Qin Mu and Deaf painted. One painted to put down his feelings in his painting. The other painted to put down his mortal heart to depict another god with the state of mind of a god.
Qin Mu was painting Divine King Lang Wo, but not really, for it was his ideal lover.
Deaf wanted to finish the transformation of his painting path so he could use painting to carry his Dao.
His aura became more and more discernible as his god nature became denser and denser. The brush in his hand became more than a brush. It became a divine weapon to create life. A new god was born at the touch of his brush.
After a while, it was Qin Mu who put down his brush first as he finished his work.
Deaf was still creating a new life with his thin brush, which radiated an aura of creation. The blood, flesh, and bones of the lady in the painting appeared from his brush.
The god nature of the lady in the painting emerged.
There wasn't a single flaw to her beauty. Her aura was elegant and graceful, and she had a natural appearance. She was wearing the most beautiful heavenly clothes.
Her skin seemed to concentrate all of the beauty in heaven and earth. Her fingers were clear, and her fingerprints contained countless changes, just like Dao. She was like a spirit born from everything good, yet she was created by Deaf.
With Deaf's last stroke, everyone there felt a faint aura emanating from the painting. It was a Postcelestial Great Dao's gradual growth, not from the painting but from Deaf's brush.
He gave the lady in the painting a god nature, a shape, a soul, and a life.
Qin Mu watched the scene and was touched. He opened the eye in the heart of his brows and saw that Deaf's Dao was like an illusory mist that emanated at a seemingly slow speed. It was imprinted into heaven, earth, and the void.
This wasn't a reform, nor was it changing people's hearts, it was the creation of a new technique, a new Dao.
Deaf was silent. With the end of the stroke, the Lang Wo in the painting had a life and a soul. He had his own Dao too.
Finally, he put down his brush and finished his painting.
At that moment, he cried joyfully with a smile. He was flooded with peace and great joy at the same time.
He felt his own Dao. As one of the two weakest elders out of the nine in Disabled Elderly Village, he cared little about techniques and divine arts.
If not for Qin Mu's pressing and the supervision of those in Disabled Elderly Village, Deaf wouldn't have even tried to get rid of his divine bridge to open the Celestial River Divine Treasure nor increase his cultivation.
Yet now, he felt his own vital qi and energy flowing on a marvelous route that was the technique that he formed naturally.
The so-called techniques and divine arts were just a presentation of Dao. He had cultivated the techniques of others when he sought his own Dao, so he was uninterested in his cultivation.
And now, he found and opened his own Dao. With Dao, techniques, and divine arts, everything was complete and would begin to flow naturally.
In writing, even for the best and most experienced, one still needed occasional inspiration to write something brilliant.
It was the same for the painting path.
It was mysterious, marvelous, and incredible.
Granny Si and Apothecary came forward to look at their paintings. They praised them plenty.
While Granny Si had a smile on her face, she subtly poked Apothecary and whispered, "Do you understand it?"
Apothecary had a large smile as he whispered back, "No."
"Same." Granny Si continued to smile.
Divine King Lang Wo walked forward as well and examined the paintings. The subject of Deaf's painting was like another her, elegant and clear. He painted her inner feelings with nothing extra.
That lady was peaceful yet distant. She was beautiful like her and moved like her. Another of her was in another world with her own ideas and thoughts. She even had her own cultivation and divine arts.
They looked at each other despite being in separate worlds.
Divine King Lang Wo praised, "Although this painting path isn't creation, it's quite like it. I can't differentiate whether it's her or me in the painting."
Deaf said, "Mu'er's painting isn't bad either."
Divine King Lang Wo looked at Qin Mu's painting. He couldn't capture her god nature, so she was different than the her in the painting. Compared to Deaf's technique, Qin Mu's technique paled in comparison.
Divine King Lang Wo looked at the subject of the painting. The Lang Wo inside was a peaceful girl who sat on a large snake's head while smelling a flower that she placed on her lips. She carried with her some shyness and smiles.
"The holy infant's subject is like me, but it's not me. He probably put in his own romantic ideas."
Divine King Lang Wo's gaze turned, and she asked, "Can I have these two paintings?"
Deaf nodded and said, "Sure."
Qin Mu nodded too.
Deaf pulled him over again, and they began to paint again. While painting, Deaf imparted his comprehension of the painting path he opened to Qin Mu.
Divine King Lang Wo took the paintings and rolled them up. She thought for a while, took one of them out, and incinerated it to ashes.
Divine King Lang Wo's gaze was ghastly as she looked at the extinguished flames. She waved her hand, and the ashes dispersed.
Granny Si whispered, "Apothecary, which painting do you think she burned?"
Apothecary thought about it and said, "I think it was Mu'er's painting. Mu'er made her look ugly. If it was me, I would burn Deaf's painting if it made me look ugly."
Granny Si spat and said, "I think she burned Deaf's painting."
Apothecary was confused.
"Deaf's painting resembles her too much. As a person with unrivaled looks, she doesn't need another her nor Deaf's painting. If she retained it, she would have the idea of pinning herself in the painting. If she suffers a setback, she might feel that her life in the painting world is more wonderful. She doesn't age and is tough, so she doesn't need another her."
Granny Si continued, "If she wants to admire her looks, she can just take out a mirror. In contrast, Mu'er's painting allows her to see the feelings she lacks. Although it isn't perfect, she can admire it and feel a different kind of emotion."
Apothecary smiled. "Granny, this is but your speculation. If she doesn't say which painting she burned, we will never know."
Granny Si was quite confident. "I feel that the technique this Divine King Lang Wo cultivates should be something unique, where one experiences fewer emotions as one reaches a higher cultivation level. This is because of how emotions seem more precious. When one reaches a higher realm, one is no longer in full control of oneself. One becomes forced to give up feelings to retain one's god nature. Thus, she wants to treasure precious things."
She couldn't help but think about her own experiences. She was visibly dim as she said, "We only realize how precious something is when we lose it."
Qin Mu and the others stayed in Heavenly Saint Academy. Divine King Lang Wo and Shu Jun went to read the books inside the academy to study the results of Eternal Peace's reform and various techniques and divine arts.
Divine King Lang Wo had already opened the divine treasures and celestial palace. To modify the Celestial River Divine Treasure, one had to get rid of one's Divine Bridge Divine Treasure. However, her cultivation was just as high as that of a Celestial Venerable, so it would be very dangerous for her to do so, causing her to be hesitant.
Shu Jun had no such worry, so he opened the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure.
However, he soon found out that he couldn't open a divine treasure in his corporeal body because he had used the Grand Emperor's consciousness to elevate his corporeal body to the standard of a god in the Numinous Sky Realm.
His vital qi and soul were too weak, and his consciousness wasn't strong enough to open the spirit embryo in this corporeal body!
The so-called seven divine treasures were opened in one's corporeal body, and his corporeal body was so strong that he couldn't open them!
"The folks of Eternal Peace are split into people who can cultivate and those who can't. That's decided by the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure."
Apothecary was wise in the ways of medicine, so he prepared a large barrel of fishy-smelling medicine that he refined. He wanted Shu Jun to jump in. "In the past, Eternal Peace's divine arts practitioners only had four spirit bodies—Green Dragon, White Tiger, Vermillion Bird, and Black Tortoise. People without them could, at best, be a martial arts practitioner, as they couldn't open the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure to become a divine arts practitioner. Afterward, Mu'er abolished the divine bridge and opened the Celestial River Divine Treasure. Although he didn't go in-depth on the issue of normal people being unable to cultivate, I did, and I know how to solve it."
Apothecary smiled and said, "Those with the four spirit bodies can cultivate because they inherited their ancestor's Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure, so they have it naturally! Thus, by opening it, they can cultivate!
"Those who can't cultivate had no divine arts practitioners in their ancestry, so they didn't have the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure within them. However, that doesn't mean they can't cultivate! They just have to understand the way to open the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure and open one themselves so they can cultivate and become a divine arts practitioner!"
Apothecary was excited as he explained it all to Shu Jun, who was in the barrel filled with medicine. "This is the product of my research. One can use spirit medicine to train vital qi after confirming the exact location of the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure in accordance to one's corporeal body structure. By doing this, normal folks can gather enough vital qi to open the divine treasure and become a divine arts practitioner. However, your corporeal body is too strong, so it must be softened via medicine."
Shu Jun watched him pour poisonous things into the barrel and asked shockingly, "These things are poisonous, no?"
Apothecary smiled. "I noticed that your soul is weaker than a normal person's, so I used some little treasures to help you nurture your soul. Mu'er did this too. It will be good for you, it will be good for you…"
Shu Jun instantly felt pain to his soul and sweated a lot after those poisonous things entered the barrel.
Apothecary examined the poison in the barrel and said, "I have helped many normal people become divine arts practitioners. You will also become one with my help. Your corporeal body seems to be too strong, more of these little treasures need to be added…"
After a while, Apothecary took out a silver needle and put it into Shu Jun's skin. Shu Jun's skin was broken through.
"Now that your corporeal body has been softened, you can try to open the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure."
Apothecary felt relieved and glanced at Shu Jun in the barrel. White foam came out of his mouth as he stopped breathing. He ran out and shouted, "Mu'er, Mu'er! Come quickly! That youth with a big head that you brought was poisoned by me on accident! His soul has left his body!"
Qin Mu came quickly and used Soul Guide instantly to lead Shu Jun's soul back before he pushed it into Shu Jun's body. He asked, "Grandpa Apothecary, did you put in too many poisonous substances again?"
Apothecary blushed and said, "His corporeal body was too strong, so I added some more drugs. Who knew his cultivation was so poor…"
In the barrel, Shu Jun's eyes rolled again as his soul left his body again.
Qin Mu hurriedly summoned his soul and pushed it into his body again. He then used the Heavenly Devil Creation Technique to seal it in his body as he rapidly said, "Help him get rid of the poison first!"
The two of them got to work and finally managed to get rid of part of the poison in Shu Jun's body. It was then that they could relax.
Shu Jun woke up slowly. Despite opening his first divine treasure with the help of Apothecary, the Spirit Embryo Divine Treasure, he was extremely fearful of this man with the bronze mask and dared not approach him.
When Apothecary came to drink tea with him, Shu Jun was nervous, and he looked around. Cold sweat burst forth from his forehead constantly. It was only when Qin Mu was beside him that he dared to drink Apothecary's tea.
Qin Mu finally learned Deaf's technique as he said to Apothecary, "Grandpa Apothecary, Grandpa Deaf has carved his own path. I learned his technique and built the celestial palace of painting. Now, I still need the celestial palace of medicine. As one says, if one doesn't work hard when one's young, it will be useless to mourn when one's old. If you don't work hard at your cultivation, I will be bullied outside. Look at this…"