Ning Ning would of course not walk into the enemy’s hands voluntarily.
She did not intend to meet Pei Xuan, the one she wanted to meet was Yu Sheng.
At this moment in time, Yu Sheng had most probably been taken away by him. Moreover, based on Pei Xuan’s typical controlling nature, Yu Sheng would most probably be kept by his side. He would educate her, cultivate her, monitor her, then manipulate her…just like what had happened to Ning Ning back then.
But of course whether Ning Ning would be able to meet Yu Sheng or not would still depend on luck.
Fortunately, Ning Ning’s luck that day was very good.
A familiar voice rang out beside her ear.
Ning Ning turned her head and looked in the direction where the voice came from as she hugged Xu Rong’s neck.
There was a snack bar across the street, a car had stopped at its entrance. At first only a man with a crew cut got off the car to smoke, but upon seeing Ning Ning, another person got off the car as well. That person was none other than Yu Sheng.
The crew-cut man shouted (something) from behind her. She stopped in her tracks and whispered a few words to him.
Ning Ning did not know what she had said to him, but the crew-cut man stayed and smoked at the entrance of the snack bar, while she quickly crossed the road to approach Ning Ning.
“Big Sister Yu Sheng.” Ning Ning shouted in a cute manner.
“I’ve changed my name to Lian Lian.” Yu Sheng smiled. “Here, call me Big Sister Lian Lian.”
Ning Ning looked at the man with a crew cut across the road, then looked back at Yu Sheng, “You cannot change your name.”
Yu Sheng was surprised, she asked, “Why?”
“Because I dreamt of you yesterday.” Ning Ning said.
Yu Sheng immediately fell silent.
“…What was I doing in your dreams?” She forced a smile after a long while, looking at Ning Ning with expectation, hoping to hear something good from Ning Ning.
But Ning Ning stared at her and said, “I dreamt that you died.”
A chill rose from Yu Sheng’s feet, rushing through her bones, she could not help but shiver on the spot. She looked at Ning Ning. The other was but a little girl who was as cute as a glutinous rice dumpling, but for some reason she looked scarier and scarier.
Absent-mindedly, Yu Sheng felt like she had returned to the studio—no, not the studio, she felt like she had stepped into <<Dreams of the Future>>. The one standing in front of her was the female lead character, looking at her naively, using her young and tender voice to convey the news of her death…
She was virtually a crow in human form.
“It’s just a dream.” Yu Sheng shut her eyes tight, then opened them and forced a smile. “I will not die…”
“But you were hit by a car, there was a lot of blood.” Ning Ning pointed at the man with a crew cut across the road, “That uncle stood by your side and shouted Lian Lian at you…”’
“Enough!” Yu Sheng shouted, stopping Ning Ning from saying anything further.
That was as much as she had wanted to say. Ning Ning drew back, seeming like she had been frightened by Yu Sheng’s shout. She pursed her lips, turned around and hugged Xu Rong’s neck. Then she started to sob.
Xu Rong frantically patted her back. She coaxed Ning Ning as she said to Yu Sheng, “You’re already grown up, why are you bullying a child?”
“I want to go home,” Ning Ning whimpered, “I want Mama.”
What needed to be done was already done, there was no need to stay there anymore. If Yu Sheng believed her, then she would begin to think of a way out, of how to get away from the identity of Lian Lian. If she did not believe her…then she would get hit by a car and turn into a vegetable. The next time they met, she would most probably believe her words more..
“There, there, we’ll go home now.” Xu Rong coaxed Ning Ning as she turned around and walked in the direction they came from.
She hadn’t even taken a few steps when a loud crash rang out behind her.
Xu Rong exclaimed from shock. She turned back and her eyes slowly widened.
A traffic accident had just occurred on the road, Yu Sheng who was just alive and kicking a moment ago, was now lying in the middle of the road, fresh blood was spreading under her body.
The crew-cut man tossed his cigarette to the ground and rushed towards her, shouting repeatedly, “Lian Lian! Lian Lian!”
There were chaotic footsteps, a crowd flocked towards the scene, women were screaming, children were crying Xu Rong stared at the scene dumbfoundedly for a long time before she turned her head slightly to look at the child in her arms.
“What did you say to her just now?” Xu Rong tried to carefully confirm with her, “You said…she will get hit by a car, there was a lot of blood?”
She was unable to get an answer from Ning Ning.
Because Ning Ning looked like she was frightened from what was happening, she did not say a word on the way back. After they got home, she continued to hug her teddy bear in a daze.
“How did this happen?” Ning Ning hugged the bear tightly and thought, “The accident was brought forward? Moreover, if I remember correctly, she had accidentally driven onto a tree, how did it turn into getting hit by a car when she crossed the road? Was it…was it because she lost focus after she heard what I said, that’s why she didn’t pay attention when she crossed the road… Damn it, how is she now? She wouldn’t die right?”
“Ning Ning…” Xu Rong’s voice rang out from across the room.
Ning Ning looked up, the other party actually took a step back.
They looked into each other’s eyes, the mood was a little awkward.
“Take your medicine first.” Xu Rong forced a smile, then reached out with medicine in hand.
Ning Ning looked at her. She reached out and took the medicine out of her hand, putting the medicine in her mouth under Xu Rong’s supervision, then gulped a cup of water down. She waited for Xu Rong to take the empty cup out of the room before she opened her mouth and spat the pill out onto her hand. She pulled down the zipper on the back of her teddy bear and shoved the pill in before she pulled it back up.
Afterwards, she did not go anywhere as she continued to pretend to sleep with a blanket on.
Ten plus minutes later, the door opened silently.
A hand slowly reached out to Ning Ning. First, it gently touched her face, then undid her braid before it started to comb her hair.
This hand was so gentle, Ning Ning could not help but start to doubt herself, “Was I being overly suspicious?”
After Xu Rong was done combing Ning Ning’s hair, she stood up and walked to the telephone.
“Hello.” Ning Ning heard Xu Rong’s voice ring out, “It’s me… Ning Ning just fell asleep. Yes, yes… Don’t worry, I will take good care of her. That’s right, can I talk to Xiao Yu?”
“Good girl Xiao Yu! Did you listen well to Auntie Ning?”
“Is acting fun?”
“This is an opportunity Little Sister Ning Ning gave you, you have to act well, understand?”
Ning Ning listened to the phone call quietly.
This was not a long phone call, after ten or so minutes, Xu Rong hung up.
Next, she left the room. Not long after, the sounds of cooking rang out.
When it was time to eat, she sat by the bed and woke Ning Ning up. She said gently, “Ning Ning, it’s time to wake up and eat, you can sleep after you eat.”
Ning Ning rubbed her eyes. She looked like someone who had just woken up, looking at Xu Rong in a daze for a long time, then she muttered, “I just dreamt of your daughter.”
Xu Rong’s eyelid visibly twitched.
“You haven’t even met her, how would you dream of her?” She forced a smile.
“Her name is Xiao Yu.” Ning Ning said.
Xu Rong stopped speaking, her eyelids stopped twitching as well. She stood up suddenly from the bed, looking down at Ning Ning. The silence and this method of looking at something brought out a strong sense of oppression.
“Did you wake up and hear what I said?” She suddenly asked with a smile.
If Ning Ning was actually a four-year-old child, she would probably tell the truth after such a scare. But Ning Ning was not. She was an adult, and an actress on top of that.
First, she shook her head blankly, then started to choke up as if she was maligned, “I didn’t. I had a dream. I dreamt that Xiao Yu called you, on her…woo, woo,…on her, was my costume…”
She cried for a good while before Xu Rong brought her into her arms and gave her some pats to coax her.
“There, there, there, I believe you.” Xu Rong coaxed.
“I don’t want to sleep anymore.” Ning Ning went along and hugged Xu Rong’s neck, saying distressfully, “I have weird dreams lately.”
The hand that was patting Ning Ning’s back froze.
“…Alright.” After a while, Xu Rong smiled. “You don’t have to sleep if you don’t want to.”
Ning Ning thought: “Then I would have to trouble you to feed me less of that flu medicine.”
Maybe she was being overly suspicious, she thought that her sleep schedule had beem abnormal recently. Initially, she suspected that Xu Rong had overdosed her on flu medicine.
Adults would sometimes do these kinds of silly things; they would give a child a few more pills thinking that a child was seriously sick, thinking that this would help the child recover. However, medicine is thirty percent poison, taking more would not actually help the body.
Of course, Ning Ning had also seen news of nannies who fed their employers’ children sleeping pills so that they can laze around…but Xu Rong took care of her for so long, she was a warm memory from her childhood, Ning Ning simply could not imagine her doing such things.
After her meal, sure enough, Xu Rong did not feed her medicine again.
Ning Ning remained awake until night time.
“Good night.” Xu Rong switched off the table lamp. She bent down and gave Ning Ning’s forehead a kiss.
Ning Ning did not know if she was imagining it but Xu Rong’s lips felt very cold.
“Good night.” Ning Ning said to her before she closed her eyes.
She lied previously, even after sleeping for so long, she had not dreamt once.
But on that night, she had a dream.
She dreamt of the poster at the entrance of Life Theater.
As it was a dream, the poster began to spring to life.
Xu Rong was holding the little girl’s hand as they happily walked under the trees. As they walked, she plucked pretty clothes to put on her, a cute hat to put on her head, packets of french fries, sticks of popsicles, the image was that of a mother bringing her child to Disneyland.
But Ning Ning’s vision slowly shifted down.
She realised that she had previously overlooked something.
The roots of the trees.
Those fairytale-like trees were deeply rooted in red soil. However, upon closer inspection, it was not soil at all, but a red piece of cloth.
The red cloth was on top of a person.
Those roots were embedded deeply into this person’s body.
Ning Ning reached out in an attempt to take off the cloth, to take a look at who was the person underneath.
But the instant she reached out, she woke up.
The alarm clock by the bed indicated it was four in the morning.
“Huff, huff…” Ning Ning laid on the bed, her hand was still in the motion of trying to grab something.
She shifted her hand towards her bedside cupboard and switched on the table lamp.
The table lamp lit up and shone on her body. Ning Ning looked down and exclaimed.
On her was a red blanket.
“I said, why does this look a little familiar…” Ning Ning murmured as she looked at her surroundings.
The coat hangers high above her had two dresses and a hat, the dress and the hat, she had seen them on the trees of the poster. The remaining ones were also in her wardrobe.
In that instant, Shi Zhong Tang’s warning rang out by her ear.
“Be careful of the people around you.”
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