Chapter 287: Painter Guild
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
"Princess Mo Yu passed the master teacher examination?"
Zhang Xuan asked with doubt. Wasn't her still an apprentice when they were at Red Lotus City?
He had spent only twenty days in the Poison Hall. Could it be that the princess began the master teacher examination the moment she arrived in Tianwu Kingdom and had passed it?
"Princess Mo Yu is one of the most renowned geniuses in Tianwu Kingdom. She has just returned from her training half a month ago and, upon her return, passed the 2-star apothecary examination before taking on the master teacher examination. In a single breath, she overcame countless tests, and all that is left is the Question Symposium tomorrow. As long as she conquers the Question Symposium, she will become a true 1-star master teacher!"
The lady's eyes shone with excitement. "The only one who can outdo her feat of becoming a 1-star master teacher at twenty-two would be the number one genius in Tianwu Kingdom, Mo Hongyi!"
Despite being a 2-star apothecary, 1-star beast tamer, 1-star master teacher, and apprentice physician at twenty-two, she actually isn't the number one genius?
"You don't know about him?"
Seeing the confusion on the other party's face, the lady became speechless.
If she hadn't witnessed his apprentice token for herself, she would have thought that he was a fake.
It is one thing for you not to know about the various tests in the master teacher examination and the [Question Symposium]...
But to not even know Mo Hongyi... Which corner of the world did you pop out from?
"Is he famous?" Zhang Xuan asked.
Upon hearing those words, the lady suppressed the stifling sensation in her chest and asked, "It can't be that... is this is your first time coming to Tianwu Royal City?"
"Un!" Zhang Xuan nodded.
Seeing how the other party admitted to the matter so frankly without the slightest bit of embarrassment, the lady rolled her eyes.
Anyone else would surely be filled with embarrassment and a sense of inferiority upon being asked such a question, but this fellow answered it so boldly.
It is as though coming to Tianwu Kingdom for the first time is a glorious affair...
It is truly a wonder how he has such confidence.
"Since you don't know about him, let me tell you!"
The lady explained, "Mo Hongyi is reputed as the number one genius in Tianwu Kingdom in the past thousand years of history and his name is known throughout the surrounding thirteen countries. Despite being just twenty-six this year, he is already a 1-star pinnacle master teacher, 2-star apothecary, 2-star formation master, and 2-star blacksmith!"
Zhang Xuan widened his eyes in shock.
1-star pinnacle master teacher, 2-star apothecary, 2-star formation master, and 2-star blacksmith...
Despite being just twenty-six, he was shouldering four great occupations of the Upper Nine Paths!
From the looks of it, he is on a totally different level from Lu Xun, who is also reputed as a genius in Tianxuan Kingdom. In fact, even Mo Yu is far from his match.
Seeing the change in the other party's expression, the lady nodded her head in satisfaction before continuing on, "Not only so, this Great Genius Mo's talent in cultivation is also outstanding. Three years ago, he achieved Zongshi realm and defeated the Zongshi realm intermediate stage General Tie Shu. After which, with a single sword, he slaughtered the Five Northern Warriors who have been plaguing the northern regions! One must know all five of them were Zongshi realm experts, and three of them had even reached Zongshi realm intermediate stage! For him to kill all five of them single-handedly, I would not have dared to believe it if I had not heard it from a reliable source."
"At the start of this year, he reached Zongshi realm advanced stage. Just a while ago, at the Heaven Spring Peak, he battled the Zongshi realm pinnacle Master Hong Ruo, defeating him within a hundred blows. Furthermore, in the midst of the battle, he successfully achieved a breakthrough in his cultivation, reaching Zongshi realm pinnacle. Even the emperor had complimented him as a genius who appears only once in a thousand years, and that his future accomplishments would be limitless!"
"Zongshi realm pinnacle at twenty-six? Furthermore, he is capable of battling those with cultivation above his?" Zhang Xuan was astounded.
It was no wonder why he could be reputed as the number one genius in the past thousand years. This Mo Hongyi was indeed a fearsome figure.
