Every year, the couplets were written by the old man . This year however, the old man was ill and could not write couplets . What should they do?
Xiao Dechang’s brows wrinkled up deeply, this was a difficult problem for him .
“I heard that there is a person in Chen Jiacun who can write good characters, why don’t you ask him to write?” One suggested .
But someone immediately rejected it, “Ridiculous, this is our Xiao family’s tradition . If we ask Chen family members to write couplets, wouldn’t it be a joke? This is absolutely not possible!”
These remarks were indeed reasonable and had the support of everyone . This matter was too important . In many important festivals, people with foreign surnames were not allowed to enter the temple, let alone write couplets for the altar .
“Why don’t you go to town and have someone copy a couplet with a computer?” Another idea came up .
Xiao Dechang shook his head, “The couplet must be posted before 12 o’clock in the evening . What time is it? Besides, it’s so late that the shops are closed in the town . Who can copy it?”
The residents all frowned altogether, obviously this was a huge problem . They all thought that Xiao Dechang’s prior words were right, the youths should practice some calligraphy; as the father would leave (die) sooner or later one day, it would be too late to change the rules by then .
“Don’t worry, Xiao Luo went to college and knew everything . It is certainly not a problem to write calligraphy . Why not let him write a couplet instead of the old man?” Xiao Qiu loudly stated .
His purpose was very simple; to humiliate Xiao Luo in public, then he would say to everyone that the university way was a fart: ‘Know everything? That is just a blind chicken and bullshit . ’
Yes, how could they forget Xiao Luo?
The crowd suddenly realized this and collectively looked at Xiao Luo, their eyes looking eager to it .
Xiao Dechang asked with some hesitation, “Xiao Luo, can you write calligraphy?”
“Uncle Dechang, aren’t you making fun of Xiao Luo on purpose? He is a college student with the highest academic qualifications in our village . If he can’t even write, then nobody can . ”
Xiao Qiu raised his voice deliberately and patted Xiao Luo on the shoulder, “Brother, don’t hide and hold it now, the family needs you . ”
Xiao Ping gritted his teeth . How could he not know what Xiao Qiu was up to? Should college students be all-powerful? Should college students be able to do everything? Telling Luo Zi to step up, didn’t you just want Luo Zi¹ to make a fool of himself in front of the people?
[TN¹: remember Luo Zi is Xiao Ping nickname for Xiao Luo)
He immediately helped Xiao Luo, “Luo Zi, it doesn’t matter . Few people can write calligraphy nowadays . It’s not a shame . ”
Xiao Qiu immediately glowered and shouted, “Xiao Ping, what do you mean? Are you saying that I’m deliberately embarrassing Xiao Luo?”
“Aren’t you?” Xiao Ping whispered .
Xiao Qiu was furious, “What is with your attitude? Do you still want to borrow money?”
This sentence directly touched the most vulnerable nerve in Xiao Ping . He raised his head and stared at Xiao Qiu with extreme discomfort .
“Ahem … Xiao Qiu, don’t say such things here at the master altar . Everyone is a family . The master will be very unhappy when he sees this in heaven . ” Xiao Quanren said with a dry cough .
Xiao Dechang echoed aloud, “Yes, your private affairs should be settled in private . Now, only the writing of couplets should be mentioned . ” He then turned to look at Xiao Luo, “Xiao Luo, can you?”
“I’ll try . ”
Xiao Luo walked up with a smile .
At that time Xiao Qiu scoffed and said, “Xiao Luo, don’t try to be brave . I just said it casually . If you really don’t know how to do it, no one will laugh at you . The altar is the important place of our Xiao family . Couplets must be written neatly . If they are written in a crooked way, like being gnawed by a dog, they must not be posted . ”
As soon as he said this, everyone looked at him with disgust, like a fly, which was extremely annoying .
Xiao Luo completely regarded him as air, holding up the ink brush, he began to dip it in the ink .
This ink-stained posture made Xiao Qiu feel extremely funny . It was really not very beautiful . When the old man was writing calligraphy, he had a more beautiful posture and looked artistic . However, Xiao Luo’s gesture was basically a layman . Even his posture of holding the brush was extremely ugly .
The old man Xiao Quanren frowned and thought to himself: ‘This Little Luo better not put on bravado!’
“Xiao Luo, can you really do it?” Xiao Dechang was skeptical .
“I will try my best to write well . ”
Xiao Luo closed his eyes and thought about the words of the couplets . At the same time, he also spent 500 points in exchange for a calligraphy ability . In a flash, the brush in his hand seemed to become a part of his body . He was no longer as unfamiliar as before; many words came to mind .
Of course, he didn’t want to slap Xiao Qiu’s face by doing this . It didn’t make any sense and it was just petty . He just wanted to contribute something to the village .
Xiao Luo put the brush to the paper and wrote the word “Zu” .
“Hey, is this running-script²? No, it’s not a standard running script . Is this really running- script? But it seems to be quite different from an ordinary running-script . ” Xiao Quanren’s old eyes shone bright light, his words unusual .
[TN²: Running-script: individual strokes are sometimes eliminated or condensed, and separate characters are joined by linking strokes]
Xiao Qiu, who had a mocking expression on his face, froze and said in disbelief, “This guy can really write calligraphy?”
Ji Siying was also a little excited, because she felt it was time to record another discovery in her little notebook .
Xiao Luo’s expression was focused, and the brush was moving like a dragon and a snake in his hand . The appearance of a layman was long gone . Instead, it was replaced by an aura and connotation of a calligraphy master . It was done without a pause .
The first couplet was: “Zude is famous for the sun and the moon .
The next couplet was: “Zong Gong was handed down to reflect the mountains and rivers . ”
After writing, the pen stopped; cleanly and without hesitation, making the people infatuated . They didn’t understand the implication of calligraphy, but they could certainly, deeply realize a majestic atmosphere and an artist’s appeal .
Xiao Quanren had already fixed his gaze on Xiao Luo’s face . His turbid old eyes were filled with fiery light, and his happiness was reflected in his phrase: “Good words are good couplets; sun, moon, mountains and rivers, what an imposing manner this is, and these words, like flowing clouds and water³; vigorous and powerful . At a young age, he has such a deep way, good, good, good, ha, ha, ha …”
[TN³: very natural and flowing style of calligraphy, writing, etc; natural and unforced . ]
He was not only a godfather in the village, but also a scholar . His evaluation was of course authoritative .
“Xiao Luo is not a run of the mill college student, wow!”
“The writing is excellent . ”
“Son, when you grow up, you will have to be admitted to an undergraduate university like Uncle Xiao Luo, do you hear me?”
All the people looked at Xiao Luo with admiring eyes . This was really too much . He was simply a man of God to have been given such high evaluation from the old man .
Xiao Qiu’s face was as ugly as a burnt pot . He didn’t know what was the matter . This year, Xiao Luo suppressed him every time . Whereas, unlike past years, he had completely dwarfed Xiao Luo .
“Sir, can these couplets be posted?” Xiao Dechang asked .
Xiao Quanren looked with a smile on his face as if he had won the most valuable prize . “If even such couplets are not qualified, then the couplets I wrote before are even more unqualified . ”