Chapter 393: The Furious Xu Qiqin!
"Thank you, gongzi!"
As happy as that recruit was, he didn't forget to bow respectfully to thank Wang Chong before delightfully making his way out. He had thought that he didn't stand a chance in this examination, so he was pleasantly surprised when he actually passed.
"Good luck!" Without turning around, Wang Chong waved him off.
From the game with that recruit, he discovered the other party's unyielding spirit and ability to outperform himself in desperate times.
Even though he was on the verge of losing, he still held on persistently, far longer than Wang Chong had expected him to.
This was also the reason why he could confidently ask Xu Qiqin how many moves she had used in the game against him.
A moment later, the second successful examinee emerged.
"Congratulations, you have passed the examination!" Wang Chong smiled at a recruit from Longwei Training Camp as he relayed the good news.
"Thank you, gongzi! Thank you very much!" The recruit quickly bowed in gratitude.
"What is with your judgement? Even a person like him can clear the examination? He doesn't even know how to play Go! That fellow doesn't even know the basic rules of the game!"
It was one thing for the first examinee, but seeing that Wang Chong cleared even such a person, Xu Qiqin could no longer hold back her rage anymore.
She couldn't help but feel that Wang Chong was intentionally provoking her.
She had crossed hands with that examinee earlier, and there were many occasions where he seemed to be ignorant of the rules of the game and she had to remind him of them. The silly chuckle that the latter made every time after making a mistake just seemed to rub her the wrong way.
It was one thing for the others to pass the examination, but if Wang Chong couldn't come up with a valid reason for his victory, she would never let this slide.
This was going too far!
"He might have made quite a few mistakes throughout the game, but do you think that he is really ignorant of the rules? Lin Changting, recite the rules of Go to him!" Wang Chong said with a wave of his hands.
Lin Changting gazed at Wang Chong in astonishment.
It hadn't been long since he had started learning Go, so it wasn't entirely wrong for Xu Qiqin to say that he didn't know how to play the game. However, what eft him truly astonished was how confident Wang Chong was that he knew the rules of Go and could recite it.
"Y-yes, gongzi!" As surprised as Lin Changting was, he quickly recited the rules. A bunch of Go jargon came out of his mouth fluently without much thought.
Hearing the other party recite the huge chunk of rules that consisted of over a thousand words, astonishment flashed across Xu Qiqin's eyes. She had played against that fellow, and the feeling the other party gave her was that he was a fool.
But this whole long bunch of rules, not even skilled players of Go would necessarily be able to recite it. Yet, the fool before her eyes actually managed to recite them fluently!
This left her eyes widening in shock.
The difference in his performance before and his actions now was simply too great; it was as if they were two different people!
She couldn't imagine how the same person could be so different before her and Wang Chong.
Furthermore, how did Wang Chong manage to see through him?
"It's not that he doesn't know the rules of Go, but that it hasn't been long since he came into contact with the game. He tries to think out of the box to find innovative ways to curb his opponent, but due to the limited time he has spent on the game, he doesn't have a thorough understanding of it yet. On top of that, there is no one to guide him along. As a result, in the eyes of others, he appears like a fool who is ignorant of even the rules of the game.
"In truth, this is similar to the novel warfare which I have just spoken of. Perhaps even he isn't aware of it himself. Lin Changting, after this matter is over, come to my room. I have something to give you," Wang Chong said.
Lin Changting's talent wasn't beneath Sun Zhiming. If he was groomed properly, he might just become yet another master of novel warfare like Sun Zhiming!
Thank you, gongzi!"
Lin Changting was delighted. He had thought that it would suffice for him to clear the examination, but who knew that he would manage to earn Wang Chong's recognition on top of that. This was truly an unexpected gain.
"Hmph, what novel warfare and conventional warfare, don't think that you can deceive me with those words!" Xu Qiqin said indignantly.
She was unable to understand a single word that Wang Chong was talking about, and she couldn't help but feel that Wang Chong was making the "conventional warfare" and "novel warfare" up just to humiliate her.
After all, if it was as important as he had said, how could she, given her background and vast knowledge. Not have heard of it?
"Hehe!" Wang Chong chuckled softly, not bothering to explain himself.
Xu Qiqin had truly misunderstood him. Be it the recruit earlier or Lin Changting, he had only cleared them because he thought that they had great potential.
As long as they were groomed properly, they could become the brightest stars of the battlefield in the future.
The only reason why Great Tang only had a hundred or so rising generals in his previous life was because there wasn't a discerning Bo Le to recognize them.
(Translators Note: Bo Le is a famed horse tamer in the Spring and Autumn period, known for his ability to discern superior breeds. His name has, since then, been used to metaphor those who are capable of identifying, grooming, and using talents well.)
In the entire world, who else other than he, the previous Great Marshal of the Central Plains and the esteemed War Saint, would be better suited to identify talents and nurture them?
Of the Three Great Training Camps, the most capable instructor was actually him, it was just that no one was aware of it at this point.
