Chapter 444 – Origins of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy
Then, Chu Shidao said to Ru Xin, “It’s good that you’re here. I heard from brother Hua that you’re good with refining strange medicines. You even managed to refine Water of Recollection that could bring back a person’s memories.”
Ru Xin nodded. “I still have a lot of Water of Recollection.”
Chu Shidao shook his head. “I already have enough memories… Can you refine a medicine with the opposite effects?”
If it were opposite to the Water of Recollection, wasn’t that just Water of Oblivion? Li Qingshan asked, “Isn’t that just granny Meng’s Soup of Forgetfulness?”
TL: Quoting from what I wrote in chapter 317: “Granny Meng, or Meng Po, is the goddess of forgetfulness in Chinese mythology. It’s said that once you die and enter the afterlife, you drink granny Meng’s Soup of Forgetfulness and permanently forget about your past life so that you can reincarnate.”
“That’s right.” Chu Shidao nodded with a smile and stared at the painting in his hand absentmindedly.
Ru Xin suddenly understood something. “Senior, you want to make her…”
Chu Shidao’s eyes rippled like water. “I’ll be venturing down the path of yellow springs soon, and she can’t come with me to the Bridge of Helplessness. Surely I can’t drink granny Meng’s Soup of Forgetfulness alone, right?”
TL: All of this is a reference to the underworld in Chinese mythology. The path of yellow springs is one that leads to the next life, while the Bridge of Helplessness is a bridge that every soul must cross to reincarnate. The Soup of Forgetfulness is drunk on the bridge.
“Master, h- how can we do that?” Chu Danqing’s expression changed drastically.
“I have my plans.” Chu Shidao raised his hand and said to Ru Xin, “There’s not a lot I can give you. Here’s three taels of Evening Dew cinnabar. You can use it for refining medicines. You can treat that as remuneration.” He fished out a metal, circular box used for holding pigments from his hundred treasures pouch and passed it to Ru Xin.
Ru Xin opened the box of pigments, and a red colour, similar to a light or a haze, seeped out. Like the evening dew under the setting sun, it varied with countless different colours. Faint red, blood red, violet red, and so on dyed the entire room. It was as if the colours of the sunset had been sealed within the tiny box. Not only was it extremely beautiful, but the spiritual qi it contained was startling too.
Ru Xin returned it with gratitude. “This is just too precious. I can’t accept it. I will do my best to fulfill senior’s request, but I might not manage to. Sometimes, forgetting is even more difficult than remembering.”
“That’s right. Take it. Whether you succeed or not, it’s yours.” Chu Shidao chuckled. “Little fellow Qingshan, I’ve actually wanted to see you for a very long time now. If you had come a little later, you really would have missed out. Danqing, the two guests you’ve brought today are perfect.”
“Whatever makes you happy, master.”
Li Qingshan said, “Don’t tell me you plan on asking me to return the Heavenly Maiden Scatters the Blossoms?”
“It’s a mere painting, so why would I do that?” Chu Shidao took out a picture book and laid it out in his hands. It was the Magic Brush Ma Liang Li Qingshan had used in the past to defeat Chu Danqing. “This is your masterpiece!”
Chu Danqing was perplexed. He had flipped through the picture book before. The workmanship was clumsy, nothing worth mentioning. Yet, Chu Shidao would flip through it again and again, like he was rather fond of it.
“You’re too kind, senior.” Li Qingshan was rather confused too.
“I had nothing to do when I was bed bound, so I painted a few things according to it. They’re not real works, just something to pass time.” As Chu Shidao said that, he passed a paperboard to Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan accepted it and took a look. The same title was written at the top, which gradually merged into a puddle of ink. It turned into various characters and scenes, running around and talking in there. The plot was unfolding.
With their abilities, the fish painted by painters could swim, while the birds could sing. All of this was the basics. Making the subject of the painting leave the restraints of the paper was truly grasping the art. To Chu Shidao, this was only something to pass time like a doodle, but the lively appeal it contained left even Li Qingshan stunned despite all his experience with movies and animations.
What was this supposed to be? Was he a master animator? How happy would young children be if they saw something like this? No, even adults would become attached to it!
“Painting and literature go hand in hand. The school of Novels and the school of Painting both count as lesser schools of thought within the academy. However, if we can work together, there is great room for development. It was exactly you who reminded me that the art of painting could be used like this.”
“You’re completely right, master Chu!” Li Qingshan already began thinking. Let alone animation, even movies would not prove to be a problem with what painters were capable of. Moreover, all of the scenes would be absolutely stunning, greater than any form of special effects from his past life. What would 3D be when compared to that? When they reached a climax, it could directly fly out of the screen. It would be startlingly effective, and it could remove the barrier of knowing how to read. The rate at which the power of belief accumulated would become much faster too.
Chu Danqing frowned. “Master, are you saying that I should also condense a Divine Talisman of Great Creation and go gather the power of belief?”
Chu Shidao grabbed Chu Danqing and Li Qingshan’s hands and said sincerely, “Both of your names have the word ‘Qing’. You can say that it’s destiny. If you can work together with absolute sincerity, what can’t you manage?”
Li Qingshan thought, Fu Qingjin also shares the word ‘Qing’ with me!
“I will, master.” Chu Danqing obliged as he always would and looked towards Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan patted Chu Danqing’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, senior. I admire Danqing’s conduct as a person very much. We’ll definitely collaborate properly and achieve great things.” He would write the script, while Chu Danqing would paint, and they could go on tour. When they split the earnings in the end, they would not be splitting money, but the power of belief. That would be wonderful.
Chu Shidao let out a satisfied smile. Ru Xin joked, “It’s just a pity that the two Qings are both men, or they could dual cultivate.”
Li Qingshan shot a glance at her, while Chu Danqing coughed a few times.
Chu Shidao said, “It would be wrong of you to say that. Those who find each other compatible become partners of love, while those who share the same goal and mindset become partners of cultivation. Doesn’t the latter surpass the former?”
Chu Danqing said, “You’re only bold enough to say that when mistress isn’t here.”
Chu Shidao stroked the painting. “Heh, she’s my confidant. There is no concept of gender when it comes to confidants.”
Alright, we better change the topic! Li Qingshan said, “Oh right. I have three scrolls of art here. I’d like senior to appraise them.”
“Oh?” Chu Shidao accepted the three scrolls of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy from Li Qingshan. He unfurled them one by one, and his eyes suddenly shone resplendently. He stared at the three pieces of calligraphy like he wanted to engrave it into his heart. His face was filled with shock at first before being replaced by endless pity.
Li Qingshan asked in a hurry, “Senior, do you recognise the origins of these three works?”
Chu Shidao let out a long sigh. “The origins of these three works are anything but simple. They’re so old that they even predate the Great Xia empire. Have you heard of the Five Absolutes of the Nine Provinces before?”
“May I ask which five seniors are they?” Li Qingshan said. What a name. There were so many talents and freaks in the world, yet who dared to claim they were absolute? After understanding the size of the nine provinces, he expressed admiration from the bottom of his heart to these people who dared to take on this in their nickname. These five people must have been extraordinary figures of great might.
Chu Shidao shook his head. “The Five Absolutes of the Nine Provinces is not five people, but one person.”
“One person! Who might they be?” The three of them were all astounded.
“I’ve only heard a few words about him from my master. Legend has it that he was a Reincarnated Celestial. After awakening his innate knowledge, he possessed unbelievable intelligence and power. Because he was unrivalled in the aspects of the sword, the zither, chess, calligraphy, and painting, people called him the Five Absolutes Immortal, or the ‘Heavenly Lord of the Five’. If I’ve guessed correctly, the calligraphy must be by him.”
Li Qingshan beamed inside. The origins of the Cursive Sword Calligraphy were impressive, just as expected. It was no wonder that it could earn a word of praise from the black ox despite being a mere spiritual artifact. If he could collect all the fragments, wouldn’t it make him unstoppable?
Ru Xin said, “Senior, the world has always been filled with powerful figures, and there should be a lot of cultivators who are skilled in the sword and calligraphy too!”
Chu Shidao turned to Chu Danqing and asked, “Danqing, have you noticed it?”
“Yes, master.” Chu Danqing picked up one of the scrolls and inspected it closely. “Apart from the art of the sword and calligraphy, there seems to be the art of paintings in here too.”
Chu Shidao nodded in satisfaction. “It would be impossible for non-painters to tell this. The art of painting is not widespread. I truly cannot think of a second person who’s skilled in all three arts and can meld them into one.”