387 Illusion or No

    Beep, beep-

    The sound of a car honk buzzed in Gu Jun's ears. It was followed by the driver's curses. "Do you have a death wish running out into the street like that?! Get out of the way!"

    The vision before his eyes cleared. He realized he was standing in the middle of a tarred road. A small car stopped beside him. The person cursing him was the driver and he cursed him in Chinese...

    Gu Jun looked around. There were skyscrapers and Chinese signs. The pedestrians looked his way with interest. It was a modern Chinese metropolis. He was home. He gave a long sigh. He had finally returned home.

    "I'm so sorry." He apologized to the driver and slowly made his way back to the pedestrian walkway. The muscle spasm and headache disappeared. He was tired but he felt emotionally better. The transmigration appeared to have digested more of the stored energy. Perhaps he could officially end his holiday now. Gu Jun walked towards one of the shops. He wanted to gain contact with Phecda as soon as possible. He had a lot of new information to share.

    The shop was a convenience stop. The middle-aged boss sat behind the counter, watching youtube on his phone. Several customers studied the items on sale. Once Gu Jun entered the shop, everyone turned to look at him. Gu Jun was not surprised by this. After all, he must have posed quite a look with two bloody wounds. Furthermore, he was a celebrity Phecda member. He was Phecda's mouthpiece after all. Gu Jun glanced at the calendar on the wall. It was 10th March 2022. He left on 21st February 2022... so half a month had passed.

    The boss looked too at ease to point towards any disaster during his absence.

    "Hello, boss." Gu Jun greeted the fat boss. "My name is Gu Jun. I wish to borrow your phone to make a call. You know Phecda, right? I wish to contact them. This place will be flooded soon but don't worry, it's just protocol." He warned the other customers.

    "Huh?" The boss looked at him warningly. "Who are you?" The other customers looked at him with open curiosity.

    Gu Jun shrugged. "I'm Gu Jun from Phecda. You can search for me online."'This boss doesn't read the news?'

    "Erm." The boss' face wrinkled with confusion, "Are you famous on the internet?"

    "I suppose you can say that." Gu Jun picked up the landline on the counter. He called Phecda hotline but the number was disconnected...'I got the number wrong?' He tried again but the result was the same. His heart sunk. He tried Wu Siyu's number next and this time, it was connected. A female voice answered, "Hello?"

    "Dirty-minded Yu, it's me!" Gu Jun said excitedly, "I'm back." But then suspicion kicked in. 'No, wait, that does not sound like Wu Siyu's voice...'

    "Who?" As he expected, the woman on the other end said. Gu Jun explained, "I'm looking for Wu Siyu, is this not her phone?" The woman answered, "I have no idea what you're talking about. This is my number. You got the wrong person." The call was cut off. Gu Jun tried again and the call was cancelled. He then tried Elder Tong and Cai Zixuan's numbers. They were all answered by random strangers.

    Gu Jun was lost, but a suspicion started to arise in his mind.

    "Brother, how many calls you've made already?" The boss groused, "Shouldn't you buy something at least..."

    "Boss, do you mind lending me your phone?" Gu Jun asked. "I wish to check something." Naturally the boss refused. "Leave! Don't cause trouble for me! Leave or I'll call the cops!"

    "I'm sorry, I just need to go online for a moment!" Due to the severity of the situation, Gu Jun grabbed the phone from the boss. The boss screamed for help. The customers surrounded Gu Jun but they did not turn to violence. After all, they weren't sure they could take down Gu Jun, who was so muscularly-built. "Brother, you'll hurt other people if you continue to act like this.""You look like a reasonable person, why resort to violence?"

    "I'm sorry, I'm sorry..." Gu Jun apologized as he went online. His eyes widened. There was no Phecda, no Gu Jun, no Wu Siyu, no nothing. However, the historical event was still the same. But recent events related to the supernatural were all wiped out of existence. Gu Jun returned the phone back to the boss. He turned to look at the traffic outside the shop. His ears buzzed but his heart settled. He had arrived in a parallel universe. The wasteland and Massachusetts he visited were probably parallel universes as well.

    "But..." the thoughts turned chaotic in his mind. 'How many parallel universes are these? Countless? Is there a relationship between them? Can I travel to Dreamlands from this place? Will I reach the same Dreamlands or a parallel Dreamlands? If it's the former, can I visit the other parallel universes through Dreamlands?

    'There should be a Phecda-equivalent in this world. It probably does not go by that name. But it has not been exposed to the public because there were no cases of legionella pneumonia and Nightmare Illness to warrant their exposure... Does R'yleh exist in this universe?'

    The more Gu Jun thought about it, the more confused he became. The Great Old Ones, Dagon, the Son of Misfortune... Could they travel through these parallel universes? Probably not, because his own world did not have Innsmouth but the other universe did.

    At that moment, a few police officers arrived. They interrupted Gu Jun's thought.

    "That guys tried to rob me!" The boss pointed at Gu Jun. The other customers were his witnesses.

    "I was just trying to borrow it from him." Gu Jun apologized again. He did not want to spend a night in prison. He needed his freedom to conduct his investigation. Thankfully, the Chinese police in this world also had a half eye open, half eye close policy. Since no one was injured and the 'burglar' had shown such sincerity in his apology, they only lectured him before they let him go. "You have full faculty of your body and mind, make yourself useful to society, instead of bothering these fine citizens."

    "Of course, of course." Gu Jun nodded. After the police left, Gu Jun also departed from the shop. He walked down the street with locked brows. He had no official identity and no money here. He did not know anyone. He paced down the street wandering what to do next when he noticed a man turning over to stare at him. Gu Jun stopped moving. He noticed the man was not a common citizen, he had an air of the supernatural on him...

    It was a man over 30 or perhaps younger. His face was full of beard and the dark circles around his eyes aged him greatly. The man was of average build and wore cheap clothes. The longer Gu Jun studied him, the clearer the fanaticism in the man's eyes...

    "Hello?" Gu Jun began with caution. Was this someone from the government or the cult?

    "Ha ha, are you an illusion?" The man croaked. "You're not an illusion? You're really here? I might be crazy but I know that I'm not. Am I crazy, am I not crazy? I saw you in my illusion. Many times I saw you. You are a doctor, you have dissected a zombie, peeled off parasites.... You're here, you're finally here. Yes, it's you, you're real... I'm not crazy. I was right..." The man was overwhelmed with excitement, "You are the person I saw in my hallucinations!"
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