Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Gurgle gurgle. Strange gurgling sound came over, and after the hand reached out, the gurgling sound was getting louder and louder. Guan HeChang watched the piece of purple mud sliding down, a faceless woman figure fell out of the wall, it twisted, facing Guan HeChang to reach out his hand.
This was a very strange feeling, not fear, not all calm, but a very indescribable anger and sadness.
“Who are you?” Guan HeChang held one hand to his temple with a blank look in his eyes, “Why would I want to look at you?”
The mud woman crawled towards him, and if you didn’t look at the face of this thing, it looked like it was asking for help.
The shape of the ring on the ring finger of her right hand was engraved in the eyes of Guan HeChang, and he couldn’t help but breathe heavily. His mind was drawing a blank and when the mud person was about to grab him, he was pulled out by a person from the side. The mud was flung on the wall he was leaning against and the wall that was picked up by the mud turned directly into a new swamp.
“What are you doing?” Xi Luo tugged strangely at his collar, “Are you trying to kill yourself?”
“I… I’m not.” Guan HeChang finally blinked as if he had reacted. He looked at Xi Luo and then at the twisted and writhing person across from him, “I just suddenly felt like I wanted to come here. That figure felt familiar when I looked, so…”
Xi Luo looked at him strangely, and after a moment he looked at the mud person who was still writhing. The moment he saw the mud person, Xi Luo understood. It was a dream swamp formed by his partner, and what was spitting out of the swamp was his partner’s dream.
To be honest Xi Luo was not familiar with Guan HeChang and his partner, they had met a few times in the organization at most.
When the flowers of the spiritual playfield were blooming all over the land, everyone was in chaos, and the organization was no longer an organization, only Survivors running around. When Xi Luo came with his own exercise book and saw the woman who had been swallowed up by the wall and the crying Guan HeChang.
The same ring, the dream partner, and even the crying at the time, even if Xi Luo was underage, he knew what their relationship was.
Before the swamp spread to swallow Guan HeChang, Xi Luo pulled Guan HeChang out of the swamp. This wasn’t the world of unlimited flow, nor was it a playfield where one person had a higher chance of dying and another living, and at such times, he wasn’t averse to lifting a finger.
Guan HeChang looked at the mud person crawling towards him, and his hand subconsciously placed on the ring of his ring finger. The whole person was like a paused video screen, not moving.
“Get out of here first.” Xi Luo pulled the person out of range and Guan HeChang didn’t refuse, he was obediently pulled along by this teenager who was obviously much smaller than him. Step after step, they walked out of the range of the swamp, until he reached the corner of the road, and he couldn’t help but look back again.
In that grayish-purple swamp, the mud person slowly crawled back into the wall, its head exposed, countless mud sliding down its face. There was absolutely no appearance of her at all.
Thinking about this Guan HeChang froze for a moment, as he was a bit overwhelmed by the reaction.
Who was she?
But Guan HeChang didn’t have time to sort it all out, this was a residential area, and there were more dream swamps than expected. Although those mud people were slow to move, the slurry swamp water they spewed out could quickly spray around, spraying the human body.
Once splashed by that swamp water, a new swamp would appear underneath one’s feet to swallow one in.
“I got separated from my brother and the others.” Xi Luo murmured with some distress. He waved his hand, and several black butterflies flew out from his fingers, each butterfly landing on a mire man, and the moment the butterflies wrapped these mire men, they stopped moving.
Xi Luo took the opportunity to lead Guan HeChang out of the area, but just at the moment they were about to leave this neighborhood, Guan HeChang broke free of Xi Luo’s hand with a little force.
“Hmm?” Xi Luo stopped, he turned his head to look at Guan HeChang, “What are you doing?”
“I’m sorry, I still want to check that place just now.” Guan HeChang frowned and apologized, “I feel that it’s not good to go on like this. I forgot a lot of things, but…”
Xi Luo looked at him, “But what?”
“I’m angry and sad.” Guan HeChang pressed his temples, “That should be something I forgot, right? This feeling has been smothered in my heart and there’s no way to forget it, so thank you for saving me just now, you go first.”
After saying this, Guan HeChang hastily turned around and rushed back. Xi Luo looked at his back, and after a moment he shook his head helplessly.
“Even after forgetting those things he still feels angry and sad? As a Survivor, his feelings seem to be a bit too much of a surplus.”
But he couldn’t just leave this person alone. If the person he saved earlier died like this, it wouldn’t be a waste of saving.
