CNC: Chapter 51

Mosaic School (2)

In the distance, the boarding school was shrouded in snow. It stood alone against the white horizon, solemn and romantic.

The yellow light from the windows of the building reflected on the snow, easily giving people the illusion of warmth.

However, the sleepwalkers in the car knew that this warm and romantic-looking building was likely to be their grave.

The bus entered through the school’s large iron gate and slowed down as it approached the parking lot.

Chi Nan almost pressed his face to the window pane. It was the first time he had seen falling snow since regaining his vision. He wanted to remember every detail of the scenery in front of him. 

The school playground was quiet, and there were no traces on the thick snow except the wheel tracks of their bus.

It was as if the overwhelming snow had erased all signs of life.

The only scenery that made people sigh with relief and find some playfulness and interest was a row of crooked little snowmen outside the teaching building.

Chi Nan peered through the bus window and found that these snowmen were very distinctive. They had a variety of shapes including tall and short, male and female, and fat and thin. The only thing they had in common was that they all had comical carrot noses and eyes made of round stones. A red scarf symbolizing the school was neatly wrapped around their necks.

Chi Nan looked at the snowman before lowering his head and touching the scarf hanging around his neck. Finally, his eyes swept over the people in the bus to make sure that all the sleepwalkers had the same scarf.

The bus turned into the parking lot and finally stopped. The originally quiet interior suddenly became noisy.

The silent driver stopped the vehicle and stood up from the driver’s seat with a large cardboard box in his hand.

“Dear students, welcome to Dawn City…Boarding School. In the days to come, I believe you will have a memorable learning life.”

The driver paused deliberately when mentioning the name of the school. It was obvious that the dream maker had entered a program that made him skip the school’s name.

“Can I ask what the name of the instance is this time?”

The student in the front row who raised his hand to speak was a veteran sleepwalker. He noticed that the place where the name of the instance should be displayed on the system interface was covered with a thick mosaic and only showed the word ‘school.’ It was just like how the name of the school on the admission letter was covered up.

The driver smiled stiffly. “Sorry, I’m just a driver. No comment.”

Everyone: “……”

Chi Nan was already accustomed to the strange tone unique to the Nightmare World’s NPCs. It was just the first time he had entered an instance without even knowing the name of the instance.

The experienced sleepwalkers in the bus also noticed this. Several acquaintances started to discuss it in a low voice.

“The weather might be bad tonight and the snow shows no sign of stopping, but don’t worry, you students are lucky. I just happen to have a box of umbrellas in my car. Divide them among yourselves. After getting off the bus later, you can hold the umbrella to move through the playground and enter the dormitory area.”

Then the driver distributed the long-handled red umbrellas in the cardboard box to the sleepwalkers in the vehicle. “It is too cold at night here. You will catch a cold if you are covered in snow. I hope I can help you and I hope you can protect yourself.”

In the front row, there was a boy who looked like a gangster. His hair was dyed green and he was smoking in the vehicle. He held the red umbrella in his hand and laughed with disgust. “Teacher, is there any other color? It is too ladylike for a big man like me to use.”

The green-haired boy’s words quickly attracted the attention of the entire vehicle. Such high-profile words and actions meant he was either a newcomer or bigshot.

They saw the driver stiffly raise the corners of his lips. “Sorry, there is only one type of umbrella in the vehicle.

The green-haired boy threw the red umbrella on the ground in front of the NPC, crossed his legs, and said rudely, “Then forget it. It is really humiliating for a big man like me to cover myself with a red umbrella on a snowy day.”

The driver watched him for a moment before rolling his eyes and turning to the other sleepwalkers with the box.

The two sleepwalkers in front of Chi Nan obviously knew each other. One of them said, “I bet that green-haired boy is a cannon fodder newcomer.”

His companion sighed. “Don’t gamble. Who would bet with you about something like this when the answer is obvious with one glance? A bigshot won’t be so arrogant even if they have the ability. Only the newcomers would be so ignorant and impolite.”

Due to the green-haired boy’s behavior, several newcomer boys in the bus were also confused as they held the red umbrella. Under the influence of these words, their politeness and obedience became ‘feminine.’

Only Chi Nan held the red umbrella like it was a treasure. It was because the fabric of this umbrella was very comfortable to touch. It was soft, delicate, and elastic. It was still hot after being heated for a long time, like human skin. However, it didn’t give him the urge to shed tears. He just used it for warmth.

He also didn’t understand why someone used unrelated things like colors and objects to label themselves and others.

The student who was sitting next to Chi Nan had long, straight black hair. She held the umbrella in her hand like it was very precious and she said while staring at the delicate umbrella, “It is really beautiful.”

The sincerity in her tone could be heard. She showed a real sense of appreciation for the workmanship of this umbrella.

The driver finished distributing the red umbrellas and stood at the front of the vehicle to bow to the crowd. “The specific enrollment rules and regulations will be explained later by a teacher. My work is over. I wish you good luck and a good night to all the students.”

Then he opened the doors and held up the umbrella. His figure disappeared into the vast snow.

Cold wind and snow swept into the car from the open doors. The temperature plummeted and the sleepwalkers left in the bus were a bit confused.

“What is this? They want to let us stay in the bus and wait?” The green-haired boy and his companion were obviously very impatient. “This vehicle is making my waist and legs hurt. It is better to go down into the snow to walk around and move my muscles and bones.”

The experienced sleepwalkers saw him rushing to death and couldn’t help giving a reminder. “Don’t go out first. The driver just now said that a teacher will be coming. Be patient and wait.”

The green-haired boy sneered. “Unfortunately, what I lack the most is patience.”

Then, the green-haired boy and the blue-haired boy beside him put on their coats and gestured to get out and have a snowball fight.

Someone whispered, “It is ridiculous that someone is coming for a winter camp.”

The student with long hair beside Chi Nan leaned forward and said, “Wait a minute. At least bring the umbrellas with you? The driver said he hoped we would protect ourselves. Perhaps this is a tip?”

The blue-haired boy burst out laughing and patted the green-haired boy’s head. “That perverted little girl wants to see you red and green, right?”

The green-haired boy spat out the cigarette in his mouth and rolled his eyes at the student with long black hair who spoke. “Go away. Who is as timid as you?”

The long-haired student, who gave a kind reminder but was scolded as a pervert, turned pale and bit her lip. The green-haired and blue-haired boys got out of the bus in a hurry and really played around in the snow. 

“Let these rude guys fend for themselves. They won’t be able to hold on.” A girl in the front row with two buns on her head leaned back with her arms crossed, comforting the long-haired student who had been slandered by her two impolite classmates. She was biting a lollipop, but she gave people the impression that she was a big sister who smoked.

The long-haired student bit her lip again. Her pale face was a bit red due to the humiliation just now and her voice sounded like a mosquito. “These two are my real-life classmates.”

“I know them. These two bast*ards secretly took photos of girls and posted them on the school forum.”

“Well…they also cut off the hair of female classmates.”

The girl with two buns sighed disdainfully and looked at the long-haired student. “I also remember you. You are from the third class next door who used to run to the men’s bathroom.”

The long-haired student was obviously stunned and lowered her head to hide the expression on her face. “Yes, it is me…”

She instinctively grabbed at the corner of her clothes. It wasn’t known if it was due to embarrassment or some other emotion, but even her ears were red.

The girl with two buns didn’t laugh at her and said truthfully, “I think that you will soon be able to say goodbye to these two nasty classmates forever.”

The moment she finished speaking, there was an extra red umbrella in the white snow of the playground. The umbrella got closer and the sleepwalkers in the bus pressed against the window. They saw it was a female teacher who was walking toward them.

Chi Nan also paid special attention to her until he was sure that 229 wasn’t bad enough to pretend to be a female teacher.

“Dear students, please bring your belongings and umbrellas to the playground to assemble. It is late and we will first allocate the rooms for tonight’s stay.” She stepped into the bus, passing by the green-haired and blue-haired youths in the snow. It was as if they were already dead people and weren’t about to enter the school.

Hearing this, the group packed up their belongings and got out of the bus. Chi Nan pulled the collar of this school uniform tight. He wasn’t in good health and it was easier for him to become cold than the average person. His fingers were frozen stiff at the moment.

Soon, the snow-covered playground late at night had a row of students holding red umbrellas.

Chi Nan used to rarely observe his teammates because he wasn’t interested, but he was extra attentive this time.

His gaze swept over the group from left to right. The faces wearing the school uniforms were momentarily absorbed into his eyes. It took less than half a minute to determine that 229 wasn’t mixed in with the sleepwalkers using another identity like Ye Chang.

To be present, no one present could give him the familiarity at first sight like what happened in the Dusk Cruise instance.

Chi Nan lowered his eyes and the corners of his lips were imperceptibly pulled down.

Everyone shivered to keep out the cold and a few girls whispered, “Why can’t we allocate dormitories inside? It is too cold.”

“Yes, it is so cold that I can’t keep my mind clear.” Their teeth were chattering as they spoke due to the coldness.

The female teacher waited for them to be completely quiet before speaking.

“There are 19 students who came to our boarding school today. The dormitory contains double rooms so one of the students is going to sleep by themselves tonight.”

Then the female teacher with red lips looked from left to right at the 19 sleepwalkers who were shivering with cold. “We just happen to have nine girls and 10 boys. It seems that a female student will have to live by herself.”

The girls holding the red umbrellas had different expressions as they suddenly became the objects of observation and scrutiny.

In the Nightmare World, living alone, especially in this seemingly dream maker-designed scenario, often represented an unknown danger.

On a very cold snowy night, the atmosphere in the playground suddenly fell to the freezing point. The long-haired student who was sitting next to Chi Nan just now carefully raised her hand.

“That, my situation is a bit special… That…” Her voice was still small, and one had to listen carefully to hear it in the open playground.

The female teacher glanced at her. “Does this female student have anything to say?”

The long-haired student’s face was red from the cold. Before she could move her lips to make a sound, she was interrupted by the laughter of the green-haired boy. “Teacher, this guy is a pseudo-woman who likes dressing in female clothing. If you don’t believe it, you can take off his pants to see. His chicken isn’t small hahaha.”

