Chapter 538: First Up, Zhang Xuan
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Seems like everyone isn't too sure on what it is about. Since that's the case, allow me to explain!"
Seeing the doubt in everyone's eyes, Pavilion Master Kang smiled. "I believe everyone here should be aware of the concept of Spiritual Wisdom. It is the sixth level of a painting, and at this level, the characters within the painting are able to absorb spiritual energy from the surroundings to materialize.
"And the idea of Continuity of Spiritual Wisdom actually is to... conduct a lecture for these painted characters!
"Conduct a lecture for the characters in the painting?"
Hearing the explanation, everyone was stunned.
The concept of 'Spiritual Wisdom' was different from intelligence. Even though the characters in the painting had gained sentience, as beings forged of spiritual energy, they had no intelligence. Since they had no intelligence, what was the use of imparting them knowledge? Could they even understand the content of the lesson?
"Since all of us here are master teachers, you all should know that a master teacher's lecture usually utilizes Impartation of Heaven's Will. The more one's theory is recognized by the heavens, the greater the concentration of spiritual energy gathered in the surroundings!" Pavilion Master Kang said.
Everyone nodded their heads.
Impartation of Heaven's Will did have the ability to gather spiritual energy. It was said that whenever Kong shi conducted a lesson, the amount of spiritual energy that gathered was more than sufficient to create a spirit mountain.
Putting aside Kong shi, even Hong shi Hong Qian, a 5-star primary master teacher of Hongfeng Empire Master Teacher Pavilion who had just conducted a lesson here, was capable of Spirit Gathering Diction. Nourished under the immense concentration of spiritual energy in the area, those participating in the lecture unwittingly experienced a rise in their cultivation.
This was the ability that all master teachers possessed. However, its effectiveness depended on the proficiency of the person.
Hongfeng Empire was a vassal state of Huanyu Empire.
Just like kingdoms, empire could be classified as Conferred, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Unranked.
Huanyu was a Tier 2 Empire whereas Hongfeng was, just like how Tianxuan was an Unranked Kingdom, an Unranked Empire. It was on the same level as Mingxia Empire, Henghai Empire, and Myriad Kingdom Alliance
However, a master teacher of this level would never remain in an Unranked Empire forever. It wouldn't be long before the regional headquarters summoned him over to an even higher tiered Master Teacher Pavilion to study. In fact, the reason why Hong Qian was dispatched here was because he was heading to Huanyu Empire.
The top-ranking geniuses in the Master Teacher Tournament, on top of earning huge rewards, would be given a chance to study at Huanyu Empire's Master Teacher Academy.
"Even though painted characters that have gained Spiritual Wisdom can't live on like ordinary lifeforms, they are able to absorb spiritual energy and sustain themselves for a very long time. As such, they are exceptionally sensitive to the spiritual energy in their surroundings. If the theories one speaks of in their lecture are aligned with the essence of the world, spiritual energy will gather, thus allowing them to sustain for a longer period of time. On the other hand, failure to do so will make them dissipate swiftly! Through this, we can accurately assess a master teacher's ability to impart knowledge without worrying for any bias," Pavilion Master Kang explained.
"Such a method would indeed be the fairest..."
Understanding the situation, the crowd nodded their heads in agreement.
As those Spiritual Wisdom beings only recognized spiritual energy, the judgement for the test would be impartial.
After all, human judgement was always unwittingly or wittingly tied with emotions. If a person finds himself liking a certain teacher's lessons very much, he might be overestimate the effectiveness on the lesson. At the same time, he would tend to underplay the effectiveness of the lessons of other teachers.
Such bias was set into the personality of humans and it couldn't be changed.
After all, other than Empyrean Kong shi, no matter how formidable a master teacher was, they couldn't possibly win the trust and admiration of everyone else.
If they were to find students here to assess the teaching capability of the candidates, given that Ruohuan gongzi and Fu Xiaochen, as famous geniuses of the Myriad Kingdom Alliance, had many fans here, it would surely be easier for them to win the students over. This would've made the test unfair.
