1318 Story of the Moon Festival
"Are you kidding me! My nine recollecting fragrances cannot even compare to a cup of seawater?" Luo Mu Zi roared inwardly, while maintaining his calm appearance on the surface.
"Damn! This Wu Yi Hai is playing tricks and pulled a fast one, we are offering tea, yet he offers seawater? He is too shameless! Fairy Si Liu even approved of him, this is too infuriating!" Veins started to bulge in Lun Fei's clenched fists below the table.
Fairy Tian Lu quickly calmed the situation: "The moon is high in the sky, since we have already drunk tea, if there are no poems to accompany this festival, it would not be complete."
Fang Yuan pretended to not understand: "Are we really going to recite poems?"
He looked like he had heard it for the first time.
Luo Mu Zi and Lun Fei's eyes immediately brightened. This was another opportunity!
Another opportunity to knock down their rival.
"You managed to get away with it the previous time, duping your way through. This time, I am going to push you down from the limelight, then fiercely step on you a couple times."
Luo Mu Zi's mind was revolving around this thought, but on the surface, he was still wearing a smile and had a graceful demeanor.
The same went for Lun Fei, having similar thoughts.
However, they did not know what kind of person Fang Yuan was.
Competing in poetry?!
This was worse than showing off in front of an expert.
Fang Yuan came from Earth, he had a large stockpile of traditional poems in his head, including those renowned works as well as earthshaking masterpieces. He could easily use one of them and these two would be unable to save face.
"Yes, we are going to recite poems, there is a story behind this." Qiao Si Liu answered Fang Yuan.
"Oh? Please explain." Fang Yuan continued to ask.
"This is a story that has been passed down in Southern Border, and is also the origin of the moon festival." Qiao Si Liu said with eloquence.
Once upon a time, at a certain village in Southern Border.
A young man fell in love with an old Gu Master's daughter, and this Gu Master's daughter also was in love with this mortal youth.
The youth mustered up his courage to propose the marriage, but he was met with the old Gu Master's rejection.
"You are only a mortal, while my daughter is a Gu Master with a bright future, how could you be worthy of my daughter? Get lost!"
The young man implored and begged, but the old Gu Master sneered: "You are daydreaming, thinking I will let my daughter marry you! You, a mere mortal who cannot even brew tea? What use do you have?"
The youth replied: "Isn't it just tea? What is so difficult about it, if I brew it, will you marry your daughter to me?"
The old Gu Master felt a headache.
He knew his daughter loved this youth deeply, forcefully breaking them up would only make his daughter hate him.
"If you can make a cup of tea that meets my expectations, I will give you a chance."
The youth was joyous and agreed immediately: "Sir, I will definitely make it."
The Gu Master daughter was extremely worried when she heard about this: "My family is reputed for our famous tea, and you have to make a tea which can satisfy my father. You are only a mortal with no Gu Master abilities, how can you brew a good tea?"
The young man, however, replied: "Don't worry. Who says mortals cannot brew tea? Let me tell you three principles."
"The first principle: the law of the jungle, big fish eats small fish, and small fish eats shrimps."
Saying that, the young man walked to a stream and hooked a big fish, he cut the fish, retrieving a small fish inside, he then cut the small fish, and took out a shrimp from the inside.
"The second principle: humans need to eat and also need to defecate."
The young man then ate the shrimp and pooped out a pile of faeces.
"The third principle: faeces can nourish vegetation to grow better."
The young man buried his faeces under the soil, and sure enough, flowers and plants started to flourish and grow.
The young man plucked a kind of flower from among them and soaked it in the stream, the entire small stream turned into tea.
The old Gu Master could not speak for a long while after he took a sip of this tea.
His daughter said, "Father, you are not thinking of reneging on your promise, right?"
Only then did the old Gu Master nod reluctantly: "Boy, you have passed the first test. But it is still impossible for you, a mortal, to marry my daughter. You are too crude and lack talent, you cannot recite poems."
The youth scratched his head and spoke worriedly: "Although I have not recited poems before, I can give it a try."
The old Gu Master scoffed: "You?"
The youth asked back: "Why can't I?"
"Boy, reciting poems is not just casually chanting a few phrases. We Gu Masters can cause heaven and earth to change by reciting poems, we can make humans dance with joy. Can you do that?"
The youth said in a low tone: "How would I know if I don't give it a try?"
"Alright, then try, don't say I didn't give you a chance. If you fail, then you need to leave and never see my daughter again."
The youth had no choice but to agree, he began to pace around, thinking of a poem to recite.
But he had never recited a poem before, he had no clue how to start.
At this moment, he saw the ants on the ground, he saw the birds and the setting sun outside the window. Suddenly, he patted his head.
He began to recite: "Sparrows fly low and snakes slither around, ants move their homes as it rains down."
Southern Border had many rainy days, and it was currently springtime as well.
