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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 016: Piano Selling like Hotcakes

Gu Hai smiled and said, “This piece is called Canon. I used the piano to play it five times. I believe the various master zitherists have already memorized it. I welcome everyone to use their instruments to play the Canon!”

Countless zitherists in the city were startled. Indeed, I can use my guqin to play this song.

A piece without an artistic conception might only have an ordinary level of attraction to ordinary cultivators. However, it was extremely rare for people who understood music.

From the moment these people heard the Canon, they knew that this was a transcendent piece.

It was an earworm, a demonic sound that repeated endlessly in their minds.

The ordinary cultivators could only leave it at this. However, the master zitherists took out their zithers and started playing the Canon.

After five renditions, everyone could remember it. It was not just the guqin playing the Canon. People used flutes, pipes, and guzhengs to play it as well. This was how wondrous this transcendent piece was. Even when played on various other instruments, it still sounded moving.

With each rendition, everyone started to think about the initial piano piece.

Piano? What kind of zither was a piano?

“Canon? What a strange name.” Fairy Waner also appeared slightly startled in a nearby courtyard.

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When the cultivators outside This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion heard Gu Hai’s piece, no one showed any more disdain for him.

Even without an artistic conception, this piece still sounded extremely moving. There were no points to criticize. At the very least, they could not criticize it from their stand of music.

Long Wanqing, Venerable Liu Nian, and Shangguan Hen let out long breaths. They looked at Gu Hai with praise in their eyes.

At this moment, Mu Chenfeng felt incredibly conflicted. My music Dao cannot compare to this country bumpkin’s? That’s impossible. He can’t even bring out an artistic conception. However, this piece… 

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In the World’s Best Zither Pavilion across the street:

Lu An and Jiang Tianyi appeared very sullen.

The customers of the World’s Best Zither Pavilion downstairs had already left; not a single person remained.

After hearing the first rendition, the two knew that things were bad.

“The playing is rough and amateurish. However, this piece…,” Jiang Tianyi said with an incredibly unsightly expression.

If it were an ordinary piece, it would be fine. Jiang Tianyi could become the general manager of the World’s Best Zither Pavilion because he was a master zitherist himself. How could he not make out how extraordinary this piece was?

“Canon? Humph! Jiang Tianyi, where are your men? Didn’t you prepare some earlier? Why have they not done anything yet?” Lu An said.

Jiang Tianyi nodded and projected his voice to his hired master zitherists in the crowd.

Those master zitherists showed unsightly expressions. You want me to criticize this transcendent work?

However, these master zitherists had already taken the money and could not back out on the deal. They could only grit their teeth and do it.

The first master zitherist stepped forward and said, “It is only so-so, not worth listening to. Ignorant and hopeless!”

“Huh?” This caused a commotion among the surrounding cultivators, who turned their heads to look.

“Master Wang? He is a master zitherist in the east of the city. He has critiqued many excellent pieces, and he holds great repute!” Someone immediately recognized that master zitherist.

On the deck, Gu Hai turned his head and looked at this Master Wang. Then, he revealed a faint smile and asked, “Are you referring to my Canon?”

“That’s right. It is just repeating and repeating endlessly. I have never heard of any piece that repeated a motif twenty-eight times. This is simply a juvenile piece!” Master Wang replied coldly.

“That’s right. This piece can’t even bring out any artistic conception. It is simply just noise!” another person critiqued.

“That is Master Chen, a master zitherist of the south of the city. He had once studied in the Silver Moon Mountain Manor!” Someone recognized Master Chen.

“So, it is noise just because there is no artistic conception?” Gu Hai smiled coldly.

“Humph! And this piano? What is the point of it? It makes use of strange techniques, unworthy of playing pieces!”

“It is just a strange zither made of ordinary materials, yet you want to sell it for one hundred superior-grade spirit stones? You must be dreaming! You must have gone mad thinking about money!”

A group of master zitherists stood out and relentlessly criticized the Canon as being bad. Then, they criticized the piano for being clumsy and heavy, mocking Gu Hai’s astronomical price.

The cultivators who had felt intoxicated by the Canon were now confused.

Is this piano really that terrible? Is this piece really not even worth listening to? I found it alright. However, these are master zitherists. Why are they all saying that it is bad?

Many cultivators looked at this scene in confusion. They thought deeply about it but were still bewildered. Simultaneously, they started to have doubts about the Canon and the piano.

Lu An and Jiang Tianyi slowly revealed smiles in the World’s Best Zither Pavilion. Once the public opinion turns around, let’s see how you are going to recover.

Gu Hai smiled faintly and looked at the nearby Shangguan Hen. Shangguan Hen nodded, preparing to make a move.

