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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Xü Beijin’s mouth barely noticeably curls into a sarcastic angle, but he then takes a deep breath and calms down. He feels he is unexpectedly calm and even easygoing when recalling those things now.

    Perhaps it could be because of how long it has been that he has immersed himself in those memories, so he has become used to it. He is numb. Or possibly, merely because he has boxed himself in for a very long time.

    He has allowed himself to laze about in countless Nightmares, keeping those emotions and memories at bay by habit. That is how he stays sane in the long, nightmarish nights, withstanding the solitude and hopelessness during the nights of the Tower alone.

    The state has lasted so long that, when he is remembering those memories long past, it felt like a lifetime ago, so much so he could barely feel any emotional impact.

    So now, only a kind of laughable pity remains.

    He thinks that, even to this day, he is still unable to face the truth. He can’t.

    Once, Mu Jiashi had a chat with him, and said that he is a loser, a complete, utterly useless piece of trash. He never remarked on why he was defeated. Xü Beijin thinks, though, that his cowardice, fear and helplessness when facing the truth…

    Is just a failure all the same.

    He slowly breaths out.

    While Xü Beijin is thinking about these things, the Missiontakers have already finished exploring the floor.

    Leaving Mystic’s cryptic words behind, they moved rather quickly. While the building is over a hundred square metres in area, but the collapsed structural beams, walls, bricks, tables, chairs and whatnot, have actually blocked off much of it.

    Their approximate area of movement is limited to around a few hundred metres from where they spawned.

    To the left, they can walk to the very end, where there is a restroom, locked; to the right, is the emergency stairwell, the door to which is unexpectedly wide open, like an invitation letter drawing the Missiontakers in.

    Further out, are shards of glass leading out to a burning city; while in the interior, they can access the elevator shaft located in the centre of the floor.

    There are four elevators here. Suits and Teen, who checked them out, tried pushing the down button on all four, but only the elevator which was already stopped on this floor responded. The rest had no reaction. They have no idea on which floor they might be.

    Suits asks, “what do you think?”

    “Two paths, it seems,” Teen says after a bit of thought, and adds, “the elevator, or the stairs.”

    Suits then says slowly, “the situation cannot be so simple, so there must be corresponding difficulties to either path. We can try both out first, though.”

    Teen nods.

    So soon enough, after the exploration of the floor is complete, the eight Missiontakers are assembled where they spawned, to discuss on their progress.

    Suits concludes in the end, “there isn’t much to explore on this floor, and the stairs and the elevator are the obvious ‘paths’ forward pointed to us.
    Given the scenery outside, some kind of disaster may have befallen this city; this building was no exception. We are here, on the highest floor, and given access to the stairs and elevator. This can only imply that we must go down.
    According to the signage of the emergency stairs, this is the 36th floor.
    Our ultimate goal could be to leave this building. Whether the Ending of the Nightmare points to the world outside is unknown, but the most sensible thought process given we appeared here, is that we should head for the exit on the ground.
    Just similar to…”

    His analysis suddenly trails off.

    All the Missiontakers present are silent. They all know, that Suits mean to say, ‘similar to how they appeared on the bottom floor of the Tower, so naturally, they go up.’

    After the silence, Suits continues, “so, we must leave this place, either via the elevator or the stairs. Whether we should split up though, is a topic for another time.
    First off, should we try to break the door to the restroom open?”

    The door to the restroom?

    All the Missiontakers reflexively look to the left, where, at the very end, are the locked restrooms, both the male and female ones. Only the sinks can be seen here.

    Jiang Shuangmei can’t help but ask, “would pure force work?”

    Suits smiles to say, “we would never know if we don’t try.”

    So they tried, but even after using force, it still would not budge, and so Suits had to remark sombrely, “perhaps there really are no clues on this floor.”

    “Not necessarily,” Teen suddenly speaks up, “there might be keys in the floors below.”

    Suits nods and then adds, “or there might be a management office.”

    Jiang Shuangmei asks, confused, “management offices are often on the 1st floor. Are we still going to come back up when we’re there?”

    Suits looks at her and makes a light chuckle, and does not explain anything else; Missiontakers from the higher floors would generally pay more attention to the ‘truth’ of the Nightmare, rather than just the ‘Ending’ of the Nightmare.

