My Daoist Life - 15
The Charm of Fountain Pen’s Characters
By now, every time Headmaster Han walked near our classroom during his round, he would think of getting me expelled. However, those two events had left him completely terrified. He really did not dare provoke me, also I didn’t bring about any other damage to the school. Can blankness be considered an issue for sending off someone? Headmaster Han naturally could not use this as a pretext for getting me expelled, moreover, as far I was concerned, I was somewhat of a terrifying existence for him. Just in case, by any chance, if I were to get angry, then what would happen to him. He also didn’t have any place to vent his grievances. I am just a kid of the first grade, so there definitely cannot be any civil action.
Headmaster Han was smoking a cigarette, while kneading his buttocks and holding the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, in his hands, he looked up. “….Kong Ming donned the simple Daoist dress and, attended by a couple of lads who were directed to bring the zither, he sat down on the watchtower on the castle wall, and leaned on the parapet, while incense burned as he played the zither.”
[TLNote: Extract from/Reference to the famous novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” where Kong Ming a.k.a. Zhuge Liang, comes up with the empty fort strategy to fool Sima Yi of the Wei. ]
Teacher Lin didn’t have even the least bit of misgiving in criticizing me: “Look at you child……”
Teacher Lin was prepared to scold me ruthlessly but she paused, barely had she opened her mouth, when she discovered that she didn’t know what to criticize. This kind of a thing wasn’t done by me deliberately, but she wasn’t resigned to leave me without scolding on account of the great fright she had just received.
“What were you thinking just now?” Teacher Lin asked after remaining quiet for a good while.
“I was thinking of how to write characters.” I replied very honestly.
Teacher Lin thought, that unexpectedly it was her own mistake. If she hadn’t made me put in great effort to practice calligraphy everyday, then such symptoms of obsession also wouldn’t appear in me.
“In the future, during class time, you cannot think of other things. Must attend class earnestly, understand?” Teacher Lin could only drop the matter at this point.
“Teacher Lin, I have already figured out how to write characters.” I said excitedly.
Huang Shulang looked at me full of disdain and said: “Someone doesn’t even know how to write characters. I had already learnt how to write characters in pre-school.”
I seriously had no interest in the snotty nosed big fatty, as if we were in two different realms. Being ignored by me made Huang Shulang very angry, as he tore out an empty page from the exercise notebook, and wrote down on it in a terribly wobbly handwriting, the character ‘地’.
[TLNote: 地 Stands for Earth]
“See clearly, the character 地 is written like this.” Huang Shulang threw that piece of paper onto my table.
“Teacher, Huang Shulang is again tearing the exercise notebook.” Classmate Li Lijuan who was seated on the same table as Huang Shulang, immediately reported this conduct of Huang Shulang tearing the exercise notebook, to Teacher Lin.
I broke out into a laugh. Huang Shulang was dumbstruck. The key point was that the exercise notebook from which the page was torn was not his own, rather it belonged to classmate Li Lijuan.
As a result of her notebook’s page being torn, classmate Li Lijuan bent down on the table and started crying.
“I, uh, I didn’t do it on purpose.” Huang Shulang began stammering.
“Huang Shulang, your behaviour today has been very bad. I had already warned you the first time, that you cannot tear pages from the exercise notebook. Did you look how many pages are remaining in your exercise notebook? Now you have gotten even worse, even daring to tear from the exercise notebook of a female classmate. In this class, you shall stand at the back of the classroom.
Huang Shulang resentfully stood up and walked towards the back of the classroom.
I picked up the fountain pen which had been gifted to me by Teacher Lin and began writing the seal script character ‘地’ on a rough page. Although I did it on a whim, I didn’t expect to get some unexpected results. This ‘地’ character, that I had not ever practiced writing before, exuding charm after being written. It can be like this also! One can accomplish it using fountain pen also.
Under the excitement, I continued writing and filled up the whole page with ‘地’ character. The sky was black and earth yellow……I was slowly beginning to comprehend the charm of the character 地. While the character ‘地’ was being written, the charm of 地 was being exuded.
[TLNote: The sky was black and earth yellow (天地玄黄) is the first half of the first line of the “Thousand Character Classic”. It is actually a poem used as a primer for teaching characters to Chinese children. The full first line would be 天地玄黃，宇宙洪荒 – The sky was black and earth yellow; space and time vast, limitless. Translation courtesy: Nathan Sturman ]
Ma Jindong caught a glimpse of the ‘地’ character filling up the entirety of my rough page, but he didn’t know that it was seal script, which led him to believe that I was drawing pictures. He immediately raised his hand to report to Teacher Lin.
“Teacher, Huang Jingyang is drawing pictures on the table during class.” Ma Jindong thought of grabbing that rough paper I was writing ‘地’ character on so he could show it to Teacher, so he came as if to catch the thief along with the stolen goods. However, a bizarre thing happened, that thin piece of rough paper, suddenly began glowing with a divine light, and the paper suddenly sank down into the table. Ma Jindong tried to pull, but he couldn’t pull it even one bit.
“Huang Jingyang, you still, still, still dare to hold on to it!” Ma Jindong thought that I was tightly holding onto that rough paper, and out of excitement he immediately started stuttering.
Teacher Lin came over and she saw the characters I had written on the rough paper, suddenly felt a peculiarity. The charm of this character was not something calligraphy was capable of equalling. Looking at the character, she was able to feel the majesty, the vastness as well as the profundity of the Mother Earth.
“What are you writing?” Teacher Lin asked.
“I was just trying to find the difference compared to using ink-brush to write characters, and to understand it better, just wrote something randomly.” I scratched my head, while saying embarrassedly.
