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Yes, Professor V2

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A boy of 14 years was traversing the empty corridors of his school, he couldn't believe how far he had come since he first arrived here seven years ago, it took him a long time but he had finally cast away that stupid philosophy of entertainment and smiles for everyone… No… Only the strong could smile as they crushed their opponents, his face twisted into a psychotic smirk as he thought back to when he first arrived here… How feeble he was and how that man saved him.

(Seven years ago)

"Huh?" A small seven year old boy with green and crimson hair wearing orange goggles with a blue star obscuring one lens on his head, an orange t-shirt with green cargo pants and red trainers looked confused to his surrounding area.

"Where am I?" He asked into the empty hallway in front of him, he was scared he didn't know where he was or where his parents were. Things were just getting stranger for him first his favourite card Odd-eyes Dragon had started to glow and then before he knew it he was transported to here with no sign of his parents.

He felt hopelessly trapped, lowering his goggles and burying his head in his hands

However, this stopped when someone came by and placed a firm hand on his head. Looking up he could see it was a man wearing a militaristic purple uniform, as his goggles were removed water gushed out and the man took a closer look at the young boy's face. His eyes widened slightly as he realised something 'It's no coincidence that he shares his face…This is his second part.' He thought quietly into himself, continuing to carefully study the boy's face.

With the water clearing out of his ruddy eyes, the boy was now able to get a closer look at the man in front of him, he wore a purple militaristic outfit with several black buttons, a purple cape with a black ending, and a pair of grey boots. He also has a black belt with a red line which both end in a button on the front, and what appeared to be red circular strings across his chest with a pair of black gloves on his hands.

"What is your name boy?" The man stared directly at the boy who in turn began to answer albeit with a twinge of fear in his voice "Y-Y-Yuya Sakaki-i-i Mr.…"

'Sakaki…It couldn't be…Could it?' The man was thinking tentatively about what to say next when Yuya's next question snapped him back to reality.

"Do you know where I'm and where my parents are?" The man took his time formulating his response.

When he did he tried his best to soften his expression, even though he knew just who this person was inside "For where you are Yuya, you are at Academia, for where your parents are I don't know." The last part of this sentence caused Yuya to start bawling, it was clear to man that Yuya really missed his home and parents, only action he could take was to comfort Yuya "My name is Leo Akaba but you can refer to me as the Professor." Leo placed a hand on Yuya's shoulder causing Yuya to look up to him with curiosity on his face, "Now then Yuya… A solider doesn't cry!" Yuya was shocked but this outburst caused him to hold back the tirade of tears that wanted to downpour onto the ground before him. "Yuya, come with me." Leo gestured Yuya to follow him down the corridor.

Yuya looked hesitantly into the darkness behind him and then looked towards the backlit professor. He responded shyly "Y-Y-yes Professor."

He really had no idea what was in store for him at that point.

(Six Years ago)

"Do it again!" Came the booming voice of a middle aged, fair-skinned man who had a large messy moustache and short black hair featuring two strands shaped like antennae. He was wearing a black military outfit with a red lining and cuffs over a close-collared white shirt that had a green pattern below the collar, giving the white beneath it the shape of battlements, he also had on a maroon belt with a gold-plated buckle. In his right hand was a red riding crop that was presently inches away from Yuya's face, causing fear to course throughout the eight year old's system.

"I-I'm s-sorry, I just tho…" He was instantly cut off by the resounding thwack of the crop against his thigh and by the blazing eyes of the instructor piercing directly into his soul.

The man, one of the most feared instructors in Academia went by the name of Sanders "You're lucky boy. If the Professor didn't think so highly of you then you'd be in deep trouble. Now! Get out of my sight! Before I make you."

As Sanders towered over Yuya further, the young duelist fell to the ground with the fear evident in his crimson eyes. He quickly scampered away on all fours which then turned into an out and out sprint throughout the halls of what had now become his home.

Once he was absolutely sure that no one was nearby, he collapsed into the wall and ran his sleeve over his eyes, mulling over the past year for him.
After the meeting with the Professor he discovered a few things about this place. 1) They appeared to specialise in Fusion Summoning and unlike back in his home they didn't seem to know any other methods. 2) This place, Academia, was more of a military work camp than it was an actual duel school and they certainly did not take kindly to Yuya's philosophy of entertainment, focusing instead on 'Victory above all else'. Finally, 3) Everyone thought him to be worthless, a piece of low ranking trash that was only hear because the Professor had taken pity on him. That insult from Sanders was just one of the many that had been hurled at him over the past year.

'Worthless… I'm worthless… I don't deserve to be here, I'm just wasting the others' time… I'll never be good enough to be what the Professor…' It seemed as if the insult had finally broken him down. What he saw as constant failures weighed heavily on his mind as he slid further down the wall and crouched into a ball.

The only thing he could will himself to do was not to cry. Oddly enough, the Professor's philosophy and his father's were in fact quite similar. Both preached that giving into your despair was the worst move you could make. If he couldn't do anything else right then he should at least prevent himself from failing his own father.

"Oi, you there." Another mortified look crossed Yuya's expression as that male voice reached his ears, he'd made sure he was the only one here so that could only mean that he was the person in question was referring to.

He tried his best to get up and run away, but for whatever reason, his legs refused to move and he remained glued to his original position. "At least look at me when I speak to you." A hand then made its way into Yuya's face. Unlike what he had expected this hand wasn't one of the teachers or one of those who had bullied him, in fact, he had never seen it or hard this person's voice before now.

"Rei, cut it out, he's not interested. He's too busy wallowing in his own despair, just leave him be." That was the voice of another male he didn't know but it sounded so much more familiar with its scathing tone and the sneer he could practically hear in the voice.

"Hey." There was the first voice again "Just ignore him. My name is Reisuke Hiyama but you can just call me Rei. Li-Li over there is just a bit annoyed that I'm not devoting all of my attention on him." The warmness in the male's voice couldn't be denied as he playfully teased the other one.
Feeling like he could, Yuya looked up and took in the other two people.

One of them, the one with his hand extended, Reisuke, was the taller and older of the two of them being about 5'7 and 11 respectively. His hair was predominantly black but there was a noticeable streak of white in it. Most of it was medium length and the white part was tied into a single braid that hovered above his right shoulder. The rest of it was slicked to the left and looked somewhat like a wing. His eyes were both red and had cat like pupils which gave Yuya the strangest sense of warmth whenever he looked into him. In terms of accessories he wore a singular golden earning his right ear. His clothing consisted of a black shirt with a blue jacket, which Yuya recognised to belong to the more elite Academia duelists. He also wore grey trousers which were tucked into grey boots. His duel disk was strapped to his right arm and was the standard Academia disk but in a matt black colour.

Looking just to the side of Reisuke, Yuya could see the other male who currently had his arms folded and a scowl on his face. The person whom Reisuke had referred to as Li-Li was a boy of about 10 years old and stood at about 5'5. He had long grey hair that was tied into a low ponytail resting on his left shoulder, he wore a blue shirt, a small red crystal earing in his left ear, a pair of black jeans secured by a grey belt, matt black boots with enough polish on them to let Yuya see his reflection even from how far apart they were, he too had his bleach white duel disk on his right arm and was carrying a black notebook in his left hand. "Yali's the name. Rei's a nuisance with names so don't even give him the light of day."

"Aww, come on Li-Li! Y'know you love it!" Reisuke said happily whilst Yali muttered something distinctly like 'Prick' under his breath.

The smile Reisuke had on his face remained Yuya an awful lot of home and of what he had aimed to do after starting his training. Make people smile.

"You mightn't know me, but I know you Yuya." Reisuke said, the joyful voice vanishing from his tone "We're in the same class after all."

"Oh…" Yuya mumbled. For some reason the Professor had placed him in the elite classes of the school but he had been too focused most of the time to let himself get to know people, after all, what was the point if they were just going to insult him and call him the Professor's pet?

When Reisuke looked over his shoulder, Yali sighed and approached Yuya, opening the notebook which was laden with entries about Yuya and as he flipped through multiple pages, the observations just kept coming "Look, I'm not the best at consoling people but what I do know is how people act. You want to get better? You want to impress the Professor?" Yuya nodded vigorously "Then work for it. You'll get nowhere if you sit here in your own sorrow, Academia has no need for the worthless but I can tell by the moves you make when dueling and your little tics that you are far better than that, I'm pretty sure you know that too."

Reisuke's hand had remained ever present in front of Yuya and he was inching closer to accepting it. "Yuya. You don't need to suffer in silence any longer, even if you don't talk to us ever again, we'll watch over you."

That was the kicker as he took Reisuke's hand.

(Current time)

It truly was incredible how much he changed from that snivelling little runt into the person he was today. Honestly if he could travel back in time he'd take Sanders' crop from out of his hand and use it on himself.

He was so much stronger now. He was untouchable, at the top of the hierarchy. Above the Slifer reds, ascendant above the Ra yellows, and certainly he relished the fact he could now quash the Obelisk Blues like the maggots they were.

Walking through the halls as they all grovelled at his might filled him with a rush far greater than his original pitiful entertainment couldn't even match his new and improved version now.

Yuya was snapped out of his reminiscing by a ringing on his duel disk which had changed from his days back home, his old disk had been taken off him soon after he started
classes and was replaced by a special one issued and designed by the Professor himself, it was the standard Academia shield but this one was gold tinted with a red rim, when activated the a sword like blade with a red glow would appear. The caller ID brightened Yuya's dull day, it seemed as if the Professor had a special job for him. A massive grin was spread across his face as he made his way to his destiny.

(Leo's Throne Room)

"Ah Yuya you've arrived." Leo was sitting quietly in his throne going through his plans, legs crossed hand on forehead as he saw Yuya approach. "I take it that you got my message."

"I most certainly did Professor," Yuya had grown more smug and arrogant during the time he had spent at Academia "For what is this special mission?"

Leo looked over his favourite solider whose appearance had changed since they first met seven years ago, Yuya had taken to wearing a similarly styled uniform to the Professor it bore resemblance to a military officer's uniform of sorts it consisted of a red waistcoat, a two-part cape of red, a red abbreviated coat with thick cuffs and gold shoulder bands with an amber-coloured setting, fastened at the collar bone, and black trousers tucked into silver-tinted boots but he still retained the googles he had first worn upon his arrival.
Leo stood up from his throne and walked slowly over to Yuya placing a hand on Yuya's shoulder beginning to give the details "You are being sent to the XYZ dimension to recover a very important target to me." Yuya let out a sadistic grin as he heard the XYZ dimension mentioned…He enjoyed watching those XYZ scum squirm as he carded them, it was feelings like those which he now lived for. The Professor continued "I've already sent someone to scout the target just talk him to get the current location…You know what to do next." Yuya's grin widened, "I most certainly do Professor…"

Wearing a hooded cloak Yuya walked out of the room, he took a card out from his deck, "Malevolent flash…" and with that Yuya was on his way to the XYZ dimension.

There was silence for a while before Leo spoke again "You can come out now." He said bluntly as a figure emerged from behind his throne but still stayed shrouded in the darkness, the only visible part was the scar that ran down from his face to his shoulder.

"Ah, so you're finally going to let him loose? I thought it wouldn't be for a while yet before you put your plan into motion." Leo turned his head back at the figure not saying anything, he didn't need to as he was sure that they already knew his thoughts.

"He should be careful. Remember when you sent me there? They're not all helpless vermin."

"Yuya is more than capable of handling them." Leo replied still as calm as ever "As for your earlier request, I'm sure you're perfectly aware of the agreement you two made with me. One of you here, the other in the shadows. My answer is no."

The person growled, greatly disliking the fact his own agreement had backfired on him. "Alright, I accept your rejection. I'll take my leave now." With a sneer in his voice, the figure left the darkness and exited the room.

'I don't know why I bother, why does he need me anyway? He's made that painfully clear.'

(XYZ Dimension)

The XYZ dimension was once a place of peace and prosperity, kids dueling the arenas, people minding their own and families just going about their daily routines. The huge heart shaped tower helped to provide not only a sense of identity to its city's denizens but also the name. Heartland.

However, all that was to change.

It had started rather dramatically with a huge golem suddenly appearing out of nowhere and marching towards the city's walls. Then another followed behind. Then another. Then another.

Soon the walls were swarmed with these mechanical beasts, pounding away and busting through the barrier causing utter pandemonium in the city. Everyone fleeing the creeping purple flames that gouged the city's innards. That was when they saw them.

People wearing brazen blue militaristic uniforms with gold trims and yellow spiked shoulder pads marched in time with the golems. The only visible features of their faces being the sinister smirks they wore as the rest was covered by a three pronged silver mask, which held a different coloured gem in each of them.

It didn't take long for them to overrun the city and it soon fell to the invading Academia forces. However, the citizens weren't down and out. A small group of duelists joined together and formed a resistance to fight the invaders. Taking a red scarf as the symbol of their resistance.

It was in this context that a boy with curly bright red hair and oddly designed clothes was standing silently on top of a roof in the completely annihilated city watching the few remaining citizens collect water. "My patience only lasts so long," the red haired teen sighed "Where is he…?" He repeatedly tapped his foot showing clearly his irritation. At this point a blinding red flash appeared next to the boy causing him to scream comically and fall backwards. "AHH!" The person emerging from the flash deadpanned while looking directly at the red head who got up from the ground.

"Never do that again Yuya." He dusted himself off.

"Oh, don't worry about that Dennis, I won't be around here for long just show me my target and let me do the rest."

Dennis was intimidated by Yuya even under the cloak he was wearing which somewhat covered face he could feel the piercing glare of his crimson eyes. The same eyes that were once fall of joy now served as a grim reminder to Academia's ruthless regime.

"She's over there." Dennis waved towards a girl who had pink eyes, long dark purple hair which extended past her lower back even with it tied up in a bow-shaped style and has shorter, lilac side tails. She secured her hair with a wing-shaped barrette and wore a bracelet with a purple gem in the middle on her right arm. She seemed to know Dennis and happily waved back before continuing her journey to collect water for her comrades.

"Excellent." Yuya licked his lips, jumped down from the roof and with sadistic grin and all chased the girl into the ruins of this city, the girl was caught off guard from this hooded teen quickly approaching and ran away leaving behind the water she was collecting.

The chase continued deep into the ruins of the destroyed city until Yuya finally managed to corner the girl against the ruins of a house.

"Looks like you're out of room." Yuya's face became briefly visible to the girl as he grinned manically. The girl was taken back by the face staring back at her "Yuto?!" she asked shocked that Yuto would do something like this, she thought quickly about what to say next towards her 'childhood friend' and was about to speak when Yuya cut her off.

"I know nothing of this 'Yuto' person but what I do know is that you're coming back with me to Academia!" Yuya's smirk only got wider as he saw the girl strap her duel disk to her arm and ready it. "So you want to do things the hard way," Yuya readied his duel disk in conjunction with his statement "that's great! Because I do enjoy the hard way oh so much!"

"Duel!" Both Yuya and Ruri declared simultaneously.

Yuya's LP: 4000 Ruri's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"He who strikes first wins!" Yuya declared, signalling his intent to start the duel.

Ruri was bracing herself for the incoming fusion summoning onslaught that she had seen so many times before by the Obelisk force. She already had her plan formulated in her head and she was sure that she would be able to take this creep down.

However… Yuya didn't move. He simply stood, just staring at her. The same creepy grin adorning his features hadn't dropped at all and he hadn't even made the move to look at his cards.

"I end my turn." Yuya's declaration was definitely not what she was expecting and it was a huge shock to her system. "Go ahead, I want to see what you've got first, it wouldn't be much of a performance if it ended after the first act!"

Ruri gritted her teeth. If he thought he could just walk all over her, then he was dead wrong and she was just about to prove it.

Watching on in sheer terror from a dark alleyway was a young girl with blue eyes with short light-purple and lilac hair wearing a pair of glasses. She clutched the edges of her dress tightly. This was exactly why she had joined the resistance in the first place, to help those who couldn't fight against Academia. Yet, here she was, cowering in the face of adversity. To make matters worse this was her best friend, the guilt was eating her up inside. 'What are you doing, Sayaka! You coward!'

Just then a cold breath graced the back of neck as a pair of cat like eyes made themselves known. "Well, it looks like a little birdie has just found themselves in the lion's den." That voice had become burned into her mind as well as everyone else in the resistance.

It belonged to the Commandant of the Obelisk Force, the group who were the initial invaders of their dimension. The person presently behind her just so happened to be the highest ranking member of said organisation, answerable only to the Commander in Chief of all forces in the XYZ dimension. The weird thing was that while he wore the same uniform as many others in the Obelisk Force, he never was seen wearing the helmet or any form of facial covering, letting everyone in the resistance know exactly who he was.
Sayaka turned around with wobbly legs that felt like they could collapse at any second. The unadulterated horror coursed through her system as the Commandant reached out for her arm. Standing at 6'2, he was easily able to grab the smaller girl's arm and raised her above the ground "Don't think for a second that I don't know what you had planned. So let me take that to task since you weren't going to do it anytime soon." Swiftly, he yanked the disk clean off Sayaka's arm and pressed the video messaging feature.

Yet, despite all of his actions, Sayaka thought of him oddly. His face remained neutral and even his voice had stayed at the same level and Sayaka swore that she could've have seen something as much as a frown appear at one point.

Concurrent with the events deep in the ruins of Heartland At the resistance's base sitting at a table were two boys one with black spiky hair, purple bangs and steel grey eyes was talking to another boy who had blueish-black hair, light green bangs and golden eyes. They were talking about how to survive the latest round of Academia attacks and what the best counter measure would be.

"We should go and fight them straight out!" The blue haired teen slammed his fist down on the table causing the purple haired one to leap in surprise.

"Shun… Calm down you don't win wars by going headlong into battle thoughtlessly. There's a big difference between being brave and being reckless. We need to be cautious and conserve our manpower before the assault." Steel grey eyes meet golden ones in a meeting so intense that one could swear that sparks had actually flown between the two hardened gazes.

After a while, Shun finally cracked under the pressure and relented "Fine…You win Yuto…Will go with your plan…."

Leaning back in his chair, Yuto looked rather pleased with himself, but deep down he knew that even his plan would be a risky one. Academia was ruthless, no one would leave their grasp when captured. He could still think of the day he first saw someone get carded, he could still remember the smirking faces and the look of pure terror the carded individual was now cursed to forever wear.

However, before he could mull it over any further, a beeping sound reached his ears. Looking down he could see static on his duel disk, indicating someone was calling him. He half expected it to be some mundane status report from one of the scouts.

"Yuto! Shun! Help!" Shun lurched forward and What he did not expect and was rather stunned to see was Sayaka being suspended in the air and screaming at the top of her lungs into the duel disk. A million thoughts ran through both of their minds as to who was behind this.

That million turned into one when the captor turned the camera upon himself. Instantly the black and white haired male was recognisable to the pair, whose eyes began to burn with pure hatred. "Commandant Hiyama…!" Both growled gutturally.

Said Commandant smirked, maybe he had picked up a thing or two from him after all "I see you're already acquainted with me, Spectre and Sparrow. However, I do ask that you call me Rei."

"What have you done to Sayaka!?" Shun exclaimed at first but then at sudden epiphany hit him for six "Ruri!" Yuto too seemed to realise this fact. Sayaka had been the one sent with Ruri to assist her and the current state of Sayaka could only mean bad news.

"I'd save that anger if I were you, Sparrow. I'll show you where your sister is." Reisuke turned the disk, showing the scene of Ruri and Yuya's duel. "As of now, your sister is safe. But if you want to make sure of that you'll come here to save her, won't you?"

"Bastard! Give her back to us now!" Shun's anger was even beginning to permeate into Yuto, Ruri was his best friend after Shun and losing her was something he wouldn't take.

"I'm not the one in control of her fate, but I'll give you a chance." There was a brief respite as a message pinged onto Shun's duel disk "This is the current co-ordinates of our location, if come here you may very well be able to save her from her fate. Fly quickly, Sparrow." With that, the picture faded away and within seconds Yuto and Shun had bolted from the base towards the location of the co-ordinates Reisuke had given them.

Back at said location, Reisuke looked at Sayaka and discarded her duel disk with a smirk gracing his pale lips "Now, shall we see how this little game plays out?"

Turn 2

"My turn, Draw!" Ruri said drawing her card, as she looked at it her already formulated plan had gotten even stronger. She was certain that she would win now. "When I control no monsters, I can Special Summon Lyrical Luscinia Turquoise Warbler from my Hand!" She said as she placed the card onto the blade of her duel disk, making a child in bird suit appear.

Lyrical Luscinia Turquoise Warbler, Level 1, Winged Beast, WIND, Effect (0/0)

"When she's Special Summoned, I can Special Summon another Lyrical Luscinia monster from my Hand!" She said taking another card in her hand, "I Summon Cobalt Sparrow!" She said, as another child appeared, this time is a brown sparrow suit.

Lyrical Luscinia Cobalt Sparrow, Level 1, Winged Beast, WIND, Effect (0/0)

"When she's Special Summoned, I can added a Winged Beast from my deck to my hand!" She said as a card was ejected from her Deck, which she grabbed, "When I control a Winged Beast, I can Special Summon Sapphire Swallow and another Level 1 Winged Beast, which will be another Cobalt Sparrow!" she said.

Lyrical Luscinia Cobalt Sparrow, Level 1, Winged Beast, WIND, Effect (0/0)

"Since another Cobalt Sparrow was Special Summoned, I can add another Winged Beast to my Hand!" she said as another card was ejected and added to her hand. "I now Normal Summon my third Cobalt Sparrow!" she said as the third and final copy of Cobalt Sparrow appeared.

Lyrical Luscinia Cobalt Sparrow, Level 1, Winged Beast, WIND, Effect (0/0)

"Oh my, five monsters in one turn." Reisuke said at the now smiling Sayaka "That certainly is an impressive feat. However, fate works in mysterious ways."

"Now using my 3 Level 1 Cobalt Sparrows, I build the Overlay Network!" Ruri shouted as the three monsters turned into green beams of energy, shot into the air, the sucked into the galaxy that appeared, which then released a light.

Yuya's face twisted into a psychotic expression, his smirk broadened "I see you're going to XYZ summon…Come on then, show me why the Professor wants you!" A crazed laugh shook the girl to her very core.

"Birds with beautiful wings! Gather on the battlefield and take brilliant flight!" she said as a soft glow started to appear, "Xyz Summon! Dance in the sky! Rank 1! Lyrical Luscinia Assembly Nightingale!"

As the galaxy like portal erupted, it made a rather mature looking woman appear on the field, the main colours for her were white, gold and blue and black, for her arms, she had feathers that fanned out that make them look like wings. Around her hips was a dress like cloth that was also feather like. For feet she had bird ones that has sharp talons on them. And on her head she had a headdress that looked like a bird, her skin was green in colour. Around her was 3 green orbs that satellite her body.

Lyrical Luscinia Assembly Nightingale: Rank: 1, Winger Beast, Xyz, Effect, WIND, (0/0) OVU's: 3

Yuya blinked then frowned "0 attack points? Is that it? I was hoping for something a little stronger…"

Ruri ignored him, continuing her turn with a relentless desire "Assembly Nightingale gains 100 attack points for each overlay unit she has!"

Assembly Nightingale's ATK: 0 – 300

"And I'm not done just yet! Using my remaining two monsters, I once more form the overlay network!" Once more the tow birds dissolved into green energy beams and headed to the swirling galaxy. "Xyz summon! Rank 1! Lyrical Luscinia Recite Starling!" Coming out of the galaxy was a purple skinned woman dressed in a sort of hybrid of black armour and feathers with golden talons on her hands and feet.

Lyrical Luscinia Recite Starling: Rank: 1, Winged Beast, Xyz, Effect, WIND, (0/0), OVU's: 2

"Recite Starling's effect! When she is summoned to the field, I can target one XYZ monster I control, that monster then gains 300 attack points for each overlay unit it has!"

Yuya's smirk got wider as a green aura engulfed Nightingale, strengthening the monster greatly "I see. However, your monster simply does not have enough attack points to even put a sizeable dent in my life points."

Assembly Nightingale's ATK: 300 – 900

"That's where you are wrong! Assembly Nightingale can attack you directly for as many overlay units she has! That means I get three attacks this turn!" Yuya's eyes widened, he hadn't expected one of these worthless wretches to pull out a move like that. Maybe that was why the Professor was chasing this girl.

"Attack! Nightingale!" The bird flew past and swiftly attacked Yuya with one of its talons, forcing hum back a couple of feet as his life points decreased.

Yuya's LP: 4000 – 3100

In the alleyway, Sayaka looked with hope glittering in her eyes 'You've got this Ruri! Show that guy what we in the resistance think of people like him!'

However, in her joy, she had forgotten about the Commandant lurking over her shoulder. Reisuke wasn't in the least bit pleased 'Arrogant. You're too arrogant. Maybe that'll serve as a wakeup call.' He thought back to when Yali, his best friend, had first returned from XYZ. Even now, he visibly cringed whenever he thought about the scar that now adorned Yali's features.

"Again!" Ruri declared as Nightingale swept back and tackled Yuya from behind, this time causing the male to lurch forward.

Yuya's LP: 3100 – 2200

"One last time!" The final strike landed dead centre on Yuya's chest and the resulting kick off had sent him careening backwards.

Yuya's LP: 2200 – 1300

"I set one card face down and end my turn!" The card materialized on the field as Ruri smiled triumphantly. She had this freak what where she wanted him and all she had to do was to survive this turn, her victory would then be assured.

Then, her hopes got even higher "Ruri!" That was her brother's voice! Sayaka must've notified the others about what had happened.

Meanwhile, Yuya had just about staggered up from the ground and was dusting off the dirt from his cloak. He had a deep scowl on his face "Tch. You people really are a troublesome bunch aren't you?" His scowl swiftly flipped and turned into the most malicious grin that Ruri had ever laid her eyes upon. "Such a shame that all that work will be worthless!"

Turn 3

"My turn! I draw!" Yuya's grin grew as he saw the card he drew "To start, I'll set three cards face down, now I activate Polymerization fusing together Performapal fugolem and Odd Eyes Dragon in my hand! Dragon with dichromatic eyes! Become one with the giant born from soil and revive as a new race!" Yuya furiously clapped his hands together, the grin stretching to astronomical proportions.

"Fusion Summon! Level 8! Performapal Gatling Ghoul!" The demented ghoul wearing a top hat and tuxedo wielding a massive Gatling gun appeared with Yuya grinning from ear to ear.

Performapal Gatling Ghoul, Level 8, Fiend, Fusion, DARK, Effect, (2900/900)

"Ghoul's effect now activates, when it is fusion summoned damage is dealt to the opponent equal to the number of cards on the field x200!"

Ruri took a step back against the wall of the house counting the amount of cards on the field as Ghoul's gun revved up, the realisation hit her like a truck as she realised just how much trouble she was in now, she realised what he was planning all along now. "There are seven cards on the field that means 1400 points of damage!" Yuya's chilling voice was quickly broken by the sound of Ghoul's gun firing and assaulting the Ruri viciously.

Ruri's LP: 4000 – 2600

It was just as she had slid down the wall, that Yuto and Shun had finally reached the duel. "Ruri!" Shun exclaimed, calling everyone's attention to their presence.

Looking at the duel disk Yuto and Shun had their worst fears confirmed, Ruri was dueling was the Professor's personal enforcer. To make matters worse, the Commandant of the Obelisk Force was hiding nearby, holding Sayaka as a hostage.

Unlike Yuto, Shun was far less hesitant to move as he raced forward. "Shun, wait!" However, it was too late to do anything as a black beam slinked its way out of the shadows and attached itself to Shun's duel disk, forcing it into the active mode.

"Damn!" Shun grunted as he tried in futility to free himself from the pull of the beam.

"I'm sure you know what that is, I don't see why you are even bothering." Reisuke droned, emerging from the shadows with Sayaka held limply in his left arm "You won't be moving anywhere until we have dueled."

Shun and Yuto growled, if the sight of the Commandant was enough to trigger them, hearing his voice was like having a furnace burning inside of them. Yuto turned his attention to the body of Sayaka in the male's hands "What have you done to her?!"

"She's sleeping." Reisuke placed a finger to his lips as he dropped the young girl to the ground "Try not to awake her with your troublesome whining."

Shun gave a guttural growl once more as he snapped his head to where Yuto was positioned "Yuto, go help Ruri. I'll deal with this bastard!"

However, before Yuto could set off, Reisuke spoke up again "Oh, I wouldn't do that if I were you. My friend over there is almost finished and I wouldn't want to get in his way."

Back with Yuya and Ruri's duel, Yuya was indeed in the closing stages of his turn "I activate the spell Performapal Hurricane!" One of the cards Yuya had set face down to maximize the effect of Gatling Ghoul now flipped as said hurricane appeared as every piece of rubble around the two was picked up as Yuya explained the effect of the card, Yuto and Shun were alarmed as they saw and felt the hurricane as they tried to stand their ground.

"This spell card returns cards on the field to the hand equal to the number of performapals on the field, sadly I only control one but it is no matter as I return your Nightingale back to your extra deck!" The hurricane unleashed its full fury on Nightingale forcing it back into card form and returning it to the extra deck.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" Yuya's sadistic grin and slitted pupils turned this innocent, fun loving statement into one of unspeakable malice. "I activate another face down spell Performapal Award Winning Act! With this card all performapals on my field are unaffected by Spell or Trap effects!"

"And the trio is complete by the Spell Performapal Character Rewrite! By paying half of my life points, I can have my Gatling Ghoul attack you directly, although he will be destroyed at the end of the turn and I take damage equal to its attack points. But I don't think that'll matter, will it…?

Ruri was in disbelief at her utter failure as she accepted her fate about to give in but just as she was about to surrender she heard her brother's voice shouting her name.

"RURI!" Yuto and Shun's collective shouts were soon drowned out by volleys of fire from Gatling Ghoul which were fired with such ferocity it flung Ruri back against the wall of the house knocking her out.

Ruri's LP: 2600 – 0

Yuya: Win!

A win icon briefly flashed on Yuya's duel disk as he made his way to the unconscious Ruri. "It's been a great show folks!" Yuya draped Ruri over his shoulder as he turned around to the duel's would be intruders "But now it's time for me to leave! Malevolent Flash!" Under the watching eyes of Yuto, Shun and Reisuke, Yuya disappeared, leaving behind no trace of him or Ruri ever being in the XYZ dimension. Yuto stood in shock, having noticed the face of the Academia duelist as he left, he could only mutter "His face…"

Meanwhile Shun was looking absolutely devastated, he knew he shouldn't have let her leave his sight for even a second. "Ruri…" He mumbled with his eyes wide and shaking.

"Can you still stand?" Reisuke's voice was like the light that lit up reality. Shun looked positively irate as he stormed up to his feet, his pupils so diluted that they were barely visible.

"You! Take me to her right now!" Shun jabbed his finger at the Commandant.

"Not everyone gets what they want right away, Sparrow. You're going to have to duel me for it." Reisuke smirked at Shun's irate expression, Yali was right when he said that these people were like a bunch of rabid dogs, and dogs that don't think are far easier to manipulate.

"You're on!" Shun then spoke to Yuto, not taking his eyes off of the taller male "Yuto, take Sayaka back to the base, I'll be done with this bastard soon enough." Yuto silently relented and soon left with Sayaka in hand.

"Now, shall we start?" Reisuke drawled, activating his duel disk, letting the white sword like blade eject out.

"Duel!" Both declared simultaneously.

Reisuke's LP: 4000 Shun's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"I'm going first." Reisuke declared, plucking a card from his hand "To start, I activate the Spell Card General's Decree!" The design of this card had the image of almost regal looking General with jewels and countless medals adorning its person, looking over a marching army of faceless soldiers "The effect of this card gives me the ability to add one level four or lower Commandant General from my deck to my hand." The chosen card didn't stay too long in Reisuke's hand as it was quickly placed on the blade of his duel disk "When I control no monsters, I can Special Summon Commandant General Blucher to the field!"

The new monster was one of a very clear aristocratic background, an elder looking male general with an old fashioned pointed helmet and bayonet laden riffle and pistol by his side.

Commandant General Blucher: Level 4, Warrior, EARTH, Effect (1600/1200)

"If Blucher is summoned to the field when I control no other monsters, I get to summon one more copy of the monster from my deck." The second general made his appearance beside his counterpart, the two of them locking their riffles together.

"Next, I summon Commandant General Franco to the fray." This general was a far younger looking one, wearing an overly large red peak cap alongside a green uniform with a black fur coat fastened by a yellow lanyard.

Commandant General Franco: Level 2, Warrior, EARTH, Effect, (800/1200)

"When Franco is summoned to the field, I can pay 500 life points and add one Spell or Trap Card from my deck to my hand." The chosen card ejected itself from Reisuke's duel disk and he took it with no change from his neutral tone or expression.

Shun couldn't help but think about what the Commandant was going to do next 'Chances are one of the cards in his hand is Polymerization, those freaks probably run 30 copies of it. If he did have it though, then why has he summoned those monsters? Would it not be better for him to use it straight away?'

There was a slight twitch of Reisuke's lips as he read the quizzical expression of Shun "I set two cards face down and end my turn."

Reisuke's cards x1

'Yes, that's it.' Even if it wasn't a visible thing, to those who were close to Reisuke, the teen was growing ever more confident by the second upon seeing the confusion that was consuming Shun 'I think, therefore I am. If one doesn't know the cards their opponent holds then they assume the worst and lose concentration on the cards that really matter.'

Turn 2

"My turn, I draw!" Shun exclaimed, having recovered from his confusion, furiously swiping at the top card of his deck, creating a miniature hurricane.

"To start, I summon my Raidraptor - Vanishing Lanius!" A green armoured falcon emerged out of a mini tornado.

Raidraptor – Vanishing Lanius: Level 4, Winged Beast, DARK, Effect (1300/1600)

"When Vanishing Lanius is summoned to field, I can summon one more copy of it from my hand to the field. I currently hold another two copies in my hand, I summon both of them to the field!" Two more falcons descended to the field, flanking the original on both sides.

"Now, I overlay my three Level 4 Vanishing Lanius!" The three falcons raced towards the galaxy which soon burst "Obscured Falcon, raise your claws sharpen by adversity, and spread your wings of rebellion!" He chanted as six red lights glowed from within a thundercloud "Come forth! Rank 4! Raidraptor – Rise Falcon!"

After the explosion of the galaxy, a bigger Raidraptor monster appeared, with two sets of wings with what appeared to be exhaust pipes for feathers, two clawed feet with a set of very sharp talons, it had two very small, very thin arms on its torso. On its head above its beak were six glowing red lights for eyes. It gave a screech as it appeared fully with 3 purple Overlay Units orbiting it.

Raidraptor Rise Falcon: Rank: 4, Winged Beast, Xyz, Effect, DARK, (100/2000) OVU's: 3

Mimicking Yuya's earlier disappointment, Reisuke frowned "Only 100 attack points. I gather that it has a strong effect though if that's the case. Although, a dog's bark is often worse than its bite." Shun growled and the smirk on the Commandant's face became more pronounced.

"Rise Falcon's effect! By using one overlay unit, it gains the attack points of every Special Summoned monster you control and can attack you for each of them!" One of the purple orbs was absorbed into the falcon's mechanical body as the bird soared high, catching fire as it ascended higher and higher "You control two monsters, combined their attack points total 3200, so Rise Falcon now has 3300 attack points!"

Rise Falcon's ATK: 100 – 3300

"Battle!" Shun launched into his next move with no hesitation "Rise Flacon! Attack both of his General Bluchers! Ravaging Rebellion!" The monster which had stopped climbing by this point now began to descend, it picked up even more speed, turning into a deadly flaming spiral. It soon struck into both elder generals, incinerating them instantly with their commander staggering backwards. However, the Falcon didn't return to his master just yet.

Reisuke's LP: 4000 – 600

"You Fusion scum think you can just waltz in here and take what you want." Shun said with his eyes bolted shut, then in a flash, the diluted pupils were once more visible, so narrow they were barely visible to the human eye "I'll take down every last one of you bastards! Rise Falcon!"

Reisuke's eyes widened as the Raidraptor monster dived towards him with its talons bared. He tried to dodge out of the way, but it was too late.

The outstretched talons slashed into the left side of the Commandant's face, gouging deep into the flesh and drawing significant amounts of blood. Reisuke had to use every ounce of his strength not to scream bloody murder as the blood seeped through the palm he placed over it. Most of his cards now laying sprawled across the ground too as a result of that attack.

"Gah! I activate the trap Command Chain!" He quickly released the pressure on his wound to activate on of his face downs. The card's art depicted an Emperor sat on a glistening jewel encrusted throne, to his side was the same general that had been in Reisuke's previous card whilst one more general was kneeling in front of the throne "I can only activate this card when my life points are below 1000. All monsters currently on the field are destroyed and we both take the same amount of damage!" God, how he hated to have to do this. He was being such a coward in running away from this battle, but the pain was getting unbearable. He know understood why Yali had been hollering for days on end when he was assaulted by the Resistance.

Out of the card, a torrent of gunfire blasted in the direction of Franco and Rise Falcon "The total attack points on this field is 4100! That's enough to put this duel to an end!" Both monsters perished under the hail of bullets, which struck Shun harder than Reisuke.

Shun's LP: 4000 – 0
Reisuke's LP: 600 – 0


The Commandant breathed haggardly, his words descending into a pained, grabbled mess "Not… Done… Time… Yuya…"

An automated voice sounded from Reisuke's disk "Emergency Teleport activated!" The teen made no move to stop the blue light that engulfed him. His body vanishing from the XYZ dimension to the anger of Shun.

"Tch. Coward." The Raidraptor duelist looked towards the place Ruri had been just a few minutes ago "Don't worry, Ruri. I'll come after you and I'll make every last one of them pay. Including that bastard, Hiyama."

Chapter Text

(Fusion Dimension)

"Trying to change our only fate, desperately, before it's too late." Many students would tell you that Academia was a strict authoritarian training school, meant for the fermentation of the perfect dueling soldiers for their ultimate goals. However, that wasn't necessarily true for the ones on top of the hierarchy. Case in point, Commandant Reisuke Hiyama, was currently sat playing a large white grand piano in his own private room in one of the many towers surrounding the island. A blood stained bandage was tied all along the left side of his face, a stop gap measure in order to prevent any further blood flowing out of the large wound he now bore.

Another person was stood in the room alongside the Commandant. The same person who had been hiding in the shadows behind the Professor. His long grey hair blowing gently in the wind coming through the open window as he listened to the music with his eyes closed. "Deafening sounds of a death and rebirth, spiralling round in my fantasy. Breaking that laws that the future made to stop us from warping reality."

"Given to us by the God, a world from the begi-" The music stopped as Reisuke furiously slammed his fists down on the piano, creating a cacophony that startled the other teen in the room whose eyes flew open as he saw the trembling hands of the Commandant.

"Worthless! Worthless! Worthless!" Reisuke pounded the keys again for each utterance of the word. He finally let his head drop causing a low humming drone to fill the room.

He then felt a pair of hands on his shoulders "Rei, I'm not about to let you blame yourself for what happened. As much as I do know about those XYZ fragments, the one thing that even I can't predict is what circumstances would do to them."

Reisuke then spoke up, his voice muffled by the fact it lay on piano keys "That's not what I'm angry about, Li-Li. I failed to finish my mission and got injured in the process, the Professor won't allow me out again for a while. It's was worthless for me t…"

The Commandant was swiftly cut off when he was hit across the head by Yali, surprising him as he brought his head off the piano and faced his now fuming best friend "Oi! What did I just say?! That wasn't your fault!"

"You weren't there…" Reisuke mumbled, rubbing the part of his head where Yali had struck him "I didn't have to do what I did, it was a foolish move on my part and I paid the price. Just let me wallow this time, Li-Li."

Yali sighed and rolled his eyes, sometimes Reisuke really was impossible when it came to taking the blame for something that wasn't his fault "Alright, Rei. You win this round."

Reisuke's lips quirked up briefly as he returned to playing the piano, playing a different melody from last time "By the by, where's Yuya? I haven't seen him since returning."

"Gah." Yali scoffed, shaking his head "Your brother complex is disgusting."

The Commandant smirked "Oh yeah? Are you sure you're not jealous?" The same joke had been replayed time and time again over the years, the only reason why Reisuke continued to do so was that he found great amusement in the ways that Yali would react to it.

"There you go again!" Yali yelled, kicking one of the piano's legs in anger "Will you ever shut up about that?!"

"Only when you stop making it so easy." Reisuke replied without missing a beat, both in the conversation and in his melody

Yali puffed out his scarred cheeks, really, he was supposed to be the mind master here. It was annoying that Reisuke could read him so easily 'Well, Rei's my best friend…' He mused, maybe it wasn't an impossible feat after all. "Fine, you win again."

"Naturally." Reisuke replied, stoking the flames and waiting to see if Yali would take the bait.

"As I was going to say." Ah, he wasn't going to take it this time, not that Reisuke really minded "Yuya got sent off to another mission. To where? I dunno. I'm not told these things."

"Tch." Reisuke clicked his tongue in annoyance, ceasing his melody and standing up from the piano "The Professor let him out by himself?"

"That's right." Yali concurred "Since you were out of commission he wasn't going to send you and since how under our agreement only one of us is allowed to supervise him, in layman's terms I was forbidden from going and thus he was sent out by himself."

Reisuke turned his gaze to the floor, he didn't look the least bit pleased and from his observations, Yali was able to tell exactly what he was thinking.

"Don't you have something to do, Li-Li?" Gone was the joyful tone that the Commandant usually had in private and in was the tone from the field and public "She must be getting awful bored by now."

Yali smirked, not bothered by Reisuke's personality shift "Don't worry about that, Rei. The misfortune of others tastes sweeter when they've been stewing for a good time. Her time is coming soon."

"Good. Because you're about to get another piece to your collection…"


Standing in stark contrast to what was the militaristic Fusion dimension and the desolate XYZ dimension. The Synchro dimension was at surface level one of extreme luxury, the glistening skyscrapers penetrating the clear blue sky, the well-off families wandering about the place, at night-time the lights lit up the city, known as New Domino, would portray the luxury even more.

However, all that glitters is not gold, behind all this prominent glory and riches was the truth of the society. The society was split between the Tops, the ones who inhabited the mansions and controlled all the wealth, and the Commons, the ones who lived in the torrid slums of the city with little money to work with and little hope that anything would ever get better.

It was in one of these run down apartments that a young teen with blue and blond hair was laying passed out on a sofa in a small apartment that he had rented out with his childhood friend and secret crush who was now standing directly over him.

"YUGO!" She shouted, grabbing him by his white jacket, shaking him awake, "YUGO!" she shouted again, Yugo began to stir but still remained halfway passed out. The green haired girl let out a sigh, tugging at the ends of her ridding suit that was required when using the major technological advance of this dimension, the D-Wheel, a motorcycle to duel on. Safety still dubious.

The girl, who was known as Rin knew Yugo was a deep sleeper but didn't realise that this level was physically possible, even after escalating attempts involving varying levels of violence, it took a full thirty minutes for Yugo to awaken from his slumber.

"Ahhh, fully refreshed and ready to take on the day!" Yugo awoke with a large smile on his face which quickly turned upside down when he saw the girl teeming with anger in front of him.

"R-Rin…" Yugo nervously said as sweat dripped down his face, Rin was a real tour de force whenever she wanted to be.

"YUGO! YOU IDIOT!" Rin screamed directly into Yugo's face, flinging said person backwards over the sofa "WE'RE LATE FOR THE TOURNAMENT!" Yugo's brain suddenly shifted into gear as he quickly stood up from his sprawled position and ran into a nearby garage which held his and Rin's D-wheel.

"Why didn't you wake me up earlier Rin?!" Yugo said as he hurriedly strapped on his helmet, taking quickly to the white D-wheel starting it up.

"I tried to! The process was about as enjoyable as having to sit at the back of our D-Wheel." Rin sarcastic remark flew right over Yugo's head as he was too busy trying to get the D-wheel started, Rin simply sighed strapping on her helmet resigning herself to riding on the back.

The D-wheel suddenly spurted into life causing Yugo to race out without a second thought. However, as they raced out rather haphazardly, something had caught Rin's eye, something Yugo failed to see. It was a hooded figure standing in one of the alleyways of the commons slums, the shield shaped duel disk and the barely visible grin was enough to make Rin feel uneasy if this was just the first time. "Yugo?" She asked staring back to the alleyway.

"Not now, Rin. I'm busy trying to find this place…Now let's see you take a left…No a right… No a left…Ah, it's probably just a trick of the light or something, don't worry about it." Yugo said off the cuff, somewhat managing to calm Rin down, yet that prevailing fear that something serious was about to occur never once left her mind.

The hooded figure looked on with glee at how quickly he had found his target and her quite lacklustre associate. "This is going to be too easy." He said vanishing into a red flash.

Elsewhere in the city, high up in one of the skyscrapers, another person was making preparations. The 17 year old male stood at about 5'7 making him look rather small in comparison to the largeness of the room which was luxurious beyond belief, a fondness for jewellery and gleaming crystals clearly evident. Said person was just putting the finishing touches on his outfit for the day. He had a white dress shirt with clean pressed black trousers and black boots. With accessories, he was wearing three golden rings on his right hand, each with a ruby on it and there was also two dangling earrings that had sapphires on them. In terms of physical appearance his hair is blond and kept short, combed neatly to the left side but one stubborn cowlick at the front always stuck out so he no longer bothered to attempt to tame it. His eyes are both a diamond blue colour.

It was just as he put on his purple frock coat with burgundy fur trimmings alongside a red ribbon around his collar that someone decided to knock on the door "Aru-sama?"
Aru sighed 'Honestly! Do I ever get any peace around here?!' The blond haired teen sighed once before calling out "Enter!"

The door cracked open to reveal a middle aged man with black hair and glasses enter the room dressed in a similar style to the younger male albeit without the accessories and much more subdued colours "We have yet to go over your schedule for today." He reported monotonously, his face portraying no emotion in any facet.

"Pfft. Who gives a shit about a schedule?" Aru whined childishly, he just wasn't in the mood today for anything other than just lazing about.

"Aru-sama." Gah, as if the guy couldn't sound even more disinterested, it almost like talking to a brick wall, which would probably have better charisma in Aru's opinion "Unless you want to disappoint at the party tonight then you will listen to me."

"I'm not interested in that." Aru said dismissively, leaning his head on the window out to the city, his eyes landing on the huge stadium in the centre as his lips curled ever so slightly "Those pompous wankers can do as they please, my sights are set on something far greater than petty things such as money." He clenched his left fist and placed it over his heart which gave out a strange sound "My chance then was ruined and I don't intend to repeat the same mistakes I did then."

There was what seemed to be a snort from the elder male as Aru swivelled his head round to view him "Yes, Aru-sama. I will retrieve your cane for you now."

"Good." Was the only thing that was said as Aru returned his gaze back to the city 'Someday, I will get you.' He grasped his left arm 'I'll make you pay for what you did to me…'

"See! I told you, Rin! We would make it on time." Yugo declared, slowing down the D-wheel as they approached the stadium so Rin could climb off it whilst he remained on top of it.

"Yugo, the thing start 15 minutes ago." Rin deadpanned and Yugo's face contorted into one of panic.

"Dammit! Why didn't we get here sooner?!" The teen yelled, grabbing the side of his helmet. Rin continued to look on in disbelief, sometimes with Yugo it really was like talking to a brick wall, nothing could get through that dense head of his. "Screw it! I have to go now! Make sure you watch me own these guys!" Without even a second thought he had sped off and left Rin by herself.

'Ah Yugo, whatever am I going to do with you?' Rin mused and began to make her way into the spectators' part of the stadium.

But it was as she entered, that she spotted something out of the corner of her eye. It was a person in a cloak. And. They were running towards her!

Rin's breath hitched and she staggered back, it was impossible, that person wasn't supposed to be here! The only thing she could do was prepared herself by sticking out her duel disk arm.

"RinRin!" Except that the voice coming out as the person glomped her was decidedly feminine while the other figure had certainly been masculine. "I missed you so much!" The girl who had tackled Rin didn't care much for the other's shell-shocked state as she put her in a bone crushing hug.

"S-Sakura-a." Rin stuttered, still half shell-shocked but now so much more at ease that it was just Sakura. The girl's face was revealed as the hood fell from her head. She had long black hair that was tied in a low ponytail that reached down to her midback, she had pink eyes which helped to increase the growing warmth in Rin. The cloak she wore was dark in colour and had some sort of strange crimson design on the back of it. She also wore a black and red shirt that cupped her sizable bust and a white short skirt. Finally on her feet were grey boots that opened up at the toecap, revealing her feet somewhat.

"So!" Sakura yelled energetically, releasing a winded Rin from her hold "What's going on here? Where's Yu Yu!? Tell me! Tell me everything!" Rin sighed at Sakura's overexcited nature. It was a lot like having a female version of Yugo but with about 12 less layers of concrete in his head, the only issues was that those layers were probably replaced with some form of sugar as the girl would more often than not be bounding off the walls 24/7.

"Don't get me started, Sakura." Rin said "Yugo's in the stadium getting ready for the duel."

At the mention of the word 'duel' Sakura had somehow gotten even more energetic "What? How come I didn't know about that?! Why didn't you tell me sooner?!"

Rin sweat dropped 'Because we only met less than a minute ago…'

"Wait. Why are we standing here if the duel is about to start? Let's go!" Sakura gave no heed to Rin's complaints as she whisked the other away like a hurricane.

As Rin and Sakura were able to slip into seats, the final preparations had just begun "Are y'all ready for another exciting tournament Folks!?" Those words were spoken by a woman with ginger hair and wearing a red cowgirl outfit who was the city renowned MC Melissa Claire.

The resonating roar of the crowd in response lead her to the "Alrighty then! Today's the final match between our last two competitors! Now! Let's welcome our two duelists to the track!" At this point both of them emerged from the tunnel and sped to the starting line with deafening cries coming from the crowd for both duelists.



"This is going to be a clash of the Titians! Magma is known for utterly ruthless barrage of synchro summoning then pounding his opponent with a series of blazing attacks, fitting for his pseudonym as the 'Raging Volcano'!" Said person lapped up the cheers from the more delinquent members of the crowd.

"Meanwhile, his opponent isn't one to be underestimated! Originally coming into this tournament as a dark horse candidate, Yugo has proven far and away that he is a more than capable duelist and rumour has it he is going to be competing in the upcoming Friendship Cup!" Everyone else in the crowd cheered for Yugo as he pulled up next to his opponent.

Yugo surveyed his opponent as he slowed to a stop. Much like his name suggested his D-wheel was blinding red-orange colour and his riding suit was almost exactly the same except for hints of black. As he turned his head Yugo saw the numerous yellow tattoos and piercings on his face alongside messy spiky red hair "Listen here, weakling. I'm going to crush you into a pulp and make you unrecognisable to the human eye…" Yugo gulped and got ready for duel

A screen popped up in front of them, the clock on it counting down to zero "Riding Duel Acceleration!" Came the collective call as it reached the final second.

"Duel!" Both of them shouted simultaneously as the clock hit zero they raced off.

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

Initially things were looking good for Yugo as he lead by a sizeable difference as he reached the first turn "Yugo's got an early lead will he take the first corner?" Melissa said as enthusiastic as ever.

It was almost certain that Yugo was going to take the first corner, however, Magma hit the accelerator that he had been holding off on hard and rammed his D-wheel into the back
Yugo's causing him to briefly lose control, to the cries of the crowd. Especially Sakura who jumped out of her seat "Oi! Punk! Who the hell do you think you are?!" She was only stopped from going any further by a desperate effort from Rin.

"Why would you do that?!" Meanwhile on the track Yugo shouted a reply, still trying to get his D-wheel back under control.

"All's fair in love and war!" Magma cackled, taking the first corner and the first turn.

"I'll go first! I activate the spell Molten Conduction Field!" The first spell to be played in the duel was a card that had as its design a forest consumed by lava as in the background an electrical pylon was close to falling into the magma "This spell allows me to send two 'Laval' monsters to my graveyard! I send my Laval Magma Cannoneer and my Laval Volcano Handmaiden!" A portal appeared behind the delinquent duelist as two cards, one a hulking behemoth of stone with two cannons attached to its broad shoulders and the other a was a childish looking woman of fire. Both of these cards soon vanished into the portal as Magma's smirk grew wider.

"By sending her to the graveyard my Handmaiden's effect activates! Since I have a Laval monster other than her in my graveyard I can send one more Laval monster from my deck to my graveyard. I send another Handmaiden to the graveyard which triggers that one's effect which allows me to dump my last handmaiden to the grave which now sends a second Cannoneer to the grave." The crowd looked perplexed, why would he get rid of five cards and especially when three of them were Tuner monsters.

That confusion was shattered when Magma made a bold declaration "Are you ready to get burned, punk? Cause now I activate the spell Rekindling!" This card had three babies made out of flames emerging out of a pool of lava "This card allows me to summon back all fire monsters from my graveyard with 200 or fewer defence points! So! Welcome back to the field my three Handmaidens and two Cannoneers!"

The five monsters appeared out of a flaming vortex in front of Magma's D-wheel bringing back the monsters which had been sent back to the graveyard to the amazement of the crowd but to the contempt of Sakura, Rin, Yugo and a certain other individual watching from a box above the crowd.

"Wow!" Melissa exclaimed "Magma's just summoned five monsters in one turn, Yugo must be feeling the heat now!" Cue a collective sigh from Rin and Sakura for the terrible pun.

"Way to take the energy outta this thing…" Sakura mumbled.

Laval Volcano Handmaiden, Level 1, Pyro, Tuner, FIRE, Effect, (100/200)

Laval Magma Cannoneer, Level 4, Pyro, FIRE, Effect, (1700/200)

"It's too early to be impressed!" Magma said to the deafening roar of the crowd cheering him on, not so much out of support but more out of wanting to see what would come next "I tune my level 4 Cannoneer with my level 1 Handmaiden!" The behemoth turned into four stars as the maiden turned into a singular green ring which said stars passed through bore a blinding flash of light engulfed them both "I synchro summon! Level 5! Lavalval Dragon!" From the light, a torrent of flames poured out and from it came a brown scaled dragon with fire consuming half of its body and lava bubbling away under the other scales.

Lavalval Dragon, Level 5, Dragon, Synchro, FIRE, Effect (2000/1100)

"I now do the same thing with my second Cannoneer and Handmaiden to synchro summon! Level 5! Laval Dual Slasher! The new monster looked like an amalgamation between a humanoid fire creature and a dragon which had two fiery blades attached to its elbows

Laval Dual Slasher, Level 5, Pyro, Synchro, FIRE, Effect (2400/200)

"Wow! Wow! Wow! Magma's just summoned two synchro monsters in one turn! Surely Yugo must be outclassed here?! But we have seen him return from the impossible before!" Mellissa declared fervently.

"Keh! I'm still not done! Since I haven't used it yet I now normal summon Boost Warrior from my hand!" Speeding out of the vortex was a robotic solider with wild red hair and boosters on its back.

Boost Warrior, Level 1, Warrior, FIRE, Effect (300/200)

"The grand finale is almost here! I now tune Handmaiden with Boost Warrior in order to Synchro Summon the Synchro Tuner monster Puralis, the Purple Pyrotile!" In comparison to the larger monster that he had summoned today, the Synchro Tuner monster of Magma was relatively small, looking more like the early stages of a dragon rather than a full formed one.

Puralis, the Purple Pyrotile, Level 2, Reptile, Synchro, Tuner, FIRE, Effect (800/1400)

'If only they didn't get rid of Maxx "C"…' Yugo bemoaned, getting rather tired of all of this constant special summoning and impatient for it to become his turn.

"The grand finale is here!" Magma cackled "I tune the level 2 Puralis, the Purple Pyrotile with my level 5 Lavalval Dragon!" The ground began to crack as each of the stars plummeted into the depths below "I birth a monster that will pummel you into submission with the force of a thousand volcanos! I synchro summon! Level 7! Laval Stennon!"
The lava rushed up from the crevasse and coated the track behind Magma, forcing Yugo to pull some difficult manoeuvres in order to avoid the blast radius. Out of the fissure came two bulky arms, one of which ended in a cannon that looked a lot like Cannoneer's. The body slowly came to the scene revealing that it was even more of a bulking behemoth than any other monster that Yugo had ever seen. It also appeared to be somewhat robotic.

Laval Stennon, Level 7, Pyro, Synchro, FIRE, Effect (2700/1800)

"Keheheheheh! Whenever Stennon is summoned to field, I send one Laval monster from my deck to the graveyard! I drop my Laval Lakeside Lady!" This card was a more mature version of Magma's Handmaiden, which winked as it descended into the graveyard.

"And with that all said and done! I set one card facedown and end my turn!" Magma declared triumphantly, having set up his field quite nicely for the coming turns.

Magma's cards x1

The crowd at this stage was positively electric, each one of them cheering for the display that Magma had just put on, regardless of their opinions on the delinquent duelist they could appreciate the effort. Melissa was also there to fan the flames further "Oh my god! In all my years of reporting on duels I've only ever seen this level of summoning expertise come from the top brass! I think we might have our victor here folks!"

However, there were five people that didn't share this sentiment.

Two of them were sat next to each other in the form of Rin and Sakura. "They shouldn't underestimate Yugo like that…" Sakura said ominously, a decisive switch from her earlier energetic personality as she spoke with the attitude of a hardened veteran "That guy is using cheap tricks and pyrotechnics to mask his own fatal flaws."

Another one of these people was watching from within the depths of the stadium, his purple hair was of a medium length with stands just about reaching down and tickling his chin obscuring his face while a set of glasses rested lazily on his nose "How charming, looks like little Yugo is going to have to pull something out of the bag if he wants to win this against the big bad volcano." The teen didn't sound particularly interested in either and one could even say that he spoke with contempt.

"You sound like you have little faith in him to win." Came a reply that ghosted into only the purple haired male's ears as he switched the gaze of his grey eyes to over his shoulder.

"Oh no, don't get me wrong. My faith in him is undeterred, his opponent is a one trick pony and if anyone knows how to exploit a one trick pony the best then who better than the master himself?" However in his reply, the tone shifted, expressing more openness but also one of arrogance.

"Aru-sama, I take it for that look on your face that you aren't best pleased." True to his subordinate's words, Aru had a sour look on his face, his head only just being stopped from keeling over by the hand pressed under his chin.

"It's so boring watching someone stroke their own ego for 10 minutes straight." The teen moaned "Especially when he's got as much skill as a monkey. That latent criminal stands no chance, and from what I can tell about that other barbarian, he's enjoying this and no doubt will use that adrenaline to succeed."

Back on the track, what Aru said was beginning to bear its fruits. Yugo had a large grin on his face as his body shook with excitement "Oh man! I'm going to have so much fun taking that monster down!"

"Eh?" Magma croaked "Who the hell do you think you are?! No monster will ever touch Stennon in its lifetime! You're as good as dead! Punk!"

Turn 2

"Ha. Is that so?" Yugo said drawing for his turn "Well, let's find out! 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, Machine, WIND, Effect (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, Machine, WIND, Effect (600/1200)

"You think you can beat me with those cards?!" Magma roared in laughter "Those are the cards a child would use! You ain't got a chance in hell!"

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, Machine, Tuner, WIND, Effect (100/100)

"Oh yes! Here it comes! Go on Yu Yu!" Sakura yelled enthusiastically, jumping up from her seat only to nearly fall over the edge due to said enthusiasm, making Rin also leap up to catch her.

"God, Sakura! Calm down for once in your life!" Rin scolded her excitable counterpart but deep down she too was excited with what she knew was coming.

"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. It was easily the size of Magma's Stennon, perhaps even bigger.

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

"Bwhahaha! You had me worried there for a sec, but that pathetic dragon is still weaker than Stennon!"

Yugo smirked cockily "Not for long. I activate the Spell Card Forbidden Lance!" The card art depicted a Greek goddess holding a long lance "I get to target one monster on either player's field and its attack is reduced by 800 for the rest of the turn! I target your Stennon!" Out of the card formed a lance which shot out at the lava behemoth, aiming directly for its back.

However, Magma wasn't about to let his ace be targeted by such a petty card "I activate the effect of Stennon! When this card is targeted by a card effect, I banish one Laval monster from my graveyard to negate and destroy the targeting card! I banish my Handmaiden to destroy your Forbidden Lance." Stennon turned around and from the cannon on his arm, obliterated the lance in a torrent of fire.

"Exactly as planned." Yugo said, stunning Magma and the crowd in silence "When a Level 5 or higher Monster activates its effect, I can use Clear Wing's effect and negate that monster's effect! The best part is that Clear Wing will destroy the monster and gain its attack points!"

"What?!" Magma roared, looking up with shaking eyes at his monster.

"Go! Dichromatic Mirror!" The dragon's wings shone a blinding white and as the light dissipated the magma behemoth was no more and Clear Wing had boosted in size.

Clear Wing's ATK: 2500 – 5200

"Oh wow! Yugo has completely turned the tables!" Melissa proclaimed to the adulation of the crowd, now chanting Yugo's name in droves.

"Heh. As expected." The purple haired teen in the stands said coolly, fixing his glasses against his face so that the sheen would hide his eyes "You haven't been sleeping on me." He muttered as he turned away.

"You aren't going to watch the rest. Things could still change." The same ghostly voice contemplated, only to earn a dry laugh from the teen.

"You clearly don't know, Yugo. This duel is over and I want to get out of here before he sees me…"

"Claude." Aru droned, earning his subordinate's attention "We should start going down now."

"Yes, Aru-sama." Claude droned, equally disinterested, handing Aru over the deep reed cane in his hands.

Back at the duel, Magma had just recovered from his shock "So what if you destroyed Stennon? I still have my dragon on my field, so you can't win on this turn! Next turn I'll b-"

"You won't be getting a next turn!" Yugo interrupted "I activate Shock Surprise!" The card art showed a shadowy electric figure in crosshairs "By banishing up to two Speedroid monsters from my graveyard, I can target the same number of cards you control and destroy them!"

"Impossible!" The delinquent duelist yelled as two bullets shot through his monster and his remaining facedown, which was Quaking Mirror Force.

"Clear Wing attack him directly and seal this victory!" Clear Wing's wings pooled up energy as it flew into the sky and then rained hell down on Magma, knocking the Laval duelist off of his D-Wheel.

Magma's LP: 4000 – 0

Yugo: Win!

"There it is folks! In a single turn Yugo was able to defeat Magma's ultimate monster and knock his life points down to zero!" Melisa yelled as the crowd erupted, even a few of the tops in the crowd were cheering Yugo's performance.

"I say he is good." One said holding a glass of champagne.

"But no one can beat Jack Atlas." Said another one holding a briefcase with contracts in it. "He even beat my loan combo." He said with slight contempt
Back at the track Yugo had gotten off of his D-Wheel and was making his way over to the centre where he was due to collect the prize for winning the tournament.

"And making the presentation to the winner will be the former duel champion and runner up to the Friendship Cup, Aru Kagawa!" Aru wandered casually onto the stage to the silence of the crowd and the narrowing of Yugo's eyes. In his left arm was the trophy he was to give, already filled with some degree of money.

"Congratulations." The smaller male said, thrusting the trophy over to Yugo frostily "I expect to see you get far in the Friendship Cup. It'd be a shame if you were to waste all that talent."

Yugo took the trophy but said nothing in reply, it was as he turned to leave that he felt something dig into his foot. Tracing his eyes down, he saw that Aru had stuck his cane in there and was pressing down hard "I don't like people who fail to be who they could be. If you do, expect to meet your maker." With that Aru retreated from the stage, still to the prevailing silence of everyone in the crowd.

"Ahem." Melisa cleared her throat, trying to dispel the awkward silence that had settled "So…Is there someone today in the stadium that you would like to dedicate your win to?"
Yugo snatched the microphone from the cowgirl's hands before she even had a chance to react "I would like to dedicate it to my childhood friend Rin who has been supporting me all these years!" Up in the stands Rin was tearing up hearing this as she thought back to when she and Yugo first decided to build their D-wheel three years ago.

(Three Years ago)

In a scrap yard Yugo and Rin were busy scavenging for parts to their work in progress D-wheel.

"Is this the right piece?" Yugo was asking Rin holding a small metal cylinder in his hand.

Rin looked up from the pile of scrap she was looking through to see the part Yugo asked her about, "Yugo…That's the fifth time you've asked me today…On the same piece…"

"I know that," Said Yugo folding his arms, sticking out his tongue "I'm just making sure, if we want the D-wheel to be perfect you can't be too careful."

Rin collected Yugo's part and the parts she had found and went to give them to the owner for sale. On the way there Yugo said "I can't believe the tops just through this stuff out,"
He folded his arms behind his head "I mean the part I just found was brand new."

Rin smiled "Well, Yugo, one man's trash is another man's treasure." Carrying the parts they lead them on the counter in front of the owner who asked them a question.

"Aren't you a little young to be out here by yourselves?" The man asked concerned about them.

"Yes we are but don't worry our orphanage is just round the corner." Rin's conviction in her voice caused the man's worries to disappear.

"What do you need all these parts for?"

"We're going to build a D-Wheel to duel in the friendship cup!" Yugo's energy was undeniable to the man who to once had a dream about dueling there too

"You know what kids…I won't charge you for these parts go and follow your dreams"

"That's great Mr thank you very much!" Rin and Yugo quickly hurried off to their orphanage to start putting the finishing details on their D-wheel.

(1 hour later)

"There we go!" Yugo finally got the chance to stand up straight, he had been bent over since they got back and he could feel his back crack as he got up. "It's finally done."
Rin stood beside Yugo "So what colour do you want to paint it?" She asked him.

Yugo's face fell "Oh…I hadn't thought that far."

Rin simply laughed as it looked like was having a tough time trying to decide, "It's okay Yugo we will paint it white, your colour, the colour of Clear Wing" Yugo turned to face Rin, she could see the curiosity in his eyes.

"Are you sure Rin? You're okay with it?" She then put her hand on his shoulder.

"When we duel in the Friendship Cup you'll probably get further than me so it is fine with me."

Yugo's face reddened, "Okay-y-y Rin."

(Present Time)

"Rin…RIN!" Yugo shouted snapping Rin out of her flashback and back into reality,

"Yugo? I thought you were supposed to be down at the track?" Rin could see the trophy in his hand, looking around see also saw that everyone had seemingly left, even Sakura had pulled a vanishing act, but that was pretty standard of her to just leave whenever she felt like it.

"I was there, but that Kagawa guy was a real ass so it didn't go on as long as it should've. Anyway, I've been trying to get your attention for the past ten minutes!" Rin didn't miss the fact it was now Yugo's turn to get annoyed at someone's tardiness.

"Sorry Yugo, I was just thinking back to three years ago" Yugo's anger subsided as he realised what she meant, he had a habit of living in the past as well. "It time to go Rin I-" Rin tuned out Yugo as just over his shoulder she could see the hooded figure. This time it was impossible for it to be Sakura, the energetic enigmatic girl had vanished and looked distinctly different, Rin now noticed, from this person. His face was barely visible, all she could make out was the twisted grin on his face before he too disappeared without a trace.

Rin!" Yugo shouted again causing her to switch her attention to him "Stop spacing out we need to go now!"

Rin could only nod, the thought of being followed still dragged her down, how long before this person attacked her? What was he going to do to her?

They both left out the front entrance where they had arrived earlier in the day, departing in a similar manner to the arrival.

However, had they gone out the back entrance, they would've come across a rather interesting discussion. "You're a fraudster. Aru Kagawa."

"Huh?" Aru replied to the ominously calm voice from the girl in front of him "I don't have the faintest idea what you could possibly mean." He said with a cold expression on his face.
Stepping out of the shadows and with her hood still up was Sakura "Stop it there. You're a terrible liar, anyone with half a brain can see through that façade and see who you truly are."

"If you are so confident, why don't you 'expose' me in the open then? Sakura-san." There was something increasingly malevolent in Aru's cold tone.
Sakura shrugged her shoulders "Unlike you, I actually have a set of morals and prefer not to expose people in public so that I can blackmail them into doing my bidding. Aru-sama."

"Well, then. This is getting awfully frosty isn't it?" Aru said sarcastically, twirling his cane in his hand "If you have nothing more to say then I suggest that you move out of my way before I make you."

"Oh, I'm not about to go until I expose the real you." Sakura replied instantaneously.

The twitching of Aru's upper lip was the first sign of something about the Top's cold exterior cracking, his tone gaining an even more malevolent and even psychotic nature to it "The real me eh? What is truly defined as 'Real'? How can I be sure that I am talking to the real you and not some role you're playing for this situation? We're all beasts on the inside, Sakura-san." Aru passed by Sakura as if she weren't even there, not even bothering to turn round and look at her "The only difference in humanity is how we choose to use that beast…" And with that, the blond haired teen had vanished into the shadows.

During the ride back, Rin had remained quiet, still thinking about her stalker and whether she should tell Yugo.

"Rin?" Whether she told him or not Yugo's voice was still a comfort to her, "You've been quiet is something wrong?"

Rin didn't want to worry Yugo as they arrived back at the garage "It's nothing Yugo." Rin rubbed her arm and was looking rather solemn, she really didn't want to talk about it anymore, however, Yugo's piercing glare made her second guess her thoughts "I just have this feeling I'm being followed." Yugo listened carefully as Rin continued to explain what happened earlier today and over the previous days as well.

"Over the past couple of days I've seen this person who seems to be following me, at first I thought it was nothing as I only saw him out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a trick of the eye just like you said earlier today and he wasn't really there but…" Yugo urged Rin to continue "Today he was more prevalent I saw him twice today. First when we were leaving for the tournament final, I saw him standing in the alley looking directly at me as if he was specifically targeting me," Yugo watched as Rin struggled through the explanation, he would let her rest afterwards. "The second time was just at the tournament he was standing not far behind you. I even mistook Sakura for him at one point." Yugo was shocked at how close he had come to Rin's follower, he couldn't believe he hadn't noticed, he mentally cursed "I could see the grin on his face, it was maddening I felt like I was staring into the abyss and the abyss was staring back into to me."

Rin was still solemn as Yugo finally spoke, "Everything is going to be okay Rin I'll protect you… Get some rest and then tomorrow we'll go find this guy and take him out! Make sure to take your disk, just in case this creep attacks!" Yugo placed his hands on Rin's giving her a comforting smile.

"Thanks Yugo…" Rin left to get sleep with Yugo spending time finely tuning the D-wheel.

Outside of the garage, said figure was standing silently outside listening in "Oh my, they're coming after me tomorrow what ever will I do?" He was as mocking as could be, he was about to leave when a call came through his disk that made him stop in his tracks

"What is it Professor?" He asked.

"How close are you to bringing me the girl, Yuya?" The Professor's voice was demanding

"I'm outside their residence at the minute why do you ask?" Yuya was curious to the oddly specific question.

