Chapter 1168: Kong shi's Silhouette
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97

"You…" Hearing that bellow, Zhang Jiuxiao's body staggered, and he nearly vomited blood.

It was just a moment ago that he had asked the other party to grind some ink for him, and in the blink of an eye, the favor had been returned to him. This face slap had come way too quickly!

Overwhelmed with agitation, a durian from his head plopped to the ground. Zhang Jiuxiao was just about to give Zhang Xuan a tongue-lashing when the other party's voice sounded once more.

"I will have to focus my attention on resolving the seal, so I require your help with this. For something as important as this, surely you won't turn down my request, right?"

Zhang Jiuxiao's face immediately turned black. All the words that he had intended to say choked up in his chest, rendering him completely speechless.

It seemed like… those were the words he had said to the other party before.

He had just stood majestically before the crowd, as if a hero paving the way forward, but now… with their identities switched all of a sudden, he suddenly felt a stinging pain on his face.

Karma really comes around… As frustrated as Zhang Jiuxiao was, he knew that the other party was getting back at him for what he had done earlier. Even though he was extremely furious, he still obediently stepped forward and began grinding some ink.

Seeing that, Zhang Xuan nodded in satisfaction.

To be honest, he was not one to bear grudges.

That was because he never had to remember one.

He could sense the other party's hostility toward him, and since that was the case, there was no need for him to act like a good man any longer…

Not to mention, a person from the Zhang Clan was planning to take Luo Ruoxin as his bride.

One must know that even Feng Xun had nearly died from his hands just by confessing to Luo Ruoxin!

While he had no idea where the Zhang Clan was and did not yet have the strength to get them for that matter, that did not stop him from obtaining a small down payment first.

After Zhang Jiuxiao was done grinding the ink, Zhang Xuan was just about to begin painting to destroy the conception of the painting so that he could extend his consciousness in when a thought suddenly came to him.

He turned to Guild Leader Meng Chong and asked, "Guild Leader Meng, do you have any 7-star painting books on you? I need as many of them as possible. I intend to quickly browse through them in order to analyze where I should enchant the spirit to minimize the damage to the painting."

"You want to browse through painting books right now?" Not expecting the young man to request books from him at this crucial moment, Guild Leader Meng was taken aback for a moment before shaking his head. "I don't have many books on me at the moment. However, if you really need them, the Painter Guild just happens to be located in the vicinity. I can fetch some for you right now."

"I'll be troubling you then." Zhang Xuan clasped his fist and bowed.

"There's no need to stand on ceremony," Guild Leader Meng Chong replied before walking out of the room. Not too long later, he returned to the hall, and with a flick of his wrist, a huge pile of books appeared before him. All in all, there seemed to be several dozen thousand of them.

As the head of the Painter Guild, he had the right to take the books in the Painter Guild out at his whim. He had not been too sure which books Zhang Xuan required, so to be safe, he had taken most of the books and brought them over.

Zhang Xuan walked up to the pile of books and swiftly swept over them with his gaze. After which, he picked up one of them and casually flipped through it as he delved his consciousness into the Library of Heaven's Path.

7-star Heaven's Path Paint Art! Zhang Xuan smiled in satisfaction before flipping through the book in his hand.

It was based on the astounding prowess of the 6-star Heaven's Path Paint Art that Zhang Xuan was able to pull off Suspended Imagery. In truth, he had never gathered the required books to learn the 7-star Heaven's Path Paint Art before.

A short hour later, he had managed to fully comprehend the essence of the 7-star Heaven's Path Paint Art.

Exhaling deeply, Zhang Xuan finally placed down the book in his hands.

At this moment, his comprehension of painting had already reached the level of 7-star pinnacle, which was comparable to most 8-star primary painters.

"Zhang shi, can we start now?" the copper-masked figure asked anxiously.

The young man before him had picked up an unimpressive-looking book among the huge pile and dazed off for a whole hour. This period of time had felt like an eternity to him, and it was more than enough to turn his anticipation into anxiety.

"I'm done."

