Important announcement: I will be putting this novel on hold for a while because I want to focus on finishing off my other project “To be a Heartthrob in a Horror Movie”. It’ll probably for be for about 2 weeks but it might be sooner than that if I’m very productive. Once my other project is completed though, this novel will be updated daily~
You Seem Delicious
Chapter 38: Open Question
The old man adjusted the sails and then he wiped his hands on his pants.
After jumping off the helm, his eyes glanced back and forth between You Huo and Qin Jiu.
“How can two young and healthy men like you stand there while a weak old man like me is worked to the bones?” The old man revealed his ripped arms that were twice the size of most people.
What do you mean weak old man……
Qin Jiu smiled and said: “The weak must feel wronged.”Old man: “………….”
Angered, he sent a harsh glare at Qin Jiu: “Don’t just stand around with your arms crossed. I’m most annoyed by young people who stand around with a cold expression acting all aloof!”
The innocent You Huo found himself dragged into the situation: “……..What do you need help with?”
The old man kicked the deck and said: “The hinges are a little rusted. I can’t fix it alone so help me open it up. Otherwise you will just have to shrivel up on the deck!”
You Huo was rendered speechless. He stretched out his feet and gave the deck a stomp to test its sturdiness.
That act of his was purely done out of habit, but he soon found himself stepping onto Qin Jiu’s shoe instead.
You Huo: “………..”
Qin Jiu: “This examinee, aren’t you being too childish?”
“I’m checking the deck. Why did you put your foot there?”
“What a coincidence, so am I.” Qin Jiu said.
He lifted his foot and tested out a few areas before saying: “It’s okay. It’s empty space under here. The two sides here are uneven, you can———”
As he said that, You Huo had already picked up a thin metal hook from the pile of debris nearby.
He used the hook and inserted in between the two uneven deck boards.
With a slam, sawdust scattered in all directions.
The old man silently took a few steps back.
He then saw You Huo lift his leg and then proceed to step heavily onto the obliquely angled hook.
A crack formed across the deck.
Qin Jiu was still wearing his black leather gloves. Before You Huo was able to do anything, he had already bent down and placed his hand into the gap that had formed. He then exerted some energy.
The entire deck was ripped open.
The rusty hinges fell to the ground with a clang.
You Huo held the metal hook and glanced at Qin Jiu.
It had been a long time since he encountered someone who could keep up with his pace.
But the old man’s face was completely green with anger.
That deck was actually trap door.
After opening it up, you could see stairs leading to the cabins below. Kerosene lamps hung from various places around the cabins and you could see separated bunk beds inside.
The old man opened his mouth wanting to give them another other.
But You Huo had already patted his back. He indicated with his chin: “Lead the way. Thanks.”
The old man stared at him and closed his mouth.
The three of them moved down to the cabins below. After covering the surface with the broken deck boards, the interior of the ship warmed up instantly.
The old man didn’t spare them any attention and went straight into his own single room. He then slammed the door shut right in front of their faces.
Less than a minute later, a thunderous roar could be heard from the room.
You Huo looked at the filthy sheets and had no intention to touch it. He found a chair in the cabin and sat down.
A moment later, Qin Jiu also came over. His fingers were still pinching the tip of his nose. He was clearly quite bothered by the smell.
Despite this, he still didn’t forget to tease You Huo: “Is today a special day? Why are you still awake?”
You Huo: “……….”
He glanced at Qin Jiu: “How about I press you down onto that bed and let you breathe it in for half an hour? How does that sound?”
Qin Jiu chuckled: “That’s okay. But I might also drag you along to enjoy it together.”
You Huo internally cursed him out.
“How much do you remember about the Sea Coachmen?” Qin Jiu asked.
He rested his elbow on the table and his other hand played with the flame inside the kerosene lamp.
Seeing that they held tacit understanding between them when they broke open the deck, You Huo replied: “Netherlands.”
Many years had passed since he graduated from high school and he also didn’t study liberal arts so his knowledge about history was very limited.
In short, during that century Netherlands was also known as the Sea Coachmen.
