"How was my idea, brilliant right?" Young Master Yu had long forgotten his dejection. He had blocked those thought, and was proudly laughing now.
"Clever! It is very clever..." Chu Yang replied. It seemed like he was crying and laughing at the same time.
[You should be glad that I am no match for you at present! Had I been capable of beating you… I would've granted you a death by a thousand cuts... ]
"Relax; this matter of the phoney Nine Tribulations Sword's Master is easily discernible. You need not worry about it." Young Master Yu said as he patted Chu Yang's shoulder. "Moreover, the Nine Tribulations Sword's Master and the nine super clans are going to start a bloody battle sooner or later. So it really won't matter if it happens a little early."
"The plan is certainly ingenious," Chu Yang secretly gritted his teeth. Then, he suddenly asked in an astonished tone, "Why will the Nine Tribulations Sword Master and the nine super clans start a bloody war one day? These words... I cannot understand."
"Nine Tribulations overturn the heavens," Young Master Yu broke into laughter. "The nine super clans of the Upper Three Heavens are the main target of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master. Only by overthrowing the original nine super clans will he establish the new order. This is the destiny of the Nine Tribulations Sword Master."
"Destiny?" Chu Yang murmured, "What destiny?"
"The match is tomorrow," Young Master Yu said, "so we shall depart this place about three days later. Will you accompany us, or... "
[Do I want to go together with you? Unfortunately I haven't attained my main objective here.]
Chu Yang smiled bitterly, "I still have some matters to attend to here. So I will stay for some time."
"That's fine," Young Master Yu said deeply. "Geniuses are likely to die in their prime; you must be careful."
Chu Yang's head was full of sinister thoughts.
The morning sun took its place in the sky.
The golden sunlight sprinkled on the clear lake's surface, while the breeze formed faint ripples on it. This made the Lake's surface flicker, creating a strange sense of tranquillity.
It felt as if the water-birds on the shore had sensed this tranquillity, and did not dare to emit a sound for the fear of ruining it.
Suddenly, a 'drumming' sound overthrew this reign of silence.
The sound seemed similar to a person's heartbeat. It echoed as it pervaded everywhere and resounded through the skies. Suddenly, it seemed as if the entire world was filled with the intense drumbeats.
These monotonous yet intense drumbeats were capable of arousing people's most primitive thoughts of bravery. Suddenly, the blood in their veins began to surge, as if boiling with anger.
The clouds would act as banners and the noisily wailing wind as trombone; the sky would be regarded as a battlefield and the sun would serve as a lantern. The Gods and the Devils would be the soldiers to fight in this battlefield.
Today, a legend would be born!
Today, one would witness the birth of a legend from this generation!
A nine feet tall husky fellow stood in the middle of the stage. His whole body was clad in a red robe. He looked just like a deity with those drum-sticks in his hands as he pounded on both sides of an enormous drum.
One moment the drumbeats were enthusiastic. And in the next… restrained like the stagnant water in a deep pool; as if standing firmly like the peak of a high mountain.
The drumbeats continued for a while. Then suddenly, a wisp of a transverse flute's sound cut through the sky; just like an Eagle that had suddenly come out of seclusion, and had soared into the sky. The flute's sound was sharp yet melodious.
"Hurray..." those who were supporting the Transverse Flute Master suddenly went crazy and burst into cheers.
The mournful sound of a flute spread across the sky just as the thousands of audiences cheered for the Transverse Flute Master's victory. The melody sounded as if the soldiers' widows were weeping with their mouths covered. Though the sound of the cheers was loud, it still could not suppress such sorrowful sound. This sound was distressful enough to penetrate down to the bone of the listener…
A tide of people cheered along with the rise and fall in the music. The flute-sound and the sound of the transverse flute entwined with each other on the Ninth Firmament; neither willing to back-down. One was clearly intense, while the other was like a muffled sob. Nevertheless, both were at par with each other.
The crowd was surging with excitement when —
The zither sounded. It was as if ice and snow were falling from the Ninth Heaven. However, it didn't sound ominous!
