Library of Heaven is Path
Chapter 159: Fraudster?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
"Browse through some books?"
Lu Chen and Yuanyu exchanged gazes. They were perplexed.
We invited you here to draw, you can feel free to draw anything you like to display your painting prowess...
Browse through some books?
What does that have to do with drawing?
Bai Xun and Huang Yu, who had prepared to be amazed by Zhang Xuan, were also stunned.
To want to browse through books when you are about to draw... Isn't it a little too late for that!
More importantly... Brother, given your high standards, are you sure that reading books will help with your painting at all?
Even though he could sense that everyone was looking at him with bizarre looks, Zhang Xuan could only suppress his awkwardness.
He truly had no other ways.
He also wished that he is an expert who can produce a third level or fourth level painting easily and impress everyone here.
But the truth is that... He doesn't even know how to hold or use a paintbrush... How can he paint like that?
The Library of Heaven's Path allows him to see through all flaws and take the knowledge in books for his own usage. However, it doesn't possess the ability to allow him to become a true master painter in an instant, unless... He read sufficient painting books to form a Heaven's Path secret manual!
The library is able to extract the correct portions of a manual, allowing Zhang Xuan to achieve mastery in any art swiftly and easily... If this really works out, perhaps he might become a true painting expert in a moment's time.
"What kind of books do you want to read? Could it be that... you have reached a bottleneck in painting?"
After a long moment, Master Lu Chen asked.
Similar to cultivating, one can meet with a bottleneck in painting. There are people who are able to reach the third level with just a few years of training, while there are also people who find themselves unable to reach even the first level their entire life.
He truly couldn't fathom why Zhang Xuan would request to browse through books. After musing for a moment's time, it suddenly struck him that perhaps he had reached a bottleneck and wanted to attempt to break through his current level.
Otherwise, why would he need to browse through books before painting?
Reading and painting are two completely unrelated matters!
"That's not it, it's... it's that... I have yet to reach the state where I can reach the state of mind required for me to draw as and when I like. Before I draw, I need to read a lot of books to calm my mind, and only then will I be able to create high-quality paintings!"
After squeezing out his brain juice, Zhang Xuan finally came up with an excuse.
After all, he can't possibly tell them that he doesn't know how to hold a brush, and he needs to browse through some books... to learn...
If he were to truly say that out, the other party might treat him as a lunatic.
Painting is something much harder to learn than martial arts. It is impossible to reach Lu Chen and Yuanyu's level of mastery without decades of effort, countless wasted paper, and worn-out brushes. To want to learn painting just by browsing through a few books...
Isn't that dreaming?
Even if you wanted to lie, you should at least take the trouble to come up with something more believable...
"A good painting is related to one's state of mind, luck, and opportunity... Given your age, it is understandable that it is difficult for you to produce a good painting without adjusting your state of mind."
Master Yuanyu nodded his head in approval.
Master Lu Chen didn't reject Zhang Xuan's words as well.
Painting is an art, not a physical technique. Even if one's physical condition isn't good, it is unlikely for one's strength to be impacted greatly.
However, if one were unable to get in the appropriate state of mind, no matter how well one painted, it would only be a painting with form, but devoid of a soul. It can never be considered as a masterpiece.
"It's my habit... Hm?"
He didn't expect the two masters to not refute his words. Halfway through his explanation, he paused abruptly in surprise.
But soon, he came to a realization.
Art is the same, no matter what world one came from.
Back then, when Wang Xi wrote the 'Preface of the Orchid Pavilion', he was drunk and wrote it casually. But when he woke up and tried to rewrite it, he found himself unable to surpass his previous work. This is the importance of one's state.
It is just how even if you were to give Master Yuanyu brush and paper and have him redraw his masterpiece, River Canary Painting, he would definitely be unable to replicate it.
Everyone has their own masterpiece, and often, many factors are contained in their work. It was perfectly reasonable for him to request to browse through books to adjust his state of mind.
