“I hope you’re a man of your word. Don’t try getting up to any more mischief, otherwise, even if I had to chase you to the ends of the earth, I would still tear you guys back in the end. My men are already heading over to where you guys are now.”
“This is the Zhao Liang in your dream?” Yu Hao still wasn’t quite sure. This shouldn’t be the real Zhao Liang, that wasn’t possible, right? If Zhao Liang could enter Huang Ting’s dream as well, then doesn’t that mean that he has the same ability as Zhou Sheng? But Zhou Sheng was the first to react -- he recalled the huge computer in Huang Ting’s memories, as well as the moment he sat on the chair!
Zhou Sheng immediately tossed a meaningful glance at the rest and said in a low voice, “Yo, what the hell is this? Huang Ting, is this real or fake?”
Chen Yekai said, “Even if it’s a dream impression, the gatekeeper shouldn’t appear here. This situation isn’t right, Zhou Sheng, withdraw ba.”
Zhao Liang said, “I guarantee that I’m the real deal. Please, come in. Through some technical means, I very slightly interfered with Huang Ting’s dream. It’s a long story, would you like to listen? If you guys want to come in, you’ll end up meeting me anyway. You can’t escape me, so why don’t we just explore this device that came from a mysterious place together?”
Zhou Sheng laughed and said, “You’re indeed right, but Laozi has never liked to follow the script. Good…”
At the moment that Zhou Sheng raised his hand, Zhao Liang said in a low voice, “Then you’re too naive.”
Right after he spoke, Zhao Liang’s figure suddenly blurred, and a storm broke out. Yu Hao hadn’t even seen the situation clearly before he was knocked straight out by Zhao Liang and fell. Huang Ting roared angrily, “Let them go! Zhao Liang!”
“This isn’t your inner world, Zhou Sheng.” Zhao Liang raised his voice, then shot towards Zhou Sheng. Zhou Sheng abruptly lifted his shield, the two of them collided, and within the crash, it was as if Zhou Sheng was struck by an extremely fast artillery shell, and he was sent flying by the impact.
“It’s not yours either!” Zhou Sheng brandished his jingubang and shouted angrily without the slightest hint of fear.
Yu Hao had no idea that Zhao Liang would actually strike first at this moment. After he was knocked quite far away, he shook his wings out and wanted to fly to the middle of the maze. However, Zhao Liang was really too fast. All he saw was a blur before Chen Yekai was slammed into, then after he blinked again, a fist had landed on Huang Ting’s chest, and both of them flew far away.
Zhou Sheng roared, “Yu Hao! Take them away from here!”
“That won’t do.” Zhao Liang stood in the middle of the courtyard. Yu Hao was flying towards Chen Yekai, but Zhao Liang had already come forward without making a sound and ran onto the high wall in just a few steps. Zhou Sheng let out a loud cry and chased after Zhao Liang; Yu Hao lunged towards Chen Yekai, while Zhao Liang lunged at Yu Hao. Within just the twinkle of an eye, Yu Hao was almost done with drawing out a bright, silver halo to wake Chen Yekai up, but Zhao Liang suddenly grabbed his wings, and with one move, Yu Hao was dragged until he drew an arc in the air and slammed head first into the high wall!
It was only at that moment that Zhou Sheng caught up with Zhao Liang, but Zhao Liang still had some energy left. He turned around, swept his leg out, while Zhou Sheng wielded his jingubang and raised it toward Zhao Liang’s waist. Yet, Zhao Liang grabbed the jingubang, leapt over and kicked Zhou Sheng squarely in his chest, kicking him down to the ground. Immediately after which, he jumped off from high ground, and with all of his body weight, he landed and smashed his fist into Zhou Sheng’s ribs!
Yu Hao had hit his head, so all he could see were golden stars in his field of view. He staggered up from the ground, but Zhao Liang caught up and kicked him once again, so he instantly fell to the ground and couldn’t get up again.
Zhao Liang abruptly turned sideways and avoided the beams of light that Chen Yekai had shot with his gun. Chen Yekai fired twice, but Zhao Liang evaded them both; on his third shot, Zhao Liang had already appeared in front of Chen Yekai. He grabbed Chen Yekai’s wrist with his left hand and broke his right hand; Chen Yekai hadn’t even reacted yet. He let out a pained cry; his arm had been broken, and he now fell to the ground.
Huang Ting gasped for breath as he got up, but got struck by Zhao Liang again and rolled straight onto the ground.
“Hey.” Zhou Sheng used his jingubang as support to get up. He smiled, “Zhao Laoshi is really fast.”
