No Game No Life

Vol 2 Chapter 4
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Chapter 4 -

Checkmate/Checkmate

Part 1

Emba.s.sy——correction, originally the mansion of Elchea.

Gazing onto the building, s.h.i.+ro muttered out:

".....my neck hurts."

"Wow, never expected it to be this huge........but I don’t think humans are that

advanced to build this yet right?"

Sora complained while holding onto his neck. Without any hint of interest,

Jibrilflatly replied:

"Of course, this is the result of constantly remodeling after the Eastern Union

took it away."

"Hmm...." Sora replied.

".......Although I was sure of that......I just wanted to see that glimpse of

hope."

".Nuu...? What are you talking about?——————No, regarding

something else."

Steph pointed onto the ground angrily and said:

"Could you enlighten me on why are we here?"

Jibril and s.h.i.+ro who were also brought here without hearing an explanation

looked towards Sora, reaffirming Steph’s question.

"Well, I just wanted to see those cute [Werebeasts]."

Sora vaguely answered her question before swaggering forwards, but was

blocked off by Steph quickly.

"Oi, wait a minute, although we are in Elchea, this is still an emba.s.sy!!"

"I know I know, but this was originally my King city."

"Guuuuu, so, so——————thi, this is violation of the territorialrights!"

"Who is violating the territorialrights? I’ve already made an appointment in

advance oh."

"Eh? That’s im————"

Steph was about to retort, but got abruptly cut off by him.

"Isn’t that right—— gramps?"

Towards those words that Sora spouted.

The door to the huge emba.s.sy suddenly opened and a figure appeared.

"————Welcome, your highness the King and the Queen of Elchea."

White-haired yet old, with wolf ears and a coa.r.s.e tail while wearing hakama

pants—— a Therianthrope, the elder walked down from the staircase and

came to the same height as the four, before bowing down in respect.

"Nice to meet you, I’m in charge of foreign affairs here in Elchea for the

Eastern Union—— Hatsuse Ino"

With a respectful and polite att.i.tude, the elder——— Hatsuse Ino said.

"Eh? Strange? Ho, how did you get in touch with each other!?"

Although Sora didn’t know why Steph was surprised, he replied nonetheless:

"Because earlier this morning, he spotted me on the library’s balcony."

———Eh?

"I then used sign language to convey the message of [I’m going over now],

and gramps agreed. So, I said I’ve made an appointment."

......No no, that is very strange, Steph said.

"Wa, wait a moment, isn’t this place 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) away from the

library!?"

"Yes, I was quite shocked to learn that Therianthropes’ eyesight are that

good."

——Something is wrong.

It shouldn’t be like this.

It’s understandable that Therianthropes could do that, but the problem is——

How did Sora see him?

However, Ino paid no heed to that point and calmly made a deal with Sora.

"You are here to visit the Emba.s.sy of the Eastern Union in Elchea——for

[Hatsuse Izuna] right."

Just like that, Ino preemptively told them of their purpose in visiting.

Ino slightly closed his eyes.

As a Therianthropes who could read people’s heart, he foresaw it.

Steph instantly gasped.

Those pair of eyes—— yes, was like Sora’s, wait, even worst that Sora’s.

It was as if those eyes could peek directly into someone’s mind——

"Since you are informed already, then lead us there."

But facing against those eyes, Sora withstood his stare unfalteringly.

What did Ino see in Sora?

"——This way."

With that, he started to lead them in.

Part 2

After entering the building, they had to walk across the entrance hall and take

the elevator.

In the lift where there were 80 b.u.t.tons, the 60th b.u.t.ton was pressed and the

lift steadily climbed upwards.

"Hmm!? Wha, what is this? The floor is moving!?"

Ignoring the astonished Steph, Ino said:

"If possible, could you follow the regular procedures for your visit next time?"

What he implied was not to use that kind of method again.

Steph was particularly responsive to those words.

"How improper, the Eastern Union didn’t even respond to formal procedures

either!"

Hearing Steph mouthed offsuch ironic words, or maybe accidental, Ino

peered into Steph’s eyes and spoke:

"——What? You guys really sent out letters...."

Perhaps reading Steph’s mind, Ino was surprised that she wasn’t lying.

Steph couldn’t help but cringed with those eyes that could read hearts, but she

still bravely said:

"Of, of course! Starting from my grandfather’s generation, no matter how

much we wanted to bring on trade and diplomatic correspondence, you’ve

never replied once, don’t you dare say you weren’t informed of this!"

"......My apologies, in the future please address the letters to Hatsuse Ino

then."

Finis.h.i.+ng his words, Ino pressed his hand on his forehead and sighed.

"As you know, after that incident, a lot of people held hostility to

Elchea.........since the former King conducted that last game, I didn’t know

that there were letters....."

