Chapter 18 - Elder Wuya
An hour earlier, when Gu Hai was still challenging a hundred Weiqi players on the first floor, Elder Wuya and Chen Taiji who were on the fourth floor were already aware of him, but they didn't attach too much importance to it as even challenging five players on the 1st floor simultaneously didn't amount to much for them!
However, when Gu Hai's winning streak continued until the time he was simultaneously facing off against the five old fogies, the game of Weiqi between Elder Wuya and Chen Taiji couldn't help but stop at this time. The Weiqi prowess of this young man was worthy of being valued by Elder Wuya and Chen Taiji.
Therefore, they placed five Weiqi boards in front of them before organizing the pieces on the board to match with the five games that were being played downstairs. Every time a piece was placed, a designated person would transmit the information to the fourth floor. Even Elder Wuya was carefully savoring these five Weiqi games!
When Gu Hai placed the final pieces on the five boards, Elder Wuya turned silent for a long time.
"Our country has produced a capable person. This Old Xiu at death's door didn't anticipate meeting such a person with this kind of prowess. If I am able to play a Weiqi game with him, then I could die without regrets!" Elder Wu suddenly let out a sigh of emotions!
"Can it be that this man who God knows where he has sprung up from be able to face off against Teacher in Weiqi?" Chen Taiji skeptically said. His Weiqi prowess was not shallow and he also knew that this stranger's Weiqi prowess was not ordinary, but he couldn't believe that this random youth had the qualifications to truly face off against Elder Wuya in Weiqi. He had always regarded his teacher as the only Supreme Weiqi Grandmaster who nobody could contend with!
"Haha, Weiqi is limitless. Even though I have some attainments in Weiqi, but the more I researched the more I felt that I have only scratched the surface. I have only taken a few steps in the world of true Weiqi, that's all. It is only normal for there to be people who are able to exceed me in the aspect of Weiqi!" Elder Wuya laughed and said, it seemed that finding a well-matched opponent before his death made him quite happy.
"Silly boy, it is just a game of Weiqi, that's all!" Elder Wuya interrupted Chen Taiji's words and said with profound intent, "Moreover, perhaps the key to solving the crisis before the Chen Kingdom lies with this young man……"
"Teacher, are you saying……" Chen Taiji was somewhat surprised!
"Now is not the time, let's talk about it after a game." Elder Wuya could only helplessly shake his head. Afterward, he turned to look at the CChamberlain on the side who had been recording the Weiqi game for them, and said in a mild tone, "You go downstairs and invite that Mister up!"
Gu Hai, having guided by the chamberlain, arrived at the fourth floor. When the gate was opened, he saw an old man and a young man sitting at the center of the room. Placed in front of them were five Weiqi boards which had Weiqi pieces already spread around and one empty Weiqi board.
Gu Hai looked at the two and then looked at the six Weiqi boards, he understood everything immediately but didn't speak anything. He just went towards the two and sat down in front of them in a calm and collected manner and his eyes were looking straight at them, whereas his face showed a tranquil expression; apparently, he was not the slightest bit tensed.
Elder Wuya, looking at the tranquil Gu Hai, also revealed a somewhat appreciative expression on his face. However, they had already decided to not speak until the game was over.
Elder Wuya moved his right hand and gestured Gu Hai to start. Even though the first move had a certain advantage in a game of this level, but Elder Wuya still gave up the right of moving first. He didn't even have any intent to take the first move, apparently, Elder Wuya was still quite confident in his Weiqi ability!
Gu Hai also didn't decline and used his right hand to take out a black piece from the Weiqi box and placed it directly in the Tianyuan position1.
Elder Wuya looked at the piece placed by Gu Hai at the Tianyuan position, then glanced at Gu Hai with profound intent and immediately thereafter placed his white piece onto the board.
However, Chen Taiji, seeing the black piece being placed at Tianyuan, was shaken to the core. 'The first piece at Tianyuan, can you really play that move in Weiqi?'. If he were not at this place, Chen Taiji would have believed that Gu Hai didn't know how to play Weiqi. Only his extremely good bearing made him not display anything outward, as he continued looking at the Weiqi game calmly.
Gu Hai and Elder Wuya kept placing their pieces one after another. They were placing their pieces extremely fast as if playing Weiqi for them was as easy as drinking water.
However, Chen Taiji, sitting on the side, was shaken to the core. He believed that even though his Weiqi ability was still far from the Old Weiqi Grandmaster, he was still quite strong. In this Weiqi Celestial Hall, he was absolutely capable of using his abilities to reach the top threshold of the third floor. However, he couldn't understand this game from the beginning to the end. He simply stopped watching the Weiqi game and began measuring up Gu Hai.
