Library of Heaven is Path
289 Painting Through a Savage Beast 3in1
After the uproar that Zhang Xuan created with the ladies, the crowd had cleared the area around him, causing him and the attendant to stand out with exceptional conspicuity.
While everyone was busy placing their bids, the two of them were chatting incessantly about something else, and upon witnessing this, Ji Mo gongzi felt displeased and disrespected. Then, when he listened carefully to their conversation, it turned out that they were belittling his work. How could he tolerate this? Thus, he bellowed at them immediately.
They were clearly challenging his prestige and authority.
He had thought that the other party would apologize immediately upon being questioned like that, but contrary to his expectations, the other party spoke such words in return.
A toy which any apprentice painter can create...
Becoming infuriated, his face turned crimson red immediately.
"What did you say?"
Clenching his fists tightly, a surge of power gushed out from him, causing the air in the surroundings to howl. He was actually a Pixue realm expert!
To be able to attain Pixue realm below twenty years of age, it seemed that this Ji Mi gongzi's talent in cultivation was no way inferior to his flair for painting.
The green-robed attendant didn't expect Zhang Xuan to say such words, and his face paled immediately.
Putting aside the fact that the Ji Clan was one of the Three Great Clans in the capital, this Ji gongzi himself was a highly respected 1-star painter with incredible rallying abilities. Provoking him like that... Wasn't that equivalent to courting death?
Angering the other party and receiving a beating were no big deals, but it was highly likely that Zhang Xuan would be banned from the Painter Guild. If so, he wouldn't be able to buy a single painting no matter how much money he offered.
"Gongzi, calm down. It's best that... you apologize and give in..."
He tugged on the clothes of the young man beside him involuntarily and sent a telepathic message.
After which, the young man before him nodded and spoke, "Oh, it's my mistake to say that any apprentice painter can create such a painting!"
"That's more like it..."
Hearing Zhang Xuan admit his mistake, the attendant was just about to heave a sigh of relief when he heard the second half of his words. His eyes shot upward and he nearly passed out from shock.
"... This is an insult to apprentice painters! Given the standard of this painting, even a random savage beast is able to do better than that! Five million you say? I won't even buy it for five gold coins!" Zhang Xuan uttered.
He didn't wish to cause trouble, but that didn't mean that he would allow anyone to climb all over his head.
Trying to take advantage of me? You must be joking!
It's already good enough that I'm not trying to take advantage of you.
While the other party was drawing, without using the Library of Heaven's Path, he was able to see seven to eight flaws with just his own judgment. He wouldn't want this mediocre drawing even if the other party were to give it to him for free. To pay for it... You must be pulling my leg!
Savage beast? Five gold coins?
Zhang Xuan spoke calmly and the crowd became tongue-tied, beginning to stare at him as if they were looking at a monster.
To insult a painter right at home in the Painter Guild, where did you get such confidence?
Ji Mo gongzi was so angry that he nearly vomited blood.
Even a random savage beast would be able to do better than him... Won't buy it even for five gold coins...
The other party was clearly doubting his professionalism!
"Alright, there's nothing much to see about this clown. Let's go up and take a look at the other paintings!" Disregarding the infuriated Ji Mo, Zhang Xuan turned around impassively and prepared to leave.
Even though he had just arrived at Tianwu Kingdom and didn't possess any standing in the capital, he was someone who was about to take the master teacher examination and should carry a befitting disposition.
If the other party were to dare to say such words to him after he becomes a master teacher, he would lash him to death on the spot instead of wasting any breath on him!
This is the authority and power unique to a master teacher.
Master teachers mustn't be sullied, and those who dare to desecrate one has to die!
He was just a boastful painter and yet he dared to force a sale upon him. Zhang Xuan was already behaving very respectfully to him, having merely criticized his piece.
"Hold it right there!"
Seeing how that fellow intended to leave straight after humiliating him, Ji Mo gongzi's face warped in anger and he almost flew into a rage.
However, even though he was infuriated, he didn't lose his rationality. Taking a deep breath, he suppressed his anger and stared at Zhang Xuan coldly.
"Since you spoke so confidently, you must be rather confident in your knowledge of painting. Then, do you dare to compete with me?"
"That's right! We'll start painting simultaneously and after we're done, we'll find someone to appraise our work. The person whose painting is superior and attains the higher level wins! The losing side will have to kneel down and apologize, and swear to never enter the Painter Guild ever again..."
