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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    “Luoke Apartment Management:

    These few nights, the lights on the eighth floor corridor kept flashing on and off. I’ve told the security guards many times, but no repairs have been arranged thus far. I am writing to inform you to take immediate actions.
    I have dutifully kept up my monthly payments to management. It cannot have disappeared off to other avenues overnight, I believe.
    Earlier, I’ve heard from our homeowners’ chat group that an elevator inexplicably goes to the 11th floor by itself, empty, all the time, before going back down. What is this? Has no one come to fix it after so long?
    The last time I rode the elevator down from the eighth floor, it fell right down the shaft like I was in space or something, and I thought I was going to die! It turned back normal on the 3rd floor, thank goodness… but this is ridiculous!
    Three months have passed since I moved in to Luoke Apartment, and the problems have been nonstop, whether it’s the TV turning on in the middle of the night, waking me up, or the air conditioning ‘gasping’ when blowing through the vents, I stayed quiet through it all; maybe it was just bad luck I rented a buggy apartment unit.
    Yet, even the communal spaces are full of issues… I cannot overlook this anymore!
    This apartment complex sells itself on being high-class and elegant, but it is rotten inside! I cannot fathom how all these expensive electronics and facilities can have so much issues so often.
    If you do not resolve this in a timely fashion, I will work with the other homeowners to start an inquiry and investigate where all the money we paid you have disappeared to!

    Signed,
    Homeowner [ILLEGIBLE]
    30 September, [ILLEGIBLE]”

    Shen Yünjü is scrutinising the letter of complaint carefully, until he comes across the date written, and reflexively looks up at the calendar on the desk of the security office. The front-most page has all dates of October but the 31st crossed out.

    Which means this letter must have been from one month ago.

    Some contents in the letter allows Shen Yünjü to hypothesise about the contents of the Nightmare.

    He has drifted from Nightmare to Nightmare, so it’s safe to say he has seen a lot. Now that he’s read the letter of complaint, he’s connected the dots to conclude that, the furniture… No, more specifically, it’s the electronics that have a problem.

    “I believe…” He turns around a little to say something to the muscular man, and notices the glint of a blade in between the man’s hands. His pupils narrow for a moment, but he continues speaking calmly, “I know what the deal is with this apartment building.”

    Muscular is regretting how he did not manage to commit his crime in time and also frustrated how quickly this cold young man in front of him reads. He retracts his hand and act like nothing is wrong, asking, “yeah?”

    He doesn’t realise Shen Yünjü has discovered his intentions already.

    Shen Yünjü hands the letter back to him, whispering, “the facilities in the building are acting up.”

    After seeing the muscular man’s incriminating action, Shen Yünjü has not a shred of goodwill left to tell him the truth, so he just tells him a vague answer.

    Muscular skims through the contents of the letter and fails to grasp the core idea, merely nodding to concur, “yes, I see. The facilities have many issues, and the Management in this building may be guilty, too.”

    Shen Yünjü merely glances at him, but doesn’t respond, only maintaining that cold face of his.

    Muscular can only ask, “what do we do now?”

    Shen Yünjü is about to speak when they suddenly hear a woman’s scream coming from outside the security office!

    Spooked, they look each other in the eye and run outside.

    Jiang Shuangmei thinks that she has never faced such a hopeless situation before.

    In this damned Nightmare, life really is just up and down and down and down and down and down and down.

    When she left the cursed Room 1104, she’s practically rushing on adrenaline only. She saw an empty elevator stopped on her floor’s elevator shaft, and ran inside and pushed ‘G’ without hesitation, only wishing to leave as soon as possible.

    She is distraught, anxious, her mind is empty… save for fear and aftershocks.

    Why was the air-con suddenly normal? Why was the lock on the door suddenly gone? Why… Why, was the bathtub filling with water? Why would the Roomba keep crashing into her like it’s gone mad?

    Right now, that apartment, in Jiang Shuangmei’s eyes, resembles hell, filled with nameless, lethal dangers.

    Just like her older sister once did, she crouched whimpering at a corner of the elevator.

    Soon enough… ‘Ding. Ground floor.’

    An emotionless, mechanical male voice reminds her that the elevator has arrived.

    The elevator has stopped. The door has opened, and Jiang Shuangmei stands up by reflex, walks outside, and…

    The doors close in on her.

    It is more like a prank on her than trying to actually hurt her, but Jiang Shuangmei is completely spooked senseless. She is making terrified screams, waving her arms about, slamming on the elevator door and stomping hard on the ground.

    It feels like even her soul must have been gone. After the elevator door has reopened and goes back to normal, Jiang Shuangmei just collapsed onto the floor, crawling out of the elevator haggardly on all fours.

    Then, she glues her back dead to the wall. Tears are streaking down her face. Her tense facial muscles resemble more of the recently deceased than the freshly alive.

    That is the helpless, smouldering wreck of a Jiang Shuangmei that Shen Yünjü and Muscular see when they leave the security office.

    When they tried approaching her, Jiang Shuangmei would just scream and wave her arms about madly. She wouldn’t let anyone approach her.

    She has let her long hair down, draping over her forehead and face, like a hat for herself. The person would merely observe the world with a wary, scared gaze through the gaps between her hairs.

    Shen Yünjü and Muscular are looking at each other nonplussed, having no idea what to do with her.

    Muscular scratches his head, asking, “she’s… who we saw earlier?”

    Shen Yünjü shakes his head.

    Somehow, Muscular gets what he means, and says, “so that’s her younger sister?” Pausing, he recalls something, and adds, “the one that probably died the last run of the Nightmare, right?”

    Shen Yünjü agrees through silence.

    So Muscular examines her all over, and remarks quite frankly, “what could have killed her to almost turn her mad like this?”

    Shen Yünjü glances at the elevator that Jiang Shuangmei crawled out from.

    Immediately, he recalls that, in the complaint he just saw, was an entry about an elevator going to the 11th floor by itself, empty, and coming back down empty.

    And he also remembers that Jiang Shuangmei’s room number is 1104. On floor eleven.

    Coincidence, or?

    Shen Yünjü falls into thought, and so Muscular also shuts up, not interested in being seen talking to himself.

    So the three of them have now grouped up, in a sense, and on the other hand, the trio with Jiang Shuangjie have already made it down through the whole apartment building without discovering anything that was out of place. They arrive back down on the ground floor lobby.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Ugh, that really is one of my worst nightmares, leaving the elevator as its doors begin closing. I suppose that first Resident Evil movie contributed a lot to my fear of that, too (props to you if you know which part I'm referring to).

    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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