Dreams of the Future
“Ten years later, you would have everything. You would have achieved success and won recognition, money was just a string of numbers to you, you would have a lot of suitors and a lot of people view you as a legend. The one thing you lost…was Ning Ning.” Ning Yu Ren said, “You would be unable to accept this fact, you would want to change her fate, so you would spend all your savings and buy all the tickets Pei Xuan has.”
Ning Yu Ren smirked at the camera, it was a smirk that was bitter to the end. “It was the beginning of your nightmare.”
The first ticket was an ordinary ticket—an ordinary ticket which did not allow you to designate the transmigration’s time and place. In <<Affliction>>, Ning Yu Ren had transmigrated as a nurse of a hospital. The first thing she did once she had opened her eyes was to ask someone, “What is the date today?”
“It’s the twelfth of January, 1998.” The person she asked answered.
Ning Yu Ren’s hopes were dashed. She had only missed it by a month, she had actually missed it by only a month. She would have been able to save her daughter if she had been a month earlier.
“Why are you still standing here? Come over and help quickly, the patient in room 3 is in a precarious state.“ A nurse shouted at her in exasperation.
Ning Yu Ren assented. Her years of transmigration experience had caused her body to instinctively act as the character she transmigrated as, no matter how painful it was. She did not even have the time to wipe her tears before she ran along with the other party to room 3.
Within the room was a familiar face.
She looked like she was hanging by a thread, lingering on her last breath, fighting to reach out to Xiao Yu.
Seeing her like this, Ning Yu Ren could not help but feel a trace of pity and guilt in her heart. Ning Yu Ren had once hated Xu Rong a lot because she was the one who had lost Ning Ning. Even after she had taken pesticide for the sake of atoning for her sin, Ning Yu Ren had only visited her once. Afterwards, she just left Xu Rong be and never visited again.
It was only when a crying Xiao Yu had stood at her door holding Xu Rong’s urn that she learnt that Xu Rong was dead. Her heart had felt empty for a moment. The sounds of the rain slowly got louder, she opened the door and let Xiao Yu in.
The current Xu Rong was not dead yet. Just as Ning Yu Ren was thinking about saving her, Xu Rong held Xiao Yu’s hand while panting. “Once I die, don’t let your father know. Get someone to cremate me immediately, then hold my urn, cough, cough, go to Ning Yu Ren’s house.”
Ning Yu Ren was stunned for a moment.
“Mum…” Xiao Yu started crying.
“No crying.” Maybe it was because she was running out of time, Xu Rong looked a little ferocious, she was not as kind and gentle as she usually was. She gritted her teeth. “If you want to cry, save it for when you are at the door of Ning Yu Ren’s house. Don’t…don’t let what I’ve done for you go to waste.”
What did she do?
Ning Yu Ren looked at what was happening in front of her in a blank. Later on, she tailed Xiao Yu and watched her bring the urn to her own house. She watched as Xiao Yu wailed and cried in front of her door, she watched as she herself opened the door and let Xiao Yu in with a complicated expression on her face.
She once thought that everything had happened out of her own kindness, but in the end, what if her kindness was within someone else’s calculation?
Not long after <<Affliction>> ended, Ning Yu Ren immediately used a second movie ticket. It was an ordinary ticket like the one before. She then transmigrated into <<Confidante>> as Xiao Yu’s junior high school classmate.
The two of them quickly became bosom buddies. The things that were never said to Ning Yu Ren, Xiao Yu easily told her bosom buddy.
“Ning Yu Ren had been treating me as a substitute.” Xiao Yu said with a smile. “But it’s fine, I’m also treating her as a substitute.”
Ning Yu Ren was smiling on the surface, but her heart broke.
During this time, she had already taken Xiao Yu in for almost six years. Six years of companionship, she had long treated Xiao Yu as her second child. Although Xu Rong had told her to order Xiao Yu around like a servant, she had never done that. On the contrary, Ning Yu Ren had specially hired someone to take care of Xiao Yu.
“Speaking of, what was your biological mother like?” Ning Yu Ren asked with a curious look while holding back the sadness in her heart.
“My mummy treated me very well. Let me tell you a secret.” Xiao Yu looked at her surroundings then got up to Ning Yu Ren’s ear, using her hand to cover her mouth as she told her the secret.
Ning Yu Ren’s eyes slowly widened.
Xiao Yu quietly said into her ear, “My mom was willing to do anything for me. She fought for my first acting opportunity by drugging someone.”
Her first acting opportunity? Drugging? Whom did she drug?
After <<Confidante>> ended, Ning Yu Ren used a third ticket, a fourth ticket, a fifth ticket… She was having less and less tickets, but she had discovered more and more. She came to know so much that it had broken everything she thought she knew. She came to know so much that she had laughed and cried in her room in the middle of the night.
No one knew that Movie Empress Ning Yu Ren was already on the verge of collapse. She would not even eat a thing, her fridge was filled with nothing but pills and herbal tea.
In the end, on a winter day ten years later, on the anniversary of Ning Ning’s death, she stood at the entrance of Life Theater. Her scrawny hand held onto her last movie ticket. She looked at the poster in front of her and slowly cracked a smile. “It’s finally here.”
She walked over and handed her ticket to the doorman.
Her last ticket, an odd-numbered designated ticket.
The doorman looked at the ticket and asked, “The character you are designating is?”
Was there any other choice? Ning Yu Ren smiled. “Myself.”
She closed her eyes on the audience seats, then opened her eyes while in her body from ten years ago.
The day had yet to break, she gently pushed the door open and walked into her daughter’s room. She bent down and kissed the forehead of her daughter who was sound asleep. Ning Ning opened her eyes. She immediately smiled like an angel upon seeing that it was her, she reached out and hugged her neck. “Mama, let’s sleep together.”
Ning Yu Ren’s eyes immediately glistened with tears.
“Ning Ning,” she rubbed Ning Ning’s nose with her own and gently asked, “tell me, what kind of Mama do you want?”
“A Mama like you.” Ning Ning answered.
“Sweet-talking little brat.” Ning Yu Ren started giggling. “I’m talking about the future…what do you want me to be like ten years in the future?”
This question seemed to be too difficult for a four-year-old Ning Ning. She tilted her head and thought about it, still smiling. “Like you.”
Ning Yu Ren closed her eyes and hugged her tightly.
When she opened her eyes once again, she was sitting in front of the camera. She looked at the camera in front of her and said, “Ning Yu Ren, don’t turn into me.”
She said that as she hugged the things in her arms tightly. Ning Ning’s clothes, Ning Ning’s doll, Ning Ning’s blanket, everything that had her scent.
“I’m naive and stupid, I was made use of and decieved. I lost the most important person in my life and raised the child of my sworn enemy.” Ning Yu Ren chuckled. “How can you end up like me?”
She picked up the tiny teddy bear and gave it a kiss. She turned around and looked at the screen and smiled for the last time.
“For the sake of Ning Ning,” she said while smiling, “kill me. Don’t let me appear ever again. Become another type of person, have another kind of future…a future where Ning Ning is still alive.”
The future had changed, but these changes would usually require a price. Sometimes the price was paid by someone else, sometimes it was paid by the person themselves.
Ning Ning watched the entrance closely. The door had opened, Lian Yuan Yuan stormed out, a group of people surrounded her. She scanned her surroundings in search of traces of Pei Xuan.
“Right now!” A group of people rushed out of a car, passing Lian Yuan Yuan by and hurrying towards the front door.
Mu Er who had been a step slower than Lian Yuan Yuan was given a big shock as she was about to walk out of the door. She took a few steps back. “You… Mu Gua, why did you have a sex change!?”
“There is no time to explain, get in the car quickly.” Mu Gua took off his coat and tossed it at her. “Right, put this on quickly.”
“A gift of friendship.” The second son took off his hat and put it on Mu Er’s head.
Mu Er was still in shock over her brother’s sex change. A coat and a hat were inexplicably tossed at her, then she was shoved into an unfamiliar car.
“Wait a minute, what exactly is happening?” Mu Er finally came back to her senses. She leaned towards the window and looked out. “Who is that woman? What does she intend to do?”
Behind the front door, the second son had walked out with Yu Sheng. Yu Sheng had already switched into the same clothes as Mu Er. Due to the fact that she just had stitches done, she was wearing a hat, standing quietly by the side of the second son.
“That is the real young miss of the Lian family.” Mu Gua said without holding back, “A fake like you can retire now.”
Mu Er looked at him in shock for a while, then gave him a big slap. “How could you team up with an outsider to go against your sister?!”
Mu Gua had his wits slapped out of him. It was a while later that he angrily pushed her. “What’s the matter? You still wanted to continue to be a fake? Would you be able do that?”
“Why not? I am a person who will become an actress in the future.”
“Heh heh your ass! I almost became the Lian family daughter. If that would have happened, I could have bought you anything and everything.”
“I don’t give a damn.”
“Then what do you give a damn about?”
“I give a damn about you.”
The siblings quietened down. After a while, Mu Er who had been ferocious a while ago looked down, covering her mouth and crying out.
“You shouldn’t put up a brave front even though you were scared.” Mu Gua sighed and brought her into his arms. “Don’t do this again in the future, you still have me.”
Ning Ning who was on the front seat looked away from them. According to her observation, she had confirmed one thing. The Mu Er she was looking at was the real Mu Er, not the Mu Er she had transmigrated as.
When did she turn back into the real Mu Er? When did the future change? No matter what, she did it, she had changed the fate of the siblings.
At this moment, the phone rang.
Wen Yu controlled the steering wheel as he answered the call, “Hello.”
“It’s me.” The second son’s voice rang out.
“What’s the situation?” Wen Yu asked, the people in the car turned silent as they waited for the latest information.
“Pei Xuan was dumbfounded.” The second son laughed out loud. “He circled around Lian Lian, repeatedly asking her what happened, why would she not go with him. I answered for her: ‘Because you are ugly.’ Hahahaha!”
Yu Sheng was put on the phone next, she said, “I pretended to let it slip that the mastermind behind this ‘affection test’ this time was Pei Xuan. The other family members of the Lian family were furious. Some of them wanted to call the police, but they did not know what to charge him for, there were others who wanted to beat him up. He had run away since.”
“Got it, keep in touch.” Wen Yu hung up. He updated everyone about the situation then said, “I’m going to the police, I have some evidence on hand. What about you guys? Where do you want to go?”
Mu Gua and Mu Er looked at each other, then they looked at him earnestly. “Can you bring us home? Our mother is still at home.”
Wen Yu did not reject them, but when the car arrived at their rented apartment building, the two of them were both startled at the same time.
Because a car was already parked in front of the apartment, it had a very familiar license plate. The two of them looked at each other before frantically getting out of the car.
They went upstairs to investigate, the door was already opened.
Two of Pei Xuan’s lackeys had already been waiting inside for a long time. As they watched the siblings come in, they ferociously said, “Wait here, Pei Xuan will be here soon.”
The two siblings could only wait. At the same time, they made a few hand signals behind their back. Wen Yu and Ning Ning who had originally come along then quietly retreated when they saw the hand signals.
Only the siblings entered the apartment.
Not long after, Pei Xuan arrived.
He walked in as if he was entering his own home. He smiled and greeted the both of them. “Sit.”
Without waiting for the two of them to sit down, he sat down on the only chair in the apartment. He smiled at the two of them and said, “I think that we need to have a good talk.”