"There is really nothing valuable in here." I rummage inside a big chest box in my grandpa's attic.
"Hikaru! Let's leave now! It's creepy in here!" Akari complained, "Are you sure you can do this?"
"I have no choice since I had only scored 8 points in the last Social Studies test, and then my parents stopped my allowances." Then, I found something really big. "How about this?"
I lifted it up and settled it down on the dusty attic floor. It's pretty heavy. I bet that its worth a lot of money.
"What is this?" Akari wondered.
"Don't know but it looks pretty old. I bet that I could get a penny for it." I started rubbing at a stain that I found on the board.
"Hikaru, what are you doing?"
"I am trying to get this stain away. It would look nicer if there isn't a stain on it. Then maybe I can sell it for more money." I rubbed it more fiercely. "But this stain does not come out easily, could you help me get a brush and water."
"What stain?" Akari bend over the board.
"Over here!" I pointed to the stain.
"I don't see it."
"It is here! Are you blind or something?"
"You can see it?"
"That's what I have been trying to say."
"You can hear my voice?"
"Of course! I am not deaf, you know?" Just then, I realized that that voice does not belong to Akari. It belongs to someone older, but younger than my grandpa. I stood up, trying to find the person who spoke to me.
"Hikaru, I don't see the stain anywhere." Akari said but I barely registered it in my mind.
"Who is that? Come out now!" I shouted.
"Hikaru, cut it out! This is not funny!" Akari's voice shook with fear.
"I finally found someone."
"Who are you?" I said, not hearing Akari's words.
"Kami-sama, I thank you." With that, the board started shining brightly and a man started appearing before me. His purple hair and his purple eyes was the first thing I noticed. He wore a tall hat and an ancient kind of royal clothing that I have seen in the textbook. He carries a fan and has a white cloth over him.
"So that's why I cannot see you. You hid yourself underneath the board then you appeared to scare me away, right? I am not scared." I lifted my chin. "And you probably added some LED into the board, right?" I get it. The man almost fell over.
"I did not hide. I have been in this board for years." The man said.
"Hikaru? Who are you talking to?" Akari came up the ladder. I did not realize that she went to hide downstairs when I started talking to this man.
"This man was trying to steal Grandpa's items." I pointed to the man in old fashion clothes. Doesn't anybody tell him how to steal things?
"Where? I don't see him."
"Right here." I tried to grab his hand but my hand clenched thin air instead. I tried again.
"You can't touch me. I am a ghost." The man said. A ghost? I hate ghosts. Then, I saw black.
When I fainted, my conscious talked to the man. Surprisingly, I got over my fear of ghost.
"Who are you?"
"Fujiwara no Sai."
"Sai? What did you do to get to this board?" I mentally heard Sai sigh.
"During the Heian period, I taught the emperor Go at the capital."
"Hai. Day after day, I played Go and was very happy." I could picture Sai and the emperor sitting across the board that I saw, putting black and white stones on it.
"However, the emperor had another Go tutor." Then the picture changed and I saw Sai and another guy walking towards each other.
"He looks like a bad guy." I commented.
"One day, he declared to the emperor that only one tutor is needed. We would play a match and the victor would continue as the tutor." In the picture, Sai and the guy were saying their greetings. Then, they walk off in their separate directions.
"So you guys played right? Who won?"
"The match proceeded evenly." He ignored my question and the picture changed again. "It was really unbelievable but under the gaze of many men, I was the only one who noticed it." The picture showed that the other guy took a white stone from his pot and placed it on his cap with the other white stone. "When I was about to bring this up, he accused me of doing what he did."
"Yup, I was right. He is a bad guy."
"The emperor told us to calm down and continue the game."
"So who won?"
"In the end, I lost the game. With a charge of cheating added to my name, I was thrown out of the capital." The picture shows that Sai was depressed over the board. "Without playing Go, I have no reason to live. Two days later, I drowned myself." I pitied him.
"However, I still wanted to play Go. Unable to seek peace, my spirit possessed a Go board. Finally, after a great amount of time, I heard a voice of a little boy on an island within the sea of Seto." A boy? But I am a girl. He must be talking about somebody else.
"His name is Torajiro." There sat a boy behind the Go board and Sai appeared behind him. That must be scary, having a ghost appear behind you. Sai said something about his tears on the Go board and Torajiro able to see them. From there on, Sai became part of Torajiro. "Torajiro changed his name to Shuusaku and at the age of 14, he took the name of Honinbou Shuusaku."
"Honinbou ... Shuusaku?"
"However, he fell due to a plague and one night, at the youthful age of 34, he..." Sai broke off, as if too painful to be continued.
"Then, the blood at the Go board must be his. And then, you also possessed me because you wanted to play more Go?" At that moment, Sai looked serious.
"Yes, because I have not obtained the hand of God yet." At that moment, I could have sworn that I have heard a Go piece play on a board.
"Hikaru? I heard that you rode an ambulance. Are you ok?"
"Huh? Hn." I went towards my seat. Everybody kept pestering me about my trip to the hospital.
"Hikaru, are you really alright? What happened yesterday?" Akari asked me as I sat on the opposite side of her.
"You see, I also don't remember much about yesterday." Since I woke up, I did not see the ghost. So I must be a dream.
Class started and Sensei asked us to pass our test paper around. I hesitated for a while before turning the test paper to reveal ancient hell.
"Oh, history huh?" A familiar voice made its way to my ear.
"Huh? You!" I stood up, trying to find that person.
"What is it, Shindou-san?" Sensei asked.
"Huh? No, it's nothing." Sensei lightly laughed and told me to sit back down and continue with the test. I did so.
So yesterday isn't a dream after all?
Hai, it wasn't.
What was your name again?
Fujiwara no Sai.
Sai huh? Do you really like Go so much? I thought, remembering the conversation that we had yesterday.
Hai! Sai replied enthusiastically.
Do you still want to play Go? I asked the ghost, the test before me forgotten.
Hai! If possible, Sai sounded more enthusiastic.
Heh. But sorry, I have no interest in playing Go. Maybe you should find someone else to disturb. Just then, a strong emotion suddenly came. I stood up, heading towards the toilet while clamping my hand over my mouth, trying to hold my breakfast in. Unluckily, I was not fast enough and I hurled my breakfast into the nearest sink downstairs.
"What did you do?" I yelled at Sai.
I did not do anything! Really! I sat down, my legs failing me. Akari and Sensei helped me back to the classroom.
Maybe it's because the grief I felt of not able to play Go was too big and then, you sensed it.
Oh man, your love of the game held out of a thousand years? That's impressive. However, I have my plans for my life. I got to my seat and started the test. Ne, are you sure that you cannot possess anyone else other than me?
Probably not. I sighed at the same time with Sai. Must as well get over with it. If I don't allow him to play Go; I don't know what other things he would do.
Ok, I will let you play go. If it is only from time to time. At that time, I could have sworn that Sai was surprised. However, on one condition. Whatever I do, don't question me. Get it?
Hai! I swear that I saw him dance with joy. With that one problem solved, I turned to the test problem.
"Only ten more minutes. Those who have finished the test paper, please check them again." My head dropped to the table.
I give up. Sai, do you know anything about the revolution of the Tempou?
Revolution of the Tempou? The one that Roujyuu no Mizuno-sama started? My hopes lifted up hearing that familiar name.
Yeah, that one! I started writing down 'Mizuno Roujyuu' on my paper. What about Perry?
Perry? Sai thought for a while. Oh, Commodore Perry.
Yup, that's the one. Where that Perry did came from?
He came from Uraga. It was a huge commotion over that incident. I wrote down 'Uraga'. Sai, you are pretty useful. Ne, Sai, I will take you somewhere where you can play Go after school finishes.
"Ne, ne, Hikaru. Where would we be playing Go?" School has finished and now we are heading along the busy street of Tokyo.
A Go salon. My grandpa goes there from time to time. I told Sai. But it's a place where all the old folks go there to play Go.
"No matter what period, there will be still Go lovers." Sai said happily.
We finally reached the Go salon. Before going in, I went to my bag and took out my cap that I had stashed it in just in case. I gathered my hair in it and put on the cap. I checked that there is no distinguish features and entered the salon.
"Hikaru, what's the cap for?" Sai asked.
For precaution. What do you think would happen if grandpa suddenly comes in and sees me playing Go? He would freak out. And anyway, there aren't many girls playing Go. So this could be called as disguise. I nodded at the woman who stood at the counter of the salon. A glance around the shop revealed a lot of old man playing Go.
"Is this your first time here?" I nodded again.
"Can anybody play here?"
"Of course. How strong are you?" Strong?
"I am not quite sure." Seeing the woman's confusion, I replied. "This is my first time playing. But I think that I am decent enough to play." Then, I saw a kid sitting at the back of the store.
"Oh, there is a kid. Can I play him?" The other kid noticed me and walked over.
"Are you looking for somebody to play?" The voice sounded familiar. I nodded despite the woman's protest.
"Sure, I will play with you," then he came out from the store's shadow and into the light. He has greenish hair that is shaped like a bob. He looks like a girl. Nevertheless, for the sake of shutting Sai up, I nodded. I followed him to the back of the store where he had come from. The more I look at him, the more familiar he gets. I recalled all Go related stuff that I had seen in Grandpa's room until I found a magazine. I jumped out of shock.
"Touya Akira, the son of Meijin!" I shouted, pointing rudely to him.
"Yes, that's me."
"Hikaru, you know him?" Sai asked. Yeah, he's Touya Meijin's son. Considered a Go prodigy and boy does this author have a lot of praise for the Touyas. I thought the magazine to Sai.
"Ne, Hikaru. Why can you remember the book so easily?" it's because I have photographic memory.
"Honto, Hikaru?" No.
"Would you still like a game?" Akira asked. I nodded and sat down opposite him.
"As you said, I am Touya Akira. What is your name?" I wrack my brain for names until one popped out.
I smiled, "Fujiwara no Sai."
First chapter done! Hope that you will review! Thanks! :D