Resurrected. That's what all the papers say. At this very moment every newsstand in Japan is overflowing with legions of sleek, shiny magazine covers proclaiming this to be the dawn of a new era, a dissolution of everything old, ugly, and secret. Kaiba Corporation has been salvaged from the ashes, rescued from the gaping abyss of destruction, resurrected. A bold and daring hero has come charging into the midst of the battle with horns blazing, eyes firing sparks that could start electrical fires.
I am that hero. I tore apart the crumbling façade of what Kaiba Corp once claimed to be. I dragged it kicking, screaming, and spitting into the open expanse of the 21st Century, and I have the bloody knuckles and bruised back to show for it.
What makes it worthwhile is the thought that I've proved them all wrong. All of the investors who shredded their stock the instant that news of Gozaburo's death plastered the papers—the same papers which now hail the new Kaiba Corp as Japan's foremost corporate giant and technical marvel—all the half-dead old men that littered Gozaburo's boardroom who could barely contain their contempt the first time I took his former seat, all the people who said I was too young, too inexperienced, too idealistic to be worth their time, I can taste their humiliation on my tongue like acid.
But I would be lying if I said that was the most meaningful part. Because it's not—not even close. When I see the all those glossy, gleaming magazine covers featuring my face staring out at empty space, when I see Kaiba Corp's stock towering towards the atmosphere, when I see the new ruby red and onyx black sport cars stacked outside my mansion like so many faceless playing cards, I know that this is not what I fought for.
All the reporters always ask the same meaningless, monotonous question: How did I do it? How did I save my stepfather's swarming cesspit of a company?
The truth is: I didn't.
I don't work for the six, seven figure salary, for the servants, for the respect of my employees or even the loyalty of my customers. I tore this company apart, ripped its eyes out of its sockets and chewed on its sinews. I came out crushed and crumbled, almost falling apart and barely breathing.
I did it because I wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I had done one thing in my life that was right. I did it, and I will keep doing it. I will work myself to death every day if it means that I can sleep at night.
I didn't save this company. It saved me.