Special Thanks to Hein H for sponsoring this chapter.
“It seems like they’re scared of you.” said Lin Feng to Wen Ao Xue. What was surprising was that a boy who was as beautiful as a girl scared other people to the point that they avoided him.
“Maybe they just hold me in awe and veneration.” replied Wen Ao Xue while laughing. At that moment, Lin Feng and the others noticed that there were suddenly less people around them. The reason was obviously Wen Ao Xue.
“The exam is not so hard. It should be no problem for you to pass. Because the first category is the one in which most people are interested, it is also the category in which the students are the strongest. Every year during the registration and test week, we allow the older students to participate to see how much they have progressed.” said Wen Ao Xue to Lin Feng in a low voice while looking at the crowd which was getting bigger and bigger.
“Will the test be listening to music?” said Lin Feng while looking at a silhouette of an old man who was putting his hands on a zither. He was slightly closing their eyes.
“You’re right, the test is to listen to the melody that he will play.” replied Wen Ao Xue while laughing.
What? The test consisted in listening to a song? Duan Feng and Jing Yun were astonished as well. Listen to a song? What kind of test was that?
Only Meng Qing looked indifferent as ever as if the entire story had nothing to do with her.
“You will understand quickly enough.” said Wen Ao Xue who noticed Lin Feng, Jing Yun and Duan Feng looked really strange and seemed to be thinking very deeply.
In a short time, the number of people on the square rapidly increased to two hundred.
Some of the people, when they saw Lin Feng and Wen Ao Xue, looked very strange and even stupefied.
“It’s Lin Feng from the events that happened earlier, he must have surprisingly chosen the first category like us.”
“Hehe, he’s quite strong and has solid natural abilities. He could even defeat the noble and wealthy students, but will he be able to pass the test?”
“There should be no problem. You also saw how easy it was for him to defeat Bai Ze and Zuo Qiu. And you also saw how he didn’t hesitate and confront the teacher. Courage and determination will be no problem for him.”
Everybody, the ordinary but also wealthy noble disciples had seen how strong and brave Lin Feng was. Therefore, even if they didn’t necessarily agree on certain points, they still admired him and held him in very high esteem. Besides, he had the qualities required to become a very good commander.
At that moment, those who were sitting upright opened their eyes and glanced at everybody else. They looked calm and serene.
“Alright, let the tests begin. Those who fail or miss the test start can come again tomorrow to attempt it again.” said the old man who was holding a zither. He was sitting and surrounded by students sitting as well.
The crowd slightly nodded. There were some new students and some old students. Of course, everybody knew the rule and immediately sat down cross-legged.
“Alright, sit down properly and listen to the zither tune.” said Wen Ao Xue to Lin Feng and the others with a smile on his face.
“Alright, let’s sit down then.” said Lin Feng and the others. Immediately after, they all sat down cross-legged.
“Alright, let’s start.” said the old man while starting to move his fingers over the strings of the zither.
But Lin Feng’s eyes stopped on the old man’s hands. They looked as thin and delicate as Wen Ao Xue’s hands. They actually looked very similar.
Every single note emitted by the zither was harmonious and melodious. It seemed like the atmosphere had stopped. A short instant later, there was no other sound except that of the zither. Absolute calm reigned over the atmosphere.
Progressively, more and more people were closing their eyes and were enjoying the music. It was as if the air they were breathing was completely fresh and contained boundless joy.
Lin Feng was almost closing his eyes too but each time he felt like dozing, he couldn’t help but struggle and remain cold-blooded.
“Hypnotize!” Lin Feng suddenly understood. The goal of the tune was to hypnotize people.
“How powerful. It must be a mysterious skill.” thought Lin Feng and then immediately closed his eyes. He was falling asleep even though he was struggling. He really wanted to see how powerful the skill was so eventually stopped resisting.
Suddenly, he had the impression that he was alone in the world.
Maybe the skill was too powerful or had Lin Feng voluntarily fallen asleep without the hypnosis taking effect. On his side, there were suddenly many cavalry holding their long daggers. They were releasing an overpowering killing intent and it was clear they wanted to kill him.
Blood was splashing everywhere.
At that moment, blood started splashing all around him. There was even blood splashing over his face and body. Blood began to cover everything in sight.
