Chapter 28: First Place? Congratulations
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Wei Songze grinned. “Mr. Yu sure does have sharp eyes. I asked my friend to modify the painting for me.”
Huatsing Cup allowed its participants to modify the painting but only to a certain extent, so the score would still be counted towards Wei Songze’s results.
However, even though it was just a few strokes, it changed the painting’s meaning completely.
Yu Pingchuan had to admit that the person who modified the painting had excellent mastery over shadow, light, and color. Otherwise, it would be impossible to modify a painting to this extent within such a short time.
Compared to Wei Songze’s painting, Ye Ci’s painting felt empty and stiff.
It was no longer a simple win and lose as both paintings were not on the same level.
One of the judges suddenly said with surprise, “Huh? Mr. Yu, this person’s technique and style somehow feel similar to yours.”
For a moment, his words captured the attention of the other judges.
The few of them got closer and sized up the painting better. A while later, they realized what the other judge said was true.
The details of the painting were rather similar to Yu Pingchuan’s style.
However, the person who modified the painting went for a wilder, more freestyle technique.
“It seems like your little friend is rather unusual.” Zhan Qing then glanced over Yu Pingchuan and asked, “Mr. Yu, is Wang Yan back?”
Yu Pingchuan’s standards were very high, hence he only had one disciple, Wang Yan, but Wang Yan should not be in Yunzhou at the moment.
Yu Pingchuan shook his head. “No.”
The judges looked at each other in confusion.
Yu Pingchuan was reluctant to reveal any more details about his disciple. He switched the topic back to the competition and said, “Let’s rate the painting.”
Once the rating for the last painting was determined, the first place of Huatsing Cup would also follow.
The first judge revealed the score.
The audience was shocked when they saw it because it was the highest score yet in the competition — a perfect score!
Even Ye Ci’s painting only scored one perfect score out of the seven judges.
Ye Ci clenched her fists nervously as a bad feeling rose from her heart.
That particular judge was known for his harsh criticism and even Ye Ci did not get a perfect score from him.
If that judge was convinced, then it would mean…
The second judge also revealed the score.
The audience was silenced once again because it was also a perfect score.
By the look of it, the painting had already beaten Ye Ci.
As long as the other judges continued to give out a high score, then the first place would…
The smile on Su Yuan’s face froze and she unconsciously sat up straight.
The other judges also revealed their scores one after another.
The entire hall plunged into silence.
Out of seven judges, five of them gave a perfect score.
Even though Yu Pingchuan and Zhan Qing did not follow the perfect score spree, the score they gave was quite high as well.
This painting did not need its score averaged to know that it was more than enough to secure first place.
Huatsing Cup was a competition with high standards and the judges themselves had high standards towards painting, hence it was rare for any of them to give a perfect score.
Five out of seven perfect scores were unprecedented!
One of the judges exclaimed, “The technique used on this painting is superb but the meaning is something else. It’s astonishing.”
There were a lot of art students or painters out there who painted well, but not every piece of their work could be considered a masterpiece.
Even though it was painted on canvas, the painting was able to grace its audience with the rich and overflowing emotions of the scene.
It felt like someone had been dwelling in darkness for a long time and finally gotten the strength to break free from the constraints and reach out for the light.
The painting was done in a darker color tone yet that stroke of lighter color made it feel much brighter. The contrast of color, the strokes that looked casual but meticulous, every detail about the painting was done perfectly.
It deserved to be first place.
Ning Li left the art center through the side door and headed back to school.
On the way back, she received a message from Wei Songze.
[SISTER LI! MISSION COMPLETE! The prize money is in the bag! Thank you, sis, for saving my ass!]
Ning Li grinned.
[I didn’t know you’re capable of getting first place.]
Wei Songze was quite talented as well. He was able to understand Ning Li’s teachings and absorb knowledge quickly.
If his painting was not sabotaged, Ning Li would not have had to go through the mill for him.
