Chapter 07 – Watching Chess

On the main road, just at the outskirts of the Autumn Leaf Town.

A caravan team consisting of over a hundred people was temporarily stopped on the road, either in the form of groups of three and five, or a dozen or so men who were sitting together; from their postures, they appeared to be eating.

This was the sole caravan of Autumn Leaf Town, also known as the Autumn Leaf Caravan. This caravan transported herbs to various parts of the Chen Kingdom for selling and then bought back some materials from other parts of Chen Kingdom that were rather scarce in the Autumn Leaf Town.

After all, the Black Fiend Mountain Range was rich in herbs. Practically, almost the entire Autumn Leaf Town went to the mountains for picking herbs. Even if the hunters encounter some valuable herbs, they too would readily pick them up. So each time, the Autumn Leaf Town would accumulate a terrifying amount of herbs, and an Autumn Leaf Town could only use so much of the herbs. Forming a caravan to sell it outside was a wise move.

This Autumn Lead Caravan didn’t have a fixed number of people; only a few Captains who were all prominent people of the Autumn Leaf Town, while the other members of the caravan were the healthy young men selected from the families of the town. As for the strength of caravan, it depended upon the distance of the caravan’s destination.

This time, the Autumn Leaf Caravan’s destination was the Royal Capital of the Chen Kingdom, which was quite far away. That was why the caravan’s strength was more than the usual; about a hundred healthy young men had been selected. Besides the manpower required to drive the carriages, many people were selected to fend off the wild animals or bandits that the caravan may encounter on the road.

Currently, it was early in the morning. When everyone has eaten their breakfast, the caravan too would then take off.

In the middle of the caravan, there was a unique four-wheeled carriage. This carriage had some common decorations. In one glance, it was pretty easy to discern that this carriage was meant for humans. Gu Hai calmly stood to the right of the carriage, with Tang Chu just right in front of him.

“Uncle Gu, do you really need to go to the Royal Capital? Why not stay in the Autumn Leaf Town, aren’t we making good money here?” A little sadness was noticeable in Tang Chu’s tone. This mysterious Uncle Gu had given him quite a bit of surprise, needless to say, how much he had helped him. And now they were about to be separated. Tang Chu, in his heart, could not bear to let go of Gu Hai.

“Silly boy, it is just a temporary parting, that’s all! You don’t need to wait for long, I will call you and your mother to the Royal Capital, then we may be able to find a cure for your mother’s illness in the Royal Capital!” Gu Hai caressed Tang Chu’s head. The Autumn Leaf Town was truly too small for him, only the Chen Empire’s Royal Capital could be regarded as his stage. Also, he was sure he would very soon be able to have quite a bit of power and influence in the Royal Capital, and by that time, he would be able to bring Tang Chu and his mother to the Royal Capital.

“Really?” Tang Chu cried in excitement. His mother’s illness had been troubling him for such a long time. In the past, he didn’t even have the money to look for a doctor, and now that he was rich, the Autumn Leaf Town was too small to find a cure for his mother’s illness.

“Uncle Gu, thanks a lot!” Tang Chu bowed to Gu Hai. His mother’s disease was also his sore point. And now there was a hope to find a cure, he would certainly be extremely grateful to Gu Hai.

“It’s all right.” Gu Hai slightly smiled, “And, make sure to remember all that I have taught you. So long as you have learned those, it will not be difficult to earn money in business.”

These days, Gu Hai had not been idle. He was instructing Tang Chu some tricks of the trade he had learned in the past. Tang Chu was a very intelligent child who had a strong sense of business. Gu Hai believed Tang Chu had the ability to make money in business. He did so in order to nurture this young man. To this world, he was rather ignorant and he also knew how important it was to have a few trusted subordinates.

“I understand, Uncle Gu.” Tang Chu nodded his head and confidently said, “I’ll certainly learn Uncle Gu’s teachings, so that in the future I can help Uncle Gu.”

“Set off!” From the front of the caravan came a loud and sonorous shout. It was from one of the caravan’s Captain announcing that the caravan must start the journey.

“Tang Chu, go back! Go back and take care of your mother well.” Gu Hai waving his hand indicated Tang Chu to go home.

“Uncle Gu, have a safe journey. I’ll first go back and prepare some breakfast for mother.” Tang Chu turned towards the direction of his home and wiped his wet eyes with his sleeves. All the way he didn’t dare to look back, he was afraid that he could not bear to part with Gu Hai.

Gu Hai calmed down his mood, turned to the four-wheeled carriage and climbed up. This carriage was not free, for this trip, Gu Hai had spent twelve silvers. After all, the road was extremely long, not to mention, it was not lacking any danger. It was worth the trip.

