Chapter 157: Painting Examination

Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
As his fame grew, ‘Master Teacher Yang Xuan’, who is a guise of Zhang Xuan, instead had more time to relax.

Even though there are many wealthy individuals in Tianxuan City, not many of them are capable of whipping out three million gold coins out of a blue. Furthermore, considering their own status, if they truly didn’t have grave problems that were beyond their own means, they would not dare to interrupt a master teacher's rest.

After Guild Leader Ouyang and Apothecary Chen Xiao's departure, the courtyard quietened once more.

After resting for an entire afternoon and seeing that no one came, Zhang Xuan removed his disguise and returned to the academy.

"Teacher, Huang Yu xiaojie has come to look for you and she is currently waiting in the classroom..."

Before he even reached the classroom, Yuan Tao had walked up to welcome him.

"What matter could she have for me?"

Zhang Xuan was perplexed. Knowing that it was impossible for Yuan Tao to answer this doubt of his, he returned straight back to the classroom without asking him too much about it. As expected, upon walking in, he saw Huang Yu xiaojie in the room, and she stood so quietly that the scene resembled a still painting.

The reason why she was able to become an assistant master teacher isn't just because she is the daughter of the guild leader of the Teacher Guild. On top of that, she possessed a relaxed and soothing disposition that naturally gave others a good impression of her.

Sure enough, Zheng Yang, Yuan Tao and others' eyes drifted toward her frequently but unwittingly, causing Zhao Ya to be so infuriated that she could murder someone.

Wang Ying and I aren't inferior in any way, alright? Why don't I see you peeking at us during lessons usually?

Damn it!

"Master Zhang!"

Oblivious to the thoughts of the young lady, Huang Yu's eyes lit up upon seeing him and hurried forward.

"For Huang xiaojie to come looking for me, is there any urgent matter?" Zhang Xuan asked.

"Master Lu invites you over." Huang Yu clasped her hands.

"Could it be that he wishes to bring me to the royal palace's Book Collection Vault?" Zhang Xuan's eyes sparkled.

Previously, Lu Chen had promised to bring him to the kingdom’s Book Collection Vault to look up Pixue realm secret manuals. As Emperor Shen Zhui wasn't in the capital then, the matter had to be postponed. However, given how he had specially sent Huang Yu to find him, there must have been some progress on the matter.

"Er... That isn't it!" Huang Yu said a little awkwardly. "Master Lu wishes to conduct an examination for me and Bai Xun and thus, he wishes to invite you over as a judge."

"Judge?" Zhang Xuan was stunned.

Huang Yu and Bai Xun wished to obtain Master Lu Chen's 【Ink Daylily Canvas】. Thus, Master Lu Chen declared that whoever proves to be more knowledgeable on painting would be given the painting. As a result, the two of them came looking for Zhang Xuan a few days ago to have him offer them some pointers on painting. However, how could Zhang Xuan possibly know anything about painting? Thus, he could only come up with some random statements, but who knew that the two would regard his words so highly and study them vigorously. This is probably the final examination.

"Yes, Master Lu Chen knows that you have a deep understanding of painting and thinks that you are able to come up with the most precise judgment. Hence, he tasked me to invite you over at all costs..." Huang Yu said.

Zhang Xuan's eyebrows twitched.

He didn't even know what kind of brushes there are, needless to say, to make a precise judgment... This Master Lu Chen sure regards him much too highly.

However, the other party had done a lot for him, and he is still hoping to enter the kingdom's Book Collection Vault. Therefore, he wasn't in a good position to reject the other party's invitation.

Furthermore, Huang Yu had played a big role in helping him resolve the matter regarding the Enlightenment Will Trial.

"So as long as you don't mind me spouting nonsense, I am fine with it. When does it begin?"

Zhang Xuan nodded his head and accepted the invitation.

"Initially, we agreed to start the test at noon, but you were not in... However, we should still be able to make it in time if we leave now." Huang Yu said.

"Noon?" Zhang Xuan was taken aback.

By the time he woke up, the sun was already hanging high up in the sky. Furthermore, he had idled for quite a long time before walking out of his mansion casually. It is already going to be noon shortly... Aren’t they in too much of a hurry to conduct the examination right now?

"Un!" Huang Yu nodded her head.

"Alright then!" Realizing that the other party was clearly determined to pull him over, Zhang Xuan knew that it would be futile to try rejecting the offer. Thus, he had a word with his students before following her out of the academy.

"I know that painting is hard to learn, and it doesn't seem like it would be easy to assess your standards!"

On the way, Zhang Xuan commented curiously.

He had never heard of a painting examination, needless to say, its rules.

After all, Master Lu Chen can’t possibly have Bai Xun and her draw at the same time and evaluate them based on it.

Huang Yu was born in the Teacher Guild and she is an assistant master teacher as well. Even though she had never specially learned painting before, it is likely that she possesses an acceptable level of skill. As for Bai Xun... It is truly difficult for a fellow who only knows about martial arts to contemplate over a person's painting posture.

"The examination is something Master Lu Chen and Master Yuanyu came up with. Bai Xun and I hadn't heard of it from them, so we don't really know the details of the examination and how it would be conducted!" Huang Yu shook her head.

"Master Yuanyu?" Zhang Xuan was puzzled

Isn't that fellow a famous physician in Tianxuan Royal City? Why is he determining the format of an examination?

"Master Yuanyu is not merely a master physician, he is also skilled in painting. In fact, even Master Lu Chen is full of praises for him. He drew the 【River Canary Painting】, of which, the river looked so lifelike that it seemed as though it was flowing. While drawing the painting on a boat, he actually attracted birds to his painting and the melodious chirping traveled far and wide. This became quite a legend in the city."

Huang Yu's eyes glowed with respect.

"He's that incredible? Zhang Xuan was taken aback.

He had heard of Master Yuanyu from Wang Ying on the day that he accepted her. All along, he had thought that the other party was simply a physician. He would never have thought that the famous physician would be an accomplished painter as well.

To be able to attract real birds to his painting, his painting skills are definitely comparable to Master Lu Chen's.

"Indeed, Master Lu Chen had invited him over as well. He said having three people serve as judges would result in a more objective evaluation." Huang Yu said.

Zhang Xuan nodded his head.

Since there are already two true master painters, Zhang Xuan's presence should be more of a supplement than a mandatory one. When the time comes, he just has to go with the flow. As such, he became less anxious.

The only reason why he is able to impress Master Lu back then was due to the library. Given his absolute ignorance about painting, he should avoid speaking later on so as to prevent himself from speaking anything amateurish and giving himself away.

The two of them chatted as they proceeded forward. Soon, they arrived at Master Lu Chen's residence.

Before they could even step into the entrance, the butler Uncle Cheng walked forward to usher them in, "Master Zhang, Huang xiaojie, why did you two only arrive now? Master Yuanyu says that he has to visit someone else later on this afternoon and he is already getting a little impatient."

"I happened to be out then, causing Huang xiaojie to wait a long time for me." Zhang Xuan said in embarrassment.

The other party had decided to hold the examination this noon, but Zhang Xuan was often away from the academy the past few days, making it difficult to get hold of him either. As such, their arrival was delayed.

"Please enter!" Upon hearing his explanation, Uncle Cheng did not dare to nag further and immediately called for the two to enter.

After obtaining a mansion of his own, the feeling he had upon returning to this place was completely different.

Even though the design is simple and plain, the minute details are exceptionally exquisite. The mansion that he had rented pales too far in comparison to it; the two aren't even on the same level.

Of course, if a true master teacher were to be the one who renovated the residence he rented, there was no way it would have looked like that. The sense of aesthetics of a merchant can't compare to that of a master painter.

Following behind Uncle Cheng, they soon arrived at the lounge. Taking a rough glance at the room, he saw Master Lu Chen and an elderly seated across each other, sipping on tea. The incomparably arrogant Bai Xun hid in the corner, looking at his surroundings anxiously. Upon seeing the duo, a delighted expression appeared on his face and he hurried forward to welcome them.

"Master Zhang, you're here..."

Zhang Xuan nodded his head and turned his attention to the renowned Master Yuanyu.

