Wuxiaworld > Nightfall > 559 The Interesting Gameplay on the Chessboard

559 The Interesting Gameplay on the Chessboard

Chapter 559: The Interesting Gameplay on the Chessboard
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

There was a beautiful legend.

It has nothing to do with stone. According to the legend, thousands of years ago, when West-Hill Divine Palace was in the early years of Dazhi and Tile Mountain was still called Bun Mountain, a woodcutter called Wang Zhi accidentally entered the depths of the mountains. He saw a few old monks playing chess and went up to watch them curiously. He realized that the match was vicious, and was so enthralled that he did not leave.

An old monk realised he was drunk and gave him a bun. After Wang Zhi ate the bun, he no longer felt hungry. He sat by the chess board from dawn till dusk.

The match had still not ended even as the darkness of twilight enveloped the mountains. The old monk who had given Wang Zhi food looked up and told him, "If you do not leave now, you will never be able to."

Wang Zhi reluctantly stood up and prepared to leave. However, just as he was about to pick up his ax, he realised that its wooden handle had disintegrated into dust. He left and returned to his village, only to realize that all of his peers had died.

He only understood then that a century had passed in the day he spent watching the chess game.

The legend was spread throughout the land. Eventually, the Bun Mountain became Tile Mountain and the temple in the mountain was called the Lanke Temple by the secular world. It eventually became the official name of the temple.

Because of this legend, chess was very popular around Tile Mountain. No matter whether they were gentlemen or farmers, every man would study chess as children. The black and white flags Ning Que had seen in town likely had to do with this.

Lanke Temple in particular was renowned for chess and so, naturally, the monks within were well-versed in it. The game on the stone chess board beneath the tree was how the temple chose the fated one. It was extremely difficult to win.

This was why Ning Que had never thought that Sangsang would be able to solve it. However, he had not expected Sangsang to make such a blunder in her first move and cause the chess master from South Jin to yell in annoyance.

The South Jin Kingdom's chess master's yell was loud, and his attitude was horrible. The cultivators who were watching the match looked at him irritatedly. They felt that the man was being very disrespectful towards the Lady of Light and deserved to be locked in the You Prison for a century.

However, their stares did not affect the South Jin Kingdom chess master at all. He tugged free from his peers who were restraining him and charged to the stone table. He bellowed in pain and anger, "Even though this puzzle can be solved, I have only found a clue after thinking for an hour. This girl child did not even think before putting a chess piece haphazardly. She's just fumbling around. Do you even know how to play chess? If not, what are you doing here?"


Mo Shanshan looked up from the stone table and looked at the man. However, her eyesight was not that good, so she looked as if she was a little lost. She said, "Indeed, I am not good at chess. What's the matter?"

The chess master from South Jin Kingdom only then released his anger. He turned around to the black carriage and pointed at the newly added white chess piece on the stone chessboard. He said heatedly, "You Tangs are all military people, how would you know about the art of maneuvering on the chess board? Girl, you don't even understand what's happening, why are you putting chess pieces down randomly? You'll surely lose if you do that."

The crowd gathered under the tree couldn't be bothered to get angry as they watched the man yelling at the carriage. They knew that he was either unafraid of death or incredibly stupid. Since it was a chess piece directed by the Lady of Light, even if it was a wrong move, it would have a profoundly deep meaning. Was it something an ordinary person like him could understand?

The South Jin Kingdom chess master had been obsessed with chess his entire life. He would only leave his chess room to visit the palace. And even when playing against the Emperor of South Jin Kingdom, he could not bring himself to lose. He loved chess and was obsessed with it, so how would he know how highly ranked the girl in the black horse carriage was? The ignorant did not know to be fearful, and so, he continued lecturing Sangsang.

Ning Que shook his head and signaled for the disciples of the Sword Garret to back down. After all, he had not expected Sangsang to solve the game. So he only warned the chess master, "Speak softer, and don't swear."

The chess master from South Jin froze. He recognized Ning Que as the young man he had seen at Lanke Temple at dawn yesterday. His voice lowered unnaturally and he said in annoyance, "Chess is a sophisticated art. I wouldn't swear."

Let's ignore the dispute on the chessboard for now.

The yellow-garbed old monk sat before the chess board. His expression was indifferent.

He had studied chess extensively throughout his life, especially this puzzle under the tree. He had pondered over it for years, and placed many chess pieces on the board. He looked at the white chess piece that had just landed on the board. Like the South Jin Kingdom's chess master, he was certain that the game was doomed thanks to this chess piece.

