Chapter 14 – The Promised Battle (I)
Nina lightly exclaimed, “Starting from the Yellow Rank, improvement of a Divine Music mage’s strength depends on one’s talent. Without talent, even great effort would be meaningless. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be known as the most useless vocation. But I have always believed that a talented Divine Music mage can become the most powerful mage on the mainland. One day, there will be another power other than the Falan Seven Pagoda,—the Divine Music mage pagoda.
Ferguson was alarmed and sent an urgent glance towards Nina. “Praise Falan. Dean Nina, don’t speak these words again.”
Nina also realized her slip of tongue. Trembling with fear within her heart, she kept silent.
Ferguson’s vision moved off the stage towards the Divine Music division cheering squad in the stands. Those shining white thighs made even Ferguson unable to help but quietly swallow a mouthful of saliva. In fact, although he wasn’t of a young age anymore, when he saw the beautiful ladies of the Divine Music division, he couldn’t help but feel somewhat envious of the youngsters.
“Ye Yin Zhu, go! The Divine Music division is the most powerful.” A voice as rich as pearls and jades echoed from the front of the Divine Music division’s cheering squad. A girl brandished a special flower bouquet in her hand as she shouted loudly with excitement. So to say, the audience had at least 5000 males. Then, of these 5000 males, at least 95% of their gazes fell upon this girl. Among their number, more than 70% were constantly swallowing their saliva as they stared with shining eyes.
As the captain of the Divine Music division’s cheering squad, they absolutely must pay attention to the Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts’ most beautiful woman – Xiang Luan.
Xiang Luan wasn’t even her name, but her title. No one knew her real name. Even in the institution’s student resources, her name had been replaced with Xiang Luan—the name of a flower that symbolizes happiness with its one of a kind beauty. Her appearance was serene, being both harmonious and generous; the perfect embodiment of the Milan Empire—a country which represented freedom, optimism, and honesty. She was the Milan Empire’s national beauty. All the Milan citizens loved her, calling her ‘Golden Lily.’
Hearing this voice while already standing on stage, Ye Yin Zhu involuntarily cast his gaze in its direction. Although this wasn’t the first time he saw Xiang Luan, he still felt his heart speed up once again upon seeing her.
Dressed in the same white skirt and blue top, Xiang Luan possessed a one of a kind, earthly beauty. She was approximately 1.7 meters tall and had the perfect golden proportions. Slender, her smooth and slender thighs were half exposed. Long strawberry blonde hair cascaded in waves over her shoulders and down her back. Her clear lilac eyes glimmered, as if reflecting the sunlight.
Her body soars lightly like a startled swan
Gracefully like a dragon in flight
In splendor brighter than the autumn chrysanthemum
In bloom more flourishing than the pine in spring
Dim as the moon mantled in filmy clouds
Restless as snow whirled by the driving wind
Gaze far off from a distance: She sparkles like the sun rising from morning mists
Press closer to examine: She flames like the lotus flower topping the green wave 1
Any man who looked at her heartwarming appearance was incapable of shifting his gaze. The rest of the beautiful ladies from the Divine Music division stood behind her all possessed radiant appearances that fell short of her.
The first time he met Xiang Luan, Ye Yin Zhu’s brain blanked out. He saw many beautiful ladies of the Divine Music division, but only Xiang Luan made his heart race and his face red hot. The feeling Xiang Luan gave him was completely different. That appearance was engraved deeply within his heart.
At this moment, Ye Yin Zhu once more gazed into Xiang Luan’s encouraging eyes. Unconsciously, his whole body seemed to brim with endless strength and surging, boundless confidence.
‘She’s looking at me; she’s cheering me on? Win. I must lead the Divine Music division to victory.’
“Hey, stop looking! Haven’t you stared long enough!” Xue Ling’s rebuking voice roused Ye Yin Zhu from his daze.
“Ah! I…” The pure Ye Yin Zhu couldn’t stop his face from burning up.
Xue Ling groaned. Moving closer to Ye Yin Zhu’s side, she whispered, “Stop looking. It’s useless to look. Do you know how many men are chasing after Senior Xiang Luan in our institution? To say the least, even if she really took a fancy to you, you, unfortunately, could not enjoy it.”
“Why?” Ye Yin Zhu automatically asked.
Xue Ling elaborated, “Don’t tell me you want to be the target of our entire institution? It’s time to compete. Focus.”
