Chapter 264: You Win This Time
Everyone was shocked. They wondered what the young man was doing and if he was mad. After all, he had smashed someone else’s possession.
Chiba Mieko, who was shocked at first, yelled angrily, “What are you doing? How dare you break our antique! Do you know how much this tri-colored pot is worth? At least 30 million yuan!”
Guo Feng was also startled. At Lin Xiaotian’s birthday party, Qin Haodong had broken Lin Pingchao’s jade Buddha image. Then, he had ruined a Lotus Figure of Wu Daozi. This was the birthday party all over again. He had ruined the Tang tri-colored pot brought by the Nihon people, the one that was supposed to be authentic.
Qin Haodong did not think so. The pot was obviously fake, and they were trying to call white black in front of him. He had to find a loophole.
He ignored Chiba Mieko and squatted down to find some evidence in the pile of pottery pieces. To his surprise, he found a scrip made from A4 paper.
He picked up the scrip, only to see three words written on it: “You win this time.”
He flipped the scrip again and found a few smaller words written on the back. “You’re right, I’m proud of my casting skills. They are second to none’s. Nobody can distinguish my copies from the authentic pieces. If you’ve figured it out, all I can say is that you win this time.”
The name of the writer was at the bottom of the note: Ghost Hand.
Legend had it that there was a hidden rule in the antique industry: showing respect to the original creator. One would leave flaws on fake works, no matter how perfect they could’ve made them.
Ghost Hand was a sneaky guy. He had left the flaw in the belly of the Tang tri-colored pot. No wonder that, no matter how hard Guo Feng had observed with the magnifying glass, he had still failed to find any flaws.
That had also saved them a lot of trouble, as they were going to have to find flaws in the pottery piece otherwise. Now, they didn’t have to.
The others also saw that Qin Haodong had found a piece of paper amid the pieces of porcelain, but they still had no idea what that was.
He stood up and took the note to Chiba Mieko. Then, he sneered, “This is some serious evidence. You still want to deny it?”
Chiba Mieko picked it up and checked it before arguing with a stern face. “That doesn’t prove anything. Maybe it was written by people back in the Tang Dynasty. If that was an ancient counterfeit of the official kiln made by the public, then it’s still a real Tang tri-colored pot.”
Qin Haodong sneered and said, “Miss Mieko, I don’t know how much you know about our country, but why would people in the Tang Dynasty use A4 paper? And why would they write in simplified Huaxia language? Did the people of the Tang Dynasty even use the term ‘copycat’?”
The audience below the stage burst into laughter and yelled.
“A fake is a fake. Stop denying it!”
“Do you have any basic knowledge? Simplified Huaxia language has only existed in Huaxia for decades. How dare you say that this is an antique from the Tang Dynasty…”
“When you lose, you lose. Don’t deny it…”
“This…” Chiba Mieko was speechless. She wasn’t an antique expert. The collections were all provided by the Yagyuus, and so were the answers.
Yagyuu Hirai was sitting below the stage with a gloomy expression. He had just witnessed Qin Haodong’s epic talent at antique appraisal and his success during two executive rounds. Thus, he had played a trick and changed the answer of the two Tang tri-colored pots.
He had thought that would help him win a round and save a part of his nation’s dignity, but to his surprise, he had failed. Qin Haodong had pointed this out in front of all the spectators.
Qin Haodong added, “Miss Chiba Mieko, don’t blame yourself. The tremendous gap between the casting skills of Huaxia and Nihon is to blame.”
Chiba Mieko’s face turned red. Nihon had lost three executive games in a very shameful way.
“We give up.”
As soon as she said that, she left the stage with a gloomy expression. She even forgot to take the other fake pot with her.
“Our nation is mighty! Dr. Qin is mighty!”
“Long live Huaxia! We just don’t lose!”
“Mr. Qin, that’s impressive! I want to marry you and have lots of babies with you!”
The audience below the stage was so excited that Qin Haodong felt a little awkward. A man with a big beard had yelled that he wanted to have babies with him. What was going on?
When Chiba Mieko went off the stage, Yagyuu Hirai tried to comfort her by saying, “Miss Mieko, please don’t overthink this. There are three games ahead. We still have hope.”
“It’s all because of Qin Haodong. Our plan was perfect. We would’ve won if he hadn’t shown up.”
Chiba Mieko spoke angrily. She had watched clearly the stage. Every time Guo Feng had fallen into their well-designed traps, Qin Haodong would save him immediately. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have lost the game or a bronze head.
“I don’t really know where that freak came from. He knows all about the tea ceremony and antiques at the same time.” Yagyuu Hirai ground his teeth and said, “Please rest assured, we’ll definitely win the next game. I don’t think he’s good at painting too.”
Chiba Mieko said, “That’s true, but even if he is, there’s no way he could be a match for Mr. Koyama Lizhi.”
Qian Duoduo, who was on the stage, was really excited that they had already won two rounds. Thus, he said happily, “Let’s start the third round of the cross-culture communication. The players from Nihon and the players from Jiangnan City will compete at drawing wash paintings.”
The audience below the stage applauded. They thought Huaxia would definitely win the third round given the two rounds they had already won.
No wonder they were so optimistic. Wash painting had been better inherited and developed than any other traditional culture. Mr. Tang Qingzhi, the president of the Jiangnan Painter-Calligrapher Association, was famous across the whole nation.
Qian Duoduo added, “In order to ensure fairness during the competition, we have specially invited the world-famous wash painting expert Gompos to be the referee. Let’s clap our hands to welcome him!”
When he finished speaking, a bearded Caucasian stepped onto the stage.
Qin Haodong asked Tang Qingzhi curiously, “Mr. Tang, what’s going on here? Isn’t he supposed to be an expert at wash painting? Why is he a foreigner from M country?”
Tang Qingzhi said, “Gampos is quite famous in the painting and calligraphy world. He is a painter from M country who fell in love with wash paintings from Huaxia when he was 30. Thus, he traveled thousands of miles to study it. He spent ten years on it and has now become a world-recognized wash painting master.
In order to ensure the fairness of this competition, after negotiating with the Nihon delegation, we invited Gampos to be the referee of this painting competition.
On one hand, he won’t favor any party because he’s from M Country; on the other hand, he’s a painting nerd who is extremely strict when it comes to painting. He will definitely make a fair judgment that won’t be affected by any factors.”
Qin Haodong nodded. He was surprised to see such a miraculous person in the painting and calligraphy world. He also agreed that this man was the best candidate for the referee’s job.
Tang Qingzhi added confidently, “You’ve won two rounds so that you can trust me on the next round. Gampos’ judgment will be fair enough. I may not be the best painter in this country, but I am good enough to beat those Nihon people.”
After speaking, he stood up. Then, he straightened the Tang costume he was wearing and prepared to get on the stage.
Meanwhile, Qian Duoduo made the announcement. “Now, please welcome the wash painting artist from Nihon, Koyama Lizhi.”
When he said that, a man wearing gold glasses and a Nihon costume went on the stage. The man, who was maybe in his forties, looked quite thin. He didn’t even try to hide his arrogant expression.
Tang Qingzhi, who was getting on the stage, became really scared when he saw the man. He fell back into his chair hard.
“Why… Why is he here?”
Qin Haodong, who had never thought that Tang Qingzhi’s reaction would be so strong, asked in surprise, “Mr. Tang, do you know him?”
Tang Qingzhi said with a pale face, “He’s not from Nihon. He and his ancestors are Huaxia people who have nothing to do with Nihon.”
Qin Haodong became more and more puzzled as he asked, “How could that be? I heard his name. It’s Koyama Lizhi. That doesn’t sound like a Huaxia name.”
Tang Qingzhi took a deep breath and calmed fown before he started to tell Qin Haodong the story.
Koyama Lizhi, formerly known as He Lizhi, was an out-and-out Huaxia man. He and Tang Qinzhi came from the same place. He Lizhi had been talented at painting ever since he was a kid. Later, he had been admitted to the best school of painting in Huaxia, the Huaxia Academy of Fine Arts.
While he had been in college, He Lizhi had been taught to paint by several wash painting masters and attained high achievements. He had been well-known in the wash painting world of Huaxia ever since he had merely been 30 years old.
Qin Haodong got even more confused when he heard that. “Then why would he go to Nihon?” he asked.
Tang Qingzhi said, “It was all because of a contest. When he was thirty years old, a national contest was held across the whole country. The reward was so high and the contest was so influential that, besides wash painting masters, many other artists also joined in, including me.”
“What was the result then? How did he do during the contest? What kind of prize did you win?” Qin Haodong asked curiously.
“He Lizhi showed his great talent at that contest. He painted a peony figure vividly, in harmony with the great spirit of wash painting. Everyone who saw it thought that he would definitely win the first prize, and so did he.”
Tang Qingzhi talked as if he cherished this memory very much. “However, when the result came out, He Lizhi didn’t win the first prize as expected. He won the second prize, and I placed twenty-first.”
Qin Haodong was shocked to know that there had been such a huge gap between Tang Qingzhi and He Lizhi’s skills. “Winning the second prize was good enough. Is that the reason he went to Nihon?” he asked.
“Of course, he insisted that something shady had happened during the contest and the referee robbed him of the championship through a black-box operation. He went to Nihon out of anger and married a Nihon woman soon.
Marrying a Nihon woman was fine, but he also changed his name to Koyama Lizhi and slandered Huaxia many times in public. He refused to admit that he was from Huaxia and represented Nihon at a world wash painting contest. He won the championship at the time.”
Qin Haodong frowned slightly. He Lizhi had every reason to question the result of the contest, but that was no reason for him to become a traitor, slander Huaxia, or even rival his own country.
After all, he was a Huaxia descendant that couldn’t have achieved anything without Huaxia’s training. What he did was akin to treason, or maybe it was treason indeed. After all, it was even worse than what Li Donghai had done.
Tang Qingzhi sighed again and said, “After that happened, the painting and calligraphy world felt ashamed of what He Lizhi had done. Anyway, his painting skills are real. I’ll be no match for him!”