Just a Game
I love Hikaru no Go but I really don't know how to play Go. So don't expect technical terms from me. I'll try to understand the game while I write this fic but if I make a mistake, don't sue me okay? Hehehe.. Now, read on…
An alternative universe – Start of the story is almost the same as the anime but 2 years earlier. After Sai had defeated Akira during their first encounter, Hikaru pulled himself out of the world of Go to strengthen himself. The only thing that kept him in touch with the Go world is the internet and an unknown Go salon…
Chapter 1 Who is Fuji?
Li Lishin stared at his computer with a baffled expression on his face. 'Who the hell is this Fuji?' he thought. His play was absolutely powerful, with no openings or weaknesses that he could attack on. A play that was almost like Sai's game. Sai… the mysterious Internet Go player who appeared 3 years ago, then vanished more than 2 years later. It was as if Sai was resurrected, or he might be using a different name. But that was impossible. This player Fuji had started to play 3 months after Sai appeared, and back then his play was still weak. He had played him before and he was really disgustingly weak. It was as if he just learned the game. He never tried to play him again, until more than a year ago, he began hearing how good he was. He was intrigued and tried to play him again. He was absolutely surprised to see how much he had improved. By that time, Fuji lost but with only a 0.5 moku deficit. Not bad for someone who seemed to have started playing Go for more than just a year. Now, he was almost unbeatable. What was surprising was that his moves, his style, his play was really something that reminds him of Sai. With the level he is playing on, he could already be a pro. Not just a pro, he could crumble upon the higher dans with his ability. But still, he really remains a mystery. Did he really start playing three years ago? Who is Fuji?
Hikaru Shindo stretched out his arms after an exhausting game on the internet. He smiled as he glanced at the black and white circles that were scattered across the screen of his computer forming into a shape that only a Go player could consider as astounding.
'Sai, I really did improve, right?' he asked his now non-existing friend. He really missed him a lot after he disappeared half a year ago. But after discovering that Sai exists in his Go, he really began to exert more effort to learn more, reminiscing the plays and teachings his friend and mentor had taught him. He remembered back when he was just a 10 year old kid trying to steal his grandfather's goban in order get some cash. He saw the stains on the goban, then a ghost appeared causing him to lose consciousness. Then, everything changed for him. Sai was one pathetic excuse of a ghost, always whining, always crying, always pestering him to play go. Just to stop his whining, Hikaru went inside a salon and played with a kid named Akira Touya. But after seeing Touya's reaction after losing to Sai, Hikaru seemed to have realized that Sai was no ordinary go player. He later learned that Akira Touya was actually Touya Meijin's son, a really famous go player holding 5 titles. Seeing what mess he had gotten to, Hikaru refused to play go despite Sai's pestering. But after he had discovered the beauty of the internet, Hikaru was able to find a way to satisfy Sai's craving for go. Spoiled as he was with his grandfather, he requested 2 things for his Christmas and birthday gifts – a computer and a goban set, which his mother tried to protest at first. But a gift is a gift and Hikaru got what he wanted.
He began to live two lives, an ordinary student at day, a go player at night. He learned to handle the stones properly on his own playing against Sai. He would often play with his grandfather, but other than that, it would always be against some people on the internet.
Now, at the age of 13, Hikaru Shindo looked like punk, with bleached bangs and a happy-go-lucky attitude. Based on appearance, no one would know that his go can already rival that of the higher dans.
Hikaru sighed. Actually he also play with normal people, but only in an unknown go salon that he would frequently visit. He just couldn't understand himself why the thought of playing with pros seemed to scare him off his mind. Maybe because he was afraid that they might discover his relationship with Sai. A lot of players on the net were already asking if he was Sai's disciple or something. After defeating Touya Meijin, Sai's popularity became widespread and everyone wanted to find out who he was. And the only one that seemed to have a connection with Sai was him, also known as Fuji in the Netgo world. With the similarity of their play, there was no doubt everyone would suspect his relation with Sai.
'Arggghhhh! Sai, you left me one hell of a problem! How can I play go without everyone taking notice that I'm your student?' Hikaru thought despairingly. 'I'll just go to the salon tomorrow,' he decided before going to sleep.
"Yes! Finally found it!" 15 year old Yoshitaka Waya exclaimed as he looked from the sign board to the paper he was holding.
"Waya… Why did we have to look for this run down salon?" Sinichiro Isumi asked scratching his head.
"Jeez, Isumi. We're here to practice for the pro exam. It doesn't matter if it's a run down salon or not. They might even have good players in here." Waya cheerfully said. "We're definitely gonna pass the pro exam this year!"
Isumi sighed. "All right. Let's go inside."
They went inside and were amazed that despite the run down look of the salon, there were a lot of people playing inside.
"Hey mister," Waya said to the attendant. "We want to play against your best players here. If we win, you'll let us play for free. If we lose, we'll wash all your go stones," he said cheerfully.
"Cocky kid," the attendant grinned. "Hey, there seems to be some strong players here. Anyone wants to play them?" he called out.
"I'll play them!"
"No way, I defeated you last time. I'll play."
"You both are no match for me."
The men began to argue against each other.
"Nah! It doesn't matter who's gonna play. We're still gonna win," Waya said confidently.
"Nani?!" the men cried in outrage.
The game started and half an hour later, Waya and Izumi had their opponents sweating. A few moments later, the result was unavoidable…
"I resign," one of their opponents bowed his head.
"Thanks for the game," Isumi said then turned to Waya whose opponent also bowed his head in resignation.
"You two are good," one of the men named Kawai said.
"Hehehe," Waya grinned.
"But I don't think you'll be able to defeat Shindo-kun with your play," Kawai continued.
"What?!" Waya exclaimed.
"Who's Shindo?" Isumi asked curiously. He and Waya were top inseis and among the top contenders in the pro examination. To say they were way below an absolute amateur was really kind of… insulting.
"Just a kid who hangs around here. He's really good. No one had ever beaten him here," Kawai said proudly. "I just wonder why that kid won't take the pro exam. He could have beaten your pants off."
"Why you…!" Waya started to scream at him but Izumi clamped his hand over his mouth.
"Hehehe. Sorry about that. He's just a hyper kid." Izumi apologized. "So this Shindo is really strong?"
'Hmmphh! Considering your pathetic abilities, I just wonder on your definition of strong.' Waya grumbled silently.
Just then the door opened, and a kid with bleached blond bangs came in.
"Ah, speaking of the devil. Hey, Shindo!" Kawai called to the approaching boy, then grabbed him on a headlock then ruffled his hair.
"Ouch! Kawai-san, stop it!" Hikaru yelled. Then he noticed that there were two faces in the salon who were glaring at him.
'Eh? Didn't I just walk in? Why are they staring at me like that?' Hikaru wondered.
'This kid is the stronger than them?' Waya thought. "Hey, I hear you're the strongest player here. Why don't you play me?" Waya challenged.
'Oh great! Another new challenger,' Hikaru thought. "Okay, let's sit over there."
Hikaru and Waya sat facing each other in front of the goban. "How many handicaps do you want?" Hikaru asked innocently.
"WHATTTT?!!!!!!" Waya exclaimed indignantly. Izumi choked.
Hikaru blinked. 'Huh?'
"You…! I'll make you regret that!" Waya cried out. "Don't you dare underestimate me! Nigiri!"
Hikaru got black and started out first placing his black stone on the board.
The game went on and just almost an hour after, Waya found himself sweating. He never thought that this Shindo guy was actually as good as they were telling them. No, what they told them was not even enough to describe this guy's ability. This guy was formidable. Almost like playing a higher dan. A few more minutes, he knew there was no way he could win the game. Shindo had taken control of the board. If he continues, he'll just be mortified with the difference in the scores.
"I resign." Waya finally said.
"Thanks for the game," Hikaru replied. 'That was a great game. At least he's better than most of the people here. It's almost like playing one of those good players in the internet,' he thought.
Waya was still shocked at the game. He felt Isumi's hand on his shoulder trying to calm him. But something wasn't right. He raised his head and stared at Shindo.
"Who are you?"
Hikaru was startled at that question. "Huh?"
Waya stood up. "You're no ordinary player! You're not a pro but you play like a pro! Who the hell are you?!" he asked forcefully. Then he realized something. His game! His game is like… Sai's!
"You're Sai, aren't you?!" he shouted.
Well, how was it? Don't know if this is good enough. This is my first time writing a Hikaru no Go fic. So, please have mercy on your reviews. Heheheh… But tell me honestly if this is worth continuing or not.