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    Translated by boilpoil
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    When everyone least expects it, Mu Jiashi suddenly speaks up.

    With his eyes right on Xie Ji, he asks, “you’re the first person to see the unidentified object in the world… So, what does the object actually look like?”

    The other Missiontakers are surprised.

    They also know Xie Ji was the first person to visually confirm the object, but then in this Nightmare, the Raining Hellfire still happens regardless, so they have largely ignored it afterwards.

    Why? Maybe they cared more about the Nightmare itself. Naturally, they’re more concerned about its endings, the truth, the Nightmare’s owner, etc. So they didn’t pay much thought to anything else.

    Also, the Raining Hellfire is like some kind of natural disaster. The Apocalypse that humans are entirely powerless against. There is no meaning in knowing more about it.

    What, are they going to board some spacecraft and plant nukes on it?

    Though that said, here, at least one person has seen it for herself.

    Fei and Wu Jian give each other a glance, as they also pay attention to Xie Ji immediately.

    They also ignored the question entirely!

    Possibly, because they have already heard the astronomy enthusiasts argue about its nature outside the Space Agency, that she thought they didn’t have a clear idea what the object looked like either.

    The same cannot be said for Xie Ji, of course. She saw it first, so she may know something.

    Fei is thinking about it more deeply, too – why did they largely ignore this possibly monumental question that should naturally arise?

    They entered this Nightmare to investigate and learn the truth about the Apocalypse; why are they ignoring things that are pointing directly at it?

    Could it be, that NE is manipulating their thoughts behind the scenes?

    Fei’s face goes rather pale. She bites her lips hard, afraid a terrified scream would explode the moment she relaxed.

    Their brains. Their consciousness. It’s wide open to danger.

    The other Missiontakers like Buzzcut are also looking at Xie Ji, but for different reasons, related to this Nightmare.

    After Mu Jiashi asked the question, Buzzcut suddenly realised──this is the quickest way to confirm who the Nightmare’s owner really would be back in the Tower!

    Only Xie Ji has ever seen what that object looks like; Ke Zhu has never seen it, nor could he ever have seen it.

    They’ll be able to identify the true owner of the Nightmare with this.

    Even if they both are, they’ll at least figure out which is the main consciousness that gave rise to this Nightmare in the first place.

    So who is it?

    Buzzcut stares right at Xie Ji.

    Will she be able to describe the unidentified object?

    Of course, the Missiontakers have not seen it, so they won’t know if it’s accurate if she does speak up.

    Maybe they can use the large telescope at the Space Agency themselves, but none of them know how to operate such a thing in the first place.

    Here, Buzzcut is watching the expressions of Ke Zhu and Xie Ji very closely.

    Xie Ji, the focus of everyone present, instead turns to Ke Zhu first.

    After a moment of contemplation, Ke Zhu quietly says, “don’t mind me. If they want to know, then just tell them.”

    Xie Ji opens her mouth.

    But Ke Zhu immediately adds, “but I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to know!”

    After yelling, he immediately walks into the library, leaving his fiancée alone with a group of strangers.

    Xie Ji is shaking, gripping her hand tightly. She wants to stop her fiancé, but she couldn’t say a word even as he disappeared into the library entirely.

    She doesn’t seem to comprehend at all, why Ke Zhu is unwilling to admit the Apocalypse is coming;
    The same way that Ke Zhu doesn’t understand why Xie Ji demands him to acknowledge it.

    Whether the Apocalypse comes or not, really, life has to go on. Maybe death would have took everything with it, but parting is itself, a part of the cycle of life.

    On this matter, the couple could not be reconciled.

    The Missiontakers who are watching the exchange, are once again feeling the… rift. A conflicting rift, that seems to be running through the Nightmare. Ke Zhu and Xie Ji are opposite poles of one single magnet. It seems to imply something.

    Buzzcut isn’t thinking about it too deeply, as he doesn’t care about the Apocalypse at all. He hurries Xie Ji along, “so, what did it actually look like?”

    He’s seriously dying to know who the real consciousness behind this Nightmare is, which will hinge on what she says next.

    It kind of looks like Xie Ji knows something, assuming Ke Zhu wasn’t simply bullshitting them.

    Missiontakers are normally this cruel and heartless.

    Xie Ji seems to have recovered a little. She takes a deep breath, and her tone sinks.

    After her fiancé has left, the weakness and loss on her face has all but dissipated. What replaced them would be the confidence and collectedness as expected of Xie Ji, a woman who became an astronomical researcher in the prestigious Cangcheng Space Agency while still in her 20s.

    Although there is also a worry in her tone.

    She tells them, “it was… metallic.”

    “Metallic?”

    Several Missiontakers repeat the phrase subconsciously.

    Xie Ji nods affirmatively, and explains, “it’s hard to describe, but the thing… resembled a liquid metal like mercury, but the colour was much more on the dark side, which made it hard to distinguish from the dark background of space if it were not for its reflectiveness. Even so, it’s easy to mistake it for being a faraway, dim star.
    That was actually what I thought when I first observed it, until the moment… it moved.
    It moved so quick that I thought my eyes or the atmospheric scattering was playing a trick on me. I confirmed once again, and it was rediscovered outside the view of the telescope from earlier.
    You might not understand how telescopes work, but suffice it to say, the distance traversed was astronomical.”

    The Missiontakers nod, despite their varying levels of understanding.

    Meanwhile, Ding Yi, who had the opportunity to read some analyses on the third floor of the library, asks, “would this be proof against what some people speculate, that the object existed in the solar system all along?”

    “That’s right…” Xie Ji goes a bit quieter as she continues, “many of them have only started observing today or yesterday, after hearing about it, and none of them have seen its almost metallic form that my friends at the Space Agency and I did in the beginning again.”

    She sounds pretty frustrated at this point.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter reveals why theories on the object and whether it would cause the Apocalypse is so divided.

    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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