Chapter 5: An Unheard Request

The smoke cleared up, the bey dish was in view; the crowd roared, DJ Jazzman screamed, "Your new world champion is, Tyson Granger!"

The entire crowd was up on its feet; friends and acquaintances were making their way towards Tyson Granger. There was laughing and cheering and hugging. Mr. Dickenson who had already gotten down was walking over to Tyson and Daichi with the cup.

Kai stared at the new scene from his seat in the box next to Mr. Dickenson; there was no one with him now that the BBA owner had made his way down. Along with the Blitzkrieg boys, Mr. Dickenson was the only person he had kept contact with after the BEGA incident. The tournament was something he wanted to witness, but did not under any circumstance wanted to be in midst of the screaming crowd, nor did he want any chance encounter with his friends.

What was it the fourth time? Yes, the fourth time that Tyson Granger had become world champion. Kai was happy for his friend, but he couldn't help resent him, and envy him… He had tried so hard, sacrificed so much to be the best, but he couldn't be; he had realized this now, he was not the best, nor could he ever be. Too hard, he head worked not to deserve to win, but he guessed that it was atonement for his many sins. To prove his worth to people who didn't care, he had lost his worth in the eyes of those who did care.

Realization didn't mean though that the pain would just end, he hated that he could not be the best, he couldn't even battle anymore, after all he had Dranzer no more; the phoenix had been destroyed and the only one to blame was he himself. The fact that he had failed was not comforting; he had put everything on the line to be the best, to prove that he was worthy enough to Dranzer, his grandfather, his father, his friends, but he couldn't do it.

Quitting was the only option, there was no use in suffering through the humiliation; the crowd thought of him to be completely washed up, it was common knowledge, he believed them too, he had gotten worse and worse over the time, and now that he didn't have Dranzer, there was no sense in even trying.

Kai couldn't stop himself from wishing that when he had sacrificed everything to be the best, hurt those people who probably mattered to him more than the championship title, he could have at least gotten what he had wanted, instead he had lost Dranzer; it was something he still could not believe that Dranzer was gone; he still hadn't recovered from the loss.

Watching the rejoicing figures of his friends, he couldn't keep, from wondering: if he was given the chance to do things over, he wouldn't know what he'd want to change. There were so many mistakes he had made; mistakes that had been made to fulfill his desire to be the best, mistakes that had been made with no fear of having hurt his friends.

Another chance was something he very much longed for, to stop himself from battling Brooklyn; but it was obvious that, that wouldn't be the right choice either, that would have been running away from BEGA and Boris, running away, leaving his friends in the line of fire, not doing anything to stop the man who destroyed the lives of so many people.

Having better treated his friends was something he wished for the most, so that when he lost blading he could have turned to them for support, of course they were ready to be there for him, to console him, help him, but he was ashamed of taking their help after all he did to them, so he left and hurt them again, because he didn't have the nerve to face them, to let them help him, after all the terrible things he did to them.

Thinking of this, he wondered if it was his selfishness had led to his undoing, and not being able to achieve his goal, despite sacrificing everything for it. If he had done the right thing each time from the start, not hurt people he cared for, even if it had meant decreasing the chances of getting what he wanted, he would have actually gotten what he had wanted….

Looking down at the ground of the stadium again from his elevated position, he saw that the crowd was still screaming. Daichi and Tyson were hugging, the former Bladebreakers eventually had made their way towards them; Ray patted them on the back, Kenny was being all hyper, Max, too was hugged the two champions, Hiromi also made her way towards them from her bench and congratulated them, she then hit Daichi for something he said and hugged Tyson; the other teams had also made their way towards them and were conveying their praise.

The former world champion smiled in misery; he felt sorry for his own self, he no longer had the chance to even try; he knew he couldn't beat Tyson, but at least he should have had the opportunity to try, but without Dranzer he doubted if he could win against a rookie. He missed blading, his old life, he had gone back to Whitney Prep after he recovered from the BEGA incident, gone back to living a normal life, like he did after the world champs in Russia, but this time not on his own will.

Kai couldn't deny he still wanted to be the best, it never was so much about being world champion; from the start it was never was, that's why when he was using Black Dranzer, one of his many mistakes, he did not want to wait for the championships, he wanted to prove then and there he was the best he didn't care for the public knowing, he just wanted to do prove to himself; winning the world championships was the most blatant way of proving that he was the best, and he still wanted to win, to become the champion, to give himself the satisfaction of being the best.

Through the transparent glass, Kai saw that the BBA Revolution was starting to pack things up, getting ready to leave. Half a mind was telling him to go down to congratulate them, but he didn't know what he would say, how he would face them and how he would not be pitied upon. His friends, and other people, they all pitied him for his desperateness and not having gotten what he wanted; he did not want their pity – so he decided to not to go.

