Chapter 4 – Boredom
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Days pass relatively slowly when you have absolutely nothing to do. Fortunately, he was trained to master the mind and found himself not viewing boredom as some sort of mental torture. During those days, he was in the room trying to meditate and focus more on himself.

Though those days were not without struggle, he often had nightmares about the war. Despite the room's air conditioning, he would wake up randomly at night with beads of sweat. Even in another world, the effects of the war still haunted him so much that he could dream about the pile of bodies below him. Well, it wasn’t anything new to him; even back in those days, he couldn’t sleep right, so he had to take pills.

As for his parents, they were quite something. His mom was very attached to her son, while his dad seemed the opposite. To be honest, he quite liked his dad more than his mom; that doesn't mean to say his mom’s affection bothered him, but more like how she expressed that affection bothered him.

Despite that, they were parents he found pleasant to have.

After their short meeting just a few days ago, they had to leave and not stay long for the visit. They both said their farewells, and he received another hug from his mother before they left completely. He quite missed them, to be honest.

As for the food, he finally managed to eat, and it was glorious and tasty.

Right now, he is currently busy playing 3D chess on his bed. It's not the kind of chess where you need a physical board to play, but a hologram.

A freaking hologram.

Just how advanced was this world? He often wondered after seeing some things that hadn’t been fully invented back on Earth.

“Knight to C6.” The hologram flickered when the knight moved from its position with just a word from his mouth. The AI made its move by taking his Bishop from E6, and he responded by taking his opponent's bishop, who was situated in F5, with his Queen.

He sat there for several minutes. His opponent was an AI with a difficulty raised to an intermediate level. While he was no pro at chess, he knew a thing or two thanks to his team back at boot camp. Both he and the AI played some smart and tactical moves against each other until only his knight and king were left. As for the opponent's side, it was down to its queen and king.

The odds were stacked against him, but he didn’t surrender just yet.

"Knight to E7."

His knight repositioned itself, putting the opponent's king in check. It responded by quickly moving its king to a safer place, but he was already several steps ahead in his mind.

"Knight to D5," he declared next. The knight moved again, this time directly threatening its queen instead. The AI took a moment longer than usual to respond. Finally, it slid the queen to C6.

He, however, had anticipated such a move. "Knight to F4."

His knight now threatened the queen and protected his king from a potential check.

The opponent's queen moved to H4, aiming for an attack on his king. A faint smile tugged at his lips as he realized that it had finally fallen into his trap.

"Knight to G6. Checkmate."

The hologram came to an abrupt stop before shifting into a celebratory mode. A small congratulations with a bit of fireworks was displayed atop the board.

He sat there silently for a couple of seconds before sighing.

‘Well, that was fun while it lasted,’ he thought, pulling himself into the comfort of his bed.

[Would you like to have another game?]

“No, thank you.”

[As you wish.]

He wondered how long he was going to be in the hospital. It was getting tiring.

+++====+++

Another week passed, and his patience in this hospital was getting thin. Before, he did not view boredom as some sort of mental torture, but slowly, he could feel himself changing his mind. Fortunately, in his free time, there were a lot of things to occupy him and appease his boredom. He played any available games that the robot suggested and even completed some. His favorite game had to be “Monkey and Bananas.” It was a good game despite the name. He never really experienced playing video games, so this was a whole new world for him.

As for his health, some nurses would periodically come to check up on him, and of course, Dr. Poe would come in once every two days, just asking some questions related to his head. He assumed that the doctor was primarily focusing on his head, possibly due to the coma that the boy experienced before his reincarnation. Nevertheless, he hadn’t experienced any more headaches over the past few days, though he never recovered some parts of the boy’s memories.

Those memories would prove to be useful information about the world he was in. He had already ruled out that he was in his old world, just reborn into a new body. Maybe he was in the future; that would also be an answer. But for now, he was left clueless.

Getting out of bed, he walked towards the window. Often he would just stare outside and enjoy the beautiful view and the sunlight basking on his skin. It was peaceful; he hadn't enjoyed anything peaceful for quite some time in his old life.

Ding*

The beep sound broke his train of thought, and a nurse suddenly came into the room.

“Mr. Jason, I brought your food.” 

“Thanks, Ms. Jessica,” he smiled at the nurse, who smiled back in response.

Jessica was a girl with long blond hair and an average-looking face, but she was still deemed pretty by his standards. He wouldn’t go further into details other than that she was the nurse assigned to him, the one who would assist him with his medication, food, and some stuff he would request.

“Ms. Jessica, any news on when I can leave the hospital?”

In his mind, he doubted the nurse would know about it; mostly, his parents would be the ones to decide, or maybe the doctor, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the nurse either.

“Regarding that, Mr. Jason, I’m afraid I don’t know.”

‘Figures.’

“If you’d like, I’ll talk to Dr. Poe about it.” She added with her usual assuring smile

‘Well, I was gonna talk to him later on about it, but whatever.’ He resisted the urge to shake his head before saying, “Please and thanks, Ms. Jessica.”

Ms. Jessica gave a short bow before leaving the room.

The conversation was short, like any other day they met. He wasn’t the most talkative person, nor a social one for that matter. He didn't care about that; he just wanted to get out of this goddamn hospital.

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