The carriage space could not be regarded as too small. It could easily accommodate five-six people and still, they won’t feel that it was crowded. It was the only carriage meant to carry humans in the entire caravan, the rest of carriage were all loaded with herbs. This carriage was especially used by caravan’s Captains, and as Gu Hai had spent money, he too had the qualifications to ride this carriage.

After Gu Hai went inside the carriage, he noticed two men close to sixty years of age already sitting inside. These two old men were quite famous among the town’s folk. Naturally, they were appointed as the caravan’s Captain, and town’s folk were all sincerely convinced.

The two old men were sitting across each other, and a Weiqi board was placed between them. After all, there was still a long way to go, what good way besides Weiqi would be there to spend some time.

The Weiqi Board seems to be lacking ten black and white pieces, apparently, this game was being continued from before. Gu Hai first saw Weiqi in this world, naturally, he would be curious; thereupon, he came in and sat next to the Weiqi board and carefully observed at this world’s Weiqi.

Thereafter, three middle-aged robust men climbed onto carriage in succession, altogether, the carriage now had six men. Usually, the town would also pick a Captain for the Hunting Team and Herbal Team, who had wholesome prestige in town, who the town’s folk could believe in.

The six men remained silent, they didn’t talk to each other; they just looked at the game on the Weiqi board. Even those who didn’t play Weiqi knew when it was better to not make any noise and disturb the others.

These old men sensed the arrival of others, yet they didn’t seem to pay any attention. Both men’s attention was completely on the Weiqi board, deliberating on what their next move should be!

The caravan slowly set off. The two old men continued placing the pieces one after another giving no heed to anything. The entire time, besides the occasional sound of pieces falling on the Weiqi board, the carriage was completely quiet. Everyone was watching Weiqi without making any noise, everyone was mindful especially about this.

Unknowingly, the time passed away rather quickly. Playing a few rounds of Weiqi, both the old men had their victories and losses. Their Weiqi skills were just about the same.

From spectating just a game of Weiqi, Gu Hai knew that there was not that big of a difference between this world’s Weiqi and his world’s. Besides some few differences in the rules, it was almost the same. In a short while, Gu Hai had completely grasped all rules of this world’s Weiqi.

Also, the Weiqi game was, in Gu Hai’s opinion, extremely simple. Their Weiqi strategy was very coarse. Even if Gu Hai showed moderation, defeating them would still be a walk in the park.

The two old men after playing a few games also stopped. After all, their energy was limited. They need some rest too.

“Young man, do you know how to play Weiqi?” An old man looked at Gu Hai and asked. During the game when he occasionally looked at Gu Hai, he noticed Gu Hai was watching the Weiqi game in a very dedicated manner, thus he voiced this question.

“I have a rough idea!” Gu Hai calmly replied.

“Alas, how about we go for another round.” The old man was a little anxious to display his skills. The Autumn Leaf Town was far too prejudiced, only a small fraction of people understand Weiqi.

Despite the three other men who had been looking at the Weiqi game, they just understood some basic rules of Weiqi, that’s all. In other words, they could not bear playing Weiqi; they found it rather disgusting.

Upon hearing, Gu Hai slightly smiled, but he didn’t reply. He freely took out a black piece from the box and placed it upon the Weiqi board.

Originally, in the two old men’s opinion, the game was already finished, moreover, the player with the black piece would surely be defeated. However, there were still moves left to play for the game to finish.

“This!” The two old men were taken by surprise at the same time. Gu Hai should not have placed the black piece without any thinking, this move of his must have some meaning.

The two old men carefully looked at the game. Suddenly they noticed that the original losing black piece had strangely come alive, and not only the black side was back in the game, the black piece was actually in a very dominant position now.

The two old men bitterly smiled at each other. The young man’s Weiqi skills were far more than theirs. Before, they were sincerely convinced that the black piece was as good as lost, but who knew that this young man, in the blink of an eye, would completely catch them off-guard with just a move. If this was called as having a rough idea, then what about them?

“Mister’s Weiqi skills are really something. Even in the Royal Capital, Mister can certainly be counted as an expert in the Weiqi circles! Even in the Chen Kingdom’s Weiqi Celestial Hall, Mister can certainly mark his position.”

“Weiqi Celestial Hall?” Gu Hai was a little doubtful.

“Right, Weiqi Celestial Hall.” Another elderly suddenly revealed a yearning look in his eyes, “The Weiqi Celestial Hall is the Holy Land for every Weiqi player in the Chen Kingdom. Countless Weiqi experts can be found there, moreover, the Weiqi Celestial Hall have a certain standard. Only Weiqi players with a certain level of Weiqi skills can have the qualifications to enter! Neither of us has the qualifications to enter, but I believe, Mister should be able to enter!”

“Oh!” Gu Hai was suddenly interested in the Weiqi Celestial Hall. Naturally, Gu Hai wanted to compete with those top Weiqi players of the country, who were gathered in the Weiqi Celestial Hall.

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