Chapter 387: Too nervous!
"What does Miss want to say?" Li Muyang asked in a soft voice, keeping his head low and concentrating on grinding the ink.
Cui Xiaoxin stared at Li Muyang for a while before she asked, "what should I call you?"
"Miss, whatever you want to call me." Li Muyang replied. Then after a thought he added, "it's just a name."
A light smile curved Cui Xiaoxin’s lips, saying: "for example, the painting in you hand can be called 'Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly in snow', but it can also be alled 'Proud blossoms bloom in the winter snow', isn't that right?"
Li Muyang raised his head and looked Cui Xiaoxin in the eye, her beautiful eyes, and was then instantly melted by her sweet smile.
"If Miss Xiaoxin likes to, then you can change its name to 'Proud blossoms bloom in the winter snow' painting."
Cui Xiaoxin sighed gently. "Whether I like it or not is not important as long as you like it, you are the master of this painting. Since you named it 'Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly in snow', then it must have its own meaning."
Li Muyang looked at Cui Xiaoxin's face that was almost within reach, wrestling with some complicated emotions of his own.
This remark couldn’t be any more obvious.
Cui Xiaoxin indeed knew everything. She had indeed saw through his identity.
"I——" Li Muyang was hesitant.
He wanted to say something, but there were countless words, that he did not know where to start.
Cui Xiaoxin cast a glance over at Ning Xinhai who was sat in a meditative stance on a boulder dozing off to sleep. She knew that, with his cultivation base, he could possibly even hear their whispers.
"Let's paint." Cui Xiaoxin saw the troubled look on Li Muyang's face and said softly.
Li Muyang was a little relieved, but a faint disappointment surfaced in his heart. "The ink is ready."
Cui Xiaoxin shifted her line of sight to the old plum tree, and began to make brush strokes on the canvas.
"If you notice anything wrong with the painting, you must remind me." Cui Xiaoxin whispered, "just like when I did when I taught you before."
"Okay." Li Muyang nodded. Thinking of the time in Jiangnan city, there was a warmth flowing around his body and even his saliva tasted sweet.
Cui Xiaoxin's painting skills were pretty good; it was evident that she had put in painstaking effort in the way of painting.
In the eyes of ordinary people, she could be said to be one found in thousands of people. But in Li Muyang's eyes, or rather, the eyes of the black dragon, there really were many areas that she could improve on.
Li Muyang pointed to a lump of ink, saying: "here the ink can be lighter, leave more white parts, that will help show the corner of a rock and even more able to show the fierceness of the mountain rocks and the scene of the snowy sky."
Cui Xiaoxin pondered with extreme concentration, then her face suddenly lit up. "Indeed."
Then she added in a regretful tone of voice, "from what you just said, this painting can not be continued. What you said really is better. But is there a way to salvage this?"
Li Muyang, after a brief thought, reached out his hand.
Cui Xiaoxin was startled for a moment before she stretched out her hand.
Li Muyang gently held Cui Xiaoxin's hand, took the brush and began to apply brush strokes on that huge rock.
Cui Xiaoxin's little hand was soft and smooth like it had no bones.
At the beginning, the back of her hand was cold, but when it was wrapped in Li Muyang's big hand, very quickly the temperature rose and it became warm, and even fine beads of sweat were forming.
Li Muyang did not dare to look Cui Xiaoxin in the eye, and Cui Xiaoxin also avoided Li Muyang's gaze.
Li Muyang could hear his heartbeat, but could also feel that Cui Xiaoxin's heart was pounding forcefully.
He just wanted a blade of leaf, he didn’t expect to get the whole forest. He just wanted to Cui Xiaoxin to pass him the brush, but unexpectedly Cui Xiaoxin stretched out her little hand to him——
Li Muyang had to take her hand or it would be disrespectful to a girl, and it would seem like a kind of insult to the other person's appearance.
Cui Xiaoxin was also very nervous. When she saw Li Muyang reached out his hand, she handed over her hand without thinking.
It was only when Li Muyang took her hand that she reacted, and thought that maybe he just wanted the brush in her hand——
If she pulled her hand back it would only increase the awkwardness, but was it not just as awkward when her hand was held by someone else like that?
Fortunately, Li Muyang was only concentrated in the painting, all his attention was placed on 'salvaging' the painting, as though he was not at all aware that he was gripping a woman's little hand instead of a lifeless brush.
Li Muyan's act made Cui Xiaoxin feel lot more relaxed, but her heart was still beating rapidly, like a small rabbit was in her arms.
Li Muyang, clasping Cui Xiaoxin's hand, drew the outline of a fierce Snow eagle from the thick layer of ink of the huge boulder.
Li Muyang's painting was extremely careful and detail, each brush stroke seemed like he was combing the feathers of the Snow eagle.
When Li Muyang gently dotted the tip of the brush on the Snow eagle's eye, the Snow eagle unexpectedly flapped its wings and soared into the sky.
"Kraaa——" The Snow eagle screeched.
