Ryuuou no Oshigoto! (The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!) Volume 1 & Volume 2: The Start of a Journey

Two years since its first volume was published, Ryuuou no Oshigoto! (The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!) has managed to hit the first place in Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! twice in a row, achieve one million overall sales, and secure an anime adaptation which will be coming up soon. All these achievements are nothing short of impressive for a series that doesn’t play by the book—amidst the industry where stories about reincarnation, life in another world, or edgy antisocial protagonists who double as a sorry excuse for the readers’ self-insert material dominate the market, Ryuuou no Oshigoto! shows us the possibility of having a light novel about a board game coming up on top.

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With the anime airing on January 9, I reckon it’s about the perfect time to look back on what the series has gone through so far. Spoilers are obviously ahead, though I figured that most of you are here for them anyway. Anyway, you can join the Discord server here.

Ryuuou no Oshigoto! Volume 1: The Little Dragon’s Birth

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Yaichi Kuzuryuu, at his young age of 16, is a professional shogi player. And not just any professional shogi player—he holds the title of Ryuuou (lit. dragon king), one of the seven major titles in the world of professional shogi. Yaichi started playing shogi under the tutelage of his master Kousuke Kiyotaki since he was 6, became a pro at the age of 15, and won the title just a year after that. Finishing his middle school right after he turned pro, Yaichi chose not to attend high school and focus being a professional shogi player for a living. Sounds like everything is going well for him, right?

Well, not really.

Ever since attaining his title, Yaichi had been going on a losing streak with only 30% win rate and a staggering record of eleven consecutive defeats. His only recent victory was a ceremonial match between him and his master, and even that match ended horribly with his master making a huge commotion and taking a pee in front of everyone present in a fit of rage, even going as far as calling him a “scum Ryuuou”. It took Yaichi and his senior disciple’s effort to clean up the mess he made.

Yaichi’s anedeshi (lit. big sister disciple), Ginko Sora, is a female player who started moving shogi pieces at the age of 2, became Kiyotaki’s disciple at 4, and owns two of the six titles attainable by female shogi players since she was 11. Her undefeated record against female pros is the source of her nickname, “Snow White of Naniwa”. While both of them are accomplished professional shogi players, Ginko’s popularity is on completely another level compared to Yaichi’s.

Going home with his problems weighing on his mind, Yaichi wondered if there is any value in taking disciples like his master did, and decided he would wait until he is over 20 before taking one. However, he’s greeted with a peculiar sight as he reached his 2DK apartment—an elementary school girl sitting in seiza, waiting for him. “Welcome back, Master!!” The girl said.

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But more than that, these words that came from her mouth afterwards was what startled him the most.

“As promised, please have me as your disciple!!”

“Eh…? Disciple? Eh?”

“Yes! Err… Yes!”

“Me? I promised to have you as my disciple?”

“Yes!!”

“Eh? When?”

“Eh? E, err… last year… during the last Ryuuou match…”

The girl was Ai Hinatsuru, a 9-year old grade schooler who also happened to be the daughter of the “Hinatsuru” hot spring resort’s owner, the venue of Yaichi’s final Ryuuou match last year. Yaichi recalled that she was the person who helped him overcome his anxiety by offering him some water when he was one step closer to winning the match and becoming the Ryuuou. Playing along with her request, Yaichi asked her to pass his “test” first. Of course, Yaichi wasn’t really willing to take her as a disciple—he was about to make her give up through playing a match without any handicap.

As the match went on, Yaichi naturally cornered her with ease, and things quickly proceeded into the end game. However, as Yaichi was about to deal the finishing move, things turned out completely different from what he expected. Rather than giving up, Ai started playing far more aggressively. Reading so many moves in advance, she played an extremely offensive shogi that made Yaichi quiver in excitement. Realizing that this girl sitting in front of him was really going for the kill, Yaichi forgot that she was only a 9-year old kid and defeated her without holding back.

