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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Xü Beijin is just blankly staring at Lin Qin now.

    Lin Qin remembers nothing? It makes Xü Beijin feel like there is some conspiracy behind it all.

    From his physical strength that’s basically a bug, to his simple, stubborn logic, to his empty past… It all makes Xü Beijin fall into thought.

    Perhaps, what the Missiontakers cruelly slander Lin Qin for regarding his intellect is just because he remembers nothing? Sometimes he’s unbearably dense, but sometimes he’s extremely sharp. He is often completely blank on interacting with other human beings, maybe, precisely because he is a blank sheet of paper?

    But… Why?

    Why would there be such a Missiontaker here?

    What was his past like? How did he even acquire his prowess in the first place?

    Xü Beijin has held his cup in his hand for a really long time now.

    When his consciousness finally snaps back to reality, he can see Lin Qin is already over on the other side of the store, browsing the books on display, probably because he was bored.

    “Sorry, I dozed off,” Xü Beijin hurriedly puts down his cup and walks over to apologise.

    Lin Qin just nonchalantly replies, “that’s alright.”

    He continues browsing the collection of books. To be honest, even Xü Beijin himself has only seen a small portion of this endless pile of books. Lin Qin looks like he is interested in one of them, pointing at it, asking, “can I borrow it?”

    Xü Beijin glances at it and nods, “sure.”

    These books in his bookstore… are mostly just random articles, novels or essays. Also diaries from obscure authors. When Xü Beijin is bored, he’d also grab one at random to read.

    Lin Qin seems to have picked a horror novel which has a pen and a bloodied paper on its cover. This shelf consists mostly of books Xü Beijin has already seen. They’re not exactly important, and of course Lin Qin can read them if he wants to.

    Lin Qin takes the novel out and thanks Xü Beijin politely.

    Xü Beijin is hesitant before asking, “that problem with your memory… Have you ever told anyone else?”

    “No,” Lin Qin is examining the horror novel’s cover from all over while answering, “you’re special, that’s why I told you. I know that, we must remain vigilant in the Tower.”

    Xü Beijin is feeling pretty complicated.

    Some surprise at Lin Qin having such a principle; some shock and a slight happiness that Lin Qin would tell him this private part about him; and some confusion as this whole thing is just perplexing.

    Lin Qin has no memories, but he is behaving nowhere like a baby. He isn’t really a blank slate, either – he knows what the Tower is. He knows Missiontakers, Nightmares, utility cards, and even unspoken rules in the Tower. He also knows how to communicate with others in general.

    For example, he was able to reason out, that, if he gave Xü Beijin drinks, he might be able to persuade him to fight with him.

    This is a definite sign of having been societised.

    Though in other words, despite Lin Qin having lost his past memories, and in fact, may only have ever heard of Earth in passing mentions from other Missiontakers, he still possesses a personality and experience developed under obvious influences from human society.

    It makes Xü Beijin deeply concerned.

    What caused Lin Qin to lose his memories?

    What was the past of this young man standing besides him?

    Even though this should be Lin Qin’s own problems to work out, but right now, Xü Beijin looks far more concerned over it than Lin Qin. He is glancing at Lin Qin several times in rapid succession, thinking, the typical scenario where the eunuch is more anxious than the Emperor.

    … Not that he’s trying to imply he’s castrated. Bad analogy.

    Lin Qin seems satisfied having borrowed a book. Then, he looks back at the cup on the table – the porcelain cup looks extra elegant under the yellowish light.

    Lin Qin asks, seemingly having some thoughts, “do you like collecting cups?”

    Xü Beijin is a little surprised, and answers after a short while, “I… guess?” Then he bitterly chuckles, explaining, “life in the Tower really is too boring.”

    Sometimes, he would retrieve a different cup from within his cabinet, and pour a different drink, then turn on the porch light outside and sit on the slightly worn sofa to read a book… Alongside the dust floating up and down through the lit air.

    Drifting slightly in and out of consciousness would almost make him feel like he was back on Earth all of a sudden.

