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Hargeon - Checkmate [Alisa]

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#1Alisa Vollan 

on Tue May 30, 2017 7:42 am

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After an early morning workout and intimidation right before lunch, Alisa was on the look out for something a bit softer. The last job in particular weighed rather heavily in her thoughts, not that she regretted doing it, but rather regretted how it had to be done, and how there no doubt were many more kids like these who nobody would steer away from such a suicidal life choice. Some may even end up becoming her enemies if they learned magic, a rather unpleasant thought now that she thought about it. That said, nobody could predict the future so she found little point in dwelling on it once she returned to the Guild Hall for lunch...

"Now, let's see here...", she thought out loud afterwards, rubbing her cheek as she went over the avaliable requests. Something quiet and peaceful... That one!

Realizing what she needed, Alisa grabbed the request and swung the doors open. And was immediately greeted by gentle, albeit stronger breeze against her cheeks, sending her short white skirt fluttering around. The sky had grown cloudier too... Perhaps threatening rain? A fresh reminder how they weren't yet in the Summer, only a very warm, late Spring. But it probably wouldn't rain anytime soon. Regardless, the clouds actually came as a blessing against the scorching, early afternoon sun, turning this quest into a rather pleasant stroll to the park. Once more, the client was someone whose level of skill could no longer be challenged by mere humans... But this time, said skills weren't physical in nature, but rather, intellectual.

A game of chess, with a boy prodigy named Bart Decker.

Alisa arrived at the park, and just as she was about to start looking for her client, a childlike voice saved her the trouble, "Checkmate!!", he called out, immediately drawing the mage's piercing ruby gaze over to the boy. He sat triumphantly in front of a chess table, with an old man shamefully lowering his head.

The old man left quickly enough, no doubt figuring out he'd be better off sticking to dominos, letting you approach the victor, "Bart Decker, I presume?", she smiled and asked, adjusting her hair behind her ear. Why bother though, a guy this smart would know there was only one reason a random woman he'd never met before might approach him. Yet politeness was important, no matter who she talked to. Once the boy smiled back and nodded, Alisa continued, offering a hand, "I'm Alisa Vollan, the opponent you just hired."

"N-Nice to meet you, Alisa-san...", he greeted, rubbing his cheek and looking away with a rather visible blush. So adorable~

"Shall we get started then?", she cocked her head slightly, pulling back the chair and sitting down when she nodded.

The two of them set to work on rearranging the chess pieces left over from the previous game, Bart was predictably faster than Alisa at it. Oh how much time mustn't he spend doing exactly that? But soon enough, they were ready to start playing. The moment that happened however, something changed, a sudden, yet initially scarcely noticeable difference, a glint in his glasses accompanied by a visible smirk drawn on his lips: As cute and bashful as the kid might have seemed upon first meeting the Blue Pegasus beauty, all of that faded into an unshakable confidence - arrogance even - once he moved the first pawn:

"Your move.", he smirk, carefully watching Alisa's every motion




Words: 620

#2Alisa Vollan 

on Tue May 30, 2017 8:20 am

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She could almost see the gears turning inside that supercharged head of his, the way he casually crossed his arm as if antecipating every strategy Alisa's first move might lead into. Sure, she was smart and she knew it, but this guy was something else entirely. He followed her eyes as she examined the board, then her fingers as she moved her piece, every now and them mouthing a pondering 'hmm', and every now and then a cocky, "The predictable move..."

She showed no interest in betting money on this, no matter how hard Decker insisted in doing so.

Alisa castled rather early in the match, forming a well defended triangle at one corner, with a series of pawns covering each other in a barrier. With this she had her towers as a last line of defense, and assembled a double Rook at the first opportunity. Decker's own defense was atypical, not something Alisa saw every day though she did remember seeing her uncle using it once. He formed a straight line of pawns, with a knight supporting the otherwise unprotected one at the center.

The kid was indeed quite cocky, and nowhere near as adorable as he looked when they fist met, so much Alisa eventually took to asking him about something else, namely how long he'd been playing. Just like her, Bart had learned to play from his family, with his older brothers. A frustrated sigh escaped his lips at this mention, and when probed on it, he admitted they were much smarter than was, genious scholars just like their parents expected him to become too. But it seemed like he didn't really want to. Bart looked pretty content with just being a chess master, "It's not easy keeping up with my brothers you know...? Both of them are prodigies, among the best at what they do... No way I could ever measure up to them", he confessed, finally checking Alisa's defense with his queen.

It seemed like a bold manouver, but ultimately Alisa only had two choices: cover the king with something else, or break open her defense and capture his Queen... It looked almost too easy, but now that he'd damaged her defenses, all she could do was counter attack, taking his queen with her sole remaining bishop.

"I don't know about that, you're quite smart too.", Alisa points out, chuckling softly as the the kid took her bishop in return. He probably only scarcely realized how Alisa herself was no slouch at this game, she had played it often enough with her dad and uncle and had the necessary wits to be good.

Or so she thought, but to his credit the boy did realize his opponent actually knew what she was doing.

"You're pretty good too...", he grins and praises, a soft blush coloring his cheeks as he watches you make your move, "Most people don't last these many turns. Check.", he said, moving his knight in line with the King.

This was a pickle. A bead of sweat trailed down Alisa's forhead as she rubbed her chin with a focused look, trying to think her way out of this. If she had enough self awareness to understand the guy could check mate in two turns, he probably understood that too and had a way of shortening that down to one. She had to counter attack! If she simply moved the king around, she'd eventually run out of places to escape.

"Thank you~", she answered with that cool smile, betraying none of the effort it took to keep up with him, simply bringing in her queen and capturing her Knight before continuing their conversation, "Just because your brothers are a tough act to follow, you don't have to be exactly like them. Give it time, surely you'll find something you can do that even they can't. Even if that just means surpassing them at chess."

He all but scoffed at the comment, clearly no part of that genius mind of his ever considered such a thing to be possible. He did appreciate the thought:

"I should probably aim a bit lower than that... Checkmate!", he called out, moving his second Knight atop her Queen, right where the first one laid. It actually took Alisa a few moments to understand why, she still had at least two pieces that could at said knight... But she couldn't do so without compromising her defenses, which would prompt Bart to bring in his rook and box her unprotected King in.

"Well...", she sighed, eyes widening for a split second once she finally saw it, "That was... Good game.", she smiled and conceded, laying back in her chair and uncrossing her legs

"Likewise, good game, Alisa-san...!", his smug grin faded moments after the game was over, with a mellow smile as he gazed off into the distance, "It's hard, finding someone that can actually give me a challenge..."

"It's lonely, isn't it...?", she asked with an understanding tone, "The smarter you are, the harder it feels to relate to others...", she pointed out, to which the victor just nodded.

Which meant the only people he could relate to were those closer to his intellect... Such as his siblings. In the end it really seemed like Bart just wanted someone to talk to rather than a chess opponent, and Alisa provided. He thanked her with a good share of the money he'd won off people that day, and they went their separate ways. But as she walked back to the guild hall, the crystal mage felt her skin getting wet and reflexively looked up with an open palm.

Look at that... Guess it rained after all...


Words: 1600

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