“Those disasters had nothing to do with the Dreamland of Death. On the contrary, it’s more like Han Lu’s defense mechanism of sorts. Think of what you would you do if you had rats and cockroaches at home?”
“Buy some rat poison and put it at the corner? Or disinfect the whole house with pesticides? It appears she chose the second method,” grunted Rabbit.
“Yes, I was wrong from the beginning, whether it was the tsunami or the giant dragon. They weren’t targeting Han Lu all along.”
“Can’t blame you. After all, anybody who found Han Lu running for her life and hiding from these unnatural disasters would think that she’s under the Dreamland of Death’s spell.”
“But in fact, the one she’d been avoiding all along, since the very beginning, has been you, and you alone, yes?” Zhang Heng quizzed. “She changed dreams frequently to escape your tracking—from her childhood to studying abroad to her daily life. I wasn’t with you in the first dream, so I don’t know why the tsunami attacked the city. But then we found Han Lu’s mother, supposedly the key figure in the second dream, the strange clouds appeared again.”
“A coincidence, perhaps?” Rabbit said.
“Yes, but this time, when you, and this… Freddie appeared in Han Lu’s favorite museum; those clouds appeared again. The first time might have been a coincidence, but the second, surely not. It’s all but a possibility too small.
“You weren’t the sole target of the disasters. Everyone else in the dream could have been killed as well. Right now, we are standing in Han Lu’s vault, one that she uses to store information. These are the collection of memories from her subconscious, containing information related to her. She was worried that you’d use this information to locate her. Unsure who to trust and not knowing who the enemy was, she had to destroy all foreign beings in the dream. You choose to partner with me because Han Lu and I are closest among all of us. I’m your best lead, and I would have led you to her eventually.”
“Anything else you wish to add?” Rabbit asked.
“Actually, it was the dragon that confirmed my doubts about you.”
“Yes. During the last dream, we came to Han Lu’s schoolmate’s house. The dragon was resting on the roof of that building, and yet that building was intact. If those dragons were chasing Han Lu, I thought, then they should have burned down the building as soon as possible. The dragon did not. Instead, it seemed to be guarding the place, preventing anybody from approaching it. It was then that I started to think of another explanation for these disasters.”
“Your observation and deduction rank second among everyone I met. Of course, the woman named Han Lu did a good job too. I’d rank her defenses in the dreams among the top ten,” Rabbit smiled. “I didn’t expect you to find out so quickly. This was supposed to be an interesting round. Unfortunately for you, my friend, you won’t get to witness what’s about to happen. Since my identity has been exposed, it means I’ll have to kill you now. I’ll use your identity to approach the rest. The girl called Shen Xixi is pretty good as well. She’ll be able to lead me to Han Lu.”
‘Rabbit’ then spoke to Freddy in English. “He just said something insulting, and he even threatened me! Can you help me teach him a lesson?”
“Of course. It’s my honor,” grinned Freddie, his fists clenched into balls.
Freddie had obviously been waiting for this moment for the longest while. Although Zhang Heng didn’t really know what the real Freddie was like, it seemed Han Lu didn’t have fond memories of the guy. He was the kind that got jealous quickly, and he was unquestionably violent, where he had been displaying signs of discontent the moment Zhang Heng started talking to Rabbit.
On the flipside, soccer players possessed the physique all men envied. His arms were the size of the ordinary man’s calf, and they were beefy as hell, as well.
“Let me educate you on how to treat a lady properly,” he grinned and muttered.
Zhang Heng, however, didn’t even look at him. Instead, he focused all his attention on Rabbit.
Such a reaction only served to further anger Freddie. He lunged at Zhang Heng, attempting to swing a fist at his face. Within a few seconds, Zhang Heng slipped behind him, stretching out his arm to clamp Freddie’s neck. As Freddie instinctively reached out to free his neck from the choke-hold, he felt a sharp sting biting into his unprotected ribs.
Zhang Heng did not hesitate, slamming Freddie’s head into a nearby shelf. His head smashed into the glass, crushing the priceless antique jade bowl inside it. Despite his unresolvable resolve, he had lost all the strength to get up from the ground. “Awesome,” Rabbit applauded cynically. “I’m tempted to hire you as my next agent.”
Suddenly, a commotion could be heard coming from outside the museum. A man, presumably a museum employee, fell in. Zhang Heng quickly recognized him as the man who checked his ticket at the entrance. Zhang Heng thought he was here to stop their fight, but he didn’t expect a man to follow him in a suit and sunglasses.
“Hmm… Agent Smith! The character from “The Matrix.” Could he be our disaster this time? By the way, I like that movie,” Rabbit said.
Zhang Heng knew about Agent Smith as well. Originally an ordinary antivirus program, he was responsible for eliminating people and programs harmful to the Matrix. Gradually freeing himself from the Matrix’s control, he became a virus-like being.
In addition to super-strength and inhuman reflexes, Smith’s most astonishing ability was to replicate himself infinitely like a virus. He could turn his target into a copy of him by inserting his hand into the target’s chest.
Zhang Heng wasn’t sure which version of Smith was in Han Lu’s dream. If he was the final version of Smith, then he was basically Superman who could do anything he wanted, minus the effects of kryptonite.
Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise. Zhang Heng now knew that these disasters were Han Lu’s defensive mechanisms kicking in to counter Hypnos.
Rabbit, however, smiled, seeming to know what he was thinking.” Don’t worry, and just relax. You guessed it right. But I have to correct one small little thing about your deduction. These disasters don’t just targeting me. They go after every invader that enters her dream. Of course, that includes you. They are like the guardians of Han Lu’s subconscious. Their goal is to destroy everything.”