Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ye Futian turned his eyes at everyone celebrating. Liu Zong was, after all, a successor of the saints of a sacred ground of Eastern State, a proud genius tutored by the three saints of Xihua Sacred Mountain. It was naturally a wish of the people to have him break the Celestial Dragon Chess Game.
Everyone was happy for him.
Ye Futian did not what to think about all that. The art of chess was never something absolute, and there were always choices when placing one’s piece. There was no way he could stand out and accuse Li Kaishan of going easy on Liu Zong.
One owned up to one’s choices in chess. Victory or defeat, what was done was done. Even if Ye Futian were to stand out and point out that there would have been better ways to play that move, it would simply have been the case of an outsider having a clearer view of things. It would have been a testament saying that he was a very adept chess player, and it would not be okay to accuse Li Kaishan of going easy on his opponent.
It was not something only Ye Futian understood; Yang Xiao and the rest knew that just as well.
The fact remained that the Celestial Dragon Chess Game was broken. Even if Yang Xiao were to say that that particular move should not have been made such at that time, it would have simply meant that his Second Brother had not been as good a player. It would have done nothing to take away Liu Zong’s victory in breaking that game.
Yang Xiao and the others simply stared at Li Kaishan for a while. If it had been other high-level chess players from the Chess Saint Villa making one such move, none of them would have felt anything wrong about that. However, it was Li Kaishan, Yang Xiao’s junior and the senior of the other seven younger juniors, who made such a move. Everyone knew well what his proficiency at chess should have been like.
The Eight and Ninth Brothers might have made small mistakes at such points. However, Li Kaishan was the second student of the Chess Saint and such mistakes should not happen with him.
Yang Xiao turned his eyes to look at Liu Zong. He smiled and said, “The Celestial Dragon Chess Game has been broken. Congratulations.”
Even if Li Kaishan did go easy on Liu Zong in that one particular move, Liu Zong’s proficiency at chess was still out of this world in more ways than one. As a player, Liu Zong’s chess skill was comparable to any of the nine. Furthermore, Liu Zong had to be in charge of leading his team of nine players to break the game, which in itself had been a frighteningly incredible feat.
As such, Liu Zong was still the best candidate there was.
“You’re too kind, senior. I just happened to be lucky,” Liu Zong said without any hint of glee.
Some of the people by his side, however, were the ones who were excited, such as Zhou Ziyi. She smiled at Liu Zong and said, “Liu Zong, the Celestial Dragon Chess Game was infinitely intricate. Among all under the Saint Plane to be found in the Eastern State, you were probably the only one capable of breaking that game.”
“There are many talented and capable people all over. What you said was too much of an exaggeration.” Liu Zong shook his head.
“Liu Zong, you’re being too humble,” Han Jing said. He came to truly experience the true ferocity of the Celestial Dragon Chess Game in that one game. If it had not been Liu Zong taking charge of things, he would have lost very early. At that moment, he was drenched in sweat, just like Zhou Ziyi.
Everyone around them continued singing praise after praise for Liu Zong.
The Celestial Dragon Chess Game was finally broken after being opened for over two months, and everyone felt excited. The breaking of the game would add further prestige and glory to Liu Zong’s reputation.
Yang Xiao turned his eyes at the crowd. Everything came to an end with the breaking of the Celestial Dragon Chess Game. However, he seemed to feel someone watching them at that moment. He turned his eyes to one face; that face was none other than Ye Futian.
“Is there anything you’d like to say, Palace Lord Ye?” Yang Xiao asked.
Ye Futian nodded slightly. “Truth to be told, I’m planning to try my hand at the Celestial Dragon Chess Game today, but with the game already broken, I shouldn’t be bothering you any further. However, if I were to simply leave without giving it a go, I’m afraid I’d have regrets. So then…” Ye Futian shook his head and wore a bitter smile as he elaborated. He had spent so long running simulations and doing preparations, but in the end, he did not even get a chance to try the game. It was indeed something to feel regretful about.
