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We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!
We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!

Chapter 1: Perplexity 001 – Part One

Chapter 1: Confusion I

Late at night.

In the bedroom, moonlight seeps through the gap in the curtains, casting a single sliver of light onto the ground, the only source of illumination.

Within the dim moonlight, the faint shadows of small bugs crawling on the window can be seen.

A neighborhood car passes by the building below, its engine humming softly.

The pale headlights shine through the gaps in the curtains, casting a fan-shaped halo on the ceiling before fading away as the vehicle moves on.


An old cassette tape is inserted into a player and the lid snapped shut, making a clicking sound.

Li Chengyi frowns as he plugs in his headphones, adjusting the volume. Soon, soft music, devoid of lyrics, just pure classical tunes played with a guzheng and pipa, drifts quietly from the headphones into his ears.

The music’s tempo is slow and clear.

The sounds of the two instruments intertwine like two thin, sharp threads, sometimes mingling, sometimes clearly separate.

It’s as if they are telling an ancient story, or like two pale fingers endlessly entangled.

Li Chengyi lies on his pillow, staring at the dark curtains, motionless, listening to the song in his headphones.

The cool pillowcase gradually warms from the heat of his face, starting to emit a faint scent of laundry detergent.

His eyes are open, as if in a daze or deep in thought.

He distinctly remembers, twenty minutes ago, he was halfway up a mountain. Twenty minutes later, he found a pretty flower, then suddenly felt dizzy. Everything changed, and he somehow switched bodies, ending up here, in this room, much younger.

After ten minutes of shock, doubt, and disbelief, he begins to accept reality.

A flood of information and memories merge rapidly with him. These belong to another Li Chengyi who has lived in this world for over twenty years.

The information is incomplete and much of it is vague. But it’s enough for him to get a preliminary understanding of his situation.

“Tomorrow, I have an important friend coming to visit. Why don’t you and Li Chengyi go out for a stroll, find something to do, and come back after five in the afternoon, okay?” A low, young woman’s voice can be heard faintly from outside the bedroom.

Li Chengyi’s thoughts freeze for a moment, and a name automatically surfaces in his mind at the sound of the voice—it’s Li Chengjiu.

This is his body’s biological sister, probably talking to their parents.

“Okay, don’t worry, we won’t disturb your plans,” their mother, Feng Yurong, replies cautiously.

Their father doesn’t make a sound, only his breathing becomes slightly heavier, as if in agreement.

“Jiu, about your brother’s job situation, he still hasn’t found anything,” their mother cautiously brings up another matter.

“What’s the rush? My situation isn’t stable yet, we can talk about it later. Just don’t add to my troubles,” Li Chengjiu responds impatiently.

“Don’t worry, we won’t, definitely won’t,” Mother Feng Yurong reassures softly.

“Go to sleep. And remember, don’t come back before noon. If you see me with a girl who has very fair skin, don’t greet me. Pretend you don’t recognize me, got it?” Li Chengjiu continues.

“Rest assured, we’ll keep our distance so as not to disturb your urgent matters,” the mother’s voice hesitates momentarily, then responds in a softened tone.

The conversation shifts as Li Chengjiu suddenly adds, “Oh, and I need to pay my tuition fee this month, about 190,000. Make sure you pay it for me tomorrow.”

“Didn’t we just pay a hefty sum? Your father and I are quite tight on money because of frequent payments,” Mother Feng Yurong falters slightly. Their frequent financial contributions were taking a toll.

190,000 is not a small amount.

“This time it’s for material fees and training fees!” Li Chengjiu replies impatiently. “Don’t you still have your pensions? Just take that out and pay it for now. We can slowly pay it back.”

Mother Feng Yurong pauses briefly, “Alright, we’ll make sure to pay it.”

She doesn’t mention that their pension had already been spent on Li Chengjiu.

Recently, the factory’s performance had declined, leading to reduced wages. Their financial situation was truly stretched.

Li Chengjiu huffs, stands up, and leaves to wash up.

