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Checkmate [Quest|Evangeline]

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Checkmate [Quest|Evangeline] Empty Tue May 30, 2017 3:49 am

Evangeline already went through a couple of challenges in Hargeon. But this one that she now had on her hand was a lot more peculiar than the other two. The request came from a young boy –probably not more than thirteen, who was looking for people to challenge him in a game of chess. Evangeline wasn’t a stranger to the game but it was still strange that someone would make a whole quest out of it and bet a good sum of money, too. But as strange as it was, Eva was fine with the boy’s demands. She wouldn’t have to run around under the hot weather or strain herself. All she had to do was sit around and play a game. How difficult could that get?

And that’s how Eva found herself at the city park in Hargeon with a small boy sitting across her. Bart looked as smart as he seemed in the request. Neatly combed black hair and dull yellow eyes covered with large, black framed specs. If it wasn’t for the arrogant smile on his lips, Eva actually would have liked the kid a little more. Between them stood a white, thin table with a chess board placed on it. Bart started arranging the piece carefully as Eva followed, having taken the black pieces for herself.

Looking around, she noticed that there weren’t that many people in the park that day save for some families and couples here and there. Other tables were empty too, although she did spot two grandpas playing something else a bit away from them. When she heard that Bart was famous for his games and bets, she guessed that there would be some others watching the game –at least his friends. But except for the two of them, no one was playing.

“What are you looking around for?” the small but authoritative voice brought Eva’s attention back to the boy. “You won’t find anyone else around. I have beaten them all anyway…a bunch of incompetent fools,” Bart snickered but something strange flickered in his eyes for a split second that Eva quickly caught on. “I see,” Eva said, knowingly. She could just guess what the young boy was going through.

At this point, the game began with Bart moving the knight to the right side of the board. Eva followed with a pawn placed two columns ahead. Five minutes into the game, Bart had his eyebrows knit in deep thinking while Eva sat back, almost leisurely with her eyes wandering around the park. She lost two of her pawns but at that moment, she was winning.

“I can’t believe it. I didn’t think I would ever find someone that could challenge me,” he breathed, his eyes now lit up with the thrill of being challenged. “I have been doing this since I could remember,” he began, placing one of his pawns opposite to the black bishop on Eva’s side of the board. “But everyone that I played against either gave up from the beginning or challenged me until they lost everything”. Eva’s eyes slowly lifted up to meet his. “They keep telling me how lucky I am to be blessed with a good brain and everything…but none of them even understands me,” he continued when Eva cast a small smile on him. “I mean it’s not easy being me! They don’t even understand what I go through. When everyone my age gets to play in the park and be carefree, I have to stay home and study. My mom wishes me to get into the best university and she already has the least expectations for me compared to my two prodigal older brothers,” Bart sighed. What appeared to be the most self-controlled boy was starting to unwind himself to become the small child that he was right in front of Eva.

Eva could easily empathize with him. She was raised in a world where she knew happiness the least. She was left by herself when her father and his new wife raised their child with utmost care and love, something that Eva looked on but never got. At first, she thought it was because she had some kind of defect, too. In those days, she would be the most obedient child, she studied hard, and brought great results. But a few years later, she realized that no matter what she would do, her father would never look at her nor even care.

“Why don’t you stop?” she whispered. Bart snapped his eyes back on her with a shocked look as if Eva just spoke a taboo. “What? How can I? I’m going to be the best. My mom is going to be happier with me and one day, I’ll become much better than my brothers. Why should I stop?” he argued, not wanting to let go of the false dream he was living in. “And how does that help you? You can be the best son in your mother’s eyes or you can be yourself and do what you like to do,” Eva replied with no smile accompanying her words this time. However, her eyes looked sharp and she wanted to convey her feelings to him seriously. “You can’t please everyone forever, and even if you do, you’ll find yourself losing yourself fast. People will only have more expectations and when you can’t reach them, they will let you go. That’s just how the world is,” Eva shrugged.

Bart suddenly looked like he attained enlightenment when he energetically placed his queen down beside Eva’s king. “Checkmate!” he declared with the loudest voice he ever managed in his life. “Being myself…doing what I like…you’re right. I knew that I wanted to break free from this tiring life…but everyone I met only saw the better picture and just told me to try harder. No one ever told me to stop. You’re different, Miss Evangeline,” Bart laughed as he stood up. “Thanks a lot for the wonderful game! Please keep the reward!” he beamed at her with the money in his hands that Eva gladly took with a genuine smile and light shrug of her shoulders.


Checkmate [Quest|Evangeline] R1pERCr

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