The Transcendent Immortal - LightNovelsOnl.com
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Liu Yunzheng frowned deeply and thought to himself that Ye Wuhen was such accomplished cultivator, it was impossible he could not play such an ordinary zither. What was Han Chen up to? Liu Fenghuang knew all about the uniqueness of the zither. She placed her lips close to her father's ears with a grin. "Don't worry, Dad. We are in for a great show."
Liu Yunzheng was still rather puzzled, staring closely at Ye Wuhen. He saw Ye Wuhen placed the zither horizontally about his chest. His fingertips pluck at the A Major string but no sound emerged.
Everyone gasped in surprise. Was it really like what the Teal Jade Sect lad had said? That no one else could play this zither? Ye Wuhen's face color changed. He gave the E Major string another pluck, but still no sound emitted.
Xiao Chen smiled lightly. "Well? Does Senior Brother Ye believe my words now?"
Zhang Qinglian's face looked horribly grim. Yu Wenji looked at Xiao Chen meaningfully, nodding all the time. Ye Wuhen gave a cold snort and pulled the C Major string upward forcefully. Suddenly, there was a horrendous shriek. He had flung the zither away.
Xiao Chen's figure s.h.i.+fted and he caught hold of the Jade Zither. He smiled. "I've told you that you must not play this zither wilfully, or you will get hurt. Why doesn't Senior Brother Ye trust my words?"
Ye Wuhen's facial color was terrible. He mobilized his True Energy hurriedly and a dull purplish stream of blood darted out from his fingertip. Liu Yunzheng found it inconceivable. He wondered why this zither of Han Chen was so peculiar. Even if not every one could play the divine Archean zither, that zither at least would not injure its player.
The company, too, found it hard to believe. Ye Wuhen had reached the Core Forming Realm, yet he was injured by a Jade Zither string!
Ye Wuhen endured the intense pain boring into his heart and asked in a deep voice, "What is the name of your zither?"
Xiao Chen wiped the smile from his face. "Listen hard. This zither is called the Nine-heaven Jade Pendant. It was crafted by a senior zither maker a century ago in exchange for his life."
"The Nine-heaven Jade Pendant! Well, well! I'm sure Junior Brother has marvelous, exceptional playing abilities. I am incompetent, but I would like to exchange pointers with you!"
"Fine! That's exactly what I intend too. Please spare me later with your fingers, Senior Brother Ye!"
Although Xiao Chen did not really regard himself as a Teal Jade Sect disciple, the members of the sect all treated him well in the past month. When the Penglai Islanders derided Liu Yunzheng, he took the opportunity to give vent to their anger.
Liu Yunzheng's face color changed. "No, Han Chen! Come back!" He thought that Ye Wuhen's cultivation surpa.s.sed Xiao Chen's too much. Revenge was imminent given the man's intense resentment.
Xiao Chen answered, "Master, you don't have to worry for me." Liu Yunzheng stood up. "Come back! This is an order! Are you going to defy your Master?"
At this moment, Yu Wenji stepped down. "You don't have to worry, Sect Leader Liu. It's just a contest between sect members. I'm sure they will know when to stop." Liu Yunzheng continued, "But..."
Yu Wenji stretched out his hand and smiled. "They won't overdo it and will know when to stop. Rest a.s.sure, Sect Leader Liu."
Right now, he wanted more than anyone else to know Xiao Chen's true strength. After all, the Qing State had gathered many Heaven List cultivators, according to rumors. If Xiao Chen could play the divine zither, he could well be their side's final trump card.
Liu Yunzheng sighed and glanced at Xiao Chen. In the end, he did not say what he had intended. He knew very well Xiao Chen was fighting for him, to vent his anger. He was not afraid of offending the Penglai Islanders. After all, he had offended them greatly over the matter of the alliance years ago. He was afraid they would take the opportunity to get rid of Xiao Chen.
Liu Fenghuang no longer grinned as before. Her brows started to knot themselves into a deep frown. She came before Xiao Chen and whispered, "If he tries to injure you, shout loudly for my father to intervene."
Xiao Chen smiled lightly. "Don't worry, Senior Sister Liu. He cannot hurt me with his zither skills alone."
