Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The old man on the other side frowned as well when he saw how Ye Futian placed his piece, puzzled at his move. He then placed his second piece with a wave of the hand, paying no heed to the piece that Ye Futian had just placed. The way he played was treating the game as steps to lay out his matrix, making it something entirely independent on its own. The final outcome would have been the same regardless of whatever Ye Futian did.
Unless the way Ye Futian played was something of a higher level than his was. It was only through such a method that Ye Futian stood a chance at breaking his game.
Sage Wanxiang said nothing thus far. Ye Futian placed his piece however he felt like it, and he sensed an overbearing pressure bearing on him. It was pressure from the chessboard, as he was able to vaguely sense his opponent’s pieces were gathering force. The force grew with every piece placed on the board.
Ye Futian activated Freedom Meditation and looked at the game. He felt caught in the midst of the game instead of someone playing the game, feeling a rush of powerful power of rules sweeping at him. It was something that descended from the heavens and bore on his body. Being put under such pressure, the one playing would have to expend spiritual power to resist it, which meant that the concentration spent on the game itself was somewhat diverted, making it even more difficult to win the game.
Ye Futian felt something mystical being in the game and was somewhat excited about it. So this is chess battle, huh? I must say this all feels so new to me.
He waved his hand again and dropped one star piece after another. He played the game on his own instead of waiting for instructions from Sage Wanxiang. He seemed to have entered a state of his own. Under the powers of Freedom Meditation, he was able to see the game a little better, and every piece he placed seemed to be able to cut down that invading force gushing at him. To put it more aptly, at the moment, it felt like Ye Futian was working to break his opponent’s matrix formation, instead of actually playing a game of chess.
“Go seven by five,” Sage Wanxiang said, breaking Ye Futian’s excited state. He cursed under his breath, but went on to do as told and placed the piece at seventh-fifth slot.
The placing of that piece seemed to have broken the change the old man was trying to lay out. A sparkle was seen in his eyes as he went on to place his piece, making up for it in other ways.
“Go six by eight,” Sage Wanxiang said again, and Ye Futian continued placing his piece. He was able to feel that Sage Wanxiang’s placing of pieces was more intricate than his. Or rather, the sage felt less morally restricted. The way the pieces were placed was very precise, with an expressed intention of breaking the gathering of the force of the opponent.
“Go six by four.
“Go nine by seven.”
One voice after another was heard in Ye Futian’s ears. The old man’s frown began to look increasingly apparent and a rather irked expression was seen on his face. What kind of dirty, crude playstyle is this? There are no methods to be seen in this and there is no force gathered either. Worse still, this is practically just a mess. However, such play style did no other thing than messing his formations.
Every piece was placed in such a way that it would have made the opponent wanting to beat the one placing the pieces to a pulp. Displeasure was seen in the old man’s eyes as he went to continue playing the game. He was adamant in his disbelief that such a messy play style would have been able to break up his game.
Time passed and more and more pieces from both sides were found on the chessboard. The power of rules grew increasingly powerful, spreading out to all corners. Many stood on the rocks not far away, looking at the game between those two with funny expressions.
There was actually such a shameless way of playing? All dirty moves. Everything looked messy. Yet everything worked.
The golden cauldron intended to take form in that game, yet it seemed as if the structure had cracks everywhere, and the golden cauldron remained incapable of truly manifesting. Furthermore, the messy star-powered pieces carried incredibly overwhelming power on their own, and the golden cauldron that was not yet able to take form was able to do nothing to crush them.
The number of chess pieces grew on the board. The old man waved and brought a piece containing overbearing power of rules down, but he hesitated to complete the move. He looked incredibly frustrated, vaguely feeling that regardless of how the pieces were to be placed, there was simply no hope of getting his matrix up and running.
“No way to go about this.” The old man slammed the piece on the chessboard. Rumbling noises were heard as the game was broken.
A puzzled look was seen on Ye Futian’s face as he turned to glance at Sage Wanxiang. The crook really is something indeed. He actually calculated all possible changes and made it impossible for the game to be continued?
Everyone on Chess Peak turned their eyes to Ye Futian. You can do that?
Many researched the way of chess or were versed with chess before coming up the Chess Saint Villa. However, it was their first time witnessing a play style that was so appalling. While the way it was played was rather ugly, it was nonetheless interesting if one were to really look into it. Just how powerful do one’s calculative abilities have to be in order to actually anticipate the moves of one’s opponent and go on to block them, affecting how the entire game is played?
Ye Futian returned to his original spot, looking at Sage Wanxiang with a funny look. Jiu Gongzi naturally knew that it was not the work of Ye Futian himself, but the man was simply following Sage Wanxiang’s instructions. The sage claimed to intend to calculate all the changes of the game, which Jiu Gongzi took to be little more than a joke, yet the sage actually did it.
“So is this considered a pass?” Ye Futian asked, looking at Jiu Gongzi.
Jiu Gongzi looked at Ye Futian and nodded in a rather speechless manner.
“Well, let’s get on with the second game then.” Ye Futian seemed to have gotten riled up. Many eyes turned on him as he stepped on the second chessboard, waiting to see him play.
Ye Futian went placing his pieces as he fancied, just as he did with his first game. He then went on to dismantle all that was thrown his way with no finesse or grace. The old man, who served as his opponent in the game, said angrily when the game was over, “I have never seen a playstyle that ugly.”
