Translated by: Taffy
Edited by: Frosty
Quiz 54: The Girl From Lin Xian
The shop was quite efficient. For the sake of starting the quiz competition exactly on time, the staff quickly cleaned up the mess from the earlier disturbance, restoring everything to its original state. Soon afterwards, students began to enter non-stop and sit down randomly. It seemed like they’d come to participate in the grand competition.
When there were less than five minutes remaining until noon, one of the managers inside walked out with a bundle of red and white papers and said, “All students present, the grand competition will begin soon!”
Grand competition? ….The way he says it makes it sound like it’s on such an epic scale.
This place is clearly only so small too…
“This grand competition will be conducted through quizzes. Split into groups of three, and each group will get one quiz! At 12 sharp, the competition will start!” This manager continued to say, “The victors will receive delicate goods from the store as a gift!”
“Wait a minute, why is it three people per group? Can’t each person just get their own quiz?” Meng Ming asked. He wasn’t interested in the gift, these rules were boring to him.
The manager walked up to Meng Ming’s seat and lowered his head to coldly tell him, “Mm…each group has to have three people. Any single individuals cannot participate. If you’re alone…you’ll regret it once you see the quiz!”
The manager’s terrifying expression and his chilling tone made Meng Ming shiver, and he didn’t voice any more of his thoughts, instead looking over to Lu Xiao’s side. Lu Xiao was sitting on the opposite table. He’d brought lackeys, and, after counting them, declared, “We have three people here, all from our school. You should choose two people from your side too, right?”
Meng Ming looked back and saw Bai Jiu and the Three Missing One Quartet…
“Bai Jiu can be in a group with me,” he invited.
“Eh…” But… Having been recruited by Meng Ming just like that, Bai Jiu felt somewhat overwhelmed. This was her first time coming to this kind of place, and she had no idea how to do or answer the quiz in this kind of competition. “Meng Ming…this is your first time coming here as well, right? We can’t possibly answer the questions. Why did you agree to go against him?”
“Because…” Meng Ming closed his eyes and proudly replied, “He said he’s never come here before either, so I want to compete against him in luck.”
Since he said it in such a way, Bai Jiu could only agree.
Hmph, this idiot actually thought everything I said was the truth. This is indeed my first time coming here, but I’ve been to the other stores in this same chain. [Lu Xiao]
Even if his words are false, I’m not afraid. [Meng Ming]
Meng Ming’s group was still missing one person.
“Master! You can choose any of us in the Three Missing One Quartet!” In such a public and crowded place, they suddenly made marvelous mermaid-like poses.
“I don’t know you guys!” Meng Ming immediately interrupted them. He knew that choosing them was the same as seeking his own death…. “I don’t want any of you!”
After receiving this blow, the Quartet all ran to huddle around the corner of the wall and began to draw the four great winds (TL Note: Mahjong tiles) on the ground.
“But Meng Ming, we don’t have enough people then…” Bai Jiu said.
“No problem, we’ll just randomly find and choose someone to reach the quota. There definitely has to be someone that came alone. Just look around…” Meng Ming stood up and looked around. By chance, he just happened to see a student sitting next to the window alone.
The person was a girl. She wasn’t tall, and had a cute bob. Aside from her glowing, pale and tender skinned face, the first thing that anyone noticed were her large, round, crystalline eyes. She also wore very, very large glasses. Compared to her eyes, her mouth and body seemed small. She was currently trying to eat a mini hotdog while staring out the window at the scenery in a daze. Meng Ming noticed that she was actually wearing…
“Lin Xian Central High’s school uniform!”
He instantly found a suitable person to choose. Meng Ming hurriedly walked forward to get a closer look. That’s indeed Lin Xian Central High’s uniform and emblem; she’s a student from our school! Awesome. However, isn’t wearing the uniform even on holiday a bit… By the time Meng Ming had walked up to her table, he still hadn’t yet thought of how to invite her into their group. But, to his surprise, her face that had been facing outside this whole time suddenly turned around. She looked at him with her wide and round eyes as if she’d anticipated ages ago that someone would come look for her, and stood up. With her gaze locked onto Meng Ming, she said in the tone of an innocent child, “You’re missing a person, right? I’ll come.”
The three people had gathered.
They returned to the table to sit down, but Meng Ming was still unable to express his astonishment. He hadn’t thought that it would be so easy to find a person to invite. But since he’d first met the girl, Meng Ming hadn’t yet said a single word!
She sat across from Bai Jiu, her expression a bit vacant, but her blank eyes were still cute—nobody knew what she was thinking about.
Is she ok? She seems a bit airheaded and clumsy… Meng Ming thought as he studied her face.
She’s from our school…her eyes are so pretty… Bai Jiu was admiring the whole time. The girl’s adorable, large eyes and glasses were like her trademark.
Just as Meng Ming was about to speak, the manager suddenly announced, “The grand competition will begin! Everyone, please display your student IDs!”
Ah? It’s already starting?! Meng Ming was unable to react for a moment. He immediately said to his other two group members, “You must be careful, the tall one on the opposite table is a C-type that uses electricity…”
“We know already,” both girls simultaneously interrupted him. Bai Jiu was still somewhat afraid of just straight up going against a C-type like this, but the other girl’s expression didn’t change, and her face remained blank. Still, it seemed almost as if she was pretty excited.
Meng Ming found this strange. She knows? I only said it to Bai Jiu and the Three Missing One Quartet, so…how does this girl know?
Lu Xiao’s group of three all displayed their student IDs. They were all students from Kui Yuan Central High!
Meng Ming and Bai Jiu also took out their IDs, showing it towards the staff as they reported their names.
“Lin Xian Central High, Zhuge Meng Ming.”
“Lin Xian Central High, Bai Jiu…”
There was still one more person left. The staff looked over at the girl that Meng Ming had just invited over, and asked her to show her ID.
She flipped around for a bit, before finally taking it out. She flashed it in front of everyone and politely said, “Lin Xian Central High, my name is Jin Nai Nai. First year.”
Why do I feel like I’ve heard her name somewhere before…? [Meng Ming]
“Meng Ming, she’s the student ranked number one on our midterm exams!” Bai Jiu whispered, having clearly remembered this fact.
“That’s, that’s her…?!”
“Inspection completed, pass the quizzes out!” The manager announced.
The quizzes were handed out!
Lu Xiao’s group received the quiz at the same time Meng Ming’s group did. Meng Ming first picked up the quiz to look over it and immediately analyzed it—
Firstly, there was a space to fill in one’s student number, and then there were 10 multiple choice questions and 5 fill-in-the-blank questions. Also…these questions all had to be answered directly on the quiz sheet.
He pulled out a pencil and glanced at Lu Xiao. Lu Xiao pulled out a pen from his bag, and his gaze met Meng Ming’s.
Pencil? He’s using that to write? Or does it have some other purpose… [Lu Xiao]
He definitely has a battery on him. I have to find it, what is his battery source? [Meng Ming]
The competition just started, and the two parties were already closely analyzing each other. At that critical moment—
“Just leave the rest to me.” Jin Nai Nai grabbed the quiz sheet in Meng Ming’s hand, shocking him.
“Oi, what are you doing?!” Meng Ming shouted.
“Ah?” Jin Nai Nai thought that Meng Ming was unwilling to give her the question sheet. “Don’t tell me…you really like writing this thing that much? Then I’ll just give it to you…” She could only pass the sheet back to Meng Ming for him to hold.
“Of course you should give it to me!”
“Can’t you let me do what I want for a bit?”Jin Nai Nai expressionlessly looked at him with her large, adorable eyes, seemingly filled with disappointment.
“This isn’t a game!” …This girl…what, what exactly…is she trying to pull? Meng Ming was sulking a bit. How had he found someone so strange to join his group? The question sheet was still in Jin Nai Nai’s hand, while Lu Xiao’s side had already started attacking!
“What are you guys doing? I’m making my move!” Lu Xiao pulled out a 10 cent coin and flicked it out, “Energy Bullet!”
A normal coin shot towards the question sheet in Jin Nai Nai’s hands.
That coin has electricity? …Tch, rich bastard! Meng Ming immediately realized that if the question sheet was struck by electricity, it wouldn’t simply pass through! What would happen…? The question sheet would be crumpled up? The words would change? Or…Meng Ming immediately picked up his pencil, he was going to block it! However, his body was pushed aside by Jin Nai Nai.
“Hey!! What are you doing?!” Meng Ming loudly shouted.
“Pencils are conductive, it’s common knowledge,” Jin Nai Nai very naturally just raised the quiz sheet to casually evade the coin attack.
“Careful! He’s still going to continue his attack!” Meng Ming reminded her.
Meng Ming was right. There was another 10 cent coin hidden behind that one, because Lu Xiao had long anticipated the trajectory Jin Nai Nai’s hand would follow! In the moment the second coin was attacking, Jin Nai Nai was unable to dodge or move in any other way!
Crap! Meng Ming was unable to immediately go forward to help.
They only heard a pa as the coin struck the back of Jin Nai Nai’s hand.
“How is that possible…!”
The one that had cried out in shock was Lu Xiao. He was flabbergasted. “I clearly aimed at the quiz sheet…how did it miss? Moreover…”
Jin Nai Nai breathed some warm air onto the back of her hand and rubbed it, seemingly feeling some pain.
Is she just lucky? Meng Ming let out a sigh of relief.
Lu Xiao thought to himself: …Moreover, if one is hit by the Energy Bullet, not only would the paper in their hands be destroyed, the person would be violently struck by electricity. They should be numb…if that Zhuge Meng Ming had used the pencil to block the coin, he definitely would’ve gotten his hand shocked, and be unable to move for a short period of time. But that girl doesn’t seem to feel anything aside from minor pain…Lu Xiao’s thoughts alone were enough to discern how powerful his attacks were.
The coin is metal…this is the battery then. Meng Ming analyzed: If the static electricity reaches a certain point and hits the paper…
“So it was like this.” Jin Nai Nai seemed to have suddenly realized something and said, “This coin really does carry electricity.” It turned out that she hadn’t believed it before.
Oi, after all this time, you only figure that out now?! [Meng Ming]
Lu Xiao rolled his eyes at her. “Hmph, so what…?”
Meng Ming immediately stood up and walked to Jin Nai Nai’s side. “Ok, nothing you said was wrong, but this isn’t just fun and games. Give the quiz sheet to me to answer, alright?”
“Hm?” Jin Nai Nai still thought that Meng Ming wasn’t letting her write. She looked back at him with her large, round eyes and calmly said, “But…”
“You’ve been absent-minded since the beginning, it’s too dangerous,” Meng Ming said earnestly.
Seeing how Lu Xiao was about to begin his second wave of attacks, Meng Ming impatiently urged her, “Alright, give it to me…”
Lu Xiao had already finished preparing, he would shoot out 10 Energy Bullets at the same time! “You guys still have the time to chat?! Pay more attention!” Lu Xiao really couldn’t stand seeing them act so carefree.
“But…” Jin Nai Nai thought for a bit. After a while, she could only nonchalantly tell Meng Ming— “I’ve already finished filling out the quiz sheet.”
That single sentence stunned everyone present.
It wasn’t just the surrounding students and Meng Ming. Lu Xiao, who had been about to shoot out 10 coins, was so shocked that his body froze and uncontrollably collapsed onto the ground.
“Finished…finished…finished filling it out?!”
“Mm. I finished it. Where’s the manager?” Jin Nai Nai was still looking around with her cute, large eyes.
The manager walked over to take Jin Nai Nai’s quiz sheet and looked through it once.
“Mhm, all correct,” the manager said. “Your group completed it in the least amount of time, so you are first place!”
