380 – Military authority and imperial power!
Chapter 380: Military authority and imperial power!
The whole world was blanketed in snow.
The woods were covered with snow, the rocks and the villages were also covered with snow.
The wind was strong and the snow was heavy, the whiteness extended to the paper, giving people the feeling that there was no end in sight.
The rough and forceful first brush stroke was modified into a branch of an old plum tree, then the specks of vermillion on the branches became a blossoming red plum blossom, bright and dazzling.
Between the boundless heaven and earth, only this one wild plum tree was blossoming against the wind, defying the bitter coldness, and revealing red flowers.
The dark colours were the woods, the mountains and rocks, while the huge blank space was the pure snow. Only the several plum blossoms were the finishing touches that bring the subject to life, it was the luster of this desolate world.
The first brushstroke was the plum tree, the root and the bone. It was also the spirit of the composition of this painting.
Li Muyang ended the last brush stroke, set the brush on the ink stone, and then expressed his thanks to the servant who had been grinding ink for him.
“Does the cart driver really know the way of painting?”
“This painting is excellent, it delights the eye, it’s a good painting right?”
“Impressive——What kind of brush technique was that? It’s a little like the Flying white technique that painting master Xu Feihong created thousands of years ago.”
Chen Wenting and a few other women went up to the table, carefully studied Li Muyang’s ‘Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly’ painting, their eyes glistening, and then their expression was much softer and gentler than before when they looked at Li Muyang.
No matter the time, talented people are always more respected by others. Although this person was not good-looking, his painting did indeed have a profound artistic conception and captures one’s attention.
Cui Xiaoxin did not look at the painting, but fixed her eyes on Li Muyang who quietly stood next to Li Shinian after finishing the painting, her long eyelashes lightly fluttered. No one knew what she was thinking about.
Li Shinian, who did not understand paintings, was rather worriedly studying everyone’s expressions, worried that someone would say ‘this drawing style is similar to that Starry Sky Li Muyang’.
Luckily, no one uttered such words.
Li Shinian felt a huge load off her heart. She was worried that her brother would do too well that he would link him together with Li Muyang. But now it seems that this worry was unnecessary.
What Li Shinian did not know was that her brother Li Muyang had fused with the Dragon King’s tear, inherited the black dragon’s memory. In the long life of the black dragon, he had learned too much painting skills, not only of his dragon clan but also the human elites——Li Muyang naturally used a different technique to draw the peach blossom painting, the ‘Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly’ and also this ‘Bitter cold snow painting’.
Li Muyang wanted to draw better, so he used the black dragon’s most skillful technique. If he wanted to draw bad to cover up his identity, he would use the techniques that the black dragon occasionally had interest in using.
The Dragon King’s tear was a huge treasure trove, there were countless and endless cultivation technique, skills and treasured objects——Li Muyang was thinking that when he has free time he should take out the treasures that the black dragon had hidden over the entire divine continent.
At that time, he would possess the wealth equivalent to that of an entire nation. Even the richest merchant of West Wind Ma Yunma may not necessarily be richer than him?
Song Tao was unblinkingly staring at the painting ‘Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly in snow’ on the table. It was only after a long while that he breathed out a heavy sigh. “Bloom proudly in snow, the snow has bone, the snow bone is in the wind, the strong wind is biting cold. Winter plum blossoms is tough and strong like a boulder. However, even an ugly branch of the tree bloomed the most beautiful flowers. The more ugly the branch, the more the plum blossoms appear to be delicate and beautiful, and makes one feel protective towards them.
Song Tao added with a taunting smile, ‘A cart driver was able to do this, do we have any reason not to work hard?”
“Third elder brother, your painting is also very good.” Someone said out loud. Pointing to a few flaws in the painting, he continued, “you see, his brush strokes are a little out of practice.”
Song Tao shook his head, unexpectedly explaining for Li Muyang. “ Indeed it can be seen that he really has not been learning for long, perhaps only a few years——”
Li Muyang said to himself ‘when have I been learning painting for 3-5 years?
It was only because he had fused with the tear of the Dragon King and had inherited a part of his memory. Moreover in this period of time he had been practicing hard, and with Master Gu Huangwu’s advice, he had made rapid progress in a short period of time and seemed to possess 3-5 years of foundation——
“But do you remember ‘A flaw in white jade’ Zhang Daiying? He was the first to propose that paintings should be flawed. Because people have joys and sorrows, the moon waxes and wanes, all things in the world are not perfect. Therefore, the painting should also have flaws, flawed painting is a good painting that is close to real life. Those flaws that you mentioned is a problem when you look carefully, but at a glance, it enhances the beauty of the landscape.”
Song Tao’s eyes swept across the crowd, saying, “this painting should be a good painting, right?”
