Library of Heaven is Path
825 Demonic Tunist Examination 2in1
"What's wrong?" Seeing his old friend flying into such a rage, Vice School Head Ning was stunned.
It had been five hundred years since he met Jiang Qingqin, and not once had he seen the latter losing his composure before. In fact, there was even one time when a direct disciple of his betrayed Jiang Qingqin, and Jiang Qingqin evicted him from his lineage without the slightest hint of anger on his face…
Yet, at this instant, he was bellowing furiously at a freshman without any regard for his bearings. Just what was going on?
As soon as the melody came to a halt, the cranes in the sky descended back to the ground, and they called out delightfully, as if they had managed to achieve something incredible.
"School Head, so did you achieve a breakthrough or not?" Vice School Head Ning asked curiously.
Demonic tunist was very unlike most other occupations, in the sense that its improvement was not strictly tied to one's cultivation or skills, but the deeper intent infused into the playing.
Considering that Jiang Qingqin was able to charm so many divine cranes into dancing to his melody, it should mean that the level of his playing had risen significantly. Yet, for some reason, the intent he could feel from it didn't seem to have reached a higher level, so he couldn't help but feel a little doubtful.
"The hell with breakthroughs!" School Head Jiang stood up furiously as he glared at the young man in the distance, seemingly tempted to rush forward and tear the latter to shreds.
Vice School Head Ning was unable to comprehend what was going on. "You didn't achieve a breakthrough? Then why would the cranes…"
It was an unchanging rule that the number of cranes one could charm into dancing would correspond to one's level of capability. Yet, just a moment ago, he had seen the unbelievable sight of sixteen cranes dancing harmoniously to a melody…
"Why, you ask? That's because he tamed my cranes!" Jiang Qingqin looked as if he was going to explode.
When he'd seen the other party's confident declaration, he had thought that the other party might just have some mystical means to help him achieve a breakthrough. Yet, the other party had used some unknown method to tame ten of his cranes instead…
Naturally, a tamed spirit beast would obey the orders of its master, so naturally, they flew at the other party's command…
"So, that's what happened…" Hearing the story, Vice School Head Ning also nearly fainted.
What we meant by seven cranes dancing is a breakthrough in one's capability as a demonic tunist! What use is it for you to tame those cranes and make them dance at your command?
If taming cranes and making them dance can represent one's capability as a demonic tunist, I would have found a few hundred cranes to do so long ago…
Not expecting Jiang Qingqin to be furious even after he had done what the other party had asked him to, Zhang Xuan frowned. "School Head Jiang, you said it yourself that you will give me the Phoenix Timber Core as long as I can make seven divine cranes dance simultaneously to your melody. Now sixteen of them have done so… it can't be that you are intending to renege on your promise, can it?"
"Renege on my promise? Renege your head!" Jiang Qingqin clenched his jaws so tightly together that it felt that his teeth might chip at any moment, and in that moment, he was on the verge of going berserk.
Never ever have I seen someone as shameless as you!
You are clearly just playing on my words; how can you still speak so brazenly?
What I mean is for you to help me achieve a breakthrough, and yet, you ended up taming my cranes instead…
You hadn't done what I asked you to, and you still dare to ask me for the Phoenix Timber Core?
Not expecting that an esteemed master teacher would suddenly insult him like that, Zhang Xuan harrumphed furiously. "Vice School Head Ning, please help us judge this matter. Didn't School Head Jiang say that as long as seven cranes flew simultaneously to his melody, he would give the Phoenix Timber Crane to me? Does being the school head give one the right to take advantage of another like that?"
"This…" Vice School Head Ning's lips twitched uncontrollably.
Previously, his old friend had said these exact words, "If you can allow my zither playing to charm seven divine cranes to dance simultaneously… I will give my Phoenix Timber Core to you."
Even though the implied meaning was to offer pointers such as to raise his old friend's level of playing, if one were to just look at the meaning of the words itself… Zhang Xuan's interpretation wasn't wrong either!
Sixteen cranes had danced in the air, so technically speaking, the other party had already fulfilled what had been asked of him.
After a moment of hesitation, Vice School Head spoke slowly. "Zhang shi, what School Head Jiang means by seven cranes is the level of his playing… This is jargon commonly used by demonic tunists. While you did manage to make seven cranes dance simultaneously to his tune, the way you did was via the means of a beast tamer. Isn't that twisting the meaning of his request?"
You said that we are taking advantage of you, but you are the one who is bullying us.
What Jiang Qingqin meant was the level of his playing, but you used the means of a beast tamer to 'resolve' the problem instead… It doesn't work like that!
It was only then that Zhang Xuan finally realized what was going on. "Ah!"
He had really thought that it would suffice as long as he could make the cranes dance to the other party's melody, and he had even asked once again to double check it. But from the looks of it now, the matter wasn't as simple as he had thought.
It was a communication error…
Considering how valuable the Phoenix Timber Core was, he knew that it couldn't possibly be so easy!
After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan said, "So, what you mean is for me to raise School Head Jiang's level of playing… You should have said so earlier! Since that's the case, may I know where the Demonic Tunist School's library is? I would like to take a look in there!"
He could easily make a thousand divine cranes dance in the air, but to raise the capability of a 6-star demonic tunist… his knowledge was still far too lacking at the moment.
He would have to first read some books in order to gain some understanding of the demonic tunist occupation first.
"Our library?" Hearing Zhang Xuan ask about this matter again, Vice School Head Ning frowned in doubt.
"Yes… I have noticed a few things about School Head Jiang's current state, but there are still a few aspects that I am still unable to make sense of. I wish to browse through some books to verify certain details first before coming to a conclusion!" Zhang Xuan replied.
The Library of Heaven's Path allowed him to see through the flaws of another, but it didn't provide him with the solution. Without any understanding of demonic tunists, there was no way he could come up with a suitable solution to School Head Jiang's problem.
Only after browsing through some books and reaching the same level as the other party or even higher would he be able to resolve the flaws that the other party had.
However, he could not speak of this matter. Otherwise, he would have been kicked out under the suspicions of being a lunatic, so he could only make up a reason on the spot.
"This…" Vice School Head Ning shot a glance at Jiang Qingqin, who was still furious about the happenings a moment ago.
Vice School Head Ning sent the school head a telepathic message. "Should we let him into our library?"
"If my problem could be resolved just by browsing through books, do you think I would have been stuck at this bottleneck for over five hundred years?" Jiang Qingqin scoffed in skepticism.
"I will reject him then…" Vice School Head Ning replied.
"Wait a moment… It isn't much of a problem to allow him into our library. How about we do this… Tell him that we will allow him to enter, but if he is still unable to induce a rise in the level of my playing, he can forget about obtaining the Phoenix Timber Core from me!" Jiang Qingqin said. After a moment of hesitation, he added, "Also… he is only allowed to browse through the books. He isn't to cause any trouble or destruction in the Demonic Tunist School!"
His original intention was to turn Zhang Xuan down, but fearing that he might start demanding to take their examination or challenge their trial the next moment, he swiftly changed his mind and decided to accede to the latter's request instead.
Since the purpose of a library was for one to enhance their knowledge, it wasn't a big deal to allow Zhang Xuan in to browse through their books.
But of course, that was assuming that the other party didn't cause any trouble.
"Alright!" Vice School Head Ning nodded before turning to Zhang Xuan to relay those words.
Hearing that he was allowed entry into the library, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief. "Don't worry, I won't cause any trouble…"
"The library is around the back; I'll take you over there!" Vice School Head Ning said as he led the way forward.
Since it would take some time for him to browse through the books, Zhang Xuan had Sun Qiang return to the manor first before following closely behind Vice School Head Ning.
The Demonic Tunist School's library was significantly smaller than the Apothecary School's and Physician School's. With his authority as a vice school head, Ning Hai was able to open the library to Zhang Xuan without requiring a student token or Academic Credits on the other party's part.
"Thank you, Vice School Head Ning."
Entering the library, Zhang Xuan saw innumerable books stacked on shelves, and his eyes lit up.
"Alright, I'll leave you be. If you have any requests, feel free to have any student relay it to me!" Ning Hai said before bidding Zhang Xuan farewell.
Zhang Xuan responded with a nod before turning his eyes back onto the huge collection of books before him.
Possessing the ability to store books into the Library of Heaven's Path with just a glance, he didn't need to go through the trouble of flipping through the books like before.
Focusing his gaze, the books on the shelves began appearing in the Library of Heaven's Path at an incredible speed.
Just like the library in the Terpsichore School, there were hardly any students in here. However, this played just to Zhang Xuan's liking. It would be a bother if others were to disturb him while he was taking in the books.
One book, two books… one hundred books, two hundred books… one thousand books, two thousand books…
In a few hours, Zhang Xuan managed to successfully take in the several million books stored in the library.
Compiling them, he formed the 1-star to 6-star Heaven's Path Demonic Tune Arts.
I should start reading them now!
As there was no one around, Zhang Xuan simply found a more spacious area and sat there. Immersing his consciousness into the Library of Heaven's Path, he began studying from the 1-star Heaven's Path Demonic Tune Art.
