Chapter 34: Grinding on the Ink Slab Requires Proper Techniques and a Proper Posture
Atlas Studios Atlas Studios
The bank had approved their loan the very next day. The amount of the loan was 30 million dollars. Wen Xinya, together with Qiu Yifan and Ouyang Feng, went to the bank and settled the paperwork, successfully transferring the money to an account that was registered under Grampy's name.
With Qiu Yifan's assistance, the set up of the company was a breeze.
"What are you thinking about? The ink slab will be destroyed if you continue to grind it." Si Yiyan placed the calligraphy brush on the table and focused his vision on her.
Though he wasn't sure what was the content of their discussion a few days ago, he had guessed that there was something going on, as she had been frequently meeting with Qiu Yifan and Ouyang Feng in recent days.
Si Yiyan had investigated about Ouyang Feng and knew his background. It wasn't difficult to guess her intention of starting an investment company with him.
Once again Wen Xinya had impressed Si Yiyan with her decisiveness and courage and was able to devise a concrete plan of actions based on her vision. He was able to clearly see her change, from a young street gangster to an entrepreneur who had a great ambition of building her own financial career through starting an investment company.
"How is it possible for me to destroy an ink slab? You are just being difficult with me!" Wen Xinya was deep in thought about her earlier meeting at the Chaofan Lawyer Corporation. She recovered from her daze and controlled her emotions when she heard Si Yiyan.
Si Yiyan remained silent. He took another ink slab from the shelf, added a small amount of water on it and started grinding with the right amount of strength. Then, he picked up his calligraphy brush and started writing the word "xin" on a piece of paper. "Please look carefully."
The word "xin" appeared gracefully on paper in the Liu-calligraphy font. It was simple yet elegant. With such expressive and harmonious strokes, in unity with his skillful writing, Si Yiyan was able to display the toughness in his strokes, accomplishing exactly what the Liu-calligraphy font represented.
Grampy had mentioned this before, the Liu-calligraphy font was one that could most accurately present the temperament of the writer. He had to focus on his brush strokes with absolute purity of mind. The font was thin but had power in every stroke, expressing the beauty and gracefulness of the bamboo. When she started learning about calligraphy, Grampy asked her which font she would like to start with. She chose Liu-calligraphy font without hesitation.
"What did you notice?" asked Si Yiyan plainly.
"I know you have good calligraphy skills. You don't have to show off in front of me." Wen Xinya looked at the nicely written word in Liu-calligraphy font and secretly admired it with envy and jealousy.
"I am not referring to the font. I am asking if you have noticed any difference between using the two ink slabs." Si Yiyan knocked her forehead lightly with his hand.
Wen Xinya took a closer look and immediately noticed the difference. Words written with the ink from the ink slab she used were dull. There was no power in her strokes and the dampness from the ink permeated the paper. As for the word written with Si Yiyan's ink slab, its black ink glowed and there was power in each stroke. There wasn't any ink permeation on the paper he used. "Why is that so?"
Si Yiyan replied with a smile, "There is also great knowledge behind the skill of ink slab grinding. You want to learn?"
"Yes!" Wen Xinya looked at Si Yiyan with a sparkle in her eyes.
"Come over and stand beside me!" Si Yiyan waved and signaled for her to come over. His eyes gleamed as if he had finally achieved what he wanted.
Wen Xinya only had a great desire to learn about the skills of using an ink slab, so she didn't notice anything on his expression. When he waved to her, she immediately went over and stood beside him. "Will you teach me?"
"Mmm. I will only teach you once, and I want you to pay full attention." Si Yiyan emphasized the last two words.
Wen Xinya expressed her sincerity. "I will pay full attention."
Deepening his smile, Si Yiyan repositioned himself and stood behind Wen Xinya. He placed his chest against Wen Xinya's back and he could feel her boney figure from behind.
Wen Xinya suddenly felt the warmth from behind. It almost caused her to miss a heartbeat. She tried to move aside with a panic. "Aren't you going to teach me how to use the ink slab, why are you…"
Si Yiyan stretched his hand over hers that was holding an ink stick. "Let me show you once how to do it properly so that you can experience the correct grinding tempo."
Hearing his explanation, Wen Xinya heaved a sigh of relief. Though she continued to feel the warmth from his hug from behind and it seemed to be tempting her to lean backward, she didn't feel as nervous as before.
"Relax your body. Your arm is too stiff. Hold it naturally with your fingers." Si Yiyan was smiling while busy correcting her posture. He adjusted her waist with one hand and patted her arm with another.
"Is this correct?" Wen Xinya did not allow her thoughts to run wild. She followed his instructions and adjusted herself accordingly, though she wasn't completely aware that he was almost giving her a close hug in that posture.
Si Yiyan continued holding her waist with an arm as a matter of course, guiding her hand in the grinding action on the ink slab. "The amount of strength used is important. Not too hard nor too soft. Do it with the correct tempo, do not rush. Ensure the ink is evenly spread across the surface."
His warm breath landed on the back of her ears. It made her thoughts run wild. The low and manly voice spoke right into her ear. She could almost feel the exact movement of his tongue—lifting, curling, suppressing with every word coming out from his mouth. From her back, she could feel his heartbeat— —from his chest. Wen Xinya's heart rate suddenly increased.
Wen Xinya turned her head slightly and secretly peeped at him. He had locked his vision on their hands that were stacked on top of each other, focused on guiding her hands in the correct tempo while explaining to her the right techniques to use.
He looked so serious that it made Wen Xinya doubt herself for letting her mind run wild, causing her to be unable to concentrate. She immediately directed her attention back to the lesson.
Noticing that her attention was diverted, Si Yiyan let go fully of the deep breath he was holding and embraced Wen Xinya's mild fragrance. He too found himself unable to concentrate.
"You have a sweaty palm. Are you feeling hot?" Wen Xinya asked abruptly. He had a big palm, with well-defined lines on his long fingers. The hard skin on his palm was lightly brushing against the smooth skin on the back of her hand. Both of their palms were getting warm with perspiration and unconsciously aroused.
Si Yiyan suddenly came back to his senses and quickly let go of her hand. He then spoke in a serious tone. "Now that you are aware of how to use the ink slab better, you just need to put in more practice. Do not belittle the importance of the grinding of the ink on the ink slab. It requires a lot of practice and techniques. On the surface, it seems like we are grinding the ink sticks into ink. At the same time, it is also training our patience, hence improving our temperament."
Wen Xinya felt empowered with Si Yiyan's words! She nodded and said, "I understand now."
Before Wen Xinya could react, Si Yiyan suddenly stretched one of his hand towards her back and pushed her waist slightly towards him to correct her posture. Their bodies were in close contact once again. "Grinding on the ink slab requires proper techniques and a proper posture!"
Such righteousness in his words! However, with his actions, she felt that he was the one with an improper posture.