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EIF - Book 04 Chapter 116: Twenty-Nine? Thirty?

“I wonder, is Mister Gu willing to join us and split the Qian Nation?” Mo Yike asked with a smile.

After Mo Yike spoke, he stared at Gu Hai, waiting for Gu Hai’s response.

As Gu Hai held a black Go stone, he looked at Mo Yike and smiled. “So, if I don’t agree, will you immediately capture me?”

Clack!

Gu Hai played a black Go stone on the Go board.

Bing Ji’s face sank as she raised her guard.

Mo Yike picked up a white Go stone and played it. Then, he shook his head and said, “Mister Gu is overstating the severity.”

“Oh?”

“His Reverence once instructed us to let you leave. Naturally, we will not obstruct you if you are alive. However, if you are dead, we have to retrieve the ice spirit. A sovereign’s words are always taken seriously. How can I make His Reverence break his promise?” Mo Yike said gravely.

“You are not blocking me, yet you placed a ritual array here?” Gu Hai smiled.

“A sovereign’s words are always taken seriously, and I am loyal to my sovereign,” Mo Yike said gravely.

Gu Hai frowned as he looked at Mo Yike. Then, he nodded and said, “In that case, Gu Hai thanks you greatly.”

“Mister Gu is too polite. On your trip to Major Metropolitan City, this humble one was responsible for receiving Mister Gu. However, I ended up letting Mister Gu get pressured over and over again, putting you in difficult spots. I failed Mister Gu. However, Mister Gu let it slide and even helped me several times. This Mo is eternally grateful.” Mo Yike shook his head.

“Mister Mo, you are being too polite as well.” Gu Hai smiled.

“While I won’t target Mister Gu, it does not mean that others won’t, either. The major clans have already set up checkpoints in various places with their one hundred thousand Heavenly Palace Realm zombies, spreading a net in all directions. The various cities have all been alerted and are on the lookout. Mister Gu will not be able to get far. This Mo is not talented and can only give Mister Gu a Mo token, allowing Mister Gu to travel through the checkpoints of the various cities.” Mo Yike took out a token and handed it over.

“Oh?” Gu Hai looked at Mo Yike in shock as he accepted the token.

“If you show my Mo token at the various cities along the way, you will be able to travel unobstructed. Mister Gu will be able to leave the Yuan Nation safely,” Mo Yike said gravely.

Looking at the token, Gu Hai nodded. “In that case, many thanks, Mister Mo!”

Mo Yike smiled faintly and shook his head. Then, he said, “This is what I should do. However, Mister Gu, you still have not answered me. Would you be willing to join us and split the Qian Nation?”

After speaking, Mo Yike stared at Gu Hai.

Gu Hai picked up a black Go stone and remained silent for a while. Then, he shook his head.

“Oh?” Mo Yike raised his eyebrows.

“Mister Mo, in your opinion, how do the Qian Nation and Yuan Nation compare?” Gu Hai smiled.

“My Yuan Nation obtained an army of five million zombies, able to sweep through the world. Furthermore, we also have two other imperial emperors and Dao lords helping. What is there to worry about when it comes to destroying the Qian Nation?” Mo Yike shook his head.

Gu Hai slowly placed his black Go stone. Then, with a faint smile, he said, “Mister Mo, why lie to yourself? Five million Heavenly Palace Realm cultivators? Back when the Slaughter Heavenly Emperor’s soul returned, he also had five million Heavenly Palace Realm cultivators. However, why could Imperial Emperor Xi Yu chase him away?”

Mo Yike raised his eyebrows slightly.

“Mere numbers are insufficient. I’m sure you know that better than me.” Gu Hai smiled.

Mo Yike’s face sank slightly.

“I have never been to the Qian Nation and have a limited understanding of it. However, I understand the implications behind being a heavenly dynasty. The Divine Continent is vast, yet there are only three heavenly dynasties—only three in the entire world. Why are there so few? It is because it is hard to achieve. Every heavenly dynasty is not easily established. When the Qian Heavenly Emperor stomps, the entire Divine Continent will tremble. Can Imperial Emperor Xi Yu do the same?” Gu Hai asked.

Mo Yike remained silent.

