Chapter 43 - Weiqi Array
As Gao Xianzhi and Chen Tianshan soared into the sky, riding the clouds, the two failed to notice a lot of strange happenings occurring all around the Carefree Valley.
It was just that these strange phenomena weren't that obvious, that's all.
An unknown aroma permeated the air and spread in all directions of the Carefree Valley. The aroma was extremely light and peculiar, and Gao Xianzhi and Chen Tianshan were unable to smell it at that.
Under a large tree, a colony of ants walked in a line, carrying food in their mouths. Suddenly, the aroma drifted over.
All the ants immediately came to a stop as they discarded the food in their pincers and turned their heads.
The ants immediately turned around and started crawling in the direction the scent was coming from.
The ants were very small, but there were a very, very large number of them.
Even though the smell was faint, it had a deadly allure to the ants.
As the aroma spread in all directions, ants were lured from farther and farther away.
One after another, the ants discarded everything and started crawling non-stop towards Gu Hai's cave.
As the ants were too small in size, their speed was extremely slow. Their journey was simply too long; along the way, when they got hungry, they would search for something to eat on the road; when they got tired, they would rest for a while, and once they recovered their energy, they would continue to crawl towards Gu Hai's cave.
The tiny ants simply failed to enter the eyes of Gao Xianzhi and Chen Tianshan.
Who would have thought that there would be ants?
Two days after Gao Xianzhi and Chen Tianshan left, the first colony of ants had slowly gathered at Carefree Valley. Even so, it was still inconspicuous.
The first colony of ants, instead of rus.h.i.+ng towards Gu Hai's cave, began killing each other.
Only when more time had pa.s.sed, and even more ants had arrived at Carefree Valley, did the ants slowly approach the cave.
The cave had been hidden by Gao Xianzhi and Chen Tianshan, leaving some small holes for air to pa.s.s. However, as far as ants were concerned, these holes were like broad avenues. Moreover, the ants themselves could make holes.
Little Rou had been a.s.signed to stay and look after Gu Hai. And naturally, she agreed without hesitation; on the contrary, she was extremely happy to do it.
Little Rou circled around Gu Hai, watching him sitting in a cross-legged position, her head leaned lightly on Gu Hai's leg, inhaling the fragrance coming from his glabella; she seemed intoxicated.
Gu Hai's consciousness was completely immersed inside his glabella.
At the moment, one hundred thousand endgames were pairing and combining constantly as sets of four small endgames combined into one bigger endgame.
The black piece still remained motionless, watching from high above elegantly and magnificently.
Meanwhile, Gu Hai's illusionary body stared at the weiqi pieces jumping faster and faster on the single weiqi board with a 28 x 28 grid that was hovering between the white and black pieces.
All of Gu Hai's consciousness seemed to have been attracted to the game. Gradually, Gu Hai thought he saw something.
"Controlling arrays with weiqi?" The eyes of Gu Hai's illusionary body became bright all of a sudden.
"This game of weiqi is showing me how to lay an array by placing weiqi pieces!? The dao of arrays is complicated, divided between yin and yang, mutually restraining each other, the white pieces represent yang, lording over life! The black pieces represent yin, lording over death! The dao of weiqi is the dao of arrays? With weiqi pieces as the zero point, the layout of weiqi pieces takes the form of an array? Elder Guanqi's weiqi array technique? The stronger the weiqi skills, the stronger the array?" Gu Hai's consciousness said in surprise, his voice reverberating inside the s.p.a.ce hidden in his glabella.
Perhaps, the array was not so simple. However, the weiqi board before Gu Hai was showing him a special array method, a method to arrange an array with weiqi, not just stopping at Yin and Yang Array, or Life and Death Array. One’s weiqi skill was the strength of an array!
The weiqi board before Gu Hai showed him everything about the weiqi array.
It was teaching Gu Hai, teaching him how to transform his weiqi skills into battle strength, which was more attractive than any exercise to Gu Hai.
Gu Hai had very strong weiqi skills, but weiqi skills could only be used for his own amus.e.m.e.nt or mental arithmetic, or in some specific circ.u.mstances. But the weiqi board before him was teaching Gu Hai a technique to transform his weiqi skills into a destructive force.
The stronger the weiqi skills, the stronger the destructive force!
