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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Meanwhile, the Missiontakers in whom Dai Wu had so much high hopes for, are currently scouring through the Treasure Trove for food due to hunger. After having their stomach’s fill, they are in front of the building, witnessing Dai Wu’s removal of the corpse in the process.

    It seems as good an explanation as any for why the corpse would disappear the last run.

    Dai Wu gives him a wary glance and a wide berth as he quickly departs the region.

    The Missiontakers merely let him go, and instead, head into the bookstore for the book, and ask Xü Beijin to recount its details once more, which dissipates the fog all the same.

    They decide they will still head first for the home of the man walking into the fog.

    A few minutes of hurried steps later, they’re already at the southwest corner of the ruins. They keep heading out, and arrive right outside of the perfectly pristine rolling shutter.

    Unexpected, the man is also there.

    Looking at the time, it is about when he has come home with the first item of food and heading out for the second item. Soon enough he would have left to exchange for food near the Treasure Trove.

    The Missiontakers have stopped his routine, however.

    He is currently lying down in his ‘home’ consisting of a few broken sections of wall, looking rather lost and helpless, while also appearing to be in pain from starvation, due to his memories fading away.

    The Missiontakers tried talking to him, but they do not get any answer.

    In the end, they can only focus on the rolling shutter. Mu Jiashi simply pulls it up with raw force, and unexpectedly, it slides rather easily.

    The next second, his eyes expand wide.

    Bread, piled up like a small mountain, like a collapsing dam, spews forth from the warehouse interior behind the shutter. Mu Jiashi is now knee-deep in bread, and the height of bread is still rising.

    … What in the world?!

    Did all the bread that ever existed in the area of the ruins assemble here?

    That man… Mu Jiashi reflexively turns his head around to look at the pale, starving man that looks like he is on the verge of dying.

    He possesses what is effectively a mountain of gold, but is unaware, all because he once robbed someone else’s food, and in revenge, the person wrote him here.

    Mu Jiashi is feeling chills down his spine, not exactly for what the man is experiencing, but for this dream in the dream, in the end, being no better than a nightmare itself.

    Being sympathetic to either side of this seems equally laughable.

    Instead of that, the Missiontakers might as well pity themselves, pity themselves, who are trapped in the Tower with no way out. Repeating the same routines day-in, day-out, by heading to higher floors, and becoming ever more desperately hopeless…
    Humans.

    Perhaps even more tragically, they are unable to forget anything.

    It is even a fortune that this man who knows nothing of his fate can have his memories forcefully removed; memories, for some, are nothing but a curse.

    After staying still for a while, Mu Jiashi raises his feet to leave the onslaught of bread.

    The man seems ignorant of everything happening besides him, as he wobbles up to his feet like a ghost, and starts wandering outwards for his food.

    Right now, only Collector can still smile to say, “oh wow… How intriguing.”

    Wu Jian, meanwhile, is picking up the bread from the ground all dazed, murmuring to himself, “why are there so many bread around…” Then he takes in his surroundings with a stupid look on his face, asking, “what are all these bread doing around the spawn of the Nightmare?”

    Mu Jiashi’s expression contorts greatly.

    … Fuck! This Missiontaker has forgotten everything about this Nightmare already! It’s going to restart!

    Why is it so quick this time?!

    While feeling surprised, Mu Jiashi can also sharply feel his own memories fading away at a rapid pace. All his memories of the Nightmare so far, and all the scenes he remember are greying out.

    Just like what Baldie said, at the third run, all the Missiontakers begin losing their memories──But what he wasn’t expecting was it forcefully zeroing out all the memories of all Missiontakers at once!

    … Maybe Baldie didn’t even know it’d happen like this.

    The memories are like a pile of sand in his hand, rapidly seeping through the gap between his fingers, and the more forcefully he tries to grab onto them, the quicker the sand flows.

    But…

    At this critical juncture, Mu Jiashi realises during his daze, that if he really didn’t do anything here, when the Nightmare restarts, he will remember exactly nothing.

    It seems the rest of the Missiontakers are undergoing something similar to him. He can see their faces turn from terror to stupefaction. It could be that, when the Nightmare reaches the fourth run, they will all really think they’re in the first run.

    In those two or three seconds, Mu Jiashi can feel a hopeless despair fill his mind. Then, he snaps out of it to struggle, as if it was some last dignity of a piece of trash. He keeps repeating in his mind, a dream in a dream in a dream in a dream in a dream…

    Darkness descends. Then, it raises back up like a curtain rising.

    Mu Jiashi snaps his eyes awake, wondering with a sense of bewilderment – what dream in a dream?

    While blanking out, some Missiontakers have started to argue. He looks around at the unfamiliar strangers, and feels mystified.

    Why are they arguing so badly during the first run of the Nightmare?

    Collector is currently excitedly detailing his desire to collect used cards. Baldie gives him a look of disdain, and the two are basically going at it like cats and dogs already.

    … Seriously? Again…

    Again, what?

    Meanwhile, he sees the woman furrowing her brows, saying with this tired tone, “we should be gathering information now, and not have some childish quarrel.”

    Baldie says, “this is my brother and I’s second time coming to this Nightmare.”

    Mu Jiashi takes in his surroundings while feeling a sharp, needle-like pain in his head. He rubs the space between his eyebrows, feeling like he must have missed something.

    … A dream in a dream?

    What, they’re in a dream, in a dream right now?

    Mu Jiashi’s gaze is getting out of focus again, as if something is about to break through the barrier in his mind, but something tougher blocks it from happening.

    A lot of people have said a lot of things, but he is too distracted to listen to any of it.

    Then, someone’s voice drifts into his ears as a sound wave, “… we’ll assemble by the building…”

    Building…?

    Mu Jiashi freezes up.

    No, not exactly ‘freezing up,’ but his gaze merely turns into one of shock and anxiety, as if his mind just got knocked senseless by a hammer.

    Then he snaps his head up to look around him, and finally notices the building in the far distance at the end of the ruins.

    He stares at it, standing still for a while.

    And suddenly, while the rest of the Missiontakers are still talking about the routes through the ruins during exploration, Mu Jiashi is already dashing away on his feet, aiming right for the building.

    The rest of the Missiontakers all look at him in shock, but are standing in place, merely turning to each other with nonplussed expressions.

    Baldie and Biceps, who’ve been to the Nightmare before, are being told by their brains that this is the first run, having lost their entire memories of the previous runs.

    Mu Jiashi’s strange behaviour, though, is making their danger senses tingle.

    A brief hesitation later, Baldie overturns his earlier decision, announcing, “we’ll follow him!”

    Nobody is going against his order for now, not even Collector.

    They all think that Mu Jiashi has probably gone mad, but they still have to question the slim possibility that, maybe Mu Jiashi knows something.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    So the third run has ended with a forced, grand wipe of memories, but Mu Jiashi managed to save himself... somehow. Stay tuned to see how this plays out!

    boilpoil

    This should go without saying, but considering the nature of this novel, please think twice before posting a comment on any chapter in order to avoid spoiling any possible future plot points or twists from later chapters.

    Travis Translation

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