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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Xü Beijin is thinking, aren’t there too many acquaintances in this Nightmare so far?

    “Kuhum, technically, you should not know who I am right now,” then Dai Wu shrugs and adds, “but who cares. Just come with me.”

    Xü Beijin is baffled, and asks, “is this part of the Nightmare?”

    “Of course. Part of the plot. No escape from it,” explains Dai Wu, “it’s in no danger to you, though.”

    After that chat, the Server seems to have judged this part of the plot complete──There isn’t a Missiontaker around to see this happen anyway──So, it then transmits the relevant information to Xü Beijin.

    Dai Wu is smiling as he says, “you know, in this Nightmare, the bookstore owner might not exactly be unimportant, but he’s not that irreplaceable either; any Actor could have got the role, I just wasn’t expecting it to be you. My character’s the same.”

    Xü Beijin stands up and follows after Dai Wu to leave.

    He thinks, this is probably why Baldie and Biceps never saw the bookstore owner the last time they came to this Nightmare.

    Because, in this Nightmare, as time passes, the bookstore owner would, at a certain moment in time, leave the bookstore behind.

    Xü Beijin checks on the time immediately──Almost an hour has passed.

    One hour or so after the Nightmare began, Xü Beijin has left the bookstore following Dai Wu, and the Missiontakers are unaware that the mysterious bookstore owner has already left.

    So what are they doing? They’re currently standing on a more open section of space nearby the Treasure Trove. No other survivors are nearby, and the dust on the ground are still being blown around by the ceaseless wind, carried to ruins further away.

    Collector is still smiling as he says, “are we in a bind? Why not start using your utility cards now? And if the Uses run out…”

    “I’ll rip that utility card right in half!”

    Baldie’s wrathful tone makes all the Missiontakers look at him oddly.

    Biceps is hesitant in tone as he asks, “bro, are you…”

    Baldie looks at him, and shuts his eyes for a moment, calming himself down. He does not speak.

    Collector is still staring at him with that cheerful expression of his, until he murmurs, “a utility card.”

    Everyone knows what he is talking about – perhaps Baldie’s inexplicable hatred of him, is because of a utility card having caused a shift in mentality in Baldie.

    That utility card’s existence might be the root cause of why whenever Collector mentions utility cards, Baldie becomes more aggressive towards him, treating him worse and worse.

    This is exactly what is happening, too.

    ‘Card Name: Mad Scientist
    Card Illustration: A person with a dramatic Afro wearing a white lab coat and an odd pair of glasses
    Description: You are the product of a transformation experiment by a mad scientist. You have memory countless times better than normal, but in exchange, all the memories you can never forget will cause you pain and sensitivity. You will become paranoid and impulsive.
    Uses: 2/3 (Lasts the entire duration of a Nightmare)’

    A Transform card.

    Those are rare utility cards, which changes part of the user’s body temporarily (or permanently) into another state or state of existence.

    Transform cards are different from Trick cards like ‘The Devil’s Mask’ in that their effects are not actually predetermined. They are empty in the beginning.

    A Missiontaker who gains a Transform card will have to first select a target for reference when using the Transform card. Then, the final effect of the transformation, the number of uses, the duration, etc. are all determined when the target is selected.

    After Baldie acquired this card, he never used it, until he went into this Nightmare and made his decision after the Bad End.

    He went to another Nightmare he remembered and set the target as a Tower resident inside, completing this Transform card.

    His target was naturally, an experiment of the mad scientist in that Nightmare, who did rather unethical experiments on the brain of his patient, which resulted in the patient acquiring hyperthymesia.

    Baldie targeted that Tower resident, and although he did not acquire autobiographical memory as severe or painful as people with hyperthymesia, his memory was strengthened nonetheless, which was his goal all along.

    Though he was not expecting for the side effect of the utility card to be that severe still, which caused him to end up in this fruitless conflict with that ‘purveryor of used cards’ that he merely disliked in the beginning.

    He is consciously aware of the effects of the utility card already, but even so, his mouth still feels like something has sewn it right shut. He cannot bring himself to say the words ‘I’m sorry.’

    In fact, there is another anger bubbling inside of him──Why should he apologise? Why is it his fault?

    Baldie is so shocked by that thought that he is pinching his own arm to calm himself down with pain.

    He is regretting already. If he knew someone as unlikeable as Collector would appear and how badly the utility card was going to affect him…

    Is it still possible for them to achieve a True End if things keep going like this?

    And, of course, his mind is forcing him to blame Collector being here for everything going south. He is frustrated and feeling baleful towards Collector.

    Fei is biting her lips, leaving a clear teeth mark on her lower lip. The pain helps her calm down, although she is still feeling vexed inside.

    Shit. They were just here to investigate, what in the world is going on with all these troubles boiling around them?!

    She was expecting that, never mind True Ends or whatnot, that they would come to investigate the Nightmare normally and she and Wu Jian would also be able to gather some information on the side.

    But now… Oh fuck, they aren’t actually going to succumb to this Nightmare now, would they?

    Fei may not be confident right now, but at least, she is not as bad as Mu Jiashi, who is currently still in his ‘rejection’ phase.

    She sighs deeply, and after exchanging a mutual look with Wu Jian, she ends up deciding to shoulder the leadership position.
    … Which belonged to Baldie. At least, it should have…

    She says, “let’s recap on all the information we have for now.
    First, the Nightmare involves the ruins after some form of apocalypse, and we are its survivors. Hunger forces us to gather food, which can be found among the ruins.
    I think that there is no way the Server’s goal is for us to really act like survivors, though. This is a Nightmare, which means our ultimate goal is to resolve whatever issues plague the owner of this Nightmare…”

    “But, we do not yet know where the Nightmare’s owner is right now,” Mu Jiashi couldn’t help but mention, “have any of you met anyone that looked like the owner of the Nightmare?”

    Fei furrows her brows slightly, then says, “that survivor that walked into the fog seems suspicious to me.”

    She is also recalling the information she gathered beforehand. According to the Missiontaker who had once tried this Nightmare, the Normal End they achieved tied into this man walking into the fog.

    Mu Jiashi then says, “we can head over there later.”

    Fei nods, and says, “it was at the southwest corner.”

    Mu Jiashi then falls back silent, while wondering, didn’t he make a decision to stay silent during this Nightmare and laze about?

    Fei has no idea what is going through the man’s mind as she is glancing over at Biceps and Baldie. They seem to have nothing to add, and she thinks, since they had a Bad End the last time they were here… It could explain why they didn’t know much of anything.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part explained what is a Transform card and how Baldie is affected by it, then a recap session follows. It will continue tomorrow, so make sure you keep reading if you’re having trouble following the story!

    boilpoil

    Travis Translation

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