As the two boys got off the train and then walked a few blocks to reach their destination, Akira asked, "Why are we at a graveyard?"
"Because I need to show you something, and I need to pay my respects. It's May fifth, you know," Hikaru replied. Then, realizing that Akira probably had no idea what happened on that day a year ago, he added, "Don't ask because you'll know what happened in a few minutes." Hikaru led his boyfriend through rows of graves until he reached one that was near the center. "This is it."
Akira looked at the name on the grave. "Shuusaku?"
"Yeah." He knelt down to pay his respects, and Akira followed suit. Afterwards, he continued, "This is Torajiro's grave. Well, it's not the real one, but it's the closer one. This is the second time I've been here."
"When was the first?"
"When I came with Sai."
Akira's eyes widened. "Sai?"
"Yeah. Remember the promise I made? Well, I've decided to tell you about Sai now." Seeing that Akira was paying close attention, he began his tale. "One day, when I was in my Grandpa's shed with Akari, I saw an old Go board. I wanted to sell it, but I saw stains on it, so I tried to wipe them off. Then I heard someone ask if I could see the bloodstains, and I said yes. The same voice then asked if I could hear him, and I said yes again. By then, I was pretty freaked out. Well, after that, the Go board started lighting up, and next thing I knew, I was at the hospital for passing out. Or was I in an ambulance?" Hikaru thought for a second. "I can't remember… But anyway, it turned out that Sai was a ghost who was banished for cheating at Go in front of the Emperor a thousand years ago, even though his opponent was the one who cheated, and he drowned himself and then inhabited the go board for about 800 years." Hikaru looked at Akira to see if he was paying attention, and was rewarded with a shocked look.
"Sai… was a ghost?"
"Yeah. I hope you believe me. You're the only one I've ever told."
Akira thought for a moment. 'Could it… be true? It makes sense… or it would if it wasn't so illogical… but it explains everything. And why would Hikaru lie to me about this?' he then realized the last thing Hikaru had said. "I'm the only one?"
"Yeah. I didn't think anyone else would believe me. And even if they would, it's not something I'd go blurting out. I trust you, Akira."
Akira smiled. 'No, he wouldn't lie. It must be true. But, then…'
"What does Sai have to do with Shuusaku?" Akira asked.
"Sai was Shuusaku. He was Torajiro's ghost before he came to me, and he let Sai play all his games. That's why his Go was so similar to Shuusaku's. They were the same Go player. Although, Sai got better once he learned modern joseki."
"Yeah…" Akira was still stunned by the explaination of Sai. But then, who wouldn't be when they just found out that ghosts were real and that the best Go player to ever exist was the same Sai from NetGo?
"Surprised?" Hiakru asked, grinning.
"Yes, of course," Akira replied. "It's hard to believe…." Seeing the look Hikaru gave him, he immediately said, "Oh, but I do believe you. I just mean it's really shocking."
"Yeah, it is, isn't it? I hardly believed it when I first found Sai, and I didn't even know who Shuusaku was then."
"Yeah… that's amazing, that you know Shuusaku." Hikaru frowned at Akira's comment. Noticing this, Akira asked, "What's wrong?"
"Amazing that I knew Shuusaku."
"You mean…" he trailed off.
"Sai is…" Hikaru's eyes started watering.
"I'm sorry. It's just… I'm afraid if I admit it, then Sai will really be…."
"Gone?" Akira finished for him. Hikaru's head snapped up to look at his boyfriend's face.
"Yeah… Sai is… gone…." Now Hikaru couldn't stop the tears. He slowly fell to the ground, face wet.
"Hikaru… It will be okay." Akira knelt down and hugged the crying boy. Hikaru just shook his head against the other's shoulder. "Yes, it will. Because Sai is in your Go, and he isn't going to leave it."
Hikaru looked up. "How did you know that?"
"I play you so often, and we are rivals. Of course I noticed it. You play like him sometimes, you know. That's why I have to keep getting better. There may come a day when you surpass him, and I need to be ready for it."
Hikaru looked at him, his tears stopping. "Yeah… but I doubt I'll ever surpass Sai."
"I think you will, eventually. I notice your improvements every time we play at my father's Go salon."
Hikaru smiled, then remembered something. "Speaking of the Go salon, I left my stuff there."
"Oh, right," Akira replied. "We should go back and get it."
"Yeah. I'm not looking forward to everyone's reactions, though."
"I'm sorry abut that."
"No worries, I'm glad you did it, or we wouldn't be together now."
"Right. So, ready to go?"
"Yeah." Hikaru turned towards Shuusaku's grave. "Goodbye, Sai." Then the two headed back to the train, and got on the one that went near their homes.
When they finally reached outside the Go salon, Akira said, "Alright, get your stuff and then we're leaving."
"Okay," Hikaru replied. Then the door opened in front of them and they walked in. Everyone turned their heads towards the pair as they heard Hikaru say, "Ichikawa-san? I'm sorry for running out earlier, but I need my backpack."
Regaining her composure, she said, "Oh, right away. Here you go." She put his bag on the counter, and then, along with all the other customers, watched the two leave the salon together.
"Well, I guess it really was real," was the last thing Hikaru and Akira heard someone say as the door closed behind them. The pair decided to ignore the comment, and headed towards the elevator, still hand in hand.