Chapter 37 – Zither Healing Behemoths (I)
Ye Yin Zhu suddenly felt his spiritual force undulate slightly. An indescribable calling, coupled with a very familiar, dear feeling had caused his spiritual force to undulate.
“It’s Zi. Zi is calling for me,” Ye Yin Zhu said in slight surprise. Could it be that Zi had met with trouble? “Sura, I need to leave right now. I should be back in two hours; don’t tell anyone else that I have disappeared.”
Not waiting for Sura to respond, a layer of milky-white radiance flashed and engulfed Ye Yin Zhu’s body, as if he had suddenly bursted with holy light. In an instant, his body was hidden by the emergence of the spotlessly white rays of light. Quickly, the brilliant rays disappeared, and when all of the light had faded into nothingness, Ye Yin Zhu’s body had also subsequently disappeared. Watching this happen, Sura was stupefied.
Brilliant rays of light flashed, and Ye Yin Zhu arrived in an unfamiliar region. The first thing his senses registered was the cold climate. Compared to Sacred Heart City, this place was significantly colder. The Divine Celestial Protection on his body, stimulated by the cold climate, emitted a layer of gentle magical energy, disconnecting his body from the cold air around him.
He was in a forest. The trees surrounding him were perfectly suited to grow in the cold forest—evergreens. When Ye Yin Zhu had transversed space, he had become disoriented. Awaking from his disorientation, a feeling of terror immediately spread throughout the rest of his body. Surrounding him were gigantic bodies; it was as if he was standing upon a hill made of these gigantic bodies. Two pairs of ice-cold, ominous eyes attentively rested upon Ye Yin Zhu’s body.
Behemoths; they were Behemoths. Two Behemoths with lustrous, glimmering gold hair stood on either side of him. Ye Yin Zhu could sense from their gazes intense killing intent and rage.
Almost immediately, Ye Yin Zhu summoned from his left hand the Moon and Tides’ Clear Brilliance Zither while Jade Silk had already been unfurled in his right hand, transforming into a jade green loop of light that encircled his body. But under the gazes of both Gold Behemoths, he felt that he was too weak.
“Yin Zhu, don’t be nervous. They won’t harm you.” A familiar voice rang out from behind him. Ye Yin Zhu suddenly turned around, meeting Zi’s warm gaze.
“Zi, run for it! These Behemoths will hurt you.” Tremendous worry plagued Ye Yin Zhu’s heart as he quickly moved to block Zi’s body with his own.
Zi smiled slightly and clapped Ye Yin Zhu’s shoulder. He raised his head to look towards the Gold Behemoths Dis and Perkins and said, “You arrived too early. I need to speak with my younger brother.”
“Understood.” The deep voices seemed to make the air quiver. The two Gold Behemoths’ gazes were still glaring maliciously at Ye Yin Zhu, their gazes intensifying in hatred upon seeing the guqin in his hand. After a moment, the two of them slowly walked away.
“They listen to you?” Ye Yin Zhu looked at Zi in astonishment. Just now, he had unexpectedly seen the Behemoths surrounding him and had panicked, the situation making it difficult for his heart to remain serene.
Zi pointed at a rock to the side. “Sit down first; listen to me.”
Ye Yin Zhu walked over to the rock and sat down, carefully observing his surroundings. This place had an abundant amount of Behemoths. Relying on his memory, he could clearly recall that these were the Behemoths who attacked Konya City. At the moment, however, apart from the two Gold Behemoths, the remaining Behemoths were all lying down on the ground. Very many of them were even painfully groaning.
“Yin Zhu.” Zi’s voice suddenly became very cold. “Did you ever take me as your brother?”
Ye Yin Zhu blankly stared at him, before saying, “Of course I do. You are my best friend, my best brother.”
Zi angrily argued, “Then why is it that every time you run into danger, you never summon me? Don’t tell me that the Equal Life Contract we share is nothing but decoration?”
Ye Yin Zhu somewhat awkwardly replied, “No, it’s not like this. Zi, that day, the enemy I was facing was truly too powerful. There were so many Behemoths. Even if I summoned you, I was afraid that you would also…”
Zi’s gaze gradually became gentler. He sighed and said, “I know you are very fond of me and dread me receiving harm. That’s why you prefer to face these dangers on your own and never summon me. But we are brothers! Till death do us brothers part. Under the restrictions of the Equal Life Contract, do you believe that if you died, I would be alright?! I need to confess something to you. When the contract was sealed, equality was relative, not absolute. As the one who formed the contract, I drew up the contract rules. According to the rules I had drawn up then, if you die, then, through the life aura connection, I will also die. Conversely, if I die, then you will also receive severe injuries. Actually, the moment the contract was sealed, our lives were already weaved together. Even though this can make our individual life forces become exceedingly more powerful, it also restricts us at the same time. We must work together when facing any and all dangers. Do you understand?”
Ye Yin Zhu stared at him, dumbstruck. “How can this be? Zi, fortunately nothing happened this time. Otherwise, I would’ve harmed you!”
Zi said, “As long as you understand, it’s good. We must protect one another. You need to completely understand this bit. From now on, regardless of what danger you run into, you need to immediately summon me.
Ye Yin Zhu nodded. “I understand. But Zi, why are you together with these Behemoths? They don’t seem to have any enmity towards you.”
Zi unhappily said, “That day, if I didn’t forcefully use the Amethyst Sword to cut open a void and face the dangers of traversing through the chaotic streams of space to appear by your side using our spiritual connection… Don’t tell me that you believe your power really would be able to ward off the Gold Behemoths? As rank 9 magical beasts, even if Gold Behemoths are not the most powerful, their title as being unrivaled on land warfare isn’t for show. Anyway, you had done well enough that day. I heard about the situation from Dis and Perkins. You unexpectedly depended on your own power and were able to destroy the colossal beastmen legion, causing numerous Behemoths to be gravely injured. It is indeed a unimaginable feat.
“You probably have already guessed some of what I’m about to say. Right, the beastmen and I have some relations to one another. You can be at ease. From now on, I can guarantee, at the very least, your safety here. These eighty-six Behemoths will absolutely not be your enemy again.”
Ye Yin Zhu said in amazement, “Zi, don’t tell me that you can order these Behemoths around? Are you the King of Beastmen?”
Zi’s eyes flashed with an arrogant light. He shook his head and said, “No, I am not the King of Beastmen. Don’t guess. I’ll tell you the day you reach Violet Rank in strength. I will be able to tell you everything then. When that moment comes, I will need to ask you to help me. Yin Zhu, this time I summoned you because I hope that you can help me heal these Behemoths. Can you?”
Ye Yin Zhu blanked out for a moment. “Heal them?”
Zi nodded and explained, “In a war, both sides will inevitably experience casualties. I need these Behemoths to help me in the future, however, so can you help me, Yin Zhu?”
“Yes.” Ye Yin Zhu’s gaze toward Zi only held trust.
This time, it was Zi’s turn to be slightly surprised. “They were still previously your enemy, and they still want to kill you. Do you not care about that?”
Ye Yin Zhu shook his head and said, “I care very much. You taught me that against whoever wanted to harm me, the best method would be to completely eradicate them from existence. But right now, they are your friends. You said that from here on out, they will no longer be my enemies. I trust you. At the same time, I also hope they will never attack Milan again in the future. I am very fond of this country.”
Zi gazed deeply at Ye Yin Zhu before nodding. He said, “Alright. I, Zi, vow here that unless Ye Yin Zhu agrees, in no way will I lead the Behemoths to threaten the Milan Empire in any way.”
Ye Yin Zhu smiled faintly. “Thank you, Zi. So how will I heal them?” In fact, he was completely unaware of how important this vow of Zi’s was.
Zi said, “I remember that you once played an origin cultivation meditation song. You will need to play it three times, I presume. A Behemoth’s vitality is extremely tenacious, but these Berserk Behemoths and Silver Behemoths had received extremely grave injuries. They need to heal their foundations as much as possible, which will allow them to bring out their own innate healing abilities. Apart from you, I can’t think of anyone else who can help me.”
Ye Yin Zhu smiled faintly. “I will always help you.” As he said this, he withdrew the Moon and Tides’ Clear Brilliance. Rays of light sparked across his hand as another guqin materialized above his knees.
Zi stared at it. The guqin resting on Ye Yin Zhu’s knees was made of paulownia wood, lacquered with an ashy abatis grain pattern. The guqin was as violet as a chestnut shell, with gilded gold jade square emblems. It had a circular dragon pond and a boat-shaped phoenix pool. The seven tuning pegs below the strings were black, and its entire body was patterned like cracked snake-skin. Between those thin, cracked lines were frost patterns that broke the lacquer even more. A circle was carved at the top with the four words ‘Da Sheng Yi Yin’ on it.1 Although the zither’s color was dark, the zither brimmed with purity and holiness. A layer of faintly discernible light emitted from it and fused together with Ye Yin Zhu’s aura, giving people a one-of-a-kind extraordinary feeling.
“Yin Zhu, you have recovered your zithers?” Zi stated, pleasantly surprised.
Ye Yin Zhu smiled and said, “Yes! My luck is pretty good, as everything was returned. Unfortunately, in order to handle the beastmen, I was forced to absorb a tremendous amount of spiritual force and was thus unable to steadily control the power. It led to the seven dragon tendon strings of the Withered Wood, Dragon’s Roar Zither snapping. How can our Zither Sect’s guqin be used again after this?”
Zi’s eyes displayed a faintly discernible pondering light. “Seven dragon tendons?”
Ye Yin Zhu didn’t pay attention to Zi’s ponderings. Both his hands caressed the strings for a moment before his body and mind completely melded with the zither, his heartstrings resonating with the zither strings. Talking to himself, he said, “This is Da Sheng Yi Yin Zither. Wood of Yi Yang,2 and material of Kong Sang.3 The phoenix cries to the autumn moon; the crane dances atop a terrace of jade. Within this guqin, the nine heralded virtues fuse together perfectly, continuously pushing Da Sheng Yi Yin to greater heights. Hence, he had also decided that this zither is the best choice to play songs that produce healing effects.”
Zi asked in awe, “Perfect fusion of the nine virtues?”
- Da Sheng Yi Yin is also known as the “Musical Legacy of the Sage.” It’s a 1,200 year old famous guqin made by the Lei family workshop in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). ↩
- In ancient times, specialty paulownia wood from Yi Shan Nan was considered to be top-notch material to make zithers from. ↩
- A name from Ancient Chinese folklore, 《 Classic of Mountain and Sea 》. Its name comes from the wide expanse of mulberry tree forestry and was also well-known as the birthplace of the famous prime minister Yi from prehistoric Shang dynasty and Sage Confucius. English translation would be something like “Sky of Mulberry Trees.” Mulberry Tree Symbolism in China ↩