My stomach hurts. It hurts so much.
Like it’s being burned, pricked by needles.
I want to throw up.
Ah, I can’t.
Somebody help me.
It was raining.
It was drizzling outside the window, with the rain pattering, and the occasional light chirping of frogs.
It was so warm.
The gentle birdsong seemed to come from afar, yet it seemed close to the ear, echoing and rippling. Occasionally, the sound of birds spreading their wings seemed to be heard.
The fragrance of flowers slid softly over the nose like ribbons, with a slight sweetness that was soon diluted with the sound of running water, through which fish swam, their tails swaying with slight swishes.
Feng Yeran stirred on the table in the laboratory and opened his eyes slightly.
The white gauze curtains were stirring, the dark black shadows of birds were passing across the curtains, and pink and gold petals were tinged with the sunlight that entered through the cracks of the window, swirling and fluttering. Feng Yeran rubbed his eyes and heard a slight sound of water not far above his head. He looked up and saw a deep blue fish with golden edges swaying its tail as it slowly swam past. He only then realised that he seemed to be sitting on a chair in the water. The clear water was sparkling, the pages of a book were turning slightly in it, and the room was filled with beautiful tropical fish, as well as some shining, tiny unknown creatures, expanding and contracting like jellyfish, breathing in the stillness.
“It’s so beautiful,” Feng Yeran couldn’t help saying. “Am I dreaming?”
If it was a dream, it was too real. His hair rippled in the water, his clothes floated, and the fish gently touched his skin, slightly cool. He could not only breathe, but also smell a faint fragrance.
It was only then that he realised a child was standing next to him in his pyjamas and bare feet.
Little Feng Hua looked up at Feng Yeran with his big beautiful eyes bent, smiling as he said, “Like it?”
Feng Yeran instantly understood.
He couldn’t help but kiss the little guy’s round cheek. “How did you do that?”
Feng Hua touched his cheek with his hand. “What’s this?”
“A kiss.” Feng Yeran was surprised that he could say such childish words. “It means I’m happy and like you very much.”
The little guy actually blushed a little.
“Okay, tell me how you did that?”
Feng Hua was completely immersed in happiness, and it seemed that he didn’t hear Feng Yeran’s question at all. His black curls floated on his bright forehead. With a kick of his legs, he swam with the fish, revealing his bright forehead, and he was dancing with joy.
When the beautiful illusion gradually dissipated, the interior of the room returned to its usual appearance. Feng Yeran went to Feng Hua’s simple room and opened the book next to his pillow. It was only then that he realised that the stories he had been told recently before bedtime were all about the sea. Feng Hua loved seabed creatures, huge whales, colourful tropical fish, and especially the wonderful creatures of the deep sea that could emit pale blue luminescence. Opening the image, it was just as expected; last night, he had watched a documentary about the blooming flowers, the garden full of sunflowers, the boundless lavender…
There was no doubt that Feng Hua had the ability to change dreams into reality.
Since the first time he used this ability to surprise Feng Yeran, he began to use it often.
Feng Yeran always woke up in the warm prairie, fell asleep in the sea of flowers, slept lightly in the glistening lake, and read by the river with tumbling reeds.
As well as being able to change his dreams into reality, Feng Hua was also able to freely peep into Feng Yeran’s dreams and turn them into short-lived reality. And that was not always pleasant.
For example, once, Feng Yeran had just walked into the laboratory when he heard the sound of talking and laughing. Under the orange, gentle light was a large wooden square table with familiar cracks on it. Ah, it was the same old table that had broken and not been replaced. His dad was sitting on a chair reading a newspaper, and looked up at Feng Yeran with a strong, gentle smile behind his glasses. A strong smell wafted in. Ah, his mum was cooking chicken soup. The kitchen door opened and his mum, wearing a waistband, came out of the kitchen carrying chicken soup, saying to Feng Yeran, “What are you dawdling over there for? Hurry up and serve the rice!”
Feng Yeran’s tears immediately burst out. Once again, he felt spasms in his stomach and collapsed straight to the floor.
The image instantly disappeared. Feng Hua, who already had the appearance of a five or six year old, rushed towards him. He pressed his palm against Feng Yeran’s stomach and the bursts of warmth eased the pain. But it was obvious that Feng Hua didn’t understand at all why this scene would make Feng Yeran be like that.
“Ye’er… doesn’t like it?”
Feng Yeran paused for a while before nodding.
“Why? Ye’er taught me that laughing means happiness. They’re all laughing. Why doesn’t Ye’er like it?”
“Do you know who they are?”
Feng Hua shook his head.
Feng Yeran explained, “The man reading the newspaper is my dad. I’ve severed ties with him, which means he doesn’t recognise me as his son now. Even if I were to die, it would have nothing to do with him. And the woman who served the food just now is my mum… She passed away when I was in high school.”
Feng Hua listened, not fully understanding.
“So when I see this, I feel sad.”
“I’m sorry. Then, Feng Hua won’t show this to Ye’er from now on.”
“Good boy. But, don’t call me Ye’er. It’s strange.” Feng Yeran was helpless. “You can call me Dad.”
“What’s this?” Feng Hua gently touched the liquid in the corner of Feng Yeran’s eyes with his hand.
“Fool, it’s tears.”
“When people are sad, they shed tears. You’ll know when you grow up a bit more.”
Feng Hua frowned. When Feng Yeran was leaving the laboratory that night, he grabbed the corner of Feng Yeran’s coat and said very firmly, “I… don’t want to see Ye’er… shed tears.”
Feng Yeran smiled.
