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Kingdom from the Ashes, Rise.

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Hi everyone. So yeah, I have this story. This is the first time I write a Yu-gi-oh story, and I'm very very new to Arc- V, and I'll happily take any help you guys would like to extend.

I hope you enjoy this guys, and please tell me what you think about it. 

 

**************************

Yuya Sakaki had a strange night...horrible? Yes, it was an absolutely horrible night.

 

First, he met a strange duplicate of himself -Yuto- who came from another dimension that was attacked by something called Academia. Sora ,one of his closest friends, turned out to be one of the people that attacked Yuto’s home, talking and screaming gleefully about how he and Academia destroyed and carded the people there. Just as he was about to reveal anything else, there was a flash of light hand he disappeared.

 

Currently, Yuto and another boy with his and Yuya's face -Yugo, his mind supplied somehow- were both fighting and attacking each other. Their Dragons -- beautiful Clear Wing Synchro Dragon and fearsome Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon had called for one another and both boys had glowing eyes and were talking about destruction.

 

Yuya’s heart hurt upon seeing this, and he clenched his fist over it. This was wrong. This was absolutely wrong!

 

‘These two...they shouldn’t..they shouldn’t be fighting!’ the red eyed boy thought in pain as Clear Wing and Dark Rebellion continued to attack while Yugo and Yutos tared each other down. I...I have to do something about it. This has to stop now!

 

Then, something inside was awakening within him. Yuya could feel it: the pain getting stronger, the sorrow of seeing these two wanting to murder each other, the static energy and power he could feel in the air and all he can think about is that he wants all of this to stop. 

 

‘Stop!’ Yuya screamed in his head. ‘Stop stop stop!’

 

“Enough!” A booming voice roared, and Yuya could feel himself being hugged from behind by arms made of darkness. For a split second, his heart was gripped with fear even more, before feelings of love, happiness and euphoria clouded his senses.

 

It ’s Al righ t n ow my Shooting Star. I ’m here” A voice whispered and Yuya could feel himself smile in relief. He was here. Everything was going to be okay.

 

Father...Father is here. Yuya thought as he closed his eyes and happily let himself fall to the arms of Darkness.   

 

Golden eyes opened to the sight of Clear Wing and Dark Rebellion fighting and he knew who exactly was dueling right this very minute. ”Yuto, Yugo.” The figure thought.

 

Dark whips of power flew from Yuya’s body and a similar Dark aura surrounded him, his green and red spiky hair rose up as power flew from his body. His beloved Dragons sensed this and turned to the crimson-eyed boy, calling in happiness and greeting to their master.

 

Zarc, their master, their king, had returned to the land of the living.

 

“Enough!” Zarc commanded his children, and both Yuto and Yugo froze, eyes still glowing. The anger was gone and replaced by the feeling of peace and love. Both boys suddenly felt weak and tired, so, so tired. They wanted to close their eyes and bask in that feeling of love and security that Zarc was emmiting.  

 

“Come,” he ordered softly, beckoning to his sons. "Come to me, my sons." 

 

Both boys were reluctant, but he has given an order. Zarc's will was their will, they must...they must obey. Always obey him. Yugo and Yuto moved from different sides, eyes still glowing lavender and cyan. They walked closer to the outstretched arms of the man, their eyes heavy, their legs shaking with each step. 

 

“That’s it,” Zarc whispered softly, proudly. “That’s it my beautiful boys, come to me. It’s alright now,” he continued to whisper, his smile setting into a devilish smirk. Both boys finally reached him, and Zarc was filled with pride, glee and happiness. He has returned, and three of his children were in his arms once more. 

 

Yuto’s mind was blank, tired and confused. He was just...wasn’t he fighting someone? To get...to get … but the voice beckoned him closer, urging him and the other boy on, and Yuto only wanted to obey that voice, to be in that embrace, his embrace. It was on the tip of Yuto’s tongue who...who was...? 

 

“Father.” He heard the other boy... Yugo...his name is Yugo. That’s right! He was fighting Yugo...why...why was he fighting Yugo? He couldn’t for the life of him remember anything except Father’s command. But it can’t be, this couldn’t be his father...Yuto lost his family in the war. Looking at the person in front of him it looked like Yuya...his...their beloved Yuya...but those eyes, those magnificent shining golden eyes. Father! It was Father! A deep primal voice inside Yuto assured him, yes, it was Father! 

 

“Father,” Yuto whispered in wonder, hugging the man tightly, tears falling down his glowing eyes. Tears that haven’t fallen for so, so long. 

 

“My sweet Specter, my beautiful Treasure,” Zarc whispered softly, caressing their faces gently, power radiating from Yuya’s body. Father’s powers. His father was caressing his and Yugo’s cheeks softly, lovingly, and both boys shivered at the touch.

 

Part of Yugo, the part that had lived all this new life wanted to stop and process what was happening right now, but the bigger part of Yuto, the wounded boy, the sorrowful son couldn’t care less, because he was back, back in father’s loving arms again, and he couldn’t be more grateful. 

 

“Oh my sweet loves, it’s alright, Father’s here, Father will make everything alright again.” Zarc cooed.

 

“Father, Father is here,” Yugo repeated leaning into their Father’s gentle touch happily, eyes closed in bliss. 

 

“Father will make everything alright again,” said Yuto, mirroring his brother. 

 

“That’s right, my sweet ones,” Zarc whispered and kissed Yuto and Yugo’s foreheads lovingly. Yugo, body shaking, buried his face and Father’s shoulder, and Yuto did the same, both wrapping their arms around their father’s waist, nuzzling him.

 

Zarc rested his chin on their heads, holding two of his boys in his arms. 

 

******************

 

Zarc had dried the tears of both of his children, and took them away. He could feel someone approaching them and he had wanted to talk to his children with no interruption. The two boys who were once fighting now clung to his arms as they walked. They found a bench in another part of the park they were in, and the three of them rested there. Using his magic, Zarc blew up the cameras around them, still feeling that something was not right.

 

“The two of you were fighting because of a misunderstanding?” Zarc asked as both boys relayed their stories to him. Both of them looked away sheepishly.  

 

“Hold on, if you didn’t take Rin,” said Yugo, pointing at Yuto.

 

“And you didn’t take Ruri," Yuto added. "Then who di-” 

 

“Yuri!” The brothers said coming to the same conclusion. Yugo smacked his head letting out a tired groan while Yuto crossed his arms and let out a tired sigh. 

 

“Yuri? My darling Lily?” Zarc was somewhat confused about Yuri kidnapping these random girls, but they weren’t were they? These girls meant a lot to his children so there should be something special about them. “Both of you boys crossed dimensions for these girls. Are they that special?” he said. 

 

“She is,” said Yugo. “Rin is…” his eyes widened as another memory came to the surface. His eyes widened in horror, and he gripped his head. A pained look crossed his face. 

 

“Yugo?” Zarc asked concerned, both father and son reached for the blue haired boy concerned frown on both their faces. 

 

“Ray,” Yugo whispered in horror. Zarc’s eyes widened in worry and confusion, Yuto, on the other hand, gained the same look of devastation as he too remembered.

 

“What?” asked Zarc.

 

“Rin...she...she looks like Ray Akaba, Father,” Yuto explained, tears beginning to fall down again.

 

“So does Ruri,” Yuto whispered, looking at the ground, his hands clenching.

 

“But...but she’s not,” said Yugo through tears begging his father, and holding his hand. “She’s not Ray, Father, please, you have to...you have to believe me. She’s not! Rin...Rin was all I had in this life. She can’t be Ray, it couldn’t...it couldn’t have been a lie!” On Zarc’s other side Yuto was shaking...And that’s when it all clicked for Zarc. The reason Leo Akaba had ordered all these things, the attack on the Xyz dimension, why Yuri was ordered to take these girls...

 

But are they truly not Ray Akaba like his children are asking him to believe? 

 

“Humm?” Zarc hummed in question as Yuya shared his memories of this life with him, of the girl who looks like Ray in this dimension...Yuzu Hiragi. And he could see it in her pink hair and blue eyes that, yes, she looked exactly like Ray. But...

 

“My Loves, hush now,” Zarc whispered and gathered both of them into his arms, kissing the top of their heads, before linking their foreheads together. The boys instinctively closed their eyes, and opened their minds to their father. “Show me your memories, remember these girls, let me look through your eyes, let me judge,” he whispered and both boys complied easily, remembering every memory of Ruri and Rin.

 

Yugo knew. He knew that Ray should be punished after what she did to Father and them. Destroying and scattering Father, scattering he and his brothers away. But...Rin, his best and only friend, the one girl, one person he could depend on and trust with all his heart...the girl he would cross entire dimensions for. His Rin was not Ray Akaba! 

 

And that’s why it was a great indescribable relief when Father asked to look at their memories, Father could see, could believe for himself. There was hope, there was! Because if Father saw it, then Rin...he could get Rin back. 

 

...Zarc smirked as he shifted between the memories of his beloved sons, at a plan forming in his mind. He licked his lips in satisfaction. He would be planning something that not only would make Leo Akaba regret all that he has done, but one that also would remove any and all hope that the man would have, and would as well make sure Ray can never return. 

 

Zarc wiped the tears from his children’s faces, and gave each of them a kiss on the forehead. “Hush now,” he whispered again, rubbing their backs lovingly. 

 

“Fatherm do you…?” Yuto tried to ask, but he was cut off as Father caressed his face gently.

 

“You are right my loves, all three of you,” Zarc said with a gentle smile. He kissed Yugo’s head again and leaned on the bench both his children in his arms.  “And I know just what to do, to return these girls to the both of you,” he said with a smile. 

 

“Re-really?!” Yugo exclaimed happily. 

 

Zarc nodded. “But I am going to need your help, my darlings, if we wanted your girls to be safe,” he said in a sweet voice, full of cunning. 

 

“Anything!” Yugo was quick to reply.

 

“Whatever you need from us, Father.” Yuto nodded in agreement.

 

Zarc smirked. If everything worked out as planned...“Tomorrow, my precious ones,” he said. “Now the two of you rest, and reunite with your brother.”

 

“Yuya,” Yuto whispered burying his head in his father’s chest. Yugo did the same. 

 

“And the both of you, stay away from Yuzu Hiragi,” Zarc continued. “That bracelet that she has caries powers that even I am not impervious to, so we must be careful.”

 

“Yes Father,” said Yuto his head downcast in acceptance of his orders. 

 

“Yuzu?” Yugo asked. 

 

Zarc attached their foreheads together giving Yugo a picture of Yuzu Hiragi -- a girl with pink hair held up in pigtails by blue-silver baubles and bright blue eyes. “You must be careful, my darlings.” 

 

“Of course Father,” said Yuto, Yugo nodded in agreement. Zarc smiled lovingly and proudly at his sons. “Give my Shooting Star a kiss from me,” he said softly before giving Yuto and Yugo a kiss on their foreheads of their own. The Dragon King then closed his eyes.... 

 

Yuya Sakaki’s eyes opened, soft crimson red. He blinked a few times, opening his lips to say something, his two older brothers each wrapped their arms around him and nuzzled him, prepping his face with loving and adoring kisses. The red eyes boy mewled happily, hugging both boys closer and nuzzling to them. He had missed this so much, even if he hadn’t remembered, his heart had missed his family dearly. But they can’t be together yet...not fully. He hugged his brothers closer memories of all four of them and father slowly returning. ‘ Yuri will you come back? We still need you, and Father.”

 

It’s alright my little Shooting Star,” Yuya exhaled in surprise once he heard Zarc...Father’s voice whisper in his mind. “ We will reunite.

 

“Reunite,” Yuya whispered dreamily, eyes half misted.

 

“Reunite,” Yuto repeated. 

 

“Reunite,” Yugo whispered happily.

 

Reunite.”

 

“We need to rest for the night,” Yuya said. “Let’s go home.”

 

“We don’t have..” Yuto began to say and Yugo looked away.

 

“It’s alright,” he said standing up and putting his hands on his hips with the biggest loving smile on his lips. “I’m not letting my brothers have nowhere to sleep. Follow me.”

 

“Wait, Yuya,” Yugo wanted to protest. But Yuya smiled.

 

“No buts. You two are coming home with me now,” he said and extended his arms, inviting both boys for another hug. The two older brothers exchanged a look, both a little weary, but it was what Yuya wanted...and what Yuya wanted, his brothers were all too happy to give to him. They both smiled at each other and stood, walking to Yuya and hugging him again, nuzzling their cheeks together. 

 

***********

 

They sneaked around the trees making sure they don’t run into Yuzu as they went back to where they had been before. Yugo refused to leave his D-Wheel, and it’s not like his brothers blamed him, though the three of them had to squeeze together to fit on it with Yuya in the middle, sitting and holding on tight to Yugo trying to point the way to his home, and while Yuto sat on the very back.

 

They swiftly reached the Sakaki residence and, after some difficulty. Yuya hid the D-wheel in the garage and snuck Yugo and Yuto into his room. His bed was too small for all three of them and Yuya pouted, slightly thinking on what to do. A huge grin spread across Yuya’s face as he got an idea. He snapped his fingers and started looking around, gathering several things.

 

“Yuya really,” said Yuto, seeing Yuya go to a cabinet and pull out fresh bedsheets and pillows from the bottom shelf.

 

“We can sleep on the floor, no big deal,” Yugo agreed.

 

“Nope!” Yuya said cheerfully, “I’m not having my brothers just sleeping on the floor,” He gathered more pillows and blankets before spreading them around and finally making a big nest for the three of them to lay in. He looked at both his brothers as he sat in the middle of the nest, smiled up at them. When they didn't respond, he just tilted his head cutely, eyes closed. 

 

Neither Yugo nor Yuto could protest or remotely resist that look. Nor could they protest wearing the pajamas Yuya had given them, having tossed their clothes onto a pile at the corner. “I’m gonna need to explain a lot of things to mom tomorrow, but we’ve been through a lot tonight...awakening...remembering.” Yuya sighed. His brothers nodded, both now exhausted too.  

 

The green and red haired boy laid down in their nest. Yugo and Yuto quickly joined him, nuzzling him, all getting comfortable, they started purring happily, and slowly but surely the three of them fell asleep in each other’s arms.

 

A shadow hovered above all three of them, its golden eyes watched with love and pride as his sons slept. His sweet boys. He shall watch over them. And this time, he will make sure he and his little princes never fall again.

 

Chapter Text

So let’s make  one thing explicitly clear. Dragons are possessive . It is simply their nature.

 

They hoard their gold, gems and any other possessions that weren't shiny but just as valuable in caves high in the mountains, and would kill any and all who would dare touch them, or be foolish enough to want to take their treasures. And for Supreme Dragon King Zarc, nothing is more precious or most loved of his treasures than his four sons. 

 

Which is why this day has been both infuriating... and eye opening for Zarc.

 

It had started when Yuya’s ... mother - the thought left the taste of ashes on Zarc’s tongue - entered the room. Invisible to all, Zarc’s eyes snapped to the woman who had entered, calling Yuya’s name.

 

 Yoko Sakaki froze in place as she looked down at the nest and the three boys sleeping inside, limbs tangled together, with Yuya in the middle lying on his side and unconsciously nuzzling to Yuto’s neck, while Yugo did the same to Yuya...

 

The Dragon King glared at the woman and her reaction to see if he needed to protect his children. She was human after all, and to him they’re all dangerous. Especially when one of his own was vulnerable; his time between them long ago did not change that.

 

And as much as Zarc's plans hinged on no one discovering his existence, and the added trouble of his powers being limited at the moment, almost destroyed because of Ray Akab, it did not mean that he would not risk using them if it would protect his sons.

 

But what he saw surprised him. 

 

Zarc could see the wheel inside the woman's head running and thinking as she stared in wonder -as well as an emotion Zarc refused to believe was in this woman's eyes-. They softened. And Zarc was shocked by that, but quickly regained his composure and readiness to attack. 

 

The woman looked around the room and her eyes fell on the clothes Yugo and Yuto had been wearing. She walked towards them and then tucked them under her arm before giving his boys another look with a sweet smile on her face. She then left the room, closing the door behind her. 

 

Zarc frowned and hovered over his children again, hands of Darkness and Shadows caressing his sons’ cheeks softly. Yuya shivered and pressed his face to Yuto while hugging Yugo closer. 

 

An hour or so later his sons started to wake up. The first was Yuto, who appeared to be a little confused at first. The little Phantom stiffened there, frozen. He didn't even appear to be breathing at first before he heard a soft sigh from Yuya, who had a sweet smile on his face. The sight made Yuto relax, and he smiled happily looking at his brothers. Who were still entangled with him. Yuto looked down and couldn't help but run his hand through Yuya's hair, his shooting star in return gave a happy sigh, leaning to the touch. A loving smile graced the little specter's lips as his brothers slept on. 

 

Yuya nuzzled to his brother's hand, and his eyes fluttered open. Looking around, he found Yuto. The red and green haired boy purred happily...which woke Yugo up, who sat up as if from a nightmare, not sure what was going on. Noticing his brothers also in the nest, Yugo smiled and hugged Yuya tighter, before giving him a kiss on the cheek, then wrapping his arms around Yuto. 

 

Knowing that they were already awake, the boys reluctantly untangled themselves from each other and and stood up to get out of their cozy nest. Yuto was the first to stand up and looked around, blinking a few times.

 

“Yuya,” his Phantom called. 

 

“Hmm?” Yuya asked as he walked to his closet to get his clothes. 

 

“I can’t find my clothes,” Yuto said, seeing his tattered coat, olive blouse and charcoal tie gone.

 

“Haa!” Yugo yelled. “And I can’t find my suit either!” he said in distress as he kept looking around. Under pillows, under the bedsheets and even under the bed...but it wasn’t there at all!

 

Yuya blinked in confusion before he realized something. “Oh, my mom must’ve taken them to wash them or something...wait a minute, Mom!” He yelled, realizing she came in and saw everything. 

 

This was bad. This was bad. This. was. BAD!!!!

 

“Ok, just um, just borrow some of my clothes and let me try to..um explain what’s going on,” Yuya said as he finished changing, Yugo and Yuto looked at each other with worry before they followed Yuya while still in their (Yuya's) pajamas. 

 

Minutes later, once everyone was out, Yuya instructed his brothers to slide down the fireman's pole -- why would the house even have one in the first place? -- to make it easier to get to the kitchen. Both of his brothers agreed that it was faster than trampling down a set of stairs.

 

“Mom,” Yuya said, a little sheepish and panicked as he entered the kitchen. His mom, Yoko Sakaki, was preparing her famous pancake batter, her back to him. By her side were the family pets -- En the Corgi, Core the white fluffy cat with dichromatic eyes, Kilo the Bulldog and Watt the poodle along with the two cats Yoko didn’t name yet -- all eating their breakfast with glee.  “Um...good morning.”

 

“Oh Yuya,” she said, looking at him from over her shoulder with a smile...which was when Yugo and Yuto reach him, almost running in with a small amount of panic. 

 

Uh oh... Yuto and Yugo thought, seeing the look of astonishment on the woman’s face. Especially when said woman set the bowl of pancake batter and turned around.

 

“So Yuya, when were you going to tell me...” Yoko began, standing in front of them, her hands on her hips and with a playful smile on her face. 

 

“Te-tell you? Tell you what?” Yuya asked a little sheepish. 

 

Yoko chuckled. “Tell me that I got two new sons, of course.”

 

Yuto’s and Yugo’s eyes widened in shock and confusion, along with a small feeling of wonder...Zarc, on the other hand, was livid .

 

Now you have to understand this, Zarc is not usually an idiot, nor would he have risked his children’s safety, however as established before...

 

 Dragons

 

 Are

 

 possessive. 

 

And Zarc had just reunited with three of his sons after all these years, so who was this woman to come in and claim Zarc’s sons as hers ?! 

 

Suddenly a lightbulb above their heads exploded. Yoko didn't flinch, but her sons realized what this meant.

 

Father, NO!!! ,’ all three of them thought.  

 

Stormy winds and whips of Darkness flew around the kitchen. Yoko’s eyes widened as the dark winds started breaking cups and dishes, causing the pets to flee and yelp in terror. The four humans yelled in fear as Zarc’s wrath was unleashed more and more, and it probably would not have stopped if it weren’t for what happened next. 

 

Yoko had instinctively wrapped her arms around the boys, hugging them to her to try and protect them from whatever was going on. As more and more cups and plates exploded like bombs. the boys, like the cats and dogs hiding underneath the dining table, whimpered in Yoko’s arms, all three clinging to her and each other, and Yoko not letting go of them. 

 

Stopstopstopstopstopstopstopstopstop…. Yuto pleaded, memories of Academia across Heartland rampaging in his mind, of soldiers with Ancient Gear monsters destroying everything, the screams of people fleeing in terror before they were transformed into cards. Each of these memories flashing with each and every cup or plate that broke. STOP!!!!!! 

 

It was hard to breathe, hard to think, he just wanted to hide. His tears fell down his cheeks as he clutched more to Yoko and his brothers. No more, no more. he sobbed. Don’t make me remember, Father…

 

Zarc froze, seeing the fear in his children’s faces and sensing their panic in his soul, hearing Yuto beg like that; so scared and panicking and afraid. Memories flashed behind Zarc’s eyes, seeing what Yuto had went through, his poor precious boy. The one who was so afraid of thunder and lightning when it crashed until Zarc helped conquer his fear by sleeping during a thunderstorm one night. Now Yuto loved rain and thunder, stomping in giant puddles and riding Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon whenever the clouds got dark and stormy.

Zarc’s heart shattered; Yuto did not deserve to go through these traumatic moments. And definitely not by his hand. He was his father , it was always Zarc’s job to protect his children from anything that could harm them, or cause them distress, not cause it himself.

 

And upon seeing Yoko’s determination to keep them safe, the dark winds died down. Oh the Supreme Dragon King was still angry, still possessive. But he was apologetic for what he’d almost caused his precious boys. His powers softly touched his children caressing their cheeks or their hair softly apologizing to them, phantom lips kissing them softly. He had to be more careful with himself, at the very least until he regained himself fully, then his children would be back to being his and his alone. 

 

I’m so sorry, my sons. Zarc said. I didn’t mean to terrify you…

 

“Father...”  The three of them cried softly to him, shivering. Zarc wished he could take them all in his arms again and hug them, comfort them.  

 

“Are you boys okay?” Yoko asked worried, seeing the tears on her shirt. She began looking all of them over, patting them, making sure they weren’t hurt. The three of them nodded.

 

“We’re okay, mom. Are...are you alright?” Yuya asked timidly. 

 

Yoko, satisfied that they weren't harmed, looked around her kitchen and sighed with her hands on her hips. 

 

“Mom?” Yuya asked again, worried. 

 

Yoko turned towards him with a proud grin. “Of course I’m fine, Yuya. I’m Yoko Sakaki, and demonic wind isn’t enough to knock me down." She looked around the kitchen again, at the broken plates and glasses shattered on the floor and counter as if this was nothing more than confetti. En, Core, Kilo and Watt and the two cats that Yoko hadn’t named yet, poked their heads out in curiosity, waiting to see if anything else could fall on their heads, before they approached Yoko with happy barks and meows. "Although, that is suspicious that all of this happened after I asked if you were all right..." She gave an annoyed sigh. “It’s fine, whatever this is, I’ll deal with it.” 

Unknown to her, the three boys were feeling guilty for causing this. Yuya silently brought the mop and started to help his mom clean, the other two not far behind with the dustpan and rubber gloves. Zarc stayed quiet just watching as the four silently cleaned up as if nothing happened. Zarc hated this, his lack of control, his missing of his physical body and the thought of his children’s love going to someone other than him, it was all so infuriating.  

At that thought, he saw his boys flinch again, breaking his heart. They feared him, Yuto especially. The memories of this life dominating more than the memories of their true life, back in their castle.

Shh, I’m sorry my Loves, I’m sorry, Papa’s not mad at you, Papa will never hurt you, remember? It’s alright. He whispered caressing their hair, and whispering softly to them, sending them emotions of regret and love.  

All three boys relaxed, knowing their father would never do such a thing again. Zarc’s phantom lips prepped more kisses on Yuto in more and more apology. He’ll fix things, he promised he would. 

****************

“So boys,” said Yoko, as the four finally began to eat breakfast. Yugo and Yuto were looking at the amazing looking food with amazement and longing. They both swallowed and licked their lips, and Yoko didn’t fail to notice that. “Would any of you like to tell me why all three of you look like each other and why this is the first time I’ve heard of you? Because from what I saw upstairs an hour ago tells a different story than three strangers who had just met.”
 

Yuto and Yugo suddenly felt like the pancakes, strips of bacon and scrambled eggs would taste like ashes in their mouth. Yuya, taking a sip of orange juice, spat it out in shock.

 

“Oh well, it’s uh, it’s...complicated,” Yuya tried to explain, setting the glass on the table and hoping Father didn’t decide to cause it to explode.

 

“And where are these two’s parents?" asked Yoko, still keeping her eye on Yuto and Yugo. One boy with the same face as her son would have screamed "doppelganger" which in itself was a cause to believe some supernatural shit was about to go down; after all, in horror movies and shows doppelgangers were a sign of the mystic and weird. Two boys with the same face meant something even bigger that that was at work. "Aside from you all sleeping like newborn kittens on the floor, the clothes that were scattered on the floor leads me to believe the two of them sleeping here last night was not planned.” 

 

“No, it kinda... wasn’t,” Yuya admitted rubbing the back of his head, not sure where to begin.

 

 Zarc stayed silent, but was giving his boys gentle touches, caressing Yuya’s cheek, running his hand over Yugo’s shoulder and arm, or petting Yuto’s hair. He finally settled with wrapping invisible arms around Yuto who seemed to be very tense, which did help the boy relaxed in his father’s arms. Zarc ran two fingers down Yuto’s cheek, invisible to all, and the boy fought the shiver going down his spine to not alert Yoko of anything.

 

But Yoko wasn't an ignorant woman; she had a keen eye for stuff like this and she could tell by how her son paused that something was amiss. 

 

“Yuto and Yugo are… umm,” Yuya began, but he wasn’t sure how to explain it to his mother or what he should omit.

 

“It ...might sound ridiculous but, Yugo and I hail from..other dimensions,” Yuto answered finally. Yoko’s eyebrow rose, but she didn’t comment or laugh. She simply looked at all three boys with a calm calculating look. Seeing as she wasn't laughing or screaming at this revelation, Yuto continued. “There are four dimensions and each one is based on the summoning methods. Xyz which where I came from, Synchro, which is where Yugo is from, Fusion...and finally you and Yuya are Standard, which is this dimension that somehow has all the summoning methods.” 

 

"So that means the three you mentioned, Tribute, Ritual and Yuya's new form of Pendulum Summoning," Yoko clarified.

 

Yuto started to shake, taking a few breaths to calm himself down. Yoko was a stranger, not only that, as parts of his past memory came back to him, some of the distrust that he used to have against humanity clashed with the thoughts that he had now. Furthermore, Yoko was nice, and has let them sleep here when she discovered them, washed their clothes, cooked breakfast for them all, and even tried to protect them when Father had unleashed some of his power in a burst of anger. 

 

Zarc’s hands were on Yuto’s shoulders, Yugo took one hand and Yuya the other and they squeezed them reassuringly, giving him an encouraging smile. Yuto exhaled as he continued his story, head bent down like a sleeping bird.

 

“One day, my home of Heartland was invaded by Fusion soldiers. They fought us and turned people into cards, not just duelists, but families, children. Our beautiful home turned into a wasteland because of them. And more than that, my best friend’s sister Ruri was kidnapped. So a few of us found a way to travel dimensions and arrive here, to either find enemies and beat them or find allies to help us,” Yuto looked up at Yoko with sad eyes. “You...you must think I’m lying.” 

 

Yoko looked at how Yuto was close to crying. Her heart broke at that; it reminded her too much of the days when Yuya would cry after people mocked him for Yusho's disappearance, to the point that his goggles were filled with tears. She never ever wanted to see that look again.

 

Yoko gave him a sad smile, eyes soft and wet like a flower kissed with morning dew. She shook her head, rose from her seat and before they know it, Yuto was in her arms, being hugged, all while Yoko carded her hand through his hair. “I believe you,” she answered. “No one can replicate that sad look in your eyes, Yuto,” she said and released him giving him a reassuring smile. 

 

It had taken all of Zarc’s willpower not to send the woman away flying, and he didn’t know how to react when a teary eyed Yuto hugged Yoko and sobbed into her shoulder, the woman running her hand softly through his black and lavender hair. 

 

Yoko sighed and closed her eyes. “You shouldn’t have gone through that, no one should,” Yuto was looking away, eyes on the ground as his mind kept going back to Heartland -- how a beautiful day out with his friends turned into the worst day of his life. Zarc cupped the back of his neck, sending him feelings of love and safety and Yoko ruffled his hair gently. The combination of Father and...mother giving him affection made Yuto smile in response as he mentally thanked Father for giving him comfort.

 

Yoko smiled back at him softly before turning to the other boy with blue hair. “What about you, Yugo?” she asked, and Yugo was startled. A bit of pancake dropped out of his mouth in alarm. 

 

“Huh?” he asked. 

 

“What’s your story, sweetheart?” Yoko clarified.  

 

“Oh,” Yugo said, licking his lips. His hands were rubbing together nervously as he started telling his story. “I’m from what Yuto called Synchro. We live in the City where it’s divided into two parts, the 1% who have everything called Tops, and the rest of us, Commoners, looked down upon like trash.”

 

At that Yoko glared at the thought; she knew that feeling so well.

 

Yugo continued. “I’ve lived in an orphanage my entire life, and I’ve only had one best friend, Rin. She is...was my everything. We only had each other since we were kids, we took care of each other, and we shared everything, when we were happy when we were sad, when we were lost, we always had each other. Then one day Rin had the feeling that someone was following her, and as much as I could I protected her and stayed by her side but...one night, she was alone and ...she was taken from me. I kept looking everywhere for her and after a lot of searching ended up here...” Zarc caressed Yugo’s face gently, wishing to wipe away his tears.

 

“...I see,” Yoko said, giving Yugo also a hug, and patting his hair. “Then, I guess there's only one thing left to do,” she said.

 

“A~nd what’s that?” Yuya asked, Yuto and Yugo waiting anxiously. 

 

“We’ll it’s obvious these two boys are staying here,” Yoko answered and at that Yuto and Yugo’s eyes widened and Zarc can see the protest that was climbing his children’s tongues while Yuya looked ecstatic and relieved. Yoko continued with a warm smile. “And since both of them seem to have only had the clothes on their backs, I’m taking you boys on a shopping trip after we finish up.”

 

“Wait what ?” Yuto asked still, bewildered and not being able to keep up with Yoko’s decision.

 

“I do need new plates and cups after all.” Yoko chuckled, glad that she kept plastic plates in case of emergency.

 

Yugo’s jaw was hanging open at the nonchalance of her statement of not only them staying in the house but to also get new clothes, and it fell on Yuto to protest. But all the boy could do was stammer with red cheeks that she didn’t have to, and that it was all too much. 

Yoko chuckled and waved Yuto off, she had made up her mind after all. “Now you boys finish eating. You seem more or less Yuya’s size so for today you can borrow some of his clothes until I buy you something new to wear.”

The two of them were still in Yuya’s pajamas, which they just remembered as they looked down at themselves in them. Both of the boys blushed and Yuya giggled happily, Yoko giving them a huge smile, and Zarc narrowed his eyes. He was satisfied that his little princes would get the attention and care that they deserve and at the moment he couldn’t provide, and simply for that, he found himself not at all angry at Yoko. After all, his little ones deserve nothing less than all of the dimensions bowing to their feet at their whims, and having a human who would happily provide to his sons? He could not get angry, perhaps this human had her uses. These are his sons, after all and no one would take them from him.

As this revelation, Zarc's claws moved lovingly and possessive through Yuya’s hair. Yoko Sakaki will live...

For now.

 

***************

 

They boys changed into some of Yuya’s clothes, and Yoko got her car out of the garage. She looked quite interested in Yugo’s D-wheel, running her hand lovingly on it. Yugo seemed satisfied by her reaction, since the D-wheel was his pride and joy. She made Yugo promise that he would talk to her more about it -- and it didn’t exactly take much convincing that Yugo was far too excited to do it -- but shopping came first. 

