232 – Peach blossom as the theme!
Chapter 232: Peach blossom as the theme!
“Who is so cruel as to instigate them to fight immediately?”
The crowd, with such thoughts, looked in the direction of where the voice came from.
A middle-aged man in a white outfit with long hair loose over his shoulders and a huge gourd in his hand stood cheerfully behind the crowd. As he pulled the cork from the gourd, a strong aroma of alcohol wafted out. In only a short while, it had already filled the courtyard with its fragrance.
The middle-aged man had wide eyes and eyebrows, and average facial features. But his pair of eyes, black as ink, were lively. They sparkled, brightening up his entire face. It was unforgettable.
“Teacher Gu you’re here——” Someone bowed respectfully to the middle-aged man.
The person that spoke out was the man known as “the double wall of calligraphy and painting” Gu Huangwu, also a famous teacher of Starry Sky. And the master of this Walls of Peach Blossom, the Institute of Art.
All the rumours and stories about him could have been arranged into a wonderful collection of tales. Li Muyang had admired him for a long time already, but it was the first time he saw him today.
“Nice to see you Teacher Gu, what are you going to teach today teacher Gu?”
“Teacher Gu is joking——”
The crowd parted as Teacher Gu walked through, stopping in front of Li Muyang, Chu Ning and Song Tinyun. He carefully studied Li Muyang’s eyes and brows, and then said with a smile:
“What is your name?”
“A crafty guy.” Gu Huangwu remarked.
“——” Li Muyang fumed inwardly, suspecting that the so-called famous teacher of Starry Sky has been bribed by the Royal family of the West Wind. How can someone be so biased at the first time they met?
“What? You don’t agree?” Gu Huangwu had seen through Li Muyang’s mind, poured a mouthful of drink from the gourd into his mouth and said with a chuckle: “I’ve been watching you at the side for a long time, and noticed that you kid really have the ability produce clouds with one turn of your hand and rain with another. You see a gap and stick in a needle, you befog the minds of people. You never miss the tiniest of chance.”
Li Muyang cupped one hand in the other and replied: “Teacher Gu’s praise is too much, I just argued for what is right.”
Gu Huangwu nodded, stating: “That is business between the two of you, it has nothing to do with me. However, in my Walls of Peach Blossom, there can only be art competition and no weapons. Fighting and killing is the most boring thing in the world.”
“With one slash, arms, thighs, heads will all tumble to the ground, blood spattering everywhere, it’s disgusting and cruel, unbearable——Drinking wine, writing and painting the beauties of the world is much more relaxing and satisfying, right?”
The divine continent has the tendency of promoting martial spirit, many youngsters have the thirst of slaying a dragon and countless students hope of becoming a strong person of the Starry Sky one day.
If other people said ‘fighting and killing is the most boring thing in the world’, those who study marital arts and cultivate would most likely scold them to death. But when these words came from Gu Huangwu’s mouth, not only did they not feel it’s too abrupt, but right and unusually pleasing to the ear.
Gu Huangwu looked at Li Muyang and Song Tinyun, suggesting: “I just heard you two want to compete. Since you’re at the Institute of Art, then you will have to follow my rules——why don’t you two use the beauty in front of you as the theme, and each produce a piece of work for everyone to judge. What do you two think?”
Chu Ning’s eyes lit up, knowing that it’s her chance to regain the upper hand, and immediately answered: “Teacher Gu’s suggestion is wonderful, I have no objection.”
The Chu clan originally possesses talent in art, and Chu Ning had followed court painters at a young age, learning the skills and techniques of painting. Although her painting skills cannot be compared with the famous painters known throughout the Divine Continent, but among the younger generation she can be said to be at the very forefront.
Chu Ning thought that, since Li Muyang was a commoner from Jiangnan City and it is said that he used to be a useless trash, he should have no knowledge in the techniques of painting. To go against him in an art competition was completely unfair.
If this happens then, not only would she win back her respect, but she could show to the surrounding people that the Chu Clan was generous. This would have an excellent effect on the overall image of the Royal family of West Wind.
Worried that Li Muyang would refuse, Chu Ning moved her eyes across the crowd with a smile on her lips, exclaiming: “Everyone who enter Starry Sky Academy is talented. Not only should have high enough ability to reach the heavens, but they should also possess a refined and elegant mind and character. Breaking the border through martial arts is good, but writing and painting is even more wonderful. A master of both pen and sword is a real Starry Sky hero.”
“To come to the Institute of Art today, you must be sincerely interested in art. Since we have such beautiful scenery before our eyes as the source material, wouldn’t inscribing a poem or painting be a more appropriate and refined activity? If this spreads out, it will only bring fame to our Starry Sky Academy. Don’t everyone think so?”
The crowd agreed.
A martial arts duel was exciting, but an art contest was equally seductive.
Being present at the beautiful Walls of Peach Blossom, putting pen to paper and splashing ink in front of a famous teacher of Starry Sky in order to compare art skills was really pleasing to the eye and the mind. It seemed much more fun than fighting and killing.
Gu Huangwu looked at Li Muyang, smiled and asked: “Li Muyang, will you accept the challenge?”
Li Muyang smiled wryly, answering: “Teacher Gu, this is my first time at the Institute of Art, I’ve never learned to draw before——”
“Muyang classmate is too modest?” Chu Ning said smiling ‘sweetly’. “You were first in this year’s Imperial exam of the West Wind Kingdom, and the lord of Jiangnan City Yan Bolai called you ‘the pearl of Jiangnan’. A talent like you, how could it be the first time that you have came into contact with the art of painting? Do you not want everyone to appreciate your masterpiece?”
Not wanting to let Li Muyang embarrass himself, Qiandu interrupted: “I will accept the challenge on behalf of Li Muyang. I’ve been learning painting for a few years and have some experience. I can exchange techniques with the classmates.”
Chu Ning gave a sideways glance at Qiandu: she did not like any woman more beautiful than her. This was why she extremely disliked Lu Qiji. That woman’s face looked almost flawless, and adding to this she’s proud and cold, and many chased after her. Moreover, she has extremely dazzling purple hair, which people say she was born with——Are you the princess or am I the princess? You stole all the limelight.
“Who are you? Why can you substitute for Li Muyang? If it can be substituted, then I can simply invite a painting master from the palace——Is there a need to compete?” Chu Ning’s smile was full of sweetness, but her words were extremely harsh.
Qiandu calmly responded: “You’re once again a Princess?”
“You——winning is not important, what’s important is to let Teacher Gu comment and provide advice on your work, so that we can quickly improve and benefit. If you only want to win, you will lose the true purpose of this competition.”
“That’s right.” Gu Huangwi said aloud.
Li Muyang spoke out to stop Qiandu. “Since they want to compete, then I’ll compete with them. These days I’ve been studying some of the painting techniques, hopefully it would be useful today.”
Chu Ning, secretly pleased, looked at Li Muyang and asked: “Then you accept the challenge?”
“Yes.” Li Muyang smiled and nodded. Then he turned to Gu Huangwu and added: “To have the opportunity of Teacher Gu giving advice on my work is extremely rare. How can I miss it?”
“That’s good. Since both of you have no objection, then let’s officially start the contest.” Gu Huangwu poured another mouthful of liquor into his mouth before he continued: “This place is called the Walls of Peach Blossom, with the peach blossom as the theme, you two each have to present a painting. Then leave it for everyone to judge based on skills, techniques and the one with the better creative concept is the winner. Are there any objections?”