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Checkmate [Quest: Adriano, Idran]

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#1Adriano Knightingale 

Checkmate [Quest: Adriano, Idran] Empty on Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:14 pm

Adriano Knightingale
If someone were to ask him about his Monday afternoon, one of the last things Adriano would have expected to say would be watching an angry dwarf-human-thing play chess against a so-called prodigy.

Him and his "companion," Idran, had been exploring the streets of Hargeon for the past hour or so. (Of course he had to deal with getting challenged from time to time, or perhaps Idran challenging other people, but he's slowly been learning to accept that this was his fate... for the time being, at least.) It wasn't until Adriano chose to relax at one Hargeon's parks that they met Bart, a boy that claimed to be one of the greats at the game of chess. He was even confident enough to request a game, and place a wager on it.

A recipe for disaster. Adriano could practically smell it.

Unfortunately, his prediction reigned true.

Barely any time passed before Idran had taken up the boy's challenge — a child who didn't seem any older than twelve — and Adriano was stuck simply watching the two set up the chess table. He stayed silent, even when the game had begun, merely eying the movements of the pieces on the board.

"I must commend you," Bart told Idran, "You're quite brave to take up my challenge, even though I've told you about my credentials. I've gone against the very best and have always come out on top!"

In a dramatic style, he moved one of his many black chess pieces across the board. He then stole a quick glance in Adriano's direction, "What about you? Do you wish to play yourself after this match?"

The brunette blinked before shaking his head, more interested in being a spectator than actually playing this time around. Bart shrugged at the response, muttering a "suit yourself" and returning his focus to the matter at hand. Oh, Adriano knew quite well that his "companion" would lose. And when that happened, well, Bart would be in for a big surprise.

[333/1000]

#2Idran Alfius 

Checkmate [Quest: Adriano, Idran] Empty on Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:53 pm

Idran Alfius
Idran liked this boy, who exuded confidence and yet displayed no sign of arrogance. Surely this would be a challenging battle. Idran prepared himself for it, he would win this, he repeated over and over and over in his head multiple times. Idran began his turn by moving his first white pawn, Bart replied by moving his own black pawn. Thus the two began to fight on this battleground of wits. Idran and the boy moved their pieces as Idran's laugh echoed inside his own head. For a self-proclaimed genius this kid makes beginner moves he thought surely it will be no time at all before I claim my very own victory! Wait until Adriano sees my super-

"Check" the boy had muttered moving his knight in place.

Adriano froze, he knew what was to come. Frustration, fury, an inevitable temper tantrum. He slowly turned his head to face Idran, moving as if under the gaze of a predatory animal. Sure enough, Idran's face was unreadable. He was filled to the brim with a mixture of many emotions all at once.

Idran was upset. There was no possible way that this kid would have gotten check this soon. Idran recalled every move the kid had made, the slide of the bishop, the march of the rook, the jump of the knight. All while gazing on the battlefield just 10 turns old. A dreaded thought Infiltrated Idran's mind, he did not think while moving his pieces, he had been acting like a complete amateur, he turned his gaze to Adriano, the fool must be mocking Idran right now. The mere thought of that filled Idran with anger.

While Idran was having his mental fit, the child turned to Adriano. "You and your..." Bart glazed over Idran who was giving Adriano an unwarranted death stare "companion are interesting. Have you been traveling together for long? Adriano quickly shook his head no "Oh...well, still it must be nice having someone to hang around with." Bart sighed.

Idran could hear nothing, he was only focused on the board ahead of him, his anger eventually suppressed. His thoughts became clear as he toppled the child's knight with his own bishop. His family had taught him about battles like these, he would prove that he could win even against the mightiest of foes. He told himself over and over again. He was going to win this, He was going to show them both that he was a genius too. As the fire burned in his eyes, Idran couldn't help but form a menacing smile and chuckle.

430/1k

#3Adriano Knightingale 

Checkmate [Quest: Adriano, Idran] Empty on Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:18 pm

Adriano Knightingale
"Check."

Well, that was much quicker than expected. Also probably not a good thing. Still holding onto the smallest glimmer of hope, he turned to face Idran. Interestingly enough, the man's face was blank. Similar to a blank canvas, there was no color, no shapes to help Adriano distinguish just exactly what he was looking at. Perhaps this sight was more terrifying than clear frustration or anger. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it yet.

Then Indran turned to look at him.

Green met green in that same instant, but to be honest, Adriano felt that he was looking into something more reminiscent to a volcano. Something red and violent. The lava, it threatened to consume him, just like it did with everything else that dared to cross its path. However, the brunette refused to truly back away. He stayed his ground and kept his companion's (stalker's?) gaze. No longer would he dare run, no longer would he show true fear in the face of—

"You and your... companion are interesting. Have you been traveling together for long?"

Ah. Right. The match.

He shook his once again in order to answer the question. After all, the strange fellow had kept on his tail for only the past week or so. Whether that would remain the same for much longer, he wasn't sure, but he would definitely do his best to... adapt to the situation. However, what caught his attention was Bart's last comment, something that struck chord within Adriano. He could notice it, the loneliness in the boy's tone. Such a feeling was something he'd long been acquainted with.

"Do you not have anyone... ?" he asked, his voice soft yet almost raspy from misuse.

Bart was clearly surprised that he could speak, but shook it off and chose to respond anyway, "Not really. I spend most of my free time playing chess... I have to when my parents constantly expect the best from me."

Confused, Adriano tilted his head. He even ignored Idran's frightening smile and watched as Bart moved another piece on the board, close to beating Idran for the second time.

"Everyone expects me to stay the best because I'm already the best, but it's hard work. I don't have much time to explore other hobbies, or make many friends," the young prodigy said, taking Adriano's silence as a go ahead to keep speaking, "At times, all these expectations are so suffocating... Check."

