EIFP Chapter 1

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 ­ Gu Hai

At the Capital City, in the Han Hai Mansion

The land in the capital city was too costly, even if it was the suburbs few people could afford it, and in the suburbs of this capital city, several hundred acres of land was occupied by a mansion, few people would think in this seemingly exorbitant city, a mansion would occupy such a large piece of land. Not to mention the scenery here was quite beautiful. If someone wanted to take a vacation, this place fit the description.

But this villa was rarely known to the outsiders, and it was not even reported by anyone before. It was somewhat unusually different to others.

“Hidden wealthy and powerful people!” In this world, there is always some people who, for a variety of reasons, don’t want to appear in public, and what’s more amazing is that their wealth is not known by the public.

Han Hai villa was owned by Gu Hai, and today was his thirtieth birthday, but Gu Hai did not like to celebrate his birthday like other rich people or any other kind of events. This was also the characteristic of the ‘hidden wealthy and powerful people’——————- they are very low key!

Wearing an azure gown, Gu Hai was quietly sitting in the library, and placed in front him was one unfinished Weiqi board, but this board wasn’t a standard Weiqi board with 19 checkered lines, this board had checkered lines, and although it’s just a difference of one line but this Weiqi had infinite number of variations.

Gu Hai was holding a black piece, but still didn’t place it on the board, he was contemplating about how to finish this endgame.

This endgame didn’t belong to this era, in fact, in this era no one was more capable than Gu Hai in standard Weiqi with nineteen checkered lines.

Gu Hai had challenged world-class top players but till now he had not been defeated, not even once. He even sought some hidden masters and national players, but he was still able to win against them, so for now it could be said that in this world there was no one who was above him in Weiqi.

Gu Hai also once stood at the peak in the world of Weiqi. He haply obtained an unfinished chess board and due this he was completely excited. This chess board was the previous chess board with 20 horizontal and vertical lines, and it was an ancient endgame which up till now it had several hundreds or maybe thousands of years of history.

When he saw this Weiqi board he was also secretly scared, as the layout above this board was clever and breathtaking. The main intricacy about this Weiqi board was that it was not in anyway ordinary. If it was standard Weiqi board with 19 horizontal and vertical lines, then naturally Gu Hai would not fear it, but this Weiqi board had an extra line. This meant that there were countless more possibilities, so temporarily, Gu Hai had no way of solving it.

But Gu Hai was certain that whoever created this Weiqi board, his Weiqi skills is above his, however Gu Hai’s Weiqi skills were naturally not bad either, as he had been studying this Weiqi board for several months, and now he had finally understood the general direction, but a trace of inspiration was needed to finish it.

……

The door was quietly opened, and one elder dressed in traditional clothes came in. He was the steward of this Han Hai Villa, and he had worked here for nearly thirty years. He had been this villa steward from Gu Hai’s parents time, and he had also watched over Gu Hai while he was growing up!

The old steward didn’t understood other people’s skills, but he knew that Gu Hai’s level of skills could be called as absolutely legendary.

From the time Gu Hai was young, he was fond of Weiqi, to point that it became an obsession. Moreover, Gu Hai was extremely talented in Weiqi, as his comprehension skills of Weiqi were extremely terrifying, because after Gu Hai leaves after defeating all the Weiqi masters, if not for him not liking to be high-profiled, he wouldn’t know how many Weiqi awards Gu Hai would have collected!

But due to Gu Hai’s parents both dying in an accident, another talent of Gu Hai was revealed, and this was the talent in business. At that time Gu Hai was only twenty years old, and his parents left him not only this villa, but also left their business organisation which was in a great deal of mess.

But Gu Hai was like a natural born businessman, full of business sense, as well as with adequate and decisive means, and through a series of measures, he not only was successful in solving the mess left by his parents, but also made his personal assets grow over by many times.

In only three years, Gu Hai already made it such that the business could keep running on its own without him personally managing it, and then Gu Hai could hide in the background. Now that 10 years have passed, Gu Hai himself wasn’t clear how much wealth he had accumulated.

“Oh, Uncle Hu, you came. What can I do for you?” Gu Hai eventually didn’t place the piece on the Weiqi board, rubbed his eyes, got ready to get up, and seeing the somewhat dazed old steward standing at entrance, he inevitably asked doubtfully.

“Ah!” That old steward woke up, and in an apologetic tone said, “Young Master, I did not mean to disturb young master, and I also requests young master not to blame!”

“Uncle Hu, you are older than me. Do not call me young master, instead directly call me by my name!” Gu Hai had always respected this steward who had been working for Gu Family for nearly 30 years, and he can be counted as the last of his loved ones, “Besides what do you mean disturb, this is your home, like me, you’re also the master!”

“I have been calling you young master for thirty years, and am already accustomed to it. I cannot change!” The old steward shook his head, continued speaking, “Young master, I only wanted to tell you that the collection of the 100,000 endgame puzzles have already been completed. Young master can now go to library and take a look.”

Gu Hai was very fond of Weiqi, and naturally he was very much interested in collecting a wide variety of unfinished Weiqi boards, so he spent all of his strength across all over the country to collect endgame puzzles, and in 10 years he had already collected 100,000 endgame puzzles, and all of these endgame puzzles he has placed it inside the library.

“Oh, already 100,000?” Gu Hai suddenly laughed, “Ha ha, today happens to be my thirtieth birthday, and it seems that god has sent me a gift!”

Gu Hai got up and went to the library, that unfinished endgame with 20 checkered lines not being solved for the time being. To change the way of his thinking and gain that inspiration he needed, he wanted to take a look at the 100,000 endgame puzzles.

Gu Hai alone went inside the library, as for old steward he naturally had his own work to complete. Not to mention the fact that Gu Hai, while researching about Weiqi, did not want to be interrupted.

The library was large, and it was filled with all kinds of books, but the 100,000 endgame puzzles were not here in the library, but were placed in an underground cellar below the library, and in this cellar was where the endgame puzzles gathered from all over the country were placed.

Every day the cellar was cleaned by the servants, so Gu Hai didn’t feel any sort of discomfort. Gu Hai picked a endgame puzzle, carefully glanced at it, and with a smile said, “Interesting.” He then continued to carefully look down.

Gu Hai had waited till all 100,000 endgame puzzles had been collected, and only then had he started to look, mainly because if the endgame puzzles were too little, then it would not bring any help to him, but 100,000 endgame puzzles, Gu Hai hoped that the quantity will bring forth a qualitative change in his thinking, can allow him to breakthrough the bottleneck of his thinking!

Time passed by in a rush, and Gu Hai himself didn’t know how many endgame puzzles he had observed, but he didn’t felt tired. Instead Gu Hai’s spirit had been greatly satisfied.

“Pop!” A crisp sound surprised the obsessed Gu Hai and caused him to awaken. Gu Hai took a closer look, and on the ground there was an extra black Weiqi piece. Presumably it was smuggled inside an endgame puzzle, and when Gu Hai flipped the endgame diagram that black piece was revealed.

Gu Hai, due to curiosity wanted to pick up the black Weiqi piece, and when his hand had just touched the black piece surface, Gu Hai’s face revealed a sliver of surprise, and he continued and placed the black Weiqi piece on his palm center. As expected he discovered something wrong about it, as at the center of his palm the Weiqi piece slowly emitted a trace of warm heat, and he could not help but have some doubt: “What is this material?”

Gu Hai, from when he was small to when he as large, had been in contact with all types of Weiqi pieces and even he himself had a collection of tens of different Weiqi pieces made up of different materials, but did not have a single Weiqi piece which could have this effect. This was the warm jade from the legends.

But before Gu Hai could carefully study the material of the black piece, a sudden mutation arose, and the black piece levitated high in the air, while at the same time emitted an endless black aura. This black aura gradually started to expand, therein slowly enveloping the whole cellar.

At the same time the black piece emitted the aura, Gu Hai also lost his consciousness, but before losing the consciousness, Gu Hai seemingly saw a huge Weiqi board, and on that Weiqi board there were 33 checkered lines. That Weiqi board was densely filled with black and white pieces, and it should be an unfinished Weiqi board, but in the end Gu Hai was not sure whether what he saw was real or imaginary!

At the same time Gu Hai saw the Weiqi board with 33 checkered lines, Gu Hai in his heart seemingly comprehended and solved, in the blink of an eye, the previous endgame with 20 checkered lines in his mind, and solving it once again would not be even a little bit difficult for Gu Hai!

After a good while, the black aura slowly dispersed, however, with the disappearance of the black aura, Gu Hai also disappeared, and along with him the black piece as well as those 100000 endgame puzzles all disappeared. In this huge cellar only a few tables and chairs were remaining, and nothing else!

TLN:

  1. Weiqi: Weiqi is is is an abstract strategy board game for two players, it’s very much look like a checkerboard, it has black and white pieces and you capture a or many pieces by surrounding with pieces of opposite color. In japan it is called Go, in korean Baduk. More you can learn here. A standard Weiqi board have 19 checkered lines (19 horizontal and vertical lines).

(Also for context western chess has 18 lines including the outside ones)

  1. Endgame (puzzles): In chess and chess-like games, the endgame (or end game or ending) is the stage of the game when few pieces are left on the board. (usually only kings and pawns in normal chess)

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