Library of Heaven is Path
539 Return My Bird!
Chapter 539: Return My Bird!
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Spiritual Wisdom painting had been granted sentience by the painter, allowing them to absorb spiritual energy from the surroundings to emerge from a painting.
As their existences hinged on spiritual energy itself, their spiritual energy requirement was very high, and they were exceptionally sensitive to fluctuations of spiritual energy in the surroundings. Under normal conditions, it would be impossible to sustain their materialization for too long. In fact, even under the Spirit Gathering Diction of a 5-star master teacher, their materialization will only be extended by a slightly longer period of time.
As such, the test wasn't as easy as it seemed.
In Su shi's view, even though Zhang Xuan was talented in painting as well, he was only a 3-star painter (as well as from Tianwu Kingdom), and not to mention, the content he spoke of was the bare fundamentals. It would be difficult for him to gather sufficient spiritual energy to sustain the Spiritual Wisdom for too long.
"If he had lectured on cultivation, I think he would have lasted for fifteen minutes or so. After all, even Elder Yun only managed to sustain the materialization for thirteen minutes!" Pavilion Master Kang replied, after a moment of contemplation.
After confirming the content of the test, Elder Yun had tried it out himself. However, despite being a 4-star master teacher, he was only able to sustain the materialization for thirteen minutes.
Given that Zhang Xuan's comprehension of cultivation was even above his, it shouldn't be too difficult for him to surpass Elder Yun's record.
But even so, fifteen minutes was probably the cap.
After all, the more basic the content was, the harder it was to draw in spiritual energy.
"Given that he's lecturing on painting... Not to mention, the bare fundamentals of it, I think even eight minutes will be a hurdle for him!"
"That's my evaluation as well!" Su shi nodded.
Even though the two of them weren't painters, they had still browsed through a fair number of books regarding the topic. It wasn't hard for them to tell that Zhang Xuan was only touching on the most basic concepts. On top of that, there was no clear movement in the spiritual energy in the surroundings. It would be nigh impossible for him to sustain the materialization for any longer than that.
"With just eight minutes, it'll be difficult for him to take first place. Ruohuan gongzi, as a 4-star painter and 4-star master teacher, will definitely be able to surpass the ten minutes barrier!"
Ling shi couldn't help but interject.
The other two nodded their heads in agreement.
Jun Ruohuan, as a painter, was extremely familiar with the concept of Spiritual Wisdom. With this advantage, it wouldn't be too difficult for him to maintain the materialization for more than ten minutes. With just eight minutes, it would be difficult for Zhang shi to secure even the second place.
"Look, the Spiritual Wisdom is already beginning to sway. It's already on the verge of dissipating!"
Everyone turned their gazes over. At the current moment, the chirping of the birds above the painting was slowly getting less and less crisp, and their body was swaying ceaselessly, as though a candlelight on the verge of extinguishing.
"But it has only been three minutes! How can his results be this poor?"
"Indeed. Even without conducting a lecture, those Spiritual beings are able to sustain their materialization for two minutes. What is going on?"
Given how Spiritual Wisdom beings can sustain their existence for two minutes even without any external assistance, for the birds to shake at the third minute... This showed that the spiritual energy drawn in by Zhang shi was minimal, perhaps even negligible!
"I'll be taking first place for sure!"
Ruohuan gongzi's eyes lit up.
Given how that fellow was unable to sustain the materialization for even five minutes, he would surely finish in sixth place. Even though Ruohuan gongzi's results were inferior to Zhang Xuan in the first two rounds, with this opportunity, he was confident in making a comeback and obtaining first place overall!
In the end, how could a person who came from a lower tiered kingdom compare to a Conferred Kingdom's top-notch genius? Master Teacher Tournament was a test on one's capability in all aspects. One couldn't hope to achieve a good placing with just overwhelming strength or a powerful Soul Depth only.
"Looks like inviting him to go up first was a good thing... Without any experience, how can he hope to achieve good results?"
Ruohuan gongzi's lips curled up.
Given how even the master teachers of Myriad Kingdom Alliance had never heard of Continuity of Spiritual Wisdom, what could a countryside bumpkin like the other party know about it?
