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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 6 Chapter 104.1


    Candidate

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    A Nightmare about Nightmares.

    It is certainly about as vague as it gets; Lin Qin is baffled, at least.

    Lin Qin’s thought processes are simple enough, so taking it at face value, he asks, “so your Nightmare has other people’s Nightmares?”

    “Not exactly…” Xü Beijin tells him, “but that’s the main idea.”

    “So to win your Nightmare, the Missiontaker must succeed against all the Nightmares inside?”

    Xü Beijin has a complicated expression at that remark. As expected of something Lin Qin might say──Quite logical but outlandish.

    So he asks, “Lin Qin, do you know how many Nightmares there are in the Tower?”

    Lin Qin shakes his head.

    “It’s countless,” Xü Beijin says, “and if you really have to resolve all of the Nightmares in my Nightmare, that is equivalent to saying, you will be resolving basically the entire stock of the countless Nightmares in the Tower.”

    Lin Qin then looks at him and asks, “does this mean that your Nightmare really does contain all the other Nightmares of the Tower? The people dream inside your Nightmare?”

    “No, it’s not a dream inside a dream,” Xü Beijin replies, and then simply shuts him down, “you can stop guessing, Lin Qin… if you don’t enter my Nightmare in person, you wouldn’t understand it.”

    “Then will you let me into your Nightmare?”

    “Don’t be silly.”

    “But you’re hesitant. I know. Beijin, you’re at your limit.”

    Xü Beijin goes silent.

    He knows what Lin Qin means; he is also amazed at how sharp Lin Qin is.

    That’s right. Xü Beijin may have withstood all the years past, but he does feel like he might not last any longer.

    It is the inevitable sum of mental fatigue. His increasingly pale face and ever darkening eyebags are the physical proof.

    Lin Qin has come to this conclusion by a deceptively simple observation – he has noticed that Xü Beijin is blanking out increasingly often recently.

    It’s like, his lack of sleep for keeping his Nightmare secret, is finally suffocating him.

    This is the reason that Lin Qin is so adamant that Xü Beijin sleep. His instincts are warning him, again and again, that he must do something to help the body of the person he likes.

    Though… Lin Qin looks at Xü Beijin. He doesn’t understand why, despite his weariness of it all, why Xü Beijin would not be willing to take a rest

    Really, by now, even if he did sleep, perhaps only very few Missiontakers on the bottom floor would even chance his Nightmare being open and try it.

    Besides, Lin Qin’s previous proposal is definitely feasible; he can absolutely guarantee that no one will get in.

    Even with all that, Xü Beijin still refused.

    Xü Beijin might say it’s ‘just in case,’ but Lin Qin can feel… There must be some other reason. Some reason that Xü Beijin cannot tell him frankly.

    Lin Qin, recalling what Xü Beijin said earlier, suddenly says, “I understand now.”

    “What?” Xü Beijin, surprised, isn’t capable of following Lin Qin’s quickfire thought processes.

    “You’ve said, that anyone going into your Nightmare, will succumb without fail.”

    “That’s right…”

    “Then what about yourself?”

    Xü Beijin falls silent.

    “As the Nightmare’s owner yourself, would you also be unable to leave the Nightmare?”

    Lin Qin is so sharp that he might as well have been looking at an answer sheet instead of deducing the answer through Xü Beijin’s actual wording and microexpressions. He says, “that’s why you must not sleep, not simply because you are worried for the others.”

    Xü Beijin remains silent.

    Lin Qin is still going. He has managed to deduce all of this simply because he cares about Xü Beijin, the person, and nobody else. That is why he found Xü Beijin’s apparent ‘altruism’ unfathomable.

    He cannot imagine that the person he cares would simply forgo sleep for years, or even dozens of years, on end, simply because of a worry that others might stumble upon and then succumb to his Nightmare.

