Chapter 161: Dual Traversing Dragons
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
Zhang Xuan stopped.
Even though Master Lu Chen had a huge collection of books, Zhang Xuan managed to flip through all of them within two hours. Tens of thousand of books that were identical to those on the bookshelves had appeared in the library in his mind.
Elementary Painting Cognizance, The Complete Collection of Painting Techniques, Collection of the Setting Sun...
As expected of a painting expert, nearly all of the books one could find on painting in Tianxuan Kingdom could be found in his study. He even had several hundreds of exclusive collection books, those that were hard to find in the market.
Any other master painter wouldn't be able to accomplish such a feat. It was due to his guidance to Emperor Shen Zhui that the latter had his men gather this collection for him.
"It should be sufficient with these books!"
After imprinting all of the books in his head, Zhang Xuan stopped. With a jolt of his mind, he muttered in his head, "The correct version!"
The correct verses from the innumerable books were extracted and compiled in an entirely new book.
Zhang Xuan opened the book and started reading through it.
"Painting can be categorized under drawing and calligraphy. It can rid a person of his impatience, allowing one to reach a tranquil state of mind..."
The introduction was mainly on one's understanding of painting. After which, it detailed on how one should hold a brush, how should one write words, and how should one fill in colors.
All work had techniques to them, and painting wasn't an exception either. Even though it required diligence on the one's part, if one had a good teacher to point out the correct path, one would be able to avoid the common mistakes and improve swiftly.
This library had gathered the essence of painting from tens of thousand of painting books to form one ultimate book. In other words, it was a book that pointed one straight toward the peak; there were no curved routes that had to be taken at all as long as one learned closely from it. Zhang Xuans understanding of painting increased at a tremendous rate.
Quietly standing on the spot, he slowly read through the pages in the manual.
After an unknown period of time, he suddenly opened his eyes. Immediately, he saw a pair of black eyes before him.
The owner of that pair of eyes found Zhang Xuan's behavior bizarre and was studying to see what was wrong with him when Zhang Xuan's eyes suddenly opened. Taken aback, he yelped and leaped backward.
"Master Lu Chen?"
Only then did Zhang Xuan clearly see the person's appearance. It was Master Lu Chen.
The master painter looked at Zhang Xuan warily, as though he was some kind of primordial beast.
Upon seeing his reaction, Zhang Xuan was perplexed.
It is not like I will kill you, what do you mean by behaving like this?
"You... didn't achieve a breakthrough, did you?"
Master Lu Chen asked carefully.
"Breakthrough? I didn't!" Zhang Xuan was stumped
"That's good..." Master Lu Chen was clearly still traumatized by the previous incident. Heaving a sigh of relief, he continued, "Seeing that you were in the room for such a long period of time, I came in to take a look..."
Initially, he thought that Zhang Xuan would be out in ten minutes or so after browsing through a few books. He didn't expect that this single trip would take up four hours straight. Unable to wait any longer, he came in to take a look.
When he walked into the study, he saw the other party standing before the bookshelves with his eyes closed, as though he was asleep.
He suddenly remembered... The previous time, after reading a few books, he closed his eyes and went into a daze. After which, his study was wrecked and he was flung everywhere, nearly having his precious life extinguished. Then... There is no more then.
This time... It couldn't be that the same thing had occurred as well...
Just when he was conflicted about what he should do, the other party abruptly opened his eyes. To be honest, it took all of his courage to remain in this room.
"How can breaking through one's limits be that easy?"
Upon seeing his guarded look, Zhang Xuan immediately came to a realization and shook his head with a bitter smile.
It was one thing if Zhang Xuan didn't say those words, but after hearing those words, Master Lu Chen felt a dull ache in his chest and his mouth twitched intensely.
Didn't you achieve a breakthrough that easily the previous time?
In fact, you achieved too great a breakthrough that you were unable to adapt to your strength... If not for the fact that I had cultivated a little, I might have died on the spot...
The more he thought about it, the more depressed he felt. Forget it, it's good that you didn't achieve a breakthrough here this time. Otherwise... I am truly considering whether I should bar you from my study permanently...
"How is it, have you finished adjusting your state of mind?" Lu Chen changed the subject.
"I'm roughly there, let's go out!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
Returning back to the lounge, he saw Huang Yu and Bai Xun staring him out. To think that he would spend an entire four hours just to adjust his state of mind, it was truly inconceivable.
"How is it?"
Master Yuanyu's complexion looked awful.
His initial plan was to pay Master Teacher Yang Xuan a visit that afternoon, yet this fellow adjusted his state to the point that the sun was about to set in the horizon. Along with his previous conjecture, he could already be considered extremely patient for not leaving straight away.
"Er... I'm ready!"
Looking at the gazes everyone was shooting at him with, Zhang Xuan felt guilty and embarrassed.
"You should start drawing!" Sensing the atmosphere turning awry, Master Lu Chen hurriedly gestured Zhang Xuan forward.
"Un!" Quickly browsing through the painting technique recorded within the Heaven's Path manual once more, Zhang Xuan walked forward to the table and casually picked up the brush.
Upon seeing that Zhang Xuan was about to paint, Huang Yu and Bai Xun's interest were piqued and they hurriedly looked over excitedly.
They were curious to see what kind of masterpiece this Master Zhang could create after adjusting his state of mind for such a long period of time.
Even Master Yuanyu couldn't help but pay attention. If that fellow was truly trying to deceive everyone here by putting on a show, he would punish him personally...
Just when everyone's eyes were staring at him intently, Zhang Xuan hesitated for a moment before asking, "Master Lu, do you have any extra paper? I would like to test the brush first."
