Translated by: Taffy
Quiz 5: The Route Home
It was nighttime when Meng Ming walked out of the arrival gate. He saw flickers of strangers’ faces around him.
His mother had told him that someone would provide him support in Hong Kong. After waiting for a while, he seemed to vaguely hear someone calling his name.
Meng Ming began to head towards the sound, and he saw a delicate body run towards him.
“Brother Meng Ming….aiya, I’m so tired, my throat is already sore…” As she ran closer, her voice faded out.
No way…the support…is just her? Meng Ming recognized her.
This girl looked extremely proper. With a single glance, one could tell that the headband in her medium-length hair suited her delicate and pretty face. It made her look intelligent and composed.
“Little Qiao, is your voice still that small…” Meng Ming sighed.
Her name was Huang Qiao Yi, Zhuge Meng Ming’s cousin from his mother’s side. Her voice had always been small, and her lung capacity wasn’t large either. She had always had this representative trait. He had heard that being the slightest bit hard-pressed for oxygen would make it difficult for her to breathe.
Huang Qiao Yi said, “No, I….huff….I’m much louder, at least compared to before…”
But to Meng Ming, it sounded like the buzz of a mosquito.
He then said that they could skip the reminiscing part; it was best to leave first.
The tiring journey had made Meng Ming feel slightly exhausted. With the addition of the pressure of running away, he really wanted to just hurry up and settle down. As for where, Meng Ming had no clue. Huang Qiao Yi would lead the way.
Thus, he was pushed into a car.
Meng Ming asked who had driven it here. Huang Qiao Yi then sat in the driver’s seat──“Me.”
He hadn’t even secured his seat belt properly before the car began to move. The speed was moderate, and her driving skills were adept. Meng Ming’s eyes had become as round as car tires.
“Did Brother Meng Ming not know I could drive?” Huang Qiao Yi asked.
“No, I didn’t…and we haven’t seen each other for 8, 9 years now, right…”
After counting a bit, he realized it had really been 8 years. Now that Meng Ming had suddenly come back, Huang Qiao Yi was extremely happy.
Meng Ming never got the chance to ask her something like, “Why did only Little Qiao come to pick me up, aren’t you afraid something will go wrong”, and instead listened to her speak. He noticed how much she had changed the past 8 years. ——She had grown up quite a bit in not only height, but figure as well. She had already changed from a small girl to a well-mannered young lady, aside from her voice.
Huang Qiao Yi drove the car through the long and narrow roads in Hong Kong as she said to Meng Ming, “Only I was allowed to come because our actions need to stay low-key.”
It was indeed appropriate to send her to come, as there was absolutely no way she could be high-profile.
The many skyscrapers and the colorful ports all rushed past. As he was seated in the rushing car, it was admittedly impossible to truly appreciate the city’s night scenery. The trip wasn’t short, and the two began to talk.
Huang Qiao Yi said, “I’m still not quite sure what happened…but Brother Meng Ming will soon be attending the same senior high school as me!”
“Senior high…I know.” Actually, Meng Ming still didn’t completely understand school. He only knew that school was a place where teachers and students went to classes.
“We’re about to leave Hong Kong now, and return to China. Our home is right outside the boundary between the two cities, in a place called Lin Xian. Although it’s in the suburbs, Lin Xian’s scenery is extremely beautiful.”
Meng Ming remembered that his own family had a villa in China. However, Huang Qiao Yi told him that the villa had suddenly been blockaded off today.
“Then, then where do I stay…?” Meng Ming asked in concern.
“Brother Meng Ming will live at my place.”
Meng Ming felt like he was burdening them, but Huang Qiao Yi said he wouldn’t. “Don’t worry, Brother Meng Ming will live above us. Mother has already arranged for a home on that floor.”
He remembered that Huang Qiao Yi lived on the 19th floor, which meant that he’d live on the 20th.
“Mother also said that Brother Meng Ming must come over every day to eat.” Huang Qiao Yi happily said.
After all, Meng Ming hadn’t seen her family in ages.
He asked, “Then, how is Uncle?”
“My dad?” Huang Qiao Yi replied, “His work is extremely busy, and often stays outside the country. Mom is always lonely. Now that Brother Meng Ming is here, Mom has another child, and she’s beyond delighted!”
