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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
While lying in bed on a moonlit night, Lin Sheng’s body was immobilized, and his limbs were frozen. The only parts of his body that he could barely move were his fingers and brain. That was also partially due to his hard work for the past few days.
*Tack, tack, tack.*
The footsteps came again.
Lin Sheng was calm as he tried to clear his mind. After experiencing the same nightmare so many times, he knew he could not go on like that anymore because two weeks without sleep had taken a toll on his health and life.
Suddenly, Lin Sheng heard a voice calling him, and his expression froze.
The voice seemed to be floating from a distant void, and it sounded sorrowful. But Lin Sheng was only in a bedroom of less than six square meters.
“Lin Sheng.” The voice rang out again.
Lin Sheng gritted his teeth, trying to stabilize his accelerating heartbeat. After his previous experiences, he had noticed a pattern. Whenever he was in a panic, the footsteps would pick up the pace and get closer, making him lose control of his body.
“Don’t be afraid,” Lin Sheng told himself. He turned and looked at the woman in white who was sitting in front of the desk on his left. Then he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He opened his eyes again and saw a woman with a pale complexion right in front of his face, almost touching his nose. They were less than a palm apart from each other. The woman’s eyes were wide open as if she had seen something terrifying.
Suddenly, a light flashed across his eyes. When Lin Sheng could see again, the woman’s face was gone, and the woman in white was still sitting motionless at the desk with her back facing him. He trembled, trying to control his body.
*Tack, tack, tack.*
The footsteps were getting closer and closer.
“Lin Sheng.” The call was also getting closer and closer, and the bedroom door slowly opened with a click.
Lin Sheng struggled to rein in his body and emotions.
*Tack, tack, tack.*
The footsteps were closing the gap between them, slowly entering his bedroom and stopping at the tail end of his bed.
Lin Sheng could clearly feel that someone was staring at him with a mysterious smile. It was cold and lifeless. Somehow, he suddenly sensed a pair of hands slowly reaching for his quilt.
“Lin Sheng!” A sudden scream rang in Lin Sheng’s ears, and his entire body felt numb.
“Let’s perish together!”
Lin Sheng had no time to think. The color drained from his face, and with all his might, he flung his quilt away, got up, and reached out to catch the person at the tail end of his bed.
“Aah!” There was a shrill cry.
Lin Sheng felt the world spin around him, and he could not see anything. He seemed to have hit something yet caught nothing. Huffing slowly, Lin Sheng regained his vision after some time but had no idea how much time had passed. He only found himself out of bed and standing at the desk with his right hand firmly on the woman in white’s right shoulder.
In a split second, the woman in white, whose back was facing him, shriveled instantly like a leaky balloon and disappeared. Only her white dress was left on the chair.
Lin Sheng was rooted to the spot. He looked down, trying to examine the dress, which quickly melted like white wax and disappeared altogether in a matter of seconds.
“I’ve succeeded!” Lin Sheng felt a sense of relief. Gasping and looking around, he found himself still in his bedroom, but there was something amiss; except for the desk, bed, floor, ceiling, and chandelier, the other details in his room were blurry. Lin Sheng reached out to touch the chair, but he could not feel it, as though he was wearing thick gloves.
“Am I still in the dream?” Lin Sheng suddenly came to his senses. He had studied the way to determine whether one was still in a dream, and one of the methods was to look at the surrounding details.
Thinking for a moment, Lin Sheng bent over and carefully examined the texture of the wooden chair. The curved texture and pattern on the black wooden chair did not look like wood grain at all but more like the painting of some strange animal. Lin Sheng found it familiar but could not identify its name.
“It appears that I really am in a dream.” Lin Sheng was excited and was no longer in fear. He could still move about freely. The bedroom, bookcase, bed, desk, and wooden chair were the same as they were in reality, except the details of some corners were fuzzy like a mosaic.
Calming himself down, Lin Sheng slowly shifted his eyes to the tail end of the bed, where the person who made the footsteps stood earlier but had now left.
Lin Sheng looked through the open door and noticed that the narrow corridor was bathed in a dim red glow. He paused before he slowly moved to open the door.
Stepping out into the corridor felt like walking on cotton; he could not feel the floor. Lin Sheng was aware that he was in the hallway of his home, but there was the illusion of walking on a soft and fluffy carpet.
Through the glass window on the left side of the corridor, Lin Sheng saw something dark red flowing slowly and quietly like thick liquid outside. He went on to touch it but felt nothing. “It must be the special nature of dreams. I still remember the lack of the sense of touch in my previous dreams.” The thought crossed Lin Sheng’s mind, but he did not stop. Instead, he retracted his hand and continued to walk down the corridor.
His home in the dream was the same as it was in reality—the design and layout were all the same. The corridor was only a dozen meters long, and at the end of it, the kitchen was on the left, while the living room was on the right. When Lin Sheng got in between the kitchen and the living room, he peeked around.
“Where should I go?” A blanket of fog seemed to be clouding his consciousness in the dream. He had a feeling that he needed to focus his mind on remaining in the dream. Otherwise, he would wake up immediately.
After hesitating for a few seconds, Lin Sheng went left, where the kitchen was. He wanted to check if the food he had eaten and the dishes during the day were still there. His family members would usually leave the leftovers on the table and cover them with a fly-proof food cover.
He gently pushed the door open and was startled. The sink, dining table, and chopping board were all in their respective positions. The white tiles on the wall, the black and white lattice tiles on the floor, and the freshly bought vegetables in the corner of the kitchen were all there. A few red carrots were strewn around the grocery bag, a head of cabbage still had dew on its leaves, and there were two tomatoes as round and big as apples. Those tomatoes were supposedly a new variety that was more nutritious.
“Things are the same as they are in reality, but what is this?” Lin Sheng cautiously maneuvered past the groceries. His eyes landed on a crack in the wall on the right side of the kitchen. The crack, which looked like a passageway, should not have existed there. It was over one meter in height and half a meter in width with black mist rolling within.
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