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"Y'know I wasn't expecting you to visit me so soon. Are you really that incompetent that you need to come back to me at every opportunity?" That voice belonged to a one Yuya Sakaki who whilst spitting out insults was busy clipping his nails, a mischievous glint playing in his eyes as he took in the person that dared invade his privacy.

"I'm allowed to do what I want." The sneering voice of Yali spat back "Just because you're the Professor's little pet doesn't mean that I don't still have free reign to do as I please with you. Oh, and for the record, we're doing just fine."

Yuya set down the clippers and store directly into Yali's eyes. He'd always been amused by them, it may seem weird to everyone else but Yuya knew there was something lurking in behind those brown orbs, a darkness even worse than Yali normally and it made him electric with the idea that he could be the one to unlock that darkness. He may finally have a friend who could stand toe to toe with him "That's not what I heard. From what I've been told the Commandant has been forbidden from leaving his room until the wound heals, I never would've guessed that someone like him would be so weak."

He had hoped that insulting the grey haired teen's dearest companion would illicit some form of angry reaction from Yali, however, no such reaction occurred. Instead, Yali sat down directly across from him "Tch, you really think you can mentally out play me? I didn't realise how much of an idiot power has made you become. Don't think I don't know exactly how you think." Out of his jacket came the black notebook that Yuya had seen him also pull out when they first met on that fateful day "Everything in here is ten years of observation since I was but a mere 6 year old, I have spent my life looking at how people think. That includes people like Rei and especially oddballs like you. Would you believe me if I told you that you can learn an awful lot about a person just through how they speak to certain people?"

Yuya didn't reply so Yali continued speaking with a shit eating grin on his face "Take yourself for an example. Ever since that day four years ago I had to throw out all of my previous research on you because you changed so drastically, luckily for me it turned out that you were easier to read because of how drastic the shift was but also how similar you still were. If you ask me it much like your original personality just twisted in a much darker way."

"Do you think you're smart, Yali?" Yuya snarled, that bastard had always been manipulating him from the moments that their eyes had first met and he'd be dammed if he was going to fall under his control "I'm much stronger than what I was then, I'm not some easily manipulated kid anymore! I've grown! You will learn to fear me like everyone else!"

"Ooh~ scary~…" Yali cooed "It's real fucking cute that you believe that you're even remotely capable of making me fear you. "For the tainted sorrow, in languor, dreams of death." Do you know who the one to say that was?"


"Well, neither do I because even someone like myself isn't truly omniscient. But I do know one thing, how to apply that statement. Do you remember a little somebody called Yuzu Hiiragi?" And with the utterance of this name Yuya's eyes widened to impossible extents "Keh, looks like you're still aware." He leaned over Yuya's shoulder and whispered into his ear, his hot breath tickling Yuya's neck "Here's the deal, you and I both know how important that girl is to Academia's goals and we know that no harm must come to her under any circumstance. However, it would appear that she's growing as a person, wouldn't you like to see that?"

"What on earth are you talking about?" Yuya scoffed.

Yali pulled back, that shit eating grin of his even wider than before "I told you that quotation, the tainted sorrow dreams of death and the further someone goes into despair and sorrow the more their emotions are unleased." He began to walk out of the room leaving Yuya incredibly confused "Believe me, I've seen it first-hand twice now."

(Next Day)(Standard Dimension)

The day had finally come and Yuri couldn't be happier for it. Walking out of those doors felt so good. He was finally free from that accursed prison that had kept him locked away for too long!

"Staying in hospital for three days isn't comparable to a stay in prison, little Lily." Oh, that's right, that weirdo Shiki Sogami was here with him. For whatever godforsaken reason the elder male had been sitting there waiting for him in the hospital lobby with an impossibly bright smile on his face, he was easily recognised by his face alone and when, despite all of Yuri's grumblings, he had asked the staff to take Yuri with him they spinelessly agreed. That man was so irritating and he was very much like a fly, never going anyway and it had left Yuri with only one thought 'Shiki Sogami… One day I'm going to end you…'

"How'd you even guess I was thinking that?" Yuri questioned.

Shiki smirked smugly "It's rather simple actually, I didn't know you were thinking that." And that answer proceeded to make Yuri even more confused and irritated than before "But the simple answer is that you're a kid, most kids don't like staying in one place for a prolonged period of time and usually the metaphor that is linked with this type of thought is that of a prison." Add another reason to the list, this man was uncanny as all hell.

If Yuri was to guess why he had really turned up and taken him out with him, ignoring the total bullshit that he fed to the hospital staff of "It hurt my heart so much to see him in pain! I'm going to make it up to him today!" then it was probably because of that letter he had sent the purple and pink haired teen. As for where they were going? Yuri still didn't know, Shiki had totally glossed over this issue when asked, everything that was logical in his head threw up red flags of how shady this whole thing was but he still went along.

The further they walked the further they seemed to move to the outskirts of the city and towards the warehouses that littered the docks, Yuri had never been to this area, it simply wasn't a place he would willingly travel to so he had absolutely no idea what happened here. Yet, he couldn't help but feel that Shiki knew exactly what was going to happen, something about the way he was holding himself as he walked turned him sour.

"We're here!" The sandy haired male proclaimed happily, clapping his hands "Time for me to give you that gift I promised you~!" And from out of thin air a card had appeared within Shiki's right hand.

Yuri scowled "You brought me out here, in the middle of nowhere, for a single card!" To say that he was angry was an understatement, he was furious.

"Hey, hey, hey." Shiki cautioned "Let's not get worked up over the finer details of the situation."

'Yeah, like dragging me into the middle of nowhere.'

He held the card out and let Yuri look over it. His scowl worsened at the mere sight of the stats, a Level 1 monster with 0 attack and 0 defence points, at this stage he was sure that Shiki was mocking him and just trying to waste his time. "Is this a joke?" He asked dangerously.

"Why ever would you think that?" Shiki blinked owlishly "I do hope you remember the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, from a gentle seed can grow a mighty oak all that's needed is the right soil. This is no joke, I don't joke when it comes to Duel Monsters, the reason I dragged you out here is that I don't want to be seen giving you this card." His face then drooped, his eyes watering with crocodile tears "If I was to be seen giving help to a possible competitor in this year's Maiami Championship I'd be accused tampering! They'll fine me, ban my students and possibly even terminate my whole school!"

'Calm down, you're overreacting, if Shuzo can get away with what he does then you've got nothing to worry about.' Yuri thought distastefully due to his still existent rage over the seemingly useless card, it didn't even fit his deck's design, it would look so out of place if he used it at all. "Can I leave now? I've got better places to be and better things to do then be near you."

"You're saying the quite part too loud, Lily." Shiki smirked, clearly not fazed by Yuri's cantankerous presence "Whether you like it or not I'm the only one who knows you're out here at the minute which means I'm legally responsible for you." He leaned down and patted Yuri on the shoulders "And plus, I don't want you to get into any trouble, if I left you by yourself you'd be at your devices and I'm sure a certain part of you wants to cause trouble. Am I right?"

Before Yuri could respond to such a heinous character assassination, Shiki was already walking further into the docks and towards the place where they met the sea, he started to follow not out of curiosity but out of need, naturally he wasn't about to let himself be slandered like that. Some may call it arrogance but Yuri knew that he was an upstanding citizen ever since leaving Academia.

"I met my first love at one of these places." Shiki suddenly said out of the blue, surprising Yuri "Teru-kun told me that yesterday he visited you and told you about his special object and subsequently pressed you on yours." That triggered unwanted thoughts to cascade into Yuri's head, making him widen his eyes "I'm sorry if he made you uncomfortable but he is right. Everyone has something special to him and places like these belonged to me. It's a night I will always remember…"


"Please anyone…" Collapsed totally onto the ground was the 21 year old Shiki Sogami. A mess of rags once constituted his clothes, they had been shredded to pieces by an incredibly violent force which was obvious upon first sight by all of the slashes through the remaining clothing "Anyone… Help me… Please…" His hair was a mess and caked with the stench of dried blood, it fell haphazardly over his face hiding most of it but failing to hide a disgustingly large gash that cut deep into his pale skin.

"I don't remember much of what happened that day, I remember going about my usual business and conversing with my family but then I had been suddenly attacked without any warning, I know that my attacker was a male because he was strong enough to overpower me. People say that when there's a moment that defines a person's life it will always be coloured grey, I don't remember his face only those red diamond earrings that he wore. To put it rather crassly, I was at death's door."

"Not yet… God… I refuse to go out like this!" He crawled along the dock, dragging his bloodied body with all the strength he could muster. Whilst practically every inch of his body was gashed and bleeding it was one area in particular that was the root cause of his pain, a large hole had been punctured into the centre of his chest, possibly only inches away from striking his heart.

"I'm much more stubborn than I seem, I'll cling onto anything that I can. You see, I have this belief that whenever the worst of life has been thrown at me that there will always be an opportunity that throws itself at my feet. Luck has always been on my side, that day was no exception."

A woman found herself stumbling into the same location, she had luscious red hair that cascaded down her back, innocent bright blue eyes cast a worrisome glance over the docks but she found nothing "Weird… I thought I heard someone…"

"I knew then it was fate. The goddess of Luck had sent me this blessing! A wandering butterfly had come to me in this time of need!"

The nearly unconscious Shiki reached out one last time, a trembling hand coated in blood could barely be raised above his head "My… Butterfly! I-I'm… Over… Here!" He yelled with his remaining strength.

"I'd be lying if I said I remember clearly what happened next but before I closed my eyes for what I thought was my final time I was at least happy to see the most beautiful woman I could imagine. For the first time in my life I could feel someone else have concern for me, someone who probably doesn't deserve it. Hell, I'd been attacked and left to die all by my lonesome, I never believed that I was deserving of a human's pity. Turns out that's the only thing I've got wrong in my whole life."

(Flashback end)

"I tell you, the sweet alluring nectar of amour works in mysterious ways." Shiki craned his head back at Yuri, looking into the teen's confused eyes "Ah, I can tell that that story has made you uncomfortable, I'm sorry, I can't help but think of it every time when I'm nearby these places. That day changed my outlook on life somewhat, I learned that no matter what some people may say about it, everyone when faced with death will scream out that they want to life."

Yuri was speechless, this man was even more unpredictable than he could imagine, one moment he was being a creepy pervert, one moment he could be the most terrifying thing that could walk the earth and yet he could look so vulnerable and sad in moments like these. An enigma wrapped in a mystery, that was his summation of the man known as Shiki Sogami. "Sit down over here." Shiki stated and Yuri followed, with his arms folded over his legs. "Spill it. I know you've got something bothering you and if you tell me what it is I'll help you."

"Bah, what would you know?" Yuri scoffed trying to sound as harsh as he could but instead it came out as some scared kid trying to sound tough against his bullies.

Shiki rolled his eyes "I've spent over a year teaching kids in my duel school, I know exactly how they think. And did you happen to forget who I have to deal with on an almost daily basis? If it weren't for me Teru-kun and Bitch-chan would've destroyed the school already and probably half the surrounding area."

Yuri pulled his legs in further, he had just remembered something that the Professor used to say to him and he desperately wanted to forget it. He wanted to forget it all. "I can't help but feel like I'm a replacement…"

"Hmm? Whatever do you mean?" And there was that other side of the sandy haired male, out of the corner of his eye Yuri saw something predatory glint in Shiki's eyes. He knew that despite his current crisis he had to be careful to not let anything slip, Shiki likely didn't know anything about the other dimensions and it was for the best that he didn't find out in Yuri's opinion. He had to make up a believable cover story for the time being.

