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Chapter 118: The Top Scholar Is Truly a Celestial Being, With a Casual Thought Creating an Eternal Masterpiece!
“The Autumn Scenery on Snowy Mountains, that’s Master Liu Jibei’s work!”
“Master Liu Jibei is a highly renowned master of landscape painting, especially skilled in autumn scenery! Just this painting alone, if sold, would be worth at least 10,000 taels! It would definitely be fought over by buyers!”
“And there’s the top-quality Snowflake Wine, a famous wine among famous wines, beloved by wine enthusiasts! Just one barrel of this fine wine, if sold outside, could easily fetch 5,000 taels!”
“Miss Ziyue is actually willing to offer these two treasures as rewards?”
“And there’s a chance to catch a glimpse of Miss Ziyue’s beauty and listen to her playing music…”
The talented scholars in the room were all excited, thinking that tonight’s gathering was not in vain!
They were already eager to showcase their talents and obtain these three rewards!
If they could gain the favor of Miss Ziyue, it would be even better!
Miss Ziyue was very pleased to see everyone’s reaction.
If she didn’t bring out some real treasures, she wouldn’t be able to entice them.
“Let the poetry gathering begin!” Miss Ziyue raised her head, pointing to the bright moon in the sky and said with a smile, “Let’s take the moon in the sky as the theme! Whichever scholar’s poetry can move this young lady’s heart, all the rewards will be presented!”
Upon hearing this theme, everyone was delighted.
Because the moon was a very popular topic.
Which scholar or beauty had not composed poems about the moon?
Immediately, a scholar raised his hand and said, “Miss Ziyue, let this gentleman go first!”
Ziyue smiled and said, “Mister Xu, please!”
“Thank you, Miss Ziyue!” The gentleman immediately stood up in excitement, shaking his head and reciting his proud masterpiece, winning applause from the entire room.
Next, another scholar brought out his hidden poems.
Then came the third, fourth, fifth… scholars, all enthusiastically presenting their works.
Everyone was very passionate and active.
For these talented individuals, this was their stage to show off!
If not now, then when?
Ziyue smiled and admired the excellent works of each scholar, occasionally offering comments that gained everyone’s approval.
Then, her gaze would unintentionally glance towards Lin Beifan’s direction.
But she found that he remained calm, drinking and eating without any apparent interest. She felt somewhat disappointed.
How could this official endure it until now?
After about half an hour or so, regardless of their skill levels, all the talented scholars present had presented their poems.
“Is there any other scholar who would like to offer their masterpiece for everyone’s appreciation?” Ziyue asked with a smile.
“Newly crowned top scholar Lin Beifan hasn’t composed a poem yet!” someone shouted.
Ziyue had been waiting for this moment, she looked at Lin Beifan and smiled gently, “I have heard earlier that the newly crowned top scholar, Lin Beifan, has achieved three consecutive top scores within three years, his talent rivals that of celestial beings! I have been eagerly looking forward to this and request the top scholar to compose a poem!”
As long as Lin Beifan composed a poem, regardless of its quality, she would praise it!
This would provide an opportunity to have close contact with Lin Beifan and demonstrate her skills!
However, to her surprise, Lin Beifan smiled and waved his hand, “Thank you for your praise, Miss Ziyue, but there is no need for me to do so!”
Ziyue was puzzled, “Why?”
Lin Beifan humbly replied, “Just now, all the talented scholars presented their excellent works, and I feel inadequate in comparison. There’s no need for me to embarrass myself!”
Before Ziyue could speak, the other scholars couldn’t hold back.
“Top scholar, what are you saying!”
“In terms of talent and learning, who among us can compare to you?”
“Previously, at the Hundred Flowers Pavilion, you composed a poem that has already gained fame in the capital, making countless scholars hesitate to show off their own skills!”
“And at the Thundercloud Monastery, you left behind a masterpiece for the ages! That poem was ethereal and filled with romantic poetic imagery, surpassing any predecessors and leaving countless scholars feeling inadequate!”
“Opportunities like this are rare. Top scholar, don’t be modest. Please offer your masterpiece!”
“We request the top scholar to compose a poem!”
Everyone was extremely excited, as if they were about to witness a superstar coming out to perform.
In reality, esteemed talents like Lin Beifan were equivalent to big celebrities in ancient times.
Amidst everyone’s anticipation, Lin Beifan once again humbly spoke, “Thank you all for your appreciation, but there’s no need for it! I am just an ordinary scholar, lacking in comparison to all of you in the realm of poetry. I won’t embarrass myself by offering a subpar work!”
One talented scholar asked in confusion, “Top scholar, why? Don’t you feel tempted seeing Ziyue’s generous offerings for this poetry gathering? Don’t you want them?”
Lin Beifan lightly smiled and said, “Indeed, I’m not particularly tempted! My family already possesses two masterpieces by Master Liu Jibei! Furthermore, we have over 50 works that rival the Autumn Scenery on Snowy Mountains!”
Everyone exclaimed, “Damn!”
While others can’t obtain even one, you have over 50?
That’s incredibly extravagant!
“What about this fine wine? Don’t you like it, top scholar?” someone persistently asked.
Lin Beifan shook his head, “It’s not that I don’t like it, but my family has already consumed all the fine wine we have! We have 30 casks of this exquisite Snowflake Wine, and over 200 casks of other equally excellent wines, filling several rooms!”
Everyone exclaimed, “Damn!”
Such top-quality wine fills several rooms!
The eyes of the alcohol lovers turned red!
They particularly wanted to go and raid it!
“These were all bestowed by Her Majesty!” Lin Beifan said with a wry smile. “Honestly, I didn’t want so much, but to refuse the imperial decree would be disobedience, so I had no choice but to accept them! Due to the limited space, there are still many stored in the palace that I haven’t brought back!”
Once again, everyone exclaimed, “Damn!”
There are even more?
And there are many stored in the palace, not brought back?
Everyone became insanely jealous!
No wonder he wasn’t interested in the offerings tonight. Turns out, his home is already overflowing with treasures!
I don’t know why, but his words made me so angry!
Even Ziyue, standing on the stage, was filled with envy.
I, a princess, am actually inferior to a fifth-rank minor official?
My mentality is about to collapse!
“Top scholar, you may not care about the previous offerings, but can you ignore such an opportunity? Don’t you desire the beauty of Ziyue?” someone asked.
Lin Beifan glanced to his left, where the elegant and refined Li Shisl Shi stood, then to his right, where the adorable and charming little princess, Mo Yunying, and the graceful and confident Mo Rushuang. He blinked his eyes and said, “It seems like I don’t need to.”
Following Lin Beifan’s gaze, everyone immediately noticed the three stunning beauties, each with their unique charms.
They were consumed with jealousy, their faces distorted beyond recognition!
While others couldn’t obtain a single peerless beauty, he had three?
It’s like being desperate for water while drowning in a flood!
At this moment, Lin Beifan lifted his wine cup and said, “So, I won’t embarrass myself! I’m truly ashamed!”
Everyone was speechless and frustrated!
Is that really shame?
Clearly, it’s showing off!
Don’t think we can’t see through it!
“Dog official!” Ziyue gritted her teeth in her heart.
This damn man had exposed her tricks before, causing all her previous efforts to go in vain.
Now, he had ruined the poetry gathering she had worked so hard to organize!
And most importantly, if you don’t compose a poem, how can I plot against you in secret?
All the efforts will be in vain!
Ziyue felt she had to make an effort, so she persuaded with a bitter tone, “Mr. Lin, it would be a pity if you don’t compose a poem when we all gathered here. Wouldn’t it be regrettable?”
Lin Beifan shook his head, “No! We have fine wine and delicacies here, and I have no regrets!”
A twitch appeared at the corner of Ziyue’s mouth, “What I meant was, everyone else feels regret!”
Once again, Lin Beifan shook his head, “Probably not! Everyone came here for you, not for me! If Ziyue, you reveal your true face in front of everyone, they will surely leave satisfied!”
“Top scholar, well said!”
“You’ve voiced the thoughts of all of us!”
“I toast to you!”
Cheers filled the room.
Lin Beifan smirked and clasped his hands, saying, “Thank you for your generosity! You all have my gratitude!”
Ziyue couldn’t help but tighten her grip, wanting to punch this man who irritated her to the core.
Why doesn’t he follow the usual routine?
This man is toxic!
In the end, it was Li Shi Shi, as a woman, who couldn’t bear it any longer. She smiled and persuaded, “Husband, since everyone is so enthusiastic, why not compose a poem? In fact, I’m very eager to hear it too!”
“You villain, compose a poem! Use your talent to impress them!” the young princess waved her little fist.
“Mr. Lin, please!” Mo Rushuang smiled gently.
At that moment, Ziyue actually felt somewhat grateful to Li Shi Shi and the others.
It’s really difficult for me to stand alone on the stage facing this man!
After pondering for a moment, Lin Beifan said, “It’s hard to refuse such enthusiasm, so this young master shall compose a poem!”
“Great!” the whole room exclaimed in unison.
Ziyue was so excited she wanted to cry, “Mr. Lin, please!”
Amidst everyone’s anticipation, Lin Beifan lifted a cup of wine, saluted the bright moon in the sky, and loudly recited:
When did the bright moon first appear?
One raises a cup and asks the blue sky.
One does not know, in the celestial palaces,
What year it is this evening.
I wish to ride the wind and return there, yet fear the jade towers; in a high dwelling one cannot bear the cold.
Starting to dance with one’s clear shadow –
What else resembles the mortal world?…
He recited Su Shi’s “Prelude to Water Melody: When Will the Bright Moon Appear” in a flowing manner.
Everyone listened and was instantly amazed!
“What a brilliant line, ‘When will the bright moon appear? One raises a cup and asks the blue sky!’ This verse alone surpasses all the poetry of everyone present!” The top scholar of this year’s examination stood up and applauded, “Such elegance and grandeur, heroic and inspiring! With just this line, it suppresses all the poetry of those here!”
The second-place scholar smiled and stood up, “I prefer the last line from the top scholar: ‘May we all live long and share the beauty of the moon, even if we’re thousands of miles apart!’ This sentiment and scene not only make me think of my hometown and fellow countrymen but also bring tears to my eyes!”
“The entire poem, flowing smoothly and with ethereal charm! The champion truly deserves to be a celestial being. Only celestial beings can create such magnificent poetry!” exclaimed another scholar.
“This poem is worth a thousand pieces of silver! A toast to the poetic immortal!” someone raised their glass.
This poem undoubtedly conquered all the talented men and beautiful women present!
Even Ziyue, standing on the stage, couldn’t help but admire it repeatedly, feeling greatly astonished.
“I didn’t expect this guy to be quite talented! With just a casual recitation, he created an immortal verse that no one can surpass! Unfortunately, he’s a corrupt official who ruined my plan. Hmph!”
In her heart, she was already happily plotting how to deal with Lin Beifan.
However, considering the beauty of this poem, she could go easy on him.
“I’ve figured it out. The top scholar is mainly avoiding any conflicts with others for personal gain. That’s why he hesitated to speak up! Otherwise, with this poem, who could compete with him?” a great talent chuckled.
Everyone nodded, filled with admiration.
“Therefore, I believe that the poem champion is undoubtedly the top scholar’s himself! Apart from the top scholar, I won’t acknowledge anyone else!” the talent declared.
“The poem champion, the deserving champion!”
“Ziyue, please announce the result quickly. We can’t wait any longer!”
“There won’t be a second person to surpass the champion!”