Translated by: Taffy, Nagi
Edited by: Frosty
Quiz 49: The Clever Use of Benzene
Yilan root, as the name implied, was a fungus type plant that naturally grew in the clouds and mist of the ravine. It wouldn’t grow if the cliff wasn’t steep, if there weren’t cracks in the rock, or if there wasn’t misty water. Despite the fact that Mt. Qing Xiu’s environment was extremely suitable for its growth, a typical person couldn’t possibly collect it. No matter how great one’s vision was, they’d be no different from being blind while walking through this kind of foggy mountain path. They could only feel their way around with every step and slowly advance. A single inattentive step could possibly send them tumbling down the cliff.
Zhou Lun Yu’s figure appeared amidst this fog. The steep and rugged rock slope didn’t have stairs, so one could only climb up. When Zhou Lun Yu was young, Qiao Shun Zhi had brought him to scale this mountain before, but this was his first time entering alone. The surrounding rock pillars, plants, and the rock wall not too far away were all essential road signs. Some red threads were like a light that guided him through the darkness as he continued to advance further down the path.
This place; why is it even harder to walk through compared to before…!
He pushed aside rocks to find his way through the path, each step harder than the last. It was like trying to cross a single-logged bridge with his eyes closed.
To think that he moved around with a method like this every day…
He would occasionally hear a plane-like sound next to his ear, but when he raised his head, he still couldn’t see the sky.
The Yilan root’s location was also very high up. It grew extremely close to the peak, along the rock walls of Mt. Qing Xiu’s main peak. The only things there were clouds and mist, and the steep cliffs made climbing impossible. In order to reach the highest point, their ancestors had found a level spot amidst steep cliffs on Mt. Qing Xiu’s peak while searching for a path. In a cave between the main peak and its next peak, they’d set up a rope bridge. Without saying, they had used the red silk threads technique.
Zhou Lun Yu’s objective was the next peak’s cave. After entering this cavehole, I’ll still have to wander around so much….
A steep slope appeared before them, one that a human couldn’t possibly climb up on foot.
I remember that the correct path is here… Zhou Lun Yu felt around the stones in front of him, probing his surroundings. He confirmed that this path was correct, and wrote a crude notation on the upper part of the rock.
Alright…Vacuum Whip! He brandished the long rope, and began to rock climb.
“Hahahahaha! How about it, can you do this?”
These bragging words were coming from Meng Ming’s mouth. The forest square showdown had already gone on for quite a while. The spectators’ jaws had all dropped open, even the teacher was unable to stifle her laughter as she stared at Meng Ming’s terrifying actions!
Meng Ming had used fire to directly burn the previously useless benzene! He also made the gas formed from the benzene combustion pass through a very long tube that led to the water in a large beaker in order to cool it. Huang Qiao Yi had said before: Burning benzene will produce carbon dioxide and water! This was the first ever case in the history of chemistry of someone producing water from benzene!
No, how is that possible! Sean stood across from Meng Ming, watching his actions. His face had boundless shock written all over it. “How can the flames be so mild while burning it like this!? It should be a violent inferno!”
Meng Ming’s grasp over flames had reached the second level: no matter how flammable something was, he could regulate the intensity of the fire to the finest degree!
“Hey, that’s a dangerous operation!” Sean pointed at Meng Ming and said to the teacher, “This isn’t allowed in lab, he’s breaking the rules!” There were indeed no such instances in the labs, the textbooks never allowed one to directly burn a substance within a glass either.
“Haha! Weren’t the rules explained thoroughly earlier? There are a total of four, as long as I don’t break any of those, it’s fine!” Meng Ming laughed, and continued to burn the benzene, allowing it to slowly change into water.
At that moment, the judging teacher was extremely silent, and even bewildered. Her thoughts wandered back and forth, and after pondering it for a good few minutes, she slowly said, “Mm…this, is indeed something I overlooked. The competition rules didn’t explicitly state that one had to follow lab standards when working…moreover, there’s no danger involved in how he’s acting, so…”
Sean was speechless. He slowly turned around and blankly stared at Meng Ming’s ridiculous movements. He could also sense the spectators all looking at Meng Ming in admiration—he had actually thought of this kind of method to produce water, too formidable!
Hmph, in that case… Sean looked to see that his own nitric acid was nearly completed. “Alright, so that I don’t lose to him, I’ll also burn the benzene.”
He grabbed his own bottle #1 of benzene and dumped it all into the large beaker.
