As mentioned in the summary, this is a Date A Bullet (DaL's spinoff series featuring Kurumi) oneshot, and therefore has spoilers. Please don't read if you're unwilling to see spoilers. The author PhantasiaNight on here inspired me to write this, and I recommend you check him out as he is a phenomenal writer himself.
I own nothing. All characters and Date A Bullet belong/s to Koshi Tachibana and Yuichiro Higashide.
Enjoy and constructive criticism is appreciated. :)
There was an eerie silence within the castle's dining room. It was only punctuated by the relentless- and loud- ticking of a grandfather clock somewhere within the bowels of the royal structure, and the occasional shuffle of clothing from the three people within the room.
Of course, save for the Quasi Spirit's rapid breathing.
Seated across from her was the Dominion of Binah herself. She reclined in a plush seat, legs crossed and cheek rested against her fingers, a cordial smile on her face as she eyed her captive down. She watched as the girl made her move, and briefly looked up towards the figure out of the girl's sight. Rook, as she would soon come to learn.
"Your turn…" The girl whispered, her voice cracking pathetically and causing her to quickly clear her throat. She gave the board one last glance over before removing her hold from her miserable little pawn, currently one of the last pieces to protect her king.
"Thank you," the White Queen's voice was all too sweet, and that smile all too wide. Vicious as it was sweet.
The White Queen's gloved fingers delicately picked up her white bishop. With fluid and deliberate movements, only the briefest flutter of hesitation as her eyes flicked over the board, she placed her bishop down a few squares away.
The Quasi Spirit gulped. Her king was trapped between the Queen's newly moved bishop and a rook. Looking over the board desperately, the captive girl quickly reached out, trembling fingers coming to rest on her king, quickly moving him aside and out of harm's way.
The White Queen gave her a broad grin from across the board. It held no warmth.
Without so much as glancing at the chess board, the Inverse Spirit had moved her queen across, pinning her captive's king once more.
"O-okay…" The girl whispered, wringing her skirt nervously. Looking up, her gaze interlocked with the Queen's, and she found that she couldn't hold it. Those icy eyes, narrowed and intense, didn't match the smirk on her face.
The girl felt very much like prey.
Trying to gather her thoughts, the girl quickly looked down at the board once more. She could feel the Queen's gaze on her, making her cheeks burn.
The White Queen spoke up, breaking the silence. Had she really spent enough too much time thinking? Was the ruler mad at her?
"Choose your next move carefully, dear."
The girl stiffened at that, and despite her fear, felt a rebuttal rise in her throat from sheer instinct.
"You didn't tell me that time mattered! I'm just thi-"
The girl's voice died in her throat, all thanks to cold metal curving around her neck. Freezing, she could only keep looking forward and down, at the board in front of them.
The scythe around her throat kept her locked in place, and, as she swivelled her eyes up to regard who stood behind her, she caught sight of Rook from earlier. Rook's face was devoid of all expression, gazing down plainly at the captive before her. Her grip was as unwavering as her visage, the scythe firmly tickling her neck and threatening to cut thin skin with each swallow.
Feeling her pulse thump against the sharp blade with each hammering smack of her heart, she pretended to forget about what she was saying and quickly moved her king to the right.
A move that was, on all accounts, impulsive and stupid. But who could blame her? With a scythe held to her neck, controlled not by the wielder but by the madwoman in front of her, focusing on a chess game was hardly her top priority.
Unfortunately, it should have been.
The White Queen clicked her tongue with a dramatic sigh, the epaulettes of her dress swaying as she gracefully leaned forward to push her queen forward.
"This is a high stakes game, darling," The Queen murmured, releasing her piece and leaning back once more. A frown knit her brow in faux concern, clasping her hands in front of her mouth. "There's no room for brash accidents. That's just… suicidal. But, alas… you're still in check."
That sweet voice held so much concern, and it sickened the girl to know none of it was real.
She was rapidly running out of wriggle room now. Her foolish move had limited her to a mere four by four square of movement- actually even less thanks to that damn bishop on the other side of the board. The few moves available to her were not promising, but she had seen comes backs before in chess. Maybe she could turn the tables in her favour?
She didn't have a choice though, that scythe pressed harder against her neck.
The girl quickly nudged her king to one of the only available spots. The action elicited another long sigh from the White Queen, and she settled down to rest her hands in her lap, advancing forward again with her queen and pinning the girl further.
"Please try. I prefer if my opponents actually make an effort."
The girl's gaze shot up from the board, now fixed on the Queen's face. Her eyes narrowed, anger bubbling deep within her chest.
"I'm trying!" She insisted, voice high and raspy. She tilted her head back slightly to relieve some of the pressure on her throat, but it was for the naught as Rook moved the scythe accordingly. "You've rigged the game or something! Just shut up and let me make my move!"
Her voice echoed throughout the room once she fell silent, and the White Queen raised an eyebrow at the girl's outburst. She didn't seem swayed though- more miffed that the quiet reverie of a chess game was broken by childish yapping. She was silent as the girl moved her king again.
"Oh, sweetheart." The White Queen murmured, licking her lips as she pushed her queen to the left once more. That same tone, so lofty with kindness yet weighed down by a devilish malevolence.
"…maybe if you took the game seriously, you wouldn't be in this position. Think before you speak and realise your place. That is how you win chess, and that is the only true way to learn who you are. A pawn in my game, nothing more. Just like everyone else in this… pitiful world."
Picking up her queen, she reached up and rested the base of the piece to the king's head.
With a little flick, the king fell onto the board.
With a little flick, the girl's head fell onto the floor.