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Everything posted by Blake

  1. i tested it all different ways and told cow about them as he asked scenarios, so idek what it is HELLO HELLO HELLO oh shit it's working now
  2. yes i did that hello it still is not working
  3. testing EDIT: it did not work what am i fucking up testing
  4. i wanted to dunk on joseph but every time i try to use it it just
  5. Since the events with Morgan and Melissa, Devin had never managed to leave their room. No reason in particular, beyond fixating on their desire to find something. Aside form thanking Melissa for putting up with them, they also wanted to contribute... something to the communal spaces. But with half their budget so far burned on food, they couldn't think of anything that would be cheap enough for that... Sighing, Devin left their room, walking down the dorm hallways to look for inspiration, before their search took them downstairs. They didn't really see anybody as they wandered around, taking it in. Come to think of it... they hadn't really seen much at all, had they? They cuddled up in the corner, ran upstairs... twice, and otherwise had not looked around. How did they think they were going to manage ordering a gift for the living space that they had never even paid any mind to? Looking at the device they had been given, then back to the walls and floorspace, a frown formed on their hooded face. Nothing seemed to fit what they wanted, least of all a gift.,, then they saw the sign. "CAUTION: SLAKOTH SLACKING OFF" ... Slakoth? Like, the Pokémon? Their face flattened as memories of the creature rushed back, both those believing it a game... and a small set of others telling them it was a real creature. The former seemed to be right, if the sign was anything to go by, yet it was the only one that said such. The memories of a faker musician... That could be correct, all things considered. Peeking inside, there was, indeed, the slothful Pokémon. Doing exactly what the sign said. With some of the others pestering it. They closed the door gently before stepping away, pulling out the device again. Why, if these memories were to believe, they may be able to to garner some good will tout suite! It didn't fulfill the Melissa idea, but at least it solved one of the two problems, expensive though it would be. With the first idea in their cart, they scrolled through, absentmindedly taking a seat in one of the rec room armchairs, absently humming a tune to themself.
  6. Aside from the core being interesting upon entry, Eden sat with a confused, mouth-agape expression for most of the ride and the following conflict... Not that anyone could see it through the scarf. They were just bewildered by the group of ruffians that they and Lusine had landed in. Sure, the town had some people who was less than savory, but this was beyond the pale. A murderbird, a "zombie" that they would need to study, the extortionist, not to mention Alliyma, who kept shooting them dirty looks, even when Lusine left their side. What was her deal, anyway? Once it slowed a bit, Lusine tugged them close and whispered, earning a nod from Eden. As the elderly woman wandered off, Eden took a deep breath. This was not a great place to be, but maybe once everything was said and done it would be worth it. Besides, they had their cores back, Eden just had to retrieve them. But first... "Let's see, should be... ah, here we go." they muttered to themselves as they ripped the core from the ruined rig of the blue-eyes player, examining it. A second ritual core. Perhaps this would be able to accelerate their research. Of course, the rest of the rig was... below average. This was a regular core thief in the area? And they had all been fooled by it? Preposterous. Hopping down with the core in tow, seemingly no one paying them much mind, they wandered off, just before the barbaric girl with the spear began to brag about the rig. "Beautiful." Grabbing his collar and straightening it out, Sid gestured toward Ida in the distance, "Ay! Glasses! Use that ugly hunk of junk of yours to haul this thing into Behemoth!" Pausing, he amended his statement, "if the core looks to still be working, leave it out here. I don't need more of that nonsense." With a roll of their eyes, they headed back into the rig. They still had to pay a ransom, and this core sure wasn't that according to what he said. All the better for them. However, as they headed in, their ear caught a conversation between the barbarian and Alliyma. "Whomever can put these back in my rig can share my dinner. It's red meat." People still ate red meat? Even with how scarce animals were in this day and age? Insect meat was one thing, they were a menace, but... There were so many more efficient ways to use animals than that. Eden began to turn to avoid them entirely, as getting that woman's rig working was none of their concern. But... if the animal was already dead... "I can fix it easily. But... can I get you to share the meat with someone else?" Alliyma frowned slightly harder than her default, her eyebrows raised, "You're a curiosity. Why would you want to give away something so valuable?" There it was, that scowl again. Well, they had expected it. "My master was a young adult when the world became... this. She probably has nostalgia for red meat, so I am sure she would enjoy it more than I would. After all, I don't think she's had any since then." As if by cue, Alliyma's frown was replaced by a gentle smile, "Of course. Those who come before us are deserving of reverence. Get my ride working and your master will have my portion as well." "Excellent, I am sure she'll be pleased. Hand me the core, and I will get right on that."
  7. After helping Morgan back to the car, the shifter's form reverted ever back into its more reclusive appearance. They seemed to be getting a better grasp on their shifting than even back home, with how they had been able to move in that last battle... But what if they did more? Would they lose control again? Would those other personalities in their memories take hold? Were they... even Devin? They still didn't know. The answer was beyond them, but their body certainly seemed to think so. Well, if not for borrowing power from their memories for that last fight. With a nearly silent sigh, they leaned back in their seat, their gaze drifting over to Melissa, who had dozed off instantly. Or maybe she was just communing with those stands of hers again? In that case, did she know they... Their eyes shot to the side instantly, occasionally peeking back, but never holding a solid stare. Last thing they needed was for Melissa to think of them as an even bigger creep. Not that they were staring at her for that reason, just... She didn't seem suited to this. Was she from a world where fighting didn't happen? No, that wouldn't make sense with her power... But then, why was she so unadjusted to it? It was strange... But thy still owed her. They couldn't turn their back on her after what they put her through. After what she had tried to do for them. Looking over to make sure their other companion was alright, Devin let their own eyes close, not losing consciousness, but detaching a bit, until the ride was over. ----- Upon arriving back, the shifter swiftly slithered back to their room like normal, but... unlike normal, they looked about the plain room. With a lack of materials to work with they sighed, their form dropping to a bare form, humanoid as they extended a hand. As it became like a canvas, their other hand producing a pen, still attached, they began to write, sky-blue hair falling around their head. Get comfortable. Think clearly. Find a way to show appreciation... The mall, maybe? Would a gift do? Buying things was kinda cheap, but in a world where they were far from home, maybe, just maybe...
  8. “So… What was it we’re coming here for again, master? Olafoil?” The two rode across the wastes in the upsized D-Rig Eden had designed, complete with their master's golf cart attached to the back. The road was overall bumpy, but the work the young scientist had put into the suspension seemed to pay off and make it a mostly smooth ride. Good, their master was getting up in years and didn't need the stress. Lusine tapped her finger against the window for a moment, “Close enough. It’s a rarity these days, useful in cooking. Times may be rough, but we still deserve nice things.” “Mm, I suppose that’s fair enough. Still, seems a bit out of our way for it… Who even told you that Sandy Grove has any?” There was a brief pause after that, a little cackle escaping her, “Told me? Call it a hunch, even if we don’t find any there, who knows what we might find?” A small sigh escaped the scientist as they drove towards the town, placing their chin on their left hand as they leaned against the window. Their master was usually right with these ‘hunches’, but they still didn’t sit quite right. The superstition was one thing, but this was another that they couldn’t even begin to process. “And the reason we brought your rig as well?” She raised an eyebrow towards them briefly, glancing over as she tapped her walking stick against the floor of the vehicle, “Do you think I lived this long not being careful, child?” “I’m not a child anymore, master!” Eden pouted, their cheeks puffing out, “I’ve been with you for nearly a decade and a half, you don’t have to keep calling me that.” Their hand tightened a bit on the wheel as the town came into sight, with the much larger rig on the distance drawing the driver’s eye, their head slooowly turning to look and stare at it. “Woooow… I wonder how many cores that baby takes…” Lusine tossed her walking stick up a bit, catching it by the other end to give Eden a quick, though gentle, swat on the hand, “Pay attention to where you’re going. You can marvel at the sights once we’re parked.” Eden snapped back to the… road? Ahead of them, training their eyes forward at the smack, grumbling ever so softly. After clearing their voice, they spoke up again. ”Well, do you want to stick together or split up, once we get to town?” Another brief pause as she dropped the stick back down against her seat, a small hum escaping her, “Wait and see how busy it is once we’re closer. If there are too many people around, stick close. This sort of place can be dangerous when you aren’t mindful of a crowd, child.” “I told you… Ugh, nevermind.” ----- Upon arriving at Sandy Grove, Eden quickly wrapped their scarf around their face, then hopped out of the rig to help their master out. They grabbed the box of goods that Lucine had brought to trade, then followed the older woman through the market, looking around through the crowd at all the stalls, but they didn't see anything too out of the ordinary. After a while, they spoke up, “Sooo… What kind of vendor would have this Olafoil? Someone with vegetables and fruit, someone with meat, or?” She leaned against her walking stick as she took a small glance around, her eyes closing for a moment as she let out a tiny sigh, “There isn’t any here… We’ll just have to look elsewhere. It’s fine, it’s fine.” She waved her hand as she continued walking, motioning for Eden to follow, “We can stop around some stalls, find some scrap so we can have extra for repairs. Anywhere you need to stop too.” “... but I came all this way cause you had your hunch. I was just planning to explore near the house today.” “Child, the hunch will lead us in the right direction. That doesn’t mean it’s here.” She waved her hand in the air again, humming lightly as she wiggled a finger, “Come along, we do need the materials anyway.” Eden shot the older woman a look, but with the scarf over their mouth, she could only see so much of the younger person’s expression. However, from experience, she knew exactly what look she was given, before the youngster huffed and looked forward, adjusting the box in their arms. “Fine. Lead the way, master.”