The match lit a fire inside Yaichi, as he found something that he had been missing ever since he claimed the Ryuuou title: the passion and joy of playing shogi. This match with Ai reminded him that it’s the feelings which the players put into the game that makes shogi something so passionate. Yaichi realized that he had been disillusioned by the pressure of becoming a Ryuuou and the critics on the internet, causing him to play the very kind of shogi that people would call “boring” and losing his passion for the game in the process. It was Ai’s outrageous talent and hotblooded shogi that ultimately made him realize the fact.

Yaichi discovered later on that Ai was actually a beginner who just started shogi after seeing his Ryuuou match; in other words, she had only played shogi for three months. Even more amazing was the fact that she learned shogi through memorizing numerous tsumeshogi puzzles at once and solving them inside her head. Just as Yaichi was wondering on whether he should put such an outstanding talent under the care of someone else, Ginko came to his house for a practice match. And of course, what better timing for her to find out that an elementary school girl was staying in Yaichi’s house than when she was naked right after a bath?

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Misunderstandings aside, Yaichi and Ginko eventually brought Ai to Kiyotaki’s house, greeted by the beautiful lady who is also Kiyotaki’s daughter, Keika. Yaichi found out that his master already knew about Ai’s circumstances after being notified by the association, and that she actually ran away from home because her parents were greatly opposed to her newly found interest in shogi. As Ai stayed hellbent on becoming Yaichi’s disciple despite Ginko ridiculing her motivation as “mere admiration”, Kiyotaki surprised them with his sudden words: “is there something wrong in just admiring someone?”

Kiyotaki asked Yaichi to tell his piece of story about how he became a disciple. It turned out that Yaichi’s motivation was pretty much the same as Ai’s; it was out of respect born from his first guidance match with his master that ultimately got Yaichi to become Kiyotaki’s disciple. His motivation was a complete contrast to Ginko’s, which was for revenge after she was defeated in a guidance match. Kiyotaki then told Yaichi to take Ai as his uchideshi (live-in disciple) and prepare her for the kenshuukai (training group) test, while his master tries to convince her parents. Yaichi was surprised about his master’s decision, but Kiyotaki reminded him that the true repayment to a master is not to merely defeat the master, but to win titles and take in disciples. Finally resolute in his decision, Yaichi agreed to take Ai as his uchideshi, but only until the spring break ends.

Yaichi’s days passed in a flash with Ai as his disciple. Taking Ai to the Shogi Association’s dojo to prepare her for the training group test, finally breaking his losing streak by winning against his rival Ayumu Kannabe, feasting on Ai’s mystical Kanazawa curry, and even creating a kenkyuukai (research group) for JS (joshi-shougakusei; lit. elementary school girls) called JS research group (JS-Ken for short) with Ai’s three friends from the dojo: Mio Mizukoshi, Ayano Sadatou, and Charlotte Izoard. Yep, you heard that right. For the record, Char is my favorite girl, and I’m not a lolicon. What’s there not to like about a 6-year old French girl who is passionate about shogi and talks like an angel?

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A day before the training group test, Yaichi and Ai were unexpectedly visited by Ai’s parents (who are voiced by Ichirou Mizuki and Mitsuko Horie). While both of them didn’t really mind about her staying in Yaichi’s house as an uchideshi, they were still opposed to accepting Ai as his disciple. Her dominant mother was particularly concerned in the prospect of shogi female pro as a job. In response, Yaichi told them that despite the difficulties that female pros may face, Ai’s talent and personality will allow her to attain a title and engage in other jobs related to shogi. With her still unconvinced, Yaichi persuaded her to at least wait until after Ai’s training group test the next day. In response, Ai’s mother threw an unreasonable demand: she would only allow Ai to continue being a disciple if she wins all of her matches in the test. With Ai herself adamantly agreeing to the condition, there was nothing Yaichi could do.

The day of the training group test finally came. Holding the fan carved with the word “courage” given by his master, Ai timidly sit in seiza as Keika helped her to calm down. Her first match was with Ayano, her friend in the JS-Research club, and she defeated her in no time. Kuruno Yoshitsune, the manager of the Research Club and a seasoned pro, was Ai’s second opponent. Playing with a 2-piece handicap, Kuruno-sensei set a lot of traps throughout the game, but Ai overcame them and won the match decisively. However, Ai’s mother was unfazed by Ai’s accomplishment and Kuruno-sensei’s praise, her mind completely set on having Ai win the third match before allowing to enter the training group. And that was when Kuruno-sensei introduced Ai’s third opponent: Yaichi’s anedeshi, Ginko.

