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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 1 Chapter 21


    An Attempt

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Everyone hearing him is in shock.

    An Infocard with the name, ‘A Daughter Killed By Her Father’?!

    The utility card appears just like a normal piece of card when held in a person’s hands, but if it is checked through the personal information panel, then there are four parts of additional description –

    Card Name, Card Illustration, Description, and Uses.

    Utility cards can be acquired through multiple means, most commonly through a lottery after successfully surviving a Nightmare. Occasionally, like Glasses did here, picking them up in the Tower is also possible.

    When it is the rarer latter case, information on the utility card usually also reveals hints or clues regarding one particular Nightmare.

    For example… ‘A Daughter Killed By Her Father.’

    A card which basically spoils the entire plot of this Nightmare.

    Ponytail is surprised, saying, “so Wu Shen did kill Wu Chun? Even when he looked so doting? Why?”

    Quarrelsome concurs, “yeah. And to still look so distraught even after killing someone in cold blood, and badmouthing his wife in his diary entries and letters… Eugh, yuck.”

    The comment barrage is expressing shock too.

    “srsly? a thief crying thief!”
    “and… he kept saying how he still loved xiao-chun all the time… what a piece of shit.”
    “I’m thoroughly disgusted.”
    “dalao ur amazing! that guy deduced wu shen is the murderer cuz he had the plot spoiled for him, but u already suspected him long time ago. so this is the miracle of gut feeling?”

    That’s right. Glasses has had the plot spoiled for him.

    Not that he is happy about it, though, explaining, “but, it’s useless even if I knew the answer right from the beginning. We want to achieve a True End. Now, we know Wu Shen killed Wu Chun, but… a True End isn’t just the truth!”

    It puts a stop to the enthusiastic Ponytail and Quarrelsome.

    Yes, Wu Shen killed Wu Chun.

    And then what?

    Why did he kill her? Why does he look like he has a split personality? Why did his flashback abruptly end the day Wu Chun went missing?

    Ponytail mulls over it for a short while before saying, “no matter what, working backwards from a conclusion is still definitely easier.”

    Glasses nods to agree.

    Then Ponytail continues slowly, “Wu Shen killed Wu Chun… If we take that as given, then that would resolve many questions.”

    Glasses begins listing, “his many accusations of his ex-wife were all slanderous.”

    Quarrelsome retorts reflexively, “it isn’t necessarily untrue that she treated her daughter harshly before Wu Shen killed his daughter, is it?”

    Glasses has to take a deep breath to calm down before saying, “don’t tell me you think Wu Shen felt that he was relieving his daughter of her suffering given that his wife was torturing her?”

    Quarrelsome blinks a few times and says, “that works?”

    Glasses “…”

    Why was he even wasting time arguing with him!

    “No matter what, let’s go to the second floor first,” Ponytail ignores their argument once again, thinking about something else, “I remember that when we asked Wu Shen about it earlier, he rejected the notion firmly. What if he… really believed that he did not kill Wu Chun?”

    Glasses knits his brows, “what do you mean?”

    Quarrelsome sniggers, saying, “perhaps Wu Shen , and he’s not Wu Chun’s real biological father? Then the ‘father’ that supposedly killed Wu Chun wouldn’t be Wu Shen.”

    Ponytail then says with a slightly eerie tone, “the word ‘father’ might not necessarily point to Wu Shen, but in the same way, even if I’m not your father, I can still

    Quarrelsome “…”

    He makes an awkward smile.

    Ponytail then shakes her head to say, “let’s quickly go to the second floor now. We don’t want to run into the second wave of dolls.”

    “It’s already the eighth run of this Nightmare,” Glasses can’t help but mention, asking, “could the doll store already have undergone other changes?”

    Xü Beijin, who switched the video source over to the first floor ahead of them, would really like to blame Glasses for jinxing it!

    Right now, the first floor of the doll store is already entirely different from what they once saw.

    Because, before they could push the boxes open to rediscover the hatch leading to the second floor, the doll of the little girl has already put herself in front of it. Despite her small physical form, she stands there imposingly with her arms akimbo.

