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EIF - Book 05 Chapter 071: Stuck

Gu Hai used a question-and-answer format for his composition. There was no rhythm or rhyme to it or any sense of aesthetic perception. It even seemed like the winds that appeared were due to Purple Subtlety being a heaven-grade brush.

“Based on what happened in Major Metropolitan City, Mister Gu’s style should not be like that.”

“Indeed. I saw it then. It was also Mister Purple Subtlety writing for ‘Bring in the Wine.’ From the first line, vast noble spirit already filled the place.”

“Why is there so little this time? It is like a small creek.”

“Indeed. It is even less than the other calligraphy Dao cultivators’.”

The spectators felt confused.

Although the people from the three holy lands disdained Gu Hai’s words, they all stared at him.

“Grand Mohist, what is the use of Gu Hai writing such nonsense? He will lose for sure!” The Supreme Ascendant Dao disciples smiled.

Search h0sted n0vel for the original.

The Supreme Ascendant Dao’s Grand Mohist shook her head as she coldly eyed Gu Hai.

The calligraphy Dao participants sneered at Gu Hai. At first, they had been worried about him. They had not expected Gu Hai’s work to be so bad.

Purple Subtlety continued writing while Gu Hai dictated.

“Answer: That is difficult to explain. Noble spirit can be developed to great levels of quantity and stability by correctly nourishing it and not damaging it, to the extent that it fills the space between Heaven and Earth. In developing noble spirit, if you are connected with a sense of justice and the Dao, you will never be in want of it. It is something produced by cultivating a sense of justice and not something you can grab by superficial attempts at justice. If you act without mental composure, you will become starved of noble spirit.”

Purple Subtlety wrote this all down.

The countless spectators looked at Gu Hai’s composition in shock. Many of them did not understand it.

However, some calligraphy Dao cultivators did.

When they heard that line from Gu Hai, their expressions changed immediately.

“That is…” The Supreme Genesis immediately stood up.

“A scripture? Gu Hai is writing a holy Dao scripture, not a poem?” The Grand Mohist’s expression changed.

“A truth of the world? Amitābha! To think that Gu Hai…,” the Future Buddha said.

The pupils of Azure Emperor and Emperor Kong, who had walked out of the plaza, constricted.

“This is no ordinary song or poem. Instead, it is a truth of the world? What a Gu Hai!” Emperor Kong showed shock on his face as he raised his eyebrows.

“A holy Dao scripture? How did Gu Hai know of this? Is there really a person who is skilled in all cultural Dao in the world? He is going to write a scripture?” The Azure Emperor’s eyes narrowed.

“Imperial Lord, is Gu Hai really that talented?” Dan Wang asked, appearing incredulous.

“There are two possibilities!” the Azure Emperor said thoughtfully.

“Oh?”

“One, he has the talent to rule the world,” the Azure Emperor said with narrowed eyes.

“The talent to rule the world? What is the second?” Dan Wang asked curiously.

“He might have an immortal firmament,” the Azure Emperor said softly.

“Immortal firmament? What is an immortal firmament?” Dan Wang felt slightly startled.

This was Dan Wang’s first time hearing of an immortal firmament, but what was an immortal firmament?

The Azure Emperor did not answer, only looked coldly at the distant Gu Hai.

When the sages saw Purple Subtlety write this line, they immediately stopped their earlier mockery.

The moment Purple Subtlety made his last stroke, overwhelming noble spirit soared up from the paper. This wave of noble spirit seemed a hundredfold—a thousandfold—more than the others.

Then, the noble spirit crashed into the noble spirit sea.

Rumble…!

The noble spirit sea roiled intensely. The bodies of the five hundred calligraphy Dao sages shook.

“Writing a scripture? How can that be possible?! How can he have the ability to write scripture?!”

“Every scripture requires ages before it can be created. Gu Hai is composing on the fly; he cannot possibly write one!”

“A scripture! There is a scripture appearing in the first round? Furthermore, done on the fly? How could he be good at the calligraphy Dao too?”

The sages were flabbergasted.

When Purple Subtlety wrote, the compositions of all the other participants dimmed, including Sima Changkong’s and Yehua’s.

The noble spirit from Purple Subtlety’s brush caused the entire noble spirit sea to churn, apparently resonating with the noble spirit sea.

The noble spirit sea pushed aside the fire energy, the noxious gas, the Yin-attributed energy, the water vapor, and vital energy.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

The noble spirit pillars coming from the other participants’ brushes exploded immediately as though denied by the world.

The noble spirit sea is no longer playing along with them?

The calligraphy Dao participants immediately felt stupefied. What is the situation?

“I…I was only halfway done!”

“Where is the wind and rain from my writing? Why is it gone?”

“I was sure my poem could manifest crying supernatural beings. Why is there no reaction at all?”

The participants appeared anxious.

“When a scripture appears, all texts submit to it?” Gongyang Sheng’s eyes widened, betraying a trace of shock.

In the north, Lifespan Beiming said in amazement, “Gu Hai? Is he really writing a scripture? Before a scripture, all other forms of calligraphy are just minor paths. The moment a scripture appears, the world will take the scripture as supreme. The scripture is the lord, subduing all texts?”

Gu Hai looked around. When he saw that he subdued the other calligraphy Dao cultivators, he felt shocked. I quoted a segment from a book of Earth’s Mencius. To think that the effects are so great?

Although he felt shocked, Gu Hai continued dictating.

“Therefore, I would say that Gao Zi has not yet understood justice since he regards it as something external. You must be willing to work at it, understanding that you cannot have precise control over it. You can’t forget about it, but you can’t force it to grow, either.

[TL Note: Gao Zi is a Chinese philosopher, a contemporary to Mencius. Here is the Wikipedia entry on Gao Zi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaozi.]

“You don’t want to be like the man from the Song Nation. There was a man from the Song Nation who was worried about the slow growth of his crops, and so he went and yanked on them to accelerate their growth. Not knowing better, he returned home and announced to his people: ‘I am so tired today. I have been out, stretching the crops.’ His son ran out to look, but the crops had already withered. Those in the world who don’t ‘help their crops by pulling’ are few, indeed. There are also those who regard all effort as wasteful and don’t even weed their crops. But those who think they can hurry their growth along by forcing it are not only not helping their noble spirit but are actually harming it!”

Purple Subtlety continued writing. When he made the last stroke, a boundless, solemn voice rang out in the sky, reading out Gu Hai’s “Questions and Answers.”

A blazing sun seemed to rise from Purple Subtlety’s paper into the noble spirit sea. The other participants’ compositions had no light at all.

“How could it be like this?” Yehua goggled in disbelief.

Boom!

The overwhelming noble spirit returned and suddenly poured into Gu Hai’s body. He felt a warm aura around his body rush into his mind.

Then, the Heaven Suppressing Divine Imperial Seal sucked in the surging noble spirit.

After absorbing the noble spirit, the Heaven Suppressing Divine Imperial Seal gave off an intense aura of dignity that came out of Gu Hai’s body. The aura soared into the sky and clashed with the sages’ auras.

“A scripture? He composed a scripture on the fly?” a calligraphy Dao sage exclaimed in shock and horror.

The spectators gazed at Gu Hai with eyes wide open.

“It turns out that Mister Gu is the most incredible at the calligraphy Dao,” some spectators cried out.

“Although it is not a complete holy Dao scripture, it already shows signs of being one. Excellent composition! Excellent!” The Supreme Genesis’s eyes suddenly turned cold with murderous intent.

“Grand Mohist, will Gu Hai affect our competition in the second round?” a Supreme Ascendant Dao disciple asked worriedly.

“He won’t. My Supreme Ascendant Dao’s Supreme Ascendant Scripture is the world’s best scripture. How could his ‘Questions and Answers’ compare to it? His is just something incomplete. Even if it were complete, it would not compare to the Supreme Ascendant Scripture,” the Grand Mohist replied.

There was no more suspense. When Gu Hai’s “Questions and Answers” appeared, there was no longer any need to look at the others’ compositions.

“No participant can compete with Gu Hai’s ‘Questions and Answers.’ Will the calligraphy Dao sages make a just judgment and give a fair recommendation!” Gongyang Sheng said.

Recommendation? Give Gu Hai our recommendations?

Seeing that aura, which was no weaker than theirs, coming from Gu Hai, the sages all felt frustrated.

“Humph! We said you may write a poem, a song, or an essay. However, Gu Hai did not write a poem, a song, or an essay!” a calligraphy Dao sage suddenly said.