As Ai’s parents wondered why a female pro like her was present in a training group test, Yaichi tried to clear the misunderstanding: Ginko is not a female pro, but a 2-dan shoureikai (apprentice school) member aiming to become a pro. A training group is, simply put, a training institution aimed to cultivate young people who play shogi, and those who want to become a pro will have to enter the apprentice school. To become a pro, someone will have to climb to at least rank A2 in the training group (if 15 years old or younger) or rank S (if 18 years old or younger) to be admitted as a 6-kyu in the apprentice school. Then, he/she will have to reach 4-dan in the apprentice school to be promoted into a pro player. The requirement to become a female pro is different: one only needs to be rank C1 in the training group to become one. Even a 6-kyu in the apprentice school would still be a lot stronger than a female pro. In that sense, any female pro wouldn’t hold a candle against Ginko, who is essentially the strongest female player in history.

Ai gathered her courage with the fan gifted by her master and started her relentless offense in response to Ginko’s unconventional opening. However, the advantage she had built early on was devoured by Ginko. Running out of her time to read her opponent’s moves, Ai could only groan in despair as Ginko completely controlled the pace of the game, unable to even catch her breath between each of Ginko’s attacks. As if that wasn’t enough, Ginko planned on destroying her mentally by taking all of her pieces.

In the face of such a strong adversary, Ai still attempted to attack, trying to close the difference between them. Despite knowing there was no chance for victory in hand, she kept fighting until the bitter end. Her unwavering heart inspired everyone around her, and the match were heating up.

But, it was over—Ai lost on the seventh check.

After the match, as Yaichi confronted Ginko, it turned out that she had planned to end the match quickly but couldn’t. Ginko had recognized Ai’s talent. However, a loss is a loss; Ai’s mother approached them and asked Ai to give up on shogi. But, at the moment her mother was about to take her back, Yaichi approached her and prostrated himself. Putting his heart into all his words, Yaichi begged her to allow Ai to continue playing shogi.

Yaichi understood very well that there are a lot of cases where kids who have talent in shogi had to quit shogi because of their parents, and cases where pro players convinced these parents to allow them to take their kids as disciples. However, he just realized that these pros weren’t sacrificing themselves to preserve the future of shogi. They simply wanted to nurture those kids, to see what kind of shogi they would play—to connect with them through shogi. As if to follow his master, Ai prostrated next to him, begging her mother and father to let her continue being Yaichi’s disciple.

“Please stop it.”

The one who responded first was Ai’s father, instead of her mother. But his gentle words that came after was more surprising: he asked Yaichi to take care of his daughter, and followed through by kneeling.

“If it’s to Sensei, I won’t regret entrusting my daughter. No matter what kind of future Ai has in store for her… Even if she doesn’t become a female pro, the fact that she has received your teachings and the experiences that she’ll accumulate fighting in this world of shogi will surely become an irreplaceable thing in her life. Today’s match has assured me of this.”

And then, Ai’s father whispered these words to her daughter:

“You don’t have to keep winning. What’s important is to become a person who can clearly say “I lost” when you lose.

You don’t have to be a pro. Learn shogi and become a Meijin in life.”

After such a touching moment, Ai’s mother finally spoke up, asking Yaichi about his family members and yearly incomes. She then proceeded to tell him that if Ai can’t attain a title even after becoming a female pro before she graduated middle school, he will have to marry into the Hinatsuru family and help her manage the inn. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. Yaichi still took on the terms in the end, betting his own life on grooming Ai.

Ai went back with her parents to her home for a week in order to take care of her school transfer. Finally reuniting with him at the fateful place—his 2DK apartment—they repeated the conversation they first had there.

“Welcome back, Master!!”

“…I’m back.”

“Ai Hinatsuru! Fourth grade!”

“As promised, please have me as your disciple!!”

