[Chapter 27 - Fen Xing Ju(1)] An ancient chess arrangement
[Chapter 27 - Fen Xing Ju(1)] An ancient chess arrangement
Tao Ren De disliked it even more after hearing it: "You want to join in such a fracas, don't say that you even want to go up the stage and compete with others using your looks . "
"We have nothing to do, it's better to join in the fun than to be stuck indoors . " Liu Da Jiong was persistent, "I heard that it's very lively, and that there’s even people who rushed here from other places, all just to get a glance . "
Tao Ren De was stupefied upon hearing this; as the noble Tai Fu who does his utmost, he had never known that the citizens of great Chu are this unoccupied .
Thus when Chu Yuan finished with the matters at hand, and wanted to find Tai Fu to discuss matters, he was told by Si Xi that Lord Tai Fu and Lord Liu had already went out of the palace; apparently they went to Tai Ci(2) street to see a beauty competition .
Chu Yuan: " . . . . . . . . "
Si Xi asked: "Should I get someone to ask the both of them to return?"
Chu Yuan waved his hand, "It's alright, we too feel a little stuffy, staying in the imperial study all this while; let's stop here for today . "
Eunuch Si Xi quickly went to help him up, saying: "Does the imperial physician need to be called in to take a look?"
"Why call in the imperial physician . " Chu Yuan shook his head, "The room is too warm, it will be fine after I take a walk in the imperial gardens . "
It was the scorching summertime; the time of red flowers and green willows; an occasional breeze passed by the pavilion in the heart of the lake; it should have let one feel carefree and relaxed, but after Chu Yuan sat there for a while, he didn't feel that it was that relaxing after all .
Si Xi understandingly said: "Does Your Majesty want to take a walk outside the palace . "
Chu Yuan looked at him with a stiff smile .
Eunuch Si Xi was beaming from ear to ear: "It's good to see Lord Tai Fu too . " Not far away from Tai Ci street was Yue Lai(3) inn, maybe they could even meet Xi Nan King .
Chu Yuan took the fan and tapped his belly: "Harness the horses, let's go out of the palace!"
"Yes!" Eunuch Si Xi's voice was loud and clear; it felt good to go out; it was freeing and cooling .
People were bustling to and fro Tai Ci street; it was really lively . The stage was at least the height of two people, attracting people's eyes with its colors; but it was not a beauty competition as the rumors said, but for a chess match .
Lord Liu felt that he was tricked .
Lord Tao was delighted instead; he had always been a chess fanatic and had researched wei qi for decades; even solving quite a few deadlocked chess matches passed down from predecessors .
Liu Da Jiong said irately, his hands in his sleeves: "What does this have to do with Pan An . " Why not call Sai Yuan Qing, then I wouldn't have come here under the sweltering sun .
Yuan Qing was an expert chess master of the current dynasty; with a face of pock marks, he was extremely ugly .
Lord Tao instead had already squeezed into the crowd, and began to examine the chess layout .
Sai Pan An was wearing a half-mask, covering both of his eyes, and looked to be only around twenty years old; seeing that Tao Ren De kept on examining the chessboard, he said with a smile: "Does this old mister want to try? One silver, one match . "
Liu Da Jiong sneered: "So expensive . "
"But if this old mister wins it, then he can receive a hundred gold; this is an extremely rare opportunity . " Sai Pan An pointed behind him; there were really ten trays of shimmering gold; with the sun shining on it, it was hard not to attract people's attention .
Liu Da Jiong disturbed him with his arm, saying: "Old Tao, try it?"
Tao Ren De said: "This chess arrangement is deadlocked . "
"This old mister hasn't yet tried it, how can you simply assert that it's a dead match . " Sai Pan An said with a laugh, "If you don't dare to try then simply say that you do not dare, why have so many excuses . "
Liu Da Jiong became worried instantly; it must be known that Tao Tai Fu was infamous for his pettiness, and the commander of the imperial troops for this Tai Ci street was also his nephew; what would he do if his stage was destroyed .
"It's not a good thing for young people to be too egotistical . " Tao Ren De didn't bicker with him either, "or else you will be disadvantaged in the future . "
Sai Pan An shook his head: "In this world, there still isn't anyone who has caused me a loss . "
Someone in the surrounding crowd recognized that he was the current Lord Tai Fu, and thus reminded the young man quietly, to speak his words more carefully . Tao Ren De put a stop to it with his hand, and left the crowd with Liu Da Jiong .
"Old Tao, are you alright?" Liu Da Jiong tried asking .
"Naturally I'm alright, but there's something up with him . " Tao Ren De said .
