Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
A past that cannot be changed, a future that cannot be changed. In more than a hundred years, nothing had been accomplished.
Shen Si stood up, his wrist was strangled by the flower vine scars, crimson as if it was about to drip blood. The butterflies in the air were fluttering restlessly, while his face was silent, and his eyes hollow as if another stimulation would make it flow tears. The white figure was still laughing maniacally as it spun around Shen Si. It couldn’t wait for Shen Si to cry now.
The more the dream master suffered, the stronger the playfield would be, and the more people would die.
“More pain!” The white figure howled, “Your nightmares are fantastic!”
“Shut up.” Shen Si murmured.
“Deny it! The more you deny it, the more you’ll fall apart!”
Shen Si looked up at it, “I told you to shut up.”
The clock floated in the air, the piece of clock that had broken in general was still playing its role as a clock, the hands were swinging with the time, like a disabled person trying to walk upright, let people look at it and shout out inspiration.
“What?!” The white figure paused sharply, “Why are you still able to use your abilities?!”
“Because I’ve never denied it.” Shen Si snapped his fingers and there was a tick, as the dial of the clock was cracked with a line again, but the second hand stopped and the whole playfield time was suspended straight away.
Shen Si lowered his hand, looked around, and the butterflies disappeared from him, as if they had never existed.
“I have long known myself, criticized myself, accepted myself, so I don’t need to look inside myself at all. I admit to my own incompetence, to my own failure, and to the fact that I have not found any decent solution after all this time.” Shen Si crossed the white figure, “I accept all this, there will be no pain in the dream because it is a dream after all, and when you wake up, it will be fine.”
A gust of wind blew over, rustling Shen Si’s clothes directly, and the space was blown away by the wind, like powder.
Time moved forward again, and Shen Si stepped out of this space. After a white light he was confronted with a fantasy world.
Twisted space, red flowers all over the ground and himself floating in the air.
Jian Nian stood on the ground, looking at the white figure in the air as his pupils contracted violently.
“Shen Si?” Jian Nian ran over. He quickly recognized that the person floating in the air was no longer the incarnation of malice, but Shen Si himself, “Shen Si!”
The flowering vine that pierced the heart withered, its remnants dangling from Shen Si’s wrist, and the spikes fell off his fingers and landed on the ground without much sound. The skeleton fell with a thud, staring at Shen Si, and after a few seconds the whole skeleton scattered, the parts re-buried into the earth.
Finally, the butterfly wings.
The wings were shrinking into a butterfly in Jian Nian’s sight. The butterfly flew off Shen Si’s shoulder and flew toward the bright blue sky.
The white shadow disappeared as if it had been torn apart, leaving only Shen Si’s figure in its place. Shen Si looked around, his dark eyes carrying an indistinct feeling.
But Jian Nian couldn’t care less.
He quickly rushed over and hugged Shen Si tightly before he could react. Shen Si felt the force of Jian Nian’s hug, and after a moment he smiled and reached up to put his arms around him.
It was a long overdue hug, and a most meaningful one.
“It’s okay, it’s already okay.” Shen Si whispered to comfort Jian Nian, “Don’t worry.”
“How can I not worry?” Jian Nian hugged Shen Si hard, his fingers were trembling, his pale fingers almost wringing blood from too much force, “You never talk to me about anything, so I can’t even guess when things happen. In the end I can do nothing except believe in you. Shen Si, did you really wake up from your sleep? “
“Yes, I’m awake. There is no time like the present.” Shen Si replied.
The flowers beneath his feet were withering, and those bright red flowers rapidly wilting, the surrounding area turning into a wasteland, into nothing, hollow to the extreme.
“How did you do it?”
“As long as you don’t think about anything and don’t care about anything, this playfield has no effect.” Shen Si’s voice was calm, his tone light, as if this reallywas just a very ordinary method, “You won’t feel that the spikes are scary, and you’ll no longer be disgusted with flowers. Everything in the past will lose its significance, and like that, the playfield will be ineffective.”
As if catering to Shen Si’s words, the playfield crumbled little by little, like a colorful bubble, releasing its only colored light at the end.
The bubble would eventually shatter, and when Jian Nian looked up, all he saw was the dissolution of that bubble, and the playfield disappearing, and they returned to the real world.
The real world wasn’t much better than the playfield.
Jian Nian saw the world full of red flowers, and after surveying his surroundings, he looked at Shen Si. After Shen Si nodded they went to the side of the fallen Xin Tianxiang, testing his breath to make sure he was still alive, then Jian Nian stepped on the pile of flowers and carried the man.
