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The most important event of the year was underway all over the country — the College Entrance Examinations. Ever since the establishment of the Imperial Examination System, there have been this kind of examinations to determine the future and destiny of the people, attracting the attention of people all over the nation.
After ten years of hard work, who didn’t wish to see their name go down in the list of top scorers?
Unfortunately, though, the College Entrance Examination was a one-way bridge that not just everyone could cross to arrive at the Golden Road on the other side. Whether one could flip their fortune and get admitted to a reputable University depended on one’s performance in the examination room today.
Jian’an First High was the best high school in Jian’an City, so it naturally had the biggest examination hall in Jian’an, too! In addition, the students of Jian’an Second High, Third High, Sixth High, and the private Zhihua High School were also assigned to Jian’an First High. The students were assigned to completely random seats through a computer program, but, fortunately for the Jian’an First High students, most of them would be assigned to their own school.
The scorching heat spread everywhere, and even though it wasn’t even nine o’clock in the morning, the sun was already high in the sky. Innumerable parents were standing outside Jian’an First High’s main entrance, accompanying their children. Their expressions were full of hope, as if an ancient Emperor seeing off his General on a grand expedition, looking forward to the war drums that would be played on the dawn of a victory.
At half past eight, Qin Yanran stepped down from her mother’s car at the school’s gate. After listening to her mother’s final words of encouragement, she entered the school and headed towards the examination room she had been assigned to.
‘I will be in Room 23 for the exam, and Su Lin was assigned to room 24 which is right next to me. Although we aren’t in the same room, it can still be considered luck for us to be in rooms next to each other.’
Qin Yanran quickly found her examination room. Entering, she realized that there were already many students inside. They were going to take the College Entrance Examination, after all, so who would dare be late for such an event? Everyone had probably rushed to school in fear of missing the first exam.
But when she looked inside Room 24 next door, Qin Yanran didn’t find Su Lin. Su Lin’s seat was still empty, so she felt a little worried in her heart, ‘It’s already half-past eight, so why is Su Lin still not here? They won’t let you enter the examination room if you are late, Su Lin! Ah! Don’t be late today, too!’
Qin Yanran felt as if something clutched her heart as she recalled Su Lin’s special trait of always coming late to class.
With concern filling her heart, Qin Yanran returned to her examination room and took seat while looking towards the entrance from time to time. When Su Lin arrived, he would definitely walk past Room 23 to get to his examination room, after all.
At the same time, Peng Shenda, who was in another room, was bursting with pride. He hadn’t gone back home last night, spending all night to remember the answers to the question paper he thought was the College Entrance Examination’s. Of course, he hadn’t heard of his family’s fall from power and the investigation that got opened against his father.
‘Liu Qingyang just went to see and said that Su Lin still hasn’t arrived, so I reckon the two from my father’s Department really stalled Su Lin on his way to the school!’
Peng Shenda had ruthlessly planned to make Su Lin miss the College Entrance Examinations. For that purpose, he had specially arranged for two of his men to go out and stall Su Lin’s time, to prevent him from getting to the examinations site on time.
Unfortunately for him, though, his wishes would never be achieved. Just when the clock struck 8:40, Su Lin hurriedly stepped out of a taxi some distance away from the school. Fortunately, he had some money sitting at home which he grabbed before leaving, or he was afraid he wouldn’t have had enough to pay for the taxi ride.
The entrance of Jian’an First High was basically blocked by private cars of parents accompanying their children to the examination site, and it made it impossible for any taxis to get in. Due to this, Su Lin had to get off some distance away from the school and then wildly dash.
“Su Lin! Why are you late again? It’s the College Entrance Examination today! It’s… it’s already past 8:40 now. Are you doing this to irritate your teacher?!”
Su Lin had just dashed into the school when he ran into Lin Qingxue. Lin Qingxue couldn’t help but flare up as she saw Su Lin’s hurried appearance. It was such a significant day, yet he was still acting as if he were going to class normally and there wouldn’t be an issue in being late. Did he even want to take the College Entrance Examinations?
“Teacher Lin, I am sorry! Forgive me! I got up on time today, but just… I forgot my admission ticket at home, so I had to go back for it. It’s already getting late, so I will be rushing to the exam room now — you can scold me after the exam is over…”
Su Lin, of course, knew that Lin Qingxue would be scolding him because she cared about him, but he still had to get away from Lin Qingxue and rush to the exam room right now.
By 8:50, the invigilators in all exam rooms had already put the question papers for the exam on the podium and were preparing them for distribution. Qin Yanran, who had been staring towards the room’s entrance, felt her anxiousness rise as she didn’t see Su Lin familiar figure appear even now.
‘Su Lin, what the hell are you doing? Why haven’t you come yet? They will soon close the doors and stop all entrance!’
Qin Yanran’s heart burned with impatience as sweat covered her dainty hands that tightly gripped onto her black signature pen.
[Thump! Thump! Thump!]
The loud sound of footsteps spread from the corridor, breaking the silence of the Examination site. Su Lin had just climbed up the stairs and was still a distance away, but Qin Yanran didn’t fail to recognize the sound of Su Lin’s steps.
