Library of Heaven is Path
826 5-star Demonic Tunis
Chapter 826: 5-star Demonic Tunist
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Returning back to the time when Zhang Xuan first began playing in the Demonic Tunist Aula.
As the melody was amplified by the walls, it gradually crescendoed before spilling out from the top.
Not too long later, with a crisp call, a crane flew over. Under the influence of the beautiful melody, it began to dance delightfully.
Great, one came… Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
Since a crane had come over, it meant he had cleared his 1-star demonic tunist examination.
Let me see if I can lure two over…
Without changing the score, Zhang Xuan adjusted his state of mind and executed the Heaven's Path Demonic Tunist Art 2-dan. In an instant, the zither melody abruptly became sharp and desolate.
Under normal circumstances, taking the examination of the next rank would require a change in the music score, but Zhang Xuan was too lazy to head out to take it from the young man. In any case, this melody sounded rather pleasant, so he decided to go as far as he could for the moment.
Switching from the Heaven's Path Demonic Tunist Art 1-dan to 2-dan, the intent behind Zhang Xuan's playing suddenly grew much richer, and the sound he produced seemed to have become far more vibrant and resounding as well.
However, the difference in the playing seemed to exert immense pressure on the dancing crane. As if it had suffered some kind of attack, it shrieked fearfully before abruptly plummeting from the sky and fainting.
Astonished, Zhang Xuan hurried forward to check on the state of the crane. After verifying that the crane had only lost consciousness, he heaved a sigh of relief.
Could it be that… this music score is unsuited for the 2-star demonic tunist examination? Zhang Xuan scratched his head in confusion.
No, that shouldn't be it. The core of a demonic tune art lies not in the score but in the intent behind it… Perhaps the rise in my intent doesn't complement the music score… If that's the case, it should work as long as I alter the score correspondingly!
Music, just like the dance of a terpsichore, was nothing more than a medium. What stood at the core of demonic tunes was still the intent.
Take painting for example, as long as one reached a profound level of proficiency in their painting skills, one would be able to relay one's intent no matter what one drew; the content of the painting itself served as nothing more than a medium.
What Zhang Xuan was currently experiencing was likely to be the disharmony between the richness of the intent he was relaying and the music score he was using. As long as he made adjustments accordingly, there shouldn't be any problem with it.
Given his current eye of discernment and understanding of demonic tune arts, altering a music score wasn't too difficult for him. Before long, he had managed to alter the melody to suit his current intent.
Thus, his fingers began plucking at the strings of the zither once more.
As he had expected, not too long later, another two cranes flew into the Demonic Tunist Aula and danced above him.
Seeing that it worked, Zhang Xuan chuckled softly in delight.
Having passed the 2-star demonic tunist examination, Zhang Xuan began adjusting his state of mind once more to evoke the intent of a 3-star demonic tunist when his fingers abruptly moved too forcefully, and 'pah!', a string snapped.
As this was the first time he was playing a zither, he failed to keep his strength properly in check, resulting in this unfortunate event…
Yet another two cranes fell to the ground, convulsing uncontrollably. White foam was spilling from the edges of their mouths, and their eyes were rolled back, revealing only the whites.
Somehow, they seemed to exude an aura of indignation, seemingly saying "We have only come over in appreciation of your music, must you do this to us?"…
"Urgh…" The edges of Zhang Xuan's lips twitched.
He was only taking the 2-star demonic tunist examination, but three cranes had already fainted. He was probably the first one to do so ever since the establishment of the Demonic Tunist School.
But it honestly wasn't intentional! The quality of this zither was simply too poor!
I mustn't allow any problems to occur anymore…
Determined to change his image, Zhang Xuan assessed the score and the zither properly, and only after confirming that there wasn't any problem did he continue to play once more.
As the music permeated the room, it didn't take too long for three cranes to fly into the Demonic Tunist Aula.
This time, Zhang Xuan had made sure to control his strength properly, so he didn't hurt any of the cranes this time around. It was also the same for the 4-star examination as well.
However, just as he was just about to make the transition into the 5-star level of playing, he accidentally exerted too much strength again, and 'pah!', another zither string snapped.
The sharp dissonance from the snapping of the cranes left the four happily dancing cranes plummeting to the ground.
The zither didn't pose much of a problem for the melodies he had played up to 3-star, but it seemed that it was swiftly approaching the limits of its durability at 4-star.
Furthermore, Zhang Xuan's overwhelmingly powerful soul paired with his lack of proficiency in zither playing made it extremely difficult to control his strength perfectly.
However, knowing that there was no better zither he could borrow, he could only suppress his frustration and continue with the examination. The most he could do at the moment was just to be more careful than before.
Thus, he began making preparations for his 5-star demonic tunist examination.
Upon reaching 5-star, one could be already considered an expert of the Demonic Tunist School. Naturally, the difficulty of the exam was also far harder than those before.
Gathering his focus, Zhang Xuan began plucking at the strings, and a mesmerizing melody resounded throughout the room.
The other cranes seemed to be a little apprehensive at approaching the melody this time around, so they didn't rush over immediately like before. Instead, it was five minutes into the playing when they finally fly over.
Seeing five cranes dancing to his melody above, Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction.
Heaving a sigh of relief, he was just about to come to the end of the tune when 'pah pah!', the zither strings snapped once again, two this time.
Under the abrupt dissonance, the five dancing cranes glared at Zhang Xuan resentfully for an instant and chirped furiously before they followed in the footsteps of the others and plummeted to the ground.
Looking at the twelve unconscious divine cranes lying in his surroundings, Zhang Xuan felt the sight before him turning dark.
He really didn't do it intentionally!
That darned zither was simply far too lousy to harness the might of his soul!
This was just like having an adult draw a child's bow. The slightest lapse in concentration might cause one to lose control of the weapon.
It was fortunate that the souls of the cranes were only jolted, resulting in a temporary loss of consciousness. Otherwise, if he were to really cripple twelve of the Demonic Tunist School's cranes by taking the demonic tunist examination, School Head Jiang Qingqin just might skin him alive!
Nevertheless, this situation had put him in a dilemma. While Zhang Xuan could wake them up with his means as a soul oracle, his actions would have likely left a trauma in the cranes' mind. Thus, in the short run at the very least, they would be unlikely to be drawn to his music.
In other words, these twelve cranes were incapable of judging his level of playing at the moment.
But nevertheless, I have successfully cleared the 5-star examination, so I am officially a 5-star demonic tunist now… I think I should just get to 6-star in one go! Zhang Xuan thought.
It would be too troublesome to return to the Demonic Tunist School another day, and Zhang Xuan also knew that he had the capability to clear the 6-star demonic tunist examination at the moment as well. Even though the conditions might not be ideal, he still wanted to give it a try.
Thus, he reconnected the snapped strings and adjusted his state of mind before playing once more.
A clear and beautiful melody echoed amid the clouds, and ten minutes later, three divine cranes flew over.
Why are there only three cranes?
Zhang Xuan was certain that he had played at the level of a 6-star demonic tunist, but only three cranes had arrived. He couldn't help but be perplexed by the bizarre situation before him.
He continued playing, hoping that more cranes would arrive soon, but even as he reached the end of his melody, no other cranes arrived around him. Thus, Zhang Xuan could only give up and head out.
It seemed like due to the limitations resulting from the quality of the zither, 5-star was the current limit of his performance. Most likely, he wouldn't be able to clear the 6-star examination that day.
When Zhang Xuan walked out, the young man at the entrance took a look at him, and upon seeing his depressed face, he chuckled lightly and said, "The demonic tunist examination wasn't that easy as you expected, was it?"
"Indeed!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
He had thought that clearing the 6-star demonic tunist examination would be a piece of cake to him, but the tools he had at hand was simply far too poor. It seemed like he would have to find an opportunity to purchase a zither that was suited for him before attempting the examination once more.
"Do you know where I can purchase a better zither here?" Zhang Xuan asked the young man.
"If you want a truly good zither, you will have to craft it yourself. Only then will you be able to tailor it to your own needs and bring out your full potential," the young man explained.
After a moment of contemplation, Zhang Xuan nodded and replied, "Got it!"
Having read countless books, he knew a fair bit about the crafting of zithers as well. However, he didn't have any time to spare for that at the moment, and there wasn't any good material at hand for that either. It seemed like that would have to wait then.
"Where do I get the emblem from clearing the examination?" Zhang Xuan asked.
While it was regretful that he didn't clear the 6-star examination, it would still be good for him to obtain the 5-star emblem first.
"Emblem? You cleared the 1-star examination?"
The young man was surprised. Nevertheless, he raised his finger and pointed. "You can get your emblem over there. Just place your palm on the wall, and it will give you the corresponding emblem!"
Zhang Xuan walked in the direction where the young man gestured toward, and soon, he found himself standing before a wall.
It seemed to be a mechanism similar to the one in the Ocean of Weapons in the Blacksmith School.
He placed his palm on the wall.
An emblem with five shining stars on it fell out.
The young man who had followed Zhang Xuan, curious to see if he had really cleared the 1-star examination, was shocked to see the 5-star emblem.
To clear the 1-star to 5-star examination in a single go… and to use the old zither from the school at that…
Just how did he do it?
If it was the young man himself, he wouldn't even be able to clear the 3-star examination with a worn zither like that!
Swallowing a mouthful of saliva, the young man said, "You should have told me that you were going to take the 5-star examination… I could have had the cranes prepare themselves for it. Otherwise, even if your zither melody reaches the required level, if the cranes aren't around to hear it, or if there isn't a sufficient number of cranes around, you might have failed the examination…"
"Insufficient number of cranes?" Zhang Xuan was stunned for an instant before a thought struck him. "How many cranes does the Demonic Tunist School have in total?"
"Fifteen!" the young man replied. "The school head has reared a couple of them as well, but they are situated a little far from the Demonic Tunist Aula, so they aren't able to hear the zither melody and participate in the evaluation of the examination…"
"Fifteen?" Zhang Xuan suddenly realized what was going on.
The reason there were insufficient cranes in his 6-star examination wasn't due to his lacking capability, but that twelve of them were lying unconscious on the ground, and the remaining three were already dancing above him…
There were no more cranes left to judge his performance!
That explained why the final three cranes were staring at him fearfully, seemingly tempted to flee, but mesmerized by the music, they couldn't bring themselves to do so…
"Can insufficient cranes can lead to a situation where a qualified examinee fails?" Zhang Xuan asked.
"Indeed. The Demonic Tunist Aula determines the examinee's capability based on the number of cranes that have gathered in the surroundings. Naturally, if there aren't sufficient cranes in the area, the Demonic Tunist Aula can only deem it a failure!" the young man replied.
"I see… Thank you for your enlightenment."
Having understood what was going on, Zhang Xuan hurriedly left for School Head Jiang's office.
Since there weren't sufficient cranes in the area, he would just have to borrow three more…
But he couldn't help but be a little worried… Would School Head Jiang be willing to lend his cranes to him?