CNC: Chapter 27 Part 1

The question was so tricky that Ye Chang was frozen for a moment.

Chi Nan turned his head, taking in the other person’s bewilderment as he waited for an answer.

Then half a second later, Ye Chang recovered his composure and smiled bitterly. “My degree of myopia is too high so I’m almost like a blind person when taking off my glasses. I feel so insecure that I don’t want to take them off even if I sleep.”

He deliberately emphasized the words ‘blind person.’

“I heard from Hei Cha that you couldn’t see before. Is that true?” Ye Chang changed the subject.

Chi Nan hadn’t expected Hei Cha to tell this in private to Ye Chang. He just downplayed it. “Yes, I exchanged my points for some eyes in the Nightmare World.”

Ye Chang raised his eyelids and stared deeply at Chi Nan. “It is very unique. It suits you well.”

“…Thank you.”

Chi Nan was going to turn his head and continue sleeping when Ye Chang suddenly said, “Wait a  minute. Here…”

He reached out his hand and pressed it against the corner of Chi Nan’s eye. “An eyelash almost fell into your eye.”

There was no doubt that Chi Nan would cry when touched like this.

Chi Nan was busy turning his head to wipe at his tears.

On the contrary, Ye Chang froze for a moment before making an apologetic expression. He was at a loss on what to do as he withdrew his hand. “Sorry, I forgot that you can’t be touched casually.”

“Yes… remember next time.” Chi Nan felt a little helpless toward this young man who also did things quietly.

Ye Chang nodded apologetically and said, “However, I think it is quite normal to shed tears.”

Chi Nan gave him a strange look and didn’t speak.

In his understanding, it wasn’t acceptable for men in the human world to shed tears.

He didn’t know the reason behind it but this was the case.

“I mean to not worry if you ever shed tears in front of me in the future.” Ye Chang smiled and closed his eyes. “I’m sleepy, sleepy.”

Chi Nan had no chance to refute it at all.

Chi Nan, “……”

He was too lazy to speculate on other people’s thoughts. He closed his eyes and went to sleep.

At 8 o’clock in the morning, Hei Cha knocked on the door. “Chi Nan! Ye Chang! Are you okay?”

Chi Nan woke up slowly. He was still rubbing his eyes when Ye Chang answered first. “Everything is fine. Don’t worry.”

Hei Cha outside the door breathed heavily. The worry he had been feeling all night was finally relieved slightly

Chi Nan opened the door and found that the dark circles under Hei Cha’s eyes were much thicker. It seemed he hadn’t slept at all last night.

In contrast, Chi Nan’s sleepy appearance was very enviable. Hei Cha saw the other person and his nerves relaxed instantly.

“Did something happen last night?” Chi Nan asked.

Hei Cha shook his head. “I haven’t seen it yet. It should be—”

He hadn’t finished speaking when several of the ship’s employees suddenly appeared in the corridor. They walked in unison, looking stiff. Even their facial features were so similar that people only got a vague impression of them.

They carried a white stretcher and knocked on the door of 307…

The corpse placed on the stretcher had been burned beyond recognition, leaving only a vaguely humanoid form.

The panicked looking middle-aged man walked out of 307 after the stretcher.

The moment he saw Chi Nan, Ye Chang and Hei Cha, he was surprised that they could escape from the punishment room. Then he looked in the direction of the stretcher and shook his head with a heavy expression. “The person is gone. He was burned by spontaneous combustion.”

The person who lived with him in 307 was a young corporate drone called Guo Xuan who told the story about mahjong on the first night.

According to the middle-aged man’s description, he had been tossing and turning in bed and couldn’t sleep. He and Guo Xuan had been speaking together to ease their fears and anxieties.

“At around 3:30 in the morning, Guo Xuan said he was too sleepy and he fell asleep while we were talking. I couldn’t sleep so I turned my back to him and closed my eyes.”

“At 4 o’clock, I heard a crackling sound from the bed next to me. I opened my eyes and… I saw…” The middle-aged man gulped hard, his temples wet with sweat. “My bed just happened to be facing the mirror. In the mirror, Guo Xuan on the bed was burning…”

He wasn’t a newcomer and he was much calmer compared to Wei Wei Wei yesterday. “I immediately rushed to the bathroom to collect water and poured it on Guo Xuan, but it was useless…”

“He was running around the room like a fireball. The strange thing was that the fire on his body was so big but he didn’t ignite the room. The water couldn’t extinguish the flames on his body…”

“It is like he was integrated with the fire that burned him.”

The middle-aged man carefully recalled what happened last night and the group listened in silence.

There were only seven living people standing in the banquet hall at this time. They noticed that the twin sisters and the couple who had changed rooms without permission hadn’t come out of their rooms.

In this Nightmare World, Chi Nan who didn’t feel any fear was the exception. Everyone else was so nervous that they couldn’t sleep in their rooms after the allocated time. There was only one reason why they wouldn’t show up.

Something happened to them.

“Why don’t we knock on the doors of 310 and 201?” The red-haired youth proposed.

“Let’s go.”

The group of people came to the door of 310 where the couple lived and Hei Cha knocked on the door. “Wei Wei? Brother He? How are you?”

