Chapter 749: The Ring
"How were you and that female neighbor?"
"Going to her house yesterday made me sweat profusely, and now my waist is still sore..."
"Moving a chest of drawers is really tiring!"
After dinner, Chen Shi and Xin Bai walked together to chat. Not far away, Gu You and Lin Dongxue were chatting enthusiastically about topics between women.
"I still care about this dream control thing and want to try it out." Xin Bai said.
"Don't fool around. One of the two people known at the moment has become a death row prisoner and the other has become like this. Isn't it enough of a lesson? Just write your damn book!"
"Don't you think it's very interesting? Living another life in a dream. I’ve long wanted to experience another life. Hehe, I will go to the Xinhua Bookstore in the afternoon to find books related to it."
"You really do whatever you think of in the moment..."
Chen Shi thought to himself that the temptation of dream control is probably its risk as well. If the dream is too beautiful, the person involved won’t care about reality, or treat the beautiful, continuous dream as reality and the heavy, trivial reality as a dream.
A documentary about the future described such a scenario. With the maturity of brainwave decoding technology, the poor in the future will be immersed in a virtual world. They can get all their satisfaction from it and only wake up eight hours a day to work to earn a meager salary to maintain the physical body and pay the electricity bill so that they can continue to be paralyzed in the virtual world.
Scientists say that the future of mankind may not be in distant stars, but in virtual reality.
He suddenly understood the painful emotions conveyed by Liu Tao's words: "I can't dream anymore." What he lost was too important to him.
When they walked to the parking lot, the four who were temporarily separated gathered together again. Lin Dongxue said, "Since we can't go to the prison today, I have no reason to wander outside. I have to go back and investigate cases."
"What case is there?" Chen Shi asked.
"A man was stabbed to death in the shower room of a gym..."
Before she finished speaking, Xin Bai said, "Someone must be jealous of his muscles."
"Even if you don't speak, no one will treat you as a mute!"
"I won't go!" Chen Shi said.
"Don't want to go!"
Gu You giggled. "Mr. Chen, you can easily cause quarrels like this. It's better to find a reason to refuse your girlfriend."
"Should he be getting taught in front of me like this?" Lin Dongxue complained.
Chen Shi really thought about it and said, "Yueyue wants to buy audio textbooks after school in the afternoon and I have to accompany her."
"Did you just make that up?"
"It’s true, it’s true. She’s going to take the entrance examination soon."
Lin Dongxue pouted. "Send me back to the bureau!"
After getting in the car, Xin Bai asked, "You’re going to prison? Fuck, take me, take me! I’ve never had a chance to go to prison to open my eyes, so this opportunity cannot be missed.
"Ah?!" Lin Dongxue looked reluctant.
"I beg you. I would rather let the protagonist of my novel shorten their lives by three years. I hope you can agree."
Chen Shi said, "In order for the protagonist of his stupid novel to live another three years, you should agree to it. It's okay to bring someone along anyway.
"Fine!" Lin Dongxue sighed and agreed.
Gu You got off the car halfway and went back to her consultation room. Lin Dongxue went back to the bureau for work, leaving Chen Shi and Xin Bai idling. Xin Bai said with a perverted tone, "Shall I treat you to a health club?"
"Get lost! I'll take you home. Remember to pay for the car ride."
In the afternoon, Chen Shi casually flagged customers down on the street, then picked up Tao Yueyue and visited the Xinhua Bookstore. Chen Shi asked her, "What dreams have you had recently?"
"It's nothing. Just ordinary pubescent girl dreams."
"Why are you so honest?"
"I can say anything in front of Uncle Chen anyway." Tao Yueyue made a cute expression.
"You didn't make a boyfriend at school, did you?"
"Our school only has a junior high school and at most, there are only naive boys who are in the third grade. I have no interest at all..." Tao Yueyue made a disgusting expression. "Why do all you adults talking to children going through puberty have to bring up this kind of topic to lessen the distance between each other? It’s so deliberate."
"Because adults are very nosy!" Chen Shi smiled.
