Chapter 144: Turning Point
Because of the two words “mission target”, Examinee Qin Jiu bound himself to Invigilator A. He soon however realised that the other party wasn’t so easy to deal with.
In the system, if an examinee wanted to see any invigilator, they could either do it by asking questions or they could do it by violating the rules. Those in the right mind would naturally choose the former because it was a much simpler option.
At first, Qin Jiu also tried this. He would randomly make up an irrelevant question and then write down the code name ‘A’.
Feedback was always given very quickly. Within a few minutes, someone who could answer his question would appear before Qin Jiu, but it wasn’t the one he was looking for.
“I don’t think I wrote F.” The Qin Jiu at that time leaned against the door frame with his arms crossed.
Invigilator F also felt a headache oncoming when he saw him, “I know. You wrote the head invigilator but he has other matters to deal with, so I came instead. What question do you have?”
Qin Jiu casually threw out the question he had randomly made up. Invigilator F felt that he was deliberately playing with him.
But he wasn’t the only examinee who would do this.
There were too many people who would use this as a way to vent their frustrations. Invigilator F wasn’t surprised and just left soon after answering.
Taking into consideration ‘Invigilator A’s other matters’, that day Qin Jiu specially waited a long time; until the sun had changed from the east to the west and the sky had darkened, before he made up another question and once again wrote down the code name ‘A’.
But the result was that a few minutes later, he and F met again.
One couldn’t tell which party was more upset. In any case, he now understood that this so-called ‘other matters’ was pure bullshit. This head invigilator just wasn’t bothered dealing with trivial matters like this.
From then on, Examinee Qin Jiu embarked on the path of violating rules as part of his profession.
At first, he just looked for trouble one-sidedly, but Invigilator A would always give trouble back without hesitation.
Meeting such a well-matched opponent was actually very satisfying. It made life less boring and, over time, he even grew a little addicted to it.
It was hard to say at what point in time their back and forth retaliation became something different. The only thing that could be said with certainty was that there was a turning point.
It was during Qin Jiu’s third exam. The subject examined was Mathematics. He had met Zhao Wentu in that exam.
But to him at that time, Zhao Wentu was just an examinee with a pretty good character, just like the countless examinees he had encountered in the exams.
During that exam, Qin Jiu would often sit at the end of a table by the window fiddling with a very small thin film as he pondered over how he could reach the system’s core ——- the Invigilator’s District.
Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have any chances to enter that place as an examinee, and there were no other examinees who could help him out.
There was a four or five-year-old young girl in that exam. She was cute and quiet and would occasionally shuffle over to him to ask him a question with her milky voice.
The young girl pointed at the thin film and asked, “This transparent thing. Is it a fish scale?”
Qin Jiu said: “It’s an eye.”
The young girl had wanted to touch it but she lost interest the moment she heard this.
That thin film actually wasn’t transparent. It was just that the surface coating was a little special and would change according to its surrounding environment and at first glance it would look transparent.
Before taking the Mathematic examination, he had run into Wen Yuan from the death squad at a rest stop and this was something he had given to Qin Jiu.
This young man was a little less skilled than the other members and he was far from Qin Jiu’s level but for him to be able to enter the death squad, it meant that he at least possessed some advantageous skills.
He was in charge of technology in the team.
Please read this from kk translates
Of course, Qin Jiu didn’t interact with him much and only knew that despite appearing quite clumsy, he was actually quite nimble with his fingers. Anything that had to be fiddled with, he was very good at it.
Wen Yuan said: “I modified this thing and added a coating. You can think of it as a poorer quality pinhole camera.”
Qin Jiu asked, “What is the difference in performance?”
Wen Yuan: “Mnn…Things over 10 metres away will be blurry.”
Seeing Qin Jiu raise a brow, he quickly added, “Please understand that the materials are limited! And this also has an advantage. The material has a self-melting ability. If stuck onto something for more than a week, it will fade so the risk of it being discovered is low.”
“What does this self-melting ability mean? It’s corrosive?” Qin Jiu asked.