[I have you to thank, Sister Li! But you were right. I told the judges that my painting was sabotaged and when they checked the surveillance camera, the cameras were all down.]
Only participants were allowed on that particular floor and it could be anyone.
Finding out the truth would be like searching for a needle in a haystack.
[Let’s just put this aside for now. Since you’ve gotten first place, go back and study for your cultural exam. You should start preparing for your recommendation exam.]
[Don’t worry, sis! I won’t let you down! Oh right, before I forget, Mr. Yu from the organizers asked me for your phone number and I… I gave it to him. You don’t mind, right?]
Ning Li instantly felt a headache when she saw the message.
At the same time, she received another message.
[Stop fooling around.]
Ye Ci was still a little distraught after she walked out of the art center.
She thought she would get first place but who knew…
Su Yuan did not look good either.
The news of Ye Ci joining the Huatsing Cup had been spreading for a while now and everyone strongly believed she would win the prize. Yet now, it seemed like she would end up as people’s mealtime joke.
The two of them stepped into the car.
Zhou Hua noticed the unusual tension in the air when they stepped in. He hesitated for a while before asking, “Ma’am, are we going back home or are we driving Ms. Ye to school?”
Ye Ci still had class in the afternoon and night. They had originally planned to send her back to school after the competition but now…
Su Yuan paused for a while.
“Just go ho—”
“Mom, I want to go back to school.” Ye Ci stopped her.
Su Yuan looked at her worriedly.
“I’m worried about you.”
“I’m fine.” Ye Ci forced a smile on her face. “This is a competition, there’s always win and lose. It’s how things work, isn’t it?”
She sounded like she had accepted the result.
Su Yuan failed to dissuade her, so she simply nodded.
Ye Ci looked outside the window with her fists clenched so tightly that the joints on her fingers turned pale.
The news would soon get to Second High and if she did not go to school today, she would look like she could not accept defeat.
Ning Li got out of the taxi at the school entrance but she was still on her phone.
“…I didn’t mean to avoid you. I just got my number changed yesterday and it slipped my mind. I forgot to tell you.”
Yu Pingchuan had called Ning Li many times and none of it got through, which annoyed him.
“You didn’t even tell me you got transferred to Yunzhou! How can you forget about something that important?”
Helpless, Ning Li rubbed the bridge of her nose
“I thought you were traveling, looking for inspiration. I didn’t tell you because I don’t want to trouble you.”
Even a cultured man like Yu Pingchuan had a temper, and he unconsciously raised his voice at Ning Li.
“What do you mean trouble?”
Ning Li was speechless.
Coincidentally, a staff member came in at that time and when he saw Yu Pingchuan shouting at the phone, it scared him.
‘Who is he shouting at?’
Yu Pingchuan told the staff to put the things down and sent him away.
He continued, “I’ve noticed that you haven’t picked up a brush for some time. Are you really that busy?”
Ning Li was shocked.
Yu Pingchuan would never get angry at her. His voice slowly calmed down.
“Fine. Come have dinner with me if you have time.”
Ning Li said yes.
Then, Yu Pingchuan hung up the phone when someone knocked at his door.
It was the staff from earlier.
“Mr. Yu, Mrs. Ye left her contact number for you and said if you have the time, she wants to visit you with Ye Ci. Maybe you can give her some advice or something, do you—”
Yu Pingchuan did not even look at the staff.
Though after he thought about it, he added, “Oh and if she insists on coming, tell her her daughter is not gifted enough. She should be careful if she insists on taking this path.”
The first class of the afternoon finally ended and Ye Ci returned to her class.
Everyone looked at her at the same time.
Lin Zhouyang went up to her excitedly.
“Ye Ci? The competition is over? You got first place right?”
It was not for Ye Ci to force herself to calm down but when asked, she froze.
Ning Li lifted her head up and leaned backward. A grin appeared on her face.