Chapter 368: Consecutively Winning Three Rounds!
"A Mooring on the Qinhuai River".
The author was Du Mu.
This poem was the poet of his world, Du Mu's recollections in 'A Mooring on the Qinhuai River'. The first half described the night view of the Qinhuai River. The second half expressed his regret, deriding those rulers who did not learn their lessons but indulged in debauchery. It expressed the author's concern and deep affections for his country's fate. If one wanted to count, this was also a very famous seven word poem in Zhang Ye's world. Using it to win the second round of a calligraphy competition was quite overkill.
As long as they won.
Anyway, those poems were just left there in the dust.
Zhang Ye returned to his seat to take a break. He drank a mouthful of water and found it quite boring. After writing twice, he felt like drinking some wine. His gaze then looked towards at a few bottles of white wine on the tea table. In ancient times, there was the notion of composing poems while drinking wine. At the Calligraphy Association's anniversary, there naturally could not be a lack of these. Many calligraphers were chronic alcoholics. They couldn't survive without alcohol. Zhang Ye did not stand on ceremony. He grabbed a bottle and poured a cup of wine for himself.
"Drinking?" Wu Zeqing asked.
Zhang Ye said, "Yea, drinking a bit."
Wu Zeqing smiled, "I was lucky that you happened to have such a quick response just now."
Zhang Ye whispered, "Blame it on them being so unparticular." As he said, he brought the cup of wine to his mouth. The burning flavor entered his throat as it went from his throat to his stomach.
It was refreshing!
He had a face of enjoyment.
Everyone had their idiosyncrasies when producing calligraphy. For example, some would like to take a nap before writing. Some were accustomed to taking a bath and changing clothes before writing. Some liked to write deep into the night. They had their own idiosyncrasies and habits, there was not only one. Naturally, there were people who liked to write after drinking. These external items of habits before writing was mostly used to help the calligrapher enter their optimal state.
Wu Zeqing drank her tea. "Drink less. Hur Hur. I'll still be counting on you in a while."
"Sure." Zhang Ye carried on drinking his wine. "I know my tolerance level, so don't worry. I won't drink too much."
After two rounds, Master Zhou took into account that Wu Zeqing's team only had two people, so he decided to let them have a moment of rest. He was in no hurry to begin the second round.
"Teacher." Master Zhou's disciple looked at Zhang Ye with a look of wonder. He could not help but ask, "Which master's relative or disciple is he?"
Master Zhou shook his head, "A master's disciple? Just his ability in composing poems on the spot and his proficient knowledge in calligraphy is enough to call him a master already."
The disciple said in a stunned manner, "You think so highly of him?"
Master Zhou laughed, losing some of his composure. "It's not me thinking highly of him. It's just that you lack the ability to evaluate him. It is a pity these two poems were produced in modern times. If they were produced in ancient times, and in the environment of those periods, with the support of some allusions and historical background, and written by some historical figure, I believe these two poems would definitely be immortalized. Such a pity. In present day's literature, there is not much space for ancient poems, if not... Hur Hur."
On the other team.
Master Wei did not speak and rested with his eyes closed.
The others began to come up with a strategy.
"They won two rounds already. It's not good, not good at all."
"It's Elder Wei's birthday. The Old Master wants the calligraphy piece, so we have to win it for him."
"The other side has an unfathomable figure. Does anyone have any strategies against him?"
"Hur Hur. Is there a need for a strategy? The young lad just got lucky. How can so many of us lose to a young kid like him?"
"Old Li, don't be careless. Even Old Feng and Old Wang lost. It's best not to underestimate him."
"I wonder what the next topic would be. It seems this youth's attainment in ancient poetry is very high. Only a person like Master Wei can compete evenly with him. However, he might not be good at writing melody poems. No matter how high his attainment is, he can't be good at everything. He has to be lacking in something."
Everyone discussed for a long while. If it was just a competition purely based on calligraphy, many of the calligraphers present were not afraid of the youth in shades. The youth's words were very good, but it did not reach the peak of perfection. Compared to many calligraphers, he was still lacking. They had been writing all their lives, so they naturally would not lose in this aspect. However, the problem was his ancient poetry was written in such a superb manner and to the point. It also had the mood, so even though his calligraphy skills were not perfect, he had the advantage of the ancient poetry's mood. They were vexed over this!
A while later.
Master Zhou spoke, "Alright, let's begin the third round."
Master Wei picked - Lychee.
Wu Zeqing picked - Seven-word quatrain.
Everyone stared over. Another ancient poem? Seven words?
Master Zhou announced, "The third round's topic requires a seven-word quatrain. The poem must have the word 'lychee' in it. Everyone can begin choosing their representative to give an answer. The time to prepare for and complete this round begins now!"
The moment the voice dissipated, someone volunteered from Master Wei's team. "Old Master Wei, let me do it this round. I'm beginning to itch after watching all day."
"Alright." Master Wei chuckled.
This was Chief Yang, who was in his forties. He was one of the administrators of the Calligraphy Association.
Chief Yang immediately began writing the moment he arrived. It seemed like he was trying to seize the opportunity.
