Chapter 856 – A New Mahjong Game
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Tang Old Master said, "What does a little cub like you have to talk about?"
Tang Thirty-Six grinned and replied, "Old rascal, do you think this mahjong game is over?"
For some reason, Chen Changsheng only felt an icy cold from this smile, and then he felt sad in place of his friend.
The first thing Tang Thirty-Six had said after coming out of the Tang clan's ancestral hall was, "What of that useless old man?"
When comparing 'useless old man' to 'old rascal', it was naturally the former that exhibited more resentment.
But his use of the latter did not mean that his resentment was fading, only that he was growing increasingly indifferent.
Indifference sprang from lack of emotion.
The Tang Old Master was far too emotionless.
On the surface, the events of yesterday had to be attributed to the Tang Old Master's wisdom and resolve.
Upon learning that his second son was working with the demons, he had placed justice before family and punished his son.
But Tang Thirty-Six did not think this way.
In the ancestral hall, he had silently thought for a full half of a year, so he had long since thought over everything until it was crystal-clear.
He had already seen through all that his grandfather was.
If Chen Changsheng had not come to Wenshui, his father would have died and he would have remained under house arrest until his death.
Whether it was the poisoning or the struggle for power, many things appeared to be the Tang Second Master's doing, but whose Tang clan was this again?
If not for the fact that the Tang Old Master had maintained his silence all this time, how could these things have happened?
And this wasn't even considering that Tang Thirty-Six's imprisonment in the ancestral hall had been on the personal order of the Tang Old Master.
If one wanted to find the principal conspirator of this entire matter, it could only be the Tang Old Master.
But the Tang Old Master had not expected that for his grandson's sake, the Orthodoxy would display such an unyielding stance, willing to resort to indiscriminate destruction. The Chen Changsheng that appeared in Wenshui City was not at all like some mature and composed Pope who prioritized the Orthodoxy and the common people. He was more like some reckless savage whose passion had gone to his head.
The Tang Old Master had also not expected for South Stream Temple and the Mount Li Sword Sect to also take such resolute standpoints, the latter even causing the Qiushan clan to withdraw. He was even more surprised that these youths had pushed the tiles over, allowing many people to see the truth behind this mahjong game.
The jade mahjong tiles were incessantly shuffled, their constant clashing creating a very pleasant sound, and then they gradually began to be tidied up.
Tang Thirty-Six was quite adept at shuffling tiles, not forgetting to make small talk with Chen Changsheng. "Ever since I was small, I've wanted to play mahjong in this room, but this old rascal was always saying that I was still young and never gave me the chance. In truth, in terms of playing mahjong, he's no match for me."
After learning that Xu Yourong had once played mahjong with the Tang Old Master, Chen Changsheng had been curious as to why Tang Thirty-Six had never met her. Only after hearing this did he learn the story behind it. Back then, Tang Thirty-Six had just been a child in the Tang Old Master's eyes, and so it was only natural that he did not have the right to enter this room.
"You really think that you have the right to play a game of mahjong against me?"
The Tang Old Master had not moved. His right hand stroked a cane while he calmly looked at Tang Thirty-Six.
Tang Thirty-Six had no intention to show respect for the elderly. He had only set up his tiles, paying no attention to the remaining tiles scattered over the table.
He said, "The game I played against Second Uncle wasn't bad, right?"
The Tang Old Master replied, "That was because I gave you excellent tiles."
Tang Thirty-Six replied, "But the final tile was mine."
Both these statements were correct.
The Torture Hall and Minister Wei, Fivekind Man, and the hidden strengths of the old estate were the best tiles the Tang clan could give.
When these tiles were placed in Tang Thirty-Six's hand, the Tang Second Master could not put up too much of a fight, so he had chosen simply not to fight. Instead, he had placed all his hopes on his final, thunderous blow. But he had not expected that Tang Thirty-Six had also concealed a particularly beautiful hand of tiles.
The Tang Old Master impassively said, "Without my tiles, you would have already lost everything. How could you possibly have lasted until the final round?"
Tang Thirty-Six raised his head and said, "Then today, I won't use the clan's tiles. I'll use my own tiles to fight a round with you."
As he said this, he looked the Old Master straight in the eyes, their eyes level. This was incredibly impolite, and also firm.
The Tang Old Master scornfully said, "What good tiles does a little cub like you have?"
Tang Thirty-Six replied, "His tiles are my tiles, and who would dare say that those tiles aren't good?"
He then turned to face Chen Changsheng and asked, "Is there a problem with my borrowing them?"
Chen Changsheng answered, "They aren't books. If you want to use them, take them."
"Why feign generosity?" Tang Thirty-Six said derisively. "When I wanted to see that sword of yours, you weren't willing, so nervous like it was some sort of big deal."
He was speaking of that old matter in the Plum Garden Inn.
The two looked at each other and smiled, no longer arguing about anything.
The Tang Old Master did not smile. For the first time, his expression turned grave.
There was only one spectator to this match between the Tang clan's grandfather and grandson, and that was Chen Changsheng.
Although he was not a participant, he was also not purely a spectator. After all, it was his tiles on the table, stacked in front of Tang Thirty-Six.
This mahjong game was not played according to the capital's rules, nor was it the bloody battle to the end popular in Wenshui City, nor the blood flowing out in rivers so beloved by the disciples of the Mount Li Sword Sect.
The method Tang Thirty-Six chose was one extremely in line with his personality, and it was also one method that a beginner like Chen Changsheng could more easily understand.
The clicking of tiles rang out in the quiet room.
This was the collision of jade tiles against the hard pear wood of the table.
These tiles were being thrown on the table, where they quietly lay, like Dragonhorses lying on a meadow, baring their bellies to the warm sunlight.
With an order, these soldiers and horses would array themselves and charge ceaselessly forward.
The red '中' was a banner dyed red, flapping in the wind: the Orthodoxy cavalry, the Mount Song Army, the Cong Province Army.
The 'two bamboo' tile was a spear, the Painted Armor Xiao Zhang who had been pursued by the Imperial Court for three years but had countered by killing no small number of its experts.
There was also a blade, a dragon, a tiger, and millions upon millions of believers.
The little chick was a Peacock, and also a Phoenix1.
Tang Thirty-Six had flipped over all the tiles in his hand.
Chen Changsheng somewhat uneasily asked, "This sort of description would make both of them unhappy, wouldn't it?"
Tang Thirty-Six said, "The calamity of this being inferior to that… it's just a description, so why so serious? And besides, are you going to pick out a tile with a Phoenix on it?"
Chen Changsheng had only just familiarized himself with the tiles yesterday, so he certainly couldn't pick one out. He was forced to remain silent.
This was quite amusing, but the Tang Old Master still did not smile. His expression was even graver than earlier.
Tang Thirty-Six had already finished playing out his hand, but the Tang Old Master still had not moved.
The countless mahjong tiles represented the strengths of each side. If one only looked at the strengths represented on the tiles, it was not clear who would gain the final victory.
If the Tang Old Master used his tiles to speak reason to these two juniors, he would assuredly win.
But the Tang clan would assuredly lose.
1. The red '中', 'two bamboo', and 'little chick' are all mahjong tiles. 'Two bamboo' is a spear because it is two 'sticks' stacked on top of each other lengthwise. I believe 'little chick' refers to the 'one bamboo' tile, which is usually represented by a bird. As for the rest, I can only say that the Tang clan must be using a very unique set of mahjong tiles.↩
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