Nodding confidently, Zhang Xuan took in a deep breath before making his way toward the painting. Activating his Eye of Insight once more, he took another good look at the painting before him.

If the painting had been a complete enigma to him a moment ago, with the flaws he had seen in the Library of Heaven's Path and his enhanced understanding of painting at the moment, he was already able to see roughly what was going on with the painting, and many aspects that had bewildered him previously had become clear.

"I'm going to start now."

Without wasting any words, Zhang Xuan dabbed his brush lightly into the inkstone, soaking it with ink. After which, he positioned his brush carefully before moving it majestically.

Hu hu hu hu!

In the blink of an eye, a painting appeared right before everyone's eyes, floating peacefully in midair.

"What profound Suspended Imagery this is!" Guild Leader Meng remarked with a mix of astonishment and awe.

The unskilled revel in the commotion while the experts assess the mastery. 1

Zhang Jiuxiao had pulled off Suspended Imagery previously as well, but he had only brought out the bare basics of its capability. On the other hand, the young man before him had managed to infuse a beautiful conception on top of the Suspended Imagery, a clear indication that he had achieved incredible mastery in the Way of Painting.

"Profound?" Guild Leader Mu was surprised to hear that Guild Leader Meng had such a high opinion of Zhang Xuan. He could not help but ask in curiosity, "How does he compare to you then?"

"To tell you the truth, even I wouldn't be a match for him. Every single stroke of his Suspended Imagery further enhances the artistic conception that he's trying to build, allowing him to create a painting so vivid that it feels as if it will leap out at any moment. He has already accomplished a level of mastery very close to that of an 8-star painter!" Guild Leader Meng said with a look of helplessness.

As reluctant as he was to admit it, the fact was that the other party's proficiency in painting was far higher than his.

It was no wonder he was able to see through the crux of the painting in a single look. In the Qingyuan Empire, there was probably no one who could compete with him.

"This…" Upon seeing this sight, Zhang Jiuxiao's eyelids began twitching alongside his lips.

He felt as if the world had collapsed on him, and he was very close to suffering from a mental breakdown.

He could not help but recall how he had said that he would offer Zhang Xuan some pointers earlier. At this point, it could not have been any clearer that the other party had already achieved a level far beyond him in both appraising and painting!

To say such big words before a true expert… If it was possible for anyone to die of embarrassment, he was probably going to join the list of victims very soon.

Hu hu hu!

Before everyone's astonished gazes, Zhang Xuan finally placed his brush down. A door stood right before his eyes.

"A door?"

"Why did he draw a door?"

"The view that we are receiving of the 8-star painting is actually similar to looking the scenery beyond a window. While the mountain range in the painting may seem to be in close proximity to us, it's actually another massive world within the painting itself. If one attempted to traverse through the painting with one's consciousness, it would take an eternity to arrive at one's destination. As such, it is imperative to first open up to a door leading to one's destination within the painting prior to extending one's consciousness in."

With Guild Leader Meng's explanation, everyone's initial astonishment swiftly turned into nods of realization.

The group that had gathered for the Appraisal Convention tonight consisted of the top figures of Qingyuan City. While most of them were not painters themselves, they still had a certain degree of understanding of the field.

The painting left behind by the Sorrowless Old Man had achieved the level of Evoking Vividness, and the striking verisimilitude of the painting had left everyone with the misconception that the mountain range in the painting was very close to them. In order to enchant the spirit infused within the painting, it was imperative for one to come into proximity with it first, so a passageway needed to be constructed beforehand.


After putting his brush down, Zhang Xuan placed his hand on the door that he had just painted and pushed it forcefully.


The door swiftly imprinted itself onto the painting.

Hong long!

In an instant, the mountain range seemed to suddenly magnify right before everyone's eyes, and the freshly painted door seemed to open a passageway into it.

After doing this, Zhang Xuan heaved a sigh of relief. He turned to Wu shi and said, "Wu shi, I'll be going in now. I'll have to trouble you to protect me."

