Yujing City was an incredibly bustling place and the most bustling spot in all of Yujing City was none other than Qingyu House. Jinghua Mountain had the strongest of cultivators while Yujing House had the strongest wine. Qingyu House, however, had the greatest beauties.
Of the three places, Jinghua Mountain was the place where the Chess Saint trained, and it was only natural for it to be the least lively. Yujing House was the City Lord Office of Yujing City, and only the guests invited by the City Lord were worthy of drinking the wine offered. Qingyu House was the only place without such restrictions, and as such, it was the place with the largest crowd.
Qingyu House was not an actual house, but a boat or a floating restaurant, to be precise. It was decorated as lavishly and intricately as any place on land as it was a place floating by the lakeside of Jade Lake.
To Ye Futian, the greatest attraction was, without a doubt, the beautiful girls onboard. As such, he deliberately appeared by the Jade Lake and sat at the forefront, leaning close to the boat. There were beauties playing music and dancing on the boat. The sound of their music and the scene of the girls dancing were sights to behold.
"A sight to behold, isn't it?" Hua Jieyu wore a veil beside Ye Futian and asked with a smile. It was not just Hua Jieyu doing so; all of the girls within Ye Futian's party wore veils to conceal their faces as well. It would have caused a commotion if such a group of girls was to appear at such a place.
"Yes indeed." Ye Futian nodded honestly but then turned to Hua Jieyu and said, "But of course, not as good-looking as my wife."
"I think their dances are more beautiful. Even I, a girl, am enraptured by their movement." Hua Jieyu smiled sheepishly at Ye Futian.
"Your words are true indeed." Ye Futian nodded.
Hua Jieyu leaned close to Ye Futian's ear and said softly, "How about I dance one for you?"
Ye Futian blinked and felt his heart jump. He recalled the time when they were younger, where Jieyu had actually captured a city's attention with a dance. Was something that superb going happen right here?
"Let's dance at nightfall," Ye Futian replied just as softly.
"Alright." Hua Jieyu nodded with a faint smile. Ye Futian looked at her and felt her words sounded rather unbelievable.
"Jieyu, why do I get the feeling that he's only here to look at girls?" Zhuge Mingyue sat right next to Hua Jieyu. She smiled at Ye Futian and went to pinch Gu Dongliu right beside her. "You brothers sure have a good time looking at the girls."
"Pretty women are men's bane," Gu Dongliu replied seriously. Zhuge Mingyue smiled at him. Ye Futian took a look at his Third Brother, who sported a deadpan serious expression. He isn't my elder brother for nothing indeed. I sure as hell would have a lot to learn from him.
A commotion was heard from the crowd. Another group of girls appeared when the veil at the boat was opened. The woman in the middle of the group wore thin clothes and moved as if she had no bones. She turned to look at the crowd with eyes that seemed to be able to melt peoples' mind. Her beauty was so stunning that there were hardly words to describe her.
"Goddess Hanyu." The voices of many were heard. The woman was the prettiest of all in Qingyu House: Goddess Hanyu.
There were many who claimed that her looks were on par with that of the number one beauty in Yujing City. However, her rather low status meant that she was unable to be compared to that lady of the City Lord who was also a student of the saint.
"What a beauty indeed." Ye Futian smiled. Goddess Hanyu sported jade-like fingers. Beautiful, mystical music sounded as she plucked at the strings of the guqin. Smoke rose and beauties danced, rendering the scene looking pretty in a dreamy manner.
"The music played is just as beautiful as the ones playing it." Ye Futian began praising what he saw. Zhuge Mingyue smiled and looked at Ye Futian and said softly, "Marriage really does change a person."
"Yeah." Hua Jieyu nodded, agreeing with every bit of that line.
Goddess Hanyu bowed to her audience and the crowd went into an uproar. Many opened their mouths and said, "Reward her." Countless spirit stones, ritual implements, and treasures were brought onto the boat.
"Jiu Gongzi giving a sage ritual implement away as a gift." A female voice was heard and everyone turned their eyes to a corner at the forefront of the boat. A dashing man sat there quietly, admiring Goddess Hanyu's beautiful looks.
"Jiu Gongzi is just as generous as always," many smiled and said.
"Jiu Gongzi shows up here every day and he always is the honored guest. It looks like today is no exception," someone said. The one who gives the highest, most lavish reward will become the honored guest, sharing a room with Goddess Hanyu.
While Goddess Hanyu was extremely beautiful, the further one progressed with one's training, the more exceptional one's temperament became. One would have had the capacity to admire beauty without succumbing to lust. To those people, their training was of the utmost importance and those who were of high statuses had their reputation to take care of. As such, it was incredibly rare to see one giving away a sage ritual implement just like that.
"Uncle, give her a mid-level ritual implement," Ye Futian turned his head around and said. There was only one person he would have called 'uncle' in the party he brought with him, and that was Sage Wanxiang.
"Wha..." Sage Wanxiang looked at Ye Futian dumbfounded. Is he asking me, an honored lord of the Wanxiang Pavilion, to reward a courtesan? This Palace Lord really goes about doing whatever he wants.
Ye Futian smiled sheepishly at Sage Wanxiang, who was probably the wealthiest among all in his party. Ye Futian had no one else to ask when it came to such requests.
Sage Wanxiang smiled bitterly and shook his head seeing Ye Futian's smile, before taking out a ritual implement from his ring and handing it over. The girl who took the gift looked rather puzzled and inspected it carefully, asking, "May I know who this gift is from?"
"Our Mr. Ye," Sage Wanxiang said. The girl nodded and got up, saying to Ye Futian, "Mr. Ye presents a mid-level sage ritual implement."
All eyes turned to Ye Futian all of a sudden. Giving away a mid-level sage ritual implement? Just who the hell is this guy? Someone else like Jiu Gongzi?
