Chapter 40 – The Silver Dragon Princess (I)
After exiting the city, Ye Yin Zhu ran at full-speed. With his Yellow Bamboo Level 5 dou qi, he was the equivalent of a Cyan Rank Sky Warrior. He swiftly arrived at his destination—an open area not too far away from the Milan Institution for Magic and Martial Arts. This place was a forest where men rarely tread; one would not easily be disturbed here.
Once again, he drew out the Thundering Spring Zither. Both his hands caressed the strings as he steadied his impatient mind.
Close by, atop a tree, the violet eyes of a silver figure flickered with astonishment. She suddenly realized that this youth’s temperament had changed in a flash upon gently caressing and stroking the zither strings, the change like the sky and the earth turning upside down. The previous him she had seen had appeared icily arrogant. At this very moment, however, he exuded grace and nobility. His eight fingers lightly brushed the zither, each movement very harmonious. His white robe, flowing black hair, and handsome appearance, as well as that look of single-minded devotion on his face, all easily made a deep impression on people. She subconsciously stopped herself from punching him like she originally intended to. In her heart, she even looked forward to listening to him play a zither song.
Ye Yin Zhu was not eager to try his new theory on sound blades. Just now, his anxiousness made his mind and aura unstable. He needed to make his heartstrings fuse together with the zither strings before continuing with this unusual theory of his.
Lightly plucking a string, a sweet, expressive zither song floated in the air. This was not one of the nine great famed songs of the Zither Sect. It was merely a common zither song used to cultivate one’s mind. Although it had no particular effect, this was still Qin Shang’s favorite zither song, and Ye Yin Zhu was equally fond of it. The song’s name was 《 Devastating Allure 》.
The four fingers of his left hand seemed to be stuck to the strings, while his right hand formed the Rabbit Rise, Fox Drop gesture. Very quickly, a string of melodious zither notes rang out. Ling—ling— The graceful melody rose in spirals from crisp notes.
The zither music was exquisite and full of meaning. The calm and collected control of his fingers transitioned between light and urgent. A lively tempo circled around and around, leaving a trail of poignancy—as if the heart was singing an unexpected, mournful melody.
The silver figure atop the tree was dumbfounded. She had never expected music to actually be so pleasant to listen to or be able to make her heartstrings tremble. She watched Ye Yin Zhu completely immerse himself in playing, watching that single-minded devotion and graceful look on his face. Unconsciously, the rage in her heart gradually quelled. At this very moment, she just didn’t want those eight fingers to stop strumming the zither strings. She wanted him to continue, continue playing that beautiful zither music that wove through the forest wild and free.
During that touching zither song, Ye Yin Zhu couldn’t refrain from singing softly. His voice was not very rich, but it was clear and bright without a single speck of impurity. It was similar to his zither music, very pure.
In the North, there is a beautiful woman,
Unequaled and independent.
A smile can overturn a city,
Another smile can overturn a nation.
How could people know such devastating allure would overturn the nation?
A beautiful woman is thus rare.
In the wake of that line, ‘a beautiful woman is thus rare,’ the rather short song, 《 Devastating Allure 》, ended as the zither song rose in spirals and lingered pleasantly.
Both his hands rose gently before falling. It seemed as if the spring breeze was erasing the pleasant effect of the zither music which lingered. Ye Yin Zhu’s face revealed a smile as he thought to himself, Maybe this song 《 Devastating Allure 》 embodied Grandfather Qin’s feelings for Grandma Nina at that time. But, why aren’t they together?
The silver figure’s violet eyes displayed her complete descent into infatuation—not for the man below her, but for his zither music and singing voice. “In the North, there is a beautiful woman, unequaled and independent. A smile can overturn a city, another smile can overturn a nation… I come from the North. Don’t tell me that he is deliberately singing this for me to hear? Don’t tell me that he already discovered my presence? Such enchanting zither music and beautiful lyrics!”
Ye Yin Zhu’s conscious mind had already adapted quite well. After some reflection, he raised his right hand and Bamboo Dou Qi began to circulate his fingertips autonomously. After a light pluck of a zither note a light yellow sound blade in the shape of a semi-arc began to float in the air. In the blink of an eye, Ye Yin Zhu’s spiritual force completely filled the sound blade, allowing him to sense something wondrous.
He discovered that within the sound blade, the instant the string was plucked, his dou qi merged with the string. Like this, the zither music was unlikely to have any influence on creation. After the sound blade was released, the dou qi would vibrate and rage in the wake of the zither note, so the rest of the dou qi attack was entirely different. The vibration of the music note and the produced undulation caused the sound blade’s velocity to be similar to the music’s speed. At the same time, it had an extremely strong cutting power.
Previously, it was simply practice. He had never seriously thought this over. Now that he was carefully exploring this aspect, he couldn’t help but admire his teacher, Grandfather Qin, even more. Originally, this was merely a conjecture by Qin Shang! Without any dou qi, he thought up this clever secret art to counteract the drawbacks of a Divine Music mage’s magic execution. Sure enough, he was worth being called the once-in-a-generation Great Magister.