In comparison to him, all of the so-called 'geniuses' he had seen were as though fireflies before the sun, too insignificant to mention.
"Since this Mo Hongyi's surname is Mo, does it mean that he is part of the Tianwu royal family as well?"
Suddenly, Zhang Xuan noticed a peculiarity and asked.
Princess Mo Yu's surname is Mo, so this means that the royal family of Tianwu Kingdom goes by this surname. Can this Mo Hongyi be a member of royalty as well?
"That's right!" The lady nodded her head. "He is a son of one of the princes but he isn't favored by the emperor. Although he is Princess Mo Yu's elder brother in terms of seniority, his standing pales far in comparison to hers. Even so, given his talent, no one dares to underestimate him!"
"Un!" Zhang Xuan agreed.
In this world, even though one's birth determines his nobility, as long as one is willing to work hard, he can nevertheless earn respect.
Mo Hongyi was an example. Even though he wasn't in line for the throne, given his current prestige, if he truly wanted the crown, the other princes were not likely to be a match for him.
When one's capabilities exceed a certain level, schemes and ploys become laughable deeds that are comparable to playing house.
Seeing the other party enter into contemplation, the lady continued, "However, even though he's an incredible figure, I revere Princess Mo Yu more. Not only is she beautiful, she's talented as well. I want to be like her, polite, humble and possesses an earnest desire for knowledge. Just like her, I'll work hard and make a name for myself with my own capabilities!"
"Polite, humble, and possessing an earnest desire for knowledge?"
Zhang Xuan had been with this Princess Mo Yu for many days, but why hadn't he notice these strengths of hers?
Shaking his head, he chose not to dwell on this question. Recalling all that the other party had said before, he asked, "The Question Symposium that you spoke of... Other than Princess Mo Yu, how many other people are taking it?"
Upon hearing his question, the lady rolled her eyes once more.
"Do you think master teachers are like cabbages in the market, available whenever you want it? There might not even be a single person who successfully passes every test in the master teacher examination in the whole of a year! I've specially traveled here from Quanhai City just to spectate the princess's master teacher inauguration ceremony, so how can there be anyone else?"
"Quanhai City?" A book appeared in Zhang Xuan's mind, and within it was a map of Tianwu Kingdom.
For example, if Tianwu Royal City were Tianxuan Royal City, Quanhai City would be similar to Baiyu City, the second largest city in Tianwu Kindom. Given that this talkative and extroverted lady was escorted by a Zongshi realm bodyguard, it was likely that her standing wasn't ordinary.
But that is to be expected as well. It is impossible for one to become a master teacher without sufficient connections to search for a good teacher to guide them.
After another short exchange, Zhang Xuan learned that her name was Ling Xiaoxiao and that she had just become a master teacher apprentice during the year.
The reason why she spoke so much to him was that they were fellow apprentices and that she thought that they should look out for one another.
"The Question Symposium will be carried out tomorrow afternoon at the Master Teacher Pavilion. If you wish to take the master teacher examination, you should take a look. I'll be leaving now, farewell!"
After speaking for a short while longer, Ling Xiaoxiao realized that this apprentice known as Zhang Xuan seemed to be completely ignorant of the master teacher examination. As such, she lost her interest to chat with him.
In her opinion, it would be several decades before he would be eligible to take the master teacher examination, and they were of two completely different standards.
"I should first find a restaurant to dine in before looking for lodging!"
Biding the lady farewell, Zhang Xuan stretched his back lazily.
He had already obtained a clear idea of the Master Teacher Pavilion's location and it was getting late. Furthermore, after seven consecutive days of consuming dry rations on the back of the Howling Firmament Beast, Zhang Xuan had gotten sick of that food.
After eating his dinner, just as Zhang Xuan was about to look for an inn to settle in, he saw a massive building before him. On the plaque hung above its entrance were two majestic words which felt vigorous and soulful, as if it would soar out from the board at any time.
Recognizing the words on it, Zhang Xuan's eyes lit up.
The Painter, just like Apothecary, is an occupation of the Nine Paths and there is a guild to oversee its affairs. However, Tianxuan Kingdom was too small and remote, so it didn't possess the qualifications to build a branch.