A few calligraphers began to laugh. This match was finally in the bag. Chief Yang's calligraphy skills might be not much different from the youth in shades. It was quite comparable, but this time the ancient poem was different. Lychee? Seven words? In the last dynasty, there was a very famous poem about lychee. It did not go into textbooks, but was something many people who studied literature knew! The opposing youth was adept at ancient poems, but no matter how good he was, he couldn't match such a famous poem, right? As the previous topics were too broad, the two calligraphers failed to showcase their normal standards. They could not write a poem with the mood that they had wanted. Now, with a good topic, it was time for them to express themselves freely. Of course, they were filled with confidence!
Wu Zeqing had already guessed what Chief Yang would write. "Who shall do it?"
"...Let me do it." Zhang Ye had just drank some wine, so he felt like he was floating. He felt perfectly fine.
"Alright." Wu Zeqing cautioned, "Remember not to write 'Praise'. He is definitely writing that. Even if you go forward, you won't be able to write it faster than Chief Yang."
Zhang Ye blinked. "What's 'Praise'?"
Wu Zeqing, "....Alright then, pretend I said nothing."
When the surrounding people heard this, they nearly fainted. You have never heard of such a famous seven-word poem? To think you dabble in calligraphy? Those two poems from before must have been blindly written, right!?
Some felt that the youth in shades was faking it. It was impossible that he did not know this poem. There were not many ancient poems that wrote about lychee throughout history. This was nothing like plums or orchids that people wrote all the time. Lychee was something quite unpopular. The poem, "Praise" was also not devoted to lychees. It was about something else, and even wrote about love.
However, they did not know that this fellow, Zhang Ye really did not know anything about "Praise". The world had changed, and he had not undergone the education environment of this world. So naturally, he was unfamiliar with this famous poem.
Chief Yang was done writing.
Master Zhou looked over and nodded his head gently. It was written very well. Old Yang had done well today. Every stroke was just right. He had expressed the poem pretty well. Hur Hur, Old Wei's side had finally been able to grab a round?
Then, Zhang Ye began writing!
Master Zhou looked over with great interest.
However, the moment he began to write, the entire scene turned silent all of a sudden!
Zhang Ye had switched back to Wang Xizhi's running-standard script. Previously, it was his first time writing, so he was a bit unfamiliar and unpracticed. The way he wrote was a bit lacking, but this time, he could fully express the hundred Calligraphy Skillbook's prowess. His calligraphy skills increased once again!
From Changan the palace embroidered the scene, on the mountain top palace gates opened one by one.
One horse rider kicking up red dust, the concubine laughs, no one knew it was the lychee express arriving.
It was Du Mu again!
"Passing By Huaqing Palace"!
As the judge, Master Zhou should not speak. However, after seeing Zhang Ye's poem, he could not help it. "What a good 'one horse rider kicking up red dust, the concubine laughs, no one knew it was the lychee express arriving'!"
The others were also stunned!
"What poem is this?"
"Holy sh*t! Why have I not heard of it before?"
"Another impromptu work? What the f**k is with his literary skill!?"
"Who has won? And Is it just me, or has this youth's words improved? Could it be that the running-standard script in his first poem was him not giving his all? He was just writing it in a perfunctory manner? Only now is he going all out?"
"It definitely is!:
"We were all wrong!"
"He only became serious now?"
Everyone was concerned about this round's outcome.
Master Zhou laughed and did not even look at Chief Yang's words. Instead, he looked fondly at Zhang Ye's "Passing by Huaqing Palace" without being able to help himself. Eventually he said loudly, "In terms of calligraphy skill, Old Yang lost by a tiny bit. And in the mood of the ancient poem with the calligraphy's mood, Old Yang...still lost by a bit. I might lack the authority, and this might just be my personal opinion. I personally think 'Passing by Huaqing Palace' is cut higher than 'Praise'! One horse rider kicking up red dust, the concubine laughs, no one knew it was the lychee express arriving. That line alone is worthy of praise!"
He had won again!
He had won three consecutive rounds!
Following that, a disciples of Chief Yang said in an unconvinced manner. "'Praise' is a famous work, as for 'Passing by Huaqing Palace'? It's just a casual creation."
Master Zhou cut him off. "Maybe in a few decades or in a few centuries, 'Passing by Huaqing Palace' might also become a famous piece of work. We cannot reject its literary value because of its lack of age. What do you think?"
"Elder Zhou is right."
"That's right, the last line is really the crowning touch!"
"No one knew it was the lychee express arriving? It's indeed good!"
The few people on Master Wei's team who had tried to come up with ideas turned speechless. They thought that the topic being broader would cause the opposing youth to stumble, thinking that even if he would come up with a impromptu piece of work, he would not be better than the ancient wisdoms passed down over hundreds and thousands of years. Who knew he really f**king came up with a seven-word ancient poem that could match the wisdom of the ancients on the spot! And he had even exceeded them!
Many of the family members on the second floor of the restaurant were excited by the commotion downstairs. One by one, they came downstairs to join in the bustle.
More and more people were dying of curiosity!
Who was this youth that came from nowhere!?
Su Na was sincerely happy for Zhang Ye. She was also overjoyed. She cared not for the chaos in the world and cheered for Zhang Ye. Teacher Zhang was indeed Teacher Zhang! An amateur against dozens of calligraphers? He actually still had the upper hand! This result was something that flabbergasted many!