Some events that Wu Qi had forgotten for a very long time suddenly surged out from the bottom of his memory.
He saw himself, a toddler who had just learned how to walk with staggering steps, on the magical and savage land of darkness, within the farm tamed by his parents. He was dragging a loofah that was slightly over one meter long, rolling and crawling on the dirty ground. He then saw himself at the age of five, chasing behind a large toad as big as a basin that could only be found in Africa, across the farmland. Then the image changed, he was now looking at himself at seven years age, accompanied by his father. Using a big chunk of beef he was teasing at a pet leopard raised by his neighbor, a black man with a burly body. Then he saw himself at the age of nine, standing under the shade of a tall tree, kissing gently on the cheek of a black girl, who had a pair of witty eyes...
They were all beautiful moments that were hidden deep in his memory. The tune of zither had attracted the tenderest, warmest memories that one had hidden in the depths of their memory. Many of the details had been even long forgotten by Wu Qi himself, yet they were recalled by the tune, and were all brought up again and presented in front of his eyes. He could even remember now the little black girl who had lost her first kiss on the same day as him, the natural body smell of hers, the scent that smelled like the fragrance of fresh grass.
Two streams of tears flowed down from Wu Qi's tightly shut eyes.
After that, the innate water energy began to circulate by itself. They took three quick cycles within Wu Qi's water meridians, then transformed into a biting cold energy and rushed straight into Wu Qi's Spiritual Ocean. The water within this vast ocean over ten thousand feet in diameter, which formed after Wu Qi started cultivating with Water Chapter, began to boil and surge. An intense breeze of coldness penetrated the surface of the water and formed into countless icebergs and snowflakes. The Spiritual Ocean had turned into a placed filled with ice and snow. The freezing breeze made Wu Qi shudder suddenly, and woke him up immediately.
A profound script from Scroll of Stealing slowly emerged within Wu Qi's Spiritual Ocean: 'The Seven Holy Deities and Devils Art of Mind Tempering'. It was a magical script that was used to train and temper one's soul, stabilizing and preventing the mind from the invasion of foreign devils. Originally, this script would only appear after Wu Qi had his cultivation reach the Embryonic Breath tier, but as he was agitated and threatened by the tune of zither, the subconscious of Wu Qi's soul had revealed it in advance.
The Scroll of Stealing was an art that allowed the cultivator to steal everything under the heaven. Throughout all the different realms and worlds in this universe, techniques of confusing one's mind were too many to be counted. In addition to that, some cultivators and mighty existences with incredible abilities were fond of using all kind of magics that confused one's mind and soul to protect their Immortal caves and treasure vaults. Without a method to bypass these magical techniques, how could Scroll of Stealing claim that it could steal everything under the heaven? The Seven Holy Deities and Devils Art of Mind Tempering was one of the techniques that were used to confuse the enemy, and it was an extremely profound and advanced art. Not only it was able to neutralize all kinds of spiritual attacks, but it also contained many miraculous techniques of attacking using divine sense.
Wu Qi gathered and focused his mind, and instinctively began to cultivate by following the technique in this mind tempering art, forming his divine sense into seven different human emotions: joy, anger, sorrow, fear, love, hate, and desire. Seven tiny specks were seen flashing and flickering within both of his pupils. An unspeakable and indescribable aura suddenly filled his surroundings, and a vague evil look could be found appearing on his face. The embryonic form of Seven Holy Deities and Devils had taken shape within his Spiritual Ocean. Due to the strength of his divine sense, currently, these Seven Holy deities and Devils were merely seven drifting shadows with foggy shapes. However, it was more than enough for him to withstand the enchanting force that came from the zither tune.
Although the tune was still melodious and pleasing to ears, they could no longer touch Wu Qi's heart. Slowly, he wiped off the tears on his face, felt offended and angered as he narrowed his eyes and looked around, wanting to find out the look of this Yue Tan, who had used her tune of zither to play a trick on people's mind.
