Zong Luo thought that the taste of the tea leaves after roasting was too heavy, so he always omitted the roasting step, put some fruit to enhance the taste, and brewed it directly, which was kind of a modern fruit tea. He would occasionally add goat milk. Although goat milk had a fishy taste and was barely considered milk tea, it was still not very delicious to drink.
He waited until the tea leaves twirled inside the tea pot. Then he opened the lid after half a column of incense, and a light sweet and greasy smell came out from it. Zong Luo unhurriedly poured himself a cup, holding a tea bowl, and slowly watched the students of hundred schools of thought in the Lanting water pavilion.
It had to be said that a young man with eyes covered in white silk, which exuded an extraordinary temperament, was quite eye-catching. Many disciples from hundreds of schools who came to discuss Taoism have noticed this scene and secretly inquired about who this person was.
Such bearing, it would be absolutely impossible to be just a quiet and nameless person. However, the Confucian disciples only said, “Master Gu Luo is an honored guest of our Confucianism, so he should only be regarded as a follower, not a formal Confucian disciple.”
Not an official Confucian disciple? Then why was the surname Gu? It was already known that Confucianism and Mohism like to pick up orphans who were alone and whose parents were dead because of the war. The Mohist School followed the great Mo Zhai’s family name, Mo, while the Confucian family had the surname Gu. A kid growing up under their wing naturally would become a family.
The other disciples from hundreds schools of thought understood: “Young Master Gu is just following along to discuss the Tao, and does not plan to participate in the Baijia Banquet.”
Although it was a Baijia Banquet, it was not limited to the participation of only the students from hundreds schools of thought. As long as there are talented people in the world, they can answer the questions and enter, discuss the Tao with wine together, and compete for the top of the six arts.
“That’s not true.” A Confucian disciple smiled and said, “Although Brother Gu is only a follower, he will also participate in the Baijia Banquet Competition.”
Everyone was startled. “So that’s the case, then is Mr. Gu going to participate in the music competition?”
The reason why they first thought of music was because there was once a very famous court musician in the Jin Kingdom. Even after the city gate was breached, the enemy general still listened to him playing the poignant and mournful music of subjugation on the high-rise building, and couldn’t bear to kill him. Instead he blinded him and let him go. In the six arts, martial arts, hunting, calligraphy, etiquette, music and debate, there should be little hope for the other arts for a blind man except for music.
The Confucian disciple was also a little stunned. “Music? I beg your pardon? Brother Gu can’t play the Qin.”
At this moment, an attendant brought a plate of cut bamboo slips.
This was the process of signing up for Baijia Banquet. If one wanted to sign up, one just had to write their name on the bamboo slip, give it to the little servant for registration, and put it into the six red tubes placed in front of the Lanting Water Pavilion.
According to traditional practice, there was no clear definition for the number of signatures that can be put in one of the red tubes. One can compete for only one item, or directly compete for all six arts. It’s just the difference between writing more and only writing one.
Zong Luo took a bamboo slip and asked an attendant to write one for him.
The competition for each art in the Baijia Banquet was fierce.
At present, the practice of martial arts is prevalent. In addition to hand and foot kung fu, horsemanship and archery were also part of the basis for learning martial arts. However, horsemanship and archery were classified as hunting skills. As for calligraphy, painting, etiquette and music, they were all symbols of elegance.
The last category, the debate art, was traditionally reserved to be the finale of the Baijia Banquet. The dignitaries of various countries sit at the top and refer to objects as the topic, and students use the ideas advocated by each schools of thoughts to debate.
The chief debater naturally should have limitless insights and views on things, but as long as the words were reasonable and convincing, there’s no need to worry about not having a good place to go after the Baijia Banquet.
Some curious people quietly leaned over to look, and found that the blind Young Master Gu actually participated in the hunting category. He couldn’t help but be surprised. Just as he was about to say something, he heard a loud voice not far away.
“Someone actually participated in the six arts in one fell swoop!”
“What? Six? The last time one participated in all the six arts…..it seems to be like ten years ago?”
“Indeed, who was the winner of the last six events? You should also know, It was Pei Qianxue, the current Prime Minister of the Great Yuan Dynasty.”
“Come on, most of the people who participated in the six arts, if the first-rounder didn’t say anything, he would be out in the first round. Those who dared to vote in six are either talented or sensational.”
The students were talking about it, and their attention suddenly shifted to there. Although only the students of the hundred schools of thought participated in the Baijia Banquet, there would occasionally be many noble children who came to join in the fun. If they could gain their appreciation, they would even be able to take advantage of it within the scope permitted by the rules.
“Let’s go, let’s go and have a look… By the way, what’s the name of the person who participated in all the six events?”
“It doesn’t seem to be a student from any schools of thought, but a lone person named Gongsun You.”
Hearing this, Zong Luo continued to drink tea with his head down, his expression calm.
At this point in his last life, he was in the Imperial City of Great Abyss. Although the Baijia Banquet had not yet arrived, he had also heard of this madman who had thrown six bamboo slips all at once.
Although he was a madman, his talent was not fake.
That’s right, this person was one of the male supporting characters in ‘Can Drink a Cup of Nothing”, a powerful follower of Yu Beizhou. His true identity was actually a descendant of a recluse family, and one of the hottest competitors of the main palace CP.
Although he was still unknown now, after winning several categories in succession at the Baijia Banquet, he became famous in one fell swoop, and several major forces in the capital competed to extend an olive branch to him.
Gongsun You was very thoughtful, and he had a strategy in his heart. He does not clearly declare his allegiance to whom. Instead, he deals with several princes, gains the trust of several people, and becomes their counselor.
Several princes thought that they had won over this resourceful and diversified leader, but in fact, as early as the start of the Baijia Banquet, Gongsun You was already fascinated by the demeanor of the King of Beining, Yu Beizhou, and was secretly loyal to him. He was the backbone that helped him seize the Great Yuan Dynasty.
The reason why Zong Luo knew about him was because Gongsun You circled around Yu Beizhou in his previous life, and he even calculated against him twice behind his back. Only by personal experience can one know that there was also a gap in IQ between a counselor and a counselor. Thus it was expected that the powerful advisor would surely follow the protagonist willingly.
In this way, it would be good for him to disregard the suspicions of his previous life and go down with Gongsun You.
Now there is an opportunity to suppress Yu Beizhou’s henchmen and advance his identity plan, so why not?
He tapped his fingers lightly on the table, and waited until the surrounding disciples were almost dispersed, then got up again, straightened his robes, and walked over to the other side.
When he got closer, he heard a clear and arrogant voice.
“… so what if I’m rude? I dare say that none of you here will be able to fight with me. If there is, I will break my martial art bamboo slip on the spot.”
This time, the students who were just interested in coming over to watch couldn’t sit still. Each one stood up without a word, and many people showed indignation on their faces.
They just heard that someone had thrown six bamboo slips, and they were curious, so they stepped forward to invite the person to discuss Taoism. However, what no one expected was that this non sectarian individual was so arrogant, and showed on the spot that only those who could fight with him had the qualifications to discuss Taoism with him.
“This madman! How arrogant! Isn’t it just an embroidered pillow, let’s see what he can do later!”
(t/n Embroidered pillow, Chinese idiom, pinyin xiù huā zhěn tou, which means a person who has only appearance but no learning ability.)
As soon as Gongsun You’s remarks came out, it immediately aroused public outrage. Everyone was young. Who among them was not proud?
Almost all the students from the hundred schools of thought both studied civil and martial arts. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be really easy to go out and walk in this world. There were more people who were capable in both writing and martial arts, but there were also a few talents like Gu Ziyuan who were only hell-bent on literature.
Swords were not allowed in the palace, but since they wanted to discuss Taoism, one can’t be unreasonable. The servants of the palace had already prepared some ordinary long swords for them to use in the sword friendly exchange.
This side was full of excitement, and even the students who had just gathered around Gu Ziyuan to watch him argue with a Legalist disciple also came over to see what the confidence of this lone person who dared to speak madly.
After about a stick of incense, the discussion gradually subsided.
Several students stepped forward one after another, having thought of teaching this Gongsun You a lesson. However, they didn’t expect that they couldn’t even make a move towards the opponent after they went up. They couldn’t help but look ashamed.
“His sword move is really weird.”
Other onlookers also saw and understood that although Gongsun You made a lot of nonsense, he had the confidence in the end. Some of them hesitated for a while, not daring to go forward again.
Zong Luo, who listened carefully to the sound of the sword, revealed a small smile with confidence.
He took off the ancient jade from his waist and patiently waited for the challengers to be defeated one by one. When there was no one, he followed the fragrance of the flowers and went forward. He raised his hand and broke off a section of an osmanthus branch next to the water pavilion. Holding it in his hand, he said warmly.
“That being the case, I also would like to ask for some advice.”