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“A painting left behind by the master?”

By the side, Huang Yu felt like she was going insane. She almost lost her balance and fell to the floor.

[In the past, Master Lu Chen had brought out paintings for them to appraise, as well as to test them. However… he had never brought out his own works!

This time, why would he…

If the fellow before her had praised the work the master took out, perhaps, the master will be delighted with his evaluation and let it pass. However… what did you say — Downright senseless, what the heck is this toy?

Is this something a human should say?

To evaluate Master Lu Chen’s drawing as ‘downright senseless, what the heck is this toy’…]

Huang Yu felt like vomiting blood.

[Didn’t you say that you won’t put me in a difficult position? This… What is going on?]

If she knew that Zhang Xuan had decided afterwards that as a teacher, he shouldn’t put her in an awkward situation… more blood would probably come spurting out from her mouth!

[Is this what you call not putting me in an awkward situation?

You are obviously pushing me down the cliff…]

She was regretting her action of bringing this fellow here!

Master Lu Chen favored youngsters who learn with humility. He never discriminated against people, and he liked people coming over to learn from him.

This fellow seemed scholarly on the surface, as well as a person who knew his boundaries, so she thought that he was the type to learn with humility. Thus, she brought him over, so she could please the master. If things went well, she could make use of the opportunity to achieve her goals as well. Yet, she never would have expected that… he was so unreliable!

Huang Yu felt her guts turn green with regret.

If only she knew that this would happen, she would have rejected him on the spot. Why did she guide him over just to bring trouble on herself…

While she was on the verge of going berserk, Bai Xun was on the verge of laughing.

Indeed, what was scary was not a godlike opponent, but a pig-like teammate.

This fellow actually dared to describe Master Lu Chen’s work as ‘what the heck is this toy’. Needless to think, he must have offended the master thoroughly with his words. Even if he didn’t make a move, the master would probably teach this ignorant lad a lesson!

“Is this the knowledge and talent you speak of? Skilled in zither, chess, literature and painting?”

Chuckling softly, he gazed at Huang Yu teasingly.

Huang Yu had just praised Zhang Xuan a moment ago, yet in the next, the latter spoke such words. [Have you ever seen a knowledgeable and talented person act like this?]


In contrast to butler Uncle Cheng’s anxiety, Huang Yu’s regret and Bai Xun’s glee, Master Lu Chen didn’t get mad due to the other party’s words. He interrupted the commotion going on and looked at Lu Chen calmly, “This little brother over here, why would you make such an evaluation? Is there a problem with my drawing?”

“I didn’t know that it was master’s work. I seek your forgiveness for my brashness!” Zhang Xuan feigned shock and hurriedly bowed apologetically.

The book compiled by the Library of Heaven’s Path allowed him to look into the flaws of the painting, and the artist was also labeled in it. Naturally, he knew that the painting before him was Lu Chen’s work, just that he was intentionally feigning ignorance!

“Don’t worry about it. This is just a painting. I am only asking you to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the painting, and not the painter of it!” Master Lu Chen gestured.

“With your words, I am reassured!” Zhang Xuan smiled. Facing the painting again, he stroked it and said, “If we are just talking about this painting, even if it is drawn by the master… I can only use these eight words to evaluate it! Downright senseless, what the heck is this toy!”

Huang Yu and the butler looked calm on the surface, but panicked on the inside.

[To say such words after knowing that this is a work of the master. Lad, are you insane?]


Zhang Xuan paused for a moment.

“However what?”

“This painting is indeed nothing much. Any artist by the street would be able to draw it. It is already an overestimation by calling it a toy! However, if one is able to see beyond its surface, then it is definitely an astonishing creation that will leave its viewers in disbelief!”

Zhang Xuan said.

“Look beyond the surface? How should we look?” Master Lu Chen smiled gently.

“Simple!” Zhang Xuan looked at the butler Uncle Cheng. “May I trouble you to bring a dagger over!”

“Alright!” After taking a look at Master Lu Chen and noticing the lack of disapproval, Uncle Cheng turned around and walked out. After a short moment, he returned with a dagger and passed it to Zhang Xuan.

“Then, I will be making an embarrassment of myself!”

Grabbing the dagger, Zhang Xuan walked over to the painting and stabbed the dagger into it.