“You’re going to burn it? If you can, just go ahead and try!” Meng Ming believed that Sean would definitely be unable to do it. He locked his gaze onto the beaker, and used his thumb to shoot a Small Blazewind Disk over at him, “I’ll lend you some fire!”
With a boom, Sean’s lab table ignited. The flames were fierce and uncontrollable, causing the two brothers to retreat a few steps in fear! This power was able to burn off all the benzene in just a dozen seconds, it was really too dangerous.
“Extinguish it!” Sean screamed.
“How do I extinguish the fire?!” Thomas was helpless.
“Idiot, use water!”
Splash, Thomas poured water on the benzene. Now that it was soaked, the fire was finally extinguished.
[Warning: Minors, please do not copy this. Adults, please do not try this alone.]…
“…Brother Meng Ming, they are using water.” Huang Qiao Yi observed the movements on the opposite side.
“I wanted them to use up their water, that’s why I burned their things.” Meng Ming didn’t pay any attention to the other side, and only concentrated on his non-standard experiment.
“It’s not like that…” Huang Qiao Yi pulled at Meng Ming, gesturing at him to look over. Meng Ming could only raise his head to glance across.
“They used the water in bottle #9.”
“…Thomas, how did you know the substance in here could extinguish fire?” Sean asked in confusion.
“Impromptu feeling…” Thomas indifferently replied.
“When we poured it just now, the flames didn’t seem to have any special changes.”
“That’s right, it’s just like you said…”
“Bottle #9, which has 0.3L remaining, is water?”
“There’s no mistake.”
Sean’s side, due to their intuition during a moment of desperation, had discovered that bottle #9 contained water! He looked at the benzene beaker again, and saw that there was still 0.3L of water and benzene mixed together. This had already formed two layers.
“Brother Meng Ming helped them big time.” [Huang Qiao Yi]
“It, it seems so…what is the current situation…?” [Meng Ming]
|Zhuge Meng Ming’s side||Sean Bozmann’s side|
|Benzene: 0.5L [currently being burned into a small amount of water]||Benzene: 0.27L|
|Water: 0.92L||Water: 0.48L|
|Nitric Acid solution: 0.98L [x]||Water: 0.96L [after heating ammonium nitrate]|
|Water: 0.3L [spilled Bottle #9]|
Sean had soon calculated his total volume of water as well and said, “Even if we don’t do anything, our victory is settled.”
Meng Ming’s side was only burning benzene, it couldn’t produce that much water. However, the spectators’ gazes were still gathered on Meng Ming.
Time slowly passed. Sean felt somewhat upset; even the teacher laughed at him and said, “What? You think you won, so you won’t do it anymore?”
He watched everyone’s reactions. If he won like this, it wouldn’t have any meaning to him at all. The students hadn’t even noticed that he had already stopped his experiment. What else could Sean do? No, he’d bragged so much earlier…
That’s right, I still need to burn benzene!
He still had around 0.3L of benzene left. If he could turn all of it into water, then this experiment would have no point to pick at!
Hmph, how can I let those amateurs steal the limelight, Sean thought.
The teacher understood Sean’s intention well. “Alright, this is about the limit of your level. You can go pour your water into the graduated cylinder, and I’ll give you a score now so that it won’t evaporate away.”
Sean didn’t listen to her. He said that he was going to burn the benzene, but there was no way he could burn it directly like Meng Ming was. However, he refused to let it end like that! He began to grow anxious.
“You guys,” Sean couldn’t stand the crowd’s complete disinterest in his experiment, and loudly declared, “Watch, now it’s my turn to change benzene into water!”
All the students were shocked, and looked over. What…?! Hearing this, Meng Ming and Huang Qiao Yi also raised their heads in curiosity to look over.
Sean racked his brains; he believed there had to be some solution. He remembered there was some instrument he could use that had made an impression on him before, but he just couldn’t recall it! He looked at his own table, and scanned every single thing again, but was unable to find the train of thought he was looking for…however, his words just now had gathered everyone’s gazes at him. If he didn’t seize this chance…
I, I must think of something! This is the only way. Sean pulled out something from his clothes.
“Brother…!” Thomas noticed, and immediately wanted to stop him.
“Shut up.” Sean swallowed the pill he’d pulled out.
Seeing the situation, Meng Ming hurriedly told Huang Qiao Yi, “Little Qiao, it’s that drug…!” Before, Huang Qiao Yi had heard Meng Ming and Zhou Lun Yu discover this thing. She was also pondering exactly what kind of drug it could be! She saw Sean’s expression grow darker, his gaze turning moderate. Compared to his previous fretful self, he seemed like a completely different person.
