Chapter 2 — [Shatranj]
2 years have passed by in the blink of an eye. In these 2 years, Ryusuke got taller and was comparable to the normal height of a 6-year-old. The reason for his quick growth was unknown but his parents thought that it was because he was an active boy who liked to play around in the village.
Ryusuke started reading story books very early, he read his first book when he was only about 2 and half years old. In just a year, he had read approximately all the story books in his house, this caused him to gain the perspective of the various characters that could be said to be the heroes of in that world.
When the word spread of his reading skill, the people from the neighbourhood started entering his house and politely greeted Tajima and his mother. They were happy that there was a prodigy born in their village and felt that the village had some hope of development.
Tajima was very happy when all the people in the Village called Ryusuke, a prodigy. Wasn’t this just what Ryusuke wanted? Didn’t Ryusuke just wanted to make his father proud?
One day, Ryusuke was being taught a game by Tajima, this name was very popular in the world by the name of shatranj. It was played by most of the adults in the world as this game required a good amount of brain power.
Many ministers or the ones managing the military played this game as a tool to keep their minds sharp, even though it was quite practical but it helped to sharpen the mind and was a good warm-up for the mind before a battle.
Ryusuke was quite young to play this game or even attempt to learn it but Tajima had a talk with some of his friends and they thought that it would be a good idea for Ryusuke to know this game. They were some of his best friends that he had made on the battle-ground and trusted them a lot.
One of them said to him, “Tajima-san, I admire you for the way you can manipulate or even anticipate an opponent’s mind. I know that I am learning as I have another match against you but I know that you are improving even faster. I regret, regret that I didn’t learn this game in my childhood, perhaps, that would have made me into one of the best Military Strategist in the world.”
To this Tajima simply laughed and said, “Shatranj and commanding men in real life is very different. In real life, there is something known as surprise, an expectation, a risk and most of all the determination to win. Winning this game doesn’t make you the best Military Strategist in the world.”
To this, his friend replied, “Indeed, it doesn’t make one the best but doesn’t it help. In fact, this helps a lot as if we know the strength of our enemy or anything that we would expect, our mind is sharp and used to enough to make a counter-measure in such a situation.”
Tajima simply smirked back as he said, “Perhaps…”
So, as Tajima thought of teaching the basics to Ryusuke and in the middle of the game, Katoka Shio suddenly collapsed. She gave a cry of pain as she fell down on the ground while cleaning the room.
It startled the father and son duo as they quickly rushed towards Katoka Shio. The board on which they were playing. it fell down on the ground and all the pieces scattered with some of them entering beneath the bed. All of the pieces were rolling on the ground with only a single of them standing, it was a Black King…
Tajima held his wife and asked her in a concerned voice, “What happened? Are you tired right now?” His voice was filled with a worried voice for his wife, he didn’t know what happened to her but from her abrupt cry, he thought that it was a serious matter.
Katoka Shio stood up while holding her stomach as she gave out another cry of pain. Tajima pulled her into his hug as he caressed her back, “Calm down wife… Calm down. It’s alright now. We will go to see the doctor right now.”
Katoka Shio calmed down and suddenly yelled out, “Stop it! You are hugging me too tight.” Tajima had a dumbfounded expression on his face, he thought ‘The heck… It was you who was was screaming, I tried to calm you down and you yell at me! Is there anything fair in this world?!’
His wife’s mood suddenly turned better as she looked at him with a lot of love in her eyes, it was the kind of lovestruck expression a lover makes, she softly whispered something in his ear. It was ‘I believe that we are going to have a baby soon…’
When Tajima heard her words, he was overjoyed! He felt even younger with a strange sense of warmth in his heart. Ryusuke was quite confused ‘Why is father so happy when mother is crying out in pain? Does he not love mother anymore? What is happening?”
Tajima looked towards his wife with a loving expression, he glanced towards Ryusuke ordered him, “Son, go and open the gate of our room. I am going to take your mother there.” Ryusuke followed his father’s order ran towards their room in full speed and opened it.
Tajima carried Kotoka Shio in princess style and took her back to their room. He made his wife lay down on a bed and softly said to her, “Sleep well honey, I will do the work for today.”
He went out of the room and saw Ryusuke standing there with an anxious and worried expression. He knelt down to be on the same level as his son softly smile to him, “Son, didn’t you always want your younger sibling?”
Ryusuke was confused as to why his father was mentioning this matter, even though he did want to know the answer. Tajima continued, “Well son, he is on his way now.”
As soon as Ryusuke heard it, he was overjoyed! He felt as if he was on top of the world. It was as if he was finally getting what he would always request to god…