Translated by: Taffy
Quiz 27: Unexpected Visitor
One could occasionally hear the sounds of tea being poured in the peaceful tea house. Duan He was carefully sipping the tea and looking out at the streetscape while speaking to Zhou Lun Yu.
“Delaying it won’t be a problem?”
Zhou Lun Yu placed his hand on the window, and without turning his head, he replied, “It won’t suddenly worsen. As long, as long as it’s before the college entrance examination next year…I’ll make it…”
He was calm on the outside, but actually restless on the inside.
Duan He daintily sipped her tea and said, “Ok. Lin Xian’s midterm exam is nearing as well. Your duel…”
“Do you mean Zhuge Meng Ming?” Zhou Lun Yu thought about it for a bit, then put on a disapproving front. “I just wanted to see for myself. If he really does have the strength….”
“In short, we’ll head out right after the midterm exam.”
Today, Meng Ming was currently reading in his room. Suddenly, the unfamiliar sound of knocking could be heard from outside the room.
“Little Qiao? You can just come in…” Meng Ming felt that something was off, and he ran to open the door. The sight he saw as soon as he opened the door caused him to break out in cold sweat.
A visitor he couldn’t describe suddenly appeared before him….in typical description, he wore sunglasses, was bald, and had a beard.
“Heyo.” The guest nonchalantly said as he made a saluting gesture that wasn’t quite a proper salute.
…Why is it you… Meng Ming didn’t even invite the guest in, and simply stood there blankly with black lines written all over his face.
“I came to teach you how to cheat, hahahaha.” He said, not mincing his words and cutting straight to the point.
Soon afterwards, Huang Qiao Yi also ran over, and unexpectedly saw a strange uncle sitting with Meng Ming. Meng Ming was beyond awkward; he didn’t know what to say, but he also couldn’t kick the man out.
After Huang Qiao Yi steeped some tea, Carron clarified the reason for his visit a second time, and seemed very sincere. This made Huang Qiao Yi suspicious. “Wasn’t Uncle Carron immersed in art? Why did you suddenly….”
“Oh. Art.” Carron said, “Creation is art; cheating, is also a type of art. For the sake of pursuing art, I obviously have to properly teach him something.”
“Hey! Wait!” Meng Ming rushed to chime it, “Old baldie, who said I wanted you to teach me?”
Although Meng Ming also wanted to increase his training, he just wasn’t comfortable with having the old baldie coach him. Moreover, he believed that he was already able to see Zhou Lun Yu’s red threads, there was nothing else to learn.
The old baldie remained calm. He lifted his tea cup and said, “It doesn’t matter what you think. Either way, I’ve already decided to teach you art.”
“What does your decision have to do with me!! You still haven’t given me an explanation for the matter last time! Who were those circus performer people?”
“If you want to know, you have to get stronger first.” Carron said, “In addition, didn’t you set up a duel with things at stake during your midterm exam?”
“And so what? I’m going to use the Zhuge Style Cheating Technique to prove to that guy that no matter how strong he is, I can still beat him!”
Carron didn’t immediately reply. He rubbed his sunglasses, and slowly sipped his hot tea. He then lightly placed the cup down, clasped his hands together, and completely relaxed his body as he slowly and sincerely said one thing—
“My ninth daughter doesn’t seem to know that you cheat. It’s fine if you don’t learn from me, I’ll just go tell her…”
Meng Ming’s imposing manner immediately deflated like a burst balloon.
This, this old baldie…!
“Brother Meng Ming…” Huang Qiao Yi smiled, “Behave. He’s already willing to teach you, so you might as well just learn a bit. It’s not like you’ll lose anything from it.”
Meng Ming really didn’t know how to respond to Carron’s words. It was a good thing that Huang Qiao Yi had spoken a word from the sidelines; after mulling it over for a bit, he felt that Huang Qiao Yi’s words were quite reasonable. Although he wasn’t exactly happy about it, Carron’s might was really too crucial. Moreover, he still had a duel to take part in. He secretly thought to himself that perhaps learning from the old baldie…would be pretty good.
Meng Ming turned around to look back at Carron. He was leisurely drinking tea, as if he had long anticipated that Meng Ming would obediently listen. Meng Ming couldn’t really retort, and he was more concerned that Carron would really pull something else behind his back…helpless, Meng Ming could only nod his head now covered with cold sweat, his expression still one of an innocent youth being bullied.
Seeing Meng Ming reply accordingly, Carron immediately said, “Alright! There are still 2 weeks before your midterm exam, and the special training will start now! …You can just train here at your home, hurry up and go prepare!” Carron said in a strict and serious tone. He shouted, “Oh…just let me first understand what your current level is!”
