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Both of them looked at the show.
In front of them, a parade of gongs and entertainment crowded the street.
Sword dancers, handstands, jiu-jitsu artists, playing wine jars, and a group of people dancing accompanied by a huge beast. The audience applauded, and from time to time, people put copper coins into the jars provided.
The children danced with gusto.
Even when it was dark, the lights remained brightly lit as if it were daytime.
Parades traveling from town to town are an integral part of the festival.
Looking at the acrobats dancing with swords and knives, Zhan Qingchen clapped her hands excitedly, ”Look, they’re amazing!”
Su Shi nodded his head, ”They’re really quite good.”
Sikong Lanyue shook her head.
It was merely a juggling act and an attention-grabbing trick.
These were attractions used to entertain ordinary people, but to cultivators this was too childish.
Zhan Qingchen pointed at the artist in front of her, “That guy can swallow swords! Su Shi, can you do this?”
Su Shi actually took out his Dragon Slayer sword.
As a result, after trying he couldn’t do it.
“What about that fire breath?”
“I can do this.”
Su Shi opened his mouth and spat out a blazing flame.
Golden flames shot into the sky, exploding like fireworks, causing the crowd to gasp in awe and pushing the noise to its peak.
Although childish, he still took his performance seriously.
Sikong Lanyue froze.
She saw Zhan Qingchen’s eyes shining brightly, smiling like a flower, while Su Shi’s eyes were affectionate, stroking her black hair.
Against the backdrop of golden fireworks, this formed a moving silhouette.
“Only when one’s heart is set free can one reach the pinnacle.”
“But when you are in the mortal world, you will realize that you are a living human being.”
At this moment, he seemed to understand the meaning of these words.
“As long as you are a living human being, how can you escape from worldly things?”
“I stayed away from worldly things and thought I was completely cut off from the mundane world, but in reality I was just afraid of the unknown.”
“To preserve the heavenly truth by destroying human desires.”
“Master is right, there is not only one great path in the world.”
The corners of Sikong Lanyue’s mouth curved up slightly.
“Fireworks can indeed calm the heart.”
Su Shi went over to her and put a red tiger hat on her head, “Humans are not the moon, staying alone in the sky all the time will certainly cause loneliness. Sometimes it’s good to be a little tacky.”
Sikong Lanyue frowned, “But isn’t this hat too childish?”
“I bought it from a child at a great price.”
Su Shi himself wore a hat of the same shape, “If you don’t want it, I’ll take it back.”
Seeing the tiger-headed hat in the same style as the two of them, Sikong Lanyue turned her head and said, “No way. Aren’t you ashamed to take back something you gifted?”
“Master, Su Shi, come quickly!”
Zhan Qingchen jumped forward and waved her hand.
Su Shi naturally pulled her forward.
Sikong Lanyue’s cheeks were slightly red, but she did not break away.
She looked at that handsome face, and although there was a lot of noise in her ears, there was a surprising peace in her heart.
Not far from the procession, a long stall was set up in front of the opera where many scholars in long-sleeved robes were writing.
The entertainment included six arts.
Besides the entertaining jugling, there was also an opera for scholars and literati.
The opera leader shouted at the entrance, “Let’s write a poem about “reunion”. If the poem is of the highest quality, you can enter the elegant opera to enjoy the music!”
Zhan Qingchen’s eyes lit up.
Su Shi looked at her and said with a smile, ”What, do you want to listen to a song?”
Zhan Qingchen nodded her head vigorously.
She didn’t have any other hobbies, but she really liked opera, and the cottage where Su Shi was recuperating was an opera.
“Su Shi, I heard that you are the best at writing poetry, why don’t you write a poem too and let’s go in and listen to it?”
Zhan Qingchen was looking forward to it.
Sikong Lanyue was also looking at him.
This man wrote two poems in the Capital, both of which are famous for all time, and can be called a great talent in literature.
It would be a worthwhile trip to be able to witness him write in person.
Su Shi was not pretentious, nodded and said, “Okay, let’s just write a poem.”
Before he started writing, he dipped his brush in ink and looked at the bright moon hanging high in the sky, and he already had a clue in his heart.
After pondering for a while, he wrote eloquently.
It only takes a few moments for the poem to be complete.
“So fast? It seems like this little brother is here just for fun.”
The opera leader smiled and took the paper.
But after a quick glance, he couldn’t take his eyes off it.
“This, this is what you just wrote?”
The opera leader looked incredulous.
The others gathered curiously, but when they saw the handwriting on the paper, they all fell silent.
Their eyes opened wide.
The opera leader was the first to regain his senses, and approached Su Shi, “I was blind not recognizing Grand Master, I didn’t expect my little opera to attract an expert like you.”
Su Shi smiled, “It was just a casual random writing.”
The opera leader shook his head and laughed bitterly, “Sir, you are too humble. Although there is no such thing as a pinnacle in authorship, I can be sure that this is top-notch work! It really makes my opera shine!”
This is definitely a timeless masterpiece.
Sikong Lanyue was curious and picked up the paper to take a look.
When did the bright moon first appear?
One raises a cup and asks the blue sky.
One does not know, in the celestial palaces,
What year it is this evening.
I wish to ride the wind and return there, yet fear the jade towers; in a high dwelling one cannot bear the cold.
Starting to dance with one’s clear shadow –
What else resembles the mortal world?
Revolving around the red pavilion, lowering to a silk-work door, it shines upon the sleepless.
It should not have resentment; why is it always full at times of separation?
People have sorrows, joys, partings and reunions, the moon is dark, bright, waxes or wanes;
These problems have been this way since ancient times.
Yet one hopes for longevity;
A thousand miles apart, together [seeing] the moon’s beauty.
Her eyes narrowed slightly.
It was different from Su Shi’s previous style.
The lyrics are not too bold and sassy, but full of gentle and romantic thoughts.
The rhetoric is exquisite and the atmosphere is endless.
Most importantly, it fits perfectly with the theme of “reunion”.
“Prelude to Water Melody….”
Although they were separated by thousands of miles, their hearts stayed together by looking at the same moon, this could be considered a “reunion”.
Sikong Lanyue could only feel a little crazy.
At this time, Su Shi asked, “Then can we go in?”
The opera leader nodded his head vigorously, “Please come to the private room, Sir.“
Just as the three of them were about to enter the opera, the opera leader remembered something and said, “By the way, Sir, you haven’t left your name!
It’s a masterpiece that should be recorded for centuries, and the pen name is very important.
Su Shi thought about it and said, “Please use “Plucking the Moon” as its pen name.”
“Plucking the Moon?”
Sikong Lanyue’s heart skipped a beat.
Was this person saying it casually, or did he mean something?
(Tln: Lanyue means Blue Moon)
Until then, everyone came back to their senses and was amazed.
“This is really good poetry!”
“This will go down in history!”
“When did the bright moon first appear? One raises a cup and asks the blue sky. This is truly a masterpiece!”
“This is the pinnacle of literature, which has never happened before!”
Sikong Lanyue sighed: “You can write such a poem in just a few breaths, are you the reincarnation of the Literary Star?”
Su Shi shrugged, ”I only copied it, the original author is someone else.”
“I don’t believe it. Then, tell me, what is the name of the original author?”
“His name is Su Shi.”
“…Are you teasing me? You are Su Shi, aren’t you?”
1. 梨园 – Literally: Pear Garden
Pear Garden was the name of the first known royal acting and musical academy in China. Later on, it came to refer to opera troops in general.
2. Prelude to Water Melody by Su Shi from Song Dynasty.
I found some other alternative translations that you can google yourself.