Prince of Piano (Arc 4.3)
The day of the entrance exam was getting closer. Corrica would practice until very late every day, and Faith’s parents were quite happy to see him working so hard. Aside from their happiness, the two people discussed between themselves and decided to host a small encouragement dinner party in order to let him relax a bit before the exam and be able to perform better during the exam. And after he was accepted, they would host a larger one.
They invited some of their closer friends to come to their house, and they all got together to chat and talk amongst themselves. Corrica was the lead tonight, and of course everyone’s conversation topic would revolve around him.
Jing Yang did not feel like going downstairs to participate, and Avi had also always been like this in the past several years anyways. Staying silent and not attending the dinner party was just convenient for him. During this period of time he did not practice hard like Corrica, and in this family no one would care about whether or not he practiced. Ever since Avi had turned 10 years old, he had never exhibited any especially outstanding ability, and they all felt that his path in piano had already come to its end and had no possibility of going any further.
“Your family’s Corrica truly exceeds expectations—he even won first place in the Gardena piano competition, being accepted into the Cherty Conservatory of Music is definitely not a problem.” Mrs. Talise and Mrs. Mooney had been friends for many years, and she naturally knew what kind of words would be able to make this friend of hers happy.
“This child ah, it’s just that his talent is relatively high, and he is also willing to work hard with all his might.” Susan’s face was filled with pride and complacency.
“You really have such good fortune. Your son has a talent for business, and your adopted son has a musical gift. In the future your two sons will definitely have endless prospects.” One of the wives who had business dealings with the Mooney family flattered.
“Aiya, not at all, for us as parents, we only hope for them to be able to stay healthy and safe.” Susan’s face was filled with a complacent smile, yet she deliberately made some modest remarks.
Another one of the ladies there said, “And when the Deere family’s sole heir marries Faith, that would just be the icing on the cake.”
Susan sighed. “Speaking of Avi this child, I am quite anxious. When he was young he seemed to be a pretty cheerful and lively child, but now I don’t know what happened, his personality has become more and more eccentric.”
“Perhaps a child who has no parents would have a more sensitive heart.”
“I also felt like this, and thinking that he has no parents, and also has no loved ones, I would care for him a bit more, but that child is still not grateful ah. Before he would only often bully Corrica and not give Corrica any good face, but now even we don’t get any good face from him.” Susan’s face was full of helplessness. “You can all see tonight’s dinner party, he also won’t come down to greet everyone or talk to everyone a bit. In the end he’s still not my own child, so I also can’t really discipline him too strictly.”
The several ladies exchanged glances. When they received the invitation, their family had only said that they were hosting a pre-exam encouragement dinner party for Corrica, and did not mention even a word about Avi. If it were some other child, they were afraid that they would also be unwilling to attend.
Susan did not look at the other people’s expressions and continued speaking by herself: “Avi this child ah, his music talent isn’t high, and his personality is also not great, keeping a cold expression on his face the entire day without even a single smile. Totally different from Corrica, who stays gentle and well-mannered at all times. Because of the friendship between the two families and since he has no other close relatives, we are also forced to take care of him. But we have raised him for so many years, yet he is still not close with us. Our family also does not hope that he can repay us anything. We just feel pity that he has no father or mother and we would be more accommodating to him, this could also be considered to be doing a good deed.”
“Your family is indeed so benevolent.”
“That’s right, that’s right.”
She said it as if their family had suffered huge grievances from taking care of Avi, but who here didn’t know that because they were raising Avi their family had received a huge advantage. The Deere family’s such a large amount of properties were all held by them, whose eyes wouldn’t get bloodshot just seeing it? Without those assets, the Mooney family would long have become impoverished.
If there was someone who really wanted to take over Avi’s custody, their family would definitely not be willing. Who knows how glad the Mooney family were that Avi had no other relatives—it was just because there was no one else who could compete with them for custody that she dared to say these kinds of words.
Faith had also invited all of his own friends over. Right now they were all sitting together to chat, and Corrica was sitting right next to Faith. Faith’s friends were all accustomed to the two people’s close and intimate behavior.
Faith’s classmate and good friend George said to Corrica, “No need to be too nervous, with your skill, you should have no problem being accepted.”
“Do you even know how to speak.” Another one of Faith’s friends, Luke, clapped George on the shoulder. “You should say that with Corrica’s ability, he will definitely have no problem getting accepted.”
