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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Through the stream, Xü Beijin can see Mu Jiashi sweating profusely while running for the building. He can say he is definitely impressed.

    When he and the audience all saw the Missiontakers treat this as the first run of the Nightmare, they were all certainly feeling anxious for them.

    This is already the fourth run of the Nightmare… Or maybe the third, but no matter what, it is still definitely different from the first run. If the Missiontakers were at all as lacklustre and inattentive as they were in the very first run, then they are bound to completely miss some key rapid developments.

    Just like the man walking into the fog, they may end up with much ado about nothing substantial.

    Though it would appear that, Mu Jiashi seems to still recall something?

    Honestly, Xü Beijin is amazed.

    Just as he was behaving in the Nightmare with the little boy, Mu Jiashi is just as you would expect a Golddigger with a perfect track record of True Ends on the bottom floor of the Tower to be.

    Mu Jiashi may keep chiding himself for being a useless loser, but his once unparalleled, peerless achievements, must have been chiselled right into his very essence, forming a permanent shade of colour, tinting his soul.

    He is, without a doubt, still the capable Missiontaker.

    Mu Jiashi is dashing forward madly. He can feel his lungs on the verge of exploding, but some unseen sense of looming dread is driving him to speed up even more.

    Finally, he rushes right into the building, and comes to an abrupt stop right in front of the bookstore.

    Mu Jiashi can see Xü Beijin, and after recovering his breath, he greets him with a wave.

    Xü Beijin looks at him with the hint of a smile, and deliberately asks, “here for the book again?”

    This is allowed by the Server as it has determined that this is the run where the Actors are allowed to ‘remember’ what happened the previous runs.

    Though with the notable exception of the man walking into the fog who will keep forgetting and keep on doing his exercise in futility.

    Mu Jiashi is stunned.

    Never mind the ‘book,’ but he is more taken aback by the word──Again?

    Mu Jiashi murmurs with his throat still largely parched, “so, I, we… did forget something.”

    Right now, the gasping Missiontakers have also finally reached the bookstore.

    They heard what Mu Jiashi just said, and Baldie and Biceps immediately widen their eyes in shock, while the other three appears confused.

    Baldie, looking downright paranoid, says, “we already forgot everything that happened? What run of the Nightmare is this even… Shit!”

    Mu Jiashi does not respond, because he doesn’t know either, but he can feel that something is off, and now, he has acquired definitive proof from Xü Beijin’s wording.

    He trusts Xü Beijin the most, among all the people present.

    Then he remembers the strange phrase lingering in his mind earlier – ‘dream in a dream.’

    He suddenly looks up at the building──A really tall building. Why is there a lone, tall building still standing among a pile of collapsed ruins?

    Mu Jiashi suddenly asks out of the blue, “laoban, is it possible to climb onto the rooftop of this building?”

    Xü Beijin nods, and says, “certainly.”

    “I see.”

    Then he immediately turns around and rushes for the rooftop. There is no elevator, and so they can only choose to climb up on foot.

    His body is still completely exhausted from the run, but right now, he is still forcing his aching legs to move, climbing faster and faster.

    He has an inexplicable feeling that time is slipping away. He doesn’t know if it’s true, but he will believe in his instincts.

    The rest of the Missiontakers are all baffled, but Baldie and Biceps have decided to follow, and the rest of the Missiontakers do as well, out of a strange feeling of flocking together.

    However, when Mu Jiashi is rushing right for the edge of the rooftop to jump, even Baldie who was following without question yells out “hey──!”

    Not another word, and Mu Jiashi has already disappeared off the side.

    It is a… suffocating sense of weightlessness. It feels as if each cell in his body is yelping from the insurmountable pressure.

    At the same time, though, the weight that is overloading his heart and lung, is rushing for his brain. An excessive fear is attacking him alongside the feeling of falling endlessly into an abyss.

    … He gasps, and suddenly shudders awake.

    He can still remember that sensation of free fall, that felt like it would go on forever, until the end of his life, a life spent cruising down through the air, forever, never able to escape.

    Falling into an abyss forever, huh.

    He woke up, though.

    He has managed to escape the dream inside the dream, and as he did so, all his lost memories of the past runs came back. All around him are the Missiontakers still fast asleep.

    Before they choose to jump, they may never be able to wake up on their own.

    Mu Jiashi is still breathing rather intensely, perhaps from the lingering fear, perhaps from the frankly malicious mechanism this Nightmare operates by.

    It takes him a rather long time to finally calm back down and stand up to check his surroundings.

    This is also a ruined landscape.

    According to his earlier analysis, this Nightmare is a figment of the book’s author’s fear, anger and hunger, stemming from his food being robbed in the ruins in reality.

    Therefore, this Nightmare, the surface one, must contain the Nightmare’s owner and the person who robbed his food at the very least. If what Dai Wu told them is taken into account, they may find the survivors of the amusement park as well.

    Though if those cultish survivors are only what the Nightmare owner arranged as a failsafe for his waking back up, then perhaps this surface layer of the Nightmare might only contain the two survivors.

    When Mu Jiashi sees what is happening around him, he realises that it is much more special than he was thinking.

    Grand ruins──Alongside a grand deal of survivors.

    Still the same post-apocalyptic ruins.

    Rather than the owner fearing the prospects of his food being stolen all along, it might be more accurate to say that the target of his fears, is the ruins itself.

    The Apocalypse­­──That is what he truly fears.

    Mu Jiashi is bitterly smiling at the thought.

    He couldn’t care less what the owner fears. He is instead confounded thinking about how to find the owner of the Nightmare in this situation.

    The rest of the Missiontakers are still trapped in the dreams inside of this Nightmare. He can only rely on himself.

    Besides… That sudden restart back at the second run is still troubling Mu Jiashi.

    If it was due to some development in this surface layer of the Nightmare, then what could that be?

    A death?

    Whose death?

    It couldn’t be…

    … Wait.

    Mu Jiashi is suddenly frozen, pondering the possibility.

    Why couldn’t it be the death of the Nightmare owner himself?


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Mu Jiashi has managed to escape! Now we are on the verge of finally solving this Nightmare for good. The next arc, my favourite one will also begin shortly after that, and that’s something to look forward to.

    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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