Chapter 82 - The Young Boy
‘That’s right!’ I then thought of a way to forget about the pain my father told me when I was crying after being scolded by my mother. That’s right. Maybe he will stop crying with this method.
“You know what, I’ll tell you how to forget the pain when your heart hurts.”
He looked at me doubtfully but said nothing. I then grabbed his hand and said to him, “Among everything I did, chess was the only thing that made me forget about everything else! I happen to have a chessboard here. My father left it with me. So… let’s play together.”
He looked at me with a look that was hard to tell how he was feeling. Then he answered in a low voice, “…Okay.”
I was so excited by his answer that I grabbed his hand and dragged him. Even when he was being dragged, he had an awkward look on his face as tears kept falling from his eyes.
Then I began explaining about chess pieces in front of the chessboard, “So, this is a pawn. It’s a basic soldier, but rank- I mean, if it reaches the other end of the chessboard, it will be promoted to anything except the king. Doesn’t it sound like the infinite potential of a person?”
“I see. So even a pawn isn’t worthless,” said the boy. He now had stopped crying and was listening to my explanation carefully.
I smiled and continued, “This is a knight, and it moves in a terrifying way. It can jump over the other pieces like this. Doesn’t it look as cool as a real knight?”
“…No. Knights aren’t cool.”
Huh? You have extraordinary taste. All boys around my age like knights.
“And this is a bishop. Just like real priests are an important basis to people’s minds, it works the same way in chess. Bishops move diagonally, so it’s good at taking on enemy bases. And this is a rook. It’s like a castle too. A castle works as a powerful weapon when you’re defending. That’s why it can launch a powerful attack directly. It’s the most important piece after the queen.”
He seemed astonished by my explanation. It felt great to teach him. Then I pointed at the queen and king pieces on the chessboard.
“This is the queen and king. The queen is the best tactician that protects the king. It is the most powerful piece. What’s interesting is that in chess the king’s job is to be protected by the queen or other pieces. But it’s also the most important piece. You lose in chess when you lose the king. Isn’t it almost like a kingdom?” I asked.
“Yeah,” the boy replied.
“That’s right. This is like a miniature war. There’s a rumor that chess was created by a queen for her king, who loved war so much. That king is said to only play chess after that. Maybe she wanted to increase the importance of the queen within the chessboard to show her love to him. To her husband, who stupidly only loved war. Maybe she wanted him to be reminded of her inside the game.”
“But that’s not what I want to say. I’m saying that chess is so much fun that it even made war-loving kings fall in love with it! I’m saying that chess can blow your sadness away too!”
At my smile, he also laughed. Then I explained how to play chess, its rules, and a few tactics slowly, “Okay, let’s do the real thing then. You play black.”
As we played, he was completely into chess, thinking seriously about my attack. I laughed at him tapping on his desk, becoming nervous from my offensive moves. It seemed he had completely forgotten about his sadness. Then it was checkmate.
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