Chapter 312 - The Four Arts [1. Chinese’s “four arts” are the zither, chess(go), calligraphy, and painting.]
“Two hundred twenty thousand spiritual stones!” Yan Yang continued raising the price.
“Two hundred thirty thousand spiritual stones!” Gu Bei calmly bidded.
Everyone’s hearts were shocked. Just how much money did Gu Bei have? Even Grand Elders would be pretty good to save up a few hundred thousand spiritual stones over several years. Had Gu Bei discovered some treasure?
Yan Yang went silent. After cultivating for years and years, he only had two hundred fifty thousand spiritual stones saved up. The price was already pretty high, but Gu Bei was still increasing it.
Yan Yang had heard of Gu Bei; he was only supposed to be an ordinary descendant of the Gu Clan. How could he possess such frightening wealth? The way things were going, it didn’t look like Yan Yang would be able to win against Gu Bei, even if he continued bidding.
After remaining silent for a brief moment, Yan Yang opened up. “I’ll back out of the competition. Junior Brother Gu can have this Myriad Miles Rivers and Mountains Painting!” Although Yan Yang felt slightly regretful, he still calmed himself very quickly.
Everyone was utterly shocked that even Yan Yang couldn’t win against Gu Bei. He was going to give it up just like that? They couldn’t help giving Gu Bei a glance. That guy’s wealth was simply too frightening.
“Then, many thanks, Senior Brother Yan Yang!” Gu Bei lightly smiled as he cupped his hands towards Yan Yang.
After the painting came a few other items that were worth quite a bit of money. Nie Li summed everything up. They’d sold twenty Dragon bloodline Extraordinary Level growth rate demon spirits, and bought the Myriad Miles Rivers and Mountains Painting, thirty bottles of Heavenly Note Dew, the Demon Soul’s Essence, and various other items. After all that, Nie Li still made a net gain of one hundred thirty thousand spiritual stones.
Adding to the one hundred thousand spiritual stones currently stored in his interspatial ring, he was still left with two hundred thirty thousand spiritual stones.
Indeed, selling high growth rate Dragon Bloodline demon spirits was such an easy way to earn money!
Fortunately, he’d encountered this auction, which made selling the demon spirits much easier. Normally, it’d be difficult to find a suitable buyer.
The auction continued and quite a number of items were sold. The majority of these goods weren’t terribly eye-catching; therefore, Nie Li didn’t compete. Excitement was raised in his heart, after he’d obtained the Myriad Miles Rivers and Mountains Painting secretly. Once he got home, he’d definitely find a way to open it!
Was this item the same as the one in the records, and possessed endless uses?
Even that higher-up was unable to open the Myriad Miles Rivers and Mountains Painting; Nie Li had no idea if he could do it either.
He didn’t have absolute confidence that he could unseal it, but based on his understandings towards various inscription patterns, there was still a high possibility. Even if he could only unlock ten percent of its potential, it would still be worth the money.
Items continued to sell by the dozens before the auction finally came to an end. Occasionally, bursts of laughter and loud conversation drifted from afar.
Qin Yue stood at the front and lightly smiled. “We have come to the end of our auction. Following will be the next segment, with the rather interesting theme of the Four Arts by injecting understanding of dao into the four arts and have it evaluated by everyone here.”
Workers were already moving a zither, a Go board[2. Go is a Chinese board game similar to Othello. Players take turns putting pieces wherever they want to completely surround the opponent’s pieces (instead of just the ends of a line, like Othello). The captured pieces are removed from the board and the empty space that remains are your points. The game ends when both players pass their turn, after which points are tallied.], a brush, some paper, an ink-stone, and various other objects onto the stage up front.
All the disciples focused their attention on these items as their hearts trembled with excitement. This was indeed an interesting event. If they’re able to witness the four arts of people like Yan Yang and Mingyue Wushuang while sensing their Dao in it, who knows if it might let them improve further in Martial Dao!
Qin Yu walked up to the zither and lightly smiled. “Since I initiated this event, then I shall be the first to show my humble skills. Please offer your opinions!”
When Qin Yue announced that she would start the event, the crowd of disciples applauded loudly.
Qin Yue gracefully sat behind the zither, extended her beautiful hands, and began strumming lightly with her slender fingers.
Mellow and soulful music echoed throughout the area. The sound reminded one of fine rain tapping on the leaves of a banana tree. If you listened from afar, nothing could be heard. But listening quietly, the sound seemed as though it sounded by the ears. The music contained a trace of anxiousness and sentimentality. It was gentle, sad and beautiful.
Suddenly, the zither’s music suddenly changed, like silver bottle splashing. The notes moved quickly, but instead of killing intent, it contained a dignified calmness.
The crowd couldn’t help being intoxicated by such beautiful music as their soul realms fluttered to the melody. It was like they’d instantly emerged into a utopia bathed in warm sunlight.
Over at Nie Li’s table, Ye Xuan had an intoxicated expression on his face as he lightly tapped on the table. As the music calmed, so did he, but he couldn’t help sighing. “She plays like a celestial being, pleasing and relaxing the hearts of all her listeners. The Dao intent contained in her music is even more mesmerising!”
After her piece ended, praises sounded from everywhere in the crowd.
“Miss Qin Yue’s zither is as smooth as water, delivering her Dao intent through emotions. Truly extraordinary!”
“Miss Qin Yue’s zither was rich and resounding, truly mesmerising!”
Voices of praise echoed; however, Long Tianming, Mingyue Wushuang, and Yan Yang still silently maintained their calm and tranquil dispositions. After all, Qin Yue’s understanding towards the Dao was too basic and inferior compared to them.