    This is the shocking scene greeting the three returning Missiontakers.

    Ponytail tries to communicate, saying, “we… will look for eyes for you upstairs?”

    “No,” she shakes her head, saying, “you, all lied, to me; did not, find eyes.”

    … She knows! She has already recalled what happened in the previous runs of the Nightmare!

    Ponytail cusses, “damn it! Why is this happening!”

    The Missiontakers all know that the Tower residents in the Nightmare have a chance to remember what happened in previous runs of that Nightmare. This is dependent on factors such as the degree the Nightmare has collapsed thus far, the Nightmare’s progression and the Missiontaker’s progress, etc.

    In other words, just like the sudden flashback to Wu Shen’s past, these are all RNG elements that pop up with no prior warning. It is a ‘surprise’ for the Missiontakers.

    The Missiontakers are all used to them now, since Nightmares are always full of the unexpected.

    Speaking of which, how do they view the strange behaviour of the Tower residents here?

    The Missiontakers can only say that, in their view, the bunch of NPCs——That being what they are to them——have always been weird and positively unhinged. They wouldn’t be surprised to see them doing anything.

    The doll of the little girl tilts her head, staring at them with her black glass beads for eyes. Her jaws open and close to say monotonously, “I, am angry. You, kept lying, to me. Eyes…”

    She raises her arms, and, just as in the last run of the Nightmare, her fingers begin to turn long and thin, extending their way.

    Ponytail yells out, “use utility cards now!”

    She also pulls out a card herself, activating it in the doll’s direction.

    A light begins emerging from the illustration on the card. The illustration is that of an arrow.

    In the blink of an eye, a small but nonetheless real arrow of light floats out from the surface of the card, and follows Ponytail’s mind, and shoots out with an audibly zip, making a sudden turn along the way, targeting the doll of the little girl from the side.

    The doll is struck, and falls to the ground with a thud. She makes a yelp of ‘aiya,’ and light begins to glimmer off her beady, glossy eyes. She looks to be crying; she struggles to stand back up.

    Nobody is paying attention to her anymore, because the hatch she was blocking is now right open!

    Ponytail quickly throws away the card which has now run out of uses, yelling along the way, “to the second floor!”

    Then she immediately rushes for the stairs ahead of everyone.

    Quarrelsome follows right after, and so does Glasses, who is gritting his teeth.

    He is still a bit bitter in his mind though.

    That was an Attack card!

    An Attack card, as its name implies, can attack others, including Tower residents, outsiders, and actual NPCs in the Nightmares——While many ‘NPC’ roles are filled out by Actors, but there are also some that are purely game data.

    Attack cards are subdivided into many categories according to the illustrations present on the card. There is a wide consensus that the division is sword, lance, axe, bow, hammer; more exotic weaponry like frying pans also exist. Of course, the difference is in name only. The effects are largely the same.

    Given that the Tower forbids player-on-player killing, Attack cards are never lethal.

    Yet, just the fact that it attacks makes them highly coveted!

    Therefore, Attack cards are de facto the most popular cards in the whole Tower.

    The rest of the utility cards might take some crafty mind to explore their applications, but that is not the case for Attack cards. When you’re in danger, you can use them already! You can go as wild as you want!

    Naturally, supply is extremely limited.

    And it is widely rumoured their Uses are seriously limited. Once, and they are gone forever.

    Therefore, when Glasses sees how Ponytail just threw the trashed card away, he can’t help but feel so sour inside.

    What a flaunt of her wealth! To just throw away a trashed card like this!

    Even selling them back to Carddealers would be better!

    Though it would merely be helping them deceive others…

    Yes, Carddealers could sell trashed cards with their Uses already at zero to Missiontakers that are inexperienced in this regard.

    Cards, being physical objects that can only be checked on someone’s own personal information panel, can easily mislead others in how it is used and whether its Uses is already depleted via visual inspection alone.

    Some Carddealers abuse this property to exclusively deceive others and swindle their valuables. This is also one factor that leads to them being universally despised.

    Missiontakers can only deal with it as it comes. In trading, a buyer often requests to check the information panel of the card before paying.

