Chapter 40 – Golden voice and jade resonance

Many people instinctively stepped back, avoiding getting involved in this dispute.

Those who valued their reputation would never help Guan Yaoyuan at this time, as that would be equivalent to helping the infamous Liu Zicheng.

Those who were afraid of trouble also wouldn’t help, because Fang Yun was after all the nephew of Fang Shouye, and reportedly had some relationship with the Grand Academician Li Wenying.

With one sentence, Fang Yun isolated Liu Zicheng, Guan Yaoyuan, and their cronies, completely cutting off their possibility of using other accomplished scholars to attack his literary reputation.

Guan Yaoyuan seemed to not be angry at all, sighing and saying, “Fang Yun, you’ve really misunderstood me. I’m not trying to isolate you. You think that because you were born in a poor family, you have a grudge against the rich and officials, and think that we aristocrats will definitely harm you. I admit that I shouldn’t have brought up Liu Zicheng, and I apologize to you again. Sigh, don’t laugh at me, I spent so much money just to promote my literary reputation. If Fang Yun didn’t come, I would find a way to get the top spot. If Fang Yun did come, I would be happier than anyone else. Even if the poetry competition had one more poem from Mingshou or Zhongguo, it would still be my literary reputation.”

Fang Yun said, “Brother Guan, you have a good strategy. If you can’t isolate me, you want to create a confrontation between me and the aristocrats. We poor scholars have never resented the rich, we only resent those who are rich but unkind! It’s smart of you to show weakness everywhere, but I want to ask you a question. Is Guan Yaoyuan usually such a smooth-talker, who doesn’t even argue back when someone points at him and scolds him? When things are abnormal, they must be evil!”

Everyone suddenly realized.

Guan Yaoyuan’s face changed drastically, and he subconsciously looked around at the people.

Some people avoided Guan Yaoyuan’s gaze, some people had a cold smile on their faces, and some people shook their heads lightly.

Everyone knew that although Guan Yaoyuan was usually polite, he wasn’t like this today. He was obviously using retreat as a means of advance, pretending to be a pitiful person, in order to contrast Fang Yun as a domineering villain.

Gao Minghong immediately spoke in a strange tone, “I said, why is Young Master Guan so soft today? From the beginning until now, he’s been apologizing, and he looks like a wronged woman. It turns out he has another motive. It’s also true that you and Liu Zicheng can share a concubine, with such a good relationship, of course you want to avenge him.”

Everyone’s curiosity was piqued. Two accomplished scholars sharing a concubine wasn’t a big scandal, but it would definitely damage their literary reputation.

Guan Yaoyuan gritted his teeth, holding back the curse that was about to come out of his mouth. He knew that if he really cursed, Fang Yun would take the opportunity to expose his true nature.

Guan Yaoyuan angrily said, “Gao Minghong, how can you insult me like this? If it weren’t for the poetry competition and my literary reputation, I would have fought you in a battle of war poetry! Do you think I’m easy to deal with? Am I just a pushover? I’m now cursing Liu Zicheng as a beast, are you satisfied?”

A person behind Guan Yaoyuan suddenly sneered and said, “What kind of bullshit Saint’s Double Armor, are you just scared? Scared that our poetry will surpass yours, scared that your literary reputation won’t be preserved, so you intentionally steered the conversation towards Liu Zicheng. Otherwise, why would Brother Guan react so strongly? What about your chest as a Double Armor, what about your magnanimity as the top scorer?”

“Yan Yue! Stop talking, Fang Yun isn’t that kind of person!” Guan Yaoyuan whispered, then showed a helpless expression.Pan’er said: “Stop talking. It’s all Pan’er’s fault. Pan’er shouldn’t have forced him to write lyrics because of admiring Fang Shuangjia. Actually, Pan’er is getting old and wants to find a good home. Because of her extreme love for Fang Shuangjia’s literary fame, she wants to marry him, whether as a wife or a concubine, willingly. But women are always thin-skinned, so she made a deal with Master Guan. If Fang Shuangjia comes, she will say that she will offer herself to him tonight for the poetry contest. If Fang Shuangjia doesn’t come, this matter will not be mentioned. I didn’t expect that Pan’er was so eager for love and did something stupid.”

Pan’er spoke and bowed slightly to Fang Yun, then said: “I hope that Master Fang can forgive me. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have forced you to write lyrics. I’m willing to punish myself with three cups.”

Yan Yue shouted, “How can this be? Fang Yun is clearly afraid of being surpassed by others, so he doesn’t dare to write lyrics. What does it have to do with you? You love talent and even rejected a presented scholar, but Fang Yun treats you like a pig or a dog. Why bother to embarrass yourself?”

“Yan Yue!” Guan Yaoyuan growled lowly.

The Mingyulou became quiet.

Fang Yun sighed lightly, and his heart was stirred.

“What a clever Liu Zicheng. I almost believed him. Back then, he used this method. If it weren’t for Yu Huan’s loyalty, Fang Yun would have been sold by him and still counted his money for him. Now he’s using this kind of virtual and real means again. If I write bad lyrics, he will definitely smear my literary fame. If I write well, this Pan’er will definitely use this to get close to me. If I accept her, I don’t know what troubles will arise. If I don’t accept her, if she commits suicide, it will inevitably arouse the anger of literati and smear me as an unfeeling man. Either way, Liu Zicheng will find an excuse.”

“Liu Zhizhi may have also put in some effort. Even if he only smears my literary fame, the Left Chancellor and his faction can not only abolish my literary achievements but even target the officials who helped me and eliminate dissidents. Literary fame is a double-edged sword. However, am I Fang Yun someone you can topple?”

Fang Yun made up his mind and looked at the mung bean cake on the table.

“It’s a pity about the mung bean cake from this Five Li Village.”

After speaking, Fang Yun walked out, followed closely by He Yunong.

Guan Yaoyuan was extremely anxious and immediately gave Yan Yue a signal to keep Fang Yun.

Yan Yue shouted, “Fang Yun, I despise you! You are just a country bumpkin who doesn’t even have the courage to write lyrics in public. I am ashamed to be in the same Prefecture as you! You don’t know how to write lyrics at all. Your literary fame is just superficial!”

Fang Yun laughed and walked out of the door of Mingyulou, standing outside with his back to everyone.

“Since you want me to write lyrics, then I will write one. Since I said that I only brought my mouth and not my hands to this poetry contest to give face to the host, I will recite a Butterfly Loves Flowers here, entitled Spring Scenery.”

Everyone held their breath and listened carefully, afraid of missing Fang Yun’s next lyrics.

Fang Yun took another step forward as he spoke.

“The flowers have faded, and the green apricots are small.”

Several talented scholars couldn’t help but nod. This sentence describes the end of spring and the beginning of summer, with flowers withering and green apricots growing on trees, which is extremely fitting for the current season of early summer.

After reciting the first sentence, Fang Yun took another step forward.

“When the swallows fly, they circle around the green water and the people’s homes.”Lai Yong, who wrote the first poem, breathed a sigh of relief when he heard this. Although this sentence was not bad, it was only general and worse than his poem.

“Fleecy willows on the branches blow and thin.” Fang Yun took another step.

Lai Yong couldn’t help but smile. This sentence was still ordinary, just saying that the catkins were becoming less and less, and spring had already left.

Fang Yun took another step.

“Where in the world is there no fragrant grass?”

The people who were listening intently couldn’t help but inhale at the same time.

Lai Yong’s smile froze on his face. This sentence meant that spring had already left, but don’t worry, spring will come back, and fragrant grass will grow everywhere again. In just one sentence, the artistic conception of the poem was elevated to a very high level.

The literal meaning alone was not enough to make Lai Yong react this way, but Lai Yong was talented himself and immediately thought that Fang Yun might be talking to Pan’er, giving this sentence a different meaning.

A few talented scholars secretly looked at Pan’er, but Pan’er was a packaged “female talented scholar” and it was her first time hearing it. She thought it was about spring scenery, but she vaguely felt that there was more to this poem.

Fang Yun continued step by step.

“Outside the wall, passersby go by; inside the wall, the beauty laughs.”

“As the laughter fades, the sound becomes quiet.”

“Full of love, yet tormented by heartlessness.”

When Fang Yun recited this poem, the talent in his body vibrated, and with his voice and words, formed a strange resonance that spread continuously around him.

All the jade and gold objects suddenly trembled lightly with Fang Yun’s voice, and the sound of the vibration not only did not produce any noise, but also matched Fang Yun’s rhythm and was clear and melodious, as if it was actively accompanying Fang Yun.

“Golden Sound and Jade Vibration!” Someone whispered softly.

Everyone present was affected by the Golden Sound and Jade Vibration and most of them showed joy, as if they were in the most beautiful spring scenery.

A few sour talented scholars even shook their heads and repeated this poem in a low voice, as if they were drunk.

Several singing girls couldn’t help but hum to the tune of “Butterfly Lovers”, becoming more and more joyful as they sang.

Even the maids who couldn’t read were influenced by this poem and stared foolishly at Fang Yun’s back, wanting to keep this great talent, even if they had to pay for it.

This was the terrible aspect of the Golden Sound and Jade Vibration. Even gold and jade could be shaken, let alone people’s hearts.

The more talented a person was, the less they were affected.

Those few who were less affected looked at each other, seeing the surprise in each other’s eyes. Because this kind of poem with Golden Sound and Jade Vibration was nothing, if war poetry could also form Golden Sound and Jade Vibration, it would double the range of war poetry and instantly kill a large number of enemies. It was a very terrifying phenomenon of poetry.

This meant that there was a very small possibility that Fang Yun’s future war poetry could trigger the Golden Sound and Jade Vibration.

These few people quietly moved away from Guan Yaoyuan and others.

As Fang Yun left, the Golden Sound and Jade Vibration weakened, and some people looked at Guan Yaoyuan and Pan’er with strange eyes. Because the latter part of this poem was about a passerby hearing a woman playing on a swing inside the wall, but the woman’s laughter disappeared quickly, and the passionate passerby felt abandoned.

The last sentence was extremely straightforward, and Pan’er’s face turned pale.

Others might think that this poem was about her being self-righteous, but to Guan Yaoyuan and Pan’er, it was Fang Yun mocking them for being futile no matter what means they used, just like the passerby in the poem, seeking trouble for themselves.

Fang Yun took eight steps, reciting this poem slowly, and then left slowly.Fang Yun didn’t look back, because he believed in the charm of the famous poem by the poetry sage Su Shi.

“Quickly write it down!”

An accomplished scholar hurriedly picked up his brush and wrote out the entire poem “Butterfly Love Flower Spring Scenery”.

The flowers have lost their red, the green apricots are small. When the swallows fly, they circle around the houses by the green water. The willow branches are blowing softly, but there are even fewer. Where in the world is there no fragrant grass?

Inside the wall, there is a swing, outside the wall, there is a road. The passersby outside the wall, the beautiful women inside the wall smile. The laughter gradually fades away, and the sound gradually becomes quiet. The passionate are annoyed by the heartless.

Many people looked at the complete poem and were silent for a long time.

“Talent that is breathtaking, at least in Mingzhou.”

“Perhaps in a few years, this poem could reach the level of Zhen Guo.”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

“That line ‘Where in the world is there no fragrant grass?’ perfectly captures the coming and going of spring.”

As soon as this was said, many people looked towards Pan Er.

Pan Er also had a complete poem in front of her. As she looked at it, tears blurred her vision. Her face showed regret and self-blame, rather than disappointment from being abandoned.

The most frightening aspect of the Golden Sound and Jade Vibrations is that it can stir up people’s emotions. The more talented the person, the less affected they are. If war poems could also create Golden Sound and Jade Vibrations, it would double the range of war poems and instantly kill a large number of enemies. It is a terrifying phenomenon of poetry.

The accomplished scholars present had already understood that Pan Er was the one who set up a trap to harm Fang Yun. Unfortunately, because she lacked talent and had evil intentions, she was instead affected by the Golden Sound and Jade Vibrations.

Gao Minghong had always felt guilty towards Fang Yun and thought he should not have invited him to the Lixia Literary Society, which almost caused Fang Yun’s literary reputation to be damaged. He hated Pan Er and Guan Yaoyuan.

Gao Minghong stood up and was about to chase after Fang Yun. He saw the green bean cake on the table out of the corner of his eye, and after a moment of thought, he adapted the Han Dynasty’s “Song of a Beautiful Woman” and recited it on the spot.

“There is a beautiful woman in Jiangzhou, unique and independent. The beautiful woman laughs repeatedly, but is not as good as a green bean cake.”

Gao Minghong finished speaking and quickly left.

None of the accomplished scholars present laughed, but the songstresses and maids who envied Pan Er all laughed.

Gao Minghong, the leader of the Lishan Society, left, and the others immediately followed suit. The other members of the poor scholars’ literary society also left one after another.

Pan Er cried non-stop.

Guan Yaoyuan thought to himself that Pan Er had no talent to protect herself and had fallen too deeply. She had taken the people in this poem as her own and was likely to have truly fallen in love with Fang Yun, exposing them.

Guan Yaoyuan was about to persuade her when Pan Er suddenly cried out, “Pan Er apologizes to Lord Fang! Today, Pan Er will leave the world and cleanse herself of her sins, praying for Lord Fang every day.” She finished speaking and ran away in tears.

Guan Yaoyuan breathed a sigh of relief. This meant that Pan Er would not betray them.

Yan Yue whispered, “Yaoyuan, what should we do about Liu Shao’s satirical poem about Fang Yun? Fang Yun was always proactive, and I never had a chance to recite it. Later, his Golden Sound and Jade Vibrations were too powerful, and I could only watch him leave.”

Guan Yaoyuan said in a hateful tone, “If it ends like this, Liu Shao will definitely not be happy. Besides, that satirical poem was made by Da Shao, and we cannot keep it hidden. Let’s immediately follow Fang Yun. When he stops or arrives home, we will recite that poem in front of everyone and then publicize it widely to continue to damage his literary reputation.”

Yan Yue sighed, “Ah, we shouldn’t have invited him. Now, we have forced him to create a Mingzhou poem, which will inevitably be published in ‘The Path of the Saints’. If this literary society event is published in ‘The Path of the Saints’, we will become the clowns who will be remembered for eternity.”Guan Yaoyuan gritted his teeth and said, “If he can’t come up with such good verses, maybe he can live a little longer. This verse will soon become the cornerstone of the nation. Who can suppress him then? Will the Liu family let him go? He won’t live long!”

Yan Yue suddenly realized something.

“Let’s go! Follow Fang Yun!”

Guan Yaoyuan shouted loudly, “Fang Yun is a great talent! I want to apologize to him with Yan Yue. He can write verses, but he is humble and discreet, a true scholar with great character!”

After speaking, he led the people from the English Society onto a carriage and chased after Fang Yun’s carriage.

After the conjunction host left, the others did not linger and sat on the carriage to follow Guan Yaoyuan, wondering if he would really apologize or not.

On the road from Wuli Village to Dayuan Prefecture, more than twenty carriages formed a line, raising dust lightly.

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