Sidestory: Make Believe Extreme Shogi
Editor(s): Speedphoenix, Joker
“I feel like playing shogi.”
“I mind not accompanying you. I know well that you lack any other playmates and that you are deserving of the pity that I shall offer. But do not be mistaken. It is not to be taken for granted. You shall be thankful for this.”
“What are you talking about? You’ve got just as much free time as me,” I fired back. “And hell, I’m not sure how you didn’t realise that I was actually just asking you to play because I was feeling sorry for you. Like, you see how bored you look right now?”
“You are mistaken. It is you who is deserving of pity. I mind not depriving you of the attention you seek and returning to my bed.”
“Come on, Lefi. If you were too scared to lose, you could’ve just said so. No need to make excuses.”
“Hmph. It was a claim made only in response to yours. I shall not run.”
“…I don’t get it. How come those two are always so good at comin’ up with stuff to make each other bite?”
“They know exactly how the other ticks,” said Nell. “And you see how they’re getting everything ready even as they keep yelling at each other? That’s just how they are.”
Lefi and I ignored the voices of criticism and continued doing our thing.
“Wait, actually I’ve got an idea,” I said. “If we’re playing shogi anyway, we might as well take it a step further and play Make Believe Extreme Shogi.”
“I know not the precise meaning of what you are describing, but I am reminded of the… word games that you share with Lyuu.”
Heh, spot on Lefi. I knew you’d understand me.
“Well, then listen up. Make Believe Extreme Shogi is like shogi, but you give every single piece a totally badass special ability and force them into epic duels and ultimate showdowns!”
“I understand not the explanation. You may have the first move to demonstrate your intent.”
“Alright, so you see this pawn?” I said as I grabbed a piece and pushed it forward. “This dude’s ability is that he’s fast as fuck. Instead of moving one square, he moves two.”
“That is merely foul play!”
“Wrong! This ain’t shogi, it’s Make Believe Extreme Shogi. It isn’t about following some boring old rules anymore, Lefi. It’s about using your head and being flexible and creative.”
“I am beginning to see now what it is you intended. As it is now my turn, I shall bestow wings upon my rook. He is capable of taking to the skies and performing reconnaissance. The information sought provides my army the advantage and an increase to its speed!”
The dragon magically lifted the piece into the air and affixed it in place. That’s a pretty cool way to use magic.
“Damn Lefi… The fuck! You caught on hella quick.”
“An easy task. I have borne witness to your hijinks on many occasions, and considered for myself the appropriate reactions. Do not think for a moment that victory shall be yours,” she said with a toothy grin.
I mean, it even makes sense. Like, come on, checkmate atheist, a rook is a bird and birds fly, and that’s the kind of half-logical bullshit that just makes so much sense I can’t not hand it to her.
“So what you’re saying is that, while we were playing around, you were being a loner and spying on us and wishing you had people to play with.”
“I-I was not!” she shouted, indignantly. “N-now dawdle no longer. It has come time for you to make your next move!”
“Alright, my turn. I will draw a card, a monster card!”
“A monster card?”
“Don’t mind it, it’s just an old meme. I’m going to send another pawn forward to create a line of defense. You’re going to have a hard time breaking through this one.”
“I shall leverage the intelligence wrought by my rook and have a pawn sneak around your forces. You remain unaware of this pawn’s position and it is impossible for you to target it.”
Lefi slid her rightmost pawn off the board and hid it. Oh shit… she wasn’t kidding when she said she’s been watching us. She understands the heart of the pieces.
“Too easy. I might not know where your pawn is, but your rook? The man is in plain sight. And you see this pawn right here? The one in the corner? He can’t move, ’cause he’s got a fuckin’ missile launcher. Surface to air, motherfucker! Now go, little pawn, fire those stinger missiles and blow that asshole out of the sky!”
“Stinger missiles? I know not of those.”
“Uhhhh, it’s kinda like a dragon’s roar, where you can just aim it at something in the sky and that thing goes boom.”
“Is it not unfair for a pawn to possess an attack of such power?”
“Hey, it’s not that strong. Might be able to drop a wyvern or two, but that’s it. The rook’s probably like dragon tier or something, so it doesn’t go down, but it’s at least gotta retreat if it doesn’t want to get peppered to death. Your secret agent ain’t got shit no more, his intel’s dated and he’s pretty much dead in the water until the rook gets back in position.”
I spun the rook around and pushed it away.
“Hmph… if that is all it is capable of then I shal concede. My rook shall stand by and await his chance to return. But there is a matter I must comment on. You are relying too heavily on your pawns.”
“Hey, I like pawns. They’re cool. Get the conditions right, and they can do pretty much anything.”
“That, I cannot deny. But they shall soon meet the inevitable call of death. If a rook is akin to a dragon, then it shall devastate them with little beyond a single spell.”
“Okay, maybe dragon tier rooks is taking it a bit too far I guess. Let’s say they’re about as strong as Yata?”
I used our resident giant pet crow as a comparison for the sake of familiarity. He’s not as strong as a dragon, but he’d have no trouble downing a wyvern.
“Is the rook not the most powerful piece? Equating it to Yata is providing it far too little power.”
“Hey… don’t pick on Yata too much. He’s been getting stronger lately, you know? Sure, he ain’t much to you, but that’s just because your standards are too damn high.”
“Very well. But if Yata is to serve as a rook, then there should exist no piece more powerful. Would such an army not face a rapid defeat?”
“Damn dragon standards… And here I was almost forgetting you were a dragon.”
“Forgetting? Forgetting!? I am this world’s most powerful dragon! That, you should never forget! You would do well to provide me with greater respect!”
“I uhh… totally respect you. Yeah. Totally.”
“Hmph. I see through your lies with little effort.”
“Oh come on, I’m not lying. What makes you think I’d lie?” I took a deep breath and did my best impression of a teenage girl. “Oh my gosh! It’s the supreme dragon! I-I can’t believe it’s you! Please shake my hand! Please, please please? I’m your biggest fan!”
“I see that you have lost your mind. I shall leverage this war to see to personally putting you down.”