Note: There’s one bolded word, I bold words when they were originally in English in the raws.
When they were leaving the station, Yu Hao stayed back by himself and asked Huang Ting, “Can this case be brought to court?”
“Yours should be fine. I’ll make everything clear at the meeting later, you can’t be wronged any further. But the premise is that Shi Liang has to admit to his crimes……”
“I meant her case.” Yu Hao didn’t know if he should laugh or cry as he said, “Mine isn’t even worth mentioning.”
“It’s hard to say.” Huang Ting stated, “The medical report is strong evidence, but it can’t prove that it was done by her father. We need to wait for the prosecution to raise an indictment; Shi Liang’s an extremely cunning guy, if he’s dead set on insisting that he didn’t do it and he manages to get an amazing lawyer, the case could be locked in a stalemate for a long time.”
Yu Hao frowned as he pondered. Huang Ting said, “The only thing we can do now is to protect her well. Yu Hao, I would strongly advise you against staying at her house tonight……”
Yu Hao interrupted, “I know. I just wanted to set her mind at ease, I won’t stay at her house.”
Yu Hao knows that Shi Ni must be filled with a strong sense of insecurity right now, and probably never fully trusted the police as she was afraid that this matter would just go back and forth. Also, he was still worried about the demonic eye in the dreamscape.
“And if there’s any surveillance in Nini’s house……” Yu Hao said.
“No surveillance.” Huang Ting said, “I’m very sure about that, or else we wouldn’t have been bogged down by your case for so long.”
After thinking about it, Yu Hao asked, “What about the nanny?”
Huang Ting said, “Her nanny is only around on Mondays and Thursdays, she won’t be around tomorrow or the day after.”
Then……what exactly does the demonic eye represent? The nanny? Yu Hao kept thinking.
“In any case, you should advise her well. Tomorrow night, I will get a colleague to stay with her for one night to wait for the day after tomorrow. We can only detain him for 24 hours, if she’s willing to confront Shi Liang, there may be progress……”
Yu Hao interrupted, “She doesn’t want to see him ever again. Can you judge him if she doesn’t see him?”
“This is a criminal case.” Huang Ting suppressed his voice as he said sternly, “Not a civil dispute. If the witness is absent, a certain amount of credibility will be lost. I understand that you want to protect a minor, but it would be better if she can attend the court session.”
Zhou Sheng was waiting in front of the restaurant, and when he managed to get some seats, he shouted at Yu Hao.
“The most you can do right now is to adjust her frame of mind. As of now, you’re the one she trusts the most.” Huang Ting continued, “I told her that I’ll let a colleague follow her home to stay the night, but she insists on asking you to accompany her back or else she wouldn’t go home. She has always had a very strong guard up, but right now, she’s willing to listen to and consider whatever you say.”
“Easy for you to say.” It was rare for Yu Hao to talk back.
Yet Huang Ting smiled. He took his cap off and scrutinised Yu Hao.
“You’re a healing lad.” Huang Ting said, “How’re you faring as a Glory healer1? Wanna join our party?”
Yu Hao, “……no time, final exams are coming up!”
“But you need to both work and play ma.” Huang Ting said, “Your form teacher lacks milk2, go back and practice.”
Zhou Sheng shouted again, “Ai! Yu Hao what are you doing?! Hurry up!” He looked just like a huge monkey with all his fur standing on end.
Yu Hao could only hurry over to join him, Shi Ni was already waiting in the restaurant. Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng briefly exchanged some information, but Zhou Sheng managed to understand the gist and said, “I’ll think of a way.”
Yu Hao said, “I can sleep in her corridor for one night too.”
Zhou Sheng said, “Ai don’t be silly, leave it to me. We’ll talk about it later.”
Shi Ni felt heavy-hearted throughout their meal. Yu Hao could tell that she was full of anxiety about the future. Meanwhile, Zhou Sheng kept sending out WeChat messages. Yu Hao thought about it a little before chatting with Shi Ni about English Literature, and he successfully diverted Shi Ni’s attention. When they were settling the bill, Zhou Sheng said to Shi Ni, “Nini, I thought about it, and it’s better if Yu Hao doesn’t stay at your house. Let’s stay outside today ba, we’ll get two rooms — one for you and one for me and Yu Hao.”
Shi Ni pondered for a bit. She understood what Zhou Sheng was trying to say: if her tutor slept over at her house, it wouldn’t be good if it was made known to others. So she said, “I think it’s better if I go home to sleep ba, I’m afraid that he’ll call my home phone.”
Yu Hao glanced at Zhou Sheng. Zhou Sheng said, “That’s fine too, then I can save on the money for one room. As soon as we wake up tomorrow, we’ll go and find you and take you to the amusement park.”
Shi Ni, “Really?! It’s a promise then!”
Zhou Sheng said, “Of course. If I make a promise, I’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill it.”
Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng asked for a room at the hotel reception. This hotel was right below Shi Ni’s house. After they got a room, Zhou Sheng took his phone out to pay for it and saw a bunch of messages in his WeChat.
“They’re inspecting the dorms, I need to go back.” Zhou Sheng said immediately.
Dormitory inspection?! Yu Hao instantly went berserk, why are they inspecting the dorms at this kind of timing?! He had almost forgotten that Chen Yekai was a new official, and a new broom sweeps clean3. Although everyone was staying out all night, if Chen Yekai wanted to deal with them seriously, they were bound to have to endure a harsh scolding.
Zhou Sheng said, “Before the lights go out at 10pm, he will begin inspecting from Building 4 onwards. When I get back I’ll go to your dorm immediately and sleep under the quilt, then once he’s done inspecting your dorm, I’ll rush back to my own dorm.”
“That……” Yu Hao could only say, “Ok then.”
“Whoooosh——” Zhou Sheng zoomed to the subway so quickly he looked like he was flying.
Yu Hao, “……”
On the contrary, Shi Ni was so amused she laughed for half a day as she stood in the hotel lobby. Yu Hao was suddenly infected by her mood and began to laugh too; the two of them looked at each other as they laugh, as if they had just gone through a major event in their lives.
Shi Ni, “Send me home ba.”
Yu Hao, “Alright.”
Yu Hao kept the room card and brought Shi Ni home. Her house was quiet and deserted. Shi Liang had installed a row of blue lights on the ceiling, and his original intention could have been to emphasize a modern style for the interior, but when it was turned on, its illumination made the house feel chilly.
“I’ll take a bath first.” Shi Ni said, “Wait for me, I still want to talk to you a little.”
Shi Ni went to bathe, then Yu Hao leaned on the sofa as he continued thinking about the demonic eye. Was there really no surveillance in this house? Could it be hidden in some obscure corner? But since Huang Ting has already said there wasn’t any, no surveillance should be able to escape the eye of an experienced guy like him.
After she took a bath, Shi Ni’s long hair draped behind her shoulders as she wore her pajamas — she looked just like a fragrant and soft little animal. She found two bottles of yoghurt and gave one to Yu Hao while she kept one for herself, then she took out a scented candle that she had hidden and lit it.
Yu Hao was lying down as he watched her with a slight furrow between his brows. The two of them were speechless for a moment, Shi Ni looked a bit embarrassed.
“Nini, do you have a guy you like?” Yu Hao asked.
Shi Ni bit on her straw as she looked at Yu Hao, then shook her head.
Yu Hao smiled as he said, “What about girls?”
“Lu Xiaoxiao.” Shi Ni answered.
Yu Hao had just mentioned it casually, yet he had unintentionally gotten Shi Ni to share her secret with him. Shi Ni thought for a bit before she said, “What about you? Do you have any guys you like?”
“Ah?” Yu Hao was shocked, “You……” On second thought, girls nowadays have pretty sharp eyes, so she might have seen through something.
“My Dad told me, your counsellor said so.”
Yu Hao was a little annoyed. He frowned and said, “Xue Laoshi? How did he know?”
Those few words uttered by Shi Ni had given him a lot of information. Yu Hao speculated that his counsellor had probably looked for the people in his dorm room to speak to them, cause he had only ever told his roommate on the upper bunk because he was gay too. As for why his counsellor would disclose a student’s secret to Shi Ni’s father? It was probably because Shi Liang wanted to frame him for an even more disgusting charge, so the counsellor had to divulge his sexual orientation.
“Is Zhou Sheng your boyfriend?” Shi Ni asked.
Yu Hao said, “He’s straight. He’s as straight as an electrical pole.”
Shi Ni nodded, then sighed, “We were both dealt a hard hand in life.”
Yu Hao had wanted to say, you’re still young, your sexual orientation remains to be determined, but when the words reached his mouth he changed his mind and quipped, “Love will come.” When he said this, he suddenly remembered General’s words.
“I hope so.” Shi Ni said a bit sentimentally, then immediately asked, “Are you a gong or a shou?”
“Er……” Yu Hao felt embarrassed. He said, “I’ve never been in a relationship, but I think I’m a gong. What do you think?”
“Un.” Shi Ni said, “Xiaoxiao said that you’re like a friendly neighbourhood big bro shou, she thinks your kind is the most meng type.”
Yu Hao thought that primary school students knew too much nowadays. He was merely a muddle headed child when he was in primary school.
“Shall I help you confess to Zhou Sheng?” Shi Ni continued, “Straight men can be bent too~”
“I’m leaving, go and sleep ba.” Yu Hao didn’t know whether to cry or laugh as he said, “He has a girlfriend! Don’t worry yourself over nothing.”
“Last question.” Shi Ni said, “Why are you willing to help me?”
“To help you is to help myself.” Yu Hao casually said.
“I know you don’t think that way.” Shi Ni said.
Yu Hao smiled and said, “My friend pulled me out from my quagmire. He wants to pull you out too, I’m just assisting him.”
Shi Ni frowned with a face full of doubt. Yu Hao continued, “The one who’s helping you is him, not me.” He had indeed been summoned by General to Shi Ni’s dream. Without General, he and Shi Ni wouldn’t have been saved.
“Who?” Shi Ni asked again.
“Sleep ba.” Yu Hao couldn’t help but recall Shi Ni’s words just now as she asked him if he had someone he liked. Perhaps, holding a torch as he waited for his General in the darkness had already become a memory that he can never forget for the rest of his life ba.
“When you wake up tomorrow, you might be ushering in your new life.”
Shi Ni looked at Yu Hao for awhile and said, “I dreamed about you last night.” As she spoke, she finished her yoghurt and went to brush her teeth, “You were with a huge monkey.”
Yu Hao smiled as he walked downstairs. When he reached the hotel and glanced at his phone, his smile froze instantly.
Chen Yekai’s message: 【Get back to your dorm right now, immediately! 】
Zhou Sheng: 【I was discovered, don’t mind him. He won’t do anything to us.】
Yu Hao, “……”
Chen Yekai’s angry appearance surfaced in Yu Hao’s mind. He quickly replied Chen Yekai and said that he’s in his high school classmate’s dormitory, and now that the lights were out it was even more impossible for him to return, so he’ll go back tomorrow morning instead.
Chen Yekai didn’t reply him. After waiting apprehensively for half a day, he wailed mournfully in his heart and thought that he was finished. Zhou Sheng sent him a lot of voice messages, so Yu Hao placed his phone next to his ear to listen to them. The gist was that Zhou Sheng was snacking as he lied on Yu Hao’s bed with the quilt over him, and Chen Yekai thought that Yu Hao was sick so he came over to lift the quilt up out of concern.
When the quilt was lifted, Chen Yekai saw a Zhou Sheng who was gnawing on some chicken feet with pickled peppers and their eyes met in that instant.
According to Zhou Sheng’s vivid description, the scene at that time was quite strange, yet Yu Hao wanted to knock his head against a wall when he was listening to it.
At the end, Zhou Sheng’s voice said, “I accidentally dropped a bit of my chicken feet on your bed, come back and wash it ba. There’s a bottle of iced black tea here that I bought but didn’t drink, I placed it on your desk.”
Yu Hao, “……”
Chen Yekai never replied Yu Hao, it was as if he had suspended a sword over his head. Yu Hao could only force himself to fall asleep quickly. He tossed and turned for awhile before he finally fell asleep around 12am.
Just like before, he passed through a golden light before Shi Ni’s dreamscape appeared in front of him. He found himself in the midst of blaring noises, layers of ice being blasted away, Shi Ni’s shrill shriek and General’s loud shouts; tempestuous waves dotted with razor-sharp ice shards surged towards him, and it had formed a hurricane that covered the world!
The moment Yu Hao opened his eyes in the conscious world, he was surrounded by chaos; his strength burst out from his back and turned into wings, then he subconsciously shook them open to avoid the raging ice shards that were falling from the sky and flew along the dark seas!
The world had already turned into a vast expanse of water; thousands of gigantic sea monsters were roaring and leaping out of the waters, and the icebergs overhead were ruthlessly smashing down into the sea like meteorite showers. The entire conscious world was beginning to disintegrate and collapse; the seas had turned black, while the ice sheets were being shattered into pieces by the icebergs that fell from the sky. Ice caps drifted among the raging seas, sea water gushed into the sky and a floating iceberg was on the verge of splitting apart. On top of a high cliff, General was hanging onto an ice wall; he was kicking the air fiercely with both his legs, but there was no place for him to kick off. Shi Ni was anxiously grabbing ahold of one of the monkey’s hands as she tried to drag him back up.
Right behind them were six sea monsters who roared as they flew out from the sea bed; they soared into the sky and turned around, then opened their giant mouths and rushed towards the two who were on the iceberg to gobble them up!
“Let go——!” General roared angrily.
“I won’t!” Shi Ni cried back worriedly.
The six sea monsters rushed down at the same time, but with a sudden whoosh, Yu Hao glided past at a high velocity and picked both of them up at the same time, then he flew away from the iceberg. A second later, the sea monsters had brutally crashed down on the iceberg behind them and shattered it into pieces!
“Why are you so late?!” General shouted angrily.
“I couldn’t fall asleep!” Yu Hao shouted back, “I had insomnia! Sorry!”
Shi Ni rode on Yu Hao’s back, while General’s legs were wrapped around Yu Hao as he hung upside down. Yu Hao swept across the sea laboriously like a slanted cannonball that was at risk of falling into the sea, yet he still had to keep looking up to avoid the huge ice ridges that were falling from the sky!
“How did it turn out like this?!”
“Fly higher!” General shouted, “Be careful!”
Countless sea monsters were roaring as they followed behind in hot pursuit; Yu Hao left a trail of white light behind him as he darted across the sea.
Yu Hao, “You’re too heavy! I can’t fly up! Get down first ba!”
General, “Are you kidding me?!”
A smile hung on Yu Hao’s lips, “I even heard you shout ‘let go of me’ just now!”
“That was different!!”
The three of them flew above the raging seas, but Yu Hao’s strength was limited. With a huge monkey that was almost two-metres tall hanging off him and a Shi Ni riding on his back, he was getting closer and closer to the surface of the water. General screamed, “I’m going to fall in!” before he desperately tried to climb higher. Yu Hao immediately shouted, “Don’t move!!”
“You’re doing this on purpose!” General’s head was almost submerged in water. Yu Hao arduously flapped his wings and flew higher when Shi Ni suddenly shouted, “Lighthouse!”
A lighthouse appeared in the distance. Yu Hao said, “Why is there another one?”
Plop! “Glug glug……”
Yu Hao had accidentally flown a little too low, so General’s head dipped into the sea and he choked on a few mouthfuls of sea water. He bent over and shouted angrily, “Yu Hao!”
“I’m really trying my best!” Yu Hao cried bitterly. He really was trying to constantly flutter his wings as hard as he could to fly higher, all the while dodging the icebergs that were falling from the sky and the sea monsters that were chasing after them relentlessly. He shouted again, “I’m turning! Hold onto me tightly!”
General could bear it no longer. His two legs clamped down tightly on Yu Hao’s waist as he flipped up and embraced Yu Hao; within an instant, the two of them were stuck close to each another.
“Turn.” This monkey General had wrapped his entire body around Yu Hao. As he was speaking right next to his ear, General’s deep voice and breath made Yu Hao’s heart accelerate uncontrollably. Soon after, dozens of sea monsters that were even bigger than the ones from before broke through the ice opposite the lighthouse!
Yu Hao immediately regained his balance. He spread out both his hands and suddenly made a turn in the air to avoid the multiple icebergs that were falling from the sky one after the other.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
With these three blasts in succession, a monstrous wave burst forth from the seas. General and Shi Ni shouted at the same time, Yu Hao turned sideways and broke through the wave wall by swooping straight through it! Then he made a sudden ascent, and just as the herd of sea monsters closed in on them, he swooshed through all the gaps between the innumerable tentacles with unimaginable precision!
This conscious world had already turned into a boundless expanse of water; the lofty mountain ranges had turned into lone isles, and the sea continued to spread out as it submerged all of the villages near the harbour. Broken pieces of wood drifted about, and only a platform at the bottom of the lighthouse was covered in snow.
The three of them shouted loudly as they plunged right into the snow, but they had a safe landing.
General’s hair and eyebrows were all covered with snow. He was the first to crawl out from the thick layer of snow on the ground before he picked Yu Hao up. Then, he turned around to search for Shi Ni as he cleared the pile of snow around him. Shi Ni was shivering from the cold. The black sea water swept onto the shores and gradually eroded the snow on the platform.
“Go!” General said.
Yu Hao picked Shi Ni up and turned around to run towards the lighthouse. Shi Ni looked up; her eyes were filled with fear and she wasn’t willing to approach it.
A huge black door appeared at the bottom of the lighthouse.
“Open the door quickly!” General made Shi Ni snap out of her daze. Shi Ni said, “I don’t know how to open it, I can’t!”
The sea monsters in the vast ocean were gathering toward the light house. Shi Ni took a step back and said, “What is this place?”
Yu Hao stared at the door blankly; the surrounding seawater was spreading out rapidly, and the sea monsters continued to converge toward the lighthouse.
“Nini.” Yu Hao suddenly said, “This is the study in your house. Face your fears head on and fight him!”
Shi Ni took a deep breath, then looked at Yu Hao. Yu Hao said, “Laoshi will watch over you.”
Yu Hao stretched his hand out, and Shi Ni placed her hand on Yu Hao’s palm. The three of them approached the huge black metal door, and with a buzz, Yu Hao and Shi Ni passed straight through it while General bumped his head on the door.
Yu Hao, “……”
General shouted angrily outside the door, “What’s the meaning of this?!”
Yu Hao immediately raised his head and pushed the latch up, while General shouldered the door to open it a crack. After he passed through the crack, he looked at Yu Hao without saying anything.
“I would like to leave now.” General stated.
Yu Hao, “I’m really sorry!”
The moment Yu Hao saw this door, he had vaguely guessed the location of this place — the Shi residence’s study.
With his status as Shi Ni’s tutor, he had obtained the right to enter this study — which is to say that within Shi Ni’s consciousness, he has the ability to freely enter and leave this place at will. But General didn’t have that ability, because General had never entered the Shi residence’s study before.
