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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 048: Atonement

“Just a little more…just a little more?” Despair appeared on Yun Mo’s face when he saw that he could no longer control Ensnaring Performance. 

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The various bronze statues that crashed into the ground climbed out of their huge craters and rushed to the grassy plaza.

However, the frontmost bronze statues suddenly paused. They hovered in the air, not moving at all. Their ferocious expressions turned horrified.

Whoosh! Whoosh!

More bronze statues arrived, wanting to catch Ensnaring Performance’s soul. Like the others before, they suddenly stopped in midair and looked at Ensnaring Performance in shock and horror.

Ensnaring Performance, who was seated cross-legged, suddenly opened his eyes, revealing a ferocious, purple electric light in them.

Suddenly, Ensnaring Performance showed a sinister smile as he looked at the bronze statues covering the sky.

“Just a little more. You can finish the merger when I am done. Let me finish first!” Yun Mo cried out anxiously.

“Huh? Scram!” Ensnaring Performance sneered.

Buzz!

Boom!

Ensnaring Performance knocked Yun Mo away into the air.

“Young Manor Lord!” the Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples cried out as they rushed over.

Ensnaring Performance ignored Yun Mo. Instead, he looked at the bronze statues filling the sky.

“You all felt really good when you were chasing me earlier, right?” Ensnaring Performance said while revealing a sinister smile.

The bronze statues seemed to have guessed something. They turned around in horror and scattered, fleeing to all corners of this sea region.

“Trying to flee? Now, you are thinking of fleeing? Hahahaha! You are all fairies that I created. Damn you all! You grew bold? Trying to eat me? Run? Let’s see how you are going to run. I created all of you. I hold threads connecting to your souls. Let’s see how you are going to run!” Ensnaring Performance said coldly.

Then, Ensnaring Performance waved.

Boom!

Suddenly, many transparent threads connected to all the bronze statues appeared in Ensnaring Performance’s hand. Then, he pulled ferociously, and all the fleeing bronze statues stopped in the air.

“Chase after me?! How dare you chase after me! Screw you all! You are seeking death!” Ensnaring Performance raged.

Ensnaring Performance’s fingers moved continuously, causing the bronze statues in the air to crash into each other.

Clang!

The heads of two bronze statues crashed against each other.

Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!

Sounds of metallic heads crashing into each other filled the sky. The loud bongs reverberated throughout the Silver Moon Sea, sounding like bells.

“Damn it! I just remembered. You don’t feel pain. Come out!” Ensnaring Performance shouted.

Then, Ensnaring Performance pulled hard.

Whoosh!

The bronze statues in the sky immediately fell. Suddenly, thumb-sized azure fairies appeared on the other end of the transparent threads as the threads pulled on them.

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

The many fairies looked at Ensnaring Performance pitifully.

“Screw you all. Why didn’t you show such an expression when you wanted to eat me? Screw you! Come into my mouth! Hah!” Ensnaring Performance roared in anger.

Ensnaring Performance sucked hard, and one million fairies immediately flew towards Ensnaring Performance’s mouth. In just a while, all the fairies entered his mouth.

Splash! Splash!

Lacking fairies, the bronze statues in the surroundings immediately fell into the sea.

The countless cultivators all around gazed at Ensnaring Performance in shock.

It came to life?

“This is the heaven-grade zither, Ensnaring Performance? He is a living being?” countless cultivators exclaimed in amazement.

“Ensnaring Performance!” Gu Hai shouted coldly from behind.

The expression of Ensnaring Performance, whose back faced Gu Hai, suddenly froze.

Suddenly, Ensnaring Performance held his head and said, “Ouch! My head hurts! My head hurts. It’s over! It’s over. Something went wrong when my soul and body merged. I can’t remember the past! I can’t remember the past!”

Ensnaring Performance held his head in pain as he fell to the ground.

The bound zitherists looked at Ensnaring Performance in confusion. Wasn’t he very powerful and awe-inspiring earlier? Why did he suddenly collapse while holding his head?

Gu Hai felt startled and approached, feeling worried.

“Ensnaring Performance, what’s wrong with you? Are you alright?” Gu Hai helped up Ensnaring Performance.

Ensnaring Performance continued holding his head and appeared to slowly come to his senses. Then, he looked at Gu Hai weakly.

“Who are you? I don’t remember you. Who are you?” Ensnaring Performance asked in confusion as he looked at Gu Hai.

“You don’t remember me?” Gu Hai’s face sank.

“Oh! I recall. You give me an intimate feeling. I sense that I have your blood in my body?” Ensnaring Performance looked at Gu Hai as though recalling something.

“That’s good. It’s good that you can sense that,” Gu Hai said seriously.

“It feels very close and intimate. You must be something very good to me, right?” Ensnaring Performance suddenly looked at Gu Hai with anticipation.

“Perhaps.” Gu Hai frowned, feeling that something was wrong.

“You are so good to me, and I have your blood in me. In that case…you must be my father, right? Father!” Ensnaring Performance suddenly cried out happily, wanting to throw himself into Gu Hai’s embrace.

Slap!

Gu Hai slapped Ensnaring Performance.

“Father, why did you hit me?” Ensnaring Performance held his cheek, on the verge of tears.

Gu Hai said with a sullen expression, “You really forgot? Perhaps I should reconstruct your personality, then.”

Ensnaring Performance’s expression changed, immediately turning incredibly solemn. “Master, just give the command. Ensnaring Performance will accomplish it!”

Long Wanqing: “…”

Venerable Liu Nian: “…”

Shangguan Hen “…”

This is Ensnaring Performance? What a shameless personality!

To think that he pretended to have lost his memories and tried to claim a familial relationship with Gu Hai. This is simply too shameless. What happened to integrity?

Gu Hai’s expression also turned dark.

“Alright. Undo the music Dao artistic conception binding them!” Gu Hai instructed after some silence.

“Alright, Master!” Ensnaring Performance answered seriously.

Then, Ensnaring Performance waved his hand.

Whoosh!

The music Dao artistic conception immediately stopped binding the zitherists, returning their freedom.

Whoosh!

After the many zitherists were released, they immediately raised energy to protect themselves and drew their weapons.

“Yun Mo, Silver Moon Mountain Manor, what a scheme! The friendship between my sect and your Silver Moon Mountain Manor ends here!”

“Silver Moon Mountain Manor, my master will come to seek justice!”

“Silver Moon Mountain Manor? Ptooey!”

The many zitherists started scolding the Silver Moon Mountain Manor in rage.

After being freed, Fairy Waner quickly moved to the side as she looked ferociously at the nearby Yun Mo.

“It’s over! It’s over! Hahaha!” Yun Mo said bitterly.

“Milord!” A nearby group of zitherists rushed to Sima Changkong, who was still twitching.

“Yun Mo, how dare you attack an official of the heavenly court? Is your Silver Moon Mountain Manor rebelling?!” one of the zitherists shouted angrily.

Yun Mo wanted to argue back.

“Kneel!” A voice suddenly rang out.

It was the manor lord’s three spiritual souls. After the restraints were undone, he could speak. Now, the three spiritual souls were not transparent but gave off flashing green light.

“Manor…Manor Lord?” Yun Mo looked at the manor lord in shock. 

The three spiritual souls layered over each other, showing one manor lord glaring at Yun Mo.

Yun Mo’s expression turned stiff as he slowly knelt down.

The zitherists and cultivators coming in from outside looked at the manor lord coldly.

Previously, the manor lord held high prestige. Now, no one respected the manor lord or the Silver Moon Mountain Manor anymore. However, they did not cause a commotion; they just stared at the young manor lord.

The manor lord turned to face everyone, and his spiritual souls suddenly knelt to them.

“Manor Lord!” the Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples exclaimed.

However, the manor lord continued to kneel to the zitherists.

“Friends, this humble one failed in teaching his later generation. This humble one apologizes to everyone here.” Then, the manor lord kowtowed to everyone.

“Ah? Manor Lord, don’t!” the Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples exclaimed.

“Manor Lord, you can’t do that!” Yun Mo also cried out.

The manor lord possessed an indomitable spirit; all his life, he had never submitted to anyone. Even when the Qian Heavenly Emperor came, the manor lord did not kneel in greeting.

