HEAVEN OFFICIAL'S BLESSING by Mò Xiāng Tóngxiù
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MTL edited by Plain Heyoka
I DO NOT OWN the copyrights to Tiān Guān Cì Fú. This fan translation is strictly NOT FOR PROFIT.
CHAPTER 30: Poking the Ghost King, the Crown Prince Seeks His True Face
"CRIMSON Rain Sought Flower?" Xie Lian asked.
"Your Highness the Crown Prince," responded Hua Cheng.
Xie Lian turned around and said with a smile, "This is the first time I've heard you call me that."
The red-robed teenager sat on the mat, propped up one leg, and likewise smiled. "How does it feel?"
Xie Lian thought about it for a moment and said frankly, "It seems that... doesn't feel quite the same as when others call me that."
Hua Cheng said, "Mm, what's the difference?"
Xie Lian tilted his head, and narrowed his eyes slightly. "It's hard for me to say, it's just..."
Others call him "Your Highness" either without emotion or as a matter of business, such as Ling Wen. And most of the time, others call him "Your Highness" with a sense of contempt, just like calling a very ugly person beautiful. It was deliberate, with a touch of sarcasm.
However, when Hua Cheng called him "Your Highness", these two words were cherished to the utmost. Therefore, although he couldn't describe it, Xie Lian felt that when Hua Cheng called him "Your Highness", it was different from when others called him "Your Highness".
"At Mount Yujun, the groom who took me away was you, wasn't it?" Xie Lian asked.
The smile on Hua Cheng's lips deepened. Only then did Xie Lian realize that there seemed to be an ambiguity in this question and hastily rephrased it, "I mean, the one who took me away at Mount Yujun in the guise of a groom was you, wasn't it?"
Instead, Hua Cheng said, "I wasn't disguising myself as a groom."
Well, if that was the way of saying it, that was true. At that time, the young man didn't lie to him about being the groom, he didn't say a word at all. He just stopped at the door of the sedan chair and held out his hand. It was Xie Lian who went with him!
"Alright," Xie Lian said. "Then, why did you show up at that time at Mount Yujun?"
"There are only two answers to this question," Hua Cheng replied. "First, I came specifically for His Highness; second, I was passing by and had time to spare. Which do you think is more credible?"
After calculating the number of days Hua Cheng had spent with him, Xie Lian said, "Which one is more credible I dare not say... but you really seem to have a lot of time on your hands."
His entire person and gaze circled around Hua Cheng, back and forth, and after a long time, he nodded. "You're... quite different from what the rumors say."
Hua Cheng changed his posture, but still with his hand propping his cheek, gazing at him. "Oh? Then how did His Highness learn that I was the Crimson Rain Sought Flower?"
Xie Lian was filled with thoughts of the rain of blood pattering down on the umbrella, that tinkling silver chains, that cold silver vambraces, and thought to himself, 'You weren't very serious about hiding yourself.' He said, "No matter how I tested you, you're impeccable, so you must be a Supreme. You're dressed in red like maple and blood, omniscient, omnipotent, and are dauntless. With such an aura, other than the Crimson Rain Sought Flower who makes the gods and goddesses of Heaven turn pale and shudder in fear at the mere mention of his name, I can't seem to think of any other candidate."
Hua Cheng smiled. "Then, should I take that as a compliment?"
'Can't you tell that it was?' thought Xie Lian.
Hua Cheng's smile faded and he added, "Having said all this, why doesn't His Highness ask me what purpose I have in approaching you?"
"If you didn't want to tell me, you wouldn't have told me if I had asked, or what you told me wouldn't have been the truth," replied Xie Lian.
But Hua Cheng said, "That's not necessarily true. Besides, then you can kick me out."
"You're so powerful," Xie Lian said. "Even if I kick you out now, if you really wanted to do something bad, wouldn't you just come back with a new skin?"
