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Chapter 10 - Feint

AU. Hikaru never entered the professional Go world, opting instead to placate Sai with NetGo and Go Salons. Years pass by and now Hikaru is a normal office employee going about his daily life until…

Chapter 10 - Feint

Chapter 10 - Feint

Visiting the Go Institute was becoming a ritual to Hikaru now. Every weekend he had a day off, he would head to the institute and wait for his two students to get off class, and then spend the rest of the afternoon with either just the three of them or with their group of friends in discussions or friendly games. Recalling the disaster that was the first visit he had to the institute, Hikaru was glad that it hadn't ended in bloodshed. Namely, on the side of his two students.

"Shindo-sensei! Shindo-sensei!" The two boys cried both in joy and unison. "You came! You really came!"

Hikaru then felt an even bigger headache coming on.


That headache he had been feeling finally reared its' ugly head and hit him. Hissing at the pounding he felt his head was getting, he forcefully shoved his students off, glaring at the two. This was not how he expected to have been greeted when he promised the two boys that he'd visit the Institute. However, thinking back on all the pestering they had been doing the past month or so, he should have expected something of this sort.

Sighing rather audibly, he intensified his glare two-fold, forcefully shoved the two boys off his person and stood up, patting down his rumpled clothing, all in one sweeping motion. The two boys he'd deposited on the ground had finally stopped with their excited babbling, and seemed to take in their surroundings and the ridiculous way they had been acting only moments earlier set into their rational minds. Blinking in stunned shock for a few moments as their minds processed their previous actions; they then proceeded to laugh sheepishly to conceal the embarrassment the felt.

A clearing of the throat brought their attention back onto Hikaru, and the two paled instantly. They stared wide-eyed back into Hikaru's eyes, the expressions on their faces pleading for both forgiveness and a quick and painless punishment. Hikaru was not so easy to forgive, however, the expressions his students were pulling brought great amusement to him, so he let the grudge go. For now, that is.

Rolling his eyes, Hikaru sighed, "We'll deal with that embarrassing act you two pulled later. But for now, isn't there something you two wanted to tell me?"

Letting out the breath they both had been holding in, waiting for Hikaru's answer, they quickly changed moods and leapt to their feet. Taguchi quickly gathered their insei friends, while Ohka led both Hikaru and the group through the Institute and to an empty study room. Taking a seat by the door, Hikaru waited for the rest of the group to each take a seat, before giving a prompting look to Ohka to speak.

Inclining his head at Hikaru's prompt, Ohka spoke up, grabbing the attention of the other four insei in the room, excluding Taguchi who sat directly to Hikaru's left with a bored look on his face.

"Well, um… this is Shindo-sensei," Ohka shakily presented Hikaru, who nodded to the insei gathered in the room. "Um… he's me and Taguchi's mentor… kinda."

Two of the insei raised a single brow at Ohka's unsure voice, while the other two only nodded politely for Ohka to continue. Nervously, Ohka glanced towards Taguchi for help in the introductions. Taguchi, of course, merely shrugged back at Ohka. Hikaru, noticing Ohka's obvious distress took over for him, laying a comforting hand on the boy's shoulder.

Smiling at the small group before him, Hikaru continued, "As Ohka-kun introduced, I am Shindo Hikaru, a kind of mentor to Ohka and Taguchi-kun. And you may or may not have heard from either boy, I am an amateur Go player. Much of my experience in playing Go lies with NetGo, so I am afraid that there are rules and etiquette that I am not aware of that applies to playing face-to-face with an opponent, on a solid Go board and in official tournaments. So in a sense, I am learning just as much from Ohka and Taguchi-kun as they are from me."

The insei stared at Hikaru after his introduction of his own self. One of them, a violet-haired girl elbowed the brown-haired boy beside her to start talking and end the awkward silence they were left in. The boy, however, only elbowed and shoved the girl back, glaring at her pestering. Hikaru chuckled as quietly as was possible for him at the sight of the kids' antics. Finally, the lavender-haired boy sitting to Taguchi's left decided to speak up first.

"Um…I'm Hayasaka Tokio. I'm in Group A, and currently rank number 10. It's a pleasure to meet you, Shindo-san…sir," Hayasaka Tokio nervously introduced himself, and gave a short head bow to Hikaru in respect. Hikaru smiled widely at the boy and bowed back in acknowledgement.

With the boy's initiative, the other three insei took their turns in introducing themselves to Hikaru. The dark-grey haired boy beside Hayasaka took his turn next, announcing his name – Yamamoto Junta, his group – Group A, and rank number – number 8. Then followed the violet-haired girl, Otonashi Kotori, Group A, rank number 5, and finally the brown-haired boy, Kurota Sou, Group A, rank number 13.

After all the introductions were finished, Hikaru invited the kids all to eat at a family restaurant, as he himself was getting hungry. Taguchi and Ohka quickly agreed, while Hayasaka and Otonashi were a bit reluctant to accept Hikaru's generosity to pay for them, and Kurota and Yamamoto were indecisive whether to tag along or not. With lots of coaxing from both Taguchi and Ohka, the four other insei decided to accept Hikaru's sudden invitation and left the Go Institute in their small group, chattering animatedly and constantly bombarding Hikaru with many questions regarding Go.

As he walked along, surrounded by the chattering insei, Hikaru felt the headache he had been ignoring intensify.

'Oh shoot.'


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