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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 017.1: Many Variations, Part 1

The Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord liked the Canon and ordered two pianos.

This was even more shocking than when Gu Hai played the piano. Countless cultivators rushed over from Silver Moon Mountain Manor. When they saw the sea of people outside This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion signing preorder contracts, they immediately joined the queue.

It is not worth it? The manor lord thinks that it is worth it, but you think that it is not? If you don’t want to buy it, don’t get in my way of buying it!

The Canon is not good? The manor lord likes it. With your standard of music appreciation, you should just leave Silver Moon City.

The ten-odd master zitherists that the World’s Best Zither Pavilion hired had slipped away long ago.

If they had remained, they would only suffer the wrath of the public.

These master zitherists had used their prestige to stop the many cultivators from buying pianos. This resulted in many of the cultivators being at the back of the queue. Those cultivators would curse at the master zitherists had they remained.

The master zitherists quickly fled, showing bitter expressions.

“This time, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion caused us a lot of trouble.”

“Indeed. My reputation for that little bit of money.”

“Why did the manor lord send someone over at this time? Why is Gu Hai so lucky?”

“This must be karma!”

The many master zitherists hid in bitterness.

------

This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion:

A flood of customers preordering pianos filled the entrance.

Upstairs, Venerable Liu Nian, Shangguan Hen, and Long Wanqing showed happy smiles. This could be considered a resounding success.

Mu Chenfeng looked at the invitation in Gu Hai’s hand, his face blank. “How could it be like that? I play so well yet fail to get an invitation after nine attempts. Gu Hai’s playing is so amateurish, yet the Silver Moon Mountain Manor took the initiative to deliver an invitation?”

This is not fair. His playing does not even have an artistic conception! Mu Chenfeng shouted depressedly in his heart.

Gu Hai’s invitation is genuine. Furthermore, it was personally issued by the manor lord. How is he so lucky?

“Gu Hai, congratulations. You can attend the zither bestowal event as well,” Long Wanqing said with a smile.

Gu Hai smiled bitterly and said, “Actually, I can’t play well. I only know the piece but do not have any artistic conception. It would just be a waste of time. How about you take this invitation?”

At the side, Mu Chenfeng rolled his eyes at Gu Hai. You are just casually giving this invitation away? Wait, my invitation also came from him. Remembering this, Mu Chenfeng felt even more conflicted.

“I don’t want to. I can’t play well!” Long Wanqing shook her head.

“How about Venerable Liu Nian go? I don’t really want to go.” Gu Hai proffered the invitation to Venerable Liu Nian.

“Division Master Gu, I think you should go.” Venerable Liu Nian shook his head.

Mu Chenfeng showed a resentful gaze as he scolded in his heart, Pretentious!

Finally, after Gu Hai persisted, he shoved the invitation to Venerable Liu Nian.

“Division Master Mu, I did not expect This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion to be this successful. As a result, I need to ask for your help,” Gu Hai said.

“Division Master Gu, please speak.” This time, Mu Chenfeng was much more polite. However, he still felt somewhat unreconciled with the situation.

“This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion will be extremely busy during this period. My subordinates will have too many things to work on and might not be able to manage. I would like to borrow some men from you. Don’t worry. I will pay them for their work,” Gu Hai said.

“That’s not a problem. How many men do you need?” Mu Chenfeng asked, feeling curious.

“One thousand,” Gu Hai said.

“Huh?” Mu Chenfeng looked at Gu Hai in surprise. You need so many people? Eventually, Mu Chenfeng nodded and said, “Alright.”

The news of the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord buying pianos spread everywhere in Silver Moon City right away. Countless cultivators came to see what a piano looked like out of curiosity. The people who had not heard the Canon before also poured into this area to hear for themselves what this piece that the manor lord said was good was like.

At the same time, the price of the piano made countless cultivators goggle. One hundred superior-grade spirit stones?

Although no one would say that the piano was expensive, as the manor lord had purchased it, people still wondered why it was so expensive.

At this moment, the cultivators on the street pointed to the price difference between the peak-quality zither and the piano, highlighted on the notice, and vividly recounted how the World’s Best Zither Pavilion cheated Gu Hai of his money.

“What? The World’s Best Zither Pavilion is an unscrupulous shop?”

“If one goes in with a lot of money, they will snatch it away? That can’t be, right?!”

“How could the World’s Best Zither Pavilion do such a thing?”

At first, countless cultivators were skeptical. However, they had no choice but to believe it since many people claiming to be eyewitnesses swore heavy oaths to that effect. Given that, it had to be fact.

Go there to buy zithers? Many people shook their heads.

Although countless cultivators came to this street, few entered the World’s Best Zither Pavilion.

The World’s Best Zither Pavilion and This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion showed two contrasting scenes.

One side of the street bustled with activity. Even though the buyers could not get a piano yet, they still paid first. Ten lines formed, with people continuously signing contracts and paying for pianos.

The spirit stones were not put away. Instead, they were placed on the deck, beside the piano, piled up like a small mountain.

On the other side, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion was desolate. Occasionally, a few cultivators would enter but soon come out again. The large World’s Best Zither Pavilion appeared empty. 

Lu An and Jiang Tianyi looked at the other side with unsightly expressions.

“Young Master An, I finally figured it out. This Gu Hai is not just selling pianos to earn money. He is also doing it to discredit the World’s Best Zither Pavilion, smearing our reputation. Furthermore, we cannot do anything about it,” Jiang Tianyi said with an unsightly expression.

“Business rules?” Lu An said sullenly.

“Indeed. Gu Hai just needs to play the Canon once every day, and his spirit stones will pile up like a mountain. He is only advertising through business means. If we take any inappropriate action, we will be mocked and ostracized by the entire business,” Jiang Tianyi said with an unsightly expression.

“Congratulations. You are the seven-thousand-seven-hundredth customer. Mister Gu said that this peak-quality zither from the World’s Best Zither Pavilion is a bonus prize for you!” Suddenly, a loud shout from a Han Royal Dynasty official rang out on the street.

“Huh?” Jiang Tianyi frowned as he looked over.

He saw a Han Royal Official handing over the one-hundred-medial-grade-spirit-stone-priced peak-quality zither to a customer holding a contract.

The spirit stones already formed a small mountain on the deck.

Gu Hai stood on the deck and revealed a gentle smile at Jiang Tianyi at the other side.

Whoosh!

Gu Hai collected all the spirit stones into the compressed space of his authority token.

“This is only the seventh day, and he got his seven-thousand-seven-hundredth customer already? He has earned seven hundred seventy thousand superior-grade spirit stones without any losses?” Lu An said sullenly.

“A rare business talent. Seven days? Haha! Young Master An, our opponent this time is impressive. He earned back the money he lost at our place in seven days?” Jiang Tianyi said bitterly.

“I don’t care if he is a business talent. Humph! No one has ever upset me like this before. Jiang Tianyi, do you have any way to crush his zither pavilion?” Lu An asked coldly.

“Even if Young Master An does not say it, I also cannot just watch This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion prosper. However, Young Master An, there’s no need to worry. By doing this, there are also downsides.” Jiang Tianyi smiled faintly.

“Oh?”

“Firstly, he has no stock, no luthiers, no guqins, or any other instruments. How is he going to compete with us? After the renovations are done, he will have no stock, only the piano. What is the point? Even if they have stock, their accumulations are much less than ours. The quality of their instruments will definitely not be as good as ours. Thus, they cannot outcompete us.

“Secondly, the piano? It is a hot commodity for now. After this period passes and everyone calms down, will they spend so much money to buy a piano? There are only so many wealthy people. One hundred superior-grade spirit stones to buy a non-spiritual-wood instrument? Haha! The sales will only decrease as time goes by.

“At that time, This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion will not be able to maintain its momentum and will close down.” Jiang Tianyi smiled.

“We just have to wait? I don’t want to wait,” Lu An said coldly.

“Then, we should promote our zither pavilion. We can hire master zitherists to play and attract people to our zither pavilion. Keep up a large expenditure and continuously hire master zitherists to come and compete with the other side,” Jiang Tianyi said seriously.

“Hire them, then!” Lu An said.

“Yes!” Jiang Tianyi answered.

------

As Jiang Tianyi expected, as time went by, the number of people preordering pianos decreased. However, This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s surroundings remained filled with people.

Then, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s counterattack started.

Previously, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion would only hire master zitherists to play occasionally. Starting today, they hired master zitherists to play every day.

The strong artistic conception from the performances made the cultivators on the street stop and listen.

Different master zitherists had different artistic conceptions. Now, it seemed like a festival started on the street.

While one would not tire of listening to the Canon every day, it already lost its initial novelty.

Hence, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s popularity quickly increased.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for September: 03 / 50

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