Beginning of V6~ Get ready to meet a ton of interesting new characters!
TL Note: “Stacked Layers” is a literal translation, but it’s basically Jenga.
Translated by: Taffy
Edited by: Frosty
Quiz 52: Stacked Layers
There was a street in the eastern part of Lin Xian called Old Xian Street. This street was originally the boundary between Lin Xian and Kui Yuan, but, because neither side was willing to supervise it, the entire street became a market economy. Everything was sold there. Moreover, most of the shops were duty free. Gradually, it became a tourist attraction among the people, as the location of the street was also amazingly beautiful. To the citizens of Lin Xian and Kui Yuan, this place could be said to be extremely well known.
Today was the last day of the year; it was pretty cold out. This was Meng Ming’s first time coming to this kind of street; it was like stepping into an exotic garden. The surroundings were filled with low, colorful buildings that were normally very hard to find in a city in China. Moreover, although there were a lot of people, it didn’t seem crowded at all.
This place isn’t bad, but running to this kind of place for a single homework assignment…is a bit…
To a first year, New Year’s Day was an additional holiday, so homework was unavoidable for the entire grade. This time, the entire year was required to buy their own copy of <All New Senior High Strengthening Subjects’ Revision Outline (Book 1)>, a reference book that had come out in October. They then had to complete the first two sets of questions for each subject.
“The school isn’t even willing to pay for it out of its own pocket, and wants us to buy it ourselves…” Meng Ming felt that this was pretty annoying. Wouldn’t it have been fine if the school had bought it, and then distributed it to each person? In addition…after school had let out yesterday, he had prepared to go to a bookstore today. However, Huang Qiao Yi had said, “Brother Meng Ming knows I don’t like that kind of place, so just bring me a copy.”
Is she for real…didn’t Little Qiao only have complaints towards the Lin Xian Library?
“Meng Ming, isn’t the school forcing us to buy it ourselves the perfect excuse to go walk around outside?” A female voice said.
This time, Bai Jiu was at Meng Ming’s side. —For some reason, she had become the substitute after Huang Qiao Yi had refused to come. Most likely, Huang Qiao Yi had secretly arranged it by calling Bai Jiu last night.
This reference book was one that should’ve theoretically also been available in Lin Xian. However, Bai Jiu had suddenly told Meng Ming that she wanted to go to Old Xian Street. She said that there were many bookstores here anyways, as well as quite a few cheap vendor stands that sold old books. Aside from buying the reference book, they could also go look at other types of books. Of course, this was most likely Huang Qiao Yi’s idea as well.
Whatever. Aside from looking at books, Bai Jiu and I have no other hobbies. Meng Ming realized that this was true. Either way, it would be a waste of her talent for the bookworm Bai Jiu if she didn’t read. “Alright,” Meng Ming gathered his energy, and with Bai Jiu next to him, said, “We’ll just look from building to building!”
“What do you want to do?!”
“Hey, if you have the guts, fight with me.”
There were two big guys, with some lackey type people behind them, currently fighting in a spacious Western pastry shop while completely ignoring the staff’s dissuasion.
One of them was tall and skinny, but his eyes were filled with arrogance. The other seemed more robust.
“Fight? Fine! Let’s take it outside!” The robust male pointed to outside the store, indicating for them to leave.
“Go outside?” The tall and skinny male didn’t think that this was very smart. “What’s the point in drawing so many people’s attention? It’s better if we just play around in here.”
“Then what do you want to do? Anything is fine. We, the Three Missing One Quartet, are willing to accompany you whenever.” This robust male was Boss Ma Que.
“Oh? The four of you are a group, huh.” The opposite party arrogantly said, “Then how about this? I’ll choose a location, and you guys choose a style. Fair? We can do it right on this dining table. How about it?” He patted a dining table.
“Fine,” Boss Ma Que sat down on a chair next to the table and waited for the other party to take a seat opposite him. “Then let’s play mahjong! The rules follow—stacked layers!
Stacked layers meant that all of the mahjong tiles were piled on top of each other to form a tall tower shape. The players would have to take turns drawing a tile out, then placing it on top of the tower. Whoever knocked the tower down would lose. This was a game that tested the participants’ balance, steadiness, and patience!
Meng Ming and Bai Jiu had just randomly entered a shop, and managed to find the newly published reference book. It had been put on display at the entrance, and was pretty eye-catching. The person handing out flyers noticed Meng Ming pick up the book and read through it, and immediately handed him a flyer.
Meng Ming’s and Bai Jiu’s attentions shifted to the flyer.
