EIF - Book 3 Chapter 57: Butterfly Lovers
Chu Chen and the treant looked at the group in confusion. If that fellow wants to sing, then just let him sing. Does it matter whether he can open the ritual array? Just let him try?
The two did not know that this group prevented Ensnaring Performance from singing, not because they did not want to let him try, but because they worried that they would lose their chance to enter if he sang.
“Master, just let me sing. I feel unbearably stifled,” Ensnaring Performance pleaded anxiously.
“You are not permitted to sing!” Gu Hai said with a blank expression.
If you sing, we will enter Granny Qing Hua’s blacklist forever.
“Why?! Why?!” Ensnaring Performance asked anxiously.
Long Wanqing, Venerable Liu Nian, and Mu Chenfeng felt bitter. We’ve already told you. Your singing is terrible. However, you chose not to believe us. How are we to explain?
“Because I also have a piece, and I need you to play it,” Gu Hai said helplessly.
“Huh?” Ensnaring Performance immediately stopped feeling anxious.
“So, Master has a piece. You should have said so earlier. You are the master. I can’t snatch this away from you. If your piece fails, then don’t stop me later.” Ensnaring Performance nodded.
Long Wanqing and the others released their bated breath. Disaster averted.
Nearby, Chu Chen and the treant looked at Gu Hai in confusion. What kind of person is this? To think that he fought with his subordinate over singing! This is Elite Hall’s Water Division Master?
“This piece is called ‘Butterfly Lovers, I’ll telepathically send it to you,” Gu Hai said.
[TL Note: “Butterfly Lovers” is a relatively modern Chinese orchestral piece written for a western-styled orchestra using some Chinese techniques and style. It was based on an ancient Chinese legend by the same name, basically a Chinese Romeo and Juliet, but the couple turn into butterflies after they die. Here are a couple of Wikipedia links about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_Lovers and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_Lovers%27_Violin_Concerto. Here are also some Youtube links if you are interested. This link is with the western-styled orchestra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7KlnK39Up0. This link is with a Chinese-styled orchestra with Chinese instruments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu5XohUR3Pg. The final link is with just the guzheng, a type of zither. As Ensnaring Performance is a heaven-grade zither, this link might be the closest to what will be heard in the story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEwLzg9NIaE.]
Just like how Yun Mo controlled Ensnaring Performance back then, Gu Hai placed a hand on Ensnaring Performance’s body and telepathically sent the memory of the “Butterfly Lovers” that he had heard when he was young to Ensnaring Performance.
Ensnaring Performance was a heaven-grade zither, so he was extremely sensitive to music. Perhaps others would not sense the zither music within those thoughts, but he immediately picked up on it.
After thirty minutes, Ensnaring Performance learned the entire piece.
Gu Hai slowly removed his hand.
“How is it?” Long Wanqing asked in anticipation.
“It’s alright. A little inferior to my Little Radish, but it’s bearable,” Ensnaring Performance said while shaking his head.
Long Wanqing: “…”
Gu Hai’s expression darkened. “Alright, cut the crap. Quickly play it.”
“Ha! Ignorant!” Chu Chen sneered from the side.
“What do you mean by ‘ignorant.” Gu Hai frowned as he looked at Chu Chen.
“Do you think you can open this Thorny Ritual Array with a random piece? Humph! What a joke. That is just an excuse Granny Qing Hua used to block Duke Lu Yang. Do you think that you can break it with just a random piece? I heard that Duke Lu Yang’s official residence sent many zitherists to come and play, but no one could open the Thorny Ritual Array. With just the two of you, one master and one servant? And you two fight over who gets to perform? What a joke!” Chu Chen sneered.
Ensnaring Performance glared, looking like he wanted to rebut.
“Alright. Don’t bother with him. Just play this piece,” Gu Hai said to Ensnaring Performance.
“Humph!” Ensnaring Performance snorted coldly.
“Division Master Chu, do you know who this purple-robed man is?” Mu Chenfeng suddenly asked with a cold smile.
“He is the Ensnaring Performance from the recent zither bestowal event,” Mu Chenfeng explained.
“Ensnaring Performance? You could obtain Ensnaring Performance with your skills?” Chu Chen appeared skeptical.
Then, Chu Chen turned and looked at Gu Hai. Ensnaring Performance addressed Gu Hai as “master.” Does that mean that Gu Hai obtained Ensnaring Performance? Gu Hai is a music Dao master?
Ding ding ding ding! Ding ding ding ding!
Ensnaring Performance stretched out his hands, and zither music rang out. While Gu Hai did not have the music Dao artistic conception, Ensnaring Performance did. Furthermore, he was a heaven-grade zither. His artistic conception was vast and dense, allowing him to bring out the artistic conception of “Butterfly Lovers” instantly.
Everyone vaguely seemed to see a happy woman happily running around a field.
At the same time, within the Thorny Ritual Array:
There was a pitch-black hole at the base of a towering tree. A few treants ran over and shouted to the hole, “Granny! Granny! Zither music is ringing out again. This time, there is a strong music Dao artistic conception!”
“Indeed. This is a master of the music Dao,” an aged voice came from the tree hole.
Soon, a group of love flower treants came over.
An artistic conception illusion immediately appeared before the love flower treants.
A very happy woman ran around cheerfully in a field. This woman liked reading poems and books. She wanted to go out and study, but it was not safe for her to do so alone. Thus, she dressed as a male and went to school to study. While in school, she met an extremely hardworking scholar. The woman and scholar immediately hit it off, and they became good friends. For three years in the school, they studied together during the day and shared beds at night. The woman slowly fell in love with the scholar, but the scholar did not know that this good friend of his was a woman. All the more, he did not know about her feelings.
This continued until a particular trip. The woman had hinted her interest to the scholar several times, but the scholar was a fool, not noticing it. Left without a choice, the woman told him directly before he realized it. Then, he accepted the woman’s feelings, and the two declared their love for each other.
Unfortunately, a rich man’s son came to know, and he lusted after the woman’s beauty. He wrote a letter home to ask his parents to propose marriage to the woman’s family on his behalf.
The woman’s family wrote a letter to urge her to come home. Feeling helpless, she could only temporarily part with the scholar.
Unfortunately, the woman’s parents locked her up at home, not permitting her to go out. Thus, the woman could only write to the scholar.
The scholar immediately rushed over to propose marriage to the woman’s family.
Unfortunately, the woman’s parents were unwilling to accept the scholar and chased him out the door. They waited for the day when they would marry their daughter to the rich man’s son.
The scholar left heartbroken. The woman watched him leave, feeling sorrowful and reluctant to part.
When the scholar returned home, thoughts of love occupied his mind, and he fell gravely ill. He wrote to the woman, but the woman was locked up at home and unable to visit.
Soon, the scholar vomited blood and eventually died.
After the woman learned of his death, she cried every day, crying herself dry; her heart died.
Soon, the rich man’s son sent someone to pick up the bride, carrying the corpse-like woman on the bridal sedan.
On this day, strong, cold winds blew, and heavy rain fell. When the bridal sedan passed by the scholar’s grave, the woman suddenly jumped off the bridal sedan.
At this moment, the scholar’s grave suddenly cracked open. Without care for herself, the woman leaped into the grave.
Since they could not be together in life, they would be together in death. The grave closed slowly.
After the storm passed, two butterflies flew out of the two’s grave. The two butterflies lingered, flying freely around the field and dancing.
“Sob! Sob! Sob! Sob! Granny, eighteen of my love flowers bloomed. I feel very sorrowful!”
“Granny, more than twenty of my love flowers bloomed. It’s very moving!”
The love flower treants in the Thorny Ritual Array were the most sensitive to love stories. Many of them headed to Granny Qing Hua’s place, feeling moved.
Outside the Thorny Ritual Array:
Strangely, the treant injured heavily by Chu Chen recovered rapidly. Ten-odd flowers suddenly sprouted and bloomed on its head.
“Gu Hai, what is the name of this woman and scholar?” Long Wanqing asked with bloodshot eyes.
“The woman was called Zhu Yingtai, the scholar was called Liang Shanbo, and the rich man’s son was called Ma Wencai. This is based on a story I saw in the past,” Gu Hai sighed.
[TL Note: The Chinese name of the Butterfly Lovers is Liang Zhu, the family names of the scholar and the woman. The telling of Butterfly Lovers in this novel is not exactly the same as the original, but the gist is there.]