“Bunch of fools! It’s such a piece of transcendent music, yet you actually claim it is terrible? How extremely foolish! Hahahaha!” Suddenly, someone in the crowd guffawed.

“Huh? Gu Hai felt slightly surprised.

Nearby, Shangguan Hen shook his head, indicating that he had not arranged this.

Gu Hai turned his head and saw a very handsome, middle-aged man slowly stepping out of the crowd. This man had his hair combed back and tied in a ponytail. He wore loose purple-and-red robes with an exceedingly aloof bearing.

“Who are you?” The group of master zitherists glared at this man who had suddenly interrupted them.

“You bunch of fools are not worthy of knowing who I am. Hahahaha!” that man guffawed.

Then, he turned his head and bowed slightly. “Although the Canon is different from all the pieces I have heard before, when I heard it, I was sure that this piece would pass down through the ages and bring about a new style at the same time. Hearing this piece made me, Sima Changkong, feel that coming to Silver Moon City was worth it! Mister Gu, the sound of your piano is unique. Did you make it just for this one song?”

Sima Changkong?

Gu Hai looked at this man and smiled faintly. “No. This song was made for this piano.”

“Oh? That means that this piano can still play other transcendent pieces?” Sima Changkong felt slightly startled.

“This is just the beginning,” Gu Hai said with a smile.

“In that case, this humble one is willing to purchase ten pianos.” Sima Changkong smiled.

“Have you seen my notice?” Gu Hai asked.

“Half a year? I know about it. I can wait!” Sima Changkong said, not minding the delay.

“It’s one hundred superior-grade spirit stones each,” Gu Hai emphasized.

“Haha! Money and wealth are like dirt. How can it compare to heavenly music?” Sima Changkong guffawed.

“In that case, please sign the contract there.” Gu Hai pointed to a table nearby.

Sima Changkong nodded.

Before everyone, Sima Changkong walked to the Han Royal Dynasty officials. Those officials had already prepared contracts long ago, so they quickly handed a contract to Sima Changkong.

Sima Changkong took a quick look and revealed a faint smile. “An excellent preorder contract. Interesting! Hahahaha!”

After Sima Changkong finished reading, he signed the contract and handed over one thousand superior-grade spirit stones.

The surrounding cultivators looked at this man who spent one thousand superior-grade spirit stones on a few pieces of paper. Then, they looked at the group of master zitherists who criticized the piano earlier.

This was a slap to the face, an undisguised slap to the face.

These master zitherists had said that there was nothing good about this piano earlier. However, in the blink of an eye, someone spent one thousand superior-grade spirit stones to preorder pianos for delivery half a year later.

The master zitherists immediately blushed red in embarrassment. However, there were still some thick-skinned people among them.

“Hahahaha! Gu Hai must have hired someone to do that, right?” one of the master zitherists sneered.

“Huh?” The surrounding cultivators felt slightly stunned.

The other master zitherists chimed in, “That’s right. Who would spend one thousand superior-grade spirit stones to buy a few pieces of paper? I definitely wouldn’t. Would you? Hahahaha! This is just a show!”

“That’s right. This was too fake. Do you think that we will buy your piano if you did that?”

“Stop dreaming. Even if you give me one hundred superior-grade spirit stones, I don’t want that ugly thing!”

The master zitherists continuously mocked Gu Hai.

The cultivators who were shocked by Sima Changkong earlier again felt confused.

In the end, these people were just ordinary cultivators. To them, good music had to have an artistic conception. Furthermore, the master zitherists claimed that the Canon was bad. Perhaps it was really bad.

However, Sima Changkong ignored these people. He just took his contract and walked to the side to watch.

Long Wanqing and the others felt anxious.

At this moment, an increasing number of cultivators poured over from all directions, intrigued by the piano and wanting to see it.

However, with a large group of master zitherists criticizing the piano as being bad, the crowd hesitated as well.

“Give me a contract. I want a piano!” A person with no lack of money stepped forward and purchased one.

“Another person bought it?”

“Don’t buy it. Ten-odd master zitherists are saying that it is bad. Why waste money like that?”

“I like it, and I don’t lack money!”

The Canon had an immense impact.

Gu Hai did not say anything more. Although more people started to criticize the piano, many people still bought pianos.

In just two hours, Gu Hai had already sold thirty pianos.

There were always people who liked the Canon and did not lack money.

Many people wanted to buy a piano, but the idea of preordering and the master zitherists’ critiques deterred them, causing them to show worry on their faces.

The master zitherists criticized the piano with all their might, wishing that they could go and smash it.

Countless cultivators hesitated over purchasing it.

