This might have been a nightmare loop that would horrify ordinary mortals.
Instead, it piqued Annan’s interest.
Firstly, when he just came out of the dungeon cell, the “eh” he first heard came from the current him.
But, how did this nightmare know that I would arrive here at this timing?
Is this a time loop nightmare?
It makes sense if this nightmare belongs to the Man in the Mirror, but I’m pretty sure this is the Pale Princess’s nightmare?
The Pale Princess doesn’t seem to have abilities related to time and mirror at all.
Or, is it simply because the nightmare “mutates” toward time and mirror images?
Is it because I have been in touch with the future Benjamin, or is it because I have a mirror given personally by the Man in the Mirror?
Many possibilities appeared in Annan’s mind at the same time.
The good news was that those curiosities dispelled his hesitation.
If the future me lit this candle… Annan dashed to the end of the corridor.
Then, he halted his footsteps.
In front of him was still the same long corridor as before. It took more than 10 seconds to sprint to the end.
There was a table with a letter and many white candles of the same thickness and height in the middle of the corridor this time. The only candle that was lit seemed to be lit not long ago. Only a quarter of it had been burned.
Seeing this, Annan was a little disappointed.
In Annan’s opinion, if this were indeed a loop, the future self would hold a candle and wait for him to come over. Then, there could be cooperative play later on.
After all, only Annan knew himself the best.
…En? Annan frowned slightly.
No, I’m mistaken.
He had a reason for choosing to run toward here, looking for the “third Evelyn”. He was worried that he couldn’t convince the “first Evelyn” that “I’m you” properly.
He might have turned into a monster-like Evelyn. The first Evelyn, or rather the first Annan, hadn’t seen what Evelyn looked like in the lake — the scars all over her face particularly. If he went over without saying a word, the past self might treat him as a monster and attack.
Annan was confident with his behavior. Therefore, he chose to find the third self.
If the third self existed, he should know that the second self could already believe that “this is a nightmare with a loop in it”.
So, the second self was different from the first self; he was trustworthy.
So, why didn’t the third self show up here?
Is it because it’s unnecessary, or… he can’t? Annan frowned, walked over to the table, and opened the envelope sitting there.
There were brief sentences in the letter. Annan was certain that it wasn’t any version of him who wrote this fluent cursive writing,
“The pursuit of a tragic love,
“Imprisonment in the shell of a life,
“The wandering dancer who pursues beauty and freedom—
“The Pale already knows your purpose,
“Through this door,
“Dedicate your soul remnant to the Pale.”
The words in the envelope ended here.
Does this refer to the mission [Complete the sacrificial ritual.]?
Annan was in deep thought.
There was too much information in this letter.
Wondering dancer, soul remnant…
Could it be that Evelyn was already dead?
So what’s the situation with Evelyn in reality?
Annan also suddenly thought of another crucial matter.
Whose nightmare is this?
This dungeon instance is on hard difficulty.
In other words, the nightmare owner should be a Silver Rank Transcended.
Obviously, the nightmare owner wasn’t Evelyn.
At least the current Evelynn wasn’t… She hadn’t even fulfilled the apprenticeship pathway. In the purest sense of attribute points, she wasn’t even Level 1.
However, Annan’s actions in pausing here and thinking weren’t without value.
He saw that the candle had dropped about ⅛ of its height.
This candle burns too fast; it’s unnatural. This was Annan’s first thought.
His second thought then followed.
He only paused here for half a minute, and ⅛ of the candle was consumed.
Then, he quickly understood that it should take 4 minutes for this candle to burn out.
That was to say, another Annan at [Life # ???] had only left this place 90 seconds ago!
…But why is he hiding from me?
Annan took the candle out from the candle holder and fixed it on the table without a second thought.
Holding the sharp candle holder as a weapon, he rushed to the end of the corridor. Then, he quickly opened the door.
At the moment the door was opened, Annan was stunned.
He was within an unnaturally winding room at the end of this long basement.
Approximately 80 white candles with the same height and thickness were placed all around the room. Each candle was burnt to a different height.
Candles surrounded the center of the room; it was as brightly lit as day.
The surprise here was the guillotine.
It was a gorgeous guillotine built on an altar with layers resembling a wedding cake.
It had a pure white wooden exterior, engraved with white runes and inlaid with various gems. A rope supported the diagonal crystal-colored blade at the highest point. There were white veils on both sides of the guillotine, like a wedding dress.
In front of the guillotine, there was a white lace basket with flowers in it, but Annan knew it was used to store heads.
From a distance, the setup gave off a first impression of a giraffe bride in a wedding dress.
Annan searched the room carefully but couldn’t find any exits. There was no blood on the guillotine and no heads in the basket.
This is clearly a dead end.
There are also no hints in the room.
Just as Annan was standing in front of the guillotine, pondering whether to cleave off his head.
Suddenly a somewhat new yet familiar low voice behind him rang out, “Annan, don’t move and don’t look back!”
That was Evelyn’s voice! Or rather, his voice!
Annan was sure of it. But, where the fuck did the voice come from?
Since someone had spoken already, Annan could only stand there silently.
Could it be that the mission is to have the future self murder the present self?
The other “self” behind him continued to make demands, “Hurry up and lie there… Ah, you don’t have to raise your butt. En, I will mention a key phrase to convince you to trust me, players and planning. Alright? Hurry up, stop wasting time…”
Stop wasting time?
Annan pondered, obeying the voice of the person behind him and lying on the guillotine. He stared at the white flower basket in front of him in a trance.
You’re not going to ask me to cut the rope myself, are you?
Just then, Annan heard the unmistakable sound of the rope being cut.
Then, there came the sound of the guillotine suddenly falling—
“Ouch…” Annan heard Benjamin’s screams of pain.
The next moment, Annan suddenly opened his eyes.
Only then did he notice that he and Benjamin were both collapsed at the bottom of the stairs—the lamp had fallen to the side. His hands and clothes were covered with dust. All the dust had turned into mud, making him feel uncomfortable.
As Annan thought about his situation, he reached out to help Benjamin up.
He subconsciously didn’t touch Benjamin with his muddy hands.
However, Benjamin grabbed Evelyn’s hand anyways and staggered up from the ground.
“Ouch…this…” He complained about his pain and then gently comforted, “It’s fine, nothing is broken…”
Judging from what you said, did I slip and push you down here?
Annan quickly recognized what the young Benjamin meant.
Otherwise, he would have complained about how slippery was this place. But, since he didn’t dare to complain at Evelyn, he comforted her as soon as possible; probably she was the one causing all these to happen.
Did I lose control of my body when my consciousness blurred?
Annan subconsciously opened the mission panel.
Sure enough, the mission changed back again.
[Main mission: Return to the dream.]
[Acquire Benjamin’s trust.]
[Complete the sacrificial ritual.]
[Do not go home.]
Annan grimaced subconsciously, not because of the pain in his body but because of exasperation.
What a loop!
How do I end this nightmare?
Credits to MindMatrix for editing this chapter and improving the readability.
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