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A/N: I'm probably the only one thinking this, but Teru looked positively BORED during the match. That, or it could be a poker face she wears so as not to reveal any discrepancies that might hinder her from achieving the desired victory. (D'oh, who am I kidding?)

She's Got the Whole World in Her Hand

Is this reality? Is it a dream, a slip into spaces far and in between? Or is it the culmination of fragments the mind has yet to make whole?

Think what you will, dragon-tamer. This is real. This is now.

I see you. I see the fear shining in your eyes. I see the dumb slack of your jaw as shock sinks in and wracks your chest with irregular rattles. You're so still, so stiff; if I were so inclined, I would carve a slab of marble in your image. It would be so…beautiful, don't you agree?

…No? Ah, no matter. If not you, I can always paint the ill one. If I had been a painter, I would have breathed life into those tired eyes. Soft, gentle strokes would not do her justice – no, no. Swift, leaden brushes are the way to bring out the sullen, calculating gleam shining within.

Yes, my dear, I see you staring at me, dissecting me with that sleepy, half-lidded gaze. Trying to trump me at my own game, are you? You want to make your team proud in spite of your many failures, don't you?

Don't you dare think it, little girl. Allow me to wipe the triumph from your face…a-ha, there it is. That'll be forty-one-hundred from everyone. Yes, yes, hand it over, all of it thank you very much.

You can't best me.

None of you can.

I am Miyanaga Teru, herald of Shiraitodai, two-time champion of the Nationals.

You cannot conquer what you do not understand.

Oh, what is this? Ah, Miss Fukuoka…I remember you. I remember wiping the paste of your loss from my heels. Again, you're attacking as boldly as ever. Do you not have any sense of strategy, any whatsoever? Don't tank me, fool, this isn't World of Warcraft. If you must defeat an elite boss, you must use something that is of vital import – something called a brain.

Desperate, aren't we? If you were any brighter you wouldn't be slapping your tiles all willy-nilly. Let me show you how to properly depose a queen from her throne.

Ron, eight-thousand.

This is what you would call a "critical", yes? Yes. Yes, indeed. You won't be getting back up anytime soon.

None of you will. This game, this tournament, is mine. You don't stand a chance, not against a demon such as I. Only another demon of similar caliber may dare challenge me.

Someone like her.

But does she have the courage to face her greatest obstacle? Does she have the strength to stand her ground and fight regardless of the circumstances?

I glance at the table, at its scattered tiles, at the seats arranged beneath the stifling heat of the overhead spotlights.

We shall see, won't we, Saki?