Cheating Craft 31

Please read the announcement.

Translated by: Taffy

Special shout-out of thanks to Nagi for TLCing this chapter for me~

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Quiz 31: Confrontation Under The Surveillance Cameras

The fated exam bell suddenly rang, shaking every examinees’ heart. Lin Xian Central High’s first round of midterm exams in all the exam sites had formally begun!   

The literature and language exam, time duration: 120 minutes.  

The test papers were specially delivered by assigned messengers from the outside. The entire library instantly fell silent. The surveillance cameras on all three floors of the exam site swivelled back and forth, and the old man very dutifully handed the test papers out to each examinee.

They each had 3 pencils, one eraser, and one small blade. There was a certain number of draft paper sheets, and one scantron. The scantron was the exact same as the one from the entrance exam, but this time they were to put their student number instead of their exam number.  

There are only 3 pencils, I must use them carefully… Zhuge Meng Ming checked his stationery.

He recalled how before the exam, Carron had told him the points distribution of the literature and language test. The beginning was multiple choice, the middle was fill-in-the-blank, and the last part was an essay that was worth 40% of the points.

“The multiple choice needs to be answered on the scantron. The fill-in-the-blanks must be written on a specific answer paper. For these two question types, students will typically write the answers on the test paper first, then move their answers to the scantron and answer paper. That’s why, you should take advantage of the moment they flip their papers over to use your eyes to look at the content! As for the essay, it’s written on the essay paper…just write something random. If you don’t know how to write it, then whatever. Either way, you’ll get all the points from the first 2 sections, so that’s already 60 points.” ——Those had been Carron’s words. 

“…………………” Meng Ming helplessly recalled his memories.   

Each examinee received a packet of papers. The test had 3 pages of questions and a 1 page answer sheet, as well as one essay paper. All the students in the quiet room simultaneously began to move their pencils!  

However, Meng Ming didn’t rush to peek at others’ papers; he had an annoying opponent to go up against. He simply wrote his name and student number, then immediately focused his concentration on using the corner of his eyes to observe Zhou Lun Yu to his right.

I still don’t know Zhou Lun Yu’s true strength, so I can’t act blindly…Zhou Lun Yu is writing very fluently…he must be using his red threads right now. As he watched Zhou Lun Yu write his answers, Meng Ming realized that those invisible red threads must already be secretly suspended from some places around the room. 

Zhou Lun Yu remained expressionless. His right hand grasped the pencil as he fluidly wrote down answers, while his left hand was naturally resting on the table. Meng Ming could tell that Zhou Lun Yu was extremely serious based on his expression. He wasn’t underestimating his enemy at all, constantly guarding against external powers.

It seems like he doesn’t plan on interfering with me. He wants to first see how I act, then attack me? Fine… Meng Ming had always hated Zhou Lun Yu’s arrogant attitude. If it was just competing whose copying was more accurate, Zhou Lun Yu would definitely win! Meng Ming knew that he would have to take the initiative to attack first in this exam.

There was already a neat row of ‘disks’ on Meng Ming’s table that he had sliced from a pencil.  

I’m prepared to sever his threads at any moment. First, I need to find their locations…  

Zhou Lun Yu’s seat was in the sixth column. Meng Ming surmised that his red threads had to be originating from the his left side. Meng Ming looked closely at the empty space between the fifth and sixth columns: Since he’s using the threads, they must be pulled tauntly, which means they are in a set location! They’re locked in place. I must look closely…more closely…  

He fervently searched around, his eyes looking for the locked positions as they swept over the area at least 20 times. Sweat gradually began to form on Meng Ming’s forehead; it had been ages since he had last been so concentrated. He was watching the surveillance cameras’ movements extremely closely as well.

The old man proctor was leisurely sitting down. His vision wasn’t good in the first place, and he mostly left the proctoring to the surveillance cameras. The devices on all four corners of the walls were turning back and forth along 90 degree angles without stopping.  

10 minutes. Meng Ming searched for 10 straight minutes.  

I can’t see them….

His whole face was already covered in sweat, yet he hadn’t discovered any traces of those threads. He thought: Using this method to search for the red threads should be correct! Why…   

Although Zhou Lun Yu was writing his test, he clearly knew what Meng Ming was doing as well. He didn’t act at all, and thought to himself that Meng Ming would definitely never find the red threads in his hand. Hmph, if you just look at that spot, it’ll be weirder if you do find them. Just continue wasting your mental energy. If you continue like this, I’ll be able to slowly figure out your tricks.

