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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 3 Chapter 48.1


    Intrigued

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Muscular saw that bookstore that was tucked away in the corner of the open-air underground plaza by accident.

    He left the apartment complex in a fit of anger and panic. He doesn’t understand at all how he was busted, which frustrated him.

    It was already after he had left the apartment building and was on the way to the commercial complex that he realised, when he left like that, didn’t he just implicitly admit his guilt?

    But he also didn’t want to head back… Staying inside a room and never leaving? No way!

    Muscular arrogantly thought that perhaps this time, he alone would be enough to resolve this Nightmare!

    He really has failed to realise that as he ends up using that utility card called ‘The Devil’s Mask’ more and more often, his personality has changed to be far more paranoid and arrogant. His emotional swings are strange and intense.

    In this Nightmare, the moment he abandoned his usual routine and stole Jiang Shuangjie’s utility card as soon as his greed flared up in the first run, it was a critical collapse.

    He still failed to realise it, however.

    Excitedly rushing for the commercial area, he thought he was the first one to be there, and completely forgot about the frustration and exasperation of being exposed in front of everyone.

    Laziness also overtook him, so instead of heading a few more steps into the first building, he decided to take the escalators down that were right besides him.

    As soon as he arrived on the plaza, he took a look around and spies the bookstore containing… Lin Qin and Xü Beijin.

    Right now, Muscular is thinking, for once, using his dulled brains.

    He recognises both persons, but he doesn’t know about their current relationship; the news that Lin Qin is actually collecting drinks for a Tower resident’s sake hasn’t travelled far yet.

    Instead, Muscular recalls how he was once kicked outside of Xü Beijin’s bookstore, ashamed and in pain.

    He hasn’t remembered that for a long time, because that experience of being booted out and slinking off in shame has already long become a scar he doesn’t want to touch since becoming a Carddealer.

    Now, he recalls.

    What he also recalls, is his desire and greed to see Xü Beijin’s Nightmare.

    Once, the rumours in the Tower were all but certain that Xü Beijin’s Nightmare must contain secrets for leaving the Tower. , or why there is even such a rumour, or, if it was even true.

    Muscular is one of the adherents of the claim, though, and in fact, right now, seeing Xü Beijin once again, has only solidified his impression of his Nightmare being useful.

    Like… Just look at this bookstore owner! This man, this handsome, evil man, who sits behind his bookstore counter, with such a deep gaze and pale skin, with that attitude that wouldn’t see him lift an eyebrow if the sky collapsed on him, or rather, he might actually be the one to have collapsed the world in the first place… He definitely isn’t any regular old NPC.

    Just his appearance alone meant Missiontakers were all more interested in his Nightmare than usual.

    Among them is Muscular, and so, because he himself feels this way, he is also justifiably suspecting Lin Qin is also here to investigate Xü Beijin for the same reason.

    Many Missiontakers are unable to understand why Lin Qin is always so lazy inside the Nightmares. They might conclude that it’s because Lin Qin sees the Nightmares as being too simple, matters he could solve with his own two fists, so that’s why he’s always lacklustre like that.

    They do not believe that Lin Qin truly is disinterested in Nightmares in general, just like Muscular, who is assuming his own emotions and feelings on Lin Qin.

    He’s interested in Xü Beijin’s Nightmare, so of course Lin Qin must also be interested!

    People are not generally keen on critically examining their held beliefs, especially when it comes to someone as self-absorbed as Muscular.

    So, that moment, with courage and shamelessness he dug up who-knows-where, he just barges right into the bookstore to ask with this ‘I knew it’ tone, “dalao, you’re also interested in his Nightmare?”

    It almost sounds like he’s saying Xü Beijin’s Nightmare is some kind of product he intends on acquiring.

    Xü Beijin and Lin Qin both look at him in surprise.

    Before Muscular entered, Lin Qin and Xü Beijin were just sitting there peacefully. They weren’t talking, and the bookstore was peaceful and serene. The Missiontakers were all busy staying alive, in stark contrast to their relaxed forms.

    Since he borrowed a book from Xü Beijin’s bookstore some time ago, Lin Qin has found an interest in reading, and luckily, Xü Beijin remains a bookstore owner in this Nightmare, so he was able to retrieve a more well-preserved piece of literature from the shelves for Lin Qin to read.

    So Lin Qin is sitting at the bookstore entrance, quietly reading.

    This scene really did make Xü Beijin feel for the first time that, the baby-face can’t be said to be wasted on him when it’s like this, huh. When he’s settled down…

    And that was when the muscular man slammed that serenity to bits.

    Lin Qin, who is interrupted, raises his head gradually; his gaze turns ominous, and he faces Muscular, telling him, “I normally do not beat people up.”

    Muscular seems confused by what he is saying.

    Lin Qin then adds, “and two, I’m not interested in his Nightmare.”

    Then, he closes the book with a loud clap, stands up, and raises Muscular up by his collar, drags him outside the bookstore him with, and throws him right into the fountain in the underground plaza.

    Muscular, probably, had over 10 metres of air distance from what he could see.

    The corners of Xü Beijin’s mouth are twitching.

    And thus it adds to the countless times Xü Beijin has already reaffirmed his conviction that he will never, ever, fight with Lin Qin. Even if Nightmares grant you resurrection and immortality, and even if Nightmares restart once an Ending is achieved and be reset entirely… He still has no interest in making himself suffer.

    Fortunately, the stream is pointed elsewhere at the other Missiontakers right now, otherwise, who knows what the silly audience will start yell-typing about.

    After Lin Qin has simply and straightforwardly ‘dispatched’ Muscular, he goes back to the bookstore to announce to Xü Beijin with this solemn tone, “I am not interested in your Nightmare, and I do not want to enter your Nightmare. I only want to fight you, so please don’t misunderstand.”

    Xü Beijin is holding in his laughter real badly, and tells him, “I know… Wait,” he suddenly realises something and asks, “you… knew?”

    That was a rather vague question, but Lin Qin understood what he meant. He nods and answers, “I did,” and he gives Xü Beijin a weird look, explaining, “I’ve been on the bottom floor of the Tower for a long time. I know a lot of people were trying to go into your Nightmare back then, but I wasn’t interested.”

    Xü Beijin is surprised.

    He didn’t have full consciousness of this fact before. For him, the matter was settled a really long time ago, and really, the batch of Missiontakers on the bottom floor from back then have mostly been displaced already.

    Though… He did realise rather late, that is, now, that Lin Qin has been in the Tower, on the bottom floor, for a really long time as well.

    It was just that, when Lin Qin’s name was finally rising in prominence, Xü Beijin’s name has long since faded into obscurity already.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    There are some pretty long parts detailing Muscular's psyche and motivation. I hope you don't find reading this too boring. On the upside, this arc of the novel is halfway done already, so you can look forward to some more action (finally!) as the Nightmare enters new runs and crumbles.

    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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