A Game of Chess (2)
Guys, some of you have asked me for a character information page. I left the link in the table of contents…
For a few minutes, only the sound of both of us moving the chess pieces could be heard.
Neither Safelia nor I spoke. We simply looked at the chessboard while calmly moving our pieces.
I must admit, though, that Safelia was a great chess player.
Even after almost thirty turns, there did not seem to be a clear winner. Each one of us had eight remaining pieces on the board. I had the king, a rook, a knight, and a bishop plus four pawns. Safelia, on the other hand, has her king, two rooks and a bishop plus four pawns.
Both of us were making our moves very quickly. To be more exact, we used exactly one second for each move.
“… You are pretty good, Prince Claus.” Safelia praised while moving a pawn a step forward. “Not many people of your age are as proficient in chess as you.”
“You are not bad, either.” I praised her back. “Just a little worse than me.”
Safelia smile stiffened. She did not know how to reply to that.
“… How funny.” She twitched her lips and shook her head while I made my next move.
Safelia then grabbed another of her chess pieces, a rook, and moved it to eat a pawn. I clicked my tongue in mock disappointment before moving my bishop.
“You see, prince Claus, I think life is like chess.”
“Oh? Is it so?”
“Of course.” Safelia nodded softly while making her next movement. “A good chess player just needs to keep his pieces and the enemy pieces in mind, then he must move his pieces accordingly, predicting the enemy’s movements and slowly cornering him.”
“A good analogy.” I nodded. “Unfortunately, the real world is not so simple. Sometimes, the pieces you have are not enough to defeat the enemy.”
“Do you think so, Prince?” Safelia looked into my eyes. “I, on the other hand, think that even a well-used pawn can destroy a fortress.” Just at that moment, one of her pawns ate my rook.
I sighed exaggeratedly. “Amazing, I did not see that coming.”
I then moved my bishop to eat her pawn.
Safelia continued. “You see, prince. Nobody in the empire has more chess pieces than the church. Our chess pieces are in every place, the army, the palace, the nobles, the commoners. Nobody has more chess pieces that us.”
“Wow, incredible.” I whistled in surprise. Safelia frowned briefly hearing my sarcasm, but in the end, she decided to ignore it.
“Think about it, Prince Claus. As the church, we can easily make a chess piece the king, no, the emperor.”
I looked deeply at Safelia. This girl sure is daring to talk with me about this topic.
“I thought the church was forbidden to participate in politics.” I said.
“Well, rules are made to be broken.” Safelia calmly replied.
I nodded and looked at the board. After one second, I lifted my knight and moved it forward.
“… You see, I can’t help but find it a little bit suspicious now. Why does the church go so far for just a girl?”
As soon as I spoke, my mana surged into the surroundings, filling the room with monstrous killing intent.
Safelia’s body shook briefly. She looked at me in surprise and fear, but an instant later, a foreign power surged inside her and eased my pressure.
My eyes narrowed. A God’s Blessing, huh.
With the help of the Goddess of Order’s power, Safelia managed to regain her calm. She took a deep breath and looked at me with a wary look.
Then, she spoke.
“Prince Claus, you simply don’t understand the importance of the holy daughter for our church. In the church’s history, only two holy daughters have appeared, and each one of them managed to make the church at least twice as strong as it was before they appeared. In other words, the holy daughter is a sign of the growth of the church. Currently, we are the greatest religion in the empire, but with Clara’s help, we can become the greatest religion in the world!” Safelia’s tone sounded almost fanatical.
I narrowed my eyes. “Then, what is your proposal?”
Safelia looked at me and smiled. “It’s simple, rescind the engagement and break the holy daughter’s heart. Currently, she loves you with all her heart, so you need to make that love disappear so she can become in the perfect holy daughter, completely dedicated to the church.” Safelia then moved one of her pawns. It was just one step away from turning into a queen. “If you do it, we will make sure of making you the next emperor. By then, power, revenge, women, everything will be at the tip of your fingers.”
I looked at Safelia for a few seconds before chuckling. “Great proposal. Unfortunately, you are wrong about something.”
I smiled softly and moved my knight again. In my next move, it could kill her king.
“Power, women, revenge. I don’t need your help to get them. Besides, I will not sell the woman I love for something like that. Check, miss Safelia.”
Safelia’s expression turned cold. “Are you sure this is your answer, prince Claus?”
“I’m sure.” I nodded.
Safelia snorted. “Fool.” She then looked at the board and instinctively lifted the king. But when she was about to move it, she noticed the placement of the other pieces on the chessboard.
Currently, one of her rooks and a pawn were blocking two of her king’s possible moves. As for the other two, they were in the path of my bishop.
“Checkmate.” I smiled.
Safelia was surprised. She looked at each one of her pieces and realized that unknowingly, she had fallen into my trap.
I stood up with a smirk in my face. “It was a great game, miss Safelia. Unfortunately, you are still a few levels below me.”
“Fifteen turns ago. By then, the game was already mine. It’s just that you didn’t notice until now. About your proposal, thanks but not.”
Safelia looked at me deeply. “Are you sure about this, prince?”
“Of course I am.”
Safelia nodded. “I see. To be honest, I admire your determination. However, I hope you don’t regret today’s decision later.”
“Don’t worry, I will not.”
With those words, I left.
Safelia stared at the prince’s back with a pensive expression.
When he was finally gone, she heaved a sigh.
“… Saintess, do you need something?” A man suddenly appeared behind Safelia and asked.
Safelia thought for a moment and nodded. “Find a way to make things difficult for the prince.”
“… Do I need to kill him?”
Safelia shook her head. “No, it’s not a good idea to kill a prince… Simply find a way to show him the church’s strength. If that doesn’t work, I will think about another method.”
The man behind Safelia nodded.
Current schedule: 10 Chapters/week