Chapter 541: Observing chess, a true gentleman does not speak
In order to ensure soundproofing, there was a passageway between the interior and exterior rooms of this high-status sick ward of Xihu City’s first hospital. It was not long, less than five metres. It was these five metres, however, that ever separated old man Fang from all those descendants of the Fang family.
Only his third son could enter the interior room. He was the spokesman for old man Fang over this period of time. There was also an outsider, Xu Tingsheng, who could enter. Apparently, the old man had placed his hopes on him. Still, some of the Fang family members were speculating that he had merely been invited by old man Fang and his third son to coordinate with their performance, and was doing so out of friendship.
Besides those three, there were only a few doctors and nurses who were allowed in.
The remainder, despite being the children and grandchildren of the Fang family, did not know if the old man inside was actually dead or alive.
They had asked the doctors, the nurses, his third son. The answer was always that the old man was in pretty good shape, much better than before. It was only that the veracity of this was hard to confirm under the current circumstances.
Everyone understood that too many cooks spoil the broth. Despite sometimes feeling rather despondent, the second son of the Fang family who knew what he should and should not do had never once crossed the line thus far.
It was different today, however. Today, he was pacing incomparably frantically about the exterior room. He had reached the door of the sick ward a few times, wanting to knock but then hesitating and stopping again. Rather than being afraid that the old man might get mad, what he was afraid of was the old man not getting mad-for the dead could obviously not get mad.
“Third brother is inside now,” This was the reason he was panicking, the news he wanted to report to the old man.
Still, he did not knock on that shut door and say it. He was lost, but he was scared too. If he now knocked it and found...that the old man was really no longer here...he would feel even more lost.
The second son of the Fang family had always been like how Fang Yuqing of their third generation had formerly been, viewed by outsiders as most incapable and incompetent.
He wondered if he should get someone to call a doctor over, thereby transmitting the news.
As he looked at that shut door, the door of the exterior room was pushed open from the outside.
It was two old men of a similar age to old man Fang who entered. White shirts tucked in, sleeves rolled up, it was the standard for old-style military men when not in their uniform.
The Fang family had assigned people to guard the outside. Thus, these two who could freely enter were most definitely no random people. The second son of the Fang family recognised them. Not only did he recognise them, he had even been very familiar with them in his youth. He had been familiar with them to the point that they had been like his own elders. He had been patted on the head and praised by them, also having been placed over a knee before getting his butt smacked by them.
“Uncle Ling, Uncle Xiao,” Whatever the two had come for today, however tempestuous the relationship between the three families had been over the past two decades, he greeted respectfully as he was used to.
The two old men looked at him as if to identify him before one asked, “You must be No. 2?”
“Yes, Uncle Ling,” He responded.
Old man Ling turned to old man Xiao and said, “I remember this one. He’s from the same year as my No. 3 and your No. 2.”
The Ling family’s third son and the Xiao family’s second son were already dead. Standing there, the second son of the Fang family did not know what to say.
Also in the room were two women and a bunch of third generation children. The gazes of the two old men swept over the third generation of the Fang family. In their eyes was pain, fury, sorrow, resolve…
The Fang family had children and grandchildren abound, whereas they…
Facing these gazes, Fang Chen smiled politely while Fang Yuqing nodded expressionlessly in acknowledgement. Because of this, the two old men took an extra glance at them.
A pretty girl of fourteen or fifteen years of age fearfully shrank back in her mother’s embrace.
There was a formless, intense pressure.
Fang Zhong was the oldest of the Fang family’s third generation. He suddenly stood up, clenching his fists and staring furiously at the two old men as his body trembled slightly. While this might make it seem as if he was the bravest of the Fang family’s third generation, anyone intelligent could tell, really, that this was actually him being first to give way and buckle under pressure.
“Don’t think that you, you...I won’t let you get away with this. Just you wait. I…” He spoke, the only way he could find some sort of mental support for himself, but it was truthfully incoherent.
Rudeness was actually an exhibition of fear. How ignorant and ludicrous these words seemed.
The door of the interior room opened at this moment, a shrivelled hand on the handle. Dressed the same way as the two in the exterior room, old man Fang stood at the doorway complete with tucked in white shirt and rolled up sleeves…
The three had dressed this exact way when sitting and drinking wine together in the past.
The second son of the Fang family went over and whispered something in his father’s ear. The old man nodded slightly, his expression not changing in the least as his gaze remained on his two peers.
He smiled, “You’ve come?”
“You’re not dead yet?” Old man Xiao asked.
“Yeah,” Old man Fang smiled.
The dark green leaves in the porcelain cups floated to the surface as the chessboard was set.
The three old men exchanged some perfectly casual words for a short time.
Then, old man Fang said, “It’s fine, I can accept it. It’s all fate.”
“You still believe in fate?” Old man Ling asked.
“Yes, I can’t not believe in it...after someone has had bullets brush across their scalps a couple of times, you can’t but believe in it. I think that you two do too. All those leaders up top, however many times they’ve said it, they actually believe it too.”
Old man Fang successfully rebutted them.
It was at this time that Xu Tingsheng and Ling Xiao entered.
Standing behind old man Fang, Xu Tingsheng smiled relaxedly beneath the searching gazes of the two old men. He had arrived just in time. Really, it was fortunate that Ling Xiao had come to his university to pick him up. He casually asked after the two old men.
Ling Xiao stood on the opposite side, behind the two old men.
Three versus two?
Old man Xiao extended a hand and wordlessly removed an entire side’s worth of car, cannon and horse from old man Fang’s side of the chessboard. This was not requesting an advantage. Rather, it corresponded with the actual situation presently. In reality, the Fang family already had less than half of its empire remaining.
Old man Fang extended a hand too, retrieving a piece and placing it back in its original position. It was a car. After doing so, he turned and glanced at Xu Tingsheng behind him. Exchanging looks, the two opposite him did not object.
In the overall battle situation, old man Fang was lacking a horse and a cannon.
“How about you play?” He asked Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng asked, “Since when can I play chess?”
“That technique of yours…”
Xu Tingsheng smiled, thinking of how he had won old man Fang at a game of chess by simply ‘breathing’ and dragging things out, “That technique of mine is impolite against old people. Things are also apt to go wrong that way…”
Old man Fang smiled, “In that case…”
“Observing chess, a true gentleman does not speak,” Xu Tingsheng rebutted, before truly not uttering a sound as he watched the clashes on the chessboard.
So it was still two versus one, with one side having a horse and cannon less. Still, old man Fang was a little more skilled in chess than the other two. While the trio had all liked to play chess in their youth, the two simply ‘liked’ it while old man Fang was ‘addicted to it’...and that changed things greatly.
At the endgame, old man Fang was left with his general and an advisor remaining along with two pawns that had crossed the river, each two steps away from the baseline. The other side had a car and a sole general remaining.
Then, old man Xiao suddenly reached out and took away the final advisor on old man Fang’s side. He took it, rather than captured it.
Someone knocked on the door.
Someone from the provincial committee took away the second son of the Fang family. As of now, the second generation of the Fang family...only had its two daughter-in-laws remaining.
As the door closed, old man Fang surrendered the game of chess.
The two old men opposite him stood up.
Old man Fang tapped on the chessboard, pointing at the red pieces that were scattered about. He had forcefully captured these pieces earlier with the pieces afforded him despite the innately disadvantageous situation.
“People are not chess pieces. We’ve led troops before, and know that actual wars aren’t like it is written in books. It’s really rare to see armies that don’t collapse or retreat when the majority has fallen. Think on that.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter