Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The green lawn was overflowing with life, the glittering white bones were weaving in and out of the green, the pink petunias were trembling in the middle. Shen Si was standing in the grass watching all this, a gust of wind blew over and the breeze blew up the corners of his jacket, the sunlight spilled on the ground, obviously it should be a mild picture but it looked unusually weird.
Shen Si turned his head; after not hearing Shen Si’s voice for a long time Jian Nian ran over, he went to Shen Si’s side and then saw the dead body on the ground and the rolling arm bones.
“What’s going on here? Dead?”
“Yeah.” Shen Si looked at the long bloodstain on the ground, “Should have been frightened after seeing these arm bones, accidentally rolled onto a plant full of spikes in the process of escaping, got more frightened because of the pain, and ended up here, entangled in the petunia vine.”
Jian Nian squatted down and pulled out one of the spikes from the body. The spikes weren’t long, and they were densely packed, but not so much that they could kill so quickly.
“Was scared to death?” Jian Nian spoke with some surprise, “Scared himself to death?”
“Yes, he was indeed scared to death.” A voice sounded next to Jian Nian and Shen Si, so they turned their heads to look over, and a doctor wearing a white coat came over. He was holding his arm at the elbow, blood stained his white coat, and the white on his body gave off an unusually conspicuous image.
Shen Si was shocked for a moment, “Dr. Xin?”
The man called Dr. Xin nodded, came over, and only then did Shen Si see that the blood on his hand had dripped down from his fingertips to the ground.
“Nothing, it’s just a prick.” Dr. Xin nodded, then squatted down to focus on the man’s body.
Although he wasn’t a Survivor, he was able to judge the correct situation according to the patient’s condition, and was a very respected doctor in the hospital.
“The Special Unit is very busy, but there are not too many patients in the hospital. I took a day off earlier and happened to return to the hospital at this time and got swept up in it.” Xin Tian explained in a casual tone, then stood up, “This is that dream playfield, right? I remember the Special Unit mentioning a white pillar of light connecting heaven and earth.”
Shen Si nodded, “That’s right, this is indeed a dream playfield.”
“In that case, since it’s a dream world it’s plausible for anything to appear.” Xin Tianxiang pointed to the corpse on the ground, “Make sure to avoid these thorns. One stab will make people fall into fear, the more stabs the deeper the fear. The final result will be the same as him, you will be somehow directly scared to death.”
“That means this person died not because of these skeletons but because of the thorns?” Jian Nian stood up and he looked at the white arm bones that were still in the same place.
“So far, these skeletons haven’t shown any intention to attack.” Xin TianXiang sighed, “I am also following these things behind me, and I, a doctor who believes in science, really can’t understand these things.”
Shen Si looked behind Xin TianXiang, and saw the same dense, hard to count number of bones. They looked smaller, and a bunch of blooming roses were wrapped around them.
“It’s the bones here in the neck.” Xin TianXiang explained in simpler terms, also pointed to his own neck position, “As to why they are in the rosebuds I don’t know. I believe in science.”
Xin Tian Xiang’s words just fell, when those skeletons directly rushed out through the crowd, and soon those jumping skeletons tangled together, during which broken bones were thrown out. After a short period of chaos, Xin TianXiang was visibly surprised at the sight of the bones in front of him being re-integrated together, it was his first time seeing this scene.
The spine was attached to the skull, and with the two arms holding the swaying lily head and a right leg standing next to it, it looked extraordinarily strange.
“…I was actually going to point it out.” Jian Nian frowned slightly, “Are they assembling themselves? Turning from a part into a complete skeleton or something?”
“But why would they do that?”
“How should I know? It’s not like I’m a dreamer.” Jian Nian tsked, “The last time the playfield picked me to be the dream master, it suffered a big loss, so of course they won’t pick me again this time.”
Shen Si laughed a little, “Since we can’t guess, we’d better go to the rendezvous first. Maybe then we can see the skeleton assembled fully, and we will also know which person has an obsession with the skeleton.”
There was no way around it, if they wanted to know who the owner of the dream was, then they must know the person. In the last playfield Shen Si relied on his knowledge of Jian Nian to recognize him, but to talk about understanding among a group of strangers was really hard to do.
They could only start introducing themselves to each other after they met and guess who the dream owner was.
Finding the dream owner may not be a difficult task, since they could ask each other if they were the dream owner, but even if they were not sure who it is, that wasn’t really the best solution.
The hardest thing was to wake him up with enough clues to convince him that, yes, it was you who was dreaming.
This way the owner of the dream will realize that it was he who was sleeping, and the dream playfield would enter the second stage.
After that their journey at least had no more twists and turns, and they managed to walk to the pillar of light after an hour, where several people had already gathered. Their eyes momentarily became complicated when they saw Jian Nian, also showing some regret, like they thought that Jian Nian was the least likely to become the owner of this playfield dream.
They didn’t speak, so Jian Nian also didn’t bother to talk to them. They quietly stood in place waiting for more people to arrive, and about two more hours of waiting, one of them stood up.
“It’s been so long, it looks like the only people who have come into the playfield are those present.” The man came over, “My name is Sun Yiyuan, a B-Rank Survivor. Everyone can introduce themselves, given that we simply don’t know right now who the dream master of this playfield is.”
“Doesn’t that boundary make it clear that it’s a Survivor?” A female next to him spoke up, she looked coldly at Jian Nian before moving away, “The border of the unlimited flow world, something like that has only been seen by a Survivor. Of course, I’m not smearing Survivors, but that’s a fact. My name is Li Yang, and I’m also a Survivor. “
Jian Nian smiled, “That means that one of the Survivors here is the owner of the dream?”
“Although the current clues point to that, we can’t draw a direct conclusion.” A person wearing glasses shivered a bit and spoke, “First, let’s all introduce ourselves.”
Not paying attention to the voices of the people on the scene, Shen Si stood in place and looked at the white pillar of light next to him.
He had been watching it for a long time, but still didn’t want to shift his eyes.
There was a figure in the white pillar of light. The figure was white with a faint glow, very inconspicuous, and it seemed that only an outline could be seen, which reminded Shen Si of his own previous experience in this playfield.
The white shadow based on Jian Nian’s dream had been trying to put Shen Si in a cage, was hostile to a fixed crowd, and would attack certain people.
“What are you looking at?” Jian Nian looked over at Shen Si.
“Has that thing ever come out?” Shen Si pointed to the person in the pillar of light, “The last time we went into the playfield, from the beginning the person in the pillar of light was attacking people, and while that may not have been your idea, Jian Nian, but for a playfield this should be a necessary thing. Why has it not come out until now? “
The crowd froze in unison, then looked at the person in that pillar of light, but so far the white figure inside really hasn’t come out.
“Maybe it’s because someone will die even if he doesn’t come out.” Xin Tian Xiang shook his head, “The person I met died on the road, he was scared to death. The reason was a circle of small thorns stabbed on his leg, those thorns were so small that even he didn’t notice, and after that I met you guys.”
“…Now that you mention it, we have also met dead people on the road.” Sun Yiyuan stroked his chin, with a little subtle look in his eyes, “Were they covered with thorns?”
“I’ve seen it too.” Li Yang tsked, “It should be a Survivor, and he also launched the ability to defend himself, but was stabbed like a hedgehog.”
Then came others to talk and admit that they had also met dead people on the road, and when all of them had finished reporting, they looked at each other, and an indescribable feeling welled up inside them, a feeling of coolness and surprise from the bottom of their hearts, full with awe and fear of death.
According to that count, those who died on the road because of those thorns accounted for half of their numbers.
They shivered in unison and began to rejoice that they had avoided those thorns.
“Thorns that inspire fear until they scare people to death… Does anyone have a fear of spikes or anything like that?” Shen Si looked around at the people.
“Spikes and things like that… Syringes?” Li Yang frowned, “I get dizzy from needles, so I’m very afraid of needles, and I haven’t overcome it even now.”
Everyone present was clear about the situation now. They must find the dream master, or they may die one by one, so concealing things was the worst thing they could do right now; they had to clarify as soon as possible.
“I had been nailed in the foot a month before coming in, and suffered a lot for it.” A man raised his hand to answer, “Does that count as a spike?”
“I hate cacti because I accidentally pressed my hand into a cactus when I was a child.” Sun Yiyuan reluctantly replied, “Since then I have never raised a cactus, and when I see one I’ll automatically stay away. Is that being afraid of spikes?”
There were just too many that met the conditions, so it was really a little hard to judge.
Shen Si figured that perhaps this was a playfield with real challenge. He Xin was right, the last dream playfield that had eight people alive was really too good luck.
The owner of that dream was Jian Nian, and Shen Si knew Jian Nian and Jian Nian’s obsession, so they found the owner of the dream and woke him up, relying on Jian Nian’s suppression to leave from the playfield.
Once the master of the dream was no longer Jian Nian, with these strangers around them, even if they understood the rules of this playfield they couldn’t find a way to leave.
This was the malice of the playfield.
