CNC: Chapter 2

The inside of the car became deathly silent in an instant and there was only the sound of Chi Nan’s breathing.

Based on the name of the dream given by the system and the ‘old house’ mentioned by the driver, it could be inferred that it should be No. 221 in the Yanhu Villa District not far away. It was the site of the fire that killed 12 people at Bai Yingzhi’s residence.

There was a muffled metal sound and the door of the back seat was pulled open. Cold air poured into the car. Chi Nan couldn’t see it but it was certain that a thick fog had formed outside. He picked up his cane. “Can the system provide a novice guidance system?”

The system was silent for a while before finally replying. [There is no precedent for a novice guidance. Please request what service you need and the system will decide whether to provide them or not.]

“Road guidance function.”

After all, he couldn’t see.

The system gave a straightforward rejection. [I’m very sorry. It is an important part of the nightmare instance for sleepwalkers to explore the path. Your needs can’t be met by the system.]

The voice stopped talking.

Chi Nan, “……”

He couldn’t sit in the car the entire time. He took out his mobile phone with the mentality of giving it a try and called up the GPS with his voice.

“Go to Yard No. 211 in the Yanhua District.”

[The navigation is about to begin. Go safely.]

The nightmare instance might be separate from the real world but the GPS function of the phone could still be activated.

Chi Nan got out of the car with his cane and followed the navigational tips to the mansion.

He was once imprisoned in a painting and had limited vision. He could only see a square area of the young master’s bedroom and knew nothing about the environment outside the house. He might’ve returned to the old house several times over the years but They had driven straight into the yard. This was the first time he was entering the old house alone.

[The current route has shifted. The navigation will re-plan the route for you.]

After going around for 10 minutes, the navigation route kept deviating. Chi Nan suspected that he had encountered a ghost wall. Using a ghost wall against the blind, was this bullying the blind or looking down on ghosts?

He followed the prompts for two more laps before finally turning off the navigation to save power.

The fog seemed to be thicker. He couldn’t keep going like this. He didn’t know if this nightmare instance was a single player mode or team mode. If there were other sleepwalkers then maybe he could meet someone to accompany him…

“Brother, have you lost your way?”

The moment he thought so, a male voice came from not far away. It was as if he understood Chi Nan’s mind. Yet before his arrival, Chi Nan didn’t hear the sound of footsteps.

Chi Nan didn’t answer immediately and the boy continued, “You can’t see? Where do you want to go? I can show you the way.”

There was a playful laughter to his voice as if he saw something that pleased him.

“Thank you,” Chi Nan said. “I’m looking for Yard 211.”

“Come with me.” The boy suddenly took Chi Nan’s hand to lead him.

At almost the same time, Chi Nan stiffened and two tears rolled from the corners of his eyes down his cheeks. He cried without warning…

Chi Nan had irreversible side-effects from staying in ‘The Crying Young Man’ for too long. After being reborn, he lost his ability to express emotions. There was only one way to show emotions in his face—tears.

If there was a mood swing then tears would burst out. For him, tears were a way of emotionally expressing himself and a physiological reaction. it was just like how ordinary people couldn’t help laughing when they were happy, screaming when they’re scared or grumbling when they’re hungry.

Yet after experiencing countless dislikes and ridicule, Chi Nan knew that crying was a shameful and cowardly behavior in the human world, especially for males.

Over time, he learned to restrain his emotions and keep a distance from others. He wrapped up his emotions airtight and gave people a cold feeling. He couldn’t cry so don’t care about other people…

It was just that occasionally, there were special circumstances such as eating sweets, sleeping or making contact with people. His tears would flow out uncontrollably. This scene was very embarrassing… for example, now. Chi Nan fumbled in his pocket but didn’t find a tissue.

“What’s wrong? Are you crying?” The boy laughed like he saw a novelty toy and pulled out a handkerchief, placing it in Chi Nan’s hand.

Chi Nan didn’t explain. He just wiped away his tears and said, “Thank you.”

“Don’t be polite. Aren’t you Mother’s guest?”

Mother? Chi Nan instantly confirmed his suspicions. There was only one child in this mansion. He was silent for a moment before wondering, “Are you You Yu?”

The boy’s footsteps paused and his voice became colder. “Brother, do you know me?”

“Yes, I know you.” After the system informed him of the theme of this dream, Chi Nan had come up with this possibility.

In this dream instance, he might meet You Yu from before the fire. Currently, little You Yu didn’t know his grown up ‘self.’ It was also somewhat different from reality in that the You Yu in the dream wasn’t blind.

Little You Yu pinched Chi Nan’s finger and led him to move forward. “Among the guests my mother invited, you are the first to recognize me.”

“Did your mother invite many guests?” Chi Nan continued to look for information.

“Yes, Mother is hospitable. She invites a lot of people every time and her guests are very similar.” Little You Yu paused. “They all have desires they want to achieve and they are easily scared.

“What is your wish? Can you tell me?”

Chi Nan honestly replied, “I want to restore my eyesight.”

You Yu laughed and didn’t comment on Chi Nan’s wish.

“The guests are all waiting in the living room. Be careful, there are steps here.” Little You Yu took him to the hallway. “It seems that you are the last guest to arrive.”

“Sorry, there was a delay on the way.”

“Go quickly. Mother will arrive soon.”

Chi Nan asked, “Can I look for you later?”

“Of course,” little You Yu smiled. “I can show you the way.”

He paused before laughing. “I am more familiar with this house than anyone>”

Chi Nan replied in a light voice, “Okay, thank you.”

“That’s fine.” Little You Yu hooked their pinky fingers together and said with a laugh before leaving, “I’ll tell you another secret—”

“Brother, I actually know you and this face.”

Little You Yu’s deep laugh entered Chi Nan’s ear before he disappeared in a flash. Chi Nan froze in place until a rude voice was heard from the living room.

“What is this situation? This time, a blind man came in.” This voice made the eyes of everyone in the living room focus on Chi Nan. That person’s voice was too loud, making everyone a bit embarrassed.

The yelling man immediately realized his impoliteness and closed his mouth. After all, being blind didn’t mean being deaf.

Chi Nan was used to it and nodded slightly at the crowd. “Sorry I’m late.”

He deliberately suppressed his emotions in front of others so he always gave off a cold feeling when he spoke.

The moment Chi Nan finished speaking, the open door abruptly closed without warning. The 10 wall lamps next to the living room instantly lit up and the whole house became brightly lit.

“One, two, three… nine and 10. Okay, all of us should be here now.” A young man said while looking at the closed door.

The girl standing next to him whispered, “Why is this door closed?”

The young man replied, “Of course, it is to keep us from going out.”

Chi Nan walked toward the living room with his cane, causing people to look at his movements with various expressions.

Some people’s eyes were full of pity, some had no qualms about showing their dislike and some girls even looked at Chi Nan and blushed. The last sleepwalker who entered the house was blind but he was definitely the best looking young man they had ever seen.

“Excuse me, are you also a sleepwalker?” A professionally dressed young woman saw Chi Nan approaching and cautiously checked.

After all, the face looked so good that it was easy to misunderstand as someone changing it in a dream.

Chi Nan nodded. “Yes.”

The white-collar female worker sighed with relief. “Is this your first time participating in this…” She couldn’t seem to come up with suitable vocabulary to describe it and paused. “This weird game?”

Chi Nan nodded again.

A male voice next to her corrected it. “This isn’t a game. The system should’ve explained it when you came in. This is a dream world. Us sleepwalkers prefer to call it the Nightmare World. Everyone has signed a wish agreement to come in and break through.”

“Your words are correct but at that time, I was just blowing the candles on my birthday cake. I thought it was a joke from a friend. Who would’ve thought it was true?” One girl spoke weakly in a crying voice.

“The Nightmare World is never a joke. You can’t leave easily when you come in.” The seemingly experienced man’s words caused the girl to swallow down the words ‘I want to go home.’

The man added, “If you’re not careful, you’re likely to die.”

“Ah… can’t you wake up if you die?”

“Yes, I heard before from a movie that falling can cause you to return to reality from your dreams…”

“Oh, if only it was that simple.”

Chi Nan sat down and said nothing. It was clear that there were experienced veterans among the 10 sleepwalkers.

“Who are the newcomers coming to the dream world for the first time? Raise a hand so I can confirm it. Then I will tell you the precautions.” The young man suggested.

The six newcomers, including Chi Nan, raised their hands. The young man nodded and pulled over the young woman next to him. “My name is Cheng Xu and this is my girlfriend An Ran. We’ve already been through two nightmare instances together. Next to me is Old Yu. He is an old sleepwalker who has experienced three instances. We can  give you some suggestions and tips.”

Everyone listened quietly and seriously. Only one yellow-haired gangster was walking around the house in an unabashed manner, putting valuable objects in his pockets and making noise from time to time.

Old Yu, the one who yelled that Chi Nan was blind, looked at the yellow hair and muttered, “It is really novel. Even a thief has been pulled in.”

“Little thief, is this your first time in a nightmare instance?”

The yellow hair broke the pearls off the ornaments and stuffed them in his pocket. “I’m not interested in playing.”

Old Yu spread open his hands with a subtle expression. “It seems there are seven newcomers this time.”

Cheng Xu continued, “Signing the wish agreement and increasing the favorability of the dream god, are you clear about these things?”

Everyone nodded with different expressions.

Cheng Xu explained, “In this world, there are all types of nightmares such as story solving, horror escape, urban legends and even plague wars. We must figure out the theme of this nightmare and find a way to clear it. There will be methods to increase favorability during the process of clearing it. This is unknown and we need to explore it.”

“You must pay attention to your awakening value. The higher the value, the more dangerous it is. Once it reaches 90 or more, you will lose your sense of direction, judgment and desire to survive. It is game over at 100.”

The person next to Chi Nan asked, “What do you mean?”

Cheng Xu pursed his lips. “It means being cleared by the Nightmare World.”

“Ah…”

“The officials have never stated it but there is a saying among sleepwalkers that being cleared by the Nightmare World means death in the real world.”

The group shuddered and the girl who just asked the question started to cry. “If I had known there was such danger…”

Old Yu was used to such scenes and said casually, “We all came here.”

Chi Nan, who hadn’t spoken, finally opened his mouth. “What are the factors that affect the awakening value?”

Cheng Xu glanced at him. “Fear.”

He went on to explain, “In a situation of fear, the awakening value will rise. It is like normal dreams. Often when the nightmare reaches the climax, we will awaken from it. It is just that this is the Nightmare World. waking up likely means death.”

“So it is important to ensure your awakening level is in a relatively low state. No matter what, everyone has a desire to achieve. It is good to stay in this world and clear more instances.”

Cheng Xu gazed at the crowd. “What do you think is the theme of this nightmare dungeon, You Yu’s Dream?”

Chi Nan didn’t intend to express his views due to his special status. Then a young man close to him suddenly became interested. “Fu*k, I am too familiar with this topic.”

Everyone stared at this excited newcomer.

“I won’t hide it from you. Just one second before I entered this nightmare, I happened to be in You Yu’s house. This is the same mansion but 11 years ago.”

“What? This person really exist in reality? Is he still alive?” The gazes toward the young man became expectant and nervous.

Chi Nan sat beside him calmly, listening quietly.

The young man nodded. “You all know Bai Yingzhi. She was a popular female star more than a decade ago. She played the little thief in Evil Sea Crisis.”

The female white-collar worker nodded. “I know her. She was my father’s goddess and was beautiful. Unfortunately, there was an accident…”

The young man said, “Yes, I think this accident is probably the key to this nightmare.”

The young man carefully told the group about the fire tragedy that occurred in Bai Yingzhi’s house 11 years ago, her mother-son relationship with You Yu and the fact that You Yu was the only survivor. Then he got to the main point. “After this accident, this house became a holy place for supernatural adventure lovers. Before coming to the Nightmare World, I happened to be doing a supernatural live broadcast in the ghost house only to be pulled in here.”

The group was silent before the silent Chi Nan suddenly wondered, “You said you went to the ghost house. Are you the streamer Hei Cha? I like your horror videos very much.”

Chi Nan couldn’t see but he often listened to some horror live broadcasts due to his personal interests. Just now, he had felt like this young man’s voice was familiar. Then based on the profession, Chi Nan almost certainly confirmed the other person’s identity.

Hei Cha’s eyes lit up. “Yes, that’s me! I didn’t expect to meet an audience member here!”

Old Yu sighed. “Those who walk by the river will get their shoes wet. Brother, don’t go to haunted houses in the future.”

Cheng Xu saw that they were going off topic and pulled them back. “So the theme of this nightmare instance is to escape from the fire? However, this is too simple? In addition, why are we entering the dream of a living person…?”

A slightly bald man sitting in the corner suddenly spoke in a cold voice. “It isn’t that simple. I used to read the forums and I saw some netizens who study metaphysics analyzing that Bai Yingzhi burned to death because of her son You Yu.”

Cheng Xu frowned. “What is the reason?”

The slightly bald man’s voice was very cold. “You Yu was born with a natural yin constitution. He burned his entire family at the Ghost Festival 11 years ago to find a substitute for the evil spirits haunting him.”

He just finished speaking when the lights in the house flashed and it became deathly silent. Even the yellow-haired thief stopped moving and looked over in a panic.

Hei Cha shuddered. “Yes, I also found this before the live broadcast…”

Cheng Xu frowned. “A ghost instance is more difficult.”

A female newcomer sobbed and said she was most afraid of ghosts…

Hei Cha sensed the wrong atmosphere and tried to ease it. “Who knows if the things on the forum are the truth? I think…”

“There must be a reason for you who knows this legend to enter the instance.” Old Yu analyzed. “It must be an information point that needs attention.”

The group became even more silent. No one thought that their random first instance was one where a creepy evil spirit looked for a substitute.

Hei Cha suggested, “I might be a newcomer but I have a good understanding of metaphysics due to my profession. I have learned to paint some charms from a master previously. I should be able to use them…”

He said this but he hadn’t fought in real life so he had no confidence.

Chi Nan’s position was special and awkward. He didn’t intend to identify himself to these strangers. He was glad that photos of You Yu had never appeared in the media.

Just as the group felt cold and the atmosphere sank, they heard a weird sound from the corridor above their heads. It was the sound of high heels stepping on old, wooden boards. The house was too quiet so the strange knocking sound was infinitely amplified, making people feel numb.

Knock, knock, knock.

The newcomers covered their mouths and their eyes were wide with horror. Even experienced newcomers like Cheng Xu, Old Yu and An Ran stared nervously at the noisy corridor.

The sound was getting closer… once the atmosphere was stretched to the limit, a sweet female voice was heard from the second floor.

“Sorry, I was just on the phone with the director and was delayed for a while. I kept you waiting.”

The group looked in the direction of the stairs. There was a woman in a white evening dress standing on the edge of the spiral staircase, stepping down the stairs in high heels. The woman’s appearance was beautiful and refined. There was nothing lacking. The moment she appeared, everyone in the house was amazed.

The female white-collar worker couldn’t help whispering, “It’s Bai YIngzhi!”

Bai Yingzhi, the white moonlight goddess of countless people in the past who had died a tragic death. This evening, she appeared in You Yu’s dream as gracefully as before.


The author has something to say:

You Yu: Today is another day of making the little crybaby cry.

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    CiCi

    Oh my, what a cutie little cry baby haha