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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    ‘Card Name: The Kind Messenger
    Card Illustration: (A pair of clean white feather wings)
    Description: The messenger will help you find who you are looking for, as long as you do have a message for them; however, if you could gain the messenger’s favour, perhaps, he might search for who you need to for free.
    Uses: 2/2′

    After the card was used, a white feather abruptly appeared in the air.

    Fei says, “we just have to follow the feather.”

    Using the utility card wasn’t particularly hard for her, because the post-game rewards pool where this card can be drawn and its respective Nightmare, has been pretty thoroughly investigated by the organisation behind her.

    In other words, besides the factor of luck and frequency of entry which may affect the Nightmare crumbling, they are almost able to mass grind for utility cards.

    It is quite the relief that they do not mean to rule over the Tower.

    Meanwhile, following after the feather, the Missiontakers tell Fei and Wu Jian about Nightmares they know of each.

    They first went after the person to whom the Nightmare owner holds a grudge. The feather’s floating speed is slightly faster than them, so the Missiontakers are hurrying along, worried about changes too.

    Collector came to Fei first, while Baldie went to Wu Jian.

    However, Collector doesn’t offer a clue for a Nightmare with the Apocalypse as its theme immediately. Instead, he talks about the utility card with a smile, “missus, when your card’s uses are depleted, would you mind letting me have it?”

    “And in exchange?”

    Collector seems to think for a bit before saying, “I came from rather up in the Tower, and so to reach the bottom floor quickly, I went to a Nightmare that is said to be extremely difficult, achieving a Bad End there.”

    “That Nightmare being?”

    Collector smiles to answer, “a Nightmare, where the doomsday is ongoing.”

    Fei narrows her eyes, and then says quickly, “alright, the deal is on!”

    Then Collector tells her where the Tower resident is, and then leaves with a cheerful expression, waiting for the utility card to be done for and end up in his hands.

    The next person by Fei’s side is Mu Jiashi, who mulled over it for a while and in the end, chooses to tell her about a certain Nightmare he went through on the bottom floor.

    “… A Nightmare in which I had a True End, when I made the decision to head up.”

    He says with a monotonous tone and a rather complicated expression.

    What he doesn’t mention, however, is the fact that he only got a True End in this Nightmare because several years back, Xü Beijin once told him a clue for this Nightmare.

    He says, “it is a Nightmare mainly revolving around elevators, but… right outside the windows, are scenes of an apocalypse.”

    Fei looks interested, and nods to ask, “on the bottom floor?”

    Mu Jiashi reaffirms her, and then adds with a rather serious tone, “it was the case then, but I do not know if it is still here. We can go check on it later.”

    Fei nods again.

    At the same time, the viewers are having the time of their life discussing all these new Nightmares they’re talking about, while Xü Beijin is blinking and going, ‘huh, even the Heavens are helping me out?’

    In fact, the Nightmare he wanted these truth-seeking Missiontakers to go to, is the Nightmare Mu Jiashi mentioned.

    Though… He’s pretty sure Mu Jiashi failed to grasp the ‘truth’ within the Nightmare, he’s afraid.

    The point isn’t the Apocalypse playing out outside, but…

    Xü Beijin falls into thought.

    Currently, he’s still inside the dream in the dream, in spite of the Missiontakers having escaped it already. Xü Beijin is still inside the bookstore.

    And it’s probably safe to say that he can’t leave even if he goes jumping off the building.

    Suffice it to say that both the dream in the dream and the surface Nightmare itself are part of this game Instance, so the ‘NPCs’ over here are probably bound to their respective scenes.

    It’s also a fact hinted at by the list of the scenes shown on the right side of the stream. The scenes are not split into ‘surface layer’ or ‘second layer,’ but instead, they all employ a simple numerical scheme, as if these ruins all lie on some equivalent ‘plane of existence.’

    Xü Beijin was already feeling off earlier when, despite there being these fifty-odd scenes in total on the stream, and despite the Missiontakers having been to almost all corners of the ruins, he’s not had to switch to nearly as many scenes during the livestream.

    Now that the Missiontakers are out of the dream in a dream, their names are now appearing under the headings of the scenes he’s not streamed from at all earlier.

    Xü Beijin almost thought these scenes were outside of the fog at first; he didn’t expect them to be ‘somewhere else’ entirely.

    … The streaming system has misled him big time.

    He can’t help but think, hey, streaming system, you’re basically letting him cheat already with that god’s view, so why didn’t you just tell him the answer directly? Like some kind of parentheses after the first area, saying that it is ‘Second Layer’ or something.

    For example, where the Missiontakers are right now, Area 39, could also use a phrase like ‘First Layer’ appending it at the end with parentheses.

    That’d be much clearer.

    While dissing the streaming system for being unwieldy, Xü Beijin also knows he is just fantasising the impossible here.

    In any case, the Missiontakers have already found that ‘enemy’ of the Nightmare owner’s in the stream.

    It is a man in his thirties or forties, but compared to how pitiful he looked in the inner layer of the dream, he looks exceptionally proud and pompous here. It looks like he’s become some kind of leader figure atop these ruins, even capable of ordering others to find food for him.

    The feather reaches him and then disappears.

    Seeing the Missiontakers that appeared out of nowhere, the man looks both wary but also provocative.

    This place, despite being in the ruins, has been cleared up quite a lot. The rubble has been repurposed into building a small house. There is even a beach chair here, and the man is lying rather comfortably on it.

    The Missiontakers are all having rather complicated feelings looking at him, when they recall the man who walks into the fog with the bread, looking no better than a living corpse.

    Mu Jiashi clears his throat to ask, “have you robbed someone else’s food before?”

    The man goes ‘tch’ and says dismissively, “‘rob’? How quaint,” he looks rather arrogant when he says, “I only take from others.”

    The Missiontakers are feeling even more awkward inside.

    … Right, no matter what, both this man and the other man in the other layer of the dream, are both figments of imaginations long past, inside of a Nightmare.

    Fei asks, “then, I’ll use the utility card again?”

    Mu Jiashi continues staring at the man for a bit before saying, “alright, do it. I feel like… I think I know what the True End of this Nightmare would be.”

    Fei uses the card one last time, and the feather appears again. She throws the used card over to Collector directly, and Collector gives the card a thorough examination before stowing it away with a gleeful smile.

    Mu Jiashi doesn’t pay attention to that, instead, he asks, “if the Nightmare owner leapt from his dream in a dream to wake up, and after ‘waking up,’ he sees the man directly… How do you think he would react?”

    Fei seems surprised by the question.

    Baldie thinks and answers, “he’d feel like…” He tries to mimic the Nightmare owner’s mindset, and then answer, “what use was all that happy dreaming, after all that?”

    A dream, in the end, is just a dream.

    “I agree,” Mu Jiashi nods, and then says, “in reality… Or rather, in the surface Nightmare, nothing has changed.”

    The Missiontakers all seem to fall into thought.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter contains a little sneak preview for the next arc to come, and also, they've almost found the Nightmare owner now, hurray!

    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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