All the cultivators in the street suddenly quieted upon hearing Mo Yike’s offer.
Mo Yike could even strip Lu An of his succession rights to recruit Gu Hai. Wasn’t this valuing Gu Hai too highly?
In a nearby pavilion, Sima Changkong’s expression changed.
“Mo Yike, to think that you could say that!” Some anxiety flashed in Sima Changkong’s eyes.
“Milord, could that Mo Yike be doing this just to redeem Duke Lu Yang’s reputation, purposely scolding Lu An and praising Gu Hai? After all, the surrounding cultivators are on Gu Hai’s side,” suggested a subordinate at the side.
“No, Mo Yike would not do that. He is that bold. How unexpected. How expected! I still underestimated this Mo Yike. He is truly impressive,” Sima Changkong said with a sullen expression.
“Huh? Milord, that can’t be, right? Is that Gu Hai really that incredible? Is he worth it?”
“This time, if not for…I would have tried to recruit him as well. You don’t understand. Some people are like gold set in mud; you can see its shine with just one look,” Sima Changkong said with a frown.
Lu An showed a horrified expression. However, he did not dare to say anything or cause a commotion at this moment. He knew who Mo Yike was better than anyone else here. Mo Yike was his grandfather’s best adviser, someone his grandfather trusted even more than his grandfather’s children. If Mo Yike suggested something to his grandfather, his grandfather would agree without even thinking about it.
Seek trouble for Mo Yike? What a joke! If Lu An dared to do that, his grandfather would just strip him of his succession rights on the spot without Mo Yike having to suggest anything. This was why Lu An did not dare to retaliate or even protest about Mo Yike slapping him.
Lu An glanced at the nearby Gu Hai, hoping that Gu Hai would reject.
Mo Yike looked at Gu Hai with great sincerity.
However, Gu Hai revealed a bitter smile and said, “Mister Mo is too polite. This humble one is Elite Hall’s Water Division Master, so we are already comrades, aren’t we? As for joining the duke, this humble one is just a country bumpkin, and I am aware of my position. Being the Water Division Master is already this humble one’s limits.”
Mo Yike did not feel any frustration at Gu Hai’s rejection. He merely smiled and said, “Mister Gu, I know my invitation was very sudden. However, the duke’s doors are always open to you. You will understand the duke’s sincerity in the future.”
Gu Hai smiled faintly and did not say anything more on the matter.
“Alright. This humble one shall take his leave. I wish Mister Gu’s shops a flourishing business,” Mo Yike said with a faint smile.
“Many thanks for Mister Mo’s auspicious words.” Gu Hai nodded.
“City Lord He, since Young Master An made the wager in the duke’s name, then quickly deal with the paperwork for these lost businesses. Then, let today’s matter come to an end.” Mo Yike looked at City Lord He.
“Alright.” City Lord He nodded.
With Mo Yike presiding over this, the paperwork for the handover proceeded in all due haste.
Lu An’s expression changed dramatically. Let today’s matter come to an end? I have lost so many businesses this time. Who knows how grandfather will punish me?
After the paperwork was done, City Lord He dismissed the soldiers. The surrounding cultivators stopped clamoring, turning celebratory.
Suddenly, a guqin rang out in the sky about Silver Moon City.
“Oh?” The onlookers who were about to leave stopped and frowned as they looked at the sky.
Ding ding ding!
Another three zither notes rang out, covering the entire city. The clouds in Silver Moon City’s sky suddenly turned colorful.
“This…the manor lord is playing the zither?”
“That’s right. Music creating colorful clouds? I remember this happening the last time as well!”
“What is the manor lord doing?”
Countless cultivators appeared confused.
Suddenly, hundreds of light beams shot down from the colorful clouds, streaking all over the city. Seven headed towards the street where Gu Hai was.
Two beams shot into nearby pavilions—Sima Changkong’s and Fairy Waner’s.
Three beams shot to City Lord He Shikang, Lu An, and Fang Minghou, and another two to Mu Chenfeng and Gu Hai.
Thus, an azure light beam suddenly appeared in front of Gu Hai.
Gu Hai goggled as he looked at the thing in the azure light.
It was a little lady the size of a finger. Only the size of a finger?
A pair of transparent wings on the little lady’s back flapped rapidly. The vibrations from the wings’ flapping seemed to form elegant music.
“This is?” Gu Hai goggled.
Thumbelina? With transparent wings?
“This is a fairy. A music fairy manifested by the manor lord’s zither music,” Long Wanqing explained.
The countless cultivators in the surroundings goggled in pleasant surprise.
“A fairy?” Gu Hai parroted in confusion.
“Why is the music Dao ranked first among cultural cultivations? It is because the music Dao can create souls with music. Ordinary people cannot achieve that. Even the Fairy Waner you faced previously has not reached the level of creating souls. To think that the manor lord can use music to create souls. This is an attributeless soul, an empty soul. It is controlled by the one playing the music. It can also be called the essence of souls. Hence, it is called a fairy,” Long Wanqing explained.
[TL Note: The two characters that form the word fairy can be individually translated as essence and soul.]
“The essence of souls? A fairy?” Gu Hai goggled at the Thumbelina in front of him.
This is created by music? The music Dao? This is the music Dao?
