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After the first song was over, Xue Jing glanced at his friends beside him. When he saw their expressions, his slightly anxious heart eased.

Although he had seen the scoresheet of the first song before and had faith in Fang Zhao's ability, he had still been a little worried about the quality of Fang Zhao's official concert. But now, it seemed that it differed from his expectations.

Very good.

The few old folks that had come along with Xue Jing had also started some muted discussions.

One of them laughed as he said to Xue Jing, "If the coming songs are as good as this, your apprentice will be all settled!"

Xue Jing immediately put his hands up. "He's not an apprentice, really! He can at most be considered a student." When it came to composing, he had not taught Fang Zhao much, only giving a few pointers from time to time. He had given Fang Zhao support and helped push him forward so Fang Zhao's development could proceed even more smoothly. The term "master" was still a long way off.

For people like them, "apprentice" and "student" had very different characteristics. Anyone that had been taught before could be considered a student, even people who had just listened to one of their lectures, but an "apprentice" was kept close and would personally receive their knowledge, ideology, theories, and much more. Having an apprentice meant one intended to produce a successor.

Therefore, Fang Zhao could only be considered a student, not an apprentice.

However, even if he was just a student, there were different categories. Everyone in the circle knew about Xue Jing's attitude toward Fang Zhao. It was even better than the attitude one would have toward an apprentice!

Xue Jing sounded pleased as he talked to the old man sitting beside him. "How's this, Old Lin? This student of mine ain't half bad."

The old man beside Xue Jing was a few years younger and had once been Huangzhou Music Academy's president. He was a Huangzhou person over 150 years of age and was Xue Jing's apprentice. This time, he had been dragged by Xue Jing to attend this little junior Fang Zhao's concert.

Lin Xun drew his gaze away from the backdrop on stage and pondered for a bit before saying, "This little fellow is not what I expected. After stepping into outer space for the first time, many young composers love to use woodwind and string to continuously change and raise the key while composing, expanding to fit the scale of the performance and increasing in volume to express the vastness and mysticism of the cosmos. At first, when I read the background inspiration behind this composition, I expected that he would use this sort of method to express it. I never expected that he would not do so, instead placing an emphasis on the evolving feelings inside of him."

It was not that it was impossible, but rather, it wasn't easy. Many newcomers might not be able to bring out this aspect, but what came to their minds when listening to Fang Zhao's piece was one word: seasoned !

Totally not like something a newcomer to the industry could produce on his first official concert.

"Fang Zhao's piece gives a very strong story-like feeling. Listeners might not be able to discern the meanings inside the piece, but it will give them such a feeling. A really impressive little fella!" Lin Xun exclaimed.

Originally, Lin Xun had been thinking about the review he would write after attending the concert. On account of Xue Jing, he had been planning to be a little tactful, but now, Lin Xun actually felt that... there wasn't really much to criticize!

People with the sort of status they had in the industry generally did not incessantly praise younger generations for their concerts. Normally, reviews would be written without any bias, from an objective point of view. Strong and weak points would both be pointed out, whether good or bad, but the emphasis would be on pointers. 

What a headache!

Besides the song list in Lin Xun's hands, there was a notebook used for recording down his thoughts while listening to the concert. After the concert ended, he would arrange the notes and send it out as a review.

During the concert, there were brief intermissions between every song. This was also to make it convenient for seniors within the music circles to evaluate and jot down their notes.

But at the moment, the notebook in Lin Xun's hands only had a pitiful handful of words. He felt like he wanted to write a lot, yet he didn't know what to write.

Next song, then, I'll write more for the next song , Lin Xun thought to himself.

Over at Barbara's side, after the first song ended, she realized she had flashing alerts signifying new messages. As she had set her bracelet to silent mode, it was only notifying her of messages but had not produced any sound.

Checking it out, there were over 10 messages.

Three minutes ago:

"Hey, Barbara, I will probably head over to planet Wai for a leisure trip next month. When I get there, I'm going to find a few celebrities to visit the Peach Blossom gardens and have fun."

Three minutes ago:

"What do you think of the suggestion I just gave?"

Two minutes ago:


Two minutes ago:

"Is it inconvenient for you right now??"

Scanning through her messages briefly, Barbara closed her chat window and beckoned for her assistant with her hands.

Her assistant, who had been waiting at the side, hurriedly scurried over and handed Barbara a notebook. This was a special notebook Barbara used when she listened to concerts.

Although Barbara loved being pretentious, she was more serious toward concerts. As long as it wasn't a genre she disliked and the concert's quality wasn't really bad, she would make a record at every concert she attended. What she did was different from Xue Jing and those other artists; she would analyze it both based on her own preferences and from a commercial viewpoint.

This concert of Fang Zhao's had exceeded her expectations.

Although this musical style was different from what she normally listened to, she still found it acceptable. It did not have the thick bloodthirsty aura or the heavy historical flavor that the "100-Year Period of Destruction" series had.

Barbara did not really like music that was overly thick and serious. She preferred bright, upbeat music, or music that was expressive, emotional, and refreshing, the sort that made people feel happy. Whether it was classical or modern, whether the tempo was fast or slow, as long as it wasn't too poor, she would find it acceptable.

As for the song "Empty," it fell within her acceptable range.

Perhaps she would really purchase a song at this concert?

Just as she was preparing to write something down, she spotted something from the corner of her eye. Raising her head to look over, She saw Zaro extending his neck to look over.

Zaro wanted to see what Barbara wanted to write purely out of curiosity, but he did not get to see anything except Barbara rolling her eyes.

His mouth twitching, Zaro sat back down and said to his agent, "Taking down notes while at a concert? Lunatic!"

He was someone who had not even taken notes during his student days. Listening to a concert was for enjoyment as a pastime; what need was there to take notes?!