As unlikely as it was for anyone to assault him on this occasion, Zhang Xuan still felt that it was better to be safe than sorry.


Wu shi stepped forward and took a position by Zhang Xuan's side.

Reassured, Zhang Xuan finally took a seat on a ground before extending a sliver of his consciousness toward the door.

Upon entering the door, he immediately felt a damp air gushing right at his face. Paying no heed to it, he swiftly traversed forward, and before long, he arrived at the midpoint of the mountain.

White clouds covered the mountain peak, making it impossible to see anything beneath it. He extended his consciousness further into the clouds, and in an instant, his surroundings suddenly turned completely dark.

He knew that this was a result of the lack of sentience of spirit infused within the painting. Thus, he began to enchant the space.


He lit up twenty sparks consecutively before adeptly fusing them together. At this point, the space was nearly fully lit up, just a breath short from triggering the spirit's sentience.

Even so, the light still illuminated the scenery beneath the clouds, and the entire mountain appeared before Zhang Xuan's eyes clearly.

It was a lush mountain forest, not much different from the other parts of the painting. However, at the very center of the mountain, beneath the bright rays of the sun, a vague figure could be seen. Despite his faint silhouette, he emanated an aura that commanded the veneration of others.

This… Upon seeing the figure, Zhang Xuan's eyes narrowed in astonishment.

He had seen the figure before.

Kong shi!

At this very moment, Kong shi was standing quietly on the mountain, exuding a peaceful and harmonious air. But at the same time, his figure felt a little indistinct, as if his presence was just a mere illusion that would vanish at a touch.

This is… a sight that the Sorrowless Old Man saw? Zhang Xuan clenched his fists tightly in agitation.

It went without saying that the Kong shi amid the mountain forest was only part of the painting, but… the Sorrowless Old Man had accurately captured the distinct aura that Kong shi commanded, and that was not something that one could simply conceptualize from mere thoughts.

In other words…

It was very likely that the Sorrowless Old Man had seen this sight himself, and too striking a sight it was—he could not resist painting it.

Wu shi said that the Sorrowless Old Man was an untalented individual in his earlier years. It was due to a sudden enlightenment in his 180s that his cultivation and mastery in painting abruptly soared. Is it possible that this was the result from seeing Kong shi's silhouette?

Wu shi had once told him about the history of the Sorrowless Old Man, and his history truly felt like something that had leaped right out from a fantasy novel.

For such a massive change to occur to him all of a sudden, there was no doubt that he had stumbled upon a life-changing encounter.

Perhaps… it might have been the sight of Kong shi that had granted him sudden enlightenment, allowing him to advance his cultivation and understanding of painting swiftly. Out of gratitude, he had decided to dedicate this painting to Kong shi.

However, anything that is related to Kong shi has great implications. He knew that trouble would come knocking on his door should others learn that he had stumbled upon Kong shi's silhouette. Or perhaps, trouble might have already been at his doorstep, so he decisively chose to conceal the secret beneath a layer of clouds. Nevertheless, it still did not stop tragedy from befalling him, Zhang Xuan deduced.

Having undergone four Celestial Master Teacher acknowledgements, it did not take long for him to connect the dots and make sense of the situation.

It was a mystery why Kong shi's silhouette had abruptly appeared in the mountain, but without a doubt, it was bound to be something huge. After all, Kong shi was the World's Teacher. All that was associated with him was anything but ordinary.

If news leaked to those with malicious intentions, it could very well spell a calamity.

As an 8-star painter, a Leaving Aperture realm expert, it was impossible for the Sorrowless Old Man to not know this fact.

But ultimately, this was still a masterpiece beneath his brush, and he could not bring himself to destroy it. He had hesitated for thirty years before he eventually decided to seal away a portion of the painting. However, that did not stop death from creeping upon him.

If Kong shi's silhouette has appeared in this land, it is very likely that there is a hidden ancient domain similar to the Qiu Wu Palace located in this area. Let me take a closer look.

Having thought things through, Zhang Xuan quickly made his way toward Kong shi's silhouette.



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