Chapter 148 - It was you!
"I come to the Old Song's tavern to drink wine. Apart from this, I only have one more hobby; and that's to taste the best wines in the entire Tian Xiang Empire. I largely appreciated your words the last time we met, and I even went about asking about you in the entire Tian Xiang City in order to find you. When I finally saw your face in the crowd today, I was only obliged to laugh at fate. You told me that you've tasted better wines, so now you need to prove it." The middle-aged man rubbed his hands to conceal the embarrassment on his face. But the look on his face seemed more conspiring than embarrassing to Jun Mo Xie.
Jun Mo Xie was silent for a while; ever since he had come into this world, he had been using other people to extort his needs, but today this middle-aged man had given him a taste of his own medicine. There were tiny clues sprinkled all along, but Jun Mo Xie simply hadn't been able to spot them.....
This is an insult to my name! The young master Jun simply cannot allow people to find out about this! You pretended to be an 'old man', and this young master treated you properly! Why would you do such a thing?!
How do I get out of this situation now?!
The thin middle-aged man hunched a bit and took a few steps backwards as he said: "We have a truly honored guest in our presence today; remember I told you about that youngster the other day but you wouldn't believe me.... Well, he's here to save my face, and you'll finally get to meet him. Come, come out quickly." The man said these words not to Jun Mo Xie, but to someone else.....
The thick-skinned middle aged man went inside into the back of the shop. As for his two body guards, they had already disappeared from sight and were presumably hidden in the dark somewhere nearby.
Jun Mo Xie's heart hesitated a bit as the middle-aged man returned with a slightly older man since it seemed that he had seen this man before. The feel and the stature of this man wasn't evidently familiar, but Jun Mo Xie still felt a bit strange in his mind. As that man smiled at Jun Mo Xie, the young master Jun started thinking harder about his identity.
"I've heard very highly of your words, and I've thought a lot about these ones in particular: 'the true act of drinking is to drink to one's emotions! Or even to one's thoughts! Pouring wine into one's belly cannot be considered the true act of drinking wine. That is simply the act of wasting good wine!' this sentence of yours won my heart over."
Old Song graciously greeted his guest as he continued to speak: "Obviously, I've been fermenting wine for decades now, and in the world of making wine, no man can boast to be better than me. But you defiled my lifetime's work in one sentence... that is a bit sad...."
"Yes, just pouring wine into one's belly is nothing short of wasting it." Jun Mo Xie looked at the two men as they set a wine jar on his table, but was still unable to tell their real intentions.
"Ha ha, I would like to know why the young man considers it to be a waste of good wine?" Old Song seemed very modest as a ray of light shone through his muddy eyes.
"What is wine?" Jun Mo Xie asked a question: "The hearts of the men in this world love wine, but why? What is the point of wine?"
"What is wine?" Old Song repeated the question to himself, feeling a bit disconsolate. He had just claimed that he was the best wine maker in the world, but then, what is wine? Even he couldn't come up with a good answer to this question. If you say that wine is just another beverage.... Then that's an insult to wine. But beyond that, what is it?
"Wine is an emotion!" Jun Mo Xie switched his tone to a very serious one: "So the act of drinking by that ideology changes with the emotion. If you drink in a merry state of mind, then the wine will make you happy; if one drinks in celebration, then the wine becomes the celebration; if one drinks in a depressed frame of mind, then the wine becomes a broom which sweeps the worry from one's mind, and makes one forget! When one visits a friend or a close confidant, then the wine is a concert. When one says good bye to a friend, the wine becomes a token of farewell! When soldiers drink wine on the battle field, the wine becomes the wine of blood since it will help in killing the enemy!"
"Next comes wine tasting; when one is tasting a wine, the mood of the taster becomes the true taste of the wine." Jun Mo Xie poured himself a cup and drained it down in one single gulp, and then said with a sparse look on his face: "When wandering uncertain and alone is a faraway land, the wine becomes a flavor of homesickness! When toasted by a stranger in a foreign land, the wine becomes a symbol of a new friendship!"
"Good words, amazing words! Splendid! That was really enlightening, young man!" Old Song and the middle-aged man seemed hooked to this passage, and stared at each other dumbstruck for a while; Old Song was the first one to snap out of the thought and started to praise again.
"What was so enlightening about this phrase?" Jun Mo Xie sneered: "There's no high-end and low-end wine, I feel that it's all about the difference in mental state of the drinker! Tasting wine is gentleman's game, but a real wine taster is one who has drunk with thousands of different people since only then will one be able to taste the different emotions of wine!"
"There are no poor or rich when it comes to drinking wine; regardless of the status of a man, if the man knows how to drink, then they can experience the different flavors of its emotion. If one doesn't drink with emotion while tasting different wines, then the man only adds to their knowledge of the wine's effect on the taste buds, but will never be able to feel the wine since they are just devouring a cup with no feelings!"
"So when it comes to the act of tasting wine without feeling any emotion, I can only rate it as second-grade wine drinking since it is not the real act of drinking but just another elegant act. Although one still won't spoil the name of the wine, but the man will not be a true gentleman to the act of drinking!" Jun Mo Xie stated generously.
