Chapter 13: 013
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Lin Sheng got up and sat on the edge of his bed. He ran his fingers through his hair and found it drenched in sweat. “It’s not the first time I’ve dreamt about dying, but this time, the feeling’s entirely something else.”
Lin Sheng sat there and gasped, trying to calm down. Once his breathing returned to normal, he got up and walked over to sit at his desk. Lin Sheng switched the table lamp on and began to flip through the text he had translated.
“The most crucial part of the swordsmanship guide is the five illustrations. The rest are mainly just stories,” Lin Sheng muttered to himself as he looked at the translations.
“What was that figure in my dream? Is this information useful at all? What if the information and the swordsmanship that exist in the dream are just figments of my imagination? Learning it may cause irreversible damage to my body.” Lin Sheng had heard that learning acrobatics or martial arts the wrong way could result in physical disability. So, he was somewhat worried that the so-called Handbook of Swordsmanship was just all in his head.
Sitting silently by the bed, Lin Sheng was unsettled. It was not until a while later that he fell back in bed and closed his eyes. Yet, he could not sleep anymore because as soon as he shut his eyes, the pain of being killed would strike him. And this went on until dawn.
At twilight, Lin Sheng had no choice but to get up. He cooked some noodles with the leftovers from the day before and quickly ate them. After that, he put on his school uniform and headed out to school.
Lin Sheng thought that his death was only a dream. However, throughout the day, he felt a slight pain in his heart and a tingling sensation in his neck.
After muddling along for the entire day in school, Lin Sheng politely declined Shen Yan’s invitation to go to the cassette tape store and dragged himself back home. Lin Sheng tumbled into bed and fell asleep the moment he got home, skipping his dinner.
This went on for two days before Lin Sheng recovered his spirit. He did not experience any dreams during those two days. It was as if his previous nightmare was just an illusion.
His dad thought that he was ill and measured his temperature with a thermometer. But it turned out that Lin Sheng was fine, and all his dad could do was urge him to get more rest. The college entrance exam was necessary, but nothing was more important than one’s health.
After dinner, Lin Sheng lay in bed and looked up at the ceiling in silence. Had the notebook with his translations not been in the desk drawer, he would have thought that it was really a dream.
The house phone rang suddenly. His mom, Gu Wanqiu picked up the telephone. “Sheng Sheng, your sister’s looking for you.”
Lin Sheng’s heart skipped a beat. He quickly got out of bed, scurried into the living room, and took the telephone from his mom.
“You should have put on a jacket.” Gu Wanqiu held Lin Sheng’s hand, and it felt cold so she was worried. Going into Lin Sheng’s bedroom, Gu Wanqiu came out with her son’s coat.
Lin Sheng replied his mother with a smile. He put on his jacket and sat down on the couch with the telephone in hand. Meanwhile, his elder sister did not say anything but just listened on.
Lin Sheng paused and switched the phone to his other ear. “What’s up, Sis?”
“Nothing. I heard from Mom and Dad that you haven’t been feeling well recently. Get more rest and don’t overstretch yourself. Getting into a good university is important, but your health comes first.” His elder sister, Lin Xiao sounded worried.
“I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.” Lin Sheng made some calculations in his mind and said, “The exam’s still four months away; I’m not worried. The recent nightmares have just been affecting my sleep.”
“Is it because you’ve been reading too many horror stories?”
“I have no idea why. I haven’t done anything except study.” Lin Sheng played dumb.
“Is it because you don’t have enough money?” Lin Xiao suddenly lowered her voice.
“Really,” Lin Sheng said.
“Don’t act tough, I’ll send you some money. You’re grown up now, and some expenses are unavoidable,” Lin Xiao said.
“No, really, Sis. You have enough to worry about on your side.”
“I have enough here, don’t you worry about me. All right, I’ll stop here. Don’t forget to get the money,” Lin Xiao said.
Lin Sheng heard a female voice calling his elder sister as if asking her to help out with something.
“I have something to do here, I’ll hang up now,” Lin Xiao responded and hurriedly hung up.
Lin Sheng put the phone down and looked at the clock on the wall. It was nine in the evening.
His elder sister was still working at that hour, and for this reason, Lin Sheng did not want to become a burden to her. But he knew she was stubborn and would send him the money anyway.
“Forget it. I have to sleep well tonight and begin my revision for the college entrance exam tomorrow,” Lin Sheng said. The college entrance exam in his current life was not much different from the one in his past life. It was only a ticket to promotion. If he failed the exam and was not accepted into university, he could only go to a vocational school and become a mechanic.
There were many vocational schools in Xilin, but they were relatively inferior to universities. Also, the quality of the vocational schools was much lower than the quality of schools in Lin Sheng’s past life.
If a student failed the college entrance exam and ended up in a vocational school, it basically meant that the person’s future was over. There was a huge social gap in the society where few mechanics could leapfrog the divide, and the pay for simple technical jobs was meager.
Returning to his bedroom and falling on his bed, Lin Sheng made up his mind; he would rest well and not worry about the nightmare until he finished the college entrance exam. Covering himself with his quilt, Lin Sheng said goodnight to himself, shut his eyes, and slowly fell asleep.
Hearing his own breathing reverberating in an empty room, Lin Sheng opened his eyes and found himself in the familiar hall of the manor. Pieces of silver tableware were scattered on the long table that was covered with the tattered white cloth.
“I’m here again?” Lin Sheng quickly looked around, and his heart sank. On the left was a wall where fuzzy oil paintings had been hung, and on the right was a large square window. Through the gauzy curtains, Lin Sheng could see the fog outside.
He quickly moved forward and arrived before the door, which was open before he entered the study room. There he was, in that familiar place once more with the giant opened book of clear text still sitting on the low table.
“Sure enough, I’m back again.” Lin Sheng calmed down. Instead of looking at the Handbook of Swordsmanship, he left the study room and went back out to the hall again.
At the window along the side of the living room, Lin Sheng gently drew the curtains open.
Beyond the rudimentary wall of the manor was the black forest. It looked like a monster shrouded in the fog. In the yard, within the outer walls of the mansion, were several broken wooden benches and a small swing. There was also something in the corner that looked like a hoe.
Lin Sheng closed the curtains and went to check out the other windows, which did not face the main entrance. The figure had come from the main entrance the last time.
Lin Sheng paused for a while, standing in the hall and falling into deep thought. Then, he turned around and started to search the manor. “I need a weapon. It’d be better if it was a little longer and wider.”
Lin Sheng knew what to do. He did not intend to keep staying in the manor and the bizarre dream in which he died because it could physically affect him in reality.
It gave him a sense of crisis, and he had the explicable hunch that if the shadow figure killed him repeatedly, some nasty changes might befall him. It seemed like his physical instincts were warning him.