Chapter 207: Returning to the Academy
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: GaiaNove
After accepting the tea leaves, Zhang Xuan went away without a peep.
In the very first place, he didn't intend to attend this birthday banquet at all. If not for Huang Yu and Bai Xun's request, as well as for an opportunity to meet the three masters to ask them about the poison aura, he wouldn't have cared about Elder Tian one bit.
Even if it was a funeral, he would've never came to such an event.
Even though he didn't get an opportunity to ask the three master teachers of the matter, based on their attitude, they would likely come looking for him soon. It wouldn't be too late to ask them about it then.
Since that was the case, there was no longer any purpose for Zhang Xuan to remain there.
As for why Zhang Xuan was able to see the flaws in the tea Elder Tian brewed, the reason was simple. The moment Zhang Xuan stepped into the hall, the other party was in the midst of brewing tea. As such, the library automatically compiled a book on it, and just by flipping through it, Zhang Xuan would know everything about him.
If not for that fellow intentionally trying to pit him against Lu Xun and siding with the latter, he wouldn't have been bothered about it and embarrassed the other party in public.
You wish to make use of Lu Xun to humiliate me?
What a joke! Those who try to slap my face will be sent flying with a slap of mine. It doesn't matter to me whether you are Elder Tian or whoever. There are no exceptions.
"Elder Tian, Your Majesty, Liu shi, Zhuang shi, Zheng shi, we'll be taking our leave as well!"
Upon seeing Zhang Xuan leave, Huang Yu and Bai Xun quickly followed behind him as well.
They were the ones who brought Zhang laoshi here and they didn't think it appropriate for them to remain here given the situation.
The moment they left, the room immediately fell silent.
"Grandfather, that's Spirit Calming Tea! Why, why did you suddenly gift so much of it."
Tian Long felt indignant.
Even if the advice had helped his grandfather, there shouldn't be a need for him to shower the other party with such a generous gift.
They had paid a huge price to get someone to pick and process the two taels of tea leaves for them. It wasn't something that one could just buy with money.
Even his grandfather couldn't bear to drink it on casual occasions, yet to gift it someone else like that.
Just thinking of it, Tian Long felt his heart ache.
"Much? It isn't much at all!"
Glancing at his grandson, Elder Tian shook his head.
Even though his grandson seemed intelligent, and he had entrusted his expectations onto him, at this moment, it seemed that his character and magnanimity were severely lacking.
"Elder Tian is right. Two taels of Spirit Calming Tea isn't much at all. Putting aside the fact that he had offered valuable advice to Tian laoshi, just the two words Zhang laoshi wrote on the painting are valuable," Emperor Shen Zhui said.
The two simple words, "Wild Deer," were truly a priceless treasure. It had raised the already valuable painting of the fifth level by nearly another entire level. Even if they gifted him all of the tea leaves in the Tian Residence, they would have still made a profit.
Not just that, by this kind gesture, they could reduce the hostility a grandmaster painter felt for them, perhaps befriending him even.
"I have benefitted greatly from Zhang laoshi's advice. Tian Long, Tian Gang, I'll leave the birthday banquet to you two. I would like some time for myself to digest what I've learnt. Perhaps his words may allow my mastery in tea brewing to reach new heights."
Elder Tian nodded his head before falling silent.
"Then we won't be imposing on Tian laoshi any longer!"
Liu Ling knew that the other party was inviting them to leave, so he left the hall along with Emperor Shen Zhui and the others.
"Your Majesty, we still have things to attend to, so we won't be returning with you to the royal palace."
Upon leaving the Tian Residence, the trio bade Emperor Shen Zhui farewell before leaving hurriedly.
Needless to say, they were going to look for Zhang laoshi.
"He is truly a god among men!" Seeing how even the three master teachers were impressed by Zhang laoshi, Emperor Shen Zhui commented in awe. After which, he turned to a eunuch and said, "Make preparations. I want to watch the Teacher Evaluation tomorrow as well!"
"Yes, Your Majesty!" the eunuch replied.
Awhile after the three master teachers and Emperor Shen Zhui left the Tian Residence, Lu Xun and Wang Chao walked out of the mansion. The moment they left the perimeter of the residence, resentment and indignance immediately burned in their eyes.
