Chapter 184 - Canon in D Major
How could this not cause a sensation?
The World's First Zither House, daring to attach 'World's First' to their name spoke for itself. Their status in Silvermoon City was self-evident. It was the biggest zither house in the city. It garnered everyone's attention, whether it was in a positive light or negative. Once any major news related to it spread, it would become the talk of the town immediately.
King Lu Yang's grandson has arrived! The Ascendant Hall disciples were framed up in the World's First Zither House! Gu Hai of Ascendant Hall threw seven hundred thousand high-grade spirit stones to redeem seventy Houtian Stage subordinates!?
The Ascendant Hall swallowed up the insult and humiliation silently!? No! Just out of the World's First Zither House, they have set up the 'This Street's First Zither House' right across the street, challenging the World's First Zither House directly!?
Isn't this taking the path to their own doom!?
Not just the worldly cultivators were interested in this matter, it created an unusual amount of hype among the wandering cultivators, as well.
For the past two days, they had been waiting for subsequent developments, wondering how This Street's First Zither House was going to take its revenge?
As expected, two days hadn't gone by, more shocking news disseminated. The crowd of cultivators that was originally standing around the World's First Zither House, listening to the Zither Daoists, suddenly spotted a notice posted on the board right across the street. Suddenly, they had no interest in listening to the music, and the entire crowd swarmed to the notice board like bees swarming towards flowers.
"The goods will be delivered after half a year? Pay in advance? Has Gu Hai gone nuts? What is this steel zither? Do you still think I will pay in advance?"
"I heard that Manager Jiang has imposed an embargo on This Steet's First Zither House's supply channels!"
"No wonder they will be delivered after half a year. But to pay in advance and wait for the goods to be delivered after half a year, who would be stupid enough to pay in advance for this kind of thing?"
"Steel zither!? What is this steel zither?"...
Everyone disdained the pre-sale notice written by Gu Hai on the noticeboard. How could anyone do business like this?
But the next announcement brought another shock to the crowd. Everyone's eyes went so wide that they were about to pop out.
"The steel zither, it is crafted from non-spiritual materials, and will be sold for a hundred high-grade spirit stones!?"
"Look, next to it is the World's First Zither House's Ultimate Zither, it's price is a hundred middle-grade spirit stones! The steel zither will be sold for a hundred high-grade spirit stones, a difference of hundredfold! Heavens! This is simply smacking them right back in the face!"
"Are you kidding me! I wouldn't even buy the Ultimate Zither. With that kind of money, I could buy several guqin crafted from spiritual wood. The Ultimate Zither, which is crafted from ordinary materials, was still priced at a hundred middle-grade spirit stones! Yet this Gu Hai has gone more ridiculous, he raised the price by a hundredfold! He has gone crazy!"
"Steel zither? What the h.e.l.l is this steel zither?"...
The crowd of cultivators called Gu Hai crazy again and again. Why would anyone pay you a hundred high-grade spirit stones half a year in advance only to receive a zither crafted from ordinary materials!?
Across the street, the World's First Zither House received the news at first notice naturally.
"It seems not many people are buying zithers recently!?" Young Master An stated with a furrowed brow.
Jiang Tianyi immediately forced a smile as he replied, "Yes! Young Master An, although we have made seven hundred thousand high-grade spirit stones these days, the World's First Zither House's reputation has taken a hit. Many cultivators don't dare to come up to our store to buy! They are worried that...!"
"Worried that they will be cheated!?" Young Master An followed up with a chilling tone.
"Yes, a little. However, Young Master An, you don't need to worry too much about it. After some time, everyone will forget about it for good. This was to be expected, after all, we had detained Gu Hai's subordinates, which violated the rules of business!"
"Hmph, rules!?" Young Master An scorned coldly.
"Young Master An, these days, I have been thinking why Gu Hai wanted to buy the Ultimate Zither, I finally understand now. This Gu Hai is shrewd and deeply subtle. He bought the Ultimate Zither to serve as a foil for his steel zither, raising the price by a hundredfold! Ha, he is publicizing that his 'This Street's First Zither Hose' is a hundred times better than our 'World's First Zither House'!" Jiang Tianyi stated coldly.
"A hundred times? Hmph, in my opinion, he is just talking big to impress the crowd! Why would someone spend a hundred times the spirit stones to buy a Guqin that is crafted from ordinary materials?" Young Master An let out a cold snort.
"Yes, this subordinate also thinks so!" Jiang Tianyi nodded in agreement.
While the two were chatting, suddenly a customer down several floors suddenly asked, "Do you have a steel zither? Let me take a look!"
"Yes, this zither sold by the store across the street. I want to see what it looks like for it to be actually sold at a hundred high-grade spirit stones!"
"Uh, we don't have it!"
"You don't have it!? Aren't you the World's First Zither House? Don't you have all the zithers? How is it that you don't have it?"...