When he heard the word “delighted”, Meng Ming realized that they probably didn’t know what had happened with his family. They were willing to do all of this just because of a few words from Meng Ming’s mother over the phone.
They had gradually left the city already, and entered a mountain road. However, the road was extremely smooth and easy to follow; there were no bumps.
It had been a while since he had returned to China. These past 8 years, Meng Ming had just been continuously training in the Zhuge family’s Cheating Technique, and had made some success. Everyone in the family knew that Meng Ming was extremely gifted. This was the main reason why Zhuge Dong Ming had trained him so much.
However, in a place like China that strictly forbid gambling, Meng Ming felt that everything about it was wrong. He didn’t know what path to take in the future.
As the car passed through the border, they reached China, with their destination being──Lin Xian.
It was different from Hong Kong. Although China had some tall skyscrapers, the city had been planted with quite a bit of greenery. Even in the nighttime, one could still feel the green shade of the plants under the neon lamps.
Huang Qiao Yi had introduced this place as having quite good atmosphere and environment. Even though the city had quite a bit of scenery, it was an idle city. In addition, the place had gathered a lot of people from various places in China to work and study. Whenever he lost concentration, he’d discover yet another handsome man, or beautiful lady, especially within the school’s yard. There, many classmates with mixed blood from various places existed. By combining these people together, the school was like a garden.
“Can you discuss some of the school matters?” Meng Ming asked.
Huang Qiao Yi finally stopped her talk and sighed.
“An exam-oriented education is really meaningless.” She said.
The so-called exam-oriented education was a teaching method conducted for the sake of dealing with the college entrance exam. This exam was once a year, and was called “College and University Enrollment National Integrated Exam”. Aside from labs, all the exams were written tests.
“Basically, the school doesn’t teach you anything useful. It only teaches you how to take exams well. What students seek are grades!” Huang Qiao Yi said, “Actually, it’s still break right now, so I haven’t attended school yet either. After enrolling, Brother Meng Ming and I will both be high school first years.”
Afterwards, Huang Qiao Yi explained to Meng Ming what was to be learned in high school, including the subjects, classroom discipline, exam room discipline, textbooks, etc. These were rules that anyone that had attended school before knew.
“Taking exams is really hard, right?” Meng Ming asked.
This was a given. If it wasn’t hard, then there’d be no need for everyone to spend so much time and effort to deal with it.
“That’s right, the competition between students is extremely intense.” Huang Qiao Yi said, “Starting from primary school knowledge, to junior high school knowledge, all the way up to senior high school knowledge….in addition, the exam room discipline gets stricter and stricter every year. Also, the exam room location, proctoring method, and facilities change every time. There’s often new systems or special regulations! These are only told to us just before the exam.”
Meng Ming and Huang Qiao Yi both knew that Meng Ming had never gone to primary school or junior high.
“What do I do…” Meng Ming didn’t have any basic knowledge. He couldn’t even deal with a normal test, so how was he supposed to take the college entrance exam?
Huang Qiao Yi smiled and said, “Brother Meng Ming, don’t worry! Even though you’ve never learned anything before, you definitely won’t have a problem in either the college entrance exam or any other exam.”
──What kind of conclusion was that?
At that moment, Huang Qiao Yi finally told him the most crucial point──
The college entrance exam system had already been established for hundreds of years. The whole time, it had always been a survival of the fittest! For the sake of overcoming this harsh education and testing system, two types of students formed in China:
The first type was the majority of the people, who followed the traditional ideology; they chose to live a life of strenuous studies, learning assiduously and tirelessly as they strived to learn. For the sake of obtaining exceptional scores on the college entrance exam, they would wholeheartedly attend classes and cram schools since primary school. Thus, they would spend all of their time, youth, and energy entirely into preparing for the exam.
The second type had slowly emerged as the exams continued to be passed year after year. This was the minority. For the sake of obtaining outstanding scores on the college entrance exam, they chose to train in monitoring techniques, skills that challenged the strict proctors and the advanced scientific monitoring technologies. With secretive techniques and brilliant tricks, they would use perfect, undetectable cheating methods during the examinations.