Chapter 25 - Conjecture

Seizing Dreams

“You’re dating someone?”

Translator(s): Zryuu
Editor(s): FistFullOfDollars, Amelea

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“Will there ever be someone, who after countless sunrises, could still stand before me and find me once again……”

“Unfortunately, dreams are just dreams, and they can only stay as dreams. When the sun rises, we have to say goodbye.”

“From today onwards, live a good life. You’ll gradually come to forget me.”

A bolt of lightning flashed through Yu Hao’s consciousness. But unexpectedly, he wasn’t surprised in the slightest, as if this answer had long been waiting for him to bring to light.

“He” is Zhou Sheng? Yu Hao considered the implications of this. He didn’t dare to believe it, but he had to, because it was the most reasonable explanation. When Shi Ni told him the truth, Yu Hao unconsciously turned around and wanted to get the truth out of Zhou Sheng. But when he saw Zhou Sheng bathed in the glow of the sunset, Yu Hao changed his mind again.

There are too many confusing thoughts in my head, I need to sort this out for myself first.

The one who appeared in our dreams is Zhou Sheng, then does Zhou Sheng know that he has this ability? Is he someone who has superpowers? Yu Hao thought this all seemed absurd, and one theory led to another which then gave rise to millions of other theories. In the end, Yu Hao even began to doubt if the world he lived in was real.

“What’s the matter with you?” Zhou Sheng shot a suspicious look at Yu Hao.

“Nothing.” Yu Hao scrutinised Zhou Sheng with a strange expression on his face, and decided to temporarily suppress all these emerging thoughts.

On the last day before winter vacation, Ying city ushered in the coldest season of the year. Yu Hao met with Zhou Sheng’s roommate, and they went together to apply for a transfer of dormitories. On their way there, he unexpectedly discovered that he was now famous. Everyone who saw him had the same expression on their faces, “Oh, it’s you!”

The application was approved very easily. Yu Hao counted out 800 yuan and passed it to the Sports student called Zhuang Weiming, and even bought two packs of cigarettes for him. From the next semester onwards, Yu Hao would have to fork out 1,600 for his dormitory expenses per semester.

His student loan had been approved too, and he would be receiving 6,000 a year. Although it still wasn’t enough for his tuition fees of 8,500, it still lightened the burden on Yu Hao considerably. With this, along with the wages he earned from incessantly working, he would have about 7,000 yuan. After the winter vacation, he would be able to pay his tuition fees in full for the first year.

“I was going to apply for a scholarship for you.” Chen Yekai said, “But you didn’t score an 85 for your Higher Mathematics, so that held you back. Continue working hard next semester ba. Zhou Sheng did pretty well though, he actually got a 90. Look, if you study seriously, you could get good results ma.”

Yu Hao was already extremely satisfied, why would he still hold out hope for a scholarship? But the moment the look of happiness appeared on his face, he was scolded by Chen Yekai. Chen Yekai ordered him to spend some time revising over the holidays, and he would review his progress when he was free.

“Laoshi, you won’t be going home for the Spring Festival?” Yu hao asked as he tried to sound him out.

“I’ll be returning for three days.” Chen Yekai said, “Don’t slack off, go back ba.”

Yu Hao began to move out of his dormitory. Originally, he felt very resistant to the idea of moving his few remaining belongings around -- the moment his clothes, pillow, blanket, outdated stationery and worn-out shoes were seen, it would seem as if he was putting his poverty on display for the whole world to see.

But Zhou Sheng had prepared two PP bags ahead of time, and he didn’t even look around much before he stuffed all of Yu Hao’s belongings into the bags. Zhou Sheng carried one on his back and held the other one in his hand. Yu Hao could only follow along behind him empty-handed as they passed through the atrium of the dormitory buildings and moved the bags into their four-bedroom dormitory. There were a lot of students around, lugging their suitcases back home. Many noticed them and even took the initiative to greet Yu Hao.

“Why are you smiling like a fool?” Zhou Sheng studied Yu Hao.

Yu Hao immediately wore his usual expression on his face and answered, “I’m not.”

He really looked forward to moving into Zhou Sheng’s dormitory. After the PP bags were dragged inside, he looked around the dormitory and said, “Okay! Leave this to me!”