The third and fourth games soon followed. Ye Futian went on to break six games in a stride and the difficult grew. Even Sage Wanxiang found it taxing to play the games as there were more and more changes to be had. Ye Futian finally lost on his seventh game, thrown out of the board by a terrifying chess matrix. However, being able to break six games consecutively was still an achievement that had mouths gaping, and everyone went to gauge Ye Futian’s party with curious eyes.
After playing seven games of chess battle, Ye Futian actually felt himself to have been truly initiated, gaining an understanding of the way of the chess. He felt chess was increasingly fun and he became very interested.
“Too many changes to be calculated?” Ye Futian asked Sage Wanxiang.
“It seems that I have underestimated the way of the chess. I have never thought one small board would be able to have so many changes capable of being executed on it. It was like a great path, and I never expected every play style and chess matrix to have that much difference in magnitude of power between them.” Sage Wanxiang said, impressed enough that he stopped looking down on chess as he did before.
It went without saying, however, that being able to rely solely on calculations without having ever learned to truly play chess and still was able to carry Ye Futian all the way to the seventh game was something incredibly terrifying.
The games were not ordinary games. They were games laid out by the Chess Saint, and difficulty grew with each of the nine games.
“I thought the games were interesting as well. I’m getting rather interested in chess.” Ye Futian turned to Jiu Gongzi and said, “So one is only able to acquire the lineage of the Chess Saint after breaking all nine games?”
Jiu Gongzi shook his head with a smile and said, “Yes and no. After breaking all nine, there is still one of even greater difficulty to be broken, and one would be considered to have completed the games after that.”
Ye Futian and Sage Wanxiang looked at each other. The ability demonstrated by Sage Wanxiang enabled him to break only six games, which spoke volumes of the difficulty of the remaining three lying in wait behind. Furthermore, there was one more with greater difficulty after breaking through all nine.
Just how terrifying would that game be? He had no answer to that question as it was beyond his imagination.
“Regardless, if you were able to pass, there is no need to fret. Han Jing excelled in both ways of chess and matrix, and his calculative abilities were extraordinary as well. Despite so, he was only able to pass the seventh game. Breaking all nine chess games of Chess Peak is not something that can be done in a day or two,” Jiu Gongzi smiled and said.
There is just no way the games laid out by teacher would be so simple.
“Well, in that case, it’s better that we go down the mountain then,” Ye Futian said, getting ready to return to Yujing House for the time being.
“Alright.” Jiu Gongzi nodded. He turned to Sage Wanxiang and said, “If you were to learn to play chess, old sir, you would definitely be able to break all nine games.”
“My interests lie elsewhere.” Sage Wanxiang shook his head, smiling. Despite astrology not being something capable of being used all the time, that was where his interests lied.
The way of the chess was the study of the myriad of changes taking place in a game of chess. Astrology, on the other hand, was the way of the heavens and the earth, for it was the study of all changes taking place in the world.
They met an old man after coming down the mountain and arriving at Yujing House. The old man was of common bearing and looked common as well. He looked friendly, and said to Ye Futian’s party with a smile, “Ninth Brother, I heard that you have invited some people. Are these friends who you mean?”
“Yes.” Jiu Gongzi nodded and said, “This is my Second Brother.”
Ye Futian looked at the man and saw him smiling at them, without leaking any bit of aura. However, Ye Futian was able to tell that Li Kaishan, the second student of the Chess Saint, was a very terrifying sage who sported tremendously powerful combat capacity.
Ye Futian returned the courtesy and said to Li Kaishan as well, “A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Er.”
“Whoever is here is our guest. You can relax and make yourselves at home at Yujing House,” Li Kaishan replied with a smile and left.
“Mr. Er seems to be an amicable person who seems to get along well with others,” Ye Futian said to Jiu Gongzi. His demeanor matched what Ye Futian found prior in the gathered intel. Li Kaishan, the second student of the Chess Saint, was a good person.
“Yeah, my Second Brother is kind and has a golden heart. He has many friends and Liu Zong will be here as well, answering my Second Brother’s invitation. The man should be on his way here as we speak,” Jiu Gongzi said with a smile.
“Liu Zong?” Ye Futian looked rather suspicious.
“You are not telling me that you don’t know Liu Zong.” Jiu Gongzi looked at Ye Futian with a funny look. Liu Zong’s renown was such that it would have been impossible for anyone from the Eastern State not to know him.
Just where the hell are these people from?
“Who?” Ye Futian smiled and asked, thinking that to be an adequate answer.
Jiu Gongzi looked puzzled. He turned to Ye Futian and said, “The person capable of breaking all nine games.”
Ye Futian did not ask any further. He came to know Liu Zong within the next couple of days, as everyone in the house discussed things and Liu Zong was practically the talk of the place. There was talk about Zhou Zichao as well.
When Zhou Zichao arrived at Yujing House, Yang Xiao, the eldest student of the Chess Saint went to receive him personally. However, more were found hyped, waiting for Liu Zong’s arrival. As renowned figures gathered in Yujing House grew in number, the place became increasingly lively. There were times where rumors about Ye Futian were heard, as his games of chess battles back then left quite an impression.
Ye Futian was feeling rather carefree staying in Yujing House. He was reading a book at the time. The cover of the book had images of chess pieces carved on it. It was apparent that it was a book on chess!