"I mean what I say. My parents had another kid before me but he vanished one day and they looked all over the place for him, apparently they were in real deep despair, I supposes it's only natural for a parent to be concerned about their kid. The issue occurs when I was born, I feel like I've never been more than a replacement for him and sometimes I can still see my mother late at night crying over a picture of him. It makes me think, do they really value me as a person? Or are they implanting their desires for their previous son onto me?" Yuri's lips quivered and he had to use of his willpower to prevent anything else from coming out.

Shiki tapped his chin before he turned to Yuri with a grin on his face "Ah, so that's what it is, feelings of inadequacy and believing what you have you don't deserve. Certainly that is a putrid combo of feelings that can do severe damage on a growing young boy's psyche. I can't offer much help for you there sadly, but I know it's for the best to open up about your problems, no good has ever come from trying to hide it." He slung his arm around Yuri and pulled him into his chest in a haphazard hug "Don't be afraid to let it all out…"

Yuri was remarkably uncomfortable by this situation but he no longer had the mental ability to think of anything else except the fact that someone that weren't his 'parents' had been kind enough to comfort him. The Professor only ever saw him as a solider and a pawn to be used. Yusho and Yoko were expected to do it so it was nothing special, he had gotten very good at hiding it by now so it was an almost non-issue at home. It was strange that of all people it was an odd man he hadn't even met a week ago that was the one who pierced his icy exterior. He began to cry a stream.

Shiki rubbed in his back in tandem "Hey, hey, now, this is nothing unusual, you're a kid right? If anything, I'd be concerned if you never cried. Legend says that demons became demons because they couldn't cry anymore. Are you a demon? Demons do not cry, humans cry and that's alright."

The pink and purple haired teen was too emotional to realise something, Shiki's body gave him no warmth. It was like touching an iceberg.

However, their little pseudo therapy was stopped right in its tracks by a large and deafening explosion that crashed through the previously serene docks. "Wh-what was that?" Yuri asked as he pulled back from Shiki's chest, his eyes red and puffy.

The sandy haired male scowled, it looked rather ugly on his otherwise handsome face and the way his right eye had been closed showed his distaste "Nothing you have to worry yourself over." He took out a handkerchief and gave it to Yuri "Take this and go back to your school, this place is no longer safe." When Yuri stumbled Shiki's expression turned deadly "Now!"

Elsewhere, in another part of the docks, the cause of the explosion was revealed, a duel between a terrified pitiful form of what was once a man and a particularly tall blond haired teen with tattoos going down his arms "Ignis! Detonate!" Another explosion lit up the alleyway, sending the man with an active duel disk crashing into the background. Remarkably, the alley itself was completely unscathed with no visible damage anywhere.

The man scuttled back on all fours "What the hell are you?!" He yelped as he glared scared at the presence of the blond haired teen that stood before him. That hellish pink robot doll had just obliterated his entire field, all of his monsters had vanished in an instant and his life points had disintegrated with them causing his total and utter defeat.

"I was always told when young, don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to. Who I am and what I want to achieve are things you don't need to know." The blond teen marched forward "But there is one thing I need to know from you." He took out a pin from his pocket emblazoned with the LDS logo on it "Tell me if you have any connection to this company, if you don't then I'll let you leave a free man."

"I don't know! I don't know! I don't know!" The man screamed it like a mantra as he begged on his knees "I have no idea what you're talking about! I'm not connected to LDS! Please! Let me go!"

Being unable to tell the expression of the person behind the mask was the most terrifying thing about his assailant to the man "Fine then. I suppose you truly have no connection towards LSD. I've seen desperation and despair many times in my life, what I see in your eyes is nothing but the purest form of it. No man in despair would dare lie."

"Th-thank you! I'll never speak of this to anyone!" The man said with hope in his voice, throwing himself at the feet of the assaulter like a baying hound.

"Oh I know that…" There was something menacing in the teen's voice that sent the man back into the depths of despair, he really didn't like the fact that his assaulter's duel was now pointed directly at his face! "I'll see you stay silent. For good. Ignis' ability is just that, an ability, nothing about it exists in the real world despite the existence of Real Solid Vision so it'll look like nothing happened here. Personally I believe that somethings in this world cannot be explained, therefore, I make sure I blow them to smithereens so I can recognise them. Loose lips can easily cost us our freedom so I give you my condolences for this tragedy."

And within a blinding purple light a card now existed, holding the permanently petrified face of the man. "I'll leave no trace behind. For the sake of us…"

"Oh, so he was right then, there are multiple of you stalking this good dimension." Behind his mask and googles, the blonde haired teen's eyes were astronomically large. He cursed silently under his breath, he had sworn on his word that when they had abandoned their home they would be able to go back to living quietly and peacefully like a plant. Now that idyllic life had been crushed. "Tell me then, XYZ duelist, the only information I've got is that there are multiple of you lot running amok and you will tell me how many of you there are." Shiki stepped into the teen's point of view with a smarmy grin on his face.

The teen was slightly taller than the already quite tall Shiki and obviously much more visibly muscular "Who are you?" He stated threateningly. His hand twitched and itched for him to use that to get rid of this nuisance for good.

"Ah, where are my manners? I'm Shiki Sogami, I run a duel school here, an independent operation but I myself would have to say that I personally know the President and CEO of LDS." Shiki grinned when he saw the teen's arm twitch at the mention of LDS, now he knew exactly what he had to see to get the right reaction "And it looks like I'll have quite the story to tell Reiji Akaba when I get back to him."

"You're going nowhere." The teen droned "I can't allow anyone to see us or know where we are, so you best pray to whatever god you believe in."

Shiki stood silently in the aftermath, his expression shadowed by the tilt of his fedora "Come now, you think you have the ability to intimidate me? You XYZ runaways are nothing but bugs to me, flies hovering around a piece of shit." He pulled out a card out of his pocket, an XYZ monster whose design was deliberately hidden by Shiki's hand but the tattooed teen could clearly see the bottom of the card which proved it to be a Rank 8 monster "Hahahaha! looks like it's time for another superbly fun experiment! With this card I shall preform an inquiry into the irreversible phenomena, with specific regard to the changes of state! Aid me, Fallen Angel Loveless!" And the card erupted into dark blue flames at the command, hot enough for the air gain that Sharan heat wave look about it. Strangely, Shiki wasn't the least bit affected by the flames that threatened to engulf his hand "I'm afraid that this is the end of the line, Loveless!"

The flames from the card spat out and engulfed the entire surrounding area in dark blue hellfire, creating a dead end behind both of them "What's going on? How in the world is this possible?" The blond male reached out and was instantly turned back by the intense heat of the flames.

The green eyed male tutted and wagged his finger condescendingly "You of all people should know. You said it yourself, your Ignis' ability is nothing else but an effect caused by Real Solid Vision yet we're not in a place where it can be activated properly so that makes me believe that your disk has got some form Real Solid Vision installed in it. Mine is the same."

"You didn't use your disk though." The blond point out, highlighting the strangely designed ebony duel disk attached to Shiki's left arm. It didn't look like one he knew existed in the standard dimension or one that belonged back at home or one that was used by those fusion freaks and sadists. It was curved at the edges in a jagged fashion and the main body had numerous thorns sticking out of either side.

"Is that so?" Shiki replied smugly "Well, I always thought that it was the same, guess my ability just works a little different from yours." He then proceeded, much to the shock of the teen, to walk seamlessly through the flames without so much as a singe on his clothing "Ce qui suit est a votre tour."

Yuri ran as fast as his legs could carry him, it was lucky for him that he had been so well conditioned from the moment he was able to walk otherwise he would've been hacking his lungs up and begging for the merciful release of death.

He hadn't looked back from the moment he started off. Contrary to what Shiki had told him to do, Yuri hadn't left immediately, he overhead the brief exchange between the pair of them but had ran for the hills the second that heatwave had struck him. He knew it was cowardly but he wasn't in the right frame of mind to even think about sticking around a dangerous situation like an idiot.

There was only one person he wanted to see right now and that was the face of the first friend he had met in Standard. She'd probably smack him across the head for skipping out of the hospital without telling her, Yoko would likely be the same although much more verbose instead of aggressive but with all the love a mother could give. The kids would probably be worried and Gongenzaka would be muttering about how disrespectful he was being to his friends.

Unfortunately, Yuzu wasn't the first person Yuri was going to see, because he had just ran into another male causing both of them to crash to the ground in a heap. "For the love of God! Watch where you're going you worthless scum! How dare you crash into the perfect duelist! I ought to have my father evict your family!"

Recovering from the initial shock, Yuri started to wish that the collision had knocked him unconscious. The male he had run into was a teen that was probably the same age as him and from his uniform he knew that he also went to the same school, a small pin with the letters LDS appeared on his collar. He had short brown hair with blond bangs that jutted over his face, he also had greyish blue eyes. Yuri didn't need to hear the words coming out of that rancid mouth to know this guy was a conceited asshole. Nevertheless, he wasn't going to be an asshole too. At least not yet. "Apologies, I didn't see you."

"Yeah! No kidding!" The other teen said with a dramatic raising of his arms as he stood up "Here I am, wandering all by my lonesome! Not a care in the world! And then suddenly my world that was previously my oyster was snatched away from me by an invading force that threatened to disturb my piece of mind!"

'I thought I'd left Shiki behind…' Yuri deadpanned, wanting to forget that this encounter had happened and continue on with his life.

But the look on the other's face soon changed when he spied Yuri's features "Oh, wait! It's you! You're Yuri Sakaki! I'm a huge fan! You're the great duelist who beat the vile Strong Ishijima by the use of… What was that wondrous method again?"

Yuri rolled his eyes at this obsequious brat's attempt to flatter him, if he hadn't been so painfully obvious earlier Yuri might have bought his flattery. He decided he'd humour the little lord brat "Ah, it's always so nice to meet an adoring fan. And just to help you remember…" Yuri pulled two cards out of his pocket, making care to hide the scales from view "It's called Pendulum and it requires two monsters, such as these, to make the summoning possible."

His opposite number's eyes widened and his hands began to sweat "Would you care to have a demonstration match with me? You see we at LDS have the perfect facilities to accommodate the scale of the duel between the two of us. Why don't we duel on the centre area? At 4 pm?"

Yuri caught the fact the teen's eyes had drifted down to the cards in his hands and resisted the urge to roll his eyes again, this guy was a terrible, terrible actor and liar "Hmm, no thanks. Last exhibition match I was in landed me in hospital, a place I'm only just a couple of minutes removed from, and I don't have the desire to go back there just yet. But if I learn your name we may be able to arrange something in the near future."

"Ah! It would be an honour to tell you the title of my personage! I'm Shingo Sawatari! The ace duelist of LDS!" The newly named Shingo Sawatari struck a pose making Yuri actually wish that he was back with Shiki and that was saying something. "It would also be a pleasure if I could see those cards close up…"

'Honestly, your acting sucks. Whoever put you up to this must be very stupid.' Nevertheless, Yuri wanted to see how this was going to go "Well, I suppose it couldn't hurt. What's the worst that could happen?" He said with underlying sarcasm that flew over Sawatari's head.

"Indeed!" Sawatari proclaimed quickly swiping the cards from Yuri's hand "Wow! They look so cool! They'll do wonders in my own deck!" He said with a smarmy gleam in his eyes.

"Excuse me?" Yuri replied still acting the part of the oblivious idiot.

Sawatari's smile turned nasty "I'm something of a rare card collector you see and these cards will be the crowning jewel of my collection!" He took around a deck of cards from his jacket and threw them on the ground, some of them flipped up to show cards such as Hungry Burger, Poison of the Old Man and Radiant Mirror Force "As payment you can have these cards! Just like you, they're worthless!" And shortly after, Sawatari scarpered away as fast as he physically could.

'What an idiot…' Yuri thought as he scooped up the cards, he had no intention of using them but they may be able to fetch a slightly higher price if the rarity was good 'Guess I have to go now. Only issue is that Yuzu's going to be looking for me and if she sees what's happened I d-'

He didn't get time to finish that statement as the devil appeared as soon as her name was thought of "Yuri! There you are!" Her fan was brandished and the kids were also there standing in a huddle scared by their big sister's deathly aura "Would you care to tell me why, when we went to the hospital that, you were gone?! And why you left with Shiki of all people?!"

"Ah, you see…" Yuri had to think of an excuse, he mightn't like the man but he had to respect that he believed there could be tampering issues if he told the truth "Shiki, uh, wanted to show me something! His flower garden!" He wanted so badly to bash his head in at that moment 'Way to go, Yuri! And you were calling the brat a terrible liar!'

Naturally, Yuzu saw through this horrible attempt for one crucial reason "Shiki's school is on the other side of town, if you two truly went there then what are you doing here? And without him as a matter of fact?" She leered over the male, forcing Yuri to cowering in his shoes


"Hey! Yuri-oniichan! What are those cards you have?" Futoshi said, saving Yuri from one firing squad but throwing him into another one.

Yuzu tapped her foot impatiently, wordlessly threatening Yuri "Well, I ran into this guy and we spoke. He offered me an exhibition match at LDS' centre court at 4pm today."

As soon as those words had spilled from his lips the kids had glomped him "Yuri-oniichan! That's great!"

"However, I may or may not, possibly, and not to put too fine a point on it, accidently let this guy steal two of my pendulum cards." The kids' faces feel but that wasn't the reaction that Yuri was worried about.

3, 2, 1… "YURI! You dolt! Idiot! How could you be so stupid as to do something like that! You always loved to claim how much smarter you were than me!" Each sentence was backed up a hard smack across the face, Yuzu wasn't going to quit until Yuri's face was black and blue all over.

However, much to the surprise of everyone, Yuri burst out in rueful laughter "Hahaha! You really thought I was a simple minded buffoon? I intentionally let that brat take those cards, they're ones which make it impossible to properly pendulum summon and the guy doesn't know! Bwahahaha! I'm a genius!"

Yuzu seethed but hid her growing frustration at Yuri's machinations, she pinched the bridge of her nose "Of course you'd pull something like this." She flicked him on the forehead "Well then, come on, genius, it's time for you to win your cards back."

"That's always been my intention, my dear Yuzu."

(LDS Central Duel Court) 4PM

Yuri, Yuzu and the kids arrived at the court to see Sawatari there and gloating with his friends about how he bravely fought him and 'stole' Yuri's pendulum cards using every inch of his ability as a manipulator and a fighter.

"…He was quaking in his boots once I told him I was the ace of the school so much so he immediately kow-towed…" By this point his ego was big enough to fill the whole venue and it showed absolutely no sign of slowing down.

Unbeknownst to him Yuri was right behind him "Ah…Sawatari-san." One of his three stooges limply pointed his arm towards Yuri who walked closer with Yuzu and the kids nearby, "

What is it?" Sawatari asked annoyed he was being interrupted in the midst of stroking his ego.

"Behind you…" Another stooge said.

Sawatari turned around to meet the shock of his life as Yuri's face was millimetres away from him.

"AHH! How did you do that?!"

"Very simple, it's all about misdirection but I don't believe that's what we're here for." Yuri's eyes slitted as he licked his lips "I do believe you have cards that belong to me and I would like to have them back if it's not an issue…"

"So you've accepted my challenge to win your cards back well it's on! But I warn you, you've got no chance against me!"

"If you want to stop stroking your ego so we can duel I would appreciate it."

"Alright then! Action field on! Prison Tower of Drakville." The prison field shot up around Yuri and Sawatari while also taking up and chaining Yuzu and the kids onto a large clock tower much to their shock and fear.

"Yuri!" The four collectively screamed.

This wasn't something Yuri had planned on happening "Okay! What's going here? Why are my friends being chained up like prisoners?" Yuri said as he activated his disk, the purple sword-like blade appearing causing Reiji, whom had followed the instructions Shiki had laid out and was watching the duel, to raise an eyebrow. It seemed that he was right in his suspicious over this boy.

"Sir! Don't you think we should stop this duel before it goes ahead? Sogami-san's plan has already worked and we don't really know what this boy is capable of? H-."

The president interrupted his assistant by raising his hand slightly to signal him to stop, "It's of no concern at this point at time, I merely want to see how this Yuri character acts while dueling, we can also gleam very important data about his summoning power and how Pendulum summoning works."

"Duelists locked in battle!"

"Kicking the earth and dancing in the air alongside their monsters!"

"They storm through this field! Behold!"

"This is the newest and greatest evolution of Dueling! ACTION…DUEL!

Sawatari: 4000 LP Yuri: 4000 LP Cardsx5

Turn 1

"I'll go first." Yuri declared inwardly laughing at how Sawatari still hadn't noticed he'd been fooled, "I summon Predator Plant Moray Nepenthes." The twin headed carnivorous plant appeared latching onto Yuri's arm as some form of whip.

Predator Plant Moray Nepenthes, Level 4, DARK, Effect, Plant (1600/1000)

"I then set one card face down and end my turn." Yuri left swinging from the bridge in search of an action card.

Yuri's cards x3

Unbeknownst to both duelists and Reiji, there were other parties that were lurking around the arena. One of them was sitting in a dark corner of the arena, his messy yet neat blue hair being the only striking feature that possibly could've stood out "Isn't it always nice to watch a good duel? Especially when it's Yuzu-chan's special sweetheart~." The playful tone of Daiki Welt's voice was quite enough to hide from any possible hidden microphones but loud enough for his partner to hear

His partner's appearance was totally obscured by his clothing, the same kind that Daiki wore which covered his torso, and the white hood that doubled up as a scarf that succeeded in hiding his face and neck. "Why'd you drag me along to this, Daiki? Nesta surely has better things to send us off to do, he probably wants to send me out again so I'd rather get back for that than stay here with you of all people."

"You're too uptight~, you need to loosen up a bit. Nesta-sama may be absolute but he certainly isn't an oppressive guy, I applied to have a bit of time to myself and I was simply being magnanimous by deciding to take my favourite guy in the whole wide world with me." Daiki replied, making his associate snarl, threatening to strike him with a bandaged hand "Tsk, tsk, tsk, we must never let harm come to a fellow guild member."

"So be it."

Turn 2

"I draw." Sawatari surveyed his hand noticing one of Yuri's pendulum cards in his hand "I summon Lighting Hoverboard."

The small skull like Hoverboard appeared as Sawatari jumped on it to catch up to Yuri

Lightning Hoverboard, Level 4, LIGHT, Effect, Thunder (1400/1200).

"Lighting Hoverboard attack that disgusting plant!" Yuri landed on the bridge picking up an action card but what he picked up was to his dissatisfaction "Oh you picked up an Action trap Break shot it lowers your monster's attack by 900 points."

Nepenthes' ATK: 1600 – 700

Lightning Hoverboard continued on and shattered the weakened plant, flinging Yuri back on the bridge much to the dismay of the kids and Yuzu. 'Damnit! Why did I pick that card up!? I didn't need to do that!'

Yuri's LP: 4000 - 3300

"I end my turn" Sawatari began to gloat again "Next turn I'll show you my full power!"

The voice of Reiji then rang in his ear from a hidden earpiece he was wearing "Stop gloating and make sure you get that last pendulum card into your hand! We need to perform the summon before he gets too strong."

Turn 3

"I draw." Yuri's eyes lit up when he saw his lucky top deck "I activate the spell card Polymerization fusing together my Predaplant Flytrap and my Predaplant Lilylizard!" Sawatari's eyes widened as too did a blue haired boy, the last party, who was carefully observing the match from the walkways into the stadium.

"I fusion summon!" Reiji looked on in a kind of shocked and muted awe as the summoning sensors for fusion energy went haywire "Level 8! Starve Venom Fusion Dragon!" Yuri's ace monster bloomed from a large flower that had appeared behind him, Starve Venom wasn't a card that Yuri often used in Standard, people complained that his monsters were already scary enough and he didn't want to add fuel to the fire but desperate times called for desperate measures. The dragon was a venomous beats with saliva drooling from its thorny mouth, sharp teeth and jagged claws did nothing for saving the image of the card. The way the venomous dragon had sprouted from the ground caused both the bridge and the tower Yuzu and the kids were trapped in to shake, causing Futoshi to be shook loose and fall.

Starve Venom Fusion Dragon, Level 8, DARK, Effect, Dragon, Fusion (2800/2000)

"Futoshi!" Yuzu screamed, quickly grabbing on to his wrist while the other two kids helped Yuzu to return him to solid ground "Yuri!" Yuzu screamed as she hoped to catch the violet haired boy's attention as he took flight on Starve Venom, "You're an idiot!"

Yuri turned his head to look at Yuzu almost staring directly into her soul "Sometimes Yuzu my dear I just can't help but feel a rush of excitement as I summon it." Yuri returned to the bridge as he continued to explain "I guess it's like I'm destined to own it."

The young blue haired boy who had his hair in a spiky ponytail stood with his mouth gaping open, the lollipop in his mouth almost falling out of his mouth due to his shock at the strength of that fusion summon. 'People from here shouldn't be able to fusion summon that powerfully! The Professor said nothing about this!' But then a seed of recognition struck him, he'd never forget someone with a face like that. Especially after what that person did to him. "He looks like Yuya… Too much like him…"

"Starve Venom attack Lighting Hoverboard!" The dragon's vines tore lightning Hoverboard from underneath Sawatari's feet causing him to fall right in front of the poisonous dragon as his life points fell.

Sawatari's LP: 4000 – 2600

"That dragon sure is impressive." Daiki whistled "I may say it's even more impressive than yours. Even if it is nowhere near as majestic." His partner remained silent but the involuntary twitch of his upper arm was all the conformation that Daiki needed to feel good about that comment.

Turn 4

"Your move Mr Ace." Yuri stared downwards to see a trembling Sawatari draw his card.

'Good now use it very wisely if you don't do this correctly you won't get another turn!' Sawatari's ego had been steamrolled by Yuri's frightening dragon but Reiji instructed him in his next move to make sure it was perfect. "I activate Monster reborn to bring back my Lightning Hoverboard, next I activate Tribute Storm I tribute one monster to add another one to my hand and I think I'll add your Predaplant Cephalouts Snail to my hand!"

Yuri could no longer help himself and stated to laugh loudly much to Sawatari and Reiji's surprise. Reiji was the most surprised of the two 'Why is he laughing…? His eyes widened as he figured out Yuri's plans but it was too little too late "Sawatari! Cease your movements immediately!"

Yuri spoke "You can't set the pendulum scale with just one monster y'know."

Sawatari's ego returned "I know that's why I have two! Your Predaplant Squid Drosera has been in my hand since the start and now Using Scale 1 Predaplant Cephalouts Snail and Scale 2 Predaplant Squid Drosera I set the pendulum scale!" The two plants appeared as Yuri continued to laugh on how blissfully unaware of his ignorance Sawatari was.

"Now I Pendulum sum-." An error message flashed on Sawatari's disk much to his frustration and the Reiji's anger as Yuri continued to laugh like a madman.

"You were so easy to fool!"

Sawatari clenched his fist "What do you mean cabbage head?"

Yuri wiped away a tear "I knew you planned to take my cards from the start so I lead you on to the point where I was oblivious to your desire to take my Pendulum cards, I gave you a pair that couldn't work!" Sawatari continued to grumble.

"I was baited…" The president grumbled banging his fist against his chair. Although a thought about how this stunt could be potentially useful did surface in his mind.

"I end my turn…" Sawatari grunted running off in search of an action card that could help him survive Yuri's upcoming assault.

"Smart." Daiki's friend grunted, playing with one of the bandages around his hands. "Definitely something you couldn't pull off on a good day."

"Bandage wasting machine." Daiki sneered.

Turn 5

"My turn, time for you to witness a true pendulum summon! Using Scale 1 Predaplant Stapelia Worm and Scale 8 Fly Trap I set the Pendulum scale! Swing Pendulum of the soul! Draw an arc of light across the aether! I pendulum summon come forth Ophrys Scorpio! Ophrys Scorpio attack!"

Sawatari's LP: 2600 – 1200

"Starve Venom attack him directly!" Starve Venom vines grabbed onto Sawatari and brought him before Yuri hanging upside down "Now if you agree to terminate this duel and give me my cards back I could let you go."

Sawatari couldn't let his ego be harmed and refused to surrender saying "Over my dead body!"

Yuri snapped his fingers "That can be arranged." Yuri nodded at Starve Venom as Sawatari's life points zero. The action field disintegrating with Yuzu and the kids safely descending to the ground next to Yuri.

Sawatari's LP: 1200 – 0

Yuri: Win!

"Well that was awful nice. I can see why Yuzu-chan holds him in such high regard." Daiki mused, standing up with a dramatic flourish. "I guess we can head back now, Nesta-sama is probably looking for us."

"Finally. You're speaking sense." The other said with an exasperated but pleased tone. But then Daiki's stomach growled

"Although I could go for some Ice cream right about now, I've already gone through my stash." Daiki held his weary stomach, his mind already flowing with fantasies about how delicious the first bite would be.

"Seriously?! I bought you that yesterday!" The other figure shouted in a rough psychotic voice, wishing death and eternal damnation on his opposite number "I'm not made outta money you know!"

Daiki waved the concerns off "Details, details, I'll make sure to pay you back though…"

"Gah! Fine!" And the two of them vanished from the scene.

Back down on the field, Sawatari had recovered from his bruising defeat, his stooges gathered around the You Show group. The fire of a thousand suns lit up the anger of the LDS grouping of stooges and idiots, they all charged at Yuri "You are so dead! Yuri Sakaki!" They proclaimed simultaneously.

However, they never got that far as they were knocked to the ground by the blue haired boy whom had been hiding up until this point. His green eyes were mischievous and a playful smirk was on his face as he introduced himself. "I'm Sora Shiunin, you're welcome by the by!" Sora appeared to be an excitable young boy with boundless energy, the lollipop in his mouth showing off that he probably had quite the sweet tooth.

"Why are you here?" Yuri questioned Sora, vaguely remembering spying him in the lobby earlier

"Because I'm your new apprentice." Yuri, Yuzu and the kids all had their eyes glaze over as a result of that single statement.

"WHAT!" Yuri let his cool demeanour leave him as it was replaced by pure shock, "Absolutely not! Aren't you already an LDS student! I've just been forced into dueling one!"

"Yuri!" Yuzu shouted and grabbed Yuri by his shoulder "Calm down and hear the person out before you go attacking him for a crime he didn't commit."

Yuri calmed himself and questioned Sora further "Why do you want to be my apprentice?"

Sora folded his arms behind his head "You're simply the most interesting I've seen since I got here." Yuri scowled as Sora continued "Plus that was the most entraining duel I've seen since I came here! That pendulum summon was amazing and that fusion summon! I want to follow in your footsteps, Coach Yuri!"

"Are they okay?" Yuzu pointed towards the three boys and Sawatari.

"They're fine! No big deal! They're just unconscious." Sora said in such a way that it made Yuri and Yuzu feel uncomfortable.

"I think I'll pass on being a teacher." Yuri sighed he definitely didn't expect this when he first thought of this plan.

(Meanwhile) (Synchro Dimension)

"Oi, shitty kid, up and at 'em!" The crash of Junichiro's foot against metal caused Yugo's eyes to fly open and him to jump up.

"Gah! What the hell?!" But as he jumped up he was met with the hard metal top of a cage like one of the ones he had seen Junichiro point to the other day. Speaking of that day, he wasn't really sure what had went down, the only think he could remember before blanking out was the fact that their D-wheel was in the possession of that small ass shitbag and that thought drove him positively insane "What's the big idea?!"

Looking up at Junichiro, another fact that made him grovel, he saw the red head swirling around a glass of wine in his hand. "Whatever do you mean? I told you what was going to happen, you've been made my pet and most pets are kept in cages so it's only natural at this point." He let out a cruel smirk that revealed his insanely sharp teeth again, Yugo wondered how on earth things like that could be natural "And you're going to be by far the most interesting one I've ever had."

"Wait, I'm not the only one?" Yugo asked dumbly.

The petite redhead took a swig of his favourite drink before answering that one "Of course not. I told you before that I have quite the nasty habit, if somebody steps on my turf they're unlikely to be seen again because I kidnap them, the thing is that if I find someone that I deem interesting I keep them as a kind of pet for my amusement. I embrace all of my desires and urges that's simply the kind of man that I am. By the by, you may want to look around your neck."

Yugo did as he was told and felt around his neck, he growled lowly as he discovered what it was, a red pet collar like those that'd commonly be seen on a dog "Take it off you bastard and let me out of this cage so I can beat the shit outta you!" He grabbed the front and began to try and pull the cage apart with his bare hands and sheer force of will.

Junichiro responded by promptly ramming his leg on top of the rowdy teen's hands, crushing them callously and brutally between the bars "What's given you the idea that I'm going to bend to your will? Additionally, you're not going to be able to lay a finger on me even if you try, I've learnt martial arts since I was a teenager so you'd sooner be dead then a challenge for me."

"Teenager? It doesn't even look like you hit puberty yet!" In hindsight, Yugo probably should've kept his mouth shut but when the object in question moves at 100 mph the urge was impossible for him to control, no matter how many times Rin tried to beat it out of him.

Junichiro's eye twitched and the grip around his glass tightened "I'm 23 for fuck sake! I'm still a growing man, shitty kid! You should really learn to respect your superiors, especially when I control your fate!"

"I can never respect someone like you." Yugo snarled "You don't deserve my respect, you're a criminal who kidnaps people for your own sick amusement and you probably also get off to being above people. You can't even be considered a common because trash can't take human form."

If looks could kill Yugo would be dead ten thousand times over with Junichiro looking like he was ready to commit a genocide let alone a mere murder, the wine glass had been thrown to the ground and was presently smashed into hundreds of shards "Oh grantors of dark disgrace, do not wake m-"

"Now, now, there's no reason for that." The voice that entered the room was a rather lazy sounding yet concerned voice. As Yugo craned his head over to the source he took in the sight of a man, it was a tall man of 6'2 making him over a foot taller than Junichiro, the look on his face gave a contrary indication to his voice, it looked very dull and bored and one of his canine teeth was poking through his upper lip. He was wearing a sharp black pinstripe suit. However, in place of the tie in favour of a white scarf wrapped tightly around his neck, white gloves covered his hands and even from this distance Yugo spotted what appeared to be dry blood. In terms of physical appearance he had medium length black hair that went down to the back of his shoulders, blood red eyes and very pale skin. "It's not going to do anyone any good. Especially you, Junichiro"

Junichiro's ire dissipated instantaneously and he bowed down respectfully on one knee at the new male "Mukami-san, I apologise for my waywardness."

The man, Makato Mukami, looked at Yugo in the cage, their eyes locking by complete accident. A dark shiver went down Yugo's spine, it didn't take a genius to figure out that this guy could be even worse than Junichiro "I take it that this is that new pet you were telling me about? Doesn't look like much."

The red haired male got back to his feet and shot a glare in Yugo's direction "Admittedly yes, he doesn't look much but he hides a very important secret that will be very useful for our acquaintances to know about." He turned away and Yugo noticed how Junichiro's tone had totally changed, what was once rough, vulgar and coarse had transitioned into a very polite, respectful and deep baritone. It was like he had become a whole different person "Please make sure you give Arlond-san a call to notify him when you can."

Yugo's eyes widened to an impossibly large proportion and somewhere inside his body it felt like a furnace had been fed enough coal to keep it ablaze forever "Oi! That name you said just now! Did I hear that right? You definitely said 'Arlond'!"

The pair of males broke their conversation and craned their heads back over to the raging teen's direction "Affirmative." Makato spoke calmly, his expression portraying no emotion "He's one of our associates and as such I will be following Junichiro's orders and relying our little discovery to him."

'Of course… Of course it had to be him!' Yugo smashed his fists against the cage's door "When will he be coming?" He said with a deceptive calm tone although by this point his pupils had diluted to the state where they were merely dots of black in a blue ocean.

Junichiro went to reply but was stopped in his tracks by Makato much to his dismay and ire "Whenever I report to him." He then turned and looked down at his smaller associate "Junichiro, since when were your pets so mouthy? I thought you had more control over your vermin than this."

The petite redhead bent down and picked up one of the shards of his broken wine glass, some the liquid still hanging onto it dripped gradually onto the waiting tongue of the kidnapper "Well, sometimes having perfect subservient husks can get awfully boring, occasionally it can be a nice change of pace and have a rowdy one. Variety is the spice of life after all."

Makato hummed and then turned his gaze towards Yugo who was still trembling with rage and continuously mutter "Arlond… Arlond… Arlond!" Over and over again with no sign of stopping. He briefly assessed the state of the teen that had claimed Junichiro's interest. Yugo had been unceremoniously stripped of his previous outfit, the location of which Makato didn't know, and in its place was a demeaning ragged grey shirt fraught with holes and shitty stitching combined with similarly maintained trousers. His hands were covered in bloody splotches, Makato reckoned that about half of them were self-inflicted and the others were Junichiro's doing. Seeing all of this, he decided to make his move. "Interesting, would you care to leave him with me?"

That was a request that Junichiro wasn't expecting to hear, usually his subordinates wouldn't act without his orders and even Makato followed that to the tee "Why do you ask?" He asked, trying his best to sound as confident as possible.

"Curious as to what a specimen we're going to be sending to Arlond-san. I need to ask him some questions first." Makato replied with the same degree of calm boredom that he had carried with him from the moment of his appearance. If Yugo wasn't so caught up in his own little world it's likely that he would've had a typical negative reaction to any form of slander, in layman's terms, lashing out aggressively and profanely.

Sighing and knowing that he wasn't going to get anything else out of him, Junichiro relented "Fine then. Just make sure you don't rough him too much, Arlond-san wouldn't be best pleased if his new toy were badly damaged out of the box…" With a sadistically playful tone, Junichiro waltzed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

Makato looked back at Yugo "So tell me, boy. What made you step onto our turf? I thought anyone with a lick of common sense would stay away from us. You must either be very brave or a massive idiot."

Yugo remained silent, he wasn't going to let this creep know anything about him or what his motives were. There was still the possibility that Junichiro had been lying when he said that he didn't know about Rin and if he revealed that she was the reason he had ended up here in the first place then if they did have her then they could extort her suffering for all it was worth.

"Hm? What's this? I've gone out of my way to treat you with the respect of another human being and this is how you treat me?" Makato leered forward, looking down his nose at Yugo with utter contempt in his blood red eyes.

