Chapter 924, Part 1: War Song and Killing Intent
The entire place erupted into a commotion when Zu An spoke those words.
Only a few people had felt he was being arrogant before, but after hearing his boast, they all thought he was crazy!
You occupy eighty percent of the world’s literary talent by yourself The rest of the world throughout history shares the remaining twenty percent
Who the hell do you think you are Not even an emperor would dare speak so arrogantly, right
Even Gao Ying and Pei You raised their eyebrows. This guy really needs a good beating! Even we kind of want to beat him up!
On the second floor, Bi Ziang’s eyes narrowed.
Not even all the showing off he had done in his entire life added up together could compare to what Zu An had just done.
How could the capital tolerate someone like this
But he had to admit that what Zu An had said sounded quite imposing. I’m sure it would sound even better if I were the one who said it.
Hmph, I’ll need to find a chance to steal him from my sister.
I’ll put him in charge of writing up things for me to say everyday.
The Qin clan brothers looked at each other in dismay.
Only after some time did Qin Guangyuan sigh and say, “Isn’t Chuyan a clever girl How did she end up picking up someone like him…”
Qin Yongde said with a chuckle, “Chuyan should come and see just what her man is doing for herself.
She might just die from embarrassment.”
Yu Nan wasn’t surprised to hear Zu An’s boast, and felt better instead.
After all, what happened so far had really made him look bad, and only made Zu An look even better.
And yet, this brat had the nerve to say such crazy words! It was equivalent to throwing everything he had just accumulated away.
As expected, give a poor person sudden wealth and they’ll let it get to their heads, he thought.
However, it gave him a chance to redeem himself.
“Those are truly bold words!” Yu Nan harrumphed.
“I want to see just what kind of incredible poem you can compose for myself…”
Just as Yu Nan was about to provide the topic, Zu An cut him off and said, “Since this is a gathering held by Lady Nan Xun, let’s have Lady Nan Xun choose the topic.”
“Huh Me” Nan Xun was surprised, but also happy.
She hadn’t expected him to give this task to her.
Regardless of how the situation ended, it would greatly raise her reputation.
Zu An looked around with a smile, asking, “Does anyone have any objections”
“Of course not.”
“Lady Nan Xun is talented and gorgeous; I’m sure she can provide an excellent topic.”
“Lady Nan Xun is obviously the best choice for suggesting a topic.”
The others present struggled to force out a smile.
They had come for Lady Nan Xun, so how could they not yield to her here At the same time, they cursed Zu An for his crafty ways of gaining a girl’s favor.
Zu An then gave Yu Nan a look, asking, “What’s wrong Why isn’t young master Yu saying anything Could it be that you’re worried, feeling that Lady Nan Xun will help me cheat”
Yu Nan’s eyes twitched. This bastard didn’t even let go of this chance to provoke me. “You must be joking.
Lady Nan Xun is beautiful and pure like the moon in clear skies; why would she help you practice fraud Lady Nan Xun, please provide us with the topic.”
He had already looked into her background beforehand.
She was a courtesan who had risen to fame when Zu An was inside the dungeon.
There wasn’t much of a chance that the two sides had any relationship.
He obviously didn’t have to worry about the two of them colluding against him.
“Then I will reluctantly accept,” Nan Xun said with a bow.
She thought to herself for a moment, wondering what kind of topic was suitable for the occasion.
It had to be a topic that wouldn’t trouble Zu An too much, but which would also display her own literary talents.
The lips of the mysterious woman in the special room moved.
Nan Xun’s eyes lit up, then she said, “The State Duke of Triumph is leading our great army north to fight the fiend races, so let’s use his expedition as the topic.”
Qin Guangyuan revealed an expression of surprise.
He nodded inwardly, muttering, “Not bad.
I didn’t expect a prostitute to still harbor patriotic thoughts.”
The others all voiced their approval.
They felt that the topic was excellent and perfect for the situation.
Once news got out, it would make for a great story too.
Yu Nan also nodded.
The topic wasn’t too difficult, but handling it well was far from easy.
There had been similar poems made throughout successive generations of history, but none of them referred to the current dynasty.
He refused to believe that Zu An could surpass the scholars from past dynasties.
No matter what kind of poem Zu An came up with, all he had to do was devalue it.
“So it’s this kind of topic…” Zu An began to think to himself.
“Is it a bit too difficult” Nan Xun asked with concern when she saw his change in expression.
“Of course not.
It’s way too easy.” Zu An chuckled.
He was actually trying to decide which one he should pick.
After all this time, he shouldn’t have remembered too many of his old world’s poems.
But now that he had reached the peak of the ninth rank, even though he hadn’t fully condensed his soul, his mind had become much more powerful than before.
He gradually recalled many things he had almost forgotten.
“Nothing more than a shameless boast!” Yu Nan sneered.
He didn’t say anything else and just waited for Zu An to make a fool of himself.
