by Tari Gwaemir
Despite everything, his grin was genuine.
Despite everything, his grin was genuine. "Thank you for the game," said Touya, still smiling, as he bowed over the goban.
Shindou gave him a strange look as he murmured his reply. They both stood up, shook hands, posed for the obligatory photograph, and proceeded to join the already heated discussion in the next room.
Later, on their way out of the Kiin, Shindou said, somewhat bemused, "You're looking remarkably happy for someone who just lost for the first time. To me, I mean."
Touya loosened his necktie and raised his face to the sky. It was a crisp sparkling day, and he could see the first young leaves uncurling. He wondered when winter had changed into spring and why he hadn't noticed before.
In a few weeks, Touya thought suddenly, perhaps the Tokyo streets will be garlanded with new blossoms.
He smiled again and answered, "I don't know, somehow it seems like things are beginning all over again."