“In the world of martial arts, speed is invincible.” Zhao Liang smiled slightly at Zhou Sheng, “You’ve finally had your fill with playing for once. Zhou Sheng, let’s talk now about how we’ll be cooperating in the future?”
“How are you so fast?” Zhou Sheng struggled to stand up. Yu Hao kept coughing, he held onto the wall as he got up and stared at Zhao Liang in disbelief.
“That’s not logical.” Zhou Sheng muttered.
“A little stimulant,” Zhao Liang laughed, “can stimulate the transmission of neurons. I’m quite surprised too, I didn’t expect it to work so well.”
“The contest for control over consciousness has begun.” A researcher motioned for the rest to look.
On the huge screen, brain wave frequency patterns started jumping. The wave band representing Huang Ting had been marked in red, while Zhou Sheng’s brain waves were marked with a golden colour. Zhao Liang’s emitted a dazzling white light and began fluctuating wildly.
Zhao Liang, who had been fastened to the chair, began sweating all over. A researcher said softly, “His brain activity is extremely active right now. Push him a little more, it’s okay as long as we don’t exceed the maximum dose.”
Zhou Sheng said in a low voice, “But you… you haven’t beaten me yet ma…”
“The outcome is foreordained.” Zhao Liang beckoned to Zhou Sheng, “Young people ma, they always refuse to give up. I was like that in the past too, so I can understand.”
Before anyone could register it, Zhou Sheng raised his hand and brandished his jingubang, but before he could make a move -- and he was still standing in place even -- only Zhao Liang’s afterimage could be seen. He whooshed over to Zhou Sheng and punched Zhou Sheng squarely in his lower abdomen, and once again sent him flying!
Yu Hao slowly moved over to a place about ten metres away from Chen Yekai. Just as he was about to turn and lunge over, Zhao Liang said, “Don’t play your little tricks.”
Before he had even finished speaking, he was already in front of Yu Hao. Yu Hao was halfway through turning when he got punched by Zhao Liang again, and he instantly flew several metres away, landing harshly on the ground! Zhou Sheng roared angrily and lunged at Zhao Liang from behind. Zhao Liang still had reserves; he turned his body slightly to avoid the strike from the jingubang above, then unleashed a flurry of four punches in succession again and struck Zhou Sheng’s shoulder, ribs, abdomen, and collar bones. The cracking of his bones could be heard, and Zhao Liang added one last kick and sent Zhou Sheng flying several metres away.
The four of them were overpowered and had to endure Zhao Liang’s beating like this without the power to fight back at all. Yu Hao could no longer stand up, and his wings kept trembling.
“If you know what’s good for you, then just lie there,” Zhao Liang said to Yu Hao, “Don’t try to wake anyone up.”
Yu Hao kept gasping. Chen Yekai supported Huang Ting up in the distance, and made a gesture at him from afar.
Yu Hao’s brows furrowed.
Zhao Liang walked towards Zhou Sheng and knelt down on one knee in front of him. Zhou Sheng kept struggling, his hand still grabbing tightly onto the jingubang, and he smiled, “Taking drugs isn’t good for your health ah.”
“In order to win you over,” Zhao Liang said, “it’s still worth it. Are you willing to talk about it now?”
Zhou Sheng gasped, revealing a pained expression. His entire body started shining with a golden light.
“Don’t bother trying to escape anymore.” Zhao Liang got up and went over to Yu Hao. He studied Yu Hao and said seriously, “I know very well that Zhou Sheng can get himself out of dreamscapes, and that Yu Hao can wake Chen Yekai up, but you can’t get out yourself. Or in other words, as long as Zhou Sheng… you…” As he spoke, he pulled a sharp knife out of his hand and placed it against Yu Hao’s neck.
“…have any intention to leave, I can kill Yu Hao here straight away. Do you think he’ll ever be able to wake up then? Destroy his surface consciousness, make him fall into a vegetative state, take your ‘magic weapon’ away. As the saying goes, there are no dutiful children by the bed when one suffers from a chronic illness. Will you take care of your gay lover for the rest of your life? Must you force me to take such drastic measures before you’ll come to some sort of realisation?”
Yu Hao’s eyes widened, and he watched Zhao Liang closely.
“Okay.” The golden light on Zhou Sheng’s body faded, his hand still gripping tightly onto his jingubang. He said slowly, “State your conditions ba.”
“I hope you’re a man of your word,” Zhao Liang answered, “Don’t try getting up to any more mischief, otherwise, even if I had to chase you to the ends of the earth, I would still tear you guys back in the end. My men are already heading over to where you guys are now.”
Huang Ting said in a low voice, “Zhao Liang, you will one day die because of your desires.”
