Chapter 298 - Turn the Painting into a Consumption
Although it was just a simple question, it successfully directed everyone’s attention to the man surnamed Xu.
Even if some other people had also thought that Shi Lei was lying, no one had verbally shamed him except for this man, who had tried many times. Now that even Old Bai had apologized to Shi Lei, as did everyone else, it naturally made them feel uncomfortable that this man hadn’t.
Under everyone’s intense glare, even though the man was furious, he could only step out. “It was my misunderstanding,” he said very quickly and unwillingly. “Since what our young friend said was shocking and was not convincing enough for someone his age, I naturally didn’t believe him. If Old Bai was the one who said it, I definitely wouldn’t doubt a word…”
Shi Lei narrowed his eyes and thought: I’m not the one who wanted you to apologize. It because you can’t deal with pressure. You’re apologizing, and yet you’re still picking on me.
“Does every elder speak the truth? Is every youngster arrogant and naïve? Kong Rong(1) was only four years old when he gave his pear to someone else and Sima Guang(2) was only seven years old when he smashed the pot. Qing Dynasty’s Luo Gan was only twelve years old when Emperor Qing gave him the rank of a high official and Zhou Yu helped Sun Ce stabilize Jiangdong when he was sixteen years old. Although I can’t compare to these ancestors, I know that everything is not always as it seems and all the people on the street who pretend to be hit by cars turn out to be old and fragile. So Mr. Xu, what do you think?”
The man surnamed Xu felt extremely gloomy. Why are you asking me “what do you think” again? How would I know? We can talk about this, but why are you giving me a crosstalk?
Many guests in the room laughed silently and even Old Bai had a small smile on his face. Seeing that the man was being humiliated, Old Bai had to step out to say a few words.
“Mr. Xu, Shi Lei is just joking, but he is somewhat reasonable. Everyone here, including me, all questioned what our young friend said, but it is good that we learned from our mistakes. Everyone apologized willingly. Let’s stop beating around the bush.”
Although that it sounded like Old Bai was talking for the man surnamed Xu, he was actually on Shi Lei’s side. Anyone could hear that Old Bai was urging the man to apologize.
The man opened his mouth, wanting to speak for himself, but nothing came out.
He could only bow slightly to Shi Lei without a choice. “I was shallow with my judgement today and I apologize to you.” He felt like he had lost his face after that and turned to Old Bai. “Old Bai, I have other things to do today and will take my leave first.”
Old Bai lightly nodded and the man left in anger. When he reached the door, he turned around and gave Shi Lei a profound glare before leaving in silence.
After the door closed, Old Bai ordered Chen Yanü in a low voice, “This man is narrow-minded and intentionally picks on others. There’s no need to invite him again.”
Chen Yanü nodded and the others also shivered. Everyone knew that this man surnamed Xu was now on the Bai family’s blacklist. With the Bai family's status, they obviously wouldn’t do anything to make his life harder, but there would be no further cooperation between them in the future. And everyone who knew about this would stay away from the man, since they wouldn’t want anything to do with him if they still wanted to work with the Bai family.
Of course, Wei Xingyue knew that Old Bai didn’t say it only to Chen Yanü, but did it intentionally for the others in the room. It was Old Bai’s way of helping Shi Lei, since everyone saw how the man had attempted to pick on.
Seeing Shi Lei act indifferently, Wei Xingyue jabbed him and gestured with her mouth at Old Bai. Shi Lei glared at her, not knowing what she meant.
Without a choice, Wei Xingyue could only whisper a few words next to Shi Lei’s ear, and he finally understood. He glanced at Old Bai, not knowing how to thank him. Eventually, he scratched his head and whispered awkwardly, “Old Bai, I’m sorry for the trouble.”
Old Bai laughed. “I need to thank you today. If you weren’t here, how would I know that the copy of the painting that I cherished was merely something created intentionally to satisfy other people’s desires? Would you mind giving me your painting?”
Shi Lei was blank for a second. This bro wanted to buy his painting. With Old Bai’s status, the price wouldn’t be low either. Wouldn’t he earn a few tens of thousands of yuan if he sold it to him? This amount of money should count as his own…
Oh, wait. It wouldn’t count. It was the same as the money earned from using the Martial Arts Card. He couldn’t count it as his own, or he may be penalized by the cunning Black Card as not having enough money for the gamble in the first place. Although painting was different from boxing, it was still done using the Black Card’s skills. If he took Old Bai’s money, the Black Card would probably judge it as him using its skills to invest, and Shi Lei couldn’t use the Black Card’s money to invest at the time being. So…
Shi Lei was about to say something nice and give the painting to Old Bai if he liked it, but he thought of another possibility right before he was about to speak.
He shouldn’t be penalized for giving the painting, since Old Bai wouldn’t use it for other benefits, so Shi Lei wouldn’t gain anything either. According to the Black Card’s rule, it wouldn’t be shameless enough to kill him when the painting didn’t have any direct connection with its money.
But if he gave the painting to Old Bai and received a promise of some sort in return, it would definitely be an excellent deal. However, only money deals could be counted as consumptions. How would something like this be counted?
It was actually a problem of definition. If Shi Lei saw the painting as his own and gave it to Old Bai, then it may be connected to the level of intimacy. However, Shi Lei wasn’t too worried about it because he could tell that Old Bai was a very kind person. As long as Shi Lei gave the painting to him, he would definitely see Shi Lei as someone close and hence pass the standard level of intimacy.
But what if the painting didn’t belong to Shi Lei?
All Shi Lei did was paint it on a blank piece of paper. The brushes, paper, ink, and others things were provided by Old Bai. If he calculated it like this, then he still owed Old Bai money for the paper. Hence, if Shi Lei spent money to buy the piece of paper, it would establish a consumption and everything would belong to Shi Lei. This was the only way he would be qualified to give this painting to someone else.
He was almost certain that any promise-related comments that Old Bai made would count as a verbal contract to the Black Card. Old Bai couldn’t repay him by marrying him like that idiot Song Miaomiao, which meant that it would be a one-sided contract and an extremely valuable consumption!
Old Bai realized that Shi Lei seemed stern and hadn’t spoken for a long time, and therefore thought that he didn’t want to give it to him. He sighed silently, thinking it was a shame, but he didn’t want to force him. “It’s fine if you’re unwilling.”
Wei Xingyue panicked and pushed Shi Lei roughly. The others present in the room also couldn’t understand why.
He had only needed forty minutes to paint it. It was valuable to Old Bai, but would just be trash to Shi Lei. He had such a good opportunity to please Old Bai, so why wouldn’t he? Couldn’t he just paint another one if he wanted one as well?
- Kong Rong: This comes from a Chinese idiom “Kong Rong Rang Li,” which is explained through a story of the four-year-old Kong Rong giving his pear to someone older than him. The message of the story is to teach children to follow public orders and morals.
- Sima Guang: the story of Sima Guang recounts how he smashed the big pottery container used for storing water to save his friend who was drowning in it.