In the Dream Dungeon of the Heavenly Court.
As an accomplice who had abducted the immortals of the Heavenly Court, Lin Wanxiang was also taken to the Heavenly Court for trial after somebody found out.
However, the one who tried her was neither the Jade Emperor nor the other immortals of the Heavenly Court, but the controller behind the Heavenly Court… one of the Dream Makers who was once involved in the constructions of several main dream projects.
She was Lin Wanxiang’s mother.
“I knew… I shouldn’t have entrusted you to him.”
When Lin Wanxiang’s mother, Xu Xiuqing, saw her daughter, the anger, regret, and exasperation in her voice… gave Wanxiang a very complicated feeling as she listened.
Wanxiang had just returned from the Nightmare Dungeon of the Romantic Movie Universe.
The injuries caused by Suri on her body were still there. Her body, in reality, must have been damaged to some extent.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t like Suri, who could be treated by Qiu Ren. Soon after she returned to reality, she was taken to the Dream Dungeon of Journey to the West to meet her mother.
The “him” her mother, Xu Xiuqing, talked about was Wanxiang’s father.
In Wanxiang’s memory, the relationship between her parents had started to worsen since she was in junior high school. They had never reconciled after that tragedy.
“I don’t regret it, mother, and I feel the same about standing on Qiu Ren’s side… Mother, I finally met with you. Please stop talking about this.”
Wanxiang’s attitude was surprisingly uncompromising this time, which made her mother, Xu Xiuqing, freeze for a second.
Xu Xiuqing also sighed softly and said as she patted the seat next to her.
“Alright, we’ll not talk about this. Let me ask you, Xiao Wan, who gave you those injuries?”
Xu Xiuqing’s firm attitude also softened a little when she saw her daughter acting like this. She started treating the bruises on Wanxiang’s body.
“Mother, you may not be able to help this time.”
Wanxiang also knew that her mother had quite a reputation among the dream consciousnesses. The former Dream Maker of the Lord of Nightmare she contracted with was her mother.
“I can’t help? Even the immortals in the Heavenly Court can’t deal with the person who beat you?” Xu Xiuqing asked.
As one of the Dream Makers with the highest achievement in the Celestial Empire, she had the power to mobilize the immortals to help beat the person who bullied her daughter.
Unfortunately, any immortal in the Heavenly Court might find the person who beat Wanxiang hard to deal with.
“It’s the Lord of Nightmare of the Army.”
When Lin Wanxiang told Xu Xiuqing about Suri’s identity, the word “Army” changed Xu Xiuqing’s expression.
“You mean he didn’t only allow you to enter that dangerous Nightmare Dungeon, but you even fought with a Lord of Nightmare living inside?”
Xu Xiuqing now felt like her daughter had run to the zoo and fought with a tiger in the cage!
What made her feel angry was that her father actually acquiesced to Lin Wanxiang’s crazy behavior. He might even have cheered for her outside the cage.
Even worse was…
“Due to the restraints in the Nightmare Dungeon, that Lord of Nightmare isn’t really strong,” Wanxiang said.
Right… Wanxiang even won when she fought with the “tiger!”
“But it’s still a dangerous Lord of Nightmare, a Lord of Nightmare with a degree of danger of Level SS.” Xu Xiuqing directly squeezed her daughter’s wrist gently and said, “You’re not allowed to go into that Nightmare Dungeon again, even if the constructor gives you the authority to enter!”
Wanxiang used her silence to respond to her mother’s order again.
“Xiao Wan… Do you still think what Qiu Ren’s doing is right up till now?”
Xu Xiuqing knew it wouldn’t help if she forced her daughter, so she tried to reason with her.
“Mother, what’s wrong with letting the dream consciousnesses, who fight at the front line, rest for a short while? Besides, you’ve always been open-minded about nightmares,” Wanxiang asked in confusion.
Xu Xiuqing was a rare Dream Maker who held neutral opinions towards the Lords of Nightmare… among the decision-makers in the Celestial Empire.
She didn’t think that all Lords of Nightmare were dangerous, and she didn’t have only fear towards the Lords of Nightmare.
Some Lords of Nightmare could even become helpful assistants to humans if they were taught well.
“This isn’t about the nightmares. We’ve tried this before, but the final result almost destroyed the entire Heavenly Court and left a lot of horrifying things! Your classmate will attract those dangerous things here if he does this again!” There was already a hint of warning in Xu Xiuqing’s voice.
Lin Wanxiang couldn’t really think of any other thing that was even more horrifying than the Army right now. The Nightmare Seed of the Army was a real threat to the lives of human beings.
While Xu Xiuqing was hesitating if she should tell her daughter… some past secrets about the birth of the Dream Dungeon, a dream consciousness in a maid’s outfit suddenly ran into her bedroom.
“Your Majesty… The Great Sage… The Great Sage is…”
That maid wanted to say something, but her voice was distorted like a broken robot. Her entire body stopped there, as if someone pushed the pause button.
“Has he been eroded by the nightmare? I knew it. With such a small degree of erosion, it shouldn’t take too long for him to be purified. What does Qiu Ren want to do in such a short time?”
Xu Xiuqing seemed to have guessed that things would turn out this way.
The construction authority of the Level SS Dream Dungeon of Journey to the West wasn’t so easy to get.
Perhaps other Dream Makers could get the characters in the Dream Dungeon to work and play different roles in another Dream Dungeon.
But it was almost impossible for Dream Makers without permission to get the construction authority of the original body of Journey to the West through illegal means.
The only way was to work with the Great Sage, Jiang Ziya, or Erlang Shen because the three of them were all the pillars of the Dream Dungeon of Journey to the West. The control over these three pillars was firmly held in the hands of the current Dream Makers of the dungeon.
Once they were corrupted by the Lord of Nightmare, they would be able to temporarily get rid of the current Dream Makers’ control, which allowed Qiu Ren to change some layouts and stories in Journey to the West.
However, the construction authority he got through this method only lasted for three to four days at most. He couldn’t change the base of the Dream Seed of Journey to the West at all.
So, Xu Xiuqing wondered what kind of a story based on Journey to the West Qiu Ren wanted to create by uniting the Lords of Nightmare in such a short period of time. He would also have to bear the accusation of threatening national security.
Even so, the Dream Dungeon of the Heavenly Court was in danger right now.
“Xiao Wan, you should leave. After you get out of here, your sister will come to pick you up. You should stay with her for a while and stop thinking about your classmate, Qiu Ren’s, plan. He’s also in great danger at this moment.”
Xu Xiuqing had already arranged a way out for her daughter in reality.
“Mother…” Before Lin Wanxiang left… She repeated a promise she made with her mother when she was in high school, “I’ll become a National Dream Maker! Then… I’ll be able to come to see you very often!”
After hearing this, Xu Xiuqing smiled gently and caressed her daughter’s forehead. She then sent her out of the Dream Dungeon of the Heavenly Court.
The reason why Wanxiang said this was because her mother had already passed away because of an accident in reality when Wanxiang was in junior high school.
But her consciousness still remained in the Dream Dungeon of Journey to the West…
It would be very difficult for normal people to enter the Dream Dungeon of Journey to the West.
Only by becoming a National Dream Maker, the officially certified Dream Maker for constructing and protecting the Dream Dungeon of Journey to the West, could she meet her mother all the time.
However, what Xu Xiuqing was thinking was… Silly girl, you can always meet me if you marry a National Dream Maker.
But Wanxiang was born a competitive person, so she probably wouldn’t accept this suggestion.
Besides, Qiu Ren… Ever since Qiu Ren established a contract with Tapir, she had been observing his growth.
She also thought Qiu Ren had the best chance of getting the title of National Dream Maker at first, but he had gone astray under the erosion of the nightmare right now.
Ah, I hope Wanxiang won’t get too involved in this.
Xu Xiuqing thought as she looked at the Heavenly Court, where the atmosphere had started to change gradually.
After returning to reality from the Dream Dungeon that carried Journey to the West, Lin Wanxiang was taken away by her sister’s subordinates.
Perhaps how the management personnel judged Wanxiang was that… Wanxiang was forced to be eroded by the nightmare before she was drawn into that Nightmare Dungeon.
So, Wanxiang could be regarded as the victim of this incident. She wouldn’t suffer from any blame or legal punishment.
However, people who knew the truth would definitely not allow Wanxiang to stay in the Central Research Institute.
Wanxiang was taken all the way to an office on a high level by her sister’s subordinates. She finally saw her sister, whom she hadn’t met for a long time… Lin Wanqiu.
When their parents were divorced back then, Lin Wanqiu chose to follow her mother. And yet, she knew that her talent in dream-making wasn’t as good as that of her sister.
However, she still inherited the property and position left by her mother and was working as a high-ranking management personnel in another state-run dream media company responsible for the construction of Journey to the West.
In Lin Wanqiu’s office, Wanxiang saw another foreign woman who looked very similar to Mia.
She looked a little dispirited, but her eyes brightened after she saw Wanxiang.
Wanxiang watched the woman come up to her in confusion. Before the woman could grab Wanxiang, Lin Wanqiu stood in front of her.
“My sister isn’t within the scope of our negotiations, Miss May.”
Lin Wanqiu didn’t have the silly feeling Wanxiang had at all. She was full of vigor in professional attire. She repelled the weird woman who wanted to touch Wanxiang’s hands just by using her gaze.
May? Hearing this name, Wanxiang immediately confirmed that the woman in front of her might be the sister of that Saintess, Mia.
She showed up here probably to save Mia, who was captured by the research institute.
“Lin, I’ll agree with whatever conditions you make, as long as you can help my sister get out of danger,” May said.