The company all left for the square outside the hall. They seemed to be watching a show more exciting than even the Immortals League Compet.i.tion. Xiao Chen and Ye Wuhen sat motionless in the center of the square, 15 meters away from each other. Ye Wuhen spoke. "After you, Junior Brother."
Xiao Chen smiled gently. "Since it was you who first extended the invitation to compete, you'd better go first."
Ye Wuhen spoke no more. He pushed his hands outward. Waves of zither melodies started to drift across to the other side, at times rousing, at times low and m.u.f.fled. The rousing notes sounded like lofty mountains reaching into the clouds. The low, m.u.f.fled notes sounded like flowing streams, relentless and continuous.
Layers of sound waves rose and fell incessantly. Xiao Chen sat on the ground, his eyes slightly shut. His left hand pressed down on the strings but his right hand froze. Suddenly, the middle finger of his right hand plucked a string, emitting a distinct note, like a falling leaf drifting onto a stream.
Although Ye Wuhen's tunes were tight and dense, Xiao Chen's single note could be heard so distinctly by everyone.
Ye Wuhen suddenly raised his head. A strange glimmer flashed across his eyes. Suddenly, the zither notes started to change, going up to the A Major. There were seven or eight high-pitch notes, almost hitting C sharp Major.
The keys of a zither were C Major, D Major, E Major, G Major and A Major. Even higher were the C sharp Major and A sharp Major.
The zither notes suddenly began to soar, like a stream surging with phenomenal waves, morphing into a swelling ocean. Yet Xiao Chen continued to close his eyes, concentrating. Now and then, he would pluck a string. The note would travel and seep through the opposition's gap, like a dried leaf drifting to the ocean. The mounting waves kept surging on but could not sink the leaf, only bobbing it up and down.
Ye Wuhen's face gradually flushed crimson. His ten fingers started to pluck with greater rapidity; even his pinkie began plucking. All at once, the zither notes hurled themselves at Xiao Chen like a torrential tempest. The notes were all interconnected, without a gap for the wind to break in, and absolutely rigid.
Many outside the square were reeling from the sounds. A few more ordinary guards had collapsed and pa.s.sed out. The Third Prince and Princess Xuanyue erected an Audio Barrier to protect Yu Wenji and his empress. Liu Yunzheng and the rest saw that Xiao Chen was still refraining from plucking. Their hearts were all in their mouths.
Ye Wuhen saw that Xiao Chen could still withstand it and leapt up suddenly. He gave the seven strings a strong tug with a concentration of qi. The seven strings become even tighter and their pitches soared even higher. "Zheng zheng zheng!" went the ugly noises made by the zither. It kept soaring higher and higher, almost into the stratosphere. He seemed to leave Xiao Chen with no way to retreat.
When the tune ended, he landed slowly onto the ground and took on a cross-legged position. The zither strings could not withstand his plucking. Three strings had broken.
Xiao Chen sat cross-legged on the ground, his eyes tightly shut. Blood trickled out from the corner of his mouth. He had not plucked his zither again ever since his opponent urged his tune. At this moment, he resembled a dead man. A smile gradually showed up on Ye Wuhen's face.
"Junior Brother Han!" From outside the square came a concerned voice. It was Luo Shangyan running in. She wanted to examine Xiao Chen's injury, but was stopped by Liu Yunzheng.
Liu Yunzheng was at this moment also extremely anxious. He cried out, "Han Chen! Han Chen! Can you still hear me, your Master?" When he saw that there was no answer, he said to Liu Fenghuang beside him, "Go and get your Junior Brother Han back, quick!"
Liu Fenghuang now emerged as if out of a dream. Zhang Qinglian, on the other hand, was looking very pleased. On the face of Yu Wenji was a slightly disappointed expression.
At this point, Xiao Chen suddenly opened his eyes. A profound gleam shot out from the depths of his eyes. He seemed to be another person altogether. Everyone outside the square looked a little surprised. Ye Wuhen's countenance was drained of color. He could only mumble out a "You... " and could say no more.
Xiao Chen wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth and sneered coldly. "Your zither notes are very tightly packed, but you shouldn't have aimed for higher notes and broken your strings. Since a zither has its own life too!" With his last word, he started to move his hands.
"Really? The last time, someone said to same thing to me. Later, I shattered and dispersed his soul completely. I'd like to see how you can compare with him..."
Xiao Chen sat there, concentrating. His hands started to pluck lightly and slowly, the notes in D Major, calm, collected and soothing. They were like a breeze under a pine tree, invigorating the mind and the senses. Then, the tune slowed and changed into C Major. Every note was plucked with a lingering pluck. The melody was leisurely, like a clear, cleansing breeze.
Yet Ye Wuhen's face turned gradually into a coppery green color. A large portion of his back was drenched with sweat. There was too much hostility in his zither playing, permeating with strife and slaughter. He could never have played something so soothing and leisurely as Xiao Chen's now.
Suddenly, the melody soared, changing from C Major into E Major. Ye Wuhen's face changed color again. He realized that his opponent's playing seemed like dense, oppressing layers of clouds, making him breathless. As he tried to collect himself, suddenly the zither soared again, this time into the clouds. "Zheng zheng zheng" went its incessant sounds, like rampaging horseshoes and steely weapons one could not withstand. The key had changed into A Major.
Ye Wuhen was momentarily stunned. He seemed to envisage the zither sounds, dense as clouds, morph into the gigantic mouth of a monstrous beast, gnawing at him.
Greatly shocked, he started to mobilize his inner strength forcefully, his body retreating 10 meters away rapidly. In a daze, he seemed to see the zither player before him not as a young man in white, but as a black shadow behind him.
The black shadow was nearly 10 meters, his disheveled hair flowing to his shoulders. His pupils were purplish and his face, a lingering black ma.s.s, like a demon from the nine heavens.
Ye Wuhen's face turned a hideous, ashen color. He tried to shut his eyes forcefully, but when he reopened them, the scene around him had changed. He seemed to be suspended a few kilometers in the air. Rampaging slaughter and strife resounded in his ears. A column of golden light struck out at him from a distance, and he gave a horrendous scream.
The golden column of light was morphed from the Sword Qi of an Immortal. All around him suddenly emerged armed Immortals with swords, together with countless great demons trodding the air. Magical weapons swarmed the sky. Dead bodies rapidly piled up.
Ye Wuhen bent and looked down. He saw corpses piled up sky high, blood flowing into streams, the noise of slaughter ringing in his ears. Countless Immortals and Devils had been slain. Suddenly came a ma.s.sive boom. Blood spluttered everywhere. The heavens and the earth seemed to be quaking.
He saw in the distance the earth sundering and collapsing, mountain chains toppling, the sunset sinking. Even heaven and earth seemed to be breaking down. He seemed to have reached the era of Annihilation...
Nightmare! An immersive nightmare! Ye Wuhen's face showed absolute terror. He had never seen such a scene before, and he suddenly recalled the lost-long legend. When the Immortals and Devils fought, the six realms would collapse. Heaven and earth would be annihilated...
At this moment, however, he heard the zither. Its notes soared and plummetted, becoming a long, leisurely melody. He raised his head to look and realized there was another person in the sky. It was still that same man, Han Chen, who was competing in zither playing with him. The man now had a blood red jade bangle at his waist.
His Jade Zither had changed too. It was now flowing with scintillating light, with complex carvings and ornaments. Its seven strings s.h.i.+mmered with a lingering, white halo, now illusionary, now substantial. It was that divine Archean zither of the Teal Jade Sect.
At this moment, the Immortals stopped, the Devils stopped. All seemed to be listening to his wondrous melody, as if it was the only thing in the heavens and the earth. Ye Wuhen's eyes began to dim...
In the palace, after a few zither notes, Xiao Chen ended in the C Major. The final notes were like a clear breeze lingering in a courtyard, persisting protracted in the listeners' ears. They saw Ye Wuhen sit motionless where he was, his eyes glazed over. He suddenly toppled backward.
The crowd kept gasping in shock. For a brief moment, no one knew what had happened. Zhang Qinglian's figure quivered, and he moved to prop Ye Wuhen up quickly. He realized that his disciple's face was dim and colorless and his eyes clouded. He was obviously quite badly injured.
He was his proudest disciple ever. Immediately, rage seized his heart. A murderous intent flashed across his eyes. He hit out a palm at Xiao Chen.