“That’s right. Imperial Emperor Xi Yu is very strong now. I don’t know how strong he is, compared to the Qian Heavenly Emperor. However, put Imperial Emperor Xi Yu aside and look at the others. How many people came from the Qian Nation this time? There’s Long Shenwu, Li Shenji, Gongyang Sheng, and Ye Shenzhen. These people are not even among the strongest in the Qian Nation, yet they managed to cause so much trouble in your Major Metropolitan City. Do you think that the Yuan Nation’s accumulations already rival the Qian Nation’s?” Gu Hai said with a smile.

Mo Yike listened quietly as he placed a white Go stone.

“Of course, this is just my opinion. I am not aware of the situation behind the three imperial emperors and two Dao lords. Perhaps they might succeed. However, I do not think much of your chances.” Gu Hai smiled while shaking his head.

Mo Yike took a deep breath. Eventually, he smiled bitterly. “Mister Gu’s analysis is very profound.”

“I know too little to come to a proper conclusion.” Gu Hai shook his head.

“Will Mister Gu help the Qian Nation?” Mo Yike asked sullenly.

Gu Hai smiled faintly and said, “Mister Mo has nothing to worry about. My Han Royal Dynasty is too insignificant before major factions like yours. We would only end up as cannon fodder by participating. As long as the battle between your two sides does not impact us, we are willing to stay out of it.”

Mo Yike’s expression eased slightly. Remaining seated, he gave Gu Hai a slight bow.

“Mister Mo!” Gu Hai’s expression suddenly turned solemn.

“Yes?”

“Gu Hai has an unreasonable request,” Gu Hai said gravely.

“Mister Gu, please speak!”

“If, what if, the Yuan Nation no longer…,” Gu Hai said.

“Huh?” Mo Yike narrowed his eyes.

“I wonder if Mister Mo would be willing to lower himself and join my Han Royal Dynasty, to do great things together with me,” Gu Hai said seriously.

“Hah?” Some impatience flashed in Mo Yike’s eyes.

“Of course, I know it is beneath Mister Mo. This is just this Gu’s request,” Gu Hai said.

“Mister Gu, speak no more. I am a Yuan Nation subject and will always be one,” Mo Yike said, his voice sinking, as though repulsed by Gu Hai’s curse on the Yuan Nation.

Gu Hai stopped here and nodded.

“That’s fine. In that case, this Gu wishes Mister Mo immediate success.” Gu Hai smiled.

Clack! Clack!

The two continued playing in silence. Mo Yike played with all his might, as though trying to use the game to tell Gu Hai that he was not weaker than Gu Hai. No matter how bad his situation was, he would not be beneath Gu Hai.

After playing for two hours:

“Never mind, this game is deadlocked. Let’s stop here,” Gu Hai said with a faint smile.

Mo Yike frowned slightly. The two maintained the same number of Go stones throughout the two hours. No one showed any advantage.

“That’s fine. Let’s consider this match a draw. If there is an opportunity in the future, I will come and seek Mister Gu for advice again.” Mo Yike nodded.

Although Mo Yike felt somewhat regretful over a draw with Gu Hai in a twenty-nine line-pair game, he found it bearly acceptable.

“If so, many thanks, Mister Mo. We will meet again in the future.” Gu Hai smiled.

As Gu Hai spoke, he tossed out three Go stones that he had not played at the side of the Go board.

“Mister Gu, take care!” Mo Yike stood up to send off Gu Hai.

Gu Hai and Bing Ji stood on an immortal crane cloud beast and flew out of the ritual array, quickly vanishing into the distance.

As Mo Yike watched Gu Hai leave, he sighed softly.

“Lord Mo!”

Another voice suddenly rang out in the ritual array.

“Oh? Lord Qin?” Mo Yike said in surprise.

The moment Gu Hai flew out, Qin Zibai flew over.

Mo Yike waved, scattered the fog in the ritual array, and let Qin Zibai in.

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Whoosh!

Qin Zibai landed beside Mo Yike.

“I just saw Gu Hai leaving earlier?” Qin Zibai said seriously.

Mo Yike frowned slightly. “What’s wrong? Has Lord Qin been monitoring me?”

