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Chapter 12 - Invitation

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 12 - Invitation

Chapter 12 - Invitation

It was yet another day of visiting the Go Institute to meet up with his disciples, plus the other brats. The results of the day before with dinner with Akari were quite baffling to him to say the least. Today, however, he was going to have everything go smoothly, and without him coming out looking like a fool.

The day started out nice enough; there were a few clouds in the blue sky, the sun was peeking out from behind those clouds every so and then, and it was all topped with a light and cool breeze. This was definitely what early autumn was like, in terms of it being perfect.

Hikaru stretched his arms and legs out from the soreness of the ride from his home to the institute. It normally doesn't take that much time to get to the institute, however, today he'd hit a few more red lights than usual, and so the trip time took about another ten minutes longer. Smiling at the still beautiful weather, he grabbed his bag along and walked up to the Go Institute.

Entering the modern and clean building, Hikaru eyed the lounge chairs scattered around the front lobby. Picking out a chair situated beside both a support pillar and electric outlet, he headed to the seat and sat down. Pulling his bag onto his lap, he pulled out a mini portable laptop, and placed his bag down to lean beside the side of the chair.

Flipping the lid of the laptop up, he turned it and on and waited as it loaded onto the log-in screen. While it was loading, Hikaru glanced up and took a look at the clock hanging on the wall behind the reception desk. It read 3:26, he had yet another thirty or so minutes until his students got off from their class. Turning his gaze back onto the screen of his laptop, he quickly typed in his password and logged on. Net-Go was waiting for him.

"Oh, come on Isumi!" a loud voice whined, coming from the direction of the glass door entrance to the Go Institute. "Just tell them you can't make it, and you'll reschedule!"

"Waya," answered a tall dark blue haired man, this was Isumi, "That would be very inconsiderate of me, as I was the one who requested the meeting on that certain date."

"I still don't get why you can't just give some excuse to change the date," a dark auburn haired man, Waya, complained back at Isumi.

Isumi sighed, there was no way he could get Waya to stop pestering him, until he agreed to at least do something about it, so he answered, "I'll talk to them about it, but no promises. I won't say that I'd be able to go to our insei class reunion just yet."

Waya grumbled in annoyance, but took the compromise.

As the two walked through the lobby, Waya glanced at a very familiar looking figure from the corner of his eye. Stopping to take a better look, he saw that yes, he had definitely met the man sitting in the chair beside the pillar, but he just couldn't place the name. Grabbing Isumi's shoulder, Waya quickly explained that he was going to approach the man sitting the chair with a laptop, and for Isumi to stay and wait for him. Isumi looked towards where Waya gestured to, saw the man and nodded for Waya to go ahead. Smiling at his friend, Waya turn away and briskly walked up in front of Hikaru.

Hikaru was so engrossed in his game that he had not noticed that there was someone standing before him.

"Hey," a voice cut through Hikaru's thoughts on where to place his next move.

Blinking in surprise, Hikaru looked up to see a man standing before him. Quirking his eyebrow questioningly, he asked, "Yes? What is it?"

The unfamiliar man blinked at him, giving Hikaru a blank look. There was a pause before the man spoke again, "You… just looked familiar is all. I was just trying to figure out who you were again."

"Well, I don't remember y—wait, Waya Yoshootaka?" Hikaru replied, asking for confirmation of the man's identity.

Waya gave Hikaru a surprised look at the mention of his name, "Yes, that's right. And who are you?"

"Shindo Hikaru," Hikaru answered amiably, giving Waya a polite smile, "Your friend, Isumi was it, helped me some time ago. You and a few others were present at the time too."

Waya scrunched his face up as he tried to bring up any relevant memory to what Hikaru had just told him. After a few moments, a light bulb flashed in his mind, as he found the particular memory that was mentioned. Giving Hikaru a wide grin, he said, "Oh yea! You're the guy who had two insei tackle you!"

Grumbling at the memory, Hikaru glared at nothing in particular before nodding his head in confirmation of Waya's recollection. "Yea, that's… right."

"So, what are you?" Waya asked, changing the topic, as he eyed the clothing Hikaru wore, "I've never seen a pro who looked like you before."

"No, I'm definitely not a pro," Hikaru shook his head, hand pulling the lid of his laptop down, "My work consists of data compilation and analysis for a certain company. I can't really tell you much about it; it's all confidential information to the company."

"Nah, that's alright," Waya laughed it off, his mind going into overdrive at processing what this Shindo Hikaru had just told him. "I wouldn't wanna hear about it, nor would I understand what you would say anyways."

Hikaru laughed too, "I know, confusing isn't it?"

"So you interested in Go huh?" Waya asked, changing the topic once again, and without a moment's notice.

"Yes, I just recently got involved in this old hobby of mine again," Hikaru answered. He frowned a bit and sighed, though fondness could be detected in his voice, "Though now I've got two little brats pestering me all the time to mentor them in Go."

"Haha, I could see that," Waya laughed at Hikaru's exasperated look.

"Waya," Isumi's voice called to the auburn haired man. He pointed at his watch and continued, "We have to get going if you don't want to miss the game."

"Coming!" Waya called back to Isumi. He turned back to Hikaru and gave a sheepish grin, "Sorry, gotta go now."

"No, no, that's fine," Hikaru replied, shaking his head at Waya's apology.

"Right," Waya nodded. He took out a piece of paper and pen from his backpack and wrote something down, passing the paper to Hikaru. "That's the time and place for my next official game. Bring your students along and watch; I'm sure it'll be educational for them, and who knows, you might pick up something yourself. Just tell the guys that I invited you and they'll let you in the observation room without question."

Looking at the information written on the piece of paper, Hikaru nodded and thanked Waya. Running off to where Isumi was waiting for him, Waya looked back and waved at Hikaru, "I look forward to seeing you and those brats of yours at the game!"


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