“What are you doing?” Seeing his actions, Bai Xun stepped forward. “That is the master’s work, every single painting of his is incomparably valuable that some even label them as priceless treasures. Are you sure you can compensate him if you damage it?”

Huang Yu also looked at his actions in bewilderment.

[Why would you need a dagger to appraise a painting?]

Ignoring Bai Xun’s rebuke, Zhang Xuan cut the unblemished painting with the dagger.

Tzzzzzzz, the sound of paper being cut echoed in the air. The portion of the drawing that was cut curled upwards. Tugging lightly on it, the top portion of the drawing separated from the bottom layer. This was similar to how there were different levels to a building. A layer of xuan paper [1] formed the top layer of the painting, whereas the bottom layer consisted of goatskin.


The tearing of the top xuan paper exposed what was on top of the goatskin. There was also a painting on top of the goatskin, and it was similar to what was on the xuan paper. However, there was more spirit to this one and the depictions were much more vivid. It was as though the mountainous rocks, trees, village and children would pop out from within at any moment.

“If I’m not wrong, the drawing on top of the xuan paper is just a layer of deception. The true drawing is imprinted through the xuan paper, onto the goatskin. This is the true secret behind the master’s drawing!” After tearing the xuan paper carefully away, Zhang Xuan smiled.


Regardless of whether it is Huang Yu, the butler or Bai Xun, all of their eyes widened in disbelief.

To imprint the ink beyond the xuan paper onto the goatskin through force, not to mention that the drawing on top of the paper must retain a certain level of clarity such that no flaws could be seen on it… This was way too incredible!

These two paintings were stacked on top of one another flawlessly… How was he able to tell?

“Not bad, not bad!” Upon seeing the young man easily expose the secret behind his painting, Master Lu Chen’s eyes lit up. This time, his gaze towards the youngster was full of praise.

At the same time, he was also filled with shock.

His ability to imprint on goatskin through a layer of paper via force was something he just comprehended. He had never showcased it in front of anyone else. Yet, this youngster was able to see through it in an instant. [His eye of discernment is way too formidable!]

“Then, what about this drawing?”

Master Lu Chen turned around and pointed to a painting hung on the wall.

There was a giant savage beast painted on it. Similar to a savage tiger descending from the mountain, its ferocious aura left its viewers with astonishment. If a timid person were to catch sight of this painting, they might fall limply onto the ground, fearing to make a single noise.

Zhang Xuan stepped forward and stroked it lightly. Then, he smiled, “This painting isn’t bad, but it is lacking in disposition. If I am not wrong, the painter of the work has never seen the savage beast portrayed in the drawing before! This drawing is just based on his personal interpretation!”


Master Lu Chen’s body trembled as his eyes widened into complete circles.

Others might be confused by what Zhang Xuan was saying, but he understood what the other party meant.

That was because this painting was his work as well.

The savage beast on the painting was known as ‘Chi Xiong‘, and it was a rare life-form. It was said to possess boundless strength and invincible defense, to the point that no weapon was able to wound it.

Just like what the other party said, it was true that he had never met such a life-form. The reason why he was able to draw this painting was because he had flipped through numerous books, so as to feed his imagination.

This painting was one of his prided works. This was also the reason why it was hung at the middlemost location of the lounge. Innumerable painting masters have come to visit and they were filled with praises for it. They all found the painting majestic and lifelike. Why would the youngster say that it was lacking in disposition?

Since the other party was able to see through the overall situation behind the other painting in an instant, his eye for such stuff should be topnotch. Furthermore, he was able to tell that he had never seen a Chi Xiong just by glancing at the painting, so it was very probable that he had his own reasons for saying so!

“Which part of it is lacking in disposition, would you be kind to enlighten me?”

At this point, Master Lu Chen no longer had the attitude of superiority from before as he hurriedly asked.


Seeing the emperor’s tutor who kept testing them, causing them to scratch their heads helplessly innumerable times, seeking guidance with humility from a young man who wasn’t even twenty yet, Huang Yu and Bai Xun stared at one another and they felt like fainting.

Especially Huang Yu, her eyes couldn’t stop blinking. The shock struck her mind like billowing waves.

[That fellow… how did he do it?]


[1] Xuan paper -> A type of paper suitable for drawing.

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