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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


    All in all, savescumming has seen the number of Missiontakers noticeably decrease on the bottom floor of the Tower. It has been a few weeks, and with the amount of Tower residents with Nightmares hanging around, the Missiontakers have enough options.

    Even if they really are no good themselves, they could still get a free ride from other pros carrying them, you see.

    This means that, by this point, the majority of the Missiontakers who still remain on the bottom floor right now have their own motivations. Some might really be bad at solving the Nightmares and had zero luck in getting carried, while the rest probably have some kind of agenda in mind.

    Of course, there are still people like Lin Qin and Mu Jiashi who legitimately do not want to head on to higher floors; and a very obscure minority of Missiontakers who still choose to continue their decadent partying lifestyle until the bitter end.

    In any case, the current climate of the bottom floor has definitely changed from usual.

    Xü Beijin is still unaware of this, however. There is no way he could have imagined that, in a scant dozen days, the Nightmares and the bottom floor itself has so radically livened up and died back down again.

    Therefore, he is surprised as always hearing Baldie and tattooed Biceps here are trying this Nightmare for the second time, while also reflexively recalling the second Nightmare he ever streamed with the system.

    In this ruins of a Nightmare, Xü Beijin is again without information from the Server, so he is paying close attention to Baldie instead, hoping to see what the guy knows.

    The Baldie in question, seemingly satisfied with the attention he has garnered, nods and, with a rather prideful tone, talks about his previous expedition in this Nightmare.

    “This expanse of ruins is largely rectangular, surrounded by a hazy fog that cannot be passed through… You know, the last time we were here, a dumbass tried walking through it and somehow got the Nightmare to restart immediately.
    While the area is mostly rubble, there is still one building left standing, that is itself on the verge of collapsing. Apparently, some… apocalypse happened on this land, and there are many people searching for food here. We are part of them as well.
    Oh, by the way, in this Nightmare, you will feel hunger and exhaustion. So we must find food too.”

    Then, Baldie seems to ponder for a while before concluding, “that’s it.”

    Collector is rubbing his chin and asking excitedly, “but none of that is really key information. We will realise all that soon enough after we begin exploring. Was that all the information you had the last time you went into this Nightmare? What about the endings?”

    Baldie gives him a despising gaze, but answers, “in our last attempt, we didn’t find food in the end…” His voice slowly sinks in tone as he says, “we all starved to death. It was a Bad End.”

    Collector’s eyes seem to sparkle for a moment as he murmurs, “oh… a Bad End…”

    The viewers are chatting in the stream, meanwhile.

    “so basically, a postapocalyptic survival game?”
    “look for food, and…? they got that BE, so the NE, it can’t simply be finding food and not starving to death?”
    “wow, talk about normal”
    “if the biggest features of the scene are the rubble and a single building, then clearly there must be information in the building… right?”
    “the baldie didnt talk about it much, so maybe its just a setpiece? oh right, Beibei just said this is an office building, so theres no food to be found?”
    “that doesn’t make sense, Beibei’s bookstore is here, there must be clues inside?”
    “Beibei… uh, Beibei, whats wrong?”

    While the stream is focused on the Missiontakers, Xü Beijin has set a smaller screen showing himself and the bookstore on the lower right. Right now, the viewers can see that, in the small window, Xü Beijin’s face is as pale as a corpse. His lips are visibly trembling.

    A moment later, he seems to have suddenly snapped out of it, hurriedly muttering, “sorry, I was… distracted.”

    The viewers are generous as always, but they’re curious about what Xü Beijin just thought of, why his expression suddenly looked so awful, like he was… in fear.

    Xü Beijin is silent for a while, during which he subconsciously leans on the back of his seat. His fingers are curled tight into a grip. There is a damp, heavy pain and darkness glooming over him.

    He tries to make a smile, explaining, “I was just thinking about… something IRL.”

    “oh… hugs for you, Beibei”
    “Beibei is streaming this kinda game because it’s not doing that well in reality right… everything’s gonna get better! believe me!”
    “Beibei, lets not think about the sad things, then youll be happier”

    The viewers are trying to cheer Xü Beijin up, and Xü Beijin is also gently thanking them. His face still looks as worried as ever though, so almost immediately, the viewers’ thoughts go off the rails.

    “really… Beibei resembles more an angry final boss than a poor cutie right now”
    “I just really wanna say, Beibei, please stop making that grim expression, it’s super scary!”
    “… Beibei, please, have a bit of self-awareness for your appearance, youll scare the flowers and the grass with that face!”
    “Beibei, smile!”
    “even tho Beibeis smile still looks like an antagonist whose scheme is all proceeding according to plan”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    Oi! He really is a good person from the bottom of his heart!

    Though this episode of the viewers did transform his mood from literal depression into merely frustration.

    Well, both feels like there’s a stone on his chest, but it’s subtly different.

    He sighs, not knowing how to react otherwise, and turns his attention back to the stream——Towards Baldie.

    He said, this Nightmare, is the ruins after an apocalypse.

    An apocalypse…

    Xü Beijin is propping his head up on his arm with a disinterested expression. It’s quite hard to pin down what exactly he is thinking about, because his thoughts and memories are all jumbled together right now. He might even confuse the past and the present as it is.

    … The apocalypse.

    It’s almost a word of taboo in the Tower. Circumstances have once led to the term being propelled into fiery prominence in the Tower once, when suddenly, nobody would utter that word as if it was prohibited overnight.

    Xü Beijin hasn’t thought of that word, or particularly its implication, for a long time.

    He turns his head to look at the ruins outside the window——The apocalypse, huh?

    … It might not just have been, a simple apocalypse.

    While he is distracted with his own thoughts, the Missiontakers have been divided up already.

    Taking the ruins itself as a rectangle, then they are currently all situated in the most desolate northwest corner.

    Therefore, from where they are as the starting point, Baldie will be heading due east with Biceps; the paranoid male-female would not separate, so they are assigned due south; Mu Jiashi ends up lumped with Collector and are sent down southeast, passing through the middle of the ruins.

    Five minutes after the Nightmare began, the six Missiontakers have begun their exploration.

    So Xü Beijin thinks for a moment before dividing the stream into four equally large screens, showing his bookstore, and each of the three groups for the viewers.

    Read only at Travis Translations


    boilpoil's notes:

    Finally, the Nightmare proper begins. It's a pretty slow boil in the beginning, but which of the Nightmares wasn't, right? I promise that this Nightmare contains twists you couldn't have imagined, though.


    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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