After hearing the zither music, Nie Li lightly smiled. The emotions within her music were somewhat similar to his Master’s Ethereal Note. However, the distance between them was too wide. Although Nie Li wasn’t an expert at the zither, he was still pretty good at evaluating.
Qin Yue stood up as she slightly bowed. “I, Qin Yue, have made a fool of myself, a joke for others. Qin Yue has already displayed my pitiful skills. Next, I pass the stage to those sitting below!”
At Qin Yue’s words, many couldn’t help turning slightly red. Qin Yue’s zither had already reached such a level, going up now would just make a fool of themselves. For this event, it’d be best to let the real experts show their skills. That way, the members of the crowd could benefit.
Suddenly, Ye Xuan glanced in Xiao Ning’er’s direction, then stood up and walked to the front. “Since Miss Qin Yue has displayed her zither skills, then let me present my skills as well.”
The corner of Gu Bei’s mouth twitched as he appeared slightly restless. He didn’t have any expectations from Ye Xuan.
“Senior Brother Ye Xuan, please!” Qin Yue smiled very politely as she continued, “I wonder which of the Four Arts Senior Brother Ye Xuan will display for us?”
“Calligraphy.” Ye Xuan lightly smiled.
“Then I’ll help grind the ink for Senior Brother Ye Xuan!” Qin Yue smiled as she walked to one side of the table and started on her task.
“A beauty’s company, what an honour!” Ye Xuan laughed as he picked up a writing brush from the table, dipped it in the ink, and stared at the paper with his brows furrowed. Then, he leaned forward slightly, brandished the brush, and began writing, his brush coiled around the paper like snakes and dragons.
A brief moment later, a single, vigorous word appeared on the paper: love [3. The word literally meant feelings/emotion but more to the affection side. Checked with several translation tools as well and it can also be loosely translated as ‘love’, which in this case is a word more fitting than feelings/emotion].
Each brush stroke of that word was a fantastic realm of its own.
Qin Yue’s eyes couldn’t help lighting up as she lifted up the page. The crowd below applauded loudly.
“Senior Brother Ye Xuan’s insight towards the Dao of Love is indeed much greater than Miss Qin Yue’s!”
“A fantastic word, Senior Brother Ye Xuan!”
Many of the Heavenly Note Sect girls couldn’t help raising their eyebrows with splendor in their eyes. Within this one word were the profounds for both love and Dao. That alone was more than enough to make many blush in shame.
Ye Xuan disregarded everyone else’s looks as he indistinctly looked at Xiao Ning’er.
Nie Li couldn’t help whispering to Xiao Ning’er in a soft voice, “Ning’er, look how deep this Ye Xuan’s feelings for you is!”
“Nie Li, you’re making fun of me!” Xiao Ning’er shyly lowered her head.
Nie Li couldn’t help laughing at Xiao Ning’er’s reaction. “Since this Ye Xuan went up there, I’ll also have to show a skill or two. Otherwise, I’d look weak!”
Li Xingyun looked at Nie Li in shock. If Nie Li was being so confident, then that meant he believed himself not to be inferior compared to Ye Xuan. Li Xingyun couldn’t help the expectation that was rising in his heart as he wondered what Nie Li was going to show. After all, Nie Li had just stepped into the Heavenly Fate Realm and he was already claiming insight comparable to Ye Xuan’s?
Xiao Ning’er was busy chatting and laughing softly with Nie Li. She didn’t even look over. Ye Xuan couldn’t help feeling dejected as he walked off stage and returned to his seat.
After Ye Xuan’s calligraphy, everyone quickly calmed down.
Someone from the crowd shouted, “Among the disciples in the side chamber, the leaders are Senior Brother Yan Yang, Senior Sister Mingyue, and Senior Brother Long Tianming. Please go up and enlighten us!”
The rest of the crowd parroted after that person.
Yan Yang, Mingyue Wushuang and Long Tianming’s understandings on the Martial Dao had reached an absolutely astonishing degree. If they were willing to showcase a bit, then the rest of the crowd would definitely benefit.
Long Tianming glanced at Yan Yang and Mingyue Wushuang, and laughed. “Among us three, I am the weakest. Since that’s so, I’ll be the first to make a fool of myself. After me, I’d like to ask Senior Sister Mingyue and Senior Brother Yan Yang to go onstage and display your talents as well!”
Everyone couldn’t help inwardly praising Long Tianming for his words. The three of them were well-known figures among the three major sects; competition between them was unavoidable as the relationship between them definitely isn’t that harmonious. However, Long Tianming had taken the initiative to admit that he was the weakest among them; that wasn’t something everyone could accomplish.
From a distance, Nie Li looked at Long Tianming with a cold smile. Long Tianming was indeed full of schemes. Since the three of them were required to give a show or two, it was unavoidable that they’d be compared with each other. Rather than a display, it’d be more fitting to call it a competition.
He had gone and admitted that he was the weakest, so that even if he didn’t do as well as the others, the crowd wouldn’t see it as shameful. But if he could perform better than the two of them, then it’d be extremely applaudable. As of now, Long Tianming stood in an invincible position.
Yan Yang’s mouth twitched in disdain as he stared at Long Tianming’s back. How could he not see through Long Tianming’s intentions? In reality, he just couldn’t be bothered with such petty tactics.
As for Mingyue Wushuang at one side, she appeared calm and tranquil as ever. Winning or losing held no significance to her.
Under the watchful eyes of the crowd, Long Tianming walked to the front.