"Wha——!......Liar——"

"I’m afraid someone else might’ve disposed it. This action is unacceptable, I’ll

definitely ferret out those responsible for these actions——and give them

strict punishment, so please forgive me."

Steph had no choice but to quiet down when Ino interrupted her and

explained.

His face was irate and ashamed.

——It seems like he really didn’t know.

"I’m speechless at the fact that you dare to call yourselves a big country.

Forget it, in the end you are still Therianthropes."

Listening to the criticisms coming from the fearless Jibril, Ino stared at her

with sharp eyes.

"About that, Steph, what was that?"

The letter wasn’t received, so you thought that they didn’t reply, Sora asked.

".......After the mansion was taken away, they started rebuilding it."

Steph sighed bitterly.

"If the Emba.s.sy was more spectacular than King City, it would affect the

prestige of the country, so Elchea built a new castle."

"Oh, so that is the castle, right?"

"Towards our fortification, the Eastern Union was provoking us, large-scale

construction everywhere........Elchea couldn’t even compare to the Eastern

Union, so, that, in short, many things had happened."

"Ahhhh~ I hate dealing with this kind of troublesome thing."

Sora started whining, while Jibril was deliberately trying to pick at his words.

"Because the Therianthropes of the 14th held contempt over humans who

were at 16th, things became much more complicated—— There should be a

sentence like this in one of Master’s books right."

Recalling from the contents of the book, Jibril couldn’t help but laughed out,

before saying:

"It was called———[the pot calls the kettle black; one who retreats fifty

packs mocks one who retreats a hundred]."

Ino sn.i.g.g.e.red after hearing that:

"Very appropriate, I absolutely agree, it really is a shame, coming from

No.6th-sama."

However, Ino added on:

"Floating in the air, burying yourselves in a pile of antique books, it should’ve

been forty packs though."

"Hehe, you may be old, but you are pretty honest."

This response came from Jibril, whose smile has not yet collapsed.

"Therianthropes’ species, perfomance, knowledge, wisdom.....all are inferior

to The Flügel, always below us, living a humble existence, to despise

someone, you have to despise something first right?"

"Hahaha, as expected of a defective-sama who mixes around with bald

monkeys, such unexpected words."

"That’s right, as for the mongrels with those narrow eyes, my words must

definitely be an eye-opener."

"Hahaha."

"Hehehe."

"....I say Steph."

"....I can probably figure out what you want to say, but go on."

"Isn’t this world a tad bit tense? And the bald monkeys are referring to us

right?"

"Battling for nearly eternity, but suddenly unable to fight, its normalfor the

hatred to linger...."

Moreover——

".....Regarding both of their strengths, they are one of the uppermost races in

the [Sixteen races]."

As for the second question—— Steph shook her head, this was a question

that was brainless.

"Hehehe, immediately being so arrogant after getting restricted, how lively

aren’t you?"

"Hahaha, because we have no other ability except killing, we are different

from some people who would only seclude themselves, hilarious."

Sora and s.h.i.+ro thought of the same thing.

That was, this world really needed the restraint in power.

Part 3

Arriving at the sixtieth floor, they left the elevator filled with killing intent.

An exhausted Steph unhesitatingly sat down on a chair in a hall that seemed to

be the reception area.

"Ho, how tiring."

Sora completely agreed to that, but he was busy glancing around his

surroundings.

".....Then please excuse me while I shall go fetch Hatsuse Izuna."

Bowing graciously, Ino strolled out of the room. After watching him leave the

room, Steph copied Sora and surveyed around the area.

"But......Having said that, this is very luxurious, the civilization gap could really

be felt."

The room was made entirely out of marble, a scarce resource in this world.

The leather sofa even had springs in it.

However, this wasn’t what Sora was looking for.

"Master, how did you get in touch with the Therianthropes?"

"......Jibril, haven’t you noticed that no one had mentioned this yet?"

"My sincere apologies, but I’m different from those mind-reading

Therianthropes, I always feel concerned."

Sora instantly understood.

To Jibril, seeing the [Unknown] in front of her.

Was tantamount to a horse seeing a [Carrot] in front of it.

".....You see."

Placing his index finger on his lips, Sora retrieved something out——Mobile

phone.

After looking through the optical zoom, coupled with a high resolution

application, a photo was taken at the maximum zoom length.

Barely reflected on the screen was the silhouette of the old man.

——Which was to say, this was the case.

In actuality, Sora couldn’t really see Ino at all.

It was a coincidence that the camera direction was facing to the figure that

seemed to be looking at Sora. After deducing that he himself could be seen,

Sora attempted sign language with the figure.

To be truthful—— Sora was just bluffing.

Hmmmm, this is really interesting......Jibrilsaid so.

However——

(Since they are the mind-reading Therianthropes, wouldn’t this bluff be

useless?)

Even Master was clueless as to why the letters weren’t sent——

While Jibril pondered about this question.

