Yu Qianqian smiled, tilted her head slightly while throwing a glance over at Wu Qi with both hands on her back. Meanwhile, Wu Qi was wearing a rather frivolous smile on his face as he walked with flighty steps past the large crowd of white-robe-clad young men towards Yu Qianqian. He waved his hand and said, "Young miss Yu Qianqian, I've long heard of your great name!"
To be honest, after retracting all his innate energy, the way Wu Qi walked could not look better than an ordinary man. For those who were looking at him, he was walking with his body shaking up and down in a weird manner. He looked absolutely improper and not appropriate for today's occasion, which was attended by many talented and well-mannered men.
There were always hotheads among a large crowd of youths, and it never lacked some youths who came with special intentions, trying their best in putting out a good performance before Yu Qianqian so that they could leave a deeper impression in the heart of the beauty. In an instant, over thirty young men clad in the same white robe, but with an expensive jade pendant hanging down from the side of their waists, suddenly rose to their feet. They pointed their fingers toward Wu Qi and shouted, "Who are you? Why did you not take your bath and put on clean clothes before coming here? Do you know what this place is? How could you be so impolite and rude?"
Feeling perplexed, Wu Qi halted his steps. He ran his eyes around and surveyed the surrounding young men, who were all clad in the same white robe and tall crown, each dressed up decently. Then, he gave himself a brief look: because of the rushed journey and the slaughter, his long green robe was rather messy and dirty, and even stained with grass debris. He sneered and said, "Take a bath and put on clean clothes? Where is this place? Do I, your grandfather Wu Qi , have the need to bath and put on clean clothes before coming here?"
Upon hearing the word 'grandfather' coming out from his mouth, all few thousands of young men on the platform instantly broke out into a laugh laughter. Every one of them assumed a look of not willing to even stand closer to Wu Qi, wearing an expression of pride and disgust in their eyes while looking at him. Among the group of young men who rose to their feet just now, one of them shook his head and said, "Your words and actions are an insult to the politeness! This is a decent place where we, the scholars, gather and discuss poems and drawings. How could we let a clown like this bring disgrace to this place?"
Instantly, Princess Zhang Le's face fell and darkened. Furiously, she glared at that young man and murmured under her breath, "The linage grandson of Marquis Qingyang? Hmph, if I don't find a way to deprive your right of inheritance, I'll not be called Zi Xuan anymore! Hmm, how could I deprive your right of inheritance to the title of Marquis Qingyang? Or maybe, I'll punish Marquis Qingyang at the same time? But, what sort of crime should I frame them with?"
While Princess Zhang Le was murmuring under her breath, plotting out schemes on how she was going to punish those young men who showed no respect to Wu Qi, Yu Qianqian, who had been standing beside her, clearly heard the murmur of the Princess. She furrowed her brows, stretched both her hands out and lightly pressed in the air while shouting out loud, "Be silent, everyone!" With that, every single young man on the spot had their mouths shut in an instant. They fell back to their seats and brought up a solemn and dignified expression. They were putting out the most gentle, decent and handsome look of theirs, resting their eyes on Yu Qianqian's face, full of tender affection.
Yu Qianqian smiled lightly, then gave Princess Zhang Le a satisfying gaze. Princess Zhang Le's face instantly turned extremely unsightly. It appeared that in the minds of these young men, the weight of her, the Princess of Great Yan Dynasty, was not as heavy as this Yu Qianqian. This had made her feel bad in her heart. She kept staring straight at the huge drawing paper lying before her, and her little lips were curling up.
Pursing her lips to suppress the laughter, Yu Qianqian threw her glance over at Wu Qi. When her eyes reached a few blood stains found on Wu Qi's shirt, her expression changed instantly. She gave all the young men on the spot a glance of warning, and only then did she turn to Wu Qi and said with a gentle voice, "Marquis of Tianyun, your honorable Marquis Wu Qi, Yu Qianqian offers her greetings! This is a place where I host a meeting every year, to serve as a place of gathering for people of the same hobby, where we can discuss poetry and drawing. The rule of taking a bath and putting on a clean cloth is merely a custom of the meeting, for the sake of not bringing any disgrace to the elegance of poetry and drawing."
She sighed lightly, gave Wu Qi a smile and said, "It is a rule set by all of us, and is complied by everyone. We have no intention of making things difficult for Marquis Wu Qi."
Wu Qi fixed his gaze at Yu Qianqian for a very long moment, then suddenly broke out into a loud laughter. But this time, either intentionally or unintentionally, he unleashed the aura unique to Xiantian warriors. The loud laugh of his rolled and rocked through the air, shook the water of Myriad Red River and caused waves of few feet tall to billow, while the wooden platform underneath everyone's feet were undulating violently. If it were not tied on a few iron anchors, the wooden platform might have long been overturned by the waves.
