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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    … Compared to the last Nightmare, featuring post-apocalyptic ruins, the apocalypse in this Nightmare is ongoing.

    Fei is staring blankly at the silently burning sea of fire, she could almost smell the inferno and heat.

    She is suddenly wondering, that if this is also a Nightmare in progression, then what might be the theme of the apocalypse also in progression that Collector told them about?

    Will it be the same scenery as this burning cityscape?

    Though in the last Nightmare, there was no sign of the burning at all. Why would that be?

    Could there actually be different types of Nightmare? Or, did they really have it wrong, and these Nightmares are all mere settings in a game, and is not related to what they are looking for – to the truth of their appearing in the Tower?

    These thoughts occupy and tangle up in Fei’s mind, twisting her thought processes into a knot.

    While thinking, the rest of the Missiontakers have already started talking with each other, introducing themselves and analysing this Nightmare

    Fei looks up and checks on the rest of the Missiontakers.

    Besides Wu Jian, standing beside her, there are six other Missiontakers, four men and two women. She’s not familiar with any… no, wait, isn’t that…

    Lin Qin?

    Fei matches the appearance of this young man with the description in her memories. The crownless King of the bottom floor, is still a somewhat renowned figure even on higher floors.

    His unreasonable, bug-like physical prowess, is like the kind of players that are a cheating software unto themselves, the kind destined to slap gaming companies in the face.

    Why could there be anyone who has such a terrifying fighting power in an escape type of game?

    The organisation behind Fei and Wu Jian also paid attention to Lin Qin for this remarkable quirk, but all their investigations only reveal that Lin Qin basically popped out of thin air. He suddenly made the news one day, when he already had that absurd fighting power with him.

    It was many years ago already. In spite of the fighting power, Lin Qin has stayed on the bottom floor all these years.

    Basically, this was unfathomable to other Missiontakers.

    That’s how the rumours that Lin Qin had problems with his intelligence of brain got started.

    Of course, no one dares mentioning it in the presence of Lin Qin, but honestly, many Missiontakers believe in that on the bottom floor, in a perhaps compensationally relieved and even spiteful kind of way.

    So what if you, Lin Qin, had that super strength under your belt?

    Though other Missiontakers, including Fei and Wu Jian, beg to differ.

    How many Nightmares in the Tower do you wager can be resolved by physical violence alone?

    Countless of them.

    So, being able to stay on the bottom floor the entire time like Lin Qin did,

    Similar to his mysterious fighting power is why he stays on the bottom floor the whole time. In fact, there are many mysteries surrounding this man.

    Thinking so, Fei can’t help but realise that she sure will have lots of things to pay close attention to in this Nightmare.

    While Fei is preoccupied with her troubles, Lin Qin is also feeling somewhat vexed.

    He went into this Nightmare largely because, recently, Xü Beijin has been treating him subtly differently. It feels colder than usual.

    Not that he’s ignoring him, of course, but the usual snacks and drinks that the bookstore owner puts onto the table for them to share, is now what Lin Qin needs to reach into the shelves himself to grab.

    Since then, whenever Lin Qin went to the bookstore, he’d bring a few cans of drinks and some snacks that Xü Beijin likes. He wants Xü Beijin to act like how he used to.

    Of course, even someone as dense to human interactions as Lin Qin currently is can tell, that the key problem here, is in how he mentioned ‘like’ to Xü Beijin before.

    Lin Qin’s instincts tell him, Xü Beijin is still feeling awkward.

    That is why Xü Beijin is trying to deal with this by deliberately establishing a distance.

    Or… not exactly deliberately, but more, Xü Beijin doesn’t seem like he knows how he wants to deal with the problem, or how to interact with the source of the problem, him, Lin Qin. That is why he is trying to act like he can’t see anything wrong with them so far.

    Lin Qin is not sure about how to fix this. He is already confused by the problem of ‘like,’ but now the bigger issue lies in how he should have finally become better acquaintances with Xü Beijin, and even friends with him, which means they’re closer to when Xü Beijin might relent and fight with him.

    Simply put, Lin Qin’s impression of Xü Beijin’s ‘fighting power’ is the same kind of impression a cat has on a cat toy. It scratches at his insides, clawing for him to lunge forth and grab it.

    So he really, really doesn’t want Xü Beijin to start pushing him away.

    He can’t even blame Xü Beijin for how the situation has developed so far──Not that he’d dare to, anyway. He feels like if he places the blame on Xü Beijin, he’d provoke him again.

    Yes, having provoked Xü Beijin so many times already, he’s already an expert.

    So Lin Qin can only ponder and tear himself apart over it by himself.

    Lin Qin, whose thoughts are failing to lead him anywhere, finally decided to try and change his mood by going into a Nightmare. Maybe he might even meet Xü Beijin within… He has once heard that ‘people are more honestly themselves in dreams,’ and they’d reveal their real thoughts subconsciously in them.

    Lin Qin doesn’t even know where he got this weird snippet of information from, or realises that Nightmares in the Tower aren’t your typical ‘dream,’ but he ended up in this Nightmare anyway.

    The reason he chose this Nightmare? It was simply, when he was buying snacks in the marketplaces──He had so many drinks, but not much food──He overheard other Missiontakers talking about this Nightmare in hushed voices.

    A keyword they kept mentioning was ‘apocalypse,’ and he then recalled the Tower resident who visited Xü Beijin’s bookstore the last time.

    Although he tried to keep Lin Qin’s ears away from their conversation, but Lin Qin, his heightened senses absurdly inhuman, could still make out some of the words.

    Including the word ‘apocalypse.’

    So Lin Qin decided to come investigate in this Nightmare. He also wanted to know what Xü Beijin was talking about with the Tower resident… Why did they have to whisper and avoid him?

    Was there something he cannot know about?

    Lin Qin, brushed aside by the bookstore owner, was certainly irritated, despite looking nonchalant about it on the surface.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter talks about some background information Fei knows, and about why Lin Qin came to this Nightmare.

    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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