"He's just a reckless young man who hasn't experienced the world, and you still want to bother with him?" Liu Da Jiong was surprised, don't say that you want to use your rank for a personal revenge .
"That chess formation just now, does Lord Liu knows of its origin?" Tao Ren De asked .
Liu Da Jiong said: "I don't know . "
Tao Ren De nodded: "I also guessed that you wouldn't know . "
Liu Da Jiong: “ . . . . . . . . "
Then why would you ask?
"That chess formation is called Fen Xing Ju . " Tao Ren De said, "For all of the endgames that exists in this world, there's someone who want to break it; there's only this Fen Xing Ju, which people couldn't even avoid in time . "
Liu Da Jiong didn't understand: "Why?"
Tao Ren De said: "Because only this Fen Xing Ju can cause one to go crazy . "
"Pfft . " Liu Da Jiong laughed .
Tao Ren De: " . . . . . . "
"Your boast is really . . . a game of chess can even cause one to go crazy . " Liu Da Jiong obviously didn’t believe it .
Tao Ren De said angrily: "You are uncouth and unscholarly, I don't want to talk to you . "
"Look at you, when you can't talk over then you say that I'm unscholarly . " Liu Da Jiong was used to bickering with him and thus didn't get angry; after looking around he asked: "Want to go eat some noodles?"
"Eat noodles?" Tao Ren De said, "I have to go to Da Li temple . "
"Everything is fine, what are you going to Da Li temple for?" Liu Da Jiong immediately shook his head, "There's harsh winds and inauspicious air there, a trip means a headache . "
But Lord Tao had already gotten up onto the palanquin .
He's really in a rush . . . Liu Da Jiong became uncertain; he turned back to take a glance at the stage, and saw that Sai Pan An had both of his eyes slightly closed, seemingly dozing off .
Chu Yuan left the palace incognito and went to Tai Ci street in a palanquin; eunuch Si Xi glanced ahead and said: "Ah ya, why are there so many people . "
Inside, Chu Yuan didn't speak .
"Seems like the two lords aren't here either . " Eunuch Si Xi instructed the porter, "Go forward, there's a lot of people here, don't surprise the imperial carriage . "
The porter acknowledged the order . Chu Yuan looked out of the window, a hint of smile in his eyes .
The palanquin passed through Tai Ci street, and in front was Yue Lai inn; it was certainly coincidental; Duan Bai Yue was currently walking towards them .
"How coincidental . " Eunuch Si Xi was very surprised; his face full of delight .
Chu Yuan lifted the curtain of the palanquin .
Duan Bai Yue looked at him with a smile .
"The emperor is out to look for Lord Tai Fu . " Eunuch Si Xi explained, "Just so happened to pass by here . "
"And it just happened to be that I bought an osmanthus braised goose . " Duan Bai Yue had a wax paper bag in his hand, "Do you want to eat it together?"
Of course he must . Eunuch Si Xi said with a smile: "Osmanthus braised goose is good, the emperor likes to eat osmanthus braised goose quite a lot . "
Chu Yuan: " . . . . . . . . "
Duan Bai Yue went forward and reached out his hand .
Chu Yuan swatted him away and jumped down by himself .
Eunuch Si Xi saw the two of them go up the building, then brought the porter with him to drink tea in the teahouse opposite and got someone to buy a few greasy pig trotters back to eat -- recently the physician didn't allow him to eat meat at all; with only vegetables and bean curd to allay his hunger, his stomach was unbearably starved .
There was good Pu-er brought from Xi Nan in the room; Duan Bai Yue got the waiter to slice the braised goose, bringing some side dishes along as well sending a jar of wine into the room .
Duan Nian stood guard at the door with his sword; his master finally managed to bring him back to the inn, even if there was something extremely important happening, he must not be disturbed .
"Try it?" Duan Bai Yue placed a piece of meat into his bowl, "The taste reportedly isn't bad, and it's mild too . I wanted to try it first, and if suitable, send a few into the palace . "
Chu Yuan took a bite; there was a faint sweetness with strands of osmanthus fragrance .
Duan Bai Yue asked: "Do you like it?"
Chu Yuan nodded: "The cook isn't bad . "
"Then should I kidnap him to the palace?" Duan Bai Yue suggested .
"Then we will simply let Xiang Lie handle you . " Chu Yuan placed down his chopsticks, "About the person who traded with Tian Sha sect, how is the investigation?"