"You called me a specimen earlier, I hardly think you consider me little more than a human experiment! I also made a rule of thumb when younger that I'd never talk to trash like you." Yugo snapped back at the lanky male. The only sign of an emotional reaction was the twitch of Makato's right hand into a fist.

"Trash, eh? In case you don't know, boy, but the commons are the trash of this city whilst we in the Tops have to work our asses off to make sure everything actually functions!" Despite the more forceful language, Makato never faultered from the same monotone.

"You're a top?!" Yugo found himself parroting. When he really thought about it he guessed it should've been obvious. Junichiro and Makato were both dressed in highly expensive looking clothing, plus, Junichiro's breath smelt like he enjoyed a drink or ten. Commons simply didn't have that kind of cash.

"Affirmative. Junichiro is also one too since you were probably only just joining the dots in that tiny brain of yours." Makato spat "Why doesn't security come after us? Because of two reasons. 1) We make enough money off of the black market for us to pay them off, humans are greedy little creatures so bribing them is easy. 2) Those who are 'principled' and refuse our generous donation don't survive dueling us. Rinse and repeat for a quiet, clean and efficient system."

"I see, so the whole system is rotten to the core." Yugo pounded his fists against the door again, this time he didn't stop until his knuckles had turned into a bloody pulp "Why do you do it?! What have you lot got against Commons?! You treat us like we're nuisances, flies to be swatted and like gum stick to your shoe. What did we ever do to deserve this?!" Yugo roared as loud as he could, emphasising his words with a final slam of his head against the door.

By this point Makato was teetering on the edge of losing his cool, he bit down on his right thumb "It's what I told you. We have to run this city and it's as easy as it looks. You think the council is the one that makes the decisions? Don't make me laugh, boy. The real power behind the throne lies in the hand of us, the Tops in the lost influential branches of the city. Security isn't our only method of control, for your information."

Yugo stayed perfectly silent, if wasn't like he didn't have anything to say, oh he had plenty to fuel the motor that was his mouth. It was only that he though he may take a page from Rin's book and simply freeze the opponent from the outside while they burned on the inside.

"Oi, listen and look at me when I'm talking to you!" Makato's fist slammed down on the top of the cage hard, surprisingly being strong enough to rock the whole thing like a mini earthquake "I've had just about of your insolence, Junichiro may say one thing but I know in his head he's thinking something completely different." He then removed his thumb from his lips and let loose a smirk that sent child through Yugo's spine "Surely Arlond-san and Junichiro wouldn't mind if I was able to let out my urges just that little bit to get what I want from you."

He then pulled out a key and much to Yugo's shock he opened the cage and let him out. A primal sense with Yugo lifted him out of there in a flash, although he had also gained the position of a primal beast by landing on all fours and scuttling away like a prisoner from the police warden. He really didn't like the look on this creep's face, it was far worse than Junichiro's shark teeth infested one, even Rin could lose some degree of sleep over it. Makato looked over him "You're a pitiful runt, you dare not only insult our organisation but you also have the audacity to criticise the people who run the place! " He leant down and picked Yugo up by his hair "Your head is too high, know your place!" And with an incredible swiftness Yugo's face impact the ground and then again, and again and again and again. After six strikes and a huge puddle of blood on the ground, Yugo was allowed a respite.

Makato sneered, shaking the stray hair that had been pulled from the teen's scalp from his hand with a disgusted glance "You should be more careful! Your face is gushing blood!" Reaching into his suit's pocket he pulled out a white handkerchief "Here, use my handkerchief, they say that a stuffed nose is the quickest way to losing your cognitive faculty, although judging from your intelligence this has rather unfortunately been the case for your entire life."

The yellow and blue haired teen growled as Makato roughly rubbed his face with the cloth. He detested the state he had been put in. He hated that he had been so stupid to get captured in the first place. He hated how he had so easily submitted to this creep and how easily he could be manipulated by him. But above all he hated with every fibre of his being the way this creep, a top nonetheless, had done nothing but talk down to him and the rest of commons as muck and trash. He wondered that if Rin was being held captive by these thugs, did she have to go through the same experience? The thought only succeeded in angering him even more.

"See, all better now." Makato grunted, slipping the bloodied tissue back into his jacket "If we're going to present you to Arlond-san then we must have you in exquisite condition, the Great Arlond doesn't take kindly to you muck anyway so if were to give you to him in this putrid state he'd probably be so disgusted that he'd turn you back to us. Please, you should take better care of your appearance, boy."

"Yugo! My name is Yugo Godamnit!" Almost instantly Yugo regretted opening his god forsaken mouth, the triumphant smirk Makato let out only heightened the regret.

"Ah, a lovely name…" The long haired male dragged a bony gloved finger down and across Yugo's jawline "I don't think Junichiro will have to rename you after all, then again if we did do that then Arlond-san wouldn't be pleased. What's your relationship with Arlond-san? Your facial expression contorted upon the utterance of his personage."

Yugo glared up at Makato, his burning blue looking into an indifferent red "Why do you ask?! It's none of your fucking business!"

There was a momentary pause, then a sigh and then for the second time in consecutive days Yugo's jaw was rearranged. "Don't ever answer a question with a question! You will answer me when I ask you something! I have no obligation to tell your feeble mind anything!"

The Speedroid duelist laid sprawled out on the ground, blood gushed out of his mouth, Junichiro had attacked him to shut him up. Makato had attacked him to prove a point. He was the one in charge here and he wasn't going to tolerate any insolence. Unable to control it any longer, Yugo let loose a blood curdling scream but he soon found something else smothering the sound "Oh put a sock in it! Better yet why don't you take my whole foot! I'm a size 15 so you've got quite a bit of leather to chew through!" True to his word, Makato's right foot was shoved in between Yugo's teeth keeping his jaw forced open "Good lord, I hate people like you, cease your pitiful whining you Common trash! You should learn to be a man and endure the pain, this is an absolute pittance of a punishment compared to what Junichiro could give. You should be more like me!" He kicked his captured foot upwards, slamming into the roof of Yugo's mouth, allowing the battered teen to fall down to the ground.

The blue eyed teen heaved and hacked a breath. It was getting very difficult now to properly stay conscious. His eyes threatened to lapse over into a REM state and if that happened he knew it would be over for him and his one chance of freedom. He wasn't properly aware of just how much blood he had lost but judging from the puddles on the floor and the splotches that stained Makato's gloves and shoes it was probably far more than what could be considered safe.

"Don't worry, Yugo-san, we won't let you die." Makato said, sounding almost disappointed "It'll reflect poorly on Junichiro and I, we like to run a very efficient operation here and as I said prior Arlond-san would be very disappointed in us if we were to mess this up. Which reminds me, what is your relation to the Great Arlond? He wouldn't go around associating with common muck like you. You will answer me."

Yugo lifted his head to meet Makato's gaze head on, a sardonic smile was placed upon his expression, some sort of twisted luck must have been watching over him because that little comment at the start had just given him a lifeline "It's nothing, creep. I don't have to tell you anything, I suppose you'll find out when the "Great Arlond" comes to you." The crinkling of the long haired adult's nose said more than his words ever could.

"You insufferable brat!" Makato scowled, his left eye twitching rapidly "I ought to throttle you and show you what I can truly do to you!"

"Ah, but wouldn't that upset Arlond-sama? You said yourself that you can't hurt me too much." He smirked smugly, he guessed that he owed Rin another bout of thanks and even Sakura too to a certain extent. All that time those two had spent drilling into him that he should be calmer and carefully observe his opponents seemed to be paying off.

Makato was about open his mouth but was cut off when a certain shitbag shortass decided to make his reappearance "I believe this is the point where I say to you, Mukami-san, the same you said to me."

"Ju-Junichiro!" For the first time since he had made his appearance, Makato's unabashed stoic calmness, even when giving him the beating of a lifetime, had been replaced by a startled look.

Junichiro glowered at Makato, the taller male immediately understanding his wrongdoing through some kind of physic link, he then turned his attention to Yugo "People say they need freedom, but in fact, nobody truly wants freedom. People never use the freedom they have, instead they demand the freedom they don't have and throw a hissy fit whenever they don't get it." He stormed over and yanked the battered Speedroid duelist up by his collar "Be careful otherwise I'm going to make you into a bloody pulp."

Yugo instead of taking notice of the threat, safe with the knowledge that they wouldn't be able to hurt him too badly, took a look at how Junichiro was dressed. Gone was the high end, probably bespoke, attire and in was what he recognized as a Turbo Dueling outfit. The form fitting outfit had a collar that flared out at the sides and exposed the front of Junichiro's neck, it was as red as his hair was which had been combed back from his face into a slick backed style. A black helmet hanged in Junichiro's other hand, it was pretty par for the course except for the fact two spikes jutted out from the top and bottom. "Granted, what's about to happen might do the same without me having to soil my hands."

"What do you mean?" Yugo asked dumbly, earning a glare from the black haired male and a sneer from the red haired one.

"Suit up. You declared that you wanted to duel me yesterday and I'm granting your request." Junichiro placed his own helmet on and turned around "Mukami-san will give you your outfit back."

"What about my D-Wheel?!" Yugo shouted, louder than even he expected, before the petit kidnapper was able to leave.

Craning his head sideways, Junichiro replied with a shrug "Hmm? 'Your' D-Wheel? I don't know what you're talking about, pets aren't allowed to own their master's property. It's not yours anymore. It's mine."

Despite his injuries and considerable blood loss, a second wind seemed to flow through Yugo as he let loose about everything "That's just fucking typical of you tops! You take everything from us! You took our happiness! You took our livelihood! We live in such extreme poverty while you bastards lap it up with all the money and wealth in the city! When we found a way to get some degree of happiness into our life with Turbo Dueling you took that as well! But all of that, all of that I can deal with. But don't you ever say that you own something that I built with Rin! We worked together on that D-Wheel, it's the symbol of our bond and I won't let allow you to corrupt it!"

From the corner of his eye, Junichiro could see the tension boil up in his right hand man, Makato was an easy enough person to read emotionally no matter how he tried to hide it. Of course it helped that the short male could see a person's aura meaning the dark red of Makato's was enough for him to know what was going on and what to do "If it's any consolation for you, I will allow you to use that specific D-wheel for this duel and this one alone. Consider it a gift from master to pet." And with that, the redhead left the room again.

Yugo wanted to yell out again but his voice died within his throat. Makato approached him from behind "Do as you're told, Yugo-san, and maybe Junichiro won't make you a smear on the ground." His vision suddenly faded to black as Makato's foot impacted the back of his head "My condolences, you Commons trash."

When Yugo awoke again he found himself in a different location, it was dark, depressing and dank, built out of corrugated iron and rusted steel with drops of dirty water falling from the ceiling, a more clean looking garage door sat in front of him. The only logical conclusion he could come to was that after Makato had knocked him out he had also dragged him down to this location. Looking at his own person he found himself dressed back in his riding outfit which also meant that someone, probably Makato, had not only stripped him but dressed him. A shiver went down his spine, the implications were terrifying 'That creep seems like exactly the type of person that would do something like that.' But he couldn't dwell on it, especially after finding out what he was sat on.

His eyes widened with sparkles consuming his pupils. Their D-Wheel had been returned to them. He collapsed in joy upon it, wanting to feel every detail of their craft, it made him feel so happy that he couldn't think about anything else. Rin was gone physically but he was sure that he could feel her spirit with him.

"I apologies to cut this short." Makato's voice kicked him out of his delirium and back to the cruel reality of the situation "But Junichiro is waiting for you." Yugo didn't want to know how long Makato had been standing there for, his mere presence was poisoning the previous blissful atmosphere.

