• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 02
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Jun weighed his options. It would be a dishonourable, insincere thing to do, but he had little choice. His name meant ‘To be truthful’. However, inasmuch as he’d fought to remain loyal to that epithet throughout his life, he was now presented with a dilemma.

His little brother, Lok, had been tasked with practicing his writing skills. He’d been given a set of calligraphy brushes, some inks, and a clean piece of parchment. But Lok was still very young and he soon grew bored. Lok didn’t want to write. Lok wanted to be an artist, to illustrate the Manga characters he so loved. And so, just after lunchtime when Lok’s work was to be assessed by father, the boy was fraught and sought advice from his older sibling.

Jun had at first been impatient with his kid brother’s pleas. He’d had his own issues to worry about. His university art lesson was starting in a half hour and he’d forgotten all about the lecturer’s assignment until he’d picked up his keys to leave. And now this. Although...

Jun studied Lok’s spoiled parchment, which was dominated by a huge painting of an angry looking character. The composition, the colours, the scrawls across the top. It was perfect! He asked Lok what he’d been instructed to write, and the boy told him. Jun grabbed a fresh sheet of parchment, dipped a brush into the black ink, and proceeded to transcribe all of Lok’s assigned sentences.



Five minutes later Lok happily trotted towards his father’s study, parchment in hand, the ink still slightly wet. And not long afterwards, Jun had finished daubing a few creative verses down the side of Lok’s original parchment and had added some final flourishes to the image. The very last thing he did was retrieve two small items from his rucksack: chop seals. These had been designed and constructed during his very first art class, created as unique identifying stamps to accompany each artist’s work. Having applied the chops in red ink, Jun set off to his lesson.

Barely arriving in time, Jun dashed into the classroom and solemnly presented the work as his own. The teacher studied the piece. The old man frowned, lifting up his spectacles to study the picture before replacing them again. He slowly shook his head and frowned a bit more, muttering to himself. Jun wrung his hands. Would the teacher, who was familiar with his previous – and not terribly adept – work, recognise this as someone else’s art? The tutor cleared his throat, nodded, and then beamed. He awarded the painting an A+.