Perhaps, if he were to get the other party to go up first for the subsequent rounds as well, the other party might fare poorly as well.
The more Ruohuan gongzi thought about it, the more excited he felt. It was to the extent that he nearly burst out laughing.
Fu Xiaochen also heaved a sigh of relief. He was currently in the third place, and if that fellow were to continue clinching the top spot, he would surely be eliminated. Thus, upon seeing this situation, he felt relieved instead.
"It's a relief that he didn't cause anything this time around..." Elder Yun wiped the sweat off his forehead.
Given the huge ruckus that fellow caused in the first two round, Elder Yun thought that the other party might do the same in this round, leaving him in an incomparably awkward position... But from the looks of it now, he was worrying needlessly. Painting seemed to be a weakness of the other party...
Just as the burden was lifted off his heart and he was waiting for the Spiritual Wisdom beings to disappear, he suddenly thought of something and froze.
"Something is wrong... If the Spiritual Wisdom beings are about to dissipate, they should do so in less than a few breaths. Since that is a fact, how could they still be materialized at this very moment? On top of that, even though the Spiritual Wisdom beings were swaying violently, it doesn't seem like they are about to dissipate..."
Under normal circumstances, as soon as the body of a Spiritual Wisdom being starts to sway, it'll disappear within seconds. If so, how could these Spiritual Energy beings sway for a minute but still remain materialized?
"Wait! Why does it seem like the body of the Spiritual Energy beings are getting more and more substantial instead?"
"Now that you speak of it..."
The others were also starting to realize that something was off.
They had carefully assessed the dissipation of the Spiritual Wisdom beings when Elder Yun opened up the scroll and did a demonstration before the test. Once swaying occurred, the gathered spiritual energy would dissipate swiftly.
Yet, even though the Spiritual Energy beings were swaying so violently that normal birds would have become stark naked by now, the spiritual energy forming them didn't dissipate. Instead, as Zhang shi continued with his lesson, they seemed to be becoming more and more corporeal...
This was completely defying common sense! Those Spiritual Energy beings should have dissipated by that swaying, and yet, why did it seem like they were being nourished instead...
What was going on?
"Wait, something is wrong..."
A deep frown appeared on Elder Yun's forehead. Just like that, another few more minutes passed. But even as Zhang Xuan was about to pass the ten minutes mark, the Spiritual Energy beings still hadn't dissipated. On the contrary, their bodies were becoming more and more corporeal. It was as though an image was slowly coming to life. Suddenly, Elder Yun thought of something and his eyes narrowed.
"Could this be...
"But... impossible!" Elder Yun exclaimed as frenzy covered his entire face.
"What's wrong with Elder Yun?"
"It can't be that all the elders who were tested by that lad will be reduced to such a state?"
Seeing the usually composed Elder Yun acting in such a manner, Elder Wu and Elder Bai's mouths twitched as well.
The both of them had been severely injured while assessing that lad, and now, Elder Yun was acting in a similar manner as well... There seemed to be something really sinister about that lad.
"Elder Yun!" Pavilion Master Kang walked up and patted his shoulder. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing... Just that, I thought of something unbelievable..." Elder Yun regained his senses from that pat and said.
"Something unbelievable?" Pavilion Master Kang frowned.
"Look..." Elder Yun pointed to the Spiritual Wisdom beings in front of Zhang Xuan. "These Spiritual Wisdom beings have been swaying for quite some time now, and it has been at least ten minutes since it started. However, not only have they not dissipated, they are even getting more and more corporeal..."
Pavilion Master Kang nodded his head in agreement.
Everyone had seen it happening and they thought it was weird as well. Was there really something wrong with it?
"If I'm not wrong, this isn't dissipation but..."
Elder Yun's lips trembled in shock, "... Elation of Unearthed Disposition, Enlightened Spirit!"
"Enlightened Spirit? You mean... the seventh level of painting? In a painting of that level, all beings, be it animals or plants, will possess their own sentience as though true living beings. They are capable of soaring beyond the painting and maintain their form for a very long time..."
Pavilion Master Kang was taken aback.
"That's right!" Elder Yun nodded.