"What're you doing here, creep?" The long haired male's face was buried into his scarf and he was in the process of rubbing his hands together, regardless of the fact he was wearing gloves.

"I had no idea that you were the one in charge here, but if you must know, you've seen our faces, you know our names and you know where you are. Regardless of Security's greed and incompetence if the most powerful members of the Tops found out about us they would force the director of Security to conduct an investigation and then a raid. In case you weren't aware, Junichiro and I do this for a living and we don't intend on being captured any time soon. If we were careless enough to let you sit here by yourself then we would've been caught a long time ago." Makato replied, removing his gloves and blowing on his hands.

The sound of banging on the door prevented Yugo from retorting "Time to shine and show us how the Commons are better, Yugo-san." The door before him opened and Yugo revved his engine, zooming out of the decrepit room towards the light in front of him.

As pierced the light he found himself under the glare of numerous thugs, goons and other societal reprobates with yellow tattoos covering the face of the majority of people. He then looked ahead and saw he was now on a racing track, hardly surprising considering what he was supposedly here to do. Although he didn't remember ever saying he wanted to duel Junichiro it was inevitable in the long run if he wanted his freedom.

However, his eyes then landed on one specific person, sat in a special sectioned off area in the crowd complete with a gaudy throne of gold and silver. The person sat there had his blood boiling, despite being so far away and the fact Yugo was moving at an incredible speed, time seemed to slow down as his eyes met those of that four eyed bastard. He'd never forget someone like him.

"Tch, he's already spotted me." The male scowled, shoving his glasses back up his nose, one of the locks of purple hair that fell down to his chin was fixed back into place by his other hand. "Hanyu-san said that he wouldn't notice…"

"And you believed that chibi bastard? He's about as trustworthy as a kidnapper can be. He's a scoundrel." A spectral voice complained over his shoulder. "Yet you sound like you expected Yugo to find you either way."

"Ah, that." It was a very calm and measure voice that did a very good job at mostly hiding the male's arrogance "Well, let's say when you're around someone long enough you start to learn how they think. I believe Hanyu-san also knows this given what he said to me."

The spectral voice scoffed "You have far too much faith in him, your father too."

The male chuckled lowly at his trusted companion's statement "Hanyu-san is a more than capable duelist, daddy dearest wouldn't have kept him around if he wasn't the kind of person he was. He's done more for us than you probably want to admit…"

With his eyes still focused on the other male, the sound of a second engine fired up behind Yugo. "Oi! Eyes on the road, shitty kid! I ain't picking your mangled corpse off of it when you crash!" Yugo didn't even feel his presence until Junichiro flew past him.

He was sat on a D-Wheel the same midnight black colour as his helmet with sharp accented edges at the front and back, a set of spikes in the centre frame of the wheels were sharpened to a dangerous extent. Naturally it was smaller to accommodate the petit frame of the redhead although by now Yugo had gathered that you only mentioned his height if you wanted to die.

They went around the track one more time before coming to a stop "So what's going on here? What's this duel going to be like?" Yugo said, driving up by Junichiro and sending the short redhead a glare. "And what is that bastard doing here?"

Junichiro turned his head up and flashed a sharp grin "While you were busy with Mukami-san I made a few calls. One of which happened to be to the Great Arlond, now I mightn't have told him why he need to come but he's too good an associate and I've helped him too much in the past for him to turn me down. As for what's going to happen, we're going to have a nice little Riding Duel here, the person who makes it around the track first will be the one with the first turn. The stakes? Why don't we make this a duel for your freedom?"

Yugo's ears perked up "Freedom?" He squawked "I thought you lot were concerned that I'd bring you down if I escaped?"

"Mukami-san's slightly paranoid, however, I'm not one to be scared by such petty things. Also, that'll only be the case if you win this duel, word to the wise I'm the boss around here for a reason, shitty kid."

"3!" Both duelists revved up, Yugo glaring at Junichiro who simply ignored the teen's piercing look



"Riding Duel! Acceleration!" At the cry of the crowd both sped off, Yugo with the one goal to win his freedom in his mind.

Yugo's LP: 4000 Junichiro's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Almost instantly Yugo broke ahead of Junichiro. That was strange to the Speedroid duelist as just moments earlier it was evident that the other's D-Wheel was faster than his. He looked behind him and saw that the redhead was still a decent distance away from him.

That feeling didn't dissipate as they hit the halfway point of the track 'Damnit! What the hell is that shitbag planning?' The positioning hadn't changed, Yugo still had a sizable lead and paranoia eating away at him from the inside, he knew that something had to be planned, Junichiro didn't seem like the type to not be scheming behind the scenes. He must have done something!

Yugo checked the track ahead, that seemed to be all clear. His D-Wheel seemed to be working alright, nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe it was something with Junichiro's D-Wheel…

Three quarters of the way there, Yugo felt the paranoia gradually wear down in him, maybe he was being too paranoid after all. However, "Presumptions are the most terrifying things in the world, especially when you're under the impression that your abilities are impressive or that your opponent is weak." Junichiro spoke all of a sudden accompanied by a rev of his D-Wheel's engine and a lightning fast explosion in his speed, reaching Yugo in a split second "Oh, and for the record, I wasn't holding back per se, I was giving you a fair shot." And in another blink of the eye he had put the same distance between them that there was prior as he took the first lap and the first turn.

"First, I'm going to be activating the Spell Card Gravitational Pull!" The card art depicted the scene of a city, not looking all the different from Neo Domino City, being oppressively pressured into the ground with a red outline sounding it all. "By sending one card from my hand to the graveyard I can add one Level 4 or lower Gravitation Assassin monster from my deck to my hand. I add Gravitation Assassin Nakahara! Which I now summon to the field!"

The first monster summoned in the duel was a human assassin that was dressed somewhat similar to how Junichiro himself dressed, the only differences being that the monster was slightly taller than the kidnapper, had slightly shorter hair and was wearing a fedora.

Gravitation Assassin Nakahara, Level 4, DARK, Effect, Warrior (600/1800)

"Whenever Nakahara is Normal or Special summoned I get to add another Gravitation Assassin to my hand, I select Gravitation Assassin Akutagawa. Now, whenever I control a Gravitation Assassin monster with fewer than 1000 attack points, I can Special summon Akutagawa from my hand!"

The second monster was another human assassin, a man with sickly pale skin and his hand covering his mouth. He had choppy black hair that fell down to his chin and turned white at the tips. He wore an overly large vampiric like cloak over a white dress shirt, a white cravat was also worn.

Gravitation Assassin Akutagawa, Level 4, DARK, Effect, Warrior, (300/2100)

'Two monsters with low attack in attack mode… Something isn't right here…' Yugo thought, observing the state of the field 'But their defence points are also much higher than the attack. Why's that?'

"When Akutagawa is successfully summoned I get to add one equip card from my deck to my hand." The card selected ejected itself out of the holster and Junichiro flashed it towards Yugo "Looks like I'll be activating this one straight away too, equipping Akutagawa with the Equip Spell Rashomon!" Rashomon's card art depicted a strange beast, it was made out of cloth and was crackling with red electricity, in the background a figure stood with their back turned and seemingly at peace of mind. Yugo noticed that nothing visible had changed in Akutagawa and there was no sign of the beast either. "You'll be learning of Rashomon's true nature and state soon enough, although if you've actually read a book in your life you might know just what Rashomon is."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Yugo snapped back, dueling technically counted as reading right? "You know that I can just read your card's effect right?"

Junichiro laughed "Keh, you don't think I know that? I'm not the idiot here. Rashomon is much more than just what lies on the surface, you're going to find that out whenever the time comes though. I set two cards face down and end my turn!"

Junichiro's cards x1

Turn 2

"Ha. Is that so?" Yugo said drawing for his turn "I'm gonna win my freedom right here and now! To start my turn since you control monsters and I don't I can summon Speedroid Terrortop!" Yugo's first monster had the appearance of a stream of spinning tops all semi connected together as an orange aura surrounded all of them.

Speedroid Terrortop, Level 3, WIND, Effect, Machine (1200/600)

"Terrortop's effect! I get to add one Speedroid monster from my deck to my hand." He card that ejected itself from Yugo's deck didn't stay too long in his hand before it was crashed onto the disk "Using its effect since I control a WIND monster, I special summon Speedroid Taketomborg!" The second monster was a childish looking robotic creature that looked somewhat like an insect.

Speedroid Taketomborg, Level 3, WIND, Effect, Machine (600/1200)

Yugo didn't lose his rhythm, if Sakura and Rin had taught him anything it was that dueling with a cloudy mind and distractions was a sure fire formula to lose "I now normal summon my Speedroid Red-Eyed Dice!" True to its name, this monster was a golden die with a red eye, noting much to build on there.

Speedroid Red-Eyed Dice, Level 1, WIND, Effect, Machine, Tuner, (100/100)

"I tune my Level 3 Terrortop, Level 3 Taketomborg with my Leve 1 Red-Eyed Dice!" The dice exploded into the green ring as the six stars of Taketomborg and Terrortop passed through it. "I synchro summon! Level 7! Spread your illustrious wings and fly with the power of the wind! Clear Wing Synchro Dragon!"

Coming out of the summoning chant was what many people who saw would consider the most beautiful dragon that they ever saw. It was a shimmering white and the wings were the clearest shade of blue that one could possibly see, it had a stripped tail and blue/black armour covering its chest.

Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, Level 7, Dragon, Synchro, WIND, Effect (2500/2000)

Junichiro had remained suspiciously quite during the entire event, this gave Yugo the information that he needed that they likely weren't cards that could stop him from using his combos. Whilst his ability may have been lacking in other areas, he wasn't an idiot when it came to dueling, those nights duelling with Rin had led to him developing the idea that if someone could prevent a combo from happening then they would. To do anything else would be illogical. "Your Akutagawa only has 300 attack points, Nakahara has 600, in case you needed me to do the maths for you if Clear Wing attacked either of them you would lose nearly half or over half of your life points!"

"Oh? I didn't peg you as the type that could make basic observations." Junichiro quipped back "If you're so confident that you can do so much damage to me right now then why don't you go ahead and attack? Come at me!"

"Alright then! I'll hit you hard and fast! Battle! Clear Wing Synchro Dragon! Attack Gravitation Assassin Akutagawa!" Clear Wing ascended into the sky, its wings crashing into the arena's surroundings as it rained down its fire upon the sickly looking monster.

As the attack approached everything was looking good for Yugo and he was already giving himself a pat on the back for showing the shortass who was really the boss around here. Until… "Hahahaha! That didn't take long at all! Time for you to see it in all of its power, Rashomon!"

A deep, animalistic, growl shook Yugo to his core. He wasn't usually the type to be disturbed by much but there was something so demonic and unearthly about that growl which sent him into that state. The cause of the growl made itself known just as the attack was about to hit Akutagawa, black tendrils shot out of the jacket Akutagawa was wearing and demonic beast like mouth with sharp teeth jutted out of the jacket. The tendrils grabbed hold of the attack and forced into the mouth, swallowing the blast into a black hole "What the hell was that…?" Yugo questioned with wide eyes.

"That's the effect of Rashomon, up to twice per turn when the monster that is equipped with this card is attacked, I can negate that attack and I also get to add one more Rashomon equip spell from my deck and set it on my field." The card ejected itself and appeared on Junichiro's field shortly afterwards.

Yugo was still shocked by what he had saw, he knew that it was an illogical fear but he could've sworn that he'd seen something like that before "So that was Rashomon…?"

"Indeed, Rashomon can sort of be considered to be a living coat, Rashomon has many different forms what you're seeing right now is only its basic form." Junichiro explained "However, as you've just found out, I can lock you out with just the first form alone."

