Library of Heaven is Path
585 Celestial Chess
Chapter 585: Celestial Chess
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
"Spiritual Perception Book Reading Technique?"
All of the master teachers below stared at one another in confusion.
They had never heard of such a term before.
Instead of answering the question straight away, Hong shi said, "Beyond Fighter is Transcendent Mortal, followed by Half-Saint, Nascent Saint, and finally, Saint. I believe you all should be aware of these cultivation realms!"
"Un!" The crowd nodded their heads.
Most of those present were all master teachers. Even though Saint was still very far off from them, perhaps even out of reach, they had at least heard of it.
"Half-Saint and Nascent Saint are just intermediary stages while Saint, just like Transcendent Mortal and Fighter, consists of 9 dans!" Hong shi continued.
Half-Saint and Nascent Saint are just two normal realms, just like Origin Energy realm and Yin-Yang realm. On the other hand, Saint was the name for the entire set of cultivation realms.
Just like Fighter and Transcendent Mortal, it could be divided to nine tiers.
"The first dan is known as Void Pursuit realm. At this realm, one will be capable of flight. As for the second dan, it is known as... Spiritual Perception realm!"
With a grave look on his face, Hong shi said, "Only at this level can one open their 'Incipient Eye' and awaken their Spiritual Perception."
Someone couldn't help but ask, "Spiritual Perception... What's that?"
He had heard of the concept of souls, but he had never heard of Spiritual Perception before.
Hong shi explained, "Spiritual Perception is a unique capability that only Saints possess. As we know, upon reaching Consonant Spirit realm, one's soul becomes aligned with one's body, thus allowing one to temper one's soul and strengthen it!"
Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.
Transcendent Mortal 5-dan Consonant Spirit realm opened up a whole new world to cultivators. At this level, not only would a cultivator be able to train their physical body and zhenqi... they would be able to train their souls too.
"A strong soul can achieve unimaginable feats; you will understand this upon reaching that realm. Once one's soul reaches a certain level... one becomes able to extend the reach of their soul and perceive everything that it touches. In fact, one's sight would even be clearer than what our eyes are capable of... This is what Spiritual Perception is!" Hong shi said.
"Extending... the reach of one's soul?"
"For a soul to be able to extend beyond one's body to conduct observation... how powerful must one be?"
"It can't be... Is Hong shi saying... Zhang shi already possesses the strength of a Saint 2-dan?"
Everyone leapt in shock.
Saint 2-dan? How was that possible?
Zhang Xuan was also perplexed by the situation unfolding around him. All he had spouted was nonsense, how did Hong shi draw the line to the Saint realm?
Hong shi shook his head.
"Naturally, Zhang shi can't possibly be a Saint. There's no need to worry, allow me to finish my explanation first. You'll understand it after I'm done!
"Reading via Spiritual Perception is much more convenient and efficient than reading manually. This is also the reason why Saints accrue knowledge swiftly, and they grow at an astounding pace.
"While Zhang shi isn't a Saint, he seems to possess an ability equivalent to this as well. If I'm not mistaken... an expert must have dug out the Incipient Eye of a Saint 2-dan and transplanted it to him using some unique method, thus allowing him to read and memorize content swiftly!"
Even though Hong shi was the one raising the conjecture, he still couldn't help but feel shocked by the matter.
Only a Saint who had opened his Incipient Eye could awaken his Spiritual Perception.
Theoretically speaking, if an Incipient Eye was dug out and transplanted onto another person, as long as it was done properly, that person should be able to awaken his Spiritual Perception as well.
But of course, due to the lacking cultivation, that person wouldn't be able to utilize the Spiritual Perception properly. At most, he would only be able to use it on reading books.
But even so, for a low-tier master teacher, its significance was immense.
To be able to read ten books in the time it took for others to finish reading one, it was just a matter of time before one surpassed all of one's peers.
It was no wonder Zhang shi was able to be adept in so many occupations despite his young age. It had to be the working of this ability of his!