[740/1000]

#4Idran Alfius 

Checkmate [Quest: Adriano, Idran] Empty on Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:47 pm

Idran Alfius
"Do you not have anyone... ?"

It clicked. Not even minutes after he gained his determination back, Idran's mouth lay agape, completely shocked by Adriano's first words. He could talk? Adriano could talk. He could talk?! why was Adriano's first words in front of Idran not to Idran?!?!? How much disrespect did the boy have for him to never talk to him but to talk to this mere child? Idran's mind was reeling and his anger uncanny, before he could let out even a growl he was interrupted by the last thing he wanted to hear

"Check."

The following sounds could only be described as dumbfounded berserker sounds. In fact to a scholar of history, what Idran just said could have been described as an ancient language even older than the Abyssan Language, but to an average citizen it was clear that Idran's brain was a mess right now, first, he had to win against a child so skilled at chess his grandfather Alberius was sure to lose. Second Adriano had spoken! Idran had been traveling with Adriano for a whole week and not once had he muttered a single word. Now he was in danger of checkmate again!

Idran moved piece after piece struggling to gain control of the board. He was still in this! The fire burned in his eyes, he would not lose this battle. The battlefield turned into a war of attrition, each side losing more and more pieces, but it slowly became more clear after each move that the battlefield was in Bart's favor. Idran looked up at his opponent, fire burning brightly in his eyes. Yet, when Idran peered into the eyes of Bart, he saw the eyes of someone much older than Bart. Idran's fire dimmed. He knew those eyes, those were eyes filled with loneliness and forced maturity.

"See my brothers are prodigies. My eldest brother is a master in magic, he's soon to be a brand new Rune Knight" Bart leaned his face on his hand "My other brother is a master in the fine arts, he just sold his other painting for at least 300 thousand jewels. Now everyone is expecting me to be a prodigy. I can't fail them."

Idran could understand what the kid was going through, he too was forced into a situation where he couldn't afford to fail. Idran sighed. He was overreacting again, he always does that. He could practically hear his mother scolding him for overreacting. At least I didn't actually blow up this time he thought to himself moving his next chess piece. Idran took a large sigh.

"Hey kid." Idran said rather gently as Bart met his gaze when the eyes connected Bart recognized Idran's eyes the same way Idran recognized his. Idran smiled "It'll be fine, you're gonna do great."

Bart smiled back "Yeah...I hope"

"Check." Idran noticed a look of surprise from both Adriano and Bart suddenly returning to his normal explosive behavior "What??? I'm good at chess! Don't think so little of me!!!!"

Bart laughed, not just an ordinary chuckle, but a genuine hearty infectious laugh, one that Adriano began to share. Idran, however, was not keen to laugh at himself. "HEY!! WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?!?! YOU BETTER TAKE ME SERIOUSLY OR YOU WILL REGRET IT!!! WHAT IS SO GOD DAMN FUNNY?!"

Bart, in between laughs, managed to tell the angry adventurer "Ch-checkmate"

Idran began to make angry barbarian noises.

1017/1k

#5Adriano Knightingale 

Checkmate [Quest: Adriano, Idran] Empty on Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:10 pm

Adriano Knightingale
The noises coming from his peculiar, white-haired companion worried Adriano to an extent. However, he also knew that it was simply another tantrum, especially when Bart was another step closer to possibly securing victory. Then again, Idran was actually taking this whole a lot better than originally expected. There was a level decency still there, considering none of the chess pieces were broken, or the board itself shattered... Or perhaps Adriano was not giving the man enough credit.

His attention was stolen by the young prodigy once again though, as he continued speaking about different predicaments in his personal life. Sibling rivalries were something Adriano simply couldn't relate to, considering he was an only child in a way. The most on his plate was being drowned in a sea of isolation, nothing more and nothing less.

Long story short, he was temporarily at a loss for words, not quite sure on how to comfort the boy sitting before him. Thankfully, Idran was a person simply full of surprises.

"Hey kid. It'll be fine, you're gonna do great."

That was not something he expected to come out of the white-haired man's mouth. His emerald eyes widened by a fraction, and only continued to grow once his "companion" said check only a few moments afterwards. Him? Good at chess? Then why did he lose in the very first challenge they had against one another? The brunette couldn't force back his amusement, and a chuckle quickly managed to slip past his lips, only being reinforced with Bart's own laughter.

Wait. Bart said checkmate anyway.

So they were back to square one.

While Idran went to being the angry little person he was, Adriano placed his attention onto the winner, smiling at how the boy seemed more at ease than before.

"You have an incredible gift," he mused, causing Bart to look at him with confusion, "Just make sure you find balance in your life... don't let your parents or brothers rule over you—intentional or unintentional." He had to quickly slip in the last statement, noticing that Bart was ready to protest, "Harness your talent. But... don't put it above your own happiness, for anyone. Don't destroy yourself."

Adriano wasn't sure if those were the right words to say, but they at least seemed to have some kind of (hopefully positive) effect. Bart smiled and glanced between the two of them, a gentle brunette and a violent, but kind gnome man.

"Thank you. Both of you," he eventually said, his eyes shining with gratitude, "Here, I'll give you the money from our wager anyway. Twenty-five thousand jewels each." He merely grinned when Adriano chose to stare at him, question marks practically floating around his head. "I didn't actually care for another challenge. At the end of the day, I was just lonely and wanted someone to talk to. You two though... you two did more than just that. Thank you so much."

A feeling of happiness surged through Adriano's system in that moment as he accepted the reward, his smile wide and bright.

Maybe this Monday afternoon wasn't that bad at all.

[1259/1000]

End.

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