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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    In the stream, seeing the Missiontakers stuck in progress, the viewers begin their own discussion in the comments.

    “the key is this murder case, right?”
    “definitely, but the problem is how we analyse that case?”
    “could there still be clues left in the bedroom?”
    “I think the boy left there is the only clue? don’t think the woman’s corpse would be included, you know, this is the boy’s Nightmare, would it really… you know?”
    “makes sense… but i thought the murder already happened once in the second run? so if the bedroom door is shut with nobody inside, the boys nightmare still plays out the murder from before”
    “but if missiontakers are there, the nightmare focuses on them numbering off instead… sigh”
    “I am more curious about why the service area exists, for the boy to include this in his nightmare, it must mean something happened here?”
    “could his dad have escaped here after killing?”
    “sounds… possible?”
    “we’re the only ones talking, do dalao and Beibei have anything to add?”
    “Sorry, I’m still thinking. Beibei?”

    Xü Beijin is also thinking, but when he sees the comments calling for him, he is quiet for a moment before telling them, “I am more concerned about something else, but it is from a more unusual angle.”

    “tell us Beibei! dont keep us waiting!”

    Xü Beijin makes a slightly awkward smile before telling them, frankly, “well, they discovered the two people were hiding things because one of them had a weird look when hearing that cashier Dai Wu talk.
    So why did what Dai Wu say make him look odd? I think one possibility is that what Dai Wu said in this run of the Nightmare was different from the last.
    The contents of their conversation this time revolved around the boy’s whereabouts. Dai Wu said he didn’t know where he was and that the boy seems to have been missing for a long time. That is when the Missiontaker looked odd.
    Combining that with what the two Missiontakers did in this run, heading into the bedroom alone and bringing the boy to the service area immediately, I am able to take a bold guess that, what Dai Wu told them the last run, must be related to the little boy.
    In fact, they may have directly been told, that the boy was hidden inside the wardrobe, or something similar.
    Currently, the only way we know for sure that explains what happened to the boy is through the newspaper in my store, but in the last run, they did not come here, so the only possibility is that they learned about it from other Actors or NPCs, with Dai Wu being the most likely, all things considered.
    That said, there is still another possibility…”

    Xü Beijin pauses.

    “what is it? keep going Beibei!”

    Xü Beijin thinks about it before deciding to spill the beans to say, “it is possible this is not the first time they have entered this Nightmare.”

    Nightmares can be entered more than once, of course.

    Even if the Nightmare’s owner is moved to a higher floor, other Actors will end up taking that role and their script.

    Besides that, while this time Xü Beijin is the bookstore owner in this Nightmare, but that doesn’t mean that every single time Xü Beijin would end up being this extra. This is also random.

    Therefore, there is no way for Xü Beijin to know whether Selfish or Scapegoat has once been in this Nightmare when it opened previously.

    One exception was Wu Shen’s Nightmare, though.

    He has been an extra lazing about in Wu Shen’s Nightmare for more than dozens of times, without fail. Xü Beijin suspects that this is because he was neighbours with Wu Shen back in the Tower, so the Server tried to replicate that in Wu Shen’s Nightmare.

    Perhaps a clue was tied to that fact, too. If the Missiontakers knew that Xü Beijin was his neighbour in the Tower, they might be able to make the connection that Xü Beijin would hold clues in the Nightmare.

    That really is a rare exception, anyway. Now that Wu Shen is away on some higher floor, Xü Beijin is also wondering if he might end up neighbours with a new Actor soon enough.

    As an Actor himself, it is easy for him to realise and question whether some Missiontakers might have been in this exact Nightmare before.

    Though it shocks the viewers in the stream nonetheless.

    “???”
    “holy shit, i didnt think about that at all”
    “oh yeah! this is a game instance! the kind you can try and fail endlessly!”
    “This makes sense! Why they have additional information is likely because they already came here but did not achieve a True End. So they’re here to try again
    This also explains why the guy always looked so mad. He might be unhappy he has to share his discoveries from his own hard work with other people”
    “so the two of them r together?”

    Xü Beijin interjects, “I am more inclined to say that the Missiontaker who went into the bedroom to take the boy to the service area knows more information, or at least, has the initiative. The other one seems more ambiguous”

    “I agree with Beibei. In this run of the Nightmare, only the former has been actively making progress. The latter is more following the flow of everyone else”

    Xü Beijin nods.

    Considering how the situation transpired after the fourth run of the Nightmare began, it is easy to see that since the very beginning, it has been Selfish who first lashed out at the others. He is the one that is more aggressive towards the bedroom team, and he also took the boy directly from the bedroom to the service area.

    What did Scapegoat do in the meantime?