    They, of course, despise how pressed for success these bottom floor Missiontakers are.

    His attitude, though…

    Jiang Shuangmei “…”

    She’s speechless, while also realising that this Missiontaker from the higher floor, seems rather full of himself.

    The two of them possibly chose to take initiative, and even order the other Missiontakers about, perhaps because, they do not trust the Missiontakers of the bottom floor. They might even… look down on them.

    Jiang Shuangmei, who can tell she is being silently judged and treated with disdain, takes a deep breath to calm down. She’s not going to say anything extra from now on.

    Then Suits say, “so we’ve come to an agreement? No objections, then…”

    “Excuse me,” Mystic suddenly speaks up, with a somewhat strange tone, “I feel like, we should be on the move as soon as possible. I have a very, very bad feeling about this… We should waste no more time…”

    What she said makes Suits furrow his brows, but he doesn’t raise any objection. Instead, perhaps owing to her also coming from a higher floor, Suits nods after giving it some thought, and then says, “you might be right.”

    Jiang Shuangmei gives the stuck-up man a look.

    Teen seems entirely oblivious to how tense the atmosphere has become the entire time. He just asks, “so? Who’s going to the stairs.”

    “Just in case, we should split it up evenly,” Suits says, “since Lin Qin is here, though, 5-3, or even 6-2 could be…”

    Lin Qin slowly raises his head and narrows his eyes, interrupting Suits, “who gave you the right to decide where I go?”

    Suits’ voice abruptly cuts off.

    Jiang Shuangmei has a little chuckle to herself with her head down. Mystic gives her a look, then looks over at Suits and Teen, and also chuckles.

    Suits seem apprehensive, and says, “you can go whichever way you want, of course.”

    Teen furrows his brows slightly, but doesn’t say anything.

    Fei and Wu Jian has been absent-minded since the very beginning, and are still clearly distracted right now.

    Although as soon as Lin Qin starts walking to the stairwell alone, Fei gives Wu Jian an eye, and so Wu Jian suggests, “I’ll follow dalao Lin Qin.”

    The rest of the Missiontakers acknowledge that, and he then follows.

    Lin Qin gives Wu Jian a glance, but also says nothing, and only continues on the stairs. The staircase is unlit, but the green light indicating the emergency exit is still on. The tinge is rather eerie, frankly.

    Wu Jian sneaks a glance over the fence of the stairwell, and the endless stairs down without end resemble an enormous, abyssal mouth. There is only the sound of their footsteps ringing throughout.

    He could feel his hair standing on end, and so quickly follows Lin Qin’s footsteps. It is more reassuring this way.

    Hey, Lin Qin the dalao being here is still pretty good.

    On the 36th floor, after Lin Qin and Wu Jian has left, the rest of the Missiontakers turn to the elevators. They board the only elevator that is open on the 36th floor.

    Then Suits looks at the buttons present, and knits his brows.

    He can see only four buttons that are on among all the buttons. They are seven, eighteen, twenty-nine and thirty-two. While above the panel of buttons, the LED screen showing which floor the elevator is on, has already broken.

    Suits pushes seven directly without consulting with any of the others present.

    Jiang Shuangmei looks at him, slightly irritated, but doesn’t say anything.

    Fei is the last one to step inside. She turns around as the elevator door closes, and Fei looks closely at the narrowing gap.

    She suddenly wonders, what might the scene be like when the elevator door opens up again?

    The elevator slowly churns. It should take a rather long time to reach the 7th floor from the 36th; however, a mere dozen seconds or so later, the elevator already goes ‘ding,’ to indicate that they are already at their destination.

    Then, the elevator door opens.

    … A group of people, completely drenched in blood, with vicious, wrathful looks on their faces, turns to them with reddened eyes and extends their hands, yelling, rushing for the open elevator door.

    The quickest one there, is almost about to touch Fei, who is standing there, dazed, on the face with his cold fingertips!


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    In this part, we learn that Suits is rather arrogant, and the elevators open to rather... unsavoury scenes. Would Fei be alright? Is she going to be first blood already?! Stay tuned to find 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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