Chapter 375: Wu Zeqing Sending Him Home!
The gathering started once again.
The dishes were served.
Following the birth of "Ode of Mulan", the earlier dispute was also settled. No one brought up those irrelevant sideshows. Everyone continued to eat and drink in the backyard, while those who hadn't given their gifts continued doing so.
"Master Wei, I wish you longevity and health."
"Sister Wu, this is just a little token of mine."
"Sister Wu, I've written a scroll of words, but it is incomparable to the 'Ode of Mulan' which Teacher Zhang gave to you. But it is also my heartfelt token to you."
"With 'Ode of Mulan' appearing, I feel quite embarrassed to give a present."
"Hahaha, me too. It makes me feel like not taking the gift out."
"Eh, my head is full of those words from that poem - 'The he-hare's feet go hop and skip, the she-hare's eyes are muddled and fuddled; Two hares running side by side close to the ground. How can they tell if I am he or she?' That was really great! In ancient times, there existed Hua Mulan! In modern times, we have President Wu! I have a feeling that this 'Ode of Mulan' would become folklore within a few decades to a century. It will definitely be passed on into the ages and after a millennia, we would also be a part of the origin story of 'Ode of Mulan'. When people talk about this folk song poem, they would inherently mention us too. In the past, it has always been us who have been researching the ancients' origin stories, but who would have expected that we would become an example to future generations too!"
"Teacher Zhang is a genius!"
"Yea, there's nothing more precious than that gift!"
"What a great Hua Mulan! What a great 'Ode of Mulan'!"
"If I could compose such a great folk song poem, I would definitely seal my brush and stop writing!"
Everyone continued eating or presenting their gifts while they immersed themselves in the emotions that "Ode of Mulan" had brought to them.
Master Zhou was a small but fast eater. After he finished and wiped his mouth, "I'm done, please excuse me." Then he looked over to Wu Zeqing, "Little Wu, why did you keep that folk song poem scroll away? Bring it out so that I can make a copy of it."
Wu Zeqing smiled, "You want to write it out too?"
Master Zhou nodded, "My hands are getting itchy. To have encountered such a great poem, to even have witnessed its birth before my very eyes, of course I would have to make a copy of it." Then he turned to Zhang Ye to ask, "Little Zhang, may I go through the words of 'Ode of Mulan'? Don't sue me for copyright infringement, OK? Hur Hur."
Zhang Ye immediately said, "Sure, it would be my honor."
After Master Zhou had his disciples to prepare the Four Treasures of the Study, he did not start writing. He first began by appreciating the piece for over ten minutes and then closed his eyes for a long time before he picked up his brush. He wanted to digest all of the content before he even dared to write!
When Master Zhou's version of "Ode of Mulan" was done, everyone cheered!
"Old Master Zhou's skills are indeed extraordinary!"
But Master Zhou was still unsatisfied, he waved his hands saying, "It is the content that is good, not my words. Besides, my calligraphy style does not suit the feel of this work. It is too strong and does not complement the meaning well. It doesn't have Little Zhang's carefree style of expression and lacks some of the meaning."
A lot of people had already gathered around after the meal to take pictures. Some of them were photographing Master Zhou's "Ode of Mulan", but even more of them were using their phones to take photographs of Zhang Ye's "Ode of Mulan". Indeed, Zhang Ye's writing of "Ode of Mulan", in terms of words, thickness of strokes, arrangement, and font were all slightly better than Master Zhou's. Such a conclusion was no surprise since Zhang Ye was the original author anyway. Of course he would have understood the passage more clearly than Master Zhou!
Some people had posted Zhang Ye's words onto the internet. Including some of those poems and couplets from earlier. Such beautiful things had to be shared!
The Calligraphy Association's anniversary gathering was suddenly in the spotlight!
"Having crossed the vast oceans, I can no longer take a river seriously"
"If it's not on Mount Wushan, it's not a cloud? What a great poem!"
"Where girls, with no thoughts of a perished kingdom? A Song of Courtyard Flowers?"
"Damn it! (jì mò hán chuāng kōng shǒu guǎ, in this lonely and tiny unit as a widow)? How can there be a second verse to this!"
"Quick, everyone! Read this 'Ode of Mulan'! It's really too awesome! Who wrote it?"
"I would like to know too! These other poems are acceptable even if they were good, but 'Ode of Mulan' was really too shockingly good! These words, this literary style, such a story, who could have told it?"
"Look at the signature on this picture!"
"This....this looks like Zhang something?"
"F**k! It's Zhang Ye!"
"Ah! The signature is really Zhang Ye's!"
Thereafter, someone called Eastern Being on Weibo, supposedly a person who was at the Calligraphy Association gathering and also the original poster of the original articles clarified below, "Today is the anniversary gathering of the Calligraphy Association. It is also Peking University's Vice President Wu Zeqing's birthday. Teacher Zhang Ye was invited to join in the occasion and came up with these poems and couplet. Regarding the finale piece, which was 'Ode of Mulan', it was a gift from Teacher Little Zhang to President Wu for her birthday. When the poem was written, it felt to me as if there would no longer be any other folk song poems anymore. 'Ode of Mulan' is really the pinnacle of folk song poems!"
The viewers all became excited.
"Aha? It's really written by Teacher Zhang?"
"Fuck, when did Zhang Ye pick up calligraphy?"
"Is there anything Teacher Zhang Ye does not know? How does he know everything?"
"Hur Hur, this sort of poem, I guess only Zhang Ye could have written it. With this kind of literary depth and storytelling skills combined, I'm afraid that in this world, only Zhang Ye has this sort of ability to write that! Not only is he a literary practitioner, he's even a best-selling novelist!"
"I don't care who wrote it! 'Ode of Mulan' is just too good! It makes my blood boil with passion! Mulan is truly a female warrior amongst female warriors! A role model!"
"This is too awesome!"
"Mulan's is too cool!"
"Good words, great passage! Teacher Zhang has shown his prowess again!"
"Who else is at the gathering right now? Quickly tell us everything in detail!"
Someone really came forward to report what had happened at the gathering. It was relayed through this person how Zhang Ye battled over 10 calligraphers in a competition and how 'Ode of Mulan' was composed on the spot!
Everyone became excited when they heard this!
A calligraphy competition?
Zhang Ye's too awesome! The was the tempo of one man holding out against ten thousand!
"Ode of Mulan" had been forwarded by countless people and began appearing on other Tieba pages and large discussion forums. It had won over numerous women!
In the past, even though Zhang Ye was liked by people of all genders and ages, the people who liked him were mainly men. After all, the things that Zhang Ye wrote were usually violent things like hitting, killing, and scolding people. He spoke about things like the 'Three Kingdoms' and 'Dream of the Red Chamber', which were ancient classic works which were studied more by men. Although many women liked to read 'Dream of the Red Chamber' too, most of them just read it and didn't stress about the details, but men liked to research such topics and as such, 70% of Zhang Ye's fanbase was male, but when "Ode of Mulan" was born, Zhang Ye suddenly had his "affinity with women" shoot right up. His female fanbase also multiplied exponentially!
It was almost 3 in the afternoon.
The gathering had come to an end. Everyone had had their fill of food and drinks.
Su Na took the Millennial Impossibility couplet from President Wu and left satisfied with her father. The other guests also began to leave.
Zhang Ye had been made to drink a lot with Mr Feng and a few other calligraphers and was now pretty drunk. He could barely stand straight as he walked over to Wu Zeqing to say goodbye, "President Wu." He hiccuped as he said, "So then, I'll be.....crazed, you be... what's that thing, do you need me to send you back?"
Wu Zeqing had a lot of presents piled up beside her.
He only heard her say, "You've had so much to drink, how would you go back?"
"I drove here, so I have to drive back." Zhang Ye spoke with a fat tongue, but his mind was actually clear, "It'll be OK, don't worry."
Master Zhou heard him, "Yo, you shouldn't do that. If you drank, then don't drive. Let me arrange someone to send you home instead?"
Wu Zeqing smiled, "Don't bother Master Zhou. Since I did not drive here today and there are so many gifts, I could send Little Zhang back in his car. He doesn't stay too far from me."
Zhang Ye immediately said, "It's fine, President Wu."
"Just listen to me." She said, "You're already walking so wobbly, how could you drive a car?"
A heavily drunk Mr Feng also said, "Right, let....hic.....let Little Wu send you. If there's a....another chance... let's have a drink together, just the two of us brothers....again!"
Zhang Ye replied toughly, "No problem!"
They had even become brothers now. Mr Feng was actually even older than Zhang Ye's parents.
In the end, a few people helped Wu Zeqing load up all her gifts into Zhang Ye's BMW X5. They stacked them all in the back seat of the car and Wu Zeqing put Zhang Ye in the front passenger seat before grabbing the keys from his hand. She then said goodbye to Master Zhou and the others before driving off.
"Sit still." Wu Zeqing reminded.
"Yea." Zhang Ye rubbed his temple.
She shook her head and smiled as she reached out to put the seat belt across Zhang Ye's chest. "That'll do."
Ring, ring, ring.
On the way back, Zhang Ye's cellphone rang.
It was his leader, Wang Xiong, from Weiwo WebTV.
Zhang Ye answered, "Hello, Director.....Wang."
Wang Xiong could hear what was happening, "Little Zhang, what's the matter? You had a few drinks?"
"I had some, but still...OK." Zhang Ye said, "Is there something you want to say?"
Wang Xiong noticed that he was still clear-minded, and said, "It's like this, we just received news that the SARFT's revocation on your broadcast license has been lifted. We have also applied for your broadcast hosting qualifications to be reinstated. Zhang Ye's Talk Show can start airing again. Since it's almost Lunar New Year, you don't need to come back to Shanghai as all the episodes have already been recorded and are ready for broadcast, but there's something I need to let you know about." Saying that, his tone suddenly became more serious. "We've received some information which may or may not be reliable. There are rumors that the SARFT is preparing for another crackdown."
Zhang Ye begrudgingly said, "Didn't they just finish a crackdown recently?"
Wang Xiong said, "They are probably going to introduce some strict policies, which we are not clear about yet. Most of it is only hearsay, but to prevent any surprises, we had a discussion. We've decided to begin re-airing your Talk Show program from today and also to line up 4 to 5 episodes a day, not once a day as previously planned. On the surface, we are going to say that this is to make up for the stoppage of the broadcast and to prevent our loss in audience numbers. This will be the reason why we upload more content. Realistically speaking, we are trying to finish airing your talk show before the announcement of new policies because your program is actually treading on pretty thin ice with them. No one knows what policies are exactly right now, but rather than getting taken by surprise and having the possibility of your talk show being taken off air again, we will follow this new plan. This is why I've called you to inform you."
Zhang Ye said, "OK, I will leave it up to the company."
Wang Xiong laughed, "Alright then, that's all. You didn't drive, did you? Don't drive after drinking. Go back and home rest early. I'll see you after the new year."
"OK, have a happy new year."
"OK, thank you. Send my regards to your parents."
After saying a little more, they hung up.
When he put his phone away, Zhang Ye's head tilted to the side and he immediately fell asleep!