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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    On-screen, the Missiontakers are finally focusing on the Nightmare at hand.

    The mood is still off, of course. Jiang Shuangjie is staying quite the distance away from Muscular. The rest of the Missiontakers are standing quite far from the both of them in turn.

    Jiang Shuangjie has calmed down by now, but would rather not interact at all with the man. Instead, she asks, “excuse me… Did you find the occupancy records, you say?”

    “Yes, we are the new renters here,” Thin replies, handing her a file, explaining, “we found this in the management’s office. Seven names are written there.”

    Jiang Shuangjie examines the file and seemingly casually remarks, “you moved quickly, huh.”

    Thin smiles but does not say anything else.

    Five Missiontakers are present here. Other than Jiang Shuangjie, Muscular and Thin, there is also a girl who looks to be a teenager, and Shen Yünjü, who earlier showed a strange expression looking at the commercial complex.

    Neither of them spoke the entire time, only observing coldly at the farce playing out between Jiang Shuangjie and Muscular.

    Jiang Shuangjie glances at the two of them, as well as Thin, but says nothing else. The files on her hand indicate that her younger sister is staying in Room 1104.

    And she checks out the other room numbers while she’s at it, then says with a surprised tone, “Lin Qin? The dalao…?”

    “Yes,” Thin looks rather glad when he says this, “it’s fortunate the dalao is here.”

    Jiang Shuangjie doesn’t reply. She only knows about Lin Qin in name, but nothing about his personality or anything else. Lin Qin’s name began its rise to meteoric fame only after Jiang Shuangmei and her stepped down to revel in the raves.

    Lin Qin has been in the Tower a long time too, of course, but a few years back, every Missiontaker and, to a certain extent, even Actors in the Tower were all rather reckless and, for lack of a better word, mad.

    The Missiontakers tried everything they could think of in the Nightmares, even means that are rather unsavoury, to see if they could achieve True Ends. When the whole world was behaving so, Lin Qin, with his habitual non-action, in spite of his obscene physical strength, was rather obscure in the crowd.

    When the embers died down, and the Tower really did turn the people as destitute and hopeless as its dilapidated scenes were, and when humans lost hope, Lin Qin instead became a straw of some kind.

    Many Missiontakers lament the fact that Lin Qin has always been stuck at the bottom floor of the Tower, never having been seen any floors above. Even when Missiontakers have achieved True Ends in Nightmares with him, but he has never headed up.

    Perhaps there might also be Missiontakers in the floors above who wants to borrow his thighs, too…

    But no matter what, knowing Lin Qin is here does make Jiang Shuangjie sigh in relief inside.

    “Um, I’m sorry…” While Jiang Shuangjie is looking at the files, Thin also decides to ask after hesitation, “are you Jiang Shuangjie or Jiang Shuangmei?”

    The names are really too obvious to ignore. It’ll be odd to ignore it entirely or not question the connection between the names at all.

    Jiang Shuangjie replies, “I’m the older sister.”

    She turns her head towards the elevator with a slightly anxious expression… It’s been over ten minutes now, but Jiang Shuangmei still isn’t anywhere to be seen.

    It also makes Thin think and ask, “are you worried about your younger sister?”

    She nods frankly and says, “I plan to look for her,” she hesitates but decides against revealing the strange feeling gripping at her chest in the last run of the Nightmare, only vaguely adding, “I’m a bit worried.”

    Muscular just has to interject and ask, though, “you’re not dragging us with you now, are you?”

    After he has succeeded in his heist, the honest and straightforward front he has put up is also gone in an instant; this is what he usually does to reduce the other Missiontakers’ wariness and look for opportunities and potential targets to practise his art on.

    And really, that last few seconds of the last run of the Nightmare was such a perfect opportunity that the man couldn’t hold back from taking the utility cards away. If it were his usual self, he would only have done something at the precipice of an Ending being achieved.