The two were looking at each other and smiling when the brief silence in Pu Qi Shrine was suddenly broken by the sound of a rattling. The two looked in the direction of the sound, and there was no one there, only a small black clay pot rolling on the floor.
That was the same small clay pot in which Banyue had been kept in. It had originally been placed on the edge of the mat casually by Xie Lian, but somehow it fell over on its own and rolled to the door, where it was stopped by the wooden door made by Hua Cheng, and knocked against it repeatedly. Fearing that it would just smash itself to pieces, Xie Lian went up and opened the door. The little clay pot then rolled all the way to the grass outside.
As Xie Lian followed it, the little clay pot rolled onto a patch of grass and stood upright. It was obviously just a clay pot, but it gave the illusion that it was looking up at the stars.
Hua Cheng also came out from within the Pu Qi Shrine, and Xie Lian said to the clay pot, "Banyue, are you awake?"
Fortunately, when they returned from the Gobi, it was already late into the night. Otherwise people would have probably made a fuss had they seen Xie Lian standing outside in the dead of night, asking "what's up?" to a clay pot.
After a long while, a muffled voice came from that small clay pot, "General Hua."
Xie Lian sat down next to it. "Banyue, you came out to see the stars? Do you want to come out of there to see?"
Hua Cheng stood aside, leaning against a tree. "She has just left Banyue City, so it's better for her to stay inside for a while longer," he said.
After all, Banyue had stayed in the Kingdom of Banyue for over two hundred years prior, so it might be difficult for her to adapt to a sudden change of place. "Then you'd better stay inside there for a while longer to recuperate," Xie Lian said. "This is where I cultivate, so you don't need to worry about anything else."
The clay pot shook twice, not sure what it was trying to express. After a moment of consideration, Xie Lian said, "Banyue, in fact, this time it's not even anything to do with you. Your scorpion-tailed snakes were..."
"General Hua, I couldn't move at that time, but I heard it all," said Banyue.
At that, Xie Lian froze. Only then did he realize that at that time, Pei Su only blocked Banyue's ability to move, not her consciousness. "That's fine."
If she heard it all, fine.
"General Hua, what will happen to General Pei Junior?" the clay pot asked.
Xie Lian had his hands tucked in his sleeves. "I don't know. But... if you've done something wrong, you have to be punished."
After a period of silence, the clay pot shook twice more. Finally, it became clear to Xie Lian this time that the shaking was actually a nod.
"Actually, General Pei Junior isn't that bad of a person," Banyue said.
"Is that so?"
"Mm," Banyue said. "He helped me once."
Somehow, Xie Lian's mind suddenly remembered more.
Banyue had often been beaten up, and in the words of the other Yong'an children, she "had a face that deserved to be beaten up".
It was only after he had known her for a long time that Xie Lian realized this. No matter how many beatings Banyue received, she would never tell anyone about them. It wasn't until one day when Xie Lian saw a group of children pushing her face into the mud that he realized where those bruises on her face had come from.
But when she was asked again some time later, all she remembered was that she had to wash and return the handkerchief that the boy who pulled her out of the mud puddle had lent her to wipe her face, and nothing else.
She didn't remember any of the people who had beaten her, but the ones who had saved her once, she remembered for the rest of her life.
Banyue added, "Although Ke-Mo always scolded me for being under his spell and that I was simply being used, whether he used me or not, I knew that it was my own will to open the city gates."
Xie Lian didn't know what to say, except that a part of his heart suddenly softened.
After a while, he patted the clay pot and said, "Alright, it's over. By the way, Banyue, Hua Xie is a fake name, and I have long since stopped being a general, so you can stop calling me General Hua."
"What should I call you then?" Banyue asked.
