Chapter 114: Miraculous Couplet Matching Miraculous Couplet!
There was silence all around!
Hǎi shuǐ cháo, zhāo zhāo cháo, zhāo cháo zhāo luò (the sea tide; it rises everyday; everyday it rises and everyday it falls)?
Fú yún zhǎng, cháng cháng zhǎng, cháng zhǎng cháng xiāo (the cloud forms; it forms constantly; constantly it forms and constantly it dissolves)?
No one expected that the simple ‘chang chang chang chang chang’ Zhang Ye had written had a similar hidden catch to it!
The old man who was the third judge cried out with a hoarse voice, “This… Someone really managed to match it?”
They could not believe it, but reality was placed right in front of them. Phantom Talent Elder Qian’s most difficult question had been matched. And it had been matched perfectly!
The video camera man for the online stream closed up on Zhang Ye’s face. He also stopped on the couplet that Zhang Ye had written for a long period of time!
Elder Qian looked at Zhang Ye. After several seconds, he burst out into laughter, “Good! A young person’s abilities must be respected! A young person’s abilities must be respected!”
After he stopped laughing, he stroked his beard. “You really exceeded my expectations. Today you have given me too great a surprise. Good. Young lad, I will barely pass you.”
And only barely?
Everyone was puzzled. Didn’t he match it?
Zhang Ye looked at Elder Qian, but he was not angry. He laughed, “Why only barely?”
The second judge who was the old granny was also pondering over his words, “Old man Qian, didn’t he do a good job matching? There’s nothing to fault at his correspondence. The mood is also just right. What is there for you to pick on? I think it was matched perfectly!”
The third judge frowned as he gave it some thought, before suddenly saying, “Hey, does your first half of the couplet still have a hidden catch?”
Elder Qian smiled, “Yes, the first half has other ways of reading it. The meaning and mood are all different. So he can only be considered to have matched a tiny portion of it, hence I said that he barely passed.”
There were still hidden catches?
There were still tricks inside?
Everyone was stunned. Did Elder Qian come out with a miraculous couplet?
They had originally thought that the couplet was extremely difficult. Yet they had underestimated it?
It was a miraculous couplet!
Xiao Lu exclaimed, “Passing is good. Teacher Zhang is awesome!”
Hou Ge and Hou Di were also full of admiration. It was quite exaggerated to even match a portion of it. After all, they had not been able to understand the first half of the couplet just now!
Big Thunder felt his mind balance.
The other contestants also felt their minds balance upon hearing it!
Oh, so he did not completely match the first half. He still had other ways of reading the first half!
Elder Qian looked at Zhang Ye and pleasingly said, “If we follow strictly by the rules, I can’t let you pass based on your answer. Because this is the the Beijing Couplet Competition, not only do we have to adhere to the rules, but it also has to fit the mood in all aspects. But because this first verse is very complex and complicated, and is a miraculous couplet, and the fact that you are still young, to be able match to this point is already a very good result. That is why I gave you a pass. I believe the other two judges won’t have any objections.”
The old granny said, “Of course I have no qualms. Pass him.”
The third judge said, “I would have had a problem with you if you didn’t pass him. Haha.”
But just as Elder Qian was about to pass Zhang Ye, Zhang Ye suddenly stepped forward and said with a laugh, “All of you might have no problems with it, but I have a problem with it. Elder Qian, you said that my second half had barely managed to match the first half. I can’t pretend I didn’t hear that. Hur Hur.”
Everyone burst into an uproar!
You still have a problem?
What problem can you have?
Elder Qian was amused, “Why? You aren’t convinced? Then I’ll read the other ways of reading my first half. I will let a young lad like you be utterly convinced after losing.”
I will lose?
Zhang Ye said without fear, “What a coincidence. My second half also has many ways of reading it!”
It was time for Elder Qian and the rest to be shocked. “Eh? You also have?”
Xiao Lu shouted out, “What the hell! Teacher Zhang, you really can do it?”
Zhao Guozhou, Hu Fei and company could hardly believe it.
Big Thunder scoffed. It was impossible!
He was amused in his mind at how Zhang Ye had made such an outrageous brag!
Big Thunder already understood the tricks behind the first half of the couplet. Hai shui chao chao chao chao chao chao chao luo?
