Chapter 12 – Strange Nightmare

Wang Zhen grabbed the back of her daughter's collar as if she was picking up a little chick.
Then, with a look of suspicion, she asked, “What are you doing? Shouldn't you be going to school? What are you idling here for?”

After pushing her mother's claw away with her trembling hands, Yin Zhao-an put on an aggrieved face as she answered, “I'm waiting for someone.”

In response to Yin Zhao-an's answer, the screen of a mobile phone appeared before her, and the several numbers displayed on the screen mercilessly mocked her.
Yin Zhao-an sniffled her reddened nose when she saw the numbers, and she turned to Wang Zhen with a pitiful look.

“Fine, fine.
I'll drop you off at school, but if this happens again, I won't care about you even if you're late.” Wang Zhen helplessly shook her head and led her daughter, who currently looked pitiful like an abandoned puppy, to the scooter she parked nearby.

After barely making it to school before the first bell rang, Yin Zhao-an grew depressed when she saw Tang Yu reading a book in the classroom.

Sure enough, Mom is right… Tang-Tang did go to school by herself…

Yin Zhao-an's thoughts started to run wild after she sat down and rested her head on the table.

Theft is never good, try looking at

Why did Tang-Tang leave without me? Didn't we promise to go to school together yesterday? Why…

“Yin Zhao-an! Yin Zhao-an? Wake up… Her forehead is burning… Did she catch a fever? I should take her to the infirmary first.”

Yin Zhao-an woke up with her ears buzzing and her eyelids feeling heavy.
A chaotic noise also incessantly rang deep in her mind, the noise getting louder and louder as its source got closer and closer… Who's talking?

“…Save me.”

“I was wrong… Save me…”


Yin Zhao-an abruptly sat up from her bed, her morbidly flushed face covered in sweat.
Wang Zhen, who was in the midst of wiping her daughter's sweat, was given a fright.
Hurriedly, she sat on the edge of the bed and hugged Yin Zhao-an to comfort the little girl:

“It's alright; it's alright.
Don't be scared.
Mommy is here.
Did you have a nightmare?”

The shrill cry in her dream lingered in her ears.
Despite how fearless Yin Zhao-an normally behaved, this time, she broke into tears as she returned her mother's embrace.
“Mommy, I'm scared…
I'm scared…”

The pain in her heart and the suffocating space in her dream left Yin Zhao-an at a loss.
The shrill cry in her dream felt like a prank made by a grievous soul sticking to her ear.

Wang Zhen's heart ached when she saw her daughter's state.
At this time, she realized that even though Yin Zhao-an normally behaved as if she were a boy, she was still a child at the end of the day.

After Yin Zhao-an was done venting her emotions, Wang Zhen gently caressed her head and grabbed a fresh set of clothes she had set aside at the end of the bed.
“There, there.
Everything's alright now.
Let's get you changed out of these soaked clothes first, okay? Look at all the sweat you're covered in.”

When Yin Zhao-an changed into a dry and warm set of clothes, her fear subsided a little.
Even so, she still felt a little insecure, so she quickly shrunk back into her quilt and revealed a pair of eyes that had reddened from sobbing.

“Mommy… Did a ghost come to find me because I did something bad…”

Wang Zhen, who was in the midst of portioning the cold medicine, paused.
Then, looking at her fragile daughter with a tender gaze, she said, “An-An wants to become someone who protects others, right?”

Yin Zhao-an nodded.

“That settles it, then.
How can someone who wants to protect others do bad things?” After saying so, Wang Zhen finished filling the measuring cup with the cold medicine.
Then, after testing the warmth of a cup of warm water, she handed the medicine and water to her daughter and said, “Here, drink this, and you'll get well in no time, An-An.
Then, you'll be able to protect others.”

Yin Zhao-an moved her body and got out from under her quilt.
Then, she obediently took the cold medicine and gulped it down, the medicine's bitterness causing her to nearly break out into tears again.

The cold medicine quickly started working, and Yin Zhao-an felt her mind growing drowsy.
However, just when she was about to snuggle back under her quilt, she heard her father's voice coming from downstairs:

“Ah Zhen, An-An's classmate is here to see her.”

Holding her daughter's soaked clothes in her arms, Wang Zhen responded to her husband, “Have that classmate wait downstairs for a bit.
I'll be down in a moment.'

“Don't!” Yin Zhao-an suddenly grabbed Wang Zhen's sleeve, her eyes carrying a hint of hope.
Then, in a slightly hoarse voice, she said, “Let her come up.”

Wang Zhen frowned at her daughter's request.
Revealing a worried look, she said, “You should be resting right now.
Not to mention, aren't you worried you'll pass your fever to your friend?”

Wang Zhen felt the hand grabbing onto her sleeve gradually loosening.
Then, she sighed helplessly as she watched Yin Zhao-an shrink back under the quilt.
Her daughter didn't even know which of her classmates was downstairs, so what was the girl getting all excited for?

As soon as the bedroom door closed, Yin Zhao-an's thoughts immediately started to wander.
In reality, she had no idea who was visiting her.
However, she deceived herself into believing that the person downstairs must be Tang-Tang.
Her mind could even picture Tang-Tang obediently standing downstairs and waiting for her.


“Auntie, here is the homework for today and tomorrow.
Our teacher asked me to deliver it here,” a girl wearing a ponytail said as she handed some papers and workbooks to Wang Zhen.

Wang Zhen thanked the little girl and briefly scrutinized the other party.
The girl had a pair of red and pretty cheeks, and she was quite a lovely sight.
However, Wang Zhen had never seen the little girl before, so she asked, “What is your name, little girl?”

“My name is Li Yiru.
I am the monitor of Yin Zhao-an's class,” the little girl politely answered Wang Zhen.
Then, after glancing at the children's watch on her wrist, she said to Wang Zhen, “I'll be going back first, then, Auntie.

Tang Yu, doing her homework, suddenly sneezed, causing the pencil in her hand to draw a rough curve on her notebook.
With physiological tears in her eyes, she wondered, Is someone cursing me?

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