Leaving Feng Yurong and Father Li Zhao quietly discussing in the living room.

“We don’t have enough from the pension, maybe take out some from the medical fund to make ends meet. Our daughter’s future is important,” Feng Yurong suggests softly.

“What about your medical needs? You’re ignoring your back pain? You still need medication,” Father Li Zhao responds sternly.

“We’ll just have to cut back more, we’ll manage to refill it soon enough. Don’t worry. My back doesn’t hurt that much anymore, it’s fine,” she urges quietly, emphasizing, “The important thing is our daughter’s future; we can’t hold her back at this crucial time.”

“I know, I know,” the father agrees reluctantly, sighing deeply, his resignation tinged with helplessness and discomfort.

Then there’s the sound of them fiddling with their phones, figuring out how to transfer the funds.

Li Chengyi lays on his bed, eyes open, sighing lightly.

Uncontrollably, his mind conjures up the image of his father, Li Zhao, humbly borrowing money from relatives on the balcony.

Although he is not yet familiar with his surroundings, the parental affection from this body’s parents is similar to that of his previous life, which somewhat eases his uneasiness.

Different body, different world, but the sacrificial nature of parents for their children appears universally comparable.

Slowly, the sounds from outside calm down. Li Chengjiu goes to bed, and his parents do the same.

Outside, everything gradually becomes quiet, with only the pure instrumental music looping in the headphones.

The music repetitively plays, becoming softer and fainter in his ears.

Li Chengyi remains still, slowly sorting through his memories, feeling a mix of confusion and fatigue as his mind delves into chaos.

Scenes of memories flux through his mind.

‘He’ spent twenty years studying diligently, only to face unemployment upon graduation.

The various certifications he worked hard for are now worthless in the face of a widespread job crisis.

In the six months since graduation, he sent out hundreds of resumes, receiving very few responses.

The ambition and dreams he had before graduation have now turned into utter confusion.

‘He’ doesn’t know what to do or what he can do. There is no plan, no ideas, no expectations.

Just staying at home, living day by day.

Aside from these, there were also arguments with his sister, Li Chengjiu.

She always saw their family as a burden.

Outside, she was brilliant and had a bright future ahead. Ambitious and intolerant of those she deemed untalented.

And to her, their ordinary worker parents and mediocre brother were just as despicable.

Li Chengyi had not accepted this. He had argued with her over her attitude towards their parents and himself, but to no avail. His parents were willing to sacrifice for her, and his efforts to convince them otherwise were met with their insistence on supporting her.

On the narrow path of college entrance exams, he tried his best but only made it into an average university. Compared to Li Chengjiu, who was recommended to a top military school in her second year of high school, he was worlds apart.

Despite achieving a decent internship record, his biggest mistake was choosing the wrong major due to naivety.

What even is a Plant Maintenance major? While high-end plant maintenance does indeed offer high salaries, the competition is fierce. Students from regular schools like his have no choice but to work in forestry bureaus or city greening companies.

Earning barely 3,000 a month to get by wasn’t bad.

In an era of automation, many couldn’t even find employment.

Turning over in bed, Li Chengyi continued to sift through the memories. Many areas were blurred due to the natural forgetting mechanism of the human mind.

Yet, he managed to extract useful information from them.

The night grew deeper.

Another car passes by outside, honking its horn, accompanied by a man yelling loudly.

“Who the hell parked in my spot!”

“I’ll curse your entire ancestral line!”

The shouting continues for a while before fading away, returning to silence.

The music from the guzheng and pipa repeats in his ears, over and over.

The surrounding noise slowly dissipates, leaving only the pure sound of the music.

Clear, cold, quiet.

Li Chengyi’s consciousness continues to sort through memories, watching them like a movie. As his mind exhausts from the extensive mental consumption, his body starts to feel an unusual fatigue.

This weariness grows stronger, blurring his consciousness, drifting towards sleep.

This was how his predecessor fell asleep every day. Long-term poor rest and the inability to find a job led him to become increasingly silent and introverted.

Time passes slowly, and Li Chengyi’s body grows more tired, his thoughts becoming muddled.

He adjusts his position and decides to take a brief rest.


Suddenly, a clear, crisp sound startles him from his drowsiness.

His eyes slowly widen as the approaching sleep fades.

‘What was that sound!?’

He sits up, looking around, but finds nothing out of the ordinary. Then he notices the silence in his headphones.

‘Why is there no sound?’ Li Chengyi picks up the cassette player, an old music player previously bought by his predecessor from a flea market.

Now, this gray, somewhat faded cassette player, through its clear plastic case, shows the tape still spinning, yet there’s no sound in the headphones.

The music has stopped, leaving only a faint electrical noise.

Frowning, he shakes the player, but the music doesn’t return.

Li Chengyi removes the headphones and glances around the bedroom.

Outside, the streetlights have vanished, shrouded in darkness.

The room’s setup is minimal against the white walls, giving it a somewhat cold appearance.

A wardrobe, a desk, a cabinet for miscellaneous items, two high-backed metal chairs with backpacks hanging on them skewed position, and a pair of toe-to-toe white plastic slippers.

Nothing else.

‘Something feels off.’

Li Chengyi’s brows furrow, feeling an odd sense of anomaly.

He had slept in this room for many years, knowing every corner well, yet now,

‘Could it be, after living here for over twenty years without issues, something happens the moment I arrive?’

He scans the room again, his gaze eventually resting on the door.

The door is open!

A chill runs down his spine.

He was sure it had been locked before getting into bed.

Yet now, the door is slightly ajar.

Beyond the dark gap, a vague humanoid shadow seems to be squatting at the door, peering inside.

In the darkness, Li Chengyi feels a shiver run through him, his eyes fixed on the door gap.

That thin gap, barely the width of a finger, gave him the eerie impression—whether illusion or not—of a black eye staring straight back at him through the crack.


A draft flows through the gap, pushing the door further open.

Li Chengyi feels a slight chill, his vision blurring slightly.

Peering again, he notes the absence of any eyes or shadows in the door gap.

The sensations he just experienced seemed entirely illusory.

He pauses for a moment, remaining seated on the bed, silent.

After several minutes of waiting until his body relaxes, he slowly and quietly slips into his slippers and gets off the bed.

Taking deep breaths to calm his nerves, he gently grasps a metal baseball bat tucked in the gap between the bedhead and wardrobe—bought by his predecessor for self-defense.

The cold, solid sensation of the bat brings him some comfort.

He lifts the bat silently, step by step, making his way behind the door, a position from which the door gap is unseen.

Standing behind the door, he can now see the window from this angle, the night view through the curtain gap.

What shocks Li Chengyi is the realization that the curtain gap reveals nothing but darkness, empty of any view.

‘Hallucination? A dream?’

His throat feels dry. Swallowing hard, he tightens his grip on the bat and the door handle.

With a swift motion, he yanks the door open.

Turning to face the now-exposed outside, he raises the bat, ready to strike.

New book launches, thanks for your support towards Old Roll~

(End of Chapter)

We’ve Moved! If you notice any missing, empty, or incorrect chapters, please leave a comment below, and we’ll fix it as soon as possible. Regular updates will resume on June 10th. Thank you for your patience!
Hidden Dead Ends

Hidden Dead Ends

Hidden corner, 隐秘死角
Score 10
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Chinese
Have you heard of it? In the dead of night, if you turn on a music player, put on earphones, hide under the blanket, and listen to a single on loop… After it loops forty-four times, you will fall asleep. If you are unlucky when you open your eyes again, you will no longer be lying on your bed, but you will enter a strange space completely isolated from reality. That space… On the surface, it looks like the places we usually see—your bedroom, living room, underground parking garage, bathroom, basketball court, construction site, and so on. But if you observe carefully, you will discover that they are different… Everything is different. *** This is the experience of an ordinary person who, after acquiring superpowers, transforms and grows step by step in Dead Ends to reach the peak.



not work with dark mode