Chapter 923, Part 2: This Humble Zu Occupies Eight Parts
Yu Nan’s expression changed.
Bi Ziang rejoiced in Yu Nan’s misfortune and added, “Oh Please, do tell.”
“This night’s beauty I have only admired once in this life; yet next year, where will I go to appreciate such moonlight” Zu An recited while looking at Lady Nan Xun.
Nan Xun blushed.
She thought to herself, Is he saying that he might not be able to meet with me like this next year Oh my…
The entire room fell silent when those verses were spoken.
The more proficient one was in literary arts, the greater the impact of those words would be.
Even Yu Nan shivered inwardly.
He had never treated Zu An as a big deal, but now, he had discovered that Zu An was a formidable opponent.
“This night’s beauty I have only admired once in this life; yet next year, where will I go to appreciate such moonlight…” The exceptional beauty in that special room repeated quietly.
She suddenly felt as if she were in a different place.
Where would she be next year Would she even be able to appreciate the moonlight then… She said with a deep sigh, “Ying’er, I miss our home.”
The maid named Ying’er replied with reddened eyes, “Young miss, I do too.”
“Young master has truly written an excellent poem.
In just a few words, you have fully portrayed the joys and sorrows of life.
I wonder what you will title this verse” Lady Nan Xun asked curiously
Zu An thought to himself, I’m better at making people wet with my hands.
As for the name, hell if I know.
It was already impressive that he had remembered the poem.
The exams back then hadn’t tested one’s knowledge of the title, so of course he wouldn’t have bothered memorizing it.
Just as he was about to reply, when he saw Nan Xun’s sparkling and expectant eyes, he felt a burst of inspiration and said with a smile, “This poem will be titled Autumn Moon, a present to Nan Xun.”
Nan Xun was left in disbelief.
She then exclaimed, overjoyed, “Thank you, young master, for your present!”
As a brothel’s famous courtesan, she naturally understood the value of an excellent poem.
Not only would it make her even more popular in the capital, her reputation would also quickly spread throughout the entire world.
More importantly, after centuries and perhaps even a millennium later, if this poem still existed, everyone would remember her name.
How many outstanding figures had there been throughout history And yet, how many of them could actually leave behind their names People like Yu Nan might be insufferably arrogant, yet his name might not even be known after a few centuries passed.
As for girls who worked in pleasure quarters, that was even more of an impossible dream.
And yet, Zu An’s poem had accomplished such a thing so easily!
Not only would other girls from the brothels be jealous, the entire world would feel envy, so how could she not feel happy Her gaze no longer carried its previous indifference when they looked at Zu An; instead, it was filled with tender sentiment.
The woman in the special room above harrumphed.
“Hmph, he seems to be pretty good at picking up girls.” Despite that, her tone was playful.
The others present were much more emotional when they saw what had happened.
All of them glared at Zu An with envy and hatred.
None of them had expected Zu An to take this completely different approach.
He had actually won the affection of the courtesan queen through a poem! A sour feeling of jealousy immediately spread throughout the place.
Even Zu An’s companion Pei You was envious.
He was thinking to himself, Why don’t I have talent in this field Otherwise, I could’ve been the one to embrace the beauty…
Of course, Zu An had saved his life, so not only did he not feel any intense jealousy, he instead felt happy for Zu An.
After all, he had no chance of obtaining her, so rather than letting the courtesan go to someone like Yu Nan, he would much rather have her go to Zu An.
In a sense, they were keeping the goodies among their own people.
He decided that he was going to walk with his arm around Zu An’s shoulders later.
That way, even if he could only smell his goddess’ fragrance, that would be enough.
Bi Ziang frowned slightly, feeling as if he had messed around a bit too much this time.
He had actually ended up helping Zu An get the girl he wanted.
He had also wanted Nan Xun no matter what, to the extent that he didn’t even care if Yu Nan stood in his way.
And yet now, someone he subconsciously viewed as an underling had suddenly risen up and made him feel threatened.
How could he let an underling have a woman he wanted Hmph, if it’s something I want, unless I give it to you, you aren’t allowed to go after it, he thought with an indifferent expression.
He gave the nearby Yu Nan a smile and said, “Brother Yu, it’s been quite some time.
I didn’t expect you to have suddenly gotten so good at filling a supporting role.”
Yu Nan’s face darkened.
How could he not sense the ridicule in Bi Ziang’s words It now seemed as if everything he had done only made Zu An look even better.
He had built up all of that suspense just so Zu An’s reputation could rise even further.
That fellow clearly has bad intentions.
He’s not happy himself, but instead of doing anything, he wants to use me as cannon fodder. Yu Nan wasn’t stupid and quickly realized what Bi Ziang was doing.
He decided to calm down and be patient for the time being, to wait and see how long Bi Ziang could endure.
But who would have thought that Yi Zhibing would notice Yu Nan’s ashen expression and catch onto the fact that he was incredibly displeased from looking bad
Earlier, Yi Zhibing had volunteered to chase out Zu An’s group in a confident and smug manner, and yet he had been forced to return all dejected.
Even though no one had said anything when he went back to the private room, there had been a bit of ridicule in their expressions.
He decided to take the chance to help Yu Nan vent his resentment, as well as earn back some dignity for himself.
He shouted, “Young master Yu already said that you might have accidentally stumbled upon this poem from someone else.
Who knows if they already finished that poem before they died!”
