Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chapter 4 (k)

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 first."

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!"

Erika: "Wonderful, so now our pawns are butting their heads against each other. I like your play style, you don't shy from direct confrontations."

Kuon: "Why postponing the inevitable? My war philosophy is to always attack in full force without any hesitations."

Erika: "Isn't that a bit reckless?"

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 risks?"

Erika: "Honestly? No... not at all."

Kuon: "How 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 so?"

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."

Kuon: "That's 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!"

Erika: "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 that."

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 council."

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 herself."

Kuon: "That's correct."

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 truth."

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 the beginning."

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!"

Erika: "Quite 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 mysterious thing!"

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 ever again."

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 done, Boss!"

Bleached Guy: "This is getting pretty fun, I'm fired up!"

Erika: "..."

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 so?"

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."

Erika: "Huh?"

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 be... serious..."

Satsukawa: "This guy is unbelievable..."

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!"

Erika: "Right... 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 thinking."

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