Candleman Festival (14)
Ye Chang didn’t delay and decided on how to make the bomb as soon as possible. “These fireworks can provide ready-made gunpowder, which is much more convenient.”
“Student Ye, what did you do before entering the Nightmare World that you can even create bombs…?” Old Yu’s gaze toward Ye Chang became more and more complicated.
Ye Chang smiled and pushed up his glasses with a harmless expression. “An ordinary high school student in an ordinary school. My grades are very ordinary and I’m struggling on the repeat line.”
Old Yu: “……”
“However, there is still a problem. Even if the wall is blown up, it won’t solve the problem of cutting off the light source.” Old Yu frowned. He hadn’t encountered a nightmare that gave him such a headache before. “We can’t just transport all of the blown up wall parts to our dormitory and store them in a suitcase like Chi Nan did last night. How can there be so many suitcases?”
Even if they didn’t consider the number of suitcases, the square was almost 20 minutes away from their dormitory. This was impractical for transport. Even if it could be done, the wall was too large and covering it up wasn’t necessarily guaranteed. As long as there was uncertainty, then they would be gambling with their lives.
Chi Nan told him, “The best place with a light shielding function in the entire Candleman Town is the exhibition hall. As long as the candles inside are extinguished and the blown up parts of the wall are moved inside, then there is no need to be worried about the light source.”
“Moreover, the residents of Candleman Town are very afraid of the exhibition hall and don’t dare to step inside. It is perfect for hiding the ghost wall,” Ye Chang supplemented Chi Nan’s explanation.
Old Yu thought about it carefully and his frown instantly disappeared. He was so excited that he directly spat out the cigarette in his mouth. “Good guys, it turns out you have figured it all out. I will go explain the plan to everyone. This way, the division of labor is more efficient.”
Soon, Wu Ying and Dyson Sen of Room 109 and the young mother of Room 105 all understood the plan.
The young mother’s mood was much more stable after learning that her daughter could be saved. She carefully looked at the map that Chi Nan had previously obtained from the female foreman and used a marker pen to draw a few red circles on the ghost wall, the exhibition hall, and a nearby building. She suggested, “The distance from the ghost wall to the exhibition hall is only around 20 meters, but it isn’t easy to transport the broken wall there. There is a large supermarket near the square. We can ‘borrow’ the trolleys from the supermarket to transport the broken wall.”
Xia Wei shouted in a confused manner from his sickbed, “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Everyone looked over and Old Yu smiled. “Yes, hide your hand and don’t let the people of the town find it.”
It was 8:50 a.m. after they finished discussing the plan. It was better to take action sooner, but there was the rule about the female foreman’s roll call. There was no need to risk breaking the rules at this point, so they had to put their plan on hold for the time being and go to the production workshop to start a new day of volunteer work.
The female foreman excluded Room 101 from the list of ‘Excellent Volunteers’ candidates. “Today’s rules are the same as yesterday. If there are no volunteers whose craftsmanship is better than the two people in Room 101, we will continue to use a random draw to determine tonight’s ‘lucky ones’ from the remaining dormitory numbers.”
Chi Nan’s method of changing dormitories last night worked, so there was no nervousness on everyone’s faces today. Xia Wei, who had taken anti-fever medicine, even rolled his eyes at the female foreman.
The female foreman gave him a sharp look. “Does this gentleman have an opinion?”
Xia Wei sighed. “No, I’m looking forward to it.”
Old Yu glared at him and lowered his voice to give a warning, “Don’t be so high-profile. What if it is our turn?”
Xia Wei’s forehead wasn’t burning up at this time and he couldn’t feel his hand. Therefore, he forgot the pain and smiled. “That is very good. I can go to Brother Ye’s room to sleep.”
Old Yu was speechless: “……” This love brain couldn’t be saved.
Time passed. In order to prevent the punishment of passive sabotage, everyone perfunctorily made a candle person while waiting for the exciting plan at night.
The success or failure of clearing the dream would be determined in one go. If Chi Nan’s speculation was right, cutting off the light source would make the shadows on the ghost wall starve to death. The human wax that made up the giant candle would also melt into blood and flesh, and they would be able to successfully clear the dream.
It was just that the Candleman Festival was imminent. If the plan failed, everyone would become human wax tomorrow, their bodies and shadows dedicated to this strange town forever.
At this moment, only Ye Chang continued to carve the little candle person without any distractions. His dedicated appearance was hard to understand. It was as if he came to the Candleman Festival instance solely for the purpose of carving a candle person for Chi Nan. The so-called clearing the dream was just a matter of convenience.
“Brother Nan, I believe it won’t take long before I can give you a small candle person.” Ye Chang looked at the candle person in his hand and the corners of his lips raised in a faint curve, as if he was gently looking at the other person.
He knew that this was the last time he would make a candle person.
Chi Nan originally planned to lie on the table and get some sleep. It was just that he hadn’t fallen asleep yet. Now he cocked his head and looked at Ye Chang.
“Yes, I’m looking forward to it.”
Chi Nan had been resting his face against his arms just now, so there were a few deep and shallow red marks on Chi Nan’s face. It added a bit of life to his pale face.
“I don’t know what the shadow told you, but you don’t trust me anymore, do you?” Ye Chang pushed up his glasses. His voice was as gentle as usual and he was smiling softly.
Chi Nan kept his posture of using his arms as pillows and looked up at the other person. “Am I so obvious?”
Ye Chang smiled briefly. “It is obvious. You usually don’t seem to have any expression, but you actually aren’t very good at covering up your emotions.”
“It should be said that you aren’t good at hiding your emotions in front of me,” he added.
Chi Nan finally sat up straight and tapped on the table a few times.
