Chapter 331 – Chu Danqing
Don’t tell me there’s some kind of defensive formation here!
As Chu Danqing thought that, he walked along the small cobblestone path. A thick layer of snow covered it, with another layer of bamboo leaves on top. No one had cleaned it up.
The bamboo forest was primarily green, but there was also yellow too, standing tall and reaching towards the skies. It obviously turned into an array of colours in his eyes. There was light green, verdant green, light yellow, gamboge, pale yellow, and so on. The dazzling array of colours flattened out, turning into a delicate painting of realism.
He shook his head violently to shake away these thoughts. He had spent an entire decade learning painting deep within the mountains, such that it had almost driven him crazy. Sigh, the outside world is still better!
The senior sister from the school of Medicine diagonally across from him earlier was so pretty. His master often said that there were great beauties within paintings, and he also possessed the ability to make these beauties emerge from paintings, but living beauty was different from that of paintings. This was the aspect he differed from his master the most. His master said these were all just distractions, but he still preferred them more.
“It’s you?” Li Qingshan saw Chu Danqing look around as he walked over.
“It’s me. I’ve come to check out the future territory of our school of Painting!” Chu Danqing raised his chest. Chu Shidao had told him to come and investigate Li Qingshan—know yourself and know your enemy, and you will never be defeated. However, he was still unsure about how he would approach this.
“Do you drink?” Li Qingshan was not sitting before a table seriously and working on his masterpiece. Instead, he sat in the corridor, leaning against a wall. He held a jade cup in one hand with jars of alcohol around him.
Although he had already confirmed the direction that he wanted to write in, he still felt troubled when it came to actually writing. He paced around the room a few times before suddenly remembering how he had yet to drink the hundred jars of fine alcohol from Sun Fubai!
Wanting to emulate the story of how Li Bai1 could string together a hundred poems from just a peck of alcohol, he took it out and drank a few cups alone. Although it was all fine alcohol, it was lacking in flavour.
Even Li Taibai had to raise his cup to toast to the moon and his shadow so that the three could “drink together.” As such, it really was quite difficult for him to drink alone. Li Qingshan thought long and hard. Xiao An was currently making preparations for the assembly of dharma. Milliped was hibernating, while Hua Chengzan was in secluded cultivation. Han Tieyi was probably too busy with the matters of the school of the Military too, unable to make any spare time to drink with him.
Just as he felt pained over the absence of a drinking buddy, he suddenly saw Chu Danqing, so he invited him.
Chu Danqing was stunned at first. He was unable to say everything he had thought of beforehand. He never really drank. Painters were not poets, so they could not spend all their time in a drunken stupor. Only with a clear mind could he paint with a clear vision and steady strokes.
Smelling the fragrance of the alcohol, he could not help but gulp.
A small, clear stream flowed out from the alcohol jar, entering two jade cups.
Chu Danqing, originally called Goudan’er2. Twenty-one years of age. Due to his delicate babyface, he seemed very young.
As he begged on the streets in his youth, he was discovered by Chu Shidao in his hometown. He possessed a special bloodline known as the Jade Blood of Vermillion and Black, which was why he was called Danqing3, and he took on his master’s surname. When he was eleven, he was taken into the mountains to learn painting from his master. He had only emerged a month ago. He had come to investigate Li Qingshan.
Over a dozen jars of alcohol in, before Li Qingshan had even said anything to him, he came clean with everything. He wrapped his arm around Li Qingshan’s neck and spouted exactly what he was thinking.
“I want a woman!” Chu Danqing called out. His voice resounded through the bamboo forest, and he then proceeded to laugh idiotically.
Li Qingshan sighed and shook his head. Look at what all that smothering had done to such a good child!
“I’m not drunk. Drink, let’s keep drinking!”
“You can’t keep drinking.”
“Why can’t I keep drinking? I- I have money!” Chu Danqing rummaged through his hundred treasures pouch for quite a while, but sure enough, he did not find a single piece of silver. Without thinking any further, he pulled out a stack of paintings. “I’ll pay with paintings!”
As a result, Li Qingshan received a pile of ready-made specimens that he could use to understand the abilities of painters.
“You!” There was a cry, and Han Qiongzhi arrived before the bamboo loft.
Hua Chengzan was gone, so as the secondary disciple of the school of Legalism, she had been piled high with work. However, when she heard how Li Qingshan would be battling someone, she still managed to make some time and come take a look. However, she was met with a delicate young man basically in Li Qingshan’s arms, even trying to feed Li Qingshan alcohol. She immediately felt like she had been struck by lightning. So it turned out he leaned in that direction. No wonder he could treat her so indifferently.
Then she thought about something Hua Chengzan had said to her before he had entered seclusion, “If I still don’t get myself together, someone might end up cutting me off.” Has little Hua fallen for his schemes too? This Li Qingshan is up to absolutely no good. Little Hua has only just entered seclusion, and he has already found someone new. Sigh, what am I thinking!?
“Don’t misunderstand! He likes women!” Li Qingshan could tell what Han Qiongzhi was thinking with a single glance, so he rectified in a hurry. However, never did he imagine that Han Qiongzhi’s thoughts had already reached such a complicated level in just a single moment.
After he said that, Chu Danqing saw three Han Qiongzhis too. He raised his cup. “Ah, three beauties. Come drink!”
“Like I said!” Li Qingsahn shrugged.
“Where’d this drunkard come from? Huh? The tenth layer?”
Only after listening to Li Qingshan’s explanations did she learn that the person right before her was Li Qingshan’s future opponent. She really had no idea whether she should be happy for him or not. His opponent had come to investigate him, but from just a few jars of alcohol, he had said everything on his mind, even giving Li Qingshan a pile of paintings.
For example, great sir Li’s opponents had always been either a genius like Chu Tian or seven hundred valiant soldiers from the school of the Military. He had even faced an opponent like Altar Lord Black Lotus before and emerged unscathed. Now that he was supposed to fight someone like him, she really had no idea on what to say…
“Don’t underestimate him. The paintings from him can defeat regular tenth layer Qi Practitioners.” Drunkenness did turn people boastful, but Li Qingshan believed that these were not drunken boasts. The “Jade Blood of Vermillion and Black” definitely were not empty words.
In a single decade, he had gone from being a young beggar to a tenth layer Qi Practitioner. He was so talented that he was no less of a prodigy than Chu Tian. Painters could channel their painstaking efforts and spiritual energy into paintings, such that they could summon everything in the paintings when they needed to. They had a similar ability to novelists.
However, there was no need for them to gather the power of belief. As long as they had sufficient time, they could create an entire army. With how vast the world was, able people and outstanding talents really did appear one after another. None of them could be underestimated.
Han Qiongzhi studied Chu Danqing closely and struggled to see even a hint of a genius from this drunkard. Even Chu Tian had some pride and arrogance about him!
Li Qingshan picked up Chu Danqing, found an empty bedroom, and casually threw him onto the bed. Chu Danqing immediately began to snore away.
Li Qingshan said, “Still not satisfied.”
As a result, Han Qiongzhi just crossed her legs casually and sat down before Li Qingshan. She accepted the new cup Li Qingshan had passed over and drank it all. She smacked her lips. “The Apricot Blossom brew of the Ten Miles store.”
“You’ve been there before?” Just when Li Qingshan wanted to fill up her cup, she had already grabbed the jar for herself.
“Tsk. What alcohol haven’t I tried in the Parlour of Clouds and Rain?”
This group of young masters and young ladies all fooled around in a location of prosperity in Clear River city, a place of indulgence, the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. They basically indulged in their senses however they could.
Li Qingshan glanced at her. “Actually, I like women too.”
Han Qiongzhi was halfway through drinking, but suddenly, she was unable to drink anymore. These thoughts that rarely appeared in her head, like a man and women being alone, or men and women maintaining their distances from one another, suddenly emerged, and her face flushed slightly from drinking. She feigned anger. “If you want to drink, then drink. What’re you saying so much for?”
Yet for some reason, she wanted him to continue, to see what other nonsense he could spout. She was a forgiving and tolerant person, so she would not rebuke him too much either.
Li Qingshan instead felt that Han Qiongzhi was very right. If he wanted to drink, then he was supposed to drink. What was he saying all of this for? Was he supposed to copy Chu Danqing and yell out that he wanted women too?
His gaze landed on the pile of paintings. Although he would still have to return them to him once he woke up, surely it would be fine if he used this opportunity to study them, right?
He picked up a smaller painting from the stack. It depicted a life-like oriole. Li Qingshan remembered the method of using the Cursive Sword Calligraphy, so he tried channeling true qi into it.
As if he had set off a profound mechanism, the oriole suddenly began to move. It flapped its wings and let out a clear cry, immediately breaking free from the painting. It flew around Li Qingshan a few times before vanishing into the bamboo forest.
