CNC: Chapter 17

After his soul entered You Yu’s body, Chi Nan had another dream.

The ashes disappeared from the dream and bright moonlight filled the bedroom.

Time turned back and he dreamed about when he was still in the painting.

You Yu faced the Crying Boy painting on the wall, his voice low and sweet like he was sharing a secret. “Brother, were you the person I saw in my dream last night?”

“If one day I am free, can I come to you?”

In the endless silence of the painting, Chi Nan replied to him, “I will wait for you.”

This was even though he knew that You Yu must not have heard his answer.

How long ago was this memory? Chi Nan couldn’t remember. Or perhaps it never really happened…

***

“Chi Nan? Are you awake? Hello?”

Hei Cha’s voice came from a long distance, from far to near. Chi Nan’s consciousness gradually returned.

His throat was very dry, like there was a thick layer of soot. He just wanted to open his mouth when he choked. Hei Cha hurriedly handed over a bottle of water. “Come and moisten your throat.”

Chi Nan took the water bottle. After drinking half a bottle, he felt slightly better and confirmed that he was still alive.

HE was currently in a carriage that was slowly moving forward and shaking. The cold air was filled with the smell of iron.

“What happened last night?” Chi Nan closed the lid of the water bottle and leaned his head against the leather cushion of the chair.

“Once you entered the house again, the door suddenly closed and the fire grew bigger. I was frightened but I couldn’t get in even if I wanted to. It was really unforgiving… Then after around 20 minutes, the door suddenly opened and someone took you out of the sea of fire. After that, you were unconscious until now.” Hei Cha’s tone was a bit angry as he muttered a complaint. “Old Yu and the others left. Now there are only the two of us.”

Chi Nan frowned slightly. “The person holding me… was it the young master?”

Hei Cha shook his head. “Definitely not. I couldn’t see his face but it was the figure of an adult male who was taller than you.”

He made gestures with his hands until he remembered that Chi Nan couldn’t see them. Then he felt lonely.

“What about him?”

Hei Cha shrugged. “He threw you out and disappeared.”

Chi Nan, “……”

Hei Cha asked in a concerned and curious manner, “How was it? Did you get favorability after turning back? What the hell happened? Old Yu and the rest thought you died. Everything pointed to disaster…”

Chi Nan simply told Hei Cha what happened on that night 11 years ago, only concealing the part about himself.

Hei Cha sighed after knowing the truth about You Yu’s death. “No wonder why you kept calling out ‘You Yu’ in your dream. He was killed by his own mother. This child is too sad.”

“Huh? What did I say in my dream?” Chi Nan became anxious.

“It was ‘I’m waiting for you’ or something.” Hei Cha shook his head in distress. “I couldn’t hear you clearly but it felt like you were having a nightmare.”

Chi Nan fell silent and Hei Cha continued, “After I came out of the yard with you on my back, guess what happened? Outside the iron fence was a railway station platform. There was no conductor or waiting room. There was only a shabby-looking wooden sign that had ‘You Yu’s Dream’ on it.

“The entire platform was empty and there was no one present. I couldn’t make up my mind at the time and I couldn’t find anyone to ask. I was struggling when I found there was an extra ticket in my pocket. Don’t you think this is evil?” Hei Cha recalled the scene of the desolate station late at night and couldn’t help shuddering again. “In order to make sure, I searched through your pocket without authorization. Sure enough, I found another ticket. Touch your top pocket, the one on the left.”

Chi Nan put his hand in his pocket and really touched a ticket.

Hei Cha continued, “Our tickets are the same except for the ticket number in the upper left corner. The starting station is You Yu’s Dream and the ending station is Dawn Base. I don’t know what type of ghostly place it is.”

Chi Nan asked, “What are your ticket numbers?”

“Yours is CN0000172 and mine is HC0000168.” Hei Cha had a bad memory so he took another look at the ticket to confirm it.

Chi Nan thought for a moment. “It should be our initials and the serial number in which we entered You Yu’s Dream.”

Hei Cha nodded. “I waited at the platform and after 10 minutes, the train finally entered the station. There was no one on the train… there wasn’t a driver, conductor or passengers! The moment I got on, the door closed automatically and the train started moving forward. It was scary.”

“I don’t know how long it will take to get to the station.” Hei Cha sighed. “This ghostly place doesn’t seem to be bright. The scene outside the window is dark and deserted. I can’t even see any scenery.”

Chi Nan confirmed it again. “There has always been only the two of us on the train? It didn’t stop at another station halfway?”

“No. There were no other stations and no new passengers. The system didn’t even make a sound.”

Chi Nan made an ‘oh’ sound. “Is there a soft sleeper carriage? Can I lie down if there is no one else?”

Hei Cha, “……?” Was that the main point?

Chi Nan suggested, “Let’s go look for it. The hard seat is giving me back pain. By the way, we can check if there is a dining carriage. I’m a bit hungry.”

Hei Cha’s expression was hard to explain. “It might be outrageous but… I think it is feasible.”

In any case, it was better than sitting here.

Thus, the two men walked through the swaying train. They successfully found a soft sleeper bed carriage and a dining carriage with skewers already ready.

The two hungry men had a big meal before lying down in a soft sleeper bed.

The clock turned and there was still no sign of dawn. Hei Cha was convinced that there was only night in this world, apart from the instances.

“Chi Nan, what exactly do you think is the Dawn Base?”

Hei Cha talked like it was a dormitory. After waiting a moment, Chi Nan didn’t reply. Hei Cha turned around and found that the blind man was breathing evenly and sound asleep…

There was no rotation between day and night and the passage of time became blurred.

By the time the two of them woke up again, the train had entered the station. The most prominent part of the station were the words ‘Welcome to Dawn Base.’

Dawn Base had a waiting room and staff. It looked decent. Compared to it, You Yu’s Dream was simply a rural station. There were a few people sporadically coming and going from the station and staff members leading the way. After getting off the train, Hei Cha saw other people in the waiting room.

“Old Yu! Song Yue!” Hei Cha jumped up and greeted them.

Old Yu and the others were a bit surprised when they saw Chi Nan next to Hei Cha. “You guys are pretty fast. I thought we would have to wait a long time.”

Old Yu didn’t tell the truth. In fact, they almost acquiesced to not waiting for Chi Nan.

Hei Cha yawned. “Is it fast? I feel like it took a long time. What is going on now? What is Dawn Base?”

“It is the place where the dream makers live. Dawn Base is also called Dream City. All the dream makers live here. Sleepwalkers will be sent here to calculate the results after they successfully exit from the instance. The ‘wishing wall’ where you can exchange your wish is also here. If you have enough favorability, you can exchange it directly.”

“You are so interesting. You actually waited for us.” Hei Cha grinned.

Everyone’s expressions subtly changed. Only Old Yu shrugged honestly. “There is no way. The Nightmare World stipulates that we must wait for all the people alive before the score is calculated.”

Hei Cha was just about to say something when a staff member in a black uniform came over. “You are all here. Please follow me to check your favorability.”

Old Yu nodded to the newcomers and motioned for everyone to follow the staff member. Cheng Xu looked lost as he still held onto the white sneakers.

The staff member led them to a place similar to a banquet hall. He pushed open the door and the long table was filled with steaming food. There was hot pot, barbecue, ice cream and even snail noodles. There was everything…

The newcomers were stunned when they took their seats according to the name tag on the seat and found that their favorite food was in front of them.

“It is incredible…” Hei Cha exclaimed.

Old Mo didn’t look surprised. “After ending an instance and before entering a new one, you will receive the hospitality of the dream god, the creator of this world.”

Hei Cha was still shocked. “How can the dream god know what I like to eat?”

Old Yu smiled. “After a long time, you will find that the dream god knows you better than you know yourself. It is clear about what you like and even what you fear.”

“The dream god has a conscience. If I knew this, I wouldn’t have eaten so much on the train…” Hei Cha patted his stomach ruefully.

Xu Jing looked at him. “Don’t think like this. It is Stockholm syndrome.”

Hei Cha looked helpless. He shook it off and ate until the banquet was nearing its end and a broadcast played in the banquet hall. It was the same calm voice of the system.

[First of all, congratulations to all the sleepwalkers for successfully clearing You Yu’s Dream. The following is the calculation of favorability.]

[Sleepwalkers who successfully triggered and completed the plot of the ‘audition’ are favored by the dream maker due to their outstanding acting skills. Each person’s favorability +5 points.]

[Sleepwalkers who successfully destroyed the altar and dug up the truth of the sacrifice will earn +20 points.]

[Successfully found the betrayer in the team +1 and killed the betrayer +5.]

[Jointly kill the Bai Yingzhi and the helper maid, collective favorability +20.]

[Returned to the villa after clearance to try and save You Yu. This storyline was successfully unlocked for the first time in the You Yu’s Dream instance. The dream maker will give a special reward of favorability +454.]

“F*k!” Hearing the message of +454 favorability, all the sleepwalkers including Old Yu were stunned.

Everyone looked at Chi Nan enviously and suddenly understood what Old Yu meant by ‘high risk and high returns.’

[Mr Yu has earned 41 points of favorability.]

[Cheng Xu has earned 26 points of favorability.]

[Hei Cha has earned 46 points of favorability.]

[Song Yue has earned 21 points of favorability.]

[Xu Jing has earned 21 points of favorability.]

[Chi Nan has earned 500 points of favorability.]

[The scores of the  people who disappeared from the dream instance are cleared and won’t be counted.]

Only Chi Nan looked calm. “Excuse me, is my favorability enough to redeem my wish?”

[Yes, does the sleepwalker ‘Chi Nan’ want to spend 500 favorability points to redeem your desire to ‘restore your vision’?]

[Please note that you have consumed 5 points of favorability to turn on the ‘local cooling’ system in the instance. If you redeem your desire, it will result in a negative favorability. Please choose carefully.]

“What will happen if favorability is at the negative value?”

[It will greatly increase the sleepwalker’s ‘doom value’. The probability of danger, ghosts and death in the instance will increase.]

Chi Nan nodded. “Okay, I understand.”

[Chi Nan, please make a choice now. Do you want to redeem your wish to ‘restore your vision’?]

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