The memories of his childhood were the very little warm moments that Wu Qi still kept, and they were locked deep within the bottom of his heart. Yet, using her zither tune, this Yue Tan had just pulled out these precious memories that Wu Qi wouldn't want to touch. How could he not feel angry? He was like a selfish kid who had his secret hideout intruded by someone, and had his precious toy grabbed by a stranger. Wu Qi's chest was now filled with a flame of anger. He just wished he could draw his sword and kill someone.
Though the faces in this grand hall were filled with different expressions, but they all had a same blank look. Obviously, none of them managed to escape from the attack of such tune.
A lusty and silly smile was upon the face of Zhang Hu, who now sat on the left of Wu Qi. His mouth was wide open as he smiled soundlessly, two long drips of saliva drooling down from the corners of his lips. Without even asking, this guy must be thinking about those old acquaintances he had met in brothel all these years, and judging by the small tent erected from his crotch, he must be having a great time with his old acquaintances in the realm of illusions.
On Wu Qi's right hand was Hu Wei. His head was bowed to his chest, a brief smile lingering on his face, yet his body was emanating a vague murderous air. It seemed like he was now residing inside a barrack, having a great time with his comrades. Behind his brief smile was a look of unspeakable sorrow. Wu Qi looked wonderingly at Hu Wei. He was surprised to find out that Hu Wei had a stronger mind than Zhang Hu. Perhaps, Hu Wei had already known that what appeared in front of his eyes were merely an illusion. It was just that he didn't want to rise out from this beautiful memory of his.
How many years had Hu Wei served in Little Meng City? And throughout all these years, how many of his comrades were killed by the endless waves of barbarian tides?
Wu Qi looked at Hu Wei with compassion. He had decided to let this man spend more time with his brothers within the illusion, even if it would last only the time while the tune played. This man was a true soldier who had bathed in blood. Perhaps, the such a sentimental moment was precious for him.
As for Zhang Hu? Wu Qi grabbed a wine bottle and slowly poured it onto the erected tent on his crotch.
Zhang Hu shuddered, and was aroused suddenly from the tune. Furiously he looked to his left and right, then realized he was still sitting in the grand hall and not in the brothel in his illusion. Zhang Hu was a man with experience, struck with shock as he covered his thoroughly wet crotch with hand, lowered his voice and asked, "This is really weird, what kind of queer tune is this? I was having sex with at least one hundred girls on a huge bed just now!"
Wu Qi glared at Zhang Hu and snapped at him with a low voice, "A seven years old toddler with a sharp knife would have killed you just now!"
Cold sweat instantly broke out from Zhang Hu's forehead. He looked around furiously and cursed under his breath, "Where is that damn girl playing the tune from?"
Wu Qi did not answer him, his eyes surveying around. He discovered that except Yan Dan, Yan Qijun, Jing Ke, and few other men, there were less than thirty men in this grand hall who could still remain conscious. Ma Yi, the Chief Imperial Servant who brought two barrels of fine wine to Jing Ke, also was not trapped in an illusion realm constructed by the zither tune. Like a hunting hound on high alert, he was standing firmly beside Yan Dan. His eyes were bright as he ran them around in high vigilance.
Princess Zhang Le was sitting in the top tier of the dais, cupping her face with both palms. She narrowed her eyes and threw an examining glance over at all important ministers and noblemen. When she saw how quickly Wu Qi was able to wake up from the enchanting tune, a bright and dazzling smile immediately jumped up on her beautiful little face, and she nodded her head toward Wu Qi's direction pleasingly. Her tiny cherry lips were moving soundlessly. It happened that Wu Qi knew how to read lips, so he realized Princess Zhang Le was scolding someone, "She is an ugly woman who likes to play tricks on people's mind. Although my father treated her as a special guest, Zhang Le hates her!"
Wu Qi smiled. He poured himself a glass full of wine, raised it up and poured the wine onto the ground. Then he told Zhang Le, ‘No matter what background this Yue Tan has, just throw her out from your mind like how I poured the wine out from the glass.’ She was merely a musician, how could she ever compare to Princess Zhang Le?
