Chapter 32 – The Return of the Five Zithers (III)
Oliveira didn’t forge on; instead, he was simply sitting on his Earth Dragon’s back while coldly observing his adversary. At this moment, the beastmen had just descended the mountain. Their bedraggled appearance could only be described as miserable; this was, of course, apart from the Behemoth legion at the center of the troops, as they were still intact. The other three beastmen races, however, appeared to have already lost their will to fight. Currently, he could only pray that Ye Yin Zhu’s countermeasure was a success, praying also for the beastmen attack to be delayed for a long while and thus allowing the mages on the city walls ample preparation time.
Oliveira realized that for the very first time, he was nervous. In the future, when he became the top ranked general of the Milan Empire, he would think back on his military career and name the Battle of Konya City as his most dangerous and most unbalanced battle.
From his side, Oliveira observed his enemies, while the opposing beastmen observed the humans. Dis could not see any strong advantages this Dragon Cavalry possessed. The mages atop Konya City’s walls, however, made him feel a bit uneasy.
Mages were the noblest vocation in every country on this continent. In each country, they were only ever assigned to the principal regiment. For mages to appear in a small town like Konya City, in addition to the prior fire attack, these happenstances made this Golden Dynamite somewhat hesitant. He naturally didn’t know that when he’d transmitted down his orders to the army to recover themselves, the scales of this battle had already begun to quietly tilt.
Gold Behemoth Perkins’ gaze didn’t focus solely on scanning the city walls up and down like Dis; all along, he had been attentively watching the very top of Konya City, relying on his superior Behemoth eyesight to clearly see the young mage standing atop the center of Konya City’s walls.
Sunlight shone down on that white magical robe, causing the glossy fabric to shimmer a brilliance similar to that of lustrous gems. Black hair naturally framed his face, his whole appearance handsome with a scholarly aura radiating from him. His calm and collected expression led to the impression that he had already grasped everything on the battlefield. Most of all, his two black eyes shone like stars, an abyssal clarity present within them. Since the appearance of the Dragon Cavalry, this young, handsome mage stood motionless atop the city walls as he watched the battlefield. Perkins faintly sensed that this mage was the true pillar of the Milan Empire’s army.
The man Perkins was looking at was Ye Yin Zhu, who stood there because he wanted to always be able to determine the beastmen’s movements and mobilize his side accordingly. A second passed by. To the Milan Empire’s army, each passing second increased their chances of success. Regardless of the preparations on the city wall or the highly anticipated reinforcements, all they needed was time.
The green ice gradually expanded with the full efforts of the Ice Mage, already reaching the meter-thick requisite Ye Yin Zhu demanded. It was unknown whether it was because of the Imperial Princess or the pressure of the beastmen army that allowed this mage to bring out 120% of his strength, with his freezing speed was significantly faster than normal.
At this moment, however, the most conspicuous figure was not this Ice Mage nor the Spatial Domain Mage arranging the Voice Magnification Spell; instead, it was Chang Hao.
Chang Hao’s method of arranging a Spatial Domain far exceeded all the mages’ scope of knowledge. He used a special method to fix the Spatial Silver Crystals to the floor. As if he was playing chess, each placement followed a particular trajectory. His spiritual force drew up from beneath him, and the undulating magical elements in the air gradually became increasingly rich and powerful.
Apart from the Spatial Silver Crystals, he was also withdrawing from his space ring a few black gems of equal size, arranging them like he had done with the previous Spatial Silver Crystals in an alternating arrangement. His current arrangement did not resemble a magical formation at all; it looked like the city walls had become a vertical chess game. Every time he laid down a gem, he muttered to himself for a brief moment. 1
“Idol, isn’t there something more useful for me to do?” Fisichella currently had nothing to do. At first, he thought that he would be going to war with Oliveira, but he had instead been forced to return with Xiang Luan’s order. He also knew that he could’ve used his rank to participate in the battle, but he feared that the Dragon Cavalry’s fighting strength would be drastically reduced in order to protect him. Therefore, he could only stay on top the city walls. Looking at all the mages sitting down in preparation for their tasks, allowing them to maintain their magical reserves at peak performance, he also didn’t know if there was anything useful he could do.
Ye Yin Zhu said, “Your Highness, you shouldn’t call me Idol. Call me Yin Zhu.”
Fisichella laughed mischievously, remarking, “How can I do that? My belief in Idol has not changed at all. When I first met you, I thought it was brave of you to join the Divine Music division to pick up girls, earning my respect. Later on, you revealed your formidable strength. Amongst all of our peers, you are the one I see as the person with the most tremendous talent. Even with the chicken rib magic of the Divine Music division… in your hands, that chicken became a phoenix.”2
“Who are you calling a chicken?” Xiang Luan unimpressed voice suddenly rang out. Fisichella immediately couldn’t make a sound, his face becoming rigid. His awkward appearance was extremely hilarious.
“Nothing. Big sis, I definitely wasn’t talking about you. You’re obviously the phoenix.”
Hai Yang spoke up from beside Xiang Luan. “Then is his Highness talking about me?”
“Eh…. No, Older Sister Hai Yang. Oh! Right, are you two not meditating to maintain your optimum magical reserves?”
Xiang Luan unhappily glared at him before following Hai Yang to the side, entering a meditative state again like the rest of the mages.
Fisichella let out a breath of relief. He whispered to Ye Yin Zhu, “This older sister of mine! Sometimes she’s nice, but other times, she has quite a temper. Idol, it would be better if it’s like this; how about you pursue my older sister? I’ve seen that her feelings toward you is completely different from how she feels about others. Maybe you have a chance.”
