Chapter 30:

Gyro's nightmare

En Passant Grandmaster

Gyro trembled as he sat in a chair outside the playing room.

"So you finished," Kuon growled as she approached Gyro.

"Did you lose too?"

"Yes... Damn that woman.

Gyro immediately pulled out his phone and gazed at the standings. "Damn it, if only Peter didn't have to take that bye, but it's still possible he plays either Hagemi or Mimoko. I'd prefer he played the latter. Then she would at least lose and-"

"Nah, even if she throws her last two games, she'll still come out higher rated than ya," Haruki sneered as he approached Gyro.

"And you?"

"We drew. Svetlana-tan wouldn’t shake my hand and was even willin’ to forfeit, but the officials just said to draw."

"Lovely, now you two are useless to stop her nor are you even likely to play any of the other targets. That teacher has been doing quite well for a beginner and the oni-tiger is still ahead of you both by a point despite his loss to Peter.”

"Guess I'll leave then. I already got my fill with Svetlana-tan anyway," Haruki waved as he left.

"Well, good riddance. I have no need of you anymore."


In another part of the hotel, Mimoko stopped as she was approached by an arbiter accompanied by a muscular old man.

"So you are Mimoko Inoue. A pleasure to meet you, I am Raymond Redfield, the president of the WWCF," the old man stated.

"The WWCF president!?"

"Yes, and I'm most intrigued by you. You’ve bested three grandmasters thus far and seem to be the one that caught Hagemi’s eye. I look forward to your match against her," Raymond grinned as he walked away.

“The WWCF president’s taking an interest in me? I guess I should tell the others. Though where could Tanabe-kun be? Wait… is that…”

Mimoko glared as she spotted a moping Okisato floating in a boat below her. "Why are you moping around?" she asked.

"I lost to Peter, again."

"Then let's review the games."

"I don't want to. I don't want to relive the trauma."

Mimoko then leapt over the bridge and landed in the boat next to Okisato. "We're going to review the game, yes?" she threateningly smiled.

"Someone save me," Okisato groaned as Mimoko began rowing the boat back to a dock.

“I guess while we’re rowing, I’ll inform you that the WWCF president approached me.”

Okisato immediately snapped out of his daze and gave Mimoko his full attention.

“Well that did the trick.”

“Inoue-senpai, President Redfield is a pretty ambitious guy. If you impress him, you’ll likely become the next big celebrity of the chess world.”

“I don’t mind.”

“Even though expectations will pile on you?”

“I’m doing this mainly for fun. If I can make a living off my success at chess, that’s just an added bonus.”

“I see, then best of luck against Miss Shousen. She’s now very likely to be your next opponent considering the president himself is here.”


As the pairings for the 4th round went up, Gyro shoved through the crowd to get a closer look. "Inoue... Inoue... ...!?" Gyro's face went pale as he saw Mimoko's pairing; she was up against Hagemi.

"My, seems we'll have an intriguing 4th round," a loud voice boomed.

Everyone turned to see Raymond approaching.

"YOU! Did you push for this!?" Gyro shouted.

"Hmm? Scared an even greater prodigy has come along? Well, there's nothing you can do to stop it. A new star is about to be born."

Gyro began shaking. "If she loses to Hagemi, she'll still be a threat, but at least she won't become an overnight prodigy. Yes! Hagemi's one of the top 10 players in the world. She can't beat her legitimately. If Hagemi throws-"

"Then I shall personally referee the match. If she is the real deal, like Hagemi claims, she WILL beat her at her best."

Gyro staggered into the playing room and watched as Hagemi and Mimoko sat down.

"Ah, sir, it seems your opponent had a bye so that means you get a free point," an arbiter smiled.

"Now I can't even stay in here," Gyro fumed as he left the room. He then pulled out his phone and checked the WWCF's website. "So the game is being streamed. No, NO! If she wins, there will be no stopping her. Even if she plays Peter in the final round- No, if she beats Hagemi he'll show INTEREST in her! But if she loses, it will be better than if she wins..."

"Hmm? why are you so pale? Shouldn't you be happy you get a free point?" Kuon asked as she exited the playing room.

"What happened with you?"

"Oh? I'm the one who took a bye for the round, see I just don't like playing in the 4th round. Everytime I do, I lose, so I might as well get a half point instead of nothing. Now, mind telling me why you're so pale?"

"If Mimoko Inoue can surpass Hagemi Shousen, she'll become the next big thing in the chess world. Then, that bastard Redfield will undoubtedly set in motion a gameplan to make her face the Ultima-master!"


"If she beats the Ultima-master, I- I- I couldn't bear to live in such a world!"


"Because the Ultima-master was once my adopted father."

"Hoh, the Ultima-master is actually a man?"

"He was once, but then that bastard Redfield subjected him to that experiment! Now, the Ultima-master is all that remains of him."

"And why would beating him be so bad?"

"If the Ultima-master is beaten by someone not part of the Desperado league, it will shut down."

"Hmm? Then just make the girl part of the league."

"She would refuse. Even Peter Morphy is more like a quasi-member since he refused to register with a DESPER and does nothing to protect the Ultima-master other than playing those that have the potential to best it."

“I guess I count as a quasi-member too as do some of the others. So why do you care so much about the Ultima-master?"

"I suppose that would be easier if I told you my backstory. When I was young, I had an odd habit for killing birds and adorning things with their feathers. My parents sent me to a psychiatric ward to be fixed. It was there that I began playing chess, and where I was discovered by the Ultima-master. He was impressed with my chess and adopted me to give me a better life. It was through my time with him that I discovered the joys of chess. He cared not about my odd hobby, in fact he didn't discriminate at all against a good chess player no matter how bad of a person they were. However, that damn Redfield made him participate in that experiment. I'll never forgive him for that, or for taking in Hagemi, or for trying to make Mimoko Inoue the new face of chess."

"So the President is behind this. In that case, why not have a word with Governor Segawa. I'm sure she could solve things."

"Kuon, that woman is merely a politician, not a politician that is good at chess. A person blessed by Caïssa like Mimoko Inoue can only be eliminated at the chess board with the DESPER."

"But that's exactly why she'd be so intrigued. The Caïssa's blessing talented WWCF members can receive is truly a noteworthy phenomenon."

"In that case, the Desperado league already has someone far more powerful that can deal with her on that front, though I wish we had someone better."

“Ah yes, that man. Though what will you do if Mimoko Inoue beats Hagemi?"

"If that happens, I'll eliminate her before she gets her rating."


"By making her die alongside Okisato Tanabe when I beat him," Gyro glared as he clutched his DESPER.

"I see, since she's unrated, she technically can't be protected from being subjected to the death game, but once she gets that rating-"

"Only someone higher rated than her would be able to subject her to the game. Otherwise, she could simply refuse and the DESPER would deactivate. Even forcing her to be a bargaining chip is only possible if she agrees or the one that activated the DESPER plays and is 500 points higher than her. Otherwise, she’d just be a normal spectator and the DESPER would not affect her, nor would the DESPER allow her to be part of any bets unless she agreed to them. This is my last chance, but maybe, just maybe, Hagemi will beat her, and at worst, she'll just be an elite player we'd have to worry about."

"I can see why you call your league the Desperado league. You're dead-set on salvaging things with a draw," Kuon snarled as she left.

Once alone, Kuon began to grit her teeth as she let out her frustration. “I couldn’t beat Hagemi, now some other girl is going to throw me further down the ladder!? Hagemi, don’t you dare lose. I’M your only rival.”

Mario Nakano 64
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