The little guy then immediately said, “I like to see, Ye’er smile.”
“You little guy, I told you not to keep calling me Ye’er. You should call me Brother, Brother Yeran, or Dad.”
The little guy actually looked a little shy. He quickly dived under the covers, and it took a while before he whispered, “Ye’er, see you tomorrow!”
Feng Hua’s growth rate was different from that of ordinary people. After only two years, he had grown up to look seven or eight years old. Not only had he learnt Chinese, but also English. His learning ability in other subjects was also amazing, and he never forgot anything.
In addition to his amazing learning ability, he also had a strong healing ability. If it weren’t for him, Feng Yeran would probably have had difficulty standing up by now. Every time he had a stomachache, Feng Hua would cover his stomach with his palm, and the pain would gradually fade away as the bursts of warmth came. Later, when he went to the hospital for examination, it was found that his malignant tumour had been effectively controlled.
His ability to transform dreams into reality used to have a negative effect at times because he couldn’t distinguish between good and bad emotions. But, now that he’d become more cautious and gradually learned to discern Feng Yeran’s emotions, he would only create beautiful scenes for him. That was also delightful.
He was so excellent that one would think he had to be a child who was pampered at will, but that was not the case. Feng Hua’s childhood was definitely not a happy one. The peculiarities of his birth, his excellence and the tragedy that came with his birth all doomed him to spend his childhood in a laboratory, filled with pain. And he was a very good and obedient child. He didn’t reject blood draws, injections, medication, intubation and experiments. He wasn’t afraid of pain and was willing to do whatever Feng Yeran asked him to do.
In order to see his self-healing ability, they cut his wrist with a knife, and then let him self-heal the wound, counting the time.
In order to observe how he turned dreams into reality and how his brain structure differed from that of a human, they needed to give him XER light every week. This light would likely blind him briefly and cause him to lose sleep, but he didn’t reject it. They would hypnotise him and control his dreams with a computer, making him spasm in his dreams and giving him headaches, and he also didn’t reject it.
In order to see if he was capable of creating terrifying visions, a researcher showed horror films to him, who was only eight. It made him be chased by the realised dreams, screaming in the confined room. When he was found by Feng Yeran, he was lying sweaty and pale on the floor. He asked why he didn’t refuse, and he said, They said, you agreed. You also want to know if I’m capable of making terrifying images. Is there a use for creating fear…
Feng Yeran often felt very guilty and sorry. What a clever child, what a superior bloodline. If Feng Yeran wasn’t an experimenter, if Feng Hua wasn’t the only experimental result in the world, then Feng Hua would simply be an ordinary child now, watching cartoons at home and playing with his friends outside. But Feng Hua, who’d only been born two years ago, had already been experimented on countless times, and countless experimental reports had been written from his body. The partial exposure alone had already created a constant stream of income for everyone. When it would be officially announced to the world in the future, there was simply no telling what kind of earth-shattering event it’d be, how sensational it’d be.
But there was nothing he could do. Feng Hua’s only value to the research institute was his research value. If he didn’t even have research value anymore, he wouldn’t have any survival value.
The only thing Feng Yeran could do was to try to preserve his life and reduce some of the pain for his growth.
But, even though Feng Yeran couldn’t sleep because he was tormented by his own guilt, he found that Feng Hua was still really like a child who was alright. His eyes were still so pure, seemingly without a trace of worry, not yet knowing what anger was. And those eyes were just like a pool of water, dark when immersed in the shadows, but so blue and beautiful once the light shone in, always reflecting Feng Yeran’s figure.
Feng Yeran would watch him in the surveillance video. Feng Hua was always alone, sitting obediently as he drew and read, crouching as he wrote and observed. He was used to staying in the darkness, as if the darkness could make him feel safe. Whenever he heard the sound of Feng Yeran unlocking the door, he would immediately run over to him like a puppy.
He liked acting spoiled very much, and especially liked the sound of Feng Yeran calling him. He would often ask, “Ye’er, call my name.”
Feng Yeran had to look at him and call out his name slowly before he would be satisfied.
Feng Hua liked Feng Yeran calling him that. He liked to observe Feng Yeran’s expression, watching the slight movements of his eyelashes, lips and tongue as he called out his name; watching the way his eyes curved up slightly, his upper teeth nibbled on his lower lip, and then his lips opened slightly; listening to his mellow, gentle voice, and the airflow he softly exhaled—as if that alone would make him forget all the pain, as if he would be satisfied with just that.
But what if, he couldn’t see that anymore. Several times, after Feng Hua finished with the XER light, he’d be briefly blinded. He kept begging Feng Yeran to call his name as he always did, his voice slightly hoarse, “Just one more time.”
Several times, Feng Yeran saw the bruises in his long sleeves and his slightly red and swollen eyes. His hoarseness was because he was in so much pain while being experimented on that he screamed his voice out. He already looked eight years old, and his psychological age was even older, but he’d only been born two years ago. How many times had he treated him, how many times had he created beautiful dreams for him, how much profit had he created for everyone, but why was he treated like this!
Feng Yeran’s eyes turned red in an instant and tears welled up in them. He struggled to control his slightly trembling voice. “Feng Hua, I’m sorry.”
Feng Hua was puzzled.
Feng Yeran took hold of his thin, tiny wrist. “It hurts, doesn’t it?”
Little Feng Hua’s puzzled expression slowly faded away. He propped himself up, fumbled for a long time to find the right spot, then gently kissed Feng Yeran’s tear-stained right cheek and said, “It doesn’t hurt.”
“I’m glad Ye’er needs me. So don’t cry.”