On the other side, Lu An’s unsightly expression eased a little.

“Young Master An, we managed to stop his momentum,” Jiang Tianyi said with a long sigh of relief and a smile.

That was dangerous. Gu Hai nearly succeeded in his sale. Fortunately, I was prepared for it.

Whoosh!

Suddenly, a large immortal crane descended from the sky and landed on the street. An azure-clad man stood on this immortal crane’s back.

“Is that the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s young manor lord?” someone suddenly cried out.

“The Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s young manor lord? Yun Mo? Why is he here?”

“Young Manor Lord Yun Mo has not appeared in public for several years already.”

“Could it be because of the Canon?”

The surrounding cultivators felt surprised when they saw this azure-clad man suddenly arrive.

“Where is Gu Hai?” Yun Mo called out.

Gu Hai appeared somewhat surprised. Then, he stepped forward slowly and said, “This humble one is Gu Hai. You are?”

“I am the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s Yun Mo. The manor lord enjoyed your Canon and bade me send you a zither bestowal event invitation.” Yun Mo proffered an invitation letter.

Gu Hai accepted the invitation, feeling confused.

Countless cultivators in the surroundings goggled.

“What did I just hear? The manor lord likes the Canon? Did I hear wrong?”

“Master Wang just said that it is only so-so, not worth listening to. Ignorant and hopeless! Huh? Who should I listen to?”

“Hey! Where is Master Wang?”

The surrounding cultivators looked at the master zitherists curiously. Now, these master zitherists felt mortified and angry, wishing that they could find a place to hide.

If it were another master zitherist praising the Canon, they could still debate it, given their identities. However, they would be foolish to contradict the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord.

Everyone knew that the manor lord held great prestige. No one in Silver Moon City could compare to him in the music Dao; he was Silver Moon City’s best.

If the manor lord said it was good, that would be the standard. Everyone would follow that standard.

Now that the manor lord had declared that he liked the Canon, then what these master zitherists said were like mere farts.

The face-slapping they received from this was even harder and more resonant than Sima Changkong’s. After today, they would be greatly embarrassed since everyone knew what they had done.

“It’s great that the manor lord likes it. Many thanks for your invitation.” Gu Hai smiled.

“The manor lord said that your piano is unique and wants me to buy one and bring it back,” Yun Mo said with a smile.

“I’m really sorry about that. The manufacturing of a piano is a complicated process. I have only this one here, and I need it for demonstrations. We can only follow the normal procedure to sign a preorder contract and deliver the goods half a year later,” Gu Hai said while shaking his head.

Yun Mo frowned slightly and nodded. “Alright. I’ll preorder two first.”

“Many thanks for your business!” Gu Hai said with a smile.

Yun Mo left the money behind and flew off with a contract.

Now, the surrounding cultivators felt stunned.

The Silver Moon Mountain Manor? This was a world-famous luthier clan. Its fame spanned not just the Qian Heavenly Dynasty but the entire world. These people wanted to buy pianos?

Who said that the piano was just an inferior toy? Hey? Where are all the earlier master zitherists? Where did they go? Weren’t they stopping me from buying a piano earlier? Where are they? Why are they all gone?

“Give me one! Give me one! Hurry! Here are the spirit stones!”

“I was here first! I was here first! Give me one!”

“Give me the contract! Hurry! Give me one with the closest sequence number! Hurry!”

Countless cultivators immediately swarmed over. They nearly overturned the table that the Han Royal Dynasty officials used for signing the contracts.

Who knew how long it would take to manufacture a piano? If they were a moment later in signing the contract, they would receive it a moment later.

Even the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord wanted to buy a piano.

One hundred superior-grade spirit stones is too expensive? How could a piano that the manor lord is interested in not be worth one hundred superior-grade spirit stones? If you can’t afford it, scram aside. Don’t get in my way of buying a piano.

A sea of people flooded in. Many Han Royal Dynasty officials immediately rushed over and set up counters to split up the crowd.

“Stop pushing! Stop pushing! Queue up properly and come one by one!” the Han Royal Dynasty officials shouted.

The scene was still quite messy. The cultivators who came later saw how aggressive the crowd was and immediately rushed to join the queue. This was the herd mentality. If he is buying one, and you are buying one, then I will buy one as well.

Furthermore, this piano was endorsed by the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord. It was not just a musical instrument but a status symbol.

Gu Hai’s group stood on the deck. As Gu Hai looked at the World’s Best Zither Pavilion across the street, he revealed a warm smile.

However, this warm smile seemed replete with mockery to the eyes of Lu An and Jiang Tianyi.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for September: 02 / 50

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