With such twisted thoughts, butterflies separated from his body, and the black butterflies had flown out. Some fell on the surrounding mire people, while some fell on the Guan HeChang. As long as there were butterflies, Xi Luo could determine the location of Guan HeChang’s actions; they were very qualified locators.
Back again in the corner from earlier, Guan HeChang stood there looking at the wall. The swamp was still hanging on the wall, only this time the head of the mud man didn’t emerge, sticking out only an arm.
The arm was purple, wrapped in mud, but even the arm brought Guan HeChang a very strong sense of familiarity; whether it was the lines of the arm, or the curvature of the finger, or the shape of the ring on the finger.
The person swallowed up by the swamp must be someone very important to him!
Guan HeChang secretly made up his mind, as he marched towards the front with only the arm hanging outside the wall in his eyes. Perhaps sensing someone approaching, the mud man in the swamp slowly poked its head out, and it stared at Guan HeChang and made a gurgling sound, tumbling out of the wall, crawling towards him.
“That person said before that the distorted dreams in the dream swamp will attack people of the same essence. Are you thinking that I am the same person as you in essence?” Guan HeChang looked at it, “But, I don’t even know what my dream is, I forgot about it.”
The mire man couldn’t understand Guan HeChang’s words, and it didn’t need to, its only purpose was to pull the man in front of it into its own swamp. Guan HeChang stood in place, looked at the mire man crawling towards him and suddenly his eyes blurred. He remembered the question Shen Si once asked him, whether to choose the truth or to be happier.
Guan HeChang did erase his memories and dreams for self-preservation, but it was completely useless, because dreams didn’t disappear and love for that person would always be there, that was why he was panicking and wanted to run here regardless.
But his partner had disappeared, and there was only a monster here; a monster that had taken their dream and twisted it into being.
“It’s just too much.” Guan HeChang wiped a handful of water stains from his face as he stared at the mud man in front of him, anger and sadness flooding into him once again as he murmured, “I won’t allow you to trample on our dreams like that!”
As Xi Luo came over, this was the scene he saw.
Guan HeChang rushed towards the mire person, and when he touched the mire person, the mud and water stains also spilled onto his body, but he didn’t care at all, he just pushed the mire person into the bog with force.
“Guan HeChang?!” Xi Luo shouted his name.
In the confusion, Xi Luo saw Guan HeChang turn his head to look at him, mud and water splashed out to block his body, but Xi Luo found that Guan HeChang was smiling.
“Tell Shen So that I think that truth is perhaps more important than happiness.”
The moment he said that, a light flashed, and the grunts in the swamp amplified. The light trembled until it disappeared, the wall returning to as it was, and there was no longer that swamp or the person in the swamp.
“Hey.” Xi Luo walked over in bewilderment as he looked around, “No way? Really… Suicide?”
Guan HeChang was a Survivor, and since he was a Survivor he had the ability. Guan HeChang’s ability was that he could influence individuals to a certain extent, but he would also pay the price, as his body would have the same symptoms, for example, he could stop an individual’s action, then he would be equally unable to act.
That’s why Xi Luo said he was committing suicide.
He used his powers to wipe out the mud person in the dream swamp and at the same time he disappeared along with it. A real disappearance that couldn’t be used by the mire again. He took his partner and their shared dream with him, disappearing without remorse but with joy.
Xi Luo, who was just a teenager, didn’t understand why he had made such a choice. He looked at the empty street and after a moment turned around and left in another direction where Shen Si and Jian Nian had left earlier.
Although he couldn’t understand it completely, it didn’t matter, people were creatures that couldn’t be understood by common sense, so it was normal to have doubts. Xi Luo was taught very well, he didn’t stubbornly want to know a reason, and wouldn’t hinder others from making their own choices.
He knew very well that now he only needed to do one thing, and that was to pass on the words of Guan HeChang just now to Shen Si.
That would be enough.
Shen Si carried the little girl forward, and Jian Nian followed him. They had a rather bumpy walk, because all those dream swamps were burrowed with monsters, and monsters could be seen everywhere, so there was no way for people to hide in one place alone, but to avoid the monsters they began to run away.
It was more and more like the end times.
Shen Si and Jian Nian walked through the fleeing crowd, as they walked as far away from everyone as they could toward the front, without much purpose, just kept going.
“Where are we going?” Jian Nian finally opened his mouth and looked at Shen Si with a little hesitation on his delicate face, “Have we been going in circles since just now?”
“Have we?” Shen Si’s voice was so relaxed that he even laughed out loud, “I can’t believe we’ve been going in circles? It looks like I don’t have a good sense of direction.”
Jian Nian lowered his head, “It’s not a matter of having a good sense of direction, I feel like you don’t care about where you’re going, so you just keep walking in random circles and don’t care if you go around in circles.”
