Chapter 6: 006
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Lin Sheng stood motionless in front of the passage and saw that the kitchen was occasionally distorted like a shifting phantom. He had no idea how long he had been standing there—probably ten or twenty seconds. He had no perception of time in his dreams.
“This crack must have something to do with my previous nightmare,” Lin Sheng speculated. “The air here is the same as the air in my nightmare before this; I can definitely feel it!” As Lin Sheng slowly inched closer to the passage, he could already feel a chill and stiffness spreading across the part of his skin that faced the fissure. It felt just like the previous nightmare.
“I have to go in and check it out.” Lin Sheng paused before he made up his mind. Since it was just a dream, he knew that he would not die for real. Hence, curiosity finally took over his fear. He calmed down for a while, then slowly stepped into the crack.
Lin Sheng felt as though he had jumped into a pool of icy water the moment he poked his head in. It was pitch dark, and he heard the whining of the wind. Not even three seconds in the crack, a light suddenly flashed before Lin Sheng’s eyes, and the chill in his body slowly subsided. It was still cold but more bearable.
When his eyes finally adapted, a European-style living room comprised of grayish-black stones appeared before him. He found himself standing directly on one end of the rectangular living room. On his left were a fireplace and an old brownish-red stove with the bust of a solemn curly-haired man. Lin Sheng could not help but reach for the sculpture, which felt solid, cold, and smooth to the touch. He was stunned and quickly pulled back his fingers.
“The feeling is much, much stronger this time… Just like the real thing.” With that in mind, Lin Sheng quickly looked back over his shoulder. The crack in the wall, from which he had passed through, was now shrinking and disappearing rapidly.
There was still a faint light leaking through the cracks from the kitchen. Before Lin Sheng knew what was happening, the crack suddenly decreased in size at an even faster rate and was completely gone in the blink of an eye. Seeing what was happening, Lin Sheng was rooted to the spot. He knew that he was in a dream, but…
He looked down and noticed that a dark gaseous substance in his surroundings had begun to permeate his skin and seep into his body. It was as if the place was accepting and infecting him. There was an unexplainable sense of security, which made him feel that he could stay a little longer.
Snapping out of his thoughts, Lin Sheng started to look around the place.
There was a large dining table covered with an eye-catching white cloth that had turned grayish, old, and tattered with dark red stains at the center of the hall.
The floor, which was black with yellow patterns, was made of unknown cold hard stones.
Overhead, a black petal-shaped candle holder hung from the yellow ceiling, and on it were sixteen unlit white candles of different lengths also arranged in a petal pattern.
There was a large rectangular window on one side of the hall, while various oil paintings were on the opposite pale-yellow wall.
Lin Sheng paused for a while before he headed toward the big window first.
At the window, he slowly drew the grayish-black curtains aside and looked out through the square window pane. The scene outside was gray and gloomy with a few shadows of bare trees swaying in the wind. Other than that, there was nothing but darkness beyond the wall.
Lin Sheng closed the curtains. He quietly turned to walk toward the other wall where there were many oil paintings, but all Lin Sheng saw were fuzzy images. He could barely distinguish portrait from landscape paintings.
“It’s not much different from the previous dream… All details appear blurry.” Lin Sheng was calm as the sense of familiarity in the dream made him less nervous. He reached out to touch the oil paintings. Like before, he could not feel them as if his hand was wrapped in thick cotton cloth. Lin Sheng was very patient, though. He examined each and every oil painting. Only then did he step back and look in the direction of the exit. There was a wooden door in the corner of the hall, and it opened to other rooms.
Lin Sheng continued to walk, increasing his pace. Once he was at the wooden door, he put his hand on the doorknob, which was in the shape of a horse head, and gently turned it. As the door softly creaked open, he slowly stepped into the adjacent room.
A dark curtain with printed patterns hung from above the doorway. Lin Sheng drew the curtain to both sides and finally saw the interior. He was greeted by two dark red bookshelves that faced the door, and they were filled with neatly arranged books.
“It’s a study room,” Lin Sheng inferred. He paused, stopping short of going in farther. His past experience told him that the text in the books would be illegible. Thus, he thought that he had better explore other places.
Lin Sheng turned and went back to the hall, where he wandered around and quickly found another door. He stepped through it and came upon a bedroom. He hung around for a while and went back out when he found nothing.
In the corner of the hall, he soon discovered a basement under the floor where a massive amount of wine bottles and a large dark red wine barrel were stored. The cellar was filled with the fragrance of wine. Lin Sheng mooched around in the basement and began to figure out what kind of place it was. “This is an old European manor.”
Lin Sheng resurfaced to the hall when he felt that he was about to wake up. People in dreams could always tell when they were about to wake up. “I better make use of this last moment to check out the study room.”
He wasted no time and ran straight toward the study room. Once in the room, Lin Sheng first saw a low mahogany table at the center and a stack of gray-covered books on it. Next to the pile of books was a silvery-gray candlestick, and next to that was an opened book. He curiously went up to check it out. The texts in the books were written in a small font, but they were clear enough. In spite of that, he had no idea what the words meant.
“Why is it that the writings are so clear?” Lin Sheng wondered. He ignored the books and set his eyes on the other bookshelves, which were filled with various books. Picking up a book and opening it, Lin Sheng saw that it was also written in the same kind of language in a small font.
“This doesn’t look like Xilin but more like ancient Rehn.” Lin Sheng frowned. He remembered seeing ancient books with such writing on TV. Ancient Rehn, hieroglyphics, cuneiform, and ancient Xiguang were the four oldest writing systems. Lin Sheng had read about the origin of these writing systems in the many extracurricular books in his junior high school. Among the four ancient writing systems, hieroglyphics and ancient Rehn were the most readily identifiable and distinct. That was why he recognized it immediately.
“This is funny. Now I’m even dreaming of ancient Rehn,” Lin Sheng said to himself as he carefully browsed through the book in his hand. What was even more surprising was that he found a new sense of unfamiliarity in the book’s content, graphics, and text.
“Supposedly, what I see in dreams, however strange they are, should be familiar. But this unfamiliarity…” Lin Sheng felt that something was wrong. Just as he decided to copy a paragraph of the text and study it after he woke up, sudden vertigo struck him.
“It’s time.” He knew it.