Well, that was also a problem. If Banyue were to call him Your Highness in all seriousness, it would feel a bit strange. Xie Lian didn't care about his address either, and hastened to change the subject. "Well, you can go ahead and call me General Hua whatever you want." Only, there was a real one here with the surname Hua, so it might be a bit confusing if Banyue kept on calling him General Hua. But on second thought, it occurred to him: Of course, "Hua Xie" was a fake name, taking the first word of the title "Flower-Crowned Martial God" as his surname. But wasn't "Hua Cheng" a fake name, too? It was also weirdly interesting that they happened to pick the same surname for their fake names.
[「花 」Huā — flower; blossoms]
At that moment, he heard Banyue say again, "I'm sorry, General Hua."
Xie Lian turned back around and said a bit glumly, "Banyue, why do you keep apologizing to me?" Did he really look that piteous in the eyes of others at first glance?
"I... want to save the common people," Banyue said.
Xie Lian, "..."
"General Hua, that's what you said at that time," Banyue said.
Xie Lian, "???"
He hurriedly pressed the clay pot down. "Wait, wait!"
"Wait for what?" Banyue asked.
Xie Lian glanced at Hua Cheng, who was standing with his arms crossed under the nearby tree, and whispered, "Did I really say such a thing at that time?"
This phrase, which he had been so fond of saying when he was a teenager, shouldn't have been mentioned at all in the following hundreds of years. When he first heard them again, Xie Lian felt that the shock was a bit too much to accept. Banyue, however, said, "General, those were your words."
Still trying to struggle, Xie Lian said, "No, I don't think so..."
"Oh no, you did say them," said Banyue earnestly and coldly. "Once, you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, 'I don't know'. You said, 'How come you don't know what you want to be when you grow up?' I asked, 'What about you, General Hua?' You then said, 'My dream as a child was to save the common people!'"
So that was it. "Um! Banyue, why would you remember such an offhand remark so clearly!" Xie Lian said.
"Was that an offhand remark?" Banyue said. "But, General Hua, I had thought you said those words very earnestly."
Xie Lian was helpless. He looked up at the sky and said, "Haha... really? Maybe. What else did I say? I don't even remember."
Banyue said, "You also said, 'Do what you think is right! Nothing can hold you back! Even if you fall down a hundred times into the muck, you have to be strong and get up!'. Lots of them. Something like that."
He didn't need to look back to know that it was definitely Hua Cheng under the tree who heard all that and laughed out loud.
Xie Lian couldn't even cover the clay pot anymore and thought to himself, '...What a load of crap... Why do I always say things like that? ...That's not who I am... Is that who I am?'
"But I don't know what's right anymore," Banyue said.
At those words, Xie Lian was stunned.
"I was trying to save the common people like General Hua said," Banyue said. "But in the end, I destroyed the Kingdom of Banyue."
"And it seemed like no matter what I did... it all turned out badly," she said confusedly. "General Hua, I know I didn't do a good job, but can you tell me exactly what I did wrong? What exactly am I supposed to do to actually do as you've said... to save the common people?"
"I'm sorry, Banyue," Xie Lian said. "How to save the common people... I didn't have the answer to this question back then, and even now I still don't have the answer."
After a moment of silence, Banyue said, "General Hua, to be honest, I feel that I simply don't know what I've been doing for the past two hundred years. What a failure."
Hearing her say that, Xie Lian became even more depressed, and thought, 'Then wouldn't that make me even more of a failure? I've been muddling along for eight hundred years..."
Xie Lian and Hua Cheng returned inside the Pu Qi Shrine after leaving Banyue alone in the clay pot to gaze at the stars to calm down.
After closing the door, Xie Lian suddenly said, "Banyue stayed at Banyue Pass of her own free will, not because she became a Savage and was stuck there."
She always remembered that it was she who opened the gates, and never gave the excuse that she did it for the greater good of the people. In order to let the soldiers of the Kingdom of Banyue vent their resentment and depart this world sooner, she allowed Ke-Mo to lead them to capture and kill her over and over again.
