Don’t Close Your Eyes At Me
Chapter 66: Dreams Come True
As one gets older, they easily become lost in thought. This was especially so when recalling the past.
When the old man returned to his senses, he saw a pair of well-defined hand reach over before him, slap the control button and then retract back.
The old man looked up. Qin Jiu shot him a smile: “You can continue. We’ll help ourselves.”
When he was done saying that, he strode over to the French window. There, the other rule-violating examinee waited.
The window disappeared in an instant. The cold winter night wind rushed in.
That examinee stood on the very edge of the platform outside the window looking out at the bright city lights below. Looking from the side, his thin eyelids were half drooped and his expression was both cold and calm.
For a moment, the old man had a strange thought———
If that invigilator that vaguely existed in his memory took off his sunglasses, he would probably have eyes and brows like his.
After You Huo observed for a while, he turned his head and asked: “Go down from here?”
The old man internally felt that even the way they spoke was the same.
Like that invigilator, they would always speak in a very unenthusiastic tone.
Seeing that it was his first time here, the old man reassured: “Yes, just go down from there. If you look down and to the right, you should see a long ladder. You can just follow that down.”
You Huo looked down next to his feet.
Nailed to the wall were individual bars one after another. From top to bottom, you couldn’t see the end of it.
If one had a fear of heights, they would definitely feel their heart racing just looking at it.
Because his temperament seemed so familiar, the old man couldn’t help but say a few more words: “It’s a little scary like this, right? You actually overcome the psychological part of it rather quickly.”
Qin Jiu no longer remembered his past twelve punishments.
Like it was his first time here, he looked out curiously. He then jokingly smiled and said to You Huo: “Do you need to overcome it? I don’t mind waiting for you for a while. This ladder doesn’t look too long.”
You Huo glanced at him and proceeded to jump off.
Qin Jiu stood there for a moment and suddenly let out a laugh. He soon followed after him.
Jumped off in less than a second.
The old man swallowed back his words of comfort. He felt that today was very strange.
After all these years, that unusual being had now become a pair of unusual beings.
But he couldn’t help but sigh.
Even though his appearance was unchanged, the Qin Jiu now was not the same as the one back then.
He was now like a long sword that was wrapped in a thin film. Only at some inadvertent moments would a small glint of the blade accidentally leak through.
As one with years of experience, this type of change wasn’t something new. It was something he commonly saw in everyday life.
It was like someone who had lost something important and was unable to find it. They would often be distracted, and others would take it as them being lazy and indifferent. It was only during those moments when they return to their senses that they would reveal a hint of their usual liveliness.
That was just like Qin Jiu’s current state.
But Qin Jiu’s arms and legs were intact. They’re neither injured nor rendered useless.
The old man mulled over this for a long time but couldn’t figure out what he could’ve lost.
His head started bobbing as he started dozing off again.
As he was about to nod off, the old man suddenly remembered something…………..
Ah, that other examinee hasn’t registered yet!
The act of not registering, You Huo had done it intentionally.
The memory of that device was too good, and it even held past records. From Qin Jiu’s results, it seems to have bound the examinee and invigilator periods together.
If he pressed his hand onto it, his records as Invigilator A might appear.
It was better to leave it for now.
The falling duration was unexpectedly long.
With the cold winter wind rushing from bottom up, it felt like tens of thousands of arrows stabbing into the skin.
After a long time, the speed suddenly fell. He smashed into a mound of cushions which cushioned the impact and quickly adjusted his posture as he landed onto the ground.
When he stood up and looked around, he saw that he was standing next to a stack of sponge mats which were covered with a dark green cover. It was these things that had cushioned his fall earlier.
Not far away was a sandpit and a little further from that was a rubber running track and a field of grass.
This was a sports field.
With the sun setting in the background, students were grouped in threes and fours. Laughter was everywhere.
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Apart from where You Huo stood, there were people no matter where he looked.
Another thud sounded from the mats next to him.
You Huo turned his heand and saw Qin Jiu flip over and jump off the mats.
“Where is this?” Qin Jiu’s dark eyes scanned around: “A school?”
“Mhn.” You Huo said: “Are you sure this is right?”
Everywhere looked clean and tidy. You Huo didn’t see a need for them to be here.
They shouldn’t be called here just to dust the windows.
“When it comes to punishing people, the system never makes mistakes.” Qin Jiu walked around the mats that reached his waist and said: “Let me see…………..”
“What are you looking for?”
“There’s usually a cleaning roster. It tells the punished person what conditions need to be met for the cleaning to be considered as completed ——-Ah, here it is.”
There was a note by Qin Jiu’s feet. It was half-buried in the sandpit.
The paper was yellowed which made it easy to overlook.
There were a few lines written on the note:
> Examined subject: Politics
> Examined topic: Philosophy (Materialism and Idealism)
> The actions of the examinees from this session were frequently overexcessive resulting in the examination centre going out of control. Effects that were originally limited to only the examinees now also involve everyone in the examination centre (including examinees and the subjects of the question).
> According to the rules, restoration and clean up is required following the examination centre going out of control more than five times in a row.
> The cleaning tasks are as follows:
【Please properly clean up all subjectively conjured objects and restore the examination centre to a functional state.】
Materialism and Idealism?
You Huo’s gaze once again moved back to the sports field: “Where’s the ‘subjectively conjured objects’?”
Qin Jiu: “No idea. Perhaps all those people there are.”
You Huo didn’t say anything.
The bells signalling the end of class rang throughout the teaching buildings. Several physical education teachers standing at different parts of the field blew their whistles.
Girls chattered happily as they made their way to gather up while boys dribbled the basketball around a little longer and tried to make a shot first before slowly walking out of the court with the ball.
“A little green. Doesn’t seem to like this setting very much.” Qin Jiu said suddenly.
You Huo: “?”
When he returned to his senses, he saw Qin Jiu with hands into his pockets leaning forward in a lazy manner assessing his face.
You Huo: “………”
“What are you doing?”
Qin Jiu: “Reporting the changes to your expressions.”
“———For a moment it turned white and now it’s stiff.”
You Huo: “……………”
Qin Jiu’s gaze moved down a little. He watched You Huo’s lips purse into a straight line.
You Huo endured for a moment but was no longer able to endure it any longer: “Did you eat something stupid before you came?”
“No.” Qin Jiu straightened back up, “Jumped off a building and now in a pretty good mood.”
If those words were heard by the old man, he would probably clutch his chest again.
But the process of falling did indeed give him the thrilling sensation he had long forgotten.
However, it wasn’t the fall itself that gave him this feeling. Instead, it was this place.
He thought perhaps those twelve punishments he had weren’t that bad. Or perhaps……………. Something good may have happened during those times.
Even just that small feeling of deja vu put him in a good mood.
“You’re here!” A voice came from afar.
You Huo followed the voice and looked over.
A middle-aged woman wearing a coffee-coloured dress waved at them and quickly strode over.
“You’re here to help, right?” The woman asked. “I am the head of the department here. My surname is Xiao. These here are our outstanding young teachers.”
This system’s level of absurdity was really too high.
They just needed to clean up yet it felt the need to include an entire scenario for it.
“What’s the difference between this and doing another exam?” You Huo mocked.
Qin Jiu: “There are. There’s the difference of not being last.”
The focus wasn’t on the teachers. After a brief introduction of the young teachers, Director Xiao asked the two: “Do you know the general gist of what’s going on?”
“Don’t know. Do tell.” Qin Jiu said.
“You don’t know? What are you doing here if you don’t know?” A young man muttered impatiently.
There were two dark patches under his eyes. His eyebags were almost about reach the corner of his lips.
This was not only the case for him. It was the same for the others there.
Standing together, the visual effect of it was rather shocking.
Director Xiao pushed up her glasses, looked at him reproachfully and reprimanded: “Xiao Zheng!”
The young man reluctantly shut his mouth.
Director Xiao nodded politely to Qin Jiu: “Sorry about this. They’ve been recently overwhelmed with troubles and haven’t been able to sleep much so they’re exhausted physically and mentally. Sometimes they can be a little anxious.”
“What troubles?” Qin Jiu probed.
You Huo snatched the note from his hand and examined both sides.
Director Xiao: “It’s like this. Recently the school has been……….not very clean.”
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Qin Jiu: “……………”
He was almost pushed to his limits with this ‘squeezing toothpaste’-like questioning but he held himself back and asked patiently: “What do you mean not very clean?”
That anxious Teacher Zheng couldn’t take it anymore. He took the lead and answered: “A while back, there were some games popular among the students. You should understand that with all the stress from learning, children tend to like to play these games……..They’re the types that allow you to make wishes or summon ghosts. Some did it for excitement, others pure curiosity. There are also others who are a little more courageous.”
“Oh, I have heard a little about it.” Qin Jiu said: “So what did they summon?”
Teacher Zheng broke down: “I don’t know what that thing is. According to the students, it’s something that makes dreams? Or does it steal dreams? In any case, it has something to do with dreams. But that’s not the main issue, the main issue is its power.”
“Yes, the most problematic is its power.” Director Xiao finally started speaking, “It is said that it can make dreams come true.”
“You can summon a thing like that?” Qin Jiu raised his eyebrow.
Director Xiao: “I also didn’t believe it before but now I really do.”
“How to summon it?” Qin Jiu then asked.
Director Xiao: “………..”
Are you here to solve the problem or create more problems?
Director Xiao felt that this gentleman here seemed to be more eager to try it out than the students.
She quickly waved her hand and said: “No, no, no. The summoning isn’t the problem. The problem is that with so many students making wishes, the whole school is in chaos. Everyone’s dreams are coming true.”
“Isn’t that good?” Qin Jiu said jokingly: “University entrance rate 100%”
Teacher Zheng couldn’t hold back: “Bullshit. It was okay the first two days; there were fewer students slacking off, there weren’t many who believed it, those who did had good dreams and the exam scores really did improve. But how can everyone have good dreams? There would always be a few with nightmares and that’s now becoming the bane of my life.”
“I was on night shift that day and stayed in the dormitory……….” Teacher Zheng covered his face with both his hands: “My god, you have no idea what I went through that night. There would be a figure of someone hanging outside the window, half the bed would be covered in blood and there was also something outside constantly scratching at the door.”
The things in the student’s nightmares had also turned into reality and they now roamed the dormitories.
They would visit numerous rooms and the next day, half the students would have massive eyebags looking more like a ghost than an actual ghost.
“That day, the school’s counselling room was almost filled to the brim.” A female teacher with short hair said: “I’ve worked here for a long time and the past few days have busied me to the point that I’m starting to doubt my life.
Director Xiao said: “Not only Teacher Chen’s counselling room, the medical room and the teacher’s office were all filled with students. Our school is a boarding school, a full boarding school. Students only return once a month, so we are like their parents. The child is scared so they naturally came to find us.”
That day, a large group of students were frightened.
After some comforting during the day, everyone felt that they had probably made a commotion over nothing.
At night, it once again took shape.
“Don’t talk about the students. As for me!” Teacher Zheng said: “I had nightmares one after another at night. All the horror movies I watched since I’ve was young were recalled.”
The counsellor pointed at his eyes and said: “I had insomnia at night. My eyeballs were almost about to sink in.”
Because many more people had nightmares at night, the chaos that took place in the school naturally increased several folds.
Like this, it became a vicious cycle.
Each night became more terrifying than the previous night.
“Have you taken sleeping pills?” Qin Jiu asked.
“Of course.” Director Xiao said: “I not only took it myself; I also gave it to the students. In any case, we did everything we could.”
“Recently the roads are closed outside, and the school can’t go on break.” She then added: “What’s more, no one knows whether this would continue if they’re let out. If it conversely involves the student’s place as well, rumours will circulate, and it would be terrible.”