"But that can't be! To create an Enlightened Spirit painting requires one to be at least a 6-star painter to modify or redraw the painting! To do so via a lecture... How is that even possible?"
Pavilion Master Kang widened his eyes in disbelief.
Painters that had comprehended that level could easily draw birds that could soared through the skies.
Rumor had it that a formidable 6-star painter had once drawn a divine crane on a wall and soared into the skies on its materialized form, leaving behind the legend of 'Immortal Departing on the Divine Crane'.
There was also another legend depicting a grandmaster painter being caught in a spirit beast stampede. As such, he drew a pinnacle spirit beast whose aura sent all of the spirit beasts fleeing in fright.
All occupations, upon reaching a certain level, would possess unimaginable strength and means.
Just that, this miracle needed one to be at least a 6-star painter to work on a painting on the spot... For a Spiritual Wisdom to become an Enlightened Spirit via a lecture, that was completely unprecedented and unheard of.
"The content that Zhang shi spoke of is extremely compatible with the Spiritual Wisdom beings. Not only did it draw in spiritual energy, it even caused these Spiritual Wisdom beings to start cultivating... If I'm not mistaken, the swaying is actually an attempt to rid themselves of the impure spiritual energy from before, thus turning their energy even more concrete... In other words, Ridding Phantasm to Materialize!" Elder Yun said.
"Ridding Phantasm to Materialize? How... is that possible?" Pavilion Master Kang was so astonished that he nearly fainted on the spot.
Are you serious?
Just by conducting a lecture for the Spiritual Wisdom beings, they actually underwent Ridding Phantasm to Materialize and became Enlightened Spirits... Why did it sound like utter nonsense?
"I also find it hard to believe, but there is no plausible explanation other than this!" Elder Yun said.
Even though he had guessed it, he still found it hard to believe. That was why he lost his composure for a moment.
Suddenly, Pavilion Master Kang thought of a question.
"If that's true... Usually, the breakthrough is done by modifying the painting. As the Spiritual Wisdom beings are in the painting while undergoing the breakthrough, the painting serves as their home, and thus, they can be summoned back through it. But if the Spiritual Wisdom beings were to achieve a breakthrough via such a lecture... Would they still return to the painting?"
If the Enlightened Spirits were to originate from the painting, even if they were to leave, they would still return to the painting when they needed to rest. However, these Spiritual Wisdom beings were making a breakthrough outside of the painting. Given that they didn't materialize from the painting, there would be nothing tying them to the painting. If so, would they still return?
If they were to fly away and refuse to return to the painting, how would the results be tabulated? More importantly, how could the test continue under such circumstances?
"Ah? Crap, don't allow him to continue speaking..."
Elder Yun froze for a moment before hurriedly shouting. However, before he could do any practical action, the birds in the painting suddenly stopped swaying and a harmonized chirp suddenly echoed in the hall.
Their pleasant call reverberated across the entire hall. It was as if a group of playful birds had visited them, and their presence in itself was an enjoyment.
At the same time, the slightly incorporeal birds from before seemed to have achieved a qualitative evolution. Their feathers became more lifelike, and their claws and peak became more defined. It was as if they had truly come to life this time around.
After the chirping, the birds flapped their wings and darted out of the hall, headed for the distance. It didn't take long before they disappeared from everyone's sight.
Seeing the departing birds and the empty paper left on the table, Elder Yun froze for a moment before his body began trembling.
That was an unparalleled work that his teacher had left for him. He cherished it so much that his heart ached just by showing it to another. Even his closest of friends had to plead with him for a very long time just for a glance.
He thought that it should be fine taking it out for such an important test, but who knew that... the Spiritual Wisdom beings contained within it would actually all fly away!
What the heck?!
Now that all of the Spiritual Wisdom beings had flown away, what use was this blank piece of paper?
He had just heaved a sigh of relief in having been spared when such a sight occurred... Was this fellow here to compete in the selection round or to wreak havoc?
With a trembling body, he walked up to Zhang Xuan. At this moment, he felt so much rage that he hated the fact he couldn't tear that imbecile before him into pieces.
"My bird! You, return my bird..."