Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The pungent smell filled the whole space, with people screaming and rolling everywhere. Yun Lai used Shen Si’s clothes to shield himself and Yi Mingzi, his face was so pale that he didn’t even know whether it was better to keep his eyes open or close them.
Even he had never seen something so cruel.
So many people were dying, they were struggling helplessly, but there was nothing they could do, were those survivors trying to stay alive in such circumstances?
“Shen Si…” Yun Lai called out his name worriedly, “Hide.”
Hurry up and hide.
In this cruel situation, Shen Si was standing in the rain like an outsider without being affected, and he was the thorn in everyone’s eyes. Yun Lai knew very well that under extreme circumstances, the resentment of these people might be transferred to Shen Si.
Shen Si certainly knew this, but now, there was no other way, if the rain continued to fall, by then only Shen Si would be alive, the others would be corroded into a pile of bone scraps.
“Shen Si?” Yun Lai looked at him, “What are you doing?”
Grabbing Jian Nian’s hand in his, Shen Si stood there calmly, “I’m trying.”
“What? I don’t understand.” Yun Lai looked at him peculiarly, and felt that he didn’t understand how Shen Si’s brain was wired. Why did he run to Jian Nian and why did he hold his hand? Like in fairy tales where they try to wake up the sleeping princess? But this was not a fairy tale.
This was reality.
Without answering Yun Lai, Shen Si kept clutching Jian Nian’s hand, which was as cold as ice. He was just quietly holding onto it, palm to palm, when he could clearly feel Jian Nian’s fingers moving, as he was gripping back. Shen Si looked at Jian Nian’s hand, and then carefully relaxed his hand.
No longer as eager to retain as earlier, but with their hands joined, as if to change the memory of that rainy night.
The rain stopped.
Everything that happened in this playfield was based on Jian Nian’s memories, taking out the things that left a deep impression in him to distort and shape the world, but it was very coincidental that the person who affected him and who Jian Nian was obsessed with was in this playfield, which was why Shen Si took the risk to come forward.
There was no problem in acting completely different from reality, since this was a dream world.
People covered with rainwater rose from the ground, in that moment, the rain stopped, and the rain that brought pain to their bodies no longer corroded their skin, as if it had become ordinary water. They looked around blankly, and cried in celebration that they had survived.
Shen Si lowered his head, dropped Jian Nian’s hand, then carefully retreated to Yun Lai’s side.
“Why?” Yun Lai looked at Shen Si in shock, “You succeeded?”
“It was the day I broke up with him.” Shen Si wiped the water on his face, and the band-aids were all soaked, so had no choice but to hold on to Yi Mingzi’s side with the injury on his forehead, “In the dream, he can pretend that I didn’t break up with him.”
Yun Lai: …
Yun Lai looked at Shen Si in shock, and then looked back at Jian Nian, they were actually in this kind of relationship? Not mentioning that they didn’t die of old age after the breakup, this way of getting along wasn’t awkward at all…
“Can we still do that later?” Yun Lai quickly reacted, and looked at Shen Si, with some slight expectation in his eyes, “People can’t stand to be tossed around anymore, and your colleague is only one breath away from death, if we do this again, almost everyone will die.”
“…I really underestimated this place.”
Shen Si’s jacket was very long, but it wasn’t big enough to cover two people, for Yi Mingzi, it blocked most of the rain, but Yun Lai’s body was full of wounds corroded by the rain. Now it was like he was being bitten by ants and it was itchy and painful. He was just an ordinary person, and he no longer had the strength to continue to hold on.
In Yun Lai’s slightly hopeful eyes, Shen Si shook his head, “I can’t.”
“So far we have gone through two scenarios, the first was Jian Nian’s sudden heart attack, which is based on his own illness and fear of frequent death.” Shen Si wiped the water off his face, “The second was the rain, because I broke up with him, and because the subject was me, I could try to stop it, but the next thing…”
Yun Lai looked at Shen Si, a moment later he lowered his head with somewhat darkened eyes, “The next is the unlimited flow world?”
The Survivors who entered the unlimited flow would constantly be experiencing a game of life or death, but no matter what, the first time they entered the world of unlimited flow, as an ordinary person, they would panic, at least that’s what Yun Lai thought. His life was boring compared to this playfield.
His first experience on a playfield was one such as this, what kind of joke was this?
Yun Lai frowned and sat up. Everyone in the playfield had injuries. Those who were lightly injured still had the strength to cry, those who were injured heavily could only lie on the ground barely breathing. He grabbed his hair, falling into despair.
Was he going to die?
“Don’t be so sure.” Shen Si’s voice rang in his ears.
Yun Lai froze, he looked at Shen Si, who was sitting on the ground holding down Yi Mingzi’s pulse, his face as calm as ever, as if their speculations just now were as trivial as a child breaking a bowl.
“Do not randomly speculate on a person, each person is a separate individual with an independent mind, perhaps what you think is scary is not so frightening to others, rather, a scene that you think is meaningless might be a major event that affected another person’s life. It is the most foolish act to put labels on human beings.”
“But, what should I think about the unlimited flow world? Is there something more scary than entering it?” Yun Lai moved his body to Shen Si’s side, “You know him better than I do, do you know something?”