“It’s far, far from that moment right now.” Zhao Liang murmured, “Zhou Sheng, if you’re willing to cooperate with me, everyone will be able to live a very good life.”
“To do what?” Zhou Sheng panted.
Zhao Liang said, “Come to me with the Golden Crow Wheel, open up your dreamscape, let me enter your dream, and transfer your rights over as the brainwave integrator repeater.”
“Transfer it how?” Zhou Sheng said slowly, “These rights can be transferred?”
Zhao Liang said, “I have my ways. As long as it succeeds, I’ll let you guys go.”
Then, Zhao Liang held Yu Hao hostage as he looked at Chen Yekai, Huang Ting, and Zhou Sheng. He raised his voice, “You have such powerful resources at your disposal, yet you’re only using it to play around on such a small-scale, calling it by the glorified name of ‘saving oneself’ or ‘changing people’s hearts’, it really is too much of a pity. Don’t you guys want to know the true purpose of this thing?”
“Let us discuss it first.” Zhou Sheng said.
“I can’t let you guys get close to each other.” Zhao Liang studied Zhou Sheng, who was far away, and said in a low voice, “If you have something you want to say, just say it here ba. Everyone will be on the same side soon, so there’s no need to avoid rousing suspicion.”
Zhou Sheng sneered, “If my understanding of neuron stimulants is correct, the effects of your drug shouldn’t be able to last for too long ba.”
“It can work for a few hours at least.” Zhao Liang said, “As long as I don’t let you guys come into contact and lose Yu Hao’s healing ability to you, it’ll probably be easy for me to beat you up again even without the effects of the stimulant. Don’t forget, Zhou Sheng, even if you successfully escape in dreams, you’ll never be able to escape from my grasp in reality. If I were you, I’d cooperate readily.”
“And you know where I am?” Zhou Sheng revealed a wicked smile.
“I don’t.” Zhao Liang answered, “But I know where your house is. Whether in reality or in dreams, Yu Hao’s quite a useful hostage for me.”
“Yu Hao.” Zhou Sheng turned a deaf ear and said calmly.
Yu Hao had his back to the wall as he faced Zhao Liang’s sharp knife, and he never stopped thinking about a way to win against Zhao Liang. He was truly too fast; he was so fast that Yu Hao couldn’t even react at all. Perhaps there was a way, and that was to just kill Huang Ting in the dreamscape. In that way, the entire dream would collapse and turn into the subconscious. After falling into the subconscious, it would be his territory then, and Zhao Liang would soon lose his superficial consciousness, and would be no match for them anymore.
Then, after that, get Zhou Sheng to light the fire in the subconscious and restore Huang Ting’s superficial consciousness… this process might be very painful, but it was the only way now.
Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng and guessed that Zhou Sheng was thinking of that problem as well. However, Huang Ting was being protected by Chen Yekai right now, so conveying this idea to him was a problem in and of itself.
“Yu Hao.” Zhou Sheng smiled, “Do you remember where you came from just now?”
Yu Hao suddenly raised his head and looked up at the dark clouds -- he flew out of the moon! The moon was still around, would he be able to return if he were to cross through the moon again? Before anyone could register it, Yu Hao flew up, Zhao Liang instantly realised that something was amiss -- as long as Yu Hao managed to escape, his arrangement would no longer work anymore!
At the same time, Chen Yekai and Zhou Sheng lunged at Zhao Liang together. Chen Yekai’s flying scalpel revolved around him and struck Zhao Liang’s weapon, sending it flying, yet Zhao Liang grabbed Yu Hao’s arm and flipped over to ride him on his back. Yu Hao spread his wings open in the air and tumbled about, but he couldn’t fling Zhao Liang away. Zhou Sheng shouted, “Go!”
Then Zhou Sheng pulled Chen Yekai, set the jingubang vertically on the ground, and the jingubang elongated rapidly -- the walls of the maze that surrounded started extending as well!
Yu Hao flew as fast as he could and rushed out of the clouds. Zhou Sheng shouted from below, “It’s up to you now! Kaikai!”
Zhou Sheng pulled Chen Yekai’s arm and mustered all his strength to fling him upward!
Chen Yekai flew out of the clouds and summoned his flying scalpel back with his left hand. Yu Hao clenched his teeth, “Zhao Liang you… bastard!”
“You’re really tenacious, aren’t you…”
Zhao Liang was in mid air so he couldn’t propel himself, and the advantage he possessed in speed was no longer obvious. Thus, he could only punch Yu Hao’s nape, while Chen Yekai lunged over from the side and seized Zhao Liang. Yu Hao took advantage of his moment to shake his wings straight, released all of his strength, and brought Zhao Liang and Chen Yekai along as he rushed head first into the moon!