Even if I told you how to leave, you couldn’t leave.
The people looked at each other, and concluded that there was no way to find the dreamer by this. They sighed, slightly discouraged, but just then, a creaking sound rang out, and those bones emerged from the ground, starting a great melee in front of everyone’s eyes.
They looked at the broken bones being thrown out of the melee, and all kinds of flowers being crushed on the ground. They looked at each other, all seeing doubts in the eyes of the others.
The great melee didn’t last for long, those glittering white bones kept assembling and finally managed to synthesize a complete skeleton, which stood in the lawn with the same appearance and the same flower vines, as if it was a special floral art display.
“What the hell is this?” Sun Yiyuan couldn’t help but murmur out, “There were a bunch of skeletons following me from the beginning, so I thought it was a psychic type playfield, but it turns out these things don’t do anything but follow me. What the hell were they following me for?”
“And there’s a bunch of flowers, so netherworldly to stick a bunch of flowers on things.”
“But the skeletons are complete.” Li Yang looked at the skeletons, “Although I don’t know whose dream has a pile of skeletons, if it was a puzzle game before, to put the skeletons together into a complete, then what will they do after the skeletons are complete? It can’t just be put on display here, right?”
“A dream playfield, although called dreaming, is not as illogical as a dream. It extracts the deepest obsessions of the dreamer to shape the playfield,” Li Yang looked at everyone, “Do you have any ideas when you look at this image?”
Shen Si looked at the skeletons, and after a moment he spoke, “Death?”
“Hm?” Jian Nian looked at Shen Si, “What did you say?”
“The skeletons mean death, right?” Shen Si replied calmly, “At the very least, I only feel the aura of death, so maybe that’s what the dream master wants to express: these skeletons are all dead people.”
The crowd began to talk about their own understanding, but even at the end they didn’t understand it.
For complete strangers, what they say was very subjective, each person would subconsciously embellish themselves and hide information that may be harmful to them, so it was impossible to guess a person’s past and heart in such a situation without knowing each other.
Shen Si opened the communication he had received from the Special Unit and tried to dial it out.
“This is Xia LeYu, comparing information now. Shen Si do you have any other keywords?”
“Well, please add spikes, fear, and one more thing, those bones formed into a full skeleton with flowers all over their bodies. A lot of flowers.”
Xia LeYu carefully jotted down the words, “Okay, spikes and fear as well as flowers, there seems to be a match, hold on a second, it will take a little more time to compare! I’ll call you later. When you come out, I have a little something I want to discuss with you. Remember not to leave in the first place.”
“Okay, I’ll remember.”
Xia LeYu hung up the communication to start the search. The group in the playfield shifted their gazes at Shen Si and finally Sun Yiyuan took a step to cautiously ask a question.
“Just now you contacted the Special Unit’s Deputy Team Leader Xia LeYu? That… who exactly are you?”
Shen Si looked at him, “My name is Shen Si.”
“Shen Si?” Sun Yiyuan was shocked, “The time ability person? I didn’t expect it to be you!”
“So the Special Unit got down to business a long time ago. Those organizations that were trying to recruit are afraid they’re going to despair.” Li Yang hooked up the corners of her mouth and smiled, “But it’s always more suitable to be in the Special Unit than in those disgusting organizations, isn’t it, Mr. Jian?”
Jian Nian looked at Li Yang, “I don’t care what you guys think, but you better not let me catch you making any small moves.”
“Hey, don’t get so angry, all of us want to leave alive.”
“My luck is bad, I have always known that… People I end up in a playfield with are more or less problematic,” Jian Nian didn’t care to spout his luck, “so I sometimes wonder if I could have gotten through easier by taking out everyone when the playfield first opened.”
Li Yang was shocked by his words, and she jerked to her feet, her face slightly contorted, “You!”
“What I mean is, don’t give me the chance to do that.” Jian Nian smiled as he placed his hand on his chin, his thin, pale knuckles looking extraordinarily fragile.
But everyone knew that Jian Nian’s fragility was only presented in his looks, and he was an uncompromising beast.
Li Yang tsked, “Really? But in the current situation you probably can’t kill any Survivors, because we don’t know who the dreamer is. If the person killed is the dream master, the playfield will remain. I know that Mr. Jian probably doesn’t care, but do you want Mr. Shen next to you to accompany you in the playfield for a long time?”
Completely not understanding what was going on, Shen Si reached out and tugged at Jian Nian’s coat, “Hey, what’s the matter?”
