Library of Heaven is Path
203 Found the Wrong Person
Chapter 203: Found the Wrong Person
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
"Usually, one year is sufficient for tea leaves to mature for consumption. Yet this tea leaf needs an entire nine years, showing its uniqueness. As a result, one needs to steep it for a longer period of time so that its fragrance can be further drawn out. Yet after pouring hot water in, you took out the tea leaves within three breaths. As such, it caused the fragrance that had accumulated in the tea leaves over a course of nine years to not be fully released. This is your first failure!
"Nine Years Spring grow in humid lands. As such, the tea leaves contain moisture within. Before steeping it, one needs to wash it with slightly salted water first in order to revitalize the veins of the leaves, allowing the tea leaves to better release their fragrance. Yet, not only did you not wash it beforehand, you even used a dry preparation method*. Not only did this affect the texture of the tea, it even caused the level of the tea to drop an entire level. This is your second failure!
"Before starting on the preparation of the tea, it's right for you to warm the tea set. However, due to your excessive desire to flaunt your skills, you placed tea leaves into the teapot before you were done warming up the entire pot. Furthermore, the tea leaves were still at room temperature when you placed them in, resulting in a loss of heat. This is your third failure!"
"Finally, when using the Root of the Fallen Leaves to prepare the tea, in the very final step of pouring the tea into the teacups, your should do it within three breaths to ensure that their aroma and taste is the same. Yet you dragged it on for seven breaths. As a result, the aroma and texture of the first cup and the fifth cup differs by almost an entire level. You can check it right now if you like. Although the first cup has reached the fourth level, the last cup is only at most at the third level. For there to be two different tastes for the same pot of tea, this is your seventeenth failure!"
All at once, Zhang Xuan pointed out seventeen of the other party's errors without any pause. Then he looked at Tian Long with sympathy. "For such an amazing technique, the Root of the Fallen Leaves, and such good tea leaves, the Nine Years Spring, to be brewed by you in such a manner—what else could it be if not worthless?"
Tian Long's face paled, as though he had met a ghost.
He wanted to refute the other party's words, but he was unable to say a word.
He had just learnt this brewing technique and it was natural that he would make many mistakes with it. Rationally, it wasn't a big deal. But how was the other party able to see through all of it?
Wasn't he inept in the Way of Tea?
His grandfather had said the same things as well. In fact, the other party pointed out even more flaws than his grandfather!
His grandfather could only point out four or five of them, yet the other party spoke of seventeen of them in a breath.
Could it be that the other party's knowledge of tea brewing exceeded that of his grandfather's?
How was that possible?
Not just him, at that instant, the hall fell so quiet that even a pin drop could be heard.
Everyone was staring at Zhang Xuan as though they were looking at a monster.
This was especially true for Lu Xun. His eyes were about to pop out onto the ground.
He was proud of the fact that he was able to point out the brewing technique the other party used, as well as the level of the tea aroma. Yet… not only was the other party able to see through these as well, he was even able to point out the flaws in his tea brewing technique precisely….
For a moment, he felt his face being brutally slapped. It felt fiery hot, as though it would tear apart at any moment.
What exactly was going on?
To be able to say so much about tea, to the point that you even have such an in-depth understanding of the Nine Years Spring. Are you a tea vendor?
"Elder Tian, may I know if my words are correct?"
Ignoring the astonishment everyone was going through, Zhang Xuan chuckled and turn his eyes to Elder Tian.
The tea brewing of a tea master was similar to a battle technique by a fighter, and the Library of Heaven's Path had compiled a book on Tian Long. If Tian Long hadn't provoked him, Zhang Xuan couldn't have bothered with him either and wouldn't have embarrassed him in public. Yet the other party kept trying to taunt him, even making use of Lu Xun to humiliate him. If that were to be the case, then Zhang Xuan felt a need to retaliate.
Of course, he had also gone easy on the other party. He had only pointed out a portion of his flaws. If he were to speak of all of them, that fellow would probably end up like Apothecary Bai Ming, his confidence would be completely crushed and he would find himself coming to a standstill in the Way of Tea.
