Book 04 Chapter 063: Chivalrous Legends
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Everlasting Immortal Firmament Book 04 Chapter 063: Chivalrous Legends

When the scroll was brought to the center of the banquet, the surrounding officials’ discussions came to an abrupt halt.

Most of the officials could tell that this was “The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation,” the poem written to humiliate Gu Hai. To think that Archduke Xi Kang intended to give this poem to Gu Hai in front of everyone. Was this not openly slapping Gu Hai?

Based on the group’s earlier discussion, Gu Hai’s group immediately knew the content of this scroll.

Li Shenji’s eyes lit up, revealing a faint smile. He picked up his wine cup and took a sip, looking in Gu Hai’s direction.

When Long Wanyu heard the title “The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation,” she also knew what was on the scroll. Is he criticizing Brother-in-Law? No matter how naive Long Wanyu was, she likewise understood that Archduke Xi Kang had bad intentions.

Long Wanyu glared and wanted to stand up to kick the table over.

However, Gu Hai grabbed Long Wanyu’s hand, forestalling her.

“Brother-in-Law, why are you stopping me? This old thing has bad intentions!” Long Wanyu yelled.

“Ha! It’s fine. Since others are giving us a gift, we’ll just receive it. I would like to take a look at what exactly it says,” Gu Hai said with a smile.

Long Wanyu felt slightly startled. “But—” 

Gu Hai smiled while shaking his head.

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“Alright.” Long Wanyu nodded. Nevertheless, she continued glaring at Archduke Xi Kang.

However, Archduke Xi Kang smiled as he looked at Gu Hai, Purple Subtlety, and Longevity.

“A gift for us? There are three of us, yet he gives us only one? How are we going to split it? Indeed, very stingy!” Longevity said with an upset expression.

“How stingy! He did not let us eat our fill, and I heard earlier that despite him hosting the banquet, he had the other party chip in. Now, there are three of us, and he gave us only one gift? Really stingy!” Purple Subtlety nodded as well.

Purple Subtlety’s and Longevity’s voices were not loud. However, everyone was currently quiet, waiting to see Gu Hai’s reaction to the content, so the two’s voices immediately reached everyone’s ears.

These words also spread to the entire Major Metropolitan City.

The countless citizens appeared embarrassed.

Archduke Xi Kang’s expression turned dark. What I am giving is the content of the scroll, not the scroll itself. Yet, you still want it split into three portions? If not for the live broadcast, he would really shut these two up and trample on them. Stingy? Stingy, my ass!

“Mister Gu, are you not opening it to take a look?” Archduke Xi Kang asked with a smile.

“What is there to see? Isn’t it just two rows of lousy words or a lousy painting in this scroll? Just looking at it makes me want to vomit. How stingy! Giving us food would be better,” Longevity said, feeling dissatisfied.

“Indeed. How stingy!” Purple Subtlety nodded.

Clearly, Longevity and Purple Subtlety still did not know the content of this scroll.

Archduke Xi Kang clenched his right hand into a fist tightly, his veins bulging. Are these two fools truly fools or just pretending?

“Very well. Since Archduke Xi Kang would like to display the gift, we shall go along,” Gu Hai said with a faint smile.

What do you mean “would like to display the gift”? Do you even know how to speak with propriety? Am I such a person? Why does Gu Hai speak like those two fools? How hateful!

However, since Gu Hai agreed to open the scroll in front of everyone, Duke Xi Kang just smiled at Gu Hai. When you open it, let’s see how this poem utterly embarrasses you!

“Men! Bring a table over so that Archduke Xi Kang can display his gift!” Gu Hai instructed.

Archduke Xi Kang smiled stiffly without saying anything.

However, the Yuan Nation officials and the two hundred million citizens of Major Metropolitan City could make out the rage beneath Archduke Xi Kang’s stiff smile. They all felt heartache. Is this slapping Gu Hai’s face or slapping his own face? Why does it look like something is off?

After the table arrived, someone placed the scroll on it.

“I’ll open it. Let’s see what lousy thing is on it. To think that it has to be displayed so ostentatiously?” Purple Subtlety walked forward. 

Longevity held the top of the scroll while Purple Subtlety slowly pressed the scroll down on the table, unfurling it.

When the scroll unfurled, a beam of white light soared into the sky.

