“Let me tell you,” Meng Xinyu told Ji Anning, “Bai Lu and Chen Hao had another argument.”
“Why are they arguing again?” Ji Anning didn’t understand. “What are they arguing about?”
“Mainly it’s Bai Lu. She is too fond of buying things, just like my fellow villager,” Meng Xinyu sighed. As someone who, like Ji Anning, could restrain material desires, she couldn’t fully understand people like Yu Xia and Bai Lu.
You could say they were bad because they couldn’t control their spending, but they had never done anything truly bad—no stealing or robbing, just a love for spending money that they couldn’t stop.
But if you said they weren’t bad, Meng Xinyu couldn’t help but worry deep down. She always felt that the behavior of taking out loans to buy things, as Yu Xia and Bai Lu are doing, was inappropriate.
“Chen Hao is helping her repay that loan1This makes that person really bad. Imagine having someone else pay your loan,” she said.
Ji Anning was surprised and asked, “Didn’t she say she could repay it herself?”
Meng Xinyu sighed repeatedly, “She used her own money to repay the loan, but for eating, drinking, and other things, isn’t it all Chen Hao’s money?”
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Wen Yu underwent his fourth treatment.
“The last time was just a sleep-inducing hypnosis,” the doctor said. “This time, I will guide you into a dream. You need to relax.”
Wen Yu lay on the Freudian couch, already quite relaxed without the doctor needing to say anything. He smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I’m very relaxed.”
Wen Yu still wanted to enjoy a good sleep, but the hypnotic method this time was different from the last.
“Follow me to recall that dream,” the doctor said. “You see the stairs, you run, someone is chasing you. You run barefoot to the rooftop, the floor is cool, something pricks your foot, you lunge forward, and you fell…”
As the doctor began to describe, Wen Yu was clearly still awake, but with the doctor’s slowly narrated scenes of his dream, Wen Yu’s eyelids began to feel heavy. Soon, he abruptly pitched forward.
With this fall, he tumbled into the dream.
Getting up, hiding, his bleeding foot touched a cold steel spike on the ground. He picked it up, gripping it in his hand.
The sound of breathing enveloped his ears, his heart pounding wildly.
Zhao Chen’s shoe tip emerged first, followed by his face. He turned, and he saw Wen Yu.
Wen Yu swung the steel spike with all his might, striking Zhao Chen’s nose bridge, causing blood to gush out.
Wen Yu suddenly opened his eyes!
The ceiling had a soft tone, the lighting was gentle, and beneath him was the Freudian couch used for conversation and hypnosis.
The doctor sat in a chair beside the couch, quietly observing him.
“Self-protection,” the doctor said.
“When the power line short-circuits, it automatically trips. If someone comes at you with a knife, you’ll instinctively dodge. It’s all self-protection,” the doctor analyzed. “Every time, you wake up at the same point because beyond that point, you know something harmful is going to happen. So, you make yourself wake up to avoid that harm. Your subconscious mind both wants to remind you and protect you.”
“Amazing!” Wen Yu was still savoring the hypnotic technique that put him to sleep with just a few sentences. “Today, I truly believe in the existence of hypnosis. It turns out it’s not just talk.”
The doctor: “…”
So, even though he thought I was a fraud before, he still paid to come here just to get some sleep?
The doctor adjusted his glasses and said, “We’ll stop here for today. The next time you enter a dream, you need to overcome this point and break free from this perspective.”
Dreams have different perspectives.
In the first-person perspective, you are the person in the dream, and all actions and events are done by “you.”
In the third-person perspective, whether you’re in the dream or not, you’re an observer, like watching a movie.
Wen Yu’s dreams had always been in the first-person perspective. But based on his description, the person experiencing these events in the dream shouldn’t be himself. He had a strange sensation of being in someone else’s body.
The doctor wanted him to break free from this perspective and see the full picture of the dream.
They scheduled for the next session.
Sun Yaxian got a new boyfriend.
It wasn’t someone who provided gossip to Ji Anning. Lately, Bai Lu was in a cold war with Chen Hao and didn’t have much interest in gossiping about others.
Ji Anning stumbled upon it herself.
Hand in hand with Wen Yu, they walked out of the school gate and happened to see a man driving to pick up Sun Yaxian. Wen Yu called out, and the man got out of the car to talk to Wen Yu.
He was a friend within Wen Yu’s circle.
While they were chatting, Sun Yaxian stood nearby, maintaining a smile.
Ji Anning glanced at her. In this circle, she went from one man to another. These men all knew each other, and their relationships were complex.
But Sun Yaxian refused to leave this circle again.
Just as Ji Anning had initially thought. Wen Yu had opened Pandora’s box for this girl, and it couldn’t be closed again.
The next day, Sun Yaxian cornered Ji Anning in the hallway.
“Don’t look down on me, and don’t be arrogant,” she said. “Really, don’t be arrogant; we’re all in the same boat.”
Ji Anning felt that Sun Yaxian had changed in some way. This Sun Yaxian was different from the Sun Yaxian in the previous life.
It’s hard to say which version of Sun Yaxian was worse.
“What am I being arrogant about?” Ji Anning looked her in the eye and asked.
“Hmph.” Sun Yaxian averted her gaze. “These people are like this. It’s fine to casually date us, but getting married? It’s basically impossible. Don’t think that Wen Yu is more devoted to you than Qian Haoran is to me. He’s just still in school. Don’t believe me? Wait until he graduates and see if he’ll still be so innocent.”
Ji Anning was shocked.
Having lived two lifetimes, she couldn’t have imagined that someone would use the term “innocent” to describe Wen Yu. And the person saying this was Sun Yaxian.
Her emotions were complicated as she said, “University relationships are like this. Haven’t the senior brothers and sisters all said that most of them break up after graduation?”
Sun Yaxian scoffed, very worldly and sophisticated, exuding a sense of adolescent cynicism. She said, “Don’t act like you don’t understand. We’re not aiming for those typical little romances.”
Ji Anning replied, “Don’t misuse words. There’s no ‘we.'”
Sun Yaxian, irritated, turned and walked away.
They parted ways on an unpleasant note.
In June, Wen Yu underwent his fifth treatment.
“This time, try to break through this point or break free from this perspective,” the doctor instructed him.
Guided by the doctor’s description, Wen Yu suddenly fell backward, tumbling to the ground and falling into the dream.
Holding onto the steel spike, he hid in the shadows, constantly telling himself, “You can do it, you can do it.”
This dream had indeed troubled him for a long time, and Wen Yu sincerely wanted to break free from it.
So, when Zhao Chen’s sinister face appeared, Wen Yu swung the steel spike, striking him on the nose bridge. In the instant blood splattered, Wen Yu broke free.
He seemed to be ejected out, taking a faltering step before steadying himself.
He straightened up, turned around to look back.
It was as if he had walked into a realistic movie, and time had frozen.
Even drops of blood, splattered in front of Wen Yu’s face, seemed suspended in the air.
The steel spike struck Zhao Chen’s nose bridge squarely, distorting his face. His mouth opened, a tooth flew out, also suspended in the air.
But Wen Yu didn’t look at him.
Wen Yu tightened his fist, staring at the person holding the steel spike.
Many times before, he had experienced this dream from the perspective of this person. Now, he finally broke free and, from a third-person perspective, saw who this person was.
Her hair was disheveled, her face smeared with dirt.
Her arms and waist were slender, bare feet with one being pierced, blood flowing.
This disheveled appearance was something Wen Yu had never seen before.
But her eyes were familiar to Wen Yu.
Very dark, very bright, with the cold flames of anger in her pupils.
She, in her delicate and frail appearance, confronted Zhao Chen, an adult man, armed with just a piece of steel spike.
If it’s not for his peace of mind, then who else?
What did she say the first time he trained her in the combat society?
“I want to learn something practical. I don’t need the routines of sports; what I need is a method that allows me to take down an adult male on my own. Disregarding whether the opponent lives or dies, or if they’re injured. Whether armed or unarmed, my priority is to either subdue them or safely escape.”
Wen Yu looked at the frozen world, his hands clenched, knuckles turning white.
At that moment, a faint jingling sound came from above, and Wen Yu looked up to see light in the night sky.
In reality, Wen Yu opened his eyes and saw the soft ceiling, a gentle pendant light.
The doctor sat in a chair beside the couch, quietly observing him.
This time, he didn’t wake up voluntarily; he was passively awakened. But his gaze and expression had changed.
He was a generous and cheerful young man. The doctor could easily guess that he must come from a wealthy family, not caring much about the expensive consultation fees. He spent a lot of money just to come here and sleep.
When he woke up this time from the dream, the indifferent expression he usually wore disappeared. His face turned ominously dark.
“So, what’s the relationship between your girlfriend and Zhao?” the doctor asked.
“It’s non-existent,” Wen Yu’s voice was low, cold, but very determined. “The guy named Zhao wanted to mess with her, and I beat him up, as I told you. But apart from that, they have no connection whatsoever.”
“Perhaps in a situation where you’re unaware…” the doctor attempted to establish a hypothesis.
Wen Yu cut him off. “No.”
“I hired a private detective,” he said. “Before going to college, they had no interaction. After starting college, she met me.”
In his profession, doctors often heard bizarre things from their patients. Something like a rich second-generation hiring a private detective to investigate his girlfriend’s history didn’t seem all that unusual.
He asked, “So, the findings from the private detective indicate that they have no connection. Do you believe that?”
“Of course,” Wen Yu said without hesitation. “I believe.”
The doctor nodded and said, “But your subconscious doesn’t believe it.”
“Your subconscious doesn’t believe this; it creates scenes where they have a connection, reminding you over and over again.”
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