Since according to Elder Wuya, this youngster had the ability to resolve the crisis before the Chen Kingdom, although he was not convinced of Gu Hai, he believed in Elder Wuya's insight. Perhaps this youngster was truly different from what he sees, but he hadn't discovered it yet!
The time flowed like running water, and the majority of the Weiqi board was already filled up with pieces. Elder Wuya could already no longer maintain that same tempo from the beginning and had to think deeply for a while each time, but Gu Hai was still as before placing pieces freely.
However, in the eyes of Elder Wuya, this Weiqi game was like a battle between two armies and the black piece placed at the Tianyuan position was like a king commanding the overall game. The countless black pieces were like soldiers encircling his white pieces, and….
"On nine-five!" Once Gu Hai placed this black piece, the entire Weiqi game underwent huge changes. Countless white pieces were removed. At this time even Chen Taiji was watching. Elder Wuya had already lost.
"Hehe, I truly didn't expect that I would be able to see such an extraordinary talent like little friend Gu, in this lifetime." Even though Elder Wuya was defeated, he was not depressed. Just like Weiqi, there were ups and downs in life, he had long ago foreseen the ending!
Gu Hai humbly cupped his hands in salute and said: "Senior let me win. This Gu only won by a fluke."
"Haha, this Old Xiu is not a sore loser. A loss is a loss. Little Friend Gu, you don't have to be so humble!" Elder Wuya laughed and paying no mind to it said, "Come, I will give you an introduction. This is..."
"Great Chen Kingdom's Crown Prince Chen Taiji!" Gu Hai raised his head to look at Chen Taiji and said indifferently.
"H-how did you know?" Gu Hai's words were very light, but it sounded like a thunderclap in the ears of Chen Taiji. He stood up in astonishment. He had all along stayed very low-key knowing that there were not many people who knew his actual identity, with Gu Hai being definitely not included amongst those people. Moreover, this time, he had come to Weiqi Celestial Hall wearing plain clothing, and only a few people knew about it!
"This is not something difficult to guess!" Gu Hai didn't care much about the astonishment of Chen Taiji, "The fourth floor of Heavenly Chess Pavilion is not something that any average person can come to. Moreover, within the Chen Kingdom, someone who was just about twenty years old and yet have the qualifications to treat Elder Wuya as equals, who could it be if not the Chen Kingdom's Crown Prince!"
"Mister Gu is very capable." Chen Taiji's face had become extremely warm all of a sudden, "Now that the Chen Kingdom is in dire straits, Father Emperor has been ailing since a long time ago, Taiji wishes to sincerely request Mister Gu to serve this kingdom and save the Chen Kingdom from calamity."
Maybe Gu Hai's deduction wouldn't amount to too much, however, added onto the recommendation of Elder Wuya and coupled with the fact that Chen Taiji was trying to keep everything from falling apart in this desperate situation, he didn't have any better candidate other than Gu Hai!
Gu Hai raised his head to look at Chen Taiji and said indifferently: "This Gu's natural endowment is extremely bad making me absolutely impossible to practice internal strength. I am just a mortal, I am incapable of making a great contribution to the Chen Kingdom. Crown Prince would better look at some better candidate!"
"Your skeletal root is extremely bad? It doesn't matter. In the Royal Collection, there are several thousand rare books on external strength. Taiji will take responsibility, Mister Gu can take any external strength manual that you like." Chen Taiji said indifferently. He had favored precisely the strategy and intelligence of Gu Hai, he didn't have any need for his martial strength. Since, Gu Hai had this requirement, buying him over with a book of external strength which had been uselessly lying in the royal collection was definitely worth it!
"Since Crown Prince views this Gu so highly, if this Gu still doesn't agree then it would be wrong of this Gu!" Gu Hai stood up and facing Chen Taiji cupped his hands to salute!
"Good, being able to recruit Mister Gu is the fortune of Great Chen!" Chen Taiji was showing an expression of extreme excitement on his face, "After I return, I will recommend to Father Emperor to admit Mister Gu into the Palace as an Official."
"Then Little Friend Gu might as well accompany this Old Xiu to play some Weiqi while waiting to receive the good news from Crown Prince." Elder Wuya looking at the excited Chen Taiji had a smile appear on his face as he spoke in a gentle tone.
"Right, Mister Gu may just wait in the Weiqi Celestial Hall for a few days, I will immediately return to the Palace." Chen Taiji said approvingly.
"I am indeed willing, but senior, please don't lower yourself to request. This Gu will momentarily accompany senior for a game of Weiqi." Gu Hai sat down.
Chen Taiji, looking at Gu Hai sitting down, felt as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulder. Having greeted Gu Hai and Elder Wuya, he hurriedly departed.
Gu Hai and Elder Wuya who were left behind continued to play Weiqi...
1: Tianyuan or 天元 (Center of Heaven) is a spot that is directly at the center of the Weiqi/Go Board https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianyuan_(Go)