like man-made damage.” Chi Nan looked at a statue of the god that lacked arms and legs.
You Yu agreed. “It seems that not all people are believers of the god.”
Finally, the carriage stopped outside the gate of a small, abandoned amusement park.
As if to welcome their arrival, the amusement park’s badly connected neon signs lit up in the wet night, flashing in an eerie and unreal manner.
The bizarre lights were cut by the barbed wire and reflected on the damp carriage floor.
You Yu and No 9 quickly exchanged looks. None of them had a look of fear in their eyes.
“Offering up sacrifices in an abandoned amusement park, this magician organization acts in a rather unique style,” You Yu even casually joked.
No 9, “……”
The sound of boots stepping in the mud approached. A black shadow appeared outside the barbed wire and was followed by the sound of the key twisting in the lock.
“We don’t need your evaluation.” The shadow pointed inside the carriage and spoke to the two children. “Stop talking nonsense.”
You Yu quickly looked at the man in the black robe. Through the flickering neon lights of the amusement park, he noticed the blue flame snake tattoo on the neck of the black robed man.
His brow furrowed slightly. The system had shown this blue totem when the ghost tunnel appeared in the Highway 404 instance.
When Zi City encountered a serious bug, the system fell into a state of complete crash after the appearance of this flaming snake symbol.
The dream makers had always believed that this was a bug warning sign set by the system.
Was there any connection between this magician organization and the system bugs in this timeline?
Before the other person could notice the strangeness, You Yu had already retracted his gaze and acted like a well-behaved and polite young master. “Can I ask why you brought us to the amusement park?”
The black robed man unshackled his and No 9’s legs and didn’t hesitate to explain to him. “It is because our customers like to eat at a buffet.”
The man was about to grab his arm but You Yu avoided him in an agile manner. He consciously jumped off the carriage. “Thank you, I will do it on my own.”
He stepped on the puddle and splashed the black robed man, causing him to blink pitifully. “Sorry, I didn’t mean it.”
Even a demon would have a hard time refusing such a look and tone.
The man in the black robe, “…I don’t want to deal with these little things regarding the sacrifices.”
You Yu asked, “Uncle, are you talking about the customers eating us?”
The black robed man didn’t speak and You Yu continued to ask, “Can you say where the ‘people’ who will eat us come from?”
The black robed man looked at him coldly. “Only customers have the right to know the source of the food. The food doesn’t have this right.”
“Oh, what a pity.” You Yu’s lips pursed in regret and he raised the shackles on his hands. “Since the guests like a buffet, can you uncuff me? It will bring more fun to the guests.”
The black robed man’s voice turned cold. “Don’t dream. Get out of here!”
The rain was becoming heavier and it soon wet You Yu’s hair. He only took a few steps in the muddy water and his shoes and socks were already soaked.
He and Chi Nan noticed that in addition to their carriage, several more carriages came one after another. Two children around the same age as them were driven off each carriage.
They all showed expressions of nervousness, panic and even despair.
The last 13 handcuffed children stood side by side in front of the open gate of the amusement park. The other 11 children sobbed and trembled while You Yu and No 9 stood there. Their calm and bored expressions seemed out of place.
Through the rain, You Yu saw the dilapidated amusement park with a strong smell of rust and moss. “This is different from an ordinary nightmare instance. It is the real time and it seems there are no death rules to speculate on.”
Authenticity meant there were no restrictions set by the dream god. It was full of possibilities and freedom.
“It seems that we can only clear the instance with violence.” You Yu clicked his tongue.
Chi Nan understood what he meant. “Okay.”
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Proofreader: Not proofread