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Chapter 75 - Decision

Seizing Dreams


“This General has decided to face himself squarely and overcome his fears”


Translator(s): Zryuu
Editor(s): Amalea, FistFullOfDollars, Juurensha

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Yu Hao gasped for breath as he followed Zhou Sheng and rode a full 30 kilometres. Zhou Sheng would even stop to wait for him now and then. In the end, Yu Hao arrived at their college in second place.

Yu Hao, “I……can’t do it anymore.”

Zhou Sheng said, “Okay, the card’s yours.”

“I didn’t even win!” Yu Hao exploded.

“I said, ‘win’, which meant ‘if I win’, the card is yours!” Zhou Sheng said triumphantly, “I omitted an ‘I’.”

Yu Hao, “……”

“Then I’ll keep it for you ba.” Yu Hao had watched Zhou Sheng cycle in front of him the entire way, stopping to occasionally wait for him to catch up, then continue to ride again. He could only feel that this road vaguely resembled the relationship between them.

“Aren’t you gonna see how much money you have?” Zhou Sheng smiled.

“I won’t! Yu Hao said, “I’m determined to never see it! Stifle you to death!”

The dormitory was thoroughly cleaned, even the black tiles were washed until they gleamed with a white lustre. The wooden cabinet doors and wooden tables had also been waxed and now looked as if they were brand new furniture. New cotton four-piece sets had replaced the old ones on their beds. The bookshelves and wardrobes were neatly arranged; their bathroom had new bathroom curtains, and their light bulbs were replaced with 60-watt ones. An extra mobile air conditioner had been added as well. On one side of the balcony, there was a small refrigerator filled with ice, drinks, and beer, and there were even two reclining chairs on the balcony. On the other side of the balcony was a flower rack and potted plants on the rack.

Now there was both cold drinks and air-conditioning. No wall-mounted air-conditioning was allowed in the dormitory, so the exhaust hose of the small mobile air-conditioner led outside the balcony. Although its cooling effect isn’t as strong as wall-mounted air-conditioning, it had resolved the problem of their stuffy dormitory.

Yu Hao held his forehead with one hand. He felt like he had entered someone else’s house.

“He got someone to renovate it ba.” Yu Hao said, “It must not have been easy to do all this in one afternoon.”

“Didn’t he know to buy a washing machine……” He hadn’t finished speaking when a “bang” sounded — Zhou Sheng had accidentally bumped into the balcony’s landing window. He said angrily, “Why did they make it this clean?! This is attempted murder!”

 

At night, Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng lay in bed and spent the first day of summer vacation with nothing better to do than to idle about. Zhou Sheng brought Yu Hao along to play games for awhile. Yu Hao recorded two songs, but he wasn’t satisfied with either, so he deleted them. He thought that the money from his translation was about to be completely depleted, so he had to find a part-time job. Fortunately, he would have the scholarship next semester, so he would be relatively more financially well-off.

It wasn’t easy to find good translation and writing work; there were too many fraudulent ones. Yu Hao spent a long time looking through the translation forum, and a lot of people on it were cursing about how they got cheated out of their scripts, which made him feel a little frightened. It was easy to move from a thrifty to an extravagant lifestyle, but difficult to do so vice versa; after his translation job, he wasn’t very willing to do manual work anymore. Sure enough, doing skilled work was most productive, so it was particularly important to have a specialised skill.

Of course, both him and Chen Yekai were passing their days relying on their specialised skills, but in the face of a capitalist like Zhou Laichun, they would turn into slags within seconds.

Around 9pm, Zhou Sheng’s mother called the dormitory phone. Yu Hao answered. When she heard that Zhou Sheng was in the dormitory, Mama Zhou asked a lot of questions and also wished her son a happy birthday in passing, and Zhou Sheng just gave perfunctory answers like ‘I got it’.

“When will you come home?” Mama Zhou said, “Yu Hao, come back with him too!”

Yu Hao could only say as Zhou Sheng had taught him to, “There’s a competition.”

“Ahh that’s good, that’s good! Where are you competing? We’ll go watch!”

“Don’t be annoying.” Zhou Sheng didn’t want to talk anymore. Yu Hao could only answer with soft “un” and “ok”s as he replied to Mama Zhou. Mama Zhou began to reminisce about the day she gave birth to Zhou Sheng, and the call lasted for more than an hour before she hung up.

 

“You’re going to sleep?” Zhou Sheng asked, “Have you thought about where you want to go on vacation?”

Yu Hao, “Not yet.”

