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Writer: 日日日 (Akira)
Checkmate Prologue
Location: Garden Terrace
Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

Checkmate.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

Hah? What kind of joke is this?

It’s not funny. We’ve only just started, and you think you’ve won against me already?

You’re the one who said we should play chess because just chatting would be boring.

Don’t end it like that all on your own. What exactly do you want to do?

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

Fufu. If possible, I don’t want to do anything. It’s hard enough just taking a breath.

But anyway. I didn’t intend to upset you, so don’t misunderstand.

In chess, most of the later progressions are decided from the first move. As you move the pieces, the future becomes more and more limited. It’s like a ceremony of mathematics.

As you write down numbers and symbols, the answer becomes clear.

Your method was flawed from the beginning. There’s no way you could recover without a miracle. Our match is decided.

Wouldn’t it just be a hassle to move pieces for so long just to confirm that?

I don’t want to waste energy, honestly.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

Mm… I don’t feel like I’m losing at all, though. I just can’t accept that, so let me continue a little longer. You’re fine with that, right, Tenshouin?

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

Well, I don’t mind. Though I do think it’s a waste of time, Sena-kun.

I’m good at chess. As you know, I’ve been sickly since I was a child, so I had no choice but to play games I could do indoors.

I had no other way to kill time other than immerse myself in more introverted pastimes…

As far as tabletop games go, I went at them with the fervor of a beginner.

I have a few bad memories with chess, so I didn’t touch it for a while, though.

Chess and mathematics and music, and your specialty, ballet… most of them are all talent.

You have no choice but to play through life with the hand God dealt you.

That can’t be made up for with hard work and luck. It seems I have a moderate talent for chess.

Even before I reached ten years of age, I didn’t lose to anyone, not even adults.

A tie… Or rather, an inconclusive match with me… only Tsukinaga-kun could achieve that.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

If some ordinary guy like that could bring you to a tie, then I should be able to win against you easily. He can’t do much else besides composing.

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

Is that so? Isn’t that just want you want to believe?

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

Hmph… If you tied with him, then your talent is a fake.

Since they were up against the noble son of the Tenshouin family, didn’t the people you played against just lose on purpose to be considerate?

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

Of course, that may be true. The important thing here is, I’m also the kind of person to apply external elements to win…

Chess is supposedly all talent, but the reason I can assert that I’m undefeated is… for that reason. Do you get it, Sena-kun?

All the cards are in place. Talent, environment, connections, information…

Weighing each one of these factors, I confirmed my victory. So that’s why I said “checkmate”.

Chess is a gentleman’s game. I would rather not ungracefully dirty myself with the blood of my enemies, so I’d like you to surrender.

I would like this to end at the point of pressing a sword against your neck.

I don’t want to have to kill you. That’s not elegant, after all. But well, if you won’t accept it, then I have no choice.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

......

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

Sena-kun? At least answer me, it’s a bit lonely here… What are you looking so thoughtful for? Are you searching for a plan to overcome this difficult situation?

It’s fruitless anyway. Since our original goal was conversation, the chess was just to give our hands something to do.

If you get too engrossed, it defeats the purpose.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

Mm… I really can’t accept it, I don’t think I’m losing.

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

You’re very stubborn. Well, alright, think as much as you like…

If you’re caught up thinking about chess, then it would be more advantageous for me in negotiating. Everything turns out as desired.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

There’s no room for negotiation. There’s no choice for me but to swallow your conditions.

But that annoys me too, I wanted to at least win in chess and leave you in tears.

I’m moving the knight piece… Can you kill this one? Just like you did long ago?

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

You should already know that I can kill anyone if need be.

If you’re plotting to soften my attack by awakening a sense of guilt in me, that’s unfortunate for you.

I am the Emperor. The moment I took a seat on the throne, I forfeited my humanity.

If a ruler made every decision based on their tender feelings, their country would not last.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

Contrary to your speech, your hands haven’t moved, though?

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

...Pardon me. I only felt a bit of nostalgia. I played many times against Tsukinaga-kun, but he too always confidently moved the knight piece forward.

(Self-Righteous) Izumi Sena Full Render

It’s actually more of a mystery that he could even play chess. Did he really understand all the rules?

He doesn’t have any memory of things that don’t interest him, you know?

Eichi Tenshouin School Dialogue Render

In that sense, I went through a lot too. He would keep putting in new rules, like the knight piece could shoot a beam of destruction, for example…

To be honest, I couldn’t keep up with him.

And as a result, we could never come to a conclusion. No, it wasn’t even a match to begin with.

Rather, Tsukinaga-kun never had any intention of having a match.

Hey, Sena-kun, I really don’t understand. Everyone says it’s my fault, and I believe that’s part of the truth…

But I honestly didn’t have any intention of doing it.

I liked Tsukinaga-kun. It was fun playing with him. I was happy.

That was all it was. Hey, Sena-kun… Why did Tsukinaga-kun break?

Who was it who killed Cock Robin?[1]

  1. This was also referenced in Starlight Festival, but Who Killed Cock Robin? is a rather dark English nursery rhyme. In Monochrome Checkmate, of course, it is suggested that Leo is the robin who was killed.
Translation: royalquintet
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