“I’ll massage it for you?” Yu Hao quickly said, and thought that if it were him he would have blown up too. General had been fleeing helter-skelter with Shi Ni for half a day as he waited for the comrade who took so long to get here. But after his comrade arrived, he still had to swallow a bellyful of seawater and get a bump on his head after he tried to pass through a door.
He knelt on one knee as he wanted to look at the part of General’s forehead that had bumped into the door, but he was blocked by the General who was in a bad mood. However, he persevered and managed to take a look. He had to massage it a few times before General got up with a face full of reluctance.
The outside had suddenly turned quiet, General turned around to take a look. Yu Hao said, “Let’s go.”
“I want to rest!” General said, “It was so exhausting when you weren’t around!”
Yu Hao thus sat down with him to rest. He raised his hand and released a warm, white glow that he pressed onto General’s forehead. Meanwhile, Shi Ni had walked to one side to look up at the tower. General casually gave him a brief overview about what had happened, so Yu Hao knew that when General first appeared in the dreamscape, the demonic eye had suddenly grown stronger. It had summoned the seas and raised it high up into the sky, then froze it into an iceberg before smashing it down on the ground. Ice sheets shattered and the sea level rose incessantly, then thousands of sea monsters sprung out of the sea and began to hunt down General and Shi Ni.
General took Shi Ni with him as they fled from one iceberg to another, but they ended up encountering a tsunami that pushed them farther and farther away. If they had been driven out just a bit further, they would have fallen into the subconscious.
“Where’s the boundary of the subconscious?” Yu Hao asked.
“In the sea.” General answered, “If you’re dragged into the deep sea by a monster, you’ll never be able to come back. I want to ask you something……” As General spoke, he stretched out his long arm and hugged Yu Hao close to him, then whispered into his ear, “How are things going in the real world?”
Yu Hao looked askance at General. This human-monkey pair were stuck close together, and their lips almost touched.
“I’m not angry.” General said, “I just don’t want her to hear me so I wanted to talk to you alone.”
Yu Hao suddenly understood what he meant, so he suppressed his voice as he recounted what had happened briefly to General. General just listened in silence, then Yu Hao continued, “How do we fight this battle?”
“She trusts you, and you need to trust her too.” General leaned close to Yu Hao and his lips touched his ear; the fur on his face tickled Yu Hao a little.
“When we reach the top, do as I say……” General said, “We’ll definitely win.”
After he heard this, Yu Hao abruptly turned around to look at General as his eyes glimmered with joy. General asked again, “Understood?”
Yu Hao nodded. At this moment, the palm that he was pressing against the floor suddenly felt cold; the two of them immediately looked down at the floor — sea water was seeping into the tower through the crack in the door.
General and Yu Hao quickly stood up, then they began to walk up the stairs of the lighthouse. The inner walls of the lighthouse were lined with bookshelves, and countless books made clattering noises as they bounced around on the them. The books were all opened up which revealed their sharp teeth within — they looked like they were trying to choose who they wanted to eat. General turned sideways so that Shi Ni could walk between him and Yu Hao as he blocked them from the bookshelves.
Another crash sounded outside. The lighthouse began to shake violently, and Yu Hao could sense an impending danger.
“We need to hurry up.”
“I’ll carry you.” General said to Shi Ni.
Shi Ni said, “What’s at the top?”
That was Yu Hao’s guess. General said, “We’ll think of a way to defeat him, you have to trust us.”
Shi Ni nodded.
1. The bunch of them (Yu Hao, Zhou Sheng, Fu Liqun, Chen Yekai and Huang Ting) play this Chinese MOBA called Wangzhe Rongyao/King of Glory. Yu Hao just started the game though, and he usually plays a healer. I find it so cute that they’re all playing this game together alkjsnfajs↩
2. Milk = healing↩
3. A newly appointed official works hard to show his efficiency↩
T/N: …………….it was really hard to translate/edit this chapter cause I was laughing waay too often………..and this chapter was so long, I might have missed some edits along the way ugh