Buzz!

It looked like a white meteor shooting into the clouds in the sky.

Boom!

Suddenly, a gust blew, forming a tornado around the pillar of light left by the white meteor.

Rumble…!

Dark clouds churned in the sky, crowning the pillar of light and swirling around it. Thunder rumbled, and heavy rain poured from the swirling dark clouds.

As the rain fell, the strong winds blew it into the surroundings.

The white light shone, and a vast aura pressed down.

“Such vast noble spirit? This is a first edition? A first-edition calligraphy Dao composition?” Longevity felt slightly startled.

“Strong wind and rain accompanying the brush strokes? Vast noble spirit appears?” Purple Subtlety felt slightly startled.

The heavy rain and strong wind spread in all four cardinal directions. However, they did not affect the cultivators sitting in the plaza. Even so, the majestic aura fascinated the various officials. The two hundred million citizens in Major Metropolitan City felt strangely excited. 

“This is strong wind and rain accompanying the brush strokes? This is the first edition of a calligraphy Dao composition, the calligraphy Dao aura that Archduke Xi Kang sealed when he first wrote this?”

“That white meteor is the noble spirit? I saw a lecturer of Five Sacred Mountains Academy in the past who also could bring out noble spirit. However, it was only a small amount. This is a meteor soaring into the sky, boundless and vast!”

“An excellent calligraphy Dao composition!”

“What is written on it?”

“Ah? ‘The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation’?”

“Why would a gentleman tussle with a vile person? A vile person is like a weed, returning after being pulled.

“A gentleman only needs to encourage themself. Why tussle with a vile person and waste one’s efforts?”

“Isn’t this a poem criticizing Gu Hai, saying that Gu Hai is a vile person? And Archduke Xi Kang gave Gu Hai this poem? Hahaha!”

“Strong wind and rain accompany the brush strokes, and noble spirit appears!”

“Excellent poem! Excellent poem!”

“Archduke Xi Kang wrote well. There is no need to give these three vile people any face!”

All the citizens in the city cheered.

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In a particular restaurant:

Fairy Waner’s face sank, showing a somewhat anxious expression.

------

At a small courtyard:

Sima Changkong and Prince Shenwu raised their heads to look at the sky. When the two saw the scene in the sky, they frowned slightly.

“The calligraphy Dao’s aura? If this Archduke Xi Kang did not place his focus on plots and schemes, he would indeed be a rare talent of the calligraphy Dao,” Prince Shenwu said, knitting his brows.

“By unfurling this poem in such a situation, Gu Hai and the others have really helped us, drawing the attention of the entire city,” Sima Changkong said seriously.

“Mister Sima, don’t you feel that this poem is pretty good?” Prince Shenwu looked at Sima Changkong.

“It’s still alright.” Sima Changkong did not comment much on it.

“From today on, Gu Hai’s reputation will be ruined by this poem.” Prince Shenwu let out a long sigh at this unfortunate development.

Sima Changkong did not say anything. He only looked at the scene in the sky.

The citizens in Major Metropolitan City cheered. Some of the officials in Five Sacred Mountains Academy cheered as well.

“Excellent poem! Duke’s poem is a rare jewel of the world!”

“Strong wind and rain accompanied the brush strokes, birthing noble spirit. The first editions of calligraphy Dao compositions are all precious treasures of the world. This is a great gift. Too bad it is being given away. Hahaha!”

“Excellent ‘The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation’! What a shameless, vile person!”

Some of the officials laughed. However, Mo Yike, Qin Zibai, Chang Sheng, and their supporters remained silent.

Archduke Xi Kang caressed his beard, appearing cocky. However, he fixed a sharp gaze on the three.

Purple Subtlety and Longevity were heaven-grade brushes. They could appreciate and understand culture. Hence, their faces immediately sank.

“I wonder if the three of you are satisfied with this poem,” Archduke Xi Kang said with a faint smile.

Archduke Xi Kang clearly made this poem to criticize them; how could Purple Subtlety and Longevity say it was good? The cheers from the surrounding people clearly mocked the three.

Long Wanyu was about to explode in anger.

However, Gu Hai suddenly laughed softly and said, “It is barely passable. Just so-so.”

“Huh?” The surrounding officials’ mocking laughter stopped.

“That’s right. Merely so-so!” Purple Subtlety and Longevity shouted.