“X-seven Western pastry shop, a store on Old Xian Street. In order to welcome the arrival of the new year, the store will hold a merchandise quiz competition for the students that arrive today. The winner will be rewarded with delicate goods! The style of questions will be in test paper form! The time is 12 noon at the dot! We welcome any type of student…..P.S. Please present your student ID to enter.”
A single glance was enough to tell that it was soliciting customers. Who knew what the delicate goods would be. Where was X-seven Western pastry shop…?
Meng Ming raised his head, only to see that it was right next to the shop they were in. It was a huge bakery! All the baked goods one could ever think of were inside. There were also quite a few tables set up, making it practically a baked goods restaurant. Moreover, there wasn’t a wall between the bookstore and the Western pastry shop; they were completely connected. No matter how one looked at it, these two shops were clearly partners.
“Those that come into this bookstore to look at books can only find a place to sit in the adjacent Western pastry shop…” Meng Ming knew of this kind of marketing trick. Bai Jiu flipped through the <All New Senior High Strengthening Subjects’ Revision Outline (Book 1)>, and discovered that finishing the homework would take quite a bit of effort…she also thought—
This is a perfect opportunity to study with Meng Ming…yea, I can take the initiative to ask him any parts I don’t understand…I must work hard!
Her head seemed to overheat as she thought this. When she saw Meng Ming about to walk inside the bookstore, she immediately gathered the courage and suggested, “Meng Ming, let’s, let’s…let’s go…?”
“What?” Meng Ming turned around to ask.
“It’s nearly noon. Why don’t we go there…and do our homework together? Is that ok…?” Bai Jiu pointed at the connected X-seven Western pastry shop.
Meng Ming was shocked. He turned to look at the Western pastry shop once more.
He was a bit nervous, as he thought: No way…Bai Jiu wants to do homework with me? What happens if she asks me a question…?
“Can, can we…” Bai Jiu continued to ask.
Eh…the main concern isn’t the question of how to answer the problems…I have this strange premonition…” Meng Ming bitterly smiled.
He’d originally been unable to reject, especially since Bai Jiu was filled with expectations. Even if Meng Ming had reasons that were hard to voice, he couldn’t just easily disappoint her. He could only nod and helplessly agree with a “Yea.” He then picked up a copy of the outline book for Huang Qiao Yi, and, after paying for it, walked out with Bai Jiu towards X-seven Western pastry shop.
Whatever, I can’t be certain about what will happen… As soon as Meng Ming entered the shop: ………As expected.
As Meng Ming and Bai Jiu walked in, they suddenly noticed a large circle of students inside the X-seven shop.
“What happened there?” Meng Ming found it strange.
“Not sure. It shouldn’t be something dangerous….” Bai Jiu found this type of crowd quite frightening.
When they walked forwards, they saw a bunch of mahjong tiles scattered across the floor, which was a strange sight. The students were currently surrounding…
Meng Ming was given a shock. It was actually the Three Missing One Quartet again?! Moreover, there were some students across them from some unknown school. Meng Ming hurriedly ran forwards, and saw Boss Ma Que sitting there with an expression of complete defeat!
What….! Don’t tell me… Meng Ming surveyed the surroundings and immediately understood. Boss Ma Que had played mahjong against the people from the other school and lost.
Bai Que, who was standing behind Boss Ma Que, had an expression that indicated he wouldn’t give up as he said to the opposite party, “There’s no way I believe it. You must have pulled some kind of trick!”
“Then try saying what trick I pulled.” The opposite party was calmly sitting there, his arms crossed in front of his chest. “I didn’t even touch this pile of tiles. Your boss was the one that knocked it over with a single touch.”
The opposite party’s figure and Boss Ma Que were both pretty tall. It was clear to see that if he dared to offend Boss Ma Que, he had to be a stranger from another school.
One of the Que’s suddenly shouted, seeing Meng Ming appear amidst the crowd.
Oi… Meng Ming was so alarmed by the shout that he retreated two steps. Exactly why do I always meet them…
Under these depressing circumstances where the opposite party was feeling incomparably arrogant from his victory, the Three Missing One Quartet had actually grown excited for seemingly no reason.
Boss Ma Que lifted his head to look at Meng Ming. Expressionlessly, he lowered his head in depression once more.
Strange…why is Boss Ma Que like this…it doesn’t seem like him at all… Meng Ming thought.
After hearing “It’s Master,” the opposite party’s interest was piqued. He looked back to see Meng Ming take two steps back, and immediately declared in an arrogant voice, “Your master came? Oh, do you want to go beg your master to help you?”
The Three Missing One Quartet remained silent.
The matter had originally been coming to a close. But after hearing the word ‘Master,’ the crowd that had been just about to disperse seemed to be reborn into a group filled with cohesion. Everyone’s energy was boosted again.
“That’s true.” The other party stood up and said to Boss Ma Que, “Your own matters should be resolved by yourself. Begging your master for help would make you less of a man. Besides, your master is just a short midget, there’s no way he’d dare to do anything, right?”
“Hey!” Boss Ma Que stood up fiercely and grabbed the opposite party by their collar, his face serious once more. “You dare to slander Master? Be careful of your pinky!”
“Oh, what’s wrong with my pinky?” The opposite party raised his pinky fearlessly, waving it about in front of Boss Ma Que.
Boss Ma Que was furious, and immediately grabbed the person’s pinky. In that instant, one could only hear a screech as the opposite party used only the power in their pinky to pull Boss Ma Que’s palm open!
“Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter if it’s you or your master, neither of you can even go up against my pinky.” He waved his pinky to everyone once more, and turned around with his lackeys, prepared to leave.
“Freeze…” Meng Ming was expressionless as he finally made a sound to stop the person.
The other party stopped at this.
“I understand, you just want to play with me.” Meng Ming smiled as he said, “If you want to play, go ahead. There’s no need to purposely excite me. Do you know what the consequences of doing that are?”
The other party immediately turned around to respond, “That’s right, you are correct. I indeed want to know the consequences. He kicked one of the mahjong tiles on the ground, sending it flying onto the center of the table without sliding off! “I really want to know what kind of level Lin Xian Central High is at!”
“Alright, then I’ll let you witness it.”
Meng Ming wasn’t just trying to shorten the amount of time he’d have to do homework with Bai Jiu. After seeing what had happened just now, he’d already been itching to act, and wanted to play with the opposite party out of curiosity. The person didn’t seem that strong. Meng Ming thought that he could beat him with his pinky alone. He had to dash the opposite party’s spirit.
Meng Ming patted Bai Jiu’s shoulder, telling her to move closer to the side. He felt that there was nobody here that’d be able to discover he was cheating, so it’d be fine to use sleight of hand publicly.
Oh, I can also pretend to be super cool. Not bad. Meng Ming asked the opposite party, “You have quite a bit of time on your hands, huh? How do you want to battle?”
The opposite party stood at the table and said, “Just as before. I choose the location, you choose the style. How about it?”
“Then it’s done. I still choose this table!” The opposite party slammed a palm down on the table.
At this moment, Huang Que walked up behind Meng Ming and whispered to him, “Master, be careful. I don’t know what kind of tricks that person pulled, but when he and Boss Ma Que were playing stacked layers, Boss Ma Que’s first touch had caused the entire mahjong tile tower to collapse. It’s very strange…!”
“Mm, I understand…” Meng Ming pondered for a bit before saying, “Then let’s play stacking layers just as before! However, the rules this time are different from the traditional rules, they aren’t as boring.”
“Fine, say them.”
“Firstly, the table must be flipped over.”
This table was a round table that only had one leg. There was a circular plate at the base of the leg that was 20 centimeters in diameter. It was only about the same surface area as a piece of paper. Meng Ming’s intention was to decrease the circumference of the place they’d play stacking layers in! In addition, the table wasn’t very stable and it shook a bit.
“Not a bad idea,” the other party said.
“Also, we won’t use mahjong tiles. We’ll use…” Meng Ming stretched out a hand to point at the bookstore, “Books!”
Books?! The spectators all looked over towards the bookstore. There were various books displayed there that could be pulled out and read any time.
Meng Ming continued, “Each person will alternate turns to grab one book and stack it onto the bottom of the table. As more are stacked, it’ll get taller. Each person has a time limit of 15 seconds to retrieve a book. If you exceed this time, it will count as your loss; the person that causes this stack of books to collapse…loses! Of course, one cannot purposely knock the stack over after the other party places their book on, and one cannot use their hands to support the tower when it’s about to collapse….also, one cannot use the same book as before!”
Each book could only be used once! Different books had different shapes, sizes, and binding styles. This made the entire tower of books impossible to maintain its balance! Moreover, one could place the books horizontally or vertically, they could flip it open, or fold it in various ways before placing in on the platform. It deliberately made things difficult for the opponent.
“Extremely interesting,” the opposite party said. “Much more interesting than the method your apprentice with floundering limbs over there had suggested. How will the loser be punished?”
“The loser must pay for all of these books.” It was a gambler’s mindset.
“Not a problem, let’s begin!” The other party pulled out their student ID. “I am Kui Yuan Central High’s Lu Xiao. First year!”
Meng Ming also displayed his card. “Lin Xian Central High’s Zhuge Meng Ming, first year!”