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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    On the 16th floor, through the stream, Xü Beijin is able to see Fei and Wu Jian’s reactions first-hand.

    Are they finally having an epiphany? He wonders.

    They probably worked out that Tower residents are Acting, but, have they managed to make the logical leap to question whether the Tower residents are just as human as they are?

    Given Fei and Wu Jian’s ability to connect dots, if they also take into account how Missiontakers can feel an inexplicable, unrecallable sense of familiarity in specific, corresponding scenes in Nightmares; if they also take into account the strange dynamic that has been going on between Mystic and the little girl…
    If they take into account, the very fact, that this whole Nightmare was thrust into prominence because someone overheard a Tower resident

    Then, it may not be too difficult to cast doubt on Tower residents, perhaps.

    This is also one of the reasons why Xü Beijin asked Dai Wu to spread the news of this Nightmare on the bottom floor.

    Not just to attract Missiontakers’ attention over this Nightmare with the apocalypse as its central theme, but also more importantly, to cause them to realise and question the incongruity of the Tower residents——to imply the existence of the Actors.

    He could have asked Mu Jiashi, who already knew of this Nightmare, or even Lin Qin, instead of any Tower resident, but he asked Dai Wu for it instead.

    Because this very Nightmare is one which can persuasively cause Missiontakers to suspect Tower residents, to make them conclude that the Tower residents are Acting there.

    And naturally, it’s fortuitous the apocalypse and how it is portrayed here is the way it is.

    So now, it seems the key development, of forcing these Missiontakers, who have ignored Tower residents’ plight and their paradoxical nature for so long, to discover the ‘truth.’

    Speaking of which, Xü Beijin is aware that this suspicion has probably already happened on higher floors.

    Because Actors, if they want to ascend the floors, they need to be a notable force themselves in helping Missiontakers resolve their Nightmares.

    Any action taken will leave behind clues, however obscure.

    Like that Actor in the last Nightmare with the ruins, who was probably extremely desperate, enough that the Missiontakers could also notice his strangeness.

    The more experienced Missiontakers on the higher floors must also have noticed the fact that they seem to be helped along by Tower residents, but the most logical conclusion they should make from that is that this is the game’s way of assisting the players who have already worked things out.

    Eventually, though, the strangeness may pile up in just the right manner that one of them will realise that there is something wrong with the Tower residents more fundamentally as NPCs.

    What Xü Beijin did, is give them a push.

    If they really are going to escape the Tower, then this massive rift and barrier driven between the Missiontakers and Actors must be mended. They must realise that they are their same species, their same kin, their companions who are equally trapped in this bedamned Tower.

    That is what would give them a fighting chance.

    That is the only way that…

    Xü Beijin takes a deep breath sitting on his seat, and quietly looks out at the city burning outside. His gaze is settled, calm.

    He has been to this Nightmare numerous times, but since the Actor who is this Nightmare’s owner has succumbed to her role, the Nightmare has rarely ever opened again. The Missiontakers probably lost interest in this Nightmare then.

    Perhaps those Missiontakers who were the regulars of the bottom floor back then would be baffled to find the current Missiontakers suddenly gaining renewed interest in this Nightmare they’ve since left alone for a long time.

    The demographics of the active Missiontakers and Actors of the bottom floor have already changed dramatically. Maybe the former will rush into this Nightmare. Maybe, Xü Beijin would be summoned into this Nightmare to Act quite often from now on.

    Right now, though, staring at the burning city, at the blinding flames, at the cloudless sky, Xü Beijin is sure he does not want to enter this Nightmare again.

    Not a single bit.

    He slowly closes his eyes, and the dryness of his eyelids covering over his eyeballs brings a searing pain that makes him reflexively twitch.

    He puts his hand on his eye, and lets his eyelids open up again after a while.

    He knows he can wish all he want——But that is meaningless.

    What he wants is meaningless, and useless——He does not want to be trapped in the Nightmare. Not at all. But would ‘not wanting’ let him out?

    He does not want into the Nightmares, but would the Server——NE, let him?

    Things are never decided by someone wanting or willing to do something.

    All the years of silence in which he never spoke a word of what he knew, because he is powerless. He hates himself for it, hates his powerlessness, hates his inability to bring change to this predicament.

    He wants to, but he cannot.

    And so the pain is long and deep. Torturous. For years, in every sleepless night, in every smoky morning, in every summon into Nightmare, where he sees the apocalypse, sees Missiontakers, sees other Actors…

    And watch them, with sober, melancholic eyes, as they plunge into an abyss they do not know of.

    And be powerless to stop them.

    Xü Beijin’s thoughts digress further and further as he sits with a poker face there. It is like there is some kind of devil stretching itself in his mind.

    All the mess of things, those he wants, or never wants to remember again, those that he forgot, or never managed to forget… Are welling up.

    Here, look, everything is coming together. Fei and Wu Jian are probably questioning the Tower residents’ identity already. They might try to prove it soon enough.

    What you set out to do, you’ve done it.

    So what’s with all the pessimism? Why are you still wallowing in pain and desperation? Why are you refusing to see the hope?

    … Xü Beijin puts his hand to his chest, to ask, if he can really see hope in front of him right now.

    Finally, he concludes, he cannot.

    How depressing. How suffocating. How hopeless is the word ‘hope.’

    Calmly, peacefully, exhaustedly, he sighs.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This... is basically a filler. Yes. Though it does highlight how complex and probably how at his mental limits Xü Beijin truly is, if you haven't realised it already.

    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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