Zhao Layue's movement of raising hand was very powerful. Her hand, full of blisters due to the years spent tightly gripping her sword, sliced through the air over the stone step at a high speed, and the wind whistled, like the flapping of flags on a battlefield. It signified an intent of determination and deadly resolve.
But the expressions of her eyes displayed even more unwavering determination.
Zhao Layue would know what Jing Jiu meant from the look of his eyes or his body movements.
It was the same the other way around.
Jing Jiu didn't continue, but he didn't understand why she didn't want to hear what he had to say.
He was certain that his true identity was something Zhao Layue wanted to know the most.
Though she had never asked directly, she would mention the name of Lian Sanyue in their conversations once in a while.
--Perhaps it was a probe, or an actual revealing of her real inner-thoughts.
The purpose of her coming to meet Tian Jingren that day was to ask this question, but why didn't she? Jing Jiu was about to tell her himself, but why didn't she want to hear it?
"I have had many guesses regarding your identity, and I have thought that you might be a devil-man from the deviant sects, alongside even more bizarre guesses."
Zhao Layue continued, "But I didn't ask him today. It's because I have thought it through, I actually don't need an answer."
"Why?" Jing Jiu asked.
"Because I don't want to hear an answer that I don't like. I don't know what I am going to do if the answer turns out to be a bad one."
Zhao Layue displayed a fearful expression as she spoke.
The disciples of the Green Mountain Sect would be shocked speechless if they had witnessed this scene.
This shouldn't have happened to her.
Jing Jiu understood her feelings, saying, "I promise you. The answer is not a bad one."
Zhao Layue was taken aback, and she didn't want to think further about the matter, saying, "Then, that's good."
"Is that it?" Jing Jiu wondered.
Zhao Layue said with a serious tone, "It's not important who you are. I only know you're an important person to me."
"It's true," said Jing Jiu after some thought.
Zhao Layue let out a big smile while looking at Jing Jiu, the small flower in her hair above the ear fluttering with the breeze.
Jing Jiu reached out and rubbed her head.
Zhao Layue opened her distinct black-and-white eyes wide, looking very attractive and extremely elegant.
Jing Jiu thought he was about to hear the mantra of the Green Mountain Sect.
Zhao Layue didn't get angry, but she felt somewhat uneasy.
She moved his hand carefully from her head with her own hand.
She didn't let his hand go.
Zhao Layue pulled Jing Jiu up from the stone step and walked towards the street adjacent to the plum garden hand-in-hand.
In their past few years of traveling across the world, they had gripped their hands together while riding swords.
Yes, it was the gripping of hands, like the gripping of a sword, not the holding of hands.
Of course, they wouldn't do so under normal circumstances.
It was because Jing Jiu was injured that day.
This might be the reason.
Two of them were walking in the street, hand-in-hand.
The section of the street close to the old plum garden had become empty. The chess stalls had all been vacated, leaving behind some pieces of paper and a few worn-out chairs lying on the ground upside down.
In the street ahead, it was still bustling with a big crowd that had gathered in one place, where screams could be heard from time to time.
That young man was standing in front of a chess stall, and his tender face didn't show that nonchalant expression anymore, but more of a bored expression instead.
As far as he was concerned, playing chess with these chess stall owners was an unbearable thing.
It was understandable.
Besides, why had he come here and insisted on driving these chess stalls away in this manner?
Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue had passed the street, without stopping or even glancing in that direction.
They knew who that young man was, but they were not interested.
Zither, chess, calligraphy and painting had nothing to do with their life.
Until they had heard a few surprised screams in the crowd.
Then they heard these words.
Mister He of the Chunxi Chess House looked awfully embarrassed, especially when he noticed the bored expression on the young man's face.
He had played with the young man himself, but lost badly. The worst part was that he didn't know how he was defeated, and he wasn't even able to tell the actual chess playing level of his opponent.
Mister He heard footsteps outside the crowd, and turned around looking in that direction. He saw the second manager of the chess house walking in front, feeling relieved.
The Chunxi Chess House was quite famous in Zhaoge City, so it must have brought a highly achieved Go player.
