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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    If Xü Beijin knew what the ‘imaginative’ Missiontakers were thinking about, and what they concluded, he would probably facepalm quite hard indeed.

    Mu Jiashi had a correct conclusion, based on an entirely false premise──That Xü Beijin did not need their information nor the drinks Mu Jiashi gave him.

    Well, did he really need them?

    Maybe Xü Beijin would find that he has certainly achieved the highest level of fraud that is humanly possible.

    He acquired what he wanted, with the person swindled completely willing and voluntary, and even thankful that he has been set up.

    Anyway, after all that, Mu Jiashi says, “I’ll have to head to the bookstore to talk with him. We might have had some severe misunderstanding previously,” then he sighs, and asks, “right, what did you come to me for, by the way?”

    Fei seems lost for a few more seconds before snapping back, and tell him, “oh. It’s about the Tower residents.”

    “You have new clues about their identity?”

    “No, not that… but, now, the news broke, in the higher floors up. The Missiontakers, they all know.”

    Mu Jiashi remains stunned for a while before asking blankly, “what do you mean, the Missiontakers all know?”

    Fei and Wu Jian, embarrassed, tells him of the unexpected failure that occurred during their communication, that a Carddealer stole a utility card they primed with the information, and somehow managed to get the information from within. The higher floors are now abuzz with the news.

    And maybe the Tower residents of the upper floors are simply more daring or if they’ve gone mad – after the news broke, they Acted even more blindingly obvious that they’re performing an Act. They might as well have yelled it out using loudspeakers with all the subtlety they’re having.

    Fei is terribly apologetic, and says, “we were informed by our peers from the upper floors just before we came here. Apparently, the Missiontakers up there… They’re close to rioting. This is completely on us….”

    Mu Jiashi remains stunned for a long time, until he finally says, “it’s alright. You’re not to blame;” then he adds, “if it’s a fait accompli anyway, then so be it. Everyone should have a good shake-up after how long we’ve spent in blissful ignorance…”

    He says, as his smile turns bitter.

    A lot of the Missiontakers must find the news too cruel to swallow.

    Since they knew this was a game, they played it like one. Then it turns out, the game, including the NPCs, all featured their own brethren.

    This ‘game’ thing is only here to divide and deceive them.

    Mu Jiashi wonders, rather heartlessly, so what?

    If they want out, naturally the Tower residents’ help is needed. Also, they would certainly know more than the Missiontakers do… about, this ‘game.’

    They can’t do anything about chaos in floors above, anyway. The bottom floor cannot provide any help. So soon enough, their topic switches back to the bottom floor.

    Fei says, “we were the first group to head into the Nightmare of the Raining Hellfire on the bottom floor. We can expect many Missiontakers to follow suit, so about that…”

    Her words trail off.

    Mu Jiashi, confused, asks, “what?”

    Fei then says, “it just feels like… It’s just a hunch, but… it feels like someone is pushing everything along.”

    Mu Jiashi seems a little surprised, but he exhales deeply and says, “I think so, too.”

    That Mu Jiashi shares their unease makes Fei and Wu Jian a little more at ease.

    Fei says, “everything felt a bit off ever since the rumour spread of someone leaving the Tower successfully. The entirety of the Tower… has a strange atmosphere about it.
    Whenever a new rumour arose afterwards, everyone rushed for it, ad infinitum… Well, it’s in the nature of humans to flock like sheep, but the, let’s say, pervasiveness…”

    Her imagination means that she is able to imagine a much deeper, secretive objective behind it all.

    Mu Jiashi shakes his head, though, telling them, “regardless, I think it’s a good thing, if we look at what has happened so far.”

    Wu Jian asks, though, “you think so too? I also think… that maybe, NE is actually on our side.”

    Something twitches on Mu Jiashi’s forehead, as he gives them an odd glance, and asks, “you feel like, it’s NE?”

    “We only think so because it is only NE who is capable of such,” replies Fei, “if it were any other person, would it have gone that smoothly… if at all?”

    Mu Jiashi thinks about it more deeply, and tells them what he thinks, “I had the idea because of something different – because of Su Enya. I thought someone was manipulating something behind it all because of her.
    In fact, I suspect the bookstore ow-… never mind that. It doesn’t seem too important to me, and I haven’t thought about it deeply.
    It might be reasonable to suggest NE. Yes, it’s possible.”

    “Did you just think of something?”

    Mu Jiashi mulls over it for a bit, explaining, “assuming the Tower residents are under more constraints than us, we can safely say that it is part of this game’s setting.
    An example of that is having to call us ‘outsiders.’
    NE could be seen as the overseer, maintaining this order in the Tower. If our guess from earlier holds any water, that Tower residents have to  push us to solve their Nightmares, then it’s probably as another setting of the game; an objective.
    Then, could the identity sharing between Su Enya and Xie Ji, also be part of that setting?
    Going off from that, I doubt that the switch from either identity to the other is voluntary. Then there might be what we call… ‘criteria’ that the Tower residents have to reach?
    I say that, because Su Enya should have revealed everything to me much earlier if she had any control over it.
    Instead, though, she can only imply she is Xie Ji, and vice versa, through different methods. Therefore, the Tower residents probably have no control over that.
    In that case, it’s reasonable to assume that, as the overseer of this game and its order, NE would reign above the game’s settings, and thus is able to determine the criteria, and maybe also overwrite the residents’ identities.
    Tentatively, this might also be able to explain how, being a Tower resident from a higher floor, Xie Ji was shunted down floors, and she also had the identity of Su Enya.
    The reason might be as you suspect, that NE really is on our side, and is helping us.”

    Mu Jiashi’s explanations rambled on a bit, but came to a conclusion quite similar to what Fei and Wu Jian brought up.

    It’s almost a habit of his, that when he is in the mood to pry to the very truth, he would force himself to make sense of every aspect, from the background to the aftermath of an event.

    Fei is bitterly smiling when she next says, “even if NE is helping us, though… could we do anything in response? We can’t even find it.”

    To find NE…

    Fei once suspected Xü Beijin of being the Server, NE, which would have made locating and communicating with NE much, much easier.

    In fact, when Mu Jiashi said Xü Beijin is omniscient, the thought crossed her mind once more.

    What is contradictory, though, is that if Xü Beijin really is the omniscient, even omnipotent Server, NE, then why would he have stayed on the bottom floor quietly? And more importantly, why did he need to prod the Missiontakers along to solve Nightmares?

    Wouldn’t an omnipotent entity be able to do whatever he pleases without opposition?

    It’s true that Xü Beijin had any aspects that makes him look similar to NE, but also a great deal that does not actually fit.

    In fact, Fei is noting, in her mind, how this is almost analogous to Ke Zhu and Xie Ji in that Nightmare earlier.

    The engaged couple also shares the quality, of one side fitting some aspects of the criteria for the Nightmare owner, and the other side some other aspects.

    The final truth of that Nightmare, is that they are two manifestations of the same mind; they were, dualistically, both owners of the Nightmare.

    A dualistic existence?

    Something flashes through the mind of Fei.

    No. It can’t possibly be… Could the Nightmare, actually have possibly be hinting at the true nature of the Server, NE, as well?

    No way.

    Fei simply dismisses it as her mind having been on hysterics lately.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter, Fei, Wu Jian and Mu Jiashi share their thoughts on Xü Beijin and his possible relationship with NE.

    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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