Chapter 44:

Striving for improvement

En Passant Grandmaster

"So let me get this straight, you're saying this guy kidnapped his sister and tried to kill himself in order to frame someone for his death?" the sergeant glared.

"Yeah, loser was so shocked when we brought in an airbag from the fire department that he blabbed," Otona grinned.

"So why is he beat up?"

"Resistin’ arrest."

"Hmm, well book him."

Kazuya’s arrest had gone surprisingly smoothly. Thanks to Okisato laying his plan bare before his father and Otona, they had been able to thwart Kazuya’s plan and even get the jump on Shion. Since Shion never anticipated Kazuya being spared, she was unable to reach her mother in time to stop his arrest, as her mother was booked with meetings for the day. Since only Governor Segawa herself had sway over the police and not Shion, Shion could do nothing. To make matters worse for her, SHE was in the hot seat due to Kazuya’s actions coming to light after Utami testified to the school on what happened to her.

As for Kazuya himself, his busted jaw prevented him from speaking, and his dominant arm had been fractured, preventing him from writing properly. He was now unable to testify in his defense or spew any lies against the chess club. All that remained now of Okisato’s grand plan was to off Kazuya with a hitman.


Back at the high school, Yuusuke shot Okisato an odd glare as he walked into class late. "The hell happened?"

"Police questioning."

"More!? Ugh, am I gonna-"

"Nope the incident is resolved, now stop whispering before Maida-sensei throws the chalk."

Yuusuke only grew more confused, but figured it was best to not pry for now as he noticed Maida staring his way.


In her homeroom, Mimoko anxiously tapped the desk as she waited for the teacher to finish his lecture.

"Mimo-chan looks real anxious. Wonder what happened," Iori thought as she whipped her phone out to send a secret text.



Mimoko, however, didn't seem to care about the altercation as her mind was consumed with needing to know how the game against Kazuya had gone.


As lunch finally arrived, Mimoko confronted Okisato to ask him for the match data.

"Match data? Whatcha talkin’ about Inoue?" Yuusuke asked.

"It might not be up yet. Maybe wait until after school-"

"I can't focus!"

Okisato let out a sigh. "Well, the match is directly logged into my WWCF card so-"


"YO! You're tellin’ him to do you here!? You're a maniac!" Iori grinned as she arrived and whipped out her phone.

"Iori-chan... Nevermind, I'll just show you," Okisato sighed as he pulled out his WWCF card.

"Huh? Just the card... lame."

"I feel like we both missed out on somethin," Yuusuke sighed.

"Um, what exactly are you talking about?" Yuzuha asked as she approached the four.

"I had a DESPER battle against the student council president," Okisato stated.

Everyone stared in shock.

"DES-PER? What-"

"That guy was a Desperado!?" Yuusuke cried.

"You sayin’ I missed out on primo content!?" Iori cried as she began shaking Okisato.

"It was better to keep it a secret. Inoue-senpai, you get the data yet?"

Mimoko remained silent as she gazed at the moves. When she was done looking, she let out a sigh and walked away. "You made so many errors I'm disgusted," she snarled.


As school got out, the chess club all gathered in their usual room as Mimoko glared at Okisato. "I played out your game in my mind, there were far better ways to win and keep Utami-chan from being killed."

"Huh? What are you talking about!?" Yuzuha nervously asked.

"I'll explain everything," Okisato sighed as he headed for the front of the class.

While Okisato began briefing everyone on the game along with informing the new members about the Desperado league and the DESPERs, Mimoko sat down next to a trembling Utami. "Are you alright? You can always head back to my place if you need to."

"N- No, I- I need to get stronger. I was weak, so he targeted me. If I was strong, I could beat him."

"Then I'll drill you extra hard tonight."

"I- I'm still rattled though. I- If you had been playing instead of Tanabe-kun, w- Would I have died when you tried to promote me."

"No, in fact, if I was in control for the whole game, you wouldn't even be faced with a scenario like that. I'd mate that bastard before he could so much as threaten you. In fact, once Tanabe-kun's done explaining things, I'll show you all the ways I could have saved you.

Tears rolled down Utami's face as she nodded her head in approval.

"...And that's everything. Any questions?" Okisato asked.

The junior members of the chess club all blinked in confusion.

"Uh, are you saying we're going to be targeted by criminals?" Yuzuha trembled.

