Hu Wenshan walked in the classroom with a grim face that looked a bit ugly. After he put down the paint box, he didn’t sit down, as if he wanted to say something but hesitated.

“Let’s start the class first.” Hu Wenshan had been holding back for a long time before he came up with such a useless sentence. It was time for the calls, so if he said it was time for class, it would be normal, but what was the meaning of adding the word “first”?

Hu Wenshan took out his painting equipment and was about to start his lecture when the radio in the classroom suddenly rang.

Ding dong.

“Good afternoon, teachers and students. This is the broadcasting headquarters of Dongjing University. First, I want to announce some happy news for the whole school. I would like to congratulate Du Qingyu, class 3, student of the Department of Traditional Chinese Painting at our university branch of traditional Chinese studies who won first place in this year’s Youth Traditional Chinese Painting Competition, and his work will be displayed at the National Gallery. Congratulations to his classmate, Xu Shaoyan, who won third place.”

“These two students brought honor to our school, and the school will give them a special reward. I hope that these two students will make further efforts to win another award in other competitions in the future.”

Other students cast envious or surprised looks at Tao Yuan, but only Xu Shaoyan glared at him, completely forgetting to maintain his kind and generous image.

After the broadcast, Hu Wenshan was silent for a long time before starting his class, and the students couldn’t help interrupting him because of his scattered talk. Hu Wenshan acted according to the orders of the people above him, but since the matter did not succeed, a lesson had to be learned, and the benefits originally promised to him were gone. Moreover, he was about to suffer a heart attack because of Tao Yuan during this period of time, and had invested many personal emotions, so he really didn’t want him to win any prize.

Usually, winning an award and other good news were only broadcasted at the branch concerned, and a few other news were broadcasted throughout the whole school. However, Tao Yuan’s work was selected to be exhibited in the National Gallery, which was definitely worth broadcasting to the whole school. After all, it was the first work of a student to be displayed at the National Gallery.

But Xu Shaoyan also had happy news to share, and because his father had acquaintances at school, he mentioned it to him incidentally.

After class, Tao Yuan went to the corridor outside the classroom and leaned against the wall, waiting for Xu Shaoyan to come out.

“Congratulations on your third place,” Tao Yuan said to Xu Shaoyan, who came out of the classroom.

Xu Shaoyan’s face was particularly ugly; he wanted to say that he shouldn’t be so proud. Sooner or later, I will take you down, he thought, but there were other classmates around him, so he gritted his teeth and refrained from saying those words.

“I congratulated you. Don’t you have anything to say to me?” Tao Yuan asked.

“Congratulations too,” Xu Shaoyan lowered his voice and said reluctantly.

“Congratulations on what?” Tao Yuan asked with a puzzled expression.

“Congratulations on winning first place.” Xu Shaoyan clenched his fist hard. From the blue tendons exposed on the back of his hand, it could be seen how much he was enduring.

“Thank you.” Tao Yuan smiled and said, “You take me as your biggest stumbling block, trying your best to hinder me from taking part in the competition, and making Hu Wenshan deliberately not let me draw well, but in the end, you only got third place? You couldn’t even work harder to get second place. At least, it would have proven that you are only just a bit inferior to me.”

“I don’t understand what you’re talking about!” Xu Shaoyan certainly wouldn’t admit that those things were related to him.

“It doesn’t matter if you understand. After all, it’s normal that you often fail to understand what I’m talking about because of your IQ.” Tao Yuan stepped forward and said, “If you have free time to go to the National Gallery and see my work in person, you will know that the gap between you and me can’t be filled even by those despicable means.”

Tao Yuan turned and went downstairs. Then once again, he met Liu Xiujie, who had come to pick up Xu Shaoyan. He ignored him directly and walked past him.

When Liu Xiujie saw Tao Yuan, he stopped subconsciously. He heard the broadcast just then. Looking at Tao Yuan’s back, his mood was very complex.