Most probably... Yang shi had prepared this specially for him just for this.
To dig out a Saint 2-dan's Incipient Eye and transplant it on another perfectly... How powerful must Yang shi be?
Just the thought of it sent shivers down his spine.
It was no wonder Pavilion Master Mo feared the other party so much, going to the extent of even using a high-tier spirit stone to please the other party. An expert of such caliber was indeed qualified to be fawned upon by him.
"To transplant the Incipient Eye of a Saint 2-dan on someone else?"
"To be able to read swiftly even without flipping pages?"
"Not to mention, to be able to read books in the storage ring as well?"
"It is no wonder you could read so many books within two hours. But still... to be able to memorize all of these, isn't your memory a little way too good?"
"Indeed. Just browsing through a book doesn't mean that one has necessarily memorized it. What is truly fearsome is for one to read swiftly while assimilating its contents!"
Hearing Hong shi's explanation, everyone came to a realization. They turned to look at the young man before them with a look of fright.
To be able to dig out the Incipient Eye of a Saint 2-dan, what kind of terrifying background does this fellow have?
Amidst everyone's shock, Ruohuan gongzi's eyelids were twitching violently. Depression loomed over his head.
It was just a moment ago that he asked Zhang shi how many books he had read, and the latter replied that he had read the same number of books as him. This had left Ruohuan gongzi happy for quite a while. He thought that he had finally found something that he was on par on with that monster, but in the end...
How in the world can your twenty thousand books be around the same as my one thousand books?
Even if you wish to console me, please do it with some sincerity!
Interrupting into the noise, Hong shi said, "Alright, regardless of how it is, given that Zhang shi has memorized the contents of more than twenty thousand books, as can be proven by the shattering of the Book of Emptied River, I hereby announce that he has cleared the test. Is there anyone with any objections?"
"None at all..."
The crowd hurriedly shook their heads.
You must be jesting! The other party read twenty thousand books and even crippled the Book of Emptied River. Even if we were to have objections, would you listen to them?
"Un, since that's the case, let's move on to the last test of our preliminary selection-intelligence!"
Hong shi turned to look at the remaining participants.
"Even with the support of a teacher, the path of cultivation is ultimately individual. Other than hard work and talent, more importantly, one has to possess superior intelligence. Even when studying the same cultivation technique or battle technique, different students will interpret it differently and thus, the extent of benefit they could derive from it would differ as well. One can easily become a master teacher with talent, but to wish to become a capable master teacher relying solely on that, I can tell you it's nigh impossible!
"As such, intelligence is crucial to walking further as a master teacher.
"Intelligence is indeed important to a master teacher... But how can one test their intelligence? Will they be given a cultivation technique to analyze?
"But analyzing a cultivation technique would make the test biased toward some. Everyone would have differing levels of compatibility with a specific cultivation technique, and besides, talent and wisdom also counts in it as well. It doesn't seem possible to isolate intelligence and test it as itself!"
The crowd was puzzled.
Intelligence is of utmost importance to a master teacher, everyone present here could make the association. However, such a quality couldn't be quantified easily, and given such, how could comparisons be made?
Even if you can measure wisdom through weighing knowledge, how can you measure intelligence?
Even when attempting to comprehend a cultivation technique, a person with lower intelligence would surely find it easier to comprehend a technique aligned with his constitution as compared to a person whose constitution is incompatible with the technique.
"Hehe, I understand your concerns, and I've thought a lot about this issue as well."
Noticing everyone's worry, Hong shi chuckled, and with a wave of his hand, the fog veiling another corner of the round stage scattered, revealing a seemingly ordinary gazebo.
Seated in the gazebo was a white-robed old man, and a gray chessboard was placed on a stone table in front of him. Black and white stones intersected one another atop the chessboard, as though yin and yang assailing one another-a chess formation.
The old man had an impassive face, and there wasn't the slightest vitality that could be felt from him. With a look, it was clear that he was a puppet.
