Chapter 11.3 – Piano Competition
Unfortunately, the brother who was obsessed with music in her memories no longer existed. In the last life, after losing the teenager and the flexibility of his hands, Xue Zi Xuan abruptly discovered that music was no longer the only thing for him. So at this moment, he was not angry. He didn’t even frown.
“Go if you want. I’ll accompany you.”
Even if Xue Zi Xuan was worried, he could not find it in himself to refuse any request of the teenager.
Xue Jing Yi was angry and in disbelief. She held the invitation letter for a long time and could not speak.
Zhou Yun Sheng was very happy. He stood on tiptoes and kissed Xue Zi Xuan on the cheek, but the young man held the back of his head and kissed him passionately.
Xue Zi Xuan did what he said, and got an invitation letter that night, in exchange for serving as a judge in the adult category. He has retired (from music) and all of his performances have been cancelled. It was already an honor for the organizer if he were to show his face at the competition, never mind securing his participation throughout the whole process.
“I will practice the piano seriously from today on. You accompany me.”
Zhou Yun Sheng looked over the invitation letter again and again.
“Of course. But I must warn you, with your current level, I’m afraid that you won’t make it to the end of the competition.”
Xue Zi Xuan knew that the teenager always wants to be number one, either he won’t compete, or he will fight until the end. But the current him really did not have a chance of winning first place.
“What’s wrong with my level? I can play any difficult sound. Don’t underestimate me!” Zhou Yun Sheng really exploded.
He flipped open the piano cover and began to show off his fingering skills*. He played double notes, double tremolos, octaves, skip notes, touch sounds**… anything that could be played on the piano, he played them all.
[*T/N: Get your mind out of the gutter. XP 指法 refers to the dexterity and nimbleness of the fingers. It can apply to music, painting, keyboard typing, hand movements in dancing, and also the manipulation of acupuncture needles in traditional Chinese medicine.]
[**T/N: I don’t know anything about music, so forgive me if I translated anything incorrectly. And also, correct me. XD]
His fingers danced on the black and white piano keys like gorgeous blooming flowers. He moved so fast that one could only see the afterimages. He spread out his hands and played from high to low. He brought his hands together and played from the bass to the treble. His hair fluttered about, gradually getting messier and messier, until he looked a little like a madman.
The song came to an end, no, in fact, this was not a song, but an untuned melody composed by the boy, who had just combined all the difficult fingering exercises.
Zhou Yun Sheng raised his chin, straightened his spine, and looked directly at the young man with arrogant eyes, as if to say: did you see that, you mortal, this is my strength.
Xue Zi Xuan barely suppressed the chuckle that rose from his throat. Right now, the boy was like a rooster crowing proudly. If you said his crowing was not loud enough, he would definitely flap his wings and peck you.
His skills were indeed superb. In fact, he was able to assemble the smallest mechanical parts into sophisticated instruments, and he was fully capable of performing any difficult piano music.
But the problem was that he had no feelings.
The notes flowing from his fingertips were like computer-synthesized audio, rather than a performer’s comprehension of music.
Xue Zi Xuan didn’t know what was wrong with the boy in this life. Perhaps it was because he [XZX] had extinguished his [ZYS] love for the piano. Perhaps the study of mechanics made him stricter and more rigid. Or perhaps, his heart had never opened for anyone and has never accepted this world, so his playing style was ice-cold, precise, and mechanical. He seemed to have pulled himself out of everything, and he looked upon the world with the attitude of a spectator, including the Xue family, and including himself [ZYS].
The youth was sitting so close, but he felt so far away. Xue Zi Xuan could easily stretch out his hand and reach him, but he seemed to be unable to hold him firmly no matter what. As soon as such thoughts appeared, Xue Zi Xuan didn’t dare to think about it anymore.
He hugged the boy from behind. While gently sucking and kissing his slender neck, he softly praised: “Xiao Yi’s fingering skills is the best in the world.”
This was not a false statement. He could adapt the basic exercising drills and rearrange it into a new and extremely difficult piece according to his own ideas. The teenager’s fingering skills has already reached its peak. It was even slightly better than Xue Zi Xuan’s skills.
But the lack of emotions in his music was nevertheless a shortcoming. Xue Zi Xuan was considering how to point this out tactfully so that the baby in his arms would not explode.
He didn’t care whether or not the teenager could become a great pianist like in his previous life, or if the boy’s piano sound was cold and ruthless. What he fell in love with was the youth himself, and not the glowing halo attached to him. Even if the boy couldn’t read a music staff, so what? As long as the person was still in his arms, then all was well.
[T/N: I’m pretty sure ZYS can indeed read a music staff. But XZX is saying that even if ZYS were illiterate in music, he would still love him.]
After more than decades of waiting, and drowning again and again in painful memories, he reflected painstakingly on his affections to search for the origin. In the end, he understood what was real love, and how to love someone.
In his previous life, he realized this too late. But in this life, it was neither too fast nor too slow. The timing was just right.
Thinking of this, Xue Zi Xuan buried his face in the crook of the boy’s neck and smiled softly.