Chapter 17 – Weiqi Celestial Hall

The Weiqi Celestial Hall was a four story tall building. The first floor had at least an area of tens of thousands of square meter. The first floor was dedicated for ordinary Weiqi players, but not every ordinary Weiqi player was allowed to enter.

Standing before the entrance of the Weiqi Celestial Hall, Gu Hai carefully looked at the building in front. After he put the luggage inside the Great Sea Inn, he rented a horse carriage to the Weiqi Celestial Hall!

After all, like everyone else, he too held interest in the Holy Land of Weiqi which was yearned very much by all Weiqi players!

However, the Weiqi Celestial Hall was not so easy to enter. Otherwise, the Weiqi Celestial Hall would have long been overcrowded. Even if one wanted to enter the Weiqi Celestial Hall, you need to have qualifications!

Gu Hai looked at the Weiqi table that was fully carved out of stone which was placed at the entrance of the Weiqi Celestial Hall. The Weiqi table had black and white placed upon it, and opposite the Weiqi table calmly sat a gray robe old man on a stone chair, with a clear mind and rapt attention, as if nothing could faze him!

Noticing Gu Hai’s arrival, the gray robed old man just extended his right hand, signaling Gu Hai to sit on the opposite stone chair!

Gu Hai without further ado directly sat down on the stone chair and swept a glance at the game on the Weiqi table. Suddenly, he cleared his throat as he noticed that this was an unfinished game…

“Place ten pieces on the board to pass the assessment!” The gray robed old man’s indifferent voice slowly came over!

‘Most people may think of just placing ten pieces, how can it be as simple as that?. Do you think that placing just ten pieces, it will be over? Youngster, you are too pure…’

‘This is an endgame puzzle and you need to place pieces to finish the game. And if not resolved it in ten moves, you are simply unable to pass!’ The old man said to himself.

However, Gu Hai simply didn’t think too much about it. When he first set his eyes on the Weiqi game, the first thing that came to his mind was that this game was too simple, it simply didn’t pose any difficulty to him!

Gu Hai picked up a black piece from the box and placed it on the Weiqi board, then looked at gray robed old man!

The gray robed old man was shocked. He looked at the youngster in front with a little surprise. This move was truly contrary to his expectations. Just place a piece on the board, he had immediately solved the endgame puzzle, it was truly marvelous!

However, it was no more than one move; he was unable to gauge Gu Hai’s Weiqi skills from this move. The gray robed old man similarly took out a white Weiqi piece, pondered for a moment before dropping it on the Weiqi board!

“Pa!”

Before the gray robed old man showed any reaction, Gu Hai had already dropped another black Weiqi piece. In an instant, a large number of white pieces were captured and thereby taken out of the Weiqi board; leaving a few pieces on the Weiqi board!

The gray robed old man carefully contemplated about the current game on the Weiqi board. Suddenly, he forcefully smiled, “I’m really getting old. In just two moves I have been defeated. Those old men are going to laugh at me!”

“Young man, you have the qualifications to enter the third floor! But you still need to follow the rules. However, If I am right it should be simply nothing for you.” The gray robed old man raised his head to looked at Gu Hai and meaningfully said, “Furthermore, even for those old men from the third floor it is impossible to defeat me in just two moves. It seems the Weiqi Celestial Hall is going to get lively!”

The gray robe old man waved his hand, telling Gu Hai to enter the Weiqi Celestial Hall. His line of sight once again fell on the Weiqi board in front of him. God knows how long he had been looking on this game already, now witnessing someone defeat him so easily, he naturally wanted to clearly understand how he lost!

Gu Hai did not seem to care, and directly walked inside the Weiqi Celestial Hall!

In the lobby of the first floor there were hundreds of Weiqi boards placed inside, and almost each Weiqi board had two people sitting on the either side. There were even some Weiqi boards that were surrounded by a group of people, they were watching the game!

Silently watching the game was a gentleman’s virtue which everyone seemed to be following here. Inside the first floor lobby, besides the sound of pieces being placed on the board, almost no one seemed to be talking. Everyone was either quietly playing or watching the game!

Like everyone else, Gu Hai too didn’t make any noise. He just casually walked closer to a Weiqi board and quietly watched the two people as they played Weiqi.

However, Gu Hai quickly had a change of thought!

As far as Gu Hai was concerned, the skills of these Weiqi players were somewhat shallow. He didn’t have any intention to watch their game anymore. He needed a stronger opponent. This time his target was the invincible Weiqi King in legend!

However, it was impossible for Gu Hai to easily enter the fourth floor of the Weiqi Celestial Hall. That’s why Gu Hai came up with a most common method!

