Desert Arc ー Chapter 18 (Part 2): One is a Visitor in the Dream
I asked, “What situation?”
Although I couldn’t see, I could also imagine the expression of Great Immortal when grabbing his head and scratching his head. “I can’t say it clearly in words. It’s better to bring you to take a look. Don’t worry, it’s not any big issue either…”
I was dragged along by the force as I traversed the clouds and mist. Soon, I flew until the city I originally dwelled in. Seeing the skyscrapers and large buildings once again, the word excited was no longer sufficient to express my mood. My eyes became wet immediately.
This time, Great Immortal kept bringing me to fly until I flew into the building and entered a window.
The room was rather spacious, just that it was very messy. It was piled with children’s toys as well as milk bottles and towels. At one glance, it could be seen that it was a family with a small child. There was a man sleeping on the sofa with a book covering his face. When I looked at him, he was a little familiar.
At this moment, the room suddenly erupted with the bawling sound of an infant. The man harrumphed. He climbed up from the sofa and walked towards my direction while swaying. I widened my eyes in astonishment.
The man hadn’t entered the room when an irate female voice sounded. “You only came after the child has cried for so long! What have you been doing? Are there fathers who behave like you?”
The man said exhaustedly, “He made noise until I didn’t get to sleep for the whole of yesterday night. Haven’t we already come to an agreement that you’ll be taking care of him today? Where are you going now?”
The woman said coldly, “The company has won a bid. There’s a celebration so I have to go for a while. Look after the child well.”
The man was unhappy. “How come you’re going out again?”
“What’s the matter again?” The woman was also impatient. “Am I not doing this for this family? In order to give birth to Kuangkuang, I haven’t gone to work for three months.”
The man was very helpless. “I also have to work and can’t always ask for leave. This period of time, the President has already hinted to me quite a few times. Particularly for the matter of evaluation of title, it can’t be neglected. If not, let’s call my mum to come.”
The woman instantly said, “Your mum? Is she coming to take care of the child or coming to check on my work?”
The man raised his voice. “Then what exactly do you want? Hire a nanny, you dismissed all of them; Call an elderly to come, you can’t get along well with her! The child is also yours. You can’t always don’t do anything at all!”
The woman was incredibly furious. “I don’t do anything at all? The child was born by me and you still said that I don’t do anything at all? Zhang Ziyue, you this one with no conscience! You can’t see those young nannies casting flirtatious glances at you but you at least know that your mum is very picky when it comes to me right! I’m a career woman, I’m also supporting the family. I also have a part in the money for the child’s milk powder! I was pregnant for ten months and gave birth to the child. Now that I want you to look after the child a little, you actually said such shameful words! Your conscience has really been eaten by a dog!”
That very small child kept crying at the side. The adults were engaged in a heated quarrel and there wasn’t actually one who went to hug him.
I was shocked. “Zhang Ziyue?”
How did that handsome and unrestrained man who was dashing like a jade tree become this pale, haggard and utterly worn out uncle with a stubble of unshaven beard and who was fighting with milk and diapers? There was really nothing else in this world who could change a person more than marriage and having children.
“Have you seen enough?” Great Immortal said while pulling me out.
The husband and wife were still bickering with each other endlessly while we had already flown out of the window. The scenery switched and I returned to the small district where my house was located.
This time, we didn’t enter the house and only stopped on top of the district’s road lamp.
A familiar figure suddenly appeared at the intersection.
My tears flowed out at once. It was Mum!
My mum hadn’t changed in the least. Her hair seemed to have been newly dyed again. She was carrying a vegetable basket and looked like she had much vitality. Strange, I should still be lying on the hospital bed. How come she still carefreely and contentedly bought Wang Ji’s Roast Duck?
“Mum, wait for me a moment!”
I looked left and right. This voice was not produced by me.
I looked again. ‘I’ hurriedly caught up and was even carrying a bag of fruits.
‘I’ said, “The watermelon is already sixty cents for one kilogram, should we buy a little?”
“There’s still half at home which we haven’t finished eating. We’ll buy after we finish eating.” My mum said. Then she said while pleased with herself, “Learn the bargaining techniques I thought you today. Your mum is an unrivalled expert in the whole world in this aspect. Others buy a skirt at a hundred dollars. When I go, the price can be slashed to twenty. What is this? This is ability!”
‘I’ helplessly smiled with her and the two people continued walking.
I pointed below. My tongue was already in knots. “This, this, this…I, I, I…She, she, she…who is that person!!!”
Great Immortal gave a long sigh. “This is where it wasn’t easy for me to say and could only let you come to see.”
I was quiet for a moment before I asked, “Can you appear in the flesh?”
