Chapter 3:

How the Heck do you play Chess?!?

Club Recruit if you can't Go Home

I slammed open the door to the stairwell, skipping down a few steps towards the first floor. My feet stung a bit, but I didn’t stop running. Even though the Potions Club wasn’t chasing me, who knew whether that was actually the case. They could have another potion which erased their presence. Then, I would be really screwed.

It didn’t take long to reach the first floor. I once again slammed the door open, prepared to make a mad dash towards the exit. However, as soon as I looked into the corridor, I stopped myself.

Yeah, there’s no way I’m running through that.

Rows of students with terrified faces spanned the length of the hallway, blocking any further passage. They seemed poised to capture anyone who tried to break through, like they were under some kind of spell. It didn’t look like their minds were being controlled, only their bodies. Regardless, it wasn’t something I wanted to deal with.

However, the other options weren’t that great. The next exit was a ways off behind me, and judging by those weird sounds and screaming going on, I probably shouldn’t head that way. I didn’t even want to think about jumping out a window. There were definitely any number of clubs watching the windows for just that. Plus, both options would take even longer to escape.

I guess that leaves only one option.

I casually walked towards the student barricade. It didn’t look like the person controlling them was around. Maybe they were on a bathroom break? If I got close enough, I might be able to use all my strength to push through.

“Hey, hey, hey. Are you my next challenger?”

Should’ve known it wouldn’t be that easy. A man jumped up from behind the barricade, landing directly in front of me. It looked like one of those moves you saw on TV. Actually, a skintight jumpsuit, a cringe-worthy mask – everything he wore looked like it was from some TV character. However, his pudgy stomach and short stature made everything look so, so wrong. Even the way he talked sounded creepy, like his words were trying to tar my soul.

“Can’t you just let me pass?” I instinctively responded, trying to get this abomination out of my vision.

“If you can beat me in a game, sure.” A…game? Seriously? Ugh. Let’s just get this over with. I can knock him out once he’s distracted.

“Fine, just make it quick,” I acquiesced. However, as soon as I looked over at him, I saw his smile. An absolutely disgusting, terrifying smile.

“The contract is sealed. Let the game begin!” The students moved away from the passageway, rearranging themselves into two rows of eight and two rows of seven. It was my chance to–

Huh? Why is my body not listening to me? I was moving in the opposite direction, slotting myself into one of the rows of seven.

“Until you either win or lose the game, you cannot perform any actions outside the gameboard,” the gross man explained.

“Ugh…” Welp, I might be screwed. “What game are we playing?”

The gross man smiled once again. I wish he would stop doing that.


…huh? How the heck do you play chess?? I’m pretty sure it’s the game where you have pawns and a queen, right?

“Now, does this piece arrangement work for you?”

I have no idea! What in the world is a piece arrangement??

“Sure, I guess?” I’ll just figure out the rules as I go. It doesn’t seem like he’s going to explain anything to me. At least I’m pretty sure the starting pieces can only move one space forward.

“Then, let’s begin. H7 to H2.” A rather large looking guy with muscular legs stepped forward, kicking my piece, a rather small girl, off to the side.

“Wait a second!” I yelled. “The starting pieces can’t move more than a space forward!”

The man sighed, looking at me like I was an idiot. “Are you talking about a pawn? Well that’s because that piece isn’t a pawn. It’s a rook. You’re the one who agreed to this piece arrangement, so it’s fair game.”

“Fair game my ass! I want a restart.”

The man sighed once again. A slight grin crossed his face. “Then you’ll have to forfeit and join the Gaming Club. We’ll be happy to add you to our ranks.”


“No more complaints? Good, it’s your turn.”

“Agh, fine! You, boy in the blue sweater, move forward and take that muscle leg dude!” The boy didn’t move. In fact, he seemed even more terrified than before.

“The pieces are based on the students. That boy is only a pawn, and as such, cannot take a piece directly in front of him.”

I didn’t ask for your commentary! Stop looking at me like I’m an idiot!

“Fine then, girl to the left, take him!”

“That’s also a pawn.”

“Girl behind her!”

“That’s a knight.”

“Can any of my pieces take that guy?!?” None of my pieces moved.

…I’m screwed.

“Fine, girl to the left, just move in some direction you’re allowed to.”

I’m gonna have to find some way out of this. I clenched and unclenched my hand, gathering mana in my palm. Hmm, it seems like I can take any action as long as I don’t specifically break the movement rules of the game. That means…

I could feel a smile coming on.


Welp, seems like I’m almost dead.

The game was basically a grandmaster beating up a newbie with all of their strength. The gross man arranged his pieces in the most optimal way to destroy me. It hadn’t even been five minutes yet. I did manage to figure out what some of my pieces did, but they were thrown off the board before I had a chance to use them.

I couldn’t move myself out of danger. Every single one of my movement options was pinned. Neither of my two remaining pieces could save me. Even worse, the gross man was directly in front of me. Only a single space separated us. I didn’t want to look at him, but my body wouldn’t turn away.

“One move until checkmate. Have any last words? I’m looking forward to making you a pawn in my next game.” Ugh. Even his smug expression was vomit-inducing.

Good thing I was planning to wipe it off for him.

Remove the contract binding me to this game [Disenchant].”

“Casting a spell at a time like this? Like I told you, you can’t–”


I slammed my fist right into the side of his face. Even his skin felt gross! This wasn’t the time to ponder on that though.

I ran past the remaining students. With their movements still bound to the chess game, they were easy to maneuver around. I pushed open the front door, trying to use it to clean off my hand, and ran out onto the walkway.

The school gates were in sight.


“Agh, that hurt,” I muttered aloud as I directed the other members to line up in front of the door again. I didn’t expect someone to actually break out of a contract. What was that magic he used again? Disenchant? That was a pretty useful skill, but it didn’t seem like he could use anything else. Oh well, there were plenty of other students to induct into the Gaming Club. Although…

I pulled out my phone, calling the number on speed dial. She answered in one ring, like always.

“What do you want?” Oof. Her voice was as cold as ever. I did deserve it though.

“Hey now, I can’t just call to have a friendly chat?”

“I’m hanging up.”

“Wait, wait, wait! I’ve got some information about a student you might want to hear! One that can unlock all sorts of things!”

“...and?” Seems like I’ve piqued her interest.

“I’d be willing to hand it over for some more funds. Games can be ever so expensive.”

“You do realize we’re not responsible for managing club funds, correct?”

“But you have plenty of excess resources, do you not?”

“...and how do you know that?”

“I am an information broker. Of course I would know all sorts of things.”


“So, do we have a deal?”

“...I’m listening.”

Yimje Lee
Lucid Levia
MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon