Chapter 362: The Calligraphy Association Anniversary Gathering!
The next day.
It was almost noon. The weather looked good.
Zhang Ye had woken up late. After looking at his watch, he immediately got out of bed. He got dressed as he rubbed his eyes. He went to the bathroom outside to wash up as he called out, "Mom, do we have the Four Treasures of the Study at home?"
His father had already left for work.
His mother was scheduled for an afternoon shift today and was still around, "What do you think? You bought some before when you were in primary school, but we don't have them anymore. Maybe it's in a box somewhere? Even if you can find it, they won't be usable anymore. What do you need it for? Isn't the university on break? What are you hurrying around for? You still need to go to work?"
Zhang Ye said, "Not for work, but it's my leader's birthday."
His mother said, "Then why didn't you get up earlier? Hurry up and go!"
"I know. Can you help me get my bag, put my cellphone inside." Zhang Ye did not bother too much and quickly brushed his teeth. Then, he took the bag from his mother and rushed downstairs to his car.
What about the birthday present?
He did not even have a brush and ink and there was no time to get one now!
Zhang Ye was a carefree person, since Wu Mo said it wasn't necessary to get anything, he did not bother to. He decided to just go directly. If there was a need, he would buy a present later on and give it to his leader.
The sun was very strong.
It added warmth to the winter weather.
He drove a little faster than usual and reached a restaurant north of the city a few minutes before noon. He stood in front of the entrance of a two-story restaurant that had an ancient vibe to it. It also had a large yard towards the rear of the building. The restaurant wasn't too small and was designed to have an ancient classical look to it. There were red lanterns hung at the entrance and it looked like the whole location had been reserved for the day. There were a lot of cars parked in front and more and more people were beginning to move inside. A lot of them were holding calligraphy scrolls or similar items in their hands as they walked in, leaving Zhang Ye a little confused. To him, Wu Zeqing looked like someone who wasn't too ostentatious. If she was having a birthday celebration, it wouldn't be possible that she invited so many people. Old Comrade Wu didn't have such a lavish personality.
After getting off, Zhang Ye straightened his clothes a little.
"Eh? Isn't that Teacher Zhang?" A woman called him out from behind.
Zhang Ye turned around in surprise, "Yo, Teacher Su, you came too?"
It was Zhang Ye's colleague from Peking University, Su Na. She was wearing an overcoat which was rather thick, "Why are you here too? Oh, President Wu invited you too?"
Zhang Ye vaguely acknowledged her. Actually, he was very clear that he would not have been invited to such an occasion if not for the fact that he was endorsing her, Wu Zeqing's, nephew's product. Since he was doing his part for her nephew, she was obliged to give him face.
Then so, why was Su Na here too?
Even Professor Zeng was not invited, right?
Zhang Ye wondered, "You are here because?"
Su Na said laughingly, "I'm not important to enough to warrant an invitation from President Wu. I came with my father. He is already inside. He's with the Calligraphy Association."
Zhang Ye suddenly asked, "There are so many people here today?"
"Yes, it's about the same every year, but last year was even more vibrant than this year." Su Na said casually.
Zhang Ye was left even more confused, "They are all here to celebrate President Wu's birthday?"
"Birthday? You don't know?" Su Na said, "How would President Wu be so lavish? Today's the 31st anniversary of the Calligraphy Association. Every member would gather on this day to have an exchange of calligraphy and literature. This is the main event. As for birthdays, today is also coincidentally the birthdays of a senior of the calligraphy world and President Wu. So we celebrate them all together, but it's not the main focus. It's mainly still a gathering for those involved in calligraphy. Of course, if you want to give them presents, that's fine too."
Zhang Ye coughed, "Then, did you bring a present?"
"I did not." Su Na chuckled, "But my dad wrote two scrolls, that's good enough."
"All of you are well prepared. I woke up late today, so I did not bring anything." Zhang Ye said depressingly. When the others presented their gifts later and he came empty-handed, it would be embarrassing.
Su Na blinked and said, "If you didn't bring a present, it's alright. A lot of people are not gifting anything either. If you really want to give something, you can always write a poem and gift it during the calligraphy event, right? How's your calligraphy skill?
Zhang Ye subconsciously replied, "My words can't be shown."
But he suddenly remembered that, hey, he had just gotten those calligraphy experience books last night and eaten them all. He had eaten a total of 100 books. Even if he had not tested it out, based on previous experiences, his writing shouldn't be shabby. A hundred books! He wouldn't know how it would turn out. Who knows if it might even be better than Wu Zeqing's calligraphy?
He could write it on the spot!
He definitely had to give a present to President Wu!
In the restaurant.
At the back yard.
This place looked like an exhibition stand, exhibiting lots of famous people's calligraphy and paintings. Some of them were even the writings of members from the calligraphy association, who were also the current generation of calligraphy masters.
"This is a calligraphy piece of Sun Gu?"
"It's surely a copy, right? Hasn't it been lost long ago?"
"This is the real deal. I heard that it was in Master Zhou's possession. Master Zhou spent a lot of money to get this piece. To be able to see it today is really our honor!"
"This won't do, I definitely need to get a picture of this later!"
"Eh, isn't that Teacher Cheng's calligraphy? Seems like his cursive calligraphy has had a breakthrough in the past year!"
"Haha, President Wu is also showing her calligraphy today. Little Wu's words have always been so elegant. It's beautiful no matter how you look at it. It's very rare in the calligraphy world."
No one went to the second floor, since the banquet had not started yet. Everyone was just hanging around in the backyard discussing the exhibited works today. Although it was not an official exhibition, the works that were displayed were even more rare and precious than those in official exhibitions. In an insiders' exchange, no one hid anything from each other. The Calligraphy Association 31st anniversary gathering could also be seen as an exhibition of academic achievements.
Wu Zeqing had already arrived and was chatting with a few friends.
The other person who was celebrating a birthday today was Old Master Wei. He was around 80 years of age and was seated on a solid wood antique chair. A number of juniors went up to greet him.
"Master Wei, how are you doing?"
"I'm not as good anymore. Getting old. Hur Hur."
"I can't see that. The calligraphy that you put up on display shows that you are still going strong!"
The yard was scattered with people that numbered around 70 to 80. Those who were present today were the elites of the calligraphy and literature world and their families. All of them were important people and even the lowest of them were well established members of the calligraphy association. Of course, there weren't that many people who turned up. After all, it wasn't a decennial anniversary, so there were no guests from other fields present to congratulate them. It was just a normal gathering using the anniversary as an excuse.
At this moment, Su Na stepped in, "Dad!"
Father Su looked to be in his fifties. His hair hadn't grayed much, but his mustache had already turned white, "Why are you so late? Didn't you leave early this morning?"
Su Na chuckled, "I met a colleague at the front door and we chatted for a while."
Thereafter, Zhang Ye followed in behind and entered the backyard, but as he was wearing shades and did not have much in common with those from the calligraphy world, no one recognized him. In fact, some people did not even know him. At best, they would have heard of his name before!