Xie Lian shook his head. "In fact, if General Pei Junior really wanted to get rid of those Banyue soldiers and didn't want to be discovered by the Upper Court, he could have secretly sent his incarnation down to the mortal realm to purge them. Why did he have to use such a method?"
"The power of an incarnation would be diminished," Hua Cheng said. "You've seen that incarnation of Pei Su, Ah Zhao. It couldn't take care of so many Banyue soldiers at once. So, it was easier and faster to dissipate their resentment by feeding them the living."
"Why did he have to do it so fast?" asked Xie Lian.
"Perhaps it was to get your little friend, Banyue, hung fewer times less painfully," replied Hua Cheng.
After a moment of silence, Xie Lian said, "What about those mortals?"
"To heavenly officials, the lives of mortals are of course no better than those of ants," Hua Cheng said indifferently. "Pei Su is a typical example of a superior heavenly official. As long as he wasn't discovered, killing a few hundred people was no different to him than crushing a few hundred bugs."
Xie Lian glanced at him. Remembering the time when San Lang had killed all the Banyue soldiers at the bottom of the pit in a split second after leaping down into the Sinners' Pit, he turned around and said, "The power of an incarnation would be diminished? I see your incarnation is quite powerful."
Hua Cheng, however, raised an eyebrow at him. "Of course. But I'm the real one."
Xie Lian turned his head and was slightly taken aback. "Huh? This is your true form?"
"Authentic through and through," replied Hua Cheng.
Upon uttering those words, blame it on the expression on his face which seemed to be saying, "Please, test it out for yourself." And so, before Xie Lian could even realize what he was doing, he had already raised a finger and poked Hua Cheng on the cheek.
After the poke, Xie Lian then jolted to his senses and cried out loudly in his heart that he was in trouble.
He was merely curious about what the skin of the Supreme Ghost King would feel like. But he didn't expect his body to react faster than his mind and poked him! How extremely outrageous!
Suddenly being poked in the face, Hua Cheng seemed to be slightly taken aback as well, but he was always calm and his expression recovered quickly. Rather, he didn't say anything, but raised one eyebrow even higher, as if waiting for Xie Lian's explanation, while the smirk in his gaze was unmistakable. Xie Lian, of course, couldn't come up with any explanation. He looked at the finger and hid it unobtrusively, saying, "...Not bad."
Hua Cheng finally burst out laughing, crossed his arms and asked with his head tilted, "What's not bad? You think that this skin of mine is not bad?"
"Yeah, it's very nice," answered Xie Lian heartily. "But..."
"But what?" Hua Cheng asked.
Xie Lian stared at his face for a while, looking at it attentively. Finally, he said, "But, can I see what you really look like?"
Since he had just said "this skin", it meant that although this body was the original, the skin wasn't the original. This teenager's appearance wasn't his true face.
This time, Hua Cheng didn't answer immediately and lowered his arm. Perhaps it was only Xie Lian's imagination, but he felt that Hua Cheng's gaze had darkened a little, and his heart couldn't help but tighten slightly.
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Dig a Grave to Dig Out a Ghost - Chapter 16
Original Title: 挖坟挖出鬼
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Supernatural, Yaoi
This translation is based on multiple MTLs and my own limited knowledge of Chinese characters. If I have made any egregious mistakes, please let me know.
Chapter 16 - Game
Ten minutes later, Lin Yan appeared on the stage awkwardly wearing a silver-grey robe with a small dragon pattern embroidered on it. All ten participants took their seats. Even the Professor File Folder put on a traditional teacher's outfit. The buzzing activity coming from the crowd made Lin Yan blush. It felt like he was sitting on pins and needles; it was uncomfortable no matter how he tried to adjust himself.
This whole situation felt like a melodrama between Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. He couldn't help but glance back at Xiao Yu several times. The only real ancient man in the audience was standing behind him with a frown. Looking at him with a serious stare, he pressed his hand against Lin Yan's shoulder, like he was trying to comfort him.
When he changed his clothes, he noticed that something was wrong with Xiao Yu, or maybe it was just everything that was wrong. In the dressing room, the ghost had wrapped himself around him and hugged him. He pushed and shoved the other around the narrow room, creasing his costume. Just as Lin Yan was about to start fighting back, Xiao Yu suddenly stopped tugging him around. He pulled him over to the mirror, put his chin on Lin Yan's shoulder and he stared at the person in the reflection. For the first time, his chaotic eyes seemed calm, even holding a quiet sadness.
The mirror surface swayed, like a droplet hitting a calm pool of water, waves rippling away from the center. Standing in the brass mirror was a young man standing with clear eyes, hands resting beside a cloud brocade waistband, and a face exuding pride. Lin Yan backed away in horror. He almost screamed. The person in the mirror wasn't him. Although he had the exact same face, life had done a number on him and he wouldn't be able to make an expression like that anymore.
The scent of agarwood incense in the room was intoxicating. The young man's eyes softened. The tall man in the traditional Chinese clothes adjusted his chin on his shoulder, raising his long eyebrows. His voice was slow and hoarse, as if he hadn't spoken in a long time: "I've been waiting for you for so long. . ."
Lin Yan's head snapped back to the mirror. He staggered forwards and leaned against the mirror. The person in front of him had hair as black as paint, and his mottled blood coat didn't match his eyes that seemed so sad and hopeless. . .
I have been waiting for you for a long time.
Lin Yan scrambled out of the dressing room.
"The break is over. Please quiet down and we'll get started with our next activity." The girl in the red jacket skirt read.
Lin Yan sat in the chair in a daze. The bright stage lights and the dark crowd in the audience made him feel like what just happened in the dressing room was a hallucination, and Xiao Yu was no different. Lin Yan looked back at him, panicked. Xiao Yu leaned down and held his trembling hand. On the table were a small whiteboard and a soft black marker. Xiao Yu motioned for him to pick it up and he moved his hand across the whiteboard: I'll help you.
Lin Yan was stunned and wrote out: Do you remember something?
Xiao Yu didn't seem to want to answer. He shook his head and let go of his hand. He still stood behind him holding onto Lin Yan's shoulder for support.
The audience quieted down, and bright white chasing lights hit the mahogany silk box on the centre of the stage. The red jacket skirt girl stepped forward to open the silk box, revealing the glass box within. The audience let out a few exclamations, and Lin Yan's eyes lit up. It was a beautiful moon flask with two handles. The maiden leaned against the tree art, the linework was meticulous, the enamel fully covered the flask, the piece was still intact, and the overall flask was in good condition.
This authentification wasn't difficult for a student studying cultural relics. Lin Yan carefully looked at the glaze texture and enamel of the flask's body. He wrote his answer on the whiteboard after double-checking that it was correct. When the time was up, the host walked past the square table and stopped when he reached the PSP guy, holding up her mic and asking: "You, what's your answer?"
The PSP guy’s whiteboard turned out to be empty. He was leaning on the table and his attention was focused on his game. When the host asked the second time, he raised his head as if he had just woken up. He glanced lazily around and sarcastically twitched the corners of his mouth into a smile. "It's genuine," he spat out. Then he brushed the host off and lowered his head to continue playing the game.
Lin Yan knew this guy was arrogant, but he didn't expect him to act this to everyone. The girl in the red jacket skirt was embarrassed by PSP's attitude. After putting a polite expression back on her face, she nodded and walked to the next student.
"Well. . . There were nine students who got the answer right, might as well switch it up for the last one." The audience let out a good laugh, and the boy three places down from Lin Yan grinned and left the stage. The professor briefly spoke about the flask. Lin Yan cleaned off the whiteboard and waited for the next question. His mind couldn't get over what he saw. He thought that most people wouldn't make a mistake on such a simple question. It seemed that the people on the stage were not as professional as they thought.
Professor File Folder also seemed a little disappointed. He took a sip from his stainless steel cup and turned his attention to the laptop, not knowing what he was looking at.
The brocade box in the center of the stage was swapped with a smaller one. After the mysterious sound effect, the box slowly opened. It was an ancient book. The host motioned everyone to take a closer look. Lin Yan stood in front of the glass box for a while and returned to his seat to write the next answer: "Genuine, the Southern Opera "White Rabbit" published in the Ming Dynasty, unearthed from the tomb of the Xuan family in Jiading."
He had seen this thing in the Shanghai Museum. Lin Yan thought, this lecture is like an antique appreciation meeting. No wonder it attracted so many people. After they all answered the question, another person left the stage amidst the applause and whistle of the audience, leaving another armchair free.
The questions were asked one by one, gradually getting more and more difficult. A fake yet elaborate sunflower gold hairpin inlaid with gemstones stumped three people, and then a bucket-colour fine-grained water chestnut bucket imitation with a "grinding" technique even had Lin Yan hesitate with his answer. After the authenticity of each item was announced, the professor simply added a few points on the piece, which could count as educating the audience on the topic. The seats were vacated one by one. When the eighth object was brought out, there were only two people left on the stage. Lin Yan glanced to the right, and it was the PSP guy who had toughed it out until the end.
He looked careless, but he didn't expect that he understood the field so well. Lin Yan put his cold palms on his face to cool down and took a long breath as he waited for the next question.
The red jacket skirt girl was holding a delicate paper box in her hand. Instead of showing it to the audience first, she walked over to Lin Yan and the PSP guy, signalling them to come forward. She opened the paper box and carefully took out a fan.
The ink on the front of the golden fan wasn't very visible; it wasn't well-preserved. The ribs of the fan were slightly damaged, and there are signs of water damage on the ink-painted mountains. With this kind of condition, it would be difficult to fetch a good price in a private auction if it wasn't made by a famous artist. But when the inscription on the face of the fan was exposed, Lin Yan and the PSP man couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. On the front, a few lines of the unruly inscription were written on the fan: “Wildwater Bridge Road, The Village of Barren Chickens and Fallen Leaves. Returned to Hou Xidu, The Child Sweeps the Firewood Door." What surprised the two of them were the three small characters following the poem: by Tang Yin.
Lin Yan's heart sped up. If this was Tang Yin's authentic work, then the fan in front of him was worth at least 500,000 yuan. Wasn't he afraid of being robbed bringing such a valuable thing to school? Then a clear picture of the fan was shown on the big screen. As expected by Lin Yan, an exclamation sounded from the audience, and even the host's voice was drowned by the buzzing discussion.
Professor File Folder grew impatient and coughed into the loudspeaker to signal the audience to shift their attention back to the event.
Lin Yan carefully looked at the light brown fan in front of him. He couldn't help but take his time with his answer. Tang Yin's paintings were extremely difficult to distinguish in the field of calligraphy and painting. His style of painting changed throughout his pieces, and he rarely indicated the year on the paintings so it was difficult to guess the painting based on its creation year. Therefore, there were countless counterfeiters and imposters on the market. To be honest, judging this kind of work could only be based on the painting style, date and seal inscription. The most important thing is the eye and inspiration of the connoisseur. Being extremely familiar with the author’s style, the first time he saw the work, he could only make a guess. This wasn't just an answer determined by years of study, but it was also just a luck-based gamble.
In the early years of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, many collectors relied on this ability to make money at auctions overnight, but it was too difficult for students like Lin Yan who hadn’t even finished school. He frowned and thought carefully. Regardless of the painting style, the date and the handwriting of this fan were almost flawless. Although there was a slight deviation from Tang Yin's other landscape paintings, the vigorous and unrestrained spirit of the brush strokes clearly distinguished this piece.