"I need you to bring her to me now!" An outburst wasn't what Yuya was expecting but he responded anyway, slightly shocked "Yes, Professor. I'll begin now." Yuya disconnected the call and began to make his move, still confused as to why the Professor had yelled at him like that. It wasn't often that he was yelled at anymore, those people didn't have the guts anymore seeing his new strength. It must have been a serious situation.

He entered the garage, Yugo despite all of his gusto just moments prior had passed out on the ground mere moments after Rin had gone to get rest, having spent too long tuning the D-wheel the night before and the exhausting duel he had just been a part of.

Yuya walked carefully as not to wake Yugo up, "So much for protecting your girlfriend Fusion." Yuya quietly whispered softly, mocking Yugo's name in the process of making his way up to Rin's room.

In her room Rin had noticed that the gem on her bracelet had started to glow a soft green, it was strange, she had never had this happen before, however, she didn't have enough time to question it before Yuya burst into the room. "Hello there…Rin." The sight of her stalker caused Rin to yell and to try and escape from the room, causing Yugo to awaken blow them.

"Was that Rin?!" Yugo's voice came as music to Rin's ears and she started to gain a second wind, throwing out and activating her duel disk. Yuya on the other hand was displeased that Rin had awoken Yugo "Silly girl, look what you've done!" Not caring much for the whole dueling aspect, Yuya grabbed Rin's bracelet arm which was now glowing an intense green as Yugo's footsteps could be heard pounding towards them.

It was just as Yugo was about to bound throw the door and teach the stalker a thing or two, the pair had vanished into the aether in a pool of green light "RIN! WHERE ARE YOU?! RIN?!" Yugo desperately searched for Rin in the house before taking to the streets on his D-wheel.

(Unknown Location in Synchro dimension)

Yuya and Rin reappeared in what looked to be another slum still in the synchro dimension much to Yuya's dismay. "You could've made this such much easier for yourself." He said releasing Rin's arm and readying his duel disk "You could've come silently with me back to Academia but no…" Rin tired her best to remain resolute as Yuya's face let loose a malicious grin "Still!" Yuya declared trying hard not burst into a fit of insane laughter. "I always enjoy crushing those who oppose the Professor!" Rin was determined, she would face down this creep and send him packing.

"Duel!" Both declared simultaneously

Yuya's LP: 4000 Rin's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"I'll go first, since I don't control a monster I can special summon Windwitch – Ice Bell!" True to the name, a witch with purple and frosty blue hair appeared as Yuya felt a chill run down his spine from the wintry blast that had occurred during the monster's summoning.

Windwitch – Ice Bell, Level 3, Spellcaster, WIND, Effect (1000/1000)

"Due to Ice Bell's effect, when this Windwitch is summoned you take 500 points of damage!" The witch conjured a blizzard knocking Yuya back against a nearby wall with his duel disk taking particular impact damage. He got up and sneezed due to the cold, looking rather pissed at this point.

Yuya's LP: 4000 – 3500

"Now I summon the Tuner monster Windwitch - Glass Bell!" A witch with teal hair that looked similar to the prior monster appeared

Windwitch – Glass Bell, Level 4, Spellcaster, WIND, Effect (1500/1500)

"Now I tune my Ice bell with my Glass bell to Synchro Summon! Level 7! Windwitch - Winter bell!" Rin's ace synchro monster hit the field immediately from the duel start, she knew that in order to pull her plan off she would need to go all guns blazing. The monster was one of a deep blue colour with a large teal sphere function as the monster's body.

Windwitch – Winter Bell, Level 7, Spellcaster, Synchro, WIND, Effect (2400/2000)

"Now Winter bell's effect triggers! I target one Windwitch monster in my graveyard and you're dealt damage equal to that monsters level x200! I target Glass Bell dealing you 800 points of damage! Take this!" Another blizzard appeared this time knocking Yuya's hood off, nearly taking his googles off as well.

Yuya's LP: 3500 – 2700

"I set one card face down and end my turn! Come at me you freak!" Rin put on a façade of confidence while in all reality she was still somewhat scared of this person.

Rin's cards x2

Turn 2

"So that's your strategy? To sit back and burn me for damage?" Yuya's monotone voice scared Rin more than when he was maniacal. "You're even more pathetic than I thought."

"It's my turn, I draw! I activate Performance Call!" This card showed two monsters, one was a rather creepy looking joker with a bowtie and overly large bowtie, the other one was a portentous hippo who was holding up a phone to the joker's ears in its hoof "This card allows me to add one 'Performapal' monster to my hand." A card ejected from Yuya's duel disk, he snatched it too quickly for Rin to see it. "I then normal summon Performapal Whip snake." A top hatted viper with a comically sized bowtie appeared bearing its fangs at Winter Bell.

Performapal Whip Snake, Level 4, Reptile, EARTH, Effect (1700/900)

"I too set one card face down and end my turn, it's your move." Yuya said calmly, not giving anything away just yet.

Yuya's cards x3

Turn 3

"My turn I draw!" Rin surveyed the field and her hand, she was confident that she would hold off long enough for Yugo to find her and then they would beat this guy together, maybe the even better scenario would be that she beats him before Yugo even gets here.

Meanwhile, speaking of Yugo, he was still busy trying to find Rin, he had felt the cold that he thought could have only come from one of Rin's monsters, given how often he dueled with her it was easy to tell when it was just a normal cold or when it was one of Rin's Windwitch monsters which had tormented him during his childhood with numerous colds and even pneumonia in one case, don't ask. 'I'll find you Rin and when I do I'll beat that guy into the dirt along with you.' Yugo went in the direct he best felt where Rin was, following the cold air.

"I activate Winter Bell's effect, once again targeting Glass Bell to deal you 800 points of damage!" This blizzard knocked Yuya's cloak fully off revealing his entire appearance to Rin, it also sent his disk crashing to the ground once more.

Yuya's LP: 2700 – 1900

"You're still going on with that burn strategy of yours? You have no right to call yourself a duelist!" Yuya was livid at two things, first, he had lost his disguise meaning if that idiot saw him he wouldn't be able to carry out the rest of the Professor's plan and second this strategy angered him to his very core.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Rin asked looking rather pleased with her handiwork, "Last time I checked you stalked me for a week and then tried to abduction m…" Rin was about to go on a rant before she noticed something peculiar about her enemy's appearance Wait why do you look like Yugo?" This was the first time Rin had fully looked at Yuya's face the resemblance to bore to Yugo's was striking to Rin was shocked and was about to start speaking again before Yuya cut her off.

"DON'T LINK ME AGAIN TO THAT IDIOT!" Yuya screamed at the top of his lungs, images of other people's faces began to flood into his mind and unlock memories that he didn't ever want to see again.

He was so loud that even a still relatively far away Yugo could hear him. 'Is that where Rin is? Yugo turned his D-wheel to follow Yuya's voice still screaming at the top of his lungs.
Rin decided in order to stop Yuya from screaming she would have to defeating him quickly before the people around here took suspicion as she was certain she was in just another part of the commons slums, "Winter Bell attack Whip snake!" The freezing cold took full effect as Whip Snake was simply snapped in half after being frozen by the cold.

Yuya's LP: 1900 - 1200

Yuya still screaming as he hit the ground, before he suddenly stopped to Rin's surprise, "Thank the lord, you've finally stopped…" She once again looked over the Crimson eyed boys face as he got up, "I don't know why I considered you a threat you're more of a whinger and fear factor person than someone with actual skill! I end my turn."

Rin's cards x3

Turn 3

Yuya stayed silent for a while, letting its uneasiness settle over the scene before speaking with the same level of frost as Rin's wintry monsters "You think you're so great. Duelists who hide behind burn strategies are usually totally worthless scum that need to be eliminated for their weakness." Yuya's soliloquy went on to his increasing psychosis "Think of it like a candle. It burns oh so bright but can be snuffed out by a strong blast of wind! Hahahaha! Out! Out! Brief Candle!" Yuya's eyes slitted as he laughed mockingly "You're about to see why I survived while the others did not! I draw! I activate my facedown! The trap Performance Reborn!" The art of the card showed the scene of a performer standing in a changing room as a hand from outside the card was handing him another costume "By banishing one Performapal monster like Whip Snake from my graveyard, I get to summon one monster from my hand!"

Yuya held the card in between his fingers for dramatic effect, letting the dread of what it could be fill Rin. 'Heh. It looks like those two were useful for something after all!'

"I summon the dragon with wonderful and beautiful dichromatic eyes! Odd Eyes Dragon!" The same card that had been by Yuya's side since he was a young child and for a while had been his only solace during the harsh early days of his Academia life hit the field with a roar. Just as Yuya had said, the dragon had dichromatic eyes of green and red, the green eye contrasting with the red scales and tail. In its centre was a set of white scales with a large sapphire orb in theme.

Odd Eyes Dragon, Level 7, Dragon, DARK, Effect (2500/2000)

"Now I activate Polymerization!" Rin looked perplexed, 'Polymerization'? There was no card she had heard of that had that name, come to think of it, he had a different duel disk to the normal one as well. Something wasn't quite right here. "With it! I fuse together Performapal Nightmare Knight with the Odd Eyes Mirage Dragon in my hand! Fusion Summon! Level 8! Performapal Odd Eyes Metal Claw!" Metal Claw took the form of a beastly armoured version of Odd-Eyes with shockingly metal claws where its hands should've been.

Odd-Eyes Metal Claw, Level 8, Dragon, Fiend, Fusion, Effect (3000/2500).

Fusion? Rin didn't have a chance in hell of knowing what that meant. All she knew was that the monster looked powerful and she needed to deal with it quickly. Luckily she had the right card to deal with it. "At this point I activate my trap card Lost Wind!" The art showed a lost traveller wondering about a forest aimlessly while a blue fog leaked out of the forest, the same fog that descended onto the field, "Lost Wind not only negates the effect of the targeted monster but halves its attack points! I target Metal claw!" The mist started to envelop Metal Claw but was stopped when a barrier formed from the electric energy now circuiting the beast's claws, preventing the fog from constricting the monster. "
Why isn't it working?!" Rin exclaimed while Yuya tried to contain himself.

"Since I used polymerization to fusion summon Metal claw it can't be targeted by card effects!" Rin took a step back realising all she could do know was hope Yugo could find her, "Battle! Metal Claw take out that pesky Winter bell! And here comes the best part! Claw's effect now activates! Every monster on my field gains 300 attack points!"

Metal Claw's ATK: 3000 – 3300
Odd Eyes Dragon ATK: 2500 – 2800

A vicious and quick swipe from metal claw tore Winter Bell in two with the last sending Rin flying into the wall behind her, sapping her of any strength to get back up.
Rin's LP: 4000 – 3100

"Odd Eyes! Direct attack! Spiral Flame Strike!" The strength of Odd Eye's attack knocked Rin further into the abyss of darkness, with her now barely able to keep her eyes from fluttering into blissful sleep.

Rin's LP: 3100 – 300

Yuya took this opportunity to find his cloak and put it back on as he could hear Yugo's voice and D-wheel approaching. The desperate yells and screams of Rin's best friend were pure music to his ears.

"Unfortunately, the show will have no encore tonight. I remove Nightmare Knight from my grave to trigger its effect, since you took battle damage you now take an additional 1000 points of damage! Drown in the Abyss!"

Rin's previously weakened eyes widened in horror as a ball of dark energy was shot directly at her, and upon impact she faded into unconsciousness rapidly, the last thing she heard was Yugo's screaming voice and the last thing she could mumble out was "Y-Yugo… I'm s-sorry…"

Rin's LP: 300 – 0

Yuya: Win!

Yuya went to collect his prize and just like he did with Ruri draped her over his shoulder as his face was caught in Yugo's headlights, the irate synchro duelist had his hand on the accelerator "Give Rin back now, you bastard!" Yugo then cracked his knuckles getting ready to crush Yuya into oblivion

"I'm so sorry, I would like to keep going but as I said prior the show is over for the night! Now if you excuse us, we need to leave! The Professor needs me back before the encore!" Yugo only briefly caught Yuya's face but he him was shocked into silence as he gazed upon his own face as Yuya and Rin disappeared with Yuya pulling out his Malevolent Flash card and pressing the return function on his disk.

"How…?" Yugo's day had just gone from great to utter hell in the space of a few hours. The realisation of what had just happened finally sunk into his brain as he took of his helmet and threw it to the wall, shattering the glass visor in the process.

(Fusion Dimension)

As Yuya arrived back in the halls of Academia, he expected to have felt a body wrapped around his shoulder. However, he didn't even need to look in order to see that Rin was no longer there. "What?! How did this happen?! Where'd the girl go?!"

His questions were soon answered when his duel disk suddenly started to activate and deactivate seemingly at random. It didn't take a genius to figure out what had happened "That girl…!" Yuya growled "She could be anywhere in this dimension!" Yuya was not looking forward to explaining what had happened to the Professor as he stalked off into the halls to Leo's Throne room.

However, the one thing Yuya wasn't aware of was that a certain grey haired teen was just within earshot of him, hid behind one of the pillars. 'Serves you right, everyone has to fail a mission at some point.' He thought as a smirk worked its way onto his features, but there was something annoying him

'Way to go and ruin my collection with that. Guess that she will just have to deal with twice the usual.'

Chapter Text

(XYZ Dimension)

"Show no mercy! Make them pay, Rise Falcon!" Shun's voice cut through the air with an unbridled fury, his falcon tore through the three mechanical dogs that were primed against him by three Obelisk Force goons, defeating them in one swift blow. Scraps of metal flew in the wind as did the duelists owning them, Rise Falcon savagely slashing their bodies and sending them careening into a nearby building.

Shun stormed towards one of the fallen soldiers and picked them up by the throat, shoving them violently into the air as his pupils diluted into an almost murderous rage "Take me there! Take me to Ruri! I know that you know where she is! You have no excuse!" His duel against Reisuke was just the tip of the iceberg. The Raidraptor duelist had been seething ever since, watching your sister being kidnapped right in front of you is something in normal cases that would be traumatising, however, with the things that Shun had already lost, Ruri was the final straw.

Yuto could prattle on all he wanted about some worthless thing known as mercy. These bastards deserved nothing. They deserved hell.

He slammed the Obelisk Force goon to the ground and placed his duel disk on their neck. Time to see if this new technology was going to work or not. "Meet your maker…"

But just as he went to deliver the death knell, he felt something wrestle his arm back, letting the goon scamper away, much to Shun's ever growing dismay. Angrily, he snapped round to see the asshole who had prevented him from his much needed vengeance.

"Shun, what do you think you're doing?!" Unsurprisingly it was Yuto who was the one to wrench his arm away "If you do that then we're no better than them!"

Violently, Shun ripped is arm from Yuto's grip "They started it! I've got every right to want to make them pay for what they did! Have you already forgotten what they've done? How can't you be angry?"

Yuto fixed Shun with a hard glare "I never said I wasn't angry, Shun. I'm just as angry as you are, but we can't go in blinded by rage and hatred. If we do that, then we are no better than those we call evil. If you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss will eventually stare back into you."

"Tch." Shun scowled, not really happy but he couldn't find a fault in Yuto's argument.

"What would Ruri think of you doing this? Would she condone these actions?" Yuto was certain that he had Shun on this point. He wouldn't argue anymore.

And that he did not as he begrudgingly rubbed his arm and bit in his cheek "Forgive me, Ruri…"

"Now." Yuto declared sternly "It's time to head back to base, the others sent me out to find you and they're getting worried." Shun didn't complain and feel into lockstep behind Yuto, but one prevailing thought stood at the forefront of his mind.

'Ruri… If it's the last thing I do, I will make sure you're saved.'

As they were walking away, a call came through on Yuto's duel disk which he answered swiftly, revealing a rather pissed off looking black haired 18 year old girl with thick tadpole like eyebrows "Yuto! Have you found Overprotective Brother Unit 1 yet?!"

Shun grumbled and Yuto laughed internally at that name, it was good to know that he hadn't forgotten what joy was just yet "Yes. I found him, you guys don't need to worry anymore."

The girl seemingly calmed down a bit but still kept a sour look on her face "What about him? Have there been any sightings?"

Yuto sighed, her fixation on that one guy was going to be her downfall someday "No. Just like those other two, he's too hard to pin down in one particular spot."

That revelation didn't seem to help the case of the annoyed girl "Fine, get back to base, and then I'll go out to find that bastard myself." And with that, the call went dead and Yuto sighed heavily as the two of them began the long trek back.

However, unbeknownst to either Resistance duelist, one of the goons was stalking silently behind him, with a maddening expression exposed by the crack in his mask. "Hehehehe, you should've taken me when you had the chance!"

But just as he was about to strike, a gloved hand shot out and pulled him into an alleyway with a yelp.

"Shush…" Came a very clam, very polite and sweet male voice accompanied by a finger to his lips "I don't like it when the livestock screams and struggles, it gets awful messy." From the corner of his eyes, he could see two sharp incisors protruding out of the male's upper lip. There was only one person in the dimension that those in Academia knew had that genetic quirk and from the white cloak the person was draped in, he knew that he was in deep shit.

He felt something warm drip down his neck "The chains of our fates have been entangled, karma is gone, have you realised yet?" That warm substance continued to flow down his back, more of it pouring through by the second "We've been put into a game of survival, and I don't intend to let anyone stop me."

The goon couldn't reply, he was still too distracted by whatever was leaking through his uniform. Then. He saw it.

Good lord did he see what was happening.

Blood… That was blood… And there was only one place it was coming from…

He'd neglected to look at his attacker, but now he did all in his power to wrench his gaze to the mystery assaulter.

If it weren't for all the red gushing out of his lips and the deep blood red of his eyes, he could've passed for a ghost with how white he was.

Widening his mouth to scream, his cry was prevented as the white clad teen threw his mouth just above his, letting the crimson liquid pour in. "I said before, I don't like my livestock screaming or struggling." The teen smirked "Best this ends here…"

A literal blood curdling scream was heard for a second, then there was nothing but silence.

"Tch, where is he?" That voice belonged to the same girl who had been calling Yuto earlier, presently she was searching through the ruined city of Heartland with an unattractive scowl etched onto her features. She was dressed in a pink blouse with a purple undershirt, a tarnished white business suit, and purple tights with black spike high heels and an anklet around her right ankle. Currently, she stomped throughout the city with a look of burning determination in her eyes. "That vampire has to be out here somewhere! Come out and face me like a man!"

"Oh, Misaki-san, you don't want to kick a hornets' nest. Chances are good you'll get stung." Once more, the suave, sickeningly polite voice of the white clad teen made its way into the situation, yet the owner of the voice was yet to make his presence clear.

Misaki sneered, eyes flicking to any possible position where he could come from "Don't speak to me that way, people like you should know your place in this world. The bottom of the barrel is where you belong, just like the pig you really are."

"I'm so hurt you think of me that way, Misaki-san. I didn't realise you thought poorly enough to equate me to livestock." You'd think for someone cloaked in all white, he'd be very easy to spot in the desolate wasteland of the city. Unfortunately for Misaki, it was a lot easier said than done.

"I lost respect for you the moment I laid eyes upon you." Misaki retorted, spitting her words out like the venom of a snake. "What you've done to us would make even the most benevolent person on this planet flip their shit."

"Then I must be doing my job." A voice so sweet and innocent sounding didn't really fit on the person who owned it, who was just beginning to slither his way closer to the hyper aware girl. "Order and balance were born from the minds of mad men with madness hidden inside, why continue on with the charade? Surely you realise that with nothing to tie us down anymore, we can unleash our natural desire."

He was getting close now, Misaki could feel it, that metallic smell was in the air again. It was attached to him like the plague and lingered even longer than the real thing "I don't have time for your games, Tepes, so show yourself!"

"As you wish!" Out of thin air, the white clad teen had appeared and slammed into Misaki like a steamroller. Smashing her arm to her back, letting a sickening crack go out as he started to grin wildly "Is this what you want? Because I'm down for it."

The girl's temper flared and she shot back, kneeing the male in the stomach just as hard "Hiding in the shadows is a cowardly tactic, reserved for only the trash like you." Next was a blow into the face which sent her victim tumbling to the ground with a nasty gash on his face.

Instead of looking pained, he looked oddly exhilarated "I didn't know you could hit that hard, Misaki-san." His saccharine tone didn't leave, even after Misaki had lifted him up by his cloak.

"There's an awful lot of people who'd like to see your head on a spike, Tepes." Misaki stated bluntly, her eyes not once lifting from her opposite number "Sadly, they requested you alive." She said with a contemptuous undertone.

"Haha, surely you know that I won't go that easy." As the hood fell from the cloak, the teen's snow white hair was revealed, it was short and spiky with the sides spiked into his face giving the appearance of two horns. It stood in great contrast to Misaki's straight jet black hair. "Defeat me. Then I will follow your demands. Lose and I'm a free man again."

"If it's the only way you learn your place, then I will gladly defeat you, Mamoru Tepes." At the mention of his name, the teen smirked, revealing his sharp teeth, which when coupled with his other features, including the ridiculously pale skin, made him look almost vampiric.

"Be my guest." Mamoru unfurled his arm and revealed a similarly white duel disk which had a red blade when activated.

Misaki said nothing further as she too activated her disk, which was purple in colour with a violet blade.

"Duel!" Both of them declared simultaneously.

Mamoru's LP: 4000 Misaki's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"I wouldn't be much of a gentleman if I was the one to take the first turn." It made Misaki sick to her stomach every time the ass opened his mouth. Every time he put on some sort of saccharine charade which made him seem pleasant, but deep down it obvious that it was exactly that. A charade. "I'll leave you to take the first turn, Misaki-san." The Not like it matters was left unsaid but clearly understood.

"To start, I activate the Spell Card Call of the Immortal Wyvern!" This card's art depicted the scene of a majestic dragon flying high across the sky roaring, meanwhile on the ground lots of smaller yet still regal looking dragons had just heeded the call to action, join the large one at the back. "This card grants me the ability to add two Divine Wyverns to my hand, so long as the total sum of their attack points is less than 2000!"

The two chosen cards were ejected, but they weren't going to be staying in Misaki's hand for too long "Next, I activate the Spell Wyvern's Imperial Diet!" This one showed a more humanoid looking dragon, sat on an illustrious throne of gems overlooking the other humanoid dragons all carefully queuing up to meet with the supposed Emperor. "By sending two Divine Wyverns in my hand to the graveyard, such as the ones I just added, I can add to my hand one monster whose level is equal to the combined level of the monsters I just sent to the graveyard."

The vampiric teen smirked, perhaps this was finally to be the day? "If I remember correctly. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you've used this exact set up before haven't you? I thought that since your determination to end my life was so great that you'd finally put some effort into a little more creative opening." His smirk grew wider as Misaki's face scrunched up "Then again, it is all the same with the Resistance. I swear that you people run about 10 copies of the each card in your deck."

Misaki wasn't going to take Mamoru's shit. Not anymore. "I don't give a damn what you think, Tepes! So what! So long as I can wipe that smug grin off your face I'll do anything it takes!"

Her tirade was waved off rather condescendingly by Mamoru "Are we here to duel or throw mud at each other? Because I'm here for the former." Once more, it was the pleasant calm tone that he used that really irritated the raven haired girl.

"With that, I now summon Divine Wyvern Lindworm!" The monster that appeared was a long, lanky and most importantly of all, massive red scaled dragon that stood on its two hind legs. It had two sharp blades on its arms and three spikes running down the dragon's face.

Divine Wyvern Lindworm, Level 4, Dragon, DARK, Effect (1200/500)

"When Lindworm is summoned to the field, it automatically calls two of its brethren to the field so long as they inhabit my graveyard and hold less attack points than it currently does! However these cards can't activate their effects or attack." Two cards began to reappear out of Misaki's graveyard and she held them out for Mamoru to look at, taunting him as much as she could "I summon Divine Wyvern Vishap and Divine Wyvern Kulshedra!"

Vishap was a smaller looking dragon when placed in comparison to its other two counterparts. It looked almost serpentine in nature, with snake like eyes, green scales and long forked tongue that would occasionally slip out from time to time.

Kulshedra was the largest out of the three wyverns so far, it also looked far more feminine in appearance when in comparison to the other ones. The scales were blue but there were occasional mismatched streaks of purple and its yellow eyes had somewhat normal pupils. The part that was the most distinctive was the fact that it had multiple heads.

Divine Wyvern Vishap, Level 4, Dragon, WATER, Effect (900/500)

Divine Wyvern Kulshedra, Level 4, Dragon, FIRE, Effect (1100/500)

Misaki smiled smugly at the white haired teen across from her. Even if his face didn't give his game away, she could tell that he was starting to get impatient. His insatiable bloodlust was going to be his downfall. This next move would make that certain "I now overlay my three level 4 Divine Wyverns!" The Xyz portal appeared in the sky above Misaki and her monsters flew towards it "I birth a majestic dragon whose light shines even the darkest nothingness! Xyz summon! Rank 4! Divine Wyvern Kur!"

Onto the field descended the very same monster that had been centre stage of the first card. With golden scales all over its body it stood on two clawed feet and was decently thin around the torso, but that got bigger around the chest area which was emblazoned with two scar like symbols. It had four majestic wings on its back with the top two bigger then lower set, it had razor sharp spikes on its elbows, with a set of sharp claws. Its neck was long and at the end of it, was the head, that had spines that spiked around it, and they were jagged with 4 blood red eyes, two of them were smaller than the other two. It had a tail that split into two at the end with each ending have detailed tip, and all over its body, were tube veins that were coloured purple, red and blue. Circling around it were three green orbs.

Divine Wyvern Kur, Rank 4, Dragon, XYZ, Effect, FIRE (2700/500) OVU'S: 3

"Ah, such a wondrous creature. It always makes me admire you more, Misaki-san." Mamoru cooed, his eyes slitting somewhat as he caught the scent of something wafting over from Misaki's side "Hmm? What's this?" He sniffed the air once more and a smile grew on his lips "You've hurt yourself." The vampiric teen said rather bluntly.

Misaki scoffed, grasping hold of her arm, wincing slightly as she did so. "I don't have a clue what you're talking about, pig, I've done no such thing."

"You say that…" Mamoru leered, licking one of his 'fangs' "But I know you're lying. It doesn't take a genius to realise that someone is in pain, plus I can already smell the blood dripping from that wound in your arm."

The raven haired girl grunted, so what if she had injured her arm in their fight beforehand? That wasn't going to stop her from showing this guy why he shouldn't ever mess with her again "Creep, it doesn't matter if I'm hurt or not, I still have more than enough power to put an end to your little game."

"Now that's an interesting claim. If there's anything that can stop me then I would love to see it." The vampiric teen unbuttoned his cape and let it fall to the ground, revealing the pure white suit and tie he was wearing underneath "When you've been dueling for as long as I have, you sometimes wish for someone to finally stand up to you and make something interesting. It's boring to win all the time, the livestock sent to me is barely enough to satiate my hunger, I'll enjoy your blood the most."

"Gah, don't get ahead of yourself, I set two cards face down and end my turn!" The two cards appeared then vanished as Mamoru looked on with an ever widening grin.

Misaki's cards x1

Turn 2

"Oh, guess it's my turn. I draw." Somehow it was possible for him to get even more annoying to Misaki as he started to shift into a more uncertain and childlike tone "Looks like I'll be summoning Progenitor Baldassare!" The newly christened monster was very much just as vampiric in appearance to its owner. It was wearing a white military jacket with black trim and decorated buttons. It also had black cuffs with white buttons that nearly reached up to its elbows. It wore white gloves and has a thick black belt encircling his waist, with two smaller belts below it forming an X over its posterior and front. It also kept a sword at its left hip.

Progenitor Baldassare, Level 4, Fiend, DARK, Effect (1500/1000)

"Then I'll conjoin it by activating the Field Spell Progenitor Council!" As soon as the card entered his disk, the scene around them quickly warped into a far different setting. Gone was the desolate wasteland of Heartland and in was a far more noble looking setting that was bathed in red light. Screens began to pop up and surround the two of them, unsettling Misaki but incentivising Mamoru to exploit that uncertainty further. "Welcome to my domain." The white haired teen fell back into a throne that had appeared behind him and crossed his legs "From here is where we shall conduct the rest of our duel as for as long as I control at least one Progenitor on the field, this card is immune from card effects and can't be targeted."

"Is that all?" Misaki said mockingly in an attempt to prove that the uneasiness had left her system.

Mamoru titled his head with a sense of childishness to it "Let me think a second…" He placed a finger to his lips and smirked "Ah, that's right! All Progenitors I control gain 200 attack points for each one with a different name that I have in my graveyard. Conversely, all monsters you control will lose 200 attack points for each one. Think of it like a quid pro quo if you will, I get stronger and you get weaker."

Misaki wasn't allowed respite as her opponent continued on with his turn "Next is Baldassare's own effect, when this card is summoned to the field I can add one Spell or Trap card from my deck to my hand." He fanned out the selected card and allowed Misaki to gaze upon it, the scene showed two cloaked vampires locked in battle with two opposing humans dressed in black and green military attire "I activate my Equip Spell Progenitor Blade and equip it to my monster!" The vampire took out the sword and Misaki watched as spikes appeared and pierced its hand as the previous silver sheen was replaced by a deep red one as a disgusting slurping sound rang throughout the field.
Misaki had to cover her mouth and use all of her willpower not to vomit her guts up then and there.

"Progenitor Blade's effect is as follows, whenever the monster equipped with this card attacks an opposing monster it gains 600 attack points during the damage step only, the monster it attacks also loses 600 during the following stretch."

"Still not enough, Tepes!" Misaki declared resolutely. This guy had already gotten to her once in the past and she'd be damned if she'd let him repeat history! "Kur holds 2700 attack points, even with the effect of your spell, your monster can only kamikaze itself into mine. You have nothing to gain from it!"

In response, Mamoru simply tutted and wagged his finger condescendingly. Sometimes the livestock could be so simple minded. "If you think that's all you think my deck and I are capable of then you are sorely mistaken." For the first time since meeting him, Misaki felt like she had seen the true personality behind all of the masks he put on "I won't take anyone insulting my deck. It has been in my ancestry since the first Progenitor first stepped foot on this earth over 2000 years ago, ever since then it has been handed down from Progenitor to Progenitor until it ended up in my hands. I'm the 17th Progenitor! And as long as I'm here, it's my duty to show you the power of our history!"

If it was possible to look even less bothered, Misaki still hadn't found a way "Blah blah blah. Can you stop blowing your own trumpet and start actually dueling now?"

Mamoru stuck out his tongue and lounged across his throne "Sure, sure. Battle, Baldassare attack! Bleeding slash! Remember Blade's effect! My monster gains 600 attack points and yours loses 600!"

Baldassare's ATK: 1500 – 2100

Kur's ATK: 2700 - 2100

Before the vampire could even reach the majestic wyvern Misaki had already swung into action "I activate Kur's effect! By detaching one overlay unit, I summon two Divine Wyverns from my deck but their effects must be negated and their attack is cut to Zero!" One of the orbs flew in and lit a fire in Kur's mouth "I summon two more copies of Divine Wyvern Lindworm!" Kur unleashed the flames and from them came the form of Misaki's remaining Lindworms.

Kur's OVU: 3 – 2

Divine Wyvern Lindworm x2, Level 4, Dragon, DARK, Effect (0/500)

"No matter! Baldassare continue on with your attack!" But Misaki stood smirking, not the least bit concerned as the blade inched ever closer to Kur.

"I activate one of my Traps! The Continuous Trap Divine Wyvern Sacred Ground!" This card showed Kur alongside the more humanoid dragon in the Imperial diet card. The humanoid dragon was carving want seemed to be some cultist symbol into the ground around him while Kur stood in protection of him "This card can only be activated when I control three Divine Wyverns on my field, it prevents my monsters from being destroyed in battle for as long as this card remains on my field!"

Baldassare attempted to cleave through the sea of black flames that Kur had blasted out but was quickly overpowered and incinerated under the heat, vanishing into black dust and the sword landing with its tip stuck into the ground, Mamoru waltzed over with a sway in his hips and calmly lifted it out "When the monster that is equipped with Progenitor's Blade is destroy, the owner of the monster loses life points equal to half the monster's original attack. Drink, my sword." The spikes pierced the vampiric teen's hand and the blood trickled down onto the floor of the field.

Mamoru's LP: 4000 – 3250

"Then Blade's final effect comes into play, the monster that destroyed the Progenitor loses attack points equal to the Progenitor's level x200!" A spiked vine then slithered its way over to Misaki's dragon and proceeded to lodge itself deep within its veins "Don't forget Council's effect too, since Baldassare is now in my graveyard that is an additional 200 points gone." Mamoru added as the sword dissipated from his hand.

Kur's ATK: 2700 – 1700

'He's sucking my monsters dry slowly… 200 points doesn't seem a lot individually but it adds on quickly and before you know it, he's overwhelmed you. Instead of being outright stronger, his monsters swarm the field until your position becomes untenable. I can't let my guard down anymore.' Misaki thought, disgusted about the tactics her opponent was using and how it was affecting her wonderful dragon as the monster was visibly drained of energy.

"Finally, Baldassare's destruction effect kicks in. Since it was destroyed on the turn that it was summoned, I get to replace it with one more Progenitor from my deck, provided that the level is one lower. I summon Progenitor Karayan!" The new vampire that appeared was dressed in a very similar manner to the previous card, although this one chose to forgo the military jacket and was wearing a more formal suit instead.

Progenitor Karayan, Level 3, Fiend, DARK, Effect (900/600)

Karayan's ATK: 900 – 1100

"With that I shall set one card and end my turn." The screen nearest to Misaki sputtered into life and left her face to face with Mamoru's leering glare "Come at me, Misaki-san. I'd love for you to live up to our earlier claim and show me true despair…"

Mamoru's cards x2

Turn 3

"Tepes… You're going to regret ever having opened your god forsaken mouth!" Misaki slashed at the top card of her deck, but cringed as her injury once more acted up on her. Ignoring the exhilarated gaze of the Progenitor "Gah, I activate the Spell Card Wyvern's Ascension!" Standing front and centre of this card was the very same humanoid dragon and in it was the scene of his coronation "When I control two Divine Wyverns with the same name on my field, for this turn alone, one monster I control will gain attack points equal to the total amount of levels currently on the field x300! My two Lindworms are both level 4 and your monster is level 3 that totals 11! Meaning that Kur gains 3300 attack points!" She had made up her mind. Before the more potent effects of the Progenitors took hold, she would end the vampire right here and now with one decisive blow.

Kur's ATK: 1700 – 5000

"Battle! Kur! Attack Karayan and end this duel!" Kur spooled the flames in its mouth and then unleashed what was supposed to be the death knell of the vampiric teen "See you in hell, Tepes!"

However, said white haired teen hadn't lifted a finger, instead choosing to rhythmically tap one of the arms of his throne "You know something, Misaki-san. I always thought highly of you, while your combos are predictable that can be said for any member of the Resistance. No, I thought highly of you for what I discerned was a higher level of intelligence than the common livestock." For the first time, Mamoru rose from the throne "But I guess that when you're right 99% of the time, you're wrong once in a while."

"What on earth are you blabbering on about, Tepes!" Misaki was starting to lose her temper with this guy. His switching personalities was annoying by itself but now directly insulting her was just causing that fire to burn even more ferociously.

"Take dueling like a puzzle. When we first begin all we have is the picture of how the duel is going to unfold while the cards we hold are the pieces we must use to complete it. As more cards are played, the picture starts to become clearer as to who is going to be the first one to complete it." The attack came ever closer as Mamoru continued to pontificate in an extravagant manner "And you see… You're a few pieces short of ever touching me, Misaki-san! This card shall show you way you are simply light years away from my level!"
The face down card flipped up and showed a disturbing scene, a group of twelve young children each wearing white clothes and collars were lying dead in various pools of blood. Meanwhile, a silver haired more aristocratic looking vampire was looking rather pleased with himself, despite the bullet hole in the side of his head, as he walked away from the scene "I activate the Trap 7th Progenitor's Culling! Now… Listen closely." Mamoru walked straight into the line of fine with a look of manic glee etched on his face. "Culling has a few nasty little effects, you see. Let's start from the top! First of all, any damage I receive from this attack is cut in half. Karayan!" He clicked his fingers and within an instant, his monster had responded to the call and had taken the hit instead, leaving only a few flames getting through that at best could only tickle him.

Mamoru's LP: 3250 – 1300

Brushing off some of the ashes from his suit, Mamoru continued "The second effect now! As the name would suggest, the 7th Progenitor would like to do some cleaning up of the livestock. All monsters on the field are now destroyed and we take 200 points of damage for each one that we were the owner of. Since you destroyed Karayan, I have no monsters and this effect will only target you, kehehehehe."

The room darkened and immediately Misaki felt uncomfortable. A lump formed in her throat and she froze in place.

Then. A breath. Then an arm. Then the feeling of cold fangs pressed against her tender flesh.

"I think the 7th is a little hungry." Mamoru drawled "You wouldn't mind if he had a small taste, would you?" A cold sweat fell down Misaki's back, her mouth stayed locked in place "No? Then I'll take that as a yes…" And with that, the fangs pierced her flesh. She wanted so much to scream. She wanted to yell. But her mouth was refusing to obey the commands given to it.

Misaki's LP: 4000 – 3400

The light came back alongside Misaki collapsing to the floor, she was breathing haggardly and her eyes were trembling as she stared up to see that her proud dragons had vanished from the scene, images of how they went began to haunt her mind. "What the hell was that?" She just about managed to pass the sounds coherently through her lips as a searing pain penetrated her neck.

"You just had a run in with the 7th Progenitor and he found your blood to be delicious." Mamoru replied "It's time for the final effect of Culling and for the 7th Progenitor to make his full appearance. With this last effect, at the cost of dropping my life points down to 100 I can summon the 7th Progenitor to the field and attach Culling as an overlay unit!" The vampiric teen took out the ejected card from his extra deck "Born from the blood of the 2nd Progenitor, meet the current head of the council! Xyz summon! Rank 4! 7th Progenitor: Bathroy!"

Mamoru's new monster was the very same aristocrat that had been present in the vampiric teen's previous trap. It was a slender male with long, silver hair that reached down to his hips, his hair was tied back into a pony tail with a ribbon, he also possessed rather beautiful looks. In either ear were red diamond-shaped earrings. For attire he wore a white cape with a decorative cut over his shoulders and arms which reached down to his waist in the front and down to his upper thighs in the back that had black shoulder details. Finally he wore a white long-sleeved shirt with a decorative cut which had a black line with dark grey rhombi intermittently dispersed along it. A singular red orb floated around him.

7th Progenitor: Bathroy, Rank 4, Fiend, XYZ, Effect, DARK (2300/2000) OVU'S: 1

Bathroy's ATK: 2300 – 2700

Mamoru's LP: 1300 – 100

Misaki's breath hitched as she took in the monster. That monster was here again. How could she have not seen this coming? Better yet, why hadn't she thought of a failsafe?! God, she wanted to punch herself for being such an idiot.

"That shall be all for me." Mamoru said candidly "I believe it's still your turn though, Misaki-san."

"Argh! Shut your fucking mouth, Tepes!" Misaki exploded "Pigs like you are worthless! You don't get to talk and you deserve everyone punishment that I'm going to give you! Screw those orders! I'm taking your head on a pike!"

Mamoru looked amused, trading a brief glance with his monster "Well then, Misaki-san, I'm waiting for that knockout blow to come. Surpass me!"

The raven haired girl took a deep breath, she may have screwed up slightly and let Tepes gain one of his most powerful monsters, but she still had her normal summon and can still turn this around if she pulls this off correct. "I summon Divine Wyvern Luang!" Her new wyvern was small than the others, much smaller, tiny in comparison to the others being no bigger than the orb that was floating around Bathroy.

Divine Wyvern Luang, Level 2, Dragon, FIRE, Effect (500/500)

Luang's ATK: 500 – 100

"I then set one card facedown and end my turn!"

Misaki's cards x1

Mamoru blinked "That it? For that speech you gave I was expecting so much more out of you. How disappointing." He whined like he was a child instead of the 18 year old that he actually was.

'You've got no idea what's coming your way, Tepes. Your cockiness will be your downfall.'

Turn 4

"Well, it looks like we'll just have to finish this duel? Right, great grandfather?" Mamoru clapped his hands and Bathroy nodded, baring his own fangs.

'Great grandfather? Since when?' Misaki was taken aback by that title. He had used that card before against her and never once during that ill forsaken duel did she ever he him refer to his monster like that.

"But first, I'll just complete my puzzle to victory. I activate my second equip card Progenitor's Thirst!" The art depicted a young child being held in the clutches of a black haired vampire who had his fangs pierced deep into the child's skin "I don't think the 7th was satisfied with his earlier taste. In fact, I think he's hooked." True to Mamoru's words, Bathroy's eyes and pupils had shrunk as he began to hiss. "Thirst's effect adds a further 500 attack points to Bathroy's attack permanently until he leaves the field, even if this card were destroyed."

'So it stays on the field even if the monster equipped to it… That means there's something else about that card that he's not telling me.'

Bathroy's ATK: 2700 – 3200

"Time to fight! Bathroy! Vanquish the livestock's pathetic monster! Vampiric Flash!" Upon his master's commands, Bathroy sped off and was soon face to face with the miniature dragon. He reached out his hand and gasped Misaki's wyvern with a crazed look on his face. Then suddenly with the thrust of his arm, he gracefully punctured the dragon's skin and tore it in two. But a charge of energy still remained in the position were Luang had been destroyed.

Misaki's LP: 3400 – 700

Misaki knew what she had to do, this was the time to set her plan into motion "I activate my Trap Wyvern's Sanctuary!" A shining palace in clouds was what could be seen in this card "This card is activated when one of my Wyverns is destroyed by a Xyz monster and I at least took 2000 points of damage as a result of the attack!" Luang's energy began to race back and forth in between the two duelists "As such, all monsters that have an attack lower than the damage I took can be summoned back to the field for this turn only! Resurrect my Wyverns!" The energy stopped flying and stopped in the centre of the council room, it then exploded and eradicated the dark red light of the room, bathing it in a sea of yellow light. The monsters that appeared included two copies of Lindworm, Luang, Vishap and Kulshedra.

"I see." Mamoru said, placing a finger on his forehead in mock thought "You summoned that little Wyvern in an attempt to lure me into causing enough damage so you could activate that card, which I might add you had set since your first turn. Which means you at least had some degree of foresight. However, your card is limited to the difference of damage, which means that none of those cards you've summoned can defeat the 7th." He smirked and licked his fangs once more "But I figure that you aren't quite done just yet."

Misaki smirked triumphantly, the time had come to finally get her revenge "You're right about something for once, Tepes! I activate my other facedown Roar of the Wyvern Emperor!" This card showed both Kur and the humanoid dragon standing back to back, with Kur roaring and the humanoid creature pulling out a sword and charging towards the horde of enemies coming their way. "With this card, at the end of this turn all the monsters that I control will be destroyed and we will both take damage equal to the total amount of attack points of all my monsters. That total for your information is 3900 and with no attack it looks like your record is about to become blemished." The smugness coming from Misaki was so thick that not only could one see it but they could also taste it.

But that smugness wasn't to last long "Keheheheh, you really thing that, Misaki-san?" Mamoru said mockingly "Have you already forgotten the 7th's effect? Did I really do such a bad number on you then? Oh well…" He stood back up from the throne and collected his cloak, reconnecting it back onto his person as Misaki's eyes widened from the memory that began to replay in her head and began to superimpose over the current scene "I've had just about enough of you so listen to me, girl! By using one of the 7th's overlay units I can activate his effect!" The room darkened to an even deeper shade of crimson as Bathroy took in the orb in his hand "Whenever monsters are summoned during the battle phase, they must pass a test first! If they hold fewer attack points than the 7th then they aren't worthy enough to be in his presence! Feed, my monster!" Bathroy needed no orders to commence the destruction and he took great pleasure in the beautiful destruction of Misaki's last line of defence.

Misaki watched with shaking eyes as her monsters were torn limb from limb by the aristocratic vampire. It was too much too similar for her and the vomit that she had held in was now spewing onto the ground.

"And now…" Mamoru dramatically threw out his arms, basking in the glorious despair of his suffering opponent "Thirst's final effect! I destroy this card by paying half my remaining life points and with it Bathroy can attack you once more!" Thirst exploded into red particles that fed into the 7th Progenitor as the 17th looked on with bloodlust filled eyes "Drink your fill and end this duel!"

Misaki barely had enough time to regain her sense before Bathroy had her in a death grip around her throat and then sunk his fangs once more into her shoulder, this time round introducing venom to lull the raven haired girl into sleep. Misaki tired her best to wriggle out of the hold or do quite simply anything. But she found her eyes beginning to drop and her mouth began to slack too. Eventually it become too much for her to sustain and she fell into the darkening abyss. Seeing this had occurred, Bathroy dropped the dragonic duelist to floor and vanished alongside the council room.

Misaki's LP: 700 – 0

Mamoru: Win!

The vampiric teen waltzed over to the fallen duelist and knelt down at Misaki's side, running his thumb across her face "Oh, Misaki-san, you've not changed at all since we first met. You're still the same impulsive, snarky, bitch who has a penchant for taking even the tainted seraphs under her wings." He moved his face closer to hers, their lips only inches away "I feel like even in this chaotic situation, you'd be the one voice to advocate for everyone one to be saved, no matter what you had to do. You were always so good at pushing, but you didn't push quite hard enough this time round."

Mamoru proceeded to look his lips with the unconscious girl for a good 15 seconds before pulling back "I wish I could spend so more time with you, but I'm afraid I have to leave you now." Sounds of storming feet began to enter his ears as he turned away

"But I know you'll be coming back for me. That much I know is certain."

(Standard Dimension, Unknown Location)

When compared to all of the other dimensions, the Standard dimension was as its name would suggest, rather standard in its appearance. There was no obscene riches and abject poverty that there was in the diametrically opposed Synchro Dimension. There was no total devastation and the smell of burning ash that belonged to the XYZ dimension and there was no overt control freakery that belonged to the Fusion dimension.

The Standard dimension resided around a major place called Maiami City. It was a standard looking city with a few skyscrapers here in there with one in particular standing above all the rest with 'LEO' emblazoned on the side of it. But just like any place, there was the "dark" side to the city, where all the delinquents and scoundrels would roam about, ready to punish any poor sap who had the misfortune of wandering onto their turf.

"Ignis, attack." The voice of a male spoke in monotonous fashion, directing his monster to finish off his now cowering opponent. The monster he was wielding and had named as Ignis was a rather feminine looking mechanical doll. She was wearing a burgundy dress with a white collar, a purple hat with a golden ring, separate sleeves, and had long arms that reached almost to her leg. Her eyes are blue in color and have irises, making them eerily more human-like, there were also lines running down from both her eyes. She has two big golden rings on each side of her hat. Her hands had sharp, hooked protrusions on her fingertips. Orbiting around her lifeless body were two pinkish red orbs.

Upon her master's command, Ignis sprung into life and swiftly vanished from the scene, leaving the person's delinquent opponent scared shitless "Where'd it go?!"

"Astral finish." The voice replied coolly, not sounding the least bit interested or bothered, almost as if this was a chore he had to go through.

"Ah…Ah…AHHHHHHHH!" The delinquent backed up against the nearby wall with a petrified look in his eyes, his head twitching violently from side to side in a desperate bid to see where the doll was.

Then without warning, a clawed mechanical hand dung into his face and through the holes he could see the lifeless face of the doll staring back at him. "Now, you have but one last option." That was a second voice, which he hadn't heard up until this point, it sounded far more macabre and far less bored "Tell us where the headquarters of a one Reiji Akaba is and we will let you go without any issues."

"L-Look! Why ya asking me?! Everyone here should know where that is!" The punk replied, not really helping his case as with the snap of fingers, Ignis raised him into the air petrifying him even more as he saw his feet dangle above the ground, completely at the mercy of his assailant.

"I'll give you one last chance." The first voice took the lead again "If you point out his headquarters, then Ignis will lay off you and just as my partner said, this will all be resolved peacefully."

Now at his wits end, he pointed with a shaking finger to the LEO skyscraper "H-He should be there…"

"Ignis. Return to me." At her master's command, Ignis retreated back to her master's side, dropping the criminal in the process. "Thank you for your co-operation."

It was then that the first figure stepped out of the dark. He stood at about 6'2 making him seem like a giant to the belittled criminal. For clothing he was wearing a tattered black dress shirt that was torn near the bottom and the arms, down both of his arms there were multiple black tattoos which look took several different forms, with one looking like a knight and another looked to be like a huge dragon. He also wore ripped grey trousers and black combat boots with golden trims. Around his neck was a pendant with a red crystal in the middle surrounded by a blue trident like design. In terms of physical appearance his hair was light blond, long and somewhat spiky with it tied back by a red scarf. Finally he wore a black mask and goggles making it impossible to tell his identity. Attached to his right arm was an oddly designed duel disk that was burgundy in colour, the same colour that belonged to the monster behind him.

"Now, vanish." Within a purple flash, where once was a person was now a single card, which the blond haired individual picked up casually.

'Let's see how you hope to handle this one, Akaba.'

Chapter Text

"Seriously! Yuri! Stop trying to scare us for once!" Those scolding words belonged to a girl that had had dark pink mid-length hair, tied up in pigtails, clipped down by blue spherical hair clips which also featured two lighter pink bangs that fell to the side of her face. Her outfit consisted of a sleeveless light-blue and white shirt with a green musical note on the right collar, along with a pink tie, a maroon skirt, dark stockings, and pink trainers. With them being laser locked on the screen above the system she was operating her usually bright blue eyes were in danger of turning a demonic red through the pure hatred that was exuding through her very being.

"Hahahaha…" A laugh that sounded an awful lot like a malevolent phantom danced through the walls of the school they were in. The girl gulped as the anger in her subsided and was replaced by a crippling sense of uneasiness.

The fear seemed completely detached from anything though if what the field looked like and how one of the people in it was acting. The field was an illustrious, graceful and open field full of different kinds of plants and flowers such as chrysanthemums, roses, lilies, camellias that extolled the beauty of the field. However, there was a dark more macabre side to it, the side where the laugh had come from. It was filled with thorny plants with saliva dripping from the monstrous mouths they had. Venus Fly Traps, Solanum Dulca and numerous other disgustingly deadly plants filled out the foreboding side.

The other individual was a male who was stockily built and rather muscular with a hulking frame, easily equivalent in height to some adults. His black hair was styled into a large pompadour, and his nose was oddly somewhat redder than the rest of his face. He wore a jacket over a buttoned white coat that had a golden trim, as well as having white trousers and metal sandals there was a white sash crossed over his back tied at the left shoulder. Just like the girl before him, the large male was unimpressed "Yuri! The man Gongenzaka doesn't appreciate this! Come out and take our duel seriously!" His voice was gruff and as odd quirk, he had just referred to himself in the third person.

"You see, I'd love to do that…" A light hearted mocking voice ghosted around the field as the flowers and plants started to sway "But, my very friend Gong, my dear lady Yuzu, you're forgetting who you're dealing with here."

The girl, now revealed to be a one Yuzu Hiiragi had by now, against her better judgement, placed her face against the screen like a toddler looking at TV screen for the first time, meanwhile Gong felt something tap his shoulder "Boo." And with those simple words uttered from Yuri's mouth, all of the tension that had built up in Yuzu was unleashed in one punch that shattered the screen as she fell back.

"Oops…" She watched as the wires from within the screen short circuited and arced, catching fire and spreading to the main system, causing the field to glitch and return to its normal state of being a cage with a bland grey floor "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!" She yelled as she went for the fire extinguisher to put out the raging inferno.

Just then an older male wearing a yellows tracksuit and with fiery orange hair walked into the scene "Yuzu, do you k-" His eyes widened as he saw what was going on "Good lord! How did this happen?!"

"D-dad!" Yuzu stuttered, struggling to hold back the flames "It was Yuri's fault!"


"Own up to something for once, Yuri!" Yuzu shouted at the person who had caused her to set fire to the arc system, which would now have to be replaced. The person in question casted a fleeting glance up to her before turning his attention to his purple painted nails. "For god's sake! Look at me!"

Following the whole debacle, the three of them, Yuzu, Gongenzaka and Yuzu's father had spent the previous hour trying to get a reaction out of the purple haired teen that sat before them, lounging across the couch without a care in the world. "And why should I do that?" He quipped back, blowing on his nails to help the polish shine slightly better.

Something snapped inside Yuzu's head after that and everyone could feel it. Even Yuri couldn't help but crane his head in the pink haired girl's direction.

Said girl was furious. Absolutely fuming. Frothing at the mouth and with steam flowing out of her ears. Her hand was twitching as she pulled out a fan that seemed to grow ominously as she approached Yuri. Her feet causing the floor to melt as she stormed forward.

"Want to rephrase that little remark, Yuri?" Yuzu said in a sickingly saccharine tone as she loomed over the purple haired male. Yuri could've sworn he saw a pair of horns and a tail swishing behind Yuzu as the fan was millimetres from his head.

Yuri kept a neutral face, but inside every alarm was blaring and his mouth opened without him thinking about it "That's wasn't my fault, my dear, if you weren't so easily scared then it wouldn't have happened." Clearly, Yuri wasn't a fan of keeping his head on his shoulders. That remark had earned him a resounding thwack to the face, leaving a huge red mark diagonally across it.

By contrast to his daughter, Yuzu's dad, Shuzo Hiiragi, the school's principal, sat down with tears in his eyes, "This is bad, my Hot-Blooded teachings might stop here, without the Arc System possible students won't come, which means that You Show that will be doomed!"

"Calm down." Yuri evidently hadn't learned his lesson about keeping his mouth shut; Or Yuzu's fan had done something to his short term memory "That kid watching us looked like he was interesting in joining, you won't go completely dry of new recruits. Bet you he found the whole thing as funny as I did."

Gongenzaka looked at Yuri with an irritated look on his face, "Yuri, that boy wasn't laughing at all."

"Huh? Oh come on Gongenzaka, he was almost falling over in laughter." Yuri said in a remarkably blasé tone.

All that did was make Gongenzaka even angrier, "Yuri! There's a huge difference between laughing because you make them happy and then laughing at you because you're making a fool of yourself."

Yuri scowled as he put his fingers in his ears "Bah! I very much like the use of my eardrums, so please do refrain from yelling any louder, Gongenzaka."

Gongenzaka looked at the poster behind where Yuri was sat, it was the poster of a man with black hair, stubble, and dressed in an odd magician's outfit flying across the sky on an equally odd looking magician "Your father, Yusho Sakaki managed to touch the hearts of the audience with his dueling and made them smile and laugh with happiness." Gongenzaka then looked at him, "Have you forgotten about his dueling that brought so much happiness to people?"

It was clear that the mention of Yusho had a negative effect on Yuri as he glared daggers at Gongenzaka "And have you forgotten that, that man wasn't my father?" The room went silent after that "Even still…" Yuri grasped the singular purple earring that was dangling over his right shoulder "He loved me like his original son, the most I could owe to him was to fill that hole in his heart."

That sent every back to seven years ago, when Yuri had first arrived at You Show.

It was in the dead of night.

A startled Yuri rubbed his eyes in disbelief at his surrounding area, just a moment ago he was walking in the corridors of Academia and now he seemed to be in a makeshift building which looked like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Colourful letters that spelled 'You Show Duel School' alerted him to where he supposedly was. With his confusion only growing, he pulled out his most trusted card, which had been glowing this entire time. "Starve Venom… What's happening..?"

"Are you okay there?" Yuri jumped as a voice spoke out and turned to see a middle aged man with fiery orange hair staring back at him, the younger version of Shuzo, he took a closer look at him and exclaimed in shock "YUYA!" Yuri covered his ears, good lord, this man was loud "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE SO LATE?!"

After having recovered from his developing ears being assaulted by the dimension's equivalent to a megaphone, Yuri quickly adjusted to the situation at hand "I regret to inform you sir, but I'm not this Yuya you speak of."

Shuzo looked perplexed, rubbing his forehead trying to think of a response, it didn't make any sense, if this wasn't Yuya then why was there someone with the exact same face as him? They even sounded roughly the same. "Well, who are you then and why do you look exactly like him?"

Yuri couldn't believe what was happening but pressed on anyway "I'm Yuri and I still don't know this Yuya person."

Wanting to clear any doubt Shuzo leaned in closer to get a more precise look at Yuri's face, Yuri shivered unused to someone getting this close to his face. Shuzo's face darkened as he retreated his stance back to where he was, there was something different after all, in fact he felt like a total idiot for not noticing everything initially. The thick eyebrows, the purplish pink eyes and the purple-pink hair that had two antennas sticking up.

"Hmmm… Okay I believe you, Yuri. But that still doesn't explain your resemblance to Yuya." Yuri was about to speak when Shuzo raised his hand "Follow me." Yuri obliged as he followed the man throughout the building, as he did so Yuri noticed how this place paled in comparison to Academia but strangely he felt his sprit lift, the warm and welcoming nature was a lot different to the cold harshness he had felt at Academia. "Where am I again?" Yuri asked wanting to have some conformation as to where he actually was.

"You're at You Show Duel School!" Shuzo shouted with passion, once again causing Yuri to cover his ears "The pride of Miami City!" Yuri was about to question the last part before getting cut off "Founded by the one and only!" The man pointed to a picture of a man wearing a red performer's outfit "Yusho Sakaki!"

"Who's that?" Shuzo's face fell at Yuri's question "I've never heard of him…"

"WHAT!" Yuri could swear that he was going to lose the use of his ears before he could get out of here. "Have you been living on an island for the last couple years?!"

That was very strangely an actually accurate question, "Tell me more about him."

At this point the man in question arrived into the room. Looking as if he was in search of someone as he was panting heavily and his eyes were frantically

"Yuya! Thank goodness! There you are!"

'Wonderful, just how many times is this going to happen?' Yuri sighed and rubbed his temples this was going to be a long night. He hoped that he'd be able to get back to Academia soon and out of this lunatic asylum.

(2 hours later)

"So, once again, I'm Yuri, not your son, Yuya." Yuri sighed, how could these people be so stupid? He was very, very, clearly his own person and frankly, he was getting annoyed at the constant misidentification.

"So why do you look so much like him?" Yusho narrowed his eyes, something had just crossed his mind

"For the fortieth time I have no clue why, I don't even know who Yuya is! Now please let me leave!" Yuri pushed his way through the two men, surprising them with how strong the 9 year old was. However, as he was about to leave, he found himself being grabbed by the collar of his shirt by Yusho.

"I think you best come with me… Yuri." There was something brewing in Yusho's mind, something that went back to an old colleague of his. He wouldn't be surprised if Yuri turned out to be exactly what he was thinking he was. He needed to see what 'Yuri' was like for himself.

"Al-l-l right just-t-t let go-o-o you're choking me!" Yusho did as he was told and allowed a still wheezing Yuri to follow him out of the building.

(One month later)


"YURI!" Yoko's voice caused the purple haired boy to bolt down stairs, during the month he had spent at Yuya's house he learnt not to cross the former bike gang leader. 'She's even worse than the Professor when mad.' Yuri could still feel the pain of that day on his face, a mark he wasn't sure was ever going to leave him. "Yes mother?"

"Breakfast is ready, so sit down with your father, he wants to talk to you about something." Yuri peered across the table to see Yusho there, coffee mug in hand.

"Yuri," Yusho said taking a sip of his coffee as Yuri sat down "Your mother and I have elected to send you to Yuya's school." Yuri's face dropped he still didn't understand why he had to go to school. "I know you'll find it tough at first but you'll get used to it." Yuri poked at the food in front of him thinking about what to say next. "Now before you find a way to weasel out of going to school we've already sorted out a uniform and told the teachers that you will be in the class tomorrow."

Yuri finally spoke up "Why can't I just stay here with you? You've been doing it like this for the past few weeks anyway." He sighed and closed his eyes "It's so nice here with just you…" It was still a foreign feeling to have someone actually care about him for how he was as a person. Not having them just being a sycophant because of his dueling skill.

Yoko stepped in "Because you need to socialize with people and you can't just stay here for the rest of your life."

Yuri pouted and folded his arms not talking for the rest of breakfast. Yuri continued to mope about for the rest of the day even when Yusho offered to duel Yuri to make him smile Yuri turned the offer down citing that he wasn't in the mood to do it.

Honestly, he didn't see the point of this whole thing. He was just a temporary replacement until Yuya would come back and take back his place in the household, he'd probably just be relegated down to the lesser child as the emotions of relief would cause Yuya to gain all of the love.

Why was he even bothering with the thought that he might have a loving family after all?

This thought continued long into the night.

Until there was a knock at his 'Yuya's' his mind chose to remind him as there was another knock

"Yuri?" Yusho opened the door and stepped into Yuri's room to see the young boy curled up in his sheets in the middle of his bed, head buried in his shirt. Yusho went up and placed his arm around the boy. "Yuri, you know it takes less muscles to smile then it does to frown." Yuri took his head out of his shirt to look up at the man who told him showing emotion wasn't bad like the Professor made out to be. Yusho smiled at the boy who shared his former son's face. Sure it was unnatural, but honestly, he's pretty sure that he'd seen weirder things in his life, this could all be a coincidence, and doppelgängers were a thing

"This is something that I told Yuya and I think it'll be relevant for you to know. If you ever feel like crying, laugh instead. You can never move forward as a person if you sit about feeling sorry for yourself." Yuri looked on in disbelief he couldn't believe what he was hearing that had to be the most stupid philosophy he had ever heard in his life but for some strange reason he felt compelled to follow it, maybe it was still the remnants of always wanting to follow orders. At the start he as he let out a small chuckle which felt oddly nice.

"That's it Yuri! Let it all out!" Yusho laughed as Yuri's got progressively louder, it wasn't a cruel one that he had done many times in the past, and instead it was one of a genuine warmth and belonging.

Yuri was happy.

(The next day)

"Be safe Yuri!" Yoko shouted as Yuri left the house for the first time since he had been transported here. "I will, you have no need to worry mother." Yuri shouted back with a small smile on his face Yusho following him to make sure that he wouldn't do anything unwarranted, they'd began to notice a few habits of his that they may need to cut back on. Starting with that opinions plant habit.

Yuri continued on towards the school making his way to the gates, minding his own business when he was suddenly blind sighted by a fan from a young pink haired girl in front of him. "What was that FOR?!" Yuri was trembling with anger as he ran towards the girl and grabbed her "Tell me or else!" The insolence simply wouldn't be tolerated, as far as he was concerned he was going to be far superior to these reprobates!

The young girl shook as Yuri released her under instruction from Yusho who he saw was looking on disapprovingly, "Y-Y-Yuya…You're scaring me…"

Yuri sighed as he heard Yuya's name mentioned 'Not this again.' He took another look at the girl's face and was shocked. It reminded him of someone that he had seen once or twice at Academia before but never spoken to, she'd always be beside the Professor's side and also looking for a fight of some description.

He had to explain this very carefully, if it took Yusho and Shuzo hours to understand, chances were this young girl was going to be clueless for even longer "I'm not Yuya…" The girl cocked her head, "I'm Yuri. Who are you?"

The girl thought this over before laughing and playfully punching Yuri on the back of the head "Silly Yuya." Yuri began to rage again, rubbing the spot where the punch had been surprisingly strong "How could you not remember me? I'm your best friend, Yuzu."

Yuri by now had calmed himself enough to answer "Like I said before I'm not Yuya, but it's a pleasure to meet you, Yuzu" He extended his hand out in a polite greeting, Yuzu blinked owlishly, she didn't understand why Yuya was acting in this fashion or why he had disappeared for a month on her or why he had changed his appearance so completely.

It took her a good while with eventual help from Yusho and her father who was nearby to get the full story even somewhat under control. "So Yuya's… gone?" She choked as her breath hitched as tears streamed down her eyes.

"There, there." Shuzo patted her, trying his very best to console his weeping daughter. She wasn't supposed to learn about loss yet, not when she was this young. "Yuri's here now and I think he can be just as good a friend as Yuya." Yuzu looked towards a smiling Yuri, super imposing Yuya's face over his.

"Yuzu?" Yuri asked kindly "I think we best be going into class now, we're late after all" Yuzu quietly followed still thinking about Yuya.

Meanwhile, the two parents were still standing as their children went off. Yusho rubbed the back of his head sheepishly "I'm beginning to think telling her that Yuya won't be coming back wasn't a good idea."

"You don't say YUSHO!" Shuzo rolled his eyes.

In the school foyer Yuzu was thinking about all of the memories she had of Yuya specifically of the duel only the other day.

"Yuzu?" Yuri tapped her shoulder "Are you alright there?"

To prevent Yuri from finding out her true feelings, she held in her tears when talking "I'm fine, Yuri." She put on a fake smile as she guided/pushed/coerced Yuri around the school.

After touring every aspect and every part of the school, Yuzu and Yuri finally arrived at their class. Everyone seemed to waiting for them and the teacher of the class stood up from his seat "Class, we have a new student today. Make him feel at home" Yuri made his way to the front under glare from everyone "I'm Yuri…" He said rubbing the back of his head.

"Do you have a last name Yuri?" The teacher asked him nonchalantly.

"Well I guess it would be Sakaki…"

The group stayed in that state for quite a while. It was actually the first time that they had reminisced about how this had all happened.

Yuri had changed a lot since then. Both in terms of personality, which Yuzu and Gongenzaka could attest to and also in terms of his appearance. When he had first arrived he was only wearing a simple purple shirt and grey trousers. That had since changed.

He was wearing his school jacket very much like a cape, underneath there was a purple dress shirt that had golden buttons on it. He had platinum trousers that went into thigh high black boots. In terms of accessories, dangling from his right ear was a singular purple earring, the most recent gift he had received from his father and also the last one he was probably ever going to receive. He also decide to once entertain the thought of wearing purple nail polish, maybe because he forced into it under threat of Yuzu for wronging, maybe he did it of his volition. Doesn't matter now that it had stuck with him.

"So…" Yuri began, reclining on the sofa once more "What's going to happen now?"

As if declared by Providence, moments later the door to the sitting room opened up and a man with a yellow and black suit, glasses and a small moustache that would ring alarm bells in people's head if they had a vague knowledge of history, entered the room, all of them looked at him shocked before Shuzo spoke up, "Uh, who are you?"

The man smiled at him and dramatically threw out his arms "My name is Nico Smiley, and I'm the manager-slash-promoter of the current champion of action duels Strong Ishijima!"

Yuri's eyes widened in shock when he heard that, "You're the manager of Strong Ishijima?" Strong Ishijima was the person his father was supposed to duel against three years ago, and he currently was acting as the poster duelist for LDS, so all of them wondered why his manager had come to You Show Duel.

Nico looked at Shuzo to explain his clearly unwanted presence as was given by the multiple eyes trained like a laser on him "As you know Strong is acting as the poster duelist for LDS, and for his Fan Appreciation Day that is getting close, we would love for young Yuri here to appear there with him."

Yuri's eyes widened when he heard that, since he knew where this conversation was going, "Wait, so you want me to…" Shuzo narrowed his eyes as he also realized where Nico was going with this.

Nico smiled and nodded, "That's right, I want you to duel against him, which will fulfil your wish three years ago". Yuri lowered his eyes with a pained look in them, three years ago when his dad had not shown up to the duel against Strong, Yuri who had so desperately believed in his dad and had said that his dad was the furthest thing from a coward would show up and had said that he would take his dad place, which was one of the reasons why people had mocked him for the past three years, despite his inherent ability to creep the shit out of people.

Nico put a poster on the table, "Everything is prepared already, and all we need now is your approval." Yuri looked at the poster and saw how it said that Strong Ishijima would duel against the son of the famous entertainment duelist Yusho Sakaki

Shuzo narrowed his eyes, "Yuri isn't going to duel against Strong." Yuri looked at Shuzo shocked and angry at not being able to finally get the revenge he'd been seeking for the past three years.

Nico looked at him with a begging look on his face, "And why is that? People would love to see Yusho Sakaki's son facing Strong Ishijima."

Shuzo narrowed his eyes in anger, "I won't let you use Yuri as a tool to show off Strong like that!" Yuri looked at the principal of his school, he was greatly surprised by the level of maturity that he was showing, Shuzo closed his eyes "Have you ever wondered how Yuri have felt during over these three years? If you have said what you wanted then please leave right now." Yuzu smiled grateful at her dad for thinking about Yuri's feelings.

But all Nico did was stand stock still and smile at him, "Well that's too bad, we were considering rewarding you for your cooperation by giving You Show Duel the latest ARC System that has been produced by Leo Corporation." Shuzo's ears pricked up "Naturally, of course, it'd be for free".

Shuzo got an excited look on his face, Yuri and Yuzu could practically see the dog tail wagging behind him "For real?" His mind worked through the benefits they could reap. The ARC System that had gotten destroyed was an older version, and each new version is better than the earlier, so it could attract more people if they had the latest version.

However, he soon got smacked at the backside of his head by his daughter's fan, evidently she had gotten angry with him and she looked at him disappointed "Didn't you just say that you weren't going to let them use Yuya to show off Strong?"

Shuzo looked at her troubled, "Well that's true, but…" If they had the latest Arc System it could help You Show get more students, after all other than Yuya and Yuzu, there were only two other younger students. Gongenzaka wasn't even a member, instead choosing to attend his father's school.

Yuzu glared at him, she knew how her dad was thinking but she still didn't agree with it, "I know that the school that you and uncle Yusho made together is important, but still…"

Gongenzaka nodded, "What's most important is what Yuri is feeling about all of this". However at that moment they noticed that Yuri, like a phantom had vanished from the scene and wasn't there anymore.

Yuzu looked worried "Yuri..."


Standing in the changing room of the stadium made Yuri want to remember something.

But, Yuri didn't want to remember anymore, it hurt him far too much, nothing could eliminate the pain of that day, the man who had taken him in and managed to stay happy even when his own son disappeared had now too vanished without a trace.

Cries of "COWARD!" and "WEAKLING!" rang in his head.

A door creaked in the changing rooms, Yuri looked up to see Yuzu enter the room.

"Oh… Hello, Yuzu" He etched out still depressed by his memories.

"You don't have to do this if you don't want to Yuri." Yuzu mumbled, rubbing her arm.

"But I have to, I have no other choice, I need to prove that my father was no coward as the crowd would deride him." Yuzu noticed that Yuri was wearing Yuya's pendant, a blue crystal that was surrounded by a pair of silvery wings as it was the only thing that kept him going.

Yuzu was about to speak before getting cut off Yuri "I'll make them pay like nothing else." His eyes flashing bright purple for a few seconds before returning to normal. He stood up pushing his way through Yuzu at the door, revenge was the only thing on his mind.

