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    Being an Extra Actor in an Escape Game

    Vol. 6 Chapter 108.1


    Contradictions

    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    This is Wu Jian seeing the Space Agency for the first time, so he was understandably shocked when he sees how dilapidated the building was.

    “It’s already got this bad, huh…”

    Human society placed a rather serious emphasis on technology. Maybe it’s not really on the everyday citizen’s radar, but scientists would always work diligently where they don’t see them.

    If it wasn’t for extreme circumstances, Wu Jian cannot imagine humanity just abandoning space exploration altogether.

    He looks at the building with both a feeling of lament and a little bit of fear.

    Wu Jian is making connections in his mind already. Is this what perhaps once happened on Earth?

    Well, yes, of course.

    Wu Jian then stops looking at it and follows Fei, walking towards the plaza outside of the Space Agency, where many amateur astronomers are assembled.

    Fei recalls how she knew practically nothing about this Nightmare during the first run.

    But now, she understands well enough what things this Nightmare is showing.

    The Apocalypse… The Apocalypse, of two stages.

    If she received this information unprompted, she would probably have been overcome with dread when she understood what it all meant.

    Fortunately, she has mentally steeled herself when she entered.

    Therefore, after reining in her digressing thoughts, she walks forth to the nearest amateur astronomer and ask him, “hello, we’re looking for Xie Ji. Is she here?”

    “Xie Ji?” The person replies, “she just left.”

    Fei immediately furrows her brows; curses. She asks, “did she say where she’s going? We have something urgent!”

    Perhaps Fei’s expression was anxious enough, but the person did not hesitate long before nodding and turning around to ask around.

    Then he tells Fei, “Xie Ji said she’s going to the Museum to look for her boyfriend; it’s probably been an hour since she’s left, so I suppose she should have arrived by now.”

    Fei, thinking about how the Museum is at the southern end of the main road… oh goodness, she’s a broken woman.

    They hurried along to the library without stopping anywhere else and it still took them twenty odd minutes.

    Now to hurry back to the Museum… Even with the bus, when they are there, this run of the Nightmare will also be about over.

    Wu Jian says, sighing, “this is the third run… well, it’s started crumbling.”

    Then he pauses before adding, “this Nightmare is ridiculous too, setting the Space Agency and the Museum on opposite ends… We wouldn’t know it’s crumbled until we’re here, and we can only turn around here, even if we don’t know if we can still make it.”

    Wu Jian’s face is pretty sour.

    Fei takes a deep breath. She clears her thoughts, and then says, “whether it’s Xie Ji going to look for Ke Zhu or vice versa, it would have resulted in the same thing – the two of them being together by the time the Raining Hellfire strikes.
    So as long as we manage to hurry and make it at the very end. The Museum is also likely a shelter, so it will be fine.”

    Wu Jian knows what Fei is getting at, too, “so witnessing his fiancée’s death caused Ke Zhu to produce this Nightmare in his trauma?”

    “If Ke Zhu really is the owner of this Nightmare, then that would be the most likely reason,” replies Fei, “but the current issue is that this Nightmare… doesn’t have many clues that point to Ke Zhu being the owner in any way.”

    In fact, his fiancée Xie Ji has more of a relationship with the scenes in the Nightmare, even.

    Wu Jian doesn’t share her concern, though, arguing, “if it’s because of his fiancée’s death that this Nightmare is formed, then it is normal that the Nightmare features largely Xie Ji’s memories of locations she frequent, isn’t it?
    Ke Zhu himself works at the Museum and knows about the library, and maybe they also lived in the residential area; his fiancée was once the Space Agency’s employee… If we count it like this, then it is only their link with the restricted area to the east that remains unclear.”

    Fei’s brows loosen slightly as she points out, “that’s true… but, we still don’t have direct evidence.”

    Wu Jian shrugs to say, “it’s just troublesome that this Nightmare has no one that looks exactly like the Tower resident in question.”

    In more than half of the Nightmares, the owner would have the same look they have in the Nightmares;
    The ones that don’t are in the minority, like the little girl in the last Nightmare.

    The Nightmare owner can differ from the corresponding Tower resident in age, appearance or even personality.

    And if, in this Nightmare, it is because Ke Zhu went through such a traumatic experience of both the world ending and his fiancée dying right in front of his eyes, then it seems understandable his entire person changed dramatically.

    Finally, Wu Jian shakes his head and asks, “so are we heading back now?”

    Fei thinks about it, but shakes her head as well, then says, “since we’re here already, let’s try to gather more information on Xie Ji.”

    So they went for the person they asked about Xie Ji’s whereabouts just now.

    Currently, he is engaged in some heated argument with others.

    Fei listens in, and understands that this person believes firmly that the unidentified object is sent here by aliens, who have also caused the madness to spread over a year ago.

    Fei finds herself distinctly unamused.

    Aliens? Are you for real?

    Humanity has definitely been on the lookout for possible extraterrestrial life since the very inception of space exploration. Many people have wondered, if at a certain spot in this vast universe, some intelligent, sentient life like humanity would exist.

    They have found nothing, though, not even the faintest of signs. It’s like humans are the lone, insignificant existence that inhabit this vast expanse of space.

    To come up with an explanation for , humanity has had to invent theories like the Great Filter, or simply propose the absurd like aliens existing in some other dimensions or form.

    Humans are social creatures by birth, and so is humanity, not wishing to be alive, alone.

    Though… when humans who are about to meet utter destruction is spouting such nonsense, Fei still can’t help but lament the absurdity of it.

    This kind of guess is even worse than the ‘conspiracies’ the Missiontakers of the Tower accuse their organisation of producing!

    Fei is even wondering if this is what the Missiontakers in the Tower feel after hearing about them? Do they feel equally speechless and unamused?

    Aliens?

    Ha. Ha.

    And clearly, Fei is not alone in the sentiment. The rest of the amateur astronomers think the same.

    They are proud of the technological advancements of humanity, and trust the consensus reached when their exploration of space plateaued.

    They do not believe that any intelligent species and their civilisation would have left zero signs of their existence from the devoted search humanity has been conducting for them.

    “But what if… you know, what if we are the target of prey?” The person is arguing, “maybe we are simply incomprehensibly behind on the Kardashev scale, and they are completely beyond our comprehension, so we couldn’t even discover them. They could wipe us out with a flick of their fingers, or something like that?”

    He says that with a completely straight face, even while everyone else is laughing.

    “There’s no point in even discussing such existences,” someone mocks him, “such higher class civilisations? Spiritual existence? Maybe even subdimensional species? If they are something like that, we’re equivalent to ants to their civilisation.
    Humans don’t care the least for what ants are going to do, because they’re not even consciously aware of us!”

    “Hey, maybe it’s like some of those novels; they’re building some highway through the Milky Way and the Solar System is right in the way, so we got ‘sterilised’ along the way, hahaha.”

    Someone is jovially remarking, “are you sure you’ve not read one too many sci-fi dark forest type novels?”

    The man proposing everything is positively fuming. He’s not even speaking with them anymore.

    Fei walks over, right as this happens.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter reveals that the Nightmare is crumbling, in the form of Xie Ji not staying at the Space Agency in the Nightmare anymore. Meanwhile, some kind of absurdity is played for laughs... Hehe.

    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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