"You… want to play a song by yourself?" Song Ling'er raised her eyebrows.
Under normal circumstances, that would not be allowed, as this is a competition— a partnered competition. However, she really wanted to listen to Yuan play the zither seriously by himself even if it would invalidate the integrity of the competition. After all, in her eyes, he was going to win this competition regardless.
"Okay, go ahead." Song Ling'er nodded her head a moment later, surprising the audience.
"Senior Song, are you sure? This isn't part of the competition…" Elder Jing said in a nervous voice.
"Who cares? If he wants to play, let him play," Senior Zou said with a smile on his face.
"You too, Daoist Zou…?" Elder Jing was dumbfounded. Why did they want to listen to this participant play so much? It was almost as though they were subtly favoring him!
"Thank you, Seniors…" Yuan said to them before focusing on the zither.
He then closed his eyes to recall a certain face-paced song that was played only recently.
A few moments later, after taking a deep breath, Yuan began playing the zither, and his hands moved with extreme speed.
A very familiar-sounding song began playing, dumbfounding the audience and the judges alike.
"T-This song is—?!"
"God Descends from Heaven! He's actually playing God Descends from Heaven!"
"So he actually knows this song as well!"
Song Ling'er and the other judges watched with bulging eyes as Yuan played God Descends from Heaven flawlessly and at a pace that sounded even faster than Ai Wan and Wei Kang when they performed.
Meanwhile, Fei Yuyan stared at Yuan with a gawking expression on her face. Although nobody else there was aware, she knew that not only did Yuan start playing the zither only a week ago but he has also never heard or played the song God Descends from Heaven until today!
'He can play God Descends from Heaven after listening to it a single time…? Just how heaven-defying are his musical talents? How does his mind operate?' Fei Yuyan couldn't help but cry inwardly, feeling like this is Yuan's most shocking moment to date.
'This guy is a fucking monster! How can he play one of the most difficult songs with seemingly no effort at all?!' Wei Kang cursed inwardly as he watched Yuan's finger movements flow as smoothly as water and with precision, almost like he was a music machine or something similar.
"L-Look behind him! Am I seeing things or is there someone floating behind him?!" One of the spectators suddenly pointed at Yuan and shouted in a shocked voice.
"No, you're right! I also see it! What a beauty!"
"This must be another illusion!"
"It's almost like a goddess has descended from the heavens because of his music!"
The audience was shocked when a beautiful young lady with peerless features suddenly appeared behind Yuan halfway through the song like a spirit guardian watching over him.
"T-That's—!" Senior Zou shook uncontrollably and stood up after seeing the beautiful figure floating behind Yuan.
Although it took a moment for him to recognize her face, it was, without doubt, the Zither Goddess behind Yuan!
'W-Why am I seeing the illusion of the Zither Goddess behind him? What's the meaning of this?'
Meanwhile, Song Ling'er subconsciously placed her hands onto her chest, and she could feel her heart beating almost as fast as Yuan was playing the zither.
Exactly three minutes later, Yuan stopped playing the zither with the last music note creating a ripple that spread throughout the area and snapping everyone out of their daze.
As for the players there, a notification popped up for them.
\u003cYour stats has been increased by 10% for 30 minutes from the effects of 'God Descending from Heaven'\u003e
To their surprise, they'd received a temporary buff after listening to Yuan's zither arts!
"Phew… What an amazing song…" Yuan took a deep breath after the song ended, feeling extremely satisfied despite making a couple of mistakes.
In fact, one of the major reasons why he suggested playing a song by himself was simply so that he could play God Descends from Heaven while it was still fresh inside his mind, even using the score as an excuse to play the song.
Yuan then turned to look at the judges and said, "I have finished. Thank you for listening to my selfish request."
The place turned dead silent, to the point where even a pin drop could be heard miles away.
Sometime later, Song Ling'er said in a somewhat shaky voice, "I… I think I have seen enough today."
"Eh? What do you mean by that, Senior Song?" Elder Jing couldn't help but ask her.
Song Ling'er then stood up and said in a loud and clear voice, "There's no need for us to continue this when the results are clear. Therefore, I am ending this competition here."
The audience, participants, and judges alike stared at Song Ling'er with disbelief in their eyes, as they couldn't believe that she'd cut the competition short just like that!
However, if they thought about it, after witnessing Yuan's performance, it was clear who would receive first place so Song Ling'er's decision made some sense!
"S-Senior Song… T-This is a partnered competition… I don't think it'll be fair for the other participants if we end the competition because of a single outstanding participant." Elder Jing said in a nervous tone.
Song Ling'er glared at Elder Jing, but she didn't say anything. She then pointed at the participants and said, "Look at their faces. Do they look like people with the will to continue? And I don't need to sit through the entire competition to know who'll obtain what place."
Elder Jing turned to look at the participants, and sure enough, the majority of them held bitter expressions on their faces and their aura without any motivation or confidence. Even if they continued with the competition, their performances would be lackluster at best.
"W-What about the second and third place? There has to be more than one winner…" Elder Jing then said.
Song Ling'er glanced at the participants before speaking in an indifferent voice, "The rewards are too good for them! The second and third place will remain empty! If you have a problem with that, go ahead and challenge me!"
Author's Note: Since we've managed to take first place for win-win, I will be giving a five-chapter mass release later, probably sometime during the middle of the month since I am very busy now.
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