“Ah?” Great Immortal didn’t understand the jump in my line of thoughts. “We can, but we don’t have a fixed physique.”
I smiled. “Just randomly changing into a person will already do.”
Probably because he felt that he owed me, Great Immortal agreed to my request very docilely this time. Two seconds later, the vigorous and talent ‘Zhou Runfa’* version who was in his prime appeared in front of me.
*T/n: Chow Yun-fat, a Hong Kong actor
I looked at ‘him’ with speechless with a face full of black lines. I thought a little before I said, “We have to respect our elders. You can change to Huang Xiaoming*.”
*T/n: A Chinese actor, singer and model. He is more than twenty years younger than Chow Yun-fat.
‘Chow Yun-fat’ puzzledly did according to what I said. Two seconds later, Chow Yun-fat’s version of ‘Huang Xiaoming’ appeared before my eyes.
I looked up and down and nodded my head in satisfaction. Then, I suddenly grabbed ‘Huang Xiaoming’’s collar and spat all saliva onto his face.
“Explain to this old woman! What is this exactly all about!!!!!”
Although I didn’t go so far as to grabbing ‘Huang Xiaoming’ until it was painful, he had also obviously been frightened with a start and hastily cried out, “It has nothing to do with me! It really has nothing to do with me! I don’t know where they have made a mistake and caused another girl’s spirit to enter your body. Ahh, loosen your grip, my eomeoni*!”
*T/n: There’s a phrase like ‘my mum’ which is used to express shock. In this case, ‘mum’ is switched to the Korean equivalent for ‘mother’.
I let go but it didn’t vent my hatred. I dashed up to him and it was a flurry of punches and kicks when I faced him. Such a beauty like Huang Xiaoming was used for appreciation and not for ravaging on. Although I knew that this person was fake, I also wasn’t able to heartlessly put my hands to it I struck for a while before withdrawing my fists hastily. I immediately regretted that I should have told him to turn into Koizumi——No, no, no, that was too disgusting!
Great Immortal straightened out his clothes and said with grievances, “It’s really not my fault. I’m a liaison man. This is clearly a mistake by the technician.”
I wanted to dash forward and throttle him again. “Then what should I do? Just let her continue occupying my body?”
Great Immortal said, “If we’re going to alter it, we’ll need to apply and queue once again and wait for them to process. It seems that at present, we can only do this.”
A raging inferno was behind me. ‘Huang Xiaoming’ quickly said, “However, this is also good. You also can’t bear to see your parents watch over a person in a vegetative state right?”
I was stumped for words. What he said made a lot of sense. I was mingling merrily at the world over there so I couldn’t possibly let my old parents be grieved and have a hard time here.
I don’t know whether it was out of good or evil intention that he added, “Furthermore, that girl is more intelligent than you, more diligent than you, more sensible than you, more gentle than you, more filial than you…” He was frightened by the expression in my eyes that he didn’t dare to say the words following that.
I became dejected instead. My parents had gotten a new daughter while Zhang Ziyue was groping about in the besieged city* of marriage. I wasn’t around, but everyone’s lives still continued naturally. I really suddenly felt that I was actually like an outsider instead.
*T/n: Inspired by a satirical novel called ‘Besieged City’. In the novel, ‘besieged city’ was used to refer to marriage where the people inside wanted to go out while the people outside wanted to go in.
The most tragic thing was nothing more than being clearly aware that one is a visitor in the dream.
Great Immortal consoled me, “You’re also not bad. You’re still considered capable over there. Do you know? You have already entered the top five monthly rankings for audience ratings.”
My eyebrows raised. “What? We’re suffering in the mortal world yet you all actually watch us like television programmes?”
Great Immortal quickly said, “Life is like a drama! Life is like a drama!”
I didn’t know whether I should cry or laugh.
Great Immortal suddenly raised his head and took a look before he said, “You should be going back. There are a lot of matters for you to be busy after the sky turns bright.”
As he said, ‘Huang Xiaoming’s body gradually vanished and my body abruptly fell downwards.
When I opened my eyes, it was Yun Xiang’s face with her eyebrows creased. “Miss, why did you sleep that deep like you were dead? Teacher Song came to call us twice already.”
I climbed up and realized that my eyes were still wet. When I recalled my mum’s contented smile and Zhang Ziyue’s helpless countenance, my heart felt extremely complicated and pondered over it in every possible way. I couldn’t think of a suitable adjective and could only sigh.
“What are you sighing about?” Song Zijing’s voice came from outside. It was inconvenient for him to enter the bedroom so he stayed outside to say, “Quickly pack up. Uncle Qing has already arrived. We’ll cross the river after eating breakfast.”