On the other hand, the painting characters didn't possess such emotions. They wouldn't be awed by one's reputation or be charmed by a person's appearance. Instead, they would only react to the movement of the spiritual energy generated by the lecture. This would ensure the fairness of the test.
Coming to a realization, Zhang Xuan nodded his head as well.
He had learned about Spiritual Wisdom from the painting books he had collected into the Library of Heaven's Path. Spiritual Wisdom beings only reacted to spiritual energy. Even Impartation of Heaven's Will couldn't influence them at all.
The same went for painters as well. Unless one was the painter of the very painting, their ability to influence the actions of Spiritual Wisdom beings was severely limited.
"Since everyone understands the rules, let's begin the competition then. Elder Yun, I'll be troubling you this time around!"
Seeing that everyone in the hall had no objections to the matter, Pavilion Master Kang invited Elder Yun up with a smile.
An elder stood up from the crowd.
"I knew that it would be Elder Yun!"
"Elder Yun, as the only 4-star pinnacle painter of the Master Teacher Pavilion, is the most authoritative on the subject of paintings. Naturally, the test concerning Spiritual Wisdom should be invigilated by him! More importantly... that 'Painting of Soaring Birds' is a masterpiece left behind by a 5-star painter. It will be the most appropriate to use it for the examination!"
"That painting is Elder Yun's most prized possession and he never takes it out. I've long heard of it, but I've never got the chance to see it before. Looks like my eyes will be in for a feast this time around!"
"Indeed! Sixth level paintings are extremely rare. Most likely, one won't be able to find a second one throughout the entire Myriad Kingdom Alliance!"
"That might not necessarily be so. I heard that the Appraiser Hall has a work that is on par with this. However, it'll be difficult to access the items there..."
Upon seeing the elder, hushed discussions could be heard among the crowd.
Just like Ruohuan gongzi, Elder Yun's main supporting occupation was a painter. Furthermore, his rank was significantly higher than the latter, reaching 4-star pinnacle.
At this level, even excluding his identity as a master teacher, he could be considered as a top-notch figure in Myriad Kingdom City.
"At the pavilion master's request, I shall be conducting this test!"
Ignoring the discussions below, Elder Yun walked up to the candidates, flicked his wrist, and a rolled-up painting appeared in his hands. "This 'Painting of Soaring Birds' was a gift my painting teacher bestowed to me."
As he spoke, the painting abruptly unrolled and a flock of birds soared into the air, chirping delightfully as they frolicked about.
These birds were completely lifelike, and unlike the beings created from a Spirit Creation painting, it was impossible to tell a real from fake if they were mingled with one another. After escaping from the painting, they flew in a space three chi around the painting. Only after two minutes had passed did they finally return to the painting.
"The characters in a Spiritual Wisdom painting can absorb spiritual energy from the surroundings to materialize in an area around the painting. However, there's a time limit to it, and two minutes is the limit! Whoever who is able to keep them materialized for the longest time possible with their lecture will be the winner of this round!"
Elder Yun elaborated on the rules of the test before turning his gaze to the candidates.
"Alright, let's start the test! Who wants to go first?"
The candidates stared at one another.
Even though they had some understanding of painting, they had never come into contact with Spiritual Wisdom paintings before. They had no experience in sustaining the materialization of a Spiritual Wisdom being and they had nothing to refer to as well.
Ruohuan gongzi was about to take a step forward when he abruptly paused. Turning to Zhang Xuan, he smiled.
"Zhang shi, why don't... you go first? Since you placed first in the earlier two rounds, your ability to impart knowledge must be extraordinary as well. Why don't you allow us to take a look so that we can learn from you?"
Before the tournament, the opponent which he was the wariest about was Fu Xiaochen. However, this had changed after seeing Zhang Xuan's outstanding performance in the previous two rounds.
"Me? Alright!" Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
"It can't be that you wish to go last every time just so that you can make use of the experience of others to better your... What did you say? Alright? You're willing to go up first?"
Ruohuan gongzi thought that the other party would reject the invitation immediately just like in the first round and thus, he had even prepared a long speech to pressure the other party. However, halfway through his words, he heard the other party's reply and froze. It felt as though his punch had struck empty space, and this made him so stifled that he felt like spurting blood.