With a loud "bang" accompanied by Chen Yekai’s shout, the three who were tangled with one another separated, just like what happened every time they entered someone else’s dreamscape, and completely disappeared.
“Huang Ting!” Zhou Sheng staggered forward and pulled Huang Ting up.
Huang Ting was taken to one side of the courtyard by Zhou Sheng. Zhou Sheng pondered for a moment before saying, “Wake up, don’t fall asleep again for now, and don’t let the others know that you’ve awoken.”
Huang Ting said, “What about Zhao Liang?”
Zhou Sheng shook his head answered, “We’ll be there very soon, keep holding on. Good night.”
Then Zhou Sheng lit up a golden light and pressed it against Huang Ting’s forehead. The maze dream world suddenly shrank and disappeared.
At the moment they crossed through the moon, a shining gale swept across the entire dream world. With a flash, Yu Hao opened his eyes, woke up, and looked at the clock on the wall. It was 5 PM, the setting sun’s light so red it looked like blood. Yu Hao immediately felt about for his phone and sent a WeChat message. Zhou Sheng replied on his side and asked him not to worry, and that he would go home straight away.
【Pack your things and wait for me. Zhao Liang will be there soon, so we have to leave as soon as possible and stay somewhere else for now. If someone tries to break in, call the police.】
Yu Hao took a deep breath and began packing his clothes and some travel necessities.
Zhao Liang took off his helmet and got down from his chair. After gasping for a moment, the researchers surrounded him, and Zhao Liang immediately started making calls and left the underground research laboratory.
“Okay, let’s meet at the appointed place.” Zhao Liang left the research lab, got in his car and drove. “Think of a way to hold him down first, I’ll dispatch people immediately. Zhou Sheng’s too cunning. No, don’t catch him, let him go to Yu Hao’s place. I won’t take more than twenty minutes.”
Yu Hao gave Fu Liqun a call, but no one answered. He called Ou Qihang as well, but he didn’t answer either.
“Where did they all run off to?” Yu Hao frowned.
After waiting for a long time, the sun still hadn’t set. Bloodred light rippled through the room, and finally, the doorbell rang. Yu Hao went forward to take a look—— the one waiting outside was Chen Yekai.
“Zhou Sheng went back to the company!” Chen Yekai said, “Go with me, we’ll go meet up with him!”
“What?!” Yu Hao felt as if his heart stopped beating at once.
“Quick! We have to leave this place now!” Chen Yekai pulled Yu Hao out of the room. “Stow this away first, we split up just now. He wanted to be extra careful and asked me to safeguard the Golden Crow Wheel first.” Then he threw the Golden Crow Wheel to Yu Hao.
Yu Hao took the Golden Crow Wheel, stowed it, and asked anxiously, “Where was he taken?”
Chen Yekai pressed the button for the elevator and headed to the underground garage of this apartment. “Qin Guodong’s men have been monitoring us since this afternoon and found the hotel… get in the car, let’s go look for Ren Chong.” Then he pulled the car door open and let Yu Hao get in, before driving the car out of the parking lot. This was Zhou Sheng’s first time getting caught. Yu Hao kept telling himself that he had to be calm, he had to be calm. Chen Yekai only drove for about 20 minutes and parked his car in a deserted suburb.
“Get out.” Chen Yekai looked at Yu Hao through the rearview mirror.
Yu Hao instantly felt that something was wrong. “Where is this?”
“Quick! Go!” Chen Yekai frowned deeply and urged, “Trust me!”
Yu Hao pondered for a moment, then opened the passenger seat door and got off. Under the light of the setting sun, another car appeared opposite, and Zhao Liang pushed open the door of the driver’s seat with a gun in hand.
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He looked at Chen Yekai, Chen Yekai looked at Zhao Liang, then at Yu Hao again. He turned sideways and retreated a few steps back carefully.
Zhao Liang opened the door to the passenger seat, revealing Zhou Sheng, who was lying unconscious in the chair. He raised his hand and placed the gun against Zhou Sheng’s temple.
“Zhou Sheng!” Yu Hao couldn’t control himself from taking a step forward.
“He’s very safe now.” Zhao Liang said, “Your Chen Laoshi just used a little sleeping gas to knock him out. If you know what’s good for you, hand the Golden Crow Wheel over.”
Chen Yekai kept retreating and retreated to stand beside his car.
“Why?” Yu Hao murmured, “In the end, it was actually you?”
Chen Yekai said, “I’m sorry, Yu Hao.”
Chen Yekai took a deep breath. “In order for Ryuusei to keep existing, in order to save Huang Ting, I had no other way.”
Juurensha: NOOOO KAIKAI WHYYYY
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Caro.