Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Chess Peak was once again a bustling place.
Many showed up waiting at Chess Peak in the early hours of the morning. Liu Zong was finally going to play the Celestial Dragon Chess Game again after going quiet for so many days. It was possible that he had been making a lot of preparations. The Celestial Dragon Chess Game left by the Chess Saint and mastered by the nine students remained unbroken even after so many days.
Will Liu Zong be able to break it today?
Everyone looked forward to it.
Many turned their eyes at a single place. It was where Liu Zong was standing, and there were many other top-tier chess players gathering around him. His junior, Mo Jun, the Zhou siblings, Han Jing, and others were all there. The only one absent among the ones who had attempted to break the game with Liu Zong was Ye Futian. However, there was someone else to take his place.
The reason why those people were willing to attempt to break the game with Liu Zong was that they found themselves incapable of breaking the game even after repeated attempts for days. In that case, they stood a better chance of letting Liu Zong take the lead. If they ended up breaking the game, they would have probably been able to meet the Chess Saint nonetheless, despite Liu Zong being the one to take most of the credit. Even if none of them were able to get anything from the Chess Saint Villa, they would have still done Liu Zong a favor.
Liu Zong was lauded to be a saint of the future, and he had the three saints at Xihua Sacred Mountain backing such claims. The value of getting at his good side would have been immense.
At that moment, a group of people walked up to the Chess Peak. It was none other than Ye Futian and his party. He had planned to break the game that day, but he caught wind of Liu Zong’s announcement that he would be attempting to break the game again that very same day.
The group arrived on a rock not far away from the front of the chessboard. Ye Futian glanced at Liu Zong. Liu Zong turned his head to look at Ye Futian. Their eyes caught each other and Liu Zong asked, “Will you be joining us?”
It was apparent that he approved of Ye Futian’s abilities at chess, which was something verified at the chess battle 40 days ago. Ye Futian defeated Mo Jun and was able to peer into the hidden changes of the Celestial Dragon Chess Game, which spoke volumes of his frightening talent at chess. Many claimed that of all those who challenged the Celestial Dragon Chess Game, Ye Futian was probably the second strongest at chess, right below Liu Zong. As such, Liu Zong cared not for the feud or grudges between Ye Futian and Mo Jun, as well as Zhou Ziyi, extending an invitation to break the game with him. It was only within reason that Liu Zong did so.
“Nope,” Ye Futian looked at Liu Zong and said.
“Very well.” Liu Zong glanced at Ye Futian and then turned his eyes away without saying another word. Communication between both of them was done very simply. It was considered a conversation with both sides saying just one line.
Mo Jun, Zhou Ziyi, and the others at Liu Zong’s side all glanced at Ye Futian as well. Mo Jun’s eyes were calm while Zhou Ziyi’s looked somewhat cold. Ye Futian had no beef with the others, and as such, none of the others looked at him any differently.
“They’re here.” A group of people walked from the direction of the Chess Saint Villa. The nine taking the lead were none other than the nine students of the Chess Saint. Yang Xiao led them to land directly on the chessboard and scanned the crowd. His eyes then fixed on Liu Zong.
They knew that all who showed up were there to see if Liu Zong was capable of breaking the Celestial Dragon Chess Game.
“Liu Zong, are you ready?” Yang Xiao asked without beating around the bush.
Liu Zong nodded and said, “I will be challenging the Celestial Dragon Chess Game again.”
Yang Xiao nodded slightly and gestured. “Please.” All nine students took their places and Liu Zong walked out. The other eight followed him onto the chessboard.
“It’s starting.” Everyone in the audience looked on with anticipation, locking their gaze onto the chessboard. If the Celestial Dragon Chess Game remained unbroken that day, there was no probably no hope for it to be broken ever again.
Ye Futian too cast his gaze on the chessboard. He had not expected that he and Liu Zong would have chosen the same day to break the Celestial Dragon Chess Game.
And now, Liu Zong was the first one to challenge the game; however, it was probably difficult for either of them to break the game.
Yang Xiao made his first move, placing his first piece onto the board firmly. Liu Zong waved and a black piece was dropped, going head-on with Yang Xiao. Sounds were heard on the chessboard as pieces continued to be placed onto the board. Every single piece placed was imbued with the formidable power of rules.
Soon, a drawing appeared across the entire chessboard.
Ye Futian could not help but activate Freedom Meditation as he gazed at the chessboard. He saw both sides set their formations into place. Liu Zong stood at the center of the nine, at the side of the black pieces. He looked to be like a large ancient tree, and all black pieces extended from his side. The games that the other eight were playing looked like eight major branches and every branch was imbued with a different aura, yet interconnected and inseparable from each other nonetheless.
Liu Zong’s position enabled him to take control of changes across the entire game.
On the other side, Yang Xiao and the other eight looked just like how they looked before. All nine were interconnected with each other. All nine matrixes looked as if they were separate and independent, yet they formed a whole matrix together.
Sword matrixes, spear matrixes, ax matrixes… All nine worked closely with each other, as if nine dragons coiled on the chessboard, ready to lash out and crush everything in their way.
At that very moment, Ye Futian felt he was watching a battle instead of a game of chess. The nine matrixes tore at the branches and leaves that Liu Zong had laid out violently, yet the broken branches and leaves continued to regrow, looking extremely adamant and resilient. The black pieces continued to encroach their opponent’s territory, feeding on them and forcefully tore into their matrixes.
