Disclaimer : I don't own Hikaru no Go.
Chapter 12 : Realizing who was the true rival
The real world, Tokyo University Hospital, room 715
" It works," Miyasaki sighed in relief.
" Umm," the sick boy murmured quietly, he was waking up.
" Shindou-san, He's waking up!" Akira exclaimed hopefully.
" Hikaru!" The Shindous called their son.
The 1 Dan slowly opened his sleepy eyes and looked at the crowd around him.
" Hikaru!" Mr. and Mrs. Shindou cried with tears of joy, their baby was safe now.
" Shindou!" It came from Akira, Waya and Isumi.
" Hikaru! You just woke up!" Even she said so, Mitsuko hurriedly supported her son who tried to get up into sitting position as soon as he was fully awake from a short sleep.
" There's no need to be worried, Mom," Said the blond, " I'm fine,"
" How can we?" Masao asked, " You got a heart attack, Son,"
" Yeah!" Waya backed up his friend's father, " Why didn't you tell us about your condition? Why did you keep it from us?" he demanded heatedly, " Aren't we friends?"
" Waya!" Isumi warned, this was not appropriate at all.
" Shindou-kun, how do you feel?" Miyasaki asked his patient…well, it was his duty to ask anyway.
" Never been so refreshing, Doctor," the boy replied with wide grin, " Just like..I was reborn and become a new person,"
Next Friday, 8.40 a.m., 20 minutes before the promised game started, at Touyas' manor
Kouyo was deep in his meditation, he was preparing for the game with his equal, the mysterious Sai.
A week ago when his son had return home with exhausted look on his face, he had wondered if the game with his own rival, Shindou Hikaru, had been that hard. Kouyo had gasped with surprise hearing that the said boy had had a heart attack, he shouldn't had a heart disease, he was so..young, so lively. Then he had been relieved to hear that the poor blond hadn't been in a fatal condition and regained his consciousness now. It was then he had noticed that his composed son had been…frustrated?
A week ago,
" What is it? Akira?" Kouyo questioned his son with his normal tranquil manner.
" Eh?" Akira was a bit taken aback, " It's..nothing, Father," Turning away, he denied.
" If you said so," Touya-Senior knew how to deal with the junior well, Akira didn't like to be pushed.
Turning around to face his father, the blue-eyed boy brought up the topic, " It's just…,"
" What's about him? Are you still worried about him?" Yes, It's always about him. " You've just said that he was fine now,"
" Ah, it's not about his health then,"
" No," Shaking his head, Akira wondered how his father could read his mind so easily, " It's just I've never known that he has a heart problem before,"
" We've known each other for years now but he's never mentioned about it," he grumbled, " If he didn't collapse today, I would never know he had a heart transplant when he was 12,"
He had a heart transplant? Poor boy, he must be very sick, Still …"Akira, he has every right to tell or not to tell anyone," Kouyo lectured Akira knowing his son was disappointed that the other boy didn't trust him enough to share his problem with him but Akira couldn't be mad at him because of this, " This kind of problem isn't what we announce in public, it's private,"
" I know, Father," Akira knew his father was right, Touya Kouyo was always right, he reluctantly conceded the advice, " I know,"
At the present, 8.45 a.m., 15 minutes before the game started,
To Kouyo's relief, 5 days ago his son had told him that the 1 Dan had been fully recovered and had been allowed to return home after 3 days and 4 nights in the hospital. Of course, he was concerned about Akira's only rival and only friend but he…kinda wondered if the boy's condition would affect his game. If he didn't get any better, would Sai cancel the game? Though Kouyo had been waiting for this game for a year now, if Sai wanted to postpone it, he understood, after all Shindou Hikaru was his pupil.
Yes, Shindou-kun is definitely Sai's student, I remember that style. The ex-5-titles holder was certain about that, especially after Akira had shown him the game they had played in Young Lion Tournament. His last move was unquestionably influenced by Sai.
Poor Shindou-pro, he had managed to triumph over Touya Akira, the great, but couldn't win the tournament since he had to stay in the hospital.
But...What's about that feeling? The pressure I sense every times we meet?...If he's Sai, why he loses to Akira so often? No, I can't think of him right now, I have to concentrate. Whoever Sai is, I'm about to have a game with him.
