CNC: Chapter 85

Highway 404 (5)

You Yu blinked at Chi Nan, who was trapped in the character.

His gaze was both pious and pleasant. There was some type of elusive tenderness.

The character’s hand holding the knife started to tremble. Chi Nan could see the character’s expression through the reflection in the blade. His character had normal human emotions. There was hesitation, disgust, anger and… more than anything, fear.

Chi Nan was very unfamiliar with such a self and was also very curious.

The knife that You Yu handed over was extremely sharp. It obviously wasn’t used to cut a cake. The ‘victim’ had already planned things out.

“Brother, I’m ready.” You Yu’s lips curved as he looked up slightly, revealing his defenseless neck.

He was more willing to show Chi Nan the performance of the ‘death scene’ than to act OOC (out of character).

He just didn’t know what the mental activity of this little evil spirit would be. It was interesting to think about.

Through the perspective of the character, Chi Nan could see that You Yu was wearing the missing iron ring on his ring finger.

It turned out that this person had stolen the clue. Chi Nan thought about it. His character also wore the same ring on his ring finger.

There was no wind in the enclosed basement. However, the candles on the cake were burning so fiercely that they made a crackling sound.

Chi Nan’s character was already on the verge of collapse compared to You Yu’s calm seduction. Chi Nan stood up with a knife and the chain made a clanging sound along with his movements.

“You, this…pervert…!”

The character slashed at You Yu’s neck with a knife. Chi Nan might not have the freedom to control his body, but through the action of the character, he could truly feel the blade cutting through You Yu’s throat, as if he had personally done it.

Soon, blood gushed out of You Yu’s neck and exploded in a red mist that splashed the character’s body and face.

“Happy birthday, Brother.”

You Yu’s lips moved. He didn’t make a sound, but Chi Nan knew what he said.

Not long ago, he had said the same thing to You Yu.

Chi Nan, who was imprisoned in the role, also silently said, “Happy birthday.”

From beginning to end, You Yu watched Chi Nan with open eyes until his pupils dilated and lost their luster. Then Chi Nan’s reflection disappeared from his eyes.

Blood was still flying and the candles on the cake were half burned. The character stood in a daze in the pool of blood while holding the knife. He looked at his shadow reflected on the wall by the candlelight and didn’t move.

It wasn’t until You Yu’s body fell to the ground and made a noise that his scattered consciousness recovered slightly. He stared at his ring finger for a few seconds before hastily pulling off the ring, as if discarding something that had terrified him for a long time.

The ring fell to the ground with a clang and a long trail of blood moved across the ground.

***

“Chi Nan, are you awake? Are you okay?”

Jiang Yu’s voice was close at hand and Chi Nan struggled to open his eyes.

However, he sneezed before he could speak.

“…I said you would catch a cold if you fall asleep like this,” Jiang Yu told him while lighting a cigarette. Then she handed it over. “Smoke a cigarette to warm up?”

Chi Nan sniffed. “No thank you.”

The weather had cleared up at some point. The warm, dry sunlight fell on his skin and evaporated the chill that had gathered in his pores.

Jiang Yu raised the cigarette to her own mouth. “You just had a nightmare, right? What did you dream about?”

Chi Nan answered, “It is confirmed. My character killed my brother.”

They might have been mentally prepared, but Lu Baizhou and Pei Mo still sucked in a breath.

Jiang Yu nodded with a calm expression. “You have already met the person waiting for the car. The next time we encounter foggy weather, I’m afraid the deceased will enter the hotel and find you.”

Pei Mo might’ve temporarily escaped the disaster, but as long as he thought about the evil spirit that would seek revenge on him, he couldn’t calm down. He asked the driver in a hurried manner, “Can we not stay at the motel? Wouldn’t it be okay to spend the foggy weather in the car?”

The driver looked at him coldly. “No, you must go to the hotel to rest.”

Pei Mo: “……”

The driver asked him, “Do you think it is safe to stay outside? I urge you to dispel this idea as soon as possible.”

Jiang Yu advised him, “Pei Mo, don’t try to rebel against the rules.”

Pei Mo froze and stopped speaking. Then Jiang Yu turned to Chi Nan. “Are you sure you can deal with this younger brother character?”

She wasn’t worried about Chi Nan originally. Now she saw that the other person’s expression didn’t look good and she was worried.

Chi Nan pursed his lips and didn’t answer immediately. Jiang Yu added, “If there is anything I can do to help you, just open your mouth.”

“It’s okay, I just don’t want to deal with him,” Chi Nan said calmly.

Jiang Yu frowned in confusion. “What do you mean?”

Chi Nan shook his head. “Don’t worry.”

Jiang Yu felt a bit uneasy seeing him like this and gave a reminder. “Evil spirits will never be soft on us. You have to be careful.”

Chi Nan nodded in a daze. In his opinion, based on his relationship with You Yu, he was the one who was the evil spirit.

Judging from the plot of the dream memory, the script of this character was also very subtle. The younger brother imprisoned the older brother for some reason and lived as the older brother.

The relationship between the brothers was somewhat similar to his relationship with You Yu. Before entering the Nightmare World, he also lived in the real world using You Yu’s identity.

The two characters presented a state that was like a metaphor.

So You Yu would appear like Qu Yijun and kill him?

Chi Nan looked out the window in a trance and Lu Baizhou handed him a coat. “Pay attention to preventing the ultraviolet rays. Don’t be covered in bruises like Jiang Yu. It is too scary.”

Jiang Yu silently looked at the bruises on her hands that were like corpse spots and didn’t speak.

“Thank you.” Chi Nan took the coat and wrapped it around his body. He instinctively touched his neck and sure enough, there was a fiery pain. It was very uncomfortable to swallow gently.

Was it because his character had cut You Yu’s neck?

According to their previous inferences, sleepwalkers who triggered the ‘waiting for the car’ plot would have wounds similar to the victim’s as long as they were irradiated by the ultraviolet rays.

For example, the bruises on Jiang Yu’s body and the wound on his neck could all be matched.

Moreover, judging from Jiang Yu’s situation, the wounds would become more serious over time. The longer the sleepwalker stayed in the instance, the weaker they would become.

However, was it really just transferring the victim’s wounds to them?

Chi Nan frowned slightly and turned to Lu Baizhou. “Can I borrow a makeup mirror?”

“Of course.” Lu Baizhou handed him the makeup mirror.

Chi Nan looked up slightly and saw that there was a noticeable red mark on his neck in the mirror. It was just that the texture was more like the traces of a rope than a wound caused by a blade…

Maybe the changes in their bodies weren’t just a simple presentation of the victim’s wounds?

Chi Nan turned the ring on his ring finger and a bold idea suddenly popped up in his mind.

However, the cost of proving this idea was too dangerous…

Lu Baizhou saw the wound on his neck and asked, “Did you not deal with the evil spirits because you can’t do it?”

Chi Nan paused and didn’t answer immediately.

Lu Baizhou chased after him. “Is it because the brother character is someone you know? Am I correct?”

Chi Nan shook his head. “It is because I don’t have to deal with it.”

He quietly glanced at Lu Baizhou, who looked uneasy. “Your ‘victim’ is a person you know in reality, right?”

He thought that Lu Baizhou already knew the identity of the other person, but didn’t intend to tell them. This was why she repeatedly confirmed the relationship between her teammates and their victims.

Lu Baizhou’s expression was heavy and her lips were tense. She replied after a while, “I’m not sure yet. Let’s look at it again.”

Silence spread in the car before the disturbing car radio sounded again.

[Listeners and friends having a good trip, this is the weather broadcast. It is expected that for the next eight hours, the entire section of Highway 404 will usher in heavy fog. The visibility is less than five meters. Your field of view will be greatly affected. Driver friends, please drive carefully…]

The driver whistled happily. “It looks like we can rest for a while again. Today’s motel trip will be exciting.”

After hearing this, everyone looked at Chi Nan in unison. It was obvious that this trip to the motel was specially prepared for Chi Nan.

Chi Nan looked out the window at the gradually thickening white fog. He saw the neon lights floating in the fog outside the motel door and suddenly had a bit of expectations in his eyes. It was time to confirm his guess.

He noticed that there was a sign at the fork in the road outside the motel with ‘3000 km’ written on it. Chi Nan noted in his heart that they had already traveled 1000 km.

The driver hadn’t revealed from the beginning what awaited them at the end of the road.

The SUV pulled into the parking lot as it had last time. The group got out of the car and walked toward the motel in a complicated mood.

On the way, Lu Baizhou muttered, “Why does it feel similar to yesterday’s motel?”

Pei Mo murmured, “All motels should look the same…”

Before he could finish speaking, the driver pushed open the door of the motel lobby. The female boss with a familiar face turned her head in the direction of the door. “Welcome.”

The three men eating at the bar looked at them fiercely again, eyes full of hostility and disgust.

Even the black and white TV hanging on the wall was still broadcasting the news about the first anniversary of the death of the famous writer ‘The Judge’ and how fans were spontaneously going to the accident site to send flowers and candles.

The driver greeted the female owner as eagerly as he had last time. Even the conversation was almost exactly the same.

Yesterday’s motel, yesterday’s guests, and yesterday’s news.

They seemed to be trapped in a suffocating cycle on this road trip.

“What’s going on? Now this… Does it want to repeat what happened yesterday again?”

Pei Mo looked at all the familiar sights with an ashen face. He remembered the fear of watching Groundhog Day and being dominated by the infinite loop.

Chi Nan said, “It isn’t a complete repetition. Now there is only 3000 km left.”

Jiang Yu thought about it for a moment. “It seems that only the motel’s settings are similar. After all, the purpose is the same. Maybe the dream maker is too lazy to change the program.”

