CNC: Chapter 19

The dream maker watched Chi Nan’s departing back. His gaze didn’t move until a long time after the door closed. A long time later, he seemed to smile and finally moved his gaze to the full-length mirror in the center of the room.

He took two steps forward and walked to the place where Chi Nan had been standing previously. Through the mask, his eyes were a bit playful and cold. A moment later, he raised his hand to remove the ghost mask covering his face.

In the mirror, there appeared a face that looked exactly the same as Chi Nan. It was just that the eyes were a deep black, like an abyss that no light could invade.

He reached out toward the mirror, stroking his own mirror image like playing with another person. His middle finger flicked off the mirror with a bit of neuroticism. “Brother, it is a pity you didn’t recognize me this time but…”

You Yu paused and the smile on his face widened. “We will meet again soon.”

He turned around and returned to his desk to retrieve the monitor of the entire You Yu’s Dream. He replayed the part that belonged to Chi Nan again.

Once the screen progressed to the first night of Chi Nan’s audition, You Yu slowed down the video and carefully watched the interaction between Chi Nan and the female ghost. On the surveillance video, Chi Nan obviously didn’t do anything but the female ghost shivered like she saw something extremely terrifying. Finally, she collapsed and disappeared.

You Yu replayed this scene repeatedly with a frown. Was there a bug with the system? However, such a low-level mistake had never happened in the dream world, especially in his dreams…

You Yu stared at the screen and didn’t let go of any details. He found that Chi Nan made only three actions during the entire process. He covered his head with a pillow, retracted his head into the quilt and blocked the female ghost’s mouth with a handkerchief.

There was only one expression: crying.

You Yu noticed the strange formations in the room, as well as the glutinous rice by Chi Nan’s pillow but these things, were all nonsense. They obviously had no deterrence against ghosts…

He also paid attention to Chi Nan’s awakening value during this entire process. No matter what type of crisis was experienced, Chi Nan’s awakening value never changed. It always remained at zero without any fluctuations. This situation was unprecedented in the dream world.

So how did this little liar who occupied the nest and took his life do it?

In the sleepwalker data of the dream world, You Yu couldn’t find any information about Chi Nan. Chi Nan seemed to be a soul that was erased from the past or never existed.

You Yu smiled with interest at the face that was exactly like his own on the screen. It had been a long time since he had seen such an interesting person and this person was using his body after his death. There were countless reasons why he was reluctant to let go of this prey.

“What is the next nightmare of the sleepwalker Chi Nan?” You Yu called up the main system.

Main system: [The system is still matching…]

30 minutes later.

[The sleepwalker Chi Nan has chosen to redeem his wish ‘Stop the tears’. The required favorability is 600 points.]

[The next instance for sleepwalker Chi Nan is: Dusk Cruise.]

“I see. Please reserve me a ticket for the Dusk Cruise.” You Yu looked at himself in the mirror again. “In addition, make it a new identity.”

The main system was delayed for two seconds. [Received. I would like to ask dream maker 299, what are the specific needs for your  new identity?]

You Yu smiled. “I will have to think about it.”

***

After calculating the favorability at Dawn Base, Chi Nan’s group was sent to the living area by the staff member.

On the way, Hei Cha repeatedly dangled a number with his fingers in front of Chi Nan. He repeatedly confirmed it like a nagging mother afraid that Chi Nan was deceived. “Chi Nan, how many fingers do you see? What about this? And this? Well?”

Chi Nan knew his good intentions and responded patiently one by one. Finally, Old Yu couldn’t stand it any longer. “Little streamer, stop it. There is a saying. The Nightmare World might pit you but the wish exchange system is very sincere.”

“I understand that truth but you can see that Chi Nan’s green eyes don’t look like decent goods.” Hei Cha retorted.

Old Yu was amused. “Do you still care about the color? As long as it works properly, isn’t it serious? I think this color suits Chi Nan very well.”

Chi Nan blinked and looked over. “Does it look good?”

Song Yue nodded like she was mashing garlic. She looked very envious. “It is really good-looking. I want to buy the same style.”

Hei Cha, “……”

He thought that Chi Nan didn’t have a ‘human’ personality. Now that he had the green eyes, he looked more like an elf than a human. “Is this dream maker a beauty blogger?”

Chi Nan thought about it and replied very seriously, “Maybe they were out of stock and only had these eyeballs left.”