Yes, that was a wise thing to do since it was 8.45 now, the game would nearly begin.
Kouyo stood up and headed to Akira's bedroom where the laptop was. Today was a perfect day for having the game, Akiko, his wife went out to visit her friend in the hospital while Akira had to work all day long, they would be home in the evening so he could have this manor for himself and have this important game in peace with no disturbance.
/ Bingbong Bingbong/ a door bell rang.
Who is it? Kouyo clearly didn't know the laws of Merfy which said ' If there's only 0.00001 percent of mistake, it'll happen."
When he answered the door, he blinked his eyes twice in confusion, " Shindou-kun? Why…"
" Of course, I come to visit you, Touya-Sensei," Interrupting, said calmly the unexpected guest.
Touya Kouyo was a man who always knew how to deal with urgent situation since he couldn't just chase the boy away so he said, "Come in," he invited Akira's rival into his house and leaded him to the study room.
When the impulsive visitor took his seat opposite him, he queried, " So, tell me, Shindou-kun, What brings you here?" Does Sai want to cancel our game?
The young pro looked around, " You're alone?" he didn't give any answer, he asked back instead.
The green-eyed boy nodded in acknowledge, " Wonderful day for a game, isn't it? Touya-Sensei," he smiled good-naturedly.
So he doesn't want to delay the game then, come to think of it, if Sai worries about Shindou and wants to call off the game, he shouldn't send Shindou-kun to me since he's just recovered. Still, Shindou-kun is his only messenger, if he wants to contact me, only Shindou-kun can help him. Aa! It's time " Shindou-kun,"
" Is that the Go board you play with Touya every mornings?" the stylish pro pointed at an expensive Go board by Kouyo.
" Yes," the ex-Meijin replied, " Listen, Shindou-kun…"
Without waiting the old man to finish his line, Shindou-pro rose up, took the said board and placed it in front of Kouyo before he took his seat, across it, of course.
" 3 hours, komi sets at 5.5, no handicap, right?" he repeated the rule.
" Shindou-kun, I'm pleased to play with you," the Japan's legendary player uttered serenely, honestly, he himself wanted to play with Akira's rival once, he wanted to know the true power of this boy, " But, firstly I have play with…"
" Sai, Of course," Cutting off again, the stubborn teenager smiled, " I know, I arrange it for you by myself,"
" That's correct, that's why I don't understand why you…"
" That's why I'm here. Ah! By the way, thank you for your regard,"beamed genially the young pro in casual blue T-shirt, " Now shall we?" he said urging the old gentleman to begin the game.
" ?" Searching into those dazzling green eyes, Kouyo could feel that pressure again, " Shindou-kun, you're…" he stammered. Sai! Shindou-kun is Sai?
" The next time we play there'll be no handicapping," the secretive guest quoted him, " Therefore, this game will be no handicapping," he explained the rule again. Although he was smiling, Kouyo suddenly felt cold to his bone.
Not knowing how to react, Touya-Senior looked at the young player in bewilderment. He still doubted if the boy who was sitting before him was Sai. He accepted that this boy had great unique talent, he was definitely one of the most promising young Go pros, he and his son would become pillars of the Go world. Yes, he was strong but he couldn't be much stronger than Akira to reach Sai's level, Kouyo had seen his games before…Still, from the way he acts, the way he pressures on me…he knows I'll reject his request for the game since I have to play against Sai today. Then why did he ask me for a game unless…he's Sai. If he's Sai, why did he hide his talent for all these years? If he's Sai who lives in the shadow, why does he want to come to light now?
Kouyo took a long stare studying the stubborn slippery boy carefully again knowing that he would never give up.
" Very well, I'll play with you, Shindou-kun," he sighed slightly. If Shindou Hikaru was Sai, his plan would remain unchanged, he still had a game with Sai. If he wasn't Sai, the blond had to take responsibility for causing him to miss his game and rearrange the game for him. There was nothing to lose either way.
So they played, Touya Kouyo played as white, Shindou Hikaru played as black.
This feeling…this pattern…this strength, I remember.
/Pachi/ The 1 Dan attacked him at the upper-right corner.
" !" This move! He's surely Sai! Eyes widened in shock, the old gentleman jumped a little.
I was right in the beginning. Shindou-kun is Sai himself, not Sai's pupil. Then why…
/Pachi/ The young boy who might be Sai placed his stone on the left corner letting white stone to capture his black stone. It was a bad move…very very bad one.
Eh? Why did he play this move? A mistake? At his level? Or..maybe he isn't Sai, Sai would never make such a mistake.
Kouyo tried to control his trembling body but he couldn't. He had been so sure that he had already been the winner but when they entered into Yose, the tide changed. At first, he had thought that his opponent had made a suicidal mistake by playing that bad move but now he could see its true meaning.
That move turned to be a good move… a very very good one. This boy had planed this hidden trap all along and he had fallen into it without knowing causing himself to…
"……. Thank you for the game," Kouyo bowed admitting his defeat, no matter what he did, he would lose anyway. Yes, Touya Kouyo, one of the world's greatest Go players ever who devoted all his life playing Go in an attempt to achieve the Hand of God , lost to Shindou Hikaru, a 15-year-old boy who had played the game for 3 years only.
" Thank you for the game," Nodding, the winner said in return.
Looking up from the board he had played with his son countless times for 15 years, he faced the person who just beat him, " Shin…"
" This game is much more fun than those two games a year ago," Interrupting again, the cheeky pro said with good cheer.
2 Games a year ago? " You mean the game we played in the Yugen no ma room?"
" And the game in the Net," he added.
" Shindou-kun, you're…you're…,"
" You're a tough player, Touya-Sensei," he gazed back at the ex-Meijin, " You're such a strong, powerful, ruthless player," he commented. Of course, Touya Kouyo was strong, he was one of the best Go players in this century! " When we played in the Yugen no ma room, you radiated your suffocating pressure, yet, you didn't show your passion for the game,"
" You're strong but empty," the blond criticized boldly, " So cold, so empty,"
" But not anymore," he smiled cheerily, " Your retirement must have some effect on you," he chatted enthusiastically, " This game is full of emotion...passion, desire, determination," he paused giving Kouyo a chilly smile, " even confusion,"
" You," He senses it?
" Well, If you ask me, I prefer the passionate Touya-Sensei to the emotionless Touya-Meijin," Beaming, he shrugged.
" Shindou-kun, you're…you're…,"
" However I'm a bit disappointed that your style has changed but you yourself haven't," the 1 Dan continued, " Deep inside, you're still the same Touya-Meijin,"
" Who quits even though there's still the way to win," he sighed in disappointment.
Pointing at the lower-right corner of the board, he stated, " If you played here, your white stone would be alive again,"
" Then I would lose my territory on the right side,"
Observing the game carefully, Kouyo thought. And I would still have a chance to fight back………… " Tell me one thing, Shindou-kun, are you Sai?" he finally asked.
The enigmatic boy didn't answer, he only smiled back slightly.
" Though you don't want to accept it, I know, You're Sai, I remember this pattern, it's Sai's," Studying the board again, the former-Meijin had just realized something was wrong...something was absolutely wrong here. Why sometimes he played in those odd positions? Tengen? 5-5? It's not Sai's move at all…and that move…I know it, I know it from somewhere…the distinctive technique of turning a bad move to a good one…I know it…someone showed it to me..! Akira! Shindou! Yes! Shindou Hikaru's favorite play! Looking up from the Go board, he searched into the blond's strange sea-green eyes, " You..who are you? You're not Sai," But he's not the same Shindou-kun either," Kouyo froze, terrified.
" I was just born, I've not had a name yet," the nameless young boy replied easily.
" Neither Sai nor Hikaru but stronger than both," he confidently declared, " that's who I am,"
Grabbing his yellow-black back bag, the winner stood up, " Thank you for the game, Touya-Sensei, It's a good game anyway," he excused himself, " I've to go now, Waya...well, my friend is waiting for me at a sushi bar now,"
" Still," Stopping at the sliding-door, he turned around, " I prefer to play with your son, as a matter of fact, I like playing against him the most,"
" There's something about him," he babbled contentedly, " He fires me up and make me feel excited like no one can," he smiledhappily at the stunned man, " Not even you,"
" What would you do if you were me? Touya-Sensei," he honestly needed some suggestion, " Who would you choose to accompany you to the Hand of God?" he asked daringly, " The Father who's obviously a stronger player or The Son who has more fighting spirit?"