".......Nii, that."

"Yeah, I know."

New questions arose.

"......Master, you know what [that] is?"

What Jibril was pointing to was———a television.

Yes, this was what Sora was looking for.

Although the appearance was somewhat different than the TV that Sora

knows, in the end it was inevitably a————Television.

"——un, the clear evidence has been found...."

"What clear evidence?"

Hearing that question, Sora smirked.

"I’ll talk about it at night, those Therianthropes have good ears. In fact, they

are probably listening already——Am I right? Old man."

"——Sorry for the wait."

*Kacha*, Ino opened the door and came in.

"This is the amba.s.sador for the Eastern Union in Elchea——Hatsuse Izuna."

After the introduction, what walked into the door was——

A black eyed, black bob hair, has long and large fox-like ears and tail,

coupled with a big ribbon tied around the waist of a kimono—— no matter

how you looked at it, the little girl was probably at a single-digit age.

"How cu——"

Forgetting her behavior, Steph almost blurted out cute, but didn’t get the

chance to finish.

"Hehehe, kemonomimi cute girl, come and play with big brother, I promise

big brother isn’t suspicious at alll~."

"......Fluffy...........want to touch.........hehehehehehehehe....."

——When did they move?

Even with Jibril’s eyesight, she still couldn’t capture Sora and s.h.i.+ro’s

movements.

Both of them were already accurately stroking the girl’s head and tail.

Facing against those two, the Therianthropes girl——Izuna responded in a

lovely voice:

"You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds are touching me, des."

[12]

......————

"———Eh?"

"Cuteness.....minus fifty points..."

Expressing their surprise, the siblings immediately retreated.

"You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds don’t stop now, des."

"Guu.....what?"

"You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds better continue doing that, des."

Like a cat, Izuna narrowed her eyes and stuck her head out.

"Guuu~ah~really?"

"Its because you b.a.s.t.a.r.ds suddenly touch me, I was surprised, des. But I

didn’t say I hate it, des."

Her movements and facial expressions were contradicting, but Sora

immediately understood.

"......ah, ending the sentence with [des], is to make it more polite?"

"....!? Is that so, des!?"

To be honest, this world treated him very well.

In other words, the approval to caress her has already been given by Izuna.

"...Please don’t take it to heart, my granddaughter only came to Elchea a year

ago, and isn’t fluent with the human language—— moreover...."

Ino’s expression suddenly changed.

"Oi! You b.a.s.t.a.r.d bald monkeys, don’t think you b.a.s.t.a.r.ds can take advantage

just because I’m being courteous. You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds dare to touch my lovely

granddaughter with your filthy hands, be carefulfor I’ll accidentally kill you al

——"

———He then smiled again to correct his etiquette.

"I hope everyone can practice self-restraint and refrain from doing these

actions again."

Using cold and sharp eyes, Sora stared at him and said:

"————Old man, that isn’t any human language, it’s completely your

influence."

"Un? I don’t get what you said."

Hiding behind Sora’s back, s.h.i.+ro replied:

"....I hate this grandpa.....minus 1000 points."

Then s.h.i.+ro proceeded to stroke an eager Izuna.

"....But Izuna......is moeee

[13]

.....plus 100 points."

Seeing how s.h.i.+ro was stroking his granddaughter, Ino started to became irate

and quietly said:

"——Izuna, you can object if you hate it, it’s alright!"

"It’s okay, this is comfortable, continue, des."

"Ah, then I also want in."

*Stroke stroke stroke*

"Technique is good even though you are bald monkeys, des. You b.a.s.t.a.r.ds

continue, des."

Izuna was expressionless like a cat, yet she was pleading with her eyes

closed. Sora then asked:

"Then could you stop calling us bald monkeys?"

"Why, des?"

"Because calling our names will make us happier. I’m Sora, she is my little

sister s.h.i.+ro, pleased to meet you."

".....Pleased to meet you."

"Understood, des. Pleased to meet you, s.h.i.+ro, Sora."

*Stroke stroke stroke*

"——Izuna, you prohibit grandpa from touching, yet the bald monkeys can

do it!"

"Grandpa’s......technique is bad, the claws hurt, des."

Hearing the nonchalant reply from Izuna, Ino was frustrated while Sora

merely laughed aside and said:

"Kukuku......regarding the virtual Nintendo pet game, and my mastery of Hgame,

this sort ofstroking technique is simply too easy, don’t you

underestimate skilled gamers oh, old man."

"....Means..we haven’t.....caress real animals yet."

"Please stop saying that, I’ll become more empty!!"

Part 4

While Izuna was staring at the ceiling in a trance, Ino was nodding his head in

agreement.

On the other side of the table, with Sora as the lead, they were sitting face to

face.

"Then can the stupid monkeys explain why you are here today?"

"Since you can read minds, it ain’t necessary right."

"This is a diplomatic meeting, a place where verbal and written agreements

are exchanged, are you monkeys too stupid to understand that?"

"......Old man, you’re being immature if you are angry just because your

granddaughter prefers our treatment."

Just when a crack appeared on Ino’s smile, Jibrilsweetly smiled and said:

"Master, the Therianthropes have below aggregate scores for mentality, just

like gla.s.s, they are fragile and p.r.o.ne to injury, please don’t stab him in the

heart okay? Otherwise it’s just too pathetic."

Ino’s smile was almost approaching it’s limit.

Just when he was considering whether or not to break allrestraints and kick

those guys out, he stared into Sora’s eyes.

——Instantly, Ino felt a chillrun down his back.

In a moment the prankfulness and cynicism had disappeared without a trace.

What was there was an arrogant, rude, deceptive, yet doing numerous

calculations in his head—— [The King].

"My request is very simple——Hatsuse Ino."

Carrying an extremely confident smile, Sora said with a determined

expression.

"In exchange for your granddaughter’s panties, I’ll give you Steph’s."

"——What!?"

"Oi! b.a.s.t.a.r.d monkey, isn’t that a bit too much!?"

Steph who suddenly became the topic of question and Ino shouted out.

However, Sora had a surprised reaction.

"Eh? You are unhappy with Steph’s? Is Jibril’s one better?"

"If Master commands, I’ll gladly oblige."

At the same time, Jibrilstarted stripping off her panties.

As if enduring something, Ino pressed onto his forehead and squeezed out his

voice:

"Oi, monkey, if you came here just to fool arou——"

"Nuu, s.h.i.+ro’s is a no-no, you are pretty sick if you wanted an 11-year-old

girl’s panties. Or unless——yo, YOU WANT MINE!? Guuu, regarding

that......Even the tolerant me may be hesitant....."

Ino looked like he was about to explode, but Sora mercilessly continued:

"I say old man, can’t it do? I’m allowing you to use Izuna’s panties oh?"

"You b.a.s.t.a.r.d——Since you aren’t talking about your true intentions, you

better get——"

Perhaps suffering from a headache, Ino pressed unto his forehead.

——Sora revealed an exceptionally mocking smile, as if he was a gambler

gambling for the win of his life.

"——Old man, sorry, but I’ve already seen through your fake ability to read

minds, such a mistake oh."

Ino’s body startled, it was a response that was extremely difficult to

distinguish with the human eye, but to Sora, it was more than enough.

"Not going to talk about true intentions.....eh, although it looked like you

could read my thoughts, but if you could really read minds, you should’ve

agreed to a game with the panties as the bet. Because compared with the

panties, the result of the win, that is——"

"I’ve already understood the Eastern Union’s game, it’s because you aren’t

that negligent to actually reveal the importance of [Memory elimination] right."

Sora grinned while exposing a meaningfulsmile.

"....."

Ino was expressionless.

Because——

When Sora said those words, his pupil, heartbeat, even the sound of his

heartbeat, told him that everything the man in front of him said held his words

in full belief.

"Wellsince it has been [Confirmed], I’ll grant your wish and tell you about the

true reason why we came here."

Lifting his feet up, Sora changed his posture.

"As the sixteenth sequenced race, the fully representative of the human race

[Elchea], s.h.i.+ro and Sora."

Holding onto s.h.i.+ro’s hand, the oath was recited while raised.

"Complimenting the fourteen sequenced race of [Therianthropes] from the

[Eastern Union], and for congratulating the country for accepting us on our

route to [Conquer the world], and becoming the [Number one victim]. In this

[Country gamble], my request for your country is——"

With hostility hidden in his smile, Sora announced:

"——[Everything in your continent]."

——Hearing that sentence, everyone was dumbfounded with the exception

of Sora and s.h.i.+ro.

Whether Ino, or the previously dazed Izuna, both of their faces became pale.

Because that request—— went past the limit.

"Ah, for my side the bet would still be Steph’s panties."

"Wh, what!?"

"It would be perfect if you agreed to Izuna’s panties, but it’s sad, old man."

Everything in the Eastern Union’s continent—— is betted with Steph’s

panties?

Even Jibril used a suspecting gaze to check if her master was talking right.

Once again Sora opened his mouth.

Upholding his unwavering confidence, he said a sentence.

"Sorry, old man———It’s [Check]."

No one understood the meaning behind that phrase.

At this time the bravest, or maybe the most curious, Jibril asked;

"Ma,master, can I ask what do you mean by that?"

"Eh? You still don’t know?"

"......Ah....."

The previously lost in thought s.h.i.+ro suddenly let out this sound.

"As expected of s.h.i.+ro, you understand right? Yes——this way the [Eastern

Union has no more moves]."

However, n.o.body comprehended the meaning behind that sentence except

for the duo.