The crowd was beginning to slowly exit the stadium, bidding goodbye to friends made at the tournaments, adieu till the next tournament drew by. The former champion was waiting for all his former acquaintances to leave, before he could exit himself. Now that the battle was over, Kai's mind was which was previously occupied with the battle was now to free to wander over the all the decisions that had led him to this point. There were too many decisions he regretted, but each lamentable decision had also either eventually led to something great happening or something important ensuing which had to be done.

Even if he got the chance, everything was just too intricately interconnected, and messing with any action of the past would lead to a dozen new consequences. Eventually Kai stopped debating over past missteps; there was no chance of reversing the past nor of knowing what difference each change would make, or if it would be for the better or the worse… contemplation would just lead to his further undoing.

All he could do now was endure the consequences of all that he had done, and hope that those he had hurt in the way would not suffer on his behalf. He hoped that all those people who died because of him, those whom he couldn't save, they would be in peace, and that he would have to bear their pains, instead of them, their demise was his entire fault, the consequences of his wrong decisions and stupidities and vanity, they deserved not to undergo pain because of him.

For a while Kai looked through the crowd staring at random faces, clearing his mind of all personal thoughts, and just focusing on the going about of the people in the stadium.

After some time, he looked down towards the BBA Revolution team; he saw them all talking happily and he felt a pang in his heart, he wished he could be with them. Hiromi put her duffle bag on her shoulders and look around at her surroundings; she looked up and her eyes landed right upon him, first time in the night someone had looked towards him, and he wasn't surprised that it was Hiromi.

Hiromi looked directly into his eyes and she felt her heart wrench, it had been ages since her last encounter with him and she couldn't actually believe herself. Kai didn't attempt to escape from her gaze, despite the fact that it burned him to the very core of his being. Her maroon eyes were filled with a lot emotions, there was pity, anguish, revulsion, disgust and most of all remorse. They seemed to be boring through his very soul; blaming him, condemning him, for all he had done, and most of all for leaving, for leaving when he had no where to go, when no one would accept him after all he had done, and she did; she and the Bladebreakers stood up for him even after all the wrongs he had done, and he got up and left, just like that, all over again.

For quite a while Hiromi didn't look away, eventually when Max called her, she pulled away reluctantly, blinking a few times, trying to make sure if it was really Kai or if her brain was pulling a trick, and committing his image to her memory. A few seconds later she was gone.

A year's worth of self control, Kai felt it begin to shatter from that one long glance from Hiromi; this was why he didn't want to be seen: it would be too painful for whoever saw him and whoever he would see. The encounter was making all regrets swell up to his throat and strangle him He had to stop the guilt from taking over again, to stop the past from haunting his memories; he had tried very hard to stop the past memories from trying to choke him to insanity. He was not going to let an encounter with Hiromi ruin his restraint..

Kai kept his face covered with his hands, trying to get rid of the guilt ridden thoughts than the encounter with Hiromi had brought up. Finally, when the whole stadium was empty, Kai began to exit from the top box. Living with the guilt was something he had to do, so he had to keep it in check and to let it not completely rule his life; to box up his past and keep it locked, but not throw the key away, he had to have reminders of the past to keep himself in line and to keep teaching him a lesson of all that he had lost, and the little had gained as a result of his wrong choices and poorly thought up priorities.

Kai ran his hand through his hair as he slowly made his way towards the barely lit and barely occupied stadium, still wishing that he had, had a chance to compete, that he had won, made his friends proud, he hadn't done his them so much wrong that he could stand facing them. He, Kai Hiwatari had succeeded in accomplishing his life long dream of becoming the best.

His downfall, he had brought it upon himself, it was blatant that there was actually no point in wishing, he had everything, all the decisions were his, it was just that there were too many paths, too many priorities and he was bound to have made wrong decisions with how many priorities he had. He was bound to end up crash and burn, he knew that from the start, just accepting it and going through the pain was harder than he expected. He was going to take it with dignity without being pitied upon; at least he had earned that if nothing else.

I hope everyone liked this, like promised, a new chapter within the very same day. Please review; ugh, I have a head ache! There is another chapter before this, which I published earlier today.

To my beta reader, Dead-by-n0w, who couldn't beta read this, I hope I fixed my excessive pronoun issue, my mela of noun issue, the countless paragraph issue, and of course the dozens of "he knew" issue, removed all the "knew"-s, cut them down to 2. lol Point out any gibberish you find. Everyone else, sorry if they're any mistakes, I haven't been able to get quite a bit of my work beta-d. My sincerest apologies.

One update left for the day, this would be the 11th one.

11: 25 p.m. 29th May, 2012.

Later... :P