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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Xü Beijin sighs, feeling a bit exhausted. He pinches his nose to say, “let’s see. When did you see those two people?”

    Lin Qin honestly replies, “during the day, I finished reading that book you lent me and I wanted to return it so I came over. I saw them outside your home then.”

    Xü Beijin continues looking at him.

    Lin Qin patiently explains in detail, “one of them was tall and thin, the other looks like a younger girl. They spent a while dawdling outside your home, before entering your neighbour’s door.
    I remember your neighbouring Tower resident having moved away, and thought it was empty and they might be talking about why they came over inside. Then I followed after them.
    I didn’t know a resident had already moved in, so I ended up in this Nightmare instead. You were next door to the neighbour, so I thought you might be here as well, and came searching. I was mainly going after the two people though.”

    Lin Qin explained the whole event that played out once, and then spent some time running his memories through again, and finally nods satisfactorily and adds, “that’s right.”

    He looks pretty proud of his memories.

    Xü Beijin gives him a speechless look.

    He pushes the bubble tea he ‘bought’ earlier over the counter towards Lin Qin, and says with a friendly tone, “thanks for telling me. Want some bubble tea? This one is still fresh and I thought the taste was pretty good.”

    Lin Qin looks shocked and receives it hesitantly, without saying anything in the end despite clearly having something on his mind; Lin Qin thought the words would have been inappropriate.

    He was thinking──As expected of you.

    While drinking the bubble tea, Lin Qin is looking at Xü Beijin and a new thought arises. A thought that gradually formed in his mind possibly since he visited Xü Beijin at his home not long ago.

    He is curious how the guy──the Tower resident, really was underneath. Why was he… so normal?

    Just like the Missiontakers of the past, Lin Qin has also developed a curiosity because of how special Xü Beijin is, but the difference is that he has no interest in the young man’s Nightmare itself.

    He’s thinking of something else instead.

    Before, Xü Beijin said that they were friends. If so… can he ask about this directly? Something like his daily life or habits.

    But crucially, he doesn’t want to make Xü Beijin unhappy, because he still wants to fight with him to determine who is stronger, once and for all.

    However, right now, Xü Beijin has possibly triggered some other interests in him besides physical fighting.

    Lin Qin is taking a seat at a chair by the bookstore entrance again. Tilting his head, biting the plastic straw of the bubble tea, he quietly examines Xü Beijin.

    ‘Why would Xü Beijin be different from the Tower residents?’ Wonders Lin Qin.

    He knows that the Tower, or, at least, the scenes in the Nightmares and all the stories were based on humans of Earth. This is common knowledge among Missiontakers.

    However, Xü Beijin’s habits, this… outlook on life in the Tower, is different from all the other humans he has run into in the Tower. Why is he even more ‘human’ than the Missiontakers?

    Could this be a setting of NE? Some kind of background information?

    Is this actually the lifestyles of people that belonged to the Earth but not the Tower, which Lin Qin has wholly forgotten?

    If he continues interacting with Xü Beijin, would he be able to regain his past memories? But… would he still be him? There is a Lin Qin with amnesia; there is another Lin Qin with his memories intact. Which one is truly him?

    … Which of them would Xü Beijin acknowledge to be his friend?

    Lin Qin falls deep into thought.

    Xü Beijin, unaware of Lin Qin’s plight, might have otherwise stopped Lin Qin’s runaway thoughts; he would have seen them as unforeseen effects he brought upon Lin Qin.

    He has no idea that Lin Qin, who has been disinterested in everything, even Nightmares and the Tower, will suddenly, due to growing familiar with him, grow an interest in his lost memories of Earth.

    In fact, he is growing an interest in Xü Beijin, the person, as well.

    Under more peaceful circumstances, this curiosity might have been a good thing, perhaps even be the petri dish from which more specific hormonal interactions may be brewed; however, they are in the dark, destitute Tower. It is difficult to say whether this is positive or negative.

    Xü Beijin would rather others stay disinterested in him.

    Though right now, Xü Beijin is too preoccupied with the information Lin Qin has brought to notice Lin Qin’s expression.

    … Someone tall and thin, and a young girl?

    Lin Qin said he followed them into the Nightmare, and Xü Beijin almost immediately connects the image description to the two Missiontakers he saw.

    Though that isn’t exactly helpful, either, because he still has no idea why someone might be lollygagging outside of his bookstore.

    A long time ago, Missiontakers have generally lost interest in him entirely. Xü Beijin was able to spend some peaceful days afterwards. Yet now, is an interest in his Nightmare rekindling?

    Xü Beijin finds that possibility unlikely.

    He himself is still all tired, sleepy, eye-bags-ridden, definitely not looking like he is going to deliberately sleep anytime soon, or open his Nightmare for that matter.

    He takes strolls outside every so often, and even if a Missiontaker recognised him, they should have noticed the signs and not suddenly become curious about his Nightmare again.

    So Xü Beijin clears himself out of the possible suspicions first.

    Then he starts thinking about what might cause interest in him among Missiontakers to rise…

    And… And he glances at Lin Qin.

    … Right, how did he actually ignore him as a factor?

    Lin Qin, the unspoken, uncrowned King of the bottom floor of the Tower… Implying that there are countless eyes on him. Lin Qin probably couldn’t care less, and they don’t dare bothering Lin Qin either.

    So when that Lin Qin suddenly started collecting drinks and visiting one Tower resident in particular… This might have already escalated to the latest gossip in town among parts of the Tower already.

    See, Ding Yi even used this information to strike a deal with Lin Qin the last Nightmare, didn’t she?

    Who knows who could have sent those two here? The goal must be pretty clear, though – they’re here to snoop around on the relationship between Xü Beijin and Lin Qin.

    Xü Beijin feels a bit frustrated when he concludes so, because he definitely didn’t think about the troubles he could get into just knowing Lin Qin.

    Not just troubles for himself, but also for Lin Qin.

    Lin Qin, the dummy probably didn’t even realise… Yet, Xü Beijin is most exasperated at himself, for failing to notice it himself. That is unacceptably dumb.

    Did these few years of dull, monotonous life finally numb his mind and thought processes?

    Yet, even if he were to go back in time to when Lin Qin asked, he couldn’t have been able to bring himself to… refuse Lin Qin from visiting him. Really, after living solo in the Tower for so long, he desperately craved normal, human interactions.

    Like making a new friend… or something.

    Lin Qin was the only Missiontaker, or at least, the only Missiontaker that Xü Beijin has met, who was not interested in his Nightmare. This point is far, far too important for Xü Beijin.

    Well, he’ll never brawl in any case, not even if his life is on the line.

    Xü Beijin is now mulling over how to deal with the coming troubles, though he also didn’t spend time to confirm whether the duo of Missiontakers really is here to check on him and Lin Qin. It would not do to slander good, innocent people.

    … Really, this Nightmare happened to bring a lot of coincidental happenstances, huh.

    The Carddealer, the two people spying on his home… And, that young man that looked strange staring at the commercial complex.

    Even now, Xü Beijin is still unable to let it go. Borrowing from Lin Qin’s dictionary, his instincts are telling him that underneath that strange expression must be some hidden secret.

    He can feel his head throbbing more and his mental consciousness decreasing as he continues thinking about all this.

    That is when he suddenly notices a large influx of comments on the comment barrage.

    “fuck! is the guy trying to steal again?!”


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Do bear with my definitely more frequent mistakes now. I'm now working a job in real life (which, to be honest, I don't exactly like), so it's hard to find the time to translate. I would really appreciate if you could give feedback and report on any mistakes you see, which will make my job easier and also give later readers a more pleasant reading experience through this incredible novel.

    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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