Library of Heaven is Path
Chapter 586: Failure?
Translator: StarveCleric Editor: Millman97
Knowing what the other party was worried about, Zhang Xuan said, "It's just a chess game, I don't think it's possible for me to destroy the chessboard..."
Everything before... was just carelessness. Now that he knew the rules, he would surely make sure to take precautions and make only six moves... As long as he were to show some restraint, it would be impossible for anything awry like in the previous few tests to happen.
Ignoring Zhang Xuan, Hong shi waved his hands and spoke affirmatively.
"Why don't we go by age once more? We'll start from the oldest!"
I also thought that nothing would go awry in the previous test! After all, it was just a test on reading books. Who could have imagined that the Book of Emptied River which I borrowed from the headquarter would be destroyed?
Just think about how much damage you have caused since the tournament started! And you still want to go first? Dream on!
Seeing how even a 5-star master teacher was scared to such a point, not even giving him a chance to explain himself, Zhang Xuan shrugged helplessly.
It seemed like he could only bide his time here and wait for the others to be done.
"It is fortunate that Hong shi stood his ground! Otherwise, who knows what would happen this time round..." Pavilion Master Kang and the others also wiped the cold sweat off their foreheads upon seeing the scene.
When Zhang Xuan offered to go first, all of them also leaped in shock.
While it seemed implausible for anything to happen in a chess game, the person in question was Zhang Xuan! Given his unconventional way of doing things, there was no way they could be certain!
In any case, the safest bet was to put him at the very last.
While they were deciding on the rules, among the participants, Liu Quan of Mingxia Empire's eyelids were twitching uncontrollably.
He just happened to be the oldest among the group... Who in the world did he offend for him to have to go first each time?
It was not like he did anything wrong, he was just the oldest among all of the participants here. Was there really a need for him to go first consecutively?
But in any case, being the first or the last was unlikely to make any difference in this test anyway. It was just a difference in the mental state.
Taking a deep breath, he drove his Soul Depth and activated the Heart of Tranquil Water. After which, clasping his fist toward Hong shi, he proceeded over to the gazebo.
The others also quickly turned their sights over.
Liu Quan walked to the four pillars propping from the gazebo one by one, and after which, he fell into deep contemplation. It didn't take too long for an incense's time to be up. With a frown, he walked to the opposite end of the chessboard form the puppet, picked up a stone, and lightly placed it down on an empty spot.
The stone floated in the air for a moment before slowly falling down onto the chessboard.
"He managed to place it..."
"It seems like he has made a right move!"
Seeing that the stone had been successfully placed down, everyone heaved a sigh of relief.
Hong shi had said previously, the stone couldn't be placed if the move was an invalid or losing move.
The old man opposite of him also put down a stone.
Seeing the move the old man made, seemingly put in a difficult position, a deep frown appeared on Liu Quan's forehead. But his dilemma didn't continue for too long. Soon, he placed down another stone as well.
Just like that, they quickly exceeded the minimum requirement of six stones to pass the test, and soon, they reached their ninth stone.
But on the tenth, Liu Quan found himself unable to push his stone down anymore.
"Mingxia Empire's Liu Quan passes with nine stones! Next! Fenglie Empire's Han Zhaoji..." Hong shi announced.
Han Zhaoji walked up onto the stage.
Not too long later, he left the gazebo with an excited expression on his face. He had passed the test with a score of seven stones.
Following which, the next candidate went up.
After five consecutive successful challenges, the remaining participants felt much more confident. But at this point, the streak was broken. The sixth challenger found himself unable to put down the fourth stone, and the next four challengers that went after him failed the test as well.
Eventually, it was Luo Xuan who broke that losing streak.
At this point, everyone realized that the formation on the chessboard would change for each participant, and thus, everyone would be unable to emulate the moves of those who had gone before them. This ensured the equality of the test.
Time passed, and the sky soon darkened. Just like what Zhang Xuan guessed, by the time the thirty-five master teachers were done, a full moon was already hanging in the sky.
Even though those who came for the tournament were all geniuses, many still fell in this test. While the number of eliminated participants wasn't as exaggerated as in the previous test, a total of nine people still failed.
However, most of Zhang Xuan's acquaintances, such as Ruohuan gongzi and Song Chao, still managed to pass the test.
Surprisingly, the one holding the current record wasn't a participant from the strongest Fleeting Cloud Sect or the second strongest White Helios Sect; rather, he came from an empire that was of similar standing to the Myriad Kingdom Alliance.
The cultivation of this master teacher could be considered to be near the lowest among the participants, but his intelligence seemed to be exceptional. Against the puppet, he managed to hold on for sixteen steps, and the impressed old man puppet even said, "Good."
"Zhang shi, it's your turn!"
After everyone was done, Hong shi turned his gaze to the bored Zhang Xuan with a slightly apologetic look.
The latter wished to go first, but due to his own fear, he forced the latter to the back instead.
"Un!" Zhang Xuan stretched his back before walking over to the gazebo.
The gazebo wasn't too big-around an average person's height. The first thing he saw upon entering was that the closest pillar to him had the four words 'East', 'South', 'West', and 'North' on them.
These four words didn't possess any artistic conception belonging to a painter behind it, they were just ordinary words.
Turning his sight to the second pillar, there were words on them as well... 'Spring', 'Summer', 'Autumn', and 'Winter'
As for the next pillar, there were only two words... 'To' and 'Fro'.
And for the fourth pillar, there was only a single word... Reason!
"North South East West, Spring Summer Autumn Winter, To Fro, and Reason? This... What the heck are these?"
Zhang Xuan frowned.