“Is it that obvious?”
“So you’re really just walking around casually?”
“Hmm.” Shen Si nodded, “I don’t actually know where the tenth floor playfield is, so I’m waiting.”
Jian Nian looked at him, “Waiting for what?”
“Waiting for that consciousness to come to me.” Shen Si said with a smile, then he looked down at the little girl who had fallen asleep in his arms. She was still sobbing in her sleep, because her age was too young, she fell asleep after crying, but crying was proof of being alive.
Jian Nian heard Shen Si said the unlimited flow world had a consciousness, and this consciousness was annoyed and would appear in front of Shen Si, because Shen Si repeatedly reversed time. Shen Si’s random walk was to wait for it?
“Why?” Jian Nian looked at Shen Si blankly, “Why do you have to wait for it to appear?”
Shen Si looked at Jian Nian, and only after a moment did he speak, “Apart from the more special spiritual playfield, have you noticed one thing, a rule dominant person will appear in every playfield?”
“What you’re saying is…”
Ceramic playfield possessed a paper man, time playfield had an evil ghost hiding in the clock, cheater playfield had a cheater hiding in the player, and even the dream playfield would have a presence of evil thoughts born after stealing the dream master. They were the dominant, and the rules of the game itself.
“Shen Si?” Jian Nian reached for Shen Si’s sleeve, his eyes with a little bewilderment. Although not sure what Shen Si meant, he still perceived something wrong from Shen Si’s words, “Are you trying to do something very dangerous? Do you have to go?”
“Don’t worry, it will be fine.” Shen Si patted Jian Nian’s shoulder, “The only thing left is just a matter of reversing time once again.”
However, Jian Nian keenly perceived that what Shen Si was going to do wasn’t necessarily something that could be pacified by reversing time; there was moisture in his words.
Just when Jian Nian wanted to ask something more, there was a boom not far away, the sound of explosions. Shen Si and Jian Nian looked at each other and ran towards the place where the sound was coming from, and after crossing the street they saw Xia LeYu who threw the small box.
The small box exploded and the mud golems on the ground were instantly blown to pieces, but soon they recovered and continued to crawl out of the swamp, attacking the people around them.
“Save the people!”
Jian Nian nodded and the black monster detached itself from Jian Nian’s arm. It spat out a black knife, Jian Nian clutched that knife and cut the foremost mud person in half, pulling out the person who was about to be pulled into the mud swamp. That person was covered in mud and water and ran away.
Successfully getting all those people out, Shen Si walked over with the child in his arms, and Xia LeYu’s eyes lit up.
“Mr. Shen and Mr. Jian!” He hurriedly thanked, “Thank you, it was really urgent just now, almost all of those people were dragged in.”
“Are you the only one here?” Jian Nian glanced behind him, “Where’s Ning Yangze and the others?”
“The Team Leaders are splitting up, because there aren’t many weapons that can contain those things. We can only split up and then go to different places to rescue people.” Xia LeYu smiled a little bitterly, “Anyway, in this situation now, we can save a few, so we will definitely hold on until the end. I still believe in the future and hope.”
Shen Si looked at Xia LeYu, and after a moment he handed the girl in his arms to Xia LeYu. Xia LeYu looked at the little girl strangely. Although he was tempted to ask who she was, Xia LeYu still took her.
Because the small box in his hand has been used up, there was still one left as his backup to save his life. Of the four Team Leaders, only he was an ordinary person. He was saving people, but also didn’t want to take himself into the meaning. After he was ready to find a safe place temporarily, he needed to wait for the situation to change.
Shen Si saw this and handed him the child?
“I’m asking you to look after her for now.” Shen Si’s voice was gentle, “Don’t worry, it will be fine soon.”
Xia LeYu froze for a moment, looked at Shen Si, and a slight feeling of something amiss once again welled up in his heart.
Just like when he talked with Shen Si, and Shen Si optimistically told him that even the future could be changed if he worked hard. At that time, Xia LeYu vaguely had a little idea in his mind, feeling that Shen Si had actually found a way to change the future, but couldn’t tell them.
Because what would be given? What will be lost? Because he knew they wouldn’t agree so he was hiding it?
Xia LeYu couldn’t help but think the worst, but it seemed to him that there was no worse situation than the present.
Those who had dreams were all swallowed up by the swamp, and those who were still alive were chased by the distorted dreams themselves. Maybe the whole world would be destroyed and there was no difference between living and dying in the hearts of some people, only some of them would still hold the belief of living.
