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Yu-Gi-Oh! Blue Rose [IC]

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May 1st, Sunday, 3:13 PM 

Though the forecast was showing it would be a dark and stormy night, the skies seemed to only be overcast at the present mid-day time. And yet in spite of these bleak looking skies it did little to abate the activities and excitement of the people of Camellia. Though the big city didn't know much in way of rest today was especially abuzz with activity as the people had all filed into the new - several year old - Aspect Stadium, the main hub for all things Blue Rose would be broadcast. The reason was simple. Today was a day for introductions, for promotion and for showcasing. Each and every duelist partaking in the Blue Rose tournament had been called to the new - though in reality five year old - Aspect Stadium; the building where all duels for Blue Rose would be held. All thirty two of them were to listen to the announcer for the event tell them all that was expected for the tournament. The rules, code of conduct, the long and storied tradition and history of the both the tournament and the sport. And finally for the viewers at home a short introduction of each of the players, simply stating all of their names, decks and what province they were representing. When all was said and done, the group was dismissed from the tournament hall and free to go about their business. 

Upon exiting the stadium proper, they would see a crowd of people who had all been waiting for them, some fans of the sport and some reporters and journalists looking to interview the duelists. Naturally some of the participants were more popular than others, last year's third place being swarmed the moment that she had left the building, and they would deal with their fans and crowds in their own way. The group of tournament participants would be able to spend the rest of their free time however they wished for the day, knowing full well that tomorrow was the start of the games proper.

Iris, for her part, didn't particularly feel in the mood to do any press for herself as well. Smiling and waving to all the people who had called out to her, Iris merely continued her way forward and managed to get past all of them. Looking up to the sky the girl frowned, thinking that the gray skies wasn't the best of omens for the coming tournament. Not to mention it was neither sunny nor raining, making her ever present parasol nothing more than a fashionable accessory. Sighing to herself, the girl continued to walk into the unfamiliar city proper, thinking that surely there was something to pass the time with. 


So yeah, there we are. Not much to go on, I know, but for now everyone just walk around and mingle as you see fit. There's a few things that I put in there but also be aware that you all already have your hotel rooms, being checked in anywhere between a week to a day ago, so you don't have to worry about that. As for things to do around here, you can 

  • Interact with each other as you see fit 
  • Interact with side characters and NPCs (feel free to ask for clarification on who ever might be around if you do) 
  • Talk to the media or fans (feel free to write for them yourself if you don't want to ask me for stuff from these random folk) 
  • Explore the city, as it has everything you could expect from a city between bars, clubs, arcades, casinos, non-duel monster related sport things and activities, food, more food, so much food, a beach, etc. 
  • Go back to your luxurious hotel and stay there or something 
  • Anything else that I didn't mention that you can think of. Yeah.

As was also stated the actual dueling doesn't start until tomorrow and the tournament is set up in a way that dueling happens all week, so you might not even be dueling tomorrow. I haven't actually set up tournament brackets as I haven't invented 20+ characters, so if you want to be in the first day of dueling feel free to say so. I'm sure there's more I missed here but that's all I got for now. Go wild kiddos. 


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Cid rubbed at his eyes and let out a groan. The lights were a bit much weren't they? His eyes still hadn't adjusted even after the opening ceremony had ended. It was way too early for so much fanfare and excitement. He glanced at his phone and realized it would be dinner time soon. It would take him a bit to get home so he had to try and slip out nice and quietly...

This hopeful plan lasted only as long as it took to go through the doors and into a sea of cameras. "Jeezus." he muttered as they immediately began to talk at once. He wasn't arrogant enough to think that they were here for him, there was that old man right over that way who was probably a much more interesting story, but he couldn't deny some were targeting him.

"Cedric! Cedric Carlyle!" some of them called out. And he lowered his head to avoid making eye contact, much like a wild animal he expected they'd consider it a challenge if he didn't, and surged onward. Then he heard another, younger, reporter shout "Cid! Over here! Just a moment please!"

With a sigh he turned his gaze to them. The excitable young lady seemed surprised at the attention and for a moment Cid pictured a puppy at a dog shelter wagging their tail at a potential new family looking their way.

"Cid, yes, um...right! You had been out of the pro scene for a while could you comment on what brought you back?"

He shouldn't be surprised that this was the question he was asked. It was so boring it was predictable but at least it was simple to answer. "It's easy money." He said and started to continue on his way.

"W-wait! Just one more! You used to use a Monarch deck correct? What do you think about the fact that one of the duelists in this tournament has one?"

Cid hesitated. Which he knew had been a mistake. Reporters would take the brief pause and run wild with it. "Why should that matter?" he said. "A deck is a deck. Decks change. Just have to beat it like any other."

He realized it wasn't so simple. It wasn't actually all that usual for decks to change that much once someone settled into one. But he really didn't feel like getting into the reasoning here.

Cid's phone rang and he glanced at the number. "We're done." he said bluntly and continued on. Pushing past until the reporters thinned. Thankfully there were enough people of interest that he was able to get through and answer his phone in relative privacy. "Hey Heather I should be back soon, what do you want for...Wait you're eating at a friend's? Do I know this friend?" After a pause he said, voice wary, "Which Jennifer?"

After the response he let out a relieved sigh. "Alright well I'll pick you up later then. Don't forget you have school tomo...and she hung up."

Slipping the phone in his pocket he looked around aimlessly and raised his arms in a half shrug. "Now what do I do?"

Gabby Conners was nearly bouncing with nervous excitement. "Holy smokes look at them all." She said looking out of the window at the crowd of reporters. "Alright, alright, whew. Okay no biggie."

Every time she went to one of these tournaments it felt like the first time. She wasn't sure she'd ever get used to it and, honestly, she wasn't sure she wanted to. There was something amazing about the atmosphere that she hoped to never fully lose hold of.