"Ladies and Gentlemen! I'm Nico Smiley!" Nico declared into a microphone to the rapturous applause from the crowd. "Here it is! The match of the century! Now before we get to it, I'll set the scene with the action field 'Castle of Chaos'!" With a quick snap of the fingers the field spell appeared around Nico, a towering fortress erected itself in the centre of the field while the rest of it was surrounded by a lush green forest. "In one corner we have the undefeated champion of three years!" A man with tri pointed pink hair wearing a set of amour slowly emerged from the castle and stood atop the battlements. "Strong Ishijima!" He let out a deafening battle cry to the applause from his fan club I.e. the whole crowd.

"Now for his challenger, the adopted son of the great entertainment duelist Yusho Sakaki! Put your hands together for Yuri Sakaki!" The whole crowd expected Yuri to appear but as the time passed there was no sign of the purple haired duelist.

Up in the stands Yuzu, Shuzo and Gongenzaka watched on with anticipation.

"Yuri…" Yuzu muttered. Maybe he had gotten cold feet after all. He looked so confident and determined in the changing room, but Yusho likely felt the same. Maybe the occasion had gotten to him.

"If he doesn't turn up we won't get that new Arc system. Our school be doomed!" Yuzu shot daggers at her father as she forced him to retract that statement.

"He'll turn up… He always does" Yuzu clasped her hands together.

Murmurs began to go round the crowd.

" What a surprise."

"He's just like his father."



The crowd erupted into disapproval, Ishijima was in particular annoyed he'd been promised the chance to uphold his title against the one person who would have a legitimate claim to the title. "Where is that boy?! I need to crush him to prove my worth as the true champion."

Unknown to the crowd and Ishijima, Yuri was slowly making his way behind the champion. For the sake of entertainment duels, the kind of duels that You Show specialised in, Yuri had donned a half mask much like one that would be seen worn by a particular phantom that had a purple rose starched across it.

"Behind you!" The crowd roared causing the champion to turn around and get the shock of his life when the grinning Yuri was standing right behind him. The shock he gave Strong caused Yuri to laugh loudly much to Strong's irritation, "You little brat!" He shouted grabbing Yuri's shirt.

"Why are you surprised?" Yuri wagged his finger "A predator always surprises its prey! That's just natural selection at work!" Yuri was thrown down spitefully as the action duel chant began.

"Duelists locked in battle!" The crowd began the chant

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

"They storm through this field! Behold!" Yuri grinned as they chanted together.

"This is the newest and greatest evolution of Dueling!"

"ACTION…DUEL!" Their duel disks were readied and the duel began.

Yuri's LP: 4000 Strong's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"I'll go first!" Yuri declared "I summon Predator Plant Ophrys Scorpio!" The monster that emerged out of ground next to Yuri was a scorpion that looked like it had been gene spliced with a green plant covered.

Predator Plant Ophrys Scorpio, Level 3, Plant, DARK, Effect (1200/ 800 ) .

"I now use its effect by sending Predator Plant Cordyceps from my hand to the graveyard I can summon another Predaplant from my deck. Appear Predaplant Darlington Cobra!" Darlington Cobra was exactly what it suggested in the name, it was a Cobra mixed with a plant know Darlingtonia Califonica, it flanked Yuri to his left

Predator Plant Darlington Cobra, Level 3, Plant, DARK, Effect ( 1000 /1500 ).

"When Cobra is special summoned I can search out Polymerization from my deck!" The card ejected from the duel disk as he showed it to Strong mockingly

"What?! You can fusion summon?!" Strong shouted in ire.

Yuri laughed mockingly again "For how much you speak about my father, I'm surprised you didn't know this!" Strong eyes widened as Yuri jumped down from the castle "I activate Polymerization! Fusing together my two beautiful plants to create a botanical nightmare! I fusion summon! Level 7! Predator Plant Chimera Rafflesia!" A twin headed plant sharing the DNA of a Chimera and the plant known as aptly known as a Rafflesia sprouted from the ground drooling nectar from both mouths.

Predator Plant Chimera Rafflesia, Level 7 , Plant, DARK, Effect (2500/ 2000 )

Yuri elegantly glided down to his monster, or how the audience thought about it, fell with style on top of the monster which began to run away under its master's orders. The crowd fell into disapproval again murmuring. Nearby Yuzu one said "Well that settles it he's a coward just like his father." Yuzu at this point went ballistic attempting to run and smack that audience member with her fan before getting restrained by Gong and her father, "Lemme at him!" Gong's grip was too strong as she failed to free herself from his vice grip "That's not going to settle anything!" Yuzu sighed and retreated back.

"It's your turn now." Yuri was now in the forest as Strong began his turn.

Next to deriding him for being a coward, the crowd also began to comment on the appearance of Yuri's monsters. Some of the parents in the crowd had shielded the eyes of their curious children. Others began to blatantly yell out "Get rid of those disgusting monsters, creep!"

Yuri wouldn't lie and say that he wasn't at least a little bit offended by those remarks. But he had more important things to focus on now.

Yuri's cards x3

Turn 2

"You little runt I'm going to give you a beating you'll never forget! I draw!" The champion grinned "I activate Feast of the Wild LV5!" A huge bonfire appeared on the field "It allows me to summon two level 5 Warrior type monsters to the field with their effects negated!"

From there, two huge bulking behemoths both Platte swaps of each other and both wielding massive clubs appeared out of the bonfire, "I summon Lava Battleguard and Swamp Battleguard!"

Swamp Battleguard, Level 5, Warrior, EARTH, Effect (1800/1500)

Lava Battleguard, Level 5, Warrior, EARTH, Effect (1550/1800)

"I now release Lava Battleguard and Swamp Battleguard to Tribute Summon! Battleguard King!" The merger of the two behemoths emerged from the forest ripping tress out of their roots before letting out a deafening roar much to the excitement of the crowd as Strong jumped down landing on his monsters shoulder.

Battleguard King, Level 8,Warrior, EARTH, Effect (3000/1100).

"Battle! King attacks your hideous monster!" The king raised his club to smash Yuri's monster.

Yuri picked up a stray card that had a large 'A' printed on the back of it, this was the next key selling point of Action duels, Action cards. "I activate the Action Card Evasion your attack is negated!" Rafflesia dodged the attack barely, just sidestepping out of the way in time.

"Nice try but since I used at least one Battleguard monster in his tribute, Battleguard King can attack your monster again! Do it King!" A cloud of smoke appeared causing the crowd to wonder what happened.

Yuri was able to swipe another card, albeit a different one this time round. "I activate the Action Spell Miracle preventing my monster's destruction and halving the damage!"

Yuri's LP: 4000 – 3750

"I set one card face down and end my turn, it's your move little runt!" The card materialised in front of him as he begrudgingly ended his turn.

Strong's cards x3

Turn 3

"It's time for the finishing blow! I draw! I activate a continuous spell Seed Cannon Salvo!" As the name suggested a cannon made of the seeds of various plants wove itself up from the ground "Once per turn I send one Predaplant to the graveyard to inflict three hundred points of damage!"

Strong's LP: 4000 – 3700

"Next all of your monsters lose 600 attack points!"

King's ATK: 3000 – 2400

"Battle! Rafflesia attack Battleguard King! At this point Rafflesia's effect activates! It gives my monster an extra 1000 attack points and weakens yours by the same amount and by activating the quick play spell Predablast you are dealt damage equal to your monsters original attack points when it hits the graveyard! So that's game over!" The move went so quickly that the quick play spell went totally unnoticed by the crowd. It had as its design Chimera Rafflesia in the foreground with parts of it being loaded into the Seed Cannon.

Rafflesia's ATK: 2500 – 3500

King's ATK: 2400 – 1400

The very fickle crowd cheered as another smoke cloud appeared on the field with everyone expecting to see Yuri as the victor but as the smoke cleared there stood Strong, still on top of Battleguard King. He was panting and sweating heavily as an action card appeared behind him.

"I too activate the action card miracle"

Strong's ATK: 3700 – 2550

Yuri was horrified as he was certain he had won, things were about to get much worse now "I activate my trap Battleguard Rage! This card increases King's attack by 2000! Now, since it's the end of the battle phase your Rafflesia's attack goes back to normal!"

King's ATK: 1400 – 4400

Rafflesia's ATK: 3500 – 2500

"I end my turn." Yuri said dejectedly.

Yuri's cards x1

Turn 4

Already in a frenzy and feverishly desperate to crush this pathetic runt once and fall Strong launched into his attack without so much as drawing a card "Battleguard King attack Rafflesia!" The behemoth lumbered towards the plant hybrid, tearing through the trees until it was able to corner Yuri and Rafflesia. It bore down its club and smashed the plant back into the earth and sent Yuri flying back multiple feet, it looked like he was grovelling at the champion's feet and it maid said champion positively electric.

Yuri's LP: 3700 – 1800

"I now activate the Spell Card Battleguard Magic. It gives me life points equal to the half the destroyed monsters attack!"

Strong's LP: 2550 – 3800

Yuri lay on the ground.

Yuzu was right.

He wasn't ready to do this, it was too much for him to handle.

Thoughts went back to his training at Academia, there he beat everyone in sight without so much as breaking a sweat, it was ironic how the tables had turned on him.

He lay thinking of Yusho's words of wisdom.

He couldn't sit forever.

He needed to act.

He stood back up as Yuya's pendent around his neck began to glow.

"It's my turn! I draw!" At this point, something odd resonated around four different locations and to eight people in particular. Two cards in Yuri's hand changed. Predator Plant Fly Trap and Predator Plant Moray Nepenthes. They changed from the standard orange looking to a different style. The aquamarine colour usually taken up on the spell card had now shifted onto the bottom half, there was now also a two other sections that had numbers on them that weren't attack or defence. Instead they had one red and blue crystal above them.

The reaction Yuri had was felt by the other seven people this had affected. One of which just happened to be Yuzu, who now as entranced by the two shinning cards in her hands.

"With Scale 1 Predator Plant Moray Nepenthes and Scale 8 Predator Plant Fly Trap I set the Pendulum scale!" Both monsters than began to appear in blue pillars of light. Moray Nepenthes to the left had a large one underneath it whilst Fly Trap had gained an eight below it.

"What is happening?" Strong's eyes widened in horror as Yuri set the pendulum scale. What even was that?

"With this scale I can summon monsters level 2 through 7 all at the same time!" Yuri declared with a fire in his eyes.

"Swing pendulum of the soul! Draw an arc of light across the ether! Pendulum summon!"

"Starve Venemy Dragon and Predator Plant Drosophyllum Hydra both in attack mode!" Starve Venemy was definitely the larger of the two monsters. It was a huge bipedal dragon that had glowing yellow eyes with saliva drooling with from its mouth. Its wings were massive and thorny, if they didn't look so vile in comparison to the rest of the natural world around them, one could even possibly call them beautiful.

Starve Venemy Dragon,Level 7, Dragon, DARK, Effect, Pendulum scale: 1(2500/2000)

Predator Plant Drosophyllum Hydra, Level 5, Plant, DARK, Effect, Pendulum Scale: 4 (800/2300).

(Leo Corporation HQ)

Turns out the crowd wasn't the only one watching the duel.

"Mr President." A stocky, fair-skinned man with black hair that had four grey bangs at the front wearing blue-lensed hexagonal glasses with a grey business suit burst into a dimly light office.

"What is it Nakajima?" Came the voice from a young man with purple eyes and grey hair who was sitting on a chair minding his own business.

"Sir, there have been reports of a strange new summoning method with powerful fusion summoning too."

The grey haired teen raised an eyebrow "Fusion you say? Show me a live feed." The teen pushed his glasses up his face as he thought, his eyes keying in on Yuri. "Could it have started already..?"


Up in the stands Yuzu, who had managed to tear her eyes away from her still glowing cards as she joined Gongenzaka and Shuzo looking on in utter disbelief.

"Pendulum…" Yuzu stumbled over her words stunned from this surprising development.

"Alright! That's the power of You Show's ace Yuri!" Shuzo pumped his fist excited that Yuri was now on a path to victory (mainly just happy about getting the new Arc system).

"Now Fly Trap's pendulum effect activates! It switches the attack and defence points of all monsters that have had their attack points artificially manipulated!

King's ATK: 4400 – 1100

"I then activate Starve Venemy's effect! I target one monster on your field, negate its effect, make it lose 500 attack and finally you take 500 points of damage! Gluttony Spore!" Vines extended out of Venemy constricting the bulking behemoth sucking the life out of the monster before numerous small spores attacked Strong.

King's ATK: 1100 – 600

Strong's ATK: 3800 – 3300

"I play Seed Cannon Salvo's effect sending Predaplant Lilylizard to the graveyard you lose another 300 life points!"

Strong's LP: 3300 – 3000

"Next by banishing Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio I activate Hydra's effect causing your monster to lose more attack points, 500 to be exact!"

King's ATK: 600 – 100

"I activate Cordyceps ability from the graveyard by banishing this card I can special summon two Predaplants from my graveyard! Revive and sprout again! Predaplant Darlington Cobra and Predaplant Lilylizard!"

"Cobra's effect adds Polymerization to my hand and Lilylizard allows me to draw one card from my deck."

"I activate my second polymerization fusing Lilylizard and Cobra together!"

"It's coming…" Yuzu clapped her hands together, this would teach her to have little faith in her friend.

"Obscured predator of legend! Sweet-smelling flower that invites the abyss! Now become one and from hell beneath your petals, give birth to a new terror! Fusion summon! Level 8! Starve Venom Fusion Dragon!"The new monster that emerged from earth was very similar in style to Starve Venemy that had come before it. It was covered in purple scales and had curved yellow horns that poked downwards. It too had thorny wings but as more of an attack system than what Venemy would use them for. There were also two longer thorns that were dangling down to the ground.

The smell it gave off was pungent and many in the crowd were disgusted even more so than when Rafflesia was one the field.

Starve Venom Fusion Dragon, Level 8, Dragon, Fusion, Effect, (2800/2000) Pendulum Scale: 4.

In the Leo Corp CEO's room, the grey haired teen smirked "Father, is he really the forefront of an invasion? My, how your 'standards' have fallen."

"Battle! Starve Venemy attack Battleguard king!" Yuri was brutal in his tone and execution as the vines tightened around king's body as the behemoth went down causing its destruction.

Strong's LP: 3000 – 600

"This is the true finale! Starve Venom direct attack!" The dragon flew with Yuri on its shoulder as the cut of Strong's path to an action card.

The vine this time constricted Strong robbing him of his remaining life points as the former champion was left dangling in the air before Starve Venom whipped him into oblivion, sending him into the castle straight through the battlements before he landed in a tree, dazed and broken.

Strong's LP: 600 – 0

Yuri: Win!

The crowd erupted into applause as Yuri felt a cloud of ark fog roll off of him.

"Huh…" Yuri grabbed his head, blinking owlishly around at his surroundings "What happened?" Yuri's curious gaze went over to see Strong laying on the ground unconscious "What's Strong doing on the ground?" Yuri wasn't able to delve further into his train of thought before Nico approached much to his surprise he announced something he wasn't expecting,

"That was quiet an exquisite win Yuri." Nico pressed the microphone into Yuri's face much to the latter's distaste "You must tell us about that new summoning method you used."

Yuri was confused to say the least "What are you talking about?"

Nico was interrupted by the appearance of Yuzu and co. "Yuri, you did it!" Yuzu threw herself on top of the Purple haired boy causing him redden before he was swiftly struck across the head "And that was for making me worry."

"I always knew you could do it!" Gong shoved Yuzu off Yuri crushing Yuri in a massive hug,

"G-G-Gongenzaka get-t-t off me I can't breathe!" Gong loosened his strangle hold allowing Yuri room to breathe.

Yoko had also come down with the others to witness her son's victory "You did well, Yuri, you did well." She ruffled Yuri's hair leading the boy to let out a small smile.

(Leo Corporation HQ)

"Pendulum…" Purple eyes zeroed in on the name of this new summoning method and of its inventor, "Yuri Sakaki, the adopted son of Yusho who disappeared three years ago and foster brother of Yuya Sakaki who vanished seven years ago." The president's curiosity grew as Nakajima moved to another screen showing Yuri's Win/Lost ratio and other information "It's a 50% win rate, he's a year 8 in Maiami Second Middle School and learns at You show duel school, yet he has the ability to perform powerful fusion summons."

The president fixed his glasses and leaned back "Nakajima keep an eye on this boy and alert me if the sensors go off again."

Nakajima stiffened as he spoke "You don't think he could be…" a piercing glance from the purple eyes across from him told more than words could ever say, "Yes, Mr. President, I'll notify you if I see anything." He left the room trembling as he walked.

Yuri was rubbing his temples viciously "Okay one more time…" He asked Yuzu and Gongenzaka in front of him "I did what exactly?"

Yuzu replied confused that Yuri couldn't remember what had happened "You created a new summoning method called 'Pendulum'…" She thought back to the two of her cards that she had seen undergo the same metamorphism. She thought about telling people, but maybe just now it would be better to sit back and see how the situation panned out.

Yuri was even more confused "Pendulum?" Yuri threw his arms in the air before folding them in annoyance "Never heard of it! You must be delusional!"

Yuzu grabbed Yuri's arms shocking the boy in this unusual show of aggression "Yuri you dolt! Check your deck if you don't believe me!" Yuri took the hint rather quickly not wanting to risk the wrath of Yuzu's fan, he'd already had enough of it for one day.

Much to Yuri's amazement he had found that some of his cards had indeed changed, "This is certainly an interesting development." Yuri looked Yuzu dead in the eyes "What did you all this method again, my dear?" Yuzu's guard dropped, Yuri always seemed to have this way of flustering her, it was really frustrating to be so defenceless

"It's called Pendulum, Yuri…" Yuzu flushed.

"Pendulum huh?" Yuri looked into his extra deck. "Starve Venom has changed as well?!"

Yuri, Yuzu and Gong all looked at the now pendulum fusion monster, Gong was the first to raise a question "What do you think you'll do about this then Yuri?"

Yuri smirked "Two things my dear friend, First I'll have to get this summoning method mastered then I'll be a certain favourite for the Maiami championship." Yuri opened out his palm envisioning the world in his hand "Second once I win the championship my journey to be the strongest duelist and stand alone in the world can begin!"

"Err…Yuri?" Yuzu could see the malice of Yuri's expression which only came out when he fantasized a little too much, "You're making that face again."

Yuri snapped out of his fantasies when he heard that sentence "Guess I got carried away again didn't I?" Yuri laughed rubbing the back of his head while Yuzu and Gong sighed not noticing Shuzo burst into the room behind them.

"YURI!" Seven years had passed and Shuzo was still as loud as ever to Yuri

"What do you want, old man?! Some of us are busy!" Yuri's remark seemed to have no effect on Shuzo's enthusiasm.

"We've got a line of people standing outside waiting to see you pendulum summon again!" Shuzo flicked his hand towards the front door and sure enough there was a massive queue of people running outside the door.

"How long have they been standing there for?" Yuri was attempting in vain to count the amount of people that were present.

"About fifteen minutes."

Yuri's face fell. "You do know I barely understand how I got the damn thing in the first place?"

Shuzo's face also fell as his brow furrowed "Will you attempt it at least?"

Yuri looked at him in distain ready to say screw it before Yuzu intruded

"Yuri just try and do it."

Yuri looked into Yuzu's face, his expression softened as he grasped his hands around hers "Ok Yuzu I'll try it."

(Time Skip)

Yuri and Yuzu were walking out of You Show. Turns out that when Yuri told them that so far he was the only one who could pendulum summon, the crowd that had gathered had decide to disperse just as quickly as it arrived.

Finally free of all the people, it allowed Yuri a new shot at trying to get his new summoning method down. It may have taken a lot of tries, 279 to be exact, but Yuri had finally managed to pendulum summon, the look of elation on everyone's face as he did it was something to behold.

"So Yuri…" Yuzu could still feel the excitement radiating off of Yuri as they walked out of the duel school together "Did you finally figure out how to combo Fusion and Pendulum summoning? I heard you talk about it to my dad earlier."

Yuri's smile grew wider "You should learn not to eavesdrop Yuzu. It's awful rude." Yuri shook his finger in Yuzu's face "But for your information I might of thought of a few ideas but I'll wait until my next duel to entertain you my strategies."

However, Yuri and Yuzu's walk was interrupted by the sound of leaves rustling and the quick sound of feet sprinting in front of them.

Three people had appeared from out of nowhere, two of them looked like total delinquents, both of them wearing standard black tracksuits and tattoos emblazoned on their faces. However, the one in the middle was different. He was dressed in a navy blue jacket like vest that omitted the shoulders with black trousers with holes cut over the knee section. He had black boots that were up to his calves and was wearing a purple hood that doubled up as a scarf across the bottom. The most Yuri or Yuzu could make out about his appearance beyond that was hard, the only other discernible feature was the low green ponytail laid across his shoulder. His eyes were hidden behind an eye mask.

It was this person who moved forward first as the two underlings followed "Seize the girl." The underlings grinned and raced passed the leader, one of them restraining Yuri and the other taking hold of Yuzu shoving her down as if she were bowing.

The leader approached Yuzu and tilted her chin up to where his eyes were supposed to be "I see the likeness, you must have a tremendous soul." He stuck out his tongue, revealing a cult like symbol engraved on it "I'll devour it."

"Get your hands off of her!" Yuri shouted, struggling to get out of the stronger male's hold.

That shout caught the attention of the hooded individual, who now turned his hidden gaze onto the struggling teen "Silence. You're not the one I'm here for, let me take your girlfriend here and you can leave this place."

"You think I'm just going to leave her here? You must be very stupid." Yuri snapped back, deliberately choosing to ignore the girlfriend comment.

The leader straightened, proving himself to be decently tall and certainly bigger than Yuri, just as he had done to Yuzu moments earlier, he grabbed a hold of Yuri's face although this time it was much tighter "Listen here, you're either going to put up or shut up." He snapped his fingers and the goon holding Yuzu latched on even tighter, pulling at her limbs harshly as the pink haired girl struggled to hold in the scream building up in her throat. "Capiche? Every time that yap of yours opens without me telling you, the girl gets it."

Yuri growled but said nothing, not wanting to harm Yuzu with unnecessary utterances.

"That's a good little dog." The hooded male said condescendingly before a thought suddenly crossed his mind. Sure, it would be detrimental to the mission, but this was too good an opportunity. "Little dog, I've got a deal to offer you."

Yuri looked inquisitive as the larger male continued "If you are able to beat me in a duel, I'll leave you be and I'll give you the card you most desire in the world, it'll be any card you could ever dream of and I have it. But if you lose, not only do I take your deck, I also take your girlfriend's soul! So what will it be?!"

"I found you, Jex!" That was a new voice, a distinctly rough and somewhat psychotic voice that neither Yuri nor Yuzu could identify the owner of. But all that was needed for the two of them to figure out whether it was good or bad was the "Tch." That was let out by the leader of the gang.

What was initial hope soon bled away through. The leader, now revealed to bear the name Jex, had swivelled on his heel and was now sticking a knife, which had a golden tip on it and a black handle on it, to the side of Yuri's neck. "Kaimia. Make one wrong move and the dog gets it."

"Ha." The voice laughed and the owner stepped out of the shadows. He looked as if he was slightly older than Yuri was, probably around the 17 mark. For height, he stood at about 6'1, slightly taller than Jex was. He had spiky blue hair that was combined with bangs of green hair sticking out covering his right eye, barely visible underneath which was a white sclera and iris and three long claw marks on it. There was definitely something wrong with that eye but his left eye was a brilliant yellow. In his left ear was a small sliver crystal earring, he wore a silver t-shirt with four blue triangles directly in the centre, tied around his waist was a grey jacket, a pair of blue jeans held in place by a black belt and pure white trainers. Finally, on his right arm is his black and white duel disk. "I took you to be a coward when we first met, now I see just how true that is. Hiding behind an innocent to avoid the deletion of your evil."

The knife inched closer to Yuri's neck as the other male finished "I'm a man of my word, Kaimia. I hate lying and deceit that would make just as trashy as you are. The one thing that I am not, above all else, is a coward, so don't let that word pass your lips again."

Yuri resisted the urge to roll his eyes 'Sure, the person using the hostage to protect themselves isn't a coward. If this guy was at Academia, he'd probably be kicked out within the first day.'

"Why don't we find out then, how much of a man you really are?" The person labelled Kaimia by Jex stepped forward, causing the knife to move alongside with him "You wouldn't kill your leverage on me, no evil person would do that, it's simply inefficient. So go ahead, keep to your word and send him to kingdom come, he has no place here anyway."

Yuri could make out the barest form of a smirk on Jex's lips, as he took notice of the fact there appeared to be purple lip gloss on them "You're smarter than you look, Demil Kaimia." Jex began to inch backwards, alerting the goons as to their boss' intent "But you're still a few cards short of a full deck. Take him."

The two goons replied dutifully and in sync "Yes, Jex-sama!" Diagonally crossing past their master who let his hold on Yuri go, instead focusing in on Yuzu. The real reason he was out here.

Demil grinned as he saw the two goons approach him with equally blank looks on their face "There you go again, you really are a coward. Letting your lackeys handle the dirty work."

"Why should I bother doing something myself if I can get someone else to do it." Jex replied just as quickly, corralling Yuzu into his hold, this time the knife was against her cheek. He lowered his head to hers and whispered in her ear, inaudible to anyone else "How sad it must be, to be tossed about by Providence. You're too important to let go, rabbit. You're going to be my key to locating the Grimoire."

'Grimoire? Does he mean a book of spells?' Yuzu was getting more and more confused by the second. What had originally been what seemed to be a mugging, had turned into a kidnapping which with the introduction of this Demil character, was now becoming a hostage situation.

Yuri's head was spinning too. Nothing made any sense today, how he got those cards, how this happened or who these people were. But he had figured out one thing for sure, Jex had an opening. Even if he had only had a few sessions on hand to hand combat, he knew he could easily exploit that gap.

Yuzu had noticed it too, despite the eye mask, she could tell that Jex was fixated on Demil, who was standing perfectly still. She could feel the knife slipping from her cheek and his grip around her body was slipping.

The moment they would make their move would come soon.

"Hmm…" Demil mused as he flicked between the two identical looking goons who already had their grey duel disks activated with a white blade "I'm going to enjoy this." He said launching his blade, which just like the disk was split into black and white.

"Duel!" They declared simultaneously.

Demil's LP: 4000 Goons' LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"I think it's only fair that we play under Irregular tag team duel rules. Both of you will share life points and a field while I get the same." Demil explained "Then I shall take the first turn to balance everything else out."

A cocky smirk worked its way onto his lips as he started his turn "To begin I activate the Spell card Solar Recharge! By discarding one Lightsworn monster from my hand I can draw two cards from the top of my deck but then I must send the next two to the graveyard!" He did as he said he would.

Jex laughed loudly "Hahahaha! Still working with that mishmash deck of yours?! You'll be dead in the water through your own hand before my men even have to lay a finger on you! Keheheheheh!" He tugged on Yuzu's hair "Let's make this even more interesting, Kaimia. Every time you take damage during this duel as a result of anything, the rabbit gets a little surprise."

Demil looked at Yuzu and she looked back at him with pleading eyes. He smirked "Fine then, Jex, I'll see if you really do have some form of guts, I'd hate to see this just be a kind of Dutch courage."

"Try me, Kaimia."

Demil finished the back and forth and continued with his turn "One of the monsters that was sent to the graveyard as a result of Solar Recharge was the monster known as Wulf, the Lightsworn Beast and his effect now summons him to my field!" Wulf was as the name implies a Wulf, although he was a humanoid creature with a long staff and sharp claws.

Wulf, the Lightsworn Beast, Level 4, Beast-Warrior, LIGHT, Effect (2100/300)

"2100 attack points already?" Yuzu and Yuri's jaws fell agape, to be able to do it so seamlessly impressed them greatly. Although it was only so much given the situation they were in.

"I now summon Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner!" The new monster joined the other swiftly, it was a tanned woman with blonde hair dressed in white robes and blue orbs of energy crackling from her hands.

Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner, Level 3, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect (1000/1000)

"Lumina's effect, I send one card form my hand to the graveyard and special summon one level four or lower Lightsworn monster from my graveyard. I drop Celestia, Lightsworn Angel to the graveyard to summon back the Wulf I sent to the graveyard earlier for the cost of Solar Recharge." Another Wulf came into being and stood beside its duplicate.

"With that I place two cards face down and end my turn." Demil concluded, having built up a board that would leave any reasonable duelist from this dimension impressed. "Now at the end of my turn, I must discard 3 cards from the top of my deck to the graveyard as a cost of maintaining Lumina's presence on the field."

Demil's Cards x1

Turn 2

"My turn." Instead of the goon speaking out, it was Jex who made the call as the goon followed along to his orders "I summon Enchanted Dhampir in attack mode." The goon laid out the card from his hand on his disk almost mechanically.

The monster was a card that looked vaguely similar to the card Vampire Lord, except that it seemed to be a much weaker, scrawnier version of the monster. It had white hair but a far more human look than if it were a vampire.

Enchanted Dhampir, Level 4, Spellcaster, DARK, Effect (1500/1200)

"Next up is the Equip spell, Enchanted Whip!" The card art as rather simplistic on this one showing just a particularly nasty looking whip, the very same whip then made it into Dhampir's hands "The effect of this card is as follows, when the monster equipped with this card destroys another monster by battle it will cause you damage equal to half the destroyed monster's attack."

"Dhampir!" Jex declared, getting ready to slash at Yuzu's cheek "Attack and destroy Lumina!" Dhampir phased out of the scene before swiftly reappearing behind Lumina, cracking the whip he then proceeded to beat the ever living shit out of Lumina before the tanned woman was more black and blue than brown as she eventually exploded.

Demil's LP: 4000 - 3500

"Don't forget Whip's effect! That means 500 more points!" Dhampir pivoted on his heal and struck Demil across the face with the whip in one fell swoop. However, the spiky haired male felt no pain and made no comment.

Demil's LP: 3500 – 3000

"I end my turn." With his first opponent done with, Jex turned his attention to his little bunny rabbit "Looks like we're going to have some fun after all."

It was just as he started to pull back the knife that Jex felt something pulling back on his arm "Tch!" he didn't even need to turn around to know that it was Yuri that was on top of him "Why can't you be a good little dog?!" And as soon as he taken one bit of his attention away from Yuzu, it had earnt him a blow to the chest from Yuzu that caused him to in avertedly to release her from his hold.

Yuzu and Yuri pulled back as Jex seethed. Even though he was totally hidden by the darkness and his hood, they could tell that his facial expression was one of pure ire. Not that his tone really helped him with that "Don't think you've won. Don't ever think that you've won!"

Without warning he dashed straight at Yuzu and Yuri in an attempt to cleave a hole through both of them with his knife "I won't take insolence! Kneel before me!" He slashed violently as Yuri and Yuzu dodged each of his blows "Hold still! I'm the Prince of Despair to whom even the darkness grovels! And I'll be damned if you get away without telling me the location of the Grimoire!" He dived in once more, this time just barely missing Yuri's head by a few millimetres as Yuzu knocked the knife from his hand straight afterwards.

"Gah!" He yelled and pulled back, suddenly appearing back to where the duel was taking place within the blink of an eye "Get those pitiful claws away from me!"

Yuri and Yuzu thought they were finally in the clear and started to run away from this whole situation. However, that was not to be as out of nowhere, two more thugs had appeared. With the same tattoos covering their faces as the previous ones.

Caught completely off guard, they took hold off both Yuri and Yuzu. "Yuzu!" Yuri cried as they were pulled apart once more 'Why can't I do anything to protect her!' He cried mentally, he couldn't do anything when this had first happened and when he had finally managed to free her, she had just been capture again it honestly made him feel worthless.

"Nehahahahahah!" Jex shook as he laughed "I told you. The Grimoire is too important to me to let you go, rabbit." He then looked over at the dejected Yuri "You're going to regret this, little dog." He picked up his knife again as he approached once more "I'll mark out an indelible proof right here and no, that no one messes with me!"

"Oi!" But before he could make any definite movement on that front, Demil's voice interrupted him "I'm not sure about you, but I came here to duel you, leave your creepy fantasies for once and be serious."

Jex growled but relented, muttering under his breath "Alea iacta est…"

Turn 3

"I take the second turn now." Jex began "This time round I activate the second copy of Enchanted Whip!" Another whip made its way into Dhampir's other waiting hand "This is where the effect of Dhampir is triggered. When this card has two or more Equip Spells attached to it, it gain 500 attack points with each of those spells that share the same name! That means he's gaining 1000 attack points, bringing the total up to 2500, enough to beat your Wulf!"

Dhampir's ATK: 1500 – 2500

Demil was stone faced but inside he was elated 'Yes, come closer, fall deeper into the trap that you continue to set for yourself.' His eyes flicked down to the one reaming card in his hand "Soon, my friend…"

"Battle! Do it again Dhampir!" Dhampir repeated the same process he had used against Lumina. Wulf put up a much stronger fight, being able to block a few of the blows with the use of his staff, however, it was the addition of the second whip that made his position untenable as he was vanquished to Jex's joy.

Demil's LP: 3000 – 2600

"I end this turn!" Jex declared triumphantly, making sure to cast a glance over his shoulder to make sure that Yuri and Yuzu were still where they were supposed to be.

Goons' cards x4 and x5

There was one thing that was throwing Yuri off though 'Demil has had this two cards set since the first turn, why hasn't he used them yet? Why did he let his monsters be destroyed like that?'

Turn 4

"I believe that this has gone on long enough." Demil stated bluntly, still holding out the card he had just drawn.

"Ha?" Jex sounded incredibly confused "What are you on about, did Dhampir hit you too hard and make you lose your short term memory? As far as I'm concerned, you're on the back foot here."

Demil laughed softly "I'm sorry to tell you this, Jex. But you've played right into my hands, just like a marionette, you've been on my strings since the start of this thing and now it's time to cut you loose." He flipped the other card in his hand over, revealing a large grey dragon in front of a post-apocalyptic background. "You see, when I have 4 or more Lightsworn monsters with a different name in my graveyard I can summon this card from my hand to the field. The monsters I have in my graveyard are, Lumina, Wulf, Celestia and Jain, Lightsworn Paladin!"

Jex said nothing and waited for Demil to continue "I now summon to the field the monster who casts its terrific judgement on the world of the wicked! I summon the final arbiter of the afterlife! Judgement Dragon!" The monster was the largest one that Yuri ad Yuzu had ever seen, Starve Venom was big, but this card must have been at least twice its size. It had grey feathers and sharp red claws, its eyes also glowed a bright red as it let out a deafening cry that everyone one in the neighbourhood would've heard.

Judgement Dragon, Level 8, Dagon, LIGHT, Effect (3000/2600)

Demil then pulled out something from his jacket pocket, it looked like a small Coptic cross on a chain that he wrapped around his duel disk arm "By the sacred name, obey me." JD's eyes began to glow red with Demil closing his as it could be witnessed by Yuzu and Yuri that Jex himself was starting to slowly back away "O ye who rest in darkness, begone from this place for ever more!" Demil's eyes snapped open, having turned a deep crimson red colour "Judgement Dragon's effect, by paying 1000 life points I can destroy every card on the field bar Judgement Dragon! Judgement Ray!"

Demil's LP: 2600 – 1600

With the blast of a bright white light, Judgement Dragon had evaporated the whole field and also something else seemed off.

The goons Jex had were gone.

They had vanished.

The only trace of them being that the duel hadn't ended yet.

Yuri and Yuzu felt nothing holding onto them.

"What was that…?" Yuzu etched out, looking around her for anything that could explain what had just happened.

"I exposed the Prince of Despair to the Emperor of Light." Demil replied "And his fabricated illusions vanish underneath the eternal glare of Judgement Dragon."

"Keh." Jex laughed once more, making Yuri muse that he was rather like a hyena with how often he was doing so "Do you have any idea how hard it is to make them? I don't really appreciate my art being destroyed like that."

"I don't know and most importantly I don't care, for I am activating the finally card of the puzzle! Whenever Lightsworn Sacred Armour is destroyed by card effect and sent to the graveyard, I can equip it to my Judgement Dragon if I pay 500 life points!"

Demil's LP: 1600 – 1100

A set of slivery dragon armour began to settle over the top of JD, two particularly sharp spikes were situated on the top and the bottom of the armour set "Whenever Judgement Dragon is equipped with this card, it gains attack points equal to half the disparity between our life points. That'd be 1450 for your information!" A charge of electricity sparked through the armour as JD's power grew further.

JD's ATK: 3000 – 4450

"Do it now! Judgement Dragon! Delete the evil from this world! Begone from here forever more, Jex!" JD charged directly towards the green haired hooded male with a deathly intent in its tackle.

Unfortunately for Demil, Jex was somehow proving himself to be far faster than JD as he was able to dodge the attack, but that still didn't stop the damage from registering on his disk.

Jex's LP: 4000 – 0

Demil: Win!

Jex reappeared perched high up on one of the nearby rooftops, how he managed to get there so fast was something that Yuri and Yuzu were still busy trying to figure out "Alea iacta est! I'll be back for you, rabbit! If the world is to be whole once more, I must obtain the Grimoire, I will do that one way or another." And with that, he vanished from sight once more, this time for good.

"Grimoire…" Yuzu mumbled as Yuri looked on in concern "Why did he say I was the key…?"

Yuri for one of the first times in his life didn't have anything he could say, so instead he took action and let Yuzu fall warmly into his arms.

Demil looked up to where Jex had vanished from. 'Who are you really, Jex? And are you really human to begin with?'

Chapter Text

Yuri blinked as he took in the invitation that Shuzo was waving about like it was the declaration of world peace "Enchanted Underworld Duel School?" He questioned, he hadn't heard of this place before and from the looks that Yuzu and Gongenzaka were giving him, they didn't seem to know either. "What's the deal with them?"

Shuzo was ecstatic to say the least, it looked like he was going to explode if he didn't get all of his energy out in time "It's incredible! They're an insanely impressive duel school that was only set up about a year or two ago but they've already got a reputation as one of the top schools in the whole nation, second only to LDS!"

"And why haven't any of us heard of them until now?" Yuri quirked a brow, this was all beginning to sound ridiculous, surely they would receive at least some media attention and send duelists to at least some of the championships?

"About that…" Shuzo rubbed the back of his head sheepishly "They're not exactly what you would call… Good publicity…" He pulled out a flyer that he had been given alongside the invitation. On it was the design of a rather macabre looking black building with evident decay marks and stereotypical gothic staples, like gargoyles and vampires. Shuzo tapped the picture at the bottom "It's all due to the owner and head teacher of the school, his name is Shiki Sogami." Shiki was to put it bluntly, nose bleed worthy in terms of look, with an incredibly handsome face that had green eyes and was framed by sandy blond hair that was shoulder length. The picture had him wearing a white dress shirt with a grey vest and two scarves, one white and one black. On top of his head was a black fedora hat with a strip of red on it, he was also tilting it rather seductively. "Some say that he has engaged in some rather dark methods and teaches his students violent attack patterns. They say he should belong in the underworld and not in the real world, hence why he decided to name the school 'Enchanted Underworld' as a jab at his critics."

The Predator Plant duelist skirted his eyes around the room, looking over at Yuzu who was standing rubbing her arm where her bracelet was. She didn't look like she had heard much of what was being said, barely even noticing the frantic excited nature of her father. Yuri frowned, usually Yuzu would be all up for learning about a challenge like this, she'd often in the past used it as a way to prove herself as just as competent a duelist as Yuri. But that event last night had Yuzu stunned the whole of their way back and it looked like it was still going on at this present moment. Yuri couldn't blame her, he could still feel the grasp of Jex's hand around his face. "So what about it then? Are they inviting us to a duel?" He said to get his mind off of the issue.

Shuzo brightened "Better yet! I'll read out the letter he attached to it." He cleared his throat and began to speak.

"You Show Duel School! It is I! Shiki Sogami! Yours truly is inviting you to my Enchanting Duel School of wonders and black magic! Now, you may be wondering why I've decided to grace you with the ability to come and duel my best students. A little birdie told me that a certain someone in your entourage has gained a new summoning method that no one else in the world has the pleasure of owning, and you see… My students are itching to have a go at taking Lily down. That is why I am offering you a tag team dueling match today at night time. Don't worry! There are no strings attached here, I'm not the crook everyone thinks I am! Anyway, I hope to see you soon.

Fly quickly my lovely little butterflies.

Yours truly, owner and head teacher of the Enchanted Underworld Duel School, total babe magnet, Shiki Sogami."

Yuri rolled his eyes at the incredibly egotistical and flowery letter, it sounded just like one of those attention seeking Slifer or Ra students would write to try and worm their way up the whole sordid ladder. But there was one particular thing that once he went over in it in his head began to make him blush "W-wait! Did he just call me Lily?!"

It was also at this point that a pair of young children came barrelling into the room, taking with them Shuzo and another new kid that none of them had seen before. "Wah! S-sorry, Principle!" That panicked voice belonged to a small red haired girl who was wearing a blue headband.

"I'm sorry too, Principle, please don't expel us!" That quivering voice came from a rather plump green haired boy.

Shuzo managed to pull himself up to the scene of the two kids bowing to him on the ground whilst taking note of the one remaining kid who had blue hair was looking around in a sort of dazed state "Woah! Come down, Ayu and Futoshi, I'm not angry. In fact, it looks as if you've brought a new student with you!"

The new kid shook as head as he smiled brightly, replying with the same level of enthusiasm that Shuzo had begun with "Hi! I'm Tatsuya Yamashiro!"

"You were here yesterday…" Yuzu finally spoke up for the first time but her tone was hollow with the events still evidently weighing on her as her shoulders were slumped in.

Yuri, in an effort to lighten the mood, replied coyly "See, told you guys. I'm just a genius at figuring these things out, even Yuzu's blatant barbarism couldn't possibly damage my ability to draw people in." However, instead of being met with a fan like it had been like in the past so many a time, he was met by a deafening silence as Yuzu still looked lost in her own skin.

The hot blooded Principle cleared his throat to dispel the tension in the room and bring them back to their initial topic of conversation "So, Yuri, what do you plan to do with this? Many people have gained an interest in this school solely because of the Pendulum summon and when LDS eventually get their hands on it, the school will lose its publicity and we will go back to the why we were. However, if we take Sogami-san's offer, we could earn even more mystique and may be even able to set up a permanent link to the school and more importantly, Sogami-san himself."

"Huh? Sogami-san…?" Yuri felt Ayu tug at his leg as he could see the cogs turning in the head of the three kids when their eyes suddenly widened "Yuri-oniichan! Does he mean that Sogami-san?! Shiki?"

"You've heard of this guy too?" Yuri groaned, he didn't like being one of the only ones who didn't know what was going on, it made him feel like an outcast again.

It was the new blue haired kid that explained it "He ran one of the duel schools my parents were thinking of sending me too. In fact! I met him when we went there! But why are you bringing him up?"

"Oh, he offered to take Yuri to his school for a match, I asked Yu-" Shuzo was quickly drowned out by the collective squeals and screams of adulation of the young children who collectively glomped Yuri.

"You have to do this, Yuri-oniichan!" Ayu squealed, shaking Yuri excitedly and nearly making said male throw up his lunch.

"It's giving me shivers just thinking about it…" Futoshi said, gently caressing himself while muttering under his breath.

Tatsuya weighed in too, and despite only being here for roughly two minutes, was already starting to mix in seamlessly "This is too good an opportunity to pass up! When I went there everything was really high tech and all of the students were really strong!"

"Strong, you say?" Yuri's interest now piqued, wanting to beat those that were supposedly strong was always something he had desired to do, in the past in Academia and even in Standard to a certain extent.

Tatsuya was totally oblivious to the predatory as he went on "Oh yeah! He had me watch an exhibition duel between two of his most prized students! It was just as entertaining as your duel against Strong Ishijima, they were so incredibly strong that it went down to the last card!"

Yuri grinned like the Cheshire cat "Then it's settled, let's take this offer."

The elation was short lived as Shuzo pointed out one little detail that had been missed throughout the whole conversation "You're going to have to find someone willing to duel with you, the invite was for a tag duel. The children are too young and Gong isn't officially a part of the school so to have him be there wouldn't work. That only leaves…"

"Yuzu…" Yuri looked back to see the startled Yuzu who had only just keyed in on the fact of the matter.

(Three years ago)

"YUZU!" A panting Yuri fell back on a patch of grass looking at the sky, his knees weak from the blistering run "Slow down for once in your life." During the four years he had spent here he knew Yuzu for a lot of things and if he knew anything about her, it was that her running speed and athleticism seemed to be in another universe by itself. Academia and entertainment dueling training be dammed.

"Speed up for once in your life Yuri!" Yuzu said siting on the grass next to him and staring into his violet eyes.

"What are we? I'd like an explanation" Yuri ranted, he wasn't best pleased by how all of this had stared in the first place "First you show up randomly at the house, second you literally pull me away from my plants nearly strangling me in the process and third you just ran away as I came to." Yuzu laughed causing Yuri to snap "Tell me or I swear to god I'll feed you to my Venus Fly Trap bit by bit!"

Yuri's face was a bright scarlet red as Yuzu continued to laugh as she spoke "Yuri, do you not recognise this place?"

Yuri subdued for the moment looked around as the realisation hit him. "This You Show…Where I first appeared here." Yuri saw the lopsided building behind him and his eyes widened.

"That's right for someone so smart you can be pretty short sighted at times." Yuri shoved Yuzu playfully causing a smile to creep onto both of their faces.

Yuzu looked over Yuri again she still couldn't help but feel sad when she saw Yuri as it brought back memories of Yuya. Yuri noticed this change of tone quickly and moved in to comfort Yuzu.

"You're remembering Yuya again aren't you?" Yuri looked on as Yuzu picked a handful of grass and rolled it between her fingers.

"What gave it away?" A solemn Yuzu said refusing to look at Yuri's face.

"I don't know maybe the fact you are crying." A tear dripped from Yuzu's eye as Yuri said this in a failed attempt to lighten the mood.

"Yuri…It's just…It's just" Yuzu buried her head into Yuri's shirt "I miss him…" Yuri held Yuzu's head.

"Look at me Yuzu." Yuri forced Yuzu head up "Yuya may be gone but I'm here now and I won't let anything more happen to you, one day Yuya may even come back then you'll have nothing more to worry about when it comes to him."

Yuzu wrapped her arms around Yuri's waist causing the male in question to blush a bright red "Thank you Yuri..." Yuri hugged back still blushing.

( Present Time) (Timeskip)

"This is the place?" Yuri looked around as Shuzo, Ayu and Futoshi gulped. The flyer really didn't do the place justice.

While the flyer did make it seem like a somewhat macabre and disturbing place, somewhere you might get a chill if you saw it once but then you'd quickly get over it. In reality, the place was even scarier up close. The way it loomed over everything made it look foreboding beyond belief, the way the eyes of the gargoyles at the front followed you everywhere they went. The way the entrance looked as if it was about to collapse in on itself. The statutes as well carrying sadistic expressions and large weapons made you fear if they could possibly come to life.

"Y-yeah…" Shuzo replied, tugging at his collar with sweat dripping down his neck. Maybe this wasn't the right choice after all… He reached out for the handle and…

The door creaked open.

He hadn't touched it.

Having spent the last few seconds staring at his hand, wondering just what the hell had happened, he then looked up to a pair of piercing green eyes and proceeded to jump back at least four feet. "Ah, you've finally arrived, my butterflies." Said a melodic, light voice that had just a hint of playfulness to it. A rose of being held in the man's left hand which he sniffed before he bowed "Shiki Sogami at your service."

"O-oh hello!" Shuzo shook Shiki's outstretched hand "It's a great honour to get to meet you, Sogami-san."

"Please, don't call me that, I'm 27 and it makes me feel old. Shiki is fine by me, that's the name I was given after all." Shiki smiled at Shuzo and then scanned over the kids, landing eventually on the form of Yuri who had Yuzu stood next to him "Ah, Yuri-kun, I can only congratulate you for your achievement, being able to defeat a duel champion like Strong Ishijima is impressive in itself but to also found a new summoning method in the same duel is something that made me want to search you out."

Yuri looked up at the school's principle and immediately he felt something was off about the whole thing. He couldn't explain how, but he couldn't shake the feeling of this dark bloodthirsty aura around both the school and its owner "Thank you, Sir." However, he had to act the part as not to arouse any suspicion.

"Well, we won't get anywhere if we just wait out here!" Shiki declared happily "Please, be my guest and enter an enchanted wonderland like you have never seen before in your life."

Yuri resisted the urge to throw up then and there 'God. Why does everyone here have to be so flowery and over the top? It's like it's a requirement to run a duel school or something!'

Contrary to what everyone was expecting, the inside of the gothic building was quite the Romantic place. Unlike You Show which was a relatively small place with only one arena, the Enchanted Underworld school had numerous arenas with some of them presently in use, the décor was far classier than the outside of the school would have you believe as it was lined with marble and various other decently pricy materials. What Yuri picked out to be the strangest feature was the rather odd fact that butterflies were flying haphazardly about the place, one of them even landing on Shiki's free hand "Don't believe all the negative publicity you hear about us in the press. This place's my own personal Eden of amour." He let the butterfly out of his hand and it proceeded to land on Yuri's face "Amour. That word means love, isn't it so heartpoundingly wonderful?" This time he outstretched the rose towards Yuri "Do you know that feeling, Lily?"

Subconsciously, Yuri's eyes gradually shifted over to Yuzu 'Do you know the meaning of personal sp… Wait! He did it again!' And Yuri turned bright red at the worst possible time as his eyes locked with Yuzu's.

Even more unfortunately for the Predator Plant duelist, Shiki was paying close attention "Ah, the alluring nectar of amour. Young love is so beautiful to watch bloom, it makes my heart flutter every time." A collective thought of "Weirdo" went through the brains of the You Show crowd as Shiki shuddered.

Shuzo was about to speak but he found himself cut off by a monotone phantom like voice addressing the other principle in the room from behind him "Umm… Sogami-san… Kioka-nee and I are ready for the… Duel…" The stop start voice belonged to a male who evidently was a few years older than them, probably around 17 or so who stood at an abnormally tall 6'5. He had long green hair that covered the right side of his face that had black highlights trapped throughout it in sporadic places. It hid his right eye and everything beneath it. The left side of his face showed the fact his eye colour was amber. His hair was tucked neatly around his ear on the left side of his face and exposed the sheer amount of piercings he had, including one through his lip, one through his ear, one through his eyebrow and a group of them just on his forehead. In terms of cosmetics, he appeared to be wearing some degree of make-up with pink eyeshadow being the main feature.

"Heh, Teru-kun." Shiki turned out to the green haired male "I thought I told you not to sneak up on people."

"Sorry, Sogami-san…. I'll try harder… Next time…" Teru droned with a bored expression.

"I see you're already dressed for the duel, go tell the others then. I'll be with you shortly." Shiki's words did little to clear up the strange nature of Teru's clothing. He was dressed rather similarly to the monster card known as Vampire Sorcerer wearing a black and red cloak with a purple claw securing it to his person, on top of his head was a hat similar to that seen in the card.

As Teru left, Shiki turned back around to the gawking crowd "Follow me." Was all that he said, wandering off into the school with the crowd following him.

"Umm, Shiki. Who was that?" The elder male could feel the tug of Ayu at his leg, all three of the kids had been shocked and somewhat scared by Teru's unexpected appearance.

"That, my butterflies, was one of my pupils that's going to be involved in Lily's duel. My protégée, Shion Teru-kun." Shiki replied with a smirk gracing his pale lips "But don't you worry your little head about him, he's only dressed like that for the duel."

"Why is that?" Ayu questioned now set slightly more at ease.

"Patience is a virtue, you'll be finding out soon enough." The principle replied cryptically as they started to enter into the arena. "Here we are! The main arena!"

Everyone, including the solemn Yuzu and the increasingly annoyed Yuri had their eyes widen at what they bore witness to. The main arena was arguably as large as one that some would see in LDS, the highest end duel school in the standard dimension, it encompassed the vast majority of the school and the You Show crowd could see that stands for audience members were filled with other students with each one of them sharing a gothic touch to them.

After taking in the scene, Yuri flicked his eyes over to the other side of the arena. There he saw Teru standing there with an incredibly bland expression and another person beside him. She was petite girl who was probably only around 5'4 that was only more noticeable when put near the giant Teru. She was dressed in a similar style to a gothic Lolita with the black frilly dress, boots and all the other stereotypical details of the outfit. Just like Teru she had long forest green hair but this time it was tied back into a pair of twin tails that were threatening to reach the floor. Like Teru, she too was wearing makeup with dark purple dusted across her lips and face, she also had amber eyes that had pink eyeshadow dabbed over them. Unlike the person next to her there were no piercings but there was a pair of dangling crescent moon earrings that nearly reached her shoulders. She was also carrying a black parasol that was opened despite being inside. If Yuri was to put it bluntly, she looked rather bitchy, not that the way she was scowling had helped her look otherwise.

"So you're the flower that Shiki wants us to test." The girl spoke and confirmed Yuri's suspicions of her being a total bitch with the arrogant, commanding and condescending tone being dead giveaways. "Teru-nii and I have been waiting for quite a while, you have better be good or else this will have all been a huge waste of our time."

"Now, now." Shiki said like a nagging adult to the newly revealed siblings "Bitch-chan, refrain from insult our guests, I taught you to be a great duelist, not a great sack of shit with no manners." He said with contempt and venom dripping from his voice. Yet the girl didn't look the least bit bothered.

"Kioka-nee I wouldn't anger… Sogami-san any further…" Teru mumbled, placing his large hand on Kioka's small head, further incurring the wrath of his smaller sibling.

"Shut up, Teru! Stop being such a teacher's pet!" Kioka exploded, shoving Teru away from her to the giant's surprise and Shiki's anger.

"Teru, Kioka! Leave!" Shiki's anger had piqued as he crushed his rose in a fit of rage, an act that shocked both the sibling and the crowd of students in attendance "And sometimes I wonder how we got such a bad reputation! If you act like this during other matches then it's no wonder! Go to the dressing room and re-evaluate!" He watched the pair disappear down the tunnel with shaking eyes.

After he was sure that they had disappeared, he turned back around to the stunned You Show crowd "Apologies, but those two do often try my patience, especially Kioka, I'll have a word with them before the duel but in the meantime do please take the other dressing room so you can work over your strategy." With that Shiki had vanished down the same corridor.

"Uh, what the hell just happened?!" Yuri felt all of his frustrations leave him all at once as he took Yuzu with him to the dressing room conveniently placed just at the start of the corridor whilst the others took the time to take their rather uncomfortable places amongst the school's gothic pupils.

In the dressing room, Yuri's pissed off expression softened and he took the still solemn, depressive Yuzu into his arms "Yuzu, look at me." Yuzu raised her head slightly to stare into Yuri's purple eyes "I know you're stronger than this, don't let some random creep influence you with this nonsensical talk about some made up 'Grimoire', or let him intimidate you with artificial goons. All I know, is that you are you and no one is capable of changing through anything in the world."

"Yuri…" Yuzu mumbled "Do you really think so?" Truth be told, Jex's effect on her had been far stronger than anticipated. It may have been the knife that had been inches from slicing into her skin or the reference to her being the key to this so called 'Grimoire' that was too important for him to let go, the fact he wanted to "devour" her soul didn't clear her head any further. Perhaps it was also the sudden of appearance of Demil as well that was throwing her off, the way that him and Jex seemed to know each other for some reason and that strange incantation that he had used to destroy Jex's men made her feel like a small fish in a very big pond.

"No one changes because of one singular event, do you remember what I was like I when I first came here?" Yuzu certainly did remember what a terror Yuri was when he originally came to You Show, always trying to scare Yuzu and how he would laugh anytime he saw Yuzu or anyone for that matter in pain. But he had changed over those times, he'd become caring and once you got past sadist Yuri you got asshole teenager Yuri. "If you are going to change your entire person just because of one event, then I'm going to rescind that opinion of you being the strongest person I've met in my life. Now, if you want to take control over yourself for this duel then I will see you out there, but if you want to be a coward wallowing in your own self-pity then don't even bother showing up."

Yuri didn't bother looking back as he went to leave the room, slamming the door with a resounding thump, leaving Yuzu deep in thought "Yuri…"

The other dressing room wasn't much better "Look at what you made me do!" In private Shiki was even more irate at his students, in his hand he held the crushed petals of what was once his rose, most of his anger had been directed towards the unfazed Kioka.

"Oh, what a shame, just take another one, you've got about 200 of them anyway." Kioka didn't even bother to look her principle directly in the eye, instead focusing on fixing up her makeup. "Don't complain about it, you old goat."

Shiki proceeded to blow the petals out of his hand and watched as they floated softly to the ground "Amore, Amore, I love you so." He then brought his attention back to the siblings "You two are such diamonds in the rough, like flowers blooming in the desert. So much shit I have to deal with for often time such little reward, but I put up with you because you put up with my training methods." There was a mischievous glint that filled his sharp jade eyes "Listen and do as I say, Teru-kun and Bitch-chan. Those two there are strong duelists in their own right, don't get overconfident in winning, as shown by his match against Strong, Yuri-kun is more than capable of pulling out a miracle out of nowhere. That girl he's going to be with is also quite the hard customer if her older duels are to be taken into account. Even still, I have the utmost confidence in your tag dueling whilst theirs is sorely lacking, take the chances that come to you. Flap your illustrious wings, my gothic butterflies and make me proud."

"Yes, Sir." The siblings replied dutifully.

Time passed and passed, Teru, Kioka and Yuri were all at the arena ready to duel, Shiki was stood in the centre wearing a black half cape over his shoulder with a smug looking expression on his face.

Up in the stands, the You Show crowd was getting concerned about the marked lack of Yuzu by Yuri's side "Oh please, please, please! Yuzu please show up!" Shuzo was bawling at the idea that if his daughter turn up soon, she might end up being branded as a coward just like Yuri had been when Yusho hadn't turned up for his duel against Strong.

"Stop your whining!" Gongenzaka said trying to bring sense back into the situation "Yuzu knows better than not to duel when the school's honour is on the line, have faith in her and she will show up."

Shuzo wiped the tears away "Yeah! Yeah!" He said rather enthusiastically "She will come! Hopefully…" His eyes wondered to the corridor.

"Yuri-kun, where's your partner?" Shiki asked, that mischievous look still remaining in his eyes as he lowered himself to Yuri's level "I'm afraid that I can't allow this duel to go ahead without her, I sent out an invitation for a tag duel and I'm a man of my word."

"So what?" Yuri replied bluntly "Whether I'm by myself or not, I'm still more than capable of bringing down your students single handed."

"Haha." Shiki laughed, placing his hand on his hat "I admire your bravery, boy. But bravery only gets you so far in life, you should learn that lesson well before you speak to me like that." Yuri could see something predatory slip through Shiki's mask, but he knew better than to already stoke the flames of someone who was very clearly angry. "Time's a ticking."

He was about to speak but he was cut off by a loud declaration "Then stop that clock!" Cue a cacophony of groans for the terrible pun and then a sea of gasps as Yuzu boldly stepped out of the shadows with her duel disk activated.

"Yuzu!" Yuri said happily, smiling as he saw the pink haired girl run up to the field. "So you finally decided to be a man after all, glad it only took you half my life."

Yuri knew that Yuzu was truly back to form when he felt the resounding thwack of her fan across the back of his head, he felt no malice from it though as she spoke "Can't believe you thought I wasn't going to do this. For someone so smart, you can be a real idiot sometimes Yuri."

"Amour, amour-the more you amour, the more amour will lure you into its clutches." Shiki shuddered as he straightened "Now that everything's ready, let us begin! I call upon the action field Vampire Kingdom!"

Instantaneous with Shiki's declaration the scene wrapped into a medieval setting at dusk, at the back of the Shion siblings side of the field, a large castle erected itself while at the back of Yuri and Yuzu's field a set of cast iron gates appeared, locking them in the field no matter what they may try to do. The scene also took on a slightly more reddish hue to it.

"Duelists locked in battle!" Shiki declared to the roar of the pupils in attendance.

"Kicking the earth and dancing in the air alongside their monsters!" Yuzu continued on.

"They storm through this field! Behold!" Yuri grinned as the pair chanted together.

"This is the newest and greatest evolution of Dueling!"

"ACTION…DUEL!" Their duel disks were readied and the duel began.

Teru and Kioka's LP: 4000 Yuri and Yuzu's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"We shall start… First!" Teru began, plucking a card from his hand "I activate the Spell card… Cerberus' Offering…" The first card played in the duel was rather basic in its art, a large white door could be seen in a room filled with marble pillars, cast onto it was the shadow of a large three headed dog "Cerberus' Offering gives me the ability… To search out… A level 4 or lower Cerbuian monster… And add it to my hand." The selected card ejected itself into Teru's hand, the amber eyed teen's blank expression not faulting in the slightest.

This was also the first time in her full state of mind that Yuzu had heard Teru speak and she was taken aback by his stop start speech pattern, so much so she had to ask about it out of curiosity's sake "What's going on with him? Why is he speaking like that? Is there something wrong with him?"

"Heh… That's not nice…" Teru replied before Kioka decided it was her who would explain it away.

"Do you know when you get that feeling that you can't speak for whatever reason? That's Teru-nii's issue, he's a naturally slow speaker, so that will often lead to it seeming like he's stopped in the middle of his sentence." Kioka replied swiftly "It's been that way since we were kids and it's not your place to comment on."

"Thank you… Kioka-nee…" Teru patted his sister's head to show his thanks much to the petite girl's annoyance "I now summon Cerbuian Loewen!"

The first monster that was summoned took the form of a medium sized guard dog with flaming blue fur and glowing yellow eyes.

Cerbuian Loewen, Level 4, Beast, FIRE, Effect (1300/400)

"Loewen's effect! When summoned… I can add one "Cerberus" or "Cerbuian" Spell or Trap card to my hand!" After taking a moment, Teru had made his decision, using the card as soon as it had entered his waiting fingers "I activate the continuous spell Cerbuian Allegiance…" This card's art contained what appeared to be a teenage boy with blue hair dressed in an aristocratic blue outfit, he was bowing at the side of the same gate that was in the Cerberus' offering card.

Kioka then decided to speak up "And so beings the tale we shall weave for the remainder of this duel." She spoke much to the shock of the You Show crowd, including Yuzu and Yuri who didn't have a clue what they were going on about.

"Ah, yes." Shuzo then said out of nowhere "I remember it being said that they have a unique form of entertainment dueling. Just as You Show is focused on acrobatics and flashy action dueling, this school is focused on narrative and weaving a story to regale the audience with."

"The Cerberus is a loyal watchdog, the guardian of the gates of hell." Kioka began "Legend says that there was once man who approached the gates, he sought to know all of the dark secrets of the world. He claimed that he wanted to collect all the evil and black magic of the world into a singular vessel known only as the Grimoire." Yuri could see Yuzu's eyes widen from the corner of his eyes at the mention of the Grimoire. "At the gate, the man met with Cerberus' human form and struck a deal with him. In return for conversing with Cerberus' master, Cerberus one day would return to take the man's soul and the Grimoire off of him."

"Hence my card… Cerbuian Allegiance… Cerberus swore his fealty to his lord and swore to stay around till the ends of the earth… So shall I." Teru took over briefly before his sister resumed the role.

"Teru-nii's card has the following effect, so long as it remains on the field, all Cerbuian monsters are immune from destruction through battle." She explained smugly, twilling the parasol in her hand. "Most importantly though, the Cerberus' will to carry out its master's will gives it an additional boost of 300 attack points during battle."

"Cerberus may be a watchdog… But even watchdogs bite…" Teru droned almost creepily "I set one card face down… Your go…" The card appeared and then vanished into thin air.

Teru's cards x3

Turn 2

"I draw!" Yuri decided that he would be the one to take the first turn for the You Show team, but just as he went to start his move, he was stopped in his tracks by the reveal of the card that had only just been set.

"Continous Trap… Cerberus' Gate!" The art once more featured the same gate and blue haired boy but this time there was the added person of an older looking man with purple hair and wearing a strange looking purple battle outfit. The pair were looking into the open gate with scheming looks barely visible on their faces "No monster that has a level equal or higher than… The Cerbuian I currently control can be summoned. All monsters on the field with a higher lever… Will be destroyed." A large seal formed over the duel arena, one couldn't see it from the floor but up in the stands it looked like it was in the shape of an eye but it had two spokes going off in different directions.

"What?!" Yuzu certainly had a much more negative reaction to this than Yuri did as he was currently deep in thought trying to analyse Teru's main purpose in this duel and the whole gimmick behind his deck. "How is that fair?! When you get your cards and we don't get ours!

The kids up in the stands were also horrified "Does that mean that Yuzu-oneechan and Yuri-oniichan won't be able to summon any of their best monsters? And that Yuri-oniichan won't be able to use Pendulum?"

Shuzo was solemn in his response "Unfortunately with both that card and his previous one, Yuri and Yuzu can't destroy that monster he controls and through that, the only way they can get out of that lock is to destroy the Spell and Trap cards themselves."

But Tatsuya had noticed something strange about the card's effect "But, he didn't say the effect was exclusive to just Yuri and Yuzu, in fact, he made no specific claim to the effect's range and chances are, it's an all-encompassing effect."

"I said…No monster… And I mean none… Not even I can summon anymore that are… Level 4 or higher." Teru said flatly, confirming Tatsuya's suspicion about the real effect of the card.

With that information, Yuri finally started his turn "I summon Lonefire Blossom!" Yuri's first monster was one of a blooming plant with a glowing bud

Lonefire Blossom, Level 3, Plant, FIRE, Effect (500/1400)

"I activate its effect, sacrificing itself to summon another plant type monster from my deck. I choose the second copy from my deck, then I'll repeat this again to summon yet another Lonefire. Finally for the last time I'll release it to summon my Predator Plant Ophrys Scorpio." The same scorpion that Yuri had used in his duel against Strong scuttled into view

Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio, Level 3, Plant, DARK, Effect, (1200/800)

"Ophrys Scorpio's effect! By sending one card in my hand to the graveyard I can summon Predaplant Darlington Cobra from my deck in defence mode." Darlington Cobra slithered into view. "Which will allow me to add Polymerization to my hand!"

Predaplant Darlington Cobra, Level 3, Plant, Effect, DARK (1000/1500)

"All level 3 monsters…" Kioka grunted through gritted teeth "You think you're so clever don't you? Since the effect is presently only targeting Level 4 and higher, you think that you can build up a wall of monsters to be able to defend yourself from our attacks." She took a card from her hand and smirked "This card will put you back in your place!"

"But it's still Yuri's turn!" Yuzu felt the need to shout out to the Lolita, in response said Lolita's smirk only got wider.

"That means nothing, this card can be activated on either player's turn. I play the effect of Occult Slazher Gamma from my hand!" Racing onto the field was a black cybernetic warrior held together by green electricity, as it charged towards Yuri and Yuzu's field it pulled out a long pike "If you control one or more monsters of the same level, I can use Gamma's effect and destroy one of those monsters." Yuri and Yuzu were both taken aback this time, it now became clear to them what the siblings' plan was "Gamma! Take out Darlington Cobra!" Gamma proceeded to cleave a hole through and skewer the flowery cobra, destroying it instantaneously.

"Tch." Yuri clicked his tongue in annoyance "How irritating." There went his plan for the turn but that didn't mean the full plan was going under the water just yet "I place two cards face down and end my turn!" Straight after, Yuri ran off in search of action cards.

Yuri's cards x3

Turn 3

"So let our tale restart as I draw!" Kioka drew her card for that turn with that smirk still on her face "Soon after the man made the deal with Cerberus, he was granted the ability to speak with the man or rather demon who was the holder of what he desired. The demon took on a human form to speak with the man and soon they formed a working partnership."

From his vantage point on top of the castle, Shiki had a smile grace his lips as he removed the half cape rather dramatically from his person, taking great care to sniff a new rose that he gained "Such a wonderful story, it makes me shiver every time I hear it."

"Together they crafted this, I activate the Continous Spell card The Forbidden Grimoire!" The card's art showed a large black book on the back of a starry back ground, numerous other seals could be seen and dark mist was slipping out of the pages.

"G-Grimoire…" Yuzu gulped, her eyes shaking and setting off alarm bells in Yuri's head as he arrived back, with an action card in his hand. "I-it can't be…"

'Don't go back there, Yuzu.' Yuri thought, staring at Yuzu's withering expression 'Remember what I told you, you've helped me before to get out of slumps. Don't make me regret helping you.'

Meanwhile, Yuzu's thoughts were set ablaze by repetitive chants of 'Grimoire! Grimoire!' Her bracelet began to glow in a soft pink that went unnoticed by most people in the arena, save for the person who was furthest away "Oh my lovely butterfly. That's your fate after all. Poor little you."

"The Grimoire of all Grimoires, together they achieved what the man had set out to do from the start." Kioka closed her eyes and let Teru take over.

"This Spell card gives all monsters…. That are summoned for the next two turns… 300 attack points for each level it has…" And once more, the effect seemed to be unfairly strong and the You Show crowd up in the stands were ready to complain again, only for Teru to jump in once more "However… For each monster that is boosted… A quid pro quo must be met… We lose life points equal to the additional power gained."

"Much like how the original Grimoire operated." Kioka opened her eyes back up "You see, the man who forged the contract used it to great effect forging a new era for the universe he inhabited. He won all that he desired, he won the adulation of the people and the fortune he so longed for. However, he was a ticking time bomb and he knew it. Slowly, oh so, slowly, his soul had become warped by the Grimoire's magic and he was soon transformed into a husk of his former self. I summon Occult Slazher Beta!"

The new monster was, just like the one that came before, a cybernetic warrior but this time it was a pure white colour held together by black electricity, it was wielding a doubled edged blade that was crackling with the same black electricity holding it together.

Occult Slazher Beta, Level 3, Machine, DARK, Effect (900/0)

Beta's ATK: 900 – 1800

Black mist began to seep across the field and enveloped the Lolita and giant, sucking away a portion of their life points. "Such is the nature of the Grimoire."

Teru and Kioka's LP: 4000 – 3100

"Now I activate Beta's effect, by sending one card in my hand to the graveyard, such as this one." The chosen card was soon dumped into the graveyard "I'm allowed to summon another copy of Beta from my deck to the field, although I will have to negate this one's effect." Beta proceeded to split itself in half as another version morphed onto the field.

Teru and Kioka's LP: 3100 – 2200

'Two Level 3 monsters.' Yuri thought suspiciously, a sentiment similar to his was running through Yuzu's head as well. 'That can only mean one thing…'

Kioka threw the parasol in the air as she went to declare her next move "Now! I overlay my two wondrous monsters!" The portal opened just as she caught her parasol in her outstretched hand "A monster made from the black arts that shines brighter than any other! XYZ summon! Rank 3! Occult Slazher Alpha Unit!"

The portal exploded and out of it emerged a monster that wasn't all too different from those that were summoned before it. It was only slightly larger than the monsters it was made from, but from the way the purple energy was crackling around it and the deadly sharp looking katana it was wielding, it was obviously the most deadly one of them so far. Green overlay units were floating around it.

Occult Slazher Alpha Unit, Rank 3, Machine, XYZ, DARK, Effect (2000/0) OVU's: 2

"Battle!" Kioka got a sharp, predatory look in her eyes as she called out to her monster "Attack that Predator Plant Ophrys Scorpio! Cursed Electric Slash!"

Alpha Unit charged out and went madly slashing at the plant scorpion, luckily for Yuri and Yuzu, Yuri had already thought ahead of time, the action card was about to become of use "I activate the Action Spell Evasion! This negates your monster's attack." The katana phased through the scorpion's body, much to the robot's surprise.

"Hahahahah!" Kioka laughed haughtily, bringing her hand beneath her chin and earning confused looks from Yuri and Yuzu "It's funny to me how you think you still stand a chance in this duel, if you're desperate enough to spend an action card like Evasion in order to protect such a monster than it shows you really have no clue what you're dealing with here."

"I suppose that's true I hadn't heard of you till about half an hour ago." Yuri quipped back, earning a glare from the two females on the field and a grunt from the still blank faced Teru.

"Well, then, Yuri-chan. You won't have much of an issue if I care to enlighten yourself about us further." Kioka said as Teru appeared beside her, again showing off the disparity in their size "We don't like to lose, Shiki isn't one for defeat either."

"When we saw you… Use Pendulum… We were intrigued."

"And thus we pushed Shiki to write to your school in order to see how we could deal with this. We wanted to take you down with our hands, to prove that we were the strongest young duelists in the country, not the son of some coward who invented a new summoning method out of thin air."

"Thus this duel…" Teru all of a sudden had managed to appear, without anyone noticing, behind Yuzu and had his hand crushed against her face "It's to prove a point… To see how good you are…. Without your Pendulum Summon and Fusion Summon…"

"And you will learn your lesson well! For I activate the effect of Alpha Unit!" One of the overlay units was sucked up into the awaiting katana of Alpha unit as its eyes glowed a ghostly ectoplasmic green "By using one overlay unit I trigger the following effect, Alpha unit can attack once more and all the damage we have taken this turn from all sources is added to its attack points!" That declaration made everyone from You Show's eyes widen. With the kids screaming out "What?!"

"Is that what the Grimoire card was for?" Yuzu asked, still rather uncomfortable over saying the word Grimoire, her bracelet still glowing.

"Yes…" Teru drawled, moving away from Yuzu and back towards his sister "By taken the damage from the Grimoire… We draw out more damage for you!"

The green haired Lolita cast a sly glance over in their direction "Do you know the best part of all of this? Alpha Unit is a monster that deals piercing battle damage!" And for the umpteenth time that day, Yuri and Yuzu had been put into a state of shock. "Do it again, Alpha!" Alpha charged with a renewed vigour as it went in for the kill.

Managing to recover from the shock, Yuri was quick to swing into action as Yuzu too went off in search of an action card "I activate the Trap Venomous Plant Wall!" The card showed three of Yuri's monsters, Moray Nepenthes, Fly Trap and Darlington Cobra all forming together to make a wall, while Starve Venom stayed just behind it, lying in wait for its next victim. "Using this card, my monster's destruction is prevented and you take half the damage we were supposed to receive." The cybernetic warrior's blade got lodged very quickly in the ever growing wall of thorns. As the thorns grew, they started to slink their way over to Teru and Kioka's side of the field.

"Teru-nii!" Kioka called out to her brother as they started to surround the pair.

"Yes… I activate… Cerbuian Dragnas!" As soon as the name was called out, another guard dog, this time with flaming red fur and blue eyes ran out in defence of the siblings "I put all my faith… In Cerberus a long time ago… Dragnas' effect! By discarding this card from my hand to the graveyard and paying 600 life points, any and all Spell or Traps activated during the battle phase are negated! Say goodbye to your worthless wall!" Flames spread from Dragnas' fur and incinerated the area around the field, including setting all the houses in the Kingdom, Yuri's thorny wall and eventually the siblings themselves as a payment.

"Ah, how sweet, a display of family amour. The guard dog who has to protect the violent aggressor. Perfect for how they duel."

Kioka and Teru's LP: 2200 – 1600

"Finish it, Alpha Unit!" Kioka declared after the flames subsided. Alpha Unit this time finally succeeded in its attack, tearing through Scorpion like it wasn't even there and succeeding in sending Yuri crashing back into the iron gates with a nasty gash across his body from the sword.

Yuri and Yuzu's LP: 4000 – 1000

Shiki sighed seeing the destruction "Oh lord, they've done it again, I should tell them to let off occasionally for the sake of the competitor's wellbeing. I hope little Yuri-kun is alright."

Yuzu was just in the process of figuring this out as the dust settled and Yuri's withered body was revealed to be crumpled around the smashed iron "Yuri! Yuri! Yuri!" She yelled and shook him, when he didn't respond something snapped inside her head. The glowing from her bracelet reached a boiling over point as it engulfed the field.

Whilst most were blinded by the light, one person couldn't help but have his jaw drop "What the hell? That can't be right…"

"You're going to wish you hadn't done that…" There was something dark in Yuzu's tone as her face contorted in rage, leaving Yuri's side and going back to the field. A dark aura was beginning to surround her with every extra step she took.

"And how do you propose… To do that…?" Teru asked, something finally bleeding through his bland voice as his tone turned into one of callous mocking.

"Teru-nii's right. Unless you have some method to break our lock then you're going nowhere fast. Plus, the Grimoire will only damage you more if you summon a monster!" Kioka backed her brother up. "I end my turn, try us!"

Kioka's cards x3

Turn 4

Yuzu laughed darkly "My turn, I draw!" There was a hushed silence amongst the crowd and especially within the You Show group, the three young kids were suddenly absolutely terrified of the girl they had always known as strict but also as kind. Shuzo couldn't believe that his daughter was acting like this and Gongenzaka was stuck in a state of surprise.

"I summon Score the Melodious Diva!" Yuzu's monster was a youngish looking girl with blue hair and wearing a white dress.

Score the Melodious Diva, Level 2, Fairy, LIGHT, Effect (200/200)

The Grimoire's dark power seeped through the pores on Score's skin filling the diva with a forbidden power. The mist also tried to take hold of Yuzu, however, it was beaten back by an even darker force to the surprise of the two goths.

Score's ATK: 200 – 800

Yuzu and Yuri's LP: 1000 – 400

"When I control one Melodious monster, I can summon Sonata the Melodious Diva to the field!" Sonata was a yellow skinned female with teal coloured hair and a similarly coloured dress.

Sonata the Melodious Diva, Level 3, Fairy, LIGHT, Effect (1200/1000)

Sonata's ATK: 1200 – 2100

"You've done it now!" Teru yelled, his impediment seemingly vanishing into nowhere "That is the card that shall send you over the edge! The Grimoire's effect now activates and will rob you of your last remaining life points!"

Yuu laughed darkly once more, flapping the action card in her hand mockingly "Keheheh. I don't think so, I activate the Action Spell Blood Serenade!" The scene was of a wine glass full of blood "Any effect damage I may take is negated." Teru scoffed in response.

"Sonata's effect! When this special summoned card is on the field, all fairy type monsters that I control gain 500 attack and defence points!" The two Melodious monsters sung in a higher resonating pitch as their power strengthened.

Sonata's ATK: 2100 – 2600

Score's ATK: 800 – 1300

"Battle!" A sadistic grin cracked onto Yuzu's crazed face as Yuri was finally rousing from the attack he had suffered "Sonata attack Loewen!" She plucked another card from her hand "I will also activate the effect of the second Score in my hand! By sending this card from my hand to the graveyard your monster loses all of its attack and defence points!"

"What?!" Teru and Kioka exclaimed, sharing worried glances with each other.

Sonata sung louder and louder, creating a discordant melody that harmed the ears of the watching crowd. Then she dived towards the awaiting hound, crashing into it and sending the two goths flying backwards, the perfect punishment for what they did to Yuri. "I win." She declared coldly.

But as the field failed to dissipate she grew annoyed, falling to notice Yuri staggering towards her with a soft cry of "Yuzu… Yuzu…"

"I told you." Kioka's voice pierced loudly through the air as the dust cloud settled, revealing the pair just barely standing with their clothes in taters and panting heavily "We don't like losing."

"How?!" Yuzu was blisteringly angry as Yuri had finally reached her side.

Teru took charge this time, holding a card in his hand "Cerbuian Allegiance's last effect! By sending this card I control to the graveyard all the battle damage we would have taken this turn is cut in half!"

Kioka and Teru's LP: 1600 – 300

"Damn you!" Yuzu cursed out much to the astonishment of the You Show bunch, including Yuri. But Yuzu still had one last attack to use and the Goth siblings wouldn't be able to survive it. "Scor-" However, she soon felt the added weight of a one Yuri Sakaki collapsed over her.

He was… Crying? Into her shoulder. Yuri didn't cry often, hell the last time he had cried had been about 10 years or so ago. He hadn't even cried when Yusho had disappeared as he held onto the errant belief that he would be coming back one day. But either seeing Yuzu in such a state or from the amount of pain he still felt as a result of Alpha Unit's attack, he couldn't help but bawl his eyes out on her shoulder "Don't… Yuzu. Don't become a monster…" This words had seemingly struck a chord somewhere in Yuzu's head as the dark aura began to fade "Academia made me a monster… You fixed that… So don't you dare fall into the same trap I did!"

The darkness seemed to completely fade after that exclamation and Yuzu collapsed to her knees, placing her forehead on Yuri's. "Yuri… What just happened…? I end my turn…"

Yuzu's cards x4

Turn 5

Teru was done, he wasn't going sit in silence any longer and be the watchdog, because as he had always believed "Watchdogs bite too…"

He took the Action in his hand that he had gained when he arrived over on Yuri and Yuzu's field "I activate the Action Spell Blood Ball! It gives my opponent 200 points of damage for each spell and trap card that we control on our field. That's exactly 400, Kioka-nee's Forbidden Grimoire and my Cerberus' Gate!" A ball of blood soon found its way into the giant's hands "My condolences." He chucked it at the crestfallen pair and vanquished their remaining life points.

Yuri and Yuzu's LP: 400 – 0

Kioka and Teru: Win!

'Come now, we'll open up the door this time forever. The door leading Makzis' domain, the key is in your hands, an unknown world is waiting for you two, Yuzu Hiiragi and Yuri Sakaki.'

(Fusion Dimension)

Reisuke sighed as he took a step back to observe his new piece. There were certain times where not even the soothing nature of the piano could calm him down from his frustrations.

"You did well on this one."

"Thanks…" He muttered to no one in particular as he set down a palette below the canvas in front of him.

When the piano wouldn't work, the Commandant turned to crafting works of art. Painting seemed to be another cathartic release for Reisuke as many times in the past it had stopped him from being destructive to those around him or even self-destructive to himself. "Shame, Li-Li is too busy to see it, he would like this one."

"Bah, don't bother yourself, Reisuke." He spoke out again, once more to none in particular as he picked up the portrait. "I think this one is going to go best with the Kyrie of Illusions, maybe it should be called 'The Pitiful Lullaby'. Isn't that a good title?"

The scene painted was very abstract and surrealist to say the least. It showed a city at night gradually warping into a scene of purple flames, there were two giants that were rooming this city. One of them was made out of parts of the city that included windows, buildings and even parts of people's cars. The other one seemed much more human like with big beady eyes that scoured the scene looking for anyone to destroy. Above all of them was a singular figure, a clearly human character with long flowing green hair but the main difference being that out of his back was a pair of long black angel wings.

"Yes, it is a crazy lullaby after all." Placing the portrait next to the sea of other ones, Reisuke returned to his piano with a mischief playing in his eyes. He rubbed his hand across the sleek white surface and the keys before he began to play once more.

"You are burned in the midst of the flames. Take my hand, this game is already over." Briefly, very briefly, a sheen of gold over took Reisuke's right eye "The fate of that dark look in your eye will never be taught."

He took a deep breath, eyeing another one of the paintings he had nearby, one of a certain teal haired male and his mechanical falcon "You lose all hope to defeat me. Believe that this "game" is already over. Such a Kyrie ah~ it's loved, let's sing...Destroy... destroy..."

"Ah "The world" will be destroyed..."

"...isn't it thrilling?"

In another room, something far more destructive and sadistic was going on. A grey haired male was sat with a grin on his face towards the purple haired girl tied up before him. The girl was clearly battered and bruised with scars running down her cheeks, a couple scars also went just below her eyes and on the bridge of her nose. "Hey, Ruri, little birdie. Don't you cry..." Yali cooed, grasping hold of Ruri's face despite the purple haired girl's best efforts "If you do that, then I'll have no choice but to remove those precious wings of yours." He then pulled something long and ruthlessly sharp from his sleeve.

"W-why are you doing this, Y-Yali-i?" Ruri quivered "We used to be f-" Whatever Ruri was going to say was cut off by Yali placing the metal of the blade on her cheek.

"So that you'll belong to me and Academia for the rest of time..." The way he tried to sound so sincere was sickening to the XYZ duelist. It was a lurid, perverted and fake kindness.

Seeing the person that she thought she knew so well doing this to her, Ruri began to tear up and soon singular drops turned to many that cascaded down her cheeks "Even all the tears that along your scarred cheeks will fall, I'll contain them with the rest of it as my eternal treasure."

"…Isn't it thrilling?"

Chapter Text

"You failed." An authoritative older voice spoke bluntly. The room was gloriously constructed with vibrant colours of gold and white, in the middle was a red throne with a golden trim to it, numerous people in white cloaks with golden shawls were stood in every corner of the place. The voice belonged to an elder male who was dressed in similar robes, although his included a design of a golden Coptic cross right in the middle. "The mission wasn't difficult and yet you still disappoint us with your lack of ability to act decisively."

The person he was speaking too, a male that was probably no older than 17, was bowing down to him on one knee, he had a white hood covering his head and the same shawl as the rest of them draped across his shoulders, apart from that the majority of his body was barren of clothes, apart from, thankfully, his bottom half. "I apologise, Sir, but there were other individuals present at the time, I was barely able to sneak the incantation past them and if I was to go any further, suspicions would've have been raised further."

"Tch, insolent brat." The man sneered, getting up from the throne as one of the other people in the room passed him a bottle "This shall be your punishment for once again disappointing the guild."

"N-no!" The younger male spluttered as he noticed the bottle "Please! Reconsider!"

The older male was having none of it "It's the only way forward, learn your lesson well and make sure this never happens again." He then poured whatever was in the bottle over the younger male's back.

"GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" The liquid burned. It burned badly. The young male howled in pain as it seeped into his skin. The pain forced him flat to the ground and exposed his scarred back to the air. Upon it was a large symbol that made the others in attendance sneer, the design was blank and circular with two spokes coming out while a smaller circle inside gave it the look of an eye.

A few more drops were then sprinkled on both of his hands "Silence, you will take the punishment properly." The young male had to grit his teeth and bear the immense pain that was still coursing through his body, his hands smoking in the places where the liquid had touched it "By the sacred and exalted name, obey me! O ye who reside within the spirit of this vessel, prostate thyself before me and be gone forever more!"

The pain caused forced the male's body to convulse and his hood to fall off his head, revealing his spiky light blue hair and red eyes which had a strange cross shape in place of regular pupils "No more! I repent! Please! I can't control it! It's not my fault!"

One of the servants came and retrieved the bottle from the man's hands as he spoke "This is non-negotiable, retrieve the Grimoire for us before the demon is resurrected and the punishment shall stop, fail and we will make sure that this punishment is tame in comparison."

(Unknown Location)

When Yuri awoke he had no real clue where he was. The scene around him was nothing but endless blackness with nothing visible for miles on end and with nothing else he was really able to do, Yuri began to walk into said darkness. 'What the hell is happening here?'

As he walked further and further, still with no discernible end in sight, he began to start feeling that there was someone stalking him. It started off as a small thing, maybe the extra odd sound of a boot or the unwelcome addition of heavy breathing but it was something that could've easily been something that he had done subconsciously.

However, the feeling had gotten much stronger the longer he stayed in this place, wherever the hell this place was… 'Wonderful, first I have to see Yuzu lose her shit in a duel then lose said duel and now I'm stuck in this black hole in the middle of nowhere. I love my life so much…' The point that confirmed it for him was when he had heard the sound of laugh that he definitely let out. The voice was also much more a baritone and far deeper than his own one. "I know you're here, show yourself now or forever hold your peace!"

"My, my. The little dog does have a bark after all." Steeping out of the shadows was a figure that Yuri never wanted to see again as long as he lived. He didn't need to take note of his physical appearance, the shoulderless jacket was all that was required for him to identify Jex "Yet I believe that there is a human saying which goes "A dog's bark is worse than its bite" and if what our little encounter shows then your bite may be even weaker than I first imagined."

"What do you want?" There was a burning anger that made Yuri's face contort at the sound of Jex's voice, there was something about it that made Yuri want to attack and wipe the smug grin off of that stupid face. It made him angry beyond any reasonable measure that someone like this, who would willing attempt to kidnap a girl and also attempt to seriously harm them, could be allowed to walk free with no repercussions "As far as I'm concerned you ran away when you had the chance to talk to me alone. If I didn't know any better then I'd say you were a coward."

"Fufufufufu…" Instantaneously after he laughed, Jex lunged at Yuri without any prior warning. Yuri tried his best to dodge the green haired male's assault but he soon found himself once more under the powerful grasp of Jex. However, this time round there was something far stranger, unlike before where Yuri felt like he was nearly strong enough to break free from the goons, Jex's hold was inhumanly strong and the Predator Plant duelist found himself dangling in the air. "I like rambunctious souls the best, I found out that the more determined a human soul is, the better it will taste."

"What are you on about? Souls, Grimoire, none of this makes any sense! Why did you try to take Yuzu away from me and are you behind what happened to here during that duel?!" Yuri unleashed a barrage of furious questions and was only stopped when he felt Jex's free hand poke his forehead.

"So many questions and so little time…" Jex lamented before he laughed again "Was I behind what happened to the little rabbit during that duel you had? How could I possibly know that? It's not like I was there. Why did I try and take her from you?" He yanked Yuri downwards and cracked his head to the side, allowing him to whisper into Yuri's ear with a sickingly saccharine tone "Unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to tell you that detail yet. However, I suppose that's one of the things about humanity and humans in general that always fascinated me, you always want answers to ever question upon learning about it and get impatient when you don't know the answer right away. If I told you the real reason then all of the thrill you would've gotten from figuring it out would've been lost."

"B-bastard… I know you're up to something!" Yuri retorted, once more he tried to figure a way out of the hold and yet again he found himself restrained by supernatural strength. "I'm not letting you near Yuzu or any one of my friends for that matter!"

"I'm sorry to say this, Yuri-chan, but you don't have a say in this matter." Jex finally relinquished his grip, leaving Yuri gasping for air on the ground "It's rather sad to see how the mighty have fallen so far. You were such the hot shot at Academia."

Yuri's ears pricked at the mere mention of that authoritarian hellhole masquerading as a learning facility "What would you know about me?! You don't know anything about me or Academia so don't even pretend to claim you have even the faintest clue about that abhorrent place!"

"Don't I?" For some odd reason, Jex's voice underwent a strange morph right in the middle of him speaking. His voice cracked upwards and began to sound awfully familiar to Yuri "I'm harmed by how badly you must've fallen to forget me." He pulled off the eye mask, revealing a set of purple eyes that were identical to Yuri's shaking orbs "Have you realised it yet? We've been apart for so long and to see you like this is positively electric to me." He kneeled down to Yuri's frame and gentle ran his thumb over Yuri's chin "I'm sorry for having to take on this form and pretend to be that demonical wretch, although you have to admit that I made a very convincing stand in." The figure removed the hood, showing off not only an identical facial structure but identical hair.

In fact... Everything was identical.

And that fact made Yuri's jaw drop.

"Ta-da!" The doppelgänger exclaimed "Did you miss me? Yuri? Of course you did! I'm you after all! And I just can't wait till the moment that we finally become one once more."

The darkness engulfed the scene with cries of "Yuri! Yuri! Yuri!"

(Real world)

"Yuri!" Yuri bolted upwards from his prone position with a massive headache pounding through his head and searing pain throughout his body. As his blurry vision began to clear he spied the beginnings of bandages wrapped around his arms and also a couple around one of his arms. 'Gah. Where am I? What's going on?' He found that his head was incredibly hard to turn, cracking after even the slightest movement making it borderline impossible to see anything that wasn't directly in front or slightly to the side of him.

"Are you alright?" That voice… That was Yuzu! Yuri felt a wave of relief pour through him. The details of what had happened in the duel had reared their ugly head and the greatest satisfaction that he could derive from it was that his childhood friend was okay and had suffered no physical damage.

"Are you worried about me, my dear? That's awfully sweet of you, given your usual hard and crass nature." Yuri replied in a teasing jovial manner trying to lighten the mood.

Yuzu replied by flicking the violet haired male on the forehead but did no more else but smile "Haha. Am I not allowed to be glad for one of my friends when they're alright? I didn't realise that was a requirement." She laughed and Yuri reciprocated it heartily.

"Ah~, it's so wonderful." The melodic voice of Shiki Sogami wasn't something that the pair was really expecting. More so Yuzu who in her shock at him appearing just behind her ended up on top of Yuri and causing said teen to yelp in pain. "Oh." Shiki's previously smiling face fell as he witnessed the scene "It happened again. Here I am telling Teru-kun not to sneak up on people and yet I do this. However…" He was quick to notice though that the prolonged contact from both teens had made their faces and ears heat up "Amour works in mysterious ways, I won't say sorry for watching something so beautiful bloom."

Realising the compromising position they were in, Yuri rather gracefully shoved Yuzu off of him and she fell with a resounding crash "Bah! Why would I love someone like her? She's crude, hard and possibly sociopathic! I'd be mad to be in love with someone like that! In f-" A good clocking around the face by Yuzu's fan was all that was needed to make Yuri shut his trap. That and the fact Yuzu looked like she could possibly return to that state he had seen in during the duel was what really shut him up on that issue.

"Why are you here, Sogami-san?" Yuzu asked sweetly, like she hadn't just looked like the devil incarnate to Yuri.

"I came to say my apologies to you two for what transpired in my school. I do tell those two to not go off the rails but they never listen to me." Shiki lamented "Sometimes it makes me wonder what they do when I'm not around to hound them."

'If that's what they did when you are around, I dread to think what would've happened to us then.' Yuri gulped. He then took notice of what Shiki was holding in his hands, a rather offensively large bouquet of roses and also a note "Um who's that for?"

"You two of course!" Shiki replied like it was the most obvious thing in the world "It's my way of saying sorry for the damage that was caused. I tried to bring Teru-kun and Bitch-chan with me but Bitch-chan refused and her precious Nii-san didn't want to hurt her feelings so he also pulled out, C'est la vie I guess." He handed the bouquet over to Yuri "I trust you to take good care of them, I put a lot of work into maintain my rose garden and from what I can glean, you seem to have an appreciation for the natural wonders of this world."

"Um, sure…" That brought Yuri's mind back to the possible state of his own collection at home. Gardening had always been a hobby of his, it felt like it was a natural calling in life. His cards were all plant based and he found it to be a great reliever of stress. He smelt a few of the roses, letting the wondrous scent fill him with bliss. He could tell that Shiki was telling the truth as he saw they were maintained to an excellent condition, this would satisfy him for now.

"Now!" the sandy haired male clapped his hands and smiled "I'm going to have to go now, I left the two reprobates in charge while I came here so I dread to think of what's happened." Yuzu and Yuri sweat dropped at the obviously pained smile he was wearing and the rather stupid decision to leave those two maniacs there. "If you ever want to have a rematch with those two or another match with any other students, don't hesitate to ask. I'll always be listening!" And with that the Principle had left the scene as quickly as he arrived.

After checking for a few seconds to see if someone else was going to make an unwarranted appearance, Yuri spoke up again "So what's going on, my dear? My head's killing me and I don't quite recall how I got here."

Yuzu blushed again "Well, um, uh, you see…" Yuri fixed Yuzu with a glare as she wringed her hands "Well, after the duel ended Sogami-san came up to me since he saw that you had collapsed." Yuzu began to think back to what was said then.

"Yuzu-chan, eyes up here." Yuzu brought her quivering eyes off of Yuri's sunken form and towards the adult behind her "Don't worry about Yuri-kun, all action fields have a limit capacity so that the real solid vision can't harm the duelist that much. However, your best course of action would be to take him to the hospital to get him checked out. Usually one can sustain a direct blow only once, Bitch-chan's attack wasn't only a direct hit but it also launched him it the gate which can effectively be considered another hit with possible damage done. Do you understand?" Yuzu wearily nodded her head "Good girl, I'll see you there."

"He said that because of what had happened that it would be best for you to go to the hospital." Yuzu skimped on the details but the main point was still there "So my dad called your mother to notify her of what happened. Needless to say she wasn't very pleased…" Yuri didn't need any details, he was already in a cold sweat imaging what happened. "I made sure to stay by you the whole time and wait until you woke up."

"Ooh, how sweet of you~." Yuri said cheekily "It's that type of things that make others fall in love…" His grin was like that of the Cheshire cat.

"Guess Sogami-san must have rubbed off on you." Yuzu replied quickly, shoving a hand over her face to cover her facial blush but falling to hide the fact her ears were now burning up. "A-Anyway, the doctors said that you'd probably have to stay here for a day or two so that they could measure the extent of the damage. Please listen to them."

Yuri frowned, of course it had to happen right before the qualification period for the Championship, even worse when he just gained a new weapon to use against those who dared oppose him. Honestly! It was like fate had it out for him! "Alright then." He conceded puffing out his cheeks like a six year old would do "If it helps you sleep at night that is." However, he wouldn't miss an opportunity to tease his beloved.

In response, Yuzu flicked Yuri on the forehead "It isn't for my sake, it's for yours you dolt!" She scolded the purple haired teen but there was no malice in her words, she was just happy the Yuri was listening to someone other than himself for once. The pink haired girl smiled and left the young Predator Plant alone with his thoughts.

'What the hell was that dream?' Yuri held his head in his hands 'More importantly, who the hell was that?! It wasn't Jex and it couldn't possibly be me so what on earth was that? And why did they say the wanted to 'Become one once again'?' The questions were causing far more pain than his physical scars were.

(Night Time) (You Show Duel School)

'I have to do this… We didn't win because I was too weak willed and lost control… If I want to be there if Yuri then I have to get better.' Yuzu panted, sweat was dripping off of her face and down onto her clothes 'And if I want to see Yuya I can't be resting on my laurels. He's probably gotten much stronger.'

Yuzu wouldn't exactly call this a secret per se. It was more of an open secret, her dad knew of the issues she had had after Yuya disappeared and how she felt that as she grew older she would have to grow stronger to contest what she saw as Yuya's increased growth, she refused to believe that Yuya was gone for good, she knew that he would be back one day and she would be ready for when that was. It had been ten years since they promised each other that rematch.

She went into the field generator room and shut it down for the night, the field she had previously been in disintegrating 'They'll find out soon… I can't keeping going behind dad's back like this, he's bound to notice soon…'

What was a secret however, was what Yuzu did in the middle of the night. As she made sure that her dad was fast asleep, she would sneak into his room and take the keys to the school. '"Hey, it was his fault for leaving them in the same place every night" Was the excuse that Yuzu recited to herself in order to make herself feel good about doing this.

When in the school she would go through a strict regime of increasing athleticism during the duel and also for formulating new combos that she could use. It also helped her gain a closer bond with her monsters, she had always been told that monsters were the duelist's natural friend and her training only increased this natural trust.

The pink haired girl looked up at the clock it read half past two in the morning. She sighed, it was probably time to go home and prepare to start this whole routine over again.

Walking out into the night, she took extra care to make sure that everything was locked up securely. When those checks had been passed she sighed once again and prepared to set off on the trek back to her house.

"Um? Am I late or something?" Yuzu really wasn't in the mood for whoever this was, she was too tired from her training and already had her quota of surprise appearance filled by Shiki for the foreseeable future since the sandy haired male seemed to love turning up out of nowhere to scare the shit out of people.

"Sorry, the school's closed for the night." She didn't even waste time looking at this person, she could tell from the voice that it was male but it wasn't the same voice of either of the mysterious pair of Jex or Demil, nor was it Teru as the shadow was too small and the speech too perfect. All in all, she had come to the conclusion that she could just ignore this person. "Come back later if you wish to join."

"Not even going to look at me? Ah, how mean~." The voice cawed "Good thing I'm not interested in joining then." Maybe it was the fact that she had just expended all of her energy and was close to collapsing on anything that was soft, that she missed the sharp turn in the tone of the male's voice. She was also missing out on the point that no one in their right mind would be out here at this time.

"Then please leave." Yuzu wasn't in the mood and went to push past the person in her way.

He responded by grabbing her arm and forcing her towards him "I won't leave until I got what I came for." Then, out of nowhere, he began to sniff Yuzu's skin and hair, licking his lips as he did so "And it looks like it feel right into my lap."

For the first time, Yuzu gazed at the male. He was standing at about 5'9, a roughly similar height to Yuzu and possibly slightly shorter. He was wearing a grey cloak adorned with golden designs on the front and a Coptic cross on the back. He was also wearing a shawl which was white and also had the Coptic cross on both sides. Underneath his cloak he wore a white dress shirt with ruffled cuffs and black trousers with thigh high sliver boots. In terms of physical appearance he had spiky-ish dark blue hair that was relatively unkempt, his bangs covered the right side of his face while the left side had part of the fringe tied into a small braid that went across his hairline. He had an unmistakeable set of sharp pinkish red eyes that had an ethereal quality to them. Finally, he wore a set of earrings in his left ear which were two dangling golden cylinders. "W-who are you?" Images of the last time with Jex started flash into her mind, could this be?

The blue haired male smirked and with his free hand held up three fingers "I'll give you three guesses. 1: My name is Daiki Welt, the person who is about to challenge you to a duel. 2: My name is Daiki Welt, the servant of the illustrious guild who will rebuild this wretched world!" He paused before dropping the third finger "3: My name is Daiki Welt, the one who will reclaim the Grimoire!"

Yuzu gulped. There it was again. This Grimoire thing seemed to be dominating her life recently, ever since her first encounter two nights ago with Jex and his goons. "G-grimoire?"

Daiki's eyes flashed "Indeed and from your expression I can tell that you know exactly what I mean." He tightened the hold he had on her arm "If that is indeed the case, then you need to come with me."

Yuzu, to put it bluntly, had gone from a state of shock to all out anger in the space of .5 seconds flat. As the adrenaline rushed through her, she pulled out her fan and repeatedly started to bash Daiki's face in "Who the hell do you think you are?! Grabbing a woman like that! Demanding that she follow you! Sniffing their hair and body! I should call the police on you!" She wouldn't stop until this fucker's face was pounded black and blue.

"A-a-apologies, ma'am..." Daiki wheezed after the blows to his face ceased, speaking of his face, it was now emblazoned with the marks of Yuzu's fan. He fell to the ground in an attempt to breathe life back into his hollow husk of a body.

However, that wouldn't last long as Yuzu picked up by his hair, flames burning behind her "Now, tell me what you were going to do to me or else!"

"Get off! It doesn't look like it but my hair is hard to maintain and I don't want you messing it up!" Daiki had never felt better in his life as Yuzu relinquished her hold on him. He bounded back to his feet and fixed the portion of hair that had been moved out of position.

Yuzu was about to ask him another question when suddenly a black beam flew out of Daiki's hand and attached itself to her duel disk arm, forcing it to activate. She tried to pull her arm away but found herself unable to "Don't bother, it's a duel anchor. You won't be going anywhere." Daiki pulled out his right arm where his own duel disk of an emerald green and an odd wing shaped design lay. "Tell me something, Yuzu Hiiragi… How do you sleep easy at night knowing you're hiding not one, but two big secrets from your friends and family? You sink your teeth deep into those who you depend on and infect them, you're quite the problem it would seem."

"What? How do you know my name? And what are you talking about?" Yuzu asked a flurry of question towards the smirking pink eyed male.

"Nehehehe. Wouldn't you like to know?" He yanked his duel disk arm backwards, taking Yuzu with it causing her to collapse into his waiting arms "Unfortunately, Yuzu-chan, I'll be the one asking the questions here and you'll be the one answering me, kay?" Having unintentionally placed her hands on his chest, Yuzu came across something she hadn't seen due to the dark of night. It was a small silver Coptic cross, the very same one that she had witness Demil pull out during the Jex incident.

'Are he and Demil part of the same group…?' Yuzu thought, refusing to relinquish her hold over it 'Demil vanished straight after that duel but he seemed to know who Jex was, this guy seems to know too.' She took a good look over Daiki's features again and shook her head 'No, they're not brothers. His name is Welt, Jex called Demil "Kaimia". Unless they both happened to cross him at different times, but then there's this cross and then the "guild" he just mentioned and then…'

Daiki nudged Yuzu gently, chuckling at how deep in thought the pink haired girl was "Yuzu-chan. Yuzu-chan." She snapped out of thoughts and store directly at him "Here's the deal, if you manage to beat me, I'll tell you anything you want to hear. However, if I win… Let's leave that little detail for until after the duel. So what do you say?"

Yuzu thought it over, she could get answers to the questions that had been plaguing her ever since Jex had shown up. Maybe… Just maybe… Daiki would now about Yuya too. With that her mind was set and she moved off of the navy haired male. "I accept your terms. When this is done I will have you tell me everything! No going back on your word!"

The navy haired male waved her vitriol down "Now, now, you have to beat me first. And there's no chance in hell that I'm going to allow that to happen." He grinned wildly as the black blade of his duel disk, which was in a similar wing shaped fashion, extended.

"Duel!" Both declared simultaneously.

Daiki's LP: 4000 Yuzu's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"I'll take the first move." Daiki declared whilst flashing the first card from his hand "I summon to the field Eternal Emperor – Staki!"The monster that appeared bore quite the striking resemblance to its owner. The monster was male, a very handsome looking one at that, he had blue hair styled in a similar fashion to Daiki although his was markedly neater and well kept. He was wearing a brown and black aristocratic type outfit with a ruffled white dress shirt underneath, there were golden trims down the lapels and a blue rose was pinned on his left torso. Finally, there was a black muffler scarf around his neck.

Eternal Emperor – Staki, Level 4, Warrior, EARTH, Effect (1600/1600)

"I activate Staki's effect, he grants me the ability to summon one Level 4 or lower Eternal Emperor from my hand to the field in defence mode." Staki's eyes flashed as he grinned, a strange runic symbol appeared on the palm of his hands as Daiki took out his partner "I summon Eternal Emperor – Gack." Gack was a similarly handsome male with purple eyes and very long purple hair tied into a braid. Just like his counterpart, Gack was dressed in a brown and black aristocratic type outfit with a ruffled white dress shirt underneath and golden trims down the lapels. However this time round there was a purple rose pinned on his left torso. Another difference was in place of the black muffler scarf, a fur line half cape rested over his right shoulder.

Eternal Emperor – Gack, Level 4, Warrior, EARTH, Effect (1400/1800)

"Gack's effect now! When this card is present on the field alongside Staki I can add one Spell or Trap card from my deck to my hand." The same runic symbol appeared although this time it was present in his eye. The card ejected itself from Daiki's duel disk and he took it into his hand "I now activate the card which I just added, the Continous Spell Card Eternal Fest!" As the card materialized on the field Yuzu took a good look at its rather strange art. The scene depicted both Staki and Gack sat in golden red thrones on either side of an empty one in the middle, Staki was holding a fork in his hand with a pensive look on his face, Gack was smirking and holding a knife. Behind them was a long white table with an indiscernible mass on it.

"In order to keep on living, there must be a sacrifice of other living things." Daiki stated "That is where Eternal Feast comes into play, it grants me the ability once per turn to destroy either a card on my field or a card in my hand."

Yuzu was perplexed "Destroying cards in your hand? You can't do that!"

Daiki snickered again "Nehehehe, watch and learn, Yuzu-chan." He took one card from his hand and showed it to Yuzu, it was another one of his monsters a small blonde haired girl was dressed a yellow ball gown and was wearing a small black hat which was adorned with a rose. "I use Feast's effect to destroy Eternal Emperor – Nel." The card burst into particles and the spirt was sucked into the card "Now two things happen. I first activate Nel's effect from the graveyard! Should this card be destroyed by card effect whilst it is either in my hand or on the field, I now get draw one card from my deck and if it is a monster card you will take damage equal to that monster's level x100." Yuzu gritted her teeth as she watched Daiki draw, hoping that he wouldn't draw a monster card. "Would you look at that? Looks like you're going to be getting away with it this turn, I drew a Trap card."

'Thank god, I don't think could take any damage straight away if I'm to win this…' Yuzu thought, breathing a huge sigh of relief.

"However! You're not out of the woods just yet! Feast's effect now activates! The destroyed monster now has its attack divided up amongst my current monsters until the end of your turn. Nel had a total of 1000 attack points, both of my monsters now gain 500 attack and defence points." The spirt of Nel appeared once more, emerging out of the card and slipping into the bodies of both Staki and Gack, increasing their power as the runic symbol became more prevalent in both their designs, enough for Yuzu to fully see it now.

She felt a cold sweat run down her neck and her mouth went dry. The symbol was reminding her of that terrible night two days ago. It wasn't exactly the same, whilst Jex's tongue had been burned with an eye like marking, Staki and Gack had a star shaped cross design with Staki's having the addition of an eye in the middle of it.

Staki's ATK: 1600 – 2100

Gack's DEF: 1800 – 2300

"With that I end my turn by placing three cards face down." The three cards materialized and then disappeared as Daiki smirked "Your turn, Yuzu-chan. Please make sure you don't disappoint us, the guild put their faith in you and I'm not going to be the bringer of bad news to them." He then shrugged "Although, I'm certain that if they understand where I'm coming from they'd understand just what a virus you truly are."

Yuzu gritted her teeth, she had just about had it with this guy's antics, especially this late at night with the adrenaline pumping through her through her veins "Virus, huh? I was always taught to believe that dueling was a game of honour where opponents would go dancing through the air alongside their monsters and fight their opponents with all of their heart. Insulting people and being rude wasn't in that contract."

The navy haired male's eyes flashed once more as he placed a hand under his chin "Really? You want to talk about heart? Trust me, all I have to do is see people once and then I know everything about them. I see your heart, it's full of darkness." He then moved his hand to where his cross was "By the sacred and forbidden name, obey me! O ye who preside over the sprits of the world, gather in front of my eyes and lay the fruits bare!" There was a flash of light and Yuzu felt something briefly invade her spirt, when it died down and she opened her eyes again she could see that Staki was whispering in his master's ear "Oh? Is that so?"

Staki nodded and went over to Gack, whispering into his ears and causing the purple haired monster snicker just like his master. "It would seem…" Daiki began "That you are even worse than first feared, everything you've done up to this point in your life has been for selfish reasons."

The pink haired girl narrowed her eyes dangerously "What are you on about?"

"Don't deny it, you can't lie to me. Ever since that pitiful day ten years ago, when your first love disappeared from this world and was replaced by the second flame you've been acting out of your own selfish desires. Because you missed your first love so much you decided that it would be for the best if you were to implant your desires onto Yuri-chan."

"And? Yuri chose to become who he is of his own choice! He said so himself!" Yuzu spat back, recalling what Yuri had told her during the previous duel.

Daiki replied by wagging his finger "Tsk, tsk, tsk~ you're such a shallow individual. How much of that was really his own volition and how much was you forcing him down that path?" Yuzu found her mouth catching itself before it could spit out another retort "But that's just the tip of the iceberg, you still hide two big secrets from your friends and family, if you were truly magnanimous in your personality your secrets wouldn't be staining your soul black."

Yuzu's retort was interrupted for the second time, although this time it was by Daiki continuing his philosophical ramblings. "Then again, everyone in this world has a secret or two that we're not proud of, they include withholding information from your parents about what happened or hiding cards because you're scared about what might happen should someone find out." The callous disregard of her feelings hurt more to Yuzu than the building pressure on her head "And that thing about being rude, I'm not rude… I just wasn't taught to politely pretend to be nice to people I can't stand."

Daiki's cards x0

Turn 2

Yuzu took a deep breath, steeling herself for the incoming turn 'Right, he's got two monsters on his field and three facedowns, from what I can gather so far is that he's probably going to be revolving around the destruction of cards on his own field and hand. I need to be carefully to not trigger any of those effects as best I can.'

"I draw and to start I will activate 1st Movement Solo!" Yuzu declared after formulating the plan for the turn in her head "This card allows me to Special summon one level 4 or lower Melodious from my hand or deck, I summon Serenade the Melodious Diva from my deck!" Serenade was a pink haired and skinned woman with a yellow and red ball gown and small pink wings coming out of her back.

Serenade the Melodious Diva, Level 4, Fairy, LIGHT, Effect (400/1900)

Yuzu's eyes zeroed in on one particular card in her hand, one she hadn't been able to summon during that duel against Kioka and Teru but one that had always been reliable for her in the past "Serenade can be treated as two sacrifices for the tribute summon of a Fairy-type monster! I sacrifice Serenade!" Serenade split into two and was soon consumed by a bright pink light. "I tribute summon Mozarta the Melodious Maestra!" Descending to the field in the same bright pink light was a new monster. It was a very mature woman with blue skin and an extravagant red dress with a ruffled white skirt and golden quartet notes on each side of it, a large pair of teal coloured butterfly wings with a gold edge around it.

Mozarta the Melodious Maestra, Level 8, Fairy, LIGHT, Effect (2600/2000)

"I see…" Daiki drawled "So that's your ace monster I'm guessing? How cute~."

Yuzu ignored him, she wasn't going to give into his provocations "My monster's effect! Mozarta summons one Melodious monster from my hand once per turn! I summon Opera the Melodious Diva!" Opera was a small yellow skinned girl with pink hair styled in an up-do, she was wearing a lilac tinted dress with blue musical notes on it.

Opera the Melodious Diva, Level 4, Fairy, LIGHT, Effect (2300/1000)

"Normally, if Opera had been Normal Summoned then I wouldn't be able to attack with her on the turn that she was summoned. However, since she wasn't that means I can attack with this turn!" Yuzu proclaimed.

Daiki didn't look awfully bothered "Oh?" He placed his fist against his chin and smirked.

"And I'm not done yet! Since I control a Melodious monster I can summon this wonderful diva to the field! Come on out, Canon the Melodious Diva!" Cannon was light blue skinned monster with a tight fitting pink dress on with a blue and black checked mini skirt on, she was also wearing a golden Domino mask and had spiky blue hair.

Canon the Melodious Diva, Level 4, Fairy, LIGHT, Effect (1400/2000)

Yuzu grinned, all the pieces were in place for her to win! "To battle! Opera attack Staki!" Opera flapped her wings and ascended into the air, from their she slowly began to recite a melody which gradually got louder and louder until it took physical form as a stream of notes which sped towards the Eternal Emperor.

Staki cast an uninterested glance to the approaching attack before turning to face his master. As if there was some form of secret conversation going on that Yuzu couldn't hear Daiki nodded his head "Indeed, we can't allow that can we? Well, let's not waste anytime then! Trap activate! Eternal Appetite!" This card's scene was markedly difference from the previous one, this time Staki was the only one present on the art dressed down to his shirt and a black waistcoat, he looked somewhat manic and was holding his hand over his heart "This card can only be activated when my opponent controls more monsters than I do. Whilst one of my monsters is under attack I can destroy one of the monsters I presently control either on the field or in my hand, like Gack for instance."

Once more, Yuzu was surprised by how Staki turned his head and looked sad as his fellow monster was sacrificed into the card 'This isn't an action duel… This shouldn't be possible…'

"Now, here's what happens! Staki now gains attack points equal to half of Gack's original attack!" The spirt of Gack emerged from the card and dissolved into Staki's body as the blue haired monster gained another runic symbol, this time in his eye.

Staki's ATK: 2100 – 2800

"He's stronger than Opera!" Yuzu exclaimed.

Daiki snickered, holding his hand over his heart "And that's not all… You see, if it brings them satisfaction I will gladly offer up my most vital and important thing so that they can become happy! Gack has a particular effect whenever he is destroyed, whomever destroys him is dealt damage equal to Gack's level x200. So I'll be taking 800 points." Yuzu didn't see anything happen with her naked eye, but she knew for sure that something had changed, a loud slash reverberated across the field and see could see the beginnings of a bleeding gash forming on Daiki's face.

Daiki's LP: 4000 – 3200

Images of Yuri in the hospital began to flood into Yuzu's mind and she started to feel queasy, holding her stomach "A-are you okay?"

Daiki held his shoulders as the blood trickled down from his face "Yes… For me it would be the highest honour to embrace rapture in my destruction! Fight back Staki!" Staki jumped into action at his master's decree, snapping his fingers as the two spirits that had emboldened him with power now returned to the corporeal realm and acted as the sponges for the attack. The two spirits then raced towards Opera, slinking into the Melodious monster who then screamed and exploded, blowing Yuzu back.

Yuzu's LP: 4000 – 3500

"The downside of this is that now Staki loses any boost in his attack that he may have received over the past few turns." As Staki returned to his master's side he looked notably weaker, the symbols disappearing from his person.

Staki's ATK: 2800 – 1600

Yuzu smacked her cheeks 'Calm down, Yuzu, you've still got this, his monster is weak and Mozarta can destroy it, leaving Canon to mop up. I can get him down to 800 and go from there.' She steeled herself once more "Mozarta, you're up next! Attack Staki!" Two conductor's batons appeared within Mozarta's hands, a blast of musical notes coming out of both them and obliterating Staki, leaving Daiki's field bare just as she had planned.

Daiki's LP: 3200 – 2200

"Now you, Canon!" Just like all the other monsters, Canon attacked with a stream of musical notes that swarmed over the navy haired male to his odd amusement.

Daiki's LP: 2200 – 800

Yuzu was pleased by what had happened, she had really overestimated this guy's capabilities, she should be home and dry by the start of her next turn "I end my turn!"

Yuzu's cards x3

"Nehe… Hehe… Hahaha…" Daiki's disjointed laughing sent chills down her spine, he was shaking with excitement and grasping his shoulders with a huge smile on his face "Nehehehehehehehehehehe! Oh, Yuzu-chan! Yuzu-chan! Yuzu-chan! I didn't know you were such a violent individual, but I'm not about to complain~, make sure you do it harder next time."

'This is the same person who got annoyed at me for pulling his hair?'

Daiki clapped his hands "Well, it's time for the resurrection!"

That declaration shocked Yuzu "What do you mean?"

"Isn't it obvious? The monsters are called Eternal Emperors, they can't be easily destroyed by simple means." Daiki tapped his right temple with a shit eating grin on his face, Yuzu really didn't like where this was going "Just as I said before, in order for something to keep on living, you must first preform a sacrifice. I just did so." He ran one of his hands through the bleeding gash, smelling his fingers shortly afterwards "Did you ever here that story about Duel Monsters having spirits and souls?"

Yuzu nodded her head, her dad had been pretty adamant that that story was true and that it had been the basis for why action dueling had become so popular. It allowed for Duelists to have a closer connection to their monsters and legend had it that some were even able to talk to their monsters and feel what they felt.

"That story is true. Each and every monster card has a soul and a spirit that resides within its confines, while you may be able to destroy the cards physically their spirit will never be vanquished. Why am I telling you about this? Because my monsters are impossible to get rid of unless I decide that their time is up. Staki and Gack's effects! During the turn that both of these cards were destroyed and sent to my graveyard and I took at least half my life points I damage during the turn, I summon these two back to the field! Return!"

Yuzu's eyes shook with horror as the graveyard portal emerged in the middle of the field with both of the men crawling out of it like they were a pair of zombies. "The downside to it though is that they can longer use their effects and are locked into defence mode for the rest of the duel."

Turn 3

"However! That doesn't matter! I draw!" Daiki slashed at the top of his deck with a fervent passion in his eyes. "I hope you're prepared for this, Yuzu-chan, to see if you really are what I was searching for I must use this card." One of his facedown cards flipped face up and instantaneously Yuzu felt something in her mind switch, that same dark aura was starting to invade her mind as she gazed at the card art.

The card art was graphic. Laying on the floor of a dining room were Staki and Gack. Staki's mouth had been ripped clean off with the blood pouring onto his clothing, he was lying in a pool of blood and alongside him Gack had befallen the same with his hair being stained blood red with half of his face missing entirely "I activate the Ritual Spell Eternal Resurrection Ritual! With this card I can Ritual summon using monsters from my hand, field or graveyard!" A large table, not too dissimilar from the one present in the Eternal Feast card, appeared before Daiki "I sacrifice Eternal Emperor Staki and Gack from my field and Eternal Emperor Nel from my graveyard! That makes for a total level of ten!" The three monsters materialized on the table sliced into numerous pieces, once more triggering another shift in Yuzu's mind and sick to build in her throat.

Daiki began to chant as the pieces of the monsters were incinerated in blue flames "By the omniscient name, o ye spirits who wander this planet, descend from the heavens and assist me!" The whole table was incinerated and new monster began to form "Ritual summon! Level 10! Eternal Emperor – Stakel!"

The new monster was a Frankenstein's monster of the three cards that summoned it, it had the body of the two male Emperors while it had the face of the female one. Its hair had taken on the long form of Gack's but had the blue of Staki and the yellow of Nel as its colour. Its clothing was a mess of waistcoats, belts, scarves and fur capes. That took nothing away from the pained looking turquoise eyes.

Eternal Emperor – Stakel, Level 10, Ritual, Warrior, EARTH, Effect (3500/2700)

Yuzu felt queasy juts looking at these monster and the pounding headache she was having wasn't helping. It felt like the dark aura emanating from this monster was invading her. She was so caught up in it that she didn't realise that her bracelet gem had begun to glow. "Stakel is the epitome of my philosophy, in order to truly escape the mundane you must constantly evolve. Life is like an ice cream, you've have to enjoy it before it melts! This is Stakel's effect, once per turn I can select one card in your hand and destroy it, if that card is a monster then you lose life points equal to half of that monster's attack points." Yuzu's breath hitched, all of the cards in her hands were monsters! She was going to get hit with this no matter what "I'll take the middle card." The selected card levitated out of Yuzu's hands and exploded. "Hmm, Elegy the Melodious Diva, that monster has 2000 attack points so that means you'll be taking 1000 points of damage. Stakel! Fervent Slice!" Yuzu didn't see anything move but she sure as hell felt it when a slash of claws across her face caused a large gash that was even worse than the one taking home beneath Daiki's eye.

Yuzu's LP: 3200 – 2200

"What was that?" Yuzu muttered as she felt how real the gash was, she had seen Daiki do the same thing not that long ago but to have to happen to her was just so surreal. Physical damage like this shouldn't be possible since they weren't in an action field and real solid vison wasn't being fully utilized.

"Did you listen to me? Monsters are real and thus will cause real damage." Daiki winked his only visible eye "You shouldn't complain, it's lovely what they can do to you sometimes."

Yuzu was about to reply but she was quickly cut off by Daiki announcing his next move "Trap activate! Eternal Devouring!" Just as the Ritual spell this card was heavily graphic in its imagery. Gack had a knife sliced into Staki's face, right where the jaw muscles were, meanwhile Staki had his fork stabbed into the side of Gack's face. While all this was going on, Nel was watching on innocently unaware of what was happening. "With this card I cut my life points in half." Stakel turned on a dime, a surprising feat for the over encumbered giant monster and slashed the navy haired male's stomach and tearing the undershirt Daiki was wearing. That revealed the fact that he too held the same mark that Staki and Gack held, his was just above his belly button and was markedly smaller but there none the less.

Daiki's LP: 800 – 400

"With that, Stakel's effect comes into play! Whenever a card deals damage to me via battle or card effect, Stakel now gains the difference between our life points subtracted by the damage that I've taken this turn. Presently the difference between our points is 1800 and if you take away that 400 I just took, that would leave us with 1400 extra points to add onto Stakel's attack!" Stakel's stitching bulged as a dark mist seeped underneath it.

Stakel's ATK: 3500 – 4900

"You're in a right mess now, aren't you?" Yuzu was startled by the addition of this new voice, she looked over the field seeing that Stakel's mouth had been stitched shut and she knew that the voice wasn't Daiki's "Don't worry about who I am or even what I am, all I need you to do is to decide whether you want to go out with a whimper or with a bang."

"W-what?" Yuzu stuttered.

"This duel is over, you have no cards in your hand to help you and he has all the advantage in the world. If you give yourself to me then I will allow you to at least prove your worth to this reprobate."

However Yuzu wasn't given the light of day to make a decision "Battle! End this Stakel! Dine on your victim! Obliterate Mozarta the Melodious Maestra! Last Supper!"

Stakel tore easily through the flesh of Mozarta, ripping her apart graphically limb from limb and devouring each and every digit on the hand and foot. The head was the most disturbing as it was lopped off with one clean cleaving, the head rolled to Yuzu's feet as tears began to stream down Yuzu's face. Mozarta was the last card she had used against Yuya, she had made a resolution that if she ever summoned her that she would never allowed her to be destroyed because it would be the equivalent of destroying her hope in Yuya coming back. Here was that hope being torn and devoured. She was too numb to everything to realise the final blow that Stakel struck, ending the duel.

Yuzu's LP: 2200 – 0

Daiki: Win!

"No…No…No!" The pink light which had begun shining during Stakel's summon now reached its crescendo, engulfing everything in pink, obliterating the remaining monsters that hadn't vanished as the duel ended. The duel anchor falling from both their arms.

As he saw this light Daiki broke into a bout of insane laughter "NEHEHEEHEHEHEH! I found it! Nesta-sama! It's over! It's over! It's over! Once that light dies down I'll collect it! Then it'll all be over! Yuzu-chan! Yuzu-chan! You did it, I'm so proud~!"

'Why me… What does everything bad always happen to me?! First Yuya, then Yuri, then Jex, now this! Does this world hate me?!' Yuzu pounded the ground, unaware of what was going on around her. She swung down harder and harder until her knuckles began to bleed, eventually her energy had peaked and with the adrenaline dying away the distraught pink haired girl collapsed to the ground.

Daiki approached as the light died down, kneeling down before Yuzu "Nehehe, this is goodbye, Yuzu-chan, don't worry though, I won't be bothering you again after this and neither will Jex." He reached down to her arm and went to remove her bracelet.

However, just as his hand touched the metal he pulled back haphazardly with a searing pain blazing through his hand 'What the fuck?! What was that?!' He went to pull it off again but this time the gem blasted the same pink light which died out just moments before, it covered over the bewildered Daiki as the navy haired male panicked"What?! No! I was so close! Nesta-sama! I fai-." His sentence was cut off as he disappeared from the scene, leaving a limp but still semi-conscious Yuzu by herself.

Chapter Text


Yuzu awoke with a start and a pounding headache. 'Ugh. What happened? Was I hit by a truck?' But then the memories of that terrible night began to come back. Watching Mozarta being mercilessly torn limb from limb by that stinking husk of a Ritual monster made her grasp her bedsheets even tighter, tears threatened

However, that made her realise something. The last thing she remembered was that she had passed out on the street just as Daiki had begun to make his way over to her. Who on earth had carried her home? She knew that it couldn't have been her dad, from the snores she was hearing he was still asleep and he would've been fraught with worry over her. It couldn't have been Yuri, he was still in the hospital. None of the kids would've had the strength to carry her and Yoko was a similar case to her dad. Who was it? A question she couldn't answer just yet.

Her reverie had been interrupted by a beeping sound on her duel disk, which had been suspiciously placed on her bedside table. The pink haired girl noticed that a singular message had been posted to her from an unknown duel disk.

"Hey there! Sorry for contacting you out of the blue but I appear to have found your duel disk by accident and by extension, I guess… You as well. I was walking past You Show duel school when I just so happened to rip on something. I'm not a very observant guy you see, and I, well… Tripped over your unconscious lifeless body on the ground. Yeah, I know, not my finest moment but that's not the point!" Yuzu had to resist the urge to roll her yes at this message, this person was being so melodramatic "I was the one who carried you back to what I assumed to be your house, I assumed it was yours because… Well, you were out in the early morning and someone idiot had forgotten to lock this house, so I assumed it was yours." Yes, because that's a perfectly reasonable and logical conclusion to come to. This guy was either a terrible liar or had only found the right place out of dumb luck "Anyway~ make sure you stay safe, I don't want to have to trip over you again!"

Yuzu shook her head 'Honestly, things keep getting weirder and weirder…' She wanted to put the message away and forgot that it had ever existed but for some odd reason she felt compelled to reply. She began to type her reply.

Yuri was getting rather impatient, this stupid hospital still wouldn't fully clear him. Apparently they were concerned about possible head trauma from the attacks, granted it was a reasonable concern given the fact that his head had likely taken the full brunt of the impact from the gate. Why on earth had someone decided that having a gate out of solid steel on an action field was a good idea? Yuri probably never would find out.

His eyes shifted over to the letter and roses that Shiki had given him. The nurses tending to him had decided to take the roses and fix them into a small vase that now resided on the table beside him. They reminded him of his garden at home, he wasn't a fan of the more stereotypical type of flowers and plants. Roses, Chrysanthemums, violets and the like were taken out in favour of more… different… types of plants. Venus Fly Traps, Belladonna and other deadly plants adorned his collection. Yuri was rather proud of it, maintained to an excellent standard, he didn't care what people thought of it because they were his and his alone.

The purple and pink haired teen then took note of the letter. He picked it up and narrowed his eyes, 'What does he want now? Is this another invitation to duel? Maybe it's something about him finally learning what personal space is…' Yuri thought, opening it up 'Who uses letters nowadays anyway? It's not the 18th century anymore.'

The letter went as followed.

"Hello, Yuri Sakai." Yuri was perplexed, that was a very formal greeting, it was very clearly Shiki's hand writing and the butterflies drawn on at the bottom further compounded this "I see you couldn't resist opening this letter before you were discharged. However! If this isn't the case then disregard this part~!" Yuri was glad that they had returned to the regularly scheduled program "Regardless, when you do get out, I have something I want to give you. No roses this time, I took too many out of my flower garden last time and I need to replenish them, instead it just may be the very thing that could help you restore your father's legacy and improve your own standing at the same time.

Till then, my Lily."

'God! There he goes again, I think I may give up in regards to that nickname, luckily no one else has picked it up.' A mortified look crossed Yuri's face and a cold sweat cascaded down his back 'Oh lord, what if Yuzu starts with that?! I don't think I could ever live that down…'

A large shadow then suddenly blocked Yuri's light, initially he thought that it had been power cut but that theory was soon throw out the window by a cursory glance over to the sides where it was evident that the power was working perfectly fine.

The cause of the shadow soon made itself, or rather himself, clear "Heh… You look so tiny… Like that." The fractured speech could only belong to one person in particular and was the only one capable of acting like an eclipse through his body alone. Yuri found Teru Shion leering over him with his usual blank expressionless look.

His clothing was different this time, however, he was in a torn purple shirt that showed off sections of his chest. He had a black spiked choker around his neck and numerous red spiked bracelets that went across both of his arms. He had black trousers with numerous chains hanging about the place, a navy blue jacket with golden trims that was fastened by the collar around his neck, a silver pendant in the shape of a paw hanged down to the centre of his chest. Finally he had knee high grey combat boots. "So pathetic…"

"What are you doing here?" Yuri replied, placing the note back in its original place. The last thing he had wanted today apart from being kept in hospital for another day was the appearance of another person from the duel that had placed him in this place in the first place.

"To say sorry…" Teru replied, fiddling with the pendant, giving Yuri his only real indication of what the giant truly felt. "We're both sorry… Kioka-nee's too stubborn to… Admit she's sorry….She's like that…"

Yuri scoffed 'Yeah, I hadn't noticed that. She seemed like such a nice person…'

There was a rather prolonged awkward silence as the time ticked by. Yuri happened to be getting progressively more agitated by the situation whilst Teru seemed like he didn't know the definition of shame or personal space, he had been leering over Yuri this whole time and it was becoming unbearable to deal with. "Anything else to say, or are you going to continue being a pervert?"

Normally a comment like that would have someone stammering in denial, Yuri knew that, it was a pretty standard thing he had said for a few years, one or two people had tried leering at Yuzu when they thought he wasn't looking. Needless to say that initial confrontation scared them off slightly, giving him time to set up the solution to the situation. They never came back after that…

However, Teru was an entirely different beast. He simply kept that infuriatingly neutral look on his face, nothing was given away. Absolutely no sign of emotion was present, even staring into his visible eye led to it being like that of a doll, glassy and soulless. "Actually I do…"

Yuri quirked his brow, watching Teru closely as he took something out of the jacket "Let me tell you a story… To make you feel better…"

The verdict in Yuri's brain was unanimous 'Does he think I'm a child? Do I look like I'm five?!' He couldn't believe that Teru would dare pull this kind of stunt, it was demeaning! He pouted but stopped short of saying anything to the giant whom had already begun his story.

"Take a good look…" Getting over his own internal anger Yuri flicked his eyes to what lay in Teru's hand. It was a card, however, it wasn't a Duel Monsters card. It was a normal card which had the edges of it torn and the bottom of it stained yellow, suggesting that the green haired male had been holding onto this for a long time "Everyone has something… That means something to them… This is mine…"

"A humble servant who has given his all to the extolled name. Cerberus longed to fulfil his master's desires he would do anything to make sure they came true even if his body would be set aflame and burn to ashes. Put all your trust in Cerberus and devote yourself in him just like he did to his master." Yuri read the card out loud and then rolled his eyes, shaking his head. 'Of course… No one can be normal… Shiki pops up out of nowhere, that girl's too bitchy and stubborn to admit to assault and now I'm talking to someone who doesn't know personal space and is obsessed with Cerberus. Wonderful…'

"I do believe I spoke of my devotion to Cerberus before." Yuri nodded in conformation and motioned for Teru to continue "I believe you know what Cerberus is… He is the guardian… Of Gehenna's Gate. The one who controls access into Gehenna, as we stated during the duel there was a time that a human man dared appear before him."

Another card made its way out of Teru's jacket, this time it was a Duel Monster's card. One that Yuri recognised as Cerberus' Gate. Teru pointed to the purple haired man in the picture "This man was the one who appeared before Cerberus. He made a deal, in return for the dark secrets of the world, Cerberus would eventually devour that man's soul whole…"

'Devour a soul?' Yuri thought back to when he had heard someone say that and it hit him 'That's exactly what Jex said to Yuzu!'

Teru either didn't notice this revelation hitting Yuri or he didn't care as he continued on "The twist in the tale is not what became of the man but what became of Cerberus. In order to keep tabs on the man, Cerberus took a human form, the very one you see in this card standing next to the man. When the time finally came for the contract to be fulfilled, Cerberus made a key decision, he chose to spare the man's life once he saw that the man was caring for another soul, a young child. He couldn't bring himself to take the soul of a single man raising a young child. However, Cerberus left a memento of sorts. Dogs are very loyal creatures, Cerberus is perhaps the most loyal of them all once he finds a worthy master. He left a singular gift behind which the man would later gift to his child as a reminder that Cerberus would always be watching but also at the bond they now held."

Yuri hadn't been listening all that, he was too caught up in his thoughts about what Jex had said to them that night but he did pick a few things up 'Souls… That's what Jex talked to Yuzu about. Is he the Cerberus from the story?' He shook his head 'No… Stories are just that, stories. They aren't true, then again there are really four dimensions and I apparently share the face of someone that once resided in this dimension so I'm willing to believe everything at this point.'

"Bah." Teru scoffed, Yuri saw his expression change for the first time since he had first seen him, his eyes looked sharper than usual but not quite as sharp as Shiki's and a noticeable sneer was present on his lips "I come all this way and you don't even have the audacity to listen to me properly, I may be a watchdog but even watchdogs bite once in a while."

The purpled haired teen, too surprised by the other male's sudden change in expression, had failed to notice that Teru had been speaking without any form of impediment for a while now "What about it? I didn't ask you to tell me anything, if I remember, it was you who decided to come here and you that decided to tell me that story."

Yuri's smug expression pissed Teru off to no end, however, many years of having a stubborn sister had taught him how to hide that emotion very well behind an immaculate poker face "Then it would seem that my purpose here has been fulfilled. But before I go, I need to ask you something, Yuri Sakaki."

"And what would that be?" Yuri retorted without missing a beat.

"I've shown my prized possession, my emotional connection in this cruel and unrelenting world. What's yours? And what does it mean to you?" And with that cryptic display of linguistics, Teru disappeared from the scene and Yuri could finally see light once again.

However, the darkness had now crossed over into his mind in the form of deep thought. Did he have something like that? Despite how weird it was, Teru seemed to truly believe with his very being in that story and the concept of loyalty appeared to be very much central to his being. One doesn't call themselves a dog unless they want to. He supposed it made sense in a way, just as the green haired giant had said himself, dogs are very loyal animals.

He clenched the sheets on his hospital bed. 'Gah! Why now of all times?!' Memories of Academia began to dredge from the darker points of his mind. Memories of people looking down on him for being the Professor's pet. It wasn't his fault that that man had suddenly decided to take him under his wing! Not like it was much of issue, the people who tried to insult him and threaten him soon got a taste of their own medicine. 'I mean… Half of Academia did run the same deck, it's not like it's hard when you see the same monsters every duel! I swear, if I ever hear the name Ancient Gear Hunting Hound again I will punch someone!'

But he had left that life behind. He was in the Standard dimension. Yusho Sakaki had adopted him and a young girl called Yuzu Hiiragi became his best friend and personal victim to all of his games. However, in the years since that fateful day when Yusho had vanished something had changed. A growing sense of apathy had consumed him. What was the point of caring? If the first person to show him kindness would abandon him so readily why should he bother trying to link with other people? To those where there is no beginning, no end and no connecting there is no point. He felt like a phantom sometimes, often times it was only because he had Yuzu that he didn't delve into the darker side of his psyche too often.

It was then that he felt something tickle his cheek, he brought a weary hand up to touch it. It was that purple crystalline earring. Was that?

He could still remember the day he received it.

Yuri had woken on the day of his 11th birthday with boundless excitement. He couldn't well remember exactly when he had been born, he could only remember suddenly appearing in Academia one day. As a result of this it had been a collective decision to make his birthday the day he had appeared in You Show for the first time.

He bounded down the stairs at a lightning pace. That fire pole which was inexplicably placed in the centre of the house seemed more like a one way ticket to the hospital than a convenient way to get down to the living room.

But that wasn't the point, he was simply looking forward to his present so much. It's only natural after all, despite his mother cooing over how mature he was for his age he was still a kid deep down and a kid is a kid and they love presents above all else.

He could still remember the feeling of the wrapping paper in his hand. How soft and silken it was. He remembers carefully tearing off the wrapping paper and staring dumbfounded down at the earring which had been lying in the velvet box.

Initially, he was extremely confused by it, he had previously started wearing nail polish only the other year. But he was pretty adamant that that would be the only thing he would be adding to his appearance. If Yuzu was anything to go by, he was already handsome by himself! Any other tacky accessory would simply take attention away from his face.

But that was when Yusho had spoken up and held his shoulders tenderly "Yuri, wear it so you can always remember us. Never forget that you have to spread smiles through your dueling, no matter what that man had told you during those years. However, we won't always be here to tell you to remember this. There will come times when you are tested and your beliefs will be tested. Now, I don't know when this will be but whenever it does happen make sure to remember the two of us through this…"

He distinctly remembers mulling it over before saying "Yes father…" His ear was then pierced and he had never taken the thing off since.

He chuckled sardonically, still holding it close to his face 'Is that it… Is this that connection? I suppose if Teru can have a story as his, then this isn't far out of the water.'

As he placed his hand down, it brushed against the pendulum around his neck and Yuri's eyes narrowed 'And this has to be his….'


"Gah, why the hell does it have to be so hot all the time?!" That rough and almost borderline psychotic voice belonged to a one Demil Kaimia whom was currently wandering around about the city aimlessly, tugging at his shirt with sweat dripping down his face. He never really understood why but it seemed like he was positively allergic to any form of heat as it always turned him into a sweating mess. That was part of the reason why he preferred the night, it felt like he belonged there.

"Because that's how the world works, Demil." A spectral voice entered his ear which made him scowl, he quickly looked away to see if any people were nearby. He didn't want to stand out any more than he already did.

"Well maybe it should calm down! It doesn't have to be this goddamn hot all the time!" The voice laughed, taking a form of sick pleasure in the yellow eyed male's temper. "And it's not like you're affected by this so if you would kindly but out then that would be swell!"

"But I'm your partner, Demil. It's my job to be concerned about you." The voice replied and Demil groaned loudly, alerting the people whom had all of a sudden materialized out of thin air. Each one of them taking note of this strange boy with bandages on his hands for whatever reason.

Demil grunted and continued walking, slouching with his head locked down to the ground. He really had no purpose in being out during this time of the day, nothing of note ever during the day, so why was he bothering? The long and short of it was that there was literally nothing better he could do, it boiled down to sitting in his room and counting how many ways he could think of for bestowing punishment on that bastard of a roommate or braving the heat and going to see if anything of note was going to happen.

Unfortunately for him, neither of those plans were holding water. He had initially plumped for the first one but that had only lasted for about ten seconds before he lost his patience with that shithead of a roommate who was busy blabbering on about something Demil didn't care about. So here he was, burning up because he couldn't stand another human's presence.

Demil was so caught up with thinking about the heat that he didn't even bother to realise that he had just made impact with someone "Hey!" He yelled "Watch where you're going!"

Jade eyes store back down at him and a melodic voice spoke "Ah, apologies, I was too busy admiring my surroundings to see what was in front of my face."

Demil took an immediate dislike to this person, it sounded like they were the type of person to remain inanely happy even if some great tragedy had befallen him "I'm not in the mood for small talk."

"I see. I see." The voice replied jovially causing Demil to grind his teeth down to the enamel. He then felt something being placed in his hands "Take this though as a souvenir from our meeting." What had been placed within his bandaged fingers was a rather fresh looking white rose "I bid you adieu, J'espère que nous nous retrouverons." And with that the person had brushed past Demil.

However, said individual's jaw had presently unhinged itself like a serpent and was hanging down at his feet. "Did you feel that too, Demil?" Demil nodded limply, still shocked by the feeling that he had obtained when he came into contact with the rose "That man there. There's something off about him."

Demil snapped out of his trance and spoke lowly "I know, even now I can still feel that there's some kind of lingering darkness around this area." He then shook his head "Regardless, that's not what's important here."

"Oh? And what is?" The voice quipped back, clearly unimpressed by how Demil had pivoted from what they deemed the more crucial event.

The yellow eyed male then pulled out a white notebook from his jacket pocket, the front of the book covered over by the word "Ideal". The penmanship was quite frankly horrible and it didn't get any better as he turned to the page in question "This. I have to get more ice cream."