Cui Xiaoxin with a face of astonishment looked at the Snow eagle hovering above them refusing to leave.
Ning Xinhai suddenly shot opened his eyes, a golden light emerging in the palm of his hand, as though if the Snow eagle dared to act he would explode it with a punch.
"Miss——" Ning Xinhai leapt down from the boulder, staring vigilantly at the Snow eagle above her head.
"There’s an eagle——" Cui Xiaoxin pointed to the Snow Eagle overhead. "A snow eagle flew over."
"I’ll send it away." Ning Xinhai was about to strike a punch.
"Wait." Cui Xiaoxin interrupted. "I don't want to see blood, it will disturb my mood in painting."
Ning Xinhai understood, loosened his fist, gathered up a snowball and hurled it toward the Snow eagle.
The snowball smashed into the eagle's stomach, and in pain, the eagle screeched as it flew off into the distance.
"Miss, where did the eagle come from?" Ning Xinhai asked.
Cui Xiaoxin pointed to the distant ridge. It flew from there, Senior Li Mu and I were busy painting, we didn't really notice—"
"Really?" Ning Xinhai asked.
"It is so." Cui Xiaoxin said with a firm voice.
Ning Xinhai's eyes shifted to Li Muyang's face, who then said with a confused look, "I did not see clearly where the eagle came from, I had my head low to paint all this time—"
Ning Xinhai again glanced down at the unfinished 'Plum tree King', which was peaceful and quiet and did not notice anything strange.
"Miss be careful, if you feel something wrong, shout out." Ning Xinhai reminded.
"Thank you, Uncle Ning. You go rest, it’s going to be okay." Cui Xiaoxin smiled. "When I finish this painting, we'll go back."
Ning Xinhai nodded, turning around over to the boulder.
Taohong and Liulu also came scurrying over from the distance with a panicked expression.
"Miss, what was that noise?" asked Taohong. "It sounded terrifying—"
"I saw a huge bird in the sky, why would there be such a big bird here?"
"It’s okay now. A snow eagle strayed into the area and Uncle Ning scared it off." Cui Xiaoxin explained in a soft voice.
Taohong exclaimed "Miss, let’s go back? Did you forget, the last time we were at Thousand Buddha temple, there was a bird rushing over to attack you Miss——"
"Don't worry. Uncle Ning is nearby to protect me, nothing will happen." Cui Xiaoxin had to push out Heart Buddha Ning Xinhai as an excuse.
The two servants knew that the young Miss was soft on the outside but tough inside. Nobody can change the things that she had decided. They had no choice but to stand to one side and dared not leave too far away this time.
Cui Xiaoxin looked at Li Muyang, her delicate ruby-lipped mouthing 'why did that happen'.
Li Muyang also broke out in cold sweat, mouthing back, "I was too nervous."
Chapter 388: Monitoring Division stops the carriage!
Li Muyang was indeed too nervous just now, and indeed too concentrated.
Because he had thrown away all distractions in his mind, he placed all his attention on the brush in the hand.
Accidentally, the scene under the brush came alive. The Snow eagle soared, broke through the sky. If Cui Xiaoxin had not lied for him, most likely that Ning Xinhai would have saw through his real identity.
After this disruption, Li Muyang and Cui Xiaoxin naturally let go of each other's hand.
Li Muyang glanced at Cui Xiaoxin's delicate jade-like hand, and was embarrassed to touch it again. Even if he had this thought in mind.
"It’s done." Li Muyang pointed to the place where the Snow eagle flew away from. Now that the Snow eagle was gone, taken away with it some of the splotch of ink, the corner of the rocks were revealed and was consistent to the artistic conception that Li Muyang had mentioned before.
Cui Xiaoxin received the paintbrush and chuckled, "I will finish off the painting."
"Yes." Li Muyang nodded.
Then, Cui Xiaoxin was fully focused in painting, while Li Muyang was admiring at the side.
Gazing at the painting, but also at the painter Cui Xiaoxin.
In the painting, the branches of the plum tree were thick and fierce, the petals delicate and beautiful. There was a subtle fragrance wafting around, and a profound artistic conception.
The woman in the painting was elegant and gentle, independent and sincere, like an orchid in an empty valley, or a crane by the lakeside, she draws the eye.
Cui Xiaoxin, was like she had found inspiration. Her brush strokes were extremely fast, but the painting was increasingly better than before.
Li Muyang was just quietly admiring the painting at the side, and did not raise any more suggestion.
When the last stroke was finished, Cui Xiaoxin looked at the 'Plum tree king' painting, saying, "Are there any flaws?"
Li Muyang smiled, "There is."
"All things in the world, which one can truly deserve the word 'perfect'?" Cui Xiaoxin said, smiling. "What to name this?"
"'The plum tree king'. The king of hundred trees." Li Muyang said with a smile. "Didn't you already think of the name?"
"Do you want to inscribe the words?"
Li Muyang shook his head.
Therefore, Cui Xiaoxin inscribed the title in the upper right corner of the painting.