Six hours later, he exhaled a mouthful of turbid air.
At that very moment, his understanding of demonic tunes had already reached 6-star, putting him on par or even above that of School Head Jiang Qingqin.
Since I have attained the capability of a 6-star demonic tunist, I should make use of this chance to take the demonic tunist examination and obtain the 6-star emblem for myself!
In order to make the advancement to a 6-star master teacher, he had to have 6-star emblems in six supporting occupations.
At that moment, he had the 6-star emblems for blacksmith, physician, apothecary, and terpsichore, and he lacked another two.
Since he was already in the Demonic Tunist School, and he had some time to spare, it would be best for him to get this over with.
Thus, he left the library, and after asking around, he headed for the Demonic Tunist Aula, where the demonic tunist examination was held.
Unlike the Tower of Physicians, the Demonic Tunist Aula was a spherical building with an opening at the top, reminiscent of an observatory in his previous life. Those who intended to take the demonic tunist examination would sit at the very front row and play their instrument. The music would be amplified by the walls before echoing up into the heavens. Upon hearing the melody, the cranes residing in the school would fly over and dance merrily to the tune.
After which, the examinee's level of playing would be assessed by the number of cranes drawn in.
Just outside of the Demonic Tunist Aula stood a young man who was currently snoozing on a table.
He was probably the student worker in charge of facilitating the examinations in the Demonic Tunist Aula.
Walking up to the table, Zhang Xuan clasped his fist and said, "Senior, I would like to take the demonic tunist examination!"
"You want to take the demonic tunist examination?" The young man rubbed his eyes and took a good look at Zhang Xuan before asking, "What rank?"
"I have never taken the examination before, so I intend to start from the 1-star examination," Zhang Xuan replied.
"Start from the 1-star examination? That's fine. Here are the music scores used for the 1-star examination. You have to choose a piece from here and play it for the examination. As long as you draw in a single crane with your playing, the Demonic Tunist Aula will automatically award you a pass. You may start whenever you are ready!" the young man said as he passed a file of music scores over.
Only certain scores were allowed in the demonic tunist examinations. One had to display the capability of a 1-star demonic tunist through those specific scores in order to pass the 1-star examination.
"Alright!" After reading through the books in the library, Zhang Xuan had also gained a rough understanding of the typical rules concerning the demonic tunist examinations, so he didn't have much trouble with that.
However, there was another problem that he faced…
"That… I don't have a zither with me, so may I borrow one?" Zhang Xuan asked awkwardly.
The young man's eyes widened in disbelief. "You don't have a zither? Why are you here if you don't even have a zither with you?"
A zither to a demonic tunist is like a sword to a swordsman or a brush to a painter. Yet, you wish to take the examination without even having one in your possession… You must be pulling my leg!
To want to take the demonic tunist without a zither at hand, you really are one-of-a-kind!
"That… I remember that if an examinee doesn't possess a suitable zither, he can borrow one from the Demonic Tunist School…" Zhang Xuan said.
With the books he had read, he had also gained a good grasp regarding the rules concerning the Demonic Tunist School as well.
Based on what he knew, the Demonic Tunist School lent zithers to examinees who needed them, and it wasn't against the rules to do so.
"It's true that you can borrow a zither from our school, but putting aside the fact that those zithers are of subpar quality, they are also extremely old and worn. It's possible that the strings may snap just by exerting the slightest force on them, so your results will not be ideal if you use them… Are you certain about this?" the young man asked doubtfully.
The zithers of the Demonic Tunist School were crafted to only have the bare basics required. Furthermore, they hadn't been used for many years, so they had already gotten rusty. It was questionable whether any of them could play a proper tune or not, and to use one in an examination… the chances of clearing the examination would be unimaginably low.
This was precisely the reason very few people were willing to use it.
"I am certain!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
It would be rather troublesome for him to head out now to purchase a zither, and it was unlikely that he would use it often. Thus, to spare himself the trouble, he decided to simply use the school's zithers.
"Alright then!" Seeing that Zhang Xuan had decided on the matter, the young man shook his head and walked into a room behind his table. Not too long later, he returned with an extremely worn-out zither and a few zither strings.
"Use it carefully. These are spare strings for you to replace with should any snap in the midst of your playing. You have two hours. If you fail to draw a single crane within the time limit, it will mean that you have failed the examination!" the young man said.
In truth, he didn't have much confidence in the fellow standing before him.
How could there be a demonic tunist who didn't even possess a zither of his own?
The fact that he didn't possess a zither likely meant that he lacked practice and that his skills were subpar. Occasionally, he would encounter such arrogant students who had an absurdly optimistic view of their own skills.