The Celestial Dragon Chess Game was ingeniously intricate. He had spent tens of days working hard on perfecting his way of chess, not only because he wanted to get his hands on what the Chess Saint left behind, but also because he had developed a genuine interest in chess. And the Celestial Dragon Chess Game was considered the pinnacle of the art of chess at his current level of proficiency.
Yang Xiao smiled and said, “Well, since you have been preparing for the challenge for so long, Palace Lord Ye, I suppose you can try one game.”
“Brother, the game has been broken. There is no need to keep the game around. Why all the extra work?” Li Kaishan said calmly without a hint of emotions.
“Second Brother, everyone here are our guests, and Palace Lord Ye has been preparing for the Celestial Dragon Chess Game for a very long time. Regardless if he were to actually be able to break it, I see it necessary to give him a chance at it. One game wouldn’t have taken very long after all,” Jiu Gongzi said.
Li Kaishan did not say much after hearing that. He looked at Ye Futian and nodded plainly.
“Palace Lord Ye, if you’d please.” Yang Xiao waved and smiled. Brilliant lights shone on the chessboard.
“Thank you, senior.” Ye Futian stepped forward, and eight others beside him stepped onto the chessboard as well. Like how it was with Liu Zong, Ye Futian intended to challenge the game with a team of nine players as well.
Liu Zong looked at the chessboard with rather amused eyes. Back in the day when Ye Futian battled Mo Jun and Zhou Ziyi in chess, he had learned of Ye Futian’s frightening proficiency in the art of chess. It had been many days since then, and he was curious if the Palace Lord had learned anything new since.
The ones who stepped onto the chessboard with Ye Futian were incredibly formidable in their own right. The Sword Saint, Gu Dongliu, Zhuge Mingyue, Hua Jieyu, Yu Sheng, Huang Jiuge, Xu Que, and Ye Wuchen were on the board with him. There were others who did not play, as the team was chosen based on who Ye Futian thought was most suitable to play the Celestial Dragon Chess Game.
The game was like a chess battle, and therefore, they were to challenge the game as if they were to go to battle. The pieces were weapons coalesced with their respective power of rules.
All nine of them were on the chessboard. Gu Dongliu and Yu Sheng went to the front while Huang Jiuge and Ye Wuchen took the back.
Ye Futian stood at the center, Zhuge Mingyue and Hua Jieyu by his side. The Sword Saint took the rear, and Xu Que was assigned to a corner behind as well, looking rather awkward.
Ye Futian activated Freedom Meditation. The Chess Spirit appeared within his Life Palace. All 18 players stood on the board of the Chess Spirit, reenacting the scene before Ye Futian’s eyes in his Life Palace.
The Celestial Dragon Chess Game was formed with nine interconnected chess matrixes without a fixed pattern. There were near-infinite changes in them instead. Every single piece changed with the changes that occurred before. As such, Ye Futian needed to run simulations at real time, but what was more important was for him to lay out his own matrixes properly, keeping them from being gobbled up by the game itself.
What was to happen next was a test of the fruits of his crazed labor in chess training over the past two months.
“After you, senior,” Ye Futian said to Yang Xiao as he was prepared to play.
Countless eyes locked onto the chessboard at that moment. Ye Futian and his party looked incredibly solemn, and simple matrixes began to appear on the respective corners they took, making everyone feel that the game was indeed a serious one. The mysterious, intricate mood made it clear to the spectators that Ye Futian and his party were truly there to break the Celestial Dragon Chess Game.
Yang Xiao waved and placed his first piece.
The second game to be played on that day began right there and then.
Ye Futian waved his hand and placed a piece as well, exuding incredibly mystical power of rules, as if the space around that piece was to be frozen.
Li Kaishan placed another powerful piece.
Gu Dongliu placed a formidable piece after that. While it was Gu Dongliu who placed that piece, it had actually been Ye Futian who had instructed him where to place his piece.
Gu Dongliu and the others did not train in the art of chess.
