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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Fei now knows very well that the Apocalypse had two stages, but… why?

    Why did the Apocalypse happen in the first place? Why did such a ridiculous thing happen to humanity?

    Fei doesn’t look too calm right now, and the old man is probably assuming she’s scared of hearing about the old Director murdering people.

    He can’t help but go ‘ha,’ and say, “you’ve seen my old pal, haven’t you? A looker, isn’t he?”

    Then he nonchalantly remarks, “too bad that nowadays, appearances are truly deceiving.”

    Fei continues looking at him.

    Then the guard says, “besides killing people, he’s sure done a lot as well. The Museum is more like a prison, with him the warden.”

    Fei furrows his brows, trying to work out what he means.

    Then he clarifies, “even if some people weren’t mad before, they’ve been driven insane in there.”

    Fei’s eyes widen.

    That is when she has another idea.

    Could it be, that the old Director of the Museum, is the target of the fear of the owner of the Nightmare?

    Basing it on what this old security guard says, and this insane Director has become the source of others’ madness; fear often accompanies madness, and could it be, that the owner of the Nightmare is some staff in the Museum?

    The doctor?

    Ding Yi’s description doesn’t exactly paint him as fearful though, more paranoid.

    Fei sighs quietly. The last Nightmare they’ve been struggling to identify the Nightmare owner, and now they’re stuck with the same question again? Are the Nightmares out of tricks already?

    She finally waves the old man goodbye and leaves the restricted area with Wu Jian.

    Wu Jian asks, “where are we going then? Continue forward?”

    “Let’s keep going. There’s still half an hour left,” Fei says, “although I suspect there won’t be any clues even further in.”

    Wu Jian asks blankly, “why?”

    “Whatever Nightmare it is, it has to be based on the experiences of the Nightmare owner. It recreates and sometimes reinterprets scenes, stories and the closed loop. Therefore, there must be one clear thread of logic going through it, if only we can find it.”

    Wu Jian understands now, and says, “besides the bits about the Apocalypse, the guard only talked about the Museum, so that’s what this whole Nightmare is about?
    But then… how does the library fit into this? You know the bookstore owner… that Tower resident, he’s right there.”

    Thanks to Xü Beijin’s own performance, they have all come to the conclusion that he must hold some important secret. He must also be an important character whichever Nightmare he participates in.

    This has led Fei and Wu Jian to believe that any scene featuring Xü Beijin is of paramount importance.

    That was certainly true in the Nightmare with the post-Apocalyptic ruins;
    And the 16th floor of the last Nightmare in the building almost about to collapse did also feature enough clues to allow them to resolve the Nightmare.

    So naturally, this Nightmare…

    Fei bites her lips, and says somewhat anxiously, “perhaps our exploration of this Nightmare is still too shallow. We haven’t uncovered a main plotline that can tie the whole truth together and save ourselves.”

    Wu Jian nods in agreement.

    They continue heading east.

    Meanwhile, after confirming that He Shujün isn’t going to run away again, Xü Beijin and Lin Qin head back to the lobby of the library.

    They asked Lu Chengzhe to keep an eye on He Shujün, who has also promised to make sure this mad woman doesn’t leave his sight.

    When he declared that, He Shujün was holding the newspaper in her hand and reading it with a gloomy and unfocused expression.

    A far cry from her earlier cheery countenance.

    That is why Xü Beijin also genuinely wishes that the Missiontakers can achieve a True End and help the Missiontaker recover.

    With Mu Jiashi here, that probably isn’t too tall an order.

    Xü Beijin sits back down behind the reception.

    Lin Qin takes a seat next to him, and brings his attention back to what was interrupted before, “so, what really is your Nightmare?”

    Xü Beijin is surprised at the sudden question, and his thoughts are pushed aside.

    While his Nightmare is special, it is still a Nightmare of the Tower.

    In other words, as its owner, he is still under the control of the Server, who will never let him simply tell a Missiontaker what his Nightmare is.

    How he told his viewers that his Nightmare was a ‘Nightmare about Nightmares’ is already the limit of what he could imply.

    Though if he’s going with negating what his Nightmare isn’t… He certainly has a lot of wiggle room there.

    So after a brief silence, Xü Beijin tells Lin Qin, “my Nightmare is not the Ultimate Nightmare.”

    “Oh… I’m not interested in it anyway,” replies Lin Qin confidently, “what I want to know is, why don’t you want to let people into your Nightmare? Do you think it is better for them?”

    “Because I don’t have any Nightmare, that can be resolved.”

    Lin Qin, surprised, takes some time to think.

    Xü Beijin continues explaining, “I don’t have a Nightmare with Normal End, or True End, or Bad End. I don’t have a Nightmare that can be entered and exited safely, without succumbing.”

    Lin Qin continues staying quiet, until finally, he suddenly says, “you’re lying.”

    Xü Beijin, surprised, can’t help but say, “I’m not…”

    “You are lying,” Lin Qin says, “I can see it.”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    What in the world is with this little apple! What kind of living cheat is he?!

    Xü Beijin and Lin Qin lock gazes for a while, until finally, Xü Beijin, defeated, says, “I’m really not… Ok. I was not telling the whole truth, but I didn’t…”

    “Can you tell me the whole truth, please?”

    The little apple’s worldview is extremely simple. He does not know love, or relationship; he always has this hopelessly sharp instinct.

    Yet when Xü Beijin hears him say that, and sees Lin Qin’s eyes when he asks, he can’t help but think, of how gentle he is.

    It surely must be a joke to associate the word ‘gentle’ with the mad dog Lin Qin.

    Amused, but also moved, Xü Beijin is feeling a whole vortex of emotions. Alongside his earlier sombre mood at mentioning his Nightmare, and his speechlessness when Lin Qin messed what he said all up, he is smiling pretty helplessly.

    Oh, the little apple…

    He tells him, “I cannot tell you the truth. I cannot say anything. NE is watching over us.”

    Lin Qin blinks.

    Xü Beijin then tells him firmly, “if you want the real truth, you must enter my Nightmare.”

    And if he does, the situation would be in nigh-hopeless jeopardy. They must be emotionally ready, for it to be an all-or-nothing gamble with lives on the line.

    If not, Xü Beijin cannot imagine any other situation in which he would open up his Nightmare.

    While he can continue showing the Missiontakers the way to other Nightmares that offer a glimpse of what happened on Earth, but the truth about the Tower itself is only revealed when they enter his own Nightmare.

    Additionally, even though his Nightmare is not the Ultimate Nightmare, but if they want to open the Ultimate Nightmare——At least, the one that fits the Missiontakers’ definition of one——It must also be done through his own Nightmare.

    Lin Qin says, though, “but you haven’t opened up your Nightmare ever. Why are you so certain they would fail and succumb?”

    Xü Beijin looks at Lin Qin, then bitterly smiles and tells him, “Lin Qin, that’s not it. My Nightmare… is not the kind of Nightmare… you have in mind.”

    “I have in mind?”

    Xü Beijin says, “it is common knowledge that any Nightmare must have a corresponding main thread of logic and a backstory. It relates to what the Nightmare owner fears. The Nightmare is born from that.
    But…
    But, my Nightmare, is not like that; my Nightmare, is a Nightmare about Nightmares.”


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter sees Lin Qin and Xü Beijin make some progress in helping the latter. No romantic interactions, though, which is a shame.

    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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