What Tao Yuan disliked the most were people like Liu Xiujie. If Xu Shaoyan and Hu Wenshan were despicable, then Liu Xiujie was childish and selfish. He was the type to  bully someone even though he didn’t know them. He didn’t even have the qualification to be his opponent, so he didn’t even bother to look at him.

Liu Xiujie liked the original body owner. Since he didn’t get any response after a period of time, he felt very humiliated. Then he started dating Xu Shaoyan, while also helping Xu Shaoyan find a way to bully the original body owner. This was his way of gaining his attention.

Tao Yuan thought that it was really a blessing that the original body owner didn’t take a fancy to Liu Xiujie. Otherwise, he would be disgusted to death if he had been in love with someone like Liu Xiujie.

As soon as Wei Shicheng learned that Tao Yuan’s work would be displayed at the National Gallery, he asked him to see it together.

Tao Yuan thought that it was not a good idea to appear together as they would certainly be gossiped about. But considering that he was his employer, he agreed.

After the car stopped, the two people, who were hugging and kissing, separated. Tao Yuan let go of Wei Shicheng’s hand and said, “I’ll go there first, Godfather.”

“Well, wait for me in there,” Wei Shicheng said.

“Alright.” Tao Yuan suppressed the words he wanted to say, and simply smiled and agreed. He then opened the door to get out of the car.

Wei Shicheng had to go around to another entrance. At Tao Yuan’s request, although the two of them came to see the exhibition together, they would not walk together, and pretend they didn’t know each other at all. Thus Tao Yuan just wanted to imply that they didn’t know each other after going in. They wouldn’t have anything to do with one another.

Tao Yuan entered the exhibition hall and soon found his own work. All the works exhibited here were works on the level of masters of traditional Chinese painting. It was an honor that his work could even get a fairly prominent position here. His work had been reported in the news, and reporters were going to interview him after the award ceremony.

There were many people who came to the National Gallery every day, and there were even more who came to see today’s exhibition, so there were already some people standing in front of his work.

“It is really amazing that such a magnificent landscape painting was painted by a student who is not yet twenty years old. He must be a genius!” an old voice exclaimed excitedly.

The others around him nodded their heads to show their agreement. If there was not a brief introduction of the painter on the annotation board, no one would believe that it was painted by some college student.

Because the competitors had to submit a video of the painting process, the jury had decisively selected him for the first place and let his painting be displayed at the National Gallery.

“Contact the director of the exhibition hall and ask him to give me the contact information of the painter. I want to buy this painting,” the old man, who had just expressed his admiration, said turning to his assistant.

At the moment the old man looked back, Tao Yuan recognized him. He was Su Yongfu, the master of Go, who was called the Modern Go Sage.

“I am the artist of this painting. If you have anything to say, you can tell me directly.” Tao Yuan didn’t expect to meet the chess sage Su Yongfu here, but this was also a good opportunity for him.

Everyone turned their head to look at him. Su Yongfu also looked at him directly, but there was some doubt in his eyes.

Tao Yuan took out his student ID card and handed it to him.

Su Yongfu took the ID card and compared it to the contents of the annotation board before returning it to Tao Yuan, saying, “Name the price, young man. I’ll buy your painting.”

“May I make a request to you?” Tao Yuan asked.

“What is the request?”

“I’d like to play a game of Go with you. If you beat me, I’ll give you this painting,” Tao Yuan said.

Su Yongfu raised his eyebrows and looked at Tao Yuan before saying, “This painting of yours is worth a lot of money, and you are willing to just give it to me?”

“A painting is nothing to me?” Tao Yuan said with a smile.

Su Yongfu raised his hand and touched his short beard, thinking that this young man with outstanding temperament and scholarly atmosphere could not only paint, but also play Go well.

Su Yongfu had won countless times, so he had gotten a little numb to winning. So he often played Go with some young people to feel their chess style. To put it more colloquially, he did so to amuse himself.

There were also many young people who wanted to worship him as a teacher. He was not a very private person, so if he saw someone with talent, he would give them some advice. He thought to himself that, at most, the young man in front of him wanted to pay homage to his teacher. Anyway, if he had such amazing talent in traditional Chinese painting, even if his chess skills were only passable, he would still accept him as his apprentice.

Su Yongfu asked his assistant to go to the car to get the Go board, then set up the board in the rest area next to the exhibition hall. They then sat down and directly started playing.

Some people who came to see the exhibition found that some people were playing go next to the exhibition hall.  Out of curiosity, they looked more carefully at them and recognized that one of the Go players was Su Yongfu, so they immediately went over to watch with the others.

Wei Shicheng received a phone call in the car and was delayed for more than twenty minutes before he entered the exhibition hall. After finding the work with the words Du Qingyu written next to it, Wei Shicheng retreated a few steps and looked up to see the painting.

At first glance, Wei Shicheng was shocked. He took two more steps back and took a more panoramic view of the whole painting. He was shocked by the magnificent landscape in the painting.

After the initial shock, Wei Shicheng wondered if he made a mistake. He went closer and got another look at the annotation board next to the painting carefully. There was still Du Qingyu’s name on it. Could it be that the people in the exhibition hall made a mistake? The National Gallery should not have made such a low-level mistake.

After standing in front of the painting for more than ten minutes, Wei Shicheng was still shocked. He must make Tao Yuan sell this painting to him. He would hang it in his office and watch it every day.

Wei Shicheng went to look for Tao Yuan. He thought he had gone to see other paintings, but he didn’t find him after making a full circle in the museum. Seeing a large crowd in the rest area, Wei Shicheng felt that Tao Yuan was not the kind of person who liked to join in the fun, so he turned around and looked for him somewhere else.

Wei Shicheng looked around again but still couldn’t find him. He took out his cell phone and wanted to call Tao Yuan, but when he turned his head and looked in the direction of the crowd over at the resting area, he put his phone away and decided to go and have a look. After all, it was not good to make a call in place like the exhibition hall.

Wei Shicheng, took advantage of his height to look beyond the crowd, and he saw that it was actually some people playing Go. When he looked at the players, it turned out to be the Go sage Su Yongfu. No wonder there were so many people around him. Looking at Su Yongfu’s opponent, he immediately froze, wondering why Du Qingyu would be sitting there, playing Go with this Go master? No wonder he didn’t find him after two laps.

Wei Shicheng could not disturb them in front of so many people, and he also promised Tao Yuan that he would pretend they didn’t know each other. So he stood outside the crowd to watch the chess game. He also knew a little about Go, so after seeing the chess game on the board, he was surprised that the black and white players were not giving in to each other, and they were evenly matched.

If it were two experts of similar levels, it would not be surprising to see such a situation. But now, sitting there was a young man less than twenty years old and playing against him was Su Yongfu, the chess sage. It was hard not to be surprised.

Wei Shicheng looked at Tao Yuan’s serious face and thought that this child really surprised him time after time. He could not only play the guqin, paint, but also play Go. What was most important was that he was still so young but had achieved the level of a master in all these things. Is there anyone else in the world who could achieve this level at his age!

Tao Yuan put the piece of Go on the chessboard. He was holding the white, because he liked the white color, which looked simple and pure, but it was actually the most complex and also the most inclusive and receptive color.

At the end of the first round, Tao Yuan said with a smile, “I lost. You deserve to be called Go sage. I still owe you this time.”

Su Yongfu had heard this sentence many times, but this was the first time it had come from such a young man. Although he won the game, it was a narrow victory. It was the first time in his life that he had experienced such a close game when playing against a young man under the age of twenty.

“The painting is yours. When the exhibition time is over, you can send someone to pick it up directly. Now, I have to say hello to the director of the exhibition hall,” Tao Yuan said before getting up. He then saw Wei Shicheng. Pretending he didn’t know him, he walked out.

Su Yongfu was still sitting there, motionless, looking at the layout of the chessboard, unable to recover for a long time.


Edited by : Faro

Proofreader: Taalia

Support translation:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kofi3-3.png