Qin Zibai shook his head. Then, he said with a forced smile, “My father said that Gu Hai would not die so easily. He also said that I just need to follow you if I want to find Gu Hai.”

“Oh? Qin Yun?” Mo Yike raised his eyebrows.

Qin Zibai said with a faint, bitter smile, “It looks like Father sees the clearest.”

“Lord Qin, why didn’t you give chase when you saw Gu Hai earlier?” Mo Yike asked with a frown.

Qin Zibai shook his head. “Didn’t Mister Mo let him go?”

Mo Yike stared at Qin Zibai for a while before eventually smiling bitterly. “I did not expect that Mister Gu managed to give out so many favors, gaining so much gratitude, in the time he came to Major Metropolitan City. I have no choice but to let him go, and neither do you.”

“There is the favor of saving my life. How can I requite good with evil? Furthermore, Gu Hai saved me twice. Even after letting him go this time, my debt is not cleared yet,” Qin Zibai said with a bitter smile.

“Fortunately, I just managed to repay mine. Hahaha!” Mo Yike laughed happily.

Giving Gu Hai the Mo token to travel through the Yuan Nation could be considered repaying the favor.

“Oh? How did Mister Mo repay it?” Qin Zibai asked, feeling curious.

However, Mo Yike shook his head, refusing to say. Now that he had repaid the favor, he was in a good mood. He strolled to the Go board, planning to put it away.

“Lord Mo, you played Go with Gu Hai earlier?” Qin Zibai asked out of curiosity.

“Indeed. We played to a draw. I now have a rough understanding of Mister Gu’s Go skills,” Mo Yike said with a smile.

“Oh? Your Go board is very strange. To think that it is a thirty line-pair Go board!” Qin Zibai marveled as he studied the Go board.

“Huh?” Mo Yike’s smile suddenly froze.

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Didn’t I just play on a twenty-nine line-pair Go board? When did it become thirty?

Mo Yike looked down and saw that the last three Go stones Gu Hai threw down seemed to have extended the Go board by another line. Given that, it was no longer twenty-nine line pairs but thirty.

If so, this resulted in a tremendous change in the earlier game’s situation.

While I played with twenty-nine line pairs, Gu Hai was playing with thirty? One Go board, but two conceptions?

A draw? No. This is a difference of several levels!

“A draw? That’s not right. Based on the black Go stones’ positions, black is firmly suppressing white,” Qin Zibai said in confusion.

Mo Yike showed a faint, bitter smile.

A twenty-nine line-pair Go board resulted in a draw. However, a thirty line-pair Go board resulted in a thorough loss.

Mo Yike thought about the sequence of playing the Go stones. Then, he studied the Go board. His expression slowly turned increasingly solemn and grave until he finally inhaled sharply.

Gasp!

“What’s wrong?” Qin Zibai asked, feeling curious.

Mo Yike stared at the Go board for a while before raising his head in the direction Gu Hai left. Then, he stood up and bowed deeply in that direction.

“Mister Mo, didn’t you repay your favor already? Why are you…,” Qin Zibai asked in bafflement.

Mo Yike showed a faint, bitter smile as he retorted, “Repaid the favor? No, I now owe him even more.”

“Huh?” Qin Zibai appeared even more confused.

With a bitter smile, Mo Yike could only extremely carefully put this Go board away. Gu Hai had used this Go board to teach him the Thirty Line-Pair World Go Puzzle, the source of the powerful ritual array that Gu Hai had laid in Major Metropolitan City.

At that time, Mo Yike failed to comprehend it fully. He thought that he would never see it again. However, Gu Hai used the earlier game to provide guidance once more, detailedly arranging everything on this Go board.

No gift could be more precious than this for a person who loved Go.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for January: 50 / 50

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Hey guys, you all probably have been seeing the occasional message about Patreon and how EIF isn't doing very well financially. So I held out as long as I can, and unfortunately, things are not looking up. In the interest of being able to keep up a sustainable income to pay my bills and pay the team sufficiently, I'm going to have to lower the release rates of EIF in favor of picking up another novel. As of now, I have not found another novel yet, but I will be decreasing the release rates from May onwards so that I have time to search for the next novel. For now, the rates will be lowered to 30 chapters a month, essentially daily chapters.

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by Vampirecat.