" Good day, Touya-Sensei," Bowing courteously, he smiled amiably before he left the room.
Since Kouyo had entered the Go world, he had had no rival, Opponent? Yes. But rival? No. He had been waiting, waiting and waiting but there had been no sign for his rival, no one was good enough to be his rival. When his hope of having a lifetime rival like other normal Go players had begun to fade away, his son was born.
The day Akira had touched Go stone for the first time, Kouyo had known, at long last his rival had appeared. How ironic it was? His precious son was his greatest rival. He loved Akira, he cherished him, took care of him, always gave him the best thing and, of course, he taught him the game. He let his rival live under his roof and taught the said rival how to beat him, he was such a fool indeed. Yet, he loved his son more than anything else in this whole wide world, if he had to give away his throne to someone, Let it be his son. Though Akira hadn't had obtain that strength yet, he had been willing to wait. Touya Kouyo was known as a patient man, he would wait until the day Akira reached his level and truly became his equal rival.
14 years later, he had known he had been wrong. His son wasn't his rival, the mysterious famous Net-Go player called Sai was.
Now he has just realized he had been wrong again, in fact he was right at the start, Touya Akira, his son was his rival. Right now, they had to compete against each other for the seat across the Go board that belonged to the boy who had just left the room. Yes, it was for the Hand of God.
A/N : Finally it ends! Do you like it? What do you think about it?
For those who understand the ending: What do you think?
For those who don't : Well, though Sai and Hikaru didn't want destroy each other anymore, it's too late now. Sai's invasion had already begun so Hikaru's body automatically fought back. In order to survive, they had no choice but Combined their souls together so the new personality was born, the third person, the nameless one who inherited memory and skill from both Sai and Hikaru. ( Plus, the healthy normal heart)Yeah, he's the luckiest guy! As you can see, I've never called the boy who played with Kouyo as " Hikaru" because he isn't. He's cheerful like Hikaru but kinda...self-centered like Sai. If you wanna ask why I don't let Hikaru or Sai stay instead of this nameless one, well, it's a basic law of nature, we mix White and Black together, we don't get White or black, we get Grey instead.
As I told you, there're 2 reviewers who inspired me, the first one is Ice-Ari.
The 2nd is…Kathy again!
In He is back ( chapter2 ), Kathy said "...I want my Sai back...maybe a rematch saixkouyo... because he is waiting for someone that is not going to appear..."
So I came up with the theme " Doing something for Kouyo's sake". Then I combined " Two different persons in one body" and "Doing something for Kouyo's sake" together. And Voila! We got this fic!
xiar : "Btw the way, i enjoyed this chapter" I like chapter 11 too because it's the 1st time they actually talk to each other. Well?What do you think about the ending?
gravitation gig : Opps, now he's gone.
kari : Heehee, you didn't think about this, did you?About the girls' names, well, it's for my next fic.
Coiling death : "they're 'fusing' together or something, right?" Right! Good guess :)
Kathy:"I was just picturing hikaru with his bleached bangs, and long purple hair, and then his face a little more afeminate!"...They only fuse their soul together but the body is still the same( Hikaru) By the way, kathy, I did bring Sai back…well, at least his heart :)
To all of you : I know many of you want me to bring the reak Sai back, I want to but I do think his work is done. If you want him back forever...well, Why don't give me a good reason why Sai should come back from that world?
I also know that you want this fic to be longer, well, as I told you, the theme is "Doing something for Kouyo's sake" so I decide to let Kouyo be the 1st one who encounters the new Shindou Hikaru and end it here after he has the game. Do you still remember the beginning? I started the story with the scene Kouyo arrived at the Hokuto Cup, the one who begins the story should be the one who ends it, right? That's another reason why I end it here, with Kouyo again :) Ah, I just love the twist ending, what's the point in writing, if all readers can predict the ending, right? So I try my best not to let you know the ending :P
I have Dense Hikaru ( He is back), Smoking Hikaru ( Finding Seiji), Evil Hikaru ( Forgotten Angel), Double personalities Hikaru ( Turn back time) andNearly DeadHikaru ( Sanzu river), now I wonder what my Hikaru will be in my next fic.
Well , Thank you, you guys. See you again :)