TOMAS Chapter 17

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Chapter 17 Wind Crane: The Song that Moves Hearts

Qi Jianqiu looked on worriedly. How could we forget to bring our own zither? And isn’t that purple-robed man the 7th Prince? It’s been rumoured that he admires Linglong greatly, and now that he expressed his unwillingness to let Feng Luodi play, nobody in the audience will lend her a zither for fear of upsetting him! Qi Jianqiu avoided looking at Feng Luodi, afraid to see her disappointed expression.

Suddenly, a warm voice broke the palpable tension in the hall. “How coincidental that I have brought my zither today. Miss Feng, if you don’t mind, would you like to use mine?” It was Jiang Moyin, smiling gently at Feng Luodi. He nodded at his servant, who quickly brought the zither to Feng Luodi.

Feng Luodi looked over at Jiang Moyin, and nodded with a smile. “My thanks to you, kind sir.” She looked around the hall, and at the audience surprised at the turn of events. “Since the gathering is about to end, let me play a song worthy of the finale. Please enjoy, ‘Blue-Flower Porcelain’. ”
As my brush dances, ink seeps through the unglazed clay like a mist
The begonia flowers on the vase smiles, just like you once had
The scent of sandalwood drifts through the window and I look up
My hand stops abruptly; I put my brush down
I drew a picture of you, and covered it in clear acrylic
You smile back at me, with all the beauty of a budding flower
In a wisp of smoke, you disappeared in front of me
Now somewhere I cannot reach.
Mom, Dad, forgive me for not being there. My body is lying unconscious in wait for me to return, but till this day, I have yet to collect even one of the Guqin.
Qing, Ruo, I’m sorry that you guys had to have me as a friend. We had promised to witness each other’s marriages but I’ve been gone for so long.
My friends and colleagues that supported me through work and life, I’m sorry for letting you guys down.
Are the skies of Beijing still grey as ever Are the trains as packed as they used to be?
I want to go back. I have to go back. I must go back.

It felt like a late autumn afternoon, full of longing and hope, striking a chord within the audience. As the notes seemed to float around the hall, drawing a plethora of reactions from the crowd. Some were amazed and some were unreadable, others were jealous and disdainful.

When the song ended, the audience clapped enthusiastically, while the judges, who had wanted to end the gathering before she could play, cast their votes. Someone in the audience counted along. “Three flowers, three flowers, three flowers, three flowers, three flowers…a total of 15 flowers!”

In the span of a few minutes, Feng Luodi had made a name for herself for coming in first in this ‘gathering’. Of course, that meant that Linglong had to lend Wind Crane for Feng Luodi to play a song. But what was more important was that a nobody like Feng Luodi had managed to beat Linglong, the acclaimed best zither artiste of Chang’an, playing the zither. Now it was interesting to see how the two would interact.

“I am very impressed by Miss Feng’s expertise in music and the zither. May I ask if this score was composed by yourself?” Linglong was as calm and composed as ever.

“Of course not,” Feng Luodi replied as she got up, “it’s written by a zither maestro that I know.”

“May I know who that is? I would really like to meet him. Someone who can compose such an amazing score must be extraordinary.” Linglong laughed a little.

Qi Jianqiu rolled her eyes in the audience. Is she trying to give all the credit to the composer?

“Unfortunately, I doubt Miss Linglong will get a chance to meet him. He isn’t in the city of Chang‘an .” Feng Luodi ignored the hidden accusation in Linglong’s words, and headed straight to Jiang Moyin.

“I cannot thank you enough, Master Jiang.”

“No worries, Miss Feng.” Jiang Moyin smiled, “As thanks, how about you play a song for us with Wind Crane here, as per your request? The pleasure is all mine.”

*Original song:
Zither version:

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