Every once in a while, someone would ask curiously about the piano, but the World's First Zither House simply didn't have any pianos.
Owing to that, Young Master An's face turned more and more gruesome, whereas a slight furrow crept up on Jiang Tianyi's brow.
"Manager, what if we craft a batch of steel Guqin?" a subordinate curiously asked.
"No!" Jiang Tianyi immediately rejected this proposal with a frown.
"But, many people are asking about it!"
"Steel zither, this term was originated by Gu Hai. Most people would use his as the first criterion. If we create something far different from his, we would only be trying to please the public with claptrap!" Jiang Tianyi shook his head.
"Yes, Manager!" that subordinate replied immediately.
Young Master An, on the other hand, squinted his eyes, staring at the This Street's First Zither House across the street.
This Street's First Zither House Vs The World's First Zither House! This piece of news flew in every direction in Silvermoon City, as if it had grown a pair of wings.
Anyone who heard this news would believe Gu Hai was kidding everyone with a fool's talk, thinking that money had made him crazy. However, there were countless people who were also looking forward to it, wonder what this steel zither looked like that it made Gu Hai so confident.
In the city, a mountain forest shrouded by dense clouds...
Here, chimes of numerous zithers could be heard. A large number of zitherists were playing here. Standing amid the clouds was the sole manor that could send out the pa.s.ses for the zither conferring a.s.sembly. This place was the most prestigious place in the entirety of Silvermoon City, the Silvermoon House.
Within this Silvermoon House, there was an arbor which had clouds lingering around, surrounded by a dense mountain forest that was incomparably picturesque...
A white-haired old man was sitting there, holding a piece of cloth, and gently wiping down a guqin that appeared to be about to rot away.
"Ke ke ke, Old Chap, you too are about to wither away with me!? Ke ke ke, hahaha!" The white-haired old man continued to gently wipe the guqin.
Standing behind the old man was a group of Silvermoon House disciple that were wearing azure robes. Each and every one was standing in an extremely respectful and solemn manner. They dared not breathe loudly.
"Did anything interesting occur in the city recently?" the white-haired old man asked, still wiping the guqin.
One of the men standing behind him immediately replied as a respectful look took over his face, "Reporting to President, many different things are happening every day in the city. However, there is one thing that is exceptionally unique. Actually, the Ascendant Hall Water Throne Master has provoked the World's First Zither House, and is now advertising a new product!"
"Oh!?" The old white-haired president was taken aback. He immediately turned his head to look.
That azure-robed man respectfully laid out everything he knew in detail.
Hearing this, the old president quietly pondered for a moment before the corner of his lips rose into a smile. "It sure is a bit interesting, a steel zither!? Steel isn't suitable to forge the zither body, the most you can make from it are the strings. The sound produced from them is very unique, it is far different from general zither strings. I wanted to sell steel-stringed zither, but it isn't that easy, unless the tunes are specially composed for the zither strings!"
"Yes, a good zither melody is hard to find!" the old president heaved a slight sigh, shaking his head.
"Yes! Then, president, you believe that Gu Hai isn't crazy!?" the azure-robed disciple asked, astounded.
"We will see in two days. I also have never see what this steel zither looks like!" the old president stated, shaking his head.
"Yes, I will be paying attention to this matter, I will report if anything changes!" the azure-robed disciples respectfully said.
"Mhmm!" the old president nodded his acknowledgment.
Then, the azure-robed man continued to relay other interesting matters of the city. The old president listened as if he had already reached the level where not many things astounded him. He would hear something occasionally and only slightly smile.
After the situation had brewed for two days, This Street's First Zither House had indeed piqued the curiosity of countless cultivators.
After hearing the news, many people came over to see what this steel zither actually looked like. But the Great Han officials didn't give them anything. All they said was that Gu Hai would reveal it to everyone after two days.
After two days, a sea of cultivators had already gathered outside the This Street's First Zither House, watching from a distance.
Atop the World's First Zither House, a Zither Daoist was playing. However, many people had no interest in him. Everyone's attention was attracted by the terrace of the This Street's First Zither House.
At this moment, a team of Ascendant Hall disciples was already standing on the terrace, guarding something big placed in the center of them. That big thing was covered by a black curtain, preventing everyone from looking inside clearly.
"Is that the steel zither? So big!?"
"A zhang in length and half a zhang in height!? Such a big zither?"
"Is this a Guqin crafted from steel? What does it look like exactly?"...
Many people were burning with curiosity.
At this point, even though Young Master An regarded Gu Hai as nothing, he was still standing in a hidden place of the World's First Building with his subordinates, looking curiously at that heavily guarded terrace across the street.
A sneer appeared on Young Master An's lips as he scoffed, "Steel zither!? You think you can break my World's First Zither House by creating some strange thing!? What a joke!"