So when she exited the building she raised up an arm towards the crowd and called out, her voice carrying over the clamor, "Okay folks, who wants first dibs?"

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“There were worse ways of spending a Sunday afternoon,” they both thought.

Like, sure, the only real tension was in whether or not someone was going to go off-script, and even that wasn’t really worth paying attention to find out, but it was still the culmination of something -- hard work, she supposed? And, if you really thought about it, you really only had to win, like, six more duels, so definitely the start of some sort of celebration.

At the same time, Yuliya couldn’t wait to be out of her chair and out the door. There was this other competitor, some guy named Chad Chaderson who had taken to social media to decry hair dye as a “corruption of every value we teach our children” or some nonsense like that and now he was sitting behind her, his stare drilling a hole into the back of her skull. She was incredibly worried that an errant fidget, any movement at all, would cause him to reach out and give her ponytail a hard yank. Obviously, he wouldn’t, not in public and especially not this sort of public, but he could.

Still, it meant that when the ceremony did end, that energy was released all at once. Yuliya couldn’t just slowly process out like everyone else, no, she had to bound past everyone, through the cleared-out halls beneath the stands, and out into the waiting arms (and cameras and mics) of the rest of the press. Of course she could answer a few questions ahead of the tournament. Of course she could!

How was she feeling ahead of her first match? “You know what? Pretty good. I mean, I can’t get too confident since I only placed second in the qualifiers, but yeah, pretty good.” How familiar was she with Thunder Dragons? “I mean, I feel like most people have, you know, the one deck, you know? What am I gonna do, play Dragons because my sister told me to or whatever? Anyway, I think as a kid I was just like, ‘this card plus Polymerization all the way’ and the deck just got even more sweet as time went on.” Did she see this tournament as some sort of big break? “Get back to me after the tournament’s done, eh? I’ve certainly made some friends already, I dunno what’ll happen after that.” How was she feeling? “Wait, didn’t I answer that alre- oh! Iris, wait up!”

Just like that, the hounding reporters got all they were going to get from her, Yuliya had spotted Iris’ trademark umbrella floating past the hounding masses and towards the city proper. “Iris!” Yuliya said again as she ran up behind her. “This is your first time in the city, right? We should- I know the best café, like, there’s a patio, we can sit outside for a bit, do some people-watching, I dunno, gossip. There’s all sorts of stuff we can do after that, but I kinda want to grab a mocha first.

“And also, if it does start to rain, I want to be near the girl with the umbrella.” She winked.

Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest, but a city like Camellia never slept, not even for a mid-afternoon nap, which meant here she was, wings on and everything, introducing herself as if anybody paying attention to this tournament didn’t already have at least some sort of idea of who she was. Not that she was bitter, of course. That was just how this sort of life went, Lailah had accepted it long ago. This particular Sunday was better than most anyway since she’d had time for a morning mass, so that was nice.

There were a whole lot of people waiting outside, but she could handle that and they weren’t all there to see her anyway. Some pushed past clearly not caring, while Gabby and some others were relishing the additional spotlight the tournament had brought them. Still, she managed to gather a crowd of her own; her agent had suggested turning the post-ceremony kerfuffle into a fan meetup and had set a point just off to the side where they were waiting for her.

It was the normal series of interactions, mostly full of vaguely familiar faces, but there were some new ones as well. One girl -- she couldn’t have been older than eight or nine -- came up with her mother and asked her to sign a bracket she had made. “Your name goes here,” she pointed to a blank line, “and then I can copy it as you win!”

“That is very sweet of you,” Lailah said. “What’s your name?”


Lailah smiled as she etched in her name. “Well, Bea, be sure to cheer me on, okay?”

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The Blazing Squire

This was a big event...and even bigger than anything he had seen in Troyce. This was the biggest deal there was...and needless to say, Richard Wallace was pumped to the max about this tournament and all these Duelists that were around. Each one looked super skilled and talented...he was getting fired up just thinking about it. And the fans and media could definitely see it on this young man's face.

Richard definitely was enjoying the moment to where he was just taking pictures and talking with the media about how psyched he was about partaking in this tournament. Answering all sorts of questions that were thrown his way...

Do you think you can handle the tournament and it's competitors?

"My chivalric spirit is erupting at this point. I know I can handle the competitors...cause if I couldn't, I wouldn't have made it to this point in the first place!" Richard smiled, tossing his hands behind his head. It was truly clear he was amped up, and for the press...this was always a good thing. However, he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. It was a young boy...maybe ten...maybe nine, Richard couldn't tell. But what he could tell was that this ruddy looking boy had something in his hand: a Duel Monsters deck, and it seemed like he was just waiting there in the crowd for a moment.

A small smile appeared on Richard's face before he started making his way towards him. "Hey...guys could you give the kid some room?" he asked politely, ushering people to just move out of the way. Once that was done, he motioned with his had, beckoning the young boy to come forward. He knelt down and flashed a small smile. "What's up kiddo? Ya look like you got something on your mind."

The boy was quiet for a moment, before looking up at Richard and slowly stretching his hand outward to hand Richard the deck of cards. "C-Could you...?"

"Oh of course!" Richard said happily, now adopting a cross legged position as he sat on the ground, taking the deck in his hands. He flipped through the cards, nodding slowly as he looked at the boy and then back at the cards...then at the boy, then at the cards...which happened for a good portion of the moment. "What's your name kiddo?"


"Well Lance...I can tell you put a lot of thought and love into making this deck." Richard said with a firm nod. "And it shows that you really like Gearfried. I don't get to see many Duelists taking a shine to Gearfried and only him...so you definitely chose one that not many people go for. And that's a good thing! Shows how unique you are from others."

