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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Wei Lezhang seems to have noticed Xü Beijin’s curiosity, and shakes his head to lament his misfortune, “I’ve got it hard, man. I got assigned as the owner of a hotpot place.”

    “A hotpot place…’s owner?” Xü Beijin repeats the phrase with a raised tone.

    “Yeah, you must be wondering what my Nightmare is now,” Wei Lezhang shrugs, resigned, and tells him, “well, in my Nightmare, the Missiontakers… Hah, they get their bodies drenched in boiling hot hotpot soup.”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    That sure is, quite the nightmarish scene and event.

    Wei Lezhang also seems like he has seen a lot, going ‘tch tch’ and looking both sympathetic but also slightly amused at the Missiontakers’ misfortunes.

    Then he starts making faces at Xü Beijin, asking, “you seem pretty interested in Nightmares in general?”

    Xü Beijin seems surprised to be asked, but he replies plainly, “I’m just curious.”

    “Curious, I see,” Wei Lezhang then examines Xü Beijin, and wonders aloud, “are you also someone related to food and drinks? The last time you were holding bubble tea… Bubble tea store owner?”

    Xü Beijin quietly corrects him, “a bookstore owner.”

    “Oh… A bookstore owner,” Wei Lezhang suddenly changes topic, and excitedly asks, “hey man, have you ever heard about that super infamous bookstore owner of the bottom floor?”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    He opens his mouth, but isn’t sure what words to say.

    Uh… ‘man,’ the bookstore owner you’re referring to, might… be him…

    Wei Lezhang, the oblivious man that he is, completely fails to notice Xü Beijin’s expression, and just simply says with a face of gossip, “that guy really is legendary. They say that all the Missiontakers of the bottom floor, we’re talking thousands or tens of thousands of them, all besieged him in his bookstore for three whole days, just so they could enter his Nightmare.
    Then… Hey, guess what, he never let the Missiontakers in! Man, what a chad! Even now I’ve not heard that anyone has entered his Nightmare successfully, whether the Missiontakers or us… I, ol’ Wei, can certainly call him the most badass guy in the world!
    Never mind the Missiontakers even, he’s even ruthless to himself! Not sleeping for all these years, huh, I wonder if his kidneys are doing alright… Man, he’s a real legend.”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    This excessively dramatised and emotional retelling of Wei Lezhang’s merely makes Xü Beijin endlessly embarrassed.

    How come he never learned that there were actually thousands or tens of thousands of people who besieged him for three days straight outside of his own store? Is that how they tell the events outside?

    And also…

    Xü Beijin emphasises that in his mind expressionlessly.

    While in this damned game, it seems like a useless thing to mention, since there isn’t exactly someone with whom he can activate its functions…

    Lin Qin?

    Xü Beijin is spooked, wondering why in the world he just thought of Lin Qin.

    … Must be the fault of the damned little apple for going like and stuff! He’s been led astray! Oh, woe be their poor friendship!

    Once again, Xü Beijin is dissing Lin Qin inside.

    And because Wei Lezhang just accused him of having kidney problems, the very begrudging Xü Beijin is not going to admit that he is the bookstore owner he’s talking about. Ever.

    This damned straightforward guy really has too big a mouth!

    Wei Lezhang still completely fails to notice the aura coming from Xü Beijin, perhaps thanks to the dim conditions in the building, or perhaps, because Xü Beijin has always looked largely calm and expressionless on the outside.

    He’s still blabbering on passionately about the ‘legendary bookstore owner of the bottom floor,’ even waving his hands and miming whenever he got to exciting points. Xü Beijin is now so awkward he’s burying his face in his hands.

    Then, he quietly retrieves two cans of drinks from the side──Inventory of this staff break room, so obviously the ‘owner,’ Xü Beijin, knows where the stuff are. One for Wei Lezhang, another for himself.

    He thought the drinks would allow Wei Lezhang to pause, and then… it backfired!

    The big bald guy is even more fired up!

    Xü Beijin glances over at the stream in despair, hoping to distract himself with what the Missiontakers are up to so that the loquacious orator wouldn’t mentally cripple him.

    Lin Qin and Wu Jian… They’re still going down the stairs, of course.

    The six other Missiontakers, meanwhile, are already going to the other floors.

    Where the button seven led to was a floor full of madness, so they don’t dare exploring there at all. If any Missiontaker perished in the attack and caused the Nightmare to restart, that’d be tragic.

    That’s why they’re going to other floors to investigate instead.

    Since this is the only elevator accessible from the 36th floor, and has four choices for destination, there must be at least one location that is safe for them to go to.

    “And, it is not necessarily only one either,” Suits adds with an authoritative tone, “the first run being generally safer, I believe that there would be at least two safe options of the four present.
    It may be the case that this would change once the Nightmare starts crumbling. Dangers lurking beyond the elevator door may also change.”

    “Wouldn’t that be unreasonable difficulty?” Jiang Shuangmei, with her moniker Liang Shuang, can’t help but speak up, “even whether there’s danger after opening the door wouldn’t stay constant?”

    Suits glances at her but doesn’t speak.

    Teen spitefully chuckles, seemingly having run out of patience, and simply says, “is this how the bottom floor is? Your understanding of the Difficulty in Nightmares really is barren.”

    Jiang Shuangmei’s face is beet-red from being chided, but she doesn’t know how to retort.

    Yes, because she has also once been on higher floors, albeit only for short periods and at intervals, but she knows what the Nightmares above are like in terms of difficulty.

    Nightmares crumble earlier. The dangers are less predictable. The Missiontakers would even be split into factions.

    Which explains why Suits and Teen act so arrogantly. They are used to a different climate from the bottom floor, where Missiontakers are natural allies due to their common interests when entering a Nightmare.

    In higher floors, Missiontakers may very well be on opposing sides, and may even have to fight to the death.

    To be frank, compared to the disdain oozing from Teen, with how he doesn’t even seem inclined to deign talking with Missiontakers of the bottom floor, Suits can even be said to be kind.

    At least he is not directly mocking Jiang Shuangmei and Missiontakers of the bottom floor like her.

    Although he also doesn’t seem at all concerned with what Teen said, neither apology nor concurrence. He merely skips the topic to ask, “so… we have three choices now. Which floor should we go with?”

    Nobody responds.

    Jiang Shuangmei has just been hit directly by an AoE attack from Teen and isn’t going to readily work with these arrogant Missiontakers again immediately; Shen Yünjü is quiet, as usual; Fei still seems spooked from the encounter earlier and is largely out of focus; Mystic is murmuring stuff to herself, and ignores Suits.

    Suits doesn’t seem fazed at all, and just turns to Teen.

    Teen has no intention of caring about these bottom floor Missiontakers at all──Mystic is from the higher floors, true, but not even people from even higher floors than where he came from can necessarily earn his respect.

    He’s a pretty demanding guy.

    He and Suits come from rather high up. and only entered this Nightmare in search of the ‘exit to the Tower.’ They don’t actually care much for this Nightmare itself.

    Frankly, he thinks Nightmares of the bottom floor are beneath him.

    He ‘hmph’s, and then glances at the panel in the elevator to say, “just go with thirty-two.”

    Suits presses the button as instructed.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    In this part of the chapter, we come to learn that Wei Lezhang... is quite the dum-dum. And also, the Missiontakers’ rift seems to be deepening, as their exploration continues.

    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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