Sora could only lazily reply:

"Well, I’ll explain to everyone and to the self-proclaiming mind reading old

man."

"Half a century ago, the Eastern Union underwent rapid development in it’s

technical aspect......but rapid development has it’s difficulties."

Walking towards the sofa—— Sora sat on the sofa full of elasticity.

"The television in this room as well as the elevator from before, sofa, all these

modern technologies require resources from the mainland to be built.

Meaning, the mainland’s resources are the lifeblood to your modern

technology. But the Eastern Union thrived in islands, and there was an

obvious need to obtain resources from the mainland—— However, [Before

that], Elven Gard went on the offensive."

"What a pain——[Aside from luring the enemy to attack us, we had no other

tricks]. But if we won against the world’s largest country, then no one else

would come again to challenge a game whose details are unknown. But then

you still couldn’t lose to the opposition—— And why is that so?"

Raising a finger while smiling, Sora said:

"Come, we’ll use a sequence to solve the mystery. [Question 1] Why

eliminate the memory of the game?"

s.h.i.+ro answered this question.

"......Because if didn’t eliminate.......can’t win again."

——Why would the Eastern Union include an [offensive strategy to lure the

enemy] if there are contradictory demands?

They had a need to do that, even if the conditions made them bear any

disadvantages.

If they deliberately lost to Elven Gard, then the contents of the game would be

exposed—— thus losing the advantage to win.

"However, there will be loopholes even if you do that."

Eliminating the memories about the game.

Indeed that would prevent any strong measures the person could take—— or

so it seems.

"Even if the memory was eliminated—— in the end the [outcome] of the

game would always be revealed."

Hearing these words, Jibrilsuddenly woke up, but maintaining the consistent

expressionless face was Ino.

"Okay, followed by [Question 2], why did Elven Gard challenge 4 times?"

".....Because......Using the lost......try to crack the game......?"

Yes—— Elven Gard and Elchea were different, they were a big country.

[Probing] while being conscious of the losses they had, was an easy task.

"After losing once, Elven Gard speculated that it was a [Game that required

no use of magic], because when it comes to the reason why the Elves would

lose, the first suspicion would be this."

Putting up his finger, Sora continued onwards.

"Because their memory was eliminated, they couldn’t understand the contents

of the game, but they speculated that it was a game that possibly made magic

ineffective. As for their second try, they linked arms with outsiders to use

magic externally, but even so they still lost; by the third time, they used some

other way to identify the contents of the game."

Really, for the government to use magic, it really makes one envy, Sora

couldn’t help but said so.

"With that, they went all out and challenged for the fourth time—— but still

lost. Am I right? Old man."

".......You really do have a great imagination."

It was a speculation from Sora, Ino based on this to respond in this way.

But thinking that one could bluff Sora—— was the biggest mistake.

From his expression, Sora saw it shook slightly, he then smiled and put up

two fingers.

"But this generated two questions, the first is, why did Elven Gard lose? Then,

more importantly—— why weren’t they on the offensive again?"

——Yes, the question wasn’t why they challenged before.

But why did they stop challenging.

In this game where losing was the only information revealed, people couldn’t

just ignore this.

"There are two possibilities, they understood that the principles of the game

was made to make them lose."

Then Sora bent a finger.

"Or—— they knew what that game was, but still didn’t understand why they

lost the game."

Laughing, Sora wore a confident smile and said:

"——But, if it was the former, they would have won if they exposed the

game. Which means, the [latter] is the correct answer."

Jibril—— The Heavenly Winged from the sixth sequence, felt a chill down

her spine.

The intelligence that Jibril was familiar with explained Sora’s reasoning.

This was an extremely superb-like reasoning ability——

"But this was very weird, knowing the game, yet couldn’t comprehend why

they lost the game."

How weird oh~ this is strange, Sora recited out before laughing and

continued his explanation:

"Unraveling the mystery that requires an incredible key—— you gave it to me

just now, old man."

Smiling ironically, Sora peered into Ino’s eyes.

Watching the Therianthropes that claimed to read minds, Sora said:

"[Question 3]—— why lie about being able to read minds?"

"....Because they can’t read it...."

With an almost instantaneous answer from s.h.i.+ro, Sora nodded his head.

"What the lie represented, it would be very distressing if known right?"

"Okay, the answer is almost out oh? [Question 4] what is winnable, yet still

isn’t winnable?"

With an elated expression, Sora.

"——come, I’ll give everyone a hint!"

As if enjoying a guessing game, he deliberately acted and said:

"The Heavenly Winged, Elves, Mankind, to win against all these races with

different characteristics, only using it defensively, only works when using

memory elimination, doesn’t require mind reading, a game belonging to a race

that is technically advanced. WHAT GAME IS IT!?"

Stealing a peak at the television, s.h.i.+ro answered:

".....A game that can easily cheat......[Computer game]...."

