They couldn’t conceal their look of surprise. Cui Zuojing frowned. “Are you saying it’s Luo Yan?”
Cheriyu Nana hesitated and said, “I don’t want to say that, but indeed, I felt Luo Yan’s breath in the Queen’s garden. I also heard some news related to her….Have you heard from her yet?”
Of course! Wang Que wanted to say, but Victor quietly pressed her down. She immediately realized that she was getting agitated and immediately adjusted herself, resolving not to act rashly.
Cui Zuojing shook his head. “I haven’t seen her directly.”
In his dream that Luo Yan had created, they lost the Queen’s game and were bound by chains. At the juncture between life and death, Cui Zuojing spit out a broken tooth in his mouth and was intent on killing the Queen. But the shadow of an ax rose high from behind the angry woman and chopped off her head.
At the very ended, Cui Zuojing only heard Luo Yan’s voice, saying, “You are our only hope.”
Dong Zheng exchanged a glance with Cui Zuojing and said, “I’ve seen her once.”
Facing Cheriyu Nana’s polite inquiring glance, Cui Zuojing explained, “He’s my current teammate, Dong Zheng.”
It was inconvenient to move around in the lifeboat. Dong Zheng nodded and said hello to Cheriyu Nana, who also nodded in return. Dong Zheng recalled the scene at the time, “It was during the training of the US-Russian Competition. I saw a portrait of Luo Yan. She pulled me into the painting and spoke a few unclear words to me. Then I woke up.”
“I don’t know what to say. Because no matter what, I don’t entirely trust the relationship between Luo Yan and the Queen.” Cheriyu Nana shook her head and said, “So later, I began to explore the void and discover some news that may or may not be false–”
“It’s possible,” Cui Zuojing said suddenly.
Everyone looked at him, but Cui Zuojing kept his gaze on Cheriyu Nana. He seemed to have thought of something, and his expression was a little bad. “In the Corridor of Memory, the only person who could disturb my and Dong Zheng’s dream was Luo Yan. Only her dream power could break the constraint of the Corridor of Memory and interfere with the pilgrims dreams. In that dream, Worm of Mystery appeared and wanted to swallow me and Dong Zheng. When we got out, we tried to find Worm of Mystery but only found traces of Chang Hui on the train.”
Wang Que squeezed her hands tightly and said, “Yes but—“
Cui Zuojing didn’t let her say anymore. He continued to frown and said, “Chang Hui always knew of our movements every time. Before entering Doll’s House, Luo Yan found me in a dream, and it didn’t take long for Chang Hui to find me. In Hell Circus, Lin Hangzhi fell into a dream during the performance, and Chang Hui took advantage of me retrieving my emotions to snatch a box. This time, when our dreams were interfered with on the train, Chang Hui was also present.”
Dong Zheng immediately realized a certain error in Cui Zuojing’s words. In Hell Circus, the dreamer was not Lin Hangzhi, but Wang Que while she sat in Busby’s Chair. It was during this time that Luo Yan told them about the clown and the Red Queen’s past, which provided them with a pivotal clue to explore the relationship between Worm of Mystery and Murphy.
Brother Cui hid the fact that Luo Yan met with her several times, but other than that, everything he said was the truth. Wang Que bit her lower lip. If one were to follow Cui Zuojing’s train of thought, there were many suspicious points. Even Wang Que herself had suspected Luo Yan. Every time she asked Luo Yan whether she could be worthy of trust, Luo Yan would only give her vague answers.
Cheriyu Nana shook her head and said, “This is just a guess. After all, this is between the Queen and the new heir. No one can be certain who this new heir is, even me. I could be her new heir and am just telling you this to deceive you.”
Dong Zheng’s gaze froze, and he suddenly had a strange thought. The energy that Chang Hui placed in his body inside the hospital illusion in the Labyrinth of Time, to this day, was still there. What if…if the heir was him and he just didn’t know it?
He raised his hand and held it to his chest. What if Chang Hui could feel his position at any time using this energy? What if Chang Hui was using this energy to observe everything that was happening to him?
He dared not think too deeply about it.