“Naturally.” Chen Wenting nodded, “The ten realms of painting, Li Mu has at least reached the first realm. The illusion realm, the plum blossom is real, the flurry of snow in the sky is an illusion. The real and the illusion set off each other.” “
Song Tao turned to bow at Li Muyang with hands held in front. “So the Master is in the room, and the scholar is a cart driver. In the past, Song Tao was not aware this, I ask for Brother Li Mu’s forgiveness.”
“Third young master praised me too much.” Li Muyang said modestly, bowing.
Song Tao then turned to Li Shinian, exclaiming, “Miss Shinian is right, even a cart driver of your family is so accomplished in the way of painting, Miss Shinian must be even more talented——I really look forward to seeing your talents.”
Li Shinian smiled, waving her hand. “Third elder brother, I am not as good as Li Mu, and also inferior to the big sisters present. I do not understand zither, chess, poetry or painting. I only know how to eat.”
“So Miss Shinian is a foodie. Me too.”
“Kekeke, having a good appetite is a blessing——
When the other ladies heard Li Shinian say that she is inferior to others, and do not understand zither, chess, poetry or painting, they instead felt that she was innocent and frank, and their opinion of her changed greatly.
Now that his performance had ended, Li Muyang was ready to return to wait in the hall.
Song Tao urged him to stay, “It was my mistake to arrange Brother Li Mu to the hall. How can we now let Brother Li Mu to go back to the other room to wait——if Brother Li Mu does not mind, how about staying here with us?”
He was thinking to himself that the method this person used was the Flying white technique, which was different to the ‘Shower of spring sunshine’ painting that Li Muyang drew at Starry Sky. And although this Li Mu paints pretty well, but it is still far inferior to the painting skills of Li Muyang, who had received a wisp of spring breeze from Gu Huangwu——It seems that his fears were unnecessary. Li Mu is Li Mu, and Li Muyang must been buried in the illusion?
Li Muyang after a brief thought, shook his head, “I should go to where I belong. It makes me feel more comfortable there.”
Song Tao understood Li Muyang’s concern. For a cart driver to hang out with a group of noble Gongzis and young ladies would indeed make him feel uncomfortable.
So, Song Tao nodded, “then please forgive Song Tao for being rude.”
Li Muyang gave a cupped fist salute before turning away. “
Li Muyang returned to the hall, and the numerous bodyguards and butler who had known what happened in the building all had a whole new level of respect for him.
Some people took the initiative to greet him, while others inquired about Li Muyang’s background.
Li Muyang responded to every question, before taking a seat in the corner again.
Ning Xinhai thoughtfully stared at Li Muyang. “You can paint?”
“I studied for a few years.” Li Muyang replied.
“You remind me of a man.”
“We have similarities?”
“He’s a person that can create miracles.” Ning Xinhai stated out loud. “Before he was just a trash that everyone looked down on, but after diligently studying for half a year, he become the top scorer in the Imperial exams, the best in West wind——Then what happened after you also know about, he was accepted into Starry Sky Academy and then died in the illusion. Until now, I have not seen a more talented person than him.”
Li Muyang seriously nodded: “Indeed. Unfortunately, I’m just a cart driver.”
Ning Xinhai lightly smiled. “Your cart driver days will come to an end soon. You have become famous in Still water dew, many people will hire you for a huge amount of money? Even the Lu family will not be indifferent to you, this is what they call cherishing talents. If a person like you can only be a cart driver, who dares work for the Lu family?”
Li Muyang shook his head lightly and said, “why did you be a cart driver?”
“I like the pure and quiet personality of the young Miss, but also I have been working for her for many years in Jiangnan, we naturally have a good relationship.”
“I also really like our Miss Shinian very much.” Li Muyang said aloud. “I am willing to be her cart driver for life.”
“Interesting. Your Miss Shinian will be glad to hear these words.” Ning Xinhai only thought that Li Muyang was saying this to please the young lady.
Inside the small building, Song Tao scanned the surroundings, then said in a loud and bright voice: “Green foam on fresh, unfiltered rice wine, on a little terracotta stove. It’s getting late and looks like it will snow, you might want to have a cup? I originally wanted to enjoy the snow in the Still water dew building with everyone, smell the fragrance of the plum blossoms, recite poems and paint, and drink until we are drunk. But I did not expect so many things to happen, I don’t think everyone have the mood anymore. But if we end this gathering it would be wasting this beautiful scenery. How about we choose a question to debate, add some fun to this night. What do you think?”
Light intellectual conversations and debate were what everyone enjoys. Choose a topic of discussion, quote copiously to support one’s argument, fight a battle of words, and defeat opponents with one’s knowledge. It is a great joy in life.
“What should be the topic?” Someone asked aloud.
“How about I give a topic?” At the entrance appeared a group of people covered in snow.
Headed by a man in silk robes and a jade hat. He had a square-face and was imposing-looking, tough and stocky build. He smiled and said, “what about the topic of ‘imperial power is important or military power is even more important’?”