“Then keep thinking ba.” Zhou Sheng took the laundry fork leaning against the bed and poked the light switch in their dormitory room, “Sleep.” The dormitory turned dark. It was Yu Hao’s first time to live so comfortably in a dormitory, and this was all thanks to Zhou Laichun’s money.

Chen Yekai:【You’re back? Is the air conditioner okay?】

Yu Hao:【……】

Chen Yekai:【What’s wrong?】

Yu Hao:【You bought it?】

Chen Yekai:【Ordered it online last week. I got them to deliver it to your dorm today as Zhou Sheng’s birthday gift. I saw four aunts cleaning, and Zhou Sheng’s family chauffeur said that they would buy a refrigerator.】

“Kaikai bought the air conditioner.” Yu Hao said.

“Got it.” Zhou Sheng looked at his WeChat in a daze. The light from his phone screen illuminated both Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng’s faces. In the darkness, Zhou Sheng suddenly sighed and threw his phone aside.

“Did you add Jingya?” Yu Hao turned sideways and raised his head slightly to ask him.

Zhou Sheng didn’t answer but just lay quietly, while Yu Hao continued to scroll through his phone. After a long silence, Zhou Sheng said, “Didn’t add, don’t want to bother. Irritated, wanna go bask in the moonlight.”

In the dead of night, many worries and melancholy will always be intensified. There’s a saying that goes ‘he who gives no thought to far-flung problems soon finds suffering nearby’. Before their finals, Yu Hao often heard Fu Liqun lie in his bed and sigh as he worried about what he should do if he failed, as he would be scolded to death when he got home.

Male dormitories always seem to be like this: everyone would play to their hearts’ content in the day, then the gloominess that has always relentlessly pursued them would show itself before they went to bed. When the teacher droned endlessly during mental health class, they would specifically mention that this was due to the guilt people felt towards wasting time on worthless activities — once one feels that they haven’t done much in the day and have no goals in life, then they would get agitated, upset, and regretful before going to bed at night; they would always feel useless and staying up late would further strengthen and amplify these negative emotions.

But Yu Hao seldom suffered from this torment. He was already doing his utmost just to survive, so he couldn’t imagine problems at the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

“There’s no moon today.” Yu Hao said.

“Yu Hao.” Zhou Sheng said.

Un?”

After nearly three minutes of silence, Zhou Sheng finally said in the dark, “What do you think we would be like in ten years’ time?”

Yu Hao didn’t answer, but Zhou Sheng’s question had triggered a train of thought. His line of sight shifted from his phone screen to the void and darkness around him. There was an expression of bewilderment on his face..

“Would we part ways?” Zhou Sheng asked.

“Maybe.” Yu Hao answered. He was suddenly suffocated with an unfathomable sadness. He couldn’t bear to think too much about it —— he only need to study in college for four years. After four years, he would part from Zhou Sheng and Fu Liqun — no matter in terms of friendship or love.

Zhou Sheng said, “Let me imagine it for awhile.”

Yu Hao said, “Could you not be so cruel?”

After four years of college, many friends and lovers would go their separate ways — some would stay in the city, some would go north to Guangzhou and Shenzhen, some would go abroad, and some would go to graduate school. Perhaps they would still keep in touch, but there would no longer be a situation where they could live under the same roof again.

Even the finest feast must come to an end sometime; everyone would settle down and start their careers, they wouldn’t contact one another as often anymore, get differentiated by their places in the social hierarchy, and their circumstances would be as different as night and day. When students gathered, they would toast time and again, but they would still be strangers in the end. The only thing that would be mentioned over and over again would be the vague memories of their past.

Sometimes, life really is like a dream, Yu Hao thought, Much of it will gradually fade from memory, including this cool summer night.

“So.” Zhou Sheng said, “I wanted to discuss it with you seriously……what are you looking at?”

Yu Hao was still scrolling through his phone, but towards the end, his thoughts weren’t on his phone anymore, and neither was it on Zhou Sheng’s words.

“Nothing much.” Yu Hao was in a rather bad mood today, especially after he made that decision. It was almost past 12 and Zhou Sheng’s birthday was coming to an end.

Zhou Sheng looked at Yu Hao’s phone. Yu Hao said to Zhou Sheng, “I’m making friends in a Q&A site.”

Zhou Sheng, “What Q&A?”

Yu Hao, “Q&A regarding men finding boyfriends.”

Zhou Sheng, “……”

Yu Hao showed Zhou Sheng, there were a few private messages on his phone. Zhou Sheng immediately sat up and asked, “You uploaded your photos? Delete them!”

