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Yu-Gi-Oh! Union

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Spoiler

 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Union Synopsis: A 15 year old boy named Kuroki Kudou attends Star Dueling Academy in hopes of pursuing his dream to be just like his father, a pro Duelist. As he begins his debut into the school, he meets his friends: Itou Kisaragi, a person he once met before, Maya Corlea, a rich girl whose skills in Dueling are deplorable, Vance Yamaguchi, a fiery boy whose pride almost knows no bound, Kintaro Arakawa, a ice cold boy who is somewhat distant, and Ryuta O'Hara, Kuroki's obsessed roommate. While there, he encounters a man known simply as Gungnir who intends to rid the world of evil and plunge the world into an inescapable dream world with his methods unorthodox. Kuroki must face his past and hold steadfast resolve as he rushes to save both the world and Gungnir before another mistake is made.

 

Chapter 1: The Key to the Future

 

Spoiler

 

The teen boy stepped through the halls of the overly large academy made to idolize the greatest duelists of all times. He continued forward through the corridor to a blinding light at the end of the hall. He could hear the chants of his name calling him to present himself in front of the audience.

 

“Kuroki! Kuroki! Kuroki!” The loud audience continued. He stepped into the light and saw the tall ceilings surrounding as a dome. This was his moment to get to the major league. Suddenly, he looked down and saw that he had only his pajamas and an alarm clock blaring into his ears in hand.

 

“Whoa!” Kuroki woke up breathing loudly. He sighed as he had just awoken from a good dream that was his and his only. He heard a knock at his door and welcomed the person to come in. It was his mother, Kudou Rena.

 

“Kudou Kuroki! You are about to be late to your entrance exam at Star Dueling Academy today! Come on and get dressed so you can go!” His mother huffed aggressively. Kuroki then jumped out of bed replying to his mother, “Yes, mom! I’ll get ready.”

 

“Good, meet me downstairs once you are done.” Kuroki nodded in response to his mother as he stripped out of his pajamas and into his casual dress suit for his entrance exam. He walked out his door grabbing his deck on the way out with his bag containing all the stuff he would need for the next 3 years of his life, if he even makes the entrance exam at all. Kuroki tossed his bags down the stairs and stomped down in a hurry. His mom pressed at the door waiting for the scruffed boy who was both excited and nervous to move into the car.

 

As he placed his bag and suitcase into the trunk, he looked up at his mom. “What do you think it’s going to be like over there, mom?!”

 

His mother chuckled. “Oh probably it has changed since the last 20 years. Who knows what it is like now. But I know you’ll have a good time over there. I just know it.” Rena ushered Kuroki into the car as she started the engine. “Did you forget anything, dear?” Kuroki shook his head.

 

“Nothing. I haven’t forgotten anything.” He gives a quick smile to his mother as she drove towards the exam area before looking out the window. The Star Dueling Academy was far out into the sea, and that was where he was going, for sure. It didn’t take long before he arrived at the exam area as it was a short drive. Kuroki stepped out of the vehicle and opened the car trunk to grab his duel disk. His mom giggled happily.

 

Upon looking at the exam area, it was a large building with a large dome in the middle. He knew that was where it would be. The place that would determine his future. Kuroki brushed his white plaid shirt and blue vest.

 

“Today is the day that tells all…”

 

Kuroki slowly walked inside nervously with his mom cheering from the back. He looked back at his mom who was waving her arms around wildly in support of him. He grinned widely at the love his mom gave. With that, he rushed inside and came upon the registrar office.

 

The lady at the front firmly stared at him. “Name?” She monotonously asked.

 

“Kudou Kuroki!” Kuroki excitedly said.

 

“Your testing… is the last one. You’ll be on in about 3 minutes. You came quite late you know. Any later and you’d be disqualified from the exam.” Kuroki chuckled it off. He was glad he made it though. He took his ID from the lady and ran off in search of the testing room. The loud shaking and sounds from a room let him know that that was it. He opened the two doors to see the arenas. It was almost his time to shine.

 

“Kudou Kuroki, report to the center stage for the practical exams. Repeat, Kudou Kuroki, report to the center stage for the practical exams.” Kuroki ran down the stairway and hopped over the small rail down to the arena. He walked over to the center stage looking around at the amount of students there were going to be with him. Then, a voice met with his ears.

 

“Kudou… Kuroki, correct?” The larger man stated. Kuroki nodded silently. “Hm… do you have your deck ready?” Kuroki pulled his arm up to show his duel disk. The examiner chuckled. “Aha, great then! Your examiner is Professor Portman, me! Now, we shall see your skills and test it ourselves! Remember, this is a test of wits and not a test of sheer power!”

 

“Yes, sir!” Kuroki screamed readying his Duel Disk.

 

“Duel!”

 

Kuroki vs Portman

 

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Style

 

New Era Style. The newest playstyle where Link Monsters are not needed to be used to make more Extra Monster Zones and the Pendulum Zones are back separate from the Spell/Trap Card Zones. The Extra Monster Zone exists but only for Link Monsters. Any other Extra Deck Monsters can go into the Main Monster Zone.


 

“I’ll take the first move!” Professor Portman announced. “I activate the Spell Card ‘Trickster Pass’ and send 1 ‘Trickster' monster from my hand to the Graveyard. Then I draw 2 cards.” Portman then took a look at his hand. “Perfect.” He mumbled. “The effect of ‘Trickster Honoo-ka’ (Level 3/FIRE/Spellcaster/1200/1200) in the Graveyard activates! It is sent to your Graveyard instead.” Kuroki looked at his Duel Disk.

 

“So now I can’t banish cards during my Main Phase now. Great.” Portman then set 3 cards on his field and set 1 monster. “I end my turn. However, by the effect of ‘Trickster Pass’, I must send all cards in my hand during my End Phase. So I send this card to the Graveyard.”

 

Kuroki then looked at his hand. “Seems like a good start. My turn, draw!” Kuroki drew his ‘Reinforcement of the Army’. “I activate the Spell Card ‘Reinforcement of the Army’ so I can add 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster from my Deck to my hand! I’ll add ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer’ (Level 4/LIGHT/Warrior/1800/1500). Then I also Summon him! When he is Normal Summoned, I can Special Summon 1 ‘Keyblade’ monster from my hand! Appear, ‘Goofy the Keyblade Guardian Knight’. (Level 4/LIGHT/Warrior/1500/1900) Since Goofy was Special Summoned, I can discard 1 LIGHT monster to add 1 LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK or less from my Deck to my hand. I’ll discard ‘Mickey the Keyblade King’ (Level 7/LIGHT/Warrior/2550/2100) and add ‘Donald the Keyblade Master Wizard’ (Level 4/LIGHT/Spellcaster/1300/1100). Battle! Sora, attack that face-down! Aerial Dive!”

 

Portman laughed. “Big mistake! I activate the Continuous Trap Card ‘Trickster Mayhem’. If you have a ‘Trickster' monster in your Graveyard, your monster’s ATK become zero.”

 

Sora’s ATK 1800 -> 0.

Goofy’s ATK 1500 -> 0.

 

“As if! I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card ‘Return Fee’. I return Goofy to my hand so that I can target 1 card in either player’s Graveyard, and return that to the Deck. Now it goes back to your Deck!” Portman then caught his card in the air and it vanished returning to his Deck as it shuffled itself. “Since I don’t have a ‘Trickster' monster in my Graveyard, my monster’s ATK returns to normal.”

 

Sora 0 -> 1800

 

The face-down then revealed itself as a girl who appeared with bubbles around her. It was ‘Trickster Mizuka’. (Level 3/WATER/Spellcaster/1400/1400) “Your monster is destroyed!” Kuroki danced around in a small victory. “Yes!”

 

Portman then turned over a card. “Trap Card, ‘Tricksterlusion'. Since my ‘Trickster’ monster was destroyed, I can instead return it to my Deck and Special Summon 2 ‘Trickster' monsters from my Deck with different names. Come out, ‘Trickster Honoo-ka’ (1200/1200) and ‘Trickster Kaze-Tarou’ (Level 3/WIND/Spellcaster/1300/1300).”

 

“Not good… I’ll set two cards face-down and activate ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer’s’ effect. I banish ‘Donald the Keyblade Master Wizard’ from my hand and add 1 ‘Drive' card from my Deck to my hand. I’ll take ‘Drive Form’. That’ll end my turn.”

 

Turn 3

 

Kuroki

LP: 4000

Hand: 2

Graveyard: 3

 

Portman

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 2

 

Portman stared down his opponent’s field, viewing the cards Kuroki had. “Isn’t this… a bit much for that guy, Itou-san?” A girl said.

 

“Hm… maybe. But I get the feeling he might pull through, Maya-san.” Itou replied.

Maya held herself watching the duel intently.

 

“Draw! I activate from my hand the Spell Card ‘Twister Trickster’. If I control at least 2 ‘Trickster' monsters, I can target 2 cards you control and they cannot be activated nor their effects this turn. I choose your 2 face-down Spell/Trap Cards. Next I fuse ‘Trickster Honoo-ka’ and ‘Trickster Kaze-Tarou’ to Fusion Summon!

 

“What?! But you don’t have a ‘Polymerization'.” Kuroki was surprised.

 

“I don’t need ‘Polymerization for this Fusion Summon. This is Contact Fusion! Now, come on! Appear, the malevolent trickster of soul. Unleash your trickery to fight your foe! Fusion Summon! Level 6 ‘Trickster Embodiment of Soul’! (Level 6/WATER/Spellcaster/2200/2200) Also, the monsters sent by this effect have the recurring effect that they are sent to your Graveyard instead! Now you cannot activate cards and effects in response to my card effects due to Kaze-Tarou. And you cannot banish cards due to Honoo-ka. Also, once per turn, I can send 1 monster from my Deck to the Graveyard. I’ll send ‘Trickster Yami-no-Kagami’. (Level 3/DARK/1500/1500) It is also sent to your Graveyard. Then, you can draw 1 card.” Kuroki accepted the draw. He looked at the Quick-Play Spell Card in his hand.

 

“‘Curaga'...”

 

“Not good for him. Professor Portman already has his combo set up. That Kuroki guy won’t have many options against him. Are you sure he’ll pull through?” Maya asked Itou.

 

“I’m pretty sure…” Itou calmly stated.

 

“Battle! Embodiment of Soul! Attack Sora! Soul Strike!” The Fusion Monster pierced her arm through Sora and destroyed him. (Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 3600) “With this, I’ll end my turn.”

 

Turn 4

 

Kuroki

LP: 3600

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 7

 

Portman

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 2

 

Kuroki drew a card from his Deck. As he was about to start his turn, Portman interrupted him. “‘Trickster Yami-no-Kagami’ effect. During your Standby Phase, while it is in YOUR Graveyard, you take 100 damage for each card in your Graveyard. There is 7, so that is 700 damage to you!” The Trickster appeared in air and shot a dark blast at Kuroki charging pain through him.

 

Kuroki

LP: 3600 -> 2900

Hand: 4

 

Kuroki took Curaga in his hand and discarded it to activated his Trap Card on the field. “I’ll activate ‘Key of Wonders’. This lets me Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower “Keyblade” monster from my Graveyard, then I can also Special Summon 1 “Keyblade” monster from my hand. But their effects are negated. Come, Sora… Goofy!”

 

Portman grinned. “Interesting! But I have to stop you! I’ll activate ‘Bottomless Trap Hole’. Your monsters with 1500 ATK or more are destroyed and banished!”

 

Kuroki looked devastated. However, he couldn’t use anything in response to it since there was Kaze-Tarou in his Graveyard. “Ouch… it looks like Professor is too much for him.” Maya sighed from the seats. “His deck seems interesting too. Now if only I could see it upfront.”

 

He then remembered. “I activate the effects of ‘Trickster Honoo-ka, Kaze-Tarou, and Yami-no-Kagami’. Honoo-ka forces me to discard a card to shuffle it to your Deck. Kaze-Tarou forces me to destroy my own card so it can shuffle back to your Deck. And Yami-no-Kagami punishes me by banish my top card of my Deck face-down so I can shuffle it back!”

 

“Amazing… you know what to do. Hahahaha!” Portman laughed it off. “So you think you got what it takes? Then bring it on!”

 

“I gladly will!” Kuroki revealed his card on the field in reaction to ‘Trickster Kaze-Tarou’s’ effect. “I now activate the Quick-Play Spell Card ‘Light of the Darkness’. If a LIGHT monster(s) is banished, I can Special Summon those monsters back, but their effects are negated and their ATK become 0. Revive! Sora and Goofy! Don’t worry, I’m finishing it this turn! I activate the Spell Card from my hand, ‘Drive Form’! This let’s me reveal 1 ‘Drive' monster from my Extra Deck, and use the monsters on my field as materials to Summon that monster. Now then, with the strength of valor, show your power. Reveal to all the might of light! Drive Fusion Summon! Materialize, ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade Bearer of Valor’!” (Level 7/LIGHT/Warrior/2500/1900)

 

The crowd of students yelled in awe as it was a never before seen monster. “Who’d have thought that he’d make a comeback?! What do you think Itou-san?” Maya tapped her foot in excitement.

 

“Most definitely interesting. He is quite intriguing.” Itou chuckled.

 

Another couple of students began to talk about Kuroki. “Heh, here I thought he stood no chance against Professor Portman. But now, he’s going to win, Kintaro.” The pompous boy said.

 

“Hmph, that’s what it seems like, Bakance-san.” Kintaro smirked.

 

“It’s Vance to you!” He pouted.

 

“I activate the effect of ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer of Valor’. By discarding 1 card and banish the top 2 cards of my Deck, I can destroy 1 other monster on the field, then we both take damage equal to its ATK.” Kuroki explained.

 

“Amazing effect you got there,” Professor Portman did not falter. He gave the look of amazement.

 

“Over the Horizon!” Kuroki called out. Sora leaped into the air and pushed through the Embodiment of Souls and destroyed her.

 

Kuroki

LP: 2900 -> 700

Hand: 0

 

Portman

LP: 4000 -> 1800

Hand: 0

 

“However, Sora the Keyblade of Valor cannot attack this turn. So what will you do?” Portman wondered.

 

Kuroki smirked. “I’ll activate the effect of the banished ‘High Drive’. If this card is banished by a ‘Drive' card effect: I can Special Summon 1 ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer’ from my Graveyard.” Portman gasped. “And you know what this means! Direct attack! Sora the Keyblade Bearer, Aerial Spiral!” Portman was cut through by Sora as his LP were reduced to zero.

 

Portman

LP: 1800 -> 0

 

Winner: Kudou Kuroki

 

“I win!!!” Kuroki jumped about and ran across the stage in excitement as he was officially going to be enrolled in Star Dueling Academy.

 

“I told you, Maya-san. Now my money.” Itou grinned widely as his hands were holding onto Maya’s funds.

 

“Can’t believe I lost this bet…” Maya slumped down in depression.

 

“I’m finally going to go where I’ve always wanted to all along!!! Star Dueling Academy!”

 

 

Chapter 2: The Intriguing Reality

 

Spoiler

 

Kuroki looked from the boat waving off to his mother as she returned the gesture. He never felt so alive as then. This was his chance to become what he had wanted. However, since they were on a boat, the students would have to wait a couple of days before arriving at Star Dueling Academy.

 

“Attention, attention. All students report to the Assembly Room on the ship for orientation. Please report as soon as possible. This message is not optional. It is mandatory. I repeat, mandatory.” The speakers then played a tune before hanging up.

 

“I guess it’s time to go there then.” Kuroki followed the crowd of students towards the Assembly Room. Through tight halls and wooden doorways, he finally arrived at the designated room. A man walked in, and greeted the student body. Kuroki blinked for a moment and realized who it was. Professor Portman.

 

“As you begin to enter the new era of your life, we ask that you retain yourself through your journey at our academy. We assure you the best time of your lives there. However, you must also prove yourself worthy. Everyday, you must duel at least once, whether you win or lose. You must show your passion for dueling. Bring forth your inner might and shine brightly.” Portman stopped. Kuroki watched with gazing eyes. He admired many of the student duelists here. “You may duel teachers, students, and staff alike. There are no boundaries to the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! Now, exceed your limits and break through! Even… today.” Portman smirked. “Yes, that’s right. Starting now, your journey has already begun. Make no time for rest. Now, let the games begin!” Many of the students began to freak out.

 

“Eh?! I don’t have my duel disk on me right now!”

 

“Let’s go get it then!”

 

“Who do I duel?”

 

“Oh no… what if I lose?”

 

“No... my deck is incomplete.”

 

Kuroki puffed his chest out. “I’m ready to duel whomever today!” He roared. A person tapped his shoulder and he looked at the guy. “Uh, who are you?”

 

“Pardon me, my name is Kisaragi Itou,” the man greeted. Kuroki was slightly confused at the fellow. There was a girl next to the guy who was smiling while holding back her arms in shyness.

 

“Kasa-”

 

“-chika Kuroki yes?” The girl interrupted. In response, Kuroki quickly nodded assuring her. She chuckled lightly and introduced herself. “My name is Maya Corlea. Ah, Corlea being my last name.” Kuroki shook his head showing he understood.

 

Itou brushed her to the side. “Since you’re looking for a duel, how about I fancy you one?” Itou offered. Kuroki took a moment to think about it. He snapped his fingers.

“Oh, you must’ve seen me in my duel against Portman!”

 

Itou giggled. “Yes, yes I did. We all did actually.” Maya nodded agreeing with what he said. “So duel?”

 

Kuroki agreed. He readied his duel disk and inserted his deck. Itou did the same and jumped back to the other side of the room. Then, students around stopped in their tracks. “Look, it’s that one student who beat the professor.”

 

“Oh it really is!”

 

Vance and Kintaro approached Maya. “So this is the guy huh. He looks a bit more normal than in the exam area.”

 

“Yeah, well maybe that’s fine too.” Maya stated.

 

“Duel!”

 

Kuroki vs Itou

 

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

Turn 1

 

Kuroki looked through his hand. “I’ll be first. I activate the Spell Card ‘Heart of Light’. By paying half my life points, I can Special Summon 1 “Keyblade” monster from my Deck. Come, Sora! (Level 4/LIGHT/Warrior/1800/1500) (Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 2000) When he is Special Summoned, I can add 1 “Keyblade” monster from my Deck to my hand. I’ll add ‘Donald the Keyblade Master Wizard’. (Level 4/LIGHT/Spellcaster/1300/1100) I will Normal Summon him. When Donald is Normal Summoned, I can add 1 ‘Drive' card from my Deck to my hand. I’ll add ‘Drive Form’. I’ll set 2 cards face-down and end my turn.

 

“Is that all?” Itou asked.

 

“Hmph, yes it is.”

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki

LP: 2000

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 1

 

Itou

LP: 4000

Hand: 5

Graveyard: 0

 

Itou drew his card. “If I control no monsters, I can Special Summon ‘Reality Rupture Dayream’ from my hand to the secondmost left zone, but I cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck except Link Monsters.” (Level 1/LIGHT/Psychic/100/300)

 

“Oh, a Link deck. This’ll be interesting.” Kuroki murmured as he felt his blood warm up.

 

“‘Reality Rupture Dayream’ monster effect activates! I can add 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck to my hand, then send 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck to the Graveyard. I add ‘Reality Rupture Luciream’. (Level 2/DARK/Psychic/600/1700) Then I Normal Summon him in my middle zone!” A crack then appeared into the ground and out came a human covered in glowing blue tattoos. His left eye was covered but his right eye stared at Kuroki with a raging blue hue. “When ‘Reality Rupture Luciream’ is Normal Summoned, I can discard 1 card and Special Summon 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck. Come ‘Reality Rupture Recuream’ to my secondmost right zone. (Level 3/LIGHT/Psychic/1500/1300) Now, I Link Summon! With ‘Reality Rupture Recuream’ and ‘Reality Rupture Dayream’, the summoning conditions are met. 2 monsters! Fill in the Link Markers! Link Summon. Link 2, Reality Rupture Dreahealream’! (Link-2/LIGHT/Psychic/1000/Up, Down-Left) I then activate the Normal Spell Card ‘Boundary Change’. If I control a Psychic Link Monster, all Psychic monsters I control can attack directly this turn. Next I activate the Equip Spell ‘Visionary Revision’. I target 1 Level 4 or lower Psychic monster in my Graveyard and Special Summon it.”

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki

LP: 2000

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 1

 

Itou

LP: 4000

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 2

 

Kuroki flipped his Quick-Play Spell Card. “Not so fast! I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘Mystical Space Typhoon’ and destroy your Equip Spell Card.”

 

Itou placed a card in his hand onto his duel disk quickly. “I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘Terrible Decision’. If you activate a card effect during my turn, you must declare the card I choose in my hand. If you guess it right, your card effect goes through, and the card I chose is banished. If not, it is negated and destroyed. I choose this card. Now guess!” Itou flaunted a mystery card in his hand.

 

Kuroki shook his head. “Uh, Spell!”

 

Itou revealed the card to be a Monster Card, ‘Reality Rupture Dayream’. “Sorry, but you’re wrong. It’s a Monster Card. So Mystical Space Typhoon is negated and destroyed.”

Kuroki panicked. “Oh dammit…”

 

“I Special Summon Recurream. And battle! Luciream, direct attack! Mind Disruption!” Kuroki winced as Luciream blasted him with an energy wave. (Kuroki’s LP: 2000 -> 1400) “Since a ‘Reality Rupture’ monster dealt battle damage, Luciream’s effect activates. I can add Dayream from my Graveyard to my hand. Now, Dreahealream, direct attack! (Kuroki’s LP: 1400 -> 400) And, for the final attack. Sadly, our Duel must end so soon. You haven’t put up much of a fight. Direct attack, Recuream!”

 

Kuroki flipped his other Set card. “I activate the Trap Card ‘Reflera'. If I control a face-up ‘Keyblade’ monster, I can negate an attack and immediately end your turn.”

 

Itou was surprise. “No way! Urgh, then so my turn ends.” Itou stared attentively at Kuroki, observing his every move.

 

Turn 3

 

Kuroki

LP: 400

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 5

 

Itou

LP: 4000

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 2

 

Kuroki started with his draw. He examined his hand for plays. “All right, I activate the Spell Card ‘Drive Form’. By using Sora as the catalyst and Donald as the power, he can obtain a better set of powers!”

 

“Oh here it comes!” Everyone around was excited to see what was next.

 

“Release the inner knowledge you know. Call forth the power of arcana and blast away all that comes. Drive Fusion Summon! Level 6 ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’! (Level 6/LIGHT/Warrior/2100/1400) I’ll then Normal Summon Goofy in Attack Position. (Level 4/LIGHT/Warrior/1500/1900) Battle! Sora, attack Dreahealream! Magic Haste!” Sora used his Keyblade and shot at Dreahealream with magical bullets destroying him. (Itou’s LP: 4000 -> 2900) “Next, Goofy, attack Luciream!” Goofy charged at Luciream and smashed him into the ground and faded. (Itou’s LP 2900 -> 2000) “Now I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card ‘Drive Revert’. I return 1 ‘Drive' monster from my field to my Extra Deck and Special Summon all monsters used for that Summon from my Graveyard! Reappear, Sora, Donald!”

 

“Whoa… outstanding Battle Phase combo he has there. Monsters Summoned during the Battle Phase can still attack.” Maya said. Kintaro and Vance looked at her in awe.

 

“Now is not the time, do you not see who is losing? Don’t you care that Itou-san is going to lose? Your boyfriend?!” Kintaro shouted.

 

“He is NOT my boyfriend!” Maya punched Kintaro down and resumed watching the duel happen. “Urgh… I swear you get on my nerves.”

 

“Sora’s effect activates! I add ‘Mickey the Keyblade King’ to my hand, then he attacks Recuream!” Kuroki commanded.

 

“Oh crap… my last monster.” Itou looked at his hand. “I can still make a comeback!” Sora cut through Recuream with ease and killed him. (Itou’s LP: 2000 ->1700)  

 

“Now, direct attack Donald! Donald Fire!” Itou winced as the fire engulfed him for a few seconds. (Itou’s LP: 1700 -> 400) “I’ll set 1 card face-down and end my turn.”

 

Turn 4

 

Kuroki

LP: 400

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 6

 

Itou

LP: 400

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 5

 

“My turn. Draw!” Itou announced anxious to win the duel. “Hahahahaha! Either I will win, or we’ll both lose.” Kuroki cocked his head in confusion. “Since I control no monsters, I can Special Summon Dayream from my hand. Then with his effect, I can add 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck to my hand and send 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ card from my Deck to the Graveyard. I’ll add ‘Reality Rupture Nighream’ to my hand and send ‘Reality Rupture Haven’ to the Graveyard. Now since Nighream is in my hand, I can add 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ card from my Graveyard to my hand and Special Summon himself. I’ll add ‘Reality Rupture Haven’ but it cannot be activated this turn. I now activate the Quick-Play Spell Card, Twin Twisters. I discard ‘Reality Rupture Haven’ and target up to 2 Spell/Trap Cards on the field and destroy them. I target your face-down.” Kuroki’s face-down broke into pieces with an explosion from the winds coming from the card Itou played. “Now I will Link Summon! Link Markers set! Summoning Conditions met! Link Summon! Link-2 ‘Reality Rupture Falsream’! (Link-2/DARK/Psychic/1200/Up, Down) His effect now activates. When he is Link Summoned, I can Special Summon 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ Link Monster from my Graveyard. I will Special Summon Dreahealream under Falsream. Now that Falsream is linked with Dreahealream, he can attack you directly by Dreahealream’s own effect. This is the finisher! Falsream, direct attack! False Reality!”

 

“I have to do something!” Kuroki looked at the attacking Falsream in fear. Every moment that he was thinking, he was that much closer to losing this small duel. If something like this took him down, who knew what else would.

 

Kuroki

LP: 400

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 7

 

Itou

LP: 400

Hand: 2

Graveyard: 7

 

 

Chapter 3: Key of the Masters of Masters

 

 

Spoiler

 

“What do I do?!” Kuroki asked himself. Falsream’s attack exploded around Kuroki and smoke covered the area and obscured everyone’s vision on him.

 

“And so our duel ends…”

 

“We’ll see about that!” Kuroki had his hands out confidently. “I activate the Trap Card from my Graveyard. The one you just destroyed. ‘Key to Wisdom’. By banishing this card and two other ‘Keyblade' cards in my Graveyard, I take no damage for the rest of this turn.”

 

“No way… tch. I’ll set 2 cards face-down and end my turn.” Itou relaxed himself staring at Kuroki.

 

Turn 5

 

Kuroki

LP: 400

Hand: 3

Graveyard: 5

Banished: 3

 

Itou

LP: 400

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 7

 

“My turn, I’ll draw!” Kuroki smiled at his drawn card. “I activate the Spell Card ‘Key of Mastery’. If I control a ‘Keyblade’ monster, I banish 3 cards in your Graveyard. Then, I send the top 3 cards of my Deck to the Graveyard. I’ll banish Nighream, Dayream, and Luciream from your Graveyard. Now my 3 cards are sent to the Graveyard.”

 

“Hmmmm… what could he be planning?” Maya wondered. Kintaro pat her back. “Oh don’t worry, your boyfriend is fine!” Maya immediately punched Kintaro in the guts.

 

“Next, I activate the Spell Card ‘Key of Valor’! All ‘Keyblade’ monsters I control gain 800 ATK, also they cannot be destroyed by battle!” Kuroki announced.

 

Wisdom Sora’s ATK: 2100 -> 2900

Goofy’s ATK: 1500 -> 2300

 

“Now, attack! Sora, finish this duel! Take on Dreahealream!”

 

“And so you have fallen for it. I activate the Trap Card, ‘Blazing Mirror Force’.” Itou opened his Trap Card.

 

“As if, I activate ‘Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’s’ effect! I can negate the activation of a Spell/Trap Card once per turn and destroy it.” Kuroki retaliated.

 

“Oh, that is where you’re wrong. I activate my other Trap Card, ‘Breakthrough Skill’. I target 1 monster you control and negate its effects this turn!”

 

“In that case, I activate ‘Key of Finality’. This turn, if I control 2 or more ‘Keyblade' monsters, I discard 1 card, then shuffle all monsters I control to my Deck, and shuffle all monsters you control to your Deck. Bye bye Links!”

 

“Agh!” Itou returned his monsters to his Extra Deck while Kuroki had his Deck shuffled.

 

“I’ll end my turn.” Kuroki was intensely nervous. He will lose if Itou drew the right card.

 

Turn 6

 

Kuroki

LP: 400

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 10

Banished: 3

 

Itou

LP: 400

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 4

Banished: 3

 

Itou slowly drew his card from his Deck. “My draw.” He looked at it and sighed.

 

“I’ll set 1 card and end my turn.” Itou looked at Kuroki. They both felt the same. Nervous about each other’s next move. Anxious to see what the other would do.

 

Turn 7

 

“Draw!” Kuroki was baffled. He drew exactly what he needed. “It looks like I’m winning this one.”

 

“It doesn’t matter what you Summon, the result is the same!” Itou said. “You can’t change it!” Kuroki simply laughed it off.

 

“That is what you think, but watch this! I Summon ‘Young Sora’. (Level 2/LIGHT/Warrior/400/0) Now, get ready! Direct attack! Wooden Swordplay!” Itou screamed.

 

“You asked for it! I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card ‘Psychotic Shift’! I banish 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ card from my Graveyard. I’ll banish ‘Reality Rupture Haven’ and then target 1 monster you control and destroy it!” Itou smirked as students around were hyping up this finale.

 

“It doesn’t matter if my monster is destroyed, the outcome is still at random!” Kuroki exclaimed.

 

“And that is where you're wrong. We both take damage equal to the ATK of the destroyed monster! That is 400 points of damage to both of us! So we’ll both take the damage!” Itou explained.

 

Kuroki gasped aloud. “Agh! No!” A large blue wave pulsed throughout the room and both Kuroki and Itou fell to their knees.

 

Kuroki

LP: 400 -> 0

 

Itou

LP: 400 -> 0

 

Winner: No contest.

 

Itou stood up first. “Wow, Itou. You ended it in a Draw!” Shouted Maya. He turned around and chuckled scratching the back of his head.

 

Kuroki breathed in and out. “That was… a fun game!” He then pointed at Itou. “We should duel again sometime! I know we’ll have another outcome different to this one. I just know it!” Kintaro and Vance approached the excited Kuroki.

 

“Nice dueling skills you got there.” Vance complimented. “Great to see a potential rival that I’ll be able to battle soon.”

 

Kuroki cocked his head. “Why not now?” Vance pointed at his arm. There was no duel disk riding his arm. Kuroki shrugged. “I guess.” He stood up and brushed his pants. Students around started exiting the room to either watch other duels or to duel other students. Then, something growled. Kuroki looked down. “Ah, I’m hungry…”

 

Maya pulled Kuroki closer. “I know a place to eat. Vance, Kintaro, Itou. Let’s go!” With a tiring groan, Kuroki slowly followed behind.

 

Soon enough, they were at the restaurant inside the ship. As the group sat down at their table, they ordered their food and waited.

 

Maya clapped in succession of an idea. “Hey, Kuroki. Let’s duel!”

 

“Eh, right now?!”

 

“Yes!”

 

Kuroki sighed. “But I’m hungry…”

 

“Oh come on. We can duel as we wait.”

 

“Fine…” Kuroki lazily picked up his duel disk and started it. Maya threw on hers and turned hers on.

 

“Duel!”

 

Kuroki vs Maya

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

Maya stood from the other side of the open restaurant. “Hmmm, they said it is fine to duel here as long as we don’t do something crazy. So let’s do this! I’ll start us off! I’ll activate from my hand ‘Cooking Recipe’! When it is activated, I can add 1 ‘Maingredient’ monster from my Deck to my hand. I’ll add ‘Maingredient Beeph’. I then activate the Field Spell ‘Cooking Pot’!” Suddenly, a gigantic pot appeared behind Maya.

 

“What a weird Deck… and are you teasing me with food!?” Kuroki yelled.

 

“Nooooo. Ahem, now I Normal Summon ‘Maingredient Beeph’ (Level 2/EARTH/Beast/0/0). Its effect activates! I can Special Summon 1 ‘Maingredient’ monster from my hand. Come, ‘Maingredient Porky’! (Level 1/EARTH/Beast/0/0) If it is Special Summoned: I can add 1 ‘Cooking Pot’ from my Deck to my hand.” Maya revealed the second added ‘Cooking Pot’. “‘Cooking Recipe’ effect activates, each time a ‘Maingredient' monster effect is activated, I can place 1 ‘Foodie Counter’ on a ‘Cooking Pot’ I control. Two were activated so 2 Foodie Counters are placed. Now, since I control a face-up ‘Cooking Pot’ I can Special Summon ‘Maingredient Cabbaj’ from my hand including 1 other ‘Maingredient' monster. Appear, Cabbaj and Carat! Carat’s effect activates! Each time a ‘Maingredient’ monster is Special Summoned, you take 100 damage!”

 

“Uh oh, that’s two.” Kuroki mumbled. (Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 3800)

 

“Furthermore, since I activated a ‘Maingredient' monster effect, I place 1 ‘Foodie Counter’ on ‘Cooking Pot’. (Foodie Counters: 3) Now I activate ‘Maingredient Porky’s’ effect, I Fusion Summon 1 ‘Maingredient’ or 1 ‘Maingredichef' Fusion Monster using monsters I control. I fuse Beeph, Porky, and Cabbaj. Blend together mingling the flavors, and refine what you have become! Fusion Summon! Level 6, ‘Maingredient Beeph Stu’! (Level 6/EARTH/Beast/1900/1500) ‘Cooking Recipe’ places 1 ‘Foodie Counter’ on ‘Cooking Pot’ and since ‘Maingredient' monsters were sent to the Graveyard, ‘Cooking Pot’ places counters on itself for the number of monsters sent. (Foodie Counters: 3 -> 7) Also, Carat’s effect. You take 100 damage. (Kuroki’s LP: 3800 -> 3700) Beeph Stu’s effect, I send 1 ‘Maingredient' monster from the Deck to the Graveyard, and inflict 100 damage for each monster used to Fusion Summon that card and the number of monsters in my Graveyard. This makes it 300 plus 400! I send ‘Maingredient Beeph’. (Kuroki’s LP: 3700 -> 3000) ‘Cooking Recipe’! (Foodie Counters: 7 -> ? ‘Cooking Pot’! (Foodie Counters: 8 -> 9) ‘Cooking Pot’ effect! Once per turn, I can banish 1 random card in my hand and in your hand until my next Standby Phase and place 1 ‘Foodie Counter’ on itself. (FC: 9 -> 10) ‘Cooking Pot’ effect! I remove all my counters on this card and inflict 100 damage for each counter removed! That’s 10, so 1000 damage!” (Kuroki’s LP: 3000 -> 2000) “I’ll end my turn with that!”

 

Kuroki looked at his hand. He lost his key card Sora. What was he going to do?

 

Turn 2

Kuroki

LP: 2000

Hand: 4

Graveyard: 0

Banished: 1

 

Maya

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 4

Banished: 1


 

 

 

Chapter 4: Can We Eat?

 

 

Spoiler

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki drew his card. “Can’t this wait until after we eat?!”

 

“No! We can do this as we wait,” Maya replied. “Now go on, it’s your turn.”

 

He groaned. “Fine, I’ll end it now!” He took the card he drew, ‘Foolish Burial’. “I activate the Spell Card ‘Foolish Burial’ from my hand. With it, I send 1 monster from my Deck to the Graveyard. I’ll send Donald. Next, I banish 1 LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK or less from my Graveyard to Special Summon this card from my hand. Come, ‘Roxas the Keyblade of Destiny’! (Level 6/LIGHT/Warrior/2500/1600). When Roxas is Summoned this way, I can target 2 cards on the field and shuffle them into the Deck! Now, I’ll make both your monsters disappear!” Beeph Stu and Carat suddenly vanished into darkness. “Furthermore, I activate the Spell Card ‘Mystical Space Typhoon’ and destroy your Field Spell!”

 

“Hey! Unfair!” Maya pouted.

 

“I will then Normal Summon Goofy!” (Level 4/LIGHT/Warrior/1500/1900)

 

“Whoa, won’t this be an OTK?!” Vance asked Itou.

 

Itou nodded. “It would if both attacks go through.”

 

“Goofy, attack! Shield Bash!” Goofy knocked his shield into Maya’s torso. (Maya’s LP: 4000 -> 2500)

 

“Wait, wait a second! Noooooooo!” Maya screamed.

 

“There is no waiting in dueling. You must give it all you got!” Kuroki spoke. “Roxas, direct attack! Faith of Light!” Roxas summoned pillars of light and sent them towards Maya leaving an explosion. (Maya’s LP: 2500 -> 0)

 

Result: Kuroki Win!

 

“Rematch, right now!” Maya uttered. Kuroki sighed. He was tired and hungry as they were dueling.

 

“Fine, but we’re doing this differently.” Kuroki tapped on a button on his Duel Disk. “We’re going to Action Duel!” Maya clapped.

 

“Fine with me! So let’s do it!”

 

“Then, as monsters and duelists unite as one on the battlefield. A whole new revolution begins!” Kuroki yelled.

 

“Aaaaaaaction Duel!” Both Maya and Kuroki shouted in unison.

 

Kuroki vs Maya

LP: 4000

Rules: Action Duel/New Era Playstyle

 

“I’ll go first,” Kuroki said. “Now, I activate the Spell Card ‘Drive Form’ and use Sora as the catalyst with Donald as the support! Drive Fusion Summon! Level 6, ‘Drive Form Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’! (Level 6/LIGHT/Warrior/2100/1400/Fusion) Then, I’ll set 2 cards face-down and end my turn.”

 

Turn 2

Kuroki

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 3

 

Maya

LP: 4000

Hand: 5

 

“My turn, draw!” Maya chuckled. “Now then, I activate the effect of ‘Maingredient Carat’ in my hand. I send it to the Graveyard to add 1 ‘Cooking Recipe’ from my Deck to my hand. Then I activate it. When this card is activated, I can add 1 ‘Maingredient' monster from my Deck to my hand. I’ll take ‘Maingredient Be-’...”

 

“‘Drive Form Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’ monster effect activates! When you activate a Spell or Trap Card, I can negate the activation and destroy it! Magic Spice!” Sora tossed his Keyblade in the air and light shone from it. The Spell Card Maya activated then exploded.

 

“Ehhh?! Noooooo!” Maya knelt down in defeat. “Wait… I activate ‘Cooking Pot’ from my hand! Then I activate the effect of ‘Maingredient Carat’ in my hand! I Special-’”

“Counter Trap open! ‘Solemn Strike!’ By paying 1500 LP, (Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 2500) I can negate the activation of a monster effect or a Special Summon and destroy it.” Kuroki firmly stated.

 

“Wha?! That is unfair!” She growled angrily in response to Kuroki’s card. “I will Set 2 cards face-down and end my turn then. And since a ‘Maingredient' monster was sent to the Graveyard, I can place 1 Foodie Counter on ‘Cooking Pot’.” (FC: 1)

 

Turn 3

Kuroki

LP: 2500

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 4

 

Maya

LP: 4000

Hand: 1

Graveyard: 3

 

“My turn, draw!” Kuroki then took a card from his Graveyard. “Time for something new. I activate the effect of ‘Drive Form’ in my Graveyard. By banishing it and revealing 1 ‘Drive’ monster from my Extra Deck, I can send the materials frim my Deck needed for its Summon. I’ll take ‘Drive Form Sora the Keyblade of Valor!’ By using Sora as the catalyst and using Goofy as the support, I can Drive Fusion Summon! Come, ‘Drive Form Sora the Keyblade of Valor’!” Kuroki sent another copy of Sora and a Goofy from his Deck to the Graveyard. “However, since ‘Drive Form’ was banished, I cannot conduct my Battle Phase this turn.”

 

“Mwahahahaha! I activate the Trap Card, ‘Bottomless Trap Hole’ on your ‘Drive Form Sora the Keyblade of Valor’ monster there!” Maya cackled.

 

“Ugh… ‘Drive Form Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’ monster effect activates. When a Spell or Trap Card is activated, I can negate it and destroy it. Magic Spice.” Kuroki monotonously said.

 

“Ehhhh!?”

 

“Uh… don’t be surprised.”

 

Vance turned to Itou. “Is Maya a good duelist by any chance? She seemed to have not remembered Wisdom Sora’s effect.”

 

Itou shook his head. “She… she just can’t retain what others tell her very well.” Vance mouthed an ‘oh' and turned away.

 

Maya then gritted her teeth. “Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘Maingredient Deglaze’! I banish 1 ‘Maingredient' monster from my Graveyard and target 1 monster you control and destroy it. Then you take 200 damage for each Level it had. I’ll target Valor Sora.”

 

“Or she didn’t misplay?” Itou rose his eyebrows in interest.

 

“Hmph, I activate the Counter Trap Card, ‘Reflega'. When a Spell, Trap, or monster effect activates that targets 1 of my ‘Keyblade' monster, I can pay 1000 LP and negate the activation and banish it. (Kuroki’s LP: 2500 -> 1500) Then, if I banish that card, both players must banish all cards with the same name as that card in their field and Deck.” Maya took 2 of the ‘Maingredient Deglaze’ she had in her Deck and banished them. “With this, I Set 1 card and end my turn.”

 

Turn 4

 

Kuroki

LP: 1500

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 6

Banished: 1

 

Maya

LP: 4000

Hand: 1

Graveyard: 3

Banished: 4

 

Maya drew her card. “I’ll activate ‘Dark Hole’!”

 

“Once again, I activate Wisdom Sora’s effect. When a Spell or Trap card is activated, I can negate the activation and destroy it. Magic Spice!” Kuroki let his Sora do the work.

 

“Then I shall activate the Spell Card ‘Raigeki'! Mwahahahahahaha! Your monsters are destroyed.” The lightning bolt struck both Soras and destroyed them.

 

“Hmph.”

 

Maya laughed as she managed to accomplish something. “I still have 4000 LP. You only have 1500! I’m going to win.”

 

“Ugh....”

 

Turn 5

 

Kuroki

LP: 1500

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 8

Banished: 1

 

Maya

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Graveyard: 5

Banished: 4

 

“I draw.” Kuroki then grinned. “I activate the Trap Card ‘Final Will of the Keyblade’! I pay LP until I have 100 left, then Special Summon any number of ‘Keyblade' monsters from my Graveyard! I now Special Summon Wisdom Sora and Valor Sora!” (Kuroki’s LP: 1500 -> 100)

 

“Ahhhhhh! No!!!!!!!”

 

“Now that our FOOD is here, I will finish you off! Direct Attack!” (Maya’s LP: 4000 -> 1900 -> 0)

 

Result: Kuroki Wins!

 

“Now let’s eat!” Kuroki sat himself down and started eating his steak. “Yes! So delicious!” Maya limped over and sat down next to Itou. “I lost twice in a row…”

 

“Yes you did, Maya,” replied Itou.

 

Kuroki consumed all of his steak and immediately shot up. “Alright, time to go find someone else to duel!” Then, he scurried off. The rest stared as he ran down the halls looking for his next duel.

 

“He’s interesting…” Kintaro said.

 

“Kind of interesting,” Itou added.

 

“Maybe interesting,” Maya uttered. The boys looked at her. “What? Why are you all looking at me?”

 

“Nothing,” Itou replied. “Nothing at all…”


 

 

Chapter 5: Sleep Away! So They Say…

 

Spoiler

 

Kuroki slowed down to a walk as he heard a few screams coming from the ship deck. He turned around and sped up towards the scream. There, he saw a cloaked man dueling a frightened girl.

 

Turn ??

 

???

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Graveyard: ?

Banished: ?

 

Girl

LP: 200

Hand: 0

Graveyard: ?

Banished: ?

 

“‘R.E.M. Sleep Paralysis Sleeper’, direct attack. Nightmare Paralysis.” The sleeping human woke up and charged a dark ball of energy towards the defenseless girl. Kuroki was horrified as it hit her really hard. (Girl’s LP: 200 -> 0)

 

Result: ??? Wins!

 

“Now, sleep and allow me to take what shall be mines.” The mysterious man shifted his arm revealing a dark tattoo bearing a moon with arrows pointing every direction rimming it. Kuroki stood still witnessing the man forcefully pulling out a small orb of light from the girl as she fell down sleeping soundly. The man turned his attention to him soon afterwards.

 

“H-hey! What did you do to her?!” Kuroki asked.

 

“That is not of your concern,” answered the cloaked male.

 

Kuroki checked on the girl. She was still alive and breathing but no matter what, she wouldn’t awaken. “Give her what that thing was!” Kuroki demanded.

 

The man shrugged. “I don’t have anything to give back. I am merely going to take what’s rightfully mine in the end.”

 

Kuroki clenched his teeth angrily. “Then, I’ll forcefully take it back! If I duel you and win, give that thing back to her!”

 

“You mean this?” The man revealed the glowing orb once again. Kuroki nodded, acknowledging that it was what he had meant. “Maybe, if you beat me.”

 

“Then I’ll fight for it.”

 

Out of the blue, Itou and the others walked in. “Huh? Are they going to duel?” Maya wondered.

 

“First off, who is that guy?” Vance questioned.

 

“However, if you lose, I’ll be taking yours too.” Said the man.

 

“What did he mean by that?” Itou stared warily. “Let’s observe from behind here,” Kintaro pointed behind a counter.

 

“Okay…” Vance replied. So, the group carefully snuck around the counter and watched silently.

 

“I won’t lose…” Kuroki assured himself.

 

“DUEL!”

 

Kuroki vs ???

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

Turn 1

 

“Why don’t you take the first move?” The man offered. Kuroki was suspicious but took it anyways.

 

“Then I’ll go.” Kuroki looked at his hand. He took his Spell Card ‘Heart of Light’ and activated it. “I pay half my LP to Special Summon 1 “Keyblade” monster from my Deck. I’ll Special Summon ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer’! (Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 2000) Then, Sora’s effect activates. When he is Special Summoned: I can add 1 ‘Keyblade' monster from my Deck to my hand. I’ll take Goofy! Next I Normal Summon Donald and then activate his effect. When he is Normal Summoned, I can add 1 ‘Drive' Spell Card from my Deck to my hand. I’ll add ‘Drive Recovery’. I’ll then activate ‘Drive Form’. By using Sora as the catalyst and Goofy as the support, I can draw out the true power of Sora. Drive Fusion Summon! Level 7, Drive Form Sora the Keyblade Bearer! (Level 7/LIGHT/Warrior/2500/2100) Next, I activate his effect, I discard 1 card, then banish the top 2 cards of my Deck to destroy 1 other monster on the field. Then we both take damage equal to its ATK.” Kuroki discarded a copy of ‘Heart of Light’ and then banished ‘High Drive’ and ‘Drive Revert’ and destroyed Donald. (Kuroki’s LP: 2000 -> 700. ???’s LP: 4000 -> 2700)

 

“Hmph, pitiful damage. However, you are still at a disadvantage with LP.” The man stated.

 

“So what? Since ‘High Drive’ was banished, I can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower ‘Keyblade’ monster from my Graveyard. Come out, Sora, in Defense! I can then add 1 ‘Keyblade' monster due to his effect. I’ll add ‘Roxas the Keyblade of Destiny’. Then I Set 1 card face-down and end my turn.”

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki

LP: 700

Hand: 2

Graveyard: 5

Banished: 2

 

???

LP: 2700

Hand: 5

Graveyard: 0

 

“Draw,” Kuroki shivered as the mysterious man’s cold voice hit his ears. “I activate the Spell Card from my hand, ‘R.E.M. Stage’. I Special Summon 1 ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ from my hand, Deck, or Graveyard. From my Deck, come! Level 1, ‘R.E.M Sleeper’! (Level 1/EARTH/Psychic/0/0) If it is Special Summoned, I can target 1 monster you control and negate its effects until the End Phase. I choose Valor Sora. Then my Sleeper gains ATK equal to your monster’s ATK + 100! (Sleeper ATK: 0 -> 2600) Battle! Now, attack his Valor Sora and destroy him!”

 

“No, it won’t!” Kuroki exclaimed. “I activate the Trap Card, ‘Activity Awareness’. If a monster I control is attacked or attacks, it cannot be destroyed by that battle!”

 

“But you still take the damage!” The mystery man cackled.

 

“Fine with me!” Kuroki felt a little dizzy from the psychological attack. (Kuroki’s LP: 700 -> 600)

 

“Hmph, I’ll set 3 cards face-down and end my turn.” The mystery man said.

 

Turn 3

 

Kuroki

LP: 600

Hand: 2

Graveyard: 6

Banished: 2

 

???

LP: 2700

Hand: 2

Graveyard: 1

 

“My turn, draw!” Kuroki looked at his hand. “I banish Donald in my Graveyard to Special Summon ‘Roxas the Keyblade of Destiny’ from my hand. (Level 6/LIGHT/Warrior/2500/1600) His monster effect activates!”

 

“Counter Trap activates! R.E.M. Night Terrors. When a monster effect is activated: I send 1 ‘R.E.M.’ monster I control to the Graveyard to negate the activation and destroy it. So Sleeper, unleash the terror!” The man points at Roxas and laughs.

 

“Even if his effect is negated, he cannot be destroyed by card effects nor banished by them!”

 

“Heh, due to Sleeper’s effect, if it is sent from the field to the Graveyard, I can Set 1 ‘R.E.M.’ Spell/Trap Card directly from my Deck. I’ll Set ‘R.E.M. Pills’.”

 

Kuroki looked at his opponent’s field. There were still three face-downs. He had to deal with them somehow but he had nothing. But he took his chances. “Battle! Roxas, direct attack! Pillars of Faith!” A bunch of lights with a weird shape at the top shone brightly and went directly for the man.

 

“Quick-Play Spell! ‘N.R.E.M. Stage 3’! If I control no monsters, I can discard 1 ‘R.E.M.’ Spell/Trap Card to Special Summon 1 ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ from my Graveyard. I discard ‘R.E.M. Stage’. Now revive! And I also negate all your monsters effects for the rest of this turn, and change them to Defense Position.”

 

“No way! He countered Kuroki’s attack and made them useless all in one go!” Itou commented from the side.

 

“That guy has bad vibes…” Maya stated.

 

“No, really?” Vance stared at Maya stupefied.

 

“Yes.” Maya retorted.

 

Vance facepalmed as she did not understand the snarky comment at all.

 

“I’ll Set 1 card face-down and end my turn.” Kuroki’s heart was pounding.

 

Turn 4

 

Kuroki

LP: 600

Hand: 1

Graveyard: 5

Banished: 3

 

???

LP: 2700

Hand: 1

Graveyard: 2

 

“My turn.” The man looked at his card and then activated it. “I activate ‘Forceful Decision’! This Spell Card lets me destroy all monsters I control and then target 1 Effect Monster you control and forcefully activate its effects. I target Valor Sora!”

“Okay… let’s see. I discard 1 card… the only card in my hand.” That’s when it hit him. He was going to lose this duel. Valor Sora would destroy a monster, then both of them would take damage. But there was still a way. Roxas. “Ha!”

 

“Hmph, I was expecting you to. Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘N.R.E.M. Stage 2’. If you activate a monster effect, I can target 1 monster you control and Special Summon 1 ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ from my hand or Graveyard. Then I negate the effect and take control of your monster.” Suddenly, Valor Sora was consumed by sleep and floating on the other field.

 

“No, Sora!”

 

“Hahaha! Now I activate my other face-down. R.E.M. Pills. I target 1 non-’R.E.M.’ monster I control and make it Level 6. Then I can Set 1 ‘R.E.M.’ Spell/Trap Card from my Deck. I’ll Set another Night Terror. Furthermore, Sleeper effect activates! I target Roxas and negate its effects. (Sleeper ATK: 0 -> 2600) Now, I tune my Level 1 Sleeper with the now Level 6 Drive Form Valor Sora. Defect others unto the world of sleep. Make all lose upon thy powers! Synchro Summon! Level 7, ‘R.E.M. Sleep Paralysis Sleeper’!” (Level 7/EARTH/Psychic/0/0)

 

“Again, 0 ATK and 0 DEF? What is with this guy?” Maya wondered.

 

“Don’t you see that they have devastating effects?” Itou asked Maya. “Even if they have low ATK value, they are literally keeping Kuroki’s Deck in check. This guy is stopping him.”

 

“Oh… wait then that means that Kuroki is at a disadvantage!”

 

“Yes…” sighed Itou.

 

“Furthermore, my Continuous Trap Card activates. ‘R.E.M. Sleepwalkers’. If a monster you control has their effects negated, I can banish 2 ‘R.E.M.’ Spell/Trap Cards and return it to the top of your Deck. I’ll return Roxas.” Roxas then started walking back in a motionless sleep vanishing back to Kuroki’s deck. “I now activate from my hand, ‘R.E.M. Stage’ to Special Summon Sleeper from my Deck.”

 

“Another one?!” Maya was astonished.

 

“He seems to be going in for the kill.” Itou replied.

 

“Appear, Sleeper! Now negate Sora’s effects and gain his ATK plus 100. (Sleeper ATK: 0 -> 1900) Now, battle! Sleep Paralysis Sleeper! Attack Sora! At this moment, I can activate his effect to banish 1 ‘R.E.M.’ Spell/Trap Card from my Graveyard and gain your monsters ATK + 100. Furthermore, once again, Sleepwalker’s effect. I banish the last 2 ‘R.E.M.’ Spell/Trap Cards to return your Sora to the top of your Deck! Replay! Direct attack, Sleepers!”

 

“Ahhh! I can’t watch Kuroki lose!” Maya covered her eyes in fear. Itou watched closely as Kuroki was shaking.

 

“Come on Kuroki!!!!” Itou yelled. Kuroki looked to his left seeing his newly found friends from behind a counter watching him duel for his life. He was happy but sad. What was he going to do? His opponent was too strong for him. “You got this, Kuroki!”

 

“I… I got this.” Kuroki looked as the Sleepers launched themselves toward him. He was ready to make his final move.

 

 

Chapter 6: Rest Until You Awaken

 

 

Spoiler

 

“I activate my Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘Hyper Healing’. If I were to take damage, I gain that damage instead, furthermore, I get to draw 1 card if that damage is above 1000.” Kuroki drew a card and gained 1900 LP. (Kuroki’s LP: 600 -> 2500)

 

“Tch, then I shall attack you with the other Sleeper!” The man announced. (Kuroki’s LP: 2500 -> 600) Kuroki winced at his LP drop. “That ends my turn. Also, both my Sleepers have their ATK become normal again.” (Sleeper’s ATK: 1900 -> 0. Sleep Paralysis Sleeper’s ATK: 1900 -> 0.)

 

Turn 5

 

Kuroki

LP: 600

Hand: 1

Graveyard: 5

Banished: 3

 

???

LP: 2700

Hand: 1

Graveyard: 0

Banished: 5

 

“My turn, draw!” Kuroki thought to himself very carefully. This was going to be the last turn that determined everything. There are two Set cards on the other’s field. He has nothing but the two monsters he had beforehand. He had to do something correctly. He could use ‘Drive Form’ from the Graveyard, but then he can’t go into his Battle Phase. Furthermore, the next turn means that his opponent would be able to get another Sleeper for sure. So he had one chance to make everything go right. Kuroki took the first monster he had. Roxas.

 

“Your fate is sealed. You have no ways out of this anymore. You are done for.” The man proclaimed. But, Kuroki wasn’t giving up. He had to win this for the sleeping victim. Who knows how many are at his mercy?!

 

“Just… just who are you?” Kuroki asked looking up.

 

“Hmph, a wanderer collecting dreams. Something you’ll never see.”

 

Kuroki didn’t get it nor did he even know what he was talking about. It didn’t matter. Kuroki was going to stop him.

 

“I banish Goofy from my Graveyard to Special Summon Roxas from my hand! And when he is-”

 

“Trap Card activate! Breakthrough Skill!”

“Oh no!” Maya yelled.

 

“Wha?!” Kuroki was stupefied. He couldn’t believe it. No, he still had a chance. “I Normal Summon Sora! And with his effect I can Special Summon Drive Form Valor Sora from my Graveyard! Now, battle! Valor Sora, attack his regular Sleeper! Brave Blade!” (2500 vs 0)

 

“I activate my Trap Card, ‘R.E.M. Insomnia’. I target 1 ‘R.E.M.’ monster I control. I will target ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ and have its ATK increase by Roxas’s ATK because its effects are negated +100.” (Sleeper’s ATK: 0 -> 2600) Valor Sora then crashed into it but survived. (Kuroki’s LP: 600 -> 500)

 

“Ngh, I attack with Roxas on your Sleep Paralysis Sleeper!” (2500 vs 0) Roxas then used his two Keyblades and sliced it in half. (??? LP: 2700 -> 200)

 

“If I take battle damage, I can discard this card from my hand. ‘Monotonous Psycho’. (Level 1/LIGHT/Psychic/0/0) It increases my monster’s ATK by the damage I take, then I target 1 monster you control and it gets to attack the monster I choose on my side. And you can’t end the Battle Phase until it has attacked.”

 

Kuroki was frightened as the ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ gained so much ATK. He thought for sure he had it. “I’ll choose your star card, Sora. And of course my only monster.” (Sleeper’s ATK: 2600 -> 5100)

 

“I’ve lost…” Kuroki yelped in defeat. His Sora then jumped at the Sleeper as he couldn’t help but attack anyways. Then Sora was pushed back and exploded. (Kuroki’s LP: 500 -> 0)

 

Result: ??? Wins!

 

“This is the fate you have lost to. Sleep awaits, little one.” The mysterious man cackles as he puts forth his hand that glows in a yellow light. Suddenly, Kuroki feels dizzy and nauseated.

 

“Tell me… who are you?” Kuroki mutters with the last of his strength. His “friends” look in horror as he collapses screaming for him to get back up.

 

“My name… is Gungnir.”

 

“Wh-what did you do to him?!” Vance asked.

Gungnir looked at Vance as if he never did anything wrong. “I merely set him to sleep. His dreams will feed what I need.”

 

“What?!” Itou was ready to punch the guy. “Give him back!”

 

Gungnir denied him. Then, he walked away and vanished into nothingness.

 

“Wait!” However, Itou and the group were already too late. Instead, they witnessed Kuroki’s peaceful sleep on the Deck. They had to get him and the girl to safety.

 

It wasn’t long until they were sitting silently, waiting for the doctor to diagnose Kuroki’s condition. The empty noise was startling them. Itou stood up. Maya looked at him cautiously.

 

“I feel like I know what you are going to do,” Maya mumbled. The rest looked at her in shock, excluding Itou who only glared harder.

 

Itou started walking away from the group who were waiting outside. Then, the door opened and Itou turned around. The doctor stook a deep breath and thoroughly eyed everyone present.

 

“I have good news and bad news,” said the doctor. “The good news is, his conditions do not seem to be life threatening. The bad news is, we do not know what caused it.”

 

Itou clenched his teeth. He couldn’t stand it. Some guy just showed up and already placed his newly found rival into a deep sleep by winning a duel. He thought he would be the one to win against Kuroki, but it turned out otherwise. Kuroki lost to Gungnir. He had one choice.

 

“I’m going to duel Gungnir. He’s going to return Kuroki, whether he wants to or not.”

 

Maya, Vance, and Kintaro stared at him wide eyed as his statement hit their ears. They slowly stood up. “We’re here to support you, so do your best.” The doctor, confused at what was going on, simply asked.

 

“Who is this Gungnir? Are you all… okay?” He inquired. Maya shook her head.

 

“Oh don’t worry about a thing. We’ll be back later to check up on Kuroki. We just have some stuff to do right now.”

 

“Ah, uh okay.” The doctor excused himself from the group.

 

“Let’s go.” Itou commanded.


 

 

Chapter 7: Itou vs Gungnir, the Reality vs Dreams

 

Spoiler

 

Coming up to the Academy’s docks, Itou wasted no time searching the ship. Students unloaded the ship single file ready to start their life on Star Dueling Academy. However, Itou had one thing to do first. Find Gungnir. Alongside him, Maya was running after him following his every step. Kintaro and Vance split up to find Gungnir quicker.

 

Maya stopped and took a deep breath. “I’m-I’m tired…” Itou paused in his tracks and faced Maya.

 

“Then you stay here and tell me if he shows up. I’ll go ahead.” Maya nods acknowledging what to do. So Itou ran off and came upon the place where Kuroki had his duel against Gungnir. He surveyed the surrounding area seeing nothing. He closed his eyes, imaging the smirk Gungnir had on his face when he won the duel.

 

“You were looking for me?” A man said. Itou turned to the voice jumping back startled. Itou nodded cautiously.

 

“Yeah, I’m here to duel for Kuroki,” Itou said.

 

“Hmph, so you’re saying you will put your life on the line for him? Fine, then so be it.” Gungnir said nonchalantly. He walked back and readied his eerie duel disk.

 

Maya caught up wide-eyed seeing Gungnir. “Vance! Kintaro! Over here!” She called them over. They were at the edge of the ship carefully stepping side by side.

 

Itou nodded in assuring himself. “I’m going to make you pay. I’m taking him back! You’re undoing what you did to him at the end of this duel!”

 

“And you’ll lose your dreams if you lose to me.”

 

Itou scoffed at that. “Duel!” They both yelled.

 

Itou vs Gungnir

Rules: New Era Playstyle

LP: 4000

 

Turn 1

 

“You take the first move, Gungnir.” Itou commanded.

 

“Fine then.” Gungnir set 1 card face-down then ended his turn. “That’s all.”

 

Turn 2

 

“Suspicious!” Maya called out.

 

“Of course it is,” Vance rolled his eyes.

 

“My turn, draw!” Itou drew a card. “I activate the Spell Card, ‘Cosmic Cyclone’! I pay 1000 LP, then target 1 Spell or Trap Card you control and banish it.” (Itou’s LP: 4000 -> 3000)

 

“Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘N.R.E.M. Stage 3’. If I control no monsters, by discarding 1 ‘R.E.M.’ card from my hand to Special Summon ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ from my hand or Graveyard in Defense Position. (LIGHT/Psychic/Tuner/0/0)” Gungnir said. “Appear!”

 

“Tch!” Itou snickered. “But its effects missed its timing. If I control no monsters, I can Special Summon ‘Reality Rupture Dayream’! If Summoned this way, I cannot Special Summon monsters from my Extra Deck this turn, except Link Monsters. Its effect now activates; if it is Special Summoned from my hand, I can add 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck to my hand, and then send 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck to my Graveyard. I add ‘Reality Rupture Luciream’ to my hand and send ‘Reality Rupture Insignia’ from my Deck to my Graveyard. I now Normal Summon Luciream. When it is Normal Summoned, I can discard 1 card to Special Summon 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck. Come, Recuream, to the rightmost column! Now, I use Recuream and Dayream as the Link Material to Link Summon, Link 2, ‘Reality Rupture Dreahealream’! ‘Reality Rupture’ monsters this card points to can attack directly. Go! Luciream, direct attack! Lucid Reality! (Gungnir’s LP: 4000 -> 3400) Dreahealream, attack that monster!” Dreahealream swiped it with his hands and destroyed the Sleeper. “Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘Dual Reality’! By tributing 1 Link 3 or lower Psychic Link Monster I control, I can Special Summon all of its Link Materials from my Graveyard. Come back! Dayream, Recuream. Dayream, direct attack! Daydream Strike!” (Gungnir’s LP: 3400 -> 3300)

 

“Oh yes! Keep it going!” Maya cheered.

 

“Agh! You’ll regret it!” Gungnir shouted.

 

“Direct attack, Recuream! Recurring Nightmare! (Gungnir’s LP: 3300 -> 1800)”

 

“If that is all you got, then I am sorry, but it will be my-”

 

“My monster effect activates! Luciream lets me pick up a ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Graveyard to my hand when I deal battle damage! I’ll add ‘Reality Rupture Emptiream’! Its effect now activates. By discard this card and 2 other cards in my hand, I can Link Summon 1 Link Monster whose Link Rating is equal to the amount of cards I discarded using ‘Reality Rupture’ monsters I control. Link Summon, Link 3, my newest creation of reality, ‘Reality Rupture Prophetiream’!” (DARK/Psychic/Link 3/1600)

 

“Pitiful, it isn’t enough to defeat me!”

 

“That’s what you think! Direct attack! Prophecy of Realities!” (Gungnir’s LP: 1800 -> 200)

 

“Hahaha… hahahahahaha!” Itou stared content as he lowered his guard. He had nothing to fear. Gungnir was done for. “You will lose this duel.”

 

“Is that so? I end my turn.”

 

“My turn-”

 

“During my End Phase, if ‘Reality Rupture Insignia” was sent from my field or Deck to the Graveyard, you take 100 damage for each time I Link Summoned this turn.”

 

“What?! That’s… that’s 2!”

 

“That’ll be 200 damage to you.”

 

“No…! Grgh!! Fine, I lose this time. But next time I’ll pay you back!” (Gungnir’s LP: 200 -> 0) Gungnir threw a small blue orb at Itou and he caught it with ease. It shined brightly blinding the group of friends. As soon as their vision cleared, Gungnir had escaped.

 

“This… I hope it fixes Kuroki’s condition,” Itou muttered.

 

Result: Itou wins!

 

Walking along the corridors of the ship, they enter the room where Kuroki is sleeping. Itou took out the tiny blue orb and thrust it outwards towards Kuroki.

 

“Let’s hope it works,” Maya mumbled anxiously.

 

“It will,” Itou reaffirmed Maya.

 

“What if it doesn’t?” Kintaro said. “I mean, that guy had something up his sleeves. He must’ve rigged that orb.” The said orb shoned with luminescent light as the orb shattered and fell upon Kuroki like dust. While it seemed like nothing happened, Kintaro sighed. “I told you it wouldn’t work.”

 

“Ugh, maybe it won’t,” Itou looked over Kuroki’s sleeping face. “I swear, if he doesn’t wake up, I will throw Maya at him.”

 

Maya’s ears perked up. “W-wait! Why me?!”

 

Itou glared back. “Why not?” Then a small moan escaped Kuroki’s mouth as his eyelids struggled to open.

 

“He’s awake!” Vance proudly clapped his hands. As Itou helped Kuroki sit up in bed, Maya screamed in delight. She was excited that Kuroki was up and about now.

 

“Let’s celebrate by dueling!” Maya exclaimed. Kuroki groaned looking up at Maya groggily, hoping he didn’t hear what she had just said.

 

“What? Duel…? No… let me sleep,” Kuroki grumbled as he shifted the blankets to cover his entire body.

 

Maya pouted. She wanted to duel and get her revenge against Kuroki already. Itou laughed. He thought to himself why he cared a lot for Kuroki. It felt nostalgic to him. Just like the times be remembered from before. Itou snapped out of it as Kuroki waved a hand in front of him.

 

“We’re gonna be late if we don’t go,” Kuroki stated. Maya pushed Kuroki out of the way mumbling something along the lines of Kuroki being tired and wanting to go onto the island yet not actually dueling her. Itou gently lifted his head and softly curled his lips into a smile.

