Chapter 63: Literary Competition - Twin Lotus Flower on One Stalk Part 1
“This… this....is really unbelievable!”
“My God, I simply don’t believe my eyes.”
“It’s really unimaginable! Up until now, I finally realized what genuine painting skills are.”
“To be able to make a bird believe that it is the real thing, that’s what we call genuine painting skills!”
“I want to be an apprentice, I want to be his apprentice!”
“That’s enough, he is the young master of the Ye family. How can you, the head of a small academy, be his apprentice; moreover, you are too old.”
Various exclamations and inconceivable shouting voices could be heard. The enthusiasm at this moment far exceeded the praise Lin Xiao received beforehand. This kind of painting skill is truly brilliant. They have neither seen nor heard anything of this calibre before.
Looking at the hole, Lin Xiao realised he had been defeated…Ye Wuchen had only made use of a few seconds to effortlessly draw a green worm. And yet his all-out effort, which consumed more than ten minutes worth of work was defeated so thoroughly. His previous self-confidence and arrogance had been smashed into pieces. What he said a while ago about his “domineering qualifications in painting skills”, has now come back to hit him ruthlessly like a slap on the face.
But since the green bird had pecked out a hole, it was now equivalent to a completely destroyed painting. He couldn’t help but secretly sigh while thinking: if this was planned by Ye Wuchen beforehand, then his shrewdness was really formidable.
What he couldn’t believe was that his thoughts actually had much truth in it. Ye Wuchen had such a meticulous mind. Paying attention to Hua Shuirou, how could he not notice the green feathered bird or detected its hungry state. As a result, during the time Lin Xiao finished painting Clear Water Lakeside, Ye Wuchen had already sentenced this painting to its death penalty.
Completed by two people? Did it even qualify!? Ruined! How could the emperor include it to his collection? Collection my ass! With a hole pecked through it, let’s see if you still want to keep it.
“Respect, respect to highest point. Whether on painting skills or painting condition, I, Lin Xiao, concede my defeat!” Lin Xiao said letting out a sigh.
Ye Wuchen nodded, peacefully accepting it. Then he commented in a serious tone. “Okay. If that’s the case your foundation is not bad, just put some more effort to it, perhaps you might reach master level painting in the future.”
Lin Xiao: “......”
“Great! Great! Your painting prowess even surpasses that of Tian Long’s Number One Gifted Scholar and causing him to step down gracefully, it seems that I had underestimated you. But…” He glanced at the blank painting board at Ye Wuchen’s side. “Based on the rules that I’ve set, a quarter hour to determine winner, you didn’t even make anything. As a result, for the first stage, you still lose.”
Anyone could see that Lin Xiao had been defeated, even he admitted defeat. Ye Wuchen had been defeated Lin Xiao by using the green worm he drew in the painting of Lin Xiao. But what the emperor said was the truth, if he were to judge the participant based on their own individual painting on the board, who dared contradict him?
So whoever the emperor wants to win will take the victory. Judging by this situation, the emperor still favored the Lin family. Ye Wuchen’s defeat was official even though the results were contradictory.
“Wait a moment.” Ye Wuchen waved his hand, saying: “Based on Your Majesty’s rules, the time limit is a quarter hour, and upon my calculation, it has yet to pass.”
Behind Long Yin a yellow clothed attendant said, “Your Majesty, young master Ye is correct. Right now, there is still a minute remaining before it reaches a quarter hour mark.”
“Oh? So what are you saying? You would like to use the remaining minute to complete it?” Long Yin questioned.
“Good! Now let me be enlightened once again, let’s see how you can complete this size of a painting in just within a minute.” Long Yin who had been distracted, his face now full of expectation.
Ye Wuchen turned around, raised both hands. “Go find your owner.”
The green feathered bird circled around him for two rounds, then reluctantly parted with him and returned to Hua Shuirou. Although it was a base animal, it still had some intelligence, able to remember kindness and hatred. A moment ago when it incurred a slight injury from the impact , but got healed by Ye Wuchen in an instant, and this kindness was immediately engraved within its memory.
His gaze followed the movement of the green feathered bird, seemingly ignorant to the passing of time. Seeing Hua Shuirou cupping the bird in both her hands, he faintly smiled towards her, causing the girl to immediately lower her head in a rush, refusing to lift her head for quite a while.
Ye Wuchen stepped in front of the painting board, picking up a brush dipped with ink, then closed his eyes and, clearing his mind, directly brandished the brush to spread the ink. Brushes were switched, inks were dipped into, brushes swept, flowing smoothly. The movements of his hands obviously surpassed that of Lin Xiao’s. It was impossible to make out the white moving streaks that were his arms, which dazzled the crowd. Although they already knew his artistic attainment greatly surpassed that of Lin Xiao’s, the audience still couldn’t help but feel amazed by this spectacle. This kind of hand movement not only belonged to one with extremely high painting skills, but also required a very high cultivation of the martial art skills.
Ye Wuchen stepped to the front, his stance was flawless, and the unconstrained movement of his hands were like traces of the wind making people unable to see clearly what he was painting at the moment. The only exception was Lin Xiao who was standing right beside him, but his vision wasn’t focused on the painting, but was rather at the hands of Ye Wuchen. The content of the painting was not that important to him anymore, judging by the technique and the speed, he already knew he had been hopelessly defeated.
Generally a person who practiced martial skills only focused on the martial aspect, the same applied to a literary person. If one held both skills, one tended to focus on one thing and lose sight of the other, then fail on both. But Lin Xiao had relied on his extremely high gifted martial and literary skills to reach the peak level among his peers, both skills complementing each other. The speed of his painting made people speechless. If it wasn’t for his powers and martial skills, it would have been impossible for him to become someone who had reached the peak level of painting skills. And because of this, Lin Xiao was under the impression that his painting capacity were incomparable.
Why did he take the initiative and suggest a competition with Ye Wuchen? During the martial skills competition, he won two times in a row after all. While at first he had the popular opinion of the people backing his number one rank, in the end he was sorely defeated by Ye Wuchen. Up to this moment, he still couldn’t swallow the fact that he had been defeated, even as he bore the scar on his own face. Succeeding him, Hu Zhentian who tried to help him win back his reputation was also defeated. Finally, with the exclusion of the God of Sword, his unparalleled second grandpa Lin Yan also lost his bet to him, battered and exhausted.. Losing with unfathomable mystery, yet was not only defeated but also lost his reputation - being laughed at as a joke and even suffering an extraordinary shame and humiliation that could not be refuted.
The Lin family had never sunk so low. In just a very short duration and in front of the emperor and the aristocrats, they were defeated under the hands of a single opponent: the only son of the Ye family.
So, in order to regain their reputation, he was made to voluntarily suggest a literary competition against someone who was younger than he was. Originally, he wanted to break his spirits and regain his family’s reputation, but he hadn’t expected to add another layer of glory for his opponent, nor become the means with which his opponent achieved it.
He regretted it. Before, he had full confidence and high ambitions - now these were smashed without a trace. He even lost his confidence for the next stage of competition.
How could Ye Wuchen have such great power…he is even younger than me! And more than ten years ago, there had been a rumor that he was a monotonous “incurable sickly young master”. Could it be that Ye family deliberately concealed the truth? Then what was their purpose in doing so? Why would they suddenly exposed it all today. If there was any truth to the rumors, having disappeared for a year only to resurface… then within that year, what mysteriously shocking adventures must he have experienced? Could it be that he was perhaps someone else altogether?
Glancing at the distant expressions of the Ye family, he secretly denied the extremely outrageous notion.