Opening a Shop in the Nightmare World - 150
Translated by rabbitrisu
Turning to the first page of the journal, Su Zimo saw the name ‘An Yu’ on it. His mind seemed to explode at that moment.
That was his mother’s name!
But why did he only remember that name when he saw the words ‘An Yu?’ Before that, every time he thought of his mother, he could only remember the word ‘mother!’
Not just the name, but before opening the journal, Su Zimo didn’t even have a clear memory of his mother. The clearest memory related to her was his mother’s funeral!
But even so, Su Zimo had never thought that something was wrong with that before. It was as if his entire self was hypnotized by an unknown power.
Before that, Su Zimo had never heard much information about his mother from his father, let alone heard or seen his mother’s name. There weren’t even any pictures of his mother in Su manor.
In Su Zimo’s memory, he had visited the cemetery in Shoushan many times. He replaced the flowers on his mother’s grave, but there was no picture of his mother!
Obviously, his mother was the most important person in Su Zimo’s childhood, even more important than his grandfather who taught him. Before Su Zimo’s mother died, it wasn’t his grandfather who taught him the most, but his mother who was always by his side.
She would read him fairy tales, take him to travel in so many places, and spoke sweet words softly when he was about to fall asleep at night.
Every time he thought of he word ‘mother,’ Su Zimo could feel something that had been suppressed wanting to break out of his chest. That kind of feeling was no less than the relationship between Su Zimo and Grandpa Su.
But when Su Zimo saw the words ‘An Yu’ just now, the memories about his mother exploded in his mind instantly. She was always in a long skirt, with a delicate appearance and long black hair like a waterfall. His mother, who appeared gently but had a bright smile, appeared clearly in his memory again after so many years.
An Yu Yi Yu’s warehouse had a shelf full of fairy tale books. Many thoughts piled up together, making Su Zimo think of an incredible possibility.
He urgently began reading through the think journal in his hand.
Ghost Umbrella had been quietly guarding Su Zimo’s side, watching the expression on his face change slightly as he began flipping through the journal. Although he couldn’t see the words in the journal at all, he vaguely understood what should be in it, so his expression remained very calm.
Su Zimo sat at the desk and read quietly. Time passed until it was the middle of the night. After midnight, the stars and moon flowed across the sky, but Su Zimo didn’t seem to be sleepy at all. He just read quietly and seriously.
After reading over half of the journal in his hand, Su Zimo stopped his actions and took a long breath.
The journal in his hands was actually a diary. It was the memoir of his mother An Yu, who had recorded carefully over the years.
Although she didn’t record every day, each time, his mother recorded some thought-provoking true stories — stories that had occurred in the nightmare world.
Yes, it was a diary. Rather, it was the stories that occurred between the nightmare world and the trainers which were recorded by his mother as a bystander.
His mother An Yu… she should be the former owner of the shop An Yu Yi Yu. 1 According to the details Su Zimo captured from the diary, before his mother An Yu became the owner of the shop, it didn’t actually have a name. The name An Yu Yi Yu was the name his mother gave. Even the lacquered gold sign behind the shop counter was his mother’s handwriting.
Because his mother hadn’t recorded her ‘diary’ since the beginning, Su Zimo didn’t know how his mother came to know An Yu Yi Yu, nor did he know what happened to An Yu Yi Yu before meeting his mother.
When his mother started to record, the time period seemed to be when An Yu Yi Yu was about to upgrade to a third level store. The recorded stories were wonderful, but there wasn’t much information about the store or his mother herself.
Most of them could be considered ghost stories that could be made into classic horror films.
Su Zimo came to an amazing conclusion from the story background and the names of some characters that should be famous but that he’d never heard of — his mother and An Yu Yi Yu came from another world, just like Ghost Umbrella.
Based on Ghost Umbrella’s words, his world should have been completely destroyed by the nightmare world.
Although that answer was unexpected to Su Zimo, it was reasonable. After Su Zimo ruminated on the fact that his mother was the former shop owner, that conclusion wasn’t very surprising.
What impressed him the most, however, was that his mother worked hard to write several pages of digression in the diary at once.
Those pages told a story that his mother had heard somewhere.
The story took place in the world that had already begun to be devoured by the nightmare world and its malicious spirits. The protagonists of that story were a group of kind trainers who wanted to protect the last survivors in the world until the very end.
In the story, those trainers set up an organization to support each other and to keep themselves ‘stuck’ on their path, but his mother didn’t mention the name of the organization in her story.
In the story his mother described, the nightmare world released some of the ghosts that were originally trapped there after reaching a certain stage. At that time, the most terrifying thing wasn’t ghost attacks, but that trainers who were killed by those ghosts would become ghosts with great power upon their rebirth!
Because of the interference by the nightmare world, the ghosts of that world reached the stage where they could attack survivors at will and steal their vitality for their own fattening. Almost all the remaining survivors in the area were protected by the trainers of that organization with ghost tools as much as possible. The rest of the city had become a ruined, empty, apocalyptic city, with countless ghosts wandering back and forth.
Looking at the words in the journal, Su Zimo still couldn’t imagine such a scene.
But his mother who recorded those things switched topics, saying that the ghost’s overwhelming advantage changed in the end.
The reason was kind of funny. The ghosts could hardly imagine what a world with no humans, just ghosts, would look like. The ghosts were full of hatred; they hated the survivors that were still alive. That kind of hatred, the desire to torture and attack the living, made them happy and unbearable excited.
But if all of the survivors were killed by them and the entire world was just ghosts, what would the world be like? Would ghosts have to play Gan Deng Yan2 with other ghosts?
Although it was funny for the ghosts to be concerned about the future, the group of ghosts actually reached an agreement together. They came up with an idea that most of the ghosts agreed with — they wanted to raise humans in captivity.
They no longer attacked humans, but watched the weakened survivors set up their blockade. The trainers of that organization guarded the blockade.
They watched the survivors do their best to stay alive, watched their former relatives, lovers, and friends turn against each other for a little bit of profit.
They were like survivors surrounded by zombies in an apocalypse novel, but they were different from zombies in that they could think and watch dramas.
But just when the survivors felt that their situation had begun to improve, the ghosts got tired of watching their series and began to feel bored again.
So just when the survivors were ‘living and working in peace and contentment,’ an unexpected ghost invasion came upon the survivor’s blockade. All the ghosts in the area gathered together. The power of the ghosts was more than that of all the trainers in the barricaded city. Not mentioning that there were still some trainers carrying out tasks in the nightmare world, their combat effectiveness was woefully insufficient!
Just when the survivors thought they were bound to die, the ghosts who were stuck outside the barricaded city unexpectedly… offered a deal.
[We only want to take one person. You can vote for a victim to give us as food, and then we’ll leave.]
This was the deal proposed by the ghosts, allowing the survivors to choose a person to be eaten by the ghosts in exchange for short-term peace.
When the ghosts were bored again, the survivors would have to vote for the next victim!
Seeing the survivors arguing, crying, raging, and even resorting to conspiring, the spectators felt pleased again.
Of course, what made them happy was the ugliness of human nature. They even felt after death that they were once loftier humans than these survivors.
Such games quickly spread amongst the ghosts of various regions and became their most favoured pastime.
The most tragic part of the entire story wasn’t the ordinary survivors who were played with like toys but the trainers who fought to protect the last survivors no matter what after the organization was formed!
In the face of such inhumane voting requirements, those trainers fought and worked hard to try and convince the survivors not to hurt each other.
But in the end, since the trainers didn’t use force to convince the survivors to relent, they couldn’t persuade the eager elderly and women, and in the end they mournfully chose to abstain.
This group of ‘guardians’ was sad and contradictory. They wanted to help the survivors because of the word ‘guard’ but they also could not harm the survivors because of the word ‘guard.’
Simply put, it was a group of good people who didn’t dare to do anything.
That group of good people and trainers had repeatedly made concessions, but their ultimate bottom line was to not harm the survivors and not participate in the merciless vote.
Because the attacking ghosts just watched and didn’t do anything, those good people didn’t fight back either. They stood silently in the corned watching the survivors argue until flushed.
At that moment, the good people seemed to understand the complexity of human nature for the first time.
But there was no time for those good people to study it clearly. The name of a relatively weak trainer in their organization was called out repeatedly by the survivors.
The survivors who were protected by them, the first victim they selected was a weak trainer from their organization!
“Don’t you want to protect us? isn’t it natural for you to sacrifice yourselves to protect us from the ghosts?”
After the name of the victim was unanimously voted for by the survivors, the explanation those good people received was such a sentence.
The moment the tribute was taken away by the powerful ghosts, the entire world seemed to fall silent.
The good trainers looked calmly at the survivors, and the survivors looked back at the trainers who had protected them.
But this time, the trainers’ minds were empty.
The survivors… were secretly counting the number of trainers before them, wondering how long these people could buy their peace.
Su Zimo stopped turning pages because he didn’t want to read the story anymore. He could vaguely guess the story’s direction and feel the coldness behind it.