Shen Si gave him a look, “I have no idea.”
“We don’t know which memory this playfield chose, even if it’s an unlimited flow world it’s normal, so let’s leave it to fate.” Shen Si put it this way.
Isn’t that completely out of the question?
After that nothing more happened, about half an hour or maybe even an hour has passed, the time inside being unusually long. Yi Mingzi’s breathing was getting weaker and weaker, sometimes it didn’t even feel like he was breathing. In fear, some people finally couldn’t resist, and they looked for the tools they could use and limped to the black figure, trying to knock it down with human strength.
Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful and it also made them fall down for good.
So there was another commotion, but by now, everyone was sitting in their positions and fuming.
Yun Lai counted the number of people still alive; with Yi Mingzi and Jian Nian, there were only nine people.
“There are no other Survivors in this playfield except Jian Nian and Zeng Ren.” Shen Si sat on the ground and murmured, “Jian Nian was chosen as the master of the dream and fused with the monster, and Zeng Ren died in that rain. The unlimited flow world has a novice limited playfield, but we don’t, that’s why so many people died.”
“…I don’t even know if the collapse of the unlimited flow world is a good thing or a bad thing now… no, what I meant to say is that it’s definitely a very bad thing.” Yun Lai gave a bitter laugh.
“Maybe.” Shen Si looked at the unconscious Yi Mingzi, “Whose fault is it anyway?”
Like a stopped clock with new batteries, a sound reached everyone’s ears, and those still alive looked around in horror. The white walls were moving; they were spinning in everyone’s sight, so Shen Si slightly squinted his eyes. These walls were spinning too fast, making him a little dizzy.
As if holding down the pause button, the walls jerked to a halt, and a black mist from the bottom of the walls blackened the white, and the room, which had been so white that it was blinding, instantly became pitch black.
“It looks like the world of unlimited flow is correct.” Yun Lai stood up, “There is no way we can get out of here alive.”
“Not sure yet.” Shen Si remained seated, “Wait a little longer.”
“Of course, after all, there is nothing we can do but wait.” Yun Lai smiled bitterly.
Despite saying so, Yun Lai had been sure that what greeted them afterwards would be the world of unlimited flow, that terrible place that had not yet broken down, with cold light and metal walls, where every Survivor struggled inside, where the value of life was insignificant.
Yun Lai raised his head, and his eyes widened the moment his sight reached overhead. Instead of pure black, the ceiling carried a moon-shaped spot of light.
Not the world of unlimited flow, but the real world?
Yun Lai hurriedly looked around, just then, a table was somehow placed in a corner of the playfield, and a white figure was flipping through books behind the table. The figure was blurred and looked like a disappearing flow of data. Yun Lai reached out and rubbed his eyes, then after a few moments he looked at Shen Si.
“Is that you?”
“No.” Shen Si replied, “At the very least, I have no memory of meeting Jian Nian at such a time.”
“Not you? Then who could it be?”
Growing up together, as Jian Nian’s only friend, he and Shen Si had been together for more than a decade, and even though there was a gap of three years, Shen Si was still able to see Jian Nian’s habitual movements.
For example, he used to twist the tip of the page when reading a book, or how when he sat on the chair he always unconsciously bowed, or when he saw the interesting part he always had to make the mark for Shen Si to read it for him again… This figure was undoubtedly Jian Nian himself.
“Will he wake up?” Yun Lai murmured.
No one answered, because no one knew the answer.
Outside the playfield, the Special Unit was waiting anxiously, three hours had passed since the playfield opened, and so far they had no idea what was going on inside, because the situation was so special that even the people above were alarmed, but they could do nothing. The Special Unit tried to use various methods to send messages inside, and even tried to break open this playfield, but all to no avail. It simply had no entity, and would only change with the dreams of the dream master.
In other words, this playfield was invincible in a way.
“Is there no way at all? Even if it’s just an idea!” Ning Yangze’s fingers were trembling.
In the world of unlimited flow, the Survivors wouldn’t consider destroying the playfield, because they were all people whose fate was decided, so they could only fight and kill in the unlimited flow world. They were lone wolves, with no one to help them, and no one to sympathize with them.
Now it was different, they left that horrible relentless place and returned to Earth. Ning Yangze believed that most Survivors were eager to return, and would also try to love the world.
But he found that this time, they were so powerless.
“Can Ying still deliver a message?”
“No.” Yang Yi shook his head, “Xiao Ying tried, but it was blocked right away, and it’s already completely isolated inside.”
“If the dream master chosen by the playfield is really Jian Nian…”
“Don’t be so out of shape, Yangze, you are the team leader of the Special Unit, you should have anticipated this situation a long time ago.” A slightly cold tone came from behind him. Ning Yangze looked back, as He Xin came down from the car wearing a white coat, beckoned, reaching out to the same people in white coats to move down a machine.
Ning Yangze’s eyes widened, “He Xin?”