  9. "Draw! Well, remember that Swap Frog I searched? I discard Nimble Angler in order to summon it from my hand!" When Adrian placed the card on her disk, a yellow frog appeared, with red horns and markings on it, letting out a croak, and her graveyard lit up. "Both Nimble Angler, as Chain Link 1, and Swap Frog, CL2, activate! First, I'll send another Swap Frog from my deck to the grave... then I'll summon Nimble Manta and Nimble Sunfish from my deck in defense!" The echoing croak ended as the card was milled, shortly followed by a rather small manta ray and sunfish appearing on either side of the frog, However, the two quickly turned into little blue lights, descending into a galaxy-like vortex opening in the middle of the board. "I then overlay the 2 Nimbles in order to Xyz Summon! Gallop Forth, Sky Cavalry Centaurea!" The vortex bursed with energy, the sound of a powerful wingbeat and hooves filling the air as the shining centaur-like being rode from it, taking its place in the Extra Monster Zone with 2000 ATK. "Ah, that's new!" Vega laughed and rubbed at the back of her neck, "But I had no idea you added that in. Make some edits just for today, Adri?" "Sure did. After all, it's not as exciting if we know everything that's going to happen. Our audience will get bored!" Adrian turned and gave a wink to the audience, before picking up Swap Frog from her disk. "Then I activate Swap Frog's effect. This turn, I can normal summon an additional Frog monster, other than Swap Frog, but Swap Frog returns to hand... Which I'll then NS, as I haven't used any yet." The frog appeared again, its croak sending a third copy of itself from deck to grave. And then... "Battle! Swap Frog, destroy Linguriboh!" "In response, I activate Wall of Disruption! When you attack, all monsters you control lose 800 ATK!" "From the grave, I activate my Canadia! It'll special summon itself as a 1200 ATK monster!" The slinking insectoid rose from the grave with its ATK displaying as 1200, before Vega's trap resolved, lowering it to 400, along with Swap Frog's fall to 200 and Centaurea's to 1200. As Swap Frog leapt towards Linguriboh, it ended up impaled on the little creature's tail, only to swiftly find itself being itself impaled by Canadia. (Adrian: 1400 -> 1300 - Vega: 4000 -> 3900). "With Canadia's attack finished, Centaurea attacks Fire Phoenix!" "Just a moment!" Vega held up her hand, before removing a card from her grave, causing her own monster to explode, "At the start of damage between my Cyberse and an opponent's monster, I can blow my monster up by banishing Achichi from the grave! No bouncing Phoenix today!" "Sadly... with that, I'll move to main 2 and... Tribute both of my monsters!" With a whinny and a hiss, the two monsters on the field were wrapped up in swirling energy, before scattering across the field. When Adrian placed her last card onto the disk, a sound that could only be described as a heavenly host of croaks rang out. "By using two monsters as tribute, I can special summon Amphibian Angel - Frog-Hael! Which, when summoned this way..." She snapped her fingers, causing 3 Swaps and 1 Dupe Frog to rise from the grave in defense, all croaking loudly, She revealed 2 copies of Ronintoadin and 1 Dupe Frog from her deck and sent them to the grave with the effect of the three Swaps, Almost instantly, two of the swaps turned into blue energy, flying into another galaxy vortex as it formed. "Allows me to revive as many frogs from my grave as possible, and then I'll Xyz Summon! Hopping into the new year, let's go Toadally Awesome!" As the vortex burst forth, a rather large, off-white frog plopped onto the field, facing Vega... followed by a much smaller off-white frog plopping on top of it, with a yuzu landing on top at the end. It let out a rather sweet ribbit as Adrian nodded. 0 DEF. "Next, I'll banish the other Dupe Frog in my grave to summon Ronintoadin from the grave! Again, I'll Xyz Summon using that and the other Swap Frog!" "Oh boy, here's comes the lockout," Vega muttered a bit as the cyan toad appeared on the board, letting out a small rumble before the Xyz Vortex opened again, this time revealing... a rather muscular looking humanoid with stony skin. "Eh? That's not what I normally expect to see here. Unless..." A wicked grin covered Vega's face, as if realization dawned to the redhead. "Did you really cut the second copy? What a weird choice~" "Shush. I was testing things. Is that really so strange?" She huffed as Gachi Gachi Gantetsu's stats appeared as 1800 DEF, which quickly rose to 2200 with its effect. "Mm, I suppose not, but cutting a copy of your ace? Tut tut!" "With that, I end my turn. See if you can break through after Toadally Awesome resolves." "Alright, draw!" Vega stared at the card for a moment before taking a deep breath, phase moving to standby. "Well, you already know I have You and A.I., so I activate Fire Phoenix @Ignister! The turn after its Link Summoned copy is destroyed and sent to the grave, I can revive it!" "Then I activate Toadally Awesome! By sending my Frog-Hael to the grave, I can negate that effect!" "And then I activate Forbidden Chalice, targeting your Toadally Awesome!" Adrian froze in place, eyes widening, before a deep sigh escaped her lips. She raised a hand up and motioned for Vega to continue, then crossed her arms and looked away from the spectators with a pout. "Resolving, Toadally Awesome is negated by Chalice and gains 400 ATK for the turn... And Fire Phoenix is reborn from the ashes!" The pillar of flame erupted as Vega spoke, smirking as the bird appeared once more, flames forming its armor. Pointing towards Dupe Frog, the bird attacked it, and... "My bird's effect activates at the start of damage, dealing 2300 directly!" Adrian: 1300 -> 0 "Gaaah, that's so anti-climactic!" The blue hair girl puffed her cheeks out as the holograms faded, "I didn't even have any action cards to help me out! Not that I do at home on the table, anyway, but..." "Ah, come on, you had me on the ropes! Though, a second Toada-" "Hush!" ----- Back upstairs, Vega was at the whiteboard again, with information about their opponents for the coming weekend; Team Shining. "With the fun out of the way, we do have a little to discuss! Team Shining has been around for a while, and doesn't have a terrible record. They just, uh..." Vega's face scrunched up as she fished for the right words, before Adrian cut in. "They're well known for being pricks." "Adriii, you don't have to put it like that." "I'm not wrong and you know it." "Anyway, they do have a bit of a sour reputation. In fact, the action duelist Lance Sheridan is known for being quite rough in action duels to prevent opponents from finding action cards. So then, who will be the best matchup... Daichi. Kendra. Falisha. Are you three up to it this week?" ----- After the team's replies and discussion, they were set on their ways. Vega once again implored them to spend time with their fellow teammates, insisting that it was in their best interest, as well as telling them they could reach her any time. After everyone was gone except for Vega and Adrian, the latter walked over and rubbed the tall girl's back. "You're doing good here. It seems like they all like you a lot." "Yeah, well... Doing what I can. Honestly, they mostly take care of themselves! I'm just here to give pointers and manage things... Like telling you to add back Toa- mmph!"
  10. The battle ended with another vortex sucking away their enemy, leaving Devin brushing themselves off as they stood back up and looked to the other two. “I- Sandalphon -- that’s the ophan -- can help heal if either of you need it, just say the word. Or if you need anything else, too. Besides that, I guess, thank you, both of you.” "We're teammates now; it's what we do. I don't think you'll be able to heal me, but if you could help me find some sort of crutch, that would be helpful." "Y-yeah... besides, I didn't do too much of anything." They replied, before realizing they were still in the battle body. Their form quickly shifted back to the hoodie over their fact, form shrinking down to be a bit less tall and lanky as they shrunk away, before speaking in a softer voice, "I can help you walk back if you need... I'm not advanced enough to be able to make something, s-sadly." Awkward. They still barely knew Morgan, and they hadn't really done a lot beyond taking hits... and taking more hits. They tripped the woman up at the end, but that didn't really account for much, did it?
  11. "Sorry to keep you waiting, guys!" Once everyone had gotten down to the training room, which was just a repurposed mid-sized basketball court, complete with a small set of auditorium bleachers,, Adrian walked in from the stairwell, boisterous coach in tow with a smile on her face. "I know this last match was a bit rough on you, so I asked Adri- you all met her now, yeah- anyway, I asked if... she wouldn't mind giving a bit of an exhibition match? At least, if you guys don't mind staying here a bit longer than normal that is? I, uh..." "You forgot to clear that with them, yes." Adrian giggled before shooting a knowing look and smirk up at her partner, "I'm sure that they're already used to that... aren't you guys?" Kendra felt the corner of her lips tug downwards, a small hum escaping her. She pulled her phone from her bag to idly tapping at it, "...If the others are fine with it, I can push things back a bit and make the time to stick around..." She glanced towards the others gathered, raising an eyebrow, "Any objections?" "Perfect! With that said... I warn you all that I won't be using my normal deck, instead opting for something a bit more 'fun', like Vega... and I'm not used to standard duels. I participated in mooostly action duels, so I feel like I'm at a bit of a disadvantage against miss jack of all trades, so I apologize if it's not the best show you've ever seen." "Hey, don't be like that, you'll do fine!" Vega grinned, suddenly lifting the shorter girl up to hug her tight, before putting her back down, "I told her not to pull punches, but she insisted. So, give us a couple minutes and we'll be ready to go!" ----- "Seems I'm up first... Good luck, sweetheart~" Adrian called out as she drew her hand, almost instantly placing a monster and 2 more cards face-down on her field, "And with that, it'll be your turn." Kendra let out a soft chuckle, rubbing at her neck for a moment as she sighed, “Not the best opening, maybe? Looks like a bad turn for my deck.” "Don't count her out just based on that," Vega laughed as she drew for turn, looking over her hand for a moment, before placing a card on her disk. A yellow blob with 1200 ATK appeared on the field, wuickly forming markings across it, as well as a hat and hands, ending with a stylized blue @ symbol appearing on its hat, "I normal summon Pikari @Ignister and activate its effect." As the mage-like blob began to wave its hands, it was set upon by an otherworldly creature biting into it, long and scaled with multiple green eyes and tendrils. Its long form began to coil around it as Adrian announced its presence. "I activate Paleozoic Canadia, targeting Pikari!" As Pikari began to shudder, a spear flew from Vega's hand, slicing into the main 5 eyes of the creature, causing it to fall down and disintegrate while Pikari's ATK dropped to 400, followed by Vega pulling a card from her deck. "Heh, figured. Then I chain Forbidden Lance! With that, I add Ignister A.I.Land from my deck to my hand." “Er… wasn’t this supposed to be a learning experience? Dunno if seeing a blazing fast duel where I can’t even process cards is going to help learn anything…” Falisha’s words would hang in the air for a moment. "Eh? Are we going too fast? Sorry about that," Vega laughed a bit. grinning wide, "We play with each other a lot, though usually just on a kitchen table. We know how each other's plays in and out, so..." "We can get a bit carried away with it. I'll do my best to slow it down a bit for now." "Yepyep. Anyway, before anything else, I use Pikari @Ignister as material for a Link 1!" The blob cooed out as it lost even more of its form, reverting back to sheer energy as it moved from its spot to the Extra Monster Zone, pointing down towards the center monster zone, before a mechanical-looking creature appeared from the arrow, its jagged tail wagging as its screen-like face lit up to reveal some angry looking eyes... earning a "Tch" from Adrian as its 300 ATK displayed. "I Link Summon Linguriboh, which can tribute itself to negate a trap card... and banish it. Next, I'll activate the field spell I searched for, Ignister A.I.Land!" The entire training room seemed to transform as the field was placed, moving the battlefield to a wide path near a technicolor ferris wheel, the sun shining bright in the sky above, with the sounds of rides and enjoyment echoing about as Vega looked to her team. "While I control no monsters in my Main Monster Zone, I can special summon a Level 4 or lower @Ignister monster from my hand, but I can't do this with the same attribute more than once per turn. Then I'll activate it to summon the WIND monster, Bururu @Ignister!" A green blob appeared on the field, formless like Pikari before it... then began to take a shape not unlike a doll, with wing-like protrusions from tis head as the markings appeared across its body, culminating in white tips to the wings, along with the same stylized @ symbol appearing on its left wing along with its 600 ATK. "When it's summoned, I can send an @Ignister from my deck to the grave, and I'll seeend... Achichi @Ignister. Once that resolves, let's see... next, I'll summon Backup Secretary from my hand." Data began to coalesce next to Bururu, a woman with deep purple hair stepped through, her left arm holding what looked to be a digital tablet as her right hand adjusted the dark glasses on her face. She clicked her heels as she stood up perfectly straight, her ATK showing as 1200. "Any time I control a Cyberse, I can summon her from hand... but only one per turn. So next, I'll Link the two of them off!" The pair of cyberse in the Main Monster Zones reverted into data, soaring into the middle monster zone, with one of them pointing up and right, while the other pointed down and right. The sound of waves could be heard, quickly followed by a pillar of water shooting out from the Monster Zone, spooking Linguriboh in the process, as a wizard-like person in white robes, adorned with blue and blue orbs, stepped from the pillar, brandishing a staff, which lit up instantly as its 1100 was shown. "Splash Mage! And then, once per turn, it can revive a Cyberse from my grave in defense with its effects negated. So I'll bring back Pikari, as well as activate the continuous spell You and A.I. It has many effects, so we'll get to those as they come." The yellow blob magician returned with a coo, and Vega placed the spell she mentioned into her disk... Her face growing wide as she pointed at Adrian. "I know that's gotta be a trap, knowing that deck, so I can't very well use Linguriboh... And I'm pretty sure I know what that monster is, too." "Oh, do you now?" Adrian smirked back, "So what, going into the bird?" "You know it! I use Splash Mage and Pikari as material, I link summon one more time! Bird of blazing passion, link together your allies and burn away your foes!" The two monsters turned into energy once again, with Splash Mage turning into two bits, rather than one. They culminated back into the same zone that Splash Mage had been in, pointing to the left, the right, and straight down, followed by a pillar of flame bursting forth into the sky, causing shadows to be cast by the park's attractions that had been brightly lit. "Fire Phoenix @Ignister!" The flames began to take the form of a bird with multiple sharp-edged wings, still roaring, before armor began to form, containing and shaping the flames further into the avian form. A long, multi-feathered tail grew out behind it, while its wings began to shoot out flames like rockets, all as its shrill cry echoed. Finally, the same insignia that the others of its archetype had appeared on its chest, just a bit left of center. "Now, since I summoned a FIRE Cyberse with 2300 ATK, You and A.I. procs, summoning 1 @Ignister Token to my board. I'll place it far left, and in defense. Then to battle! Fire Phoenix, attack her set monster!" Adrian sighed lightly as the attack was declared, her lack of response causing the monster to flip face-up and reveal itself as the 2000 DEF Dupe Frog. "I was right! Alright, in damage calculation, I activate the effect of Fire Phoenix! Instead of inflicting battle damage to you, I instead inflict Fire Phoenix's attack to you as effect damage!" The bird cried out loudly, its flames intensifying to burn the frog monster to bits, Adrian's life falling to 1700 as she braced herself against the heat, smiling all the while, "Well, you know what that means! Dupe Frog activates its effect, meaning I get to search Swap Frog from my deck!" "That's fine, you'll still take the damage from Linguriboh!" The little angry cyberse gave out a small cry before tackling Adrian, barely managing to knock her out of perfect balance as her life dropped to 1400. "With that, I'll go to Main Phase 2... set 1... and pass. Your go, Adri."
