Chapter 155: Chinese
“Old man, long time no see.” Qin Jiu stared at Du Deng Liu with solemn eyes as he uttered each word one by one with emphasis.
Now that they knew everything, their mood was very different when they saw the old man again.
Qin Jiu looked at him for a long time, so long that it made him feel at loss and restless, before asking lightly, “Where have you been hiding? We had a hard time finding you.”
Du Deng Liu: “I hid——”
He quickly stopped himself from blurting out his answer.
Qin Jiu laughed. One couldn’t tell if it was out of mockery or amusement. The old man’s face flushed red like he had just been slapped.
Before all this, while he was carefully hiding away, he had already found ample reasoning for his actions. There were reasons behind everything he did and most of them were instinctual. He believed that someone will understand.
He had already prepared his speech, planning to pour it all out when he is reprimanded and cursed at, but unexpectedly, none of these young people did that.
There was no cursing, no reproaches and no emotional outburst, only calmness. There was even a trace of acceptance in this calmness, which made him conversely feel too narrowminded himself.
Under this atmosphere, he couldn’t utter any of the excuses he had prepared. He could only open and close his mouth several times before finally pursing it tightly together forming deep wrinkles on the sides.
You Huo looked at 154. The other party shook his phone to indicate that time was almost up.
At the end of the street, the fog was gathering at a rapid rate. Soon, the more distant scenery was submerged in pale white.
154 pointed to that side and said, “I have already set up the entrance, but I don’t know what kind of exam environment you will encounter after entering. To my understanding, it is random and it depends on the examinees. For example, since you still haven’t done the Chinese exam, you will most likely encounter that. But as far as what it will be like, you won’t know until you enter.”
You Huo nodded and passed the shabby notebook back to Chu Yue.
Please read this from kk translates
“You really don’t need me to go with you?” Chu Yue showed some concern.
Everyone understood the theory behind “not putting all the eggs into the same basket”. Although they are desperate, they are not reckless. With some going straight to the systems core, there should be others waiting outside to respond in case of anything unexpected happening.
She was the one who had waited outside last time. For anyone, the failure last time was enough reason to have some doubts about her, but this wasn’t the case for You Huo.
Chu Yue didn’t sense any grievance from him, and this was why they could still fight side by side.
You Huo shook the notebook, raised his eyes and asked her calmly, “Apart from 154, there should be a friend who has enough tacit understanding to wait outside and know what to do if anything happens. Is there anyone more suitable than you?”
Chu Yue was stunned for a moment. She smiled after receiving the notebook, “There really aren’t any.”
You Huo walked back and stopped beside Du Deng Liu. He patted the old man on the shoulder and lowered his head to say coldly, “See that entrance? You and I will go through it first.”
Du Deng Liu was in disbelief, “Are you kidding me?”
You Huo’s expression didn’t change.
His hand that were covered with a glove was still resting on Du Deng Liu’s shoulder and his thin eyelids where slightly lowered as he looked at a certain point on the ground. This was how he habitually listened to people but the sight of it made the old man flustered.
“I’m getting older. I cannot handle those fierce exams. I won’t be able to keep up with you.” Du Deng Liu said slowly.
You Huo nodded his head when he heard this, as if he felt that his words made sense.
Du Deng Liu stood next to him, not daring to move. Only his eyes glanced quickly at him through the corner of his eyes.
You Huo was silent for a moment before finally speaking up, “You are in the same boat as us now. You can not cooperate, the worse case scenario is that we all die together.”
He raised a finger using his other hand and drew a circle as he said coldly, “If there are any problems with any of these people before you, you won’t be able to escape. You can give it a try if you don’t believe it.”
Du Deng Liu: “……….”
Ten seconds later, the old man who was tied several times was thrown into the first car and pitifully trapped between the driver and co-pilot. On the left was Qin Jiu and You Huo was to his right.
