Zhong Yuan looked at Senior Ling Ling helplessly. He replied, “I don’t really know who to choose, but honestly, I’d prefer to pick one of the first years.” At that, the first-year girls grew excited.
I glared at Zhong Yuan. Why would you drag me into this?! It’s obvious Senior Ling Ling’s been waiting for you…
When Senior Ling Ling heard that Zhong Yuan wanted to pick a first year, she immediately pulled a small box from her bag. She said, “OK, let’s draw lots. There are seven pieces of paper in this box. One of them has a check mark on it, while the rest are blank. Whoever picks the paper with the check mark…” Senior Ling Ling was excited. She swallowed and finished, “…will share a tent with Zhong Yuan.”
I wiped my sweat. So Senior Ling Ling, you really did plan this all in advance…
“In order to keep things fair, you girls pick first, and I’ll take the last piece of paper.” Senior Ling Ling held out the box to the girls. Everyone grabbed a piece of paper and unfolded it.
When Senior Ling Ling held the box in front of me, I glanced over at Zhang Yuan’s nightmare-inducing face and shook my head. I told her, “I think I’ll just stay out of it.”
As Senior Ling Ling pulled the box away, Zhong Yuan made an untimely interjection. “Mu Er, you’ll make things difficult for Senior Ling Ling if you don’t play along. What if the leftover piece of paper is the one with the check mark? The odds are only one in seven, so you’re unlikely to be chosen anyway.”
I glared at him again as I reached into the box to grab a slip of paper.
As I was about to open the paper, Zhong Yuan said, “Let me help you.” He grabbed the paper from my hand, and then quickly pulled out a small pen from his pocket and marked the paper.
I watched wide-eyed from the side. Zhong Yuan, did you go crazy or are you just an idiot?
Since the other girls were looking at their papers, and Zhong Yuan had moved swiftly and quietly, neither the girls nor Senior Ling Ling saw his awful acts. Before I realized what was happening, Zhong Yuan stuffed the pen into my hand and raised the piece of paper into the air. “OK, I was chosen by Mu Er.”
I quickly spoke up, “No, I…”
Zhong Yuan turned to me and said, “What are you trying to say? Are you suggesting that Senior Ling Ling rigged this?”
“That’s not what I meant.” I looked at Senior Ling Ling, wanting to explain the situation. But then I noticed how strange her expression looked. Not only was there disappointment, there was also a trace of confusion. Huh?
But Zhong Yuan cheated…
Suddenly, Zhong Yuan whispered to me. “That pen is in your hand. Go ahead and try telling everyone that I did this. See who will believe you.”
I looked down at the 5cm pen in my hand, dumbstruck. But what was worse was that when I looked up, I saw that Senior Ling Ling was also staring at the pen in my hand. And it was very clear how angry she was…
But after all this time, why hadn’t anyone exposed our fraud? Shouldn’t one of the other six girls have a checkmark on their paper? So why wasn’t anyone refuting my claim? From their expressions earlier, they all wanted to share a tent with Zhang Yuan.
I couldn’t quite understand it. I asked foolishly, “You… You all have blank papers? Who else has a check mark?”
I thought I could hear Senior Ling Ling clench her teeth right then and there…
After the meeting finished and we dispersed, I asked Zhong Yuan, “What happened with the lots?”
He replied, “You still don’t get it? Senior Ling Ling rigged it. All the papers were blank. That’s the only way she could guarantee that everyone else would pick a blank paper.”
I asked, “But what about her paper? Hers would be blank too.”
Zhong Yuan said, “After everyone else revealed their papers were blank, it would mean that Senior Ling Ling’s wasn’t.”
I wiped my sweat. Ah, I understand. How sinister of Senior Ling Ling. She actually tried to use this sort of method… What a waste it was to have followed her so loyally. So she did such disingenuous things.
But there was still something I didn’t understand. “How did you know all of this?”
Zhong Yuan gave me a look of contempt before answering, “I’m not a blockhead.”
I was speechless.
OK, you might be a tiny little bit smarter than me, but you’re so fucking arrogant!
I asked, “So why didn’t you want to share a tent with Senior Ling Ling?”
Zhong Yuan said, “I was worried she might molest me.”
I wiped my sweat and said, “Well, I’m worried you might molest me!”
Zhong Yuan glanced over me, and with utter disdain, he replied, “In your dreams.”
I was left speechless again.