Chapter 32 - The Life and Death Game of Weiqi
Chapter 32 - The Life and Death Game of Weiqi, Part One
Gu Hai walked out of the cove of the spirit pool. Nonetheless, no one noticed that a few extra people had appeared in the mountain valley.
Having covered the cave entrance with charred woods and all, their small group walked towards everyone, on the other side of the giant barrow.
"That aura is simply too terrifying. I feel like there is a saber hanging over my head in the dark clouds!" Gao Xianzhi looked up at the sky as an ugly look distorted his countenance.
"What array is this?" wondered Chen Tianshan as his face was also blanketed by an ugly expression.
Gu Hai looked at the sky, which was so covered by dark clouds it looked no different than the curtain of night. It was dotted with stars that were shooting beams of light down to the ground towards a center in the distance. Amid these beams of light, there were two beams of light shooting straight at the center that were the brightest of all.
At the center was a huge platform which was surrounded by 2,000 or so cultivators. Each and every face bore a horrified look as they looked at that enormous platform.
Laying under the platform were a couple hundred corpses, and all of these corpses had been split into two across their midlines, spilling entails and blood on the ground. The land around the platform was dyed red and was particularly horrifying.
Looking at these corpses, the crowd of two thousand or so cultivators was shuddering in fear. Some of the female cultivators were even sobbing incessantly. Fear had pervaded everyone's heart.
Amid the crowd, Gu Hai caught sight of Song Qingshu.
At this instance, Song Qingshu's eyes flickered with shock and confusion as he stared at the huge platform.
Atop the platform was a weiqi board. Each piece on the weiqi board was illuminated by the starlights, and the two brightest of all covered the two weiqi players.
Atop the sea of corpses, two players were having a game of weiqi, whereas two thousand or so people around them stared at that weiqi board in trepidation.
"What are they doing?" Little Rou looked at this scene, confused.
"That player is the Earth Throne Master of Ascendant Hall, Meng Tai!?" Chen Tianshan stated as his eyes lit up in shock.
"Meng Tai?" Gu Hai looked down the direction pointed by Chen Tianshan...
And saw a curly-bearded, robust fellow sitting on one side of the weiqi board, placing a white piece on the board.
Gu Hai narrowed his eyes; he still remembered the meaningful warning given by Grandmaster Liunian before he left.
The one holding the black piece was a white-robed male. However, at this moment, he was staring at the weiqi board with a fearful look in his eyes.
"No, no, no, I was clearly winning a moment ago, I was clearly winning!" the white-robed man cried out in fear.
Meng Tai took a long, deep breath before he stated, "The game is already set, I'm really sorry, but if you want to blame, then blame the lack of time!"
Meng Tai placed the white piece on the board.
On the board, a large number of black pieces had been surrounded and were taken out immediately after.
Following which, the black pieces all disappeared as the outcome of the game was decided in the blink of an eye.
"White piece wins!" a thunderous voice suddenly reverberated through the dark clouds.
"Throne Master Meng won?" many people shouted.
"No, Meng Tai, you cheated me, you cheated me, I will kill you!" The white-robed man's eyes went wide as he grabbed a sword and thrust towards Meng Tai.
Meng Tai punched towards the sword tip, pushing back the long sword immediately.
Whereupon, a grim look covered the white-robed man's face as he wanted to thrust again, but at this moment, a saber's cry suddenly resounded inside the dark clouds.
It was like a long saber was being unsheathed. Whereupon, a hundred-zhang wide huge Saber Qi dropped straight at the white-robed man.
The sound of Saber Qi cutting through the air was so ear-piercing that Gu Hai felt a bout of pain in his eardrums. The Saber Qi charged straight at the white-robed man with an unstoppable momentum; its speed was simply too fast.
The white-robed man simply didn't have time to fight with Meng Tai anymore. All he could do was raise his sword immediately to meet with the Saber Qi. At the same time, a grim and panic-stricken look distorted the white-robed man's face.
"No!" a cry of despair resounded in the valley as the white-robed man slashed his long sword towards the sky.
The Sword Qi and long sword were simply unable to block the violence of the hundred-zhang wide Saber Qi. In the blink of an eye, it was blasted away and the white-robed man could only give a horrible shriek as he was split into two, scattering his entrails and blood everywhere before it fell under the square platform as like the rest before.
"AHHH!" a burst of frightful screams once again rose all around.
"This?" Chen Tianshan and the others felt their scalps tingle.
Once anyone lost, they would be split into two by the Saber Qi congealed by the large array?
Gu Hai, Gao Xianzhi, and Little Rou's countenance became ugly.
Screams of fear reverberated in the valley, yet no one left.
Whereas the weiqi pieces of the board were rearranged suddenly before a weiqi endgame appeared.
"Once again this endgame? Sky Saber Life and Death Game?"
"Getting picked up by the array is no different than death. If the piece isn’t placed within thirty breath, you die! Lose, you die!? What-what to do!?"
"I don't want to die!"
Everyone with a fragile heart was frightened to the core.
Having listened to the panic-stricken crowd, Gu Hai's expression also changed. Raising his head, he looked at the sky. Is this a peerless array!?
"Throne Master?" the congregation of Ascendant Hall disciples said anxiously.
Meng Tai took a long, deep breath as he reassured them, "May as well, according to the rules of this world, the remnant disciples of Weiqi Empyrean Court aren't allowed to take actions against us, the outsiders. They have broken the rules for sure and the remnant Weiqi Empyrean Court disciples will soon report it to the Great Elder. As long as we hang on till then, someone will come to punish them."
"But?" the Ascendant Hall disciples said anxiously.
"Sky Saber Life and Death Game? I too want to see how formidable the game casually created by the top grandmaster in the world of weiqi, Elder Guanqi, is!" said Meng Tai coldly.
Suddenly, a hundred zhang wide Saber Qi appeared amid the dark clouds, pointing right at Meng Tai. Feeling the catastrophic aura pressing right at him, Meng Tai's countenance changed for worse; he dared not keep the white piece in his hand.
A white piece fell on the weiqi board.
"Thirty breaths, it seems if the piece isn't placed within thirty breath, the sky saber will cut down!" stated Song Qingshu as the look on his face flickered.
Whereas Gu Hai stared at the weiqi board with his eyes focused, "Sky Saber Life and Death Game?"
Suddenly, a black piece seemingly pulled by the starlight, fell on the weiqi board.
Everyone kept their eyes upon Meng Tai. Meanwhile, Meng Tai picked up a weiqi piece, staring at the weiqi board; his mind seemingly completely immersed in it. It seemed he was waiting for the exact moment when the sky saber hanging over his head cut straight down.
A drop of cold sweat trickled down Meng Tai's forehead. He seemed to have already thought of where to place the piece, he was just dragging the time out until the thirty breaths of time was almost up.
The white piece fell on the board.
The black piece fell on the board automatically.
Slowly but surely, the weiqi game developed.
"This is a game against Elder Guanqi!?" an astonished look covered Chen Tianshan's face.
Quietly, Gu Hai looked at the weiqi board, watching the game.
In contrast, the others looked at Meng Tai in anticipation. After eighty pieces fell, a joyous look suddenly appeared on Meng Tai's face.
A white piece fell, surrounding a black piece immediately.
"What? The black piece is surrounded?" countless cultivators in valley exclaimed with looks of astonishment.
"Elder Guanqi's black piece is surrounded? How's that possible?"
"Great, the black piece will be taken out. Did we win?"
"Will Throne Master Meng win? He will for sure. It's just a game casually made by Elder Guanqi; furthermore, Elder Guanqi is already dead. It just a pre-set game, that's all, it's not like Elder Guanqi is playing. Throne Master Meng will win for sure! That's so great!"
It was as if everyone could see the light of dawn after a long and dreary night. They were all inexplicably excited as they found a glimmer of hope. Everyone clenched their fists.
As expected, along with a thunderous roar, the dark clouds in the sky billowed before the surrounded black piece flew to Meng Tai as if it had been taken out by him.
Whereas that sky saber above also rushed straight at Meng Tai.
"Not good!" Everyone's expressions became distorted.
Suddenly, a dragon roar resounded within Meng Tai's body as his True Qi transformed into a ten-zhang long brown dragon True Qi that circled around Meng Tai and faced the sky saber.
But this time, the sky saber didn't cut towards Meng Tai, but rather seemed to have been drawn out and devoured by the dragon True Qi thereafter.
As the ten-zhang long dragon True Qi devoured the hundred-zhang long sky saber, the true dragon grew bigger bit by bit.
"Even when it is taken out, it burst with such a strong momentum?" Everyone's expressions changed a bit.
"Awesome, Throne Master Meng is going to win, he is going to win!" Many people raised cheering cries.
A sliver of excitement also appeared on Meng Tai's face.
The pieces from both sides continued to fall on board. Every now and then, Meng Tai would eat a black piece after placing a few white pieces. The number of pieces placed on the board increased by the moment.
The dragon True Qi grew bigger and bigger. In just a short span of time, it had devoured thirteen sky sabers already. At present, the dragon True Qi was fifty zhang long and gave a long howl towards the sky, as if vying with the large array hanging overhead.
In a short span of time, Meng Tai won again and again, it seemed he was immediately going to win.
"Long live Throne Master Meng!"
"Throne Master Meng is going to win quickly!"
"He is going to win, he is going to win! Finally, we are not going to die!"
The crowd of cultivators broke into cheers of joy; finally, their circumstances had changed for better, the victory was in their sight. Saved, have we been saved? Everyone shed tears of gratitude as they gazed at Meng Tai. The Ascendant Hall disciples were all excited as well.
Chapter 32 - The Life and Death Game of Weiqi, Part Two
However, away from the crowd, Gu Hai narrowed his eyes as he said to himself, "Wrong, Meng Tai made a mistake from the start!"
"What?" Chen Tianshan looked at Gu Hai doubtfully.
Gu Hai shook his head and didn't bother to explain.
As expected, after swallowing the fifteenth piece, his expression changed as his face became pallid.
"Throne Master Meng, quickly place the piece!" everyone shouted anxiously.
With many victories in succession, and having devoured fifteen sky sabers, Meng Tai's dragon True Qi had already grown to sixty Zhangs in length, becoming imposing and dreadful as it roared.
However, Meng Tai was profusely sweating. The white piece in his hand seemed like it could not be placed.
"How is it possible? How could this be?" Meng Tai looked at the weiqi board in horror.
"Throne Master Meng, quick!" shouted everyone anxiously.
"Shut up!" shouted Meng Tai angrily, pouring water on everyone's excitement. Everyone looked at Meng Tai, perplexed.
As the thirty breaths of time were soon to be over, a sky saber hung above Meng Tai's head. At this moment, he had to place the piece. Meng Tai had no choice but to quickly place the white piece.
As the white piece was placed, a black piece immediately appeared as well.
"Dragon slaying?" Gao Xianzhi's countenance changed.
"Ah? What's dragon slaying? Is it slaying the dragon True Qi?" asked Little Rou, puzzled.
"No, dragon slaying is a weiqi term; it means that a large chain of Meng Tai's white pieces will be strangled by his opponent instantly!" explained Gao Xianzhi.
As expected, with the appearance of that black piece...
THUMP THUMP THUMP ...
A lot of white pieces were taken out as they had been eaten by the black pieces. In the blink of an eye, everything had changed. The momentum of Meng Tai who had won fifteen pieces was gone..
Meng Tai had swallowed fifteen black pieces using fifteen turns.
However, Elder Guanqi’s formation had swallowed thirty-eight white pieces in just one turn.
All of a sudden, the outcome was decided.
After thirty-eight pieces were swallowed, the black pieces won overwhelmingly. In a heartbeat, it seemed the white pieces had nowhere to escape. The white pieces had suffered a crushing defeat and were routed.
"How can this be? Throne Master Meng was still winning just a moment ago!"
"Why this is happening, why?"
Countless cultivators became dumb as wooden chickens as they looked at the weiqi board in horror.
Meng Tai's face also had a horrified look. My dragon has been slain in just a moment?
"Hahaha, the black piece won!" Ninth Young Master's bright laughter resounded in the dark clouds.
His laughter was filled with contempt, scorning Meng Tai.
Suddenly, thirty-eight sky sabers appeared in the clouds.
Once the huge group of sky sabers appeared, a chilling Slaughter Qi stormed out, the air seemed to have been frozen by the Slaughter Qi as if it was snow.
Thirty-eight sky sabers with a huge imposing manner were about to exterminate Meng Tai once and for all in the next moment.
"No! Bastard, I am the Earth Throne Master of Ascendant Hall, don't you dare!" shouted Meng Tai in fear.
Thirty-eight sky sabers came crashing down with a loud bang. In the blink of an eye, a catastrophic aura had rushed out towards Meng Tai.
Meng Tai's dragon True Qi charged towards the sky with a loud roar. The sixty-zhang long dragon True Qi soared towards the group of sky sabers in a dreadful manner.
The collision between the sky sabers and the dragon True Qi burst forth with a loud explosion before the scene was flooded with dazzling flashes of lights, so dazzling that no one could open their eyes. The subsequent violent aura seemed to have set off a storm, flinging everyone away in the blink of an eye.
BANG BANG BANG!
At the center of the explosion, ear-deafening collisions rang out endlessly.
A sad dragon's roar resounded. Gu Hai vaguely saw a brown dragon breaking apart amid the devastation.
After the final boom, everything calmed down. The two thousand cultivators got up from the ground and looked towards the center of billowing dust and smoke in horror.
The square weiqi platform was still there. After the lethal attacks of thirty-eight sky sabers, Meng Tai was actually still alive.
However, Meng Tai was completely mutilated at this moment. His body seemed to have been cut a thousand times as he lay in a giant crater.
Also inside the crater was a khaki-colored shield. However, the yellow-brown shield was covered in spiderweb-like cracks.
"Throne Master Meng is still alive?"
"That's the Ascendant Hall's Earth Divine Shield!? It has the strongest defense among the Nascent Soul Stage magical equipment!"
"The Earth Divine Shield has protected Throne Master Meng!? But the Earth Divine Shield is cracked!? The Earth Divine Shield also didn't work!?"
Everyone's faces were laced with horror.
"Throne Master!" The congregation of Ascendant Hall disciples quickly rushed over and raised Meng Tai as they quickly fed him a pill.
"Pooh!" Meng Tai spat out a mouthful of blood.
Looking at the dark clouds above, a horrified look appeared on his face as his body twitched. It seemed that even a bit of power could take his life in the blink of an eye.
The billowing dark clouds churned. "Humph, Ascendant Hall's Earth Divine Shield? But that's it. This time you got lucky because of Earth Divine Shield. However, the game is not yet over. It will be your turn soon again. I want to see how many times your Earth Divine Shield can save you!"
Meng Tai quivered.
"Throne Master, what should we do now?" an Ascendant Hall disciple asked, worried.
Everyone looked at Meng Tai. He was the only one to survive, even though his injuries were too horrible to look at.
"De-delay, the Weiqi Empyrean Court will not-will not disregard!" Meng Tai spoke with difficulty.
Having said this, Meng Tai seemed barely able to move. He limped down after taking the pill.
The Ascendant Hall disciples quickly guarded Meng Tai.
A look of despair blanketed everyone’s faces as they looked overhead. The more miserably one lost, the more tragic would be the attack of the array!
Who was going to be next?
"It's all right, Throne Master said we have to stall for time, we will stall for sure!" shouted Song Qingshu.
Everyone nodded, but the look of despair in their eyes didn't vanish. Wait for Weiqi Empyrean Court Great Elder's rescue? Is that possible?
Xiantian Endgame World, at an entrance of a huge hall...
The giant doors of the great hall opened, but the inner part of the great hall was completely dark and silent; no one could see the inside. A black-robed man knelt on one knee outside the great hall.
"Great Elder, Ninth Young Master has besieged two thousand or so outsiders with the Sky Saber Life and Death Board at the Carefree Valley. All the elders are deliberating and have different opinions; Great Elder, please command!" the black-robed man asked respectfully.
The dark and silent great hall was completely quiet. Only after a long while did a faint sound came.
"I know about Little Nine's doings, my Weiqi Empyrean Court will not intervene with the outsiders, but they really went over the top this time!" a faint voice came.
"Great Elder, we won't stop Ninth Young Master?" the black-robed man said respectfully.
"It's not necessary, wait till Carefree Valley's matter is finished and then inform Little Nine to not take any action and also teach rules to these outsiders. Although the Grandmaster has fallen, my Weiqi Empyrean Court once used to be a top sect. Anyone who comes here cannot be presumptuous!" came the faint voice.
"Yes, The Subordinate understands!"
Inside the Carefree Valley...
"No, no, no, not me, just not me!"
As a beam of light covered a man dressed in gray clothes, the man collapsed on the spot, extremely terrified.
While the gray-robed man was terrified, no one embarked on the weiqi platform. He kneeled and beg for mercy loudly at the dark clouds in fright, and also asking others to take his turn.
A sky saber came cutting down in the blink of an eye. The gray-robed man didn't even have the time to so much as shriek before he was cut into two as his entrails lay bare on the ground.
Suddenly, screams of panic once again resounded in the valley. An endless despair covered everyone's heart.
"Despair, I like hearing these desperate screams, hahaha, once again!" a sinister laughter rang out from the dark clouds.
Suddenly, another beam of light came shooting down, covering another person in the blink of an eye.
"Song Qingshu?" shouted the nearby Chen Tianshan in shock.
Having been covered by the beam of light, Song Qingshu was chosen as the next one to die!
"No? Throne Master Meng, save me please, help me! Why is it me? I don't want to die!" Song Qingshu screamed in horror immediately.
"Stall for time! Play like I played before, wait for Weiqi Empyrean Court to take action!" Meng Tai spoke this sentence with difficulty, controlling his breathing before entering meditation once again.
"Stall for time?" Song Qingshu slowly stepped on the weiqi stage with an ugly look on his face.
The instant Song Qingshu stepped on the weiqi stage, everyone immediately lowered their heads, seemingly afraid of coming in contact with Song Qingshu's gaze.
Standing on the stage, Song Qingshu glanced around with an ugly look on his face. Wherever his gaze went, many people would evade his eyes one after other, as if escaping from the god of plague.
"I need to choose an opponent within thirty breath, who should I choose? Just who?" Song Qingshu was anxious.
His gaze inadvertently fell upon Meng Tai as he thought, Perhaps Meng Tai cannot play anymore. If I chose him, he is sure to lose. I can stall a bit longer but for how long? Furthermore...
Song Qingshu held back this desire and his gaze continued scanning everyone. Suddenly, Song Qingshu's countenance changed as he saw Gu Hai and his party.
"Gu Hai?" Suddenly, Song Qingshu's eyes went wide in anger.
"En?" Below the stage, Gu Hai slightly knit his eyebrows.
The cultivators around Gu Hai retreated one by one. In the wink of an eye, Gu Hai and his party were exposed before everyone.
"I choose him, I choose Gu Hai!" shouted Song Qingshu, pointing at Gu Hai.
Suddenly, a beam of light from the dark clouds fell upon Gu Hai. Gu Hai had been chosen.
"Kid, quickly come to the stage, otherwise, the sky saber will cut you in two!" someone shouted with good intentions.
"Song Qingshu, you are audacious, you want Throne Master to die?" Chen Tianshan's expression became ugly as he rebuked Song Qingshu, glaring.
A grim look appeared on Song Qingshu's face as he retorted, "Someone has to die once the players are chosen. Either I die first, or he dies first! Humph, Gu Hai, you should resign yourself to your fate, my weiqi skills might not be as good as Throne Master Meng, but you are someone who hasn't played with anyone in last three decades. I am definitely stronger than you, you are going to die! I want you to die!"
A sliver of a cold smile appeared on Gu Hai's face, "Song Qingshu, I already gave you three chances, this is the fourth time you have schemed against me!"
Slowly, Gu Hai walked to the weiqi stage.
"You think someone like you who hasn't played against anyone in three decades can win against me?" spat Song Qingshu coldly.
Outside the Xiantian Endgame World, on the flying ship White Cloud...
Long Wanqing and Grandmaster Liunian were playing weiqi.
"No, Grandmaster, Gu Hai said he hadn’t played weiqi with anyone for three decades, wasn't he going through the motions with me? Why is his laying-out strategy so strong, then!?" Long Wanqing asked, frowning.
Grandmaster Liunian answered, shaking his head, "He wasn't giving you a perfunctory reply, he just didn't want to win against you!"
"Then he lied to me?" Long Wangqing asked, knitting her brows.
"That's wrong, too; you just didn't understand what he said, that's all!" Grandmaster Liunian said, shaking his head and smiling.
"He didn't play weiqi with anyone in three decades doesn't mean he didn't play weiqi!" stated Grandmaster Liunian with a smile.
"Isn't that the same?" asked Long Wanqing, perplexed.
"That's not the same!" Grandmaster Liunian shook his head.