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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 017.2: Many Variations, Part 2

Mu Chenfeng rushed anxiously into a renovated room in This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion and happened to see a shocking scene.

With a flip of his hand, Gu Hai took out five hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones and passed them to Shangguan Hen.

“If you see anything you want to eat, just buy it. There’s no need to hold back on spending,” Gu Hai told Shangguan Hen seriously.

Mu Chenfeng immediately forgot what he wanted to say, a complicated look appearing on his face.

This Water Division Master is too generous. When he gives his subordinate money to buy food, he gives out five hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones in one go. Five hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones! Ah! I would like that as well!

Mu Chenfeng looked resentfully at this prodigal division master.

“Venerable Liu Nian, it might not be very safe for Shangguan Hen to go and buy food alone. I’m going to have to trouble you here.” Gu Hai looked at Venerable Liu Nian.

“Don’t worry. I will protect Shangguan Hen. Just protect the hall master well.” Venerable Liu Nian nodded.

“I will!” Gu Hai nodded.

“Venerable Liu Nian, rest assured. Nothing will happen to me,” Long Wanqing said with a smile.

Venerable Liu Nian nodded. Then, Shangguan Hen used a newly bought storage item to store the five hundred thousand superior-grade spirit stones. When Shangguan Hen turned his head, he happened to see the stunned Mu Chenfeng.

“Oh, Mu Chenfeng, what’s wrong?” Long Wanqing asked.

Mu Chenfeng recovered his wits at this moment. Then, he immediately said anxiously, “The World’s Best Zither Pavilion opposite us hired many master zitherists. Today, there are two master zitherists taking turns playing. Many of the customers have been attracted to the other side.”

“It’s fine. They are just like a grasshopper at the end of autumn; they cannot last for long. When my zither pavilion is renovated, their World’s Best Zither Pavilion will collapse,” Gu Hai said with a smile.

“Ah? But you don’t have any goods, right?!” Mu Chenfeng appeared confused.

Although Gu Hai expressed that he did not care, he still went to the third-floor deck.

Mu Chenfeng and Long Wanqing followed.

Indeed, zither music came from the opposite zither pavilion. The zither music spread out, carrying a strong artistic conception. Flowers and leaves drifted everywhere, with a bright light shining. Many cultivators went to listen to the music.

However, Gu Hai slowly made his way to the piano.

“Activate the sound amplification ritual array!” Gu Hai said.

“Yes!”

Buzz!

When the sound amplification ritual array started, it instantly attracted the attention of several cultivators.

“Look, Gu Hai is going to play again. The Canon again? Although it is nice, I have already heard it many times.”

“Can the piano only play the Canon?”

“Although I have heard it many times, I still want to hear the piano. I can’t get the same feeling from other instruments.”

Many cultivators turned their heads to look at Gu Hai.

Dang! Dang! Dang!

The piano started to ring out.

“Hey? That’s not right. This is not the Canon?”

“Huh? No. This is the Canon. However, its feeling changed?”

“This is the Canon’s melody. However, Gu Hai played it wrong in some places? Furthermore, the tempo is faster?”

“Playing it like that is quite nice too!”

A special Canon spread out in all directions.

Everyone who heard this piece in the city appeared confused.

“Is this the Canon? Why is it different?” Many people appeared curious.

Midway through the playing, Gu Hai’s voice suddenly rang out.

“The Canon is a style, not just a piece. It has countless variations; everything about it can be changed. Everything can change depending on the player’s fancy. From today on, I won’t be playing the Canon that I first played anymore. Today’s piece is a variation of the Canon called Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition!”

[TL Note: I believe this might be the version that the author is referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD5YY7jPAnQ. The title of this video on a Chinese video site matches the title given by Gu Hai; this links to the same video on Youtube. The piece starts with the normal Pachelbel’s Canon in D but played in the C Major key and at a faster tempo; then, the rock part starts at 1:43. There is also an upshift in key to D Major at about 3:20.]

“Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition?”

“Rock? What is rock?”

“Super Crazy Piano Edition? What does that mean?”

As everyone voiced their curiosity, this Canon variation sped up. At first, it still seemed very similar to the original Canon. As the tempo increased, it started to change. At the very least, the feeling was completely different.

