Chapter 48:

Caïssa's blessing

En Passant Grandmaster

"Why did I get slapped again?" Okisato sighed as the train began moving again.

"Because I correctly deduced that your sister ended up like that ultimately because of you, and that you had some nefarious plan occuring in the background," Mimoko glared.

"It was technically on her. I told her to have Kazuya killed as soon as possible, but she said that since she was the only one from our gang in that prison, she couldn't just jeopardize her position. Thus, Tsar Grigori was able to bust him out and murder the rest of the station."

"Wait, what do you mean!?"

"Tsar Grigori set Svetlana loose and Nee-san was the only survivor. Honestly, if Nee-san didn't have such a thick skull, it would have been smashed to bits by Svetlana's sledgehammer."

"A sledgehammer!?"

"Yes, it's her main weapon of choice. As for Tsar Grigori, he took over Russia thanks to winning a DESPER match."

"He has a DESPER!?"

"No, he's not registered with one, but Svetlana is and he controls Svetlana. Thus, whenever he himself plays a DESPER match, Svetlana's is always the DESPER that activates. The worst part is that Tsar Grigori rivals me in both physical prowess and chess. In addition to his high normal rating of 2818, he's also the number 1 chess boxer in the world."

"How could someone as horrible as him be number one!?"

"Remember, ANYONE can be good at chess, and the WWCF does jointly manage chess boxing with the worldwide boxing association. Though honestly, the only reason Nee-san survived is because you were here."


"Yes, had I been alone, he likely would have killed everyone else aside from me and Peter, but since you were here and became a witness, he won't lay a hand on Nee-san anymore."

"Why's that?"

"Because if he hurt you, Peter would destroy him. You saw how he only seemed to care about the situation once you showed up."

"Wait, then would you have been killed too!?"

"Oh no. I guess it's time I tell you about something important. Pull out your WWCF card and go to the badge tab."

Mimoko nodded and did as she was told.

"Oh good. Just like I thought, you had Caïssa's blessing."

"Caïssa? She's the goddess of chess, right?"

"Yeah, and that badge affirms you have her blessing, meaning you won't die from unnatural causes outside a chess match nor will you suffer life-threatening injuries that prevent you from playing chess ever again. The big exception though is if you lose in a DESPER match. That's essentially the only way to kill a good chess player before they die of old age."

"How is that possible?"

"I don't know. Maybe Caïssa herself is doing the protecting. It's possible that's why she made the WWCF cards and the DESPERs."

"Caïssa made those!?"

"Well, I guess more like she had a hand in them I guess. Sorry, I don't know. But I do know that the only way to get Caïssa's blessing is to become a talented chess player. Usually it means getting a rating of over 2000, and once you receive the blessing, you have it for life."

"So then was the DESPER made to counter that?"

"Most likely."

Mimoko let out a sigh as she digested all the information. "Very well, you may join us again, but don't drag us into your problems or schemes. Though you're still unforgiven for what you did to Utami-chan."

"In retrospect, I think you'll thank me for training her. Especially now that Kazuya is loose again."

Mimoko went silent as she realized what that meant; Utami would likely be targeted by Kazuya again in the future.

"Inoue-senpai, did you see the match data from when Utami-chan first challenged me?"

"N- No."

"Then see it for yourself. I also recorded all the analysis of the attempts it took for her to finally win from the position she was in on her 10th move. I'll send it to you now since it's a good time."

Mimoko's eyes widened as she analyzed the data. "She blundered that badly- WAIT! There are so many attempts! Why didn't you just teach her the way to get out of that scenario instead of tormenting her!?"

"Because that's how I was taught."

"How you were taught?"

"Yes. I found I had a natural talent for chess ever since my mother introduced me to the game. Then once I became known, I eventually found myself against an eccentric madman. He mercilessly destroyed me, yet instead of just leaving things there, he decided I had potential and began training me up to become a worthy rival."

"So is that where you got your-"

"Reckless playstyle? Some of it. The other half was all me, which is why he took an interest in me in the first place."


"Likely to liven things up. At the top levels, chess essentially becomes a standard code which usually results in either a draw, or one side having a slight advantage at the end and winning. Think of it like two supercomputers playing each other. Naturally, when you crack the code there, you seek more variety to make things more interesting. Odds matches and deliberately making bad moves are some ways a player themself can make things interesting. However, it was through that that my teacher discovered something; the best human chess players can't just be geniuses, they must be insane geniuses. That is why he trained me, so that I could one day become a worthy rival."

"And who is this teacher?"

"You'll find out when you do," Okisato chuckled as a slight grin formed on Peter's face.

"Well, then I hope you do achieve that. Now come on back. We should all disembark together as a team," Mimoko smiled.

"Yeah," Okisato nodded as he followed Mimoko.

Mario Nakano 64
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