"...I keep losing though..."

Richard handed Lance the deck back and put his hand on the kid's head to ruffle his hair. "So what? Dueling isn't always about winning or losing, it's about having fun. And you have fun when Dueling, right?" He saw the boy nod slowly. "Then there ya go! Though...hmmm lemme see..." Richard moved a hand into his jacket pocket, and seemed to pull out a few Duel Monster cards. "Lemme see...lemme see...yeah I think I got just the thing for you." He slipped a card up, flipped it over and handed it to the young boy. "Try using this."

Lance took the card hesitantly, looking at it. "...Gilti...Gearfried?"

"Yup. Gilti-Gearfried the Magical Steel Knight. He's a pretty special and awesome card." Richard gave a smile. "That there is a special card...I think it got printed wrong and if you look closely, the armor the warrior is wearing...it sorta looks like he's wearing the different armors of the different Gearfrieds." Upon further inspection, the young boy did notice this. "It's a misprint on that...but at the same time, it's a one of a kind. Meaning it's unique from the others."

"Like me!"

"Now your catching on!" Richard ruffled the kid's hair again. "That one is gonna be an ace in the hole for you, I can just tell." He stood up and he bumped fists with Lance, before stopping to take a quick picture for him to commemorate the event. That was going to be a Duelist to look out for in the future, Richard could just sense it. And that in turn made his chivalric spirit get fired up as well.

The Raging Raptor

The opening ceremonies to the tournament, in Amano Itsuki's eyes, was the moment where he needed to eye up the competition and for all intents and purposes...he was pleased with what he saw. The Duelists that were there to take part in the Blue Rose tournament, they varied and definitely showed much promise. This was the time where he and his Dinomists could truly shine...least that was the hope.

Nevertheless, once the ceremonies and introductions stopped, he of course got stopped by reporters and people wanting interviews, autographs and pictures outside the stadium. Of course, he wasn't 100% used to this yet...though he knew his mother definitely was. Regardless, he took it like a champ to the best of his ability.

Itsuki! Your mother, Amano Kira, Dueled in a Blue Rose tournament before but she got in the Top 5. Are you here to achieve farther than that?

Straight out the gate...sure. "Heh, my mother's time as "Shining Meteor Kira" was full of amazing Duels and her Blue Rose ones were some of the epic ones. It didn't bother her that she made it to the Top 5 and it doesn't matter to me. Buuuuut if your wondering, I'm hoping to head to the top of this tournament bracket and take home the gold!" he said, flashing a grin.

Due to your father's archeological background, why go for Dinomist and not Fossils?

"I guess I took more of a page out of my mother's book with her Jurracs. And at the same time, while no offense to the Fossil archetype, but I'd rather not play something that is just bare bones and sorta dead." Itsuki explained, before catching what he said and proceeding to chuckle a bit. "Bare bones...dead...heh, oh that was totally unintentional but that was too good. Any other questions?" he asked, wiping a tear from his eye.

Do one of your dinosaur puns!! Oh! Or maybe that thing you say when you Pendulum Summon!!

That one had to be a kid or a fan that asked that. Then again, Itsuki wasn't going to just deny this. "Heh, you bet JURASSICAN!" he laughed a bit, to which most of the people groaned at the pun. "Oh c'mon that's a classic one...either way, I'm not saur-ee for the pun...though I feel ptero-bill!" Another laugh was met with another groan. "Alright fine, I'll spare the rest...but either way..." Itsuki cleared his throat, before moving and spreading his arms wide open. "Past and Future meet together, letting loose their mechanical roars! PENDULUM SUMMON!!! Emerge my Dinomists!!" Now this was met with some cheers from the small crowd. Everyone was a critic...

With that whole bit out the way, Itsuki bid the people adieu before making his way towards his motorcycle. However, out of the corner of his eye...he saw someone. He'd recognize him almost immediately just due to him keeping an eye on the Pros in the Duel Circuits...especially since he just returned to the world of Pro Dueling. With a whistle and a wave, Itsuki got the attention (or he hoped he did) of Cid Carlyle. "OI! CID!" he took his hand and thumbed towards the direction of the city and smirked. "Planning to hit the nearest bar to celebrate the start of this. Ya look like you need something to do, how bout you join me?"

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"OI! CID!"

Cid had known. He knew that when he started to wonder about what he would do that the universe would do something like this. It was like some kind of cosmic karma. As if some god was looking down, overheard him, and said "Oh you want something to do? How about this!"

Be careful what you wish for.

Monkey's paw.

With so many stories warning about such things he really should have learned to keep such thoughts far away.

All this to say that Cid really didn't feel like dealing with this dork.

"Planning to hit the nearest bar to celebrate the start of this. Ya look like you need something to do, how bout you join me?"

He tried to think about who this was. He vaguely remembered the deck, and knew that they were pretty popular because they were friendly, but that was about all that came to mind. Cid crossed his arms and stared at them for a few moments trying to work out what their name had been before giving up on it. "Hey, you." he said vaguely. He hoped that his less than open posture and attitude would drive the guy off but he had a feeling that it wouldn't be so easy.

"You know you're usually supposed to celebrate when you've won something right? And who goes to a bar this early anyway?" Cid didn't really go to bars in the first place. Rarely he'd been dragged there by various co-workers. Given he usually had to battle with his sister's terribly early waking time, the last time he overslept and let her make breakfast herself she had made enough, and burnt much of, food for the whole week, he didn't often want to stay out late.

Which, now that he had thought it out, meant that maybe this time was actually the best time of day for him to go to a bar or anything of the sort.

Shit. Defeated by his own logic. Well played.

With a loud sigh that made it clear that he was resigning himself to this he threw his hands up. "Yeah fine alright. But this better not be some wingman shit."

