Silent Crown Chapter 414
Ye Qingxuan fell asleep without realizing. When he woke up, he discovered from the tiny window that the sun was setting. It was already dusk. He had an hour of fresh air at this time every day.
Under the setting sun, groups of prisoners sat in the yard within the high walls. They played cards, talked, drank tea, or wrote poetry about fallen leaves. It was a weird feeling to see them discuss poetry and tea. It felt like some aristocratic club.
Ye Qingxuan felt more and more unsettled. It was like a few burly and hairy bandits sitting in a pink room and giving their dolls a tea party. Their smiles were gentle and happiness seeped from their knife scars.
Above the high tower, an organ sounded. This was not a score to chase away aether. It was just pure music. The elegant hymn echoed through the prison. The ethereal and holy melody filled one's ears, making one feel the beauty and value of life.
"What the h.e.l.l is this?" he murmured, frowning.
"You don't know?" An old guy sleeping on a wheelchair nearby opened his eyes and could not help but mock, "This is the score the Sacred City prepared to cleanse our sinful souls. They play it occasionally, hoping that we'll realize the beauty of life and power of justicesomething like that. You'll get used to it."
Stunned, Ye Qingxuan asked, "You can't communicate with aether here. Is the music score actually useful?"
The old man's smile grew mysterious. "You're still too young. Even if you're talented, you still haven't been interacting with music theory for long. You still have not experienced some things." He said lightly, "If you live a few more decades, you'll understand that even without aether, music is still powerful It deserves for one's soul to drown in it. Merely listening can stir your soul."
Ye Qingxuan's heart trembled. A memory flashed past his eyes. "Music notesare language?"
Hearing this, the old man's eyes were faintly shocked. He nodded. "You can say that."
So-called music notes were just a transcription of the world's sounds. By observing the world, they transcribed the mysterious sounds into music notes and created miracles. All civilization began with the birth of language. The ancestor of the Asgardian people sacrificed himself to the Tree of Life, receiving the first runes of Asgard.
The Sumerians said a wise man stole language from the G.o.d of fire. He brought light to humans but the consequence was that he fell to h.e.l.l after death
Music notes were a language. This was what Abraham had said in the first cla.s.s. He thought that music notes were the language of aether. This was the foundation of the interpretation method. At that time, Ye Qingxuan could not comprehend the words but now, he had some understanding.
"Seems like you kind of understand?" The strange old man's eyes were mysterious. "Even without aether, some melodies are enough to influence someone's emotions and personality. If you add some special seasoning and bait, it's not hard to purify one's soul at all. In this environment, even the most horrible sinner will changeeven if the original self is completely wiped clean."
He paused and gave an evil smile, "Welcome to the soul transformation site of the Sacred City, kid. You'll get used to it quickly. Without much time, you'll be able to join them and talk about art and the beauty of life."
There was no change or fear in Ye Qingxuan's expression. He just looked at the old man and asked, "Then how long have you been here? Thirty years? Or forty?"
The man's smile faltered slightly. Ye Qingxuan had grasped the core of the problem. "Fifty-six years. It'll be fifty-seven next month," he replied honestly. "You want to know why it doesn't work on me? I can tell you but you might not be able to do it."
Ye Qingxuan shrugged. "Tell me. Maybe it'll work."
"It's simple. If you enjoy food, you can be won over by the taste. But if you know that what you're enjoying is made out of rotten meat with mad cow disease and sewer water, you won't like it anymore." The old man coughed and cackled at the same time. He continued, "If you look past the sacred jacket and see what's underneath, you might not like that person's flashy jacket anymore."
Ye Qingxuan frowned; his expression was blank.
The man pointed at the source of the music. "What do you think of the musician?"
After pondering, Ye Qingxuan answered, "His foundation and fingering are pretty good. He should be from the Trinity College and inherit cla.s.sicism. His grasp is good and his technique is just right."
"That's it? You're too shallow." The elder seemed to be smiling. "Music has a spirit but where does it come from?"
Ye Qingxuan said without thinking, "The composer and performer."
"Yes." The old guy laughed. "A man can hide the spirit but the music theory can't. It knows what you're thinking and doing. It can also reveal things that even you don't know I became a dark musician after realizing this."
As if reminiscing on his thirst for power when he was young, his eyes brightened a little. "Kid, you cannot lie to your own heart or force your music to lie. That is why people will go crazy and die when the symphony of predestination fails. It contains the spirit of your musicit is the crystallization of your soul, the truest part of you. So" The elder pointed at his ears. "If you listen, you will be able to see its true nature. Do you want to know what that guy is thinking of now?"
