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Chapter 10: Chapter 10 Half a Million! He Couldn't Spend That in Four Years of College!
Zhao Baiyu was greatly surprised. She didn't know how to play Chinese chess, but she was aware of her grandfather's Chinese chess skills. When her grandfather was in Azure Bay, he was virtually invincible in their community and rarely suffered defeat.
Now he had actually lost to a high school student of similar age to her? Could it be another Li Zhiyi?
Li Zhiyi was the younger sister of her senior, Li Zihe. It was said that she was a math prodigy, excelling in both Chinese chess and Go. This year, she was admitted to the computer science department of Jiao Tong University ahead of schedule.
After the young man left, Zhao Baiyu asked her grandfather, "Grandpa, who is that young man?"
"Oh, his name is Qian Quan, and he's from Windsor Town. Like your mother, he also attended Riverside First High School, and it seems he got accepted into Seacoast Normal University after this year's college entrance exams. He works at the KFC over the summer to earn money."
"Seacoast Normal University? There are quite a few students from our class who are going there," Zhao Baiyu remarked with a hint of surprise. "Is he skilled at Chinese chess?"
"He's probably the most skilled opponent I've encountered so far," Mr. Huang admitted candidly.
"Alright then." Zhao Baiyu, a martial arts prodigy herself, was quite open to accepting prodigious talents.
"He's also quite good-looking," Mr. Huang added casually.
"Indeed, I rarely encounter such handsome guys in Azure Bay." Zhao Baiyu was straightforward.
Mr. Huang chuckled, "Since you'll both be studying in Azure Bay, you might have more chances to interact. Consider making a friend."
Zhao Baiyu shook her head. "I'd rather not. I wouldn't say I like dealing with quiet boys. Grandpa, you should know." 𝑓𝘳𝑒𝑒𝘸𝑒𝑏𝓃𝑜𝑣𝑒𝓁.𝘤𝑜𝓂
Mr. Huang chuckled noncommittally.
Zhao Baiyu's interest in Qian Quan didn't go beyond this point. She had to head to the gym now to practice.
"Xiaoyu," Mr. Huang suddenly called her back, "I don't know much about martial arts, but I've gathered some life experiences over the years that I'd like to share with you..."
"What is it?" Zhao Baiyu stopped and turned to her grandfather.
"We often say it's cold at the top and easy to fall from a height. That's true. However, if we keep a bit of noble spirit in our hearts, keep our feet rooted in the soil, and our gaze often goes beyond, even if we're standing at the summit, we'll have a foundation in our hearts."
After thinking for a couple of seconds, Zhao Baiyu nodded. "Alright, Grandpa, I'll remember!"
Qian Wenlin, who would be participating in a Chinese chess competition tomorrow, demonstrated an excellent state of preparation today.
He hadn't touched a chessboard or read a chess manual the entire day. He even turned down Qian Quan's suggestion to play two games to warm up.
Throughout the day, he simply cooked, read, wrote, and watched TV programs, truly entering into vacation mode.
His focus was on maintaining a calm competitive mindset.
Moreover, he had a scientific rationale.
"There are two types of learning modes: conscious learning and subconscious learning. Under normal circumstances, we can control and output knowledge acquired consciously. Those moments of insight in extreme conditions are accumulations of the subconscious – also known as extraordinary performances."
"So, skilled learners must provide their subconscious ample space to absorb and digest knowledge."
Qian Quan felt like he was learning something entirely new. Consequently, he was convinced by the explanation.
The next day, Qian Quan went to work as usual, while Qian Wenlin joined the Chinese chess club's team to participate in the competition in the city.
Qian Quan knew his father's skills well and wasn't worried about his advancement in the first round.
Sure enough, at noon during his break, Qian Quan was checking his phone in the employee lounge and saw a message from his father in the "Happy Family" group chat: "Advanced to the top 12."
Qian Quan replied with a thumbs-up emoji and then informed Ding Linlang about it. Unexpectedly, Ding Linlang replied, "I'm in town. Just finished watching the match."
Qian Quan asked, "You're there in person?"
"Yep, are you coming?"
"If my dad makes it to the finals, I'll take a leave and go."
Ding Linlang said, "OK, once the match ends, we'll go to the zoo with Mr. Qian."
After finishing work in the afternoon, Qian Quan went to play Chinese chess with Mr. Huang as planned. He noticed that there was a girl beside him, a girl with a graceful posture tied in a ponytail, radiating youthful vitality.
She looked somewhat familiar; he seemed to have seen her somewhere before.
"This is my granddaughter, Zhao Baiyu. She grew up in Azure Bay and got accepted into Azure Bay University this year," Mr. Huang gave a brief introduction.
"Hello," Qian Quan waved and greeted.
"Hi," Zhao Baiyu responded gracefully.
Then they started playing Chinese chess.
Mr. Huang perhaps didn't want to lose face in front of his granddaughter, so he played more seriously.
In the end, as expected, it was a draw.
"A rare occurrence," Mr. Huang sighed in relief.
Qian Quan chuckled and said, "We'll battle again tomorrow."
"Battle again tomorrow," Mr. Huang gazed at Qian Quan with deep admiration in his eyes.
After Qian Quan left, Mr. Huang asked Zhao Baiyu, "Xiaoyu, do you know why it was a draw today?"
"Because you played seriously today?"
"It's not related to that," Mr. Huang shook his head with a smile. "He's practicing a saying, something equally important for you too: 'In a position of advantage, it's important to understand tolerance and concession, without being overly self-confident and arrogant.'"