“Um, it flew away.” Li Qingshan stared at the blank piece of paper in his hands in a daze. Suddenly, he vanished, and a few seconds later, he returned to where he was before, holding a struggling oriole in his hand. He contemplated on how he was supposed to shove it back into the painting.
Han Qiongzhi’s attention was drawn over by this strange sight too. She also used this opportunity to dismiss her random, awkward thoughts. She picked up a painting.
They had almost finished drinking, but Han Qiongzhi became more energetic the more she drank, giving Li Qingshan no opportunity to take advantage of her, which was a slight pity.
He had basically finished studying the paintings now. At the very least, he found out how to return the paintings to their previous state so that he could give them back to Chu Danqing. Suddenly, Li Qingshan raised his head and smiled strangely. “He’s fled!”
Chu Danqing jerked awake. When he thought of his behaviour when he was drunk, he felt troubled and uneasy. He was tempted to throw himself at a wall.
He had not just never really drank. Rather, this was the first time he had drunk in his entire life. During the days he had spent on the streets, he could only drool outside liquor stores, while in the mountains, his master never drank.
He regretted that his childhood had been brought up, which made him rather tempted to make up for everything he had missed out, only to humiliate himself so much. He regretted even more that he had forgotten about the vileness of human nature and the difficulties of life from just ten years in the mountains.
He heard Li Qingshan and Han Qiongzhi’s voices at the front of the courtyard. He directly left through the window, taking off and fleeing from Cloudwisp island.
He did not even want his paintings back. Fortunately, he still had a hint of sobriety about him, so he had only taken out unimportant practice pieces. It would not matter even if he gave them to that wretched Li Qingshan. Otherwise, it really would be too late for regret.
Then these paintings are mine! Li Qingshan stowed the stack of paintings away. He had already come up with a plan. He knew what he was going to write.
In the world, no one was more naive than children. When adults read novels, perhaps they could become enthralled for a moment, but at the end of the day, they knew it was all just fictitious. However, children could believe that it was true, believing in the existence of these unbelievable things.
In the past, the monster that the founding ancestor of the school of Novels had seen specially targeted children too.
Li Qingshan obviously could not harm children, but he knew there was something called fairy tales among the various types of novels that existed. From those tiny believers, the power of belief that their pure minds could provide could probably rival that of ten adults.
Fairy tales were terse and powerful. It would be much easier to propagate them than most other novels.
However, the number of fairy tales that existed was also as boundless as an ocean, which made it rather difficult for Li Qingshan to choose. Western fairy tales would probably struggle to take off due to the conflicting culture and customs, so which eastern fairy tale was he supposed to tell? The King of Fats? It was simple and interesting, which was beneficial for propagation. It was powerful and practical too, like how he could destroy an entire mountain from a fart…
However, if he were supposed to summon a character like that in the eye of the public, lifting up his bare bottom to… Even with how thick-skinned Li Qingshan was, he felt his face heat up.
Only when he encountered Chu Danqing and saw his paintings did he think of an extremely famous character. He stood alongside the Black Cat Detective and the Calabash Brothers4 as the three great childhood role models, and his ability just happened to be the same as the school of Painting.
And, these paintings would soon prove his existence.
PS: I want a monthly ticket! Ah, three people, give me three monthly tickets!
1. Li Bai, or Li Taibai, is an ancient Chinese poet of great renown, known for his poems and his fondness of drinking. His poems are so great that they’re still studied to this day, and younger children of Chinese descent are often forced to memorise them (I too suffered this fate ;-;)
2. Goudan’er is an extremely unsophisticated name often given to children in the countryside. A literal translation would be dog balls or dog testicles. In ancient China, children were frequently given unsophisticated and vulgar names in hopes that they will live longer. They believed that the worse a child’s name was, the hardier they would be and the more likely they would survive to a greater age; this was due to the high infant mortality rate. This comes from local beliefs that when the judges of the dead come to collect souls (basically people die when their souls are collected), they don’t think it’s a name befitting of a human, so they skip the person.
3. Danqing can mean vermillion and black, or it can mean Chinese painting, as vermillion and black are frequently used in Chinese painting. I’ve attached an example:
4. The Black Cat Detective and the Calabash brothers are among the most popular earlyChinese animations. I too grew up with a picture book of the Black Cat Detective. You can read more about them here: