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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    The last time Baldie and Biceps were in this Nightmare, they remember the bookstore being empty, instead of how it is now, with this man sitting behind the counter.

    Baldie and Biceps look each other in the eye, nonplussed.

    Biceps says, with knit brows, “that’s weird… Absent last time, but present this time. Did the Nightmare already change on this entry? That makes no sense. It’s only our second time. The Nightmare couldn’t possibly have…”

    Baldie thinks for a moment before coming to a realisation, saying, “the last time we went to this building was already late in the Nightmare. We’re here at the building early in the first Nightmare… That’s the difference!”

    They look at each other and simultaneously say, “missed information!”

    So they hurriedly rush into the bookstore, completely forgetting about looking for food in the supermarket and the fact that they were supposed to meet with the other Missiontakers.

    A new NPC in the Nightmare! An NPC they missed the last time around! Obviously, the correct thing to do is to rush over for information.

    Xü Beijin, blanking out drowsily behind the counter, is still thinking about the man in the black robe yelling about ‘humans being impurities of the Earth’ on that fountain-stage, when suddenly, Baldie and Biceps popped right out of nowhere, spooking him.

    Though his poker face is still maintained, only his furrowed brows are still in full view. It looks terribly like he is dissatisfied with these two uninvited guests.

    In this dusty, mouldy bookstore, that man sitting behind the counter in a simple white shirt has such a cold gaze and handsome appearance that, the moment you look at him, you’d think——He definitely isn’t just any normal NPC!

    Baldie and Biceps are even more excited, the former even just saying out loud, turning towards Biceps, “bro! We’ve hit the jackpot!”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    In the stream, the viewers are terribly amused.

    “as expected, now showing: Beibei and the fate of the poor tool-person”
    “tool-person? non, the fate of the ‘suspect hostism’!”
    “uwu that makes me miss the detective dalao, whens he coming back? quickly come lay down the foundation for the host being the perpetrator!”
    “oho, look who’s the yin yang master of the stream here”
    “offending 2 with the price of 1 sarcasm, good on you man”
    “Beibei, dont stare at us, even if you do, we all know ur a cutie, hehehe”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    Cutie? Cutie who! Hey, you wanna say that to my face, huh?!

    Frustrated inside, he decides to focus  his attention on Baldie and Biceps instead.

    That is when Baldie is also fixing his bloodshot gaze at Xü Beijin, standing at a distance too close for comfort, and asking with an imperative tone, “do you know anything about the ruins outside?”

    Xü Beijin’s expression is still unchanged. He doesn’t even stand up. He merely raises his head slightly to stare straight at Baldie.

    Even though he is objectively below Baldie’s height here, but in this silent bookstore, Baldie inexplicably feels like the young man is actually looking down on him.

    There is a terribly suffocating pressure, perhaps from the overly dim lighting, perhaps from the vibe and the appearance of the man; he even ends up averting his gaze subconsciously, breaking off the staring contest.

    Xü Beijin is not answering, and thus Biceps also takes a few steps forward, saying, “hey, did you hear the question? Do you…”

    He also stops his question abruptly as soon as Xü Beijin’s gaze moves onto him instead. He does not know what’s going on, but his body even shudders in response.

    Xü Beijin’s mouth turns into a slight arc of a smile; he is finding the two of them rather amusing for that discrepancy between their tough appearances and rather meek insides, but suffice it to say that, the smile, coupled with his pale, even ghostly face, makes both Baldie and Biceps shudder in tandem.

    Baldie is even swallowing out of fear. What kind of NPC are they even facing here? Who is this man, manning the bookstore in the building, and what is his role in this Nightmare representing the ruins after an apocalypse?

    Baldie is too stunned to talk, so Biceps forces himself to take over. He utters, “I’m sorry… That manner was on us… You, I mean, mister, (TL: Switching from a normal to honorary form of ‘you’ here in the raws), would you mind telling us what could be going on in the ruins that surround us?”

    Xü Beijin knows nothing; at least, the Server didn’t tell him anything.

    That said… Through the stream, he was able to see some interesting things earlier. Though, since the two Missiontakers in front of him have once come to this Nightmare, they might know more than he does.

    While Xü Beijin is now open to the idea of using information he gathered through the stream itself to guide the Nightmare’s progress along, but he is still cautious. If he backed off now by saying he knew nothing, though, that would be a serious setback.

    He can also see that this duo in front of him has seemingly concluded that he is some bigshot in the Nightmare rather than an extra.

    If so…

    Xü Beijin maintains his smile as he explains, “I operate on the principle of equivalent exchange.”

    Baldie and Biceps look at each other, confounded.

    Though in the stream, the viewers figure out his intentions immediately, typing “hahahaha Beibei! you just trying to get them to spit out info for you!”

    Xü Beijin continues smiling.

    Exactly. He is trying to get Baldie and Biceps to divulge whatever they knew for nothing… Or, at least, the information they were still hiding. Xü Beijin is still rather curious about what Baldie said regarding ‘they’ll eventually forget.’

    An amnesia… If that really is an integral part of this Nightmare, then it certainly lends this Nightmare a unique touch.

    After a brief hesitation, Baldie asks, “what would you like to know about?”

    Xü Beijin slyly pushes that question back onto Baldie, “it depends on your offer and exactly what information you seek from me.”

    That subtly illogical answer actually convinces Baldie that Xü Beijin must actually know something, otherwise he could not have possibly said that; the confidence in the tone can only stem from someone who knows what’s going on.

    Baldie then turns his head around to exchange a glance with Biceps. The two brothers have seemingly resolved themselves to something through talking with their eyes alone.

    So Baldie then turns to face Xü Beijin, and tells him, “we only just arrived here, but we’ve heard, that there seems to be some kind of virus in the area that causes people to eventually forget about their past once they enter.”

    Forget about the past?

    Xü Beijin is shocked inside, but remains largely expressionless.

    Seeing that reaction, Baldie concludes that the information he provided wasn’t enough to be acknowledged by Xü Beijin. He grits his teeth.

    Then, he realises that this person is still a Tower resident. He isn’t remotely related to Missiontakers and whatever they do anyway, so there is no problem with telling him everything they knew… Yes, that’s right.

    Convincing himself thusly, he adds, “and when you have forgotten everything since you have entered this area, you restart and repeat everything.”

    Xü Beijin’s eyes visibly dilate slightly this time.

    Finally, Baldie says, “time here, forms a loop.”


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    I understand that the plot might become complicated at times, so here on out, I'll try to very briefly summarise what's going on in each release. Here, Baldie and Biceps 'realise' Xü Beijin must hold important information when he does not. They ask him, but Xü Beijin comes up with the genius idea of fishing information out from them instead. He succeeds.

    boilpoil

    Travis Translation

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