Layers of black clouds covered the sky while the spring rains continued to fall to the ground.
The rain was as fine as an ox's fur. As it fell down, it covered the Green Thatch Mountain with a layer of thin smoke.
The fourth level of the tavern was desolated as always. There were only four guests.
Fang Yuan sat beside the window as a gush of wind blew over that tangled up with the poetic and flowery fragrance.
"The streets' rain run as crisp grass from afar, that can no longer be seen up close." Fang Yuan slightly exclaimed while looking out the window. After a while later, he retrieved his look.
In front of him there laid delicious food and wine. They had both the smell and the taste. Especially the Green Bamboo Wine, which was emitting a scent of pure wine, was showing its freshness. The aquamarine wine silently stayed in the bamboo cup. From this aspect, it looked as if it was scattering amber that was like a gentle glazing.
The last person to get a table was a duo of grandfather and grandchild. They wore plain and simple clothing; both were mortal.
The older man was drinking rice wine while looking over at Fang Yuan with admiration in his eyes. He obviously was attracted to the fragrance of the Green Bamboo Wine. However, he couldn't afford it.
His grandson was biting on marinated beans, making hammering sounds. At the same time, he clung on his grandfather, swaying his arm, "Grandpa, grandpa, please tell me about the story of the Human Ancestor. If you don't, I will tell grandma that you are secretly drinking wine again!"
"Haizz, I can't even drink wine in peace." The old man sighed, but his face was beaming with affection. He used his hand which was as skinny as a wooden stick to stroke his grandson's head, "Then I will tell you a bit more. When the Human gave his heart to the Gu of Hope and had escaped his impasse...."
The story of the Human Ancestor was the most popular folktale, as well as the most ancient legend.
The old story the old man was talking about, was this one.
He spoke of the Human Ancestor escaping the Predicaments by relying on hope. However, he had reached his 'old age'. Without power and wisdom, he couldn't continue hunting. Moreover, his teeth were all falling out. He couldn't chew on any wild herbs or fruits anymore.
The Human Ancestor could feel that death was approaching him.
Right then, the Gu of Hope told him, "Human, you cannot die." If you die, your heart would also die, and I will lose a place to stay."
The Human Ancestor didn't have a choice, "Who wants to die? But heaven and earth want me dead; I cannot go against it."
Gu of Hope said, "There is hope in everything. As long as you're able to catch the Longevity Gu, you can lengthen your life span."
Human Ancestor had soon heard about the existence of the Longevity Gu but he couldn't help but give up, "When the Longevity Gu stays silent, no one can discover it. Its flying speed is even faster than the speed of light. How can I catch it? This is too tough!"
The Gu of Hope told the Human a secret, "Human, you can't give up your hope on the thing you are about to do. Let me tell you, on the ground of the northwest cape, situated a great mountain. In the cave on the peak of the mountain there are two Gus, one with a round-shape and the other with a square-shape. As long as you defeat those two Gus, there is no Gu in this world that you can't catch, and that Longevity Gu is also not an exception!"
The Human Ancestor had reached a dead-end. This was his last beam of hope.
He suffered countless of hardships to be able to find that great mountain, then went up the peak after being through every kind of thrills. Once he reached the entrance of the cave on top of the mountain, he only had a little bit of energy left to stagger in the cave.
Darkness covered the cave as one couldn't even see their fingers. The Human Ancestor was walking in the dark. There were times when he would bump into something until his head was bleeding non-stop. Or there were times when he felt that this endless darkness was like another world. Except him, there was nothing around.
He wasted lots of time but couldn't escape this boundless darkness. Not to mention he had to make those rounded and squared Gus to surrender.
Right when he was about to fall into a coma, two voices started to reverberate in darkness.
One said, "Human, you think of catching us? Go back. Even if you have the Gu of Power with you, it would still be impossible."
Another voice spoke up "Human, retreat. We don't want to take your life. Even if the Gu of Wisdom were here to help you, you still wouldn't be able to find us."
The Human Ancestor fell to the ground and was constantly gasping for air, "The Gu of Power and Gu of Wisdom have soon left my side. My lifespan is running out; I am facing a dead-end. However, as long as I have a single beam of hope left, I will not give up!"
Upon hearing the Humans words, the two voices died out.
Only after a while later did they start talking again, "I understand now. Human, you gave your heart to the Gu of Hope. No matter what, you won't give up."
The other voice continued, "If it so, we will give you a chance. If you can say our names, we will be in your hands."
The Human Ancestor was dumbstruck. Wanted to find only two accurate names in the ocean of names out there, this was basically finding a needle in the sea.
Moreover, he didn't even know how many words there were in their names.
The Human Ancestor quickly asked the Gu of Hope but it didn't know either.
The Human didn't have any other choice but to patiently call out names. He said many names and had wasted a lot of time. However, there was no answer coming from the darkness. Obviously, it was all wrong.