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Posted (edited)

The opening ceremony was not exactly what Zoe had exactly expected. It was a bit more lengthy than she had expected, and she was running out of patience near the end of the announcer's speech, but the end did give her some ideas about who she was facing and how to set up her deck for certain match-ups using her side-deck. But, the event ended, and Zoe calmly walked to the exit, where she and her fellow competitors were swarmed by a mob of reporters. 

Zoe wished that there were less press here. She knew, it was the biggest dueling event of the year, but that didn't mean that this was the only time to interview people. She did briefly get asked a few questions, but they were very simple question. 

Why Aroma's? "It is an old favorite, however with a new twist on things."

Are the rumors about a new ace true? "Well, I wouldn't consider it an ace, but yes I have. I think I'll save it's reveal for the tournament."

How are you feeling about the tournament ahead? "I can't afford to feel anything but confident."

What was her main reason for entering this tournament in the first place? "No comment, this isn't the place for me to answer that question, nor the time."

She brushed aside any other questions she was asked. She was glad there were so contestants, because it meant that the press would be occupied with the other competitors instead of her, giving her a chance to leave and put everything together. She was ready to cool off in the best way she knew how. She was going to see the ocean, one of the few places she felt at ease. But, she intended on grabbing a coffee first, of course. She wasn't exactly sure how to reach there from the arena or the hotel, but she hoped that someone at the coffee shop would be willing to point her in the direction of a beach. 

'There isn't much time to prepare,' Zoe thought to herself. 'There are too many potential match-ups for any specific change to my deck to be super effective. But there are no safe paths left for me. The only choice is to press forward.'

Edited by JellisOP

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Overall, the trip to Camellia had been pretty pleasant. The only setback Julian had met on the way to the tournament venue was going to the wrong stadium at first once he got in town, and that was easily set straight after a brief chat with the kind young fellow at the gates who seemed surprised that someone of Julian's age was participating in the Blue Rose, instead of rooting for a grandkid or something. Oh, if you only knew. Not that Julian was much in a position to say that. He read the directions and still went to the wrong venue, after all. Muscle memory taking him to where he used to compete was perhaps a good sign though. If that was any indicator, perhaps the rest of the tournament would go just like they did in his day.

Ideally though, he'd actually win it all this time. No more Julian "Top 3 Gatekeeper" Miles this year. He wanted to be Julian "the champion" Miles. Though realistically, he doubted his chances. The game had changed a lot, and he didn't know what a lot of newer decks did. He'd have to pay close attention to his opponents, more than he used to. He had listened closely as the announcer went over everyone's names and decks. He even recognized some deck names. How about that! Once the announcements had concluded, Julian did as he did in his youth, and promptly bailed from the scene before the press could get their hands on him. The layout here was similar enough to the one he was used to, but there were a few differences. The left turn he was used to making at a certain point for his "quick escape route" wasn't there, for one. And taking the right turn then following a similar path from there led him...

Right into the eager arms of the press! The one crowd he didn't want to get chummy with. At a glance, it seemed the reporters and writers were all too eager talking to the exciting new blood to bother with some has-been, and Julian had planned to take advantage of the situation to slip past them unnoticed. That was the plan, anyway, but it would seem that he missed a spot when surveying the area. Just as he was about to slip away from the premises, he heard a voice calling out from within the crowd, "Mr. Miles! Mr. Miles, sir, I'd like to ask a few questions!"

With a resigned sigh, Julian looked to the rapidly-approaching source of the voice. Young lady, blonde ponytail, definitely had the general air of someone into asking questions. The notepad really sold the "journalist" vibe. "You'll probably be sorely disappointed, ma'am. But by all means, ask away."

"What inspired you to rejoin the pro dueling scene after spending so much time in retirement?"

"No comment." The last thing Julian wanted to share with the world was "I'll be dead by this time next year." If he'd said something like that, he just knew the media would swarm him, hoping to get one last interview in with one of the hotshots of a time since past, trying to pry some sort of wisdom out of him that had been lost to the times. No such wisdom existed, of course, but if the press was anything like they were back in his years in the pro scene, that certainly wouldn't stop them from trying to find it anyway. They may well have just made something up by overthinking his answers, even!

"Do you believe any of your opponents in this year's Blue Rose Tournament will be an even challenge to the legends of your time?"

"No comment." Of course not. This generation of duelists would probably smoke his any day of the week. Aside from the fact that most of their wits hadn't aged as well as Julian's - the ones that were still alive, of course - the game was simply more advanced nowadays. That meant decks with greater mechanical ability, giving new duelists an edge over their older counterparts. In a game of straight numbers, Julian couldn't imagine a modern champion losing to one from his time. Of course, if the cards happened to favor one duelist over the other...

"What is your advice to aspiring new duelists?"

"No comment. Listen, I've never really been the sort to talk to the press, even when I was young and hot-blooded. I have a lot of research to do if I'm going to get anywhere in this tournament, so I'm afraid I must be on my way."

"Research your opponent. Got it!"

"I..." I suppose. That is something I'd say if I were to give an actual answer. Hopefully the one stretch of an answer would be enough to satisfy this lady. Julian gave her a nod and turned to leave, surveying his competition again now that they were in a slightly less formal and official environment. All raring to go, full of fiery spirit. It sure reminded him of himself. One in particular really reminded him of the way he was once upon a time.

Young lady, not as young as the reporter who had tracked Julian down, but still young. White hair, blue eyes, and a bold call of "Okay folks, who wants first dibs?"

"Don't mind if I do," Julian called out in response, approaching the lady. Once he was close enough to speak at a normal volume, Julian said "I'm no journalist, but frankly that may be for the better. It's not every day pros of different generations get to interact, let alone possibly duel each other down the line. What made you choose this career, if I may ask?"

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As the woman wondered it seemed her  questions had been answered as something to do had managed to run its way right over to her. Hearing a familiar voice call out to her, Iris turned to see who it belonged to, smiling as she saw the blue haired duelist make her way over to her. As always Yuliya was a bundle of energy, excitedly getting right into their mid-day plans. Iris couldn't help but give a small giggle as the girl commented on her umbrella, giving it a little spin with a proud look on her face. Her parasol had been both fashionable in how well it matched her outfit and general public look, it was durable and robust, and most importantly she had gotten it for a bargain price too! 

After her little flourish, the woman smiled saying, "well, I can hardly wait to see what place you have in mind. And I am famished so I would love to catch up over something to eat." As the hotel had been serving breakfast and the tournament had been covering for some of their food expenses, Iris had made sure to have a hearty meal in the morning. And then, when she had thought to take a stroll through the city well before the ceremony had started, she had experienced difficulties in doing so. Getting distracted, being stopped by others and just plain getting lost. Really it had been a small miracle that the woman had even managed to get to the arena on time. Letting out a sigh as she recalled her struggles, one of which her stomach audibly punctuated, Iris then went to clear her throat. 

"But yes, I am looking forward to what your city has to offer, Yuliya. I have always been fond of cities like these but seldom have time to actually travel and take in the sights of one. It is even worse that I am far out of my element in them and well..." The woman cleared her throat a second time, not exactly wanting to relive what trials and tribulations she had gone through in the past trying to navigate unfamiliar cities. All the same, Iris followed after Yuliya entrusting the girl with their destination before killing the time by asking, "It has been quite some time since our last meeting so, how have things been for you, Yuliya?"

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The Raging Raptor

"Hey, you. You know you're usually supposed to celebrate when you've won something right? And who goes to a bar this early anyway?"

Itsuki chuckled, seeing that not only did Cid forget his name, but he was hesitant on joining in. However, the young man stood his ground, simply leaning against his motorcycle with his arms crossed slightly. Not a word was spoken as he noticed that Cid seemed to go quiet...and seemed to be contemplating things. That's when he heard the defeated sigh. Translation: he won. Itsuki 1, Cid 0.

"Yeah fine alright. But this better not be some wingman shit."

"Wingman? What? Please...I couldn't be your wingman if I tried." Itsuki smirked, tossing Cid a helmet before putting one on himself. "If anything, people would be fawning more and more over you than me. The skill difference between us is great and obviously people are drawn to not only good looks...but power." The motorcycle revved to life as Itsuki mounted it and waited for Cid to join. "Nope, none of that wingman stuff so you don't have to worry about that. I just tend to do stuff like this with the competition...get to know them better. And believe me, you seem like one of the ones I wouldn't mind learning about. I mean, there's the old man and plenty of good looking girls, but you seem to be the one that strikes me as an individual that I should hang with."

The Blazing Squire

Richard kept signing a few autographs and took some pictures with a couple of the fans, and then not too long later...he'd find himself even helping others with their own decks. Seems his little gesture of helping the next generation of Duelists after him was definitely noticed...a lot more than he originally intended to. Nevertheless, Richard did his best to help out the best he could and the Duelist fans he helped out left with a satisfied smile on their faces. Which meant Richard did his job...making sure they had smiles on their faces.

Now the question became...what was the young Duelist to do now? There was a whole slew of individuals he could possibly mingle with...then again...the Duelist with the red motorcycle...Itsuki was it? Yeah, he had Cedric with him, so both of those were out of the question. He glanced over and saw Iris and Yuliya walking off together, then there was Gabby and Julian...Richard paused for a second there, namely cause that was a Duelist he really wanted to meet with.

Julian Miles...that man is a legend in the Pro Dueling circuits...like one of the Top 3 Gatekeepers...THE Gatekeepers! That was definitely an exclusive group and title to say the least... Richard thought, observing the elderly Duelist from afar. ...I really want to pick his mind and try to apply what I can to be a better Duelist. Hell, maybe there'll be a new Top 3 Gatekeepers to emerge from this tournament...my chivalric spirit is flaring up again just thinking about it!!

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"I'm no journalist, but frankly that may be for the better. It's not every day pros of different generations get to interact, let alone possibly duel each other down the line. What made you choose this career, if I may ask?"

Gabby was surprised to see the veteran duelist, someone who had dueled before she was even born, approach her instead of a reporter. She cast a quick glance at said reporters who seemed to be intent on listening in on the conversation.

Not exactly the most comfortable place for a personal chat but she didn't want to turn down the friendly gesture. "You sure you didn't work as a journalist? Sounds like you got the question thing down pat." she smiled to show she meant no ill-will by this. "At first it was just about the only thing I could do, you know? I guess somewhere along the way I learned to really enjoy it." she thought about that a moment and then laughed. "I can't say for sure when that happened it's all a blur honestly. Ever feel like you were just making your own life story up as you go along? Sometimes feels I didn't actually live it." she paused. "Buuut that's a lot too philosophical for a chat like this." she rubbed the back of her head and laughed again, more awkwardly.

Then she spotted someone off to the side. Another duelist, she thought, by the name of....Richard? He seemed to be looking over at them. Or more specifically the old man. She waved at him. "Hey! Why don't you quit staring, come over, and say hi?"

He certainly didn't see that coming. Cid had to pause a moment to really think about what this guy was saying. Either he wanted to hang out with Cid because he thought Cid could help attract women, which sounded a lot like wingmanning, or he was hitting on Cid himself.

Or some combination of the two. If the former he questioned this guy's judgement. He couldn't imagine many women would be that interested in a mess of a guy like himself. If the latter, well, he didn't have anything against guys who were into guys but he really wasn't ready for an awkward conversation right now.

