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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 2 Chapter 28.1


    Clues in the Bookstore

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Run three of the Nightmare begins.

    The Missiontakers are all breathing heavily where they stand, still in shock.

    Just now, that coldly cackling man in black was rushing at them with his big machete, immediately slashing all over the place in the corridor.

    The Missiontakers that were practically tortured to death by him the first run almost faltered immediately; they were killed in full brightness this time as opposed to in the dark.

    Lin Qin didn’t even have time to respond before someone has breathed their last on the floor of the bloodied corridor alongside the limbs that were hacked off.

    Then, the Nightmare restarted.

    Fortunately, right before someone died, Laosan and Mu Jiashi immediately finalised the deal of Mu Jiashi helping to keep the man in black preoccupied as much as possible to buy time for the bedroom team.

    And now, after the Nightmare has restarted, a “number off!” fires off next to their ears again. Laosan yells out “one” without hesitation, then waits nervously——Fortunately, the first number is still one.

    At least it seems the numbers to be reported don’t change as the Nightmare restarts. That is good news, at least.

    Laosan sighs in relief. He is nervous in the dark, especially when he is aware that man in black might suddenly pop out. This is the third run already, so who knows if it might just start crumbling somewhere.

    Normally, Nightmares begin to change or deteriorate starting from the third run.

    Therefore, most of the Missiontakers would choose to go straight to an Ending between the third and sixth run; any more and they risk the Nightmare crumbling to an irrevocable degree.

    Of course, some Missiontakers still choose to take the risk because, the more the Nightmare has crumbled, the more information would be forced to the surface, and the greater the probability to achieve a True End when the more conservative Missiontakers would quietly leave with a Normal End.

    Laosan is nervously working out the time. There is one minute——No, he knows the second number already, so two minutes——He doesn’t know the third number, so he has to guess…

    His thoughts suddenly digress recalling the scene he saw when the man in black rushed out of this bedroom earlier.

    A woman that was terribly chopped up, all bloodied and gory, on the bed——This bed, that is right next to them.

    A woman… The man in black, killed that woman.

    What does this mean?

    What was their relationship? Why did he kill her? What did this have to do with the corridor, a road out from there and the service area?

    And most importantly… The owner of the Nightmare, is a little boy.

    So the most straightforward explanation would be…

    Laosan is thinking when someone quietly approaches and whispers, “later… the third number, what should we say?”

    While spooked, realising it was just Ding Yi, Laosan quickly calms down to think before saying, “we can only test them one by one.”

    “Earlier, when you were counting, one, two, three, four and five, only one, two and four were correct. So for the third and fifth number…”

    Laosan then says, “since the third number wasn’t three, we’d have to start from five.”

    Ding Yi hesitates before asking, “what if the numbers could repeat?”

    Laosan freezes.

    In the stream, when Ding Yi voiced her question, the viewers also falls into shock.

    “yeah, what if the numbers can repeat? there isn’t even any pattern anymore, so why can’t they repeat?”
    “but… fuck! frankly, if the numbers can repeat, is this damn game even possible?”
    “Before we talk about repeating, there’s another question as well… What if they needed to say ten numbers, but one of them is actually above ten? Not even a single digit number anymore? The possibilities become endless at that point”
    “true, and who knows how many numbers they have to count even? and if the third number was actually a few billion? I’m exaggerating but if it really was a big number, are they gonna have to test them all?”
    “I believe NE wouldn’t come up with an unsolvable conundrum”

    That’s right.

    Xü Beijin is nodding in the bookstore seeing what the detective dalao just typed.

    He has been through quite a number of Nightmares already, and he has already seen Missiontakers die countless times because of dangers in the Nightmares, and countless complaints and curses directed at the high difficulty of them, but there is never truly a dead-end in that sense of the word.

    All Nightmares have an underlying logic to them.

    “Numbering off… numbers…” Xü Beijin is quietly muttering those numbers to himself, when suddenly, his eyes widen.

    Meanwhile, Laosan’s face also changes drastically as he yells out, “numbers!”

    Erge is leaning on the wall, all irritated, when he hears Laosan yelling, and asks, “Laosan, what’s got into you now?”

    “The numbers!” Laosan sounds excited for once, saying, “that little boy, back in the Tower, he kept repeating a string of numbers!”

    Ding Yi pauses before immediately asking, “so you’re saying that string of numbers are…”

    “The numbers we have to report right now! It’s possible… There are always clues about the Nightmares themselves in the Tower!” Laosan’s voice begins lowering in tone at this point, as he dejected says, “I didn’t memorise them, though.”

