Demonic sound howled and circled his ears as it continued to invade Ye Futian's will.
Terrifying demonic aura flowed around his body. It was as if his entire being was about to be controlled by that demonic will.
Dark demonic aura coursed about on his handsome face. Dark light shimmered around his pupils as if he was about to be turned.
His robe billowed, and dark peach flowers dropped. His hair remained silver.
That handsome face of his seemed like that of a devil, shining with a feral grace as if he was no longer himself.
Countless pairs of eyes found on the mountain were all glued to Ye Futian. Everyone seemed to have felt something.
"Is he sensing the will of the Magic Zither on his own? He is not afraid of being devoured by the demonic will instead?" Duan Wuji of Emperor Dong's Palace lowered his voice and asked, seeing his change.
He chuckled and understood why it was Ye Futian who had been able to acquire Emperor Kua's lineage back in the ruins.
He dared to venture into territories no one dared to.
What Ye Futian pulled was extremely bold.
Terrifying demonic will power was imbued within the Magic Zither, capable of encroaching and even attacking the will of others. Saints, who were all-powerful beings, would not have tolerated the thought of having their will affected and controlled. So their first instinct at facing the Magic Zither was to fight it, cutting down on the demonic will's influence on them and even suppressing the demonic will to master the instrument.
That was the most common method, after all. Even any wanted to reach out, they would have instinctively shunned such thoughts soon enough.
The result of doing such a thing would probably be something out of their control, after all.
An example being "what if one's will was encroached so badly that one was left with a permanent, unrecoverable trauma?"
There was also the concern of recoil from the demonic will affecting them.
Such methods of wading against the current were totally against human instincts and extremely risky.
However, that was what Ye Futian did.
Although many present would not have done so themselves, they nonetheless vaguely felt that he might be doing the right thing when they saw Ye Futian putting such thoughts into action. They, however, wondered if he would be able to bear the will of a demonic emperor.
"This is interesting," Xie Qingshan said. While Ye Futian had not gone to directly suppress the demonic will and pluck the strings as they had, what he pulled was something that had more thought in it, and was more daring.
It was no surprise why Ye Futian would emerge to become the most brilliant young man found in Crimson Dragon Realm.
Everyone knew that if Ye Futian were to be the same as they were, he would not have succeeded, and he knew that much.
As such, he did what he did.
However, what enabled him to do so was the backing of his imperial will. If he were to run into any accidents, he was still confident that he was able to shake himself free from the demonic will instead of completely succumbing to it.
Demonic will coursed about Ye Futian's body, which was at the central region of the Peach Banquet, held in the vast divine mountain. He looked as if he was turning into a demon himself.
The demonic light became increasingly intense, and Ye Futian felt as if he was on the verge of being enthralled by the demonic will. He seemed to have heard ancient notes within that demonic world, which sounded like they came from an extremely faraway place, while at the same, right beside him.
Those leaping notes seemed to be out to completely control his will. Ye Futian maintained a sliver of consciousness, as the demonic might, which was getting increasingly terrifying, rolled about.
Ye Futian seemed to be on the verge of turning into a demon. His pitch-black demonic eyes glittered with a hint of comprehension. He lifted his hand and got near the Magic Zither. His fingers were slightly curved.
Terrifying, stifling aura was felt in his surroundings at that moment.
"Look out!" A figure at a faraway corner of the mountain was seen. Everyone seemed to have sensed something, and all gathered their powers to resist.
Ye Futian's fingers then struck the strings on the instrument shortly after.
When the demonic sound was heard, formless demonic light washed all over the place. It was as if devastating demonic rings shot out all around.
The mighty ones brought their towering auras to bear. The demonic might washed all over the place. Gales swept their vicinity, and the peach forest wilted in mere moments, turning into a pitch-black demonic world.
Many were thrown several steps back. Rumbling sounds were heard as they unleashed their own will powers to resist.
However, all of that hardly lasted for a single moment. Everyone then turned their gaze back to Ye Futian.
His fingers were moving away from the Magic Zither. He backed away, and the demonic might on him gradually subsided as if nothing had happened.
That bit of demonic sound was totally different from the simple notes produced when everyone was attempting to pluck the strings before.
That was the true tune of demonic sounds.
It was apparent that he did it.
Although it lasted for only a brief moment, he had played the Magic Zither for what it truly was.
Furthermore, he was able to make it out in one piece.
Everyone turned to look at Ye Futian. If things were to proceed according to the conversation between Chi Shang and Ye Futian, then the instrument that had been around for many Peach Banquets would no longer remain.
It had finally found its master.
"The Magic Zither has been in the royal palace for many years, and there has never been anyone capable of fathoming its workings, or should I say, there had never been anyone capable of such mettle. City Lord Ye, you have succeeded in finding out the secret of the instrument and playing it. Per what I've said before, this guqin shall now be yours," Chi Shang smiled and said.
Ye Futian did not refuse. The guqin of a demonic emperor was a Renhuang level treasure, and there was no way he would have rejected such a precious item.
Furthermore, there was not any catch to taking the Magic Zither.
