Chapter 367: Two rounds down!
In the back yard.
The atmosphere was lit up!
The shades-wearing youth's poem had amazed everyone!
Zhang Ye went back to sit down and had another sip of tea. Only he knew that this work was not any ordinary poem. This was the fourth of the "Missing You" five-part series. It was Yuan Zhen's work. The first line of the poem was known by everyone in his world. Many artistic and video productions had used it before. The value and influence of this poem was obvious. It was one of the most precious poems in his world's history.
How could this not win?
If it didn't win, then Zhang Ye might as well kill himself!
Master Zhou coughed aloud to motion for silence. Then he said, "The first match is over, yes, I will announce the winner now....."
Teacher Wang said with a wry smile, "Elder Zhou, you don't have to speak further. He beat me fair and square."
Master Zhou smiled as he nodded. "Little Wang, your calligraphy is also very good. It has more depth than last year. Let's discuss more when you have the time."
Teacher Wang cheered up, "I happen to have a lot of questions that I need your guidance on."
He went back to the side of Master Wei's team to the teasing of many of his team mates.
"Old Wang, are you OK?"
"Hur Hur, lost to a junior."
The good natured ridiculing was because they were all rather good friends.
Teacher Wang said helplessly, "I had no hope, the youngsters these days are really too good. The new generation has surpassed the older ones. Everyone should be a little more careful from here on."
The first match ended.
The next match was beginning.
Zhang Ye and Teacher Wang's calligraphy had been taken away for drying and the table had new Xuan paper scrolls laid on it.
Wu Zeqing was smiling and sat beside Zhang Ye, "Little Zhang, you've given me yet another surprise. Didn't you say your calligraphy skill was lacking? Then who wrote those words just now?"
Zhang Ye said nervously, "I just blindly wrote it."
Wu Zeqing asked, "The competition from now on won't be easy."
Zhang Ye answered, "It'll be fine. I got lucky and won the first round. Let's see how the rest goes. I still have you to back me up anyway." He even took the chance to curry favor with Wu Zeqing.
Look buddy, this bro's getting more street smart by the day!
Seeing President Wu and the youth chatting happily, Master Wei's team of dozens of calligraphers turned serious. They no longer took their opponents lightly and prepared to take him on instead. Actually, with their literary standards, at least 70-80% of them could spontaneously compose ancient poems that met the requirements of a random draw. They would not be limited to works of the ancients, but creating something new had its risks. Firstly, it had to be relevant, secondly, if they lacked the inspiration, it was difficult to produce something good. They had all witnessed the youth's talents already. That poem was definitely a one-off inspirational piece and could not be repeated again. So they did not fear much as they had more people on their side! So many of them could not compete against just two people? Wouldn't that be a joke!?
Master Zhou smiled, "Let the second round begin. Draw your topics."
This time, it was Wu Zeqing who picked a random topic. It was an empty slip, without any words on it. This probably meant there was no topic restriction for this round.
Master Wei also chose one - Courtyard Flowers*.
Zhang Ye took a look, wondering why there would be such an erotic kind of topic?
Master Zhou said, "The second round's topic is limited to 'Courtyard Flowers'. You can begin."
"Let me go up this round." Wu Zeqing smiled and went forward to pick up a brush to begin writing.
The people on Master Wei's side was slower by a tiny bit, but a man in his fifties quickly stood forward. "Leave this round to me."
"You want to go up?"
"You will absolutely not have a problem."
"Mr. Feng will definitely clinch victory!"
It was unknown why Mr. Feng was in such a rush. He hurriedly walked forward to write. He only hastily dabbed his brush into the ink. So although he stepped forward after Wu Zeqing, he had written it faster. It was cursive script!
Su Na knew this person. "Eh? Isn't Uncle Feng adept at regular script?"
A person in the know beside her said, "Yes, but you will know why if you carry on watching."
Wu Zeqing was using running-standard script, so she was slower!
Only then did Zhang Ye realize that the two of them were writing the same thing!
"Courtyard Flowers" or "A Song of Courtyard Flowers" was about an author's disappointment at the rulers and his deep worries about the impending danger to the state. The poem was describing the process within the palace during the downfall of a dynasty. Zhang Ye's world also had "A Song of Courtyard Flowers", but it did not receive rave reviews. It appeared like this world also had similar works. With a scan, Zhang Ye realized it was not very similar to his world's "A Song of Courtyard Flowers". The phrases used were different, but the meaning was about the same. It was all about debauchery and extravagance!
Suddenly, Mr Feng smiled and put down his brush. "Sorry about that Little Wu, I finished writing it first."
Master Zhou glanced at Mr Feng and then said, "According to the rules, our calligraphy competition does not allow the use of similar works. Since Old Feng finished writing first, Little Wu, your calligraphy cannot be used."
He was playing dirty!
Why didn't you say that Old Wu was the one who first began writing!
Zhang Ye laughed as a result of his rage. There were such rules? No wonder Mr Feng was in such a rush. He even used cursive script which was recognized as the fastest calligraphy script? He was planning on pushing Wu Zeqing into a ditch. The poems they wrote weren't too short, and had spent three minutes writing it. If Wu Zeqing had to write another poem, she might not even make it in time. Heh, go f**k your sister!