Zhao Baiyu seemed to catch onto something and said, "Grandpa, I sense that you really appreciate him."
"Yes, I'm even thinking about recommending him to your father."
Zhao Baiyu looked slightly surprised.
Though she didn't have a comprehensive understanding of her father's business in Azure Bay, she knew well the significance her grandfather held in her parents' hearts.
Whenever her parents discussed something complicated, they often said, "Why not ask Dad?"
"But why? Just because he's good at Chinese chess?" Zhao Baiyu asked.
"You'll know in the future," Mr. Huang didn't reveal more.
The next day, Qian Wenlin continued his impressive performance in the top 12 matches in the morning and the top 6 matches in the afternoon, winning three consecutive games to advance smoothly to the finals.
According to the event organizers' arrangement, the finals included the matches, program performances, and an award ceremony.
Upon learning that his father had made it to the finals, Qian Quan immediately requested time off from his manager. He wanted to be there in person to support his father.
Additionally, he wanted to witness firsthand the interaction between his father receiving prize money and the system awarding bonuses.
"Today's three participants, including your dad, have all maintained an undefeated record so far, especially the one holding string of jade. He wins quickly each time..."
Before the formal start of the matches, the organizers gave a speech. Ding Linlang took the opportunity to introduce the situation to Qian Quan.
"Moreover, he has quite an arrogant attitude. He's refused to shake hands with opponents several times and even stands up before winning to put pressure on them."
"His chess style is poor," Qian Quan remarked.
"Yes, but his skills are strong."
Qian Quan chuckled and said, "My dad making it to the top three already exceeds expectations, considering he's more of a third-place or lower kind of player."
After the speeches by the organizers on stage, the matches began.
The three participants were paired up for one-on-one matches. The champion would be the one with all wins, the runner-up with one win, and the third place for all losses. A rapid chess tiebreaker would be played if there were draws or each player won one match.
Given the larger number of media and spectators present today, the atmosphere was quite tense on-site.
Before the match, a draw was held, and Qian Wenlin played against another young participant first.
The venue fell silent.
The audience watched the match on a large screen.
Unlike casual games, the official competition had a time limit of 30 seconds per move. A timer was placed beside the chessboard. After making a move, a player would tap the timer. If no move was made in 30 seconds, it was considered a forfeit.
The rapid chess tiebreaker was 10 seconds per move.
Those skilled in slow chess could be at a disadvantage in the competition.
On the large screen, the two participants had already made five or six moves.
They were in the opening phase, strategizing their layouts.
"Mr. Qian has a solid opening," Ding Linlang commented in a low voice.
Qian Quan nodded in agreement. In this game, his dad played a strategy of accumulating strength and biding time. It seemed ordinary at first, but as soon as the opponent revealed a weakness, his dad's position would surge like an overwhelming force, sealing off retreat and capturing the opponent.
As expected, his dad began an attack after another six or seven moves. Many major pieces were in motion, and he was clearly planning to push his opponent into a corner all at once.
Qian Quan leaned closer to Ding Linlang and whispered, "He's going to win."
After three more moves, his opponent stared at the board, calculating potential moves until the 30 seconds ran out without making a move.
The outcome was decided.
"Thank you." Qian Wenlin smiled gently.
After the first match, there was a half-hour break with refreshments and performances.
In the second round, the defeated player from the first round faced off against another competitor.
The young player took a desperate gamble, seemingly attempting to confuse his opponent with an unusual opening.
The middle-aged player with a string of jade held a mysterious smile, responding skillfully without giving any opportunities. He swiftly turned the tide of the game in just a few moves, taking complete control.
Seeing that the situation was hopeless, the young player conceded in the middle of the match.
The third-place winner was decided.
"Not bad indeed," Qian Quan remarked.
"Do you think he can win against your father?"
"Can he beat you?"
"He can't." f(r)eeweb(n)ovel
"You're quite confident."
"After the match ends, should I challenge him to a game for you to watch?"
"Sure!" Ding Linlang's eyes lit up.
Due to the quick conclusion of the second round, the final round started promptly.
The tension in the venue reached its peak.
As Qian Wenlin's match against the middle-aged man with the string of jade unfolded as Qian Quan anticipated, the first game ended in a draw after several rounds of intense struggle.
Following that, the rapid chess tiebreaker commenced. However, Qian Wenlin made a crucial mistake midway through the match, which allowed his opponent to seize the momentum and ultimately defeat him.
The first and second places were now determined.
"You nearly had me there," the middle-aged man with the string of jade smiled at Qian Wenlin. "But unfortunately, I won't make the same mistake twice."
"Congratulations," Qian Wenlin brushed off his somewhat impolite remark.
With the matches concluded, the awards ceremony followed.
The champion received a cash prize of 100,000 and a trophy, the runner-up received 50,000 and a trophy, and the third-place winner received 30,000 and a trophy.
All in cash!
It was quite thrilling, but...
As they all sat down, whose heartbeat raced the fastest? Of course, it was Qian Quan's.
Right at the moment when the leader handed the cash prize and trophy to Qian Wenlin, the system unsurprisingly provided a notification:
[Ding! The system has detected that your father has won a prize of 50,000. You are rewarded with 500,000!]
Qian Quan felt like his heart was about to jump out of his chest.
Five hundred thousand!
That's enough to cover all the tuition and living expenses for the four years of college, and he could even pursue consecutive bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.