David's Dilemma

Originally published on August 17th, 2013 by Dimitri Bouniol. #FNADNST

Continuation of The Old Man's Hint, originally published on August 9th, 2013.

David didn't know what to tell everyone.

Immediately after he told everyone his circumstances, Mary spoke in and suggested they all just start working.

However, that just delayed the inevitable, and David knew he had to say something.

His work didn't give him this chance though, as the cafeteria became quite busy that evening.

After things quieted down, the head chef let them know that they worked hard enough that day and let them go a little early, at which point they all returned to their room.

All seated at the edge of their beds, no one knew what to say to one another.

The room was completely silent.

Suddenly, Will barged in without even knocking: "I heard what happened…"

… but David didn't give him the chance to continue.

"I couldn't do a thing!" He exclaimed, his head looking down at his legs.

David continued: "That kid from the team we beat yesterday followed me after we split up."

"They all trapped me in a corner, and immediately demanded I trade all of my score with them."

"When I refused, they punched me in the gut until I couldn't breath."

"So when they asked again, I said OK, and gave them 1046, telling them that's all I had…"

"But of course, they demanded I read out my balance afterwards…"

"Whey found out I lied to them, they punched me in the eye until I gave up all 1541 points I had."

"After that, they told me to get more points from each of you for him to collect tomorrow, and they'd break my arm if I refused."

"However, all I plan to give him are the 60 points I earned tonight. I'm not going to bring everyone down because of my mistakes…"

Suddenly, Akira got up from his bed and walked over to David's side.

Taking out his card from his pocket, he tapped it onto David's, which he was already holding, and spoke "sixty eight".

Dumbfounded, David just watched as the others all followed suit.

"W… Why?" he asked.

Ting, unsuspectingly, was the first to respond: "Because we all need to get out of this together."

Lucy spoke up as well: "You're smart, aren't you? The more points you have the higher the chances we'll regain all of them!" she ended in a smile.

"All we need to do from now on is stick together." Ken suggested.

As they all offered suggestions on how to remedy the situation, Will quietly left the room.

He had gone there to try to help motivate them to keep up the hard work, but they recovered without any of his help.

Thinking there was nothing else he could do as their temporary supervisor, he slowly walked out of the building, hand in pockets, and lost in thought.

His calm walk was interrupted though as someone addressed him: "So what do you think about them?"

Will turned around, and saw the old man who addressed him just outside the entrance doorway for the dorms.

"Good evening Headmaster." Will said.

"They seem to be running into some hardships, but as I've been watching, I've kinda grown to like that group of kids you are watching over. But I would like to hear your opinion too!" The old mad said as he smiled.

"They are a strong that bunch. I have a feeling they'll overcome whatever hurdle they run into. I kinda want to help them more though hahaha!" Will responded.

"I look forward to seeing them at the closing ceremonies then! ho ho" the old mad laughed as he walked away into the night, waving his wand as he walked.

After an uneventful morning and lunch, they each managed to still have 1383 point each.

But they needed a game plan to recover their lost points.

They could keep it safe for the remaining days, but as last night's incident reminded them, they needed a game plan since anything could happen.

They had looked at the competitions for the day, but unfortunately, none were particularly well suited to win any of them.

However, some of them did look promising.

There was an individual swimming competition, which Mary and Lucy exclaimed that they could probably do, along with a chess competition later in the afternoon.

For the time being, they all header over to the pool for the swimming competition.

The teacher exclaimed that there were no limitations as to the method of swimming, as long as it was actually swimming.

Some didn't think the teacher was kidding apparently, as they were instantly disqualified for running around the pool instead of swimming like their opponent did.

However, others who kept on winning instantly signed up again for a later race to rack up their winnings.

When it was Mary's turn, she showed that she could indeed swim fast, as she destroyed the competition, and earned 1018 points.

After winning, she immediately signed up again to win some more later.

Lucy, however, had less luck.

Just as the starting whistle was about to be blown, her opponent jumped straight into the pool and headed towards the other end.

After 5 seconds of being dumbfounded that the teacher payed no attention to this and blew the whistle anyways, Lucy jumped in and raced to the other end.

She slowly started to catch up, but the end was too close, and even Lucy didn't know if she would make it or not.