Continuity of Spiritual Wisdom. Most master teachers had never heard of such a bizarre test before. Shouldn't the other party be thinking of learning from the experience of others before making a move?
Why did he agree to it so readily?
Wasn't he being too eccentric?!
"Elder Yun, allow me!"
Uninterested by the immense shock Ruohuan gongzi was suffering from, Zhang Xuan stepped forward.
In truth, he had wanted to allow others to go first due to having never seen such a test before. However, given that he had gone last for the previous two tests, he felt embarrassed to continue acting like that.
In any case, since he had made sense of the rules already, there probably wasn't too much of a difference between going first and going last.
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan stepping forward, Elder Yun's mouth twitched.
He had seen the proceedings of the previous tests. This black horse that came from nowhere destroyed Elder Wu in the first round and nearly killed Elder Bai in the second... If there was one candidate he was the most fearful of, it would definitely be him.
Who knew what kind of mess he would cause this time around.
But even so, he wasn't in a place to stop the other party from going first. Thus, he nodded his head and said, "As soon as I activate the painting and the birds soar out from it, you can begin your lecture. The content you are allowed to lecture on is not limited. Your ranking will be decided by how much spiritual energy you can gather and how long the birds stay materialized for!"
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
The rules were simple, there was nothing doubtful about it.
Seeing that the other party had fully comprehended the rules, Elder Yun placed his palm on the painting.
"Alright, let's begin then!"
The birds from before soared out from the painting.
As expected of a Spiritual Wisdom painting. Absorbing spiritual energy from the air, the birds that emerged from the painting were exceptionally eye-catching and there was a bizarre sense of aesthetics to them.
"Since this is a painting, I'll talk about painting then!"
After a moment of hesitation, Zhang Xuan made up his decision.
As long as the lecture he spoke of was able to pull in spiritual energy from the surroundings, there was no difference to the content he spoke of.
"Painting isn't just a depiction of reality. More importantly, one has to harness their emotions into their work before an art piece can be granted as soul..."
The reorganized Heaven's Path Paint Art appeared before him, and he began deciphering it slowly based on his comprehension of it.
In Tianxuan Kingdom, he had duplicated all of the painting books in Master Lu Chen's study. After which, in the libraries at Tianwu Kingdom, Honghai Kingdom, and various other locations, there were a significant number of books on painting as well.
After organizing and assimilating the knowledge harnessed within those books, most probably, even Elder Yun, a 4-star pinnacle painter, would be far from a match for him in the subject.
If not for that, how could he possibly have induced the Appraiser Hall's 'Rousing from Drunken Dreams' to reach the seventh level just by granting it a name? Even if he was able to see through the painting's flaws via the Library of Heaven's Path, without a strong foundation in painting, it would surely be impossible for him to accomplish this feat.
His voice was well-paced, and his explanations for the profound and abstract concepts were shockingly simple. More importantly, they were all directed to the true essence of painting itself. His lecture was well-planned, slowly delving from the surface into the depths, pulling everyone along with his line of thoughts.
If there was one thing to criticize anything about his lecture, it would be that he was only lecturing on the bare fundamentals of painting.
"I didn't expect for Zhang shi's comprehension of painting to reach such an astounding level!"
After listening for a moment, Pavilion Master Kang's face was marked with shock.
He thought that Zhang shi would use Impartation of Heaven's Will to lecture on topics regarding cultivation. He didn't expect the latter's comprehension of painting to be so deep as well.
It seemed like the other party's deep knowledge didn't just stop at cultivation techniques and cultivation itself.
As expected of a master teacher who was able to even beguile him, formidable!
"The consumption of spiritual energy by Spiritual Wisdom beings to sustain their materialization is exceedingly high. Even with the 'Spirit Gathering Diction' of a 5-star master teacher, the materialization of Spiritual Wisdom beings still can't be sustained for too long."
Just as Pavilion Master Kang was immersed in his awe for the young man on the stage, Su shi turned to look at him and asked, "Pavilion Master Kang, in your view, how long do you think Zhang shi can sustain the materialization for?"
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 538
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