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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Soon enough, though, what is happening to the other Missiontakers in the stream drags Xü Beijin back from thoughts about Lin Qin, and forces him to consider the clues of this Nightmare.

    To be honest, while the clue he leaked to Mu Jiashi allowed him to achieve a True End, Xü Beijin isn’t too sure what that True End and the truth behind this Nightmare entailed.

    The clue he provided Mu Jiashi was actually extremely simple. It was simply the fact that ‘the 16th floor is a safe zone with clues.’

    Since back then, he only knew the most basic premise of this Nightmare. This was all that he could tell the others as an Actor under Server’s management.

    As for how Mu Jiashi achieved that True End, since he obviously didn’t have any streaming system to cheat back then, he couldn’t see it directly with his god’s eye view.

    While he once interacted with the owner of this Nightmare, that was still only thanks to some Missiontaker having found the particular Tower resident and brought her to the 16th floor, which allowed them to talk while behind the Missiontakers’ backs.

    So he only had a general, but not any detailed knowledge of what this Nightmare was.

    Therefore, when the ‘inexplicable sense of déjà vu’ happened twice, and add to that Mystic’s appearance in the company’s group photograph, Xü Beijin is quite surprised.

    The Nightmare… would seem to be far more intriguing than he thought?

    Meanwhile, viewers in the stream are having another heated debate.

    “this is not the first time already! once a happenstance, twice a coincidence, thrice, and it’s deliberate!”
    “took the words right outta my mouth… but the question, so what? how is it gonna help solve the nightmare?”
    “uh, if everything is here to imply the nightmare’s ending and truth in some way, then could it be that these little episodes are helping recreate the nightmare owner’s past actions, to subtly tell them where the nightmare owner has gone?”
    “!!! makes sense!”
    “oh man, its a new detective dalao!”
    “so that makes the nightmare owner the little girl’s mother? the nightmare involves her having her daughter over, but something happened outside, and she left her daughter at the office only to never see her again?”
    “emm… so much is still glossed over”
    “perhaps, that’s not the only reason? the missing daughter could make her regret or blame herself, but the core of nightmares is still fear right?”
    “maybe she fears the building itself?”
    “well given what the missiontakers have seen so far, I think thats justified…”
    “… thanks, I’m definitely in fear here”
    “what kinda audience of a horror stream are you?!”
    “by the way, Beibei, any thoughts?”

    Before the stream, Xü Beijin has stopped digressing his thoughts. He was reading the comment barrage and what the viewers thought, but he was also thinking about something else at the same time.

    He saw the audience clamouring for him though, and after a brief consideration, he voices his question.

    “I agree with that comment, but what I’m wondering now, is the timing of when the Missiontakers arrive. Is it after, or during, the events that are happening to the Nightmare owner?
    Put simply, are they in the Nightmare owner’s past, or present?
    If the former, then part of the objective would simply be to find where the Nightmare owner should be; however, the fact that Missiontakers are forced into mini-scenes that cause a feeling of déjà vu, makes me think they are more participating alongside the Nightmare owner.
    So would the latter case be it? If so, it is unlikely they will find the Nightmare owner directly. They would probably have to gather clues to know what to do; however, this would be unable to explain why the little girl has already been left behind by her mother.
    Could it be that there is a third possibility? Both situations are concurrent.
    Everything in the Nightmare is technically in the ‘past,’ as memories of the Nightmare owner. So when the Nightmare owner has the Nightmare, it is like they are reliving their past experience in a sort of ‘present,’ but they are also aware that this happened in the past.
    That is why, the Missiontakers, are both participating and not participating in the Nightmare.”

    Xü Beijin has packed some subtle hints in that long monologue.

    Though the viewers are perhaps, not the brightest.

    “that… uh, makes sense?”
    “… so basically, the missiontakers are, ‘involved’ in the nightmare owner’s experiences? they are not participating, but merely involved, during which, deja vu happens”
    “so missiontakers are no longer just players in the nightmares?”
    “oh man, can you be saying that the missiontakers are actually like, in some kinda ? their ‘deja vu’s are like flashbacks or cutscenes of the main plot!”
    “that sure is a simple, straightforward but easily understood simile, the ‘game’ is like, travelling through someone’s dreams, living what they have went through, and then resolve their trauma or something…?”
    “i think i understood, but after you say that, i think i dont”
    “? I never understood, me brain hurts”

    “!!! Yeah! Beibei must be right! I got it!”
    “wait what did you get detective dalao? aaaaaargh please tell me, pleeeeease!”
    “Kuhum, sorry about that, I was typing the whole time, but what Beibei said has completely enlightened me.
    I was wondering before, that since the three Missiontakers in elevator One discovered a large puddle of fresh blood on the 20th floor, coming from the elevator lobby, then could it mean that this is actually where the Missiontakers of elevator Two ended up at?
    Elevator Two first discovered dried blood on the ground of the 21st floor, then they went up a storey or two to be drenched in the ocean of blood, and then they descended a bit to dump the blood away.
    So if they actually ended up dumping the blood not on the 21st but the 20th floor, then that would explain why nobody noticed anything with the amount of time the elevator travelled.
    So in this case, Missiontakers have a déjà vu of ‘creating’ the scene in Nightmares; what purpose does this have?
    The explanation Beibei provides, or the ‘RPG Theory,’ where Missiontakers are going through some kind of ‘Main Story’ plotline, then that all makes sense!
    The buttons of the elevator head to completely random floors──is our surface-level hypothesis. But what if which floors the elevators go to is actually sequenced after where the Nightmare owner once went?
    The Nightmare owner’s footsteps are their ‘Main Story,’ so it is like a forced plot progression. The buttons do not mean anything when the floors they will be heading to is already predetermined!
    So put more simply, if they were actually going to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floor, then whether they pushed five, four, three, two, one or two, four, five, three, one, or any other order, does not matter, because the elevator will end up on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floor in sequence, which corresponds to where and in what order the Nightmare owner went.
    In other words, ‘the elevator buttons go to random floors’ is merely a smokescreen! They can push anything, but the floor they end up on does not change. It is ‘predetermined’!”

    Here, many members of the audience have an epiphany. Even Xü Beijin has found his thoughts much clearer thans to the explanation. He can certainly say that having someone to think and to talk together helps a lot.

    And in fact, just now, what Teen suggested also contributed to his thoughts.

    Nightmares, fundamentally being inside a digital game, cannot have true randomness. It is ‘pseudo-random.’

    Besides, logically thinking, Nightmares should still tend to have correct solutions for Missiontakers to solve. Therefore, what Missiontakers see and experience must be meaningful.

    Anything that is ‘completely random’ in this case is counterproductive as the players’ actual experiences become unpredictable. That would make ‘Escape’ completely different from other games in reality.

    So, by that line of thought, where Missiontakers only experience meaningful events, then what they went through so far cannot have been generated ‘completely randomly.’ Some patterns must hold.

    Now, when you also take into account the story behind the Nightmare itself, then the patterns will start to seem to the keen-eyed bystander that it reflects what the Nightmare owner might have experienced.

    This is a convincing explanation for why there are those inexplicable episodes of déjà vu.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Quite a lot of exposition and information here, but basically - what Teen said about pseudo-randomness, and what Xü Beijin thought is the reason for the déjà vu appearing, leads detective dalao to suggest this Nightmare employing ‘RPG-like mechanics.’

    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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