“But if it’s Luo Yun, what is her motive?” Wang Que asked.
“Loneliness,” Victor murmured. “I think it’s loneliness.”
Only those who had experienced it would know how vicious the Queen’s curse was.
To become a cat, with no choice but to meow and follow the cat’s body into old age; to be abandoned by time, with no choice but to watch one’s relatives and friends grow up and grow old, while the observer himself remained suspended in time; to have the soul fragmented and be unable to step out of an old castle; to wander in dreams, where everything was illusory and everything would disappear the moment the dreamer wake up; to be caught in endless oblivion and watch helplessly as everyone who passed by disappear and become forgotten…These were different kinds of loneliness, all of them unbearable. And they each endured such days for many years.
If Luo Yan really chose to betray them because of this and become the Queen’s heir, then Cui Zuojing thought that he might understand it.
Because he could genuinely empathize with her.
“By becoming the Queen’s heir, she wouldn’t be bound or restricted by the curse anymore.” Victor paused, and then added, “It’s true…Luo Yan could travel through the dreamland too smoothly, as if she wasn’t trapped inside it at all.”
Cui Zuojing said, “Whatever the case, it wouldn’t hurt to be on guard so as to prevent any mistakes.”
The atmosphere became heavy. The news of the new heir was quite grave, and also made things more confusing.
—Beware of your friend.
Chang Hui’s warning seemed like it might become reality. Cui Zuojing took a deep breath and said, “Speaking of which, how should we rescue you?”
“My body here is not real. Even if you take me out of here, it would be useless.”
“Where is your real body?”
“I’m imprisoned in oblivion. I don’t know the specific situation. The only thing I know is that it’s a box in this area. As long as you find the real me, with the power of time and body and the small bit of space you have on you, you should be able to rescue me.”
Nana had noticed the spatial power contained in Fu Zhe’s key. Cui Zuojing nodded, and said, “We will try to be as fast as possible. The induction between the five powers shouldn’t take long.”
Cheriyu Nana shook her head and solemnly said, “You must go at your own pace. If you end up exposing your trails to the Queen, she would definitely try her best to prevent the five forces from gathering together. The box I’m in must be extremely dangerous. If you don’t have full confidence, you mustn’t rush in. You are this world’s last hope.”
Cui Zuojing smiled and said, “In the box, how can there be any certainty? All of us are gamblers who use our lives as bargaining chips. With Uncle’s current strength, we should be able to deal with ordinary troubles.”
“Have you all lifted your seals?”
“I have lifted one, but Uncle is much stronger than me.” Cui Zuojing showed her the seals on his wrist. “Otherwise, how can we manage to get here to see you?”
It had been a long time since they last talked, so they must utilize this opportunity to have a good chat with Cheriyu Nana. In the past, she was a cold beauty, and she still was now. She looked away from her former teammates. They allowed her to see a ray of light in her dark abyss. This was the hope that she had been waiting for for so many years.
“And Fu Zhe? How is he?”
Cui Zuojing’s mind flashed to the annoyed Fu Zhe, who was disturbed by Cerberus. He happily said, “He’s okay. He has been living comfortably since we found him. He lives in an old castle now, and we use it as our mobile base, which is very convenient as we move from district to district.”
They talked about the past and the present, and hearing that Cui Zuojing and Victor had a very good life and that they also found trustworthy teammates, Cheriyu Nana sighed with sincerity, “That’s so good.”
Cui Zuojing said, “It’s not bad. When you are freed and can join us, it will be much better.”
Cheriyu Nana let out an “Mmn.” Her two eyes that were like stagnant water without waves were bright as she began to imagine a life liberated from the void. She whole-heartedly believed that her most trusted friends would save her.
“By the way, in the past few years, I have also discovered a deeper secret that have been scattered in bits and pieces throughout the Pure White Realm. In the Queen’s garden, I heard a sentence.” She paused, cleared her throat, and spoke slowly.
“The world’s time has long grown unchecked, but you and I are believers of entropy. (1)
(1) Entropy — a scientific concept related to the measurement of disorder, wherein the higher the disorder, the higher the entropy.