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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    The viewers of the stream are having an uproar.

    “they’re both the owners? both?? are you serious?!”
    “its not exactly impossible… this is a nightmare, so perhaps, the owner… is dreaming as both of them?”
    “like I can get normal nightmares, but then… who is the actor outside the nightmare? how do you even control two characters at once?”
    “im confused, i dont get what kinda… state the owner is in?”
    “schizophrenic state (literal)”
    “no, but i mean… is there really ke zhu and xie ji in the world, or are they actually the same person but just different personalities?”
    “if they’re actually the same person, I think I get why the nightmare has all the conflicts”
    “but… still, if theyre already the same person, then how did the nightmare even come about?
    it makes sense if one of them died while engaged and the other one is traumatised and has ptsd in nightmares, but if not… it makes no sense”
    “clinical narcissism?”
    “not that it looks like that from how they’ve been acting so far…”
    “another possibility is that they both exist, but one died in the hellfire, that’s why the one left behind, in his or her pain, decided to act like they’re the one they loved, and then acts out this drama in their nightmare forever, as if everything is stopped just before the apocalypse;
    it restarts as soon as the hellfire strikes, because thats what the nightmare owner wants to see”
    “it’s just a nightmare though, isn’t that lying to their own selves?”
    “so maybe the owner is KZ and XJ is who he fantasised himself to be in the nightmares from extreme pain and regret, and he’s reliving everything…?”
    “hmm… i think i understand now”
    “but confirmation will depend on who dies in the hellfire; we have no idea who it was in the last two runs”
    “I don’t think it’ll be so simple… like, assuming it’s xie ji who died, then what if ke zhu blames himself for her death and so fantasises about his girlfriend being alive, then so in his dream, like some ‘compensation,’ he’d act like he died instead of xie ji? and vice versa, xie ji blaming herself for arguing with her fiancé and maybe indirectly causing his death, so she tries to act like everything is the opposite?”
    “oh shit! thats totally possible! so its completely unknowable?!”
    “what a couple – you are me and i am you…”
    “two contradictory people, Im speechless”
    “this nightmare is contradictory already, a nightmare owner who yells about ‘the apocalypse is coming’ and ‘you’re all gonna die’ when it’s them who fear the apocalypse the most
    they’re basically telling everyone about the thing they fear”
    “though does that really fit xie jis image? didnt she say she doesnt fear death?”
    “she doesn’t, but what if it’s KZ who died?”
    “and if ke zhu is already like that then hes like dead set on becoming an apocalypse cultist in his anger right?”
    “really? why do I think it’s the opposite?”
    “if xie ji died it makes sense ke zhu goes off the deep end”
    “not hate the apocalypse more, and instead ending up as a cultist and believer?”
    “im confused, so they must both be the nightmares owner and not?”
    “schroedinger’s owner”
    “no, more like the birth of a captain quarrelsome”
    “anyway, who cares who can be the nightmares owner, reality is they both are”
    “but aren’t you all ignoring something? the players are here to get an ending and not figure out the mechanisms of the nightmare, even if they should”
    “wouldnt the simplest way be making sure neither KZ nor XJ die in the hellfire?”
    “hmm I disagree, like, if the couple really do love each other as much as we see, and one saw the other die, then… he or she, should prefer to die with them, right?”
    “fuck me, that makes sense!”
    “there is nothing to type but omfg…”
    “so both of them surviving or dying can have perfectly reasonable logic behind them?!”

    Of course, it’s not just the stream’s viewers who are completely stunned, but so are the Missiontakers.

    Especially Buzzcut, who is looking at Wu Jian and Ke Zhu like they have just told him ‘the piece of chocolate you just ate is one of those piles of shit with a chocolate flavour.

    It’s quite the disgusting metaphor, but it does convey about the same amount of shock factor.

    He murmurs, “so this Nightmare really has two Nightmare owners?” Then he immediately backtracks on the thought, “or possibly, a simple split personality? The subconscious of his self has been reflected in the Nightmare?
    This means that one of them did die, and the other person had a Nightmare because of that.”

    Fei thinks about it and analyses it deeply, before bitterly chuckling to say, “although it’s equally likely to be either of them…”

    Ding Yi ponders about it, before proposing, “if it’s uncertain, then why don’t we simply put it aside to think about the Ending instead?”

    The other Missiontakers seem to snap awake, and immediately agree.

    If this path of thought is a complete dead-end, then they might as well think outside the box to figure out an Ending for this Nightmare.

    Then they stumble onto that question – to live or to die?

    Would Ke Zhu and Xie Ji, want to survive together, or to die together?

    The Missiontakers are now looking at the engaged couple.

    As the Missiontakers had their epiphany, the couple has been looking at each other with this complicated gaze, of both longing, and of anxiety.

    They both have a lot they want to say, but neither can produce a word. They hold irreconcilable opinions, but they still deeply love each other.

    The Missiontakers fall into thought.

    Lin Qin is looking at the couple, and then tilts his head to ask Xü Beijin quietly, “is this how people who like each other behave?”

    Xü Beijin was watching the Nightmare’s progress along, and feels the mood has taken a left turn at Fifth and Bananas when he hears that out of nowhere.

    After a brief, awkward silence, he answers, “no, not normally,” he explains, “at least, an Apocalypse isn’t something that should be expected to befall anyone’s life.”

    “But it has befallen us, rather than not,” Lin Qin responds, “that’s what all the other Missiontakers are saying.”

    The corner of Xü Beijin’s mouth twitches.

    He knows what Lin Qin is getting at – he wants to say, since they have met it already, then in the future, they will not have to argue about it again in the future.

    Oh goodness, why is he able to follow Lin Qin’s strange brain logic now?

    Then Lin Qin adds, “but even if another Apocalypse happens to us, we will definitely not argue.”

    Here, Xü Beijin’s interest has been piqued, “how do you see the Apocalypse, then?”

    Lin Qin, though, asks, “what do you mean how I see it?”

    “Uh, for example, if I told you, the Apocalypse is coming, and you are going to die…”

    Xü Beijin finds himself less and less sure about what he’s saying, but he keeps going, “and something like that, what would you think?”

    “Think?”

    Lin Qin falls silent, thinking about it for a while, and answers, “I think I’d want to know, who caused me to die.”

    Xü Beijin is surprised.

    Lin Qin says, “if only the Apocalypse can simply be punched away…”

    Xü Beijin “…”

    What in the name of all that is good and holy is the little apple going on about?!


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter contains a wall of comments, but nothing really too substantial, I think. Anyway, some more cute interaction between Lin Qin and Xü Beijin is here!

    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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