At the beginning of the establishment of the Weiqi Celestial Hall, a rule was set. If anyone could have a winning streak of a hundred games on the first floor, he would be allowed to enter the second floor. A winning streak of thirty games on the second floor would grant him access to the third floor. And finally, a winning streak of ten games on the third floor and it would be possible for him to play Weiqi with Elder Wuya!

Although the conditions were somewhat harsh, for Gu Hai it was completely nothing. Furthermore, Gu Hai in order to save time even made an incredible decision!

Since Gu Hai had entered the Weiqi Celestial Hall, an hour had already passed. At this moment, the Weiqi Celestial Hall had completely changed!

At the moment, unlike before, the vast lobby of first floor unexpectedly didn’t seem to have even the sound the pieces falling of Weiqi players. The hundreds of people which were either playing or watching Weiqi an hour ago had completely surrounded the center of the lobby.

Usually, the central area of the first floor should not have any one, but today there sat a middle-aged man who was approximately thirty years old. He was not exceptionally good looking, the only difference was in the depths of his eyes, his pair of eyes was as if they could see through anyone’s heart.

The middle-aged man sat on a simple wooden-armchair and before him five Weiqi boards were placed that were filled with interlocking black and white pieces. Apparently, the Weiqi game was not finished. Opposite to the middle-aged sat five old men. These five old men with rapt concentration were looking at the respective Weiqi board in their front, their eyebrows were interlocked into a frown, their hands self-consciously fiddling with Weiqi pieces as if they didn’t know where to place the piece!

This middle-aged man was naturally Gu Hai. He was unexpectedly playing five games at the same time…

Although the surrounding onlookers were watching the Weiqi game, a hubbub of discussion was starting to appear.

“Brother Zhang, don’t you think that this guy called Gu Hai’s Weiqi skills is superb. In this set of a hundred games, he had not suffered any defeat and what’s more strange is that he is unexpectedly playing five games at the same time!”

“That’s very true! I have been in the Weiqi Celestial Hall for a decade or so, yet this is the first time I have seen such a fierce person. Not to mention the ordinary Weiqi players of the first floor, even all the experts from the second floor had been defeated by Gu Hai. And currently, he is playing the five old fogies, the peak Weiqi players of the third floor. Among all the Weiqi players in the Chen Kingdom they are the best of the best players, and now they, too, are showing signs of defeat, they can not hold for too long!”

“Hey, I think that besides the secluded Old Weiqi King, no one can defeat Gu Hai!”

That person called Brother Zhang wanted to continue to speak but from the Weiqi board at the center of the lobby suddenly came the sound of pieces being thrown. He couldn’t help but turn his head and stop himself from speaking again.

The five old fogies looked at the calm and unperturbed Gu Hai before them. They could not help but feel a little dispirited in their heart. The five could be regarded as the peak Weiqi players in the Chen Kingdom. Even the secluded Old Weiqi King had to defeat the five separately. But in this game of Weiqi, the five had unexpectedly suffered in the hands of Gu Hai at the same time. The five old fogies believed that even the Old Weiqi King would absolutely not have such ability.

The five old fogies at the same time made a bow to Gu Hai with their hands folded in their front, sighed and said, “Excellency, your Weiqi skills are truly extraordinary, they are far better than ours!”

“Gentlemen, your Weiqi skills are similarly extraordinary. This Gu had to strain every nerve, it was truly not an easy win!” Gu Hai slightly nodded his head.

The five old fogies looked at each other and forcefully smiled. They still could not completely understand their own Weiqi game. Strain every nerve? From the beginning to end, Gu Hai before them had remained completely at ease. He spoke as such just for courtesy.

“Excellency, congratulations. Counting us five old men, excellency had already finished the condition of third floor’s ten winning streaks. You have won the qualification to enter the fourth floor. Presumably, soon Mister Wuya will send someone to ask excellency to enter the fourth floor!” The five old fogies on one side congratulated while on the other side they were a little envious. Almost every Weiqi player wished to be able to play with Weiqi King. They had stayed in the Weiqi Celestial Hall for so long, even then, they rarely get to play with the Weiqi King, not to mention the qualification to enter the fourth floor!

“Everyone please make way, Elder Wuya requests Mister Gu to come to the fourth floor for a chat.” Suddenly a middle-aged man squeezed his way into the crowd. On one side he shoved his way, while on the other shouted loudly.

Speak of the devil. Apparently, Elder Wuya had also been paying attention to this matter; he had invited Gu Hai in a moment!

Upon hearing, Gu Hai revealed a trace of clear expression, stood up and followed the middle-aged man upstairs. Along the way, the crowd on their own gave way to him!

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