Chapter 61: Literary Competitor - Clear Water Lakeside
A quarter hour!? Seeing the square, meter long painting board left the audience completely amazed. For someone to complete such a large painting, moreover Ye Wuchen, who had no knowledge on painting. But even Lin Xiao, who was blessed with such talent in painting required great effort to accomplish one.
Both of them didn’t even make any objection, but instead responded respectfully. When each stood in front of their respective painting boards, which were supported by large wooden frames, their faces were equally calm. The serene expression on Ye Wuchen caused Lin Xiao to be more vigilant. Yet he believes that even if Ye Wuchen truly had such exquisite painting skills, he still could not be matched.
“Then, you may now begin. After a quarter of an hour, the winner will be decided by those present here. Elder Li, please begin the countdown.”
When Long Yin lowered his voice, the whole audience went silent. Many pairs of eyes quietly watched the center of the stage which had been destroyed by the flames. None of them dared to make a sound, fearing they would startle the two men.
Lin Xiao gently closed his eyes, hand grasping the brush over the paper, hovering inches above. He seemed to be visualizing the picture inside his mind beforehand. But Ye Wuchen inclined his body, fixing his gaze on Lin Xiao, looking at him with interest. Not having any intention to start himself, he appeared to be observing how Lin Xiao would paint.
Everyone could see clearly, some with disappointment, that the Young Master of Ye decided to give up. This competition will solely focus on the performance of Young Master Lin.
Finally, after approximately a minute, Lin Xiao opened his eyes. HIs brush connecting with the paper, his right hand moving rapidly across the paper. It was almost impossible to keep track of the movement of his hands due to its incredible speed, and one could only see moving shadows.
This time Lin Xiao had a concentrated facial expression, eyes not glancing sideways but directly fixed onto the painting board. Ignoring the stares from audience and the abnormal gaze of Ye Wuchen, he entered a state wherein his eyes only saw the painting scroll and nothing else.
Another half a minute passed, he suddenly closed his eyes again. Still moving his hand, swapping out brushes and ink midway, never a moment of mistake nor pause.
“Daddy, he even closed his eyes while painting! How is he doing it?” Hua Shuirou asked in a low voice.
“How am I to know? Even in my free time I wouldn’t even dream of doing something this bothersome.”
Hua Shuirou regretted the moment she spoke, because painting notwithstanding, her daddy was not the most literate or cultured.
The green bird on her shoulder let out a soft cry of resentment. Hua Shuirou cupped it in her hands, soothing it while saying: “Ching-er please behave, after a few while, we can go home. I’ll give you whatever you want to eat.”
To paint with eyes closed…Ye Wuchen furrowed his brows. Apparently this “Tian Long Number One Gifted Scholar” is a well deserved title.
He remembered in the beginning of his world, there were few people who could paint while closing their eyes, but for someone to reach this extent, was unheard of --- of course, himself being the exception. To attain this level of skill, one had to blend his heart into a subtle painting place, achieving the picture in his central point. This way, even if one’s eyes were closed, one’s hands could freely paint the picture in their heart. But to be able to reach this phase, no ordinary person could even hope to attain such an unimaginably difficult level.
Everyone had been dumbstruck. Closing his eyes in spite of everything, his current state was enough to make people exclaim in astonishment. What more amazement would the outcome provide .
Time passed by little by little, Ye Wuchen had yet to move his brush and was still staring blankly at Lin Xiao’s hand movements. That originally clear white paper already has some portrayal of sky and white clouds, willow tree in riverside, and also the place where Long Yin had long been wishing to visit.
Based on his speed, a quarter hour wasn’t really necessary, even ten minutes would suffice, Ye Wuchen thought.
Seems like this young master of Ye had really given up. The audience has this same thought once more. It’s really not surprising that, while facing this extremely brilliant painting talent of Lin Xiao, the opponent would lose all their courage to move their brushes. He might as well concede in a neat and tidy manner.
Sure enough as Ye Wuchen had expected, just as the clock struck ten minutes, Lin Xiao made one final stroke, opened his eyes, and laid down his brush. He didn’t even look at his painting, instead looking at the direction of Ye Wuchen who was still gazing at him, the corner of his mouth turned up in a smile.
Judging by his blank paper, he realized his win; moreover, it was a complete victory.
“Your Majesty, Lin Xiao is already done, please have a look.” Lin Xiao said as he stepped aside to present his recently accomplished painting for the audience to view.
Immediately, exclaims of admiration sounded from the audience.
Azure sky, sprinkled with a few white clouds. Beneath the sky situated a clear lake, the light emitting from the lake water was clear and crystalline. Fish puffed out bubbles. A boat sailing. On the lakeside, a willow tree hung low, on one of its branches a cicada cried joyously. Below the tree showed a young woman leaning against it, her face showing the happiness of being enchanted by the beauty of the lakeside scenery. On the ground, was a mess of willow branches and leaves, some dried up and yellow.
A very ordinary kind of painting, its image did not contain any special meaning, but the incomparably exquisite painting skills caused the people to be delighted without exception, some exclaimed with great admiration.
“Your Majesty, doesn’t Mr. Lin’s painting look exactly the same as the place Your Majesty has intended to go? It’s practically an exact copy.” an attendant behind Long Yin exclaimed.
“That’s right! Lin Xiao knows my thoughts very well. Great! Great painting! It’s indeed a great painting!” Long Yin exclaimed loudly, not the least bit stingy at all in his words of praise.
Lin Xiao personally rotated the frame that held up his painting slowly, enabling the people in the audience to get a clear view, the surprised voices sounded along with the movement of the painting scroll. The exclamations said it all.
Even Ye Wei and Wang Wenshu could not help but admit that the painting skills of Lin Xiao has really reached great heights.
“This painting will be called Clear Water Lakeside, it is an ordinary scenery painting. A moment ago Lin Xiao had heard Your Majesty wish to visit the Clear Water Lake to preserve the memory in his thoughts. It inspired me to do this. Lin Xiao’s humble talent and shallow learning might receive ridicule from his poor performance.” Lin Xiao said, greeting his surroundings with courtesy.
“What do you all feel about this painting?” Long Yin asked. His heavy, dignified voice penetrated through the whole area.
“Great! This painting makes a person feel as if he is actually in that place, with absolutely no flaws. I have been painting for many decades, believing that there’s always a limit in a person’s capability, but for today there’s something I really need to say, and that is ‘I’m convinced’!”
“To be able to make such unique painting in a very short time, is really quite a feat.”
“This painting is multiple times better than the one that Master Lin made few days ago in another competition. Apparently Master Lin still had restrained some of his talents at that time.”
“To portray a painting to this extent by just using a simple scenery image, he is deserving of his title of “Tian Long Number One Gifted Scholar”, What an eye opener.”
“For Lin Xiao to have such high level of painting skills, truly it’s rare.”