“That’s right.” The other people also smiled and echoed.
“I’ll just first congratulate you, in the future we will be schoolmates, please give me more guidance.” Buddy raised his wine glass to Corrica.
“It should be me asking you to give me more guidance.” Corrica smiled.
“In the future Corrica will be in the same school as you, you should help me take good care of him. If he has any problems, I will go find you to settle accounts.” Faith said half-jokingly and half-seriously.
“Relax.” Buddy wore an understanding expression, and everyone else also smiled ambiguously. Corrica lowered his head in embarrassment.
Buddy went on to say, “But I am just an ordinary music student, if Corrica becomes the privileged student of a famous teacher, it should be him taking care of me.”
At the Cherty Conservatory of Music, if you were chosen by a famous teacher, you could receive many privileges. For example, in many competitions you wouldn’t need to participate in the preliminary rounds, and at school you could receive even better treatment, and for many matters you would have priority.
All students hope to be able to become a privileged student of a famous teacher. Not only could they receive the guidance from the great masters, but it would also be a great help to their further progress in the musical path in the future. Walking in the school with the label of a privileged student, there would be unceasing envious gazes cast over, and you would even be walking with wind. There were also some special courses at the master teachers’ level that only the privileged students could attend.
Jing Yang was lying on the sofa reading his sheet music when he heard a knock on the door, and he stood up to open it.
“Charley?” Jing Yang looked at the person outside the door, and then moved to the side to let him in. “Come in.”
“It’s really so boring down there.” Charley complained. He had come along with his mother and sat downstairs for a while. He really could not stand those people so he ran up to find him.
“You still come every time even though it’s boring.” Jing Yang poured a glass of water for him. Charley was Avi’s only friend, the two people studied with the same piano teacher.
“I come every time so that I can see you, okay? Otherwise who would want to come attend this kind of dinner party, you really have no conscience.” Charley stared at him.
Jing Yang smiled and lay back down on the sofa with his sheet music.
“I really can’t stand those people. The adults are all hypocritical to death, and Faith’s friends are all like demons, it seemed like they would have praised Corrica into a flower if they could.” Charley rolled his eyes. “A man pretending to be even more delicate than a woman, with the appearance of naturally waiting for people to take care of him, it really makes people disgusted. But those people actually are completely unable to tell his true colors.”
“Those people, weren’t they also your friends before?” Jing Yang turned a page of his sheet music and raised his head to glance at him.
“I definitely never had any friends like them.” Charley did not admit to having been friends with them before. “He hasn’t even taken the exam yet, and they’re already talking like Corrica has already been accepted, they really have way too much confidence in him. And Faith’s attitude, fortunately you didn’t go down, or else you would be angered to death.”
“I would definitely not be angered to death. What kind of attitude he has has nothing to do with me, and whether or not Corrica is accepted, also has nothing to do with me.” Jing Yang responded indifferently.
Charley looked at him strangely. “You seem to be somewhat different today.”
“How am I different?”
“Before, whenever we talk about Faith’s attitude towards Corrica, if you weren’t angry you would be sad. You were never so uncaring about it before.” Charley jumped over and sat down next to him, exclaiming happily, “Could it be that you finally listened to my advice and no longer have any expectations for Faith that bastard?”
“Yes ah, I finally listened to you.” Jing Yang smiled.
“Isn’t this good, what is there to like about Faith that kind of person. It’s just that you couldn’t open your heart and weren’t willing to come out. As long as you were able to go out, you would discover that outside the men and women who are better than Faith are everywhere. You are also so beautiful, where would you be afraid of not being able to find someone better than Faith? Corrica also only knows how to pretend to be delicate and innocent, and only those people whose brains aren’t any good wouldn’t be able to see his real colors clearly.”
Charley raised his teacup to quench his dry mouth and then continued, “I never dared to tell you this earlier because I was afraid you would be sad, but in fact Faith has said many times outside that he does not acknowledge his engagement with you and he would also not marry you in the future. He said that the person he likes is Corrica, so his friends’ attitude is also as if your engagement simply does not exist.”
“I know that.” Jing Yang said.
“En, he also said it to my face, that our engagement was only a verbal agreement and could be cancelled at any time, so he did not recognize it, and also wouldn’t marry me. Then he told me to drop the matter.”
“When did he say this?” Charley asked.
“Just a few days ago, in front of Corrica. It should be in order to let him feel at ease and be able to perform properly at his exam.”
