Chapter 350: Inaugural Launch of an Armament (2)

“It should work.” Qin Ye responded softly, “But the true killing blow still lies in the New Tigerform Battle Armor. That’s going to be an overt trap that they’re not going to be able to avoid. As soon as they entered this place, they’re already no different from lambs to the slaughter. These little tricks… are merely to whet their appetite for what is to come.”

Dong, dong, dong… Dong, dong, dong… Once the feudal officials entered the auditorium, the doors slammed shut, and music that they had never heard before began to fill the atmosphere.

“This is…” Ban Chao and Wang Meng gasped in shock as they glanced at the surroundings. They were close to Zhou Yu, and were naturally rather knowledgeable in the fields of music. But not even they could tell what kind of instruments these were, and what kind of playing technique it was!

Simultaneously, all of the lights in the auditorium went out.

There were two levels to the auditorium, and the second floor was filled with hundreds of musicians. The ones who were playing right now weren’t holding traditional chimes and instruments. Instead, they were playing on… electric guitars!

Tonight, not a single other place in Hell was powered by electricity apart from the auditorium. Every generator in Hell had been diverted to this place for the grand stage which Qin Ye had prepared.

Everything flowed in perfect harmony. This was the fruit of their rehearsals that spanned six full months. The opening was a low, foreboding prelude, almost as though it were paving the way for a great tsunami that was to come. Yet what was most striking was the manner in which the music… appeared to diffuse from every corner of the hall!

As the feudal officials marched in, they felt like celestial beings. The music came from every single direction, almost as though they were doused in a sea of harmonious sound. Every single cell in their body was fully immersed and drifting about in the endless current of the overture.

Arthis was also spellbound.

This was also the first time she had seen everything come together so harmoniously, and she had never expected such an earth-shattering difference in the acoustics as soon as the doors to the auditorium was closed!

“What the hell is this…”

“Echo Wall acoustics.”[1] Qin Ye maintained the faint smile on his face as he gnashed his teeth at Arthis, “Can you please stop being so uninformed? Echo Wall acoustics is one of the fundamental architectural principles upon which all concert halls are constructed! It allows everyone to be completely immersed in 3D surround sound. Different types of concert halls are also constructed for different kinds of music and repertoire. If you want to dampen the echo and reverberations in the hall, then make bumps and indentations in the walls just like we did…”

“You didn’t construct the reliefs on the walls for merely decorative purposes?” Arthis quipped back in surprise.

Qin Ye snorted, “Of course not! If we’re going to be the LV of armaments, we’ve got to give it our all and pay attention to the slightest of details! Take a look at how astonished they all are. And the show is only just beginning.”

As he spoke, the lights in the auditorium dimmed and faded out, leaving endless reverberations of music lingering in the air. The feudal officials exchanged peculiar glances. It had to be said that they were all completely blown away by the sheer number of surprises that had already caught them off guard tonight, so much so that they were even eagerly anticipating what Qin Ye had in store for them.

They were expectant and curious as to what else Qin Ye would do to satisfy this hunger and thirst of theirs. The launch thus far had been several grades higher than what the musicians in their own palatial residences had to offer. No, in fact, they couldn’t even be compared in the same vein! Only the grand orchestra of the emperor could hold a candle to this!

And yet, this was still a class above that. This simple prelude had completely washed away all measures of comparison, and set a whole new standard for their understanding of music.

Of course it would.

After all, such musical developments were well beyond their time. It was almost akin to earthlings witnessing alien technology for the very first time - anyone would find it completely unfathomable and incredible.

Then, a second later, almost as if to echo their moods, rows and rows of soft lights danced gracefully, ebbing and flowing like a sea of scintillating splendour. The lights were orderly and elegant, and the entire hall shimmered with light in an instant. Then, seconds later, the lights suddenly converged onto the main stage below, transforming into a brilliant spotlight that shone directly on Qin Ye.

The convergence of light meant that Qin Ye was now standing in the only point of light. He smiled and nodded, and the atmospheric music instantly softened to a muffle, “Esteemed feudal officials, you’ve come a long way. Tonight, I’d like you to let your hair down, let loose the tension in your heart, and indulge yourself in a moment of pleasure.”

His stage presence made him seem as though he were the one and only true lord of the underworld.

It elevated his status well beyond that of any of the other twelve envoys.

Liu Yu gulped subconsciously, but he didn’t know what exactly it meant. There was only a single notion running through his mind right now.

When I go back… I’m going to do exactly the same thing!

He desired that feeling of taking center stage, having the spotlight on him, and being in the focal point of everyone’s attention. He wanted to immerse himself in the glory of standing on top of the world. He wanted to indulge in the intoxicating feeling of basking in the baptism of gazes!

Conventional wisdom would have it that the guests be glorified instead. After all, it was meant to be their welcoming ceremony. But despite that, the host of the many envoys had stolen center stage and intentionally shone the spotlight on himself. They didn’t know what exactly this new King Yanluo of Hell was going to do tonight, but everything that had been done thus far had unknowingly disarmed them slightly and loosened the tension in their hearts. Instead, their hearts were filled with a small, burgeoning flame of passion and curiosity for what was to come.

“Everyone, please take a seat.”

As soon as he said that, the lights immediately cascaded in an orderly fashion from back to front, like a rushing tide, before everything brightened up. Simultaneously, the musical accompaniment to the opening ceremony, ‘Battle Without Honor or Humanity’, exploded in full force. (TL: So, each of these tracks are actually real pieces, and I’m going to try and find them and link you to them at the appropriate places so that you can listen to the music. They’re all quite good!) [2]

Prrr… Prr prr prr prr prr, prr prr prr… Prr prr prr… The majestic tones suddenly rushed at them, causing all of the feudal officials to jerk up their heads in an instant. The exciting beats… was completely enthralling!

Qin Ye slowly swept his gaze across the audience, taking in the expressions of each and every feudal official, even the slightest of micro expressions like the twitching of fingers. He had refrained from employing traditional war strategems and other ambush techniques. Instead, he chose to engage them using softer techniques of foreign music. He acknowledged the fact that Europa and Usonia had already left Cathay in the dust a long time ago when it came to matters of musical development. After all, Cathay’s music industry had constantly been on the decline, and ever since the turn of the new millennium, they appeared to have completely fallen out of the musical industry altogether. They weren’t even in the running for global music awards.

It was important to acknowledge one’s weaknesses. After all, that was the first step to growth, improvement and development. The present repertoire of music had been carefully handpicked by him, and even the order was carefully sorted in order to stir and draw out the greatest passion in their adrenal glands!

A person’s mind has its limits. The same goes for Yin spirits as well.

When one focuses too much on one thing, they would invariably obviate something else from their mind. Moreover, when adrenal glands fire up and passions soar, one would naturally find all measures of inhibition and moderation… slowly slipping away.

And he would have achieved what he had set out to do even if their inhibitions waned only in the slightest.

It would already sufficiently set the stage for the roaring New Tigerform to tear up the stage and blow their minds away! Everything now, including the sequence of songs to be performed, are all preludes leading up to the climax that was the unveiling of the New Tigerform Battle Armor.

Stirring music resounded through the auditorium like an explosive wave of overtones! It was overwhelming! It was immersive! Liu Yu sat down, yet he couldn’t help tapping his fingers nervously against the armrest.

The grand music tickled his eardrums ceaselessly. As he shut his eyes to the things around him, he suddenly felt as though he were alone, standing on top of the mountains and looking over a sea of clouds. The sudden thumps of percussion stirred his heart, while the inconspicuous undertones of the bass guitar tugged at his mind, drawing him to the images of the past.

The rhythm of his heart was starting to take the lead of the flowing overture of the music. The song was far better than anything he had heard before! It was full and profound, not so much like the long flowing rivers that percolate the surface of the earth, but far more explosive like a prelude to a volcanic eruption! The stirring tunes had ignited every single one of his belligerent cells!

In fact, he was already completely lost in the music when he first sat down. He lifted the hem of his robes slightly and sat down in a manner that was befitting of the tune that was being played. And he wasn’t the only one. All of the other feudal officials reacted in a similar fashion.

The music spoke directly to their hearts and resonated with the deepest thoughts in their minds. Given their statuses, they didn’t see any need to hide their reactions either.

Music was boundless. The amazing piece that was being played was known as one of the top ten classics of modern music, and it immediately heated up the opening ceremony. It had to be mentioned that Qin Ye’s decision to open the launch event with this piece was coloured by the inner troll residing in his heart. That said, anyone who had listened to the piece before would know that it fits perfectly with what he was trying to achieve!

The atmosphere and the piece complemented each other perfectly.

The tsunami of sound rushing at them from all directions only amplified the incandescence in the room to the highest order of magnitudes. As soon as everyone sat down, Ma Fubo lifted his sleeves slightly and noticed that there were already goosebumps creeping all over his skin.

A single piece of music… can do so much?

And that’s just the opening track?

The rest of this musical extravaganza… what’s that going to be like?

His eyes gleamed with eager expectation. What’s King Yanluo going to do? What hidden agenda does he have? These initial thoughts that were at the forefront of each feudal official’s minds had slowly but surely begun to be washed away by the powerful rush of music that was tugging at their hearts.

The short musical prelude accompanying the opening ceremony ended shortly after they all took their seats. The lights in the hall flickered and went dark once more. Seconds later, when the lights came back on for the second time, the entire venue was instead sparkling with a soft glow, casting a dim illumination on the center stage, revealing an orchestra of Yin spirits dressed in ancient Cathayan garments who were seated in silence.

At the front, a conductor wearing a matching Cathayan tunic bowed deeply to everyone, before turning back to the orchestra and raising his hands.

The orchestra matched the conductor’s movements seamlessly. The movements of the conductor and the orchestra were elegant and poignant, almost as though they were a visual foreshadowing of the type of music that was to come, stirring the hearts of the audience with eager anticipation. Everyone watched the musicians with bated breath.

Is it starting now…?

Each of the feudal officials, regardless of whose side they had been standing on earlier, had a burning passion in their eyes and their gaze remained transfixed on the orchestra.

After a moment of silence, the conductor waved his hand, and a gripping, rhythmic tapping of the piano sounded in unison with the pizzicato of strings. [3]

Dum… dum dum dum dum dum… It was soft and simple, yet it was indescribably atmospheric, almost as though a hundred birds were singing in a beautiful chorus before the crashing, torrential downpour. The melodious tune evoked the deepest sense of expectation in their hearts.

The opening song: Victory.

This was a piece that would leave a deep impression on the hearts of those who have heard it. It was a stunning, beautiful piece formed by layers upon layers of tunes that seemed to paint the imagery of clashing forces on a battleground. It was a piece that was practically made for the ears of the twelve envoys.

Ten seconds into the piece, the rest of the orchestra join in with a massive rush of sound, bringing the rhythmic music to new heights. It was a beautiful rise and fall in the tune, evoking the emotions of the glory and sorrow of a tragic war at the same time.

The intoxication of the battlefield was indescribable and complex, yet understood only by the few who had managed to return.

The eyes of the feudal officials widened at the same time. Which of these officials weren’t war heroes who had returned victorious from hundreds of battles? The soulful riffs of the tunes stirred the desire to do battle in their hearts. It invigorated them and brought them back to the time when they were still alive, leading the charge of a million troops against overwhelming enemy forces.

Chang Yuchun’s lips felt almost parched. He tightened his grip around the handrails on the side, glancing about, as though his eyes were searching for something. What am I searching for? He didn’t know. Nothing came to mind for a while, until… he encountered Chaghan’s equally impassioned gaze.

That’s it…

That’s exactly it…

It was the grand sight of General Chang Yuchun storming and overthrowing the Yuan capital. And Chaghan was exactly a feudal official who represented the leader of the Mongol forces.

For some strange reason, he couldn’t help but look over at Chaghan as soon as the song entered its first chorus.

And as he stared intently at Chaghan, the orchestral piece slowly unfolded, until finally, every layer of instrument slowly came together in a unified force, driving the vast battlefield to its climax!

1. This is termed after the Echo Wall at the Temple of Heavens in Beijing. The space within the circular wall has unique acoustic properties, allowing people standing at opposite positions to communicate clearly across the expanse, even if they are only whispering.

2. Most of us would probably have heard of the song, but not know of its title. 

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