Supreme Swordsman of the Nine Heavens

Chapter 411



Chapter 411

Alphago

The ocean breathed, her surface rising and falling with rhythmic ease. The ocean breeze whispers, placing salty kisses on his cheeks and tousling his hair. A carnival of coral surrounded the skerry underfoot. Mu Yu was aware he was inside the formation tablet.

On the water surface was huge drifting black and white go pieces that the tides couldn’t splash or shift.

“Welcome.”

Mu Yu looked across upon hearing the composed greeting to see a cultured middle-aged man sitting on the white skerry, calm and collected as the ocean tide.

“My name is Alphago. You can call me Go Soul. You will be facing me.”

“Alph-, what? That’s one heck of naming sense.”

“My name is Alphago. The naming sense isn’t important. What’s important is for you to finish this incomplete game of go in order for you to pass the test.”

Go Soul pointed to the go game on the water surface. There was spiritual energy that drew people in when they looked at the game, yet Mu Yu only took a blink to break free of its magic.

“The term for ‘playing’ can refer to playing go, chess and a plethora of other games, so why is it also ‘go’?! I don’t even know how to play it! I can play Chinese chess darn well. Can we play Chinese chess? Jungle works, too. If we can’t change the pieces, let’s play gomoku. I’m a legend at gomoku.”

The only game Village Chief Bu didn’t teach Mu Yu was go, citing it was the most boring game in the universe and troublesome. Instead of counting all the time, why not just play Chinese chess? Later on, Mu Yu found out Village Chief Bu didn’t teach go as he had no idea how to play it after probing the elder with veiled questions.

“What’s gomoku and jungle?”

“You don’t know gomoku and jungle? Perfect, let’s go with them. I’ll teach you.”

“I’m Go Soul; go is my battlefield. Go is a profound game that covers all forms of strategy on a single board in a contest of wits, courage, and flexibility. Setting up strategically to attack and defend is the essence of formations. Understanding go will teach you how to win on the battlefield from the tent.”

“In my language now.” Mu Yu yawned.

Since it wasn’t Go Soul’s first time meeting someone behaving so tacky, Go Soul didn’t take it to heart and earnestly enlightened Mu Yu. “Greater Heaven Stage disciples need to be flexible with formations and to be able to cast them on anything they come across. Go is one epitome of formations. Your opponent at a go board’s moves will constantly change the status quo of your formation on the board. Therefore, you must learn to maximise the potential of your formation on the board whilst under pressure from your opponent.”

“I understand that, but it doesn’t magically mean I know how to play go.”

Go Soul summoned an old black and white go instruction manual titled “Go Formations” for Mu Yu.

“Greater Heaven Stage disciples are expected to grasp knew knowledge quite fast. If you don’t understand it, you can start learning from the beginning right here. Every formation caster must learn to play go.

Great, reading, nothing worse than reading these sorts of thick books and I’m supposed to win a veteran after reading a manual, Mu Yu grumbled in his head.

“You shall play the black pieces in the incomplete game. The white side is currently at an advantage. Your task is to overcome the odds.”

“Let me read the manual in peace before you start dropping my confidence with disappointing information.”

Unlike Feng Haochen, Mu Yu wasn’t the type who would’ve been satisfied planting crops and cooking for the rest of his life. Accordingly, go, a game that could hone one’s temperament and analytical skills, didn’t suit Mu Yu. From his perspective, peace and tranquillity was an attitude, while what one wanted to do was a way of life. He lived by the refrain, “One must let their desires guide them for that is what is most natural and correct.”

Though it wasn’t an ideal location to cultivate, it was a fantastic place to study owing to time moving slower there than in the real world. Still, it was a chore to read for Mu Yu. Thankfully, Go Soul was willing to answer any queries he had.

The overall goal in go was simple: surround more territory than the opponent via occupying vacant intersections (points) on the board. Whoever had more territory along with captured stones and komi was the victor.

It’d only take fifteen minutes to learn the rules. Learning to defeat another using the rules, nonetheless, required years of refinement because learning to calculate and maximise each move wasn’t something that could be picked up just reading a rule book. Maybe there was a genius who could, but Mu Yu didn’t fit the bill.

The easiest way for Mu Yu to view the board was to imagine every stone as a formation foundation and every vacant point as a formation core. Take out the enemy’s formation cores while increasing your own gave one’s formation the edge over his opponent’s.

Two hours went by in the real world, while three days had gone by in the formation tablet. Mu Yu spent all three days studying the board and referring back to the manual to visualise an array of scenarios. Go Soul didn’t left him to his devices the entire time unless a question was posed to him. From what he could discern, Mu Yu evaluated the black side’s formation to be lame. All of his attempts to break the enemy siege ended in his defeat. Howbeit, there had to be a solution if the test was possible to pass.

Luo Feilong and Ji Wenkai spent their time plotting Mu Yu’s death. Others directed different emotions at him, ranging from friendly to unfriendly.

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