"Come on, man!" the American complains as his Chinese companion sets up the colorful game board. "Why can't we just flip a dang coin?"

"Why should we?" China counters, carefully sorting out the different colored pieces and placing all the red ones, his chosen color, in one of the triangle sections of the board.

America stares at him, dumbfounded. "Because it's way easier and takes like, two seconds! Why do you insist on playing a whole game over it?"

But the Chinese man simply chuckles and motions to the sorted out pieces, inviting the American to choose his own lucky color. Though pouting, America eventually gives in and reaches for the blue set against his better judgment. He wants to win, and though he'd much rather flip a coin, at least he has a chance to prove himself here. He arranges the set on his side of the board.

"Because coin flipping makes it seem so trivial," China replies, examining the board for a moment before selecting one of his pieces and moving it out into the center section of the board. "You're young, but you're smart, and you know what you want. Wouldn't you rather know that you are earning what you want instead of placing all your faith in the flip of a single coin?"

America considers this for a moment, responding as he moves his first piece into the center section. "I guess. But this takes so much longer."

"Nonsense!" China laughs, moving another one of his pieces out.

"How is that nonsense?" Another blue piece moves out.

"You should believe in what you want," China responds simply. "Take things into your own hands. It's worth it no matter how long it takes."

They each take a few turns. Soon the board is covered in a scattering of red and blue game pieces, but China's seem to be converging near the home area on the opposite side of the board from where he started, and America realizes he's on a losing path.

"At least chance is fair about it!" he complains, eyeing the board but not seeing a strategic move choice favorable to him.

But China doesn't answer, instead taking one of his pieces and jumping at least three of America's, bringing almost all of his pieces in or near the home area. They each take a few more turns, but by now, it is obvious that China will win this round.

America moves one last piece, aware that China's next move will probably win him the game.

The Chinese man smiles at him. "See? By taking things into my own hands, I've put all the odds in my favor." The last red piece lands in the home area, the entire triangle covered in red pieces. "No wagers or risks."

America frowns visibly, his pride hurting, because really he should have seen this coming from a mile away. In fact, they'd both known that China would likely emerge victorious all along, but America had let the man play off his pride. China had known America would love a chance to prove he was better - to try and beat him - and he'd fallen for it.

But he doesn't want to give in just yet. He looks right back at China resolutely. "No. Best two out of three."