Chapter 32:

Showdown on the lagoon

En Passant Grandmaster

Gyro anxiously paced outside the playing room. As soon as an arbiter exited, he approached them. "Is it possible to pair me up against Okisato Tanabe for the final round!?" he frantically asked.

"Well, if that's what you want, I'll allow it," Raymond's voice boomed as he approached the two. "Oh, and feel free to use your DESPER. Make it a grand spectacle. Why, I'll even arrange for you to play on the grand stage in the center of the lagoon."

"I'll hold you to those words," Gyro glared as he stormed away.


As the time for the final round drew near, Gyro confronted Mimoko. "Mr. Gunnerson, why are you blocking my path?" Mimoko asked.

"Let me just ask you, will you swear allegiance to the Ultima-master? Do so and all your friends will be safe!" Gyro desperately smiled.

"No, I refuse to- MMPH!?"

"Then you will die along with the oni-tiger," Gyro glared as he chloroformed Mimoko. He then proceeded to bound her with zip ties and gag her with a piece of tape before dragging her away as the sound of footsteps echoed behind him.

Gyro ran until he reached the central lagoon within the hotel. There, he turned to face the one that had been chasing after him.

"Let her go," Okisato glared.

"You know the only way that's going to happen, right?" Gyro sneered as he activated his DESPER.


In the playing room, Yuusuke shuddered as he sat across from Zanni. "Now, how about we play for real, oh and should you lose, you'll agree to submit to your original punishment, the old fashioned way," Zanni chuckled as he secretly activated his DESPER.

"Then if I win, you destroy that DESPER thing and never hurt people ever again," Yusuke trembled.

Zanni stared for a few seconds before bursting into laughter. "Such a simpleton," he snickered as he placed a skeletal human arm on the table.

"The hell is THAT!?"

"Oh, once a town councilor. See, I grew up in a hamlet wrought with turmoil. No one could get along and discriminated against each other for the smallest of reasons. Why, some were discriminated against just for having freckles. I, being the humanitarian that I am, sought to fix the problem. The solution I arrived at was simple; if people discriminated against each other because they are different from one another, then I should make them look all the same."

Skeletons suddenly emerged from the now watery floor eliciting a scream from Yuusuke. Yuusuke then looked around and noticed he was no longer in the playing room, but instead on a boat in a dark firefly-lit swamp. Mud-covered chainsaws and skeletal arms adorned the surrounding trees. All the other participants in the tournament found themselves on boats along with the arbiters and Raymond.

"Everyone, remain calm, you are all just spectators. Upon completion of your match, you will be allowed to leave," Raymond stated.

"People better be able to enter too," Peter glared as he read his book.

"Naturally, though I advise all of you to enjoy the scenery while you can, it will also vanish once I best the boy," Zanni chuckled.

"Y- You activated that thing!" Yuusuke cried.

"Indeed I did."

"Is everyone here-"

"Oh no, the DESPER itself prevents me from subjecting everyone else to the same punishment as you should you lose. If I was the highest-rated player here then maybe, but I believe that Professor Skaberghast mentioned it couldn't be used for mass-murder, and by my own experience I can verify his hypothesis."

"The hell!?"

"Oh, Professor Skaberghast is one of the scientists that made the DESPER. If he says that's how the device works, then it must be true."

"Why should I believe you!?"

"See for yourself."

Sure enough, some players that finished were immediately whisked towards a pair of doors. Upon reaching them, they were free to leave. The arbiter that had exited with them, then reentered the room and was taken to the results table by boat.

Zanni immediately began chuckling. "See, there is nothing to worry about, well at least for everyone but you. Now, let me continue my story. See, all humans have a skeleton, so at a town hall, I proposed everyone skin themselves to the bone, thus eliminating the need for discrimination in the town. Everyone united hand in hand against me. It was splendid, but I knew it wouldn't last. Thus, I killed everyone there and skinned them all myself. However, it was then that I discovered the delicacy that is human meat. I also found it was hard to store all the skeletons, so I decided to just save an arm. That way, I can still make everyone join together hand-in-hand as I watch over the peace conference."

Yuusuke went pale with horror. "You're f****** insane! What's wrong with you!?"

"Nothing, I simply wish for world peace and a good meal. Upon bringing my town to peace, I then became acquainted with the Desperado league. Gyro-sama showed me the power of the DESPER and it was then that inspiration struck me. By becoming an elite chess player, I could use the DESPER to bring about world peace, and be fed for life."

"Yeah, you're never hurting ANYONE again when I win!"

"My, you think you can best me? My rating is now 2043 and I will also not give you any freebies like last time. After all, you've properly ripened so your despair will only taste better."

"You creep. I'm not gonna lose! I practiced, I reviewed everything. I'm gonna beat you thanks to Inoue's help!"

Zanni began to scowl. "So she is even focused on nurturing others. Not even Hagemi was like that according to Gyro-sama. I now completely echo his sentiments, Mimoko Inoue must die."

"W- What do you-"

"Gyro-sama should be having his match around this time too. And when he beats the oni-tiger, the oni-tiger along with Mimoko Inoue will die! But first, let's have our rematch."

Yuusuke trembled, but clenched his fist. "Yeah, bring it you bird-masked creep! This time I'm gonna win!"

Mario Nakano 64
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