The vast crowd's mood was unexpectedly suppressed by this zither's sound, and was suddenly stagnated.
The zither resounded again; it sounded just like ice falling on jade.
The cheers gradually faded. People shut their mouth and opened their ears.
The sound of the zither grew louder and louder. It seemed as if an immortal from the Ninth Heaven had descended to the human world. …and his rainbow-feathered clothes fluttered as he flew high into the sky; it seemed as if he had completely discarded his desire to go return to the heavens.
The entire Lotus Lake fell silent.
Only the sound of the zither, the flute and the transverse flute rippled in the vast sky.
The three sounds seemed to have melted together. But on listening carefully, they were actually different.
The flute-sound and the transverse-flute-sound were competing fiercely against each other. Moreover, they were also launching an offensive attack on the zither's sound.
However, the zither's sound was indifferent. It had a sense of aloofness from reality… as if looking disdainfully upon all living things.
The zither's sound was disdainful in the sense that it didn't wish to compete with anyone. It felt as if it was an independently erected flag. It seemed similar to the bright moon calmly hanging in the sky and looking down on the earth. It was angelic, soft, graceful and motionless; it had a multitude of deportment.
The sound of the zither was only heard for a moment, and then faded away.
Only the sound of the flute and transverse flute remained in the atmosphere.
Jun Lu Lu faintly sighed in her cabin.
Young Master Yu stooped outside the thin veil. He crossed his hands behind his back and asked, "What happened?"
Chu Yang stood alone on the other side; his figure appeared desolate. [It seems like a violent storm is about to rise in this lively atmosphere. It will fling the current atmosphere inharmonious. Everyone appears to have been intoxicated… I alone am sober.]
Chu Yang couldn't help but laugh on hearing Jun Lu Lu sigh in response to Young Master Yu's inquiry. He then replied in place of Jun Lu Lu, " …because she cannot stand such opponents."
Jun Lu Lu smiled calmly and said, "Qing Yang is right." She leisurely placed the zither in front of her and looked at the clear and sparkling lake through the veil. There was a meaningful look in her eyes as she said, "Perhaps I would've been evenly matched with them if my skill was at the level it was before I met Minister Chu in Iron Cloud.
"I may have come out victorious by a fluke if I had played the zither earlier.
"However, my present tuning needs to be cultivated properly. Participating in this level of a contest has really profaned my zither's sound," Jun Lu Lu said as she smiled bitterly. She then gently shook her fragile head. However, her posture was sprinkling out a sense of pride.
"Not necessarily… it is hard to predict the outcome of a match." Young Master Yu nodded and said, "You saw that? The First King Level Master of Golden Horse Riders Department, Jing Meng Hun has entered the boat of the Flute Master; and Diwu Qing Rou is actually on Transverse Flute Master's boat."
"Nothing. Diwu Qing Rou has the power to rally supporters in Great Zhao. He is powerful enough that he can even extinguish the sun, and he seems to have chosen his favourite candidate." A cold intention flashed in Young Master Yu's eyes as he continued, "He is on Transverse Flute Master's boat which means that he has secretly amassed support for the same."
"He might as well; I anyway am not in the mood." Jun Lu Lu smiled indifferently. "My interest in the victory and defeat of this contest has suddenly faded away. I don't wish to participate anymore."
"I am already worthy of having Master's cultivation!" Jun Lu Lu said.
"There's no harm in backing out while you still have time." Chu Yang smiled and said, "It would be blasphemous to the zither's sound if things gets dragged and you end up getting the second place after fighting in a one-side battle. The zither's soul won't forgive you then!"
Jun Lu Lu's eyes lit up.
The tall platform bore witness to the people from aristocratic families. They were preparing to announce the commencement of the 'Match of Three Masters' with solemn and respectful faces. …when suddenly —
A wisp of the zither's sound suddenly sprang, and started to rise. It seemed as if a ray of sunlight had sprung up at the horizon on dawn, only to blossom into ten thousand multi-coloured rays of sunlight.
Their faces could not help but be stunned.
[What is the matter? The competition hasn't yet begun… then why is the Zither Master showcasing their talent so early? This has never happened in the past nine competitions!]
