Zheng was greatly enjoying the refreshing bath. His never rested for a moment in the past ten days. For one, he had to be aware of the surrounding at all times in case something out of the ordinary happened. And two, he continued training his Qi, Blood Energy and refining Qi. He arranged the eight flags on eight directions in the living room. So he was tired from the lack of sleep. This bath was an opportunity to relax his mind and body.
(Need to think through our next actions. If everyone is in a dream, how can we wake up? Xuan is planning something by himself without telling me. Hope he pulls another miracle as he always did and bring the team out of this dangerous world… What was HongLu trying to say? The origin of the nightmare. What other way is there to wake up from a dream aside from physically waking the person?)
Zheng was never an intelligent type. He was at best on the same level as Kampa and Zero. Maybe a little higher in the third stage but still far, far away from Xuan and HongLu. The circumstance enclosing them was strange. Xuan kept his silence. HongLu’s words were as good as silence. Zheng had to force himself to think. Yet, he still wasn’t able to think of the answer. On a last resort, he entered the third stage and simulated HongLu’s mode of thinking. The situation became clearer in his head. He could see fractions of what might be happening but there were still parts he couldn’t figure out.
(Haven’t figure out what HongLu was trying to tell me but following his perspective that we are currently in a dream, the power levels in this world is established around a standard. What is this standard? Another key question is… with regard to time.)
Zheng pinched his hair then continued thinking.
(Time does not flow in accordance with the real world. Twenty days might have passed in reality already or maybe it is only several minutes. If the world is split into three, time in the safe dream and despair dream might not share the same rate. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have lost the girl when she fell off the window since I immediately chased after her.)
(Wait. That girl. What was her name?)
Cold sweat drenched Zheng. He jumped up from the bathtub then walked back and forth in the room. He was perturbed as though a fire was burning his body.
(How is this possible? How could I have forgotten the girl’s name? I am also forgetting how she looked like.)
A sense of fear fell upon Zheng. The situation was unsettling to begin with and now he discovered blank spaces in his memory. This inconceivable development was scarier than any enemy he could see with his eyes. He still remember what HongLu told him. The moment everyone in the team forgot about a person, that person would die. Because she no longer existed.
Zheng took several deep breaths then turned to Zero who was washing his hair. “Zero! Do you still remember the girl that vanished? What is her name? How does she look like?”
Zero hurriedly washed off the shampoo then opened his eyes, looking confused. “What vanished girl? Who?”
Zheng calmed himself and said, “The one that I kept saying had disappeared. Everyone said no one disappeared but I firmly insisted someone disappeared. I mentioned that girl. What is her name?”
Zero thought for a while before he shook his head. “Nope. You never mentioned about anyone disappearing. So I don’t know who you are talking about. We have twelve people in the team. Nine veterans and three newbies. None of us are gone.”
“We have twelve people?” Zheng immediately searched the room and yelled, “We have thirteen people! No, we have fifteen people! How did it become twelve? Xuan, Kampa, WangXia… Where is HongLu?”
Zero gave Zheng a weird gaze and said, “You are too tired. You haven’t slept for so many days. Get a good rest after the shower. I will keep watch over the night. We don’t have anyone named HongLu in our team.”
“We don’t? It’s impossible!” Zheng panicked and couldn’t the words to express himself. It was clear that every person who vanished became forgotten by the rest of the members. He was the only one who could remember these people but his memory of them faded as time passed. The terror of helplessness was spreading toward his heart.
(Calm! Calm! It seems like I have completely forgotten about that girl. I can still remember Heng and HongLu. We had fifteen people and now only twelve… I have to write down Heng and HongLu on paper. Never forget their names and existence! If what HongLu said is true, they will die once the whole team forget about them. I can’t let them die!)
Zheng entered the changing room, still in the third stage. As he dried himself with a towel, he smelled a very faint odor of burned plastic. He sniffed it a little more then followed the trail of this odor. It was coming from bathroom he just came out of. Zheng pushed the door open. The same room came into view again. Xuan, and the rest of the men were still there. The room looked perfectly normal.
(Was it an illusion? The odor appeared all out of a sudden… was it from Freddy?)
In the original movie, Freddy was killed by a fire. The odor might signify that Freddy had came into the safe dream.
“Is that so? The next target is me. What a good plan. Just kill me and the rest of the team won’t ever remember Heng, HongLu, the girl, and me. We will all be forgotten… Come! Come kill me! I dare you come in front of me!” Zheng roared with rage.
Fighting Freddy face to face was nothing compared to the helplessness as he witnessed his teammates disappearing one by one. The unknown and unseeable enemies were the deadliest!
There was no escaping what was destined to come. Zheng stopped pondering over it. He got dressed them ran down to the first floor. The girls looked at him puzzled. Zheng grabbed a pen and a few pieces of paper to the table. He wrote down Heng and HongLu’s names. Then he thought for a moment and wrote down the names of all twelve people remaining, including his own.
The girls came up to him. Lan asked, “What is this? And who are Heng and HongLu?”
“A member of team China.” Zheng replied. “They are all members of team China. These two people have disappeared. No matter what happens, don’t forget the remaining twelve people. Don’t forget those who has disappeared. Please.”
The girls didn’t know what happened. They had lost the memories of Heng and HongLu. Yet, Zheng spoke in such a serious manner, so they nodded in response.
Everyone came down from the third floor. Zheng made the team signed their names on the paper. After all was done, he said, “This is everyone in team China. Remember them. Even if only one person makes it back alive, remember every name here!”
Seeing the sincere expression from Zheng, the team began to doubt themselves. Did these people really existed and they had forgotten their own team?
“We have nineteen more days to go. We have twelve people. I don’t know how many of us will make it back to God’s dimension.”