Chi Nan didn’t nod or shake his head. He just said casually, “You are used to it.”
You Yu smiled. “Thank you for taking me in.”
He walked into the bedroom and laid the mattress down on the ground. “Unfortunately, my bed was recycled and now I have to sleep on the floor.”
Then he opened the closet and clicked his tongue. “They do things quite neatly. They didn’t even give me a change of clothes.”
Chi Nan opened his closet and handed the washed pajamas to You Yu. “Wear mine.”
He paused before looking up slightly. “…They might be a bit short. Don’t mind it.”
You Yu’s lips curved. “Thank you.”
“Speaking of which—” Chi Nan suddenly thought of something. “This height…is it your real height?”
You Yu thought for a moment. “No.”
Chi Nan sighed with relief and You Yu continued, “My real height is three centimeters taller than the doctor.”
Chi Nan: “……” He didn’t want to speak any longer.
You Yu opened his mouth. “If you don’t believe it, we can compare it carefully next time.”
It was obvious that this was You Yu’s body. Why was the original owner of the body half a head taller than him?
You Yu understood what this person meant and thought about it for a moment. “It is probably because you are a picky eater, so you didn’t grow taller.”
He remembered how Chi Nan carefully avoided the green vegetables in the pot when eating and secretly wanted to laugh.
Chi Nan was dumbfounded. “…You go to take a shower.”
You Yu obediently took Chi Nan’s pajamas and headed to the bathroom. He knew that this little evil spirit was going to take advantage of when he was washing up to eat sweets and shed tears.
Sure enough, once You Yu finished washing, Chi Nan had already eaten the dessert he had brought back. Chi Nan wiped the tear marks from the corners of his eyes, picked up his toiletries, and went into the bathroom.
You Yu lay on the mattress in Chi Nan’s pajamas. He could hear the sound of water from the bathroom and there was a warm, steamy, shower gel smell in the air. He closed his eyes and his mood was unexpectedly calm.
The accidental reveal of his identity on February 29th was completely different from the scene he imagined countless times. The relationship between the two of them after his identity was revealed was also very different from what he imagined.
He thought that he and Chi Nan would move toward a more dramatic and tense confrontation, but the reality was the opposite. Once it was revealed, rather than fighting words, there was a type of… illusion of a more peaceful relationship?
The little evil spirit who had occupied his body faced the original owner and showed no emotions of nervousness, fear, anger, or disgust at all.
He just casually handed over a cake, wished him happy birthday, and turned around to make the wish of ‘returning the body to its original owner.’
There was no struggle or desire for control in Chi Nan’s eyes, let alone fear. He wasn’t afraid of losing the body he was forced to possess.
You Yu also seemed to have more reasons to ‘guard’ his body. He could now watch Chi Nan’s every move both openly and secretly.
You Yu’s lips unknowingly raised when he thought of this. He didn’t know when he and Chi Nan had developed such a tacit understanding, as if they should get along like this…
Chi Nan came out of the bathroom while rubbing his hair with a dry towel. You Yu turned over and looked at him with interest. “Do you need me to help you blow dry it?”
Chi Nan’s hand paused. “No, thank you.”
“I can take care of this body myself.” Chi Nan turned, pulled out the hairdryer, and blew his hair obediently.
You Yu smiled. “I see.”
After blow drying his hair, Chi Nan turned off the lights in the room. You Yu tacitly turned on the nightlight to illuminate him.
“Why didn’t you let me exchange my wish to give this body back to its original owner?” Chi Nan lay down on the bed, turned around, and asked You Yu.
You Yu looked up at him from below. “If I wanted to get my body back, I would’ve done it myself.”
“It’s more valuable for this body to be used by you than being buried in the soil or sent to be cremated, right?”
“But…I’m not the one who rejected your wish. I don’t have such high authority,” You Yu added helplessly.
Chi Nan frowned imperceptibly and You Yu continued, “How did you lose your memory?”
Chi Nan lowered his eyes and shook his head. “I didn’t remember after waking up in your body.”
He didn’t plan to tell You Yu about the Crying Boy. Based on the fragments of memory he had seen, little You Yu once regarded him as his only friend.
Chi Nan didn’t think it was a happy thing for one’s body to be occupied by their only friend after death.
The light from the nightlight was ambiguous, and Chi Nan’s green eyes flashed.
You Yu caught his emotional fluctuations but didn’t reveal them. He just continued saying, “The person who interfered with your wish might be the dream maker of this world.”
“Have you seen him?”
“No, as far as I know, no dream maker has ever seen him.”