Jibril and Steph didn’t seem to understand this.

It’s no wonder, because in this world, video games probably only existed in

the Eastern Union.

For this reason—— they needed to eliminate the memory to conceal it.

Because of this, the game couldn’t be won.

——As long as they became the host, holding an electronic game...

Even if outside help was present, anything could be done, and even so the

risk of being discovered of cheating ——

——Was zero.

"To play this game, even magic is meaningless.....Aiya, as expected of a

technologically advanced country, amazing right?"

Sora said, his tone wasn’t mockery, but a sincere feeling of appreciation.

"The reason why you boasted out that you could read minds, was to give the

defeated a residual doubt——[Why did we lose against you?] an answer.

Not letting the defeated an avenue to pursue. Actually, you can only see

through lies, but—— not read them."

Indeed—— it was exactly similar to Sora’s pride in his skills.

Sora used facial expressions, posture and sound to see past lies.

While they used their superior senses to detect heartbeat and bloodflow.

This was the same theory as a master fraud claiming to be a psychic.

"......"

——On the dot.

The speculation wasn’t wrong, Ino was speechless.

However, he didn’t show any expression, only eroded by doubt.

Initially Sora—— before he was aware that Ino couldn’t read minds.

Which was at the time when Sora was clamoring about those nonsensical

remarks about Izuna’s panties.

Sora [was without any anxiety].

This implied that from the start he excluded the risk of being mind-read.

But as if in response with Ino’s thoughts, Sora—— yes, like a mind reader

replied:

"Don’t you think it is incredible old man, from the start I didn’t sound like I

was bluffing."

His own guilty conscience was hidden deceptively?

At that time when Ino was thinking about it, Sora continued with a tinge of

mockery:

"Yes, that fact that you can’t read minds—— I already knew from the start.

Why so?"

Okay, time for the last question—— Sora said.

"[Question 5] Why did they lose the game 8 times?"

The answer to this question was already known to s.h.i.+ro, Steph and Jibril,

therefore——

"This question—— old man, I’ll hand it to you, you should know right."

"————.....!"

———— unless the late king he?

The late king was the only one whose memory wasn’t eliminated, while

partaking in the Eastern Union’s game, they had won territory from the

mainland.

But, we agreed that the condition was that he does not inform anyone. Why

——

——No, not right.

The problem isn’t there, it is——!

Still in the midst of thinking, Sora interrupted with a proud smile on his face:

"Yes, you should understand right. From what the late king could tell us, it

proves that you couldn’t see through the late king’s intent—— you couldn’t

read his mind."

The late king’s intent was——

"——The late king that signed the contract of [not telling it to anyone in this

lifetime]—— doesn’t include death."

If this was true——

It explained how this man got the details of the game.

If he leaked the matter out, the Eastern Union would——

"Well, you should understand the situation right, old man."

Sora pretentiously continued with a malicious smile on his face:

"What a headache. Whatever you do requires you to remove my memory,

but if you bet on your continental territory with Steph’s panties and played the

game with such a bet, then you must admit I was right."

Yes——then.

Just when Ino was about to make a decision, at the same time——

"Or placing everything I said as a speculation—— meaning not agreeing on it,

but [escaping]."

However, like a prey cornered by hunters, Sora broke Ino’s thoughts and

grimly said:

——"You think I would let you escape?"——

"We bet on Humanity’s everything——[The chess]."

When Sora said these words.

A faint glow of light appeared in front of Sora’s eyes—— a piece.

Yes, that was....in this world where even the throne of G.o.d was determined.

In order to challenge G.o.d—— the sixteen chess pieces must be collected,

which means conquering allsixteen races——[Humanity’s piece].

Humanity’s piece———was a [king].

——n.o.body present has seen it before.

Even Jibril who lived for 6000 years, this was the first time she saw a [piece].

Of course.

Because gambling a game with a [piece], was unheard of after the [Ten

Oaths].

——Not even once was it seen.

For it was the bet to power.

In the case of losing, it means surrendering forever.

And that is the same as——— demise.

"——You, are you serious— guuu!?"

Steph understood the seriousness of the situation.

She was about to yell: Are you serious, but was immediately pinned down by

Jibril, with a hand covering her mouth.

——The way it has become, it was a bet for everything, all territory in the

continent.

"So now if you escape, it’s basically announcing to the world that I was

correct."

Saying with a smile, without any fear, Sora watched the self-proclaimed mind

reader—— Ino’s eyes.

"Okay, it’s check aga....no, this would be [Checkmate]."

Sora boldly said.

"——Did you read past this move? Old man."

Peering at the grinning Sora, Ino shed cold sweat.

——How did this happen?

With the last remaining city, betting with a [piece], the inferior race that was

about to lose everything.

Trying to achieve dominance against the Eastern Union that won every game

so far.