"Yeah, even if you quit today, they'd still hunt you down, likely to get back at me and Inoue-senpai. However, if you become strong chess players, they won't be able to force you into a DESPER match."

"So we gotta have high ratings then?" Rodeo asked.

"Yes, though there are some grandmasters in their ranks, but those folks usually don't do the dirty work themselves."

"For full disclosure, I was actually attacked in a similar manner to Enoki-chan before I became supervisor of this club," Maida stated.

"You were attacked!?" Numakawa gasped.

"Yes. It was by a girl named Nyoan Nyakuoji. Intriguingly enough, she had either mutated or modified herself to have cat ears and a tail."


"Those science nerds really do get intrigued by the weirdest things," Yuusuke thought to himself.

"Now, before we begin having some pick-up matches against each other, I would like to go over the game Tanabe-kun just played," Mimoko stated as she shot an angry glare at Okisato.

"Wah, looks like she's really mad at me," Okisato thought.


"...And that is how you win in that scenario, now let's all pair up, and make sure to take the match seriously," Mimoko said as she once again shot an angry glare at Okisato.

"I'm going to have to placate her anger somehow. Hmm, maybe playing-"

"I've been itching to kick your ass since that experiment yesterday," Yuusuke snickered as he sat down across from Okisato, ruining Okisato’s plan to play against Mimoko..

"So we're doing a rated match then. Alright, I'll go all out."

The match pairings were as follows, Yuusuke vs Okisato, Iori vs Utami, Rodeo vs Yuzuha, Numakawa vs Mimoko, and the other two members, Azenira-san and Zago-san, against each other while Maida supervised and fiddled around with the WWCF card's functions.

Okisato effortlessly mated Yuusuke, leading to them having some downtime before the others finished.

“Oi, how the hell are you the same guy that just played that awful match Inoue showed us?" Yuusuke groaned.

"I wanted him to be at his highest before the fall,” Okisato nodded.

"But Utami's life was on the line! You should have been smart enough to pull off some of those quick wins!"

"But I knew what he truly wanted me to do."

"But he was relentlessly attacking Utami at every turn! One wrong move and he would have killed her without hesitation!"

"Yes, which is why I played defensively. I also needed to confirm the pawn promotion rule."

"That's bullshit! Both your reasoning and the fact that Utami would have died if her pawn was promoted."

"But there is some logic behind it. The pawn itself is removed from play and replaced by the piece it was promoted to. Though now that I know about this, we can take counter measures to ensure no hostages are ever imprisoned in pawns ever again. Or alternatively, try and convince the DESPER not to kill someone in a pawn that’s promoting, since the pawn technically isn’t captured even though it is taken off the board and replaced with the piece it promoted to. In fact, if a promoted pawn is captured, it only shows up as a pawn in the point total."

As Okisato began to contemplate things, Maida garnered everyone’s attention with an announcement. Turns out the club needed to elect a vice president, since they put off doing so last Saturday.

"I guess I'll do it," Okisato sighed.

"YOU!? No way! How about me!" Yuusuke glared.

"I- I would love to be by Mimoko-sama's side," Utami mumbled.

"If it's all power, yes. All paperwork, hell no," Iori grinned.

"An intellectual man like myself should be a leader," Numakawa proclaimed.

"Alright, hearing no other nominations we'll vote amongst those-"

"U- Um, I'm not nominating myself."

"Why, Utami-chan?" Mimoko asked.

"Because I'm unworthy of being by your side. I couldn't even beat Iori-chan just now."

"I see, in that case I'll cast my vote for Shousen-kun. He has experience."

"Huh? But I beat-"

"Well, he does have seniority, so it is logical," Numakawa sighed."




"Lol, you're gettin’ landslided, Oki-kun!"

At this point, voting was just a formality as Azenira and Zago voted for Yuusuke, sealing Okisato’s loss. By a vote of 9 to 1, with only Okisato voting for himself, Yuusuke became vice president of the chess club.

Okisato let out a depressed sigh. "Looks like I'm ostracized. How about I redeem myself by-"

"No, I think we should dismiss now," Mimoko angrily smiled.

"Ugh, I really pissed her off."

"Heh, serves ya right," Yuusuke gloated.

"I'm going to make him my chess sandbag out of spite."

Mario Nakano 64
MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon