The Path Toward Heaven
135 Watching Chess and the People under the Street Lights
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The Path Toward Heaven
Author :Mao Ni
© Wuxiaworld

135 Watching Chess and the People under the Street Lights

Jing Jiu's chair had gotten some notice.

People had started guessing his identity again.

Sitting near the Go table, he could see the game proceed on the Go board clearly, and he could even see the wrinkles on Grand Scholar Guo's face and the sparse, arched eyebrows of that young man. As those observing Go players could only stand somewhere further away from the Go table, it was natural that they envied Jing Jiu's position. They would have liked to be in his position, and it would have been even better if they could serve tea to the players at the Go table. Unexpectedly, Jing Jiu sat down instead of standing by the table, but what kind of attitude was he demonstrating here?

Wait a minute, where did he even get that bamboo chair?

The Go game had already gone through its beginning stage, and it was in its mid-stage now; the situation was finally comprehensible.

Grand Scholar Guo put down a Go piece after some careful thought. He felt pretty good about the move, and so he finally had the mood to relax a little. Then he noticed Jing Jiu.

He glanced at the bamboo chair Jing Jiu sat in, and asked with a smile, "Do you want more tea?"

"What kind of tea?" asked Jing Jiu.

Grand Scholar Guo replied, "It's Maojian tea from Xinyang."

Jing Jiu didn't know so much about tea and he seldom drunk it, but he had heard of this type of tea, and so he said, "I will have a cup of that tea then."

The caretaker of the scholar's manor house had been serving by the side the entire time, so it didn't take him long to bring three cups of freshly boiled tea over.

Jing Jiu opened the lid of the teapot; a faint aroma came out along with the steam and it smelled fantastic.

Meanwhile, the young man responded by placing a Go piece on the square in the upper right corner of the Go board.

Grand Scholar Guo's hand that was holding the teacup stiffened slightly, and he narrowed his eyes, his expression solemn and nervous.

Tick, tick!!!

These were not the sounds of time flowing, but the sounds of Go pieces landing on the Go board.

The sunlight continued moving, and the dusk was getting thicker, and gradually people couldn't see objects so well. Some people had already prepared lanterns beforehand and lit them. The street abruptly lit up like the broad day.

The Go game was in its middle stage. More and more chess pieces had been placed on the Go board, and the situation of the game became more complicated; but rather, it became more comprehensible for these high level Go players who were observing the game.

They were naturally on the Grand Scholar's side and thought to themselves how they would tackle the situation.

Some of them furrowed their brows; some bit on their fingers instinctively; some were fanning themselves on a chilly spring night; and others merely shook their heads with frustrated expressions.

The common thread was that they all had a solemn expression, just like Grand Scholar Guo who was thinking long and hard about his next move.

Standing on the opposite side of the street, Zhao Layue looked at all these behaviors, feeling puzzled, and then her gaze fell on Jing Jiu.

She noticed Jing Jiu's right hand move slightly beneath the bamboo chair.

This behavior reminded her of many days and nights on the Green Mountain.

During those days and nights, Jing Jiu sat in a bamboo chair the same way, holding a tiny sand grain between his fingers, thinking where in the ceramic plate he should place it.

Today, can Jing Jiu find the solution?

"I have lost."

Grand Scholar Guo didn't find a solution, after a long thought.

He admitted the outcome after a sigh.

His voice sounded weary, but it had a hint of relief after the unloading of a burden.

It became eerily quiet in the street, not so long after the screams of surprise.

People's gazes shifted from the chess board to the young man's face, which they saw to be full of admiration and reverence.

The black and white Go pieces spread across the Go board, as if they were painting a picture irregularly with two colors, giving out different esthetical feelings. They had totally different existences, but they relied on each other to exist, and then they would destroy each other.

The black Go pieces built up a strong barrier, as if they were a thousand cold mountains that were impossible to cross over.

The white Go pieces…were not actually on the ground; they were like the stars spread out in the night sky, a few in the east and a dozen in the west. The seemingly irregular appearance actually had its own rules.

These rules were mysterious and hard to understand, like the truth in heaven and earth. How could these rules be breached then?

Grand Scholar Guo stood up and looked at the Go board for a long time, letting out another sigh.

"Humans can't beat heaven. I have been too greedy."

"Master has aged, and your energy therefore is limited; so you have the disadvantage," said the young man.

Grand Scholar Guo smiled bitterly, and didn't respond, looking heartrending.

As a national level Go player, he of course knew the conception, but…he was still not convinced.

He straightened his body and prepared to leave; but his body wobbled, and he almost fell down. Fortunately, his caretaker, standing by his side at all times, caught him in time to prevent an accident.

At this time, even those stall owners, driven away to spots further down the street, now realized who this young man was.

Being able to defeat the number one Go master, Grand Scholar Guo, in the mid-stage of the Go game…

Only one person in the world could do this.

Tong Yan of the Center Sect.

Tong Yan was a young disciple of the Center Sect, an innately talented individual.

What is more, is that he was undoubtedly the best Go player in the world.

He played Go mostly with his colleagues on the Cloudy Dream Mountain, and had seldom played with the high level Go players in Zhaoge City and other areas.

Yet nobody doubted his title.

Because people read of his Go playing records.

Different from other contests, one could accurately judge an individual's Go skill level simply by reading his Go playing records.

Especially a character like Tong Yan.

His Go playing records could make the vast majority of Go players feel despair.

The puzzling question remained. Why did such an unbeatable Go player come to this street in Zhaoge City to cause so much trouble for these chess stall owners?

Tong Yan didn't answer this question.

He turned around, looking at a spot by the Go table, asking, "Jing Jiu, did you understand the game?"

Grand Scholar Guo who was about to leave stopped short and turned around. He was stunned when seeing the bamboo chair.

Jing Jiu took off his conical hat.

The lanterns by the street lit up his face.

Shining on that beautiful and beyond-description face.

There was an uproar in the crowd, along with uncontrollable screams and praises.

The lights were glimmering.

This beauty could only belong to heaven.

Was he the rumored Jing Jiu?

Was Tong Yan waiting here that day just for him?

Many people had thought of a rumor.

Jing Jiu had said at the Four-Seas Banquet last year and at the Sword Trial of Green Mountain that he would participate in the Plum Meeting and defeat Tong Yan in the chess tournament.

Did Tong Yan actually come here not to make troubles for the chess stall owners, but for him? Did he intend to play this game for him to watch, to intimidate Jing Jiu?

Yet they overthrew this conjecture immediately.

Tong Yan was so arrogant and isolated that he wouldn't do such a thing just to show his challenger.

Even though Jing Jiu won first place in the chess tournament last year at the Four-Seas Banquet, he wouldn't be too concerned.

There were many important figures that day to observe the chess game, and they had obtained the booklet written by the Curtain Rollers for the Plum Meeting.

They remembered full well that Tong Yan was ranked number one in the chess tournament, but Jing Jiu was ranked way behind, not even in the top ten.

Then, what is the meaning of this today?

Is there a deeper meaning in Tong Yan's question?

Go was the simplest game.

The black and white Go pieces are placed on the Go board in turns. It wasn't not difficult. Any child was able to learn the basic rules in one day.

It was also the hardest game because of its simplicity.

What was the meaning of "understand the game"?

How would Jing Jiu respond to the question?
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