Coupled with logicalreasoning that forced him into a corner. This situation

—— how did it happen.

But——Ino.

He tried to keep his facade—— no, he faked out a calm appearance to reply:

"I can only say that your imagination is great, your highness, are you sure you

are not being negligent of one thing?"

Even with inner anxiety, Ino’s will was still unshakable, and he sustained the

fight.

"If your fantasy is true, doesn’t it mean that——[Elven Gard knowing the

circ.u.mstances still lost]?"

——Indeed, the Eastern Union must be forced to accept this challenge.

However, if it was what Sora had speculated.

The Eastern Union must use that game to fight.

And like the past, add another record to the win—— However.

Sora, with a wry smile, replied:

"Old man, how did I communicate with you when I was at the library——if

you really could read the mind, you shouldn’t have pretended to understand

everything, but frankly be surprised."

Staring into Ino’s eyes, Sora revealed a splenetic smile and revealed his trump

card.

"Because we—— are not humans from this world."

——In the [World of the past].

They were undefeated in over two hundred and eighty kinds of game, and

were even known as urban legends.

In the countless rumors, there was this such recount—— that Ino didn’t

understand.

——Even with hack and cheats, overcoming them was impossible.

"........."

On reflex, Ino wanted to conclude that he was lying.

However, whatever Sora did, was not shown to have a lie.

If what he said was a [lie], then this man, at any circ.u.mstances could fake a lie

perfectly.

If what he said was the [truth], then it exposed the fact that he couldn’t read

his mind.

"......!"

Either way—— Ino couldn’t answer.

Sora’s smile seems to imply: That’s right, it’s fine that way.

"When I came here, you thought I was as stupid as the late king right?"

But——

"....Sorry to disappoint you, but this time you’re about to get eaten——

Therianthropes."

Listening to the heartbeat of this Human King, aside from the [truth], any

reaction wasn’t felt, causing Ino to gasp.

"Okay."

——Sora stood up, quickly followed by the others.

"Just like that, but this requires the entire territory as a bet, I don’t think it is

something you can decide on your own, so you can confirm with your country

and notify me the date of the bet."

Ah, also also——Sora added on.

"I don’t need to say, but for the game of betting the [piece], the whole of

Imanity has the rights to spectate, so you’ll need to prepare the premises and

equipment oh. And also we are fighting as four, you have no rights to refuse,

so I guess this is bye?"

After Sora said these comfortably, he waved at Izuna who was sitting across

him.

"Bye, Izuna, we should play games the next time okay——?"

"...Although I don’t know, des. But——"

However, her familiarity like before was gone.

"Sora and s.h.i.+ro——came to find Izuna... for a fight, des?"

Hidden in her eyes were burdened with some responsibility as she looked at

the [enemy].

Charged with the responsibility of being a guardian ofsomething—— those

eyes that were in a state of readiness.

"Fight? No such thing, only a game."

Hearing Sora said that, Izuna used sharp eyes to glare at him.

"Then you are enemy, des."

Eyes filled with [Hostility], the pet.i.te girl growled while saying so.

"....I won’t lose to you, des."

However, in contrast, Sora gazed at her with [kind] eyes.

"Sorry, but Izuna will lose, there is no doubt about that. 『 』 accept no

defeats."

"....Baibai.....Izuna-chan, see you later...."

The siblings left and waved, while Jibril carried Steph who was unrelentingly

resisting and chased after them.

Looking at the figure of those four that left.

They unhesitatingly operated the elevator b.u.t.tons, and with that the door

gradually closed.

Hatsuse Ino and Hatsuse Izuna could only watch them leave.

Part 5

"Lo, lo, look what you’ve just doneee

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh~~~~~~"

Once they had returned to the city, Steph started shouting, causing Sora to

cover his ears.

"Wh, wh, why didn’t you inform us that that would happen!!!"

"You would’ve opposed if I told you?"

Sitting on the throne, Sora said so while playing a link battle on the DSP with

s.h.i.+ro. Steph however protested.

"Of, of course! You, do you know what you’ve just done!?"

"Placed at stakes three million human lives, to seal the enemy’s retreat."

Widening his eyes, it seemed to imply—— what’s the problem then?

Steph was so surprised she was almost speechless, but still managed to

squeeze out some words.

"Yo, yo, youuuuu, how are you going to be responsible if you loseee!?"

But—— Sora replied with:

"Responsible? Who is responsible?"

This time Steph was really speechless.

"If you lose, humanity will end, why isn’t there any responsibility?"

He however didn’t seem to be interested in what Steph was saying.

"Compared to that, Steph—— don’t you think it is fun?"

No—— a pleasant smile emerged out.

"A game where you bet on three million human lives, if you win, the territories

would increase, the Eastern Union and their kemonomimi will become ours

—— such a rare game, isn’t it exhilarating and fun?"

