|A Single Pawn|
|translation title||A Single Pawn|
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Teenage Takara Shinobu was counting down seconds to himself in front of a train station. The man he waited for appeared and introduced himself as Naoi Yasukane, landlord of the boarding house Kayane Manor.
During their conversation, it was revealed Shinobu just enrolled in the Senga High School and needed boarding urgently. Shinobu appeared to be a somewhat eccentric boy as he waited for Yasukane for 3 hours and all his luggages were filled with textbooks.
On the way to the boarding house, they passed the school Shinobu was going to attend, Shinobu recalled some bad memories about him spending all his time studying but could only get into his backup high school. His schoolmates were shown to sneer at him and his father was very disappointed. Shinobu was shown to wear a bandage around his right palm with one dark straight line written on it at the palm side and he recalled someone telling him to always "go straight".
Arriving at the Kayane Manor, four tenants were found to be engrossed in shōgi games. It turned out all five residents of the house were Shōreikai members aspiring to be professional shōgi players. Yasukane realized it was a realtor's mistake. Seeing everyone resistant to accepting a non-player into the house, Shinobu was about to leave. However, Yasukane suggested everyone's rent would go up by 10,000 yen if they could not find a new tenant. This shifted everyone's attitudes and Shinobu was welcomed as the 6th resident of the house.
Shinobu befriended the other tenants, Ginga, Keishi, Kazuki and Minato. As he lied in his new room, he reflected on his own life. It was seen that due to his single-minded seriousness and slow thinking, he was always an outcast in social groups.
On the second day, Shinobu learnt that the tenants used shōgi games to assign household chores, and Keishi had been assigned to clean toilet the 10th time consecutively. Yasukane, who was a tutor before, offered to help Shinobu on his studies and gave him a mock test. Shinobu scored very poorly due to not willing to skip hard problems he could not solve. Seeing Shinobu's low self-esteem, Yasukane suggested to teach him to play shōgi. Shinobu immediately took a liking to the pawn piece, which is very weak and can only walk straight, but has the potential to dominate the game once promoted. It reminded Shinobu of himself. Yasukane would then give him a few tsumeshōgi problems to solve. Shinobu managed to solve all of them, including some very difficult ones, to the surprise of everyone else, revealing the power of his single-minded focus that handicapped him in other aspects of his life. After being praised by everyone, Shinobu cried for the second time in his life. It was shown the first time he cried was on the day his mother passed away, and she was the one who asked Shinobu to "go straight".
Later, they threw a welcome party for Shinobu, who declared he would aim to become a pro player as well, shocking the entire household.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Naoi Yasukane
- Takara Shinobu
- Shinobu's Father (flashback)
- Erika (flashback)
- Shinobu's Mother (flashback)