Posted Ch 52 yesterday so make sure you read that chapter first. Finally MSQ showed off her talent. Eat that, annoying Princess!!
This chapter was translated by Sian for only and edited by Din2.
By Qian Lu
Birthday Feast (Part 2)
“Ink stone?” When Murong Shu Qing took out the object, many people produced surprise and disappointed voices, the stuff that was presented, actually caught them off guard. Minister Qi liked calligraphy, so playing with ink was a common thing, but giving him an ink stone was too ordinary. Moreover, if one wanted to give him an ink stone, it should be a rare thing ah, but the ink stone that was on Murong Shu Qing’s hand, did not have any distinguishing feature, so everybody was greatly disappointed.
When the first two gifts appeared, Chu Qing was also staring at that small wooden box, but it was actually an ink stone that the palace maids would not even look at! She could not help to make a sneering sound. She was still thinking that it was some kind of a treasure!
However, the people who were sitting at the Master’s table, had not made any sound, but they were still carefully observing that dark ink stone. Since Murong Shu Qing gave it personally, it must have been an unusual thing. Under the quiet observation, the texture of the black ink did not appear to be the same as a black stone material or clay ceramic. Even though it was not filed with a luster of light, but its color was elegantly glossy, the texture looked like silk.
Qi Zhong Lin took the ink stone from Murong Shu Qing’s hand, and quietly fiddled with it, the shape of the ink stone was square, it was rather thick, all around it were engraved with fish like scales’ decorative design. The thickness was engraved carefully, except for the fish like scales on the outside, there was no other thing. Stroking it lightly, it was soft and smooth as a flesh, exquisite, solid and glossy.
Qi Zhong Lin suddenly recalled something, he impatiently and softly stroke it on the wall, he could only hear a low and muffled sound, it was not sharp and clear, it looked like there was a force that was absorbing the sound. However, the muffled sound was uninterrupted for a long time.
After listening to this muffled sound, Qi Zhong Lin unexpectedly lost his self-control, and cried out in alarm: “Mo Yan (ink stone)!”
Then he was caressing and stroking it gently as if he loved it so much, and did not pay any attention on everyone’s gazes that were puzzling over.
Everyone in the front courtyard was looking at each other in dismay, as they did not understand why Qi Zhong Lin was so excited about. That was really an ink stone, everybody had already seen it earlier, why did Minister Qi look like he just finally found out that it was an ink stone?!
Minister Qi was absorbed with fiddling with the ink stone, so he would not give any explanation to them. They did not have any alternative but to change their sights to Murong Shu Qing, and could only see that she was sitting tranquilly with a faint smile, and did not want to explain either.
Looking for a long time, nobody could really see any indication, Qi Yu wrinkled his mountain-like eyebrows, and turned around to look at Murong Shu Qing, he asked: “What is that?” He had never seen that his old father loved something like this, what kind of treasure was it after all?
Qi Yu’s question was also the same question that everybody wanted to ask, so they restrained in making noises in the front courtyard, nobody wanted to miss the answer.
“Mo Yan (ink stone).” Murong Shu Qing’s indifferent voice made everyone feel disappointed again, they naturally knew that it was an ink stone. But what special thing that this ink stone had??
Murong Shu Qing softly smiled, she did not plan to inform them. Moreover, she did not really say anything wrong either, this ink stone was called ‘Mo Yan’ ink stone. Using Cang Yue’s Xuan Bing lake ____ the unique and rare ink jade rock made the ink, so this ink could be used quickly, it would preserve the heat in the brush. Moreover, the ink was easy to dry, and wash completely. That was the best quality of the ink stone, an absolute gem. Because the whole rock was black, it was called ____ Mo Yan.
Mo Yan was very rare, there might not be five items in the whole world, they were mostly hidden within Cang Yue. Murong Shu Qing racked her brain for a long time to search for this rare world treasure, for this elderly person whom she respected dearly and admired. It was normal that the other people could not see it. Just let them think that it was an ordinary ink stone, was also possible.
It was only a thing that one could put on the table, what was good about it, could it be that Minister Qi got confused. Even Xing gege was always staring at that ink stone. No matter how Chu Qing looked at it, it was only a thing that would be put on the table.
Unable to see Murong Shu Qing’s relax appearance, Chu Qing was still not willing to let her get away, she let her to be in the center of attention a moment ago, and just wanted to humiliate her today.
“The Murong’s family is worthy to be an influential family within Dong Yu, these gifts were also novelty and unique. This Princess had admired Miss Qi for many years, since I met Miss Murong today, I should ask for advice properly. You should not let this Princess be disappointed!” This public praise also had a hidden mock, some people could hear that Chu Qing wanted to embarrass Murong Shu Qing.
But Prince Rong Ning and Minister Qi did not say anything, so everyone also kept silent, and they still quietly observed to see any change.
This Princess deliberately made things difficult to Shu Qing. Qi Yu looked at Murong Shu Qing and said with a clear voice: “Shu Qing, do not decline anymore, show your talent, and let them see it.”
In his opinion, Murong Shu Qing was elegant and outstanding, knowledgeable and unique, even if her talent could not be compared to his younger sister, it was surely not ordinary either. If she kept shirking, it was probably because of her modesty, and she did not like to show off. Since this Princess was so aggressive, there was no need to be courteous anymore.
Murong Shu Qing slightly looked distracted, heavens, did her small Uncle really think that she was a talented girl? Did he not see He Xiang Jun who kept sending him a meaningful look continuously? Even when Qi Rui heard it, his face was changed. Bowing her head to force a smile, how did she want to deal with this next? She could not sing! She was not able to dance! She was an amateur in playing a stringed instrument! She was even more rotten in composing a poem! Her head was suddenly aching, she really wanted her cold to become more serious! If she fainted now, that should be a fortunate timing!
“Shu Qing, just go.”
Qi Zhong Lin’s strong and powerful voice suddenly came through, it startled Murong Shu Qing and made her promptly lift her head! Unexpectedly, she looked at that wise and calm eyes.
Murong Shu Qing slightly frowned her eyebrows, Qi Zhong Lin knew that Murong Shu Qing did not have any talent, why did he still want her to go?! Could it be that ____
The two people were looking face to face at each other, Murong Shu Qing suddenly smoothed her eyebrows, that faint smile was raised again. She got up to look at everyone, finally looked at Chu Qing’s provocative eyes, she answered with a clear voice: “Since it is like this, Shu Qing will do it.”
Murong Shu Qing whispered several sentences at the side of Lu Yi’s ear, Lu Yi answered and retreated out. Walking slowly to the side of Qi Zhong Lin, Murong Shu Qing smilingly said: “Maternal grandfather, I want to borrow the Mo Yan ink stone for me to use.”
Qi Zhong Lin had a smile on his face and nodded, handed over the Mo Yan ink stone that was on his hand. Going to the middle of the courtyard, Lu Yi already prepared a big table. Murong Shu Qing took that Mo Yan ink stone, and smilingly said: “I am borrowing somebody’s work to congratulate Maternal grandfather using this Mo Yan ink stone to write a rhyming couplet.”
Everybody could only see that she clenched the Mo Yan ink stone tightly, using a slight strength, she slightly rotated it, the Mo Yan ink stone was actually broken ini two! Her left and right hands were holding each of the ink stone, under a careful look, there was actually another activity! One hand was making an eye, the other hand was making an X, when they were merged together, the head was hidden in between, it seemed like fine scales from the fish body. After they were separated, and flipped around, they were unexpectedly a writing about military and two mythological animals! The design of this ink stone was elaborate like this, and unique, so it was indeed a premium product.
Murong Shu Qing put down the two Mo Yan ink stones that were on her left and right hands, and returned to the front of the Master’s table. Her right hand was holding wine and her left hand was holding tea. With the sounds of bewildering from everyone, she poured a little wine and tea inside both of the ink stones.
What was she trying to do? Everyone was watching attentively at her, waiting until Lu Yi separately ground the ink stones properly. Murong Shu Qing walked back to the front of the table, displayed the papers on the left and right, and everyone could see that she picked up the two writing brushes at the same time. She dipped each one in the ink stones, slightly closed her eyes, when she opened her eyes again, her appearance was as clear as an empty spirit.
Her hands were rising and falling freely and naturally, the power of the writing brushes were smooth and easy. She unexpectedly _____ wrote with both of her hands together!!
Two agile writing brushes were already finished writing the rhyming couplets. The family servants slightly raised up the rhyming couplet so that everyone could see the words:
A family exists like a spring iris and orchid with its own charm
A person as a pine and cypress that are always new every year
Writing with both hands, the calligraphic styles were completely different, the left side was using an elegant calligraphic style, and the right side was using a regular style. Coupled with the strength and gentleness, they looked as if they were extremely bold and unrestrained, but they could be cleverly mixed into a tranquil style.
Xuan Tian Xing praises with a clear voice: “Good words.”
The regular script of the calligraphic style and writing technique were exquisite, the thickness and thinness were in between, outstanding talent and very elegant, the expression was very natural. The writing from the regular script was skillful and free, firm and boundless, imposing and bold, the strokes were clear and powerful. Not many people could accomplish to write like these at the same time, but the reason why someone liked to write with both hands, was to place a particular emphasis on a certain writing hand, while the other hand would just make a few mistakes. But these two papers that were in front of his eyes, were both wonderful, there was no mistakes.
Examining it carefully again, the ink that was for the left semi-cursive written script was rather light and soft, slightly carrying a bright luster. The ink that was for the right regular written script was thick and heavy, the wine enhanced its thickness. The same writing brush, the same paper, the same ink stone, but using the tea and wine, they made it totally different. The ink marks were actually very different also, was this the mystical thing that the Mo Yan ink stone could do?
Murong Shu Qing, What other new surprise could you still show me? When Xuan Tian Xing raised his head again to look for Murong Shu Qing, there was only that calligraphy rhyming couplets that were in front of him in this front courtyard, her shadow was nowhere to be found!
I try to look more information about this Mo Yan ink stone to see if there’s something special about this type of ink stone but can’t find anything except the fact that the brush, ink, paper and ink stone are called the Four Treasures of the Study used in the calligraphic traditions. The Chinese words for these are 笔墨纸砚 (bi-brush), (mo-ink), (zhi-paper) & (yan-ink stone). That Mo Yan name come from the mo in ink & yan in ink stone.
MSQ hates being in the center of attention but unfortunately, she’ll always be in the center of attention whether she likes it or not.
Hikari provided me with a sample of the stone screen that was mentioned in the previous chapter. Here’s the website if anybody wants to see it: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/saturday-at-sothebys-chinese-art-n09360/lot.697.html