1976 Li Xiao Bai“s Spring Poem
"Lord Gu Masters, please come in!" The waiter bent his back as he invited Hua Song and An Chong into the shop.
"This is a famous teahouse of the capital city, it is very crowded, I have come here many times in the past." Hua Song transmitted as he explained to An Chong.
The two had disguised as Gu Masters as they came to the capital city of Profound Literature grotto-heaven.
An Chong was more willing to observe the capital city from above the clouds. But since Hua Song had such interests, he could only accompany the person who invited him.
"I want a table on the fifth floor." Hua Song was very familiar with this place.
The two came to the fifth floor, they entered the room and saw through the windows that the streets were bustling with people outside, the street with the bronze gate where the first round of the competition was held was completely packed with people.
"These are the current generation scholars of my Profound Literature grotto-heaven, they are the hope of our future as well. Please observe." Hua Song sighed as he handed a rank five investigative Gu worm to An Chong, it could observe the target's talent qi.
An Chong took a look and used it immediately, his field of vision changing immediately. He could now see the talent qi above the heads of countless scholars. These talent qi had all sorts of colors, some were taller than others, they all had different forms, it was an eye-opener.
"Since you have such a Gu worm to observe talent qi, what is the point of holding this competition?" An Chong asked.
Hua Song chuckled: "You might not know, talent qi is like cultivation level, even if one possesses a larger talent qi, they might not be able to use it properly in actual competition. Furthermore, this competition requires them to make poems on the spot, they cannot cheat. We want to test the upbringing of these scholars, some who have abundant talent qi might not have sufficient inspiration to create the highest quality poems."
An Chong nodded: "I see that the formations here are interlinked, they are able to amplify the creative thinking of the scholars?"
Hua Song nodded: "Indeed, you are very perceptive! Within the immortal formation, scholars are able to display greater abilities than usual, they will make full use of their talents."
As they spoke, the door was knocked.
After getting Hua Song's permission, the waiter brought over an array of dishes and wine.
"Eight treasure duck, golden thread crispy sparrow, panda crab meat, they are all signature dishes of our teahouse, please enjoy the food." The waiter said.
Hua Song gave the waiter one primeval stone as a tip before he left the room.
Hua Song explained to An Chong: "Envoy, even though the tea here is mortal tea, it was created by Lord Hua Yu in his youth, when he was still a rank four Gu Master, he became the top scholar and thus this tea was named by him as the top scholar tea."
"Oh?" An Chong became interested now, this was the creation of a rank eight Gu Immortal in his youth.
"Then I will have to savor this well." An Chong drank it, he shut his eyes as he tasted the tea, in a daze, he felt a rush of excitement in his heart, it was as if he had attained success after decades of hard work, he finally gained the reputation and fame that he deserved, life was at its peak!
"Good tea, good tea." An Chong praised sincerely: "Even though this is a mortal tea, it has a trace of human path ingenuity within it!"
During the fate war, Central Continent's Heavenly Court used multiple human path killer moves with shocking power, the entire world knew about it. Thus, human path became renowned in the world, everyone knew about it.
While the two immortals were enjoying their tea, the bronze gate of the first competition ground opened slowly.
The crowd of people waiting before the gate erupted into a huge commotion.
"It's opening, it's opening!"
"Quickly let me in."
The crowds charged through the gate.
Li Xiao Bai was among them, but he was at the back instead.
He moved along with the people as he analyzed the rules of this competition.
"The world poetry competition has eighteen rounds, each one has a question, everyone has to answer it, regardless of how many people, their final product will be assessed and only half will be able to pass."
"Towards the later rounds, the numbers will continue being halved. Like this, once someone passes all eighteen rounds, they will fulfill the condition."
"If someone fails once, they will have to return to the previous round. If they keep losing and fall out of the first round, they will be out."
"However, this poetry competition will last for seven days. Everyone has three opportunities to try even if they get kicked out of the first round."
"This way, Profound Literature grotto-heaven will be able to pick the most eligible Gu Immortal seeds. Even if someone makes a mistake, they will have a chance to try again. But if any scholar fails to perform throughout the seven days, it will mean that they are not up to standard, they are not qualified to receive the grotto-heaven's help to become an immortal."
Li Xiao Bai retracted his thoughts, he had already arrived at the first arena.