“Let’s go to the Special Unit.”
“Hmm.” Shen Si nodded, “With so many flowers, it looks like the Special Unit is really going to have a headache.”
They tacitly didn’t bring up what happened before, whether it was Shen Si’s possible time reset or Jian Nian’s thoughts on the matter, they moved forward as if they didn’t know anything and didn’t intend to pierce the window at this time.
Just as Shen Si went backwards in time twice and still couldn’t save his parents, twenty years backwards in time, Shen Si also couldn’t save the world.
Jian Nian wasn’t ready to reveal his scars.
The Special Unit should have carried out emergency evacuation, and the roads were completely empty. Some blood could occasionally be seen, but no crazy people appeared, and the spirit system playfield flowers opened completely differently in the real world. In the case of people who could move normally, the Special Unit’s action was still very effective.
Although it was very difficult, they could still hold on.
Xin Tianxiang was awakened by the lack of air, and he felt like his whole body was suffocating. When he opened his eyes, there was only the color red in front of him, almost making him feel like he had entered hell.
“Cough.” Xin Tian Xiang coughed, but his voice was very muffled.
“You’re awake?” Jian Nian, who was carrying Xin Tianxiang, spoke, “I suggest you don’t take the thing off your nose, it’s a little hard to breathe, but it’s better than going crazy.”
Xin Tianxiang endured his dizziness for a while before he recognized Jian Nian, then he turned his head to look next to him. Shen Si was walking next to him, looking normal and didn’t look like he was controlled by the playfield, so he waiting a while before speaking.
“We left the playfield?”
“Mn, we’re in the real world now.” Shen Si responded, “I really didn’t expect that I would be chosen to be the master of the dream, I’m really sorry.”
Xin Tianxiang pressed his temples. His whole body had little strength and his hands and feet were uncomfortably weak.
Even after waking up from the coma, Xin Tianxiang still couldn’t forget what he felt before in the playfield. Even a slight thought of that kind of unexplained fear made him break out in goosebumps. In that extreme panic, his whole body was emitting a violent alarm, full of pain.
He didn’t want to experience that feeling a second time.
“Where do we go now?” Xin Tianxiang asked, enduring his headache and breathing difficulties.
“Back to the Special Unit,” Jian Nian’s voice was calm, “to find a solution to the problem.”
When Shen Si and Jian Nian finally stepped on the ground, there were members of the Special Unit with gas masks patrolling the area, and when they saw Shen Si, one of them approached them.
“Survivors of the escape?” The man spoke, then he paused for a moment, “You guys look familiar.”
“This is Dr. Xin Tianxiang from the Special Unit’s hospital.” Jian Nian put Xin Tianxiang down and supported the man who was about to fall to the ground, “I’m Jian Nian.”
“Jian Nian?!” The man was shocked for a moment, before he hurriedly ran back and asked his colleagues to hurry over to hold Xin Tianxiang, then he hurriedly sent a message to the headquarters.
Jian Nian, the most powerful S-Rank Survivor! Last they heard he was trapped in a playfield, but unexpectedly he was able to leave, and even found his way here. And that person beside him was Shen Si! If they were there, they might really find a way to save them!
“Hello headquarters! This is Patrol Team A. We found three people within the headquarters area. It’s Jian Nian, Shen Si and Doctor Xin Tianxiang from the Special Unit’s hospital!”
“Jian Nian and Shen Si?!” Ning Yangze stood up, “I got it, bring them back immediately! Dr. Xin needs to be rushed to the hospital. He is an ordinary person, so he has little resistance to these flowers, and needs to be observed in isolation.”
And just like that, Xin Tianxiang, who had not recovered yet, was sent to the hospital, and Shen Si and Jian Nian followed the squad into the Special Unit headquarters. Jian Nian paused in his steps when he walked into the doorway, looked at Shen Si with a little indefinable meaning in his eyes, and only after Shen Si looked over did he speak in a whisper.
“Shen Si, remember to tell me if something happens.” Jian Nian’s voice was very low, as if he was talking to himself, “Don’t take the liberty of carrying something unnecessary on your own.”
Shen Si looked at him, and after a moment he smiled with a gentle smile, like nothing had happened. “Don’t worry, remember what I said? Even the future can be changed if you work hard! This effort is not without end.”
Shen Si stretched and closed his eyes, feeling the non-existent sunlight, and his whole body looked relaxed.
“I’m not going backwards in time, nor am I going to change anyone’s fate. Let bygones be bygones, it’s really tiring to make yourself into a butterfly.”
