Qin Sheng was puzzled when Master Liu said that the calligraphy artwork that he kept resembled Qin Sheng’s handwriting. He wondered if it could be his grandfather’s handwriting. But thinking about it again, his grandfather would not have interacted with Master Liu, so it remained as just a thought that he had.
But after Master Liu took out this artwork, Qin Sheng was even more confused. Why did it feel so familiar? Could it really be his grandfather’s words? When he saw that unique signature at the end, Qin Sheng could not help but gasp.
It was because his grandfather was the only one who understood what that signature meant. Even Qin Sheng himself did not understand. This was due to the fact that the signature comprised of four characters from the Oracle bone script that were yet to be translated.
Master Liu did not expect that there would be such a strange encounter today. When Xue Qingyan sent him the pictures of Qin Sheng’s writing, he already felt that something was amiss. His writing was very similar to the writing on the artwork of a legendary artist that he had kept. Could there be an untold story behind this? Hence, he gave Xue Qingyan a call and made her bring Qin Sheng over when she returned to Hangzhou. There were very few youngsters that could receive the invitation of the old man.
Xue Qingyan even thought that Master Liu admired Qin Sheng. After all, she really thought that Qin Sheng’s handwriting was good, much better than those who built their success on their names. This was why she called Qin Sheng to come.
At this moment, Qin Sheng was in a state of shock and stood rooted to the ground. He did not expect Master Liu to keep his grandfather’s artwork. On the other hand, Master Liu was laughing happily. To coincidentally bump into a legendary artist’s grandson! What a fate this was!
Xue Qingyan, who was merely a little surprised at the beginning, finally realized what was going on. The original owner of this artwork that Master Liu treasured was actually Qin Sheng’s grandfather! Could there be anything as coincidental as this? Then what was Qin Sheng’s grandfather’s background? Why did Qin Sheng not mention it before? Master Liu even kept his artwork! This old man must not be simple.
“Qin Sheng, you’re saying that this is your grandfather’s artwork?” Xue Qingyan asked half-doubtfully. She did not want Qin Sheng to embarrass himself in front of Master Liu. Otherwise, there would not be a second interaction between them in the future.
Qin Sheng said determinedly, “Sis, Grandfather and I depended heavily on each other since I was young. How could I not recognize his words? He was the one that trained my handwriting! Besides, I even saw the artworks that my Grandfather gave others. Even though there weren’t many, his signature is the most special. He never wrote down his own name. Instead, he used these four characters from the Oracle bone script in replacement. Until today, no one knows what they mean. If you guys don’t believe me, you can pay a visit to Priest Ren in the Louguantai Temple on Zhongnan Mountains. There is my Grandfather’s artwork in his study. I can also make my younger sister take a picture of the artwork that my Grandfather gifted to my foster parents and send it to me, you guys will then understand what I’m trying to say.”
Since Qin Sheng had already said so, then the identity of the owner of these words had already been confirmed without a doubt. Xue Qingyan would not doubt if he was saying things without proof anymore, but now, her biggest question was: What kind of a person was Qin Sheng’s grandfather?
Master Liu stopped laughing and said in a very serious tone, “Qin Sheng is right, these four characters are indeed from the Oracle bone script and they’ve yet to be translated. I’ve studied this for so many years and have yet to understand what they mean.”
Xue Qingyan said with seemingly many thoughts, “I didn’t expect Master Liu and Old Master Qin to have such an interaction. Now I finally understand why Master Liu wanted to meet Qin Sheng! You must have spotted something amiss in this whole situation!”
Before Qin Sheng could ask how Master Liu got his hands on the artwork, Master Liu himself asked first, “Qin Sheng, I wonder if the Old Master is still alive? I really want to meet the man myself!”
Xue Qingyan sighed and said, “Master Liu, what a pity. Old Master Qin left us a few years ago.”
After hearing this, Master Liu’s gaze darkened immediately. He did not expect the surprise to be followed by a disappointment. He could only say, “Seems like I’m just not fated with the Old Master.”
“Master Liu, why would you say that you’re not fated? Isn’t it also a kind of fate that you’ve met the Old Master’s descendant?” Xue Qingyan said encouragingly.
Master Liu sighed and said, “Qingyan is right, seems like I was too stubborn and thought of it wrongly.”
Qin Sheng did not care about all these. He was only concerned about things related to his grandfather. He said between gritted teeth, “Master Liu, how did you get your hands on this piece of work?”
Master Liu looked at him and said after pondering for a moment, “This is a long story. I heard interesting things about the Old Master, at least from a certain level. Old Master Qin is a legendary character, but I’ve never met him before. 10 years ago, I went to Beijing and got to know a senior by chance. While chatting with him, we talked about Old Master Qin. We got along quite well and the senior then gave me this piece of work. These four words, ‘wu wo wu wei (selflessness and no manipulation)’ had always been something that I worked towards to for all these years. But my understanding of it is just too weak, so I’ve always wanted to find this expert to learn from him, but I never got the chance.”
“Beijing?” Qin Sheng muttered to himself. He then asked in surprise, “Master Liu, what is this old man called?”
Master Liu said slowly, “Chen Changsheng.”
Hearing these three words, Qin Sheng was so shocked he became rooted to the ground and his expression was very complicated. He really did not expect to gain so many shocks and surprises today.
Qin Sheng was a little agitated and excited. He could not wait any longer and asked right away, “Master Liu, I want to see this senior. You only need to tell him that my name is Qin Sheng and I’m Old Master Qin’s grandson and that’s it. He will definitely meet me.”
“Seems like you have a story with Old Master Chen?” Master Liu asked in surprise. He did not expect Qin Sheng to be so unordinary. He was now increasingly curious about this young man.
Qin Sheng directly shook his head and said, “No, I don’t have a story with Old Master Chen, but I have to see him.”