Ji Mo gongzi's eyes were filled savagery, "How about it, do you dare to take on the challenge?"
"Start painting simultaneously? Find someone to appraise our work? Are you certain?"
Seeing how confident the other party was, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
He didn't mind competing with the other party. In any case, he had nothing else to do today apart from exploring the Painter Guild and, from the looks of it, the other party wouldn't let this matter slip if he were to reject his challenge.
"Why? Do you not dare to take me on?" Ji Mo gongzi sneered.
"That's not it, it's just that..." Placing his hands behind his back, Zhang Xuan looked at him with a helpless expression, "I'm afraid that... you'll cry!"
Everyone fell to the ground, the entire room falling into silence.
Then, the entire room burst into an uproar.
"What in the world are you bragging about?"
"Ji Mo gongzi is an official painter! How dare a nobody like you spout such arrogant words!"
"Compete with him! Let him know the capability of a true master painter!"
The ladies present stared at Zhang Xuan furiously. With arms akimbo, each and every one of them felt a strong urge to tear Zhang Xuan into pieces.
We’ve seen arrogant people, but we’ve never seen such an arrogant person. You dare say that Ji Mo gongzi will cry?
Do you know who he is?
He is the first person in Tianwu Royal City to pass the painter examination before having reached twenty years of age, a person who possesses unparalleled talent in painting...
Afraid that he will cry?
Who do you think you are?
The guild leader of the Painter Guild?
Ji Mo gongzi's body swayed, and blood nearly burst forth from his mouth.
The other party's words were way too vicious!
He knew that the more he quarreled with the other party, the more likely he would die from anger. Thus, he waved his hands and said, "Then let's not waste any time then, let our skills do the speaking!"
After which, as if he was afraid that the other party might back out, he turned around and issued instructions to an attendant behind him immediately.
The attendant then turned around and left, returning with two elders in no time.
"This is Vice Guild Leader Cheng and Vice Guild Leader Wu. They are 2-star grandmaster painters, so there shouldn't be a problem having them act as the judges, right?"
Hearing that the two were vice guild leaders, Zhang Xuan directed his attention to them immediately.
These two seemed to be around Master Lu Chen’s age and snowy beards hung on their chins. Perhaps due to years of immersion in painting, both of them carried unique and refined dispositions.
"I'm fine with it!"
It made no difference to Zhang Xuan whoever the judge was. Thus, he nodded to indicate his approval.
"Do the two of you wish to compete?" Walking forward, Vice Guild Leader Cheng asked with a frown.
The attendant had explained to them about the conflict on their way here; a youngster of unknown background suddenly appeared and spoke arrogantly before Ji Mo, resulting in a conflict between them... The two vice guild leaders were curious to see how that youngster could be so confident.
"Yes!" Ji Mo gongzi bowed.
"May I ask from whom did you learn painting?"
Vice Guild Leader Cheng turned to Zhang Xuan and asked.
"I am acquainted with master and grandmaster painters in the thirteen surrounding kingdoms, so I might just happen to know your teacher!"
"I merely possess an interest in painting, I do not have a teacher!" Zhang Xuan said.
His understanding of painting came from books, so it was true that he did not have a teacher.
"An interest? Do not have a teacher?"
Both Vice Guild Leader Cheng and Vice Guild Leader Wu exchanged gazes, and they felt baffled at the situation.
Even though painting ranked among the lowest in the Nine Upper Paths, it was impossible to learn true skills without guidance from a teacher.
The other party dares to compete with a 1-star painter just because he is somewhat interested in painting?
Is he unaware of a master painter’s capabilities, or did his arrogance blind his rationality?
"Painting is an elegant art and such a contest would be a breach of decorum. If the both of you have any arguments, it would be best to settle it privately. There's no need to settle it through a competition!"
After hesitating for a moment, Vice Guild Leader Wu tried to persuade the duo.
Painting is a refined activity, and using it for a competition is unbefitting of a refined painter.
"I beseech the two grandmasters to persuade us no further. Academics get to know each other through literature. On top of that, I believe that there's a need to uphold our pride as painters. This fellow dared to insult painting, if I do not have a showdown with him today, I will not be able to lying down!"
Before Zhang Xuan could speak, Ji Mo gongzi had already spoken up.
This fellow claimed that even apprentice painters and savage beasts could do better than him. If he didn't teach him a lesson today, his reputation would fall to the gutters, and he would be too embarrassed to meet anyone in the future.
