Hellping

They were underground…supposedly, the Revich Observation base, and most of the space was occupired by the multi-legged units and the spare parts. Thus, the soldiers were squeezed into the remaining space.

Thus, the few cafeterias in the base were used for entertainment, and there were many Processors and mechanics of the Strike Package gathered in the third cafeteria. It seemed the soldiers of the United Kingdom were already used to such environments, for one could occasionally see them bring along some distilled spirits or snacks while charging through.

So Lena quietly observed in the shadows, but one corner that caught her attention was Shin and Vika, seated opposite each other, facing a board of International Chess.

Gathered around them were Raiden, Theo, Kurena, Anju and Frederica, and on the other side were Dustin, Marcel, Shiden, Rito and others. They were either standing by the side or seated on the chairs around the board, watching the battle unfold.

Alrighty, Lena stood upright to peek at the board, and suddenly frowned.

In any case, why would the white camp on this battlefield of black and white checkerboard made of ancient wood move to such extent? The white side was being crushed, utterly overwhelmed.

Is this not too much? Lena had the urge to interrupt.

“Vika, erm, please show some mercy.”

“Queen, do you understand what you’re saying?”

“Lena, I’m winning for some reason.”

Vika frowned as he stared at the board, and continued to play with a gaudy look.

Eh, Lena looked at the board once again.

It was,

The situation at hand spoke for itself. The layout showed that Vika was white, and Shin was black. In any case, she did not expect Vika to be on the losing side..

Given his skill as a commander, Vika should be strong at chess. Not to say that the present players were weak, but he was royalty, and it should be their hobby to play chess, or at the very least, to a more skillful level than Shin, who grew up on the battlefield.

“Shin, your chess…”

“I know how to move the pieces and how to set the formation, and I do play occasionally in the 86th district to pass the time.”

It appeared Shin was not very strong either..

“I don’t know what is the starting position, but I do know how to move the pieces, more or less.”

“…Did the Prince start off with a Fool’s Mate?”

Raiden muttered. This Fool’s Mate would occur when a path for the Queen was opened, followed by a checkmate at the earliest instance.

Nevertheless, Lena had never seen anyone lose because of it.

“Why did it…”

“I guess it’s because I wasn’t interested. It’s ridiculous to assume International Chess is a hobby for royalty.”

“Then why did you still join in?…”

Hmmm. Vika pondered his next move as he answered listlessly,

“I saw Nouzen and Shuga playing…and thought it was very interesting.”

“…”

As she looked at Vika’s sidelong face.

Lena associated it with the sight of a young child for some reason.

It was similar how a child saw a group of unfamiliar kids having fun, and joined them after being coaxed into doing so..

Kurena probably thought the same as she tilted her little head and asked,

“Will you try out “Risk” next, Prince? Quite a lot of people almost did so.”

“I don’t know the rules, but if the conditions allow.”

“Ah it’s fine, we aren’t very familiar either.”

“That’s too tough compared to chess. Just to mention this, Shin can’t really play either.”

“We got too many numbers. What next? Can we take turns?”

“Ahh, I’ll be next up. How about we play something else? Any suggestions?”

“Seems like there’s a game where we pull wooden blocks out and stack them up. How about that?”

“…Vika will lose on the next turn.”

“What did you say…!?”

Vika leaned over after saying so, and elated laughter erupted from everyone.

Acquianted or not, everyone was fooling around without a care in the world, like children.

A snickering Lena said,

“Please count me in too.”

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