  12. As the day came to an end, Vega found her way home, after running into Rosalia. After a brief conversation, Vega gave her blessing for the captain to miss the next meeting, and wished her well. After settling in for the night at home, she pulled out a binder and flipped through it, glancing at the cards and photographs throughout with a sigh. "Now, what can I do to cheer them up...?" ----- Tuesday, February 2:15 PM When the team arrived to the meeting, the team would find a fairly short girl with long, sky-blue hair falling straight to her hips at the whiteboard, humming to herself as she looked over all the doodles that Vega had made during meetings, giggling at them. When the first of the team approached, she turned around with a smile, nodding her head ever so slightly. "Ah, nice to meet you! I'm Adrian, Vega's girlfriend. Y'know, she talks about you guys quite a bit." "Oh, she talks about the rest of the team, too?" Rather than boastful, Sai appeared genuinely surprised, "and I know who you are, I did some cursory research on your old team." "Of course she talks about all of you! This team means a lot to her, y'know? As for knowing me, well... I suppose that was to be expected, even if I haven't been relevant in years," the girl hummed as she smiled, her pink eyes flitting about, as if taking the room in for the first time, "Well, she asked me to come here ahead of her so that I could inform you that she has a surprise... aaand to inform you all that your captain will be absent. She had matters to attend to otherwise. If there's anything you guys normally do to prep, I haven't the foggiest, so would you mind handling that? I'd appreciate it a lot!"
  13. After the announcement, Diana had headed off, telling Shannon that she needed to see about getting a temporary replacement for her arm, which the dragon girl understood, though noted she headed towards the infirmary, rather than the support center. Perhaps she was concerned with their other opponent? It would be best for her to go and check on that after she spoke to her dear sister... Or that was the plan, at least. On the way over to her, she found herself stopped by reporters, offering them a smile. It was a bother, but also her duty as a rising hero. "How can I help you, Mr. Reporter?" "First off, Miss Almaz, how does it feel to have had such commanding wins in both rounds?" "Why, it is only natural. Even if I, myself, faltered at any point, I had assistance from Ms. Seigi to make sure things went smoothly in both rounds." "Fast friends, then? Speaking of which, while our mics weren't able to pick up what was said, we could see you talking to Ukemei Ayane during the second round. It looks like the potential future #1 is quite the socialite!" "Mm." Shannon paused as she considered her phrasing, "Well, it is no secret that networking has a heavy place in our hero society. We also cannot choose who we have to interact with each time, either." "Of course. Speaking of top heroes, it's hard mot to draw parallels between you and the retired Lord D. Do you consider him to be a source of inspiration?" "As a matter of fact, I do. He is a great man, who always gives his all, even if he is likely to retire before too long. I have met him on a number of occasions with Ms. Orikami, and he has always seemed to be a kind gentleman, on top of his hero work." "I'm not sure if you were aware, but he was instrumental in saving lives when the last Sports Festival was attacked by villains a decade ago. You seem like an astute student, and our sources say you are at the top of your class academically. Aside from yourself, who do you think has the best shot at winning the whole thing?" "That is an interesting query... However, I believe my only real competition is my first opponent. Perhaps Mr. Akagi could pose a challenge, but that depends on what he has lined up." "Trust us, he would agree. He was very boastful when our associate spoke with him earlier. That's all we have time for right now, maybe next time we interview you there will be a gold medal around your neck?" "I look forward to living up to your expectations." As the reporters left to pursue others in the Top 8, Shannon spent a few minutes looking around for both Orikami and Mayu... Her smile faltering ever so slightly at the edges as she failed to find either of them. Everyone but the top cut had made themselves scarce for the time being, it seemed. Well, at least she didn't have to deal with that wretched girl anymore. ----- "[Alright, Diana, you can do this.]" The girl took a deep breath as she stood outside of the infirmary. She wasn't exactly used to being the one visiting, as opposed to using it... Especially not for someone who she was responsible for the injuries of. She usually would have avoided those people. Shaking her thoughts, she opened the door suddenly and walked in, greeted by the sight of Syo hooked up to multiple IV lines... and a dialysis machine. "Ah, it's... [worse than I thought]..." She muttered as she looked aside, "So, uh, Karada... I, uh... just wanted to say I'm sorry for you being in this situation. And to make sure you were okay." Despite his seemingly dire condition, Syo responded with a grin, "Oh! You're Ayane's friend, right? Dyna? She talked about how nice you were, was excited you were getting along with that Shannon girl. Hell of a right hook you got me with!" "Ehm, [Di-ann-uh]... But you were close! And she was excited about... No, nevermind that for now. I wouldn't say it was much of a right hook, I just knew I'd likely lose my left arm, too, if I hit with it." Diana motioned to where her prosthetic had been a sheepish look on her face. Syo nodded as she spoke, a hand on his chin as if deep in thought, "Hm hm hm, I think that's pretty incredible you got into the hero course despite the uh... missing bit. Must have one hell of a quirk to back you up! How'd you manage to react so fast?" "My Quirk is... more of a curse. That I found by mistake." Diana sighed, casting her gaze downward. She had worked so hard to keep this from being public knowledge, the school had helped, yet... "It's called [Equivalent Exchange]. EE for short. There's an invisible line down the center of my body, which causes it to be perfectly symmetrical inside and out... though my face has taken a few too many hits to maintain that," she chuckled awkwardly, "Anyway... If there's damage to one side, the other side is powered up an equal amount. And since I'm missing my right arm..." She moved and cleared the hair from her face, "My right eye," then let it go, reaching down to pull up her left pant leg a bit, "And left leg... Well, the opposite limbs and eyes are 100% stronger, more efficient, and so on. My good eye was able to keep up with your movements, and my body otherwise just acted on instinct." At first, Syo's eyes lit up with excitement, but as he read the room and gathered the sensitivity of the issue, he turned more serious, "You know, I can definitely understand some of that. You don't think I'm in this bed because you hit me, right?" Tilting his head, he gestured toward the large machine that was pulling blood out from one of his heavily bruised arms and putting it back into the other, "My quirk, Power Suit, mixes the wearer's blood up with my own. It turns out Ayane's blood and mine aren't compatible, so being on her for the better part of ten minutes got me sick as hell." He paused before adding on, "I don't think you're cursed, Diana. Even though you lost something, hell, because you lost something, you were able to outpace two people at once. I think you'll be able to save a lot of people like that." "Is that so?" Diana's mood seemed to lighten a bit, finally looking the boy in the eye, "Well I... I'm glad I didn't hurt you too badly. Sounds like your quirk is inconvenient, based on blood type..." She spoke absently, blushing at the comment he tacked on at the end. "It's... a bit more complicated than that. I was very much a liability for Shannon, through most of that... But [thank you] for the kind words." "Nah. She's got the brute strength, but we would have beaten her, especially the way she was seeing red. I'd say you won that fight. And..." it took a few strenuous seconds, but Syo managed to push himself upright, crossing his legs under the thin blanket, "blood rejection doesn't tickle, but it's worth it. I can't do anything on my own, so I need to use my gift to elevate everyone else." With a chuckle and wink, Syo grinned, "Who knows, maybe someday you'll get to try on a more comfortable outfit than whatever the support class nuts made for you." "You don't have any shame, do you?" Diana laughed at the last part, a smile breaking out on her face, though remnants of the blush remained. "That's so bold! Besides, our quirks aren't guaranteed to work together. Or our blood. And you're in that bed due to those things. Don't you think you should be a little less free with that offer?" "Nope! It's gonna take a hell of a lot more than a hospital visit to hold Kizuknight back!" "[Kee-zoo-nai-toh]? Is that your idea for a hero name?" Syo suddenly turned rigid, averting his gaze as his cheeks flushed, "Is it that bad? I haven't said it out loud before, I thought it was pretty clever..." But with a fierce vengeance, he turned back to her, raising his voice with a finger pointed directly at Diana, "Fine! Then what are you planning on going by??" "No, it's fine! I was just curious. As for me, I..." She paused, looking down a bit. Maybe the name she had before was a bit much... With a deep breath, she continued. "[Seigi no Hiiro - Artemis]." "YOUR TITLE IS JUST YOUR NAME AND YOU ARE CRITICIZING MY IDEA?" "I never criticized! Jeez, I didn't think anyone here would realize that..." Diana huffed before turning to the door, "Anyway... I should probably head back now. Not long before the Top 8 begins, whether I should be there or not... So let's try out your idea of seeing how our quirks mesh once you're better, okay?" Diana smirked at the boy, giving him a thumbs-up. ----- Diana gave her new friend a wave as she stepped out of the infirmary, a warm feeling washing over her from the experience... But she was less than delighted when she found herself face-to-face with a camera, instinctually grabbing at her missing arm. "Diana Seigi?" "[H-hai?] How can I help you?" "What a reveal! Do you think the prosthetic arm gave you an unfair advantage in the first two stages of the Festival?" Dread filled Diana as she felt her heart sink, freezing for a moment before only being able to utter one word in her native language. "... [What?]" "It appeared to be quite advanced, the only other one allowed to bring tech in is the student who designed her equipment herself, in class. How did you manage to receive this special treatment?" "It's weaker than I am. [Significantly]. It's a registered support item that I need to get through day to day life." "It looked plenty strong on camera. The boy you hit was awfully bloodied just from that strike. Is he on the other side of this door?" "I don't believe that's any of your business." she adjusted herself to block the door, trying to keep her breathing steady. "We are nothing but concerned journalists trying to provide our viewers with the truth." "Oh my, where are the honeyed words you reserved for me, Mr. Reporter?" "..." The reporter froze for a moment as the dragon girl approached, before acting as if nothing was wrong. "Nothing of the sort, I assure you! We are just making sure that boy survived the assault!" "The assault... you mean the fight? Mostly at my hands? And the only action Ms. Seigi took was to protect me from being blindsided..." Shannon's smile dropped, staring daggers at the reporter, "And even saving one of her opponents in the process? Would you not call that the mark of a true hero, Mr. Reporter?" "We're... just..." "I will not tolerate such blatant favortism. Ms. Seigi took actions to defend her partner, rescue her enemies, and sacrificed her prosthetic limb in the process. And you stand here and act as if she is some thug? You should be ashamed of yourself... and be glad that I am not Madame Orikami, as she would have already ejected the lot of you from the premises." "Anyway... Miss Seigi, how do you consider your prospects for the upcoming bracket?" "You do not have to speak to this fi-" "I doubt I'll get far. I will give it my all, but I am not very strong. I am here because of the, uh... [grace] of someone stronger than me. I apologize to anyone I let down." "We'll see what the public has to say about that." As the reporter left, Shannon's sharp gaze followed him, only softening up once he was out of sight. Rather than returning to her usual expression, she looked at Diana with gentle worry, tilting her head up to the taller girl. "Are you sure this is alright? I can try to have Madame Orikami help with this sort of situation." "[It... It's fine,]" Diana sighed and rubbed her right shoulder, "It's not the first time I've dealt with reporters like that. Probably won't be the last, either. But... thank you for stepping in. Seems like they place a lot of value on you, if you can talk like that to them and get away with it." Diana laughed nervously as Shannon shrugged in response, shocking the former a bit. "I am powerful. Society dictates that means that I am and will always be a good hero, due to such. Look at our current Number 1, for example. He is a... person of questionable quality, but he gets the job done. To many, that is enough. After today, do you feel the same, Ms. Seigi? You do not have to answer that right now. Just... something to think about. Hopefully in the future, we could..." Shannon shuffled in place ever so slightly, "Discuss it after all of this is done? Of course, if you do not have training or other things to attend to." "... [Sure]." Diana spoke, slightly dumbfounded, "But first we have this Top 8 to contend with. I... don't think I'm making it very far." Shannon's smile returned with a bit of warmth to it, nodding as she turned around to return to the arena. "Well, perhaps you would prove their conclusions wrong... if you made it to the finals. I hope to see you there."