"This..." Seeing that Ji Mo was adamant on the matter, the two vice guild leaders turned to Zhang Xuan, only to see him nod his head casually. "If he wishes to compete, so be it!"
Seeing that both parties had agreed to the competition and that it was impossible to persuade them otherwise, the two vice guild leaders could only agree to the matter. "Since the both of you have decided to compete with one another, we’ll serve as judges then! The rules are simple; the time limit is two hours, and the person whose painting is at the higher level will be declared victorious! If both paintings are of the same level, the one who took the least time will be the winner."
There's nothing such as superior or inferior in art, and everyone has different tastes and interest. Thus, it is impossible to decide which artwork is 'superior' or 'inferior'.
However, since there were different levels to painting, they could use it as a benchmark to assess their painting skills objectively.
With the rules set and no disagreements from both parties involved in the competition, a few apprentice painters began to lay out two tables with brushes, ink slabs, and paper.
"There are no restrictions to the topic, feel free to paint anything you desire to!"
Seeing that the both of them had taken their positions, Vice Guild Leader Wu said.
Ji Mo gongzi nodded his head.
Since there were no restrictions, he could choose to paint what he was best at.
The mountains and streams that he drew before were not what he was good at. If he were to draw what he was the most adept in, he would surely be able to produce a painting of the third level.
He had just become a 1-star painter and was looking for an opportunity to increase his reputation when this fellow appeared from nowhere. The idiom 'delivering a pillow when one is craving for a nap' fitted the situation perfectly, Zhang Xuan's appearance was simply too timely!
Otherwise, Ji Mo wouldn't have gone to the extent of blowing the matter up.
"Alright, since there aren’t any objections, you may begin now!"
Since the duo wasn't objectionable to the rules, Vice Guild Leader Wu waved his hands, gesturing for them to start.
Ji Mo gongzi harrumphed coldly. With a swift movement, he picked up the brush, dipped it in the ink, and began drawing.
This time, in order to obtain a more convincing victory, he chose to use plenty of flamboyant techniques, winning him the loud cheers from the crowd.
"Do all of you think that Ji Mo gongzi will win?"
"Of course! Ji gongzi is the most talented painter in the younger generation. Even the guild leader has said that it is highly possible that he will take over his position in the future. How can he possibly lose to a countryside bumpkin?"
"Un? Ji gongzi has already begun drawing, but why is that countryside bumpkin still standing idly? It can't be that his words are louder than his actions and that he doesn't know how to paint at all?"
"That may really be true... Look, he is totally motionless..."
Mesmerized by Ji Mo gongzi's graceful brush strokes, everyone had been discussing Ji Mo gongzi excitedly, and only at this moment did they realize that the youngster he was competing against was standing motionlessly on the spot, his expression seeming to indicate a dilemma within.
"Is there anything wrong? Do you have any problem that you find hard to voice out? Feel free to speak."
Seeing him in such a state, Vice Guild Leader Wu asked.
"Oh, it's like that..."
Zhang Xuan scratched his head in embarrassment, "I've been thinking about it. If I were to simply paint and win him like that, I would be bullying him. Since I claimed that even a savage beast can paint better than him, may I ask... are there any savage beasts here? Can I borrow one to use? Rest assured, after it's done with the painting... I'll return it to you!"
"He intends to use a savage beast to... compete against Ji Mo gongzi?"
"The heck, surely I am hearing things!"
Everyone was dumbfounded, and they stared at the man as if he were a lunatic.
Even though savage beasts possess intelligence, it is insignificant in comparison to human thoughts. As such, it is impossible for a savage beast to be capable of painting.
Pitting a savage beast against an official painter in a painting contest...
How is that possible!
You must be pulling our legs!
Even if they weren’t here, being able to see and hear it in person, they would have thought that the fellow was insane.
In fact, even though they were actually here in person witnessing the situation, they were doubting his sanity.
While everyone was just shocked, Ji Mo gongzi's body was already convulsing. Ten thousand imaginary divine beasts flew around his head and he nearly threw his brush at the other party's face.
Finding a savage beast to compete with him...
The heck, do you mean that I am not worthy of being your opponent?
He thought that he would be able to humiliate the other party once the results were out, but... the painting had barely started, and the other party's contempt had by now seared his skin.
If that fellow were to really win with a savage beast, doesn’t that mean that I am inferior to a beast?
Even I win, it would only mean that I am better than a beast...
Ji Mo gongzi felt blood welling up in his mouth and that he was about to break down.
"Cough cough, even though savage beasts possess intelligence, they are incapable of painting. Are you... certain of this?" Vice Guild Leader Wu was also astonished at the youngster's request. He couldn't help but ask him once more.
He had seen people request for a longer duration, better quality paper, a better standard of ink... Of all of these innumerable requests, he had never come across someone requesting for a savage beast!
Are you sure this isn't a joke?
"Yes, I am certain!"
Zhang Xuan nodded his head with a serious expression.
He could easily paint a fifth level work. If he were to take the painter examination, even if it wasn't sufficient for him to reach 3-star, he would be a 2-star pinnacle at the minimum.
With such a capability, for him to compete with a young fellow who had just passed the 1-star painter examination would be akin to bullying the weak.
Even if he were to win, it wouldn't be honorable!
However, even after he had affirmed his request, the other party didn't make a move. Therefore, Zhang Xuan asked, "Can it be that... there aren’t any savage beasts here? Or is looking for a savage beast too difficult a request?"
After all, this is the Painter Guild, not the Beast Hall. Can it be that savage beasts are difficult to find in Tianwu Royal City?
This isn't the main point at all!
The main point is... how can a savage beast be capable of drawing?
While Vice Guild Leader Wu was at a loss, Vice Guild Leader Cheng's face darkened, and he flung his sleeves angrily.
He had immersed himself in painting for several decades now and he was well aware of the difficulty of this art. To wish to outdo an official painter at painting using a savage beast?
That was an incredibly arrogant thought.
Initially, he thought that this would be a valiant battle between two outstanding youths, but to think that the youngster before him would be such a conceited fellow!
"Why not... I go out and look around? I know of a wild savage beast in the vicinity..."
Recognizing the persisting awkwardness, the green-robed attendant hesitated for a moment before speaking up.
Zhang Xuan gestured.
"Yes!" The green-robed attendant rushed out immediately and in a short while, came running back with a savage beast in his embrace.
Rather than a savage beast, it was more appropriate to call it an undomesticated animal. Similar to dogs and cats that households kept, it didn't possess any fighting prowess. Oblivious to the reason why it was brought here, it had a confused look on its face.
Upon receiving the savage beast, Zhang Xuan took a quick look at it. Even though he wasn't very satisfied, the competition had long begun, and there wasn't time for him to be picky.
"Time to try out the abilities of a poison master!"
With the savage beast in his embrace, Zhang Xuan thought.
As for why he dared to make such a bet with his opponent, in claiming that he would use a savage beast to create his painting, it wasn't because he was arrogant, but rather because he had aces up his sleeves.
Even if a savage beast is tamed, it is impossible for it to obey exactly the thoughts of its owner. If one desires to create a painting that surpasses the second level, he cannot place his hopes on something beyond his control. One has to have absolute control over the painting process.
As a 2-star beast tamer, it would have been impossible for him to control the actions of a savage beast precisely. However, after the trip to the Poison Hall, the situation had changed.
After ten days of studying in the Poison Hall, not only did Zhang Xuan manage to cultivate the Poison Body, his mastery of poison had also reached the level of a 2-star poison master.
More importantly, he had also gained an additional use for the Heaven's Path zhenqi. He is now able to convert it into tonic with a single thought and transform it into deadly poison with another.
The Heaven's Path zhenqi happened to be the ideal tool that allows him to control movements of a savage beast precisely using just his mind.
Stretching out his hands, he sent a surge of Heaven's Path zhenqi into the meridians of the savage beast that was in his embrace. Then, with a simple will, he distributed it into the various acupoints all over its body immediately.
"Time to start!"
Now that the preparations were in place, he had the savage beast roll around in the ink before casually throwing it onto the large piece of xuan paper.
"Is he really having the savage beast draw for him?"
"I would like to see what kind of painting he can create!"
"I've seen this savage beast and it does not possess any intelligence. What kind of painting can it possibly draw?"
Seeing that Zhang Xuan wasn't joking and that he had soaked the savage beast in ink and had it step onto the xuan paper, the crowd burst into an uproar.
To have a savage beast paint...
And win against an official painter?
Brother, are you daydreaming, or are you just pulling a prank?
Vice Guild Leader Cheng's face steeled.
Painting is a respectable and refined occupation; to actually call a savage beast splashing ink around as painting is clearly an act of provocation.
