Wu Changxi was immediately incensed and lost his final bit of sanity. He pointed at Ouyang Huazai and shouted, "Ouyang Huazai! Don't take bullying to an extreme! I know you are a calligraphy expert, but you are not qualified to bullsh*t if you didn't see it with your own eyes! If you have the ability, come up the mountain with me to verify it. If you aren't capable, then back the f*ck off!"
"Assh*le!" Ouyang Huazai was angered too. It had been years since anyone had dared to glare at him and curse him.
The Calligraphy Association's President, Jiang Songyun, hurriedly came forward to alleviate the situation. "Gentlemen, please stop arguing. Can I say something fair on this matter?"
Seeing Jiang Songyun speak, Wu Changxi was slightly appeased as he said, "President, please share your comments."
Ouyang Huazai said, "President Jiang, is there a need to look at it? Just by looking at the picture of the monk in the snow, it's clear that it's meant to be fake news, meant to be sensationalist!"
Wu Changxi immediately glared at Ouyang Huazai, who did not back down. He glared back.
Jiang Songyun said, "Alright, please stop arguing. I have seen the picture, and I have seen the text."
Both Ouyang Huazai and Wu Changxi looked at Jiang Songyun, awaiting his comment.
Jiang Songyun patted Wu Changxi on the shoulder and said, "Little Wu, I know that young men like you are a little impatient, but good things don't come out of that. Calligraphy is an art. It's not something that can be mastered in a couple of days. From an artistic angle, this picture of yours is indeed not bad."
"President, don't bother continuing. In short, you don't believe it, right?" Wu Changxi felt aggrieved as he asked.
Jiang Songyun nodded as he was about to add something when Wu Changxi picked up his photo and left. As he walked, he said, "Such short-sightedness! Like frogs in a well!"
"You!" Ouyang Huazai and Jiang Songyun were both a little infuriated.
However, Wu Changxi had already run out without leaving a shadow behind.
The duo looked at each other as Ouyang Huazai said, "This assh*le will know what happens when someone infuriates me."
With that said, Ouyang Huazai made a phone call. Jiang Songyun did not say a thing regarding this matter, nor did he do a thing. Clearly, he was turning a blind eye to Ouyang Huazai's actions.
When Wu Changxi walked out the door, he was somewhat lost. The Internet didn't work and the Calligraphy Association in the city didn't work either. Then, what should he do next? Wu Changxi had a one-track mind. If this didn't work, he decided to visit one calligraphy expert after another. He refused to believe that no one could tell what was good from bad.
However, Wu Changxi was destined to be disappointed. Although these calligraphy experts might evaluate the calligraphy to be good, no one believed it was real. They all said that it had been photoshopped and even reprimanded him. It left Wu Changxi extremely aggrieved. When he returned to the publishing firm in the evening, the Chief Editor had a word with him before Wu Changxi left the firm dejectedly.
At night, Wu Changxi called Monkey out to have drinks. He drank heavily and explained the situation.
Monkey was keen. He knew that Wu Changxi was in trouble and wanted to get drunk. He did not drink much to remain sober and to be able to send him home. After hearing Wu Changxi's recount of the situation, Monkey patted him and said, "Old bro, you are being impatient on this matter. If they don't believe the pictures, you can get Master to produce a few pieces for them! As for work, so what if you are fired? I happen to have an opening I need your help with. Moreover, can't you go to other cities if this city doesn't work out?"
"They are all birds of the same feather!" Wu Changxi's eyes were glazed from his drunkenness as he mumbled in his stupor.
Monkey was helpless as well. It would be useless to continue trying to reason with him. After making Wu Changxi down a few more cups until he was dead drunk, he sent him home.
On the second day, Wu Changxi remained downtrodden. Monkey continued trying to persuade him to find a job in the province or in the capital, but nothing worked. At that moment, Lu Xiaoya showed no signs of patience as she said, "Are you both pigs? If they don't believe you, have a bet with them! Bet a million! If they aren't convinced, they can go up the mountain themselves!"
Wu Changxi slammed the table, got up and asked, "What did you say?!"
Lu Xiaoya jumped in fright and said feebly, "I- I was speaking nonsense."
Monkey said with a laugh, "This nonsense of yours might be something! If we can make this competition happen, it will be a chance for Master to become famous. As for Old Wu, it would be an opportunity for him to rectify himself. Also, he could earn a lump sum!"
Wu Changxi nodded and said, "That's right. Let's do it! However, the money will need some time."
"There's no need. I'll pay for it!" Monkey smacked his chest and exclaimed. Such a sure-win matter meant profit without risk. There was no reason for him not to do it.
Wu Changxi was delighted and immediately ran out. This time, he did not find Ouyang Huazai but instead, he approached his media friends from large newspaper publishing firms. His motive: to declare war on Ouyang Huazai!
Everyone was friends to begin with. People had heard of how Wu Changxi had been fired because of Ouyang Huazai's underhanded methods. Immediately, they felt like they shared a common enemy and posted articles.
The matter became serious and soon, Ouyang Huazai learned of it.
When Ouyang Huazai learned of the bet, which had a million at stake, he was somewhat dumbfounded. A million? Although he was a famous calligraphy expert, a million was not a small sum! Similarly, this number was not a small sum for the other person. Was the person so confident that he could make such a big bet?
Upon thinking of this, Ouyang Huazai did not dare to agree to the bet. However, if he did not respond to it, his name would be sullied. Fame and money, which was more important?
Finally, Ouyang Huazai responded, "Alright! However, betting on the calligraphy itself makes no sense. Why don't we bet and see whose product is better instead! If that young monk's calligraphic work is better than mine, I'll admit defeat. On the contrary, Wu Changxi will have to compensate me and apologize to me. He will also have to admit that he is a cheat who is trying to play to the gallery!"
Wu Changxi shouted across the void, "No problem! If you were to lose, I only want five hundred thousand. The remaining five hundred thousand will be left for Master to renovate the temple."
With Ouyang Huazai agreeing to it, the two set a date to meet on the mountain three days later!
Instantly, everyone in Black Mountain City was attracted by the expensive bet between the two. People anticipated the final outcome, and they were simultaneously curious. What sort of place was Mt. One Finger and One Finger Temple? Why could it attract such a massive war? Although society had developed to a point where calligraphy was no longer mainstream, with calligraphy experts sinking into oblivion, such a matter could still stir the curiosity of everyone's interest in their cultural roots. Furthermore, this matter had the inkling of a novel. A monk from a rural tiny temple was challenging a calligraphy expert from the city? It sounded intriguing.
Everyone searched on the Internet and was left perplexed. Could there really be a master in such a tiny inconspicuous place that was so far away from civilization?
The power of the netizens was immense. Soon, people found Jiang Ting's Weibo post and news of Yang Hua's praying for children. Similarly, Jiang Ting's newest content even had information about Han Xiaoguo's daughter, Han Xiaomi, being treated for a terminal brain tumor due to One Finger Temple.
Everyone was surprised, but the majority of people did not believe it.
"This One Finger Temple sure knows how to make fake sensationalist news!"