"Since Sai's disappearance, Hikaru has given up go! Meanwhile, undefeated by his failure to pass the pro test, Isumi plays his heart out in China. His foreign training teaches him unique ways to handle the stress of mental challenges and competition. Upon his return, he asks Hikaru for a rematch! But how good will Hikaru's game be after such a long break--and without Sai?" -- from publisher's web site.
Hikaru and Sai are introduced to a new world of people as they head to a school festival and play a pick-up game of Go. There they meet Tetsuo Kaga, a Shogi punk, as well as the sophisticated members of Kaio Go Club and the optimistic few of the Haze Go Club.
"Go players under the age of 18 in Japan, Korea, and China are getting ready to qualify for the Hokuto Cup. Hikaru and Akira are both in contention for the Japanese team, but the preliminaries prove to be tough going. Stung by a reality check, Hikaru focuses like never before. But will it be enough to meet the challenge of the unconventional yet formidable go of Kiyoharu Yashiro of the Kansai Go Association?"--P.  of cover.
"The main storyline takes a holiday, making way for six tales that offer fresh insight into the characters and lives of Akira Toya, Tetsuo Kaga, Asumi Nase, Yuki Mitani, Atsushi Kurata and Fujiwara-no-Sai. Hikaru Shindo figures in some of these and takes center stage in the final tale when he challenges a crooked antique shop owner to a game of go in an attempt to restore an heirloom vase to its rightful owner" -- from publisher's web site.
The Hokuto Cup games are about to begin, and Hikaru gets caught up in some misunderstandings that make it difficult for him to concentrate on go. In the first match between Japan and China he starts out poorly and seems well on the way to a resounding defeat. Only by getting a tight grip on himself can he possibly make a showing, but that's far easier said than done!
Hiraku Shindo is like any sixth-grader in Japan: a pretty normal school boy with a two-tone head of hair and a penchant for antics. One day, he finds an old bloodstained Go board in his grandfather's attic-- and that's when things get really interesting. Trapped inside the Go board is Fujiwara-no-Sai, the ghost of an ancient Go master who taught the strategically complex board game to the Emperor of Japan many centuries ago.
"Hikaru is determined to move carefully, step by step, up the ladder of professional go. He pours his energy into it, striving to get closer to his ultimate goal--playing the Divine Move. After many games he finally gets to play a 7-dan, who turns out to be someone he's confronted before, though not in competition. Their mutual animosity fires their competitiveness, pushing them to play with maximum intensity."--P.  of cover.