“One person to play a game of chess for nine players?” Everyone’s eyes sparkled and stared at Ye Futian. The thought was soon verified, as Ye Futian was indeed playing a game of nine all on his own. However, his game consisted of nine different power of rules and was played in nine different styles. While it was actually one person who was manning the pieces, it seemed like nine different people were playing in a team instead.
Liu Zong locked his eyes on Ye Futian. It was apparent that Ye Futian shared the same thought as him; both understood that the Celestial Dragon Chess Game was not something that could be broken by a single person. Only a play style that mirrored his would have a chance at succeeding at the challenge.
As one piece after another was put onto the board, a formidable power of rules emanated just like before. The game brought its greatest might to bear in a short period of time.
Liu Zong fixed his gaze on the game, and his eyes turned increasingly serious. He had never thought that such a formidable genius would have emerged from the Barren State in his generation.
The pieces placed by the nine players on the board came to manifest in nine different styles and nine different formations.
The pieces placed by Gu Dongliu felt like a river of swords with incredible force, and the ones at Yu Sheng’s corner brought incredible raw strength to bear. Both players complemented each other and resisted the Celestial Dragon Chess Game’s attacks at the forefront. Huang Jiuge’s matrixes felt like a tremendously powerful volley of arrows. Every single piece he placed felt threatening. Ye Wuchen’s pieces on the right looked as if they were flickering in and out of existence; tangible and intangible at the same time, waiting to strike with lethal force by exploiting the smallest weakness found.
Every single player’s play style was unique, yet their powers and abilities melded perfectly as if they were the smaller parts of a machine that was the whole game.
In truth, however, it was Ye Futian who was doing almost all the work. He alone played nine different roles, playing nine different styles to fight the Celestial Dragon Chess Game. Such abilities made him something like a grandmaster in the art of chess.
Sage Wanxiang looked at the chessboard and his eyes shone with mystical light. Ye Futian was truly the Palace Lord of the Holy Zhi Palace chosen by the shared will of the Barren State itself. He embodied the future of the Barren State.
That one game would be the very first time he truly shone in the Eastern State.
While his plane was low, it was only a matter of time before all throughout the nine states learned his name, and in time, no one would have dared look down on him like how he was being treated in Chess Saint Villa.
Yang Xiao, Li Kaishan, and the others looked on with sharp eyes as they grew increasingly serious, taking on the game with all they had. They never expected to feel such pressure on them, the magnitude of which did not pale in comparison to the last match in the slightest.
Li Kaishan placed his piece with incredible might. It was as if a wild, violent battleax was brought down on his opponents, cleaving a straight line.
“Xu Que, go three by nine,” Ye Futian said. The nine at Ye Futian’s side did not take turns to place their pieces, manning their own positions per Ye Futian’s instructions.
Xu Que’s placement of his piece struck hard on the most vital point of the Celestial Dragon Chess Game. Despite standing at the rear corner, every single piece he placed felt like a lone assassin whose presence was undetectable, yet his killing intent and moves were unmistakable.
“Fighting matrixes with matrixes,” Yang Xiao mumbled to himself as he looked at the board. He finally realized what Ye Futian was trying to pull with his game.
The nine interconnected matrixes on the Celestial Dragon Chess Game had been completed at that moment on the board, but Ye Futian did not make any countermeasure to prevent the formations from being formed. He did not even seem to have such intentions in the first place. However, with the Celestial Dragon matrix, the black pieces were formed of nine interconnected matrixes. Furthermore, there were sub-matrixes within the matrixes. Gu Dongliu and Yu Sheng worked as a single unit, the formations of Huang Jiuge and Ye Wuchen worked as one, Hua Jieyu and Zhuge Mingyue formed a single entity while Xu Que and the Sword Saint developed their respective forms, with Ye Futian manning the entire game.
The scenario that appeared on the chessboard seemed to be a game designed to resist the Celestial Dragon Chess Game taking form, countering offense with offense.
The Celestial Dragon Chess Game had no weaknesses, and as such, there was no need to look for weaknesses. One simply had to bring an even greater force to bear in order to break the game!