Jian Nian looked at him, “Really?”
“Mn, really.” Shen Si withdrew his hand, “After sleeping and having a dream, I am more and more awake.”
And the so-called lucidity was to understand what you should do and what you shouldn’t do.
Shen Si and Jian Nian walked to the Special Unit office only to hear the sound of very loud alarms. These alarms were louder than anything else, and the people inside were constantly checking the time, so even if someone pushed the door, they wouldn’t have noticed.
Looking at the busy people, Shen Si knocked on the door, and the knocking wasn’t covered by the sound of the alarm, and finally attracted the attention of some people. Xia LeYu looked up, and in the moment he saw Shen Si he heaved a breath, like he wanted to exhale all the depression of the heart. He put down the things in his hand and waved at them. “Hurry up and come in.”
“First find a seat. We still have things we’re working on, so I’ll ask you about the playfield later.” He Xin spoke while testing the data, and his eyes didn’t even leave the instrument as he spoke, “I heard Xia LeYu say that the dream master chosen by playfield this time was Shen Si?”
“This playfield, as always, will not choose the host.” He Xin tsked, and it wasn’t clear whether he was sighing or thankful, “But that’s good. Because you were chosen, you could come out alive.”
Afterwards, the headquarters was constantly working on solving problems. Before, the mass production of herbicide was spread in the field, but the amount was still not enough. They could only be distributed to create a shelter area without flowers and then send the Special Unit and police to manage. Although it was really busy, even with the playfield, it wasn’t completely out of control.
The sirens finally stopped sounding later during the day. They were relieved, and finally had a chance to talk to Shen Si and Jian Nian who had returned.
It was also at this time that they found that only Jian Nian was sitting in the office, and Shen Si’s figure was nowhere to be found.
“Shen Si is outside.” Jian Nian spoke, leaning back quietly in his chair, “You guys are too busy, so he went out for some air. He’s probably in the corridor.”
Xia LeYu nodded, greeted the people in the room and walked out. It looked like he went to find Shen Si, so the only people left in the room were Ning Yangze and Jian Nian. The Inspection Unit people ran out because they detected incorrect data, and they haven’t come back yet.
Ning Yangze got up and poured two cups of water in a paper cup, then handed one of them to Jian Nian and finished the other one in one gulp.
After swallowing the water in his mouth Ning Yangze exhaled and smiled at Jian Nian, “Congratulations on leaving another playfield alive.”
“Of course I’ll get out alive.” Jian Nian took a sip of water, “Have you found a way to slow down the assimilation?”
“Not yet.” Ning Yangze sat on the table, looked up at the night outside the window, and then sighed, “He Xin said there are only three days left before assimilation. No… it’s already dark, it should only be two and a half days, and there is still no solution that works well enough.”
“You can only sit and wait for death?”
“No one wants that, so we’re all still trying.” Ning Yangze gave a bitter laugh, “This situation is indeed very difficult. As long as there’s land, there are flowers, and even the drinking water contains some strange substances. People can’t live in the sky, and can’t live in the sea, so we can’t hold out for long in the first place.”
Jian Nian clutched the paper cup in his hand. The warm water in the cup was clear and transparent without the slightest impurity, and this was probably the only clean water left in the Special Unit.
“I heard Xia LeYu say Shen Si had turned back time?” Ning Yangze picked up another topic, “Not a moment, but twenty years?”
Jian Nian didn’t say anything, but his silence was tantamount to acquiescence, and Ning Yangze sighed in the silence. He didn’t know what to say to that either.
It looked like Shen Si experienced the last timeline where they also couldn’t stop this from happening, and only then would Shen Si finally choose to rewind the whole world back in time, bringing the world back to when nothing happened to find a solution to this dilemma.
It must have been a very difficult decision to make, with only one person knowing the future of the world.
“What about him now?” Ning Yangze asked, referring to Shen Si, who must be frustrated to have reversed time but the world still looked like this.
“Very normal.” Jian Nian replied.
Ning Yangze froze slightly, and after a moment he repeated Jian Nian’s words, “Very normal?”
“Mn, indeed normal, as if nothing has happened.” Jian Nian put the paper cup in his hand on the table, “He seemed quite relaxed and not sad at all. And when he came out of the playfield he told me that he wouldn’t be sad as long as he let go of the past. He also said he wouldn’t rewind time anymore, and that he was clear-minded. But… I don’t think he’ll give up so easily.” Jian Nian clenched his hands so tightly, that the tips of his fingers turned white, “He never fails to do what he wants to do, so he hates fate. Even his own dummy could rebel against fate to that extent.”