“This person is really…” Charley had already been angered to the point of not knowing how to express himself. “Don’t tell me only Corrica is going to be taking the exam, that you just don’t need to take the test? Saying this kind of thing at that kind of time, he is really too excessive.”
“Even I’m not angry, what are you getting angry about?” Jing Yang patted his hand. “Probably also no one thinks that I will be able to get accepted.”
“Teacher Lili has already said that it’s just that you haven’t untied your heart knot, so you are unable to devote your heart and soul to the music. As long as you are able to free your heart, you will definitely be able to go very far in your music journey. I believe that you will definitely be able to succeed.” Charley held his hand. “Even though I would really like to go to the same school as you, but I hope even more that you will be able to exceed Corrica and defeat him. Go for it!” Charley had also applied to the Cherty Conservatory of Music, but had not passed the primary round, so he could only apply to some other music schools.
Jing Yang smiled. “En, you should go for it as well!”
Avi and Corrica’s exams were coincidentally arranged on the same day. Faith especially took a day off of work to accompany Corrica to the exam, and Kurt let Jing Yang sit in the same car as them on the way there.
If the Deere family driver had not been dismissed, Jing Yang would definitely not want to sit in the same car as them. But at least this car was relatively big, so Jing Yang sat down by himself looking out the window, staying as far away from them as possible.
Corrica was still looking at his music score while on the car. Faith sat very close to him and took the sheet music from his hands to help him flip the pages.
“I can do it myself, how heavy can a piece of sheet music be?” Corrica showed a face full of sweet helplessness at Faith’s action.
“The music score is not heavy, but what if your finger gets scraped by the pages? Your hands are more important than anything else.” Faith pinched his fingers.
“How am I as fragile as you say?” Corrica smiled and pushed his hand. “Normally when I practice I also turn my pages myself.”
“Then in the future when you practice, I’ll come turn your pages if I’m there. If I’m not there then let the servants help you turn the pages. In short, your hands must be protected, these are the hands of a future great pianist after all.” Faith held his hands and didn’t let go.
Corrica looked over at Jing Yang and said somewhat embarrassedly, “Stop messing around.”
“Avi, how are your preparations? Are you nervous?” Corrica seemed as if he was afraid of snubbing Jing Yang, using a concerned tone to inquire.
Jing Yang kept on looking out the window at the scenes on the streets, ignoring him.
Corrica revealed a somewhat wronged and awkward appearance, and Faith immediately felt heartache for him. He glared at Jing Yang and then turned back around. “What are you caring about him for, whether or not he has prepared properly, the result will always be the same. He won’t be able to be accepted anyways. Someone a little more self-aware would simply not even go to participate in this exam, but he only has himself to blame.”
“Forget it, I don’t have a problem. Stop talking about it.” Corrica pushed Faith’s hands away and continued to read through his music score, his mood obviously much more downcast than before. This made Faith so angry that he constantly kept glaring at Jing Yang.
In the big hall outside the testing area, there were already many students. Most of them were accompanied by their family members.
Jing Yang found a place to sit down by himself.
There were already not too many empty seats left in the big hall, so Faith and Corrica sat down together somewhere not too far from Jing Yang.
Jing Yang closed his eyes and used the system to listen to the piece that he was going to test in his mind. Suddenly, the big hall burst into an uproar, forcing Jing Yang to open his eyes and see what had happened in the end.
As it turned out, it was the conservatory’s ten or so famous teachers who had come to select students. And the reason for such a huge commotion was that the person hailed as the King of Music, Hai Weixiu, had actually also appeared.
The students were all struggling to contain their own excitement. Being able to become Hai Weixiu’s student, even if it was just a one-in-a-million chance, was still enough to make them madly excited.
“Hai Weixiu! It’s Hai Weixiu, did you see that? I didn’t see wrong, did I???” Corrica gripped Faith’s arm out of excitement and could already no longer resist trembling.
“Yes ah, I also saw, you didn’t see wrong, that is Hai Weixiu.” Faith was also quite excited. This was his first time seeing Hai Weixiu himself from so close, this was the King of Music ah!
“What to do? What to do?” Corrica suddenly looked left and right in panic. “If I had known earlier that Hai Weixiu would come choose a student, I should have desperately practiced one of his songs. In the other people there must be ones who did.”