    He acted in line with Selfish and explained what happened the last run. He brought everyone else to the supermarket, that’s it… In other words, he didn’t really do anything on his own. He wasn’t exactly important.

    The only meaningful thing he has done is explaining what happened to him and Selfish on the third run.

    This is actually also a problem. Because, Scapegoat was the only source of explanation for what happened the last run.

    Thus, the division of roles is clear, with Selfish in the bedroom and Scapegoat following the others to the service area, Scapegoat is the only one that the Missiontakers could talk to. Therefore, Scapegoat should be the one to talk about what happened alone, so that there wouldn’t be an additional retelling of events from Selfish that could contradict things.

    Xü Beijin still clearly remembers that when this Nightmare just started, any information relating to their last actions the last run was told by Scapegoat; Selfish remained silent.

    Even when they are both clearly mad and furious, so much so that Selfish was kicking down the door, but they have ensured that information would only flow through Scapegoat’s mouth.

    This division of roles was so perfect that it could only have been fake.

    Therefore, when he was alone with Scapegoat, he chose to persuade him, or at least, convince him to a deal.

    Well, another potential explanation is that, because they are of the impression that they are in cahoots, so they look back in their memories and ‘convince’ themselves that everything they saw was suspicious.

    Xü Beijin is quite focused for once and does not look tired at all now. He adds with a serious expression, “of course, these are all only guesses from me. We will see what the truth actually is when the two of them confess.”

    “i feel like everything Beibei said is right!”
    “+1. I agree with the analysis, and also, here’s my view.
    I am also considering from an unusual angle. Mainly, if the man in black really is the killer, the father of the boy, why would he appear like this in his Nightmare?
    In tight black clothes with a black mask, just a whole smudge of black?
    This is the boy’s Nightmare, so his father is his source of fear, so shouldn’t his appearance resemble when he killed the boy’s mother?
    Yet we see that in the boy’s Nightmare, the image of the father has been fixed into this, psychotic murderer with a big machete? It does not look like a father at any rate…
    So I am thinking that, after the murdering case, or perhaps before, there would have to be some parts of the plot yet to be discovered, that cause the man to appear in this form in the Nightmare. It is likely this is related to the service area and the expressway itself.”

    Xü Beijin scrutinises the dalao’s words and then nods in agreement.

    He is suddenly wondering what information Dai Wu did know. He’s curious.

    the Server means he must stay in the bookstore to keep Acting as the bookstore owner, instead of being like Missiontakers who can explore the scene freely.

    It really is a testament to, ‘you gain some, you lose some.’

    In the stream, the viewers are showering confetti for the detective dalao; they’ve already showered a wave for Xü Beijin when he was talking about his own analysis, and now this is a second wave.

    Xü Beijin can’t help but smile.

    Then he recalls how he was still deeply wary against these viewers in the last Nightmare because he didn’t know what the world outside was like, so he couldn’t put his full trust in them yet.

    But now, after streaming for so long, he is at least able to trust that these particular viewers in his stream are harmless.

    … And really, if the viewers did know what was going on in the Tower but are still deceiving him with this completely innocent, ‘we know nothing’ pretension for laughs, then Xü Beijin can only admit defeat.

    Since he really can’t see if the audience is in any way special.

    They really just looked like normal viewers of a horror game streamer. They would scream with ‘AAA’s, they would try their best to solve mysteries, they will cheer for the host, they will try to persuade the host to go elsewhere and show them, they will play with puns and gags in the comment barrage, they will be scratching their heads when the game gets too complicated…

    They are cute, frank, passionate – real.

    Sometimes, Xü Beijin can even feel them warming up his cold, empty life a little.

    Perhaps, it is because, no one else has ever been able to intervene in his daily lives this much, in the Tower, or anywhere else.

    … Well, only in the Nightmare, for now.

    As for whether he should stream in the Tower, Xü Beijin is still hesitant.

    The Nightmares are still easily explained away with comparison to games, players and instances, but in the Tower, those Tower residents and outsiders, would be just too realistic.

    Not to mention the detective dalao in his stream——A monster of logic. Xü Beijin really doesn’t dare to tread lightly.

    He doesn’t want to attract attention from NE. That is a principle.

    And after all that intense thought, Xü Beijin is a bit tired now.

    He puts his own head onto his arm as he turns his attention back to the stream.

    Laosan, Mu Jiashi and Ding Yi’s discussions went nowhere, it seems, but they have settled on some action plan, and are headed for the supermarket.

    Meanwhile, it is Laoda and Erge, who have been gone for a while.

    They seem to be happy; perhaps they have discovered something.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Real life is about to get busy for me, especially now that I have work, so updates will possibly grow less frequent. Sorry about that. I hope you'll still enjoy the novels.

    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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