Kuon: "I'm ready
whenever you are, my dear lady. It is your privilege as the commander
of the white pieces to make the first move. Whatever will be your
choice for the start of this eventful match?"
Erika: "Let's see,
how about a classic opening? I move the king's pawn to e4."
Kuon: "Splendid! I
see that you indeed know the basic of this game, I'm relieved."
Erika: "It isn't
really a big deal, even beginners know that this is one of the most
solid first moves for white. Don't you agree?"
Kuon: "It most
certainly is, but precisely because of that it lacks originality.
Personally when I play as white I prefer to advance the queen's pawn
Erika: "I see,
that's certainly an interesting alternative."
If he really does that,
he must be the kind of player that doesn't prioritize castling. That
isn't exactly wrong in itself, but it is a weak point that can be
mercilessly exploited, if the opponent doesn't take great care.
Erika: "How will you
answer to this first move of mine, Kubota? Oh, forgive me, I didn't
mean to pressure you. This is just a friendly game, we aren't playing
against time or anything."
Kuon: "Do not worry,
my dear lady, I don't even need to think for something like this.
When white plays e4, I always counterattack in the same way. Pawn to
e5! As they say, you need to fight fire with fire, and so this is the
most logical step to take: a symmetrical game!"
so now our pawns are butting their heads against each other. I like
your play style, you don't shy from direct confrontations."
postponing the inevitable? My war philosophy is to always attack in
full force without any hesitations."
Erika: "Isn't that a
Kuon: "Reckless is
just a disparaging adjective made up by cowards that don't want to
take any risks. I prefer to define my tactics as daring."
Erika: "I see."
Kuon: "Don't you
agree that in order to accomplish great deeds one must take great
No... not at all."
surprising, I could swear that you were a very daring person."
Erika: "That's most
certainly the impression that I give. It's no wonder, after all I
often take steps that normal people consider leaps of faith."
Kuon: "And it isn't
Erika: "It might
look like I'm gambling and relying on luck because no one thinks that
I can foresee certain outcomes, but in truth every single risk that I
take is a calculated risk. With my logic alone I can predict even
what everyone else considers unpredictable."
certainly an exceptional talent, but are you confident that you'll be
able to use it on me?!"
Erika: "Who knows?
It'll be interesting to see if I can or not. *giggle* *giggle*"
Kuon: "Chess is
indeed a game where predicting your opponent's moves is everything! I
see, even if you're an amateur, you might still prove to be a worthy
challenger! I won't underestimate you!"
should've had this determination to begin with! Please, fight with
everything you've got!"
Kuon: "I intend to
do exactly that, my dear lady!"
I doubt you really will,
you self-conceited twerp! But it will be extremely delightful to
remind you that I had warned you.
Kuon: "It's your
turn again. Let me see your second move."
Erika: "Hmmm... I'll
let you know my choice in a moment. Before that, do you mind if I ask
you a question?"
Kuon: "Shouldn't we
concentrate on the game instead? I believe that your questions can
wait a few minutes, I promise I'll achieve a swift victory!"
Erika: "Don't tell
me that you can lose your focus so easily. We're just going to
leisurely chat while we play a game. I don't see any problem with
Kuon: "I see... your
desire to know me better cannot wait, that's understandable... Very
well, I shall satisfy your curiosity."
Erika: "Good! Like I
stated before, I think there's something fishy about you."
Kuon: "And I've
already told you that I've got no clue as to why you believe so."
Erika: "Which is why
I want to ask: how exactly are you involved with Teramoto?"
Kuon: "I have no
particular ties with her apart from the usual connection that is to
be expected from a club president and the head of the student
Erika: "I imagined
you'd say so. But there's something that I can't quite understand."
Kuon: "How can I
help you in reaching enlightenment?"
Erika: "Around two
years ago Teramoto formally requested to be given permission to use
the abandoned shed for her club activities. This is what she claimed
Erika: "However you
didn't complete the required procedures, so this permission was never
made official and the school committee was never informed."
Kuon: "Alas, I
decided to procrastinate my duties, and before I knew it, I had
completely forgotten about them."
Erika: "This is
consistent with what Teramoto said, but I think this isn't quite the
Kuon: "What makes
you think that I'm lying, my dear lady?"
Erika: "Well... the
point is that I've been informed that after that you received similar
requests from other clubs. In other words they also asked permission
to use the abandoned shed, but you refused them. How is it possible
that you didn't remember? Certainly you've been always aware that
Teramoto had already occupied that place. Why didn't you simply tell
them the truth? Why all the secrecy? Let me get straight to the
point; I don't buy the story that Teramoto did everything by the
book, and that you're the only one to blame. Rather, I think that
there was and there still is an agreement between the two of you. In
other words you're accomplices. There never was a formal request, you
both planned to keep a veil of secrecy over the whole matter since
I take one of my pieces
from the board and move it to its new position.
Erika: "Knight to
f3. It's your turn, Kubota."
He watches me with a
serious and confused look for a while. Then he smirks briefly and
bursts into a laughter.
Kuon: "Ah ha ha ha
ha! You certainly are an entertaining opponent, my dear lady! This is
only your second move, and you're already attacking my only
unprotected piece! How-ever! Attacking in chess isn't hard at all!
What's really difficult is to attack in a way that cannot be
countered! I'm afraid that you won't really go far, if this is all
that you can do!"
Erika: "Aren't you
getting a little ahead of yourself? The game has just started."