Ye Qingxuan nodded. Sneering, the elder rolled his wheelchair.
The elder took him to the corner of the yard. Under the tree's shade, a few ancient men who looked old enough to be in coffins already sat around a stone table. They either played cards or just talked. Ye Qingxuan was worried that they would get a stroke if they became the slightest bit excited.
"This is Tom and that's George. You can call them Old Tom or Old George. The bald guy reading the p.o.r.n magazine is a pervert. Ignore him Basically, everyone here can't even pay for their sins with death so you don't have to pity them. These are the only stupid ones who can last this long without repenting. Do you want me to introduce them in detail?"
"No." Ye Qingxuan shook his head and found a place to sit. "Deer-head Tom Kline, bone collector George Valina, and that guy who shaved his headis he the legendary psychotic killer of the Sacred City, Mr. Mollien?
"I learned about all of your stories from the Church's reward list. I didn't know that all of you are still imprisoned here and am quite surprised. But I apologize for not recognizing you. You seem to have problems with your legs."
"It's alright. I am just an unknown man of no importance. Just call me Old Cripple." He clearly did not want to talk about the past and just chuckled. "I didn't think that someone would still remember the wanted list from decades ago. How shocking."
With that, he looked at the others. "I was discussing the special concert the Sacred City holds for us with this young man with a bright future. Does anyone have thoughts?"
"Thoughts?" Old George glanced at him with a strange expression. "What are you planning now?"
"Just thoughts." Old Cripple looked excited. "No problem with talking about it."
Old George shook his head. "I didn't listen closely but I know that the musician has changed It should be a man, pretty young, probably around twenty years old."
Ye Qingxuan was stunned. "What else?" he asked.
"Let me listen" Deer-head Old Tom was interested as well. After listening for a bit, he smirked. "Huh, he has concerns, haha. He's not paying attention. I don't know what he's thinking of but it seems like he's just killing time."
"That goes without saying." Old George snorted. "The Sacred City doesn't pay much. Coming to this place for that money, you can't even buy a house in ten years. I wouldn't like it either. If you have a bright future, you should go make more money."
Mollien, who had been quiet the entire time, raised his head and said lightly, "I think it's because of his lower body."
"Bet?" Old Tom rubbed his hands. "Loser has to say 'daddy' ten times."
"Sure." Mollien smiled confidently.
Not even after two measures, Tom's expression grew ugly. "F*ck, how come youngsters nowadays only think about s.e.x?" He spat on the ground. "That guy's probably thinking about some wh*re."
"I'm betting ten more calls of 'daddy'." Mollien's smile was creepy as he raised a finger. "He's gay."
With that, everyone fell silent. No one wanted to bet with him again.
"You can hear that?" Ye Qingxuan was curious.
"It's simple." Old Cripple's voice was complex. "Perverts understand perverts, bad guys understand bad guys, gays understand gays too. This *sshole is all three. When he was the licensed killer of the Sacred City, he could smell an *sshole from three streets away. Finding a gay now is nothing."
Mollien's expression was arrogant. Rather than feeling embarra.s.sed, he asked, "Anyone want to bet who his boyfriend is? You can raise the stakes now."
"The manager of the tower's lower level, right?" That came from Ye Qingxuan. This time, Mollien was shocked. He quickly smiled, "You can tell?"
"I guessed." Ye Qingxuan shrugged. "There aren't many non-straights here. There are even less who can be paired with that musician. It's just the exclusion method."
Everyone's expressions turned strange.
"Thank you for all your advice. I suddenly understood many things." Ye Qingxuan rose to leave. "I won't disturb your card game now. See you next time."
Seeing Ye Qingxuan leave, Old Tom shook his head. "What a troublesome kid."
Mollien glanced at Old Cripple. "What are you doing this for?"
"Huh?" The man seemed to not understand.
"You're a dark musician but you're going to help a kid who's infamous for hating dark musicians? Are you repenting?"
"I'm just curious." Old Cripple dealt the cards slowly. "He doesn't have many more days anyway. I just want to know what level he can reach without this obstacle. After all, it's hard to find anything interesting here, other than playing cards."
"Then you'll be disappointed." Mollien shook his head and said meaningful, "The man's coming for his life."
Those guys were bad news. That was Ye Qingxuan's conclusion. Neither Deer-head nor the Bone Collector were good people. That seemingly caring but extremely mysterious old cripple seemed to have something planned. The most important was that bald Mollien.
Under his peaceful eyes was raw murderous intent. He wanted to kill Ye Qingxuan but did not dare so he could only force down his urge. If they ran into each other outside of prison, it would be a fight to death. Therefore, even though they had given him answers, Ye Qingxuan felt more cautious than grateful. Now, the most important thing was to find Charles. He had to ask his stupid senior what was going on outside and how he got in here. But he could not find Charles after searching for a long time.