It was no different than a technique to apply Gu Hai's theories in reality. Weiqi skills turned out to be so magical!
"This game of weiqi is demonstrating a kind of equilibrium, an equilibrium between weiqi skills and an array? Demonstrating all kinds of unexpected changes? Worthy of Elder Guanqi who was the best in the world of weiqi back in his days. So it was a kind of heavenly dao?" A firm look flashed past Gu Hai's eyes.
At this moment, Gu Hai was more focused, he was completely immersed in this game of weiqi as if he did not even want to miss even a millisecond. Or perhaps, it was all thanks to his abnormal weiqi skills that Gu Hai could have such a deep understanding; perhaps it would look no different than an ordinary weiqi board if it was someone else.
The weiqi board released a faint aroma and energy with every move of the weiqi pieces. The aroma which Little Rou smelled was this very aroma as it gushed out, making her gaze at Gu Hai stupidly.
After some unknown amount of time...
Little Rou suddenly felt a stab of pain bursting from her tail as if she had been bitten, she even bled a little.
Shocked, Little Rou was jolted back to her senses as she turned her head to look around.
Little Rou let out a sharp scream as she saw blood coming out of her tail. The b.l.o.o.d.y wound had thousands and thousands of ants crawling on it as they bit her and sucked her blood. Nevertheless, this was not what was most terrifying; the most terrifying thing was that the cave was full of ants crawling around, blotting out the floor and the walls.
"How did this happen? How did this happen?" screamed Little Rou in shock.
A lot of ants were immediately sent flying as Little Rou swirled her body and flung her tail.
However, the cave was littered with ants already. The ants at the entrance were particularly dense, just like a pile of rocks blocking the cave entrance.
"So many ants? Why are there so many ants?" screamed Little Rou, terrified.
Little Rou turned her head to look back at Gu Hai.
"Benefactor, quickly wake up, it's bad, Benefactor!" Little Rou was on the verge of crying.
However, Gu Hai was completely immersed in that game of weiqi already, more and more of his consciousness was pulled away. The weiqi array might seem simple, but it bore too many variables, so many that even someone like Gu Hai, who had an amazing intelligence, had to give it his whole attention.
Once he had given his whole attention, Gu Hai seemed to have cut himself off from the outside world; he could not hear anything.
"Benefactor, please wake up quickly!" Little Rou screamed anxiously.
However, Gu Hai could not wake up right now.
Meanwhile, countless ants swarmed at Gu Hai.
"Dammit, it's that smell, it must be!" screamed Little Rou.
Shuh Shuh Shuh
The ants continued to swarm towards Gu Hai.
"Don't touch my benefactor, don't you touch my benefactor, go to h.e.l.l!" shouted Little Rou.
She quickly flung her tail, squis.h.i.+ng and throwing the ants away. However, the ants were too small, it was impossible for her to clear all of them with one tail, some of them drilled through the gaps and continued to crawl towards Gu Hai.
Little Rou was endlessly anxious as she slammed her tail on the ants constantly.
"It won't do, there are too many ants, I have to take Benefactor away. These ants would eat him sooner or later if he remained here!" Little Rou cried in fear.
Ants were too small in size, they didn't pose too much harm. However, if the ants were too large in number... that was a different thing. As the saying went, even a mountain would be ground down by the winds in time, and the same went for the ants. Little Rou already had been wounded twice by their c.u.mulative bites.
Little Rou glanced at the cave entrance.
"Scram, scram, scram!"
Little Rou suddenly charged at the entrance, breaking open the swarm of ants and the entrance as well, and then left with Gu Hai.
Sa Sa Sa Sa!
Countless ants blocked the pa.s.sage. Although Little Rou was intelligent, she did not have corresponding cultivation. After all, Little Rou was just eight years old, how could she have any special ability? All she could do was smash everything with brute force.
Little Rou broke through the cave entrance with a loud crash. In the first place, the entrance was blocked by trees and stones, which were immediately thrown away by the impact.
However, Little Rou froze as she burst through the entrance, the stunning scene outside the cave petrified her right there.
Little Rou sucked in a cold breath of air.
The entire vicinity of Carefree Valley was covered in a dark, writhing ma.s.s, like a vast black ocean.
This black ocean was composed of countless black ants.
Countless churning ants appeared no different than the waves of dark water.