No one responded for a long time.

There was the expected regret in everyone’s expression. The woman with a big chest was silent for a moment before saying, “It is highly probable that they are gone.”

Hei Cha suggested, “Let’s confirm it first. What if they can be rescued?”

Even after experiencing an instance of death, Hei Cha still felt awe toward life as a newcomer.

“I’ll smash open the door.” Hei Cha took a step back. He was about to raise his leg toward the door but Chi Nan stopped him.

“No need.”

“What?”

Chi Nan stopped the staff member standing at the end of the corridor. “Excuse me, can you help us open the door of 310?”

The staff member nodded stiffly. “No problem. Please wait a moment.”

Then he headed toward 310 with the key.

Hei Cha murmured, “…Oh.”

Half a minute later, the door opened.

The light of the setting sun slanted over the room. The folds of the bedding on one of the beds indicated that someone had indeed slept there last night.

There was no one in the room but the sound of water came from the bathroom.

It seemed like someone forgot to turn off the water and water overflowed from the bathtub…

Chi Nan looked in the direction of the bathroom. There was a large pool of water coming out from behind the closed door.

Everyone had a guess in their hearts.

Ah Yu of the triplets had just drowned in the bathroom yesterday. The couple would’ve never taken a bath in the bathroom so there was only one possibility.

Ye Chang and Hei Cha were the first to enter the bathroom, followed by Chi Nan.

The group gasped the moment the door opened.

The bathtub was full of water, causing it to overflow and cover the white tiles. Many black and long strands of hair floated in the water, mixing together with the blood-red light of the sunset.

The bathtub could only accommodate one person but there were two bodies floating. Their limbs were tightly intertwined together like twin babies still in their mother’s womb. They floated and never gave up their liquid environment.

It was the young couple… they both drowned in the bathtub like they died for love.

It seemed that the consequence of breaking the rule of changing rooms was to repeat the death of the last tenant. The woman with a big chest looked out the window, impatiently took out a cigarette and bit it. “So this little couple is… troublesome. One of them could’ve survived. Now…”

She shrugged and lowered her head to hide the gloominess in her eyes.

“Let’s go to 301 again.”

The atmosphere was somber and no one wanted to stare at the bodies of the lovers in the bathtub for too long.

Hei Cha made a praying gesture while Chi Nan lowered his eyes. Only Ye Chang’s eyes were hidden behind the reflective lens and it was hard to tell what he was thinking.

The group had just arrived at 301 when they saw the white stretcher carrying the body outside it. The staff member saw them coming and bowed politely. “Good morning, guests.”

Everyone, “……”

“Can I trouble you to open the door of 301 for me again? Thank you,” Chi Nan said.

The staff member nodded respectfully. “Yes, Sir. Please wait a moment.”

The middle-aged man suddenly said, “There is no need to be polite to these staff members. They have no feelings and thoughts. They are just NPCs built from strings of data and will only do things according to the procedures specified by the dream maker.”

 “I know. That’s why I think they are working very hard and probably can’t even sleep,” Chi Nan replied. 

The middle-aged man, “……”

The group of people quickly came to the door of 301. The staff member had just taken out the key to open the door when there was a click from the room. The door lock twisted counterclockwise and everyone nervously held their breath.

The lock of the door seemed stuck and it couldn’t be opened.

They weren’t sure if the thing twisting the door was a person or something else, so no one dared to act rashly.

“Who is inside?” The woman with a big chest asked.

The act of twisting the door handle became more and more irritable. It was followed by a banging on the door.

“Is it Ah Xue and Ah Qing?” The group outside the door tried to check who was trying to open the door.

However, there was no sound apart from the dull friction of iron as the door handle was twisted.

“Open the door.” Chi Nan looked at the staff member.

The middle-aged man was in a hurry. “But how do you know what is behind the door?”

“We should be able to handle it no matter what it is.” It was Ye Chang who answered.

The middle-aged man looked at the staff member inserting the key into the hole in a panic. “Don’t open it. Hey, I told you…!”

The staff member turned a blind eye to it. Perhaps he didn’t like guests who had previously been rude to him or who were now shouting at him.

There was a click as the door opened.

Ah Qing, the long ponytailed one of the triplets, rushed out and saw the surprised look of everyone in the corridor. Her legs softened as she fell directly to the ground.

The woman with a big chest looked cold but her actions were quick. She hugged the little girl and didn’t let her fall. “What happened?”

Ah Qing shivered. It wasn’t known if it was due to the fright or something else but she couldn’t make a sound. She pointed to the guest room with red eyes and her lips moved silently, as if she was saying a name.

Ah Xue.

The group rushed into the room but no one was inside. Only the radio on the bedside table was playing a strange nursery rhyme of hide and seek.

“Where are you? Where are you? Don’t hide. I can hear your breathing. I can hear your heartbeat. Did you hide in the wardrobe again? The smell of your blood is close at hand. I will find you.”

The group followed the song and looked at the huge wooden wardrobe in the corner of the guest room.

Knock, knock, knock.

It was like something was knocking on the wardrobe door in a rhythmic manner.

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