Zhou Sheng’s luggage was only half packed. He leaned forward and sat down on a bed, “After I go home for the holidays, you can wear any of my clothes. You can call me whenever something comes up.”

“Nothing will happen.” Yu Hao said.

“I’ll take you out to buy some clothes in a few days?” Zhou Sheng asked.

Yu Hao said, “I can manage my own life!”

Yu Hao was very satisfied with his new dormitory. It was much more spacious, so they didn’t need to squeeze together into a cramped space. There were beds on the top and study desks at the bottom, and the dormitory was filled with a strong masculine scent similar to the smell on Zhou Sheng. Yu Hao tidied up his own bed first before he mopped the floor and wiped the windows. Zhou Sheng didn’t move, and just lay down on his bed and took an afternoon nap while listening to music with his earphones on, as if it was a matter of fact for Yu Hao to work like this.

Zhou Sheng got up in the afternoon and realised that the dormitory was different. Not only was the communal area, Zhou Sheng’s table and the area underneath his table all tidied up neatly, even the clothes that were strewn messily in the wardrobes had been folded.

“Let’s go play some basketball.” Zhou Sheng said.

“I’m not going.” Yu Hao answered, “I need to finish weaving this today.”

Yu Hao chased Zhou Sheng out. For these few days, all he could think about was General, so before he even realised it, he had finished weaving more than half of the bracelet.

Firstly, does General really exist? When Yu Hao was weaving the bracelet, he thought that his deductions could only move forward under the premise that the series of dreamscapes he had experienced were all real.

From a logical standpoint, if only Yu Hao had dreamt of General, then he was most likely just a figment of his dreams. But Shi Ni’s impression of him is strong evidence in support of Yu Hao’s hypothesis. Since their experiences seemed to coincide, then the dream would not just be an illusion or a figment of their imaginations.

The next question was: whether General’s true identity was Zhou Sheng. Does Zhou Sheng know that he can appear in other people’s dreamscapes? Did he do it consciously, or subconsciously? Would he forget everything when he wakes up?

From how General’s monkey form had said the words ‘you’re the one who summoned me’ to Shi Ni, Yu Hao could be sure that Zhou Sheng must be aware of it, and he must be doing everything deliberately. When he hit Shi Liang in the conference room that day, it definitely wasn’t an impetuous act that he had committed on impulse……Zhou Sheng did so because he wanted to leave a deep impression on Shi Ni!

The ingenuity of this psychological suggestion lies in this: Zhou Sheng had beaten up the father that Shi Ni believed was someone who couldn’t be defied no matter what, so in the bottom of Shi Ni’s heart, the hero “Sun Wukong” that she hoped would come forward to save her had overlapped with Zhou Sheng’s image.

Next question: does Zhou Sheng possess a superpower that allows him to enter other people’s dreams? That obviously goes against the doctrine of materialism! Yu Hao world views were about to collapse just thinking about it. If General wasn’t someone from the real world, then everything could be explained as some sort of strange phenomenon, and it could even be linked to aliens or radio waves -- like in some《Top Ten Wonders of the World》novel.

But now that this phenomenon had actually occurred, it made Yu Hao feel a strong sense of dissociation from reality. And there was only one person who had the answers to all his questions.

But will he answer me seriously? Even if he asked, Yu Hao wouldn’t be able to judge if Zhou Sheng was telling him the truth. What was even more bizarre was that even Yu Hao himself felt like this all seemed too farfetched, and at this moment……

Fu Liqun pushed the door open and walked in. He uttered a “wah” in surprise when he saw Yu Hao.

“You’re dating someone?” Fu Liqun said, flabbergasted, “Which girl are you giving it to?”

Yu Hao, “It’s for Zhou Sheng.”

Fu Liqun, “……”

Yu Hao, “……”

Fu Liqun, “It’s not that I want to say this……but you really look like a little wife.”

“Shut up!” Yu Hao shouted angrily.

Fu Liqun and Zhou Sheng live in the neighbouring cities -- one was to the East while the other was to the West. They bought the 11pm train ticket for tonight. They would be leaving today, but both of them were afraid that Yu Hao would feel lonely because he was staying in the dormitory alone. Fu Liqun even called his ex-girlfriend, who lived in this city, and asked her to come find Yu Hao whenever she has time over the New Year.

