There were too many people here, and not many paid attention to these ten or so Presented Scholars and one Accomplished Scholar. There were few people from Jing Kingdom, and Fang Yun was the only one from Jiangzhou State, so no one recognized him.
Many people knew Li Fanming, but those who greeted him were mostly laughing and joking, looking like they had shared a drink together before.
Fang Yun and the others found an empty long table and sat down. On the table, besides some snacks, there was also a conch for transmitting sound.
As soon as they sat down, they started to chat casually.
"Actually, it's better when there are fewer people at the literary meeting. When there are too many people, it loses its charm, everyone is the same. You'll see, this literary meeting will be just like the previous ones. A few Grand Academicians will say some insignificant words, then whoever wants to compete in poetry will submit their 'new' poems that they have prepared for a long time, and in the end, it will conclude with those geniuses and children of prominent families showing off and boasting. Of course, if there are good poems and articles, it's also a beautiful thing." A disciple from a wealthy family complained with a smile.
"We are just the foil, we are used to it. But this kind of literary meeting is hosted by the Kong Family, and being invited is a matter of face, we can't not come. Actually, I don't like this kind of grand literary meeting either. The key is that we can't compete with those geniuses for literary fame, let alone, when Presented Scholars and Imperial Scholars compete together, how can we, the Presented Scholars, compete with those Imperial Scholars?" Li Fanming laughed.
After chatting for a quarter of an hour, people started to come in. From time to time, someone would come over to greet and pay respects, and Li Fanming and the others would also meet acquaintances, forcing them to leave, but they would return shortly, only to leave again after a while.
Some people came back very happy after leaving, while some seemed to have encountered something, their faces a little bad, occasionally stealing glances at Fang Yun.
Fang Yun didn't know anyone, so he was quite at ease.
Before long, Fang Yun heard someone shouting that the Poet had arrived.
As one of the three greatest talents of the present day had arrived, everyone stood up. Only when the Poet sat down with the Grand Academicians did everyone sit down again.
Fang Yun looked at the Poet, who was ordinary in appearance, but every move he made had a special charm, making him very noticeable.
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Fang Yun nodded. The Poet was very suitable to be the most important person in this literary meeting. If a Great Scholar came, it would seem too grand, and it was not the Ten-Nation Holy Land Literary Meeting tomorrow.
Before long, Li Fanming hurried over and whispered, "The people from your Jing Kingdom's Gongyang Family have arrived."
Fang Yun frowned. The Gongyang Family was also a flourishing prominent family in the past, but since the Eastern Han Dynasty, they had been unable to produce talents and had declined. It was well known that the Gongyang Family had a close relationship with the Left Chancellor, and some even suspected that the Gongyang Family was colluding with Qing Nation. However, a more fair statement was that the Gongyang Family was now wavering. Although the Semi-Saint families didn't care about treason, and there had always been Semi-Saint families that moved to other nations, if they were labeled as traitors, it would damage their reputation.
"Is there a problem?" Fang Yun asked. If it was just the people from the Gongyang Family, Li Fanming wouldn't have said it like this.
"I've met Liu Zizhi in Jing Kingdom's capital city. He came with the people from the Gongyang Family. I've been paying attention to your matter with the Liu Family of the Left Chancellor."
"Oh? Where are they sitting?" Fang Yun immediately realized that since Liu Zizhi had also arrived in the City of Confucius, he must have come for the Holy Land.
Li Fanming pointed in a direction, and Fang Yun looked over. He quickly saw a face that was very similar to Liu Zicheng's, but that face was more resolute and a bit haggard.
Liu Zizhi also looked over, and the two met for the first time.
Liu Zizhi suddenly smiled slightly, raised his wine cup, indicating a toast, then drained it in one gulp, and whispered to an Imperial Scholar next to him. Then that person also looked over, smiled and nodded at Fang Yun, then left the long table and went to the single tables at the front.
"He must have my portrait from the Left Chancellor." Fang Yun thought to himself and turned back.
"The person next to Liu Zizhi is Gongyang Xun. He is the eldest son of the Gongyang Family's head. You don't need to worry, unlike the Tyrant, even if the Gongyang Family really has a good relationship with the Left Chancellor, they won't make things too difficult for you. The Gongyang Family still cares about their reputation."
"I know, the head of the Gongyang Family has invited me before. But I don't know what the future head of the Gongyang Family's attitude is. Regardless of them, I came here to see the Kong Family's Academy, I don't care about anything else."
Li Fanming smirked, "Do you see those Imperial Scholars and Hanlin Scholars with single tables? Do you want to compete with them? The prize for the champion of the literary meeting in the City of Confucius is not small."
"What can I get if I win the first place in the literary meeting?"
"You can recommend three people to study in the Kong Family's Academy for three years without examination. If you can make Mr. Shu shake his head and drop leaves, you will get an Imperial Scholar's Treasure of Literature and a pseudo dragon pearl of a demon marshal. I heard that you swallowed a pseudo dragon pearl of a demon general and offended the Flood Dragon King? If you eat another pseudo dragon pearl, the power of the dragon clan in your body will be stronger, and it will be of great benefit if you go to the Dragon Ascension Platform in the future. Since your poem can turn into a dragon, the Eastern Saint will definitely choose you to enter the Dragon Ascension Platform. Don't even think about getting a real dragon bone, if you can get a very good flood dragon bone, and blend it with your sword poem, your War of Words will far surpass ours. The War of Words of those top-notch children of prominent families is formed in this way, and its power is immense."
"Is the Tyrant's War of Words also like this?" Fang Yun asked.
"Of course, the Meng Family had to ask many people for a whole flood dragon bone back then, after all, they are a Semi-Saint family, and they finally got it. It can be said that whether the sword in the War of Words can turn into a dragon is one of the standards for top-notch geniuses. Like Li Wenying, who sharpens his ancient sword by killing demons, it's one in a million, it's too difficult."
"The children of prominent families are indeed not comparable to us." Fang Yun said.
"Let me correct that, it's the direct line." Li Fanming said.At this moment, an aged voice echoed throughout the venue, suppressing all other sounds like a real thunderclap.
"I had intended to say, as I do every year, that it is the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival. However, today is the fourteenth of August, so I will refrain."
Everyone turned their heads towards the Grand Academician of the Kong Family, laughing good-naturedly.
"Tomorrow, the brave men of our ten nations will rush to the Holy Land to fight the Demon Barbarians. Today, I hope everyone will put aside all distractions and showcase their talents. The fake dragon pearl and the Imperial Scholar's Treasures of Literature are not important. What's important is that our human race's young talents compete in literature and poetry, hand in hand... Imperial Scholars bullying Presented Scholars."
Everyone laughed again. They had heard enough of the grand principles, and this relaxed atmosphere was much better.
Fang Yun couldn't help but nod secretly. As expected of the City of Confucius, even such a grand literary meeting could be handled with ease. The Mid-Autumn literary meetings in smaller places would surely be tense over the prizes, but here, the atmosphere was purely literary. Although the rewards were substantial, not many people were deliberately pursuing them.
However, Fang Yun also thought of another aspect.
"When the granary is full, one knows etiquette; when food and clothing are sufficient, one knows honor and disgrace. The people here are either rich or noble, naturally very peaceful. But if the prize were a real dragon bone, they might not be able to remain so calm."
Ever since the "Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao" incident, Fang Yun had enjoyed considering issues from different perspectives.
The Grand Academician of the Kong Family only said a few words. Then another Hanlin Scholar announced the detailed rules for this Mid-Autumn literary meeting.
Fang Yun listened carefully. The main theme of this literary meeting was the Mid-Autumn Festival and the bright moon. Poetry, lyrics, and prose were all acceptable. Anyone who wanted to participate in the literary competition would go to the box in the middle of the venue and draw a piece of paper. The paper had more detailed requirements, including various sub-themes such as reunion, frontier, homesickness, friendship, family, Chang'e, flowers, jade rabbit, etc. The task was to write within a quarter of an hour.
Clearly, this was to prevent anyone from preparing in advance. It was a test of on-the-spot composition.