“Don’t be nervous, don’t worry.” Faith patted his back and consoled him. “You’re so excellent, even if you don’t perform Hai Weixiu’s song, your chances of being chosen will still definitely be much greater than those others.”
“Right now I am really so nervous, I don’t know if I can perform normally anymore, what do I do?” Corrica was almost crying from his anxiety.
“Even though I understand your mood very well, but seeing you becoming so moved because of another man, I will still be jealous.” Faith wanted to use a joke to alleviate Corrica’s anxious mood.
“What kind of time is this, you’re still making jokes!” Corrica hammered his arm.
“Good good good, no joking, no joking.” Faith responded hurriedly.
Watching those students bouncing and jumping from excitement, and some even crying while covering their mouths, Jing Yang felt somewhat amused.
But this man named Hai Weixiu, was really quite legendary. He entered the Cherty Conservatory of Music when he was just 11 years old, and then monopolized the champion of all kinds of big competitions. He knew how to play more than five kinds of instruments, and could reach perfection in every single one, but he liked piano the best. At the age of 15 he had already become famous across the world and started to compose his own music. He had already composed more than 100 works, and of these most of them had already become classic works to be circulated forever.
This person was now only 30 years old, but had already stood above the pinnacle of music in this world, with countless people obsessively worshipping him. No matter what kind of music, as long as it reached his hands, he would be able to freely control it. Adding on his astonishing grandeur while performing, the ever-changing style of his songs, and his own individuality and achievements, these factors all caused him to be crowned as the King of Music. He was someone who could truly dominate all of music.
The music that Hai Weixiu created became more difficult as he grew older. In all kinds of high difficulty competitions, there were many people who would compete with the songs that he had created as a teenager.
The song that Jing Yang had reported a couple days earlier that he would play for the exam was precisely the song that Hai Weixiu had written when he was 20 years old, <<Spring Light>>.
 staying silent – 沉默寡言, idiom, means reticent or uncommunicative
 exceeds expectations – 争气, ok so this usually means to work hard for something, but also means to win credit for and live up to expectations. I felt that exceeding expectations would work better for their likely tone of exaggerated praise.
 Talise – 泰丽丝, pinyin tai li si, saw on Google some spa named this translated to this in Chinese so we go with it
 not at all – 哪里的话, colloquially is a humble expression denying some sort of compliment
 icing on the cake – 锦上添花, idiom, means to make something perfect even better, another idiom gilding the lily
 dared to – 有恃无恐, means secure in the knowledge that she has backing/support
 George – 乔治, pinyin qiao zhi, this seems to be a standard translation, sounds nothing like it though
 Luke – 尤克, pinyin is you ke, apparently this is the first syllable in ukulele, but uke just sounds weird so I just changed it to Luke. Luke definitely is written differently in Chinese though.
 please give me more guidance – 多多指教, this is kind of the literal translation, but it’s basically just some polite-talk like please take care of me
 Buddy – 巴迪, pinyin ba di, but MTL translates this to Buddy which is hilarious but works w/e
 walking with wind – 走路有风, basically just means like even when you’re walking there would be wind blowing behind you, I suppose this could take the meaning of being cool/glamorous or being like this would speed you up and make you even lighter/faster
 Charley – 查利, pinyin zha/cha li, I would have translated this to Charlie but MTL put Charley and I think that just looks cooler
 naturally – 理所应当, I think this is an idiom that means something like it’s natural or logical, taken for granted
 heart knot – 心结, literal translation but this actually means a preoccupation or matter that gnaws/stays on your mind
 self-aware – 自知之明, idiom, knowing oneself, self-knowledge
 only has himself to blame – 自取其辱, idiom, means to bring trouble through their own actions
 Hai Weixiu – 海威修, this is just the pinyin since there is literally no really suitable English equivalent, some people just always have to be special huh
 reach perfection – 出神入化, idiom, means a superb artistic achievement
 freely – 随心所欲, idiom, means to do as he pleases, to follow his heart’s desires
Took quite a while, almost 3 hours: 4:45 pm – 7:30 pm, for 4.8k characters to 3.7k words. Of course it didn’t actually take 3 hours but more like 2.5 hours since I did eat during the time. Hopefully this arc will just calm down with the names and music terminology so that I can catch a break. Honestly, I’m struggling with all of these names. Why would you give names to all of these random cannon fodder who only show up once, author?
I also actually reread the entire arc again yesterday, haha. It is still as entertaining and annoying as I remember.