 

 

Chapter 8: The Duel of Hope

 

Spoiler

 

Itou could remember the things from his past. He didn’t know whether he himself could truly get over it. It was the one fateful day from years ago that he ran down the hill from the school he attended, ashamed he lost to the bullies he had proposed to beat in a duel to stop them from continuing their pranks on him. He cried and whimpered escaping the laughs that terrorized himself. He could still hear the faint mocks of the older boys inside his innocent mind, drowning him in sorrow.

 

Itou kept running away in the rain, without his favorite jacket he wore that his mother bought him for Christmas. It was a cold raining winter afternoon, dark and gloomy. The roars of the cars passing him gave him chills as it reminded him of the pain he had felt, losing as he was trying to stand up for himself. Suddenly, he bumped into another boy, who was waiting in the dark pouring storm.

 

“Ah! Are you okay?” Itou looked up to the voice as it shattered his inner thoughts. It was the boy, gently smiling upon him. “Are you hurt?” The boy asked once more.

 

Itou shook his head, denying that he himself was hurt by any cause. The him inside didn’t want anyone to know. He wanted to face it alone and be the big boy his mom expected him to be. Then he heard them coming. Itou once again, shook his head and began to run. However, the boy stopped him.

 

“Wait! What’s wrong?” He inquired. He looked at the mocking boys lounging about towards them and readied his duel disk. To Itou, it seemed the boy knew what was up. So he gave in.

 

“T-they’re bullying me…” Itou weakly spoke.

 

“Then, I won’t let them!”

 

“Oh look, it’s the chicken and it seems he’s hiding behind someone!” The group of troublesome boys cackled aloud. But the boy didn’t falter.

 

“Stop picking on people!” The boy yelled.

 

“Haha! Maybe I won’t if you beat me in a duel! But not like you can! I’m the Youth Championship of May City, Pit Boyn! Just run home, you punk and I won’t hurt you.”

 

The boy didn’t care. “Well, I’m Ho-” Everything fell silent then as Itou covered his ears. He didn’t want the boy to lose and get bullied like he did. But then he thought, who was this person?

 

“Ready yourself, you twerp. You’re gonna lose and cry to your mommy!” The bully said.

 

“We’ll see,” The boy grinned. “Don”t worry, I’ll do something about them.” He looked at Itou earnestly. Itou had never seen such sincerity in his life then. But then he heard the fateful words.

 

“Duel!”

 

The Boy vs Pit

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

“I’ll go first!” Pit drew his first card. “Just watch! You’re gonna lose! I Normal Summon ‘Eternal Surfer’. (WATER/Aqua/Level 4/1200/1600) I also Set 2 cards face-down and end my turn!”

 

Pit

LP: 4000

Hand: 2

Field: 3

GY: 0

 

Turn 2

 

The boy drew his card. “I activate the Spell Card, ‘Reinforcement of the Army’! With it, I can add 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster from my Deck to my hand! I’ll add ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer’!” (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 4/1800/1500) I then Normal Summon it! His effect activates, when he is Normal Summoned, I can Special Summon 1 “Keyblade” monster from my hand or GY. From my hand, out comes Goofy! (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 4/1500/1900)

 

“Huh?! What kind of deck is that?!” Pit cackled aloud. “They look stupid.”

 

“They may look stupid to you, but they are cool to me!” The boy then took a card from his hand and sent it to the GY. “Goofy’s effect, by discarding a LIGHT monster, I can add 1 LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK or less from my Deck to my hand. I’ll take Donald!” Pit started to look annoyed with the weird boy he was dueling against. “Battle! Goofy, attack ‘Eternal Surfer’. Goofy Bash!” With the boy’s command, Goofy used his shield and whacked the Eternal Surfer into the air, resulting in an explosion. (Pit’s LP: 4000 -> 3700)

 

“‘Eternal Surfer’s’ effect! If he is destroyed by battle or card effects while he is in my possession, I can Special Summon 1 monster with 1500 ATK or less that has a different monster Type than it from my Deck! Come on, ‘Eternal Fairies’!” (EARTH/Plant/Level 1/400/300) Pit leered at the determined boy. Itou knew what Pit was going to do.

 

“Watch out! He’s going to Ritual Summon!” Itou called out to the boy. In response, the boy turned around smiling, unshaken. There wasn’t a hint of fear.

 

“Shut up loser! He can’t beat me anyways! If my Fairies are Special Summoned, they get to bring out another one of my monsters with 1500 ATK or less from my Deck. Eternal Wish! ‘Eternal Shadow Slayer’. (DARK/Fiend/Level 6/900/2000) Now, if he is Special Summoned, I can Ritual Summon 1 ‘Eternal' Ritual Monster from my hand by Tributing monsters in my hand or field whose total Levels equal or exceed 10. I Tribute itself, ‘Eternal Fairies’, and from my hand ‘Eternal Phoenix’ (FIRE/Winged Beast/Level 3/1400/300/Tuner). Ritual Summon! He, who is eternal has come! You, who will be beaten, will be gone! Level 7, ‘Eternal Hollow Steed’. (DARK/Zombie/Level 7/2400/1900)”

 

“Ah! That thing…!” Itou screamed aloud. The boy stood his ground unfaltered, facing the large knight riding a dark horse spewing darkness from its mouth and eyes.

 

“I Set 2 cards face-down and end my turn!” The boy said.

 

Turn 3

 

The Boy

LP: 4000

Hand: 2

Field: 4

GY: 2

 

Pit

LP: 3700

Hand: 0

Field: 3

GY: 4

 

Pit drew his card from his Deck. “I activate my Spell Card from my hand, ‘Eternal Banishment’. I banish 1 ‘Eternal' monster from my GY and then target 1 monster you control and 1 Spell/Trap Card you control, and destroy them. I’ll target your Sora and that face-down on my right.”

 

The boy looked at the targeted Trap Card. “...My ‘Keyblade Chronicles’.” Sora and the face-down vanished into darkness as Pit banished his ‘Eternal Shadow Slayer’.

 

“Now, battle! Hollow Steed, Rush Lance!” The knight used his lance and pierced it through Goofy, destroying him. (The Boy’s LP: 4000 -> 3100) The Boy winced as he felt a slight pain in his stomach. “When my Steed destroys a monster by battle, I can Special Summon 1 ‘Eternal’ monster from my GY! I Special Summon ‘Eternal Fairies’! Since it was Special Summoned, I can Special Summon ‘Eternal Surfer’ from my Deck!”

 

“What?! No!” The Boy felt the danger coming. Itou tugged at his arm.

 

“Just stop the duel… you don’t need to do this for me,” Itou cried. But the boy wouldn’t accept it.

 

“I won’t! I’ll beat him, I promise!” His smile shined through Itou.

 

“J-just who are you?” Itou asked.

 

“Haha, my name is Kuroki,” he answered.

 

“Gr, are you forgetting you’re in a duel?!” Pit growled. “Agh, whatever! I’m finishing you off soon enough! If ‘Eternal Surfer’ is Special Summoned, I can conduct a Fusion Summon using monsters I control or in my hand, including this card! Using ‘Eternal Surfer’ and ‘Eternal Hollow Steed’, I Fuse them together to make, ‘Eternal Psy-Sky Knight’! (WIND/Psychic/Level 8/2800/1700) Furthermore, if Hollow Steed is sent from my field to the GY, I can destroy 1 monster I control to Special Summon it. I destroy Fairies! Revive! Now with Fairies effect, if it is destroyed by battle or card effects, I can Special Summon 1 monster from my Deck with a different Type who has 1500 ATK or less.”

 

“This is it, Kuroki. You’ve lost…,” Itou mumbled falling to his knees.

 

“Not yet, I am not. I still have LP.”

 

“Hmph, tough guy you think you are, you puny twerp. Watch when I make you beg for forgiveness!” Pit laughed mockingly. “I bring out ‘Eternal Phoenix’ from my Deck! Now, attack ‘Eternal Psy-Sky Knight’! Psychic Blessing!”

 

“I activate my Trap Card from my GY! ‘Keyblade Chronicles’! When an attack is declared, I can banish this card and make all battle damage I take from that 1 battle halved! Furthermore, after damage calculations, I Special Summon 1 ‘Keyblade' monster from my GY.” The slashes sliced through Kuroki leaving him slightly tattered. (Kuroki’s LP: 3100 -> 1700) “Come, Sora!”

 

“Sky Knight’s effect! Once per turn, when a monster is Special Summoned, I can pay 1000 LP to target that monster and banish it! (Pit: 3700 -> 2700)”

 

“As if! I activate the Counter Trap Card, ‘Reflega'. If a card effect is activated that targets a ‘Keyblade' monster I control, I can pay 1000 LP to negate its activation and banish it!” Sky Knight was hit by the Reflega that shielded Sora and dissolved. (Kuroki’s LP: 1700 -> 700) “Now that Sora is Special Summoned, I can add 1 ‘Keyblade' monster from my Deck to my hand. I add ‘Mickey the Keyblade King’.”

 

“Tch, Hollow Steed, attack that Sora!” Sora was then flipped into the air with the knight’s lance and destroyed. (Kuroki’s LP: 700 -> 100) “Now finish the job, Phoenix!”

 

“Uh huh… when a LIGHT monster I control is destroyed by battle, I can Special Summon Mickey from my hand! (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 7/2550/2100) And if I do, I can target 1 monster in either player’s GY, and revive it to my field. I’ll take Sora!” Kuroki laughed with a great hope in his eyes.

 

“No! Fine, I’ll end my turn.”

 

Turn 4

 

Kuroki

LP: 100

Hand: 2

Field: 1

GY: 2

Banished: 1

 

Pit

LP: 2700

Hand: 0

Field: 4

GY: 4

Banished: 1

 

“Draw!” Kuroki looked at his hand and smiled. “I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘Light-Filled Darkness’. I banish 1 LIGHT or DARK monster from my hand and then target 1 face-up LIGHT or DARK monster I control. Its ATK is doubled, but during the End Phase, it is banished. I banish Donald and use it on Mickey! (ATK: 2550 -> 5100)”

 

“N-no! I activate the Trap Card, ‘Eternal Shield’. I destroy 1 ‘Eternal' monster I control so that this turn I cannot take damage!”

 

“Oh? I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card, ‘Locked Keyblade’. By banishing 1 face-up Keyblade monster I control,” Sora then dissipated. “I can negate the effects of other cards on the field of 1 card type for the rest of this turn, choosing Monster, Spell, or Trap. I choose Traps.”

 

“W-wait!!!” Pit struggled to hold himself still as he saw himself about to lose. “Phoenix effect… I Special Summon ‘Eternal Messiah’ in Defense Position…” (LIGHT/Fairy/Level 7/1500/2400)

 

“You’re just delaying the inevitable. I said I was going to win. So I am going to win! And you’ll stop bullying him and anyone else from today onwards!” Kuroki roared ferociously.

 

“Battle! Mickey, attack ‘Eternal Hollow Steed’! Pearl of Light!”

 

(5100 -> 2400 = 2700. Pit’s LP: 2700 -> 0)

 

Mickey shot out bursts of light around and covered the surroundings in white. As soon as it was over, Pit was already on his knees. Kuroki walked over to Pit.

 

Result: Kuroki wins!

 

“Now, will you stop bullying him?” Kuroki asked with a soft voice, soothing Pit’s heart. Pit nodded lowly, sniffling that he lost as the Youth Champion of May City. “Good! Be friends from now on, okay?”

 

Pit nodded and walked over to the dazed Itou, surprised that Kuroki pulled a win. “Tch, l-let’s be friends…”

 

Itou looked behind Pit seeing Kuroki waving goodbye as he walked off. However, Itou’s world was brightened by just one duel. Kuroki ran towards the distant light as Itou snapped out of his dream.

 

Looking around, Itou felt slightly dazed. He was casually walking about the campus of the island Star Dueling Academy with Kuroki and others around him. He snickered at the thoughts he had. He had just reunited with the one person who had given him hope. And surely, he was going to keep it that way.

 

Chapter 9: Undying Love - The Figurative Heart of the Cards

 

Spoiler

 

Kuroki sat at the stadium inside the academy, waiting for everyone else to finally gather together for the latest announcements. That’s when he saw Portman entering the stage.

 

“I’ll thank you all for gladly taking parts in duels the two days that you were on the cruise trip here. And to congratulate you all, I shall choose the one who has piqued my interest, and host a mock duel! It’ll be between, our 2nd year, Kishiki Okimura, and our newest 1st years, Kuroki Kudou! They shall handle the duel that will inspire you all! Please report back here tomorrow at 4 pm sharp. After classes begin and end of course.”

 

Kuroki felt eyes leering and glaring at him. He could sense the tension between him and his peers who were most obviously jealous for some odd reason. Who was the guy he was supposed to duel tomorrow? He didn’t know anyone by that name at all. In fact, he didn’t know anyone’s name but the few he met and hung out with on the trip. His feet took him up and led him towards the counseling center, where the students were to pick up their schedule and get their IDs, alongside their dorm room number.

 

“Name?” The secretary asked.

 

“Kuroki Kudou.” He answered, looking around for anyone he may recognize.

 

“Here you go. There is your ID, dorm room key, and a telepad, given out by the Star School Administrative Committee. Your dorm room number is located on the back of the key, and if you have any questions, call the number on the bottom of the telepad and our staff will answer. Do you have any questions for me?”

 

“Hm, not at the moment. Thank you ma’am.” Kuroki slightly bowed thanking her.

 

“You’re welcome. Now have a great day. Next!”

 

Kuroki blindly walked around campus thinking of any ways of improving his deck. But then again, he needed a place to go before spreading out his cards. He looked around and opened up his telepad. Turning over his key, he was located in dorm F16. On his telepad, that had meant he was by the cliffside of the island, looking down at the beach. It was past a fork and a small branch of forestry. So Kuroki turned the direction of the dorm, following the now dirt path, directly away from the academy building.

 

Without thinking, he turned to his left as if on instinct. Looking through bushes and trees, there wasn’t anything remotely worth mentioning. But Kuroki felt as if eyes were lurking on him. Slightly disgusted at the feeling, he paced himself faster down the dirt road. Soon enough, he reached the dorm. It was slightly run down, but it had 6 stories. Every floor had 4 rooms, meaning his must’ve been on the 4th floor.

 

Kuroki approached the normal looking door, feel much at ease since his walk from the academy. He hadn’t seen much of Itou, Maya, Kintaro, and Vance today. But he was sure they would be watching his duel tomorrow.

 

‘Just why did it have to be me? Is it because I beat Professor Portman himself?’ Kuroki thought to himself. He scrounged his pocket for his dorm keys and unlocked the door. Pushing it open, the door swung back at him hitting him in the face head-on. The injured Kuroki stumbled backwards wondering what made the door swing back at himself. Then he realized that there was a body on the ground.

 

Kuroki screeched aloud, afraid that he had found a murdered body. But the body winced and moved over allowing the door to be opened fully. It was a guy, taller than Kuroki, with blue eyes and brown hair, flattened down, yet flowing everywhere like bed hair. He seemed to have been sleeping.

 

“Ahhhhh… are you the new student?” Kuroki was, first of all, surprised. He looked down at the guy, whom was oddly only in boxers.

 

‘Who was this weirdo?’ Kuroki grumbled to himself some words.

 

“Ah, let me introduce myself. My name is Ryuta O’Hara. I’m a second year here! Yay!!! I get a cute first year as a roommate!!!” Said Ryuta leapt up in the air, as tired as he was, excitedly as he spread his arms wide to hug the slightly frightened Kuroki. It wasn’t comfortable to him.

 

Kuroki pushed himself away patting himself down and letting himself in. He tossed his bags on the seemingly comfy couch and turned to his new roommate. “Ahem, my name is-”

 

“Kuroki Kudou!” Ryuta happily yelled while flailing his arms around said boy.

 

Kuroki sighed and then thought about it. “Why do you know my name?! Heck, everyone seems to know my name before I know them!”

 

“Awwww. Little first year is mad. Haha. Well, I can answer for you, at least on my part.”

 

“Please do.”

 

“Well, I heard I was getting a first year as a roommate just last week. And since I haven’t had a roommate since the beginning of my first year, I researched as much as I could by going through your files in the school database, your health records, and I even know your likes and dislikes. Like how you hate mushrooms.”

 

“You’re a creepy senpai!” Kuroki cried. “And that is in violation of my privacy!!”

 

“Aw, don’t be like that. I promise I’ll give you your personal space.”

 

“Good! And we better keep it that way.”

 

Kuroki took out a small tin, containing his extra cards for his Keyblade Deck. His one and only Deck he has used. He searched around his cards looking through the Fusions, Synchros, Xyz, Pendulums, and even Links, which he somewhat despised before the New Era Playstyle rulings had been released.

 

“Oh, are you preparing for your duel tomorrow?” Ryuta asked. Kuroki hummed and nodded in response. “Ah, about that duel. You’re probably going to have trouble against your opponent.”

 

“Why do you say that?” Kuroki asked.

 

“Because the guy you are dueling uses a Romanticdere Deck.” Kuroki eyed Ryuta.

 

“Come again?”

 

“You’ll find out.”

 

“As Yugi Muto once put it, you must have the heart of the cards. And with that, you can bring about miracles!” Ryuta’s eyes sparkled in glittering happiness.

 

“Oh please. What matters now is consistency and power. Not miracles. We can’t rely on the luck of the draw.” Kuroki muttered.

 

“Haha, so you say. But I think you’ll come to understand it, my underclassman.” Ryuta rubbed Kuroki’s hair around, making it ruffled.

 

“Hm, sure…”

 

A few seconds passed with awkward silence, while Kuroki stared at his cards and Ryuta happily watching Kuroki do his thing. Then Kuroki faced Ryuta. “Can you not? Like not look at me while I am focusing?”

 

“Ehhhhh? But I’m bored.”

 

“If you’re bored, go do something.” Kuroki bit back his tongue before impulsively insulting his roommate.

 

Ryuta pouted and looked down laying on his still exposed stomach. He sighed, not knowing what to do at the moment. Suddenly, an idea popped up in his mind.

 

“Oh, Kuroki…” Ryuta whispered in his ears. In response, Kuroki pushed Ryuta away, swatting him like a fly.

 

“What is it?” Kuroki grumbled.

 

“Let’s duel, for your practice, and as a congratulatory duel for getting in!” Ryuta couldn’t help but smile, and so for Kuroki. A duel may help him set his deck for tomorrow, so he couldn’t help but do the same as Ryuta.

 

“Fine… we can duel. On one condition.” Kuroki grinned. Ryuta blinked. “You have to cook me something. I’ll be hungry afterwards!” Ryuta chuckled.

 

“Sure!” Ryuta grabbed his deck and his duel disk, and proceeded to drag Kuroki outside with him as he already had his duel disk and deck on hand. Standing on a small field of grass, just behind the dorm facing the ocean, both boys inserted their Decks into the Deck slots. “You ready, underclassman?”

 

“Hmph, yeah.” Kuroki cracked his knuckles preparing himself.

 

“Alright then, let’s…”

 

“Duel!”

 

Kuroki vs Ryuta

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

“Since you’re the underclassman, as the senpai here, you go first.”

 

“Fine by me,” Kuroki said. He looked at his starting hand. He had Sora already and ‘Drive Form’. All he needed was Donald or Goofy in his hand. He took his ‘High Drive’ and activated it. “From my hand, I activate the Spell Card, ‘High Drive’. I send 1 ‘Drive’ card from my hand or field to the GY and then draw 2 cards. I’ll send ‘Drive Recovery’ from my hand to the GY and then draw.” He looked at his hand again. He drew Donald and ‘Drive Revert’. “Okay… I’ll activate the Spell Card ‘Drive Form’ from my hand to Drive Summon my Drive Form monsters from my Extra Deck using monsters I control and in my hand as materials.”

 

“Oh? This is quite new for me. I’ve never seen such cards. Haha!” Ryuta laughed softly.

 

“Well, here’s your first time. I will Fusion Summon. Using Sora as the catalyst with Donald as the power, Sora can reach a new form to fight. Blessed with the wisdom of light, may you bring down your judgement, Drive Fusion Summon! Level 6, ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’! (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 6/2100/1400) I’ll set 2 cards face-down and end my turn!”

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Field: 3

GY: 4

 

“Hmmmm, now it’s my turn. Draw!” Ryuta eyed his hands and pouted, making kissy faces to Kuroki. “You better be going easy on senpai! He’s not in his best form right now.”

 

Kuroki cocked his head. “I need to go all out or else, I am going to lose my duel against Kishiki Okimura tomorrow. So you need to do your best too.”

 

“Awwww, but I don’t wanna hurt my kouhai.”

 

“What… was with the switch between… underclassman and kouhai?” But Kuroki could feel an immense atmosphere forming around Ryuta.

 

“I activate the Field Spell ‘Crownstar Darkauditorium’. When it is activated, I can send 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from my hand to the GY, then send 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from my Deck to the GY. I’ll send ‘Crownstar Brocadrai’ (DARK/Aqua/Level 3/1400/1500) from my hand and ‘Crownstar Flannel’ (DARK/Aqua/Level 4/1500/300) from my Deck to the GY.”

 

“Crownstars huh? So it’s going to be a lot of GY and shuffling, and then there’s the burn. Though, now is not the time to activate Sora’s effect.” Kuroki mumbled to himself.

 

“If ‘Flannel' is sent from my hand or Deck to the GY: I can Special Summon it. I now Normal Summon ‘Crownstar Damaskian’. (DARK/Aqua/Level 4/1700/600) When he is Normal Summoned, I can discard 1 card to send 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from my Deck to the GY and add 1 ‘Crownstar' card from my Deck to my hand. I’ll send Brocadrai and add ‘Crownstar Encore’. I’ll also chain Brocadrai’s effect in my GY to it, and shuffle Flannel into my Deck to Special Summon it. Darkauditorium can send Brocadrai to your GY. Since a card was sent to your GY, Brocadrai inflicts 100 damage to you, and since Darkauditorium had it sent to your GY, it also inflicts 100 damage to you. (Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 3800) Also, because Brocadrai activated his effect, Damaskian inflicts 100 damage to you too! (Kuroki’s LP: 3800 -> 3700) Since Flannel was shuffled into my Deck, I can send 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from my Deck to the GY, except itself.”

 

“Oh come on!”

 

“I send ‘Crownstar Denima’ (DARK/Aqua/Level 2/700/1700) to the GY. Darkauditorium! (Kuroki’s LP: 3700 -> 3600) Brocadrai! (Kuroki’s LP: 3600 -> 3500) Damaskian! (Kuroki’s LP: 3500 -> 3400)”

 

“Agh, this burn damage is annoying! Grah! I should have negated Darkauditorium!”

 

“Now I activate ‘Crownstar Encore’!”

 

“I’ll negate it with Sora’s effect. When a Spell/Trap is activated: I can negate the activation and destroy it.”

 

“Ah! Aw… but Damaskian’s effect. Since a monster effect was activated, you take 100 more damage!” Ryuta winked at Kuroki.

 

“Ngh!” (Kuroki’s LP: 3400 -> 3300)

 

“I’ll end my turn!”

 

Turn 3

 

Kuroki

LP: 3300

Hand: 0

Field: 3

GY: 6

 

Ryuta

LP: 4000

Hand: 1

Field: 3

GY: 2

 

“I’ll draw!” Kuroki looked at his one card in hand. ‘If I want to win, what can I do? The Brocadrai and Denima in my GY are there for some reason. But why? He must have something up his sleeve. Now calm down, me… it’s just a practice duel.’

 

 

Chapter 10: Damaskian, Darkauditorium and Brocadrai: Ryuta’s Set!

 

 

Spoiler

 

Turn 3

 

“Alright, I’ll activate from my hand, the Spell Card, my second ‘High Drive’! I send 1 ‘Drive' card from my hand or field to the GY, and draw 2 cards. I’ll send ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’!” Kuroki drew 2 more cards.

 

“Wow, a second ‘High Drive’?” Ryuta chuckled.

 

“Yeah, and with this Sora’s effect, if he is sent from the field to the GY. I can draw 1 card.”

 

“Since a monster effect was activated, you take 100 damage from Damaskian. And since cards were sent to your GY, you take 100 damage for each from Brocadrai!” Kuroki winced as blasts of water sprayed onto him, drenching him. (Kuroki’s LP: 3300 - > 3000)

 

“Now, I activate the Field Spell Card ‘Mark of Mastery’. While I control a ‘Keyblade' monster, all effect damage dealt becomes halved. Now, once per turn, I can banish 1 Spell Card from my GY to add 1 Level 4 or lower ‘Keyblade' monster from my Deck to my hand. I banish ‘High Drive’ to add Goofy. And with ‘High Drive’, because it was banished, I can Special Summon 1 ‘Sora - The Keyblade Bearer’ from my GY. Since Sora was Special Summoned, I get to add 1 ‘Keyblade' monster from my Deck to my hand. I’ll add Roxas!”

 

“Hehe, since a monster effect was activated, you take 100 damage.”

 

“However, with ‘Mark of Mastery’, the damage is halved.” The mysterious tower shined with magic as it pushed some of the water away. (Kuroki’s LP: 3000 -> 2950)

 

“Now, I activate the Spell Card ‘Drive Form’! I will now Fusion Summon! With Sora as the catalyst and Goofy as the power, Sora can reach a new level of strength! Drive Fusion Summon. Level 7, ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade of Valor’! (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 7/2500/1900)”

 

“You take 100 damage for each card sent to the GY!”

 

“Ngh, the damage is halved!” (Kuroki’s LP: 2950 -> 2850)

 

“Next, I activate Sora’s effect. By discarding 1 card and banishing the top 2 cards of my Deck, I can destroy 1 other monster on the field and we both take damage equal to its ATK. But this Sora cannot attack this turn. But with my Field Spell, the damage is halved. I’ll destroy Brocadrai! We both take 700 damage.”

 

(Kuroki’s LP: 2850 -> 2150. Ryuta’s LP: 4000 -> 3300) “Since you activated a monster’s effect, you take 50 damage.” (Kuroki’s LP: 2150 -> 2100)

 

“I’ll now activate my Set Trap Card. ‘The Shallow Ritual’. Each player chooses 1 Spell/Trap Card in their GY and adds it to their hand. I’ll choose ‘Drive Form’.”

 

“I’ll take ‘Crownstar Encore’.”

 

“Now, I activate my other Set Quick-Play Spell, ‘Light of the Keyblade’. By banishing 1 ‘Drive' card from my hand and 1 Spell/Trap I control, I can banish 2 cards you control, and you take 1000 damage. Say goodbye Damaskian, Darkauditorium.”

 

Ryuta pouted. “You’re not going easy on senpai here…” He acted as if he was going to cry but it didn’t matter to Kuroki. He was going to win the duel to prove that he was strong enough to beat Kishiki. “Ah, Mark of Mastery halves all effect damage.” Ryuta cheekily smiled. (Ryuta’s LP: 3300 -> 2800)

 

“Hmoh, I banish Donald from my GY to Special Summon ‘Roxas - The Keyblade of Destiny’ from my hand. Now, I direct attack with Roxas! Dual Arcanum!” Roxas charged both his Keyblades and rushed at Ryuta, swiftly hitting Ryuta many times relentlessly before falling back. (Ryuta’s LP: 2800 -> 300)

 

“Agh, I told you to take it easy on me…” Kuroki looked away, not caring. “My turn ends here. It’s your turn.”

 

Turn 4

 

Kuroki

LP: 2100

Hand: 0

Field: 1

GY: 10

Banished: 3

 

Ryuta

LP: 300

Hand: 2

Field: 0

GY: 5

 

Ryuta drew his card as calm as ever, with the hint of brightness shining off his cool smile. “Draw! I activate the Spell Card, ‘Crownstar Rehearsal’. By revealing any number of other ‘Crownstar' cards in my hand, I shuffle them into my Deck and draw cards equal to the amount shuffled into the Deck plus 1 more. I reveal, ‘Crownstar Tartan’ (DARK/Aqua/Level 1/500/200) and ‘Crownstar Encore’. Now I shuffle, and draw.” Kuroki was surprised. He knew what was up. Tartan would activate his effect to Special Summon a ‘Crownstar' monster from his Deck since it was shuffled into the Deck, and then that Summoned monster would gain 1000 ATK. Ryuta drew 3 cards. “Tartan’s effect activates. If he is shuffled into the Deck, I get to Special Summon 1 ‘Crownstar' monster except itself and it gains 1000 ATK. I Special Summon my third ‘Crownstar Brocadrai’ (DARK/Aqua/Level 3/1400/1500). Now it gains 1000 ATK. (1400 -> 2400) I then activate another ‘Crownstar Rehearsal’ that I just drew. I shuffle Flannel and ‘Crownstar Partnership’ in my hand to my Deck, and draw 3 cards. ‘Crownstar Partnership’s’ effect activates. If it is shuffled into my Deck, I get to draw 1 card.” Ryuta smiled nonchalantly while drawing his next card. He looked at it and chuckled. “Oh boy, it looks like I might win this one!”

 

“Tch, what did you get?” Kuroki asked.

 

“Don’t worry about it,” replied Ryuta. “I now Normal Summon ‘Crownstar Damaskian’ and activate his effect. I ditch 1 card in order to send 1 ‘Crownstar' monster from my Deck to the GY, and add 1 ‘Crownstar' card from my Deck to my hand. I’ll send Flannel and add ‘Crownstar Darkauditorium’. I now activate Flannel’s effect to Special Summon itself since it was sent to the GY from my hand or Deck. Are you ready? I activate the Field Spell, Darkauditorium!”

 

Kuroki’s head popped a vain. He was already hating this duel as much as he loved to duel. “Come on…”

 

“Haha, time for a Link Summon. I use Damaskian, Flannel, and Brocadrai as Link Markers. Come, through the waters of the world. From the aura of songs, bring forth the vast beauty. Link Summon. Link 3, ‘Crownstar Corduroy’. Also, I send the 3 monsters used to Link Summon to your GY and inflict 100 damage for each.”

 

“As if… it’ll be halved!” Kuroki puffed and choked on his breath as he was splashed by more water. (Kuroki’s LP: 2100 -> 1950) “I banish ‘Crownstar Debut’ from my GY.”

 

“Wait, what? When did you? No, it was when you used Damaskian!” Kuroki gasped. Ryuta grinned.

 

“Yes! Now we both send 3 cards from the top of each our Deck to the GY.” Ryuta pulled said 3 cards and so did Kuroki. He looked at them and frowned.

 

“I could have used those.”

 

“Yeah? Well, since a ‘Crownstar' monster was sent to the GY by this effect, I can Special Summon it. Come, ‘Crownstar Damaskian’! To below Corduroy.” Suddenly, Corduroy grew a bit bigger. (Corduroy’s ATK: 2000 -> 2400) I also send the other ‘Crownstar' monster to your GY, and you take 100 damage for each.”

 

“It’s halved!” Kuroki said.

 

“I know that!” Ryuta made a sad face and went back to a happy face. (Kuroki’s LP: 1950 -> 1900) “Battle! Corduroy, attack Sora! Rising Splash!” Corduroy rose up his arms and backflipped onto Sora and kicked him out of the way. “At this moment, I activate ‘Crownstar Tartan’s’ effect in my hand. I discard it to let my Corduroy gain 1000 ATK.” Ryuta eyed Kuroki at his reaction. Kuroki felt slightly uneased.

 

“My Sora would lose then!” (Corduroy’s ATK: 2400 -> 3400)

 

“Yes, my kouhai! Yours would lose. And also, since a monster effect was activated. You take 100 damage.”

 

“It is halved! For the last time, it’s halved due to ‘Mark of Mastery’!” (Kuroki’s LP: 1900 -> 1850)

 

“Hahaha, oh underclassmen. Darkauditorium!” Tartan then appeared and went inside Kuroki’s GY. “You take another 50 then.”

 

(Kuroki’s LP: 1850 -> 1800) “So battle continues then…” Kuroki grumbled.

 

Ryuta nodded. Corduroy spun in the air and kicked Sora to the side winning that battle. (Kuroki’s LP: 1800 -> 900) “Now the effect of my sent ‘Hidden Second’. The Trap Card sent by Debut. If my monster dealt battle damage this turn, it gets to make a second attack once in a row.”

 

“Wait, what?!” Sora was still there standing. “...Sora’s effect makes him invulnerable to battle.”

 

“Haha, and you have Roxas too. But it’s the end!” Kuroki clenched his teeth. He was going to lose again. But he smiled.

 

“Well, I guess I lost but I learned something.” Kuroki laughed as the incoming Corduroy attacked Sora once again.

 

“Yeah, is that so kouhai? That’s good then.”

 

“If I had that, I would make a comeback, but I don’t have it in my GY.” Kuroki stretched as Sora lost the fight against Corduroy once again. He stared at Ryuta. Ryuta began walking towards Kuroki slowly.

 

(3400 - 2500 = 900. Kuroki’s LP: 900 -> 0)

 

Result: Ryuta wins!

 

Kuroki scratched his head looking at Ryuta. “Heart of the cards huh? You really think that is what matters sometimes?” Kuroki asked. Ryuta nodded, confirming Kuroki. “Heh, if that is so, then you were pretty lucky with that last turn.”

 

“So I was! I’m telling you, it’s real. Even Yugi Muto has lived to prove it!” Ryuta laughed as he pulled Kuroki up. He stared into Kuroki’s eyes as even Kuroki stared back. “Let’s get cooking, shall we?”

 

“I am too?”

 

“Yes! Yes you are! You are helping me cook for us both.”

 

“Eh?! But I lost…” Kuroki mumbled.

 

“So? I have to cook you your welcome meal!” Ryuta hugged Kuroki tightly.

 

Kuroki’s ears perked up and he laughed. “You’re so weird.”


