Li Mu laughed, rather amused.
He never knew there was really such a brazen man in the world.
Given Zhen Yuandao’s reputation and status, he could hardly believe this was something the renowned master could do. Well, this was truly…
If this happened to some other young men, they might be frightened by their threats of getting violent and started considering making an apology. Perhaps they would comfort themselves by treating the poem as a gift to Zhen Yuandao. But once they apologized, they would fall into the trap the opponent planted in that question and lost their reputation forever.
“Yes, my ‘beauty poem’ is surely a copy, but it’s not a copy of yours!”
“How could you geezer have the face to claim the authorship?”
Li Mu knew it was impossible to reason with him in the first place, so he was about to resort to violence…
But just at this precise moment, a voice rang from the stairs.
“No way. It’s impossible that this Young Master plagiarize other’s works. Mr. Zhen, you must have gotten it wrong.” The voice was familiarly soft and sweet. It turned out that accompanied by Madam Bai Xuan, Hua Xiangrong, who was wearing a full white dress, stepped down the stairs unhurriedly.
“She got down here?”
Li Mu was a little surprised.
But as he contemplated it, he realized it must have been the huge clamor downstairs that drew Hua Xiangrong here from the third floor.
“This girl is truly considerate. She even came down to defend me without taking the time to change her clothes.”
A smile curled the corners of Li Mu’s lips.
Meanwhile, all the people on the first floor stirred excitedly.
Miss Hua got downstairs!
Those who had long since wanted to admire her breath-taking beauty were thrilled at once.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Finally, the legendary top girl in the Holy House could be seen in public!
Numerous eyes were locked on the girl.
However, Lin Qiushui, Liu Muyang, and Song Qinfei’s faces fell in an instant.
It came as a complete surprise to them that Hua Xiangrong was willing to show her face in public for the sake of this little scholar. And she even defended him! They were startled as well as enraged.
Zhen Yuandao rested his eyes on Hua Xiangrong’s face. Instantly, a stunned look appeared on his face but rapidly vanished. His heart pounded forcibly, because he was also astonished by her beauty.
“Miss Hua is here.” Zhen Yuandao carefully disguised his desire of holding the girl in his possession and smiled. “Miss, I’m afraid you are deceived by this boy. The ‘beauty poem’ was surely composed by me on the other day when I had a drink. At that time…”
But Hua Xiangrong directly cut Zhen Yuandao off. “Mr. Zhen must have been confused under the effect of the alcohol. I believe that the author of the ‘beauty poem’ is this Young Master. He is a noble scholar with an unparalleled talent in poetry. There is no way he could steal someone else’s work.”
Zhen Yuandao was taken aback. A hint of fury flitted across his eyes.
At this point, Jia Zuoren, a guider of the Fengming Academy who had quietly stood by the side for the whole time, stroked his goatee with a smile and stepped forward. “Miss Hua, do you have any evidence to support your theory?” Well, how shameless that question was! It was his lot that accused Li Mu of plagiarizing. But instead of providing evidence to back up that charge, he was asking the accused to prove his innocence.
As a guider of the Fengming Academy, Jia Zuoren enjoyed basically the same status and fame as Zhen Yuandao. The two had been fighting both openly and secretly. And Liu Muyang and Lin Qiushui, their most excellent disciples respectively, were also hostile towards each other.
“Emm…” Hua Xiangrong fell silent for a moment before saying, “This Young Master’s talent is rare to be found in this world. When he was up on the third floor, he composed another poem for me during our chat. And that poem can serve as the evidence… Xin’er, bring that poem out.”
As she said, Xin’er and another maid scurried to the front of the crowd and slowly unfurled a scroll of paper. On the white paper was a handwritten poem, and the ink had not fully dried yet. It said, “Her robe is made of cloud, her face of flowers made. Caressed by the autumn breeze, freshened by the pool of moonlight. Charming as Fairy Queen in the Holy House, or Goddess of the Moon in her palace sky-blue.”
When finishing reading the poem, everyone gasped inwardly.
“Another poem that will be popular for centuries!”
“And this poem is definitely made to present to Hua Xiangrong, because the name of this place was cleverly embedded in the lines. Plus, the scene depicted and the emotions expressed are in perfect harmony. And he used both the direct and indirect method to describe the character. This poem is truly the best of the best.”
“This is another work of the young man?”
People cast quizzical looks upon Li Mu.
It was very difficult to compose one quality poem in a lifetime. Naturally, creating multiple such poems was much more challenging.
That kind of thing could only be achieved by a genius.
But if he was a genius, why would he ever bother to copy other’s work?
Now, Zhen Yuandao looked a little awkward.
By contrast, Jia Zuoren took a step forward without hast and said beamingly, “It seems that Miss Hua has been tricked by the liar again. The poem you just displayed is what I created when I was watching the flowers at my garden and struck by inspiration this morning…”
But that remark was entailed with another round of uproar.
Jia Zuoren was too unabashed!
If Zhen Yuandao’s claim sounded a little plausible, then, what Jia Zuoren just said was way far-fetched. What were the odds of that? How come his work was learned by no one else but this young man?
