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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Back then, Xü Beijin was leaning on the doorway, sighing, exhausted, casting a deep gaze at all the Missiontakers present, and says, with this calm, but frigid tone, “I would like for everyone not to intrude on my life too much.”

    The Missiontakers were all silent. From the man standing right there is an unprecedented kind of aura that makes them feel wary and unsafe.

    They watched the man’s dark eyeballs, handsome features, cold lips, and felt the vibe the man was giving off that resembled an ocean frozen over.

    They were uncontrollably trembling. For the first time, they had come to realise that, they seem to have angered this man.

    Xü Beijin then continued, “I’ll be taking that as a ‘yes.’ Also…” He furrowed his brows, perhaps trying to word what he is about to say better, and continued with the most straightforward words possible, “I will never allow anyone into my Nightmare.”

    In the setting of the game ‘Escape,’ Tower residents were aware that the outsiders visited their Nightmares for an adventure. Sometimes, Tower residents will be pleased that the outsiders achieved a True End and resolved the crux of what was tormenting them.

    Therefore, Xü Beijin isn’t worried the Server will punish him for saying something suggesting he was aware of outsiders entering Nightmares.

    Despite this, his absolutely staunch attitude and choice of stern words still sent the Missiontakers into an uproar anyway. They were quiet because they were in shock at what Xü Beijin just did to the Missiontaker──That guy was buffed!

    How was he just thrown outside in an arc, lying on the ground like some corpse, wailing in pain?!

    The Missiontakers were definitely shocked and awed, but they didn’t give up yet.

    That was good enough for Xü Beijin though, whose expectance for his fellow men was never high in the first place.

    Of course, he also held true to his words.

    To this day, despite the increasingly prominent eyebags, he still kept his promise──Not letting a single person into his Nightmare.

    The Missiontakers’ patience is nothing compared to his own resolve, therefore, a really long time ago, they have already abandoned their curiosity for Xü Beijin’s Nightmare.

    All in all, though, Xü Beijin still remembered the Missiontaker who restlessly tried to enter his house while showing this cheeky smile well.

    And he continues staring at the Missiontaker with the exact, exaggerated smile printed on his face in the stream.

    From what he could remember, that Missiontaker did not look the same as this muscular Missiontaker, but in the Tower, appearances are never completely reliable. Many Missiontakers would use different means to alter their appearance when entering Nightmares.

    They do not wish to be recognised.

    Thinking so, Xü Beijin sighs, then takes a sip of his bubble tea. Right, he isn’t exactly sure if this Missiontaker is the same one that once pissed him off, so Xü Beijin isn’t going to assume blame just yet.

    … At least, not until he’s confirmed his identity.

    He yawns and turns to the comment barrage instead, which reads, “Beibei! to your right! a players struggling!”

    Xü Beijin is surprised, and checks on the screens on the right, zooms into one of them and his surprise turns into shock. He can feel a chill down his spine.

    A Missiontaker──One of the twins, probably the younger sister, judging by the appearance; her head is down underwater. She is struggling against the water in the bathtub.

    The viewers in the stream all furious type in shock.

    “[THEO] [DEFE], what’s happening?!”
    “i also wanna ask, was just listening to the two players, didnt pay attention”
    “she… she’s gonna drown!”
    “so scary… thank god its only a game”

    A game?

    The realism in ‘Escape’ means it’s almost like dying in real life.

    Xü Beijin knits his brows. He is decidedly unnerved. He sighs, feeling the aura of death also seemingly encapsulating him. He knows that, when the Missiontaker dies, the Nightmare restarts and she also comes back to live. But… death, is still undeniably a death.

    He quietly shrinks the size of the screen back down. In contrast, the older sister of the twin is still happily exchanging information with the other Missiontaker.

    Not long ago, when it was an hour past the time they entered the Nightmare, Jiang Shuangmei didn’t realise the apartment door was already open. She was still shivering in the corner of her bedroom.

    Until…

    A slight whirring spooked her up.

    She lifts up her head blankly, and finds the source of the noise to be──the Roomba, cleaning in the quiet apartment.

    It seems the white cleaning robot has reached its designated cleaning hour. It automatically activated, spinning its body, slowly cleaning its way along the pre-configured route.

    It was by Jiang Shuangmei’s side, but it did not smartly navigate around her, but instead, it kept crashing into her leg.

    Once, twice, thrice, quartice…

    Jiang Shuangmei was nervous. She was already anxious because of the unseen gazes, but this strange behaviour from the Roomba further made a chill go down her spine.

    She got up and walked outside the bedroom, when she heard a strange noise.

    It’s coming from the bathroom. It sounded like… water being let into the bathtub.

    Jiang Shuangmei froze in place almost immediately.

    Water? Where’s the water coming from?

    Back then, she was no longer feeling the gaze that was piercing at her like needles, but the sound of the robot and the water in the bathroom were making her extra agitated.

    She took a deep breath. Even if her older sister wasn’t by her side, she could at least tell there must have been something wrong with the apartment unit. This was a Nightmare… This could be a clue of the Nightmare.

    So she slowly approached the bathroom. Behind her, the Roomba also slowly approached her. When she was by the door, she hesitated before turning the doorknob open. It was so cold to the touch that she was shaking, and the scene inside was frankly chilling.

    The faucet of the bathtub was letting water out without stop. The whole tub has been filled with water already, but it still kept letting water out. It has spilt over. There was already a thin layer of water on the bathroom floor, reflecting the bright light in the bathroom.

    Jiang Shuangmei took a step forward, and was examining all around her with what she thought were careful movements.

    That was when the Roomba crashed into her hard, again, from behind her.

    “Ah!”

    Jiang Shuangmei yelps, her hands flailing in the air in her panic to regain a balance, but the Roomba crashed into her legs yet again, and finally, she slipped on the wet floor, falling right into the bathtub full of water. That was what Xü Beijin saw.

    The faucet is still letting water out. The Roomba is crashing into her legs from all sorts of directions. The central heating opened up all by itself, blowing on the smart curtains, helping it move along, floating, wafting, tying itself about her hands.

    She keeps struggling, and struggling, until, she stops.

    She has been killed by the bathtub.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Oof, that must be one of the most embarrassing deaths in history. Still, quite impressive the shower curtains managed to tie up someone's presumably flailing hands.

    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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