The manor lord walked a straight path and stood upright, never bending his back to anyone.

Even when Duke Lu Yang came, the manor lord treated him as an equal.

In the Silver Moon Mountain Manor, the outsiders would bow when they saw the manor lord. When had the manor lord ever bowed to another? What more kneel?

The zitherists in the surroundings frowned, now feeling a little uneasy over their earlier cold gazes.

“Manor Lord, you don’t have to do this. It’s not your fault,” Venerable Liu Nian said while smiling bitterly.

Although the others did not say anything, some people already appeared like they could not bear for the manor lord to do this.

This was an aloof person that they used to look up to. Now, this person knelt before them and pleaded for their forgiveness.

“This humble one is incapable, unable to prevent my Silver Moon Mountain Manor from committing this atrocity and causing trouble for everyone. You all deserve this apology. Everyone nearly died because of the Silver Moon Mountain Manor. What is my kneeling compared to that?” the manor lord’s spiritual souls said bitterly.

“Manor Lord!” The Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples suddenly knelt down and started crying.

“Manor Lord, it has nothing to do with you. It is all my fault! It is all my fault! Get up. No one can make you bend your back; no one ever can. You did not kneel even when the Qian Heavenly Emperor visited. Yun Mo knows his mistake! Yun Mo was wrong. I was very wrong. It is all my fault!” Yun Mo cried as he shuffled forward on his knees.

“A disciple’s failings are the master’s fault. Your faults are mine. The Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s faults are mine.” The manor lord shook his head.

“Everyone, please forgive us. I represent the Silver Moon Mountain Manor in apologizing to everyone. I failed to teach them well and caused trouble to everyone,” the Manor Lord said while kowtowing again.

The zitherists frowned, appearing somewhat bitter.

“Manor Lord, never mind. Previously, I received pointers from the manor lord. I will just pretend today never happened.”

“Manor Lord, please get up. You once gave my master a zither. There is no need for this. I’ll pretend this never happened.”

“Manor Lord, I won’t pursue the Silver Moon Mountain Manor for this matter. Just take them in hand in the future.”

The seeds of kindness that the manor lord had sown in the past sprouted, finally showing their effects. The various zitherists sighed, eventually forgiving the Silver Moon Mountain Manor.

The manor lord still held a high place in the hearts of the music Dao cultivators. When such a major character knelt and kowtowed, asking for forgiveness, everyone’s resentment disappeared, no matter how resentful they were.

“Many thanks! Many thanks!” the manor lord said while kowtowing.

“Manor Lord, I was wrong! I was wrong!” Yun Mo cried as he knelt before the manor lord, not daring to raise his head.

Yun Mo understood the manor lord’s character. The manor lord cherished his pride and always maintained a kind and virtuous mentality in his dealings with others. He would rather die than eat a lifespan plant. He was stubborn because he had a foundation of righteousness.

Now, Yun Mo’s messing around had spoiled all of the manor lord’s efforts before the manor lord died. Furthermore, he caused the manor lord to kneel and kowtow to these people, some of whom he looked down on.

If even Yun Mo looked down on these people, with the manor lord’s personality, the manor lord could not have thought highly of them. However, the manor lord kowtowed and begged for forgiveness to atone for Yun Mo’s mistakes.

Yun Mo cried sorrowfully. Not only had he failed to help the manor lord, but he had even spurred the manor lord to do something so embarrassing.

The surrounding Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples cried sorrowfully as well, kneeling on the ground without moving.

The manor lord stood up and patted Yun Mo’s head. He revealed a benevolent smile and said, “It’s fine. Yun Mo, if you can survive today’s matter and grow up, it will be worth my kneeling. Remember what Teacher Yinyue said back then. If you want to make zither, be a person first. In everything, you have to learn to be a proper person first.”

“Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! I know now. Manor Lord, I was wrong. I caused you to kneel to others,” Yun Mo cried extremely sorrowfully.

