Tapir’s condition finally stabilized.
However, she wasn’t out of danger yet. She was only locked in a stalemate with the intruder and had regained certain power to retaliate with a move or two.
The intruder Lord of Nightmare was also operating a large-scale Nightmare Dungeon, so it was impossible for her to put in all her resources to swallow Tapir.
This was a price she must pay for underestimating Tapir, but she hadn’t given up. She had already started trying to mobilize more resources to fight back.
Qiu Ren helped Tapir turn the original blitzkrieg into a tug of war. The rest would depend on which side could last longer.
All in all, Tapir now had room for a counterattack. When she was free, she even gave Qiu Ren a little surprise, one that he wasn’t quite willing to see.
While fighting back, she projected the scene near to her enemy’s Nightmare Seed on the equipment Qiu Ren used to watch the Battle Royale.
“This is the operating venue of ‘Lost Heart?’”
Qiu Ren looked at the scene shown on the screen and felt like he was monitoring it.
The place where the enemy’s Nightmare Seed was sealed was also highly guarded, like Fengdu Prison. Even though they adopted the attitude of letting their Nightmare Seed “loose,” they had to take precautions in reality. Who knew if the Lord of Nightmare would stab them in their backs when it was full?
Besides, the Lords of Nightmare didn’t have a clear stance. It was not impossible for them to bite the humans who detained them.
Qiu Ren saw Maine and Herring, the two members of the “Dream Eater Team,” waking up next to the Nightmare Seed. Or should he call them the Nightmarer Team? Or Wake-up Clock Team… or dogs raised by the companies?
No matter what, the first reaction Maine had when he woke up was the same as Xiao Zhou’s.
Maine directly started cursing. The anger in his heart made him raise his arm and smash the equipment used for entering the dream.
This smash even dented the case of the equipment, and there were sparks on the inside.
“That woman… If I meet her again in the Nightmare… I…” Maine couldn’t describe the frustration in his mind with words.
“Looks like you’re indeed addicted to that Nightmare.”
Herring woke up in the equipment for entering the dream next to him. She found a handkerchief and wiped off the smokey makeup ruined by her tears.
“Addicted? No… I’m just… just…”
“Reluctant to accept the result? This is probably the most fascinating thing about this Nightmare Dungeon called Battle Royale. Every time you go inside, you always think that you can win. After you’re killed by someone, you think it’s your mistake. Then, this keeps repeating back and forth like an endless cycle. You should be glad we still have a chance to go in there! That Nightmare Dungeon has started to become popular on Twitch.”
“This isn’t something we should be thankful for. If you think it doesn’t matter, I have nothing to say.”
Maine was here to lead Herring, a newcomer. And yet, even though she was a newcomer, it didn’t mean that her background was similar. The mission failed this time, but he wouldn’t be punished. He would only lose a bit of his reputation.
Dream Eaters like them were hired by companies that operated Nightmare Seeds, and they even charged a large amount of money.
Although these companies all had some background behind them, battles between factions were complicated. This was also the reason why Twitch didn’t ban the content of the battle royale game.
Right now, the battle royale game had become visibly popular on Twitch. They didn’t even have time to create a channel for it to control the rate of traffic. So, how could they possibly throw away a large piece of cake with such high traffic just because of the persuasion from another company?
Qiu Ren could hear everything they said. He was a bit relieved after realizing that there was no way they could interfere with the spread of the battle royale game overseas.
And yet, Herring, who did her makeup again… suddenly made eye contact with Qiu Ren.
This wasn’t an illusion. When Qiu Ren was looking at the screen, she was also staring at that Nightmare Seed in the middle.
“The battle royale game is indeed attractive, but I want to know who the Dream Maker that created this Nightmare Dungeon is and what the Dream Maker’s own dream dimension is like…”
I’m sorry. There’s nothing in my own dream dimension.
Qiu Ren certainly knew what she meant. Tapir’s worries were right. Once the enemies found that their popularity couldn’t beat the battle royale game, they would start going after the Dream Maker.
What should he do? While Qiu Ren was thinking of a plan, someone suddenly put her arm around his shoulder.
“They can’t threaten you!” Kan Shaoni came over and squeezed Qiu Ren’s shoulder as she said, “This, we can assure you!”
Kan Shaoni hugged Qiu Ren in her arms, as if she was trying to give him a sense of security. Yet, Qiu Ren didn’t enjoy this hug very much but felt a little heavy on his shoulders instead.
However… for his own safety, Qiu Ren didn’t complain.
It was inevitable that Fengdu Prison or the government would protect him as important personnel, but… how should this be put? Having the protection from other people didn’t feel as safe as defeating the enemies with his own strength!
Qiu Ren must start building his own Dream Dungeon! He had to create one he could use to fight. Once the construction was completed, anyone could come to invade it!
Qiu Ren looked at that Nightmare Seed which was being invaded one last time before the screen was directly cut off.
