Silver Moon Mountain Manor:
The manor lord listened to Yun Mo describe This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s situation in detail.
“What? Momentum? The piano and the Canon were only to build momentum for a zither pavilion?” The manor lord looked at Yun Mo in surprise.
Yun Mo nodded and said, “Indeed. Before this, no one expected much of this zither pavilion, considering it a joke until the piano piece appeared. Everyone bought pianos only because of that. Who could have thought that Gu Hai only did it to build momentum and spread This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s fame?
“Right now, there is a flood of cultivators rushing to buy instruments there, and the instrument shops in the city are all fighting to enter This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion.
“Manor Lord, you did not see the scene in there. People rushed to buy the goods there as though they were free.
“Selling pianos earned a lot of money. However, that cannot compare to what This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion earned.
“Gu Hai is really incredible. For the sake of promoting This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion, he created the Canon style.”
“A waste of talent, fooling around like that. What a helpless case!” The manor lord did not know whether to cry or laugh.
When the original Canon appeared, the manor lord suspected that it was not Gu Hai who composed it. However, Gu Hai did not disappoint the manor lord. After a few days, Gu Hai brought out the Canon variation, pushing the canon to an even higher level. Only then did the manor lord truly believe that Gu Hai was the Canon’s composer.
To think that Gu Hai went into business despite having such talent?
It turned out that the Canon was made to serve his zither pavilion’s purpose?
Yun Mo smiled bitterly. “Who could have expected this? They caught the World’s Best Zither Pavilion across the street off guard. Who could have expected Gu Hai to operate this way? Furthermore, this method cannot be replicated unless one has caught the attention of the entire city.”
“The World’s Best Zither Pavilion encountered a bad situation this time. Hahahaha!” The manor lord started laughing.
The World’s Best Zither Pavilion did not just encounter a bad situation. After This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion officially opened, the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s business plummeted. After just one day, the shop was empty.
When Jiang Tianyi looked at the long queues on the other side, he showed a cold expression.
People entered the World’s Best Zither Pavilion only to compare prices against the instruments from the other side. After the comparison, they would go across to make the purchase without saying anything more.
Now, This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion had already been open for business for ten days. During these ten days, it had earned money hand over fist. The ten-percent-off promotion had long since ended, but the department store remained bustling; business was booming.
Under the department store model, Gu Hai earned only a small percentage in commission. However, he earned the most money.
The merchants that moved in did not resent Gu Hai for taking a commission. Instead, they felt extremely grateful to Gu Hai. The sales from the past ten days already matched their earnings from the past year. All the merchants continuously perfected their instruments, not wanting their contract terminated. The rule of this zither pavilion was that only the best were taken. If one did not constantly improve, there were many merchants out there racking their brains to take one’s place.
In Gu Hai’s study:
Long Wanqing looked at a piece of paper with strange symbols on it.
“What are these?”
“These are Arabic numbers, used for accounting; I previously taught this to my subordinates. You are holding our progress report,” Gu Hai said with a smile.
Long Wanqing nodded but felt confused.
Mu Chenfeng felt completely stupefied when he saw the bustling scene in the zither pavilion.
To Mu Chenfeng, the piano sales already brought in great profits. However, the piano preorders were nothing compared to the zither pavilion, a mere drizzle compared to a downpour.
After Mu Chenfeng’s Wood Division disciples started working here, the reward that Gu Hai gave out every day thrilled them, inspiring them to work even harder.
The Wood Division disciples seemed to be turning into Water Division disciples.
This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s business seemed unstoppable.
Inside the World’s Best Zither Pavilion:
The teacup in Lu An’s hand shattered.
“You only managed to sell six guqins over the past ten days? This is your result?” Lu An said, feeling both depressed and angry.
Jiang Tianyi bitterly shook his head and said, “Young Master An, I now finally understand why Gu Hai took out seven hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones without batting an eyelid.”
“He was buying the World’s Best Zither Pavilion.”
“Indeed, he already bought all of the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s business. The World’s Best Zither Pavilion will close soon if we carry on like this,” Jiang Tianyi said bitterly.
“Close? No way! That cannot happen. If Grandfather hears that I brought down the World’s Best Zither Pavilion, he will beat me to death!” Lu An said with an unsightly expression.
“Indeed. The World’s Best Zither Pavilion is one of the duke’s businesses. Although it is not the largest one, it supplies a significant portion of his military budget. If it closes…,” Jiang Tianyi trailed off, his face sinking.
“What should we do? I’ll go destroy Gu Hai’s zither pavilion!” Lu An said coldly.
“No! If we destroy Gu Hai’s zither pavilion at this critical juncture, my World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s reputation would be completely in the gutters. Even without Gu Hai, we would not have much business,” Jiang Tianyi warned with an unsightly expression.
“What should we do?”
“We should promote our World’s Best Zither Pavilion and regain everyone’s confidence in our World’s Best Zither Pavilion.”
“Invite a true master zitherist to play; let everyone know that Gu Hai’s Canon is just for entertainment. It is practically useless. That is not how the music Dao is. My World’s Best Zither Pavilion has the true music Dao. We have to shock everyone, shock them to the point of disdaining the Canon and taking us as the standard. Our World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s guqins are the orthodox ones. The guqin is not just for entertainment; it cannot be treated casually. Instead, it is reserved for battle. Gu Hai’s guqins are just toys. He does not have any good things,” Jiang Tianyi said seriously.
