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Suddenly, he started to grin and quickly his fingers reached for the piece. He slammed it down on the board and looked up at her before crowing, "Checkmate!" Their observers clapped, as did Dirce, and she reached across the table to fluff his hair lovingly, a move that caused him to try and brush her hand away in response. But he continued to smile, and that's what she wanted - a smile, a happy expression after so many sevendays of nothing but gloom. It would take time before the happy boy he could be returned in full, but she was certain it would be there eventually again. This was just a start, and given some time, some patience, and plenty of attention, she knew it would get there. "Okay, I'd best get going to chores. I know, I know, you're so sad you can't be beaten by me again."
She chuckled. "Smartass." She flicked a bit of water in his direction. "I'll be here for a while longer. Going to eat a bit more, maybe hook someone new in to play. I've got some pride to reclaim." She winked, and Cariden rounded the table to hug her and kiss the top of her head. "Be good, kiddo. I'll see you later, okay?" He was off then, and she shook her head, fixing up the board before standing to go and gather more food, hoping the temptation of a full chessboard would be enough to tempt someone when she returned. She wasn't as bad of a player as she'd led her brother to believe, and perhaps she'd gone a tiny bit easy on him, enough so that by the time they'd gotten as far as they had, there'd been no hope for her besides.
But now she was going to make sure she won at least one round with someone... only...
When she returned, someone was fast approaching her table, and she managing a smile for someone that wasn't a sibling when she saw who it was. Olyver, another candidate and someone she had met through her brother. She had found the young man endearing, charming even, and enjoyed when they were in the same company together. She waved him the rest of the way over and slid into her seat. "Hey there, Olyver. Want to join me for a game and some food?" She indicated two things when she spoke - the food that she'd gathered, of which there was quite a bit, perhaps more than one person really needed, and the chessboard.
Only she realized something a moment later - what if he didn't know how to play? Not everyone did, and of those that were aware, not everyone enjoyed the game. What smile there was on her face melted a bit, and she tilted her head somewhat in another nod. "That is, if you want to play. I'm not sure if you know how, or if you'd like to learn if you don't know how. I can teach you if you don't."