Mosaic School (4)
Chi Nan followed her gaze and saw light coming out from the crack in the door of Room 211 at the end of the corridor.
He retracted his gaze and politely thanked the female teacher, “Okay. Thank you, Teacher.”
“What are the opening hours of the school’s medical office?” Chi Nan asked again.
The female teacher was stunned in a mechanical manner, as if running some type of complicated process. She only spoke after some time. “Theoretically, it is from 9 o’clock in the morning to 6 o’clock in the afternoon. However, the doctor left a special instruction that the hours of the school’s medical office can be adjusted appropriately for students who are required to live alone.”
She changed her stiff expression and her lips curved up in a smile. “You can go there anytime. Just knock on the door. If the doctor is there, he won’t refuse you.”
Chi Nan nodded. “Thank you, I understand.”
He took the key to Room 210 and headed straight to the end of the corridor to knock on the door of Room 211.
The lights were on in the room, but no one came to open the door.
Chi Nan didn’t insist too much. He knocked three times and gave up when no one answered, returning to Room 210 to open his dormitory door.
He shivered fiercely the moment the door opened. The interior of the dormitory didn’t seem to have the heating turned on. The window on the west side wasn’t closed tightly and was blown open by the wind and snow. The shadows of the dead branches of the playground dangled against the window. At first glance, they looked like countless dry hands trying to get into the room.
Chi Nan turned on the light. The first thing he did after putting down his luggage was to close the window and isolate the knife-like wind and snow.
Even so, the temperature of the room didn’t rise much despite it being tightly closed. He quickly checked the room and confirmed that there were no heating measures before finally giving up.
Chi Nan took a hot shower and quickly slipped into the quilt. He covered himself tightly while constantly sniffing.
It seemed that he had really caught a cold. He sniffed twice and held it for a while. Finally, he reluctantly got out of the quilt to take cold medicine.
The location of his luggage was right by the window. The snow shone brightly, and the snowmen in the middle of the playground could be seen from Chi Nan’s perspective.
One, two, three…16, 17. There were 17 snowmen in the playground.
Chi Nan took out his mobile phone and zoomed in to take a photo of the snowmen. His photography skills weren’t as good as Ye Chang’s, but now there was no one to help him. He could only make do with this.
Everything was done and Chi Nan fell asleep on the bed.
It should’ve been a good night without dreams, but Chi Nan unexpectedly woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning.
It was like someone was knocking on the window. Chi Nan stuck his head out of the quilt and looked at the window. The shadow of a dead tree across the glass entered his vision.
Chi Nan watched it for a moment. There was nothing outside the window, but the snowmen on the playground seemed to be more crowded than before.
He counted in confusion. The number of snowmen had become 19.
It was impossible for a student or teacher to go to the playground in the middle of the night to build a snowman, right? Chi Nan took another photo before continuing to lie back down in the quilt.
The knocking was closer. This time, it seemed to ring in his ears.
Chi Nan carefully confirmed the position. He found that the knocking sound came from the wall next to the bed.
The opposite side of this wall was Room 211, the infirmary.
Chi Nan pressed his ear to the wall. There was no sound other than the knocking sound.
This rhythmic tapping wasn’t noisy to the ear. It was as if it was wishing him good night in a unique way.
Chi Nan blinked from under the quilt and raised his hand to knock the same rhythm on the wall. Knock, knock.
It stopped after this. Chi Nan fell asleep again due to the cold medicine and slept until dawn.
At 8:40, Chi Nan finally woke up under the endless urging of his alarm clock.
He wrapped himself in the quilt, sat up in bed, and sniffed again. He felt a bit dizzy. It seemed his cold was getting worse.
The snow outside the window stopped. The winter sun shone on the dead branches and the playground while there was a group of snowmen standing in the snow.
Chi Nan counted it. Overnight, the number of snowmen remained at 19. It was two more than before he went to bed.
The playground was quiet and peaceful as it bathed in the misty winter sun.
It was as if he wasn’t greeted by a horrific nightmare but by an everyday, campus life.
Unexpectedly, the new day began with a scream from the dormitory next door.
The scream from Room 209 shocked everyone. There was the continuous sound of doors opening and messy footsteps in the corridor as they rushed toward Room 209. Chi Nan quickly got dressed and went into the corridor.
The door of Room 209 was wide open and the strong smell of blood permeated the corridor. The scream came from the student with long, straight black hair. At this moment, she was so frightened that she rushed out of the room, fell down in the corridor, and pointed to the bed on the right side of the room. “It is broken…broken…”
Several sleepwalkers were standing in the corridor. The danger warning from the bloody smell made them not rashly approach Room 209. “What is broken? The vase? What happened?”
Last night, the long-haired student also got the ominous white flowers. Everyone naturally guessed that it was the vase she was talking about.
The long-haired student’s chattering teeth stopped and the Adam’s apple moved up and down. “My roommate…is broken!”
The boy who lived in Room 209 was called Chao He. His entire body was cut, from his head to his limbs. His body lay in the center of the bed, his head resting on the pillow while his severed limbs were draped over his torso like folded clothes. His broken body was covered with the red quilt, revealing only his head with half-closed eyes.
If it wasn’t for the long-haired student lifting the quilt, it would’ve looked like Chao He was sleeping soundly.
Chi Nan noticed that the red quilt on Chao He’s bed was very large and directly sucked up the blood gushing from his body. There was no blood dripping on the white carpet of the dormitory. It was really clean and tidy.
“What happened in your dormitory last night?” The proportion of newcomers in this nightmare was very large. The girl with the buns was the boldest of these people. She stood by the bed and observed carefully like a coroner.
The long-haired student had recovered a bit, but her face was still bloodless and she kept shaking her head. “I don’t know… It was a very ordinary night. In the morning, Chao He’s alarm kept ringing. I reminded him several times, but he ignored me. I planned to wake him up personally. Then I found that something was wrong. The smell of blood was very heavy. I thought about lifting the quilt to confirm it and…I accidentally saw this…”
Her body shook violently as she spoke.
“Last night, the female teacher gave a reminder that students who violate the school rules will be punished with death. Thinking about it carefully, it is impossible for Chao He to end up like this for no reason. We must find out the cause of his death to avoid it and prevent more victims from appearing.” The bun-haired girl lowered her voice and patiently soothed and induced the long-haired student to remember things.
However, the long-haired student couldn’t calm down and think right now. Her eyes were stunned and she kept shaking her head.
The girl with the buns sighed and looked at her in a helpless and pitying manner. “You can talk about it later. Pay attention to your awakening value.”
Chi Nan’s gaze stayed on the red quilt for a moment before he suddenly asked the long-haired student, “Did your roommate sleep peacefully at night?”
The long-haired student was even more confused. “What?”
“Does he kick the quilt, make loud or strange noises, or even have a tendency to sleepwalk at night?”
Chi Nan’s question was more specific so the long-haired student’s thoughts gathered for a moment. She forced herself to recall it, but wasn’t quite sure. “I am more alert as I sleep and I heard a sound from the opposite side several times at night. The bed creaked as if someone was turning over and there was a grinding sound like someone was stealing food… I don’t know about the other things. I’m not sure.”
Chi Nan glanced at Chao He’s broken body. This student who violated the school rules was a fat man. If he slept restlessly, then turning over would cause the bed of the dormitory to creak.
The girl with buns looked keenly at Chi Nan. “Is there anything wrong?”
Chi Nan told her, “I don’t have a red quilt in my dormitory.”
The girl frowned and shook her head. “I don’t have it in my dormitory either.”
She turned to the group. “Do any of you have a red quilt in your dormitory?”
The group shook their heads in a nervous and confused manner.
The girl with the buns had just thought of something. Before she could figure it out, her train of thought was interrupted by the sound of high heels in the corridor.
The female teacher from last night smiled brightly at everyone. “Good morning, students.”
She was followed by a cleaning aunt with a black garbage bag. The aunt consciously went to the bed on the right side of Room 209 to clean up the corpse and sheets.
Room 209 and the dormitory were silent. None of the sleepwalkers wanted to greet her.
The female teacher’s gaze shifted from the bloody corpse to the winter sun hitting the snow outside the window. “Another student has violated the school rules but I hope this won’t affect everyone’s mood. After all, today is more good weather.”
“Then please go to the cafeteria to enjoy breakfast as soon as possible. The morning class will officially start at 9:30. Please go to Classroom 103 on time.”
The female teacher gave a reminder before leaving Room 209 with the cleaning aunt.
It was already 9:05. After the bloody scene in Room 209 this morning, almost none of the students were in the mood to have breakfast.
In the empty cafeteria, there was only Chi Nan and another boy who was breaking a deep fried breadstick and dipping it in soy milk.
Chi Nan ordered glutinous rice balls and a glass of milk. He sat in a corner of the cafeteria, calculated the time, and ate slowly.
