AGM 0097 - The Commotion caused by a Painting
Today was Mu Rou's 18th birthday, but although this age could be considered the prime of her youth, she felt extremely lonely this year.
That was because this year, her family did not even bother to prepare a banquet for her. Also, the attitude of her 'friends' changed completely, and they didn't even offer their congratulations.
"Xue Yuan, Ke`er."
Mo Rou shared the beautiful courtyard she resided in with two other girls, and after seeing the two girls that lived with her, she called out to them
"Mu Rou, is there anything you need?" The two girls turned their heads and looked at Mu Rou.
"Today is my birthday. Let's go have a meal together." Mu Rou stated as she looked towards Xue Yuan and Ke`er.
"It's fine, you can go ahead, I have something to take care of." Xue Yue rejected with a laugh.
"I'm busy as well, I can't accompany you." Ke`er likewise rejected and directly left without saying goodbye. Upon witnessing this scenario, Mu Rou couldn't help but to sigh in her heart. Although both of them were smiling on the surface, she could tell that their smiles didn't originate from their heart. Mu Rou had long sensed that her 'friends' no longer wanted to associate themselves with her and understood their intentions.
But even so, she was still truly disappointed. In the past when Chu Ling stayed here, the four of them had a pretty good relationship. Especially the relationship between her and Chu Ling, they were said to be the most intimate friends. Xue Yuan and Ke`er would always go along with what they said. Although Chu Ling often couldn't be bothered with the duo, Mu Rou didn't mind them that much, and she always had a good relationship with the two of them.
Mu Rou also stood up and departed, walking towards the direction of the Dreamsky Forest. Upon arriving at the familiar place in the City of Illusions, she left after waiting for a period of time as she didn't see Qin Wentian. In the past, she would have waited for a longer period of time. But today, she was distracted by recent events and decided to exit the dreamscape, strolling aimlessly about the Royal Academy.
At this moment, Xue Yuan and Ke`er made a trip back to their residence, but just before they stepped out again, they received a painting scroll delivered by Sky Transport Network.
The Sky Transport Network was one of the three biggest company in the Chu Country. At the same time, it offered the best courier services that could be found in the country. Rearing many demonic beasts, as long as the customer was willing to pay a price, the Sky Transport Network could even deliver something out of the country at the shortest possible time. The Sky Transport Network also had special rights granted to them, enabling them to move about in all the martial academies unheeded.
After all, many students of the various academies came from all over the world and would need courier services to deliver letters back to their home town
This painting scroll was from the Emperor Star Academy and was to be delivered to Mu Rou. But because Mu Rou wasn't at her residence, the Sky Transport Network handed it over to Xue Yuan for her to pass it to Mu Rou.
Xue Yuan and Ke`er was somewhat curious but didn't pay too much attention to it. They brought the delivered scroll along with them as they went to attend a lecture held by an Elder. Although their relationships with Mu Rou weren't as close as before, they didn't mind passing along an item to her. And naturally, they wouldn't just "lose" the item. The Sky Transport Network could become one of the three greatest company in the Chu Country, so other than their courier services, they naturally possessed other terrifying methods in their hands.
In order to deliver items all over the continent, this task by itself would require a terrifying, immense network of informants so that they could be familiar with every place and even every person.
"Xue Yuan, what's that?" Chu Ling also attended the lecture today, and upon seeing the scroll case in Xue Yuan's hands, she couldn't help but to ask.
"Oh, it's delivered by the Sky Transport Network. The recipient is Mu Rou, and it seems that it was delivered from the Emperor Star Academy. The courier didn't leave his name though." Xue Yuan replied.
"The Emperor Star Academy? Open it up and see." Chu Ling commanded, causing Xue Yuan to somewhat hesitate. This, doesn't seemed to be too appropriate. But after seeing Chu Ling furrowed her brows, she still decided to open the scroll case. Momentarily after, a mystical looking painting appeared in their sights. They involuntarily retreated a step backwards, causing the painting to land on the ground.
The moment the painting was revealed, they felt a surge of tyrannical aura emanating forth, as though that painting wanted to brand itself onto their souls.
"What happened?" The people at the sides crowded over, and they gazed at that mystical painting that has fallen on to the ground. They also felt that surge of tyrannical aura when the painting was unveil after it was out from the scroll case. It was as though the figure inside the painting was alive, wielding an ancient halberd, seeking to destroy everything in it's path.
"What a miraculous painting; it must be priceless."
"Yeah, art collectors would go mad for this painting." The crowd expressed their admirations while Chu Ling coldly snorted, "Isn't it just a painting?"
But in her heart, Chu Ling was thinking, who exactly was it that actually gave such a painting to Mu Rou?
"What are all of you doing?" At this moment, a middle-aged figure appeared. This middle-aged man was none other than today's lecturer. Seeing the commotion, he couldn't help but walk over.
Almost instantly, the crowd cleared a path for the Elder. As the gaze of the Elder landed on the ground, he too, saw the painting.
"Who does this belong to?" The Elder from the Royal Academy asked.
"It's Xue Yuan's." A person in the crowd pointed to Xue Yuan.
