Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Ning Yangze and Xia Leyu went to the scene quickly, but it was useless for them to go there, since they couldn’t get in. The people inside couldn’t get out, and they didn’t even know what was happening inside.
“Playfield: dream. Xia Leyu, this playfield was brought back by Zeng Ren, right?” Ning Yangze asked Xia Leyu next to him.
“The possibility is more than 80%. Bronze statues, dried bones and cages. Zeng Ren was a fraudulent fortune teller before he disappeared and the things in the playfield are all related to fortune telling. I have carefully investigated the statements of those people, and found that there are many deceptions in it, such as signs that deliberately point in the wrong way, which perfectly match Zeng Ren’s characteristics.”
“In other words, before the world of unlimited flow collapsed, this dream playfield chose Zeng Ren as its dream master?”
Ning Yangze rubbed his chin in contemplation, and after a moment he looked up, “Then do you think it’s possible that the dream master chosen this time is also him?”
“Uh? Is it possible?” Xia Leyu continued flipping through the data, “But the possibility that Zeng Ren is within this playfield is very high. The team investigating the surveillance found that he has been wandering around the area recently.”
However, even if the playfield chose Zeng Ren as the dream master again, it wasn’t of any help, because neither has the playfield ended, nor has the dreamer been found, and the playfield didn’t enter the second stage. He simply had the intention but not the power, if only they could deliver a message.
So far he had not met a Survivor who could pass messages across a playfield, even Xu Yiyao couldn’t do this.
“Want to deliver a message? Do you want to commission us?”
A voice rang out from behind, Ning Yangze paused, he turned his head to look behind him, his face cold, “It’s really you, Yang Yi.”
The man in sunglasses smiled as he walked over, dressed in a black suit and tie, looking like a winner in life, followed by a student girl who looked a bit timid and kept tugging at the corner of Yang Yi’s shirt. It was obvious that she was clenching her fingers until they were white from nervousness.
Yang Yi, male, A-Rank Survivor, before his disappearance he was a down-and-out magician. His family was once a generation of wealthy businessmen, but collapsed after his father became addicted to gambling and had to declare bankruptcy.
“You are the leader of the organization Night?”
“That’s right.” Yang Yi took off his sunglasses, with a smile on his face, “Let’s make a deal, I can help the Special Unit get the message in, but, I hope the Special Unit can turn off the block on our organization’s name. It’s a really annoying thing to want to search our name but show we’re blocked, right?”
Ning Yangze’s hand tightened, he knew very well that although it was said lightly, what Yang Yi meant was to let the Special Unit recognize the legitimacy of the organization Night.
Using the Survivors as a node to help the ordinary people through the playfield, as a way to determine whether the ordinary person was that 1%.
“This is something that must be experienced, whether someone is a Survivor or an ordinary people,” Yang Yi still smiled, as if he could not stand Ning Yangze’s silence, “Isn’t this a good way to let the Survivors and the ordinary people coexist?”
Ning Yangze looked at him, “I will ask my superiors about this matter, and I will not refuse if they agree, so, do you have any way to contact the people inside?”
Making sure Ning Yangze was not perfunctory, Yang Yi took the hand of the little girl behind him, who looked a little uneasy with her head down, and pushed her over, “It’s okay, don’t be afraid, you won’t go into a scary place again, just asking you to do a favor.”
“Really?” The little girl looked at him timidly.
Yang Yi nodded, stroked the little girl’s hair, then only raised his head to look over at Ning Yangze, “It’s her.”
“She is also a Survivor?” Ning Yangze looked at the little girl, “…Underage?”
“Yes, she is only 12 years old.” Yang Yi’s voice was smooth, “People like Xi Luo can be said to be one in a million, others don’t have such a life, she was lucky to have just entered the playfield and before the unlimited flow world collapsed. Her ability is that she can transmit messages to others from a distance.”
Ning Yangze looked at the little girl, and after a moment he nodded, “We know the person who will transmit the message, so how can we determine which person inside will receive it?”
“Jian Nian is inside.”