He had decided to chase this fellow out the moment the competition ended.
He couldn't allow the art of painting to be insulted like that.
Feeling displeased within, he was glaring at Zhang Xuan in fury when Vice Guild Leader Wu’s words rang beside his ear.
"Something is wrong. Cheng Feng, look!"
"What's wrong?" He turned around to look at his old friend, only to see him staring at the youngster's painting in bewilderment.
Frowning, Vice Guild Leader Cheng Feng turned his head over as well, and with a single glance, he became stupefied.
"How... How is this possible?"
The savage beast on the xuan paper hesitated for a moment before beginning to saunter on the paper, leaving behind one plum flower after another in its wake.
There wasn't a specific pattern to those plum flower marks, but they went along a straight line and seemed as if they were held hanging by a formless vine.
Shouldn't an unintelligent savage beast, who was splashed with ink all over, run away the moment it was released? Why would it walk on the paper slowly without the slightest repetition in its footsteps?
"It's a type of beast taming technique!"
Vice Guild Leader Wu's voice sounded in his ears.
Hearing his old friend's words, Cheng Feng came to a realization.
Not only did the savage beast not escape or run about, it walked in a straight line on the paper. This showed that it was listening to someone's orders, and to be able to get a savage beast to obey his commands immediately... It had to be an extremely advanced beast taming technique!
Can it be that... this extremely young fellow is a beast tamer?
"However, so what if he has the ability to tame a savage beast? No matter how neat these footsteps are, it isn't a painting. Naturally, it is impossible for it to reach the level of Reality Depiction and, not to mention, Spiritual Canvas."
Cheng Feng was surprised but he shook his head nevertheless.
Even though Reality Depiction was merely the first level of painting, countless apprentices and painting fanatics had to be locked out from its gates for several years, and sometimes, even several decades before it could be achieved.
So what if that youngster can control movements of a savage beast using techniques belonging to beast tamers?
Savage beasts being savage beasts, it is impossible for them to devote any emotion or artistic conception to the painting. It is just like controlling a puppet, it is impossible to instill spirit into the work!
"You're right!" Vice Guild Leader nodded in agreement.
He was also curious what the fellow was up to.
Just as they were pondering what kind of painting the youngster would show them, the savage beast, which was advancing on the xuan paper, fell down abruptly and the ink on its body blotted an area of the paper black.
"Seems like we had been overthinking..."
Initially, the plum blossoms that the savage beast created with its footstep looked satisfactory, appearing to be a proper piece of painting. Even though Cheng Feng didn't think that the youngster could achieve much with the savage beast, it was nonetheless a novelty. However, with the fall, the entire painting was ruined immediately.
That was to say... the painting had been turned into scrap.
"Indeed, how is it possible that a savage beast can create a painting?" Cheng Feng harrumphed.
"You're right!" Vice Guild Leader Wu agreed.
Shaking their heads, they chose to ignore this attention-seeking fellow and turned to Ji Mo gongzi instead.
As expected of a genius. Even though he was infuriated just a moment ago, he hadn’t allowed those emotions to interfere with his painting. With swift brushstrokes, the outline of the painting was already in sight.
It was a peony that stood proudly amidst a cluster of flowers. It carried a powerful disposition which made the other flowers pale in comparison, resembling a monarch.
"The King of Flowers is the peony, and his painting has brought out the refined and prideful nature of the peony that causes surrounding floras to bow in deference. His painting will probably attain the third level, Infused Intentions, the moment it is completed!"
Cheng Feng's eyes lit up.
"That's right. Ji Mo is indeed a promising bud. As long as we do a good job grooming him, we might have a legendary figure emerge in our guild!"
Vice Guild Master Wu nodded in agreement.
As 2-star painters, they were well-versed in paintings. Although Ji Mo gongzi's work had yet to be completed, they were nevertheless able to tell a thing or two just from its outline.
This painting was clearly of a much higher grade than that of the Breeze By the Mountain and Stream, the conception behind the painting being at a much higher level as well. As long as there weren’t any large deviations, it would surely reach the level of Infused Intentions.
Even if it were the most basic standard under Infused Intentions, to be able to create a painting of the third level despite having just become a 1-star painter showed that Ji Mo gongzi was indeed talented.
"Look, Ji Mo gongzi's painting is about to be done..."
"What a beautiful peony, I like this painting!"
"This is too beautiful..."
The two vice guild leaders were still conversing when Ji Mo gongzi had already begun the final touches on his painting. His brush flew about the xuan paper, and an alluring peony appeared before everyone's eyes.
Then, with a light jerk of his hands, the last stroke was completed.
The moment the painting was completed, a sweet scent of flowers struck everyone's nose, as if they had stepped into a garden of flowers. A single peony stood out proudly from amidst the crowd, outshining every single other surrounding flora.
"This is a painting of the third level!"
"It has reached the level of Infused Intentions, incredible!"
"I've already said so, how can Ji Mo gongzi possibly lose..."
Most of the people present were either here to purchase paintings or were a fan of Ji Mo, and naturally, would have some understanding of paintings as well. They might not have been able to estimate the level of the painting when he was still working on it, but the effects that occurred upon completion allowed them to recognize it immediately.
Even a 1-star painter would be incapable of producing a painting of the level of Infused Intentions every single time he paints.
It was even rarer to see one being created in a public setting and, furthermore, in a competition.
"I've completed my painting!"
Throwing his brush aside, Ji Mo gongzi looked at his completed work and nodded in satisfaction.
The best way to win a lady’s fancy was to paint flowers. The peony was the king of the flowers, so he spent a huge effort to practice it. He might not be able to ensure that any other of his works would be able to reach the third level, but he had practiced painting this for more than a thousand times. If he were to paint it, nine out of ten times, it would be a painting of Infused Intentions.
Clearly, it didn't disappoint him this time as well, having reached the level he desired.
Even some 1-star painters who had immersed themselves in painting for more than a decade would find it hard to produce a painting of the third level. To have produced a painting of this level so easily despite just becoming a 1-star painter, regardless of the duel’s outcome, his goal of making a name for himself had already been accomplished.
"You acted so arrogantly just now, let's see what you are capable of painting."
Harrumphing coldly, Mo Ji put down his artwork and turned toward Zhang Xuan.
At this moment, the savage beast finally jumped off the xuan paper.
Because the savage beast was soaked with excessive ink, the painting, from the plum blossom footsteps which the savage beast imprinted, to the blotch caused by its fall, was smudged heavily. Even until now, the ink had yet to dry and the entire piece was glistening with ink water.
Especially for the patch which was created due to the fall earlier, because of the savage beast’s tough fur, a chaotic mess was created.
"Is this the savage beast painting you spoke of? Haha! How hilarious!"
Ji Mo gongzi nearly laughed his lower jaw off.
He thought that since the other party acted so high and mighty just now, he would really be able to create some impressive painting through a savage beast. Yet, to think that this was all he was capable of...
Do you call this a painting?
Even random flinging of ink onto a paper would be much better than this!
"What nonsense is he painting? To dare to compete with Ji gongzi, he sure is laughable!"
"If you call this a painting, won’t I be considered a painter as well?"
"Ignorant fellow, let's see how you embarrass yourself later on!"
Hearing Ji Mo's laughter, the crowd turned their gazes to Zhang Xuan, and a scornful expression appeared on their faces.
Can the random spilling of ink be considered a painting?
What a joke!
"Are you done with your... painting?"
Lifting his hand to interrupt the crowd's discussion, Vice Guild Leader Wu turned to look at Zhang Xuan.
"Un, I'm almost done..."
At this point, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief.
If someone were to pay careful attention, the person would notice that his body was trembling and that his face had become pale.
After browsing through books on poison in the Poison Hall, Zhang Xuan had gained the ability to convert the Heaven's Path zhenqi into tonic or poison with a single thought.
He had been secretly controlling the savage beast using the zhenqi he left inside its body, making it behave as he desired on the paper. Even though it had only been ten minutes or so, it was sufficient to wear out his spirit, sending him into a state of weakness.
"Seems like my cultivation is still too weak..."
Zhang Xuan lamented. Taking a deep breath, he started to pump his zhenqi to rejuvenate his body.
He had been converting the zhenqi he deposited in the savage beast into either poison or tonic to stimulate its acupoints, so as to induce the savage beast to act the way he intended. Even though it sounded simple, it had a high requirement on one's Soul Depth.
If not for Zhang Xuan's Soul Depth exceeding 5.0, it would have been an impossible task.
But more importantly, the savage beast was of an extremely low tier, making it easy to manipulate. If it were any stronger savage beast, given Zhang Xuan's current cultivation, it would have been an impossible task to manipulate them.