"Just to be clear I'm really not interested in any kind of hooking-up. So if that's the goal you should look elsewhere."

He figured that would cover either possibility fine enough. It'd be more of a bother to do the song and dance of backing out and the guy pushing for it and Cid having to get increasingly adamant in his refusal. Setting boundaries and all that.

He glanced at the motorcycle and then across the way at his electric moped, which was large enough for two, him and his sister usually, and gave a short laugh. "But if we're going to head out I guess you lead the way. I'll trail along behind you....Don't expect a race anytime soon though."

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Yuliya tried to brush off Iris’ question with a hand wave and an “Oh, you know,” though she still ended up answering it after another bit of silence. “Mostly just dorked around on social media, really. Not even keeping up with the competition just, like, shitposts and shit. Uh, yeah, I dunno, I guess as soon as I knew I qualified, my brain just kinda shut off. I didn’t even play all that great in the qualifinals, I don’t think. You know how it is, I bet.

“Oh wait, no,” Yuliya added after a small conversation beat, just remembering something. “Yeah, no, I did actually kind of obsess over the guy that beat me for a little bit, not, like, cyberstalking or anything but I did look at the socials he did have a couple times. Not that he updates them on the reg or anything, dunno what I was expecting to change, but get this: he didn’t even beat me with his main deck, did you know? Like, he’s gonna be playing Frogs all tournament but he was playing Monarchs before. So that got me pretty miffed and then I was out of my funk and then, well, that was just in time for today.

“So yeah, I guess I have a rival now. Oh wait, there’s Chad Chaderson too, I guess, who, Christ, I’m not even going to get into. And you, technically, though I like to think we have a ‘friendly competition’ thing going. So three rivals, then. That’s where I’m at. An- Oh!” Yuliya stopped in her tracks. “‘Manna From Heaven Bakery,’ yup, this is it! Almost walked right past it, oops! Yeah, door’s right back here.” She opened the door and took a deep breath. “Ahhh yup, there’s another reason I like this place,” she said, beckoning Iris over. “Take a whiff of this.”

It wasn’t even morning -- there was no way the bakery half of the operation was still actively making bread and baked goods -- but the smell kept. A cynic might have said they were piping the smell in through the vents, but even if that was the case, wasn’t it better to get lost in the artifice? Like, sure, maybe it was questionably honest, but it still worked on Yuliya despite that. The coffee side, too, had its own set of delightful smells, and if you stood in the right spot you could get a really nice bouquet, but they weren’t just there for scents. They had dollars to spend as well.

“Hey, Mitch,” Yuliya said, greeting the barista at the register. “Usual large decaf iced mocha for me and then whatever she’s getting.” She slid her card (and a loyalty card, because of course she had one of those) across the table to him before turning back around to her friend and fellow duelist. “Seriously, it’s all good here. And Mitch can help you decide if you’re still stuck. I’m gonna go pick out a spot out front and then I’ll be right back up too.”

Yuliya had suggested people-watching as part of the initial pitch, though in reality the city was stuck in those afternoon hours where it was too late for a lunch break and too early for anyone popping in after work for a baked good treat, so people were few and far between. Not that Yuliya minded, that just left more time for conversation. “What did you end up getting again? I know I could check the receipt but I’d rather you tell me,” she said. “How is it? What do you think? And, unrelated but equally important, you should answer your own question, too. What have you been doing?”

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As one might expect, Yuliya was off to the races at Iris's prompt. Not as though Iris had minded, smiling along as her friend had described to her all that had happened since their last meeting. As it had turned out she had taken her loss in her own provincial qualifiers quite hard, though she could certainly understand wanting to learn more about the person who beat you. She found it similarly interesting as Yuliya did, however, at the mention of the man using a different deck then normal. Such a thing wasn't unheard of, but usually she could only see it being done as something of a showboat or to turn around a severe losing streak. She didn't have much more time to think on it, though, as the next of Yuliya's rivals were brought up. Iris recognized Chad Chaderson's name, it was hard not to, but she still knew little about the man himself. All that she had was a vague impression that he was generally unpleasant to be around and Yuliya's sentiment seemed to echo that feeling. 

The girl gave a small chuckle at the mention of their friendly rivalry, but before she was able to say anything they had arrived at their destination. Feeling some manner of excitement well up in her as Yuliya seemed excited to enter into the building, Iris followed in, passing another silver haired girl as she did so. At her friend's request the girl took a deep breath of the sweet bakery air around her, letting out a pleased sigh saying, "oh, heavenly. This place certainly seems to be delightful, Yuliya." At the aforementioned person's request again, Iris walked over and look at the menu. Her expression went from notably pleased to a much more scrunched up and pensive one. She didn't have much of an issue in figuring out what it was she wanted from the menu, that was quite easy. Instead her eyes seemed to be focused less on the items themselves and more on the numbers next to them. After Yuliya left her alone with Mitch, Iris started to bite at her thumb nail, trying to figure out what to order. 

After coming back from her order, Iris sat down with Yuliya with her food as the girl asked her about her order. "Oh nothing much. Just one black coffee and a chocolate croissant..." The girl then looked to the side as she hastily said, "and um, a butter pecan cookie." It was clear that Iris was ashamed of her over indulgence, but cleared her throat before answering. "Well, ahem, I myself have been just fine. I do not mean to boast, but I was quite pleased with my performance and victory on that day. Not to down play my opponent or anything but well, after that I simply went about my days as usual. Oh! But!" Iris's eyes lit up in excitement, "recently at my work, we started to sell something called a Churro there. I have never had them before but they are wonderfully sweet if not a bit messy. It is quite good that the tournament started when it did, though, otherwise I may have accidentally started to make a habit of eating them."