 

Yuto looked a bit awkward as the four -five- of them walked through the supermarket. While his face conveyed nothing, his eyes kept darting around and his body language made him look like he wanted to curl up on himself and not be there. Yuya, of course, wanting Yuto to be happy, and so took his hand into his own, squeezing it like one squeezed a pillow. The lavender haired boy blinked in surprise, before turning to Yuya who had an infectious smile at him, which Yuto couldn’t help but return. Forgetting that they were in public or not caring, Yuto nuzzled to his beloved brother happily, and Yuto relaxed with Yuya staying by his side. 

(Yoko noticed this sign of affection through one of the plates she was inspecting, but said nothing)

Yugo, on the other hand, could not contain his excitement. He was looking around like a rabbit in search of a predator who could swallow him in a single gulp, walking away to stare at things through the shop windows, eyes wide and shining with wonder and a smile so huge that it took up half of his face. No one at that moment could crash his mood, nor did they want to. Yuto and Yuya looked happily and adoringly at Yugo as he looked at the clothes, the books, the electronics, the brand new Duel Monster cards! The boy would leave for a few seconds to look at something before he could go back to the others, but  would still fidget and try to look everywhere at once before leaving again, gushing over something brand new and wondering how much it costs or hoping that he could buy it for himself or Rin. Yuko chuckled, also finding Yugo's antics to be adorable. 

A particular shop caught Zarc’s eyes. Telling his sons what they needed from them to buy. Yugo and Yuto nodded, and simply asked Yoko to do it claiming they were gifts, which to be fair they were. Each of the two boys chose a silver bracelet, one with a green jewel for Yugo, the other with a beautiful purple color for Yuto. Neither understood what they were actually for, but Zarc assured them he'd tell them everything soon enough.

(Again, Yoko made an observation why they would want bracelets instead of a pair of matching pendulums like Yuya. But again, she said nothing)

It was a few hours later after shopping for new clothes, plates, cups and groceries for tonight's dinner that they returned home. Yoko ushered them to Yuya’s room while she made lunch. After some protesting from the boys wanting to help with something, she just told them to go already, and that she’ll be fine. The three reluctantly listened to her, carrying the new clothes bought for Yuto and Yugo and shoving them into Yuya’s closet to sort through later.

 

Yuya, now with more time, modified their nest with more soft cloths pillows and extra blankets while Yugo and Yuto sat on the bed looking at Yuya adding some plushies to cuddle. When he was done, the two of them jumped at Yuya, all of them falling on the pillows of the nest, giggling in delight. The boys nuzzled each other and probed kisses all over each other’s faces before cuddling for a while. For Yuto and Yugo, this has been a very peaceful and happy day, one which they didn’t get ever since the war or losing Ruri and Rin to Yuri. The three were purring happily hugging each other and cuddling, still placing kisses on each other as a sign of comfort. Zarc watched his sons with a soft smile, sending his own happy and peaceful emotions at seeing them so close, making the boys relax even more, and drowning further in their happiness they almost fell asleep, but not quite. 

They began talking about their lives growing up in the different dimensions, Yuya’s head lying on Yuto’s chest, while Yugo attaching himself to Yuya’s back. As Yuya talked away about things, mumbling about his Pendulum cards and his first duel with them, Yuto kissing the top of his head, Yugo nuzzling his back when he recalled how his Pendulum monsters attracted potential students but they only cared about the monsters and not Yusho's philosophy about dueling. In return, Yuto and Yugo began talking about their own summoning methods too. Slowly teaching Yuya and each other the ins and outs of how these methods work. The three pulled out their decks, looking at each other’s cards. Upon showing their respective dragons to one another, they could hear the dragon trio roar in excitement of reuniting once more.

Zarc was at peace in that moment, three of his children and three of his dragons reunited, and almost, almost back into his arms. He radiated with a peaceful happy aura and feelings into the bond, affecting the boys, and making them relax more and more, minds going back, back into Father’s embrace, drowning in happy and sweet memories of the past, before all the tragedy, the war, Ray, and the cards she used to destroy them. His boys gave a sigh as love and happiness drowned their minds.

Sometime later Yoko called the boys down and they reluctantly left the nest. They went down, the three looking ready to fall asleep, their faces holding a smile, their eyes glazed over, their faces the picture of tranquility. The pets whimpered in fear and scampered off.

And that's when Yoko noticed something was off.

If there was one thing she learned from binge-watching horror films or shows or staying up at night reading a chapter of a horror novel borrowed from the library when was that children looking so serene without any explanation at all could only mean they were being influenced by some dark and mysterious force. And that dark force already made itself known by how it destroyed her plates and cups...after she showed concern for Yuya and his “doppelgangers”.

So this dark force was very possessive of these boys...as if it saw those boys as its own children.

But that was impossible...that...that can't possibly be happening to her! These situations only happen to oblivious ignorant female protagonists in horror books, films and tv shows. Not in real life...

...

...

... 

Whatever this force was, it was affecting her sons and she had no idea how to fight back.

 

Zarc saw the suspicious look Yoko had on her face as she looked into his children’s glazed over eyes and happy smiles. She wasn’t afraid. No, she was surprised, suspicious, angry and in slight denial of the situation in front of her.

 

She snapped her fingers in front of Yuya’s face, who didn’t react, did not even blink. When she repeated this to Yuto and Yugo, she got the same response. Standing still like soldiers and eyes off in some distant dream.  Okay, now this was starting to become frightening .

 

“Yuya?” she asked, hands on her son’s shoulders. “Yuya, are you okay? What’s going on?!”

 

En tilted his head and approached the boy, but suddenly started snarling and barking loudly. Yet Yuya still didn’t react, only having a soft smile on his face  

 

Ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod!!!! Yoko thought, looking around for something that she could use to wake them up. Finding the pitcher of water on the table, she grabbed it and dumped its contents all over these boys. Water was well-known to wake people up from trances, after all…

 

But still the boys were in their trance, despite being soaking wet.

 

“Yuya? Yuya, sweetheart can you hear me?! Yuto? Yugo?!” Yoko screamed, shaking her son and slapping him with all her might before repeating the process with Yuto and Yugo. “Wake up! Wake up!!!” 

 

Zarc had had enough for now. So he snapped his fingers, and the three boys flinched, waking up from the trance they were in.

 

“Uh wah...what?” he asked groaning and rubbing his eyes. “Why am I ...all wet?” he asked as he was soaking. “And why do my cheeks feel sore?”

 

Yugo and Yuto blinked in surprise looking at their brother not sure of what exactly had just happened. And then they also noticed that they were wet and had sore cheeks too.

 

Yoko gave a sigh. She had to think about this rationally and not jump into any conclusions, or scare her boys as she thought about her observations.  

 

First was the coincidence of Yuto and Yugo, both hailing from different dimensions, having the same face as Yuya.

 

Second was the dark and scary winds that came after she approached them. Specifically after calling them her sons . The way the boys acted when the darkness attacked could only mean that this dark force was... abusive towards them.

 

Third was the trance-like states that she couldn’t wake them out of and En barking madly at them when he was always happy to be picked up by Yuya.

 

All of this just added up to some supernatural stuff going down. Just what type of supernatural stuff, she wasn’t sure even when you added how close Yuto and Yuya acted at the supermarket or why Yuto and Yugo both wanted silver bracelets.

 

Maybe she was just being paranoid, but perhaps she should investigate the gems that they asked for (peridot for Yugo, amethyst for Yuto) tonight. But for now, she didn’t want the Darkness (If it was truly there, and Yoko just became convinced even more and more that it was; after all it never ends well for the skeptic in any media) and she didn’t need to alarm it, or her sons. But they needed to know that they were at least safe with her, if the Darkness ever tried harming them again. 

 

For example, something she needs to think about is, if she wasn’t the one to wake them up from the trance what did, and why? Why were they in a trance to begin with?  

 

...The darkness.

 

The darkness was the one who put them in a trance and woke them up. Perhaps as a show of dominance in that the darkness was the one who could truly have these boys and not her? 

 

Oh. Oh it was on .

 

“Nothing special, boys,” she said softly smiling tentatively at them before ruffling their hair. “Let’s just have lunch now, okay? And then, maybe I can see you all duel 

 

“Duel? Oh no, the tournament!” Yuya gasped. “Yuzu is going to freak when she finds out I wasn’t there today.”

 

“I’m sure she’ll be fine without you today,” Yoko replied. “Oh, I haven’t heard anything about Sora the entire morning. I wonder if he’s doing okay? Wouldn’t it be such a surprise if he saw your two brothers. I know how he’s always calling you his ‘sempai’, Yuya. You think he’d be calling Yuto and Yugo ‘sempai’ also if he asked to teach them Xyz and Synchro summoning?”

 

“NO!!!!” The boys shouted simultaneously, slamming their hands on the table. But Yoko didn’t jump in fear or flinch like any female character would react in a “jumpscare” moment. Yuya not wanting Sora to interact with his brothers? Even though Sora was so sweet and innocent?

 

Yeah, something was definitely going on.



“Wait...who’s Sora?” asked Yugo, waking up from the inner rage from his younger brothers..

 

Yuya and Yuto replied by sending memories of last night to Yugo along with Yuya’s memories of Sora ‘innocently’ acting like he wanted to be friends. At that last part, it took all of Yuya’s willpower to not go and find Sora to kill him.

 

Yugo’s eyes widened in shock and fury at his brothers’ memories, his eyes narrowed and gritted his teeth...that little troll, Sora was gonna pay for what he did to his brothers.

 

“Okay, let’s not talk about Sora Shiunin then,” said Yoko, taking a fork to stab into a boiled potato on her plate. She took a bite out of said potato as she asked, “What about introducing them to Yuzu, Yuya? I mean, it’d be like having -- ”

 

NO!!!!

 

And at that yell, the animals raced out to the backyard via the doggy door. Yoko’s eyes widened and she dropped her fork onto the floor with a clatter. Okay Sora maybe she could understand, maybe, but Yuzu Hiragi? Yuya’s best friend since childhood?

 

Was that what the trance was about? The darkness placing triggers into their subconscious to avoid Yuzu and to hate Sora?

 

...If it was, this was definitely messed up. Why did the darkness essentially brainwash her sons? Why did it want them to not be close to those two? And if it was that easy to do something like that, why not avoid Yoko herself? Something wasn’t adding up; what was the darkness’s game here? What did it want? 

 

“So you’ll all are going to avoid Yuzu?” Yoko asked, raising her eyebrow. The three of them looked between each other. 

 

“No. Well I won’t, but she can’t know about Yuto and Yugo,” Yuya answered.

 

“And why not?”

 

“She just...she just can’t, okay?” There were tears in Yuya’s eyes as he said thatt. “Please mom, if you love me, just trust me when I say that Yuto and Yugo can’t get near her.or they’ll be...they’ll be…”

 

...Oh, so that’s how it is.

 

If the darkness had a hold on Yuto and Yugo and they interacted with Yuzu, perhaps the darkness would lash out at Yuzu next? Was this what it was all about? The darkness was acting crazy because it was about all three of them. But if it was just Yuya alone with Yuzu then perhaps the darkness wasn’t as strong.

 

But if that was the case, why didn’t this darkness manifest years ago? Yuya was always with Yuzu and not once did the darkness decided to act all crazy.

 

So clearly this darkness didn’t want the three   of them near Yuzu. Yes Yuya said they but it was clearly more about Yugo and Yuto and not Yuzu herself. But what would happen if they were near her? What would the darkness do to them if they did meet Yuzu? And why Yuzu

 

Clearly there was no way for Yoko to get answers whether by asking them or having Yuzu come to see her (and even then, Yuzu was probably cheering Futoshi on as he faced off against Reira Akaba -- poor thing needed a hug given how he didn’t even smile when he won his match against Ayu days ago). So that was something to keep in mind for now.

 

Yoko puckered her lips as she used a napkin to pick up her fallen fork and potato, a habit she’s had whenever she was in deep thought about the horror stuff she read or watched. She was definitely going to have to do some research about this from now on.

 

“All right, Yuya,” she said. “So Yuzu doesn’t get to know about Yuto or Yugo, I promise. But what about the others? Like Shuzo-san, the kids, Gongenzaka? Can they get to know about your new ‘brothers’ or are they also on the list of ‘Don’t let anyone know about these doppelgangers from a different dimension because by doing so, they’ll be put in danger’?”

 

“Oh, no, just...just Yuzu, although everyone else would need to accept the whole, you know, four dimesion thing and all,” Yuya answered, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. 

 

“Is there anyone else from a different dimension that I should know about?”

 

Yuto’s eyes widened as his mind flashed to Shun. Shun would’ve been watching all of this last night, up to the point Yugo arrived and the security cameras were destroyed. What would Father think of his friend? Would Father lash out at Shun too?

 

No, not Shun. Not his close friend who has been supporting him on this trip across dimensions to find answers to Ruri’s fate!

 

“Well?”

 

“No, no one else we know about,” Yuto said, shaking his head. “Just Yugo and I as far as we know.”

 

“And let’s hope it stays that way,” Yoko sighed, reaching for another fork on the dinner table. “Everyone knows that interdimensional travelers always brings about trouble, intentionally or not.”

 

And as Yoko reached for another potato, she didn’t realize how Yuto looked like the older woman had stabbed him in the heart with that fork.

 

*************

 

After lunch, Yuto and Yugo entertained Yoko by dueling in the living room, their cards spread out on the table. Yoko watched in awe at Yuto’s Phantom Knights and the variety of Trap Cards that came with them and Yugo with his toy-like Speedroid monsters.

 

But then she became suspicious upon seeing their dragons.

 

So Yuto and Yugo were dimensional counterparts of her son that, not only looked like him but they also had a dragon on hand?

 

And...was it her imagination or were those dragons glowing ?

 

Zarc watched the duel, looking amused and proud of his boys.He kept running his hands in their hair and patting their backs, making them even more happy and relaxed, enjoying their duel more as finally nothing life threatening was happening. They would be dueling for fun, laughing and smiling as if nothing bad happened. Yuto, especially as he hadn’t felt this way in such a long time, even when Yugo won and defeated Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon.

 

(Clear Wing growled an apology to Dark Rebellion about that but Dark Rebellion didn’t mind at all; he was just happy to be with his brothers again)

 

“That was such a fun duel!” Yuya cheered. He recalled Yuto’s strategies against Sora and the clash with Yugo before Father awakened them, but now he was seeing it full force, and with no pressure fear or anger. And Yugo’s Synchro Summoning was a lot of fun too, even though he already battled against Gongenzaka’s new and improved “Synchro Superheavy Strong Style” as he was going to call it now.

 

“It certainly was, fun” said Yoko. “Why if you two became teachers at the You Show Duel School, I’m sure Shuzo-san would be screaming at how we obtained more students.”

 

Yuto froze. You Show...You Show... Yusho ?!

 

“Duel School?” Yugo repeated, gathering the cards back into his deck. “You teach dueling in this dimension?”

 

“Yes. You Show Duel School was the duel school created by my husband, Yusho Sakaki,” Yoko explained, staring at a framed picture of Yusho and Yuya smiling at the camera hanging on the wall. “He was the pioneer of Action Dueling, believing that duels were all about bringing people together. Or at least...that’s what he thought until he vanished three years ago…”

 

Yuto felt like he was going to faint. Yusho...Sakaki... Yuya Sakaki

 

“Yuto? What’s wrong?” Yuya asked, head turning to his older brother, anf Yugo putting a hand on his shoulder.

 

Yoko narrowed her eyes at the interaction, Yuto’s face hadn’t even changed, he didn’t look afraid or distressed yet both boys had turned to him at the same time without a second thought as if sensing his emotions. Literal empathy between the three of them without even having to ask why.

 

Of course Yoko herself learned to become attuned to the emotions hidden behind her son’s smile, but there was no way that Yuya could have figured out what was bothering Yuto so quickly if they just met last night . Wasn’t there this thing that twins somehow had telepathic powers or the like? Not just Yuya but Yugo as well, who she was told was from another dimension than that Yuto. 

 

(Then again it would make more sense if the “twins” were born in the same dimension!)

 

“It’s...nothing,” Yuto answered hastily. “I was just...thinking about the duel school I used to go to back in Heartland...before it got destroyed.” 

 

Both boys knew it wasn’t that cut and dry but there were always reasons to keep something from them, especially when Yoko was around. So they would wait until Yuto was comfortable enough to tell them. Yugo rubbed Yuto’s shoulder and Yuya squeezed his hand with a soft loving smile. 

 

And one more thing, that natural physical affection between all three as if they’ve known each other all their lives, the way they slept together, tangled in each other’s arms, the way Yuto nuzzled to Yuya in the supermarket and now, the two of them comforting Yuto so sweetly and naturally, things just didn’t add up to her. Was this a side-effect to the darkness?

 

Ugh. She needed to get her mind out of this for the time being before she felt like her brain blows up like fireworks!

 

“I see,” said Yoko, nodding her head. “Well, you don’t have to tell us now. Today is a happy day and all.

 

Yuto looked at Yoko and nodded his head. “Thank you.”

 

“Now then, what do you want to do next?” she asked. “I have an awesome collection of horror stuff for us to watch!”

 

“NO MOM!” Yuya cried, hiding his face behind a pillow..

 

“Is something wrong?” asked Yugo as he saw Yoko approach a bookshelf and began searching for DVDs..

 

“My mom just loves watching horror films and shows for some odd reason,” Yuya answered. ”She also would keep taking over the movie like she has her own commentary show.” 

 

“Hmm...aha!” said Yoko, pulling out a DVD. “Who wants to watch The Haunting Hour ?”

 

“That doesn’t sound bad,” said Yuto.

 

“Perfect,” said Yoko, opening the case and looking at the contents. “Hmm, Night of the Mummy sounds good!”

 

“Sure...mummies…” said Yuya. “What could possibly be so scary about them?”

 

***************

Twenty-two minutes, three bags of popcorn and a couple of sodas later, the boys were utterly silent.

 

One was on the verge of tears, one was breathing hard, one had a twitchy eye. But they were all holding each other’s hands to comfort one another.

 

As the DVD was back to the episode guide, Yoko muted the television to look at the three of them. Yes, the ending to the episode was very depressing (not as bad as “My Imaginary Friend” or “Toy Train” -- those two ended up with her crying for a while) but she wasn’t expecting the episode to have that much of an impact on them all. Even Yuya now had had a different reaction from the first time he saw it (which was to shiver in fright at the idea of the main charcter to deciding to essentially commit suicide and all while leaving his close friend with the amulet to remember him by when she finally joined him in the afterlife). 

 

“So…” Yoko began, turning to Yuto and Yugo. “What did you think? About Seth’s decision to join his brother in the afterlife?”

 

The three boys looked between themselves and then, to Yoko’s small shock, schooched over and hugged each other tightly with tears in their eyes. 

 

“The brothers...just wanted to reunite for all eternity,” whispered Yuto, soft like a bird’s wing flapping in the night. “There was no other way for them to do so…”

 

“Boys?” Yoko asked, tilting her head. 

 

“They were separated, they felt so empty …” Yugo added, his voice distant and soft just like Yuto’s. “They had no one to understand them, no one to help them...they were waiting...for so long…”

 

“Boys…?”

 

Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best episode to show them (maybe “Funhouse” or “Uncle Howee” should’ve worked? Maybe “Afraid of Clowns” would’ve been funnier but then again she didn’t know if Yuto or Yugo had a clown phobia…)

 

“They needed to feel whole again…” Yuya whispered, his pendulum shining brightly. Just as bright as the smile on his face. “They had to reunite...as one…”

 

“There were...other choices, Yuya…” Yoko replied, not liking how those words sounded from her son’s own mouth.

 

“Not to them,” Yuto stated. “That was his brother…”

 

“The other half of his soul,” Yugo added. “There was only one thing that had to be done…they had to reunite.”

 

“Reunite…” Yuto repeated.

 

“Reunite as one…” Yuya finished.

 

The three boys’ grabbed each other's hands squeezing them tight, their eyes glowing cyan, crimson and lavender like gems shining under a bright light, their mouths only saying that one word. “Reunite, reunite, reunite, reunite…”

 

Yoko could feel her heart pounding in her chest like she was at a summer festival and someone was banging on a taiko drum. Deep, foreboding, telling her that something was coming.

 

Okay, that did it. There was something dark and malevolent and it involved all three of them and she had to stop it now !

 

Glowing eyes and eerie chanting...she can handle this. The boys were definitely under the darkness’ control; there was no other reason for the chanting and the eerie glowing eyes. She can think over that later and what it could mean to “Reunite”; for now she just wanted her boys to be safe and snap out of it!

 

“Okay! Listen! Darkness or whatever you are…” Yoko snarled, hands clenched into fists as she looked for a suitable weapon. As the three boys kept their chants (“Reunite, reunite, reunite”) she lifted her head to the ceiling and screamed, “Stop playing around with these boys. I know you have some control over them, but you need to stop this...please! Please just snap them out of this ! You’re hurting them!”

 

...Am I?

 

Disembodied voices replying to Yoko? Okay that’s it!  

 

“Look I don’t know what you want with these boys, but I am NOT going to let you hurt them, I don’t care who or what you are but this has gone too far! Show yourself! Right now!”

 

At this point, Yoko should’ve slapped herself. Taunting the supernatural entity? One of the top things you DON’T do in these situations unless you actually are prepared to fight them!

 

Very well, Yoko-san...if you insist!

 

At that, the chanting stopped, and Yoko saw some sort of...shadow attack her. The last thing she remembered before she fell to the floor in shock was that she knew exactly what to call that voice.

 

That...bastard!

 

*************



Yoko groaned as her eyes fluttered open, only to meet the worried eyes and faces of her three boys.



“Mom! Are you okay?” Yuya asked, worried.

 

Yoko sat up and shook her head. She took a glance at her surroundings; she was currently in her bedroom. A part of her felt guilty that her sons had to carry her up the stairs so she could rest. “I think I will be. I don’t think you’re going to believe me when I said I had this nightmare about you three...all with glowing eyes and chanting ‘Reunite’ like a bunch of zombies. I mean, could you imagine?” 

 

“You might have hit your head too hard Yoko-san, you fainted in the living room all of a sudden,” Yuto said.

 

“We were so worried,” Yugo added and the other two nodded. The three of them actually looked worried about her.

 

“Did I? That doesn’t seem like me at all,” she said tilting her head, already a bit too suspicious of the situation no matter how genuine the worry was in the boys’ eyes. 

 

“Must have been a dry spell or something,” Yuto suggested. 

 

“Yeah maybe,” she sighed looking at her watch, “It’s getting pretty late boys, you should get some rest,” she said, ruffling their hair. 

 

The boys smiled and nodded before Yuya hugged Yuko, the other two staying back a bit awkwardly. 

 

“Good night,” she said, giving Yuya a kiss on the cheek. “And sweet dreams to all of you.”

 

“Good night,” Yuya replied as he lead his brothers out of the bedroom. Yoko waved goodbye as she saw Yugo close the door behind her…

 

Where his and Yuto’s silver bracelets seemed to wink at her from the dark, the gem shining faintly. 

 

Yoko narrowed her eyes as she waited for the boys to walk back to Yuya’s room, where they would return to the little ‘nest’ on the floor and snuggle and sigh and cuddle and whatever they were planning on doing! Normally she’d find a thing to be so adorable. Now she feels like she wanted someone to pull her teeth out.

 

Yoko laid back, head hitting a pillow. She could only hope that that Bastard would not harm them more than they already did. The sight of her sons chanting and those glowing eyes was more than enough proof to tell her that something was wrong. Terribly wrong.

 

Now she had to think about this. In that episode, it was the brothers being separated by time and the word reunite that triggered such reactions from her boys. Three boys with the same face, with the mystical desire to reunite no matter the cost, all of them wielding dragons that didn’t seem to fit the other monsters of their decks, leading them towards a dark destiny that might consume their souls. And that Bastard that she was possessing them was one of two things, either the guardian that was meant to lead the boys into that Dark destiny, or the monster that would end up consuming their souls.  

 

Which means that Yoko needed to do some research in regards to any prophecies that may have to relate to her boys and, despite going against the logical choice, keep this to herself until she’s ready to confront this Bastard head on.

 

If this is how you’re going to play it, fine. Yoko thought, reaching for the bedside lamp and turning it on. I’m not going to fall for your tricks that easily. And I’m gonna free Yuya, Yuto and Yugo from your possessive grip. I promise.

 

And in the darkness, Zarc chuckled to himself. This woman was much more fun than he expected.She was strong, fierce, protective, intelligent and beautiful . With the proper nudging, she would be a perfect warrior to fight off against the forces of Academia and that professor.

 

At that thought, he licked his fangs. Yoko Sakaki would give him the best fun he had in ages!

 

Very well, Yoko Sakaki... Zarc thought to himself as he watched Yoko doing research on her phone. Although, I hate to say this. No wait, I don’t but...

 

With another chuckle, he sighed and added. The game was won before it even begun.

 

Leaving the foolish woman in her pathetic hunt to find nothing that could stop him, Zarc returned to his boys in their room and smiled at them, once again tangled in each other sleeping soundly. His phantom hands ran through their hair, and softly touched their faces, his mental touch caressing their minds lovingly. His treasures belonged to only him, they love him above all else, and if they wanted or desired something, why shouldn’t he give it to them? It only meant his children loved him even more for it. And after all, it would only mean that whatever they own, also belonged to Zarc. That’s the way it’s always been, so why change that now? 

 

Zarc chuckled, weaving a sweet dream and memories in his children’s mind. The boys gasped and shuddered slightly before the smiles returned on their faces. Zarc smiled and placed one more kiss on their foreheads for good measure. 

 

I’ll see you soon, my treasures. 

 

And with that, the Supreme Dragon King’s presence faded from the world for the night.

 

Chapter Text

When Yuya opened his eyes and looked at his surroundings, one thought came into his mind. 

 

The room was...huge. 

 

No, huge was an understatement. 

 

This room would fit his own house in it. It had a high ceiling, several crystal chandeliers hanging in the middle of it that shined and sparkled, giving the room a soft glow. The floor tiles made of marble, so white, Yuya could almost see his own reflection in it. Giant windows, with the creamy curtains pulled aside showed a scenery of a beautiful forest. 

 

A red carpet that reached the end of the room and reached a huge dais, where a throne made of gold sat, decorated by gems and crystals that sparkled and shone. On top of it crowned a white gem like the North star. On each of its side were two smaller thrones; the first on its right was decorated with amethysts, the one beside it decorated with rubies, the one on his left decorated by sky blue crystals and the last one was encrusted with pink spinel. The five were half hidden by curtains that were red as blood, casting shadows inside. He knew this room somehow... 

 

The throne room, he realized, and blinked a few times. How exactly did he know that?

 

"Y-Yuya?" 

 

Yuya heard Yuto’s voice, looking around for his brother only to have Yuto place place a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. Yuto stood on his left while Yugo flanked him on the right.

 

"This place… " said the red eyed boy, the wonder in his voice was clear, and so were in Yugo and Yuto's, as the three looked around. 

 

"This is…this was home," said Yuto, not understanding why he said it. But it was true. This used to be home, somehow… their home. A memory of a black castle with several towers looking as if it was trying to pierce the heavens, people walking around cleaning or serving, and four boys always in the presence of a man, a man they all loved and adored... 

 

"Indeed it is," a voice replied, and the boys gasped. Descending from the center throne -- and Yuya had no idea how he hadn't noticed him there before -- was a man, hair silver as winter moonlight, highlighted by green strands that framed his face. He wore white pants, a black open tunic that showed his bare chest, and a grey cape that was held together by a golden chain.  

 

“Father,” Yuya breathed out in wonder, seeing the loving smile on Zarc’s face, arms open wide as he walked towards the three of them. The three brothers ran to him, hugging him tight. Zarc embraced them in return, and each boy has their eyes closed feeling happiness safety and tranquility in their father’s arms as if nothing would ever hurt them again. 

 

“My precious treasures,” he whispered. One of his hands moved to Yugo’s cheek and caressed it softly, the blue haired boy closed his eyes in bless and gave a sigh, pressing his cheek into that touch. 

 

And then, before anyone could figure out how it happened, the four suddenly found themselves in the garden under one of the trees, its beautiful flowers blooming, black petals falling down on the green grass like ash. Numerous plants filled the garden, for as far as one could see -- the flowers, the bushes, even the dark corners in the garden that they always found their Yuri tending to his favorite plants with glee. 

 

Yuya was now sitting in his Father’s lap, head resting on Father's chest chest, as the man ran his hand through Yuya’s hair gently, his cape now gone and he was in his half draconic state, wings tucked. Zarc smiled lovingly and adoringly at his sons, fangs sharp and yet they only made the three boys feel safer. 

 

Yuto and Yugo were on each side of him and Father. Father’s other hand was wrapped around Yuto’s waist, his green and black tail wrapped itself around Yugo. The three of them looked so peaceful and happy, as small moments and memories of their old lives came back to them, dancing behind their eyes. Moments of Father and all of them along with their dragons in the castle, or in their rooms where they sometimes slept together, and cuddled, exchanging kisses and hugs. 

 

But despite these happy memories in the past and present, Yuya noticed someone missing. “Where’s our lily? Where’s Yuri?” he whispered, nuzzling his Father’s chest. 

 

Their father hummed, his smile dimming for a moment. “I could not retrieve him yet. But don’t worry my Shooting Star, we’ll reunite with him soon, I promise,” he whispered kissing Yuya’s nose, which made the little boy giggle, hugging his father tighter and cuddling more to him. The silver haired man cooed at the action lovingly. 

 

“This isn’t real, is it?” Yuto asked softly. “It’s only a dream.” 

 

Their father chuckled, running a hand through Yuto’s hair, scratching his scalp expertly, making the other boy purr and curl up against his father more. “That’s right, my little Phantom. This is merely a shared dream. It is the best I can do at the moment,” he whispered kissing Yuto’s ear. 

 

The black and purple haired boy whined, eyes closed nuzzling to father more. “Papa~,” he said with a happy sigh, Father chuckled.

 

Yugo nuzzled his father’s other side. He had never felt this secure before back in his dimension. “I wish this dream would never end,” he said with a sigh, and his brothers couldn’t help but agree. 

 

“Oh? But my beautiful Crystal,” said the silver haired man, his attention on his second oldest, “You must. Simply to make this beautiful dream of ours a reality once more,” he whispered to Yugo, he ran his nails through the boy's hair, and kissed his forehead softly. “Remember? This used to be our life, but we must reunite in reality, my loves.” 

 

“Reunite,” Yugo breathed out. The same word was spoken by his brothers. 

 

“Yes my Crystal,” Zarc whispered, Yugo had a dreamy smile on his face, eyes half closed, his father’s hand slid from his hair to his cheek, making Yugo humm happily. 

 

All three of them hugged their father tightly as more memories came about, happy and sad. Memories of their family being together, playing in this very garden, riding their beautiful dragons…

 

And of the first war between the humans and the spirits. 

 

As these memories slowly began to resurface, they clung to their father even tighter. For Yuto, however, it had the worst effect, as the boy began shaking uncontrollably, tears forming in the corners of his eyes.. 

 

“Yuto,” their father whispered in concern. He removed Yuya from his lap putting him in Yugo’s. The older brother happily took Yuya in his arms, stroking the red eyed boy’s face and kissing his chin. Yuya purred and rubbed their noses together, but looked in concern at Yuto.  

 

Zarc took Yuto into his lap and cradled him in his arms, kissing his forehead, cheeks and eyelids, Yuto couldn’t help but cling to his father even more, rubbing his face in the man’s chest, burying his face there, taking all the comfort he could get, that Zarc happily gave his precious sons. “Yuto darling, talk to Papa, what’s wrong, my little Specter?” He asked softly, with one hand pressing Yuto to him and the other running through Yuto’s hair. 

 

“I don’t...I don’t want to lose anyone, papa,” Yuto sniffled. “I...it’s constant, the war in Heartland, the wars that we went through. I don’t...I don’t want to lose any of you again! I can’t, but...but I also can’t lose Ruri and Shun either! And if they knew the truth about who we really are, they’ll reject me! I don’t want that...I want to...I want to keep them. I wanna make them mine! They are mine ! I never wanna lose them ever again or...or....” 

 

Zarc couldn’t help but smirk, pleased at Yuto’s words, his true nature coming out as more memories returned, blending in with the new ones. However Yuto being sad just wouldn’t do, only smiles belonged on his sons’ beautiful faces. 

 

Zarc kissed Yuto's forehead, gently grabbing the boy's chin, making his son meet his eyes, his own power and influence over his children growing like a flower in spring. “Yes my darling, yours, so make them yours ,” he whispered.

 

“Make... them...mine?” Yuto asked, eyes widening.