“Shen Si?” Xia LeYu called out Shen Si’s name, “What are you going to do?”
“To end this absurd and uninteresting future.” Shen Si said.
At the moment Shen Si turned around, Jian Nian pulled his sleeve. He just clutched the fabric in his hand and didn’t want to let go, but in that moment, Jian Nian suddenly thought of a possibility.
Shen Si said before that every playfield would have a consciousness in it, and that consciousness body was the pillar of the playfield. Did that mean that Shen Si was ready to let himself become the ruler of that playfield? And then use his own rule identity to bring out the living? But in that case… what about Shen Si?!
“Don’t do that.” Jian Nian’s face was pale as he tried to retain Shen Si, “Don’t go, I don’t want that kind of future you gained after sacrificing yourself. Shen Si, if that happens, won’t it still not break the fate for you?”
“What did you say?” Shen Si looked at Jian Nian suspiciously, after a moment he smiled and pulled Jian Nian’s hand out of his sleeve, “I won’t let myself die easily. I mean it.”
Shen Si turned his back on him and left, and at that moment Jian Nian reached out to grab his hand, but Jian Nian didn’t, or rather, Jian Nian knew very well that he couldn’t. Shen Si was the wind of freedom, aversion to fate and bondage, and he was never confined by love and other people. He would always do what he wanted to do and he could always win against the enemy he wanted to defeat.
Because he was Shen Si.
Jian Nian slowly withdrew his hand, looked at the palm of his hand, and only after a moment did he speak, “I know. There’s always no way I can refuse you.”
When he heard the familiar mechanical sound Shen Si had been waiting for a long time, he sat on the snow-covered bench, looking extraordinarily silent.
【Did you not continue to rewind time? Have you given up?】
Shen Si didn’t answer, just sat there, as if he hadn’t heard anything.
The unlimited flow world consciousness didn’t care about Shen Si’s answer, it knew very well, because its system had already told it the answer. Humans were just ordinary animals, although they were stimulated in the unlimited flow world, after all, they were only human.
It deliberately recruited humans with talent into the world of unlimited flow was also to accelerate their attrition, a little ability of the ants even if a finger could be held down, but a bite would still hurt and itch half a day.
For example, like this quiet, silent human in front of him, Shen Si.
Shen Si and other humans weren’t the same. It was given a tangible shock, but it was a pity that, unfortunately, it was just rules and consciousness, and wouldn’t change because of the passage of time.
The only person who could be driven crazy by the constant reversal of time was Shen Si. It must admit, that he was a very talented person, so it was going to make him the head of this playfield.
The unlimited flow world consciousness made a mechanical sound as it stared at Shen Si’s face, impatient to see the pained expression on his face.
Even after allowing himself to become the butterfly that fanned his wings, he still hadn’t changed the future, and could only passively watch the world destroy and be assimilated into the playfield. Such frustration was hard enough, and now that he had even been chosen to be the head of the playfield, a normal person would fall into a breakdown because of it.
“Why?” Shen Si opened his mouth, his voice was soft with a little tremor, as if he was holding back something, “Why was I chosen?”
【Because you are the most suitable candidate.】The unlimited flow world consciousness said the cruelest words in the most mechanized voice.【In this playfield of dreams, everyone’s dreams aren’t as powerful as yours. Your longing and dreams have all merged into time, a very little actually remaining on your person, even unable to make the dream swamp appear. Time bears witness to everything, and your dream that was discarded in the entanglement with time is nothing but a puddle of mud. And it is because of this mud that Shen Si is the one who is most suitable to be the head of the playfield.】
Only those without dreams and desires could stand in this playfield, In other words, only Shen Si, who could no longer desire anything could stand firmly at the top of this playfield. This playfield couldn’t kill him.
“Oh? You mean to say that this playfield can’t deal with me, so you are ready to do it yourself?” Shen Si stood up and looked into the empty air, his dark eyes tinged with a slight boredom, “Don’t use those crowning words to disguise yourself. It’s disgusting and not needed. Tell me your purpose directly.”
Shen Si was very direct, but his words also hit the nail on the head.
It was indeed so.
Shen Si couldn’t live, and deserved die, but the playfield couldn’t kill him. He could continue to live and maybe find some means to deal with it, and as the consciousness of the unlimited flow world, it quickly weighed the pros and cons in its system and chose this approach.
It wanted to assimilate Shen Si directly into the playfield, turning him into the head of the playfield. Although this may result in some humans being released by him, this was all irrelevant.
What it wanted to do was bury Shen Si, a rare and special being, once and for all.
Make him sleep forever and never wake up again.