Zaro's tastes differed from the style that Barbara liked. Zaro just loved the sort of grand and stunning music from the "100-Year Period of Destruction" series, the sort that made it seem like there were bloody battles and killing intent, the sort that made one energized just listening to it.

It was fine if there was some emotion as long as it was not too overly emotional.

Zaro wasn't an industry professional and could not evaluate from a professional viewpoint, nor did he have any intention of looking at it that way. His opinion was that if he found it nice to listen to, that was enough. Who cared how others saw it? As long as he liked it, even if industry insiders criticized and roasted it, he would still buy it all the same. For a song he didn't like, even if it was praised to the high heavens, Zaro wouldn't give it a passing glance.

At today's concert, the first piece was still within his acceptable scope.

"Hey, I feel that this piece isn't too bad. After the concert ends, purchase it," Zaro said.

Zaro's agent replied, "It just started. Continue listening. Perhaps there will be pieces you like even more."

Zaro thought about it for a moment. "Makes sense."

Looking at the song list, the second song was titled "Zh."

"What does 'Zh' mean?" Zaro asked bemusedly. "Why is it that artists just love being so deliberately mystifying? Why can't they just give it a simple name that is easy to understand?"

Zaro's agent lowered his voice and answered, "It is written in the information about the composing process for this song. 'Zh' is the chemical symbol of an element, the one found in the grade A power ore discovered on planet Baiji. The element is named 'Zhaoium'."

Listening to the exchange between Zaro and his agent, Barbara snorted in her heart. Idiot! Not only are you artistically illiterate, but you are blind as well!

The lighting changed, signifying that the second song was about to begin. Barbara no longer bothered with chiding Zaro.

The venue once again quieted.

The moment the prelude started, Barbara's face changed. "Interesting."

A woodwind tune picked up, seemingly like a gust of wind from the outside entering the interior of a cave.

A series of slow striking piano notes sounded. At the end of every short period, the piano notes repeated, sounding like an echo. Inside the music hall, it gave listeners a surreal and dream-like feeling of echoes bouncing off the walls.

Listening to it abruptly brought about a sense of trepidation, as if the body was being chilled by a blowing wind, but as one continued listening, the rhythm gained a sort of implicit charm.

Midway through, the tempo changed to a pure and lively clarinet tune paired with a string melody, it was as though a crescendo had risen from the beginning to the end. The rhythm control was highly accurate, just like that of a pulse or the rise and fall of one's breathing. It brought with it a classical feel with some sense of mysteriousness to it, like an uncrackable puzzle of many layers, just like the background image of a deep crevasse leading to an otherworldly abyss where no light shone through.

A passionate yet romantic female voice cried out softly, as if calling to the birth of a sparkling star from the mysterious world beneath the surface of the rock.

Seated beside Xue Jing, Lin Xun stared attentively at the huge image displayed in the backdrop of the stage, his face rigid with concentration, and maintaining his listening posture like he was trying his hardest to hear even more. All the way till the song ended, he did not even give the notebook in his hands a passing glance. When it ended, he sighed. "How spiritual."

It was not known whether he was talking about "Zh," the song that had just concluded, or Fang Zhao, the composer.

Another old person among the group appeared to have thought of something as he laughingly asked Lin Xun, "Old Lin, doesn't that song have a style akin to a spiritual journey?"

Someone else shook his head. "No, I don't think it does. The song that just played lacked an elegant feel, but it had a sort of penetrating force."

The other old folks also joined in the discussion.

"At the 20-second mark, where the clarinet provided the impetus for the sudden change in tempo, I just felt like giving him high marks."

An old man who had a preference toward strings instruments and especially loved the violin disagreed. "Unlike you, I suddenly felt a rousing feeling at the 45-second mark. The sounds of the violin really enhanced this piece greatly."

Hearing the discussions of his old friends, the smile on Xue Jing's face deepened. He wished to let his old friends understand more about Fang Zhao and hoped that Fang Zhao would gain the acknowledgment of these people. This would greatly aid Fang Zhao's development.

Previously, when people in the music circles mentioned Fang Zhao, they would bring up the "100-Year Period of Destruction" series, but Xue Jing wanted others in the industry to know that Fang Zhao was capable of even more. Fang Zhao could produce hot-blooded fiery pieces, but he could also create gentle and exquisite melodies.

However, after Lin Xun had said two sentences, he fell silent, as if pondering an important matter.

Roughly half a minute later, Lin Xun sent a message.

Recently, he had been invited by a Huangzhou geography channel to produce accompaniment music for an educational science documentary. Among the series, there were more than 10 episodes that focused on mining, and Lin Xun had not composed anything satisfactory yet. Previously, he had not been able to find anything suitable, but now, he felt that he could recommend Fang Zhao's "Zh" song. Coincidentally, this song of Fang Zhao's had been composed with the discovery of the new ore and element as inspiration, and it complemented the main focus of those episodes.

Lin Xun felt that this was an excellent piece of work and that if a commercial company purchased it, that would be too much of a waste. If it were to be placed inside a commercial film or television series, it might appear for a while but it would not be heard again after the second year.

But an educational science documentary was different. This sort had a later expiration date and would be recorded in high-quality cultural archives. Various science and educational channels throughout the world would broadcast it every year. Schools would also use excerpts as teaching material where the piece would be heard.

Just like how scholars hoped their own literary works could withstand the test of time and circulate for all eternity, every single composer also wished for their own compositions to exist for the longest possible time and not fade into oblivion the year after they appeared. In the New Era, where news and information refreshed at such a rapid rate, these sorts of chances were few and far between.

The more he thought about it, the more he felt it was a pity. Thus, Lin Xun immediately sent the production team a message of recommendation.

Seeing the notification that the message had been successfully sent, Lin Xun felt a little more at ease.

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