*nods nods*

Sora laughed innocently, while s.h.i.+ro who was sitting on his lap nods her head

and smiled.

Seeing their reactions, Steph felt her back shudder.

———————— Mad.

To describe these siblings, euphemistic words like [abnormal] and

[aberration] shouldn’t be used.

Indeed, the real meaning, is that they are literally —— mad.

"Wha, what are you guys treating human lives as."

Facing up against their sanity, Steph felt terror rather than contempt, she

wanted to run, but she stood her ground and started complaining:

"I despise you.......I thought you were doing those ridiculous actions for

humanity. I was wrong for thinking that——!"

Steph scolded them, this scenario has happened for quite some time already.

But this time, there was a clear difference as her eyes held genuine contempt

and disappointment.

—— Sora still nonchalantly answered:

"Calm down, Steph.....this is only a game oh?"

——Just this sentence, all doubts to Steph turned into belief.

Believing in this man——was a grave mistake.

This man, no, this pair ofsiblings were only playing.

In actuality, they had never placed Humanity or the Eastern Union in their

eyes.

They only think that this world itself is a game——!!!

(——Handing over grandfather’s greatest achievement to these kind of

people was a mistake—)

Despair, disappointment, fear—— countless of emotions flooded Steph’s

heart.

However Jibril only held admiration for s.h.i.+ro and Sora.

"As expected of my master and monarch....——"

——For victory, even the lives of the civilians could be placed on the tables.

Without any plans or strategies, but to a.s.sure a [win].

Steph feared the [Unknown].

However, for the same [Unknown], Jibril was full of envy, interest and

yearning.

"You, what are you saying! This is completely irresponsible——"

"Then Dora-chan, let me ask you."

Rarely seeing Jibril display such seriousness in her eyes, Steph flinched.

"You said how were they going to be responsible if they lose. But conversely,

if they win, everyone in the Therianthropes would lose their jobs, land,

property, denied of their rights, even die. You want master to be in charge of

that responsibility? Or is that the responsibility of the losers?"

"——Th, that...."

....She couldn’t rebuke.

However, even so—— Sora’s action was too irresponsible.

At least. At least think ofseeking the consent of the people right?

Jibril continued speaking.

"Even if war is prohibited, the world would still continue and people would

still die."

————The world that prohibits usage of force.

Conversely, there is only that.

"As long as indirect ways are used like plunder and domination, murdering

was still possible."

This was the [Ten Oaths], and——

This was how the humans have been treated up to now.

"Dora-chan doesn’t want the bet to happen, and allow humanity to end?"

"No, no....Not like that——! But!"

Doing that kind of thing isn’t responsible at all.

That kind of thing, is too strange—— Steph said so, but——

"The so-called authoritarian figures exist because of that."

Jibril herself was one of the authoritarian figures.

Using cold and emotionless eyes to gaze at Steph, she categorically said:

"Whether in reality or in game, eventually it would still be [Mutual killing]——

what responsibility is in there?"

——Facing those words that was spoken out by someone who experienced

the war, Steph was speechless.

But, unexpectedly—— [Sora] let out an uncertain voice.

"Hm? No, n.o.body will die, I said that this was only a game right?"

"——Eh?"

"What?"

"Ah?"

".....Un....?"

Those words didn’t seem right.

At the moment when everyone widened their eyes in surprise.

Suddenly, as if having an understanding, Sora said out:

"Ah.....okay okay, I understand, so it’s about that eh."

Always feeling that something was wrong, Sora finally found the reason.

"I always find it weird that even though this world is decided by games, there

was still a sense of tension. It appears that you all—— have the same ideals

as the people in our world......really surprising."

"......Ahh."

Similarly, s.h.i.+ro appeared to have noticed and nodded.

"I see, no wonder n.o.body has appeared to solve the game of this [World]

—— no wonder G.o.d called us here."

Perhaps he had figured out the problem and solved it.

Returning his gaze back to his game console, Sora replied ambiguously:

"Rest a.s.sured, we willfollow our declaration and conquer this world, conquer

everything and leave nothing behind."

Then, Sora suddenly thought ofsomething.

"Oh yah, and Steph."

"Eh....what?"

"You asked me what happens if I lose, so I will tell you seriously."

The pleasant smile from before was gone.

With a serious expression, he stared into Steph’s eyes and said:

"——We won’t lose, didn’t we say it was [Checkmate]?"

With a.s.surance, Sora said.

"The game with Eastern Union is already over, they can’t win against us."

——However, because his target was too over the top, Steph couldn’t

believe him.

"......Correct, we still need one more puzzle, soon—— the puzzle will come

soon enough."

We’ll play some games while waiting until then.

Finis.h.i.+ng with those words, Sora resumed the game.

——Only the sister could understand him.

Countless tips were left behind.

And the two who couldn’t obtain an answer from those tips.

Jibril and Steph could only—— look at each other

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