He asked many people but no one had even seen Charles before. With his features and gold hair, he should be memorable. So where exactly was he imprisoned?
While deep in thought, he heard a bang. Rows of bars away, a new prisoner was taken out of the heavily guarded car. He seemed to have been tortured horribly and could barely stand. His eyes were blank, hair unruly, and his face was sheet-white.
Ye Qingxuan froze. Even with the distance, he could see the face clearly. It was the examiner who used to interrogate him every day! Seeming to sense his gaze, the examiner looked over. His eyes were gloomy and troubled. He opened his mouth to say something but nothing came out. Finally, it became a pathetic smile.
Ye Qingxuan quickly found out his crime: attempted a.s.sa.s.sination of the Cardinal.
Stunned, Ye Qingxuan left.
The break was over.
Under the dim light, Ye Qingxuan studied the incomplete music score on the wall. In his brain, countless details rolled through, continuously breaking apart and going back together. A new structure formed in the mess of thoughts.
Music notes were a language. Therefore, it must have logic, which was the music theory.
The spirit of the music score came from the composer's heart. That was his truest self.
Therefore, there must be a path to follow.
Find himself in the music theory?
It was Ye Qingxuan's first time experiencing this. After looking at the problem from another perspective, he was enlightened. He tried to understand it from the angle of a scholar of ancient studies. Like organizing an incomplete doc.u.ment, he carefully edited, revised, and deleted. Using his own understanding and needs, he reorganized the content and created a new image. He quickly found a new direction, but he had new troubles too. Now, Ye Qingxuan really regretted not memorizing related books while he was in the library.
Thankfully, Abraham had come to the Sacred City. Ye Qingxuan could ask him some questions during visits.
He stood before the wall. Grabbing his pen, he quickly got rid of the unnecessary parts. Within two short hours, he had refined one-fifth of the score. One-fifth of the bloated music score was replaced by precise music theory. More importantly, he had found a way to combine the four originally complicated cores. There were finally signs of the 'Dreamweaver' in his Deva's blood.
Before lights out, Ye Qingxuan looked at the totally different music score and nodded in satisfaction. Without feeling like a lost blind man, he would come to the solution sooner or later. He slept better than any other night in prison. However, in his sleep, he heard m.u.f.fled choking sounds in the near distance.
The examiner that had just been thrown into jail was curled up in his cell. Tears streamed down his face as if he was regretting something.
Ye Qingxuan's mood worsened. He did not know what happened but he had a feeling the man's arrest had something to do with him. He felt a bit guilty.
But quickly, he was distracted by a strange itch. His hands, arms, shoulders, between his toes, his knees, back, neck, facethe itch was spreading across his entire body.
His itching finger felt something and he was overcome with fear. Flipping over, Ye Qingxuan sat up. The dim light in the hallway illuminated his ghastly pale face. He looked up at the mirror behind the toilet.
In the reflection, the frail young man looked completely different. Tiny blisters spread across his body rapidly. The thumb-sized blisters grew out of his mutating flesh, covering his body. They broke at the slightest touch and dried. After squeezing out the pus, they left behind tiny holes. As if he had somehow contracted a contagious disease during the night, his entire body was changing, mutating, rotting, and becoming some twisted thing.
Ye Qingxuan yelled for the guards but no one came. The choking sounds traveled to his ear.
"It's a music score."
It dawned on him and his expression darkened. Because of his shackles, he could not sense any aether. He had no way of knowing where it came from or how to defend himself.
There was only one solution.
Bearing the pain and itch, he rolled off the bed and crawled to the sink. He knocked the toothbrush to the ground. Clenching his jaw, Ye Qingxuan applied force and cracked the toothbrush in half. He grabbed it with a deformed hand and stabbed the sharp point into his chest. Blood spurted out.
Screaming, he yanked it out and stabbed himself again. The blinding pain pierced his heart and spread. Then he dug his fingers in and tore at the wound. Finally, he saw his poisoned heart through the dark green bones.
He smiled, feeling the weight lifted. "It's an illusion."
Thankfully, it was an illusion rather than a Choir curse. After the Philosopher's Stone became the sub-originator's sublimated source, even he did not know what was beating in his chest.
There would be no problems so why would he give in to his curiosity and dissect himself? However, the Philosopher's Stone would never ever be replaced by an infected bodily organ.
"You want to get rid of me so quickly?" Ye Qingxuan sneered. "Not so fast."
Thankfully, it was an illusion.
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