A student’s action on Meng Ming’s right instantly interrupted Meng Ming’s concentration—the student had finished one page and was flipping it over! 

Crap! Meng Ming hurriedly shifted his gaze towards that elevated test paper, wanting to quickly use the Heavenly Eye Technique to capture the paper’s content. Unfortunately, he was one step too slow, and was only able to see the first two answers of the sheet.  

Zhou Lun Yu also noticed Meng Ming’s actions.

That’s…?! Some memories resurfaced in his mind. That seems to be called… Heavenly Eye Technique? Why is Zhuge Meng Ming able to use such a difficult move? But… Zhou Lun Yu had only heard a bit about the Heavenly Eye Technique before, and had never actually witnessed someone using it during an exam. Using such an imperfect skill, is he rushing things last minute?

Meng Ming had been too concentrated on the red threads, and had ended up missing the flipped test just now. But that movement…suddenly triggered an idea.  

Flipping the test page…? Why do I feel like the movement isn’t very natural… Meng Ming thought. He locked his gaze onto the space between the fifth and sixth columns, analyzing the elevation of the pen and paper. That’s right, the height at which examinees flip their exam papers definitely has to be higher than when they write! If Zhou Lun Yu is pulling straight a thread that is directly coiled around the end of an examinee’s pencil, then won’t flipping the page shift or sever the connection?!

Although Meng Ming didn’t know about the red threads’ tenacity, it was clear to see that a student’s flipping of the paper definitely impacted the red threads’ operations! If he was Zhou Lun Yu, he’d never let such a large loophole appear under his control.  

In other words, the red threads Zhou Lun Yu was using weren’t directly pulled! 

Then, I get it… Meng Ming hadn’t been able to find them at all before, but now he finally somewhat understood.  

He surveyed the entire room. The ceiling didn’t have any electric fans, just some openings that let in cool air that had been sealed by wooden planks. Zhou Lun Yu not only has to pull the threads taut, the threads’ elevation also has to be higher than the test. That’s why, there must be a fulcrum somewhere in the site. Once the red threads are looped around this fulcrum, they would form the shape of a polygonal line!

Meng Ming had seen through it.

He wants to stabilize the upper part of the red threads, so the only possible place… He raised his head to look around the spaces surrounding the surveillance cameras.

There!!  

As expected, Meng Ming saw an extremely thin thread wrapped around the camera’s round supporting pillar. Afterwards, he tilted his head up to look at the other 2 sides, and discovered that there was a strand wrapped around every pillar next to the surveillance cameras! 

Zhou Lun Yu brought out four red threads!…He can copy four people at once. Meng Ming finally touched the ‘disks’ he had personally prepared. Using Brilliant Blossom, he hid them in the cracks between his fingers.  

It had been 15 minutes since the exam had started. Meng Ming had finally finished searching. 

Meng Ming smiled. Soon, you won’t be able to copy anymore.  

 

The instant the surveillance cameras were all facing the side, Meng Ming’s four right-hand fingers immediately acted! He simultaneously shot out four spinning disks! The four blade-like disks quickly flew out in different directions!  

This was Meng Ming’s first active attack.  

All the red threads were taut, and none of the four disks seemed to deviate from their targets. Zhou Lun Yu had long since raised his guard; when he noticed Meng Ming’s attack to sever the red threads, he didn’t panic at all! The instant before the disks neared the four threads, the fingers on Zhou Lun Yu’s left hand moved fluidly! The red threads on each finger curved like waves as they quickly stretched outwards.

The red threads can jump about?! Meng Ming knew Zhou Lun Yu wanted to evade the attack. He fixed his vision on the red threads; the moment they seemed they were about to be cut, Zhou Lun Yu caused them to undulate so that they curved away just perfectly! The four threads all fluctuated and jumped about, evading Meng Ming’s four disks, before straightening out again.  

Zhou Lun Yu’s evasion had made Meng Ming’s attack hit only empty air. How could such a normal attack cut me? You’re too simple-minded! If you don’t show some real skills, I won’t even need to pay you any mind. He didn’t bother counterattacking, and continued to immerse himself into writing his own test, waiting for Meng Ming to show his moves first. 

So the red threads were actually so agile… Meng Ming hadn’t even gotten a chance to think of a new countermeasure, before a few classmates next to him began to flip their pages. He hurriedly widened his eyes and locked his vision on the papers, simultaneously memorizing quite a few of the answers. —There was no way for him to concentrate on defeating Zhou Lun Yu.

The Heavenly Eye Technique…I’m still not proficient enough with it. I can only see so little… Meng Ming furrowed his brows. Although he had been able to see all the answers on the first page, he could only remember two answers. However, 5-6 of the surrounding tests had been flipped already. On the other hand, a few students still hadn’t finished, so Meng Ming still had chances to obtain more answers.  

I need to copy the tests while also preventing Zhou Lun Yu from writing answers…The pressure that Meng Ming felt gradually increased. Zhou Lun Yu was still calmly writing, his answering pace identical to the examinees in the palm of his hand. If Meng Ming didn’t interrupt Zhou Lun Yu soon, then Zhou Lun Yu would obtain four copies of complete and reliable information!

    

A portion of the exam students had already started to fill in the answers for the second page. Meng Ming resolved that he had to copy all of its content! On the other hand, Zhou Lun Yu inwardly sniggered: Zhuge Meng Ming’s method of copying tests is limited to looking at only the people surrounding him, so his accuracy rate won’t be as good as mine. I locked onto a few people with good literature and language grades, so my overall score will definitely be higher. If Meng Ming didn’t reveal his strength, Zhou Lun Yu could completely ignore him! 

Zhou Lun Yu is still hiding himself, waiting for me to attack first? Fine, then I’ll first master this vision technique… His score was more important, so Meng Ming decided to temporarily ignore Zhou Lun Yu. He quietly waited for the surrounding students to flip their page. 

Finally, after the 20 minute mark had passed, Meng Ming saw some people flip over their first page, and he smoothly wrote down the answers.  

As long as I focus my concentration, this move doesn’t seem really hard! Gradually, Meng Ming began to familiarize himself with the Heavenly Eye Technique. It didn’t matter what angle the examinees were flipping their tests from, he was still able to finish copying all the answers. …Multiple choice is fine, it’s just a few characters. But the fill-in-the-blanks later seem to have quite a bit of content. Can I accurately see them…   

As soon as Meng Ming thought this, a male student to his front right flipped the second page of his test!  

Fill-in-the-blank page?! Ah, I can see it! Meng Ming caught it, and remembered all the content on the page, immediately recording it onto his draft paper! Success…  

Just as Meng Ming believed that he had mastered the rhythm of the Heavenly Eye Technique, two people on his left and right simultaneously flipped their tests. 

Haa… Meng Ming was unsure of where to look for a moment, and ended up unable to see either.

  ……

…Still no good! Is learning it at the scene of the exam really any use…? 

Zhou Lun Yu was using his red threads to copy information down this whole time. When he saw Meng Ming’s foolish appearance, he mocked him: You dare to take this test even when you’re so slow-witted? 

Meng Ming analyzed: Right now, the examinees have all progressed around 1.5 pages. When the second page is finished, everyone will start working on the essay on the third page. If I don’t hurry up and finish copying the stuff on the first two pages, I might not get another chance. People were constantly flipping through their tests, and Meng Ming gradually gathered the answers for 1.5 pages. However, Zhou Lun Yu was definitely advancing in a similar way.  

Zhou Lun Yu, that bastard, still hasn’t acted… Meng Ming eyed Zhou Lun Yu. He knew that the two of them were different from each other; Zhou Lun Yu could choose who to copy, locking onto students that definitely had good grades! If this continues…  

That’s right! Meng Ming suddenly thought of something. As long as I find who he’s copying… He lifted his head to look at the red thread attached to the surveillance camera on the left corner! Meng Ming followed the thread’s path, slowly probing around, before finding the table the examinee was sitting at—like this, he knew who Zhou Lun Yu was copying!

Shi Yun?! Meng Ming saw that this red thread was wrapped around Shi Yun’s pencil.  

Meng Ming scanned all the red threads attached to the surveillance cameras.  

The front right one connects to the classmate in the front of the third column…the back right one connects to the fifth seat of the fifth column…the back left one… Meng Ming craned his head to look. Judging by that angle…it’s connected to Bai Jiu’s pencil?!  