Based on experience, Pei Mo took the initiative to examine the gaze of the female boss this time. He listlessly said, “I hope that the remaining 3000 km of road will pass quickly. I’ve really had enough of this.”

Jiang Yu raised an eyebrow. “Do you think that as long as we survive the 4000 km journey, we will be able to pass the instance smoothly?”

Pei Mo was stunned. “Otherwise?”

He couldn’t think of another possibility and was frightened.

Jiang Yu shrugged. “Who knows? Will it really be as simple as that?”

Pei Mo’s expression was full of horror. “Don’t scare me.”

The female host looked at everyone with a smile. “The four of you, come over and check in. Save some time.”

They had to go to the front desk to complete the registration.

Chi Nan deliberately flipped to the front of the book and found that the contents of their registration yesterday had disappeared.

It was like they were staying in the motel for the first time.

To be precise, there was no difference between yesterday and today. After all, this dungeon world was the opposite of the main dream god’s world. There was only a change of weather for 24 hours a day and night didn’t come.

“Excuse me, can I change to a double room?” Chi Nan suddenly asked the female owner.

Everyone looked at him strangely. What did a double room mean? Did he still want to reserve a bed for the evil spirit who wanted to sleep?

The female owner stared at him. “Of course.”

Chi Nan wondered, “In terms of price…”

“The prices are the same for all room types. You have paid for it.” The female owner handed him the key to 216.

Chi Nan took it. “Thank you.”

He thought for a moment and asked, “By the way, is there a dagger or something like that? The sharper, the better.”

The female boss narrowed her eyes slightly and smiled. “It just so happens that the store has bought a new dagger.”

She paused before lowering her voice. “It is very sharp. It is said that it can easily cut a person’s throat.”

She pulled the dagger out of the drawer and politely pushed it horizontally in front of Chi Nan.

Everything was coincidentally just right.

Chi Nan thanked her politely again and walked to the second floor with the knife and key.

The group watched in amazement at his words and deeds. They couldn’t speak even once.

Chi Nan entered the room and undressed to take a hot bath. Then he found that he had a few more bruises on his body. It was like Jiang Yu’s body, but his bruises were much lighter.

However, You Yu hadn’t died by falling down the stairs. It stood to reason that there should be no bruises. So why did he…

Chi Nan thought about it and had some thoughts in his heart. This discovery made him feel the necessity to do more experiments.

He didn’t lock the doors and windows. He placed the dagger and remaining ring on the cabinet between the two beds. He turned off the wall lamp and closed his eyes to sleep.

It was another chaotic dream. His character stood in a pool of blood, blowing out the candles on the cake one by one. Then he took the knife that cut through You Yu’s neck, wiped off the blood stains, and cut the birthday cake that had melted.

The smell of blood and the sweetness of the cream mingled together and filled the entire enclosed basement.

Chi Nan saw that his character seemed to have lost his sanity. He buried his head in the cake and nibbled like a vicious dog, eating mechanically and awkwardly.

He started to laugh maniacally as he ate. By the end of the laugh, it was hard to tell whether he was laughing or crying.

Chi Nan woke up from this crazy laughter and sneezed before opening his eyes.

The temperature of the guest room plummeted. It was so cold that he couldn’t stop sniffing. Chi Nan knew that there was a ‘person’ who had already entered.

The sound of the jingling came from the darkness, as if someone was turning a ring on the table to relieve boredom.

The other person didn’t open his mouth and Chi Nan didn’t speak.

It wasn’t until Chi Nan’s eyes gradually adapted to the darkness that he saw a person sitting on the opposite bed. He might not be able to see the other person’s face clearly, but looking at the outline, he knew this person was You Yu in the spirit state.

You Yu suddenly pressed down on the ring that kept turning. The jingling sound stopped and he raised his head. His face was so pale that it looked abrupt and strange in the darkness.

It also allowed Chi Nan to see his appearance more clearly.

You Yu’s spirit body might be frighteningly pale, but his lips were an unusually bright red and the scarf around his head was also red. The strong contrast made him look like a vampire who had just finished eating.

Chi Nan’s gaze shifted toward You Yu and the rhythm of his heart changed slightly.

However, the expression on his face never showed the slightest emotion.

Half a minute later, Chi Nan sat up straight from the bed. He didn’t forget to wrap himself tightly with the quilt and looked as cold as ever.

“Are you here to kill me, You Yu?” Chi Nan asked with a yawn.

Proofreader: Kat

 

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Ketkai
Ketkai
23 days ago

Idk if it’s the first time or up till now it’s rare… Mc to be shaken like this OwO to feel these scenes to have some lines with reality~~ mc finally seeing ml’s (possible?) Perspective in getting his identity and body (well he did think that up till mc showed a diff reaction xD).. And the reaction and confrontation ~~

Lmao the line that this maker could be lazy with some details made me chuckle. And ml’s reaction when they both watched the ‘background-scene’ lololol

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