"Lu Chen, don't you have quite a bit of painting secret manuals and collection in your study? Why don't you have our little friend here go in to take a look? We can wait here while he gets into his ideal state to display his painting skills!"
Master Yuanyu said.
Lu Chen's mouth twitched.
The previous time that the fellow achieved a breakthrough in his cultivation, he had wrecked his study. Until now, he remains traumatized by the event.
However, he is also curious to see what level of painting had the other party reached. Thus, he nodded his head, "Un, Ah Cheng, bring Brother Zhang Xuan over!"
"Thank you, master!"
Seeing that he had managed to muddle his way through, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief and followed butler Uncle Cheng into the study.
The previous time he was here, he was looking for Fighter 6-dan Pixue realm secret manuals. Back then, he had never thought that he would return here to read up on painting.
When Zhang Xuan stepped into the study, the atmosphere in the lounge turned bizarre.
"Adjusting one's state of mind... Master Lu, why have I never heard of such a precedent?" Huang Yu couldn't help but ask.
As an assistant master teacher, she had seen and experienced many different things. Honestly speaking, she had never seen such a strange action.
"The need to adjust one's state of mind differs from person to person, so it is hard to say for certain." Lu Chen didn't reply, so Master Yuanyu spoke up in his place after a moment of contemplation. "Actually, this is more of a habit. In the past, there was an expert who sold firewood before he became famous..."
"I know that, is master speaking of Elder Lu Chai?" Bai Xun asked.
Elder Lu Chai's original name was Lu Chuan, but as he used to sell firewood for a living before he became famous, people termed him as Lu Chai.
When he reached Tongxuan pinnacle, there was hardly anyone in Tianxuan Kingdom who was a match for him and as such, his name rang far and wide during that period of time.
From a lowly ordinary man who sold firewood, he became an expert whose name rattled the entire kingdom. Elder Lu Chai often spoke of his affairs to motivate the younger generation, so quite a few people knew of his background.
"Indeed, it's that Elder Lu Chai. You know how hard he worked to raise his cultivation and how he became famous, but you aren't aware of the fact that he chopped firewood to adjust his state of mind before battling. He would lock himself in his room and spend an entire day chopping firewood so as to get into his top form."
"Now that Brother Yuan had said so, I recall another expert from a century ago, the Aloof Swordsman Wu Jiangping. He was known to be capable of 'calming the seas with a single sword'. I've heard that before he made a name for himself, he was a bamboo weaver. Before every battle, he would adjust his state of mind through weaving bamboo, thus achieving the level of a Tongxuan eventually and becoming a figure respected by everyone!"
Master Lu Chen said.
"Indeed, there are many such examples. Our friend here seems to utilize books to adjust his state of mind. It is not really a bizarre sight, just that..."
Yuanyu's words suddenly paused here.
"Brother Yuanyu, feel free to say anything that's on your mind!"
Lu Chen chuckled.
"Back then, when you were painting, I took a glance at him and intentionally questioned Huang Yu and Bai Xun so as to see how he would react. However... He seems to be confused by what was going on, as though he is completely ignorant of painting and... In fact, I doubt that he was able to notice anything about your painting!"
Recalling what he had seen previously, Yuanyu shook his head, "Brother Lu, you said that he was able to discern the flaws and secrets behind your 【Summer-Autumn Painting】 and 【Chi Xiong Howling to the Heavens】, so he shouldn't have been showing such an expression!"
As a physician, Master Yuanyu is adept at paying attention to minute details. Back then, Zhang Xuan was clearly shocked when he saw Master Lu Chen's painting, and he had seen it clearly.
"Ignorant of painting? That shouldn't be possible."
Master Lu Chen isn't as sharp and attentive as Master Yuanyu, so he found the latter's words slightly hard to believe.
This Zhang Xuan was able to see through his layout immediately upon walking into his courtyard, and after which, he proceeded on to tear open the top layer of paper on the Summer-Autumn Painting to unveil the contents hidden within, as well as point out the errors in the Chi Xiong Howling to the Heavens...
With such discerning eyes, how can he possibly not know anything about painting?
"This is just my intuition, there is also a possibility that I might be wrong..."
Master Yuanyu shook his head.
He was truly filled with curiosity toward Zhang Xuan.
Before he even saw him, Master Lu Chen had described him in a way such that it wouldn't be shocking even if Zhang Xuan turned out to be a heavenly being who descended to earth. This had piqued Yuanyu's interest, but after meeting the person in question, honestly speaking, he was slightly disappointed.
Master painters had a disposition unique to them, but he did not feel any hint of it from that fellow. Furthermore, that person was filled with hesitation when it came to talking about painting. He couldn't help but suspect whether that fellow is truly a master painter. If not for the sake of his old friend's dignity, he would have started challenging the other party's identity.
If the other party truly had painting capabilities that were in no way inferior to them two, he shouldn't have been like that.
"Could it be that... he doesn't know anything at all? He feigned it all out?"
A thought suddenly popped into Master Yuanyu's mind and he frowned.
If it is true, then everything else makes sense.
It is precisely because he knows nothing about painting that he tried to avoid the topic and claim that he needs to browse through books to alter his state of mind.
It is precisely because he knows nothing about painting that his face reflected his confusion when he saw Lu Chen painting, and that he could not compare to even Huang Yu and Bai Xun.
But that made sense, the other party isn't even twenty yet. Even if he were to boast a vast knowledge on painting, how high can his mastery of painting be?
He probably did an investigation on his old friend's painting beforehand and then pointed it out, feigning knowledge, when in fact, he is a fraud.
If that is indeed true, he would have to warn his old friend so as to not fall for the other party's deception.
"Brother Yuanyu, don't you have to visit someone in the afternoon? Would it be inconvenient for you to wait like this?"
Just when he was pondering about how he should bring up the topic, Master Lu Chen's voice sounded in the air.
"Oh, I heard that a master teacher named Yang Xuan had appeared in the capital. He had resolved Ling Tianyu's wife's illness and the problem Du Miaoxuan faced through extraordinary means. Thus, I would like to pay him a visit to learn from him!"
Master Yuanyu nodded his head.
Ling Tianyu's wife and Du Miaoxuan were his patients. He had been searching for ways to solve the problems plaguing the two, but he wasn’t able to succeed. Yet, that master teacher named Yang Xuan managed to solve everything so quickly. As a master physician, it is natural that he would want to pay the other party a visit in hopes that the latter can offer him a pointer or two, allowing him to tread further in the way of the medicine.
"Master teacher?" Master Lu Chen uttered in disbelief.
He had always been secluded in his residence. As such, he was completely oblivious to the storm Yang Xuan had raked up in the capital.
"Indeed. Why don't we pay him a visit together this afternoon? I know that you have been hoping to reach the fourth level of painting, but it has been eluding you. Perhaps, with the guidance of a master teacher, you might be able to do so!"
Master Yuanyu smiled.
"Alright, that's a promise. After we're done examining them, let's go!" Master Lu Chen nodded his head in excitement.
While Zhang Xuan was at Master Lu Chen's residence to conduct an examination for Huang Yu and Bai Xun, a youngster carrying a spear on his back had arrived at the classroom. It is Zheng Yang's childhood playmate, as well as his best buddy, Mo Xiao.
Initially, the two of them intended to acknowledge Wang Chao as their teacher, but only Mo Xiao succeeded. Zheng Yang became Zhang Xuan's student instead.
"I have learned a new spear art recently and I came over to spar with you!"
With a jerk of his spear, Mo Xiao seemed to have melded into a single being along with his spear, and he exuded an extremely sharp aura which caused others to frown in discomfort.
Zheng Yang stood proudly with his spear ready, not intending to back down from the challenge at all.