“I dropped the golden ax !”

It was Daiki who shouted that before anyone else. As he approached me, Daiki laughed with a distorted face.

“A fair match? Idiot ! Anything goes as long as you win ! You can’t do that, that’s why you’re losing to me ! You’re going to lose !”

Daiki then raised both arms high in the air. I don’t care if he kills me. I can feel his pressure even if he doesn’t say it in words. He was willing to kill me with the ax that A had given him.

“Well, it’s useless without the ax.”

The arm that Daiki swung down cuts through the air. Daiki, who had lost his physical balance because he moved on the assumption that he had the ax, fell down next to me. Too bad I couldn’t see his face. Only his back was reflected in my eyes.

“Was it a gold ax you dropped? Or the silver ax?”

“I dropped the ax to see you, Agent.”

Instantly the gold and silver axes the agent had in her hands were transferred. ……It’s heavy. Even if I didn’t swing it, it would easily kill a man just by hitting him.

“……What’s with the equality?”

When I couldn’t stand the weight, Daiki, who had fallen to the ground, opened his mouth.

“Erasing memories !? You’re lying ! From the beginning you were the only one who was going to get the weapon !”

……..Is that how Daiki sees? Is he forgetful because he’s too old? A story from a long time ago.

“Agent, why did you give me the ax?”

“Because you’re an honest man.”

“A, why didn’t you give Daiki the ax?”

“Because he’s a liar.”

So it comes down to this. I’ll tell Daiki this while pointing the golden and the silver ax at him.

“You weren’t trying to beat me. You lost because you wanted to beat me.”

Victory requires a reason. If there’s no process to reach that end, it’s not a victory. But Daiki tried to skip that process. Instead of acquiring the ability to beat me, he tried to get on top of me by any means possible. There was no way the goddess of victory would smile on such a cowardly man.

“And my victory over you was neither accidental nor intentional. I won because I could win.”

I’ve been honest and steady. I kept working hard to win. That’s how I got to this end.

“Hey……wai …..wait……!”

When I swung the golden ax in my right hand, Daiki retreated with his body still on the ground.

“I ain’t lost yet,……! I haven’t lost,……you haven’t won ! And yet is it okay……to kill me! Hey !”

“……Is that you begging for your life? If you’re begging for your life, there’s a better word for it.”

“I’m…..I’m sorry ! I’m sorry for everything I’ve done…….hey, forgive me !”

“If we could just say sorry, we wouldn’t be in this situation, would we? Both of us. We couldn’t forgive each other. We hated each other so much that we wanted to go back and get revenge. That’s why we never forgave each other.”

And yet.

“The one that I hate is not you right now.”

I said as I lowered the ax to the ground. To a pitiful old man who’s nothing more than an enemy.

“My enemy is the twenty-five year old Daiki. Your enemy is 67-year-old me, right? There’s no point in me defeating you.”

In the end, I was wrong from the beginning. It was an accident that I went back to the past, but there was no point in winning against the past Daiki there. Nothing satisfied me. I can’t end it like this. If I don’t win fair and square, I can’t shout that I won. That’s why.

“A, are you getting your memory back now?”

“Yes, from a while ago.”

I asked A, who came from the world of the same era as this Daiki……50 years later.

“Please return Daiki’s consciousness back to his original time.”

This will be the end of everything. After that, I also go back to the future and……

“Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !”

Perhaps…..It might’ve been the first time I’ve seen it. Seeing Daiki crying as I won.

“I can’t do it anymore ! I’m already 65 !  I’m an old man ! I can’t change anything now ! I can’t go back to the way things were ! I can’t beat you ! I don’t want to ! I don’t want to die like this, unable to accomplish anything, unable to become…..anything! No ! I hate it…..!”

……I don’t know what that pain feels like. Even if I lived twice as long, there’s still things I haven’t accomplished. I can’t even begin to imagine how hopeless that despair is. Still, I can say this.

“Everyone has an equal chance. Just as you had a chance to get the ax. If you die without even trying to get it, it’s because you’re a…..loser.”

I’m different. Even if I were 60 years old. I’m sure I’ll still be screaming, ‘I’m going to win.’.

“I’ll definitely win. I will go back to the original era and beat Daiki that deceived me. So let me tell you. To you from ten years later. If you’re frustrated, try to win.”

The next moment, Daiki’s body suddenly collapsed. It was as if he had lost consciousness.

“…..Kouki sama.”

“……What’s wrong, A?”

Then, I had a final conversation with A, who would take away Daiki’s consciousness.

“I will tell you too. To the future Kouki sama. You have always been cool.”

A’s body disappeared into the water. The smile on her face also dissolved into the water.

“…..It’s over.”

My first victory over Igarashi Daiki had come to an end. And at the same time, the challenge to my true enemy, the Daiki of 10 years from now, began.

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