371 The Magic Flute

    Masterful, there were no other words to describe Huili's performance. She was better than most famed pianists over the world. Her graceful yet maddening performance lasted for 20 minutes before it was forced to a halt by Phecda members. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Other than tiredness, there were no negative symptoms on Huili after her performance. Both her physical and mental state were stable.

    "That was Mozart's The Magic Flute," A researcher in the music philosophy sector observed, "But it has been edited with a faster tempo..." The Magic Flute was Mozart's last creation, it was his last opera and was widely-believed to be his best work. The opera included both singing and spoken language during its debut and it was 2 acts long. Huili just performed the piano's accompaniment to the opera. Mozart was a musical genius who died at the young age of 35. Many historians believed that the genius suffered from Tourette Syndrome and it was the illness that supplied him with such great inspiration. Of course, this hypothesis was never confirmed. In fact, today, Mozart's death was still shrouded in mystery.

    After the debut of The Magic Flute on 30th September 1791, Mozart fell seriously ill. He suffered from rashes, swelling, nausea and pain. On the afternoon of 5th December, the musical genius bade farewell to the world. Based on the description of his death, historians and researchers proposed more than 100 hypothetical causes of death. However, there were other aspects of Mozart's life that were unequivocal. For example, he was part of the Free Mason and was greatly interested in the study of magic and occultism. The other creator of The Magic Flute, Emanuel Schikaneder was also known to be a member of the Free Mason. The opera itself contained many occultist symbols and it thus gained recognition as the song of the Free Mason.

    Compared to the actual dark forces, the Free Mason was a small fry. If they had managed deeper understanding of spells and rituals, they would not have gained such infamy among the public. Actual cults would be more secretive. Because of that, Phecda came up with a hypothesis. 'Is it possible that Mozart joined other cults to gain things that the Free Mason failed to provide him? A cult... like the R'yleh Cult?'

    What was the actual meaning of the Magic Flute? And why was there a noted variation to this version performed by Huili?

    "I have no idea what was the song that I played, I just felt like playing it." Huili was unable to provide more clarification. Her mother, Song Fang claimed that the only Mozart tune her daughter should know was the Turkish March. She had not heard of the Magic Flute before.

    After the performance by Little Huili, Phecda did other experiments. Huili was not the only girl who studied piano among the patients. Even though none of them requested to play the piano specifically, when they were seated before one, it was like something took over them. Many parents were shaken, especially those who did not send their children to any piano classes... These girls, with no exception, showed immense talent at the piano and high spirituality. If this was under other circumstances, Elder Tong would be overjoyed, this was better than winning the lotto.

    Even though no negative effect was noted among the pianists and listeners of the Magic Flute, no one could tell whether it was dark music or not. Everyone felt chilled once they got reminded of how curious Mozart's death was. Therefore, all the information about this opera was swiftly and silently banned from the internet and research was done carefully.

    On the night of the 16th, Phecda made the announcement about the Tourette Syndrome illness. Once that announcement was made, the paediatrician clinics all over the country were stuffed. Even the slightest inconsistency in their children's behavior would cause their parents to drive them to the hospital. The number of patients with suspected Tourette Syndrome exploded. However, the illness only had a 1 percent chance to affect pre-primary children. Soon most of the children were diagnosed to be perfectly fine. They were either just toying with their parents or suffered from other milder illnesses.

    The patients of abnormal Tourette Syndrome shared some unique properties. They were all young girls, were exposed to monster-related fairy tales before bed and showed spectacular talent in piano-playing.

    By the 18th, there were in total 520 patients registered at Eastern State. They were all young girls between the ages of 5 to 8. The intermission between each tic became shorter. Initially they acted up only twice per day, once in the morning and another at night. But now, it increased to 3 to 5 irregular tics within a day. Their condition was worsening. Their strange voice still sounded like a summon for Gu Jun.

    The days went by but the number of patients held at 520. The incident technically started on the 14th with Kedou. 14th was Valentine's Day and 520 was homophonous to I Love You in Chinese.

    Gu Jun suffered the headache as he took in the latest info. A thought slowly clarified in his mind, this was definitely the 'small new year present' meant for him. The 520 girls who became specially gifted were the new year present... But would Phecda dare to accept this gift?

    These innocent girls would be temporarily quarantined. Whether their mind was still sound and what they represented were all a mystery. What could Phecda do for them? Taught them to listen to the voice just like the Afterlife Cult did with the Spirit Children?

    520 girls, man-eating fairy tales, Mozart, Free Mason, and the Magic Flute. It was confounding.

    The Magic Flute was a fairy tale opera. The inspiration behind it was contentious but scholars believed it was inspired by the fairy tale, lulu oder die zauberflöte. In this opera, the Queen of the Night persuades Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina from captivity under the high priest Sarastro; instead, he learns and becomes enchanted by the ideals of Sarastro's community and seeks to join it. Separately, then together, Tamino and Pamina undergo severe trials of initiation, which end in triumph, with the Queen and her cohorts vanquished. The theme of the opera was light versus darkness, kindness versus evil, love versus death, a very typical fairy tale background.

    "We might be facing..." Gu Jun told Elder Tong and Siyu, "Pure evil this time." This was a hunch he had. In the past, the cultists they faced thought they had a greater goal, they believed they were doing the right thing, but this time he only sensed flagrant disregard for destruction and humanity from his 'big sister'. Pulling children into darkness, killing innocent people with a tree, they appeared to have no purpose but to grab his attention...

    "I need to return to Eastern State." Gu Jun requested from Elder Tong, " I need to."

    "But Ah Jun, your body..." Elder Tong hesitated.

    "Do I have a choice?" Gu Jun retorted. "The bastard is clearly coming for me. If I do not answer her call, who knows what this 'big sister' will do next?"

    The little girls' conditions were worsening by the days. There was a clock ticking above Gu Jun's head but when the timer ended, while he might not die, a group of innocent children might. He needed to return to find a breakthrough.
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