Suddenly, a head without its body flew towards him. The huge eyes on that head were still wide open in shock.
Very quickly, he was surrounded by a bunch of bones, flesh and blood. The corpses were piling up endlessly.
Under the setting sun, a crying woman’s voice spread through the atmosphere.
All these departed spirits were demanding vengeance for the grievance of their death. Under the pale light diffused by the moon, they walking around in an apocalyptic landscape of blood and death.
At that moment, a certain number of people on the square opened their eyes. They were breathing heavily and were still in shock. Their clothes were soaked with cold sweat.
Those who had just woken up with a start were hurriedly looking around them at everyone else taking the test. They noticed that some of the other students still had their eyes closed, especially the older students who seemed completely immersed in their dreams.
Lin Feng’s back was also covered with cold sweat. Who could stay that calm and serene with such nightmarish visions? Besides, the melody which emanated out of the zither strangely made the scene look especially real.
A strong and intense feeling invaded Lin Feng’s heart again. He had the feeling that his brain had been struck once again. He could feel the cold sweat flowing down his back.
“An illusion. That zither… what a great power…” The melody of that zither could surprisingly make people fall asleep and have nightmarish visions out of which it was almost impossible to free one’s self. How horrifying!
If the one who was playing the zither intensified the strength of his melody, couldn’t it be possible to make the sleeping victims go insane and collapse?
Around Lin Feng, Duan Feng was still tightly closing his eyes but he was slightly shaking. Regarding Jing Yun, she had already opened her eyes and her heavy yet erratic breathing gave the impression that she was previously suffocating.
Otherwise, many other people had already opened their eyes while some others were still closing them. However, the bodies all of those who had their eyes closed were already reacting to the music.
“That’s an intense exam…” thought Lin Feng. He had a strange smile on his face. A moment before, because he was immersed in the dream, he hadn’t had the time to think too much but at that moment, he understood the purpose of the exam. It seemed like by opening his eyes he had failed.
A short time later, the melody of the zither stopped. Everybody started opening their eyes, one after another.
The musician looked at the crowd and said: “The purpose of the exam was to test your endurance and your determination. If that kind of environment is unbearable for you and that you hastily woke up, it means that it would be hard for you to be on a battlefield. Therefore, those who woke up a moment before, please leave. You cannot become commanders.”
“So that’s how it is.” thought Lin Feng making a wry smile. However, Lin Feng actually hadn’t woken up because he couldn’t bear being in that place. He had woken up because his spirit made him unable to become the prisoner of the illusions and he had broken free.
Many people seemed very disappointed and were leaving one after another. They clearly understood that staying was of no use. Besides, some of them already doubted that they could become commanders and thought that their choice wasn’t the correct path for them.
The musician looked around and saw Lin Feng. He then asked: “You, why are you not leaving?”
“Eh?” those who knew Lin Feng were stupefied. Had Lin Feng failed the test?
Wen Ao Xue was astonished. Could it be that Lin Feng couldn’t stand bear seeing such a horrible scene? The exam wasn’t easy but it initially didn’t seem impossible for someone like Lin Feng. After all, he had already demonstrated his strength.
“Teacher, I wasn’t woken up by the horrible visions.” said Lin Feng smiling wryly and shaking his head. When he finished talking, many people were looking at him and he felt oppressed by all these eyes staring at him. The teacher was supposed to have an outstanding level, how come he hadn’t noticed that Lin Feng hadn’t been woken up by the horror of the vision? Besides, the way he was looking at Lin Feng even looked like he was despising him.
“If you really want to become a commander, don’t give up and come back tomorrow at the same time.” said the teacher.
“Tomorrow?” Lin Feng was annoyed. The inauguration of the Holy Courtyard of Xue Yue was taking place on the day after.
“Teacher, let me try again.” said Lin Feng with the same wry smile on his face while shaking his head.
“You’re really shameless. You just had a chance. Come back tomorrow. No need to be impatient.” said the teacher which surprised Lin Feng. Everybody was looking at him.
Lin Feng shook his head, smiled and said again: “Teacher, I beg you, give me a second chance.”
The teacher looked at Lin Feng in a strange way and said in a low voice: “Determined and motivated as you are now, it is hard to believe that you couldn’t pass the test. I will make an exception and break the rule for you and let you try again today.”