Translated by: Taffy
Edited by: Zen
Quiz 1: An Unforeseen Event!
It was afternoon. A light, comfortable breeze swept through the beautiful landscape of a street in the Philippines. The sun’s rays scattered onto the back gardens. A lone boy was currently grasping a playing card. With a mysterious tone, he said, “Watch closely. I only have a single card in my hand.”
His next-door neighbor, a girl, sat across from him, her suspicious eyes wide open as she stared unblinkingly at his two hands. A few minutes later, she confidently confirmed the fact, and nodded her head in satisfaction.
The boy closed his eyes and recited, “Zhuge Style Cheating Technique─Brilliant Blossom!”
In an instant, the playing card began to spin around on his finger. The boy suddenly stopped it, and extended all five of his fingers. In his palm, seven playing cards had somehow appeared, combined perfectly in the shape of a fan.
“Wow…! Meng Ming, you’re really amazing!” The girl-next-door said in astonishment with round eyes.
The boy─Zhuge Meng Ming, couldn’t help but give a proud smile. Just as he was about to say something to show off some more, a laid-back, female voice called out from the first floor porch, “Little girl, don’t fall for his tricks!”
Zhuge Qing was Zhuge Meng Ming’s sister. She was currently standing there, with a book in her hands. Smiling at the two people in the garden, she said, “What ‘Brilliant Blossom’? It’s a fancy name, but it’s just one of introductory skills of the Zhuge Style Cheating Technique. Even those people from those weaker sects have similar tricks, let alone the famous Zhuge Style.”
Seeing the girl’s doubtful expression, Zhuge Qing continued to explain─
“In reality, he had seven cards in his hand from the beginning. He simply used the shape of his hand and the angle of your line of sight to cleverly hide them up. It’s extremely easy to do. I say, Meng Ming, no matter what, you’re still a successor of the Zhuge Style Cheating Technique. You’re almost 16 years old now, yet you still only know how to use these minor games to trick young girls. Mother keeps saying that you’re smart, but when Father was your age, he was already starting to make a name for himself.”
When Meng Ming heard this, he muttered in discontent, “What…I’ve already said countless times that learning all those out-of-date Zhuge Style is too uncreative. I want to invent my own, new cheating technique, a new Zhuge Style…”
As soon as he said this, Meng Ming’s and Zhuge Qing’s mother, Mrs. Zhuge, hurriedly ran in from the main entrance and shouted, “Bad news!”
Hearing this, Meng Ming and Zhuge Qing quickly rushed into the room from the back door and asked her what had happened.
Mrs. Zhuge leaned against the wall for support as she gasped for breath, “Little Qing, Meng Ming, your father…was caught for sleight of hand…!”
As soon as she finished speaking, Meng Ming dropped the cards in his hand in panic. Both brother and sister stood there, staring at their mother in shock.
“How, how is that possible…”
“With Father’s level, how could he possibly get caught for sleight of hand?!”
“…It’s true.” Mrs. Zhuge paused, and choked out with emotion, “He…met a mishap, and is currently…”
“NO!!” Zhuge Meng Ming cut off his mother’s words with a loud shout. “That’s impossible…it’s definitely an enemy that played some kind of trick…that’s right, Father was definitely framed by someone else!” Meng Ming unconsciously curled his hands into fists. “I want to go save…”
“Run…” Mrs. Zhuge said extremely anxiously, “Meng Ming, hurry up and run…”
“The people from the casino are currently looking for us. They want to capture you, Meng Ming!”
Meng Ming didn’t understand. Why did the people at the casino want to capture him as well?!
“Meng Ming, listen to me.” Seeing that Meng Ming still refused to believe it, Mrs. Zhuge’s expression turned stern, “Your father was framed by someone else. He now owes a large amount of money. Moreover, because he was caught for sleight of hand, he’s been sentenced to death.”
From what Meng Ming could recall, this was the first time his mother had ever spoken in such a tone!
The unsettling feeling he had grew larger.
Meng Ming thought to himself: Is all of this…real?
The atmosphere surrounding the three people had grown heavy. It felt as if something terrifying was happening.
Zhuge Meng Ming was Zhuge Dong Ming’s sole son, the successor of the Zhuge Style Cheating Technique!
“Meng Ming, the people from the casino want to capture you and force you to repay the debt!” Mrs. Zhuge raised her head and firmly said, “They’re currently searching the entire city for you, and will soon find our home. You need to hurry up and escape.”
Father had been framed, and his whole family was now in danger, yet Meng Ming was…running?!
“Hurry up and leave. I’ve already arranged everything,” Mrs. Zhuge said. “Meng Ming, there’s a car waiting for you in the back. Listen to me, you have to return to China.”
A rough knocking sound could be heard, cutting off the last thread of hesitation.
“Hurry up, the people from the casino are already here!” Mrs. Zhuge unyieldingly pulled Meng Ming as they raced out the back door.
Meng Ming refused to comply, “No!! I don’t want to return to China! On what basis do I have to make up for Father’s debt!”
“Meng Ming! If you’re caught, then everything’s over! You definitely cannot remain here any longer! Listen closely─First, you’ll board a plane to Hong Kong, and then you’ll return to China to attend a high school there. You must participate in the national college entrance exam! Only by taking the exam can you safely return to the Philippines with the identity of a college student. At that time, you can consider revenge again.”
Why? Because in this age, everyone knew how terrifying China’s college entrance exam was. All students that had passed China’s strict college exam would be difficult for the casino’s people to seize. Only the college exam would be able to protect Meng Ming! Mrs. Zhuge explained every word loud and clear; the limited time only allowed her to say them once.
“You have to protect our Zhuge Style Cheating Technique!” These were his mother’s last words to him as she pushed him into the car.
The car began to move.
Zhuge Meng Ming was getting further and further from his home, all alone.
In the future, Meng Ming would have to completely rely on only himself!
His mind hadn’t been very clear; he only remembered that before leaving, that girl-next-door had caught up with him and passed him a farewell gift.
As he stared at the scenery quickly flashing by as the car raced away, he angrily slammed his fist against the window.
Right now, Meng Ming just hoped that his father was safe. He only wanted to defeat those people that had framed his father.
What China, what entrance exam, what college?!
When the master of the family had encountered a mishap, the 15 year old child had been sent away by himself, while the two females faced the terrifying enemies. What would happen to the rest of the Zhuge family in the Philippines in the future would remain unknown to Meng Ming.
There were only two words that faintly remained in his heart: Get…revenge?