Ye Yin Zhu sucked in a deep breath. No longer looking at Xiang Luan to the side, he regathered his mind and examined his opponent across from him. He looked at Rolande again. Today, she wore a Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts school uniform. Although she was very beautiful, Ye Yin Zhu was practically immune to her beauty after meeting the stunning Xiang Luan and the numerous beautiful ladies of the Divine Music division. He originally joined the Freshman Competition to prove himself; Rolande could be said to be the originator of this desire.
As the Wind division general, Rolande’s complexion appeared somewhat gloomy. She indeed didn’t expect that Ye Yin Zhu could actually lead Divine Music division to participate in the competition. Not only that, he also acquired a perfect victory record.
“Rolande, we meet again.” As the Divine Music division general, Ye Yin Zhu walked up to face Rolande.
Rolande coldly snorted. “I didn’t expect a pauper like you to have skill, but your victory streak ends here. I’m personally going to show you what true magic and true strength are.”
These days, Ye Yin Zhu had already learned many things at college. In addition to his naturally gentle disposition, his childhood musical education, mentality, and temperament made him all in all difficult to infuriate. Smiling slightly, he said, “Then let’s begin. We choose team battle.” Instead of pointless arguing, he would use facts to proves that ability was everything.
The five student competitors of the Wind division were all male, except Rolande. In the split second after the referee formally declared the start of the match, five spheres of yellow light immediately shone simultaneously. Following after the Dark Magic division and Light division, the Divine Music division again ran across a situation where their five competitors were all Yellow Rank.
Rolande and two students had reached the Primary Level Yellow Rank while the other two students had reached the highest level in the Wind division. Wind magic didn’t have the strongest offensive magic, but it absolutely had the best agility magic. Sharp, ear-piercing whistles broke the silence within the first few moments of the match. Ten red wind blades scattered out from the magical staves of the five competitors, flying towards Ye Yin Zhu and his team like an avalanche.
Milky white rays of light shone brilliantly. Just as in the past, the Divine Celestial Protection quietly manifested, protecting Ye Yin Zhu’s team of five. Today they chose to play the song << White Snow >>. Like before, the song brimmed with sorrow. To a Divine Music mage, it was easiest to influence others and to channel spiritual power to control the their opponents’ moods through sad songs. In case their magical rank was lower compared to other magic departments, Nina arranged for them to play sad songs throughout the competition.
In order to withstand the attacks of the opponents, Ye Yin Zhu took several precautions. The first notes of << White Snow >> arose from Hai Yang’s guzheng, the clear and bright guzheng notes echoing immediately.
Suddenly, the air changed as the wind blades advanced towards them. When the ten wind blades were only a few meters away from them, they suddenly changed directions. They collided against each other at high speeds. Their sharp, ear-piercing clashes immediately disrupted the rhythm of the music. Hai Yang slowed down her hands when << White Snow >> was unexpectedly cut short in a split second.
Xue Ling, Lan Xi, and Kong Que’s complexions changed. This song was the Divine Music division’s only chance to win. It was clearly not a good omen for the whistling wind to disrupt it the moment they began.
The wind blades colliding in the sky didn’t stop. The ear-piercing, whistling wind continued to resonate. Apart from Rolande and the other Advanced Level Yellow Rank Wind division student, the remaining three students continuously casted instantaneous wind blades. They didn’t attack the Divine Celestial Protection, instead creating unceasing collisions against each other outside of the protection’s bounds. Through the wind blade collisions and the violent cacophony, they cut off the Divine Music division’s four-female ensemble.
- (‘Ode of the Goddess of the Luo River’ and its art counterpart ‘Goddess of the Luo River’ — Gu Kai Zhi (Minford 314) — translated by Burton Watson; “All eight of these elements (birds, dragon, chrysanthemum, pine, moon, snow, sun, lotus) that describe the goddess’ beauty are visually present in the first scene of the scroll; Gu Kaizhi literally illustrates the similes found in the poem that define the goddess (Chen 10). It is also in this scene where the viewer is confronted with symbols that represent the contrast between the world of humans and the world of the spirits. The goddess, surrounded by these eight elements of nature and the supernatural, faces the prince who is surrounded by elements of the world of man, his attendants, their royal garments and belongings. This encounter between the natural world and the world of man foreshadows the difficult truth that is to come, the man and deity cannot break the barrier that separates them (Chen 12).”) ↩