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9. The Aged Demon Lord And The Young Blue Silver Sorceress
Using a white bishop to defeat a black rook.
「Has the game, been decided……?」
Aur confirmed because of Wikia's dubious behaviour.
「Ooh. Four moves from here and it is a checkmate. You already won this round」
Even after hearing Aur say that, it still hasn't really hit home.
Well the move taken was certainly the one Wikia was contemplating, but the idea of her claiming victory over Aur in chess is something outside of her realm of reality.
「Did you go easy on me?」
「Why would I do that. It is genuinely, your win」
Looking at Aur smiling while packing up the chess pieces with a hint of dissatisfaction on his face, reality finally began to dawn on Wikia that she had actually came out victorious.
「I didn't think I could win」
Those words that unintentionally leaked out of her mouth, were her true feelings.
「It's really not a big deal. After all it is only a game that is played on the table. In a one on one match, we have the exact same amount of pieces, and can both see each other's movements. It is difficult to utilize different kinds of unconventional clever scheme. In such a condition, I guess you could say you are more proficient than me」
And for that reason you command the opponent, says Aur.
When she was called to serve as his chess game opponent, Wikia thought "what was he planning to do this time", so in two ways she was in for a surprise
「And if you still won't believe me then…… let's see. I will give you a single reward」
「What kind of reward」
And so Wikia prepared herself, thinking it will be just another lewd act.
Her mind and body already belong to Aur. She cannot turn him down if Aur invites her, and it's not like she particularly dislikes it. On the contrary when he sleeps with her, he usually treats her gentler than usual so honestly she is not worried.
But for him to call that a reward, She still retained a little self-will enough to put up a brave front that she is not at all happy about it.
「You can name anything. Although i will be troubled if you asked for my life, anything aside from what I mentioned…… for instance, if you say something like you would like to return to the surface and that I should remove my spell, that too is fine」
And so, Wikia was immensely left dumbfounded by Aur's words.
「Naturally in such a case, I will have to erase your memory regarding this labyrinth」
Upon hearing the unexpected proposal, Wikia's head was in a serious state of confusion.
She also won't be able to distinguish whether Aur was indeed being serious even if she stared right into his eyes, his usual dead serious facial expression will only stare right back.
「It's okay if you cannot decide right now. You can come after you've considered it thoroughly」
Aur said that as if he had seen through Wikia's troubled mind.
By the time she came to realization, Wikia was already lying flat on her own bed.
Aur's unexpected words keep replaying in her head.
She was pondering what could be the true motive behind those words.
After all the trouble of conjuring complex plots to acquire and make Wikia his own, is he really just about to let her go that easily. This has traps and schemes written all over it.
……so she thinks but on the other hand, the calm and rational Wikia thinks, that it is highly unlikely.
Wika already told Aur her True Name, even her body has already been engraved with his seal. Her body, her heart, even her soul can be said to belong to Aur. Only free will is left intact but, even that if he so desires it is something that he can take away in the blink of an eye.
If he wants to make Wikia do something, he doesn't need to resort to any kind of scheme but only to order it done.
So then, what could be the reason.
Could he really just genuinely intend to let me go like he said.
No, something like that doesn't just happen. And so her thought springs back to the beginning. And just like that kept going around in a loop of thoughts.
「Is there something bothering you?」
As Wikia raised her head at the sound of the pleasant voice like that of a jingling bell, blue gla.s.sy eyes was staring at her. The one staring at Wikia with an adorable looks distorted from anxiety is Sharl, a former comrade, and now just a colleague.
She suddenly realized, even if she indeed got set free, what is going to happen to the other girls.
As the thought suddenly occurred to her, the fact that till now she never considered, the thought surprised Wikia herself.
Even though when they first got caught, the only thing running through her mind was how to make her comrades escape.
「……Sharl. It seems, there is a probability that I might be set free」
Sharl blinks her huge eyes incessantly.
「That it is okay if I would like to return to the surface」
And the way Aur phrased it, doesn't that mean that he would also release Sharl and Nadja along together.
To the words Wikia said with such light feelings, tears began to drop out of Sharl's eyes.
「Do-, do yo……do you, mean, that, you, you are……! No, longer, needed! 」
The tears quickly became large drops, Sharl cried out those words while sobbing convulsively.