"W-What?!" The voice shrieked after a while "You can't be serious!"

Demil looked over his shoulder with a blank face and spoke with a flat tone "Deadly serious. It's a matter of life and death…"

He walked on, ignoring the constant cries of despair in his ears from the mysterious voice.


"Shiki Sogami, to what do I owe the pleasure of having you visit me?" Reiji asked the man 11 years his elder whilst he reclined back in his chair.

"Am I not allowed a friendly visit?" Shiki smiled, twirling his rose and taking far more interest in that than actually paying attention to Reiji's person "If we looked for hidden ulterior motives for every meeting we've had together, you'd need at least 5 separate files and maybe a new cabinet just to hold it."

"But then again, it's not every day of the week that the owner of one of the most prestigious duel schools in the country calls and says that he has something important to discuss."

"I suppose you're right, Reiji-kun. I did say that didn't I?" Something within Shiki's already naturally sharp eyes and face made it even sharper, his pupils threatening to turn into slits "And I have this to say to you, Yuri-kun isn't exactly who you believe him to be but it would appear that by focusing your attention on him, you've lost track of someone else just as important."

"Oh? Pray tell, Shiki, who is this?"

"She's so pathetic and helpless, she's like a bunny rabbit controlled by Providence. Those eyes of hers reflect a life so pitiful and melancholic." Shiki drawled, taking a long sniff of the rose shortly afterwards "Like a flightless butterfly, she tries so hard to flap her wings, alas, the world pushes her back down."

Reiji paused in thought, of course it was natural for Shiki to be so needlessly cryptic in his word, obsession with butterflies notwithstanding. Luckily, the gender had been revealed and gave him a fair indication of who it likely was when the circumstances of the meeting was taken into account "I see, a flightless butterfly who is tossed about by Providence, thank you for that Shiki. Now I wanted to discuss something else with you."

"Oh? What would that be?" Something predatory slipped into Shiki's tone as he took his fedora off, he could foresee this going on for far longer than he expected.

Reiji pulled up something on his computer and showed it to the elder male, it was a picture taken from a security camera. On it was a picture of a blond haired male and his monster, a robotic blond haired female which had two pinkish red orbs floating around it. "Recently, we've discovered massive bursts of XYZ energy here in the city, you and I know that no one who originates from this city has the capability to produce such bursts of energy, meaning that this person here is not from this dimension." Reiji then pulled out an envelope in which resided two cards, however, instead of being standard monster cards the picture showed the tortured and pained expressions of real people "Furthermore, I'm assuming that it is this person who sent me these two cards, each one a member of LDS in some form. Evidently, this person is not a benevolent individual."

Shiki brought his hand under his chin and smirked "And what business do you have in telling me this? As far as I can see this person is of no concern to me, if they're attacking your people then it's your problem and not mine. Why don't you use your elite core that you're so proud off? Or are they not as elite as you'd like me to believe? And if you're so concerned about it, I was always taught when younger that if you want something done properly you have to do it yourself."

The CEO narrowed his eyes, this man. This man was something else entirely. "Are you threatening me, Sogami?"

"Why on earth would you think that?!" Shiki said in mock pain, holding his rose to his chest "I would never do something as slimy as that, I'm no manipulator and I'm no puppet master like you are, Akaba." Somehow, Shiki's features seemed to get even sharper "But as a word of warning, boy. I don't like people who speak ill of me, I hardly tolerate when Bitch-chan has the audacity to open that god forsaken yap of hers so I won't tolerate your trap opening any further." He placed his fedora back on and stood up glaring down at Reiji "I've learned this lesson during my many years on this earth, perhaps in a very violent way." He pulled down his shirt, revealing a massive gash right above where his heart would've been, but what was strange about it was the odd shape it had, as if someone had punctured it with one swift blow

"Never threaten those who are more powerful than you." Shiki snarled like a feral animal at the still relatively composed Reiji.

"Then why don't you follow your own advice?" Reiji said behind a dangerous glint in his eyes. His glasses reflecting the bright light into the room. "In case you've forgotten, Sogami, if you dare step out of line I will have no choice but to let certain bits of information leak to the police…"

For a while Shiki store hatefully at the CEO but then he suddenly burst out in laughter "Bwahahahah! You sound exactly like my Grandfather, by the by that's not a compliment." He then calmed down and picked his fedora back up. "Alright then, Reiji-kun, I'll concede this one to you. What do you wish me to do?"

"Glad you've come to your senses after all." Reiji let out a small smirk, it would appear that controlling people was a natural family skill after all "The issue is with these XYZ duelists…"

Shiki looked perplexed "Wait, duelists? Plural? Your image only showed one of them."

"Perhaps it would do you good not to interrupt people while they're speaking, Sogami." Shiki smirked but Reiji simply ignored the elder Principal "Anyway, as I was about to say, the induvial that was spotted is the only one whose been caught on camera, however, our readings have detected many more bursts of XYZ energy which are unlikely to have all come from the one person." He then leaned in on the desk, locking his royal purple eyes with Shiki's jade green ones. "I want you to assist me in luring them out."

"Luring them out?" Shiki scratched his chin "Very well then. But I'm afraid I can't use one of my own pupils, I don't think I need the reputation of my school to fall any further. I think that since I'm doing this for you, you need to do something for me."

"And what would that be?"

"Use one of your own brass for this. In the meantime, I know how much you would like to get your hands on little Lily's pendulum cards." Reiji hid his shock at Shiki mentioning that but then he remembered who he was talking to. Shiki Sogami was as crafty as he was eccentric "I'll give you an idea for that. I believe that you have plenty of self-absorbed students in LDS? It's only natural to assume that. So why don't you give them the chance to finally fulfil that monstrous ego of theirs? Have them duel Lily for his pendulum cards." Then Shiki suddenly stood up and began to walk away "You can decide on the details, I'll see you around, Reiji-kun."

Reiji watched on in silence as Shiki vanished from the room. When he was certain that he was long gone, he sighed 'I'll never understand that man. But at least I've got my candidate in mind already, all that's needed is his co-operation.'

(Meanwhile) (Synchro Dimension)

"Rin! Rin! RINNNNNNNNN!" Yugo had been flying through the streets for days on his D-Wheel. He had sworn to himself that he wouldn't rest until he had recovered and rescued Rin from where that bastard had taken her!

Yet he had found so such luck. Days upon days he had neglected his own well-being for the well-being of a girl that had meant so such much to him over all of those terrible years. Which is why when he groaned loudly, slamming down on the brake of his D-Wheel, that he couldn't help but launch his helmet to the ground again. That broken visor wasn't really helping matters anyway, stupid wind kept getting in face now, forcing him to close his eyes due to the strong current.

It was ironic really. Only a few short weeks ago both he and Rin would feel liberated by the wind, having the air flow over them made them feel a burst of freedom. Going fast made them alive and the D-wheel was a symbol of their bond, something they had forged by themselves, something no one else but them could own and call it their own work.

And that was why he hated the sight of the accursed thing now, every time he laid eyes upon it he was reminded of the utter failure he was in protecting Rin. No one else was to blame but himself.

One of the worst parts of it all was informing Sakura. Sakura had gone her separate way and was unaware that anything had gone down. She had always been supportive of the two of them even to annoying degrees with her constant bubbliness and cutesy nicknames but there had also been a serious side, perhaps repressed, but nevertheless existent. And Yugo saw that when he had told her.

"Get her back." She had declared with an unflinching determination and a dark, deathly, aura clinging to her being "You hear me? Do it. I won't accept you lazing about on this one!" Jesus, that girl could be the devil incarnate if she wanted to be.

Then… There was him. To say that Yugo never wanted to see that four eyed bastard's face again was an understatement. If they ever met again Yugo had made a promise to knock some sense into him. Ever since that man had turned up at the orphanage and took him away from Yugo and Rin when they were younger he had grown distant and cold. They had always tried to establish some communication but they never received a reply. Rin had always gone for the opinion that maybe he just didn't have enough time in his new life to speak to them, but Yugo knew the truth of why he would never reply.

"Leave me alone!" He had cried, his glasses had been cracked by a particularly forceful punch which had also resulted in blood seeping from a gash on his cheek "You're an idiot, Yugo! Idiot! Idiot! Idiot! This is all your fault!"

Before he had been able to reply to this accusation, the man whom had been the root cause of their fight turned up. His sleek purple pinstripe suit and equally purple hair only served more to contrast his blood orange eyes "Stop it you two!" His hands felt so cold and unnatural when they pressed against young Yugo's body "You're both in the wrong here and I won't tolerate this any longer!" That was the last time him and four eyes had seen each other in a physical state.

And he didn't much care. Especially now that his search for Rin had taken priority.

"This sucks…" He mumbled, collapsing tired against a nearby wall "Rin… Rin…Rin…" One could call him obsessed by this but when someone's life purpose goes missing they will do everything to get it back. It didn't help that in this place his nose was being assaulted by smells of wine and smoke.

Groggily, he lifted his head and observed his surroundings and his eyes widened. In his haste and blind desire he had landed in the one place that he didn't want to be. Screw the facility, at least with that place you could hope that the guards, despite their biases and other flaws, could help you if you were being treated like shit. However, this place near the edge of the city held an entirely different reputation.

Feared by both Tops and Commons, this place could only be described as hell on earth, missing persons' last known location was often found to be here and the people who investigate this matter regularly vanished alongside them. Even Sector Security and its director refused to enter this place.

Shoddily thrown together shacks littered the road with rust assaulting the corrugated iron. Warehouses stood tall and proud and Yugo was slapping himself for not realising this. Rumour had it that those were the places where the people were taken too when they were kidnapped and Yugo really didn't want to find out if they were indeed true.

'Shit! Shit! Shit!' He cursed inwardly, searching for his discarded helmet before he could speed off and out of this place.

"Well, well, well, ain't this just a sight worth a ten billion dollar masterpiece?" Damnit! He was too late. "Never thought someone would be stupid enough to willingly step on the boss' turf!" The stench of smoke overwhelmed him.

The male who had spoken looked like the prototypical criminal. Piercings, tattoos, yellow tattoos showing his time in the facility and finally, the last thing Yugo saw before he felt someone cover his face in a cloth was a mocking sneer.

"What business do you have coming to me at this hour?" Yugo stirred at the sound of a very irritated male voice and given how he spoke down to his assaulters this guy was probably the head honcho.

"This." The goon jerked him out as if he was some sordid hunting prize "We found this lurking around our turf screaming his head off. Naturally we had to take care…"

"Really?" Yugo felt someone starting to poke his forehead "Gah, looks like you picked up a real piece of work. What did I tell you about picking up trash?"

"Trash?!" The Speedroid duelist squawked indignantly, his eyes flying open "Take that back!"

Waiting for the reply, Yugo took in the supposed boss. He was remarkably short, only about 5'1, but there was this intense presence about him that forced Yugo to take notice of everything he had to offer. He had longish red hair that framed his dark red eyes and curled around the right side of his face whilst the rest of it flowed down his back. His outfit consisted of a white button up shirt under a dark red vest, a black choker, a black ribbon bolo tie held together with a small silver buckle, an open black cropped jacket with the sleeves rolled up at the elbows, black slacks, a black belt hanging off his right hip and black low-arch shoes. Finally there was a set of black half gloves.

After what seemed like forever, especially with the goon breathing down his neck, the short male spoke "Me? Take something back? Do you even know who you're talking to, kid?"

"Kid? You're shorter than I am!" A vein bulged on the red haired male's forehead at that comment, not that Yugo was any the wiser since he was busy scanning his surroundings. A beaten down and dank warehouse where rusted chains hanged from the ceiling and cages took residence not too far away from where they were now. He wanted to see more…

But that was stopped by a deafening crack. With his jaw rearranged, Yugo swallowed a scream that threatened to escape his lips. The other male cracked his knuckles "My name is Junichiro Hanyu and you'd do very well not to anger me like that." Junichiro sneered as his expression turned rather nasty "That's no way for you to speak to your owner!"

Unfortunately for Yugo he didn't quite know when he should keep his mouth shut "Owner?! Just who the hell do you think you are? I ain't nobody's but my own!"

Junichiro grinned, showing off some very sharp teeth that looked like they belonged more at home in a shark "I believe you know what happens to people who end up in this location, right?" Yugo nodded and watched Junichiro point at each individual cage "Well, I think you should've figured out by now that the one behind all the disappearances was yours truly."

"How'd shrimp like you do all this?" At the snap of Junichiro's fingers and a gash to the back of his head, Yugo had his answer for that question. Once that pain had subsided however, the blue eyed teen realised just the question he should be asking "Rin… Do you know where she is?! Was that one of your goons that took her?! Where are you keeping her?!"

The red haired male blinked owlishly, who the hell did her think he was making demands of HIM? No, this kind of disrespect would not be tolerated "I suggest that unless you want to end up like the rest of the people who disrespected me, you shut your trap before I cut your tongue out of your mouth. I know nothing of this Rin person, I don't own someone of that name and no one left here without being ordered too." He watched curiously at how dejected his new pet looked when he brought up that person. Someone important to him? Junichiro sure hoped that was the case.

Yugo knew for sure he could trust this asshole's words and what was worse for his senses was that his breath absolutely stank of days old wine, not helping the already shitty air that inhabited the warehouse. There was only one way he knew he could get legitimate answers out of the short stack "Duel me…"

"And why would I want to do that, shitty kid?" Junichiro sneered, his patience growing very thin by this point "I don't recall the last time one of my pets was as rabid as you are, but it's lucky that I have just the thing to keep you in line…" He store up to his underling "Bring it to me, I have someone I need to discipline."

With a crash, Yugo was thrown to the ground, landing badly on his leg causing him to cringe in pain. Junichiro turned around and then pushed something covered by a red cloth into the space. "The human heart is an interesting little thing." He began "It harbours two conflicting sentiments. Everyone of course sympathizes with people who suffer misfortune. Yet when those people manage to overcome their misfortunes, we feel a certain disappointment. We may even feel a desire to plunge them back into those misfortunes. And before we know it, we come to harbour some degree of hostility toward them." He ran his finger across the body of whatever was under the cloth, the same smirk he had earlier was plastered on his face.

"What's with the poetic waxing all of a sudden?" Yugo scoffed, still nursing the pain on his leg. Looked like he had been purposefully dropped on the area that would cause the most damage. When he looked up he didn't like the look of the glint in Junichiro's eyes and that mass looked suspiciously familiar.

"Just sharing what an acquaintance of mine once told me about this bratty kid, you just reminded me of him that's all. But I have this sneaking suspicion about you, you see." He picked up the cloth "I feel like you're much more than you let on, call it an innate ability but I can see the air around a person and how it moves upon their arrival to a scene."

"Huh?" Yugo sweatdropped, he much preferred it when this guy was threatening him instead of be a cryptic little shitbag.

"Ever heard of auras? They're these pesky things that cling to a person no matter where they are, the air tends to change dependant on who the aura in question belongs to, think of what I'm about to show you as test of sorts." Dramatically, he threw off the cloth and revealed what lay underneath.

Yugo's eyes widened and then narrowed with pure fury as the recognition struck him "Where did you get that!" He snarled much to Junichiro's amusement.

Lying in front of him was their D-Wheel. How dare they take it from him! Dark thoughts began to swirl in Yugo's mind as Junichiro started to stroke the metal "Nice bit of craftsmanship there if I do say so myself. I was never really much of a mechanic myself, could never figure out what piece went where so I got some of my partners to do the work for me." His smirk widened when he saw how Yugo's eyes were practically glowing with rage, his actual eyes slowly becoming submerged by a glowing teal.

The short red haired male felt the need to fan the flames further "I don't know awful lot about how to put these things together…" He placed the heel of his foot against the side of the D-Wheel "But I do know how to destroy things. A delicate work of art? Nah, this is more of a shoddy counterfeit!" With all the force he could muster, which despite his size was actually very strong, he sent the D-Wheel crashing to the ground as he continued to strike it much to Yugo's growing ire.

"YOU BASTARD!" He couldn't take it anymore! Yugo lunged towards the shorter male, his eyes ablaze in a sea of teal.

Junichiro dodged out of the way coolly as if it were a gentle breeze rather than a raging tempest. But he wouldn't deny the felling he had. The air around the place had certainly changed. It felt heavier. Like the gravity was crushing him. His feelings were further compounded when he turned his gaze at Yugo. A malevolent aura clung to him, engulfing him further in darkness with each step he took. The aura then took the form of a large dragon with glowing red eyes "Is this… What malice looks like…?"

"Pitiful runt! You dare to call me your "pet", yet you truly have no idea what you're talking about!" The way Yugo's mouth had stayed surprisingly shut through that sentence sent shivers down Junichiro's spine, this wasn't like anything he had ever seen before, he had had several people before with strange auras. Ones that may fetch quite the high price if he marketed it correctly. However, nothing was right about this one.

"If you think you can intimidate me then you're dead wrong. Some of the things I've seen are far worse than your little shadow show. Tell me, Spirit-san, do you know what the inside of a cage feels like?" He received no reply, not like he was really expecting one "They're cold, dark and full of despair, much like what I sense coming from your person. The world is very much like a bird cage, fade in colour and no matter how much we lament, we cannot escape from this prison."

"I'm not interested in hearing your pathetic metaphors for why you're a sad wretch, I only seek one thing. To show you my strength!" The darkness grew even stronger, a wave of it striking into Junichiro's body, flinging him onto his back as Yugo marched forward in a zombie like state.

"A man sometimes devotes himself to a desire which he is not sure will ever be fulfilled. Those who laugh at this folly are, after all, no more than mere spectators of life." Junichiro stood back up, holding up his right hand that had the glove on it removed "So as you can imagine, those who have fallen far have been so worn down by their other tortures that they no longer have the strength to cry out."

"What are you insinuating?" The spirit snarled having had enough of this puny human's cryptic waxing.

"I've seen many a spirit, a gift from childhood, usually the spirit will take the form of an aura and will be dormant which is why no one can see them. However…" He slowly removed his other glove as he made his point "I found something out about three years ago. People's auras change upon their emotions, seems like the most basic thing in the world but wait till I finish. As I said, auras are essentially the manifestation of a person's spirit but when an extreme emotion takes hold the spirit itself takes an incorporeal form. For example, I placed your vessel into a state of despair and extreme anger leading to you taking hold of him."

The spirit holding Yugo chuckled darkly "HAHA! Quite the interesting story you've worked up! Quite the accurate one too! My vessels have an annoying amount of willpower, they have this erroneous belief that they are their own person, luckily people like you exist to drive them further into despair and grant me the power to take them over! KEHEHEHE!"

"Fufufu…" Junichiro's almost silent laugh brought a large change in the atmosphere as he crossed both his hands in front of him "There's something I neglected to mention though, I also know how to seal these spirits back into their vessel!" Before the spirit possessing Yugo could do anything Junichiro had already acted "Oh, grantors of dark disgrace! Do not wake me again!"

"Ha? You think that those putrid things will work?! You're usel-" However, the Dragonic spirit was stopped midway through the rant by a shock that went through its very core and he soon found his strength fading back into the black "Impossible! How are you doing this?!"

"A magician never reveals his secrets." Junichiro grunted "But I will say that birds of a feather flock together. Don't worry, this won't be forever, I'll be sure to resurrect you soon." He said with a toothy grin as the dragon fell back into Yugo who proceeded to collapse onto the floor.

Junichiro followed him shortly after, albeit far more conscious and on his knees, eyes trembling and locked on his hands "Why… Why, of all people… Is the key in that person's hand?!"

"Boss." The voice startled him but he calmed down upon seeing it was other underling he had sent out earlier. "I have what you asked for." He tossed the object in question to Junichiro.

"G-good…" That was odd to the henchman, he had never heard his boss stutter in his life or look as perturbed as he was now. Scanning his eyes over the petite male, his eyes widened when they landed on Junichiro's hands. He was about to open his mouth "Don't speak! This isn't your business! Now get out of here!" He didn't want to risk angering his boss any further and he quickly departed the warehouse.

With his gloves now back on his hands, Junichiro picked up the object in question and waltzed over to Yugo's prone form. "You've caused me a lot of trouble, shitty kid." Even now that dark aura was still around Yugo albeit far more subdued "But at least you'll get your wish, you'll duel me soon."

He fastened it around Yugo's open neck "My pet…"

(Fusion Dimension)

"I've already told you before, please, don't cry, Ruri-chan." Yali placed his hand on Ruri's scarred face, occasionally running his long fingers in between the jagged edges "It pains my heart so much to see someone I know, and someone who used to consider me a friend, treat me in such a cold hearted way." He took hold of a clump of her purple hair and sniffed it "Your hair is beautiful, I can't wait to dye into all into crimson red." He looked positively in rapture when he pulled back "You're a unique case, there's not many like you in this world. In fact, there are only three just like you."

Ruri mustered enough strength to gaze upon the blissful Yali, she couldn't believe who she was seeing before her. He was so… Different… Manic… Cruel. The Yali she knew was none of these things, he may have had a short fuse that was only rivalled by Shun's legendary temper but he was definitely wasn't the monster that she looked upon now with such horror.

The grey haired male meandered to the window of the room and let the cool air blow across his features whilst he closed his eyes. "You know something, Ruri-chan? Those times I spent in XYZ are truly times I treasure, however, all good things must come to an end and I guess that happens when we invaded." He turned back to Ruri, smirking as he did so "Poor little you. Such a defenceless young girl, when I think of all the terrible things I'm going to do to you it makes me shiver with pleasure. A little bit of pain never hurt anyone, unless it kills you, but even then I'll enjoy watching you suffer. I love suffering. They say that the suffering of others tastes like honey, and I'll say that they're absolutely correct."

He started to wander back but suddenly stopped when something shook his soul to his very core. He looked down at the ground with his eyes shaking "Impossible…" A hand covered his right eye as he grunted in pain "She shouldn't be able to realise that much of it yet…Unless…" Ruri watched as out of the blue he ran out of the room.

Yali appeared in the room of the one person who would understand what he was feeling.

Reisuke was in the middle of another portrait, a singular portrait of a man setting on a flaming throne and reaching out of the portrait "I don't know what you're talking about, Reisuke, I hate it. Everything about it." He said out loud.

"Rei." At the sound of Yali's voice, the Commandant swivelled around and looked Yali dead in the eye "It's been activated."

"And what do you want me to do about it?" Reisuke replied dully, turning back to the portrait when he finished. "If I remember correctly, that was your jurisdiction, not mine. You laid claim to them so it's your responsibility. I don't have any obligation to assist you in this, I don't feel like it anyway."

Yali scowled and pounded the wall "You're impossible like this! If you're going to be like that then I'll cut you out of this whole thing all together!"

"Destroy… Destroy… Destroy. Ah, it will all be destroyed." Reisuke marched over to one of the now many portraits of the XYZ dimension that he had painted during the recovery from his injury. The bandage by this time had been replaced by a singular square plaster but it was clear that he had gone into some form of shock when he returned and thus he had been banned from going out for at least another week. He picked up one of the many portraits and showed it to his friend "I'll annihilate it. I hate it. Everything about it. And nothing will stop me. I'll destroy it. The four of them. Shall die!" He threw the portrait on the ground, crushing and grinding under his jackboot.

Yali flipped his hand up in a pissed off manner "Fine then. I'll go talk to Yuya, maybe he'd be interested in how his precious little play thing has grown as an individual." He moved to leave the room but before fully walking out he stopped in the doorway "Oh, if you act like that again I'll lop off those stupid things you were so proud of." He wasn't interested in hearing the Commandant's reply and left instantaneously after his sentence.

Reisuke cast a cursory glance over his shoulder, his left eye closed as he pursed his lips. Sometimes he wondered what went on in the grey haired teen's mind, he really was an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Nothing about Yali seemed to make sense, the obsessive observation habit he had only further compounded this enigmatic personality. The Commandant could never truly understand him even if he tried, despite the fact that they had been friends for as long as he could remember. "Lop them off? Why would you ever do such a mean thing, Li-Li?" He rubbed his shoulders feeling a shiver run down his back and particularly the area between his shoulder blades.

He stood up from his seat and picked up another one of the portraits, a heavenly scene that depicted two angels but contained a hellish situation. One of them with pure white hair and an illustrious set of white wings was standing over the top of another one with blond hair, the one on the ground seemed to be begging the white haired one for something. The portrait showed the white haired angel wearing a confused expression but seemingly understanding what was being asked of him. Something sharp was present in his hands.

Reisuke scowled before he suddenly snapped the canvas in half with his bare hands.

"I think it's time I paid the little birdie a visit…"

As Reisuke departed he failed to notice the presence of another person who had been listening in to everything that had been said. Her indigo hair had been tied back into a ponytail by a large yellow bow, she was wearing a red jacket with a yellow stripe and a green-and-yellow star emblem on each sleeve, which was worn over a black shirt with a purple-brown collar. She also wore a red skirt held up by a brown belt with a silver buckle and ring connecting to two straps going over her torso while her thighs were covered by biker shorts. She wore brown boots and on her right wrist was a metal bracelet, not all that dissimilar from the ones that resided on Yuzu, Rin and Ruri. The only noticeable difference being the indigo gem in the middle.

She narrowed her eyes as the Commandant vanished into the darkness of the corridor.

Chapter Text

"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!

Chapter Text

"I will have it. It won't happen." A topaz gem stone and a banknote was thrown in the blazing fire raging in the metal drum which lay just before them "I will have it. It won't happen." This time a handful of rubies were dropped in with even more banknotes joining "I will have it. It won't happen." A large supply of gemstones sat right next to them, the banknotes were lying all about the place having been ripped from a destroyed safe which lay upside down to the side of the drum "I will have it. It won't happen." The whole group of gems and banknotes hit the fire, lighting it into a greenish hue with a blazing blue edge and the person controlling it all sighed "Hah, I don't like it when premonitions like this become true. But maybe it won't be so bad after all, having things always go that way is a trifle tedious."

(Standard Dimension)

"Oi, keep still, nothing's gonna get better if you keep acting like a four year old." A monotone voice droned as its owner wrapped a pair of bandages around another person's burnt arms, the tattoos now indecipherable from the burn marks. Gently they wrapped the bandages over the afflicted area, blocking out the scream from the other as they did so "There. Done. Now you can stop complaining."

"Gah! Could you have thought of a more inane method?!" The afflicted male yelled, his long blond hair moving with his head as he spied his associate "Wait, of course you could've, you probably did this on purpose."

The other male shook his head "Frankly, I'm offended that you would even accuse me of that." He was a decently tall male, probably just below 6'0 with slick backed black hair and gold-yellow bangs swept around the back forming a stinger like design amply earning him a nickname he wasn't fond of. He wore a tattered dull green jacket, a drab grey shirt, a nearly destroyed choker around his neck, a small yellow crystal earing in his left ear, tied across the entirety of his right arm was a red bandage unlike the red scarf that held back his associate's hair. He wore a full face ceramic mask that was remarkably similar to what a plague doctor would've worn beak and all, the only part of his face that was visible was his emerald eyes and he had on him a pair of black jeans loosely held together by a dusty yellow belt and he wore a pair of pointed grey boots. "We've known each other for so long and yet you still throw such horrid accusations at me, Takeshi-kun?"

The blond male, Takeshi, grunted and stood back up, running his hands back through his hair "It's exactly because of that that I know you would do that. I'm beginning to regret getting Kokichi-san to teach you."

"But if you hadn't then I wouldn't have been able to treat you, no matter how much you loathe said treatment. But speaking of the affliction, tell me how exactly you got those burns, Ta~ke~shi~-kun." The other male spoke with a sneaking darkness creeping into his words, like he was getting a morbid form of enjoyment.

Takeshi went to speak but quickly bit his tongue and swung his head away to the side "That's irrelevant, all that matters now is that it's over and we can go back to doing what we're supposed to be doing, Janus-kun."

The other male, Janus, took one look at what was happening and instantly hated it. He didn't need to be a genius to figure out what had happened, only helped that he did in fact consider himself a genius at these situations "Let me guess, I know you ran out to attack some people in order to get information on LDS, I know that from what you told me that you rarely lose any life points so it's unlikely that it was a normal outing, the damage sustained from whatever attacked you was far from natural as well, second degree burns suggest that you were irreversibly trapped by a fire which forced you to run through it to get back to me. In conclusion, after you had finished your standard duel you were caught off guard by a second assaulter and attacked. Am I right or am I right?" He deduced with a smug sense of self satisfaction.

"Tch, what do you think?" Takeshi's tone of voice was the only piece of information Janus needed to know to know he was right "That man… That man who came to me… He said he was a friend of Reiji Akaba."

"Akaba?" Janus parroted, there was one thing that he hadn't expected to hear cross Takeshi's lips "Friend of?"

Takeshi nodded glumly "Yeah. I tried to prevent him from leaving but then… Then… He pulled out this XYZ monster and without his duel disk… Set the whole area on fire." He saw that beneath his mask, Janus' eyes had widened to an impossible extent "I can count on one hand the amount of people I know that can do that. That man… That man is far from an ordinary human…"

(Elsewhere) (Same time)

"Ugh…!" Yuri groaned as he heard a beeping coming from the alarm clock on his bedside table, Yuri placed his head deep into his pillow in an attempt to ignore it in a very ineffective way. The beeping didn't stop 'I swear to god I'm going to kill the person who invented the alarm clock. This is even worse than the hospital! At least then I could wake up as I wished!' He was having such a wonderful dream too, he had finally achieved all he had wanted to, he stood on top of the world with no one even comparable to his power but just as they were about to bestow him as the King of Games for all eternity, a blue ball of annoyance glomped him with a loud cry of "Teacher!" and everything then fell apart as he sucked into an endless black void where nothing but Sora's voice reverberated.

There was a knock at the door which snapped out of his internal monologue "Yuri! Wake up! Your breakfast is going to get cold and if you're not out in the next five minutes I may as well throw it in the bin!" Yuri shifted slightly but still refused to get up letting out a grunt of indifference.

Stood on the other side of the door, Yoko wasn't impressed at her son's un-cooperativeness "Yuri if you're not out of this door in the next minute! I'll show you what I learnt as a former gang leader!"

Yuri's ears perked up as his face grimaced he knew all too well what that meant, that first time he had disobeyed her was a time in his life that rivalled all those times he went against the Professor. Despite the intense loyalty he tried to fill him with there was always the fact that kids will be kids. "Fine…" Walking out of his room he donned the Maiami high school blazer as he retraced his thoughts on the previous day, each passing second making him hate it even more 'That Shiki! Brings me to the middle of nowhere for a shitty card and he probably knew that explosion was going to happen! I wouldn't be surprised if he set it off! Then Sawatari! Little lord brat! I wonder if my precious little fly trap is grown up yet! Finally! That Sora kid is such an annoying idiot, I'll never take him in as an apprentice and if he challenges me to a duel he'll face my most powerful cards! Plus… something about his demeanour is just unsettling.'

When Yuri arrived downstairs to see an unexpected blue haired guest scoffing down a plate of pancakes he contemplated just how potent some of the venom his plants could excrete could be.

Hearing the sound of another chair, Sora looked up from his plate to see Yuri sitting across from him "Teacher!" Yuri proceed to bang his head on the table repeatedly before reaching across and grabbing Sora by his jacket.

"Why are you here?" Yuri snarled his mind racing with thoughts about what to do with this pest "First your invasion is in my dreams then you appear in real life by invading my home! You should know by now to stop bringing in strays, mother!" Sora whimpered reliving past experiences of torture in Academia particularly at the hands of one individual and his sadistic friend.

"Yuri!" Yoko's stern voice snapped Yuri to attention as he gulped under risk of his adoptive mother's wrath "If you must know I found him wondering around the house and I couldn't help but give him something to eat…" Yoko looked at Sora as she slid another plate towards him and then one to Yuri.

Yuri raised an eyebrow as he looked at his mother's solemn expression knowing all too well what she was thinking about "You shouldn't just take any random person you see into the house mother, who knows what sort of diseases these strays could drag in."

It was Yoko's turn to raise an eyebrow "People who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones, Yuri dear."

Yuri sunk in his seat as Sora took this opportunity to try and press forward with his goals "Aww come on Teacher! You should be happy to see your apprentice!" Yuri's glared daggers at Sora as he mouthed something then slid his thumb under his throat.

Yoko on the other was quite enthralled "Yuri! I didn't know you had an apprentice."

Yuri twirled his hair quickly losing interest "I didn't know either."

Yoko chastised Yuri "You need to learn to show people some respect mister!"

Sora held in a laugh as Yuri once again threatened him "Why did you have to turn up?" He pushed his chair back "I need to leave now, Yuzu is likely waiting for me." He pointed his finger towards Sora as he slung his bag over his shoulder "If you follow me you'll give me a set of choices about what to do to you, I'll warn you some aren't exactly pleasant…"

"Yuzu…" Yuri panted heavily after catching up to his friend of seven years, he cursed his stamina for what was to be the first of many times this day.

"Oh, Yuri! What a surprise you're five minutes late, so much for being a genius." Yuzu said mockingly, flicking Yuri on the forehead instead of her usual flurry of fan attacks.

Yuri grunted, folding his arms in a huff "Well you didn't have to deal with a home invasion. That Sora is such a pest, smooching his way into having my mother feed him!"

Yuzu giggled "So he followed you to your house?"

But Yuri continued to ramble, lost in his own little world of anger "I swear to god if I hear his annoying high pitched voice again, his head isn't going to be on his shoulders anymore!"

However, just as he said that, a voice called out from behind him "Teacher!"

Something snapped in Yuri's brain as he wheeled around to see Sora behind him and Yuzu "Jesus Christ! Go away! Why are you following me!?"

He turned scarlet with rage as Sora grinned "Where ever the teacher goes the apprentice will follow!"

Yuri's hands shook, it took a great amount of effort not strangle the smirking Sora, his voice was at a low growl "One. You're not my apprentice. Second. You're an annoying runt whose voice is like nails on a chalkboard! And third! Stop following me!"

Sora pouted, shoving a new lollipop into his mouth despite the mountain of pancakes he had already shoved into his stomach "Come on! Take me as your apprentice! I want to learn how to do that incredible Pendulum summon! It was so cool!"

Yuri didn't know how he was going to keep his sanity, he lived a pretty normal and quite life bar a few isolated incidents but everything had really gone to shit for the last three years. Roughly around the time Yusho had vanished. "Slight problem, brat! You need pendulum cards to do it, so you can't actually do it. Sorry to let the truth crush you but facts are facts. Now could you stop talking to me, I'm busy breathing."

Sora turned to Yuzu "Come on big sis! I know for sure that you can get him to do it again if you ask really nicely! Come on, I really want to see it again!"

Yuzu replied "And why should I, Sora? One thing you should know is that Yuri isn't quite the type to do what he's asked, especially by me." She grumbled, remembering that time where Yuri had scared her into smashing the ARC system.

"Because if Teacher Yuri's girlfriend asks him he'll have no choice but to do it!" Both Yuri and Yuzu stopped on a dime and in sync with each other turned to face the other, a furious blush broke out over their cheeks as the tips of their ears turned scarlet.

"GIRLFRIEND!" Both shouted simultaneously acting like it was the end of the world and some ancient evil was destroying the surrounding area.

"Did I guess wrong?" Sora pondered innocently whilst Yuri flailed his arms wildly.

"Yes! You did!" Yuri and Yuzu looked at each other again "Why would I go out with her, she's such a crude violent women l-" Yuzu had fire in her eyes as her fan interrupted Yuri mid rant.

"Ignorant bastard who the hell does he think he is…" She stormed off leaving Yuri shaken on the ground.

Sora grinned Yuzu's sense of justice was very similar to that person's, maybe he was even gleaning part of his mentor's love for suffering "Uh, hey! Teacher! Are you ok?" Yuri held his head in pain, granted he was so used to the texture of Yuzu's fan on his face that it didn't really hurt all that much but there was definitely so more gusto behind it this time. 'Smooth move, Yuri, smooth move. Outstanding move!'

A while later in class Yuri was holding two of his pendulum cards behind a propped up English textbook "I never got those two cards back, it's a given that LDS will soon start producing their own versions and then everyone will be running about with them, I've got to make good use of it before people like Sawatari get their hands on it. The summit exists for only the top after doing everything possible."

Hanging from a tree, somehow being supported by his legs, staring through a pair of binoculars, Sora commented "Teacher, you're making such a serious face, I'll cheer you up though!" Throughout the day Sora began to pop up much to Yuri's ever growing distain which was made even more obvious as he talked to Yuzu after the school day ended.

"It's not natural to resist my urges so much Yuzu… I can feel my fingernails growing from the stress! See! The polish is cracking!" Yuri shoved his hands in Yuzu's face, the polish indeed was cracking and if she had cared to check she would've seen that his fingernails were growing too "Actually, maybe I could sharpen it enough to slash his throat!"

Yuzu sighed, this was getting ridiculous "Yuri, stop moaning, the kid is just excited."

Yuri shot a side eyed glance of disgust at Yuzu "I'll stop moaning if you let me get my hands on him and allow me to my own devices."

Yuzu began to reach for her fan before deciding to try and talk Yuri down "Come on Yuri! If you bring that attitude to the duel school it'll just make the situation there even worse than it already is plus wouldn't your dad want you to bring smiles to faces instead of frowns would he not."

"Fine! But that won't stop me from hating the kid." Yuri slid his hands into his pockets and plastered on a fake smile as he and Yuzu walked on to You Show.

Before going into the school Yuzu made Yuri promise "Please make sure that you don't throw a tantrum."

Yuri side eyed her again "Your days are numbered if you keep making comments like that, Yuzu dear, I'm rather unpredictable~."

The two continued to bicker until Yuri decide to just give up on the conversation walking into the school and for the second time today meeting with an unwanted sight "Teacher!" Sora called sitting with the three kids causing Yuri punch a nearby wall.

"For the third time today! Why are you here!?" He was so close to saying screw appearances and just acting out his natural urges on Sora.

The kids were perplexed "But Yuri-oniichan! We thought he was your apprentice, he's been here waiting for you."

"I'm going to make this very clear children! I d-" Yuri was interrupted midsentence by an ecstatic Shuzo.

"Since he's your apprentice that means he'll be joining the duel school right Yuri!"

Yuri sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose "He's not my apprentice! Get that through that thick skull of yours!"

Sora saw the opportunity for some mischief and seized it readily "Teacher! Duel me and show me more of your Pendulum summoning! It was so cool that I want to see it up close and personal, you also get to see just how capable I am myself!"

Yuri paced over and shoved his fist in Sora's face "I'll duel you when the sky turns green and when pigs fly."

Sora smirked "But if you win I'll get off your back when it comes to this teacher and apprentice business."

Yuri's face brightened but then immediately darkened, this was all too good to be true and he had seen that look in Sora's eyes "What's the catch?"

Sora grinned, this Yuri guy was very similar after all "If I win it, you'll have no choice but to let me be your apprentice and teach me the secret behind your Pendulum Summon!"

"Fine, I'll duel you but you have to promise to keep your word otherwise you'll never see the light of day again." Yuri wasn't joking, if he lost then he would simply move onto his extra-legal methods, they always worked no matter what.

Soon Yuri and Sora were standing on opposite sides on the duel field. Sora was jumping up and down in excitement "This is going to be so cool! My first action duel!" That little add on triggered suspicious in Yuri's mind, it was odd that someone supposedly from Standard and considering LDS as a school wouldn't know about Action duels.

The field came into being around them as Shuzo declared the field he had chosen for the duel "Action Field Wildest West on!" As the name suggested it was the stereotypical Wild West setting from films, the sun falling high in the sky as the two of them were positioned in the archetypal pistol duel showdown.

As Sora became aware of the choice he began to complain "Aww! I thought this was going to be fun but instead you go and chose a boring field like this one." He crossed his arms as he huffed "Isn't there a more interesting or fun field you have?"

Yuri rubbed his temples muttering under his breath "God I'm getting a migraine, this kid just never shuts up!"

Shuzo was surprised but pressed on after finding a new field that hopefully Sora would feel is suitable, if the time he had spent observing Sora had given him anything it was the small male's addiction "Okay then! Action Field Sweets Island on!" The western setting was replaced by the dream field of a hyper active five year old aka Sora. It was an island made of desserts and all sorts of sweets, an orange river ran behind each of them.

Yuri snorted as Sora looked around in wonder 'Honestly these fields just keep getting weirder and weirder.'

"Thank you so much Mister! This is my dream come true!" Shuzo and the others all collectively awed at Sora's cuteness.

"Now are you ready?" Yuri asked once Sora had finally stopped looking like a kid in a sweet store, Sora nodded and Yuri sighed again "Finally…"

"Duel!" Both of them declared simultaneously

Yuri's LP: 4000 Sora's LP: 4000 Cardsx5

Turn 1

Yuri wanted this over as quickly as possible but he wasn't about to rush into a rash move that would leave him in a tough spot "I'll start off slow I set one monster face down and one card to my backrow then end my turn, let's see if you can beat me Sora."

Sora pouted again "Aww! I was hoping for something more exciting teacher like how you finished off that Sawatari guy with that fusion dragon of yours." Deep down Sora knew he had to be careful, anyone who looked like that demon had to be dangerous and his mentor would kick him up the backside if he dared to underestimate his opponent.

Yuri shrugged "From a gentle seed can grow a mighty oak!" He stated trying to sound grandiose and deep.

However, Sora wasn't quite following the sad attempt "English please?" He asked.

Yuri sighed, he was expecting too much from this pest "Something so small can be great in the end."

Sora clicked his tongue "Gotcha now teacher!"

This comment caused Yuri rage "Call me teacher one more time and I'll rearrange your face!" Sora snickered, it looked like his victory would depend on him get Yuri angry enough to make him slip up as he started his own turn.

Turn 2

"My turn and to start I'll activate the continuous Spell Toy Vendor!" A cartoonishly large and extravagant circular vendor materialised behind Sora "By sending this useless card in my hand to the graveyard I can draw another card and if it happens to be a level four or below monster I can special summon it." Sora sent instant fusion from his hand and drew "And it's the monster Edge Imp Sabres which I now summon to the field!" A ball rolled down the machine and opened up revelling a malicious looking set of scissors with glowing red eyes.

Edge Imp Sabres, Level 3, DARK, Effect, Fiend ( 1200 /800 ).

"Next I normal summon Fluffal Leo." A plush, fluffy and adorable lion appeared beside Edge Imp Sabres, rolling over on the ground as it came into being.

Fluffal Leo, Level 4, EARTH, Effect, Fairy ( 1600 /1200)

"He's used a continuous spell to successfully summon to monsters in a row impressive…" Shuzo murmured in muted excitement that a student this strong could possibly be joining them.

"So cute!" Was the screams of the kids and even Yuzu as Yuri face palmed and muttered something under his breath that vaguely sounded like "Could this day get any worse…"

And right on que Sora declared the beginning of his next move, the one he knew he had to make good use of if he was going to win "Now I'll activate the Spell Card Polymerization!" Everyone's head shot in Sora's direction, Yuri had a particularly shocked reaction.

The rest of the group also reacted to Sora's use of the card "So he can fusion summon, that must mean he's an LDS student right?" Tatsuya asked around the group as they all l looked on in awe as they saw a blue and red swirling vortex appear behind Sora, this would be the firt time they had seen someone other than Yuri fusion summoning up close.

Edge Imp Sabers was sucked into the vortex forming a blinding yellow light with Leo following behind the pair of scissors "I fuse together my Fluffal Leo and my Edge Imp sabres! I fusion summon! Level 6! Frightfur Tiger!" The vortex dissipated and roaring out of it came a patchwork and Frankenstein's monster like blue tiger with scissors from Sabers stuck through the middle with a deadly sheen to them.

Frightfur Tiger, Level 6, DARK, Effect, Fiend ( 1900 /1200 )

"Tiger's first effect is that it gains 300 attack points for each Fluffal and Frightfur monster on my field but sine I only have it only goes up by a lame 300!" Sora declared.

Tiger's ATK: 1900 – 2200

Sora grinned, this next part was going to be fun! "Tiger's second effect is that it destroys cards on your field equal to the amount of monsters used as a fusion material for its summon so say goodbye to your facedown monster and your set card!"

"That's some effect but completely pointless in the end." Yuri watched uncaringly as his facedowns were ripped to shreds. Mentally he was already three steps ahead and cackling manically as he lured Sora further into his trap.

"Battle! Frightfur Tiger attack Teacher directly!" Yuri simply stood as Tiger's claws threw him back into the lake behind him with a loud splash

"Yuri!" The kids shouted concerned about their role model but were relieved as he climbed out of the lake and back onto the island completely drenched from head to toe.

Yuri sent a glance down at his clothes and groaned "Ugh, that's going to take an age to dry." He really shouldn't have let that happen.

Yuri's LP: 4000 – 1800

Yuzu certainly hadn't expected this to be as competitive as it was, she was actually concerned for once that Yuri might lose although he did tend to work in mysterious ways. "Well, he certainly is good. He got rid of Yuri-oniichan's entire field and he also manged to drop Yuri's life points below half!" She heard Ayu say from next to her.

Shuzo nodded in agreement "That's some monster he has got there! Yuri has to be at his best if he's going to beat it!"

"I end my turn." Sora looked over to see Yuri lying on his back panting "What's wrong Teacher? You seemed so confident that you were going to win just a moment ago!" He said with a certain degree of malice, emulating the one who had taught him all the tricks of the trade.

Yuri dragged himself to his feet, concerns over his clothing vanishing. "Don't be so cocky! I can assure you that I'll still win! It's only inevitable after all!"

Turn 3

"And it all starts here with the Spell Predaplant Recycling by sending Predaplant Banksiogre in my hand to the graveyard I can draw two card." A smirk grew on Yuri's face "I believe you've been waiting for this moment Sora and everyone else don't blink now or you'll miss it! Using Scale 1 Predaplant Stapelia Worm and Scale 5 Predaplant Sarraceniant I set the pendulum scale!" The two plants appeared either side of Yuri in pillars of blue light as the rainbow coloured word Pendulum flashed on Yuri's duel disk. "With this I can summon monsters level 2 through 4 simultaneously! Swing Pendulum of the soul! Draw an arc of light across the aether! Pendulum summon! Come forth Predaplant Moray Nepenthes and Predaplant Spinodionaea!" The two venomous, deadly and faithful plants landed upon the ground, their roots immediately digging in.

"Wow! It's so cool up close!" Sora yelped giddily, bounding up and down like a kid on his sugar rush which very likely was the case.

However, "I now activate the effect of my trap Fusion Reincarnation from my graveyard, which you so graciously gifted me by destroying it with your Tiger, by banishing this card it allows me to add Polymerization to my hand." Yuri swiped the card quickly adding add it into his hand with a dramatic flourish, Fusion Reincarnation had a rather simplistic design, a Polymerization card lying on top of a grave "I must thank you destroying this card earlier." Sora grunted, he'd been lured into a trap, if his mentor saw him now then he'd be in for the ass kicking of a life time.

Sora was shocked when Yuri's eye threatened to slit like those of the demon's "I now activate Polymerization! Fusing my two Predaplants together! I fusion summon! Show him the power of your illustrious grace! Level 8! Starve Venom Fusion Dragon!" The dragon plant hybrid sored into the air as it buried its way up from the roots that the other two plants had left behind. Sora didn't really take in its monstrous appearance, instead he saw the image of a horrendous and demonic red dragon that spit hellfire.

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

Yuri grinned wildly, channelling the few remnants of his Academia self which still stubbornly clung onto to him "When Starve Venom is summoned it gains the attack points of one special summoned monster on you field and since you've only got one, Starve Venom gains a 2200 point boost!" Vines shot out from Starve Venom and burrowed their way into the tiger, sucking the power from it with Starve Venom letting out a far too satisfied moan once it was finished.

Starve Venom's ATK: 2800 – 5000

He had finally reached the end of his plan, it had gone exactly as he thought it would, he really was a genius after all. "Hey, Sora, there's one thing I've neglected to mention about Pendulum. Turns out that they also function as a spell card of sorts, meaning they have extra effects such as this one! I now activate Stapelia Worm's Pendulum effect since your monster's attack points are higher than what they started off at your monster's effect is negated and its attack drops to zero." Once the vines of Starve Venom had retreated, Stapelia Worm slipped out of the column of light and wrapped its way around Frightfur Tiger, preventing any burst of power coming out of the tiger.

Tiger's ATK: 2200 – 0

'Not good!" Sora thought as he ran off to collect an action card showing off his surprisingly high athleticism as raced.

Yuri took flight on Starve Venom in order to block Sora's path as vines extended blocking any exits "Now I'll give you a chance…If you agree to stop following me around and calling me Teacher I'll let you live and you get another chance of possibly defeating me. But if you say no, well… Let's just say it won't be very pleasant!" Sora remained silent unable to comprehend the situation at hand, his mind flashing back to the one and only duel he had had with Yuri's doppelganger "I'll take that as a no then! Starve Venom direct attack!" Sora was blown back by the sheer force as Frightfur Tiger was vaporised in front of him.

Sora (4000 – 0)

Yuri: Win!

"Yuri won!" The kids cheered for his victory as Yuzu's attention was drawn to the result she let out a small smile glad that Yuri.

The action field disappeared as Yuri turned his head down to Sora in front of him "Well Sora, it looks like I won you remember o-."

Yuri was interrupted by a laughing Sora "That was so fun Yuri! Dueling with you is cool!"

Yuri was taken aback but quickly recollected himself "What's with calling me by name all of a sudden instead of teacher? Did it lose its lustre?"

"No, it's just that since I can't be your apprentice anymore, I'll just be your friend! And friends call each other by their first names, isn't that correct?" Sora reached up and patted Yuri on his shoulders.

"No! Touch me again and it'll be the last thing you'll ever do!" Yuri ranted as Shuzo came bursting into the room.

"So! Since you're Yuri's friend, does that mean you'll be joining our school?!" He yelled with his usual firebrand level of enthusiasm.

Sora playfully thought for moment "Yeah! Why not? This place is more interesting than LDS anyway!"

Shuzo fist pumped, close to crying in that very moment, having two new students in as many days left in positively in rapture "Yes! I'll go get the paperwork!"

He left the room over joyed as the kids entered "If you're not an LDS student than how do you know how to fusion summon?" Ayu, Futoshi and Tatsuya said in harmony.

Yuri placed his index fingers together as the kids prodded Sora for information, something was definitely wrong here, that fusion summoning was something that shouldn't have that much power if he really come from Standard, there was only one place that he knew which had the ability to teach such a powerful Fusion "Well…" Sora scratched his head as if looking for some sort of excuse, showing yet another sign of lying "Nah! Don't worry about where I'm from! All you need to know is that Fusion is normal where I come from!"

Yuri immediately perked up, his suspicions all but confirmed as he wasn't aware of any place in Standard where Fusion was natural and how he deflected the question only helped to confirm it fully. 'This settles it this boy is from Academia, just like me, but why is here? Has the Professor sent someone to retrieve me? No… He would've already taken me much sooner if he wanted that. There's also the question of how did he get here…'

"Now, now, don't be so quick to blame me, Reiji-kun." Shiki drawled, sat in his office at the Enchanted Underworld Duel School, a screen showing Reiji was propped up in front of him. A glass was held in his hands instead of his usual rose, his fedora was also nowhere in sight. "A plan is only as good as the component pieces, I didn't realise that your students were such lousy pieces of trash. He's the one you picked out? I'm sure that you've got better kids there than that, otherwise my school would've supplanted yours by now."

"Then yours must be worse than mine, logically speaking of course." Reiji responded with an insult of his own "However, Sawatari's defeat is something that can be brushed over. What cannot be is the fact that sometime after the duel ended, three people decided to interfere."

Shiki leaned into the screen, his eyes sharpening with intent "Oh? Is that so? Who were these interlopers then? I thought you kept pretty tight security around the place, you do keep a bodyguard one you at nearly all times…" He snipped, tapping sharp fingernails against the desk.

"That's not the point, Sogami. What matters here is that one, if not all, of these people is an enemy spy." Reiji said seriously, trying his best not to lose his temper with Shiki's provocations, he simply wouldn't allow him to dominate the conversation again. He brought up a picture of Sora interacting with Yuri and the group.

"Tch, of course, I simply wish that your father would send someone interesting this time. The last lot were all beaten by Loveless like it was nothing, my Loveless needs to feed on stronger blood." Shiki chuckled, those truly were tedious times as all those worthless souls who thought they could infiltrate the Standard dimension fell before Loveless' powers, nothing was a challenge for them. He could only think that by now Leo had gotten wise to how all of his previous spies kept mysteriously disappearing and sent the new one into a place as far from Shiki as possible. "I'll get someone on his case, don't you worry about that. He'll be burnt to cinders before you blink."

"Ah, yes. That reminds me of something I was also going to mention to you." Reiji muttered, pushing his glasses back up his nose "Next time I would much prefer it if you didn't set the entire area on fire next time, it can't be covered up forever."

Shiki threw his hands up in mock surrender "Oops, my bad. It's only that every once in a while I like to conduct an experiment of my power and see if the person is strong enough to actually come face to face with me. I don't have time to waste on the useless. Although it may please you to know that the person I caught this time was one of those XYZ fragments you were searching for, turns out he was busy whilst I was taking Yuri-kun with me."

"Would you care to give a full description?" It was more of a demand than a question yet Shiki complied anyway.

"Let's see. He was about 6'2, long blond hair that's sort of spiky in a way with something red holding it in line, black tattoos over his arms that are probably based off duel monsters from their dimension. If I remember correctly he had some very striking purple eyes, they looked cold, dark, despairing yet determined. He would appear to be someone of a strong will, quite the interesting little person." Shiki said, taking a drink from his glass and running his finger around the rim of the glass. Just as Reiji was about to speak, the sandy haired male cut him off "Perhaps it would do you good to not interrupt people when they're speaking, Reiji-kun. There is indeed another person with them although I know not of who they are exactly at this time, but I can only assume that since you've not captured them on camera then they're a person who takes care to stand in the shadows and out of sight. They're likely organising themselves in a brawn and brains duo, this blond being the brawn and X being the brains."

Reiji folded his hands under his chin and smirked "Heh, I don't like it but I have to admit that your assessments are always correct, that does seem to be the most logical reason behind why this second person hasn't appeared despite the fact we know of his existence."

"Nice to see we've come to a reasonable, non-confrontational solution this time." Shiki smirked as well "Now, I do believe that you mentioned that the Academia spy wasn't the only one who invaded that little exhibition duel?"

The President pushed his glasses up, allowing the sheen to hide his eyes, the picture of two cloaked figures lurking on the field near Sawatari's unconscious form "Sogami. I wouldn't be telling you this if I didn't believe that you know who these people are or where they came from, so tell me; or else everything will be released…"

Shiki sighed, shoving his glass off screen and picking back up his usual rose "I suppose all good things must come to an end. Do I know who these two in particular are? That's something that I admit I know nothing of, although if you were to ask me what group they belonged to I would know that. However, I would have nothing to gain by telling you so, boy. In fact, the only one with anything to gain would be you and I'll lose everything. Now, I've got other things to do, goodbye, Akaba."

"Sogami, wai-" Shiki cut off the feed before Reiji could finish his sentence. Silently, he moved out of his office and into one of the nearby classrooms. He knew that the person he was looking for would be there without fail, he always was, the one person he knew he could count on in this situation. 'That kid is deluded yet I suppose he was right about lying low for the moment, that spy is still being eliminated regardless.'

(Unknown Location)

"The clock of destruction." Large ornate golden doors cracked open, the design of a large Coptic cross present on each of them. As the light poured into the room the sound of chanting voices drifted through the air, numerous white cloaked figures flanked on each side of the corridor just beside the shiny marble columns.

"Engraves times of atrocity." A lone figure wandered purposefully down towards the throne sat on the end of his path. His shirtless torso, hands, neck and arm were covered in bandages, all except for a section on his back. A singular golden yellow eye poked out of the shadow of his white hood.

"Silent snares." Each person the figure passed looked at him with cruel sneers and jeers, the one section on his back that wasn't covered by bandages was scarred beyond belief and the large black eye birthmark was visible for all of them to see.

"Nobody can escape." That singular eye scanned the room, he knew where his end goal was but the danger was what came in the middle, any of these fuckers could pounce on him and he'd be damned to eternal suffering if that happened.

"Born in secret."

"A tale shadows whisper." Honestly, this place could get really dramatic and cultish at times, it fit his asshole of a roommate's attitude, the Omni giddy, flamboyant, devoted and sadistic person he was.

"Dance in the abyss of hell." He approached the end of the corridor and kneeled down on one knee with his head bowed down, that asshole was of course kneeling right next to him. He wanted nothing more than to take a hold of that fucker's precious hair and rip it to shreds.

"Now, the curtains rise." The person sat on the throne, whom they were kneeling to, had a pretty standard attire of the other members, the major difference with him though was that his cloak was black in order to distinguish his ranking, it had white trims running down the front of it, and on the back was a golden Coptic cross. Three crosses were placed onto his person, one on his neck, another on his hand and a final one across his forehead. Each one having rosary beads holding them in place. In terms of physical looks he had short blue hair which was swept across the right side of his face, the hair on the right of his head being longer than the left which was more shaved back and maintained. His eyes were purple and had sharper pupils than usual.

"Rise." The voice of the man sounded almost bored yet contemplative, it was measured like every word he had picked was deliberately meant to get all the information out in as few words as possible. The two of them did as told. "Dai-chan, report."

"Yes, Nesta-sama." The voice of Daiki Welt spoke, any mirth replaced with a tone of sycophantic devotion and obsessive admiration. It made the other want to throw up his lunch, the sacrificial lunatic had so many faces he could be considered a totem pole. "As you ordered I was able to track down the target, however, some force that I'm still not quite sure where it came prevented me from fully extracting the target and fulfilling the mission to the fullest extent. I'm sorry, Nesta-sama."

The man, Nesta, had no physical reaction to the news. That's what made him so terrifying, his face was a cinder block, nothing came and nothing went. He was like a man who had cracked the secret of life and was totally at peace with the world to the point where nothing bothered him. Although, the yellow eyed male could attest that the man was far from that on the inside. "You have no need to be. Outcomes do not matter if it benefits the Guild." He then turned to the other male "Demi, your report, everything you've done that is."

He breathed a sigh and then spoke "Welt and I went to observe a duel between the key's boyfriend, whom had tried to protect her on that night where he reappeared, and a conceited asshole from LDS. Naturally I don't see any need to say who won. While it may seem to be self-contained, we believe that there were multiple parties other than us watching it like Reiji Akaba."

"And how do you come to this?" Nesta said, his long fingers curling at the edges of the arm rests.

Daiki spoke up "We had left after the last turn, however, the bandage wasting machine in an attempt to stop me from having even the slightest bit of joy in my life decided he wanted to investigate further. We waited for the other group to leave before approaching the scene itself, the conceited duelist and his posse were unconscious so we searched them. We just so happened to find this on the leader of the group." Out of his cloak, Daiki pulled out a small earpiece which Sawatari had been using to communicate with Reiji. "The assumption was that since the other had taken some of the key's boyfriend's cards and attempted to use them during the duel, that someone was talking him through it and we came to the conclusion that it was most likely Reiji Akaba."

"Noted. Dai-chan, Demi, you two did well. Dismissed." Nesta stood up and looked down at the pair briefly before vanishing into the darkness behind the throne.

Daiki looked to where he went with shining eyes "Thank you so much, father!"

The other male smacked the back of Daiki's head shortly after those words left his lips "Pack it in, dipshit. Is your brain melting out of your ears again!?"

Daiki smirked and playfully winked at his associate "I'm not the one who's more of a mummy than a man, Nii-sama!"

Enraged by Daiki's antics and the jeers, which had ended when Nesta spoke, staring back up again. The yellow eyed male threw down his hood and growled, spiky blue hair with green bags falling over a bandaged right eye were exposed to sight. The features of a one Demil Kaimia stood out as he slammed his hand over Daiki's throat "Say that one more time and I'll make good that promise!"

The navy blue haired male rolled his eyes and pried Demil's hand from his neck casually "Say what, Nii-sama? Aren't I allowed to call my brother that?" Daiki grinned seeing the unbandaged eye dilute "It's almost like you want nothing to do with me anymore, Nii-sama! That hurts me more than anything physical you can do!"

Demil turned away and pulled on the bandages over his eye "I preferred "Bandage wasting machine" to be perfectly honest."

Daiki flicked one of earrings as he watched walk away "I still prefer Nii-sama. It's so sad that I have to act that way in front of father, if only he could understand."

"You're a pain, Daiki." Was all Demil said as he left the room entirely with a frowning Daiki following him.

"Oi! You waste of bandages! Wait up!" Daiki yelled once they were through the doors, grabbing Demil by his shoulders "I just remembered something! That earpiece wasn't the only thing that we took from that ass. Why didn't you show them to father!?"

Demil craned his head slightly, just enough to see a part of Daiki's frown and make him turn his gaze to the ground "Because I didn't want to, do I need to say anymore?"

"That's bullshit and you know it! Or did you forget that I can tell when you're lying, Nii-sama!" Daiki bemoaned, acting exactly like a younger sibling when the elder one took something of theirs.

However, the navy haired male soon found a fist expectantly wedged deep in his gut. "Then use that brain of yours and figure out my reasoning. You know Nesta just as well as I do, you know what he'd do if he got a hold of them!" Demil dug his fist in deeper "For our own sake you better not tell anyone about this."

When Demil pulled his fist out, Daiki collapsed to the ground with a cry of 'Nii-sama!' mixed with a grunt of pain "Now if you don't mind, I've got places to be."

(XYZ Dimension)

"Hmph, what a barren wasteland." A flash of white moved across the destroyed rooftops containing the form of a one 17th Progenitor Mamoru Tepes. He took a stop on the roof he was currently on to survey the runs of the town that had been his home for 18 years "I fail to see what made this place such an attractive invasion target, then again, understanding the motives of livestock and especially the ones that make up Academia isn't something that I should be troubling myself over."

He started back up on his roof hopping journey, it was annoying that he was unable to properly stay in one place for more than a day or two. He was religiously hunted by the Resistance on levels which his Great Grandfather had told him could only be matched by the prosecution of the 1st. Those were dark days in the family's history and one he didn't want to remember all that much. For now he was focused on finding somewhere he could hide for the night, the locations he could go to were getting few and far between and it wouldn't be long as he was forced into a confrontation that wasn't on his own terms. He ran through a mental checklist of all the places he knew the peskiest people were in relation to his possible hideouts 'Misaki-san, keh, she's not going to be awake any time soon. Kurosaki-kun is probably with Yuto-kun in search of Kurosaki-san so even if they do come near they'll not pay me any attention. The rest of the livestock is inconsequential.' It was an insult to the entire family that they had to run from the livestock they were far more powerful than and he'd be sure to send an even stronger message next time when he was ready to strike once more.

He gracefully landed back on the ground and into the shadows. Times like this were times where he wished that his family wasn't so set on white clothing, it made it awfully more troublesome to hide. The white haired Progenitor flipped his hood up and peered out once more to check no one was nearby. 'Good… It's all clear.'

"Despite that time we spent together, there's one thing I don't understand about you." As he had begun to move Mamoru was halted to a stop, a look of genuine surprise crossing his shadowed face and numerous swears crossing over in his head. He knew that odious voice. "Naturally, if one were to think things through logically then you wouldn't be anywhere near here, yet I know you to be like that, I believe at our last meeting you described dueling very much like a puzzle so it would be unusual if you didn't put the world in that same view."

The owner of the voice made his way out of the darker area. Mamoru considered himself a decent height but this guy reached a height of 6'4, making him easily the tallest member of the group and, to put it very lightly, built like a truck. His hair, like Misaki's, was predominantly black but his had a vague purplish violet hue to it. It was naturally straight in its style but as a result of what had become constant hair pulling had developed into a more wavy style with some of it hanging in perpetuity over his face. His clothes consisted of a stained white shirt, black cloak that rivalled Yuto in how tattered it could look. He had grey loose trousers on and white trainers that had been worn down and tainted grey over the past year. Finally, he wore the red scarf of the resistance in a manner similar to Shun with it functioning like it was meant too. "Basically what I'm saying, Mamoru, is that you're a remarkably easy person to read."

Mamoru smirked wryly "Ah, Kokichi-kun, truly impressive as always. If you two weren't as big pains in my asses as you are, I'd have already vanished off of the Resistance's radar." Whilst he was his usual self on the outside, mentally he was in the process of screaming his lungs out. He couldn't believe that he had fucking forgotten arguably the biggest pain in his ass next to Misaki and one that he wasn't ever going to forgive, a one Kokichi Tachi. "And if it wasn't for that first meeting then this wouldn't be such a permanent feature on my person." He pulled his non duel disk arm and pulled back his suit's arm, bearing his pale skin. "Fuck you by the way."

"Heh, not exactly what I'd call my best work, like I said back then, I could've slashed all three of the veins in your arm." Cut deep into the white haired Progenitor's arm was a deep and precise gash that formed a skull like design with horns and wide eyes "If you were to ask me, I was too angry at that time to strike with as much precision as I would've wanted and to possibly consider the ramifications."

"Amore, Amore, I love you so. Carina, Carina, my adorable kitten~." Mamoru said with soft and melodic sing song voice, hiding his wound back within its white confines "So what do you want with me, Kokichi-kun? You have me right where you want me, do you want to take me back to the resistance like a baying hound so you can make me apologise for all the people you say I've wronged? Or perhaps you'd like to finish your business and grant me another scar? Preferably on my other arm, it's symmetrical that way."

"Such a lovely voice, shame you didn't become a singer, Mamoru." Kokichi said dryly, eyeing Mamoru cautiously. "As for what I'm going to do with you…I don't want to make a scene in front of the others, that'd be most dramatic and for someone who loves the shadows it would be fairly ironic for you to be exposed in that way. No, whilst you deserve everything that comes your way, it's not in the nature of a doctor to take away life."

"So you're just going to let me get away, Kokichi-kun?" Mamoru asked knowingly, however, if there was one constant in this dimension it was that Kokichi wasn't the typical kind of Resistance member.

(Flashback) (Six months ago)

He still remembered it clearly. Lying on that makeshift gurney in one of the Resistance's bases had made him think many thoughts that he never thought he would have to do. Thoughts of failing his family and betraying the title that had been bestowed upon him with such pride. He had never been so angry at the livestock before in his life, the mere fact of what had happened was insulting to his being.

Mamoru's memories over exactly what had happened were fuzzy at best, he knew that he had been struck on the arm during the male livestock's attack after he underestimated the sheer desire the sack of shit had to leave a message for him. That had happened roughly four turns into the duel, the turn before he planned to bring everything to a glorious conclusion. It must have been telegraphed as the livestock put everything he had into trying to win that turn, he didn't get that far. Hell no, Mamoru would've soon jumped off a cliff than let anyone beat him.

However, duels in the XYZ dimension had devolved to something much more barbaric than those in Standard, Synchro and even Fusion. It had all started to go downhill when the Obelisk Force had starting attacking people with their monsters, Ancient Gear Hunting Hound being the most common card of the lot had inflicted countless injuries. They relentless chased anyone who dared try to run away, usually the resulting impact would result in at least one or two limbs being shattered instantly, leaving the victim with no room to escape. Sadistic grins being the last things these poor souls would see before a blinding purple light sealed them in the confines of a card for the rest of their foreseeable life.

Initially, the Resistance hadn't flowed the brutal attack pattern, instead using their monsters in a purely defensive manner, shielding the innocent and then drawing the Obelisk Force troops into a duel to give the civilians time to slip away. Yet they couldn't keep it up forever, it wasn't simply enough just to protect anymore and they too started attacking with as much force as possible.

Mamoru ran his hand over the afflicted area. Such grace and precision combined with fervent anger had been forever carved into his skin. This wasn't a wound he was going to be able to patch over instantly, in fact when it was placed in conjunction with the shock of it happening, the mass blood loss from another section that was thankfully stitched back up had led to him fainting and waking back here.

It was when he noticed said stitching that he wondered who had patched him up, he wasn't presently aware of any Resistance Duelist who had an iota of medical prowess.

He tried to pull himself off of the gurney carefully but found himself unable to do so. Was his body really that weak? He couldn't have lost that much blood, could he? Was there something wrong with his nerves? He swung his head about in attempt to see if there was anyone about that could possibly help him out. Although he immediately slapped himself internally for having such an idiotic idea.

However, to his fortune (?) He found that there was indeed another person casually sat in the room reading too himself. The very same shitbag livestock that had slashed him in the first place "Come to gloat, have you?" Gah, even his voice sounded weak and limp, this was one growing hell after another.

The male took his eyes briefly off the page "Good to see you're finally awake." As he stood up images of a thin, robotic humanoid clad in silver, medieval armour, armed with a cup-hilted rapier and wearing a distinctive helmet with a jewel embedded in its forehead and several pointed down projections protecting the mouth and cheeks, flashed within Mamoru's mind "I'm Kokichi Tachi, I'm what you may call the main medic of our Resistance branch."

"Why'd you save me?" The words fell out of Mamoru's mouth before he could fully comprehend what was happening.

"It's what's called the Hippocratic Oath, every doctor is sworn to protect the life of their patients no matter who they should be and must not allow for any harm to come to them." Kokichi stated as if it was obvious "I regret what I did to you as well, Mamoru Tepes."

Mamoru laughed bitterly, so it was a pity thing, that's why this man who looked he could crush a normal human under his foot with no issue had decided to help someone like him "I don't want the pity of livestock."

"This isn't pity, this is duty." Came Kokichi's stern voice, Mamoru felt something from this guy from the moment he said that, perhaps this was the type of man he could grow to respect "Let me get this clear, Mamoru. No matter who you may be at your core, no matter what reprehensible act that you may commit in the near future, you're still a member of the Heartland community."

The reasons of the livestock were always so amusing to Mamoru and his family, cursed with such short life spans that they put such emphasis on protecting what they already had. "Is that what you were thinking when you sent your monster to slash me?"

Kokichi pulled on one of the strands of his hair closer to his face and started to twirl it around his index finger "If I wanted to I could've sliced all three of the veins in your arm and maybe taken the whole thing with it."

"Hmm, interesting." Mamoru hummed, this one was certainly interesting "Are you going to hand me over now? I've caused you enough trouble so wouldn't it be the most logical course of action?"

"Indeed." Kokichi agreed then smirked "However, they don't know that you're the one I found. They're currently out at the moment as well so it's just you and I." He then stalked over and leaned down on the gurney, kneeling at the side "And maybe. Just maybe. I want to talk to you more."

(Flashback end)

"Do you still think that was the optimal solution, Kokichi-kun?" Mamoru asked with a saccharine kind of sweetness in his voice.

"Not for the greater good." Kokichi responded with the authority of a doctor giving a diagnosis "But not necessarily one that I regret." He added on with a sardonic smile. "To answer your previous questions, I'm not going to do anything to you, and yes I will let you go. Do no harm, remember?"

"So what do you want? I hardly think you stopped me just to " Mamoru said, suddenly transitioning into his far more deadly persona, one that Kokichi had seen first-hand on that day.

"Not so much for me but for Yuto and Shun, don't try and bullshit me and say that you don't have the piece that's needed, I saw you hand one over to the other two." Kokichi could see Mamoru already fishing around in his cloak for something "Think of it this way, Mamoru. With them gone that's simply two threats out of your way to your goal and my goal, surely that would be the most logical solution to the problem for the two of us?"

Mamoru finished searching through his cloak and folded his hands under his chin "Hmm indeed that would appear to be the case." He then dropped something on the ground in front of Kokichi "Now, I expect that the usual preconditions apply. Nothing happened here, did it?"

Kokichi bent down and picked the small metal piece up, it was incredible that something so small could enable the ability to launch a full scale invasion "Nothing of sort." He said as he faded back into the shadows with Mamoru also taking off after a small laugh.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to all of them, a solitary figure was watching on, eyes of red and gold and an ebony feather clutched tightly in their right hand. "Found you, Stray Dogs."

Chapter Text

It was becoming ever more prevalent every time he went into this room, Kokichi would think back to the time where he and Mamoru could speak somewhat freely without the need for the term 'enemy' to be flung around the place. It didn't help that it was the first time in five months he had been able to see the white haired teen in the flesh, nor did it help that he had been forced into an underhanded deal which, if found out, could cause serious trouble for him and also landed a favour within Mamoru's cold dead hands.

However, in situations like this, someone needed to take charge and make the optimal solution for everyone even if it was detrimental to the leader themselves. That was what it meant to be a leader to him and given what was about to happen, he would have to step up into that role. "So you only got the one?" He heard Yuto ask him, snapping him out of his thoughts. He and Shun had just returned from their mission which had yielded little success other than a few Obelisk Force goons being defeated and retreating back to their shithole of a dimension.

"Yeah, I was just about able to steal it from their disk before they were automatically sent back." A lie. One he knew they wouldn't buy for a second.

Shun certainly didn't. Kokichi wasn't really a fan of the elder Kurosaki, always brash, always angsty and always so irrational when going into the battlefield. They'd lose a great duelist but it wasn't something he couldn't manage. "What sector was it in?" Shun asked, narrowing his eyes at the doctor, the one person who was bigger than him in all of the resistance.

"That's not something you need to know, Kurosaki." Kokichi said firmly, despite his dislike for the Progenitor and all that he's done, it wouldn't sit right with him to rat someone out who had just helped him. "All you need to know is that I got what you were looking for."

It was instantly clear to Yuto that Shun hadn't taken too nicely to that comment, he sighed mentally, why did he always have to deal with over grown children? They were some of the most senior members of their branch for the love of god! "And I'm asking you where you got it from, Tachi! Did your damn boyfriend sneak in here and give it to you?!"

"Keep him out of this!" Kokichi found himself shouting and Yuto sighed again, louder this time. Every time. Every single time the two of them were even vaguely nearby was a guaranteed shit show, in a weird way he was almost glad he was leaving this behind, if only it had been for better reasons.

"Why should I? He's a traitor! Do you even remember what he's done to you and Misaki?! Or has your memory left you as your sense clearly has?" Maybe it was because he was being held up from beginning the proper search for Ruri that he was so agitated and angry.

"What about Kaito? You don't seem to be as concerned about him." Kokichi said with a deathly calm as the temperature of the room dropped dramatically. Kaito was a very touchy subject but Kokichi did have a point, the Galaxy Eyes user had gone rouge not too long ago with him having lost his whole family and especially the loss of his precious little brother being the tipping point. Yet who was to say that Mamoru hadn't gone through something similar?

Shun was about to speak up again but as interrupted by Yuto's hand on his shoulder "Hey, we got it didn't we? How it came about doesn't matter, we can finally get Ruri back and then take the fight to Academia with this." The teal haired teen was visibly calmed somewhat by that statement, taking heavy breaths in and out and closing his eyes. All the while, Kokichi was in the process of twirling one of the longer strands of his hair around his index finger. "What should we do, Kokichi-san?"

"From what I saw in the disk I obtained, it was attached to a separate port somewhere in the motherboard. Give me yours and I'll show you." Yuto readily handed his disk over, taking care to ignore the oppressive gaze of Shun. Kokichi cracked it open easily and pointed to an area that was barren "Turns out that all the disks that run solid vision have this little section, something about the tech being the same across all the dimensions if what I saw in my disk was anything to go by. I imagine that people in Standard and Synchro haven't quite figured this out yet." He slipped the metal piece Mamoru had given him into the slot dexterously and handed everything back to Yuto.

"Are you sure you want to go through with this?" He asked after a while when the gravity of the situation had passed.

Yuto nodded, Shun did too. "Yes, we have to get Ruri back. I'm sure you'd understand, Kokichi-san that we can't leave any of our comrades behind. We also trust that you'll be able to handle the coordination of the rest of them until we get back with Misaki-san. Speaking of, how is she?"

That made Kokichi sigh, another thing to add to the cons list of Mamoru "She's… She's not great. Whatever demon he summoned has had a really bad impact on her. I'm not sure when she'll wake up…" Of course he was bending the truth somewhat, he knew exactly which of Mamoru's cards had attacked Misaki and he knew exactly how long it would be until she got up. But they didn't need to know that. "I'll be sure to inform you of any… Developments… In her condition. But it's not something I want you to worry about, focus on your own mission… I'll handle any Fusion invader… Even you know who…"

Silence passed between the three and the departing pair knew exactly what was going on in Kokichi's head. Yuto looked up to Shun and nodded. The larger grabbing onto the smaller one "And you joke about Mamoru and I." Kokichi sneered as Yuto pressed the new tab on his duel disk and the two of them vanished into a sea of blue.

The medic stayed stationary for a couple of seconds after their departure before he moved off into one of his side rooms. Turns out being one of the most respected members of the Resistance gives one a number of additional perks, those two had some, Misaki had rather forcefully used her privileges for her campaign and some of his closer friends also had their own quarters best fitted to their strengths but they were currently out trying to hunt down some of the rogue elements so he was by himself yet again.

The side room wasn't awfully large, being more of a storage closet really with how he utilised the limited space. In it was all of the equipment he would tend to use on a regular basis, scalpels to cut into wounds and dig out shrapnel, thermometers to check for any fevers since he wasn't about to let someone screw themselves over by dueling sick and of course things like bandages and facial masks to protect himself as well as others. There were other things too, medium sized bottles with perfectly measured liquid inside, batteries and a rather monstrous looking piece of apparatus which was looking very degraded.

None of that was what he was looking for though, he shoved some things to the side and reached into one of the darker corners. 'They better still be here, if he took them as well then I don't think it leaves me with much of a choice.' Luckily for him, as he scoured through the clutter of his equipment, his hand rested upon two cards and his eyes narrowed. 'Good.'

The two cards were nothing like regular Duel Monsters cards, they were larger with blue star shaped backgrounds with black stripes running across them diagonally. Kokichi held one of them in each hand, something grumbling from his extra deck where his best monster lay as he did so "Shush… It won't be all that long now till the requiem comes. Can you stay silent up until then? Hmm? You can? I know you want to speak to him again and believe me I will facilitate that when I can but for now we need to be cautious. When the three of them come back I'll talk to V about what will happen, he understands. So it'll be a case of an eye for an eye. For a betrayer and thief…"

(Standard Dimension)

'Hmm… Fly trap? Nah, it's too obvious. Poison from the Belladonna? Trackable. Gah! Why is this so hard?!' Yuri was currently in the process of trying to pull his hair out trying to think of a method to safely dispose of Sora without leaving any traces behind, like Mushitaro Oguri he'd write the perfect crime. However… It was getting harder and harder to think of ways, unless he could find someone with a motive other than himself.

Turns out that the kids had taken an immediately liking to Sora, he was "fun" so to speak. He wasn't like Yuzu who was busy trying to impose a good lifestyle upon them, he supposed that living with a man like Shuzo for your father would drive you up the proverbial wall and whilst it was only natural for the offspring to share some of the same traits, Yuri was sure he'd be acting the same way. Sora also wasn't like Yuri, whilst the kids love Yuri like the big brother he was, he was almost like an unattainable summit for them. He wouldn't openly admit it but he was somewhat glad that they had an equal in stature at least.

"So, Yuri! Are you sure you and Yuzu won't tie the knot anytime soon?" Didn't stop him from hating the brat with every fibre of his being, though.

"For the last time, Yuzu and I are not in any relationship, not now, not ever!" It's at moments like this that he sometimes thinks Yuzu is conspiring against him in order to get payback over some of the earlier days of their youth. She had sent the two of them out with the "mission" to buy ice cream for the kids, Sora of course had jumped at the chance to get his hands on some as if anything else hadn't shown his extreme sweet tooth. He was probably due a rather nasty diagnosis in about 20 years' time. And since Yuzu was such a wonderful friend she decided that she'd stay with the three kids until their parents picked them up for the day while Yuri was to accompany Sora even though the runt was perfectly able to take care of himself.

Sora gave a mischievous grin "Well, you never know do you?! I never knew I'd find someone so interesting in this city!" Ah yes, that brought him to the only possible benefit he could get out of this. With the kids and Yuzu gone, he could protect them if Sora decided to pull any funny business when Academia was brought up.

"Say, Sora. Where is that place again?" He said, staring with his head craned over his neck. He could see small beads of sweat starting to roll down Sora's neck but he himself needed to be careful, he didn't know if Sora knew that he was also a former Academia solider. "You said it was a place where Fusion summoning was fairly common. I could understand if you didn't want to say it before everyone at You Show, some people get frightened I understand that, but if you're with me you can trust I won't tell anyone."

There was something in that voice, those eyes that were threatening to turn into dragon like slits, Sora already knew he looked like that person but he was sure as hell hoping that they weren't the same personality wise. He breathed in and out heavily, he needed to calm down. "A-ah! Was that what I said?! It's really not much! You shouldn't look into it that much, just know that I'm here now and that's all that really matters!"

"Hmm, normally I would take an answer like that but, forgive me, I think you're not telling the full truth. Unless you really are just very private about that matter. Although from how brazen you are, I'd reckon to believe this is unusual for you." Sora saw Yuri's visible eye slit and his breath hitched, this was getting bad, really bad. He needed some kind of distraction.

Luckily for him he did find that excuse. Sitting randomly on the ground in front of them was a pristine black top hat "Hey, Yuri! Look at that! Someone's lost it probably, we should help them get it back!" Perhaps he sounded a tad too desperate to steer the conversation away but he didn't care as he took the hat.

"Ugh, fine. Let's get this over with so we can go back to what we're supposed to do. You've not seen Yuzu angry have you?" And with the thought of an angry Yuzu any other thoughts went out of Yuri's mind.

"Who do you think owns this?" Sora said with a sense of childlike wonder "It feels so nice, whoever owns this must be loaded!"

"No! No! No! I can't have lost it that easily, can I!?" The pair looked up to see a person on the street just ahead of them. It was a male teen of middling height, standing at about 5'9. His rather over the top outfit consisted of a black button up shirt under a black buttoned vest, a red tie, a black overcoat with golden chains hanging off the edges, a black lanyard connected it together over his form. The overcoat had a silver trim to it and the inside of it has a red and black checkerboard whilst his trousers are grey and have the same kind of checkerboard to them. Finally he was wearing a pair of white gloves. As he turned his head they could see his full physical appearance, he had messy and semi long cold pink hair with black highlights, his eyes by extension were also a pinkish red. Like a certain green haired Cerberus freak he was wearing pinkish eye shadow but also black lipstick, there were a few piercings in random places in his face as well. "Ahhhh! Where is it!?"

Seeing his outfit and how he was acting, Yuri put two and two together rather quickly. He took the hat from Sora and went to the panicked teen. "I take that this would be yours then?"

The pink haired male's eyes widened and a smile broke out on his lips "Yes! Thank you so much!" He took it and, much to Yuri and Sora's surprise, deftly rolled it up his arm and onto his head like it was nothing "May I be so worthy as to know the title of your personage?"

'Great, another weirdo.' Yuri thought "Uh, Yuri, Yuri Sakai." He said after recovering from his surprise, he then pushed his thumb back "And that is Sora."

"Sora Shiunin's the name!" Sora said energetically introducing himself.

"Then I guess it's only fair for you to find out my name, I'm Kichirou Kaneko. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Kichirou's voice was soft and melodic with a grace that one wouldn't assume from his appearance "I'd like to show you something now, as a token of my appreciation for finding my hat." Three cards then appeared in his hand seemingly out of nowhere.

Yuri looked wearily at the pink haired teen, alarms were blaring in his mind and red flags were being raised right, left and centre. There was only one place that Yuri knew with students that dressed this flamboyantly. "Thanks for the offer but there's something we need to do. Come on, Sora."

He went to drag Sora but the small blue haired boy wasn't so quick to flee the scene. "Aww! Come on, Yuri! Didn't your parents ever teach you to be nicer to people?"

'Low.' Yuri growled in his mind "Fine then." He relented, seeing Kichirou's grin widen. "But I'd like to where you're from when this charade is over, got it?" As if he wasn't having enough trouble with Sora over that question already.

"Great! Now this trick is very simple, I have three cards here." Kichirou flipped over the first one and revealed the laughing face of a joker "The first is a joker. The second is also a joker." He said showing yet another one "And the last is the ace of spades." He then fixed a glare on Yuri "If you can tell where the ace is then I'll answer that question." He took and the ace "If I take the ace from the top of the deck and place it on the bottom of the deck, where is it?"

'Keh, is this guy for real?' Yuri mockingly thought "Do I look stupid? It's on the bottom obviously." He said with a role of his eyes.

"Well you must be stupid, Yuri-kun." Kichirou said, flipping over the three cards with the mocking grin of the joker almost coming out of the card and attacking Yuri whilst he was shocked by the fact such an irreversible fact had been blown up right in front of him. "Now, try again and this time if you get it right I'll tell you whatever you want to hear."

'Alright, if it wasn't on the bottom and he said it was originally on the top then that must be the only place it can be!' He went to answer with a renewed confidence "Logically, it can only be on the top."

"Oh, tough luck." Yuri watched horrified as the second joker was turned over on the top with the ace nowhere in sight.

While Yuri was getting progressively shook, Sora was progressively getting more in awe "Wow! How did you do that?!"

Kichirou pulled the brim of his hat down and winked "A magician never reveals his secret, young one. Would you like to have a go?" Sora nodded furiously "Ha, okay then. Where's the ace?"

"Well, if it's not on the bottom and it's not on the top, then it can only be in the middle!" Sora proclaimed, emphasizing it with a bit of the offensively large lollipop he had just pulled out.

Kichirou fanned out the cards and picked out the middle wrong "Ding dong~! You're wrong, it's a joker~!" That caused Sora to drop his lollipop in shock.

Yuri pulled the pink haired male by his tie, having had enough of this shit "Oi, are you even using an ace anymore or did you slip it away somewhere? What do you have to gain by showing this to us?!"

The pink haired teen shoved the other's hand off him and dusted off the afflicted area "Would I ever lie to you?" He turned the cards over to reveal the ace on the bottom "I'd never lie to anyone if I can't help it. How's about we make this the last round? You've not been doing so well with the ace so if you can tell me where a joker is then my previous offer still stands, although if you get it wrong this I'd like to make a request of you."

Sora went to open his mouth but was stopped when Yuri waved his back "If the ace is on the bottom and you said you had two jokers and then you show us a joker in the middle of pack, the only logical conclusion would be that one joker is in the middle." He explained, hoping he had backed the other into the corner.

"Logically?" Kichirou titled his head curiously "Wherever is it written that magic follows the logical? Magic is the logical made illogical. You said I had two jokers?" He flipped over all three cards this time "Why on earth would you think that? It makes me wonder how you missed the ace." And each card had somehow changed into an ace before their very eyes. A duel disk then appeared on his right arm, jagged at the edges and a bright white throughout it, it certainly was an unusual looking duel disk.

A red beam then flew out from it and headed towards Sora's arm, only for Yuri to get his arm in the way, causing his duel disk to activate. Sora holding a quiet shock at Yuri saving him from the Duel Anchor. "Tch, annoying." Kichirou sneered "But I guess that this isn't the worst situation I could have had. I get to see how strong you are by yourself without that girl by your side. What was her name? Yuyu? Zuzu? Hitagi?"

"Yuzu! It's Yuzu!" Yuri suddenly found himself shouting and blushing just as loudly. Curse his infernal mouth!

Kichirou giggled slightly, placing a finger to his lips, the cards he held previously vanishing into a void. "Ah! That's right! Shiki did tell me that…"

And with that name everything made sense to Yuri. Of course this weirdo was one of Shiki's ensemble, that man and the word 'weird' were increasingly becoming synonymous for him. "Who's that?" He could hear Sora mumble beside him, it wouldn't have been so bad if he wasn't already suspicious of Sora, he did only find out about the man a week ago and he had been living here for seven years. However, what Kichirou had said prior had intrigued him, why was he so annoyed about missing Sora? Could Shiki possibly…?

The magician on the other side of him sighed heavily, pulling down on the brim of his hat "Let's make this quick, shall we? I understand that you're a very busy man and so am I, consider this more of an exhibition than anything…"

"Why'd Shiki set you up to this?" Yuri asked, already knowing that he was unlikely to get a straight answer, if an answer at all.

"You know, there's something that's always perturbed me about the saying "Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to". How the hell are you supposed to know what question to ask in the first place and if you even want to know the answer? It's like when you're accused of not asking a question you didn't even know to ask because you weren't aware it was relevant in the first place! If I don't know then how the hell am I aware that I don't know! It's full of shit! Nothing but pointless horseshit!" Scratch that, it wasn't even an answer, it was blind rant of semantics from the guy who had just mispronounced Yuzu's name moments prior. "Fuck everything! Just duel me, fucker!"

Yuri could just tell he was going to have a swell time with this guy 'Maybe he'll just tire himself out if I get him ranting for a while.' He sighed as the battle between them began.


Yuri's LP: 4000 Kichirou's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"Gah! Before I go fucking crazy, I'm gonna kick your shit in!" Oh wonderful, Yuri rolled his eyes, a smug magician with a hatred of metaphors and anger issues. "I summon Smoke Sorcerer Houdini!" A cloud of dense smoke emanated out of Kichirou's duel disk, its thickness clogging up both Yuri and Sora's breathing as they hacked up their lungs in an effort to continue on. The smoke on Kichirou's side gradually began to collate and form a non-descript sentient cloud of smoke which for some reason had a hat not all that different from the oink haired magician's own and deep blue eyes.

Smoke Sorcerer Houdini, Level 4, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect (1600/1200)

"You get used to him after a while." Kichirou smirked at Yuri, who was presently glaring daggers at the other with his hand covered over his mouth "Just persevere through the pain and everything will be fine. Now, Houdini can't really do much by itself, after all, when you're a sentient smoke cloud there really isn't much that you can do. So I guess that I'll just end my turn here with two faces downs and end my turn." The two cards made their appearance and vanished just as quickly as they had arrived.

Kichirou's cards x2

If he was being honest, Yuri was shocked by the brevity of Kichirou's turn, he was expecting something more if his previous basis was anything to go off of. Plus, if Shiki had sent this guy off by himself in order to fulfil whatever goal he had, it meant that Shiki had put his absolute faith in him. However, he remembered how quickly things had gone to shit in that tag duel. Teru's trap had totally locked his deck down and he had no method of getting out of it as he ran no Spell/Trap removal. Something he was actively trying to fix "Those cards of yours." He gestured over to Kichirou's field "I'm sure you're perfectly aware that I had a little escapade into your school at the behest of your wonderful Principal, you wouldn't happen to be following the same strategy I saw then, would you?"

"A magician never reveals his secrets, little Lily!" Rage. Unadulterated rage boiled up inside of Yuri. He was so sick of hearing that stupid nickname! And what was worse was that Sora was here and that meant…

"Lily…?" He craned his head over with a crazed look in order to intimidate the little shit into staying silent, however "Oohhhhhhhhh! I get it! Hey, Magician! Great nickname!" Oh what joy and unbridled happiness! Now he had that to add onto to his list of annoyances for Sora. He could practically feel his fingernails growing into sharp, almost demonic claws.

"But… I feel like I can do you a favour on this occasion. Just to add tension to the situation, y'know? One of the cards is far more potent than the other in regards to your deck while the other, whilst unimpressive at first, if left will grow and grow until it becomes an unassailable thorn in your side. But after all, if you couldn't be the watchdog's combo, I highly doubt you'll do much against me." The pink haired magician added with a sly smirk, the smugness almost as thick as the smoke still smothering the field as he pulled down the brim of his hat once more.

Turn 2

"It's my turn! I draw!" Yuri quickly surveyed, he still had places to be and he really didn't want to spend any more time around Sora or Kichirou "I'll start off by summoning my Predator Plant Ophrys Scorpio!" The deadly scorpion plant scuttled out to Yuri's field, moving a pincer up to cover where its mouth would've been.

Predator Plant Ophrys Scorpio, Level 3, Plant, DARK, Effect (1200/800)

"Now I activate its effect! By discarding one Predator Plant monster from my hand, such as Predator Plant Drosophyllum Hydra, I can summon a Predator Plant monster from deck as a reward! Erupt from the earth, Predator Plant Darlington Cobra!" The snake flower slithered itself around Yuri's arm as he petted it on its head, handling deadly yet graceful things was his speciality after all.

Predator Plant Darlington Cobra, Level 3, Plant, DARK, Effect (1000/1500)

"Darlington Cobra's effect! When it is summoned to my field by the effect of a Predator Plant monster I can add one copy of Polymerization from my deck to my hand." He smirked smugly as he waved the card provocatively in Kichirou's face when he noticed how pissed off the other looked. "Isn't this card just wonderful? It has so many uses…"

Kichirou gave a guttural growl, tapping the side of his head rhythmically "Polymerization is such a needlessly complicated name for the card, I'm not very well versed in chemistry but I know that a polymer is down to the bonding of molecules together… yet the card fuses things together! Why not simply call it Fusion! Fusion works perfectly! Gah! I hate these stupid fucking names!"

'Wow, this guy really is a head case.' Yuri thought into himself before chuckling lightly into himself 'How perfect, I'll have to use that to my advantage.' He store up at the explosive magician with almost slitted eyes "I'm still a bit pissed about not being able to use my full strength during the previous duel I had against your lot, so I'm going to go all out from the very start today! By using Polymerization I fuse my Cephalotus Snail and Darlington Cobra into a devilishly graceful and deadly plant that will overpower your pathetic smoke monster! Show him your power! Fusion Summon! Level 7! Predator Plant Chimera Rafflesia!" The large Rafflesia plant formed just in front of Yuri, making sure to take a pot shot at Kichirou by spitting some of the drool from its mouth.

Predator Plant Chimera Rafflesia, Level 7, Plant, DARK, Effect (2500/2000)

"Now here comes the extender! I activate the Continuous Spell Card Predator Re-Planting!" Yuri's new card depicted the scene of a plant being torn up from its roots while another smaller plant was being planted inside the soil "The effect of this card is as follows, once per turn I'm allowed to resurrect a Predator Plant from my graveyard! The one I choose will be Darlington Cobra!" Erupting from the earth, the snake once more became Yuri's arm pet. "The only downside is that it can no longer attack or activate any effect."

A scoff came from Kichirou's side as he crossed his arms "Tch, what's the point of summoning him back then if it's simply just going to be fodder for when I attack you?" He sneered as he wiped off the affected area where the drool had landed.

Yuri laughed, this was going better than he had ever imagined it would, he picked out one card from his hand "True. If I didn't have anything to use afterwards then it would be pointless. However, did you really think I would be doing it without having a plan?" He flipped the card around with a smirk "I activate my second copy of Polymerization! And with it I'll fuse Ophrys Scorpio and Darlington Cobra! This shall be the monster that destroys any hope you have of victory! From the hell beneath your petals, unleash a dark terror upon all those who oppose me! Fusion Summon! Level 8! Starve Venom Fusion Dragon!"

The fusion vortex exploded and with the repugnant stench of toxic drool and rotting plants a head emerged out first, looking almost like a plant-alien-dragon hybrid. The rest of the body made its way out soon after and soon the entire field was covered by Starve Venom's sheer presence.

Starve Venom Fusion Dragon, Level 8, Plant, DARK, Fusion, Effect (2800/2000) PS: 4

'Wow! It's so incredible to look at up close when it's not breathing down your neck!' Sora thought in awe 'That was also incredibly strong Fusion summoning too! I didn't feel it when dueling him but now since it's isolated I can feel it! That type of strength shouldn't exist here!'

Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Kichirou had shielded his face with the brim of his hat, making it impossible to guess just what exactly he was thinking at this point in time. 'No doubt he's pissed off.' Yuri thought haughtily 'He's probably got something he wants to shout out about how stupidly my beauty is named, but that'll do him little good now! Keheheh! Is this the best you can send me, Shiki? I'm almost offended that I got beaten by those other two weirdos now!'

Yuri looked up to his monsters and nodded. "Don't you worry, Kichirou, was it? This'll all be over soon! Battle! Chimera Rafflesia attacks Smoke Sorcerer Houdini!" The manic plant charged at the smoke cloud with its mouth hanging wide open "At this point Rafflesia's effect activates! Whenever it battles with a monster the monster that either initiated the attack or is getting attacked by it, the monster loses 1000 attack points while my Rafflesia gains 1000 attack points! This will be over before it even started!"

Rafflesia's ATK: 2500 – 3500

Houdini's ATK: 1600 – 600

As Rafflesia's attack was about to land, Kichirou spoke once more, hat still pulled over his face "Keh. That's another saying I have major issues with, it's a lot like another one "The end is just the beginning". I don't like either of them since they are completely contradictory." Different from other times, Kichirou didn't sound all that annoyed which unnerved Sora and Yuri "Something can't be over if it hasn't started and neither can something start if it has ended, but yet these are very common sayings. All of them piss me off in some way or another, however, those two are special to me. They distract from the actuality of the time in between!" The attack hit and dispersed the smoke cloud, clearing up the field.

"Alright, Yuri! You cut away nearly three quarters of his life points in one move!" Sora cheered, grateful that the cloud had finally allowed his lungs to breathe properly again.

"No." Yuri said, cutting the excitement short "Take a closer look."

And lo and behold, Kichirou still had all 4000 of his life points and was standing tall and proud. "But how is that possible? You destroyed his monster! If you didn't the smoke would still be here!"

"Allow me to explain." Kichirou said, finally revealing his face and mocking expression as if Yuri was the dumbest person in the whole dimension. He picked up Houdini's card from his disk "My Houdini, much like the real one, is something of an escape artist. When you attacked me I activate my monster's effect, much like your Rafflesia my monster's effect activates regardless of whether it was attacked or was the attacker, Houdini's effect is that he not only negates your attack but also allows me to take him when he's under attack and swap him out with another Smoke Sorcerer from my deck, provided it is one level lower. And my choice is Smoke Sorcerer Copperfield!"

The new monster immediately filled up the field with smoke again, although this time it was thankfully a lot smaller and more confined to Kichirou's side. This cloud was even less of a proper form than Houdini before it, the faintest outline of an arm stuck out and held a smoky cane down while a singular golden glowing eye was left in the middle.

Smoke Sorcerer Copperfield, Level 3, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect (1000/1000)

"And now Copperfield's effect is activated! Since he was summoned due to the effect of a Smoke Sorcerer I now get to add another Smoke Sorcerer from my deck to my hand." The selected card ejected itself out of Kichirou's deck and into the pink haired teen's hand "So, Yuri-kun, do you still believe that you can finish this duel in one swift move?"

'Monsters that shuffle themselves back into their deck after an attack? That's just like BB!' Sora thought, his time in Academia once more coming back to haunt him, he sent a cautious glance over to Yuri to see if the other teen was spying on him.

Instead he found that Yuri was gritting his teeth harshly, if he went any further he would've ground them into dust. "In one move? Not anymore, I can see you're going to be a most troublesome asshole to deal with. However, you've still got absolutely no chance of winning. I'm setting two cards face down and end my turn."

Yuri's cards x0

"You're not going to attack? You're a smart one, even if you failed to see through my relatively simple magic trick earlier, had you attacked you know you would've triggered Copperfield's effect and that would've given me even more advantage of you." That callous mocking look in his eyes looked more at home in Academia than it did in Standard.

"Believe me, I want nothing more than to end this thing as soon as possible, I'm just not the type of person to intentionally put myself at a disadvantage." Yuri replied, steel in his expression.

Turn 3

"Keh! No matter what you may do, it's all futile! I draw. With my first move of this turn I can activate the effect of my Smoke Sorcerer Dynamo from my hand! This card can summon himself to the field when I control a Smoke Sorcerer on my field that has 1000 or fewer attack points!"

This monster birthed perhaps the thickest smoke of them all so far, even Starve Venom was starting to choke on the noxious gas. This was also the monster which was the closest to holding an actual form, shrinking down mostly to the size of Kichirou and mirroring the pink haired magician's being nearly identically. The poses and all.

Smoke Sorcerer Dynamo, Level 6, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect (2300/1600)

"The rather sad part of it all is that due to this effect he must sacrifice some of his power in order to accommodate his arrival. Like, say, 1000 attack points." The smoke monster slimed further and fully took on the form of Kichirou, slipping behind him and hoovering behind the other like a kind of malevolent spirit with glowing red eyes.

Dynamo's ATK: 2300 – 1300

"Now, since I control two Smoke Sorcerers on my field, I can activate one of my face down cards! Continous Trap activate! Mirror Image Conjuring!" The card showed the scene of a funhouse hallway with numerous mirrors lining up on each side with haunting smoke rolling through it until it reached a dark smoky figure at the end. "Conjuring's effect allows me to summon a Smoke Sorcerer from my deck to the field once per turn but I must negate the effect of the monster that I summon."

A card ejected out of the disk which Kichirou twirled with practiced dexterity "I did tell you that you should've tried to get rid of spells and traps, this will only get worse for you as I now summon the tuner monster Smoke Sorcerer Merlin!" As the card hit the disk only a small cloud of smoke decided it wanted to puff out this time. It was actually rather pathetic when Yuri thought about it, so was the amorphous blob that passed as a monster.

Smoke Sorcerer Merlin, Level 1, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect, Tuner (0/0)

"Merlin might have been a mighty wizard in his own time, but then again he didn't really exist so who's to say juts how strong he really was." Kichirou shrugged "Ah, well. Guess you can't really know everything, not that it matters as Merlin won't be sticking around for long as I use him now to activate my other facedown card! The trap card Mirror Splicing!" As the name suggested, this card had two mirrors being spliced into each other with the faints sights of smoke in the background "With Splicing I sacrifice one monster on my field, such as Merlin, and send them to the graveyard. As a result of this I can now destroy up to two face up cards currently on your field!"

"What?!" Sora exclaimed in shock while Yuri maintained a cool and neutral expression, hiding the fact this complicated his plans a great deal.

Kichirou made some kind of inane gesture with his hands, Yuri assumed it was probably something meant to be used by an actual magician when they were trying to make the trick seem more important "That spell of yours will be a real pain in the ass if I let that bloom any further, so I'll select that and that alone!" Splicing morphed quickly into the selected card, very much like a reflection in a mirror, and then shattered into pieces.

Yuri was perplexed to say the least about this move, Kichirou had stated that the card could destroy up to two face up cards on his field and yet the pink haired magician had only destroyed one. It didn't take much of genius, not like Yuri didn't consider himself to be one anyway, to figure out that there was fire with this smoke. He decided to fan those flames "Just the one? Here I thought you might have the guts to take on my wonderful Starve Venom. Looks like I'll have to re-evaluate you in my ranking."

"Say what you wish, Yuri-kun, nothing is going to make me talk." Kichirou wagged his finger condescendingly, making a 'Tsk, Tsk' noise all the while "For you don't matter to me in the slightest! If I want to tell you something I will tell you when it is relevant! Such as now for instance! I activate the effect of Merlin from the Graveyard! Image Conjuring's effect only lasts when the monster is on the field and it's not really like Merlin had an on field effect to begin with anyway…"

'Tricky. He summoned a monster he knew he could easily turn into an advantage from a disadvantageous position.' Yuri smirked 'My, this may just get interesting. He may look like a freak show but he's got deception down to an art form. Especially with cards…' He made a mental note to look up that stunt he had pulled earlier, he wasn't going to be tricked so easily.

"Merlin's effect! Whenever it is sent to the graveyard as the result of a card effect, I can summon two more copies of him from my deck, once more provided that they have their effects negated and this time round are locked in defence mode." The small smoke clouds popped up from the ground, filling up to Kichirou's ankles.

Smoke Sorcerer Merlin, Level 1, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect, Tuner (0/0) x2

The pink haired magician then looked over his shoulder, the smoky form of Dynamo posing almost suggestively over him "And now I think I'll let you why my lovely assistant here has been with us since the start of the turn! Dynamo can deal you damage, once per turn, equivalent to the total number of levels on the field x100!"

Both Yuri and Sora's eyes widened as they deduced just why Kichirou had neglected to destroy one of Yuri's monsters "Now, do forgive me as my maths isn't great but Starve Venom has 8, Chimera Rafflesia has 7, my Dynamo has 6, both Merlins have 1 making that 2, and finally Copperfield has 3. That makes 2600 points! Let him have it, Dynamo!" The smoky Kichirou expanded into a dense cloud which rushed down to Yuri's side, smoky tendrils ensnaring every monster on the field whilst the main body threw itself down Yuri's throat, choking the sheer life out of him until he collapsed onto the ground in a heap and Dynamo returned to Kichirou's field.

Yuri's LP: 4000 -1400

"Wow… In one move… He took out over half of Yuri's life points…" Sora was in awe of that move, he usually wasn't one to praise people for their turns or strategies. Slacker idiots didn't deserve his praise. He could count on one hand the people whom had earned his respect, his mentor, the Commandant, him, and he was begrudgingly admitting since his defeat the other day that Yuri might breach the threshold soon.

However, there was something in this magician, something that festered and shown in his eyes as he had loosed his smoky counterpart on Yuri. A word was one the tip of his tongue when he spied that look, yet no matter how close it seemed, he simply couldn't figure out what exactly the word was.

"Pfft, Teru-kun and Bitch-san were right, you have a tendency to let yourself be wide open to those sort of strategies. Kehehehehe." Kichirou sneered then broke out into a small, joyless laugh as he took in Yuri getting back up to his feet. Then his face lit up as if he had remembered something important "That's right! Silly me… I forgot to tell you a story."

Yuri glared as he properly returned to his feet, if there was one thing he sure as hell didn't want to hear, it was a fucking story! "It's the main selling point of our school after all! Much like how you lot are supposed to spread smiles, although that's something I've failed to see in any form…"

The purple haired teen could feel his fingernails lengthen as he grasped onto his shirt's sleeve, anger wasn't going to serve him well in this case. He needed to keep his cool.

"Ah! I found the perfect one! I'm going to tell you the story of a man and his intense desire that almost tore his life part." Kichirou rolled his hat off his head and took a bow before he made his start "Unlike Teru-kun and Bitch-san's story this isn't the same man. This man wanted nothing more than to go about his daily business and live his life how he wanted, he wouldn't let anyone stop him from doing what he wanted, no matter who they were. Now, this man was one of the younger members of his family, in fact he was the youngest one of the lot and because of this he was controlled from the top by his overbearing father and grandfather."

'Ha, sounds like Academia.' Yuri scoffed in his mind, playing on barely recalled memories.

"Now, imagine what this was like to the man who wanted no one to bother him, do you think he was happy with this life? The short answer would be no and the long answer was that he was absolutely furious that people dared to interfere. So he did what he thought was best, he disobeyed the direct orders from above and followed through on his desires lest they tear them apart. The man had always held a key interest in a certain group of people, people who he saw had the capability to turn the world into a different place. He decided a long time ago that this would be his job in his life, a wandering salesman of sorts who would unlock the potential in people he would target." That dark emotion that Sora had seen in Kichirou's eyes returned in full force as his lips pressed into a firm line "This is when he met a particularly interesting person, perhaps the most interesting in the years. A person who shared a similar ambition to him and had already begun work on a project that he promised would change the world as they both knew it. The two of them struck up a very good partnership, almost too good, as they formulated the plan to reshape the world. And it worked…" He then placed his hat back on "For a time being."

"What happened?" Sora found himself speaking unintentionally, like something had compelled him to answer.

"Remember the man's family? Well, they found out about him. And… He didn't quite make out in the same state which he entered in…" Another emotion that they hadn't seen before stirred in Kichirou, it was indecipherable. "His desire had led him down a dark path and he had paid an iron price for it. Lesser men sometimes are unable to properly control their urges and desire but I am not one of those worthless people! Watch and learn, Yuri-kun! Teru and Kioka may run Fusion and XYZ respectively but I rule synchro and let me show you my power! I tune my Level 6 Smoke Sorcerer Dynamo with my Level 1 Smoke Sorcerer Merlin!" Merlin's singular green ring overtook the smoky blob's body whilst six stars leapt out of Dynamo and filtered between the circle. "Suffocate all of those who stand before you in your path! Level 7! Smoke Sorcerer Idushan!"

Out of the obscenely bright light the most noxious of all of Kichirou's monsters so far flooded into existence. The smoke was like something you'd see come out of a blazing inferno. Dark, toxic smoke merged into a proper humanoid form. Standing at a slightly taller height than Kichirou, the new monster looked awfully similar to the person who had become one of the banes of Yuri's existence recently, the hair wasn't as messy nor was the monster as deliberately flamboyant or dramatic so far but the monster Kichirou had just summoned was definitely the form of a one Shiki Sogami.

Smoke Sorcerer Idushan, Level 7, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect, Synchro (2600/2200)

"Au son mat de nos vetements tombant au sol, tu ne pourras jamais revenir a la realite." Kichirou said, taking another provocative position alongside his monster, although this time the monster was a lot less active role. "Idushan is but the first start on the road to your ultimate defeat, Yuri-kun. I now activate his effect! By paying 1000 life points I can deal you damage equal to half of his current attack points! That's 1300! Leaving you with only a measly 100!"

Idushan didn't follow the previous monsters in terms of their attack, instead the smoke around Yuri simply got thicker and thicker until no light shone through. 'Jesus Christ! Getting hit into that gate was bad enough!' He shoved his sleeve against his mouth in an effort to prevent any more smoke getting into his system, for some strange reason, every time he felt the effects of the monsters it took a greater and greater toll on him. When the smoke cleared he was hacking up his lungs so hard that trace amounts of blood were spitting out with it. That couldn't be right. They weren't using an ARC system.

Were they?

Yuri's LP: 1400 – 100

"I haven't even entered my battle phase yet and just like that I've reduced to a mere 100 life points." Yuri snarled when he heard the magician's mocking voice. How dare he gloat when this duel wasn't over! "I'm not one to gloat really, to gloat means that you've yet to consider all other variables and are over confident that your opponent doesn't have a trick or two up their sleeve. It's a lot like magic, it's when a magician is over confident that they have a trick mastered that they start to screw it up in front of a live audience. Theoretically, I could attack you now and end this thing right here. Idushan has the 100 point difference over Rafflesia that I need to end this fiasco and go back to my original plan. However, I have a feeling that you have some inane strategy hidden that would turn my attack back on me. So I'll end my turn by setting one card face down."

To the shock of Sora and ire of Yuri, Kichirou plucked one card with a casual indifference and it appeared on the field. "You can't trick a trickster, Yuri-kun."

Kichirou's cards x1

"Oi, bastard. You're mocking me, aren't you?" Yuri pointed an accusatory finger at the smirking magician "If there's something I hate about people, it's them acting like they're better than someone by mocking them! You were very capable of ending this right now, you said so yourself, but you then went and mocked me by refusing! You made a big mistake so you best now pray to whatever god you believe in, because by the time I'm through with you, I'm going to break you!"

Those eyes. Sora had switched his gaze to Kichirou the moment Yuri's angry rant had reached its crescendo. Those eyes. The word had come back to his mind when he saw how deathly cold they were, Kichirou was hardly what one may call normal in terms of appearance, but you could be safe assuming that he was simply a flamboyant diva and aspiring magician with possible anger issues. But those eyes.

Those were the eyes of a monster.

Icy, blank, calculating and showered in darkness.

Like the type Sora had seen on his mentor so many times.

Yes, those were certainly the eyes of a monster.


"I swear to god! Yuri never does anything I ask of him!" Currently stomping through an aisle inside of a store with Ayu at her side, Yuzu was ready to commit cold blooded murder due to the burning rage that flowed through her. "Forty minutes! I sent him out forty minutes ago! And the idiot still hasn't even thought to contact me!" After about twenty minutes of waiting and quietly seething, Yuzu had finally had enough and decided that if Yuri wasn't going to do it then she would do it herself.

Initially she was concerned that she'd be leaving the kids all alone but then her dad had come in to save the day and Ayu, who was particularly excited about going out for some ice cream, came with her whilst the other two stayed behind.

So here she was, no clue where Yuri was once again and holding a deep desire to pound the purple haired teen's body black and blue. She was so caught up in her fantasies that she didn't quite catch the fact that someone had just passed her at a junction and forced her to drop her basket all over the ground.

"Oh, shit…" Came the male voice when he realised what had happened. Yuzu recognised the voice but that wasn't her concern at the moment. All she wanted to do now was unleash her rage on this asshole!

She burst into action and repeatedly smashed the other's face in with comically large fan blows, which despite the fact it was made out of paper felt more like steel due to the combination of sheer strength and friction "Yuzu-oneechan! Stop it! People are staring at us!" Ayu's shout snapped her out of her violence induced trance and when she looked around she saw what the little red haired girl had said was indeed true.

"S-Sorry! I hope you can forgive me!" The pink haired girl looked down at the fallen man when she bowed in apology and her face lit up in recognition, although that face didn't bring back positive memories. "D-Demil?"

The blue and green haired male stood up, clutching at the bandages around his eye. Something Yuzu noticed was the copious amounts of bandages he was wearing, something he hadn't been wearing on that fateful night. "Ah, it's you, the one that fucker Jex was after. He hasn't been bothering you, has he?" Oh thank god he hadn't, every time she thought back to him, Jex seemed more and more like a demon. She shook her head and Demil sighed "Oh, that's good, for you at least. Fucker could be anywhere." If he was trying to calm her then he wasn't doing a very good job.

Demil's eye looked down at the fallen tubs of ice cream and also at Ayu, who was practically shaking in her boots at the sight of Demil. The male sighed, he knew that people didn't consider him all that child friendly. Which child in their right mind would approach a person who was covered in more bandages than a mummy? He knelt down to Ayu's level and carefully kept his distance "Hey there, are you her little sister?" Ayu scuttled back further making Demil swear in his head. Seriously! What made him so terrifying!? "Woah, no need to be frightened. I'm a friend, not a foe. Look, I'm Demil Kaimia, if I were such a monster would I be telling you my name?"

Tepidly, and at the behest of the comforting gaze Yuzu was giving her, Ayu edged somewhat near Demil "Um, A-Ayu Ayukawa, S-sir."

"No need to be so formal, I'm not that old just yet." He bemoaned playfully and beckoned Ayu closer to him "Sorry about your ice cream, but I have something that could replace it." Inside of his own basket, which had remained perfectly upright and stocked despite falling over just like Yuzu's, he pulled out one of the many tubs that littered it "I was going to give this to my roommate, asshole can't go for more than two minutes without shoving it into his mouth. But I'm sure he wouldn't mind." He handed the tub over to a shocked Ayu who took it hesitantly "Don't worry it's already been paid for, I'm not some shoplifter or stiff."

After realising quite what had happened, Yuzu was slightly surprised but grateful. She should've known somewhat that Demil would be the type to handle this situation well. He had been the one to save them against Jex's assault, it mightn't have been for the same reason as now, or for the reason of blind honour of saving someone, but she could see the good heart the walking bandage waster had.

Once the mess of the previous spill of ice cream and paying for the damage the trio of them left the shop and started walking down back to the school. Part of the way through, whilst carrying Ayu on his shoulders who was happily eating some of the ice cream, Demil turned to Yuzu "So, uh, I never learned your name that night Jex attacked you and your boyfriend. Apologies for skipping out on you shortly after."

"Ah, it's not a worry." It really was but Yuzu didn't want Demil to worry about them "It's Yuzu, Yuzu Hiiragi."

"Oh, so Ayu wasn't your sister. My mistake, it was just the way she called you earlier made me think that." Demil said nonchalantly.

Yuzu giggled "Oh, no. It's just something the kids do for Yuri and I, we're like their older brother and sister figure." As she said this, Yuzu could see a definitive change in Demil's body language. If she hadn't been around Yuri and all his antics for years then she would've missed it.

"I see…" Demil trailed off, his voice neither angry nor sad, just a dull monotone. Yuzu was frightened that she had hit a nerve.

However, to her fortune, or misfortune depending on how one would see it, saved her from going any further along that trail. Down on the embankment that they were just passing, she spotted those goons which had held her and the other kids captive and belonged to that conceited brat Sawatari.

Quickly, she shooed Demil and Ayu down to the side, an action that caused Demil to let loose a quick "The fuck do you think you're doing?" She shushed him and pointed down to the embankment where the goons were talking.

"He's really going all out this time, isn't he…?" One muttered

"He says he's going to crush Yuri completely this time." Yuzu and Ayu sent a quick glance to the other whilst leaving Demil fully in the dark.

"He says he's going to focus in on his weak points and attack him from there."

The other boy checked his watch and panicked "Damnit! We're late! We better hurry! You know how he gets when he's hungry!" The two boys ran off to the warehouse containing their over-ambitious friend.

Immediately, Yuzu jumped into action "Ayu! Go find Yuri and Sora and tell them to watch out for Sawatari! I'm going to go and trail them and see what that good for nothing is planning! Demil, could you take are of Ayu when I'm gone!"

Demil's only visible eye narrowed, his other hand clutching this time at the bandages around his neck "Oi! Tell me what the fuck is going on right now! I ain't doing shit for you until I know what's happening! Who were Tweedledum and Tweedledee?!"

"They're the underlings of an LDS student called Shingo Sawatari, he tricked Yuri into giving up some of his pendulum cards and then used us as hostages during his duel with Yuri! Yuri won but he's been plotting revenge since!" She spied down the embankment and saw that they were nearly gone "Sorry, I don't have any more time!" And promptly left Ayu and Demil in the dust.

"Good fucking lord… What a disastrous day." Demil grunted, looking at Ayu beside him "Well, Ayu, do you think you could help me in helping your friend?" She nodded her head and he smirked. This wasn't quite what he wanted but Nesta had always told him that all people's meetings were caused by gravity.

(Back at the Duel)

Turn 4

"Do be careful, Yuri-kun." Kichirou taunted after Yuri drew his card for the turn "You've only got one card in your hand and 100 life points, if you don't manage to beat me this turn then I'll have Idushan end you on my next move. Time's ticking."

Yuri stared at the pink haired magician for a second before bursting out in a fit of laughter "Hahahahahaha! You're a real funny guy, Kichirou. It seems that you haven't even realised that my victory is more than assured." A bluff. One hell of a bluff. Yuri had only one real move left that he could make to end this right now and if Kichirou realised that fact everything would fall to shit. But he had nothing else left to do.

"Eh? Is that true? Quite the statement you are making there, Yuri-kun, I don't think I need to reiterate just how dire your situation is. I would say that I think you're bluffing about having victory assured, however, I'm not someone who deals with hypotheticals. Shiki told me once that human behaviour is often scripted to think in different ways, how people always follow the same kind of process when dealing to specific situations. For example, if a person is in despair, they will follow one of two options the vast majority of the time. 1) They will cower and break under the pressure, becoming a worthless sack of shit; or they'll chose 2) Play it off with as much bravado as humanly possible to hide their despair and trick themselves into thinking they are really in control of the situation." Kichirou was a trickster in the purest form, magicians without deception skills were useless. To Sora, who couldn't help but see him for the monster he believed him to be, even someone from Academia would be struggling to get out of this situation, although the strategy wasn't all that advanced, the mental mind games being played by the magician . He remembered that his mentor had once said to him "Half of the duel is fought with the monsters on the field, the other half is fought by the monsters of the mind. Those who win are those whose mental fortitude and intelligence is superior to the other." It made him shiver just thinking about it, was it possible that Kichirou could be on the same level of his mentor?

"But how far are you willing to wager that that is actually the case in this particular situation?" Yuri shot back the second Kichirou had stopped talking "You said it yourself, those are only assumptions of human actions and for someone who says they don't deal in hypotheticals you did just make one hell of an assumption. Let me show you why you're wrong right now! I activate the Spell card Predator Plant Synthetic Regeneration!" This card's art showed the scene of two plants being placed in some scientific facility whilst on the outer edges a large carnivorous beast was being slowly dragged in "You see, much like a plant, humans grow over time and as we do so our way of thinking changes along with it. Ever heard of the whole nature vs nurture agreement? And now I shall demonstrate this to you in the only way that is possible!" With the snap of his fingers, two blooming flower petals broke through the thick smog and appeared behind Yuri "Regeneration's effect! I pay half of my life points and then get to add two Pendulum monsters from my deck to my hand, although I must also banish one Predator Plant monster from my graveyard too! I add my Scale 1 Moray Nepenthes and Scale 8 Predator Plant Fly Trap at the cost of banishing my Ophrys Scorpio which I use to set my Pendulum Scale!"

The two pendulum monsters burst out of the two plants and streaked into the sky in pillars of blue light, a 1 under Moray Nepenthes and an 8 under Fly Trap.

Yuri's LP: 100 – 50

Kichirou turned his nose up at the sight in front him, meanwhile beside Yuri, Sora was relishing the fact that he wouldn't have to be on the receiving end of Pendulum and Starve Venom's wrath this time round. "That's all well and good, Yuri-kun. However, whilst I may not know an awful lot about Pendulum summoning apart from what Shiki has told me, I know for a fact that you don't have any monster you can summon with it." Kichirou said contemptuously "You also have no cards in your hand and no way of summoning that Darlington Cobra or Drosophyllum Hydra in your graveyard. Face facts, your situation is hopeless."

"Keheheh, I wouldn't be so sure just yet, Kichirou." Yuri said with as much smugness as he could muster. This was still a rather risky strategy, but Kichirou had given him a crucial piece of information that he could utilise "I can understand why you don't know it, I didn't use it during my duel in your school, but I think I'll keep the secret to myself for the time being. What was it you said earlier? 'If I want to tell you something I will say it when it is relevant'? Maybe you should practice what you preach." Seeing Kichirou's face fall was such bliss for Yuri. He wished he had a camera here right now to capture the moment. "First I would like to direct your attention to my facedowns."

"Bah, what'll they do for you? The fact you didn't activate them on my last turn means they won't be able to stop the effects' of my monsters, considering how you set them as well that would mean they held no instant benefit for you and with nothing changing in regards to our field I'm willing to bet those were just duds that you set to try and bluff me out!" Kichirou rattled off with practiced speed, like he was used to giving these kinds of hypothetical deductions most of the time.

Yuri shrugged and rolled his shoulders back "No, I just didn't see it relevant to notify you at the time as to the reason why I had set these cards! Let's start off with the first card! Predaplanning! With this card I send one Predator Plant from my deck to the graveyard such as Predator Plant Cordyceps I can place a Predator counter on every monster on the field and every monster that is over Level 2 will have their levels drop to 1!" Vines began to grow out of the ground, somehow managing to tangle themselves around Kichirou's smoke monsters whilst they gracefully took Yuri's Starve Venom and Rafflesia into their grasp.

Starve Venom's Level: 8 – 1

Chimera Rafflesia's Level: 7 – 1

Idushan's Level: 7 – 1

Copperfield's Level: 3 – 1

"Tch, so what? What's reducing their level going to do to change the situation?" Kichirou snarled with an accusatory finger "If this is just your way of pissing me off it ain't going to work, if I were you I would pick your next words very carefully…"

"Alright then…" Yuri sighed dejectedly "It's just… For a school that prides itself on story telling you are quite contradictory in not allowing me to talk." Ah, that growl and pissed off face, it was moments like this that Yuri lived for. No one who was as naturally talented at pissing people off as he was wouldn't be like it. "But I'll tow the line just for now! As my next card seals off every avenue you have for victory! I activate the Continous Spell card Ivy Bind Castle!" The vines that had been around Yuri's monster grew larger, still holding his monster whilst it built a decent sized castle behind the purple haired teen, meanwhile Kichirou's field was getting coated in these vines, some even latching onto him and locking him in place as well as his monsters.

"What the…? Who the fuck sets a Continous Spell?!" Kichirou exploded when he had finally gotten over the shock "There's no fucking logic in that!"

Yuri tapped the side of his head, everything was indeed starting to come full cycle "It's my Ivy Bind Castle! It negates the effect of all of the monsters on your side of the field! There's no way for you to run away now since your monsters' tag out effects are now nullified!"

Kichirou staggered back, his mind racing at a million miles an hour to figure out a way to get out of this situation. 'Stay cool, Kichirou. Adversity invites opportunity, that's what Shiki told you and he's never wrong!'

"And I'm going to tell you just why I set all of the levels on the field down to 1. You were saying about how pointless the Pendulum Scale was since I didn't have any monsters to summon, however, Pendulum also has another feature to it!" At that Kichirou's eyes widened in horror as he finally realised what that green border on the bottom of the card was "Pendulum Monsters work as both monsters and Spell cards! With that I activate my Fly Trap's Pendulum effect, once per turn I can target one monster on my opponent's field that has a Predator counter on it and destroy it! Say goodbye to your Idushan!" An intense purple light started to shine out from Fly Trap's column and travel through the vines latched onto Idushan. The smoke monster tried its best to manoeuvre out of the vice like grip of the thorny vines but it was all for nought as the almost human cloud of smoke dispersed into thin air. The oppressive smoke finally lifting from the field for the first time since the duel had started.

"Why, you…" Kichirou growled, his eyes shadowed by his hat and his fist repeatedly clenching and unclenching as if he had lost his motor functions in that hand.

'Just like that… His plans went up in smoke… Yuri's incredible…' Sora thought in terrified awe 'He only had one card in his hand at the start and everything worked out for him.'

Yuri didn't give a damn, he was finally going to be rid of this annoyance and he could finally level the score with Shiki's school. "Battle! Chimera Rafflesia attacks Smoke Sorcerer Copperfield! Remember his effect too! He gains 1000 attack whilst yours loses 1000! I do hope you don't try to weasel your way out of this one."

Rafflesia's ATK: 2500 – 3500

Copperfield's ATK: 1000 – 0

"Why, you…" Kichirou repeated, ensnared by the trappings of the Ivy Bind Castle as his monster, like Idushan before him, was sent up into the atmosphere as his life points went up in smoke with it.

Kichirou's LP: 4000 – 500

"One more! Attack him directly, Starve Venom Fusion Dragon! Unleash your Botanical Nightmare!" A hellish red overtook the plant dragon as it soared into the air with every intention of sending Kichirou into the deepest depths of hell. Its vines extending and grasping onto the pink haired magician and constricting him to cause a plan he had never felt in his life beforehand.

'Shit! This is bad! This is really fuckin' bad! This shit is going to beat me!' Kichirou's choleric side was pounding on the walls of his mind to be let out at this moment, he had to figure out a way out, but nothing was available! Or was there really nothing…? His eyes scanning down at his disk.

"Alright, Yuri! We finally go get that Ice cream now!" Sora yelled in delight whilst internally listing Kichirou as a danger but not one who was too dangerous that he couldn't be overcome.

As the attack was about to strike, the magician's eyes became visible, the pinkish red turning into a bright blood red with his mouth curled into a vicious scowl "I activate my Trap Card! Mirror Force! I don't even need to explain but I shall! All monsters that are in attack mode on your will now be destroyed!" Eyes widened as the infamous Trap card emerged from the maze of thorns, staring at the two Fusion Duelists oppressively "Luck has sided with me once more! This always happens when life deals its worst to me! Shiki was right, I just have to keep pushing and eventually an opportunity will present itself! The Kanji characters for Kichi mean good luck! What a delightful thing!"

'Oh, no! Yuri's monsters are going to be destroyed! If that happens he doesn't have any method of retrieving them and Kichirou is going to win!' Sora thought. Not that he was worrying about Yuri. No. Not at all. He was simply concerned with his own well-being. That was all.

Meanwhile, following the reveal of the Trap, Yuri was the picture of calmness despite the impending doom of his monsters. "Luck has sided with you, has it? There are stronger things out there than luck, such as a hundred percent dead certainty that I'm going to beat you here and now! Behold the Pendulum effect of my Predator Plant Moray Nepenthes! Once per turn I can target one monster on the field that has a Predator counter on it and destroy it! Then I can negate the effect of one Spell or Trap card my opponent controls!"

Kichirou staggered backwards, the remaining card in his hand falling down to the ground as he pounded the side of his head "What!? God fucking Damnit! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Are you fucking me?! Go suck a dick in hell! GAHHHHHHHHH!"

'Wow…' Yuri blinked owlishly at the display in front of him 'This guy has psychotic anger issues… Maybe he should go to therapy.' Was his last thought before Starve Venom's attack landed, Kichirou too psychotically angry to actually register the pain and the defeat.

Kichirou's LP: 500 – 0

Yuri: Win!

It was bad. It was like a car crash you couldn't help but look at. Kichirou was clawing and scraping at his head, his obscenely sharp nails, something Yuri had only just noticed 'Were they always black?' He noted, were digging deep into his flesh. He had been repeating the same string of profanity for the past few seconds, getting weird looks from the people who had only now started passing by on the street. "O-oi, are you alright?" Yuri found himself saying out of genuine concern.

"Why, you! How dare you do this to me! Why wasn't I given the chance?! Shiki is going to be so fucking disappointed in me now!" Kichirou screamed, throwing his entire fist out at Yuri "I'm not going to fucking forget you, shitty Lily!" Just as suddenly as he had popped up into their lives, Kichirou sprinted off into the distance, presumably to go see Shiki and leaving his last remaining card on the ground.

Yuri cautiously walked over and picked up the card. However, he barely got enough time to look at it as a female voice pierced the air "That's him, that's Yuri-oniichan!" He looked over his shoulder and saw Ayu perched high upon Demil's shoulders.

"A-Ayu, what's going on? Why are you here? Where's Yuzu?" Yuri asked a flurry of questions, not really taking notice of Demil or Sora.

Demil dropped Ayu down to Yuri's eye level, he could see the worry and anxiety in them "Yuri-oniichan, Yuzu-oneechan is in danger!"

"What?!" Yuri said, startled by the news. Just what had happened? He didn't have any enemies, they didn't usually last too long until being disposed of. Really, he hadn't done anything worthy of enemies just yet. Unless…

One conceited brat decided to rear his ugly head into Yuri's perfectly nice mindscape, necessitating his darkening expression "Ayu, where is she?"

Demil decided to step in at this moment "She looked like she was going to the docks, maybe one of the warehouses. Dunno which one though."

He didn't need much else, he tucked Kichirou's fallen card into his pocket and then walked past the pair "Oi, Kaimia. I'm going to need you to come with me for this. Think of it as getting another favour."

Yuri didn't wait for Demil's reply, starting to run towards where he instinctively knew where Yuzu was. Said male leant backwards and cracked his back "Whew… What a day, eh? Ayu-chan?" He then looked down at Sora, who seemed to cower in Demil's presence "You okay there, kid? You look like ya just seen a monster."

Sora gulped.

He had seen two of them today.

Both of whom he never wanted to see the face of ever again.

Meanwhile, at the docks Yuri and Demil were headed to, a certain lavender and black spiky haired individual was busy scoping out the area. When they had first arrived in this dimension they had spent a few minutes looking about the place they had first turned up in. The docks and their derelict warehouses seemed like a peaceful enough place where they could start their operation.

Yuto sighed as he readjusted the mask and goggles on his face, it was oddly nostalgic in some ways as it reminded him of the two missing members of the Resistance and how they first met. Neither of those two were very comfortable with showing their faces. He guessed this was what they had felt back home, a foreign environment where showing your face was tantamount to a death sentence.

Shun, in all of his prefect logic, had decided he was immediately going to track down Reiji Akaba and force him to follow along with their plans. Yuto reluctantly admitted to himself then that maybe it was the best they could do for the time being. Ruri wasn't just going to fall onto their laps and kidnapping the Professor's son may be enough leverage to get him to pull back for the time being.

After all, what's to say that Reiji didn't take after his father? Maybe they were using a divide and conquer strategy to rule the four dimensions. The father taking over XYZ with a base in Fusion whilst the son took over Synchro and had his base in Standard.

The Akabas were truly a nefarious family.

He was about to move out to actually find a place where they could stow away for the night. But something, or rather someone's appearance just threw that idea out the proverbial window. The sight of that person made his breath hitch 'R-Ruri? Is that you?!'

The girl was running around the area, looking rapidly around the place until her eyes landed on someone 'A student?' that was stood outside of one of the warehouses. Yuto knew that kind of situation well, that was someone standing guard.

The girl seemingly didn't care or was unaware towards the danger of the situation 'Ruri wouldn't be that brash… Would she?' Yuto thought, observing from a safe enough distance behind the shadow of one of the warehouses 'Well… She did always have a penchant for wanting to help out those in need. Maybe someone one in there is in danger.' He silently stalked the girl as she forcefully shoved the guy standing guard to the side like he was dead weight. Which he was, in all fairness.

The door to the warehouse swung open, Yuzu stood tall and proud as Sawatari choked on the food his lackeys had brought him "You coward!" She shouted "I'll stop your plans right here and now!"

After recovering from nearly turning blue, Sawatari was handed a drink and composed himself for a speech "Yuzu Hiiragi it looks like you've fallen into my t-"

However, Yuzu wasn't having any of it and loaded her disk, proclaiming as loudly as she could "Duel me!"

Undeterred, Sawatari continued his speech regardless "And because y-"

Only for Yuzu to interrupt him again "Shut your mouth and duel me now!"

An irritated Sawatari tried to continue, oh he was going to make so regret coming here! Maybe he couldn't have Yuri but he could still have his girl! "The goddess of victory will shine upo-"

"Are you afraid to lose to me?!"

That was it! Sawatari pulled at his and raged "Let me finish! Godamnit!"

Yuzu snorted "I don't plan on listening to a coward, a sore loser and a second rate duelist!"

Sawatari turned scarlet "Second rate you say! Second rate!" He narrowed his eyes at the insult Yuzu had thrown at him.

"In fact you're even worse than second rate, third rate, fourth rate not even one hundredth rate classifies your skills!" Yuzu said, trying her best to think of the most harmful insult she could make. He was a conceited prick after all, so the ego strike was where it was at.

"Now you've done it!" At a flick of the wrist one of his friends, the one Yuzu had shoved over earlier shut the door of the warehouse tight and stood outside guarding it as Sawatari walked towards Yuzu "I'll give you the chance to take that back now."

Yuzu was unfazed "Too bad I don't feel like it one little bit, you tier four duelist!"

Sawatari gritted his teeth "I'll beat that ignorant attitude out of you." Sawatari placed his duel disk on and activated it "I'm going to make you wish you had left."

But before anyone could make any further movements, the door to the warehouse buckled and then came flying off its hinges as Yuto entered the room. The goon who had been outside was now laying, once more, in a heap on the ground, probably questioning why everyone decided to make him their punching bag.

"Who are you?" Sawatari asked curiously, and somewhat in fear, as Yuto continued on before stopping beside Yuzu

"Back down." Was the only thing that Yuto said to her. He still didn't know if this girl was Ruri, but regardless, he needed to protect her in this situation.

"What's with you?" She asked him, Yuto ignored the question and zeroed in on the LDS badge Sawatari wore on his collar causing his steel grey eyes to narrow.

"Showing up all of a sudden…Are you supposed to be a knight sent to save the Princess?" Sawatari said but it fell on deaf ears as Yuto threw out his arm, blowing his cloak, revealing and activating his purple duel disk.

"That's an odd duel disk you have there and going by your silence, you have no intent to answer any of my questions, do you?" Shingo stated at Yuto who stood silently with his eyes trained intensely on the badge on Sawatari's collar.

Yuzu was pissed at Yuto for interfering in her battle with Sawatari, and that was an understatement at best. She was just about to place on her disk and activate it when Yuto grabbed her arm and looked directly in her eyes "I'm not going to let you get hurt anymore."

Yuzu was shocked "Eh? Just who is this guy?"

Sawatari spoke up again "Well aren't you cool but you should leave it at that Sir Knight you just going to embarrass yourself when you lose." Sawatari activated his disk.

"DUEL!" The pair of them shouted simultaneously.

Yuto: 4000 LP Sawatari: 4000 LP Cards x5

Turn 1

"I'll go first." Yuto said

Sawatari went straight to mocking him in order to knock his confidence "Go right head, it's not like it's going to make a difference." He said with flamboyant hand gestures

"I set all five cards in my hand facedown and end my turn!" The five cards materialised and then disappeared, this unprecedented move shocked everyone. Meanwhile, Yuzu was screaming internally, this guy had ruined her attempt at revenge and drew dead for his first hand! Jesus!

Sawatari laughed "So I guess all of that cool talk was just that, talk"

Sawatari's friends jeered Yuto "Sawatari-san! End that worthless excuse for a duelist!"

Sawatari mocked Yuto again "I feel sorry that you didn't draw a single monster but I guess that's karma for you."

Yuto stood unblinking, this guy was nothing, he knew far greater horrors. Images of a dragon far larger than his own looming over him with every intention of blowing him off the face of Heartland still haunted his dreams every night. No way would he ever fall to some as useless as this "Didn't you hear me? I said I ended my turn."

Turn 2

"I'll show my perfect dueling! It's my turn! I draw!" Sawatari glanced over the field smugly "Allow me to use those set cards of yours!" He plucked a card from his hand "If there are two or more set cards in my opponent's spell or trap zone I can special summon this card from my hand!" He swiped the card onto his disk "Come forth! Escher the Frost Vassal!" A smaller and less dramatic version of the card known as Mobius the Frost Monarch emerged from the ice that began to cover the ground.

Escher the Frost Vassal, Level 4, Warrior, WATER, Effect (800/1000)

"I now release Escher to tribute summon Mobius the Frost Monarch!" The smaller version of Mobius was replaced by the large version as it towered behind Sawatari.

Mobius the Frost Monarch, Level 6, Warrior, WATER, Effect (2400/1000)

One his friends took this as an opportunity to stroke his boss' ego "Wow it's his first turn and he already has a 2400 attack point monster! Neo Sawatari-san sure is great!"

"Mobius' effect activates when it is tribute summoned, it can target then destroy two cards in my opponent's spell or trap zone! Take this!" Mobius charged up a beam in his hands and struck the two facedowns "Freeze burst!" The facedowns were revealed to be cards called Phantom knight's Spear and The Phantom Knights of Shadow Veil which under the absolute zero temperatures of Mobius, shattered in an instant.

"I'm just getting started by the way! I activate the Spell Tribute Carnival! If I've successfully tribute summoned this turn this card allows me to do the same again!" Sawatari slid the card into his disk.

"He's going to release a twenty four hundred attack monster to summon a new one?" Yuzu was surprised but Yuto didn't bat an eyelid, although that comment did put a nail into the coffin of whether this girl was Yuri or not.

"That's right! I release Mobius the Frost Monarch! To summon forth Mobius the mega monarch!" Mobius was replaced by what looked to be the final step on the evolution ladder of the card, this card filled the entire back of the warehouse, utterly trumping all monsters in size.

'Still not as big as Umbra. Weak.' Yuto noted in his head, why was it that everywhere he went he always equated people to that monster and that particular person? Had he really had that much of an impact on him? Those sneering, glossy black lips and the glowing red eyes of a demon.

Mobius the Mega Monarch, Level 8, Warrior, WATER, Effect(2800/1000).

"Usually this would require two tributes but if it's a monster that has already been tribute this turn you can count that monster as two for the summoning of a mega monarch!" Sawatari struck a pose as his friends stroked his ego further "Amazing!" They yelled.

"My Mega Monarch's effect now triggers when he is tribute summoned he destroys up to three spell or trap cards on your field!" Mobius charged up a beam from both his hands

"Hey! Sir Knight! How about activating one of those cards before they are destroyed!" One of Sawatari's friends said.

Sawatari grinned "It'd be pointless! Because if this card is tribute summoned using a water monster the cards targeted can't be activated!" Mobius had finished charging and was now ready to unleash its frozen hell on Yuto's last line of defence. "Now freeze and shatter! Blizzard destruction!" Mobius let loose, destroying the other three set cards causing Yuto to shield Yuzu from the powerful blizzard.

Yuzu was shocked to feel the full brunt of the blizzard "Huh? How did I feel that if there is no action field?"

Yuzu barely had time to register what had happened before Sawatari spoke again "With all of your set cards destroyed and your hand at zero you're finished!" Sawatari struck another pose "Maybe if you summoned a monster or if you had one from the start this duel might have gone differently, this just makes your grand entrance pretty pathetic if you ask me."

Yuzu glared at Yuto "Hey get it together if this is the best you can do then you should've j-" Yuto glared back at her, silencing her almost immediately.

"Battle! Mobius the Mega Monarch attacks you directly! Imperial charge!"

Mobius charged, Yuto remained standing perfectly still although Yuzu had to shield herself out of fear of the attack landing since she was still wrapped protectively. "I activate the effect of the spell, The Phantom Knights of Shadow Veil from my graveyard!"

Sawatari and his stooges stood in shock "Spell card from the graveyard." One questioned "Can he even do that?" The other conscious one said.

Yuto pulled the card out of the graveyard and explained its effect to everyone "When an opponent's monster declares a direct attack I can summon as many copies of this card from my graveyard as level 4 monsters." Three cards ejected out of Yuto's grave as he placed them on his disk three ghostly horses emerged onto the field together

Phantom Knights of Shadow Veil, Level 4, Warrior, DARK, Effect (0/300)

Yuzu only now realised Yuto's plan "You set those cards hoping they would be destroyed didn't you?"

"No matter! I attack one of your Shadow Veils!" Mobius made the ghastly apparition vanish from the field. "Looks like you barely saved yourself! I set one card facedown and my turn!" The card materialised than vanished in front of a gloating Sawatari "I guess I'll let you live one more turn!" His friends heaped praise upon him "Wow! Neo Sawatari sure is great!" They reiterated like mindless drones.

"This duel has run its course!" Yuto declared to Sawatari's shock and total horror.

Turn 3

"My turn! I thought you'd be a challenge." Liar, his mind subconsciously reminded him "But I don't feel the sharpness of a blade in your dueling!" Yuto thought back to two fateful days in his life, first being the day of the invasion that tore his peaceful life to shreds, the other being the one he was thinking the most about right now. "You're nothing compared to him. Not even close to being on the same planet let alone the same level."

Sawatari stood in stupor "What are you talking about, cut the jokes Mr Mystery."

Yuto's eyes narrowed behind his googles "The conditions have been met! When there are two monsters of equal level on my field the strongest monster of my deck will manifest itself! I use my two Shadow Veils to construct the Overlay Network!" The two monsters turned into streaks of purple energy as a swirling yellow vortex appeared in the centre of the field.

"It can't be!" Sawatari said stunned

"That's…" Yuzu was just as shocked as Sawatari, although she had seen Kioka do the same only a few days ago, this was a far greater power than the one Kioka had unleashed on that day.

"Formed from the pitch-black darkness to fight those foolish enough to oppose it with its treacherous fangs! Descend now! Xyz Summon! Rank 4! Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon!" Exploding out of the Overlay Network was a slick purple dragon coated in body armour and electricity jumping from every metallic part of his body. There were two purple orbs that flew around the dragon which screeched when it finally hit the filed. Making Sawatari positively shit himself.

Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon, Rank 4, Dragon, DARK, XYZ, Effect(2500/2000)OLU: 2

Not too far from the warehouse Yuri and Demil were closing in on Yuzu's position both motivated by different factors. "Yuzu, I'm coming please stay safe." Yuri looked over his shoulder to Demil, cradling a worried Ayu carefully "You got the plan down?"

"Ah, sure." Demil said unconvincingly, looking far more concerned with one of the bandages that had fallen out of place around his eye "You still owe me again after this, understand?"

Yuri didn't reply. He was laser focused on saving Yuzu from Sawatari. The creep could be doing anything to her.

"A Xyz summon… And it was so powerful… Unlike anything else I've ever seen" Yuzu clasped her hands together, the last part causing Yuto to stare at her again, Ruri would never say something like that. Had they possibly wiped her mind?

Sawatari clapped his hands sarcastically "I'll admit I was surprised when you Xyz summoned so quickly but are you really planning to take down Mobius with that monster, unless your blind you would've realised that it only has twenty five hundred attack points while my Mobius has twenty eight hundred." Yuzu looked at the two monsters attack points and sure enough Sawatari was correct, Dark Rebellion was too weak to defeat Mobius "It seems your Xyz summon has turned out to be nothing but a bluff."

"Xyz monsters' true power rests in their very soul known as overlay units! They use them to vanquish their foes!" Yuto said with venom in his voice, he wouldn't let anyone shit talk XYZ monsters anymore, he had already had enough of that from Academia soldiers.

"Enough with your Xyz lessons! I'm not interested!" Sawatari said pretending not to be scared and hiding the stain on the back of trousers.

"Then bear witness to the true might of Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon! By using one overlay unit I can target one level five or higher monster, half its attack points and then add that amount to Dark Rebellion's!" One of the purple orbs was absorbed in the dragon as metallic panels on the dragon's back opened up "Treason discharge!" Purple electricity constricted Mobius weakening the monster dramatically, the power was then transferred to Dark Rebellion.

Dark Rebellion's ATK: 2500 – 3900

Mobius' ATK: 2800 – 1400

"Dark Rebellion's attack is…" One boy started "Over Mobius' attack" Yuzu finished the sentence for them.

"I'm not finished!" Yuto proclaimed with a particularly dramatic swish of his cape "I use his second overlay unit to do the same thing again! Treason discharge!"

Dark Rebellion's ATK: 3900 – 4600

Mobius' ATK: 1400 – 700

"An attack of forty six hundred points!" Yuzu exclaimed happily.

"NO! NO! NO!" Sawatari shouted.

"Battle! I attack Mobius the Mega Monarch with Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon! Mauling Mandible Charge!" Dark Rebellion's tusks glowed a bright blue as it tore Mobius in two.

Sawatari's LP: 4000 – 100

Yuto shielded Yuzu from the blast which tore Sawatari from the ground and shoved him into the back of the warehouse, damaging the back wall heavily.

Sawatari grunted as he attempted to stand up "What the hell?! This isn't an action field I shouldn't be able to feel it."

"This is bad." One of the boys said "This guy's monster has the power to send us flying."

Yuto began to walk up to Sawatari "I'll ask you only once so answer me properly." Yuto held up the LDS pin in his possession, Shun had given it to him from one of the people he had defeated upon their arrival, an impressive feat considering they had been there for all of about four hours. "What's your connection to Academia?"

Sawatari was perplexed "Academia? What are you talking about?"

Yuto glared at Sawatari "Don't play dumb."

Sawatari grimaced "I really mean it! Anyone who is enrolled in LDS has that badge and I've never hear of this Academia you speak of."

Yuto began to walk away, this had all been a huge waste of time, the Ruri like girl was the original reason he had appeared here to begin with and then it came down to the LDS connection. Both of them leaving him with no answers, only further questions "I have no business with you then." He said as he turned to leave.

"Idiot!" Sawatari shouted jumping to his feet "The duel isn't over yet! Trap activate! Ice Rage Shot! When a water monster on my field is destroyed by battle this card destroys one monster on my opponent's field and deals you damage equal to that monster's attack points." Yuzu gasped as Sawatari laughed "I read your moves from the very start and set this trap card ahead of time guaranteeing my victory!"

Yuto threw up the back of his hand "Such tactics are mere child's play compared to some of the trap combos I've seen before." Yuto was thinking of two people in particularly, one was his tepid ally, the other his sworn enemy "From my graveyard I activate the continuous spell Phantom Knights' Spear!" A spear appeared out of thin air, directly pointing at a sniffling Sawatari "When my opponent activates a trap card I can banish this card from my graveyard, negate the activation of the card and deal you 100 points of damage!"

Sawatari frantically flapped his arms "Wait! Wait! We can talk this over!"

Yuto would have none of it "Experience for yourself the rage and sorrow of the battlefield!" The spear flew towards Sawatari pinning him to the wall by the inside of his jacket. Sawatari promptly screamed bloody murder as he scrambled to get down.

Sawatari's LP: 100 – 0

Yuto: Win!

Yuto's body started to move on its own, he didn't know why he was doing this, but soon after his victory he removed his mask and lifted up his somehow undamaged googles revealing his face to those around him "Yuri!" He heard the Ruri like girl shout, another nail in a coffin that was already being buried.

Both Yuzu and Sawatari were shocked to see Yuto's face mistaking him for Yuri "It-It was you!" Sawatari squirmed, falling to the ground as the spear dissipated

"Sawatari!" Both conscious stooges ran up to their boss and carried him out of the warehouse, taking stooge number 3 with them as well "Yuri, why do you look like this? And how did you know I was here?" Before Yuto could answer Yuzu's bracelet glowed a bright pink, engulfing the warehouse and when it finally cleared Yuto was gone. The pink haired girl staggering back in shock. 'What was that? Where'd Yuri go?'

Just seconds later, Yuri came rushing into the warehouse with Demil slightly further behind him. Yuri not noticing the destruction that had occurred whilst Demil took his time to look around, his eyes narrowing as he noticed a few tell-tale signs that Nesta had told him to look out for if he were ever to encounter one of those types.

"Yuzu! I'm here! Are you alright? Ayu told me you were in danger." Yuri panted, his lungs not quite ready for the running he had done following his duel with Kichirou. He was red in the face as he threw himself over Yuzu, causing the pink haired girl to blush a bright red. "Thank God! You're safe!"

"You… You're Yuri, right?" Yuzu asked hesitantly, touching her face and shielding her gaze away from Yuri's calculative look.

"Yes, I'm still me, nothing's changed. Why? What happened to you here?" Yuri found himself interrogating Yuzu in a split second.

He was stopped in pursing further action by Demil who had dropped Ayu down to the ground, letting her run to Yuzu and clasp onto her leg, and had grabbed his shoulder "Oi, give her some space, you ain't told me shit about anything that's happening, so don't go asking questions until mine are answered."

Yuri growled, he had had just enough about people talking down to him today "Shove it, bandage boy! The only reason you're here is because you happened to turn up at the right time! Why did you even have Ayu to being with! Did you kidnap her?"

Demil shot back immediately "Watch your fucking mouth! I saved your ass I have you remember! And no, I didn't kidnap Ayu! What fucking reason would I have to do that?! Also! Ever heard the saying "In the right place at the right time?" There's your answer for why I turned up, asshole!"

As Yuri and Demil descended into incoherent argument, resulting them in grinding their heads against each other, Yuzu clasped her hands together. Ayu was hugged tightly on her leg. It made her sad to see her sister figure be in such pain and Yuzu couldn't help but feel sad too. She didn't understand what was going in the past week, first it had been the appearance of Pendulum, then the encounter with Jex and the first mention of this Grimoire, Shiki turning up in their life and then not leaving, Daiki and Demil turning up within a day of each other and both wearing the same crosses, then finally someone she didn't know had come out of nowhere and acted as if they had known each other for their whole life.

"Just what's going on…?" She mumbled, hugging Ayu closer to her.

The warehouses of Maiami city were generally a place that you would want to avoid if you ever found yourself in its vicinity. Usually there really was nothing to worry about and a lot of the rumours were lacking any real substance behind them. However, new rumours had begun to spread. People attesting that they had seen a shadowy figure wandering around the area, people claiming that they had heard some sort of explosion and had booked it for fear of their lives and lastly there was claims that some fire had incinerated part of buildings and one of the alleyways completely, yet when it was checked out there was no sign of any fire. Gradually people waned off these rumours but the prevailing fear that something may happen if you go down there was strong.

Especially one dominant theory that seemed more and more true by the passing day, for six years there had been rumblings that there had been a streak of people going missing and many different interpretations had come to the forefront, however, they all paled in comparison to the main one. The idea that it was caused by a string of serial murders. Normally, they would put anyone off and was mainly the reason this place had fallen into disuse apart from the dock section, also being the reason that kids such as Sawatari were able to easily get a warehouse to themselves."

However, those who claimed to be "brave" and wanted to expose "the shady government cover up" of what had happened the previous day, had indeed gone to the place in search of anything to prove their point.

Needless to say, there is a great difference between the brave and the reckless. "I know this city like the back of my hand, you see. Where every turn is, where every house is, where every dent in the road is. May I mention now that my memory is eidetic? Just like an elephant, I never forget. Especially where all of the security cameras are…"

A shadowy figure strode in and out of the warehouses, confident strides accompanied by a distinctive dragging sound behind them. They stopped at the point where they converged into docks, the ocean more fervent than it was usually as it crashed against the dock walls. "Such a lovely place, don't you think so? My family certainly wouldn't, no, they wouldn't approve of me even walking as I am now. They're so cruel to me, so unwarranted with what they did to me. Do you think they were wrong?"

No answer came, there was barely any sound other than the waves, yet the person chuckled and spoke softly anyways "You agree? Wonderful! I could tell from first sight that we were intertwined and my assessments are never wrong. Having locked eyes with someone that you were going to love from the start is such a wondrous and rapturous feeling."

Another pause came about, the figure swivelling on their heel as if they had picked up some discreet sound. On instinct they moved towards the area they believed the noise had travelled from. Sharp eyes travelled down one of the alleyways. For a second they could've sworn they saw two figures, one notably smaller than the other trudge in the shadows. Coming closer, sharp, deadly, black fingernails were curled around the corrugated iron of the warehouses "Hmph, I heard that something rather contentious happened here today. Something about a lowly student being attacked by a duelist that could physically manifest their monsters and cards as real beings. The assaulter seemed to have vanished in a bright flash whilst the victim is supposedly in the hospital."

Scowling, they walked back to the waves, pulling up what they had been dragging behind them this whole time into their cold, dead, arms. "I really do apologize, my love, it would appear that we weren't quite as alone as I would've liked. However, I did treasure our time together, regardless of how short it was. You gave me a feeling I haven't felt in years."

Moonlight cracked through the clouds which had blanketed most of the night, it illuminated the pale inhuman whiteness of the figure but hid the rest of their figure. "Carina. My adorable M-Neko-chan."

The thing they had been dragging, however, was fully bathed in the glow of the night, everything was laid bare. It wasn't something, but rather someone.

A woman with faded red hair and shrivelled up skin rested limply in the figure's arms, scars blemished her face and the visible part of her body. Her face, past the scars, portrayed a look of absolute terror and pain. Her last moments of life must have been the most excruciating experience of pain she had ever, and will forever, have felt.

However, nothing compared to what was on her neck.

Two definitive bite marks, made by very sharp incisors. Much like how the figure's own glistening white incisors were coated in a red substance which was none other than the blood of the women before them. "And now with this enchanting pleasure, my true colours have been revealed." The body slumped to the floor, a simple kick enough to send it into the ocean, as the figure slipped their eyes back over to the place they had heard the noise originate from.

"Your tenacity shall be your doom. Cantarella, I confess my love to you, as I rid myself of another nuisance."

Chapter Text

(Real Time) (Standard Dimension)

"Oi, Takeshi-kun. Wake up, you're drooling over my shoulder again." A flick on his forehead followed by the unceremonious shoving of his entire head woke the slumbering long haired male, who growled lowly when he saw just the expression the other was wearing "I thought it was only babies who drooled in their sleep, apparently not." Janus droned, wiping the drool off of his shoulder.

"And I thought that you were a nice person when I first met you. Then again, everyone makes mistakes every once in a while." Despite harsh words, there was nothing harsh in Takeshi's expression. This was just how their relationship worked and he didn't really mind it all that much. Save for when Janus decided he was going to do as much as humanly possible to piss him off, he really was such a little shit at times, the bandage incident being a very clear example.

"Was it a nice dream you were having? It'd be an awful shame if I woke you up from your enjoyment." This was just one of those times Takeshi was guessing, Janus was at peak annoying asshole, luckily this "mode" as he had once dubbed it, only stayed about for roughly five minutes. However, that was going to be one of the longest five minutes of his life so far.

He thought back to the dream he had just had. In actuality, it wasn't so much a dream as it was a recollection of what had transpired long ago. He recalled Kokichi-san once saying that sometimes a deeply traumatic event had a habit of coming back to haunt someone in their dreams. It wasn't the first time he had dreamed/remembered this event, but it was certainly the first time that he saw it from the other perspective before it switch back to his own. It was very strange. "Nah, it had you in it, wasn't pleasant in the slightest." Takeshi quipped, leaning in closer to Janus, or as close as that damned mask would allow him too.

Janus leaned in too, resting his hand around Takeshi's pendant, his eyes flicking downwards as his mouth slipped into a sneer under his mask "I never got way you decided to take this accursed thing with you when we left."

"It's a family heirloom, I couldn't just leave it!" Takeshi said indignantly, crossing his arms and causing Janus to sigh. He took another good look at it. It was like a weird trident, the two outer spikes being more spread out than on a usual trident and sharper at the end point. It also had this alluring, almost magical, gem in the centre. Janus couldn't help but think back to the amount of trouble that little detail got them into. In those situations, although he was rather loathed to admit, he liked Takeshi's other side just as much as his usual one. "It'd be just like you not taking your supplies when we left!"

"That's different, Takeshi-kun, I actually need that." Janus responded flippantly, tightening his grip on Takeshi's pendant with enough force to almost snap it clean off its band "This. Is just something that continuously got us into trouble and if we sold it to The Collector then everything may have gone the way we wanted it to, instead of turning into one huge clusterfuck."

Takeshi's calloused and burned hand moved threateningly close to Janus' mask "And you couldn't have chosen a less distinct mask? You, of all people, know how much I hate drawing attention to myself and how much I hate having to do this all myself. I'd be happier if it were one of the other reprobates trying to kidnap the Professor's son! I got burned because one of Akaba's lackeys decided he wanted to have an 'experiment' and set the entire damned alleyway on fire! If anything, at least I cover my tracks!" That ceramic mask looked so… enticing to smash, something dark began to fester deep within him. His true colours clawing at him from the inside, screaming for him to show this wretch why he's wrong.

Luckily for the both of them, those urges were stopped in their tracks when Janus placed the hand that had been on the pendant on Takeshi's face instead "Oi, calm down, Taki. It's fine, everything's okay. And do you know why? Because I know for a fact that we can go back to our usual routine." Takeshi's purple eyes locked expectantly with Janus' emerald ones "Reason being, the Spectre and Sparrow have landed."

"Shun and Yuto?" Takeshi blinked owlishly, frankly that was surprising "Really? Are you lying again? Those two wouldn't leave Heartland unless they were upon their duel disks." But if those two really were here… "How can you be sure, Ja?"

"Hmm… Lemme think about that…" Janus drawled, intentionally trying to rile up Takeshi just that little bit more "Maybe it's the fact that, while you were out yesterday, I heard a very distinctive noise coming from one of the other warehouses. One may say that it sounded a lot like the cry of Rebellion that we're so accustomed to hearing. And where one cry is released, the other one can't be all that far away… A girl too… Just before…"

The elation in Takeshi was palpable and Janus couldn't help but smile at the sight, his other hand coming up to Takeshi's other cheek as the blond haired teen removed Janus' mask, allowing their heads to finally touch "We're still going to have to make sure that that's true, and I have just the plan to make sure. I will make this our one true Heaven."

"What? You're telling me that there are more of them? God." Shiki bemoaned at Reiji. Now he had three things to be annoyed about. One, dealing with Kichirou had taken him longer than he thought it would. Two, he had been dragged away from his teaching duty and God knows what the kids were doing without him there, he wasn't going to be picking up the resulting mess this time either. Third and finally, having to deal with the Akaba boy telling him that there were more of these interlopers, had just tipped him onto the edge of just calling quits on everything for the rest of today. At least he didn't have to leave his office again for this meeting.

"Believe me, Shiki, it does me no great pleasure either. But this new group seems to be even more dramatic in their methods than the last one." Reiji reported, adjusting his glasses as he did so like it was some kind of nervous tic. "Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of one of them this time. However, we do have something much more definitive. An eyewitness account of them."

That made Shiki raise his eyebrows "Eyewitness, you say?" To Reiji, the predatory intent was practically dripping from the sandy haired male's tone and he didn't like it one bit. He got shudders thinking about the amount of paperwork he'd have to fill out to get this "experiment" covered up.

"Remember that student of mine that you called worthless the other day? Turns out he was good for something after all. Shingo Sawatari testified to us earlier today from his hospital bed that he saw Yuri Sakaki." Something indecipherable took over Shiki's face for the briefest moment once Yuri's name had been brought up. Having worked with the man nearly as long as he had Yusho Sakaki, Reiji liked to believe that he had Shiki all figured out. So to see something he didn't know cross the other's expression was not high on his list of preferences "Whilst it may seem that way at first, upon closer inspection, Sawatari's claim fell apart once he mentioned that his assailant had used an XYZ Dragon, which Yuri decisively does not currently have in his deck."

Strangely, Shiki ducked his head off screen for a few seconds. Reiji supposed he had probably noticed something happening in his office, with how dark and cluttered that place was it was only likely that something had fallen down. When he did come back, a gust of cold air ran suddenly became prevalent in his office and Shiki looked positively irate. His top lip threatening to curl upwards into a snarl "And what's to say that it wasn't some other random XYZ user, huh? Ever occur to you that that dipshit doesn't know his ass from his elbow! Did it?! Boy!"

'Hmm, Sogami's losing it, wonder why? In the meantime, I can use this.' Reiji smirked internally, finally luck was on his side in one of these meetings "For one simple reason, Shiki, the summoning receptors picked up a large outburst of XYZ energy last night. Yuri, most certainly, does not have this power. Nor would any duelist in this dimension studying the XYZ course be capable of exerting this amount of power. That leaves me with one conclusion, that this is one of the new party that just arrived!"

Shiki had his hand covering his mouth as he spoke causing his speech to become muffled, another thing Reiji noted down on his list of strange habits "But what makes you so sure that this is a new party and not the same people as before? We know nothing of their decks so either one could be the dragon user!"

"Strategy." It was one word. A simple word. But it made Shiki stop dead in his tracks. "It's the strategy that made me start to believe that this was a new group. For starters, the original pair, let's call them X. X seemed to be quite conservative in approach and nature, assuming that they have been active over the past few weeks, they only seem to attack within exact timeframes and at a low volume. The number of attacks were only two and both occurred around the same time as each other. However, if we take this new group, Y, into account, we found out that Y has only likely been active from last night onwards. Here's the real point I'm trying to get at here, the attack on Sawatari took place outside of X's usual timeframe and the volume of attacks has increased dramatically." Reiji then pulled out the thing he had been saving for this very moment, a group of four cards, which Shiki instantly recognised the ramifications of "I was sent these in my mail this morning, all of them members or associated with LDS. Sawatari also testified that he had been asked if he was connected to LDS too due to the pin on his jacket. During X's period, I received no such mail and there were far less cases of attacks already. So, in conclusion, that's why I believe that this is indeed a new group that I'll need your help containing. They're distinctly attack LDS people and it wouldn't be a stretch to say it would be next."

'Damn you, Akaba, springing this on me like this. You don't have the slightest idea who you're messing with.' Shiki seethed internally, this was a feeling worse than anything he had felt in a long time but at least it wasn't the worst case scenario.

"There's just one thing that's confusing me about this situation." Another statement that had Shiki raising an eyebrow "There is no Real Solid Vision and no ARC system anywhere near the docks and yet this mystery duelist was able to attack Sawatari as if his monsters were real. You wouldn't happen to how, would you? Sogami."

Shiki gritted his teeth harshly 'Damn. Damn him. I don't have a choice!' With his hand clenched around his desk with enough strength to tear it into pieces he spoke up "...Yes, I do know how. But understand me, boy, you speak of this to no one!" Reiji nodded, secretly enjoying the progressively enraged Shiki "I've had to live with this knowledge for a while and was planning on carrying it with me to my grave, but alas, no. Are you superstitious, boy?"

"Can't say that I am, Sogami."

"Hmm, very well, I'll skip some of the more nonsensical shit then. Basically, I believe that you're aware of the idea that Duel Monsters are in fact spirits? Well, here's something I was able to figure out about some people during my earlier years of life. That statement is indeed true and many Duel Monsters eventually become restless by the prison they find themselves confined in. As a result, they cry out occasionally and certain people will have a stronger connection to this than others, my research was unable to properly deduce why this was the case but I do know that the results led to three very interesting developments. One, a very select group of people are able to talk to the spirits within the card and even form a kind of connection to them that one may consider them to be friends. Two, an even more select group of people, yours truly included, have the power to manipulate the reality of the cards. Now what do I mean by that? I mean that within us rests the power to essentially free the spirit from its prison any time we see fit and allow it to take corporeal form. That is what makes us use the term Psychic Duelists, since it is nearly exclusively a mental power, our little friend that attacked Sawatari would appear to be one of them. Third, this is a unique case and one that I can say for certain I will never see again, this is the most important thing you must never tell a soul about!" Reiji didn't have time to reply before Shiki continued "I once knew a man, a man of power, a man the whole world would stop for if he so decreed it, the one in my life who was my equal. He understood far more about this topic than I did and he brought me a theory he had worked on one day. He said that if one passed a certain synchronisation with their monsters and leaped through the mental barriers, they could achieve what he had called the equivalent of Heaven, merging with their monsters and becoming one being."

"One being? Merge?" It was Reiji turn to be shocked by the conservation "But how? I didn't… Think that would even be possible… Spirit and human merging…?"

With a small laugh, Shiki's usual look was back on his face with just the added hint of smugness "It's a theory, Reiji-kun, he said so himself. It's highly unlikely anything of that state will occur in all of human existence, after all, achieving a so called "Heaven" is subjective even amongst people aware of this idea."

"And just how many people are aware of this "theory" of his?" Reiji was curious now, he Shiki hid information and truths from him constantly so to have the man be so honest was refreshing. He needed to abuse this as much as he could, he had no idea how long this would last.

"Up until a few seconds ago, it was just me and one other person and it was great!" Shiki proclaimed acting happy whilst chucking a jab Reiji's direction "But I guess that you would make a third."

"Well, that's certainly interesting, Sogami." Reiji folded his hands under his chin and smirked "Let me ask you another question, it'll be one of the last few as you evidently want nothing more than to insult me. Do you and this other person know each other? I wouldn't lie about this, you already spilled enough so lying won't help you."

It took a while and a lot of visible strain but Shiki eventually responded "Yes. We do know of each other. We met a long time ago."

'Hmm, no detail. He's still hiding things from me. I guess it's no use for this current moment in time to get him to tell me who it is. However, I wonder…' Reiji thought "If you would care to remember, Sogami, when Sawatari duelled Yuri, you said you recognised the organisation that those two other intruders were from. Would this person happen to be connected to th-"

Shiki didn't care to hear the rest of that. He didn't want to hear it as long as he lived. It was a real shame too, he rather liked his duel disk. Now, it was shattered into pieces over his desk. Barely discernible as having been a duel disk in the first place.

He wasn't mad.


Him? Mad?


Shiki Sogami didn't get mad.

He got frustrated. He got irritated. He got annoyed.

He most certainly didn't get mad.

'If you think that I'll tell you anything more for even a second, then you're an even bigger idiot than I first thought, Reiji Akaba.'

Shiki Sogami got even


"Order and balance were born from the minds of mad men whose madness is simply hidden inside. To the battle, the frontlines and then the edge of death, normal man has been under thumb of these men who only love power for as long as mankind has existed. Back over 2500 years ago, Mother Mary was gifted with the one person who absolved mankind yet she was saddled with the knowledge that he would eventually have to die, however, this didn't bother her, safe with the knowledge of what was fated to happen she knew how to spend her time. Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, et vobis fratres, quia peccavi nimis. So help me, is it wrong for me to want to purify the world of this sin, Lord? I cannot let the spawn of that man continue to wander your world." Nesta ranted, kneeled down on one knee and running the rosary beads of one of his crosses through his hands. He had such a terrible day, a day where nothing had gone his way. To make matters worse, he wasn't sure about how long he could prevent those two from meeting again. Then there was also the issue with the girl he had sent Daiki too recover for him, there was some unknown power protecting her from her absolution and his utilising her unique situation to his advantage.

He cast his glance behind him to the white rose which sat limply in a vase on the main table in his quarters. He had been feeling annoyed before, but now he was downright furious. Why on earth had he taken that thing from Demil? Why had Demil even accept it in the first place? The golden eyed male had an oppressive presence whenever he was angry, which needless to say was very common, Daiki could attest to the amount of times he had been threatened with his head being rammed up his ass. So it confused him when he said he had accepted a gift from a man he didn't know, yet for some odd reason he himself felt pulled to the accursed thing. A white rose meant purity and innocence, whomever gave this to Demil must have had one ironic sense of humour.

He took it into his hands carefully, setting the cross that was there previously on the table. There was one man he knew, just one, who would do something like this and had quite the extensive knowledge of flower symbolism. "You do know you'll leave me no choice if we do meet again, don't you? I tolerated you once, you were close to him, the link I needed. Don't think you'll get away with this forever…"

The door to his study cracked open slightly, taking him out of his thoughts for the time being. "You wanted me, Nesta?" Demil's bandaged form slipped into the room, looking as pissed off as he usually was. If he was any more unruly than he had been over the past week then he would have Nesta tearing his hair out.

This really couldn't last much longer. Demil didn't have much of an inquisitive side, the teen barely looked past his nose for anything. At least that was an admirable trait, but now he really needed to know just who he was going to be dealing with. This rose was practically a declaration of war. "Tell me, child, do you believe in gravity and fate? That a certain group of people are destined to be together no matter what the circumstances may be? That fate has ensnared them in its own little game? Many years ago I was simply an ordinary priest, a typical clergy man who would give the service whenever he need and maintained the church. This continued undisturbed for nearly 25 years, however, I was pulled by fate into meeting with the man who would change my life. One day, whilst I was taking confessions, the most peculiar yet fascinating man walked into the booth."


Nesta hated this day like none other. He may not have been the most religious man or the most spiritual man that ever lived but he understood that he wasn't supposed to have felt the way he had felt on that day.

He was able to maintain the church himself, it wasn't that hard to maintain something that frankly wasn't well furnished and was sparsely regularly populated. He didn't need some grand altar, some inane stain glass window or massive confessional and without those it was rather easy to keep the place in proper shape.

Naturally, he was much different in appearance. His outfit was entirely different, a very standard slim black priest vestment with a rather large golden cross that spanned the length of his body and chest. If people thought it was gaudy for priest, Nesta could really care less, at least he had stuck to his guns during his initial period.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned." The younger Nesta had just been about ready to close up the booth for today, it was getting late and he had to give a sermon tomorrow yet he wouldn't live up to his title if he had turned away this man, appearances were very important after all. Especially when he sounded so distraught and terrible.

"Tell me, my son, regardless of your course of action the Lord will forgive you. It's only natural." He replied like he had done a thousand times before, he didn't really expect this to be anything unusual and was already running through the pre-planned standard responses in his head. Frankly, he was getting sick of how vapid people's complainants were, it was always some standard shit about how they had cheated on their partner or had thought about murdering someone, the last one was particularly egregious, cowards didn't go through with it.

The man's voice cracked as he spoke, clearly he had been tearing up at some point "Father, I'm conflicted. I have a son at home and I have to raise him by myself, I've never been one for marriage, such trivial concept." Nesta raised his eyebrows, this was going to be trickier than he thought. Despite not being a totally religious man, he knew where the moral boundaries lay "However, I'm a very busy man, very busy running my business. I spend so much time that I practically don't know anything about him anymore. He's run off with friends of his that I don't know the first thing about and I barely see him. All of this… It makes me think… I've failed in my job as a father."

'Tch. You 'think' you failed?' No matter how sick it made him feel, hearing the sounds of soft sobbing from the other booth, Nesta knew he had to choose his words even more carefully than usual lest he bring more untoward suffering. "My son, would a truly bad father really care enough to come and confess their failings in the house of God? I simply listened in there and from your reaction it is evident that you deeply love your son, no truly bad man would be wrecked by his emotions. I used to work briefly in a prison before I was able to be placed here, I've done and heard the last confessions of many evil, vile people. You, child, are not one of these evil people. May I ask what has prompted this visit?" The blue haired priest smirked smugly. He was proud to call pressing buttons and then letting the other vomit up everything his speciality.

"Evil is such a strange word. Do you know its etymology, Demi? The word has become more prevalent as society evolved. Originally no different from a word like 'Uppity' it started to move into connotation with 'Sinister' and nowadays is more of a blanket term that has come to define moral badness. I would rarely stretch to call someone truly evil since the word has changed over the years, however, the man who dared appear in my presence that day is the very definition of the word. I simply wish I was more proactive in stopping him."

"Kazuki, my son, he's something he was never meant to be. I can't help the feeling that I've ruined his life by forcing my way of living on him. Naturally I have a very stressful job which requires the utmost attention at all time lest the entire industry collapse in on itself, layabouts not doing their jobs and worthless oxygen suckers making mistakes left, right and centre are of prime concern to me. Kazuki didn't grow up with a parent that spent time with him, he has no mother, no siblings, no uncles, no aunts, and no grandparents. It is simply him and I. It has been that way for the whole 17 years of his life. The reason I'm here... I managed to talk to him today, he snuck into my private study where I was keeping a personal project of mine. I happened to catch him in the action... And I...And I... And I..." Hmm, looked like the man did have some degree of resolve after all. The intensity of the sobbing increased had dramatically so it made Nesta wonder just what exactly had transpired between the two of them.

"Speak no more, Child. You can rest easy knowing that God will not weigh this upon your conscience now that you relinquished it to me, I wouldn't have been ordained if I wasn't invested with the power to help you unsolved of your sins. Forgiveness is what I give you and I know the Lord does too, history and the future will absolve you in the end." And he was back on the scripted path, so long anything interesting happening.

But then he heard the man on the other side grunt, then mutter under his breath clearly unimpressed before he spoke up again "May I ask you one more question, Father?"

"Yes, you may." Nesta was willing to see how this was going to play out, seeing that the man's tone of voice shift could lead to a very interesting question.

"Do you believe in the idea that everything happens for a reason? The idea that 'Man Proposes, God Disposes' and that all we have left at it end of it, is the idea that we were perhaps never in control of own fate? I know as a priest you probably believe that you're guided by the hand of God but personally I don't want to believe this, however, as Kazuki grows up I'm feeling a stronger feeling than ever before and more often than ever before that his will be a dramatic fate. No matter how much I try I also feel like I'm slipping away. Like a lack of gravity is pulling us apart." Keh, so this is what he was aiming for the whole time? What was all that guff before about then? Was that all to see what type of person Nesta was? Crafty.

Still, Nesta was surprised to say the least when he heard those words spill out of the other's mouth, he was expecting some more moping, not an existential discussion "I've never truly believed in much. I believe in the heavenly father placing us all on this earth to do our purpose and guide us to our purpose in life like you said I would, however, if I were to speak on a personal level with you, I too am sometimes concerned by the path I see myself heading down in the future. Despite my personal feelings I believe that God will guide me in the future. That's what all the signs point to."

"Signs, huh? Sometimes I see the smallest things as signs." The man spoke again, sounding far more self-assured and confident this time, it was very likely this as his true nature. Nesta had barely spared much of a glance at the man but if he spoke with such authority normally then he could only imagine the presence he carried. "This is a private matter but I feel pulled to tell you, Father. My son and I both have a specific birth mark, mine is on my torso while his is on his back and stretches over his shoulder. To have them be exactly the same in every way is interesting enough but the location is what sticks out to me, as if it was ordained on us by God. This may seem like an odd question but do you believe in gravity, Father?"

"After a decent conversation I stayed silent for the longest time after he had asked me a very pertinent question. A man who had come into here after having cried his eyes out was now speaking to me like he had found out how the world worked. Naturally I was intrigued by this man even more than before. I wish I had stopped right there. "

"I don't blame you for your silence, Father, this must be a strange thing to hear for you. I suppose that people don't walk into confessional and throw their entire life philosophy at your feet all that often. It's simply that for a person of my profession, I'm doing things that most people wouldn't dare to consider. I've always sought to look beyond this world, like the birthmarks even the smallest things can be clues to decoding what lays beyond normal foundations. I've looked and looked and looked and I found something, Father. Something wonderful. Goodbye, Father."

The sound of the man leaving the booth made Nesta jump to his feet. Chances were this man wasn't likely to come back and he was damned if he was going to let someone as interesting as him leave. "Wait, what exactly do you mean by gravity?"

"Gravity. Such an odd way to simplify his views. I confess that I still have very little clue as to what his actual philosophy is now so imagine what it was like to me back then. For some odd reason the idea… Enchanted… me, I couldn't put my finger on it but everything about it pulled me to the man who espoused it."

The man turned around and gave an enigmatic smile (or was it a smirk?) before he decided to reply to Nesta "Curious are we, Father? It's only natural that would be the case, I didn't do much to provide you with answers. If would allow me to stay here for a few more minutes I could tell you what I mean. I get the feeling that this is yet another of gravity's meetings."

"The light of the scarcely remaining day bathed him angelically. He had such silky looking platinum blond hair that framed his borderline godlike features, he wasn't of an imposing stature but I felt pulled to him and that very expensive looking suit pulled me closer. However, I could've sworn at that time that I saw the shadow of a devil following behind him. I was right."

(Flashback over)

"What happened between him and you to make you think of him as evil though?" Like with most things, Nesta had spoken very little of actual worth so to Demil, who wasn't very much interested the whole thing to being with, it made the situation even more confusing "You didn't really say much…"

Nesta glared viciously at the teen "Do you need more? I saw that man at his core, a core that was full of nothing but rotten evil and sin. Believe me, Demi, I've seen the worst of the worst and know more than most people how to smell an evil soul from my first interaction with them."

Demil glared back, his single eye carrying more intensity than Nesta's "Call me old fashioned but I prefer to know all of the context before making a judgement. Y'know, due process and all that shit." He then smirked slyly "If I didn't know any better, I could even say that this is a relationship gone wrong."

If he was angry Nesta was doing a very good job at hiding it, the churning of his jaw being the only discernible fact to his attitude "Now is not the time for baseless accusations, that's not why I summoned you to meet with me."

"Then why did you? Shit for brains was rather pissed that I was dragged away from him." Demil snapped back instantly.

"I needed to tell you one of the most basic lessons that one leans as a priest, the principle of never falling into temptation, no matter who it may be, those devils are the only things which can stop us from achieving our paradise by giving us a false 'Heaven'." Nesta replied with practiced ease, running his fingers across the rosary on his head and muttering something undecipherable under his breath.

A light burning began to boil up on Demil's back causing him to wince as he turned said back on Nesta and went to leave the room. However, he didn't pass up the chance for one last jab at the blue haired elder "Excuse me? 'Our' paradise? Don't make me laugh. I'm nothing like you, Nesta, so best remember that. That layabout may be enamoured with you but that doesn't mean shit for me." The door slammed shut moments later.

Nesta said nothing.

He didn't need to say anything.

He had far more pressing issues. A different but equal evil man was on his mind.

(One hour later)

"How you manage to walk around with that thing on your face is simply incredible, Ja." On the busy, crowded streets of Maiami city, Takeshi and Janus were making their way towards their intended destination. Utilising the large and loud crowd of people, the two former Heartland denizens were able to seamlessly blend into the natural flow of things. Janus' obscenely distinct ceramic plague doctor mask was picked up by none of them, making Takeshi question how observant the people in this dimension actually were.

Would they notice a few people missing?

Of course that wasn't the only thing helping them "Natural talent." Janus replied, scratching at the clothes on his body "Would you rather ruin your plan by having me walk around bare faced? Even when you went to all the trouble to get us to blend in, no matter how uncomfortable it may be."

"Tch, no. Smug prick." The last part said quietly underneath his breath, Takeshi too found himself tugging at his clothes 'He's got a point though. This feels so unnatural…'

In order to fulfil the next stage in their plan, Takeshi and Janus had switched their clothes, which were sat neatly folded at their hideout in order to not stick out like a sore thumb. Takeshi had changed into a white hoodie that was clearly strained against the blonde's muscular frame, that didn't spell well for the burgundy shirt underneath either. All of it mainly to cover the tattoos littered on his arms, no one would be allowed to see those again. To finish off the look, there were a pair of blue trousers held by a belt, jet black trainers, and his hair had being reined in a bit more tighter than usual with the red scarf acting as the hair tie locking it into a high ponytail, complemented by a few inexplicable spikes at his fringe.

Being the less dominant presence wise of the two and the one who hadn't been seen yet, Janus was allowed to be less normal looking, face mask notwithstanding. Apart from that, he had been able to carry through most of his usual attire, simply changing it for a cleaner grey shirt and a white jacket, which was causing him a lot of discomfort. Unlike Takeshi, he actually had a legitimate reason for not wanting to change out of his old clothes, but he had allowed Takeshi this one last favour. He was busy plotting away his revenge anyway.

"Let's just find the girl you saw then. What did you say she looked like again?" Takeshi may have been the one who went out the most often and had always acted as the enforcer in their relationship, however, Janus always did have a keener eye for detail than he did. Part of the reason why they worked so well in a ream during the initial stages of the invasion.

"Uh, shit, good question. What did she look like again?" Janus scratched his head sheepishly, carefully not looking in Takeshi's direction. His companion was already pissed enough and for good reason, Janus was knowledgeable enough to know that direct eye contact would be a death sentence.

Takeshi pinched the bridge of his nose "Right. Of course. You're messing aren't you?"

Janus smirked, something black underneath the mask becoming visible through the eye holes "Yeah. My memory is eidetic after all, I never forget. I didn't quite see her face but I remember the other aspects. Hot pink hair in pigtails, a dress with a marron skirt that frankly could be pulled a bit further down, black tights and pink trainers. Now, unless she's some kind of degenerate, chances are she'll probably be wearing something else, however, there was something else I just about noticed when she ran by me. She had this silver bracelet on her arm."

"And how's that important? Lots of girls wear bracelets." Takeshi stated, disinterested by such a minor detail.

"Ah, this is where it's important. For whatever reason, it was glowing." Takeshi turned to look at his partner, surprise evident in his expression "Properly glowing, I'm not sure if it was a trick of the light or if I was just tired, but it was pink! Pink! That type of shit doesn't happen normally, Taki!"

Takeshi placed his hands over Janus' abs, feeling the area around it cautiously, not caring that they were in the middle of a busy street with some creepy, gothic looking building looming behind the pair of them. "Ja, don't worry about that. We'll find this girl if it takes us the rest of the day. What happens with her after we get her to confirm Yuto is irrelevant, this girl could be the key to the fucking salvation of everything and I couldn't care less. Never go what lies beyond." There was something in Takeshi's eyes that Janus recognised. It made him shudder at the thought of ever bringing up the topic ever again. Takeshi just seemed to have that effect on people.

"Alright, Taki." The issue of the bracelet was laid to rest with that. Although, Janus couldn't help but wonder about a few things. Mainly why Takeshi looked so alarmed and shocked when he mentioned that it glowed, he wasn't even sure himself if what he was seeing was real or not, so to see Takeshi act like that was certainly strange.

They continued on their walk, unaware that the girl they were looking for was walking down the same street towards her duel school all by her lonesome.

Yuzu was deep in thought, everything had been so confusing for her over the past week or so. She didn't even know where to start collating all of the shit that had happened to her. First it was Yuri getting those strange Pendulum cards out of nowhere, alongside something weird happening to her deck too. Then, Jex decided to rear his ugly head and vanish as quickly as he arrived, but not before he lay the foundation for her original confusion with his talk of souls and a grimoire. Demil didn't help either, vanishing off whenever the mood struck him. But then there was this incident at the warehouse.

'Was it Yuri? Or was it Yuya? Yuya…' Yuzu stared at the ground, making sure not to look anyone in the eye. She knew that Yuri and Yuya had the same face, she had mistaken as much when they first met each other with a lot of tears being shed. If Yuri was the one who appeared just after the person who duelled Sawatari vanished then he was one hell of a magician. Changing his face, hair and his personality all in the space of a few seconds. Yuri could be a manipulative bastard at times but even he had his limits.

However, Yuya… Yuya had always been so gallant when it came to his friends. She hadn't seen him in over seven years, it's very likely that he could've changed his appearance in that time frame. 'Where has he been all these years then if that was him? And how has he been? Why did he change? His clothes… They looked destroyed…'

"Ah! Come on! If only I had one more turn I would've won! I totally would've had the best comeback!"

"Come on, Yuya! Don't moan! At least it was fun!"

"Yeah! You're right, Yuzu! It sure was! Let's do it again right now!"

Something then beeped through on her duel disk, kicking her right out of her reminiscence. She saw that it was a message and she sighed in relief. Maybe this would be able to clear her mind for a bit. "Hey! Di molto, Yuzu-chan! How've you been recently~? Everything okay? Nothing troubling? If something's wrong you can always talk to me about it! Personally, I liked listening to you when you brought up that Demil character. He seems like a good guy if he's willing to help out a kid he doesn't know and then help out you by some extension. Although, that whole warehouse incident seems to be quite the mystery. Have you considered it being some kind of long lost twin thing? Ah! That would be so Romantic~! It would make for quite the story. Anyway~ just make sure you keep yourself safe! Talk to you later! Or soon… Who knows~?"

The mysterious person who had taken her home after her duel with Daiki. For some reason they had become someone for Yuzu to vomit her troubles onto, much like a therapist. She didn't really trust them, knowing next to nothing about them, but she felt safe enough to give names and a few details. The only thing she had mentioned in any details was the warehouse incident, she had hoped the reply would be more helpful than that, all it did was inflame the conflict in her further.

The message mentioned it being a long lost twin situation. Keh, they may very well have been right. Yuya and Yuri may have indeed been long lost twins, but that didn't explain anything of why Yuya had to vanish to replace Yuri.

She sighed again, tucking her duel disk away 'Ugh, why doesn't anything make sense anymore?' She wished Yuri were here right now. He mightn't have been the most helpful guy, nor the most sympathetic, but to have someone she could trust would mean the world to her. However, she still didn't know if that was Yuri at the warehouse or not 'Yuri hasn't brought it up again, so maybe that really was him and he doesn't trust me after all to know what was going on. He was always the vengeful type, if I pin him on it then he'll have to open up about it!' With You Show as her target, she headed there at peace with her thoughts to a certain extent.

However, she didn't get any more time with her thoughts to formulate a plan with confronting Yuri. "Oi. You there." She turned her head up to see two people staring directly at her. One of them was tall, muscular and had very long hair, he was the one who had spoken with a very cool and bored inflection about his words. The other was immediately more noticeable to Yuzu, his mask being obscenely visible, although nothing else was really stand about the two of them.

Oh, except for the position they were in.

'Oh.' Was what gained a monopoly on Yuzu's thoughts.

Hands overlapping. Bodies pressed near each other. They were… Close… To say the least.

The shorter one didn't speak as he handed something from his jacket to the taller one. The blonde's eyes were trained on her like homing missiles. Yuzu shuffled backwards slightly, it was clear to her that they had been looking for her. Time around Yuri had honed her senses enough for her to realise the obvious and practiced movements they had made.

"We want to ask you something." Takeshi flashed what Janus had handed him at Yuzu, a rather simple picture of Yuto, Shun and Ruri all looking happy and carefree. Old memorabilia becoming useful was always nice in Takeshi's opinion. "You see these three? Have you encountered either one of them? They separated from us recently so we're trying to get them back, we'd greatly appreciate it if you saw one of the guys in the photo more than the girl."

Yuzu's eyes widened in horror, something that wasn't lost on the pair in front of her 'That's… That's him! That's the one who stepped in! And that girl! She looks like just like me! How's that possible!?' She staggered backwards, finding herself against a brick wall shortly after, the crowd of people her eyes were pleading to, did nothing as they carried on with their business.

Takeshi leaned into Yuzu's personal space, the picture back in Janus' hands "Hmm? What's this? You looked shocked, like a horse who has just realised he's been sent to the glue factory. Any normal person wouldn't react that way without some fore knowledge of the person in question."

Cold, dark, purple eyes. Similar to Yuri's when he had arrived. Yuzu felt weak in the knees, there were very few people who had the same presence that this teen did. Teru through his height, Demil through his mere existence, Jex through the fear. This guy seemed to embody all three of them at once. "U-umm… I'm not sure… I-I mean… You tend to mistake people every now and again… Who're you a-anyway...?"

Takeshi cocked his head sideways, looking contemplative for a second before he slammed his hand on the wall just above Yuzu's shoulder. "If you think my partner and I will divulge that, then you must be very stupid. All your pretty little head needs to know is that we won't bother you any further if you confirm that you saw one of them. Don't try to fool us either, my partner saw you where we suspect our friend went. He's never wrong, so spit out before I rip your tongue out and make you write it in your blood."

Shit, this was bad. Jex may have had a knife to her throat but Demil had appeared to at least dissuade the mysterious man from moving any further. This was different. Takeshi's eyes told her that he was well prepared to follow through on his threat. Relenting under the relentless pressure she spoke "Umm…" She raised her finger and pointed towards Yuto "Him. I saw him. He… He stepped-d in… He-e said that he d-didn't want me to get hurt anymore…"

Those dark eyes grew inexplicably darker as the blond teen walked back to Janus' side and whispered something in his ear. "Was that alright?" Yuzu found herself unconsciously asking them.

"Yes. You gave us what we wanted. We'll be leaving now." Takeshi spoke mater-of-factly, no longer looking Yuzu in the eye and reaching down for Janus' hand "Farewell."

Just as quickly as they had arrived, the pair of them vanished back into the crowd. Leaving Yuzu even more confused and scared than she was previously. 'Now there's two more people involved in this! Does Yuri know them? Or are they Yuya's new friends? They didn't give any names and there was this girl as well…'

She began to trudge back to You Show, the only place in the world where she wouldn't be confused by any of the insane shit that had been happening in her life recently.

Or at least she thought so.

Fate was definitely not on her side today.

"Don't lie! It was you that came into the warehouse!" As soon as she opened the door she was bombarded by Sawatari's group of layabouts having collected around Yuri and the rest of the You Show students, one of the goons had just shouted his accusation and proceeded to point his finger at the accused party, a very pissed off looking Yuri who had probably been dragged from doing something Plant related if the dirt under is usually immaculate nails meant anything.

"You lot can't deny it any longer! It was Yuri Sakaki who attacked Sawatari! The three of us all saw you! She saw you too!" One of the goons, seemingly showing off his sixth sense, wheeled around and pointed directly at Yuzu's face, with her instinctively shaking her head in outright denial. Yuri's shout of "Yuzu!" Had been totally lost on her.

"Come on, Yuzu… Don't lie…" The creepy almost perverted smiles did absolutely nothing to dispel Yuzu's worry as the goons started to crowd around her. Yuri quickly moving forward in the background.

"Gong thinks they are crazy and are just making all of this up…" Gongenzaka, utilising his massive body to create a wall between the two of them and allowing Yuri to slip in there as well, said defiantly.

"Or are they…?" Said Shuzo beginning to question Yuzu, she had been acting weird for a while now and he was none the wiser to what had happened. He didn't want to believe that his precious daughter was complicit in a crime but he knew that people with vulnerable minds were more easily swayed by less than savoury influences.

"Making what up exactly?" Everyone's heads turned when they heard Ayu's voice. The young red haired girl having a burst of courage come out of nowhere "Yuzu and I heard that Sawatari was the one planning to attack Yuri in the first place! And we have an impartial witness to that too!"

It was now evident to even an idiot that Sawatari's friends had been rumbled now, their body language being all one really needed. They wouldn't make very good poker players, all it did was make the fact they even continued painful "I don't know what you are talking about little girl! And where is this so called witness?!" The main goon etched out in rage.

Ayu didn't care, her friends were being baselessly attacked for something they didn't do, nothing was going to seemingly stop her "You know perfectly well! Yuzu-oneechan and I went out to get some Ice cream after Yuri-oniichan was taking too long. There we met someone called Demil who helped us find Yuri after we heard that Sawatari was going to harm Yuri! So Yuzu went off to face Sawatari and with Demil's help I found Yuri had just finished a duel in the city so it couldn't have been them!"

"Wait, let me get this straight." Shuzo butted into the conservation "Yuzu went to confront Sawatari. So that must mean Yuzu is the culprit!" With his realisation came a cacophony of groans for his thick skull.

"Wow… If that's the teacher, the students here must be dumber than dishwater!" One of the goons yelled, at his wit's end.

"Now, back on topic, the only person that could've attacked Sawatari-san was Yuri…" One started, letting his colleagues follow on after him.

"Now poor Sawatari-san is in hospital… I can only imagine the pain he's going through." The second one continued.

"Hospital?" Yuri said cold, calculating and uncaring.

The final goon made a dramatic pose before feigning tears "They said that he may have life threatening injures! He will never be the same again!"

However if were in said person's hospital room you would see that it was indeed not the case. The only thing Sawatari had to worry about seriously injuring were his tear ducts from all of his crocodile tears.

"If something happens to him you two will be held responsible and charged with assault!" Yuri wasn't the slightest bit interested.

"Yuzu, you believe me don't you? You saw how I turned up after the incident happened, right?" Yuri's underlying anger at the situation had transitioned into him essentially intimidating Yuzu into giving the answer he wanted.

However, he wasn't expecting a far different response from the one he wanted "Y-Yuri, I-I-I don't know…" Yuzu, already mentally weakened by her bizarre week, intimidated by Takeshi and flung into yet another insane situation, simply didn't have the mental capacity to handle it anymore.

"Unbelievable…Totally unbelievable!" Yuri said glaring daggers at Yuzu "You have irrefutable evidence that I was in the city with Sora! Hell! You left because I was taking too long and You sent me out there! If that doesn't make me innocent then I don't know what will! Yet you still can't make up your mind!" He snapped with a venom laced voice. Yuzu wanted so badly to believe her emotions that told her that it wasn't Yuri or Yuya that attacked Sawatari but what she saw prevented her confused mind from giving her a clear cut answer.

"Then allow me to make the situation clear to you." The strong female voice caused everyone's eyes to snap to her form. She was a fair-skinned woman with blue eyes and magenta hair curled into the shape of a heart. She wore a dark pink skirt and blouse with a high collar lined in black, and padded shoulders, in addition to magenta high-heeled shoes with golden attachments that resembled snakes curling around her ankles. She also wore long, gold earrings that made Yuzu think back to the ones Daiki wore. "A You Show student pre-planned an attack on an LDS student, resulting in one of our students having a very expensive trip to the hospital. Not only will this shatter his confidence in the future, it also brings great shame to LDS as a company. I, Himika Akaba as Chairwoman, cannot allow this to continue!" Himika's gaze fell upon Yuri with an overwhelming amount of hatred.

Erstwhile, the goons had taken this as their opportunity to leave and were presently outside salivating at the mouth with their payment of rare cards for making up this story.

"Everything those three said was the absolute truth, I have considered pressing charges against this poorly maintained school, and make no mistake, we would win that case in a heartbeat." Himika proclaimed haughtily, smirking smugly at the angry faces of the You Show crowd. "However, if you would hand the culprit over to us, we will drop anything about this and you may continue without anything happening."

"No way! Gong believes his friend Yuri despite his less than stellar qualities!" Gongenzaka said looking at the kids not noticing the glare Yuri was giving him "That goes for the three of you as well doesn't it?" The three kids nodded "And you too Yuzu?"

Yuzu stopped for a few seconds, thinking over her answer very carefully with an angry Yuri watching over her. "Yuri… That really wasn't you… Was it?"

Yuri while slightly heartened was still annoyed "Yuzu. I'm going to make this very clear, I didn't attack that runt. I have no clue what you saw there but it was not me. Got it?"

Saying Yuzu was still confused would be understatement but as she spied his eyes, she smiled towards Yuri now believing him to be telling the truth at least in that moment. "I've got it now, Yuri, I believe you." Yuri breathed a sigh of relief, finally having got through to Yuzu he felt happier now that she believed him.

"Oh my! What a very strong bond all of you share!" Himika said ruining the moment as a determined look flashed onto her face "The issue now is that the image of LDS has been dragged through the mud, there is only one possible way to cleanse this stain off of our honour! And that is for us to have a duel! Three students of LDS and three students of You Show shall duel! If we win, then the schools will merge and you will hand Yuri over to us! If you win, which will never happen, all charges will be dropped and we shall never come near you again! Do we have a deal, Principal?"

"Hold it there!" Before Shuzo could respond. The doors banged open dramatically, a drama that could only be equated to the form of Shiki Sogami, who emerged from them with three more people stepping into the school behind him "This is very much an illegal manoeuvre on the behalf of the LDS Corporation and because of that I will not allow you to merge!"

"S-sogami!" Himika shivered as she spied Shiki. This couldn't be right. Reiji was supposed to be keeping Sogami busy so he wouldn't stick his nose in this. How on earth did the man catch wind of that was happening so quickly?! "This doesn't involve you, this is between LDS and You Show! How dare you try do this!"

A card was flung at Himika from one of the people behind Shiki, rather fittingly, it was the Queen of Hearts. "Shut up, woman! Whenever I'm in the room, whatever I say goes! Now, what you're doing here, Chairwoman, is highly irregular. I can attest to Yuri-kun not being the one who duelled Sawatari, which would make me an independent witness. Yuri-kun was off dueling one of my students actually. In fact." Shiki snapped his fingers and from behind him, came Kichirou, looking noticeably worse for wear than he was yesterday but still attentive enough to follow instructions. "Ki-kun can confirm that, he wouldn't dare forget a face like Yuri-kun's considering the defeat he handed him."

"It's true." Kichirou droned, subconsciously moving his hand back to where he had peeled the skin of his head the previous day. Strangely though, the area didn't look damaged in the slightest "I was there. If it happened when you say it did then you're lying." Then, a switch flipped in Kichirou's brain and his tone changed entirely "And if you dare to take him away from me before I beat his fucking face into the fucking dirt, I'll make sure to make your life a living hell! Stupid bitch!" Yuri didn't really know how to feel about that outburst, maybe a weird kind of appreciation that the choleric magician was angry at him enough to protect him? Gah, Shiki's bunch were really weird.

"That incident no longer matters though!" Himika exclaimed, desperately trying to keep her cool in front of this man who had just ruined everything she had planned. "We have a reputation to uphold, which will take an immeasurable hit if we fail to protect one of our own. Nothing you could do will change my mind, Sogami."

Shiki shrugged, gesturing to the You Show coward and then the remaining two behind him "Correct. This is strictly none of my business, and they are the only ones with their fates in their hands although, you have a penchant for butting into my business too so it's only right for me to do the same."

"What are they doing here?" Himika glared at the pair she knew all too well from Reiji's research on this man. Yuri wasn't particularly happy to see them either, but when you're between the devil and the deep blue sea, beggars can't be choosers.

"I know very well that I can't interfere in this, it wouldn't be fair otherwise. But, I would be damned if I let my prized students sit and do nothing while their inevitable competitors in this year's tournament decided to flex their skills. Teru-kun and Bitch-chan in particular." Shiki's sharp eyes weren't trained on Himika, instead focusing on Yuri and Yuzu. "I hope you don't mind this, Yuri-kun, Yuzu-chan! We're just going to do a little recon, don't worry about our presence. We mean no harm!" Himika then found herself under Shiki's glare "However, Madam Chairwoman, it would seem that you have a different motive behind wanting to merge with You Show. Akabas do as Akabas do."

"Umm, Sogami-san…" Shuzo spoke up, still completely out of the loop on the situation "I appreciate you being here and supporting us… But… Would you mind not being so cryptic? I think that'd be more helpful for all of us."

Shiki smiled, placing a hand under his chin "Very well. You see, given my position as the owner as the head of the second largest school in the area compared to LDS, they aren't so keen to have a competitor on their door step with the potential to overtake them, Ryozanpaku weren't quite that threat so they were happy to let them continue until I arrived here. Needless to say, the CEO, a one Reiji Akaba, the son of this here woman, decided to come confront me out of the blue one day. I'm not about to divulge what was spoken about that day, unless I'm in a really bad mood, but know that these Akabas are all the same. Shitty plans with ulterior motives that leave you as nothing but a puppet."

Whilst the You Show crowd was experiencing some form of schadenfreude as a result of her suffering, Yuri the most, Himika was biting back a snarl. She was a professional, she had met this man before, the man had weaknesses but he was not one to be underestimated when it came to mind games. Reiji could handle him. She could too. "Hmm, it would appear that you're correct in that regard, Sogami. I do indeed have another reason for coming here." She pointed in Yuri's direction, leading said teen to respond by rolling his eyes and muttering under his breath "The Sawatari incident was unfortunate but it gifted us with the opportunity to add Pendulum Summoning to our three pillars! Yuri has been shown to be the only one with this power at the moment! If LDS were able to cultivate that power in one of our facilities we would be able to make it a global phenomenon, it is for that reason that we must unite as soon as possible! No matter what you or the lunatic thinks!"

"Hey." Shiki stated before anyone else could process the miny tirade "Don't be so mean to, Reiji-kun. He's a smart kid, don't go calling your own son a loony, 'kay?"

"Tch, that's enough out of you, Sogami. It's time for the games to begin!" Shoving their way past the Enchanted Underworld group, albeit struggling to budge the huge form of Teru with one of the males, a purple haired teen, getting stuck briefly before having be pulled out by his fellow students. Another male with a kendo sword, brown hair and a canine sticking out of his mouth. The other was a brown skinned girl with straight black hair and red, ruby-like eyes that shone with determination. "These three are all top of their respective summoning classes! We'll duel to the best of three, the first to win two duels will be declared the winner!"

Yuri stepped forward, shoving Sora away as the smaller male had tried to do the same "If you think I'm going to let you take over my father's school or let you steal what is my method off of me, you're either wilfully ignorant or very, very stupid!" Himika's expression soured immeasurably.

Gongenzaka stepped up next "That's the spirit, Yuri! I, Gongenzaka, will also fight for the honour of You Show!"

Himika's face changed in an instant, regaining its haughty nature "Oh, I do apologise but this is for students of You Show and LDS alone. I'm afraid that you aren't a member of either and thus can't participate. That would leave it as being only, Yuri, Hiiragi and Shiunin, that are available."

Gongenzaka stepped backwards, awash with horror and dismay at falling in his duty "To think you would exclude a man such as myself is unforgivable…" He hung his head in shame with his back against the wall.

"I'm going first." Yuri declared, eyes not leaving Himika. He saw the way the woman was looking at him and he didn't like it one bit. If she was going to look at him like he was filth, he was going to treat her like filth. That's just basic moral obligation for Yuri.

"Fine by me. We don't care so much about the rest of you layabouts." Himika sneered, snapping her fingers as the student who had previously struggled to get past Teru made his way to the front and faced Yuri "This is Hokuto Shijima of the XYZ course. Quite fitting that he'd be your match up, isn't it?"

"Xyz…" Yuzu said as she clasped her hands together, the word reverberating in her mind causing her to once again think about Dark Rebellion and Yuto.

"You better watch out Yuri…" Tatsuya said after searching Hokuto up online "His record is that out of the fifty eight duels he has participated in he has won fifty three. That's a ninety one percent win ratio!"

Futoshi spoke up next "He has top scores in junior class rank testing."

This was swiftly followed up by Ayu "Forget his test scores" I hear that he is the favourite for this year's championship!"

"Favourite or not I'm going to beat you." Yuri said facing his opposite number after they had walked into the duel arena. Something about this guy made Yuri want to knock that big dipper headband clean off "After all it isn't going to be hard when you using an inferior form of summoning!" Yuri teased causing Hokuto to fly into a fit of rage

"What's that supposed to mean?!" Hokuto yelled, acting like an easily offended noble.

Yuri smiled smugly in response, good to know this guy had a superiority complex "Oh, nothing much…"

"Our students are trained to handle any conceivable situation so the choice of action field is up to." Himika said to Shuzo, who was busy contemplating which field to use. He didn't want to be seen as cheating and deliberately using a field that Yuri would excel on.

"Anything you say…?" Thinking if over some more and finally making the decision, he carefully selected the field "Action field Cosmic Sanctuary on!" The field transformed into a starlight background with ruins on top of floating chunks of rock "Use the power of the stars to fight, Yuri!" He yelled with as much hot blooded enthusiasm as he could.

Hokuto looked around for a bit before bursting into a fit of unrestrained laughter "Of all the fields you could've chosen you pick the one that suits me best! You truly are an idiot!"

"What?! Oh my God! I'm sorry, Yuri! Please forgive me!" Shuzo decried, running a river of tears that would even put the Nile to shame. The LDS students looked to be repressing laughter, the You Show students were glaring daggers at him, and the Enchanted Underworld group didn't seem to hold it either which way.

Except for Shiki, who had decided that now would be the time to comment "Hmm, stars…? Do any of you happen to know the bizarre expression that refers to the stars?" All heads turned to him, including the LDS ones and particularly Himika, who wondered if Reiji knew about this. "Long ago, when people believed that Heaven was a concept far up in the sky everyone thought the stars were holes used to peer down on Earth, and that they shone because of the light that came pouring out of them, which the angels used to great effect. Per chance, bar my students, do you know what they called them?"

"What?" It was Himika that decided to speak and break the silence, nothing this man said was to be taken lightly. She still shuddered the first time Reiji mentioned Shiki's extensive business endeavours.

"Simply put. They called them, the Eyes of Heaven." He turned his gaze to Yuri, sharp and predatory "Let's see, Lily, if they will be shining on you and your friends."


Chapter Text

"My dear friend, achieving your goal isn't so easy. Without an object of great mass power, you'll never be able to even sniff your dream."

"I will simply wait until that day comes then. My paradise is one that will bring eternal happiness to all but I will only at when given the right tools, there is no point to action if one doesn't succeed in it, that's aimless wandering."

"Tool? I think I have what you desire…"

"W-What? If you're trying to tempt me with promises of some kind of golden goose then I have half a mind to cut this conversation off right here."

"Yes. Have I ever lied to you? This simply makes me think more about the gravity that we two seem to share. Anyway, I'll give you the start, there are few forces in the world with a strong enough power to do anything on a great scale, however, nature made itself supreme so it's only natural to utilise that in order to achieve anything. Did you know that if you were to harness the entire gravitational power of the universe that you could effectively make time move so fast that it gives the illusion of change? A singularity if you will. What I'm going to tell you is neither a singularity nor a loss of control."

"Out with it already."

"Hmm, maybe you're not the one after all, you're awfully impatient as well as awfully lazy. You're not the only one I've spoken to about this as well, think of them as my backup options should you continue to disappoint me."

"Like you'd ever look to your backup."

"Oh? What makes you so sure that I won't just dump you out of my plans and then silence you because you know my secret?"

"I told you why when we met. I just know people from first sight."

"Kehehehehe, that's why I like you. Alright, looks like you've taken that first spot and made it your own, I'll tell you what the conditions are for the ritual to be successful."

Yuri LP: 4000 Hokuto LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

'The Eyes of Heaven shining on me? I think I like that…' Yuri thought just before starting his turn. With luck seemingly against him and Yuzu recently, it was only fair that Heaven would take their side in the long run.

"Since you're the invader I think it's only fair if I take the first turn." Yuri said "Using the scale 1 Predaplant Moray Nepenthes and scale 8 Predaplant Flytrap I set the pendulum scale!" The two plant monsters appeared in blue columns of light with the numbers 1 and 8 underneath the respective cards, outside the arena there was a look of wonder and amazement on the faces of the three kids.

However Yuzu still couldn't tell the difference between Yuto and the boy she had developed feelings for over the seven years he had been in her life. 'Yuri, I want so badly to believe that it wasn't you I saw at that warehouse but I'm still not sure…'

"With this scale I can summon monsters level 2 through to 7 all at the same time! Swing pendulum of the soul! Draw an arc of light across the ether! Pendulum summon! Appear level 5, Predaplant Solanum Dulca!" Solanum Dulca was a cross between a plant commonly known as deadly nightshade and a dragon that had pitch black wings with small spores all over them

Predaplant Solanum Dulca Level 5, Plant, DARK, Effect (2100/300) PS: 4

"I've never seen big bro Yuri use that card before!" Futoshi exclaimed, enraptured by the sight of the deadly beautiful dragon just like the other three kids were.

'If he was hiding his true strength up until now then we really are sunk.' Himika thought, carefully observing every move of the Predaplant duelist, any sliver of information could be valuable data for the fight ahead.

'Go on, little Lily. And please do remember, Ki-kun and I have given you all that you need to show this lot your full strength.' Shiki thought, supressing the smile that threatened to burst onto his features.

"I place one card facedown and end my turn. Let's see your skills, if you have any that is." Yuri teased the XYZ user, if this guy was as choleric and unstable as Kichirou then all it would take would be a little push from him for Hokuto to lose the plot entirely.

"Just you watch me! Once I've gotten started you're going to wish didn't open your mouth!" Yep, just as choleric as Kichirou, everything was going according to plan. Even the LDS side was groaning at the size of Hokuto's ego, the remaining two students having far too much knowledge on that subject.

'I wish you wouldn't open your mouth but I guess we can't have everything perfect.' At this stage, Yuri's mental comments pretty much summed up everyone's thoughts.

Yuri's cards x1

Turn 2

"My turn! And to start I summon Constellar Algiedi!" The monster was coated in white amour and held a golden staff. It seemed to merge into the background with the stars.

Constellar Algiedi Level 4, Spellcaster, LIGHT, Effect (1600/1400)

"Algiedi's effect! When this card is normal summoned, I can Special Summon a level 4 Constellar directly from my hand! Come on out Constellar Kaus!" Kaus, a monster in very similar vein to Algiedi, made its appearance next Algiedi. It too nearly blended in with the stray background, making Yuri wonder even more why Shuzo had chosen this field, which just stunk of him doing no research whatsoever on their enemies.

Constellar Kaus, Level 4, Beast-warrior, LIGHT, Effect (1800/700)

Hokuto smirked, he was all set up now and he would show this brat why LDS, and more specifically, why he was the best in the business. "Now I activate Kaus' effect! Up to twice per turn I can raise or decrease the level of a Constellar monster on my field by one!" Kaus shot two arrows in the air, one landed in front of itself and the other in front Algiedi raising both of their levels to five.

Kaus' Level: 4 – 5

Algiedi's Level: 4 – 5

"Kuh! What a nuisance…" Kioka spoke up, looking towards her brother with expectant eyes. The taller twin easily being drawn down to her level. "That lowlife thinks he's good at XYZ, Teru-nii, it pisses me off to see such an idiot handle such a beautiful method."

Before Teru could respond, Shiki stepped in to quell her complaints, looking over at Himika as he spoke. "Oi, Bitch-chan, please don't insult our dearest competitors. They may not teach the method correctly, or have any of the grace and power that we do, but we cannot fault them for simply trying their best."

Either choosing not to hear the thinly veiled insult or so entranced by his own self brilliance, Hokuto stood in a grandiose pose as he began the final step in his plan for total and utter victory "I now overlay my level 5 Constellar Algiedi and level 5 Constellar Kaus!" The overlay network portal opened in the sky, the two monsters turning into two beams of yellow energy. As it reached an overload, it exploded and Hokuto finished his declaration "XYZ summon! Rank 5! Constellar Pleiades!"

The XYZ monster appeared on the platform behind Hokuto, it had white and golden armour and like Algiedi, it held a golden staff but this one was much larger, two yellow orbs orbited around it. The monster was the biggest one they had seen so far, it dwarfed Solanum Dulca without much effort and the kids were almost overwhelmed by its size. The starry background allowing it to merge even more than its component parts.

Constellar Pleiades, Rank 5, Warrior, LIGHT, XYZ, Effect (2500/1500) OLU: 2

"Wait, Rank? Why not level?" Tatsuya asked aloud.

"I thought you would've remembered, little butterfly, Xyz monsters are an amalgamation of the monsters used to summon them, each card will be summoned by at least two monsters, the summoned monster will then gain a rank equivalent to level of the monsters used to summon it. In a way it's like two or more monsters coming together to ascend into their new form." Shiki took the mantel of reminding Tatsuya of how XYZ worked because like hell any of the others were willing to do so.

He then felt Ayu's eyes on him, the younger girl still in her more confident demeanour "What about those lights orbiting around it? I remember seeing them during Yuri-oniichan and Yuzu-oneesan's duel at you school, but I don't remember what they do."

Kioka then stepped in, carrying herself rather haughtily, her closed parasol pointed at Ayu's face "Little one, those are its overlay units! Think of them as the soul of the monster, each xyz monster will gain overlay units for the amount monsters it has as material, they are used to activate their effects. Just like my very own Occult Slazher Alpha Unit or Shiki's monsters." The three kids stood and looked in awe at the Xyz monster in front of them with the memory of how cool it was refreshed.

"So you two are XYZ duelists?" Sora asked, pointing at Shiki and Kioka with his lollipop while leaning on the wall.

"Correct, boy." Shiki shoved Kioka into Teru's arms, already figuring out what would happen if she was allowed to have any form of prolonged conversation with this kid. Plus, this was the spy Reiji had told him about, it would be very helpful if he was able to expose himself so Shiki wouldn't have to do the work "Bitch-chan and I happen to be extremely proficient in the method as well. It's almost like I was born into it and am a remnant of its true power…"

Sora bit down harshly on his lollipop, grinding it against his teeth. It didn't take much of a genius to figure out the implications. This guy knew where he was from, there was no reason for him to say "remnant" if he didn't know how Academia spoke about the scum. Therefore he could only assume that the woman and this Reiji Akaba, who clearly knew Shiki very well, would know it too.

Yuzu, completely dead to everything, just stared at the XYZ monster "Why is it recently that all it I see Yuri with recently is XYZ? Were those two who spoke to me earlier XYZ duelists too?

"I now use Pleiades' effect! By using one overlay unit I can target one card on the field and return that target the owner's hand!" Hokuto declared as one of the overlay units was absorbed into Pleiades. "I target your Predaplant Solanum Dulca!" Pleiades went to send the dragon plant back to Yuri's hand but was stop in its tracks when it suddenly became covered in multiple tiny spores which soon ballooned to massive sizes, fully coating the XYZ Constellar.

Hokuto looked at his monster in shock, fluctuating between absolutely stunned and outraged "Hey! What's the big idea here?"

Yuri couldn't help but laugh at the Xyz user's misfortune, earning a glare from the duelist in question that caused him to wag his finger condescendingly in response "Solanum Dulca's effect. When it's targeted for an effect by a monster, the monster in question gains a Predator Counter and will lose its effect and attack points until the end of your next turn! Think of it as the effect of Nightshade taking hold of your monster."

"What!? You'll pay for that!" The starry background turned furious in an instant, a blast of meteors flew across the area, destroying some of the random platforms that they were unfortunate enough to hit.

Pleiades ATK: 2500 - 0

"It would appear now that your Xyz monster is now useless." Yuri smirked cruelly, there truly was nothing better in this world than knocking someone off of their perch. "Please, if this is the best that you can throw at me, I would rather you surrender right now. I hate doing things that are useless."

Hokuto threw another fit of rage upon Yuri's snark, the meteor shower getting stronger and more uncontrollable. "How dare you! Who the hell do you think you are?!"

Kichirou smirked, the joker from his deck of cards flipped over on the top "I thought I had anger issues, this guy's on another star system."

"I place one card facedown and end my turn." Hokuto said annoyed as his face down appeared and then vanished.

'He was able to neuter Hokuto's monster with ease, he really is a terrifying power.' Himika thought in fear at the Fusion duelist.

Hokuto's cards: x3

Turn 3

"My turn, I draw. To begin with I activate the pendulum effect of my Predaplant Fly Trap! I target one monster on my opponent's field that has a predator counter, by removing that counter I can destroy that card!" Fly Trap suddenly appeared out of the pendulum columns and grew to an enormous size, before snapping its jaws and devouring the Constellar Xyz monster whole, leaving Hokuto all but defenceless bar his face down.

"Now I summon Lonefire Blossom!" The infamous Plant monster appeared next to Solanum Dulca, it was time for Yuri to bring this charade to a close. He really wasn't in the mood to continue this any longer, these invaders needed to be shown why they would be resisted in every meaning of the word.

Lonefire Blossom, Level 3, Plant, Effect, FIRE (500/1400)

"I activate its effect sacrificing itself to summon another copy from my deck, then I'll repeat this again to summon yet another Lonefire. This time I'll release it to summon my Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio." Scorpio scuttled up to where he usually stood in front of Yuri. He had

Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio, Level 3, Plant, Effect, DARK (1200/800)

"Ophrys Scorpio's effect! By sending the last card in my to the graveyard I can summon Predaplant Darlington Cobra from my deck in defence mode." Darlington Cobra slithered into view.

Predaplant Darlington Cobra, Level 3, Plant, Effect, DARK (1000/1500)

"Cobra's effect allows the addition of Polymerization to my hand." Yuri's disk ejected the card which he held in front of him, mocking the defenceless Hokuto. "Time to show you why I'm superior to your worthless ass."

In the observation rooms, both sides had totally different reactions to Yuri's set up.

At the You Show side of things, the mood was one of excitement, especially to the young trio. "Oh yeah! We've got him now!" Tatsuya exclaimed happily.

The Enchanted Underworld group looked with calculative amusement, Kichirou internally flipping his shit, Kioka not so much caring about the summon but the demeanour of Yuri that seemed to shift within the last few seconds, Teru was interested in just how strong the summon would be since he and Kioka had shut them down when they had duelled, and from a standpoint of being another Fusion duelist it would simply be interesting to see. Shiki kept his face and emotions perfectly in check and unclouded, his hand covering his mouth to prevent anyone from seeing what he was saying to himself.

However not everyone in the room was in a good mood.

Yuzu was struggling still to understand the situation that unfolded in the warehouse the night before. Yuri's dueling was even more of an indication of her torn mental state, his attitude to dueling was far different from what it usually was and she had never seen him act this condescending during match before, sure he did do this from time to time but not to this extent.

At the LDS side, things weren't much better, the other two waiting duelists had looks of concern on their faces at the fate of their teammate. Sure, his ego could be the gravitational singularity needed to reset the universe at certain points but he was still their friend, if he truly was the one who did that Sawatari then it was even worse.

Himika remained stone-faced but deep down was petrified 'There it is. Now the moment has come. How dangerous is he really?'

"Now I activate Polymerization! Fusing together my two Predaplants together! Two beautiful plants with an insect-alluring fragrance. Now become one, and from a hell under your petals, give birth to another dreadful terror! Fusion summon! Appear, poisonous dragon with hungering fangs! Level 8! Starve Venom Fusion Dragon!" Yuri's venomous dragon rose out of the fusion spiral, roaring loudly, sending shivers down the spines of the LDS crew and elation up the spines of everyone else.

Teru was perhaps the one who had the most noticeable reaction given how blank faced he usually was. His eyes, while still not shifting, had taken on a far more trance like look about them and Kioka was able to notice him subtly reach for where his pendant was underneath his costume. "Wonderful…" He mumbled out, inaudible to everyone else.

However, the strangest reaction come when the monster suddenly turned and flew away from Yuri, heading to the observation booth with an evil red gleam in its eyes. "What the…Starve Venom!" Yuri was the most shocked of everyone, acting quickly he was just about able to grasp Starve Venom's tail and ascend the monster. 'The hell?! Why is Starve Venom acting like this?! Calm down for heaven's sake!'

The observation room was thrown into sheer panic, Shuzo with tears streaming down his face and counting his prayers in his natural over the top fashion, the kids huddled together, Himika and the LDS crowd's eyes were widened astronomically and the Enchanted Underworld ones were doing their best to keep their cool. Only one person didn't mind.

It seemed like the dragon was going to smash head first through the glass, however, just before it could do so, something akin to a switch was flipped and Starve Venom stopped dead in its tracks. Simply… Hovering there... Not really doing much. Everyone was perplexed to say the least, Yuri only now being able allowed to catch his breath as he soothingly stroked his beloved dragon "Hey, hey, hey, calm down! Just what has gotten into you?!"

Starve Venom huffed, growling slightly as that red glow in its eyes dissolved. Slowly, it flew back over into the starting point. Leaving absolutely everyone confused at its behaviour. "Principal Shuzo-san, it's okay to look now, the big scary dragon's gone." The rather comical sight of Ayu comforting the still hysterical Shuzo was about all that they could manage as a collective after the event.

Starve Venom Fusion Dragon, Level 8, Fusion, Effect, Dragon, DARK (2800/2000) PS: 4

"Battle!" Yuri declared with the fullest intent to end this here and now, the incident with his own monster just serving to incentivise that desire. He had more than enough to send this guy packing "First, Starve Venom attacks Constellar Pleiades!"

Starve Venom was ready to strike, however, Hokuto was more than prepared to act, having planed for something like this to happen just in case. "Trap activate! Constellar Stargate!" The art simply depicted black hole like formation of Constellar monsters that was in the process of sucking in an attack "By banishing a Constellar monster from my graveyard I half any battle damage for the rest of this turn! I banish Constellar Kaus!" A black hole did appear in front of the Constellar duelist and sucked in Starve Venom's attack, although not strong enough to contain the attack, the void did weaken it, although it was still strong enough to push Hokuto to the edge of the platform.

Hokuto's LP: 4000 – 2600

"Solanum Dulca, direct attack!" Solanum Dulca then shot out a black ball of flames that too was sucked in, terminating half of its power. It didn't have quite the power of Starve Venom and so was neutered to a much greater extent, only being able to singe Hokuto's clothing somewhat.

Hokuto's LP: 2600 – 1550

"With that I end my turn." Yuri jumped down from Starve Venom, taking in his own imaginary applause as he took a bow.

The Observation room remained deathly quite.

Yuri's cards x0

Turn 4

"That's the first time I've taken damage in so many duels," Hokuto grovelled "You'll pay for that!" He shouted, jumping to his feet and drawing.

"I activate the spell Constellar Realignment!" The card art depicted Pleiades in the forefront and in the background there was a large dragon silhouette flanked by Kaus alongside another currently unknown monster. "This card allows me to summon two level four Constellar monsters from my deck at the cost of paying half of my remaining life points but they are destroyed at the end of this turn." A purple vortex appeared in the ground and out of stepped "I revive Constellar Kaus and Algiedi!"

Hokuto's LP: 1550 - 775

"Now I use Kaus' effect, raising both his and Algiedi's level by 1." The exact steps from last time were repeating, all of which result in Hokuto's next declaration "Now I once again overlay my two Constellar monsters. I Xyz summon! My second Constellar Pleiades!"

Yuri scoffed at the sight of the recurrent monster, he may not have been in Academia for that long but he was well aware of the Obelisk Force and their rather predictable move set, this was getting close in regards to predictability "Oh please, what is that thing going to do if it failed the first time round?"

That was until Hokuto laughed out loud almost madly "Well you're about to see for yourself! Using the rank 5 Constellar Pleiades I rebuild the overlay network!"

Mouths fell a gape in the You Show side as Pleiades was dissolved into a slightly darker yellow stream of energy and descended into the overlay network.

"What?! Can he even do that?!" Futoshi shouted in concern, mainly directing his question at the two XYZ duelists in the room.

"Yes, it's very much possible. Certain monsters can also be XYZ summoned by overlaying the target monster again allowing for an even more powerful monster with less set up required." Shiki answered, eyes locked dead on a smug looking Himika "It's quite stupid if you ask me, not only does it make it unfair by allowing the user to get a free more powerful monster with no setup, it lacks any real skill. There are far more powerful ways of doing it." He finished off, an ugly sneer distorting his handsome features.

"Always the petty one, Sogami." Himika replied, not caring for the growls of Kichirou and the glares of the others in the booth.

"I Xyz Summon! Rank 6! Constellar Ptolemy M7!" Out of the Xyz vortex came a large yellow dragon with the typical Constellar flair to it, its star coated wings blending seamlessly into the background. It also easily trumped the size of Starve Venom despite not having as much power, it would only be natural that a monster that controlled the astral plane would be as large and expansive as the galaxy itself.

Constellar Ptolemy M7, Dragon, Rank 6, XYZ, Effect, LIGHT (2700/2000) OLU: 1

"You shouldn't have messed with me! I activate M7's effect! By using one overlay unit I can send one monster you control back to your hand or in this case the extra deck! Because I'll be returning your hideous dragon back there!" A bright light encased the field, emanating from Ptolemy's wings, blinding nearly every one that was watching. As the effect was underway, Starve Venom was disintegrated by the light effortlessly and Yuri unceremoniously crashed to the floor.

Yuri scowled as he got up, cleaning some of the solid vision dirt from his person, as he was forced to return Starve Venom. He was pissed to have lost his best monster and chances were he'd be back to square one if he didn't do something. However, not all was lost just yet, he jumped on his remaining monster "Let's go Dulca." The dragon flew off with its master to search for an action card.

"There's no use running! M7 attack and wipe out his last line of defence!" M7 charged up and unleased fury in an attempt to annihilate its target, however, just as the blast was about to land Yuri's hand scraped the ground and an action card came into his possession.

"Action card! Miracle! My monster's destruction is negated and battle damaged is halved!" A barrier formed around Yuri's monster deflecting the attack. He hated to allow himself to use action cards, they may have been a main stay in the strategy of his adopted father, but Yuri was much more proud than that. His deck was going to win him the duel or it was going to lose him the duel, that's what confidence meant and when he won with his own skill he made it look so graceful that he couldn't help but be proud.

Yuri's LP: 4000 – 3650

"Lucky." Hokuto sneered "I'll end my turn here."

Hokuto's cards x3

Turn 5

'Time to end this.' Yuri thought, grasping Yuya's pendant tightly before drawing "Moray Nepenthes' Pendulum effect! Your monster gains one Predator Counter and its effect is negated. Next is Fly Trap's effect is next and with that any and all monsters that have Predator Counters on them will be destroyed!" Ptolemy was shattered instantly, the growth that Moray Nepenthes had placed on it consuming it entirely.

"Hey." Shiki spoke up, making all of the heads turn to him "Do you remember what I just said? Yeah. Turns out you do need some degree of intelligence after all. Bitch-chan, you're a shoe-in to win this year."

Hokuto stood there dumbfounded, over in the LDS the mood was one of complete ire "That idiot!" Shouted the tanned girl, slamming her fists against the wall "Why didn't he play a face down!?"

"Battle! Solanum Dulca! End this farce of a duel!" Before dealing the finishing blow Solanum Dulca ensnared Hokuto in a multitude of sharp vines preventing his escape.

It then unleased all of its pent up energy, covering the Xyz duelist in soot and earning Yuri and You Show the victory in the .

Hokuto's LP: 1550 – 0

Yuri: Win!

With the first Duel for You Show's fate finished with Yuri the victor, he exited the now de-activated Action Field, while Hokuto was on the floor in the room exhausted and burned to a cinder.

"Yuri-oniichan! That was amazing!" Ayu shouted, followed by the other two kids and surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, who knew who the adult in the room was anymore?) by Shuzo

"Huh? AHHH!" Yuri cried out as he was tackled by Tatsuya, Futoshi and Ayu, with him now on the floor with them crowding around him.

"I knew Yusho made the right choice with you! You truly are You Show's one true ace! We're going to the big leagues!" Yuri wouldn't lie and say that the first part of Shuzo's outburst hadn't hurt him slightly.

"You did it, your dueling made Gong happier than on his birthday." Gongenzaka said as he pulled Yuri up into a bone crushing hug.

"Gong... please... let go… you're crushing me..." Yuri whined out while Yuzu looked at him concerned.

"Yuzu!" Yuto's image said to Yuzu, which shocked Yuzu a bit, but then the image changed back to Yuri, making her imagine that it was the other. "Oh, yes Yuri?" She asked.

"Are you going next? Because, personally I want this whole fiasco over with quickly." Yuri placed his hands in his pocket and acted with as much haughtiness as he could muster, he still needed to figure out just what had happened with Starve Venom to have his usually faithful monster to act that way.

"Oh yeah! I will." She said slowly but loud enough for them to hear her.

"Good, I wish you the best of luck." Yuri said to her, still maintain the haugty façade with a smug and nonchalant smirk.

This made Yuzu gain a serious expression "Don't worry Yuri, just leave it to me, after all the school is at stake, so we need to get serious about this." She said holding her bracelet arm to her chest.

"I can't believe it, you've allowed a duelist from a third rate school to humiliate not only you, but also our school's top Xyz Summoning Course! Even worse that you allow Sogami to see your weaknesses!" Himika scolded at Hokuto who was kneeling on the floor from the scolding. However, mentally her attitude was a lot different 'If he only came here as a child with no real training then the rest of them must be even more powerful. Reiji, I hate Sogami too, but that man and your plan are our last defence against his plans.'

Recovering from her outburst, Himika composed herself and brought forth her second competitor "Now we shall begin the second duel." She said as the tanned complexion girl stood up.

"Yes Madam Chairwoman." The girl said. She and Himika walked over to the You Show lot, with them now seeing them "My name is Masumi Kotsu of the LDS's Fusion Course! And I will be the next to duel one of you." She said. From what they could see, this girl seemed to hold herself in just as high a regard as Hokuto did. There was a certain toughness about her and her ruby red eyes hinted at the underlying determination that fuelled her soul.

"Fusion, huh? Well, this just got interesting." Sora said grinning. It had been too long since he had had a good duel and another one of these weak Fusion users would be simple for him to get his fix off of.

"Now, it's Fusion. Xyz was just before. Logically then, all that's left is Synchro." Yuri said deducing what would come after this if a third match was required 'But who would go against the synchro user?' As he thought this Masumi attached her duel disk to her arm.

"Do you amateurs even have what it takes to beat me?" She said full of spite at them, with most of them glaring at her in response.

"Don't listen to her Yuzu." Yuri said, lightening Yuzu's mood slightly "It's probably just hot air like the last guy."

'The school's on the line, as well as Yuri's reputation, I can't lose this duel for them.' Yuzu thought determined but soon enough she began to think about Yuto 'Even if I don't know if that guy was Yuri at all or who those other two were...'

"Are you ready?" Masumi asked, Yuzu nodded in reply.

Both Yuzu and Masumi had their Duel Disk ready, all they needed was for Shuzo to get the field ready "Now I can't go wrong with this one, for my beautiful girl's duel..." He said pressing some buttons, under the every watchful gaze of Yuri who would've been more than ready to show him a bed time if he screwed up again "The perfect scene would be this one..." He said activating the Action Field, "I activate the Action Field, Crystal Corridor!" He proclaimed as the machine's ARC System started to generate it.

When it field was complete it was as Shuzo said a corridor made from crystal, with some bits here and there different colours, while flat light blue crystal plates appeared floated. In a way it was a lot like a throne room. "Yuzu! This field is the perfect way to show off your sparkling skill! It's time for you to shine!" he said as he waved to his daughter, while said daughter was embarrassed and blushing.

"This is so embarrassing dad..." Yuzu said while Masumi gave a small laugh.

"It's seems your father sees you as a sparkling gem, but we both know the truth..." She said with a sly look about her, instantly it was noticeable that Masumi was much different from Hokuto before her irritating Yuzu.

"What the hell do you mean by that?" Yuzu shouted at her.

"What I mean is that you're a fake, a liar, and afraid to tell the truth about your friend." Masumi said slowly to her like she was some kind of idiot.

"Shut up! You don't know a thing about me!" Yuzu shouted back, she wouldn't allow anyone to talk bad about her or Yuri under any circumstance, this circumstance just made it all the worse.

"You're right about that, but I do know a thing about jewels, after all my father is a Gem Merchant, and I've seen thousands and thousands of jewels, and from all that I can tell what a real jewel looks like and shines." Her eyes gleamed as she spoke with the utmost confidence. In this court like corridor, it was very clear that she was the Queen in this situation.

"You however don't have that shine, so maybe you can fool your father and your friends, but you can't fool me, as I can see it in your eyes, even you don't know what happened, making them become filled with doubt." Masumi proclaimed, shoving her finger accusingly at Yuzu.

"You can believe whatever you want, the only way to actually prove anything is to Duel and see whose belief is stronger!" Yuzu said back quickly at her. This duel, in hindsight, provided the perfect way for her to reaffirm those beliefs. She had been able to hold her own against Daiki when he had come around and if she could do that in the dead of night the day after Jex's attack, then she could do this!

"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…"


Yuzu's LP: 4000 Masumi's LP: 4000 Cards x5

Turn 1

"I'll take the first turn!" Masumi said "I activate the Spell, Gem-Knight Fusion!" She said as the archetype specific card appeared, showing an atypical version of the standard fusion card with a large bursts of gems in the middle such as Alexandrite and Ruby.

"With this card I can Fuse Gem-Knight monsters in my Hand or Field to Fusion Summon a Gem-Knight Fusion Monster from my Extra Deck!" Masumi proclaimed, already acting very haughty and regal like, causally place the card into her disk with a dismissive flip of her hair.

"Already?" Yuzu shouted in the conjunction with the kids who were just as worried.

"Correct, so now I Fuse Gem-Knight Tourmaline and Emerald in my Hand!" Masumi said as the two appeared on the field, glowing yellow and green "Stone warrior of lightning, green knight of good fortune, shine your combined light to bring about a new radiance!" She yelled as they swirled into the Fusion vortex.

"I Fusion Summon! Appear Level 6! Gem-Knight Topaz!" She said placing the Fusion monster onto her blade, with it appearing on her field. True to its name, the Knight was a shining topaz, a naturally tough gemstone for someone as naturally tough as Masumi. It was highly likely that this was just the first step though, Yuzu mightn't have vocalised it but enough time around Yuri had allowed her to notice some of the subtle tics in people, she knew that Masumi was underestimating her.

Gem-Knight Topaz, Level: 6, Thunder, Fusion, Effect, EARTH, (1800/1800)

"Wow… She Fusion Summoned on her first turn, I can't believe it." Yuzu said slowly, pretending to be stunned at the sheer speed. She had seen Yuri do it much quicker so it wasn't really such of an accomplishment.

"Here's something for you that you should believe, you don't stand a chance against me!" Masumi said.

"Says the girl who brought out a monster with lower attack than one of the monster you used that could've be Normal Summoned!" Retorted Yuzu, Masumi not caring much for that everything was still in her hands, amateurs were easy enough to defeat anyway and with how confused this girl was then it would be a walk in the park.

"Well let's see if you can get pass this monster then, otherwise it may lead to your defeat!" Masumi said. "I place one card face down and then end my turn!" She added as the card appeared then faded.

Masumi's cards x 1

"My, what do you think of that as a first turn, Teru-kun? Think that you could try her on for size when the time comes to it?" Shiki asked his protégée, Teru had been paying close attention to Masumi, he didn't need to think about the pink haired girl as he already knew her scope and all of her potential. The episode she had momentarily caused him to stumble in his assessment but that's what it was, an episode.

The Masumi girl, if he remembered her name correctly, was different. A fellow Fusion user but not one like Yuri who showed the beauty in disgusting monsters. A lot can be learned from a first impression and what monster someone chooses to summon first, him and Kioka always made sure to start everything off the same way in an almost ritualistic fashion, his Loewen was always the first monster on the field under any duel. It gave the impression of stability to him. The first impression he gathered from the dark skinned girl was definitely negative as a result.

"She's a false…. Ruby…. Sogami-san. No match…" He relayed to his mentor, absent-mindedly tucking loose hair back behind his ear.

Turn 2

"We'll see who defeats who!" Yuzu said drawing her card, which made her smile as it was her ace, it looked like fate was going to be on her side after a week of doing nothing but spitting on it "To start this off, I'm activating the Sweet sounding Spell, 1st Movement Solo! When I control no monsters, I can Special Summon a Level 4 or below Melodious monster from my Hand or Deck, and I choose Aria the Melodious Diva!" Yuzu said as the Diva appeared with a soothing tune.

Aria the Melodious Diva: Level: 4, Fairy, Effect, LIGHT, (1600/1200)

"And when I control a Melodious monster, I can Special Summon this sweet singing Diva from my Hand, appear Sonata the Melodious Diva!" She said with her second monster appearing.

Sonata the Melodious Diva: Level: 3, Fairy, Effect, LIGHT, (1200/1000)

"Now for you and Topaz to listen to the music, as now I sacrifice these two to Tribute Summon!" Yuzu proclaimed said as Aria and Sonata floated up, grabbed a hold of each other, then burst into particles, which then swirled together. "Appear Mozarta the Melodious Maestra!" She announced happily as her ace now appeared on the field.

Mozarta the Melodious Maestra: Level: 8, Fairy, Effect, LIGHT, (2600/2000)

"Yes! She got her ace out already!" The kids said, collectively amazed at the monster, although it was quite frankly the most underwhelming one of them so far.

"I now activate her effect! Once per turn, she allows me to Special Summon one Melodious monster from my Hand." Yuzu said as Mozarta waved about her hands with her right releasing a light. "So now I Summon Canon the Melodious Diva!" She said with the next Melodious monster appearing.

Canon the Melodious Diva: Level: 4, Fairy, Effect, LIGHT, (1400/2000)

"Now to start this show, I attack Topaz with Mozarta! Graceful Wave!" Yuzu ordered with Mozarta releasing a wave of sound which headed straight for Topaz, destroying the Fusion monster with graceful ease.

Masumi's LP's: 4000 – 3200

"So what did you think of that? Was it show stopping?" Yuzu said smugly while all Masumi did after getting over the damage was smirk at her, "Canon! Now it's time for your role, attack Masumi directly!" Canon sang out a beautiful resonating chord, sending a beam of sound that hit Masumi square in the chest, pushing her back onto the ground.

Masumi's LP's: 3200 – 1800

"Alright, Yuzu-oneesan!" Ayu, Futoshi and Tatsuya said at the same time.

"Well done Yuzu, now all you need to do is finish it next turn." Yuri said, moderately happy although still hung up about Starve Venom's episode from earlier.

"Okay, so you have some skill, but not nearly enough to beat me." Masumi said, grunting and dusting herself off. Perhaps she would need to step it up a bit, she wasn't like her other two allies, she actually planned things ahead. LDS wouldn't suffer the ignominy of another mistake like Hokuto.

"We'll though see, won't we?" Yuri said.

"Oh! We will see, indeed! I happen know exactly how my turn is going to play out." Masumi said cockily.

"I activate Canon's effect! Once per turn, I can change the position of 1 Melodious monster I control, so I use the effect on Canon herself!" Yuzu said as she placed Canon's card sideways, with Canon then glowing blue "And with that I end my turn!" She declared confidently.

Yuzu's cards x1

Turn 3

"My turn! This shall be the end of the line for you." Masumi said drawing her card, with her smirking at what she drew, "I Normal Summon Gem-Knight Alexandrite!" She said as the white gem monster appeared.

Gem-Knight Alexandrite: Level: 4, Rock, Effect, EARTH (1800/1200)

"And now I activate its effect, by tributing it, I can Special Summon a Gem-Knight monster from my Deck." Masumi said as she took Alexandrite's card and placed it into the Graveyard dismissively, while its form on the field released countless beams of light from its gems, with it disappearing, "I now Special Summon Gem-Knight Crystal!" She said with the new Gem-Knight appearing.

Gem-Knight Crystal: Level: 7, Rock, Normal, EARTH, (2450/1950)

"Looks like you made a misplay! Crystal doesn't have enough attack to beat Mozarta!" Yuzu said with a growing confidence in her ability.

However, Masumi smirked smugly, everything truly had fallen just how she wanted them to. "And who said Crystal was going to do the deed, because I activate my Trap, Fragment Fusion!"

Yuri was shocked at the sight, stunned that he had been blindsided from something from his own extra deck summon. "A Fusion Trap?" He didn't even remember the sight of one at Academia, granted that was seven years ago and his memory wasn't as good back then.

"A Fusion Trap?" Tatsuya asked aloud for the Fusion users currently in the room, unaware that Yuri was totally at a loss for what was happening.

"It's a Trap that allows for Fusion Summoning, and they can have powerful effects sometimes." Sora said because Teru sure as hell wasn't going to open his mouth. Most jaws dropped upon this revelation and turned nervously back to the duel

"With this card, I can banish monsters in my Graveyard to Fusion Summon a Gem-Knight Fusion Monster from my Extra Deck!" Masumi said.

"I banish Gem-Knight Alexandrite, Tourmaline and Emerald!" The three Knights slipping out of her deck and into the banish zone, their corporeal forms showing up briefly before evaporating.

"That girl, Masumi is better with Fusion than I thought, but still nowhere near my Level. What do you think, Vampire?" Sora said smugly, although it was somewhat neutered by the fact he had to tilt his head up so much to actually look the green haired giant in the face.

Teru looked down his nose at the other Fusion duelist. Shiki had warned him about this little shit, he had even considered him enough of a threat to take the precaution of sending Kichirou after him. He wasn't going to give him the light of day and gave a non-committal grit.

"Magical rock of dark and light, stone warrior of lightning, and green knight of good fortune, shine your combined light to bring about a new radiance!" Alexandrite, Emerald and Tourmaline shined white, green and yellow respectively, before they swirled into the Fusion vortex. "I Fusion Summon! Appear the mighty Gem-Knight Master Diamond!" She said, as she grabbed the card from her Extra Deck when it ejected itself from there, and with the radiant gem monster appearing on the field.

Gem-Knight Master Diamond: Level: 9, Rock, Fusion, Effect, EARTH (2900/2500)

"What do you think? My Master Diamond truly is a cut above the rest. Especially those of my idiotic ally!" Masumi said proudly, decisively ignoring the shouts of Hokuto of him not being an idiot from the observation both. "I now activate its effect! I now banish a Level 7 or below Gem-Knight monster from my Graveyard, with my choice being Topaz!" She said with again her Duel Disk telling her that Topaz was now out of play.

"But why would she...?" Yuzu said confused.

"Yuzu!" Yuzu heard some shout, the voice was weird. It fluctuated between smug, deep, and happy. Like the voices of those three that shared the same face that continued to assault her mind

"Huh?" Yuzu said when she heard her name with her looking at Yuri's direction.

"Be careful and keep your guard up." Yuri said but all she saw was Yuto's ghost on the field, with her shocked at seeing him.

"What's wrong? Are your eyes playing a trick on you?" Masumi asked Yuzu, while she started to look around dazed. Looks like her mind finally broke after everything.

'Why? Why do I keep seeing his face?' Yuzu thought in pure and uncontained anguish and despair.

"Gem-Knight Crystal attack Canon with your Crystal Barrage!" Masumi shouted as Crystal released shards at Canon, destroying it in an explosion, although since Canon was in defence Yuzu didn't take any damage. The only issue now was that her field was getting more fragile by the second. She had to save Mozarta to save her chances of winning this duel.

"And now, Master Diamond attack Mozarta!" Masumi said with Diamond going to slash at Mozarta, who tried to fight back, but she was struck down from Diamond's sword, with her getting a slash mark on her chest, as she then exploded.

Yuzu's LP: 4000 – 3700

"She just destroyed Mozarta." Ayu said sad.

"At least she only took 300 damage!" Futoshi said, following on from Ayu's dreariness.

"But who said I was finished…" Masumi said lowly. As she saw the look on Yuzu's face, she knew then and there that everything was truly over.

"What do you mean by that?" Yuzu said concerned.

"If you remember, I banished Topaz with Master Diamond's effect, the reason for that is because it allowed Master Diamond to gain Topaz's effects until the end of this turn!" she explained to her. "So Master Diamond has Topaz's effects! And that borrowed effect now activates! Since Master Diamond destroyed a monster and sent it to the Graveyard, you take damage equal to Mozarta's ATK!" Masumi said as Diamond's arm glowed with electricity, with Diamond then shooting it at Yuzu.

Yuzu's LP: 3700 – 1600

"Oh and also, something I neglected to mention was that with Topaz's effect, he can attack twice per turn." Masumi said, with Yuzu getting up and becoming shocked by this.

"My, my, looks like the wonderful songstress has struck her last chord." Shiki got out, his eyes sharpening as he looked over at Masumi. Something in him started to stir as he thought about it more. However, he'd save that thought for another day.

"Poor Yuzu..." Ayu muttered.

'So if she attacks me directly and hits it's all over.' Yuzu thought as her vision blurred a bit, with her then looking to the side and seeing an Action Card within her vicinity.

"Battle! Master Diamond attack again but this time strike her directly!" Masumi shouted, while Yuzu sprang for the Action Card.

"Wait, why is she?" Yuri began to question but then he saw it "All she's seeing is…" He glumly trailed off.

While this happened Diamond started to swing his sword, 'Almost there...' Yuzu thought reaching for the Action Card, but all she touched was the floor, with no card in sight anymore, 'But. Why?' she thought with her looking behind, and there it was, the Action Card.

'It was over there… all I saw was its reflection. That's all I'm ever seeing recently' She thought.

"Just like your eyes to trick you, but you can't trick me, I know it was Yuya that attacked Sawatari!" Masumi said to her, while Diamond brought its sword down in front of Yuzu, sending her flying backwards and making the score break even.

Yuzu's LP: 1600 – 0

Masumi: Win!

"Yuzu! Are you okay?!" Yuri asked, pulling her up while the others crowded around them as the You Show crowd spilled into the room.

'Why now, my heart says that Yuri's not guilty… but my eyes saw what happened, he looked just like him. Yuya now too…' She thought as she cried into Yuri's shoulder.

Although, as if fate had intervened to make the moment even worse. Subconsciously, she pushed Yuri to the ground. "Owww! What did I do this time?" Yuri whinged as he got up now rubbing his back.

"I-I'm so sorry!" Yuzu said.

"I know you are, but my back thinks otherwise." Yuri moaned, rubbing his back some more.

"And I'm sorry about the Duel too." She added.

"Don't beat yourself up about it, you can't assume that you'll win every time." Shiki said with a slight smile in an attempt to lighten her spirits. It wouldn't do him any good to have her be down, he saw something in her just like he had any other person. Plus, Yuri and her were simply meant to be and he did consider himself an ace at relationships after all.

"He's right, we still have one more chance to win this." Yuri said to her, with her slowly smiling and going slightly red.

"Oh, you say that as if it's going to be that easy!" A voice to the side said, making them look at the target. "Name's Yaiba Todo, and I'm the best Synchro Summoner of LDS and best in the whole damn world! Now which one of you chumps is my next victim?" Yaiba said cockily to them, flashing his wooden weapon at them, not noticing the various gestures that Kichirou was throwing up in the background to deride him.

For the first time since the whole debacle had transitioned into this, Gongenzaka spoke up "Gong the man really wished he was part of the school, then Gong could teach them a lesson for humiliating Yuzu like that." He grumbled.

Himika took her chance, that other blue haired kid at be making snarky comments the whole time and it was very clear that he wanted to duel. She didn't know much about him but if Reiji had thought him dangerous enough to get Sogami on his case then she absolutely couldn't allow him to duel. "Then why don't you?" She asked slyly.

Sora didn't look at all pleased, taking another harsh bite on his lollipop, fishing it off completely "You know very well, he isn't member of this school, so you would win by default." However confident he may have been, it didn't matter as Sora didn't quite grasp the irony of the statement.

"But as I recall, you aren't a member either." Sora looked offended for a moment, looking her up and down like she was trash before then retreating into the background. Himika could've sworn that she herd him mutter "Old hag." Under his breath

"Alright then! Looks like it's you and I, Big Brows." Yaiba said to Gongenzaka, riling up his opponent.

"How dare you insult the great and powerful Gong and gets away with it, now Gong is going to put you in your place!" Gongenzaka shouted as he grabbed his Duel Disk attaching it into his arm.

"Listen, I don't have all day, and unlike the two that lost, I don't tend to, and do you know why?" Yaiba asked Gongenzaka, "Because I actually know what I'm doing!" He finished with a smirk.

The nerve of that guy, saying we don't know what we're doing." Hokuto said irritated by Yaiba.

"Not to be rude, but I think he was only talking about you, seeing that I won my Duel." Masumi said crossing her arms, as she was irritated by Yaiba's comment at first but then remembered she won, while Hokuto went pale, and pulled himself into a corner, while Masumi reckoned she would've been feeling pity for him if he wasn't such a colossal idiot.

'That sword on his back is more than just show.' Shuzo thought looking at Yaiba just as an idea struck him "Hey! That gives me an idea!" He said as he then typed into the system "Is everybody ready? Because I activate the Action Field, Sword's Cemetery!" He said as the field generated once again.

When the final touches where complete both Gong and Yaiba were standing on what appeared to be a battlefield, the prime weapon to be found anywhere were swords, around the area were some dying trees, on a sort of slope was Gong while Yaiba was below on level ground.

"You know what needs to be done Gong, by just looking at the surroundings, you need to bury him!" Shuzo shouted to Gongenzaka. Although, having gone zero for two on his first two choices he wasn't really feeling all that confident.

"You can say all what you like, it won't matter as when we win, and we get the You Show School and all students attending it, right? Principal Shuzo?" Himika said.

"Correct, and if we win, you leave us alone and drop the charges like you said right?" Said Shuzo as he gave a glare to her, who returned it.

"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…"


Gongenzaka's LP: 4000 Yaiba's LP: 4000 Cardsx5

Turn 1

"Gong will go first, and with it Gong Normal Summons Superheavy Samurai Kabuto!" Gongenzaka said as he placed the monster onto the blade.

Superheavy Samurai Kabuto: Level: 4, Machine, Effect, EARTH, ATK/DEF: 1000/2000

"And will do for Gong's turn." he said ending his turn, leaving his field almost blank.

Gong's cards x4

"Anyone else concerned that he didn't play anything facedown?" Shiki asked, his eyes having softened somewhat. However, no one answered him "Fine, don't tell me anything, not like I care." He huffed, looking over to Kichirou who had a white knuckle grip on his hat and eyes trained like lasers on Yaiba. It would be almost funny how defensive Kichirou got over the method if it he didn't get so upset about it. Shiki had already done his good deed for the month by calming down Kichirou from his little escapade the other day.

He wanted to bring his eyes back to the field, however, something happened to catch his eye and the sharpened once again. He had had 20/20 vision his whole life and there was no mistaking it no matter what he tried. He had just seen something move on the other side of the field and now he was curious.

Turn 2

"Wow, is that all you got? One weak monster, that's pathetic!" Yaiba said mocking Gongenzaka.

"Weak to you, but to Gong, it's strong!" Gong retorted with a smile,

"We'll see about that." Yaiba said as he drew his card, and then smirking when he saw what it was. "To kick off my turn, I Normal Summon XX-Saber Boggart Knight!" He said as he placed the monster onto his blade with the monster taking form on the field.

XX-Saber Boggart Knight: Level: 4, Beast-Warrior, Effect, EARTH, (1900/1000)

"Because it was Normal Summoned, I get to Special Summon a Level 4 or below X-Saber from my Hand, so I summon the Level 3 Tuner monster XX-Saber Fullhelmknight!" He said as a knight with long blonde hair with a Whip Sword appeared.

XX-Saber Fullhelmknight: Level: 3, Warrior, Tuner, Effect, EARTH, (1300/1000)

"A Tuner monster already?" Yuri said concerned.

"Now Gong activates Kabuto's effect! Since you Special Summoned a monster, Gong can switch as many Superheavy monsters Gong controls in ATK to DEF, and until the end of the turn they were switched, all switched monsters gain 500 DEF!" Gongenzaka said as Kabuto took a guarding stance with a blue aura and gaining power.

Kabuto's DEF: 2000 – 2500

"You played right into Gong's plan, all you needed to do was summon one monster and you could have gotten past, now let's see you get past this, knight boy!" Gongenzaka said.

"Good move Gongenzaka, now keep up the defence and wear him out!" Yuri said throwing his full support behind Gongenzaka.

"Ha! Like you could wear down these swords, because when I control 2 or more X-Saber monsters, I can Special Summon XX-Saber Faultroll from my Hand!" Yaiba said with a smirk as the monster appeared.

XX-Saber Faultroll: Level: 6, Warrior, Effect, EARTH, (2400/2000)

"Check this out loser, I now Tune the Level 3 Fullhelmknight to the Level 4 Boggart Knight!" Yaiba shouted as Fullhelmknight jumped and span in the air, and then turned into 3 tuning rings, which lined up and enveloped Boggart Knight, who lost his colour and four stars appearing within him. A large, muscular warrior descended out of the light. He crossed his two swords over his chest in the shape of an X whilst his tattered red cape fluttered gently in the weak wind of the action field.

X-Saber Souza: Level: 7, Warrior, Synchro, Effect, EARTH, (2500/1600)

"That monster looks nasty." Futoshi said.

"So not only has he already Synchro Summoned a monster, but he still has another monster on his field. This isn't going to be easy." Yuri had seen enough of Synchro monsters when Kichirou had pulled out some of his more provocative positions whenever they had duelled.

Speaking of Kichirou "Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi! Wooden boy fucker! Your monster looks like total shit! And for you information! Those aren't sabres! Those are just swords! They aren't the same thing! Fix your fucking naming scheme! It ain't fucking difficult!" He was already well on his way to another choleric fit.

Handily ignoring that, Yaiba carried on "And I'm not even done, as Faultroll's effect now activates! Once per turn it can Special summon a Level 4 or below X-Saber monster from my Graveyard!" Faultroll took his sword and stabbed it into the ground, causing a dark portal to open. "I'm calling back Fullhelmknight to the field!" He declared as once again the Tuner monster appeared.

"With that Tuner back, Yaiba can do another Synchro Summon!" Shuzo said sweating.

"And now I Tune Fullhelmknight to the Level 6 Faultroll!" Yaiba said as the Tuner once again turned into the rings, with Faultroll flying through them, losing his colour as six stars appeared.

"I Synchro Summon! Level 9! XX-Saber Gottoms!" XX-Saber Gottoms was the largest monster of them all so far as its name would suggest, dominating the other X-Saber monster on the field. It stood tall and proud in its cybernetic like armour and long red cape, it wielded it a long and large sword that looked like it would easily cleave any monster it came into contact with.

XX-Saber Gottoms: Level: 9, Beast-Warrior, Synchro, Effect, EARTH (3100/2600)

"Face it Big Brows, you can't beat me! And when this is over with you losing, LDS will take over You Show!" Yaiba said smirking, "I wonder whose locker I'll take! Maybe Yuri's and Yuzu's!" he finished with a laugh.

"Hope this blowhard doesn't worm his way into Gong's head, he needs to concentrate on this duel." Yuri said looking at Gong who was very calm about Yaiba's turn.

"Aww, what's wrong, too scared to do anything?" Yaiba mocked, enjoying this way too much

"If all you do is talk, you don't have the right to call yourself a Duellist, or even mock another Duellist!" Gong said, annoying Yaiba.

"Oh I'll show you how a Duellist plays! XX-Saber Gottoms attack Superheavy Kabuto!" he said with Gottoms charging at the Superheavy monster, and then shooting a beam at Kabuto, which destroyed it. Turns out the monster didn't even need to use its weapon as a sword to do absolute damage.

"Ha! See that? I got past your plan as easy as could be! As Gottoms get his job done, the next job is for Souza, who will attack you directly!" He said pointing at Gong, with Souza jumping high into the air, throwing his sworsd outwards, and then bringing them into a cross, which manifested an energy cross, with said cross hitting Gongenzaka and pushing him back,

Gongenzaka's LP's: 4000 – 1500

"And with me now winning, I end my turn with a face down!" Yaiba said as the card appeared then faded.

Yaiba's cards x 2

Turn 3

"And now its Gong's turn!" Gongenzaka shouted as he drew is card, with said draw creating a strong gust of wind from it, 'Good… now Gong can really show what Gong can do.'

"Since you control 2 or more monsters, Gong can Special Summon Superheavy Samurai Scales!" Superheavy Samurai Scales was a monster carrying two pot pans on each end of a stick over its shoulders.

Superheavy Samurai Scales: Level: 4, Machine, Effect, EARTH, (800/1800)

"Now with Scales' effect, Gong can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or below Superheavy Samurai from Gong's Graveyard, and Gong picks Kabuto!" He said as Kabuto appeared courtesy of Scale. "Unfortunately you two can't stick around, as Gong now tribute you both to bring out something that will play in Gong's favour." He said as both Scales and Kabuto turned into beams on energy, which merged together, with a monster appearing out of the combined beam.

"I tribute summon! Appear Level 8! Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei in defence mode!" The monster that appeared was a large sumo like robot and, as the name suggests, was wearing some very heavy looking armour. It landed with an audible thud as it twirled its staff before sitting down and resting in defence mode.

Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei: Level: 8, Machine, Effect, EARTH, (1000/3500)

Yaiba scratched his head, not quite understand why someone would ever summon a monster in defence mode. Maybe the low attack? Even still, one could easily up it. "Seriously, you should just forfeit, that monster doesn't have the attack power to get through my monsters. The only thing it's good for is being a shield."

"Wait a minute, how did Gong summon that monster in defence mode? When you Tribute Summon it must be in attack, or else you need to set it in face down defence position." Tatsuya said confused, putting a finger to his head in thought.

"Big Benkei's effect switches him into defence when Normal or Special Summoned in attack!" Gongenzaka explained.

"As I said, it doesn't matter, as your shield is useless." Yaiba said closing his eye with a smirk,

"A shield can be just as offence as a sword." Gongenzaka proclaimed proudly, Benkei following along to his master's will by smashing his staff into the ground with a resounding thud "Now Big Benkei attack XX-Saber Gottoms!" Gongenzaka said with this shocking most everyone except Yuri, Yuzu and Shuzo.

"But it can't, it's in defence position!" Yaiba shouted out in shock, perfectly parroting what the Enchanted Underworld group was thinking too. All except Kichirou who was currently in the business of releasing his anger by kicking the wall behind him.

"True! However! Big Benkei's effect allows all Superheavy monsters to attack while in defence position, using their defence for damage calculation!" Gongenzaka said with Big Benkei erupting steam from his joints, with him then slamming his hand into the ground, causing it to crack with fire erupting and hitting Gottoms.

"So Gong can still deal damage while still having a strong defence!" Tatsuya said now cheerful about how the Duel was playing out now, while Gottoms was swallowed up by the eruption, while the wind from the eruption hitting Yaiba.

'What a stupid effect. It allows him to attack without worrying about taking damage when it's destroyed. A stupid yet useful effect.' Himika thought scornfully, maybe they were in trouble of defeat after all.

Yaiba's LP's: 4000 – 3600

"Gong believes that's enough hurting for now, so Gong ends his turn!"

Gong's hand x3

Turn 4

"Oh! I'll show you some hurt!" Yaiba growled out as he drew his card, "I now Normal summon a Second Boggart Knight!" He said as the second copy of Boggart appeared "As you know Boggart Knight allows me the Special Summon an X-Saber monster from my Hand, so I Summon XX-Saber Ragigura!" Another X-Saber monster swarmed the field with this one being reptilian in form.

XX-Saber Ragigura: Level 1, Beast-Warrior, Effect, EARTH, (200/1000)

"When Ragigura is Summoned, I can add one X-Saber in my Graveyard to my Hand!" Yaiba said as Ragigura held his blade up with a card ejecting from Yaiba's Graveyard slot. "I pick Faultroll, and since I control 2 or more X-Saber monsters, I can Special Summon it!" He said as once again the monster appeared, "And then with its effect, I can Special Summon a Level 4 of below X-Saber from my Graveyard!"

"But he already has four monsters, does he need more?" Ayu whined out, meeting the same collective look from her allies.

"I Special Summon back XX-Saber Fullhelmknight!" Yaiba said as the Tuner monster reappeared, with the kids worried more.

"This can't be good." Tatsuya cried out.

"That's because it isn't!" Yaiba said to them. "Keep your cards in check, as now I Tune the Level 3 Fullhelmknight to the Level 6 Faultroll!" Yaiba shouted as the monsters did their actions once again.

"I Synchro Summon! Level 9! XX-Saber Gottoms!" He declared as the second Gottoms onto his appeared on the field. The swarm of monsters behind Yaiba made everything seem even grander in the scope of the situation. Gong's survival was the school's survival and the swarm was the invading LDS horde, almost perfect in numbers to be symmetrical. Benkei represented everything that stood between them and total defeat.

"I can't believe it, Yaiba brought out a second Gottoms already!" Yuzu said concerned

"Don't worry Yuzu, Gong is safe. Big Benkei has enough defence to keep him safe and even if it were destroyed he'd take no damage." Yuri said almost dismissively to her, while Yaiba was now moving about the field.

"I wouldn't be so sure about that." Yaiba said as he swiped his sword, creating a gust of wind across the field, by doing this an action card floated up, with him then grabbing it. "This Action Card will decide if he survives." He said then looking at the card and then grinned. "I activate the Action Spell, Extreme Sword! This card gives my Gottoms 1000 attack! More than enough to finish your monster off!" Yaiba said, as Gottoms sword glowed and extended.

Gottoms' ATK: 3100 – 4100

"Heheheh, that's the best thing about Action Cards! Anything can happen! Gottoms attack Big Benkei!" He said with Gottoms bringing its sword down and it releasing a beam at its target, with said target being covered in an explosion.

"I hope Benkei is alright." Yuzu clasped her hands together, all of this wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for her mistake. Why was she even here anyway? Why did she think she was in the right frame of mind to this? She was useless.

"As I said before. At least it was in defence Position, otherwise Gong would have taken damage from that." Yuri said, not too concerned.

"That's where you're wrong, because I now activate the Trap, Meteor Rain!" Yaiba shouted out as his trap flipped upwards. When a monster I control with higher attack attacks a monster in defence with less defence than my monster's attacks, you take the difference as damage! That's 600, so take it, Big Brows!" He proclaimed grinning, while Gongenzaka braced himself as a rush of heat swept over him.

Gong's LP: 1500 – 900

"And then I'll attack you directly wi-" Yaiba went to say, but as the smoke cleared from Benkei's apparent destruction, there was no destruction of the monster, as Big Benkei was still standing, "But… how? Why is it still here?" He etched out slowly out of shock.

"When Big Benkei was attacked, Gong sent Superheavy Samurai Soulfire Suit in Gong's Hand to the Graveyard." Gongenzaka said sending Soulfire Suit to the Graveyard slot just as the attack hit while Big Benkei now had a shield. "Doing this protected Benkei from being destroyed this turn!"

"So let me get this straight, you weaken your hand just to protect your monster?" Yaiba said annoyed that this upstart had had the nerve to do something so stupid for the sake of prolonging this charade.

"Of course! Otherwise Gong would have lost, and the point is to win not lose." Gongenzaka retorted to him. "But the only downside to Gong using that card is now Big Benkei loses 800 defence." As the effect took place and Benkei looked visibly drained.

Big Benkei's DEF: 3500 – 2700

"At least Benkei's defence is higher than Souza's attack." Tatsuya pointed out, trying to take a positive from a very negative situation.

"Shut up! I'll show you that won't last for long." Yaiba shouted out swiping his sword again, with this once again creating a gust of wind, which again made an Action Card appear. However, it floated towards Gongenzaka "Oh no! It's closer to him!" The brown haired teen shouted in worry, but Gongenzaka didn't move an inch, a fact that perplexed everyone but the You Show group.

"Oi! Is he fucking retarded or something?!" Kichirou yelled, the total indignation more than evident although he had notably calmed down, if one would ignore the massive hole that now belonged in the You Show wall.

"Whatever the reason, who gives a damn?! All the more for me then!" Yaiba said running as he picked the card as it floated down to him. "Wow, how lucky and talented can one guy be? I activate another Extreme Sword! This time I pick Souza for it!"

Souza's ATK: 2500 – 3500

"And now Souza attack and take out Big Benkei!" Yaiba ordered with Souza crossing his swords to form an energy cross, which hit Big Benkei, causing another explosion.

"Gong already told you, Soulfire Suit's effect makes it that Big Benkei can't be destroyed by battle or card effect for the rest of the turn!" Gong said.

"Whatever, Meteor Rain's effect kicks in again, making you take 800 damage this time Big Brows!" Yaiba said as Gong took the damage and being thrown backwards by it.

Gong's LP: 900 – 100

"Not only did you take 800 damage, but Benkei loses another 800 defence!" Yaiba added to add the injury to the metaphorical insult.

Big Benkei's DEF: 2700 – 1900

"But now with no more monsters able to attack, you have to end your battle phase, and that mean Extreme Sword's effect ends." Gong said as Gottoms and Souza's attack returned to normal.

"Hmm, the only reason you survived those attacks was due to the cards in your Hand right?" Yaiba said to him, not expecting a reply "Let's see how well you do without them, because now I activate Gottoms' effect! By tributing Boggart Knight, I can send one card in your Hand to the Graveyard!" He said sending the mentioned X-Saber to the Graveyard. When this happened Gottoms lifted his sword up, with Boggart's form turning into energy, which with the help of Gottoms' sword shot right at Gong's Hand, making one of the cards glow.

"What the..." Gongenzaka gasped out.

"Oh no, Gong only has one card in his Hand now!" Futoshi said pressing himself against the window, while Gongenzaka then sent a Superheavy monster in his Hand to the Graveyard.

"Make that no cards, as I tribute Ragigura to use Gottoms' effect again to send to last card in your Hand to the Graveyard!" Yaiba said as Ragigura disappeared.

Again this caused Gongenzaka to send his last card, also a Superheavy monster to the Graveyard, "Now Gong has no cards left!" Tatsuya shouted in panic, as Gongenzaka was looking down at the ground.

"Guess I was right, you were hoping to use those cards to save your big butt, like your Superheavy style that could have stopped me." Yaiba said as he took a card in his hand, "I place one card face down and end my turn!"

Yaiba's cards x0

Turn 5

"How can Gong win with no cards in his Hand?", "If only he grabbed that Action Card...", "But why didn't he, that Action Card could have helped him win this Duel, now we're going to lose the school!" Ayu, Tatsuya and Futoshi said in that order.

"I wouldn't be worrying, little ones. It's your friend's turn now, so he can draw a card. Theoretically he has a 33.3% of drawing either a monster, spell or trap." Kioka replied, thinking the situation through logically like any reasonable person would do.

"It will be a monster…" Yuri said out loud, shocking them

"And how can you tell?" Kioka asked with raised eyebrows at him.

"Because one could call it Gong's quirk. His deck has never failed him before and there's very good reason for that." Yuri said then closing his eyes as he told them something.


Roughly three years after his arrival in the standard dimension. A young Yuri and a young Gongenzaka, who was quite big at that age for his age group, were sat on a park bench. "You see Yuri, the way Gong see it is that a Duellist must trust their Deck with their whole heart and soul, instead of relying on Action Cards to help them win a Duel." Young Gongenzaka said. "All Action Cards are just a flip of the coin, one flip, they could help you win or make you lose the Duel." He added, while Yuri was dumbfounded at him saying this, still in his awe of having a new shiny thing to play with to make him even stronger. Good thing he grew out of that quickly.

"But that the best part of Action Cards, they make Duelling a bit fairer, and also fun at the same time!" Young Yuri said as he stood up, during his time in standard he'd grown accustom to them even though he still mainly relied his own cards and skills. "Hey, Gongenzaka. Could I see your Deck?" He asked, wanting to prove his point about the utility of Action Cards, with Gongenzaka complying with his demand.

While Yuri went through his Deck, he was very concerned about something that he thought was missing, "How do you expect to battle with these?" He questioned him, the distinct lack of any Spell or Trap cards was rather baffling

"To you Yuri, it may not work, but for Gong, it's perfect for my Steadfast Duelling!" Gong said as he too stood up.

"Gong believes in his Deck, and Gong believes he can win with it, just the way it is." he said looking up at the sky, with Yuri following suit.

(Flashback end)

"At the time I didn't understand him then, but as we got older I saw how his deck pulled him a victory even if he was losing." Yuri said then opening his eyes to look back at Gongenzaka.

"Kuh, nice backstory, but that doesn't explain why you think he'll draw a monster?" Kioka retorted, her haughty demeanour returning with the opening of her parasol, almost hitting Yuri in the process, it's almost like she was aiming for him.

"If Gong needs a monster than he'll get the monster that will help him." Yuri replied to her.

"It's Gong's turn." Gong said drawing his card, creating a gust of wind that followed after the draw, 'Perfect!' He thought "Gong Normal Summons Superheavy Samurai Soulsheild Wall!" he said as the monster appeared on the field.

Superheavy Samurai Soulsheild Wall: Level: 3, Machine, Effect, EARTH (1200/1200)

"Oh, that is bullshit!" Kioka sneered looking at Yuri in contempt at his right guess, while Yuri was smirking at his reaction.

"And then Gong activate its effect, Gong targets a Superheavy monster, and equips it to that monster, Gong picks Big Benkei!" He said as Soulsheild Wall activated its thrusters to lift off to ground, and then slamming onto Big Benkei's arm. Big Benkei took a stance ready for battle "Now Big Benkei gains 1200 defence!"

Big Benkei's DEF: 1900 – 3100

"What are the chances that you have a monster that can power up your monster? You sure are lucky that could have been a Spell or Trap." Yaiba said.

"Gong doesn't rely on luck, Gong believes in his Deck would help in Gong's plan. AND NOW THE TIME FOR TALKING IS OVER!" He shouted at Yaiba.

"Battle! Big Benkei attack Souza!" He said with Big Benkei's slamming his mechanical fist into the ground, and with the added power of Soulsheild Wall's thrusters, the quake was more powerful and destroyed Souza with Yaiba bracing himself as the damage went through.

Yaiba's LP: 3600 – 3000

"Keep it up, Gong!" Yuri shouted encouragingly to Gongenzaka.

"I'll show you… I'll crush you!" Yaiba growled out, "I activate the Trap, Gottoms Emergency Call! Since I control an X-Saber, I can Special Summon 2 X-Sabers from my Graveyard, I'm bringing back Souza and Ragigura! Since Ragigura was Summoned, I can add Faultroll back to my Hand." He declared as Faultroll's cards was ejected from the Graveyard slot.

"Gong ends his turn." Gongenzaka said while acting calm, as he had his plan ready for when Yaiba attacked.

Gong's Hand x 0

"Amazing, it's not even his turn, and yet Yaiba is still able to summon monsters!" Hokuto said having recovered from Masumi's insult, "It just like I've been saying to you, Masumi, his X-Saber Deck is a cut above the rest!"

"Wow, you usually never say anything nice about other people's Decks, but I guess that's what happens when you lose." If Hokuto had an ego left, that comment had done all it could to find it, strangle it and make it wish it was never born as Hokuto scuttled back to his corner.

The results of this caused Hokuto to crawl into the corner again and face said corner, while Masumi looked at him again in pity.

"I admit that it's impressive that he was able to deal damage to him but it's over for Gong, with only 100 Life Points left and no card in his hand, anyone can tell that he can't pull a win out of this!" Sora said, having found another lollipop out of his infinite supply to eat while giving out comments, eyeing Himika carefully. "

Turn 6

"My turn! "If you can remember I have Faultroll in my Hand, and since I control 2 or more X-Sabers on the field, I can Special Summon it! Now its effect kicks in so now I once again Special Summon the Level 3 Fullhelmknight from the Graveyard!" Yaiba said as the Tuner once again appeared.

"Both Faultroll and Fullhelmknight can only mean one thing." Yuri bemoaned.

"A third Gottoms..." Yuzu said concerned.

"Hey somebody from this school can actually think! Wow! You do learn something new every day!" Yaiba jeered "Now I Tune the Level 3 Fullhelmknight to the Level 6 Faultroll! Time to tune you out of this duel once and for all! I Synchro Summon! Level 9! XX-Saber Gottoms!" He shouted as his third and final Gottoms appeared.

"Now I tribute Ragigura to activate Souza's effect!" As Ragigura faded into energy Gong was utterly confused by Yaiba's move "You have no idea why I did that, do you, Big Brows? But you're about to find out, Battle! X-Saber Souza attack Big Benkei!"

"But Big Benkei has more defence while Souza's Attack isn't enough to defeat it, why would Yaiba attack with Souza?" Tatsuya questioned.

"We might find out if you keep your voice down." Kichirou sneered, kicking at the ground.

"There's a reason for tributing Ragigura, as it now allow Souza to use one of its other effects! The one I chose is that Souza can destroy any monster it battles at the start of the damage step!" Yaiba explained, shocking the children. "Oh no, if this goes through Gong will have nothing left to defend himself." Futoshi shouted out.

"Say goodbye to Big Benkei, and then say hello to you losing this Duel!" Yaiba said as Souza got closer to Big Benkei.

"Gong activates Soulsheild Wall's other effect! By sending it to the Graveyard, Souza's attack is negated!" Gong said holding up Soulsheild Wall's card then sending it the Graveyard, the monster appearing in the middle and deflecting the blast. "But now Big Benkei loses all his defence, having been equipped with Soulsheild Wall."

Big Benkei's DEF: 3100 – 0

"Told you it was over, now Yaiba will attack with Gottoms, Meteor Rain's effect deals the difference in Gottoms' ATK to Big Benkei's DEF, and Gong will take 3100 Damage." Sora said closing his eyes.

"Now Gottoms number two attack Big Benkei!" Yaiba said, believing his victory was now all but guaranteed. Surely. Nothing could go wrong, the guy had no cards in his hands and thus he couldn't do shit.

"Gong was hoping for this, everything went as Gong wanted it." Gongenzaka said, sending Yaiba's world crashing down around him. "Gong now activates Superheavy Samurai Soulbreaker Armor's effect from the Graveyard!"

"The… the Graveyard!" Yaiba got out as a card was ejected from Gongenzaka's Graveyard slot, "Wait is that the card that I...?" He added, nearly stuttering.

"Correct! This here is the card you sent to the Graveyard, just where Gong need it to be, for Gong to uses its awesome power, when Gong banishes Soulbreaker Armor and there are no Spell or Traps in Gong's Graveyard, you take damage equal to the difference in Big Benkei's original defence and its new defence" Gong said and this was the biggest shock for everyone.

"What...?" Yaiba got out slowly.

"So Big Benkei's original defence is 3500." Tatsuya said

"And now it's 0." Futoshi carried on.

"That's 3500 damage, meaning..." Ayu finished off, now smiling at what Gong's plan would mean she said with then the other two getting the idea of what would happen.

"That means Gong WINS!" The three shouted out.

Sora was in shock, causing him to drop his lollipop which shattered, "But… how?" he said weakly.

"Hmm, crafty." Shiki murmured, it had truly been worth it to come here. It killed two birds with one stone.

"Actually, there is something you need to know about Gong's deck. Spells and Traps actually do more bad then good for him." Yuri said while looking at Gong as a ghostly image of Soulbreaker Armor appeared. "That's why he only uses monsters in his Deck." He finished, with most of the students except for Yuzu and him in shock, same with the LDS Students, with Yaiba actually flinching at hearing that piece of info.

"A whole Deck built with only monsters." Masumi said pressed her hands against the glass annoyed at hearing about Gongenzaka's Deck.

"That's… that's insane!" Hokuto mentioned getting out of the corner, only to be glared back into it by Masumi.

"I see, so that's why you didn't pick up any Action Cards or used any Spells or Traps, there weren't any in there to begin with!" Yaiba said, while red energy was being drained from Big Benkei into Soulbreaker Armor.

"Correct once more! Gong doesn't need no Spells or Trap messing with Gong's Deck, Gong can win without them." Gongenzaka explained his reasoning for the lack of those kinds of cards, while Soulbreaker Armor stopped the flow of red energy and tossed four red balls at Yaiba's direction.

"It was all for nothing though! I activate the Quick Play Spell Saber Reflection! With this card I can send any effect damage that may be sent my way back to the recipient! That means you, not I, will take the damage!" The energy balls were caught on Gottoms' sword and quickly sent back towards a moderately stunned Gongenzaka.

"Quick! Gong do something! You can still win this if you act quickly enough!" Yuri shouted for his friend.

"It's over Big Brows." Yaiba said to him.

"Gong activates the effect of Superheavy Samurai Soulbang Cannon for the Graveyard!" Gong said as another card was ejected from the Graveyard. "Since Gong has no Spell or Traps in Gong's Graveyard, Gong can banish Soulbang Cannon to negate the damage." Gong said as Soulbang Cannon appeared and absorbed the energy.

"Hey! That's the other card I sent to the Graveyard!" Yaiba shouted, indignant.

"He survived... I suppose that's something at least. You lot are weirdos." Kioka said sighing, leaning into her brother, who began to mess with her hair. However, we she looked back over at Yuri, she was surprised by the look of shock on her face "What's wrong?"

"Soulbang Cannon has another effect, one that end badly for both players." He said back.

"And that's not all, as now all the monsters on our fields are destroyed, and we both take damage equal to the total Level of monsters destroyed x 100!" Gongenzaka added as when the absorbing finished, Soulbang Cannon started to sizzle with energy, with this shocking everyone.

"But… but the total Level is 33, so that means..." Yaiba trailed off, doing the maths in his head

"3300 points of damage!" Gongenzaka finished for him as Soulbang then exploded, causing a huge flash, which covered everything in a white flash, with this destroying the monsters as then both Gong and Yaiba were thrown off their feet.

Gong's LP: 100 – 0

Yaiba's LP: 3000 – 0


"It's a draw?" Ayu said slowly as the Action Field de-activated, while Yuri rushed into the room to help Gong, "Gong... Gong… are you okay?" Yuri asked him helping him up.

"I'm sorry Yuri, Gong's Steadfast Duelling wasn't enough to win this time." Gongenzaka apologised,

"True, but you didn't lose either and he didn't win or lose either." Yuri said hoping to cheer his friend up.

"So Yuri won his Duel, Yuzu lost hers, and Gong tied for his." Shuzo said, "Chairwoman Akaba, the bet was that if you won more than 1 out of 3, you would take over our school, but each school has won once and tied for the last, so the school stays as it is!" Shuzo said to her over the mic.

This caused Himika to glare in his direction, "Nonsense, this last Duel was supposed to be a tiebreaker, we can't end it on a tie again." She sneered. Oh if only they knew what the grand plan behind this was, they would be clamouring to be affiliated with them then.

"But we never agreed upon what happened if we tied… you just assumed you would win all of them didn't you?" Shuzo retorted back at her.

"Then how about one last Duel between the winners, that way we can actually get a clear decision over the school's fate!" She said looking at Masumi, who was more than raring to go. The same could be said for Yuri, who was more than ready to show up the other Fusion user.

However, Shuzo wasn't going to allow Himika to dictate the situation anymore "You don't get to decide that, it's their choice!" Shuzo said back at her.

"Now, now, let's not fall out over this matter!" Shiki declared, taking a strangle hold on the conversation from his mere presence alone. He smirked and removed his fedora, placing it over his chest "There's a very simple solution to the matter and he's standing right over there."

"He?" Yuri and the rest of the students parroted as their eyes followed along from where Shiki was pointing.

"Tch, is this your idea of payback, Sogami?" With cold fury and reluctance, Reiji stepped out of his hiding spot and made his presence known to everyone else. Even Himika was surprised by her son's appearance. "What are you proposing now?"

"Payback? No. I'm just utilising my surroundings to make this coming duel as fair as possible." Shiki replied casually, biting on the back of his thumb. "And I'm not proposing anything, you knew very well that you could be duelling if the circumstances were right. I can see how interested you are in little Lily over here." Shiki smiled down at Yuri, not really caring that Yuri was looking at him as if he was his worst enemy.

Reiji sighed, of course Shiki would be the one to ruin this. However, he wouldn't let it deter him in the slightest "Yuri Sakaki!" He declared, pointing towards the Predator Plant duelist "I shall be your opponent in this duel! Win and your school is safe! Lose and you will have no choice but to merge with us and we will have every right to study your Pendulum cards!"

The time was now. If he ran away he would be no better than a coward. Yuri was no coward as he defiantly replied to Reiji "So be it! You could be the best duelist in this city and I'll still be able to show you the meaning of true grace as Starve Venom becomes your maker!"

He would much rather not be doing this, he'd much rather be in his own chamber going through the daily reports from Demil or Daiki, preferably the latter since the former didn't have much of an eye for observation. Demil didn't have much of an eye anyway.

However, this was an important matter that he needed to finish off before anything else could be done. His one sole desire needed absolute focus if he wanted to complete it and he wouldn't stand for anyone trying to prevent him from reaching it. Especially the miscreant that dared to oppose him 'He was the backup all along? You wretched man, you were evil from the very start but your idea will serve all of humanity well in the future.'

Nesta Nanishiro was a man who could tell exactly who someone was from first sight. Well. Except for one person and that was perhaps the greatest mistake of his life.

Regardless, one man doesn't prevent nearly 30 years of intuition being correct. He could instantly tell the character of the two men who came to approach him. They were thugs that had probably noticed his vestments, he no longer had some of his more gaudy outfits but he wasn't going to lower himself to the level of the people who dared to approach him now.

He had still kept that outfit from that particular day as a sort of memento to remember it by, to ward him off from ever taking someone lightly again. That's probably why he was being cornered now, gravity and fate had dealt him a bad hand by making this outfit attracted to trouble. However, if one was to absolve the sin of the whole world then one had to experience it and overcome it to evolve to a new level.

They approached him with yellow smiles and beady eyes, clearly looking to rob him blind regardless of what he did. "Hey, Father, we would like you to do something for us." One of the thugs grappled Nesta's clothes while the other snuck behind him to cut off the escape route. They had probably guessed his profession from the clothing alone, it wasn't like any random asshole just decided to dress up as a priest today. "We were just recently fired from our jobs, sucks I know, but we were wondering something. The church is supposed to help people in need and, well, we're very needy."

"I don't have time for this, what do you want?" Nesta kept an even tone, no matter how much this filthy vermin touched him he would not lose his cool. To show that would be a sign of defeat and he would never be defeated by those below him ever again.

"Well, we were wondering if you would follow through on your teachings and give it the less fortunate. Your clothes here feel very fine and I've seen a priest or two in my day, they've never worn something this gaudy. We don't want much, just something to tie us over." It was disgusting having to listen to this piece of shit talk down to him, his Fatherhood may have been one of the most important things for him to maintain but he had other priorities.

"Apologies, my children, but I don't have anything on me at the minute, although if you were to go to a charity shop or soup kitchen, I'm sure they would treat you right." He couldn't have found a more polite way to say fuck off if he tried.

However, all that met him with was a rather violent blow to his chest. The thug from behind also coming up to get a blow in on his back. "We figured you might say that, which is why we were going to rob you blind in the first place. Nothing personal, it's just business." The thug at the back spoke, placing on a pair of brass knuckles just like his partner "Such a shame we have to hit you, Father, am I going to go to hell for this? Or maybe Heaven! They say they let anyone in who repents their sins! Who knew paradise could be as easy as that?!" They struck again and again, each time their punches landed with enough force to make a lesser man crumble.

Father Nesta Nanishiro, 47 years old, was not a lesser man.

The thug at the front went in for a finishing blow, ready to strike Nesta's chin with an uppercut. However, an invisible force stopped him in his tracks. He knew something was doing this since he could feel an increased weight on his arm as a whole but he couldn't for the life of him see what had done it.

It only got worse from there. The weight grew and grew until his arm crashed into the ground, shattering both of the objects as they collided. A pained look over to his companion found him in a similar situation. "Wh-What the hell is going on here?!" He screamed out as Nesta's foot came within view.

The blue haired priest was already tall enough. However, to the man in the ground he seemed like a giant now as an aura as oppressive as God's own took shape around him. "Hell indeed." Nesta raised his foot and swiftly brought it down on the thug's shattered arm "Many saints also started as sinners, and they are no less holy than the ones who started off as virtuous, are they? Although, Heaven isn't meant for the sinners of this world, that's where Hell comes in. Heaven is for those who walk the true path." He ground his foot further against the thug's arm, breaking even more bones than the thug thought possible "Only those worthy of it enter it."

Growing bored of the torment he was giving out, Nesta pulled his foot back and stood solidly at the epicentre. If anyone came across this scene it would be rather hard to explain just why a priest was surrounded by two men wildly convulsing on the ground for no real reason. One of them cradling his shattered arm and the other unable to even move his head off of the ground. "Before I leave, I have one question."

"If we are judged by our very sins alone, then why did the world end up as it is?"