Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Other than reading books, Ye Futian also went to play chess at Chess Peak to gain a deeper understanding of the way of chess first hand. He became more and more able to see the intricacies of chess, and he deemed that if he was able to master the way of chess, it would do him a lot of good in helping with his training.
He also came to know, in the days he spent there, who Liu Zong was—a student of Xihua Sacred Mountain, a sacred ground of the Orthodoxy in the Eastern State. Furthermore, he was the personal student of the saint and was renowned as number one among the younger generations of Xihua Sacred Mountain. All three mighty ones of Saint Plane served as his teacher, and it was said that if there was a saint to emerge from the next Orthodoxy Battles of the Nine States, there was no doubt that it would be Liu Zong.
Such appraisals meant that Liu Zong was more than someone with just potential for sainthood; he was destined to be a saint in the days to come, and it was an opinion shared by many in the world.
Other than Liu Zong, Zhou Zichao, who had arrived as well, had a similarly impressive background. He hailed from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, a sacred dynasty which ruled vast regions in the Eastern State. It was said that the dynasty had once united all of the Eastern State under one rule many years ago, reigning supreme over all. While the dynasty was no longer what it once was, it was one of the top forces to be found in the Eastern State, even throughout all of the nine states.
Yang Xiao, a mighty one ranked on the Sage Ranking of the Sage and Saint Ranking who was also a student of the Chess Saint, would not have come to receive him personally.
Other than them, all the others who were invited to the Yujing House were people who earned the approval of the nine students of the Chess Saint. They were all either of impressive background or possessed extremely exceptional talents. It was, after all, about the item symbolizing the lineage of the Chess Saint, and as such, it naturally drew attention.
Yang Xiao, head of the Yujing House, threw a banquet at his place to entertain his guests. The place was incredibly lively and all who were present were people of exceptional bearing.
Ye Futian’s party took their respective seats after arriving, and their seats were far from eye-catching. Ye Futian turned his eyes forward, finding Yang Xiao, the eldest student of the Chess Saint, to be a dashing, exceptional middle-aged man. His wife, however, looked young, seemingly in her early thirties. She sported incredible looks. She was the number one beauty in all of Yujing City, and her looks naturally matched what her reputation suggested. However, there were many women among the guests who actually had looks on par with that number one beauty in all of Yujing City.
The girls in Ye Futian’s party also looked exceptional. Other than that, a young man and a young woman were seen sitting near Yang Xiao’s seat, which was at the front. Both of them exuded an air of elegance, as they were none other than Zhou Zichao and Zhou Ziyi, siblings who hailed from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, and Zhou Ziyi was extraordinarily beautiful herself. Both siblings were extremely regal and elegant.
There were many mighty ones found around the two of them. While every one of those people exuded a mild and peaceful air about them, the air of elegance about them was unmistakable. They were all people from the sacred dynasty. Furthermore, the people who were sitting opposite them were also exceptional figures.
“Today’s banquet is just for fun and chatter. It is an honor to be able to meet so many proud sons and daughters of the younger generations.” Yang Xiao, who was sitting at the host’s seat, smiled and said to everyone before him, “My wife and I would like to propose a toast with everyone here.”
“Your reputation precedes you, Chief Yang. It is a pleasure to be able to meet you today,” someone said with a smile. All 81 who were ranked on the Sage and Saint Ranking were exceptional people, and Yang Xiao was especially so, given how he was a student of the Chess Saint.
“I assume all of you have gone up to the Chess Peak and experienced the games laid out personally. What do you think about the games?” Yang Xiao asked with a smile.
“Difficult.” Li Mu, a student of the Sword Celestial said, “I’m versed with sword matrixes and began looking into the way of chess before I even came here, but I was still unable to make it through even the first game when I arrived. I’m now able to make it to the fifth game after spending so much time here. It will prove rather difficult to break through all nine games.”
“Han Jing has broken through eight games thus far, and he should soon break the ninth in due time,” Yang Xiao looked at Han Jing and said.
