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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 035: Tracking the Sound

A human-shaped zither, Ensnaring Performance.

This is a human-shaped zither? How is one to use it?

The manor lord smiled faintly and said, “Everyone saw it already. I will activate the barrier to seal the Silver Moon Sea and show you Ensnaring Performance’s might.”

“Oh?”

The manor lord gently strummed the almost-rotting guqin in his hand.

Ding ding ding ding!

Suddenly, Silver Moon Island trembled slightly. The surrounding seawater churned.

Boom!

The foggy ritual array on Silver Moon Island suddenly left the island and soared into the sky, turning into a white cloud that flew thirty kilometers up.

“Huh?” Everyone revealed a confused expression.

Isn’t this Silver Moon Island’s protective ritual array? Why did it leave Silver Moon Island?

Countless cultivators also saw this scene from far away. Without the fog covering the island, they could see Gu Hai and the other zitherists.

Ding ding ding ding…

The manor lord continued playing the zither. Suddenly, a loud sound came from the ritual array in the sky.

Whoosh! Whoosh!

What seemed like zither strings instantly shot out to the edges of the Silver Moon Sea, connecting them to the sky.

Rumble…!

The surrounding sea let out rumbling. The strings looked like the ribs of an umbrella encasing the entire Silver Moon Sea.

Buzz!

Suddenly, strands of blue energy came out of those zither strings and merged.

From afar, it looked like a humongous blue barrier encased the entire Silver Moon Sea.

“What a colossal ritual array!”

“Is this the Silver Moon Sea’s defensive ritual array?”

“Is this a music Dao ritual array?”

Countless people felt shocked, as this ritual array was overly vast, even larger than Silver Moon City’s defensive ritual array.

Some of the cultivators near the barrier tried punching.

Boom!

The barrier instantly rebounded the force, knocking these cultivators into the sea.

“This…is a sound wave barrier?” Fairy Waner said with a slight frown.

“Sound wave?” The zitherists goggled.

The manor lord smiled faintly and said, “That’s right. It is a high-frequency sound wave barrier. Its primary purpose is sound isolation. Of course, Nascent Soul cultivators can’t break through it. This was left by Teacher Yinyue back then.”

“Sealing the sea? Manor Lord, why did you seal the sea? Does it have something to do with unveiling Ensnaring Performance?” Sima Changkong said, harboring some suspicions.

The manor lord nodded with a faint smile.

“Oh?” Everyone looked at the manor lord in bewilderment.

“Yun Mo,” the manor lord said.

“Yes!” Yun Mo nodded, then got up and walked behind Ensnaring Performance.

Everyone saw Yun Mo extend a finger to the back of Ensnaring Performance’s head. He seemed to be telepathically connecting to Ensnaring Performance.

Buzz!

Ensnaring Performance suddenly opened his eyes, and a baleful aura suddenly surged out. Everyone’s expression changed.

Yun Mo looked at everyone around. Then, determination flashed in his eyes.

“Everyone, for you to be able to be here, you are all top-tier zitherists. Now, I will send you a strand of Ensnaring Performance’s artistic conception through Ensnaring Performance. One will be qualified to compete for Ensnaring Performance only if one possesses Ensnaring Performance’s artistic conception,” Yun Mo said.

“Oh?” Everyone revealed some confusion.

Then, they saw Ensnaring Performance stretch out his right hand, and six hundred zither strings immediately shot out towards all the zitherists.

“Huh?” Everyone’s expression changed again.

Whoosh!

The six hundred zither strings instantly wound around all the zitherists, appearing to be binding them.

“What?” Everyone’s expression turned cold.

Buzz!

The zither strings apparently binding the zitherists entered their bodies all of a sudden before vanishing like air.

“Huh?” Everyone appeared confused. What happened earlier?

“This is Ensnaring Performance’s artistic conception. It has already merged with your music Dao’s artistic conception but will automatically disappear after ten days,” Yun Mo explained.

“That zither string that bound us earlier was Ensnaring Performance’s artistic conception? That is the artistic conception’s manifested high-frequency zither string, right? It vibrated at a high frequency and merged into our artistic conception? What are you trying to do?” Fairy Waner asked, showing some displeasure in her eyes.

Everyone frowned as they looked at Yun Mo.

However, Yun Mo said gravely, “Everyone should know that while I am a zither maker, I do not excel at the music Dao. However, it is different with Ensnaring Performance.”

“Ensnaring Performance, create souls!” Yun Mo said.

Yun Mo transmitted his thought into Ensnaring Performance’s body through his finger.

Ensnaring Performance showed a ferocious and baleful expression as he suddenly spread his arms out, showing claw-hands at everyone.

“Ha!” Ensnaring Performance shouted.

Ensnaring Performance’s two claw-hands scratched towards the center, appearing to tear through space. Countless transparent zither strings instantly appeared in space. As he clawed towards the center, he looked like strumming zither strings.

Then, a shocking scene appeared.

As Ensnaring Performance strummed the invisible zither strings, music notes appeared. As music rang out, a small fairy suddenly emerged from Ensnaring Performance’s fingertips.

“Is that a fairy? Ensnaring Performance can create souls by himself?” a cultivator exclaimed.

That fairy emitted an azure light as a pair of transparent wings flapped rapidly. The flapping of its wings produced a melodious sound. The fairy looked at the surrounding people curiously, appearing confused.

“That’s not right. There’s another fairy? Two? Two hundred?”

“Two thousand fairies?”

“Oh! No, there are twenty thousand fairies?”

“This…this…there are two hundred thousand fairies?” 

“Two million?”

Exclamations rose from the many zitherists.

As Ensnaring Performance strummed the zither strings in space, fairies frantically spewed out of his fingertips. More and more of them appeared in ever-growing numbers. Soon, fairies filled the surroundings of Silver Moon Island.

This speed of creating souls shocked everyone who saw it.

A heaven-grade zither? This is the effect of a heaven-grade zither?

If it is not Yun Mo, then it can only be Ensnaring Performance? Two million fairies with the wave of a hand?

The fairies fluttered about in confusion.

The many zitherists reached out to grab a fairy. Strangely, they succeeded.

Even Gu Hai managed to grab a fairy. It felt like he held something solid.

This slightly startled Gu Hai. “Aren’t souls ethereal? Why can I grab one?”

Everyone looked at Yun Mo curiously.

“Since all of you have Ensnaring Performance’s artistic conception, you can grab the fairies that Ensnaring Performance created. As for those cultivators who were not invited to the zither bestowal event, they can never catch one even though they can see the fairies,” Yun Mo explained.

“So, that’s the case!” Everyone immediately celebrated.

The manor lord waved gently, and a small box suddenly appeared in his palm.

“Ensnaring Performance’s soul is stored in this small box. Obtaining Ensnaring Performance will depend on yourselves!” the manor lord said.

“Oh?” Everyone looked at the manor lord’s hands.

The manor lord slowly opened the box. There was a yellow fairy inside, appearing to be asleep.

Everyone’s eyes lit up.

“Come out,” the manor lord said.

The yellow fairy suddenly woke up.

As the fairy flapped its wings, elegant zither music rang out. The music sounded very penetrative and relaxing, inspiring a blank mind. All the zitherists immediately felt entranced.

“Where am I?” the yellow fairy suddenly asked.

While the two million azure fairies are still confused, this yellow fairy is already asking questions?

All the zitherists goggled.

“Look carefully. This is Ensnaring Performance’s soul. One just needs to infuse a drop of one’s essence blood into it and place it back in Ensnaring Performance’s body. From then on, Ensnaring Performance will acknowledge one as his master,” the manor lord explained.

“It’s that simple?” Everyone immediately felt excited.

“My sealing barrier is a high-frequency sound barrier. It will prevent the fairies from flying out of the Silver Moon Sea. That is the range. Ensnaring Performance will belong to whoever captures and refines Ensnaring Performance’s soul first. All of you have a chance,” the manor lord said with a smile.

“Oh?” Everyone’s eyes lit up with eagerness.

“What do you all intend to do?” the yellow fairy immediately said in fear when it saw everyone’s expression.

“They all intend to refine you. What do you think they want to do?” the manor lord said with a smile.

“What? What? They want to refine me? What should I do? What should I do?” the yellow fairy exclaimed.

“What should you do? Can’t you run?” the manor lord said with a smile.

“Ah? That’s right. Run! Quickly! All of you, run with me!” the yellow fairy suddenly called out.

Whoosh!

Two million fairies instantly scattered in all directions, moving extremely fast like sharp arrows, and soon disappeared.

“What?” The zitherists jumped to their feet.

Some of them quickly flew into the sky, chasing after the fairies. However, there were two million fairies. With two million of them, how were the cultivators to find the right one?

Everyone looked at the manor lord anxiously.

“It is up to you how you catch it. Every fairy has a different voice. I believe everyone heard the sound from Ensnaring Performance’s soul flapping its wings? You are all zitherists; use your ears. You only have ten days. I wish everyone the best of luck!” the manor lord said with a smile.

Whoosh!

Many zitherists immediately charged out, chasing after the distant fairies.

“Immortal crane carriage, come over! Chase after the fairies!”

“That way! That way!”

“Hurry! Hurry! Don’t follow me!”

Many zitherists gave chase.

However, some of the more incredible zitherists remained. These zitherists closed their eyes and brought out their artistic conception, using their ears to listen carefully for the yellow fairy.

Gu Hai revealed a bitter smile. How am I going to do this?

Gu Hai knew that powerful zitherists like Fairy Waner and the manor lord could hear everything in the Silver Moon Sea. However, there were too many distracting noises around, so they had to search slowly for the yellow fairy’s voice.

Was Gu Hai destined not to obtain this Ensnaring Performance?

Gu Hai looked at the nearby City Lord He.

Earlier, Lu An took out a flying ship and chased after a group of fairies in the distance.

City Lord He is alone?

Gu Hai looked at Long Wanqing. Then, Long Wanqing nodded. The two stood up slowly and headed for City Lord He.

Nearby, Fairy Waner opened her eyes brimming with anger. “Humph! Gu Hai, since you made things difficult for me, I shall make things difficult for you as well.”

As Fairy Waner muttered to herself, she ferociously strummed her guqin.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for September: 23 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.