This made Yu Hao very embarrassed, so he hurriedly said that there was no need for that.

“It’s not that I want to say this, but you’ve been really weird recently.” Fu Liqun observed Yu Hao and asked, “If you’re worried about something, don’t hold back and just speak up about it ba.”

“Ah?” Yu Hao had been a little absent-minded lately as his mind was filled with Shi Ni’s words. He quickly said, “I’m not worried, I’m just thinking about something else.”

Fu Liqun pulled a chair over. He stepped across the back of the chair opposite Yu Hao and sat down to watch him weave Zhou Sheng’s bracelet.

“You’re pretty good at weaving.” Fu Liqun said, “What are you thinking about? Weave one for me too if you have the time?”

Yu Hao answered, “Sure, just wait till I’m done with this one and finish thinking about the past.”

“The past?” Fu Liqun watched Yu Hao weave the bracelet as he asked.

“When I was at the back mountains that day……” Yu Hao thought about it for awhile. This question had always lingered around the back of his mind for a very long time, “Did Zhou Sheng tell you?”

Fu Liqun said, “Why are you always thinking about that?”

Yu Hao pondered for a bit. He motioned for Fu Liqun to stretch his hand out. The width of his wrist was about the same as Zhou Sheng’s, so Fu Liqun raised his hand to try wearing the bracelet.

“Did he?” Yu Hao raised his eyebrow and asked gently.

“Yeah.” Fu Liqun didn’t try to hide it either, “He said that he saw you buying charcoal and kerosene outside the college, and that you had brought a lighter even though you didn’t smoke. He thought it was a little strange, so he asked me to go look for you.”

Yu Hao’s heart began to thump violently as he asked, “Then where did he go?”

“He went to look for you too.” Fu Liqun said, “We split up to find you. Zhou Sheng was in charge of searching the area behind the field. I found you first, then I called him. Yu Hao, don’t keep thinking about that anymore.”

Un.” Yu Hao said, “I know. Afterwards……did he only come over after you called him?”

“I forgot.” Fu Liqun said, “But he went to the college’s infirmary by himself anyway, didn’t he? What about it?”

Yu Hao shook his head.

Fu Liqun smiled, then got up and went out for a bit. When he came back, he saw that Zhou Sheng had just taken a bath and was wearing slippers as he sat with his ankle on his knee. He had his left hand stretched out as Yu Hao tied a red rope bracelet on his wrist -- the width was just right, and it strung through a dial-like golden wheel, so it looked like a watch.

Fu Liqun, “……”

“What are you looking at?” Zhou Sheng said.

Yu Hao, “Fu Liqun, there’s too much drama going on in your heart! I can hear it all!”

Fu Liqun quickly waved his hand. After the three of them ate dinner, Yu Hao thought of the fourth roommate whom he had never met before. Zhou Sheng said indifferently, “Sports Class 3, he failed too many subjects so he’s being persuaded to quit. He’s preparing to go abroad now, so you don’t need to care about him.”

“Yu Hao, you’re worried about something?” Fu Liqun observed Yu Hao with a doubtful gaze. Yu Hao did seem like he was troubled by something these days -- one moment he would be in high spirits, but in the next he would look like he was deep in thought.

“I’m not.” Yu Hao denied it. He saw off the two of them from the bus stop that night. Zhou Sheng whistled to him and drew a “phone” gesture -- it meant that they should keep in touch at all times. Then they left.

Yu Hao walked back to the dormitory alone. He felt as lithe as a swallow and rolled onto his bed. When he lied down on his new bed, his heart was feeling conflicted, but he felt quite relaxed as well. He tapped around on his phone and scrolled through his friends’ QQ space.

“General……” Yu Hao murmured, “Do you really want me to find you?”

He scrolled a few times before he suddenly saw Chen Yekai inviting him to King of Glory, so he entered the game. He was surprised to see Zhou Sheng and Fu Liqun inside too, they were already on the train.

【Yu Hao, get over here.】Zhou Sheng said the moment he saw Yu Hao.