He suddenly noticed that Tao Yueyue had indeed grown up, and the weather was getting hot now. She was wearing a little skirt, making her legs look very thin and long.
Chen Shi remembered that she wasn’t so tall a year ago. He could easily hold her in his arms.
Unknowingly, Yueyue was already hitting puberty, and it was inconvenient for him to ask girls about certain things. The only thing he could do was…
"I'll give you some extra pocket money!" Chen Shi suggested.
"You’re very busy lately. Don't you plan to accompany me?" Tao Yueyue said coquettishly.
After going home to eat, Tao Yueyue lay in her bedroom, holding her mobile phone and chatting with her classmates while giggling. Chen Shi felt relieved when he saw that she wasn’t studying. He put down a plate of apples as a cover and left quietly.
On a rare peaceful night, he engaged in some of his own entertainment. Chen Shi sat in front of the computer in the living room, logged in to his Zhihu account and looked for the souls who asked for help.
At this time, Xin Bai was looking for him on QQ. The excitement could be noticed through the screen. He said, "Hey, hey, I found a paper on controlling dreams on CNKI! Would you like to read it?"
"Not interested. Write your damn manuscript."
"Take a look at it. It's easy to understand."
Xin Bai sent over a document and Chen Shi's cheek twitched. He clicked to receive it. After opening it, he glanced at it and found that the author of the paper was actually Chen Fengde!
He read it patiently, but unfortunately, this paper only provided detailed methods and had no valuable clues... The paper was published three years before Chen Fengde committed the crime. It seemed as though he had been immersed in this thing for a long time.
Chen Shi thought for a moment. Dream marker? It seemed that his identity in his dreams was always Song Lang. As long as he finds himself as Song Lang, would it mean he was dreaming?
No, no, I wouldn't try this kind of thing!
Tao Yueyue came out and said, "Uncle Chen, watch a movie with me."
"You want to watch such an old movie? It's scary as well."
"I often hear people talk about it, but I haven't watched it before. I know it's scary, so watch it with me! If you can’t, don’t worry about it. I’ll watch it by myself next time."
Chen Shi wouldn’t refuse a rare parent-child activity and said, "Let's do it!"
Chen Shi opened a video streaming website and watched it with her. At first, Tao Yueyue was eating potato chips with a casual look. Later, when the atmosphere became more gloomy and strange, she shrank into Chen Shi's arms in fright.
"Horror movies are all fake. You won’t be afraid if you just think about the directors and photographers in front of these actors. You see? I’m not afraid..." At this time, the phone rang suddenly and Chen Shi jumped.
Chen Shi hung up the phone with a trembling hand. It turned out that someone made a wrong call. Tao Yueyue covered her mouth and giggled, "And you say you’re not afraid?"
"Why don't we watch something else. You can already guess the ending here now."
"No, I want to finish watching it. Don't you think Sadako is very pitiful?"
"It's true. After all, we’re born different and it’s common for humans to reject those who are different."
After watching the movie, the two went back to their respective rooms to sleep. In his sleep, Chen Shi became Song Lang again. He even realized this. When he noticed it, the black and white dream instantly turned into color, which was an automatic repair by the subconscious mind.
He was standing in a small, empty room with moss on the wall. Clusters of gray weeds grew out of the cracks in the bricks, and an old-fashioned TV set was placed in the center of the small room. An old well popped on the screen with a crashing noise.
"Fuck!" Chen Shi was shocked. "Don't ring! Don't ring!"
He turned and ran...
1. Movie title of a horror/thriller where a woman and her ex-husband investigate a series of teen deaths caused by a tape, when their son becomes a victim.
2. The ones that offer sexual services.
3. Zhihu is a Chinese question-and-answer website where questions are created, answered, edited, and organized by the community of its users.
4. CNKI is a key national research and information publishing institution in China, led by Tsinghua University, and supported by PRC Ministry of Education, PRC Ministry of Science, Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China and PRC General Administration of Press and Publication.
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Do keep in mind that the 3rd grade is not actually the 3rd grade in the western world. In China, after grade 6, they start secondary grade 1. So 3rd grade is actually grade 9 after you convert it.