By Esa MaRie
Another Hikaru no Go AU story. What if Sai was not just a ghost? But a part of Hikaru Shindo's memories of his previous life? Will he still walk into the life of a go player?
The sound of the bell ringing became music in the ears of the students as it marked the end of the class. As soon the first chime was heard, they began packing their things up even before the teacher had bidden them goodbye. A young boy of 15 hurriedly stuffed his things up and took off as soon as the final bell rang. Next was club period and the soccer captain will give him another hell of a lecture for being late. As he went out of the room, he saw a raven haired boy waving at him.
Hikaru sighed. "Hiro-kun, I already told you I'm not going to join your go club. I don't have any interest in go."
"I could teach you," Tsutsui Kimihiro offered.
Hikaru sighed again, then faced him. "No. Captain is going to have my head if I'm late again." He felt guilty when he saw Kimihiro's crushed expression. "Alright, alright. I'm still not going to join your club but I'll go with you later to the go salon," he said.
Kimihiro smiled brightly and reached out his hand for the agreement. Hikaru shook his head while his eyes followed his bestfriend's form as he ran away. "Sometimes, he can be a real pest," he muttered.
As soon as they entered the salon, Hikaru felt his head began to gnaw in pain. Before, if this kind of situation appeared, he would have just ran away. But he was tired of running away, of doctors trying to tell him that he might have some psychological problems or something about go.
It was a mystery why his head would ache every time he got near a goban. The first time it happened, he was five years old when his parents brought him to his grandfather's house. His grandfather was a go enthusiast and tried to get him into the game. But when he saw the goban, his head began to ache, then he fainted. His parents never knew what caused it. His hospital records told them that his health was normal, so they thought he was just exhausted during the travel. But the sixth time it happened, his parents finally connected it with the goban. They concluded that he might have some sort of abnormal allergy towards go.
Years passed and at the age of 12, he grew up to be a mischievous kid. After he was grounded for failing history, he went to his grandfather's shed together with his good friend Akari to search for something that he could sell for money. And that was where he saw an antique goban hidden in the attic. When he noticed it, he began to feel the ache crawling into his head, but there was something about it that seemed to pull him into it. Disregarding the pain, he kneeled before it and lifted his hand to touch its surface. As soon as his finger touched the dusty surface, a whirl of images began flashing into his mind. Black and white stones scattered into the lines of the board… a number of different patterns of those stones… weird ancient men with pointed hats bowing before him… intense men bowing their heads in defeat… another set of men, whose clothing seem to be set from one hundred years before… All those men bowing their heads in respect… "Arigatou gozaimasu Sai-sensei"… "Sugoi Sai-sensei!"… "Sensei, please play with me"… "Onegaishimau"… "It's an honor, Shuusaku-sama"… "Shuusaku Honinbo"…
"Sai… Shuusaku…" Hikaru whispered as he saw blackness covering his vision. He passed out which caused Akari to panic and call for help. Since that day, his parents never allowed him to go to his grandfather's house. His grandfather would have to go to his house to visit him.
Ever since that incident, Hikaru could not get his mind off those images he had seen. 'Who is Sai? Who is Shuusaku? Why were those people bowing to me and calling me Sai or Shuusaku? Why would my head hurt every time I get near a goban?' he would wonder before he went to sleep. He wanted to solve this mystery. He wanted to get rid of his fear of the goban. He happened to pass by a building which had a huge banner about a go tournament for kids. Without thinking, he went inside. Again, his head began to hurt as he saw the goban. But during that time, it seemed that he can tolerate it. He walked into the tournament area, observing the kids who were playing, wondering why they were so serious. He passed a game and the position of the stones seemed to have caught his attention. When one of the players placed his black stone, he wasn't able to stop himself from commenting, "You should have placed it above that."
That caused a commotion. The arbiters pulled him and presented him before one of the organizers who scolded him for ruining the game. He just stood there shocked at what had happened. Shocked not because of the scolding, but because it finally dawned upon him that he commented something about a game he never played before. His face paled as he realized that it seemed that he can understand the game. One look at the position of the stones, he knew who was winning and losing, and he knew what black should have moved in order to win! The organizer felt pity over his shocked and scared face that he told him gently to leave. Hikaru left in silence, his thoughts still jumbled over his discovery.
Hikaru still couldn't get over that fact that he seems to know how to play go even though he never played in his entire life. He decided to put it into a test. He went into a go salon and asked for a match. One of the old guys agreed to be his opponent. After an exchange of "Onegaishimasu", Hikaru's eyes scanned into the board. He felt something different as he sat in front of the board, something familiar… something profound… happiness… like he belonged there. He took a stone from the bowl, his fingers automatically rolling the stone between his middle and index finger, and placing it under the star point at the right. The game continued and it was a shock to everyone in the salon as it was to Hikaru. It was a massacre. He completely dominated the game, cutting off every possible way for white to gain territory. He left in a hurry before people can recover from their shock and began to interrogate him. He walked home dazed at what happened. He really knows how to play go… He didn't know why or how it happened. But he just knew how to play it. He knew every rule, knew every technique, knew how to read his opponent's moves, predict them, and counter them. HE KNEW HOW TO PLAY GO! And it freaked the hell out of him. It scared him to think that there was some kind of abnormality in him about go that he never tried to play again, never tried to go near a goban again. He didn't know why but that decision seemed to be a heavy weight on his heart.
Currently, he was in his first year in high school. Three years had past since his discovery of his unusual talent and knowledge of go. Along with that discovery, he also seemed to have obtained a great knowledge of history especially the Heian Era. Which was why his grades in History were remarkable. He embraced the knowledge he gained in history, but the go thing still freaked him out. That was why it was ironic when he learned that his bestfriend was a go enthusiast. Kimihiro was really excited when he learned that Haze Senior High had a go club although it was not really as popular as the go clubs of other schools. They have few members, including his other bestfriend Akari.
Tsutsui Kimihiro was a new student back in Junior High, and a classmate of Hikaru and Akari. Since then, the three of them were inseparable. Hiro, as he and Akari call him, was a go freak even back then and his enthusiasm of the game even lured Akari to learn and love it. But Hikaru remained stubborn. Hiro and Akari formed the Haze Junior High Go Club. He entered the soccer club. Both of his friends tried hard to sway him to learn how to play go. But he stubbornly refused, saying he didn't have the patience to sit hours in front of a board. Akari just assumed that it might be because of that incident with the goban in his grandfather's shed.
Now in high school, Hiro decided that it was childish of him to refuse to learn the game just because he lost consciousness in front of a goban years ago. He began to pester him to join the go club. The power of persuasion is something you couldn't underestimate. And that was when it all began…
Hiya! This is my second Hikaru no Go fic… The idea just popped into my head and I couldn't resist writing it down. You might be wondering why I chose an old man instead of Touya for Shindo's first game… Well, I just want something different. A story wherein Touya is unaware of a boy named Shindo Hikaru. So what do you think? Is it bad? Good? Or just plain weird? Please review… Thanks!