Ning Yangze was silently sitting in place, and a moment later he let out a short chuckle, “Let Xia LeYi worry about this matter. Our worry is useless, since he has the ability of time, and can manipulate time is his own way. You have said that there is never a time when he can’t do what he wants to do, so trust him a little more this time too.”
Jian Nian didn’t say anything, only he closed his eyes as if he was resting them.
If this incident was put to rest, he will punch Shen Si hard, and then hug him hard never to let go again.
And so that’s the plan.
When Xia LeYu left the office, he saw Shen Si standing at the window, and the window in front of him was opened a small gap. The wind blew in, and his white hair was flying in the air, the small flowers on the windowsill next to him were shivering in the cold wind, looking extra miserable.
“Shen Si!” Xia LeYu called out to him, “We’re done, want to come in?”
“No, I’m here to get some fresh air, I feel totally bored.” Shen Si sighed, “It’s a pity. The wind blowing in after opening the window smells sweet and greasy, instead of feeling fresh. It makes one’s heart more and more irritable.”
Xia LeYu came over, he sat on the bench next to him and stretched lazily, “Nothing can be done about that. The outside is full of flowers, and we can’t finish cleaning them up, so the air is filled with the scent of them.”
The window was closed, and Shen Si looked at the small flowers placed on the windowsill. He reached out and poked the petals, when the slightly cool feeling spread to his fingertips Shen Si let go of his hand, then turned around and walked over to Xia LeYu next to him, looking no different from before.
“Do you like plants?” Xia LeYu spoke.
“No, but I don’t hate them either.” Shen Si replied calmly, “The only thing I can say I hate very much are the flowers outside that have a spiritual effect.”
He admitted it.
From the Shen Si who had no hobbies and interests but only loved plants, he became the Shen Si who disliked plants and especially hated flowers.
Xia LeYu nodded and asked in a small voice, “Can you tell me what else you hate besides plants?”
“I hate climbing mountains, I think. When I was a kid, I fell off a mountain and got pierced by thorns all over my body, and was sent to the hospital for treatment.” Shen Si replied casually, “There is nothing to say. In this timeline my likes and my work are all the things that I would normally hate.”
“Why would you do that?”
“To try a little different possibility. Like whether this could change this future. If not, it’s just a failed attempt.” Shen Si sighed, “I don’t care, it’s normal to fail.”
“How could you not care?” Xia LeYu pushed the glasses on the bridge of his nose a little helplessly.
A light ‘failed attempt’ can cover up everything. The cluelessness after reversing time, forcing all the things you hate to become your favorite things in order to change the future, being ignorant and unaware for more than twenty years in such a situation, just to one day recover your memory and discover the truth.
How can such a thing not make people care?
“The unlimited flow world has a rule consciousness. It appeared before me once, so you guys should pay attention to it. It should be the essence of the unlimited flow world, and if you defeat it you can probably end the assimilation of the world.” Shen Si changed the topic, “When Team Leader He comes back let him detect more, there will be a breakthrough.”
“Shen Si.” Xia LeYu stood up, “Stop regressing time.”
Shen Si looked at Xia LeYu and after a moment he nodded, “Actually this attempt is not really a failure because something different was indeed born in this timeline. I’m no longer a Survivor, the unlimited flow world collapse appeared in reality in advance, and the Special Unit and Survivors detected the playfield in the world before it happened. That is something that never happened in the previous timeline, this is indeed a change. “
“Shen Si, you…”
“Shh.” Shen Si put his index finger against his lips and made a shushing gesture at Xia LeYu, “Don’t worry. As long as you work hard, even the future can be changed. Be optimistic, everything will be fine.”
Xia LeYu didn’t understand at all, and he couldn’t read Shen Si’s smile, nor did he understand the meaning of his words, let alone understand why he could be so optimistic at such a time.
Outside the flowers were eating away at the world little by little, and shivering people were everywhere. By now the only playfield that had been destroyed was the dream one, and in this kind of end of the world scene Shen Si being the only calm person was indescribable.
Not broken down and sad about the failure of saving the world in multiple time rewinds, even carrying himself with a poised sense of ease.
He rested his hands on the windowsill, his dark eyes staring at the night, humming a song he had never heard before.
Shen Si remembered that somewhere along the timeline he had studied music and sang many songs that may have existed or may have disappeared.
On the day the event ended, Xia LeYu suddenly remembered this image of the white-haired young man standing by the window in the night.
But because of this deception, they were able to regain their new lives.
…The so-called future was like this, right?