This is the last chapter before my hiatus mentioned in my announcement, making the 3rd chapter (maximum quota) for the week.
Thank you for all your support and understanding, and see you all again in two months!
Translated by: Taffy
TLCed by: Nagi
Edited by: Zeph
Quiz 38: Imminent Peril (TL: This is an idiom: 千钧一发 that literally translates to “Thousand Pounds Hang by a Thread”)
The second level of his flame manipulation could accurately control the intensity of a fire!
Right now, Meng Ming needed flames that could be contained within a small perimeter, but were still fierce enough!
Zhuge Style Cheating Technique—Igniting Flames!
Meng Ming swiped a pencil across the desk, setting it ablaze. At the same time, he picked up the three pieces of draft paper, folded them over a few times, and then placed them on top of the flames to burn!
Zhou Lun Yu wasn’t able to make heads or tails of this. What is Zhuge Meng Ming doing?! He burned his own draft paper, and even used up an entire pencil?
A slender yet dense smoke arose from Meng Ming’s hands.
Smoke?! What exactly… Zhou Lun Yu became a bit more alert.
I can’t let the smoke disperse. Meng Ming reached out to grab a page of the test paper, and fanned the newly formed smoke towards its target.
The target was—Zhang Chuan to his front right!
When Zhou Lun Yu saw which direction the smoke was going towards, he began to panic. Don’t tell me, he’s about to…
Meng Ming had already considered everything! He was full of confidence, and believed that he’d definitely succeed this time! —Zhou Lun Yu can concentrate all of his energy into defending against me, but he can’t control Zhang Chuan!
The smoke floated around Zhang Chuan. He choked a bit, then coughed some more. But he was still completely focused on writing the answers, without any intention of stopping his pen!
If the smoke is not fierce enough…I’ll strengthen it more! Meng Ming burned the eraser as well.
The thick, mixed smoke formed a yellow and black gas that rolled towards Zhang Chuan. This gas permeated both the eyes and nose, making it impossible to resist with only willpower. Zhang Chuan tossed his pen to the side, and closed his eyes as he was about to try using his test paper to fan away the smoke. His actions messed up the red thread tied around his pen!
Chance! Meng Ming picked up his pencil in preparation to attack.
Zhou Lun Yu immediately pulled at the thread with all of his fingers. I definitely won’t let you get away with that!
They were about to start an all-out fight.
Meng Ming shot multiple arrows at Zhang Chuan’s pencil shaft.
Even so, the arrows didn’t manage to hit the red thread. The successive attacks instead continuously struck the pencil on Zhang Chuan’s table!
What? What exactly is Zhuge Meng Ming’s objective…? He hadn’t attacked the red thread? Zhou Lun Yu’s train of thought had suddenly been thrown into disarray by Meng Ming.
After receiving several hits, Zhang Chuan’s pencil rolled to the desk’s edge! Its location was extremely accurate—the pencil ended up being buried within the fog from just now!
So it was like that! His smoke actually had two uses. Zhou Lun Yu immediately saw through Meng Ming’s intentions. You want to hide Zhang Chuan’s pencils within the smoke, and make it impossible for me to determine the tread’s whereabouts. Zhou Lun Yu straightened the thread. Hmph, of course I can locate where my own threads are!
Meng Ming didn’t hesitate at all, and flung out a disk from the smoke. It was only a single disk, and it hadn’t been lit by fire!
In an instant, the red thread was completely severed.
Zhou Lun Yu’s red thread suddenly dropped off. He hadn’t ever imagined that Meng Ming would flawlessly attack so many times in succession—Zhou Lun Yu had only been able to figure out the red thread’s location. But with the smoke shrouding it, he couldn’t see the disk that Meng Ming had sent out at all!
I’m still not done! Meng Ming picked up the small blade pieces he’d split up earlier, and sent all of them flying at the surveillance cameras in the upper right and lower right corners. The blade pieces deeply embedded into the cracks between the cameras and the walls!
The arrangement was tight and the positions exact, making it impossible for Zhou Lun Yu to string his red thread targeted at Zhang Chuan around these cameras—if he wrapped it around the camera and pulled the thread taut, the red thread would immediately snap!
There are only that many blade pieces. The other surveillance cameras are far away from him, so they’re easy to defend! Meng Ming had taken control of the entire area! His sudden suppression had made it impossible for Zhou Lun Yu to make any move.
At the same time, Meng Ming picked up the first page of his answer sheet—and copied the answers to all of the fill-in-the-blank questions.
It’s only been a bit more than 30 minutes, but Zhang Chuan has already finished the fill-in-the-blanks. The other students haven’t even finished half…that means that Zhou Lun Yu has probably already finished copying all of the fill-in-the-blanks as well…that’s 70 points in total. There’s still the last answer sheet. I can’t let Zhou Lun Yu gain any more points!
When Zhang Chuan had picked up his answer sheet to fan the smoke earlier, Meng Ming had used the Heavenly Eye Technique to copy all of the answers.
He’d paid too much attention to Zhou Lun Yu in the past, which had always led to him overlooking the other examinees’ existences.
