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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Soon enough, guided by the feather, the Missiontakers find the owner of the Nightmare.

    What is shocking is that the Nightmare owner is still fast asleep. He is right nearby his mortal enemy, at best a hundred metres apart. While his enemy has a shelter, lackeys who heed his call and endless food, this Nightmare owner, like the man walking into the fog in his own dream, can only stay in this shabby corner of rubble that wind and rain can breeze right through.

    Just one or two articles of clothing, or more like simple fabric, is laid beneath him as his bed. It is extremely filthy, with so much black oil and grease that it is even reflecting light.

    It should not take the keenest of eyes to see that it cannot be comfortable sleeping here.

    The Nightmare owner appears to be a young man in his twenties. He is so emaciated his bones are highly visible. The bags beneath his eyes are almost entirely dark. He is clutching a pen in his hand tightly, and there are messy pieces of paper strewn about, filled with words.

    They can see that some of the words there are red, possibly written in blood, thanks to the ink in his pen having run out.

    Seeing this scene reminds Mu Jiashi of that completed novel, ‘The Repeating Nightmare.’ Not just the one in the dream in a dream, but also the one in the Tower, inside of Xü Beijin’s bookstore.

    He wonders if this could be the source of those bloody words on the cover of the novel.

    Even though the Nightmare owner is still deep asleep right now, the Missiontakers feel like they can still hear the rumbling of his stomach from hunger.

    His face doesn’t suggest any discomfort at all, however. In fact, it looks downright cheery with that smile. He is murmuring things like ‘karma,’ ‘you deserve this,’ ‘let’s see you look for food now.’

    It sure sounds like he’s having a good time venting, having arranged for his enemy to be messed with in his horror novel and his own dream inside of this Nightmare.

    The Missiontakers are furrowing their brows subconsciously, though.

    Fei asks, “we found them both. Now what?”

    Mu Jiashi doesn’t answer the question immediately. Instead, he just stares at the Nightmare owner for a bit before asking, “has anyone got a mirror?”

    Fei seems confused, asking, “what?”

    “A mirror…” says Mu Jiashi, taking a deep breath, and then explaining, “perhaps we could show him how he looks like right now.”

    He is the one trapped deeper and deeper because of his grudge and imaginary joy.

    Since they are still minutes away from the Nightmare owner waking up, the Missiontakers go searching all around, both for the mirror, and for food items.

    Even after waking up from the dream in a dream, they can still feel the hunger.

    A hunger that is quite a curious experience for Mu Jiashi, since he’s never felt that after entering the Tower. Just an idle thought about all the underlying reasons, though, makes his mood sour straight back down.

    This Nightmare may be over soon… But what about the Tower?

    A few minutes later, they did find a shard of a broken mirror from the ruins nearby. Wu Jian has picked it up and wiped it with his clothes.

    He takes a look at his own appearance through the mirror.

    Since entering the Tower, his appearance has stayed frozen. Time stopped marching forward for them, though it’s hard to say whether it’s more of a blessing or a cruelty. Wu Jian can see fear and anxiety flashing through his face.

    He no longer dares watching himself through the mirror; it is like a shadow of his younger, much younger self, but it is no longer him.

    On the other hand, Baldie and Biceps, the two burly men, have brought the Nightmare owner’s enemy here.

    There wasn’t much resistance. Perhaps the Server is letting them off without much obstructions after they’ve made it this far already.

    Mu Jiashi realises that it was really thanks to Fei’s utility card that they’ve managed to skip an entire arc of the Nightmare, having avoided the need to search for the Nightmare owner and his hated enemy across these vast ruins.

    … Truly, utility cards are a means of cheating.

    But of course, nobody would say ditching classes isn’t a practise demanding technique in and of itself.

    Why wouldn’t you use utility cards if you have them?

    If they had that Transform card of Ding Yi’s, they might have been able to get the Nightmare done ages ago. Never mind having to look for a mirror and stuff.

    Mu Jiashi sighs, anticipating this to be another ending requiring a deft tongue.

    Can they really convince the owner of this Nightmare…?

    The situation went completely in the opposite direction, it turns out.

    Mu Jiashi merely started with a few sentences about how it is futile to wallow in imaginary dreams, paining himself and people who care for him while letting those who harmed him go on their way unobstructed, as he handed the mirror over to tell him to see who really is the one suffering right here.

    He was going to keep talking, when the young man just up and grabbed the mirror and stared right into the emaciated form reflected within.

    The man sitting on the ground, so thin that you’d worry a gentle breeze and he’d be gone with the wind, then turns his head around to stare at the paper around him blankly, and then at the pen he is still clutching tightly.

    Then he finally looks up at the man to whom he holds the irreconcilable grudge, the man who, not even recalling the fact that he once stole the food this Nightmare owner found, having been brought here unwillingly, and is now merely cussing and cursing. He still looks as arrogant and highfalutin as ever.

    All that happened in his dream, stayed in his dream.

    He remains silent for a long time, as if the wind coming from afar has also blown his brain clean.

    Suddenly, he jumps off to throw the pen far, far away, and yell out, “you’re right! I’m just a fucking piece of shit!” He continues yelling and then crying, and then asking with a parched tone, “what use is there… in dreaming?!”

    He glares at his enemy hatefully, hopelessly complaining, “he doesn’t even know why I hate him to the core.”

    In the end, he turns to the Missiontakers to thank them, with a hoarse voice, “you’ve woken me up. Thank you.”

    He gives special attention to Mu Jiashi, while maintaining his actually genuine cry. It was sure worth it to lie down there and then take advantage of this legendary, undefeated True End dalao of the bottom floor. His Nightmare has finally been solved.

    The Missiontakers “…”

    Uh… This Nightmare owner, seems really… really easy to trust others?

    The result is good for them, of course, but the whole situation looks just a tad mystifying…

    Xü Beijin “…”

    Uh, dear co-worker, are you sure you’re not Acting too cooperative here?

    Even the Missiontakers are looking at you oddly now.

    The desperation for wanting to go up a floor is too obvious here. The Acting is downright atrocious… Would the Server really let him through?

    Xü Beijin is worried, but it seems the Server has been fooled.

    Because soon enough, the cold, mechanical voice of the Server has come to announce,
    “Congratulations on achieving the Nightmare’s True End. Please choose whether to ascend to a higher floor: Yes/No”

    Some left, others have not.

    When Xü Beijin has finally come back to from his slumber of a boundless, dark expanse, before he opens his eyes, he is thinking about his deal with Dai Wu.

    He is still trying to remember where that Nightmare owner and the Actor lived on the bottom floor.

    He really hasn’t explored outside in a long time. It’d take a while for him to dig through his long, long memories.

    When he nonchalantly opens his eyes, though, he’d almost had his soul spooked right out of his body.

    Why is Lin Qin in his bookstore?!

    Noticing him waking up, Lin Qin immediately turns his fiery gaze his way, and asks with a deadpan tone, “Beijin, do you think I like you?”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    … He is quite certain Lin Qin’s brain must have been broken, somehow.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    The Nightmare is finally over now, thanks to the cooperation of the Actor who is really tired of lying on a mat of greasy, oily, blackened clothes. Now that Xü Beijin has come back to the Tower, he is faced with a conundrum of romance! 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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