Meng Ming originally wanted to interfere with Zhou Lun Yu; just cutting off each of the red threads connected to those particular students’ pencil tips would be enough! But he hadn’t expected that Zhou Lun Yu had locked onto the examinee behind Meng Ming…how was he supposed to deal with someone behind him?  

I’ll ignore that for now! If I can’t even properly deal with the people in front of me… Meng Ming once again tracked the surveillance cameras’ trajectories, and slightly revealed the small weapons hidden in his hand. Since he can dodge the disks, then I’ll just attack the examinees’ pencils. This time, I’ll use the short arrows!  

The instant all the surveillance cameras were facing the side again, Meng Ming aimed at the three pencils in front of him that had red threads wrapped around them, shooting out three short arrows in succession! The arrows split in three directions that accurately flew towards their targets.

Zhou Lun Yu saw the short arrows, but wasn’t concerned at all. He thought: Hmph! It’s not those flying disks from before; rather, he wants to pierce my red threads with just some toothpicks? Does Zhuge Meng Ming only have these two moves? I observed him for no reason… 

The three arrows didn’t hit the red threads, but instead hit the pencil shafts around the threads! Zhou Lun Yu was smug: He can’t even hit them, yet he wants to pierce through them?  

But Meng Ming’s attack hadn’t ended! He had long since anticipated that the red threads would be difficult to cut. After the three arrows hit their respective pencils, they suddenly burst into flames! The tiny bundle of flames instantly burned out the few red threads attached to the ends of the pencils!  

Zhou Lun Yu hadn’t imagined it would turn out like this at all!  

What! …That’s, fire?! Flames, this really shocked Zhou Lun Yu!  

The three red threads dropped off.  

Meng Ming swung his pencil around: New Zhuge Style Cheating TechniqueSmall Flaming Arrows! Since I’ve mastered the flames to the second level, I can control them like this.  

The exam had now nearly reached the 40 minute mark. Zhou Lun Yu hadn’t been able to dodge, and Meng Ming had managed to burn away three of his red threads! —Those aren’t toothpicks, but matches!  

    

Zhou Lun Yu was intrigued. Zhuge Meng Ming actually had such a hand!  

Making fire…! This is the first time I’ve ever seen such a move. It looked like that was Zhuge Meng Ming’s special skill, no wonder he didn’t show his true strength before… Zhou Lun Yu had been observing Meng Ming’s actions the whole time, and finally figured out Meng Ming’s skill! However, he still didn’t adopt any countermeasures. …No rush, I have to endure for a bit longer and see if he has any other skills!  

Zhou Lun Yu clearly knew that if he wanted to duel, he had to first figure out everything about his opponent no matter what. Otherwise, he’d definitely suffer. Besides, Zhou Lun Yu was still dominating this situation.  

Now, only the red thread behind Meng Ming remained! Would he shoot out a fire arrow behind him?  

It’s just the table behind me…but this can be said to be advantageous for me as well. Meng Ming thought it over: The students are all immersed in writing, and the old man is also sleepy…at such close distance, as long as I can avoid the surveillance cameras, I can just turn around and directly sever the red thread.  

Thus, Meng Ming picked up his small blade, and pushed out a few sections of the blade. He then began to calculate the timing at which all the surveillance cameras would point towards the side again.  

Zhou Lun Yu noticed this: He wants to use the small blade to cut the red thread directly?! That…I have to block him! He thought that Meng Ming not using any move meant he wouldn’t be able to gather any intelligence from him. If he just watched Meng Ming cut that fourth red thread for no reason, Zhou Lun Yu’s advantage would be lost! I not only have to block him, I must also continue controlling him! The method is…

He quickly stretched out a hand to reveal a large number of red threads. Zhuge Meng Ming….you indeed have some skills.  

Avoid the surveillance cameras…turn around… Meng Ming finished his calculations, and the four surveillance cameras all began to turn towards the side….  

It’s now! Meng Ming gripped the small balde, and was just about to turn around to cut the thread…but suddenly, something strange stopped his actions!  

Meng Ming suddenly realized that the surveillance camera in the right corner was pointed straight at him, and had stopped its movements!  

Meng Ming’s body was momentarily motionless—

Zhou Lun Yu’s left fist was pulling many new red threads, all wrapped around that surveillance camera in the right corner, forcibly locking it in place! In order to protect the fourth red thread, Zhou Lun Yu had hijacked one of the surveillance cameras, forcing it to face Meng Ming the whole time.

Meng Ming couldn’t move around at will any longer.


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