Zhang Chuan had already started working on the problems again. He flipped over the second page, but Meng Ming saw that there was nothing on it.
Strange, Zhang Chuan clearly wrote an answer just now. Meng Ming saw that the map drawing question on Zhang Chuan’s test paper didn’t have any traces of writing on it. The two calculation questions on either side hadn’t been solved either.
Meng Ming felt that something was off.
He’d clearly seen Zhang Chuan move his pen, but why couldn’t he see the answers? He picked up his test paper, and looked at the map drawing question.
[Question: Please use the fountain pen to draw out the correct line on the map.]
Drawing out a line…? Meng Ming was taken aback. No wonder it requires a fountain pen! If one used a pencil to draw it, it’d be hard for the grader to read! Even with a fountain pen, Meng Ming was unable to see that faint line of color on the paper with the distance between him and Zhang Chuan!
I can’t see it…! Meng Ming made some calculations. Full points on the exam was 100, so if he couldn’t get the 10 points from the map drawing question, he wouldn’t be able to surpass Zhou Lun Yu, who’d already gotten 70 points.
It’s fine, this was also within my calculations. If I want to win… Meng Ming had already considered this stage many times. The range of possibilities was shrinking now, and his thoughts were becoming more developed.
All he did was cut off one of my red threads. Is there any reason to be so arrogant?! Zhou Lun Yu knew that the two surveillance cameras on the right were no longer usable. Soon after, he stretched out more red threads towards the upper left camera.
Meng Ming noticed this action, but chose to let it go.
Not blocking me? Zhou Lun Yu found it very strange.
Of course. All you’re going to do with that cast out red thread is continue wrapping it around Zhang Chuan’s pen. Meng Ming had even accurately predicted this step. —The other students haven’t even finished the fill-in-the-blanks, so wrapping the red threads around their pens is useless.
Indeed, Zhou Lun Yu’s target was still Zhang Chuan. However, he didn’t wrap the thread around Zhang Chuan’s pen. Instead, he left a space to avoid Meng Ming’s successive skills from cutting it off again. He wanted to wait until the moment Zhang Chuan moved his pen and started writing on the answers sheet before wrapping the thread around it and copying!
The map drawing question had already passed, so Zhou Lun Yu couldn’t copy it either. Now he was just betting on the last two calculation questions.
Time slowly passed. Meng Ming was still smiling confidently. It’s still as expected. The sudden change in exam subject is for the sake of spacing apart examinee scores. These last two calculation questions will be very difficult, just like the math calculation questions!
Zhang Chuan had been scribbling away on the draft paper this whole time, but he hadn’t gotten an answer yet.
After a dozen or so minutes, Zhang Chuan’s eyes suddenly lit up!
He solved a question?! Zhou Lun Yu prepared to copy.
So fast? That won’t do! Meng Ming picked up the eraser that had been burned to mush earlier, and taking advantage of the moment Zhou Lun Yu wasn’t paying attention, threw a small part of it at Zhang Chuan’s draft paper. The eraser mush slid across the draft paper, and stuck over a large area. Zhang Chuan’s work had been passed over, and a large chunk of it was now erased!
Zhang Chuan started. He lifted his head to look around, but only saw everyone else immersed in solving the problems. There was nothing abnormal. According to the exam regulations, he could only gloomily start resolving the question.
Seeing Zhang Chuan start writing on his draft paper again, Zhou Lun Yu could only continue waiting.
After a couple minutes, Zhang Chuan managed to quickly resolve the question based on his previous train of thought. But when he was just about to copy it onto the answer sheet, he was interrupted by Meng Ming again!
It’s not just a fight in physical techniques, but also a huge emphasis on mental state. —Meng Ming had already completely realized what he’d overlooked.
A long, long amount of time continued to be wasted like this. There were now only 15 minutes left until the end of the exam.
Most of the other students had also started the calculation questions by now.
Zhou Lun Yu saw that Zhang Chuan still hadn’t written anything on his answer sheet after so long, and decided that it was best to not rely solely on him. Thus, Zhou Lun Yu began to spread his concentration onto other examinees. Just as he had done during the math exam, he started to carefully search the entire exam site for the answers!
That’s right. As long as I fight him in a psychological battle…I’ll be closer to victory! Meng Ming knew that Zhou Lun Yu’s red threads had already circulated around multiple targets. While Zhou Lun Yu wasn’t paying attention, Meng Ming finally allowed Zhang Chuan to start writing the problems!
There wasn’t much time left, so Zhang Chuan’s writing was very rushed! He quickly finished writing the first calculation answer, and then flipped the answer sheet over—
This is it!
Meng Ming saw it. He’d previously trained his ability to copy answers multiple times, and hurriedly memorized the solution!
Zhou Lun Yu also saw it! As expected, only Zhang Chuan can solve it! He didn’t have the time to use his red threads; Zhang Chuan had already stopped writing that solution, so Zhou Lun Yu couldn’t use his red threads to copy it!
Too late?! Zhou Lun Yu was alarmed.
Meng Ming hurriedly began moving his pen, and began to copy the solution onto his answer sheet!
Right now, only Zhuge Meng Ming was doing that problem! Zhou Lun Yu immediately used his left thumb to release a red thread! There’s no time…I’ll just have to do this! Zhou Lun Yu didn’t loop the red thread around the surveillance camera. He tossed it with all his strength so that the red thread directly wrapped around Meng Ming’s pencil—
He was going to copy Meng Ming’s answer!
The red thread was pulled taut between the two of them.
Soon, Meng Ming had finished writing half, and Zhou Lun Yu had also copied half.
Does Zhuge Meng Ming think I’m still searching for answers? He probably got overly excited after finding and copying the only answer. Zhou Lun Yu lowered his head to copy Meng Ming’s test paper.
Zhou Lun Yu took the bait. Meng Ming had calculated extremely accurately—For the sake of this question, Zhou Lun Yu could only act like such, just as expected! Meng Ming had even seen the red thread wrap around his own pencil.
Just as Zhou Lun Yu was about to finish copying, he vaguely felt something…the red thread seemed to have gotten heavier?
This is…! A black dot suddenly appeared before Zhou Lun Yu’s eyes. He saw that a drop of black substance fell from the tip of his thumb that was pulling red thread…another drop fell on his own answer sheet.
It’s fountain pen ink!! What does Zhuge Meng Ming want to do? Zhou Lun Yu craned his head, and saw the pencil in Meng Ming’s hand—its tail end had been burned to form a beautiful “cup” shape. It was filled with black ink that was squeezed out of the fountain pen. While writing, the pencil would tilt over, causing the ink to endlessly drip onto the red thread. Zhou Lun Yu suddenly discovered that his red thread was already soaking black. The ink had followed along the now black thread, passed over his own left thumb, and fell onto his answer sheet.
Aside from this, there was something even more eye-catching; it was a ball of flames quickly burning along the red thread now soaked in black ink! —Meng Ming had lit up the ink! The red thread was extremely thin, so the flames were advancing as fast as lightning! In a mere instant, they had already reached Zhou Lun Yu. The flames followed the path of ink, directly burning Zhou Lun Yu’s answer sheet!
This! Wait a minute!
Zhou Lun Yu had no way of stopping it. His two answer sheets were instantly burned to ashes.
All of the stationery on Meng Ming’s desk had been used up.
Using ink as…fuel? Zhou Lun Yu’s paper had disappeared, all 100 points were gone! He thought back to how Meng Ming had used the fire to create a thick smoke at first. He first cut the red thread, put up that blade formation, and made it impossible for me to copy the answers again and again, so that I would be forced to copy him…! Everything was a trap? This means that Zhuge Meng Ming had planned all of this from the beginning?!
Zhou Lun Yu was stunned.
Meng Ming had actually calculated such a complicated chain of events that morning!
It’s really not a coincidence…? He said that no matter what the situation is, there’s always some way of winning…that was actually true?! Zhou Lun Yu quickly and resolutely reached out his right hand. Don’t think that this matter is so simple…! Zhuge Meng Ming’s stationery is all used up. I’ve been prepared for this moment for ages…
When he’d been searching for answers to the calculation questions earlier, Zhou Lun Yu had left red threads in his right hand!
He knew that although Zhuge Meng Ming still had a pencil in his hand, there was still a huge weak point! If he accurately timed the Alternate Dimension Vacuum Blade…!
Hmph, you still want to attack?! As if that’ll work! Meng Ming tightly gripped his pencil to protect it; his wrists pressed against the calculation questions answer sheet, guarding it firmly.
At that moment, the ending bell rang out. The exam had ended!
Perfect timing! Meng Ming was delighted. Once the exam ended, wasn’t everything settled?!
Meng Ming suddenly remembered the examination regulations; he could only put his pencil down! —Crap!
Zhou Lun Yu knew this clearly: Examination Site Regulation #14: When the exam ends, the bell will ring, and no examinees can touch their stationery! But this bell doesn’t necessarily represent the actual end of the exam.
All of their showdowns had been this way. No matter whether it was a contest or a duel, their true start and finish times were from the declaration of war until the results of the competition were released! As long as the test paper was still in one’s hand, one had to look after it rigorously; as long as the person was still at the exam site, the test hadn’t ended! Zhou Lun Yu understood this point well, but Meng Ming had only just reacted—
The true conclusion of the exam wasn’t until the day the grades were announced!
Zhuge Meng Ming, you were careless!
Several Vacuum Blades were sent flying at Meng Ming! Meng Ming wanted to block, but he discovered that he couldn’t touch his pencil anymore. His wrists were still pressed against the calculation question answer sheet to protect it, but the other sheet was defenseless. The Vacuum Blades streaked across the fill-in-the-blank answer sheet on his desk. The blades flashed, and completely shredded it.
In the exam site, the pencil had its advantages, but it had its weak points as well. This was something that Zhou Lun Yu understood better than Meng Ming did.
Zhou Lun Yu didn’t hand in any papers for this exam, while Meng Ming could only hand in the second sheet’s single calculation question.
If the points were estimated—
In this final exam, Zhou Lun Yu had gotten 0 points, while Zhuge Meng Ming…had secured 10 points at most.