This final phase of the game was called the "messy phase" because it was as messy as a pile of firewood. Without any external pressure being exerted, the messy pile of firewood looked stable. In actuality, it was on the brink of collapse. To solve the game, one had to ensure that it would not collapse. They had to reorder the firewood and rebuild the pile, and this was very difficult.

Sangsang had whispered the coordinates by the carriage window earlier, and the Calligraphy Addict had placed the chess piece. The white chess piece landed in the empty middle part of the board amongst the messy chess formation. It was an unreasonable move, pulling the thickest, bottom-most piece of firewood from the pile, completely damaging the stability of the pile.

The pile of firewood had collapsed on the ground.

The yellow-garbed old monk said, "This game has ended."

The audience under the tree were all either confident in their own chess skills, or had brought companions who were skilled, since they were here to meet Master Qishan. When they heard that, they studied the board seriously and were surprised to see that the South Jin Kingdom chess master was right. The match had no chance of continuing.

To think that the Lady of Light had made the first move so haphazardly. Their glances towards the carriage grew complicated. However, they did not dare to show any of their doubts or disrespect.

All was silent by the mountain stream, and the atmosphere became somewhat awkward.

However, just then, Sangsang's voice rang out from the black carriage once more.

"This game... is indeed interesting."

...

...

The curtains lifted slightly, and Sangsang whispered two numbers.

Just like when she would say two numbers before Ning Que shot an arrow, she did not even seem to have to think about them.

Mo Shanshan, who was sitting in front of the board froze slightly. She retrieved another white chess piece from the urn and placed it on the board.

The yellow-garbed old monk furrowed his brows. He had not expected the Lady of Light to be so persistent, even when she had already lost. He felt that this was not proper for a game of chess, as one should know when to concede.

The South Jin Kingdom chess master seemed to have discovered something strange. He moved closer to the board and scrutinized the ordinary looking white chess piece.

He said with an odd expression, "Oh, this seems interesting."

The yellow-garbed old monk had also discovered that the position of the white chess piece was weird. He could not help but think of the past, and his indifferent expression warmed up. He said with a slight smile, "This is interesting."

...

...

Sangsang was a very intelligent girl. In Ning Que's words, she was just too complacent to think of things herself and was used to relying on Ning Que. That was why she seemed a little slow. She was always in a daze, even when chopping firewood. She had always been too lazy to think, so when did she begin to think that playing chess was interesting?

The story started two years ago. Ning Que had been far away in the Wilderness. He had instructed Chen Pipi to visit the Old Brush Pen Shop on Lin 47th Street often to take care of Sangsang. Chen Pipi had once heard Ning Que say that Sangsang was the true genius. He could not take that lying down, and so, began several rounds of competition.

In the beginning, Chen Pipi and Sangsang competed in memory skills. Chen Pipi lost badly. Then, he played chess against Sangsang, but they were interrupted by the appearance of Wei Guangming in the Old Brush Pen Shop, and then, the appearance of Master Yan Se.

What followed was something that made others sigh and lament.

That was the first time Sangsang learned the rules of chess and officially played. Chen Pipi had never won against her after she learned the rules.

Sangsang and Chen Pipi would bet whenever they played chess.

Sangsang would gain some benefits every time she won a match.

That was when she began to feel that playing chess was interesting.

This was also why she had carefully asked the yellow-garbed old monk if there was a prize.

It was a habit.

After that, Sangsang cooked for Ning Que, the Headmaster and Ning Que's Senior Brothers and Sisters at the back of the mountain. Sometimes, she would be dragged into a few games by Fifth Brother and Eighth Brother, who were both obsessed with chess.

On their journey to Lanke Temple, she would read the chess manual given to her by the two Senior Brothers to pass the time whilst she was ill.

Fifth Brother had once said that Sangsang's talents in chess even surpassed Ning Que's. Not even she knew where her talents stretched to and how her skilled she was.

But she felt that playing chess was getting more and more interesting as time went by.

Even though she regretted a little that there was no bet, it was still enjoyable.

...

...

They stood under the large, green tree.

The chess master from South Jin Kingdom shook his head regretfully. He said, "Even though it is interesting, this game cannot proceed any further."

The last phase was called the "messy phase" for a reason.