[What is the Zither Master trying to do?]
The sound of the zither resounded at a moderate pace. It seemed as if a king had calmly stepped out, and was steadily walking towards the throne for his coronation — his chest stuck-out and his head held high.
The vast crowd was silent.
Diwu Qing Rou had been chatting with the Transverse Flute Master. He couldn't help but stop the discussion. He started to listen attentively and calmly.
The zither's resolute notes advanced, and everyone closed their eyes. It was as if they were visualizing that King's footsteps on the blue dome of heaven and earth; his anger seemed to be swallowing rivers and mountains as he advanced forward.
He arrived in front of the imperial throne finally.
The sound of the zither was suddenly impassioned. With a clang of metal, it said — I alone hold supremacy over the world.
It seemed as if the king had slowly turned around to face the common people. The expression in his eyes was gentle, yet he seemed to be looking disdainfully from the corners of his eyes. Then he proceeded to sit down… slowly.
He went ahead and sat on the throne.
The zither's sound fiercely built up. It sounded splendid, solemn and respectful… as if all the wars in the four seas had quietened down!
The King was overlooking the whole world.
Was it possible that the king of the world had appeared?
The dust had settled.
The sound of the zither sank.
The blue sky was silent.
The hundreds of thousands of people at the Lotus Lake made little sound for a long time.
The level of the zither's music had exceeded every person's imagination.
Apparently, they had seen the king staging an uprising along with the zither's sound. He commanded the soldiers forward to fight throughout whole world and fine horses ran unhindered in the battlefield. He laughed as he unified the four seas(1) and his eyes rose to gaze at the world.
I shall reign over the six directions, and the eight wastelands. (2)
This was the real king!
Diwu Qing Rou gently sighed. His eyes revealed colours of fascination. It may have not been that important for other people, but Diwu Qing Rou had wanted to sweep the Universe and unify all under the skies his whole life. His heart couldn't help but sway on hearing that zither's sound. He let out a long sigh and muttered, "Apparently I see a road that is full of killing. I finally see that it's full of killings and massacres... but that is the successful journey of a King!"
The transverse flute was horizontally positioned near its master's lips. However, her eyes showed colours of intense envy; it was a kind of emotion that was between anger and admiration which had seemingly engulfed her thoughts.
"She is stronger than you," Diwu Qing Rou calmly said as he looked at the Transverse Flute Master. "And stronger than him."
He said 'him'. This naturally meant that he was referring to the Flute Master!
The jade flute sorrowfully fell from her hands. She powerlessly turned her head towards Diwu Qing Rou. Her cherry lips quivered with a sense of loss, "What does the Prime Minister wish to know?"
Diwu Qing Rou faintly smiled. He then pulled out a portrait and asked in a soft voice, "May I ask Young Miss if she has seen this person?"
The Transverse Flute Master's body shook as her eyes showed simultaneous emotions of shame and resentment. She gritted her teeth as she maliciously said, "I would still recognize this bastard's bones even if he turns into ashes!"
It was the same man who had used a big fish to pull his boat.
Diwu Qing Rou's eyes revealed a happy expression.
On the Zither Master's boat, Young Master Yu straightened his back to stand up with a feeling of heroism that had suddenly appeared in his heart. He felt as if his entire spirit was brimming with a sense of pride.
…the source of this zither sound was none other than his lover.
Suddenly, Young Master Yu faced towards the sky and laughed. Then he whistled towards the sky.
The vast sky's weather became turbulent with the sound of his whistle!
His whistling sound surged forward. It rushed forth uninhibited, and directly ripped through the white clouds in the sky. It cleared the clouds away and revealed the resplendent clear sky.
"I am so happy!" Young Master Yu howled loudly. He then shouted, "I am the revered monarch of the entire world. I have covered a long and difficult road full of trials and tribulations! Who dares to defy me?!"
His voice spread far and wide, vibrating between the heaven and earth. It contained the wrath of a fanatical tyrant who would overturn rivers and mountains!
There are four seas in china.
There are eight wastelands in china.