“Why?” Xue Qingyan asked in confusion. She too, gained a lot today. That was, Qin Sheng was definitely not as simple as she thought and his grandfather was someone that even Master Liu admired so much.
Qin Sheng explained slowly, “I was an orphan since young and my grandfather and I depended heavily on each other. I don’t know anything about my parents. When my grandfather died, he told me that if I want to know about my identity, I should go to Beijing and find an old man called Chen Changsheng. Apparently this person that my grandfather talked about is the same person that you know. So I must definitely meet him.”
“Your identity?” Xue Qingyan stared intensely at Qin Sheng. She did not expect him to open up another storyline. Things were getting a little complicated. What was Qin Sheng’s identity exactly?
Qin Sheng nodded sincerely and said, “I want to know about my identity and about my parents, so I must meet Old Master Chen.”
Xue Qingyan also hoped that Qin Sheng’s wish could come true. She turned towards Master Liu and pleaded, “Master Liu, seems like you’re the only one that can help in this.”
Master Liu sighed and said, “Haiz, Qin Sheng, it’s not that I don’t want to help you. It’s been many years since I last saw Old Master Chen. His whereabouts are often unpredictable. You can only catch him by fate. I don’t even know if he’s still alive.”
Qin Sheng’s feeling was somewhat like what Master Liu just experienced. A big surprise followed by a big disappointment. He thought that he was finally going to find out about his identity but did not expect to hear such news. His face was plastered with the words ‘disappointment’ and ‘unwilling’.
Master Liu quickly added, “But, Qin Sheng, don’t be disappointed. I can think of ways to find out. After all, I’ve been keeping in touch with the Chen family’s descendants. I should be able to find out something. I will contact you right away if there’s any news.”
After hearing this, Qin Sheng became very excited again. He quickly said, “Thank you, Master Liu. Really thank you so much!”
Master Liu waved his hand and said, “We are friends that go way back. Today’s discoveries have been interesting. But Qin Sheng, let me ask you one last question. You have to answer me honestly.”
“Master Liu, go ahead,” Qin Sheng said with a calm expression.
Master Liu said in a low voice, “You really don’t know what that four characters mean?”
Qin Sheng answered almost without hesitation, “Master Liu, I really don’t know! I don’t have any reason to lie to you.”
Master Liu sighed and said, “Forget it, seems like I don’t have the fate to find out in this lifetime.”
They settled lunch in Master Liu’s yard. Master Liu arranged for the kitchen to prepare a vegetarian feast, yet he opened a bottle of wine, which rarely happened. It was a bottle of commonly-seen Maotai, but the packaging looked different from what was sold in stores. It was also not sponsored by state-owned enterprises or government units.
Xue Qingyan saw Qin Sheng staring at the bottle of wine and laughed as she explained, “This wine is not for sale. This is a special edition that the Maotai factory brew for Master Liu’s 60th birthday.”
“It’s just a possession. I rarely drink, so I barely touched it. I’m in a good mood today, so I’m getting you guys to drink with me. The rain falls in the right season, we should drink at the right moment,” Master Liu laughed and said from his main seat. One could tell that he was full of energy.
After a few glasses of wine, Master Liu asked directly, “Qin Sheng, I heard Qingyan say that you’re planning to develop in Hangzhou from now on?”
Qin Sheng smiled and nodded. “Yes, Master Liu, that’s my plan for now.”
Master Liu took the initiative to invite him. “Next time when you have nothing to do, just come to my place and chill. We can have deep conversations. Thinking about it, you’ve followed Old Master Qin for so many years, you must have inherited a number of his skills. We can chat over tea and when we’re up for it we can also do some freestyle calligraphy. Wouldn’t that be fun?” There were less than three youngsters in the whole of Hangzhou that had this honor and privilege. Those who could even step foot into his yard were all well-known big shots, let alone youngsters.
Xue Qingyan was very excited about it. Even she did not get to enjoy such a privilege. Now that Master Liu had his eyes set on Qin Sheng, she would not need to stand up for him anymore in Hangzhou. This was because he would meet all kinds of big shots here in Hangzhou. This kind of resources could only depend on fate and could not be forced.
“I’m afraid I’ll disturb the peacefulness you have here,” Qin Sheng said embarrassedly, but deep down, he was also very excited about it.
Master Liu burst out in laughter. “Your life can only be peaceful when your heart is peaceful.”
After lunch, Qin Sheng and Xue Qingyan bid their goodbyes and left. They both gained quite an amount of shocks and surprises today.
On the way back to the city, Xue Qingyan took the initiated. “Qin Sheng, Master Liu is a very influential person in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai. You will get to know exactly how powerful he is in the future. If you can become his disciple, your future is unlimited! I can tell that he really admires you.”
Qin Sheng knew what she was trying to get at. He replied, “Sis, let’s leave it to fate. I don’t think there’s a need to be so deliberate. Perhaps Master Liu only said that because of my identity as the grandson of Old Master Qin.”
“Hmm, I’m just saying, you judge for yourself,” Xue Qingyan said with a faint smile. She then quickly added, “But I didn’t expect you to have so many stories. Your identity must be something really special. After all, your grandfather isn’t an ordinary man.”
“Ever since young, I already knew that my grandfather is not an ordinary person. But Grandfather is Grandfather, and I will only be myself. As for my identity, I didn’t think too much about it. I just want to know if my parents are alive, where they are staying at, if I have other relatives. After all, I’ve already lived as an orphan for more than 20 years,” Qin Sheng sighed and said.
Xue Qingyan held his hand subconsciously and said, “Don’t worry, they’re definitely still around. You want to see them so badly; they must be waiting for you too.”
Qin Sheng muttered to himself in his heart, “I can only hope so…”