He was now very calm, extremely calm. In just a moment, he was able to come up with a way to burn benzene! He gently picked up the alcohol lamp on the table and said, “Watch carefully, you guys. I’m about to carry out the test to burn the benzene.”
What is he going to do? Use the alcohol lamp to burn it?
Is he still staying he’s heating the benzene?
The crowd didn’t understand, and Huang Qiao Yi also focused on watching. To their surprise, Sean didn’t light the alcohol lamp. Instead, he removed the lampwick and poured out the alcohol in it! Afterwards, everyone watched as he poured the benzene into the container!
Finally, he covered it with the lampwick, using the remaining alcohol to introduce the benzene into the center of the wick.
He’d switched the ethanol in the alcohol lamp for benzene—this was a benzene lamp!
Sean lit up the benzene lamp and used a gas tube to allow the gas to enter and cool down in the water! The flames the benzene lamp emitted were extremely calm and mild. Immediately, the entire school burst into cheers and applause as loud as rolling thunder. Even the teacher couldn’t help but sight in praise at Sean’s extraordinary ingenuity! The simple device had produced an unimaginable result!
Everyone’s gazes were frozen on Sean’s body.
“Like this, have we…completely lost?” Huang Qiao Yi felt extreme regret about this competition.
“I just knew that there was something wrong with that drug of his. How could one possibly use drugs to improve their thinking capabilities!” Meng Ming had been constantly thinking about this drug. He definitely wouldn’t allow himself to lose to a person that used inferior methods like taking drugs. Furthermore, he wouldn’t allow Huang Qiao Yi feel grieved from losing this competition!
At that moment, the judging teacher pulled out all the alcohol lamps from the equipment cabinet, and announced a new rule: #5, No more alcohol lamps from the cabinet. This was to prevent the contestants from burning the ethanol within the alcohol lamps and producing more water.
“Little Qiao, don’t concede!” Meng Ming continued to encourage the depressed Huang Qiao Yi. “Who said we lost! There are still over two hours of the competition left!”
“But, there are no more reagents…” Huang Qiao Yi saw that the benzene at their table had been completely burned up, and there were no other reagents left. “Without reagents, this nitric acid definitely cannot turn into water…”
“So what? Even if that bastard, Sean, uses a drug to boost his brain activity, he definitely can’t surpass me! Moreover,” Meng Ming forcefully reminded Huang Qiao Yi, “We still have reagents!” He looked over at the scattered test tubes and beakers on the table.
There was the single alcohol lamp, as well as the total of 0.1L of liquids within the test tubes that had been used for the identification process.
There’s pretty much nothing of use…
What to do…under these circumstances, could they still achieve victory?!
Meng Ming still believed firmly—Zhuge Style Cheating Technique. No matter what, there is always the chance to turn the tables and seize victory! I just need to think calmly, and I’ll definitely be able to figure out a way to win!
“Little Qiao, cheer up!” He said. “We definitely have a way to win!!”
|Zhuge Meng Ming’s side||Sean Bozmann’s side|
|Water: 1.04L||Water: 1.74L|
|Nitric Acid solution: 0.98L [x]||Benzene: 0.27L [will turn into a small amount of water]|
The sun had shifted to the area of sky above the peak. It was a warm afternoon, all of Qing Xin was currently eating lunch. The students in Qing Xin Central High’s forest square had also gotten food, although there were also some students watching the competition that had forgotten to eat.
At the moment, there were some people that didn’t have the chance to eat. The referee for the forest showdown accompanied them in their hunger, as well as the person endlessly using up their physical power to search for medicine on Mt. Qing Xin.
There was another person that had ignored lunch, and went straight to napping. Duan He had gone back to sleep in one of Qin Xiu Hall Medicine Store’s inner rooms. However, she was suddenly awakened by shopkeeper Zhong knocking on the door.
“There’s someone in the hall looking for you.” As soon as he said this, shopkeeper Zhong retreated.
Duan He could only change her clothes and walk out to the hall. There, she saw a foreigner man in doctor’s clothing sitting there, waiting for her.
Seeing Duan He walk out, the man put down his teacup and looked over at Duan He, softly commenting, “Your eye disease worsened.”
“Ah…” Duan He could only smile.
“Okay,” the man stood up to say, “Please tell me what information you fished out from my home.”