"He is just a low-level teacher, why? Why! Dammit! Dammit!" Lu Xun howled loudly. The hatred in his eyes was so deep it could dye a river black.
He thought that the banquet for Elder Tian would be an impetus for a breakthrough, and he would successfully become Liu shi's apprentice. Never in his dreams did he expect such a conclusion.
The fellow he had been looking down on had trampled over his pride numerous times, riling him up so much that he was about to spurt blood.
The strong sense of humiliation he felt made him want to go on a rampage.
He, Lu Xun, as the son of the emperor's tutor, had lived a smooth sailing life since childhood. All along, he had been the one who humiliated others. When had he ever suffered a setback of this sort?
"That fellow must have spent all of his effort and time studying painting and the Way of Tea, so his ability to impart knowledge must be bad. As long as you triumph over him in the Teacher Evaluation tomorrow, you should be able to return the shame to him," Wang Chao said.
Even though Zhang Xuan was talented, it was impossible for him to be talented in all aspects.
Even if he were truly talented in all aspects, given the limited time and energy a human possessed, he would have to spend a bulk of his time researching painting and the Way of Tea, thus neglecting his education abilities.
The duo were still rather confident in their abilities as teachers, so they didn't believe that they would still lose to Zhang Xuan here.
"I must win the Teacher Evaluation tomorrow." Hearing his words, Lu Xun nodded his head.
He had been humiliated enough today. He couldn't afford to lose to the other party anymore.
"Wang Chao, don't you know that apothecary? I would like to buy a few pills to give it a try."
Clenching his fists tightly, Lu Xun turned to look at his friend.
"Buy a few pills? You mean you want to"
Upon recall, Wang Chao was horrified. He quickly shook his head, "You can't do it! Even though that can raise your cultivation within a short period of time, it will damage the student's foundations, making it hard for them to improve in the future."
"I can't care about it anymore! I must win tomorrow. There's no retreat for me now. As long as I win and become Liu shi's apprentice, I will be able to become a master teacher within ten years. By then, I can easily repair the trauma they will suffer. In fact, by then, granting them a life of luxury wouldn't mean anything to me."
Gritting his teeth, Lu Xun's eyes contained a frenzied gleam.
"This" Wang Chao hesitated.
Wang Chao knew about his friend's talents. He was just a step away from becoming an official painter, and the moment he broke through this bottleneck, he would be eligible to take the master teacher examination. Given the experience he had accumulated as a teacher in the past few years, as well as his study on master teachers, it wouldn't be a problem for him to become a master teacher within ten years.
Once he became a master teacher, it wouldn't be a difficult task to make up for these students' losses.
He could easily provide them with a life of luxury then, and repairing their trauma wouldn't be impossible whatsoever.
"Alright, we've no time to waste. It's fortunate we haven't returned the three million which we borrowed from Emperor Shen Zhui. That should be sufficient for us to buy five pills. Let's go and buy them now. I'm going to make them raise a storm tomorrow. Not only will I triumph over Zhang Xuan, I will make everyone know that in the Hongtian Academy, I, Lu Xun, am invincible!" Flinging his sleeves, Lu Xun roared.
"OK, I'll go take a look now."
Knowing that Lu Xun's mind was made up and that it was impossible for him to convince him otherwise, Wang Chao nodded his head.
What Lu Xun said made sense: there was no retreat at this point!
They had offended Yang shi in the royal palace, making it nigh impossible for them to become his apprentice.
The three master teachers had set their sights on Zhang Xuan. If the two of them were to lose, there wouldn't be any chance for them anymore.
Their only hope was the Teacher Evaluation tomorrow. They had to make everyone know that Lu Xun was the true star teacher in Hongtian Academy, the number one teacher of the entire Tianxuan Kingdom.
And that Zhang Xuan was nothing at all!
He wasn't even qualified to vie with them!
"Weren't you going to give this painting to Elder Tian? Why did it become Liu shi's present instead?"
Before Zhang Xuan could get too far, Huang Yu and Bai Xun caught up with him. Seated in the carriage, Zhang Xuan suddenly recalled the matter and asked.
Back then, while Huang Yu and Bai Xun were competing over the Ink Daylily Canvas, Zhang Xuan suddenly produced paintings of the fifth level, and the pair immediately bought Zhang Xuan's works instead. Back then, it seemed that they had intended to buy his painting to present it to another as a gift, so he was curious why it became a gift from Liu shi instead. Also where was the painting Bai Xun had bought?
"Actually, the reason why I asked for the Ink Daylily Canvas was to help Liu shi prepare a present for his teacher. Thus, it is natural that he was the one who presented it to him," Huang Yu said. "As a junior, there's no need for me to present such a valuable present to Elder Tian even if I attended his birthday banquet."
"Ah" Hearing Huang Yu's words, Zhang Xuan immediately understood what was going on.
As a junior, even if she visited Elder Tian, she only had to prepare a novelty of some sort. There was no need for her to present a treasure like the Ink Daylily Canvas.
Naturally, she had done it in Liu shi's stead. As such, it was natural for the gift to be given to Elder Tian through Liu shi's hands.
"What about you? As Zhuang shi's student, there should be no need for you to prepare a gift in his stead, right?"
Bai Xun's relationship with Zhuang shi was different from the relationship Huang Yu had with Liu shi.
The latter was in an apprenticeship whereas the former was just a student. Even though the two of them sounded alike, the standing and identity of the two were on two different levels.
Huang Yu might have to look for a birthday present in Liu shi's stead, but as a student, there shouldn't be any need for Bai Xun to do the same.
"Actually I" Bai Xun scratched his head in embarrassment. "It is because Xiao Yu wanted the Ink Daylily Canvas that I asked for it as well. This way, I would have a reason to be with her. As for why I bought the painting from Master Zhang, it is for my father. He likes painting a lot as well."
Zhang Xuan was speechless.
It turned out that this fellow only wanted the Ink Daylily Canvas to flirt with Huang Yu.
Just the thought of it was ridiculous.
However, his choice wasn't wrong. Only by competing with Huang Yu could he meet her every day. This way, it would make it easier for him to court her as well.
Just that, even though Bai Xun was interested in Huang Yu, the same could not be said about the latter. Most likely, the fellow was destined for heartbreak.
Bai Xun was just a student of Zhuang shi. There was no need for him to present a painting of the fifth level to Elder Tian. As an esteemed noble of the country, it wasn't difficult for him to find another suitable gift. As a result, Elder Tian only had the painting of the wild deer, and the other one was still in Bai Xun's possession.
"Master Zhang, I thought you didn't know anything about the Way of Tea. Then how did you" After a while, when Hongtian Academy was already in sight, Huang Yu couldn't help but ask.
That fellow had clearly shown his ignorance in the subject earlier, and it didn't seem like he was faking it. Yet how did he manage to point out the mistakes in Tian Long's and Elder Tian's Ways of Tea, even completely impressing Elder Tian?
"It's true that I didn't know anything about it."
Zhang Xuan nodded his head.
Even though there were many books regarding the Way of Tea in his head, he hadn't had the chance to browse through them yet. As a result, it wasn't a lie to say that he didn't know anything about the topic.
Huang Yu and Bai Xun were confused.
If you don't know anything about the subject, how could you speak so confidently and stump them with your words?
Shouldn't you come up with a better lie than that?
"I just happened to flip through a few books on the Way of Tea in the past and freely spoke of them. It was a coincidence that I managed to guessed them correctly!" Zhang Xuan replied casually.
"Freely spoke of them?"
Bai Xun and Huang Yu stared at each other speechless.
Brother, if you don't want to tell us the truth, just say so. You won't fool anyone with that ridiculous excuse of yours.
Do the two of us look like fools to you?
"Since we've arrived at the academy, I'll be bidding you two farewell!"
Even though the duo clearly didn't believe his words, Zhang Xuan couldn't be bothered to explain to them. With a smile, Zhang Xuan hopped off the carriage.
He had finally arrived at Hongtian Academy.
After a few days of absence, he was curious to see how far Zhao Ya and the others had progressed.
Library Of Heaven's Path Chapter 207
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