“This woman and I have a grudge.” Jian Nian and Shen Si explained, “In the last card playfield, she was my last opponent and she died after I won. I guess she left right after registering her data with the Special Unit.”
“I didn’t expect Mr. Jian to remember me, I thought a little person like me couldn’t stay in Mr. Jian’s head for a second, I’m afraid.” Li Yang smiled and stood still, “That time I admit it was me who lost, but you can’t keep me from hating you.”
“More than that, that comment just now, you seem pretty sure I won’t kill you. Do you think you’re really the dream master?”
“Yes or no it’s not up to me, it’s up to playfield.” Li Yang turned to leave, “Since the Special Unit’s Deputy Team Leader is outside investigating then let’s wait. It must be more useful than us guessing around inside anyway.”
This attitude was very subtle, and they looked at Li Yang suspiciously, thinking that she might be that dream master. Occasionally dreamers were able to realize that they were dreaming and could even make themselves wake up from the dream. If this is the case with Li Yang, it was possible.
“What Li Yang said is also right. Since there is a solution, we should wait for a while.” Sun Yiyuan smiled a little reluctantly, then he turned around and walked out, “I’ll go look around, maybe I can find some clues.”
The people around left in twos and threes, and all went to look for clues, only Shen Si and Jian Nian were left there. Shen Si was still staring up at the motionless pillar of light in the sky.
“Shen Si, who do you think is the dream master?”
Shen Si shook his head, “I don’t know.”
The probability that Li Yang was the dream master was very low. There was indeed a probability that the dream master really knew that he was dreaming, but Li Yang wasn’t some ordinary Survivor. She was able to last in the card playfield long enough to show that she was extraordinary, and if not for Jian Nian, she would’ve been the winner of that game.
Such a person wouldn’t hide the fact that she was the dream master just because of her temper.
Therefore, Li Yang was definitely not the dream master, and at the very least, Li Yang had no evidence to prove that she was the dream master.
Just then, the communication tool in Shen Si’s hand rang. Shen Si hurriedly picked up the phone, hearing Xia LeYu’s voice through the speaker.
“Is there a person named Sun Yiyuan in the playfield? After investigation we found that his situation is more in line with the keywords you said.”
“What did you say? Sun Yiyuan?” Jian Nian went over, “The Sun Yiyuan who accidentally pressed his hand on the cactus?”
“Yes, that’s him, you guys hurry up and find him.” Xia LeYu commanded while he read Shen Si the information he just learned, “We found after investigation and comparison that Sun Yiyuan is an orphan, and he was adopted by his adoptive parents, but has been abused. His mother often punished him by showing his hand on the cactus, so he carries a deep fear of the cactus thorns. Afterwards a fire broke out in Sun Yiyuan’s foster parents’ house and he was mistaken for the person who set the fire, so his foster parents threw him out of the house. Because there was no food to eat, he ate weeds and finally fainted on the side of the road after eating a poisonous plant. He was found and taken to the hospital and later was re-instated to the orphanage. Spikes, fear, and plants all match up, and we’re still comparing keywords for skeletons!”
Shen Si and Jian Nian quickly walked in the direction Sun Yiyuan had left earlier, and just a short distance away, Shen Si suddenly saw a small patch of petunia vines with pink flowers vying for attention in the middle of the weeds.
He lowered his head, and a piece of bright red blood was stuck to the weeds, so Shen Si followed the blood trail forward and finally reached the edge of the petunia vine.
The next moment, Sun Yiyuan’s fearful face appeared in front of Shen Si, his mouth opened wide, the petunia vine sticking out from his throat and one petunia flower was a little more red and colorful than the one next to it. Shen Si let go of his hand, and the petunia vine covered the body again.
“The skeleton keyword hasn’t been compared yet, but the odds are that he is the owner of the dream.” Xia LeYu was still talking.
“H’s not the dream master.” Shen Si replied in a whisper.
“Oh, he’s not the dream master, that’s great.” Xia LeYu subconsciously replied, immediately after reacting Xia LeYu jerked to his feet, “What did you say?!”
“Sun Yiyuan is not the dream master.” Shen Si stood in place and repeated what he had just said, “He’s dead.”
People have a desire to survive, except for people with self-destructive tendencies, the guys who are chosen as playfield dream masters will live peacefully until the playfield will die after all of them are killed in action. In order to ensure the normal operation of the game playfield, it will not choose people with self-destructive tendencies.
So… The dead Sun Yiyuan was not the dream master.
“Dead?” Xia LeYu sat back, “I understand. I will continue to investigate. If there are remaining keywords remember to notify me, in addition… You and Jian Nian must come out of it alive.”