"Good." Cui Xiaoxin said joyfully. She raised the brush and began to appreciate the work she had just finished, her heart filled with happiness.
"Miss careful of the ink dripping." Taohong reminded.
Startled, Cui Xiaoxin drew back.
This step did not matter. The drop of ink on the brush was shaken, dripping onto her snow-white boot.
With a smear of ink on the snow boot, it looked extremely harsh and unsightly.
"Ah, the shoe is going to be ruined." Liulu hurriedly squatted down and was about to use her sleeve to wipe the ink stain.
"Don’t wipe it." Li Muyang hurriedly stopped her. "The stain will get bigger and it can’t be rubbed away."
Li Muyang, from Cui Xiaoxin's hand took the brush, and then bent down, outlining a skylark on Cui Xiaoxin's shoe from the splotch of ink.
The skylark was lifelike and looked very adorable.
When the shoe was lifted, it looked as though the skylark was going to spread its wings and soar.
Cui Xiaoxin trod lightly around then exclaimed, "This brush stroke rescued it well."
Taohong and Liulu also marveled at the young Miss's shoe.
Taohong turned around to say to Li Muyang, "I didn't know that Gongzi Li has so much talent, it really is a surprise."
"Miss Taohong is too kind." Li Muyang chuckled, passing over the brush in his hand.
Cui Xiaoxin evidently really liked this pair of skylark boots. She gazed at it with a wide smile on her face for a good while before she ordered Taohong to bring the seal over and stamped the painting with her own seal.
Cui Xiaoxin rolled up the painting, "you gave me the 'Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly in snow' painting, I will return the gift with this 'Plum tree king'."
Li Muyang received the 'Plum tree king' scroll with two hands. "Thank you Miss Xiaoxin."
He then took out the 'Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly in snow' from his bosom and presented it. "Miss Shinian told me to deliver it to Miss Xiaoxin."
Cui Xiaoxin looked at Li Muyang and said: "I think, last night’s 'Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly in snow' is the real Winter plum blossoms bloom proudly in snow painting, right?"
She received the scroll and ordered Taohong to carefully store it away, then raised her head to see the clouds tumbling overhead. "Looks like it will snow again. Let’s go back to the city."
Cui Xiaoxin was right. On the way back, white flakes were fluttering down again.
Li Muyang trudged through the snow, and did not dare to operate qi to resist the cold for fear that Ning Xinhai would notice. He could only use his physical body to withstand the cold. His wax yellow’s face turned pale, and he looked battered and exhausted.
The curtains were undrawn.
Taohong shouted to Li Muyang, "Gongzi Li, Miss tells you to get on the carriage to avoid the cold."
Ning Xinhai furrowed his brows as he reminded, "Miss, physical contact between men and women is forbidden, if people see him together with Miss in a carriage, I’m worried that there will be rumours."
Cui Xiaoxin’s soft voice sounded. "Uncle Ning, don't worry. It is cold outside, let him come in to warm up his body. There is no one in the wilderness, we will let him off at Tiandu’s city gate. Besides, there's Taohong and Liulu here too, so what if someone sees us?"
Ning Xinhai wanted to say something but then hesitated. In the end he halted the carriage and scowled at Li Muyang, saying in a warning tone: "get in the carriage. If you try to do anything, be careful of your head."
Li Muyang after a brief thought said under his breath, "they have three people, I am by myself."
The carriage was spacious, and the three girls were slim, so Li Muyang did not feel crowded at all.
Cui Xiaoxin was sat with her back against the seat while Taohong and Liulu were each sat to one side. Li Muyang swept his eyes across and saw that only Cui Xiaoxin's side was the most spacious, so he seated himself there.
Cui Xiaoxin was holding a hand warmer facing forward. Li Muyang also could only, like her, see the snow through the gap of the curtains.
Everyone said that this year’s snow would be heavier than usual. But hopefully the common people will have a good harvest this year.
Stepping onto the public roads, there were more and more pedestrians and horse-drawn carts.
There was a clatter of clomping of hooves when a group of black-clad mounted soldiers came galloping over.
They moved around the carriage, and after a distance, they turned back around under the leadership of a man.
The black-clad mounted soldiers crowded round Cui Xiaoxin's carriage, and the leader fiercely yelled: "The Imperial Monitoring Division, we suspect that there is a wanted criminal on board, the people in the carriage immediately come down for inspection."
Li Muyang was shocked: could my identity been leaked, otherwise, why would the Imperial Monitoring Division come over?
His right hand clenched into a fist. It was as if he was prepared to act if those people made any unusual movements – he would fight back with his life.
Because Li Muyang had killed Cui Zhaoren and destroyed the majority of the Imperial monitoring division, he had a deep prejudice against the Monitoring Division——of course, they also had deep hatred toward him.
Li Muyang knew well that if he were to fall into the hands of the Monitoring Division, he would be in utter misery.
Cui Xiaoxin furtively patted Li Muyang on the back of his hand, saying in her soft voice, "Don't worry."