The boy who broke the deep fried breadsticks obviously noticed Chi Nan. He hesitated for a moment before wiping his oily hands with tissues and sitting down opposite Chi Nan with his breakfast plate.
“Hello,” he said, “The deep fried breadsticks in the cafeteria are fried well. I recommend them.”
Chi Nan had already confirmed that this person wasn’t 229 and didn’t intend to pay him any more attention. He just politely replied that he didn’t eat fried food for breakfast.
The other person smiled and hid the scrutiny in his eyes. “Can I ask, you aren’t the same as most people here. You are an old sleepwalker, right?”
“I’ve been through three instances before so I’m not too experienced.” Chi Nan didn’t intend to hide his experience and truthfully said it.
The boy raised an eyebrow slightly and looked over with some surprise. “You only went through three nightmares and got a pair of eyes? You are amazing.”
He didn’t know that Chi Nan actually fulfilled his wish after the first instance. Then, under the interference of someone, the favorability plummeted into a negative number after the second instance…
Chi Nan replied, “It is just good luck. Can you tell?”
It was reasonable to say that when a stranger exposed their wish exchange, most people would feel nervous or even afraid. That wasn’t the case with Chi Nan. His emotions didn’t fluctuate at all, as if the other person was recognizing the brand of his clothes.
His calmness stunned the other person.
“Yes, I can tell what other sleepwalkers have exchanged in the Nightmare World. Any item is fine.” He frankly stated his ability. “My name is Guo Xian. Last night, I wanted to invite you to live in a dormitory together. Unfortunately, you came forward to apply for a single room.”
Chi Nan also gave his name and politely said he wasn’t looking for a roommate.
Guo Xian smiled and got straight to the point. “That doesn’t matter. The main thing is that I hope to find a collaborator in this instance and find clues together, sharing experience to improve the survival rate.”
He saw that Chi Nan didn’t speak and continued, “Originally, I thought this was a place where I could fish in troubled waters. Yet, judging from the mortality rate from last night to this morning, the situation isn’t as optimistic as I expected.”
“Usually if an instance has many newcomers, it is either because the instance is too simple or the dream maker has unique recruitment needs. The number of old sleepwalkers who meet the requirements of entry are insufficient so a large number of newcomers are needed,” Guo Xian continued to explain.
Chi Nan heard this and his action of drinking milk finally paused.
Guo Xian told him, “Finding the common ground among the sleepwalkers is likely to be a breakthrough.”
Chi Nan thought for a moment. “They are all young.”
The quality of the sleepwalkers were all uneven, like the previous instances, but they were all uniform in age. They looked to be in their teens or 20s.
Guo Xian smiled. “That is just a trick. In fact, I’m over 40 years old. In your opinion, I’m an uncle, right?”
Chi Nan finally looked seriously at Guo Xian. This person looked 17 or 18 years old at most. He wasn’t at all like an uncle in his 40s.
“To tell the truth, I’ve also exchanged points for a wish and my appearance returned to 30 years old.” Guo Xian smiled and shrugged. “Therefore, age shouldn’t be the common denominator.”
Chi Nan drank the milk and nodded.
“I’ve told you all this. Can you tell me what you found in Room 209 in the morning?” Guo Xian tentatively asked. “The dream makers generally don’t make a dead end. In addition to the red quilt, the dead boy should’ve triggered other conditions, right?”
“He most likely kicked the quilt.”
Guo Xian was puzzled. “Is it the kicking the quilt that I understand?”
Chi Nan nodded. “My guess is that there won’t be an accident if the quilt covers you properly. However, if you stick out your hands, feet, or head, they will be cut off.”
Guo Xian was stunned. “…How did you guess this?”
After all, this type of thing was strange and tricky. Normal people wouldn’t be able to think about it.
Chi Nan said, “His roommate said there were noises at night. The deceased probably didn’t sleep peacefully.”
Guo Xian didn’t understand it very well. “That’s it?”
Chi Nan lowered his gaze and nodded. “I just made a guess.”
After all, the death method of sticking one’s hands and feet out of the quilt and having them cut off was the story he made up at the Dusk Cruise’s horror story gathering. Among the people who heard the story at the time, only Ye Chang could do such a thing.
Now the deceased in Room 209 recreated Chi Nan’s story…
Drawing on his story, incorporating the design into the nightmare under the condition that he would enter the nightmare…
This 229 did it intentionally.