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EIF - Book 05 Chapter 004: Grand Occasion

Emperor’s study, Heavenly Court City, Qian Heavenly Dynasty:

“Gongyang Sheng, we assigned the hosting of the calligraphy Dao convention to you. How are your preparations?”

In the outer half of the study, Gongyang Sheng said respectfully, “During the Ten Thousand Sages Convention, each of the cultural cultivations—music, Go, calligraphy, and painting—has their own conventions. This official has already completed the preparations, less some minor details. Everything will be ready by the start of the Ten Thousand Sages Convention. However, is this official hosting just the calligraphy Dao convention? What about the music Dao convention, the Go Dao convention, and the painting Dao convention?”

“We have already chosen people for the music Dao, the Go Dao, and the painting Dao. There is no need for you to worry about them,” the Qian Heavenly Emperor said indifferently.

“Yes!” Gongyang Sheng nodded.

“Have we already received a reply from the various factions?” the Qian Heavenly Emperor asked.

“Yes, the three holy lands and the other two heavenly dynasties have already sent letters. The Solar Divine Palace is sending people from the Supreme Genesis’s line of inheritance. The Myriad Age Daoist Sect is sending people from the Supreme Ascendant’s line of inheritance. The Spirit Mountain Holy Land is sending people from the Future Buddha’s line of inheritance. The Azure Emperor of the Yan Heavenly Dynasty will personally lead a group, as will the Huang Heavenly Dynasty’s Emperor Kong. The other various major academies will be sending representatives as well,” Gongyang Sheng reported respectfully.

[TL Note: The Huang in the Huang Heavenly Dynasty is a different character from that of the Huang Royal Dynasty, which first appeared in book 3, chapter 85. This Huang means yellow. The Huang in the Huang Royal Dynasty means brilliant; the character for it consists of the fire radical and word for royal. The name is likely in honor of their national beast, the fire locust, since the character for locust is the bug radical with the word for royal.]

“The Supreme Ascendant? The Supreme Genesis? The Future Buddha? The Azure Emperor? Emperor Kong? Hah! It is truly a grand gathering of the cultural Dao.” The Qian Heavenly Emperor gently tapped the desk.

“This Ten Thousand Sages Convention is held in the Qian Nation. It will be a grand occasion of the world!” Gongyang Sheng said as he nodded in agreement.

The Qian Heavenly Emperor nodded.

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In a mountain forest filled with noble spirit in the western sector of the Divine Continent:

There were buildings on the mountain. Each building had a group of people wearing scholarly clothes. They lowered their heads to look at a valley below.

There was a sound isolation barrier in that valley, preventing any sound from escaping. However, everyone could see in. There were zitherists holding their zithers and showing expressions of pain.

The people on the mountain appeared confused.

“What a music duel to the death! They sealed themselves in the barrier, refusing to open it until a victor emerges. When will they stop?”

“This person is very incredible. Even the masters of our music faculty cannot take it. How strong is his music?”

“Look! That master zitherist is very immersed in his music. It must be some incredible piece that strikes deep into the heart!”

“A meeting with music. Masters of my academy’s music faculty, make your move! Quickly play something. That zitherist’s cultivation is already sealed. What are you worried about?”

The people on the mountain showed confused expressions as they looked at the strange scene in the valley.

A youthful man waved his hands and danced as he sang in the sound barrier, appearing extremely intoxicated in his music.

However, a group of scholars holding guqins rolled around on the ground before him.

“Stop singing! Stop singing! Save me!”

“Screw you! What is this singing? Save me! Stop singing! Stop singing!”

“I poured my energy into my ears to capture every note that you play. Yet, this is what you let us hear? Stop! Stop singing! Save me! I’m going deaf! I’m going deaf!”

“My musical sense! My musical sense! Die! Argh!”

The many master zitherists crumbled as they looked at the singer.

The person singing was none other than Gu Hai’s heaven-grade zither, Ensnaring Performance.

It was rare that Ensnaring Performance could finish a song. After that, he let out a long breath and said, “That felt good. Didn’t you say that you wanted to duel me? Why aren’t you playing your zithers? My ‘March of the General,’ ‘Canon,’ and ‘Sonata Pathétique’ are merely so-so. Only my singing is the best. What do you think?”

The master zitherists looked at Ensnaring Performance, stupefied.

“We said to duel and exchange pointers with the music Dao. Where is the music Dao that we agreed on?” an aged master zitherist said as his teeth clattered.

Ensnaring Performance’s face sank as he said, “When I played a piece for the nearby citizens, they were very happy about it. However, you forbade them from listening. On what authority did you do that? Furthermore, you even challenged me to a music Dao duel, saying that if I lost, I would have to kowtow and apologize to everyone in your music faculty? Well, bring it on! Who is afraid? Go on and play! Let me moisten my throat, and I will sing another song! Let’s see who is more incredible!”

Ensnaring Performance drank some tea and looked like he would sing again.

“Don’t! Don’t! Don’t sing anymore!” all the master zitherists shouted, on the verge of collapse.

Music duel? We just wanted to steal your “March of the General,” “Canon,” and “Sonata Pathétique.” We were planning to steal them as we dueled you. However, we could no longer play anything from the moment you started singing. What can we play? Our musical sense has fallen apart. What else can we play to duel you?

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When you sang your “Little Raddish,” we all wanted to vomit blood.

That aged master zitherist looked at the nearby disciples whose ears were bleeding. He showed a horrified expression.

“I am—” Ensnaring Performance opened his mouth to sing.

“Stop! We are inferior! We admit defeat! Stop singing!” the old man cried out.

When the old man cried out, no one forced themselves to endure anymore. How was this listening to music? This was simply a battle to the death!

“You are admitting defeat already?” Ensnaring Performance said, appearing shocked. Reluctance filled his eyes.

“Yes! Yes! Master, your music Dao is unparalleled. We were ignorant, unaware of the wider world. Please stop singing. No one here is your match. It’s true. Compared to you, we are just fireflies trying to compete with the sun and moon!” the old man cried out.

Ensnaring Performance appeared regretful. Then, he sighed, “Alright. Unfortunately, I still have dozens more songs.”

“Ah?” The expressions of the master zitherists all changed.

“There is even a song that can provoke the heavenly thunder. Hah…it is truly difficult to find an opponent to match me.” As Ensnaring Performance sighed, the master zitherists wiped off their cold sweat.

“However, it does not matter. Your music Dao has the potential for improvement. I shall stay here for a while and give you pointers. There’s no need to thank me.” Ensnaring Performance’s eyes immediately lit up.

Buzz!

The minds of all the master zitherists buzzed. What? You are going to stay to give us pointers?

“Great master, all the zitherists in the world are heading to the Ten Thousand Sages Convention. Perhaps you should go there. There are many experts there, all reaching the peak of the music Dao. Staying here is just a waste of your time,” the old master zitherist immediately called out.

“Indeed! Indeed!” All the zitherists nodded.

“Huh? The Ten Thousand Sages Convention?” Ensnaring Performance felt slightly startled.

“Indeed. It is held in the Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s Heavenly Court City. Hey, we have an invitation to the Ten Thousand Sages Convention here. We acknowledge that we are talentless, so we might as well give you the invitation. We hope that the great master can gain glory in the Ten Thousand Sages Convention and seize victory!” That old man hurriedly proffered an invitation.

This was an invitation from the Qian Heavenly Dynasty, something extremely precious. If it were in the past, they would not even have allowed others to look at it. Now, no one stopped the old man from doing this to send this demonic calamity away.

“Alright. How unfortunate! I can’t stay to give you pointers,” Ensnaring Performance sighed.

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“There’s no need. There’s no need. We should not hold back the great master from glory. At that time, when all the zitherists in the world gather at the Ten Thousand Sages Convention, they will definitely worship the great master!” the old man said excitedly.

“Alright. I shall reluctantly accept this, then,” Ensnaring Performance sighed and happily received the invitation.

The group of zitherists wiped away the sweat on their foreheads.

The victor had already emerged, so the barrier opened.

When the people on the mountain saw the horrified master zitherists, they were all shocked.

“This Ensnaring Performance managed to subdue the various masters of the music faculty with just one piece?” the people on the mountain said in shock.

However, Ensnaring Performance only hugged the invitation and headed gleefully for the Qian Heavenly Dynasty.