"What you said…"
Honestly, Elder Tian was unable to ascertain the authenticity of half of the words the other party had said. But for the other half, it was absolutely correct.
Furthermore, for the half he wasn't sure of, based on his deductions from his knowledge in Way of Tea, they were likely to be true as well.
With just a single glance, the other party was able to see through so many problems?
Am I the tea master, or is he the tea master?
Elder Tian looked like he had seen a demon. After hesitating for a long time, he continued, "… are all correct!"
"Zhang laoshi's words are all correct?"
Hearing his verdict, a commotion broke out in the hall.
This was especially so for Bai Xun and Huang Yu. They could see the frenzy in each other's eyes.
On the way here, Zhang laoshi had been asking about the Way of Tea, and it was obvious that he was a total rookie on the subject. It was clear that he hadn't even heard of the term before coming here…. They were still worried about what would happen after he lost to Lu Xun. Yet, to think that such a twist would occur instead.
Brother, can you stop playing with our hearts?
If you have such an in-depth understanding of the Way of Tea, why must you feign ignorance?
"He must have done it on purpose…."
When Huang Yu recalled how she sent a telepathic message to Zhang Xuan to explain the four levels of tea brewing to him out of goodwill previously, Huang Yu felt like spitting blood. Most probably, that fellow must have been laughing at her ignorance….
"It seems like… Master Zhang was also like that during the painting examination…."
Just as Huang Yu was cursing the other party in her mind, she suddenly heard Bai Xun's perplexed voice.
Upon hearing those words, Huang Yu suddenly recalled the matter as well.
Back then… before painting, Master Zhang also seemed like a complete rookie, not knowing anything at all. But… after reading some books, he was able to create a painting of the fifth level easily….
This fellow. What was going on?
How could there be such a peculiar person in the world?
"Since it's right, does it mean that I've passed your test?" Clasping both his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan returned to his seat and looked at him calmly.
"Hold it right there!"
Before Elder Tian could even speak, Wang Chao abruptly stood up. "The question that Elder Tian came up with was for Zhang Xuan and Brother Lu to tell the brewing technique used and the level of the tea fragrance, and whoever who was able to figure out both of them would be the victor. Brother Lu's answer of 【Root of the Fallen Leaves】 and fourth level of tea aroma isn't wrong! On the other hand, Zhang laoshi said so much, but he left out the main point. Thus, it could be said that he had gone off topic, so I think that Brother Lu should be the victor."
"Indeed, even though Brother Lu didn't speak of the latter part, it doesn't mean that he doesn't know of it at all. He simply thought that it was off topic and didn't find the need to bring it up." Upon hearing Wang Chao's words, Tian Long's eyes lit up.
If that fellow were to truly win this competition and become an apprentice of Liu shi, wouldn't he be together with Huang Yu daily? If so, Tian Long wouldn't stand a chance anymore.
So he couldn't allow the other party to succeed!
Furthermore, he had just been insulted by the other party. With such an ideal opportunity to put him down, how could he let it slip past his fingers?
Hearing the other party's words, Zhang Xuan was stunned.
He thought that he himself was a shameless person; to think that these two were able to top him at his field.
Gone off topic?
If spoken of, it was true that he had gone off topic, just that…
"Lu laoshi had already revealed the answer. If Zhang laoshi didn't say something else, wouldn't he just be repeating his answer?" Huang Yu couldn't be a bystander to the situation any longer and stood up furiously.
What kind of joke was this?
You've already answered all that could be answered, what do you expect the other party to say under such a situation?
If he answered just like you did, you would just say that he had copied you. On the other hand, if he said something else, you would simply say that he had gone off topic….
No matter what, you all are star teachers. Can't you all at least spare a thought for your dignity?
"Enough, stop arguing."
Seeing sparks flying from both sides, Elder Tian waved his hands. "It's my negligence for coming up with such a question, so let's just drop this."
Zhang Xuan stared at Elder Tian. It was clear that he was helping Lu Xun.
But this came as no surprise to him either. It was the first time Elder Tian had met Zhang Xuan. Naturally, the other party would help Lu Xun, who he was more familiar with.