The sound blade’s strength was influenced by several factors. If he used a different zither, the different strings could create different sound blades to an extent. Generally speaking, the sound blade, the zither, dou qi, and spiritual force had something to do with blended dou qi-zither music vibrations. These four aspects combined to bring forth the genuine might of a sound blade. Improving each factor would definitely amplify the power of the sound blade.
Even though he had his own dou qi and several martial skills from the Bamboo Sect, seeing Seedorf’s tyrannical sword attack today made Ye Yin Zhu clearly understand how lacking his close combat ability was. His main vocation was as a Divine Music mage; it was impossible for him to devote a great amount of time on practicing martial skills. Grandfather Qin had already warned him of this fact a long time ago. Practicing dou qi was merely in order to supplement his vocation as a Divine Music mage, nothing more. Wanting to improve his close combat ability would require him to start with his Divine Music magic, and the sound blade was the best option.
Not to mention the improvement of the sound blade was related to the three previously mentioned basic factors which were predetermined. The zither was different. This he could not change. As for his dou qi and spiritual force, those required constant practice and would steadily improve incrementally over time. Today, he realized the fourth aspect; wasn’t this the key to improving his sound blades?
As he pondered this, Ye Yin Zhu once again began playing 《 Devastating Allure 》. It was just that this time, he was using his spiritual force as he played, making it a true song played by a Divine Music mage with zither magic.
《 Devastating Allure 》’s influence was irreversibly bound to express emotion. Even though zither magic was cast, it merely strengthened its influence. At the moment, Ye Yin Zhu wanted to better sense the wonder within his sound blades rather than practicing the zither song. A yellow sound blade arc drifted above his eight fingers. The sound blade fluttered in the air, forming a soft glow.
With a fixed, internal vibration frequency, the farther the sound blade flew, the dimmer the glow became. The vibration frequency also gradually reduced until the glowing and vibrations completely disappeared, where its formidable power would also completely vanish.
Since his dou qi advanced to Yellow Bamboo Level 5, the might of Ye Yin Zhu’s sound blades could already effectively reach a range of 30 meters. Past 30 meters, the sound blade’s might would immediately decrease, and upon reaching 40 meters, the sound blade would completely dissipate.
His dou qi vibrated along with the music. As he played the music, he would create sound blades. The zither notes would receive the influence of his dou qi, so his sound blades would not diminish within the range his zither magic encompassed. In other words, the sound blade affected the range at which the sound wave oscillated. The dou qi reduced the frequency at which the music note vibrated. So what would happen if he could make his dou qi and music maintain an equal vibration frequency? Not only could the range of his sound blades and its cutting power become even more formidable, it could also allow his zither music’s diffusion range to remain unaffected.
This was the fundamental music foundation theory Ye Yin Zhu had gained enlightenment on, and it was also the main reason he had suddenly ran here so excited. As he thought of this, he cut short 《 Devastating Allure 》. His right hand strummed the strings at lightning speed. The instant a yellow sound blade suddenly formed, his left hand very quickly flicked the string, sending the sound blade off.
Accompanying the whistle of the sound blade, a deep and low zither note immediately became impassioned. The sound blade’s yellow radiance intensified. In a flash of light, it sharply cut through a hundred meters of the forest before disappearing from sight.
Hua—la—la— The path at which the sound blade carved had seven to eight large trees toppled over, the incisions resembling the cut of a sharp blade—exceedingly smooth.
“Fantastic, success!” Ye Yin Zhu shouted excitedly. He didn’t remain excited for very long however, as an expression of regret appeared on his face. He shook his head and talked aloud to himself, “No, this won’t do. Even though I can form my sound blades in a split second and then use dou qi to make it vibrate a second later, if it’s like this, how can I complete a zither song? Zither music is the Way of the King!1 It seems that the method I have pondered over is correct, but the execution is wrong.”
“Trifling Yellow Rank strength, what point is there in being right or wrong?” A voice brimming with contempt rang out. In a flash of silvery light, another person appeared in front of Ye Yin Zhu. This was the person who had come from Silver Dragon City, Lisha.
“You?” Ye Yin Zhu was startled. Lisha’s face didn’t hold a single trace of tears. Even though the corner of her mouth still held a trace of disdain, it appeared that presently, she was a bit gentler than she had been back at the Royal Library, her violet eyes holding even more curiosity.
Lisha snorted and said, “Ye Yin Zhu, because of you, I have been disgraced today. It is now the time for you to repay me.”
Ye Yin Zhu’s hands pressed into the strings of the Thundering Spring Zither as he said in feigned surprise, “Your behavior today is known as inviting disgrace upon yourself, right? Even if you want to retaliate, you should do so against Generalissimo Seedorf. What do I have to do with this?”
“You…” Lisha was angry. A moment ago, her gentle mood that had arose because she had been listening respectfully to 《 Devastating Allure 》once again became irascible. A layer of hazy, violet light quietly appeared, swirling around her every movement. The elements within the air fluctuated and immediately intensified. A viscous pressure once again enveloped Ye Yin Zhu’s body.
Ye Yin Zhu didn’t move. “If my guess is correct, I am someone your Silver Dragon City wants. It is unlikely that you would kill me. Am I right?”
Lisha coldly replied, “Correct, I won’t kill you, but I can make you think it would be better to die.”
- Aka above all else, the best, the most important thing (in this use of the expression) ↩