Zhang Xuan didn't expect to see the Painter Guild right after entering Tianwu Royal City.
"I should take a look!"
Of the numerous skills that Zhang Xuan possessed, after pill forging and beast taming, the one he was the most skilled at was painting, and he was capable of even producing a painting of the fifth level. Since he managed to chance on the guild, it was a good chance for him to take the examination to become an official painter.
After all, he had only acquired the emblems of a 2-star beast tamer and 1-star apothecary at the moment and this looked rather plain.
As for poison master, even though his mastery in poison had also reached the level of a 2-star, he was in disguise as the envoy's 'senior granduncle' then, so it was impossible for him to take the poison master examination. Naturally, he didn't manage to obtain the corresponding emblem.
But even if he were to have successfully acquired it, given how hostile the other occupations were toward poison masters, he wouldn't dare to take it out either.
As such thoughts flashed through his mind, Zhang Xuan stepped into the Painter Guild.
As expected of the Painter Guild. Its vast hall was arranged in an orderly and artistic manner, making one feel as though he has stepped into a painting.
Slowly walking inward, Zhang Xuan felt as if he were walking leisurely in the midst of a book, and an indescribable sensation of comfort embraced him.
Hung on the walls around him were all kinds of art pieces, and every single one of them was astonishingly lifelike, having reached the first level of paintings, Reality Depiction.
A painter has to grasp the first four realms of a painting, Reality Depiction, Spiritual Canvas, Infused Intentions, and Breathtaking Verisimilitude before he can be qualified as a 1-star. Even though a painting of the first level sounds unexceptional, several years of effort is required before one can produce such a painting.
Without sufficient experience and comprehension, it is no simple task to depict a scenery realistically.
Those who are capable of drawing these paintings are at minimum apprentice painters.
"Gongzi, may I know what kind of painting you are looking for? I can bring you around!"
As Zhang Xuan slowly browsed through the paintings, a green-robed attendant suddenly walked up to him politely.
"Are these paintings for sale?"
Zhang Xuan pointed to those pieces hung on the wall.
"Indeed! Isn't gongzi here to buy a painting? The attendant nodded.
If the Painter Guild doesn't sell paintings, where else can one buy them?
"Oh..." After giving the matter some thought, Zhang Xuan felt embarrassed for asking this question. It was similar to how the Apothecary Guild sold pills. It was absurd to think that the Painter Guild doesn't sell paintings.
Nodding his head, Zhang Xuan asked, "These are all paintings of the first level. Are there any higher level paintings?"
"Please follow me upstairs! In the guild, the paintings on the first floor are mainly those of the first level, the paintings on the second floor are mainly those of the second level, and so on. Gongzi, what level of painting are you interested in buying? I'll bring you up right now!" The attendant's eyes lit up.
The higher the level of the painting, the more expensive it was. As an attendant, he received a commission based on the price of the painting sold. The more expensive the painting Zhang Xuan bought, the more money the attendant would earn.
Just as he was about to ask if there was any painting of the fifth level for him to look through, he saw a crowd charge forward.
"Hurry up, Ji Mo gongzi is out!"
"He passed the 1-star painter examination?"
"Indeed! The examination has just ended and in order to thank the crowd for their support, he intends to conduct an open painting, and will auction the finished art piece on the spot!"
"Open painting? Great! I will get his painting for sure..."
People in the crowed started to discuss among themselves.
They were mostly young ladies and, walking slightly forward, Zhang Xuan could see a few middle-aged men. Judging by the clothes on them, they were likely to possess great wealth.
"Ji Mo gongzi, painting?"
Zhang Xuan looked at them contemptuously.
"Ji Mo is the young master of the capital's Ji Clan. Despite just being in his teens, he is already an official painter of the guild..." Upon speaking of Ji Mo gongzi, the attendant's face grew red in agitation as well. "Gongzi, if you intend to purchase a painting, you should take a look at the open painting too. If you can buy Young Master Ji's painting, you will have made your trip here worth it."