He was unable to read any emotions from Ye Chang’s face, so he simply shifted his gaze to the little candle person.
The Chi Nan candle carved by Ye Chang had a teardrop streak on his face, which was exactly what he looked like when he was crying expressionlessly.
This person was all too familiar with the way he cried.
“Ye Chang, when was the first time we met?”
Chi Nan’s gaze shifted from the candle person to the mirror placed between them.
Ye Chang’s hand that was carving the candle paused slightly. “Before the Dusk Cruise Ship instance started, on the dock of Zi City.”
He stopped what he was doing, looked up, and met Chi Nan’s gaze in the mirror. “Or…do you think we have met before that?”
Chi Nan didn’t speak and Ye Chang continued talking to himself, “Speaking of which, you asked me at the time…whether we have met before. Do you remember?”
Of course. Chi Nan hadn’t forgotten that the first time he saw Ye Chang on the dock of Zi City, he felt a sense of familiarity for no reason. However, he also clearly remembered the answer given by Ye Chang.
Ye Chang said that if they had met before, he would definitely remember it. Unfortunately, he didn’t remember.
“Do you want to change the answer now?” Chi Nan asked.
Ye Chang smiled. “Who knows? Perhaps it was at Dawn Base or perhaps earlier.”
Then he turned his head and looked directly over the mirror into Chi Nan’s green eyes.
This statement clearly told Chi Nan his answer and the truth.
Chi Nan’s eyes filled with a trace of emotion, but it was fleeting. Calmness soon returned. “What is your purpose?”
His question was blunt.
Ye Chang’s lips curled up. “Believe it or not, I have never done things with a strong purpose. Everything is arbitrary and just for curiosity and fun.”
He paused before changing his tone to light-hearted ridicule. “Brother Nan, we are very similar in this regard, aren’t we?”
“Yes, this is true.” Chi Nan was honest. “So what are you curious about?”
Ye Chang stopped smiling and stared at him. “You.”
His voice was very soft. If it wasn’t for Chi Nan listening intently at this moment, he might not have heard the word ‘you.’
“Is there anything special about me?”
Ye Chang smiled again. “Brother Nan, don’t you know? There is nothing about you that isn’t special. It is too intriguing.”
Chi Nan: “……”
Ye Chang saw that this person had nothing to say and resumed being serious. “Still, don’t worry. I might have a special identity, but my purpose is the same as yours. There is no need to guard against me and you can trust me.”
Ye Chang shrugged. “It is much harder to lie than to tell the truth. I don’t need to waste my acting skills on deceiving you.”
He smiled, but his expression was serious and even a bit gloomy. “However, my shadow is different. You must not trust it.”
“I think it won’t be long before everything will have an answer. Brother Nan, you just need to wait patiently.”
Ye Chang retracted his gaze and continued to concentrate on carving his candle. Chi Nan watched him for a while before narrowing his eyes and continuing to lie down on the table to catch up on sleep.
Once the volunteer work finished, the group rushed to the central square of the town like the first wave of students rushing to the cafeteria after school. They quickly acted according to the plan.
It was just after 4 o’clock. The sky was becoming dark and there was no one in the town square. Only the candles flickered as bright as the day.
Ye Chang buried the bomb he made in the morning around the ghost wall, and the group hid in a safe area. There was the sound of several explosions and the ghost wall, which was regarded as the greatest work of art by the townspeople, shattered and collapsed. The smell of dust and gunpowder filled the empty town square. The NPC residents seemed dead and there was no movement at all.
The group sighed with relief, but they were also enveloped by the strange feeling of living in a dead town.
The Candleman Festival was just around the corner and they didn’t want to waste any more time. They didn’t have time to wait for the smoke and dust around them to dissipate. The young mother and two girls had already pushed more than a dozen shopping trolleys out of the supermarket. The bottom of the shopping trolleys were padded with leak-proof plastic film, which would ensure that they didn’t drop anything while transporting the broken wall bricks to the exhibition hall.
Soon, the group used the items prepared in the morning to clean up and move the broken bricks.
Ye Chang quickly broke into the exhibition hall with the hose from the square’s lawn. He turned on the water to the maximum and sprayed the hundreds of candles in the exhibition hall from top to bottom. He was drenched in water, while all the white candles in the exhibition hall were extinguished. This exhibition hall, which stood like a tomb in a corner of the square, fell into a strange darkness.
Old Yu moved the wreckage of the ghost wall using the shopping trolleys and joked to Chi Nan, “I’m actually very sorry about what I previously told you about doubting Student Ye. If it wasn’t for his presence this time, no one would know how to make the explosives and no one would dare to extinguish the candles. The potential of this roommate that you picked up is very good.”
“…Yes, he is very practical.”
Xia Wei used one hand to help push the trolley and he joked in order to ease his tension and fatigue, “Chi Nan, where did you pick up your roommate? I also want to pick one up.”
Ye Chang, who was also helping to move the wall, overheard this. “There was no need to pick me up. We were bound.”
Chi Nan: “……”
Just as he was about to say something, Ye Chang pushed the shopping cart full of rubble and ran toward the exhibition hall.
The seven people worked together for more than six hours. At 11 o’clock at night, they finally transported all the pieces of the wall to the exhibition hall. Everyone sighed with relief when they closed the door of the exhibition hall and completely locked the 186 shadows in darkness.
Tomorrow was the biggest festival in Candleman Town, the Candleman Festival.
If the festival wasn’t stopped in time and the giant candle burned, all the sleepwalkers would be turned to wax by the pervasive candlelight and forever remain as part of their century-old festival, welcoming their final sacrifices.
All they could do now was wait.
“Brother Nan, tonight might be our last night as roommates.”
Ye Chang stared at the extinguished candles on the ground and said in a low voice.