Lucy did miraculously win this race though.

However, it was only by a hair.

She was more surprised to learn that she won an amount equal to all of her points too: 1383 more than she already had.

This wasn't much of a lucky break though, as Sean made quite clear: "Guys, he just signed up for another race."

Confused, Mary said: "And?"

"Since no one else signed up after you re-signed up, that would mean you will be the one racing him."

"And, although this is just a guess, he probably has much more points than you think." Sean continued.

"Just look at that last race — he calculated it all. That he had more points than us only makes me fear that he's after even more points."

"He's the calculating type like I am, and he's planning on taking your points next, Mary."

"You should give us all your points and keep 800." he continued.

"It's not that I don't trust you, its that I don't trust him. He's going to try something, I know it."

Not knowing what to think, Mary agreed to let go of the majority of her points for the time being.

But she wanted to win no matter what, just to prove Sean wrong.

This was not a chance she had though.

When it came time to start the race, she felt two hands grab at her ankles just as she way about to jump.

Before she managed to get free, the race was already over, and the guy who was her opponent had already won her 800 points.

Mentally defeated without even having the chance to try, she ran to Lucy's side while crying.

Then, she started apologizing to Sean for doubting him, while still crying her eyes out.

After drying up, she calmed down enough for them to head towards the chess hall.

However, by the time they got there, it seems the last match was almost done.

There was a girl with a computer on her lap, utterly defeating her opponent, and just enjoying the kill at this point.

When the match ended, the teacher announced that 3274 points had been transferred.

This would mean that this girl had much more than that to begin with, as her opponent looked as though they lost everything.

That was expected though, as she was beat not by her, but by her computer, who was using a program that was quite well know for beating even chess masters.

After her win, the girl signed up for the next match, smugly asking if there were any more challengers.

Without warning though, David signed up for this challenge, and asked his team mates to each give him points so he would have a total of 6000, so if he won, they would have easily met the requirements to finish this game of an entrance exam.

Sensing his duty to pay everyone back for what happened the day before, his teammates warned him about what it would mean to lose that, but he insisted he would win.

After they agreed, he sat down at the chess board, and started the match.

At first, the match went slowly.

David's opponent was clearly messing with him at this point, not even taking the match seriously.

That didn't disturb him in the slightest though.

Instead, he simply started talking while he played.

"When I was 6, I often spent time with my grandpa playing chess."

"He spoke only French, and I spoke only English, but that didn't keep us from being able to play against one another."

"Little by little, he taught me the rules by example, and I lost to him hundreds of times."

"But then, after a few years of playing with him, I started winning."

"I had only ever played with him, and never practiced on my own, so I assumed he was just losing due to his old age catching up to his brilliant mind."

"He often brought friends of his over, and told them to play me."

"At first, I would lose a few rounds, but then I would start winning."

"I would then switch opponents, and this would repeat."

"Pretty soon, I would stop losing all together."

"Only later was I told that I was beating some of the most prestigious chess players in France…"

Perhaps his opponent didn't notice because of his story, but he started playing faster and faster.

"It was at that point that one of my opponents told me, who was 10 at the time, to never play chess again."

"It was quite frightening for me, since I never played with someone who spoke English before, and only ever exchanged words though my our moves on the chess board."

"So I never played anyone again."

"But I was curious at that point why I was so good at the game."

"So when I got my first computer, I immediately started playing chess against an AI."

The girl started sweating as she was having a hard time keeping up with David's moves.

"I played, and I played, until I never found another program that could beat me."

And on that last word, he lifted his rook, and proclaimed "Checkmate."

Suddenly, the entire room erupted in applause, as David collected 6000 points out of pure genius.

He was quickly greeted by a huge hug by his entire team.

After they all walked back to their dorm, excited as ever, singing along the way.

Once they got back to their room, David excused himself to go to the bathroom to clean up his woulds from the day before.

They had some time before the dinner run started, so they decided to take this time as a small break.

After he walked into the dorm's bathroom, he proper the first aid kit onto the sink counter and opening it up.

He washed his face with cold water, as a good wake up from his strong win.

Perhaps he was so deep in thought about giving back all the points he had to his team, but he did not notice the unfriendly face that greeted him in the mirror with a wicked grin.


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