As voted by the readers, the bonus chapter this week is FOD:XZX! ^^
Chapter 11.7 – Piano Competition
Olsen snorted once. Without turning his head around, he said: “This is your little rooster? How good is he? Even if it violated the competition rules, you still got him an invitation. Is this the fair and impartial Sean that I know?”
[T/N: The text doesn’t specify, but Sean is most likely XZX’s English name.]
Xue Zi Xuan’s tone was extremely calm: “Teacher, you will know how good he is after you’ve listened to him.” This was the reason why he had to move his position to behind Olsen.
While they had their conversation, the performance began. The song that the teenager selected, “Army Polonez,” was a song that required the performer to put their passion into it.
The youth’s hands flew across the keys, and every note was played accurately, without any mistake from beginning to end.
After the performance, the audience responded with thunderous applause. To them, the teenager’s performance was perfect.
The judges thought for a moment and wrote down their scores one after another, but Olsen’s eyes were wider than a dinner plate. He was so angry. Yes, the boy’s performance was indeed perfect, but it was because it was so perfect that Olsen was furious.
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The sound of the boy’s piano was like a treasure that has lost its soul. No matter how magnificent and splendid the exterior was it couldn’t conceal the empty interior. This was a blasphemy to music, and the most significant loss in the performance world. How could the boy have no feelings at all? Olsen wouldn’t be so angry if the boy had just invested a little bit of emotion.
Olsen was so angry that he planned to directly oust the young man off the stage, but his disciple squeezed his shoulder.
“Teacher, please don’t hurt him, I beg you.”
Xue Zi Xuan also pressed his other hand onto his mentor’s shoulder. He couldn’t let anyone hurt the teenager, even if it was just a small criticism.
Olsen failed to break free from his disciple’s hold. He knew what his disciple’s personality was like. Asides from music, he never cared about anyone. But now, he was putting aside his pride and self-esteem, just to have the boy walk off the stage safely.
Fine, for the sake of over ten years of camaraderie between teacher and student, he will give him face. Olsen compromised and drew a big circle on the scoreboard.
Zhou Yun Sheng noticed Olsen’s glare, and he knew that the man wanted to stand up several times, but each time, Xue Zi Xuan pressed him back down.
What does he want to do? Is it really as Xue Jing Yi had said, that he wants to kick me off the stage?
While he mulled this over, the judges were presenting their scores for his performance. Three judges awarded him a perfect score of 20, one judge gave him 18 points, and another judge gave him 19 points. Only Olsen drew a big fat duck egg* on his scoreboard.
[*T/N: duck egg (or sometimes chicken egg) is another way of referring to zero, because of the oval shape of the egg]
A susurrus of whispers rippled through the audience. They didn’t know the reason behind Olsen’s judgment. After all, there were very few people who have a deep understanding of the soul of music like him and Xue Zi Xuan.
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“If I didn’t see you perform on stage with my own eyes, I would have thought that the live music was computer-synthesized music. Yes, I admit that your piano skills are perfect, and it can even be described as precise. However, it has no emotions and no soul. Any computer can replace you. You are just an amplifier, not a dedicated performer. So I’m sorry, I don’t give machines rating.” Olsen commented on behalf of all the judges.
What a poison tongue! You went as far as to imply that I am not human! This really is Xue Zi Xuan’s crazy teacher!
Zhou Yun Sheng was silently cursing in his heart, but on his face he wore a modest smile.
Xue Jing Yi hid behind the curtain with a triumphant expression on her face.
After a background investigation, everyone knew that this competitor was Xue Zi Xuan’s younger brother. After his younger brother was severely criticized by his mentor, how would Xue Zi Xuan react?
The cameraman looked for Xue Zi Xuan in the audience, and then zoomed in for a close up of his face.
The piano emperor, who had the same aesthetics as his instructor, was smiling at the boy. He kissed his fingertips and then raised them to the boy on the stage. He mouthed silently: “Don’t be afraid, you are the best in my heart.”
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
Seeing Xue Zi Xuan’s actions on the big screen, the audience and the judges were surprised, especially Olsen, who almost fainted. I just finished giving my commentary, and you completely undermined me. Just what is the meaning here?
Being scolded by someone, naturally Zhou Yun Sheng was more or less uncomfortable, but seeing Xue Zi Xuan’s gentle and indulgent smile, and soothing kisses, he immediately flung Olsen’s words beyond the topmost clouds*.
[*T/N: beyond the topmost clouds = idiom for “unimaginably far away”]
It was zero points, but so what, it didn’t matter. Anyways, the highest score and the lowest score was to be disregarded, and the remaining points were used to calculate an average. With this calculation, he stably passed Xue Jing Yi and entered the semifinals.