"Why'd you put it on such a weak card then? Why not save it for a stronger monster?" Yugo couldn't fathom how this worked, if the card was as powerful as he said then the move made no logical sense. Hell, he even had a stronger monster on the field, it wasn't that much stronger but it made more sense.

"I don't have to explain my reasoning to you. But I think I'll enlighten you on the context behind this card and why it takes such a form." Junichiro said, smirking.

A smirk that was shared by the person on the throne "What's the chibi on about?" His spectral companion questioned him.

"Although he mightn't look like it, Hanyu-san is a very well read and intelligent man, I think he's about to tell us a little story." The purple haired teen let his glasses fall lazily on his nose as his eyes sharpened.


"Let's see, this story begins about ten years ago when I was only 13 years old. Back then of course it was before I started this operation so I wasn't quite the person you see before you at this moment in time. In fact, I grew up in the very worse this city had to offer, you think you Commons have it bad now? Back then there was nothing, not even the slums you now live in, I had absolutely nothing but the clothes on my back and one very important possession."

The younger Junichiro was only slightly shorter than his current form, standing at 4'11, his hair was markedly shorter only going down to his ears but still curled around and framed his face. His clothes were a far cry from what they were in the future, a destroyed grey hoodie was covered over by a dark green jacket that had numerous holes in it, silver trousers barely had the ends in a recognisable state showing several scars on his legs, his brown shoes didn't really have any soles to speak of meaning every time he happened to tread over broken glass it would cut deep into his flesh. There was a blue band on his right arm and finally, the only constant in his appearance, was the black half gloves over his hands.

"When I say there was nothing, I mean it. There was nothing. I was homeless, jobless and desperately in need of any sort of food. When you're in this kind of mind set robbery is the only thing you can think of to possibly sustain your life. If it is to ensure your survival as a human being then is there something truly wrong with it?"

He lay in wait in an alleyway mumbling to himself "I'm going to jump the next person I see. Fuck them, fuck whatever's going on in their life, I'm going to survive."

"I was delusional at that time that luck would come back and push in my favour, probably from sleep deprivation and lack of food, however, I was at the point where if you told me anything I would've believed you because it couldn't get any worse."

A man walked past the alley and immediately caught Junichiro's attention, this man clearly wasn't the average hungry and tired Common that he'd often see pass by, instead he was something far different that made the petite teen's eyes widen in hope. The man before him was dressed in a very fine purple pinstripe with a black tie and dress shoes. His hair was a very deep and rich purple colour, it was short and messy with long bangs that made a cross between his eyes, there were longer bangs on the right side of his face where it reached down to his chin and on top of his head was two distinct sections that curved up into horns. Junichiro's mouth watered with the idea of robbing this man blind and eating himself into a food induced coma.

"Only issue was that I had never robbed someone up until this point, I was a total newbie so when I did make up the courage and finally did it, I'd say I'd rate it at about a 1.5/10."

Unable to think of much else, Junichiro lunged out of the alley and pounced on the man, shoving the surprisingly light man onto the ground "Gi-Give me all of your money! Or else!"

"Or else what?" The man wasn't concerned in the least, staring back into Junichiro's eyes with his blood orange ones "You don't seem like the type of person who does this thing for a living so I'm guessing you don't really have anything to threaten me with."

Junichiro glared hard at the man, snarling and scowling "Oh yeah?! This is a sight worth a ten billion dollar masterpiece to me! How do you know anything about me?!"

The man tutted and shook his head "Because I can see it in your eyes, they're dark, full of despair and desperation. Why do you look like you don't do this for a living? I have two reasons. 1: If you had any sense and logic in what you were doing you wouldn't have attacked me of all people, you could tell that I was probably a Top with how I dressed and you assumed that I had a lot of money. However, basic knowledge of the city dictates that if a Common attacks a Top then they're punished. A seasoned thief wouldn't be so brazen in their robbery." Junichiro scoffed externally but was punching himself on the inside "2: If you did do this for a living you would've brought some kind of weapon with you, you wouldn't be relying on your strength solely to rob me, also a typical thief wouldn't stutter when attacking."

"When I first met that person on that day I couldn't feel anything but hatred for him. How he saw through me so easily pissed me off. By nature I'm an angry guy, much like how you are, shitty kid and imagine how it would've been then as well when I was a hungry Common."

Junichiro stomped his foot down on the man's chest "Quit your yapping or else I'll stick my fucking foot so far into your face that it wouldn't even be considered a human face anymore!" Damnit, even his threats sounded weak and petty. He was still unsure on how easily he had shoved this man to the ground though, the man looked to be a whole foot taller than him at 5'11 and yet he had fallen like a withered tree upon the small teen's attack.

"Keh, you're an interesting one, kid. I'll give you credit that you seem to be the resilient type but you can't do anything to me that will hurt me." He then smirked, making Junichiro's blood boil "Unless you want to try that is…?"

"Gah! Fuck you!" Junichiro shouted as loud as his lungs allowed him too, he raised his foot up again and was ready to slam it back down the man's face but there was something that stopped him in mid-air. He couldn't explain exactly what it was that happened but the man took the chance given to him and slinked away and stood up.

"Well, you tried but in the end not even your desperation was enough for you to go through with it." The man said dismissively, not bothering to look at Junichiro "Not all that bad for a newbie thief, just shows I need more protection around myself."

The redhead store at the ground with shaking eyes, he couldn't understand what had just transpired but all he knew was that his last chance of survival had been snatched away from for some unknown reason. He couldn't hold in his despair any more and tears began to stream from his eyes.

The purple haired man looked down at the despairing teen "Oi." He said making Junichiro look up at him "Do you want to live?" The other slowly nodded his head "Then go and make sure that you do. Don't be fed the idea that the strongest are the ones that can punch through walls or have the biggest muscles. The strong in this world survive no matter what. If someone has to cheat to survive in this world then why is it wrong for you to do the same? If someone is selling snake oil as a miracle cure and making money off of it, only for you to steal it, does that make you a bad person? No. It means you're surviving by any means available to you."

"Rashomon…" Junichiro mumbled under his breath, removing one of his gloves and staring intensely at the selected hand.

"What did you say?"

"Rashomon… It's the name of a book I own…"

"It wasn't long before this fated encounter that I had found that book. It had been dumped by some ungrateful bitch or bastard so I decided to take a look at it myself. It tells the story of a lowly man who had just been from his job. Throughout the novel he contemplates whether or not he should steal and become a thief in order to survive. The question that man asked me on that day reminded me of that story. It had always stayed with me ever since I read it but in that moment it became ever more important to me."

"I see." The man pursed his lips in thought and then pulled out a few bills from his jacket "Well then, I can't offer you much else than this but it should be enough to overcome your troubles for the week and maybe buy you a new coat, you're not going to be warm at night in that tacky thing."

Junichiro's mouth salivated as he took the money, he looked back up to thank the man but the man had somehow vanished into thin air. "What…?" Sure, he was confused, but that didn't matter to him as looked down at his hands.

"That was the first time in my life that anyone had done anything for me. It gave me that chance of survival."

(Flashback end)

"Incidentally the first thing I bought after food that day was a new coat. One that I aptly named Rashomon. So there it is, the context behind Rashomon, what'd you think about it, shitty kid?"

Yugo had been on auto pilot for the past few minutes, his brain going into information overload because of what he had just be told "Uhhh…"

"You haven't listened to a word I said, have you?" Junichiro deadpanned, not looking the least bit impressed by Yugo's lacking ability. "I don't know why I even bother." He groaned "Just hurry up with your turn or do I need to hold your fucking hand?!"

"Oh right!" Yugo had completely forgot it was even his turn "I set a card face down and end my turn!"

Yugo's cards x3

Turn 3

"I draw. I now activate the card that I had Rashomon set last turn! Rashomon – Devoured Space!" The new card's art showed the scene of Rashomon on the back of what looked to be Akutagawa, Rashomon was contorted into some demonic serpent with a gaping mouth, a red barrier was preventing anything from getting through. "Devoured Space can only be equipped to a monster that is currently equipped with Rashomon, word to the wise, the monster that is equipped with Devoured Space can no longer be destroyed by battle."

'Damnit, I was hoping to destroy that card next turn.' Yugo felt the desire to pound his head on the D-Wheel, he had already formulated his pan for the next turn that would allow him to bypass the effects of Rashomon and take out Akutagawa before too much trouble emerged.

"And that's not the end of things. I now summon Gravitation Assassin Nakajima!" The third monster was a slim pale young man with uneven silver hair and sectional heterochromia with purple and gold eyes. He was wearing a white dress shirt and black suspenders, black trousers and black half gloves. A belt hanged out of the back of his trousers, making it look like a tail.

Gravitation Assassin Nakajima, Level 4, LIGHT, Effect, Warrior, Tuner (200/2300)

'Another low attack monster and this one is a tuner. That can only mean one thing is about to happen…'

Yet much to Yugo's surprise something else was called out instead "Battle! Nakahara attacks Clear Wing Synchro Dragon! Soiled Sorrow!" Red spine like tattoos covered the small assassin's body as a red aura surrounded him.

"Are you insane? Clear Wing has 2500 attack points and your monster only has 600! What can it possibly do against Clear Wing?"

"See for yourself! I activate Nakahara's effect! Whenever this card battles with an opponent's monster the attack and defence points of both cards are switched. Gravity Manipulation!" The red aura around Nakahara shot out and covered Clear Wing, forcing the majestic dragon onto the ground.

Nakahara's ATK: 600 – 1800

Clear Wing's ATK: 2500 – 2000

"That's still not enough!" Yugo shouted back, desperately hoping that Junichiro didn't have something else planned. But as his face appeared in front of him, the redhead's sharp grin crushed his hopes.

"Continous Trap activate, Gravitation Aura!" The card flipped face up and showed the scene of Nakahara, Akutagawa and one other monster that was shrouded by darkness. They were standing around in a dilapidated alleyway, surrounding a large impact crater "Now, once during either player's turn, I can target one monster you control that has had its attack manipulated, that monster then loses 1000 attack points. I think that'll be enough to show that dragon who the boss is around here!" The dark aura around Clear Wing grew more and more oppressive as the dragon was now slammed to the earth, hovering just behind Yugo.

Clear Wing's ATK: 2000 – 1000

"Overturn the heavens and earth! Nakahara!" Junichiro declared with a fervent passion. The small assassin heard his master's orders and acted, the spine like tattoos growing until they encompassed his entire body. He defied the oppressive gravity and ascended into the air, diving down ready to punch through Clear Wing with one swift movement.

However, Yugo wasn't about to have any of that "I activate one of my facedowns! Speedroid Hard Drift!" The card flipped up showing a toy go-kart executing a rather violent turn, something in the background seemed to be chasing it "With this card I banish one Level 4 or lower Speedroid monster from my graveyard and send another one from my deck to my graveyard then your monster's attack is negated! I banish Ter-"

"I don't think so!" Junichiro interrupted "You ain't keeping that annoying dragon around any longer! I activate the second effect of Rashomon – Devoured Space!" Akutagawa's coat shifted again, the same demonic serpent from the card art slinked out and dove at Yugo's trap card "Once per turn, whenever a Monster, Spell, or Trap effect is activated on my opponent's field, Devoured Space lives up to its namesake and negates that card's effect and destroys it!" The serpent lunged and shattered the trap into pieces "Continue! Nakahara!"

Unable to prevent it any longer, Yugo watched in horror as Nakahara's fist punctured the oppressed Clear Wing, the majestic dragon turned its head towards Yugo and the Speedroid duelist felt a rush of despair and pain through him. Clear Wing looked pained, and that feeling flooded Yugo's senses.

