Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Guan Xiangfeng focused on his carving and an hour later, a pencil holder was produced. Its background was that of a steam-emitting teapot, giving it a Zen-like nature.
Lame Ma only knew how to carve the word Zen, which looked pretty nice without any comparisons, but once it was compared to Guan Xiangfeng’s work, it immediately showed how lacking he was… After all, Lame Ma had been a carpenter in the past. He was good at the carpentry jobs needed by farming villages, but he was just a layman when it came to intricate carvings. In addition, he had spent little time on Frost Bamboo carvings, so the comparison only made Lame Ma shake his head. He knew he was not the youngster’s match.
Dog Song and company were not unreasonable people. When they saw how capable Guan Xiangfeng was, they could not help but give him a thumbs up and exclaim, “Impressive! Young man, it’s no wonder your hair is so long.”
“What has the length of a person’s hair got to do with anything?” asked a perplexed Guan Xiangfeng.
Dog Song said in all seriousness, “Isn’t it because you were so focused on your craft that you forgot to have your hair cut?”
Guan Xiangfeng turned speechless as he nearly cursed out. However, he had no idea how to retort Dog Song. What Dog Song said seemed to be picking on him while also praising him at the same time. Apart from his inward curses, he had no idea what else to say.
As for Lame Ma, he said, “Impressive, young man. Your pencil holder is much nicer than mine.”
When Guan Xiangfeng saw Lame Ma admit defeat, he smugly tilted his head up. “It’s no surprise you lost to me. I’ve enjoyed this since a young age. I’ve also practiced with bamboo for several years. My master is a famous carver in China, and the pieces he produces are practically priceless.”
“I was wondering why you were so impressive. So it’s all because of an impressive master. Impressive. Impressive.” Dog Song raised his thumb as he praised.
For some particular reason, Guan Xiangfeng kept finding Dog Song’s words especially jarring to the ear. Was he being praised, or was his master being praised? He truly had no way to respond to that…
“You are indeed impressive. To have such skill at such a young age, you have a limitless future if you continue practicing diligently,” said Lame Ma with a sigh.
Guan Xiangfeng smiled happily when he heard that. “Of course. This is my main pursuit in life. Alright, I’m going back.”
Lame Ma turned anxious when he realized that Guan Xiangfeng was leaving. He cried out through clenched teeth, “Hold on. Young brother, I have a presumptuous request…”
“Don’t tell me you plan on asking me to teach you the art of carving bamboo?” Guan Xiangfeng was sharp, so he immediately figured out what Lame Ma was getting at.
Lame Ma smiled embarrassedly. “If it’s convenient…”
“Not at all! To be honest, I’m just passing by. I’ll be gone in two days. There’s a lot of wisdom behind bamboo carving, so it’s not something that can be easily taught. Besides, my master is ill. I don’t have the mood to teach you.” With that said, Guan Xiangfeng left without another word.
Lame Ma shook his head helplessly as he looked at the bamboo on the ground, sighing, “What a pity…”
Dog Song said, “Lame Ma, there’s no need for you to feel bad. If he’s not teaching you, can’t you seek out others? The world is so large. There will be someone who can, right?”
Lame Ma laughed bitterly. “Do you think lessons are free? Do you think I can attend college at this age of mine? Or do you plan on making me leave my hometown to become an apprentice somewhere?”
“The former matter is a bit problematic, but the latter still sounds alright,” replied Dog Song immediately.
“Scram! What can I learn at my age! All I want is to get some spare cash!” After Lame Ma said that, he returned home. Although he had said so, he was feeling indignant about it. He might be the village’s main carpenter, but all he did was make simple doors, windows, tables and chairs. Besides, having been in his line of work for so long, he held little hope for further development. He only continued to scrape by a living. Now that there were such excellent materials in bamboo and so many visitors, his skills had become valuable. He had thus turned more spirited, and now he also wished to improve. Who didn’t want to lead a better life?
Alas, Lame Ma was lacking in knowledge. He also didn’t have any ambition like spreading the glory of traditional arts. All he wanted was to lead a good life and make something better to earn more money. It was as simple as that.
After Guan Xiangfeng left Lame Ma’s place, he wondered how he could curry favor with his master. As he paced around, he finally placed his sights on the bamboo. To a good carving master, nothing was better than a good piece of material. Guan Xiangfeng clearly remembered that Lame Ma and company had mentioned that the bamboo in the yard was the poorest in quality. Then that meant that there was even better, perhaps even superior grade bamboo around!
With that in mind, Guan Xiangfeng began loitering around the village…
Dog Song did not sit idle either as he kept following behind Guan Xiangfeng. He knew Lame Ma’s desires and decided to spare no expenses to help him. But how was he to get the mustached lady to teach Lame Ma bamboo carving? Dog Song followed Guan Xiangfeng the entire time as he thought about possible solutions. Torture? No! A severe beating? That wouldn’t work either. Perhaps they could give him bad food if he acted in cahoots with Wang Yougui? That seemed a little wrong. He could not act so nefariously just because he wanted to learn the fellow’s art. If word got out, his title as a model example would probably be gone. Dog Song failed to think of a suitable solution despite racking his brains.
Dog Song did not hide the fact that he was following Guan Xiangfeng, so he obviously knew he was being followed, but he ignored Dog Song. He was instinctively avoiding Dog Song after recalling how ferocious Dog Song had been. Besides, he despised the villagers deep down. Especially after he saw their so-called bamboo carving skills, it had only served to deepen his contempt towards Dog Song, Lame Ma, and company. From his point of view, these people were an insult to art.
However, as noon approached, the sun got hotter. The villagers did not come out of their homes, and with no one to ask after walking all day, he gritted his teeth and turned his head…
Seeing how Guan Xiangfeng walked straight the entire time, Dog Song had been following closely behind him while letting his mind ponder over things. Because of this, he did not notice when Guan Xiangfeng slowed down. Therefore, the moment Guan Xiangfeng turned back while he took a step forward, he suddenly realized that something was wrong as he raised his head!
Their eyes locked!
That was nothing much, but…
Guan Xiangfeng felt his lips collide with something soft!
Dog Song felt that his chin was being pricked before…
Dog Song and Guan Xiangfeng squatted down in unison and began vomiting…
“F**k, don’t you look where you’re going!?” Guan Xiangfeng felt disgusted.
Dog Song exclaimed, “F**k, you could have just continued walking. Why the hell did you turn back?”
“F**k! What has me turning back got to do with you?”
“If you didn’t turn back, would I end up kissing… Urgh!”
Ten minutes later, Dog Song and Guan Xiangfeng had nearly vomited their guts out as they were dry-heaving. They slumped to the ground and stared at each other before turning to the side and puking again!
Another couple of minutes later, the two turned their backs to each other. Neither of them wanted to see the other.