Many began to try to guess Ye Futian's identity. There are many from other places showing up at Yujing City now. Is he one of those outsiders? However, there did not seem to be a Mr. Ye among those renowned ones who came.
After a moment, the girl at the boat smiled and looked at Ye Futian and said, "Mr. Ye shall come on to the boat in a moment."
Goddess Hanyu turned her beautiful eyes at Ye Futian and nodded, feeling rather curious who Ye Futian was.
"It would suffice to hear your music and admire your appearance, goddess." Ye Futian smiled and said, "As for coming onto the boat, there is no such need. Thank you for your sentiments, but I'd like to give such an opportunity to Jiu Gongzi."
Many looked even more puzzled. Not only did the stranger gift a mid-level sage ritual implement, but he also did not even bother coming onto the boat.
Curiosity appeared in Goddess Hanyu's eyes. While she knew well that cultivators possessed a very strong will, there was hardly anyone who had been to this place and seen her so far yet refused her invitation.
"Will do." The girl did not say much. She simply nodded with a smile.
Jiu Gongzi turned his eyes at Ye Futian and saw many girls around him. He then smiled and asked, "So you like beautiful girls as well?"
"Well, who doesn't?" Ye Futian said. "It would be pretentious for one to say they don't."
"Interesting." Jiu Gongzi smiled and said, "You're here for the event on Jinghua Mountain?"
"Indeed, I am." Ye Futian nodded. Jiu Gongzi's name implied that he was the ninth student of the Chess Saint of Jinghua Mountain. He was the youngest of the students and a rich loafer without a proper job.
"I have eight other brothers and sisters. Why look for me?" Jiu Gongzi smiled and asked.
"Because you happen to be the most interesting one," Ye Futian claimed with a smile. Since Ye Futian was out to try his luck, he naturally needed to know his way around. Those who wanted to inherit the Chess Saint's chessboard would first be required to earn the approval of any one of the nine students before they were permitted entry to the Chess Saint Villa. The news that Ye Futian had gotten was that the ninth student of the Chess Saint would have shown up every day at Qingyu House.
"That sounds fake but I like the sound of that." Jiu Gongzi smiled and asked, "Do you know how to play chess?"
Ye Futian looked rather strange in response to the question before nodding and saying, "I suppose I do."
Playing chess is easy. I guess there is no one who doesn't know how to play chess, right? But then again, getting really good at it is something else altogether.
"How about you give it a try?" Jiu Gongzi smiled and said, waving his hand nonchalantly. A table and a chessboard appeared between them. He waved again and Ye Futian extended his hand, taking a black piece before seeing Jiu Gongzi putting his piece on the board.
Many came to have a closer look. No one had expected Jiu Gongzi to play with a stranger at such a place. Things had indeed gotten interesting.
Ye Futian placed his piece as well. Jiu Gongzi's eyes flashed and a peculiar look appeared on his face. He did not seem to understand why Ye Futian chose to place a piece at such a spot.
Is this a new way of playing? No one would place their first piece like that according to the ways of chess, he wondered.
Jiu Gongzi placed his piece. Both traded blows on the board and soon, the Sword Saint, Gu Dongliu, and the others behind Ye Futian looked at the game, feeling awkward.
"You really know how to play chess, don't you?" Xu Que asked weakly, seeing how most of Ye Futian's pieces were practically chewed up by his opponent.
"Of course I do. Who else do you think is playing now?" Ye Futian glared at Xu Que. It's just placing pieces. Who doesn't know how to do that?
All of the spectators looked at Ye Futian with astounded looks. They had anticipated the battle to be one between two adept players, but what was happening before them was truly unexpected.
Wanxiang began to regret coming on this trip. This guy looked rather normal back in the palace, but he sure just went nuts after coming out.
He began to think if he had judged Ye Futian wrong.
Soon, Ye Futian was getting slaughtered all over on the chessboard, suffering a humiliating defeat.
"Good one, Brother Ye," Jiu Gongzi said to Ye Futian. It was the very first time he encountered such a 'formidable' opponent.
"Jiu Gongzi is truly adept in the way of chess. It seems like I have much to learn," Ye Futian said.
Cough, cough… Someone around him choked. Does anyone even need to be good to play against someone like you?
The ones around Ye Futian felt like turning around and leaving, pretending that they never knew him.
"Let's go," Jiu Gongzi got up and said.
Ye Futian was dumbfounded. Jiu Gongzi lowered his head, smiled and said, "Are you not here to go to Jinghua Mountain?"
"Indeed." Ye Futian got up, getting ready to leave. He achieved his very first goal of the trip. The ninth student of the Chess Saint was truly ridiculous and interesting, just like what he heard from the rumors.
Jinghua Mountain was right beside the City Lord office as Yujing House was built with its back at the mountain. The Chess Saint Villa was on top of the mountain while Yujing House was at the bottom. One needed to pass through Yujing House to go up to Jinghua Mountain.
There were many exceptional people there from all over the Eastern State, and all of them were at Yujing House at the moment.
Ye Futian and his party arrived at Yujing House as well.
"I don't think any of you people stand a chance." Jiu Gongzi's smile was a warm, friendly, and dashing one. He then said to Ye Futian, "But of course, you're the only ones who got into the Chess Saint Villa through me. As such, you have my support."
Ye Futian did not even know how to play chess. It was a given that he stood no chance at the event. Many of those who had arrived at the vast manor were very renowned throughout the Eastern State. For instance, Han Jing, who was known for his infallible calculations and a spirit elemental cultivator with mystical, curious powers. His mental calculative abilities were frightening, and he was versed in the way of matrixes as well. Many old veterans at chess had lost at his hands.
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