Upon reading his words, the sulky Princess Zhang Le had her face immediately bloomed in a smile. She straightened her back and tilted her cheek upwards proudly. With a rather extravagant movement, she grabbed a wine bottle and gulped down all the fine wine in it with just two draughts. She then burped pleasingly toward Wu Qi's direction.
Both Yan Dan and Yan Qijun had noticed Princess Zhang Le's little action at the same time, turning to her together. She winked and made signs to them, then smiled, before sitting in all seriousness like a noble lady. The curtain of five colored divine rays was wobbling and waving behind her, as if a peacock was flaunting its tail, giving forth a pleasing and joyful air.
Yan Dan and Yan Qijun then turned their glance over to Wu Qi's direction. However, Wu Qi had long tidied up his expression, pretending a face that looked like he was still indulging in the zither’s tune. Both the emperor and the crown prince spent some time looking at this direction, but except for noticing Zhang Hu, who was frowning and exerting his innate energy to dry off the wine poured on his crotch, they found nothing unusual.
Yan Dan shook his head, laughed under his breath and told Yan Qijun, "Zhang Le has grown up."
Yan Qijun responded with a brief smile, shook his head disapprovingly. Then, he turned his head over to Wu Qi's direction again. His brows raised upward, looking like a pair of razor sharp blades.
All of a sudden, the tune came to a stop. The crowd in the hall drew in a sharp cold breath together and cried out aloud. Some young prestigious guests kept praising and sighed with emotions, using all glorious words they could come out with as they praised that the zither tune played by Yue Tan, which according to them had reached a marvelous level. Amidst these glorious words, Yue Tan had become a fairy, an Immortal that shouldn't appear in this mortal world filled with trifled matters.
The ringing of jades and jewelry hitting each other came by. A lady clad in a white dress, holding a zither in her arms was seen walking slowly and gracefully into the hall. All the prestigious guests in the hall had their mouths shut in an instant. They quickly tidied up their expressions and rose to their feet, bowed and bid their greetings toward this lady in white. Especially for those younger men, they were like a group of cocks in heat who had just seen a petite chick. With great efforts, they showed their best looks and bearing, and wished they could just spring forward and express their love to this gorgeous lady.
Wu Qi too was surveying this lady. She was able to use her zither and played a tune that could trigger illusions, using it to invoke the memories hiding in the depths of one's subconscious mind. Among all Immortal arts, this was considered a really powerful art of confusion. Wu Qi wanted to see what the look of this incredible lady was like.
But when he finally had a glimpse of this lady, Wu Qi felt disappointed. She had a slim and slender body, yet it was fully clad in a thick white mantle. Except for a pair of fair palms that looked as white as the flawless and translucent jade, Wu Qi could not see any other part of her skin. She was crowned with a bamboo hat woven with fine silk of purple bamboo. A three feet long white veil hung down from the edge of the hat and covered her face. One could barely see her tiny oval face, yet none could have a clear glimpse at her exact facial features.
Yet, because of such secret behavior, it had given Yue Tan a few more touches of seduction. Even Wu Qi was tempted by her, wishing that he could lift her veil and tear apart her dress, so that he could have a clear look at what good figure had she been hiding under her white dress, and what peerless beauty she had behind the veil.
Right when such thought came into his mind, Wu Qi's heart trembled. The Seven Holy Deities and Devils became restless, as a shapeless magical power enshrouded Wu Qi's Spiritual Ocean. The intense coldness shook his spirit, waking him up from the wild thoughts once again. This Yue Tan had an incredible enchanting power, and Wu Qi nearly fell into her seduction once again.
He took a deep breath and bowed his head, daring not to give the lady a second look. By escaping twice from Yue Tan's enchanting force, Wu Qi had consumed over thirty percent of his divine sense. He didn't want to waste any more of his spirit in this place.
Like walking on a cloud, Yue Tan came before the dais at the far end of the grand palace. She bowed and bid her greetings toward Yan Dan.
"An ordinary civilian, Yue Tan, offers greetings to Your Majesty. Long live to my lord."