Sangsang had put down the second chess piece. It corresponded to her first move. She no longer picked the thickest piece of firewood from the pile. Instead, she used the hard firewood to pick apart all the firewood on top of the pile.

This was not removing a piece of firewood from beneath a cooking pot to allow the water to boil faster; it was even better than that.

It messed up the chess formation completely, and then turned into another strategy. This method of complete destruction and reconstruction brought together the theory of profit and loss in Haotian Taoism. It was also filled with bravery in searching for a way to live even in the face of death. It seemed to be working.

However, in this game of chess, the black pieces had a great advantage. They could completely annihilate the white pieces. How could the white pieces defend against the black, even if there was complete chaos? The crux of the matter was, even if the white pieces could hold up against the attack, how could they rebuild their formation?

The yellow-garbed old monk did not say anything. While he thought that the move was interesting, he knew that there was no way the White would emerge victorious once he understood the formation.

The white pieces had landed on the board like how firewood scattered on the ground messily. It was chaotic, and if one wanted to reorganize the pile, they would need to do in-depth calculations. This kind of calculation was not something that could be accomplished by humans. Even the Great Divine Priest of Revelation from West-Hill Divine Palace who was world-renowned for his math skills could not do it.

It had nothing to do with intelligence or one's talent in chess. This was nature's law.

This law stated that there was a limit to one's ability.

Even the most intelligent person had a limit to his brain's capacity.

Decades ago, the yellow-garbed old monk had tried this method. He did not sleep or rest and thought for three whole months. However, he had not managed the calculations and had not even come close to succeeding.

He had only understood then, that while this solution looked reasonable, in actuality it was not.

It was a solution that could not be completed by man.

Unless the person playing chess could ignore this law of the world.

...

...

All were silent under tree; only the crisp sounds of chess pieces landing on the stone chessboard could be heard.

In the black horse carriage, Sangsang would speak softly, and then, another white chess piece would enter the battle.

There were already seven or eight white pieces on the board by now.

The yellow-garbed old monk compared the board to the one he remembered and was shocked to discover that the girl in the carriage had come up with an extremely similar solution to the one he had thought of only after months of thinking.

Even though there were differences in the positioning of two of the pieces, it was indeed on the right path. However, it was a pity that this seemingly correct path was blocked.

The yellow-garbed old monk slowly nodded as he thought of how the girl had managed to accomplish this in such a short time. The expression on his face grew warmer and he thought that she must indeed be the Lady of Light from West-Hill Divine Palace. She was extremely intelligent.

Those that Lanke Temple selected to meet Master Qishan did not necessarily have to solve all three chess game. The three games on the mountain path were very difficult, and not even a national player could solve them, much fewer cultivators who were not skilled in chess.

They were meant to test what kind of intelligence and courage a cultivator could display, as well as their characteristics. Only those who were impressive may proceed.

The yellow-garbed old monk knew that White was walking to a dead end, but the girl in the horse carriage had displayed courage when solving the game. Her mental calculations were out of the world, and that represented her intelligence. She was outstanding enough, and it could be said that she was a genius.

Since Sangsang was a bigwig from the West-Hill Divine Palace and of noble status, the old monk would not allow her to continue walking on the wrong path that led to darkness and hopelessness. He could not let the Lady of Light lose too badly, lest the Haotian Taoism show her disrespect.

The yellow-garbed old monk stood up and looked toward the carriage with an affable expression and said, "You are indeed the Lady of Light. And your intelligence is beyond compare. Even though your solution did not work, you have passed this round of the three rounds."

Then, he looked at Ning Que and said, "Mr. Thirteen, you were wrong on one point earlier. Rules of Lanke Temple are not dead. And I think that there are some rules that have to be respected."

While Ning Que did not agree with the old monk, he only nodded since the old man had agreed to let them pass. He had even praised Sangsang, so Ning Que was satisfied.

The South Jin Kingdom chess master who had been watching the game on the sidelines ran his hand through his beard and said, "You are right, master. Even though the girl's solution did not work against this enigmatic puzzle, her calculation skills put me to shame."

The cultivators were satisfied with the results and all nodded and expressed their approval. It was not known whether they had really seen the intelligence of the Lady of Light through the game.

Naturally, while some were satisfied, there were those who were not.

Aunt Quni Madi was very dissatisfied; she harrumphed disappointedly.

There was also another dissatisfied person present.

Sangsang's confused voice floated out of the carriage.

"I was about to win. Why did we stop?"

...

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