In between the few ‘chao’ words, punctuation could be placed. And changing the pronunciation, the meaning would be completely different. Even the message expressed would be very different. There were all sorts of knowledge intertwined in it. Hur, what a joke. What knowledge was there in your chang chang chang chang chang?
It was just a coincidence that the first verse was matched for this interpretation of the verse!
Why are you still bragging?
You’re full of yourself!
The internet streaming cameraman did not dare lose his focus. He kept the camera pointed in Zhang Ye’s direction.
The commotion had attracted a lot of people. More and more of the guests who had previously gone to the auditorium had returned.
“Someone has answered the last question?”
“What’s the situation? Who is that person?”
“It’s not considered as answered. Elder Qian’s first verse has a trick.”
These contestants who had gone through to the finals apparently found out about the situation here when their friends called. Their curiosities were piqued and they proceeded back here to see who had answered the 50th question. Those who had gone through earlier had all seen that question and no one was confident in answering it, but instead they all chose to match simpler couplets. Now that someone had solved one of the two most difficult questions, everyone naturally wanted to know who it was.
Amongst them was Zheng Anbang, who was from the Beijing Writer’s Association and had participated in the Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet together with Big Thunder. It seemed like he was also an expert at couplets and had already passed the preliminaries earlier. When he reached the square, he bumped into Big Thunder and asked him for the details.
Following that, Beijing Writers’ Association’s Vice-President Meng Dongguo also arrived.
And Zhang Ye’s current Leader from the TV station’s Arts Channel, Wang Shuixin, also walked over. Director Wang was not a participant. He probably had tickets to come watch the competition, “Old Hu!”
Hu Fei went over, “Director, you are here, too?”
“What’s going on? Little Zhang answered it?” Wang Shuixin was very curious.
Hu Fei replied, “Not yet. Teacher Little Zhang and Elder Qian.. were just about to have a couplet duel.”
“A couplet duel with Elder Qian?” Wang Shuixin laughed loudly, thinking that the young one was too overconfident!
Ignoring the chattering around.
After hearing Zhang Ye’s big words, Elder Qian narrowed his eyes and curiously said to Zhang Ye, “Okay, then let’s give it a try? Are you sure that you have considered it properly and are ready for it? My first verse has a lot of variations!”
Zhang Ye replied, “Such a coincidence! My second verse’s variations are more than a few, too.”
Elder Qian accepted the challenge, “Then let’s begin.”
“Yes.” Zhang Ye was unrelenting, “You first.”
Elder Qian closed his eyes, “Hǎi shuǐ cháo, cháo zhāo zhāo, zhāo zhāo cháo luò (the sea tide; it comes daily; daily it falls)!”
Once the duel started, everyone stopped their chattering and focused towards the two of them. Everyone wanted to know how Zhang Ye could counter every move!
Elder Qian had stated that his first verse had a lot of variations and intonations. Everyone had believed this because it was Elder Qian, the man who was the college entrance examination’s question setter. But Zhang Ye also said his second verse had its own tricks?
No one believed this. Not Big Thunder, not Zheng Anbang, and not Meng Dongguo!
Let’s see Elder Qian’s first verse!
This time, the usage of words and intonation of the first verse were different!
Compared to the previous couplet, this one had inclinations towards a big rise and a big fall. This modified first verse was now something closer to nature, so it was different. Even though the words were still ‘hai shui zhao zhao zhao zhao zhao zhao zhao luo’, in fact this had become another version of a first verse!
This was definitely the showstopper!
Everyone knew that Zhang Ye’s second verse could not match this!
But then, Zhang Ye just gave a smile, “Fú yún zhǎng, zhǎng cháng cháng, cháng cháng zhǎng xiāo (the cloud forms; it expands often; often it shrinks)!”*
This second half…
What the heck!
He matched it?
Your freaking second half also has variations?
Upon hearing Zhang Ye’s second match, everyone still had not come around to!
Elder Qian was also stunned. He came up with the third variation, “Hǎi shuǐ cháo, zhāo zhāo zhāo cháo, zhāo zhāo luò (The sea tide; daily it rises; daily it falls)!” This time, not only the pronunciation and words had been changed, even the punctuation had been changed. It was a 3-4-3 punctuation.