    “Those numbers?” Laoda suddenly interjects to say, “I remember some of them.”

    All the other three immediately turn towards him.

    Laoda shrugs and explains, “I just remember three of them, though. One, two and seven. They were the beginning, and the brat kept saying it over and over again, so it was drilled into my head. It was one, two, seven something something…”

    Laosan is enthused, again.

    When suddenly, another “number off!” fires off. Laosan almost reflexively shouts a “seven” in return, but he quickly bites himself on the tongue to stop himself with the pain.

    And he quickly says, “two!”

    It is correct.

    He sighs, relieved.

    “Looks like you saved our asses,” Erge pats Laoda on the shoulder, saying with a smile, “good on you.”

    Laoda chuckles with an awkward ‘hehe.’

    After that second number, Laosan quickly begins to churn his brains while discussing with Ding Yi.

    They have four numbers now, one two seven four.

    No repeated numbers yet, so if they discount that possibility for now, they would try other numbers for the fifth position.

    “So, what would the fifth number be?”

    Laosan gives it a thought before saying, “I don’t recall what the string of numbers the boy was repeating was, but it wasn’t a long string; it’s definitely less than ten numbers long, and they were all single numbers…

    Ding Yi nods and says, “if there’s  numbers, then that string would be between seven and ten numbers long.”

    “One, two, seven, four…” Laosan murmurs, “the remaining ones are three, five, six, eight, nine and ten…”

    “Would there be a zero?”

    Laosan furrows his brows and says, “you wouldn’t number off with a zero normally, right?”

    Ding Yi nods and accepts; they don’t have too much time to ponder about that anyway, and asks, “so, we’ll be going with three for the fifth number?”

    Laosan is still hesitant, though.

    It’s hard to decide. Of course, even if they got a number wrong, the corridor team would still try to keep the man in black over at their side as much as possible, but… It’s as unreliable as they come.

    Worst-case scenario, the moment they got the number wrong, the man in black and his machete comes for them immediately; this is not a pleasant thought for sure.

    Though this is only the third run, so even if the man in black was here, they could perhaps still make it through two rounds of numbering off…

    “Alright,” Laosan agrees after some thought, but then adds, “we will still report the numbers in order after that.”

    Ding Yi is surprised to hear that.

    Laosan explains, “we reported five for the fifth number before, so we’ll go with three this time. Then six for the sixth one, and seven… we’ll think about it if we make it, and then eight for the eighth, etc. I think we should try all the numbers at their expected positions first, what do you think?”

    He asks everyone else’s opinions again first, as usual.

    Right now, they know that the third and fifth numbers were wrong and the third is actually seven, but one, two and four are correct.

    This proportional of correct numbers means it isn’t guaranteed that the number corresponding to its position in the string would definitely be wrong.

    What if the sixth number was actually six, for instance?

    Of course, they know the seventh number isn’t seven, assuming the numbers do not repeat…

    Laosan is growing anxious again, and subconsciously turns towards Erge for help, asking, “Erge, what do you think?”

    Meanwhile, Erge, annoyed at the unchanging darkness, just answers tersely, “that’ll do.”

    Laosan then sighs in relief.

    Ding Yi also goes with the flow and accepts to do as Laosan says.

    It would seem the bedroom team has come to a productive agreement. Meanwhile…

    The other team is very troubled indeed.

    Since Xü Beijin saw that the bedroom team has already come up with a plan, he switched the camera over to the corridor, feeling quite profoundly like he is just a director cutting scenes.

    And right now, it has merely been two minutes and a bit since the new run began.

    And in just these two minutes, the corridor team has been locked in a heated argument.

    Of course, mainly between Selfish and Scapegoat.

    Selfish is chastising Mu Jiashi for agreeing to help Laosan’s team out of their pinch; he is unwilling to risk dying from the man in black.

    Scapegoat lambastes Selfish for being selfish.

    But telling Scapegoat to be Laosan’s team’s scapegoat? Then, no way.

    And that’s what they’ve been arguing about for the whole two minutes after the third run began.

    Even when they are being chased by the man in black.

    Mu Jiashi heaves a weary sigh.

    When they arrive at the empty parking lot, ready to speed chase their way to the service area, Mu Jiashi suddenly says, “I’ll stay.”


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Quite a lot of flawed but believable characters here - I identify the most with Laosan for lacking confidence in public myself.

    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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