Chapter 1 Your doorbell gained sentience
A month ago, Mi Li was involved in a chain reaction collision. A truck loaded with chemicals suddenly exploded, affected dozens of vehicles, killed three people and injured dozens of others.
Mi Li could be considered lucky, since she was relatively far away. Her car was pushed aside by the explosion and then hit another car. Except for a slight concussion, she suffered only a few minor injuries. After being in the hospital for two days, she was discharged.
She didn’t inform her parents of the accident, thinking that everything was over. But a few days later, she suddenly realized that something was wrong.
First, she was addicted to sleeping. Every two or three hours she would fall asleep. It did not matter how noisy the surroundings were, her ability to sleep was unaffected. Fortunately, she had a building of rental units that she usually collected rent from and only needed to handle a few daily chores. Having a lot of free time, she didn’t need to worry about her sleeping affecting her work.
Mi Li got herself checked out at the hospital but the doctor said that everything was fine. He even warned her earnestly that she needed more exercise and to not eat or sleep so much.
Mi Li felt aggrieved. Just a look at her figure showed that she didn’t overindulge in eating or sleeping. Before the car accident, she exercised daily, but now she fell asleep even while standing.
However, her lethargy wasn’t the strangest thing. The most bizarre thing was that every time she fell asleep, her soul would leave her body.
The first time was in the afternoon of the third day after being discharged from the hospital. Mi Li was watching the TV on the sofa and fell asleep.
Her consciousness “awoke” during her daze. Mi Li found herself in a strange room, her sight filled with cool tones and a home decor that was sparse and spartan. It was most likely a man’s bedroom.
Mi Li couldn’t feel her own body, but her mind was very clear. She could look around freely but couldn’t move. It was as though her “body” was fixed in place.
After much inspection, she finally figured out that she had become a small night light. She could control her on and off state, capable of nothing else but making the light flicker.
After playing around a bit, she felt a little bored and could only return her attention to the bedroom.
The bedroom was mainly blue, spacious, clean and sparse. A large dark blue bed was made neatly, the dark gold on brown curtains were drawn tightly, and the books on the desk were arranged in an orderly manner. Next to the wardrobe, there was a sliding door like a carved screen, which should be a closet. On the other side was a bathroom. The arc-shaped frosted glass was as warm and translucent as jade, becoming the only bright color in the bedroom.
Mi Li secretly speculated that the owner of the bedroom should be well off and single because there wasn’t a single female product here.
Everything she saw in front of her was so clear, it didn’t feel like she was dreaming. But if it wasn’t a dream then what was it?
As she was pondering this, the bedroom door suddenly opened. Mi Li kept herself on and “stared” at the incoming person.
However, she only had time to see the silhouette before her consciousness gradually faded and the night light went out.
Xi Baichen, who had just walked into the bedroom, watched the night light suddenly go out. He walked over in confusion, stretching out his hand to examine it. He couldn’t find anything wrong so he ignored it, pulled open his shirt collar and walked towards the bathroom.
After a moment, the sound of pattering water came from the bathroom. Through the steam, a tall and sturdy figure was dimly reflected on the frosted glass…
After waking up, Mi Li’s memory was unclear and she just treated it as a dream, not caring too much. Calculating the time, she had slept for approximately a bit over an hour.
She stretched, got up, and went into the kitchen to prepare dinner.
The five-story building owned by Mi Li was built ten years ago. At that time, the family received a large windfall and her far-sighted parents made plans for her early. They borrowed money to build the building and paid off 7 years of loan. When Mi Li grew up, they handed over the building to her and retired to the countryside.
Mi Li’s hometown was in Qingwei county, home to breathtaking scenery with beautiful mountains and rivers. The locals had developed rural tourism projects and their lives were very comfortable. Her parents didn’t like the hustle and bustle of the city. Even though they had lived in the city for several years, they still recalled the days of growing vegetables and raising chickens with nostalgia.
Mi Li took over the building, Qingwei Homes, at the age of eighteen and also took over the remaining loan, leading a leisurely life of going to school while collecting rent. After graduating at the age of 23, she did not look for a job, and instead became a livestreamer at home. The live broadcast included handicrafts, cooking, fashion, makeup, etc., striving to create an ideal petty bourgeoisie life. For this goal, she was constantly learning to enrich herself.
After several renovations, Qingwei Homes didn’t look particularly old. It wasn’t far from the city center, so tenants came and went, and there were no vacancies all year round. In about three or four years, Mi Li would be able to pay off the loan in full.
Had it not been for that car accident, Mi Li felt that she would have lived her life simply and happily.
After enjoying her dinner, Mi Li put on her shoes and went for a walk downstairs. Usually she walked for at least an hour, but today after walking for more than ten minutes, her eyelids started growing heavy. Feeling that she would fall asleep in the next second, she forced herself to return to Qingwei Homes. Pouncing on the bed, she hugged her large teddy bear and fell asleep.
Her consciousness “awoke” again. The first thing she “saw” was a winding road. On the opposite side of the road were rows of high-rise buildings, traffic constantly flowing, and night lights shining. The dark sky was dotted with several stars, and the last afterglow disappeared as night fell.
What was this place?
Mi Li looked around and found that she seemed to have become… a video doorbell?
