The match between Sai and Meijin has ended and Hikaru is riding high on it as he's felt like he learned a lot but also connected heavily with both of the players in it. His growth has been phenomenal since the start of the series and seeing him find moves that both Meijin and Sai missed has really given Sai a lot to think about. Unfortunately, Hikaru's happiness has a downside as he's suddenly remembered that Meijin said he'd retire if he lost to Sai in this game. And Meijin being who he is, there's little chance of him changing his mind, not that Hikaru won't do his best to stop him.
What surprises Hikaru is not that Meijin asks Hikaru if he's Sai, but that he's seeing something of Sai in him and in the game that the two of them played previously. Meijin's a curious man but he's one who knows not to pry too far, but he's also seen something at the edges of Hikaru that speaks to him. The match against Sai has opened up a new world of challenges to him and he doesn't care how he has to play against Sai, he just wants to. Being able to finagle this as a way to get Meijin out of his retirement plans is a good thing, but what Hikaru doesn't realize is that Sai has figured out that his own time is nearing an end. With the discovery that Hikaru is what he's really here for, a feeling that's definitely deep inside him that feels right, he knows there's only so much left he can do before he'll likely disappear and leave Hikaru to the future.
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