"This is absurd, a funny joke! Could poetry and drawing only be considered elegant after one took a bath and put on clean clothes? This must be the biggest joke since the world was created!" Disdainfully, Wu Qi gazed at Yu Qianqian, sneered and said, "So, does that mean that one must take a bath and put on clean clothes, and only then he is able to compose a good poem? A good drawing? This is simply a rule of attending to the superficials and neglecting the essentials, as stupid as a pig! All of you are just a bunch of posers who know nothing, yet you still try to discuss poetry and drawing?!"
He stomped his feet forcefully, let out a loud laugh and said, "Taking a bath and putting on new clean clothes can allow a person to compose an excellent poem, allow the person to draw a beautiful painting? Then those prostitutes in the brothels who had sex with thousand, if not more than ten thousand men, do you have any idea how many times they have to take a bath in a day? So, does that make them the most talented women in Great Yan Dynasty? And does that mean they are one hundred times more famous than you, my big sister Yu?"
Suddenly, Yu Qianqian had her face turned extremely unsightly. Her eyes went wide and nearly popped out from the eye sockets. Since when had she ever met with someone as unreasonable and rude as Wu Qi? Compared to those youth in this place, who bore an elegant bearing and looked gentle, cultured, and knowledgeable in poetry and drawing, Wu Qi was like a wild boar who just invaded into a vegetable garden, trampling and messing around, destroying all good vegetables in the garden and turning it into a muddy and nasty looking field.
Meanwhile, all the young men at the scene had turned fuming with rage. Each looked like a stray cat which had its buttock caught on fire, or like a dutiful offspring who just found out the tombs of their ancestors had been dug out by someone. All few thousands of them instantly broke out into curses, scolding Wu Qi for his absurd and unfounded speech. They called him unbridled, and a man who talked wildly, the number one unscrupulous man under the heavens, and the clown who deserved to be killed immediately.
There were even some prestigious young misters who came from influential clans and possessed some cultivation in the martial arts. They got so exasperated that they drew out their sword while shouting for a death duel with Wu Qi! What Wu Qi said had insulted their dignity, their honor. He was openly humiliating all the scholars and young misters in this place!
Suddenly, savage roars of bears rung out. Six great demon bears had transformed back into their original form, riding on a demon wind and soaring up into the sky. Six powerful soul pressures pressed down from the sky like a large curtain, causing all few thousands of young men to let out horrified cries and fall to the ground. Then, the deep, muffled roar of Xiong Qing came, "I do not know how to read poems or appreciate drawings. I know nothing about the peculiar things you all are playing with. But, His Majesty has given us an order, asking us, your ancestors, to protect Wu Qi. Who dares touch even a single hair of his, I will kill all his clan members!" He clenched his teeth forcefully and produced a loud noise, let out a loud laugh and said, "I have not eaten human meat for a very long time, and I miss the taste so much nowadays!"
The best way to deal with these scholars who regarded themselves as distinguished and admirable men was to place a sharp sword or blade at their throats. All few thousands of hotheads immediately shut their mouth while shivering. Even Shangguan Yuhen, who had thrown a hostile glance at Wu Qi just now, had his mouth shut up. There were six demon bears who had formed their Demon Cores here. Yet he was all alone. There was no way he could be a match for the joint force of six demon bears.
Wu Qi smiled. He beckoned and asked Xiong Qing brothers to come back down. With heavy steps, they strode back to the ferry.
With both hands placed behind his back, Wu Qi turned to Yu Qianqian, who now had her face turned greenish-pale. He smiled and said, "It seems like nobody agrees with what I've just said? Heh, all of you are indeed a bunch of self-claim distinguished and admirable fools who know nothing yet think you're some great scholars! Big sister Yu, what is the topic of today's meeting? Do you mind letting me know?"
Yu Qianqian's lips were shivering, and she could not come out with a single word for a long time.
On the other side, Princess Zhang Le had her face melted in a sweet smile, and her eyes narrowed into two fine lines. Smilingly, she looked at Wu Qi, giggled with the gentlest manner and said, "For today, sister Yu has just given her comment on Shangguan Yuhen's poem. Oh, he is also the youngest Sect Elder of Heaven Breaking Sword Sect. The poem composed by him is called 'The Journey of an Immortal'. She said that as we are mere mortals, we can't conjecture the realm of the Immortals. Thus, for today's topic, she decided to go on the reverse way by not composing anything related to Immortals, but instead, to compose the poem concerning ordinary mortals and villagers."
With a gleam flashing in her eyes, she looked at Yu Qianqian, then said with a cold voice, "Also, sister Yu said that as I can draw an excellent painting of birds and beasts, she has requested me to draw a painting of galloping horses here, on the spot. However, as I've never witnessed those inferior mounts, how could I come out with a painting of galloping 'whatever horses'?"