He looked around sixty to seventy year old and possessed a snow-white beard. Even though he isn't young anymore, his eyes are extremely spirited, giving one the feeling that energy is radiating from his eyes. For him to possess such vigor despite his advanced age, he truly lives up to his reputation as a famous physician.

"Little brother, you're here."

Master Lu Chen stood up with a smile.

"Master Lu Chen!" Zhang Xuan clasped his hands.

"Un, come over. Let me introduce you to Master Yuanyu, he is my best buddy, as well as a master painter!" Lu Chen happily introduced the two to each other. "Yuanyu, this is Brother Zhang Xuan, the one that I have told you about. Even though he is young, his talent in painting is probably in no way inferior to yours and mine."

"Master is truly generous. I just... casually spoke... casually learned a bit." Zhang Xuan hurriedly said.

Even though he was able to see through the flaws in Master Lu's painting, it was mainly due to the cheat machine he had on him. If he were to try to decipher it using his own abilities, he probably wouldn't be able to make heads or tails of it even if he spent three years on it.

"Knowledge and skills have nothing to do with age, and only those who are truly skilled will be deemed as masters. Since you were able to analyze Lu Chen's 【Summer-Autumn Painting】and 【Chi Xiong Howling to the Heavens】 and tell what is amiss with them, your ability of discernment is truly incredible. We really lack youngsters like you nowadays."

Master Yuanyu said.

His voice was calm and clear, and it granted its listeners a tinge of warmth.

It seemed that he had heard of Zhang Xuan's matter through Lu Chen's mouth, and his pitch-black eyes evaluated Zhang Xuan with curiosity.

"I am unworthy of your praises..." Zhang Xuan clasped his hands once more.

Only now did he know the names of the two paintings.

If Lu Chen and Yuanyu were to know his thoughts, they would definitely spurt blood.

A painter would often leave their names, bookmarks or words on it so that their name would remain in the annals of history.

He had seen the names on it, but as it was written in a unique font commonly used by painters, not to mention, it was written extremely sloppily, causing Zhang Xuan to be able to recognize those characters.

For him to be unable to recognize the words discernible by apprentice painter, to the point that he didn't even know that it was the name of the painting... To be called master with those standards of his... If he were thick-skinned enough to admit it...

Of course, back then, when he came into contact with the paintings, the Library of Heaven's Path had recorded their names in the books compiled on them. However, as he wasn't asked about the names then, he didn't pay any attention to it.

The few of them traded some pleasantries.

Master Yuanyu is indeed a person who is easy to get along with. Other people might look down on Zhang Xuan due to his young age, but not only did he not do so, he even held a level of admiration for him.

"Alright, since everyone is here, let's start!"

Master Lu Chen stroked his beard.


Huang Yu and Bai Xun nodded their head simultaneously.

"There's only one Ink Daylily Canvas, and I can only give it to one of you. Thus, I devised this examination. Firstly, I do not wish to pass on this painting to someone who is completely ignorant of painting. Secondly, I hope to temper you two so as to rid your impatience and complacency, especially for Bai Xun."

Master Lu Chen said calmly toward the two.

Even though he loved this Ink Daylily Painting a lot, he was willing to pass it on to the later generations. The reason why he had established this examination was for the two to come into more contact with painting and learn more about it.

He had been devoted to painting his entire life, even placing his entire youth into in. Seeing that there is no one to succeed his legacy, he started to panic. At this moment, Huang Yu and Bai Xun came over to request for the painting. As such, he made use of this opportunity to lay down the rules so as to have them learn about it. Perhaps, through his actions, painting can flourish within Tianxuan Kingdom.

Using his words, everyone is too engrossed with martial arts and youngsters who are interested in painting are dwindling. If he does not do anything soon, this craft might even find itself without a successor.

Also, by doing this, it had the effect of tempering Bai Xun's personality. This fellow was short-tempered and often liked to resolve problems through his fists. Learning about painting could help him to calm his mind, thus keeping his temper in check. Otherwise, given that impatient personality of his, how could he inherit his father's position and guard the northern border on behalf of the royal family?



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