Painting isn't like a cultivation technique where one just has to circulate one's zhenqi throughout one's body to start fighting. Regardless of how much a person knows about painting, one has to first try it out with his own body first.
He had neither drawn nor used a brush before. He had to first try out the rigidity of the brush and how deep the color would be when imprinted onto the paper before he could start painting.
It was also for the same reason why he was unable to become a true apothecary swiftly despite reading through so many books on pill forging.
Pill forging required a large amount of practice whereas drawing focused on one's state of mind. Even if one's skill was lacking, if there was soul in their painting, it would still be an impressive work.
"Give it a try then!" Master Yuanyu's expression darkened further.
If the other party was truly a master painter, why would he need to try out the brush?
He was obviously trying to drag things out.
Hmph, drag on for however long you want to. In a moment's time, I'll see what kind of excuses you can come up with.
Oblivious to the bizarre look Master Yuanyu shot at him, Zhang Xuan picked up the brush, made a dab into the watercolor and drew a few strokes onto the paper. Then, he picked up another brush, dabbed it in water and casually painted over the color.
"The most basic color spreading technique? To have to test even this... It can't be that Master Zhang is painting for the first time?"
Seeing his actions, Huang Yu subconsciously muttered.
Paint spreading is one of the most basic techniques to painting. To put it briefly, one used to water to spread paint over the canvas, creating the effect of a color slowly lightening over the distance. This is just like the Long Fist in martial arts, there's not a single person who is capable of painting who doesnt know of it...
Other people usually just tested the rigidity of the brush and depth of the colors. Yet, this fellow gave every single technique on the book a try, as though a curious infant who was coming in contact with the world for the first time.
A constipated look appeared on everyone's faces.
Brother, we have waited several hours for you. Can you be any faster?
If this goes on, I will probably die of old age before I can see your painting.
"When I first came into contact with the brush, I think I was like that as well, wanting to try everything when actually... I didn't know anything at all..." Bai Xun was doubtful. Even he could tell that something was amiss.
Master Lu and Master Yuanyu's disposition changed the moment they picked up the brush, as though a swordsman had picked up his sword. You... What are you doing?
Even though the Master Zhang whom he respected had the correct posture for holding the brush, his movements were stiff and constrained, as though it was the first time he was holding a brush.
Don't tell me that your 'getting into the state by browsing through books' was actually an excuse to learn painting?
Even Master Lu Chen was perplexed. He truly had no idea what Zhang Xuan was up to.
After taking a moment to adapt to the brush, Zhang Xuan could feel that his movements and the knowledge in his head were finally aligned, and he heaved a sigh of relief.
"Then... You should start!"
Seeing him pause, Master Lu Chen quickly said before the fellow before him could do anything else.
Fortunately, Zhang Xuan simply nodded his head and walked forward to the clean sheet of paper. With a flick of his finger, a brush was sent flying into the air, which he caught and dabbed into ink. At the same time, he gently grabbed another brush with his other hand.
The two brushes started flying about the paper as though they had lives of their own. A painting slowly emerged on the originally blank sheet.
"This is... Dual Traversing Dragons?"
Upon witnessing the scene, Master Yuanyu, who intended to expose him for his fraud, widened his eyes in shock.
Master Lu Chen's body swayed and nearly passed out.
"What is Dual Traversing Dragons?"
Looking at the astonished expressions of the two masters, Bai Xun couldn't help asking.
"Usually, when we draw, we often use only a single brush to create the rough outline before adding in the colors!" Lu Chen explained.
Huang Yu and Bai Xun nodded their heads.
In the past few weeks, they had come into contact with painting and learned the basic steps one usually took while painting a picture. One usually did a rough outline first before going on to add in the ink and colors in detail.
"This is just like building a house. One starts off by creating the scaffolding before adding materials to it. Even though this creates a solid foundation for the painting, it makes painting an extremely slow and tiring process!"
Master Lu Chen continued, "Thus, in order to quicken the process, some incredible painters created this Dual Traversing Dragons painting technique. Exactly as its name goes, the painter diverts his attention into doing two tasks at once. His two hands would become completely separate entities, starting on both the left and the right of the paper simultaneously. Without building the outline of the picture, the painter paints according to the concept he has in his mind and... when the two brushes meet one another, the painting would be done!"
"By doing so, the painting duration can be increased by more than a single fold, but the difficulty is extremely high!"
"Firstly, one needs to have a clear image of what their picture would have, and this includes even the minute details. Secondly, one must be able to completely sever their mind into two and multitask without making a single mistake. Finally, one has to be extremely clear about the coloration of the picture. Only then will there not be a problem when the two sides of the painting meet..."
"Honestly, this is an extremely high-level technique. Even Brother Yuanyu and I are incapable of doing so..."
At this point, Master Lu Chen shook his head. Disbelief could still be seen on his old face.
One needed absolute confidence to complete a painting using this Dual Traversing Dragons technique. Without several decades of practice, it is impossible to master this technique. Yet, Zhang Xuan casually displayed such a skill...
Can things get more exaggerated?
"Put aside your shock for now. This kind of painting method needs to come together perfectly at the center before it can be considered as a success. If it fails, the entire painting could crumble!"
Recovering from the shock, Master Yuanyu harrumphed.
It is true that Double Traversing Dragons is an incredible technique, but regardless of how well one drew either side of the painting, if it cant come together as one, it would end in a failure.
Using construction of a house as an analogy once more, even if both sides were to use extremely advanced technology to build an incomparably resilient house, such that even a Fighter 6-dan is unable to destroy it, if in the end... both ends fail to link up together perfectly, the construction would still be considered a failure!
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 161
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