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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 2 Chapter 33.1


    I Remember You

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    “You’ll never believe what we found out!”

    Laoda is proclaiming as soon as he comes into view, full of excitement and gloat. He probably came across some major discovery.

    Erge immediately notices how the Missiontakers all seem to be upset by the flowerbed, though, and that whimpering boy crouching on the ground.

    The boy they once chased after and searched for.

    Laoda also notices, and asks, surprised, “oh hey, isn’t this that brat?”

    Mu Jiashi immediately notices something from that question, but he hesitates a little, and decides against asking.

    Erge gives Laoda a glare before telling the truth to them, “we met this boy in the Tower before, but…” He shrugs, adding, “we couldn’t get anything useful out of him.”

    Mu Jiashi nods and asks instead of fixating on this, “what did you find out, then?”

    “Oh, yeah, this boy’s father killed his wife,” Laoda answers without concern, explaining, “there’s a TV over at the petrol station showing the news. It was talking about that and there was even a warrant issued.”

    Erge adds, “though the warrant is for an average-looking middle-aged man, and not that man in black, I think.”

    Mu Jiashi murmurs, “that’s odd…”

    Yes, that is odd.

    In fact, right now, he also realises the question.

    Why is the father of the boy, the killer, a masked man in black in his Nightmare, instead of his father’s usual appearance?

    Was he demonising his father into some murderous psycho somehow, perhaps basing it off some TV drama he may have seen? Or, perhaps, is he trying to forget his father’s cruel, inhuman actions because of his fear and shock witnessing his mother’s murder?

    The latter sounds more reasonable, but in the Nightmare, the warrant shows the boy’s father faithfully.

    A Nightmare is definitely based on a Nightmare owner’s memories, this can only mean that the boy did not distort the image of his father…

    Or was it some subconscious, psychological effect?

    Mu Jiashi’s thoughts come to a standstill.

    They feel like they have learned a lot already, but they still haven’t a single clue regarding the endings of this Nightmare. And also, where is the man in black right now? They do not know.

    It is possible they could extract information from the man in black himself, too, .

    Laosan reminds him, “let’s go to the supermarket first.”

    Mu Jiashi shakes his thoughts clean first and nods.

    Ding Yi has soothed the boy enough that he isn’t crying anymore. Then, she holds the little boy’s hand to walk towards the supermarket with him.

    Laoda and Erge follows behind them.

    Selfish looks all frustrated. He brought the boy here, yet right now, all the Missiontakers took his ‘prize’ away.

    Scapegoat is sweeping his gaze across all the Missiontakers repeatedly. He is nervous and wary. It was Selfish who proposed to work together, yet in the end, every one of them has ignored him entirely.

    Treating him like… he really is just some scapegoat.

    He is also frustrated and angry, partly towards the Missiontakers, partly towards Selfish, and even partly towards himself.

    When the two of them slowly follow the people ahead, Selfish suddenly asks Scapegoat, “you’re regretting?”

    Scapegoat seems taken aback in panic.

    Selfish just gives him a cold smile and says, “I don’t care whether you regret it or not. We have more information than them. So there’s no way…”

    There is a rather concerning madness and ruthlessness in his expression, worrying Scapegoat even more.

    He is questioning why he agreed to work together in the first place? The man is clearly just a madman… A factor out of his control.

    To Selfish, his needs alone are prioritised more than anything else… No, not just his needs, either. Anyone, or any thing, going against his will, will be on the receiving end of his hate and scorn, as if he was the definition of correct in this world somehow.

    Scapegoat is more and more certain it was wrong to agree to working together with him, but he cannot back off now.

    He can only hope that, the information Selfish holds, is useful.

    The agitated man hastens his steps to leave Selfish behind.

    The Missiontakers over at the front do not notice the conversation or the interaction, but it was in full view of the viewers in the stream.

    They are typing, “woah, quite the snakey due this guy is”

    “must be ceo of fence-sitter, inc.”
    “got a laugh outta that, thx”
    “he’s neither able to appeal to one side nor able to leave the other side”
    “Not just that, but in the eyes of the other Missiontakers, he is no longer trustworthy at all. Even if he tries to make up for the rift formed for his previous deception, it wouldn’t be useful anymore”
    “im more curious what the other guy knows? he still looks confident”
    “Beibei’s guess looks more and more convincing… if they merely got the information from the cashier the last run of the nightmare, he wouldn’t look so confident, I think? feels more like he has been in this nightmare before”
    “agreed”
    “i’m curious what they know too…”
    “they are headed for the supermarket again so maybe they’ll learn something new”
    “eh? isnt that…”

    The Missiontakers runs into Lin Qin at the entrance to the supermarket. He has come outside with a whole shopping trolley of drinks, covering almost all possible bases. It’s piled mountain high.

    He is expressionlessly pushing the trolley along while the Missiontakers are all standing there with nervous expressions.

    The scene is quite awkward.

    Laoda is the first to blurt out, “dalao, you’re shopping?”

    The Missiontakers can’t help but be in awe, almost feeling like they’re actually no longer in a Nightmare in the Tower, but just in some unnamed supermarket near some busy expressway, while someone is making a big shopping trip.

    Mu Jiashi is looking at Lin Qin in shock, too, and is in thought while glancing over the mountain of drinks in the trolley.

    Lin Qin shakes his head, answering, “I wasn’t shopping,” he then gestures towards the supermarket, saying, “they didn’t ask me to pay.”