    That has not curbed waves after waves of Missiontakers falling victim to trashed cards, though.

    Meanwhile, there is also another private market sector of utility card trading – Dealing particularly in trashed cards.

    Other than deceiving people, there is actually a sizeable market for their collection.

    There are Carddealers that openly declare they deal only in trashed cards. And of course supplies of such cards are much more abundant than new, usable ones. Many Missiontakers who are not auspicious enough to acquire one would buy a trashed card for cheap as a sort of consolation prize.

    And for some trashed card connoisseurs, their house may be home to thousands of such trashed cards.

    Sure, they’re not making much progress in actually winning and conquering Nightmares or going to floors above, but they certainly are good at other, less ‘respectacle’ trades.

    Glasses is an example of the kind of Missiontakers that can never bring himself to throw away or sell trashed cards. The few depleted utility cards he has have all been carefully stowed away.

    Therefore, when he saw Ponytail just abandoning that trashed card without batting an eye, he really wants to rush to collect it!

    … Though, when he takes a look behind him, he sees the doll of the little girl has finally stood back up. She is making her wobbly way up the stairs again. Shaken to the bone, he quickly rushes up the stairs, multiple steps at a time.

    On the second floor, Ponytail directly says, “to Wu Shen!”

    The trio pushes the door into Wu Shen’s room.

    And they freeze right where they stand.

    Because Wu Shen is standing right there!

    His head is tilted. His gaze is soulless. His smile is vicious.

    Ponytail is tearing her hair at this point, yelling, “is the eighth run this corrupted already?!”

    Glasses is warily looking behind him, watching out for the girl doll, while saying, “possibly because we now all know Wu Shen killed Wu Chun, so the situation has changed; Nightmares are always adaptive like this.”

    Yes, that’s how Nightmares are. The Missiontakers are a huge influence on the Nightmare, possibly causing it to change drastically and unpredictably at times.

    Ponytail stares at Wu Shen who is merely standing there and begins murmuring, “because we know he killed Wu Chun… If he has a split personality… If it was, another personality that killed Wu Chun…”

    Glasses is out of patience, yelling, “the doll is upstairs!”

    “Fuck!” Ponytail immediately responds, yelling, “I only got that one Attack card! What else did you bring? Use it now!”

    While they do resurrect after they die, and the Nightmare would restart.

    Yet this is already the eighth run of the Nightmare. The dangers in this Nightmare are growing more and more perverse… What if they never end up completing it? What if they are forever trapped in the Nightmare?

    Ponytail is beginning to succumb.

    Yet, she is also thinking, thank goodness… Thank goodness for Lin Qin. When Lin Qin is here, there is always hope for escaping the Nightmare, always.

    Glasses is too panicked to think of him, though. Staring at the doll of the little girl that is walking here step by agonising step, he is trembling already.

    Quarrelsome is also repeating the obvious in his dismay, saying, “Wu Shen is walking towards us!”

    Two dolls——Wu Shen is himself practically behaving like a doll, too——are coming at them from both sides.

    Glasses is about to succumb to despair for good.

    Because he has no utility card with him! He just happened to pick up such a major spoiler of an Infocard in that doll store! And he was so elated he just decided to come to this Nightmare to try his luck!

    Gritting his teeth, he is grimacing at the doll of the little girl walking towards him. In desperation and absolute fright, he tries whatever he can, like activating the only utility card in his hand——’A Daughter Killed By Her Father.’

    Immediately, his vision is filled up by a simple information panel.

    His gaze starts glossing over the words hopelessly, but he suddenly halts.

    Wait, the information displayed in this panel, this name…

    Glasses looks at the doll of the little girl with his jaw dropped to the floor.

    She, she… She is Wu Chun herself!


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Tada~ The twist basically everyone saw coming from a mile away! Still, is figuring out her identity this late useful in helping them out of their predicament? Find out in the next chapter...

    boilpoil

    This should go without saying, but considering the nature of this novel, please think twice before posting a comment on any chapter in order to avoid spoiling any possible future plot points or twists from later chapters.

    Travis Translation

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