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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 125: Music Dao Duel

Gu Hai left the bone valley with one million souls.

Fog still hung in the surroundings, veiling the bony region.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Boundless dark clouds covered the sky, and loud booming rang out in the distance.

Gu Hai stood at a mountain summit and looked into the distance.

The dark clouds in the sky were the dark clouds of fate conjured by “Miserable World.” When Army Breaker started playing, it was even more intense than before. The sky turned overcast, and a bleak, cold wind filled the world. Ice sealed off the ground for five hundred kilometers, and snow fell for five thousand kilometers, presenting a scene of a bitter, desperate winter.

The loud sounds came from the vicinity of Southern Suppression City.

There were one million bronze statues outside Southern Suppression City, all of them at the peak Nascent Soul Realm with extraordinary prowess.

The soldiers that marched out of the city previously definitely could not resist these one million bronze statues. However, those soldiers were just a facade.

Four extremely large calligraphy copybooks hung high in the distant sky.

[TL Note: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copybook_(calligraphy).]

The copybooks surrounded a square space as they radiated dazzling white light.

At this moment, about six hundred thousand bronze statues were trapped in the square space defined by these four copybooks.

The words on the copybooks shone with dazzling white light, looking like four huge walls sealing off the space and trapping the six hundred thousand bronze statues.

“Those copybooks? That is the calligraphy Dao’s noble spirit?” one of the souls with Gu Hai exclaimed.

[TL Note: Noble spirit can also be translated as vast righteous energy or qi. This is a common term that tends to appear in novels involving scholarly cultivation or Confucianism. In Confucianism, one seeks to cultivate morals and righteousness.]

“Noble spirit?” Gu Hai echoed, feeling puzzled.

“Indeed. Of music, Go, calligraphy, and painting, calligraphy is the foundation; it is the closest to the source. That is definitely noble spirit coming from the copybooks. They used four copybooks to seal off six hundred thousand bronze statues? So, the supreme commander had already prepared long ago. I was wondering why he had been seeking out people from the various major academies of classical learning,” that soul exclaimed in pleasant surprise. 

“Various major academies of classical learning?” Gu Hai echoed again, still puzzled.

“Indeed. Do you see those armored soldiers? They are just there to mislead Army Breaker. They are calligraphy Dao experts. Look. There’s a group of calligraphy Dao experts continuously writing on the copybooks. They are infusing noble spirit. However, the content on the copybooks is even more incredible. Otherwise, they could not seal off six hundred thousand bronze statues,” that soul explained.

Gu Hai looked over, and indeed, there was a group of soldiers holding brushes, facing the four large copybooks and writing in the air.

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

White light soared into the sky. The noble spirit from the calligraphy used the momentum of the four copybooks to form a huge cage, locking up the bronze statues that kept crashing into the cage.

“Huh?” 

Gu Hai narrowed his eyes slightly.

Gu Hai saw countless fairies flying in the noble spirit cage, continuously charging into the bronze statues’ heads. It looked like they were trying to snatch control of the bronze statues.

“Sima Changkong used these people to capture the bronze statues so that Ensnaring Performance can snatch them back? However, how can these bronze statues be so easily snatched away?” Gu Hai frowned.

------

While there were six hundred thousand bronze statues trapped, there were still four hundred thousand bronze statues attacking Southern Suppression City’s ritual array.

“Ensnaring Performance, Sima Changkong, you are indeed devious. Do you think that you can snatch my six hundred thousand bronze statues by trapping them with the calligraphy Dao? Only in your dreams!” Army Breaker roared.

------

On top of the city gate tower:

Ensnaring Performance looked at Sima Changkong and said, “We can’t carry on like this. My fairies are outside the bronze statues, while Army Breaker’s are inside. It takes ten-odd fairies to restrain one bronze statue, but that is just restraining; they can’t enter.”

“Even if we can’t, we have to. This ‘Miserable World’ is even stronger than the one at Silver Moon City. Didn’t you play ‘Sonata Pathétique’ previously? That could not break ‘Miserable World’ at all. It could break ‘Miserable World’ previously because it gathered the will of the entire city. This time, there is only your will. This is a mental music Dao artistic conception. It cannot be broken. Just focus on getting your fairies to snatch the bronze statues away for us; then, we’ll work on destroying Army Breaker with all our might.” Sima Changkong shook his head.

“Oh! I still have one song that Master passed to me before leaving. However, it requires me to play it with my full might,” Ensnaring Performance explained.

“We have already trapped the six hundred thousand bronze statues. Of course, credit for trapping them does not go to just the four copybooks. You also contributed significantly. Without your six hundred thousand fairies harassing the bronze statues, the four copybooks could not have stopped them. Your harassment is preventing them from breaking out. If you focus on playing that new piece, the trapped six hundred thousand bronze statues will escape. By then, who knows how long our defensive ritual array will last under the combined assault of one million bronze statues?” Sima Changkong frowned.

“However, I want to play that piece!” Ensnaring Performance appeared somewhat bitter.

At the side, Venerable Liu Nian smiled bitterly. “Mister Sima, you are right in taking a rational stance. After all, you prefer something dependable. You worry that Gu Hai’s piece will be ineffective and end up wasting everything we have done so far, maybe even let the bronze statues break into the city. However, as time goes by, I find that I trust in Gu Hai’s piece more. I suggest we let Ensnaring Performance give it a try.”

Sima Changkong frowned slightly.