Gradually, the Human Ancestor's breathing was getting weaker. In the cave, from being in old age, he had eventually reached his declining years. It was like the sunset at nightfall, slowly descended. Half of the sun had fallen below the horizon, turning into the sunset.
He didn't bring much food with him, as his brain was working at a slower speed, and his strength was also declining.
The voice advised him from the dark, "Human, you are about to die. We will let you go. Take advantage of your remaining time and get out of this cave, take a last look at the world outside. However, you have offended us. For your punishment, leave the Gu of Hope here to keep us company."
The Human Ancestor quickly covered his chest and determinedly declined, "Even if I die, I wouldn't give up on hope!"
The Gu of Hope was touched, as it excitedly used all of its power to reply the Human Ancestor, it emitted a pure white aureole. At the spot on the chest where the Human Ancestor had covered, numerous white light spots appeared.
Nevertheless, the weak white light couldn't be able to light up the darkness. It couldn't even shine upon the entire body of the Human Ancestor, but only on that spot on his chest.
The Human Ancestor then felt a brand new invisible energy current that was viciously intruding the center of his body from the Gu of Hope.
He opened his mouth and continued to call out names. He had become confused due to old age. There were many names that he had mentioned before but he couldn't remember them as he wasted more efforts in repeating them again.
His life was flowing by with the time. The Human Ancestor was running out of his life span.
In the end, when he only had one day left to live, he said a word 'Ju (矩)'.
A deep sigh was speared in the darkness as a voice spoke up, "Human, I admire your persistence. You have called my name. From today onwards, I will listen to your orders. However, only when me and my brother are together are we able to help you catch every Gu in this world. Just based on my capacity, it will be impossible. Therefore, you should give up. You are almost dead. Use your remaining time to take a last glance at this world."
The Human Ancestor determinedly shook his head. He grasped his time to continue talking, guessing the name of the other Gu.
After minutes and seconds had passed, he only had the time of one hour left.
But at that time, he unconsciously spoke out the word 'Gui (规)'. 
In a blink, darkness had dispersed.
The two Gus appeared in front of him. It was like what the Gu of Hope had told him. One Gu that was square-shaped, was named Ju. The other was round, named Gui. Together, it was 'Gui Ju (Rules)'.
Both Gus talked at the same time, "No matter who, as long as he can say our names, we will listen to his command. Human, if you have already known our names, you can use us as you please. However, you must remember. It will be best not to tell any living entities our names. We have to surrender to anyone who knows our names. Right now, you are our first master. Tell us your command."
The Human Ancestor was cheerful, "I order you guys to catch a Longevity Gu for me."
The Rules Gu combined their powers and captured an eighty years old Longevity Gu.
The Human Ancestor had almost reached the age of one hundred. As he ate this Longevity Gu, the wrinkles on his face immediately disappeared. His skinny limbs were replaced with a sturdy and beautiful body, brimming with youthful breath.
He skipped up in joy.
Looking at his body, he was extremely happy to know that he had returned to his old self, which was at the age of twenty!
"Till here then. Let's go home first, good grandson." As the old man ended his story, he had also finished his wine.
"Grandpa, please continue, what did the Human Ancestor do after that?" The grandson didn't want to follow him as he was still swaying his grandfather's arm.
"Let's go. If we have time, I will continue." The old man put on his bamboo hat then gave his grandson a smaller one.
The grandfather and grandson duo exited the tavern. They walked into the curtain of rain, then gradually getting farther and farther.
"Rules..." Fang Yuan's eyes were dim as he turned the cup of wine. Looking at the Green Bamboo Wine inside the cup, a feeling arose in his heart.
The legend of the Human Ancestor had been widely spread in this world. It seemed that there was no one that didn't know about that story. Naturally, Fang Yuan had soon heard of this also.
No matter whether it was a legend or a folktale; different people had different views. In the folktale that the grandfather had told the grandson, Fang Yuan could taste the implications inside.
Just like the Human Ancestor.
When he didn't know about the rules, he would start groping in the dark. Sometimes he would stumble, bumping into things, getting bumped, bruised, and stuck in a dilemma. Sometimes, it would be a vast void. Emerging into the haziness, he lost both his directions and goals.
This type of darkness was not the normal black and gloomy one. Power, wisdom, and hope all couldn't restrain it.
Only when the Human Ancestor recognized the 'Rules' and called its name did the darkness disappear as the Human Ancestor welcomed the bright radiance.
The darkness had the rules of darkness while the radiance also had its own.
Fang Yuan adverted his eyes from the cup of wine to a further distance outside the window.
He could only see the dusky and gloomy sky, along with the continuous verdant mountains, and fine rains were swirling in the air like mist. Up close were one by one bamboo houses, extending forever into the distance. A few people walking on the street got their feet soaked with rain water and stained with mud. If they didn't wear their ash green straw rain cape, it would have been a yellow cloth umbrella.