"This is Celestial Chess. Its rules are completely different from all other chess games existent in the world, thus forming its own school. Back then, when I was touring around the world, I chanced upon it in some ruins. I don't know who created it, and there weren't any explanations regarding the rules either. Intrigued, I spent many years attempting to decipher it, but even so, I only managed to comprehend around forty to fifty percent of it."
Waving his hand once more, a wall not too far away from the gazebo shimmered, and an image of the layout of the chess in the gazebo was projected on it. It was entirely foreign to everyone present here. Even those who had immersed themselves in chess in the past were unable to draw on their experiences to decipher this.
"A chess formation?"
"It seems so. But given that no one knows the rules... how will the participants be assessed?"
"I've no idea as well!"
There were many among the crowd who were learned in the Way of Chess, but seeing the profound formation projected on the wall, they realized it was entirely different from what they had learned before, and this left them dumbfounded.
"In Celestial Chess, the heavens and earth are the chessboard, and the stars are the stones. It is intricately aligned with the essence of the world. One won't be able to comprehend anything by seeing the formation on the wall, but on the pillars in the gazebo, there are some words left behind by the previous owner of the chessboard.
"Through these words, one is able to decipher the rules of the game.
"After deciphering the rules, one can challenge the puppet in the gazebo. If one were to make an invalid or a losing move, one will find himself incapable of placing the stone down on the board. This test has nothing to do with talent, cultivation, or anything at all, it is purely a match of intelligence. Those with higher intelligence will be able to decipher more of the rules and make more moves whereas those with lower intelligence will have limited comprehension of the rules and find the number of moves they can make limited as well. To pass this test, you'll have to make at least six valid moves," Hong shi explained.
"This... To actually use chess to gauge one's intelligence, amazing!"
"The heaven and earth as the chessboard, and the stars as the stones, how domineering!"
"Through this chess, one would indeed be able to isolate intelligence from other external factors. It is truly a fair test!"
Hearing the rules, everyone nodded their heads in agreement.
The Way of Chess was highly demanding on one's intelligence. Some who devoted decades to the game might find themselves outmatched by a child who had barely learned it for a few days, albeit rarely. This didn't necessarily mean that the child was more knowledgeable than the adult, just more intelligent.
As such, there was a saying among top chess players: 'Chances are null if one fails to reach the top by twenty!'
Without sufficient intelligence and talent, it would be nigh impossible for one to reach the top. It's cruel, but such is the world.
Given that this Celestial Chess operated by entirely different rules compared to all other games in the Master Teacher Continent, and one was to compete with the puppet through deciphering the limited words written on the pillars, it was indeed the best way to quantify one's intelligence.
As expected of a 5-star master teacher, his means were indeed exceptional.
"All master teachers who enter the gazebo will only be given an incense's time to read and decipher the words on the pillars before starting the match with the puppet. If one exceeds the timing or is unable to put down his piece, that would be the end of the test."
Hong shi waved his hands and said, "Alright, now that I've finished explaining the rules, let's begin the test!"
The participants nodded their heads.
"Since there is only one chess board, we can only go one by one. Thus, let's decide the sequence..."
Hong shi glanced at the crowd.
In the first test, Zhang Xuan was the first to take the test, and he destroyed the Ghost Domain Illusory City, thus no one was eliminated. In the second test, due to the Otherworldly Demon committing suicide halfway through the test, only the three men who fled in the midst were eliminated. And in the third test, seventeen people were eliminated.
After the three tests, of the fifty-six initial participants, only twenty were eliminated, leaving behind a hulking thirty-six.
"Why don't... I go first?"
Zhang Xuan stepped forward.
Given that there were thirty-six people in total and given that just the preparation time in itself was one incense's time, by the time everyone was done, the sun would have already set. Since that was the case, he might as well quickly get it over and done with so that he could rest.
"Cough cough..." Seeing Zhang Xuan walk over, Hong shi nearly choked on his saliva. "You? Don't even try!"
I am not so courageous as to let you go first after you wrecked the previous three tests!