Chapter 50: Peer
“That’s simple!” Oblivious to the shock and the thoughts going through the minds of the others, Zhang Xuan smiles. “Even though the Chi Xiong is known for its invincible defense, its body is streamlined like a sharp sword. It specialises in quick assaults and overcomes its opponents through speed rather than strength! From this, it can be inferred that its disposition should be that of a sharp sword rather than a heavy mountain. Given how the painter got the disposition of the savage beast wrong, it is clear to see that it is an interpretation.”
Master Lu Chen’s body sways.
It isn’t that the other party is inaccurate in his appraisal, but he is too accurate in it!
All along, he had thought that since the Chi Xiong is known for its invincible defense, its disposition should be heavy like a mountain. The reminder from the youngster makes him recall an introduction on the savage beast from a book. It mentions that it is extremely fast, killing its opponent without even revealing itself. This is precisely the reason why very few people have seen its true form!
One of the greatest taboos of a painter is to mistake the disposition their painting should carry. If even the disposition is unfitting for the subject, then even the most valuable of paintings will be reduced to trash. Zhang Xuan is already sparing his pride by saying that the painting isn’t bad, instead of saying something more extreme.
“Excellent! Incredible!” With his face flushed red with excitement, Master Lu Chen expresses his high appraisal of Zhang Xuan.
If it is just a single painting, it is possible that it might just be luck or coincidence. However, to see the crux behind two different paintings in an instant, he can confidently say that the youngster before him might look young, but he is a true master painter!
His skills can only be superior to his own!
It is easy to make friends, but it is hard to find a soulmate. Throughout his career as a painter, he is unable to find an equal in the entire Tianxuan Kingdom. Usually, when he deciphers a painting to the others, they would only respond to it perfunctory and instead, focus their efforts on praising him. No one was able to truly understand the essence of those paintings, needless to say, to point out the flaws in them.
Friend kind of soulmate
This is precisely the reason why he feels desolate, and often opens up his residence to encourage diligent juniors in the hope that there will be someone to succeed him.
At this moment, upon meeting someone who is able to point out the flaws and weaknesses of a painting, he feels as though he has met a soulmate. How can he not be delighted over it?
If not for his strong will and self-control, he might have leaped in joy on the spot.
Seeing the master so exuberant, Huang Yu and Bai Xun no longer bicker and stare at one another. Their eyes widen into complete circles, almost popping out from their heads.
They have been acquainted with this master since young. He is always calm, and no matter what comes in his way, he never allows it to interfere with his mind. The last time the emperor sent some servants to deliver the 【Harsh Lands Night Illumination Pearl】 to him, a gift that is worth a king’s ransom, he didn’t even take a look at it before ordering a servant to keep it in the warehouse.
Yet, a casual answer from the young man leaves him in such a state… Could it be that his words are true?
At this point, the two of them shot their gazes towards the young man. However, no matter how they stare at him, he looks nothing but ordinary to them.
“Xiao Yu, aren’t you going to introduce this gongzi to me?”
While she is still struck with bewilderment, Master Lu Chen’s words echo in the room.
“Introduce? He…” Upon being questioned, Huang Yu is taken back. Only now does she realise that she had not asked for the other party’s name. Her face turns red and she scratches her head awkwardly as she turns towards Zhang Xuan and asks, “Ah, right, what is your name…”
Hearing these words, Bai Xun, who is sitting beside her, looks constipated.
Just a moment ago, he was still overwhelmed by jealousy, thinking that someone has beat him to his goddess, causing the urge to beat up this youngster to well up in him. Only now does he realise that… Huang Yu doesn’t even know his name!
If only he knew earlier, he wouldn’t have gotten so angry over nothing.
However, his dilemma doesn’t end here. Immediately after, he hears Master Lu Chen’s angry voice, “What do you mean by he! No decorum at all! This little brother here is a peer of mine, you will have to address him as a master in the future!”
This time, not only Huang Yu and Bai Xun feel dizzy-headed, even the butler Uncle Cheng freezes in shock. The three of them stare at Zhang Xuan as though they are looking at a monster.
What kind of standing does Master Lu Chen possess?
Emperor Shen Zhui’s teacher, a true emperor’s tutor!
There isn’t a single person in the entire kingdom who dares to claim to be his peer. If one were to do it, it would mean that one is claiming to be the senior of the country’s emperor!
For a person of such standing to view a youngster who isn’t even twenty as a fellow peer of his? Surely I am hearing things?
“Didn’t you all hear my words?”
Seeing the two of them in a daze, Lu Chen chastises them again.
“Yes!” Bai Xun and Huang Yu hurriedly bow. “Paying respect to the master!”
“There is no need to be so formal!” Zhang Xuan didn’t expect Lu Chen to be so polite. He nods his head helplessly and says, “I am Zhang Xuan. I just happen to understand master’s paintings out of coincidence. I am not fitting of the title of a master!”
“So it is little brother Zhang Xuan. You can’t put it like that, manners are manners! You are able to see through the flaws in my work with just a glance, this means that you are well-versed in paintings, and you possess an exceptional eye for them. If you aren’t worthy of the title of master with your standards, wouldn’t that mean that I am unable to live up to my title as a master as well?” Lu Chen says.
Zhang Xuan laughs dryly.
It is true that he is able to point the flaws in the paintings, but that isn’t because of his abilities in that aspect. He only made use of the cheat called the Library of Heaven’s Path.
Without this, needless to say appraising it, he might be scratching his head with a confused expression, unable to even identify what is being drawn.
“Alright, stop being so polite. Feel free to reprimand these juniors when you meet them in the future!”
Unsure about what Zhang Xuan is thinking about, Lu Chen casually says.
“Juniors? Feel free to reprimand?”
Bai Xun and Huang Yu are on the verge of crying.
The heck, we are around the same age and yet you became a senior of our grandfather’s generation in an instant… Dude, you are way too formidable!
Ignoring the despondent duo, Master Lu Chen looks over in puzzlement, “Little brother, to follow Xiao Yu here, you probably aren’t here for leisure. May I ask what is it that you require my help on?”
“I have heard that master has a wide collection of books. The reason why I am here today is to find some Fighter 6-dan cultivation technique manuals to browse through…”
Hearing Master Lu Chen question his purpose, Zhang Xuan hurriedly replies.
The main aim of his journey here is this, he mustn’t let this opportunity slip him by.
“My collection of books is quite vast, but they are mainly on painting. I do not possess many books on cultivation techniques here. As for those on Fighter 6-dan, I only have a couple of them. They are in my study. Come, I will bring you over to take a look!”
Hearing his purpose, Master Lu Chen strokes his beard with a smile and stands up.
“Laoye, your study…” The butler Uncle Cheng quickly walks forward and asks questioningly. Laoye -> Old Master
Laoye‘s study does possess quite a lot of one-of-a-kind limited edition books, and each of them are extremely valuable. He has never allowed any outsiders to enter his study, and even Emperor Shen Zhui was blocked at the door when he came the previous time!
There was a maid who wasn’t aware of the rules and ran in to clean the room. In the end, she was beaten to death!
This is precisely the reason why the study of the Lu residence is the forbidden zone within forbidden zones, and no one dares to enter it…
Yet, laoye intends to bring in a young man who he had just met, leaving him at a loss.
“The reason why I don’t allow others to enter my study is for fear that they would afflict it with their vulgarity. Little brother Zhang Xuan is a fellow peer of mine and a master painter. It is an honor of mine to have him enter to offer me some pointers. There is no reason for me to stop him from entering at all.”
Master Lu Chen’s face darkens.
“Yes!” Uncle Cheng retreats in a fluster.
He may be ignorant about painting, but even he is able to tell at this point that there isn’t a single error in the appraisal of the young man!
Otherwise, it is impossible for laoye‘s attitude to do a 180 degree turn and act so amiably.
Master Lu Chen leads the way while Zhang Xuan follows behind him. After a moment, they reach a wide room.
As expected of a master whom Huang Yu was full of praises for, the collection of books in his study is massive. All kinds of manuals fill the shelves, and there are at least hundreds of thousands of books here. Zhang Xuan feels as though he has walked into a library.
Walking between the shelves while taking a casual look, it is exactly as the other party said. The books are all on painting, and there are barely any on cultivation techniques and martial arts.
“Those on cultivation technique are over here. There are only a handful of them. They were left behind from back when I was still cultivating!”
Master Lu Chen introduces with a smile as he brings Zhang Xuan towards the corner of the study.
Alright, just to clarify. When Lu Chen addresses Zhang Xuan as ‘little brother’, it is just a very friendly way of addressing someone younger than you. Zhang Xuan’s words are quite polite throughout the chapter, he uses 在下 (zai xia) to address himself when talking to Lu Chen, which puts himself at a lower position than the latter.
Peer isn’t really apt, but it is one of the closest words I can find. It refers to someone who is qualified to discuss on the subject on the same level as him. (Meaning, they are of equal standing)