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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


    Finally, Xü Beijin has patted his panicking heart back down, and asks, “so what were you going to ask me about?”

    Mu Jiashi, following behind him, concludes from the young man’s expression that he has probably abandoned processing the previous topic, and switched to another one.

    … How very artificial intelligence indeed.

    Mu Jiashi thought about it and, since Xü Beijin doesn’t know Lin Qin’s intentions, he chose to approach the topic another way, “you see, previously, dalao Lin Qin wished to have a brawl with you…”

    He reflexively stopped here for a moment.

    Xü Beijin “…”

    What, why are you stopping?! What’s wrong with a brawl! What are you even thinking?!

    Xü Beijin is feeling extremely awkward.

    So, he decides to blame it all on the damned little apple…!

    Mu Jiashi clears his throat again before continuing, “anyway, so there was this Necessities Merchant, who traded with him, do you know about her?”

    Xü Beijin pauses for a moment before asking, “Ding Yi?”

    Mu Jiashi looks at him, slightly surprised he knows the name, before nodding and continuing, “yes, Ding Yi. She made a deal with dalao Lin Qin…”

    Xü Beijin says, “I know that.”

    Mu Jiashi’s gaze turns weirder; though it is still mostly surprise that Lin Qin told him that.

    Even though Xü Beijin actually knew via the stream.

    Then Mu Jiashi tries his best to put the problem into words, “the drinks… they are quite numerous in quantity. You know how the bottom floor is, with the usual scarcity… so…”

    Xü Beijin’s brows furrow slightly as he asks, “you want to say, there’s a market disruption?”

    Mu Jiashi hesitates, but decides he shouldn’t lay other’s intentions out in the open, so says with a suggestive tone, “that’s one thing, and another thing is… they are wishing that, the drinks, could be an opportunity for them to… get in touch, with the dalao.”

    Mu Jiashi realises, sadly, that he is almost resembling those weird strategists-kind that appears in TV dramas scheming with the main antagonists.

    Xü Beijin falls silent for a moment.

    Finally, he understands, what Mu Jiashi’s garden paths are leading him!

    Basically, strangers, assuming Lin Qin likes him, is here to have him be Lin Qin’s earworm!

    … Xü Beijin then gives it a good, hard though, and, while it is the same fundamentally, ‘earworm’ is still quite the oddly unappealing term to describe himself with.

    His brows remain furrowed as he sighs. He looks tired and exhausted.

    He knew it… He always knew his halcyon days are behind him already.

    Xü Beijin knows many things about the bottom floor of the Tower, but that does not mean he wants in on the factional infighting playing out. And as far as he can see, neither does Lin Qin.

    All the guy does is running to his bookstore day in, day out, to read, or ask if he is in the mood to fight that day… You’re seriously telling him he’s the ‘Crownless King’ all Missiontakers feared and respected?

    Well, yes, duh.

    Xü Beijin’s expression is dull, which intrigues Mu Jiashi.

    Xü Beijin then says, “about that, you can tell Lin Qin yourself.”

    Mu Jiashi says nothing in response.

    True, he is thinking a bit… right. He is trying to rely on Xü Beijin to whisper suggestions into Lin Qin’s ears. At least, Xü Beijin is closer to Lin Qin than he is, which makes him the better candidate for breaking this to Lin Qin.

    He completely wasn’t expecting them to still be… in the close acquaintance zone. He would not have asked Xü Beijin if he knew.

    He paused for a bit before directly apologising, “sorry about that. I’ll ask dalao Lin Qin later myself.”

    Xü Beijin nods, and then shakes his head, saying, “make sure you don’t talk about this ‘like’ business in front of him.”

    Mu Jiashi’s eyes widen slightly.

    Xü Beijin is mulling over how to put it. He knows about Lin Qin’s overly simplistic worldview and the fact that he does not remember Earth. So he can imagine that Lin Qin knows nothing about romance.

    Now add in a Mu Jiashi who just runs up to him and say, “dalao, since you like the bookstore owner” or something, and Lin Qin could easily be led astray.

    Xü Beijin is not interested in dealing with the horrifying fallout.

    What if Lin Qin really took it as gospel and thinks he ‘likes’ Xü Beijin? What if he wished to romantically pursue Xü Beijin with the will and tenacity he had asking to fight Xü Beijin?

    There is no way letting the little apple cling to him is still going to end well then.

    So he stops his steps on purpose, and turns to Mu Jiashi, giving him his best grumpy cat impression, and says with a slightly threatening tone, “I believe you also don’t want Lin Qin to know that you have come looked for me, do you? So, don’t talk about ‘like’ or anything like that in front of him.”

    Mu Jiashi seems baffled for a moment before an imaginary light bulb goes off above his head and he nods, promising, “don’t worry, I will definitely keep my mouth shut.”

    Xü Beijin is eyeing Mu Jiashi with suspicion as he looks like his thoughts are digressing somewhere again, but they’ve reached the fountain already, and so Xü Beijin can’t exactly talk anymore. He gives Mu Jiashi a final nod.

    Mu Jiashi is regretting inside, though.

    Why did he have to inadvertently step into the private lives of the two of them?

    The bookstore owner threatened him about not telling Lin Qin, and the only reasonable explanation is that, Xü Beijin doesn’t want Lin Qin to know that he is already aware of the latter’s advances, right?

    Maybe they have already fallen for each other, but they both think they have mutually unrequited feelings, so everything is still hush-hush and so, now that Xü Beijin accidentally learned about the other’s true feelings, he has his own plans and doesn’t want Mu Jiashi to ruin the surprise…

    Mu Jiashi already has an entire romance novel worth of plot generated in his mind by now.

    He is sighing while thinking, hey, at least he ended up being a good matchmaker, right?

    However, when he recalls Xü Beijin’s genuine shock hearing about Lin Qin’s feelings, he is doubting himself again.

    Could it be, that Lin Qin actually does not like Xü Beijin in the romantic sense…?

    But then, furrowing his brows again, Mu Jiashi thinks about the scenes he saw of their interactions in the bookstore and Nightmare, and shakes that thought out of his head.

    Impossible. Lin Qin must love Xü Beijin! Very, very much!

    Having concluded his thoughts, Mu Jiashi sighs in relief and then takes a deep breath. He puts all the drama between Xü Beijin and Lin Qin to the back of his mind to focus on the unfolding chaos in front of him.

    Right now, a great crowd has assembled by the fountain. Black Robe is also hear.

    And so are the Missiontakers, of course.

    Xü Beijin is standing at the end of the crowd; Mu Jiashi, an outsider, at any rate, is discreetly following behind him.

    Because they know some outsiders have blended in with them, so the survivors are here to do a head count.

    Mu Jiashi was on alert the whole time, and both stood near the fringes and ducked, escaping attention. Fei and Collector weren’t as lucky, however; like all Missiontakers, they treat normal NPCs of Nightmares as dumbed down artificial intelligences, so they followed Black Robe without so much as concealing their presence.

    They got caught, and are still thinking right now, that this is part of the plot. This is an unavoidable event in the Nightmare.

    … In this Nightmare, though, the situation is slightly different.

    Fei and Collector, with their hands tied, are led to stand on the side of the platform formed on the ruins of the fountain. The two of them seem shocked to see the survivors in tattered clothes looking so fanatically fervent and having lost all sense of reason up close.

    Meanwhile, the three other Missiontakers are nowhere to be seen. They’re not here.

    Among the spectating crowd is Mu Jiashi, who managed to escape by dumb luck, but he is feeling slightly anxious.

    According to what Xü Beijin told them earlier, these two Missiontakers that have been caught might be facing a rather dire dilemma. It might be another execution…

    Mu Jiashi anxiously awaits for the final sentencing while suppressing his nervousness as much as he could.

    Read only at Travis Translations


    boilpoil's notes:

    Well... What can I say but misunderstandings really are an overused trope in CN novels? Not that it’s implemented badly here, because the reasoning for both sides are solid. Anyway, besides everyone but Xü Beijin and Lin Qin thinking they are in an amorous relationship, there is also the fact that an execution might be taking place for the upper floor Missiontakers’ hubris! Make sure you stay tuned.


    Travis Translation

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