Hua Xiangrong was stupified by his new theory.
She was shocked by the discovery that there was such a shameless man in the world.
However, Jia Zuoren was oblivious to the flipped attitude of the crowd and looked composed as ever.
Tonight, surprisingly, two extraordinary poems were disclosed. Now that the first ‘beauty poem’ was robbed by Zhen Yuandao, the old foe of his, he could not miss out on the second one.
Jia Zuoren was addicted of enjoying fame and attention. He had taken the authorship of other’s work for many times, so now he was making his move with ease. What could those on the scene possibly do if they did not buy his words? Anyway, public opinion was controlled by the Fengming Academy. Even if the witnesses on this incident spread out what happened tonight, he could order some people to make up some coverup stories and veer the public opinion. Therefore, he had nothing to worry about.
“You… Do you have any proof? It’s so thick-skinned of you to merely insist that poem is your work.” Xin’er, the maid, could not help but berate him. Although she was against Miss Hua
“Shut up. You’re just a maid in a brothel, too humble to voice your opinion. Get out,” scolded Jia Zuoren.
Those words made Xin’er’s face burn scarlet.
Right, she was at the lowest of the social ladder. How could she make a point in front of such a celebrity in the literature world? But… How unfair this was!
“Well then, it’s all straightened up. This shameless boy plagiarised two poems of the two guiders from the famous academies and then presented them as his own at this event. He can’t be more shameless!” Liu Muyang came forward gleefully and shot Li Mu a provocative look before he came to the conclusion. “I suggest we escort this shameless guy to the government. We certainly cannot let such an evil practice contaminate our literature world. He must be punished. And that will be a warning to anyone who attempts to follow him.”
“Yeah, he can’t be spared!”
“Take him down!”
“Humph, surely he is a fraud. But he can only trick the dumb prostitutes. We, learned scholars, won’t be fooled!”
The stout man and the other scholars from the Hanshan Academy all burst out laughing.
“Young Master…” Hua Xiangrong was a little anxious now. Subconsciously, she tugged Li Mu by the sleeve. Panic was written in her eyes, for she never knew this thing could develop to this point. Although she was a top star, she could not outpower anyone. Once Li Mu was involved in this, she was afraid that she could not keep the unmatched poetry genius unhurt.
Li Mu gently patted the hand grasping his sleeve and gave a mild smile to Hua Xiangrong. “Relax, it’s okay.”
That subtle movement made Lin Qiushui, who had been watching them on the other side, fume uncontrollably.
To woo Hua Xiangrong, he had tried out all sorts of methods and taken a lot of pains. Today, he was just about to succeed, but who knew that Li Mu swooped in and ruined his plan. How could he not hate Li Mu?! Now, seeing the intimate interaction between them, it was obvious that they were very much in love. Upon a closer look, Hua Xiangrong still got a trace of blush on her face, and her hair was not completely tidy. He could not help suspecting the two of them had already been intimate upstairs…
Instantly, Lin Qiushui’s hot desire for Hua Xiangrong transformed into torrents of anger.
“A b*tch is always heartless! And a phony is always treacherous! Seems that you pair have already done that disgusting thing. Wow, beautiful women are really dangerous. Hua Xiangrong, I believed you were a gifted woman that is different from all the other b*tches. But who knows, you are also a shallow girl full of vanity. I…” Unable to rein in his fury, Lin Qiushui simply gave vent to a torrent of abuse.
A loud slap interrupted his curses.
Lin Qiushui was sent flying by the slap. After making a full turn in the air, a mouthful of blood splashed out and he crashed hard into a round table that was a dozen meters away, causing wine and soup spluttered everywhere and the tablewares clattered to the ground…
Several women shrieked out of fear.
The sudden change was beyond everyone’s expectations.
Slowing, Li Mu withdrew his palm and flexed his knuckles. Then, he said without emotion, “Hitting trash like you is an insult to my hand…”
The hall replied with perfect silence.
No one knew this seemingly ordinary young man would launch a strike without notice.
His one slap threw the president of the renowned Hanshan Academy up to air as if he was just a sack.
Lin Qiushui’s face was now reduced to a smashed ripe yellow peach, swollen beyond recognition. After grunting a few undiscernable words, he passed out on the floor.
At this scene, Zhen Yuandao, Jia Zuoren, and the other scholars from the two famous academies were thunderstruck.
They never saw it coming that Li Mu really dared to hit them.
But once he got violent, the nature of this incident was altered.
Even Hua Xiangrong went dumbstruck.
Just now, she was trembling out of indignation after hearing Lin Qiushui’s malevolent speech. She was shocked to find out that the usually civilized and good-mannered scholar who had pursued her frantically was so ugly within. She could not imagine how he said that vicious remark. However, what was more astonishing to her was that the young man in pretty ordinary clothes whom she thought was powerless had beaten another man on such an occasion…
Now, he was in deep trouble!
“Young Master, you…” Hua Xiangrong was almost desperate. She was seriously concerned about Li Mu’s safety.