Chapter 3 – Blade of Music (IV)
Yin Zhu was completely unaware of everything occurring in the outside world. The pinnacle of the <<Three Variations at Yangguan>> song were three plucked notes, a heavy vibrato, and three harmonizing vibratos. Now with the end of the first variation, Yin Zhu’s hands appeared illusionary as they touched the strings. Immediately, the zither music tempo sped up, and the solidification of the stagnant air intensified in strength. Only the Indigo Rank mage Rufete was able to maintain a clear head, unlike the two Green Rank mages and the three Yellow Rank mages who completely lost awareness of their surroundings. Engrossed in the zither music, Diarra and the other two mages were also affected, but to a different degree. The only one who was completely unaffected by this was Zi who stood right behind Yin Zhu.
Yin Zhu’s strength was actually equivalent to a Yellow Rank Advanced Mage upon reaching the ninth level of the Pure Zither Heart. It was only because his breakthroughs were solely dedicated to the Pure Zither Heart that his aura remained red, hence the misidentification by his opponents. In the 16 years of his zither career, how could his strength be weak? Not to mention mages of equal rank, any mage within three ranks of him were affected by the zither music. Moreover, his opponents had no defense against the music. Even if the mage was an Advanced level Green Rank, he would still be affected.
As the dark red light intensified, the air elemental magic seemed to follow the zither music and danced to its continuous rhythm. The gloomy and sorrowful zither music already concealed this great danger. As a zither mage, he actually used his zither music to its greatest extent, directly attacking them all. This was a power that could single-handedly challenge six higher ranked opponents, all at once. In all honesty, this was something only Yin Zhu could accomplish.
Rufete felt more and more of the zither music’s influence. In his heart he felt wounded, but he was an Indigo Rank mage. His strength was three ranks above Yin Zhu at the seventh and eighth level of indigo power. Therefore, he could still steady his spiritual force and halt the music’s bewildering effect. He bit his tongue; under the effect of pain, he was able to sober up immediately after. He waved his right hand and grasped a slender magic staff that appeared out of nowhere. With the flick of his wrist, a large ball of fire instantly flew towards Yin Zhu.
Any mage could instantaneously use their current rank’s magic and magic three ranks lower. For example, a Green Rank mage could use Red Rank magic, without any chants. Soundlessly, he used instantaneous magic to finish off his opponent. Rufete only had murderous intentions. Even now, he still did not take this “Red Rank” Divine Music mage seriously.
That large ball of fire appeared orange. While flustered, Rufete could still cast Orange Rank magic. This made him rather overbearing. In a blink of an eye, that orange fireball arrived in front of Yin Zhu.
Diarra intended to block it, this Cyan Rank mage was clear-headed. However, with his strength, there was not enough time to block the magic that had already been cast. He could not help but cry out in alarm.
Zi quietly clenched his fist. Yin Zhu suddenly raised his head at that moment, his bright eyes exuding a strange luster. His eight fingers had not stopped playing; instead a faint yellow radiance had unknowingly already filled his hands for an undetermined amount of time. The zither music was magnified almost instantly. A loud hum followed by yellowish-red lights emerged and floated in the air, surrounding the orange fireball above.
With a bang, the orange fireball was crushed into a speck of light and disappeared.
Yin Zhu’s left hand swiftly moved. In a flash, he seized the seventh string with his thumb while his right hand continued to play the melody of the <<Three Variations at Yangguan>>, creating a wondrous sound. His left hand relaxed all of a sudden, and the seven thin rays of hybrid red-yellow light emerged, floating in the air. The vigorously profound zither music was not piercing, however, as the Thundering Spring Zither produced beautifully light notes.
Compared to the speed of sound, the hybrid red-yellow light’s speed was much faster. The radiance flashed by as the <<Three Variations at Yangguan>> came to a screeching stop in an indiscernible moment.
The six mages from the Wavast Kingdom stood lifeless, including Rufete. Everyone was motionless.
Diarra and the two Yellow Rank mages behind him immediately became clear-headed when the zither music disappeared. Behind Yin Zhu, Zi was also sluggish like the mages from Wavast Kingdom, but his eyes were focused on Yin Zhu’s body, not on the destination of the hybrid red-yellow light.
A silver light flashed, and the Thundering Spring Zither already returned to the space ring. Yin Zhu patted his body for dust as he stood up. Talking to himself vexedly, “I still cannot emit seven blades simultaneously as I continue playing the zither song. No wonder Grandfather Qin told me that my maturity is still lacking and deficient.”
“They… what’s wrong with them?” Diarra uneasily asked.
“Dead,” Yin Zhu said this earth-shattering fact dully. “Grandfather Qin said that seven music blades should have struck each and every one of my opponents. That Indigo clothed man was difficult to deal with, but I am better than him when I use my music blade.”
Diarra looked at Rufete and the other five mages dumbstruck. He saw only a thin slice of blood across all six mages’ necks as well as Rufete’s magic staff which had fallen to the ground, split into two pieces. His eyes were wide, even in death he was still in disbelief of everything that happened.
“This is wrong. The zither music should have instantly ejected a sound wave blended with dou qi, making a blade of music. You were going too fast, you see. You are messing up at the 160th zither string.”
“The is too slow; dou qi and the sound wave did not fuse together, completely without any power at all .”
“Grandfather Qin, when will I succeed?”
“When? Only when, as you play the zither, you are able to produce and control the music blades incessantly as you please. Regarding your success, you are still lacking. Continue practicing; remember to lift the bottom finger……”
“Who is Grandfather Diarra?” Yin Zhu appeared to have not even been slightly affected by the scene. He did not even pay attention to Rufete and those mages still standing there.
Actually, Rufete was exceptionally strong, but he carelessly saw Yin Zhu as only a Red Rank. They did not even have the time to summon their familiars and magic scrolls under the influence of the zither magic and was killed by Yin Zhu in an instant.
Diarra’s voice trembled. Now that he saw Yin Zhu’s crystal clear black eyes, he couldn’t help but feel frightened. “I, I am he. Your Grandfather Qin instructed me to give you this.” While speaking, he groped around his chest for a Red Rank mage emblem and handed it over to Yin Zhu.
Yin Zhu took the emblem enthusiastically. He saw that naturally, it was a red Six-Star emblem with an engraving of a zither on top. Magic faintly fluctuated, frantically changing directions, atop the emblem.
“Ah, this is what Grandfather Qin asked you to give to me! Then I’ll take my leave. Thank you, Grandfather Diarra,” saying this, Yin Zhu and Zi walked out.
“Ah! Praise Falan, wait a moment.” Diarra in a great rush shouted Yin Zhu to stop.
Yin Zhu turned around, inquisitively asking, “Is there another matter?”
Diarra muttered, “Your Grandfather Qin told me to give you that mage emblem and arrange for someone to guide you to Milan. Furthermore, I am supposed to instruct you on some general knowledge about the continent.”