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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Mu Jiashi gives Collector a glance. He doesn’t hold much goodwill towards the restless young man.

    Most Missiontakers in the Tower… Perhaps not ‘powerful,’ but they are at least serious. Even the morally questionable ones are serious in their moral decrepitude.

    But people like this Collector here, happy-go-unlucky, unscrupulous, carefree about anything and everything. He is definitely a troublesome Missiontaker to be teammates with.

    At least, Mu Jiashi does not like Missiontakers like him.

    Though he then takes another perspective and concludes, so what. In Nightmares on the bottom floor, even a Bad End isn’t exactly consequential anyway. He’d be his usual useless self and play along——He thinks, self-degradingly again.

    This is reflected in the lazy expression on his face.

    Collector is observing him with this interest in his eyes, though. His smile is unchanging.

    The restless, jumpy young man is now hopping in front of Mu Jiashi, and a while later, he suddenly hops back to happily report, “someone is fighting over food in front of us!”

    … Why are you smiling so happily that people are fighting over food?

    Mu Jiashi is speechless as he sighs, holding his head in pain. He can also hear the fights and cusses coming from not far away.

    He hurries his steps and vaults over two collapsed walls, coming into full view of the chaos unfolding.

    It is true that Collector looks like he is holding imaginary popcorn for the scene, because that is how lively it is. Mu Jiashi takes in his surroundings and observes the people fighting, and comes to a conclusion regarding how the fight began.

    There is a small grocery store with the metal shutter shattered. This was one of those kinds with the inventory of food at the back, filled with preservative-laden food that doesn’t expire for a long time, alongside things like cigarette packs and cheap alcohol. Naturally, the survivors love these places.

    Seven or eight people here are fighting over food with their lives on the line, even though they are all thin as a stick and in tattered clothing. Their faces and hands are all dirtied, and even their fights seem to be filled with an animalistic wildness and barbarism.

    Three of them seem to be erstwhile allies while the rest are fighting for themselves, though the ones acting alone seem more dexterous and even ruthless than the three in a team. It looks like they really couldn’t care less about losing their lives.

    In the end, the three who should have held their advantage, after screams and wails, had to abandon part of their spoils. In fact, one of them had their finger bitten right off.

    With all their spoils in hand, they seem to be wary of Mu Jiashi and Collector’s arrival. They disperse quickly with what food they have.

    Collector seems disappointed, quietly muttering, “tch, I thought it was something bigger…”

    Mu Jiashi gives him a glance, wondering what kind of ‘bigger’ thing can happen among the survivors in a post-apocalyptic, ruinous landscape?

    Fights over food, drinking water, shelter, clothing, medicine, or maybe weapons, but seeing how none of that group were armed, this place probably didn’t have much weaponry.

    Maybe there are, but none of that belonged to the survivors they saw.

    Mu Jiashi shakes his head without responding. He looks at what was once the local grocery store, and hesitantly says, “let’s check it out.”

    Collector doesn’t object. Other than the rather unnaturally energetic words and facial expression, he followed Mu Jiashi along alright, without doing anything over the top.

    Though the moment he entered the grocery store, he coughed reflexively. The ruins outside are dusty, of course, but they’re practically immaculate compared to this half-crumbled store interior.

    Collector couldn’t help but retreat outside, poking his head out of the store to take a few breaths before recovering. He then turns around to look back at the dim interior.

    Among the chaos, a few stands still barely maintained their forms, but every item that was on them has already been taken.

    Mu Jiashi sweeps his gaze across the store, then his eyes stop on the few pens haphazardly strewn across the glass countertop.

    Something flashes across his mind all of a sudden.

    Collector doesn’t notice him pausing, and just says, “hey, nothing else to be found here. Let’s just leave.”

    He knows what Mu Jiashi is trying to do; they’re already feeling like having a little something, so finding food now will be a guarantee for their journey in the Nightmare to come.

    But… as far as he can see, this store has already been stripped clean.

    The moment Collector finished his sentence, though, he sees Mu Jiashi kneel down all of a sudden and pokes his hand deep into a cabinet, and retrieves a wrapped sausage from the dark, empty corners within.

    Collector immediately facepalms himself and happily praises him, “nice one for spotting that!”

    Mu Jiashi gives him a nondescript glance.

    Collector immediately says, “you can just give me a bit. I don’t need half,” he smiles and says, “I’ll be happy with just a bit.”

    Mu Jiashi rolls his eyes and gives the young man half directly.

    Nothing about this situation is clear yet, so it’s better not to waste mental energy on things like this. Mu Jiashi never treats his teammates unfairly, even if they are only temporary.

    … And in the same sense, he will not hesitate when he has to utilise them for the Nightmare’s end.

    Collector, unaware of the true nature of his erstwhile ally, merrily receives the sausage and is about to eat.

    Mu Jiashi reminds him, “wait until you’re actually hungry, or you’ll be wasting it.”

    Collector stops and then nods with a smile, then throws that sausage into his pocket.

    Then they head for the building once again.

    Right now, they are only about 10 minutes on foot from the building; Baldie and Biceps have reached the destination already.

    Before they did, Xü Beijin already saw they were coming through the streaming system, so he went back down into his bookstore to do his job as the extra.

    The brothers estimated the time remaining until the other Missiontakers would reach them, and walks past the building discreetly, planning to first secure some food if possible in the abandoned supermarket slightly south of there.

    The moment they walked past the building, though, through the dirty glass front of the building, they happen to spot the bookstore and Xü Beijin inside.

    Baldie is so surprised his eyes look like they could pop out as he yells out, “hell! Since when did the bookstore have an NPC?!”


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Hmm... Is it really possible for people who are sapped of strength from hunger to really have enough force to bite someone's finger off? I'm skeptical but... I'm not feeling like adding that possibly damning search result into the profile Google must have been building on me.

    boilpoil

    Travis Translation

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