The middle-aged man and Old Song seemed as if they both wanted to say something, but both men were strongly refraining from interrupting him, and were patiently listening to his words to get to the bottom of his ideology. However, both men were laughing within their hearts at the words of this juvenile as they inwardly agreed and disagreed to his words at different points, and both men could tell that his words were eluding enough to mean different things to different people.
Jun Mo Xie looked sideways and said: "The act of sampling wine is nothing more than a cliché. Regardless of whether one drinks in a pub over a conversation, or inside a brothel over a pleasurable interaction, or in a mansion with friends, or over a business or a political deal, they drink with emotion, and will still always be superior to wine tasters!"
Both men remained silent after listening to Jun Mo Xie's 'enlightening' words, but nodded slightly as they felt a strange but faint sense of pride: we've been drinking for decades, so we should be regarded as true wine drinkers, right?
The young master Jun wasn't done yet, and extended his two fingers as he gently shook them: "Based on these two terms, your wine would fall into the second-grade......"
"Nonsense!" Old Song was finally infuriated by Jun Mo Xie's words, and thundered out loud to defend his product. We both are confident that I'm the best wine maker in this country; even though your theory is right, but I've steeped decades of my life in making wine, so calling my wine second-grade is surely taking it a little too far!
Jun Mo Xie paid no attention to the two angry men, and continued: "You're still not convinced that your wine is second-rate. You have steeped decades into making and tasting wine; so your seniority in that respect cannot be denied, but this so called wine tasting seniority has a precondition since you do not enjoy the wine. Your wine may be of quality, but since you sell it for the experience and not the emotion, it qualifies as second-rate since the experience itself is insufficient in terms of the true act of drinking wine!"
Jun Mo Xie shook his two stretched-out fingers again: "This is the reason that you believed that I possess a wine which is better than the Old Song Tavern's wine. Based on my knowledge of wine, I can bluntly say that your wine is harsh on the throat since it lacks the emotion."
Even though his passage seemed to be twisting words to force logic, it was already beginning to sell.
"Your words were very rational and opened my eyes to a new horizon; however, when it comes to wine, this Old Song has travelled the world, and it is demeaning to say that my wine is harsh on the throat since that would mean that the other wines are even worse off!" Old Song seemed very displeased since Jun Mo Xie had called his wine second-rate and couldn't help raising his eyebrows in a challenging manner.
I have obviously spent my whole life in making wine, and no one can dare to say that their wine is superior to mine. When it comes to the world of making wine, no one possess the secrets of my wine making, and then this kid is actually calling my wine harsh? Old Song obviously couldn't help being angry, but still couldn't come up with any plausible rebuttals to defend his production since he knew that even though his wine was better than the majority of other wines in the market, but it wouldn't be surprising if there was one wine which was better in every respect. On top of that, based on Jun Mo Xie's theory, the act of drinking wine had nothing to do with the quality of the wine by itself!
Jun Mo Xie sensed that the man was feeling extreme indignation, so he didn't argue back.
The middle-aged man pricked his ears as he looked from one man to the other, and then he suddenly narrowed his eyes and said: "Old Song, if our little brother can come up with a wine which is a hundred times stronger than yours, then what would you say?"
"I would accept him as my teacher!" Old Song raised his eyebrows again in a challenging manner as he blurted out. At this moment, his entire body was completely straight which seemed to reflect a strong sense of self-confidence and pride!
In addition to his confident and proud posture, there was a trace of sincerity in his body language, almost as if he would really accept a better wine maker as his teacher!
Jun Mo Xie's heart suddenly jumped into action as he instantly confirmed the identity of Old Song! He turned out to be!
Previously, when Jun Mo Xie had resolved the situation at the Huang Hua hall with his uncle, Jun Wu Yi, they had realized that they were being followed by a mysterious Xuan Qi expert, who later turned out to be a Sku Xuan expert! Although Jun Mo Xie's artifice had scared the man away, but this man was still stronger than his uncle, so there was no way that Jun Mo Xie could have ever forgotten about him! After careful analysis, Jun Mo Xie had come to realize that this man was indeed stronger than the likes of Xiao Han, and was only slightly inferior to his grandfather, Jun Zhan Tian!
Who would have ever thought that there could be an association between the Old Song tavern's owner and that Sky Xuan expert?!
While uttering those last few words in a fit of rage, Old Song's mood had inadvertently fluctuated a bit, exuding a mild trace of his Xuan Qi.
Even though this exposed Xuan Qi fleeted through the atmosphere in a very small quantity, it was enough for Jun Mo Xie to recognize the association between the two figures, which had now started to coincide in his mind. Like a slow-motion movie, the two silhouettes continued to come closer in his mind, while continuing to resemble each other more and more with every passing frame; every action, and every movement of the two figures continued to repeat in Jun Mo Xie's mind, until the two figures combined to form a whole and became the same person!
Old Song, it was you!