Wu Zeqing looked at Mr Feng and said with a smile, "Teacher Feng, you aren't being very particular."
Mr Feng chuckled. "I have no other way. In history, there is only that "Courtyard Flowers". If you were to write it, I wouldn't have anything to write. It's not me pushing you into a ditch, Little Wu. Haha, it's a problem with the topic. This topic is too stringent, it clearly wanted to see who could finish writing first. If you wrote it faster than me, I would also have to admit defeat. Your running-standard script has a style of an expert. My cursive script might not be your match. I'll probably need regular script to be able to compete with you." With a laugh, Mr Feng shook his work and said, "Shall I recite it once? Actually it's possible to sing it, but there's no string accompaniment, so it wouldn't sound good." This poem was also a melody and was very famous.
You even wanted to sing?
Why are you so smug!?
Zhang Ye placed his teacup down heavily!
The judge, Master Zhou said, "There's another 90 seconds. Little Wu, are you going to carry on writing?"
Su Na was so vexed that she nearly spat a mouthful of blood. What the heck Uncle Feng!? She planned on pretending not to know who he was in the future. It was a disgrace to artists! Look at how well mannered President Wu was. She wasn't even annoyed at this!
Wu Zeqing placed her brush down. "I won't be able to write one out in time. For this round, I can only..."
Just as she was about to admit defeat, Zhang Ye pounced forward. Without a word, he picked up the brush and began writing on the Xuan paper with the brush!
After a momentary start, Wu Zeqing smiled and moved aside.
"There can be a last minute substitution?" Mr. Feng asked.
Master Zhou answered, "It's a team competition, so that's alright." He was a bit speechless towards Old Feng's unbecoming bearing as an elder. It was just a competition, was there a need to do that?
Mr Feng quipped, "Alright, I also want to see what this young lad can write about Courtyard Flowers. Maybe I'll also broaden my horizons. Hur Hur Hur."
Everyone did not know what Zhang Ye could write, furthermore, there was not much time left!
However, Mr Feng's yellow incisor teeth could no longer reveal a smile the next moment!
Zhang Ye used half a minute to finish the poem. He knew running-standard script would not make it in time, so he used cursive script!
Of course it was not any ordinary cursive script!
He once again used Wang Xizhi's cursive script!
It was written simply, and the emulation was not perfect. Cursive script was, after all, too difficult for Zhang Ye, but even a barely satisfactory version of Wang Xizhi's cursive script was already full of flair!
The font was so illegible that it made people look in askance!
Not many people could recognize such calligraphy. Only those who were adept at cursive script would be able to read it.
Zhang Ye was also very understanding. Noticing how many people could not understand all the words, he began reciting after he finished writing. "Mist veils the cold stream, and moonlight the sand. As I moor in the shadow of a river-tavern. Where girls, with no thoughts of a perished kingdom..." Upon reciting to this point, Zhang Ye looked at Mr. Feng and smiled, "Gaily echo 'A Song of Courtyard Flowers'."
Su Na nearly burst out in laughter!
Mr Feng's face turned green. Heh! Why are you scolding me!?
Numerous people around were startled upon hearing this. Was there such a poem? There was none in history! Holy sh*t, did you just create it on the spot again? In that remaining minute, not only did you finish the work, you even included 'Courtyard Flowers' into the poem, and took the opportunity to scold!? Mr Feng had just finished writing "Courtyard Flowers' and was excitedly about to engage in a song and dance, yet you attacked back in an instant? What did the girls represent? They were courtesans who sold their bodies! Courtesans, who sold their bodies, had no thoughts of a perished kingdom, and across the river, they sang 'A Song of Courtyard Flowers'!?
His mouth was really toxic!
Using calligraphy to curse? What sort of skill was that!?
Master Zhou and Wu Zeqing were also amused. This poem was too interesting. From a literary point of view, this poem was one of the best amongst the top graded poems. It had a profound meaning behind it! The sarcasm was very intense!
Master Wei: "..."
Master Wei turned around. "Does anyone know this young lad?"
Everyone shook their heads. "No, I've never seen him."
A calligrapher said in amazement, "Where did this person come from? Even Old Wang and Old Feng are not his match? That's not right. The winner has not been decided yet. We'll see what Master Zhou has to say."
Everyone was waiting for Master Zhou's judgment.
Master Zhou smiled and said, "Why is everyone looking at me?"
A youth said, "We are waiting for your judgment."
Master Zhou said without any hesitation, "Is there a need? Both of their skills in cursive script are comparable. There are tiny problems. Old Feng and this young lad are probably not particularly good in cursive script. So I'll not talk about it. Hur Hur. However, for the content, this young lad on Little Wu's side is clearly superior. No, not only is it superior, it is of a completely different realm, so the victor is clear."
In his heart, Mr. Feng was not unconvinced. Instead, he admired this youth in sunglasses. He gave a thumbs up. "A young person's abilities must be respected!"
Zhang Ye pretended to be polite, "Thank you."
Having won this round, Wu Zeqing's side had already clinched two victories!
In the beginning, everyone thought Wu Zeqing's side having two people would result in utter defeat, but who knew the outcome would be so surprising. Out came this devil incarnate. This unknown youth in sunglasses had repeatedly defeated two calligraphers, Teacher Wang and Mr. Feng. There was no chance for Wu Zeqing to even participate!