“Why can’t Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai be together? They died so miserably,” Long Wanqing grumbled at Gu Hai with bloodshot eyes.
“Didn’t they turn into butterflies in the end? No one can stop them anymore,” Gu Hai consoled.
“Alright.” Long Wanqing nodded, but her eyes were still red.
Nearby, Chu Chen frowned slightly, but he did not say anything. He was not skilled in the music Dao, but he could sense the superiority of this piece.
“Alright, it’s done. The ritual array is not open yet, though. So, it is my turn. I’ll sing a song!” Ensnaring Performance immediately called out excitedly.
Gu Hai’s expression darkened, and he opened his mouth to speak.
A loud sound rang out, and a crack opened in the Thorny Ritual Array as it shook.
“It opened! It opened!” Mu Chenfeng immediately exclaimed in excitement.
“Granny agreed to let you in?” The treant stared at the large crack in shock.
Gu Hai smiled faintly.
However, Ensnaring Performance appeared sorrowful. “I still have not sung my song.”
“Many thanks for your earlier performance. You want to sing? That’s great. Sing for me later.” That treant immediately smiled at Ensnaring Performance.
“That’s great! That’s great!” Ensnaring Performance cheered excitedly.
Gu Hai and his companions opened their mouths, wanting to stop this. However, it was already too late.
“Master, he wants to listen, so don’t stop me.” Ensnaring Performance turned to Gu Hai with anticipation.
Gu Hai remained silent for a moment before saying, “Stay farther away from me when you sing. Don’t let me hear it!”
“Alright. That’s great!” Ensnaring Performance exclaimed excitedly.
The treant appeared puzzled. This Ensnaring Performance is clearly a music Dao master. Why are you showing that disdainful expression to him?
Chu Chen frowned as he looked at the crack before him. After some silence, he said, “The ritual array is open. Aren’t you going to remove the poison from my subordinates?”
That treant looked at Chu Chen, showing some discomfort in his eyes.
“On account of the earlier ‘Butterfly Lovers,’ carry them in. There are antidotes inside,” the treant said with a smile.
Chu Chen nodded.
Long Wanqing’s group put away the flying ship and followed the treant into the Thorny Ritual Array.
After the group entered, the Thorny Ritual Array closed slowly.
At the same time, Duke Lu Yang built a city overlooking Divine Foundation City, called Foundation Destroying City.
In a large hall within Foundation Destroying City:
Army Breaker waved his hand, and the entire “Butterfly Lovers” played out for Duke Lu Yang and the others to hear.
When “Butterfly Lovers” ended, the hall fell silent. Then, everyone slowly opened their eyes.
“‘Butterfly Lovers,’ excellent! An excellent piece!” Duke Lu Yang praised.
Army Breaker nodded and said, “Ensnaring Performance had discovered me and used a sound barrier to prevent me from listening. However, when he played the piece, he removed the sound barrier to let Granny Qing Hua hear, so I could hear him again. Fortunately, I continued paying attention to Love Flower Valley. Otherwise, I might have missed it.”
Duke Lu Yang nodded and looked at the others in the hall.
“You are all zitherists as well. Why have you not created a decent piece after so many days? Look at them. They just arrived and casually took out a piece, and they could enter? Humph!” Duke Lu Yang said coldly.
“Duke, we are incapable,” the many zitherists said bitterly.
Casually took out a piece? These zitherists could not believe that. This was a touching and graceful piece; how could it be something casually taken out?
“They entered Love Flower Valley together?” Duke Lu Yang asked indifferently.
“Yes. The Thorny Ritual Array has a sound barrier. The sounds in there cannot come out, so I cannot hear anything,” Army Breaker sighed.
“That’s enough. It’s enough that they entered,” Duke Lu Yang said with a cold smile.
“Clearly, it was that person called Gu Hai who obtained Ensnaring Performance. He should be Elite Hall’s Water Division Master,” Army Breaker said.
“Is there still no word from Silver Moon City? However, this proves that Mister Mo should be returning soon. At that time, everything will be cleared up. Gu Hai? Where did this music Dao master come from? Doesn’t this name sound very familiar?” Duke Lu Yang frowned as he tried to recall.
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