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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    What Lu Chengzhe is not aware, of course, is that Xü Beijin already has plans to open up his Nightmare to Missiontakers for the first time. He was even going to tell Lin Qin the details just now, only interrupted by He Shujün’s sudden disappearance.

    Of course, Lin Qin remembers, and Lin Qin, the stubborn little apple, will make sure the person he likes still remembers it and open up to him again.

    Now that Xü Beijin found He Shujün and has confirmed her continued state of being irrational and insane, he switches the stream over to Buzzcut and Ye Lan.

    It is the result of careful consideration and elimination. Both Fei and Wu Jian, and Mu Jiashi and Ding Yi might end up discussing untoward things that gets his streaming system cut off.

    He is also acquainted with people of both teams already. If they really have decided on some course of action, they will end up at Xü Beijin’s, one way or another. He knows how attractive his Nightmare is to all Missiontakers.

    That’s why the only viable targets are Ye Lan and Buzzcut.

    They headed out west.

    From a bird’s eye view, the western area seems to be more residential in nature. The wide road has given way to a maze of many small alleyways.

    All the narrow alleys and footpaths form a web-like structure.

    There are many people here──Madmen is a more appropriate word, perhaps. In fact, here, the two words would practically be synonymous.

    To live is to be insane. Only insane people are living.

    From those silhouettes that suddenly pop up on the windows, to some forms that poke a head out the corner of the alleys and immediately dart to the other side, to the little snack stands with their owners selling whatever it was they were attempting to sell…

    It all looks normal. It all looks surprising.

    After a short ways in, the pair realise they’ve lost themselves in this labyrinth of residential blocks.

    They look at each other blankly, and stop where they stand.

    “This is… strange?” Buzzcut is taking in his surroundings. His tone is somewhat off, “the insane people here are like…”

    Ye Lan is also squeezing the words through her teeth, “like they have formed a community.”

    They are both furrowing their brows, wondering what is happening.

    The mad people who look towards them have calm, unflinching gazes. It seems that they have recognised the insignificance of themselves in the grand scheme of things at some point, and come to terms with the fact that they are due to perish. They’ve given up struggling, becoming enervated husks in turn.

    They all seem to be quietly waiting for something.

    Buzzcut and Ye Lan approach a small restaurant whose owner is sitting there, daydreaming in silence.

    He looks to be a man in his 50s. His hair has gone grey. His focus is muddy.

    When the two Missiontakers stand in front of him, he snaps back to reality, looking up at them.

    Buzzcut tries to ask, “laoban…”

    “I sell nothing, I sell nothing,” the owner repeats the phrase, “I sell nothing.”

    “We’re not buying anything,” Buzzcut replies, and asks, “we want to ask something instead.”

    The owner is watching him blankly.

    Buzzcut assumes he’s ok with it, and asks, “have you heard about the thing that is falling towards us from the sky?”

    The owner seems unresponsive for a moment, before suddenly saying with a snide, “yes, of course I do. There’s that couple living near here that argued about it nonstop last night.”

    “A couple?” Buzzcut repeats the phrase, curious.

    “Yeah, the guy and the girl are both young’uns. They’re pretty lovey-dovey usually, but last night they argued, they argued bad…”

    Buzzcut nods, seemingly in thought.

    “Because of that,” the owner’s voice starts sinking in tone, “everyone in the neighbourhood has heard. Even an old man like me heard it clearly. Something, is falling towards us.”

    “The guy wouldn’t believe it, the girl sounds like she’s half scared to death; then they argued. They argued the whole night, only dying down when the sun is coming up. They’re mad. They must be mad. What kind of people would argue in the dead of night all night long… if not mad people?”

    The corner of Buzzcut’s mouth is twitching. This old man sure has an interesting way with words.

    He is still blabbering on, “dying is fine. It’s basically time for me anyway. This year has been a mess. Even me and my wife had enough. She was so angry she’s left home…”

    Left home?

    Buzzcut doesn’t know how to respond.

    Suddenly, the owner of the small restaurant shows a strange smile, and opens his steamer, saying,” ah, customers. Would you like a hot, steaming breakfast?”

    Buzzcut, looking straight into the steamer, right at the severed head of an elderly woman inside, finds butterflies battering in his stomach. Yup. He knew it.

    He immediately says, his face twitching, “no, no thanks, we’re fine…”

    He quickly leaves the restaurant with Ye Lan in tow.

    After leaving the storefront of that insane owner, Buzzcut complains loudly, “what a raving mad lunatic!”

    Ye Lan, speechless, says, “tell that to him instead.”

    Buzzcut makes an awkward smile.

    Then Ye Lan says, “the more valuable information is… what he said, about the couple’s argument.”

    “You think it has something to do with this Nightmare?”

    “The owner says the entire neighbourhood heard it.”

    Buzzcut seems hesitant at first, but soon gets it, “you mean, if we ask the others, they’ll also all tell us about it? Then it must surely be something key to this Nightmare.”

    Ye Lan nods and says, “that man said the couple is young; how many young man were there according to the other Missiontakers?”

    “The doctor of the Museum?” Buzzcut says, “I don’t think there’s many others. The one in the library is still a student.”

    Ye Lan says, “it’s quite possible it’s the doctor,” then she thinks about it and says, “he might be a red herring, though.”

    Buzzcut shakes his head, remarking, “this Nightmare really is complex. We can’t even isolate the owner of the Nightmare at this point.”

    Ye Lan says unenergetically, “that’s how it is. You thought it’s going to be simple? If it really were simple, it couldn’t have been the Ultimate Nightmare we were searching for in the first place.”

    Buzzcut quickly adds, “yeah, I see. What you said makes sense.”

    Ye Lan ignores the offhanded compliment. She’s a pretty cold person anyway, and she has her attention on this Nightmare only, and nothing else.

    She then says, “let’s keep going and ask some more people. It’ll verify what we just said.”

    Then she takes off.

    Buzzcut follows after her, but he has a long face; he’s really not keen on having to be exposed to another sanity-defying scene like that…

    He shakes his head, trying his best not to think about the scene again.

    They’ve made some gains, but in the meantime, Ding Yi and Mu Jiashi are still yet to reach the Museum.

    The two Missiontakers are currently on a bus. Ding Yi already knows the bus is harmless from their last run, so this time, to save time, they still boarded it.

    They’ve been discussing possibilities in this Nightmare, but in the end, the topic ends up back on Ding Yi herself.

    Mu Jiashi asks, “did something happen on the higher floors that made you return to the bottom floor?”


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter sees Ye Lan and Buzzcut manage to make inroads to getting important clues. Meanwhile, Mu Jiashi is asking Ding Yi about why she ended up back on the bottom floor.

    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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