Many people shook their heads and gave up on this literary meeting. Writing an ancient poem in a quarter of an hour was not difficult, and it was fine if it was plain. But if it was not well written, it would be embarrassing. If there were enemies who ridiculed them, it would be better not to write at all.
After the Hanlin Scholar finished speaking, no one stepped forward for a quarter of an hour. After all, they were all scholars. This was a time for modesty.
Before long, someone shouted, "If you won't go, I'll go first and make a fool of myself!"
A boy from the Kong Family, about eleven or twelve years old, ran over with a smile, drew a piece of paper from the box, glanced at it, stuffed the paper back into the box, and cried out with a mournful face, "I can't do it!" Then he ran out with a red face.
The Grand Academician laughed and asked, "Little Fish, what was written on the paper?"
The boy shouted as he ran, "Missing husband."
The whole venue burst into laughter. It was too much to ask a boy of eleven or twelve to write a poem about a woman missing her husband.
Li Fanming almost choked with laughter, pointing at Kong Little Fish and shouting, "That's what you get for messing around, you little rascal!"
Kong Little Fish turned his head and made a face at Li Fanming, then ran out of the Si River Courtyard in a puff of smoke.
With Kong Little Fish's antics, everyone else loosened up. A Presented Scholar walked up to the box and bowed to the crowd.
"Zeng Peng, a Presented Scholar from Shu Nation, will throw a brick to attract jade. I will make a fool of myself."
Everyone nodded. Zeng Peng was already somewhat famous, and he was the second to step forward. His courage alone was commendable.
Zeng Peng drew "reunion". He wrote a seven-character poem about reunion with the moon, which was quite good. It won the praise of the crowd. The Poetry King even commented on it, making everyone envious.
Although the Poetry King was known for his poetry, he was not bad at prose and other forms of literature. His poetry was just the strongest. Even the Prose King said that the Poetry King's poetry was on par with his.
After that, Presented Scholars or Imperial Scholars came forward one after another to compose poems. Some were fast, some were slow. The slower ones would take their sub-themes and go to one side to think. They just needed to compose a poem within a quarter of an hour.
Although the Kong Family's school was slightly inferior to the Holy Academy, they had invited the Poetry King, showing that the Kong Family also attached importance to it. Therefore, some non-prominent family members tried their best, not for the Imperial Scholar's Treasures of Literature and the fake dragon pearl, but for the chance to be commented on by the Poetry King.
Time slowly passed, and many people wrote good poems.
Fang Yun secretly sighed that this place was indeed the first city of the ten nations. There were seven or eight poems that were good enough to be recognized at the county level. The best poem even surpassed the county level and reached the prefecture level. It received high praise from the Poetry King. Everyone also praised it endlessly. It was written by an Imperial Scholar from a Semi-Saint Prominent Family, who was already very famous for his literature.
Before long, Fang Yun saw Gong Yangxun walking over with a smile, saluting the crowd, attracting the attention of many people. Even the Grand Academician who was talking stopped. Many people who knew Gong Yangxun even cheered for him.
After all, he was the eldest son of the Gong Yang Family. Even if the family had declined, it was still a Semi-Saint Prominent Family, and his status was not inferior to that of the Grand Academician.
Gong Yangxun did not immediately draw a piece of paper. He smiled and said, "My poetry is actually quite ordinary. After all, our Gong Yang Family is known for its classics and history. I have prepared two poems. If I don't draw what I have prepared, I will ask our Jing Kingdom's great talent to help me. Of course, I don't care about the prize. Fang Yun, you wouldn't want to see us Jing people lose face, would you?"
Gong Yangxun looked at Fang Yun with a smile.
Upon hearing Fang Yun's name, there was an immediate gasp in the venue. Hundreds of people's voices were filled with excitement and surprise.
Except for Wu Nation and Qing Nation, which were hostile to Jing Nation, Fang Yun's literary reputation was positive in all other nations.
Liu Zizhi sat not far away, smiling at Fang Yun.
(To be continued.)
PS: The third update will be very late at night...