With a single thought, the doorbell immediately rang.
After a moment, a deep male voice was heard. “Who is it?”
Mi Li stayed silent.
After a while of silence, probably because there was no one outside, the call cut off.
Mi Li tried to see through to the other side of the screen to see the man but it failed. She could only stay on the outside screen and face the unending road.
At this moment, a food delivery boy driving an electric car not far away drove over. He stopped in front of Mi Li and raised his hand to poke her.
The doorbell rang before the finger reached her.
Delivery boy: “???” Did he touch the doorbell just now?
“Who is it?” The familiar male voice sounded again.
“Hello, Mr. Xi, I am delivering takeout,” the delivery boy responded enthusiastically.
The iron door opened with a click, and the delivery boy walked in with the takeout box. The size of the takeout box was not small, capable of holding three dishes, one soup and a few desserts. This could be regarded as a luxurious meal.
Five minutes later, the delivery boy walked out, politely helped the owner close the iron door and got into his electric car.
As he was leaving, Mi Li said: [Little brother has worked hard. 5-star rating sent~~]
The delivery boy didn’t notice anything and drove away in his electric car.
It was getting darker and darker, and Mi Li stayed alone in the doorbell, so idle that she couldn’t help but randomly ring it a few times.
“Who is it?” Still that low voice.
[My name is Mi Li, do you know me?]
[I’m so bored, let’s have a chat?]
The response she received was the sound of the call cutting off.
Just when Mi Li thought the other party would not pay attention to her, the iron door suddenly opened with a click. A tall man walked out and stood at the door looking around.
Mi Li glanced at his profile and gave a compliment: [Handsome!]
The man paused, turned his head and stared at Mi Li. A flawlessly handsome face magnified itself in front of her, with a chin covered in light stubble, looking a bit decadent and carrying the sexiness of a mature man. His thick and slender sword-like brows were slightly knitted together, and some doubt appeared in his deep eyes.
He looked away and searched around for a while. After making sure that there was no one, he turned and walked back into the house.
[You’re leaving? Are you sure you don’t want to make friends with me?] Mi Li asked brightly.
The man stopped again and looked at the empty door with a solemn expression. Clenching his hands tightly as if thinking of something irrational, his pupils contracted slightly.
Mi Li stopped speaking. She kept feeling that this man could hear her voice.
She didn’t know what state she was in. She thought it’s a dream, but everything seemed so real as though she was actually astral projecting. Her body was still at home but her soul appeared somewhere else.
Was such a bizarre thing possible?
“Anyone there?” The man interrupted Mi Li’s thoughts with a tentative question.
[No one, only a ghost.] Mi Li responded flippantly.
Mi Li stared at his face for a while, but didn’t see anything odd. However, his body seemed to be a bit stiffer than before and the toe of his right foot moved a few centimeters inward.
He could hear her voice!
[Hello, my name is little Mi, what is your name?]
The man did not reply.
Mi Li continued: [Don’t be afraid, I’m not a ghost. I am the doorbell of your house.]
The man’s eyes fell on the doorbell.
Mi Li rang out in response.
Mi Li: [Your doorbell has gained sentience. Surprised? Shocked?]
A crack appeared in his calm expression. Facing a sentient doorbell, the man apparently did not know how to react.
[What’s your name?] Mi Li asked again.
The air was quiet for a long time before she heard the man’s faint voice, “Xi Baichen.”
[Xi Baichen?] Where has she heard this name before? [Then how about I call you “Old Bai” from now on? ]
“No.” Old Bai? Is he that old?
After the initial astonishment, Xi Baichen gradually calmed down and asked, “What are you?”
[A doorbell, isn’t it obvious?]
Xi Baichen: “How can a doorbell speak?”
[Because I’ve become sentient.]
Xi Baichen: He was at a loss for words!
Enduring, he continued, “How did a doorbell gain sentience?”
[It’s probably because I’m out in the sun and rain everyday, experiencing life, absorbing the essence of heaven and earth, and this is the result?] Mi Li spoke a load of nonsense. Who knows how she became like this?
Xi Baichen looked at his doorbell blankly.
“What can a sentient doorbell do?”
[Ring the bell voluntarily and chat with you.]
Xi Baichen: “…” Even knowing how to “chat”, this sure is an intriguing doorbell.
A gust of cold wind blew, bringing a bit of coolness. Bai Chen’s brain became more clear-headed. He felt a little silly standing here and talking to the doorbell, so he stepped forward and walked into the house.
[You’re not chatting with me anymore?] Mi Li called from behind.
Xi Baichen closed the door and turned on the video doorbell, “I still have an extension in my bedroom.” It meant he could chat even in the bedroom.
There was no response from the doorbell.
“Little Mi?” Xi Baichen called again, but there was no response.
He raised his brows, turned around and walked to the door. He knocked on the outer shell of the doorbell, “Little Mi, are you there?”
The doorbell had no reaction, as though it was no different from normal doorbells.
“Little Mi?” Didn’t she say she wanted to chat? Why did she disappear? Is it because she just became sentient and her condition was not stable?
Xi Baichen decided to look again tomorrow.
The superbly open-minded him believed the nonsense of the doorbell gaining sentience.