Translated by: DMlations/Zryuu
Edited by: Amelea and FistFullOfDollars
The two of them walked past a shopping mall. Zhou Sheng stopped and looked at a shop that sold ridiculously expensive men’s clothes. Yu Hao was worried that he wanted to buy clothes again — one piece of clothing from this shop was priced at 2,000 — so he quickly said, “I don’t think it looks as nice as this Kandinsky piece.”
“You actually know him?” Zhou Sheng was extremely surprised.
“I really like his abstract paintings.” Yu Hao said, “Poor students have their right to like art too ma.”
Zhou Sheng answered, “I like it a lot too. I’m not buying any more, let’s go ba.”
When they left, Zhou Sheng suddenly felt inspired, “The money you spent was at least earned with your own two hands, but what about me? I’m still being supported by my family, so I don’t have the face to be saying these kinds of things to you.”
Yu Hao smiled and answered, “What does it matter?”
“Take a guess, whose dream did I enter first?” Zhou Sheng turned around and asked Yu Hao.
Yu Hao didn’t expect that Zhou Sheng would suddenly mention that with no prior warning, so he was instantly stunned.
“Your Dad’s.” Yu Hao eventually said after thinking about it for a long moment.
“Full marks.” Zhou Sheng revealed a gentle smile and gave Yu Hao a thumbs up. Both of them had a tacit understanding at this moment. Zhou Sheng’s happiness came from having a friend who could truly understand him.
During the Spring Festival period, people hurried to and fro with a lively bustle, yet Yu Hao was thinking, if I keep working for the next few days, I might be able to earn a thousand or so which would be as much as I could usually earn in a month.
They sat in the cake shop on the first floor. Zhou Sheng ordered a cake gift box as they were going to visit Chen Yekai and Professor Lin later, then took a cup of coffee and passed it to Yu Hao. The two of them sat down and drank for awhile. Zhou Sheng said, “When I was a kid, I went to the river to swim and picked this up in the mud.”
Yu Hao responded with an “un”, and his gaze shifted from the golden wheel to Zhou Sheng’s eyes.
“Golden Crow Wheel.” Yu Hao recalled that earlier today, he had guessed that this ornament was closely related to Zhou Sheng’s strange ability, and this was indeed the case.
Zhou Sheng lifted his wrist and tilted his head sideways to scrutinise it. On his wrist was the red rope that Yu Hao had woven for him.
Yu Hao suddenly remembered something and began looking through his phone, it had the information that he was looking for today. He showed it to Zhou Sheng, “Look at this.”
Zhou Sheng looked at his phone and said, “I did my research on it a long time ago, and yes, that’s it.”
On Yu Hao’s phone was the treasure of the Jinsha museum in Chengdu, the Jinsha Sun Wheel.”
Yu Hao said, “When did you know that you had this ability?”
“7.” Zhou Sheng answered, “It took a lot of effort to figure out what had happened.”
Rather than saying Zhou Sheng innately possessed this ability, it was more like it had been awakened by the Golden Crow Wheel. When he was a kid, he often had to suffer domestic violence at the hands of both his parents. His father wouldn’t even say a word before he started hitting him, while his mother would come up with all kinds of ways to make digs at him — it was both verbal and physical violence. The young Zhou Sheng thus became irritable, sensitive and irascible. Every night, he would hide in his room and sleep alone.
One day in a dream, he saw a gorgeous blazing sun that emitted fierce, raging flames. Energy flowed, and it emanated a bright light that radiated outwards, revealing the form of the Golden Crow Wheel. The Golden Crow Wheel told him that this was the world of consciousness, and what it represented was an assembly of the impressions that every person had of their reality.
“It can speak?!” Yu Hao was completely astonished.
The waiter placed their packaged cake on the table so the two of them briefly stopped talking. After he left, Zhou Sheng said, “It can speak, but not in the typical sense. When you stand in front of it and accept its flames, some information is directly……conveyed into your consciousness.”