    Never mind when the timing is when the interest in his Nightmare has dwindled to negligibility and Lin Qin even offered additional, foolproof guarantee…

    It is inconceivable for Xü Beijin to still refuse.

    That must mean that, his Nightmare, cannot solely have been dangerous to the Missiontakers. It must be equally dangerous to the owner himself.

    Lin Qin then speculates, “is it NE? Does NE want to kill you? Or… trap you forever?” Lin Qin then wonders, “why, though?”

    Xü Beijin cannot answer the question, the same way that he cannot tell Lin Qin the absolute truth of his Nightmare.

    Of course, Xü Beijin identifies as, and is certainly, a good person, but he is not a saint without deal-breaker.

    When Missiontakers had his bookstore besieged, he was furious and wrathful;
    When he cannot sleep for a long time, he is tired and exhausted;
    While his Nightmare was all the rage on the bottom floor of the Tower, he did not sleep chiefly for condemning other Missiontakers to an unfortunate end – succumbing to it, never to leave again; but he also did not sleep before, or after that.

    In fact, the moment he was transported into the Tower, he has never gone to sleep.

    Some Missiontakers may have wondered, if there was a night when a hypothetical Tower resident’s Nightmare was not visited by a single Missiontaker, does the Nightmare still happen?

    The answer is – yes. The Nightmare would still play out in the Tower resident’s dream.

    However, the other Tower residents definitely did not have Xü Beijin’s resolve or resilience. They would eventually go to sleep from mental exhaustion, and then suffer torture in their own Nightmares.

    Take Su Enya, for example. The Nightmare with the sentient electronic devices has tortured her enough that she ended up going through extreme means to escape the bottom floor.

    Therefore, it might actually be a good thing for the Actors that Missiontakers come to their Nightmares.

    As for Xü Beijin, whether Missiontakers enter his Nightmare, he would not sleep.

    Because, he must never enter his own Nightmare.

    If he does enter his own Nightmare, it will ensnare him forever as well. He will never be able to leave, to keep his sanity or rational thought. He would have become a mindless husk of a madman. A monster that can no longer be reasoned with.

    It would be what some certain parties would have wanted.

    Xü Beijin would refuse to allow that to happen.

    That said, just as Lin Qin said so eloquently, ‘he’s at his limits.’

    The streaming system’s arrival serves as a beacon of hope, but, frankly, he still doesn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Instead, the more crucial factor, lies in the rather subtle changes to how NE is doing things. It is giving him possible ideas.

    That is why he is hesitant. He is hesitant, because he is now considering if changes are necessary on his end, too.

    There will only be one chance, however.

    His Nightmare, can only be opened and entered once. If they fail, then all would be over.

    Xü Beijin smiles, though it looks forced as always, as he finally tells Lin Qin, “let me think about it some more first, Lin Qin. I have to think about it. We will need more people, more support. It cannot just be the two of us in my Nightmare…”

    Lin Qin nods with a serious face on the surface, while in his mind, he is already chuckling cheerily. Look, his Beijin just referred to the two of them as ‘we’ and ‘us.’

    The two of them are together. Even Xü Beijin has basically assumed that Lin Qin would be in his Nightmare.

    Lin Qin, looking at Xü Beijin, tentatively raises his hand over, and rubs his finger on the corner of Xü Beijin’s lips to help him get rid of the bitter angle. Then, he gently pulls Xü Beijin into a hug.

    Xü Beijin let him do it without protest, which gives Lin Qin quite a joyous feeling.

    Riding on his success, Lin Qin proposes the outrageous, “so is this a good time for me to kiss you?”

    Xü Beijin’s face goes expressionless immediately, and he says, “no, this is not…”

    Lin Qin “…”

    He can only give a muffled ‘oh, I see’ to it.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    Lin Qin’s deductions are at it again! So Xü Beijin would also succumb to his Nightmare if entered, which explains why he is so unflinchingly stubborn on the matter. Their romance is progressing smoothly along... except for the last part. Poor Lin Qin.

    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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