The youth had just finished speaking, when light rain began to appear in the sky.
The old Gu Master's expression changed.
The youth continued: "A drop of spring rain resembles a drop of oil, too much of it sends us into turmoil."
The rain got heavier and the sky turned dark.
The old Gu Master's expression was slightly unsightly.
The youth grabbed his head and scratched his cheek: "Elm trees droop as farming commences, hair falls as seeds scatter."
At this point, the youth was stuck and for the life of him, he could not recite the final line.
"I will give you some more time." The old Gu Master sneered.
The youth's eyes brightened as he pointed at the old Gu Master and said: "Lord took away all the grains, our hungry stomachs are all in pain."
The old Gu Master immediately stomped his foot in anger and stood up, breaking the teacup in his hand.
Then, he pointed at the young man and shouted: "A mere mortal dares to be so audacious!"
But his daughter laughed and clapped: "Amazing, this song changed heaven and earth, and even made father dance."
The old Gu Master was furious at seeing his daughter side with her boyfriend, but was unable to retort.
"Good, good, good, consider that you have passed the second test, but there is still the final one. You want to marry my daughter, what about the betrothal gift? Can you take out a betrothal gift that can satisfy me?"
The youth lowered his head dejectedly, he lived in a thatched cottage, slept on a straw mat and only had one set of patched clothes.
"I will use all my assets as the betrothal gift." The youth spoke in a serious tone.
"Let me see them!" The old Gu Master said.
The young man brought the old Gu Master to his residence, to that old thatched cottage.
He then said: "These are all my assets."
"This old hut with holes everywhere?" The old Gu Master pointed with disdain.
"This straw mat that is about to break?" The old Gu Master threw the straw mat.
"These rocks used as stools?" The old Gu Master kicked the rocks and broke them.
The youth lowered his head.
Every sentence the old Gu Master said made the young man's head lower further down.
When the old Gu Master said his third sentence, the youth's head had almost hung down to his chest.
But right at this time, from a rock the old Gu Master has kicked open, a beautiful Gu worm that looked like the moon flew out leisurely, shining brightly.
The old Gu Master was stunned.
The youth was also stunned, he had picked up this rock casually from the base of the mountain.
The old Gu Master's daughter cried out happily: "This Gu worm is definitely enough as the betrothal gift, right?"
The old Gu Master was unable to retort, he could not say anything and finally, he could only rub his nose and marry his daughter to this mortal lad.
Fang Yuan had already heard of this story before, it was indeed interesting.
The story portrayed a conflict between a mortal and a Gu Master, and actually ended up with the mortal's victory.
The youth had braved through the three hurdles, finally getting together with the beauty, who was also a Gu Master. The old Gu Master had not used strength from start to finish, this did not conform to logic. It, however, showed a lowly mortal's thirst towards a better life, as well as pursuing happiness.
Qiao Si Liu narrated the story to Fang Yuan, conveniently explaining the customs of the moon festival as well.
Why it was that during the moon festival, the people in Southern Border, be they Gu Immortals or mortals, would make tea, recite poems and dissect rocks.
Naturally, the tea brewing of mortals was done with ordinary tea leaves, and as for dissecting rocks, it was replaced by breaking pebbles as a way of receiving auspicious blessings.
"This is quite an interesting story, thank you, Fairy Si Liu, for answering my doubts." Fang Yuan said, politely.
Qiao Si Liu smiled: "Why are you so polite, you can just call me Si Liu."
"Huh?!" Luo Mu Zi's eyes opened wide.
Qiao Si Liu's attitude towards Wu Yi Hai was completely different from how she treated the two of them.
"We have had tea already, now let us recite poems." Lun Fei said, his gaze towards Fang Yuan flashed with some coldness and his tone had also turned somewhat icier.
Qiao Si Liu's beautiful eyes turned towards Lun Fei: "Lun Fei, you are already eager, I am very interested to listen to your masterpiece."
Lun Fei laughed happily, the coldness on his face completely dissipated as he replied: "Then let me recite my simple work."
He stood up and slowly walked outside the pavilion as he recited —
Stepping into society as an ignorant youngster,
Step by step I walk by myself.
But tonight I do not drink alone,
Because my dream beauty is here under the moon.
Lun Fei, in his blue robe and with fair appearance, recited slowly.
The first two lines described his cultivation experiences, hinting at his lonely journey.
The last two lines described the current situation, especially the last line, it was an implicit confession.
He had walked out of the pavilion, and after his recital, he returned inside, gazing deeply at Qiao Si Liu.
Qiao Si Liu sensed the passion in his eyes and quickly turned around to look at Fang Yuan.
However, Fang Yuan neither looked at her nor showed hostility towards Lun Fei, he was just quietly drinking tea.
A trace of disappointment flashed past Qiao Si Liu's eyes.