“Oh? Will that work?”
“We have to shatter everyone’s confidence in Gu Hai and his zither pavilion. Our World’s Best Zither Pavilion has to become the standard. So, it will work. It has to work. It must work,” Jiang Tianyi insisted seriously.
“Master zitherists? Didn’t you hire many master zitherists before?” Lu An said.
“Those? How can they be considered master zitherists? They are just masters at playing. Their artistic conception is nothing. If we want to hire one, we need to hire a true expert,” Jiang Tianyi countered.
“Fairy Waner!” Jiang Tianyi said seriously.
“Yes. I cannot think of anyone else. I’m sure the duke has mentioned to you how strong this woman’s music Dao is, right? We will use her to deal a blow to Gu Hai and This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion that shatters everyone’s confidence in them!” Jiang Tianyi said seriously.
“Hire her? That is problematic. Previously, she came to play one piece only because my Grandfather asked her to. If it were me, would she…” Lu An frowned slightly.
“Young Master An is the duke’s grandson. You definitely can convince her. You are the only person who can. So, the survival of the World’s Best Zither Pavilion depends on Young Master An!” Jiang Tianyi smiled bitterly.
“Alright, I’ll try!” Lu An nodded.
The World’s Best Zither Pavilion was on the verge of death. Hence, Lu An did not delay, immediately heading for Fairy Waner’s residence.
At Fairy Waner’s courtyard:
Fairy Waner frowned as she looked at Lu An.
A trace of desire flashed in Lu An’s eyes as he looked at Fairy Waner. However, he quickly suppressed that urge.
“Young Master An, you want me to help the World’s Best Zither Pavilion deal with Gu Hai?” Fairy Waner said as she stared at Lu An.
“As long as you can crush Gu Hai, I will give you anything you want. Anything,” Lu An said with certainty.
“Hehehe! Anything I want? Young Master An, didn’t I tell you previously? I want your jade pendant,” Fairy Waner said with a smile.
Lu An’s eyelids twitched wildly as he said, “My Grandfather gave me that. I am to wear it at all times.”
“I know that it is precious. That’s why I want it. Furthermore, I cannot guarantee to crush Gu Hai. After all, the Canon has already attained the highest standard of my compositions.” Fairy Waner smiled.
Lu An remained silent for a while before eventually nodding. “Just do your best.”
Then, Fairy Waner extended a slender right hand.
Lu An somewhat unwillingly took off a jade pendant from around his neck. This pendant was dragon-shaped, and there seemed to be a hint of a purple glow amid the jade-green.
Snap! Fairy Waner moved her hand and grabbed the pendant.
When the jade pendant was snatched away, Lu An gaped. He still felt reluctant.
“Alright. Prepare a deck in the World’s Best Zither Pavilion, about as high as the one for the piano. I will do my best. I want to make the entire Silver Moon City remember this, not just Gu Hai. Hehehehehe!” Fairy Waner’s laughter sounded somewhat demonic.
Lu An walked away, leaving Fairy Waner alone. As she held the jade pendant in her hand, some mockery appeared in her eyes as she laughed.
“Young Master An, oh, Young Master An! You actually dared to give me this jade pendant? Hehehehehe! This was easy!” Fairy Waner said with a faint smile.
Fairy Waner put away the jade pendant and turned her head to look in This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s direction.
“The Canon? It is a good piece, but so what? You, Gu Hai, only know how to play it; you do not have any artistic conception at all. I even suspect that you stole this from someone else. Haha! The true music Dao is not like how you play. The only one capable of being my opponent in the entire Silver Moon City is the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord. The manor lord? Haha! I will play ‘Miserable World’ and cover the city in dark clouds. Let’s see if I can use one piece to destroy your city with my efforts alone.” Fairy Waner revealed a gaze of anticipation.
The next day:
Business continued to be bleak for the World’s Best Zither Pavilion. In fact, it closed its doors on this day.
The World’s Best Zither Pavilion cleared out a deck on the third floor, facing the deck across the street that had a piano on it.
Some of the cultivators who went to This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion noticed this strange activity and turned their heads to look.
“Hey? Is it Fairy Waner? It really is Fairy Waner!”
“I was not aware when she played at the World’s Best Zither Pavilion previously. She played only one piece before leaving. Unfortunately, I did not get to hear it.”
“The World’s Best Zither Pavilion hired Fairy Waner? Is it fighting back against Gu Hai?”
Countless cultivators revealed curious expressions. They stopped everything they were doing and looked at that deck.
That deck had been cleared out completely, looking extremely clean. There was a small incense pot placed at the side, emitting a faint fragrance. A white-clad and white-veiled Fairy Waner sat on a prayer mat with a jade-green guqin before her.
Fairy Waner gently caressed the guqin.
In another pavilion not far away, Lu An and Jiang Tianyi watched anxiously.
“Will this work?” Lu An asked worriedly.
“This is a master zitherist acknowledged by the duke. Young Master An, why do you still doubt her?” Jiang Tianyi said confidently.
A hint of prideful mockery flashed in Fairy Waner’s eyes as she used her right pinkie to pluck a zither string gently.
The moment Fairy Waner released the string, an explosion rang out in the air. Boundless roiling dark clouds suddenly appeared out of nowhere, encasing the sky above the World’s Best Zither Pavilion.
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