It should be the original one. . . Lin Yan bit on his pen and hesitated. Halfway through writing out his answer, his wrist was suddenly grabbed. Xiao Yu bent down and studied the fan carefully. His fingers lightly tracing the red seal and he seemed surprised. He shook his head at Lin Yan and crossed off the half-written "true" on the whiteboard with his hand.
"After so long, you still haven't figured it out?" PSP guy leaned over to Lin Yan casually with a disdainful expression. Seeing Lin Yan still holding the pen hesitantly, he couldn't help but sneer, "I thought you were so awesome."
The file folder-like professor was staring at his notebook in a daze. Hearing these words, he couldn't help turn his head around and looked at the two with interest. Lin Yan just focused his attention on the painting instead and had forgotten to be nervous. As soon as he raised his head to meet the professor's gaze, his cheeks became hot again. He couldn't help but cry inside. He originally planned to wait for the end of the event to ask the professor backstage regardless of whoever won the contest. Now he feels like he wouldn't be able to ask him anything if he lost to this guy in this activity.
"Hurry up, hurry up." PSP guy tapped the table with a pen and made some muffled noises. "Just go home already, you aren't qualified for this."
When the professor heard this, he couldn't hide his amusement and turned his face to take a sip of water to cover up his expression.
That was rude. He hadn't finished yet. Lin Yan clenched his fist and asked Xiao Yu as quietly as possible: "Are you sure?" Xiao Yu nodded, his pale fingers stroked his throat, and frowned. After a long time, it seemed that it took a lot of effort to say slowly and hoarsely: ". . . I drew it."
Lin Yan's eyes widened. He looked at Xiao Yu in disbelief, and then at the fan. In ancient times, there was no perfect reprinting technology. Famous paintings and calligraphy were often copied by literati and calligraphers. Some were for practice, some were to give to friends. Some were for selling, and the prices of those high-quality copies were even comparable to the originals. But Xiao Yu's counterfeit actually appeared here. . . Wasn't this too much of a coincidence?
"Dude, if you don't know what it is, stop wasting our time." Seeing Lin Yan's hesitation, the PSP guy shook his head impatiently. He lowered his head and continued to play his game, pressing the buttons with his thumb, clicking them loudly.
Lin Yan was also irritated but by this person's attitude. He took a deep breath and wrote his answer on the whiteboard. The crowd in the audience couldn't wait. The people in the nearby seats pointed at the PowerPoint. Someone nodded gently, seeming to recognize the authenticity of the painting.
The sound effect of a gong sounded, and when the host read out the answers of the two, Lin Yan heard a commotion in the audience and even a disdainful sneer from the corner of the room. However, the PSP guy completely ignored the audience’s reaction and crossed his legs. He glanced at Lin Yan, touched the pimples on his face and raised an eyebrow with a chuckle: "You're right, not bad."
The same answer was written on both whiteboards: fake.
The professor showed an appreciative smile on his face for the first time. After he said the right answer, he grabbed the microphone and explained to the audience: "Tang Yin's fan "Xiqiao Going Back to the River", a work made during the Ming Dynasty Chenghua period. The author is unknown. The two students answered correctly."
There was a sigh from the auditorium. This time, most of the people who had thought they were right about their guess couldn't help pointing at the screen to discuss the flaws in the fan. There was even a school official wearing a black suit in the front row who had turned around and argued fiercely with the guests in the back row.
Author unknown? Lin Yan wasn't focusing on the fan, instead looking back at Xiao Yu. His hands still rested on his shoulder, but he didn't respond to anything Professor File Folder was saying. Instead, he frowned as if immersed in memory. He seemed really lost in thought. Lin Yan looked into Xiao Yu's eyes, no longer as wild as a beast like when he first saw him. Now, his dark eyes were like the surface of the river after sunrise, and the turbid fog was slowly burned away in the sun, revealing a hint of clarity from within the chaos.
"Now that the first nine rounds are over, please give your attention to the last round with these two classmates, which is also the most difficult round today." The red jacket skirt girl raised her voice and signalled to something behind her.