I've stayed kind of quiet on here during the tournament, mostly because if I wasn't preparing for, or taking part in matches, I was working on doing final preparations for the joint project we'll be launching at SAI next month, as well as other things I've been working on, so I haven't had a lot of time to really sit back and reflect on things.
Guess I have some time now, though.
I kinda just entered this tournament for fun at first. I really missed being a Pro Duelist and taking part in the first Action Duel World Championship was really exciting, so I entered without a second thought. Now I find myself here at the finals, against one of my closest friends and I know the two of us will give everyone a duel they won't forget!
Isabel asked me the other day what is was that I wanted to do when I first started at Duel Academy and I gave her an honest answer. I just joined to have fun duels. I had no plan, no idea for the future, I just wanted to duel and have fun with it. Then, things gradually started getting a little crazy at the Academy. A lot of bad stuff happened and I learned things about myself that were frightening at the time. Things just kept happening and I had a power I was struggling to control. I started to wonder back then what I was really dueling for, as I found myself dueling more and more to protect my friends and the Academy. I lost the sense of fun.
It took me a while to come to terms with a lot of things, such as my power as the Supreme King and the fact that duels aren't always fun. Sometimes you do have to protect those you care for with it.
By this time I'd chosen to become a Pro Duelist, but I struggled to start off in it. I wasn't happy and it reflected in my dueling, and then more stuff happened and ah...
... well, lets say I kinda realised I needed to stop being so concerned with the past and letting it effect me, because life was short and I wanted to live and experience things. Granted, this was before I found out that I'm not really ageing, but, hey!
I started my career as a Pro Duelist and I had a great time getting to go to different tournaments around Japan and then in a few places in the world. It was fun! Also taking part in the WRGP with Team Spirit, right up until my retirement duel with Johan! I was pretty sad when I left my dueling career behind, but I decided to concentrate on something I felt was a little more important in current times.
The Spirit Foundation was small enough to run beside my dueling career, but merging it with the Arcadia Movement to create SAI was a big move and a big commitment, but a move that I really wanted to do. Something I felt was needed. We'd worked for years on human-spirit relations, but those in the city with Psychic Powers were losing a source of support and I realised that with my own experiences with supernatural powers and those of friends of mine, I could be a source of support and guidance for others with abilities like this, the sort of guidance myself, nor my friends, really had.
My power has a terrible history to it, one I was constantly told I was going to follow, which was why it took me so long to accept it fully as a part of myself. I often found that I couldn't talk to people about it or how I felt about it, so I feared it silently, which lead to a pretty rough time of my life. Sometimes, these things are unavoidable, but having someone there to support you and understand a little of what you're going through can really help. I wanted to help support those with supernatural abilities, give them a place to go, to learn about their abilities, to talk about them, to feel welcome, as well as educate others ... much like the similar work we'd been doing with spirits.
Now I look at where I am now, standing at the finals of this tournament. Thinking of all this makes me realise how winning it could really help promote SAI and get our message out there about Duel Spirits and supernatural abilities and how they shouldn't be feared. I want to better send this message and our work out beyond Domino City!
There will always be people like Touki, and there may always be people who'll use tragic events such as Heartland to twist the blame to things they don't understand, but with better knowledge being available more widely, I think more people will understand and not fear things that they feel are 'different'.
That's my main goal. That's what I want to aim for by winning this tournament.
Though... there is a little something else too. Something I felt I never really managed in my pro career.
I want to be able to stand equally with someone. Someone I have a lot of respect for and someone I really owe my dueling too. He was my mentor growing up. Someone who re-introduced me to the game and taught me to have fun with it.
I want to be able to stand as high as he did.
And I might not get another try at this for a while.
I talked to him a little bit earlier today too and I know he'll be watching. I know he wants to see me reach it as much as I do.