Fang Yuan concluded inside, "This world is like a big chessboard. All living entities are chess pieces, following rules to move around. There are rules in the four seasons as the order of the cycle is spring, summer, autumn, then winter. Water flows following rules and flows downward. Heat also has rules as it will float up. Normally, human also has rules."
"Everyone has their own standpoints, desires, and principles. For the Ancient Moon Clan, the life of a servant is trivial whereas the life of their master is precious. This is the rule. Therefore, Shen Cui wants to climb up the stair of wealth. Even if it costs her many pains, she still wants to escape the life of a servant. Gao Wan used various methods to make his master happy, like a dog counting on its master's power."
"For aunt and uncle, they are greedy at heart and want to seize the inheritance of my parents. The schoolhouse's Elder wants to nourish Gu Masters, and protect his own position at the schoolhouse."
"Every person has their own rules, each industry has their rules, and each social group has its own rules. Only by thoroughly understanding the rules can one become a bystander that is always clear-minded, and going in circles from darkness to radiance is to temper one' skills."
Fang Yuan then associated it with his own circumstances and had soon come up with a scheme, "To the one in power of the Mo family, Gu Yue Mo Chen, he wants to protect his line's glory and benefits. Mo Yan having looked for trouble in me is the same as violating the rules. Hence, to protect his family's reputation, he will definitely not take any actions against me. He will even take the initiative to offer compensation for me."
"In fact, based on the robust power that the Mo family possessed, even if they wanted to severely punish me for damaging their reputations, it would be impossible for me to resist. However, Gu Yue Mo Chen must feel scared inside. He isn't afraid of violating the rules himself. But he is worried that others will follow him and start to wreck the rules. If the seniors involved themselves in the competitions among the juniors, the degree of the seriousness of the situation will be amplified. If the higher authorities pick up the news, it will become a great threat to the entire mountain stronghold. Gu Yue Mo Chen is scared that someone would take action on his own grandson Gu Yue Mo Bei if any competition happened later on. His whole line depends on this one male. If he were dead, then what should Mo Chen do? This type of fear is something that maybe Gu Yue Mo Chen himself, can't even realize. He is only following his intuition to protect the rules."
Fang Yuan's eyes were clear. Toward such a matter, he could see it clearly from the start to the end.
Gao Wan' s surname wasn't Gu Yue. He was an outsider, a servant.
What could be so important about the fact that a master had killed a servant? In this world, this was extremely normal.
Fang Yuan killed Gao Wan. Gao Wan's death wasn't the critical point. The critical point was his master, the Mo family behind his back.
"However, I gave them a box full of pulp; Gu Yue Mo Chen may understand the compromising and threatening implications in there anyway. This is what I want him to understand. If nothing unexpected happens, the Mo family won't investigate further on Gao Wan's death. Of course, if my aptitude were a level higher, a grade B, the Mo family would have been able to feel the threat. Based on their damaged reputation, they would definitely want to oppress me in the future." Fang Yuan sneered inside.
One could rely on their formidable power but being weak could also be an advantage.
Right now, Fang Yuan was on the chessboard. Moreover, he was also a chess piece. But because he had thoroughly understood the rules, he now had the heart of a chess player.
A normal person would be like Gu Yue Mo Chen or the schoolhouse's Elder, only understanding their own rules. Differences in professions could make one feel the worlds that were apart. To be like Fang Yuan, it was hard to see the situation and clearly understand the rules!
Rules were as the Human Ancestors, who must go through arduous training, hesitation, and haziness in the darkness.
At that time, power, wisdom, and hope couldn't be used at all. He had to spend time, to comprehend by himself to gain such experiences.
The Human Ancestor had wasted time to call out the names of the two Gus. He had tried numerous times under the pressure of death.
Fang Yuan could understand the rules was because of the accumulated experiences he had gained from the past five hundred years.
From when he was reborn until now, he was confident that he could create a glorious future. Not because of the reappearance of the Spring and Autumn Cicada, or his knowledge about numerous uncharted treasures, or holding the general direction of the future in his hands.
But it was because of his life experiences in the past five hundred years.
Just like the Human Ancestor that could had gotten ahold of the Rules Gu and then had easily seized thousands of Gus in the world!
Fang Yuan, who thoroughly understood the rules, was like looking down from above with a pair of eyes that could pierce through the verbose affairs of life. It was either made from a painstaking investigation or a pointed remark. He saw himself as a haughty and proud person, coldly looking at the humans on this world as, one by one, chess pieces, following their own rules to gradually step up.
Darkness had the rules of darkness while the radiance had its own rules.
And now the reborn Devil was walking under the radiance.
The first two lines from a poem called Early Spring Drizzles by Chu Chuan Xiao Yu.
The two Gus combining name is Gui Ju (规矩) = Rules. Gui had another meaning which is instruments for drawing circles, while Ju meant square. Hence the shapes of the two Gus.