CNC: Chapter 121

Crying Boy (7)

The mirror image showed a face with a pair of green eyes and tear drop moles under the left and right corners of the eyes. He looked chic and melancholy, with silver-white hair loose and draped over his shoulders. His eyelashes and the ends of his eyes were wet. The tiredness on his face hadn’t dissipated, as if he had woken up from a nightmare with tears in his eyes.

“Excuse me, can you hear me?” Chi Nan tried to communicate with the other person through the consciousness, just like he did when he and You Yu shared senses.

However, the face of the person in the mirror was indifferent.

“Hey…” Chi Nan didn’t know what to call ‘himself’ for a moment and tried to ask again, “Can’t you hear my voice?”

He didn’t get an answer and continued to ask in an unwilling manner, “Are you the god of dreams? Or…are you the dream god?”

The questions were doomed to not receive an answer. Chi Nan stopped asking useless questions.

Just then, the voice of the owner of the body was heard.

“Why is this pocket watch here?”

“No…whose pocket watch is this? Have I seen it before? Why did it feel familiar for a moment after waking up?”

“What did I dream about just now? I remembered it when I woke up, but now I can’t remember it at all…”

Chattering words poured out from all directions and Chi Nan confirmed from the mirror that the owner of the body wasn’t speaking.

So these voices…

Chi Nan froze. He could clearly hear what the owner of this body was thinking!

The other person’s thought path was transformed into sound that reached his ears, but the other person didn’t know that he existed.

Chi Nan persuaded himself to quickly calm down and he tried to clear up this chaotic and absurd situation.

Like an uninvited guest standing behind one-way glass, he silently observed the owner’s every movement and even eavesdropped on his thoughts.

Moreover, the owner of the body was the self that he had forgotten many years ago…

What time point was it now? Looking at the clothing, was ‘he’ the legendary god of dreams of the Dawn Tower? Was No 9 still alive? Had the Crying Boy been born?

At the junction of the second and third layer, the system teleported him back to the body of his past self. It was presumably trying to provide important clues through showing this scene.

Chi Nan tried to harmonize with the body of his past self and waited for the long forgotten memories to reappear before his eyes.

***

The god of dreams held the pocket watch and the noise in his ears stopped immediately. He gained a long-lost and brief silence.

His tears also stopped temporarily. He carefully put the pocket watch away.

The pocket watch that inexplicably appeared next to his pillow seemed to have a strange calming power.

However, he also knew there was always a reason for inexplicable things. This pocket watch must have its own metaphor or intention when appearing here.

It wasn’t just calming. The pocket watch also gave him a unique feeling.

He seemed to have seen this thing in a dream just now. It was very familiar and gave off a distant nostalgia, as if he was nostalgic for a future that had never been seen before.

The god of dreams sat up from his bed. He stood by the wind and looked at the endless gray rain curtain beyond the tower.

The pollution caused by the negative emotions of humanity was becoming more serious. The rain had fallen for many days and nights. It wasn’t just himself, but even the statues under the Dawn Tower started to cry.

Curses and bad luck spread wildly in the humid air and he was helpless.

The god of dreams looked down at the entire city from the tower. The once prosperous city was now mostly abandoned, and most of the residents had moved out.

They knew that leaving was just a psychological comfort and that the curses and bad luck had been carved into their bones and blood, as rich and long-lasting as the desires that they once made him fulfill. Even so, they tried to find some salvation from this migration.

Today, the cursed City of Dreams was home to some homeless people, patients who had escaped from mental hospitals, prisoners who were being hunted, artists who were worked to their bones, volunteers who were still ‘obsessed’ with defending the god of dreams, and the magician organization that tried to destroy everything.

The god of dreams never cared about human beings, even if they wanted to destroy him.

God didn’t fear death or have an attachment to life.

He suddenly wanted to take a walk under the Dawn Tower, although he couldn’t go too far.

God didn’t need to make a choice. He just needed to follow his inner thoughts. Therefore, he changed into clothes that ordinary people would wear, shortened his hair, and held a red umbrella. He looked like a young master who hadn’t been involved in the world. He left from the most secret exit of the Dawn Tower into the rain, along the damp gravel road to the area where there were many artists and lunatics.

His clothing was out of place with the decadent scene around him.

The teenage god soon became the focus of all eyes. They looked at the teenager with scrutiny, suspicion, and a somewhat impolite and aggressive gaze. No one thought that such a noble young master was still living in the City of Dreams.

The god of dreams completely ignored their foolishness and calmly walked forward in the dense rain.

Everyone stopped what they were doing. No one wanted to look away, but no one dared to step closer.

“Brother, do you need a portrait painted?”

The voice of another teenager came from the corner of the street. The rain suddenly thickened, and the dark sky seemed to be brightened by the water.

The god of dreams made eye contact with a tall and slender teenager, who smiled in a slightly dazzling manner.

For a moment, time seemed to stand still. In the consciousness of the god of dreams, Chi Nan had the illusion that his heartbeat was aggravated. He wasn’t sure whether it was his own heartbeat or the owner of the body’s heartbeat.

He just realized that he seemed to have experienced this moment.

This teenager with an easel on his back was the grown up No 9.

“I didn’t bring any money with me when I came out.”

Time started to flow again. The god of dreams held the red umbrella and approached the teenager.

The teenager laughed. “I won’t charge you money. Do you want to give it a try?”

He took the red umbrella from the hands of the god of dreams, wiped the black stool that had been splashed with some rain, and placed it in a position just right for painting.

“Is that so? Then thank you.”

The god of dreams followed his inner curiosity and sat on the stool.

“Don’t be nervous. Is this your first time having a portrait painted?”