I again attempted to use the fountain pen to write the seal script ‘天’ character, and as expected it could also be written in the same way.
I didn’t what purpose was served by writing characters in this manner, but Teacher Lin collected characters as if they were precious treasures.
My progress in XingYi Quan Five Fists Technique was much faster compared to that in calligraphy. I was already capable of skillfully performing all the moves recorded in the book 《Xing Yi Quan Five Fists Illustrated》, with each move and each form, capable of making the wind around the fists make echoes of hu hu. Just listening to the force of his movements would let one know that he wasn’t someone to be trifled with
Within my body, the strands of primordial qi had converged and formed snakes, and gathered together in the lower abdominal region beneath my navel. These different coloured primordial qi like little serpents in my lower abdominal region beneath the navel, chased each other with great vigour. It seemed just like those Yin-Yang fish on the bronze medal. The never-ending chase slowly took the form of a vortex. After that the different coloured primordial qi little serpents began grouping up here. I could feel that in the lower abdominal region beneath my navel, the primordial qi had formed a lump of dense mist.
After this lump of mist had formed, the primordial qi specks of light outside seemed to be finding my body more and more attractive. They immediately arrived to me side before drilling into my body, and before merging into the lump of mist. The lump of mist was slowly getting denser.
However, once I started using Xing Yi Quan Five Fists technique, a vortex would be formed around my body. The primordial qi specks of light from all directions would be crazily absorbed and gathered inside my body. Still there were some primordial qi light specks that would escape from my body, however, the quantity was not as much as it was previously.
Since the beginning, I never knew what use these primordial qi had, but I knew that these primordial qi can bring a feeling of great comfort to me. I suspected that these primordial qi were similar to the internal force depicted on television in Wuxia, making it possible for me to become a martial arts master. Perhaps by collecting more of these primordial qi, could just make my internal force even more profound.
However, I discovered the Xing Yi Quan Five Fists technique and I didn’t become a martial arts master overnight, but my body was becoming increasingly robust. Everything also seemed to be growing faster compared to my others of the same age as me. I felt somewhat like a crane in a flock of chicken. Compared to other students in my class, I was nearly a head taller.
Even my family’s chicken, ducks and geese, piglets or even the puppy black bean were all growing at a much faster pace compared to other family’s poultry and livestock. Black bean was only a few months only, but it had already established his dominant reign unparalleled within the village, becoming the king of dogs. After that, Black bean within a dozen or so days, caused great commotion within every house and every family. Going round door-to-door and calling on the other family’s dogs and educating them on how to act as dogs. Also fortunately, nobody from those in the Ba Jiao village who had been visited, dared to come and interrogate me. So much that nobody dared to act against the dog which had been raised by me. Fortunately, Black bean hadn’t really come of age, and also it wasn’t the suitable time, otherwise this fellow really had the potential to act as a despot and force himself on the females.
After having disciplined all the dogs in the Ba Jiao Village once, it was already beginning to feel like a hindrance for Black bean. It was the beginning of the conquest of the villages neighbouring the Ba Jiao which were set as the new targets.
When Teacher Lin and I returned home, Black Bean was returning triumphant with a big plump pheasant in his mouth. He placed the pheasant in front of me as if asking for commendations. After that he lifted his head and sat down besides the pheasant.
“How could this fellow kill somebody else’s house’s chicken?” Teacher Lin thought that Black bean had run himself into trouble.
I said laughing: “This is not a domestic chicken, this is a pheasant. This fellow is trying to take credit for it.”
“Pheasant’s scientific name is Ring necked Pheasant, and this species belongs in the list of National Grade B protected animals. Catching these pheasants is illegal.” Teacher Lin said.
“But this was caught by Black bean, could it be that he will be dragged off to prison?” I couldn’t understand it somewhat.
Teacher Lin also scratched her head: “Anyways, Pheasants are protected animals.” Girls have times when they don’t care about logic while preaching.
“Then this Pheasant, should we eat it or throw it away?” I asked a more important question.
Teacher Lin thought for a bit, but nevertheless decided to abandon the principle: “Better to eat it. It would be a pity to throw it.”
“That’s ok, I will go boil water.” I patted a strand of primordial qi into Black bean’s body, which could be considered a reward for it. Of course, that much wouldn’t be enough, “Black bean performed quite well, I will give you chicken bones to eat at night.”
Originally I was thinking of saying of giving Black bean the chicken leg to eat, but thought that this pheasant’s two chicken legs are insufficient for even myself to eat, I promptly changed my decision. In any case, Black bean didn’t understand what I was saying, it was delighted nonetheless.
However at dinner time, Black Bean found it very difficult to safeguard its interests. Even though the three patterned pigs had come later than Black bean, but by now they had already grown to weigh ten jin, already exceeding the bodyweight of black bean. Even though they couldn’t compare in fighting strength to Black bean but they had a reckless desire to eat. Every time a bone would appear on the floor, the three piglets would all recklessly swoop down on it. Even though Black bean was quite nimble and agile, but even so he was no match for these three fellows who were gluttonous to the core.
At the beginning, Black bean was in no mood to forgive as he angrily barked at the three reckless ones. Who could have imagined that those three reckless ones would charge forward all of a sudden, dashing against Black bean from one side, who immediately rolled 360 degrees in mid air and then rolled 720 degrees on the ground before coming to a stop.
Black bean didn’t really dare bite these three fellows. These three fellows were my piggy bank. Upon hearing the shrieks of those three fellows, I immediately threw a fist and kick at the same time at Black bean.
Black bean on the side while staring at those three fellows, was probably secretly thinking in his heart: Eat, Eat, Eat and get Fat, will Kill you and eat your meat.