“Something like that.”
“Then wouldn’t it leave a mark behind?”
“Uh…..That possibility isn’t impossible.”
For the sake of his efforts, Qin Jiu accepted it.
He originally didn’t have any intention to use it but halfway through, he changed his mind.
It was the third day of the Mathematic exam. They had run into a very troublesome monster. If it had to be described, it was like a bunch of loose sand that could move at will without anyone noticing.
It could come together to form a human figure and imitate the appearance of any of the examinees. At first glance, it was hard for one to tell between the real and the fake. It was extremely deceptive.
That day, that monster had taken the appearance of the young girl, deceived one of the examinees and had almost burned that person alive.
Qin Jiu chased it all the way into the forest and managed to turn the situation around by burning it to death instead.
As usual, the invigilators received a notice and Invigilator A brought along Invigilator Q to the exam.
When they entered the forest, the burning monster just happened to have disintegrated into sand.
The wind in the forest blew haphazardly, scattering the sand in their faces.
Invigilator A closed his eyes, turned his head away and raised his hand to block the sand. He could hear Q next to him spit out a few times.
Q’s footsteps were a little haphazard. The crackling of dried branches and leaves covered the other sounds.
Before A could react, a strong gust of wind blew past the back of his neck and someone had hooked their arm around it.
In a blink of an eye, he was pressed down onto the ground. The culprit was the examinee he had come to capture.
“What are you doing?” Invigilator A raised his head slightly and asked with a cold expression.
Qin Jiu had used his knees to firmly suppress his legs and had one hand pressing down onto his neck with his thumb against his vitals.
He had taken advantage of the chaos to stick the thin film from Wen Yuan onto Invigilator A’s belt. As he did this, his fingers accidentally touched the other party’s narrow waist though the thin shirt fabric.
At that moment, he could clearly feel the other party’s waist and abdomen stiffen.
Qin Jiu paused for a moment to look up and meet Invigilator A’s eyes.
Invigilator Q next to them saw this and gasped, “Are you crazy?”
Zhao Wentu and another examinee who had rushed over to help were similarly shocked by this scene and they didn’t dare breathe.
Qin Jiu withdrew his strength and removed his hands, “Sorry, I thought Mr Invigilator was a monster.”
Invigilator A pressed him down in return with a frown. Their positions were now reversed, “You think I’ll be tricked?”
Qin Jiu allowed him to do so. He pointed at the pile of sand not far away and said, “I’m not lying. Its ability to imitate is too good and can imitate whoever it wants. It took me a lot of effort to burn it down.”
He looked back at Invigilator A’s light-coloured eyes. His low voice contained laziness and tease, “The scene just now looked as if the monster had come back to life. You came at a bad time.”
Zhao Wentu on the side hurriedly helped explain for him. He fumbled around for a long time.
Invigilator A pressed Qin Jiu down heavily a few more seconds before standing up and coldly patting off the dust from his body.
“Do you need help?” Qin Jiu pointed at his lower back.
“No need.” Invigilator A turned away and indicated with his head, “Go to the invigilator’s place. You walk ahead.”
Invigilator Q was the one responsible for the confinement this time. After entering the invigilator’s place, A went straight to a room without paying anyone any heed. He had probably gone there to change his clothes.
This was the reason why Qin Jiu stuck the film on the belt. Clothes could be changed every day, but belts wouldn’t.
Invigilator A was an important personnel and should frequently enter and leave the system’s core. Although this thing Wen Yuan made had some ‘setbacks’, it could at least give him some basic information.
But this film with ‘setbacks’ was ultimately useless.
Because when this exam ended, he had violated a rule last minute and was inadvertently taken to the invigilator’s district.
That was Qin Jiu’s first time entering the Twin Towers.
It wasn’t known whether it was a coincidence but as he waited for the elevator, an elevator nearby had just reached the first floor. From inside, two people came out. The shirt of one of them was half covered in blood while the other person acted as support.
Looking at the clothes, those two should be invigilators.
Invigilator A glanced at the back figures of the two people before looking away a moment later.
Please read this from kk translates
Qin Jiu saw him lower his eyes with his brows wrinkled ever so slightly before soon returning to his usual apathetic appearance.
“What was going on just now?” Qin Jiu asked.
Invigilator Q’s face was a little pale, “Ah, him. He violated a rule a little and was a little negligent, so he was punished.”
Qin Jiu was a little surprised. He glanced at Invigilator A despite not knowing why he would look over at A at a time like this.
“You guys can also violate the rules?” He asked.
“Of course. You have your rules, we have ours.” Invigilator Q answered.
Qin Jiu took in the faint smell of blood in the air and said, “Why does it seem that your punishment is harsher than ours?”
Invigilator Q said: “Depends on the severity of the violation. Small things would incur small punishments. Big ones will be harsher.”
At that time, Qin Jiu didn’t start any other trouble. Because he was a little distracted, he was only able to use that opportunity to learn a few more things about the Twin Towers.
He would occasionally recall the bloody appearance of that punished invigilator and he suddenly remembered the film he had stuck onto Invigilator A’s belt.
Instead of Invigilator Q who was supposed to pick him up when he was done ‘cleaning the exam centre’, it was Invigilator A who came.
He drove a black car over to the Twin Towers and said coldly after rolling down the window, “Get on. I’ll take you to the rest stop.” He looked quite reluctant.
The atmosphere in the car that day was a little subtle. It was so subtle, he still remembered that feeling many years later.
Those two unrestrained men were now confined in a small space and were very close to each other. It was an atmosphere that was tense, but it also seemed to contain something else as well.
The car finally stopped at a corner of a street at the rest stop. Qin Jiu got off and, to his surprise, Invigilator A also got off.
That day, the weather was very good. The late autumn wind was still a little chilly.
Qin Jiu stood by a newsstand, looking at Invigilator A. For a moment, he felt that A seemed to have something to say.
He waited a few seconds, but the other party didn’t speak.
And so, he made a comment. He said, “In the next exam, I will try to settle down a little so that I won’t bother head invigilator.”
It was because he suddenly no longer wanted to use Invigilator A to get close to the system’s core. He wanted to do it another way.
Invigilator A listened with lowered eyes. As usual, he remained expressionless.
He brushed past Qin Jiu’s shoulder as he returned to the car. He paused for a moment when he opened the door before supporting himself against the roof of the car and turning to say to Qin Jiu, “I hope you are true to your words. It’s best that we don’t meet again.”
But based on his tone, he probably had no intention to believe him.
Qin Jiu was surprisingly well behaved during the fourth exam, and the invigilator for it wasn’t A. He only ‘coincidentally’ dropped to a C grade at the end of the exam and was taken back to the invigilator’s district for a second time.
When he returned the second time, Invigilator A whom he had not seen for a while suddenly made his appearance.
The re-examination Qin Jiu had to do this time took place at sea and would require access by boat.
Just as he settled down in the cabin, he heard the trapdoor above him open.
He thought it was that nagging boatman but when he looked up, he was met with a familiar cold face. The other party stood on the deck looking down through the open trapdoor holding a metal hook used to pry the door open.
He fiddled with the pack of cigarettes on the table, raised his head and asked with a smile, “What have I done this time for Big Invigilator himself to come all the way here?”
Invigilator A looked down from above and said, “Nothing for now but it’s hard to say afterwards.”
“Then why are you here?”
“System rules. For examinees who have violated rules more than three times in an exam, full-time on-site invigilating is required. You go count yourself how many violations you’ve had in the first three exams.”
“But I’ve been good the past two exams.” Qin Jiu’s words still carried some traces of amusement, “Are you clearing out old debts?”
Invigilator A said, “You can ask the system this.”
As he said this, he came down the ladder.
Above the square trapdoor was the dark blue night sky. The bright light cast from the lamp on the table fell gently onto Invigilator A’s light brown eyes…..
Qin Jiu suddenly realised at this moment that he actually missed this invigilator a little.
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More of Qin Jiu’s memories~