Yu Hao said, “I didn’t, I just messaged a few who had pictures. They all replied to me.”

Zhou Sheng opened the private messages one by one, all of which were filled with greetings. Yu Hao said, “There’s nothing much to see, give it back ba.”

Yu Hao observed Zhou Sheng’s expression. Zhou Sheng flipped the phone over and pressed it down, his expression hidden in the darkness, “Why are you suddenly looking for a boyfriend again?”

Yu Hao answered, “I already planned to before.”

Zhou Sheng was sitting while Yu Hao lay down. In this darkness, neither of them spoke. Yu Hao said, “Zhou Sheng?”

“Okay then.” Zhou Sheng said at last, “Do as you like.”

Yu Hao recalled the conversation he had with Zhou Sheng that day at Chichén Itzá,

“You said before at Mt. Tianqing in the dream……”

“I remember.” Zhou Sheng’s voice was extremely cold and detached, “I don’t need you to remind me. That’s why I said ‘do as you like’.”

“Give me back my phone.” Yu Hao said.

Zhou Sheng handed his phone over, laid down, and the two of them stopped talking for a moment. Yu Hao knew that Zhou Sheng would definitely be jealous, but this matter had to be settled eventually. In the past, Yu Hao had never been willing to take this step: firstly, he liked Zhou Sheng too much and couldn’t deceive himself; secondly, he couldn’t let go, so it would be unfair for the partner he would be searching for.

But today, after he heard Zhou Laichun’s words, Yu Hao realised that he couldn’t go on like this anymore. Tormenting himself alone would be fine, but he would hurt Zhou Sheng. No matter how Zhou Sheng considers these kinds of feelings, it was impossible for it to bear fruit for them both.

“I’m going to sleep.” Zhou Sheng said.

“Good night, General.” Yu Hao said.

 

Yu Hao put his phone down and sighed very softly. At this moment, he experienced a great sadness, as if his heart was being crushed by mountains. If the Golden Crow Wheel wasn’t sealed away, he suspected that his dream would definitely be overcast now with thunderstorms and torrential downpours abound.

This feeling was even worse than being punched by Liu Pengxuan when he had confessed. His face had been hit by Liu Pengxuan's fist, but this time, Yu Hao had taken a dagger himself and after considering it time and time again, decided to turn it around and stab it into his own soul.

The bugle horns sounded in unison, and the grand competition began.

Under the dark sky, the ancient Roman Colosseum was surrounded by crowds of cheering spectators. The huge and lofty circular building was situated in the middle of a lone island within an endless ocean. 

Dark clouds loomed overhead. The black dragon carried Zhou Sheng as it flew over. It flapped its wings, suspended just above the Colosseum, and slowly descended. Zhou Sheng shouldered his jingubang; he was clad in a pair of AJ shoes that were like gold-plated combat boots and an iron scale mail, and had one foot on the head of the dragon..

“I’m here as a challenger!” Zhou Sheng swung his jingubang, turned to the side and levelled his weapon at the audience.

Chariots rumbled out through the tunnels in the Colosseum, forming a ring. Each chariot held a huge and fierce monster.

On Zhou Sheng’s shoulder stood a little fox doll. He turned his head sideways, raised his hand and touched the little fox’s furry back.

“Which one should I fight first? Say it!” Zhou Sheng shouted.

Of course, the doll wouldn’t answer him. Zhou Sheng looked at the thirteen chariots that were in a circular arrangement. At their center was the Devil king Satan, who had a tall, sturdy stature and ram horns. He calmed down and looked at the rest of the chariots.

“Then you ba.” Zhou Sheng pointed indifferently at one of them.

Dang——” A loud noise blared, and the crowd once again began cheering like crazy.

Satan, “You’re finally willing to make a deal with me? What do you want?”

Zhou Sheng said in a calm voice, “You know what I want better than I do.”

Satan turned to the audience and said aloud, “Very good! The master of the dreamscape, this General has decided to face himself squarely and overcome his fears! Let’s wait and see if he will succeed!”

The black dragon landed. Amidst loud cheers that made even the skies tremble, the curtains were drawn on the huge battle.

 

When Yu Hao got up the next day, Zhou Sheng had already left, and he didn’t know where he had gone.

Yu Hao recalled their conversation from the previous night and it all seemed just like a dream. He messaged Zhou Sheng. No reply.

Chen Yekai called Yu Hao and asked him out to watch a movie today. Yu Hao said, “Zhou Sheng left early this  morning, and I don’t even know where he went.”

“I asked him.” Chen Yekai said, “He said that he’s not going and asked me to find you.”

Yu Hao thought about it for a bit and finally said, “Okay then, I’ll treat you.”

“Treat me to a meal ba.” Chen Yekai said, “I’ve already bought the tickets. I’ll call Huang Ting too.”

Yu Hao saw the message that Zhou Sheng had sent him after he hung up.

Zhou Sheng:【I have something to do today, so settle lunch yourself today? I’ll bring back dinner for you?】

After Yu Hao replied to him, he and Chen Yekai went to eat with Huang Ting. The two of them waited for a long time before Huang Ting said, “I finally managed to slip out, let’s eat barbeque ba.”

In the meantime, Huang Ting noticed that Yu Hao was looking at his private messages and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Making friends.” Yu Hao didn’t intend to hide it from Huang Ting, who knew his sexual orientation anyway. He remembered that Huang Ting never seemed to have mentioned a girlfriend so he said, “Are you in a relationship? Just showing some concern, if you think I’m being too gossipy you can just ignore me.”

Chen Yekai laughed, “Do you remember Junjun?”

“Ahhhh——” Yu Hao immediately remembered the female reporter.

Huang Ting hastily clarified, “That’s still up in the air! Don’t spout nonsense. You’re looking online?”

Un.” Yu Hao showed Huang Ting.

“Make sure to keep safe.” Huang Ting said, “Especially regarding physical hygiene.”

“I’m making friends.” Yu Hao said, “Not finding one night stands!”

Chen Yekai said, “You got rejected after confessing?”

Yu Hao glanced at Chen Yekai. Huang Ting said, “Confessed? Who did you confess to?”

Chen Yekai said, “You don’t need to worry about that, Officer Huang.”

“Occupational hazard.” Huang Ting answered.

“The two of you sound like you’re doing a crosstalk.” Yu Hao said. 

Chen Yekai went to collect the tickets before the movie started. Yu Hao and Huang Ting sat at the resting area outside the venue. Huang Ting wore plain clothes today. He grasped a straw between his fingers as he sat upright and asked Yu Hao, “Yu Hao, please give a truthful account of the situation.”

Yu Hao, “Are you going to record my statement?”

Huang Ting said, “Do you usually have any feelings towards or contradictions with your Chen Laoshi?”

Yu Hao, “……”

Huang Ting watched Yu Hao attentively with his hawk-like eyes, “Why is it that now, you would rather go online to look for a partner — to be more precise, to go online to look for a friend — than consider Chen Laoshi?”

Yu Hao, “Officer Huang, this isn’t very good of you. Be careful, I might tell Junjun Jie.”

“You don’t have her contact information.” Huang Ting looked like he had it well thought-out. He had an unreadable gaze as he said, “Now, please don’t evade the question I asked and answer me truthfully.”

Yu Hao, “…………”

“Let’s go.” Chen Yekai came over. Yu Hao thought, I’m not coming out with you two again.

In the end, Huang Ting and Chen Yekai sat on either side of Yu Hao and sandwiched him in between them for the duration of the movie. Yu Hao felt like he was a prisoner that was being escorted the whole time.

Chen Yekai would even softly speak to Yu Hao from time to time. After a while, Huang Ting’s head tilted and leaned against Yu Hao’s shoulder as he fell asleep. Yu Hao was rendered completely speechless. Chen Yekai made a shh gesture, “He’s been very tired recently, let him sleep a little.” Then he pointed at the 3D glasses that Huang Ting was holding, indicating to hide them without being found out. 

 

Huang Ting woke up when the movie finished. Yu Hao was really curious about what this guy’s dream would be like. With how capable he was, his dream shouldn’t be enshrouded in haze.

“It was a pretty good movie.” Huang Ting said.

“Did you really watch it?” Yu Hao asked.

Huang Ting, “Of course I did.”

Chen Yekai, “Where are your 3D glasses? Go and personally apologise and pay the compensation fee.”

Huang Ting said, “Of course it was taken by you two. This kind of prank is too outdated. Chen Laoshi, as a teacher, you shouldn’t set a bad example. Hurry and pass it to the staff, I have to go now, I have a mission tonight. See you later.”

Yu Hao couldn’t faze Huang Ting at all. In the evening, Chen Yekai said, “Do you want to have dinner at my house?”

“I need to go back to the dorm.” Yu Hao said, “Zhou Sheng’s bringing dinner for me.” 

“Then I’ll invite you again when you’re free.” Chen Yekai sent Yu Hao to his dormitory building before he turned around and left. Yu Hao had just raised his head when he saw Zhou Sheng looking out from the corridor upstairs. The two of them looked at each other, then Zhou Sheng went back in. 

“Eat ba.” Zhou Sheng opened up the box and dismantled the chopsticks. He brushed off the bamboo thorns before handing it to Yu Hao, “What did you watch today?”

Yu Hao answered. The two of them chatted idly for awhile, then Zhou Sheng put on his earphones and watched shows on Fu Liqun’s laptop as he ate. Yu Hao remained silent and looked down at his phone. The atmosphere in the dormitory seemed to return to how it used to be two months ago.

“Where did you go today?” Yu Hao recalled the last time he happened to catch sight of Zhou Sheng in the mall.

Zhou Sheng took off his earphones and asked, baffled, “What?”

“Nothing.” Yu Hao waved his hand. Zhou Sheng put his earphones back on and continued eating.

Yu Hao wanted to delete all his private messages, but one of his online friends messaged him. He spoke very politely, and said that he was willing to get to know Yu Hao. Yu Hao hesitated for a long time before using his private WeChat number to add him.

Huang Ting sent Yu Hao a message:【Pay attention to your safety when you’re meeting up with online friends. If you need a police officer as a bodyguard, I would suggest that you make an appointment three days in advance.】

Yu Hao:【I’ll take note, thanks for the reminder.】

Huang Ting shared several……news articles with Yu Hao about being cheated by online friends, getting SM-ed, getting robbed, and big fights occurring due to the goods not being as promised. Yu Hao finally couldn’t bear it anymore:【Stop sending me those!】

In the end, Huang Ting shared a song with him:《You Won’t Even Give Me a Hundred Yuan》

Yu Hao:【I’m going to blacklist you.】

Huang Ting:【I would advise against that, it’s more convenient to find someone you’re acquainted with when you call the police, and they’ll respond faster too.】

 

Zhou Sheng came over to take Yu Hao’s finished packet and went to throw it. He glanced at Yu Hao who was currently switching between his WeChat public and private numbers. “How’s the chat going? When are you guys meeting up?”

“Just added.” Yu Hao was really gloomy now and even wanted to pretend to be dead.

Zhou Sheng returned after throwing out the rubbish. Yu Hao asked, “What about Jingya? Did you invite her for a meal yet?”

Zhou Sheng said, “Just added too.” He put on his earphones as he spoke and ignored Yu Hao. That person sent some messages and chatted with Yu Hao for awhile. Yu Hao occasionally replied to him until late into the night. Zhou Sheng said, “Good night,” and then immediately turned off the lights. The two of them hadn’t spoken more than ten sentences to each other for the entire day.

 

Ancient Roman Colosseum.

The roar of the black dragon reverberated throughout the entire colosseum, followed by the thunderous cheers and applause of the crowd!

Zhou Sheng carried his shield as he stood atop the black dragon’s head. The black dragon rose into the sky. Before them, their enemy had goat horns and an exposed hairy chest; its eyes slanted towards the top of its forehead,and its long and narrow pupils flashed with a sinister crimson glint.


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

Contributors

Zryuu
Amelea
FistFullOfDollars
juurensha

Fic writer, editor, and translator for GHOFD, PUBG, Fanservice Paradox, and other projects.

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Sunny
Sunny
1 month ago

I’m gonna cry… I know this important in the story, but my heart hurts 💔

Ashleigh
Ashleigh
11 months ago

Did anyone notice the little fox Zhou Sheng had on his shoulder, reminds me of a certain persons nickname.

(Yu Hao)

xyshia
xyshia
1 year ago

mr doesnt wanna think. me feels heavy over this chapter. me heart hurts

xyshia
xyshia
1 year ago
Reply to  xyshia

me*

Piggie
Piggie
1 year ago

I feel like Zhou Sheng knows he has feelings for Yu Hao, and that what he’s doing is unfair to Yu Hao, so he’s trying to fight his inner demons so he’s prepared for a proper and healthy relationship.

Advaita Jairam
Advaita Jairam
1 year ago

So, now in reality, they’re kinda in a cold war… And in the dreamscape, ZS is literally fighting his demons?? But didn’t he lock away the Golden Crow Wheel? How can he access his dreamscape – iirc, it shouldn’t be possible without that…

Last edited 1 year ago by Advaita Jairam
Spica
Spica
5 months ago
Reply to  Advaita Jairam

yup.I dont agree with the cold war.I get tat ZS doesnt want to hv false hope while he hasnt conquer his inner demons.But an explanation would be nice rather than misunderstanding..

Spica
Spica
5 months ago
Reply to  Spica

*give