The nearby Jiang Tianyi nodded in agreement. Indeed, the reputation of the World's First Zither House could not be shaken by creating one or two strangely shaped musical instruments. Among all the musical instruments, the guqin had always been revered. Without the guqin, the next best musical instrument still wouldn't do any good.
Realizing that it was a guqin, Jiang Tianyi was put at ease.
Long Wanqing, Grandmaster Liunian, Shangguan Hen, and Mu Chenfeng, all of them had never seen a piano. At this moment, their eyes too were burning with curiosity, gazing at the thing covered by black cloth.
"Where is Gu Hai? Hurry up, will you!? Let us take a look what's so mysterious about that steel zither!?" Mu Chenfeng shouted out, somewhat curious.
Mu Chenfeng had never seen such a huge musical instrument. Bianzhong! No! Dagu! No, none of them resembled this!
[TLN: Bianzhong, it's an ancient musical instrument consisting of a set of bells. It is also called chime bells. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bianzhong A Dagu is, simply put, a large drum played with two sticks. ]
"His Royal Majesty is changing clothes, please wait a bit!" Shangguan Hen answered with a smile.
"Changing clothes? Does he need to change his clothes to play the zither?" Mu Chenfeng said, furrowing his brow.
While everyone was growing anxious, Gu Hai slowly made his way out of a nearby room of the This Street's First Building.
Just as Gu Hai walked out of the room, everyone around immediately went quiet, for Gu Hai's apparel was of a completely new type. However, there appeared to be an air of elegance in Gu Hai. At least, the eyes of Long Wanqing and countless other women all around lit up.
A st.u.r.dy and tight black coat and pants, outlining Gu Hai's contours perfectly. The coat was short at the front but long at the back, the back part forked like a swallow's tail. It brought about a serious air, solemn and sacred. Along with a pair of jet black neat and s.h.i.+ny shoes, Gu Hai made step by step his way over to the piano.
"What is this clothing called?" Long Wanqing looked astounded.
"According to His Royal Majesty, it is called a Tuxedo!" Shangguan Hen explained.
In such a big world, strange costumes were countless. One could always find some unique attire. Although the tuxedo did not cause too much of a sensation, it had stolen the show. In the blink of an eye, it caught the attention of countless cultivators.
"Trying to please the crowd with claptrap!" Young Master An across the street sneered.
"That's right, the sale of a zither depends on the quality of the zither, after all. Wearing a bit better clothes is no different than a flower vase!" Jiang Tianyi nodded in agreement.
"How are the preparations?" Young Master An indifferently asked.
"Rest a.s.sured, Young Master An. I have already invited a group of Zither Daoists. As soon as the steel zither show is over, they will step up and scathingly criticize!" Jiang Tianyi a.s.sured as the corner of his lips rose into a cold smile.
"Mhmm!" Young Master An nodded his acknowledgment.
Meanwhile, Gu Hai had slowly made his way over to the piano.
As Gu Hai lightly waved his hand, a few Great Han officials pulled down the black cloth, unveiling the piano to everyone immediately.
Right before everyone's eyes was a strange, huge three-legged black zither. Its surface was extremely sleek. But this glossiness only brought out an air of n.o.bility and extravagance to it. It looked much like a three-legged table.
As Gu Hai lightly waved his hand, the team of Great Han officials very carefully lifted a huge lid up, revealing the countless strings inside immediately. They looked extremely complex.
Next to Gu Hai stood a Great Han official who handed him the towel. Gu Hai, after having wiped his hands, slowly sat down.
"Is this a steel zither? Does it also need a stool? How is it played?"
"This steel zither, it looks so expensive and n.o.ble!"
"It looks useless, can it be played?"...
Many cultivators looked curious.
Gu Hai, on the other hand, slowly lifted the cover on the keys. Immediately, fifty-two white keys and thirty-six black keys were unveiled before everyone.
At the sight of a total of eighty-eight keys, everyone was caught by surprise.
"So many keys?" On the building across the street, Jiang Tianyi's eyelid twitched momentarily.
"A steel zither looks like this?" Young Master An also furrowed his brow.
Seeing that air of dignity around Gu Hai, the two finally had a bad feeling.
All around, everyone watching Gu Hai wearing the tuxedo and sitting before the piano with an incomparably serious att.i.tude, also slowly grew serious. Although some people still looked disdainful, quiet slowly seeped into the crowd all around. Even the Zither Daoist playing across the street strangely stopped plucking strings, as well.
"Activate the array!" Gu Hai calmly said.
"Yes, Throne Master!"
A few Ascendant Hall disciples quickly activated an array in the surroundings. The array was completely transparent, all one could notice were the slight ripples in the air.
"This is… a Sound Amplifying Array! Gu Hai, he is courting disaster!" Jiang Tianyi stated as his eyes widened.