Wu Qi sneered, then he strode towards the table in front of Princess Zhang Le and picked up a stack of papers. On these papers were the poems composed by the young men here before he arrived. However, for all the young men here, they were either growing up in an influential clan or scholars raised in literary clans. Which one of them had really witnessed the true lifestyle of ordinary mortals and villagers?
The poems composed by them were merely ideas coming out from anthology of poetry, and the style was the same old lines of four characters each. Although the words of choice were beautiful and elegant, yet they kept repeating the same 'chopping the woods in Southern mountain, ringing noises of spinning wheel', simply lacking any creativity.
Looking at Yu Qianqian, who had an extremely unsightly expression, Wu Qi suddenly broke out into a loud laughter.
"Poems concerning ordinary mortals and villagers? Look at these, look what all of you have composed? Well, well, I'll let you, a bunch of unworldly toads who never see the real world before, witness what a real poem is, what spiritual and refreshing poem is, and what the fun life of a villager is!"
Then, he pondered for a brief moment, and began walking a few steps back and forth on the platform. Finally, he raised his head and began reciting,
"Date flowers fall in showers on my hooded head;
At both ends of the village wheels are spinning thread;
A straw-cloaked man sells 'melons' beneath a willow tree.
Wine-drowsy when the road is long, I yearn for bed;
Throat parched when the sun is high, I long for tea.
I knock at a farmer's door to see what he’ll treat me."
As Wu Qi did not find any cucumbers in this world till now and had no idea if they really existed, thus he replaced it with 'melons'.
The reciting of the poem had amazed every single person on the spot. Some scholars who possessed real knowledge in poetry had their faces fall, throwing a glance at Wu Qi as if they had just seen a ghost.
Since he had already stolen the work from someone, Wu Qi had decided to go all out. Without feeling embarrassed, he struck an attitude and walked seven steps further, again reciting,
"The thatched roof slants low;
Beside the brook, green grasses grow.
Who talks with drunken Southern voice to please?
White-haired man and wife at their ease.
East of the brook their eldest son is hoeing weeds;
Their second son now makes a cage for hens he feeds.
How pleasant to see their spoiled youngest son who heeds;
Nothing but lies by brookside and pods lotus seeds!"
It was a refreshing poem, like the water chestnut just being harvested from the water, fresh and lively. When the poem composed with a completely different style of Great Yan Dynasty was recited, a perfect silence reigned the scene. Even Xiong Qing brothers were struck dumb, flipping their ears back and forth, and nearly had their eyes popped out from their eye sockets.
Yu Qianqian stared at Wu Qi, with a wan expression and a pale green facial complexion. Her body was swaying, and nearly fell to the ground.
Yet, Wu Qi took another three steps again, then continued with his reciting,
"Startled by magpies leaving the branch in moonlight;
I hear cicadas shrill in the breeze at midnight.
The ricefields’ sweet smell promises a bumper year;
Listen, how frogs’ croaks please the ear!
Beyond the clouds seven or eight stars twinkle;
Before the hills two or three raindrops sprinkle.
There is an inn beside the village temple.
Look! The winding path leads to the hut beside the brook."
All stood amazed, nobody could speak a word anymore. Among all the few thousand scholars on the spot, more than half of them secretly ripped the paper placed in front of them and slowly hid it into their sleeves. Those who scolded Wu Qi just now were bowing their heads, feeling ashamed.
Princess Zhang Le had both palms cupped under her chin, staring at Wu Qi with a foolish smile on her face. Her eyes were glinting brightly.
However, Wu Qi did not want to stop here. He laughed and said, "Wu Qi has yet to take a bath and put on clean clothes today, and I had even killed several dozens of men before rushing here. Hahaha, since I've composed some poems, now watch how the style of Wu Qi's drawing is. Somebody, prepare brushes and inks for me!"
Without hesitation, Princess Zhang Le sprung to her feet and eagerly brought Wu Qi, sitting down behind the table.
Holding a brush in his hand, Wu Qi began to draw on the paper. In just less than an hour, a painting of 'Galloping Horses' was completed.
 Wu Qi was trying to behave arrogant and unbridled here, wanting to provoke and stir up troubles.
 A poem composed by Su Shi, a great scholar of Song Dynasty. Source of translation: http://www.en84.com/dianji/ci/201004/00001816.html
 A poem composed by Xin Qiji, a Chinese poet and military leader during the Southern Song Dynasty. Source of translation: http://www.en84.com/dianji/ci/201001/00001170.html
 Also a poem composed by Xin Qiji. Source of translation: http://www.en84.com/dianji/ci/201001/00001173.html