“We re-tested and analyzed this playfield and found something different.” He Xin opened the device, the next instant, the screen of the device showed a strange picture, a gray thing plus some small red dots, “This playfield is dominated by dreams, I said before that the first stage of the playfield was awakened, which was actually incorrect. Finding the person who is dreaming and waking him up is the criteria for this playfield to pass, so the first stage doesn’t really wake the person up, it just determines who it is.”
Ning Yangze came over, “That means that the dream master in the second stage is actually in the dream too?”
“That’s right, come and see.” He Xin pointed to the screen, “These gray things are the dream, and the person entangled with the dream as the dream master, as for the small red dots, those are people who are still alive currently.”
Ning Yangze heart clenched for a moment, “What do you mean? There are still people alive?”
“I thought you were ready for this.”
“…That’s too much.” Ning Yangze had a tremor in his voice.
He Xin shook his head, “Actually, having so many people alive is already a miracle. In the unlimited flow world, there are generally only two kinds of unknown playfields. The first is a newly born playfield in the unlimited flow world, the second is one where whoever experienced it all died. Obviously, this is the latter.”
Ning Yangze felt like he was going to have a heart attack, “In that case, with three hours on this playfield and there being nine people still alive is actually a very lucky thing?”
“It’s a good thing that this playfield chose Jian Nian as the dream master, because he is an S-Rank Survivor and has some control over himself. He can interfere with the playfield and even wake up from the playfield’s control, and the fact that so many people are still alive by now is definitely because he had resisted against the outcome.”
Ning Yangze’s face paled and he exhaled deeply, “Now, do we only believe in Jian Nian?”
“It doesn’t matter if we don’t believe, we can only wait here to see the result.” He Xin stared at the screen, “Or you can come and watch this thing with me, at the very least, we can determine the number and general location of the current survivors.”
“I really admire your good intentions.”
“I’m a researcher, and a calm mind is vital.” He Xin didn’t even raise his head, “When the game is over, remember to evacuate everyone in this area, it’s going to be set as an extremely dangerous zone, not every time will you be lucky enough to have an S-Rank Survivor to control the playfield.”
Ning Yangze waved his hand towards Xia Leyu, who instantly understood, quickly opening his computer and started tapping on the keyboard.
This was the first extremely dangerous zone they had released since the Survivor’s return.
On the other hand, inside the playfield.
The white figure in the corner of the table suddenly stood up after three seconds of standstill, then it slowly raised the book in its hand, it threw the book down in the crowd’s view. The next instant, a shadow peeled away from him and ate the book in one bite, Then the shadow as if unsatisfied, gradually rotated around the white figure, and finally directly reached out and swallowed the table.
“Eat-eaten!” Yun Lai pointed to the table, “Wait a minute? This is not Jian Nian’s…”
The last time, Jian Nian used his ability to save Shen Si’s colleague, and it was a strange monster that detached itself from Jian Nian’s body and ate the white figure.
Shen Si looked at the shadow and muttered, “Devour.”
Jian Nian’s ability gained in the world of unlimited flow was devouring; he could eat anything. Whether it was a devil or a god or a demon, as long as he devoured them, Jian Nian could gain their power. So the rumors of him in the world of unlimited flow were very frightening and scary.
The shadow ate the book, ate the table, and ate the white fog, then it swayed around and finally quickly scurried towards the monster that Jian Nian had fused with.
Shen Si quickly got up from the ground, and ran in the direction of Jian Nian, but as mentioned before, how could a person’s running speed catch up with something that can fly? The shadow pounced on Jian Nian, opened its mouth, and its human-sized mouth instantly swallowed the dream-made monster.
“Jian Nian!” Shen Si shouted out.
The shadow twisted on the ground for a moment before shrinking a little, as if it was squeezing Play-Doh and twisting into a human form, gradually transforming into hands, feet and five features.
It was Jian Nian.
Jian Nian stood in the same place, as he looked at Shen Si, even while he looked full of fatigue, he was smiling, “I told you, I can eat anything, even myself.”
The man staggered, finally the body that couldn’t hold up anymore slowly fell. Jian Nian closed his eyes, as if he was waiting to speak those words to Shen Si. Shen Si stepped forward to catch him and held him in a half-kneeling position, to prevent Jian Nian from falling to the ground. He could feel Jian Nian’s breath spraying on his neck, as he reached out to hold Jian Nian’s shoulders.
“I know.” Shen Si murmured, “I’ve always known.”
Yun Lai put on his broken glasses as he stood up, but then the walls around him started crumbling, like they were waking up from a dream. They were floating in the air as points of light, and probably nothing could create such a beautiful scene; those floating points of light were as gorgeous as the bubbles of the Little Mermaid when she died.
The dream was over.
The Special Unit waiting outside quickly rushed in, followed by medical personnel, who efficiently performed rescue work. The injured were rushed to the hospital, and the dead were registered on the list. Not knowing when his vision blurred, Yun Lai wiped his hand before realizing it was tears, and most of those still alive were crying.
“Thank you!” Yun Lai waved towards Shen Si.
Shen Si turned his head to look at Yun Lai, who forced himself to smile, but that smile was worse than crying.
“Life is such a fragile and beautiful thing.” Shen Si looked at Jian Nian, who had passed out in his arms, “Don’t you think so?”