"Sound Amplifying Array! Gu Hai is so confident!?"
"Sound Amplifying Array can't amplify a zitherist conception, all it can do is spread the melody far and wide. After the amplification, that intoxicated feeling that is usually felt when listening near the Zither Daoists will not necessarily be felt. Only the melody is augmented. No matter who is playing, it will not bring too much advantage, unless it's a new tune!"
"By amplifying the sound, Gu Hai isn't planning to win the crowd over with conception, but with music!?”
"After the amplification, if he does not play well, then, This Street's First Zither House's reputation will be completely smashed!"...
All around, countless people looked at Gu Hai in surprise.
Next, Gu Hai stretched his hand out before everyone's eyes, pressing the first key on the piano.
Suddenly, everyone stood still, focusing their gazes at Gu Hai. This one chime immediately spread far and wide in every direction due to the Sound Amplifying Array. Although it didn't flood the whole city, one-tenth of Silvermoon City immediately heard this chime.
"Piano, it sounds so ethereal!" Many cultivators voiced out their first impression.
Meanwhile, Gu Hai continued to play with his fingers. As the chimes continued to ring out, everyone who was astounded at first, very soon weren't amazed anymore.
Any dreamy feeling brought by the conception didn't appear. Only, the most common piece was being played. But listening to it, many people were still immersed in the music.
Silvermoon City had gone through the baptism of the dao of zither for many years. The residents of the city were more or less know a bit about the zither. Everyone more or less appreciated it. Whether the piece was good or bad, most of the time, they could discern it after listening to it a bit.
As the piano was played, many people closed their eyes and immersed themselves in the music.
Playing the piano, as Gu Hai noticed the crowd getting quieter and quieter, the corners of his lips rose into a smile.
Gu Hai wasn't any Zither Daoist, he was just selling the piano. And in any business, the first and foremost priority was the propaganda. If he wanted to sell his piano better, he must first steal the show, seize the momentum.
Therefore, Gu Hai had already thought a long while before choosing his first tune. There were countless Zither Daoists here. He, on the other hand, was unable to bring out the artistic conception. So the tune he chose had to be a cla.s.sic. A cla.s.sical piece would be like the whispers of a devil, it would continue to linger in their mind.
The first piece that Gu Hai chose was the Canon, the strongest brain-was.h.i.+ng divine song on Earth.
On Earth, Gu Hai had listened to many popular songs that could be referred to as brainwas.h.i.+ng divine songs. Listening to them, countless people would begin humming and dancing along with it. However, there couldn't be any more brainwas.h.i.+ng piece than the Canon. Those divine songs were popular, but can they be a trend for almost a thousand years?
Since its birth, nearly a thousand years had pa.s.sed, yet the Canon had always been the unbeaten myth in the music industry.
When the piano first appeared on Earth, it wasn't accepted by mainstream music. Many musicians did not appreciate this big guy until a group of piano maverick geniuses appeared. Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, and many other excellent pianists slowly pushed the piano to the pinnacle. They created cla.s.sical piece after piece that continued to be handed down generation after generation. Only then did the piano slowly stand on the divine pedestal.
But how many people know that the pieces created by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, and many other musicians had used Canon in most of their songs? Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Bach's Five Canon Variations, and many other pieces had utilized Canon.
Because the Canon was not only a piano piece but a kind of musical form, just like some martial arts outlined the general martial dao, which was then extended to countless other changes.
A large number of musicians had used a short part of the Canon in their music, or their own variations of entire Canon.
Various countries had used the Canon. In his youth, Gu Hai had listened to many popular songs which had Canon in them. Many movies and tv shows had used variations of Canon as background music.
There were various versions of variations based on Canon. Gu Hai himself had heard more than two thousand versions of it.
More than two thousand different versions of different variations! Almost a millennium of inheritance, which was only getting richer and richer! Perhaps ordinary people couldn't feel anything, but many musicians on Earth had accepted it as a holy scripture, just like the Bible in the West.
As long as one was a musician, he or she would create one or two songs related to Canon.
Religious tune, magical tune, the Canon had been the G.o.dly tune that had not declined even after a millennium!
A musician could be without borders, and the same truth could also be applied to different worlds. As long as they were human, they will come to appreciate it. A cla.s.sic is always a cla.s.sic.
Maybe the Canon was not the best tune in this world, but at this moment, it did give an intense stimulation to countless Zither Daoists.
What Gu Hai wanted was this very feeling; he wanted to use the music to promote the piano!
He wanted to blow everyone's mind away with this ethereal feeling. He wanted the Canon, this G.o.dly piece, to linger in their mind, so that their first thought would be to get the piano.
♫♫♫...♪♪♪...! The Canon continued to be played, stealing everyone's minds away…
Both the editor and the translator recommend you listen to this beautiful song if you've three minutes to spare.