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In a study, Borderless Heavenly Capital, Han Royal Dynasty:

Gu Hai looked at the black tortoise elder, Miao Chao, standing before him.

“Elder Miao, do you know what happened to Shangguan Hen?” Gu Hai asked.

“Yes. Unexpectedly, Prime still had an evil side back then. The evil Black Tortoise Prime is still alive,” Miao Chen said with a complicated expression.

“We have already sent people to search for Shangguan Hen. For now, there is still no news. However, I wonder what your stance is when the evil Black Tortoise Prime reappears?” Gu Hai looked at Miao Chen.

Frowning, Miao Chen said, “The evil prime is possessing Shangguan Hen’s body. I believe that he will reappear soon. At that time, he will gather the old guards of the black tortoises. Many of the black tortoises will follow him. Although he is the evil incarnation, he is still Prime.”

“What about you? Will you follow him?” Gu Hai asked.

Miao Chen remained silent for a while before shaking his head. “I would like to remain in Borderless Heavenly Capital for now.”

“Oh?” Gu Hai felt confused.

“The evil side? That should be the evil side that Prime separated from back then. He is just the evil side of Prime, not the true Prime. I acknowledge only the righteous Prime. I will have nothing to say if the Black Tortoise Deity acknowledges him. However, the one that the Black Tortoise Deity acknowledges is Shangguan Hen, so I follow the deity,” Miao Chen said gravely.

Gu Hai nodded. “I recall that Shangguan Hen previously consumed the snake head of the previous Black Tortoise Prime outside Silver Moon City. Perhaps the consciousness of the evil side resided in that snake head.”

“Your Majesty, may I ask if you can rescue Shangguan Hen?” Miao Chen asked gravely.

“I can. Furthermore, I will definitely rescue him!” Gu Hai nodded with confidence.

“In that case, the black tortoises that I lead are still the Han Nation’s national beast. We will wait for Shangguan Hen to return,” Miao Chen said seriously.

Gu Hai looked at Miao Chen for a while before eventually nodding. “We will do our best!”

“Thank you, Your Majesty!” Miao Chen said gratefully.

As Miao Chen and Gu Hai chatted, the voice of a guard came from outside the study.

“Reporting to Your Majesty, the crown prince seeks an audience!” the guard said respectfully.

“Oh? Let him in!” Gu Hai said, feeling confused.

I did not summon Gu Qin. Why is he here?

Soon, Gu Qin entered the study, his face bright with joy.

“Imperial Father, there’s good news! There’s good news! Two envoys came to my Borderless Heavenly Capital earlier,” Gu Qin said excitedly.

“Oh?” Gu Hai said.

“After Imperial Emperor Xi Yu’s death, the Yuan Imperial Dynasty’s fiefs are now masterless. With time, the Qian Heavenly Dynasty can naturally capture all of them. However, Prince Shenwu seems extremely anxious for some reason. Instead of pacifying the various cities, he sent soldiers to attack them, which prompted many of the people of the Yuan Nation to revolt. The envoys of two cities brought letters from their city lords and petitions from the citizens, saying that they are willing to join the Han Royal Dynasty and be Han Royal Dynasty citizens,” Gu Qin said excitedly.

“Petitions from the citizens?” Gu Hai felt slightly startled.

“Yes. Imperial Father, you promised Prince Shenwu and Mister Mo that you would not send a single soldier to attack the Yuan Nation cities. However, those cities are willing to join the Han Royal Dynasty. Is there any reason to reject them? We did not send out a single soldier!” Gu Qin said excitedly.

“Excellent!” Gu Hai smiled, feeling satisfied as well.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for March: 28 / 50

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Hey guys, you all probably have been seeing the occasional message about Patreon and how EIF isn't doing very well financially. So I held out as long as I can, and unfortunately, things are not looking up. In the interest of being able to keep up a sustainable income to pay my bills and pay the team sufficiently, I'm going to have to lower the release rates of EIF in favor of picking up another novel. As of now, I have not found another novel yet, but I will be decreasing the release rates from May onwards so that I have time to search for the next novel. For now, the rates will be lowered to 30 chapters a month, essentially daily chapters.

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