“What? Jian Nian?!” Ning Yangze was shocked for a moment.
Yang Yi slightly hooked the corners of his mouth, “Unlike the unlimited flow world, it’s still easy to find out a person’s contact information in the real world, someone paid a lot of money to ask an S-Rank Survivor to help him get through the playfield safely, so I contacted Jian Nian. Jian Nian took the order, it’s that simple.”
“Is Zeng Ren in there too?”
“That’s right, it looks like the Special Unit is more capable than I thought, identifying the person who brought this playfield back so quickly.” Yang Yi stroked his chin with a thoughtful look, “Unlike your Special Unit, we paid for our information, Zeng Ren sold it to us for a lot of money.”
Ning Yangze frowned, “He’s short on money?”
“After all, this is a modern society, not the unlimited flow world where the weak eat the strong, it’s simply impossible to get money lying down.”
In the unlimited flow world, Survivors never worried about their shelter and food, and even had everything to have fun with, they only needed to think about how to survive the playfields. But the Survivors who returned from the unlimited flow world couldn’t adapt; except for the special ability in their bodies, they were exactly the same as ordinary people.
This meant that they had to worry about survival and worry about money.
But in the current social atmosphere, Survivors were generally unable to find jobs, and they were a group of people who were scorned. In this situation, Yang Yi created the organization Night, not just to make money, but also to give the Survivors a job where they could earn their living.
“I see.” Ning Yangze turned to look at the black fog, “I will tell my superiors about your proposal and let them decide, as for now, human lives are at stake, I hope this lady can help us first.”
Yang Yi snapped his fingers, “Deal.”
“Xiao Ying, can you do Brother a favor? See that playfield? Can you send a message inside?”
The little girl grabbed Yang Yi’s clothes, and only after a moment did she nod seriously, “Yes.”
“Little Ying is so powerful.” Yang Yi looked at the playfield in front of him, “You have to find the most powerful person inside the playfield, that person is called Jian Nian, you have to tell him that this is a dream playfield, and only by finding the person who is dreaming and waking him up can the game end.”
After saying that, Yang Yi looked at Ning Yangze. Ning Yangze nodded, indicating that the message was okay like that. It was very difficult to send a message across a playfield, and it was fine to let the little girl know only the main points, and based on Jian Nian’s ability to understand, he should react immediately.
Xiao Ying let go of Yang Yi’s coat, closed her eyes and took two steps forward. There were golden points of light spilling out from her body, slowly melting into the pitch black fog.
Inside the playfield, Shen Si stood in the cage watching Jian Nian climb up, the white figure disappeared and didn’t return, while Jian Nian was looking for something that would release Shen Si from the cage.
“What?” Jian Nian turned his head to look at Shen Si, “I really don’t understand why that thing put you in the cage. Hold on a little longer, this cage looks like it was made from ordinary steel, you should be able to cut it with something that cuts iron.”
Shen Si looked at him, and after a moment he nodded, “Okay.”
Jian Nian smiled at him, then continued to pry the door with various tools, at that very moment a little golden point of light suddenly flew in, melting directly into Shen Si’s body and the moment he turned his head, a childish voice rang out in his head.
“I am Xiao Ying, are you Jian Nian?”
Shen Si held the cage and stood up, “What? Who’s speaking? Are you looking for Jian Nian?”
“Too late, big brother, you must tell Jian Nian, this playfield is a dream playfield, just find the dreamer and wake him up to get out of here.”
But the voice very quickly disappeared, and when Shen Si looked around, the surrounding area was still full of black fog, completely no different from before.
With a click, Jian Nian pried a bar off of the bird cage, throwing it to the ground and smiling, then extended his hand towards Shen Si, “You can come down now, by the way, what were you talking about?”
Shen Si looked at Jian Nian, and after a moment he slightly narrowed his eyes, “Dream playfield? Wake up the dreamer?”
Outside the playfield, Xiao Ying opened her eyes. She was shaken and was picked up by Yang Yi the moment she fell down, Yang Yi held Xiao Ying in his arms, “Is everything okay?”
