Chapter 460: Poor People Have It Rough
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
The first five levels to painting were: Reality Depiction, Spiritual Canvas, Infused Intentions, Breathtaking Verisimilitude, and Spirit Creation.
Upon reaching Spirit Creation, the beings within the painting would be able to absorb spiritual energy to reach higher levels. In fact, the entire painting would be granted spirit, and it would be able to find a suitable owner for itself.
In this sense, it was similar to formidable spirit equipment.
Before them, birds from a painting were formed by the gathering of spiritual energy, dancing and chirping energetically. Clearly, it had acknowledged the challenger within the trial.
If it was an equipment or a person who possessed exceptionally affinity with equipment, the acknowledgement of the first artifact could be explained. However, it was completely different for a painting.
Painting was a refined sport, and it was the expertise of literati. No matter how strong one was, it would be difficult for one to earn the acknowledgement of a painting. The only way to earn its acknowledgement was to understand the true artistic conception contained within the painting and comprehend its true meaning.
But... for a painting which one didn't know the name, the content, or even the year of production... How could one possibly understand the intent behind it?
Could this fellow be a painter as well?
Only a true master in painting would be able to discern the thoughts of another painter in a painting that wasn't signed, sealed, or dated.
Everyone's eyes shot toward Sun Qiang, curious to hear his explanation.
Since this servant as so sure that his young master could pass the trial, he definitely knew a thing or two about it.
"Painter? Our young master is already one!"
Seeing the doubtful gazes from the crowd, Sun Qiang smiled gleefully. Placing his hands behind his back, he tilted his head upward proudly, "On top of that, he created a fifth level painting through a savage beast. To him, this is just a walk in the park!"
"Created a fifth level painting through a savage beast?"
Everyone's mouths twitched.
One would have to at least be a 3-star painter to create a fifth level painting. To do the same through a savage beast... How many stars would that require?
Even the 4-star painters that they knew weren't capable of such a feat!
"It just happens that he's knowledgeable in equipment and painting, this doesn't truly reflect his appraising proficiency. Perhaps... it might just be luck?" an appraiser amidst the crowd said.
However, after saying those words, putting aside whether there was anyone willing to believe his words, even he found his own words hard to believe.
Seeing how everyone was shocked speechless, and Elder Chen even seemed to be on the verge of collapsing, perhaps due to the sympathy he felt for his fellow appraisers, Hall Master Sai scanned the surroundings and said, "We'll know whether it's luck or not in the next artifact! If I'm not wrong, it should be a celestial treasure. These kinds of items appear randomly and no one can replicate them. No amount of prior knowledge of other occupations can help him on this... This is the purest form of appraisal!"
If it was truly luck, and Zhang Xuan had only happened to identify the first two artifacts due to his double identity as a blacksmith and painter, it would surely be impossible for him to do the same for the rest of the artifacts.
"I really do hope that he fails to identify the other artifacts. The artifacts in the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets are all incredible treasure left behind by the predecessors, and every single one of them can fetch an astronomical sum. Two of them have already recognized him as their master. If this goes on, I fear that... our Appraiser Hall will go bankrupt!" Elder Lu muttered pitifully.
"That... That's true!"
Hall Master Sai's mouth twitched as well.
Just identifying the artifact itself was sufficient for one to pass the trial, but this fellow went ahead and had the artifacts acknowledge him as their master... They had already lost two artifacts. If this were to go on, it would be a huge blow to the Appraiser Hall despite its affluence.
"Don't worry, I've challenged the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets before, and the third one is a celestial treasure."
Elder Chen finally managed to suppress his urge to spurt blood and gritted his teeth. "There are no records on what material it is made of, and it's even unclear as to whether it has a spirit or not. It'll be nearly impossible for one to identify it, needless to win, earn its acknowledgement..."
Celestial treasures were extremely rare in the world, and they weren't recorded in the books. As such, it was nearly impossible to call out their names. Furthermore, it was unclear whether it had a spirit or not. Thus, it was nearly impossible to have it acknowledge one as its master.
However, as soon as he said those words, a chuckle sounded.
"You mean that our young master won't be able to identify the object and earn its acknowledgement?"
The one who spoke was still Sun Qiang.
"Hmph!" Elder Chen flung his sleeves.
"There's no need for you to get displeased. How about this? I'll give you a chance to earn back your money. Let's continue to wager three thousand spirit stones; if our young master is unable to identify what the object is and earn its acknowledgement, we'll call off the debt. Otherwise, you'll owe me another three thousand spirit stones. How about it?"
Sun Qiang stared at Elder Chen with glowing eyes.
Elder Chen's lips quivered. He wanted to agree to it but he didn't dare to do so.
He had just said that it was impossible for the other party to pass the trial but the fellow went ahead to earn the acknowledgement of two of the artifacts. Who knows what would happen this time?
"You're chickening out again? I'm giving you a chance but you sure don't know how to make use of it. With guts like yours, I truly wonder how you can call yourself a 4-star appraiser and a Transcendent Mortal expert!" Sun Qiang glanced at Elder Chen disdainfully.
"You..." Not expecting to be looked down by a servant twice in just a few short minutes, Elder Chen's face flushed red, and he looked as though he would faint from anger at any moment.
At that moment, another fatty walked out from Sun Qiang's back and bellowed.
Seeing someone stepping out to speak up for him, Elder Chen heaved a sigh of relief. He was just about to thank the other party when he heard the other party's words, "You've to consider matters from Elder Chen's perspective as well. What if he doesn't have sufficient money to pay you back if, by chance, he loses? Butler Sun, you should learn to be more understanding. It isn't easy for him either. Poor people have it rough, you know... This can't be helped at all."
After hearing those words, Elder Chen spurted another mouthful of blood.
At this moment, he was completely frenzied.
Appraiser was one of the most lucrative occupation in the world. As a 4-star appraiser, he was one of the top of the trade. Even though his wealth couldn't be said to be able to compare up to an entire nation, he wasn't too far from it.
Yet, someone was publicly saying that... he was poor.
Poor your head!
"Fine, let's wager then! Who's afraid of whom..." Unable to hold back his rage, Elder Chen bellowed.
"That's a promise then. However... what if you don't have any money to repay your debt after you lose?" Sun Qiang shot his accomplice, Yuan Tao, a look of approval and chuckled.
"I'll borrow it from Elder Lu then, there's no need for you to worry about that!" Elder Chen flung his sleeves.
"Elder Chen... You should reconsider the matter!"
Elder Lu's eyebrows twitched, and he hurriedly stepped forward to persuade the other party against it.
"Don't worry, I don't believe that that fellow can even identify a celestial treasure. If he really is able to do so, I'll just admit my misfortune..." Elder Chen clenched his jaws tightly.
As a 4-star appraiser, he wasn't a reckless person. However, the two fatties before him were simply too infuriating.
Besides, he truly believed that it would be impossible for that young man to identify a celestial treasure.
One must know that this artifact that stumped even a passing 5-star appraiser. How could a fellow who popped out from nowhere possibly know anything about it, let alone earn its acknowledgement?
While he was still immersed in his thoughts, a crisp buzz sounded from the room. It was similar to the call from before.
"The Acknowledgement of a Treasure, Spirit Euphoria... He was acknowledged by the celestial treasure?"
Elder Chen's face paled, and he suddenly burst into tears.
To be able to win even the acknowledgement of a celestial treasure, what kind of monster was the other party? How in the world did he manage to do it?
However, he wasn't stunned for too long. Various sounds echoed from within soon afterward. It didn't feel as though Zhang Xuan was in a trial; rather, it felt as though he was in a music room, and various melodies mixed in with one another.
"Hall master... I think we should forcefully terminate the trial!"
Hearing the various sounds within, Elder Lu couldn't hold himself back anymore and suggested.
"If we don't terminate it now, I fear that... our Appraiser Hall might be shut down by him..."
Elder Lu's lips twitched.
Hall Master Sai's face steeled.
It would be formidable if anyone else can recognize one out of ten artifacts, yet not only did this fellow manage to identify all of them, he even won their acknowledgement in the midst of doing so...
If he were to continue on like this, he might really make a clean sweep of the treasures within the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets.
"You should quickly make up your mind! If he continues on like this, and claims all of the artifacts, what should we do in the future? Let's just terminate it now. In any case, he has passed the trial already anyway!"
Knowing that there was no time to be wasted, Elder Lu urged Sai Xiaoyu.
"Alright, let's have him stop now then!"
Knowing the severity of the matter, Hall Master Sai clenched his jaws.
Initially, he thought that the other party only visited the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets out of curiosity, and he would give up once he realized its difficulty. Who could have known that he would make the artifacts submit to him in an instant...
Seeing so many valuable treasures submitting to him, they were scared out of their wits. They didn't dare to allow him to proceed on with the trial.
Even though the Appraisal Hall was known for its affluence and immense collection of treasures, there was still a limit to it.
And the treasures that no one had been able to identify in the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets were the height of the collection.
They could accept having one or two being taken away, but if it were all of them, then the overall fortune of the Appraisal Hall would be reduced immensely.
What in the world was this?
For the Appraisal Hall to be forced to a corner by just an individual, the thought of it felt ludicrous in itself. Yet, it was happening at this very instant.
"Fetch the keys!"
Since there was a way to activate the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets, naturally, there was a way to stop it as well. However, similar to the activation process, it required the usage of three of the keys simultaneously as well.
Elder Chen and Elder Lu hurriedly walked up to the wall, and stretching out their hands, they placed their keys into the apertures.
Along with the insertion of the three keys, the formation immediately rumbled to a halt.
The radiance slowly faded.
"What... are you all doing?" Sun Qiang frowned.
"Don't worry, we've only stopped the formation. This won't hurt your young master at all!" Hall Master Sai said.
"To stop the formation because you can't afford to lose, the Appraisal Hall... sure is shameless!" Sun Qiang harrumphed.
Even though he hadn't heard their exchange, the meaning behind their actions was clear.
Clearly, they were scared of the young master taking away all of the artifacts inside so they didn't dare allow the trial to continue on any further.
"Cough cough, it's indeed our fault to forcefully terminate the trial. However, there's no need to worry. I'll make it up to your young master!"
Mocked in public, Hall Master Sai's face turned red.
It was just as the other party had said, these treasures were left behind by their predecessors and they were necessary to conducting the 5-star appraiser examination. As such, they truly couldn't afford to lose them.
However, forcefully terminating the trial like that was unfair to the other party as well. Thus, the Appraisal Hall could only find some way to make up for the other party's losses.
Sun Qiang harrumphed in displeasure. However, the formation was already stopped, and there was no way around it anymore.
"Alright, open the door!"
Once the formation was stopped, the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets would automatically cease to operate, and the artifacts wouldn't appear anymore. Relieved, Hall Master Sai shook his hands with a smile.
But at that moment, the ground shook, and everyone nearly fell down. After which, a thunderous chime reverberated within the room, leaving everyone nearly deaf.
"It's... the Harmonious Stream of Flowing Goblets acknowledging its master. The heck!"
Hall Master Sai looked at the door and bellowed frenziedly. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far