Chapter 2 – The Zither and Bamboo Combination (IV)
[Author’s Note] Summary: I need your support as it gives me more motivation to write. Because of your support for the previous chapters, three chapter parts will be released tomorrow.
Since the day Ye Li made a fool of Qin Shang, it could be said that Ye Zhong greatly admired his father. Laughing darkly, he hastily pulled Mei Ying and Ye Yin Zhu into his embrace, stepping forward to thank him.
Qin Shang stared blankly. He just realised that he was clearly deceived once again, unfortunately left with no alternative against Ye Li. Pointing at Ye Li, he said, “So, you inferred that I would use my origin cultivation meditation song, you! You! Now, I finally understand that you are actually an old crafty bastard.”
The origin cultivation meditation song was tremendously beneficial for martial practitioners. With the song, there was no need to worry about dou qi revolving too quickly and then magically bursting into flames, and it could eliminate distracting thoughts in one’s heart. These two effects were precisely why martial practitioners yearned for this even in their dreams. Experiencing the zither music drew heaven and earth into motion, attracting elemental energy which would strengthen the foundation of one’s cultivation.This in turn greatly increased the martial practitioner’s cultivation speed. As the Zither Sect Clan leader, Qin Shang’s performance of the origin cultivation meditation song was highly coveted by everyone for its benefits.
Even if Qin Shang was the newly-appointed Arcadian Magic Guild President, he immediately moved to the Desolate Jade Sea to live there. As such, little Yin Zhu grew up with the sound of leaves dancing in the spring breeze and the echo of the gurgling clear autumn waters as he slowly matured……
Six years later.
As the first rays of sunlight entered the bamboo house, it was accompanied by the deep and low soft notes of the zither. Ye Yin Zhu slowly awakened from his meditation. He couldn’t help but groan as he aroused from the warm and cozy state he was in.
The six years old Ye Yin Zhu, was pretty, resembling a girl. Black hair draped over his shoulders, scattering loosely behind his back. Blessed with a pair of huge black eyes that were bright and full of emotions, he wore a somewhat oversized white gown, however, it didn’t influence his temperament which possessed the elegance of the heavens. None of his movements lacked a graceful air. Even someone of nobility could not be compared to him. Although he was still a child, sitting there, his bearing indicated that he was impervious to desires and passions, his serene expression was indeed startling. A faint cyan and red aura that encompassed his whole body gradually dispersed and dimmed, the cyan radiance was slightly prominent and strong, but the red light was richly dark.
The sound of the zither stopped, Qin Shang withdrew his hands as he looked slightly exhausted. “Yin Zhu, it appears that your dou qi has improved once again.”
“Yes! Grandfather Qin, yesterday grandfather arrived and talked to me for some time. It seems as if I have already entered the last Cyan Bamboo rank.” Little Yin Zhu excitedly bounced up from the ground to stand up, his face full of childish sincerity. He ran up to Qin Shang and imploringly asked, “Grandfather Qin, shouldn’t you teach me a new song today? I studied with you for a year, and you have only taught me one song, nothing more.”
Qin Shang faintly smiled, saying, “The moment has still not come. You must understand that the principle of studying hundreds of songs is useless. Only by genuinely understanding the secrets of the zither heart will your talent continuously improve.”
Six years had passed by. Qin Shang painstakingly poured all of his efforts into grooming Ye Yin Zhu. Every day, he would play the zither near Ye Yin Zhu for at least half a day so he could listen. The zither sound was mystical, Ye Yin Zhu’s graceful and efficaciously elegant temperament became increasingly distinct. From the age of three, Ye Yin Zhu followed his Grandfather Ye Li to practice Bamboo Dou Qi where Ye Li persistently used his own tremendous dou qi for a year to assist his grandson in unblocking his meridians, enabling Ye Yin Zhu to improve effortlessly and efficiently since the beginning, finding a knack for it. When he was five years old, Qin Shang impart on him the secret of zither magic. Up until now, for a whole year, Qin Shang only taught Ye Yin Zhu the basic fundamentals of fingering the zither and the most simple zither song << Green Water >>, nothing more.
Ye Yin Zhu discontentedly said, “But, I already mastered the song!”
Qin Shang indifferently smiled and said, “Did you truly master it? Very well, come and follow me.” Stretching his body, Qin Shang carried the Thundering Spring Zither as he rose, bringing Ye Yin Zhu away from the bamboo house.
Ye Li’s whole family kept their word and only came to visit Yin Zhu once a month ever since Yin Zhu started to study zither music under Qin Shang. Naturally, the occasional secret visits to see Yin Zhu were unavoidable.
Coming out of the bamboo house to face the vast bamboo forest, Qin Shang stopped walking, and asked, “Yin Zhu, what are the three types of zither sounds and their meanings?”
Ye Yin Zhu, already accustomed to Qin Shang’s evaluations, unhesitantly answered, “The three types of sounds are the open string, the vibrato, and the harmonic. The open string is produced when the right hand plucks a string, the sound wide and thickly timbre. The vibrato originates from the left hand pressing and sliding slightly against the strings on the left side of the zither, while the right hand plucks the string; it emits a soft, graceful, and mellow timbre. The gentle harmonic is produced when both hands pluck the strings of the instrument in tandem, the tone loud and crystal-clear. These three types of sounds blend together to make a zither song.”
Qin Shang nodded and said, “Correct, playing the zither has varying difficulties. There are the most basic harmonics at the seven strings and thirteen emblems producing 91 different notes. In addition, these open string and vibrato notes have many pairings, groupings and various combinations that are far too numerous to count. If you do not understand the fundamentals of good practice, in the future how would you be somewhat successful?”
Yin Zhu cutely nodded and said, “Grandfather Qin, I know my mistake. I will continue to cultivate my basic skills.”
Qin Shang faintly smiled. Even though his words criticized Yin Zhu, his disciple took them to heart, to his satisfaction. Although Ye Yin Zhu only studied the zither for a year, ever since he was a month old until he was five years old, he grew up listening to the sound of the zither. As far as he was concerned, it could be said that he was very familiar with the sound of the zither and not inferior to Qin Shang’s own familiarity. As well as being a genius in studying the zither to an unprecedented high at such a young age, he has already obtained such deep understanding and comprehension. He was absolutely a genius among geniuses.
Qin Shang handed the Thundering Spring Zither to Ye Yin Zhu, permitting him to sit at the bamboo table in front of the bamboo forest. He said, “So, if you are capable of employing the <<Green Water>> song, all of the animals in the forest will gather at your side and consider you to be their most intimate friend. I will teach you a new song if this occurs. Well, you can start practicing while I pick up breakfast for you.”
Ye Yin Zhu nodded, resting the Thundering Spring Zither on top of the bamboo table delicately. Sitting upright and still, both of his hands reached out to play. As his eight fingers were just about to touch the stringed instrument, his temperament changed once again. His innocent face was still present somewhat, but now matured with a tranquility and grace way beyond his age. As his eight fingers strummed the song <<Green Water>>, the sound gently echoed out towards their surroundings.
The zither music was sinuous and pleasant to the ears, however, Qin Shang puckered his brows. “The heart and the zither lack synchronization. If you cannot synchronize the zither resonance, your zither notes will eternally be incapable of attracting any living creature’s spirit.”
Ye Yin Zhu raised his head to look at Qin Shang, hand movements not pausing, but his eyes swiftly closed instead. His small beautiful face exuded a faint smile, and even though the zither song was still <<Green Water>>, the aura of the surroundings had already slightly changed. His whole person seemed to be immersed in the green hills and clear waters. A faint red radiance emerged from his body, floating in the air and releasing into the surroundings.
Watching this scene, Qin Shang nodded, pleased. In his heart, he secretly sighed. ‘Ye Li, ah! You only knew that the Zither Sect’s zither magic was a uniquely strong magic. You did not know, however, that the spirit is strongly connected to magic, especially for Divine Music mages. You absolutely cannot imagine the difficulty of this cultivation method.’