“That’s right. This ‘Questions and Answers’ is not a poem, a song, or an essay. No matter how well written it is, so what? Gu Hai cannot be recommended,” the music Dao sages immediately said excitedly.

“Gu Hai cannot be recommended!” the painting Dao sages yelled.

The Go Dao sages felt excited as well.

“Endlessly persistent. Calligraphy Dao sages, the answer is clear, yet you want to twist the facts? How are you living up to the right to make judgments that heaven gave you?!” Gongyang Sheng questioned with a glare.

“Humph! It is not your place to comment on how we judge. In any case, we are not choosing Gu Hai. So what if ‘Questions and Answers’ is incredible? It is not a song, a poem, or an essay. We do not accept it. If he is that capable, then get him to write a song, a poem, or an essay!” the sages shouted.

“You!” Gongyang Sheng glared at the sky.

The citizens felt furious.

Just as it started to get noisy, Gu Hai dictated again, and Purple Subtlety wrote.

“There is noble spirit in the world, taking many forms. Below they are rivers and mountains; above they are suns and stars.”

Boundless noble spirit soared into the sky from Purple Subtlety’s paper again. The noble spirit sea shook once more.

The sages were shocked into silence. The spectators scolding the sages fell quiet as well.

“A five-character-phrase poem?”

“How could I have forgotten? Since Mister Gu can compose a holy Dao scripture, how could he not compose a song, a poem, or an essay?”

“Hahaha! What will the sages say now? Mister Gu is now writing one!”

“That ‘Questions and Answers’ was just the precursor to this five-character-phrase poem!”

Heavenly Yin City immediately burst into an uproar.

Gu Hai now wrote the “Song of Noble Spirit.” He used “Questions and Answers” as an introduction, amplifying the power of the “Song of Noble Spirit” infinitely.

How could the sages have thought that the incredible “Questions and Answers” served as an introduction to this five-character-phrase poem?

When the first four phases appeared, they were no weaker than the earlier introduction. What comes next will definitely be of the same quality. Are we really going to end up slapping our own faces again?

“In people, it is called nobility and righteousness, so vast that it fills the sky. The way of an emperor is tranquil and peaceful, inspiring the court with harmony.”

Purple Subtlety wrote this down.

The aura of the poem flourished, causing chills in the sages’ hearts.

It’s over. Gu Hai is writing a poem. What other excuse can I spin? Can I let Gu Hai win? No, we definitely cannot give the recommendations to him.

Suddenly, Gu Hai was stuck.

This was Earth’s “Song of Noble Spirit,” a classic. The first few lines were fine. But the following lines contained names and deeds of loyal officials. Those ancient loyal officials of Earth did not exist in this world. He could not write them in. Instead, he would have to replace them. However, he could not think of that many people that corresponded on the spot.

[TL Note: The “Song of Noble Spirit,” also known as the “Song of Righteousness” or “Song of the Spirit of Righteousness,” was written by Wen Tianxiang, a Song Dynasty poet. I chose to translate the name differently to fit the novel’s terms better, but the meaning is the same. Here is a Wikipedia entry on Wen Tianxiang: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wen_Tianxiang.]

Did I choose wrong in using the “Song of Noble Spirit”?

Gu Hai’s expression darkened. He had made a mistake. There was no way for him to continue the poem.

Gu Hai was stuck as he looked at the sages in the sky. However, the sages did not know that Gu Hai was stuck. They shivered under his gaze.

“Reporting to heaven, I recommend that person’s essay!”

“Reporting to heaven, I recommend that person’s poem!”

Search h0sted n0vel for the original.

“Reporting to heaven…”

The calligraphy Dao sages no longer cared about giving a reason. They immediately recommended participants who had not finished writing yet—anyone as long as it was not Gu Hai.

Five hundred recommendation talismans appeared and scattered, going to five hundred participants, just not Gu Hai. They did not choose only one person to prevent the same tragedy that happened with Wu Yazi.

They casually gave out the recommendations on a whim, angering the spectators.

“Extremely shameless!”

“No sense of shame!”

“Ptooey! Mister Gu’s work is so incredible! Are you all blind?!”

“Dogshit sages!”

The spectators criticized the sages, tumult filling the entire Heavenly Yin City.

Only Gu Hai inwardly released a bated breath. This is great. I don’t have to continue writing.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for April: 46 / 50

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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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.