 

 

Chapter 11: Yielding Romance

 

 

Spoiler

 

Kuroki woke up in a dazed stance as he peered around his room. While wiping his eyes with one arm, his other searched for his phone and telepad. Feeling nothing on his nightstand next to his bed, he squinted over at said nightstand slightly annoyed that he may have lost his tech items. Kuroki jumped out of bed in a hurry and searched his room for his missing stuff. Yet, everywhere he looked, nothing was found. Kuroki slumped down, and dragged his feet across the carpet floor to his bedroom door, whining about something among the likes of his sleep and time. Then he realized. Today was tomorrow from yesterday, which meant he had a duel against the popular second year, Kishiki Okimura. He turned around to his desk and blinked. His deck was missing.

 

‘Where are all my things?!’ Kuroki thought to himself angrily. He slammed his bedroom door open in pursuit of whomever had taken his stuff. He entered the small living room looking to the right. Kuroki blinked. And once again, he blinked. And yet, once again, he blinked. He could not believe his eyes. Maya was in his assigned dorm room, dueling Ryuta on the table in a small scale board with Ryuta using Kuroki’s deck. The boy could not be more furious than he already was. Slamming on the table, he poked Ryuta out of the way and grabbed his cards forcefully from the table and Ryuta’s hand.

 

“Don’t go through my shit!” Kuroki gritted his teeth, seething in fury. He spun around and ran into his bedroom. Holding his cards preciously, he mumbled to himself. Ryuta knocked on the door quietly, as Maya took her stuff and slowly walked out the front door.

 

“You okay in there, kouhai??” Ryuta whispered, knowing full well that Kuroki was just on the other side of the door.

 

Kuroki smacked the door in response, not caring what impression he gave. “You took my deck without my permission! Now where are my other stuff?!” Screamed Kuroki. Ryuta jumped back at the disheartened noise.

 

“Is that deck something personal to you?”

 

Kuroki scrunched his nose and looked in a different direction, needing to focus on another thing. “Just give me my phone and telepad…”

 

After some shuffling from Ryuta, he slipped the phone and telepad under the door. Kuroki grabbed them and turned the phone on inspecting the time listed. It was 9:23 AM. Then Ryuta spoke up. “I didn’t take your phone. You just forgot it on the table last night after we ate dinner together.”

 

Kuroki faced the door. He was slightly confused. So he had knocked out yesterday after they ate. Kuroki thought about it for a moment. ‘Was I that tired?’

 

“You seemed really fatigued yesterday night,” Ryuta said.

 

“S-so I did, huh,” Kuroki unlocked the door and brought it opened, looking straight up at Ryuta. “M-my duel i-is in an hour. Come see me…” Kuroki walked past Ryuta with his deck and duel disk in hand.

 

“You’re gonna walk out in that though? You’re kind of bold.” Not knowing what Ryuta meant, Kuroki looked down on himself, as he was still in boxers and a white tee. He cleared his throat and scuffled back into his room, closing it behind him to get dressed. “Hahaha, I’ll meet you over there then. See ya!”

 

“Yeah, see you there.” Kuroki opened drawers and took out navy blue socks and his school attire alongside a white jacket. “This’ll do.” He muttered to himself.

 

Running out of the dorm, he armed himself with his duel disk heading towards the academy building. Not seeing a sight of Ryuta and Maya from earlier, he thought they must’ve been at the stadium already. So Kuroki scurried on over. As he opened the entrance door into the building, he came upon a majestic looking boy dancing around the center of the main hall alone. Kuroki rubbed his eyes, checking if he was dreaming. And suddenly, the mysterious dancing male went down on his knees while magically springing flowers from his hand. The boy graciously proposed to Kuroki.

 

Kuroki, shocked at the suggestion, froze unable to speak. “Would you care to marry me?”

 

“W-what?!” Kuroki cried.

 

“Oh wait, you’re a guy,” The boy said. “My mistake. I’ll be on my way now.”

 

Kuroki hesitantly stared at the boy walking away into a hall on the right. Shaking his head in confusion, he continued his way into the building by going to the hall on his left. Kuroki intensely inspected each door for the “Stadium Hall” sign. “No… no… no… oh yes!” Kuroki clapped as he found the sign and the two large doors that was beside it. He opened the doors inwards and proceeded. Lights blinded him as he entered. There were voices cheering everywhere. But those weren’t the cheers for him. It was for the popular second-year, Kishiki.

 

“Students! To honor the newest assets to the academy, let’s begin our very first official duel of the year in this stadium. Welcome our second year, Kishiki Okimura!” Professor Portman smirked. More girls cried their hearts out for Kishiki as he walked in waving at each corner of the room, even stopping to wink at one girl in particular. He eyed Kuroki who was still standing by the second entrance of the Stadium Hall. “And, let’s also welcome our first year, Kuroki Kudou.” The cheers died down as it turned into screeches of threats and groans.

 

“That should have been me out there!”

 

“No fair! I wanted to duel Kishiki!”

 

Kuroki frowned as he was being called many names while he tread the steps up the stage. He inspected his opponent closely, from feet to head. It clicked in him. It was the guy from the Entrance Lobby, but he was wearing a different set of apparel than the one he had before. The two came face to face on the stage with Professor Portman using a microphone to speak to the whole academy. Kuroki looked around for his friends, and even Ryuta. But he couldn’t see anyone. As he was about to turn back to Portman, he caught someone at the corner of his eye. Kuroki quickly looked over at that someone. No one around that person noticed he was there.

 

“Gungnir!” Kuroki quietly mumbled.

 

“Now, let us begin!” Portman announced, hopping off the stage leaving the two to duel.

 

“Hey, ready up!” Kishiki shouted, grabbing Kuroki’s attention.

 

“Huh?! Oh, right!” Kuroki turned on his duel disk and so did Kishiki.

 

“Let’s…”

 

“Duel!”

 

Kuroki vs Kishiki

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

“I shall start us off,” said Kishiki. “I activate my monster effect in my hand. ‘Romanticdere Tenkousei’. If it is in my hand, I can add 1 ‘Dokidoki Scene’ Spell or Trap from my Deck to my hand.”

 

“What is this? A love story?!” Kuroki asked.

 

“Are you not interested in love?” Kishiki inquired.

 

“U-uh… I wouldn’t say I am not…,” Kuroki replied.

 

“Then, allow me to show you the essence of romance. It will shock you to see its true power. I add the Spell Card ‘Dokidoki Scene - First Meeting’. Also, Tenkousei (LIGHT/Zombie/Level 1/500/800) is Special Summoned to your field.” Kuroki was confused on the play. All he could see was a high school boy yawning his eyes out in front of him. He then looked up at the area he saw Gungnir standing. The cloaked man was still there looking down on the two. “Hey, pay attention will you?” Kishiki stated. “I now activate the Field Spell, ‘Dokidoki Setting - Koukou’! As long as it is active, Set Spells and Traps cannot be destroyed by any card effects.” A school building warped behind Kishiki while transforming the area around with cherry blossoms. “I set 1 card face-down, and also activate it!”

 

“Wait, what?! You can’t just-” Kuroki scrambled for words, but came up empty.

 

“Yes I can. I can activate the Continuous Trap ‘Dokidoki Scene - Confrontation’ if I control a ‘Dokidoki Scene’ Field Spell. You choose an effect for me to use.”

 

“Wait, what?! I don’t get it. You’re giving me a choice in your own effects?”

“Of course. That is how romance is born, through the choices of both parties.”

 

“Huh? I still don’t get it. Isn’t it usually only one person to take the opportunity to pursue their love?”

“Hahaha, but if both sides do not comply with each other, then romance cannot bloom. Don’t you see? This is why I am giving you the choice. To see how well you will accept my attempts at love.” Kishiki’s eyes gleamed with a vision of mutual romance.

 

“Whatever, I choose Level 1.” Kuroki frowned.

 

“Oh, you have chosen the scene that will mark our first confrontation with each other. I Special Summon from my hand, the Level 1 ‘Romanticdere Ichinensei’ (LIGHT/Zombie/500/800). Ichinensei effect. We each can search our Decks for 1 Level 1 or 2 monster and add it to our hands.” Kuroki chose his card through the screen of the Duel Disk and added ‘Young Sora’(LIGHT/Warrior/Level 2/400/0) to his hand. Kishiki added his ‘Romanticdere Ninnensei’. (LIGHT/Zombie/Level 2/1000/800) “As with a confrontation, comes our first meeting!”

 

Kuroki stared at the newly activated Spell Card on Kishiki’s field. “I choose 1 of the 3 effects available…”

 

“Yes, our first meeting has so many possibilities. Now, show me what you would do for me in our first meeting.”

 

Kuroki remembered that this was the guy when he entered the entrance hall. Kishiki had mistaken him for a girl. And he wasn’t sure what Kishiki wanted out of him since the 3 effects would all benefit him in some way. So he decided to answer with his own card in hand.

 

“I would gladly refuse to partake in any of your shenanigans right now. I activate the monster effect in my hand! The Level 4 monster ‘Keyblade’s Partner - Mulan’! (FIRE/Warrior/1400/800)”

 

“Of course you would deny me,” Kishiki denounced Kuroki’s choice.

 

I have to end this fast so I can follow Gungnir. Even so, Kishiki may prove to be a difficult opponent. At least, I am stopping one of his plays. Kuroki sent Mulan to the GY to use her effect. “If you activate a card or effect that involves adding a card from your Deck to your hand: I can send this card to the GY and banish 1 LIGHT monster I control to negate that effect and destroy it.” Tenkousei vanished within a void as the Spell Card Kishiki played faded.

 

Kishiki frowned. “Why would you deny love?!”

 

“I am not denying it! I am simply counterplaying you! So can you stop referencing love into Duel Monsters.”

 

“Tch, I Normal Summon ‘Ninnensei’ from my hand. Now I perform a Link Summon using ‘Ninnensei’ and ‘Ichinensei’! O heavens bring down the gift of love, shine above all with your brightness and sheer emotions. Link Summon! Link 2, ‘Dramaticdere Shounensei’!” (LIGHT/Zombie/1900) Kishiki smirked, as he then tapped his Duel Disk, confirming another effect activation.

 

Maya, Itou, Vance, and Kintaro were watching from the sides together lined up in a row. “He doesn’t seem to notice us,” Maya said. “We’ve been calling out to him but Kuroki won’t turn to us.” She pouted. Itou tapped his foot sensing an ominous presence. He couldn’t quite think of what could have been causing this inner feeling.

 

“Oh, what?! Again?” Maya shouted, disrupting Itou’s focus.

 

“What is it?” He asked.

 

“Look, Kishiki is taking back his cards from the GY,” answered Maya. Itou stared intently.

 

“With Ninnensei’s effect in my GY, I can add 1 ‘Romanticdere’ monster and 1 ‘Dokidoki Scene’ Spell/Trap from my GY to my hand, except itself. And you know what I’ll take. Ichinensei and First Meeting!” Kishiki caught the cards as they quickly flew out of his GY. “Activate!” The Spell Card ‘Dokidoki Scene - First Meeting’ reappeared on Kishiki’s field. “I’ll also chain my Field Spell Koukou to it! If a ‘Dokidoki Scene’ Spell or Trap is activated, I can return 1 other ‘Dokidoki Scene’ Spell or Trap on the field to the hand. I now return Confrontation! Also, choose for First Meeting! Just think about what we can have together, a blooming romance! What else can you ever want?”

 

“Ngh, okay then. I choose to let you Special Summon.” Kuroki felt his mouth twitching as he suddenly felt a little irritated about the situation. “Romance huh? Never really given it much thought.”

 

Deeper inside Kuroki, he did yearn something. Was it to accomplish his dreams? To meet the love of his life? What did it even mean to him in the end? Or was it to have a taste for adventure?

 

“I will Special Summon Tenkousei in Defense! Here’s another thing you need to know. Whenever a ‘Dokidoki Scene’ Spell or Trap is returned to the hand, it activates an effect. However, because Confrontation makes each of our LP 4000, there is no change in our current LP. (Kuroki’s LP: 4000, Kishiki’s LP: 4000) I then activate it again! Come Ninnensei, in Defense! And I set 1 card face-down and end my turn!”

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki

LP: 4000

Hand: 5

Field: 0

GY: 1

 

Kishiki

LP: 4000

Hand: 1

Field: 6

GY: 2

 

“Draw!” Kuroki inspected the card he drew. His whole hand consisted of ‘Sora - The Keyblade Bearer’, ‘Drive Form’, ‘Drive Recovery’, ‘Mystical Space Typhoon’, ‘Reinforcement of the Army’, and ‘Young Sora’. “I’ll try to finish this quickly.” He muttered to himself. He took a deep breath as he took his ‘Reinforcement of the Army’ and activated it. “I activate this! With it, I get 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster from my Deck to my hand. I add Goofy!”

 

“Going for your Drive Fusion Summon?” Kishiki laughed. “If you do, you can’t attack with your Valor Sora, if he activates his effect. So then, what are you going to do?”

 

Kuroki chuckled. “Who said I only had Fusions in my Extra Deck?”

 

Kishiki was astounded. “But the reports read…!”

 

“Reports? Ah, you mean the files that the school makes on every student. As romantic as you are, you’re just like someone I know. They like to pry into my privacy.” Kuroki sighed. He was suspecting that many of the academy probably knew what he played by now. However, his Deck had variances.

 

“Hmph, whatever! You cannot win in this turn. Am I right? Romance doesn’t just end-”

 

Kuroki then played another Spell Card, interrupting Kishiki mid sentence. “The Spell Card, ‘Drive Form’, activate! With Sora as the catalyst and Goofy as the power, he can reach a new hope that marks the midpoint of the journey! Drive… Synchro Summon! (4 + 4 = ? Level 8, ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade of Limits’ (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 8/3000/2100).”

 

“What?! He can use another Summoming style? That’s… that’s rare!” Kishiki screamed.

 

“He can use Fusions and use Synchros?!” Maya shouted.

 

“It seems his Deck has more than meets the eyes. Interesting…” Itou’s eyes glittered with interest. “I’ve never seen him play anything other than the Fusions so far.”

 

“Maybe, he’s serious about ending this quick?” Maya pondered, waiting for the next move to happen.

 

“Are you trying to end this as soon as possible?” Kishiki directly asked Kuroki.

 

“Yeah, I’m trying to end this quick!” Kuroki gritted his teeth. He was annoyed with Kishiki for the romance references and the fact that he needed to catch up to Gungnir, who was just up on the bleachers. “Battle! Limit Sora, attack Shounensei! Zantetsuken!”

 

“Not so fast! I activate-”

 

“Limit Sora’s effect stops you from using effects during the Damage Step when a Keyblade monster attacks!” Sora flipped his Keyblade around and sliced through Shounensei in the blink of an eye. Shounensei fell to the ground dissipating away.

 

(Kishiki’s LP: 4000 -> 2900)

 

“Since I destroyed a monster by battle with Limit Sora, he lets me gain LP equal to half the destroyed monster’s ATK.” Kuroki smirked as if he had won the duel already. (Shounensei’s ATK: 1900 / 2 = 950. Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 4950) “I Set 1 card face-down and end my turn.”

 

“You’ll pay!” Kishiki growled angrily. “You’ll pay for hurting my characters I have!”

 

Kuroki was surprised at the change in atmosphere around Kishiki. Still, he had ‘Mystical Space Typhoon’ Set which would allow him to stop 1 of the Spells and Traps Kishiki plays. And he needed to find Gungnir who had left. “Come at me, you little!” Kuroki taunted.

 

Turn 3

 

Kishiki

LP: 2900

Hand: 1

Field: 5

GY: 3

 

Kuroki

LP: 4950

Hand: 2

Field: 2

GY: 5


 

 

Chapter 12: Irritable Love

 

 

Spoiler

 

Kishiki drew his next card as he started his turn. “Draw!” He smirked at the card he drew. “I activate the Spell Card, ‘Monster Reborn’! I revive Shounensei in my GY!” The beautiful boy Kishiki had first Link Summoned revived onto his field as if nothing had happened.

 

“Oh come on,” Kuroki said.

 

“I also Normal Summon ‘Romanticdere Ichinensei’, allow each of us to add 1 Level 1 or 2 monster from our Decks to our hand.” Kishiki added a third Tenkousei from his Deck while Kuroki was having trouble deciding.

 

“I think I’ll add ‘Young Kairi’ (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 1/0/500).” Kuroki had a way to finish the duel, but he still needed another couple of key cards.

 

“Oh, that is what you’re adding? Well, I also activate the effect of my added Tenkousei. You should know its effect by now. I Special Summon it to your side of the field and then I get to add 1 ‘Dokidoki Scene’ card from my Deck to my hand. Go! I add ‘Love Letter’!” The girls in the audience screamed all over Kishiki.

 

The chants the girls made echoed louder and louder. “Kishiki-senpai! Fight on! Beat him!” They shouted loud.

 

Kuroki disliked the feeling and the piercing gazes he received from the females. He returned his attention towards Kishiki.

 

“I activate it!” A love letter appeared in Kishiki’s hand. He kissed it lovingly and caressed the edges as if it was precious. “Ah, now choose the effect!”

 

“Tch, we’ll both take that 1000 damage,” Kuroki could feel the pressure of responding to the love letter. It was an odd feeling as it wasn’t real at all. It was mainly surreal. (Kuroki’s LP: 4950 -> 3950, Kishiki’s LP: 2900 -> 1900)

 

“Now, Koukou’s effect! I return Confrontation to my hand.”

 

“Not if I can stop it. I reveal my Set card. Mystical Space Typhoon! I destroy your Koukou!” The gust of wind crashed through the school building Kishiki had on his field and crumbled it to pieces. Kishiki was furious in response.

 

“Grrr, why do you have to be this way?!”

 

Kuroki was taken aback. What did he mean? Wasn’t this just a duel?

 

“Huh?”

 

“Don’t act dumb! You did that on purpose!” Kishiki angrily yelled. The girls were in awe. They still supported Kishiki with all their might. At the same time, they were glaring down Kuroki for angering Kishiki.

 

Itou observed the girls around them. “What a rude crowd…”

 

“Shhhhh, Itou! What if they hear you?” Maya shushed Itou down. “And come on Kuroki. You can’t lose this one.”

 

“I know he isn’t. He won’t.” Itou stated blankly. It was still met with a confident smile on his face.

 

Vance wondered what he meant that Itou knew. The outcome could go two ways. Either Kishiki would win or Kuroki would. Meanwhile, Kintaro searched his backpack for his own cards. “I know I have to duel him now! I’ll go for it afterwards!”

 

“Nuh uh, I’ll duel him Kintaro,” Vance interrupted. “What makes you qualified to?”

 

“Because I’m bet-.”

 

“Guys, shut up. Kishiki just activated his trap,” Maya slapped both of the fighting boys stopping them in their small war.

 

Kishiki wickedly grinned. “Time to start! My Trap, ‘Concede or Conspire’ activates! Since a card I control was destroyed, you choose whether to take 1000 damage and destroy 1 card you control or make one of your monster’s ATK become 0. Furthermore, after this effect resolves, you take 300 damage for each face-up Continuous Spells/Traps I control.”

 

“What?! That’s… tch, I’ll choose to make my monster’s ATK 0.” (Limit Sora’s ATK: 3000 -> 0)

 

“Now take 600 points of damage too! (Kuroki’s LP: 3950 -> 3350) I now use Ichinensei, Tenkousei on my field, and Shounensei as Link Material. Link Markers set! Summoning Conditions met! Link Summon, Link-4… ‘Dramaticdere Shoujosei’! (LIGHT/Zombie/2500/Markers: DR, D, DL, U) Now, I switch Ninnensei to Attack Position. Battle! I use Ninnensei to attack your Tenkousei! Second Year Strike!” Ninnensei pulled out a pencil and jabbed it into Tenkousei, dealing damage to Kuroki. (Kuroki’s LP: 3350 -> 2850) “Now Shoujosei. Attack that Sora! Blooming Slap!” Shoujosei ran up to Sora and smacked him across the face.

 

“Wha?!” Kuroki was astonished. (Kuroki’s LP: 2850 -> 350)

 

“That ends my turn!”

 

Turn 4

Kuroki

LP: 350

Hand: 3

Field: 0

GY: 7

Banished: 0

 

Kishiki

LP: 1900

Hand: 0

Field: 4

GY: 6

Banished: 1

 

Kuroki placed his hand on his own Deck. He whispered, “Please, give me strength.” Kuroki drew his card and slowly glanced at it. “Maybe, just maybe with this, I can make my comeback!”

 

“Huh? What are you talking about?” Kishiki wondered. “How can you make a comeback with that amount of LP? You have nothing on the field. Are you saying that your hand can turn this around?” Kuroki cackled. He felt the adrenaline rushing throughout his slim body.

 

“First, I activate the Spell Card, ‘Drive Recovery’ to add Sora and ‘Drive Form’ from my GY to my hand. Then I activate ‘High Drive’ to send the added ‘Drive Form’ to the GY and draw 2 cards.”

 

“Are you stupid? Are you seriously ruining your only chance with ‘Drive Form’?”

 

Maya tapped her foot thinking. “Yeah, why did he discard ‘Drive Form’?”

 

“Because Maya, Kuroki isn’t aiming to use it anymore during this Duel. He must have something else planned.” Itou explained.

 

“Oh? I wonder what it could be?” Maya flung her long black hair around her neck staring at Kuroki. She was waiting in anticipation for his next move.

 

“Draw! And one more draw!” Kuroki flashed the two cards in his hand. “I activate the Normal Spell Card, ‘Keyblade’s Destiny’. I reveal, ‘Young Sora’, ‘Young Kairi’, and ‘Young Riku’ (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 2/400/0) in my hand. Once they are revealed, I can Special Summon each of them to my field by discarding 1 ‘Keyblade' monster.” Kuroki inserted his Sora into the GY. “Now, here it comes!”

 

“Here what comes? They’re just young children. They don’t know anything with their puny ATK and DEF.” Kishiki said.

 

“Heh, that’s where you’re wrong! Another effect of ‘Keyblade's Destiny’ activates. All of them increase their ATK by 200 for each ‘Keyblade' monster in my GY. And if you’ve been looking, I have 3. So they each get a 600 ATK boost to them. Also, they can all attack directly this turn!”

 

“What?!” The girls supporting Kishiki shouted saying that they would always be by his side. “No… this is…”

 

“Possible! Now, direct attack! Young Sora, Riku, Kairi!”

 

(Kishiki’s LP: 1900 -> 900 -> 0 -> 0)

 

Result: Kuroki wins!

 

“Now, it’s my turn around win! My comeback.” Kuroki winked at Kishiki smiling. Kishiki groaned and fell onto his back, humiliated by defeat.

 

“How could my Romanticdere Deck lose?” Kishiki cried. As soon as Kuroki was going to answer, the girls started booing him for winning the Duel. Kuroki ran a hand through his sandy blonde hair that ran down to his neck from the back. Maya and his friends watched as he was looked down upon by Kishiki’s fans.

 

Teachers and staff slowly silenced the room as Portman took his microphone in hand and announced the winner. Kuroki took the win. Then Kuroki remembered the thought of Gungnir. Gungnir was just in the room not that long ago. Kuroki took a 180 pivot and ran out the door in search of Gungnir, despite Portman’s call for him to stay.

 

I wonder where he would be? Kuroki thought. I just hope he hasn’t gotten far. Kuroki returned to the entrance hall where he first met Kishiki. Maya, Itou, Vance, and Kintaro reached him just in time before Kuroki was going to leave.

 

“Hey, Kuroki. What’s wrong?” Itou asked.

 

Kuroki took a deep breath. “It’s Gungnir. He’s back,” he replied. “I don’t know why he’s returned. I saw him up on the bleachers behind some students.”

 

“What?!” Maya gasped, surprised that the guy who beat Kuroki had returned.

 

“So that’s what I felt,” Itou tapped his foot thinking it through. “He said something about taking back what was his. Do you remember that, Kuroki?”

 

Kuroki nodded, acknowledging that he did hear what Gungnir had stated. “But I wonder what?”

 

The five friends turned around towards one of the corridors, alert that someone had been listening to them. They heard loud footsteps running away. Kuroki immediately ran towards the sounds with the rest following suit. They pursued the noise until they reached the end of the hallway, meeting a cloaked man looking at the dead end. It was then sunset.

 

“You’re Gungnir, aren’t you?” Kuroki asked. The cloaked man flinched, and began slowly turning around.

 

Itou looked on, observing the design of the cloak. It had spark-like designs weaved into the cloaks, much different from Gungnir’s simple robe. The cloaked man, whose face was hidden behind a black mask with no other discerning features, threw a sharp blade towards the window breaking it. He jumped out the window and plunged down into the forestry.

 

Vance and Kintaro cautiously stepped to the broken window. Looking down, they both didn’t see anyone behind the brushes nor the trees.

 

“He escaped,” Vance said.

 

“I don’t think that was Gungnir,” Itou stated. Kuroki was confused.

 

“What do you mean?” inquired Kuroki.

 

“Gungnir’s robe was different than the one we just saw right now. Didn’t you see it?”

 

“No, I didn’t notice that. How can you be so sure?” Maya asked, contemplating an answer for herself.

 

“For all we know Itou, Gungnir could have easily changed wardrobe,” Kintaro said.

 

Itou closed his eyes, imagining the frightening aura that Gungnir had when he had won his duel. He was sure that the man they just saw wasn’t him at all. He sighed. Whether or not, there were still the possibilities that Gungnir could have concealed himself with another identity.

 

With a loud yell, the group were interrupted with Professor Portman approaching them. “Why would you all run from the match after it was just decided? Return there now.” Portman commanded with a deep voice while towering over them. Compared to Itou whom was the tallest of the teens, Portman was at least a half a foot taller than the six feet Itou. Afraid for their lives, they took it for themselves to return to the dueling arena for the last of the assembly for the day.

 

A few minutes later, Kuroki was standing in the center of the stage next to the depressed looking Kishiki. Meanwhile, the rest were standing by the sidelines waiting for the assembly to end. Or rather, it was Portman’s speech to end.

 

“And so ends today, on a great match up between Kuroki and Kishiki, I wish all of you to succeed and improve yourself from here on out. Find your inner strengths and move forward!” The audience cheered for themselves, while some of the girls were still grumbling that Kishiki had lost the exhibition match.

 

I still need to look out for Gungnir. Wherever he may be, I’ll be there to stop him. Kuroki internally promised himself. But… who could that other guy be? Is it… really Gungnir? Or is it what Itou said?


 

 

Chapter 13: Fiery Fury, The Pyromaniacs vs Maya’s New Battle Deck

 

 

Spoiler

 

The next day after the match between Kuroki and Kishiki ended, the five friends regrouped in front of Dorm F16 once classes ended. They had all agreed to meet to search for Gungnir, who Kuroki believed was still on the island somewhere. However, Maya told the boys she had to meet with the principal. She fiddled with her dark toned thumbs awaiting their answer.

“Eh, if you have to, then go on,” Kuroki said. “We can just wait outside the principal’s office for you.” He smiled, assuring Maya that there wasn’t any problem with them waiting and prolonging the start of their search for Gungnir.

 

Even though Kuroki said those words to Maya, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that she was going to drag them down. She wasn’t the greatest duelist like Itou or Kuroki, or anything like Ryuta who had managed to beat Kuroki. I hope I’m not letting them down. Maya thought. She sighed heavily while starting her way towards the principal’s office. Her friends were following her all the way. They approached the simple metallic-like doors that was the principal’s office. His name was rendered in a plaque above them writing “Principal Addam”. Maya knocked quietly, hoping the Principal Addam wouldn’t notice. Much to her disappointment, he had heard her near silent knock.

 

“Come in,” Principal Addams called. Maya took a deep breath and looked back at her friends. They each gave her a thumbs up for good luck.

 

“It shouldn’t be anything too bad,” Itou tried to convince Maya. Maya hoped so. But in her own heart, she knew what this was going to be about.

 

Maya stepped into the office and closed the doors behind her. The office was neatly arranged with 4 plants in each corner of the rooms, bookshelves that rose to the ceiling with books aligned in alphabetical order in them, and ladders to go up the bookshelves. She focused her attention to Principal Addam’s desk. It had two comfy chairs sitting across Principal Addam’s own with the desk separating the chairs onto their own sides. Maya approached the chiseled middle aged man. Despite Principal Addam’s young charismatic appearance, he was at the age of 38. He still looked like he was in his mid 20s. Maya looked up at his piercing blue eyes, ones that held confidence and knowledge from his own studies and experiences. It looked like they’ve seen more than enough. The principal’s hair was short and colored light gray. He had a lack of a beard and facial hair, but his chin was chiseled enough to show the age. He had a fit body inside the black dress suit he wore.

 

Principal Addam slightly smiled, cutting the tension Maya had in her and causing her to fumble around as she began to become comfortable. “Let’s begin by talking about your parents, Maya,” he began. Maya couldn’t look him straight into the eyes anymore after the mention of her parents. “You’ve come here without the permission of your parents. You’ve decided to abandon their wishes just to attend Star Dueling Academy. You know that they don’t want you to become a duelist. Even though you lived an affluent life at home, why did you decide to come here?”

 

Maya was about to speak when her mouth suddenly shut tight after a thought of her angry parents came to mind. She was worried about them. I hope they’re okay. She sucked in a heap of breath to calm herself down. Her heart was beating way too fast for her to comprehend everything even though she knew everything. She just needed a way to comprehend her end decision that she made.

 

“Will you answer?” Principal Addam urged on. Maya bit her lip.

 

“I…” Maya stuttered. Principal Addam inspected all of Maya’s movements. From her hands to her face, she was slightly trembling. “I just wanted… I just wanted to get out of that house.” She whispered.

 

In response, Principal Addam nodded. “Why is that?”

 

She quivered under the pressure. “I wanted to… to prove that I can be… independent if I need to be. I just wanted to make a choice for myself.”

 

“Oh,” Principal Addams chuckled. “That’s a fine answer.”

 

“Even so… I know I suck at Duel Monsters, but I saw so many people outside having fun. Being homeschooled, I didn’t get to go out much and make friends.” Maya started to mumble, noticing that she wasn’t fit to be there at Star Dueling Academy. “I know I’m not fit to be here. My duel record is terrible… I barely scrape any wins.” She sniffled, holding back her tears. “I just wanted to prove myself and yet I can’t even do what I want!” She managed to cry out.

 

“And yet, you still try and improve yourself,” Principal Addam got up from his chair and walked to the large windows that exposed the entirety of the academy to his view. “Tell me, do you still want to be here?”

 

Maya was shocked at the question. Of course I do. I have so many friends here. Itou, Kuroki, Vance, Kintaro, and even Ryuta. “I-I do, Principal Addam.”

 

“In that case, if you want to be eligible to stay here, win your next duel.”

 

“W-what?” Maya’s mouth was agape.

 

“And I know just the perfect opponent.” Principal Addam clicked the button on his desk. The metallic doors opened followed by a crash. Maya turned around, witnessing the 4 boys had been eavesdropping on their conversation. Principal Addam laughed and clapped his hands. “Alright now, your opponent will be…”

 

“Me!” Kuroki said. “I’ll be her opponent.”

 

“No, choose me,” Itou raised his hands.

 

Kintaro pushed them both off and did the same. “Nah, I’m perfect for the job.”

 

Yet, Vance was quiet as he got up and brushed himself off.

 

“No, no. That wouldn’t be fair. I know you boys will go easy on her. I need an opponent who won’t hold back. I need the fullest potential out of all of you, including her.” Principal Addam pointed his finger at the direction of the boys. “I’ll choose you.”

 

Kuroki looked to his left. Principal Addam chose Vance for the duel.

 

“That’s fine with me. I’ve been looking for a chance to perfectly showcase my skills,” Vance sternly stated.

 

“Hey, go easy on her,” Kuroki spoke concerned for Maya.

 

“Easy? Why should I?”

 

Maya stepped forward brushing Kuroki off. “He’s right, Kuroki.” Maya glared into Vance’s eyes. “I need to prove myself after all. That’s what I want!”

 

Vance eyed Kuroki smirking. “See?” Kuroki turned away.

 

“Tch, fine.”

 

Principal Addam clapped loudly, applauding Maya’s will to fight. “Then let’s settle this duel outside the academy buildings.”

 

Outside on the courtyard, Itou, Kintaro, and Kuroki stepped to the side where there were wooden benches lined up before the grass. Meanwhile, Maya and Vance approached their different sides in the circular stone center of the courtyard. Principal Addam watched from the middle of the two readying their duel disks. The courtyard had some students walking about, but that didn’t deter Maya’s confidence within herself. She had a new deck to use, and she was going to put it to use.

 

“The Duel will be an Action Duel, but without a Field Spell. However, Action Cards will still be spread throughout the field of the courtyard. The rules will be the New Era Playstyle. Do you both understand?” Principal Addam announced with a powerful voice. Maya nodded and so did Vance.

 

“Alright then, Vance. Don’t hold back,” she commanded.

 

“I wasn’t planning to,” he shot back.

 

“Duelists locked in battle!” Maya started.

 

“Kicking the ground and dancing in the air alongside their monsters! They storm through this Duel!” Vance continued.

 

“Behold! The evolution brought by the Arc Project Timeline!” The two chanted in sync. “Action…”

 

“DUEL!”

 

Maya vs Vance

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle, Action Duel (no Field Spell set in place)

 

A sphere of cards in the air dispersed each of the cards haphazardly around. “I’ll take the first move!” Maya said. She ran to the south eastern patch of grass and did an acrobatic roll, picking up a card on the ground. Vance followed her. Maya smiled. “Action Magic! Surprise Box!”

 

Vance stopped as a large white box marked with a question mark appeared within smoke. He jumped backwards nearing Kuroki.

 

“With this Action Magic, I can Normal Summon 1 monster from my hand, but its ATK becomes 0,” Maya explained. She showed the monster. ‘Combat Battlizer’. (WATER/Warrior/Level 4/500/1800) (Combat Battlizer’s ATK: 500 -> 0) The box opened up revealing a man in a combat suit, armed with a pistol. “His effect activates, letting me add 1 ‘Battlizer' monster from my Deck to my hand. I’ll take ‘Shield Battlizer’! (EARTH/Rock/Level 4/100/2000)”

 

“Oh! Nice! Shield Battlizer can prevent destruction for 1 of Maya’s monster,” Kuroki said. Vance was unfazed as he kept approaching Maya.

 

“I now activate ‘Polymerization'! I fuse ‘Combat Battlizer’ with ‘Shield Battlizer’ in my hand. Oh, in the depths of war, you bare your arms. Show everyone the valor of battles! Fusion Summon! Behold, the Level 7 ‘Battlizer Prince’! (DARK/Fiend/2500/2100) I set 2 cards face-down and end my turn.” Maya was proud she was able to Fusion Summon correctly. She looked up at her fiendish prince clad in light armor, covered in darkness. It’s red glaring eyes that stared straight into everyone’s souls piqued Vance’s energy to pump up. He felt as if he was on fire. The adrenaline rushed throughout his body.

 

“Ahh… Maya forgot his effect…” Itou mumbled disappointed. “And she even tossed ‘Shield Battlizer’.”

 

Turn 2

Maya

LP: 4000

Hand: 1

Field: 2 Set cards, Battlizer Prince

GY: Combat Battlizer, Shield Battlizer, Surprise Box

 

“My turn, draw!” Vance declared triumphantly. “I Normal Summon ‘Pyromania Naz’! (FIRE/Pyro/Level 4/1600/200) When he is Normal Summoned, I can send 1 ‘Pyromania' Fusion Monster from my Extra Deck to the GY to add 1 ‘Pyromania' monster from my Deck to my hand. I send ‘Pyromania Haraq’ (FIRE/Pyro/Level 5/1900/1700) to add ‘Pyromania Kalru’! (FIRE/Pyro/Level 4/1800/200) Now, since Haraq was sent to the GY from my Extra Deck, I get to Special Summon 1 ‘Pyromania' monster from my hand or GY. From my hand, comes Yazai! (FIRE/Pyro/Level 3/1200/200)”

 

“Whoa! That’s already 2 monsters on board!” Kuroki screamed out.

 

“I wonder what he’ll do with them though,” Itou contemplated quietly.

 

Vance cracked his neck pulling another card from his hand confidently. He subsequently activated the card he pulled. “I’m not holding out! I use my Quick-Play Spell, ‘Off Fusion’! By sending from my hand or field the Fusion Materials listed, I can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster in the GY.”

 

“Wait what?!” Maya was surprised she was going against a Fusion user. She didn’t plan for it to happen at all.

 

“I fuse Naz on my field and Kalru in my hand. Purge the world with the violent fires, succumb all to the hells of pyre! Fusion Summon! Level 5, ‘Pyromania Haraq’! (FIRE/Pyro/Level 5/1900/1700) Yazai’s effect activates! I discard 1 card.” Vance showed ‘Flurry of the Pyromania’ and inserted it into his GY. “To target your ‘Battlizer Prince’ and destroy it!”

 

Maya yelped. “Eh?! N-not so fast, I use my face-down! ‘De-Fusion’! I separate ‘Battlizer Prince’ into its materials.” She placed the monsters back on the field into Attack Position and returned the Fusion into her Extra Deck.

 

Kintaro popped a vein, angered that Maya had just misplayed. “Why did you place them in attack?!”

 

Maya looked at Kintaro confused. She then realized after a brief second that she could have placed them in Defense Position. “Oops.” She managed to utter.

 

“Hmph, I attack ‘Combat Battlizer’ with my Haraq! Haraq’s effect activates! I banish 1 ‘Pyromania' monster from my GY and it gains half of that banished monster’s ATK. I banish Kalru!” Vance pulled a grin onto his face. (Pyromania Haraq’s ATK: 1900 -> 2800, 2800 - 500 = 2300 damage.)

 

Maya scrambled for an action card but couldn’t find any anywhere near her. So her monster took the incoming fireball. (Maya’s LP: 4000 -> 1700)

 

“Now it’s Yazai’s turn. She gains 100 ATK for each Pyro monster I control, which makes a 200 ATK increase. (Yazai’s ATK: 1200 -> 1400) Now attack that ‘Shield Battlizer’! Flame Charm!” (Maya’s LP: 1700 -> 400)

 

“I-I’m not… ready to be here… aren’t I?” Maya cried. “I’m not good at this like you all are.” Rubbing her nose, Maya fell to her knees. Itou narrowed his eyes.

 

“Don’t give up!” Itou cheered. He repeated it over and over. Eventually, Kintaro and Kuroki joined in.

 

“Don’t… give… up?” Maya whispered to herself. They’re right. If I give up now, then that means I came here for nothing. I can’t give up! I won’t!

 

“Are you gonna stand up?” Vance asked, gazing at Maya. She stared back at Vance wide-eyed, wondering why he was pushing her on even though she was her opponent.

 

I want to win. I have to win! I’ll do what it takes to prove myself! Maya brushed her long purple bangs to the side. She stood up stronger.

 

“That’s what I want to see,” Vance told Maya. “I Set 1 card face-down and end my turn.”

 

Turn 3

Maya

LP: 500

Hand: 1

Field: 1 Set card

GY: De-Fusion, Polymerization, Combat Battlizer, Shield Battlizer

 

Vance

LP: 4000

Hand: 1

Field: 1 Set card, Pyromania Haraq, Yazai

GY: Off Fusion, Flurry of the Pyromania, Naz

Banished: Kalru

 

“It’s my turn! Draw!” Maya closed her eyes and envisioned the card she’d need for the situation. She slowly opened them, barely squinting at the card she just drew. “It’s here!”

 

“Huh?!” Everyone but Maya cocked their head confused.

 

“I just drew it! The Spell, ‘Battlizer Formation’, activates! I Fusion Summon by shuffling the ‘Battlizer' monsters I control or in my GY into my Deck! I shuffle ‘Combat Battlizer’ and ‘Shield Battlizer’ to Fusion Summon ‘Battlizer Prince’ once again.”

 

“Amazing,” Vance whispered under his breath. He could tell Maya had improved a little since the duel against Kuroki. It was more than enough to say that she made the right choice leaving her home.

 

“Now! It’s time! First off, my Set card activates! Mystical Space Typhoon.”

 

Vance’s Set card flipped up. “And so does mine. ‘Sweltering Flames’. This Trap Card raises my FIRE monster’s ATK by 500 and lowers all yours by 500. Furthermore, Pyro monsters this turn are not destroyed by battle.”

 

(Haraq’s ATK: 1900 -> 2400, Yazai’s ATK: 1400 -> 1900, Prince’s ATK: 2500 -> 2000)

 

“Oh, damn. It’s time for an Action Card then.” Maya sprinted around in search of one. Vance jumped up to a tree and stood near the top, observing around. Maya couldn’t find one at all so she decided another plan. “Battle! Prince, attack Haraq!”

 

“Are you stupid? Prince has less ATK! You’re going to kill yourself at this rate!” (2000 vs 2400)

 

“No! Prince’s effect activates! If it battles a Fusion Monster, I can shuffle 1 ‘Battlizer' card in my GY into my Deck and increase its ATK by 1000.” (Prince’s ATK: 2000 -> 3000, shuffled ‘Battlizer Formation’)

 

“Tch! I banish Naz from my GY and increase Haraq’s ATK by half its ATK.” (Haraq’s ATK: 2400 -> 3200) “Now you’re going to lose!”

 

“Keep it up Maya!” Itou supported Maya with all his might. She nodded waving back at him and focusing once more.

 

“I use the monster in my hand, ‘Specialist Battlizer’. (FIRE/Spellcaster/Level 4/1200/1600) I discard it and target 1 ‘Battlizer' monster I control! It’s ATK is doubled!” (Prince’s ATK: 3000 -> 6000)

 

“What the?! 6000 ATK!?” Vance looked astounded. Maya then spotted an Action Card by her feet. She picked it up and looked at it. Then, she smiled.

 

“That’s not all! I use the Action Magic! Battle Up! It increases 1 monster’s ATK by 700!” (Prince’s ATK: 6000 -> 6700)

 

Vance jumped off the tree and ran towards his right into a brush. But the attack landed before he could activate the Action Card he just got. “Because of ‘Sweltering Flames’, my Pyro monster is not destroyed by battle!” (6700 vs 3200)

 

“But you still take the damage!” Maya retorted.

 

(Vance’s LP: 4000 -> 500)

 

“If either of us takes damage this turn, ‘Sweltering Flames’ deals another 300 damage to us.” (Maya’s LP: 400 -> 100, Vance’s LP: 500 -> 200)

 

“I end my turn! My monster’s ATK returns to 2000 once ‘Battle Up’, Prince’s, and ‘Specialist Battlizer’ effect ends.”

 

“‘Sweltering Flame’ effect ends too, returning our monsters’ ATK to normal.” (Haraq’s ATK: 2400 -> 1900, Yazai’s ATK: 1700 -> 1200, Prince’s ATK: 2000 -> 2500)

 

“I end my turn.” Maya was having so much fun, caught up in the intense battle. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced back at home. She remembered the everyday lifestyle she had, holed up in her room with nothing much to do. She’d merely watch from her window as students from a nearby school paas by her house, and sometimes even initiating a duel right at the park across from where she lived. It was lonely. Maya hated all of it. I don’t want to go back.

 

Turn 4

Maya

LP: 100

Hand: 0

Field: Battlizer Prince

GY: De-Fusion, Polymerization, Specialist Battlizer, Battle Up

 

Vance

LP: 200

Hand: 1

Field: Haraq, Yazai

GY: Flurry, Off Fusion, Sweltering Flames

Banished: Naz, Kalru

 

“My turn, draw!” Vance chuckled. “It’s my win. I use the effect of Yazai, discarding this card I drew. Destroy Prince!” Maya swiped another Action Card near her and proceeded to activate it.

 

“Yes! My luck! Action Magic! ‘Invisibility’! This turn, any effects that activate to destroy Prince cannot destroy him.” Maya jumped up in a victorious pose, but it wasn’t her win yet. She still had to beat Vance.

 

“Hmph, battle! Haraq, attack Prince!”

 

“Eh? Why would he do that?” Maya asked herself.

 

“Be careful, Maya,” Itou called out to her. “He has an Action Card!”

 

It clicked in her head. He must’ve picked up…

 

“Action Magic! ‘Battle Up’! It raises 1 monster’s ATK by 700. (Haraq’s ATK: 1900 -> 2600) Now it has enough ATK.”

 

“Not so fast! Prince’s effect activates! I shuffle ‘Specialist Battlizer’ to increase its ATK by 1000 when it battles a Fusion Monster!” (Prince’s ATK: 2500 -> 3500)

 

Vance’s mouth twitched. He was hesitant but he still used the last card in his hand. “As if, I use the Quick-Play Spell Card ‘Fiery Pyre’. I Tribute 1 Pyro monster I control to increase my other Pyro monster’s ATK by 1000! (Haraq’s ATK: 2600 -> 3600) Go!” Maya and Vance rushed to the next Action Card they saw. It happened to be the same one that both caught their eye. It was by Kuroki, Itou and Kintaro. Maya rushed herself as quick as possible, seeing the card just within her grasp. At the very last second, Vance swooped in and snatched it. He showed it to her being the Action Card ‘Miracle'. Maya stood, shocked. Haraq finished his attack.

 

(Maya’s LP: 100 -> 0)

 

Result: Vance wins!

 

“I lost… So that means…” Maya started sadly.

 

Principal Addam walked up to Maya clapping. She looked at him frowning. “You may have lost, but you still deserve the victory of your improvement,” Principal Addam announced. “I’ll still let you stay as long as you yourself choose to.”

 

Maya was on the verge of crying. She was being allowed to stay. “I do want to stay,” Maya hugged Principal Addam tightly. “Thank you!” She mumbled into his chest. Vance looked on from the side. He smirked, happy he gave it his best and that Maya still gave him a good enough challenge despite her misplays.

 

Itou patted her back, trying to cheer her up. But while Maya’s problems have been temporarily resolved, Kuroki knew her parents would one day come for her. It was a feeling he had inside. And there was also Gungnir. I’ll find you, sooner or later. You better be prepared Gungnir.


 

 

Chapter 14: Past the Past

 

Spoiler

 

Kuroki was watching his younger self holding hands with his dad walking down a street. His dad had a surprise for him once they got home. The shorter, much more immature Kuroki jumped and pranced around excited about the surprise. It was a great moment from what Kuroki remembered. Then, Kuroki and his father crossed a street, just a block away from home. Slowly, as if time had focused on one event and elongated it for just too long, a car honked loudly. The young Kuroki turned his head to the left, seeing the incoming car just a few yards away. Kuroki himself, who was watching it all happen, stood still, unable to move. He watched it replay over and over in his mind, in his dreams, in his nightmares. He saw. He remembered. He dropped. Unable to cope with the loss of his father who at the time used his body to cushion enough of the impact of the car, Kuroki cried to himself. Seeing the scene transition into a blank white hospital room, Kuroki blinked and turned his head up to see his younger sister and his mother in painful agony, mourning over the loss of the father figure in the household and her own husband. It was heavy. All the pain he had felt that day ranging from the physical crash, cuts, and broken bones he received to the emotional trauma that sunk his heart so deep into a depressive state, Kuroki couldn’t even comprehend everything once he awoke. At least, the younger him awoke while the true him reliving the moment was struck with a paralyzing, quivering feeling he couldn’t make out. It replayed over and over in the endless nightmare he kept waking from. Kuroki… All of it was horrendously reminding him that it was his fault that day. It was him that killed his father. If he wasn’t there, his father would be alive. If Kuroki didn’t want to go out and get a new action figure of his favorite game Kingdom Hearts, his father would still be walking. Kuroki…! A voice called out. While distant, it was heard. It crept up to the real Kuroki’s ears, and the illusions fizzled. But they were still surreal to him. They were a perfect retelling of death of his father, of the dad who loved him so much, and the pain his younger sister and mother endured. And the reminder that Kuroki’s emptiness still existed within himself lingered on. Kuroki! He couldn’t feel anything. He couldn’t mourn in time. He had been in a coma for 2 weeks since the incident. He was nearly dead.

 

Kuroki! Wake up! As much as Kuroki wanted to wake up, he couldn’t. He longed to see his dad again. Tears kept coming. They wouldn’t stop at all. Kuroki kept crying as he stared at the scene that truly rerolled itself to play. The repetition pained him and pricked him more as it went on. He barely managed an utter. Despite his knowledge that it was all a dream, it was all true in his mind. And he knew it. No matter where he went, it would follow him.

 

Kuroki, please. It’s just a nightmare!

 

Kuroki slowly opened his eyes to the blurry image of Ryuta whom was by his side holding his head and caressing his hair. “Are you awake?” He asked Kuroki worried beyond any normal person would be.

 

Kuroki meekly nodded, doing his best to play it off as nothing. Inside himself, he knew that Ryuta knew what he was feeling. Kuroki rubbed his tears away and met Ryuta with a hug, burying his head into his chest, trembling beyond relief. Ryuta was speechless with Kuroki hugging him out of the blue. He felt the need to break the ice somehow.

 

“Um, you know I’m basically half-naked,” Ryuta chuckled. Kuroki, flustered, lightly pushed Ryuta away and looked down. He scratched his head and rubbed his eyes with his arm again. Ryuta smiled. “Do you want to tell me why you were crying?” He poked Kuroki in the stomach.

 

Unfazed, Kuroki jabbed Ryuta. He looked away. Even in the dark, Ryuta could see the look on his face with the moonlight dimly shining in. Ryuta rubbed Kuroki’s hair meticulously enough that even Kuroki couldn't refuse the comforting gesture.

 

“I get it. I get it. You don’t have to tell me now Kuroki. But when you are ready, you can tell me anytime you want.”

 

Kuroki nodded, acknowledging Ryuta’s words. Yet again, he could still hear it once again. Kuroki! Please wake up!

 

“Wha-?” Kuroki muttered, tired. He looked up at Ryuta, or what used to be Ryuta. Instead, it was his mangled dead father, staring him straight in the eyes. His father maliciously grabbed him and shook him rapidly while groaning in dire pain. Kuroki froze.

 

“Wake up! Kuroki?” He heard Ryuta called out. Kuroki struggled to open his eyes and look at Ryuta. He was extremely exhausted and tired, sweat covering him all over. Ryuta had Kuroki in his arms atop the younger one’s bed.

 

“Hnnn...,” Kuroki managed to throw out from his dry mouth. He weakly removed himself from Ryuta’s grasp. That dream… again. It’s been happening more frequently since… since I lost to Gungnir. Kuroki closed his eyes and held his head thinking. Ryuta looked on, worried about him.

 

“Are you okay?” Ryuta asked. This time, Kuroki knew he was in the real world and not in his dreams, in his nightmares. He nodded to Ryuta’s question in an attempt to assure Ryuta that nothing was amiss. Ryuta asked again. “You sure you’re okay?”

 

Kuroki did his best to flash a smile and yet was almost trembling from the horrifying dreams he kept having. It was hard, but he still did it. Ryuta bought it enough to stop pestering him. So Ryuta went to his side of the room and laid down on his own bed, proceeding to resume his slumber. Kuroki instead went off to the bathroom to wash his face. He stared into the mirror with the moon lighting half his face from his nose to his mouth. Kuroki approached the window from where the moonlight crept in and took in the massive view from it. The vast ocean glimmered with the moon reflecting off it. It was an amazing view interrupted by the mere visions of his past the night he woke up from his coma. The window was cracked open that very night with the same view there. Kuroki turned his head down spotting two figures running into the forestry. He quickly ran into the room he shared with Ryuta and swiftly changed into blue jeans and a white sweater with a logo design of his ace monster, specially tailored by his mother.

 

Kuroki eyed the sleeping Ryuta. Should I tell him where I’m going? No, that’d just worry him even more. I don’t want that. So, Kuroki ran out the door in search of the two figures in the forest. Unbeknownst to him, Ryuta had kept one eye slightly opened, observing his movements in the night.

 

Past the forest was a small field with flowers slowly swaying with the wind. Beyond that was the cliffside, covered by a few trees and brushes. Kuroki was sure the two people he saw had gone this direction.

 

“Duel!” He heard two voices, with one of them being recognizable. Kuroki turned towards the voices and ran after them.

 

After running through some brushes, Kuroki saw Itou and another person. Who is Itou dueling? Kuroki watched on from the side as the boy wearing a zipped up jacket and some shorts smirked at Itou who was starting the duel off.

 

Itou vs ???

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

Turn 1

 

“I’ll go first! I Special Summon ‘Reality Rupture Dayream’ from my hand. I can do this because I control no monsters.” Itou started off with his usual play but the other was unfazed. Rather to what Kuroki seemed to understand, it was as if the guy expected it.

 

“Haha, I see you haven’t changed at all. You’re just going to lose,” the unnamed guy said. Kuroki’s ears perked up at his voice. He seemed to remember some similarities of it within the bounds of his memories, but he couldn’t make out who it was. Itou seemed to know the person at hand as he clenched his teeth, bearing anger towards the other angrily.

 

“Shut up! You did so much to me! I… you… what do you think you’re going to do to him?” Itou asked, not noticing that Kuroki was watching from the side hidden by the darkness of the night.

 

The other laughed it off hysterically. “Oh, I’m going to crush him for meddling with me on that day. And I’ll do it with everything I got!”

 

“Stay away from him!” Itou lashed out at the guy in question. Kuroki’s memories clicked within him. It was only a few months after the incident with his father, but it was a hazy moment as that day had gone on an errand for his mother while on vacation. Kuroki only remembered pieces of it, but it was enough to make out the voice. The boy Itou was facing now is Pit Boyn, the bully who had picked on another boy their own age.

 

So he goes here too huh? Kuroki thought.

 

“I activate ‘Dayream's' effect to send 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ card from my Deck to the GY and add 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck to my hand. I send ‘Reality Rupture Haven’ to the GY and add ‘Reality Rupture Recuream’ from my Deck to my hand. I now Normal Summon ‘Reality Rupture Luciream’ and activates its special effect. I discard 1 card to Special Summon from my Deck, 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster with a different Level than it. So come! I discard ‘Recuream’ to Special Summon ‘Recuream'! Link Markers, set! Arrowheads confirmed. Summoning conditons met! I put ‘Luciream', ‘Dayream', and ‘Recuream' into the Link Markers and Link Summon! Link 3, ‘Reality Rupture Prophetiream’!” (DARK/Psychic/1600/Link Markers: Left, Right, Up-Right) Itou was able to call out his Link 3 already.

 

“Eh? That’s such a weakling compared to many other monsters,” Pit poked fun at Itou. “You really want to protect him don’t you? But how can you when you use such a weak Deck?”

 

“I will protect him! After all, he… he saved me from you that time!” Itou cried out. “So I’ll repay him by defeating you. I won’t allow you to get near him. You broke the promise you made with him as soon as he left. You went on and on, hurting me! I can’t let you do that to anyone else, especially him! And I just know… something is wrong. I can feel something from your Deck… something bad. So I’ll save you from that too!” Itou proclaimed.

 

Kuroki looked over to Pit’s duel disk. What’s wrong with his Deck…? Kuroki didn’t feel anything. Then he felt a tap on his shoulders. He turned around nearly yelping until a hand covered his mouth to immediately silence him. It was Ryuta.

 

“Shhhhhhh,” he smiled. Right next to Ryuta was his favorite card, Sora, in spirit form. What the?! Is that who I think it is?!

 

“Is something wrong, Kuroki?” Ryuta asked quietly. Kuroki shook his head, denying anything that remotely resembled wrong.

 

In his mind, he could hear Sora speaking to him. Where am I? Sora asked.

 

I thought you were just a video game character I so loved to use in my special Deck my dad made for me? How are you here?! Kuroki redirected back to Sora whom was floating right next to Ryuta.

 

I don’t know… all I know was the last thing I was doing. I just got done with my Mar-

 

So you don’t even know how you got here?! Kuroki vaguely remembered about the world of Duel Spirits and how card spirits would become real if the duelist they were in possession of had a great bond with them. It was a rumor that had gone around that stated it ended once the 5Ds timeline had ended since that was the time the Duel Spirit World had closed. I think I know what you are. He told Sora.

 

Hm? What am I then? Sora crossed his arms, waiting for an answer.

 

A Duel Spirit! Kuroki grinned. And you’re my Duel Spirit!

 

Sora gave a weird look of concern and confusion. But Ryuta snapped Kuroki out his dazed state. “Hey, you were just staring off into nothing. You okay?” Ryuta once again asked.

 

Kuroki nodded, trying to convince Ryuta he was again since the time he had woken up. Meanwhile Itou and Pit were arguing in their Duel. “I’ve changed and I can prove it, Pit!”

 

“Then show me,” replied Pit. “I have a new power, a godly power that will make you fall.”

 

At the sound of that, Sora pointed to Pit’s cards. Kuroki gave him a confused look, shrugging. I can feel the darkness radiating off it. Sora spoke inside Kuroki’s mind.

 

What? You can feel what? Kuroki shook his head, wondering what Sora meant.

 

What I mean is that something is wrong with those… cards. Those are cards, right? Sora asked. Kuroki nodded, proving that Sora was right. There’s something in it that’s emitting darkness.

 

Oh! Could it be… connected to Gungnir? Kuroki thought to himself.

 

I can hear you, you know? Sora folded his arms while tapping his foot in air.

 

I’m not gonna be alone from here on out, now am I? Kuroki silently sighed inside.

 

“Itou’s making a move, Kuroki,” Ryuta said.

 

Kuroki turned his attention to the Duel. “Now, I activate the Continuous Spell Card, ‘Reality Rupture Haven’! With it, once per turn, I can discard 1 card to add 1 ‘Reality Rupture’ monster from my Deck to my hand. I discard ‘Recuream' to add ‘Reality Rupture Nighream’. Then, I set 1 card face-down and end my turn.”

 

Turn 2

Itou

LP: 4000

Hand: Nighream

Field: RR Haven, RR Prophetiream, RR Nighream, 1 Set card

GY: RR Haven, RR Dayream, RR Luciream, RR, RR Recuream x2

 

Pit

LP: 4000

Hand: 5

Field: 0

GY: 0

 

“Haha, then it’s my turn. Draw!” Pit drew his card so quick it created a powerful gust of wind that moved the brushes and trees. “I activate the Continuous Spell Card, ‘Cathedral of Eternity’. Once per turn, I can reveal the bottom card of my Deck, and if it is an ‘Eternal’ monster, I can add it to my hand.” An image displayed the bottom of his Deck revealing ‘Eternity Messiah’. (LIGHT/Fairy/Level 7/1500/2400)

 

“Huh? So basically get to freely add a ‘Eternal' monster if it is on the bottom of your Deck. That’s unfair,” Itou commented.

 

“Hmph, whether or not it is, I set 1 monster and 1 Set card and end my turn.”

 

Turn 3

Itou

LP: 4000

Hand: Nighream

Field: Haven, Prophetiream, Nighream, 1 Set card

GY: Haven, Dayream, Luciream, Recuream x2

 

Pit

LP: 4000

Hand: 3 + Messiah

Field: 1 Set monster, 1 Set card, Cathedral

GY: 0

 

“You barely did anything!” Itou exclaimed, suspecting Pit had a plan to defeat Itou. “My turn, draw!” Itou stared at the card he drew. “I activate Haven’s effect! I discard 1 card and then add ‘Reality Rupture Channelream’ (LIGHT/Psychic/Level 5/2000/1400). And if I control a face-up Link Monster, I can Special Summon it from my hand!”

 

“Oh? So you’ve grown a bit you puny worm,” Pit smirked, confidence gleaming over his entire face.

 

“Now, it is time for me to expand myself to a larger world! If ‘Channelream' is Special Summoned, I can target 1 other ‘Reality Rupture’ monster I control and change ‘Channelream’s’ Level to that target’s Level. I target Nighream. (Channelream’s Level: 5 -> 4)”

 

“He has 2 Level 4 monsters now. Could it be?” Kuroki gasped.

 

“It has to be an…” Ryuta’s eyes glowed with anticipation. “Xyz Summon!”

 

“What’s an Xyz Summon?” Sora asked Kuroki. Kuroki swatted him away.

 

“What’re you still here for? Y-you shouldn’t even be here!” Kuroki exclaimed, promptly annoyed by how the night has gone.

 

First, a nightmare… and now a Duel Spirit. What is going on? Kuroki pondered.

 

Sora pouted gliding down to Kuroki’s side. “Even I don’t know why I’m here,” Sora muttered. Kuroki’s eyes briefly looked over Sora’s dejected ones. Kuroki wondered how his favorite card became a Duel Spirit.

 

Maybe if I do a little research I’ll know then.

 

“I use my Level 4 ‘Channelream’ and ‘Nighream' to… Xyz Summon! O behold the nature of reality, dispel the dreams of vanity! Rank 4, ‘Reality Rupture Sanctiream’. (LIGHT/Psychic/2500/1950) And I equip him with ‘Reality Claw’. With ‘Reality Claw’, if the equipped monster deals damage to you, I draw 1 card. Furthermore, my monster cannot be targeted by your card effects.” Itou had it prepared now.

 

“You’re as pitiful as I would think you are. You believe you can protect those dear to you. Yet, all those times, you failed to. Just like when Kuroki lost to Gungnir.” Pit poked the spots of Itou. “You were so angry at yourself that you let him lose and he had fallen into a short coma from it. So much, that you endangered yourself and your friends unknowingly by challenging Gungnir himself.”

 

How does he…? Kuroki was surprised that Pit knew about Gungnir. Rather he was astonished that Pit knew he was in a coma. What could it mean?

 

“Gungnir?” Ryuta questioned. He turned to Kuroki almost in an angry manner. But it was leaning towards worried. “You were in a coma because of who?”

 

“Uh… I… oh look!” Kuroki pointed back towards the duel.

 

“No! You’re wrong! I was able to bring him back. I didn’t endanger anyone. I only put myself at risk!” Itou screamed out to Pit almost infuriatingly violent. “Battle! ‘Prophetiream' attack that Set monster!”

 

The Set monster revealed itself as a surfer riding the waves. “You destroyed my ‘Eternal Surfer’. (WATER/Aqua/Level 4/1200/1600) Since he is destroyed, his effect lets me Special Summon ‘Eternal Phoenix’ (FIRE/Winged Beast/Level 3/1400/300) from my Deck. Defense!”

 

“Go, ‘Sanctiream'! Sanctity Light!”

 

A beam of light clashed with the phoenix’s blast of fire resulting in a large explosion with the messiah losing. “Phoenix’s effect. I Special Summon ‘Eternal Messiah’ from my hand.”

 

“That’s the end of my turn.” Itou clenched his teeth. He did no damage at all and Pit still had stuff he could use. The next turn would definitely determine it.

 

Turn 4

 

Itou

LP: 4000

Hand: 0

Field: Reality Claw, Reality Rupture Haven, Prophetiream, Sancitream, 1 Set card

GY: Haven, Dayream, Luciream x2, Recuream x2, Nighream, Channelream

 

Pit

LP: 4000

Hand: 3

Field: Messiah, Cathedral of Eternity, 1 Set card

GY: Phoenix, Surfer

 

“Draw!” Pit impishly grinned as he saw the card he drew. “Ah, you’re going to lose.”

 

“How?” Itou inquired.

 

“You’ll see,” Pit responded. “I Normal Summon ‘Eternal Fairies’. Then I activate my Set card, the Continuous Trap ‘Beyond the Eternal Horizon’ which targets my ‘Fairies' and lets me Normal Summon from my hand 1 ‘Eternal' monster with a different Type than it. I Normal Summon ‘Eternal Stone Herald’. Monsters Normal Summoned by this effect can attack directly. But are destroyed after damage calculations.”

 

“That isn’t good…” Kuroki said to Ryuta.

 

“Now, I activate the Spell Card, ‘R.E.M. Stage!” Pit crazily laughed.

 

What?! Kuroki’s eyes opened wide. There was no way that he could have had that card unless he knew Gungnir. There must’ve been a connection between him and Pit.

 

“R.E.M.?” Ryuta scratched his head. He had no idea what that card was.

 

“I Special Summon ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ and with his effect, I negate ‘Sanctiream’s’ effects and increase ‘Sleeper's’ ATK by that card’s ATK plus 100 more.” (Sleeper’s ATK: 0 -> 2600) Now, let’s Synchro Summon using Sleeper and Messiah (1 + 7 = 8)! Come together and bare your fangs of power, unleash the ferocity of your claws! Synchro Summon! Level 8, ‘Eternal Canine’!” (FIRE/Beast/1900/1800)

 

“Why?! Why are you using that card?!” Itou asked. “How do you know Gungnir?!”

 

“Hahaha! He’s going to give me what I want! My redemption into the championships!” Pit cackled. “I just made a few sacrifices, that’s all. You know, those useless lackeys I had by me.”

 

“You… you let Gungnir use them…?” Itou was horrified. He couldn’t comprehend the logic that Pit made.

 

“Ever since I lost to that guy back then, I… I lost it all. My role in the tournaments and the support my family gave broke away! He’s gonna give me the power to take my revenge and get further in my life!”

 

“You’re crazy!” shouted Itou. “He’s definitely only using you! He doesn’t care what happens to you.”

 

“You don’t know that. He’s going to give me what I want. He’s already given me a part of what I want. And that… is to crush you.”

 

“What?!”

 

“Battle! ‘Eternal Canine’, attack ‘Prophetiream'! Flame Pounce.” The canine jumped onto Prophetiream and bit off its head making Prophetiream dissipate. “And not only that, he gains 300 ATK each time my canine battles with a monster. Furthermore, it can attack twice per Battle Phase, and it cannot be destroyed by battle.”

 

“A monster that can’t be destroyed in battle, and each time it battles, it gets stronger?!” Itou trembled. (Canine’s ATK: 1900 -> 2200, 2200 vs 1600. Itou’s LP: 4000 -> 3400)

 

“Once more, attack Sanctiream! Flame Pounce!” (Canine’s ATK: 2200 -> 2500, 2500 vs 2500) “Now, Fairies, attack! (Itou’s LP: 3400 -> 3000) You too, Stone Herald. (Itou’s LP: 3000 -> 1900) And since Stone Herald attacked directly, it is destroyed. And since it is destroyed by a card effect, I can Special Summon another copy of my Fairies from my Deck. And since Fairies is Special Summoned, I can Special Summon another ‘Eternal' monsters from my Deck. Come, Messiah. Finish him off!” (1500 + 400 = 1900 damage)

 

“I activate my Set card, ‘Paradigm Shift’. If you control more monsters than I do, I draw 1 card, and if it is a Psychic monster, I can Special Summon it and 1 Psychic monster in my GY.” Itou’s heart raced.

 

“Hmph, try all you may. But your tricks won’t work on me.” Pit said.

 

“Draw!” Itou looked at his cards with hope. But he drew ‘Reality Shift’, a Field Spell.

 

“You’re done for, Itou.” (Itou’s LP: 1900 -> 0)

 

Result: Pit Wins!

 

“Itou!” Kuroki called out to Itou as he fell to his knees.

 

Pit stood by holding his head laughing out loud with his victory. “This… this is my power now! Don’t you see how much better I’ve gotten?! I’ve improved because of him!”

 

“Pit, why side with Gungnir?!” Kuroki asked. Pit continued to laugh and soon disappeared into the night.

 

“I’ll be back for you, Kuroki,” Pit’s voice echoed through the forest. “But instead of worrying about me. Why don’t you worry about Itou? After all, he seems hurt.”

 

Kuroki inspected Itou’s condition. It was almost like his own. Itou’s eyes looked baggy and he seemed as if he was going to fall asleep soon. He instructed Ryuta to come over and help Itou to the nurse’s office.

 

Ryuta carried Itou on his back as Kuroki walked beside him. Silence filled the air since the duel had ended. Itou was fully asleep and Ryuta himself didn’t know how to talk to Kuroki about what had happened. Neither did Kuroki feel what was right to say about what had happened. They got to the nurse's office with the nurse who was still up filing some paperwork.

 

Kuroki opened the door greeting her. “Hello, er Ms. Esperanza.” Kuroki stared at the name tag she had on right on top of her left breast. “My friend Itou here collapsed. Can you help him?”

 

“Oh, this late at night?” The nurse questioned. She looked at Ryuta, then Kuroki, and back at Ryuta. “O’Hara, you’ve been in my office plenty of times.”

 

Kuroki eyed Ryuta suspectingly. He walked in attempting to avoid the question. “I’m going to put Itou on this bed,” Ryuta stated. He placed Itou on the middle bed and left him there to rest. “Uh, Esperanza-sensei.”

 

“You mean Ms. Esperanza. That kind of honorific does not suit me.” She narrowed her eyes on Ryuta. “You always skip class by coming into my office. You have some nerve to show up here again.”

 

Ryuta backed away from her wrath. “I-I’m sorry…” Ryuta uttered, almost crying for Kuroki to help him. Kuroki could feel that his layback lifestyle had come to bite him. Instead, he ignored Ryuta’s silent request for help and tended to Itou. Kuroki placed a blanket over him and positioned him to lay on the bed straight. Meanwhile, the nurse had finished chewing out Ryuta and came by to inspect Itou’s condition.

 

Ms. Esperanza ran a few physical tests on Itou. After she finished writing down something, she called Kuroki and Ryuta over.

 

“I don’t know what happened, but it seems like a Itou just had a massive amount of fatigue ran through him leaving him in this state. I think he just needs a good rest before he can leave. So, you two take it easy and go back to your dorms and sleep. It’s almost 3 am.” Ms Esperanza explained to the two boys.

 

Kuroki nodded deciding to leave Itou in her hands. So the two left the school building and headed over to their dorm room.

 

Ryuta wanted to bring up what the nightmares that Kuroki had but he didn’t feel he could pry into it. He heard bits and pieces of his nightmare since Kuroki was sleep talking. I wonder how I can bring it up to him. Ryuta thought. Meanwhile Kuroki was silent. They  were both walking past a small beach when Kuroki stopped and stared at the waters.

 

“Ryuta,” he started. Ryuta gave his full attention to him. “Do you think it’s ever someone’s fault when something happens?”

 

Ryuta took a moment to think it through. Is Kuroki asking me about what happened to Itou? Ryuta was sure that was what he was asking. After all, it was Pit’s fault that Itou was in the condition he was in. “Yeah, I think so.”

 

Kuroki inhaled deeply before letting out a heavy sigh. So would it be my fault for that accident? I did ask my dad if we could go out that day. If I didn’t, maybe… maybe he’d be here. Kuroki looked back at Ryuta. “I see. Thanks for answering.”

 

“Don’t sweat it,” joked Ryuta. “You can ask me anything anytime.”

 

“Ah, okay,” Kuroki walked past Ryuta. But he was stopped when Ryuta told him to look at the waters. He turned around to see the gleaming moonlight reflecting the ocean. It was a beautiful sight. One known as the Stardust Road written in the texts of the Vrains history books. One that he had read before. But it only reminded him of the day he woke up from that trauma.

 

“Isn’t it beautiful?” Ryuta asked smiling.

 

Kuroki nodded, acknowledging that such a sight was visually pleasing, but deep inside it was emotionally breaking. “Yeah, it is.”

 

“I think this sight is based off of that one scenery in Den City. That place is kind of far but…”

 

“I know, Ryuta.”

 

“Ah! Sorry if I was rambling,” Ryuta scratched his head laughing in order to shake off the awkwardness.

 

“Let’s… let’s go home, Ryuta.”

 

 

Chapter 15: A Sticky Mess! Silas, the Slime Duelist!

 

Spoiler

 

In class, Kuroki was paying attention to the lecture that Professor Portman had, barely able to keep up due to the lack of sleep he had the previous night. He blinked twice before peering over to the seat that Itou usually sat in, across the room, near the corner of the classroom which was right by the exit. Kuroki himself was seated in the center of the whole classroom. Maya, who sat next to him, tapped on his shoulders as he was nearly falling asleep.

 

Kuroki turned his attention to her almost falling out of chair due to his exhaustion from barely having any rest. “Where’s Itou?” Maya whispered to him, hoping Professor Portman didn’t catch her.

 

Kuroki cracked his neck and muttered, “In the nurse’s office.” Maya’s eyes widened. Seeing as Professor Portman was staring at the class, Maya looked down on her notebook and acted as if she was jotting down a few lines of notes. Then she shifted the notebook towards Kuroki. He looked down and read the words silently.

 

Why is he in there? Maya asked.

 

Kuroki pulled the notebook towards him and started scribbling down a reply. He pushed it back to her.

 

Yesterday night, Itou dueled someone named Pit and lost. Not only that, Pit used ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’. Maya covered her mouth to prevent a loud gasp from escaping her. She looked up at the board and returned to the notebook again, continuing to write down her response.

 

So then why is he in the nurse’s office? She wrote.

 

Kuroki peered over to Maya’s notebook and immediately took it from her. He slowly wrote down in big letters COMA. It was enough to inform Maya of the situation.

 

As soon as the bell rang, Professor Portman cleaned the board. Before Maya and Kuroki could leave, Professor Portman called them over. The two stopped in their tracks to leave and turned to him waiting for what he had to say.

 

“I heard that Itou fell into a coma,” Professor Portman said. Kuroki nodded, knowing full well what Professor Portman meant. “I just want to say that if you two need anything, just ask. I know you three are great friends and all. So if you have anything you want to get off your chest, please come and see me.”

 

Kuroki looked at Maya, who shrugged. So he softly bowed. “Um, yes. Thank you, Professor Portman,” Kuroki started. “I… I want to ask if there is anything you know about Pit Boyn.” Professor Portman’s eyes narrowed at Kuroki’s own.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Do you know him by any chance?”

 

A pause crept into the conversation before Professor Portman reacted. “He’s… he’s gone missing for over a week. Why is it that you ask?”

 

“Because yesterday I saw him in the forest.”

 

“I see. I think I last heard that he was hiding somewhere within the woods behind the academy building which leads down to an isolated beach.”

 

“Oh? Okay, I’ll go there and check.”

 

Professor Portman patted Kuroki’s shoulder. “Be careful. I wouldn’t want another student to go missing.”

 

“We will. Right, Maya?”

 

“Right! We’ll take extra careful measures to keep us safe!” Maya said.

 

Professor Portman let the two go and they sprinted off into the back forest. The two looked around and observed their surroundings for any signs of someone. But they came up with nothing. The sun was blazing and shining through each nick and cranny of the trees as they could. Maya, the less athletic of the two, wiped off a bit of sweat from her forehead, gazing at Kuroki who seemed unaffected by the heat. She frowned as Kuroki seemed content with the blistering heat even under the safety of the forest trees.

 

“Just how are you even managing to keep walking when it’s so musty?!” Maya complained.

 

Kuroki turned around scratching an itch on his shoulder. “I live in Archelago City with my mom, home to one of the most sweltering heat waves in all of the world’s summers. So what do you expect?”

 

“Well, I’d expect you to at least break a sweat.”

 

“Hm, if you think so, Maya,” Kuroki replied nonchalantly. The silent Maya pouted as she held her Duel Disk in hand.

 

“I’m so gonna duel you and get my revenge!” She boasted her strength in her Deck and strategy, all the while making poses in attempts to make her look cooler. Kuroki shook his head in disbelief.

 

“You won’t beat me, not with your skill level.”

 

Maya gasped, shocked to hear what Kuroki said. “How dare you?!”

 

“I dare to.”

 

“Ngh, anyways, you said you lived in Archelago City with your mom. What about your dad?” Kuroki’s body tensed up at the mention of his dad. “Does he not live with you?”

 

“Uh, no, it’s complicated.” Kuroki winced. It wasn’t a lie. He just wasn’t telling the details. And as much as Kuroki hoped for another distraction to come through, it actually did happen. The two could hear an explosion in the distance, signaling to them that there was a Duel happening. They sprinted towards the direction of the sound and reached the small open coastline. To the right, they witnessed a guy Dueling another man in a cloak.

 

“What the?! Is that Gungnir?” Kuroki wondered.

 

“Already? Then who’s the guy Dueling?” Maya asked.

 

“That’s not Gungnir! It’s one of his emissaries of dreams,” the guy near them said.

 

??? vs Emissary of Dream

Turn ??

???’s LP: 800

Emissary of Dream’s LP: 1000

 

The “Emissary of Dreams” let loose a wicked laugh as the male next to them shouted his final attack. “‘G/G/G Omega’ (LIGHT/Aqua/Level 8/Fusion/1300/3000), direct attack! Omega Torrent!” (Emissary of Dream’s LP: 1000 -> 0) The thing faded into nothingness as it kept on cackling aloud. Silence began to seep through the air again.

 

Result: ??? Wins!

 

“Hey there! My name is Silas Harper, it’s great to meet you two!” Silas smiled without a care in the world. He wore the dress shirt of Star Dueling Academy but with his sleeves rolled up and a cardigan over it. His khaki slacks fitted him perfectly. Silas’s hair had the right of it buzzed with the left looming over to the right, somewhat hiding the buzzed cut part of his orange and brown striped hair. Silas’s red eyes peered into Kuroki’s own.

 

“I’m Kuroki Kudou,” Kuroki’s mouth twitched.

 

“And I’m Maya Corlea,” Maya answered, bowing respectfully.

 

“I see,” Silas leered at Kuroki, inspecting him from top to bottom. “So what’re you doing out here?”

 

As Kuroki was going to start explaining, Maya bumped into him and began for him. “Well, we’re out here looking for Pit Boyn. Do you know him?”

 

Silas took a moment to think to see if the name clicked in his head, but he shrugged. “So I heard you say the name ‘Gungnir', Kuroki. What business do you have with him?” Silas questioned.

 

To Kuroki, Silas was already giving off bad vibes. While Silas may have defeated the “Emissary of Dreams”, something didn’t sit right with him. It was the fact that Silas knew something about Gungnir. “Ah, uh, we’re looking for-”

 

Silas, who was looming over the shorter Kuroki, stepped back as he tightened his glare on Kuroki. “I can sense it… his power has slightly imbued itself with you. You must be connected to him!” Kuroki was taken aback being accused of having sided with Gungnir. Silas jumped back further landing almost on the other side of the small beach. He activated his Duel Disk and prepared himself against Kuroki. The two facing Silas were confused.

 

“Ehhhhhhh?!” They both screamed. Silas then used another button on his Duel Disk which shot a laser beam that stuck into Kuroki’s own Duel Disk. It forced his to open up and initiate a Duel.

 

“Duel!” Silas called out.

 

Kuroki vs Silas

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

“W-wait! What do you mean I have a bit of Gungnir inside me?!” Kuroki exclaimed.

 

“Yeah! He has nothing to do with that guy!” Maya backed Kuroki up, albeit afraid of what Silas was capable of.

 

“Hmph, spare me the lies! I can sense his presence inside of you. That itself is enough proof that you are aligned with him, just like those who have become the ‘Emissaries of Dreams’,” Silas drew his starting hand. “I’ll get rid of you and use you to get closer to him. Haha, if I can capture you, he’ll definitely come running if he really needs you. That’s gotta be why his presence is stronger inside you than the rest of them.”

 

Kuroki blinked, trying to wrap his brain around the logic Silas had. It seemed like Kuroki wasn’t the only one hunting for Gungnir. This other person was too. “You’ve got it wrong! I also encountered Gungnir.”

 

“And so have a few others, but I don’t sense anything in them like in you. So give it up and make the first move. We’ll see if this Duel can prove you’re not on his side!” Silas yelled.

 

“But I’m not!”

 

“You sure? If you become desperate, I know what card you’ll end up using.”

 

“He must mean ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’, Kuroki,” told Maya.

 

“Now, I activate the Spell Card, ‘R.E.M. Stage!” Pit crazily laughed.

 

“Draw,” Kuroki shivered as the Gungnir’s cold voice hit his ears. “I activate the Spell Card from my hand, ‘R.E.M. Stage’. I Special Summon 1 ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ from my hand, Deck, or Graveyard. From my Deck, come! Level 1, ‘R.E.M Sleeper’! (Level 1/EARTH/Psychic/0/0) If it is Special Summoned, I can target 1 monster you control and negate its effects until the End Phase. I choose Valor Sora. Then my Sleeper gains ATK equal to your monster’s ATK + 100! (Sleeper ATK: 0 -> 2600) Battle! Now, attack his Valor Sora and destroy him!”

 

“I can tell you that I don’t have it! Even if I did, I wouldn’t even use it!” Kuroki proudly announced.

 

“We’ll see about that,” Silas grinned, confident he would win.

 

Kuroki drew his starting hand. “Tch, my turn.” He looked over each of his cards and nodded, knowing what his game plan was. “I Normal Summon ‘Donald the Keyblade Master Wizard’ (LIGHT/Spellcaster/Level 4/1300/1100) in Attack Position. And when he is Normal Summoned, I can add 1 ‘Drive’ Spell from my Deck to my hand. I choose ‘Drive Form’. Now I activate it!”

 

“Hmmm? A ‘Drive’ card? Well, that’s a trick I’ve never seen before.” Silas mockingly stated. “We’ll see how far it gets you.”

 

“Whatever, I will Drive Fusion Summon! Using Donald on my field as the power, and Sora in my hand as the catalyst, he can reach a new form! Blessed with the wisdom of light, may you bring down your judgement, Drive Fusion Summon! Come, Level 6, ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade of Wisdom’! (LIGHT/Warrior/2100/1400) And I set 2 cards face-down and end my turn.”

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki

LP: 4000

Hand: 1

Field: Wisdom Sora, 2 Set Spells/Traps

GY: 3

 

Silas

LP: 4000

Hand: 5

 

“Hehe, it’s my turn. Draw!” Silas peeked at his card before placing it on his Duel Disk. “I can see through everything you’ve got! Now let me show the beginning of what my Deck can do. First off, I Normal Summon ‘G/G Acidity’ in Attack Position. (WATER/Aqua/Level 4/400/1600)” A big green slime ball appeared dripping small amounts of its acid on the ground, melting away the sand. “When it is Normal Summoned, just like your Donald, I can add 1 ‘G/G’ Spell/Trap from my Deck to my hand. I take ‘G/G Slip Goo’!”

 

“Heh? You think that’ll stop me? Your monster is way too weak for my Sora.”

 

“We’ll see. I activate my Field Spell! ‘G/G/G Torrent’.” The Spell appeared on the field and sprouted large tornadoes of water that seemed to lift itself into the sky and surrounded the two and Maya. “When this is activated, I can discard 1 ‘G/G’ card, and then draw 1. I discard ‘G/G Luminescence’! Furthermore, all my ‘G/G’ monsters gain 400 ATK. (Acidity’s ATK: 400 -> 800) Battle!”

 

“Are you stupid? You’re still trying to defeat my Sora? Your monster has way too weak of an ATK to even scratch him.”

 

Silas chuckled and soon it became a storm of laughter. “Wanna test it out? Acidity, attack! Burning Slip!” Acidity rushed into Sora and went through. But it didn’t stop moving. Kuroki could see it coming after him. Acidity’s form shaped into a more humanoid form and rained down a few strikes of acid at Kuroki.

 

“What the? What’s this?” Kuroki trembled at the amount of burns he had from the attack.

 

“Yeah, what gives?! Why didn’t Acidity get destroyed by Sora?!” Maya bit her lip.

 

“‘G/G Acidity’ can attack a player directly without giving a care about what stands in their way. This means, even if you control monsters, they can attack you directly!” Silas explained. (Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 3200)

 

“Hey, are you okay?” Sora looked back at the hurt Kuroki.

 

“Y-yeah, I’m fine! It’s just Solid Vision. It only stings a little.” Kuroki patted his arms from the small scrapes he had from the recent attack. “So what? Are you done?”

 

“Nope! I now activate the Quick-Play Spell Card ‘G/G Slip Goo’, which was added by Acidity’s effect. If I dealt battle damage with a ‘G/G’ monster, I can shuffle the monster that dealt that damage into my Deck and Special Summon 1 different one from my Deck afterwards. Furthermore, I then immediately Fusion Summon using it and 1 monster you control.”

 

“Sora! Now! Magic Haste!” Kuroki called out.

 

“Gotcha!” Sora spinned his Keyblade behind him and pointed it up. A beam of light shined from the tip.

 

“If you activate a Spell/Trap, with this Sora’s effect, I can negate the activation and destroy it!”

 

“Not so fast!” Silas replied.

 

“What?!”

 

“I activate the Equip Spell Card from my hand, ‘G/G Cascade’. If you activate a monster effect, I can reveal this card in my hand, then target 1 ‘G/G’ monster I control. I negate your activation and Equip this card to my target. So now, the chain resolves as it should for my favor.”

 

“Tch, oh great.”

 

“I shuffle ‘G/G Acidity’ into the Deck, which also destroys ‘G/G Cascade’, to Special Summon ‘G/G Basicity’! (WATER/Aqua/Level 4/800/2000) Now I Fusion Summon using your Sora and my Basicity! With the substance of your goo, absorb the LIGHT of your opponent, fuse it together to create the magnificent being that shines it!” The blue ball of slime wrapped itself around Sora and compressed itself harshly on him. Then light blinded the surroundings showing a new monster on the field, with Basicity and Sora gone. “Fusion Summon! Descend, Level 8, ‘G/G/G Omega’!” (LIGHT/Aqua/1300/3000)

 

“That’s the monster he used to beat that Emissary of whatever!” Maya shouted, inspecting the large machination nearly dissolved in the slime. “It looks like…”

 

“That’s ‘Vylon Omega’ in that thing. I see how he plays now. It’s as if he can see right through us.” Kuroki said. “Also, since you sent my Wisdom Sora to the GY, I get to draw 1 card.”

 

“And it’s because I can.” Silas smirked. “Now, with Basicity having left the field to the GY, its effect allows me to Special Summon 1 ‘G/G’ monster from my hand. Come, ‘G/G Basicity’, in the same column as his leftmost Set card.”

 

“You don’t have to… wait…”

 

“You understand what this means right? Since it’s still my Battle Phase, I can still attack you directly. Go Omega, Compound. Omega Spark! Basicity Burn! And my Field Spell increases their ATK by 400! (Basicity’s ATK: 800 -> 1200, Omega’s ATK: 1300 -> 1700)”

 

“Oh boy…” Kuroki steadied himself for the two attacks. (Kuroki’s LP: 3200 -> 2000 -> 300)

 

“Hahaha! And their effects activate when they deal battle damage. Basicity destroys that Set card of yours. Also, Omega gains 700 ATK and is switched to Defense Position. With that, I end my turn.” (Omega’s ATK: 1700 -> 2400)

 

“I’ll get you back for this!”

 

Turn 3

 

Kuroki

LP: 300

Hand: 2

Field: Set card

GY: 1 ???, Sora, Wisdom Sora, Drive Form, Donald

 

Silas

LP: 4000

Hand: 2

Field: Torrent, Omega, Basicity

GY: Luminescence, Slip Goo, Basicity, Cascade

 

“My turn, draw!” Kuroki took a good look at his cards. He had ‘Drive Recovery’, ‘Reaction Command - Auto-Drive’, and ‘Drive Revert’, the obvious combo he had was there. “I activate ‘Drive Recovery’ to add ‘Drive Form’ and ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer’ from my GY to my hand. But this turn, I cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except ‘Drive Form’ and ‘Keyblade’ monsters.”

 

“You’re going to make your comeback now?” Silas confidently stood and condescendingly denoted Kuroki. “I wonder if it’s going to involve ‘R.E.M. Sleeper’ by any chance.”

 

“Haha, that’s where you’re wrong.”

 

“Huh?” Silas’s face went blank. No way he has any good plays. He must be bluffing. Then again, he did just use that card which prevents him from Special Summoning anything but the stated monsters. We’ll see what he can do.

 

“This is my for sure kill! I Normal Summon Sora, and with his effect, I Special Summon Donald from my GY. Since Donald is Special Summoned, I can send 1 Spell Card from my Deck to my GY. I send ‘Curaga’. Now, I activate ‘Drive Form’! I will Drive Synchro Summon this time! With Sora as the catalyst and Donald as the power, he can reach a new hope that marks the midpoint of the journey! (Level 4 + 4 = ? Go! Level 8, ‘Drive Form - Sora the Keyblade of Limits!” (LIGHT/Warrior/3000/2100)

 

“Whoa!” Silas was impressed. He liked seeing the variety in Kuroki’s Deck and the versatility built in. “Let’s see what you got then!” A screen popped up on Silas’s duel disk showing the effects of Kuroki’s summoned monster. “I see…”

 

“Hehe, now attack Omega!” Kuroki called. “Zantetsuken!”

 

“But they have the same ATK and DEF. It won’t matter!”

 

“No, it will,” Maya quietly mumbled to herself, excited that the Duel was heating up more.

 

“My Quick-Play Spell that I set last turn activates, ‘Guard Break’! When a ‘Keyblade’ monster I control battles, it gains ATK equal to half your monster’s DEF and deals double piercing battle damage this turn. But afterwards, my monster’s ATK is set to half its original ATK.” Kuroki explained.

 

Silas took a card from his hand and was about to activate it. Then he stopped. “My mons-” Oh shoot! I can’t due to that Limit Sora’s effect.

 

(Limit Sora’s ATK: 3000 -> 4500, Silas’s LP: 4000 -> 1000)

 

“Yes! And since I dest-”

 

“Hmph, by banishing ‘G/G Luminescence’ from my GY, Omega is not destroyed. Meaning you cannot recover LP.”

 

“Fine, then so be it! But I activate the Quick-Play Spell Card from my hand, ‘Drive Revert’. I revert Sora into his previous state and bring them back. Reappear, Sora and Donald!” With a cloud of smoke, both Sora and Donald took their positions back on the field after a glimpse of light dissipated from Sora. “Now since Sora is Special Summoned, I can add 1 ‘Keyblade’ card from my Deck to my hand! I add ‘Mickey the Keyblade King’.”

 

“So you have those two, and I have these two. You’re not getting through this now.”

 

“I have way, oh I have one.”

 

“Then let’s see it! Because all I see is your defeat!”

 

Kuroki thrusted his hand forward calling out his attack. “Go Donald. Attack ‘G/G Basicity’! Donald Thunder!”

 

Silas jumped back and revealed a Trap card in his hand. “If a monster attacks another monster, I can discard this card to target my ‘G/G’ monster. Its ATK becomes doubled its original ATK!” (Basicity’s ATK: 800 -> 1600)

 

“Uh oh,” Kuroki quickly tapped an icon in his GY. Donald’s Thunder was redirected back at him with Basicity’s goo and decimated him. (Kuroki’s LP: 300 -> 400)

 

“What?! But how?!”

 

“I activated the GY effect of my sent ‘Curaga’. It lets me gain 100 LP for each card in the GY by banishing itself. So I gained 400 LP.”

 

“Agh! I calculated all of this to this point! I’m not going to lose!”

 

“But you are! I activate the monster effect of ‘Mickey the Keyblade King’ in my hand! I Special Summon it and a Level 4 or lower monster from either of our GY. I think I’ll choose ‘G/G Basicity’ in your GY.” A small mouse-like humanoid sprung from light and used a pearl of light to revive the monster in Silas’s GY. “And you should know that your Field Spell applies to ALL ‘G/G’ monsters on the field and not just your own.”

 

“Tch, you’re… right…!” Silas’s face scrunched in humiliation.

 

(Basicity’s ATK (Kuroki’s): 800 -> 1200) “Go, direct attack, Basicity!” The ball of blue slime rushed past Silas, eliminating the rest of his LP.

 

(Silas’s LP: 1000 -> 0)

 

Result: Kuroki wins!

 

“Haha! I take the win now!”

 

“Tch, to think I lost to you,” Silas stood up from the ground he was kneeling down on.

 

“And I didn’t use anything related to ‘R.E.M.’ or Gungnir. Does this prove enough?” Kuroki gently smiled and took Silas’s hands into his own. “What do you say?”

 

“Fine, I was wrong about you…” Silas frowned. But soon enough, it lifted into a soft grin. “It was a short but fun duel. That was an amazing play you did there defeating me with my own monster.”

 

Maya bumped into the two and threw her arms around them. “So now we’re friends right?! Silas?”

 

Silas looked from Kuroki to Maya. “Hm…”

 

Maya eased in on him, staring intently. “Soooooooo?”

 

“That’s way too fast in my opinion,” Silas said.

 

“Eh?!” Maya groaned in defeat. “Oh…”

 

Silas laughed. “I’m kidding. It might make us more than just acquaintances. Now that I know there are others searching for Gungnir, I’ll help you guys whenever I can. I’m a second-year attending here. Although, I actually transferred from a different school.”

 

“Oh, is that so? Well, we’ll ask you if we need anything,” Kuroki thanked Silas.

 

“Just don’t put too much on me! I crack under too much pressure,” Silas showed a cheeky smile.

 

As he was about to walk away, he turned around to Kuroki. Kuroki began to walk the other direction with Maya, but Silas’s voice stopped him in his tracks. “Yeah, Silas?”

 

Silas cleared his throat before speaking. “I just wanted to say that if you had lost that Duel… you would have been shocked to an unconscious state.” Kuroki’s eyes widened.

 

“WHAT?!” He yelled as he ran after the fleeing Silas. Maya rolled her eyes and followed suit.

 

“Geez, Kuroki…” Sora laid back on a tree as he gazed upon the three running. It reminded him a lot of his home. “To think there was a lot I could see here that would be the same back at the islands…” Sora closed his eyes and drifted away, back into the card that he possessed in Kuroki’s Deck.

 

As soon as the chase was finished, Maya and Kuroki parted ways. Kuroki headed back to his room. He flung the door open and saw Ryuta crying his eyes out. Kuroki was suspicious.

 

“Why are you crying?” Kuroki asked Ryuta.

 

He sniffled in response. “B-because…”

 

“Because?” Kuroki inched closer to Ryuta’s crying face.

 

“You… you’re just so passionate in saving Itou. It moves my heart so much!”

 

“Huh…?”

 

“I heard from Professor Portman you went searching for Pit today after class. I’m so touched by your actions! You’re usually so cold to me! But I knew that there was a good person hiding inside that facade of yours!” Ryuta wrapped his strong arms around Kuroki and bear hugged him. Kuroki, surprised, took action by headbutting him followed by a kick to the stomach.

 

“Is that all you were crying about?! Geez…” Kuroki scratched his head. Although he hated the way Ryuta treated him, it was nice at the same time. I wonder why Ryuta is just like this to me.

 

Ryuta cleaned his tears from his face and brightly stood up to walk over to the kitchen to prepare some food for the two. “Now then, let’s get started on dinner! And… you’re going to be my special helper!”

 

“Uh… it’s not special if I’m the only one here to help.”

 

“Ah, who cares? Come on!” And Kuroki strapped a brown apron to his body and began helping on preparations for their dinner.

 

This reminds me… of helping Mom back home. Kuroki clutched his chest and closed his eyes, reliving the memories of a couple years ago when he was assisting his mom on making dinner one night. He chuckled at the thought and looked at Ryuta. It’s nice to have someone to eat with like this.

 

Sora homed in on the cooking. Oh yeah… my mom. He thought to himself. She must be worried sick about me. Kuroki finished his tasks quickly and took a rest on the small couch they had. Meanwhile, Ryuta was baking a casserole in the oven and making some deep fried chicken, Korean styled.

 

Sitting alone, or almost alone as Sora was sitting next to Kuroki as a sentient spirit, he turned to him. You and I both know we can hear each other’s thoughts.

 

Sora nodded, agreeing. I just want to find a way to go back.

 

And I just want to find a way to Gungnir. And I know why you’re here.

 

Why is that? Sora greeted Kuroki’s intense stare.

 

Because, you’re my favorite card and you always have been. I’ve repeatedly played your games so I know almost everything about you.

 

So what does that have to do with me? Sora wasn’t keen on the side talk.

 

What I mean is, you’re just a work of fiction. Yet, here you are as a Duel Spirit. I think my childlike dream for you to be real came true. Then it clicked. My… childlike dreams.

 

Huh? Sora was confused. He didn’t quite grasp all of it.

 

Gungnir, he made one of my dreams come… true.

 

 

Chapter 16: Faced With The Bone-Chilling Kintaro, Possession Takes Place

 

 

Spoiler

 

In the dark grim morning, Kuroki woke with a major headache. He clutched his head as he slowly got off his bed, all the while peering over at the sleeping Ryuta. As quietly as possible, Kuroki lightly stepped into the bathroom and turned the faucet on. He hissed when the pain sharpened.

 

Everytime… this is happening more often than I thought. The nightmares are happening frequently. Kuroki splashed some water on his face and steadied himself by placing his hands on the edge of the sink to hold himself up. He stared at the reflection gazing back at him. With his hands tensing, he took a deep breath to calm himself from his recurring nightmares.

 

“It’s just a dream… just a dream,” Kuroki muttered to himself. He left the bathroom after turning closing the faucet and headed towards the kitchen in search of water. Kuroki grabbed a blue cup and started filling it as he looked at his phone. The top read 3 new notifications. Kuroki set the water aside and flicked his finger to see what the notifications were. All of them were messages from his mother and sister.

 

I hope you’re doing well there! Whenever you can, please give us a call.

 

Your sister and I are doing fine. We’re holding the fort down here, so don’t worry about a thing!

 

Don’t forget. Wherever you may be, I always love you. The messages read. Kuroki’s lips twitched into a heartwarming smile.

 

I love you too Mom. Kuroki stifled a sniffle and a whimper and downed the cup of water to distract himself. His lips quivered at the thought of him missing his family back home. He rinsed the cup and put it in the cupboard and returned to the bedroom. Kuroki sat on his bed contemplating to take a walk outside. Finding that he wouldn’t be able to sleep, he decided it would be better to stroll around to take his mind off of things, and his present migrain. However, before he left, he took his Duel Disk and a small bag with him just in case he encountered anyone he would either have to or want to duel with.

 

Kuroki jogged around and instantly basked in the morning sunlight that had just risen. He ran down a gravel path that led away from the main dirt paths usually used to commute to the academy. Continuing on the path, he found himself at a small field with rock mounds around. Kuroki took a moment to catch his breath as he had been jogging for well over a half hour. A small crack from a branch caught his attention and he saw Kintaro heavily walking across the field.

 

“Kintaro?” Kuroki called out, but to no avail, it didn’t catch Kintaro’s attention. So, Kuroki stood up and walked over to him and tapped on his shoulders. It still didn’t grab Kintaro’s attention. Instead, he went in front of Kintaro and worriedly inspected him. “Hey, Kintaro!” Silence only returned. Kuroki noticed something at the corner of his eyes. He turned around quickly to see Gungnir walking away. Kuroki was about to run after him but stopped when he knew it wasn’t a good idea to leave Kintaro alone. He turned to Kintaro again to find Kintaro staring straight into his eyes with a foggy gaze.

 

“What’s wrong with him?” Sora appeared and asked. “He’s been like this for a while.”

 

“So now you come out to tell me that. Thanks, Sora,” Kuroki sarcastically remarked. Then, he felt a hand hold his wrist tightly. He redirected his attention to the feeling seeing that Kintaro was holding his arm abnormally firm. “Kintaro?! P-please let me go?”

 

Kintaro grunted as he pushed Kuroki down with an extraordinary force. He equipped a Duel Disk and started it. “Duel,” uttered the darkening Kintaro.

 

Kuroki backed away as he used his own Duel Disk to defend himself. “Agh… what’s his problem?!”

 

“He doesn’t seem to recognize you Kuroki,” Sora informed.

 

“Yes, I know that! But still, what’s his problem?!” Kuroki got up and brushed off the dirt from his shorts. He turned on his Duel Disk and began the Duel.

 

“You sure about this?” Sora asked.

 

Kuroki nodded. “If it’s a Duel he wants, then he’s going to get one. Besides, like you said, something isn’t right with him. After all, I just saw Gungnir!”

 

“Ho...ku...ro…” Kintaro’s eyes shone a pure bloody red. As Kintaro moved, shockwaves emerged from him nearly cracking the rock mounds surrounding the three.

 

Kuroki looked at Sora and the two knew they were in this together. “Alright, Kintaro. Bring it on with all you got!”

 

“Duel!” The two Duelists shouted, albeit one voice feeling violent.

 

Kuroki vs Kintaro

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

“I’m… first!” Kintaro yelled.

 

“Okay… no need to be so… erm…” Kuroki winced at Kintaro’s loud voice.

 

Kintaro lazily looked at his cards and affirmed them. “First, I Normal Summon ‘Aegis of the Cryosphere’ in Attack Position. (WATER/Fairy/Level 3/900/2000)”

 

“‘Cryosphere’?” Kuroki narrowed his eyes at the blue shield-wielding angel covered in ice like a sculpture. “So this means I’m dealing with cards that can disable my monsters by placing them in Defense Position.”

 

“That’s bad right?” Sora asked to confirm.

