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EIF - Book 05 Chapter 057: Gu Hai’s Go Skills

“Master, what should we do now?” Ensnaring Performance asked with a frown.

Ensnaring Performance could see malice in the eyes of the one hundred thousand cultural cultivators and sages. Everyone looked at Gu Hai coldly.

The sages clearly wanted the cultural cultivators to attack Gu Hai, to ruin his reputation for ten thousand years.

One could enter the Cultural Dao Sage Palace only by getting recommended by the sages during the Ten Thousand Sages Convention. Now, no sage was willing to recommend Gu Hai. They looked at Gu Hai as though he had killed their parents. Could he still compete?

Gu Hai looked at the Qian Heavenly Emperor. Seeing that the Qian Heavenly Emperor’s expression did not change, he took a deep breath and said, “The situation is indeed terrible. However, it is not necessarily the end of the road yet. I’ll go to the Go matches first.”

“But—”

“The three of you, observe the music Dao, calligraphy Dao, and painting Dao participants. Keep an eye on the best works, and we will discuss them later. As for the rest, we will leave it up to fate,” Gu Hai instructed.

“Yes!” Ensnaring Performance, Longevity, and Purple Subtlety showed faint, bitter smiles.

The Qian Nation participants appeared confused. What does His Holy Eminence mean by this? Is he going to continue supporting Gu Hai?

That can’t be. Right now, all the sages are angry at Gu Hai. Is there a point in supporting him? Would these sages give their recommendations to Gu Hai in the end? That is impossible, right?

Everyone appeared bitter. Some of them looked at Gu Hai with envy. Why is Gu Hai this lucky?

No matter what, His Holy Eminence’s will was unchanged, so everyone just went to their designated areas and prepared for the competition.

The Go Dao’s designated area:

Ninth Young Master hosted this segment. Soon, about ten thousand people arrived to compete in Go.

There were only ten thousand cultural cultivators for the Go matches. After all, the Go Dao had the fewest people.

“Mister Gu, we meet again!” Ninth Young Master said with a smile.

“Has Ninth Young Master been well since we parted? Have you found a substitute yet?” Gu Hai smiled.

“A substitute? How could it be that easy? Let’s not mention it for now. Mister Gu, do be careful later,” Ninth Young Master said with a smile.

Gu Hai nodded.

Ninth Young Master quickly assigned numbers to the ten thousand people. Gu Hai was designated as Number 1.

“Go Dao participants, each match will have a limit of two hours. Determine the victor within two hours. We will not wait for you!” Ninth Young Master shouted.

“Yes!” ten thousand Go Dao cultivators answered.

Gu Hai bowed slightly.

The ten thousand Go Dao cultivators sat down, and after laying out the Go boards, they started playing.

Clack! Clack! Clack!

The sound of Go stones being placed on the Go board rang out in the Go Dao’s designated area.

The sages now looked down curiously, especially at Gu Hai’s Go board. After all, while they did not bother remembering anyone else, Gu Hai had engraved himself deeply in their memories.

There was no way to forget this participant. This person had been too arrogant. Even after humiliating and harming the sages, he still had the cheek to continue participating?

There was a red-clad man before Gu Hai.

“Gu Hai, sorry for this!” The red-clad man showed a cold smile while appearing excited.

Since the sages have rejected Gu Hai, they will definitely pay attention to this Go match. If I can defeat Gu Hai, won’t the sages view me in a different light? Won’t the sages be grateful to me?

I just need to defeat Gu Hai, and the sages will definitely recommend me. They definitely will.

No! At that time, it won’t just be one sage. Perhaps all the sages will thank me and recommend me. As long as I can defeat Gu Hai, I can take first place and enter the Cultural Dao Sage Palace?

The red-clad man looked at Gu Hai, excitement and malice gleaming in his eyes.

“This Go Dao cultivator, you are drooling,” Gu Hai said with a strange expression.

Slurp! The red-clad man immediately sucked back his drool and wiped his mouth. “Let’s start quickly. I will defeat you, this fellow, the embarrassment of culture!”

Gu Hai: “…”

Although he was reluctant to play with this person, Gu Hai still did. As the match progressed, the red-clad man kept wiping his drool away while playing excitedly.

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After thirty minutes:

“Thank you for going easy,” Gu Hai said indifferently.

“Ah?! What?! That’s impossible! How could you have captured so many…” The red-clad man could not believe this result.

After all, he was the strongest Go king on his island. Yet, so many of his pieces got captured by Gu Hai within thirty minutes.

“Thank you for going easy” was Gu Hai’s attempt to avoid embarrassing the red-clad man. If they kept playing, this red-clad man would have nowhere left to play his pieces.

Gu Hai won the first match.

Naturally, everyone had paid attention to Gu Hai’s Go match.

“Excellent Go skills.” Emperor Kong, who was preparing his composition, narrowed his eyes.

“Thirty minutes, and he completely wiped out his opponent’s pieces? Excellent strategy!” the Azure Emperor said.

“Humph! How lucky!” the distant Grand Mohist said with a cold gaze.

“He is on a completely different level,” the Future Buddha sighed softly.

Ensnaring Performance, Longevity, and Purple Subtlety wandered around, rubber-necking. When the surrounding cultural cultivators saw the three arrive, they showed disdain on their faces. However, the three were very thick-skinned and did not take it to heart.

“What terrible painting!”

“What in the world is he writing?”

“Is that even a song?”

They drew hatred wherever they went.

Two hours passed quickly.

Half of the ten thousand Go Dao cultivators were eliminated, leaving about five thousand.

Then, these five thousand continued to their next match.

An excited, blue-clad Go Dao cultivator who thought too much of himself faced Gu Hai. He believed that he would reach the peak of his life just by defeating Gu Hai, so he spoke arrogantly at the start, criticizing Gu Hai, spittle flying out of his mouth.

