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There was something oddly... supernatural... about the fact that Ochi always turned up on Isumi's doorstep, just as Isumi was getting out of the shower, Isumi considered as the knocking on the door rose above the steady beat of the water.

It wasn't even like Ochi liked Isumi all that much anyway. Their relationship was courteous and polite rather than comfortable, though surprisingly enough, it was Isumi who for some unknown reason was the one who appeared to best get along with the younger pro.

Actually, maybe it wasn't that surprising after all. Most of the Go players were either put off by the younger pro's ill nature, or (in the case of Shindou and Waya) were far too confrontational to ever let a biting remark go past unscathed. And Ochi still had quite a large chip on his shoulder with Pro's who were both ranked higher and significantly older. Becoming a pro at a young age would do that to you though.

The go match Ochi had with Kuwabara was easily the most anticipated train wreck of the year. Waya had even tried selling tickets, before Ogata had stepped in. It eventually hit the point where it had become quite frightening to Isumi when Waya had been moved to tears of joy over it. That wouldn't have been so bad, but this was after he had to give back the money.

Though Isumi had to admit to himself that, he still wasn't quite sure if he'd ever quite get entirely over the way that his confidence had been pressured by Ochi during the pro exams...

It had been Isumi that had made the mistake, something which he freely admitted, but... the way Ochi had approached the matter, and his smug attitude... Isumi had found that far more obnoxious and infuriating than anything Touya Akira had ever done. To this day, he still strongly felt that there had been no need for that kind of attitude from Ochi.

That didn't change the fact that Shindou's supernaturally fast progress along the go juniors path had indeed been something to worry over, though. Isumi still could not figure out how Shindou did it. He hadn't practiced in any Go salons until Waya had taught him, he didn't appear to have a master, although he might simply be hiding that fact from everyone... It was like Shindou was absorbing memories from a previous life where he had been a go pro, and...

The knocking on the door repeated itself, just a little bit louder then before and Isumi roused himself from his thoughts.

As he made his way to the door, he couldn't help but muse that the apartments across the Tokyo Igo Institute were both comfortable and convenient, and it really was just plain good sense to be on good terms with his neighbour, especially when they were also working together.

Though it would always be more than a little frightening and more than a little unnerving, to be greeted by glinting glasses, when the only thing you're wearing is a hastily wrapped towel covering your nether regions.