Tuesday, 9 June 2015


In thirty-seven years’ worth meetings, he must have asked about my chess set at half of them. I knew it was part of the act, he kept up the fa├žade of an old man, but I knew the Grand Chancellor was a brilliant tactician. Keeping the crown safe despite stupid Royals wasn’t easy.

But no matter how many times I offered, he never let me teach him. Far too old, far too busy.

Shame. Because when I gave the newly crowned teenage King a beautiful, seductive courtesan from my homeland, he might have understood why I whispered ‘Checkmate’ to him.

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