Zu An gave Gao Ying and Pei You a look, asking, “Which one of you is better at calligraphy”
Of course, it would have been even better if he drew gorgeous calligraphy himself.
Unfortunately, he… understood the limitations of his own handwriting.
The two exchanged a look.
Gao Ying said, “Let me do it.” He had already guessed Zu An’s thoughts.
Even though there was a chance that all of them might experience social death together, this man had saved his life.
What did any of that matter
Nan Xun gave a maid by her side a look.
The maid left and returned with paper and ink.
The entire place fell silent as those present looked toward Zu An.
Some of them had high expectations, while some of them were merely waiting for him to make a fool of himself.
“Let’s write the title first.” Zu An remained silent for a moment.
“Its title will be ‘The Sword and the Song—Spirited Ode Dedicated to the State Duke of Triumph’.”
The Qin clan brothers were shocked and subconsciously stood up.
This poem was actually a gift to their grandfather!
The two of them had been about to make fun of him, but now that they had heard the title, their attitudes suddenly changed.
Their expressions turned serious, and they began to hope that Zu An would write something amazing.
Gao Ying had been getting ready to become a social outcast forever, but when he heard the title, he also regained his focus.
Just the title alone sounded extraordinary, so the work itself would probably not be far off.
Similar thoughts echoed throughout the minds of the others present.
Bi Ziang, who had been leaning leisurely in his seat, subconsciously sat up.
He even leaned forward slightly so he could hear Zu An’s work better.
Yu Nan also swallowed with difficulty.
He suddenly realized that he might be faced with another miserable failure.
Zu An’s steady and rhythmic voice resounded through the hall.
“Intoxicated, I turn up the light to inspect my sword; war horns resound when I wake.
Roasted meat enjoyed among the soldiers; morale high as powerful instruments echo.
In autumn, the soldiers prepare for war.
Warhorses gallop at speeds of top steeds; bows twang like thunder as arrows let fly.
With whole-hearted devotion toward the monarch’s mission, they aim to reclaim lost land; wills set to leave behind a glorious legacy once they pass on.
Yet sadly, white hair already emerges therefrom.”
At first, there were still some private whispers, but soon, the room fell dead silent as those present looked at the one reciting the poem.
A stern and serious mood filled the place.
The onlookers’ mouths were open, as if they had many things to say, and yet it was as if there were hands gripping their throats.
They didn’t know what to say.
Those who were cultivators felt the ki within them surge restlessly, while even those who weren’t cultivators felt their blood boil.
All of them were ready to go to battle, and didn’t want anyone to stop them from making such a choice!
Zu An wasn’t surprised to see their reaction.
Xin Qiji was one of history’s greatest writers, and ‘The Sword and the Song’ was known as one of the poems with the greatest warring intent throughout history.
It had been considered groundbreaking during the Southern Song Dynasty.
Even though this world’s martial skills flourished, its literature was lacking.
Xin Qiji’s poem would definitely leave a world-shaking impact in the field of poetry.
“Ah Zu, have you been to the battlefield before” Qin Guangyuan gripped the railing as he asked excitedly.
After hearing the poem, the way he addressed Zu An even became more intimate.
Zu An shook his head.
“You haven’t” Qin Guangyuan was excited.
“Then how can you portray the journey of a general so vividly It’s almost as if I’ve returned to the days when I followed my father and grandfather on the battlefield!”
Zu An thought to himself, The writer Xin Qiji indeed spent some time on the battlefield, but I definitely can’t pretend to have done so! It’s way too easy to fact check that.
Qi Yongde exclaimed in shock, “Then you must be completely self-taught! Ah Zu, you’re an incredible genius!”
The two couldn't be blamed for feeling so excited.
When they had heard those words, they felt as if they could hear war horns by their ears, recalling the times they had drawn their swords to cut down their enemies! They had felt as if they were back on the military drill ground, accompanying their father and grandfather amid the glorious scene of inspecting their magnificent army! They also seemed to have returned to the tense and fierce battlefield, sounds of arrows screaming and blades cutting into flesh all around them.
Completing the monarch’s mission and earning a glorious reputation that followed one’s death was the ideal of every soldier, but how many could accomplish that throughout history
What stirred them up even further was the last line ‘yet sadly, white hair already emerges therefrom’.
They recalled how their grandfather was a famous general, and yet because of the battle over the heir, the emperor kept him in the capital to keep an eye on him.
Their grandfather’s dream had always been to fight on the battlefield! And yet, more than half of his life had been wasted in the capital.
Now, he was finally able to fight again, but his hair was already white.
A somewhat unusual expression appeared in Lady Nan Xun’s cold eyes.
She stared at Zu An in a daze.
She blinked intensely and even shivered a bit.
Po Zhen Zi: Spirited Ode Dedicated to Chen Tongfu. ☜
2. Xin Qiji (28 May 1140–3 Oct 1207) was a Chinese calligrapher, military general, and poet during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279). ☜