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Ryuuou no Oshigoto! Volume 2: The Dragon King’s Second Disciple

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Right after Ai has officially become Yaichi’s disciple, the second volume doesn’t take too much time in introducing a new main character. While visiting the residence of amateur 6-dan Dan Onizawa (who also happens to be an S&M adult novel author) with Ai, Yaichi encountered a mysterious old man as Ai was having guidance matches with Onizawa. The man had a keen eye, noticing Ai’s brimming talent and Yaichi’s inner conflict in raising her as a disciple. After the man left and the guidance matches were done, Yaichi was struck by a discovery when talking to Dan: Ai is stagnating.

“What do you think of Ai?”

“I think she’s got the potential. Maybe even more than Ginko-chan’s.”

“More than Anedeshi’s!? I, I think that’s going a bit too far…”

“But the way she is now, I doubt she’ll be able to grow beyond Ginko-chan’s level.”

“Eh? …Why is that?”

“Because she doesn’t have a rival.”

There is not a single human being in this world that can grow stronger alone. Even Ginko, who is now the strongest female shogi player in history, can only climb so far because Yaichi has always been her self-proclaimed rival. And that’s the very reason she had chosen the thorny path of being a pro player instead of becoming a female pro—to be able to fight on the same stage as Yaichi. But, the current Ai doesn’t have someone like that, and Yaichi himself cannot fulfill that role for her.

Right at this timing, a request came to Yaichi from Seiichi Tsukimitsu: the current chairman of the Japan Shogi Association, and a genius player who became the second middle school shogi pro in history. Despite suffering from a serious illness which has impaired his vision since his twenties, he’s managed to maintain his rank A position in the Ranking Battle (the preliminary for the fight to challenge the Meijin title; for the record, Yaichi is currently at C2, the lowest rank) until his current age of 50. Because of his eyesight problem, he is frequently assisted by his secretary to move shogi pieces during matches.

Meeting Yaichi in person, Seiichi quickly told him about his request: he wanted Yaichi to take on another disciple. And a 9-year old, fourth grade elementary school girl at that. After teasing Yaichi a bit about his “infatuation with elementary school kids”, Seiichi explained that this girl “only wants an A-rank pro player or a title holder as her master” and he couldn’t take any more disciple. After some negotiation, Yaichi agreed to take the girl in as a temporary disciple only until she joins the training group. (Sounds familiar?)

Arriving at the girl’s mansion in Kobe, Yaichi met the man he encountered at Onizawa’s residence who turned out to be the girl’s grandfather, Kouten Yashajin. Kouten introduced Yaichi to his granddaughter, and Yaichi’s (temporary) disciple: Ai Yashajin.

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Although her given name, age, and even the size of her body were all identical to Ai, the atmosphere that surrounded her was completely different. (For the sake of convenience, I will address Ai with her nickname, Ten-chan, from now on.) Dressed in a black attire, the first words that came from her mouth were:

“I won’t call you Master.”

It didn’t take long for Yaichi to understand that Ten-chan is a “wild mare”, and that he’ll need a different approach to tame this rude and foul-mouthed girl. Defeating her in a match with 4-piece handicap, Yaichi found out that she possesses outstanding talent and an unyielding heart; Ten-chan plays a completely different style of shogi compared to Ai’s heavily offensive style, called uke-shogi. Ten-chan’s father was an amateur Meijin, while her mother was a member of a shogi club in her university days; both of them passed away in an accident, and shogi was the only thing they had left for her.

Coming back from his first “lesson” with Ten-chan, what awaited Yaichi was the sight of Ai hiding under the kotatsu after being used as a “shogi sandbag” by Ginko in place of him. However, what shocked him was what Ginko had to say afterwards.

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“Yaichi.”

“Yes?”

“She’s getting weaker. That thing.”

Ai is getting weaker?

It finally dawned on him. Ai’s current environment right now may have been an ideal one for her to learn shogi—friends who play shogi together with her, a master who kindly teaches her shogi, and all the new things that she experiences everyday. However, the moment she finds comfort and satisfaction in those things, the moment she starts thinking “I’m fine with the way I am now”, that’s when her growth stagnates. And stagnation is the first step towards defeat.

