Chapter 144: Time & Mirror
Delicious Wind Goose continued onward.
As he walked forward, the demons and hounds that appeared on the opposite side of the corridor also began to retreat synchronously.
When he was about to reach the end, they had all disappeared.
But at the same time—
After the demon and hound disappeared.
The door in front of Delicious Wind Goose was also gone.
It disappeared directly, becoming a wall sealed by bricks. It was the same as trying to turn around and go back to the previous dreams.
Delicious Wind Goose boldly took a look back.
In front of him was a long and deep corridor.
The end of the corridor was not a wall but a door.
It was like an hourglass that turned upside down.
Old Goose quickly reacted,
Yes, he is back to the starting point.
“Fuck, I’m stuck.”
Delicious Wind Goose couldn’t help but curse, “I don’t know when and how I will die!”
He rallied his spirits again and barely walked forward to the midpoint.
After that, he sat on the ground, exerted force with both hands, and squirmed forward for a while with his legs crossed.
After confirming that this mechanism was not triggered by the legs and feet but by the “distance,” Old Goose finally sighed and squatted in place, leaning against the wall. He kicked his legs on the wall on the other side like a complaining middle-aged man, thinking motionlessly.
As he had guessed, the demon and hound chasing after him stopped moving as expected.
Annan went into deep thoughts.
—He had seen this puzzle before.
This was similar to a level in the puzzle platform game called “Braid.”  In that level, the space axis and time axis of the player character were combined into one.
Even when the player character moved to the left, time would go backward. When it moved to the right, time would move forward. When standing still or moving in the vertical direction, time would remain still.
For now, Delicious Wind Goose was in that situation.
When he talked in place, time was still no matter how his upper body moved.
But as long as he moved forward or backward, time would change.
He could only go forward and enter the door.
But after he got closer to a certain extent, the door became a wall.
Annan was thinking too.
How can I clear this level?
Suddenly, something that surprised all players happened.
“I warned you, Amos! Don’t use this gramophone anymore!”
At this moment, a chorus of ephemeral and sweet female voices echoed.
That was Elle’s voice!
But unlike in the nightmare, her tone was neither a gentle nor polite.
Her voice sounded from all directions at the same time, “You don’t understand its principle, and you don’t know the cost of using it! The Time Stopper Eye has seen you!”
“But I have no choice, Elle. At least that master is far away in Austere-Winter.”
“Amos” took a deep breath and whispered, “But the police have already discovered it. They’ve found us! They are here!
“I vowed not to use it again, but there are always exceptions.”
After he finished speaking, Amos paused slightly.
Amos’s face once again showed the dazzled look that belonged to Delicious Wind Goose.
“—Fuck, how did you get into CG?”
“—Elle, where are you!? (tremor)”
“—Gramophone? There are gramophones in this era?”
“—Don’t move, Old Goose, I want to listen to Miss Elle’s voice! Ah~, I’m charmed to death.”
“—Wait, wasn’t Elle in her teens forty-five years ago? What happens to her now?”
“—What is the Time Stopper Eye?”
The over-informed CG dialogue piqued the players’ interest to start discussing about it.
It was Annan who was taken aback.
Time Stopper Eye?
Isn’t this Master Michelangelo’s title?
Why can I still hear Michelangelo’s name in this nightmare?
Isn’t this the Freezing Water Port from forty-five years ago?
Annan paused suddenly.
Yes, time and mirror…
These are indeed Michelangelo’s tricks!
Suddenly, Annan realized a problem he had never thought of before.
Did Master Michelangelo choose Roseburg as the rebirth point? Was it on purpose?
Was it simply coincidence, or had it been planned?
Just when Annan’s thoughts drifted outside the dungeon instance, Delicious Wind Goose was in deep thought after listening to Amos and Elle’s conversation.
“I seem to realize something, my brothers.”
As Old Goose, he walked back slowly without looking back.
The flow of time around him moved forward as he approached the midpoint; it continued to accelerate after he moved away from the end.
The spectators ridiculed via the bullet text,
“—Old Goose, are you planning to leave this place by walking backward?”
“—Sorry to disturb (Bye)”
“—Don’t think about it. The door is already sealed. No one is allowed to leave today!”
“Don’t make a noise. Just watch.”
Delicious Wind Goose snorted and retreated to about one-sixth of the entire corridor.
That was when the decay traces just overgrew to the floor under his feet.
Delicious Wind Goose kept going back and forth several times in this area. The bullet text gradually understood,
“—Are you looking for a cracked floor?”
Seeing this line of words, other players instantly understood.
Delicious Wind Goose was looking for “interactive” environmental fixtures.
There must be something in this area that couldn’t be changed over time. Otherwise, it would evolve into an infinite loop.
Well, this corridor was empty, and there was nothing here.
So, what were the options for Delicious Wind Goose to investigate?
It turned out that there were at least two things that could be investigated even if the corridor was empty.
First, it was the wall.
Second, it was the floor!
Although the floor was cracked, decayed, and collapsing, it did not collapse and disappeared out of thin air. Rather, the floor fell to the bottom level.
“—At the right wall, counting to the left, the third one!”
The spectators confirmed all this with a third-person perspective and issued a piece of advice, “It had a crack at the beginning, but it didn’t fall until later!”
In other words…
Delicious Wind Goose could give it a try and pull out the plank. He could bring it to the mirror space and see what happens!
Delicious Wind Goose’s eyes lit up. He lowered his head and grabbed the floor plank, and plucked it out.
Both sides of it had cracked and fell.
At the very beginning, Delicious Wind Goose treated it as a trap. It was not sturdy, and it had crumbled. If Old Goose were to step on it with one foot, he would fall.
But here was the problem.
Since it was not stable enough, it could make you fall like a trap.
Naturally, it should be possible to pull it out directly!
At first, its tip was somewhat sturdy.
Delicious Wind Goose clutched the floor tightly with his right hand and walked a few steps forward.
The floor plank appeared like “in history,” with the tip rotten and falling off.
But it did not fall off this time.
It fell into Delicious Wind Goose’s hand!
“I will try to see if I can smash it.”
Delicious Wind Goose whispered.
He held the board in his right hand and moved slowly forward.
As he stepped across the centerline, the violin sounded again. Time began to flow backward. The traces of decay and the demons and dogs were starting to regress.
But when he walked to the symmetrical position where he took the floor plank in his hand, the plank suddenly ignited, scorching black flame consuming the rotted wood.
Before Delicious Wind Goose could react, it dropped out and fell to the ground. Then, it burned a large hole in the floor.
Though the fire only burned him lightly, he was left with 3% health!
Delicious Wind Goose became thoughtful for a moment.
He walked forward to the end and looked back.
Then, he discovered that the only wooden board that could be removed had already regenerated.
He finally laughed.
“This is a javelin game.”
He said categorically, “If two items of the exact timeline cannot appear at the same time…
“Then, the dungeon wants me to throw this out before coming here.
“The dungeon wants to pierce the monster to death with this throw?
“—Or he wants me to open that door by throwing this out?”
Appreciation to a fellow fan, Delusional in suggesting edits and improve the language flow of this chapter. 😍
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