Checkmate – Prologue

[Ensemble Stars][Event Story] Recollection: Monochrome Checkmate

Translator’s note: another collaboration with @sakurasound. I know we were doing other event stories but we got busy and then this event dropped and our friends collectively made us drop everything and do this event story instead so here we are.

Location: Garden Terrace

Eichi: Checkmate

Izumi: Excuse me? Is this some kind of joke…?

Izumi: Well I’m not laughing. It’s only the opening of the game, and you already fancy yourself the winner?

Izumi: You’re the one who said we should play chess as a diversion, since we’d have too much time on our hands if we just chatted.

Izumi: Don’t just unilaterally end it so quickly. What are you trying to do?

Eichi: Haha. If I could, I wouldn’t want to do anything. Even breathing is quite exhausting.

Eichi: Still, I hope I haven’t offended you, I had no intention of making you angry.

Eichi: To a large extent, how a game of chess will unfold is decided by the first move. With each move the possibilities narrow, just like a mathematical equation.

Eichi: The solution becomes clearer as one writes down each number and symbol.

Eichi: You made a mistake with your opening hand. Barring a miracle, there’s no recovering from it. The outcome is set.

Eichi: Isn’t it quite tiresome to incessantly move the pieces around just to be sure of that outcome?

Eichi: I don’t want to needlessly expend my energy, frankly.

Izumi: Hm~… I don’t feel like I’ve lost at all. I‘m still not convinced so let’s go on a bit more. You’re fine with that right, Tenshouin?

Eichi: Well, I don’t mind. Though I believe it’s just a waste of time.

Eichi: I’m good at chess. As you know, I’ve had poor health since I was young, so I could only ever play inside

Eichi: There’s no other way to idle the time away other than these kinds of introverted hobbies…

Eichi: I’m quite fond of tabletop games, to the extent that I almost never lose to beginners.

Eichi: Though, I have bad memories associated with chess, so I didn’t touch it for a while

Eichi: In chess, mathematics, music, and in your specialty, ballet…Essentially, talent is everything

Eichi: We can only play with the hand god handed from the start our whole lives

Eichi: It isn’t something that can be overturned by hard work or luck. So, it seems I have a bit of talent in chess.

Eichi: Before I turned ten, not even adults could defeat me.

Eichi: As for draws… The only one who I did not have a decisive victory against was Tsukinaga.

Izumi: If that piece of junk can get a draw against you, I can win. After all, he’s only good at composing songs.

Eichi: Oh really? Or is that just what you want to believe?

Izumi: Hmm… If you had a draw with him, then your ‘talent’ must be fake.

Izumi: I bet your opponents lose to you on purpose out of consideration to the Tenshouin heir.

Eichi: Of course, that happens. But the important thing here is I am the kind of person who can even make use of external factors like that to win…is what I’m implying.

Eichi: That’s what I mean, for me to proclaim that I’m undefeated in chess, where talent is everything.. Do you get it, Sena?

Eichi: The cards in my hand perfectly line up. Talent, upbringing, connections, information…

Eichi: I said “Checkmate” because after checking each of these cards, my victory is assured.

Eichi: Chess is a gentleman’s sport. I would like for you to resign since I don’t want to go through the trouble of ungracefully covering myself with my opponent’s blood.

Eichi: I want you to admit your defeat when a sword is pointed at your throat.

Eichi: I don’t want to have to go through the trouble of stabbing you to death. It isn’t elegant to do so. Well, if you are still unconvinced then I suppose have no choice.

Izumi: …

Eichi: Sena? At least respond to me. I’m hurt… Why are you just nodding, are you not giving up and searching for a way out of this predicament?

Eichi: It’s all in vain. To begin with, our intention was to converse – chess was just something to occupy our hands with.

Eichi: But for you to become engrossed with it, that’s putting the cart before the horse.

Izumi: Mm~… I’m just not convinced. I don’t think I’ve lost.

Eichi: How stubborn. Well, that’s fine, take as much time as you need to think about it…

Eichi: If your thoughts are preoccupied with chess, then it’s just what I wished for – to have an easy discussion to my advantage

Izumi: There’s no need for discussion. I have no choice but to accept your proposal.

Izumi: But still, that makes me angry, so at the very least I want to win at chess and make you sorry

Izumi: I’m going to move the knight*1 piece, …Are you going to kill him off? Like you did in the past?

Eichi: You should already know that I’m the kind of person who would kill anyone if it’s necessary.

Eichi: That’s too bad if you had the ulterior motive of trying to lower my guard by rousing up my sense of guilt

Eichi: I’m the Emperor. The moment I ascended to the throne, I’ve forsaken my humanity.

Eichi: A nation cannot stand if a sovereign were to move fully due to sentimentality

Izumi: Contrary to your statement, your hand has stopped moving.

Eichi: …Pardon me. This makes me a little nostalgic. I’d often play Tsukinaga, but I think he would also always move the knight piece around full of confidence*1

Izumi: I’m skeptical, can he even play chess? Did he even understand the rules properly?

Izumi: He’s the kind of guy who absolutely does not remember anything he’s not interested in.

Eichi: About that…he did cause me some difficulties as well. He keeps randomly introducing new rules, like how the knight piece would shoot a destructive beam…

Eichi: Honestly, I was utterly at a loss of what to do.

Eichi: That’s why we had a draw. No, it wasn’t even a match.

Eichi: Though from the start, I had no intention to play against Tsukinaga

Eichi: Hey, Sena, I truly don’t understand. Everyone says it’s my fault, though I believe there is some truth in that

Eichi: But I really, did not plan for that to happen

Eichi: I liked Tsukinaga. It was fun playing with him, and I was happy

Eichi: That’s all, but… Hey Sena… Why did Tsukinaga break?

Eichi: Just who killed Cock Robin?*2



1: The ‘knight’ here is written in English ‘knight’, with small letter k. It is interesting to note that ‘knights’ with small letter k was how ‘Knights’ the unit was written before Leo was added into the game (early logo of Knights will still have them as ‘knights’). Knights was changed to ‘Knights’ with capital K after Leo was added into the game after Judgement, but as far as I’m aware no explanation had been given by Happy Elements for this change, neither had it been noted in game. The word ‘knight’ to refer to the piece is used by both Izumi and Eichi in this instance, and it is not a common usage.

2: A reference to the nursery rhyme “Who Killed Cock Robin”