Translated by lickNick of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xia Yi tried to remember, to remember when the ultraman was last seen. Some fragments of memories passed through his mind. However, despite how hard he tried to grab those fragments, those memories just slipped away from him. Suddenly, he remembered something that happened a long time ago.
That was so long ago, making him unable to judge if it had really happened or if it was only a dream. But at this precise moment, connected with all the things around him, he thought that it might have actually happened before.
When he was a child, one night, he awoke because he wanted to go to the potty. With an unclear mind, he held the ultraman beside his bed and went to the loo with eyes half-closed. When he pushed the door open to walk from his bedroom to the dining room, stretching his hand to search for the light switch on the wall, he couldn’t find anything. He only felt as if a slightest breeze of wind brush passed him, and he heard the rustling of the trees and the sounds of the bugs in the night which should not be there.
His sleepiness was blown away at once. He opened his eyes abruptly, only to find that he was not in the dining room of his house, but in a silent garden. There were trees and bushes half a man tall around him. A rockery with rough outline laid on the ground not far from him, looking horrific under the moonlight.
Xia Yi stood there wearing his teddy bear pajamas, his ultraman in his arms. He widened his pair of round eyes, observing his surroundings in shock. The shadows of the trees were all over the place, shaking under the pale white moonlight, looking like monsters ready to pound onto someone, waving their claws and showing their fangs.
The sound of the cat meowing echoed from a corner. A black cat jumped onto the top of the rockery gracefully. Its eyes were sparkling. Those eyes were fixed on Xia Yi.
Xia Yi took a few steps back, then he screamed uncontrollably. He was crying for his mother while running frantically in the garden in fear, searching for an exit. He ran past a long corridor with a wooden floor. He could hear his flippers hitting onto the wood, making tapping sounds. At the end of the road, there was a pool with an arch bridge on it. He cried out loud in the garden and ran on the curvy road. And he did not notice his ultraman, which had been in his arms all along, had already been lost somewhere.
Some footfalls rang behind him. Someone was chasing him in a hurry.
He could not recognize any of these people. They were all in gowns that he had seen in dramas.
Firstly, they looked at him in shock. Then, they pulled and checked his teddy bear pajamas. They kept calling him “young master” and picked him up to walk backwards even though he was resisting, kicking and hitting.
A sense of panic rose in him. Where were these people taking him to? He began to struggle desperately. He kicked and hit the person around him with closed eyes, calling his mom with a screeching voice.
Not until the sound of the switch clicking and the room lit up, did he hear his mother’s voice rang at the same moment anxiously, “Yi. What’s going on? Yi.” And he had been pulled into a warm hug.
He felt the blinding light, and he heard the familiar voice of his mother. He stopped crying immediately and grabbed his mother’s arm tightly, opening his eyes again. It was as if a curse had been lifted. There were no more garden, rockery, corridors and people around him. He was standing in the middle of the lit dining room.
His father walked out as well. He asked tensely as he was wearing his clothes, “What’s going on? Yi.”
“I, I wanted to go to the bathroom. And then I couldn’t turn on the light. I was standing in an unknown place. You weren’t there. Some bad people in long dresses wanted to take me away and sell me.” Xia Yi was crying and telling his story.
“Bad people in long dresses?” His father asked him, confused, stretching his arm to feel the temperature of his forehead.
“They were wearing those dresses that the people in the drama mommy watched, and they called me young master.” Xia Yi sobbed.
His parents had a quick glance at each other. Then, they held him up, “That was just a nightmare. Yi. You are at home now. Yi is such a good boy, no one would want to sell you.”
His mother patted him on the back while she was walking, “Come and sleep with mommy tonight. Alright?”
Xia Yi nodded and laid his head on his mother’s chest.
So that was a dream. There was no black cat nor bad people, and there was certainly no terrifying long corridor.
When his mind was running through his memories, Xia Yi suddenly realized that the very first time he transmigrated here when he was picking mushrooms with Zhu, he was standing on an arch bridge feeding fish. That arch bridge looked just like the one he saw when he was running in the long corridor.
There was, too, a wooden-floored corridor painted red beside the pool.
What he had seen when he was little, was the yard of the magistrate’s house.
So, the ultraman was lost on that night when he was running. It was then picked up by the Xia Yi on this side and served as his toy ever since. They had even made clothes for it.
Why would his parents lie to him and tell him that his ultraman had been stolen? What really did they know to make them hide the truth from him? His parents on either side looked exactly the same. Is this because of the fact they were parallel worlds, or… are they really his parents?
But it was not right. If they were his parents, why did they pretend to not know him? Also, they did not seem like they were faking it. With the ultraman in his hand, he stood on the spot, flabbergasted. Questions came up one by one in his mind.
Gu Wen Zhu’s hand waved in front of him all of a sudden, “Yi. What are you thinking about? You have been dazed for a long time.”
“Zhu. I think I have discovered something huge.” Xia Yi said, stupefied, his hands grabbing that ultraman tightly.
“What thing? Can you tell me?” Seeing Xia Yi’s stunned expression turned into a terrified one, Gu Wen Zhu’s face also became stern.
After some thoughts, Xia Yi pulled Gu Wen Zhu to sit on the bed together. He said, wearing a serious expression on his face, “Zhu. I just found that, I feel like, I had transmigrated to this place before when I was little. This toy is proof. And maybe, I am saying maybe, that my parents on this side are the same as my actual parents. And the Xia Yi on this side, is me myself. If the Xia Yi on this side is me myself, what happens if I transmigrate here from the farming world?”
“What happens?” Gu Wen Zhu, looking confused, having understood none of the content that Xia Yi was speaking of.
“I know what will happen.” 179’s sharp voice rang, with a hint of excitement, “Gu Wen Zhu will have two wives.”
“If this was a parallel world, there would be two Xia Yis. But ever since I arrived here, it was as if the other Xia Yi had evaporated. As for me, I just live his life in replacement of him. Say, maybe I and that Xia Yi were the same person. And when I came over, he just vanished? Or, he may have merged with me.”
Gu Wen Zhu was still looking at Xia Yi with a confused expression.
On the contrary, Xia Yi was not paying attention to him at all. He was immersed in his hypothesis. His eyes lit. He looked sure and excited.
“I am now going to ask my mother about this toy.”
After saying so, Xia Yi took the ultraman, opened the door, and dashed towards his parents’ house.
“Young master is here. Madam is still resting.” His mother was about to go to the lavatory when a loud greeting echoed from outside the door.
Then the door was pushed open. Xia Yi walked in, panting.
His father was very upset, but as soon as he saw Xia Yi this way, he could no longer be mad with him, “Do you have no manners now? You just barge into your parents’ house without informing us? I see you have been acting without manners. No wonder why you have yourself married to a man.”
When he mentioned this, he felt a pain in his heart.
Xia Yi did not do much thinking, he showed that ultraman and looked at his mother with his eyes shining, “Mother. Look at this. Do you know this? Do you remember how we get it?” His mother took the ultraman and observed it in confusion, “Isn’t this what you picked up in the yard when you were small? I wanted to throw this weird thing away, but the servants said that it was yours. So I kept it and made clothes for it.”
“Then… mother, do you remember how I was as a kid?” Xia Yi continued to ask.
“How you were as a kid? Just like that, naughty, not listening to your parents. Every time your father got so angry that he intended to beat you up, before that broom could hit you, you would cry like no tomorrow and hide in the closet. Especially there was this once you failed your exam, your teachers called your father…” Speaking of this, his mother stopped talking. She stood there with her open mouth, puzzled.
“Mother. Keep going, keep talking.” Xia Yi said with trembling lips. His voice was extremely soft, as if he was afraid his voice would interrupt his mother’s remembrance, as if he was scared that he would wake up from this beautiful dream.
Mother Xia stood blankly, with a confused and puzzled expression, “Why can’t I remember? Why can’t I remember about your childhood?”
Father Xia was mad, but he could not help but turned his head to ask in an unfriendly manner, “What are you talking about?”
“Father. Think, think about my childhood.” Xia Yi saw that his mother was still looking half-awaken, and he hurriedly asked his father.
“You still dare to ask about your childhood. You could drive people mad. Like, like…” Father Xia’s words got stuck as well, just like Mother Xia’s did. He froze. “Why am I not able to recall my son’s childhood?” After a while, Father Xia turned to his wife, asking blankly, “Do I have hysteria?”
Gu Wen Zhu sat in the room and waited for a long time. Then he heard footfalls coming from under the roof. As the door had been pushed open, Xia Yi went in with a soulless expression. He looked straight in front of him with that ultraman in his hand.
“Yi. What happened?” Gu Wen Zhu waved his hand in front of him.
Xia Yi grabbed Gu Wen Zhu’s hand, looking at him with a blank expression, “Zhu. I cannot see through this world.”
Gu Wen Zhu pulled his arm and walked towards the bed, “Didn’t you go to ask your parents? What did they say?”
Xia Yi just let Gu Wen Zhu push him down to sit on the bed like a puppet. He murmured, “Zhu. I think my parents haven’t died. No, they did die, I buried them. But, their souls came over here? And their memories have been erased? This makes no sense. Who would do such a thing?”
“179. You heard the whole thing. Can you analyze it for me?” Xia Yi seeked help from the system.
“This… Um… um…” 179 could not answer.
Xia Yi lied onto the bed heavily facing up, he said loudly with closed eyes, “Zhu. Are my parents on this side my real parents?”
Gu Wen Zhu took the ultraman from his hand and put the petite gowns on it, “Real parents or not, they are still your parents.”
Upon hearing this, Xia Yi was flabbergasted. He then stared at the head board of the bed.
After some time, he looked like he had something figured out. He opened his eyes to look at Gu Wen Zhu, satisfied, “Zhu. You are right. I don’t want to think about this anymore. No matter if they are real or not, I have parents again.”
“Yes.” Gu Wen Zhu patted his face affectionately, “You have parents again.”
Taking the ultraman with clothes on, Xia Yi put it beside the pillow, just like the old times. Then he turned, burying his face into Gu Wen Zhu’s arms, hearing his heart pounding steadily and powerfully, falling asleep in peace.