The teenager’s smile was bright. Like the pocket watch, he had the power to relax the god of dreams. The god of dreams sighed. “Yes.”

The brush rustled against the paper. It was just the countless rainy nights in 206 when You Yu used the brush to reproduce Chi Nan’s appearance in his memory.

“Your eyes are beautiful. Many years ago, I knew someone whose right eye was as green as yours.” The teenager paused as if he was recalling something. “It wasn’t an ordinary green, but a very beautiful green.”

The god of dreams had a very strong ability to perceive emotions. At this moment, he could feel the loneliness in the emotions of the teenager. “What happened to your friend?”

The teenager’s hand paused before he smiled a bit helplessly. “Friend?”

He shook his head. “He wasn’t my friend. We didn’t know each other for more than 24 hours.”

The god of dreams asked keenly, “What happened?”

The teenager with the paintbrush shrugged. “He suddenly disappeared, as if he never appeared.”

“I’m sorry,” the god of dreams said, “Even so, all appearances are meaningful.”

He could only grant wishes or bring them bad luck. He couldn’t comfort humans.

Unexpectedly, the teenager smiled. “It is just like how you appeared here. Shall I finish the painting for you?”

The god of dreams choked up for a moment before bluntly replying, “Yes.”

The teenager smiled even more heartily.

The rain was pouring down. Their clothes were soon soaked and damp in the air. The god of dreams was a very good model. He had enough patience and willpower to stay still for a long time.

“Why not leave the City of Dreams?” he looked at the teenager’s focused appearance and asked. “It is already terrible here.”

“There might be curses here, but I heard that wishes can occasionally be fulfilled. The probability is small, but there is still hope, right?” the teenager replied naturally.

“What is your wish?” the god of dreams asked him.

“I haven’t thought about it yet.”

“Aren’t you afraid of the curse?” the god of dreams asked again.

“It doesn’t matter.” In any case, he was born with a curse, the teenager thought. Of course, he wasn’t afraid of what he had been born with. He had long been accustomed to injustice and bad luck.

The god of dreams stared at him silently and didn’t speak.

The teenager didn’t like this sympathetic silence and continued, “In addition, the thing I promised someone isn’t done and I can’t leave.”

“Can I help you?”

“Thank you, but I’m afraid no one can help me.” The young man’s lips curled up. “I need to go into the tower, find the god who lives in it, and convince him to let me paint his portrait. Ridiculous, right?”

The god of dreams frowned. “Who told you to do this?”

The teenager shook his head. “It is that person who can’t be called a friend.”

The teenager paused before smiling. “It doesn’t matter. I didn’t promise the other person that I would do it. After all, no one can enter the tower.”

“Besides, I don’t like painting old men.” The teenager’s lips pursed, as if he decided that the god of the tower was a bad old man.

“…Oh.” The god of dream’s expression was subtle. “Are you going to stay here all the time?”

The teenager nodded. “I like it here. There are incidents every day and it isn’t boring at all.”

Then he looked up at the god of dreams, who was so calm that he merged with the rain curtain behind him. “What about you? Why don’t you leave?”

The god of dreams said honestly, “I was born here and I can’t leave.”

Just then, a gust of wind blew and raindrops rolled into the eyes of the dream god. His eyelashes trembled violently and two tears flowed down from the corners of his eyes.

The painter didn’t ask why the other person was crying. His eyes slightly brightened and the advent of inspiration made his blood boil. Two tear drop marks appeared on the face of the teenager in the canvas, which blended with the endless rain in the background.

The whole painting came alive in an instant.

What followed was a silence that couldn’t be heard. The teenager was immersed in his own creation, and the god of dreams also felt a long-lost peace.

Half an hour later, the painting was completed.

The painter handed the work to the god of dreams. “Are you satisfied?”

The god of dreams looked at the tears in the painting. Chi Nan stared through the eyes of the god of dreams at a certain memory that was gradually recovering.

“Thank you. By the way…” The god of dreams carefully put away the portrait and took out the pocket watch. “I feel like this is quite suitable for you, although it doesn’t seem to be worth much.”

The teenager took the pocket watch. He opened the cover and frowned at how it was stopped at 12:20. “Is there any special significance to this time?”

The god of dreams replied, “I don’t know, but I have a hunch that this pocket watch should belong to you.”

Chi Nan, who was sealed in his consciousness, also received this intuition.

Chi Nan’s breathing suddenly stopped as the truth rose.

“Okay, then I’ll accept it.”

The teenager put away the pocket watch like he cherished it. “Brother, will we meet again?”

The god of dreams thought about it seriously. “If you wish for it, then we will definitely meet.”

“Can you tell me your name?” the teenager asked toward his back.

The god of dreams’ footsteps paused. He never had a name. Everyone called him the god of dreams.

This wasn’t a happy thing.

The air was still. The rain drifted down to the decadent City of Dreams, damp and pattering.

“I want to know your name.” The teenager looked at the other person, who was silent, and continued to ask, “Is it okay?”

‘What should my name be…?’ The god of dreams was troubled.

Then, he soon became enlightened.

“…Chi Nan.”

A name was born in his subconscious and blurted out, becoming words exposed to the wet air.

“My name is Chi Nan.”

The god of dreams looked at the painter through the rain.

The name ‘Chi Nan’ was made up on a whim, or perhaps it was some type of prophecy, some type of end and beginning. Who knows.

My name is Chi Nan.

This was the thing that Chi Nan remembered most clearly and firmly after being sealed for hundreds of years in the Crying Boy.

His name was born on this ordinary rainy afternoon after he met the young painter.

He gave it to himself.


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.

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Proofreader: Not proofread

 

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