"Can you lend this to me?" That elder gazed at Xue Yuan. An awkward expression appeared on Xue Yuan's face. This painting was delivered by the SKy Transport Network, and its recipient was Mu Rou, not her. And since she had agreed to pass it to Mu Rou, the responsibility naturally lied with her. The Sky Transport Network sought her opinion and only after she agreed did they pass that scroll case to her.
"Xue Yuan, if you have any problems regarding cultivation in the future, you can look for me." That elder offered, causing the expression on Xue Yuan's face to freeze. As an Elder, he surely wouldn't lose the painting, right?
"Okay." Xue Yuan nodded her head. That elder smiled before keeping that painting. "Today's lesson will be postponed to a later date. Everyone, disperse."
After that, he took the painting and hurriedly left, causing the students to exclaim in wonder, surround Xue Yuan, and bombard her with questions. What item would it be to cause the Elder to place it in such high importance?
With regards to this news, Mu Rou knew nothing about it. Even Qin Wentian himself had no idea of what was happening and had never even considered the worth of that painting.
After Mu Rou returned to her residence, she noticed that Xue Yuan seemed several times more polite to her. However, Mu Rou noticed that Xue Yuan appeared somewhat fidgety, which made her feel that there was something strange going on. However, she didn't concern herself too much with it and spent the day alone in sadness.
Today was her 18th birthday, and it was also the loneliest birthday she could recall in her memory.
Maybe it was because of the pressure from her clan. Her father, who always doted on her, also didn't attempt to invite her back
For those big characters, they were too sensitive about the slightest current in their political webs of power. How could they have the time to bother themselves about her feelings?
The date for the Jun Lin Banquet gradually neared. With the possibility of the Nine Mystical Palace hiding in the shadows while controlling events from behind the scene, Luo Qianqiu's chances at obtaining the top ranking in the grand banquet, the arrival of the Snowcloud Country's Crown Prince, and the increasing power of Chu Tianjiao and his supporters, how could a friend of the infamous Qin Wentian not be frowned upon?
That day, in the midst of that snowstorm, Qin Wentian had rejected the chance to be friends with the 3rd Prince, Chu Tianjiao!
Today, the students of the Royal Academy didn't know that within the academy, several of the teachers were in a huge uproar because of the painting delivered from the Emperor Star Academy.
Naturally, they didn't know that this painting originated from the Emperor Star Academy, because according to the Elder who brought this matter to their attention, this painting belonged to a student of their Royal Academy named Xue Yuan. Since they already knew where it originated from, no one bothered to investigate the origins of this painting too deeply.
And today, the Royal Academy decided to display the painting in a gallery within the Royal Academy. Not only that, they decided that they would send out invitations to invite cultivators from all around the country to view it, especially the weaponsmiths and Divine Inscriptionists!
The news quickly spread around the entirety of Chu Country. On the second day, the Royal Academy already publicised the fact this painting belonged to Xue Yuan and was a priceless treasure. They also announced the fact that they would send out invitations for people to view it, causing gigantic waves of commotion.
However, Xue Yuan felt extremely anxious in her heart. This painting did not belong to her, and if the truth got out, all her reputation would be destroyed instantly.
In her heart, Xue Yuan thought that now, her only possible move left was to reforge good relations with Mu Rou. After their relationship was mended, she would divulge the truth of the ownership of the painting to her.
Mu Rou felt very puzzled. She didn't understand why Xue Yuan was suddenly so courteous towards her and even invited her along for the viewing of the mystical painting. But then again, because she was also very curious about the painting that everyone was talking about, she decided to visit the gallery hall together with Xue Yuan.
The Gallery Hall of the Royal Academy was extremely grand and spacious. The painting was placed in the central point of attraction in the middle of the first level of the grand hall. There were many people surrounding it, but they all had to maintain a certain distance away from the painting.
Standing near the painting were several respected elders. Although they looked feeble with age, their eyes flickered with a piercing light, seemingly filled with vitality.
"There's no mistake, this painting should be a Divine Imprint. This Human-type Divine Imprint, was most definitely a heaven-defying creation. I wonder which grandmaster created it."
Filled with awe, an old man calmly gave the painting an exceptionally high evaluation.
"If one were to grade this painting according to the levels of Divine Imprints, this should be a 3rd-level Divine Imprint. The tyrannical aura it emanates is extraordinary. And I also dare to confirm, this is the first time this type of Divine Imprint appeared in the Chu Country." Another person exclaimed, causing the crowd to be highly startled. This painting was actually a type of Divine Imprint!
"A heaven-defying creation. A priceless treasure."
Countless people gave their evaluations, and some even inquired the Royal Academy's Elders, "Is this painting for sale?"
"For this question, you have to ask the owner yourself." That elder was none other than Xue Yuan's teachers, and as he spotted Xue Yuan in the crowd, he smiled and called out, "Xue Yuan, are you willing to sell this painting?"
Xue Yuan froze, as she cast a glance at Mu Rou.
"If the painting is on sale, as a heaven-defying creation, you wouldn't be able to imagine its price." That Elder continued, "Also, how did you obtain the painting? Which grandmaster created it?"
Mu Rou also glanced at Xue Yuan, feeling surprise in her heart. Xue Yuan actually had such a priceless painting and even caused such a great commotion.
"The grandmasters from the Star River Association have arrived." At this moment, a voice drifted over and heralded the arrival of several figures. The intentions for their arrival was clearly due to the painting.