“AH!” Little Rou suddenly burst into tears.
Little Rou was already struggling to deal with the ants inside the cave, but the black sea in the Carefree Valley destroyed what remained of her little hope.
It seemed as if the world was filled with ants.
"How can there be so many? How can there be so many of them? Benefactor, Benefactor!" Little Rou started crying in fear.
However, she noticed that a swarm of ants had already crawled onto Gu Hai as she turned her head.
"No, no, don't you ever think of hurting Benefactor, get off, get off!" Little Rou immediately rushed over to Gu Hai and flicked the ants away with her tail, one after another, brus.h.i.+ng the army of ants off his body.
Shuh Shuh Shuh
The ants didn't know any fatigue. More and more ants swarmed over from the outside.
"Benefactor, quickly wake up, boo-hoo, quickly wake up!" Little Rou cried endlessly.
Her tail constantly moving, hurling the ants near Gu Hai; a large number of wounds had already appeared on her hard skin. Although the ants were small in size, their biting force was extremely high, bringing pain to Little Rou again and again.
"Benefactor!" Little Rou kept on crying.
However, Gu Hai simply could not hear.
In the wink of an eye, the ants swarmed into the cave like a sea pouring into the cave. The ants had already covered the entire cave, countless ant corpses littered inside as well. The army of ants seemingly wanted to eat Gu Hai, wanted to eat the source of that aroma.
The ants were more concerned about the aroma, they only bit Little Rou because she was blocking them. Had Little Rou charged out, she would have been able to escape the sea of ants. However, Little Rou didn't. She kept on whipping her tail, but in time, she grew tired, her tail had no strength.
"What to do? What to do?"
Little Rou wrapped her tail around Gu Hai before dragging him outside the cave.
"Scram, scram!" cried Little Rou, terrified.
Along the way, thousands and thousands of ants crawled onto Little Rou, biting her constantly, as if they wanted Little Rou to let go of Gu Hai so that they could eat.
"I will not let you harm Benefactor, I will not, boo-hoo, Benefactor, quickly wake up, what should I do?!" Little Rou sobbed as she escaped.
Little Rou's tail started bleeding as the ants constantly crawled onto her body and bit her.
Little Rou dragged Gu Hai out of the cave. However, Gu Hai was the source of the aroma. Wherever he went, the army of ants followed.
Little Rou flung her tail desperately as she rushed out of the valley. However, the ants seemed inexhaustible, they jumped and bit endlessly.
Little Rou grit her teeth as she whipped her tail while crying out. Her body was already covered in wounds, dripping with blood; unbearable pain almost made Little Rou faint, but Little Rou always held on.
"I cannot sleep, I cannot sleep, Benefactor will be eaten by the ants, boo-hoo, I cannot faint, I must guard Benefactor!" A mighty conviction supported Little Rou.
However, there were too many ants outside. After Little Rou escaped, she was lost in the sea of ants and lost her bearing, she didn't know which way was east and which way was north. The ants simply weren’t reduced in number, they only grew more plentiful as more and more ants swarmed over.
More and more blood dripped from her wounds. Little Rou herself didn't know how long she could hold on, her entire body was already covered in blood. She felt so weak that she had almost fainted a few times.
"I cannot sleep, I cannot sleep!" Little Rou trembled and whipped her blood-covered tail, it was all she could do.
In the meantime, atop that white crystal in Gu Hai's glabella...
As the final white piece was placed on the weiqi board, the whole weiqi board immediately broke apart with a loud crash, transforming into a final strand of energy before it dissipated, it was also the final whiff of the aroma that had surged out of him and spread.
Gu Hai's mind shook; he was finally awake.
"What a strong weiqi array!" exclaimed Gu Hai in surprise.
Things were finally over, yet the scenes from a moment ago still lingered in Gu Hai's mind. A great joy flushed into Gu Hai's heart as he came to realize that he had obtained a great inheritance, perhaps one could even say that he had learned a technique to utilize the dao of weiqi! His strength would surely improve by a couple levels with this inheritance.
While Gu Hai was immersed in his happiness, a vague voice suddenly drifted into his ears.
"I cannot sleep, I cannot sleep!"
Little Rou's feeble voice drifted into Gu Hai's ears.
"En?" Gu Hai's real body immediately opened its eyes.