Yu Hao stared blankly at Zhou Sheng.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Ktja kjr tbk P xcfk atja la kjr j ‘ujaf’. Zs wlrrlbc yfujc atf wbwfca P tjv mgbrrfv atgbeut la.”
Ktf Xbivfc Jgbk Qtffi lc tlr vgfjw kjr fcbgwber, jcv kbeiv fwla j ubivfc iluta lc jii vlgfmalbcr. Pa kjr pera ilxf atf rmlfcmf olmalbc wbnlf《Vajgujaf VX-1》; Itbe Vtfcu rabbv bc abq bo j ibcu yglvuf, ktlira atf obgw bo atf Xbivfc Jgbk Qtffi ijs jmgbrr atf wlvvif bo atf yglvuf — ilxf j teuf ujaf atja ifv ab j vloofgfca vlwfcrlbc.
“You crossed it.” Yu Hao said.
“It let me cross it, and so, I appeared in my Dad’s dream.” Zhou Sheng answered.
Yu Hao had a shocked expression. Zhou Sheng began to recall his father’s dream — it was a battlefield swarming with bloodthirsty beasts, bloody limbs, graves……there were wild beasts wreaking havoc everywhere. The young Zhou Sheng stood in the middle of this battlefield, completely at a loss.
“He used to be a soldier.” Zhou Sheng said, “He became a cook after he switched professions. In his dream, its beasts had a distinct hierarchy — a King of the Beasts commands all of the flying and land beasts, which symbolises the impression of his belief that power is supreme.”
At that time, Zhou Sheng was only 7, so it was impossible for him to rival a group of fierce-looking monsters. But luckily, it was his father’s dream. In his dream, his son had a protective halo that surrounded him, and that may be the “love” for his son that Zhou Laichun had never declared.
When he said this, Zhou Sheng’s expression became extremely conflicted. He had tried to explore his father’s mental world, though he didn’t understand what it all meant at first.
“So your father……” Yu Hao said, “Under the influence you had on his mental world, he successfully transformed his character in reality.”
Zhou Sheng absent-mindedly uttered an “un”. His long and beautiful fingers fiddled with the coffee cup in his hands — he took off the insulator paper cup holder off, tore it apart, then pieced it back on like a jigsaw puzzle.
“You defeated the King of the Beasts?” Yu Hao asked.
“Of course not.” Zhou Sheng leaned back on his chair and his gaze swept towards Yu Hao’s eyes, then answered, “In my Dad’s consciousness, I will never be able to defeat him. So for me, that would be impossible.”
Yu Hao understood that, so he put forward another idea.
“Then, if one day your achievements surpass his, then the King of Beasts in his dream would no longer be your opponent.”
Zhou Sheng said with a voice that was bored stiff, “I thought of that before. My strength comes from the understanding the dreamscape’s owner has of me, which is very reasonable. But I’m not very interested.”
“What about the ‘self’ in his dream?” Yu Hao asked, “The one that was banished.”
Zhou Sheng said, “He has never been banished before, he’s different from you guys. The King of Beasts is his embodiment. The King of Beasts is his truest self, but my invasion did have some sort of impact ba……”
In his father’s dream, Zhou Sheng had defeated a lot of corrupted monsters, so his father Zhou Laichun in reality gradually became more decisive — he decided to completely cut off his life of wading through mud and water. This action had facilitated his final decision in divorcing his wife, and to be himself.
And thus, this had further triggered Zhou Sheng’s mother’s hysterics. When Zhou Sheng talked about this, guilt could be seen in his eyes.
“If it were me,” Yu Hao said, “I’d really wish for them to go their separate ways and not use me as an excuse to say something like ‘we’re not getting a divorce because of you’.”
“I guess so.” Zhou Sheng smiled, then said, “Afterwards, I entered my Mum’s dream.”
Yu Hao was extremely curious about the Golden Crow Wheel’s strength. Could he enter anyone’s dream as long as he wanted to do so?
“In her dream.” Zhou Sheng made light of it as he said, “I had no protection, so I almost died.”
