Chapter 84 - The Chess Game
“This is called a ‘discovered attack.’ If you move the bishop here, a rook that was shadowed behind can catch the enemy’s queen. The building that was blocking it from moving made it allowed to attack.”
“And this is called ‘castling.’ The rook and the king change places. The king moves while the rook moves to the king’s position to protect it. For the castle to work, there shouldn’t be any pieces between the two, and the king can’t be threatened. That’s the only way they can switch places,” I explained.
“I see. So, the rook sacrifices himself to protect the king? Well, I suppose that makes sense since the fortress is there to buy time for the king to escape,” said the boy.
“Maybe you could say that. Anyway, you see that the knight is threatening the king and the rook at the same time. This is called a ‘fork.’ The knight is a piece you can employ very often. That’s why I like the knight.”
“You like knights?” He suddenly frowned as he asked.
I think I nodded as I replied, “Yeah. I like knights. Tactics using the knight’s movements are so fun!”
“Knights… I like the queen. It’s the strongest.”
I smiled at him. Then, I taught him the most important thing about chess. “You know what? In chess, every piece no matter how strong or weak they are, help each other. The weak pawn can protect the queen, and sometimes you have to sacrifice the strongest queen for an important tactic.”
“I understand. So, even if the piece is very important, its priority can be changed for the king.”
I was proud of the boy who seemed to have understood chess now. Then, I added, “As I said before, the weak pawn can become the queen. Although the pawn can only move forward, it can also become the strongest piece just by doing that. Isn’t that wonderful?
“Yeah,” answered the boy.
“So, if you move forward once, you just need to move forward like a pawn even if it’s difficult.”
“Yeah,” replied the boy.
I looked at the boy who answered me wholeheartedly. He seemed a bit touched while I felt sad. Although it was my guess, that boy must have been a servant or a relative to the royal family. Most likely, he was a child from a house of a duke or the grand duke as he was able to say at the palace at will. But he was most likely a servant. A boy crying within the palace? Well, that settles it, right?
At the time, I even thought about running away from the palace with the boy. He looked so fragile that it didn’t seem weird if he were to break at any moment. But even then, he didn’t try to depend on anyone. I wanted to protect him.
“Thank you, Rina.”
“Huh? Marin, what are you doing here?”
From behind, I heard a voice calling me while I was thinking about the past. It was Rian. Huh? But something’s weird. I felt déjà vu. It felt familiar. Rian, the cousin of the Crown Prince, must have visited the palace often as well.
“Oh, I was thinking about something. I have a lot of memories of this place.”
“Really? Me too,” said Rian.
I felt my heart come to a stop. Then, I felt like I couldn’t hear anything now. My eyes and ears were on Rian. “What?” My voice trembled as I asked back. Do you have a lot of memories here too? Wait… Are you…
“Oh, yeah. I used to hang around here a lot with His Highness when I was younger. It was when the Empress was still alive,” answered Rian.
You are required to login first