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    Fei then moves on with her recap, and says, “there is also the amusement park at the centre of the ruins, where a large crowd is assembled.
    From that, we can infer that the place must hold some sort of significance; we should investigate it in the future. Perhaps we can head to the amusement park first, passing through the centre of the ruins, and reach the southwest corner afterwards, to look for the survivor that went through the fog.”

    That is when Mu Jiashi glances over at Collector, and seeing that he isn’t about to speak, Mu Jiashi speaks up, “we passed by the amusement park before, and we were stopped. They seem to hold strong animosity for people outside of their group, and keep saying something about… impurities.”

    Fei’s eyes seem to glimmer as she immediately asks, “you are sure it was ‘impurities’?”

    Mu Jiashi is a bit surprised by the reaction, but nods nonetheless.

    “Impurities…” Fei is now murmuring the word to herself.

    Mu Jiashi is now looking at her oddly while knitting his brows. Does Fei know something? She seems to know what ‘impurities’ imply.

    He wants to ask, but Fei has already come around, and says, “I apologise, but I cannot tell you anything right now. I will be talking about it on our way to the amusement park, though.”

    That’s what she said, so Mu Jiashi stays quiet for now.

    Fei continues, “and now, the third thing, and something I think is important to this Nightmare──The person pushed down the building and fell to his death.
    Who was he? Why was he pushed over the roof? Who killed him? Where did the killer go? Why, did his death not cause the Nightmare to restart?”

    Fei allows some time for thought after the series of questions, which she uses to think about it herself, until she shakes her head to say, “these questions could also be saved for later, as it is definitely complicated. I think that if the death of this person really is as important as I believe it is, then we will probably come across more clues about it in the future.”

    Mu Jiashi nods.

    Possibilities abound, for example, the person dying is something fixed in the Nightmare, and might be part of the source of the trauma in the Nightmare owner’s mind.

    Just like the Nightmare with the little boy Mu Jiashi last went into, where the mother of the boy continuously repeated the fate of being killed, but, being part of the defined background setting, it did not cause the Nightmare to restart.

    Though the nature of it being part of the background setting meant that the death of the woman isn’t actually shown directly, but instead implied in numerous ways.

    In this Nightmare, though, the person falling down the building happened right in front of their very eyes.

    … Has there ever been another such Nightmare?

    While Mu Jiashi is thinking, Fei has moved on to her fourth topic, saying, “… and the bookstore owner.”

    All the Missiontakers fall silent.

    That is when Collector suddenly excitedly propose something, “say, could he be the owner of the Nightmare?”

    The rest of the Missiontakers pause at the suggestion.

    “Look, he’s shown how special he is in this Nightmare…” Collector explains, “holding all those information…”

    Fei furrows her brows to say, “it’s a possibility…”

    Mu Jiashi has to speak up lest the rest of the Missiontakers be led astray, “he is not the owner of this Nightmare.”

    Collector immediately turns to him to ask with this curious expression but a dead serious tone, “why? On what basis do you say that?”

    He does not seem happy to be openly contradicted, as evidenced by his lips going flat in spite of the smile.

    Mu Jiashi gives him an odd look. The guy seems… inexplicably arrogant.

    Not interested in arguing, he sweeps his gaze across all the others with this ‘are you all for real right now’ look, and turns speechless before asking, “are you really all Missiontakers of the bottom floor?”

    An awkward silence ensues.

    Mu Jiashi “…”

    Oh great, they’re all people fucking descended from on high.

    Right, and he himself is also…

    Mu Jiashi is suddenly filled with the urge to ask, ‘are you serious?!’ A Nightmare on the bottom floor of the Tower, is seriously eluding all six Missiontakers descended from the higher floors, and after an hour they still know basically next to nothing?

    He just sighs, while holding his head, which is throbbing with phantom pain.

    He says, “right. I’ll not pry into where you all came from, but anyway, this bookstore owner was once a very famous… infamous person on the bottom floor of the Nightmare. Many Missiontakers tried to get into his Nightmare, but he has never ever opened his Nightmare up for any single person…”

    “Wait, you mean,” Fei suddenly interjects, “he is the bookstore owner?!”

    The Tower had many bookstores and many owners of bookstores, which is just one of the many possible careers the Tower residents had. Though if you are talking about a bookstore owner that all Missiontakers hailing from the bottom floor knew, and possibly even some of the Missiontakers above the bottom floor still, then, only Xü Beijin fits the bill.

    Fei continues asking, “that was him all along?!”

    Fei knew about Xü Beijin, of course, but she was not part of the crowd back then, so she didn’t recognise him on sight.

    She was already on the higher floors and went by the codename ‘Fei’ when the fiasco blew up. She was seriously considering getting into Xü Beijin’s Nightmare when she heard about it, actually, especially as the rumours were already exaggerated way beyond its original scope by the time it reached Fei’s ears.

    Though as the developments came, she learnt that Xü Beijin didn’t fold to the Missiontakers no matter what, and so regrettably abandoned her plans.

    She definitely wasn’t expecting that, the first Nightmare she went into after coming to the bottom floor, would see her meet with Xü Beijin directly.

    Mu Jiashi nods, and replies, “if you had to pick the most well-known bookstore owner out of all of them in the Tower, he would be the one.”

    He then observes everyone else’s expressions out of the corner of his eye, and it is easy to tell, that they have all heard of Xü Beijin’s existence, at least, they just haven’t actually seen him.

    Even the most jumpy and carefree Collector is showing an interested face here.

    While this Nightmare they’re in is also rumoured to be the ‘Ultimate Nightmare’ for now, since everyone can enter here, it’s certainly less mysterious than Xü Beijin’s Nightmare.

    Really, is there even one Missiontaker who could genuinely say they don’t want to leave the Tower? (TL: Well, yes, one, one we’ve already met, but I’m not spoiling anything)

    Mu Jiashi is feeling slightly apologetic inside for the trouble he might be bringing to Xü Beijin, but soon buries that emotion away, because Xü Beijin’s Nightmare does still hold appeal, and it’s only a matter of time that troubles come flocking to him.

    And also…

    Mu Jiashi couldn’t help but digress and think about Lin Qin, who has helped ‘subdue’ many of the discreet attempts to pry at no matter what, already.

    Fei is now saying, “since we know this bookstore owner cannot be the owner of the Nightmare, then we will have to pay attention to suspicious persons now.”

    A Nightmare’s owner might be hidden in any corner of the Nightmare, or possibly only appear when certain conditions are met, and… it is also possible for them to look dramatically different from how they were inside the Tower.

    So, if in this Nightmare, ‘figuring out the true owner of the Nightmare’ is also one of its difficulties, then they might be in for a gruelling time.

    Mu Jiashi can definitely offer his sympathies, since in that last Nightmare he went into, they had to crack the ‘password’ before the Nightmare owner popped up.

    In any case, though, Fei has finished her recap of their explorations and clues gathered since the Nightmare began. The situation may be no less clearer, but at least they have identified objectives.

    When they’re about to go ahead, Wu Jian seems slightly embarrassed as he asks, “um… is no one else feeling a bit hungry?”

    The Missiontakers all stop and then realise one by one that yes, they are already slightly hungry.

    An hour has come and passed in the Nightmare, and with the many developments that occurred in that short window of time recently, they completely forgot about their hunger. When Wu Jian mentioned it, though, they can all feel a slight burning sensation in their stomachs already.

    “How about this,” Fei says, “we’ll get some food here first. Ten minutes should be enough since we’ve already searched…”

    “What?” Wu Jian seems shocked as he reflexively asks, “we’ve been here before?”

    The rest of the Missiontakers are either going to look for food or taking out food they’ve already got to eat when Wu Jian said that, and they all stop and look at him weirdly.

    Wu Jian is feeling spooked and also baffled.

    Slightly desperate, he starts recounting himself, “we… we entered the Nightmare, and split into three, and then met at the building directly, right?” His tummy rumbles at this point, and he says, “we haven’t been here before, but I’m really hungry right now, so I’ll…”

    His words trail off as the rest of the Missiontakers are giving him exceedingly strange looks.

    He is just as confused as they are.
    ──Because he has already forgotten, the fact that they met up, and then went to look for food here, in the Treasure Trove.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    In the chapter, everyone has caught up to speed on the latest gossip for ‘That Bookstore Owner of the Tower,’ and finished recapping everything, and... I forgot what I was going to type here, but I don’t... No, I wasn’t meaning to type anything else here. No.

    boilpoil

    Travis Translation

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