Gu Hai had already learned how strong the Go Dao was when he was in the Thousand Islands Sea. He could use his Go skills to lay formations and create worlds. Although he did not understand much about the music Dao, the scene before him deeply shocked him.
Living things have three spiritual souls and seven physical souls. Since the music Dao can create souls, does that not mean that it can plunder from the world and nature? Can it create new creatures, even a new sentient race?
This is the music Dao?
The fairy in front of Gu Hai looked at him and said, “Holder of the event invitation, I am the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord. As I am not aware of your location, I can only use this fairy to communicate. Please come to the Silver Moon Sea ten days later. The zither bestowal event will take place there ten days later. Please make your preparations early.”
“Huh?” Gu Hai revealed a trace of confusion on his face.
The fairy flapped her wings and immediately rushed to the colorful clouds in the sky.
Hundreds of fairies rushed into the colorful clouds together.
Ding ding ding!
The colorful clouds slowly scattered amid zither sounds.
It was as though nothing had happened, leaving only countless shocked cultivators watching the fairies fly away.
The essence of souls? The manor lord created them with music?
Gu Hai still felt deeply shocked.
At a nearby pavilion, Fairy Waner showed a sour and bitter look suggestive of an unwillingness to admit defeat in her eyes. “Humph! The essence of souls? Fairies? What is so incredible about that? I am about to break through my bottleneck. I will soon be able to create them as well. Humph!”
When Fairy Waner tried to force a zither battle with the manor lord previously, she failed. Now that these fairies appeared, the victor was clear. Only sour feelings and bitterness remained in her heart.
“Fairies! I saw fairies!” a cultivator finally shouted excitedly.
“So, the manor lord’s music Dao is that incredible?”
“Fairies! They really are fairies. Did I see wrong?”
Countless cultivators felt excited.
However, Mo Yike suddenly raised his eyebrows. “Silver Moon Sea?”
“Mister Mo, could Silver Moon Sea…” Lu An walked over cautiously.
“Let’s go,” Mo Yike said.
“Yes!” the surrounding people answered and quickly left with Mo Yike, including City Lord He.
Watching that group leave, Long Wanqing showed a faint smile as she said, “Gu Hai, you struck it rich. You gained so many businesses.”
Gu Hai likewise smiled faintly and said, “Actually, these businesses are nothing much. As long as the people are around and there is funding, they can immediately rise again. That Mo Yike clearly saw this much more clearly than Lu An did.”
“Huh?” Long Wanqing felt slightly surprised. Then, she shook her head and said, “Even so, it will take very long to recover back to how they were.”
“It would take some time, but did you not see? The moment Mo Yike arrived, everyone stopped ostracizing Duke Lu Yang’s businesses. He is quite an incredible fellow,” Gu Hai said gravely.
“Are you saying that he was just pretending earlier?”
“Not completely. However, that is one of the reasons.” Gu Hai shook his head.
“You aren’t going to join him, right?” Long Wanqing bit her lips, some worry showing in her eyes.
“I won’t. Don’t worry. Staying in Elite Hall is much more comfortable than in Duke Lu Yang’s official residence,” Gu Hai said with a smile.
“That’s good.” Long Wanqing smiled again.
After the city lord’s army left, many cultivators remained on the street.
“Everyone, thank you for your support earlier. This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion will have ten percent off on everything today!” Gu Hai declared with a smile.
“Hahaha! Ten percent off! I definitely will buy something!”
“Mister Gu is very generous!”
The surrounding cultivators felt incredibly happy. Many people poured into This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion.
Gu Hai’s group also departed from public sight.
After returning inside, Mu Chenfeng frowned and said, “City Lord He used to pursue the previous hall master incessantly. Unexpectedly, he helped Lu An deal with us. Indeed, as the saying goes, when you are no longer in a position of power, others cease to care about you.”
Long Wanqing nodded. When she addressed the city lord as Uncle He, he had not reacted at all.
“That’s not quite right. This He Shikang’s actions are somewhat strange,” Gu Hai said while shaking his head.
“Although he stood on Lu An’s side earlier, he did not seem to be pandering to Lu An. It felt more like helplessness.” Gu Hai frowned.
“Oh?” Long Wanqing said.
“Let’s go and visit City Lord He, then,” Gu Hai said seriously.
“Alright!” Long Wanqing nodded.
At the end of the street, City Lord He was returning with his army. Mo Yike walked in front while Lu An and the others followed behind.
“Lu An, I know that you still feel jealousy and hatred. However, remember this. You are not to seek trouble for Gu Hai. The duke is desperately seeking talents now. Now that one appeared, if you try to take revenge on him, don’t blame me for not showing you face.” Mo Yike coldly eyed Lu An.
Lu An’s expression turned stiff as he said, “Yes!”
“Mister Mo, given that the manor lord chose the Silver Moon Sea this time, could he have discovered…,” Jiang Tianyi said, worry appearing on his face.
Mo Yike narrowed his eyes slightly and nodded. “It is indeed troublesome. However, the Silver Moon Sea is the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s conferred sea in the first place. Holding the zither bestowal event there is not surprising. I only hope that it will not ruin the duke’s major plans. Let’s go. We’ll go to the Silver Moon Mountain Manor first. I hope we can persuade the manor lord.”
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