    By then, even if the victim realised they were missing their utility cards, with all of them having left the Nightmare already, they will never be able to find Muscular ever again.

    Because he has a Trick card.

    ‘Card Name: The Devil’s Mask
    Card Illustration: An exquisitely decorated mask
    Description: When the devil is committing evil, it always requires a mask to hide its looks. You will share this ability. If you use it for evil, then it will surely please the devil. That said, using a devil’s ability will always carry a price.
    Uses: 2/3 (If you commit sins while using this utility card and remain undetected, then your Uses will be returned to you)’

    For a Carddealer… No, not just them, but for any Missiontaker wishing to do anything shady in the Tower, this is a powerful utility card.

    Though this Trick card doesn’t guarantee success, either.

    He acquired the card a few years back, and wasn’t sure how to use it yet.

    It just so happened that the Missiontakers were all interested in the famous bookstore owner back then, too, so, in an impromptu act, he used the utility card and went fanning the flames of the Missiontakers outside the bookstore owner’s store.

    That was the reason why Xü Beijin never saw the guy in the Tower ever again, because his appearance was changed. He rarely appears in public with his actual face nowadays, too.

    It was unfortunate that his first ever use failed by the bookstore owner who suddenly retaliated. That was why ‘The Devil’s Mask’ had one Uses short.

    After that, Muscular kept his head down for a while.

    Until he discovered a much more appropriate use for the card, that is, using it to steal utility cards.

    As long as he wasn’t caught in the act, and the stolen card wasn’t returned to the victim, then his act of evil would be considered successful and his Uses immediately replenishes.

    And that ‘price’ it said… Muscular is dismissive entirely. It merely increases his greed and boldness. Yet, since he’s already decided to become a universally infamous Carddealer, then that price is just turning him more into the person he is aspiring to become, anyway.

    Right now, under the influence of the greed in his mind, Muscular is already eyeing each of the Missiontakers present with lustful eyes. He is even thinking, perhaps… He could succeed more than once in this Nightmare?

    The Missiontakers are currently on guard against him already, of course, but… with his technique and acting, maybe…

    An extreme greed and arrogance is rooting itself in the Missiontaker’s thought process.

    The wave of emotions even caused him to abandon the pretense immediately earlier, to gloat and taunt Jiang Shuangjie. Otherwise, he would probably have acted more pretentiously for a while.

    Jiang Shuangjie ignored that, of course, but inside, she still can’t help but think how great it would be if they could kill each other in the Tower. Unfortunately, the Server prohibits all direct hostility aimed at their ‘companions.’ And even if she did kill him, he’d just come back to life the next run.

    Jiang Shuangjie’s expression grows cold.

    She is out of patience with them already. So she says dryly, while handing the files back to Thin, “I’ll just look for my younger sister myself.”

    Thin hesitantly says, “we should still move together.”

    Muscular looks dissatisfied, but then he seems to fall into thought.

    The teenage girl who has been quiet the whole time suddenly takes a step forward. In spite of the tone of the speech itself still being that of a child, but the confidence and maturity in her words leave much more of an impression.

    She says, “we have discussed earlier. In the last run, none of us died. While we haven’t asked,” she raises her chin slightly at Jiang Shuangjie to indicate her, saying, “you also do not look like you died. So, it has to be your younger sister.”

    She skips over Lin Qin entirely. ‘Lin Qin has been killed’ is not an option even worth consideration.

    Thin then adds, “we haven’t any information right now, so if we can find out what happened to your younger sister, that would be best.”

    He glances over at the teenage girl, as if by habit, before turning his attention back to Jiang Shuangjie.

    She examines the two of them for a short while before nodding to agree, “sure, let’s go together.”

    The three of them are about to move.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    And it's revealed - The minor antagonist, in this case, is actually under the effects of the Trick card, which exacerbated his already undesirable personality. If you want to find out what he'll do next, then make sure you keep reading!

    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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