[C5] ZE Chapter 2.1


Chapter 2 – The Zither and Bamboo Combination (I)

[Author’s Note] Summary: Vote for the story, and the author had to study the art of zither and the pure theory of music to write this chapter.


Ye Li picked up the kettle resting on the table, poured a cup of fresh water, and handed it over to Qin Shang, “This is fresh spring water from beneath the Desolate Jade Sea, you should taste it.”

Qin Shang took the proffered drink. Taking a sip, he sighed in admiration, “Refreshingly cool and sweet, delicious. You are living the life.”


Ye Li lamented, “We have not seen each other in 20 years, you old bastard. Coming to me now, whose fault is it to blame for what happened? You do know that the affairs of the Bamboo Sect no longer concern me. It no longer has anything to do with me.”

Qin Shang smiled, saying, “I did not even say anything, yet you are already completely rejecting me. You are under the impression that I am seeking your return, but this time I am not.”

Ye Li’s eyes expressed his astonishment, “You no longer attend?”

Qin Shang nodded, “I have just returned from Falan.”

Hearing the two words, ‘Falan,’ Ye Li’s expression changed instantly, subtlety frozen. “You are still in attendance. Thus, you have already reached the violet rank, I presume?”

Qin Shang narrowed his eyes, flickering them up and down as he sized Ye Li up, “Aren’t you the same? Let me see why.”

Ye Li opened his eyes and glared at him grumpily with an air of arrogance and obstinance, a faint violet aura emerging and surrounding his body. The heavy pressure did not affect Qin Shang even as the brilliant rays of light intensified. “Well, you are at the primary level as well. It seems that neither of us have fallen behind.”

Ye Li said, “I am not your opponent. At this time, throughout the whole continent, there is not a single type of magic or Dou Qi that can best your zither magic. Were you under the belief that I was unaware of this?”

Qin Shang faintly smiled and said,”With my zither, it only takes me a third of the effort to utilize my full power. In these circumstances, it is impossible for you to defeat me! I can also hold you helpless in my grasp. Do you think I will allow you to escape? Will you allow me to give chase after you?”

Ye Li fiercely said, “Even at this distance, you don’t believe that I can kill you?.”

Qin Shang leisurely drank his fresh spring water, “I do not believe that.”

The two men glanced at each other and couldn’t help but laugh heartily. Neither Ye Li nor Qin Shang had felt this happy in a long time.

As their laughter subsided, Ye Li firmly said, “Old partner, speak honestly. How does Falan make you feel?”

Qin Shang’s face sank. Sighing, he said, “You don’t need to ask, the Falan Seven Story Pagoda is not as we had imagined. When I was passing through, I did not even get to see the Pagoda’s Master. .”

Listening to his words, Ye Li remained silent for a long time. Somewhat depressed, he said, “It seems that we will never have hope.”

“No,” Qin Shang’s eyes brightened as he recalled something excitedly. Ferociously standing up from his bamboo chair, he exclaimed, “Hope absolutely exists, in fact, it is right in front of you.”

Eyes burning ablaze, Ye Li spewed out, “What? Quick, tell me. Is there truly hope for us to contend against the Falan Seven Pagoda?”

Qin Shang smiled, sitting down and remaining silent.

Ye Li impatiently demanded, “Why are you putting on airs? Quickly speak, or else I will use force.”

Qin Shang said with a smile,”You are still so temperamental, or in this case impetuous. I wonder how you are able to train your Bamboo Dou Qi to such a level. I was accepted by Falan after my assessment indicated that I belonged to the violet rank, ascending the Falan Rainbow Achievement List. When I left, the Falan personnel requested that I assume an office, and I chose Arcadia because you reside here. Thus I have arrived, and if you agree, I wish to stay here for at least a decade.”

Ye Li’s expression changed. Somewhat suspicious, he voiced, “Old partner, why do I feel as if you have arranged this whole situation to trap me and curry my favor? Ah! If there was anything you needed to say, you should get right to the point. What is our hope?”

Qin Shang nodded, elaborating, “Well, bluntly speaking, your grandson is our hope.”

Ye Li was startled, “You must have spoken erroneously. You arrived here with Ying’er and her son. Could it be that you did not see that my grandson was naturally born with only eight fingers? Henceforth, it is difficult for him to even grasp a weapon tightly. So how could he be our hope. I just want the child to live peacefully, safe and sound.”

Qin Shang curled his lips, elucidating, “Naturally, that is your perspective, but mine differs vastly. A disciple born naturally with eight fingers is someone I have yearned for in my dreams. The absence of the interfering influence of the little fingers on both hands is a tremendous advantage for the zither. Furthermore, your grandson naturally possesses an exceptionally keen musical awareness. If you consent to him studying the zither under me, in the future he will be the hope that we desire. In all honesty, I chose Arcadia instead of the other powerful countries mainly because you were here. You are aware that when we reached the violet rank, progressing becomes extremely difficult. In addition, a Divine Music mage cultivating at the violet rank is capable of exhibiting formidably powerful zither magic, however, the disadvantage is equally enormous. Thus,I formulated an excellent solution, but this method requires your cooperation.”

Creasing his brows, Ye Li inquired, “My cooperation? I cultivate the Dou Qi of the Bamboo Sect. Why do you need my cooperation?”

Qin Shang explained, “Throughout the continent, only magic logically cooperates with Dou Qi. However, not many people can surpass the indigo rank. Nowadays, mages disdain practicing Dou Qi techniques. The method that I thought up has Dou Qi boosting zither magic, using Dou Qi to strengthen the sonic range and even directly boosting the sonic attack. Only Divine Music mages have the ability to practice such a possibility. And your Bamboo Dou Qi is a breath full of nature and the perfect accompaniment to zither music. I arrived at these conclusions and wish to accept a disciple, requesting that you instruct him in Bamboo Dou Qi as well. As a result, the two of us will produce a superior Divine Music mage. He may be able to breakthrough the violet rank barrier as well. I had just arrived here and had not selected a disciple yet when I met your daughter-in-law and your grandson. Ah! Being born with eight natural fingers is difficult to find in this world! I absolutely cannot allow this good opportunity to slip by. Old partner, throughout my life I have never asked for much . This time, I must make an exception. I request that you bequeath me the honor of being your grandson’s master.”

In one move, Qin Shang stood to leave, facing Ye Li and bowing courteously with an exceedingly serious look.

Ye Li evaded to the side, resolutely stating, “No, I disagree. I expect my grandson to inherit my legacy even though he was born with eight fingers.”

Qin Shang anxiously said, “Didn’t you say earlier that you wanted him to live as an ordinary person? What has changed your mind?”

Ye Li said, “Ordinary person, my Bamboo sect is full of ordinary people. My grandson is the future young Bamboo Sect Headmaster, and you want him to turn to the Zither Sect? What about my Bamboo Sect? Unacceptable. Unacceptable.”

Qin Shang unwillingly said, “Ye Zhong and Mei Ying are both young, don’t tell me that you are afraid that there will be no more future grandchildren? It is not likely that even a single person out of a million would be born with eight fingers. Old partner, looking back at our many years of friendship, please help me.”

Ye Li bitterly laughed, saying, “Not that I don’t want to help you, but I can’t. Correct, Zhong’er and Ying’er are both young, but they are likely to have only one son. Originally, Ying’er had a difficult birth with my beloved grandson. You must understand, Ying’er is that old Mei Hua’s daughter. Mei Hua and I asked old lady Lan Qing to personally come to deliver the child. Fortunately, Lan Qing was present as she was able to save both mother and child without mishap. Lan Qing said, however, that Ying’er cannot bear another child from now on. You can go ask Lan Qing herself.”

Listening to Ye Li’s words, Qin Shang couldn’t help but be disappointed, collapsing in his bamboo chair. The feeling when one’s heart was full of hope only to come to nothing was absolutely uncomfortable. For a long time, he and Ye Li did not speak, the both of them sinking into deep thoughts. At this time, a clear and melodious voice echoed from outside the door, “Father, I heard that a guest has arrived.”

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