48 Hours a Day
Chapter 469 - Dreamland
Zhang Heng didn’t expect the petal to actually taste good. It had a strange sweetness to it. Before he could enjoy its taste, though, drowsiness quickly crept in, conquering his body. Then, without him doing anything, his mind started fighting back the drowsiness. His brain went quiet for a moment, focusing all his attention in fighting the sleep. The next few seconds were confusing. After seemingly losing consciousness for a short while, Zhang Heng opened his eyes again. The first thing he saw was the ceiling of the bedroom.
Did it fail? Zhang Heng frowned. He didn’t deliberately try to stay awake. It was his brain’s natural reaction to combat the drowsiness. Gradually, Zhang Heng started to notice the changes around his atmosphere. Han Lu, Shen Xixi, and others were no longer there. He was the only one left in the bedroom. Since light was coming in from the window, it was already daytime.
Zhang Heng got up, walked to the bed, and glanced at the garden below. A man wearing Under Armour sportswear was jogging by the street. He ran past an older man walking a dog, and the two even said hello to each other.
Nothing looked out of the ordinary.
He then moved toward the dressing table, finding an open box containing foundation and mascara. Women of any age significantly cherished their cosmetics, and in the state they were in, it could only indicate that Han Lu must have left in a mighty hurry.
Why was she so hasty to leave? Could she have been startled? Was she perhaps, running from something?
Zhang Heng touched his pocket, quickly realizing that all his game items were gone, except for the watch on his right wrist. He proceeded to pick up the floor lamp from the corner and opened the door. It seemed like someone had cleaned up the place, where the once messy living room was spick and span. The odd thing about was the door was left ajar. A person of Han Lu’s stature would never leave the door unlocked, much less having it unattended like that. Something was definitely not right.
Zhang Heng was almost sure that he was now within the confines of Han Lu’s dream. There was a problem, though. Shen Xixi and her team were now missing.
He insticntively pulled out his mobile phone and found that there was no signal. It meant there was no way of contacting Shen Xixi. Weighing his options, Zhang Heng hesitated and decided that he wouldn’t just wait there. He still preferred to work alone, anyway. So, he wrote a note and stuck it on the door. If Shen Xixi and her teammates did come back, they would be notified of his presence.
After riding the elevator downstairs, he walked out of the complex. This was his first time entering the dreams of someone, and since nobody really knew the inner workings of the Dreamland of Death, Shen Xixi couldn’t instruct anybody before they went to sleep. That said, since Han Lu was the first to sleep, she was evidently the one who should be found first.
Zhang Heng planned to check out Han Lu’s office to see if she was there.
For now, the world in Han Lu’s dreams almost matched reality one-for-one. Even minor details, such as the scratches on the elevator buttons and flowers on a lot that had been trampled over by kids, were all preserved. There was a chance that Han Lu herself, might not remember such minute details.
A fascninating anecdote went like thisEvery ordinary person absorbs massive quantities of information each day through their eyes, nose, and ears. Unfortunately, the human’s memory is limited, and the brain chooses to receive only useful information. This however didn’t mean that the useless information the brain filtered out would disappear completely. Instead, bits and pieces would be buried in the person’s subconscious. It was just seeing a snake in the countryside when you were three years old. As you grew older, the incident’s memory gave way to the “more important” things in your consciousness. Now, although the piece of memory seemed to have disappeared, it would, in fact, lurk quietly in the corner of the mind, untouched and literally, unremembered.
Some quarters attempted hypnosis and meditation to awaken this part of the memory that apparently no longer existed. There was an easier way to do it, though, and that was via a person’s dreams. In a sense, dreams were like keys to unlock a mountain of treasure buried within the subconscious mind.
Zhang Heng plucked a flower from the flowerbed and placed it under his nose, and strangely, she smelt nothing. It must be because Han Lu had rhinitis since she was a child, and she rarely tried to smell flowers. This indicated that no matter how surreal the surroundings were, this place was, after all, a fragment of the dreamer’s mind and not the real world.
Considering how Han Lu was most likely in some danger at this moment, Zhang Heng did not waste any time. He walked out of the community, reached out to hail a cab, and headed to the central business district where most of the office buildings were located.
Han Lu had leased an office in the most expensive area to welcome enthusiastic entrepreneurs who wished to work with her. She had a large professional team, each responsible for juggling legal issues, analyzing project feasibility, and taking over project management when necessary. Zhang Heng registered at the reception desk downstairs, and the receptionist politely informed him that Han Lu wasn’t in right now. The young girl smiled sweetly. After all, she couldn’t know if the ordinarily-dressed bald man she welcomed today would become a billionaire tomorrow. At the same time, he noticed that the girl’s hands were hidden under the table, playing a mobile game.
This showed that Han Lu must have known about her receptionist’s behavior at work.
Zhang Heng spent half a second feeling sorry for the receptionist. “So, any idea where Han Lu could be?”
The girl shook her head. “Sorry, I have no idea what Ms. Han’s schedule is. Did you make an appointment in advance?”
Zhang Heng waved his mobile phone in front of her. “I have an urgent matter to discuss with her. But since my mobile phone has no signal, I cannot contact her.”
The receptionist should be the same age as Zhang Heng. She relaxed a little and stuck her tongue out. “My phone has been out of signal too, for two hours, in fact! It’s just so strange. Thanks to that, I didn’t get to have breakfast. I don’t have cash with me, and I attempted to win a rice ball at the convenience store. Yeah, I failed.”
While the two were talking, the lights suddenly dimmed. Both in officewear, a man and a woman held their coffees as they curiously looked at something near the French window.
Zhang Heng walked over and saw that a vast cloud had now hidden the sun behind it.
“Is it going to rain?” asked the office guy.
“Ah, this is so annoying. Why does it always have to rain on the day I don’t bring my umbrella?!” complained his colleague beside him.
“Don’t worry. The rain won’t last long. Besides, I can drive you home when we get off work.”
“Ugh, elementary flirting. How cliche. I’m no fresh-grad, man,” sneered the lady.
“Wow, we are sensitive, aren’t we? I was just trying to help a colleague.”
“I don’t care what your intentions are. Office romance is on top of Ms. Han’s hate-list. I’m more than satisfied with this job and current income. I still have two houses to pay for. You should try your advances on someone else.”