Yu Hao chose Zhuang Zhou. He was baffled, why were there two sides? He was on one side with Chen Yekai, while the other side had Huang Ting, Zhou Sheng and Fu Liqun.

【Cut the crap, let’s start.】Chen Yekai answered.

Yu Hao,【What’s going on……】He hadn’t even finished typing when the game started!

“Yu Hao! You’re finished!” Zhou Sheng sent him an angry voice message, but Chen Yekai said, 【You just need to clear my status effects, don’t be afraid of him.】

The battle was extremely chaotic. While Chen Yekai killed the other three, he was being hunted down by Zhou Sheng. Whenever Chen Yekai died, Yu Hao would quickly hide in the bushes. Zhou Sheng still selected Sun Wukong as usual. He saw Zhou Sheng walk around searching for people, but he didn’t dare to mount a sneak attack on him. When Chen Yekai came over, the two of them became locked in a scuffle in the middle of the road and Chen Yekai was killed again.

Yu Hao had just come out to support Chen Yekai when Sun Wukong circled around him twice, but didn’t touch him. As soon as Yu Hao ran, Sun Wukong began to chase him and Chen Yekai said in a hurry, “Stall him, I’ll take the pagoda down.”

Sun Wukong chased Zhang Zhou into a corner, then the two of them stopped moving. When Huang Ting saw his ally and his enemy stuck together for half a day without separating, he lost his temper,【Are you guys dating or what?! Kill him!】

Yu Hao was about to ask Zhou Sheng something when Zhou Sheng suddenly went offline, and his opponent’s pagoda exploded. He won.

Zhou Sheng sent him a message on QQ:【Kaikai wanted it to be a 1v3 just now.】

Yu Hao was about to explain when Zhou Sheng sent another message:【Be honest, did you spend the night at Kaikai’s house the day before court? I bought breakfast and went to your dormitory, but I didn’t see you.】

Yu Hao suddenly felt like he had been caught red-handed. He knew that he couldn’t hide it from Zhou Sheng, so he summoned up his courage to answer,【It’s not what you’re thinking!】

【What am I thinking?】Zhou Sheng sent him a ‘questioning’ expression,【Why don’t you tell me what I’m thinking? Can’t I just be curious?】

Yu Hao wanted to throw his phone away. Zhou Sheng that bastard! He already managed to guess everything!

【After the holidays are over, I have something to talk to you about.】Yu Hao sent a message to Zhou Sheng, but there was no reply. Yu Hao waited apprehensively for a long time, but there was still no reply by the time it was midnight. Chen Yekai chatted with him for awhile, but Yu Hao was a little absent-minded. Then he went straight to bed.

Zhou Sheng’s reply came at 2am.

【There was no signal when we were passing through a cave. What do you want to talk about? We can talk about it now.】

【Are you asleep? Then I’ll go sleep too, good night.】

Yu Hao read Zhou Sheng’s message in a drowsy state. He yawned before he went back to sleep. The next day, he tidied himself up and began a new round of work during the winter vacation.

His goal was to earn at least 3,000 yuan before the 28th of December. He wanted to buy some clothes, eat a good meal, pay his tuition fees after the New Year and buy a dryer for his dormitory. Business picked up everywhere before the New Year. The average salary in Ying city was very low, but the cost of living here was so high that it could rival New York. Yu Hao saw that the flower cafe was hiring staff, so he went to try his luck. Unexpectedly, they actually hired him. The working hours were from 10am to 10pm every day, 12 hours, he would have to rotate between the cash register and the coffee counter, and he would earn 200 a day. Yu Hao was practically over the moon, it really was very easy to earn money over the New Year.

But after a full day of standing, he realised that this 200 yuan wasn’t that easy to earn. Yu Hao’s back was about to break from standing for so long. He only had a 10-minute toilet break every 2 hours. The shop was understaffed -- there were only two servers, yet it was a very busy cafe so they received orders nonstop. The boss even started a 1 for 1 promotion, so the end of the queue was barely in sight.

“Vanilla! I wanted four cups of Vanilla!” The customer shouted angrily at Yu Hao, “What are you doing? I’ve already repeated myself thrice!”

“Sorry sorry.” Yu Hao really wanted to turn into a sea monster with dozens of tentacles that could all press the buttons on the control panel. By the time it was 7pm, he was both ravenous and irritable, and he felt like he was going to explode. His whole body had broken out in sweat.

“I’m sorry!” Their surroundings were really too noisy, and it was so noisy that it made Yu Hao’s head spin. He shouted, “I’ll redo them for you!”

The customers in the queue all turned silent within an instant. Yu Hao repeated, “I’ll go redo them right now.”

Yu Hao asked another waiter to come over to take orders. He tied his apron around him and went to make coffee for the customer. The customer was already drinking his Caramel Macchiato while he waited for Yu Hao’s four cups of Vanilla coffee. 1 for 1 meant that he had ordered 8 cups, and the money for 4 of these cups would come from Yu Hao’s own pockets. One cup costs 35, so it would be 140 in total. His work today was practically for naught.

This customer had changed his order thrice before. At first, he wanted two cups of Vanilla and two cups of Caramel Macchiato, then after he finished ordering he wanted another cup of Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato, as well as two cups of Winter Warmth Mocha. There was no more chocolate left to make the mochas, so the customer wanted four cups of Caramel Macchiatos in the end. Yu Hao was absolutely certain that the customer was thinking about Vanilla when he said Caramel, so his order was wrong.

But it was pointless to argue with customers, not many would admit that it was their fault, so he could only wait for them to lodge a complaint against him. Good customers would at most say ‘forget it’, but you could tell that this customer had been working the whole day and was very exhausted, so he needed to vent his frustrations.

After Yu Hao made the coffee, he glanced at the customer when he was packing them and forced himself to smile, “You can think of those four cups as my treat.”

But his words had angered the customer for some reason, and a cup of coffee was suddenly thrown at him.

“You’re yelling? What the hell are yelling at me for?! Laozi doesn’t want them anymore!” That customer shouted angrily.

Yu Hao had been splashed all over with coffee, and he stood there feeling a bit bewildered for a moment. When the customers in line saw that a fight had broken out, they all took their phones out one after the other and began taking photos.

The customer was a middle-aged man. He shouted at him, “Who do you think you are? Fuck you, you damn garbage! You dared to yell at me?”

“Forget it, forget it.” Someone tried to intervene. Yu Hao’s mind had gone blank as he looked at the coffee that had spilled on the coffee counter. He had been packing the coffees into the bag just now, so when he was unexpectedly hit by that paper cup, the coffee in his hands spilled all over the counter and onto the ground.

Translator's Comment:

Ame: ZS furious that YH got poached by Kaikai, but still can’t kill him in-game~ WHAT A SOFTIE.

Zryuu: I have too many favourite moments in this chapter… our comments on the bf shirt, Fu Liqun’s inner drama and ZS and Haohao locked in a standstill like they were dating in-game lmfao

“After I go home for the holidays, you can wear any of my clothes.”

Ame: The time to make up for your betrayal of the bf shirt is now
Dollars: +1
Zryuu: +2

This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat.


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3 days ago

So happy that Yu Hao is on the right track with figuring out who the general is. Can’t wait to see how this develops

4 months ago

egad,,,, the horrors of customer service

a moment of silence and respect for all our people out there dealing with all the bullshit people have to give them day in and day out just to make a living

thank you for the translations!

1 year ago

Damn the vinegar smell is strong?

Advaita Jairam
Advaita Jairam(@advaita_jairam)
1 year ago

Are there really people out there who think it’s okay to treat service staff like trash??? Poor Yu Hao, he always ends up getting the short end of the stick…

1 year ago
Reply to  Advaita Jairam

It’s frustrating, but people do see workers as less than human. However, yelling is one thing, it’s another to throw something at someone trying to apologise.

3 days ago
Reply to  Advaita Jairam

Unfortunately yes. One stems from a sense of entitlement. Another stems from people trying to cheat the system. The customer isn’t always right, but unfortunately most employees cannot stand up for themselves lest they risk getting fired.

Gilliane Pornasdoro
Gilliane Pornasdoro(@gillianepornasdoro)
1 year ago

Zhou Sheng is so handsome damn it ༼;´༎ຶ ۝ ༎ຶ༽