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In the Go club.
The atmosphere livened up.
"Quick, let's go and watch."
"Changhe is playing."
"I haven't seen him play Go in a very long time."
"I'll go and watch as well."
"Why is he playing against a young man?"
"I don't know."
The game began.
Zhang Ye was given a handicap of two stones. He did not say anything and just smiled as he
Changhe 9-dan made his move. "How should I address you?"
Zhang Ye played a
Changhe 9-dan followed up with another move. "Where do you stay?"
"At Caishikou." Zhang Ye played a
Changhe 9-dan's eyebrows jumped as he said, "Oh, that's not far away. I live in the area as well. Not bad, you're pretty good. Let me test you further."
The stones were placed down onto the board very quickly.
The two of them were seemingly playing a fast game, taking very little time to think in between each move.
As Zhang Ye was given a handicap of two stones, he naturally had the greater advantage and that manifested right from the beginning of the game. However, Changhe 9-dan was a professional and had even stood at the top of Go world before. By the midgame, he had gradually clawed back from his disadvantage, exciting the nearby spectators.
"What a great move!"
"This move is really beautiful!"
"Teacher Changhe is still as skilled as ever!"
Changhe 9-dan even chatted as he played. "Haha. Compared to those past years, I'm no longer as skilled. I'm getting on in age and my mind can't function as fast as before."
An old neighbor of his laughed and said, "The main issue is that your temper has grown and your play has become less steady as before."
Someone who did not agree with that said, "But compared to his previous playing style, Teacher Changhe's attack has become much stronger."
An old man had a look at the Go board, then said, "This young man is pretty good. For an amateur to play so well against Changhe is already quite something. If he puts in more effort and practices, he might even be able to turn professional!"
"That might not be the case."
"Right, don't forget that he was given a handicap of two stones."
"The gap between them is still pretty wide."
"This young man has potential."
There were all kinds of evaluations.
The first match ended.
Without even the need for adding
But Changhe 9-dan was very happy. "That was a very enjoyable game. In recent years, other than professional players, there have rarely been any amateurs who can play so well against me."
Zhang Ye smiled.
Changhe 9-dan's interest was piqued. "Come, come, let's play another game. I will give you a handicap of two stones as usual."
Although Changhe 9-dan was very familiar with the old neighbors here, he seldom played with them. This was because the difference in their levels was so huge that even giving a handicap would not resolve the issue. He would usually play Go with his disciples instead or go on Internet Go servers to look for his old friends who were professional Go players to be his opponents. But to him, the feeling of playing online by clicking on a mouse was clearly not as good as the real thing. So now that he had met this young man who could compare to him, he naturally would not allow him to leave.
They started a new game.
Changhe 9-dan won again!
Zhang Ye was not bothered by this either. It was as if he was not being serious at all.
However, the others around definitely did not think of it any other way. They thought that this young man had already given his all in order to achieve such results against a former 9th dan Go master.
After three rounds, Changhe 9-dan banged on the table and laughed heartily. "Alright, young man! You'll do." Then, amid everyone's confused gazes, Changhe 9-dan pulled Zhang Ye toward the exit. "Let's go! Come with me!"
Zhang Ye was stunned. "To where?"
"To my place."
"Are we still going to play?"
"No, we won't be playing anymore. Haha!"
"Uncle, I still have something to attend to."
"Whatever it is that you have, you need to postpone it. I'm depending on you to save the day!"
Zhang Ye was at a loss for words. Without even knowing what was going on, he had been dragged to the entrance of a
In the house.
A middle-aged woman preparing some vegetables looked up, slightly startled. "You're back?"
Changhe 9-dan said with a laugh, "I'm back. Are you preparing dinner?"
Li Qinqin looked at Zhang Ye. "Is this young man Old Lu's son? That's not right. I saw him last year. He doesn't look like that?"
Changhe 9-dan waved her off. "Don't talk about that Old Lu. He'd too unreliable, standing me up at the Go club. There, didn't I still manage to find this young man at the last minute? We even played two rounds of Go together and I found out that he's quite good. I would consider him to be one of the better amateur players around. It's just a shame that he's a bit old. If he were 16, 17 years old, I would definitely have taken him as my disciple."
Li Qinqin grumbled, "You're always doing things like that. Look at him. He doesn't even know what's going on and you've dragged him here. You're really something."
Zhang Ye gave a wry smile. "Auntie, what is going on?"
Li Qinqin apologized, "Child, please go back. This has nothing to do with you."
"Why're you making him leave!" Changhe 9-dan waved her off. "Never you mind. Our daughter will be back soon. Just make dinner. I'll take charge of this myself."
Li Qinqin didn't know how to react. "You do that."
Changhe 9-dan said, "So what if I do? I just dislike that guy our daughter found for herself."
Li Qinqin shook her head and said, "You don't even know who he is."
"Isn't it enough knowing what his job is?" Changhe 9-dan grunted, "Anyway, I won't agree to it. I'll definitely foil her plans!"
Zhang Ye was confused by what was going on.
Changhe 9-dan's next line scared the living daylights out of Zhang Ye. "Kid, when my daughter gets back, I'm arranging for you two to have a blind date. Do have a good chat with her."
A blind date?
Why would I have a blind date!
Zhang Ye was floored. "I already have a girlfriend."
Changhe 9-dan said, "Uh-huh, that's fine. My daughter definitely won't have eyes for you anyway."
Zhang Ye was floored again. "Uncle, why doesn't that sound right at all to me?"
Li Qinqin blinked. "Young man, what's your job?"
Zhang Ye took off his surgical mask.
Li Qinqin said curiously, "Why do you look a little familiar?"
Changhe 9-dan looked at him and nodded approvingly. "Mhm, your looks are average but you're classy. Otherwise, why would there be a saying that those who play Go don't lack for class? So what do you do for a living?"
Man, you two really don't know who I am?
Zhang Ye had to nonchalantly say, "I'm a teacher."
Li Qinqin probed further, "What subject do you teach?"
Zhang Ye said, "Mathematics."
"A teacher? That's not bad!" Changhe 9-dan nodded and said, "You even teach mathematics? No wonder you could play Go so well. Mathematics and Go are interrelated. I know some math professors from Peking University who are also quite good at Go."
Bro, I am from Peking University!
Li Qinqin studied Zhang Ye, then said, "It's just that he's too young."
Zhang Ye made to leave. "I really can't do this, so I'll be leaving."
But Changhe 9-dan grabbed him. "Get back here. Do you know how beautiful my daughter is? Huh? Let me tell you this! If you leave now, you'll regret it forever! You are a Go player as well. Don't you know the traditions of our Go world? In times of trouble, aid arrives from all over. You must know that, right? Sit down. No matter what, you must have dinner before you leave. What if, and I'm saying what if, my daughter really likes you? Then that would be a blessing that you've earned through your previous eight lifetimes! Of course, that likely won't be the case." Beaming with joy, he could not help but continue, "You do not know how outstanding my daughter is. She is beautiful, she works as…"
In the end, Zhang Ye was persuaded to stay.
Or rather, he had been held back by force.
Zhang Ye was starting to feel ill at ease and was almost in tears. I'm having a blind date? If this gets out and Old Wu learns about it, I'll die without knowing how I died! Are you trying to get me into trouble?!
This Lucky Halo is really too much!
I've totally been scammed!
This is simply—
All of a sudden, footfalls came from the entrance of the courtyard.
Li Qinqin's eyes lit up. "Our daughter is back!"
Changhe 9-dan gave Zhang Ye a wink and said, "Perform well and act natural. When you see what my daughter looks like in a while, don't get too shocked. She's really beautiful!"
The footsteps were getting closer and closer.
The silhouette of a person was visible in the courtyard.
Li Qinqin went up to her with a smile. "You're back?"
Changhe 9-dan asked, "Where did you park your car?"
The woman smiled and said, "I parked it at the entrance of the alley."
Then, when the woman spotted Zhang Ye inside the house, she was stunned!
When Zhang Ye saw the woman standing outside the house, he was stunned as well!
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