Zhang Ye immediately answered, “Fú yún zhǎng, cháng cháng zhǎng zhǎng, cháng cháng xiāo (The cloud forms; often it expands; often it dissipates)!”
Elder Qian immediately came up with the fourth couplet, “Hǎi shuǐ cháo, zhāo cháo zhāo cháo, zhāo cháo luò (The sea tide; it rises and rises; daily it falls)!”
Zhang Ye said, “Fú yún zhǎng, cháng zhǎng cháng zhǎng, cháng zhǎng xiāo (The cloud forms; it expands and expands; often it shrinks)!”
Elder Qian’s eyes narrowed even more, “Hǎi shuǐ zhāo cháo, zhāo zhāo cháo, zhāo zhāo luò (The tide comes in the morning; daily it rises, daily it falls)!”
Zhang Ye said coolly, “Fú yún cháng zhǎng, cháng cháng zhǎng, cháng cháng xiāo (The cloud often spreads; often it spreads; often it dissipates)!”
Everyone turned dumbfounded while hearing this. All of them were like stone statues while hearing the two in their couplet duel!
They felt that this was in the realm of another planet. No one could interfere, nor could anyone interrupt them. They could only listen to it, as they got more and more astonished with every variation of the miraculous couplet!
Elder Qian could not believe it, “Hǎi shuǐ zhāo cháo, zhāo zhāo zhāo cháo zhāo luò (The tide comes in the morning; daily it rises and falls)!”
Zhang Ye brushed his hair, “Fú yún cháng zhǎng, cháng cháng cháng zhǎng cháng xiāo (The cloud often spreads; often it expands and dissipates)!”
Elder Qian gave him a look, “Hǎi shuǐ zhāo cháo, zhāo cháo zhāo zhāo cháo luò (The tide comes in the morning; its rise daily falls)!”
Zhang Ye returned the look, “Fú yún cháng zhǎng, cháng zhǎng cháng cháng zhǎng xiāo (The cloud often spreads; its expansion often shrinks)!”
He could even do that?
He could even match that?
Noticing that he was on the brink, Elder Qian used his ultimate move, “Hǎi shuǐ zhāo zhāo cháo, zhāo cháo zhāo zhāo luò (The seawater daily forms tides; the daily tide daily falls)!” This time it was a “5-5 punctuation”
Who knew that Zhang Ye was not pressured at all as he answered easily, “Fú yún cháng cháng zhǎng, cháng zhǎng cháng cháng xiāo (The cloud often grows long, the often expansion often dissipates)!”
Elder Qian did not stop, “Hǎi shuǐ cháo zhāo zhāo, zhāo zhāo zhāo cháo luò (The tide comes daily, daily the tide falls)!”
Zhang Ye’s answer was also extremely fast, as if he did not need to think before answering, “Fú yún zhǎng cháng cháng, cháng cháng cháng zhǎng xiāo (The cloud expands often; often the expansion shrinks)!”
Finally, Elder Qian gave his last couplet, “This is the final variation, Hǎi shuǐ zhāo zhāo zhāo cháo, zhāo zhāo cháo luò (The seawater daily forms morning tides, daily it falls)!” This was an irregular 6-4 punctuation.
Zhang Ye replied with a smile, “This is also my last variation, Fú yún cháng cháng cháng zhǎng, cháng cháng zhǎng xiāo (The clouds often makes expansions; often it shrinks)!”
When the last verse was finished, the square turned into chaos!
“What the heck!”
“What did I hear?”
“God! He can even match that?”
Zhang Ye actually managed to match that!
He matched them all!
Every variation of the couplet was matched!
And it was not as simple as barely matching!
Every match was flawless!
It was completely harmonious!
Elder Qian, “…”
Big Thunder, “…”
The rest of the contestants and spectators, “…”
What the f**k to your second granny!
You could even do that!?
Zheng Anbang gasped, “This Zhang Ye’s accomplishment in couplets is so deep?”
“How would I know!?” Big Thunder’s face wasn’t very good. “He can even match such a miraculous couplet? To manage to fight back in a couplet duel with Elder Qian? This kid must be on stimulants!”
Everyone was curious and astonished!
No one had witnessed such an exciting couplet duel before!