    Though he’d wake back up soon enough, and realise, he might never be back on Earth ever again.

    The realisation would always cut itself deep into him.

    Therefore, even though he would collect drinks and cups and other household utensils, even going so far as to decorating his bookstore when he suddenly felt the urge to, oftentimes, the acts themselves would remind him of this long, dull pain.

    Xü Beijin sighs and decides to make it clear to Lin Qin, explaining, “Lin Qin, I wish that you wouldn’t just accept requests easily because you want to fight with me, or because you want to collect drinks or cups or anything else. Can you promise me? It is not fair for you.”

    It would not only embarrass and trouble Xü Beijin, but most importantly it would be dragging Lin Qin into endless trouble.

    Lin Qin does not understand, because it feels like equivalent exchange is a fair, normal deal to do, but since Xü Beijin said so, Lin Qin agrees without raising his doubts, saying, “sure, I’ll not do that again.”

    Inside, he is instead, thinking, since requests from others are bad, then why don’t he just ask them instead?

    Yup, the logic holds.

    Xü Beijin is blissfully unaware of the massive distortion to his wish that Lin Qin just did, just sighing in relief that Lin Qin agreed so readily.

    Then he asks, “want to eat something? I have snacks collected.”

    Lin Qin gives him an odd look that basically reads, ‘what sorts of baubles and trinkets are you collecting all the time?’

    Neither Tower residents nor Missiontakers ever really treat life in the Tower as ‘life,’ do they?

    Though Xü Beijin seems to be doing exactly that.

    Lin Qin gave it a thought before nodding to accept the gesture. He is suddenly realising how, since learning about Xü Beijin’s predisposition towards drinks, he has been slowly unravelling Xü Beijin’s lifestyle, discovering along the way that Xü Beijin didn’t seem like how he imagined he would be.

    What he is trying to say is that… He felt Xü Beijin was special and might actually be able to win in a fight against him. That is why he was comparing and contrasting their lifestyles, and Xü Beijin seems to be totally different from him.

    Lin Qin is looking curiously at the pile of sweets Xü Beijin is still adding onto.

    There are many cabinets in Xü Beijin’s bookstore. While the shelves and all the spaces without doors are filled with books, looking totally businesslike and serious, but all the cabinets with doors are instead holding all the weird keepsakes Xü Beijin has.

    Though if Lin Qin went to the second floor and saw Xü Beijin’s private quarters, then he would definitely exclaim in shock over all the things Xü Beijin has collected over the years in the Tower – From drinks, to snacks, to cups to bowls and chopsticks. Even if Xü Beijin just put them wherever was convenient, it is still a worthy collection to meet the eyes.

    It is at the point when Xü Beijin saw the surprise written on Lin Qin that he understood how his impression of him must have crumbled to dust.

    In the Tower, no one has ever been so close to his daily lives as Lin Qin had. Discounting all the Missiontakers that just wanted in on his Nightmare, only someone as simpleminded as Lin Qin could actually have let Xü Beijin’s guard down like so.

    Smiling slightly awkwardly, he pushes the snacks he likes over in Lin Qin’s direction, and opens up another two cans of drinks he likes, saying, “try some.”

    Thus, this is the day that Lin Qin falls in love with the things Xü Beijin uses to kill time almost instantaneously.

    Books, drinks and snacks.

    Before he leaves, Lin Qin asks, “I don’t know what the world outside the Tower is like, but I have also never experienced in the Tower before what you just showed me. Is this how life was outside?”

    Xü Beijin pauses.

    Then, seeing the clear curiosity written on Lin Qin’s face – and perhaps anxiety——which might have been Xü Beijin’s mind playing tricks on him, he smiles to finally answer, “yes.”

    Lin Qin nods. He is in thought again as he parts ways with Xü Beijin and leaves.

    While he did not successfully entice Xü Beijin to a fight this time, but he seems to have made unexpected advances instead.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    The pace of the romance really is slow, but I think this is a much more natural 'development' than in many of the shorter romance CN 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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