  14. The shards were fine. They could handle it. They just had to distract the woman long enough for Melissa to hit. When they felt the residual heat making it to them, they knew they had succeeded, chipped though their scale armor was. As the woman before them seemed to stall for just a moment, their own body began to shift and reform the armor. "You all...are even more annoying than those others. But if that was all it took I could never change the world like I'm meant to do!" Change the world? Someone causing wanton destruction like this would never manage that. They, of all people, would know... But why? As the woman powered up once more, Devin froze, their memories conflicting again. A hero. A villain. Someone walking their own path. What... were they? Who's memories should they trust, in this situation? However, they were quickly knocked from their confusion as a flurry of punches hit them, knocking them back, their skin feeling like it was burning from where the purple energy hit them. As they pulled themselves to their feet, they saw Melissa's form flying in, extending a hand and trying to catch her, only to watch her knocked away. "Knock it off!" Their body lost all form for a moment, becoming amorphous as it moved to position itself over Melissa, even as the wild storm hurt them, mentally gritting their teeth as they reformed to their humanoid form, standing ready for the monster's assault. They lacked the power to do anything without losing control. Melissa was down. That only left Morgan, so they had to play defense.
  15. Single player is fine, I suppose. A lot of the lores are underdeveloped, causing them to come across as an ad for the deck rather than story/info. On top of that, a lot of the loaner decks are so, so bad. There's 1-2 good ones, but the rest are traaaaaaaash.\ The format is, currently, an older version of the OCG, but missing some cards. Maintenance is coming in a few days, so here's hoping they update with it, cause the client is a good bit behind on some things. So tl;dr, it's not super friendly to newer players or players expecting an older gamestate. Y'know, as expected of a live service client based on the actual game. I'm kinda bewildered by the sheer amount of people who expected this to be the "classic yugioh' they remember. However, I find that I am greatly enjoying the client on the whole. Ladder has been fine, especially since you can go up to Gold rank before you end up losing rank, so there's actually not much reason to not try... on top of the fact that the lower ranks are full of bad players and/or decks that mean basically anyone can climb up to gold if they just go for it. People have even done it with the starting decks provided, and those are, uh... garbage The game is currently generous with resources, but I fear this may not stay the case... here's hoping they update the system to be a bit more generous, otherwise only ranked will be a way to generate more cards. AS FOR POTENTIAL ADVICE Don't craft too much early. There are certain things to aim for, and it's very easy to make a deck for laddering if you're just patient with it. On top of that, if you craft an SR card, you get access to that theme's secret pack, if any. Along with a free pull. This means you can craft a card from the archetype(s) you want, then try 10 rolls on those banners, instead.
  16. "The winner of the first match between Team Genesis and Team Free... Is Charlie Robin, Captain of Team Free! Let's hear a round of applause for them!" While there was some cheering, it wasn't as much as anyone would have expected. For Sai receiving a loss. For Charlie winning. In general. The duel simply felt... empty to the audience, who reacted rather lukewarmly. ----- “Alright. I draw!” Shortly after doing so, Eve turned her attention to her graveyard. “And during my standby phase, I activate… a whole bunch of effects in my graveyard! Take a moment to read over them. If you want to put that Arvata to use, this would be a good time.” “Nah, I doubt it’s relevant,” Agira gave a hearty laugh. “Alright, then. First, Matriarch of Nephthys will special summon itself in defense position! Next, Disciple of Nephthys allows me to add a “Nephthys” spell from my deck to my hand, and I choose Rebirth of Nephthys. Then, Defender of Nephthys destroys Devotee of Nephthys from the deck, and finally, Chronicler of Nephthys lets me return it to my hand.” After moving around the relevant cards, Evelyn commented “You really should have stopped something. Probably Disciple. Because now I’ll activate the Rebirth of Nephthys I was able to get from her effect. By tributing Devotee of Nephthys, I’ll ritual summon Conductor of Nephthys! And since I tributed Devotee, the spell’s additional effect activates, letting me destroy one card on the field. Since you don’t seem to want to use that Arvata, I’ll take the liberty of getting rid of it!” “Wait, what?” As a blue flame appeared on the field, from which stepped a young woman in a red outfit with an elaborate headpiece, the fires behind her took to the sky, before crashing down on Agira’s elephant, leaving not even ashes behind when the fires had faded. “Ah fuck, maybe I should’ve paid attention earlier… Well, live and learn I guess!” “With Conductor on the field, her own effect activates, letting me summon a ritual monster from my deck. Before you ask, yes, this does count as a proper ritual summon. And I choose another Devotee of Nephthys!” After a brief chant on her Conductor’s part, a second pillar of blue flame appeared beside her, soon subduing to reveal a woman in a blue outfit not entirely unlike Conductor’s. And in response to her own appearance, a third - yellow this time - pillar of flame appeared, behind Evelyn. "And when Devotee is ritual summoned, she can summon any non-ritual “Nephthys” monster from my deck. I choose Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys!” With her field going from near-empty to four monsters of varying levels of power in a single turn, Evelyn took a sharp turn around the track’s corner, before declaring “And now, my battle phase!” “Hold it! I activate my set Threatening Roar, which prevents all attacks this turn! Bet you didn’t see THAT coming!” “Tch. I didn’t, in fact. I have no choice but to end my turn, then.” A big grin etched itself on Agira’s face as he drew for turn, glancing at the card before pointing at Bear. “I activate my Fire Fist guy’s effect! By sending this Tensu to the graveyard, I can target and destroy one monster you control… and I’ll choose Conductor!” Evelyn muttered, moving her monster to the graveyard. The plan had been to eventually destroy her all along, but… “If I read right, she only activates when destroyed by your own cards… so I’ll continue by activating the card I drew, Share the Pain! We both choose one monster from our field to send to the grave. I choose Bear, obviously.” “And I’ll tribute Devotee of Nephthys…” “Perfect… now it’s finally time! I activate Onslaught of the Fire Kings! While my opponent controls a monster while I don’t, I can summon 1 FIRE Beast, Beast Warrior, or Winged Beast from my deck, at the low price of having its effect negated. Burn bright, Fire King High Avatar Garunix!” From behind Agira’s bike came a massive burst of red-orange flame, roaring wildly before taking the form of a bird with wide wings, fanged beak, and ornate designs, all flowing with the fire that made its body. “It’ll fade away in the end phase, so you don’t get to see its fully majesty, but that’s still enough. Next, I’ll normal summon Fire King Avatar Yaksha from my hand and… Battle! Garunix, destroy Nephthys with Flame God’s Ire!” The effigy of flame behind Agira let out a shrill roar, before charging forward to the sacred phoenix, engulfing it in flame as its owner grinned. As Eve’s life fell from 2400 to 2100, Agira pointed at Eve directly. “Then I’ll have Yaksha attack directly!” The saber-toothed warrior nodded, brandishing its burning staff, before striking at Eve, causing her life to drop to 300. With a triumphant look on his face, Agira proudly declared… “And with that, I end my turn!” “...eh? Just like that?” “I’m not sure, but… Did Agira just spare his opponent from Team Genesis!?” “Say wha?” Agira looked up to the announcer’s voice with a confused look, giving his head a scratch, even though the helmet made it pointless, “I don’t have any way to win this turn, do I…?” “Well, you did…” Drawing her card, Eve explained “I don’t know if you’re new to Turbo Duels or what, but each turn, both of us receive a Speed Counter to use on the effects of Speed World 3. Right now, we have four counters - five now that it’s my turn again - which is just enough that you could have used them to deal an extra 800 damage and win the game.” Agira stared in silence for a moment, before taking a deep breath. However, when he spoke, his mic appeared to have been cut, leaving only Eve to hear the string of expletives from his mouth. Once he calmed down, he took another deep breath, slapped at his face with both hands, then shot a grin at his opponent. “I mean, hey, if you win from that you deserve it! I messed up. Besides, it’s not like I’m defenseless… Return from the ashes, Garunix!” A pillar of flame erupted around Agira’s field, leaving only the same phoenix as earlier… but now covered in flesh and blood. Bright red feathers adorned with rainbow tips, golden adornments, and a long, reptilian tail adorned the same figure as earlier as it now stood in its full glory. “When Garunix is destroyed by an effect, it revives during the next standby and destroys all other monsters on the field… So I have to say goodbye to Yaksha, but it’s worth it! Take me down, if you can!” This was it. A measly 300 life points, and only two cards in her hand. Looking over her options, the potential was something was there… but only if she was really lucky. Taking the next turn on the track, Evelyn put down a spell card. “I activate Pot of Avarice! By shuffling five monsters from my graveyard back into the deck, I can draw two cards!” After returning her monsters of choice to the deck, and drawing her cards, Evelyn wasted no time putting down another spell card, already reaching for her deck again. “Next, I activate Preparation of Rites, allowing me to add a ritual monster from my deck to my hand, and a ritual spell from my graveyard as well. I add Conductor of Nephthys to my hand, and pick up my Rebirth of Nephthys again. Before using it though, I’ll activate the effect of Devotee of Nephthys from my graveyard. By destroying this Last Hope of Nephthys in my hand, Devotee can special summon herself!” Putting down the third spell this turn, Evelyn continued “Now I activate Rebirth of Nephthys! By tributing Devotee of Nephthys, I summon Conductor of Nephthys! And surely you’ll remember that by tributing Devotee with this effect, I can destroy a card. I’ll be taking that face-down out of the picture now!” "Ooooh, that's not good..." Her opponent muttered, hand rubbing his head as his eyes glanced to the booth his team sat in. “And surely you remember what Conductor does as well. This time, I’ll summon the other ritual monster up my sleeve. I summon Cerulean Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys!” From behind Evelyn’s bike, the two duelists were washed in the blinding light of a tower of blue flame erupting from the track, shooting up about as high as hologram technology would allow. A pillar that branched out, creating wing-like appendages before swirling around, closing in on itself. Once the pillar-gone-sphere burst in an azure explosion, a bird-like monster similar to the one Eve had summoned last turn, albeit quite a bit larger and with a different color, occupied the airspace just behind her. “I won’t waste any time, and get straight to activating Cerulean Sacred Phoenix’s effect. By destroying “Nephthys” cards from my hand or field, I can destroy an equal amount of cards you control. I’ll destroy this Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys in my hand, and your Fire King High Avatar Garunix!” The card that Evelyn discarded for the effect appeared over the blue phoenix’s head, going up in bright flames that became a blazing fireball, bound directly for Agira’s monster, and impacting with an explosion she could only describe as “satisfying”. “Ha, that’s not… Hey, wait, no that’s…” He muttered, before smacking himself in the face, “That’s lethal!” “It certainly is! With your field wide open, I’ll go into the battle phase, and attack directly with my Conductor and Cerulean Sacred Phoenix!” On her cue, the two monsters moved to go on the offensive, each channeling forth fire of their own respective colors. The two burning attacks were then fired forth at Agira; a red fireball from Conductor, and a blue stream of flame from the phoenix. “Belle’s gonna call me an idiooooooot,” Agira whined as the two attacks converged on him, wiping out his life points from max. As the holograms began to fade, the two duelists’ bikes followed suit, slowing down for a safe stop. Once they did, Agira tugged his helmet off and dramatically rifled his fingers through his hair, groaning loudly, “I can’t believe I threw like that! And against someone with the same decktype, I should’ve known!” “Consider it an important reminder for later, then,” Evelyn suggested, removing her own helmet. “I’ll admit, I only remembered Speed World’s effects because most of the pros I watched before joining a team were turbo duelists.” “I getcha, and I mean hey, I’m the one who screwed up. Just gotta do better next time, you know?” The boy grinned as he got up from his bike, walking over to Eve with his hand extended. “I’d love to have a rematch sometime, cause… well, we saw it could go either way!” “I’ll look forward to the rematch then,” Evelyn said, giving Agira’s hand a firm shake. ----- "Ugh... Hey guys, I might need to dip out for a bit." Vega spoke from the side as the first two matches came to a close, clutching her head, "So, uh... meet up and have your discussion here when it's done, yeah? And then the meeting will be on Tuesday... Sorry..." She gave a weak thumbs-up as she headed toward the elevator from the booth, sighing as the doors closed behind her... And, before long, getting off and heading for the nearest restroom, where she found herself throwing up before long. That would teach her to drink before a match again. ----- “Well, why don’t I take the rest of the turn easy on you? I activate my own Supply Squad behind Zakiel, then I’ll pass. Make your move, miss.” “Draw!” Rosalia examined the cards in her hand critically as she gathered herself, eyes panning over her cards slowly. He’s faked me out successfully, and managed to stop my counter, she thought to herself quietly, raising her eyes a fraction to examine her opponent across the field. He’s also using the same Supply Squad card I’m using, which means he draws a card if I destroy any of his monsters… But. She raised her eyes to glance up at one of the large screens that ringed the arena. Sai was nowhere to be seen, and it seemed Eve had narrowly escaped defeat. But her eyes finally found what they were looking for: Jon’s Life Points. His Ties of the Brethren lowered his Life Points low enough that with a single strong hit… She ran through some of the monsters in her Extra Deck, her mind settling on one large dragon that let out an echoing roar. I only need to line up one solid shot to finish it. And he’s no longer got the Life Points to use his Warning to stop it! “I set Silverrokket as Link Material!” Her monster blasted forward, streaking into the Link portal. I’ll have to be careful of the cards his monsters let him use from his hand, but that monster. It can put them all to a stop. All I have to do is reach it! “The materials for this monster is a single Dragon of Level 4 or lower! Link Summon! Striker Dragon!” Striker Dragon Link 1 (Left), 1000 Her monster was only on the field briefly before the hammer on the back of its head began to move. “When this card is Link Summoned, I can add the Field Spell Boot Sector Launch to my hand, and then, my Dragon can destroy itself to return any Rokket to my hand! I return Silverrokket!” Her monster erupted in a sudden and massive explosion, the shockwaves roaring out across the stadium and sending Johnathan and Rosalia’s hair flying back in its wake. Even in the face of this Rosalia was already continuing, as the chamber of the massive revolver appeared below her. “Boot Sector Launch gives all my Rokkets 300 extra attack and defense points, and it lets me choose one mode each turn: To summon any two Rokket monsters from my hand, or to summon any number of Rokket monsters from my Graveyard, so long as I don’t exceed the number of monsters my opponent already has.” “Hm… I suppose that’s fine. After all, nothing to revive right now.” “I summon two Rokket monsters from my hand! Summon again, Silverrokket! And Shelrokket!” Silverrokket and Shelrokket appeared on the field, both letting out echoing shrieks as they appeared in Rosalia’s 2nd and 4th monster zones. Silverrokket Dragon Level 4, 1900/100 > 2200/400 Shelrokket Dragon Level 2, 1100/2000 > 1400/2300 However, the two’s shrieks were quickly muffled as they began to be dragged downward, a trap rising on John’s side of the board. “I think that’s a good time to stop you… I activated Floodgate Trap Hole, which flips any monsters you summon simultaneously face-down.” And just like that Rosalia’s line of play disintegrated before her eyes. In that imaginary space within her mind, she saw her bullet perfectly deflected once again, with the offending shot now streaking straight for her. If my monsters are face-down, I’m unable to Link Summon! Rosalia took a small, hesitant step back, watching with clenched teeth as her monsters kept being slowly dragged down, full-size images of their cards appearing to begin to smother them and cover them completely. “Your set card… wasn’t Solemn Warning…” was all she was able to feebly say. And then, just before Silverrokket and Shelrokket were about to be forced beneath their cards and out of sight- A massive explosion took up Rosalia’s side of the field, violent and forceful, the commentator taken aback briefly. “Wha- What is this?! Something has exploded on Rosalia’s field! Did John have yet another trick besides his hidden Floodgate Trap Hole?” Smoke began to disperse from Rosalia’s field. There was only one face-down monster on her Duel Disk, and a gleaming spell card was in front of her, as the girl herself gazed warily from behind it at John. “You hid another Trap in place of Solemn Warning,” she commented simply. “Yep. Like I said, miss… There was no way I knew the top 3 cards of my deck. Only how to bluff. After all… the best way to mislead people is with the truth. Now, where’s that other Rokket?” “I activated my Squib Draw quick-play spell,” Rosalia explained. “I can destroy any Rokket monster, in this case Silverrokket, to draw two more cards to replace it.” She went to her Disk, taking two cards and adding them to her hand. Whereas she normally took only passing glances at her cards in hand before making a decision quickly, Rosalia now considered her hand very deeply. The commentator took the opportunity to add more of their take to the match. “Rosalia has traded out her monster for additional options against John! But by doing that she has made her defense against his massive horde of monsters that much weaker!” Rosalia closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. Her heartbeat was hammering in her chest. It was so hard to focus under the onslaught of the commentator’s loud (and incorrect, not that he knew that yet) calls and the roar of the crowd. It was almost like the entire crowd was pressing in around her, every surge of sound throwing off her train of thought. “Hey. Focus.” She paused, opening up her eyes. Once Rosalia looked at John, he continued, clearly speaking as quietly as possible, “Don’t lose yourself now. You’re not out of this yet, but you will be if you don’t lock on.” What? Rosalia frowned, unsure what to think of this… encouragement? Was it encouragement, or just stating a fact? He’s right. This isn’t going well… I may have the advantage of Life Points but the monsters on his field far outnumber mine. If I don’t get it together… She shook her head, trying to quiet the deafening noise of the crowd, and her own heartbeat in her head, a single bead of sweat dripping down from the side of her forehead. I could actually lose. The thought was like a bucket of ice-cold water: Brief and horrid, and bringing a bracing focus. She slowly clenched her teeth, her grip on her cards in hand becoming tighter. This is the first time anyone’s gotten to see the captain of Team Genesis duel. If I look weak, they all look weak. I can’t let that happen to them. I cannot lose! She finally moved her fingers along the cards she had assembled, taking two and setting them on the field slowly. “I set two cards face-down,” she said, her voice more solid, measured, having once again leveled the intense gaze directly at John. “During my End Phase… Summon.” A card ejected from her Deck , Rosalia taking it and placing it directly on the field. “Your Magical Musket monsters all share the ability to fire your Spell and Trap cards from your hand… My Rokket monsters all have an ability in common as well. During the End Phase, if a Rokket monster is in my graveyard after being destroyed, it replaces itself with any other Rokket from my Deck! The Silverrokket destroyed by Squib Draw lets me summon: Anesthrokket Dragon!” Her new monster was the smallest one yet, a beast with a head resembling a syringe, appearing on the field in Defense mode with tiny arms crossed. It briefly glowed with an emerald sheen. “The field spell Boot Sector Launch increases Anesthrokket’s defense points… To 2500.” Anesthrokket Dragon Level 1, 0/2200 > 300/2500 “Oh my!” Rosalia winced, just once, very slightly, as the announcer realized why that number was significant. “Rosalia’s monster has JUST enough defense points that none of John’s monsters can destroy it! Not even his mighty Castiel! Has Rosalia managed to stabilize against his onslaught?” Hardly, Rosalia thought grimly to herself. If he was able to suppress me this long, then this is only temporary. But it doesn’t need to be much more than that… I WILL find the way forward! Team Genesis won’t have any losses from me! “Y’know, it’s poor taste to spell that out.” John spoke as he looked up to the skybox, “I realize you’re gunning for Genesis to lose, but… Don’t you think that’s looking down on us both? Well, what would I know…” Rosalia blinked, legitimately surprised. She opened her mouth to say something, but at the end of the day really wasn’t sure what to even respond to that with. Drawing for turn, he placed the card on his disk immediately. “I activate Monster Slots behind Doc. By banishing a monster from the Graveyard with the same Level as one of my other monsters, I draw a card, and summon it if it also shares that Level. I’ll select Doc, banish Kidbrave from my Grave, and draw a card… which is Magical Musket Cross-Dominate. And then there’s Doc… Who will add Last Stand back to my hand… Unless you have a response?” Rosalia almost hesitated. A flicker of doubt ran through her as John correctly guessed her intention before she had moved to even make it. But her hand continued to her duel disk to strike a button, one of her Traps flipping up and lashing out several large black-iron chains to lash around Doc. “Last Stand will be staying in your Graveyard,” she declared definitively. “Fiendish Chain negates Doc’s effects, and also prevents it from attacking!” “Not bad… You stopped that.“ A small smirk crossed John’s face as he nodded… Before the chains fell away, clattering to the ground and staying on the field. “So I’ll use Doc as Link Material instead, in order to summon Magical Musketeer Max.” “Another user of Link Summoning… I figured as much.” “A bit more than just Links, but… This is probably the most important one.” Magical Musketeer Max Link 1 (Down), 1000 John snapped his fingers as a zombie-like man with a demonic claw grasped the rifle left behind by Doc… transforming it into a rifle made of wood and bone, pointing it at Rosalia’s board as it appeared, then taking the shot, breaking the bullet into pieces that hit each of her monsters. But when it did, they ricocheted off, returning to hit John’s deck. “It was a good attempt, but now I’ll add another Last Stand and Magical Musket - Desperado from my deck to hand. Which I’ll immediately activate behind Caspar, in order to destroy Anesthrokket.” The trap card shone bright behind the blonde musketeer, causing a rocket to shoot from it, destroying the Rokket monster walling John’s attacks. Rosalia scowled, her mind racing. In a single move he’s invalidated two of mine, she thought, drawing a card as her Supply Squad briefly glowed. Now he has Last Stand, and he’s destroyed the only monster that can defend my Life Points! Then, like before, Caspar’s demonic wing suddenly appeared once again, shooting a bullet at John’s deck. “And now I’ll search Magical Musket - Fiendish Deal… Switch Caspar to attack position… and then… Hm…” He took a moment to consider, eyes glancing across the board and field, before looking back to his own hand. “Then I’ll normal summon the Wild I added back last turn.” Fitting its name, the Musketeer appeared, bare chested and roaring, with an absolute arsenal carried on his back. “And I think Battle is next up. So first, Zakiel will destroy the set Shelrokket.” With a wicked laugh, the masked demon took a bow, before standing upright suddenly with its two guns cocked and ready, firing at the set dragon. Once it flipped, the yellow dragon quickly exploded, pierced by the demon’s bullets. “And then the others.” Before Rosalia had a chance to think, the other three Musketeers took aim. Caspar, then Max, and finally Wild took their shots, with bullets and rockets flying to Rosalia’s side of the board, leaving a cloud of smoke as John waited to see the outcome. The first noise to come from the cloud of smoke was coughing. Rosalia had taken another step back, this time just to brace herself, and she was barely visible inside the cloud. “That’s… quite an onslaught.” “‘S not much. I’m sure you can tell my deck isn’t nearly as good at outputting damage as others.” “Would you like a little help with that, then?” “Oh? Are you conceding after that?” A rectangular shape appeared in the cloud, a card that started pulsing with violent purple light. “Card of Endurance… This lets me draw one card… IF I increase the damage you deal to me by 1000 extra points.” Though Rosalia wasn’t quite visible inside the smoke cloud yet, she was glaring straight out at John, almost daring him. Do it, I dare you… use Last Stand! “I see… Risky, but maybe it’ll work out for you.” Rosalia allowed herself the smallest of triumphant smiles. On her duel disk screen two images of Shelrokket and Anesthrokket pulsed on her screen. “I’m confident it will. DRAW!” And as she pulled the card from her disk, the Card of Endurance erupted in a cloud of purple smoke, completely re-obscuring Rosalia just as the first smoke cloud disappeared. Rosalia: 5000 > 3800 > 2800 > 1100 > 100 “I hope what you drew was good, though. After all… your hand’s all you’ve got.” John placed another card on his disk from his hand, “I activate my Magical Musket - Dancing Needle.” As the trap card from his hand activated, three tiny bullets shot from it… and hit Rosalia’s graveyard on her disk. Anesthrokket, Silverokket, and Shelrokket each dissolved from Rosalia’s display as the card resolved. “Dancing Needle banishes up to three cards from my opponent’s graveyard… and I don’t think I want them resolving. Or for your field’s secondary mode to be live, while I’m at it.” “What?!” Rosalia was truly alarmed now, the smoke clearing to show she was wide-eyed and, after being at the heart of so many large eruptions, considerably more bedraggled than she had been at the start of the duel. Her hair was heavily windblown, and she stood with a definitive slacked posture, breathing hard as she watched Dancing Needle take away her last line. In the mind’s eye vision she shot three times, and had each bullet struck out of the air with ease. “That’s enough for now. I’ll set one card and end my turn.” John did just that, before glancing at Caspar. “Shame he isn’t a level 4 monster. I would have had lethal if he was.” Rosalia felt the noise closing in around her once again. “Aaaaand Marlowe has had EVERY play she’s tried to set up countered by Nava! And now that massive advantage of Life Points has been whittled down to her last sliver by Johnathan’s assault! What will this captain do in their first challenge here in this league???” Rosalia took two halting steps forward, returning to the position she had held before Johnathan’s attacks. All the shots in her head were a confused mess. Almost had lethal… And yet it feels like every shot he’s lined up has been perfect. Her hands tensed around the cards she was holding, gazing down at the ground with her mind in a furious flurry of confused thought. An S+ class duelist… I’m on this team for my skill and I’ve already gone up against someone I can’t defeat, the one thing I’m here for. The tension of the crowd was palpable, and Rosalia felt like every single audience member was personally breathing down her neck. The team was 1-0 right now, with Eve barely winning... Rosalia’s eyes flew to the screen like a magnet, and as she saw Sai’s life counter reach 0, her blood turned to ice. They will line up out the door hoping to see me lose. Sai’s words, his justification, ran through Rosalia’s head. So too did the sound of something deflating with gusto. Rosalia wasn’t sure if it was Sai’s ego, or her own. That was a loss to the team. A loss she all of a sudden couldn’t afford to stand alongside. I don’t know what to do. “Breathe.” John cut through Rosalia’s thoughts, speaking softly like before. His eyes trained on her, but his gaze didn’t feel stern. “Don’t get too lost in your head. One of your teammates won, the other has been on the backfoot this entire game. Show them you can lead. Ignore the MC. He’s an idiot.” She hadn’t even realized that her breathing had slowed. She forced herself to take a slow, rattling breath, the slight redness that had begun to build up around her collarbone lightening slightly. She continued to look down at the ground, not wanting to look up at the roaring crowd, the bright lights. She reached up with her spare hand to draw some of the hair out of her eyes. She caught sight of what she had drawn off of Card of Endurance, only now registering that she even had it. She let out one quick huff of a sigh, adding the card to her hand. “Evelyn. Sashisematta.” As the attention of the stadium turned towards the only duel still ongoing, Rosalia slowly raised her gaze to level back on John. “Thank you for your dueling so far. Like I told you before we started today… I won’t lose.” “Draw!” Only the briefest of glances before Rosalia was off like a shot. I have to move quickly. There’s a chance, a small, tiny window for him to make a mistake… I won’t rely on it, but if he stumbles I’ll take the shot! If not… Well. Like I said. “My graveyard has no Rokket monsters for Revolve Boot Sector. My hand is another matter. Activate my Field Spell! Summon! Metalrokket! Magnarokket!” Two blue-armored dragons rose from the revolver chambers, one the thin-headed missile that had been the cause of Kendra’s recent loss, the other a bulkier beast with a hollow-pointed head. Metalrokket Dragon Level 4, 1700/1400 > 2000/1700 Magnarokket Dragon Level 4, 1800/1200 > 2100/1500 “Your Life Points are too low to activate your Solemn Warning,” Rosalia called across the field, raising her hand to point directly towards John’s set card. “HOOOO! Rosalia has once again decided on John’s face-down card to be Solemn Warning! But has he set up a second bait, as he did with Floodgate Trap Hole???” “Hm… And how do you know that it’s Solemn Warning?” John smirked a bit, hand at his side, “Let me hear the line of thought.” Rosalia slowly raised her hand to point at John’s own… and the cards within it. “Process of elimination,” she said with finality. “I see… Now you’re thinking a bit more clearly. Well, I’ll admit it. It’s Solemn Warning, since you know all I’ve got. Show me what you can do with that knowledge!” “Do you know what nickname some of the members of our dueling club got to call me?” Rosalia’s eyes stayed focused on John’s hand, and the arsenal she knew it contained. “The nickname they gave me was ‘Sniper.’ They seemed to think I had almost a sixth sense to anticipate their moves and stop them before they’d even begun. But it was just that. Process of elimination.” Her eyes flicked to the Supply Squad card on her field, and its mimic across the way on John’s. There had been a reason she had been so loathe to destroy his monsters with that card in play. “I know every card you’re holding, and what they’re all capable of. Giving me the time to collect that knowledge… was a mistake.” “When I control any Rokket monster, I can summon Absorouter Dragon from my hand!” Another blue-armored dragon appeared, but this one lacked the glimmering wings that all her Rokkets seemed to share, and was much larger than any of the ones seen thus far. Absorouter Dragon Level 7, 1200/2800 “I set Absorouter and Metalrokket as Link Material! The materials for this monster are any 2 DARK Dragon monsters! Link Summon! Dillingerous Dragon!” Dillingerous Dragon Link 2 (Up, Down), 1600 The purple-armored dragon appeared on the field, the one that had blown Kendra’s Thunderbird into smithereens. But Rosalia knew that wouldn’t happen here. “Your Fiendish Deal trap card in your hand stops me from destroying any of your monsters with my dragon’s effects. But it gives me the effect of Absorouter: It adds any Rokket from my deck to my hand, and the one I choose is Autorokket Dragon! Summon!” The card ejected from her deck, allowing her to grab it and place it on the field, the tan-armored dragon flying to land alongside Magnarokket. Autorokket Dragon Level 3, 1600/1000 > 1900/1300 “It’s time for that dragon, then?” Rosalia’s eyes narrowed. “Seems I’m not the only one who’s figured a few things out. I set Magnarokket, Autorkket, and the Link 2 Dillingerous Dragon as Link material! The materials are any three effect monsters!” Almost subconsciously she heard that roar again; The roar of the dragon she had wanted to call forth previously, the creature lurking in her Extra Deck: Her ace monster. Her dragons all collapsed into rays of light, Dillingerous splitting into two bright winding trails of sparks. “Roar of the battlefield, coalesce into a mighty shot,” Rosalia intoned, in a rare bid of activity for her: A summoning chant. “Take aim and let your bullet become victory! Link Summon! FIRE! Borreload Dragon!” The three dragons flew into the points of the link portal… And it erupted in fire and billowing green sparks, a huge mushroom cloud of flame that held a large, bulky silhouette. Large, metal-tesselated wings stretched out, searing emerald light ringing the mighty dragon, as the smoke cleared and red armor plates shone in the light of the afternoon sun, and the body of a gun barrel slowly clicked into place, heralding a mighty roar that echoed across the field. Borreload Dragon Link 4 (Left, Lower-left, Lower-right, Right), 3000 The announcer was practically having a conniption. “What is this?!? Rosalia has managed to turn things around somehow, and summon the strongest monster to grace this duel so far! Is this it? Can she turn the corner on this duel?” “Just as I thought. Well, that is impressive,” John began, flicking his fingers, “But you’ve already normal summoned… and you already used your field… And, most importantly,” he held up his hand, “You know what I’m holding. So, how do you overcome this?” “Borreload Dragon has an ability… Anti-Enemy Rokket,” Rosalia said simply. “It lowers any monster’s attack power by 500 at any point in the turn. Most importantly, you can’t activate Cross-Domination in response to it, meaning I’ll keep all 3000 of Borreload’s attack power.” Rosalia waited. She knew the ‘but’ would come from John shortly. However, she was met with the same smirk as before. Not taunting, not demeaning, just… There. As if challenging her to meet him on the same level. “... But we both know it’s not that simple,” she said softly. Instead of proceeding to battle, she reached to her hand and pulled out one of her signature cards. “I’ll supplement Borreload with this Spell! Quick Launch summons any Rokket from my deck! Go ahead! Negate it with your Last Stand!” “One step ahead of you, miss. No… Rosalia.” He snapped, the spell shattering almost as soon as she activated it, Last Stand appearing behind Caspar, “And you know that allows Caspar to search a card, of course. So I’ll have him-” ”-find Magical Musket - Desperado,” Rosalia interrupted, pointing at him, almost daring him herself. “My, where were you this whole game?” John chuckled heartily, adding Desperado from his deck to his hand, “Took you a while, but you’re getting into the groove now. Show me what you’ve got!” “I’ve been here the whole time. I’ve just been… lining up my shot. And there’s something you should know. Once I’ve lined up that shot…” She reached to the last card in her hand. “I do not miss,” she intoned, turning it around to reveal- “A SECOND Quick Launch is in Rosalia’s hand!” The announcer called. Rosalia took the brief moment of crowd fervor at this to close her eyes and breathe one more time. It had been on top of her deck. The first one had come from Card of Endurance. One after another. A double tap, as it were. “Ah, there it is… Is that really enough, though? In response, I use Desperado from my hand, behind Wild, to target your Borreload!” Wild raised his hand, taking aim and firing straight into the gun-barrel chest of Rosalia’s Dragon… only to have the shot ruined in an instant by a curtain of dark mist erupting around Rosalia’s side of the field, the bullet being swept aside to shoot through the air approximately one foot away from Rosalia’s head. She didn’t flinch. Just allowed herself the satisfaction of watching John’s face as her Trap card revealed itself. “Dark Illusion. This stops one of my DARK monsters from being targeted by an effect. And notably… You aren’t the only one in this duel who knows how to use a Counter Trap.” John froze as he watched his card get negated, never speaking as his eyes darted to see what came from Quick Launch. “As I said, Quick Launch summons any Rokket. I choose this one: Summon! Exploderokket!” A long, many-segmented dragon with bronze armor burst forth from the card, each link of the beast chinking back and forth as it snorted crimson flames from its mouth. “And it has an extra 300 attack and defense points added from Boot Sector.” Exploderokket Dragon Level 7, 2000/2000 > 2300/2300 “Locking me out of the chain with a counter trap was clever, but…” Another hearty laugh escaped the man as Exploderokket was summoned, “That old man told me it was the worst Rokket, not worth playing, so I didn’t play around it… now here we are. I see what you mean by you won’t lose, Rosalia! But first, Wild procs, which lets me shuffle in Doc, Needle, and Last Stand into my deck, then draw 1.” If Rosalia’s feelings were hurt by this comment on her card quality, she did not show it. A brief flutter of doubt came into her mind, a twist of sickness in her stomach as John drew. This was the only weak point. That one card could mean her downfall, the one piece of knowledge she did not, could not have. But she merely raised a hand and pointed at Magical Musketeer Max. “Battle.” Her single word was heralded by a growing whoosh noise as small lights started to spark to life in Borreload’s eyes, and the gun barrel began to revolve. “Borreload Dragon-” “It’s now or never. Let’s go down together… I use Cross-Dominator, targeting Borreload Dragon! If your attack connects, your life points will be wiped out, and I have an unknown quantity in hand, unlike you.” As he finished speaking, Max raised his weapon again, taking aim at the massive mechanical dragon roaring at it. “The shot’s been lined up… Evelyn! Sashisematta! As I said. I won’t lose. Anti-Enemy Rokket!” Even as a cross-hairs appeared on Borreload’s face, it roared, a great bellow that synched with the whirling of the gun barrel in deafening harmonics. “I target any monster on the field to lose 500 attack points… And I choose Exploderokket!” To say this heralded confusion from the crowd would have been an understatement. To say it heralded confusion from the announcer was both an understatement and expected. All the while, John just smiled and nodded. But even as Exploderokket glowed with a harsh green light, it suddenly shrunk down, coalescing into a green sphere of light that rose up into the air. “Rokkets all have another effect, one that only activates when they’re targeted by the effect of a Link Monster,” Rosalia said, the light of her monster casting half her face in shadow as it rose towards Borreload. “An effect that activates by destroying them. In tandem with Anti-Enemy Rokket, my dragons become its bullets.” She took one last deep breath. I’m sorry, Team Genesis, she thought, with a touch of anger at herself. No, not anger. Disappointment. That she was to fulfill her promise in the letter and not the intended meaning. I promised you I would not lose. Against him… This is the best I can offer. “When Expldoerokket is targeted by a Link monster’s effect, I can destroy it to inflict 2000 points of damage-” A crackle of feedback as the commentator fumbled his microphone, before she finished: “To us both.” The orb of light entered into one of the chambers of Borreload. Instantly the chamber halted, and Borreload opened its jaws to reveal a massive gun barrel sticking forth, one that shone with horrid lurid orange light that erupted out as if from a flamethrower. The spearhead of the fire struck the center of the arena like a meteor, and it exploded out in a huge disaster radius that wreathed the entire duel field and its inhabitants in flame and smoke. Jonathan: 1400 > 0 Rosalia: 100 > 0 Rosalia had taken the window of time that the field was wreathed in smoke to gently run her hand through her hair and make it look a touch more presentable. It had been blown out of its style by the many blasts she had endured over the course of the duel. Readjust her hair and take a brief solace in the fact that for just a few brief moments every eye in the stadium wasn’t on her. As her Borreload hologram faded from sight beside her, she resumed the neutral expression she had carried onto the duel field, and the smoke parted to reveal a girl who looked unruffled, and accepting. “Good game, Rosalia.” John extended his hand to her, having walked over during the explosion and the smoke that followed, “You played to your outs. And, if it helps… You chose the right line of play, considering my draw.” Rosalia reached forward, and very gently accepted John’s handshake. “And to you as well… Thank you for the duel. You and all your team.” At last the announcer managed to splutter out. “Oh my! The duel has ended… in a draw! Well that’s certainly not something you see every match, folks! And with that draw, and a win for both Team Free AND Team Genesis, we have us a good old-fashioned draw to the ENTIRE match!” Despite the enthusiasm the announcer mustered, the crowd remained silent, other than a few rare claps echoing quietly. Inwardly Rosalia had a slight flutter of the heart, wondering if she had done something wrong. She kept her hand in John’s for as little time as seemed polite, and turned to walk back, back off the duel field. “Hey, before you go,” John added, motioning to her, “You have a lot of potential playing a control deck… And I know the deck you’re playing fairly well. Why don’t you come to Team Free’s next meeting and we can have a low-stakes discussion and practice? Trust me, the rest of the team won’t care… and your coach is good friends with our captain. What do you say?” Rosalia turned back, pausing at the edge of the duel field. The offer surprised her, though it was only apparent on her face for a moment. Her pale eyes flicked to Johnathan’s for half a moment and then away again, the girl now unable to maintain strong eye contact. “I’ll… have to see,” she said back, barely loud enough for him to hear. It was not a no, though it was by equal measure not a yes. She wasn’t sure herself what the answer would be. ----- "And with that, this match comes to a close, with a draw! Neither Team Genesis nor Team Free walk away with a win this week, due to a single misplay sparing Team Genesis! Despite their strong start last week, are they already out of steam!?" As the duelists returned to find their coach missing, hopefully explained by the three viewers upon entry, they were left to their own devices, to discuss amongst one another, while the booming MC's words still hung in their minds.
  17. The beam cause a slight pause from the shifter, before lining their twisted cannon-claw up to take more shots. It was unexpected, but they had plenty of memories of people able to do that. Rivals, sisters... It was a bit odd that the zombie had multiple abilities, but not the end of the world. Perhaps they could have even assisted, if they understood the mechanisms better. Instead, the best they could manage was support, even as Melissa tried to reason with the woman. Shooting the projectiles down again, they winced as the sand hit their skin, stinging as they tried to cover for Morgan... Then Melissa swapped to the other angel, drawing even the shifter's gaze. "Now what's this thing?!" As if snapping them from the trance, their eyes immediately turned to the target, attacking Melissa in the sky. Gritting their teeth, the shifter let out a shrill roar, their form quickly becoming covered in that fish-scale like armor, though the wings did not return. Their hand that had just been a claw transformed into a long, pointed appendage, clad in the same material as the rest of them as they charged into the storm, stabbing that appendage into the ground to vault themselves up towards the woman, a tail growing out with thin, spike-like appendages slamming towards the woman. They could take the hit from the angel, but they had to guarantee it hit this woman!
  18. Devin's feet felt glued to the ground as the woman glared at them with that... face. They weren't sure why Melissa was unaffected, but their body felt sluggish in the face of her onslaught, willing their body to move! Instead, they saw Melissa continue to carry the three of them, even with Morgan doing something. Move... move! Their eyes trained on the sharp stones heading towards Morgan from behind, gritting their teeth, before roaring suddenly, surprising even themselves. With a sudden shift to their leg, they forced themselves forward with a process not unlike the arm they had just made, rushing forward. Maybe, just maybe they could shift a bit at a time like this... They had tried it at school with minimal success, but it seemed to be going better now. Kicking off the ground, a pair of wings bursting from their back, with scales like a fish and a leathery interior, just long enough to gain some height in the air. As their body returned to their humanoid form, they threw their right arm forward, bracing it with their left as the end of it transformed into a mouth-like claw, shooting pressurize water bullets at each of the stones headed for Morgan, aiming to shatter them. "G... Go get her!"
  19. It's nice having ppal be playable again.

  20. As the team went about their week, meeting up and preparing for the next matchup, Vega had sent them all a message. Just a promise that if they didn't lose the match, there would be a reward for them the next time they met up. But what could the reward be? ----- Friday, February 28 7 PM "Hey, don't be like that. I won't be choosing the team order forever, you know!" Sitting in the corner of a dive bar, Vega laughed as she finished the sentence, earning an eye roll from the blonde person sitting across from her. While they did the motion, they wore a smile on their face, leaning back in the booth as they listened "Besides... things worked out better than I expected, just from the team speaking up for themselves. Taking time where they needed it, or stepping up to cover for each other. In fact, I can't imagine a more perfect first opponent for Rosalia!" As she finished her statement, she leaned back and took a swig of her drink, giving the other person a chance to speak. "Eh? Knowing you, that probably means your captain probably plays a gun themed deck." Vega choked on her drink, hitting her chest as she coughed, a bemused look meeting her. Once she recovered, she looked aside, quickly muttering. "I-I didn't say that, and it's not like that's what I meant!" "So she does!" the other person's lips curled into a grin, "What a bad coach, giving away sensitive info~" "I-" Vega cut herself off, face red as a beet as she was caught in that situation, struggling to find the words for it before the other person continued. "It's fine, it's fiiiine. You know I won't do anything with that info. I don't think he would do anything with it, even if I did tell him. He's not that kind of guy, you know?" With a sigh, Vega nodded and replied. "I just don't wanna screw them over. Yeah, you won't do much with it... But what if someone else did?" "Please, I trust you know to keep your guard up more with other people." the blonde hummed as they toyed with their glass, fizz rising from the soda inside, "You've shown that you know when to keep your lips zipped tight. Besiiides, you said that this was all off the record from the start, yeah? Just two old classmates hanging out? Not to mention that you actually ordered alcohol, lightweight that you are..." "I resent that!" "You resemble it." After some more banter and finishing her drink, Vega rested her chin on the palm of her hand as she looked at one of the televisions in the dimly lit bar, seeming to zone out just a bit as she watched the segment about her team's duel from the week before... before suddenly speaking up, words slurring ever so slightly. "Show him for me, will you? It's not how I planned it, and I feel like I can't do enough to get through..." "Don't worry, sis. I'll make sure that he understands. After all, 'speak to people in words they can understand'... You did it once. Now it's my turn to do it for him. Trust me, okay?" "Thank you, Charlie." ----- Saturday, February 29 12 PM "Welcome, dear fans, to another match in our amazing minor league circuit!" The MC boomed from his booth up above the screens, "Today we see the new team, with quite a reputation made for themselves already, Team Genesis against fan favorite Team Free, with plenty of heavy hitters! How will our new team fare!?" "He's so loooooud," Vega groaned, holding a pillow over her face, grumbling, "And he's just going to try and demoralize people again... can't we just skip the pleasantries today?" Kendra's hand rubbed at her own head gently, a small mumble escaping her as she yawned out, "Yeah. He's loud. And he's already brought up Sai's stunts. I wonder how many more times he's gonna bring that mess up..." "Hopefully no more after today..." The arena dimmed, opening the spotlight on the standard duel field, where Rosalia and her opponent stood. “First up, we have Team Genesis’ captain, Rosalia Marlowe, against Team Free’s Johnathan Nava! Rosalia has quite the uphill battle ahead of her if Johnathan’s record is anything to go by, but Team Genesis did have a strong showing in their first match! Can she do it!?” Next up, the spotlight swapped to the action field, referring what looked like a decrepit factory as the setting. "Then we have Sai Saishisematta!" the MC paused to wait for the boos of the crowd to quiet down a bit, "Against the captain of Team Free, Charlie Robin!" In contrast to the boos, the cheer was even louder. Whether that was due to Charlie's fans or Sai's enemies, it didn't change the intensity of the reaction. Finally, the spotlight moved to the race track, where the two turbo duelists waited to take off. "The third match is Evelyn Takao of Team Genesis against Agira Aarati of Team Free! Agira is known for his explosive antics, so let's see if Evelyn can match it!" "Is everyone ready!? 3.... 2... 1... DUEL!" "Uggh, he finally shut uuuup," the captain groaned as she pressed the pillow against her face more, before muttering, "Can one of you guys hand me a water bottle?" ----- Rosalia strode across the duel stage, trying hard to shut out the sudden waves of noise that was battering her from all sides. The others had had to deal with this last match? How had Sai managed to be such a blustering force over all this? As her opponent came into view, she took a second to close her eyes, taking a long, deep breath. Across the field from Rosalia, the man called Johnathan sighed, moving to remove a cigarette from his lips… Only to grasp at air, realizing he didn’t have one lit. Unfortunately. “Just call me John. And don’t listen to that guy, it’s his job to make it ‘dramatic’.” John raised his arm and activated his disk as he glanced at the screens above, seeing it decide turn order. “And looks like I’m first. Good luck, miss.” There were a few seconds before Rosalia responded. When she did, it was accompanied by the flash of her Duel Disk activating, both eyes opening to look straight on at Johnathan, raising her disk before her as she drew her starting hand. He was going straight to business. Good. “Pleased to meet you, John,” she said, the general politeness of her words belied by a strong, forceful tone. “I understand you’re ranked highly… I’m glad to face someone of your caliber.” “DUEL!” “I normal summon Magical Musketeer - Starfire to Monster Zone 2. Then I activate Pot of Prosperity in the zone behind her. By randomly banishing three cards from my Extra Deck face-down, I can reveal the top three cards of my deck, which are... Pot of Duality, Monster Slots, and Solemn Warning. I think I'll take Solemn Warning." As the woman wearing a shroud appeared in front of John, she took a quick curtsy as he activated the spell. Upon resolving it, she drew a gun from her dress and pointed at his deck, taking a shot at it as a crimson wing burst from her hip. Then, from the deck, came another person, this time a blonde an wielding his gun as he crouched, in defense position. "When I activate a Spell or Trap in the same column as my Musketeers, they gain effects. In this case, Starfire lets me summon another one from the deck, and I chose Caspar in Monster Zone 4. Then I'll set a card in the ST zone between them, and pass. Your move, miss." ----- "DUEL!" "Well, I guess it's gonna be two fusion experts going at it. Sounds like an interesting matchup," Charlie hummed as they drew their hand, immediately running away from Sai towards a staircase in the abandoned factory, "Good luck, have fun! I'm sure you did your research~" ----- "Alriiiight, nice to meet ya, but let's get going!" Agira punched his fists together with a toothy grin from under his mask... "DUEL!" ...only to realize Evelyn used the opportunity to get the jump on him, cursing under his breath as he took off. "Hey, you can't take advantage of a guy's passion like that!" As Evelyn took the first bend, and with it the first turn, Agira let out an anguished groan, before drawing his own card. "Yo, I got it!" he beamed, pointing to Evelyn, "Just wait until it's my turn!"
  21. "Devin! Melissa!" Morgan called out. "Hit me! As hard as you can! Just don't pierce through my head or chest!" As the woman taunted them more from above, Devin processed the request. Was there a way they could do that without seriously hurting Morgan? Would they lose control again? Would the- But as the rocks began to train on Morgan, Devin found their body moving to help the girl, surprising even themselves. Of course, Melissa and her angel beat them to the punch, but maybe, just maybe... "I-If you're sure, then...!" Devin took up a spot behind Morgan as Melissa protected them. With a deep breath, their right arm transformed into something mechanical Like a high tech prosthetic arm, almost. Pulling that arm back, a piston shot out of the elbow, releasing steam for a moment... Before slamming back in as the fist lunged forward, punching Morgan square in the back with all of their might. "I don't know why you need this, but I can do it again, if you really need me to!"
  22. For the most part, Kai had just spent the trip into town as a bit of a tour guide for the group. After all, she had seen all of this many times before... and she had a cute baby to focus on! While the others explored, she poked and hugged at the bird, sometimes letting it look around as they walked about. She found it a bit strange that Amelia had put her own bird away, but different strokes and all. After a while, the foursome had ended up in a restaurant, preparing to eat, when.. "Sure am! Heading out there first thing tomorrow. Pa says that thing that fell from the sky was a good omen for me; The Totem Pokemon doesn't stand a chance! "Matter of fact, Best bless my battle with a few good rounds! Anyone who can beat a Trainer blessed by something fallin' from the sky, I'll pay for your meal!" "Ooooi, you're missing the point, y'know?" Kai placed her hands on her hips and puffed her cheeks out as she looked at the trainer, " confidence and excitement are good, disrespecting the totem pokemon won't end well for you. It's not the pushover you're acting like it is, and many of us have already experienced it." As Tia and Amelia spoke up, Kai nodded and tapped her lips, turning away from the trainer as Lani cooed atop her head, "You know... I do know a place that has a killer Pokébowl, if you don't mind a hole in the wall!"
  23. The rules are simple! You just mark off the characters you know and try to make a bingo! Why? It's fun! And here's a link to the template. I believe each space if 195x195,
  24. VS “Wait, Shannon, that-” Diana’s pleas fell on deaf ears as Shannon slammed 11-EX into the platform they stood upon, a twisted smile on her face and a wild look in her eyes. “Aren’t you supposed to be a hero!?” Diana scolded her, hitting her on the back as best she could, “What are you doing!? You’re acting more like a villain than a hero!” -Indignant Savior- “... Is it villainous to punish a villain?” Shannon asked as she looked back slightly, casting a calm but stony gaze, “Well, Ayane, what do you think? Is it wrong to punish someone who has harmed others? Is it wrong to tear them down so they can’t do it again?” “I don’t know the, um, [circumstances], but-” “Ohh, that’s a pretty heavy question.” The armor’s face turned back into another head again, with an increasingly confused and concerned expression. At the end of the day, stopping villains was a pretty important part of a hero’s job. But Ayane would be lying if she said the way that question had been phrased didn’t put her off a bit. “But villains definitely need to be punished! And I’ve… definitely got a lot of punishment coming my way, for everything I did! Just try not to kill me, okay? I wanna catch up and try to make amends after the sports festival, and I can’t do that if I’m completely out of commission.” Then Syo's head turned back into a helmet once again, closing over 11-EX’s face once again. “But we can do all that later! Right now, we still need to fight over those points!” Being this close to a Quirk like hers was a major disadvantage. Had to get some distance. 11-EX reached for their guitar, blaring out another pair of notes. Another platform beneath their feet, just as the existing one disappeared, and a slightly more complex formation. Something like a wall between the two teams, but with a hole sized and positioned just right for Shannon’s arm. Affording the pair the opportunity to wriggle free of Shannon’s vice-like grip. That should buy us a few seconds. So, about that idea of yours… Shannon roared with rage as the wall appeared, pulling her arm out of it and rearing back to strike, until... “Shannon… They don’t have any points.” Freezing, the dragoness looked over to the board, finding Diana’s claim to be true. She grit her teeth harder before bringing her hands back down to her side with a low growl, turning around. “So they don’t. Then your punishment can wait for another time.” She spread her wings wide to make a big flap, before adding on “Atone? Yeah, right. Find your points elsewhere and never speak to me again.” Diana frowned as Shannon rocketed upward, still hanging on. Despite Shannon’s logic for them teaming up, Diana had hardly been more than a burden or voice of reason. On top of that, Diana could feel the girl she clung to shaking, claws balled up to the point of some blood dripping from the palm… What had happened between her and Ayane? Before Shannon could elaborate further on the baggage she carried, the duo was stopped dead in their tracks by a platform appearing directly above them. In front of them, standing atop another, smaller platform, was Karada Syo, completely in his human form. "You know, I really don't have much of a clue about what your issue with her is, but you seemed to forget," clenching his fist, he put his whole body into his attack, a bare-fisted haymaker aimed directly at Shannon's face, "that this is a team battle!!!" Of course, Syo was far from prepared for Shannon's quirk to have applied even to the skin of her face. While it appeared soft and silky from a distance, it was like striking a ceramic plate. The only effect he had on the girl was leaving a bloody knuckle-print on her cheek. "Ha… ha… maybe that played out a little differently in my head…" Shannon glared at the boy who had just punched her, eyes wild, before she took a deep breath and closed them just for a moment, before opening them up and giving a soft, but terse, statement, while Diana let out a sigh. “Back down, and I shall spare you. Side with her against me, and there will be no mercy. This is the final warning I shall give to you.” And then while her back is facing you… Just like Syo had suggested! Drop him in front of them, distract Shannon even for a second, then from her own perch above the three of them, jump down and get the dragon girl from behind. As much as she would have loved to make a flashy entrance, that would ruin the element of surprise, which was her only real saving grace right now. And so, rather unceremoniously, Ayane moved her guitar on its strap to hang it over her back instead of her front - she didn’t want to risk damaging it in this next move, after all - then jumped from the platform she’d prepared for herself. A jump from which she grabbed Shannon by the shoulders, with a firm “Sorry about this, but I’m not giving up! On the points, or you!”
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