Chapter 157: The Painter
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Duanmu Xingling continued, "Warriors who enter Underwater Dragon Palace will receive great benefits. However, due to the high degree of danger, very few warriors dare to go and train there."
Zhang Ruochen said, "Senior sister apprentice Duanmu, do you think we will go to Chikong Secret Mansion or Underwater Dragon Palace for our exploration this time?"
"It should be Chikong Secret Mansion.
"Given our current Realms, Underwater Dragon Palace is too dangerous. We would probably all die inside. The School of the Martial Market only wants to train us, not send us to die."
Duanmu Xingling continued, "Of course, the Mansion is still dangerous enough that we will need to prepare a lot beforehand."
"The Mansion is deep within the earth, close to the magma layer. Therefore, it is intensely hot and dry. We will need to gather sufficient water and heat-resistant treasures with Ice nature. Of course, we have Space Treasures and we can carry large amounts of water, so we won't need to worry about that. For the other warriors, water will be a major issue when entering the Mansion. So we have an advantage there!"
Duanmu Xingling said, "We must be careful of three things. First, there are many strange and ancient underground savage beasts among the Mansion."
"Second, other warriors."
Zhang Ruochen asked, "Are you referring to the external students of the Eastern, Southern, and Northern campuses?"
Duanmu Xingling replied, "They are only part of the problem. Can you be certain that none of the 10 students from Western Campus don't want to kill you? If you were to discover a treasure inside the Mansion, perhaps those who you thought were friends would stab you in the back and betray you."
Zhang Ruochen asked, "What is the third point?"
"The Exiles!" Duanming Xingling replied.
Zhang Ruochen was confused, so he asked, "What are the Exiles?"
Duanmu Xingling smiled. "Over 500 years, countless heretics, killers, bandits, heresy masters, and other evildoers have been imprisoned in a special area of Chikong Secret Mansion within the 36 commanderies. They were tortured and made to suffer a great deal. Many of them have starved to death. Those who managed to survive are truly the most evil of all. If we enter Chikong Secret Mansion, we might run into some of the Exiles who have been locked away."
Zhang Ruochen asked, "Since they've been shut away in a special area, as long as we avoid those areas, we will be alright, won't we?"
Duanmu Xingling shook her head and responded, "Many of the Exiles are from either the Black Market or the Moon Worship Demonic Sect. Do you think there is no spy of those places within the external students of the School of the Martial Market? Don't you think they will use this opportunity to unseal the special zone and release the Exiles?"
Zhang Ruochen said, "I understand! The School of the Martial Market is also testing us through this exploration to see if we are spies of the Black Market or the Moon Worship Demonic Sect. After all, the top 10 students of the four campuses are all highly talented. They are likely to move into the higher levels of the Martial Market Bank."
"It would not be beneficial for the Martial Market Bank if there were agents of the Black Market or the Moon Worship Demonic Sect in the higher levels."
Duanmu Xingling said, "So, before we enter the Intermediate Relic Field, we must be well-prepared for every circumstance. Although Chikong Secret Mansion is dangerous, it is also filled with opportunities. We might get more out of the three months of exploration in Mansion than 10 years of practicing out here. Everything depends on how we make use of our opportunity!"
"I've told you everything you need to know. Now I'm going to seclude myself for practice and attempt to improve my cultivation a bit more."
Duanmu Xingling stood up and turned to walk away. Suddenly, she stopped again. She smiled and said, "Zhang Ruochen, Sister Chen is now your fiancée. If you give her a Space Treasure, she will be safer when she enters the middle-level heritage."
Then, Duanmu Xingling gave a tinkling laugh and left Yellow No.1.
If Huang Yanchen's temper was not so terrible, Zhang Ruochen would have given her a Space Treasure a long time ago. He didn't need Duanmu Xingling to remind him.
Zhang Ruochen thought for a while. Then, he left his room and headed to Earth No.1 where Huang Yanchen lived.
He knocked on the door, and there was no reply.
"Surprisingly, she's not home!" thought Zhang Ruochen.
He was about to leave, but he thought better of it and turned towards Heaven No.1.
The owner of this room was Luo Shuihan.
"Senior sister apprentice Luo is also going to participate in the Intermediate Relic Exploration Test, and she will also need a Space Treasure. I'm glad that she taught me how to practice my Spiritual Power in the Half-Saint's Sacred Glyph the last time we were at Divine Power Palace. Since she was so kind to share the Glyph with me, how could I not give her a Space Treasure?"
With this in mind, Zhang Ruochen walked towards Heaven No.1.
Zhang Ruochen knocked with the door knocker. He asked, "Senior sister apprentice Luo, are you there?"
The front door did not open, but Luo Shuihan's voice floated into Zhang Ruochen's ears, beautiful as a lark's song. She asked, "Why are you looking for me?"
Luo Shuihan's voice was very calm and gentle as if she was talking right next to Zhang Ruochen's ears.
Zhang Ruochen replied, "It's nothing important. I just wanted to thank you for letting me use the Half-Saint Sacred Glyph last time."
"Come on in!" Luo Shuihan's voice called out again.
The tightly closed door opened on its own as if it was pushed by an invisible hand.
Zhang Ruochen stepped inside. The ground was covered with fallen leaves. A white paved path led to an elegant tower.
The door of the tower was already open. Zhang Ruochen removed his shoes and walked in quietly.
He knew Luo Shuihan liked peace and quiet. She was living a reclusive and simple life. All the students of the School of the Martial Market had heard of her, but very few of them had actually seen her.
Everyone thought that Luo Shuihan was either training off campus or secluded for practicing.
Zhang Ruochen was very lucky to be able to see her today.
Walking into the room, Zhang Ruochen smelled a light scent. He saw Luo Shuihan, who was wearing a white robe, sitting bare-foot on the wooden floor. She held a bronze brush in her hand and was painting on a piece of Spiritual Paper.
Her paint was made from the blood of savage beasts.
She was painting a second-level superior class savage beast, the Leopard-Headed Blood Bat.
Luo Shuihan made her last stroke just as Zhang Ruochen came in.
She extended a pale, slender finger and touched the painting. A wisp of white Genuine Qi streamed out from her fingertip.
Suddenly, there was a movement in the painting and a flapping sound.
A group of blood bats flew out of the Spiritual Paper, flapping their meter-long wings. They came straight for Zhang Ruochen.
40 blood bats descended on Zhang Ruochen. They had leopard heads and vicious teeth.
Each bat was strong enough to kill a warrior at the Completion of the Black Realm. 40 of them were enough to strip a warrior at the Initial Stage of the Earth Realm to nothing but bare bones in a moment.
Zhang Ruochen immediately pulled out his Snow Dragon Sword and executed a sword technique.
"Sacred Bell Sword!"
Countless streams of Sword Breath converged to form a three-meter white bell made of swords. It encased and protected Zhang Ruochen at its center and began to spin rapidly.
Instantly, three Leopard-headed Blood Bats were sent flying, their bodies ripped apart. They dissolved into three strands of Spiritual Blood which dissipated into the air.
The white Bell Sword emitted ice cold air, causing the temperature in the room to drop sharply. The chill condensed into snowflakes that gently drifted down.
Luo Shuihan extended her pale, slender hand and caught a snowflake. Staring at the Blood Bats surrounding Zhang Ruochen, she gently nodded her head. Quietly, she called, "Come back!"
At Luo Shuihan's order, the group of Leopard-headed Blood Bats turned like the tide. They flew back to the paper and turned back into a painting.
Zhang Ruochen put away his sword and stared at the painting on the table. "Senior sister apprentice, are you a painter?"
Luo Shuihan gently nodded. She said, "I learned for a few days from a senior painter at the Sect. Compared to the Master Painters, I still have a long way to go."
These "painters" did not just paint. They were able to turn their paintings into Martial Arts weapons.
When the artists used the blood of beasts as paint, a finished painting could call the savage beasts to aid the them in battle.
If they human blood for ink, they could summon entire armies with cavalry.
If the artists used special and precious materials to make their paint, the completed painting could summon thunder and lightning, move mountains, halt rivers, block the sun, and even set the sea roiling.
There were fewer Painters than there were alchemists, weapon refiners, or Tamers. Almost all of them were from the Art Sect.
The Art Sect was considered a large and powerful suzerain in Kunlun's Field. Since Luo Shuihan was able to learn from a senior at the Art Sect, it meant that she was highly talented.
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