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“Your spiritual bond is fragmented.” A voice said from behind him on the train.

He turned, and standing behind him was a girl slightly taller then him, in a red rather plain dress. Next to her a slightly shorter boy his age listening to music. Neither looked very threatening, but there was something...off about the two of them.

Hikaru blinked not really knowing what to say to the non-sequitur, or the sudden conversation.

“But he’s not gone.”

Hikaru’s knuckles went white and a thin veneer of hope and fear overtook him. He didn't know how, but their girl seems to know about Sai. She was looking at him, but at the same time beyond him. It was a strange look, that Hikaru could only compare to when he played for Sai.

He swallowed, suddenly feeling smaller all of a sudden.

“How….?” He said shifting around to ensure no one was listening. He didn’t see anyone, but that didn’t mean anything. Other pros had a bad habit of showing up the worst times.

Yet, what did it matter if anyone heard, Hikaru thought wondering how cryptic this whole conversation was. Even if someone did hear, he could always play off. He was good at deflection, having had practice.Still, maybe this person could tell him something, even as small as the hope was. If they could see, then maybe—

“I can’t do anything.” The girl said firm, but softly. Despite her gruffness was trying to get her point across in as nice a manner as possible. The boy next to her, messed with the buttons on his headphone seeming to stare at a space above them, but Hikaru paid it no mind, feeling sadness grip him. He had been too hopeful.

“But you can.”

Hikaru looked up, feeling hope and confusion.

“I can?”

She nodded. “Heal other spirits, and yours will mend.” The girl said taking out her phone and typing something into it.

“Take this.” The boy on the other side of her said passing him a necklace with a seven star tree on it. His headphones were still on ,but they weren’t over his ears anymore instead sitting on his shoulders. “It’ll help.”

The girl frowned. “Yoh, you shouldn’t—” She reached out to take the necklace he was holding out to Hikaru, but the boy gently pushed her arm aside.

“This is what we need. People and spirits getting along…right, Amidamaru?” The boy, Yoh said smiling as he dropped the necklace in Hikaru’s hand.

The second the necklace touched his hand, the world changed, warping and then distorting until there was more people on train then there had been before. He blinked as several see-through people on the train stared at the three of them, but what really caught Hikaru’s attention was a spirit floating above Yoh.

He was tall, and rather intimidating, dressed in a samurai's uniform but there was something about him that seemed...more.

“Besides, if his spirit wasn’t his guardian ghost that wouldn’t be there.” Yoh said motioning to Hikaru’s left shoulder.

Hikaru looked to his shoulder, his eyes going wide.

“What is that?” He asked watching a a sliver needle floating a few inches from his back.

“A spiritual talisman.” The girl said looking up from her phone before going back to whatever she was doing. “It’ll protect you from anything spiritual harmful…apparently your guardian ghost was fairly powerful and cared about your safety.”

Hikaru nodded mutely, unable to say anything over the lump in his throat.

Above them, an automatic voice announced the next station, both the girl and Yoh walking off.

Hikaru moved forward, and before the train doors closed yelled two words.

“Thank you!”

XXxxxxXX

Twenty minutes later when Hikaru finally reached Tokyo, he was wearing a seven tree star necklace, that glittered in the light.

XXxxxxXX

Extra:

“Is it just me or does Shindou seem different?” Waya asked as they viewed the game from the recording room.

“He seems more determined for some reason.” Isumi said distantly. The match in front of them was awe inspiring.

There was a strange strength behind Hikaru’s moves that neither had seen before. He was more aggressive with his traps, and had steel that hadn’t been there before, in each of his moves. Very different from the playing style Hikaru normally used, this playing style seemed...happier? Isumi wasn't quite sure what to make of Hikaru today, but something had changed.

Yet, of all the strange things about Shindou Hikaru, it would only be the beginning.

xxxxxx