He thought that there would be more detailed hints, but they were just normal words.
Four pillars of eleven words, but there were no links among them whatsoever, and none of them had anything to do with chess either. What was he supposed to decipher?
After looking at each of the pillars, he turned his attention to the chessboard.
The chessboard looked much more chaotic than before. With just a single glance, Zhang Xuan was plunged into confusion.
"Celestial Chess, heaven and earth as the chessboard, and stars as the stones..."
Frowning, Zhang Xuan recalled what Hong shi said and a thought struck him. "North South East West refers to space, Spring Summer Autumn Winter refers to time, To Fro... refers to position, and Reason... refers to the heart!"
"Space, time, position, and heart..."
All the knowledge that Zhang Xuan learned previously flowed through his head, and the light in Zhang Xuan's eyes slowly intensified.
It was no wonder why Hong shi was intrigued by it. The name of the Celestial Chess wasn't just show. It was indeed emulating the heavens and earth as the chessboard!
It built on a person's heart to construct a vast world and used it as the chessboard. It was indeed a formidable game.
"I wonder how far I can go based solely on my comprehension and intelligence."
Upon understanding the rules behind the Celestial Chess, Zhang Xuan chuckled lightly.
He had depended heavily on the Library of Heaven's Path and Eye of Insight on his previous stages. Given how simple the current stage was, he was curious to see how far he could go on his capabilities.
Turning around, Zhang Xuan walked over to the opposite of the stone table and sat down. Studying it for a moment, he decided on a position, grabbed a stone, and decisively placed it down.
"Do you think that Zhang shi will break the Celestial Chess?"
"That should be impossible; it's just a chess game. Besides, one will be unable to put his stone down if one makes a wrong move."
"It is indeed unlikely for anything to happen to the Celestial Chess... But I still think that it won't end that simply. Why don't we bet on it then?"
"What do you want to bet on?"
"I bet that Zhang shi will destroy the Celestial Chess. If I win, you will hand over your Silk Fan to me. Otherwise, I'll give you the Emerald Pearl which you have been eyeing!"
As soon as Zhang Xuan walked into the gazebo, discussions immediately broke out among the crowd. There were even a few who betted on it.
Hearing the excited bets in the surrounding, Zhao Feiwu, Pavilion Master Kang, and the others slapped their foreheads in embarrassment, fearing that others would know that they were acquainted with Zhang shi...
To think that a participant of the Master Teacher Tournament would actually be regarded as the God of Destruction...
"It will be the dueling round right after this test. Even though we still don't know the rules behind it, if Zhang shi and Ruohuan gongzi were to both proceed on to the next round, this would be the best results that our Myriad Kingdom Alliance has ever achieved over the years!" Ling shi analyzed and said.
"Indeed!" Pavilion Master Kang nodded his head.
There were only twenty-seven people left in the tournament.
There were seven powers whose two participants were already eliminated.
In other words, even if Zhang shi and Ruohuan gongzi were to fail terribly in the dueling round, the results would still be much better than what the Myriad Kingdom Alliance had ever achieved in the previous tournaments.
It was fortunate that Ruohuan gongzi had managed to reach Transcendent Mortal 4-dan pinnacle under Zhang shi's help, and his experience with Zhang shi had helped temper his soft qualities such as courage. Otherwise, it would have been difficult for him to pass those tests.
In other words… Zhang shi had played a pivotal role in the current outstanding results of the Myriad Kingdom Alliance.
Just as they were thinking about this matter, Su shi suddenly exclaimed, "Look! Zhang shi is making a move!"
Everyone quickly lifted their gazes and saw Zhang Xuan seated right before a puppet. He placed a stone down onto the board.
In that moment, everyone waited with bated breaths.
Fortunately, the stone went down. After which, the old man opposite to him picked up a stone as well, but at that moment, he suddenly froze, as though he had no intentions of playing the stone at all.
"What's going on?"
"It can't be that... Zhang shi is intending to destroy the puppet instead of the Celestial Chess?"
Upon seeing the old man's frozen body, everyone stared at one another in bewilderment.
They were just contemplating whether the Celestial Chess would be destroyed by Zhang shi, and the latter, with a single step, caused the movements of the puppet to freeze... It couldn't be that it was really broken?
Wasn't that a little… way too exaggerated?
Everyone turned to look at Hong shi, and the latter had a deep frown on his forehead as well.
After a short moment later, Hong shi couldn't stand the tension anymore. He walked over to the gazebo and looked at the puppet.
And a moment later, he heaved a sigh of relief.
Just like the others, he thought that the puppet might have malfunctioned. But after taking a closer look, the puppet was still operating perfectly.
"Please make your move!"
Standing beside the puppet, Hong shi bowed.
Even though the old man was a puppet, it possessed spirit and it was capable of interpreting human speech. The both of them had often played against one another, and Hong shi possessed deep respect for him.
After a moment of hesitation, the puppet nodded and placed his stone down.
Zhang Xuan was stunned for an instant, but he soon picked up a second stone and placed it down.
But the chess simply floated in midair, refusing to go down no matter how much force Zhang Xuan put into pushing it down.
"He can't place the stone? Does this mean that... his move is invalid?"
"So... he failed?"
Everyone was taken aback. Even Hong shi was in disbelief.
Based on the rules, one would only be considered to have passed the test after making six moves, and currently, Zhang shi had only made a single move. Did this mean that... he had failed the test?
"Shit... Does this mean that there's a mistake in my comprehension?"
Gedeng! Zhang Xuan's heart skipped a beat.
He used neither the Library of Heaven's Path nor the Eye of Insight this time... Was he really going to fail just like that?