Hei Cha, “……”

After that, the group arrived at the station of Dawn Base and took different trains in different directions.

According to Old Yu, the dream world was divided into four cities: the Zi, Chou, Yin and Mao Cities. The whole dream world was in a state of eternal night. The moon hanging in the sky of the Zi, Chou, Yin and Mao Cities would look different according to the time period the city was located in.

Chi Nan and Hei Cha were randomly sent to the Zi City while Old Yu and the remaining people were in the Chou and Mao Cities respectively. They were forced to part ways.

It might be dark outside the window but this couldn’t stop the curiosity of Chi Nan who had just regained his vision. He almost placed his face against the glass of the train window as he stared at the blurry scenery outside the window until his eyes were sore.

Chi Nan had just wanted to go to sleep when he heard the broadcast in the carriage.

[Zi City’s Station is approaching. Please check your luggage and prepare to get off.]

[The train will be parked at Zi City’s Station for 10 minutes. Travelers, please get off in time.]

Chi Nan stuck to the window and saw the brightly lit city not far away. The entire Zi City illuminated the night sky at the end of the railway tracks. Looking at it from a distance in this world of eternal light, it gave people the illusion of seeing the sunrise.

The train slowed down and this colorful city was laid out in front of Chi Nan’s eyes. It was the first time he had seen such bright and colorful colors since he regained his vision.

Upon arriving at the station, the staff member changed their ticket for a house card and gave them a map showing the address of their apartment.

“Excuse me, how much is the rent and deposit during this time?” Chi Nan asked while holding the house card and map.

The unsmiling staff member replied, “It is free.”

Then the staff member didn’t say anything else.

Hei Cha sighed. “It seems that the treatment of the Nightmare World is pretty good. They provided accommodation for us.”

There were no taxis or public transportation in this place. The two of them could only follow the map and walk to the designated apartment. Fortunately, Zi City wasn’t big and it only took 10 minutes.

After entering the city, Chi Nan found that there were neon lights flashing in the streets and alleys. 24 hour convenience stores were everywhere and restaurants and entertainment venues showed no signs of closing.

At first glance, it seemed very lively. Yet at first glance, this brightly lit city was full of weirdness. For example, the brightly lit streets were virtually empty. The strong contrast gave people a weird sense of desolation, as if there were only the two of them in this huge city.

“I don’t know if these shops can make a profit…” It was clearly a bustling downtown area but it felt more barren than the station. Hei Cha couldn’t help shivering.

Chi Nan wandered around the empty streets while looking everywhere. He seemed to be enjoying it. Everything around him was fresh and fun for him, who had just regained his sight. He walked into a convenience store casually and found there was no one at the cashier and no price tags on the shelves.

[All items in Zi City are provided for free. Please take them when needed and use them with confidence.]

Hei Cha and Chi Nan received the slightly lagging system notification and were both a bit surprised.

In other words, the Nightmare World was good in terms of accommodation and treatment. The only drawback was that they risked their lives at any time.

***

Three days later, Chi Nan woke up early due to the courier banging on the door.

“Thank you, please leave it for me at the door first.” Chi Nan replied lazily. The door was quiet once he finished speaking. Then after less than 20 minutes of sleep, the door banging began again.

“Leave it outside the door…” Chi Nan’s voice came from through the quilt.

Unexpectedly, the knocking became even louder and the door of Chi Nan’s apartment was about to be removed due to it. “The invitation to the next nightmare instance has been sent. Do you still have the mind to sleep?!”

“Oh.” Chi Nan sobered up a bit and stuck his head out of the quilt. “When do we have to go?”

Hei Cha’s voice outside the door was heavy. “Today… by  4 p.m.”

Chi Nan looked at his phone. It was 2 o’clock…

“Then I can sleep for another hour.” Chi Nan yawned.

Hei Cha outside the door, “……”

He had just raised his hand to wake up this sleeping guy when there was a click and the door opened.

“I was just joking.” Chi Nan rubbed his sleepy eyes and let Hei Cha inside. He couldn’t wait to take the envelope inserted into the door by the courier and opened it to find a cruise ship ticket inside. “Dusk Cruise Ship Boarding Ticket.”

The boarding ticket stated the name of the cruise ship, the boarding time, the port of departure, the passenger information and the cabin number. The ticket number was a double room type.

“The time has come…” Hei Cha’s expression was bad. “It seems that this nightmare is happening on a cruise ship. F*k, I get seasick.”

