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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Jiang Shuangmei is looking at everyone, looking ever so slightly helpless. She hasn’t even had time to talk about the possible safety net she deduced earlier, when the Missiontakers have already begun worrying over other things?

    She scratches her hair, asking, “but, scapegoats… Nightmares in the Tower have never had elements of actual ghosts?”

    The rest of the Missiontakers suddenly snap awake from that reminder.

    Yes. Nightmares in the Tower are always based in some reality. There have never been outright fantastical elements.

    Jiang Shuangjie is the first to remind her younger sister, though, “but furnitures gaining sentience is really already supernatural in itself…”

    The lightened mood dampens again.

    Thin just says, sounding a bit helpless, “speaking will do us no good… Let’s check the elevators out.”

    They then walk towards the elevators, along the way, Jiang Shuangmei is able to share her experience from the past run.

    Thin gives Shen Yünjü a look, asking, “was it the same for you?”

    Shen Yünjü doesn’t speak, but nods.

    Therefore, all five Missiontakers present, besides Jiang Shuangmei and Shen Yünjü who have both died once now, the rest have rather heavy looks on their faces.

    They all immediately make the connection that, as the Nightmare enters further runs with increasing danger and uncertainty, if they want to test this special rule out… This might be, the best run to do it.

    But, death… Who would really want to try to test the rules of a Nightmare with their own lives? No one would.

    The Missiontakers arrive at the elevators.

    Thin stops and, hesitant, he looks at the teenage girl, who nods, and thus, he says, “I’ll also confess, then. Let’s put it all on the table. I actually knew something about this Nightmare before coming here.”

    He skipped the fact that the girl told him this; in Nightmares, the two of them are used to giving the teenage girl the more ‘wise but meek’ image to lower everyone else’s guard.

    Thin is rather tall and looks slightly paranoid in appearance, so it’s not easy for others to put trust in him. Therefore, he would take a more active role and try to secure initiative and leadership in Nightmares.

    The two of them deal with Nightmares thusly, both overtly and covertly. It has been effective so far.

    Right now, Thin also puts all the attention on himself, as is their modus operandi.

    The rest of the Missiontakers are listening to him intently, while the viewers in the stream are all typing,

    “look at all these fake masks on their faces”
    “its the girl who said it… oh wait, I get it, its a strategy?”
    “interesting, they’ve never shown that they know each other either”
    “howd they even up playing an escape game like mafia instead? noobs like me rly rnt suited, uwuwu”
    “I’m so cute so, why do you ask me to think?”

    Xü Beijin is watching the scene play out while also checking out the lively audience discussions. His mood is rather affected, rising and falling and rising again. It feels both depressing and humorous, so he can only keep up a helpless poker face.

    Still, the chit-chat from the viewers are good for adjusting his mood.

    On-screen, Thin has already made public the information they know, and thus, the Missiontakers have all made the logical connection, wondering, if these sentient furniture might be Missiontakers who have been lost in this Nightmare?

    Could the ‘rule’ of exchanging for safety with their own deaths, be a trap?

    This is a Nightmare, where even Normal End does not preclude succumbing to forever being trapped inside?

    Right now, all their faces turn grim.

    Thin sighs and, he looks like he wanted to add something more, but only says in the end, “let’s just deal with the Nightmare as soon as possible.”

    They all nod.

    The viewers in the stream do not understand, and Xü Beijin hasn’t come up with a way to explain the term and concept of ‘Collapsed, Forever Repeating Nightmares’ yet, so he just vaguely implies, “perhaps this is just that creepy of a Nightmare.”

    The audience is distracted by his train of logic, when the Missiontakers also push the button to open the elevator doors, and thus, their attention is diverted.

    Xü Beijin is once again really feeling fortunate that the detective dalao is absent today.

    Without him, he could trick the viewers that are… simple in the head; if the dalao is here, though, this run would be rather difficult to explain.

    Perhaps… he should prepare. Though, without knowing what is actually happening in the outside world, he is also rather limited in options.

    Xü Beijin’s mood sinks again thinking about it.

    In the stream, he watches as the Missiontakers have already started a conversation with one of the elevators.

    After the door has opened, Thin asks tentatively, “hello?”

    The calm, mechanical male voice, actually responds, “… hello.”

    Immediately, all the Missiontakers sigh in relief.

    They chose the elevators on the left side of the building, closer to the lobby. This is the empty elevator Jiang Shuangjie, Thin and the teenage girl saw when they left Room 1104 behind, and the one that teased with Jiang Shuangmei when she was leaving it on the ground floor.

    This is likely also the one that always heads up to the roof and then comes back down by itself, empty.

    According to the previous information from the letters and the Court Summons, among the six elevators, two are special – one of which they are talking to right now.

    The other one, is the one that the tenant on the eighth floor complained about, the one that fell out of nowhere and scared a resident so much they had a cardiac arrest and passed away.

    It seems that this former elevator is more harmless, so the Missiontakers chose this one.

    The elevator also responded with quite the normal greeting.

    Thin is bitterly smiling – look, ma, the elevator is talking to me!

    What a joke this is.

    … Well, elevators could always talk, but nobody would say that it is talking talking when actually riding an elevator instead of just some prerecorded voices being played back at them.

    Hey, put it this way – perhaps there is actually someone handing you money inside ATMs?

    Thin is trying his best to think about whatever to distract himself from thoughts of the toilet.

    He pauses for a while before finally asking one question, “since when have you gained consciousness?”

    “A very long time ago,” the elevator answers, “I’m a good elevator, though.”

    Jiang Shuangmei is widening her eyes in anger, asking, “weren’t you scaring me earlier?!”

    The elevator just answers, “that was a simple greeting. You look awfully shaken when coming downstairs, so I teased with you to help you relax.”

    Jiang Shuangmei “…”

    Teasing? That was bloody murder!

    Jiang Shuangjie stops her sister from a rampage while holding a little chuckle in, and asks the elevator another question, “you’re a good elevator, does that mean, that there are others that are not good like you?”

    “Some are different from me, true,” the elevator remarks, “some of them really hate you, to the point they want you dead. As for me, I’m an elevator that tries to find my own fun, and I dare say I’m pretty good at it.”

    … That’s the reason why you go up and down the floors empty?

    The elevator is sighing though, as it continues, “hey, do you know how tiring it is to carry you guys up and down every day? As long as it’s just barely not overweight, you would squeeze in even if you would suffocate to death. It’s really hard on me, you know?
    Can’t you guys hear that rackety sound when the elevator is running? Oh, right, never mind, I suppose you dont. It’s the steel cable——The sound of the steel cable wearing down, you can’t hear it?”

    The elevator continues its endless tirade of complaints.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    I hope you enjoyed the slightly more comedic chapter, which was a welcome break for me from all the depression from lockdown... Yes, it's in the past for you, but we just entered a snap lockdown because of a local case as I type this. Le sigh.

    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.

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