The entire shop’s reactions couldn’t possibly be described. The manager was shocked, Meng Ming was greatly astonished. In that short beginning, Lu Xiao had already been defeated?!
He saw Lu Xiao leave gloomily in anger.
There was one more person worth mentioning; Bai Jiu had been sitting there the whole time, waiting to answer the quiz sheet—
Oh, this already counts as a win…
“The final thing is the prize for the group in first place!” After all the other prizes had been handed out, the manager announced to Meng Ming, “There are a total of three prizes you guys can choose from! The first is a cute address book, the second is a PDA with X-seven Western pastry shop’s logo, the third is X-seven’s eternal 50% off coupon! You can choose one!”
“Go ahead and choose,” Meng Ming said to Jin Nai Nai. At the moment, there was another mini hotdog in Jin Nai Nai’s mouth.
“I want the address book,” Jin Nai Nai told the manager without holding back. She then asked Meng Ming, “But, is it really ok to give the prize to me?”
Didn’t you already choose it? Why in the world are you still asking…?! Since they had first met, Meng Ming had felt that this female schoolmate was really strange.
It was a large notebook with a hue very appropriate for a girl. Aside from a childlike outer appearance, there were also many cute decorative designs all over it. Jin Nai Nai had to use both hands to hold it.
As she hugged the address book, she smiled happily.
For some reason, Meng Ming noticed this moment.
Before, aside from widening her large eyes, Jin Nai Nai had never had any other clear expression. Even if she had any changes in expression, they were only a formality. However, her smile this time was from genuine happiness. Her smile seemed as if she’d just released all the energy she’d been accumulating for a long time. It was the strange feeling of being released from all the cares in the world. Meng Ming’s heart was greatly moved at the sight.
Lu Xiao left; he’s probably really depressed about today….but in comparison… Meng Ming cared more about the fellow female student in front of him. It had seemed like she hadn’t done anything except play around, yet she’d managed to achieve complete victory before Lu Xiao had even managed to use more than one attack! …Meng Ming had been given absolutely no chance to get involved.
This girl looks so absent-minded on the outside but…this strange feeling…! Exactly what kind of person is she…
That night, Meng Ming told all of the day’s events to Huang Qiao Yi.
“You just went home like that? Brother Meng Ming didn’t ask her?”
“What is there to ask…?” Back then, Meng Ming had been so confused by Jin Nai Nai that he hadn’t known what to say.
Huang Qiao Yi thought for a bit before saying, “Jin Nai Nai was first place in the midterm exams…she got 60 points in language. She seems to have gotten the highest grades in our year for all the other subjects.”
“What exactly is going on…?” Meng Ming couldn’t understand no matter how many times he thought about it. “Does she often go buy bread? That can’t be…even if she did, she couldn’t possibly have answered all of them correctly…the manager even said that a single individual couldn’t possibly answer them all, but she…”
“Forget it, think about it later. I can go and get to know her at a later date as well,” Huang Qiao Yi continued to organize her things.
“Little Qiao, what are you organizing?” Meng Ming asked.
“Ah, tomorrow is the New Year, so I’m changing some of the house’s things.”
Only then did Meng Ming recall that today was the last day of the year. It would soon be…the new year.
“The new year…means we’ll gain a year, right?” Meng Ming did some mental calculations; he was almost done with his sixteenth year, and would jump to seventeen.
“According to traditional calculation methods, yes. But, Brother Meng Ming, do you remember your birthday?” Huang Qiao Yi pulled out a new calendar and asked.
Of course Meng Ming remembered. “Who forgets their birthday in this day and age? Mine is February 5th. Little Qiao, you asked me because you forgot, right…”
“As if!” Huang Qiao Yi said. “Does Brother Meng Ming remember my birthday?”
“I remember, July 7th,” Meng Ming confidently replied.
“What about Bai Jiu’s? And Zhou Lun Yu’s?”
“Eh, her, I…his, how would I know his?!”
As they talked, they removed the old hanging calendar and hung up the new year’s.