Kuon: "True enough,
and I must say that it promises to be extremely exciting! Then first
and foremost let me clarify your doubts! I had indeed forgotten about
the whole shed issue, there's absolutely no contradiction in what I
testified! It was only by a mere coincidence that I denied the
requests of those other clubs, the reason is what I've already
explained to Satsukawa-dono; I didn't want to fill all the required
modules! Plainly speaking, it would've been just a bother!"
convenient! Then why did you accept when Teramoto asked?"
Kuon: "I probably
did so without paying it any attention, which explains why I forgot
about it! But I think I somehow subconsciously remembered that I
didn't want to fill the related modules. The human mind sure is a
Erika: "Then when
exactly did you remember the rest?"
Kuon: "It all came
back to me when I was told the sad news. When I heard that many
occult symbols and tools were found there, I immediately thought of
Teramoto and her club, and I connected the dots. That's when I
remembered that she asked for my permission in the past."
Erika: "Then all of
this time you were completely clueless of what was going on there?"
Kuon: "Sadly, that's
how it is."
Erika: "What about
these girls? Didn't they know all along?"
Normal Girl: "Huh?
Oh... well... of course I've been there too... he he..."
Glamorous Girl: "I
wasn't in the student council back then, and I never talked about it
Kuon: "As you can
see, my dear lady, even if they knew, that subject never came up in
our discussions. Are you satisfied?"
Sunglasses Guy: "Well
Bleached Guy: "This
is getting pretty fun, I'm fired up!"
Kuon: "Then allow me
to show you my counter! If you attack my pawn with your knight, then
I'll simply defend it with my own! Knight to c6!"
Erika: "Not bad, but
this is merely the beginning."
Kuon: "Of course,
but in the end the handsome guy always wins!"
Erika: "I'm still
not fully convinced that you aren't Teramoto's accomplice."
Kuon: "Accomplice in
what exactly, I wonder? Are you suggesting that I was given a role in
her secret agenda? Ridiculous!"
Erika: "Then answer
this simple question. Why would Teramoto accept to cover your mistake
if there really wasn't any tie between the two of you? That's pretty
hard to believe, especially considering what had just happened.
Moreover it isn't just Teramoto, all the occultism club members
initially denied any involvement with that place. Are you seriously
saying that they did it just for you? Knight to c3."
Kuon: "Hmmm... I
didn't expect this move. I was almost certain that you were aiming
for a Ruy-Lopez, or perhaps an Italian game. Instead you opted for a
less aggressive Three Knights game, I'm a bit disappointed."
Erika: "Who said
that I would always attack with full force?"
Kuon: "Ah, certainly
there's nothing wrong with a more tactical approach, but, if you ask
me, I think this last move of yours is a bit weak."
Erika: "You think
Kuon: "Indeed. As
for the reason the occultism club members decided to accept my humble
request, there's a simple and obvious explanation."
Erika: "Obvious? The
only thing that's obvious is that you're lying, Kubota!"
Kuon: "Not at all!
You see, it's actually only natural that they couldn't say no to me."
Kuon: "After all...
I'm the handsome, intelligent and charismatic president of this fine
institution! How could they refuse to support their benevolent
leader? This is simply unthinkable! Shame on you for even asking!"
Normal Girl: "Ah ha
ha ha ha!"
Sunglasses Guy: "Whooooa!
Way to go, Boss!"
Erika: "You can't
Satsukawa: "This guy
Kuon: "As you can
see my position is rock-solid! Pawn to d6!"
Erika: "Tch... so
you choose to play dumb..."
Kuon: "Play dumb?
Ridiculous! I've no idea what you're talking about!"
exactly... Very well then, let's change subject."
Kuon: "Giving up
already? I see, you must've realized that it's pointless to throw
false accusations at me."
Erika: "I still
don't quite understand why did you decide to help Baba and Oda on the
very day of the crime. Somehow I feel there's a connection, and I
think that you specifically wanted to 'save' Baba."
Kuon: "Baba? Why
would I have a particular reason to care about him?"
Erika: "Oh, I'll get
to my point pretty soon. Meanwhile you can try and explain again what
made you go so far to prevent Nagaoka from punishing him. And while
you're at it, think about how to counter my move: bishop to c4."
Kuon: "A-ha! So you
decided to move your bishop there in the end, but it's too late! At
any rate I believe I've already explained that I was guided by my
chivalrous spirit! Wherever there's a fellow classmate in trouble, I
have the duty to offer my help!"
Erika: "In other
words Teramoto and her clique helped you just out of respect and
admiration, and you helped Oda and Baba out of pure altruism. What
kind of world do you think we live in, Kubota? Aren't you pushing
this fairy tale a little too far?"
Kuon: "It profoundly
saddens me that your cynicism prevents you from accepting the
plausibility of my words. Humans are a lot more good natured and
willing to help each others than you may think. All for one, one for
all! That's my motto!"
Erika: "I guess you
really won't yield ground on this point, but do you really understand
that you're threading in dangerous waters?"
Kuon: "Honestly, no.
I've absolutely nothing to fear as my conscience is clean. Surely
your suspicions are the fruit of a misunderstanding, and I'm
confident that all of your misgivings will be quenched in the end.
So, I think I'll answer your unconventional move with something
equally unconventional. Bishop to g4."
Erika: "So this is
your answer, it looks like you're trying hard to reduce my options.
Then I guess it's time to show my hand, I'll tell you what I'm