You Huo no longer remembered the reason for it but it probably had something to do with their cheap trading prices.
The Netherlands had merchant vessels that were able to hold more cargo and they were also cheaper to rent compared to other merchant ships. It is said that they were very influential at that time.
That was pretty much all he remembered about the Sea Coachmen.
“What’s the difference between remembering and not remembering?” You Huo also added, “Will they test it properly?”
Qin Jiu: “If you’re lucky, there is a one in one thousandth possibility.”
You Huo snorted: “It’s faster to dream.”
Wasn’t this dumbass system’s personality obvious enough? It naturally wouldn’t do something like that.
Even if it did, it would twist the question a billion times first. It definitely wouldn’t be honest or straightforward.
The ship responsible for picking up examinees was very small.
After less than a few minutes of sailing, strong sea winds and waves appeared on the surface of the sea.
It was as if it was simulating the moment they left the ‘fake sea’ and entered the ‘real sea’.
The sea was very rough.
They could hear the roar of thunderstorms coming from outside the wooden cabin. Occasionally, flashes from the lightning would penetrate through the trapdoor.
The small ship swayed about.
Despite being someone who doesn’t get seasick, You Huo didn’t feel comfortable. Qin Jiu’s expression was equally unsightly.
In this extremely uncomfortable environment, the two still fell asleep at the table. They became oblivious to the happenings outside.
You Huo was awakened by the biting cold.
He opened his eyes in daze and was met with a gloomy sky.
He sat up. He saw that he was no longer inside the filthy boat cabin.
Below him was a barely flat area of dark coloured reef. There was even a small layer of ice across it. The reef covered a large area and Qin Jiu laid nearby.
They were probably still at sea. Behind them was a solitary island filled with rocks. Around the island were about twenty or so wooden ships.
A dozen of them were similar to the ones they were on; small and worn out.
There were three that were much larger.
One of the three was lying crookedly nearby.
You Huo could see that although the ship was rather narrow, the cargo and cabin area was large. It looked like those frozen dumplings.
The lights on the ship were off, and some of its bows and masts had become frozen. You could tell that the ship had been moored there for a while, and no one was on board.
You Huo patted Qin Jiu a few times. He found it a little strange.
Even he himself was awake yet this person hadn’t responded yet…..
The other party finally reacted after being patted awake. Squinting his eyes as he woke up, he initially didn’t notice the changes around him. That alone was enough to show that Qin Jiu wasn’t afraid of the cold.
As he sat up and pinched his nose, he said to You Huo: “Mornin’……….”
You Huo wanted to carve that word onto his face.
“Enjoy the breeze a little first and then decide whether you want to continue with your morning greeting.”
You Huo stepped aside. The cold air that was blocked by him instantly surged onto Qin Jiu’s face.
The effect was immediate. The invigilator instantly sobered up.
Qin Jiu stood up. Using his glove to cover the glare, he looked out into the distance.
From what he could see, everywhere was an extensive mass of ice and snow. It looked like polar ice fields.
“Still at sea?” Qin Jiu frowned.
“Yeah.” You Huo pointed behind him with his thumb: “The island is back there.”
Qin Jiu looked around: “Go, let’s check out the island.”
A moment later, You Huo, Qin Jiu………and also Qin Jiu’s suitcase was standing before a cave on the island.
Someone had placed down a greying fabric at the entrance of the cave and used it as a marker.
What made them uncomfortable was that they originally thought that the thing holding the fabric down was a mass of snow.
But once they got closer, they noticed that there was a pair of eyes.
Qin Jiu frowned when he recognised it: “The arctic rabbit.”
The arctic rabbit had been dead for a long time. It had frozen together with the fabric and was sealed under a layer of ice.