Yu Nan cursed Yi Zhibing for being an idiot when he heard those words.
This buffoon had no idea what was going on right now!
But suddenly, the others all had eyes on Yu Nan.
In their eyes, everything Yi Zhibing said represented his intentions.
If he refuted those words, it would seem as if he were backing down here, which might become unfavorable in his pursuit of Nan Xun.
Not even the glorious young master Yu could afford such a loss, so he could only brace himself and tacitly approve.
He turned around to give Yi Zhibing a look.
He wanted to curse this fool to death.
If he and Zu An took each other out, the one who would benefit the most would be that Bi clan brat!
But Yi Zhibing misunderstood Yu Nan’s look.
He thought that Yu Nan was encouraging him and was giving him a look of praise, so he became even more enthusiastic.
He made Zu An sound like a despicable and shameless person who had taken advantage of someone else’s toil for his own.
Zu An was actually quite amused.
Even though this fellow was attacking him without much thought, it was actually pretty much all true.
But he felt that the original author probably wouldn’t really mind.
Lady Nan Xun became somewhat unhappy before Yi Zhibing could even finish speaking and said, “Young master Yi, those are serious accusations.
May I ask if you have any proof” What kind of joke was this This was a chance for her name to be left behind in history! How could she let these people ruin such a chance
Gao Ying and Pei You immediately chimed in, both denouncing Yi Zhibing.
They brought up his grudge with Zu An, and how he was only saying such things to get revenge.
“Um… Proof… Of course we have proof…” Yi Zhibing was at a loss for words.
He had no idea how to prove what he had said.
Yu Nan frowned.
He knew he was already losing.
It would be really bad if they continued and he had to suffer another blow to his reputation.
Bi Ziang cursed Yu Nan for being a good-for-nothing when he saw him remain silent.
As such, he gestured toward one of his followers.
That person quickly picked up his hints and said loudly, “This is easy to prove.
Why don’t we just have young master Zu compose a poem right here As long as it reaches the same level as the previous one, it will prove that young master Zu really is talented.”
Gao Ying couldn't hold in his anger anymore and exclaimed, “How is that fair! These creative works are usually made through a burst of inspiration.
Only when the timing and talent line up can an outstanding work be made; how can you make someone come up with something on the spot!”
He dabbled in the arts as well, and knew that there weren’t many poems throughout all of history that could compare to what Zu An had come up with.
It would already be incredible if one could come up with a single piece of that level; how could one ask for a second one on demand
Above, Qin Yongde said in confusion, “The one who asked the question was someone from Bi Ziang’s side.
Isn’t Zu An someone from the Eastern Palace Why…”
Qin Guangyuan said with a sneer, “This really is a great example of a femme fatale.
Bi Ziang has always been viewed as a protagonist throughout his life.
How could he let someone else touch anything he wants This is the best situation.
They can just fight it out and create friction among themselves.”
Nan Xun said quietly, “Young master Zu, you can refuse…”
But before she even finished her sentence, the exceptional beauty in the special room spoke in her head.
“Don’t stop him.
Let’s see if he’s cheated his way here, or if he really has the skills.”
Nan Xun was surprised.
It took all of her willpower to stop herself from looking in the special room’s direction. Why does master care so much about this human
Zu An replied with a laugh, “But what if I come up with another poem, and you all still continue to bother me like moths Won’t I get annoyed to death then”
Seeing that Zu An seemed to have taken the bait, Yi Zhibing was overjoyed and quickly said, “As long as you can come up with a poem of equal level, we’ll all accept it wholeheartedly! We won’t say another word!”
Yu Nan’s expression changed.
He could no longer sit still and added, “But it has to be about a prompt of our choosing.”
He was worried that Zu An had picked up more than one poem from who knew what deceased scholar.
That was why he made it clear that it had to match the subject.
That way, even if Zu An had somehow managed to be so lucky as to pick up two excellent poems, there was no way it would just happen to be of the same topic.
It would still be useless then.
Pei You began to panic, exclaiming, “You’re all deliberately making things hard for him!”
Zu An raised his hand and stopped Pei You, saying nonchalantly, “It’s fine.
Pick whatever topic you want.”
He had always been so jealous of those protagonists who showed off their poetry skills.
He had never had such a chance himself.
He couldn't just grab some guy off the street and ask them to compete in poetry reciting, right And yet today, someone was eager to play along with him.
Why wouldn’t he seize the opportunity
But those words created a huge uproar when the others present heard them.
Many people cursed Zu An under their breath for being cocky.
After all, every poet had their own field of expertise.
They might be able to write good poems in a certain field, but they would be much more lacking in another.
Now that Zu An had said they could choose any topic, didn’t that mean he was good at all of them He had the confidence to write something on any topic that would continue to circulate throughout the ages
The mysterious woman in the special room above smiled.
“This man’s boldness and pride are almost on par with our race.”
The maid next to her wrinkled her nose.
“I think he’s just shooting his mouth off.
I want to see just how he deals with this situation!”
Nan Xun looked worried.
She quietly said, “The young master seems to be quite confident.”
“Of course.” Zu An leisurely reclined into his chair.
He raised his wine cup while saying proudly, “If the literary talent of the world is made up of ten parts, this humble Zu occupies eight parts, while everyone else divides the remaining two among themselves.”
Since he was going to show off anyway, he might as well go big or go home.
The words ‘a good poem’ sound like ‘a hand very wet’ ☜