“I’ve told you this needs good timing. Your sister’s chance of survival has been extremely low since she was possessed by the Lord of Nightmare.” Lin Wanqiu looked at her old friend with sorrowful eyes. “That young Dream Maker, Qiu Ren, as well.”
“Qiu Ren… What do you mean, sister?”
Hearing her sister’s prediction about Qiu Ren, Wanxiang started questioning her, whom she hadn’t met for a long time.
Lin Wanqiu could be regarded as one of the decision-makers of the Central Research Institute, so she knew a lot of decisions made by the seniors regarding the strategy for dealing with the Dream Dungeon.
“That Dream Maker, Qiu Ren, isn’t building the dream consciousnesses of the Heavenly Court a place to rest.”
Lin Wanqiu wasn’t planning on hiding when she heard her sister’s question. She walked to her desk, picked up a document about banning the dungeon, and threw it to Wanxiang.
“He’s building a cage instead, a cage where normal ‘people’ and a group of monsters are locked together. When there’s food supply, the monsters can still stay there obediently, but what if the source of food is being cut off?”
The reason why the Romantic Movie Universe could continue operating normally was that Qiu Ren had invested a large number of Creation Points as the foundation at the beginning.
After that, when the developments of the storylines were released on various live broadcast platforms and streaming media, they attracted a lot of viewers to watch the live broadcasts.
These were all turned into energy and supplied to the storylines in the Romantic Movie Universe. Although it wasn’t much, it was enough to support the operation of the entire Romantic Movie Universe.
The problem was that after the live broadcast channel was cut off… the Shadow Beasts playing the non-player characters inside might not be so obedient anymore.
“The immortals of the Heavenly Court won’t… accept such a despicable ending.”
Wanxiang didn’t think the research institute would be so… dumb. There should still be quite a lot of people who supported the live broadcast of the Romantic Movie Universe to continue.
Because if they really cut it off, it would be no different from forcing the immortals of the Heavenly Court to defect to the Army’s side.
The characters of the Heavenly Court were arguing with the research institute right now. It was kind of like a hunger strike, but it would escalate to an armed conflict if the research institute issued the full ban.
“The management personnel aren’t going too far. They’re just restricting the streaming and allowing only certain people to watch. Simply put, those are people who would write negative reviews that portray Erlang Shen as someone who fools around,” Lin Wanqiu said.
“LIke… you, sister?” Wanxiang asked.
Even though I look like this, I watch soap operas during my holidays! Lin Wanqiu didn’t say this remark that would destroy her image. She just handed a tablet to Wanxiang.
“If you think so… then that’s the case. I indeed have the authority to watch, but for other people who have the authority, these drama series are torture,” Lin Wanqiu said.
Wanxiang looked at the number of people watching the storylines in the Romantic Movie Universe and found that only around one-tenth of the popularity was left compared to when it was fully opened before.
Even though Wanxiang had no idea where the research institute found these viewers, this was undoubtedly a smarter strategy than altogether banning it.
After all, the negative comments from the audience were a kind of torture for the dream characters.
Could the couples entangled in the storylines in this Nightmare Dungeon get through this challenge?
While Wanxiang was thinking, another storyline called “A Chinese Odyssey” appeared on the live broadcast list.
She clicked the link out of curiosity and saw the notice, “Preparing the storyline. Please wait.”
However, the title of A Chinese Odyssey was indeed very eye-catching, which especially attracted the attention of those drama critics who were invited by the institute.
“If you think these drama series are of high quality, you don’t need to worry too much, Xiao Wan,” Lin Wanqiu said on the side.
“Sister… you don’t seem to want the research institute to win?” Wanxiang could discern from her sister’s tone that she wasn’t completely on the side of the research institute.
“I owe this woman, May, a favor. Besides, if the story Qiu Ren created can really fight its way out and become popular… the research institute won’t be able to stop him no matter what.”
Lin Wanqiu took back the tablet and said as she looked at the preparation of the story, A Chinese Odyssey, where “drama critics” continued to flood in, “Dream Makers, dream consciousness, Dream Dungeons. In the end, it’s the story, the strength, and finally, the popularity speak. If the story created by that Dream Maker, Qiu Ren, has one-tenth of the degree of excitement and popularity of Journey to the West, the research institute wouldn’t put so much effort to stop him, let alone being comparable to Journey to the West. They may even support him instead because that’s the source of power for the dream characters.”
The research institute indeed didn’t ban the live broadcast of the Romantic Movie Universe completely. Instead, they set an extremely high threshold, which forced the operator of the Romantic Movie Universe to become a profiteer.
Basically, people must pay an expensive fee to continue watching the further live broadcasts in the Romantic Movie Universe.
The high threshold was enough to scare most people away and anger some of them. Anyway, the idea of the research institute was that it could be released, but it could never have a good reputation.
Once the dream characters felt depressed and had uncomfortable symptoms due to the audience, they would naturally give up their fantasies and go back to be the immortals they should be.