When he saw the elder in plain clothes with a long beard flapping, his heart skipped a beat, thinking how come they have brought this person?
More people had seen the elder, and the crowd separated like the tide to form a path. The discussions and conjectures in low voices had eventually turned into screams as they couldn't control their emotions anymore.
"The Grand Scholar Guo!"
"How come he is here?"
The old man was named Guo Qi, an important courtier of the imperial court and Grand Scholar of the Wenyuan Institute, and he was someone who had an extremely high status.
For those who relied on playing chess in the street for their livelihood, the old man had another identity that he was even more famous for.
The Grand Scholar Guo was a national level Go player! He was regarded by many as the number one Go player in the imperial court!
At this moment, the young man had just finished his current game, and he said this directly without even bothering to lift his head.
The Grand Scholar Guo walked to the front of the chess stall, and then said, "Please offer your guidance."
The young man lifted his head and saw the old man. He was a bit surprised to see him, and his expression finally grew serious, saying with his hands cupped, "Master has a quick way to learn the news."
"I can only say that my luck isn't bad today."
The Grand Scholar Guo stroked his long beard gently, and said with a smile, "The court meeting has been cancelled due to the Plum Meeting. I went to Ruixiang House to have my dinner. The owner of Chunxi Chess House came hurriedly to ask the visiting guests in my house for help. Out of curiosity, I asked him briefly, and thought it must be you based on his description. So, I have come here to have a look."
Now mister He learned why the Grand Scholar Guo was here.
The visiting guests in the grand scholar's manor house were excellent chess players, far better than the common chess players in Zhaoge City, but they were still inferior to the grand scholar himself.
However, his chess house had no chance of inviting such an important figure like Grand Scholar Guo to come here.
As mister He was thinking of the matter, he heard the young man say, "I'm not so worthy."
Grand Scholar Guo said with a serious tone, "Many people in Zhaoge City have wanted the chance to play against you in person, but you have never given them the chance. So today I can't miss this good opportunity for the world!"
Upon hearing this, the crowd was in an uproar, thinking who this young man actually was? Yet mister He was different from the commoners tending the chess stalls in the street, so he figured out the young man's identity. His expression had changed suddenly, with cold sweat soaking his cloth, thinking he had in fact played a game with such a figure, and his chance of winning was of course nigh nil; but in the next moment, he felt happy as he thought it wasn't a disgrace to lose to this person, and his defeat was unavoidable. More importantly, it was an honorable thing to play with this person since few had the chance of doing so.
"But I don't understand why you chose to play chess here?!"
Grand Scholar Guo looked at the shabby environment and the enormously ordinary chess equipment with a frown, feeling incredulous.
The young man said, "I don't want these people to play chess, especially here."
Grand Scholar Guo fixed his gaze on the plum forest in the distance, taken aback a bit, and then he understood what he meant.
People had gradually forgotten about the old plum garden, which witnessed the most important event in human history, and those individuals.
This place shouldn't be disturbed by the noises made by the arguments of chess players and swindlers.
"It indeed looks terrible."
Grand Scholar Guo looked around and said, "If you beat me, I will clean this place up."
As the grand scholar of the Wenyuan Institute, he had such power.
The young man, however, didn't accept the suggestion, saying, "You have no chance of winning against me. As for the cleaning-up of the place by force, these stall owners wouldn't be convinced, and many people in Zhaoge City wouldn't be convinced either."
The crowd let out some surprised screams again, thinking this man really was too arrogant.
Grand Scholar Guo had sensed other meanings, and said with a solemn tone, "Please."
The young man said, "Please wait a second. I have something to take care of first."
Grand Scholar Guo said again, "Please."
Having said this, his gaze fell on a bench that looked relatively clean.
The caretaker of the grand scholar's manor house came up hurriedly to wipe the bench clean and bring a cup of tea.
Sitting down, Grand Scholar Guo wondered what the young man was about to do.
The young man was looking at the street.
There was a young man and woman passing by with their conical hats on.
The young man asked, "Do you want to give it a try?"
The sunlight on the conical hat gave out a faint glint.
The two people stopped short, speechless.
The young man continued, "I meant, you should give it a try to see if you understand my Go playing."
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