"Noted." Taking the zither, Zhang Xuan paid the fee required for the examination before heading into the Demonic Tunist Aula.
The results for the demonic tunist examination were primarily determined by the divine cranes, so there was no need for complicated formations which consumed a great deal of energy to be inscribed onto the Demonic Tunist Aula. On top of that, there were rarely any examinees around as well.
In order to encourage more students to take the examination, the Demonic Tunist School decided to waive the payment of the Academic Credits and charge only a small amount of spirit stones for the examination.
Walking to the center of the Demonic Tunist Aula via a long passageway, Zhang Xuan found himself surrounded by thick walls inscribed with unique patterns. Zither melodies seemed to resonate with those patterns, amplifying the sound many times over.
However, and fortunately as well, this sound could only be heard by the divine cranes.
There was not a single person in sight within the Demonic Tunist Aula.
Zhang Xuan walked straight up to the round stage at the very center and placed the old zither on the small wooden table there.
After which, he placed his finger on the music scores and imprinted them into his mind.
"It's quite a simple tune…" Zhang Xuan chuckled softly to himself.
Having mastered the 6-star Heaven's Path Demonic Tune Art, his level of playing was currently, at the bare minimum, on par with School Head Jiang. To him, playing the score prepared for the 1-star examination was nothing more than a walk in the park.
"I should give the zither a try first…"
Placing his finger on the zither, Zhang Xuan plucked a string lightly, and a crisp sound reminiscent of a flowing river striking against a boulder sounded.
Even though the sound produced by the zither was lacking in richness, it was at least still usable.
"Alright, time to begin!"
Calming his mind, Zhang Xuan began moving his fingers, and a beautiful melody began permeating the room.
In the Demonic Tunist School, School Head Office…
"He didn't cause any trouble, right?"
Seeing Vice School Head Ning walk into the office, Jiang Qingqin couldn't help but ask that, his tone tinged with unease.
Vice School Head Ning shook his head. "He didn't."
Truthfully, he had also been a little worried previously. This was also the reason he had stood outside the library for several hours to ensure that nothing wrong was going to happen, before he eventually convinced himself that it was safe to leave.
Jiang Qingqin heaved a sigh of relief. "That's good…"
"However…" At this point, Vice School Head suddenly spoke up hesitantly with a deep frown.
"What's wrong?" Jiang Qingqin hurriedly asked.
Honestly, the rumors regarding that fellow were simply far too frightening. He couldn't help but pay careful heed to every single action the other party did.
"This morning, he left the library and headed to the Demonic Tunist Aula. If I'm not mistaken, I think he intends to take the demonic tunist examination!" Vice School Head Ning said.
Jiang Qingqin's eyelids twitched as he asked, "Doesn't he know nothing about demonic tune arts? Why is he taking the examination?"
"I'm not too sure either… I was fearful that he would wreak havoc, so I secretly followed behind him and watched the situation from the outside. However, I saw the fifteen cranes stationed for the examination flying into the Demonic Tunist Aula, and they didn't leave while I was there!" With a tight frown, Vice School Head Ning recounted what he had seen.
In order to ensure that the examination could be held at any time, the Demonic Tunist Aula had also reared fifteen cranes of their own.
"They flew into the Demonic Tunist Aula? But even if that fellow is taking the 6-star demonic tunist examination, six should be enough. For fifteen of them to fly in… just what is he up to?" Jiang Qingqin was perplexed.
Fifteen cranes flew over when only six were needed… Something was definitely amiss!
"I'm also a little bewildered by this matter, that's why I came here to discuss it with you…" Vice School Head Ning nodded.
"Discuss? This isn't the time for discussions! We have to rush over to take a look. Otherwise, who knows if that fellow will kill all of our cranes and roast them for his breakfast…"
Recalling the various bizarre feats that young man had accomplished, Jiang Qingqin's face darkened. He immediately stood up to rush out of his office, but at that moment, 'jiya!', the office doors opened, and a head peeped in around the side.
"That… School Head Jiang, I wish to take the demonic tunist examination, but there aren't enough cranes around. Can you lend some to me?" Zhang Xuan asked awkwardly.
Jiang Qingqin frowned deeply upon hearing those words. "How many do you intend to borrow?"
Beside him, Vice School Head Ning also widened his eyes in disbelief.
There aren't enough cranes around?
You have fifteen cranes over there… Never has the Demonic Tunist Aula received a complaint about having insufficient cranes; why are you the only exception?
Just what in the world did you do to our cranes?!
At that instant, School Head Jiang and Vice School Head Ning felt extremely choked up within.