The examination continued, and even though there were two successful examinees at the start, most of the others ended up failing. In comparison to them, Xu Qiqin was actually doing quite well.
In truth, the chess skills of most of the recruits in the Deflecting Blade Manor was truly not praiseworthy.
However, it wasn't Wang Chong's intention to turn them into Go experts. Instead, he intended to use it as a medium to create a culture that emphasized the importance of military strategy here.
Even if most of them wouldn't become a general eventually, they would still rise to become lieutenants, captains, vice-generals
If the top and middle leadership of the military possessed a deep understanding of warfare, Great Tang would be invincible!
Creating an army whose soldiers were skilled in warfare from top to bottom; this was Wang Chong's goal for the Deflecting Blade Manor!
Time slowly ticked by. Xu Qiqin's current situation on the chessboard was already extremely precarious. Wang Chong's straightforward assaults had already torn through her formations on the chessboard, scattering her forces all around.
In terms of strategy, Wang Chong didn't attempt to use any tricks. His movements were simple and consistent, Xu Qiqin could see every single move he made clearly.
But it was such a simple playing style that had left her cornered.
Xu Qiqin's face paled, and cold sweat was dripping down her forehead. This was a reaction from overexertion. Wang Chong's movements had nearly sapped her brain power dry.
"Congratulations, you have passed the examination! Alright, we shall be ending here today. The results are already out. I hope that the rest of you can work hard to clear the examination the next time around!" Wang Chong's voice suddenly echoed in the room, and upon hearing those words, Xu Qiqin finally succumbed to her rage.
"Wang Chong! What do you mean by that?" Xu Qiqin glared at him furiously.
"What do you mean by saying the results are already out? Are you saying that I have failed the examination?" All of her dissatisfactions came bursting out at this instant.
She was still in the midst of playing, but Wang Chong had already announced that it was the end of the examination. Didn't that mean that she had failed the examination as well? But she had defeated every single examiner and examinee here! Was he trying to say that she couldn't even compare to those ordinary examinees?
"Don't you know better than anyone else? Look at your bowl, how many stones are there left?" Wang Chong replied calmly.
"What do you mean by that?" Xu Qiqin was at the peak of her rage, but in the next moment, as her hand reached for the bowl by the side of the chessboard, she suddenly froze and fell silent.
In that instant, it was as if a pail of icy water had been poured over her.
The bowl used to store her black stones was nearly emptied out. There were only four to five pieces in there.
Wang Chong was right, the game was over.
"Look at the bowl on the other side and look at how many white stones are in there," Wang Chong continued.
Xu Qiqin immediately cooled down. Even without taking a look, she knew that the other bowl must be empty. In this game, Wang Chong's moves were standard and consistent, but for some reason, it was extraordinary powerful and pressurizing.
Throughout the game, she actually didn't manage to claim more than a handful of his stones.
Taking a look at the chessboard once more, a bitter feeling emerged in her heart.
The majority of the chessboard was conquered by Wang Chong's white stones, and only a few scattered areas by the corners were in her black stone's possession. It was an utter defeat.
In that instant, Xu Qiqin seemed to have noticed something.
Without saying much, Wang Chong picked up the bowl storing the black stones he had eaten and poured them out before Xu Qiqin.
(Translators Notes: Each player has two bowls each, one to store the stones for them to make a move with, and the other to store the stones they had 'eaten' from their opponent.)
"Take a look for yourself, there are at least a hundred stones in there. This is a complete defeat from your side. In fact, there are many examinees here who fared better than you. The Chess Hall has its own rules, so... you have failed the examination!" Wang Chong said impassively.
Xu Qiqin's reddened face turn ghastly pale. It was only at this final moment that it all struck her at once. She had lost, and it was an even more disastrous defeat than the previous time.
Her lips trembled uncontrollably, unable to accept this outcome.
With his hands behind his back, Wang Chong said calmly,"Work hard! Though, I still do think that someone of your aptitude is not suited for our Chess Hall!"
Those words immediately clouded Xu Qiqin's mind with rage.
A deafening explosion sounded, and the entire Chess Hall seemed to have shaken for an instant. Right before Wang Chong's eyes, Xu Qiqin raised her fist and smashed the chessboard along with the table beneath it into smithereens.
Wooden fragments flew across the room!
The table was forged out of the incredibly resilient Phoebe Zhennan, but before Xu Qiqin's might, it was smashed as if it was paper paste, and even the wood's fiber was forced out under the impact.
On top of that, even after the top of the table was shattered into pieces, the four legs still remaining upright, having been knocked deep into the floor.
"Bastard!" Xu Qiqin bellowed, her furious voice echoing clearly throughout the Chess Hall. She could care less anymore. Even if her identity were to be exposed, she had to teach Wang Chong a lesson today!
"Wang Chong, you are intentionally making things difficult, aren't you? You just simply want to humiliate me, dont you?"