Chapter 22 – Battle Painting (I)
Ye Yin Zhu’s heart jolted. Painting Sect? The Eastern Dragon Sect of Painting?
With regards to the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects, Qin Shang hadn’t spoken a lot about them with Ye Yin Zhu, but he had once told him that the Eight Eastern Dragon sects were divided into two branches, magic and martial arts. The four magic sects were the Zither, Chess, Calligraphy, and Painting sects. The four martial arts sects were the Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum sects.
The Zither Sect was ranked first among the four magic sects, while the Painting Sect respectfully followed right behind it. Although this ranking wasn’t at all representative of the four sects’ absolute strengths, to a certain degree, it represented their relative strength among the others of the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects.
Ye Yin Zhu didn’t ask because he knew that this wasn’t the time to ask questions. He couldn’t refuse though, so he nodded. “Fine then.”
Students of both sides gradually withdrew, and the rallying cheers of the students of the Magic Department increased in volume. This year’s final battle of the Freshman Competition had finally begun.
Ma Liang wore the standard Summon division’s gray magic robe, with its expansive sleeves. Although he wasn’t very handsome and also slightly shorter than Ye Yin Zhu, he still exuded an optimistic air, easily allowing him to obtain favorable impressions.
Ye Yin Zhu extracted his Moon and Tides’ Clear Brilliance while Ma Liang also withdrew several items. A very peculiar magical staff appeared in his hands. The staff was approximately two-thirds of a meter tall, glinting with a faint red radiance. Adorning the tip of the staff was a white gem cut in the shape of a large teardrop with its tip pointing outwards—an excessive seven and a half centimeters in length. To ordinary people, this was only a peculiar magical staff, but Ye Yin Zhu knew that this was a painting brush of the Painting Sect.
The Zither, Chess, Calligraphy, and Painting Sects were the four magic disciplines. The Zither Sect was classified as a Divine Music discipline, a branch of the Spiritual discipline. The Chess Sect was classified as a Domain Seal discipline, a branch of the Spatial Domain discipline. The Calligraphy Sect was similar to each of the elemental disciplines, and was the only sect among the four magic sects to cultivate Synthesis Magic. The Painting Sect, however, cultivated Summon Magic.
Ye Yin Zhu had heard from Qin Shang that the four sects were not as simple as they were presented, but this was the first time he had genuinely encountered such a matter.
Ma Liang smiled slightly and said, “Elder Brother Ye, I have seen your previous matches. Your one battle with Nesta was the only time I could confirm my judgement. I know your strength is very powerful. Today, let us have a fair battle.” Violating the Rainbow Ranking System’s evolution of strength was symbolic of the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects.
Finished speaking, Ma Liang’s hand held the magical staff in the hollow of his palm and lightly traced a circle. His gentle expression also became grave. Right hand flickering rapidly, his mouth seemed to be moving, reciting an incantation. An arc of yellow light appeared from the tip of his magical staff, gradually drawing a design in the sky.
It seemed to others that Ma Liang was drawing an exclusive Summon Magic spell while reciting the incantation. Only Ye Yin Zhu knew that his mouth’s movement was merely a ruse to fool people. Removing their extremely unusual circumstances, each of the four magic sects of the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects used magic that did not require the assistance of incantations. At this moment, the painting brush in Ma Liang’s hand was his true weapon.
Ma Liang’s motions were fluid and swift, the movements of the magical staff were like the drifting clouds and the flowing water. In merely a few seconds, a drawing of a wolf was completed, and a fantastic scene appeared. When he finished drawing, rays of light unexpectedly extended out in a flash. Fusing together in the sky, the rays of light condensed in the blink of an eye.
“Ao——!” The wolf howled. The large cyan wolf’s length surpassed three meters, the design coming to life and pouncing straight at Ye Yin Zhu.
Sitting in the rostrum, Ferguson couldn’t help but be astonished as he watched this scene. “Such a strange summon spell! I have never seen anything like it. Ah! Youngsters nowadays are indeed startling.” Summon Magic was the strangest discipline, but also the most extraordinary magic. Apart from the ranks assigned in accordance to the Rainbow Ranking System, their circumstances compared with other magic disciplines were different. The summons of Summon mages were different from those of magical beasts. Fantastical oddities of every description could be found within summoning. This was also why Ma Liang wasn’t worried about his Painting Sect affiliation being identified.
The three meter long cyan wolf was only a Wind Wolf, a rank 3 common magical beast. Although Ma Liang was Yellow Rank, Ye Yin Zhu was familiar with the ranking system of the Eight Eastern Dragon Sects and knew that this Ma Liang was at least a Primary Level Green Rank, like himself. He just didn’t know what the second stage of the Painting Sect cultivation was.
With Ma Liang’s current magic ranking, he could certainly summon rank 4 to 5 magical beasts. Nevertheless, if the amount of magical beasts reached a certain quantity, Ma Liang would have a very difficult time controlling them. He hadn’t forgotten how troublesome it was to control those two Gigantic Dragons he had summoned during the previous two matches.
Despite his thoughts, Ye Yin Zhu had already welcomed that charging wolf. His left hand hugged the Moon and Tides’ Clear Brilliance to his chest while his right hand extended forward, already throwing his Jade Silk out quietly. Yellow rays of Dou Qi light transformed into a dark green ring of light in the air, directly confronting the Wind Wolf.
The Wind Wolf’s speed was very quick. During the time when he’d begun pouncing towards Ye Yin Zhu, wind blades were already shooting out of its mouth with lightning speed. Although the wind blades were merely Orange Ranked, the Wind Wolf was an exclusively Wind Attribute magical beast. This allowed it to instantly shoot out Orange Ranked wind blades. Unfortunately, it was currently confronting Ye Yin Zhu.
Level 2 Yellow Rank Bamboo Dou Qi was equivalent to Intermediate Level Green Rank. The Wind Wolf stood no chance. Every wind blade that ran into the Jade Silk instantly twisted and shattered, dissipating back into ordinary air. The Jade Silk then precisely enveloped the Wind Wolf’s head. Instantly, Ye Yin Zhu shot past the Wind Wolf, dashing towards Ma Liang.
The Wind Wolf froze, motionless. When Ye Yin Zhu sprang past it, its large body had already turned into specks of light, disappearing from sight.
A summon mages’ summoned magical beasts were a form of elemental energy condensation. This was a unique aspect of Summon Magic. If a magical beast died, it would simply deconstruct back into its original elemental shape and disappear. As a result, the two most important requirements for Summon Mages were the skillful use of summon spells and formidable magic power. Stronger magic could be obtained by means of elemental alchemical summoning, allowing for the creation of even more powerful magical beasts.
Ma Liang didn’t expect Ye Yin Zhu to deal with the Wind Wolf so quickly. He rapidly brandished his painting brush, but at this moment, his second drawing’s magic had yet to finish.
Although Ye Yin Zhu’s speed was incomparable to Sura’s, he was relying on his equivalent Green Rank Dou Qi—which made him significantly more powerful than a regular mage— to instantly arrive in front of Ma Liang. His right hand raised the Jade Silk, which had transformed back into a slender dark green radiance. It directly advanced towards Ma Liang, striking his right hand that still held his painting brush.
At this moment, Ma Liang’s face suddenly displayed a strange smile. The Jade Silk was indeed pressed against his wrist, but Ye Yin Zhu sensed that his Jade Silk unexpectedly struck thin air. As he stood in front of Ma Liang, the illusion gradually disappeared.
“Elder Brother Ye, I’m sorry for inconveniencing you. Just now, I had prepared a Substitute Magical Beast.” Ma Liang’s voice rang out from behind him. When Ye Yin Zhu turned around, he discovered that Ma Liang was already on the other side of the field, five hundred meters away. His painting brush still flickered rapidly as well. This second Summon Magic drawing was clearly more complicated than the previous one.