Gu Hai frowned and ignored that cultivator. Instead, he looked at the attendant at the side and said, “Please change the Go board. There is saliva covering it. I will not play on a board covered in saliva.”

“Humph!” the blue-clad Go Dao cultivator snorted coldly.

After thirty minutes:

“Thank you for going easy!” Gu Hai said indifferently.

The blue-clad Go Dao cultivator goggled in disbelief.

Now, another half of the Go Dao cultivators got eliminated, leaving about two thousand five hundred.

During the third match, after thirty minutes:

“Thank you for going easy!” Gu Hai said indifferently.

“Mister Gu is incredible. This humble one is fully convinced of my loss.” Gu Hai had finally met with a rather normal Go Dao cultivator.

Now, one thousand two hundred fifty Go Dao cultivators remained.

During the fourth match, after thirty minutes:

“Thank you for going easy!”

During the fifth match, after thirty minutes:

“Thank you for going easy!”

“Thank you for going easy!”

“Thank you for going easy!”

After the eighth match, only thirty-nine Go Dao cultivators remained.

Gu Hai won every match in thirty minutes, thoroughly defeating his opponents without any doubt.

All the Go Dao sages felt depressed as they watched.

“Gu Hai? To think that his Go Dao is so incredible?”

“Humph! There are a few people who are no inferior to him. He just hasn’t met an expert yet!”

“What if he takes first place?”

“How could he be first?”

The Go Dao sages chatted coldly among themselves.

The Qian Nation citizens felt dazzled. Too many people were participating, even in the Go Dao’s designated area, so they watched only Gu Hai.

The outright routs stupefied many people.

“Mister Gu is so incredible!”

“No wonder His Holy Eminence thinks highly of Gu Hai!”

“Unfortunately, what is the point of thinking highly of Gu Hai? If the sages do not pick him, what is the point?”

During the ninth match, Gu Hai was given a seeded position. The others had to play, and that resulted in nineteen participants left.

Now, the people from the music Dao, calligraphy Dao, and painting Dao started composing.

This was especially so for the painting Dao cultivators. They picked up their brushes and started painting Gu Hai with “vile person” as the theme.

Of course, some of the cultural cultivators did not intentionally target Gu Hai. However, most of them did. After all, the sages were the judges, so they needed to pander to the sages’ preferences. Since the sages wanted to attack Gu Hai, following the sages’ train of thought might make the sages happy enough to recommend them.

Paint, paint, paint! Many of them started drawing ugly versions of Gu Hai.

“Mister Gu, the situation does not seem good. They are painting you with an evil appearance,” Longevity said with a worried frown.

“So what?” Gu Hai smiled.

“The cultural Dao are connected. I’m not sure of the specifics, but if they vilify you like that, it will affect your mental state later,” Longevity said worriedly.

“Oh?” Gu Hai said.

“The painting Dao can bring out the image in one’s heart. They want to deal with you. Now that they are full of malice, their malicious intentions will manifest through their paintings, perhaps forming illusions and affecting Mister Gu. Mister Gu’s painting Dao artistic conception will suffer attacks. Then…,” Longevity said with a bitter smile.

“Wait. You mentioned the painting Dao’s artistic conception. I will suffer attacks from the other party’s painting Dao artistic conception if I have a painting Dao artistic conception?” Gu Hai asked, feeling curious.

“Indeed!”

“What if I don’t have it?” Gu Hai whispered.

“How can that be? Mister Gu’s cultural Dao is so incredible. You must have some interaction with the painting Dao, right?!” Longevity said in shock.

“Uh, alright. Let’s not talk about this for now,” Gu Hai said with a bitter smile.

I don’t have the painting Dao’s artistic conception at all.

Does that mean that their attacks on me will be futile?

“You saw them painting earlier, right? Since they are painting me, how about you paint me as well?” Gu Hai suggested as his expression changed.

“Me, paint? What do I paint?” Longevity asked, feeling puzzled.

“While they paint me as evil, you paint me as good. Wouldn’t that do?” Gu Hai replied with some confusion.

“However, I only know how to draw eggs. Unless you tell me what to draw,” Longevity said.

Gu Hai: “…”

Longevity let it slip. Now, Gu Hai understood why Longevity painted only eggs. It turned out that all Longevity could paint were eggs, given his subjective creativity.

“Never mind, then,” Gu Hai said with a faint, bitter smile.

“Don’t. Mister Gu, although all I can paint are eggs, if you tell me what to paint, I can paint according to what you say!” Longevity immediately stopped Gu Hai.

Longevity felt very embarrassed over causing such trouble, so he wanted to make up for it.

“Alright, how about this? You have seen the morning assembly before, right? Just paint a scene of me sitting on the throne and the officials answering to me,” Gu Hai suggested casually.

“That’s good. An emperor lecturing his officials will look very prestigious. Mister Gu, rest assured. I will paint you well,” Longevity immediately promised.

“You are not to paint eggs!” Gu Hai emphasized.

“Don’t worry! Don’t worry!” Longevity said excitedly.

After Longevity spoke, he rushed to a table at the side and started preparing to paint.

Before Longevity painted, he showed excitement, lost in a daze. Then, he cackled as if he had thought of some forbidden image.

When Gu Hai saw Longevity’s expression, his face stiffened. Now, he started to worry about Longevity. Will he draw something strange?

Gu Hai wanted to stop Longevity, but Ninth Young Master called him over.

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“Mister Gu, it is time for the tenth match. Including you, there are a total of twenty Go Dao participants left. Please take a seat,” Ninth Young Master said.

“Alright.” Gu Hai nodded with a sigh.

He looked at Longevity but could only leave the heaven-grade painting brush be, unable to intervene.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for April: 32 / 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.