Yuliya would know that Iris worked at the popular convenience store chain, One-Seven-One, yet always seemed to enjoy her talks about there. The girl then went to bite into her chocolate filled pastry, seeming delighted as she said, "oh, but it is just as well that I am only here temporarily as well, these are quite heavenly as advertised." The girl took another small bite, seeming equally as pleased. After a few more she asked, "now, I do not usually partake in this 'people watching' hobby, so what things in the city are you usually on the lookout for." Iris looked eager and excited to learn more about the hobby. 



As Zoe had made her way towards the nearby bakery a familiar silver haired girl, in far more spring appropriate attire, had just walked out. Two bags in hand and with a smile on her face, the girl seemed ready to get moving and continue whatever her plans were before she locked eyes with Zoe. Unnervingly, the girl stared at her with an almost vacant look in her eyes for nearly ten seconds. She finally blinked, though, a look of realization dawned on her as she gestured with one of her bags at the woman. Her tone seemed to lack any energy behind it, but yet she still seemed to smile and be enthused all the same. "You're in the tournament too. Hmmmmm......" The girl mulled on it for a few more seconds before saying, "Zoe!" Personally, Zoe did not know this girl, but as she was also a tournament participant she was quite easily recognized as one of the regulars at Blue Rose for the past few years. Leila Ludrani, the current first seed from the Orcha province and a Madolche user. 

Leila stepped closer, leaning her face in closer to the girl's before bluntly stating, "you look troubled. Were you here to get bread?" She looked over to the sign that read "Manna from Heaven Bakery"  before looking back to Zoe. "It's got really good bread. Hm but.... More people just went in so there might be a line...lines aren't very good...hmmm..." The girl extended one bag towards her, filled with cup ramen and decidedly not from the bakery, before realizing her error and instead extending the bag from the bakery. "I have enough in here. Take one. Bread is good. Washes away troubles." In spite of Leila's comment about it being "bread" there must have been at least a dozen different pastries and baked goods in there, as well as several assorted rolls. 

Edited by Skaia

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"You sure you didn't work as a journalist? Sounds like you got the question thing down pat."

"I suppose I do," Julian smiled back. If being a journalist was quite that simple, he probably could have made it in that line of work after leaving the pro dueling scene. That scene didn't suit him though, especially not after spending his youth dodging those types.

"At first it was just about the only thing I could do, you know? I guess somewhere along the way I learned to really enjoy it. I can't say for sure when that happened it's all a blur honestly. Ever feel like you were just making your own life story up as you go along? Sometimes feels I didn't actually live it. Buuut that's a lot too philosophical for a chat like this."

Julian nodded. There was a time and place for philosophical discussion on the nature of decisions and how they affect the twists and turns the course of one's life may take, but the day that the Blue Rose participants were meeting each other wasn't the time, and "right outside the stadium doors" was not the place. The young lady - Gabby, Julian now recalled from the overview of who was who in this thing - looked off to the side, and Julian's eyes followed. Another one of those duelists he'd potentially face off against. Richard, was it?

"Hey! Why don't you quit staring, come over, and say hi?"

He seemed quite interested in the two conversing duelists. More specifically, the old man among them. Honestly, Julian was flattered that at least one of today's pros seemed to recognize him. Either that, or he was trying to figure out how some old coot managed to duel his way up this far. Julian liked to pretend it was the former. "We were just having a lovely conversation about why we all got into the dueling business. You're more than welcome to join us."

Bringing his attention back to Gabby, Julian added "We're not too terribly different then, you and I. Dueling was what I was best at, so I aimed to be the best at it. Although, I enjoyed it right from the start."

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Yuliya nodded along to Iris’ description of her order. “Ah, yeah, sure. You know, I’ve probably been so rude going to a bakery for as long as I have and then not ordering pastries all that often outside the free ones I get off the card, so it’s good that you’re making up for my transgressions. So don’t worry, I won’t tell.” She took a sip of her mocha. “Here’s a fun fact, though, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a churro. Like, obviously I’ve seen them before -- I know what a churro is, and it’s super neat that you’re selling them now -- but, uhhhh…”

The thought started trailing off, but she managed to salvage it a little. “I guess I’ll have to head your ways after everything’s said and done with this tournament unless you’re on your victory lap by that point.” She (playfully!) stuck out her tongue, but soon after her face grew serious. “Anyway! People-watching!

“I mean, I’m probably making it a bigger deal than it actually is,” Yuliya said. “Like, at its core, it’s just taking advantage of the fact that it’s a pretty big city, so there’s always going to be someone interesting going by. That ceremony we all had to sit through? A lot of the people involved in that are gonna come walking right on past. Then work’s gonna let out for, you know, people with normal jobs so they’ll be out and about too. The point is, instead of trying to inject ourselves into any one potential point of interest, we’re going to let the whole city wash over us; we’ve set ourselves in prime seating to pick up slivers of all kinds of interesting things. Snippets of conversations, maybe a half-recognized face, uh, anything that catches your eyes and/or ears, really. And in the meantime, like, if that all sounds boring to you, we’ve still got drinks, friends, you’ve even got some food, uh, and, failing that, I mean, like I said, we can do whatever.”

A flicker of movement caught the corner of Yuliya’s eye. “For example, though, like,” she made a gesture with her head indicating across the street, obviously not directly pointing, since that would draw too much attention, “what do you think they’re doing over there?”

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The Raging Raptor

"Just to be clear I'm really not interested in any kind of hooking-up. So if that's the goal you should look elsewhere."

"Yeah, like I mentioned before...that's the least farthest thing in my mind." Itsuki chuckled, flipping the visor of the helmet up for a moment. "Just getting to know the competition...make a friend, ya know...the usual." he gave another chuckle before flipping the visor down over his eyes.

"But if we're going to head out I guess you lead the way. I'll trail along behind you....Don't expect a race anytime soon though."

