Bringing Culture to a Different World

Chapter 19 - The Virtuoso of Death

Joshua's proposal was effective. The Duke of Bones actually accepted his request happily as Joshua turned from an uncouth intruder to a noble guest who came to listen to his performance.

It was just that, for a human, the live experience of this concerto... would be a bit creepy.

There was a dedicated auditorium in the castle where the Duke of Bones used for his performances. The room was replete with instruments from a piano to violins, and they could be used by an orchestra to perform grand classical music.

Some of the musicians were skeletons, while another part consisted of living corpses with meat still hanging off their rotten body.

All of them were dressed up like 19th-century Victorian English gentlemen, and their outfits made them look very elegant as they picked their instruments up.

The only drawback was the lack of flesh on their bodies. White bones alone could not be described as elegant, much less living corpses with their eyeballs fallen off.

The Duke of Bones was, surprisingly, not the conductor of the orchestra, instead, he was the pianist!

The moment his slender and excessively white fingers hit the piano, a series of strange melodies flowed out from it as the concert by the undead officially commenced.

"What is going on?"

Ciri did not know how to appreciate classical music, and the moment the musical notes entered her ears, she only felt a chill that bit deep into her bones. She started shivering and hugging her arms.

One needed to know that Ciri did not feel the slightest cold in her robes even when she was standing in the snow-covered forest earlier. Yet, the bizarre notes made her feel like she had been thrown into the icy depths of a lake.

What made it worse was an unknown aquatic monster staring at her from the dark lakebed beneath the ice!

It made Ciri shiver hard.

"Hugging your arms will not help. Try thinking of the sun or fire or something like that," Joshua said to Ciri.

"I cannot think of anything while I'm listening to this performance!"

Ciri's grumbling reflected Joshua's true thoughts.

The moment the performance started, Joshua found that it was fundamentally different from anything he had ever heard before.

The performance by the Duke of Bones was no ordinary concert. Joshua did not only hear the notes that flowed from the Duke of Bones' piano, but he also felt that his sense of touch, sight, and smell understood the meaning behind the notes...

It was cold and silent, just like the desolate loneliness beneath a frozen lake. It was suffocating.

Joshua sensed that frost was about to form on his skin, and even his mouth was filled with the chilly water of the lake.

Was it magic that could affect the mind and psyche of others?

The moment the song was over, Joshua could feel himself breaking out of a piercing chill. He noticed that frost had formed on his hands, and the temperature of his body had fallen greatly.

This was no longer as simple as affecting the mind and psyche! Joshua wiped off the hoarfrost from his arm, and the breath he had just released turned into white mist.

If the Duke of Bones were to continue playing, the temperature of his listeners' bodies could drop to the point of hypothermia, and they could very well lose their life!

The Deathsinger? That name appeared in Joshua's mind out of nowhere.

As a Chaos Demon, Joshua's constitution could still sustain him, but Ciri's condition was bad.

Her lips began to turn white, and frost had appeared on her long lashes as if she had just trudged through a harsh environment of minus-ten degrees for hours.

Joshua immediately took his coat off and put it over her.

"Your... coat is... wet!"

Ciri was on the brink of tears as her voice trembled, but if she cried, her falling tears could very well freeze into icicles.

Joshua held Ciri's hand, and it felt cold as ice.

If things continued... Ciri would die from hypothermia!

It seemed that enjoying the Duke of Bones' performance was not as simple as buying a ticket. If one was not strong enough, they could very well pay the price with their lives.

"Not even capable of listening till the end of the song? The human body is really weak."

The Duke of Bones had noticed Ciri's weakened state as he stopped the piano performance. White frost then fell from the tips of his white bony fingers.

The second the song stopped, Ciri's hypothermic symptoms were somewhat alleviated.

Joshua then clapped his frozen hands, not for the brilliance of the performance, but simply because of basic courtesy as an audience member.

The moment he heard Joshua's applause, the Duke of Bones' expression looked a little better... "Expression" was not the right word, rather the soulfire in his eye sockets stabilized.

"My Lord, your performance was indeed extraordinary. It felt so immersive, I actually had chills listening to it..."

More than just being immersed, Joshua would have very well frozen to death if the duke had played on.

Joshua had undergone first hand a virtual sensory experience that countless game designers dreamed of achieving.

"But My Lord, it is not only humans. Even most of the demons within the realm would never be able to enjoy your performance to the end."

Joshua could swear that if the duke was to play the same song in the capital, at least half of the citizens there would be frozen solid.

"That is because they are weak."

The Duke of Bones was a proud classical musician... and he did not think that there were any problems with his performance. It was just that those weak and foolish cretins had no ability to appreciate his performance.

"It may be true that they do not have the ability to appreciate your performance, but My Lord... do you not find yourself trembling from the cold as well?"

Joshua would admit that the duke's performance was pretty good.

The music had a feeling of cold and quiet loneliness. If it were used as the soundtrack for a horror game, it would undoubtedly be the kind of music that added to the atmosphere of the game.

Joshua had always believed that there was essentially no difference between good and bad music. White noise aside, every genre of music had its own group of fans. Those who liked classical music may not take kindly to electronic music while those who liked pop music could hold little interest in traditional music.

No one could actually say which genre of music was good or bad, and if someone ever did so, that person would be woefully arrogant!

Whether a piece of music was good or bad was simply down to personal taste.

If the Duke of Bones' performance had not been so "real" to the point that Joshua felt the need to hug a stove to listen to it, he would have listened to the end.

Besides, Ciri and Joshua were not the only ones affected. Even the performers themselves were affected. The duke's fingers were already covered in frost, and he had to move them to get rid of it.

"It is a necessary effect of the performance."

The Duke of Bones did not deny Joshua's claims.

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