Chapter 201: The Test
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
"Reporting to Tian laoshi, this is Zhang Xuan, a young, outstanding teacher of Hongtian Academy," Liu Ling introduced.
Even though Elder Tian no longer taught him, Liu Ling still called him teacher out of habit.
'He who teaches me for a day, I regard as a father for life.'
In this world, the relationship between a teacher and a student was uncompromisable. Even master teachers did not dare violate this sacred principle.
"Zhang Xuan?" Elder Tian shook his head impassively. He asked doubtfully, "Isn't the outstanding teacher from Hongtian Academy Lu Xun?"
"Lu laoshi is outstanding, but Zhang laoshi does not, in any way, pale in comparison. In fact, there are certain aspects in which he surpasses Lu laoshi." Recalling the situations that he saw in Hongtian Academy over the past two days, Liu Ling couldn't help but compliment Zhang Xuan.
He had merely taught his students for slightly more than ten days, in addition to being out of school so often, and yet... every single one of his students experienced massive growth and their prowess escalated explosively.
Putting aside normal teachers, even the three of them finds it hard to achieve such a feat.
"Surpasses Lu laoshi?" A gleam flashed across Elder Tian's eyes. "To be complimented by you like that, he must be indeed capable and qualified to take a seat here. However, it isn't that easy to get to drink my tea. At the very least, he has to first pass my test."
Zhang Xuan glanced at Elder Tian.
I am only here to accompany Liu shi and the others, I have no intention of drinking your tea.
Besides, do you believe your tea to be some immortal elixir or what? To think that I will need to be tested to drink it?
Zhang Xuan was about to reject the idea when Liu Ling turned to look at him excitedly with gleaming eyes.
"This is great! Zhang Xuan laoshi, this is an excellent opportunity, you must make full use of it..."
It's merely drinking tea, what opportunity is there to speak of?
"It is the dream of countless cultivators to drink the tea made by Tian laoshi."
Seeing that Zhang Xuan didn't comprehend what was going on, Liu Ling explained with a smile, "You might not know, but Tian laoshi is extremely particular with his tea leaves and brewing method."
"The tea on the table right now is known as Spirit Calming Tea. There aren't more than three of its tea trees in the entire Tianxuan Kingdom. They grow at the top of the snow mountain, White Pearl Peak, and are nourished by the sun more than sixteen hours a day. As such, when used to boil tea, the aroma lingers without dissipating."
"It is one thing for there to be limited tea trees, but there is a requirement for the picking of tea leaves as well. It mustn't be too young or too old; only leaves picked at exactly the sixth hour after the flowers of the tea trees bloom will carry the slight fragrance of flora. Accompanied with the cold weather at White Pearl Peak, drinking the tea made from these tea leaves is incomparably pleasurable."
"A tea tree doesn't already bear many leaves. In addition to the strict requirements for its picking, you can imagine the minute amount of tea leaves that are harvested. In fact, I can tell you that the annual production of such tea leaves in Tianxuan Kingdom totals up to only around three taels or so."
Zhang Xuan was astonished.
No wonder the other party regards the matter so highly, even conducting a test to see if the person is qualified to drink the tea. Judging by how valuable the tea leaves are, it is worth the effort to take the test.
"Of course, if it were just the limited harvest, one can only say that the tea leaves are precious. It wouldn't matter to a cultivator whether he drank it or not because it wouldn't be considered as an opportunity."
A cultivator values his cultivation the most. Regardless of how fragrant a tea is, it doesnt matter to them whether they drink it or not. There is no need for them to spend such a huge price just to satisfy their cravings.
"The reason why the tea leaves are so important is that of the use of the tea! Spirit Calming Tea has the effect of calming down one's mind. If normal people were to consume it, it would allow them to sleep better, ease their fatigue, and boost their spirit. On the other hand, if cultivators were to drink it, it will allow them to reach the level of Heart of Tranquil Water for a short moment. Even though it is just a momentary state, and one will automatically descend from it after a moment, it allows one to experience the sensation of being in that condition. This will prove to be an important assistance to actually reach that state in the future."
Liu shi continued, "Of course, just the tea leaves itself arent enough. It has to be accompanied with Tian laoshi's consummate brewing skills to bring out such effects!"
"Allow one to reach Heart of Tranquil Water for a short moment?"