This immediately set the citizens in the city abuzz.

A poem that brought out strong wind and rain with the brush strokes and made noble spirit appear is only so-so? This Gu Hai must be saying that intentionally. That’s right. He is just a shameless vile person. How could he understand the essence of Archduke Xi Kang’s calligraphy Dao or even the meaning of the calligraphy Dao?

The officials at the banquet were about to criticize Gu Hai. However, Archduke Xi Kang’s eyes suddenly lit up.

Archduke Xi Kang suddenly guffawed, “Hahahaha! Mister Gu says that it is only so-so. Does that mean that Mister Gu is certain that he can write a better one? Today, our two nations are meeting to build a friendship. How about Mister Gu try composing a poem as well? Let us see how cultured the Qian Nation envoy that Mister Gu represents is.” 

Let Gu Hai represent the Qian Nation envoy in composing a poem?

The officials looked at Archduke Xi Kang. Indeed, Archduke Xi Kang thought this through. Gu Hai definitely cannot do this. This won’t just humiliate these three but also deal a blow to the Qian Nation’s pride, right?

The officials turned quiet as they stared at Gu Hai.

You said it yourself, calling it so-so. In that case, go and write a better one.

Li Shenji sat at the side, not interjecting, as if waiting for Gu Hai to embarrass himself.

“Mister Gu, what’s wrong? You don’t dare to compose one? How about you write a poem that is better than so-so to widen our horizons?” Archduke Xi Kang sneered.

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At this moment in Major Metropolitan City:

Fairy Waner felt anxious. Her surroundings were filled with voices criticizing Gu Hai.

------

Back in the scene, Gu Hai picked up a cup of wine and smiled after taking a sip. “This humble one’s calligraphy Dao is only so-so!”

“Mister Gu does not dare to write one?” Archduke Xi Kang said aggressively.

“Ha! However, it should not be difficult to write something surpassing this poem.” Gu Hai smiled.

“Oh?” Archduke Xi Kang raised his eyebrows skeptically.

“Purple Subtlety, Longevity, I have implicated you two, causing you to be wronged. Today, I shall give you two ‘Chivalrous Legends’ to restore your reputation!” Gu Hai said.

“Chivalrous Legends?” The surrounding officials appeared somewhat doubtful.

“Chivalrous legends? These two sneak-attacking, vile people? Hahahaha!” Archduke Xi Kang laughed in disdain.

“I’ll recite the poem. May I trouble Longevity to grind the ink and Purple Subtlety to write it?” Gu Hai asked seriously.

“Alright!” the two immediately answered.

Bing Ji called for another table to be laid out. Longevity prepared the ink, and Purple Subtlety held himself ready to write, waiting for Gu Hai to speak.

Everyone looked at Gu Hai. Composing a poem? You are asking for trouble. Do you think just anyone can do that? Furthermore, “Chivalrous Legends”? These two are chivalrous legends?

It did not matter how disdainful anyone felt about it. Gu Hai’s recital had already begun.

“Visitors to the Han Nation with tasseled caps on their hair, bearing weapons bright as frost and snow in a pair.
“They ride on silver-saddled, white horses, moving as swift as the wind and shooting stars with great force.
“Even with an enemy every ten paces, they continue killing these enemies for great distances.
“They brush off their clothes and leave after accomplishing their goal, not claiming credit or fame for their role.”

As Gu Hai recited the poem, Purple Subtlety wrote it down. 

Purple Subtlety was a heaven-grade brush. He possessed incredibly astonishing calligraphy skills. Furthermore, his calligraphy Dao’s artistic conception already reached the apex. As he wrote, white light shot into the sky. Visitors to the Han Nation with tasseled caps on their hair, bearing weapons bright as frost and snow in a pair. They ride on silver-saddled white horses, moving as swift as the wind and shooting stars with great force.

When Gu Hai recited the first two lines of five-character phrases, nearly all the disdainful smiles suddenly disappeared.

“What a fine and unconstrained poem! There seems to be an indescribably uninhibited air in it!” exclaimed Sima Changkong in Major Metropolitan City.

Boom!

When Purple Subtlety wrote these two lines, noble spirit even vaster than that of “The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation” soared into the sky, looking like an even larger meteor. Then, the light crashed into the clouds, illuminating the surroundings.

