On Feb 8, in the early hours of the morning, the internet was abuzz.
The three big entertainment companies had mobilized all their stars to campaign for votes. Polar Light, being the only successful virtual idol that Silver Wing Media had produced, received the full backing of the entire company.
Regardless of whether they were fresh newcomers or A-listers who had finally made it to the top, they all chipped in to campaign for votes. In all the years of Yanzhou's history, this was the first time on the virtual idol stage that all three big entertainment companies were having a public competition.
However, there was a different group of people who were pay close attention to the new song releases at 8 a.m.
At over 160 years old, Xue Jing did not follow his usual routine of heading to the garden downstairs for his morning stroll. Instead, he sat in his study and turned on his audio and projection systems as he waited for 8 a.m to arrive.
On his table was a paper notebook and a pen. He wanted to jot down his thoughts and analysis moments after he finished listening to the fourth movement. Compared to electronic recording methods, Xue Jing was more inclined toward manual records, as they had more feeling.
Beside the table was a pile of books. Some were a compilation of Xue Jing's teaching materials, and some were books written by other people that he used as reference. Many people of the same profession felt that Xue Jing's mission to compile analysis and production guides for symphonic musical compositions was an unwise decision. This genre was too arrogant and unpopular. Talented people in this field tended to conceal themselves. Publicly writing them out would not amount to much, as they were viewed as specious nonsense. From past textbooks of symphonic music, some people who purchased the books would give a poor review after flipping through and whoever compiled it would get a scolding. It was simply an arduous and unrewarding task.
Yet every time Xue Jing heard this sort of talk, he would only smile. When people asked for names of other contributing composers, Xue Jing would only smile but not reply.
As Xue Jing analyzed the three movements of the "Period of Destruction" series, the deeper he delved, the more apprehension and admiration he felt. He admired Fang Zhao's drive and ability and was astonished at his audacity and progress. In the three movements, many times there were unfashionable methods that had been neglected for years, but in those three movements, they perfectly fit in the movement and expressed the artistic concept.
"Just one more left," Xue Jing muttered.
Actually, after hearing the first two movements, one could understand the intention and purpose of the creator. The third movement's theme was war and the fourth movement should be a conclusion.
At the stroke of eight, Xue Jing turned on his audio visual platform and adjusted his equipment, and the music video appeared clearly before him.
The image displayed a somber scene at the crack of dawn. Continuing at the end of the third movement, the comprehensive fighting continue. However, the scene was not as bleak and gloomy. The essence of the music was not as urgent and restrictive as before.
At the beginning of the fourth movement, an alternating rhythm appeared. Differing by a semitone, the two tones were the opposite: one dark and gloomy, one bright and upbeat. The sounds of a treble violin and double bass as different as heaven and earth created a vastness and made the imagery of the music distinct. The short brief notes portrayed the fierce wind at daybreak that chilled one to the bone. Every strand of hair on the body felt as it was feeling the flow of air. The tremor of a cello added to the emphasis as the killer intent emitted from this battle to survive made one shiver.
The bodies of tree men who were on an all-out attack were splattered with mud. Every branch seemed to be oozing thick blood and killing intent as they carried their valiant selves forward in a reckless fashion, attacking every savage beast within their sights. These beasts that plundered their place in the world!
A trombone and a woodwind score combined together alongside some muted whistles from a trumpet. The originally stiff tone became rough and bleak as the savage beasts became timid, cowering under the relentless counter attacks of the tree men. The brutal beasts that were unparalleled in slaughter became weak and exhausted as the cold wind of the morning screamed through and they trembled in fear.
Unlike before, the strength of the woodwind tones was gradually accumulating.
In the image, the tree men were pushing on as the sinister-looking beasts were put on the back foot and forced to retreat. In the midst of a rough-sounding brass whistle, the eerie and vicious beasts reached their final struggle, snarling and snapping, appearing fierce while they were actually cowardly at heart.
A fist enveloped by a biting-cold killing intent locked on to the front beast's heart area. Like a pike that had been grinded sharp, it pierced through without the slightest hesitation.
The savage beast that had just been attacked flew through the air in an arc and landed in a nearby lake. The surface of the lake split apart as the beast landed in it, struggling for two seconds before sinking.
On the surface of the lake, there were also some broken tree branches, scattered about messily.
The figure took a look at the lake.
A powerful string symphony started, carrying a sorrow that had been held for so long. Yet at the same time, the unceasing string symphony also brought a sense of tenacity and unyielding spirit.
Compared to brass and percussion, string had a sort of gentleness, but it was not invariably gentle. Amidst the gentleness, it could be firm. The sorrow was no longer derived from them being weak but had transformed into a firm and explosive form.
The figure in the image turned around and began running toward the hilltop facing him. As the figure ran up the hill, sparse wild grass swayed in the wind brought about by the figure's footsteps.
Beast after beast was beaten and stomped on.
The coordination between the tree men was seamless. This was the result of an understanding borne by countless fights to the death.
Step by step, they moved forward. Step by step, they climbed higher.
When the figure finally reached the summit, in the midst of the combination between trombone and woodwind scores, the woodwind tones that had been gradually accumulating eventually exploded.
The woodwind score separated by three octaves played, assembling a vast tone, describing the view from the summit of the hill: wide and extensive.