Disappointment surfaced on Vice Guild Leader Wu's face.
He was wondering what formidable painting the youngster could create, but to think that this would just be it...
"Alright, since Ji Mo's painting is completed, and this youngster's painting is roughly done, let's just announce the results right away!"
Vice Guild Leader Cheng Feng said.
Vice Guild Leader Wu nodded. Pointing to Ji Mo gongzi's work, he appraised, "Painter Ji's peony creates ripples in the surrounding spiritual energy and it has a deep artistic conception. Undoubtedly, it has reached the third level of painting, Infused Intentions."
After which, he turned to Zhang Xuan's work and said, "As for this painting, I am unable to understand its meaning. In my opinion... it is nothing at all..."
After hesitating for a moment, Vice Guild Leader Wu continued, "Thus, my verdict is that... it is Painter Ji's victory!"
"I share the same opinion as Vice Guild Leader Wu!"
Vice Guild Leader Cheng Feng nodded in agreement.
Hearing the results from the judges, Ji Mo gongzi turned to Zhang Xuan and sneered, "Since the results are out, are you going to kneel down and then scram on your own two feets, or do you want me to break your legs before throwing you out of the Painter Guild?"
Before the competition, they had decided to have the loser kneel down and apologize to the other party before leaving the Painter Guild, never to return.
Now that Zhang Xuan had lost, how could he simply allow this matter to slip by?
Seeing the savage expression on Ji Mo's face as he pressurized Zhang Xuan, the two vice guild leaders glanced at each another. Initially, they had intended to mediate between the two, but eventually, they simply shook their heads and chose to stay out of this matter.
This foreign lad had shown blatant disrespect for painting by having a savage beast paint in his stead, and the both of them thought that he should be taught a lesson. Otherwise, wouldn't it signify there are no consequences for desecrating the Painter Guild?
"Ah? You've made a verdict just like that?"
After resting for a moment, Zhang Xuan finally regained some strength. Upon hearing Ji Mo gongzi's gleeful words, he lifted his head.
"Why? Do you refuse to acknowledge the verdict by the two vice guild leaders?"
Ji Mo harrumphed coldly.
"The two vice guild leaders are 2-star painters and I believe in their eye for painting. Just that... I had only mentioned that my work was almost done, I have never said that it was done..."
Zhang Xuan shook his head.
"Are you claiming that your work is incomplete? What do you want to do then? Do you intend to lift your brush and continue painting?"
Ji Mo gongzi was taken aback.
"Since I said that this is a savage beast painting, naturally, I won't use my brush. Just that, this painting is still lacking one final step..."
Zhang Xuan smiled.
"One final step?"
The entire crowd was startled.
The painting that you created through the savage beast is such rubbish, do you think that adding some final touches will make any difference?
Under the situation that you aren't going to use the brush, do you think that the conclusion can really be changed?
"I think that he's just unwilling to admit defeat!"
"To be bragging despite the fact that he has lost, how can there be such a person in the world!"
Everyone began to clamor and looks of disgust fell on Zhang Xuan from all around.
Weren’t you behaving very arrogantly?
You're already nearing your end, why are you still putting on an act?
Even Vice Guild Leader Cheng and Vice Guild Leader Wu were perplexed.
It is just a layer of ink water on top of the paper. Without using a brush, is there really a way to turn it into a painting?
"You say that there's a final step before its completion. Fine, let's see what you have to say after this then!"
Ji Mo gongzi laughed coldly.
"Alright, I'll start then!"
Disregarding the commotion around him, Zhang Xuan walked up to the painting, grabbed the xuan paper by the corner and gave it a gentle shake.
The ink water on the surface of the painting flowed down, dyeing the entire painting.
"Alright, I've completed my final step!"
Placing the xuan paper back on the table casually, Zhang Xuan smiled.
Everyone was taken aback. They thought that the youngster's final step would be some incredible move, but to think that it would be just a gentle shake. For a moment, they were completely dumbfounded.
"Wait, something's not right... look!"
Just as they were wondering what that fellow was up to, a person from the crowd suddenly shouted.
Upon hearing the voice, Vice Guild Leader Cheng and Vice Guild Leader Wu turned to look at the xuan paper. Instantly, their bodies began to tremble uncontrollably, with their faces turning pale and their eyes widening.
A moment later, words of disbelief escaped through their mouth.
"How... how... is this possible?"