「Ehh, no, I don't think that is the case. This is purely a choice of, whether or not I would like to leave」
Wikia became fl.u.s.tered at Sharl's unexpected reaction and quickly pacified her.
But, Sharl's tears wouldn't stop.
「But saying it is okay to leave! Wouldn't that mean that Lord Aur couldn't care less even if you are gone! 」
Wikia's body wavered reflexively in shock, as if she was just hit by a hammer.
She was feeling shock, at the fact that she was just shocked.
「Does Sharl……want Aur to make her feel needed?」
「Of course, that, goes without saying」
Sharl responded, while wiping her tears with her cloth sleeves.
「……It should be alright」
Wikia said, while gently patting her head.
「I am the only one he told that. There is no way he is about to just let go of Sharl right」
「do you, think so……」
Sharl was somehow able to regain her composure, while still heaving with sobs.
Wikia was having mixed feelings, even as she nods while smiling.
If he is really going to just release her without any ulterior motive, then doesn't that mean she is no longer of use.
She doesn't want to admit that being the case.
The true conclusion her uneven thought process went around in circles to try and conceal, was finally laid bare before her
She wasn't as disturbed as much as Sharl, but it was quite an impressionable fact.
「Is Wikia…… going to leave this place?」
Sharl asked the question, while wiping the tears glittering in the corner of her eyes with her finger.
She replied, not as an affirmation but indicating it is still in deliberation.
「Sharl, will you a.s.sist me in deciding?」
Sharl tilted her neck to Wikia's words.
「I have decided」
Several days later, Wikia visited Aur and said that.
「So what would it be?」
Aur asked again in a seemingly uninteresting tone.
Wikia dashed out what she had prepared at that sight of him.
「……The h.e.l.l, is this?」
What she placed on the table was a wooden chess board lookalike.
However with more numbers of squares, and the colors are not painted separately.
But on the wooden board, nine squares are demarcated each vertically and horizontally.
「This is a type of chess game…… that I came up with」
Wikia brought out chess pieces made of wood from her bag while smiling and started arranging them.
Also unlike chess, there is no color. However it has its own unique appearance with which to identify each other's pieces.
「The differences between this and a normal chess are, a slightly more variety of pieces and……. the ability to dominate the opponent's defeated pieces and use as your own」
Aur leaned his body forward and grabbed a piece in his hand and then fixed his gaze on it, Did he perhaps develop interest in it.
「My desire is, to have a 3-round contest using these with you」
Wikia says, after she finished arranging the pieces.
「For each victory represents one person, you have to release among us. That is the kind of game」
「Even without having to put it to contest, I don't mind releasing you three together」
「Will you accept the condition, or not?」
Wikia boldly disregarded Aur's remark, and instead pressed him for an answer.
Her bluish silver eyes pierce through Aur like an arrow.
「……Have it your way」
Aur nodded in agreement after pondering for a while.
「Explain the rules to me in detail. I will take you up on that contest」
Based on the conclusion, the contest ended in Wikia's crus.h.i.+ng defeat.
There was no established tactics or the like in the rules that were lacking sufficient research, that she had just created. Due to the ability to put a captured piece anywhere on the board the battlefield was run freely, they both explored a bit in search of a path to victory.
It was Aur who quickly adapted to the rule that was derived from the idea of capturing enemy soldiers, brainwas.h.i.+ng them and then converting them using the magic of the labryinth to use as a surprise attack.
Even if that wasn't the case, compared to normal chess there is a huge difference in the number of moves you can make. The more the means that are included, the more Aur capitalizes and improves on that ability. Wikia realized compared to her who thinks several moves ahead, Aur possesses a more extensive outlook of the entire scenario.
「With this it is my third game and loss」
「That's true. That is indeed true but……」
Aur nodded in agreement while in a state of confusion at Wikia's behavior who readily raised up both her hands in surrender.
「Whaaat is it?」
Wikia smiled cheerfully, looking at Aur in such state.
He probably won't know what exactly was Wikia's objective.
And he is also not the kind of man who does something as foolish as to confront and ask directly.
That is for trying to test me, Wikia gruntled in her mind.
Aur will eventually realize that this was nothing more than a hara.s.sment, but until then he will agonize over it.
Wikia put out her tongue at Aur whose brows were furrowing up from deep worry, and then left the room while trying to suppress her laughter.