Zhang Xuan's eyes widened in shock.
Only when one reaches the Heart of Tranquil Water can he absolutely concentrate in whatever he does, totally unaffected by the surroundings or emotions.
Take for example the two apothecaries, Meng Yan and Chen Xiao, whom Zhang Xuan met during the Pill Debate. While forging the Tranquil Heart Pill, they infused their own emotions and physical state into the pill by accident, causing the pill to change and lose its original function.
The reason why such accidents occur is that the person has yet to achieve a breakthrough in his Will of Mind.
When one reaches Will of Mind 2-dan Heart of Tranquil State, even if one is plagued with negative emotions, he can still maintain a tranquil state of mind and forge a perfect Tranquil Heart Pill.
The guild leader of the Blacksmith Guild, Luo Chong, has achieved such a level. It was due to him overeating the Dragon-scaled Prawns that he was unable to calm his mind, eventually failing to successfully forge any equipment.
"Many cultivators do not realize the importance of Will of Mind and think that it is absolutely useless. However, that's not the case. In order to achieve a breakthrough to Fighter 8-dan Zongshi realm, one has to reach Will of Mind 2-dan. Otherwise, without a pure mind, no matter how hard one tries, it is almost impossible for one to grasp the disposition and meaning behind Zongshi. Furthermore, this isnt only true for fighters, many occupations also have such requirements. For example, one needs to reach Heart of Tranquil Water before they are qualified to take the master teacher examination and formation master examination."
Afraid that Zhang Xuan had not understood, Liu Ling explained further.
"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
Will of Mind isn't really a secret. There were records on it in the kingdom's Book Collection Vault, and as such, with a single thought, he can easily look through it.
It was precisely because he knew it that he understood how difficult it is to raise one's Will of Mind. If merely drinking a cup of tea can allow one to enter the state of Heart of Tranquil Water, its effects are truly incredible, even though it is just temporary. Even the Tranquil Heart Pill doesn't have such effects.
It is no wonder that the Way of Tea is so popular within the kingdom, even exceeding painting at that. The reason for it lies here.
That is to say, if back then, Meng Yan and Chen Xiao were to drink a cup before their pill forging, they would be able to create a perfect Tranquil Heart Pill.
"Even though I come here often, it's not often that I get to drink a tea which such effects. This time, I have truly benefited from the halo of the three master teachers. Since Elder Tian agreed to give you an opportunity, you should grasp it." Emperor Shen Zhui smiled.
"May I know what test it is?"
Zhang Xuan was somewhat moved. Turning to look at Elder Tian, he couldnt help but ask.
Even though he had reached Heart of Tranquil Water, he was only at the most basic level. If he were to drink the tea, he might be able to enter deeper into the realm, feeling the intermediate level, or even higher than that.
Elder Tian didn't reply. Instead, he gestured, "Let them enter as well!"
Butler Tian nodded his head before stepping out. Shortly, a few other people entered.
They were Tian Long, Lu Xun, Wang Chao, Huang Yu, and Bai Xun.
"Lu Xun pays respect to Elder Tian!"
Upon walking into the room, Lu Xun stepped forward, clasped his fists, and bowed to Elder Tian.
"Un, take a seat! I've heard that you and Zhang laoshi are both outstanding teachers of Hongtian Academy. However, it is a pity that I only have one cup here, so I'll have to test you two. How about this, I will propose a question, and both of you will answer it. The person who wins qualifies to drink my tea. Liu Ling, what do you think?"
After having Lu Xun and the others sit down, Elder Tian turned to look at Liu shi.
Even though he spoke of drinking tea, as long as one wasn't a fool, one could tell what was going on.
"So this old fogey isn't really interested in testing me. What he wants to do is to create an opportunity for Lu Xun to display his skills..."
How can Zhang Xuan still not understand what is going on?
Even though he didn't know for sure why Liu shi and the others were treating him so politely all of the sudden, he could roughly guess the reason. They were probably intending to accept him in as their apprentice. Otherwise, why would three great master teachers approach a low-level teacher like him?
This matter had happened in the Tian Residence, and as the host, it was impossible for Elder Tian to be unaware.
Thus, even though he spoke of drinking tea, he actually didn't mean it. Rather, he was trying to make things difficult for Zhang Xuan and provide a platform for Lu Xun to perform so that the latter can once again earn the favor of Liu shi.