Noble spirit encased the area around the four copybooks. The calligraphy Dao experts holding brushes had noble spirit protecting them. The bronze statues could not touch them at all. Furthermore, Ensnaring Performance’s sound barrier protected them, preventing “Miserable World” from influencing them. This noble spirit cage was extremely special and incredibly sturdy. Despite the six hundred thousand bronze statues attacking everywhere, they could not break it. The bronze statues outside could not even touch it. They wanted to destroy the copybooks, but the noble spirit cage captured them the moment they rushed in.

Army Breaker felt somewhat anxious as he looked coldly at the distant noble spirit cage. He could not break into the city with just four hundred thousand bronze statues. 

“Humph! Splitting my army to prevent me from breaking into the city? Then, I shan’t break into the city. I’ll destroy your four copybooks first!” Army Breaker said coldly.

Then, Army Breaker waved his hand.

Boom!

The four hundred thousand bronze statues attacking the city suddenly stopped and rushed towards the noble spirit cage.

“Oh no!” Sima Changkong’s expression changed.

In the end, the power of one million bronze statues combined was too great. The harassment from Ensnaring Performance’s six hundred thousand fairies was limited.

The one million bronze statues attacked together.

Boom!

With a loud report, a crack appeared in the noble spirit walls.

“Argh!”

The group of calligraphy Dao experts got knocked into the air by the strong rebound.

“Oh no! Quickly, block them. Quickly write!” the many calligraphy Dao experts rushed forward. They picked up their brushes and immediately started writing.

“Break!” Army Breaker shouted.

Boom!

Suddenly, a thunderous sound rang out. Under the assault of one million bronze statues, the noble spirit cage shattered.

Rip! Rip! Rip! Rip!

Four loud sounds rang out, and the four huge copybooks suddenly tore into pieces and scattered.

The one million bronze statues immediately regained their freedom.

“Hahahahaha! Calligraphy Dao? The calligraphy Dao is only so-so!” Army Breaker said coldly.

The faces of all the people on the city gate tower sank.

“Break into the city!” Army Breaker said coldly.

Boom!

The one million bronze statues attacked simultaneously, targeting the city gate tower.

Boom!

The city gate tower shook, and the soldiers immediately became restless.

“Ensnaring Performance, perhaps I was wrong. Ha! Give it a try. Play Gu Hai’s piece!” Sima Changkong sighed with a bitter smile.

“I should have done it long ago. Although Master’s piece is slightly inferior to my songs, it is still quite effective.” Ensnaring Performance did not forget to praise himself.

Then, Ensnaring Performance extended his hand and waved.

Boom!

Ensnaring Performance put away the six hundred thousand fairies.

“Oh? You are no longer harassing my bronze statues?” Army Breaker, in the distance, was slightly surprised.

Thanks to these fairies, the bronze statues could not coordinate. The fairies also caused a lot of destruction. The harassment had some effect. However, what was Ensnaring Performance going to do now?

Ding!

Ensnaring Performance made a strumming motion. Then, a huge heavenly zither appeared out of nowhere and amplified the sound.

“Playing the zither? Haha! Is it ‘Sonata Pathétique’? Or ‘Ambush from Ten Sides’? Ensnaring Performance, I know all your pieces, and you want to play the zither before me?” Army Breaker revealed a cold smile.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Ensnaring Performance’s zither sound rang out. Suddenly, war drums rumbled in the sky, accompanying the zither music. It sounded like thunder, startling everyone.

Dong! Dong dong! Dong dong dong!

Dong! Dong dong! Dong dong dong!

Dong! Dong dong! Dong dong dong!

The war drums shook the world. As the intense drumming boomed out, the drifting snow for five thousand kilometers around trembled along. Furthermore, this drumming had a stern quality to it.

When the restless soldiers in the city heard this drumming, they suddenly felt a rush of hot-bloodedness.

“It’s not ‘Ambush from Ten Sides’?” Army Breaker raised his eyebrows.

Dong! Dong dong! Dong dong dong!

The sound of the war drums accelerated. Soon, azure images of soldiers appeared out of nowhere, pounding on drums. Many people were pounding on drums. A glance around found one million drummers.

“One million drummers? Is this an army?” Countless people revealed shock.

Normally, war drums would thunder during a war. However, it would just be a few people pounding on the drums. What kind of scene was Ensnaring Performance setting? One million drummers? No wonder it sounded so shocking.

However, what were they going to fight with after having one million people beating the drums? One million people were a vast fighting force. Yet, Ensnaring Performance sent them to beat the drums?

Sima Changkong narrowed his eyes as he looked at the drummers in the sky.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

As the zither music continued, the scene that the music dao artistic conception brought out changed.

Now, the images of four million soldiers appeared around the one million drummers.

“Humph! Those images that the music Dao manifested are only in the Innate Realm at best. What is the point of this? Just one hundred of my bronze statues can destroy them all. One million drummers and four million trash soldiers? Ensnaring Performance, is that all you are capable of?” Army Breaker sneered.

The four million soldiers standing around the one million drummers looked respectfully at a huge military tent appearing slowly in the center—a three-hundred-meter-tall military tent.

“General is formidable!”

“General will win!”

“General is unrivaled!”

The four million soldiers shouted, and their bellows shook the skies. With the sound of the thundering drums and the shouts of “General is formidable,” a belief of invincibility spread.

This faith of certain victory instantly infected everyone. Everyone in Southern Suppression City felt a surge of hot-bloodedness. Who was this general in that large military tent?

“The one million drummers and four million soldiers are there just to set off a contrast. They only need to shout and drum, creating the impression of the general in the tent being a powerful war god? How could there be such a strange piece? What is it called?” Sima Changkong exclaimed.

------

Far away, Gu Hai answered a soul who asked the same question, “March of the General.” 

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for November: 15 / 50

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