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao knew the implication behind that: Zhou Sheng’s mother, probably didn’t love him very much.
“So when you crossed through the Golden Crow Wheel……”
“Yes.” Zhou Sheng said, “The Golden Crow Wheel told me that as long as I crossed through it, I would be able to enter another person’s dream. But the premise was: that person must have an impression of me, and amongst his impressions, I must exist, before this passage can be opened seamlessly. Later on, I had entered the dreams of several other people, like my senior high’s ‘Boss’, form teacher, and my deskmate……”
After his parents divorced, Zhou Sheng gradually began to understand the conscious world. At first, he was just seeking novelty as he wandered through their dreams like a traveller. Dreams appeared in a myriad of forms: there had been a distorted reality map comprising monsters that shuttled back and forth between high-rise buildings, a seemingly familiar scene from an ancient TV drama that aroused a sense of deja vu, as well as ashen and barren hills.
Zhou Sheng was very clever, he gradually managed to connect reality with the elements presented in the conscious world, then interpreted them. Most people’s dreams seem chaotic and filled with fragmentary symbols of their impressions, but gradually, he became accustomed to them, so he no longer had much interest in dreams.
Even though he possessed such an ability, in reality he still lived a life that was in shambles. After the end of his college entrance examination, Zhou Sheng relied on the points accrued from sports to enroll in a college. He had planned to keep the Golden Crow Wheel after he entered college. However, not too long ago, due to a freak combination of factors, he came to know Yu Hao.
Yu Hao understood, and nodded his head.
Zhou Sheng said, “The first time we met, ‘it’ told me that since I had come across it, there would be a mission that I would need to accomplish in the future.”
Zhou Sheng rubbed his head and revealed a baffled look on his face. Then he thought for a bit before saying, “Maybe my mission was to save you.”
Yu Hao, “You know that’s not it.”
“Whatever.” Zhou Sheng said in a bored tone, “In any case, I’ve never cared much about other people’s dreams. After this time, I won’t use the Golden Crow Wheel anymore.”
Yu Hao asked seriously, “Will it appear in your dreams every night?”
“It’ll only appear when I want to dream of it.” Zhou Sheng said, “Or else I would’ve been so tormented I’d go crazy. How am I supposed to sleep with a huge sun in my face every night?”
“Did the Golden Crow Wheel say anything else?” Yu Hao laughed.
“It only spoke the first time I saw it.” Zhou Sheng answered, “Voices in dreams are all just feelings, you can’t tell if it belongs to a man or woman. Later on, no matter what I asked, it never spoke again.”
Yu Hao still had a lot of doubts, but he was constantly reminding himself to not irritate Zhou Sheng with his questions, so he could only force himself to suppress them.
“Why are you grinning so happily?” Zhou Sheng said, “Let’s go. That’s it, I just explained it to you a bit. I thought you would’ve been pretty curious about it.”
Rather than just saying Yu Hao was curious, it was also that Zhou Sheng needed to pour his heart out. He had been holding this secret in his heart for far too long, and he had been holding it in for more than ten years. Today, there was finally someone who could listen to him properly, which made Zhou Sheng heave a long sigh of relief.
Zhou Sheng stuffed one hand into his pocket, carrying his bag and the cake as he walked in front. Yu Hao followed him from behind. Zhou Sheng would look at the display windows at both sides from time to time, but Yu Hao only looked at Zhou Sheng. In the past two days, he had been feeling extremely conflicted. He realised that he seemed to be liking Zhou Sheng more and more. If you were to say that at first it was a kind of love that made his heart palpitate, then now it had turned into an admiration that he couldn’t control.
What’s more, this wasn’t just an attraction to Zhou Sheng’s appearance or a hormonal one, but rather a feeling that made Yu Hao dead set upon him, one that he couldn’t break free from. This feeling, like a surging undercurrent, was for both the Zhou Sheng in reality, as well as the heroic General in his dreamscape.
“Where are we going?”
“To see your future boyfriend.” Zhou Sheng said.