The fog outside flowed past the windshield as the car started. Seeing fog rush towards him, Du Deng Liu closed his eye with a bated breath.
The car windows were open and damp coolness enveloped them. The moment they passed through the fog, they heard the usual system’s voice:
【It is currently 17:30 in the examination centre.】
【Examinee detected to have entered the venue. Exam details are as below.】
【This examination centre is a solo exam. During this time, only one examinee can take the examination here. After the examinee enters the venue, the entrance to this centre will be closed to other examinees.】
【There is no invigilators in the exam and the examinee cannot leave the centre for any reason during the exam. If the examinee violates the rules, they will be punished on the spot according to the severity of the rule violation. The length of the punishment is the same as the other exams, each punishment will last for three hours.】
The car rocked a few times and the fog slowly cleared before their eyes.
You Huo picked up a camouflage cloth and used it to wipe the windshield. The examination centre slowly appeared before them.
All three in the car were taken aback.
The scenery before them was too familiar to them. They had lived there for a long time in the past.
This place was large and bordered by coasts and piers as well as forests and distant mountains that stretch for several kilometres into the distance. Countless streets crisscrossed around the central area where there sat two grey-blue skyscrapers.
At first glance, it looked like a seaside city with dots of lights leaking out from the buildings of various heights. At certain moments, it gave people a sense that they were inhabited.
Most examinees would have never been to this place but there are a few regular visitors.
For example, Examinee Qin Jiu. And for example, Examinee You Huo.
The car stopped suddenly. The heavy rubber tires let out a sharp screech against the ground.
You Huo frowned and turned to met with Qin Jiu’s gaze.
Behind them, the sound of brakes went off one after other and this was followed by a flurry of discussions. Gao Qin hurried over from behind, climbed onto the car and stuck his head in, “What’s going on? Didn’t we enter the examination centre? Why are we back at the Invigilator’s District? Is there something wrong on 154’s end and there was a disconnection?”
“Wen Yuan?” Qin Jiu leaned back in his chair and knocked on the hood.
A small window was opened between the driver’s seat and the passenger seat. 922’s face appeared in that window and he raised his hand.
There was a phone in his hand that was connected to the back of a machine with a bunch of colourful wires. Before coming, he had specially modified it to establish a special communication channel with 154 so that they can keep in touch.
“Wait a second boss. I’m asking.” His fingers tapped quickly.
The next second, 154’s reply came.
“Boss……..” 922 turned to look at them, “There was no disconnection. 154 said that if the place you see is the Invigilator’s District, it means that the examination centre is the Invigilator’s District.”
You Huo was stunned for a moment. His eyes fell onto the nearest small building.
Please read this from kk translates
It was the cleanest bar in the entire Invigilator’s District. Those who don’t like noise and rowdiness will come here to chat about things. It wasn’t to Gao Qi’s taste, but Chu Yue would visit this place from time to time.
She said that there was a glass window facing the sea. Whenever she feels suffocated, she would feel better when looking at that vast expanse from there.
Passing through the gradually sinking night, You Huo saw several figures through the window of the bar.
His expression suddenly fell…….
Gao Qi followed his line of sight and similarly noticed those figures. His gaze then swept across several other buildings further away. He couldn’t help but exclaim, “Fuck, this Invigilator’s District isn’t just an empty shell. A, there are really people inside!”
“I saw.” You Huo said coldly.
Gao Qi stared at it wide eyed for a moment before turning back to look at the cars. The weapons in all four warehouses were all packed in these cars.
You Huo approached Qin Jiu, pointed at the bar and asked in a low voice, “I don’t know much about the later invigilators. Can you see the people by the window? Are they NPC made by the exam or invigilators?”
Qin Jiu narrowed his eyes and looked carefully. His expression also became unsightly, “The one in the second window from the right seems to be 009 and it looks like 037 opposite him. The third one is turned away and I can’t see his face but from the way he is sitting, he looks like 129.”