“Kneel? Hahaha! So be it. I have knelt to the founder’s—Teacher Yinyue’s—painting. I have knelt to my master. I only have not knelt to outsiders. However, there is nothing much to it. It is just kneeling. Don’t be upset. Take care of yourself in the future. Don’t ruin the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s reputation any further.” The manor lord smiled genially. 

“Yes! Yun Mo swears never to do anything immoral again. Never! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob!” Yun Mo cried.

The manor lord nodded while smiling faintly. Then, he turned his head to look at Sima Changkong.

The zitherists there looked at the manor lord with complicated expressions, not knowing whether to forgive the manor lord or not. Sima Changkong was still twitching. Would a simple apology do?

The manor lord’s spiritual souls slowly approached.

“Mister Sima, the Silver Moon Mountain Manor has let you down. This old man is incapable, unable to do anything today. Your three spiritual souls are injured. I’ll give you my heavenly soul and mortal soul as nourishment to make up for it,” the manor lord said with a sigh.

“Ah? What?!” everyone in the surroundings exclaimed.

“Manor Lord, don’t!” Yun Mo shouted in horror as he quickly raised his head.

Buzz!

The manor lord’s spiritual souls separated into three. Two of them appeared muddle-headed, and there seemed to be whirlpools on their heads. Only the third one appeared lucid.

“I have removed my mark from my heavenly soul and mortal soul. They are now the most ordinary Soul Energy. There is also my music Dao artistic conception. I hope that these can make it up to you,” the third spiritual soul said.

Buzz!

The heavenly soul and mortal soul suddenly entered Sima Changkong’s body. The zitherists at the side did not stop them, only looking at the manor lord with complicated expressions.

“Sima Changkong gained a blessing through this disaster!”

“How strong is the manor lord’s music Dao artistic conception? Even absorbing just ten percent of it will provide significant benefits.”

“The manor lord is someone who can create fairies!”

The surrounding zitherists felt envious.

Buzz!

Sima Changkong trembled lightly before calming down. The manor lord’s heavenly soul and mortal soul seemed to have greatly nourished him, allowing him to recover from all the injuries to his spiritual souls.

Sima Changkong slowly opened his eyes and looked at the manor lord with some confusion. Soon, he connected the dots.

Sima Changkong smiled bitterly and said, “Manor Lord, you did not have to do that. Changkong greatly thanks the manor lord for his gift!”

The manor lord nodded. The final earthly soul looked at Gu Hai weakly.

“Mister Gu, this old man did not misjudge you, indeed. You managed to win out of so many zitherists,” the manor lord said as he looked at Gu Hai with a smile.

“It was just luck.” Gu Hai smiled bitterly.

“The winner is the winner. Mister Gu is too polite. Many thanks for earlier. Otherwise, Yun Mo would have ended up making an enormous mistake,” the manor lord said bitterly.

Nearby, Fairy Waner pouted.

Gu Hai smiled bitterly, not knowing how to explain.

After looking at everyone, the manor lord turned to Yun Mo and the Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples once again.

“I will be gone soon. Listen to Yun Mo in the future,” the manor lord said somewhat reluctantly.

“Manor Lord! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob!” The Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples cried as they knelt.

“Yun Mo, take care. I will watch over you from heaven. Haha! Heaven? I can’t go to heaven anymore. I no longer have a heavenly soul. However, I still have an earthly soul and can reincarnate. Perhaps one day, I will reincarnate as a zitherist and find a guqin to call my own. I really hope to see the Silver Moon Mountain Manor again at that time. I hope to get a guqin that you forged for me. Yun Mo, I’m handing the Silver Moon Mountain Manor to you. Can you make a guqin that can draw me to the Silver Moon Mountain Manor?” The manor lord smiled benevolently as he patted Yun Mo’s head.

“I can. I will. Manor Lord, I will definitely make you the very best zither. I will definitely make a heaven-grade zither for you. Manor Lord, Yun Mo let you down. Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob!” Yun Mo cried loudly as he knelt on the ground.

“Silly!” The manor lord smiled faintly.

Then, the manor lord’s earthly soul slowly vanished before everyone.

“Manor Lord! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob!” The Silver Moon Mountain Manor disciples all cried as they knelt in the plaza.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for September: 36 / 50

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