Just as You Huo was about to bend over to take a look, a familiar voice emerged from the arctic rabbit’s body:
【All examinees have arrived at the exam centre.】
【This exam is a large-scale examination. There is a total of 36 examinees which have been divided into 18 groups. There are two examinees in each group. The total points between the two examinees will be the basis for calculating the grade in this exam.】
【The scoring method in this exam follows the participation model. There are no answer cards or standard correct answers. In addition to the original score, there are opportunities for bonus points, and the possibility of point deductions.】
【At the end of this exam, groups with a total score ranking of C will need to undergo re-examination. Those of rank D will be eliminated.】
【The starting scores for each group are as follows.】
At the same time, chiselling sounds could be heard from both inside and outside the cave. In the blink of an eye, the names of the 18 groups of examinees appeared on the flat stone surface above the arctic rabbit.
The names were in pairs and next to it was a long bar. It indicated their total score.
The higher the score, the higher the rank and hence the longer the bar.
The list was ranked from highest to lowest score.
You Huo glanced at it and saw the top group had a score of 42 points.
Following that was a group with 40 points, 39.5 points, 35 points……..
And so on.
Towards the middle, they saw Shu Xue’s name. She was together with another examinee called Wu Li. (KKnotes: Another homonym. This time it’s for physics. 物理 ) The total score between them was 26 points. They were currently ranked twelfth and were temporarily given a C score.
Apart from that, no other acquaintances were found.
The Yu father and son pair were both not in this exam but maybe that was for the best. Perhaps they really did end up getting an exam about Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing.
As for You Huo and Qin Jiu……..
These two big names were too heavy. It sank all the way down and they were in the second to last position.
Invigilator 001’s points didn’t help increase the total score. With just You Huo’s effort alone, his 17.25 points solidified their D rank position.
You Huo’s expression was colder than the arctic rabbits’.
Qin Jiu’s eyes met with his. He spread out his hands and said: “Thank you for your help top student. At last I’m not sitting in last place. I have decided to work hard to help give you more face.”
You Huo: “……………”
Even the system/dead rabbit couldn’t bear listening to his bullshit.
The system’s voice rudely interrupted him:
【The scores will be updated in real time. If you have any irrelevant questions, you can ask the invigilators of this exam; 154, 922, 078 and 021.】
When You Huo heard 154 and 922, he glanced over at Qin Jiu.
“Despite myself also being invigilator, why do you look so happy when you hear 154 and 922?” Qin Jiu asked.
“…………With what eyes of yours did you see that?”
As they spoke, the dead rabbit spoken up again:
【This exam will now officially start. We will now play out the exam question.】
【Winter of 1597. Three Dutch ships were trapped in the frozen sea as it tried to reach Russia, so they temporarily docked on a nameless island and waited for the long winter to pass. This is currently the eighth month of their stay here. There are still 15 days until the end of winter and the ice melting. Please help all the crew members safely sail off.】
【Question requirement: Do not let any of the crew members die. If one does, at midnight the group ranked last will bear the responsibility for their death.】
【If there are more than two deaths in a day, it would be postponed until the next day. At midnight of the next day, the group ranked last would again bear the responsibility for the death and this would continue until the number of dead crew members are all covered.】
Bear the responsibility?
How would they bear it? Die as replacement? Or die together?
You Huo couldn’t help but recall the villagers in Chars village. His expression again turned bad.
He suddenly felt someone knocking twice on the back of his hand.
You Huo looked down only to see that it was Qin Jiu’s finger.
“Don’t look at my hand. Look at the opening over there.” Qin Jiu said this and raised his finger.
You Huo looked over. He saw some people looking out from the cave opening.
Those people wore thick grey clothes and brown woollen vests similar to those that you see in the middle ages. Some were also covered in dirty animal skins. All of them looked like foreigners.
Their appearance could be described was withered. With a dull look, they slowly came out while carrying a few people.
You Huo looked at the people being carried. With a thud, his heart fell.
Those people’s eyes were tightly shut, and their faces were grey and lifeless. Two of them had even already hardened…..
The person at the head of the group appeared to be able to understand a little Chinese. He slowly looked over at You Huo and Qin Jiu with his dull eyes and said with extremely limited Chinese: “Dead. Crew member.”
Qin Jiu’s voice whispered softly: “This isn’t good. We start off already with 8 dead crew members.”
The last group wasn’t enough buffer. Very soon, it would be their turn.
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