Yugo's LP: 4000 – 3200

"Now, Devoured Space does have a down side. Since I successfully negated and destroyed your trap card I have to appease Rashomon by delivering one of my own and taking damage equal to his level by 300! I destroy Nakajima!" The monster which had only just been summoned this turn fell victim to a disgusting crunch from Rashomon as tendrils wrapped around Junichiro and shocked him.

Junichiro's LP: 4000 – 2800

"Nakajima's effect!" Junichiro declared "When this card is destroyed by card effect and sent to the graveyard I send the top card of my deck to the graveyard and then I can summon back Nakajima!" Rashomon bulked and then spat out the now shivering assassin in defence mode.

"Akutagawa! Tendril Swarm!" The same black tendrils that had electrocuted Junichiro swarmed from Akutagawa's coat and surrounded Yugo. Each of them took their sweet time but one by one they grasped hold of Yugo and shocked him, sending him skidding backwards for a good five seconds. His outfit smoking where the tendrils had been.

"What the hell was that?! Why did that feel so real?!" Yugo shouted.

"Because it was." Junichiro replied simply, sounding rather smug about it as well. "I'll let you figure out for yourself. However, that's the least you should be concerned about! I now Synchro summon!"

Yugo narrowed his eyes 'Okay, stay calm, here it comes. If you can beat this then you win, his monsters are all weak and that Nakahara is probably the only one with that annoying effect.'

"I tune my Level 4 Gravitation Assassin Nakahara with my Level 4 Gravitation Assassin Nakajima!" Nakajima turned into four green rings while Nakahara flowed through them, the stars inside of him appearing physically "Power that controls gravity and overturns physics! Descend from heaven and assist me in my hour of need! I synchro summon! Level 8! True Gravitation Assassin Rumbrand!"

The monster was another male assassin, he had straight, chin-length black hair slicked back, leaving bangs on each side of his face. He wears a sharp suit, consisting of a white button-up, a black pinstriped suit jacket, black shoes, and black trousers. The shirt had a purple and white striped tie. Over this, he wore a black trench coat and long, almost knee-length maroon scarf he leaves hanging over his shoulders untied. He also wore white gloves.

True Gravitation Assassin Rumbrand, Level 8, DARK, Effect, Warrior, Synchro (1200/2700)

"That shall be all for this turn, your turn, shitty kid." Junichiro declared, flicking his head behind to look at where Yugo was. The Speedroid duelist was a sizable distance away to the point he could become a tiny dot in the distance if the redhead went any faster "You know, I'm going to ask you something and I expect an answer, shitty kid. Anyone with some resemblance of common sense would know not to step foot on my territory and yet you did so, why did you do that?"

"Like hell I'd tell you!" Yugo yelled, his angry face appearing on Junichiro's screen.

Junichiro deliberated for a second before a memory dredged itself up into his thoughts "Wait, if I remember correctly, you uttered a name when my men first dragged you before me." Yugo's breath hitched "It was a girl's, Rin if I'm remembering it correctly? Is she your reason for living?"

Yugo said nothing and Junichiro continued speaking "For me, I don't the traditional reason. For me it's a longing as strong as a reason to live. No matter how much the flickering crimson decides it wants to coat me in, even when I'm unable to breathe, I long for something that gets me through this pain. If I could meet his gaze head on and as an equal... It would be wonderful." He scowled as he recounted the next part "If this so called thing known as "heart" does exist a straying illusion is holding it and making me see a detestable dream. However, if I find its existence from the time it starts to move, maybe my wish will be granted. For sure, it'll be far better than this trembling dark world. There's something I didn't tell you about the man I met on that fateful day, he's the only person I've been unable to see the aura of."

Turn 4

Yugo remained silent, biting down on his tongue to prevent any wayward remarks from coming out. He needed to figure out how he was going to get around this combo. 'I can't attack Akutagawa since he'll just reply by using Rashomon's effect and I'm not about to let him get another equip card. I don't know what effect that Synchro monster of his has but sitting here moping about it isn't going to do anything about it!' He put of his desires to see Rin and earn his freedom in this draw "My turn! I draw!" His expression soured as he didn't quite get the card he wanted but at least it could buy him some time. He accelerated and closed the gap between the two of them.

"I summon Speedroid Double Yo-Yo!" A pair of green Yoyos flimsily held together by jagged electrical sparks raced out beside Yugo.

Speedroid Double Yo-Yo, Level 4, WIND, Effect, Machine (1400/1400)

"When Double Yo-Yo has been successfully Normal Summoned I get to target one Speedroid in my graveyard and summon it back to the field! I revive Speedroid Red Eye Dice!" The golden die appeared once more.

Speedroid Red-Eyed Dice, Level 1, WIND, Effect, Machine, Tuner, (100/100)

"Tuner, eh?" Junichiro sneered "You're not planning on Synchro summoning are you? You should know by now that nothing is going to help you win this duel, I took out your ace card without so much as breaking a sweat. Arlond-san told me himself that you don't have anything but that card." The redhead smirked viciously "You're weak, weak and your best is simply not good enough!"

At the mention of that accursed name, Yugo titled his gaze up to the bored looking purple haired man, their gaze only crossed momentarily but it was enough for both to understand what the other was thinking 'Zared Arlond. I will show you how we've grown…'

'Don't believe for a second that you're going to be worthy enough to lick the ground I walk on, Yugo.'

"Weak?" Yugo said once the moment had passed "There was once a guy I knew, we were the best of friends. He, Rin and I were inseparable during the times we spent together. We could've taken on the world together. But something happened to the person I once knew, he started seeing this man and he changed. There's nothing else I can describe it as, he grew distant and cold. Whenever we'd talk he'd usually end up shouting at us calling us 'idiots' and 'weaklings'. I don't know how long this went on for, but one day I finally snapped, the bastard had the audacity to say the most intentionally hurtful things to us, I knocked his block off and I've never regretted it for a second. In fact, I'd even say I enjoyed it."

He looked down at the screen to see Junichiro staring incredulously at the screen, an expression that shifted slightly whenever he spotted an inkling of darkness seeping out of Yugo's body "To see that smug shithead's face contort in pain was the greatest high I've had in my life. Not too bad for a weakling, eh?"

"What was the point of that little side story?"

"Pfft, not like you didn't put me to sleep with your own story." Yugo snapped back "It was to tell how I feel when people dare call me or my monsters weak, I don't tend to forgive them! I tune the Level 4 Speedroid Double Yo-Yo with the Level 1 Speedroid Red Eyed Dice! I Synchro Summon! Level 5! Hi-Speedroid Chanbara!" Emerging out of the bright light was a sword robot hybrid with a golden hilt and a sliver, red blade. The robot sat in the middle was itself wielding two swords.

Hi-Speedroid Chanbara, Level 5, WIND, Effect, Machine, Synchro (2000/1000)

Yugo didn't waste any time "Battle! Chanbara attacks Rumbrand!" The robot sword hybrid sped off at incredible speed with the goal of cleaving the assassin in half and leaving its master with only the annoying Rashomon combo to defeat.

"Y'know, there's this quotation I remember from a book I used to own, "The head may err but never the blood" Do you understand what that means? I'll fill you in, it means rather simply that your head may make a mistake but your instinct and blood will always be correct. Your instincts were probably telling you that you needed to observe the situation carefully but your head declared that the best form of defence was attack." If there was one thing, except the physical torment, Yugo was really starting to despise about this place, it would be the boss' poetic waxing "Idiot! You don't have a clue what you're doing! Did you seriously think that Nakahara was the only card I had that could swap stats? Show him Rumbrand!" The strength of the downward shift was even more oppressive than before, Yugo could even feel himself getting heavier, his D-Wheel lowering down into the track more. "Just like the last time, any monsters that engage in battle with Rumbrand have their attack and defence points swapped including Rumbrand himself!"

Rumbrand's ATK: 1200 – 2700

Chanbara's ATK: 2000 – 1000

"And there's a very cool effect that comes with this, any monsters whose attack fall under 1500 points when the swap is active are destroyed! Monster Disqualification!" The force grew larger and larger, cracks appearing on the sword and hilt "There's gravity in everything in this world, I'd brace myself if I were you…" Chanbara fell out of the air and impacted the ground behind Yugo, not stopping simply at the surface Chanbara fell further and further until it was destroyed in the earth's core. With Chanbara gone, Yugo felt the full force of pull as it shoved him into his seat. The D-Wheel's back wheel locking as he skidded back. He closed his eyes as he expected the control to finally slip from him but he found that the event ended as soon as it started.

"With that, all of your options have been exhausted." Junichiro turned his D-Wheel around and spied the far away Yugo "Now, my pet, you can surrender this duel now and I trust you that you'll be afforded the best protection I can offer you. The other option would be for me to keep my promise and beat you into a bloody pulp with my monsters next turn."

"You think I'd surrender to the likes of you?! I bet Rin didn't surrender when that creep kidnapped her so I won't too! If I don't fight how can I find her?" Yugo replied through the screen and Junichiro scowled.

"So be it. Rembrand's effect is over." Was the only reply given by the redhead.

Rembrand's ATK: 2700 – 1200

Yugo looked at his hand, he only had monsters and only one of them was useful. Begrudgingly he said "I end my turn…"

"So it was all bluster in the end, what a waste." The teen, Zared Arlond, scoffed as he pushed his glasses back up from his nose "But then again what can I expect from someone like him?" The purple haired teen stood up from the throne and began to walk away.

Turn 5

"And thus the natural order of things has been re-established!" Junichiro drew but didn't bother looking at the card "I activate my final Equip Spell of the duel! Rashomon – Demonic Armour!" This card's art showed Akutagawa being covered protectively in Rashomon's tendrils up to his mouth as red electricity crackled in the background "This card can only be equipped to a monster that has both Rashomon and Devoured Space, the monster that is equipped with this card gains an additional 500 defence points for each Gravitation Assassin currently in my graveyard! If you remember correctly I have two, Nakahara and Nakajima, which means Akutagawa is gaining 1000 points."

Akutagawa's DEF: 2100 – 3100

"I now summon Gravitation Assassin Edgowa to the field!" The monster was of a middling hate and surprisingly blank in design looking like nothing more than a faceless bureaucrat.

Gravitation Assassin Edgowa, Level 1, LIGHT, Warrior, Effect, (0/0)

"Finally! The last card that shall be played in this duel! A blast from the past! Shield and Sword!" Yugo was surprised to see such an old and frankly worthless card being used "The attack and defence points of each monster on the field are swapped until the end of the turn!"

Rembrand's ATK: 1200 – 2700

Akutagawa's ATK: 300 – 3100

"Battle! Rumbrand! Slice him up!" Black spine like tattoos covered Rumbrand's body as he approached Yugo. A group of scalpels were pulled out of his jacket.

Yugo had one move left and he hoped he could get it off "I activate the effect of Speedroid Menko from my hand, I can summon this card when attacked dir-" And that was when he realised why Junichiro had summoned that seemingly useless card.

"Useless! Devoured Space! I now destroy Edgowa and your effect is negated! A price of 300 life points for victory!" Yugo's last hope was evaporated before his eyes and soon he found a group of scalpels slashing into his clothes and cutting him.

Yugo's LP: 3200 – 500

"Finish this! Akutagawa! Rashomon – Early Blooming Sakura!" No mercy was taken. As soon as Rumbrand's offensive had ended, Rashomon streaked from Akutagawa and began slicing Yugo's skin and gripping onto the wheels of Yugo's ride. There was no escape from it this time.

Yugo's LP: 500 – 0

Junichiro: Win!