Xiao Ying shook her head, she closed her eyes and slowed her breathing before opening her eyes, “Brother, it wasn’t Jian Nian.”
“What? The most powerful person in this playfield should be Jian Nian!”
“I don’t know.” Xiao Ying was shaking a little and grabbed the clothes on Yang Yi’s chest, “but he really wasn’t Jian Nian.”
Yang Yi fiercely closed his eyes, and turned around with the little girl in his arms, his entire body filled with anxiety. Ning Yangze was near enough that he could hear these words. He thought for a moment and then snapped his eyes open, as he thought of a sufficiently frightening possibility.
“…It can’t be.” Ning Yangze looked at Yang Yi, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“That’s the most likely possibility!”
“Ugh? Team Leader, what are you guys talking about?” Xia Leyu looked at them blankly, “Did something really terrible happen?”
Ning Yangze visibly paled, “If… if the premise is that Jian Nian is the most powerful person in the playfield, and Xiao Ying couldn’t contact Jian Nian but found someone else, then there is only one possibility.”
“Exactly.” Yang Yi opened his eyes, “This can only mean one thing.”
“This playfield chose the dream master.”
“And it’s Jian Nian.”
That white figure gave Shen Si a very strange feeling, which wasn’t so much as weird or unpleasant, but rather familiar, like he had experienced it before. After running into Jian Nian, Shen Si finally remembered that this feeling was caused by Jian Nian.
Jian Nian was really a very dangerous person, his way of thinking and acting carried an overwhelming paranoia and could resort to anything to reach his goals. When Jian Nian got caught up in that kind of mood, it gave him exactly the same feeling as now, filled with extreme love.
Although Jian Nian didn’t say anything or make any actual moves, Shen Si understood clearly that if Jian Nian’s self-restraint was a little more lax, that guy would do something irrevocable to him.
That was also the reason why Shen Si broke up with Jian Nian.
“A dream?” After hearing Shen Si’s words, Jian Nian sat on the bench and thought out loud, “So we have to find the dreamer to wake him up if we want to get out?”
“You believe that just like that?” The man who hired Jian Nian looked at him incomprehensibly, “A voice that appears out of nowhere, or that no one else but Shen Si hears, shouldn’t you be wondering if it’s a trap at a time like this? Why have the both of you accepted it so well?”
“Because I believe Shen Si,” Jian Nian put his hands in his pockets, then lowered his head, a nightmarishly beautiful smile blooming on his face, “I will always choose to believe Shen Si.”
So, Shen Si, who easily trusted in others, plus a Jian Nian who believed in Shen Si?
The man’s mood was complicated while looking at these two people, and he was full of worry. These two made making decisions look easy, and he was now completely sure. This person called Shen Si had a great influence on Jian Nian, or rather, Jian Nian, to a large extent, would be dominated by Shen Si’s needs.
How amazing, this was the weakness of an S-Rank Survivor?
Wiping off the dried blood from his face in the front camera, Shen Si put a band-aid on the wound on his forehead, but suddenly he heard a familiar voice crying for help.
Standing up from the bench, Shen Si ran directly towards where the sound came from.
“Shen Si?” Jian Nian hurriedly chased after him, “Don’t run around, it’s dangerous here!”
Unfortunately, Shen Si did not listen to Jian Nian’s words as he staggered through several overhanging cages. Shen Si pulled away the withered vines that were dragged about in a messy manner, and on the opposite side, a familiar man fell to the ground and kept moving backwards, his body with bright red blood, looking very wretched.
The white figure was floating in the air getting closer to him, it could even be grabbed in the air if someone reached out, its pair of empty eyes shone with a glimpse of malice.
“Don’t come any closer!” The man on the ground screamed miserably.
Yi Mingzi snapped his head around, and after seeing a familiar face he almost burst into tears, “Shen Si! Help, help!”