Unlike Hei Cha’s sad expression, Chi Nan had been looking forward to a new nightmare. At this moment, he carefully examined the boarding ticket. “It is said that cruise ships are very stable and you don’t easily get seasick.”

Hei Cha was worried. “What is your room number?”

Chi Nan memorized the information on the boarding ticket and blurted out, “0303A.”

“Ah, I am 0302A. We aren’t in the same room.” Hei Cha scratched his head in a distressed manner. “I don’t know if we can change rooms after boarding the ship…”

Chi Nan was silent for a moment before intuitively shaking his head. “It is hard to say.”

“I hope we can change it. It isn’t easy to become familiar with others.”

“Have you packed your things?” Chi Nan asked.

Hei Cha turned to show off his backpack. “Here.”

Chi Nan opened his closet and quickly packed his bag. “Let’s go. We should prepare some sea sickness medicine and eat. Then it will be just right to arrive at the port.”

***

At 3:55 p.m., the two people arrived at the pier of Zi City and found that there were more than a dozen people already standing there.

All of a sudden, more than a dozen pairs of eyes were cast at them. The eyes were filled with suspicion, surprise, curiosity or evaluation. Their gazes stayed on Chi Nan’s face and the eyes that were different from an ordinary person. However, they didn’t know each other so no one dared to ask.

“You are also here for the Dusk Cruise?” A red-haired youth shook the ticket in his hand and asked Chi Nan and Hei Cha.

Hei Cha nodded. “We just got the ticket at noon.”

“The two of you aren’t newcomers, right?” Another middle-aged uncle asked.

“We’ve been to an instance before.” Hei Cha told the truth.

Chi Nan now had eyes. At this time, he stood next to Hei Cha and looked curiously at the sleepwalkers on the pier. One, two, three, four, five… if another sleepwalker didn’t appear, there would be 14 people on board this time.

Apart from Chi Nan, the most noticeable ones were the triplet sisters. Their faces and figures were almost exactly the same. The biggest difference lay in their hairstyles. One had long, black straight hair, another shoulder-length hair and the last one had her hair in a neat ponytail.

The remaining newcomers were two aunts who looked like they had just returned from grocery shopping, a young couple holding hands, an office male worker wearing a corporate culture shirt and a neutral-looking girl with her ears covered with earrings.

There were also three veteran sleepwalkers: the red-haired young, the middle-aged uncle and a woman with a big chest.

It was similar to the situation of the previous instance. The newcomers accounted for the majority of people. Of course, they couldn’t rule out the possibility of someone pretending to be a newcomer like Nan Lu.

“I don’t know what is going on. I woke up here after my nap. I am in a hurry… I have to pick up my child from school…” One of the middle-aged women complained. The young couple also talked about their situation in a panic.

This time, Hei Cha had the chance to take on the role of Cheng Xu in the last instance. He walked to the center of the crowd and talked about the situation of the Nightmare World. The other veteran sleepwalkers supplemented his information from time to time, answering the questions of the newcomers.

Chi Nan avoided the crowd and noise and stood at the edge of the pier. Looking at the time, it was 3:59. The Dusk Cruise Ship should arrive in one minute.

Just as he was moving his gaze from the phone to the sea, he found a person walking not far away. In the deep night, this figure gave him an inexplicable sense of familiarity.

Chi Nan squinted in an unaccustomed manner as he watched the person approaching.

The visitor immediately attracted everyone’s attention. He was tall and wore a loose school uniform. Behind him was a heavy-looking backpack. He seemed to be a student.

“Excuse me.” The young man approached with a ticket in his hand. He glanced at the ticket and then the people on the pier with questioning eyes. “Is this the Zi City pier?”

The light of the pier hit his face. The overlap of light and shadow clearly reflected his beautiful silhouette and the glasses on his nose made him look beautiful and gentle. The group was a bit stunned to see it. Some of the veterans even wondered if the Nightmare World looked at faces when pulling people in.

In the end, the young man glanced at Chi Nan, who was the furthest from the crowd.

Chi Nan retracted his gaze and looked back at his phone again. It was just right. It was 4 o’clock exactly.

“Yes.” The one who answered the question was Hei Cha. “Are you new?”

The young man was about to answer when there was a loud noise. A huge cruise ship appeared on the sea, cutting through the dead sea into the port. The expressions of several veteran sleepwalkers on the pier changed. They knew that the nightmare had begun.

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