"Thank you, Your Highness," Ye Futian cupped his hands and said. A Holiness of Nirvana dropped from the sky. The guqin case materialized and emitted dazzling light, shrouding the guqin and containing it within.
The case itself was a treasure as well, evident from the fact that it was capable of containing the will of the Magic Zither within.
He waved his hand, and the case flew towards Ye Futian.
Ye Futian took it over and then stored it within his storage ring, before turning around and going back to where he stood.
The Magic Zither was officially his.
"The Magic Zither has been around for several Peach Banquets, and it finally found its master. I'd call this a case closed one way or another," Chi Shang smiled and said. It was as if giving away a Renhuang level treasure was something worth celebrating to him.
"We shall have the second gift prepared for the very next day. The Thousand-word Tablet," Chi Shang said. He then looked far away, ordering, "Please."
Rumbles were heard in the sky as soon as he finished.
An item flew from the mountain, zipping past the heads of the crowd and coming to the center of the banquet.
A booming rumble was heard, and everyone saw a huge tablet appear before them. The tablet looked like a chessboard, and ancient symbols coursed on it. The piece looked mystical, and it seemed to harbor immense power.
"The Thousand-word Tablet, per its namesake, has thousands of maxims carved on it. It is meant for supplementing one's training, and one is able to store powers of the great path within. A Renhuang created it."
Chi Shang's voice was heard again as he addressed the crowd. "If there is anyone in the crowd capable of comprehending the maxims within and melding what is learned into your own methods, we shall have sparring sessions within two hours for anyone who is capable of developing what they have learned. The one who is capable of developing the deepest comprehension will be welcomed to take the tablet away."
Things were different than with the Magic Zither previously. The guqin had never found its master in the past several banquets, and it was finally taken away by Ye Futian.
The tablet itself was not a precious, but the inscriptions on it were of extreme value, as they were creations of a Renhuang. Furthermore, someone would definitely be able to take it.
However, taking such a piece away would not be an easy feat. All who had attended the Peach Banquet that day were all renowned, formidable figures.
All of them were top-notch geniuses in Crimson Dragon Realm. Anyone intending to take it away would be required to overwhelm others through their power of comprehension.
Such formless competition was what the Peach Banquet was truly meant for.
It served more than a gift to a worthy person, as it was also a piece enabling all present to see just how extraordinary the top-notch geniuses of the realm were.
Furthermore, all top-notch figures present were people who willingly attended the banquet.
In all the past banquets held, only a handful of the invitees chose not to attend the event instead. The banquet was of such prominence that those who did not receive an invitation intended to fight their way up, just like how Xiang Ze did.
"Please, help yourselves," Chi Shang said with a smile.
The tablet stood before them, and one figure after another shot into the air, heading towards the huge tablet.
Ye Futian did the same. He came before the tablet, and everyone behind him followed suit. That was an opportunity to further their training, after all.
Of course, it would have been delightful for Ye Futian if he were to be able to bag the tablet, as it would have enabled him to study the inscriptions in detail.
But two hours was what he had for now.
Ye Futian gazed at the huge tablet before him. Ancient symbols spun around the tablet as if they were about to shoot out of it.
Dazzling light shot from his eyes as he activated the Freedom Meditation, seeping his spiritual will into the tablet.
He seemed to have immersed himself within the world of the tablet within an instant.
He stood inside, and countless symbols danced in the air. Every single symbol seemed to have been imbued with might of the great path, yet none had the will of the great path in them.
It was as if the will was meant to be something to be immersed in them by the ones studying them. The symbols were meant to be infused through his perception.
"Sword," Ye Futian willed, and he looked at the maxim inscriptions as if they were swords.
In an instant, those inscriptions seemed to have ceased being just inscriptions, and they looked like sword-shaped ancient symbols instead.
Over a thousand sword-shaped ancient symbols circled in the air and looked extremely sharp, pulsing with terrifying sword will. They felt as if they were a towering, frightening sword matrix, while at the same time, feeling like a waterfall of swords, gushing at his will.
Ye Futian was alerted deep down all of a sudden. The inscriptions of swords dropped vertically and attacked his spiritual will power within the tablet, shattering it on the spot.
It was as if they had torn through the tablet and rushed inside his head.
Ye Futian shut his eyes instantly, intending to shake the attack off. However, that scene seemed to have lingered in his mind. He retreated immediately and grunted, finding blood at the side of his mouth.
Everyone around him was frightened. Xia Qingyuan and the others flashed and came to his side, asking, "What happened?"
They were not the only ones doing so. Many before the tablet turned their eyes to Ye Futian as well. Their expressions were puzzled.
The ones standing faraway at the mountain were rather baffled as well. While many were thrown off instantly, Ye Futian was the only one who showed that much of a reaction.
It seemed as if he was severely injured.
The case did not seem to meld well with his prior performance.
He should not have looked that weak.
However, none of them knew that the huge reaction from Ye Futian was a result of reaching planes higher and more intense than the others.
That had been his advantage over the others, yet that advantage almost ended up injuring him severely.
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