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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 6 Chapter 103.1


    Nightmare

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    “Not exactly…” replies Ding Yi, “it is more, I realised something.”

    Mu Jiashi looks at the Necessities Merchant, waiting for her answer.

    Ding Yi asks, “are you worried I’ve come to meet failure similarly to you?”

    Mu Jiashi looks taken aback a little. He sighs and says, “well, I am a loser…”

    “I’ve come to learn, instead, of some details surrounding your ‘failure’ on the higher floors,” says Ding Yi.

    Mu Jiashi does not look too chipper right now.

    Ding Yi makes a little smile, and says, “it seems to have some distinctions with the failure you assert to have encountered. You achieved a True End in the Nightmare you entered on the higher floors before crashing down.”

    Mu Jiashi remains quiet for a bit before nodding.

    “The Nightmare in question, is where we are now.”

    Mu Jiashi’s brows are quite furrowed. He stares at Ding Yi for a bit before asking, “so, you’ve also learned a little bit more about this Nightmare?”

    Then he pauses and says, “no, wait. I’ve asked a question, so why are you the one asking?”

    “Because, I’m not interested in talking about what troubled me,” Ding Yi answers, sighing. The man is being obtuse in such matters again. Then she asks, “you understand now?”

    Mu Jiashi thinks about it, then says, “right, I understand,” then he adds again, “so what is it?”

    A strand of Ding Yi’s grue-coloured hair has been sacrificed at that remark.

    Then she says, “if you would tell me fully what defeated you, then I’ll tell you about the predicament I ran into.”

    Mu Jiashi then falls into thought.

    He also doesn’t know either, why he wants to know exactly why Ding Yi ended up back on the bottom floor.

    Maybe it’s because they achieved the True End together in that Nightmare through which Ding Yi ascended;
    Maybe there are things about the current state of the higher floors he wants to learn more about.

    But more crucially, the fact that Ding Yi has returned to the bottom floor at this junction in time has caused some instinctual alarm to fire in Mu Jiashi’s mind.

    Why is she back now? Why exactly now?

    Is her return to the bottom floor being coincident with this Nightmare dropping down floors a simple coincidence?

    What Ding Yi just said has already given away the fact that she knows this Nightmare is where he, Mu Jiashi, met his utter defeat. This only makes Mu Jiashi even more wary.

    It might simply, be some kind of sixth sense he is feeling.

    Mu Jiashi narrows his eyes, and finally says, “fine. I agree to it.”

    Now, it’s Ding Yi’s turn to be surprised.

    She’s fully aware of how, despite the matter being something Mu Jiashi talked about constantly, but it is actually a taboo with Mu Jiashi.

    He never once hinted at what exactly happened to him that made him so utterly dejected he slumped his way back down to the bottom floor.

    Ding Yi was once curious, but she also didn’t want to get on Mu Jiashi’s bad side, so she put her curiosity aside then.

    She wasn’t expecting him to be ready to talk about it at all.

    So this can only mean that Mu Jiashi is now slowly climbing back out from whatever it was that dragged him behind. Ding Yi thinks she may soon see him pick himself up and recover the confidence and pride of his past.

    What about herself, though?

    Is she able to walk away from her own predicament?

    The onslaught of emotions she felt when… she learned that Jiang Shuangjie ended up literally trapped inside an elevator?

    Why she returned to the bottom floor is actually deceptively simple.

    She met two of her former subordinates on the upper floors. While reminiscing, they mentioned the twin sisters who were famous among those indulging in orgies and all-night partying. They said, that older sister of the couple, has succumbed to a Nightmare.

    She was shocked. Jiang Shuangjie… was forever trapped in a Nightmare?

    Then what about Jiang Shuangmei?

    She finds her mind wandering to the thought often.

    She, who finally returned to the Nightmares, and climbed up the floors step-by-step from the bottom floor, can still vividly recall the days when the three of them girls fought together in the past. She was the one who left them behind first. She abandoned them.

    Well, ‘abandon’ may be putting it harshly.

    In any case, Ding Yi has never personally let the friendship go in her heart.

    Perhaps no other Missiontaker would be as melancholic and indecisive as she is, but the years of working as an honest merchant has ground away at her willpower. In fact, after heading up the floors, she finds herself only sporadically succeeding in finding True Ends.

    She has realised that, many years ago, she stopped;
    And now, trying to pick it back up where she stopped, is an exceedingly difficult, uphill struggle.

    All this culminated in her return to the bottom floor.

    She has seen the path of thorns that lie forward to even higher floors. She, alone, may never successfully be able to traverse it.

    In her night’s dreams, she often relived happier days when she was part of a group that went through Nightmares together. The memories gnawed at her. They intimidate her. Finally, she decides to abandon everything again, and go back to the bottom floor.

    Does she regret any of it?

    All the years ago, she left her companions behind. Now, she has lost one of them for good.

    It was her own choice.

    People are responsible for their own actions, regardless of what the consequences may be. The fruit of one’s own labour, as they say.

    If she was returned to any of those moments in time, she may have very well made the same choices all over again.

    Since she acquired that one utility card, why should she fight with her life on the line anymore? Why can’t she enjoy a more peaceful, a more stable life?

    Nightmares are lethal; the Tower is depressing, but at least, it is calm.

    There have been many people who’ve wondered why Ding Yi could just leave behind everything she built up without batting an eye and choose to head up the floors.

    Not even Ding Yi can answer why, now, after she’s resolved herself once more, that she still chose to go back down to the bottom floor again, when she heard about what happened to Jiang Shuangjie.

    Where she abandoned everything; where she wants to regain everything

    Even if, it seems, she is far, far too late.

    The utility card… Ding Yi thinks the utility card, was both a stroke of fortune, and also a stroke of misfortune. Gifts from fate often have their own prices due.

    When she returned to the bottom floor, and met Jiang Shuangmei, the two woman sat together, without saying a word.

    They can never go back to their old friendship. There was just… whatever this was.

    Whatever this face-to-face silence, this rift of the times they never saw each other, never talked, never struggled together anymore in the Nightmares, was.

    And this rift, named Jiang Shuangjie.

    Later, Ding Yi heard rumours about this Nightmare here. She decides to enter. Maybe, she wasn’t as able to let go of her curiosity of Mu Jiashi’s experience as she thought she was.

    She wanted to know, how Mu Jiashi was doing – the man who ended up back on the bottom floor after his catastrophic loss.

    Would she, perhaps stoop down herself until they could see each other? Would she, perhaps be able to energise herself once more, just like him?


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    The background for Ding Yi’s return, and the dynamics of the twin sisters-Ding Yi trio is explored quite thoroughly. Ah, the woes of the human condition. That utility card of the woman with the grue-coloured hair sure is both a blessing and a curse in disguise.

    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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