“He’s not my boyfriend!” Yu Hao said without knowing whether to cry or laugh.
Zhou Sheng, “That’s why I said ‘future’ ma. No, wait. Yu Hao, you know who I’m talking about?”
Yu Hao, “……”
The two of them arrived at the hospital that Chen Yekai was in and registered their names. Yu Hao knocked on the door and entered the ward, but he suddenly got a huge shock.
Liang Jinmin lay unconscious in bed while her whole body was connected with tubes and lines. When Chen Yekai heard the noise, he got up wearily from the sickbed.
Chen Yekai seemed completely different from his usual self, and even Zhou Sheng was shocked. His complexion looked horrible, his hair was messy and his stubble was unshaven. As he laid sideways on the sickbed, he looked like a dispirited patient.
“You came?” Chen Yekai rubbed his face and tried his best to sober up,” Why didn’t you let me know first?”
Yu Hao, “I thought……”
Chen Yekai, “I’ll go wash my face first. I didn’t sleep last night, Shimu just transferred over from the ICU ward.”
Zhou Sheng said immediately, “We just came for a short visit, we’ll leave soon.”
Zhou Sheng motioned for Yu Hao to put down their cake before taking their leave, yet Chen Yekai said from the washroom, “Sit ba, it’s fine.”
This was the best suite in the hospital. Yu Hao sat down on the sofa, but Zhou Sheng walked over to the sickbed to observe Liang Jinmin. Liang Jinmin’s forehead and eyes were covered in bandages. She had a nasal feeding tube inserted, and there was a heart rate detector turned on beside her.
Zhou Sheng motioned for Yu Hao to come over to take a look, and pointed at the corner of Liang Jinmin’s eyes.
Yu Hao, “?”
Zhou Sheng whispered, “She was hit by her husband. A car crash wouldn’t cause that.”
Yu Hao, “……”
He instantly recalled the time when he had last seen Liang Jinmin — she was wearing sunglasses when she met up with Chen Yekai in the flower cafe. At the time, he had associated her with his female teacher who occasionally went to class wearing sunglasses, and explained herself by saying that she had dark circles under her eyes because she hadn’t slept well the night before.
Zhou Sheng said nothing more. He sat down beside Yu Hao. After Chen Yekai washed up, he went to the coffee table to open up the gift box, “Bought this for me ba?”
“It’s not like the patient can eat it.”
“That’s true.” Chen Yekai forced himself to smile, “But now, her condition has stabilised.”
Yu Hao asked, “Is it serious?”
Chen Yekai tore the box open while looking preoccupied with his worries and answered, “Concussion, deep coma, they need to keep her under observation.”
It was close to dusk. Chen Yekai began to wolf down the snacks, and Yu Hao went to fetch him a cup of water. There was a quiet moment in the ward.
“You haven’t eaten since last night?” Yu Hao asked.
Chen Yekai simply nodded, then drank his water.
“Shimu’s just like an older sister to me.” Chen Yekai said, “I have been with her and Laoshi for many years, since I’ve been helping them with their projects since my freshman year. I didn’t expect something like this to happen after we returned to the country this time.”
Zhou Sheng asked, “Where’s Professor Lin?”
Chen Yekai answered, “He’s at the Dean’s place, he wasn’t seriously injured.”
Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao looked at each other. Chen Yekai began tidying up, and said two words, “Thank you.”
For a moment, all three of them were speechless. Yu Hao could sense that Chen Yekai was extremely dejected and in pain, and a moment later, Yu Hao suggested, “Let’s play a round?”
Chen Yekai thought about it and said, “Okay. When Professor Lin comes over later, I’ll introduce him to you guys. I want to use Sun Wukong today.”
Zhou Sheng, “Okay, I’ll let you use him.”
Dollars: Oof this one got me right in the feels. Group hug with ZS and Kaikai everyone.
Ame: ;w; Group hug!!
Zryuu: We’re finally getting started on the third arc!!!! Exciteddddddddd <3