“I will do so as soon as possible and go on to experience the Celestial Dragon Chess Game for myself,” Han Jing said as he turned his eyes to Yang Xiao. The Celestial Dragon Chess Game was the ultimate game, one which was laid out by the combined efforts of all nine students. It was more than just a game, as an intense chess battle was expected to take place within that game, so much so that even the rules were made different.
“I look forward to it,” Yang Xiao smiled and said. He then turned his eyes at a very dashing, handsome young man and asked, “Mo Jun, when will your brother, Liu Zong be here?”
Mo Jun was another exceptional student from Xihua Sacred Mountain and was a personal student of a saint as well. He was an extremely exceptional young man with a lithe figure and incredibly handsome looks. One look was all that was needed to tell that the young man was meant for great things, and he enjoyed a prestigious status among the youths of the Eastern State. Even so, when the people thought about the younger generation of Xihua Sacred Mountain, his brother, Liu Zong came to mind before him. Of course, Mo Jun admired his brother Liu Zong greatly as well. His brother was one destined to be a saint in the future, and Mo Jun had, of course, believed himself to be the same as well.
“My brother likes keeping to himself. As such, I have no idea where he actually is,” Mo Jun replied.
Yang Xiao nodded and added, “I’m rather excited to see this exceptional young man from Xihua Sacred Mountain who reigns supreme among all the youths.” He then took notice of a woman of exceptional appearance who exuded an air of holiness, so much so that she looked even more exceptional than the number one beauty in all of Yujing City. Yang Xiao smiled and said, “I’m rather surprised to see you here, Goddess Qingni.”
“You’re being too kind, chief.” Goddess Qingni was also a student of a saint, a younger generation with links to the eight great ones of the Saint Plane in the Eastern State. Many such people were present at the banquet.
“Brothers, how about you introduce the guests you have invited here. There are some that I don’t even know,” Yang Xiao said as he looked at his younger brothers. All nine students of the Chess Saint were present that day.
“Yes, Eldest Brother.” Some of them nodded and went to introduce the mighty ones they invited to the house. All of them were exceptional figures from the Eastern State. When it was Jiu Gongzi’s turn to do so, he looked at Ye Futian with a rather peculiar expression and said, “I don’t actually know where you’re from.”
Ye Futian smiled and shook his head. It is really either very generous or clumsy of him to have only remembered such things now.
“Ye Futian of the Barren State,” Ye Futian said softly.
“It sounds rather familiar. I think I’ve heard about it somewhere,” Jiu Gongzi said. He then turned to Yang Xiao and did his introductions. “Eldest Brother, my friend Ye Futian is from the Barren State.”
“Barren State, Ye Futian,” Yang Xiao murmured to himself. All of the younger generations of the Saints turned their eyes to Ye Futian suddenly. While people of the Barren State hardly mingled with those of other states, the people of the sacred ground would still concern themselves with the great incidents of the Barren State, especially involving Zhisheng Cliffs of Yu State. As such, they had heard of Ye Futian’s name more than half a year ago.
“I didn’t expect the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace, sacred ground of the Barren State to be here. My apologies.” Yang Xiao raised his cup, smiled and said, “Please help yourselves.”
“You’re too kind, chief.” Ye Futian raised his cup and emptied it.
“Oh, so you’re that Noble Plane Palace Lord.” Jiu Gongzi had only just realized. He vaguely remembered something about Ye Futian being talked about more than half a year ago, but as he had little interests in such affairs, he did not take it to heart. He had only come to realize Ye Futian’s identity after hearing what Yang Xiao said.
“Noble Plane Palace Lord, eh.” Ye Futian felt rather exasperated.
Everyone in the banquet turned their eyes to Ye Futian. Zhou Zichao then said, “I heard that you defeated Qin Zhong, the Son of Zhisheng Cliffs, and that your talents are exceptional. The previous Palace Lord in the Barren State called upon Emperor Xia after that battle in the Holy Zhi Palace, who then had you take over as the Palace Lord.”