Realizing Ai’s dire need for a worthy rival to grow stronger, Yaichi finally solidified his resolve in training Ten-chan. Taking her to a dojo where people gamble with shogi accompanied by Akira Ikeda (Ten-chan’s personal female bodyguard who knows nothing about shogi), Yaichi provided her with a place to polish her foundation. Her way of shogi requires utmost perfection, and playing for keeps in the world of underworld shogi was Yaichi’s way to improve her ability to focus.

As Yaichi came back home right when the JS-Ken was having a study group, Char suddenly asked to become his disciple. Yaichi refused her gently and told her “I can’t make you a disciple, but I’ll make you a bride instead!!” which triggered Ai’s wrath. Yaichi who suddenly lost the timing to tell her about his “new temporary disciple” could only wonder if she would oppose him taking a new disciple and ended up keeping it a secret.

Ai wasn’t really amused by the fact that Yaichi’s hiding something from her, though, and she does get pretty scary at times. I mean, no elementary school girl would normally ask her classmate about where to buy a truth serum (lol). Mio who wanted to brighten Ai’s mood ended up inviting her to visit the city dojo along with the other JS-Ken members—which happened to be the place Yaichi and Ten-chan were going to that day. And right when Yaichi was teaching Ten-chan how to move shogi pieces, Ai caught him red-handed.

Yaichi who was on the verge of getting slaughtered by Ai in her yandere mode could only beg Ten-chan to explain the circumstances, but…

“Nice to meet you. My name is Ai Yashajin. Yaichi-sensei has been teaching me a lot of things, just like what you saw just now. Right, Sensei? ♥”

“Ai… Yashajin? Chan…?”

“That’s right. So your name is also ‘Ai’, huh. Is it a coincidence, I wonder? Or maybe… He’s tired of the first Ai-chan already? What a cruel teacher.”

Things escalated pretty quickly and Ai ended up running away from home, though it turned out she was only staying at Kiyotaki’s place. Quickly rushing into his master’s house, Kiyotaki told Yaichi that he’s already got the gist of the situation from both Ai and the chairman’s story. But, that was not the only thing he wanted to talk about.

“I wanted to wait for you to become an A-rank player before telling you this… but since you’ve attained a title and took in a disciple, I’ll tell you. I—

I had wanted to make you Tsukimitsu-san’s disciple before.”

“Make me… the chairman’s disciple? What do you mean by that…?”

“I thought I wouldn’t be able to raise you.”

“…Is it because there was Anedeshi?”

“You had something that I don’t—talent, and an outstanding one at that.”

“…?”

“I already knew the first time I played against you. This boy will at least become a pro in middle school.”

“B, but, I was still an amateur 2-dan at that time, right? Whether I will become a pro or not—”

“I can tell. In fact, it’s when someone is a beginner that their talent stands out. Craft can be gained through willpower, but talent can’t. People are born with it.”

“Talent…”

“You felt it too, didn’t you? From Ai-chan.”

“…Yes.”

Kiyotaki had felt the same thing that Yaichi felt when encountering Ai: talent. All he could do was teach him to become a pro player, and nothing beyond that; he couldn’t teach him about how to conduct himself as a title holder. That was the reason he consulted the chairman right after Yaichi’s promotion match—the person who possesses the same thing as Yaichi, and his request was denied. The reason was simple: isn’t it a master’s duty to treasure the feelings of his disciple?

“I had tried to run away from my disciple once.

While your disciple might have run away from you, what you did was all for her sake. That’s why I don’t think you’re mistaken.”

“Master…”

“You wanted to create a rival for Ai-chan, right? Someone who can grow stronger together with her. Someone who is just like Ginko to you.”

“…!”

Realizing that the choice he made wasn’t a mistake, and that he finally walked on the same path as his master’s, Yaichi thanked his master with all his heart.

With Ten-chan’s training finished, it’s finally time for her to take the training group test. Defeating her first opponent with ease, Ten-chan continued by beating Keika in her second match. Despite losing with a lance handicap, getting completely overwhelmed by an elementary schooler proved too much for her, and she left the room in tears. Ai was Ten-chan’s opponent in the third match

Ten-chan and Ai’s match was a close one. Although Ai started first, Ten-chan’s One Turn Loss Bishop Exchange dragged Ai to her pace. Playing the kind of shogi where not a single mistake would be tolerated, Ten-chan pushed Ai into a corner. Far from giving up, Ai fought back with her offensive shogi. However, Ai made a very simple mistake near the end, which forced her to admit defeat.

Ai realized why she could miss such an obvious chance to win: it was because she had assumed it was impossible. Ever since she was falling behind in the early game, she had already thought it was impossible to win. The moment her heart faltered because she believed her master favored her opponent, she had lost… to herself.

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“I should have studied more…! I should have played more shogi with a lot of strong people…! I should have solved more tsumeshogi…! Even though I should have kept thinking about shogi more and more, to the point I won’t think about anything else…! More and more… more… If only I put more effort into it…!! Even though I’ve come here to learn more, more, and more about shogi……..!!

I… I want to be stronger….!!”

Yaichi understood the pain Ai experienced at that moment very well. It’s the pain that comes to everyone who aims for the top of the shogi world—the pain of losing. People who can’t overcome that pain won’t be able to live on. There is no such thing as an “invincible player”; in fact, the stronger someone is, the more that person will encounter defeat. But even if one understands that fact, the taste of defeat is never pleasant.

However—.

This pain, this feeling, is something that Yaichi has always wanted Ai to learn. Something that neither he or anyone else can teach her. The wish that everyone longs for, strongly inside their heart.

The wish to become stronger.

After all,

People who do not cry when they lose will never become strong.

Coming back home together with Ai after the match, Yaichi brought up the matter of Ten-chan and told Ai that he’s going to take her as a disciple from the chairman, even through force. Ai reluctantly approved, but with the condition that Yaichi would play 30 shogi matches with her (so she will remain Yaichi’s “first”).

The day finally came for Yaichi’s regular match with the chairman. Wagering on who will become Ten-chan’s master on the match, the two started clashing with each other through One Turn Loss Bishop Exchange, the tactic that Yaichi admired and learnt from the chairman. The battle raged on as Yaichi gave his all to win, and a single mistake that the chairman made allowed him to claim the victory. Had this man’s eyes could see, the result might have been completely different, Yaichi pondered.

Telling Yaichi that he has finally returned the favor, he left him to talk with Ten-chan, who was apparently watching their match all along. Yaichi showed her a match record of Ten-chan’s father with the chairman; it was a memorial match held seven years ago, and Yaichi was a the game score keeper of that match. He told Ai that in that match, her father had wished that if her daughter wants to become a pro when she grows up, the chairman would become her master.

However, Ten-chan reminded him that the story had a continuation the Yaichi himself had forgotten: during the post portem, the young Taichi at that time managed to find a way to check the chairman’s king that not even her father could imagine. At that moment, Ten-chan’s father changed his wish:

“If my daughter says she wants to become a pro when she grows up…

At that time—

I will have this Yaichi Kuzuryuu-kun become her master.”

All this time, Ten-chan has always thought it was a given for her to become the Ryuuou, Yaichi Kuzuryuu’s disciple. Her late father’s greatest joy was her learning Yaichi’s shogi, after all. That was also why Ten-chan grew up knowing the same tactic that Yaichi used.

“So? In the end, whose disciple am I going to be?”

“What do you think yourself?”

“I don’t really care. The master-relationship in shogi only matters for the sake of administration anyway, right? As long as I can properly enter a household, I don’t care whoever it is.”

“…”

“Well, that’s more convenient for me too. After all, everyone is my enemy.”

What Ten-chan said wasn’t wrong. The world of professional shogi is the world of warfare. As long as one lives in that world and aims for the top, hurting each other is inevitable.

However, that’s not the only thing about shogi.

Despite being fated to hurt each other, shogi players also share a bond just as powerful with each other—no, even stronger than that; and that’s what Yaichi wanted to convey to Ten-chan then. He remembered the moment he used “talent” as an excuse to refuse Char’s request to become his disciple, and finally grasped why he had been so fixated with Ten-chan.

The promise from the past didn’t matter, and so did her tactics and her talent. All he wanted was to wipe off the tears overflowing from inside her heart, to teach her the lesson that her own parents had wanted to convey to her—to show her that shogi can bring people happiness.

