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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Xü Beijin has no idea his antagonistic face had Mu Jiashi assume the worst in the very beginning, or how he holds untold amounts of gratitude towards Lin Qin, as he thought it was Lin Qin who changed him.

    Though seriously… Why wouldn’t anyone believe that Xü Beijin is simply a traditionally ‘good’ person?

    Xü Beijin is still looking at Mu Jiashi with a smile of blissful ignorance, as he heads for the third floor to check for clues with Ding Yi.

    If he knew how Mu Jiashi actually saw him, then…
    He might reconsider what his true image looks like to the outside world.

    He did not, and so he was talking normally with all involved.

    Meanwhile, together with Ding Yi and a He Shujün under watch, Mu Jiashi reaches the third floor, and once again comes across the teenager dressed like a student.

    Lu Chengzhe seems surprised they’re here; so Mu Jiashi concludes that he hasn’t come to recall the last runs yet.

    Speaking of which… recalling everything only makes Xü Beijin look all the more special, doesn’t it?

    The bookstore owner of the Tower seems to always recall what is happening beyond Nightmares and in the Tower. In fact, more often than not he talks about the Tower more than he does any Nightmare.

    Mu Jiashi didn’t know that this is simply because Xü Beijin doesn’t have in-depth knowledge on most Nightmares either; he is simply assuming it is part of his riddling and mysterious aura; he knows, but he’s not simply going to tell them.

    That’s how it was in the Nightmare with the post-Apocalyptic ruins, where Xü Beijin told them about the roof being an important location.

    He’s directly pointing to the way to resolve the Nightmare, and it solely falls onto the Missiontaker whether they can decode the clue successfully.

    Mu Jiashi can’t help but self-derisively smile, though; it certainly must have been amusing to him to give rather vague riddles instead of concrete answers; they are the ones who have to figure out the truth, after all.

    Even if there might really be some terrible truth or insider knowledge in his Nightmare, it’ll be well hidden, waiting for the Missiontakers to uncover it.

    Mu Jiashi’s thoughts continue to idle along as he scans the third floor.

    The main scenes of interest here are the reading rooms and the self-study rooms, into the latter of which Lu Chengzhe has put the newspapers and magazines from the former.

    The self-study rooms contains low shelves with neatly ordered newspapers and articles sorted by genre and date. This must be Lu Chengzhe’s hard work.

    Ding Yi is not going to just go look for the needle in the haystack. Instead, she asks Lu Chengzhe which of the publications he’d recommend to catch up to speed.

    Lu Chengzhe, while he isn’t a staff of the library anymore, still answers her question in detail.

    He tells them, “the most important among these would probably be the ‘Cangcheng Nightly,’ it’s a local newspaper;
    if you need a more recent, but possibly inaccurate update, you can read the ‘Cangcheng Bulletin.’
    As for magazines… the one with the most readership right now would be the ‘Astronomical Journal Weekly.’”

    “The ‘Astronomical Journal’?” Ding Yi thinks for a moment and asks, “can I ask what’s inside? Does it relate to… whatever is falling towards us?”

    “Yes, that’s why it’s popular; it’s not even published weekly anymore, but daily. They send a thick volume here every day at this point.”

    Lu Chengzhe is bitterly smiling as he continues, “since news of the object broke a few days ago, it feels like the entire world has gone even more insane than they were before.
    And some… well, a lot of people were already mad, with that strange sickness, but some of them only turned insane when this news spread. Cangcheng is one of the lucky ones. In some places… law and order are no longer upheld; anarchy reigns.”

    Ding Yi listens quietly.

    She feels pretty anxious; she thinks she doesn’t want to listen to any of this anymore, especially when these probably don’t play a role in this Nightmare’s truth or its Endings. It’s just a piece of background setting. She shouldn’t waste her time listening.

    On the other hand, though, she finds her legs too stiffened to move. They’ve been pumped with lead. It’s heavy. It’s tiring. It’s painful.

    The story of the past, is not just the past of this Tower resident, but also… possibly their own past.

    So Ding Yi continues listening, despite how painful it is.

    Lu Chengzhe then dryly adds, “of course… I mean, those might still only be rumours.”

    He tries to ease the situation and say, “if there really were something tumbling right for us, the astronomers should have observed them months or years in advance, shouldn’t they?
    It… it can’t be that it’s only observed a few days prior, right?”

    Ding Yi, surprised, thinks about it as the gears in her brain churn.

    If it really were some comet or meteorite, the astronomers should have been able to observe it a long time ago.

    They would also have calculated whether it would actually impact the planet, when, and where it might end up, and what sort of disaster would be expected…

    Earth has been no stranger to rumours of a meteor falling towards us. They’re basically passing conversation topics at this point.

    Thanks to the astronomers, who’d have announced way in advance what object is going to make a near miss when with what probability of impact.

    The situation seems completely reversed in this Nightmare; with human technology, something that should have been observed a long time ago is only discovered a few days earlier. This unidentified object is suddenly flying towards Earth?

    That doesn’t make sense.

    Lu Chengzhe then explains, “the academic circles are in an uproar; there has been no time for peer-reviewed studies, so instead, the experts simply decide to publish everything they are currently thinking without review… Of course, reports are trickling in more and more about there really being an object hurtling down.”

    Ding Yi remains silent.

    According to Ke Zhu, the ‘experts’ were publishing randomly in magazines because they’ve failed academic standards by this point. Lu Chengzhe’s retelling of the events would sound more believable, though.

    It is because, there has not been enough time.

    Ding Yi looks out at the sky outside by reflex.

    The sun is still shining brightly, the sky is a brilliant azure. It’s the kind of irritating day that only cools a little by dusk.

    But… how many people would never be able to see that dusk come?

    Ding Yi stops her thoughts there. The scene of He Shujün’s death is still replaying in her mind over and over again. She thinks she will sure have nightmares for a long time to come after leaving this Nightmare.

    She thanks Lu Chengzhe for his time, and quickly walks into the reading room, followed by Mu Jiashi.

    Ding Yi first looks for the ‘Astronomical Journal Weekly,’ which, as he said, isn’t so much a Weekly anymore.

    There are several hundred pages of ‘Special Issue’ that are all merely dated yesterday. What an unbelievable occurrence.

    She picks up the book, and reads the table of contents. She confirms that it is true that there is a fiery, ongoing debate about the nature of the unidentified object.

    Lu Chengzhe probably told them what he understood that corroborates with the first article in place, which is one that refutes the claim of the sudden object identified. Instead, the author insists it must be space junk that is being misidentified in people’s telescopes and causing panic.

    All those years of astronomical observations and they never saw this object in the sky, ever? And it’s shooting right for Earth barely moments after being observed?

    This is being quite ignorant of the true speed of travel in the vast emptiness of the universe.

    For example, the Moon that looks close enough on the sky is actually an unfathomably long distance away from us.

    And besides, if the object really is travelling at such a breakneck speed, then relativistic effects and different forces should have torn the object apart already.

    But that has not happened.

    At the conclusion, the author is even accusing the other people of creating panic on purpose, perhaps as a ploy to eliminate all the mad people that has pervaded human society.

    This ‘unidentified object’ fiasco is merely the shiny façade they are holding up in the meantime, they insist.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter features a sort of ‘suspect hostism’ variant, while also featuring some opinions of contemporary experts at the time.

    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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