Archduke Xi Kang’s expression changed. Gu Hai can compose poems? How can this be?

The officials’ expressions changed as well. How can this be? Gu Hai is composing a five-character-phrase poem. The artistic conception from that should be weaker than a seven-character-phrase poem. Why does it give off a calligraphy Dao’s noble spirit that surpasses that of “The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation” when written? This inspires a feeling of reverence. More importantly, this seems to be just the introduction of the poem?

A long poem is harder to compose than a short poem. “The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation” only has two lines. Can Gu Hai write more? Will he fail midway?

[TL Note: Each sentence contains two phrases for these poems, so a five-character-phrase poem would usually have an even number of lines that contain two sets of five characters. A seven-character-phrase poem is the same but with seven characters instead. There is usually a certain cadence to them. Unfortunately, that is extremely difficult to bring over into English.]

“Even with an enemy every ten paces, they continue killing these enemies for great distances.”

When Purple Subtlety wrote this line, all the officials present suddenly felt their hair stand on end as their bodies instantly erupted with goosebumps.

When the heaven-grade brush wrote, he brought out the artistic conception of this sentence to the limit. Everyone immediately saw images of chivalrous swordsmen swinging their swords in all directions, killing the people around them.

When the swordsman rushed forward, he stabbed straight at the chest, killing one person every ten steps and not stopping for a great distance. This fully illustrated the earlier two phrases.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Suddenly, an even vaster noble spirit shot into the air from the paper Purple Subtlety wrote on. Now, ten meteor-like streams of noble spirit stabbed the clouds in the sky.

A berserk wind swept through the place as the dazzling noble spirit lit up the world. The noble spirit formed by “The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation” seemed to dim significantly.

“They brush off their clothes and leave after accomplishing their goal, not claiming credit or fame for their role.”

Rumble…!

Another twenty meteor-like beams of noble spirit light soared into the sky.

An extraordinary, unworldly air spread out.

------

In Major Metropolitan City:

Whoosh!

Sima Changkong suddenly stood up.

“‘Even with an enemy every ten paces, they continue killing these enemies for great distances. They brush off their clothes and leave after accomplishing their goal, not claiming credit or fame for their role’? Excellent poem! Excellent poem! Hahahaha! To think that Mister Gu’s calligraphy Dao is so incredible as well. What an extraordinary air! Chivalrous legends? Excellent chivalrous legends!” Sima Changkong exclaimed excitedly.

The citizens of the city felt stunned upon seeing this.

“How can this be? There’s noble spirit. This horrifying noble spirit is dozens of times vaster than Archduke Xi Kang’s? How can this be?”

“‘Even with an enemy every ten paces, they continue killing these enemies for great distances. They brush off their clothes and leave after accomplishing their goal, not claiming credit or fame for their role.’ Why do I get goosebumps all over when I hear that? How shocking! What a bold and grand feeling!”

“Looking at ‘The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation’ now, why do I feel that it is no longer competent?”

“‘Chivalrous Legends’?” Is that referring to those two vile people? Those two vile people are chivalrous legends?”

Those in the city who did not understand the calligraphy Dao could make out the superior one from the amount of noble spirit. However, those who did understand felt a chill akin to being splashed with freezing water and getting goosebumps. This was an unworldly pleasure.

This poem originated from Earth, Gu Hai’s home world, where he stayed when young. It was written by Li Bai, although Gu Hai made some changes to the locations and names in the poem. Even so, that ethereal feeling of the poem still remained.

[TL Note: Li Bai is a famed poet of the Tang dynasty. He is practically the most famous poet in Chinese history and possibly in modern times. Unfortunately, I could not find a decent translation of the original poem, but they are still quite similar to the one in this novel. Here is a Wikipedia entry about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Bai.] 

When Purple Subtlety finished writing these four lines, he had already completely suppressed the aura from “The Army Returns on Arriving in the Han Nation,” clearly showing the superiority of “Chivalrous Legends.”

Who could compete with Li Bai’s poems?

“He is still writing? It is not finished yet? There is more?” The expressions of the citizens changed.

Everyone saw Gu Hai continuing his recital while Purple Subtlety continued writing. “Chivalrous Legends” did not have just four lines. There were still more.

Translator Notes

Chapters for December: 47 / 50

Novel Notes

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