Zhang Xuan had no intentions to become Liu shi apprentice. Even so, the other party's move had displeased him. He felt that he was toyed with.
However, he wasn't in a place to reject the challenge.
Ever since the matter regarding the Teacher Evaluation spread out, people had been comparing him to Lu Xun. Even though it looks as though they are only vying over a cup of tea, they are actually competing to become Liu shi's apprentice. If Zhang Xuan were to reject the challenge, he would only be labeled as being frightened of facing Lu Xun.
If so, Lu Xun will definitely become more arrogant.
Since Zhang Xuan was able to tell Elder Tian's intention, Liu Ling could tell as well. Frowning, his complexion darkened.
Clearly, he didn't expect Elder Tian to make such a move.
Even so, since given that he was a student of Elder Tian and it was his birthday banquet, it wasn't appropriate for him to reject his request. Thus, he could only nod his head in approval. "Alright!"
While Liu shi and Zhang Xuan were unhappy, Elder Tian actually felt dismal.
Previously, after Liu shi spoke of Lu Xun in his letter and clearly stated his intentions to accept the latter as his apprentice, Elder Tian went through the trouble to invite Lu Xun and had specially prepared to make another cup of tea to receive him. The examination was intended to make the introductions even smoother.
However... Lu Xun didn't come, and in his place came Zhang Xuan.
Looking at Liu shi's attitude, he realized that he is now interested in taking in Zhang laoshi, which means it is likely that he had given up on Lu Xun. This made all the preparations he had made in advance futile, and thus, he was displeased.
As such, he came up with this test all of a sudden.
Otherwise, having already told Lu Xun in advance, only for the latter to be unable to become an apprentice, it would be embarrassing on his part.
"Lu Xun is willing to follow Elder Tian's arrangement!"
Understanding the intentions of the other party, Lu Xun was delighted. He hurriedly clasped his hands and bowed.
"Since we're going to conduct a test, we should have a topic. I wonder what we should examine?"
Knowing that he wasn't in a position to reject the challenge, Zhang Xuan no longer bothered about the matter and focused on the test instead.
"Since we're all here to drink tea, we should discuss the Way of Tea!" Tian Long, who was standing by the side, said.
"Way of Tea?" Zhang Xuan frowned.
"Zhang laoshi had never come into contact with the Way of Tea, so it is a little too biased to test them on that!" Huang Yu couldn't hold herself back but utter.
She had interacted with Zhang laoshi often, so she knew that while the other party is a master painter, he knows nothing about the Way of Tea. In fact, when speaking to him earlier today, the other party was clearly completely ignorant of the subject.
Testing someone on the Way of Tea when he knows nothing about it?
Isnt this intentionally making things difficult for him?
Besides, based on what she knew, Lu Xun had specially learned the Way of Tea. Even though he cant compare to Tian Long, he had nevertheless listened to Elder Tian's lectures. At the very least, he is able to brew a tea of the first level... Even a blind person can tell that this test is obviously unfair.
"To become a master teacher's apprentice, one should be knowledgeable in all occupations... The Way of Tea is one of the occupations of the Nine Paths, not to mention that it is extremely popular in the kingdom, so how can he be ignorant of it? If Zhang laoshi really knows nothing about it, then I'm sorry, but I'll be drinking the cup of tea..."
Lu Xun chuckled softly, and confidence emanated from his gaze.
You wish to compete against me? See how I crush you to death!
"Indeed. If one doesn't even know of the Way of Tea, how can one become the apprentice of a master teacher? You might as well just admit defeat instead of embarrassing yourself here!" Wang Chao said.
Having shamed himself earlier, Wang Chao made use of this opportunity to get back at Zhang Xuan.
"Alright, even though this is my first time hearing of Way of Tea, I can learn about it right now. How will the test be conducted? We can start right now!" Upon seeing the other party's boastful attitude, Zhang Xuan shook his head.
Since someone wishes to step on my face, I will return it with a vicious, tight slap.
Although this is the first time he heard of Way of Tea, there were plenty of books on the Way of Tea in the kingdom's Book Collection Vault. It filled the entire seventh and eighth shelf, and they added up to more than ten thousand books.
Back then, he had merely collected them into the Library of Heaven's Path, and he hadn't read through them yet. But at this moment... It seems like it's time.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 201
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