[TL: this is next level. Sometimes, I get scared by my own footsteps when I am out in a secluded area at night or very early in the morning like 4-5 am, yet this chick can recognize someone’s stomps without issue.]
Her eyebrows jumped in joy, and the worry that had been plaguing her disappeared in a puff of smoke now that Su Lin had finally arrived.
Surely, after a few seconds, Su Lin’s breathless and hurried figure passed by the room’s entrance, relieving Qin Yanran. Seeing Su Lin’s flashing figure, Qin Yanran couldn’t help but think of how she felt when she fell asleep in Su Lin’s embrace last night.
The warmth, the dependence, and the scent that belonged solely to Su Lin… Qin Yanran gently sniffed as if Su Lin was right by her side.
[TL: her lies another comrade of ours, taken down by the one and only: Daddy Su.]
‘Fuck! I am finally here!’
Su Lin took out his admission ticket and ID card for the examiner while panting, and then walked into the examination room and sat down on his seat. In less than two minutes after Su Lin took his seat, the bells signifying the start of the Exam loudly rang.
Most of the candidates in the examination were students from Jian’an First High. They had long heard of the King of Lates, Su Lin, and seeing that he hadn’t broken his streak even on the day of College Entrance Examination, they couldn’t help but give him a thumbs up in their hearts.
“Alright! Students, please pay attention to your actions once the question papers are distributed. I will repeat this only once more: if you brought a mobile phone or anything else unrelated to the exam, please put it on the table outside. You won’t have another chance! Now, we will be distributing the question papers…”
The invigilator who spoke just now was a middle-aged man with black-rimmed glasses and barely any hair on his head. There was another relatively young female invigilator who seemed to be around the same age as Lin Qingxue. She was pretending to be mature, and had deliberately put on a stern look to scare the students.
Right now, the same scene played out in hundreds of different classrooms in Jian’an: two invigilators were present in each examination room, distributing question papers to the students. The first subject to be tested was Literature, and the time allotted was two hours.
One by one, all the students in the examination room received the question paper, and although the question paper was the same for everyone, every student wore a different expression.
Most students frowned as they flipped through the question paper, after all, this was the real College Entrance Examination. Just looking at all those questions jumbled together gave them a headache. The more they looked at the question paper, the harder they felt it got.
Su Lin, on the other hand, remained completely calm and relaxed after he got the question paper. His heavy breathing had already calmed down after he rested for a while. Seeing that the question paper was exactly like the one he siphoned yesterday, he was sure it would be easy for him to get at least 130-140 points, even if he didn’t get a perfect score.
Similarly, in another examination room, when the anxious Li Hao got his hands on the question paper, his heart burst with joy.
‘Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! It’s really the same question paper from yesterday, and I have already prepared for all these questions! Hahaha…’
Li Hao almost laughed out loud and had to cover his mouth.
Just like there were people laughing, there were those who cried. In different examination rooms, Peng Shenda, and his bunch of cronies were dumbfounded as they read through the question paper.
‘How could it be different? Why is it different? I obviously copied the question paper that was going to be distributed in the College Entrance Examination today, so why is it different?!’
Peng Shenda violently roared in his heart as he helplessly watched the different questions. He had personally copied the question paper of the College Entrance Examination, and then kept the photocopy close to himself without letting it leave his person for even a moment, so had the questions changed? Even if he smashed his head against something, he would never imagine that the real question paper had been switched by Su Lin yesterday.
As Peng Shenda read the unfamiliar questions on the question paper, he had the urge to tear the paper into pieces.
On the other hand, Su Lin calmly sat in his examination room and steadily answered the questions using his black fountain pen. Every stroke he made was full of vigour, and he didn’t even need to look at the question twice.
Classical Literature, Poetry, Modern Literature, Essays…
There wasn’t a single question that could stump Su Lin as he had already gone over these questions yesterday. Of course, he still had to make some adjustments to the answers of some subjective questions. After all, he had giving the answers to Li Hao, so he had to make sure there were differences between what they wrote.
There was also composition. Su Lin’s literary talent wasn’t too bad, so once he saw the topic, he immediately made use of the classical [A Gentleman is not a Weapon].
In his composition, he not only gave examples and allusions, but also drew out the heart of Confucius’s [A Gentleman is not a Weapon], which described how a person should be versatile and open-minded, not limited to fixed thoughts and devices. Furthermore, Su Lin didn’t forget to satirize the shortcomings of exam-oriented education.
His literary talent was brilliant, and it also carried the sourness of a scholar. Even if the examiners gave him a low score for his composition, Su Lin wouldn’t care, and will accept it. Anyway, he would be getting a perfect score in the other questions, so why would he be bothered over the composition?
[A Gentleman is not a Weapon] written in entirely classical Chinese came to life on the answer sheet, and Su Lin felt immensely satisfied with his work. It was indeed a beautiful piece. The only flaw was Su Lin’s somewhat ugly handwriting, which could be considered as a mortal flaw when considered in the context of the College Entrance Examination’s composition-writing section!
The College Entrance Examinations raged on like a war doused in gunpowder and flames. There were people from all walks of life in the various examination halls: some were crying, some laughed, and others didn’t know whether they should laugh or cry…
 it was a past system to choose civil servants for the government.
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