Many present had more or less heard of that incident, but not many knew much about what happened. However, it was obvious that the previous Palace Lord thought Ye Futian possessed exceptional talents and had a chance at attaining sainthood, given how Ye Futian was able to defeat Qin Zhong of Zhisheng Cliffs and how the previous Palace Lord gave his life to call upon Emperor Xia.
They knew a thing or two about Qin Zhong of Zhisheng Cliffs, but were hardly familiar with Bai Luli, as they hardly cared about what happened in the Barren State. If it had not been for Zhisheng Cliffs being a part of that great incident, they would not have even heard of Ye Futian’s name.
Still, they cared little about him despite having seen his face now, as Barren State did not even have a saint in their ranks, going to great lengths and making costly sacrifices just to have a saint emerge. It was rather far-fetched, given how some who were present were students of saints.
“If you’re a Palace Lord of the sacred ground of the Barren State, why do you suck so badly at chess?” someone asked. What has been demonstrated by Ye Futian that day was something many found appalling. It would have mattered little if Ye Futian was just another commoner. But a Palace Lord of the Barren State’s sacred ground playing a game of chess so awfully was deemed something laughable. Many turned to look at Ye Futian. So he is the rumored one. This is getting interesting.
“Is playing a game of chess about determining who is the winner and who is the loser, or is it about having a playstyle that looks elegant?” Ye Futian smiled and said, looking at the one who just spoke.
That person frowned and added, “While it is indeed true that the primary objective is to tell the winner from the loser, isn’t it unthinkable to ignore the process of how the game is played?”
Ye Futian smiled, not going to argue further with the other party. While he thought Wanxiang’s play style was rather ugly, he hardly thought it was a problem. If he was able to beat the lineage of the Chess Saint playing in such a way, he would hardly care about the playstyle itself. He thought many present would share similar opinions as well.
Mo Jun turned his eyes at Ye Futian, recalling something. With the Barren State not having a saint among their ranks for so many years, the Palace Lord must have come all the way from the Holy Zhi Palace of Barren State, seeing an opportunity in the Eastern State. Or maybe Ye Futian actually had some ideas about the nine states?
The battles among all nine states were to happen in none other than the very sacred ground that they were at now—Xihua Sacred Mountain—and no one invited the Barren State to participate in the event.
Yang Xiao smiled and said to everyone, “With even the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace from the Barren State coming all the way here to the Eastern State, I’d say the Celestial Dragon Chess Game will open a month from now. I will then allow all from Yujing City to witness the event at Chess Peak.
“The nine games currently laid out at Chess Peak will resume as usual, just so everyone has a way to study the way of chess further. The Celestial Dragon Chess Game evolved out of those nine games and is practically an amalgamation of the nine games. As such, there is no way the Celestial Dragon Chess Game could have been broken without first breaking the nine games now at Chess Peak,” Yang Xiao elaborated and everyone nodded. There was only a month’s time to look into it, and it seemed to be something achievable by only a handful of people, with the great majority of others having zero chance at breaking the Celestial Dragon Chess Game.
Ye Futian’s party left after the banquet was over.
“Uncle, we have only a month. Do you think we stand a chance?” Ye Futian asked Wanxiang.
“I didn’t know much about chess and I was only able to break the first six games. The seventh sported extremely complicated changes. Yang Xiao said it himself earlier, the Celestial Dragon Chess Game was an amalgamation of all nine games. As such, it definitely has limitless changes and that makes it even more difficult to break. I’ll spend the coming month researching the way of chess with you,” Sage Wanxaing said.
“Alright then.” Ye Futian nodded. “Coincidentally, my style kind of differs from yours, Uncle, and I have developed some thoughts about the subject. Let’s look into it together.” Ye Futian was compelled to work on it as they had come all the way to the Chess Saint Villa. It would have been a valuable experience even if they ended up losing eventually!