Fang Zhao had not meant to scare Zuo Yu, but neither was he talking nonsense. He was seriously listening. It was just different from what Zuo Yu imagined. The sounds that Fang Zhao heard were converted into a sort of language deep within his brain—music.
Emotions, scenery, and sounds were sources of inspiration. Although back in Yanzhou, Fang Zhao's walk in the cemetery had provided him with a rough draft, he had still felt that there was something lacking. Now he was looking for it slowly.
Muzhou's cemetery gave Fang Zhao a different feel. The emotions, scenery, and sounds were all different. The melodies playing in his mind were different too. As Fang Zhao listened, he adjusted the melodies in his mind until they suited his ideal result.
However, as Fang Zhao was in the process of soaking in all the inspiration, Zuo Yu was different. He would subconsciously examine his surroundings for anomalies then turn back in the direction of the tombstone to see if there were any changes. He had doubts about having accepted the job of "assistant." Perhaps he felt that he did not suit this profession, or perhaps, after having spent some time beside Fang Zhao, he had become crazy too?
Each time Fang Zhao walked a little, he would stop to listen. Sometimes he would listen for an extended period, other times he would only listen for awhile.
When the time came for them to leave Muzhou, Zuo Yu let out a sigh of relief in his head. He was relieved to finally leave this place. However, when he thought about having to visit the cemeteries in other continents, he felt a little disheartened.
If it was as Zuo Yu expected, for the following continents, they would head straight for the Cemetery for Martyrs in each continent. Unless it was late or there were sudden weather changes, only then would they stop to rest. As the destinations were rather clear-cut, even if there were any delays, it would only be for a short while.
Xizhou, Tongzhou, Jizhou, Lazhou, Azhou, Rongzhou, Mazhou, Jinzhou, Leizhou and Huangzhou, every continent they went to was the same circumstances. Zuo Yu had the same experience in every continent, repeating it ten times up till the point where he could remain calm and enjoy the scenery whenever he saw Fang Zhao "appreciate" the mysterious sounds of the cemeteries.
On Feb 25, Fang Zhao and Zuo Yu returned to Yanzhou.
As Fang Zhao walked into the virtual projects department on the 50th floor, Zu Wen and the others were all there. They carefully observed Fang Zhao's facial expressions. They were worried that Fang Zhao would get angry over the results of the online voting for the endorsement deal.
For the endorsement deal for "Battle of the Century," according to the votes of the public, Polar Light remained in third place, losing to first-placed Mi Yu by only 300 votes. With the huge number of voters, this was a tiny disparity. But still, even losing out by one vote was a loss. Losing was just losing, there was no doubt. Now, the results of the voting were still on the internet.
They might have received assistance from Leizhou voters, but the other two companies were not going to sit idly by. They had also campaigned intercontinentally for votes. Thus, Zu Wen and the rest were worried that Fang Zhao might be moody from losing the vote. If the superiors were in a bad frame of mind, the underlings would be out of luck.
Fang Zhao knew the results of the vote, but he did not express anything. First, this was just an online vote organized by the media and not one officially organized by Fiery Bird. It was only a disguised inquiry to see public opinion and would not yet decide who the spokesperson was. Second, operations and publicity had been in charge of this matter. Fang Zhao had only completed the tasks he was required to. He had left the other matters in the hands of Silver Wing staff.
"If there is nothing else important, do not disturb me," Fang Zhao said, going into his office.
Watching the door close, Zeng Huang said, "Is Big Zhao going into isolation again? Seems like this time he gained quite a lot."
"Indeed, he gained quite a bit." Zuo Yu pointed at the Muzhou specialty products that were placed to one side. "This is all that we gained. Free of charge."
Zuo Yu briefly recounted their experiences on this trip, placing added emphasis on Fang Zhao's unusual behavior when he was at the cemetery.
Zu Wen sympathized and patted him on the shoulder. "Get used to it. You just have to know that the mind of an artist is not something normal people can understand. Anyway, up till now, I still don't understand him.
Fang Zhao did not know that the people outside were discussing him. He did not have the time or mood to take notice of them anyway. He organized all that he had gained from this trip and turned on the miniprojector given to him by Fiery Bird's sound effects deputy head You Chuan. He started making amendments to his scoresheet, which he had adjusted many times before.
The next day, after a night without sleep, the musical piece was finally completed. Fang Zhao made a call to Duan Qianji. "We can arrange for the recording."
The storage card that he had given out for photographs had already been returned. Now, all that Fang Zhao needed to do was record the completed piece, fit it with the animation, and store it onto the card.