 

Kuroki nodded. “He can effectively shut down my strategies if he plays right… just like Gungnir.”

 

“But wouldn’t that mean he would rely on you having monsters in the first place?” Sora inquired.

 

Kuroki blinked as he couldn’t make a response. Instead, he merely nodded agreeing with Sora.

 

“Here it comes! Aegis’s effect activates when she is Normal Summoned meaning I switch it to Defense Position in order to Special Summon 1 Level 5 or lower WATER or Fairy monster from my Deck. Come forth, ‘Warden of the Cryosphere’!” (WATER/Fairy/Level 3/1400/1200) Kintaro called out his monster.

 

Kuroki could feel the chilliness from the icy gleams of the ice sculpture like fairies. It was both frightening and cold. But it didn’t stop his determination to put an end to whatever took control of Kintaro, most likely due to Gungnir.

 

“Warden’s effect also lets me add 1 WATER monster from my Deck to my hand. I add ‘Descendant of the Cryosphere’. I Set 2 cards face-down and end my turn.” Kintaro’s eyes momentarily stared into Kuroki’s own with no emotion within it. It was as if every feeling had left Kintaro.

 

“Just you wait Kintaro, I’m going to put a smile on that face of yours and win this Duel to save you,” Kuroki stated.

 

Turn 2

 

Kuroki

LP: 4000

Hand: 5

 

Kintaro: 4000

Hand: 3

Field: Warden, Aegis, 2 Set cards

 

“How are you sure that you can save him by winning the Duel?” Sora gave Kuroki a puzzling look.

 

“To be honest, I don’t know,” Kuroki shrugged. “But I have to at least try something.”

 

“Whatever floats you.”

 

“Draw! I activate the Spell Card ‘Drive Form’. With it I can Drive Fusion Summon! With Sora as the catalyst and Goofy as the power, Sora can reach a new level of strength! With a heart of valor and the strength of many, unleash the prowess hidden inside you! Drive Fusion Summon! Level 7, ‘Drive Form Sora the Keyblade of Valor’! (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 7/2500/2000)” Sora appeared in a flash of light in flashy flame-designed clothing with red sparks of lightning running down his arms, wielding 2 Keyblades in hand.

 

“My Trap Card activates, ‘Snowstorm Swept’. If I control a WATER monster and you Special Summon a monster, I can change it to Defense Position and then halve its DEF. Furthermore, you cannot Special Summon any more monsters for the rest of this turn.” Kintaro responded coldly. (Valor Sora’s DEF: 2000 → 1000)

 

Kuroki chuckled. “That’s a small setback, but whatever. I activate his effect. By discarding 1 card and banishing the top 2 cards from the top of my Deck, I can destroy 1 monster on the field, except himself. And if I do, we take damage equal to its ATK! I discard ‘Roxas the Keyblade of Destiny’. Now, destroy Warden! Over the Horizon!”

 

Sora swung his Keyblades in a circular motion upwards destroying the icicle encased fairy. (Kintaro’s LP: 4000 -> 2600, Kuroki’s LP: 4000 -> 2600)

 

“I Set 2 cards face-down and end my turn,” Kuroki stated. “Come to your senses Kintaro!” Yet Kintaro didn’t budge at all. He was still ice cold as ever.

 

Turn 3

 

Kuroki

LP: 2600

Hand: 0

Field: 2 Set cards, Valor Sora

GY: Drive Form, Sora, Goofy, Roxas

Banished: Reflega, Mirror Force

 

Kintaro

LP: 2600

Hand: 3

Field: Aegis, 1 Set card

GY: Warden, Snowstorm Swept

 

“Draw,” Kintaro muttered. “I activate the monster effect… of the monster… I drew. ‘Abyss of the Cryosphere’.” (WATER/Fairy/Level 5/2100/800)

 

“Huh?” Kuroki was confused as to how it activated its effect.

 

“Because I drew it during my Draw Phase, I can reveal it until my Main Phase 1… to Special Summon 1 WATER monster from my GY.” Kintaro flipped the card to reveal the artwork and the texts it held. “Abyssal Retrieval.” He called out as monotonous as ever.

 

“Then that means you’re reviving ‘Warden of the Cryosphere’,” Kuroki foresought.

 

Kintaro nodded, to which Kuroki noted he was correct. And as expected, ‘Warden of the Cryosphere’ revived to the field. Kintaro then took another card in his hand and placed it onto his field. “I Normal Summon ‘Descendant of the Cryosphere’. With his effect… once per turn, I can send 1 ‘Cryosphere’ monster from my Deck to the GY… and your Defense Position monster’s DEF are halved.” Kintaro showed ‘Frost of the Cryosphere’ (WATER/Fairy/Level 5/1900/2000). (Valor Sora’s DEF: 1000 → 500)

 

“Even if Sora’s DEF are lowered, it won’t matter since you cannot deal damage to me if they are in Defense,” Kuroki retorted with confidence.

 

“I activate ‘Monster Reborn’ to Special Summon my ‘Frost’ in the GY.”

 

“Huh? Kintaro?” Kuroki cocked his head. He was absolutely sure that Kintaro knew his monster couldn’t be destroyed by battle. Is he going to try and destroy Sora? It’s meaningless to even try.

 

“I tune my Level 3 ‘Descendant of the Cryosphere’ with my Level 5 ‘Frost of the Cryosphere’. Let the glimmers of your shining particles flourish, descend from the sky and freeze the world with your blizzard storms. Synchro Summon… Level 8, ‘The Cryosphere Hitro’ (WATER/Fairy/2600/2500),” Kintaro chanted without any passion. His monster flew out of an icicle with wings spreading across the field. It’s icy glare pierced through Sora’s own stare.

 

“He just…” Sora stammered.

 

“I know! Don’t worry, he can’t destroy you, and my LP can’t be touched if you’re in Defense Position anyways,” Kuroki reassured Sora.

 

“I switch ‘Aegis’ to Attack Position,” Kintaro stopped and took a heavy breath before continuing again. “Attack ‘Valor Sora’, ‘Hitro’. Awakened Hailstorm.” Hitro mustered up ice particles and launched them towards Sora. “If a ‘Cryosphere’ monster I control battles... a Defense Position monster… it inflicts… double piercing battle damage.”

 

“Kuroki! Wanna do something?! If you take this, you’ll lose!” Sora freaked out.

 

“I got it! I activate my Trap Card, ‘Dodge Roll Level MAX’! If I were to take damage this turn once, I can halve that damage and then Special Summon 1 ‘Keyblade’ monster from my Deck whose ATK is equal to or lower than the damage I took!”

 

“Nice!” Sora gave a thumbs up before he headed straight into the battle.

 

However, Kintaro tapped his icon on his Duel Disk. “I activate the monster effect in my GY. ‘Frost’ banishes itself... and targets 1 Defense Position monster… on the field. Its effects are negated.” Kintaro shakily held himself up as his “sleep” was catching up on him.

 

“He’s negating Sora’s effect!” Kuroki’s eyes widened.

 

“Yes… I negate his effects. Now I can… destroy him,” Kintaro looked up before his eyes wavered.

 

“It looks like Gungnir’s control is weakening! My chance is close!” Kuroki clenched his fists and thrusted it outwards. “We’re finishing this next turn Sora!”

 

Sora looked back as his Keyblade defended against the incoming icicles. He nodded in return.

 

(Kuroki’s LP: 2600 → 500)

 

Light engulfed Sora and he vanished into Kuroki’s GY. “Now since I took damage, I can Special Summon a new ‘Keyblade’ monster from my Deck. Come out, ‘Xion the Keyblade Puppet of the XIV’!” (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 6/2000/1300)

 

“I end... my turn… ugh…” Kintaro gasped for air.

 

Turn 4

 

Kuroki

LP: 500

Hand: 0

Field: 1 Set card, Xion

GY: Valor Sora, Drive Form, Sora, Roxas, Goofy

Banished: Mirror Force, Reflega

 

Kintaro

LP: 2600

Field: 1 Set card, Hitro, Aegis

GY: Descendant, Warden, Snowstorm Swept

Banished: Frost

 

“Draw!” Kuroki looked at the card he had drawn. It was his Quick-Play Spell Card ‘Light’s Redemption’.

 

“Ngh…” Kintaro clutched his chest in pain.

 

I have to finish this Duel quickly! Kuroki tapped his GY. “I banish ‘Sora the Keyblade Bearer’ from my GY to Special Summon ‘Roxas the Keyblade of Destiny’ from my GY! If he is Summoned this way, I can banish 1 more LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK or less from my GY to target 1 card on the field and shuffle it away! I target ‘Hitro’!”

 

Kintaro squinted at Kuroki and he tapped his face-down card on the field. “Counter Trap… ‘Disregarding Potential’. If you activate a card that targets mine… I can negate it by… banishing 1 card from my hand.” Kintaro revealed the card that was banished. It was ‘Abyss’.

 

“‘Xion’, attack ‘Hitro’!” Kuroki declared.

 

“His ATK is… higher than yours…” Kintaro mumbled almost unnoticeably silent.

 

“Heh… well ‘Xion’s’ effect activates. I banish 1 ‘Keyblade’ monster from my Deck and banish the monster it is battling with! So ‘Hitro’ is now banished. For me, I banish ‘Donald’!”

 

“Agh…!” Kintaro sluggishly held his arms up to defend himself from the winds ‘Xion’ emitted.

 

“‘Roxas’, attack ‘Aegis’! Pillars of Faith!”

 

“My Trap… ‘Disregarding Potential’ activates… from my GY. By banishing it… I can turn 1 of my monster’s to… Defense Position.”

 

“But it’s still destroyed!” Kuroki added. Roxas flung his two Keyblades towards the shield-like angel, and summoned pillars of light which flew through the angel resulting in a massive explosion. As Kintaro’s field was cleared, Kuroki activated his last card in his hand. ‘My Quick-Play Spell Card activates, ‘Light’s Redemption’! If I banished a Level 4 or lower LIGHT monster this turn, I can Special Summon it with its ATK doubled! Come here, ‘Donald’! (LIGHT/Spellcaster/Level 4/1300/1100) Now, direct attack! Donald Thunder!” (Donald’s ATK: 1300 → 2600)

 

Donald casted a spell which reigned down lightning upon Kintaro himself. Kintaro fell down in defeat and from the exhaustion he felt and laid peacefully.

 

(Kintaro’s LP: 2600 → 0)

 

Result: Kuroki wins!

 

“Kintaro!” Kuroki went up to Kintaro and took him into his own arms. Kuroki shook him but to no avail couldn’t wake him up. “Kintaro! Open your eyes! Come on!”

 

Kintaro was barely able to mumble a word. But the most audible thing Kuroki heard was a plea for help.

 

Kuroki nodded and thought if he could carry Kintaro back. However, Kuroki himself wasn’t capable of doing so as Kintaro was taller and slightly heavier. Also, Kuroki wasn’t necessarily as strong. “Okay… uh… I’ll be back with help. Just stay here okay?”

 

Kintaro weakly nodded as Kuroki laid him back down. Kuroki took his bag and ran back towards his dorm which was nearly 20 minutes away. Then, daylight fully arised.

 

As Kuroki disappeared into the forest, Kintaro laid there with his eyes closed. Gungnir approached his limp body with an eager smile. Suddenly, Kintaro chuckled as he got up without a problem. “I’ve seen his tactics through his Deck now… up close. And now that you’ve observed more, it’s time our deal went to the second phase… Gungnir,” Kintaro grinned.

 

Gungnir stared through Kintaro’s expression. “Don’t worry… in due time, I’ll give you what you want. But for now, keep on observing him and his friends until the time has come.” Gungnir walked away into the dark forest and vanished without a trace.

 

Kintaro nodded and hummed. “Oh I will… I will.” Kintaro looked up at the blue skies with a wicked smile. “Soon enough, Sora. We’ll be together again.”

 

Cards used this chapter:

 

Aegis of the Cryosphere
WATER Fairy Level 3
ATK: 900 DEF: 2000
Effect: When this card is Normal Summoned: You can change this card to Defense Position, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 5 or lower WATER or Fairy-Type monster from your Deck.

 

Warden of the Cryosphere

WATER Fairy Level 3

ATK: 1400 DEF: 1200

Effect: If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 WATER monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Warden of the Cryosphere" once per turn. Once per turn: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 monster on the field; negate its effect and change it to Defense Position.

 

Descendant of the Cryosphere

WATER Fairy Level 3 Tuner

ATK: 300 DEF: 1800

Effect: Once per turn: You can send 1 "Cryosphere" monster from your Deck to the Graveyard, halve the DEF all Defense Position monsters your opponent controls.

 

Abyss of the Cryosphere

WATER Fairy Level 5

ATK: 2100 DEF: 800

Effect: During either player's turn: You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 Defense Position monster on the field; its effects are negated. During your Draw Phase, if you draw this card: You can reveal it, and keep it revealed until the Main Phase; Special Summon 1 Level 5 or lower WATER monster from your Graveyard.

 

Frost of the Cryosphere

WATER Fairy Level 5

ATK: 1900 DEF: 2000

Effect: During either player's turn: You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 Defense Position monster on the field; its effects are negated. During your Draw Phase, if you draw this card: You can reveal it, and keep it revealed until the Main Phase; Special Summon 1 of your banished Level 5 or lower WATER monsters.

 

The Cryosphere Hitro

WATER Fairy Level 8 Synchro

ATK: 2600 DEF: 2500

Effect: 1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters

If a monster you control attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict double piercing battle damage to your opponent. Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; your opponent's Defense Position monster's effects are negated until the end of the next turn.

 

Snowstorm Swept

Normal Trap Card

Effect: When your opponent Special Summons a monster, while you control a WATER monster: Change it to Defense Position, and if you do, your opponent cannot Special Summon any other monsters for the rest of this turn.

 

Disregarding Potential

Counter Trap Card

Effect: When your opponent activates a card or effect that targets a monster you control: Banish 1 monster from your hand; negate the activation, and if you do, banish it. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 monster you control; change it to Defense Position.

 

Sora - The Keyblade Bearer

LIGHT Warrior Level 4 Tuner

1800/1500

Effect: If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Keyblade" card from your Deck to your hand. When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "Keyblade" monster from your hand or GY. You can only use each effect of "Sora - The Keyblade Bearer" once per turn.

 

Donald - The Keyblade Master Wizard

LIGHT Spellcaster Level 4

1300/1100

Effect: If this card is Special Summoned: You can send 1 "Drive" Spell Card from your Deck to the GY. When this card is Normal Summoned: You can add 1 "Drive" Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Donald - The Keyblade Master Wizard". This card can be treated as a Level 3 monster for the Summon of a "Drive Form" Synchro Monster.

 

Goofy - The Keyblade Guardian Knight

LIGHT Warrior Level 4

1500/1900

Effect: If this card is Special Summoned: You can discard 1 LIGHT monster; add 1 LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK or less from your Deck to your hand. When this card is Normal Summoned: You can shuffle 1 LIGHT monster in your hand into your Deck; Special Summon 1 LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK or less from your Deck or GY. You can only use each effect of "Goofy - The Keyblade Guardian Knight" once per turn. This card can be treated as a Level 3 monster for the Summon of a "Drive Form" Synchro Monster.

 

Roxas - The Keyblade of Destiny

DARK Warrior Level 6

2500/1600

Effect: You can Special Summon this card (from your hand or GY) by banishing 1 LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK or less from your GY. If Summoned this way: You can target up to 2 cards on the field; shuffle them into the Deck. You can only Special Summon "Roxas - The Keyblade of Destiny" once per turn this way. Cannot be destroyed or banished by card effects.

 

Xion - The Keyblade Puppet of the XIV

LIGHT Warrior Level 6

2000/1300

Effect: If you have a "Keyblade" monster in your GY, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). At the start of the Damage Step, if this card battles: You can banish 1 "Keyblade" monster from your Deck; banish the monster this card is battling. At the start of your Draw Phase, if this card is in your GY: You can banish this card; add 1 Level 4 LIGHT monster with 1800 ATK from your Deck to your hand, instead of conducting your Draw Phase. You can only use this effect of "Xion - The Keyblade Puppet of the XIV" once per Duel.

 

Drive Form

Normal Spell Card

Effect: Reveal 1 "Drive Form" monster from your Extra Deck; send from your hand or field the materials listed on it to the GY, then Special Summon that revealed monster. (If it is an Xyz Monster, attach those monsters in the GY to it as materials. This Summon is treated as a Summon respective to their type of monster (Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Link).) During your Standby Phase: You can banish this card from your GY, then reveal 1 "Drive Form" monster from your Extra Deck; send from your Deck to the GY the materials listed on it to the GY, then Special Summon that monster. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this effect.

 

Light’s Redemption

Quick-Play Spell Card

Effect: If you banished a Level 4 or lower LIGHT monster(s) this turn: Target 1 of those monsters; Special Summon it, and if you do, its ATK becomes doubled its original ATK, but banish it face-down at the end of this turn. You can only activate 1 ‘Light’s Redemption” per turn.


 

 

Chapter 17: A Secret Life Hidden Away

 

 

Spoiler

 

Kuroki was sitting beside Kintaro’s resting body back in his dorm. Ryuta had woken up and found him missing, so Ryuta had gone around looking for him. So Kuroki didn’t have to go too far to get the help he needed. Now, Ryuta had lifted Kintaro with ease and they brought him to their dorm room, where they now sat in awkward silence. Ryuta’s eyes shifted from Kintaro to Kuroki, while Kuroki’s shifted from the door to Ryuta’s. Each time they made eye contact, it had just gotten weirder. As time slowly passed, Kuroki couldn’t stand the silence any longer and began speaking.

 

“So, how’s your morning?” Kuroki asked.

 

Ryuta inhaled deeply and muttered, “I was worried sick since you didn’t tell me you were leaving so early.”

 

“Ryuta. Like I said before, you don’t have to worry about me,” Kuroki raised his arms in attempt to show that he could defend himself.

 

“Ugh, not when some guy named Gungnir is after you,” Ryuta stated firmly. “Maya told me everything, you know that?”

 

Damn that Maya. Kuroki clicked his tongue in utter disappointment from Maya. He had expected her to keep the search for Gungnir quiet from Ryuta, as the said person was starting to grow overprotective of Kuroki. And to Kuroki, he disliked it. “Okay, so what if some guy named Gungnir probably wants something from me? Or that he’s already beginning to. What does it matter to you anyways?” Kuroki questioned with a small bite to the words.

 

“It matters because it does!” Ryuta declared. “You’re my kouhai. And as your senpai, I am to look out for you!” Kuroki dropped his head lower, not knowing what was going through Ryuta’s head most of the time.

 

“Okay, but I can handle myself to some extent. I don’t need you to do so. You should be worrying more about yourself than me,” Kuroki said.

 

Ryuta shook his head. “I am going to because I can!” He shouted with every resolve.

 

Just as his small declaration ended, a knock banged on the door. Ryuta turned his head towards it and walked to the door. He looked inside the peephole and sighed loudly enough for Kuroki to hear it from across the room. Ryuta unlocked the door and opened it, revealing a girl that was still a little taller than Kuroki’s 5 feet and 4 inches height. She was blonde wearing a dark blue shirt and a black blazer with black slacks. Her demeanor fitted with her piercing yellow eyes that matched her long blonde locks. She also had a few hair clips that held some of her hair to the right of her head. While slightly annoyed that almost everyone he met was taller than him, Kuroki waved at the guest.

 

“Sorry to interrupt there, but… RYUTA!” The girl suddenly yelled. “You are coming back to the idol life!”

 

Ryuta waved his hands in front of her and indirectly pointed at Kuroki, who was walking halfway across the room before he had heard the sentences. His eyes widened.

 

“Shhhhhhh…” Ryuta looked back and saw Kuroki staring at Ryuta intensely. “Ugh, since you already know now…”

 

“Know that you’re an idol?” Kuroki finished for Ryuta. Ryuta nodded.

 

“I’m in… the idol group Starlites,” Ryuta admitted. He glared back at Kara who was standing by herself assertively. “Oh Kara… you just blab your mouth too much…” He turned his eyes away from both of them.

 

“Starlites… I like their songs. I especially like their covers of my favorite songs from other artists,” Kuroki gleamed. “But are you really in them? You don’t seem like it.”

 

Kara pushed Ryuta out of the way. “Despite his lazy looks right now and his unkempt hair, if you actually just brush him up a bit, he looks exactly like the member you know, Ryu Sugihara. At least, that’s his stage name.”

 

Ryuta came back into the picture by pushing Kara the same way. “Yeah, and I said I was taking a major break from the idol life.” He clenched his teeth in anger.

 

“But I came to bring you back! It’s already been over 1 and a half years since you took that break! It’s about time for you to come back,” Kara mentioned. Ryuta stomped on her foot and she yelped in pain and bent down to sooth her throbbing foot.

 

“No means no. I like the quiet and peace here and the duels I can get from here. I hate the loud cheerings from the girls and how abrasive they are in your personal space.” Ryuta explained to Kara.

 

“Even so, as your manager, I demand you to come back,” Kara commanded. “Even our boss says so, so you better do it.”

 

Ryuta shook his head. “No!”

 

“Yes!” Kara shouted.

 

“No!”

 

“Yes!”

 

“No!”

 

“...Yes!”

 

Soon enough, it was stupid bickering between the two. Kuroki decided that it wouldn’t be good if they were loud near Kintaro, so he pushed the two out. “Okay, so Kara is your manager, and you’re the idol known as Ryu Sugihara, Ryuta…”

 

Ryuta and Kara nodded in unison. “That’s right!” Kara gave a thumbs up.

 

“So then, why do you two feel so much like good friends?”

 

The two looked at each other and laughed. “We’re childhood friends, Kuroki.” Ryuta said. Kara looked at Ryuta.

 

“So that’s his name!” Kara chuckled.

 

“What? You didn’t ask for his name anyways!” Ryuta barked.

 

“Oh shut it. Go on about explaining our relationship Ryuta,” Kara egged Ryuta on.

 

“Alright, whatever. Anyways, Kara might be 7 years older than me, but she took care of me while my parents worked when I was a child. Soon enough when I was 14, which was around 3 years ago, I got an interview to be an idol and I made it. There, Kara was working for the same company and by all the miracles, she was the manager of the idol group I was put in. And it annoys me to no end.” He butted his head with Kara.

 

“Oh don’t worry. It annoys me too that I have to take care of you AGAIN!” Kara growled. Kuroki split the two apart with his hands and shoved Duel Disks into their hands.

 

“By all means, settle your affairs with a fair Duel,” Kuroki stated. “If you, Kara, want Ryuta back in the idol biz, win this Duel. You do have a Deck right?”

 

Kara nodded as she held out her Deck box. “I have one! I had it since we were kids and I beat Ryuta many times with it against his stupid ‘Crownstar’ Deck.” She smiled gleefully.

 

“And I’ve gotten better over time too. You should know that you only beat me because I was 8 at the time. Now it’s been 9 years. We’ll see who improved the most!” Ryuta exclaimed.

 

“Oh we will!” Kara agreed. The trio walked to the front of the dorm building with Kuroki sitting down on a nearby steel chair with the other two standing across from each other. They both started their Duel Disks.

 

“So we know what happens if either of us wins right?” Kara asked to be sure.

 

“Yes, if I win, you won’t ever bother me about idol biz again unless I want to go back.” Ryuta narrowed his eyes.

 

“And if I win, you’ll return to the life of an idol. Right, Ryu Sugihara?” Kara said. Ryuta nodded, agreeing on the conditions. “Then let’s…”

 

“Duel!” They both declared.

 

Ryuta vs Kara

LP: 4000

Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

“I’ll take the first turn,” Ryuta announced to Kara. She nodded in response, allowing him to make the first move. “I activate the Field Spell ‘Crownstar Darkauditorium’! With it, I can send 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from my hand to the GY to add 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from my Deck to my hand. I send ‘Crownstar Flannel’. (DARK/Aqua/Level 4/1500/300) ‘Flannel’s’ effect activates in the GY. If it is sent from my hand or Deck to the GY, I can Special Summon it in Attack Position. Furthermore, I add ‘Crownstar Feltran’ from my Deck to my hand.”

 

“Ehhhh, so you have gotten better. I remember you always made mistakes, like using ‘Darkauditorium’ when you had nothing to send,” Kara teased Ryuta. Kuroki imagined the thought of Ryuta actually making the mistake. However, he couldn’t really believe it as he lost to Ryuta in their only Duel so far.

 

“Ah, and you’ll see how well I’ve done because of it.” Ryuta smirked. “I Normal Summon ‘Crownstar Damaskian’. (DARK/Aqua/Level 4/1700/600) And you know his effect, right Kara?”

 

Kara nodded. “Of course! It lets you add 1 ‘Crownstar’ card from your Deck to your hand. That’s as simple as it gets.”

 

“Well that’s good that you still remember. Now then, I’ll add this,” Ryuta revealed the Trap ‘Crownstar Idolization’. “I’ll Set 2 cards face-down and end my turn.”

 

Turn 2

 

“Hehe, time for me to start!” Kara said with a confident smile. “Draw!” Kara looked at each of her cards before pulling out 1 of them and revealing it from her hand. “I Normal Summon ‘Magibattlover Ryuu’ (LIGHT/Warrior/Level 4/1300/1000). By discarding 1 card, Ryuu lets me Normal Summon 1 ‘Magibattlover’ monster from my hand!”

 

“Damaskian’s eff activates! Each time a monster effect is activated, except its own, you take 100 damage after it resolves,” Ryuta restated. (Kara’s LP: 4000 → 3900)

 

“It’s just a scratch! It’s nothing to me Ryuta!” Kara clenched her teeth as Ryuta damaged her first. “With Ryuu’s effect, I discard ‘Scarlet Wish’ to Normal Summon ‘Magibattlover Yumoto’ (Warrior/LIGHT/Level 4/1500/1200).”

 

Ryuta huffed. “And so with Yumoto’s effect, you get to add 1 of your ‘Love Making!’ Spells from your Deck. Yeah, yeah, I know. Get it over with already.” Ryuta ushered Kara to speed up. “But, I will also use my Set card ‘Bottomless Trap Hole’, destroying ‘Yumoto’ and banishing him.’

 

“Boo, you suck! So I’ll use my Quick-Play Spell ‘Accel Moderator’, letting me save ‘Yumoto’ from that destruction and equipping this card to it as an Equip Card,” Kara retorted. “‘Yumoto’s’ effect activates!”

 

“Damaskian’s effect.” Ryuta crossed his arms with Damaskian already on the offensive. Damaskian shot out a surge of water which propelled through Kara, leaving her soaking wet. (Kara’s LP: 3900 → 3800)

 

“Ew! Ugh! I really really hate you now, Ryuta!” Kara angrily muttered as she added ‘Love Making’ from her Deck to her hand. “Go, ‘Love Making!’” As soon as the Spell was played, both of her monsters suddenly engulfed themselves in pretty lights. As the transformation continued, Kara’s Yumoto was covered in red hearts and soon came out as a magical boy. Ryuu also did the same but with pink flames emitting from around him. “Take a good look, Ryuta! This is the essence of MAGICAL BOYS!”

 

“Ma-magical… boys?” Kuroki tilted his head, utterly silent.

 

“Ah, you don’t know this but… Kara’s absolutely in love with magical boys, if you couldn’t tell,” Ryuta explained. “Not only that… she even forced me to cosplay in them when we were little!”

 

“Yup! Look at these pics I took Kuroki!” Kara pulled out her phone and began swiping through photos until she came upon the one with Ryuta dressed in small white shorts and a suit-like shirt with small angel wings. Ryuta also had a ruby circlet crowned on his head as he looked miserable in them, with his face showing signs of crying. “Isn’t he cute in them?”

 

“Shut up Kara! You forced me into them! I will seriously crush you and that Deck of yours,” Ryuta growled with murderous intent.

 

Kuroki’s eye twitched and he chuckled trying to shake off the shivers he felt from seeing the photo of Ryuta’s cosplay. But the Duel continued, so he reverted back to himself in time to pay attention to the duel.

 

“Hehe, here is ‘Magibattlover Scarlet’ (Warrior/LIGHT/Level 7/2500/2000) and ‘Magibattlover Vesta’! (Warrior/LIGHT/Level 8/2700/1900) And you know what happens when they’re Summoned using the monsters that they are based on before transforming! Now ‘Scarlet’ can target 1 card you control and banish it, while ‘Vesta’ burns you for 400 damage for each card you control!” Kara cackled aloud, seeing as she felt she was going to win in the end.

 

“Tch, my Trap activates, ‘Crownstar Idolization’! We both send the top 5 cards of our Decks to the GY and I get to draw 1 card for each ‘Crownstar’ monster I sent this way with a maximum of 2 draws.” Kara scowled as she sent her five and Ryuta sent his. Kara sent her “Love Making!”, “Magibattlover Yumoto”, “Magibattlover Atsushi” (Warrior/LIGHT/Level 4/1400/1200), “Cute High School Defense Club”, and “Magibattlover Io” (Warrior/LIGHT/Level 4/1600/1100). Meanwhile, Ryuta had sent “Crownstar Flannel”, “Crownstar Brocadrai”, “Twin Twisters”, “Crownstar Debut”, and “Crownstar Partnership”. “I sent ‘Brocadrai’ and ‘Flannel’ which means I draw 2 cards!” Ryuta pulled the top 2 cards of his Deck and added them to his hand, with a bright smile on his face.

 

“Hmph, you may have given yourself some hand advantage, but that doesn’t mean you’re anywhere near getting rid of my LP,” Kara sternly stated. “Vesta inflicts 400 damage to you for each card you control. You control 4, so you take 1600 damage. (Ryuta’s LP: 4000 → 2400)”

 

“Ouch! Hot hot!” Ryuta wiped himself off as the flames danced around him, almost burning off a few strands of his hair. “That wasn’t cool!”

 

“So? Scarlet banishes your Field Spell!”

 

With a flash of light and a few images of blazing red hearts, the auditorium, the Field Spell was set in, vanished. All that was left were Kara’s monsters and Ryuta’s own.

 

“‘Damaskian’s’ effect inflicts 100 to you for each monster effect activated! (Kara’s LP: 3800 → 3700 → 3600) Furthermore, Flannel’s effect also activates too, letting me Special Summon himself, in Defense. Also, Brocadrai lets me Special Summon himself from the GY in Defense by shuffling 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster I control into the Deck. I choose the ‘Flannel’ in Attack Position. Then, Damaskian inflicts another 100 for each.” (Kara’s LP: 3600 → 3500 → 3400)

 

“And you remember ‘Accel Moderator’ too, right? Well, since it was sent to the GY, I can target 1 monster I control and give it a 1000 ATK boost. I choose Scarlet! (Scarlet’s ATK: 2500 → 3500)”

 

“If Ryuta doesn’t have anything to protect himself with in the end, he’ll lose this Duel and go back to the idol life.” To Kuroki, oddly, it didn’t sit well with him that if Ryuta lost, he would return to his old idol self. I wonder what it would be like from here on without him? Kuroki let out a sigh. “Don’t lose this, Ryuta.” Kuroki mumbled to himself, mentally cheering on Ryuta to win.

 

“Kuroki!” Kuroki turned to the voice belonging to Ryuta, snapping him out of his own thoughts. “I’ll be fine! This is nothing.”

 

Kuroki was at a loss for words. But he nodded anyways.

 

“Do your best!” Kuroki loudly chanted. Ryuta returned it with a toothy grin and a thumbs up for good measure.

 

“Kara, that ATK boost won’t do you any good,” Ryuta smirked.

 

“Heh, and so I banish ‘Scarlet’s Wish’ from my GY to draw 1 card, since I control ‘Scarlet’. Now, battle!” Kara continued on. “‘Scarlet’, attack ‘Damaskian’! Scarlet Sparkles!” The magical boy rose up into the air and shot a beam of light with red sparkles in it towards Damaskian, engulfing him in the light leaving nothing behind. (Ryuta’s LP: 2400 → 600)

 

“Agh! My Trap in the GY activates, ‘Crownstar Debut’! We both send the top 3 cards of our Deck to the GY, and I get to Special Summon 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from among them!” Ryuta declared. He then threw his 3 cards, “Crownstar Darkauditorium”, “Crownstar Brocadrai”, and “Crownstar Feltran” (Aqua/DARK/Level 4/1000/1600), into the air with him catching the card ‘Feltran’. Kara sent her top 3 cards, revealing “Love Shower!”, “Love Making!”, and “Monster Reincarnation”. “I Special Summon ‘Crownstar Feltran’ in Defense Position. Also, you take 100 damage for each card sent to your GY from ‘Brocadrai’.” (Kara’s LP: 3400 → 3100)

 

“That was still a scratch, and I’ll get rid of those annoying little Crownstars!” Kara roared. “‘Vesta’, attack ‘Brocadrai’! Vesta Flames!” The fire burned Brocadrai away into dust.

 

“Is that all you got?” Ryuta taunted at Kara.

 

“Hmph! Just you wait! I activate the effects of both ‘Love Making!’ in my GY. By banishing themselves, I can Special Summon 1 ‘Magibattlover’ monster from my GY.”

 

“So Kara will swarm her field with more defenses. And she’ll be able to trigger her Yumoto’s effect,” Kuroki commented.

 

“That’s right, Kuroki. You catch on quickly,” Kara complimented Kuroki. “Come out, ‘Yumoto’ and ‘Io’! In Defense Position! Now with ‘Yumoto’s’ effect, since I Special Summoned ‘Io’, I can Special Summon ‘Ryuu’ from my hand, the card I drew by ‘Scarlet’s Wish’.”

 

“I was right. She now has a full field of monsters!” Kuroki gasped.

