Chapter 1: Transmigration

It had been twelve years since Gao Yang transmigrated.

Before, he had been an orphan. And he just celebrated his sixth birthday in the orphanage. That fateful night, he went to bed contentedly with a belly filled with the cupcake the dorm keeper bought him. He made a wish in bed to one day find his parents. Then sleep crept up to him.

When he woke up, Gao Yang found himself sitting at a dining table. Before him was a bowl of steaming hot noodles. He had already had a mouthful with noodles dangling from his lips.

The soft early morning sun lit the dining room of the old house. Across from him sat a middle-aged couple he didn’t recognize, and taking the seat of honor closest to the door was an old woman with kind eyes and gentle facial features. Next to Gao Yang, there was a little girl aged four or five with big, round eyes.

“What’s gotten to you? Hurry and finish your breakfast, or you’ll be late to school,” the middle-aged woman urged. She seemed to be in her thirties, beautiful despite the simple pajamas she wore and the lack of makeup.

“Want your old man to take you there, son?” the man asked with a smile and a toothpick between his teeth. He was tall and strongly-built with a bit of a beer belly, and his hairline showed signs of receding. However, one could still see in his facial features the young, handsome man he had been in the past.

“No!” the little girl cried out as she dug into a bowl of millet porridge with her upper body over the table, vexed. “Dad is taking me to kindergarten!”

“Hoho, how about your dad taking your brother to school before taking you?” The old woman petted the girl on the head with a fond smile.

Gao Yang gaped, and the noodles in his mouth dropped onto the dining table with a soft thud.

At the tender age of six, he didn’t yet understand the concept of transmigration, nor did he know what a parallel universe was.

He thought that he was dreaming. Never did he imagine that the dream would still be ongoing after twelve years.

Now, Gao Yang had gotten used to his new world, and he had become one with the owner of this body. He was Gao Yang, an 18-year-old third year highschool student. He was part of a loving family of five with his kind, personable grandmother, his parents who sometimes bickered but loved and respected each other, and a bright, mischievous younger sister.

He led a pretty good life. Like most people his age, he had been studying diligently for the national college entrance exam. Sometimes his mind wandered, picturing his future school, his job, who he would marry, how many children he would have…

All in all, the wish Gao Yang made when he was six had been fulfilled. He ‘found’ his parents, along with his grandmother and younger sister.

He was happy and wanted for nothing.

Until everything changed on his eighteenth birthday.

He was biking home after his evening self-study at school. When he made his way past a dimly-lit road, a dark figure suddenly rushed out of an alley and knocked both Gao Yang and his bicycle to the ground.

The fall wasn’t serious. Gao Yang picked himself up while wincing and finally got a better look at the person who had run into him. Under the dim street light stood a middle-aged man of small stature. He looked frail with his pale face twisted in fear and shock, and he was dressed in a tattered hospital gown covered all over in blood.

“Uncle, are you al—”

“Run!” The man grabbed Gao Yang by the shoulders with terrifying might. “Monsters! They are everywhere! Run! Get out of here!”

His voice seemed to be stained with despair and blood as he continued, “Don’t trust anyone…”


Before the man could say anything else, a bullet buried into his temple and penetrated his skull, exiting through his other temple. Blood splattered like a blooming red rose in an instant.

Splat! Thick fog of blood assaulted Gao Yang’s senses, accompanied by a pungent smell.

The hands clutching Gao Yang’s shoulders gradually loosened, while the man’s face froze in a permanent expression of shock and fear. His bulging eyes stopped moving with all his despair, confusion, and regret etched on them.

Two seconds later, the now lifeless body toppled to the ground with a heavy thud.

Gao Yang stared.

Rooted to the spot, he felt his feet getting drenched by the spreading pool of blood. It was sticky, wet. The faint ringing in his ears triggered by the gunshot through the man’s head was gradually overtaken by the pounding heartbeat caged in his chest. Thump, thump, thumpthumpthump…

“Are you hurt, boy?”

“Don’t be scared. You’re safe now!”

“Close your eyes and don’t look down…”

A number of police officers rushed up to Gao Yang. One of them pulled him into their arms and covered his eyes.

The next day, what happened to Gao Yang became the local headline—Patient with Severe Mental Illness Fled at Night after Killing Two Nurses and Shot Dead for Taking a Highschooler Hostage.

Gao Yang took a sick leave and spent the day resting at home.

He was in shock. No ordinary person could simply brush off the experience of witnessing a life taken unceremoniously by a bullet in such close distance. It also bothered him that the man was labeled someone with mental illness, but he couldn’t put a finger on why.

That night, Gao Yang took a sleeping pill.

He had a dream after falling asleep.

After transmigration, Gao Yang had long incorporated the memory of the original owner of the body from before the age of six, but there seemed to be some unclear snippets that he had forgotten.

The dream took him back to the summer when he was four. It was late at night.

He had had too much watermelon, and the pressure in his bladder woke him up in the small hours. He got out of bed to go to the toilet. When he walked past the room his grandparents shared, he heard a rustling.

Curious, Gao Yang pressed his ear to the cool surface of the door and listened with full attention. The sounds became clearer, but also stranger.

The sounds were completely foreign to him. It sounded both like a beast whining, but also like a giant whale whimpering in the deep sea. It sounded pained, yet there were traces of excitement too. And buried under the cries, the rough, muffled sounds of something being torn and chewed could be heard.

Gao Yang felt a shudder run down his spine.

He had just heard the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the auntie at kindergarten. Did the Big Bad Wolf sneak in and eat grandpa and grandma?

His heart was pounding, but he mustered the courage to carefully push the door open.

Through the crack, he saw it.

Scared witless, he turned around and bolted back to his room, diving into the cocoon of his blanket. He even forgot what he had woken up to do.

The next morning, Gao Yang awoke to find that he had wet his bed. He thought all that had merely been a bad dream, but then his mother opened the door and went up to him to pull him into her arms, crying as she said, “Your grandpa has passed away, Gao Yang.”

He followed his mother out to see the first responders carrying his dead grandfather on a stretcher, the body covered with a piece of white cloth. Then came the funeral, and his grandfather was already nothing but a box of ash.

Gao Yang and his younger sister never got to see their grandfather for the last time.

Thinking back, things were suspicious in many ways.

Their grandfather adored Gao Yang and his sister. They were family of the same blood. Why weren’t they allowed to see him one last time?

And if Gao Yang’s memory served him right, there was something strange about his grandfather’s upper body underneath the white cloth. It appeared that the body was missing an arm.

Didn’t his grandpa die of a heart attack? Why would an arm be missing?

In his dream, Gao Yang stared at the body on the white stretcher, his head filled with questions he couldn’t answer no matter how he agonized over them.

Then suddenly, the body sat up!

The white cloth fell and revealed the man supposedly suffering from mental illness. His eyes were gone, leaving his eye sockets bloody and empty. Viscous black blood splattered from his seven orifices, and he reached out to clutch on Gao Yang’s shoulders with hands covered in blood.

—Monsters! They are everywhere! Run! Get out of here!

—Don’t trust anyone!


Gao Yang jerked awake from his dream.

It was ten o’clock in the morning. The sun was bright. The breeze of April day lifted the curtains and revealed the hubbub of traffic and city life outside the window.

His sister sat by his bed and looked at him with big blinking eyes, her head tilted. “Bad dream, Brother?”

After a pause, Gao Yang asked, “Why are you in my room?”

His sister cast him a judging look. “The sun is long out, you sleepyhead! Mom told me to wake you up!”

“Right. Got it.”

His sister left his room.

Still reeling from the dream, Gao Yang rolled off bed and had a big gulp of water.

Then his phone rang. Without thinking too much of it, he opened WeChat.

And promptly splattered all the water in his mouth.


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