48 Hours a Day

Chapter 480 - Wake Up

Chapter 480 Wake Up

The scenes in the rescue room replayed in Zhang Heng’s mind like a broken record. He didn’t know how long these images had been there, nor could he understand the meaning behind them. Perhaps they were just meaningless… just meaningless dreams.

When he opened his eyes, he saw the familiar ceiling again. The fourth dream, perhaps? Zhang Heng could vaguely recall what happened, only remembering the moment before Hypnos put him to sleep. Whatever happened after that was no longer in his memory. Soon, though, he discovered something different. He saw Han Lu, missing in the previous rounds of dreams, lying down beside him.

Shen Xixi, who was on the stool nearby, opened her eyes when she heard movement. Rubbing her eyes, she exclaimed in surprise, “You’re awake, great.”

“Where are we?” Zhang Heng asked.

“Han Lu’s home,” Shen Xixi replied with raised eyebrows. “Rest assured; we have left her dream.”

“Huh?”

“Probably in the third round of dreams, the situation at that time was terrible. The entire city was filled with Agent Smiths from the Matrix. To protect me, Li Bai sacrificed himself.”

“He died?”

“No… I mean, he died in Han Lu’s dream and was transformed into Smith. When he dies, he will leave Han Lu’s dream and wake up in the real world. On the contrary, what happened to you is rather strange,” said Shen Xixi. “Han Lu woke up after the third dream, and we tried to wake you up, but you were still in a deep sleep. I’ve tried calling your name right beside your ear, and I patted your cheeks as well. You gave me no response. To not hurt you, I didn’t use any more intense techniques. So, are you okay now? Any discomfort on your body?”

“Wait, we are in the real world now, and you said Han Lu woke up once?”

“Yes, she’s the only person who has ever woken up after being cursed with the Dreamland of Death. She is fine now. Since she didn’t get a wink of sleep for the past few days, an hour is obviously not going to be enough. So, we gave her a quick checkup and left her to sleep.”

“You defeated Hypnos. How did you do that?” Zhang Heng asked.

“Uhh, well, it was what I wanted to ask you. In previous dreams, there were a series of unnatural disasters, and we speculated that they might have been related to the Dreamland of Death. While looking for Han Lu, I tried to look for a way to deal with them, but unfortunately, there was no progress. After that, we woke up suddenly.”

“Where is Rabbit?” Zhang Heng asked.

“After confirming that Han Lu is fine, I let the two return,” Shen Xixi continued, “Especially Rabbit. She’s very busy with her senior year at high school. What’s wrong? Why are you looking for her?”

“Have you seen her in the dreams?”

“Yes, we met in the first dream, and when the tsunami struck us, we hid in the TV station.” Shen, Xixi paused. “…why did you ask about her?”

“I saw Hypnos in the second dream. He disguised himself as Rabbit, approached me, and wanted me to lead him to Han Lu. I was only a little suspicious of him at that time, and when we met again in the third dream; I made him confess,” Zhang Heng said.

“Were you alone?” Shen Xixi raised his eyebrows, “That was way too risky. Hypnos is the god of sleep, and the dream world is his turf. You couldn’t have possibly dealt with him in a dream, could you?”

“Sorry. It seems he can turn into anybody within a dream. I don’t know what he will look like the next time we meet again,” said Zhang Heng said. “I didn’t know who else I could trust during that time, so I resorted to a quick fight.”

“I can understand your situation. I would have done the same thing as well. How did you make him give up killing Han Lu then?”

“I don’t know. Multiple Smiths surrounded us. Then, Hypnos started to play his harmonica, and everyone fell asleep when we heard the melody. I was no exception, which is why I’m asking you what happened after that,” said Zhang Heng. “I didn’t cross paths with him since the beginning, and neither did everyone else. Unless, as you said, he pretended to be one of us…” Shen Xixi pondered for a while before shaking her head. “…but it’s unlikely. We’ve completed so many quests together. It’s not that easy for Hypnos to replace one of us without us finding out sooner or later. Is that why he gave up? But it’s never happened before. Otherwise, the Dreamland of Death wouldn’t have killed so many.”

Zhang Heng and Shen Xixi subsequently exchanged notes about Han Lu’s dream world, and despite going through the small details, they came out fruitless. Not only did they fail to figure out what happened, but only more mysteries and questions surfaced. They still didn’t how Han Lu managed to survive the curse, or why Hypnos let them go when he was at an absolute advantage.

Zhang Heng glanced at Han Lu, still fast asleep like a baby at this time. “Can you please do something for me?” he asked Shen Xixi.

Shen Xixi already knew what he was about to ask even before he finished.

“Stop worrying, people, and I will keep this matter close to the chest. We have to remain silent so that other players won’t hound her.”

Shen Xixi smiled bitterly. “This whole thing looks like an accident to me. We haven’t found the slightest hint of a solution to deal with the Dreamland of Death. It’s not like we can help the others. So… just consider this never happened.”

“No, thank you for your help this time. If you didn’t contact me and bring that item, we wouldn’t have entered Han Lu’s dream. She would probably be dead now like everyone else,” Zhang Heng replied, his mood carrying a slight undertone of exasperation.

“You’ve thanked me more than once. As I said before, I’m just doing what I’ve been doing…” Shen Xixi paused. “I still hope that everyone’s strengths could be pulled with a clearer code of conduct and self-discipline. Then maybe, we might just protect the ordinary from the threat of the supernatural. If you’re interested, you are welcome to join us at any time.” “I’ll consider it,” Zhang Heng said.

Shen Xixi stood up from the chair. “It’s almost dawn now. I will head back to school. What about you?”

“I’ll wait until she wakes up to say goodbye,” replied Zhang Heng, unable to stop himself from looking at the window. There, the first break of light bled over the horizon. The clear sky hadn’t the slightest hint of a cloud, especially not those ominous ones. It confirmed that he had indeed returned to reality.

“See you at school,” Shen Xixi pipped as she stood up.

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