Huangzhou, Fiery Bird Headquarters.
Sound effects department head Hua Li knocked his forehead with his fist and took a few deep breaths. After that, he plucked out his earpiece and asked You Chuan beside him, "What do you feel about this?"
What they had just been listening to was the eleventh demo piece. It was not yet completed, just a portion. The final draft had not yet been submitted. Given Hua Li's and You Chuan's capabilities, they could naturally deduce how the completed piece would sound just from the demo piece and the first draft.
You Chuan also pulled out his earpiece and shook his head. "If the final draft does not have many changes, then it is just like that. If you hear the tune on its own, it seems quite good. However, if you add it to the animation, just like the previous few, there is just something lacking."
Hua Li sighed deeply. Pondering awhile, he asked, "Is there still no news on the other eight invitees?"
"Seven masters have replied. Two of them will submit their demo piece and first draft by tonight. Five others have said they tried their best but were unable to come up with anything. They will return the card and projector to us."
"Isn't there one more?" Hua Li asked. He had sent You Chuan to deliver 19 invites and they only had 18 replies now. Where had the last one gone?
"There is still one more, Fang Zhao. Until now, there has been no news from him," You Chuan replied.
"Fang Zhao? That freshly graduated twenty-something fellow?" Hua Li knew who Fang Zhao was, because amongst all the great masters, a youngster like him had appeared and that left a lasting impression. There were still the four movements of the "100-Year Period of Destruction," something that Hua Li listened to everyday.
"When we went to invite him, he personally agreed to it. It's just that there has been no news at all," You Chuan answered.
"Let's wait a little while more." When Hua Li finished speaking, he heard a new message notification from You Chuan's side.
"Eh?" You Chuan was surprised. "Fang Zhao replied saying the recording went somewhat smoothly. The completed piece together with the final draft have been stored inside the card. He has already contacted our Yanzhou division, and they will send it over to Huangzhou very soon."
"Completed piece?!" That was what Hua Li paid attention to. After pondering for a while, he said, "Ask who is in charge of the storage card at Yanzhou's side. Get them to send the contents over through an encrypted channel."
You Chuan was also curious. He contacted the Yanzhou person and requested they send the card's contents right away.
"Listen, listen!" Hua Li put on his earpieces once again.
You Chuan put on his earpiece and broadcasted the music file that he had just received.
At the start, both of them did not have any expressions, but as the tune hit the twenty second mark, excitement could be seen on their faces, and their expressions became rather serious.
After one minute, both let out a deep breath.
When the broadcast reached the one-and-a-half-minute mark, Hua Li pressed the pause button and yanked his earpieces out. "To the sound effects studio!"
You Chuan had the same intention. The both of them hurried to the sound effects studio and turned on the opening scene animation before broadcasting the received file at the same time.
Outside the studio, the rest of the people from the sound effects department were guessing what had happened after both the head and deputy head had hurriedly rushed in. Thinking back to how they had been recently discussing the accompaniment music for the opening scene, they wondered which great master had sent a new piece that satisfied the two.
Thus, the entire sound effects department began discussing why the two heads were rushing and which great master had just sent in their work.
Inside the sound effects studio. The best audio and projection equipment in the entire Fiery Bird company was installed right here.
Both the head and deputy head watched the opening animation and listened to the musical composition over and over.
After completing their fifth time, Hua Li clapped his hands on the table and exclaimed, "This is it!"
"Just like that? Are you not even going to consider the other pieces?" You Chuan asked. He had the same opinion as Hua Li. It was just that some of the others had not yet sent in their final drafts. Were they really going to come to a decision now? Wasn't it too early?
"No need. Just this!" Hua Li knew that there were others that had not yet sent in their final drafts, and there were even two that had not yet sent in a demo piece or a first draft, but Hua Li had dealt with these people for many years already. He knew the styles of these people; there were no big surprises.
"I have no idea how those from the music industry would evaluate this. I'm just looking at this as a game from a sound effects department head's point of view. It is just 'perfect,' it is the most suitable accompaniment for the opening animation. It fits perfectly!" Hua Li said. "Composing, arranging, remixing, directing... producer of Polar Light virtual projects team."
Hua Li looked at the information on Fang Zhao. Back when he had first seen it, he had been shocked and not been able to believe it. But now he had no doubts. He had heard this phrase before. "In this world, there will always be an omnipotent crazy fellow."
Sighing ruefully, Hua Li got up and left the studio. "Contact Fang Zhao, we can begin discussions."