"Not a thing . " Duan Bai Yue said, "On that day, the person only said that when Lan Ji arrives in the capital, someone will go and find her . Now that everyone in Jiang Hu knows that Tian Sha sect has been destroyed, I'm afraid that it won't be easy for him to appear on his own . "
Chu Yuan frowned: "The capital is too big, there's foreigners coming in and out everyday . If the other party doesn't appear first, unfortunately, the authorities wouldn't know where to start . "
Duan Bai Yue poured him a cup of wine .
Chu Yuan said: "Why don't we write a letter to official Wen?"
"Why must a letter to Lord Wen be written?" Duan Bai Yue immediately became unhappy upon hearing this .
A scholar from Jiang Nan, good looking, gentle and clean, well-liked by the emperor, and even frequently stays overnight in the palace .
"He is the greatest scholar of my great Chu, not only is he widely read and quick witted, his resourcefulness is outstanding; perhaps he has heard of Qian Hui Huan . " Chu Yuan said .
Duan Bai Yue said in his heart, if he is talented, then simply say he's talented; why praise him so extensively .
"What are you thinking about?" Chu Yuan waved his hand in front of him .
"Huh?" Duan Bai Yue came back to the present: "Lord Wen is faraway at Shu Zhong, I'm afraid that it will take at least months for the letter to go to and fro . " At that time they can't be certain that the person will still be in the capital; maybe he could have even died of old age .
"That's still better than not having any plans . " Chu Yuan ate another bite and said doubtfully, "Why is it all meat?"
"Only by eating more meat then can you gain meat . " Duan Bai Yue picked a goose thigh for him again, "It's better for Your Majesty to be plump and portly, in order to stun the nine states(4) . "
Chu Yuan was teased into laughter by him .
"Very busy these days?" Duan Bai Yue got closer to him, "Your eye circles got darker . "
Chu Yuan unconsciously backed away: "Yes . "
"I know that Lord Tao will not let you off easily . " Duan Bai Yue sat up straight and knocked on the table, "But since you have already come out today, why not walk around later, after we have finished the meal? There should be many suitable places to go to in the capital . "
Chu Yuan nodded: "That's good too . "
The smile in Duan Bai Yue's eyes deepened; he lowered his head and blew a bowl of soup cool for him .
Outside, Duan Nian sighed, why are they going out again; shouldn't he force up a mouthful of blood using his internal energy, then be unable to wake up and have to be treated using dual cultivation .
It's written like this in the novels after all .
Maybe because the braised goose was truly delicious; Chu Yuan's appetite wasn't bad, and he even felt a little bloated .
Duan Bai Yue let him drink an entire jar of pu-er for digestion before leaving together .
Although there weren't any festivals recently, it was still as bustling as ever in the capital . Even if it were nighttime, there were still many sceneries which could be seen . Red lanterns were hung high by the river banks, reflecting in clear jade green ripples like illusions; the willows had all bloomed just in time; there were crowds everywhere enjoying the cool air .
Duan Bai Yue bought a pinwheel from a small stall and handed it to him .
Chu Yuan sent the back of his hand over .
Duan Bai Yue smiled: "If you don't take this, then I will simply buy a sweet figure for you . "
"Things that only kids like . " Chu Yuan sat on a big stone, "Tired . "
"You are tired in the heart . " Duan Bai Yue crouched in front of him, "It's better to come out and walk around occasionally than to keep staying in the palace . If there's time in the future, I will bring you back to Xi Nan to stay for a while; that can be truly called cheerful and carefree . "
Chu Yuan only pretended not to have heard him, turning his head to look at the river .
Why is it going back to Xi Nan, but not going to Xi Nan .
An uproar erupted somewhere else; Duan Bai Yue stood up and took a look: "Looks like something happened at the stage . "
"What stage?" Chu Yuan asked . After asking, he remembered, and said: "The beauty contest?"
"Competition of looks? Although the person who set up the stage is called Sai Pan An, he is but a chess player . " Duan Bai Yue said, "He set up a deadlocked chess arrangement, brought a hundred gold taels, saying that if there's anyone who can break it, then the gold will be theirs; he probably earned quite a bit of money these few days . "
"A chess arrangement?" Chu Yuan had a moment of realization, "No wonder Lord Tai Fu wanted to come and see . "
"With this commotion, I'm guessing it shouldn't be anything good . " Duan Bai Yue asked, "Do you want to go over and take a look?"
(1) Feng Xin Ju: 焚星局 - lit . burning star match(as in chess match)
(2)Tai Ci: 泰慈 - lit . peaceful, merciful .
(3)Yue Lai: 悦来 - lit . pleased, to come .
(4) Nine states: 九州 - Ancient, ancient China (as in BCE China) was divided into many states with different rulers and wasn't unified until Qin Shi Huang .