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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 013: Preorder

Gu Hai bought the shop lot across from the World’s Best Zither Pavilion.

The cultivators on the street still felt shocked at the grand scene of Gu Hai tossing out seven hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones at Lu An when they suddenly discovered something even stranger.

Why was Gu Hai buying the restaurant across the street from the World’s Best Zither Pavilion?

That restaurant did not have much business.

Soon, everyone came to know that Gu Hai was opening a zither pavilion.

“You must be joking, right? Gu Hai must have gone mad. Truly, one can burn money like nothing if one is rich. Opening a zither pavilion across the World’s Best Zither Pavilion is just seeking failure!”

“Indeed. Since the World’s Best Zither Pavilion started business, no shop in the entire Silver Moon City could outsell them. Aside from the Silver Moon Mountain Manor, all the good zithers come from that place. One can find all sorts of zithers there. No one can compete with them. All the other zither pavilions that opened on this street went bankrupt!”

“Opening a zither pavilion across from the World’s Best Zither Pavilion is just seeking failure!”

“Gu Hai has gone mad. There go another forty thousand superior-grade spirit stones.”

Any cultivator that heard the news did not think much of Gu Hai’s chances.

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With Elite Hall handling the paperwork, the officials dealt with the business registration expeditiously. Two days later, Gu Hai hung up a signboard at the former restaurant.

“This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion,” the surrounding cultivators read the name of Gu Hai’s zither pavilion aloud.

“This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion? World’s Best Zither Pavilion? Haha! So, who exactly is the best? This Gu Hai is very bold.”

“Is Gu Hai taking revenge?”

“Revenge? I think it’s more like a joke?”

The surrounding cultivators on the street revealed curious expressions.

With spirit stones paving the way, the Han Royal Dynasty officials quickly found contractors to renovate This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion. The place soon bustled with activity.

Being right across the street, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion naturally saw everything.

Up in the World’s Best Zither Pavilion, General Manager Jiang Tianyi looked at the signboard across the street coldly while his eyelids twitched wildly. “This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion?”

Lu An stood beside Liang Tianyi, also looking coldly at the zither pavilion undergoing renovations.

“Gu Hai? That overconfident brat? Is he trying to take revenge on my World’s Best Zither Pavilion? Opening a zither pavilion? Furthermore, right across the street? He overestimates himself. Let’s see how badly he fails.” Lu An revealed disdain on his face.

However, General Manager Jiang Tianyi frowned and said, “Young Master An, I keep having a bad feeling for some reason.”

“There is nothing bad about this. How many competitors has the World’s Best Zither Pavilion faced over the years? Have we ever lost? I have already sent people to investigate. This Gu Hai only became Elite Hall’s Water Division Master by luck. Humph! He is just a country bumpkin from a desolate and barren land. What is there to fear from him? The World’s Best Zither Pavilion has experienced so many storms and survived, yet you worry about him?” Lu An sneered.

“Yes!” Jiang Tianyi nodded.

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Xiaoyue Secondary Residence:

Mu Chenfeng paced around with a conflicted expression on the floating island. Long Wanqing and Venerable Liu Nian waited patiently.

After a while, Gu Hai walked out from a nearby palace hall.

“Gu Hai, what was that sound coming from your room earlier?” Long Wanqing asked, feeling curious.

“Nothing much. I made a zither ten-odd years ago. After not using it for several years, it went off-tune. I just tuned it.” Gu Hai shook his head and did not explain further.

“Division Master Gu, do you really intend to sell zithers? Rumors are already spreading in Silver Moon City that an overconfident brat is challenging the World’s Best Zither Pavilion.” Mu Chenfeng looked at Gu Hai in confusion.

“Challenging? Who said that I am challenging the World’s Best Zither Pavilion?” Gu Hai smiled.

“Ah? If that is not a challenge, then why are you renovating that This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion?” Mu Chenfeng felt confused.

“Didn’t I say before? I am planning to do some small business in Silver Moon City. I can’t be bothered to look at the various potential businesses anymore. Since I happened to see a zither shop, then we are just going to run a zither business.” Gu Hai smiled.

“Aren’t you just taking revenge?”

“Not really. I’m just taking back my lost money.” Gu Hai continued smiling.

“Take back? How? Are you thinking of snatching the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s business?”

“Anyone can do business. It is just fair competition.” Gu Hai shook his head and did not explain.

“Gu Hai, are you confident?” Long Wanqing asked out of curiosity.

“Confident? How can one have absolute confidence? Whether I can sell zithers or not will depend on the publicity. Hopefully, it will go as I planned,” Gu Hai said while shaking his head.

“Alright.” Long Wanqing nodded worriedly.

At this moment, Shangguan Hen walked over from nearby.

“Oh? Shangguan Hen, you have been wandering Silver Moon City over the past few days. What do you think of it?” Gu Hai asked with a smile, feeling curious.

Shangguan Hen did not seem to know about Gu Hai opening a zither pavilion. At this moment, his expression appeared somewhat anxious.

“Your Majesty, this official would like to borrow some money from Your Majesty.” Shangguan Hen smiled bitterly.

“Oh?” Gu Hai said, feeling puzzled.

“Over the past few days, I sensed at a few places in the city things similar to what I ate previously. However, others did not recognize them. I want to buy and eat them before others recognize them,” Shangguan Hen said seriously.

Previously, Shangguan Hen ate the Golden Black Tortoise Shell, so these are shattered pieces of the Black Tortoise Prime?

“Oh? How much do you need?” Gu Hai asked.

“Two hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones,” Shangguan Hen answered honestly.

At the side, Mu Chenfeng goggled. Do Gu Hai’s subordinates not see spirit stones as money? As a subordinate, he actually dares to ask his superior for two hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones to spend on food? Are you a glutton? Won’t you be stuffed to death with two hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones’ worth of food?

Had a Wood Division disciple dared to ask Mu Chenfeng this, he would have sent that disciple flying with a slap.

“Two hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones? That is indeed not much. However, my finances are a little tight at the moment. Wait for a few days, and there will be money,” Gu Hai said seriously.

Two hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones are indeed not much? Mu Chenfeng looked resentfully at this sovereign-official pair.

“However, I’m worried that they will be gone by then,” Shangguan Hen said apprehensively.

“Alright. Since that is the case, let’s not wait for This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s renovations. Let’s go over and erect a deck first.”

Everyone followed Gu Hai to This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion while giving him quizzical looks.

At this moment, the contractors were quickly renovating the place. The surrounding cultivators gathered outside the World’s Best Zither Pavilion and pointed at This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion. Simultaneously, they listened to the music Dao masters the World’s Best Zither Pavilion invited to play the zither.

“Your Majesty!” A few Han Royal Dynasty officials rushed over.

“Fast-track the third-floor deck. We will start our business while we renovate!” Gu Hai said in a deep voice.

“Yes!” The Han Royal Dynasty officials went and busied themselves.

“Your renovations are not done yet. How are you going to conduct business? Furthermore, Gu Hai, you don’t seem to have any zithers? I heard that Jiang Tianyi, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s general manager, ordered you blacklisted, not permitting other zither businesses or luthiers to sell to you. Without stock, what are you going to sell?” Mu Chenfeng asked with wide eyes.

“Can’t I sell without stock?” Gu Hai smiled.

“Huh?” Mu Chenfeng appeared confused.

Of course, you can’t sell without stock. Isn’t this logical?

With cultivators handling the work, the renovations proceeded with alacrity.

Soon, a magnificent deck was completed on This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s third floor. The lavish decorations made it look extremely pleasing to the eyes.

Then, Gu Hai’s group leaped onto the deck.

A few of the Han Royal Dynasty officials followed close behind while the others continued directing the renovations.

Gu Hai took out a brush and ink while the Han Royal Dynasty officials moved chairs and tables over. Then, Gu Hai started writing on a piece of paper.

“This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion will begin taking preorders for its first kind of zither, the piano [metal zither]. Stocks will arrive half a year later. All who desire to purchase one must pay for it first and sign a contract. We will then hand over the zither according to the contract when stocks arrive.”

[TL Note: The Chinese words for piano literally translate as metal zither. As mentioned in a previous translation note, the term zither does not refer to just a specific instrument but is also a category for stringed instruments. As such, the piano falls under this category, as it uses a series of keys to make hammers strike metal piano strings, which are strung on a metal frame.]

“Paste this on the advertising board in front,” Gu Hai instructed.

“Yes!” A Han Royal Dynasty official respectfully received the notice and pasted it on the advertising board outside the zither pavilion.

Now, Mu Chenfeng and the others goggled.

“Division Master Gu, are you joking? You will receive stock only half a year later, but you want the customer to pay first?” Mu Chenfeng said with a wide-eyed look of incredulity.

This is crazy, right? Who will pay you and sign a contract first? You don’t even have the goods? Why should they give you anything?

“This is called preordering. As long as they sincerely want my piano, waiting half a year is not long,” Gu Hai said with a smile.

Indeed, it was not long. Back on Earth, many real estate companies would presell houses. There might even be a gap of several years between paying for and receiving the house.

“Do you think that they are fools? How can that be possible?” Mu Chenfeng appeared skeptical.

“Piano? What is a piano? Was that the thing you were tuning in your room earlier?” Long Wanqing asked out of curiosity.

“Something like that. Let the news spread for a bit. I will show the piano to everyone two days later,” Gu Hai said with a smile.

“A piano? Is that a zither made of pure metal? What is special about it?” Long Wanqing felt very curious.

“The piano is new, novel. What’s more important is the piece. You will understand the day after tomorrow.” Gu Hai continued acting mysterious.

[TL Note: Classical music compositions are usually known as pieces. Classical musicians tend to get offended when someone calls a piece a song.]

“The piece? Didn’t you say that you were not good at the zither?” Long Wanqing asked.

“Yes, I’m not good at it. However, I can still play a few pieces. Don’t worry. This is just to kick things off. Once we gain momentum, we just need to hire music Dao masters for publicity,” Gu Hai replied.

“Alright.” Long Wanqing nodded.

“Your Majesty, should we post the price for this piano?” one of the Han Royal Dynasty officials asked, feeling curious.

Gu Hai looked at that official and smiled. “That’s right. Since you figured it out, you go and put up the notice. Oh, by the way, display the peak-quality zither bought from the World’s Best Zither Pavilion too.”

“Oh?”

“The peak-quality zither is one hundred medial-grade spirit stones? My piano is one hundred superior-grade spirit stones.”

“Yes!”

“Write clearly in the advertisement that the piano is not made of spiritual wood,” Gu Hai instructed.

“Yes!” that official answered.

Mu Chenfeng looked at Gu Hai in confusion. “Gu Hai, I asked around. No one bought that peak-quality zither because it was made of ordinary materials but still cost one hundred medial-grade spirit stones. It is not worth it. Your piano is also made of ordinary materials, but you dare to sell it for one hundred superior-grade spirit stones? You won’t be able to sell it; no one will buy.”

Gu Hai smiled faintly and said, “If others sell it, they can’t. When I do, people will fight to buy it.”

“Huh? You are crazy! You have truly gone mad!” Mu Chenfeng stared at Gu Hai with a strange look.

Gu Hai did not care. After leaving some instructions, he left with a group of people.

The two notices that Gu Hai ordered posted caused a huge commotion among the cultivators on the street.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for August: 48 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.