Itsuki looked at the moped and stifled a small laugh, before shrugging. "Yeah something tells me in a real street race, I'd smoke you big time. But yeah, just try and keep up. There's a bar nearby so even you should be able to keep up." he egged on, before taking the initiative and drove off ahead of Cid. So far...seemed like a nice guy...a bit on the stuck up side with not being interested in any hook ups like this...meaning definitely no double dating. Shame...but then again, not the point of the hang out.

The Blazing Squire

"Hey! Why don't you quit staring, come over, and say hi?"

Richard looked a bit before realizing that Gabby was referring to him...whoops...looks like he made it a bit too obvious that he was staring at her and Julian. As he shrugged and began to approach the pair, Julian began to speak.

"We were just having a lovely conversation about why we all got into the Dueling business. You're more than welcome to join us. We're not too terribly different then, you and I. Dueling was what I was best at, so I aimed to be the best at it. Although, I enjoyed it right from the start."

"Sorry for the staring...didn't feel right just barging into a conversation that you both were having." Richard gave a smile with a rub of the back of his neck. Though listening to Julian, it was obvious that he was the real deal...just like his grandfather told him he was back in the day. "Richard Wallace from Troyce. It's an honor to meet you both...you especially Mr. Miles, sir." he said respectfully.

"Ehehe...sorry...guess it's the fan side of me." Richard chuckled nervously. "I remember being regaled with stories of your many Duels by my grandfather...and he even showed me quite a bit of your Duels. Done a lot of research about how you did things...oh and the Psychics you used...the elegant way you Dueled...a lot of it and of course my grandfather inspired me to play Duel Monsters, so I really have to thank you for doing that. ....annnnnd I think I've been rambling a bit too much..." The young man paused, nervously grinning now. Finally he composed himself and took a deep breath. "Um, anyway...if we're still talking about what got us in the Dueling business, I'd be happy to give an answer."

He now looked a bit serious, but had a smile on his face the whole time. "My grandfather originally used Duel Monster cards to tell me stories...all kinds of them, but namely more along the lines of the swords and sorcery...dungeons and dragons...the whole deal. He taught me how to play the game and because of that I fell in love with it...and when he passed, he put me on the path of the style of Dueling and the deck I currently use. For me, my grandfather and Duelists like you, Mr. Miles, got me into this line of...well, can you really call it work if you enjoy it?" Richard paused with a chuckle, before continuing. "I'm just doing what I can to pay it forward basically...to show the next in line how much fun Duel Monsters can be and how it can really connect people."

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"Yeah something tells me in a real street race, I'd smoke you big time. But yeah, just try and keep up. There's a bar nearby so even you should be able to keep up."

Even though Cid knew this was true it still kind of ticked him off for it to be put so bluntly. "Yeah well just don't fall off that death trap before we get there. I won't stop to pick you up."

With that they headed off into the city. Leaving the bustle of the reporters and other contestants behind them for the time being. Though he wouldn't be surprised if one or more of them had detached from the horde to follow after the two of them.

Cid was thankful his moped started first try this time. Not wanting the extra smugness from captain motorcycle over there.

The two of them didn't go directly to the bar but instead parked in a lot nearby. Given the location of the bar there wasn't much space to park close by that was safe and Cid didn't really want to leave his moped at the side of the street. "Alright then, let's get going. That way right?"

They started down the street, Cid trailing behind whatshisface as he was led towards their destination. A thought occurred to Cid and he asked "Hey, what kind of place is this anyway? It's not some weird specialty bar is it?" If this was one of those cosplay places he wanted to know before getting there.

"Nothing like that. But heard that this place was a good bar to come around here in Camellia...had a couple of 5 star reviews on it."

Cid briefly wondered what kind of people sat around rating bars and if their opinions on said bars could be trusted. He didn't really know what he would look for in a bar but at least it sounded like there wasn't any obviously weird thing to worry about.

As they walked Cid noticed a couple girls sitting outside of a bakery. He normally wouldn't have paid them mind but one of them happened to have been looking in their general direction and he realized he recognized her. And the girl sitting next to her. One of them was...Yu-something and the other...he couldn't quite recall.

He worried that if whatshisface noticed them, and they did seem pretty obvious, he'd go over to talk with them. Cid wasn't convinced he wasn't looking to check out girls after all. In an attempt to distract him and not have to deal with chatting with THREE contestants at once Cid moved a bit closer and spoke up again, "Right, so, just a heads up that I can't really stay long okay? So don't expect me to help you out if you go overboard."

Which reminded Cid to take a glance at his phone again to make sure if his sister had messaged. She had not. Which shouldn't worry him.

It still did.

"We're not too terribly different then, you and I. Dueling was what I was best at, so I aimed to be the best at it. Although, I enjoyed it right from the start."

"Oh I'm sure I can come up with a few differences." Gabby said, giving another awkward laugh. She doubted that Julian's fashion sense had been anything like hers when she had started for one. She really should get rid of that old outfit but it was oddly sentimental.

The other guy, Richard, came up to them at their behest. She couldn't help but raise an eyebrow as Richard made it clear he was more interested in talking to the veteran. Which made sense, and in a way was a relief, but she couldn't help but want to show him up and show him that it was a mistake to place her under him in ranking of importance.

"I'm just doing what I can to pay it forward basically...to show the next in line how much fun Duel Monsters can be and how it can really connect people."

"You make it sound like you're as old as him." Gabby said with a smile. "But, hey, hope you keep that attitude and can show how fun it is even when losing cause if you keep going through the rounds you're gonna lose whenever you reach me." She glanced over at the reporters nearby, wondering if any of them had heard the declaration, then back to Richard "Next time you'll be fanboying over me instead of him."

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