Gao Qi pointed at the cars with a dazed expression, “A, we…….are we using these weapons against those people? This is the final battle?”
You Huo suddenly remembered something 154 had said.
When they were in the Twin Towers preparing to open a channel to a rest stop, 154 had said, “Everything went too smoothly. It conversely makes me feel a little uneasy.”
They couldn’t understand why at that time but now You Huo suddenly understood——-
The system was waiting for them here.
It had dragged the entire Invigilator’s District into the exam and had turned it into the battlefield for the final battle, and it had turned their colleagues into their opposition to see if they dared to lay a hand on them.
If they couldn’t, the system would be able to easily wipe out these revolting people.
If they could, it would be a case of infighting between them.
Gao Qi scratched his cheeks and hissed, “What is this? How can we fight them? We can’t do it. Even if we do, we only have 700 examinees here and there are at least 1000 invigilators here. Are you kidding me?”
As he spoke, the rumble of cars behind him finally stopped. The entire team had finally entered the centre.
The system again spoke ——-
【This exam: No time limit. It will continue until the examinee passes or is eliminated.】
【Subject examined: Chinese.】
【Knowledge tested: Poetry.】
【This is a very special city with a limited number of residents. Most residents have the same identity and are busy dealing with similar matters each day. These people who can always be seen in an examination centre are called Invigilators. This is the resting place of the invigilators and their home, called the Invigilator’s District. The Invigilator’s District is backed by an endless expanse of sea and every night you can see the moon hanging over it, shining onto the entire city. Examinees are asked to combine this background and environment to analyse the meaning of “A toast to invite the bright moon, shadows form three people”.】
【Answer requirements: Every night at midnight, invigilators will gather in the conference hall to receive the examinee’s answer.】
【The exam starts now. Good luck.】
Hearing this long introduction, the expressions of the people present were all very colourful.
They didn’t know if they should feel disgusted by this ‘home’ or if they should worry about the poem.
Suddenly, a beam of light shone over from the distance.
You Huo squinted his eyes and raised his hand to block it. He heard someone ask, “Who is it? What are these cars here for?”
The voice was a little vague and it couldn’t be heard clearly through the car window.
“Watch the old man.” Qin Jiu said to Gao Qi before opening the car door and hopping off. You Huo patted Gao Qi’s shoulder and similarly hopped off.
922 thought about it for a moment before doing the same with the phone in his hands.
Gao Qi and Du Deng Liu exchanged a look.
The three of them turned a corner before finally seeing the person carrying a flashlight——–
The man was slightly shorter than them and looked rather gentle and refined. Even outside of work hours, he was still dressed meticulously. With his iconic stoic face, he said with a business tone, “Boss, why are you here?”
It was followed by strange silence.
You Huo glanced sullenly at Qin Jiu who looked at 922. 922 could only look down at his phone.
The phone buzzed. A message from 154 came just in time:
『Where are you? Why aren’t you responding? Did you run into a problem? 』
922 thought for a moment and slowly replied.
『Yeah, a big one. One that looks exactly like you.』
The phone was dead for a several seconds. Who knew what 154 was thinking on the other end.
922 then continued.
『But this is also good. It means that the people here may not all be real, so our chances of winning is much greater. 700 against 1000, rounding it up it can be considered as one to one.』
You Huo took in his reply and retracted his gaze. Just as he was about to speak, he noticed something from the corner of his eyes.
A grey cloud above them had dispersed, allowing moonlight to penetrate through. The shadow by “154’s” feet became more distinct.
“154” was standing there but his shadow behind him quietly raised its hand. The edges of his five fingers were smooth, like the edge of a sharp knife.
You Huo’s eyelids twitched. He subconsciously wanted to pull “154” away but at that moment, Qin Jiu suddenly pulled him back.
“Careful!” A deep voice rang.
You Huo turned his head and saw his own shadow cast behind him. At this moment, the shadow’s movements were consistent with him, but it also seemed indescribably strange.
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