Winning (Part 1)
Early in the morning today, many people were already gathering at the gate of the government office (yamen), because today was the public announcement for the the result of the brocade (competition). Over the next year, the first three winners would be made public to let everyone judge and admire the works. This was done to let the competition (winner) to see the other competitors’ samples, even if they lost, they had to accept their loses wholeheartedly. If they did not accept it, they could put out their own samples to ask everyone to judge them. At the same time, this could put an end to the bribery and fraud’s activities, the result could be guaranteed that it was impartial by letting the public to look at the samples!
“Miss Murong, good morning ah!”
Murong Shu Qing just got off the carriage, and she already heard Fu Bo Wen’s voice that came through from behind her. Turning her head around, she slightly greeted with a light smile: “Good morning to you too ah!”
Fu Bo Wen’s mood was very good today, an hehe (chuckling) sound sounded from behind, he was just chatting with the other people. He spent a huge amount of money to ask about what kind of sample that the Murong’s family submitted, it was actually a picture of falling rain and new lotus, even though the embroidery was very good, but the artistic concept should not be that high. It probably only had a little elegance, the grandeur (of the sample) should also be lacking, besides, the composition of the embroidery was too plain. If it was compared to a picture of his birds and phoenix, it would slightly turn pale! Originally, he was still very worried, but it seemed that the winner of this time’s brocade (competition) should still be him!
Murong Shu Qing looked at the high-spirited’s Fu Bo Wen, slightly smiled and shook her head, the result had not come out yet, but he was already showing his manner like this. It was not surprising that he had been competing with the An’s family for many years, and he still lost a big chunks (of his business).
Before long, the attendant (shicong) took everyone to go in to the hall, three wide tables were set up inside the hall, after everyone was seated, Lin Hang who was wearing a government official’s clothing and Rong De Ren entered the hall. All of the people who went to the Fu family’s birthday feast recognized this Lin Daren, it was just that he was only standing behind Rong Daren like a servant at that time. Except Murong Shu Qing, Fu Bo Wen and only several more people who could see the clue at that time, still maintained their calmness, the other people let out their surprise exclamations. For a moment, the nervous atmosphere to wait for the result was reduced by a lot.
The Master (Shi Ye) of the government office stepped forward, made a couple of coughing sounds, and looked at everyone who were gradually quieted down, then he said in a loud voice: “The ten days evaluation period is up, we will invite everyone today, to display to everybody the three samples that have been judged and examined by Lin Daren, and announce in public which family will be the (winner) of the Imperial brocade at this time!
At this time, six servants were taking three good rolls of silk fabrics, they walked to the wide table in the middle of the hall.
Looking at their preparation properly, the Master of the government office looked one glance at everyone, with an expected gaze, he said: “The top three: Fu family Cai Yun Fang’s birds and phoenix picture, Murong family Su Ni Chang’s rain and lotus picture, Li family Ling Long Ge’s red plum and unyielding snow picture.”
Following the Master of the government office’s words, the six people opened up the silk
s that were on their hands one after another. Three pieces of embroidery were presented in front of everyone now.
The embroidery was already displayed, the people who were sitting originally, were getting up one after another, and they surrounded the three pieces of embroidery to admire them carefully. But they had not discussed anything, then the inside of the hall was bustling with noise in a flash.
Murong Shu Qing was still faintly smiling, chatting and laughing with the girl who was beside her, she did not look like she was nervous at the result of the competition. Lin Hang had been paying attention at this woman since the beginning, on the day of the birthday feast, she gave him a deep impression. He was always looking forward (to look) at her sample, until the final moment, that (her sample) was delivered very late. After he opened it, he attentively judged it for one shichen (2 hrs), the work of this embroidery was excellent, delicate, the composition was elegant, as if the picture was a fresh ink painting. It only used different shades of green for the lotus leaf, the lake water was displayed vividly and thoroughly. The pink and white were interweaving, trying to embroider the first time when the new lotus was blooming, together with the reflection of the dark green, it was delicate and fresh. The whole embroidery was using the five types of high level embroidery techniques, but it was not conspicuously chaotic, the mix was very good. However, he studied the reason for one shichen, the falling rain and new lotus’ title, the whole picture did not have any trace of rain, this made him extremely puzzled. It was reasonable to say, since she dared to choose this name, it certainly had the originality, could it be there was some other strange things on it?!
Moreover, the Fu’s family handed over this kind of rare embroidery, it was not surprising that they were victorious for the three consecutive years. The luster of the whole embroidery was gorgeous, the embroider skill was exquisite, the art composition was well developed, as if the style was made by heaven. Since the start of this judging, the whole embroidery would seize people’s gazes, it was grandeur and astonishing!
After looking for about one incense stick (about 15 min), everyone was almost done judging (the samples), they knew that they did not hope to win on their own, so they started to guess who would be the victorious embroidery one after another.
“This birds and phoenix picture is really impressive, looking at that phoenix embroidery with many elaborate styles ah! I think the Fu’s family will still win it this year!”
“Yes ah, the embroidery is really good, every bird is very vivid!”
“I feel that the Murong family’s (embroidery) is not too bad either ah, it is fresh and elegant, the style is refined. It seems that the embroidery work of the Murong family’s falling rain and new lotus is slightly better.”
“It is good, but it is too ordinary, moreover, that is only one lotus picture, and where is the rain ah, the title clearly is at odds with (the picture)!”
Even though the hall was huge, but everyone’s discussions was lingering on. Hong Xiu heard that other people seemed to say that the Fu family’s embroidery was good, she was somewhat anxious. Pulling Murong Shu Qing’s sleeve, she lightly shook it: “Miss?!”
Murong Shu Qing patted Hong Xiu’s hand, and smilingly said: “It is nothing, no need to be anxious!”
She was still not anxious? Hong Xiu turned to give a supercilious look, Miss was never anxious with any matter, the result would be out soon, it was really annoying.
Looking at this young girl’s mouth that was pouted, Murong Shu Qing patted her face, she still wanted to tease her with some words, but not too far away, Fu Bo Wen came towards her.
“The embroidery that is produced by Su Ni Chang is really delicate ah, but, it seems that Laofu’s (embroidery) is more beautiful!” Looking at everyone’s reactions, and the reaction that Lin Daren showed towards the birds and phoenix picture, it would obviously a clear matter which family would win this year! Murong Shu Qing was a young woman after all, if she wanted to prepare for the Imperial household’s embroidery, she should use a grandeur (embroidery) to score a victory. She seemed to like the type of a pretty daughter from a humble family, who she was still afraid to make a mistake.
Facing this kind of provocation, Murong Shu Qing did not get angry either, she only smilingly said: “It is alright, the winner will have the last laugh!”
This kind of indifferent response from her, made Fu Bo Wen be puzzled, the result was right in front of them, for which reason could she still be uncertain (about the result).
Lin Hang who was always observing them, was also very curious, what could make her full of confidence like this? Or, her appearance remained calm like this, calm and composed?!
Looking at everyone who was almost (done) appreciating and discussing, Lin Hang looked one glance at Murong Shu Qing, she still had that light smile and was calm, she did not speak anything, thus, Lin Hang hinted to the Master of the government office to declare the result.
The Master of the government office walked to the tables where they put the three embroideries, with a clear voice, he said: “The following is to announce that the winner is ~~”
“Wait a moment!”