The white figure paused, it tilted its head, its hollow eyes were facing Shen Si, as if pondering why the person it had put in the cage had come out again. The thin white tentacles reached out from its arms, Shen Si took a step back, but bumped directly into a person’s chest.
Jian Nian reached out and wrapped his arms around him, “Is that your colleague? Do you want to save him? Let me help you.”
Before Shen Si could call out to Jian Nian, he let go of Shen Si and walked forward. Jian Nian’s face carried his usual smile, as if he was a playful child playing a game, as he stretched out his hand, and in the next instant, a black monster gushed out of his hand. The monster opened its mouth and swallowed the white figure in a flash.
Shen Si was slightly surprised when the monster ate the white figure and then hovered around Jian Nian, making Jian Nian even paler.
What was that just now? Jian Nian’s ability?
“Don’t look! Come here!” Someone behind him shouted at Shen Si. It was the man who had been following Jian Nian, his suit full of dust, looking a little worse for wear. The man wiped the sweat off his forehead and breathed a sigh of relief.
“Why are you hiding here?”
“That guy has changed his appearance, it’s completely different from just now.” The man was still trembling a bit, “I felt like he was going to kill me in that moment just now, I came here to get the ability, not to die here. You’re his friend, right? Do you know what his ability is?”
Shen Si shook his head, “I don’t know.”
“…Not even you know?” The man exhaled, “I now finally understand why those Survivors are so afraid of him.”
The moment Shen Si got up and ran away, Jian Nian’s entire being changed. If in front of Shen Si he was just a strange child who liked to smile, then after Shen Si left, he became a completely unpredictable demon; whether it was the smile on his face or otherwise, it carried an unspeakable horror.
Run, run! Can’t stay around him, or I’ll be killed! The man’s mind was blank, only this phrase clearly repeated over and over again, restraining himself from running the f*ck away.
He was a genuine terrifying guy!
“There’s no more problem.”
Shen Si looked up, Jian Nian stood behind the bush he was leaning against with his pale face as well as glittering eyes, as if he was a small child waiting for a compliment.
The man shuddered a little as he tugged Yi Mingzi, who had been brought back by Shen Si, back two steps, leaving the place to Shen Si and Jian Nian.
“Know why I’m considered very scary? Because the ability I gained in the unlimited flow world is devouring.” Jian Nian walked over, he smiled and extended his hand towards Shen Si, his dark eyes as deep as an abyss, “I can eat evil spirits, and I can eat gods, and after finishing them off, I can gain their abilities. Isn’t that a little disgusting?”
Shen Si stood up and he shook his head, “Not really.”
“Anyway, it’s just an ability, even if you feel disgusted, there’s nothing you can do.” Jian Nian looked at Shen Si, “So, can we leave now?”
“Before leaving, answer my question.” Shen Si said so.
“Are you dreaming?”
The whole space was silent, only the wind and the swaying iron cages in the air were making a sound.
Jian Nian blinked his eyes, “What do you mean? You mean… Shen Si, are you kidding me?”
“I’m not joking.” Shen Si shook his head, “Enjoying putting me in a cage, and unconsciously wiping my blood, going to attack others after you finish talking, and by the way, being hostile to my colleagues and Zeng Ren, that’s you any way I look at it.”
“Is that the image of me in your mind?”
“Am I wrong?”
Jian Nian looked at Shen Si, he put away the smile on his face, and his dark eyes reflected Shen Si’s figure. Whether it was the past or the present, even as he said this, Shen Si’s face did not have any kind of expression, as if it was just a statement, which it was. Shen Si was such a heartless person.
Although… He was right.
Jian Nian stood in place, like a TV screen that had been paused, and even his breath was disappearing. The white figure seeped out of Jian Nian, wrapping around Jian Nian’s whole body like jelly, and at that moment, the white silhouette without features had gained a face.
The cage in the air was swaying, the sound of metal clashing seemed unusually noisy.
Surrounding the playfield periphery, the Special Unit people opened their eyes wide at the black fog that was fading, replaced by a white fog, and the tragic white color looked unusually creepy.
The owner of the dream had awakened.