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Chapter 222: Too Conceited to Differentiate Good from Bad
Bai Yu was also annoyed by Zhu Xian at this moment. But in the presence of other visitors, she couldn’t flare up and could only suppress her anger inside her heart. She nodded and looked at Zhu Xian, “Since the guests don’t welcome you. You can go now!”
Zhu Xiang frowned. He snorted coldly and said, “Hmph, Manager Bai, what’s the meaning with this? I’m your Lotus Blossom House distinguished VIP. How can you dismiss me with such manner?”
Bai Yu had never thought that Zhu Xian was so conceited and unable to differentiate good from bad. Although she was fully angered, she still contained it and wanted him to leave first. However, this person turned to be unable to accept the good intentions of others, and in turn, even bit her.
Under such blazing anger, Bai Yu didn’t even care about him anymore as she said icily, “Mr. Zhu. The others clearly said for the visitor to leave and you still want to stay here? Don’t tell me you can’t differentiate between good and bad. Do you want others to kick you out, only then will you be content? Furthermore, even though you’ve become our Lotus Blossom House VIP, but you still have to behave yourself. If you want to make trouble in our Lotus Blossom House, then leave. I’ll revoke your VIP status.”
Zhu Xiang flew into a rage. This kind of feeling of being berated and aimed at was not something his self-esteem could stand. His face flickered unceasingly. He gritted his teeth and said, “Manager Bai, words have been said and you have to be held for your own words. I gave my painting to your Lotus Blossom House, and you actually want to drive me away? Do you want to destroy your own reputation? Also, I’ve looked at the paintings on the wall downstairs. Most of them are garbage. I endured having my painting being hung along with the other trash paintings in the same place. And you’re still so dense despite my good intentions?”
Despite her fury, Bai Yu smiled as she stared at him and sternly said, “Very good. I really never thought that you’d turn out to be such a character. I’ll hold to my words. But starting from today, if you dare step into my Lotus Blossom House even half a step, I will consider it as a provocation to us. I want to see what ability you or even your Zhu Family have.”
Professor Hu and Mu Wanying also looked angry at the moment. The paintings hung downstairs, some of them were also their work. And now Zhu Xiang called them garbage, this greatly annoyed them.
Professor Hu slapped the table. He stood up and shouted, “What a rubbish talk! You are just a boy who hasn’t fully grown your hair. You’ve a little ability, but your arrogance is truly boundless. If our paintings are garbage, then what rank are your paintings? A treasure? Hmph. You just want knowledgeable people to make you a laughingstock.”
“Professor Hu, you’re a historian, you dare to compare yourself to me in painting and calligraphy? I do respect your trivial knowledge of history and literature. But please don’t disgrace yourself in the painting field. And to be honest, your painting hung on the wall downstairs, is indeed garbage. If you’re unable to accept it, let’s compare yours with mine and let all the guests of the Lotus Blossom House appraise and comment on them.” Zhu Xiang sneered.
Professor Hu was so enraged even his lips shivered. His raised arms also trembled slightly. He already knew that Zhu Xian was very rampant, domineering and uninhibited. But he had never imagined that he would be arrogant to this extent. Did he really have no respect whatsoever for the elderly?
Mu Wanying stood up and coldly looked at Zhu Xiang, “Using your strong point to attack the others’ weak point, eh? You know, seeing this attitude of yours, I really beg to differ. Since you want to compare yourself, I’ll accompany your play. Let’s have a bet!”
Zhu Xiang was surprised for a moment before proudly replying, “Relying on you? It’s not that I’m look down on you or Professor Hu, but do you really think that you’re better than me?” Suddenly, his eyes turned. An excellent idea sprouted inside his mind as a deceitful smile revealed itself on his mouth. He cleared his throat and said, “However, if you want to bet with me on Professor Hu’s behalf, it’s fine. But since it’s a gamble, a stake must be put onto it. What kind of stake do you dare to bet in this gamble?”
Mu Wanying’s brows slightly pressed. Zhu Xiang’s meaningful glance disgusted her deeply. After a short moment of silence, she replied slowly, “I have a set of precious calligraphy created by Grandmaster Wang Xizhi. If I lose, I’ll give it to you. But if I win, what will you put out as a stake?”
Zhu Xiang’s brows wrinkled. He then sneered, “Hmph, Wang Xizhi’s calligraphy can be said as a priceless treasure, but I don’t think it’s enough. If you lose, you have to comply to a condition, whatever it is. But If I lose, I will give you the ‘Sailboats and Pavilions’ painting by the famous painter in the Tang Dynasty, Li Sixun, while I’ll also comply to your condition.”
Mu Wanying hesitated. She cared about the set of Wang Xizhi’s treasured calligraphy, but losing it would only make her distressed for a few days. But, she was afraid that Zhu Xiang would ask an excessive condition she couldn’t accept. Furthermore, she also realized that although Zhu Xiang’s attitude was bad, his painting skill was very good. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to win him convincingly. At the most, it would only be a tie.
“What should I do? Should I give up?”
If she was to give up, it wouldn’t only show that she was timid and admitting that her ability is inferior to his.
For a while, Mu Wanying was as though riding a tiger and hard to get off. It was impossible for her to stop here.
Tang Xiu, who was quietly savoring his dishes, finally put down the chopsticks in his hands. He shook his head and sighed, “Aiii, I have seen too many fake and shameless bastards, but only a few can match your shamelessness, Zhu Xiang. I can tell that the condition you’re going to propose is, in fact, to let her dig the pit and jump into it on her own, no? Actually, you don’t need to admit it. I know perfectly well about your idea. It’s nothing more that you want to use the condition as a constraint that after you win, you want her for you. Am I correct?”
In a split second, everyone’s expression greatly changed.
As blazing furious as he was, Zhu Xiang, who was seen through, suddenly hated Tang Xiu and at the same time, immediately shouted in a stern voice, “It’s you who’s a shameless bastard! Don’t you dare slander me! I admit I really like her, but in no way will I use that condition to force her. A graceful lady is there and a gentleman comes to court her, but still, he will respect her right to pursue her own choice. If I can get her heart, I’ll marry her.”
Marry? Wasn't this also counted as having a hidden intention?
Everyone present inside the box revealed a look of disgust, as Mu Wanying had a terribly blackened face.
Tang Xiu laughed involuntarily and said, “Hahaha, I’ve seen shameless people, but never have I ever seen a truly shameless one such as you! Fine! How about I accompany you to play? If I lose, say whatever condition you want. But if you lose, I don’t want whatever calligraphy or painting you have, just get your damn ass out of here.”
Flames of anger were almost blazing out from Zhu Xiang’s eyes. He glared angrily at Tang Xiu and snapped, “Who the fuck are you? Why the hell are you meddling in someone else’s business?”
Tang Xiu pointed at Mu Wanying and plainly said, “You just said yourself that you’re a gentleman who is trying to court a graceful lady. You can take me as her envoy or guardian. How about it? Didn’t you dare to bet with her? And now, do you dare or not to play and bet with me?”
Zhu Xiang clenched his fists. If he didn’t strongly restrain himself, he really would have fiercely punched Tang Xiu’s face. Looking at Mu Wanying’s blackened face, he said, “Fine! Since you want to insult yourself, I’ll help you. But I don’t like a gambling without stakes. I’ll use my “Sailboats and Pavilions” painting and you bet your collection.”
"My collection?" Tang Xiu rolled his eyes and turned toward Mu Wanying. He then said lightly, “Do you dare to lend me your treasured set of Wang Xizhi’s calligraphy?”
Mu Wanying took a deep breath and spoke with a deep tone, “I’ll lend it to you.”
Tang Xiu shrugged his shoulders and said, “Did you hear it? The set of Wang Xizhi’s treasured calligraphy should be enough, no?”
Despite his fury, Zhu Xiang smiled as he clapped his hands and said, “Alright. Since you wanna bet, then bet we will! Say! You wanna do it here or in another place?”
Tang Xiu looked at Bai Yu and peacefully asked, “Manager Bai, right? Since your Lotus Blossom House has a painting custom, you should have prepared paintbrush and papers, right? May I trouble you to provide the painting tools as well as make an appraisal committee consisted of the guests of your restaurant?”
Bai Yu looked at Tang Xiu deeply. She then nodded and said, “I’ll immediately pass the orders as per your request. The contest will be held half an hour later in the first floor’s hall.”
“Alright!” Tang Xiu replied calmly.
Bai Yu looked at Zhu Xiang with a bad expression, saying, “Now, come with me!”
Zhu Xian snorted coldly and glanced provocatively at Tang Xiu as he then turned around to leave.
Inside the box.
The anger on Professor Hu’s face slowly faded away and was replaced with a bitter expression. He looked at Tang Xiu, shook his head and sighed, “Young man, you shouldn’t have let your decisions be affected by your emotions! I know you did that out of good intentions. Yet, on-the-spot painting is not something you can fake! The set of Wang Xizhi’s treasured calligraphy might not reach the point of being priceless, yet it’s still very valuable. It’s a collection everyone who loves calligraphy and painting long for even in their dreams.”
At the moment, the contempt Le Baiyi had toward Tang Xiu got more intense. He believed that Tang Xiu was just jealous toward Zhu Xiang because of Mu Wanying. He even thought that Tang Xiu was very stupid. He knew that Zhu Xian was very skillful in painting, but still, Tang Xiu gave his face to be slapped by him. The most annoying thing was that Mu Wanying would also lose her precious set collection.
Mu Wanying was also a bit bitter and annoyed. Even though Tang Xiu did it to help her, but to think that she had to lose her calligraphy collection made her quite distressed. One must know that it was given by her grandfather, of whom he spent quite a big effort to find and buy it at a sky high price.
“Tang Xiu, you really can paint?” After hesitating for a moment, still, Mu Wanying couldn’t help asking.
“A little.” Tang Xiu lightly replied.
“You know a little about it?” Mu Wanying couldn’t feel more disappointed anymore.
Professor Hu took his eyes back from Tang Xiu and said with a wry smile, “Ah, how I wish Yang Qing was here. He’s acclaimed as the most outstanding genius of the new generation in the painting and calligraphy world. His skill in painting is extremely high and only a few of the great painters of the older generation are more skillful than him.”
Le Baiyi nodded upon hearing this, saying, “I also have heard about this Yang Qing name. He’s indeed a very skillful young painter. He started to learn painting at the age of five and was able to paint good works at the age of ten. Between the age of 16 and 26, a mere ten years, he won hundreds of awards.”
Professor Hu nodded and said, “That’s right. If there wasn’t the sudden emergence of a certain painting recently, I originally believed that he could win the first place in the next Asian Painting Competition with his ‘One Hundred Birds Turn Toward the Phoenix’ masterpiece!”
“Huh?” Le Baiyi was surprised and asked, “A sudden emergence? What painting is that?”
“Accurately speaking, it’s a grand and majestic large scale architectural design, and was manually hand-painted by someone.” Professor Hu exclaimed.