    The Missiontakers “…”
    The audience in the stream “…”
    Xü Beijin “…”

    He takes a deep breath.

    The comment barrage begins after a moment of jaw-dropping shock.

    “hahahaha he’s giving it to Beibei! I knew it!”
    “holy shii, the little apple def has something something for our Bei, right?”
    “Excuse me, I thought I was in a horror game stream? Am I in the wrong genre?”
    “im laughing so much my mom is asking me what funny variety show im watching”
    “… hey, at least on the good side, this dalao with such a buggy fighting power has goodwill towards Beibei, right?”
    “yeah, i bet thats what the missiontakers think too”

    After a brief awkwardness, the Missiontakers continue onto the supermarket while Lin Qin goes about his own business.

    He smoothly pushes the trolley into the bookstore.

    Xü Beijin looks up at him, and is struggling to reason Lin Qin’s course of action.

    Does he seriously need to do all this just so he can fight with him?

    … Well, thankfully, he’s had this whole affair postponed to deal with when Lin Qin comes to visit.

    Xü Beijin just quietly watches Lin Qin as he pushes the trolley in front of him, and points to it, telling him simply, “it’s for you.”

    Xü Beijin stands up, and after a bit of silence, gives up on arguing anything and just tells him, “I won’t have some of them.”

    Lin Qin gives him a look of shock that has ‘and you’re being picky?’ written all over it.

    Then he asks, “so which flavours do you like?” He adds, sincerely, “I’ll only gift you ones you like from now on.”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    He feels like laughing.

    Just… It’s humorous what Lin Qin is doing.

    He has finally, very clearly, understood how simple Lin Qin’s world is. It’s so easy to see and read…

    The man has clear goals, clear motives, clear actions and clear speech. He is so straightforward, as though he never needs to dress up his actions in deceiving words, ever. He… He is the exact opposite of Xü Beijin.

    It makes Xü Beijin fall into thought a little.

    Seeing him not answering immediately, Lin Qin knits his brows, then retrieves a can of drinks from the trolley and takes a good look——A peach-flavoured soda?

    He has never had one.

    Maybe Xü Beijin would like it?

    He asks, “do you like this one?”

    Xü Beijin turns his attention back to him, examines the drink, and answers, “no, this brand adds way too much sweetener to all their drinks,” but he adds, “I might drink them sometimes, though, if I’m in a bad mood.”

    Lin Qin calmly says, “I see. I’ll remember that,” then he picks up another can, asking, “what about this one?”

    “I don’t like this one,” Xü Beijin tries to answer as straightforward and sincerely as Lin Qin speaks while explaining, “this tastes yucky. It’s really bad value for money, too.”

    Lin Qin gives the can an odd look——Are ‘beer-flavoured soda’s yucky? His mouth muscles contort slightly before throwing the can over at the trash can nearby. Then he retrieves another soft drink to ask, “this one?”

    “I like this one a lot.”

    Lin Qin then gives the apple juice in his hand a good look, asking, “… you seem to like fruit juices a lot?”

    “I’m slightly lactose intolerant,” Xü Beijin answers, sighing, “even though I like milk, it’s uncomfortable if I drink too much.”

    Lin Qin gives him an odd look, and thinks for a little while before telling him what he thinks honestly, “you live very… humanly.”

    Among both Tower residents and outsiders, despite them being humans, few try to have as mundane yet human a life as Xü Beijin.

    This is a game – where, even if they do not shower or brush their teeth for months on end——We’re exaggerating, but——it doesn’t affect their hygiene any.

    They do not hunger. They do not thirst. They do not need to eat, drink, or even excrete. They might feel an appetite or sleepiness, but as long as their stamina value on their information panel isn’t zero, then they can do whatever.

    Their body really is a string of ones and zeroes. While the game is realistic, but, it’s just a game.

    In a sense, while the Missiontakers and Actors are all extremely distressed by ‘Escape’ the game, but in fact, they can never die. They just cannot leave this game at all, or at least, they haven’t discovered any means to do so yet.

    The optimism of Dai Wu, the ‘second life’ view, is also quite rare among them.

    What is so contradictory about that view is, they all know this is just a game, all of them know, that this is just a mere game, and this is not reality. This is not the real life they are pursuing.

    The painful contrast also drags many of them deep in pain.

    A realistic life in the real world… is already beyond these humans’ reach.

    Necessities Merchant are viewed fondly in the Tower, not because the Missiontakers really needed the necessities, but only because, it is part of the apocalyptic fest of the Missiontakers.

    They madly consume food, drinks, madly entertain themselves and do whatever pleases them. Some Missiontakers have not entered a Nightmare for years, merely spending their days in decadence on the bottom floor of the Tower, letting all their desires free.

    It would seem that this is the life, the fate awaiting all of them.

    Xü Beijin is not someone like that.

    He may be a Tower resident, but he lives his life more meaningfully than the Missiontakers.

    When Lin Qin hears Xü Beijin describe how he is ‘lactose intolerant,’ it could almost convince him that they are just in reality, hearing a friend complaining about his annoying illness.

    Lin Qin’s mind goes blank for a bit. His thoughts empty out.

    While Xü Beijin lowers his eyes and gives a vacuous smile. He understands what Lin Qin is getting at, but he can only reply, “this is how it is.”

    What else could he have done otherwise?

    Silence ensues.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Quite the depressing chapter. And the more you think about it, the more unsettling it becomes.

    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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