GJ-bu v01 c02

Game Master

A certain day, after school.
Surprisingly, not many people were in the room. Kyouya was alone with Shion.
There was no one to pour tea, Kyouya sat solitarily at the round table.

“No one’s coming today, right?”

“Yes, it seems so.”
(More after the break…)

Shion was facing the computer. Only the clicking of the mouse resounded through the room.
The girl was a mysterious person, always playing some game. What she played were not mobile games, but your standard classical ones.
Actual games, that used boards and pieces.
At the computer, Shion would always play these games alone. They were meant to be played with two players, but she would plan out and move every game piece by herself.
However, not today.
On the screen of the computer, which was connected to the Internet, black and white squares were laid across.
Even Kyouya knew the name of that game. It was chess, the western version of shogi.

“Are you playing against someone?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s unusual.”

“About a month.”

Shion swiped the hair that was falling down her cheek to her back. Her long, glossy black hair looked as if it would reach all the way to the floor.
Being very intelligent, she often talked in very peculiar ways. She’d answer questions before even being asked. Because of that, it was often hard to engage in conversation with her.
Right now, she probably meant it had been a month since the last time she played against a human.

“Who are you playing against?”

Kyouya pulled a chair to her side to watch the match.

“The one I’ve been playing up till now was the pan-American chess champion.”, Shion said casually.

“What?”

After being baffled for a while, Kyouya came back to his senses. Approaching the girl just another 30 centimeters, he peeked at the screen.

“Isn’t that, like, a really amazing person?”

“Yes. He’s even more amazing now that he’s faced the British champion during the world championship and became the world’s best player.”

“The world’s best…”

Kyouya couldn’t put two sentences together.

“Even if it’s over the Internet, if that person is granting you a match… Could it be that you’re a really amazing player?”

“The one who asked for the match was him.”

“Eh?”

Looking closer at the brown tube monitor, at the opponent’s side there was a mark indicating he was the challenger.

“I had promised him.”

“That champion?”

“Yeah. A long time ago, I promised on impulse that I’d practice with him if he became world champion.”

“What?”

“I was so young too. That was when I was eight years old.”

“Ehh!?”

Kyouya involuntarily let out a loud gasp of surprise.
The match proceeded quietly. Only the clicking of the mouse could be heard.
In contrast to her opponent who would make his moves after much consideration, Shion played her turns in practically no time.
Before long, a give-up message appeared. “I surrender. Complete defeat,” it read. One could easily imagine he meant to praise to Shion with this.

“So… Er, well… Did you just beat the world champion?”

“As you can see.”

Shion spun her chair to face Kyouya, the tips of her long black hair drawing an arc in the air.

“Would you like to give it a try? He’s asking for a rematch.”

“No way! There’s no way I can go against the world champion! I don’t even know the rules to begin with!”

“I have a great book. Why don’t you take this chance to learn the rules?”

She pointed to the shelf beside her.
Along with some computer manuals a chess primer rested on the shelf.
That’s when he finally realized.

“Are you teasing me by any chance?”

“You’re cute one.”

Shion pulled her side bangs behind her ears with a light smile.
Just when had she started teasing him? From the beginning? If not, then…

05

This chapter was brought to you by BJ-Bu.
Any chapters not indicated by the sentence above has been translated by any of our Riceballicious staffs.

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