Chapter 260: Magic brush Ma Liang!
Woof woof woof——
The dog crouched low at Li Muyang’s feet, barking furiously at him.
As it barked, its body became fainter and smaller, and eventually disappeared completely.
After all, it was just an illusion, the dog was not really brought to life.
Li Muyang’s eyes shifted to the painting, realising that the dog at the side of the river had disappeared. The space looked absolutely empty as though the painter had clumsily left some blank space.
Li Muyang had already witnessed last time at the Walls of Peach Blossom, the impressive spectacle of Gu Huangwu’s a wisp of spring breeze, which made the peach blossom bloom. But when the dog appeared right in front of him, Li Muyang stood dumbstruck at the sight, unable to contain his emotions.
This scene, even if he had seen it 100 times he would still marvel at it.
Immortals can ‘touch a rock and turn it to gold’, and a brilliant painter can add a speck of ink to bring a scenery of a painting to life——No matter what, the latter was much more showy.
“Teacher Gu, this is——” Li Muyang looked at Gu Huangwu, his face flushing with excitement, asking loudly.
“A painting has a true meaning, what is the true meaning of your painting?” Gu Huangwu asked, interrupting Li Muyang.
Li Muyang finally cleared his head, composed his emotions, but did not speak out.
He pondered for a short moment, before he answered: “Words are the voice of the heart, a painting is a mirror of a person’s mind.”
“Wonderful.” Gu Huangwu finally gave affirmation for Li Muyang’s answer. “You echoed the words in my mind, a painting brings out a person’s feelings like a mirror. What people thinks, what is drawn. It cannot be faked.”
Li Muyang laughed foolishly; it seemed like he had passed the test and would be Teacher Gu’s disciple.
“Say it, don’t feel embarrassed, I will seriously consider it——” Li Muyang thought to himself.
“What is the definition of the word meaning?”
Li Muyang was slightly taken aback by the question. “Meaning?”
Why was this teacher so unpredictable and never played by the rules, if you have too many questions it might scare away disciples.
“The meaning of true meaning.”
Li Muyang thought for a longer time, then answered, “Intention? The subject that the artist wants to express?”
“It can be intention, significance, and can also be explained with will and spirit——” Gu Huangwu set aside the brush in his hand. “Have you heard of the story of divine brush Ma Liang?”
Li Muyang tried to hold back his smile. “Teacher Gu, this story is known by everyone.”
In ancient times, there was a painter called Ma Liang. His died when he was young and he made a living by gathering firewood and cutting grass. He liked to paint from a young age, but he didn’t even own a brush. One day, he walked pass the door of a school building and saw the county magistrate holding a brush painting. He walked right in unconsciously, told the county magistrate that he awfully wanted to learn to paint and asked if he could lend him a brush?
The magistrate glared at him. “Pah!” Spat in his face and scolded: “Poor child, you want to borrow a brush, and also want to learn to paint? In your dreams. After that, he was thrown out. Ma Liang was a child with ambition, he said that he does not believe why was poor children not allowed to learn to paint. From then on, he was determined to learn painting, every day he practiced hard. When he went up the mountains to gather firewood, he snapped of a branch and practi
ced drawing birds on the sandy lands. When he went to the riverbank to cut grass, he dipped grassroots into the water and drew fish on a rock by the shore. In the evening, when he returned home, he drew what he saw during the day on the walls of a cave with a piece of coal, one after another. Without a brush, he was still able to learn to draw.
Years after years, Ma Liang never stopped painting. The four walls of his cave were painted over and over, everywhere were drawings. Of course, he had also improved greatly, the birds he painted could almost chirp, the fish he painted could almost swim. One time, he painted a small hen at the entrance to a village and eagles were constantly circling above the village. Once, he painted a black wolf at the back of the mountain, and cattles and sheep were too frightened to graze at the back of the mountains.
Later, as Ma Liang’s reputation grew, his name had spread to the ear of the magistrate, and he ordered people to seize his magic brush. In the end Ma Liang drew a crane and rose high into the sky, riding the wind. All of his paintings can be brought to life. The loser youngster finally became a winner in life, praised by the world.
When Li Muyang was a child, every time his body ached and he couldn’t sleep, mother Luo Qi and father Li Yan would take turns to look after him, telling him stories, until his body temperature dropped and he slowly fell asleep——Back then, his parents had told him this story countless of times.
Li Muyang, just like other children, always asked the question at the end of the story: Where did Ma Liang go in the end?
His parents would mumble to each other, unable to directly answer the question. They only said that he went to a place far far away, to draw for those that need his help.
“I really miss my father and mother and also Li Shinian——” Li Muyang said in his mind.
However, it was only a fairy tale, a legend. It was not a real story.
Teacher Gu had asked him this question at this time, what exactly is the meaning?
“Have you ever thought that Ma Liang did not obtain the white bearded grandfather’s magic brush, but because he dreamed what he thinks, entered the way through painting, break the realms through meaning, so possessed the magical power of touching stone and turning it to gold?”
Li Muyang’s face was filled with astonishment. “Teacher Gu, that——is just a legend.”
“Who told you that it was a legend?”
“Everyone says so.”
Gu Huangwu sneered: “The ignorant people of the world. Ma Liang is a master of ink, a strong person that can roam the starry sky. The world will only focus on how he dreamt of receiving a magic brush from the white bearded grandfather, but not him heading up the mountain to gather firewood and drawing birds on the sandy lands or his assiduous drawing pratice of sketching fish using grassroots——Years of painstaking practice and breaking the realms overnight, is there many of such talented people?”
“Li Qiubei and Du Ruofu both entered the way through poetry, when they produced a good poem that was praised throughout the world, a extraordinary scene was evoked, leaving a lingering sensory effect——They are in fact the same kind of people as Ma Liang. But their breakthrough was different.”
Li Muyang stood dumbstruck like a wooden chicken. Although he could not believe Teacher Gu’s words and find it difficult to believe that the main protagonist of the story, Ma Liang, was a painting master, able to enter the way through painting and eventually become a strong person of Starry Sky——
But, for some reason, in his mind he vaguely thought that what he said makes sense.
Adding to this, Li Qiubei and Du Ruofu really entered the way through poetry, break the realms through poetry, and breakthrough to the ninth heaven overnight, became a strong person of Starry Sky that the world look up to.
There was a real precedent!
“Your painting already possesses true meaning. Of course, this true meaning only means intention and significance.” Gu Huangwu was very satisfied with Li Muyang’s performance. “Today, I will teach you the method of will and spirit. Enter the way through painting, break the realms through meaning. And become a strong person of the starry sky like Ma Liang, Li Qiubei and Du Ruofu——”