The battlefield at the bottom was littered with corpses of both beasts and trees. Compared to the start, most of the silhouettes moving about on the ground were not the plundering beasts but the tree man's fellow comrades.
Everywhere, in all directions, were the brave figures of comrades in combat.
A bugle call signaled the harmony in full swing. The reverberating sounds signified that this war was finally reaching its epilogue. The drumbeats were no longer that urgent, now raising one's spirit. The beating of the timpani that people of the New Era were familiar with was the foundation. A more primitive drumbeat combined. This was music from a different time and space fusing magically and perfectly.
It seemed as if they had survived through an endless winter without any sunshine. When the figure on the summit raised his head, he watched as the clouds slowly parted and the golden beam of sunlight shone down from the heavens. The pair of bloodied fists that had just slayed countless beasts began to tremble nonstop. In his eyes, it was clear that he was moved after enduring silently for so long. His eyes were brimming with tears.
The sunlight seemingly brought about a scorching warmness as it melted away all the coldness in them brought about by the war and touched the most gentle parts of their hearts.
They had last seen this sort of sunlight a long time ago. It represented warmth and hope.
They had been a group of ordinary creatures who had endured suffering on the land they stood on. They had experienced unimaginable hardships and despair.
In their most dire of straits, they had made a stand in the frigid land and won themselves freedom and a new life, but what they wanted to win... was a world!
The turbulent feelings erupted as a rallying cry came from the summit of the hill. The majestic music matched up with a resounding male voice seemingly bringing about immeasurable strength, as if rallying the entire world.
In the middle of the brass and string ensemble, an impassioned harmony signified the merriment of seeing the sunlight once again, celebrating this hard fought victory.
The drawing of the bow on a violin. As if the time had come for the world to recover and be reborn.
The once muddy water of the lake became clear as the dithering clouds in the sky reflected off it. Broken branches and remains that were floating on the lake had all but sunk in. The previously sparse ground beside the lake was now covered with an exuberant underbrush.
The tempo was vigorous and free from inhibitions as the drumbeats blended. Tree men both big and small ran around, stepping in the now lush grassland. There was no hint of urgency or tension, only joyous excitement.
"From today onward, those savage and bloodthirsty figures will never be seen again.
From today onward, they need not worry about being homeless and running for their lives.
From today onward, the world will become a new world!
So, is it possible to rest yet?
In the vigorous harmony, the woodwind impetus was powerful and expansive. The string score was continuously rising. The forceful drum beats beat down. Combined together, it seemed like it was foretelling the scene that was about to unfold.
The figure right at the front of the tree men stood up on a high slope, watching his idle and free comrades all around. Treading on the soft soil below, he let out a bright and relieved smile.
Under the warm sunlight, he relaxed and extended both arms, his fists finally spread apart. His arms became branches stretching out in all directions. His legs became roots, penetrating deep into the soil and taking root.
The tree men all around after finding a suitable place, spread out the fists and arms and took root. Under the sunlight, the bare branches sprouted out tender green leaves filled with the iridescence of life.
Some exotic humming of a man was accompanied by electronic music as a brand new, rich, and diverse world unfolded.
Sounds produced by different instruments of the string family played different roles. Like the departed spirits of those who had sacrificed themselves in the war were looking down from above on the new world. It also seemed like the quiet muttering of those who had never experienced this new life before and the complicated and excited voices of the tree men who had once again taken root.
The corpses from the war were covered by dust and newly grown vegetation. That catastrophic war had destroyed many lives, but at the same time, it fostered a newly awakened life.
The earth, full of opportunities, had freshness, yet it also had decay, but at least it was expanding in a proper direction.
From above, looking down on the boundless land, the whole world had once more become tranquil and peaceful, as if the catastrophic calamity had never befallen.
But beneath the peaceful appearance of this world were the tenacious souls who had survived this difficult time.
"What is eternal?
How long is an eternity?
No one knows.
If another calamity happens, they will rise up once anew.
Life goes on without stopping. War does not stop it."
In the image, the scene zoomed through the land that already had flourishing forests. In the places where sunlight did not reach, there was no haze nor gloom. Only a bright and mystical sky full of stars.
The harmony gradually quieted down. An elegant yet slightly rueful and distressed string score slowly became lighter. The deep and low male voice gradually dissipated in the midst of the strings.
Words appeared on the screen.
Lead character: Polar Light
Species: Longxiang Tianluo
Song Title: "100-Year Period of Destruction", Fourth Movement: "Eternal"
Producer: Fang Zhao
Production Team: Polar Light project team: Fang Zhao, Zu Wen, Song Miao, Pang Pusong, Zeng Huang, Wan Yue, Fu Yingtian, Stiller, Zhang Yu, Rodney.
A Silver Wing Media release.
Xue Jing stared at the list of names on the screen, sighing and shaking his head. Partly in disbelief and partly glad that he had found a gem.
"Fang Zhao, that little fellow!"
Rocking his head, Xue Jing picked up a pen and wrote this in his notebook:
"Polar Light, from an ordinary peaceful creature all the way till he led the colony to counter attack, was an epic journey. Every melody in the movement brought about an intense realism and was stunning. As if the creator had actually experienced it for himself."