Ye Yin Zhu’s face flushed red. Frowning, he said, “Your highness, you shouldn’t speak such drivel. Do you not have a task? Good, I will give you one right now.” As he said this, he used his dou qi to condense sound into a thin thread. He turned toward Fisichella and softly spoke a few lines.
“What? What are you making me do this time? This is out of the question. This is absolutely out of the question.” Fisichella’s head shook back and forth, as if it was about to fall off.
Ye Yin Zhu smiled and said, “Why not? Your highness, you should know that this task is extremely critical. It can tremendously prevent our side from suffering losses. All of us mages are atop the city walls, with you and Sura being the only warriors. He is not as good as you are in this aspect. Don’t tell me that you don’t want our losses to be even slightly reduced?”
Fisichella doubtfully said, “Is this truly that important?”
Ye Yin Zhu nodded seriously. “Of course.”
Fisichella said, “Then why can’t you tell them?”
Ye Yin Zhu bitterly smiled and explained, “Do you believe they will listen to my orders? They will only listen because of your identity as a prince. In addition, the results will only emerge when the war genuinely begins.”
Fisichella firmly said, “Since my role is so important, that’s good. They will listen. I’ll walk around, so you can go back to your work.”
He left, and Sura, who had been standing beside Ye Yin Zhu the entire time, asked, “So what did you end up having him do?”
Ye Yin Zhu mysteriously smiled before replying, “Naturally something that’s very important.”
Sura lowered his voice. “Yin Zhu, be honest. How much of a chance do you have in blocking the beastmen army? Even with a lot of mages, I don’t think your magic will affect the beastmen.”
Ye Yin Zhu forced a smile onto his face before saying, “I have a thirty percent chance.”
Sura widened his eyes. “Only a thirty percent chance, yet you dare to take it? You must know that atop these city walls are all of the direct blood relations to the Milan Emperor.”
Ye Yin Zhu displayed an innocent expression. “But when Elder Brother Oliveira gave me command of the military, I was told that this cannot be a retreat, to risk it all for even a ten percent chance of success. To fight is to have a chance; anything else would be immediate defeat.”
Sura slightly revealed his feelings on his face. “I promised to follow you. Right now, though, I think this change in personality is no good. Forget about it. Since it’s already like this, I can only follow your insanity.”
Ye Yin Zhu sighed lightly. “It’s a pity that I lost all of my previous zithers. If I had the Withered Wood, Dragon’s Roar Zither, the chances of blocking the beastmen would be raised by at least ten percent. Different zither songs can only be played on specific zithers, with results varying drastically. Right now, I merely hope the Waterfall of Connecting Pearls Zither can produce a slightly good effect.”
Sura hesitated for a moment before asking, “Are you saying that if you could have the Withered Wood, Dragon’s Roar Zither, your magic’s effectiveness would increase?”
Ye Yin Zhu nodded without the slightest hesitation.
Lowering his head, Sura’s eyes brimmed with a complex light. His heart violently struggled, as he didn’t know if he should do this. But if he did, he was truly terrified that he would lose Yin Zhu!
“Sura, are you alright? Yi, it seems that the beastmen have moved.” There was quite a bit of tension within Ye Yin Zhu’s voice.
Sura abruptly lifted his head to look into the distance. Sure enough, the beastmen at the foot of the mountain had already begun to mobilize. The Apemen and Leopardmen extended out into two wings while the Tigermen served as the center with the Behemoths behind them. This type of formation allowed them to attack Konya City’s walls from all sides.
Gritting his teeth, Sura knew he could no longer hesitate. His right hand grasped his chest. He withdrew a small box from somewhere and extended it out toward Ye Yin Zhu, placing it into the other’s hand. His voice slightly shuddered as he said, “Inside are the things you desire. Don’t ask anything. If we are still alive after today’s battle, I will explain everything to you.” The moment the words left his mouth, Sura’s body became a gray bolt of lightning as he disappeared from view.
Ye Yin Zhu stared blankly after him. He bowed his head to look at what Sura had given him. When he opened the case, his entire body froze immediately in shock. Within this small, slightly heavy case was a silver ring that was calmly releasing a very familiar magical fluctuation. Very familiar, just like that space ring he had lost when traveling to Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts. The space ring that had his introduction letter, his travel expenses, and the five ranked zithers of the Zither Sect!
At this very moment, Ye Yin Zhu’s entire body became lifeless. Even though he was a simple person, his memory and comprehension far exceeded an ordinary person’s. In the blink of an eye, his mind had clearly pieced together everything.
“Sir! Sir, beseeching your honorable self to bestow a bit of coin!”
“Thank you, thank you kind sir.”
“Get up quickly, the ground is cold.”
“Sir, thank you. You are indeed a good person.”
He recalled the similarly slim figures… Ye Yin Zhu clearly understood, but at this very moment, his heart was, nevertheless, empty.
“Yin Zhu, the beastmen are approaching.” Fisichella’s voice suddenly rang out from somewhere close by.
- TL/ED would like to note that this is more similar to weiqi/go, but TJSS repeatedly used 其 instead of 围棋, so the ZE team can do nothing but follow TJSS’s words…even if the description is nothing like chess. The TLer assumes Chang Hao is either recreating a game of weiqi, which is normally recreated move by move in the exact order of the original game, or is creating a chessboard. ↩
- Chicken rib = trashy/useless/weak; Fisichella is saying that YZ turned a weak magic into something legendary ↩