 

Ryuta laughed it off. “Ahhh, I’ll be fine, Kuroki. I can get through this! Besides, for each card effect she used, ‘Feltran’s’ effect inflicts 100 damage for each.” (Kara’s LP: 3100 → 2900)

 

“Then I’ll set 1 card face-down and end my turn, Ryuta. Make your move,” Kara glared at Ryuta.

 

Turn 3

 

“My turn, draw!” Ryuta declared. “I activate the effect of ‘Feltran’ in my hand. I shuffle ‘Tartan’ in my hand to Special Summon itself.”

 

“Not that it will work though,” Kara replied.

 

“What?”

 

Kara then tapped on her face-down card. “I activate the Counter Trap, ‘Solemn Judgment’. I pay half my LP to negate the activation of your monster effect and destroy it.” (Kara’s LP: 2900 → 1450)

 

“Tch! Since you used a card effect, you take 100 damage from ‘Feltran’ on my field.” (Kara’s LP: 1450 → 1350) Ryuta then looked through his Deck. “Since ‘Tartan’ was shuffled into the Deck, I can Special Summon 1 ‘Crownstar’ monster from my Deck. I Special Summon ‘Damaskian’, and it gains 1000 ATK from ‘Tartan’s’ effect.”

 

“Oh shoot…” Kara muttered under her breath

 

“Now I Link Summon using my 3 monsters! ‘Feltran’, ‘Flannel’, and ‘Damaskian’, become the Link Markers. Link Summon! Link-3, ‘Crownstar Corduroy’ (Aqua/DARK/2200/DL, D, DR). Now, I Normal Summon ‘Damaskian’ from my hand! With it, I can add ‘Tartan’ from my Deck to my hand. Battle!”

 

“You can’t finish me this round! It won’t happen! Your monsters are too weak to beat mines,” Kara pridefully said.

 

“Well, ‘Corduroy’ gains 400 ATK for each ‘Crownstar’ monster he points to, and he points to ‘Damaskian’. (Corduroy’s ATK: 2200 → 2600) Attack ‘Vesta’! Rising Splash!”

 

“Are you really going to do this? Your monster is obviously-”

 

“No, you’re wrong Kara!” Kuroki interrupted. “Don’t you remember? He has ‘Tartan’ in his hand.”

 

“He’s right,” Ryuta agreed. Kara gasped. “I activate the effect of ‘Crownstar Tartan’ in my hand. I discard him to give ‘Corduroy’ a 1000 ATK boost! Also, Damaskian deals 100 damage to you.” (Corduroy’s ATK: 2600 → 3600, Kara’s LP: 1350 → 1250)

 

“Uh oh…” Kara quivered. Corduroy’s attack hit Vesta directly. “But Vesta can’t be destroyed by battle or card effects!”

 

“Ha! But you still take the damage!” (Kara’s LP: 1250 → 350) Kara held her ground while staring back at Ryuta harshly. “That’s not all, since you took battle damage from a ‘Crownstar’ monster, you take another 100 damage.” (Kara’s LP: 350 → 250)

 

“Agh! So what? That’s absolutely nothing! My monsters are in Defense Position, and your Damaskian has too low of an ATK to fight ‘Scarlet’ and ‘Vesta’.” Kara confidently claimed.

 

“You’re too rash Kara. I activate ‘Brocadrai’s’ effect in my GY, shuffling ‘Corduroy’ to my Deck. Now, since a monster effect was activated, ‘Damaskian’ inflicts 100 damage.” (Kara’s LP: 250 → 150) Ryuta giggled, knowing he had ensured his victory.

 

“N-no way… you still have another ‘Brocadrai’ in your GY! Not only that… if a card is sent to my GY now, I’ll take 100 damage!”

 

“Yes, Ryuta! Finish this!” Kuroki screamed.

 

“Of course! ‘Brocadrai’, ‘Damaskian’, attack his ‘Yumoto’ and ‘Io’!” Water surged through both of Kara’s monsters and destroyed them. “And since a card was sent to your GY, ‘Brocadrai’ inflicts 100 damage for each!”

 

“No!” Kara panicked. (Kara’s LP: 150 → 50 → 0)

 

Result: Ryuta wins!

 

“Agh! Fine, since you won, as promised, I won’t ask you anymore about returning to Starlites,” Kara pouted. “Ugh… I can’t believe this…” She muttered under her breath.

 

“Thank you, Kara,” Ryuta put his hand on his hip and stood, grinning as confident as ever. “Now leave us alone, will you?”

 

“Yes yes…” Kara slumped down. Ryuta jumped around, heading back towards the dorm. He then turned around to look at Kuroki.

 

“Come on, Kuroki. Let’s prepare lunch!” Ryuta happily said.

 

Kuroki blinked as Ryuta pranced into the dorms. He turned to Kara. “So… what are you gonna do now?”

 

Kara sighed. “I guess I can’t convince him to come back. So I’ll just go back to managing Starlites without him in the idol group for now.”

 

“Ah. Can I ask something?” Kuroki inquired.

 

“Go ahead,” Kara replied.

 

“Why is Ryuta so protective over me?” Kuroki looked into Kara’s eyes, looking for an answer he hoped would be as direct as possible.

 

After a moment of silence, Kara finally started saying a few words. “He’s… he’s very protective over anything he is enamored with.”

 

“Enamored…” Kuroki blinked, almost not understanding what it meant. “I’m sorry, what do you mean…?”

 

“Oh, nothing. You’ll probably figure it out soon enough!” Kara smiled. “And when the time comes, you’ll probably know what to do.”

 

Kuroki was stupefied. Eh? What does she mean by that too?! His mind tried its very best to wrap around everything and absorb it all. In the end, he couldn’t figure it out. Thinking about his Duel with Kishiki, he wondered if that was it. Is it…? He looked down at the ground, trying to make out an answer to the question.

 

Kara giggled. “Don’t worry about it too much!” She breathed in deeply and began her walk towards the docks. “I’ll be going now. Maybe we’ll meet again someday. And hopefully by then, Ryuta will have made up his mind.”

 

“Huh? O-oh okay. Maybe he will make up his mind by then about Starlite,” Kuroki laughed. Kara laughed too. I guess he doesn’t get what I mean by that. Kara walked away solemnly, leaving a slightly confused Kuroki behind.

 

“Is it… love?” Kuroki stammered. He shook his head, shoving that thought away. “It can’t be! Ah! I gotta help Ryuta with lunch!” Kuroki ran into the dorms, leaving behind a trail of dust, as Kintaro watched from the window of the shared dorm room he was in.

 

“So… Ryuta may prove to be a threat too, if he’s that protective over him,” Kintaro chuckled. At the sound of the door unlocking and opening, Kintaro immediately shifted back to the couch and laid down right before Ryuta could see him standing. I think I can manage this job, watching and spying over these guys for Gungnir.


 

 

Chapter 18: Neverending Regrets

 

Spoiler

 

Professor Portman looked out the window from his large room that he inhabited. The light bulb above dimly lit the room as he stared at a few archived documents in his hand. His eyes trailed the computerized text as his fingers lightly followed the words.

 

It’s about time I took action for the students who fell to him. It’s about time… I do what is right. Portman stood up and stared out the window into the night sky. The moon gracefully shone a bright glistening white radiating the island in a blue hue. With the reflection of the moon in his eyes, he was determined to stop the man he had stuck inside his mind. It’s about time I brought you back, Yutaro Shiraishi.

 

“Stop… stop thinking about me… father. No, Professor Portman,” a voice from behind viciously growled. Portman turned around to see a white cloaked male. It was Gungnir. “What you did to me… was unforgivable, and I am going to make you suffer for everything you’ve done.”

 

Portman’s eyes widened at the sight of Gungnir. “Yutaro-”

 

“Shut up!” Gungnir screamed. “That’s not me anymore!”

 

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done… I really am,” Portman pleaded. “So please stop this all.”

 

“You put me to sleep for years on end just investing in the research over my dream powers. You shut me into a room with nothing! You didn’t care about me! All you cared was the research that my powers brought!” Gungnir grinded his teeth, seething in anger. “And I’m about done with this world. Everyone… everyone will sleep soon, in eternal bliss.”

 

Portman reached out for Gungnir. “I’m- forgive me! Don’t hurt anyone else anymore!”

 

“As if you listened to me either,” Gungnir looked away in spite, his face tightening. “You want me to stop? Bring Kuroki and the others to the shore. Now.” Gungnir left without another word and soon vanished. Portman, now on his knees, sobbed. I didn’t think it’d come to this, but it has. Yutaro, my son, I’ll save you from what I’ve done. Portman dropped the documents which had stamped in big letters “MISSING”. On it was the name “Yutaro Shiraishi”.

 

Portman rushed towards the dormitories. He knocked loudly on Kuroki and Ryuta’s room anxiously awaiting their presence. Kuroki, covered his ears, hoped for the knocks to relent. But nevertheless, Portman continued. Kuroki sluggishly threw himself off his bed and irately stomped his way over to the front door. Peeking into the eye hole, he saw his teacher, Professor Portman, haphazardly dressed in a suit. Kuroki unlocked the door and let his teacher in, much to his dismay that his sleep was disrupted.

 

Kuroki groaned. “What is it, teach?” He asked casually. He almost glared at Portman, until he did come to realize it would be rude to do so. Portman took a deep breath and faced Kuroki.

 

“I need your help,” Portman begged. “Please wake up Maya and the others.”

 

Kuroki cocked his head. “Huh?”

 

Soon enough, Kuroki did what he was told. With his luck, Maya, Vance, and Kintaro had arrived. Ryuta also woke up in the midst of all the confusion. Portman sat everyone down in the middle of Kuroki and Ryuta’s dorm room as he began to explain the situation.

 

“Everyone,” Portman gave a sullen expression. “I have something to tell you all.” He gulped, thinking about taking everything back. He almost wanted to run and hide from his very own students due to his unending regret that was eating at him from the inside. His throat clogged and sweat ran down his neck. Portman tried his best to recompose himself.

 

“What is it, Professor Portman?” Maya asked, concerned.

 

“Ah, uh… about Gungnir,” Portman began. Kuroki’s eyes now stared into Portman’s own. “I know he is out for you Kuroki. But you must know… you need to know more about him.”

 

Kuroki let out a sigh. “Um, what’s bothering you, Professor Portman?”

 

“I really do need to tell you all,” Portman now had their entire attention. He took a deep breath and then exhaled. “Gungnir… is my son, Yutaro Shiraishi.” Kuroki was surprised that the man he had been chasing was his teacher’s very own son. “I did many things to him in the past, some that are unforgivable… and others, well… it could be said it was inhumane of me.” Portman bit his lip.

 

“What did you do?” Maya inquired.

 

“Yeah, what was it that was THAT bad?” Vance added on.

 

“Yutaro grew up with an immense power relating to dreams. So, me being a Professor and all wanted to research more in depth of the capabilities of this power he had. It was magnificent. He had been able to materialize the things in his dreams… not only that, other people’s dreams as well.” Portman swallowed a large amount of saliva that was beginning to form in his mouth. He eyed everyone for their expressions. He was concerned that most of them would probably hate them. But it seemed as if they were okay with what he had said so far.

 

“That’s… amazing,” Kuroki turned away.

 

“But then, I had become consumed by my research and I started neglecting him. Soon enough, he refused to sleep, afraid of the nightmares he had. Although he wished to stop, I didn’t want to. So… I…” Portman stopped.

 

“You forced him to sleep,” Kuroki picked up for Portman.

 

Portman nodded. “I sedated him. And when it was too late, he had grown much older and escaped. Now he wants his revenge…”

 

“That’s horrible! How could you do that?!” Vance yelled. “That was selfish of you! You basically abused your own son!”

 

“Hey! Vance!” Kintaro pushed down on Vance. “Calm down, will you?”

 

“But he’s right,” Kuroki muttered.

 

“He is,” Portman closed his eyes, accepting Vance’s words. “And I am a terrible father for letting him suffer that way.” You want me to stop? Bring Kuroki and the others to the shore. Now. The words rang in his head.

 

“Don’t be too harsh on yourself, Professor,” Kuroki stood up. “After all, you’re looking to help him aren’t you?” He gently smiled.

 

Portman returned the smile and agreed. “He said to meet him at the beach with all of you.”

 

Everyone nodded. “Then let’s not keep him waiting,” Kuroki said.

 

They all headed out of the dorm room and towards the shoreline under the moonlight. Walking on the cold sand, they observed the scenery in search for Gungnir. In a moment’s flash, Gungnir came into place distorted until he full appeared. He stood across the small shore facing Portman.

 

Gungnir laughed. “You did as you were told, father,” he painfully uttered. “Isn’t it like history is repeating itself? You were told by the lead researcher to continue on with the experiments on me… and you did as you were commanded back then.”

 

Portman’s face scrunched in pain. “I’m sorry.”

 

“Sorry doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t excuse the fact that you left me alone!” Gungnir shouted. “You want to stop me? Then stop me through a Duel.”

 

Kuroki walked in front of Portman. “Professor, I’ll take this,” Kuroki said.

 

Portman shook his head, brushing Kuroki to the side lightly. “No… I have to do this.” Portman stared at Gungnir attentively. “For my sake.”

 

Kuroki stopped himself from saying any more. He felt as if he could understand what was going through Portman. He must feel a great regret for letting it get this far. Kuroki thought to himself. Just as my own regret over… Kuroki watched as Portman paced forward with a Duel Disk on his left arm.

 

“I’ll make sure you know what happened to me through and through,” Gungnir stated.

 

“And I’ll be sure to bring you back to who you were before,” Portman looked on with sadness.

 

“Duel!”

 

Portman vs Gungnir

LP: 4000
Rules: New Era Playstyle

 

“I’ll go first, Yutaro,” Portman softly spoke. Gungnir clicked his tongue in response to his name being called. “I activate the Spell ‘Trickster Pass’.”

 

Gungnir chuckled. “Same as ever, old man. You’re still using that old Deck of yours even now. Have you even changed at all?”

 

Portman sighed, lowering his hand. “What is there to change when all I want to do is be forgiven by you, my son? Yutaro, please come back.” Gungnir shook his head in disbelief.

 

“I guess you didn’t hear me. I want my revenge and I’ll do anything to get there. I’ll be sure to let you see it all when you’re sleeping,” Gungnir’s aura was ferocious, even making Kuroki fear him a little.

 

“Hm… you should know what my Spell does, correct? It lets me send 1 ‘Trickster’ card from my hand to the GY to draw 2 cards.” Portman revealed ‘Trickster Kagayami’ and sent it to the GY while drawing 2 more cards from his Deck. He looked at Gungnir with pleading eyes, in hopes that Gungnir would change his mind.

 

“Don’t give me that look.” Gungnir snarled. “You didn’t even care about me. So why should I care about you?”

 

Kuroki frowned. He remembered how much his father loved him and how much he returned that love. It may have ended with his father dying from the car accident, but no matter what, in his heart, he knew that they cared for each other. Kuroki wondered if Gungnir, or Yutaro, would ever forgive Portman. He then thought to himself. Will dad forgive me for getting him killed? He somberly looked at Gungnir. Gungnir is the exact opposite of me. His dad, Portman, mistreated him as a child and used him for experiments only caring for results. While my dad… absolutely adored his family.

 

“Gungnir!” Kuroki called out. “Can’t you just start over?”

 

Gungnir glared at Kuroki threw his mask. “Start over? I can’t start over. He killed me when I was young. Took away my childhood, my life. He made me a subject of his own prosperity.”

 

Portman’s face scrunched in absolute pain. “I-I…”

 

“Kuroki, you don’t seem to understand do you? Your nightmares, I caused them. I just looked through your faintest nightmares and brought them out. That’s why you keep dreaming of your father dying.” Gungnir explained. Kuroki gasped. Ryuta stepped in front of Kuroki.

 

“You’re the one who’s been doing this? Reminding him of his past through his dreams?” Ryuta yelled.

 

Gungnir cackled. “Yeah, I have. I envy him so much.” He then turned to Kuroki. “Let me ask you this. Can you start over, before your father died in that car accident?” Kuroki’s face turned pale.

 

“You can’t. And that’s why I can’t either,” Gungnir turned back to Portman who was silent. “Continue your turn, father.” He spat out venomously.

 

“As you wish… Yutaro,” Portman, determined to get through with Yutaro, resumed his turn. “Since you have ‘Trickster Kagayami’ in your GY, I Special Summon ‘Trickster Shigami-no-Kami’ from my hand in Attack Position! (DARK/Spellcaster/Level 3/1500/1500) And, I activate the effect of ‘Trickster Kyukaze’ in my hand. (WIND/Spellcaster/Level 3/1000/1000) I send the top card of my Deck to the GY. If it is a ‘Trickster’ card, I Special Summon ‘Kyukaze’. If not, I banish the sent card and shuffle this card into my Deck instead.”

 

Gungnir smirked as he lifted his head to glare straight into Portman’s eyes. “A small trick like that isn’t going to get you anywhere. Father, as you are right now, you cannot even think of beating me.” Gungnir stated coldly.

 

Portman shook his head, brushing off his son’s words. “I’ll show you I can.” Portman milled the top card of his Deck and sent it to the GY. Kuroki’s breathing started to calm and he was able to focus on the Duel once again. With his friends by him, he knew they were all in support of Portman winning. But even to him, he wasn’t sure if Portman could beat someone of Gungnir’s caliber. “I sent ‘Trickster Nakagami’, which is now sent to your GY! (EARTH/Spellcaster/Level 3/1100/1100) So I Special Summon ‘Kyukaze’ from my hand. Now, I Normal Summon ‘Trickster Honoo-ka’ (FIRE/Spellcaster/Level 3/1200/1200) and activate the Field Spell ‘Trickster Carnival’ in my hand.” A large amusement park filled with rides and a large ferris wheel rose from the ground and the dark skies turned bright with rainbows and clouds. There were small children running about and Portman’s monsters were cheering for the children.

 

“So beautiful!” Maya commented. “It’s like a kid’s dream!”

 

Gungnir snickered. “So what now, eh?” Gungnir confidently asked.

 

“Now I Fusion Summon! Rather, Contact Fusion using ‘Kyukaze’ and ‘Honoo-ka’!  Appear, the malevolent trickster of soul. Unleash your trickery to fight your foe! Level 6, ‘Trickster Embodiment of Soul’! (WATER/Spellcaster/2200/2200)” Portman declared almost majestically. Then, the two monsters used for the Contact Fusion appeared inside Gungnir’s GY. “I now Set 1 card face-down and end my turn.” Portman finished, smirking.

 

“That all? Alright then, I hope you don’t regret any of your decisions,” Gungnir warned Portman.

 

Turn 2

 

“Draw!” Gungnir looked at the card he drew.

 

“Did he already draw a ‘R.E.M.” card?” Kuroki lifted his head and muttered.

 

“‘R.E.M.? Hahaha, what a joke! As if I’d be playing that now,” Gungnir then proceeded to start his turn. However, Portman interrupted.

 

“Hmph, first-!” Portman began.

 

“Yeah, yeah. I take 100 damage for each ‘Trickster’ card in my GY because of ‘Kagayami’. I have 4 so I take a total of 400 damage. Pathetic!” Gungnir abruptly elucidated. (Gungnir’s LP: 4000 → 3600)

 

“He didn’t even flinch even though Portman got the first hit,” Vance commented. “His heart is definitely determined to win. No, it’s more like he knows he is.”

 

Maya pouted and lightly punched Vance. “No way! We all know Portman gave Kuroki some trouble! He won’t go down easily!” Maya argued.

 

Vance was going to open his mouth to say a few words but quickly shut it as he knew Maya wouldn’t hear it. They turned back to the Duel and saw Gungnir taking a card from his hand.

 

“I Normal Summon ‘Nanophile Ahlspear’ from my hand! (DARK/Cyberse/Level 3/1800/400/Tuner) And it’s effect activates allowing me to Special Summon ‘Nanophile Goebendag’ from my hand. (DARK/Cyberse/Level 4/2000/400)”

 

“What?! Why do his monsters have such high ATK?!” Ryuta said.

 

“Something’s up, for sure,” Kintaro let his head hang back as he enjoyed the show in front of him, almost letting out a smirk and a chuckle.

 

“His Deck is different… there’s no way I can help Portman,” Kuroki murmured, his heart painfully wracked with the memories of his father flooding into him like his dreams.

 

Gungnir then pulled another card in his hand and placed it into his Duel Disk. Up from the ground, a Spell appeared, ‘Foreboding Ambush’. “With this Spell, if I control 2 or more monsters, I switch all monsters you control to Defense Position.” With a blast of wind from Gungnir’s two monsters, Portman’s own monsters slowly hunched over turning into a tint of blue. “And during the End Phase this turn, you draw cards equal to the number of monsters switched by this effect.”

 

Portman smirked, knowing that he would still have the lead due to a certain card in Gungnir’s GY. “It’s not going to go your way, Yutaro! Due to ‘Kyukaze’ in your GY, any Spell you activate are negated unless you have a Field Spell!”

 

“Fine,” Gungnir plainly replied. “Battle! ‘Ahlspear’, attack ‘Shigami-no-Kami’!” The spearhead dragon lunged at the robed spellcaster who tried his best to protect himself with his rod. But the lunge was too strong as it pierced through his body, reducing him to mere glimmers of light. (Portman’s LP: 4000 → 3700)

 

“My Trap activates, ‘Tricksterlusion’!” Portman revealed his face-down card. Standing tall, he selected 2 of his “Trickster” monsters in his Deck and showed them to Gungnir, who returned a low grunt. “When a ‘Trickster’ monster I control is destroyed by battle or card effect, I can Special Summon 2 ‘Trickster’ monsters from my hand or Deck. I choose ‘Kagayami’ and ‘Mizuka’ (WATER/Spellcaster/Level 3/1400/1400) in Defense Position.”

 

“Shigami-no-Kami” vanished into Gungnir’s GY as he declared another attack. “Go, ‘Goebendag’. Sacrifice yourself under ‘Trickster Embodiment of Soul’.”

 

“Wait, huh?” Maya was confused. She peered around to see if anyone else had the same reaction, but they didn’t. “Why would he?”

 

“He’s going to kill his own monster to trigger its effect for a search,” Ryuta stated. “Didn’t you read?”

 

Maya squinted at the text inside “Goebendag’s” card. She nodded as she finally understood the entire card. Maya let out a sound of surprise. By then, “Goebendag” tried to slice through “Embodiment of Soul”, but Portman’s monster counterattacked with a large water ball, resulting in “Goebendag” dissipating. (Gungnir’s LP: 3600 → 3400)

 

“I activate the destroyed ‘Goebendag’ effect to add ‘Ahlspear’ from my Deck to my hand. Then I Set 1 card face-down and end my turn,” Gungnir leaned back with his hands resting behind his head. “Heh, come at me with all you got.”

 

“That’s just a bluff, Portman! Don’t fall for it!” Ryuta screamed to Portman. Portman returned the support with a gentle smile that got Ryuta and the others believing in him more.

 

“I won’t!” Portman said. But, from all I’ve known of Yutaro, he’s never bluffed before. I should play this safe to win this Duel.

 

“My monster won’t protect me — none of them will,” Gungnir informed Portman. “That’s how it is because only I can protect myself. You didn’t and you can’t just like my own monsters. So, give it your best shot and defeat me, Father.”

 

Turn 3

 

Portman

LP: 3700

 

Gungnir

LP: 3400

 

“Draw!” Portman inspected the card he drew. “I activate the effect of ‘Kagayami’ in your GY.”

 

“Funny… I chain him to his own effect,” Gungnir replied. “I banish the top 2 cards of my Deck face-down and shuffle them into your Deck.” The top 2 cards of Gungnir’s Deck disappeared and “Kagayami” in his GY flew over to Portman’s own Deck. “With this, I take no damage since they are not in my GY. Furthermore, I also use ‘Mizuka’ in my GY to return my Set card to my hand and shuffle it into your Deck also. Oh, and almost forgot, I activate ‘Nakagami’ in my GY to shuffle the ‘Kagayami’ you control to also shuffle it into your Deck.”

 

“Tch, whatever! You’ve just left yourself open,” Portman told Gungnir.

 

“Did I? What if I have something?” Gungnir grinned under his mask while holding out his cards in his hand.

 

Ryuta glared at Gungnir, knowing he was merely bluffing. “Don’t fall for it Portman-sensei,” Ryuta advised.

 

“But he never bluffs-” Portman said.

 

Ryuta shook his head in response. “He is, believe me.”

 

Gungnir tilted his head, antagonizing both Ryuta and Portman. Kuroki stood firm. “I… play safely Professor Portman,” Kuroki suggested.

 

Portman nodded. “I will, Kuroki. And I’ll win this.”

 

Ryuta’s face scrunched in disappointment. “Ugh… do your best Portman-sensei.”

 

“I activate the card I drew, the Spell ‘Trickster Parade Fusion’! Using ‘Trickster Mizuka’ and ‘Trickster Embodiment of Soul’ as the Fusion Materials, I Fusion Summon the Level 9 ‘Trickster Perseverance of Trickery’ (DARK/Spellcaster/Level 9/3000/3000). O behold the symphony of tricks, unleash thy boldest and newest fury!” After witnessing Portman’s newest monster arriving, Kuroki and the others cheered on, except Ryuta whom was still oddly suspicious about Gungnir’s play.

 

“Hmph, now I cannot activate any card or effects when it attacks. Whatever! My LP won’t go down to 0 and that is all that matters!” Gungnir announced pridefully.

 

“‘Trickster Mizuka’ is sent to your GY, however, I use ‘Trickster Carnival’ to switch her with ‘Trickster Kagayami’ in my GY.” Portman took ‘Mizuka’ from his GY and shuffled it into his Deck while his Deck thrusted out ‘Trickster Kagayami’. He grabbed it and flung it into Gungnir’s GY. He has 3 ‘Trickster’ monsters in his GY, that being ‘Kagayami’, ‘Shigami-no-Kami’, and ‘Kyukaze’. He’ll only take 300 damage, insufficient to down him only to 100. I’ll just have to last a turn. “Battle! ‘Trickster Perseverance of Trickery’, attack Yutaro directly! Trick Bomb!”

 

“Agh!” The bomb landed near Gungnir and immediately exploded. (Gungnir’s LP: 3400 → 400)

 

“Now, her effect activates! She banishes cards from the top of your Deck equal to the number of ‘Trickster’ monsters in your GY. You have 3, so you’ll banish 3!” Gungnir’s top 3 cards then flew out disappearing.

 

“I end my turn!” Portman said ferociously.

 

Turn 4

 

Portman

LP: 3700

 

Gungnir

LP: 400

 

“My turn,” Gungnir grimly stated. “Draw!”

 

“Your Standby Phase, ‘Kagayami’s’ effect,” Portman was poised.

 

“Haha,” Gungnir chuckled mockingly as his LP decreased. (Gungnir’s LP: 400 → 100)

 

The rest of the group were staring at each other blank, wondering why Gungnir was laughing, albeit his position in the Duel. Ryuta clenched his teeth. “This turn… it all ends this turn.” He muttered.

 

“That’s right! It does!” Gungnir stretched his arms high and then brought them back down. “I activate the Field Spell ‘Nanophile Construct Database’.” Suddenly, a large tower crashed through the ground of the amusement park which had many holographic screens running around it. The tower glowed a menacing red, considering that the Nanophile monsters were glowing blue. “Now that I have a Field Spell…”

 

“He can activate other Spells now…” Kuroki finished.

 

“Absolutely!” Gungnir thanked Kuroki. “I Normal Summon ‘Ahlspear’ to Special Summon ‘Goebendag’ from my GY!”

 

“That can’t matter at all right? Right?!” Maya’s teeth chattered nervously.

 

“His Field Spell…” Ryuta looked away, agonizing that this turn would be the last.

 

“I target and destroy the Special Summoned ‘Goebendag’ to add ‘Goebendag’ from my Deck to my hand. Then ‘Goebendag’s effect activates letting me add ‘Nanophile Oxtong’ (DARK/Cyberse/Level 1/1000/400) from my Deck to my hand!” Gungnir revealed the two cards he added. Then, he tossed a third card into the air which displayed itself floating. “The Ritual Spell, ‘Nanophile Reboot’, activates!” A red ring with 8 holes appeared in the sky.

 

“A Ritual Summon!?” Ryuta’s mouth was agape. Almost everyone was in awe at the sight of the Ritual Spell activating, captivating their very eyes with the sheer details. Kintaro smirked, now confirming this was the final turn for Portman.

 

“Yes, a Ritual Summon. I Tribute ‘Oxtong’ in my hand, and ‘Ahlspear’, ‘Goebendag’. (1 + 3 + 4 = 8).” The eight holes then filled with a bright blue light which connected to the center of the ring. “Unveil the data within you as you know each of your enemies, descend upon every one of them and reign forth your destruction! Ritual Summon! Level 8, ‘Nanophile Remnant’!” (DARK/Cyberse/Level 8/2500/400) A large humanoid wrapped in a large black robe descended down from the ring as the ring itself dissipated, it’s glow blue as the sky in daylight.

 

“It doesn’t even have enough ATK!” Vance noticed. “What’s the point?!”

 

“Heh, I activate the Spell in my GY, ‘Foreboding Ambush’. By banishing itself and 1 other monster, being ‘Kagayami’, I can switch 1 monster you control into Defense Position. I choose ‘Trickster Perseverance of Trickery’. Then, since you control a Defense Position monster, I Special Summon ‘Nanophile Oxtong’ from my hand.” Gungnir crossed his arms, assuring he had won.

 

“Professor Portman…” Kuroki whispered, reaching out to Portman.

 

“Battle! ‘Nanophile Remnant’, attack his only monster. Last Deletion!” The blue humanoid jumped into the air and shot a light blue beam at Portman’s remaining monster.

 

“Is he… trying to suicide?!” Maya asked.

 

“No…” Ryuta answered. “There’s something up his sleeve.”

 

“His effect activates, Portman.” Gungnir slid off his mask, revealing his young face and his dark blue eyes. His lips curled into a mocking smirk. Snippets of his hair fell down to his eyes, unveiling a dark red and black hair, layered and swept to his right, with a bit covering his right eye. “He destroys all Defense Position monsters you control when he attacks!” Suddenly, the blue beam shifted into the ground and destroyed the amusement park, leaving behind a broken ruin of fun.

 

“Agh! That’s not enough!” Portman exclaimed.

 

“Or is it? When a Defense Position monster you control is destroyed, you take damage equal to its DEF from ‘Foreboding Ambush’,” Gungnir explained as Portman’s eyes widened at the last few words. (Portman’s LP: 3700 → 700) “Oxtong… finish this Duel.” The dragon with its short spearhead lunged at Portman, stabbing him through the chest. Then, everything started to fade back to reality. (Portman’s LP: 700 → 0)

 

Result: Gungnir Wins!

 

Portman fell to his knees as Gungnir approached him. “You can’t save me… ever. Considering you couldn’t do it before, what made you think you could now?” Portman slowly lifted his head up, gazing upon Gungnir’s deadpan face, looking as if it was filled with hatred and despair.

 

Kuroki walked towards Gungnir. “There’s no point in holding onto your hatred for your father,” Kuroki managed to croak. “Just stop this madness. There’s no need to cause any more pain.” Gungnir, unmasked, narrowed his eyes at Kuroki.

 

“Maybe, but I want to achieve what I want to,” Gungnir said as he turned away. “I’ve settled this with my father, and I know you want to settle things with me. Maybe, next time I’ll play along with you.” He grunted as he walked away, warping into something that Kuroki couldn’t identify.

 

Setting their attention back to Portman, he was suddenly growing ill. His eyes fell heavy and his body was burning. Ryuta managed to carry him and so the group headed towards the academy building’s nurse’s office.

 

They entered inside, seeing Itou still in a comatose state and Ms. Esmeralda. Kuroki looked back seeing that Kintaro had vanished, but shrugged it off as he could have just gone back to his dorm after his own duel earlier.

 

Ms. Esmeralda jotted down a few more notes about Itou before turning her attention towards the intruding group. “What brings you-?” Her eyes jolted to the sleeping Professor Portman as she instructed for Ryuta to put him down on a bed. “Oh my god! What happened?” She inquired as she inspected his pulse and his body heat.

 

“He… it’s the same as Itou,” Ryuta answered, facing away.

 

Kuroki stood by the hallway waiting. Maya sat down next to Itou, comforting herself by letting her hands flow through Itou’s unkempt hair. Vance took a seat on another bed, tired as it was late at night. Ryuta stood, hovering over Ms. Esmeralda’s work. Suddenly, Kuroki heard a few running footsteps from down the hall. He leaned back and looked out to the hallway, seeing two figures leaving a classroom. It seemed to him that one was pursuing the other. As it was suspicious, he left the nurse’s office silently and follow suit.

 

He reached outside the front entrance into the academy building, seeing the two cloaked figures turning up their Duel Disks for a Duel. Then, a low growl escaped from one of them, the one that was further and facing the building. The other was facing away.

 

“I’ll finish off any pursuers of Gungnir for him. Even you, Nyxon Avata.” The dark figure claimed.

 

“And I’ll eliminate anyone who opposes our forces, including you and Gungnir, Asper Volkov,” the brighter cloaked male stated.

 

“Heh, if you know my name, then you are surely well informed. Tell me. Who told you all this?”

 

“That’s a secret, something I’d never give up especially against our enemy,” Nyxon snorted.

 

“Hmph, then maybe you’ll give it up in a Duel. I’ll just set you off to sleep and then we’ll easily grasp the answer from your dreams,” Asper cackled.

 

“That’s if you can,” Nyxon confidently stood taller as he drew his top 5 cards.

 

“Hmph, then let’s…”

 

“Duel!”

 

Nyxon vs Asper