Not far away, the students were led back to the teaching building by the physical education teachers. Although their faces didn’t look great, they were in general still youthful and energetic.
Director Xiao said: “They’re children. They’re always like that. During the day they would eat and run around. Those things don’t come out during the day so at first it might seem okay. Just wait until night comes and you’ll see…………”
Teacher Zheng said: “There were a group of transfer students before. Most of them………….”
Director Xiao shook her head: “If it goes on like this, our school won’t be able to continue running. Even if we do, we feel bad for the students who are affected. Since the principle invited the two of you over, he should have his reasons. You’ll definitely be able to help, right?”
They’re already here to be punished so how could they say no?
So, this was basically a ghost story.
The so-called transfer students were probably the batches of examinees. The original “dreams come true” effect that should only affect the examinees had malfunctioned and had now spread over to all the NPCs in the exam———–
And so, demons and monsters rampaged, and hundreds of ghosts wander the night.
You Huo held the note between his fingers and said coldly: “Politics, philosophy.”
Materialism and idealism? Subjectively conjured objects?
What a load of nonsense.
He then asked Director Xiao: “How many people in this school?”
“It’s probably…….Since it’s winter vacation make-up classes now, there aren’t many.” Director Xiao answered: “The first years aren’t here, only the second and third years. Just over a thousand probably.”
You Huo: “…………”
A thousand students, a thousand ghosts.
Director Xiao said: “The principal wants us to cooperate with you as much as possible. Let us take you to your arranged accommodation first.”
She waved a student over: “Zhang Ming, come here.”
It was a little fatty. His round face was particularly pleasing to look at.
This school is currently in need of those with a skill like this to alleviate their fears.
Zhang Ming came over: “Teacher, what is it?”
“These two here are guests invited over by the principal. They will stay in the dormitory for the night; the empty room on the sixth floor.”
Zhang Ming: “Oh, the one next to ours?”
Director Xiao pointed at You Huo: “This is Teacher A.”
The ones with A in their names before this were all dead. And he was the one who caused it.
You Huo: “…………..”
She then pointed at Qin Jiu: “This is Teacher B.”
Qin Jiu: “……….Alright then. It’s at least better than C.” 1 (KKnotes: Okay, so there’s a slight joke here which I didn’t know how to translate over to English so I kind of muddled my way through it. It’s very minor so it won’t affect your understanding of the novel, but I’ve left an explanation at the end of the chapter for those interested.)
Zhang Ming laughed until his eyes were almost gone.
Director Xiao got someone to get some essential items for them while the little fatty led them to the dormitory.
These two men didn’t think that there would be a day where they would go back and stay overnight in a student dormitory.
Zhang Ming had a very lively personality. Perhaps he was extremely accepting but he just found the ghostly incidents to be rather incredible.
Qin Jiu asked: “Do you have nightmares?”
With the spirit of wanting to gather information, Qin Jiu asked: “Oh? What kind of nightmare?”
The little fatty waved his hand and said: “A whole party!”
Qin Jiu: “………..”
A thousand students. It would be funny if there were a thousand parties
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KK has something to say:
1. Basically, there is another counting system the Chinese use; 甲, 乙, 丙, 丁……etc. I used A, B, C, D for the English translation and didn’t feel the need to explain it before. (tbh it’s probably not that important but I’ll just explain it. Feel free to ignore if you want) Hunter A from the first exam and the villagers from the second exam were named using this counting system, while the alphabet A was used for Invigilator A (You Huo). Now in this round, they are called Teacher A and Teacher B using the former counting system so when You Huo was given the alias Teacher A, he thought of the dead hunter and villagers who had similar names….But anyway, what I wanted to clarify was what Qin Jiu said. What Qin Jiu actually said here was “It’s at least better than ‘bing’”. Now, third value in the counting system is 丙 “bing” but the word Qin Jiu used here was 饼 “bing” which has the same pronunciation. 饼 can refer to cake/pancake/pastry etc so here Qin Jiu was basically joking that he’s at least better than cake. Again, it’s a very minor detail so it won’t affect the story much.