“Is that so…” Chi Nan’s voice grew quieter as he said, “I thought that the Nightmare World was omnipotent. I didn’t expect there would be a situation where a wish was rejected. This was a bit unexpected.”
You Yu frowned. “This situation has only happened twice. You accounted for one of them, which is unlucky.”
Chi Nan wondered, “Whose wish was it the other time?”
You Yu smiled, but had no intention of answering the question.
When You Yu initially became a dream maker, he tried to make the wish to ‘find the evil spirit painting in my bedroom,’ but the main system refused his request on the grounds that the Nightmare World couldn’t visualize his ‘illusion,’ let alone find something that never existed.
At that time, You Yu even doubted whether the evil spirit brother in the painting who talked to him in his dreams, played with him, and spent time with him was just an illusion he made in order to escape the loneliness in his childhood.
You Yu spent many years without finding any traces of the painting. At that time, he had been blind so he couldn’t describe or reproduce the appearance of the painting.
Even…later, he couldn’t be sure whether there was really a painting in his bedroom. The evil spirit brother in the painting who made him happy in his childhood might’ve been fabricated by his own subconscious.
Once the traces of someone’s existence disappeared completely, they were no different from an illusion.
“You have to be prepared. Maybe…your vanished memories are related to the entire Nightmare World, which is why your wish is so expensive.” You Yu answered a question that he hadn’t asked.
Chi Nan nodded. “Thank you for telling me this.”
“By the way, I’ll tell you something very important.”
The bedroom wasn’t big. The two of them could reach each other as long as they reached out slightly. It was just that Chi Nan had shrunk his entire body into the quilt, so You Yu hesitated for a moment. He let go of the tear drop mole and touched the tip of Chi Nan’s nose. “Your tears are very special and valuable. The next time you encounter a difficult evil spirit in a nightmare instance, you can deal with it using your tears.”
Under his touch, Chi Nan easily shed tears. His green eyes were wet and looked like beautiful stones sinking at the bottom of the river. You Yu smiled contentedly. “I did this when I was in the special room of the Dusk Cruise Ship.”
Chi Nan sniffed and You Yu continued to explain, “I made you cry and the evil spirits retreated when they saw your tears.”
Chi Nan was half-convinced. “…Thank you for informing me.”
The two of them talked for a while. Then Chi Nan’s voice grew quieter and his rate of speech slowed. Finally, he yawned. “You Yu, the next time we meet, just use your own appearance. In any case, I already know it.”
You Yu was stunned for a moment before smiling. “Yes, let’s meet like this in the nightmare. Good night.”
There was no alternating between day and night in Zi City. Chi Nan didn’t know how long he had slept, but when he woke up, he was the only one left in the apartment. The mattress on the floor of the bedroom had also been cleaned up, as if You Yu had never come.
Chi Nan sat up from the quilt and found there was a pocket watch beside his pillow.
He was stunned for a moment before he carefully picked up the pocket watch. Under the familiar watch cover were the hour and minute hands that stopped forever at 12:20.
This was You Yu’s death token.
What did You Yu mean by putting the pocket watch next to his pillow?
Chi Nan held the cold pocket watch in a daze. Then the doorbell rang again. He thought for a moment that it was You Yu returning to take back the dropped pocket watch, so he jumped out of the quilt and hurried to open the door.
“Your watch fell…”
The person standing outside the door was Hei Cha. He was completely awake now and he scratched his head with embarrassment as he told Chi Nan, “I’m sorry… I drank too much last night. I didn’t scare you with my drunkenness, right?”
Chi Nan put You Yu’s watch in his pocket. “No, you just kept crying. You didn’t do anything scary.”
Hei Cha: “……” This young master really wasn’t good at comforting people!
Hei Cha poked his head into the apartment to take a look. He confirmed that the hateful dream maker wasn’t in the room before feeling relieved. “Last night, I made a mess of your place. You’re not good at cleaning up, so I’ll come…”
“It is already cleaned up.” Chi Nan opened the door to let him in, and Hei Cha found that the apartment had a completely new look.
He blurted out a sentence, “That dream maker cleaned it up?”
“Probably. I was asleep.”
Hei Cha gazed at him deeply. “Did that guy really spend the night here last night?”
Chi Nan nodded truthfully. “What’s wrong?”
The corner of Hei Cha’s mouth twitched, but he swallowed down his words. He snorted before saying, “If that guy bullies you in the future, you must find a way to tell me. What dream maker…I’ll teach him a lesson.”