“Let’s go. We’ll have a meeting. We’ve already started discussing the regular opening of the Nightmare Seed overseas.” Kan Shaoni patted Qiu Ren’s shoulders and said, “You’re the designer of this Nightmare Dungeon, the contractor of the Lord of Nightmare. We need your opinion for many decisions.”
Qiu Ren didn’t say much. He was taken to the meeting room by Kan Shaoni.
In the meeting room, all the personnel in Fengdu Prison responsible for decision-making were here. They had probably reported this incident and only came here to discuss… opening this Level S Nightmare Dungeon to the public overseas after getting approval from their seniors…
Sun Bin sat in the main seat of the meeting room, listening to the reports from the clerical personnel under him. He had an expression that read, “this is the first time I’ve heard about such a thing in my long life.”
That Nightmare Dungeon truly became popular overseas…
“There are three live streamers doing live broadcasts in Battle Royale on Twitch. They’re all very popular live streamers who applied to enter the Nightmare after getting the level code. Since the battle royale game can only hold two matches right now, the total number of people who have applied for entrance afterward is… 3721. This number is still increasing as the live broadcasts continue.”
The clerical personnel responsible for reporting also couldn’t believe the data. What was that? Were people lining up to die?
It was, in fact, very common that people had to queue to enter a Dream Dungeon. The number of people a Dream Dungeon could contain was limited. It was just like the new expansion server of a popular game would get full.
“Most people might have done this on a whim. When they realize that they will be tortured after entering this Nightmare Dungeon…”
Sun Bin also understood the rules of the battle royale game after watching the live broadcast. Once people entered, they might not be dead simply because they were shot by a bullet.
“About that, I can talk to the Lord of Nightmare and improve it, hiding all the torturing behaviors they may encounter,” Qiu Ren raised his hand and said.
Among Tapir’s main courses and the tastes she liked, pain, when people were tortured, wasn’t included. She enjoyed eating people’s nature more, like greed, betrayal, indulgence in their killing desire, and so on…
It wasn’t that Tapir couldn’t eat other emotions. She could also swallow those positive emotions, but… it was hard for her to digest them. She would easily have a stomachache.
However, when people were dying, they could eat barks and shoe skins as well. The same went for Tapir.
“Is it possible to operate in the long term?”
Sun Bin pondered and asked Qiu Ren. He wasn’t a conservative Dream Explorer. However, most sealed Nightmare Seeds brought too much harm to the human body and weren’t suitable to operate publicly.
Besides, the Lords of Nightmare inside also weren’t willing to negotiate with humans.
“It’s definitely possible to operate in the long term. I can talk to the Lord of Nightmare about adding a ranking system and delaying the pain after new Dream Explorers are shot.”
In the past, Tapir would never have agreed to Qiu Ren’s suggestion.
Lowering the pain humans felt in the Nightmare was like decreasing the tastes she could experience. Even if Fengdu Prison was willing to increase the number of people going into the dream, Tapir wouldn’t be willing to accept it.
Besides, lowering the pain on a small scale couldn’t reduce the damage suffered by people in the Nightmare Dungeon. So, Fengdu Prison didn’t continue to argue with Tapir about this topic anymore.
However, Qiu Ren could now try to communicate with that Lord of Nightmare, dividing the battle royale game into two versions.
One would be the trial edition for luring newcomers into the Nightmare. The pain when they got shot could be lowered to the level normal people could accept, but the reward at the end would also be reduced greatly. Even if they won the final victory, they might only be able to get a Level E Dream Seed.
The other version would be a full-fledged battlefield for professional masters to fight. In their perspective, the pain they endured after the bullets penetrated their bodies couldn’t eliminate their desire for victory at all. The reward for winning would mainly be Level D to Level C Dream Seeds.
Fengdu Prison certainly chose the latter and would even send more outstanding Dream Explorers inside. This could also ensure that the quality Nightmare Seeds from Tapir were still in the hands of their people.
Even if there were really other professional players from different places and Fengdu Prison couldn’t beat them, they could organize games only for themselves.
Tapir would probably accept this suggestion too. The former was a little biscuit before a meal while the latter was a full course.
A Dream Seed produced by absorbing the vitality and emotional energy of people around the world must be better and more efficient than one that was purely fed on the vitality and emotional energy of the death row prisoners in Fengdu Prison.
Everyone in Fengdu Prison thought… Qiu Ren’s suggestions were great. But it didn’t matter what they thought. The most important thing was the approval from the Lord of Nightmare.
So, after a lengthy discussion, Qiu Ren was pushed to that light purple Nightmare Seed again.
“Although I don’t want you to go in there, you’re the only one who can communicate with it here.”
Kan Shaoni was feeling complicated right now. The Lord of Nightmare was like an enemy and a friend to them. When she led Qiu Ren to the Nightmare Seed, she felt like she was offering Qiu Ren to the Lord of Nightmare as a tribute.
“This is better than being forced like last time. Anyway, I’ll go and check out the situation inside.”
Qiu Ren touched the light purple Rubik’s Cube with his hand. The setting around him immediately changed.
A dark space enveloped Qiu Ren. While he was keeping himself alert to the attack from the intruder Lord of Nightmare, he found that… only one figure was left in this dark dimension.
