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EIF - Book 05 Chapter 068: First in Go

As the sages communicated, Gu Hai turned his head from the music Dao area back to the Go board before him.

“Mister Gu, the music Dao competition has concluded. Let’s finish this game,” Wu Yazi said.

“Sorry to make Mister wait.” Gu Hai nodded.

Clack! Clack!

The two continued playing.

The game grew more complicated.

The Go Dao cultivators at the side looked at the Go board gravely.

As they watched, some rubbed their eyes. The cultivators resisted their roiling blood and energy to focus on the Go board, suffering mental drain.

“I can’t take this! I can’t take this anymore! I can’t keep watching. I can look at only a small part and analyze it. What horrifying Go skills!”

“I seemed to see a bottomless abyss, and I fell into it, plunging deeper and deeper!”

“I saw the end of the world!”

The Go Dao participants started moving away from the Go board.

The more one understood Go, the more unbearable it would be. The Go Dao pressured them to the point where they could not breathe.

No matter how loud their surroundings were, Gu Hai and Wu Yazi played calmly.

Soon, the spectators’ voices turned softer.

Although they did not understand what was happening in the Go game, that did not prevent them from understanding it was incredible. All of them waited in silence.

Longevity and Ensnaring Performance stood at the side.

The nearby Teacher Yinyue turned back into fog and vanished.

The people around the Supreme Genesis, the Grand Mohist, and the Future Buddha fell quiet, awaiting the outcome of the Go game.

Even the calligraphy Dao cultivators in the calligraphy Dao area looked over curiously.

After the sages were done causing an uproar, they fiercely eyed the Go board that Gu Hai and Wu Yazi played.

“It is extraordinary!” a Go Dao sage suddenly exclaimed.

“What is the level of that Go game?” a painting Dao sage asked curiously.

“If I am not wrong, this is the Thirty-One Line-Pair World Go Puzzle, the game that Old Mister Guan Qi played one thousand years ago. That Wu Yazi is imitating Old Mister Guan Qi, playing as the setter for the Thirty-One Line-Pair World Go Puzzle,” that Go Dao sage said.

“The setter?”

“That’s right. One setter and one solver. Gu Hai plays the solver. The two of them display equal Go skills, neither losing to the other,” that Go Dao sage said gravely.

“That Gu Hai is a vile person. How could his Go skills be so good? Is he cheating again?” the painting Dao sage said.

“It does not seem like it. It can’t be mistaken. It is indeed complicated, an incredible game!” the Go Dao sages said gravely.

The five hundred Go Dao sages looked at that Go board, showing extremely solemn expressions.

As Gu Hai and Wu Yazi played, Gu Hai continuously played mental simulations. In his forehead space, twelve of the one thousand large Go boards that had merged had already condensed and shrunk. As he played Wu Yazi, more continued to shrink.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Those large Go boards condensed into ordinary Go boards with nineteen line pairs. Consequently, Gu Hai could now bring out more variations of the Fifth Cycle.

Boom!

Six hours later, the one thousand large Go boards had all shrunk into small Go boards.

Now, Gu Hai seemed to have reached another bottleneck, causing him to look at Wu Yazi.

“Mister Gu, excellent Go skills!” Wu Yazi said.

“Mister, excellent Go skills! It turns out that the Thirty-One Line-Pair World Go Puzzle is so exquisite. Aside from the Thirty-One Line-Pair World Go Puzzle, can Mister play the Thirty-Two Line-Pair World Go Puzzle?” Gu Hai asked.

Back then, Old Mister Guan Qi used the Thirty-Three Line-Pair World Go Puzzle to play against heaven. Back when Gu Hai looked at the map of the Thousand Islands Sea, he had seen signs of it. Having solved the Twenty-Eight, the Twenty-Nine, the Thirty, the Thirty-One, he felt a great desire for the Thirty-Two.

What will the Thirty-Two Line-Pair World Go Puzzle be like?

Gu Hai had already guessed that the person before him was Old Mister Guan Qi. Naturally, he wanted to learn more.

“The Thirty-Two?” Ninth Young Master raised his eyebrows.

Ninth Young Master was already very shocked that Gu Hai could play the Thirty-One—moreover, with such familiarity and flexibility. Yet, Gu Hai did not seem satisfied and wanted the Thirty-Two.

Wu Yazi looked up at the sky.

This seemed to catch the attention of all the Go Dao sages; they now peered down at the match.

“The Thirty-Two? Hah! You want to see it?” Wu Yazi suddenly said with a faint smile.

“That’s right. I do.” Gu Hai nodded.

“I will only make three moves. Can you take it? If you can solve these three moves, we will consider you the victor of this game,” Wu Yazi said with a smile.

“Three moves? Why?” Gu Hai asked.

“Because I currently can make only three moves,” Wu Yazi explained with a smile.

As Wu Yazi spoke, he suddenly extended his hand and placed a Go stone.

Clack!

The moment Wu Yazi made that move, the style of the entire game underwent a great upheaval—as if he had sealed off all paths to life, pushing himself towards death.

A move towards death?

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Gu Hai raised his eyebrows, immediately finding a way to play his next move. He was about to play it when he suddenly stopped.

“Hey? A return to life after death?” Gu Hai’s eyelids twitched wildly.

“Oh? You saw that?” Wu Yazi narrowed his eyes.

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Gu Hai remained silent for a while before hovering a black Go stone at a certain position.

