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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 2 Chapter 38.1


    Disappearance

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    In the end, it was Scapegoat who ended the stalemate.

    He was not as arrogant and pushy as Selfish, or smart like Mu Jiashi, Laosan or Ding Yi. And he is most unlike Laoda, Erge and Lin Qin who could just ignore everything else.

    He wants out of this Nightmare, or more specifically, he wants to reach a higher floor.

    Thus, he takes a deep breath, and speaks up clearly, “so… Now, all we are doing is waiting for the man in black to come?”

    Silence ensues, but a short while later, Laosan still responded hesitantly, “any other information, we might not have discovered?”

    He glances over at Mu Jiashi.

    The man takes a deep breath, then mutters an ‘apologies’ before saying, “I happen to have a question still.” He points to the little boy, asking, “when you saw this little boy in the Tower, was there anything special about him?”

    Laoda, Erge and Laosan all pause.

    Laosan looks at the little boy, and furrows his brows to answer, “nothing, really.”

    “Did he say anything?”

    “Not really,” Laosan shakes his head, explaining, “when the three of us met the little boy, he was crouching in the corner and shaking. When we bumped into him accidentally, he ran away.
    We were close enough to hear a string of numbers and thought it was a clue for his Nightmare, so we chased after him, but then… when we were close to Lin Qin the dalao’s home, .”

    Mu Jiashi then asks, “how did you know where his house door was, then?”

    “Pure coincidence. We didn’t want to give up, so we were still pacing about the place, and we happened to see the boy run back out of his house,” Laosan explains, “so we tried the door at night, and here we are.”

    Mu Jiashi is silent.

    Laosan tries to ask, “do you think there was anything wrong?”

    Mu Jiashi shakes his head and looks over at Lin Qin’s direction. He is standing quite far away, so he has to raise his voice to ask, “dalao… have you ever seen this little boy before?”

    Lin Qin looks like he was blanking out, but he then glances at the little boy and nods, saying, “yeah.”

    “Did he say anything?”

    “He said… that his Nightmare had a supermarket. That’s why I wanted to check his Nightmare out,” Lin Qin then adds, “I wanted to check out the types of drinks they sell.”

    That shocks the Missiontakers present, some are surprised at his interest in drinks, some are surprised, that the boy said his Nightmare had a supermarket?

    Laosan anxiously follows up and yells out his question, “dalao, what did he tell you, can you tell us in detail?”

    Lin Qin nods. In this Nightmare, his temper is unexpected mild——Xü Beijin is speechless for now.

    Lin Qin recalls, “the boy was running when I was leaving my house, and he crashed into me. He apologised, and I said I have to buy drinks and told him to get out of the way; he then said, the day his mother died, she also went to the supermarket to buy drinks because he asked, then she argued with his father. After that, he started crying and repeating some nonsense numbers. Then some people came along and he ran away.”

    Mu Jiashi’s eyes seem to sparkle as he looks down at the little boy, who is still looking at all the adults present with a frightened look.

    Laoda looks almost broken, though, saying, “we chased after this brat for half an hour and all he would do was just mutter some numbers like he was possessed the whole time, and then… he got super docile when it was the dalao?! He even apologised?!”

    He can’t help but recall a saying from the Internet – these days, even NPCs in games know to pick their targets.

    Although he also knows it might just be the fact that Lin Qin mentioned drinks that triggered the boy’s answers and subsequently the information, but…

    But he’s still mad!

    Even a damned brat knows who he can and cannot cross?!

    Everyone else is too preoccupied to care about Laoda’s ‘mental breakdown,’ though.

    Mu Jiashi is murmuring, “makes sense then, it fits with why they came to the service area and why the supermarket appeared in the boy’s Nightmare.
    The supermarket shouldn’t necessarily appear in the Nightmare if it was just because of his parents having argued inside, but it was exactly because the mother was buying drinks for the son that indirectly led to the argument… That is why, the boy’s Nightmare contains the supermarket.
    He, is blaming himself.”

    All the Missiontakers focus their gazes on the little boy.

    He still looks all scared while hiding behind Ding Yi’s back. He looks overly fearful and rejective of everything in this world.

    A Nightmare owner like him really is unusual, too. Many Nightmare owners are themselves the ‘bad guy’——Or, Actors have to assume evil, unforgivable roles most of the time.

    It is a rare occasion when an Actor’s plot, like the little boy’s, depicts that of a pure, innocent victim. They must Act and put on frightened, worried, nervous, panicked looks. Most often, they remain silent but harmless in the Nightmares, and occasionally they can even help Missiontakers.

    This shy, introverted, fearful boy, is one of them.

    Mu Jiashi is about to say something, when suddenly, screams erupt from the outside.

    … Outside?

    Outside here is just the expressway and the gas station!

    Of course, there are people in the gas station!

    Mu Jiashi could feel his heart racing as he quickly heads for the exit to the service area to observe. The rest of the Missiontakers follow.

    They can see a black silhouette there, murdering people in the gas station.

    The man in black is at the gas station? Why?! Shouldn’t he have headed for the depths of the service area?

    Suddenly, Mu Jiashi’s brain, like stuck cogwheels, stops churning.

    Ding Yi speaks up softly besides him, “the Nightmare has been crumbling, could the situation have changed already from the fourth run?”

    “Shit! The time is wrong!” Laosan yells out, “it has already pushed forward!”

    Hearing that, Mu Jiashi, who was completely stunned at the man in black’s sudden appearance, begins thinking again, and realises something——Lin Qin just said, “he then said, the day his mother died.”

    Yet, from his previous hypothesis, the little boy’s mother has not yet passed away at this moment in time on his journey. Why is he not reacting to that?

    In the fourth run of the Nightmare as well, after the boy arrived at the service area, he himself also talked about his mother’s death.

    The boy even said that he had seen the supermarket cashier then, but, if he was supposedly in a time when his mother wasn’t yet dead, how could he have ever seen Dai Wu?

    That point would completely destroy his hypothesis that once the boy leaves the dark bedroom, he returns to the time when his mother has not yet passed away!

    He made an error. He was wrong.

    His confident analysis and subsequent hypothesis of this Nightmare’s structure, was completely false!

    Mu Jiashi’s face is pale.

    The most recent runs, he was leading everyone already. And truly, it did reinvigorate his confidence and his drive. For that period of time, he almost seems to have forgotten about his previous tragic failures.

    And yet, he has failed again.

    When he said he was a piece of trash and a loser earlier, he wasn’t saying it genuinely. He was more self-mocking but also self-lamenting. It was more like, since he’s a piece of trash, then him performing above average would already be perfectly satisfactory.

    … But, is he?

    The Golddigger that once had a 100% success rate, famous across the entire bottom floor of the Tower?

    He fell from grace for his one failure. His confidence, as brilliant and robust as diamond, has cracked. Since then, he used words of self-mockery to play it down.

    He could still, of course, head to a higher floor if he wanted to. At least, he believed in it.

    Failure isn’t something shameful to talk about, but——He can’t help but think, what if, he failed, again?

    Mu Jiashi is completely silent.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    More tough analyses to follow~ Though the end of this arc is already in sight. Also, Mu Jiashi's 'failure' will be revealed in time... In a hundred chapters or so, I think? So stay tuned, lol.

    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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