“I… forced its consciousness… to retreat, but it still… keeps… nibbling at me. What brings you here?”
Tapir covered her chest in exhaustion and looked at Qiu Ren, who had returned to her Nightmare Dimension himself.
“Um, even though I’ve seen this image before, I still want to ask you… Are you really Tapir?”
Qiu Ren looked at the woman before him and couldn’t adapt to it for a while. It was especially difficult to look away from her.
“Should I… talk to you with another image? Mr. Qiu Ren.”
Tapir still sounded weak and tired. Qiu Ren didn’t make it hard for her anymore. He immediately built a bed next to her.
“Does a human’s resting way work for you?”
Qiu Ren asked as he created a chair for himself and put it next to the bed.
Looking at the bed next to her, Tapir chuckled under the black gauze. She lay on the bed with a look a patient should have. She then sat up on the bed and asked Qiu Ren, “Why… did… you come for a visit this time?”
“It’s about the future operation of the battle royale game.”
Qiu Ren sat on the wooden chair next to the bed and directly told Tapir about the various conditions issued by Fengdu Prison and his own thoughts about future operations.
Tapir listened to him quietly. In the end, she accepted Qiu Ren’s suggestions.
“I… don’t like to compromise with humans… but based on the Nightmare you built… your suggestions… indeed lead to a win-win situation,” said Tapir.
This made Qiu Ren a bit relieved. If this Lord of Nightmare didn’t want to have dessert, there would be nothing Qiu Ren could do.
“Are you leaving soon? Mr. Qiu Ren,” Tapir asked again.
“Yes, definitely. I’m a student in reality. I’m not a staff member of Fengdu Prison. However, I’ll come back to update the version of the battle royale game from time to time.”
Since Tapir’s condition had gotten stable, Qiu Ren should be able to leave Fengdu Prison for a while. By then, he would have to think of a way to create his own Dream Dungeon.
“Unfortunately… I’m having difficulty maintaining myself… So, I can’t give you any rewards… If this image—”
“We’ll talk about it when you can give me the next Dream Seed!” Qiu Ren interrupted the Lord of Nightmare. It would be a bit bad to go on with this conversation.
“Then, you must be careful… With my current condition, I can’t guarantee your… safety completely.” Tapir said as she looked behind Qiu Ren. “Mr. Qiu Ren, after you finish making the changes… you should leave.”
“Looks like you don’t like to be disturbed. Alright, I’ll go after finishing everything.”
Qiu Ren wasn’t thinking about staying here to sleep with the Lord of Nightmare either. After he improved the ranking system and various settings of the battle royale game, he left Tapir’s Nightmare Dimension.
After Qiu Ren left, Tapir looked at the empty chair next to her and sighed gently. Suddenly, her eyes became sharp, and she gazed deep into the Nightmare Dimension.
“You don’t have to hide… Come out.”
“I just didn’t want to disturb you.”
A distorted figure appeared in front of Tapir. This was another Lord of Nightmare. It wasn’t the one who intruded this Nightmare earlier but came from a Level S Nightmare Seed that was also locked up by the Celestial Empire.
“Tapir… Can I borrow your Dream Maker?”
“You… are also… in danger on your side?”
Tapir was quite close to this fellow Lord of Nightmare. However, Lords of Nightmare were Lords of Nightmare, after all. No matter how good their relationship was, she wouldn’t be willing to hand Qiu Ren over to a wolf.
Even though she was also a wolf feeding on human blood and flesh.
“Not for now, but I don’t know… how long this can last. I’ve… been detained for too long. If… I encounter a situation like yours…”
“Did the humans detaining you agree?” Tapir asked.
“They’re already looking for a new Dream Maker for me, but… I don’t like the nightmares they created.”
“Then, why do you think… he can satisfy you?”
Tapir knew her fellow Lord of Nightmare had an even trickier taste than her.
Tapir’s taste was at least diverse, like the indulgence of humans, their madness in greed, and their despair and reluctance in death.
And yet, her fellow Lord of Nightmare only ate two kinds of emotions. One of them was the sense of salvation released after suffering.
This made its Nightmare Dungeon very difficult to design, and the casualty rate and the number of casualties were also higher than those of Tapir.
Tapir also didn’t think a student like Qiu Ren could satisfy the needs of her fellow Lord of Nightmare here.
No matter how good the reason her fellow Lord of Nightmare gave her, she wouldn’t allow Qiu Ren to fall into the hands of this dangerous Lord of Nightmare.
If Qiu Ren couldn’t satisfy its requirements, the consequences would be horrifying!
“That’s truly a shame. Even if you disagree, I’ll find a way myself.”
That Lord of Nightmare had already felt threatened. It seemed that it couldn’t care so much anymore as well before life and death.
What it said pissed off Tapir a bit. Before Tapir broke its projection, it vanished in the dark space with a creepy laugh.
Tapir looked weakly at the empty seat next to her… She let out a sigh of worries again.
“Mr. Qiu Ren… I hope you’ll be safe.”