“What? Wu Yazi sought death in the position that he played. Gu Hai is also seeking his own death? Are they gambling on who will die first?” a sage suddenly said gravely in the sky.

Clack!

Gu Hai made that move in the end.

Then, this Go game seemed to establish a connection with the world. White fog spewed out from it.

Rattle! Rattle! Rattle! Rattle!

Four large chains shot out from the white fog and into the sky.

Boom!

The chains rushed towards the vast noble spirit sea.

Buzz!

The noble spirit sea shook when the four chains crashed into it.

“What is that?” the spectators exclaimed.

“Go Dao laws? Could those be the Go Dao laws that Wu Yazi mentioned earlier? Didn’t he say that heaven took the Go Dao laws away?” the surrounding Go Dao cultivators said in shock, their expressions changing.

The Azure Emperor, Emperor Kong, the Supreme Genesis, and the Grand Mohist narrowed their eyes at Gu Hai.

“What did His Majesty…?” Mo Yike likewise felt shocked.

“Mister, were those laws earlier?” Gu Hai looked at Wu Yazi seriously.

Wu Yazi stared at Gu Hai for a while.

“Mister Gu. Hah! I still underestimated you. Laws? That’s right. Those were Go Dao laws!” Wu Yazi said after a deep breath.

“However, didn’t you say that heaven took away the Go Dao laws?” Gu Hai asked.

“Indeed. Heaven took them away. Heaven took away the black Go stone laws and the white Go stone laws. However, do you know how many kinds of Go stones there are?” Wu Yazi said.

“Go stones? Aren’t there just black and white?” the surrounding Go Dao cultivators said in confusion.

The spectators appeared confused as well.

Only Gu Hai’s pupils constricted.

Go stones were not just black and white. Instead, there was another: the invisible Go stone. There were three kinds. Gu Hai had realized this back when he played the Life Puzzle and the Death Puzzle.

Heaven took away the black Go stone laws and the white Go stone laws but not the transparent Go stone laws?

That move towards death earlier was a transparent Go stone law? Furthermore, Wu Yazi used the transparent Go stone laws to manifest Teacher Yinyue and Imperial Emperor Xi Yu with his earlier moves, using Go stones that no one could see.

“Many thanks, Mister!” Gu Hai said gratefully as his eyes lit up.

“Hah! I did not do anything.” Wu Yazi shook his head.

Then, Wu Yazi raised his head to look at the four chains soaring into the sky. When the two did not play for quite a while, the four chains slowly faded, vanishing before everyone.

No one could see the four chains, which appeared to have dissipated. However, Gu Hai could tell that they had only turned transparent and had not disappeared.

“Mister, please continue. There are two more moves,” Gu Hai said seriously.

However, Wu Yazi shook his head and said, “Your move has already dealt with them. There is no need to continue. Mister Gu, excellent Go skills!”

As Wu Yazi spoke, his body trembled intensely. Sweat appeared on his forehead, and his complexion paled.

Whoosh! A forceful wind blew around Wu Yazi out of nowhere.

Wu Yazi immediately started hyperventilating as though suffering an asthma attack.

Gu Hai’s face sank.

Ninth Young Master felt slightly startled. “That’s not right. He left? He left?”

In the east, the Supreme Genesis’s face sank. “That was just a strand of Old Mister Guan Qi’s will earlier?”

In the south, the Grand Mohist said coldly, “He left?”

“Amitābha!” the Future Buddha said solemnly.

“Mister, how are you? Can you continue?” Gu Hai called out.

Huff! Huff! Huff!

Wu Yazi finally caught his breath after inhaling deeply a few times. When he heard Gu Hai’s question, he felt slightly startled.

“Why am I here?” Wu Yazi’s expression changed.

When he looked down at the Go board, his expression immediately changed.

“This…I played this?” Wu Yazi suddenly looked at Gu Hai in shock.

“Mister?” Gu Hai looked at Wu Yazi gravely.

“Wu Yazi, this is the final match. You against Mister Gu,” Ninth Young Master said probingly.

“What? Was it really me playing? No. It…it was him. I…” Fluster suddenly appeared on Wu Yazi’s face.

Gu Hai stared at Wu Yazi.

“Mister Wu Yazi, can you play another move?” Gu Hai asked gravely.

Gu Hai seemed to have sensed something. At this moment, he no longer addressed Wu Yazi by Mister; instead, he returned to the old address of Mister Wu Yazi.

Wu Yazi lowered his head to study the Go board. After some silence, he smiled bitterly and said, “Another move? Hah! Mister Gu, you have won!”

“What?” Gu Hai’s face sank.

“This humble one admits defeat,” Wu Yazi said with a bitter smile and a slight bow.

“He admitted defeat?”

“Mister Gu is the strongest in the Go Dao!”

“Hahahaha! Mister Gu took first place. What are the sages going to do?”

“Are they all going to recommend Mister Gu?”

Noisy chatter suddenly erupted in the surroundings. First? Gu Hai was first in Go. What were the sages going to do?

The sages had just claimed that they would not recommend Gu Hai. What about now? Could they maintain their stance?

“With me as the host and the sages setting the format, the Go Dao participants played each other until one was left. The final winner would receive the sages’ recommendations. Now, Gu Hai took first place in the Go Dao. Sages, please make your recommendations!” Ninth Young Master suddenly shouted to the sky.

The surrounding spectators held their tongues. The entire Heavenly Yin City became so quiet that one could have heard a pin drop. Everyone looked skyward at the sages.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for April: 43 / 50

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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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.