Chi Nan felt that Hei Cha was a righteous and sincere friend so he nodded obediently. “Okay, thank you.”
After saying this, Hei Cha shrugged and kept scratching his neck. “My words last night when I was drunk…about fulfilling my wish and going out… It wasn’t drunk talk. These past two days…I asked the system. It said I can only stay for a week at most after my wish is exchanged. So there are only two days left now.”
Hei Cha’s eyes turned red again as he spoke.
His wish was to be able to support himself as a streamer, so he could say goodbye to the workplace and leave his identity of a corporate drone forever.
This wish wasn’t big and could be exchanged with a few hundred favorability. He could make a living with his hobby after going out, so it should be a happy thing. However, the most unbearable thing in his life was parting. He thought about how he was likely to never see Chi Nan again, and he couldn’t control the sadness and tears.
Chi Nan was really happy for him. “Then let’s celebrate over the next two days.”
Hei Cha pursed his lips to hold back his tears and smiled in an ugly manner. “Yes, my barbecue skills are good. This time, you and Tang Yu can eat enough….”
He paused before scratching his head apologetically. “I promise I won’t drink too much this time.”
Therefore, in the next two days, the deserted Zi City’s North Third District was full of liveliness. The three people almost forgot they had come out of a nightmare instance with nine deaths and lived a fairytale-like vacation.
Hei Cha’s cooking skills became more amazing. Tang Yu silently planned to make another wish so that she wouldn’t become fat while eating. She also suggested that Hei Cha could develop in the direction of a food blogger after leaving. After all, it was easy to gain sponsorships in the food area from Party A.
Hei Cha sat on the rooftop fence while drinking iced soda. He imagined the beautiful day of returning to reality and had red eyes.
“Last time, there was an old sleepwalker. He told us that our memory of this place would be erased after leaving.” Hei Cha’s voice didn’t fluctuate like he was saying something ordinary, but his hand squeezing the soda can was tense. “If his words are true, I might not remember you. What should I do?”
It was just like dreaming. It was difficult to know when the dream started and when it broke. Many times, when they woke up, they only vaguely remembered their dream. They couldn’t remember what they dreamed about.
Tang Yu didn’t speak and Chi Nan played with the charcoal fire under the grill. “I will definitely remember. Once the time comes, I will go to you and tell you again.”
Hei Cha smiled. “You are still five figures away from your required favorability rating. When will you be able to go out?”
Chi Nan seriously calculated it. “It should be possible within ten years.”
The single dog Hei Cha muttered, “Really. My kids will be grown up by that time.”
The three of them fell silent and there was only the slight crackling sound from the charcoal fire.
Hei Cha suddenly asked, “Chi Nan, you actually…don’t want to go out?”
Chi Nan’s expression froze for a moment before he nodded. “Yes.”
Hei Cha grinned and touched his nose in a slightly overwhelmed manner. “I have always felt that you are different from us, as if you…you belong here.”
“Nor is it… I don’t know how to describe it…” Hei Cha scratched his head in a slightly irritable manner. “Forget it, you even found a partner in the Nightmare World. How can I expect you to go out?”
Chi Nan wondered, “A partner? Like in the same household book?”
Hei Cha snorted coldly, then tears fell down. He hurriedly drank the soda in his hand and threw it into the trash. “Let’s end it here. Clean up and go downstairs to sleep.”
On this night, Hei Cha didn’t sleep. He rummaged through a box of white paper that he had bought from the convenience store earlier. It wasn’t until the hour hand pointed to 6 o’clock that he stopped writing.
There was no sunrise or sunset in Zi City. It was forever sunk in the deepest part of the night, but Hei Cha knew that the next day had come and it was time for him to leave.
Hei Cha lightly opened the door of 205 and said silently to 206 and 207, “Good bye, see you later.”
He had no luggage in his hand as he waved and turned to leave this absurd city.
Once Chi Nan woke up, there was a hard cardboard box outside his door. He opened it and found it was full of handwritten talismans, some of which hadn’t dried yet. His fingers were stained red as he rummaged through them.
One by one, he touched the talismans left by Hei Cha and carefully put them in his room.
The people who left the Nightmare World never left any traces behind. Hei Cha’s dormitory was cleaned up and the door was locked in the morning.
Chi Nan gently knocked on the door of 205 and said to the dormitory that was already empty, “Thank you.”
On the same day, Chi Nan received an anonymous photo of a road that spread out infinitely through the wilderness.
On the road was a car with the license plate number EM00404.
He knew it was an invitation to the next nightmare.