“Ai. Will you—

Will you become my family?” (The word is written with kanji that reads “master-disciple” with furigana that reads “family”)

“Fami… ly?”

“Yep.”

Yaichi knew that he couldn’t bring back her dead parents or grant her the bond that was lost, but he could create a new bond. With his master, Ginko, Keika, and Ai—with his family, he could grant Ten-chan a new family. They probably wouldn’t get along at first, but by talking through shogi, he believed they would be able to understand each other just like her match with Ai. There are certainly master-disciple relationships that exist simply for a matter of convenience, but that’s not what he was looking for.

“I want to become a family with you—with Ai Yashajin. Not just a family in name, but one where we’ll be able to smile together in good times and support each other in bad times, just like a real family.”

Ten-chan grasped her chest tightly with both of her hands. Sitting in front of Yaichi was neither an arrogant princess nor a flawlessly beautiful genius, but a little girl who was shaking as she recalled her suffering of losing someone.

Holding her hands, Yaichi said these words.

“Please become my family. I’ll definitely… make you happy.”

Two days later, as Yaichi fell asleep while playing shogi with Ten-chan at the Association’s second floor after playing lots of rounds with Ai to fulfill his promise.

“…So basically I’ve been lacking sleep because of that. Playing non-stop shogi right after the day of that important game worn me out pretty badly…”

“Huh, that’s some worthless shit.

Not taking a new disciple if your disciple doesn’t allow it, who is the real master here? Aren’t you embarrassed as a pro player? Are you even a title holder? Don’t you realize how miserable you are?”

“I’m ashamed…”

“In the first place, it doesn’t really matter who is the first. It’ll be clear through shogi anyway.”

“Well, you’ve got a point. If it’s through playing shogi, the answer will be certain.”

“So?”

“Eh?’

“Who is the first?”

Huh!?

Just now… Didn’t you say it doesn’t really matter who is the first?

“D, don’t get me wrong, okay!? I’m talking about who is the strongest in shogi, you get it!? I’m not asking about your preferences, okay!?”

“I get it! I, I understand!!”

“…Well, whatever.”

Looking away from Yaichi, Ten-chan continued speaking as her face turned beet red.

“I won’t call you master.

You only became my master because it was necessary for the association—because my parents had wished for it, and I needed to enter a household. I didn’t wish to become your disciple at all, not in the slightest. That’s why, that’s why…!

Don’t get the wrong idea—Sensei!”

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I had planned to only make a brief summary of all the current six volumes, but it still ended up this long for just two volumes. Well, I guess this works too. I’ll probably write the continuation of this in future posts if people are interested; hopefully it’ll be a lot shorter next time (lol). Tell me what you think in the comment section!

Don’t forget to buy the light novels and support the author. BookWalker has started translating the light novel, which you can purchase here. Another reminder: this series also has an ongoing manga serialization. Rarely do I find an adaptation which can greatly improve on its source material, and I didn’t even need to think twice to say that Ryuuou no Oshigoto!’s manga is one of those rare cases. Check it out when you have some free time.

There are a lot of emotional moments in this series. Moments which make you laugh, moments which make you want to protect these cute little girls, moments which make your blood rush with excitement, moments which make you cry from the bottom of your heart, and moments which remind you that at heart, Ryuuou no Oshigoto! is not merely a story about shogi—it’s a story about people who give their all in life, doing the thing they love the most. Some are motivated by admiration, others by revenge. Some of them possess talent, while others struggle with mere effort. But in the end, they are all connected by shogi. I hope more people will be able to discover this work and experience these feelings.

As a reward for reading this post until the very end, have a smiling Char.

CharSmile.png

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10 thoughts on “Ryuuou no Oshigoto! (The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!) Volume 1 & Volume 2: The Start of a Journey

  1. Finally found summary of volume 2 ˚‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚

    Thank you very much. Looking forward to the next summary!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this – it must have taken quite the while to write everything! I came here after watching the first few episodes of the anime and wanting to know more regarding the source material. I’ll definitely be checking out the LN as well as the manga.
    Will be waiting patiently for the continuation of these summaries! ^_^

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