"Hey, Redcloak! Redcloak!"

"I'm busy." The goblin made to walk straight past the creature's box.

"But Redcloooaaakk!" The monster's words turned pleading. "I need something! Well, a lot of somethings. But they're really small somethings."

"No. I have work to do."

"Please?" The monster called after him.


"….Pretty please?"

"No- Oh, what is it?" Redcloak snapped, turning around at last.

"I need pebbles."

"…Pebbles." Redcloak's expression suggested he thought the monster had lost what little sense he even had.

The monster nodded. "But they have to be a certain kind of pebble. They need to be small and round and black and white, and I need a lot of them. I don't remember how many, but it needs to be a lot."

"Oh, for the love of…" Redcloak growled. As if he didn't have enough on his plate already, now he had to find pebbles? "If it will get you off my back, fine! You'll get your pebbles!"

"Goody!" The monster exclaimed. "…You'll remember to get a lot of them, right?"

"Yes! Lots of pebbles, fine!" Redcloak threw his hands up in exasperation as he walked away.

Later that evening, a large sack was delivered with their dinner. The monster peeked inside excitedly. "Oh boy! Mr. Stiffly's going to be happy!"

A short while later, the monster's scarred companion was thrown roughly back into his own cage.

"Welcome back, Mr. Stiffly! Guess what! I got the pebbles for you!"

O-Chul managed a smile even as he placed a hand to a gash on his side. "Thank you, Monster-san."

"Can we play now? Please? Please?" The yellow eyes were bright with eagerness. "You said if we got the pebbles, you'd teach me!"

O-Chul smiled quietly as he finished healing his wounds. "Very well, Monster-san. First, we must mark the board… 19 lines in each direction, like so. The stones will be placed where the lines meet. If you surround your opponent's group of stones with your own, you may capture them. But at the same time, you must place your stones so you hold as many points on the board as possible, and make it so your opponent does not in turn capture you."

"That sounds hard…" The monster's brow furrowed.

"The rules of Go can be learned very quickly. The strategies, however, may take a lifetime to master. My father began teaching me when I was just a boy, and I continued to play throughout my military service." As he spoke, O-Chul had been dividing up the stones by color and now had two neat piles beside him. He placed the pile of white pebbles where the monster could reach it and took the black ones for himself. "Let us begin."