“It won’t be fair to all the girls if you count him as a girl, right?” The blue-haired boy whistled frivolously.

The NPC female teacher didn’t seem to understand the female clothing fet*ish mentioned by their and looked at the long-haired student in confusion. “That… I’m not a pervert… I’m just transgender… The accommodation might not be very convenient. If there is a male dormitory…”

“Teacher, even if he is transgender, his biological sex is male right? In this way, there are eight girls and 11 boys. It is a boy who will have to live alone!”

“Yes, we have an even number of girls and it is just right for the dormitory.”

The girls standing in the snow started to look for their roommate. The long-haired student consciously moved to the side, trying not to cause trouble for others.

The girl with two buns looked at him and hesitated. However, she eventually gave up the idea of being roommates with the long-haired student at the invitation of the girl with a ponytail next to her.

She didn’t mind the other person’s biological gender and sympathized with her situation, but if she chose this person as a roommate, there would be a girl who would be unlucky due to her choice.

Yet after knowing that the long-haired student was transgender, the boys weren’t happy. “This isn’t fair. Transgender girls feel like they are girls, right? It isn’t convenient for us boys to live with her…”

“Yes, as far as I know, transgender people should be considered based on their psychological sex, regardless of their biological sex…”

The playground suddenly became lively. The female student didn’t speak and just held up the umbrella like a statue, waiting for the students to determine the results themselves.

“I am causing trouble for everyone. I can…” The long-haired student raised her hand weakly, but everyone was arguing too fiercely and her voice was too low. No one noticed her actions.

The tips of Chi Nan’s fingers holding the umbrella turned red. His face was so frozen that he almost lost consciousness, but in the end, he still politely asked the female teacher, “Can I apply to live on my own?”

The moment he spoke, the noisy crowd immediately fell silent. They looked at him in disbelief and carefully examined the quiet boy again.

Those who dared to stand out at this juncture were either idiots or unfathomable bigshots. They couldn’t guess which one Chi Nan was.

Chi Nan wasn’t as complicated as they thought. He was just used to living alone so that it was convenient to cry.

Not everyone could accept his tearful behavior as Ye Chang did.

Maybe in this life, he could only have Ye Chang as a roommate…

The female teacher looked over at Chi Nan. “Of course. This way, we can save a lot of time allocating the rooms and you can rest early to prepare for tomorrow’s lessons.”

Chi Nan nodded. “Then I will trouble you to arrange it.”

The problem of the extra student was solved and the remaining 18 sleepwalkers quickly had rooms allocated. The group could finally leave the snowy playground and go to the school lobby.

The long-haired student apologized to Chi Nan. “I’m really sorry. It was all because of me…”

Chi Nan didn’t quite understand the apology and didn’t know where this person was wrong, so he said reasonably, “I’m just not used to living with strangers.”

The heavy doors kept out the wind and snow, while the fireplace in the lobby burned vigorously. The place was as warm as spring.

The group sighed with relief when they entered and warmth returned to their originally stiff limbs. Everyone consciously put away their umbrellas and changed their shoes.

Chi Nan raised his eyes and took a quick look. The place they were in now wasn’t so much a school lobby as it was a large villa with very stylish decorations. In other words, it was a family-style student dormitory apartment.

The floor was also covered with carpet that looked white, soft, and expensive.

“All students can put their umbrellas in the umbrella rack in the corridor. The cleaning aunt has just cleaned the school building. Try not to increase her workload,” the female teacher reminded.

The moment she finished speaking, a girl’s scream came from the crowd. “Blood, there is a lot of blood on the ground… W-whose blood… Did anyone get hurt?”

Her voice grew louder and louder, trembling so much that she could barely utter a sentence.

Everyone instinctively tensed when they heard this. They followed the girl’s gaze and saw several dripping blood stains.

The white velvet carpet on the ground was extremely absorbent. The string of blood instantly seeped into the fibers onto the spotless white carpet. It looked like plums on a snow field.

Screams rang out one after another, breaking through the warm tranquility of the school building.

The female teacher lowered her chin slightly and pressed her index finger to her lips. “Shh, don’t make noise in the school building. Please keep quiet.”

A few newcomers were frightened, but they also knew the rules from the seniors. They couldn’t easily disobey the rules and orders issued by the NPCs, so they could only suppress their fears and cover their mouths with their hands in order to keep from making a sound.

Chi Nan looked down and found that the blood stains extended all the way from the gate to his feet. Due to the temperature in the room increasing, the snow on his umbrella started to melt. The water from the snow dripped down one drop at a time and the carpet swallowed the sound of dripping water.

Yet if he looked closely, he would find that the snow water flowing from the umbrella was red.

“Blood dripped from the umbrella.”

One of the boys touched the umbrella’s wet surface and frowned at the scarlet color on his fingers. He put his hand to his nose and sniffed. A fishy smell rushed to his nose. “It is really blood. I just don’t know what creature it came from.”

Proofreader: Kat

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