I sat at the side of the stage, having been led here by a staff member in preparation for the competition later.
"You are Delta, right?" A feminine voice called out from my side.
I turned my head to the direction of the voice, "Yes?"
"Ah, just checking, no worries. The competition is starting soon so if you would just follow me?"
I stood up, my cane grasped tightly in my right hand.
"Here, you can hold my arm," the woman offered, her arm pushing up towards my free hand.
She led me towards the direction of the stage, my cane tapping on the ground all the way.
"Be careful, there are stairs," She cautioned, slowly guiding me up.
I nodded, taking my time to test each step as I ascended on the stage.
While slowly ascending the stairs, the staff made sure to stay close to me, waiting patiently as I ascended step by step.
"Master is already in the audience alongside the High Priestesses," she whispered.
I nodded my head slightly.
She led me to a small podium, making sure I was settled in properly before leaving the stage.
Using a quick miniature burst of Pure Elemental Quarks, an image of myself standing near the back of the stage was sent to my head.
Around me were fifteen other contestants, their own podiums in front of them which, when coupled with mine, formed an arc that has the inside of the arc facing the audience.
Extending the range of my senses, I notice a bright golden light at the very edge of my mind's vision.
The light was warm and soothing, filling up my soul with nothing but a comfortable sense of wholeness.
There was no doubt that the light was Master in the flesh.
I steeled my resolve to clinch this victory for Master.
The emcee for the competition stepped up onto the stage, her two fox tails waving in the air proudly.
"Welcome everyone to our New Year Quiz Competition! I hope all of you have been having a blast at this event so far! For this event, I will be asking the contestants a few simple questions prepared by our very own Master Lin! All the contestants have to do is to hit the bell in front of them if they think they know the answer and the first one to get it right wins a point!"
My fingers groped around the podium until I felt the mentioned bell and a small hammer to ring the bell with.
"Contestants can only ring the bell with the hammer provided and must not touch it until the question has been fully read out! The first one to ring the bell will get the first chance to answer! If they get it wrong, the question is up for ringing again!"
The rules sounded simple enough.
"Now without further ado, let's start with the first question! What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?"
I picked up my hammer to ring the bell but I was a second too slow.
"And the first one is Master Taoyan of the Xi Family! What is your answer?"
"Whoops, that's incorrect, Master Taoyan! The question is up again!"
This time I managed to ring it before anyone else.
"Ah! The elf visitor who didn't give a name! What do you think is the answer?"
"Forty-two," I replied without hesitation.
"That is right! One point to the blind elf!"
"Hold it! Why is that the answer?!" An enraged voice yelled from my right.
I could hear the emcee snicker quietly to herself before answering, "I'm sorry Master Leizhui, but I only have the answer here on my cards, not the explanation. These questions were supplied by Master Lin himself so you will have to ask him about it. Surely an expert like him can't be wrong?"
That Leizhui fellow gnashed his teeth so hard I could hear it from here.
"Anyway, next question! How many times can ten be subtracted from one hundred?"
That Taoyan guy managed to ring the bell first again.
"Ha! An easy one! Ten times!"
"Nope, that is incorrect!" The emcee announced. "Anyone else?"
I thought for a moment before ringing mine, "Once."
"That is correct! Another point for our dear elf!"
A loud bang resonated from my side.
"This is bull! Explain how my answer is wrong!"
I turned my head towards Taoyan's direction, "It's because after you subtract ten from a hundred, the second time you'll be subtracting ten from ninety, not a hundred anymore."
I didn't need my sight to know he was glaring daggers at me.
"Moving on!" The emcee joyfully called out. "A Practitioner grows a Peach tree in his garden which he harvests to sell to the other nearby Sects. The tree has fourteen branches, each branch has twenty twigs and each twig bears two pieces of fruit. Assuming he keeps a quarter of it to himself, how many plums can he sell?"
This time another Practitioner on my left rang the bell first, "Five hundred and sixty!"
The Leizhui fellow rang the bell, "Four hundred and twenty!"
"Still nope, next!"
I rang my bell, "Zero."
"And that is correct! Our little elf is killing it!"
"You are making a joke out of us!" Taoyan protested again.
"The question asked about the sale of plums, but the Practitioner grew a peach tree. It's a test of paying attention to details which you are apparently not adept at," I explained without even turning my head this time.
"For a nameless blind elf you sure are arrogant."
"For someone who still has all his senses, you seem to have less sense than I."
"Alright dear contestants, no fighting, ok? It's only the first few questions after all!" The fox youkai called out cheerfully.
"Hmph! I was under the impression that the questions would be asking about our understanding of the Practitioner world, not these small trick questions used to fool children!" Leizhui scoffed.
The fox clapped her hands, "Then you're in luck, Master Leizhui! For the next question is this! How would one expel the Energy quarks that have been forcefully imbued in a body?"
There was a ripple of murmurs from the crowd, drowned out by Taoyan's shout, "This is outrageous! Everyone knows that it is impossible to remove--"
I tapped my bell lightly with my hammer, "Imbue your own fist with equal or greater Energy quarks and send it to the body's Cultivation point through blunt force impact, revolving your own Energy quarks in an anti clockwise direction."
The stage fell silent with all eyes on me.
"The revolution of your own Energy quarks will force the other Energy quarks to spiral out of the body, expelling itself outside without harming the host."
"Hmph Such a silly answer," Leizhui scoffed. "If it is so simple, I'll run around this whole Sect naked! Truly you are--"
He was silenced by a single applause that came from the direction of Master.
That sound alone filled my entire world.
"And another point for our missy elf here!"
I turned to him, "You don't need to run around naked. I'm blind and wouldn't want to see it anyway."