The arena was large but packed with scholars.
There were males and females, young and old, the number of people exceeded the thousands.
This was just the first day.
Li Xiao Bai waited for another fifteen minutes in the arena before all of the scholars had joined the first round.
There was truly a sea of people, the liveliness was overwhelming.
Thankfully, the first arena was an immortal formation space, it could expand casually and hold so many scholars without problems.
Bang… bang… bang!
As the drums rolled, a voice was transmitted into the scholars' minds: "World poetry competition, first question — Spring, the time limit is five minutes."
After saying that, the voice vanished.
"The first question is spring?"
Many scholars frowned while many scholars showed happy expressions.
Li Xiao Bai thought to himself: "There are simply too many spring poems in existence, this question seems really easy. After all, most scholars would have some sort of verses related to this theme. Even though the world poetry competition requires the creation of poems on the spot, a person can easily modify existing verses to create their own new poems."
"But in reality, this question is quite the tough one." Li Xiao Bai had an expression of deep thought.
He knew that his poem was going to compete against the surrounding people. As long as he was stronger than half of them, he would progress to the next stage.
Many scholars noticed this as well.
Many people started to think, some sat down on the ground while others paced around with their arms behind their backs, some lowered their heads, muttering softly to themselves.
Li Xiao Bai's thought was: "Which poem do I use, or steal?"
There were many spring related poems in his memory, they were all amazing classics.
But using a legendary classic from the start was not good, this would not allow Li Xiao Bai to explain himself in the future. He did not have top tier talent qi, if he took out a shocking poem now, he would attract suspicion.
If his luck was good now, Li Xiao Bai might take slight risks. But now that he was having bad luck, Li Xiao Bai decided to play safe.
While Li Xiao Bai was thinking about it, many scholars already started to make their poems.
Thus, all kinds of lights shining in all colors, weak or strong, appeared. Whenever the light fades from a scholar's body, they would have some gains.
Some gained Gu worms, some gained a rise in cultivation level, some recovered primeval essence, while others recovered from fatigue.
This was the killer move known as assisting literary talents.
Profound Literature grotto-heaven's creator, its original owner, had used this move before his death. Because of assisting literary talents, more and more scholars were encouraged to study, it eventually created the environment of Profound Literature grotto-heaven where most people were scholars.
Li Xiao Bai decided on his poem.
He coughed lightly before starting his recital.
"A moonlit night."
"Deep into the night the moon shines on half a cottage, across the sky the Big Dipper lies, the Little Dipper tilts an incline."
"The warmth of spring is readily felt tonight, through the green window screen, insects buzz and hum."
After Li Xiao Bai finished his recital, a light buzzing noise could be heard around him, his entire body shined in an intense green light.
The scholars around Li Xiao Bai felt an invisible pressure as the green light forced them to move aside, a huge empty space was created with Li Xiao Bai at the center.
"Such, such a strong light!"
"A famed poem has appeared!"
"To think that a famed poem would appear so quickly. I wonder who created it?"
Many scholars lost their train of thought, they all looked towards Li Xiao Bai with admiration and suspicion.
Li Xiao Bai had a calm expression but he was a little conflicted inside: "Sigh, I went overboard a little, the effect was so eye-catching, I gained too much attention."
He looked around, hoping someone would step up and take the attention away from him.
As the green light entered his aperture, his cultivation level rose.
"Oh! A famed poem has appeared, let me go read it." At the teahouse, Hua Song had a sensation.
After reading Li Xiao Bai's work, Hua Song nodded in satisfaction: "Brilliant, brilliant! This Li Xiao Bai is very young but his poems are very mature."
"Normally, spring poems would use verses involving greenery or peach blossoms. But this poem uses another train of thought, using the night scene to conceal the spring light, it is quite interesting."
"The final verse must be created using Li Xiao Bai's personal experiences. It has a refreshing, happy, and lively feeling."
"Poems take after the creator, this Li Xiao Bai has a superb mindset!"
Hua Song praised it for a while, as if he had just eaten a delicacy of the world. He looked at An Chong as he smiled: "I wonder what envoy thinks of this poem?"
An Chong felt a headache as he thought: "If you didn't tell me, I wouldn't know what's so good about this poem. Sigh, he wants me to critique it, what should I say?"
 Poem by Liu Fangping.