Upon hearing these words, Liu Ling frowned.
Aren't you showing your favoritism too publicly!
"Enough, there's no need for you to say anymore. This matter is my fault, so I'll come up with another question for the two of them. There's no need for us to fuss over this matter," Elder Tian interrupted impassively.
"OK!" Since his teacher had already put it this way, out of respect for the other party, Liu Ling didn't refute his words. He could only look at Zhang Xuan apologetically.
"I apologize for my inappropriate choice of question on the Way of Tea previously. However, I can tell that the two of you are extremely knowledgeable in the Way of Tea. If we were to continue pitting you two in this field, it might breed discord among you two instead. How about this: other than the Way of Tea, I am also slightly knowledgeable in the field of painting as well. Furthermore, I have just received an amazing painting recently. As teachers, you two should have some knowledge on painting as well. Thus, why don't I bring it out for you two to appreciate and appraise. Whoever's appraisal is more accurate will be the victor…." After hesitating for a moment, Elder Tian stroked his beard and said.
After hearing the other party's words, Zhang Xuan had to stifle in his laughter.
If the other party had chosen to test him on something else, Zhang Xuan would still have to dredge up the books from his library to look through them. But as for painting… there wasn't such a need at all!
Since he was able to draw a painting of the fifth level, he had already reached the level of a grandmaster in painting. Are you sure that… Lu Xun would be able to win against me?
However, it wasn't surprising that the other party would make such a decision. After the previous incident, Elder Tian could see that Zhang Xuan was knowledgeable of the Way of Tea. Even if he were to give another question on it, Lu Xun would still lose.
Naturally, Elder Tian knew of Lu Xun's background. Lu Xun's father was Master Lu Chen, a true master painter, and since childhood, Lu Xun often came into contact with paintings. As such, his knowledge of painting far surpassed that of his Way of Tea.
As a result, he decided to go ahead with a painting test.
This way, he would be using Lu Xun's strength against Zhang Xuan.
However, it was a pity that he couldn't have imagined that… even Lu Xun's father, Master Lu Chen, would have to address Zhang Xuan respectfully as a "master."
"Do you two have any disagreements?" After saying this, Elder Tian turned his gaze to the duo.
"Lu Xun dares not oppose Elder Tian's arrangements." Lu Xun clasped his hands and answered obediently, but on the inside, he was nearly dying of joy.
Even though Tian Long had said that Zhang Xuan was likely to be a master painter, Lu Xun had attributed the matter to just Zhang Xuan boasting. He didn't pay it any attention.
Also, he was much more proficient in painting than the Way of Tea.
Mo Chenzi, Yuanyu, Lu Chen, all of the works of the master painters and the books he had read when he was younger flashed through his mind. Slowly, a confident smile crept onto his face.
What a joke! He had just taken the Way of Tea to broaden his horizon, but painting was his specialty.
As long as Zhang Xuan wasn't a master painter, it was impossible for him to defeat him.
Lu Xun was confident.
"What about Zhang laoshi?"
Upon seeing him agree to it, Elder Tian nodded his head and turned to Zhang Xuan.
"I… agree as well!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
"Competing in painting appraisal?"
The three master teachers, Huang Yu, and Bai Xun knew of Zhang Xuan's background and they stared at one another.
A moment later, they simultaneously turned their gazes to Lu Xun, and the sympathy in their eyes was clear to see.
The Way of Tea competition between them previously didn't cause a huge blow to Lu Xun as it wasn't his field of specialty. As such, he didn't get discouraged even though he lost to Zhang Xuan. But as for painting…
He would probably cry himself to death this time.
Sigh, poor child.
Honestly, Lu Xun, you found the wrong person to compete with….
*There are two methods to preparing Chinese tea: "dry preparation" and "wet preparation".
In wet preparation, you need a special tea set, and after washing the equipment, you just pour the water on the tea set (which usually have a drainage section). As such, it is labeled "wet preparation method".
On the other hand, dry preparation is much cleaner. All of the unused water is dumped into the sink/waste container.