“Prepare to eat lunch.” Carron said, “Zhuge Meng Ming, go make this dish—Pot roast. You have a time limit of 20 minutes!”
Meng Ming was completely caught unprepared with suddenly being told to cook. He had never cooked before, yet Carron had immediately told him to make such a thing, and claimed he wanted to see Meng Ming’s level?
Cook? Interesting…does he think I can’t do it? Meng Ming thought. To him, this was like an amusing challenge.
The ingredients were already prepared, and were retrieved from the kitchen downstairs. Carron quietly sat in the living room to wait, letting only Meng Ming and Huang Qiao Yi enter the kitchen. Meng Ming was still wondering why Carron had asked him to cook.
Pot roast…can he discern something from this dish?
Huang Qiao Yi placed the appropriate ingredients down and said, “Brother Meng Ming, pot roast is a very simple home cooked meal. These are potatoes, this is beef…”
“Of course I know that…just tell me how to make it. First, let’s cut it all up!” Meng Ming skillfully raised a knife with one hand, and a few potatoes in the other. Just as he was about to slice them, Huang Qiao Yi stopped him, “First peel them…”
Meng Ming tossed one of his hands up, causing all the potatoes to simultaneously rise up and turn around beautifully in midair; his other hand holding the knife was gracefully propped up in a position so that the edge of the blade only slightly touched the potato skins. As the potatoes rotated in midair, the skins were peeled off in single strips, all at once, and directly fell into the bowl. Finally, Meng Ming picked up these skinless potatoes, and after looking at them closely, trimmed the edges to make them so flat and smooth that there were no longer any protruding angles.
“So round!” Huang Qiao Yi said, “Then slice them into pieces and place it into the pot.”
“Do I cut them into squares? Can I cut them into harder shapes…like into words, or carve a bird or something?” Meng Ming asked cautiously. After all, he had no experience, so if he wanted to do something on a whim, he had to ask Huang Qiao Yi first.
Seeing that Meng Ming wanted to give it a complicated appearance, Huang Qiao Yi didn’t stop him, and only suggested, “Perfect dodecahedrons then, if possible, cut them into perfect dodecahedrons…that way, their surfaces will be easier to cook.”
With a few flashes of the knife, dozens of perfect dodecahedrons appeared in front of them, falling in a straight line into a basin of water that’d just been prepared.
“The potatoes are done for now. Now, cut the beef. As long as the pieces are slightly smaller than that of the potatoes, it’ll be fine. Then, we’ll add seasoning.” Huang Qiao Yi said.
It was a very large chunk of meat, and extremely soft as well. It seemed like it was impossible to cut it into sharp and clear-cut shapes. Thus, he just cut the beef into pieces, placed them on a pan, and mixed it with some seasoning.
“Brother Meng Ming, you can put the knife away now. Boil two pots of water. One pot will cook the potatoes, while the other one slightly warms up the beef.”
“In other words,” Meng Ming caught the general gist of it, “As long as I cook the potatoes until they are done, and then dump the beef inside as well, it’ll be ok?” He boiled two pots of water, and placed all the sliced up vegetables in a place where he could take them and dump them in the pots at any time.
Huang Qiao Yi replied, “That’s right, pour them into the pot. In the end, turn on the fire at low heat, and it should be complete in an hour.”
“Oh! …Wait, Little Qiao, did you just say…” Meng Ming placed the potatoes in the pot as he heard Huang Qiao Yi say the time, and suddenly realized something was wrong!
“One hour?! That old baldie just said I had to finish in 20 minutes!”
Huang Qiao Yi suddenly began to panic, “He gave you a time limit of 20 minutes? How is that enough…just cutting and preparing the ingredients earlier already took five minutes.”
“I can’t just keep the fire cooking it for 15 minutes?” Meng Ming hurriedly asked.
“The water is boiled in a small pot with a small fire, so if cooked for short of a time, the flavor won’t seep in. Also, it would become mushy…”
Originally, Meng Ming had believed that he wouldn’t have a problem. Only now did he realize that the issue was his shortage of time. So cooking something requires this amount of time! If I want to cram it within 20 minutes, it would be very hard to make something edible…
He thought back to when Carron had claimed that he’d wanted to see Meng Ming’s level, which was why he had proposed such a problem. Meng Ming somewhat understood Carron’s intention now.
“Little Qiao, turn up the heat!” 15 minutes later, Meng Ming suddenly decided to change traditional practice!
“But, if I turn up the heat, it’ll be harder for the taste to diffuse evenly throughout…”
“That’s fine, I can make it diffuse evenly then!” Meng Ming said.