Originally, it seemed like endless gentle swells. Now, it was like shocking breakers charging over. It showed a scene of a berserk flood covering the world, crashing into one’s soul.

Gu Hai’s piano playing took on a rock music vibe. The moment the intense music rang out, it immediately ignited flames of passion in countless cultivators’ hearts.

There was just one characteristic: Burn!

It felt like a ferocious flame burning in one’s heart, producing strong, frantic impacts, wave after wave.

The blazing piano piece immediately excited the hearts of countless cultivators.

“This…this is the Canon? Did I hear wrong? It is so intense?” 

“The Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition? Is this a variation of the Canon?”

“I want to learn this piece too. It is very intense and ferocious!

This moving music inflamed the countless cultivators.

The cultivators listening to the master zitherists at the World’s Best Zither Pavilion felt startled and immediately awoke from the illusions they experienced. As they listened to that exciting earworm music, they left the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s area, thronging to Gu Hai’s zither pavilion.

“This is…the Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition? So, the Canon can be changed? Countless cultivators looked at Gu Hai, who was playing the piano, in pleasant surprise. 

The excitement that had already faded over the past few days reignited as that intense music danced in their minds.

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In a nearby courtyard:

Fairy Waner looked at the distant Gu Hai and frowned. “The Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition? It is inferior to the initial Canon, but it brings a new vitality? Excitement? It is indeed super crazy!”

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Silver Moon Mountain Manor:

The manor lord waved his hand, and Gu Hai’s playing rang out.

“The Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition? Haha! It is indeed filled with boundless vitality. Ah! Youth! It is great to be young!” the manor lord sighed.

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The blazing piano piece immediately shattered the World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s plan to pieces.

To think that the different artistic conceptions of various master zitherists could not compare to this mad playing?

Jiang Tianyi and Lu An looked in horror at Gu Hai, who was playing frenetically. Now, only afterimages remained of Gu Hai’s fingers. The two’s expressions grew increasingly unsightly at that speed and wild, exciting music.

Influenced by this Canon variation, countless cultivators in Silver Moon City seemed to receive an epiphany.

“Variations?”

“That’s right. While the Canon endlessly repeats, it can speed up or slow down. Many variations can be added to it!”

“I can also change the Canon?”

“The Canon. As long as its main melody does not change, it can be changed in all sorts of ways?”

“The Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition is extremely intense!”

Countless cultivators appeared startled and surprised, as though a lightbulb had lit up in their heads.

Just considering the classical versions of the Canon in D alone, Gu Hai had already heard at least ten versions. When used for dramas, movies, or various scenarios, it had been altered a little to evoke different feelings.

Dang! Dang! Dang! Dang! Dang!

The frantic and mad Canon started to sweep through Silver Moon City.

In the World’s Best Zither Pavilion across the street, Lu An’s face sank as he said, “The Canon is actually a musical style with endless variations?”

“Oh no! Gu Hai is whetting everyone’s appetite. He is piquing their curiosity again. Since the Canon can be changed, any zitherist who likes the Canon won’t be able to resist making their own version. This…how did he think of this?” Jiang Tianyi’s expression changed. 

Indeed, it went as Jiang Tianyi feared. After Gu Hai played the Canon Rock Super Crazy Piano Edition, countless zitherists in the city started to use their instruments to play their own version of the Canon in D.

The speed could be changed, and some notes could be changed. Immediately, many distinct variations of the Canon in D started to bloom everywhere, endlessly resounding all over Silver Moon City.

Altering a piece was something extremely interesting for zitherists. Playing a piece that one made would be more exciting than playing what others made.

This was how the Canon was. One could change it, adapting it to a different style. The possibilities excited everyone.

Silver Moon City ushered in the age of the Canon. Canon lovers all over the place started composing in that style.

Now, the Canon grew even more famous.

The Canon was extremely easy to alter. Even after alteration, it sounded good. Everyone seemed to become excellent composers; everyone had fun with it.

Everyone loved the Canon.

The zitherists that the World’s Best Zither Pavilion hired to fight back all became listless. Everyone went to create their own Canon. How could these people bother to listen to them?

The World’s Best Zither Pavilion’s first wave of advertising failed.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for September: 04 / 50

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