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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Thin is speechless at the elevator’s complaints. He is not here to listen to the Confessions of an Elevator.

    Who would even sympathise with an elevator?! Like… Who would sympathise with a toilet?

    “Alright, alright,” he can only speak as nicely as possible, “do you know anything else? Like… Why did you suddenly…”

    “… Wake up?” The elevator answers, “I call it ‘waking up,’ but I’m just an elevator. If only… Then I could have had other things to do. It’s a shame I can’t leave this shaft. I can only go up and down.
    I know some that can move around, like the Roombas. Sure is glad to be them. Some can’t move but are still much happier, like the TVs. They can switch themselves on to watch programmes. Super nice.
    Some have it much worse, though, like the central heating vents. They can’t move, and keep coughing as well. Their health is really abysmal… Tch tch, poor them.
    Here… Well, I guess I’m not much different. I have nothing. Nobody will talk to me. I’m not brave enough to try to chat with the passengers because they might be scared… Ha, what a good elevator I am.”

    Thin looks a bit speechless.

    This elevator sure has a billion complaints. The voice is husky and magnetic, sure, but that stream of negativity only makes people annoyed.

    A moment later, Thin finally finds a good opportunity to interrupt, “so, why did you wake up?”

    “Ah… What a good question.”

    Thin swears he could hear a disdain in that tone aimed at them.

    The elevator almost sounds like it chuckled before saying, “though, I would not answer.”

    Jiang Shuangjie can’t help but ask, “why?”

    The elevator says, “because… that is the rule. You know, even if I’m firmly in the camp of the lawfully good… Well, I don’t really know if I am, but let’s say I am, since I am averse to killing anyone.
    I… Yes, I’m a good elevator, but some are not like me… I’m not specifically naming names here, but I can tell you, that if I spoke the truth, they will not be happy. I’m scared, you know…”

    The teenage girl immediately catches on to a bug here, though, asking, “you’re an elevator, and most of those ‘others’ can’t even move… Why would you be scared? They can’t even do anything to you.”

    The elevator is quiet for a moment before sighing, saying, “… oh, just a slip of the mouth,” then he pauses and ends the conversation, going, “alright, I’m not saying another word, then. I wish you all luck.”

    He goes quiet after that. No matter how the Missiontakers are calling out to him, he ignores them.

    A short while later, he closes the elevator door to head to a higher floor himself.

    The Missiontakers all look at each other, baffled.

    Thin murmurs, with furrowed brows, “so, he did actually tell us something he wasn’t supposed to?” He looks confused, though, wondering, “I didn’t realise it at all.”

    The teenage girl replies, “the last words he said. ‘Alright, I’m not saying another word, then.’ It sounds like… a response to someone else…”

    “Something is forcing him to stop talking to us,” Jiang Shuangjie concludes, and adds, “but… how would these separate, sentient facilities in the apartment building even talk to each other?”

    She turns to her younger sister. When Jiang Shuangmei was describing how she died earlier, it was evident there was cooperation between these strange devices and facilities. A Roomba that would intentionally bump into someone to knock them into a bathtub full of water…

    How would the Roomba know that the bathtub is full of water?

    The teenage girl nods and says, “one more thing, from what… mister elevator said, he seems to know about these other… entities similar to him very well. But, he is only an elevator that can go up and down. How did he even know all of that?”

    “That’s right…” Thin mutters quietly, “how did he know all that?”

    It was almost as if something intangible has formed some kind of communication platform for these sentient apartment facilities.

    Intangible…

    Thinking so, Xü Beijin raises his head to look about his bookstore one more time.

    From what he knows, this is a safehouse, similar to the other few other safehouses he has found so far. Largely devoid of electronic devices, out of the main way, few traffic outside.

    Only that couldn’t exactly guarantee a safehouse, though, since even this old, run-down bookstore still has one single, lonely light bulb emitting light on the ceiling.

    What is it here, or rather, what is it not here that makes it a safehouse…?

    Xü Beijin falls deep into thought, and slowly, his gaze turns dark and gloomy as he lowers his head slightly with an unreadable expression. If anyone saw how he looked right now, they would probably be mistaking him for a scary antagonist hiding some big, big secrets once again.

    Soon enough, Xü Beijin turns his attention back on the stream and quietly changes the source of the camera over to Muscular.

    The Missiontakers on the ground floor have been silent for a while, so the viewers aren’t particularly surprised Xü Beijin looked elsewhere.

    However, the moment the camera goes over to Jiang Shuangjie’s apartment unit, all of them are astonished.

    Because Muscular is currently embroiled in a fight with what appears to the curtain having come to life.

    The man is sprawled over the sofa with his neck currently strangled by the curtain. His face is almost a purplish red. He has wrapped his foot around the sofa to try and stop himself from being dragged over by the curtain.

    He is desperately trying to cling to anywhere that could let him free, but his arms can’t reach anywhere. So he quickly claws for the curtain instead, tearing at it with all he has got. Even his fingernails are cracking and bleeding under the intense adrenaline rush to survive.

    “AAAAARGH!!”

    He is roaring out loud, fighting, struggling. His muscles are all tensed up and bulging. Veins are popping on his forehead. He can feel the cold, shapeless gaze staring right into him, staring with the coldness and grimness of a snake lurking in the shadows, in the corners. It is highly disconcerting.

    The threat of death is making him tremble. He is drenched in sweat all over.

    Finally, when the curtains slightly loosened a little, he seizes the opportunity to slip it out and crash forward.

    In his panic, he has slammed himself right at the TV cabinet, so forcefully the router on the cabinet has been knocked off and its power cord unplugs in the ensuing fall. The green light indicating its power has disappeared.

    The next second, that cold gaze has disappeared out of nowhere. The madly swaying curtains also immediately fall back into place and turns back stationary.

    He is in absolute shock, and thinking, the router…

    The Internet?!


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Ta-da! The mystery is revealed! A round of applause for you if you guessed correctly why the electronic devices are acting up from only the story in the chapters before.

    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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