At that moment, Ye Futian felt an extremely mystical aura emanating from Liu Zong. It was a very formidable spiritual power. He then felt that all the other eight around Liu Zong seemed to have melded into a single, inseparable entity.
“Spiritual Sharing.” Ye Futian wore a concerned expression. Liu Zong was a terrifying spirit elementalist cultivator and he was learned in many arts. At that moment, Ye Futian felt as if he was holding all nine of them together as one with his spiritual powers, enabling all of them to communicate their wills effectively. Furthermore, their play styles complemented and reinforced each others’.
“Powerful indeed,” Ye Futian said to himself secretly. It seemed that Liu Zong was just how Ye Futian thought him to be. If it was something that he was able to figure out, then Liu Zong would have been able to arrive at the same thought. Liu Zong and he shared certain thoughts, after all.
Streaks of lightning sword aura descended from the skies, the flashes disappearing in an instant, incredibly sharp. A terrible gust of sharp aura whipped throughout the chessboard. Many looked at the chessboard and trembled within. Are they really playing chess here?
The chessboard at the moment looked like a true battlefield instead. 18 mighty ones all stepped onto the board and played as pawns themselves. Their bodies dropped with every piece placed. Two extremely violent aurae clashed with each other.
“Celestial Dragon Chess Game.” At that moment, many were vaguely able to see a boundlessly terrifying dragon coiling on the chessboard. Its claws were as sharp as blades, shimmering with cold light. Dazzling sword matrix appeared at its abdomen. When a piece was placed, the sword matrix tore at the board, crushing everything in its path. However, Liu Zong’s body served as the center of their side. The ancient tree’s branches and leaves all turned golden, and Liu Zong seemed to have taken the form of a golden ancient Buddha. The voice of the Buddha rumbled through the air when he placed a piece. The golden leaves and branches turned into golden arms, defending against the game’s terrifying onslaught.
“A chess battle.” Under the workings of Freedom Mediation, Ye Futian seemed to be seeing a true chess battle being fought using matrixes. It was no longer simply a game of chess. It was a show of force being refined to the extreme from the art of chess. Liu Zong had forced the Celestial Dragon Chess Game to bring its most formidable might to bear. The dragon emerged and danced in the air.
At that moment, all eight players beside Liu Zong were subjected to extremely terrifying pressure, especially Zhou Ziyi. Her face had turned pale and she breathed heavily. Her clothes were drenched in sweat and her fair skin was vaguely shown through her dress, making her look very alluring. However, she was unable to pay any heed to that at all. Such was the force of the pressure she was being subjected to at the moment.
The Celestial Dragon Chess Game felt as if it had no weaknesses and there was nothing that could be exploited. The placing of every piece seemed to only serve to amplify said force.
The shadow of the dragon became increasingly powerful and it eventually brought its massive body to bear. With the next piece placed, a sharp claw lashed out in the air, tearing everything in its path.
The end seemed to be right before their eyes, and Liu Zong and his people seemed to be near defeat.
“Not good.” The faces of many changed at that scene. With the Celestial Dragon Chess Game bringing such terrifyingly killer move to bear, Liu Zong’s force seemed to be at the edge of dissolution. However, Ye Futian frowned at the next piece placed. He took a look at Li Kaishan who placed the piece and was puzzled as to why that piece was placed there. There were other better options which would have cut off one of Liu Zong’s arms, crushing some of Zhou Ziyi’s pieces.
Yet at the same time, Liu Zong placed a piece first. He had taken full control. The sky changed with that move. Many felt as if the Buddha’s arms lashed out at the incoming dragon claw. The expressions of Yang Xiao and the others turned grim. Yet another piece was placed and Liu Zong countered without hesitation.
The Buddha’s attacks melded into one, lashing out at the arm of the dragon. A fearsome illusion appeared. The dragon claw shattered and a part of the game it belonged to was gobbled up right there and then; it was a game formed with pieces laid down by Li Kaishan. That move should have been the sharpest edge of the game, and yet, it broke at that very moment.
“Liu Zong,” some called out. Is he going to win?
Countless held their breaths in and waited, locking their gaze at the chessboard. Liu Zong had actually gained the upper hand.
Yang Xiao and his people continued to place their pieces. They looked rather pale. The chessboard did not take one’s plane level into consideration when deciding the victor. The amount of power all players were able to bring to bear was the same.
Finally, when Liu Zong placed yet another piece, the dragon’s abdomen suffered a crushing blow, and it was bisected right there and then. The game was broken and it completely shattered.
The nine interconnected dragon matrix was broken.
The eyes of Yang Xiao and his people froze at that very scene. Yang Xiao lifted his head and looked deeply at his second brother, Li Kaishan, but he eventually said nothing.
Yang Xiao smiled and said to Liu Zong, “Congratulations.”
The game dispersed when he finished. The crowd was in an uproar.
“Liu Zong actually broke the chess game left behind by the Chess Saint. He will be taking the Chess Saint’s expectations and art.”
“That is Liu Zong for you indeed. A top-notch genius like no other.”
Everyone was in awe. However, Ye Futian was seen frowning. He turned his eyes at Liu Zong and then to Li Kaishan, sporting a peculiar expression as he did.
He recalled someone saying, “Li Kaishan, the second student of the Chess Saint, is an honest man.”
But was he truly honest?
The Celestial Dragon Chess Game should not have had openings or weaknesses, yet openings and weaknesses had appeared!