 

Zarc's hand caressed his cheek, feelings of glee and pride emanating from him. He licked his sharp fangs In anticipation. “It is your birthright , my darling, my prince of Xyz, my Yuto. The more you remember, the more you will realize that, and you’ll easily know how to keep them. Do not worry yourself, precious.”

 

“Remember…” Yuto repeated, eyes glazing over as he kept staring at his father’s beautiful glowing golden eyes, feeling peace and trust and love filling his body from head to toe. “And then they’ll be mine? Forever?” he asked with a dreamy smile on his lips. 

 

Zarc chuckled. "Forever , my Darling."

 

This was hardly a command. Zarc had no guarantee that Yuto would do anything, but the seeds were planted into his mind, and they would bloom soon enough. Yuto did not have to worry about En-Birds; she would be theirs soon enough along with En-Winds. His children would fully regain their true nature soon enough, and his family would reunite once more when he is resurrected. 

 

Now all that’s left is Yuri, and with Leo Akaba wanting all of Ray’s parts gathered, he’ll come for Yuzu Hiragi soon enough...and that’s when his plan would truly begin. 

 

He kissed Yuto’s forehead once more, and hugged the other two closer to them, his wings unfurled before covering his children lovingly in a shroud of everloving and everlasting darkness. Zarc could taste it, vengeance, victory. Soon.

 

Very soon.  

 

****************

 

Yuya was the first to wake up, whining at losing the sweet dream that they were in. He groaned as he tried to get up and look around, but found himself unable to move very much. Yugo and Yuto were wrapped around him securely. He smiled moving closer to Yuto’s face and nudged him gently with his nose, all Yuto did was mumble unintelligibly in response, and bury his face in Yuya’s neck. The younger boy giggled and turned to his other brother, clinging to him as well. 

 

Yuya nudged Yugo, the boy with golden crested bangs hummed nuzzling Yuya face half asleep, with a big smile on his face, Yuya nuzzled Yugo’s face in return, purring in delight, making his brother respond with his own pleased purr. The atmosphere seemed to have the opposite effect of what Yuya wanted from Yuto, as the black and purple haired boy now had a peaceful smile on his face and seemed to have fallen completely asleep again thanks to his brothers’ happy sounds.  

 

Yugo finally opened his eyes after a minute or two, before looking at Yuya trying to wake Yuto up. The Xyz user simply refused to open his eyes. Yugo grinned mischievously to himself before untangling his arms from Yuya and rolling over his little brother so he was now beside Yuto instead. The blue eyed boy came closer to Yuto’s face and licked a trail up Yuto’s cheek playfully. 

 

The desired effect was achieved as Yuto’s eyes shot up with a little yelp, grey eyes glared at the grinning boy before tackling him to the floor, rolling around in the nest, Yuto growling disapprovingly at Yugo. Yuya giggled in response to the two of them and watched in amusement. He let the two playfight go on for a few more seconds, before literally jumping in, and ended up lying on both older boys’ chests.

 

Yuto and Yugo smiled up at Yuya, before Yuto ran his hand through the Pendulum duelist's hair. Yuya reluctantly got off of both of them before he stared at the time on his clock. “I gotta get ready,” he said with a small sigh. “I’ve been absent all day yesterday. Yuzu, Ayu, Futoshi and Tatsuya must be worried. Heh, I’ll definitely get hit by Yuzu’s harisen that’s for sure,” he rubbed the back of his head before rummaging through his closet.

 

Just as he was about to pick out his shirt, he heard two growls from behind which made him freeze. Yuya looked back to see both his brothers were frowning; he had almost forgotten how protective his family was for one another, especially him. He merely smiled and shook his head, then walked back towards the other two. He gently laid his hands on their faces, and started caressing their cheeks lovingly. “It’s just a joke,” he said with a giggle, “No need to worry,” he whispered soothingly. Both boys’ eyes were half closed at Yuya’s touch gaining a dopey smile on their faces. 

 

Yuya smiled happily at the two’s reaction to his touch, as both seemed to have forgotten his comment about Yuzu. He turned around again and looked through his clothes before choosing his usual attire. 

 

Yuto sighed and stood up. “I need to go look for Shun too. He must be worried.” The dark haired boy rummaged through the clothes Yoko had bought for him tucked in a black paper bag. He had a sense of gratefulness, embarrassment and guilt over the woman buying him all of that especially since Yuto was just a stranger, and not her own son, no matter how many times she and Yuya told him it was okay. Minutes later, he was now dressed in a grey T-shirt that matched his eyes, a jacket that he, like Yuya, put around his shoulder transforming into a make-shift cape, black pants with a matching belt, along with grey combat boots. He also wore his usual belt choker around his neck and a pair of leather cuffs over his wrists.  

 

“So...What can I do today?” asked Yugo with a tilt of his head. The other two glanced at Yugo and then at each other. 

 

“Well, you can’t come with me,” Yuya said with a small frown. “Father said you two can’t go near Yuzu.”

 

Yugo pouted and gave a sigh. Yuto crossed his arms and closed his eyes, thinking of a solution before it came to him. “I need to tell Shun that we have an ally in you and Yuya now,” he suggested with a bright smile on his face. “You can drive me to where Shun and I will agree to meet!” 

 

Yugo grinned widely and jumped excitedly at having something to do, before running and jumping around the room, looking for something to wear as well. He would have preferred his riding suit, but it wasn’t finished drying yet, so he had to wear something else. Instead, he settled with what Yoko bought him: a yellow shirt with a turtleneck, white form fitting pants and a midriff white jacket.  

 

With them dressed for the day, the brothers slid down the pole into the kitchen, and each were happy with the pancakes that Yoko had made for them. The three of them thanked her and ate, Yuto and Yuya eating like normal people, while Yugo kept stuffing his face like he’s never gonna eat something like it again.     

 

After breakfast was over, Yuya waved goodbye to his brothers and sprinted off to the You Show Duel school. Yugo and Yuto waved back before they went to the garage to pick up Yugo’s D-Wheel. Yugo wasted no time placing his helmet on before tossing Yuto the extra one...which was bright pink and only reminded Yuto of Yuzu.. 

 

Yuto gave his older brother a dead-pan look. “Nope,” was his answer before throwing the helmet back at Yugo with the same dead-pan expression on his face. 

 

“Oh, fine, fine, take caution to the wind then,” he joked with a grin. Yuto rolled his eyes good naturally, smiling. “Just tell me where to go,” said the blue eyed boy, sitting on his D-wheel. Yuto sat behind him and wrapped his arms around Yugo’s waist before guiding him on where to go.

 

And with no time to waste, the D-Wheel sped off in the opposite direction that Yuya was heading to.

 

****************

It felt nice, it felt so incredibly nice, and peaceful and oh so wonderful

 

Yuto tightened his hold on Yugo from behind, and rested his head on Yugo’s back, feeling peace and tranquility as they moved through the streets, the wind brushing against them, as they moved so fast. It felt like...it felt like flying. No wonder Yugo loved this so much, it felt so wonderful and familiar. Not to mention the subtle aura of peace and happiness coming from Yugo which was affecting Yuto highly, making him relax. He let out a happy sigh, nuzzling Yugo’s back, which made the feeling of happiness intensify in Yugo, and subsequently in Yuto. 

 

It felt far too soon when they reached the coordinates of where Shun and Yuto had agreed to meet -- an abandoned garage for fixing cars -- and Shun was already there...looking pissed off at who Yuto brought along with him, duel disk at the ready. 

 

“So...you’re here, Pawn of Fusion,” he said, narrowing his golden eyes at the one riding the D-Wheel. 

 

And as usual Yugo exploded at the mention of that nickname. The D-wheel screeched to a halt, nearly causing Yuto fall off, and Yugo activated his duel disk in response. 

 

“It’s not Fusion, it’s Yugo!” the blue eyed boy yelled and was about to summon his faithful dragon to deal with this utter fool who would label him with such a title. A series of cold winds stormed around them, but Yuto yelled from behind them.

 

“Oi! That’s enough!” He said and got off of the D-wheel and stood in front of it between Yugo and Shun, slightly glaring at the latter.

 

“Yu-Yuto?” Shun asked in shock. He had never seen Yuto glare at him like that before. And when did he have time to obtain a new pair of clothes?! “Wha-”

 

“He’s not a part of the Fusion Dimension, Shun. His name is Yugo,” Yuto clarified, pointing at Yugo with his thumb over his shoulder.

 

“That’s what I’ve been saying this entire time!” The Synchro user yelled from behind Yuto, waving his fists in the air. Yuto ignored him, and Shun just looked too shocked to respond at first. 

 

“Didn’t he attack you?” Shun finally asked, confused. 

 

“Yeah, I thought he was Yuri,” Yugo said calmly. Now getting off his D-wheel and removing his helmet, finally showing Shun his face. Shun’s eyes widened briefly; now there was another boy who had a face similar to Yuto? He quickly shook the surprise off though; that wasn’t important right now.

 

“Yuri?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Someone else with the same face as us,” Yuto explained. “At the park last night, Yuya got us to stop fighting, and we actually talked about what was going on. Yugo’s friend, Rin, who has the same face as Ruri, was taken too, and he was looking for Yuri. When he landed in our dimension, he mistook Yuri for me and attacked.” 

 

It wasn’t a total lie, and Yuto could stretch the truth as to not explain what actually happened. But Shun still wasn’t convinced.

 

“Yugo’s from the Synchro dimension, and he and Yuya are happy to help us find Ruri,” Yuto said with a small smile. Yugo nodded with a wide grin on his face. It looked far too earnest to Shun; he actually had the urge to believe the boy with Yuto’s face... 

 

But he did believe Yuto though, and he seems to actually be sure of what he was talking about. 

 

He thought for a moment before shaking his head. “Yuto, can we talk for a moment, alone?” he asked before pointing at the open door to the garage. Yuto nodded immediately, but before he could take one step something made the raven haired boy glance at this “Yugo”, they exchanged a look, as if they were having a silent conversation. After a second or two, the blue eyed boy sighed and sat back on his bike. Yuto motioned for Shun to go on and the two of them walked inside the building.



****************

 

From within the building, Zarc couldn’t help but observe just what his little shadow was planning. He purred in delight and sent waves of pride towards Yuto, invisible hands ran unseen through Yuto's hair, and the boy suppressed a shudder in delight while focusing on Shun.

 

 The older boy turned towards his closest friend. “How do we know that this Yugo can be trusted?” Shun questioned. “This could be nothing more than a set-up.”

 

“What would make you think that?” Yuto asked, wanting to lash out and only held back because he didn’t want to send Shun the wrong message. He relaxed his body, Father silently guiding him to keep his possessiveness and protectiveness for Yugo hidden as to not alarm Shun. What Yuto was doing was excellent. Zarc thought that Yuto simply needed a bit more control over his feelings, he wasn't used to suppress them when it came to his brothers after all. 

 

Shun frowned, still sensing something was wrong. "You're acting weird," he stated. "First, you disappear for an entire day. Second, it takes you this morning to contact me about your safety. And third, you come back not only in new clothes but with someone who had been constantly attacking us. It's just a little too suspicious to believe that this person is going to be fighting alongside us, Yuto! He has the same face as this’ Yuri’ that took my sister...how can we know that this Pawn of Fusion..."

 

(And here, it really takes all of Yuto’s concentration to not bite Shun’s throat for that)

 

“Is on our side and not some sort of spy for Academia?!” Shun asked, with a ferocious snarl like a cornered lion.

 

Yuto didn't break their eye contact, grey eyes practically boring into golden eyes that could never, ever replicate the love and peaceful feelings that shone in Father’s eyes.. "Do you trust me, Shun?" Yuto asked, and the older boy seemed somewhat startled at that question. 

 

"Wha- I, of course I trust you," he said with a small glare, not sure what his old friend was getting at. 

 

Yuto smirked, eyes lowered halfway as he started slowly walking closer to Shun, and the older boy couldn't help but ask himself "Since when did Yuto have fangs?"  

 

And before he could say anything else, Yuto's hands landed on Shun's chest and pushed him towards the wall, the lavender haired boy pressed his body to Shun's.

 

“Y...Yuto!” Shun gasped, not used to having his personal space being invaded like this. “What the hell? What’s going on?!”

 

Yuto chuckled, running his tongue across the tip of those...fangs, grey eyes glowing like storm clouds filled with lightning that was about to be unleashed.

 

“If you trust me, then you wouldn’t mind if I did...this, correct?” Yuto purred into Shun’s ear.

 

Shun struggled to push Yuto off of him, but as he did, he did not see what Yuto saw…

 

He saw the shadowy figure of Father take over Shun’s shadow and clamp his hands over Shun’s body and run them over the skin of Shun’s neck. More shadows wrapped around Shun’s biceps like vines as Yuto heard specific instructions from Father as to make Shun more...willing to cooperate.

 

Yuto's hand caressed Shun's cheek, before grasping his chin and forcing him to look into Yuto's eyes again. The boy smirked, fangs on display. 

 

"Shh, now. No need to fight this," he whispered soothingly to Shun, stormy eyes glowing, and in turn Shun's yellow ones widen with shock and fear. Yuto shushed him once more, pressing closer. "Calm down Shun, it's just me," he whispered. It took a few more seconds but slowly Shun's eyes began to glaze over, and he began to relax. 

 

"That's it, Shun, you're doing such a good job,” Yuto cooed, running a hand through Shun’s teal hair. Shun smiled softly at the touch and practically lifted his head to get a better feel of Yuto’s hand on his head. “Just relax for me, that's it," he whispered and kissed Shun's chin softly. "Don't fear the shadows, Shun. They will protect us, guard us, and love us for all eternity…” 

 

Shun couldn't talk, all he could do was nod his head, which made Yuto smile. "Trust in me, Shun. In every word I say, in every move I make. I am guided well," he ran a claw like finger gently down Shun's cheek, loving how Shun shuddered at the touch. "And trust in Yugo and Yuya as if they were me. Understood Shun?" He asked softly, and again Shun nodded. 

 

“I...understand..” Shun replied with a sigh. His voice sounded distant and empty despite the smile on his face.

 

"Good," whispered the boy satisfied. The shadows released Shun, but the boy stayed pressed against the wall by Yuto's body, any resistance that the older boy had had was all but forgotten. Yuto caressed Shun's cheek softly and pressed closer. "And with this," he whispered, inches away from Shun's lips. "You are mine, forevermore." 

 

He placed a kiss on Shun’s lips, as if sealing a sacred contract between the two. Shun would no longer show hesitance towards his brothers. And soon enough, he won’t ever have to worry about following orders from Father too. Seconds later, Yuto broke the kiss, licking his lips in satisfaction at his accomplishment.

 

“Now then,” said Yuto, feeling Father praise him for what he had done. He groaned as ghost-like hands pressed on his shoulders as he still had his body pressed onto Shun’s, making a mental note to have Shun’s resistance weakened whenever the Raidraptor duelist ever made physical contact with Yuto, Yugo or Yuya. “Tell me everything that you learned from Reiji Akaba…” he whispered to Shun's ear, chuckling before placing a few soft kisses on Shun's neck, making him shudder.

 

****************

 

Yugo was absolutely bored .

 

He had been waiting for what seemed like an hour -- it was really fifteen minutes according to his Duel Disk -- to see what was so important for Yuto to discuss in private with his “friend”. The same friend who kept calling him ‘Fusion’ just because his name sounded similar to it.

 

The only thing stopping him from going after Shun was the shared memories Yuto had of Shun, who was the older brother of Ruri. Hurting Shun would hurt Ruri and that would in turn, hurt Yuto. The last thing he needed was to make Yuto sad; Shun and Ruri were the family he made in the new life and he would do anything to keep them by his side.

 

Yugo could understand that feeling; he’d move mountains if it meant having Rin by his side.

 

Rin...how foolish he was to not go after Rin. And how foolish to think that Yuto was the enemy. No, he can’t make that mistake again. He had to focus on getting Rin back. She was out there, waiting for him. Yugo knew that she could be pretty strong when she needed to, but for how long? How long would it be until he reunited with her once more?

 

His thoughts were interrupted when he heard footsteps approach him. Yugo turned around to see Yuto walking towards him, a smile on his face.

 

“How did it go?” asked Yugo, somewhat apprehensive. 

 

Yuto smiled as he turned around, a proud smirk on his face. “I just made Shun understand that he can trust you and Yuya. Isn’t that correct?”

 

The older boy just nodded, his signature glare firmly on his face, but Shun seemed more… relaxed around the two, which was a good sign. Yugo had felt Father's powers being used but he was told to stay put by him, and Yugo obeyed as usual. 

 

“I dunno,” said Yugo, eyeing Shun suspiciously. He didn’t like that hawk-like gaze of Shun Kurosaki at all. “If I ever hear him call me ‘Pawn of Fusion’, I swear I -- “

 

“I promise to make sure that never happens, if that is what you ask for, Yugo” Shun answered curtly. His golden glare was still there, but his voice sounded...clipped, emotionless, robotic.

 

The Synchro counterpart blinked when Shun had called his name right. "Yes. Um very good…” He then turned to Yuto and whispered, “What did you do?" All while raising an eyebrow at the massive change that had just occurred in Shun’s attitude.

 

Yuto chuckled as slipped his hand into Shun’s. If Yugo didn’t know any better, it looked like Shun...sighed at the sign of contact.

 

“Father helped me ‘tame’ him,” Yuto answered. “Anything either of us, or even Yuya says, he will believe in. And he told us everything we needed to know about his undercover work against Reiji Akaba.”

 

Yugo tilted his head to the side. “Reiji?”

 

Yuto sighed; of course Yugo would have no idea who Reiji was. “Shun, can you please explain what Reiji Akaba has told you?”

 

Shun nodded his head, giving a brief summary of what he was asked to do: how he dueled three of the Leo Institute of Dueling’s best students in order to attract Reiji’s, the son of Professor Akaba attention. Reiji was also against the ideas of Professor Akaba invading the other dimensions and offered a truce between him and Shun if he participated in the Arc League Championship.

 

Moreover, he had also told Shun about his overall plan to create an elite group of duelists called the Lancers. These duelists would venture into the other dimensions and stop all of Academia’s evil and that the tournament in itself was simply a way to choose who would be accepted into the Lancers division. Reiji was also confident that forces from Academia would arrive to cause trouble after Sora -- a spy from Academia who pretended to be Yuya’s friend, causing Yugo to want Sora’s head on a pike for betraying Yuya’s good heart -- was forcibly returned to the Fusion Dimension after Yuya learned of the destruction of Heartland.

 

Yugo nodded his head with each and every word said. It didn’t sound like Shun was lying about any of this at all.

 

“Thank you for cooperating,” said Yuto, placing a kiss on Shun’s cheek. Shun nodded his head in reply, not reacting to the kiss at all.

 

“So...how exactly does this help us?” Yugo questioned. “Reiji is the son of that bastard who -- “

 

Patience, my shining crystal... Zarc hissed in Yugo’s ear, while an invisible hand ran down the boy's cheek gently, relaxing him and making him take a deep breath. Perhaps we can use Reiji’s plans for our own needs...

 

"What are you planing Father?" Yugo asked, tilting his head. "Can we truly trust him? He's an Akaba after all," Yugo asked out loud.

 

But he does not know about me. Zarc answers. We can also use Shun to obtain information that can be used to bring Ruri and Rin back to you. Or, perhaps we can make Reiji a little pawn of our own design…

 

What do you mean?” asked Yugo.

 

That foolish Akaba thinks he controls the strings. He thinks that he can get away with covering his tracks and using others to do his bidding. Ha! He is no better than his father.

 

But we are. We can play his game, pretending to be a part of these “Lancers” until we reach our true goal. 

 

"Our true goal is to bring you back," Yuto thought back, joining the mental conversation 

 

Yes, but I also intend for Leo Akaba to suffer , for him to lose every last bit of hope in him to bring back his daughter, to see whatever light destroyed as I take everything from him. All his work would be for nothing. You three galavanting in the dimensions, gathering allies and crushing more and more of Leo Akaba's forces, these are good enough steps. 

 

“All while Reiji foolishly lead his troops to slaughter.” Yuto said, understanding just what Father was getting at.

 

Exactly. Oh, it will be oh so satisfying to see that man’s face when I have his son killed in front of his eyes! Or, even better, to have Reiji Akaba kill his own father where he stands! In his desire to bring back one of his beloved children, the son that he neglected will be the one that will send him to the afterlife! And there, Leo Akaba will be forced to pay for his selfishness, his stupidity and his apathy towards everyone else that isn’t named Ray. 

 

How DARE HE make my sons cry! And how DARE he makes our precious lily into his puppet. 

 

Leo Akaba will pay. With. his. Life.

 

And I will be brought back, a proverbial middle finger to what Leo strived to do with his precious daughter. We will bring harmony to the dimensions and rule over them without anyone opposing our reign. No one will ever separate us again.

 

Yugo felt visions swarm in his head. Visions of him, Yuto and Yuya traveling through the Synchro, Xyz and Fusion dimensions, defeating all of Academia’s soldiers in their paths. Him reuniting with Rin -- with Rin probably asking what took him so long before wrapping her arms around him and the two of them entering the Friendship Cup and defeating Jack Atlas, using their hard-earned victory to destroy the divide between Tops and Commoners so Yugo can become the true Prince of the Synchro Dimension. 

 

There was Yuto, Ruri and Shun reunited together once more, promising to never be apart again, to help fix Heartland and bring back the smiles it once had along with restoring order in the Xyz Dimension so Yuto can squash Academia’s forces and inflict retribution for the pain they inflicted on his home.

 

Seeing Yuri be in their loving embrace away from Professor Akaba’s control and remembering their loving father. 




And then, seeing Professor Akaba’s bleeding body laid out in front of his life’s work. A fitting tribute to the selfish pig-headed man who thought of his own needs above others.

 

Glad you see things my way, my lovely treasures. Now, remember when I asked you to buy those bracelets?

 

Yugo raised his right hand and saw the silver bracelet with the green gem -- a peridot was what the sign said -- but all Yugo can think about is how its color reminds him too much of Rin’s hair when it smelled like that green apple shampoo that she loved. Yuto did the same and he took note of the indigo colored stone on his bracelet, his thoughts about how Ruri was doing, waiting for him and her brother to rescue her and to take her home.

 

Channel your power, your thoughts, your desires,  memories of happiness, of safety, of love...every moment that you spent together, channel them all into energy so that these bracelets can bring Rin and Ruri back into your arms. Then, when our precious Lily arrives he can give these lovely gifts to the girls, to remind them of the love and safety both of you provided. 

 

“Yes, Father!” Both of his sons stated. An aura of power, green and purple respectively, surrounded the bracelets as the boys did as instructed, pouring their hearts, memories and presence into them. But before long, a black aura joined in, wrapping itself around the bracelet, fusing with the ones the boys had channeled as if holding hands. The auras soon faded away but the two boys could sense a newfound strength within these trinkets.

 

You did well my Loves. Zarc chuckled in satisfaction, invisible arms enveloping both of the boys, feelings of pride, love and satisfaction filling the boys' heads. They gave a happy sigh, eyes misty and almost closed from bliss. 

 

Shun put his hand on Yuto's shoulder waking him up from the heady feeling. The older boy had a concerned look on his face, Yuto couldn't help but smile, Shun was just worried about him, he had no idea how Father's love can be so holy consuming. He merely put his hand over Shun's that's still on his shoulder, rubbing it, indicating he was just fine. Shun gave a sigh, relieved. 

 

“What do we do now?” said Yugo..

 

“I assume Reiji will be asking where I went,” Shun suggested. “And he probably would have seen the two of you through the city’s security cameras yesterday seeing as you both got a new set of clothes.”

 

“...So you’re saying that he would want to have a word with us?” asked Yuto.

 

Excellent... Zarc hissed.

 

"Let's not keep him waiting then," said Yugo excitedly with a smirk on his face. "Let's go."

 

Yuto licked his fangs, thinking for a moment. Even if it was Father's will, it didn't mean they shouldn't be cautious, even with Shun vouching for Reiji. 

 

Yugo blinked when he noticed the look of concern on his brother’s face. "Hey Yuto, come closer." Yuto blinked at him before walking closer to Yugo. The older brother grabbed Yuto's cheeks, forcing his mouth open gently. "Your fangs have grown out. Geez, be careful! What if someone saw that?"

 

Yuto blinked, not having noticed at all. Yeah, they shouldn't really be giving themselves more attention and questions than needed and a pair of fangs would raise an eyebrow or two. Yuto did let out a whine though, he liked his fangs!

 

Reluctantly, and with a little concentration, his fangs retracted and were back to normal… human normal at the very least. And that was when a terrifying thought came to Yuto’s mind.

 

"You don't think Yuya…?" Yuto let the question trail off. 

 

Yugo hummed in concern. "We can't really check on him though. Father said not to get anywhere near Yuzu after all..."

 

Both boys were visibly uncomfortable and worried at the prospect of not checking on their baby brother. Yuya was the most sensitive one of them all and the wounds from Sora’s betrayal and learning about the Fusion Dimension’s rampage across the dimensions would have crushed him! Not to mention that Yuya would want Sora to suffer for all of the pain he caused.

 

If there was one thing that was frightening of Yuya was that his imagination could run wild. And it was certain that he was thinking of some very gruesome punishments to “entertain” the family once they had their claws on Sora. It took a lot to lose Yuya's trust and care, the boy loved so much and cared deeply. So once someone loses that trust, the fires of hell are set loose.

 

“He told us not to check on him,” Yuto repeated. “But...what about Shun?”

 

Yugo was unconvinced, though. “Shun’s not a sociable type; he was working with the enemy before! There’s no way he’ll be able to explain this to Yuzu.”

 

Zarc ran a hand through Yuto's hair, noticing the concern on his poor shadow’s face. 

 

Do not worry my darlings, I'll be there to protect your brother if anything of that sort happens. Now it's time to pay Reiji Akaba a visit. Zarc kissed Yugo's forehead, soothing him of his concerns.

 

"Yes Father," both boys answered, all three heading towards Yugo’s D-Wheel. And with the roar of the engine like the sound of a dragon, they headed off to LDS tower. 

 

****************

“Yuya!”

 

Yuya didn’t even step foot into the You Show Duel School building before he was hit across the face with Yuzu’s trademark harisen. If Yuto and Yugo were here to see this, they would be tearing that fan to shreds and threatening to shred Yuzu’s skin with their claws if she happened to do anything like that again.

 

“Ow!!!” Yuya said, even though it didn’t hurt at all. Yuya could feel Zarc burning with rage, and had to beg his father to not over react. The harisen was the equivalent of being playfully swatted. Father still wanted to snap her neck but he stopped, running his hand gently through Yuya's hair, feelings of protectiveness and possessiveness clouding his senses for a moment.   

 

“There you are!” said Yuzu, grasping onto Yuya’s shirt. “Where have you been?” which promptly woke Yuya up from Zarc's mental projections. 

 

“Yuzu’s been worried sick about you,” said Tatsuya, as he, Ayu and Futoshi approached the entrance. “We hadn’t seen you since we left Sora to recover in the hospital two days ago!”

 

“And you missed out on Futoshi’s duel against that of Reira Akaba,” Ayu added.

 

“That Reira gave me the shivers!” Futoshi shuddered, remembering the Synchro Summoning his opponent used to end the duel.

 

“And there’s still no signs of Sora,” Yuzu finished, releasing her grip on Yuya’s shirt. “Are you doing okay though? Did anything bad happen?”

 

But Yuya was not aware of Yuzu’s questions. Only one thought was on his mind right now.

 

Sora…

 

At that name, Yuya felt anger rising inside his chest. Sora Shiunin; a boy with an innocent face who happily described laying waste to Yuto’s hometown and carding the innocent citizens of the Xyz Dimension. Who used his Fluffal monsters as a symbol to hide the wicked and twisted soul that wanted to lay waste on anyone who used Xyz summoning. Who showed no qualms on how he helped destroy people’s lives, comparing the conquest to a simple “hunting game”

 

Well, now that Yuya knows exactly what happened to his brother, Sora better be ready. He will roast the boy alive for the pain he put Yuto through…

 

Or better yet, he’ll make Yuto torture Sora for everything he’s done. 

 

Or even better, perhaps let Father have his way with the Academia spy and turn him into a puppet like those Sora created with his Fusion Summoning . Make him experience pain indefinitely as a stuffed toy with mechanical weapons sprouting from his body as he begs for the sweet release of death.

 

Yes...that would put a smile on his face as he licked the tips of his fangs. That would definitely be such an entertaining show….

 

“Yuya?”

 

Yuya blinked and looked up at Yuzu calling out his name. “What is it, Yuzu?”

 

“Yuya...are you all right?” Yuzu asked, noticing something strange about her close friend. Maybe it’s the eyes...just for a second, she thought they were glowing. Or perhaps she thought she saw his teeth look more like something out of a predator….

 

And Zarc couldn't be prouder as he kept running his hand through Yuya's hair and wrapping his arm around the boy's waist, relishing in the types of ways to torture that boy for revealing such ugly truths to them. For betraying one of his sons and insulting the other. 

 

All in good time my Shining Star. We will get the retribution we crave soon enough. But calm yourself dearest one. Zarc kissed the top of Yuya's head. Relax, do not let your Dragon side out, keep your fires cooled. Merely focus on the present. Let nothing distract you. Keep your guard up. Let the world see your beautiful smile. You don't wanna scare your little friends after all, right? Father will make everything better soon. I promise. 

 

His attention returned to his surroundings, and upon noticing the fear on Yuzu’s face, Yuya only smiled and said. “It’s nothing. I’m sure Sora will find his way back to my kitchen sooner or later and ask to eat some of my mom’s pancakes. Now come on, we should get going.”

 

“But…”

 

“Everything’s fine,” he said with that smile on his face. Although it seemed more forceful than anything. “Now come on, we should get to the stadium to see the final matches of Round 1 and figure out who I’ll be facing tomorrow.”

 

“Yuya, are you sure about -- 

 

“Let’s go , Yuzu,” Yuya stated through gritted teeth, placing his hand over Yuzu’s bracelet as they, Tatsuya, Futoshi and Ayu headed toward the tournament. His grip on Yuzu’s wrist was like steel and the way he charged toward their destination was so unlike him.

 

And throughout the entire trip, Yuzu had no idea what to say. It was as if something was forcing her mouth to be glued shut as Yuya nearly dragged her towards the stadium where Gongenzaka would be waiting for them.

 

Trying to distract herself, she thought she saw two cloaked figures observing the duel involving Hokuto. One tall and the other who...if she wasn’t seeing things, looked exactly like her.

 

Before Yuzu could make a comment about it, she was pulled towards the stadium. And by the time Yuzu had a chance to see that doppelganger of hers, they had vanished into thin air.

 

Yuzu shook her head. This entire thing with Yuto and Shun and Sora was getting into her. She’s not feeling well. She’s being delusional. She’s not going mad...

 

...

...

...or was she?




Chapter Text

Yuri wasn’t too surprised to find that he was tasked to kidnap another princess for Professor Akaba. The ones from the Synchro and Xyz Dimension were so easy to apprehend that it’ll be just as simple to retrieve the one from this ‘Standard Dimension’ as well. Why the professor wanted more of these girls when he already had one of his own by the name of Serena -- who had this annoying habit of trying to prove that she belonged on the front lines -- was not for him to question. He had a job and that was what he was going to do. 

 

He wouldn’t be too surprised if this girl was close to a boy that had a similar face to his own either. That foolish Xyz duelist and the one whose name translated to Fusion were nothing compared to his dueling prowess; this Standard counterpart would also fall into despair when this light of his life was snatched away without any way to get her back. 

 

And for some reason Starved Venom was chuckling at that declaration. 

 

Yuri returned to his room, The two girls were each in a tower, kept there and guarded by a brother and sister pair chosen by the professor himself. From what he heard, the girls with a face like Serena have a knack for escaping since aside from Serena, both of them have tried running away five different times by now, and apprehended just as many times.

 

Still the fact that they managed to escape however brief a time since they arrived many times is impressive. The one with green hair, Rin, always bites, screams and even pulls on people’s hair when she would be apprehended. She was very loud and impulsive, and would never stop fighting or screaming even after she was tossed back into the tower again and again and again. 

 

The other one, Ruri Kurosaki, was not as loud or impulsive. She usually planned for any openings, and even if apprehended she would fight for freedom as well, but never with the same spark that Rin has. Hers was more of a silent fury, ready to strike but just not finding the right time. And the only indicator of her determination was in the look in her eyes. They looked like a hunter about to hurl a spear into an antelope.

 

The girls were amusing; their continuance to defy the Professor and his head scientists had given Yuri several good laughs, and elevated his boredom. Shame it’ll all have to end soon. The Professor had had enough of the two’s rebellious streaks, and in a week or so he would have the Doktor insert his perfected parasites into their brains. Yuri shuddered with disgust, these things have never set well with the Fusion duelist. They were simply there to be squashed in his opinion.

 

The thought of that Doktor and his twisted experiments was soon replaced with a strange feeling. It was like a burst of heat that suddenly enveloped his chest and then spreading out from every strand of his hair to his fingertips, warming him from the inside out.

 

“The feeling is back,” He thought as he sat down on his bed. He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths, hand over his heart. These past two days had been a cause for worry to the pink haired boy. A feeling had overcome him a few nights ago, something he could never remember feeling in this life-time, and it had scared him to death. Rage and hatred in the back of his mind was there and those he could understand; they were what kept Yuri’s mind intact, fueling him with a sense of purpose. Hate to those beneath him, those who would presume to be better than him, and rage at the world for being so unfair and unkind to him, they were all the things Yuri has had ever since he was a child, which transformed into malice and apathy under the Professor’s (un)watchful eye.

 

But after Sora returned and he was tasked to go after the girl known as Yuzu Hiiragi, everything changed. 

 

All of a sudden, he felt... happy. Something inside of him lit up...as if something had gone completely and utterly right in that moment, and Yuri wanted to reach out. To grasp it. To take it into his arms and keep it close until it burned out and all that was left of it were ashes. He could hear Starve Venom in his mind groaning, reaching for that feeling and encouraging Yuri to do the same.

 

And the boy had tried, oh did he try to, but he just couldn’t do it.. He dropped to his knees in that moment, sorrow and disappointment hitting his heart. What was that feeling? Why did he feel it? Why couldn’t he grab it?

 

It didn’t stop there either. Phantom sensations of being touched softly on the arms, chest and neck. Or his face being kissed and the ghostly hands caressing his cheek. It felt so good, too good, and Yuri had no idea if he wanted it to stop or for it to never ever end.

 

And even then he was noticing things differently. The shadows...they seemed to look upon him in curiosity. Observing them and wanting to wrap themselves around him like a mother wraps their child tight. That...frightened him. It felt like they wanted to suffocate him, smother him, envelope him in fright that he’s never ever felt before in his life.

 

But it was the voice that frightened him the most.

 

Somehow, somewhere, there was a voice that was talking to him in his mind, whispering sweet nothings into his ear and he knew who that voice was yet it was still haunting him. He wanted who that voice belonged to and he wanted to know why he wanted it so badly...

 

The echo in the back of his mind beckoned him to uncover the truth and to go to the source of those sensations, even though Yuri had no idea where they came from. But he wanted to go there, he needed to go there. Even if he was going mad, it made him feel safe and calm and secure. He wanted those feelings more than anything .

 

Instead, he snuffed these emotions out as he began to focus on what was there, what was right in front of him. He had a mission to complete, and he should get ready. He could feel Starve Venom’s disappointment and longing that reflected his own. 

 

With a heavy heart, Yuri got out of bed and looked at his deck resting on the bedside table. As he began to leaf through the cards that were the closest thing he had to family, he did not notice the shadows that reached towards him.

 

And before he could even consider it, the shadows wiped the tear that fell down the corner of his eye

 

**************

 

“Yuya, there you are!”

 

Yuya smiled when he saw Gongenzaka waiting for him in the main lobby. Zarc eyed the taller boy with the pompadour but a swift probe of his son’s memories made him much more understanding. Noboru Gongenzaka was there to help Yuya stand tall and proud during those years when the father of this lifetime, Yusho Sakaki, disappeared without a trace. 

 

Zarc narrowed his eyes when he glimpsed through those painful memories; three years of his precious baby, being teased and bullied for being the “son of a coward” and mocked for trying to take on Strong Ishijima in his father’s place to defend Yusho Sakaki’s honor. He had seen the memories of his Yuya on the brink of despair in the park, sitting at his favorite spot on a bridge, or his room, crying alone, slipping those goggles on to put a mask between himself and the world. To not let anyone see his tears because he was told to keep smiling. If only he was there sooner to wipe those tears away, to cradle Yuya as he slept, to weave sweet dreams that told of a promise that he, Zarc, the true father, would come back. 

 

Zarc caressed Yuya’s cheek softly… He wasn’t gonna let these tears fall down his little Star’s face again, he promised, and Yuya as always relaxed further in Zarc’s embrace.  

 

It was only thanks to Gongenzaka and Hiiragi Yuzu that his little Star had found the support that his family would always give him. It was quite funny when he looked at it that way. The cause of their separation was a constant comfort for his little treasures in this world. Ray would be rolling in her grave if she knew what her sacrifice caused. 

 

Zarc made a mental note to give Gongenzaka a high position as Yuya’s bodyguard. The boy’s muscular frame and bonds with his shooting star would make him a perfect choice. As for Yuzu Hiragi, he simply would have to see. He still didn’t like the idea of Yuzu swatting Yuya over the face with that paper fan, but he could tolerate her kindness and determination to be strong to help those that she loved...

 

Especially since he just sensed another of Ray’s pieces now in this dimension.

 

He was no fool. When he saw the look in Yuzu Hiragi’s eyes and the look of shock of seeing another girl with her face, it did not take long for Zarc to note that Yuzu took notice of En-Moon. 

 

Which means that sooner or later, his precious Lily will arrive. He smirked, satisfaction rolling off of him in waves. Finally his family would be reunited, brief of a time as it would be. His poor Yuri... he could feel how desperate he was to reach them, it broke his heart to be so close and yet so far away. 

 

But did En-Moon have a connection to Yuri like how Rin and Ruri were so precious to Yugo and Yuto? He would have to ask Yuri when they reunited, but this would be for later. Yuya’s safety was more important.

 

“I, the man Gongenzaka am proud that you’re back to proper health,” said Gongenzaka, giving Yuya a good slap behind the back. “Where were you yesterday?”

 

“Oh, me?” asked Yuya, figuring out what to say without revealing Yuto and Yugo now staying in his house. “I, uh, I was with my mother and we did a bit of shopping!”

 

“Shopping for new cards?” asked Ayu.

 

“No, not cards!” Yuya clarified, although he wished that he could have bought some new Xyz or Synchro and Tuner monsters after Yuto and Yugo’s lessons. “But there was an accident that caused most of the dishes and cups to shatter so mom decided to get some new ones and --“

 

“DARLING!!!!”

 

The shrill voice of Mieru Hochun caused everyone to turn before Yuya was tackled to the floor by the red-haired fortune-teller.

 

“Oh my darling Yuya!” Mieru exclaimed. “Where were you? I was going to dedicate my victory to you but I was utterly trounced by that ninja in one turn!”

 

“Ninja?” asked Yuya turning to Gongenzaka.

 

“She’s talking about Tsukikage,” Gongenzaka explained. “He and his brother Hikage hail from the Fuuma Dueling School.”

 

“Can you imagine how cool that must be?” asked Tatsuya. “Ninjas that fight with Duel Monsters!”

 

“Don’t you dare bring anything about that man up!” Mieru screams at Tatsuya. The blue haired boy stepped back as she added, “I don’t want to remember my utterly humiliating loss!” 

 

“Come on, Mieru,” said Yuya, helping Mieru get off of him as he sat up. “I mean, I’m flattered that you tried to dedicate this duel to me.”

 

“You really mean it?!” Mieru exclaimed, her anger subsiding when she heard such praise from him. “Oh, I knew you would lo--”

 

Just as she was about to leap into Yuya’s arms again, she felt a shiver fall down her spine. There was...there was something off about her future duelmate.

 

Yuya blinked, seeing Mieru frozen for a moment, looking at him strangely. “Something wrong Mieru?” he asked her. 

 

She blinked at him, tilting her head like a curious cat. “Well it’s just, you seem...different,” she answered as best as she could.

 

“Huh?” All of the people present asked, not sure what she was talking about. Yuzu, on the other hand, had her full attention on both of them. Unlike with her, Yuya hadn’t acted strangely, and yet Mieru could see it too, or rather sense it. 

 

The red haired girl pulled out a small bundle wrapped in silk cloth and placed it onto the ground. She untied the corners of the cloth to reveal her blue crystal apple “There is something off about you, Yuya…” she said, doing her best to stare into the core of her beloved crystal.

 

“Mieru, I’m sure it’s nothing,” said the red eyed boy with a sweet smile. But Mieru didn’t stop looking, even when Yuya placed a hand over her wrist.

 

“Darkness…” Mieru mumbled, seeing a dark fog form within the apple. “Yuya...I sense a powerful darkness within you!”

 

“Darkness?” asked Ayu.

 

“The thought of that makes me feel shivers!” Futoshi shuddered. 

 

“Wait, there’s something else...I see...a pair of eyes...Golden eyes in the shadows,” Mieru breathed, green eyes looking horror.

 

“Dark they were and golden-eyed…” Yuya mumbled, feeling Father’s presence. It was a mixture of curiosity of this girl able to detect his presence and rage in how Mieru was exposing him too soon.

 

“Hmm?” asked Ayu. “What did you say?”

 

“I was just describing what Mieru saw in her apple,” said Yuya. “So...what else do you see in there, Mieru?”

 

Mieru’s heart began to pound in her chest as one more image appeared before her. “I...I…”

 

“Yes?” asked Yuya.

 

“I….I…”

 

Yuya frowned as he saw Mieru panicking. If she revealed one more thing about Zarc, he’d...

 

“...Guys,” Yuya said suddenly. “Can I be left alone with Mieru for a while?”

 

Yuzu felt something grip her heart as Mieru described what she saw, even though it wasn’t much, just Darkness and a pair of golden eyes, that can be chalked to nonsense. But the image it conjured in her mind, eyes that weren’t human, filled with fury and hatred, a desire to destroy , sending shivers of fear down her spine. There was a name for this darkness...it was on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t reach it. More than that, the fear didn’t feel like her own, it was as if she was sensing someone else’s emotions, ones which disappeared like a dream, leaving behind worry for Yuya’s safety, 

 

If these eyes if this presence hurt her best friend in any way, she would never forgive it, she would never forgive herself for letting that happen. Yuya seemed thoughtful though, not worried. Was her best friend truly okay? 

 

“Are you sure it’s a good idea?” asked Gongenzaka. “She looks like she needs to lie down.”

 

“Yeah, maybe losing to Tsukikage might have done something to her head,” Futoshi suggested.

 

“No, no, it’s fine,” said Yuya as he watched Mieru wrap the apple back in the purple square of silk. “Besides, I think it’d be better that the both of us enjoy each other’s company.”

 

For some odd reason, the way that sentence was said caused everyone to step back. But Yuya was just smiling at them and surely nothing could go wrong. Mieru’s fortune-telling wasn’t...there’s no way that Yuya Sakaki had some inner darkness in him...right?

 

“I...if you say so, Yuya,” said Tatsuya. “Come on, we should get ready to see the last duels for the day.”

 

“Go on ahead, I’ll catch up with you later,” said Yuya. The four of them nodded, but Yuzu stayed there a worried look on her face. 

 

“Yuzu?” Yuya asked. The pink haired girl launched herself at Yuya, wrapping her arms around him, as if to protect him, even though she was the one shivering. “Yu-Yuzu…” he mumbled surprised, she really did seem worried. Mieru’s words causing her to panic, after Yuya’s reaction. 

 

She was afraid. Afraid of this inner darkness in Yuya. Afraid for Yuto and Shun’s plight. Afraid that maybe, just maybe, she’s going crazy and that her world was slowly falling apart.

 

Zarc on his end couldn’t be more amused. Yuzu Hiragi, En-Flowers, hugging his son as if he was something precious to her, ready to protect him as well. What a beautiful sight; Ray and Leo Akaba would truly be horrified. Oh it couldn’t have been better!

 

With a touch of his hand, he patted Yuzu’s head, which caused the pink-haired girl to freeze, Zarc reached gently into her mind, calming her down, making her let go of Yuya. The pink haired girl blinked, now calmer and happier than she had been for quite some time. “Don’t be late now!” she said with a grin which Yuya matched with his own.

 

Yuya placed his hands over Yuzu’s wrists and nodded his head. “I’ll be fine. Take care of yourself!” 

 

Yuzu looked down where Yuya’s hands were and blushed when she pulled her hands away from him. After an awkward three seconds of noticing what just happened, she smiled at Yuya and waved good-bye before following Gongenzaka and the younger children to the stadium. 

 

“Thank you, Father,” said Yuya with a soft smile. Zarc merely kissed the top of Yuya’s head as an answer. 

 

Anything for you, my love. Zarc replied. Now then, we need to do something about this waif here. Hmm...I know just what to do.

 

Mieru looked at Yuya with a tilt of her head before Yuya looked down at her with a smile that would make her swoon.

 

“Mieru,” Yuya began with a smile on his face, he extended his hand to her charmingly. “Follow me.”

 

Mieru nodded her head as Yuya lead Mieru down the hallway and into a recreation room with a television, a couch and a table with a glass tabletop. Mieru looked in confusion as Yuya ushered her in before he also entered…

 

And then closed the door and locked it.

 

At the sound of Yuya locking the door, Mieru felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Something was wrong; she didn’t need her crystal apple to sense that .

 

“Mieru?” Yuya asked with a voice like honey.

 

“Y...yes, darling?” asked Mieru, slowly turning around, eyes wide with fright.

 

Yuya chuckled as he approached her...and his cheerful expression swiftly morphed into one of impatient fury, eyes sharp, pupils narrowed, his red eyes seemed to resemble the color of blood, His lips turned downward as he glared at her. His hands curled into fists as he bared his fangs at the girl.

 

“What are you really here for?” he hisses.

 

Mieru fest like her voice was caught in her throat as she saw something...something dark . An aura of darkness she could see from the corner of her eye, gently hugging Yuya. 

 

“W...what do you mean?” Mieru stammered, backing away slowly. 

 

“My fortune,” Yuya began as the shadows continued to lick his skin. “When we dueled weeks ago. The coin you used to decide turn order: on one side was a dragon, and on one side was a demon.”

 

“Yeah...it...it  was just a way to decide who would go first. Nothing more.” Mieru said, ready to scream at the top of her lungs at the slightest provocation.

 

“Oh it was something ,” Yuya purred as the shadows began to lengthen. “I should’ve seen it sooner. One side of me is a dragon and the other side is the darkness that is Father…

 

He sighed as he felt Father release another wave of possessiveness, eyes nearly rolling to the back of his head as he savored each and every drop of his father’s love.

 

“F...Father?” Mieru squeaks. “You mean...Yusho?”

 

Yuya woke from his trance when he heard that name. Mieru gasped as Yuya tilted his head to the side, red eyes as big as one from an owl that seemed to fill up Mieru’s vision and make it look like Yuya was about to go...berserk.

 

“Yusho?” Yuya repeated. One of his eyes twitched as he screeched, “YUSHO?!”

 

At this, Yuya couldn’t help but laugh. Low, soft, starting from his heart before it rose from his throat as he lifted his head to the sky into a full-blown cackle. For her skills in fortune-telling, this little girl honestly thought that Yusho Sakaki was a demon?!

 

Oh Yusho was plenty of things; father, entertainer, loving husband. But a demon he was not.

 

And yet he broke his son’s heart by vanishing without a trace. Zarc growled lowly, he would make sure the man paid dearly for the heartbreak he gave his child for all these years. No one hurt his children and got away with it, especially not his baby boy.  Not even Yoko could change his mind. Yoko would live for being the supporting mother that Yuya needed, but Yusho Sakaki would pay for everything .

 

Yuya continued to laugh, hand to his heart as Mieru remembered just what she had seen in the crystal apple. After the darkness and the golden eyes, she saw…

 

A dragon.

 

But not just a dragon. The dragon looked like it was made of metal, with eyes that reflected multiple images of shadows with its gaze. This...this couldn’t be what was inside her prince! This dragon couldn’t exist with the same Yuya Sakaki who charmed her in their duel!

 

“Yuya!” Mieru screamed, eyes brimming with tears. “What’s going on? WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?!”

 

Yuya stopped laughing and took a few deep breaths to calm himself down, his upper body leaning forward. Mieru could see the shadows more clearly now, flickering like flames. She whimpered, waiting for how Yuya would react.

 

As she reached for the crystal apple in her coin purse, ready to use it to knock Yuya unconscious if need be, the red and green haired boy stopped himself. He didn’t want to disobey or disappoint father, but Mieru was his friend, he cared for her, and she had done nothing wrong. He could see her sadness, love, fear and worry, Yuya never liked making people sad. He always, always wanted them happy. He always did whatever he could to make his father and brothers smile; even in this life, he always adored seeing the smile on his friends’ lips. 

 

But he couldn’t disappoint Father, never Father. 

 

After pondering how to react, Yuya finally heard a whisper in his ear.

 

It seems this girl really does care for you, my Star. You have touched many hearts dear one. And you don’t want to lose this mystical waif either, do you?

 

“No, father,” Yuya answered softly. Mieru might have seen his father, but she couldn’t help wanting to use her powers to protect him, and she was worried about him, Yuya was certain. After all, even if her methods back at the duel were cruel, all she wanted to do was make sure he was safe.The Pendulum user never liked losing friends, and Mieru was no exception. 

 

Then why don’t we keep her, darling?

 

“Keep her?” he asked a little confused, and Zarc chuckled with mirth. 

 

Would you like to keep her, Little one? 

 

“Yes, Father,” Yuya replied with a soft smile on his face. Even his mental voice was breathless what with Zarc sending wave after wave of satisfaction and pride. 

 

Then do as I instruct, Precious. 

 

Mieru watched with bated breath as the shadows around Yuya began to fade away like smoke until they completely disappeared. Still, she grasped onto her crystal apple tight. 

 

“Mieru?” Yuya asked innocently.

 

Mieru blinked as she noticed how Yuya was back to his normal self. “Y...Yes, Yuya?”

 

Yuya smirked and gave Mieru a wink. “Could I see that apple of yours just for a second?”

 

Mieru nearly dropped her apple in shock. First Yuya was acting like a maniac and now he’s acting like his outburst never happened?

 

Something in her gut was telling her to say “No”. To just walk away and leave Yuya to his business, forget that she ever mentioned that he looked different and then rush to Madam Divina to see what was going on.

 

And yet...Yuya was staring at her, asking for something so innocent like seeing what was so special about her crystal apple. To him, it’s just an interesting trinket, to her it is what she used as a guide for troubled times.

 

Only she could unleash its powers; to Yuya it was just a paperweight.

 

Nothing could go wrong if she lent it to him for a minute or two...right?

 

“Um...sure,” said Mieru, letting Yuya take the apple into his hands. 

 

Yuya felt the cool surface of the apple radiate with energy. Yes...this would be perfect.

 

“My, my, my,” Yuya said, eyes wide with amazement. “It’s beautiful…”

 

“It is!” Mieru said, beaming with pride. “My mother bought it for me when I became enrolled in the Unno Divination School to give me good luck!”

 

“I can tell!” Yuya chuckled, eyes glowing. He then gasped. “Oh, I think I see something within it!”

 

Mieru looked in alarm. “Really? Where?!”

 

“You have to really look at it, Mieru! I see a little spark…”

 

“Let me see, let me see!” 

 

Yuya smiled as he concentrated on what he wanted to show Mieru. He wanted to show her that Zarc was not something to be afraid of. That he wanted her help for what was to happen next.

 

Lending a part of his powers to Yuya to channel was the idea, unlike Yuto his other sons didn’t have the power to hypnotize people so naturally; they had other gifts.  

 

Mieru leaned close, bright green eyes trying to see what Yuya had seen within her apple. This has never happened before!

 

“Look very closely, Mieru…” Yuya purred, seeing a soft light glow within the facets of the apple. “It looks beautiful…” Yuya’s eyes slowly turned gold as he said this. Zarc wasn’t possessing him this time. Rather, it was merely a sign of Yuya using Zarc’s powers. 

 

The crystal apple glowed softly, capturing Mieru’s eye, she didn’t notice the change in Yuya at all, focused on the light inside as Yuya’s soft lilting voice guided her, lulled her into a trance.

 

“Just keep looking at it, Mieru,” Yuya whispered, waving a hand over the apple as if sprinkling magic dust over it. “Keep looking...keep looking…the light is warm and comforting, isn’t it?” 

 

The red haired girl had a small smile on her face, nodding to Yuya’s words. Her breathing became lighter and she felt calmer in Yuya’s presence.

 

“Do you know what I love about light?” Yuya cooed as the golden sparkles seemed to spin round and round like glitter in a whirlpool. “The more light that is cast, the greater the shadows that form from them. What about you, Mieru? What do you think?”

 

“I….” Mieru breathed out, eyes glazing over, listening to Yuya’s every word. “I….”

 

“You’re doing so good Mieru, just keep looking into the light,” Yuya whispered, fangs extending as licked them in delight. “I’m so proud of you, my sweet.”

 

Mieru felt so happy at the praise. Her duelmate was praising her for doing something good!

 

“And you know what would be even better?” Yuya continued, smile stretched out as the shadows began to dance around his feet. “If you listened very carefully at what I have to say. Could you do that for me, Mieru-chan?”

 

Mieru nodded her head with no hesitation. The light and Yuya’s voice were so nice. Why shouldn’t she listen to him?  

 

“Listen very close then,” Yuya hissed as the darkness rose like the tide, blocking out sound from within this room. “I have something to ask of you. You’d do anything for me, right?”

 

“A...anything,” Mieru replied with another nod of her head.

 

“Splendid!” Yuya squealed. “That’s exactly what I wanted to hear! Now, listen very carefully…”

 

He leaned close and whispered into the girl’s ear, “The Darkness that you saw, the golden eyes that seemed to stare into your soul...How did they make you feel?”

 

“S-scared,” Mieru answered with a slight shudder. “I don’t know why, but those eyes...they seemed to hold power, and malice… and it was all wrapped around you, Yuya. You always...shined so bright, the Darkness was so intense...it...it scared me .”  

 

Yuya frowned. He didn’t want Mieru to be scared of the darkness. What to do...what to do…

 

Oh! He knew exactly what to do...

 

“Mieru…” Yuya hissed. “Look at my eyes…”

 

He lowered his hand, making sure the crystal apple wasn’t too far from Mieru’s field of vision before he took notice of Mieru’s glassy stare. 

 

My eyes are gold, but are you afraid of me?” Yuya questioned, hand underneath her chin, slightly lifting it so she was eye-to-eye with him.. 

 

Mieru looked straight into those golden orbs, a sense of peace still in her mind, and the pretty light still in her sights. Yuya’s eyes...Yuya’s eyes were...they were beautiful . Gold, yet still soft, holding kindness and peace in them. The ones she saw in her crystal apple held… they held too much for her to describe. She shook her head in answer to him.

 

“See?” Yuya cooed, patting Mieru’s cheek as the shadows danced and twirled between the two. “And what about the darkness? What do you see in them right now?”

 

Mieru’s gaze was focused on the swirling darkness that spun round and round Yuya. It seemed now that she looked at it clearly, the shadows were embracing Yuya lovingly, protecting him. They did not seem to want to hurt her prince at all, quite the opposite. Which was exactly what Mieru replied with. 

 

“Your crystal apple was telling the truth, but it was your perception that was skewed,” Yuya explained, a gust of wind rising beneath his feet, his eyes glowing, flickering like fireflies as the shadows’ dancing became more frantic, erratic, dazzling. “The golden eyes and the shadows aren’t evil at all...are they, Mieru?”

 

“No...They...they can’t be,” Mieru answered, seeing the logic from Yuya’s questions locking into place. “They seem so gentle...loving…” 

 

“Yes, they are,” Yuya said huskily. “You won’t fear them, right Mieru? You wouldn’t fear me , would you?”

 

She shook her head. “I won’t fear you...or the shadows.” 

 

“That’s good Mieru, you’re doing so good,” Yuya stated, placing a kiss on Mieru’s cheek. Even in her trance-like state, she beamed at that, happy to hear all the praise from her darling. 

 

“You’d help me with anything I ask, won’t you?” Yuya continued. “If I ever need you, you’ll help, and you won’t be afraid. The light will take away your fear.”

 

“The light will take it away,” Mieru mumbled. 

 

“That’s right,” Yuya whispered. “Now, once I snap my fingers, you’ll wake up from the trance. You will only remember that I brought you here to ask you something very important, ok?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And from now on, whenever I give you a command, you will address me as your prince or darling. It means that I am so important to you, and you’d do anything for me. Won’t you?”

 

“Of course I would, darling…” Mieru said.

 

Yuya placed the crystal apple into her hand, the light inside it slowly fading away and the shadows retreating. The golden glow in Yuya’s eyes faded away as both he and Zarc smiled in praise at what they accomplished.

 

“Okay...3...2...1…”

 

And with a snap of his fingers, Mieru blinked her eyes and looked around. She looked at the crystal apple in her hand, wondering why it was there as Yuya smiled down at her. 

 

“Mieru,” said Yuya with a chuckle. “Are you okay?”

 

“Um, of course I am darling!” Mieru answered. “You said you needed me for something?”

 

“I did. Yuzu told me that you’re capable of tracking people down with your apple, right?”

 

“That’s right!” Mieru said with a beaming smile. It took her a long time to practice that particular skill but now she was able to use it without worry. 

 

“I’ll need you to help me track down someone important in a few days,” Yuya continues. “I can’t tell you now, so come to me when I call you. Here, let’s exchange numbers.”

 

After a few seconds of the two trading numbers onto their Duel Disks, Yuya then added, “All right, let’s get going! We have to go see the final duels for today.”

 

And when he grasped her hand, Mieru felt like she could jump to the moon. This...this couldn’t be what she thought it was…

 

My darling...is taking me on a date ?! She thought as she saw Yuya wink at her and that was all she needed to confirm that yes, this was a date. AHHHHH!!!!!

 

And she was still mentally screaming as Yuya unlocked the door and lead them towards the stadium.

**************

 

Shun had demanded to see Reiji, Yuto and Yugo standing behind him, both having serious expressions on their faces. Yuto’s arms were crossed, glaring a bit. Yugo on the other hand bored expression, bordering on impatience as Nakajima kept telling all three of them the same thing. 

 

“Reiji Akaba is busy at the moment,” and Yugo was about to punch the guy if Shun doesn’t, even though the older boy looked like he really wanted to.   

 

“Tell him that this is important!” Shun snapped, not giving a damn who Nakajima worked for and was ready to summon his Raidraptors just to prove a point.

 

“I will notify him and we can schedule a meeting for next week,” Nakajima replied, not even phased by how Shun’s arms were trembling with rage.

 

“How do we get him to cooperate with us?” Yugo asked Yuto with a simple glance.

 

“If only Father wasn’t with Yuya right now…”  Yuto grumbled. “He would know what to do.”

 

Yugo bit his lip, almost to the point of his fangs causing it to bleed. They were getting nowhere!

 

Yuto finally groaned as he told Nakajima, “Just tell him that it’s about his bastard of a father already!” 

 

“Oh?” Was the response they got from one Reiji Akaba from behind the door. “Why didn’t you say so?”

 

Yugo was just one second away from punching the door open but Yuto grabbing his arm and a simple shake of his head stopped him.

 

The door opened, Reiji coming out, eyes hidden behind his glasses as they caught the light. He was not that surprised to see two identical faces there, nor did he react to the three murderous expressions on all three of his visitors. “Please come in,” he said with a small smirk, stepping aside as if inviting the three of them in. 

 

“I’m gonna punch him.” Yugo said as they entered.

 

“Yugo....” Yuto growled.

 

“I will!” Yugo exclaimed “That smug asshole deserves it!”

 

Yuto just mentally sighed. “How am I the second youngest again?”        

 

Nakajima closed the door as Reiji took a good look at who had entered his office, particularly of the one that was not Shun or Yuto. “Yugo, correct?”

 

“Yeah,” Yugo answered, taking a good look at the son of Professor Akaba, as the light stopped reflecting on his glasses. If there was one thing that both of them shared, it was the same cold, emotionless gaze that showed no love for anyone at all. He did notice someone else there though beside him. 

 

That person was a young boy with a cyan jacket, a blue and yellow striped shirt and khakis. In their left hand was a worn-out teddy bear, his eyes looked...dead. When the young boy saw Yugo staring at them, he gulped and hid himself behind Reiji.

 

“Yugo is also here for the same reason Yuto and I are,” Shun explained. “He’s looking for his close friend, Rin. Apparently she was kidnapped by the same person who kidnapped my sister.”

 

“And who would that be?” Reiji questioned.

 

“He goes by the name of Yuri,” Yuto answered, feeling sick that he had to tell the son of that man who has made his older brother a pawn his name. He can just imagine Yuri also wanting to feel Father’s love and darkness embrace him. Knowing that he and Yugo had mistook each other for Yuri, and how Yuri was just a puppet for that wretched man made him want to bare his fangs. 

 

Yuto flicked his fingers as if ready to unleash his claws. An arm wrapped around his shoulder, pressing Yuto to his older brother, made him blink. His eyes flickered to Yugo’s face seeing the pain and sadness there as well, reflecting his own. His shoulders relaxed, but he stayed in Yugo’s embrace. The three other people there didn’t fail to take notice of the natural way that the two boys had comforted each other. If they truly had been strangers up until a few days ago, why were they this easily affected by each other? Reiji narrowed his eyes slightly at the scene. 

 

“Something doesn’t add up,” he said. “If the two of you mistook each other for the one that kidnapped your friends...how did you both come to the conclusion that the kidnapper had the name of Yuri?”

 

And it was there that Yuto and Yugo paused; it never occurred to them that Reiji would figure that out.

 

“Oh…”

 

“Shit!”

 

Wanting to divert Reiji’s attention, Yuto just crossed his arms. “And what would give us a reason to disclose our source of information to you?”  

 

“It just seems like a complete coincidence that the two fo you suddenly went from wanting to strangle each other to being on the same wavelength,” Reiji explained. “And this Yuri works for my father who we all hate. I just want to make sure that neither of you are collaborating with Academia. After all, you did once call Yugo the ‘Pawn of Fusion’, correct Yuto?”

 

“Yuto…” Yugo said in a tranquil tone.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Forget about me punching him, I’m gonna tear his fucking throat out!” Yugo screamed in their mental link, clenching his teeth to resist showing off his fangs.

 

“Keep it together, Yugo!” Yuto snapped, also wanting to do the same thing. “We can’t reveal our true natures just yet.”

 

Little Reira was shivering at the murderous aura that both boys were emanating towards her older brother, hugging her bear closer to her and hiding behind Reiji more, clutching at his shirt. The older boy looked strangely at Reira before he looked back at the two “counterparts”

 

“I suggest the two of you calm down right now,” Reiji said coolly, patting Reira’s shoulder.

 

Their eyes widened at the child’s fear; both had been only glaring, not as bad as Shun’s golden gaze was, but the little girl looked as if she...knew what they both were thinking almost. Father’s presence had returned, added to the small bit of shock their father being there made their minds blank and calmed down as their Father’s presence helped clear their minds of much of the murderous thoughts they had towards Reiji.

 

I know you dislike anyone who is related to that wretched man, but you cannot expose yourselves so soon. Zarc stated, doing his best not to show off his rage towards the Akabas. Remember loves...revenge is a dish best served cold.

 

Invisible hands caressed Yuto’s cheek and rubbed Yugo’s arm. Zarc looked at the pair of siblings, taking note of the younger one’s apprehension, eyes wide as she stared at the shadows. 

 

How many psychics were in this dimension?     

 

Reira blinked her eyes, trying to make sense as to what she just saw. Was she seeing things or...or did the shadows around Yuto and Yugo look back at him? 

 

Zarc was gone a minute later, back to his sons’ hearts. He was there to give his support when his children needed him but at the moment, he didn’t need more suspicion. Aside from not wanting Leo to know about him for vengeance purposes, Yuri was still far too vulnerable at the moment. With no memory of who he truly was, and no connection to his brothers or of his Father, no matter how powerful his eldest boy was, if Akaba Leo knew Zarc was already back… there’s no telling what he would subject his Yuri to. 

 

Zarc closed his eyes, trying to reach his Lily once more… he forced himself to calm down, nothing can return to Akaba at the moment, Yuri was safe. He let out another calming sigh. He needs to be patient. Yuri will come to him soon enough.

 

Reiji was unaware of this, and only saw Yuto and Yugo suddenly going from restraining their hatred towards him to blissfully unaware that he was in the room at all. Shun also looked in concern, wanting to say something when he saw the glassy look in Yuto’s eyes.

 

Reiji’s eyes narrowed, and decided to speak. “I didn’t get an answer,” waking both boys up. 

 

Yugo sighed and walked towards the silver haired older boy. “Look, it’s a counterpart thing okay? You really think either of us is with Academia when they took away the people precious to us and destroyed Yuto’s home? If either of us was, wouldn’t we have delivered Rin and Ruri to your damn bastard of a father already? I mean, if you think about it, we both had multiple chances to haul them to the Fusion Dimension! We’re the closest people to these girls, after all! So why the hell would we be helping them when we can’t even stand you !?”

 

“Since when were you using your brain?” Yuto questioned.

 

Yugo ignored Yuto’s sarcasm as he added, “If you truly are working against your father, then reluctantly we are allies. So take us or leave us.” He then grabbed Yuto’s arm. “Let’s get going. We’ve got more important things to do.”

 

Yuto wanted to protest but sighed. If Reiji didn’t want to trust them there was nothing he could do. (And secretly, he wanted to know how Yuya was doing. After all, he was always the one closest to Yuya while Yugo was the one who bonded close to Yuri)

 

“We’re just going to leave?” Shun asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

“You heard Yugo,” Yuto snarled. “If Reiji doesn’t want to believe us then we shouldn’t be wasting time when we could be preparing for when Obelisk Force attacks.”

 

The two counterparts began to walk past Reiji and Reira, neither of them wanting to even glance at him. Just as they were about to reach the door.

 

“Wait.”  

 

The two turned around as they saw Reiji’s lips curl upward.

 

“This whole ‘counterpart’ thing,” he began. “I think we can find some good use for that.”

 

“...What do you mean?” asked Yuto.

 

“You two, along with Yuya Sakaki, look similar to Yuri,” Reiji pointed out. 

 

“And?” Yugo growled, not liking what Reiji was implying. Yuto narrowed his eyes, crossing his arms.

 

“Having the three of you to cause a diversion when Obelisk Force attacks could be quite useful,” Reiji explained. “Seeing as Yuri knows how both of you look like, we can have Yuya be used as...bait before you two swoop in and capture him.”

 

“...Bait?” Yugo stated. “Did he just call our little brother BAIT?!”

 

“Yuri would have no idea that Yuya Sakaki knows Pendulum summoning,” Reiji continues. “Once Yuya is able to defeat him, you will capture him before he tries to disappear. Then, the three of you will bring him to my office so he can be interrogated. While I interrogate him, one of you can dress up like Yuri to cause confusion upon Obelisk Force.”

 

“As if anyone would fall for that bullshit.” Yuto stated.

 

“Ok first, while I admire your trust in Yuya, there is no guarantee that he can beat Yuri,” stated Yuto.

 

“Second, there is no way in hell any of us can emulate Yuri,” stated Yugo. Yuri was kind of the only one who inherited Father’s sadism, sometimes to the point of being more sadistic than Father himself. Yugo and Yuto were sure no one would be fooled, not to mention Yuto would rather attack the Obelisk Force directly than try to command them. It wasn’t really that solid of a plan. 

 

“Tell me, what was Yuri wearing on the night he kidnapped your friends?” Reiji asked.

 

“A black hooded cloak,” Yugo answered.

 

“But that won’t be enough to cover our identities,” Yuto noted. “Yuri plays Fusion ; the moment they see what we’re capable of, we’ll be caught.”

 

Reiji chuckled. “Which is why we hold Yuri hostage. If Obelisk Force wants him back, then they’re going to have to play by my terms.”

 

“And those are?” 

 

“They leave the Standard Dimension else we’ll have Shun use the same technology that he has been using to card LDS personnel on Yuri,” Reiji stated. “And if they don’t comply, maybe we can…”

 

At the sight of Reiji mimicking someone tearing a piece of paper in half, Yuto and Yugo had one single thought.

 

“Reiji Akaba is going to FUCKING DIE!”

 

Yuto’s hand gripped Yugo’s shoulder, both had been frozen with a horrified expression on their faces. 

 

“What’s wrong?” Reiji questioned. “I thought the two of you wanted retribution on the one who kidnapped your friends.”

 

“We want answers, we don’t want to kill him !” Yugo replied. “Heartless bastard; all the Akabas are!”

 

Reiji scoffed. 

 

“And that’s if Yuri doesn’t comply and answer your questions?” Yuto asked.

 

“Yes. After all, he is in a very high position is he not? He should have enough information about what my father is planning in his quest to conquer the dimensions,” Reiji replied. “And holding my father’s watchdog hostage should surely make him have second thoughts on whatever he’s planning.”

 

“Did he just implied that Yuri was a…”

 

That did it.  

 

“Reiji,” Shun stated, taking a step forward just before Yugo was about to pounce on Reiji, claws and fangs extended. “What would be the point of killing him? Why not do what you did to those students that I dueled.”

 

Reiji paused. “You mean alter Yuri’s memories?”

 

“After we obtain the information needed, we make Yuri believe he’s been part of Standard the entire time, that he was enrolled in LDS as one of the top students in Fusion Summoning,” Shun elaborated. “Yuri doesn’t die and we get an ally for the Lancers. Kill two birds with one stone.”

 

(Yuto had no idea whether to thank Shun or claw his eyes out once this was over.)

 

“Yes I suppose that would be more beneficial to us, wouldn’t it?” Reiji said interlocking his fingers together, his glaces catching the light once more. 

 

“Yuri will be protected by Father, he wouldn’t be affected.” thought Yugo. 

 

“No one else needs to know that,” said Yuto. He was itching to hold his brothers right now; this whole conversation had been nerve racking and he needed his family’s comfort before he jumped out of a window or something. Yugo did as well, hands flicking in unease, and restlessness.

 

“If we all agree then, we have a plan,” stated Reiji. 

 

“Smug bastard,” thought Yugo in fury  “He’s worse than the worst of the Tops.”    

 

I think this is enough for today,” said Reiji. “We’ll meet up again in two days to finalize everything. One of you should notify Yuya Sakaki, and only Yuya Sakaki about this plan.”

 

“Who else would we even tell?” Yuto asked sarcastically.

 

“Fair point,” said Reiji. “You are dismissed and I hope we will be able to work like this in the future.”

 

With a nod of his head, Shun headed off, Yuto and Yugo following him. Reira still kept her gaze upon the counterparts, trying to find any trace of darkness surrounding them. But there were none.

 

“Nii-san…” Reira whispered as Shun opened the door.

 

“Yes?” asked Reiji, looking down.

 

“...I don’t trust them,” Reira said as the three left the room and Nakajima closed the door.

 

***************

 

Isao Kachidoki vs Yaiba Todo could easily be described in two words.

 

Absolute destruction.

 

Yaiba never even had a chance to attack, not while Kachidoki made it his mission to beat the ever living crap out of the X-Saber duelist so that he could never pick up a sword or Duel Disk ever again. There was nothing but shock and horror from the audience as Yaiba was laid out on a stretcher and sent to the hospital, the Synchro Duelist’s hands trembling as he tried to pick up his sword, but failing to do so.

 

While Yuya never personally had a chance to interact with Yaiba aside from when Himika wanted to buy You Show Duel School for an absolutely petty reason (and Zarc had plans on giving that woman quite a scare for accusing Yuya of such a thing. How dare that woman unleash such underhanded tactics on his son!), Gongenzaka talked about how Yaiba was a good teacher to help him learn about Synchro Summoning. And given the reactions on Masumi and Hokuto’s faces, he could tell that the three of them were really good friends.

 

So it was quite a surprise when Yuya learned that he would be the one to face Kachidoki tomorrow, and he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to face off against someone with such an aggressive dueling style. There were looks of concern from Yuzu, Gongenzaka, Shuzo, the kids and Mieru, none of them unable to figure out how to cheer him up.

 

That was where Zarc came in. Kachidoki’s aggressive style of dueling made his blood boil. Fighting without honor or chivalry. Fighting and unleashing bloodshed without the audience in mind. Fighting like a savage beast…

 

This Kachidoki represented the worst of the worst of humanity. And if he had his way, he would give Kachidoki a taste of his own medicine.

 

For the time being, he watched as Yuya smiled and stood up, stating that he would just show off his dueling style to Kachidoki, making everyone else smile in response, cheering him on.

 

But what these humans did not know was that Yuya was hiding his nervousness with one of his large smiles on his face.

 

They did not know that deep down, Yuya was frightened at what would be his biggest challenge to date.

 

*************

 

Shun was staying at LDS tower, a room provided by Reiji. Yuto and Yugo were offered the same luxury but Yugo outright refused, Yuto was tempted -- if only to take a load off of Yoko -- but the need for his brothers by his side outweighed the little discomfort.

 

(And besides, why didn’t Reiji offer this to Yuya ? If Yuya found out about how his brothers were being treated like royalty but Reiji did not extend this hospitality to him, he’d be crushed!) 

 

Yugo stayed outside while Yuto and Shun talked in his room, making sure that Shun knew how to behave until further notice. Ten minutes later, the purple haired boy finally decided to leave, but not before he wrapped his arms around Shun’s neck and pulled him in for a searing kiss. Shun sighed contently closing his eyes as Yuto kissed him, and hugged Yuto closer. This warmth and comfort was what he craved after all. 

 

Ten seconds later, Yuto finally broke the kiss. “You’re mine, aren’t you?” he asked breathless, caressing Shun’s face. 

 

“Always…” Shun answered as he leaned into Yuto’s touch. His eyes closed in bliss, a small smile formed on his face. Yuto gave him another peck on his lips before heading to the door. 

 

"Yuto," Shun called, grabbing the lavender haired boy's hand gently. Yuto looked back at him with a questioning look. 

 

"Are you and Yugo alright?” Shun asked, eyes filled with concern. “You...seemed like you were gonna be sick at any mention of Reiji hurting this Yuri." 

 

Yuto sighed and held both of Shun's hands, rubbing circles on them with his thumbs. Shun's breath hitched as Yuto came closer. The older boy's eyes rolled to the back of his head as Yuto trailed down kisses on his neck. Shun gasped and clutched Yuto's shirt. 

 

"Y-Yuto…" he moaned, feeling nothing but pleasure with each and every kiss.

 

Yuto craned his neck up to whisper in Shun's ear as to not let Reiji hear if there was a camera around. Whispering a certain phrase that only Yuto, Shun and Ruri knew what it meant. Shun nodded, before shuddering when Yuto licked the shell of his ear. Finally, Yuto cupped Shun's face gently with both his hands. 

 

"I need to go now, my treasure. Behave for me until then," he whispered inches away from Shun's lips. The older boy nodded too in a daze of comfort and bliss to even think of disobeying. With one last kiss, Yuto let go of Shun and left the room, closing the door behind him.

 

It took a while before a single thought came to Shun’s mind while he laid on the bed. “Did Yuto just call me ‘treasure’? And...did I like being called a treasure?” Shun’s cheeks turned crimson at the thought, before burying his head in the pillow.  

 

******************

 

With a nod of his head, Yuto and Yugo quickly left the LDS Tower where Yugo’s D-Wheel waited for them like a trusty steed. Yugo got on his D-wheel, and Yuto wrapped his arms around him, clinging to the other boy. “We’ll be home to Yuya soon,” he said reassuringly. Yuto nodded gratefully, a small smile on his face. He gripped on tightly, nuzzling his brother’s back, excited to be wrapped in Yuya’s arms. Yugo let out a breath, started his D-wheel up, and drove the two of them back home.

 

And as the two zipped through traffic Yuya had finally made it back home. After telling Yoko what happened at the stadium, he wasted no time entering his bedroom and looking up his opponent online. What he found was interesting, to say the least.

 

Isao Kachidoki came from the Ryozanpaku School, which was said to have the second highest turn-out of professional duelists. The first one being the Leo Duel School, of course.

 

However, Ryozanpaku School was said to be even more ruthless than Leo Duel School. The students were sent there by their parents and could not return to them until they were successful. And even worse, the school seemed more like a military training ground with the brutal training -- and brutal philosophy of knocking opponents down without giving them a chance to breathe and that the only thing that was important in life was victory -- they endured.

 

There was also the fact that not only was Kachidoki the top student of his school, and that he also ended up as the runner-up of last year’s tournament, losing to Leo Duel School’s own Yuu Sakuragi.

 

On his computer, Yuya continued to look through as much information as he could on his opponent and frowned. Kachidoki’s deck wasn’t his biggest concern; it was how to counterattack how Kachidoki wanted to cripple the opponent from obtaining any Action Cards that worried him.

 

Yuya, in nature, just wanted to use his dueling skills for fun. He only wanted to make people happy, just like Yusho did.

 

But after learning Yuto and Yugo’s backstories, he wasn’t sure if he could muster up the energy to give everyone a show. He couldn’t believe there was a school that could make people use Duel Monsters as weapons and used it to card people, destroy lives and unleash utter destruction just because they could. That’s not what dueling is about! That’s not what it should be about!

 

A soft growl caused Yuya to snap out of his thoughts. The Pendulum duelist turned to his deck, seeing one of the cards glowing. He spread the cards out and pulled out the one that was calling out to him...Odd Eyes Pendulum Dragon.

 

If only I knew what to do. He thought as he took the card into his hand. I don’t suppose you have any ideas as to how I’m going to defeat him, right?

 

As he pondered this, Yugo and Yuto entered the Sakaki residence, both looking exhausted and worried. Yoko was making dinner, and her eyes widened at the state the two boys were in. She fussed over them for a few moments, both boys reassuring her that they were just fine. After she was convinced herself that yes both of these boys were physically okay, she ushered them to Yuya’s room, who had been back for a while.

 

Both of them entered Yuya’s room, closing the door behind them. Yuya looked back as they came in. Without a moment’s notice, he stood up from the chair and went to his brothers hugging them tightly and sensing the heavy emotions in their hearts. 

 

The three of them fell together in each other’s arms into the nest. Yuto hugged Yuya to himself, and nuzzled his neck, Yugo came closer, the red and green haired boy wrapped his arms around the blue eyed boy. 

 

Yugo kissed Yuya’s cheek softly, and Yuto placed a loving lingering kiss to the younger boy’s forehead. Yuya could tell that something had happened to his older brothers. He hugged Yugo closer, running his hand up and down his back. Yuto placed a kiss on the back of Yuya’s neck, before nuzzling him, and letting out a content sigh. 

 

Father had finally returned now that they were in the nest. Zarc sent feelings of love, comfort, and possession, trying to suppress his anger at Reiji Akaba, and rather focused on his boys’ comfort. The three of them gasped when they felt his voice in their minds.

 

This has been a rather tiring day... Zarc murmured. Gathering allies and information for when Yuri returns to us...

 

Yuto nodded his head. “I can’t believe what Reiji wanted to do to our brother. He’s...he’s…”

 

“He’s exactly like his father,” Yugo added. “No...he’s worse than that!” He hugged his brothers closer to him.

 

Upon hearing the hate laced in Yugo’s tone of voice, Yuya tilted his head. “What happened? What did Reiji want to do with Yuri? He...he’s not going to hurt him, right?”

 

The two older brothers exchanged a look, not sure how they wanted to tell Yuya what would happen. They already knew how hurt Yuya was two nights ago... 

 

Reiji is planning to use you and your brothers to capture Yuri. Zarc stated. He wants you to duel Yuri and win, before your brothers ambush him, taking him hostage, and then after extracting as much information from him. After Yuri has spilled everything he can, Reiji will brainwash him into becoming his ally and make him believe he was nothing more than a student in LDS instead of remembering who he truly is. 

 

“W...what?” Yuya said in disbelief.

 

“And that’s the better option,” said Yuto with a sigh. 

 

“It was either that or carding him and threatening to rip his card in half,” Yugo growled. He knew that Yuri could be a pain in the ass, but this was a line that Yuri wouldn’t cross.

 

Yuya couldn’t believe it; Reiji Akaba would stoop that low to hurt him and his family?!

 

“T...that’s the plan?” Yuya asked. Yuto and Yugo nodded their heads. “No...no, no, no! We can’t let him do this! He can’t do this to Yuri !” Yuya started panicking, tears forming in his eyes. As if learning of the troubles Yuto and Yugo had gone through was bad enough...  

 

“Yuya,” Yuto whispered, trying to calm his brother down. 

 

“First he tries to take You Show Duel school away, and now he wants to take our brother away !” Yuya sobbed, clinging onto Yuto tighter. “It’s not fair...what did we ever do to deserve this?!”

 

It won’t happen like that, precious. said Zarc, running his hand through Yuya’s hair. I won’t let that happen, my love, trust me. Waves of love and affection went through all the boys making them shiver and melt in each other and their father’s embrace. Our beloved Yuri will return to us safe and sound, and if we have to trick another Akaba into believing what he wants to believe then so be it.  

 

Zarc ran a hand through Yuto’s hair making him gasp, eyes glassy and lowered halfway as he hugged Yuya closer to his chest, Yugo along with him. Waves of affection and love from the boys themselves echoed through their own and Zarc’s minds, making the boys gasp and moan happily. 

 

That’s it my loves, take comfort from each other, He kissed Yugo’s forehead, making the blue haired boy press more to Yuya. Soon, all five of us would be reunited. 

 

The three were panting by that point, unable to create a single coherent thought, let alone words from the warmth and pleasure from their Father. A gentle push from Zarc made all three of them lie down in their nest snuggling and happy, no thought or worry in their heads. Only comfort, love, possessiveness, happiness. Worrying thoughts can wait for later. Better yet, Zarc would take care of them. 

 

He did wish he could keep his little ones this happy all the time, he ran a hand through Yuya’s hair, making the youngest child sigh. The three of them fell into a light sleep, wrapped in each other’s loving embrace. 

 

It was two hours later that Yoko had called the boys in for dinner, waking the three up. Zarc kissed Yuya’s cheek as he sat up, making the boy sighed happily. He shook Yuto and Yugo awake, both getting a kiss from their Father as well, before they went downstairs to have their dinner. 

 

*************    

Dinner was okay, barring the strangeness Yoko noticed when Yuya tried to pet En and En returning the gesture with a snarl. When Yuto and Yugo tried to copy Yuya’s gesture, En started barking loudly leading Yoko to drag him outside so he didn’t cause a ruckus. Once dinner was done and they helped wash dishes, the brothers returned to Yuya’s room to have a talk about today’s events.

 

“So,” Yuya began. “What else did you accomplish today?”

 

“We met up with Shun,” Yuto began, smiling softly at how he made Shun his. He would make sure to protect him, treasure him, keep him in his claws forever and ever. No one would take Shun away from him. “And he is now a loyal ally to our cause.”

 

“We also noticed Reiji’s little brother able to sense Father’s presence,” Yugo added.

 

Yuya’s eyes widened. “Are we sure that’s safe? I know Reira is timid, but he’s also an amazing duelist. He was able to use two summoning methods in the tournament -- Fusion and Synchro. And he’s connected to Reiji...”

 

Yuto and Yugo exchanged nervous looks. “Father simply disappeared from us after a while. We’re not sure what Reira sensed or knows. And Reiji was suspicious enough how we were able to make up so quickly,” Yuto stated.

 

“We apparently had way more information than we should, what with knowing Yuri’s name right off the bat and all.” said Yugo. “I think we were able to throw him off our scent, but who knows? The guy seems way too crafty.”   

 

“I know,” Yuya stated, recalling how Reiji wanted to take away his father’s -- Yusho’s -- duel school after it was assumed that he attacked Shingo when it was really Yuto’s doing. Yuto sent an apology through the mental link and hugged Yuya tighter; he never meant to get Yuya involved in his crusade against Academia.

 

Yuya sighed and shook his head, smiling softly at his brother and sending him reassurance and love back through their bond. He understood, and he forgave his brother long ago.

 

“Anything on your end?” Yugo asked.

 

Yuya smiled. “I also have an ally of our own,” he said. “Her name is Mieru Hochun, and she is a fortune-teller who will help us locate Yuri when he finally sets foot in the Standard Dimension.”

 

The Synchro and Xyz users grinned at the news. But their smiles faded when they sensed Yuya’s apprehension and fear. 

 

“What’s wrong, Yuya?” Yuto asked, noticing the image of Isao Kachidoki on Yuya’s computer.

 

Yuya sighed. “That’s my opponent tomorrow. And he’s absolutely ruthless!”

 

“As ruthless as Father?” asked Yugo.

 

“No, Father is still more so than anything these humans are capable of,” Yuya answered. 

 

“So what’s the problem then?” Yugo asked, and Yuya sighed. 

 

“Father...he always dueled to entertain the crowd,“ he explained, recalling the days when they watched their Father perform in his Action Duels at how he would smile when riding his dragons in battle. “Blood thirsty as they may be, Father still performed for them. And his opponents always were adults that can handle it. Kachidoki is just violent for the sake of it, no entertainment for anyone at all -- just sadistic fighting and wanting the opponent to be crippled just because he could.”

 

Yuya shook his head, recalling Yaiba futilely trying to reach for his kendo stick but failing. “And from the looks of it, Yaiba might not be able to pick up his sword again...I saw the look in the eyes of his friends. They were horrified ! I may not like the students at Leo Duel School, but I would never wish that type of pain on them if that happened to one of my friends! What Kachidoki unleashed...that is not the dueling that I believe in, Yugo…”  he gave a tired sigh, and Yugo looked at him understandingly. 

 

Yuto hugged him from behind, and kissed his cheek. “You got this, Yuya,” he said with a soft smile that Yuya mirrored. “I still have to find a way to beat him though,” the red eyed boy muttered.

 

He then motioned his brothers towards the monitor. “See this?” said Yuya, pointing to a Fusion Monster next to Kachidoki’s picture -- Idaten the Conqueror Star. Yuto snarled at the card’s purple border, still having trouble with seeing Fusion monsters as an ally…he hoped this hatred died down once Starved Venom is with them again. “Look at this monster’s effect.” Yuya said. caressing Yuto’s face to give him some comfort. 

 

“It says that the effect works based on the level of the monster it battles,” Yugo said after mouthing out the words a couple of times. A part of him felt bad that it took him that long to read it. It wasn’t particularly his fault; he learned most of his reading skills by reading card descriptions.

 

“Yeah,” Yuya sighed.

 

“The level of the monster it battles…” Yugo repeated.

 

“Mm-hmm…”

 

Yugo almost whacked Yuya across the head; how was he supposed to make Yuya understand what he was trying to tell him? Then, it clicked.

 

“Yuto,” he said. “Can you show Yuya Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon?”

 

“Why should I...ohhh...I see what you mean!” Yuto grabbed his deck, retrieving his beloved Dark Rebellion, and showed him to Yuya. When Yuya touched the card, the three heard Dark Rebilon’s screech welcoming them, and they heard Odd-Eyes and Clear Wing also return the screech with their own. Once Yuya noticed the four black stars on the top left corner of the card, it didn’t take for him to finally realize...Dark Rebellion doesn’t have a level; therefore the effect of Idaten the Conqueror Star would be useless! There was only one problem with this though...

 

“I need an Xyz monster,” Yuya stated, remembering how to Xyz Summon thanks to Yuto’s lessons but not having a monster in his Extra Deck that he could Xyz Summon.

 

“You need an Xyz monster,” Yugo confirmed. “But how do we get one before tomorrow morning?”

 

Just as he said that, they heard Zarc chuckle in their minds.

 

I think I have just the thing for you, my Shooting Star. Consider it a gift. Now Yuya, listen carefully. Close your eyes and picture a mirror in your mind. Then, approach the mirror and look at your reflection, black as midnight, covered in darkness. Place your hand through the looking glass, imagining that it is like water, and pull the reflection out. 

 

With your reflection, create the dragon you wish to summon into battle. Twist this shapeless darkness, bend it to your will. This is your creation, this is your power that will rise onto the surface, reflecting your true strength!

 

Yuya nodded his head as he did what Father asked him to do. In his mind’s eye, he saw a mirror with a wrought iron frame and a reflection shrouded in shadows. With a gentle hand, Yuya placed it through said looking glass and pulled his reflection out. The reflection didn’t struggle as Yuya set to work, watching the darkness become molded in his hands, transforming it  into a powerful dragon of his choosing, shaping its wings and body like the frame of the mirror and its eyes like cracked glass.

 

With each and every movement of his hands, the body began to expand. Its wings spread out like branches of a tree. Its scales were jagged metal sharp enough to leave cuts on one’s palm. Its teeth looked capable of tearing one’s arm off. But despite this, Yuya could see his reflections in the dragon’s eyes and find that it wasn’t malevolent. Malevolent looking, yes, but its soul was still pure.

 

In the real world, tendrils of light formed  in Yuya’s hand that coalesced into an Xyz card. The boys’ eyes widened as they watched the light dim down, revealing Yuya’s new creation. Black Mirror Xyz Dragon.

 

“Wow,” breathed Yuto. He could hear Dark Rebellion roar in pride at having a little brother.

 

“It’s beautiful Yuya, Father,” said Yugo in wonder.

 

Zarc chuckled. Oh, I’m glad you think so, my Crystal. He patted Yuya’s head, making the red eyed boy lean into it, eyes closed with bliss, a huge smile on his face. 

 

“Thank you, Father.”

 

Anything for you, my beloved treasures.  

  

While the new monster helped calm him down, Yuya was still feeling nervous. How could he use this dragon while still adhering to his dueling philosophy? He didn’t know how to combine these clashing ideals and it made it feel like his mind was going to split in half! It scared him. Even looking at his new monster which he made, he didn’t even know he was capable of making such a thing. Could he really do it? Was he strong enough or even good enough to do it? 

 

“Yuya,” Yugo and Yuto called still sensing the hesitation and seeing the pain in their little brother’s face. They hugged him close, and Zarc ran a hand through his hair. 

 

You are strong, my shooting star. Zarc affirmed him. I know you. I know that when you set your mind to it, nothing can stop you. You shine as bright as the stars themselves; you will show everyone what you are capable of. My Prince of Pendulum, show everyone your majesty. 

 

“Father,” he breathed out, amazed at his father’s trust and love in him. How could he ever truly compare anything else to his father’s undying and devoted love?

 

“I won’t let you down Father. Never let you or my brothers down, I swear it, I swear,” Yuya promised to Yuto, to Yugo, to Zarc.

 

All three of them gasped as their father’s love crashed upon their minds, sensing the pride and glee, the love and possessiveness and wonder that these beautiful wonderful perfect boys were truly his, only his, forever would be his. And they returned Zarc’s happiness with their own, their mental links delivering promises that they were his beloved, loyal, obedient, strong, confident sons. Nothing will stand in their way to fulfil his will. Nothing will stop them from reuniting as a family. No one will get in their way from stealing their treasures.

 

Rin and Ruri will return to Yuto and Yugo. Shun would be protected from Academia’s rampage.

 

Yuzu and Gongenzaka will always stay by Yuya’s side. Mieru would help predict any and all troubles that would come their way.

 

Yoko would be a loving and supportive mother to these three and to Yuri when they finally met.

 

And Yuri, their precious lily, the missing piece of this perfect little family, will soon remember his past life and weep tears of joy at finally, finally knowing what it means to be loved after this life tossed him aside and left him to rot. 

 

They will get their revenge on the Akabas that separated them, took away those beloved to them, made them fight each other and almost kill one another. Yes, they would pay. All of them will pay with their fucking lives.

 

Yes, everything would be just perfect. 

 

Now my precious ones, it’s time to rest. It has truly been an emotional and tiring day for all of us, and it’s a big day tomorrow for our Yuya. Off to the nest now.

 

The three boys sighed, their minds had been already overwhelmed with their father’s emotions, they had no trouble obeying that little command. They snuggled close, wrapping each other in their arms. They fell asleep quickly, having truly been exhausted emotionally by the day. Into a dream world of the past weaved by their father’s hands.    

 

Or at least...that was the plan until Zarc realized something.

 

My sons! He gasped. I just remembered something very important.

 

The three of them were at attention immediately, having heard the urgency in their father’s voice.

 

“Father?” Yuto asked.

 

En-Moon is now in this dimension. Zarc explained. She and Yuzu made eye contact for a moment, but I think she is most likely here for one thing, my Specter.

 

That made Yuto freeze. En-Moon was here because he and Shun escaped the Xyz Dimension...she was going to duel them and card them

 

No. En-Moon will force his treasure away from him! En-Moon is going to separate him from his precious treasure ! He can’t lose Shun; he already lost Ruri to the forces of Academia. He can’t lose Shun to them either!

 

As Yuto growled, one could hear the sound of thunder rumbling outside the Sakaki Residence. Yuya and Yugo’s head turned to the window as they saw lightning flash, illuminating Yuto’s enraged features, giving him an ethereal look of vengeance and wrath, it would be scary if it didn’t look so beautiful, the way Yuto looked more and more like a dragon ready to guard its horde from any foolish knight who thought they could enter his domain unannounced and unabashedly insensitive to the dragon’s desires to be left alone.  

 

No. No. NO NO NO!!!!

 

“I won’t let her take him!” Yuto roared, fangs growing, nails morphed into razor-sharp claws, eyes glowing in a cyan light. “I WON’T LET EN-MOON TAKE SHUN AWAY FROM ME!!!”

 

“Yuto,” Yuya breathed out in wonder. He’s never seen his brother this enraged before.  

 

  “I WON’T LOSE ANYONE AGAIN TO THE LIKES OF ACADEMIA!!!” Yuto screamed, scales forming over his face. “NEVER EVER AGAIN!!!”

 

Yuto kept panting, feeling the anger rise in his chest. He couldn’t let that happen; he couldn’t lose his treasure. He was going to kill En-Moon for daring to come here just when Yuto found some peace of mind!

 

As these thoughts raced in his mind, both Yuya and Yugo looked in concern as to how to calm Yuto down as more and more black and violet scales formed over his arms and a pair of horns rose from the top of his hair. Then, without thinking, Yuya approached Yuto just about to fully transform into his draconic form...

 

And kissed him. 

 

The red eyed boy wrapped his arms around Yuto’s neck, pressing himself closer to Yuto. The older boy was too in shock, surprised at Yuya’s actions, his mind went blank, all rage forgotten in the surprise. He went lax in his brother’s arms, his claw like hands wrapped themselves around Yuya’s waist bringing him closer. Tilting his head for a better kiss, he closed his eyes, letting out a breath through his nose.

 

Yuya broke the kiss, looking adoringly at Yuto, who was still half transformed. “Beautiful,” he whispered, nuzzling to Yuto’s chest. “So beautiful .” And Yuto couldn’t help but hug Yuya closer and running his hand through his hair. 

 

“That was… certainly something,” said Yugo, lost for words. 

 

Yuto looked down, noticing the scales and then patting his head to feel his horns. He looked in horror as the transformation began to recede.

 

“I’m...I’m sorry, I lost control for a second,” he stammered, sitting back down. 

 

“Good job Yuya, you just tamed a raging dragon,” Yugo teased. The red eyed boy was still nuzzling his brother’s chest, a happy smile on his face. 

 

“We understand your pain, Yuto,” Yuya whispered. “If you were taken away from me, I’d react like that too.”

 

“So would I,” Yugo agreed, images of Rin flashing through his mind. “We should go see Shun tomorrow and warn him about En-Moon’s plan.” 

 

“Y-yeah, we should,’ Yuto said, still in a daze from the kiss. It felt like he was struck by lightning.

 

En-Moon is after both of you, my Specter, said Zarc running his hand through Yuto’s hair. I assume that she learned about you two being here thanks to one person.

 

“Sora…” Yuya whispered.

 

And then, he felt the rage in his heart at how his friend , the one who constantly called him Sempai, who wormed his way into his house and mother’s heart with his cute looks, who mocked and belittled Shun, Yuto and the Xyz Dimension…

 

This is all Sora’s fault. This is all his fucking fault that En-Moon is in this dimension now with a chance to hurt Yuto and make him lose his treasure!

 

Who cares if Sora wanted to be his student? Who cares that he taught Yuzu Fusion Summoning? Who gives a damn about that little cockroach after Yuya now knew what he truly was?!

 

He felt Yugo embrace him from behind, he was now back between his brothers’ arms

 

But the fires in his heart were not quenched. No, they felt like they were going to burn Yuya from the inside out. It hurt, it hurt….it goddamn hurt and he was so mad and angry at Sora and he wanted to burn him to a crisp and everything Academia stood for!

 

Gritting his teeth, Yuya could feel his own transformation coming. Claws, horns and blood red scales formed around his arms and neck as he thought about seeing Sora, tearing him into pieces, roasting them and then gnawing on his bones like how Sora bit through that disgustingly sweet lollipop he carried on hand!

 

Yuya, do not let your inner rage consume you. Zarc stated, knowing what was happening. One dragon outburst from one of you is enough. Little one, your revenge will come soon enough.  

 

“But...but…” Yuya sniffled. “It’s not fair, Father! I just wanted to make people smile, and Sora...I considered him my friend and...and...!”

 

He just sobbed into his brothers arms as his rage slowly fizzled out. He took in some deep breaths as Yuto patted his shoulder.

 

Yuto, Yuya...focus on that energy, that anger, that hatred and fear, form it. Give it shape and purpose.  

 

Yuto and Yuya clasped hands, channeling that energy of fire and shadows from their hearts, picturing a dragon that represented these feelings. How they were ready to burn down anyone that would take away their treasures and how those foolish to stop them will become nothing but ashes.

 

Say the chant that will bring this monster to life. Zarc commanded.

 

Yuto and Yuya nodded, their eyes glowing like water and fire as their voices combined with their father’s to create this brand new monster.

 

“Dragon with dual colored eyes! Resurrect from the deep darkness and burn everything in the world with flames of anger! Xyz Summon! Come forth, Rank 7! The blazing dragon called by calamity! Supreme King Violent Dragon - Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon !”

 

The roars of Odd-Eyes and Dark Rebellion rang in their ears as a burst of fire and darkness formed in the palm of Yuya and Yuto's hands before they rose into the air and swirled round and round in a black and red spiral. 

 

After a few seconds, the flaming spiral burned away revealing itself as a card that fell into Yuya and Yuto’s hands: a Pendulum Xyz monster that looked similar to Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon but more demonic in appearance. The three boys looked in wonder at the new card, jaws slack, eyes wide. Yuto and Yuya just...created … this… 

 

 After the shock and wonder faded, Yugo groaned. “Man, now both of you get new cards,” he pouted. “I want new awesome monsters too!” 

 

At this, Yuto, Yuya and Zarc couldn’t help but laugh at seeing the expression on Yugo’s face. 

 

All in good time, my crystal. Zarc promised, wrapping his arms around Yugo. The blue haired boy still pouted even though he felt Zarc nuzzle his neck. Zarc sighed again. I’ve kept you all from resting, I apologize, my loves. Now we will deal with the rest tomorrow. But Yuto, I need you to not kill En-Moon.

 

“What?! But why?” Yuto asked surprised

 

Because she is like Rin, Ruri and Yuzu. While she and Yuri might not have the relationship you three have with these girls, there is simply no need to kill her when she has the potential of being useful. Perhaps if we find out why she’s going after you and Shun, we can use it to our advantage. She must be close to Akaba as well, with him keeping an eye on her all the time, being a precious piece in his plans. 

 

“If she even tries to go after Shun, I -- “

 

She won’t. I believe there is a high chance that Reiji will have sensed her presence sooner or later. Let him deal with her, just alert Shun about her tomorrow.

 

“I...Yes, father,” Yuto said, lowering his head in submission and loyalty. He knew better than to go against Father’s words 

 

  Good boy. Zarc whispered, kissing Yuto on the forehead. Now, off to bed. All three of you.

 

“Yes father,” His sons reply as they felt a pulse of darkness make them fall into the nest, minds drifting into the dream Zarc weaved before he woke them up with the startling news. Smiles formed on their faces as moonlight shone on their slumbering figures.

 

Tomorrow would be a big day for all of them.

 

And they were going to need every ounce of strength for what happened next.

Chapter Text

Yuya, once again, had been the one to wake up first, his heart full of anticipation and anxiety, and just a bit of stage fright. It was still a little too early to even start getting ready, but Yuya found himself unable to go back to sleep. Nuzzled securely between his two brothers he looked at the ceiling, not sure what else to do.

 

Yuya?

 

Yuya didn’t seemed shocked to hear his Father be so concerned for him. “Papa,” he thought back, and Zarc started running his hand through Yuya’s hair gently, making Yuya let out a sigh. 

 

My shooting Star, You don’t need to worry about a thing. 

 

“I know, but ...I still am,” he felt a little ashamed, for not living up to Father’s full expectations, and bit his lip. 

 

Oh my Yuya. Zarc whispered before getting a thought to calm his little son down. Precious star, do you remember our garden at night? asked Zarc as he ran his claws lightly through Yuya’s hair making him shudder. Zarc releasing waves of love and comfort that Yuya soaked in happily, giving a dreamy sigh, he gasped as Zarc touched a particular spot on his head, and moaned.  

 

“At night….” Yuya breathed before memories started coming back to him. “Yeah, I remember,” he whispered with a dreamy smile, as his eyes glaze over, his body completely relaxed.

 

...

 

The garden was beautiful in the morning’s light, but it was simply breathtaking at night, especially at nights of the full moon. He remembered the silver white flowers that only bloom at night, how their fragrance was simply intoxicating to the senses, how they seemed like they glowed in the moonlight, and the fireflies that added more lights to the already starlet garden.

 

The five of them would lay down and watch the stars, shouting out constellation names or gasping whenever a shooting star streaked the sky, while lying in Father’s warm embrace. Yugo always was the one who boasted he can make shooting stars fall just by pointing at the sky, counting all the way down to 0 and then with a downward stroke of that pointer finger...ZIP! Stars would fall down on his command. The others tried to copy his trick, but they were unable to replicate his feat.

 

He remembered as Yuto would nuzzle to him and whisper in Yuya’s ear to catch him. The garden filled with shadows only lit by streams of moonlight filtered through the treetops. Yuto was very very good at hiding in the dark, the best of all four of his brothers. Yuya never found him whenever they played at night, though. That was due to how Yuto could sink into the shadows and pop up in the last place Yuya checked, Yuto’s giggles sounded and echoed everywhere, and after Yuya gave up in finding him, Yuto would finally jump at him from behind and wrap his arms around his younger brother, whispering that he won, and nuzzled Yuya’s neck happily.   

 

Of course, Yuya also had tricks of his own. Being the one who wanted to follow Father’s footsteps, it made sense for Yuya to dress up and put on shows for his family. Power of illusions, and the powers to change his shape into any and all creatures in a blink of an eye. It simply made the most beautiful of shows, and Father was always proud of him, his brothers always cheered him on. Fellow Duel Monsters applauded whenever Yuya would perform for them. Was it any wonder that all of his Performapal monsters were just different creatures who were inspired to join Yuya’s dream of one day parading the lands with his own circus? 

 

 And Yuya remembered Yuri taking Yugo’s hand and dancing under the moonlight as Father would sing them a sweet tone or song. Yuya sighed contently at the memories.  He also remembered Yuri dipping Yugo, and the Synchro user's face would go red, and frown ready to protest but would lose the will to fight every time as soon as Yuri kissed him. Yugo would close his eyes and Yuri would lower him to the soft green grass beneath them. Yuri would break the kiss and, to Yugo's embarrassment, he would whine and shudder, cheeks red, panting slightly, and Yuri would lick his lips in satisfaction.

 

 It was always Yuri's favorite game; to get a rise out of Yugo, but getting him flustered was the ultimate achievement in Yuri's eyes. Yugo would call him a bastard and chase him around, wither it be the garden or the castle or even the forest. And it was alway Father who broke the ‘fight’ by grabbing Yugo, and restraining him in his arms. He would always playfully chastise Yuri for teasing his brother, and Yuri would have that ‘innocent’ smile on his face as if he did nothing wrong. Father always laughed, amused at Yuri’s antics and was never serious at all, nor --Yuya thinks-- he ever wanted Yuri to stop. Father would keep Yugo in his arms or his lap way after the boy had calmed down. But it was only game over when Yuri approaches Yugo and gently kisses his hand, lips lengaring and loving.  

 

With each and every memory, Yuya hugged his brothers closer to him. Yuto nuzzled to his neck, and Yugo hugged him back. Yuya smiled reminiscing these sweet moments...Yuri, he’d missed his oldest brother so much…

 

Do not cry, my star. Zarc whispered, wiping away the tears falling down Yuya’s face. Our lily will return to our arms soon, I promise you that. 

 

Yuya nodded his head as more and more loving memories came back to him. He didn’t remember which one he was on until he felt his eyes grow heavy and he fell asleep once more, a smile on his face. Two hours later,  his alarm clock sounded, waking him and his brothers from their own peaceful sleep.

 

Reluctantly, Yuya wiggled his way out of Yuto and Yugo’s embrace and slammed his hand on the alarm clock. He started shaking his brothers awake. Yuto and Yugo groaned and whined, fighting against consciousness for just another minute of sleep. Yuto gave a sigh and used his elbow to prop himself up, ran his hand through his hair, and groaned.  

 

“We have to get up, don’t we?” he grumbled, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

 

If you want to save your little treasure from Academia, then yes. 

 

Yuto didn’t argue with that and he, Yugo and Yuya quickly got dressed (Yugo was happy that his riding suit was bright and shiny now) and raced downstairs for breakfast. They all ate breakfast in a hurry, Yuya being excited for his duel, Yuto anxious about En-Moon’s attack and Shun’s safety...and Yugo being his normal Yugo fast-eating self. Yoko looked at all three of them happily devouring her homemade pancakes, a little worried. 

 

She wasn’t a fool, especially after what she observed two days ago. The shattering of glasses and plates and dark winds? En snarling at Yuya when he was always happy to be cuddled and picked up? The trance? The way the boys chanted to “Reunite”? This all meant that some big change was coming to Yuya...and not in a good way.

 

Her son didn’t seem to have changed however; usually there would be little hints -- or obvious ones -- that there was a change. But from what she saw from Yuya, he was still the happy child that wanted everyone to smile in public. After everything she experienced, she was wondering what was the next change that was coming for him. 

 

(Knowing the formula, it most likely was going to be something involving his wardrobe which usually happens when people get possessed. Suddenly they have some obsession with wearing black and placing white makeup on their faces)

 

Still, if there was another thing she learned from horror films, is that if you ignored the supernatural stuff that happened then nine times out of ten it ends with you dead within the last ten minutes of the tale. Yoko was no fool; she wasn’t like those horrified waifs in the films who seemed to be oblivious to everything that was surrounding them to the point that she wished she could go into the films themselves and say, “STOP BEING STUPID AND PAY ATTENTION,  YOU FOOL!”

 

But she still had to be careful. She had no idea what she was against, if it’s hurting her sons, or if it would hurt her. She needed to be subtle, and once she figured out how to help, she would do everything in her power to do so.

 

As Yuya finished his pancakes, Yoko asked, “Yuya...are you feeling okay?”

 

“Huh? Oh yeah, just a bit anxious about the duel today, that’s all,” he said, looking down at the syrup covered plate in front of him.

 

“Yuya,” Yoko sighed, knowing her son long enough to know that he was stating that to avoid talking about what was really bugging him. “I know your father was always talking about smiling through it all, but there’s a limit. If there’s anything that’s bothering you, don’t hesitate to tell me.” She then took a glance at Yuto, who also looked worried. “And that includes you too, Yuto, Yugo.”

 

Both boys snapped their heads looking at her in surprise, they blinked as she gave them a sympathetic look.

 

“You must be worried about your loved ones, aren’t you?” she said. “I may not understand what it’s like to be in your shoes, but just remember that I’m here if you need anything. Even if it’s only minor, is there anything I can do for you?”

 

“Should we tell her?” asked Yuto. “I don’t...want to risk her being carded. Yuya, you already have to deal with your father’s disappearance.”

 

“I...I don’t know...if we told her she might try to get involved, and might get hurt then…” Yuya said. “And I...I haven’t told Yuzu about that night yet. She’s worried about you, Yuto.”

 

Yuto gave Yuya a worried look, worried about Yuzu as well, and grateful for her empathy. She didn’t even know him and Shun all that well, and yet she worried about him like that...He was starting to feel guilty, like he was becoming a burden, on Yuzu, on Yoko, on his brothers.

 

You’re not a burden, my phantom. Zarc whispered, sensing Yuto’s guilt. I know that you have feelings for Yuzu, and how this girl showed compassion for you and your treasure’s plight. But you know the powers of her bracelet; getting close to her will only cause more and more trouble. Who knows what would’ve happened if she arrived when I reunited with you?

 

Yuto didn’t want to think about that, if one single thing had changed, not only might they not have had their father back, but things might have become in a word...a disaster. Yuto gave a sigh. 

 

“Well, if Yuzu and Yoko didn’t know what to be aware of...wouldn’t that put them in even more danger?” asked Yugo. 

 

“....”

 

“At the very least, give Yoko-san the basics. She deserves that at the very least.”

 

After some debating, Yuto swallowed. “I...I’m worried that a friend of mine is going to get hurt.”

 

Yoko blinked, but didn’t sound so surprised. “A friend?”

 

Yuto nodded. “My friend, and comrade, Shun...Academia might be here soon, and I’m...I’m scared of losing him so much.” 

 

“Shun...wait...the same person who dueled Sora two days ago?! Shun Kurosaki of Leo Duel School?! That Shun?”

 

That Shun,” Yuto answered. He wished he was truly a phantom so he could sink into the floor at how Yoko looked in disbelief.

 

“That doesn’t make sense,” she said. “If you and Shun hail from the Xyz Dimension, how did Shun apply to the Leo Duel School so swiftly? Better yet, everything Shun mentioned in his duel...all of it was…”

 

Everything was starting to not make sense; that’s what it felt like in horror movies. When the main character starts piecing together things that didn’t make any logical sense with the new information given to them and questioning why they were learning this/why they didn’t learn this sooner.

 

“And what about Sora?” Yoko asked, realizing that Sora had not appeared in the past two days, asking to eat some of her homemade pancakes. The way he sounded much more aggressive in defeating Shun, the twisted smile on his face that was uncharacteristic of him. Not to mention how Yuya, Yuto and Yugo reacted to him. “What happened to him?! Where is he?”

 

“Sora…is...he’s part of Academia,” Yuya said, balling his hands into fists, tears of rage threatening to fall down his face. “He was...one of the people to attack Yuto’s home. He just...he pretended to be mine and Yuzu’s friend…”

 

“So he...also took advantage of my kindness, didn’t he?” Yoko asked, voice soft. 

 

Yuya nodded, remembering how Sora used his innocent looks to charm his mother for her attention and cooking. 

 

Yokok bowed her head and soon enough she was mirroring her son’s motions of balling her hands into fists. But instead of tears in her eyes, she furrowed her brow and grit her teeth.

 

“That little...tsk,” Yoko had rage in her piercing green eyes, thinking of what she was told. She wasn’t like a terrified maiden in the horror films. Now she was the very pissed off mother who wanted to tell the ghost who possessed her son to get the fuck away from him or she will exorcise its ass

 

Interesting... Zarc mused, noticing the reaction on Yoko’s face. Yuya, I think it would be wise if you let me speak to her.

 

“W...what?!” Yuya gasped . “F-father, you can’t be serious!” 

 

I quite am, little one. 

 

“...Oh gods she’s gonna try to exorcise you…”  Yuya thought matter of factly.

 

...What?

 

“My mother likes horror stuff, remember? So if she found out you were possessing me, she’d try to force you out! I think she’s already suspicious about you already.”

 

“Yuya,” Yoko called, snapping him out of the conversation. Her voice was no longer concerned. It was firm like she was physically gripping his shoulder to make sure he didn’t run off. “You realize I’m not blind, right? The times you would go silent, or exchange looks with your brothers, or even looking behind your back at something that’s not there… “ She sighed. “Dear...I think it’s time to be honest with me...all of you should, because it seems like quite the dangerous things that you are going through and no 14 year old child should be tasked to deal with any of this.”

 

“So would you like to start telling the truth, or need I assume the worst? Because I’ve already seen the worst with that little ‘Reunite’ stunt you did two days ago...”   

 

Before anyone could say something, Yuya’s eyes rolled to the back of his head, and he collapsed onto his side.

 

“Yuya?!” Yoko gasped, picking up a knife and approaching her son, slowly, carefully. “Yuya, what’s going -- “

 

And that’s when she saw it.

 

Instead of those beautiful red eyes like a sunset, her son’s eyes were golden like the afternoon sun. But unlike the sun, the eyes looked so...haunting and filled with malicious intent. Like a dark phantom sealed away within the chambers of a tomb wishing to be let loose and to enact its vengeance on anyone in its path.

 

Yuto and Yugo shivered as they watched their Father slowly rise up. Yoko placed herself between her son and Yuto and Yugo, knife ready. And if need be, she was ready to bash the demon’s head in with Yuya’s empty plate or the pitcher of water right next to it.

 

“That depends...Yoko Sakaki, what is your definition of ‘The worst’?” Yuya answered but his voice sounded deeper, more foreboding.

 

Yoko’s green eyes narrowed at her son, or rather whatever was possessing him. “That you are going to hurt my son in ways that I cannot comprehend,” she began. “Or you seduced him to the dark side, or you’re threatening to make him hurt his loved ones…I can go on and on and on if you want.”

 

Zarc chuckled. “My, my, my. When I first laid eyes on you, I was expecting the worst out of you too. But that little display when I destroyed your fine china proved me wrong.”

 

“Yes, about that,” Yoko said crossing her arms . “Do you have any idea how much money it cost to replace everything?” When Zarc said nothing, she sighed. “Whatever. What is it you want? And why have you possessed my son and Yuto and Yugo?!”

 

“I have no body of my own, my spirit has been split into four pieces. One for each of my sons,” Zarc explained, Yuya’s hand placed over his heart.

 

“I’m sorry, four sons?” Yoko looked at Yuya, then at Yugo and Yuto who weren’t meeting her eyes. “Are you saying that Yuya is...one of your sons?! That’s impossible!”

 

Zarc narrowed his eyes. “Tell me, Yoko Sakaki...do you have any memory of actually being pregnant with Yuya?”

 

“Of course I…” Yoko froze..

 

No, she never remembered being pregnant with Yuya. She never rubbed her stomach with a caring hand, smiling at what her baby would look like. She had no memory of being rushed into the hospital with Yusho holding her hand as she gave birth to a beautiful boy with crimson eyes.

 

Because those things never happened. 

 

“I...I don’t…” Yoko stammered.

 

She dropped the table knife onto the floor as if it was that part of the horror film when the main character’s sanity started to break. No, no no no no, she wasn’t gonna break, not now . She was Yoko Sakaki, badass leader of a biker gang and, quite frankly. this wasn’t the most shocking news that she’d learned this week. 

 

“Yuya was found at my doorstep…” Yoko mumbled, recalling what happened. “He was so alone, crying out for someone…” she said, remembering the basket Yuya was found in. How Yusho brought the basket inside. How the only thing that was found aside from the little boy was Odd Eyes Dragon. There was no note, no address, nothing that stated where he came from. But it didn’t matter then; the boy needed a home and loving parents and that’s what she and Yusho gave him.

 

“I’m not sure how any of this works, or even what you are, but Yuya is my son,” Yoko stated, ready to punch the lights out of her son if it means this demonic spirit will be kicked out of his body. “I’m responsible for his safety by any means necessary. I raised him for 14 years and no golden eyed demon or whatever is gonna change that. So what the hell do you want, and I better get an answer that doesn’t make me want to knock your fucking lights out!”

 

Zarc chuckled, licking his fangs. “Yuya was right; you do look ready to exorcise me.”

 

“Oh you bet I am,” Yoko stated, cracking her knuckles by pressing her thumb on them. With each and every crack , Yuto and Yugo could feel the tension in the air. They didn’t want to disobey Father, but they didn’t want Yoko, the closest thing that either of them had to a mother, to be hurt by Father’s wrath. They didn’t want Yuya to cry over how his mother would be hurt.

 

“Wait, wait please,” Yuto cried, trying to stop anything dangerous from happening. “Father, Yoko-san...I don’t want any fighting! This is my fault…” he sniffled as the two adults turned to him. “I...I should’ve kept my mouth shut. Things wouldn’t have escalated this far if I said nothing!”

 

Yuto began to sob, covering his face in his hands as Zarc and Yoko stared at the lavender-haired boy. Yugo placed a comforting hand on his younger brother’s shoulder and Yoko shook her head.

 

Yep, the person who knew too much about what was going on was blaming themselves for confessing what was happening. That’s what it was like in the horror films. After this was over, Yoko needed to make a checklist to see how many of these plotlines have been gone through.

 

“It’s not your fault, Yuto dear. I simply need to know that my boys won’t get hurt due to negligence,” Yoko said. 

 

Zarc ran Yuya’s fingers through Yuto’s hair. “You did nothing wrong, my specter.”

 

“Yoko-san,” Yugo began, begging that Yoko understood instead of threatening to kick him and Yuto out. Not when he finally had the closest resemblance to a normal life (which would be much better if Rin was with him to experience this). “Father loves us more than anything. He would never let us be hurt if he had the powers to stop it.”

 

“If he loved you so much, why didn’t he tell me all about this two days ago instead of announcing his presence by acting like a tulpa and shattering anything he could? He almost hurt you boys.” Yoko questioned.

 

Zarc paused; for a human, she made a good point.

 

“He was...angry at you…” Yuto said in shame. They had been the catalysts for Father’s outburst after all; they were at fault for what he did. 

 

“Me?” Yoko asked raising an eyebrow before looking Zarc in the eyes as a challenge to explain what she did so wrong that it warranted a damn tornado in her house! 

 

And this proved her theory right: all of that poltergeist action last night was a result of her showing concern for Yuto and Yugo and calling them her sons.

 

“Father is very protective of us,” Yugo explained. “Very possessive of us. We are his treasures... and it had been 14 years.” 

 

“They are mine ,” Zarc said looking Yoko in the eyes. “So who are you, a human such as yourself to come in and call them yours?” 

 

Yoko snarled, slamming a hand on the table. “Oh, I’ll tell you who I am. I am their mother! Do you still got a problem with that, your highness or do I need to recite each and everything that made me a more capable person to take care of these children than you?! I’m still not forgiving you for putting my sons in some collected trance, you know!” 

 

Zarc stared at Yoko looking ready to exorcise him, grabbing the pitcher of water as if it was blessed and ready to burn his skin alive. Yuto and Yugo watched with bated breath, waiting to see how Zarc would react. Zarc bowed his head.

 

And then...his body began to tremble and he was... laughing .

 

Yoko raised her eyebrow at him as Zarc continued to laugh like this was all a huge joke to him. Yuto and Yugo hugged each other out of fear as Zarc took a deep breath, tears falling down his eyes from how hilarious this has been.

 

“Yoko Sakaki, I’m quite impressed with you,” Zarc said with a grin. “I’ve not met a human, much less a woman , with your fire in quite some time. Not since Ray Akaba .”

 

The name was said in growl of anger and hatred, and Yoko got the impression that whoever that was, especially since they had last name of ‘Akaba’, it was a bad idea to bring them up. But she wanted answers anyway, so she put a pin in that name to ask about it later. After all, she also had beef with Himika and Reiji for blaming her son for attacking Shingo even though she herself knew that he had been at the You Show Duel School around the time of the attack.

 

And from the looks of things, the Akabas were holding something secret and it involved the Xyz Dimension in a way...She was going to do some investigating of her own after her sons left. She also had something to say about Reira...if the child really was an Akaba….

 

Yoko sighed and nodded her head. “Alright then, let's start with this,” she said, setting the water pitcher down but not letting go of her grip on the handle. “First of all, who are you?” 

 

Zarc smiled, shadows surrounding Yuya’s body, the dark powers made her son’s hair rise, and making Zarc’s golden eyes shine brighter than before. Damn it. Yuya looked even more like a boy possessed by a malevolent spirit now. Why was this a good idea again?

 

“I am the ruler of the realm of Duel Monsters,” Zarc began. “I am the father of the princes who shall rule the dimensions. I am a Father who wishes to enact revenge on the people who waged war upon my kingdom and separated my sons from me. And I am a vengeful spirit who will not stop until the Akabas and every single thing that they stand for is burned into nothing but ash.

 

“I am the Supreme Dragon King Zarc !”

 

Dark winds began to howl within the dining room. This time, they made sure not to destroy anything, but the lights flickered and it felt like Yoko was going to be thrown across the room at any second.

 

“Supreme... Dragon King...” Yoko muttered.

 

Yep. This was definitely something out of a horror film.

 

“Wait, you boys are actually dragons ?!” she said. When Yuto and Yugo nodded their heads, she tilted her head and scratched her hair with her free hand. “Well, I wish I’d known that sooner... You’re all growing boys. Maybe I should add more protein to your diets....Michio should have some recipes with lean protein that will help build muscle...” 

 

“She’s not terrified of Father?!” Yuto thought.

 

“What is Yuya’s mother made of?” Yugo asked. Yuya was giggling in the back of their heads.

 

“Zarc, is my son fully aware of what’s going on?” Yoko asked, remembering something about possessions. Either the vessel was knocked unconscious or they could see everything and were screaming at how they didn’t want the malicious darkness to harm their family and friends.

 

“Yes, Yuya is aware,” Zarc answered. He also was bewildered at Yoko’s reactions; he was honestly starting to doubt her being human.

 

“Yuya,” Yoko began, placing her hands on Yuya’s shoulders, staring into Zarc’s golden eyes as if they were her baby boy’s red ones. “If you’re hearing this, no matter what happens, whether you’re truly a Prince of dimensions, a dragon, the son of a dark and demonic being...you’re still my son. Always and forever,” she hugged Yuya’s body to her.

 

“Mom…” Yuto and Yugo could hear Yuya almost crying from joy. 

 

Yoko let go, smiling sweetly, before she remembered something in regards to Zarc and his sons . “Zarc, you mentioned four sons,”  she said. “So far, there’s Yuya, Yuto and Yugo. Going by this logic, there’s another boy who looks like Yuya in, let me guess, Academia?”

 

Zarc had to shake himself from his stupor; nothing could get past this woman. ”...Yes. that’s right. Yuri, my oldest boy, is under Leo Akaba’s control, and he is dimensions away from his younger brothers, which made our connections weaker. I can’t reach him fully,” he said narrowing his eyes. 

 

“Leo Akaba?” 

 

Yoko had not heard that name for a long time. Leo Akaba went missing years ago, leaving Leo Corp. in the hands of his son. To think that he was now in another dimension and was the one who turned Yuto’s home into a wasteland?!

 

That’s it. Yoko was personally going to Himika today and demand answers. And if need be, she’ll bring Zarc along with her.

 

“...Father, wouldn’t it be best to use my powers for a bit, and look like yourself to my mom?” Yuya asked.

 

Are you sure that is wise?

 

“I think it will make it easier to address everything that is going on. Please Father…”

 

….As you wish, my shooting star.

 

Yuya’s eyes glowed red and green, and in seconds, the little boy with green and red hair was replaced by an older man with silver hair and green highlights in his bangs framing his face. He stood at Yoko’s height, somewhat taller, wearing a white tunic and dark blue pants. He crossed his arms, looking with a surprisingly calm face at Yoko. The blond blinked at the change. She was expecting, ebony colored skin, blood-red eyes, horns, screaming faces, demonic armor. This was...unexpected.  

 

Yoko took a deep breath as she saw Zarc standing right in front of her. She could see it in the eyes and smile...Yuya, Yuto and Yugo had such an eerie resemblance to Zarc that it’d be a lie to say that they weren’t related in some way.

 

“Huh, you’re actually quite handsome,” she commented. “Then again you did say you are the boys’ father, but I didn’t expect that level of resemblance to be honest.” 

 

“...What just happened?” Yuto whispered to Yugo.

 

“I have absolutely no idea...but I think Father and Yoko-san...are getting along.” Yugo replied.

 

“What even is this morning?” Yuto asked bewildered. 

 

Zarc sighed. “Now, let us go back to me having four sons. In each of my sons is a part of my soul. When the dimensions were split, my children were reborn, and none of them knew of my existence. I had to watch them go through their lives, unable to do anything...until by coincidence, Yuto and Yugo met with Yuya two nights ago…”

 

“And how did that happen?” asked Yoko. “Wait...did it have something to do with Sora?”

 

This time, none of them froze or looked ready to murder her at the mention of that name. Curious.

 

“Yeah,” Yuto said. “I went to see Sora while he was resting to ask what happened to Ruri, Shun’s little sister, and my other best friend, she..holds a remarkable resemblance to Yuzu.”

 

(At this, Yoko made another note: ask what was going on in regards to Yuzu and any other doppelgangers she might have. Last thing she needed was Yuzu to die because she saw another person with her face. Oh and also figure out what was so important that made Yuto and Yugo avoid Yuzu in the first place)

 

“Sora did not give me the answers I wanted and then security came to take me away,” Yuto continued. “I escaped and Sora chased me. Then, Yuya found the two of us at the park.”

 

“I see…”

 

“Sora was still angry for having lost to Shun and wanted to duel me, to heal his wounded pride. Yuya tried to ask what was going on, and he learned the truth about what happened to my dimension. But before Sora could say anything else, his Duel Disk activated the failsafe that dragged him back to Academia.

 

“Yuya and I dueled a little. And when we summoned our dragons, they...recognized one another. Yuya stopped the duel and I explained everything to him. About Sora, Academia, the other dimensions...and then Yugo arrived.”

 

It was Yugo’s turn to speak. “Our oldest brother, Yuri as I said, kidnapped my friend Rin, by order of this Professor Akaba. I was able to somehow travel across the other dimensions and ended up in Heartland where I mistook Yuto for him, and Yuto mistook me for a Fusion user.”

 

“...Is it because of your name?” Yoko asked, realizing just what Yugo was getting at.

 

“...Yes…” Yugo answered, before taking a deep breath. Honestly his name wasn’t that hard, it was Yugo, Yugo . Why did everyone confuse it for ‘Fusion’ anyhow?

 

“The two of us dueled, wanting answers from the others in regard to our tr...our loved ones,” Yuto said. “It was a tough battle and then it got to the point where we summoned our dragons.”

 

He pulled out Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon from his Duel Disk while Yugo showed Clear Wing Synchro Dragon. The dragons roared softly, the two feeling guilty in how they nearly destroyed one another. They weren’t glowing this time.

 

This time.

 

“We sensed a powerful presence inside us and were about to destroy one another,” Yugo said. “If it weren’t for Yuya begging for it to stop and Father awakening us…”

 

“I see…” Yoko said with a nod, absorbing everything.” Wait what does ‘awaken’ mean” “Does anyone else know about this? Does Reiji Akaba know?“

 

“The security cameras were destroyed when I arrived,” Yugo answered. “So no, he has no idea what happened.”

 

“I told Shun a little about us,” said Yuto, recalling how he hypnotized his newly claimed treasure the day before. “Not about Father or us being dragons, though. He doesn’t even know that I’ve been staying with you.”

 

Yoko nodded again. “Good. I think the last thing that’s needed is to tell Reiji or Himika about this until we get all the details.”

 

This was going against everything she learned from Horror Films 101, but Yoko had a justified reason why she wasn’t going to tell those two about Zarc, Yuya, Yuto or Yugo yet. She couldn’t trust these two yet.or anyone associated with Leo Duel School or Leo Corp. for that matter.

 

“Still, isn’t it sort of sad that Reiji has to learn that his own father is a tyrant?” she admitted. “No child should have to learn that their Father was some heartless monster.”

 

At that, Zarc’s eyes narrowed. “What Reiji Akaba must endure is nothing compared to the tragedy of me watching my sons be tormented by that treacherous human,” he snarled. “Or about how your husband went galavanting to a city where he spent the last three years teaching duelists how to smile. It was a wondrous city and it was known as...what was that called again?” Zarc tilted his head and tapped a finger to his chin before his eyes lit up and he snapped his fingers. “Oh right! It was known as Heartland .”

 

Yoko narrowed her eyes. “Yusho did what now ?” Her voice was deadly calm and she was gripping onto the water pitcher once more. 

 

“Oh, I was there when that happened!” Zarc chuckled. “One day Yusho Sakaki appeared and he became a teacher in the Duel School Yuto was enrolled in. He never said anything about where he came from, or that he had a wife and son waiting for him in this dimension. No, he spent the next three years there as if he forgot that he had a family who was worried for his safety and how he decided to chicken out and leave Yuya as a nervous wreck who smiles to hide his pain after everyone called him a ‘son of a coward’.”

 

Yoko could feel bile rising in her throat. Yusho Sakaki, her husband,was in Heartland the entire time? Yusho was in another dimension?! 

 

That explained Yuto’s reaction when she joked about him and Yugo teaching at the You Show Duel School. You Show = Yusho!

 

Yoko slammed her hand at the table, shaking it from the force of her hit, face full of murderous intent. “Oh did he now? And I thought the two of us had things to talk about before...I thought that we had such an open relationship and we could turn to the other if something was wrong. It seems we have way much more to talk about when we see each other again,” she said between gritted teeth. 

 

Yusho Sakaki, who she waited like Penelope waiting for Odysseus to return home to Ithaca, was in another dimension for the past three years and never told her or Yuya about this?!

 

He could’ve left a letter, said his good-byes...he could have done something but just ran away like the coward everyone called him!

 

“Yuto,” Yoko stated, her voice just as icy as Zarc’s and twice as deadly.Zarc smirked in satisfaction and licked his lips. Yuto felt like Yoko could toss the contents of the pitcher onto him and it would transform into liquid nitrogen before she took a sledgehammer to shatter him into ice crystals. “Is what your ‘Father’ saying true? Was Yusho Sakaki in your dimension for the past three years?”

 

Yuya also was in shock from all this. “My dad was in Heartland?!” he thought. “Yuto...did he get carded?”

 

“I..I don’t think so,” Yuto answered. 

 

But when he turned to Yoko, he answered, “Y-yes ma’am,” and swallowed a lump in his throat. 

 

“He...he never mentioned anything about me or Yuya?” Yoko said, pupils shrinking. She looked like a tiger ready to pounce. “Even though you look exactly like his son who he left behind ?!”

 

“N...no,” Yuto replied, shrinking in seat.

 

“Did he mention why he was even there in the first place?” Yoko hissed.

 

“Uh...I...ah….”

 

“He had three years to say something and he said nothing !” Yoko screamed. That was the biggest rule of Horror Film 101: if a person had so much time to explain something, there was a high chance that they wouldn’t during the film’s backstory and they would get a humongous amount of flack for not saying something sooner because a lot of problems would be cleared up if they spoke up about this.

 

And as much as Yoko didn’t want to admit it, Yusho Sakaki was that person who kept his mouth shut and said nothing and he was going to fucking pay for this when she saw him again.

 

“Yusho is gonna fucking die,” Yuto realized, noticing how Yoko was close to murdering someone. “Yuya...do you think he deserves this?”

 

“I…”

 

“Just what did my husband teach you?” Yoko asked, eyes drilling a hole in Yuto’s skull. “Oh, let me guess. ‘Dueling is about bringing smiles onto people’s faces.’ Ha! As much as I loved this quality about Yusho, if there is a war coming up shouldn’t the more important thing to do is to train you all into saving your hides from the likes of Academia and Professor Akabastard?!”

 

At that, Yoko couldn’t help but smirk. She knew how much her husband worked with Professor Akaba to improve the technology that would make Action Duels possible, but now that she knew how much of a heartless man Professor Akaba was, calling him a bastard was minor to what she’d say to him when he showed his face in this dimension again.

 

Zarc watched Yoko with interest, raising his eyebrow with a smug smirk on his face. He hadn’t anticipated that reaction; he thought she would fall on the chair in shock or despair. Yet here she was ready to tear into Yusho Sakaki, her husband , the moment she sees him, calling out his faults and wrong actions    

 

“Even if Yusho told us about the war, it wouldn’t have stopped them from attacking,” Yuto explained.

 

“And just where is my husband now?” Yoko said.

 

“I...don’t know,” Yuto answered, shamefully. “He just...vanished when the invasion started.”

 

“...Coward,” Yoko spat out. “He didn’t even show concern for someone who looked just like his own son!”

 

And at that, Yoko released her grip from the water pitcher, grabbed onto an empty glass and then slammed it onto the floor. Glass shards flew everywhere as she was about to throw another glass to the floor before Zarc grabbed her hand with a calm look in his eye..a look that screamed, “Stop what you’re doing or I will kill you where you stand.”   

 

Her answering glare was, ‘Try me, bitch’.

 

 “I think that’s enough Yoko-san. You’re scaring the boys,” he said in a deceivingly calm voice. 

 

At that she looked back at both Yugo and Yuto, the latter looked riddled with guilt. She took a deep breath before approaching the two, and hugging Yuto who froze in her arms. “It’s alright sweetheart, I’m not mad at you, not in the slightest,” she gave him a soft smile. “My dear husband on the other hand, would be quite lucky if I didn’t murder him with my bare hands,” she patted Yuto’s head gently, and moved to pick up the shards of the broken glass she shattered. 

 

... She’s perfect. Zarc thought. Fierce, determined, fiery...she is everything I want and more.

 

“What do you mean?” Yuya questioned. While he was glad that Father wasn’t going to hurt his mother, he did feel horrible to learn that Yusho just abandoned the two of them without even explaining why. 

 

He felt horrible; how he defended Yusho for the past three years while everyone laughed and jeered at him. Even Hokuto and Yaiba stated out how much of a coward he was (even though Reiji told them to shut up. Was it because Reiji truly did respect Yusho or did he just not like how the two were putting Yuya down since the two lost their own duels?)

 

And Reiji...Yuya would never say that he hated someone but he hated Reiji. For being so smug, so arrogant, being the one who was pulling strings so that Leo Corp. would get what they wanted…but what exactly did Reiji want?!

 

That would have to wait until after his duel was finished. Focus Yuya...focus on defeating Kachidoki.

 

Your mother is willing to help aid us in our quest to stop the Akabas. Zarc explained. And she cares for your brothers without a second thought. She does not see them as different copies of you; she sees both of them as her sons. She’s willing to protect you, she stood up for you when you were crying your heart out...what else can I say? Yoko Sakaki is perfect.

 

A shiver ran down Yuya's spine at Zarc's declaration, just what did Father mean by that?  "Perfect for what?" 

 

Zarc smirked and said no more.

 

“Yuto, one more thing,” said Yoko. “Be honest...you were the one who initiated that attack on Shingo Sawatari, right?”

 

“...I’m very sorry for that,” Yuto said, feeling like Yoko just stabbed him in the heart with a glass shard. How many times will he be asked to recall that moment? “I didn’t want to hurt him; I wanted answers to what happened to Ruri.” Zarc moved closer and kissed Yuto's forehead. With Yuya's shapeshifting abilities now Zarc was back to looking and feeling more like himself in a body, and it was just so nice hugging his sons to his chest so easily. He wanted to lift them off the ground and keep them in his lap, as he ran his hand through their hair like old times.

 

Of course, there was still the fact that Yoko would find this all uncomfortable (as Zarc was still using Yuya’s body and all…)

 

“Honestly, how were you mistaken for Yuya?" said Yoko, unaware of Zarc's little internal struggle. "You two have different hair colors and style, different voices, and different decks! What moron would mistake the two of you for each other?” She said with an eye roll. “And Reiji and Himiki Akaba took advantage of that stupidity and came to hurt my son and buy out my husband’s Duel School...” 

 

She grit her teeth when she heard how those three stooges of Shingo Sawatari accuse her baby boy of being violent. And this was after she learned how Shingo used Yuya’s naivety to snatch his precious Pendulum Monsters away a few days prior to that incident. Thank goodness Yuya defeated Shingo (even after she learned how he used his monsters to attack Yuzu, Futoshi, Ayu and Tatsuya when they were absolutely defenseless) else she would personally come to his house and kick his ass until next Sunday with a steel pipe in her hand for the stunt that he pulled.

 

Oh, she was gonna unleash hell on the Akabas and on Shingo Sawatari one way or another. Even if Shingo did redeem himself in his duel against Yuya, that did not mean he was in the clear for accusing her son for doing something so cruel. She knew that at the very least she wasn’t going to be voting to give his father another term as mayor in the next election.

 

Yoko lowered her arms and smiled at Yuto before giving him a pat on the head. “Well, I know what I’m going to be doing today.”

 

“Y...you do?” asked Yugo. How did she turn from “I’m going to murder someone” to “Oh, sweetheart, it’s okay” with a drop of a hat?

 

Yoko nodded her head as she turned to Zarc. “Zarc, would you be a dear and accompany me to Leo Corp. today? I think the two of us should have a personal talk with Himika and her son in regards to what they’ve been up to.”

 

“....WHAT?!” Was the cry from all three boys upon hearing just what Yoko said. Was she that fearless or that foolish to do such a thing?

 

“Oh, I’d be happy to Yo~ko-san,” Zarc said with saccharine sweet smile that spoke of hidden horrors beneath it. Yuya couldn’t help but shiver at how Zarc was on the same wavelength as his mother. “And after this, I noticed how you were eyeing Yugo’s D-Wheel...perhaps he can teach you all about Synchro Summoning after this is over.”

 

“Hmm, that does sound interesting, and it would be such a blast from the past as well,” Yoko said with a chuckle.

 

“Umm..Yoko-san, what do you mean by that?” Yugo asked.

 

“Well,” she said, “I used to be part of a gang in the past, No, that’s a bit of a lie...I was the leader of a biker gang in the past, the Maiami Queens. We were also called ‘Sirens’ because how we lured our opponents to utterly humiliating defeats. ”

 

“She was what now ?!” Yuto asked, eyes wide at the woman hugging him. 

 

“She’s joking right?” replied Yugo, turning to Zarc.

 

Yoko grinned, loving the shocked look on everyone’s faces. Even Zarc was surprised at what he was hearing. “‘Shooting Star Yoko’ was what they called me. Other names included ‘The Queen of the Sirens’ and ‘Loco Yoko’, but I prefer the first one myself. My girls and I tore the town apart at night against anyone who stood in our way.”

 

“Oh dear gods I don’t think she’s joking…”  Yugo stated.

 

“It was during one of these nights against a local gang that Yusho appeared,” Yoko said with a sigh. “One of my girls got captured by them and Yusho arrived to help me save her. He ended the fight without a single punch thrown or a drop of blood shed. I admired how he was capable of making a conflict into such an entertaining show...and I guess you can tell what happened.”

 

Yoko then shook her head. “But to think that Yusho wouldn’t be able to tell me any of what happened. And somehow the Akabas are related to this. But for what? I don’t know. However, I will not stand for this! The Akabas are nothing more than a bunch of bullies with money and suits. They’re gonna give us some answers or I’m gonna squeeze it out of them!” 

 

Zarc clapped his hands once with the same grin now back on his face. “Wonderful,” he said. “I would be delighted to join you today.”

 

“Then it’s settled,” said Yoko, extending her hand out. “I think we’re going to get along just fine, Supreme Dragon King Zarc.”

 

Zarc smirked and gave her a nod, extending his hand out as well.

 

“One more thing though, your highness . What about Yuzu, and the girls that look like her? What’s their story, and why are they close to your sons?” 

 

“Well,” Zarc stated. “Remember how I mentioned one ‘Ray Akaba’ earlier?”

 

Yoko nodded her head silently. Seems like Zarc had the same number of dislikes like she: they didn’t like their sons hurt and they hated the Akabas.

 

“She is Leo Akaba’s daughter -- or rather, she was in a previous time -- and she was the reason my soul, and the dimensions were split into four,” he answered. 

 

Yoko’s eyebrows reached her hairline. This was something out of a sci-fi story instead of the horror she was used to.

 

“The girls that look like Yuzu are all part of Ray Akaba, split into four as well after she attacked and defeated me. Leo Akaba wishes to resurrect his daughter using the four of them, which is why he ordered my Yuri to kidnap them. As for why they are all close to my sons, it must’ve been Ray’s will to ensure that I don’t return. But unforeseen circumstances to the all powerful Ray happened, and these girls have become my sons’ best friends and source of happiness. Quite ironic if you ask me,” he smirked . 

  

“I...I don’t know what to say,” said Yoko, feeling like this was the twist in the horror film that the female character was called to the haunted house because she was the reincarnation of a woman who died long ago. “I’ve known Yuzu ever since she appeared at Shuzo-san’s doorstep and, okay fiery temper and harisen aside, she’s been nothing but kind, helpful and empathetic to Yuya’s plight ever since Yusho left.”

 

“Yes it is something my boys have convinced me of. These girls, while they are a part of Ray Akaba, they most certainly are not her. They are their own people independent of Ray.” 

 

“Hold on…” she said as horror struck her at the thought but she had to ask. “If Leo Akaba did try and resurrect Ray, what would happen to the girls?” 

 

“...Without a doubt, they would die in order to bring her back.” Zarc whispered, noticing how Yuto and Yugo were on the verge of crying at the thought of losing their loved ones. 

 

Yoko’s eyes widened, pupils narrowing. “No,” she whispered softly. Now here came the part of the film where one learned that an innocent maiden was to be sacrificed in order to bring about the resurrection of a dark king from another realm. She clenched her teeth. That’s it. “Over my dead body! Zarc, what status do you have of these girls?”

 

“Rin, Ray’s Synchro counterpart and Ruri, Ray’s Xyz counterpart, were kidnapped by Yuri and are currently in the Fusion Dimension,” Zarc stated. “And just yesterday, I sensed that Ray’s Fusion Counterpart has set foot here.”

 

“For what reason?” Yoko felt like she was Shooting Star Yoko again, asking one of her gang members to give her intel on what was going on with the rival gangs.

 

“Most likely to go after me and Shun,” Yuto answered.

 

Yoko frowned thoughtfully. “I see… Don’t worry Yuto, we’ve all seen Shun duel. He’s very strong; you two would be able to beat anyone who comes after you. You’re not alone after all,” she gave him an encouraging smile

 

“But back to Ray’s Fusion counterpart --I need a shorter name for her--Most likely she doesn’t know what Akaba is planning to sacrifice her, correct? What if we were to tell her of what Akaba was doing was wrong? At worst, the bastard’s true intentions for her would earn her doubt.” 

 

“The students of Academia are too brainwashed to listen; they only know destruction,” Yuto said, doing his best to not let memories of Obelisk Force decimating his city with those Ancient Gear monsters rise up. “Even Yuri has been indoctrinated with Akaba’s belief that the attacks and carding of people is for a united utopia when the dimensions are reunited.”

 

Yoko gave a sigh, feeling like this was too much to handle. “Regardless, I suppose the very least we can do is keep Yuzu out of the Academia's clutches. They need all four counterparts, correct? If one of them stayed out of that bastard’s hands, then he can’t do anything to the other three, and they would be safe.” 

  

“That would be the case,” said Zarc. “The problem is that he’s too relentless and too stubborn to cease in his quest to resurrecting his daughter. And even then he’s still holding two of the girls captive and is probably torturing them or putting them under painful experiments to see how they react.”

 

“WHAT?!” Yuto and Yugo screamed.

 

She bawled her hands to fists in rage.“What about you?” asked Yoko, not wanting her brain to play scenarios she’s seen in multiple horror films late at night. “Do you need Yuri to bring you back from the dead? Is it the same process as bringing back Ray?”

 

“Yes and no,” Zarc answered.

 

“Then, what exactly do you need to be...resurrected?” 

 

Zarc thought hard about whether or not he should divulge that information. He already told Yoko too much as it is. “Resurrecting me is not the same as resurrecting Ray. The four girls were her, while my children merely took my soul into their own. Resurrecting me does not contain the same danger resurrecting Ray would. I would never place my safety above my own sons’.”  

 

“The same with me, and any parent with common sense ,” Yoko replied, trying to wrap her head over how Professor Akaba would stoop this low to resurrect his “daughter”.

 

Zarc nodded. “I wish to indulge more information to you, but I do believe than my Yuya has a duel to get to, and Yuto has a friend to warn.”

 

Yoko looked at her watch and her eyes widened. “Shit, you’re right! Gongenzaka should be starting his duel right about now. Let’s discuss this later, after the duels are over for the day. I need enough time to think about just what I’m going to be asking Himika about in regards to her husband’s brilliant plan to ruin everyone else’s lives.” 

 

She took a good look at Zarc again, making her decision final. And thus, Yoko did something that was super duper rare in the world of horror…

 

She teamed up with the horrifying monster to defeat a human that made the horror seem like it was Santa Claus. 

 

But she was not that foolish. Yoko did not fully trust Zarc; after all, he was still a supernatural entity that can take control of her boy any time he wanted (and Yuya didn’t seem to mind at all). And given the influence he had on Yuto and Yugo, she knew that getting them away from this...demonic dragon king was going to be an uphill battle.

 

For the time being, everything Zarc said would be taken with a grain of salt.

 

And when the time was right, she would take those grains and hurl each single one of them at him so her son’s soul would be purified from Zarc’s presence.

 

Zarc smirked when he saw the look in Yoko’s eye. He knew just what she was planning, and it would be fun for him to let her think she was going to win this little war between them. She could try, but he knew that he would emerge victorious.

 

So yes, Yoko Sakaki was perfect .

 

She would make the perfect mother for his sons with enough time and, with a bit of his influence here and there, nothing would make her leave them. Leave Zarc.

 

And if need be, she would happily die for them.

 

Let the games begin... Zarc chuckled, golden eyes shining bright.

 

***************

 

After getting a bit more information from Zarc, the Supreme Dragon King relinquished control so  Yuya could prepare for his match. Yoko wished him the best of luck, and had given Yuto and Yugo hugs saying goodbye, both boys had frozen in place when she hugged them. Yuto looked away in embarrassment and thanked her. Yugo, on the other hand, hugged her back a few seconds later tightly, she smiled and ran her hand through his hair. 

 

All three boys said goodbye and hopped onto Yugo’s D-wheel as it sped out of the garage and onto the freeway. The fact that it can keep on taking three people at a time is a testament to how good Yugo and Rin did of a job building it.    

 

The D-Wheel zoomed through the streets, moving past every car with ease. Yugo silently drove, even his thoughts were to himself as Yuto clutched him tightly drowning in his own worries.Yuya wrapping his arms around Yuto’s waist, with some of the anxiety coming back.   

 

He was nervous, while Shun could and has taken care of himself before. He was a warrior, after all. He defended Heartland alongside Yuto as part of the Resistance and won difficult duels and got out of tight spots before. So objectively, people coming from Academia after them was par for the course. 

 

But here's the deal. Shun was his. Shun belonged to Yuto. Now and forever, and even the thought of someone else wanting to take him away from Yuto sent the young prince to a rage. He was a dragon after all. And as Father had demonstrated time and again, they were possessive. So he's not gonna let anyone take one of his precious treasures away again! Losing Ruri alone was unacceptable, but Father has assured him she would be in his and Shun's arms again soon. 

 

Yugo, while silent, was doing his best to send his brothers comfort through their bond. Yuto and Yuya couldn't help but smile at the attempt, so even though Yuto’s thoughts were raging and his emotions running rampant, and Yuya being a bit nervous as he went through strategies and his monsters’ abilities, they were supported by both their brother and Father, and as always were grateful for it. Yuto placed a kiss on Yugo's shoulder in gratitude. Yugo smiled at the gesture before making a turn on his D-Wheel. Minutes later they reached their destination. 

 

“Hurry” said Yugo, pressing on the brakes. “We have to get to him before his duel starts. And make sure that Akaba doesn’t notice.”

 

Yuya split from both of them, his brothers wished him luck, and he called the same for them.

 

Yuto ran around looking for his best friend outside before finally finding Shun hanging around the stadium entrance. 

 

“Shun!” Yuto called. 

 

Shun turned around to see Yuto and Yugo approach him. He was ready to fight, but paused the moment he saw the worried expression on Yuto’s face and the serious one on Yugo’s. “Yuto. What’s going on? What’s wrong?” 

 

The lavender haired boy shook his head, looking around for both En-Moon and the cameras that Reiji would most likely have set up, or even the TV cameras. Yuto grabbed Shun’s wrist and started dragging him somewhere they can be alone. “Come my treasure,” he purred into Shun’s ear. “Let’s go somewhere private where over nosy CEOs won’t be spying on us.” 

 

Shun gasped in surprise when Yuto grabbed his wrist and again blushed when Yuto called him
“treasure”. Yugo smirked at seeing how flustered the Raidraptor duelist became from a simple word and gesture. Shun was now putty in Yuto’s hands. He wondered if that was a new thing or if it was simply Yuto’s influence, as he was pretty sure his brother was not that affectionate or possessive before Father had awakened them. 

 

Yuto found a room a few minutes later, after Shun and Yugo entered he locked the door so they wouldn’t get interrupted. 

 

“Yuto, what’s going on?” Shun asked with a frown on his face.

 

The Xyz prince took a deep breath and sighed. “Someone from Academia is coming after us,” Yuto explained. “They...they found out we left the Xyz Dimension…”

 

“What? How?!” asked Shun, readying himself for the inevitable fight. 

 

“Sora Shunin,” Yuto hastily answered. “They must have got the information from him once he was back at the Fusion Dimension, and now you’re in danger! You have to be careful.”

 

“Yuto… you’re in danger too,” Shun reminded him, placing his hands on Yuto’s shoulders. The worried look on Yuto didn’t disappear. He balled his hands to fists just thinking about the possibility of losing Shun. 

 

“I can’t lose you, Shun,” Yuto stated. “Shun, my treasure...I can’t lose you like I lost Ruri…”

 

“Y-Yuto…” Shun kinda wished Yuto would stop calling him his treasure. It didn’t have a good effect on his quickening heart or mind which simply stops working the moment he hears that. 

 

“You have to understand…” Yuto continued, tears trickling down his glowing grey eyes. “I. can’t. Lose you! You’re mine, Shun! My best friend, my love, my treasure ...I won’t let anyone take you from me,” he said cupping Shun’s face between his hands, keeping Shun’s focus only on Yuto. 

 

“Yuto...wha…”

 

The lavender haired boy kissed Shun, making the other boy relax in his arms, gold eyes staring deep into glowing grey orbs like lights shining within a heavy fog, leading him out of the darkness and into the light... 

 

“Shun,” Yuto whispered, his voice shifting into a low growl that caused shivers to fall down Shun’s spine. “You are mine. You are my precious treasure. You belong to me and me alone. No one else can have you. Mine, always and forever.”

 

“Always and...forever,” Shun repeated without a second thought, completely under Yuto’s spell again. 

 

“Relax now,” Yuto whispered, voice soft as silk. One of his hands grabbed Shun’s chin, the other ran its claw-like fingers down Shun’s face. The boy shuddered in delight at the sensation, eyes still locked with Yuto’s. 

 

“You feel happy right now, don’t you? At peace, and filled with tranquility and love. You’ll do anything I say, won’t you? To make me happy...you like making me happy, don’t you?” 

 

“... I do,” Shun answered.

 

“You’ll always listen to everything I say, follow my every word, won’t you Shun? Because it makes you feel like this, isn’t that right?” Yuto ran his fingers lightly over Shun’s neck, a little reminder of what his lips felt like there. Shun moaned. “Isn’t that right, my treasure?” 

 

He couldn’t speak, only nod his head, trying to move his body closer to Yuto’s, to have more of Yuto. Please...he wanted more, he wanted to open his lips and beg for more but couldn’t do anything other than moan and sigh. 

 

“This is the Hour of the Nightingale, Shun,”  Yuto purred. "Whenever I speak this phrase you will fall back into this trance, into this blissful state. You are completely, and only mine, in mind, body and soul. No one else will have this distinction."

 

"Yours," Shun finally could say. "Only yours." Yuto shivered in delight at that declaration, that promise, that oath. 

 

"Awake and return to normal by my kiss, Shun," he whispered, his powers fading. He guided his lovely treasure's lips to his own, watching Shun sigh at the gesture.. 

 

Seconds later, Yuto stepped back as he saw his treasure’s golden eyes be filled with life once more. Shun winced as everything came back to him. Yuto called him here for something important, worried about him, calling him his…’treasure’.

 

Right…Academia coming to get them. 

 

Seeing Yuto in front of him, a sense of desire and love bloomed in his heart when he noticed the worried look in his friend’s...no, not friend...something even more...he’d figure it out later. "I will be careful, but I won't run from the fight Yuto,” said Shun. “I'm not a coward."

 

"Shun," Yuto said putting his hand on Shun's cheek. But before he could say anything else, Shun smiled and took Yuto’s hand into his own. Yuto watched as Shun then placed a gentle loving kiss on the back of his hand.

 

“I am your precious treasure, Yuto,” he stated. “I promise to let no one take me away from you.” 

 

Yuto gasped, delight filling his very soul. A litany of “mineminemine,”  was the only thing he can think of. His dearest treasure proclaiming to be his, promising to never let anything or anyone take him from Yuto, a look of complete and utter devotion in Shun’s eyes. Yes, yes this was glorious

 

His brothers didn’t go unaffected by this. Pleasure and satisfaction and possessiveness, coming off of Yuto in waves, Yugo had to lean against the wall to catch his breath. And Yuya -- watching Gongenzaka deliver the final blow to his opponent -- had to suppress a shudder when he felt Yuto’s joy in having his treasure right by his side.

 

Father’s satisfaction surprised all of them, though. They heard Zarc chuckle as he wrapped an arm around Yuto and caressed his chin.

 

Perfect, Zarc purred, sending shivers down the boys’ spines.

 

“Father, what…?”     

 

 He is ready, my Specter. You have done perfectly. Satisfaction rolled off of Zarc in waves it almost made the boys’ knees buckle.

 

“Ready? ….For... what?” The words were slurred in Yuto’s mind. It was so, so hard to think of anything but the pleasure their father was producing. Yuto and Yugo’s eyes rolled to the back of their heads as Zarc intensified the pulses of love for his sons. 

 

He is ready to dedicate his life to you, my Specter. It is time for him to learn the truth.

 

The shock that statement created made Yuto wake up from the trance. “T-truly?” he breathed .

 

Yes. Zarc hissed into Yuto’s ear. Now, my darling Yuto, you know what to do, simply give him to me and I’ll do the rest. 

 

“...Yes, Father.”

 

Shun looked confused at how Yuto and Yuzo just dozed off into space. Just as he was about to comment on it, Yuto snapped back to attention, licking his fangs with delight.

 

“Y-Yuto… wh-,” Yuto gently placed one finger on Shun’s lips, effectively silencing him, he gently trailed that finger down Shun’s cheek, and under his chin. Shun’s eyes became half laid, sparks of pleasure flying from Yuto’s very touch. 

 

“Now my precious,” Yuto whispered lovingly. “It’s time for you to meet Father.”

 

“Fa…” before Shun could utter that simple word Yuto’s finger guided him to look into the lavender haired boy’s eyes once again. Gone were the soft grey eyes that Shun adored, now they were replaced by eyes of gold, shining brightly, pulling Shun in inside. 

 

...

 

Shun blinked, the sense of peace and love gone. When he was fully aware of himself, he jumped in place, looking around. The place looked empty, void. It was black with an array of colors flying around him.

 

  “Where-where am I?” he asked himself, before raising his arm ready to duel anyone standing in his way, or if need be give him information. His eyes widened in fear once he saw that he didn’t have his duel disk with him or his deck. He growled in anger seeing that he was defenseless. “Damn…”

 

“Shun Kurosaki ,”

 

A voice called, straddling Shun out of his mental cursing. The voice somehow pierced straight into his heart, causing him to panic. “Who is that?” he whispered to himself. His eyes narrowed fury and determination in his glare as he looked around trying to locate the source of that voice. “Who are you and where the hell am I?!” He yelled into the darkness.. 

 

The voice chuckled, it would be a playful pleasant sound if Shun wasn’t in a fight or flight mode (i.e. fucking desemate everything mode) which made the voice sound quite mocking to his ears. 

 

“We are inside your mind, Shun Kurosaki,” The voice answered.

 

“My...mind?” he asked still confused. He opened his mouth to yell again but the voice returned. 

 

“As for who I am. I am called…” a silhouette of a man appeared in front of him, before the shadows disappeared right in front of his eyes. “Zarc.”       

 

Shun’s eyes widened in surprise. The man in front of him, Zarc. He looked...normal, with his riding outfit, white shirt, blue patches, brown riding pants and boots, and gloves. Objectively, Shun should only see this man as any normal man, with his normal, albeit handsome face, along with what seemed like a kind smile on his lips. However two things stopped any thoughts of this man being “normal”. 

 

First, he looked like an older version of Yuto, Yuya and Yugo, with silver and green hair. A questioning thought of if the three boys would grow up to be that handsome someday came into his mind before Shun crushed the thought under his boots, stomping on it several times over. 

 

Second...The man just exudes authority and power that it made Shun feel quite small in his presence. Even though he was relaxed in his stance, looking at Shun like he had known him for a while more than the few seconds that they just met in, along with a relaxed and kind smile on his face. It didn’t add up to Shun...and for once what he truly wanted to do was run.

 

“Zarc…” Shun began.

 

The man’s smile widened when Shun stated his name. 

 

“You said...that this was inside my mind…” 

 

Zarc nodded. 

 

“What am I doing here? How did I get here?” 

 

Shun wasn’t yelling, instincts telling him not to do anything sudden or stupid, and yelling and demanding explenations from that man while tempting, seemed like a hella of a bad idea. “And why...do you look like Yuto?”

 

The colors in the background changed into lighter ones; only Zarc seemed to take notice of that. Golden eyes scanned their surroundings as he hummed in satisfaction.

 

“Naturally I brought you here,” he said matter of factly before, and to Shun’s utter shock, the man sat on the fucking air, crossing his legs looking to the world --well, Shun-- as if what he did was normal or what he said was the obvias answer.

 

Well, fuck it all. Shun will just go with it. 

 

“W-why?” he asked, body shaking a bit. 

 

Zarc’s eyes turned from watching the colors change to looking directly at Shun, his smile turning into a cruel smirk. Shun’s heart was pounding in his ears, the man looked so, so much like Yuto, older, stronger. It was like glimpsing into the future, and no part of him could deny Zarc was simply gorgeous

 

“Because you’re Yuto’s now, aren’t you?” he purred, resting his chin on his hand.

 

Shun’s expression turned shocked, cheeks turning crimson. He was Yuto’s...Yuto’s treasure, and he still couldn’t believe the other boy thought of him like that. 

 

“T...that’s right,” Shun was torn out of his thoughts at Zarc’s voice. It had become less friendly, filled with authority and purpose, and Shun couldn’t help but feel like he was under the watchful eye of the ultimate predator. 

 

“You are Yuto’s beloved treasure, his friend in Heartland, his comrade in war, his in every single way possible .” Shun shivered; it felt like he was nothing more like an object the way Zarc said it. ““If you’re going to be completely his, then it’s time to know what he truly is, what we truly are .” Zarc said, now standing, his hands spread like Yuya does when he’s talking to his audience. The man advanced towards Shun. “That’s why I brought you here, you see,” he whispered.

 

“I...I don’t understand...”

 

“Hm,” Zarc smirked. “I suppose the easiest way to start is by introducing myself properly.” Shun was more than lost now. “I am known as Supreme Dragon King Zarc.” 

 

“Supreme... Dragon... King,” Shun’s eyes widened. It felt like he couldn’t breathe as Zarc...no, Supreme Dragon King, unleashed a fraction of his powers. Run he wanted to run, needed to run, the Supreme Dragon King was going to…

 

“Shun Kurosaki,” his head snapped to meet Zarc’s glowing eyes. “It’s time to listen now, understood?” Shun nodded quickly, and Zarc began his tale. “Long ago, back when the dimensions were all one in the same, my children and I ruled a kingdom of monsters and spirits, back when monsters and humans lived together in one plane. But before we knew it, a war was struck between the monsters and the humans. Using their own magic, my children and I were sealed away by the humans, crystallized for years.

 

 “One day, we broke free, but the world had changed for the worst. The spirits, our comrades, my subjects, were all exiled into another dimension.  Cities were built, kingdoms were long gone and buried. I knew back then that I needed to bind my time, in order to protect my sons. We did not belong in that time yet we blended in, having two forms for us to shift into to avoid suspicion. 

 

“Years passed, and when the time came to reclaim what was mine and my children by right, the Akabas came along and used newly crafted powers in order to defeat me.”

 

Zarc clenched his hands into fists, gritting his teeth as he recalled Ray Akaba unleashing those cards that caused his original form to shatter. The last thing he could remember was the anguished cries of his sons before everything turned dark.

 

“Were it not for my children taking a part of me into their own hearts and souls I would have been dead long ago, and I shudder to think what would have happened to them had they needed to face Akaba alone, knowing nothing of the past,” Zarc said, his voice dropping into a whisper so low that it would have caused ice to form on Shun’s arms. “And we still have ways to go before I can truly come back to life. To defeat Leo Akaba, the man responsible for the destruction of your home, to take my own place back on the throne as king, and my children as the true heirs and princes. You, Shun Kurosaki, have battled by my son’s side, became his friend, comrade, and one of his beloved treasures. You have proclaimed yourself his always and forever.”

 

Zarc raised his arm in front of him, removing his glove with his teeth and letting it fall into what passed as the floor, before he began to transform. His nails grew into claws, black as the night. Similar black horns crowned his forehead, giving him a fierce look that could paralyze an army of soldiers. Scales grew over his face, under his eyes. His incisors sharpened into fangs, his tail extended and curled around his feet while, finally, a pair of fearsome dragon wings grew from his back. 

 

Shun’s breath hitched. His body was shaking; he wanted to fall to his knees before this man, this dragon, Supreme Dragon King Zarc. But Zarc placed his hand gently over Shun’s face, before sending the Xyz user calming emotions. 

 

This is the Hour of the Nightingale, Shun.” Yuto’s voice came from Zarc’s lips and Shun’s mind couldn’t help but calm down. It wasn’t Yuto saying it; his mind wasn’t in a complete trance but his raging emotions calmed down, and his eyes glazed over. 

 

“Shun,” Zarc’s voiced echoed by Yuto’s. “Are you still Yuto’s treasure?”

 

“Yes, always and forever,” Shun responded immediately, not even realizing what he stated, only feeling this rush of tranquility over his body. Zarc chuckled, licking his fangs, and caressed Shun’s cheek gently. The Xyz used shuddered. 

 

“Are you willing to serve him? Obey his every command, and dedicate your entire being for your prince of Xyz?” 

 

His prince of Xyz, his prince Yuto….

 

Yes, that made sense. It made so much sense now. He would do anything for Yuto. He would do anything for the person closest to his heart and Yuto would treat him well. Love him, hold him tight, protect him, treasure him .

 

Shun smiled and nodded his head. “Without hesitation.” 

 

Zarc’s grin was deadly and if Shun had the capacity to think, he’d find himself thinking that Zarc looked ready to devour him whole. 

 

“If you are his, you become mine as well. And you shall serve and honor me as your King and Lord.” 

 

Shun shuddered again at the thought of giving himself up to this strange dragon man with the face of his Yuto. It felt so wrong, it felt so right, it felt like he wanted to do what he was told, even though he was fighting for his life.

 

But to fight for a cause such as this, as long as he was under the watchful eye of someone who cared for him...that didn’t sound so bad.

 

Shun nodded his head and dropped to one knee, bowing his head. “I understand, my Dark Lord. I am honored to serve you.”

 

“Excellent,” Zarc purred, running his hands through Shun’s teal locks. Shun sighed, pressing into the touch. Then Zarc pressed two fingers into Shun’s forehead, sealing Shun to Yuto, linking their minds together. 

 

...

 

Shun came back to his senses, with Yuto removing two fingers from Shun’s forehead, eyes returning to the enchanting stormy grey, fangs extended.  

 

"Are you alright, Shun?” Yuto asked, tilting his head in worry. He knew Father would never do anything to hurt what's his but he wanted to make sure. 

 

Shun blinked, feeling the fog in his mind slowly fade away as he remembered what was going on. He was asked by Yuto and Yugo to come here, being warned about an Academia soldier coming to card them, being called Yuto’s treasure, then there was Zarc…

 

His eyes widened. Of course! Zarc! His king, his lord! He was asked to be the loyal companion to Prince Yuto. How could he forget something like that? 

 

He looked at Yuto. Beautiful, gorgeous, majestic. His prince of Xyz showing concern for someone such as him. Shun smiled at his lavender haired prince before falling to one knee, looking up at Yuto with nothing but adoration, love and devotion. He gently grabbed Yuto's hand in his before kissing it once more, eyes closed, head cast down in respect. "I am alright, my beloved Prince. Your father is simply a man who radiates with power like no other." 

 

"And that's just only a fraction of Father's soul." thought Yugo

 

Shun then turned to Yugo, somehow understanding that Yugo was also a prince that radiated power equal to that of Yuto's. He looked so different than Prince Yuto, but Shun also held no doubt that Yugo would be swift to deliver punishment on those who harmed that which belonged to the Synchro counterpart.

 

Yuto shivered at the sight, at the words and the emotions behind them. It all gave him a heady feeling, he felt almost drunk on it. His hand moved from Shun's gentle grasp and rested itself under Shun's chin. Yuto caressed his cheek lovingly with his thumb, and Shun sighed in delight, as if he can never get a greater sense of pleasure than from Yuto's touch, praise, his smile, the way his eyes looked like a sky before it unleashed a heavy storm. He wanted it, craved it. He would give his own life on the line for such blessings! Anything for his Prince Yuto! Anything for this beautiful soul who called him a treasure!

 

A thought suddenly came to mind, and he shuddered at the thought of asking it, was he worthy to ask such a thing of his prince? “Yuto, my prince.” said Shun, panting. “May I request something?”

 

“Anything, Shun. What is it, my precious one?” Yuto asked.

 

Shun shuddered, his eyes nearly rolled to the back of his head at the husky voice saying those words. “I want to see your other form,” he begged. “You are a dragon and I am your treasure, aren’t I? I want to be held close in your claws and marked as your own. I want to be branded as your treasure. I want to be told that I am a priceless gem that will not be taken away from you by anyone. I am yours! Yours! I want it burned onto my pale flesh that I am nothing more than a shiny bauble that is yours to keep.”

 

Yuto growled. Primal and deep. He grabbed the collar of Shun’s trenchcoat and pulled him closer, crashing their lips together in a bruising passionate kiss, Shun moaned into the kiss, he shuddered as Yuto curled his tongue over his lower lip. He couldn't speak, couldn't think, his mind only busy with the pleasure and the all consuming thoughts of Yuto sending him messages of how important Shun was to him

 

My treasure, my precious treasure, I love you, you are mine, mineminemineminemine...forever, always, until the end of time itself. Stay with me, let me hold you, let me keep you close, let me warm you at night, let me kiss you, let no one separate us. 

 

Shun gasped at the bombardment of Yuto’s thoughts echoing in his mind. The words that he heard, the intensity of the emotions behind them, the love that they held. How could he ever repay his prince for giving him such blessings? 

 

My prince, he stated as he sent his own thoughts back. My love. My Yuto. How can I… how can I ever be worthy of you?  Of your love and devotion? I can only return it to you, give you my very mind and soul to use as you wish. They are yours without question my beloved most precious prince. 

 

As they kissed, purple scales formed around Yuto’s neck and face. Curved horns sprouted from his head, his hands turned dark violet, a black scaly tail grew from his tailbone and hit the floor with a soft thump, his nails grew black claws that could leave massive scars on Shun’s back or chest if he wanted to. But he would never use these claws against his treasure. He would never attack Shun.

 

Unfortunately, as much as they wanted this kiss to continue, they had to separate for air. Shun panted, cheeks flushed as he looked at Yuto’s transformation. He shuddered in delight at the sight. Beautiful, ethereal, it radiated power . Yuto looked deadly, like he could tear Shun into pieces with simply one claw, one bite. If Yuto wished, it could be Shun's end right now. He shuddered in delight again; his life was meaningless if Yuto asked it to be. But Yuto didn't wish it so. Such power radiated from Yuto’s body and yet Shun would receive only the gentlest of touches from his Prince. He was such a precious belonging to his Prince, causing him to weep in joy at being so loved by someone as strong, powerful and kind as Prince Yuto.

 

(And as this was going on, Yugo was biting his tongue at seeing how steamy this was getting)

 

“Like what you see?” Yuto hissed. A claw gently slid down Shun's cheek. 

 

“Yes,” Shun replied. “Please...use those claws as you see fit.”

 

“I want to put my brand on you, mark you more and more, a sign that you are unquestioningly mine. ” Yuto purred.  "Do you wish that, my Shun?"

 

“Yes, yes my prince, yes!” Shun pleaded, knees buckling. “I want it more than anything !”

 

“Beg for it more, Shun,” Yuto commanded. “For I am not just any dragon. I am Yuto, son of Supreme Dragon King Zarc and the Future Prince of the Xyz Dimension. I will be the one that will bring our Dimension back to its former glory. Heartland will be our home where I keep my precious treasures safe from the likes of Academia. And we shall make sure no one has the gall to destroy it or card my treasures ever again! Beg for my mark, my caged bird. My falcon knight. Beg for it !”

 

“Please Yuto,” Shun stated, falling to his knees, hands clutching the ends of his jacket. “Please my prince, mark me as your own… use me as you wish, my love, I want your mark on me! I need your brand on my skin to remind me that I am only yours. No one can ever have that claim upon me. No one. Not Kaito, not Allen, not Sayaka... no one . I am only yours!”

 

“Yuto, you’re having way too much fun with this.” Yugo commented. And somewhere, Zarc himself wished he had a physical form and some popcorn so he could truly watch this spectacle.

 

Beautiful," Yuto breathed. "Truly, truly beautiful. Who can I thank for a gift such as you my treasure?" He caressed Shun's cheek lovingly, and the boy gasped in delight. "Yes I shall mark you, my beloved treasure. Rise now, on your feet my dear and remove your coat for me." 

 

“Wait…you’re making him strip in front of us?!” Yugo thought.

 

“Yep.” Yuto chuckled.

 

“UGHH!!!!!”

 

Shun nodded with a smile on his face as he stood up and began removing his blue trenchcoat, letting it drop to the floor without a care. With a swift motion, Shun’s red scarf that signified his status as a member of the Resistance was next to fall, like a large drop of blood that splashed upon the fallen coat. Last was a navy blue shirt which he removed without hesitation, revealing his toned chest and the faint scars he received during the first days of fighting off Obelisk Force after the initial attack.

 

“Turn around so I can see you better,” Yuto said, making a spinning movement with his finger.

 

Shun nodded, not ashamed of exposing himself to his prince, and turned around without hesitation. Yuto quickly pushed Shun to the wall with Shun only having a second to brace himself by placing his hands against it.. 

 

“Oh yes,” Yuto purred, running a finger down Shun’s spine, causing the older boy to throw his head back with a loud moan. Thank goodness the door was locked and sealed with shadows; the last thing they needed were people mistaking this for...something else. “This place is perfect . You are perfect, my treasure.”

 

“Yes,” Shun panted, loving how the word made him feel like he was something to love, to covet, to desire. “I am your treasure .”

 

Yuto chuckled as he rested a finger in between Shun’s shoulder blades. There. This would be the best spot to make the mark.

 

“This will hurt a little, but I promise that it will be all the better once I finish,” Yuto whispered. “Now, hold still.”

 

Yuto placed his pointer finger on the spot and soon, black flames began to trace images underneath Shun’s neck. A searing heat was placed on his back and Shun screamed. In pain. In pleasure. This was something his Yuto was giving him and he would take it, take this pain and forge it into a weapon that will protect his prince from anyone who stood in their way. 

 

Seconds passed until Yuto removed his claw and smiled at the mark. It was a coat of arms with a black shield depicting a winged dragon biting its tail, crossed with a black feather and a spear. His personal symbol.

 

Yuto sighed in delight and satisfaction at his precious treasure being so submissive towards him. Shun still panting, body trembling, face red, eyes glazed over, his mark on Shun's skin...it was utter perfection . He approached Shun again, putting his hand gently over Shun's hips. 

 

"M-my prince?" Shun asked, a little confused. 

 

“Just one more thing I want to do…” Yuto said, licking his fangs.

 

“W...what are you AGHHH!!”

 

Yuto’s fangs sunk deep into Shun’s shoulder and it felt like Shun’s body was struck by lightning, the bite striking every nerve in his body, paralyzing him. The Raidraptor duelist felt his voice turn into moans from how swiftly the pain melted into an indescribable euphoria, his knees buckling and the only thing that kept him from falling was Yuto’s tail wrapped around his waist.

 

Shun gasped for breath, as Yuto licked the blood from the wound lovingly. Sealing the wound and leaving his bite mark on Shun. 

 

“W...what did you do, Yuto?” Shun whispered, voice hoarse from the screaming. Yuto ran a finger over the bite mark, making Shun shudder and Yuto to sigh in utter satisfaction.

 

“It was for good luck,” Yuto whispered, retracting his tail. “Win your duel in honor of me, my falcon knight. Win and bring us one step closer in bringing Father back to life. Win so we can enact revenge on Professor Akaba, so that we can rescue Ruri from his clutches, so that Academia will feel our wrath when we take them down.”

 

Shun sat against the wall, face flushed, panting, his eyes focusing on Yuto. He wanted to kneel before him again but his body had gained shock after shock of pain and pleasure he couldn't think he could move. "Yo-your wish Is my command, beloved one.” Shun stated.

 

“Good,” said Yuto, patting Shun’s head. His signs of his dragon self began to fade away, until he was human once more. “Yugo and I need to go see Reiji about the Academia intruder. I’ll contact you if I need anything,” he gave Shun one more searing kiss. "Good luck my dearest treasure."

 

And Shun was still in a daze even after Yuto and Yugo left the room. He laid completely on the floor looking at the ceiling, breathing hard until he got his composure back. He shuddered, knowing that Yuto’s mark was inked onto his skin. He made a mental note to check it out in the privacy of his room at the LDS tower. It was a symbol of his undying loyalty, devotion and love to his one and only dragon prince. He would not fail.

 

“Yes, Prince Yuto,” Shun whispered in their mind link. “I will win this for you. I promise.”

 

***************

 

Yuya was, to put it simply, getting his ass handed to him.

 

Every single time he attempted to obtain an Action Card, Kachidoki would beat him to it or either beat him up so he could get to it. And with each Action Card Kachidoki obtained, his Idaten the Combat Star grew stronger and stronger.

 

And all he needed was just one more Action Card to knock off all of Yuya’s life points.

 

Yuya was chasing towards an Action Card sticking out of the ground, Kachidoki hot on his tail. He had to get it. He had to win this. He had to do this not only for himself, but also for his brothers and for his Father.

 

He wouldn’t fail them. He wasn’t going to fail his family!

 

As he felt his legs burning with each step he took, Yuya leapt toward the card just as Idaten unleashed his attack on the paralyzed Beast-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. Smoke covered the area…

 

Everyone was waiting for the smoke to disappear, to see who obtained the Action Card. As it died down, they all noticed the one who obtained the card...

 

 

...Yuya!

 

Yuya groaned as he looked at the card in his hand. Even though he just saved himself, Beast-Eyes Pendulum Dragon was destroyed, Idaten the Combat Star was standing tall at 3600 ATK and his life points were now at a measly 100.

 

“So you survived just by the skin of your teeth,” Kachidoki tsked. “But that won’t save you now. Soon, you will succumb to the darkness within your very soul.”

 

Yuya slowly rose to his feet, gritting his teeth at everything he had tried to do up until now. Kachidoki was something else; he wasn’t human at all. 

 

“Fall into the pitch-black darkness, Yuya Sakaki,” Kachidoki stated.

 

And then...something awakened inside of Yuya.

 

It was like a fire burning in his soul, slowly causing something to awaken. Something dark. Something powerful.

 

And Yuya did not resist it; he embraced it . He could feel the sensation flow through his veins as he grinned. Yes. This would be how he would defeat Kachidoki.

 

So he fell, fell into the darkness. Yuya would not be afraid of this darkness; he knew that the darkness was not evil at all. It was a soothing force that was just an extension of his Father’s love..

 

In the few seconds that it took for Yuya to embrace the darkness within his soul, the sky began to darken. 

 

Then, a pair of red lights shone within the darkness.

 

“What the -- “ Kachidoki asked, wondering where this change of weather came from. He then focused his gaze at Yuya’s blood-red eyes as if he was staring into the eyes of a demon .

 

This couldn’t be coming from someone who used monsters based off of animals performing in a circus!

 

“My turn,” Yuya stated calmly, red eyes hidden by his equally crimson hair, drawing his card. He then showed off the Action Card he received. “I play the Action Card - Mad Hurricane to return all cards on my field back into my deck.”

 

As he said this, a howling wind shattered his Pendulum monsters which he placed back into the deck, much to the surprise of everyone.

 

“Next, I shall set the Pendulum Scale with Scale 3 Performapal Turntoad and Scale 5 Performapal Cheer Mole!”

 

He placed the two Pendulum Monsters onto his Duel Disk, the word PENDULUM appearing in rainbow font before said monsters -- a toad with a top hat and a pink furred mole in a cheerleading outfit -- rose into the sky, the numbers ‘3’ and ‘5’ underneath them.

 

“Swing, pendulum of my soul! Draw an arc of light across the ether! Pendulum Summon! Come forth, my monster servants!” Yuya chanted as his pendulum swung back and forth between his Pendulum scale.

 

“From my Extra Deck I call upon both the Level 4 Performapal Camelump and Level 4 Performapal Silver Claw!” said Yuya, placing the two Pendulum Monsters onto his Duel Disk.

 

Summoned onto the field were a camel with a top hat (800 ATK) and a silver wolf with a red bowtie covered in yellow polka-dots. (1800 ATK)

 

“What is he trying to accomplish?” Gongenzaka muttered.

 

“Wait…” Yuzu gasped. “Don’t tell me Yuya’s trying to…”

 

“With two Level 4 monsters on the field, I construct the Overlay Network !” Yuya announced.

 

The black galaxy of stars emerged on the field as Silver Claw and Camelump turn into beams of black and orange light respectively. They flew into the air, swirling round and round before they struck the event horizon of the Overlay Network. A dark wind began to howl, causing the shadows around Yuya to dance with glee.

 

“Dragon who traverses through darkness and mirrors; emerge from the looking glass and reveal the dark desires that lies within my opponent's heart! Xyz Summon! Rank 4! Emerge Black Mirror Xyz Dragon!”

 

From within the Overlay Network, a large black dragon rose onto the field. Its body looked like it was made out of wrought iron, its scales formed into strange jagged edges. The center of its head had a large diamond and from its back were four long diamond-shaped wings the color of oil with a rainbow-colored sheen. 

 

And the eyes...the eyes of the dragon looked like cracked mirrors. The pupils seemed to draw anything it reflected into the center like dual black holes, sucking them into a void of infinite pain where there was no escape. Two green Overlay Units circled its body while it stared at its surrounding, its eyes multiplying the bamboo forest tenfold. (2500 ATK)

 

“What the -- ?” Kachidoki asked, seeing the monster in front of him.

 

“Yuya just Xyz Summoned ?!” Shuzo gasped.

 

But upon seeing the stats of Yuya’s dragon, Kachidoki chuckled. “You have such a powerful monster, but it doesn’t matter. If you go into battle with Idaten, its attack will drop to 0 because it has a lower level than -- “ 

 

At this, Yuya couldn’t help but return Kachidoki’s laugh with a laugh of his own. Loud, frantic, maniacal, like nails on a chalkboard.

 

“W...what’s so funny?” asked Kachidoki, stepping back in alarm. This new side of Yuya was starting to frighten him.

 

“Xyz Monsters don’t have Levels, you idiot. They have Ranks !” Yuya stated with a feral grin. Black Mirror stood beside Yuya, the boy was so proud that he has summoned this beautiful new monster. He scratched under its chin and Black Mirror chirped happily. 

 

“W...what?!” Kachidoki exclaimed. “If it doesn’t have Levels, shouldn’t it be at Level 0 then?!”

 

(And somewhere, Yuto couldn’t help but snort at such an assumption.)

 

“And I won’t even have to battle that pathetic monster of yours because I activate the effect of Black Mirror Xyz Dragon,” Yuya continued. “If I detach an Overlay Unit, I can select a monster you control then send it back to your deck. Then, Black Mirror Xyz Dragon can increase its attack equal to half of your targeted monster! Devouring Reflection!”

 

One of Black Mirror Xyz Dragon’s Overlay Units shattered before the reflection of Idaten the Combat Star was reflected in its multiple eyes. The monster itself looked in horror as it could hear each and every reflection laugh as the dragon’s eyes radiated an aura of darkness. The Fusion Monster looked down in horror as it was sucked into a black vortex all while the dragon’s attack was raised. (2500 -) 4300 ATK)

 

“No way…” Kachidoki whimpered.

 

Yuya chuckled. Kachidoki was defenseless. He could end it right here and now with just a single attack, and Black Mirror was excited to have some fun.

 

But he didn’t want to end this duel yet. There was something else he had to do...

 

And that was to put on a grand finale for the audience!

 

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!” Yuya announced amongst the dark storm clouds, the rain, the roaring thunder. He still had the air of a showman, albeit a little twisted, it had a certain charm to it. A dark twisted aura filled with such sweet innocence.  “Before we end this duel, let me introduce you to my new monster. Please give Dark Mirror Xyz Dragon a round of applause!”

 

Thunder cracked, light illuminating Yuya's face to Kachidoki. Eyes as red as blood shining feral and full of sadistic glee. A twisted smirk on his face that would give his older brother a run for his money. 

 

(Somewhere a sense of pride came over Yuri and he didn't know why.) 

 

“That monster is…” Tatsuya began.

 

“Kinda scary…” Ayu added.

 

“Yuya is giving me lots of shivers!” Futoshi said with a shudder as if someone poured ice down his back.

 

“Hmm?” said Yuya, tilting his head when he heard no applause. No cheers. All he heard was utter silence. “Where’s the applause? You’re all hurting my monster’s feelings~ It’s his first time on stage and he’s very shy. Just look at him!”

 

Indeed, Black Mirror Xyz Dragon looked around shyly, hiding his face with his wings that groaned like a rusty gate. Somewhere, Dark Rebellion roared to help support his little brother.

 

"Aww, the poor thing," said Ayu, now looking at the dragon. It was Yuya Onii-chan's monster right? Besides, it looked kinda cute in a terrifying way. Without hesitation, she stood up and shouted, “You can do it, Black Mirror! I believe in you!”

 

Yuzu smiled and did the same. “Go Black Mirror! I’m with you!”

 

Yoko smiled as she cupped her hands around her mouth, wishing Yuto was here to see this. She could also sense that this dragon was Zarc’s doing, but didn’t want to give that away just yet.  "Do your best, sweetheart!"

 

“Um, what she said!” Shuzo added, not sure if this dragon was “sweet” at all.

 

Slowly, people began following Ayu’s example in cheering the shy dragon on. The audience began cheering for Black Mirror, causing Yuya to smile. He always loved it when the crowd came together for a duel!. 

 

“Look at that!” Nico Smiley shouted into the microphone. “Everyone’s support is on this brand new addition to the duel! Don’t be shy, Black Mirror! Go on and soak up your fifteen seconds of fame!”

 

Black Mirror roared as everyone applauded. Odd-Eyes and Beast-Eyes also roared in approval, neither of them jealous that Black Mirror would unleash the finishing move.

 

Kachidoki, on the other hand, still looked terrified and tried looking for an Action Card. Yuya chuckled, ready to have some fun.

 

 "Black Mirror, gooooooo FETCH!" said Yuya using one hand to propel him up so he now sat on Black Mirror's back. The new dragon wagged his tail happily as his eyes targeted Kachidoki as if the duelist was a bone and Black Mirror was a dog ready to gnaw on it..

 

Kachidoki immediately turned tail, wanting nothing to do with this monster. How could people cheer for such a thing? It looked ready to eat him whole!

 

He kept looking around the tall bamboo stalks, practically chopping them in half in order to see if any of them held an Action Card. Surely there was an Evasion or Damage Banish somewhere in this damn place!

 

As he kept looking around, he sensed a shadow looming over him. Kachidoki began to sweat as he turned around to see Black Mirror Xyz Dragon right behind him !

 

“You won’t be able to find one since you took nearly all of them for your monster,” Yuya chuckled, standing on the back of the Xyz Dragon. “But if you want...we can make this a game ! Black Mirror Xyz Dragon loves games! Don’t you, boy?”

 

Black Mirror nodded his head and grinned at Kachidoki, revealing his black fangs. Yoko couldn’t help but chuckle a little.

 

“What’s so funny, Yoko-san?” asked Futoshi. 

 

“Seems Yuya found a new mischievous side to himself is all,” she answered. She looked at Yuya; damn, the boy looked possessed again. But this time, she didn’t see the golden eyes that Zarc has. They were shining rubies, filled with power and mischief. It was a mix between Yusho and Zarc in a sense: the man who wished to entertain and the dark spirit that wanted to frighten his opponents.  

 

Yuya giggled as he watched the sweat falling down Kachidoki’s face. “Come on! Let’s play this game of ‘Save yourself, Kachidoki!’ Save yourself before Black Mirror Xyz Dragon catches you~!”

 

And as Black Mirror Xyz Dragon chased after him, Kachidoki ran faster than he ever had in his life. All the while Black Mirror couldn’t look more like an eager puppy even if he tried.

 

“I, the man Gongenzaka, am not sure what to think of this,” Gongenzaka muttered. He knew how Yuya wanted to make his duels a show but this seemed more...mischievous of him.

 

“Dark and scary doesn’t necessarily mean monstrous,” Yoko replied. A subversion of how horror plays out: the horrifying creature was actually benevolent the entire time and just wanted a friend. 

 

Kachidoki kept running, running, running as if he was being chased by a ghost. This thing would not stop, this thing would not cease in its running until Kachidoki was eaten whole! It looked truly terrifying; its mere presence made Kachidoki tremble in fear. He didn’t dare to look back, and kept running as fast and as far as he could all while trying to find an Action Card.   

 

But after two, maybe three, minutes of searching. Kachidoki collapsed against a wall of bamboo. He wasn’t going to make it. All he could do was look up as Black Mirror Xyz Dragon approached him with its silver eyes with numerous cracks, leaned close, opened its mouth as wide as dragonly possible and...and…

 

….Licked him.

 

“AHAHAHAHAHA!!!!” Yoko said, clutching her stomach. “Oh, that was good.” She clapped gleeful at the show. 

 

Others couldn’t help but join her. The fearsome monster was more like an excited puppy than a monstrous dragon from how he interacted with Kachidoki!

 

Yuya chuckled as he pointed at his opponent. “It’s been fun, but the curtains must fall now. Ah well, let’s do this again some other time!

 

“Now my monster, attack Kachidoki directly! Dark Reflection Fragmented Strike !”

 

Black Mirror Xyz Dragon flapped his wings as a gust of wind decorated with shards of glass flew towards Kachidoki. The haughty Ryozanpaku duelist had nowhere to run, his back against the thick bamboo stalks.

 

And with a single attack, Kachidoki’s lifepoints dropped all the way down to 0 and he himself crashed through the bamboo and landed flat on his back with a thud.

 

“Good boy~” Yuya cooed, scratching underneath the chin of the dragon with the body made of iron.

 

“And with an unexpected turn of events, the winner of this duel is Yuya Sakaki!” Nico Smiley announced. Everyone cheered as the Action Duel transformed into globules of light and Black Mirror Xyz Dragon disappeared along with it..

 

“He did it!” Tatsuya, Ayu and Fujoshi shouted..

 

“So hot blooded!!!” Shuzo shouted, a fiery aura surrounded him. 

 

Yoko smiled, briefly seeing Yuto in Yuya’s place. I’m so proud of you, Yuya. You didn’t fall into the darkness after all. I wonder what Zarc is saying right about now.  

 

“Did I...really do that?” asked Yuya, staring at his Duel Disk, and at his new Xyz monster.

 

You did, my shooting star. Zarc praised. You defeated your opponent while still putting on a show! He stood no chance against Dark Mirror Xyz Dragon.

 

At the praise, Yuya heard the dragon roar in joy. Oh Black Mirror was so happy to have proven himself in battle today!

 

But the praise was short-lived when he saw Kachidoki slowly sitting up. Despite how ruthless his opponent was in battle, Yuya couldn’t help feeling sorry for what Kachidoki was forced to go through in order to become the best.

 

So when Yuya approached Kachidoki, extending a hand to help his rival stand up. But, to Yuya’s surprise…

 

Kachidoki slapped the hand away in disgust.

 

Huh? Yuya thought as Kachidoki slowly rose to his feet. What...what did I do wrong?

 

Kachidoki growled before he turned to the audience, staring at the group of people looking down at him with disdain. Yuya mentally noted that those people were most likely students from the Ryopanzuku school and its founder. 

 

Kachidoki said nothing, but instead placed a fist onto his open palm and bowed. He then walked away, all while Yuya felt conflicted. Kachidoki played dirty, yes. But did he deserved this type of treatment from his fellow students? Not likely.

 

Yoko leaned forward in her seat. Kachidoki was a tough opponent with a rough childhood...but compared to what she knew about what was to come, this meant nothing.

 

She can only hope that Yuto and Yugo accomplished what they needed to do today as Yuya returned to his seat and Yuzu prepared for her duel. A part of Yoko couldn’t believe that Yuzu was one fourth of a single person who caused this entire mess to happen…

 

And another part of her hoped that she would be able to save Yuzu and her other counterparts from whatever Zarc had in store for them.

 

Yuzu... Yoko thought as she saw took a glance at the pink-haired girl with sympathy in her eyes. If only you knew what was in store for you...

 

Chapter Text

Part 2

 

Yugo and Yuto glared at Nakajima as he, once again, stood in their way to talk to Reiji, standing there like a brick wall. 

 

“Are we gonna keep doing the same song and dance everytime we come to talk?” Yuto growled impatiently.

 

Yugo very much wanted to punch him, Yuto...well, he was weighing his options but he was also leaning on the side of “Give this guy a punch at least once.”

 

“Let them in, Nakajima,” Reiji stated from the other side. “It’s alright, they are our allies and are always welcomed here.”

 

Neither boy believed that for a second, but Nakajima just nodded his head, stepped aside and opened the door for them. Yuto and Yugo wordlessly nodded their heads and entered, seeing Reiji waiting for them and Reira not too far behind. 

 

“So...Yugo, Yuto, what can I do for you right now?” he asked, removing his eyes from the huge ass screen projecting the duels in the multiple stadiums to look at the two counterparts. 

 

Yuto took a deep breath before slowly exhaling. There was no need to let his emotions take over at a crucial time as this. “We wanted to talk to you about something important.”

 

“We think there’s an intruder from the Fusion dimension here, and they’re after Shun and Yuto.” Yugo explained. 

 

Reiji hummed. “And what makes you say that?” He asked, a bit suspicious. 

 

“Yuya said that he saw someone that looked exactly like Yuzu yesterday, but he couldn’t be sure,” said Yugo. “You install security cameras all around the city, and we thought to warn you and see if you can find her.” 

 

Reiji seemed to accept the answers and deemed them truthful. He nodded. “Yes, we’ve detected a powerful spike in Fusion summoning energy, and we’ve been on the lookout for any intruders. After that little incident with Sora, we can’t take any chances.” he turned back to the monitor and focused on the current duel, which was Yuya about to fight off Isao Kachidoki.

 

“As soon as another Fusion summoning energy spikes, we can head to investigate. Right now however I am quite curious as to how Yuya Sakaki is gonna fair in this duel.”

 

The two brothers’ eyes widened and their eyes were glued to the screen as Yuya entered the field. Both of them smiled softly cheering him on best they could. 

….

….

 

The duel ended in quite a spectacle, and both Yugo and Yuto looked at the screen with pride, happiness and relief at seeing Yuya finish Kachidoki off with Black Mirror Xyz Dragon. Yuto could sense Dark Rebellion roaring in approval at his little brother doing such a fantastic job..     

 

“So, Yuya Sakaki now knows Xyz Summoning,” Reiji commented. “And by the looks of things, this monster gives off powerful signals of Xyz Summoning Energy to boot.”

 

“You did it, Yuya!” Yugo cheered. “You beat him!”

 

“We’re so proud of you, Yuya,” Yuto added.

 

An alarm suddenly sounded, snapping all three of them to attention as the scene on the screen, changed into a hooded person along with a giant man, and before they know it, a light came from her duel desk, and the person in front of her was no more, turned into a card. 

 

When the footage was rewound, it stopped when it showed a better look at En-Moon’s face. There was no denying it; she looked just like Yuzu Hiiragi.

 

“That’s…”

 

“En-Moon!”

 

Yuto’s felt like his heart would stop, and his breathing became ragged, fear anger worry hatred all swirled around in his heart, his eyes teared up from the sheer pain he was feeling. Yugo put his arms around him quickly, and rested his head on the crock of his neck, Father quickly coming with some assistance in calming Yuto down.   

 

Yuto took deep breaths, and let go of Yugo, grateful for his brother and Father for what they did.

 

“So that’s her,” Reiji stated. 

 

“Must be,” said Yugo with a nod. “We need to go after her now before she starts going after any other Xyz duelists in the tournament.”

 

“I have a pretty good idea where she’ll be heading next,” said Reiji, noticing Yuu Sakuragi just about to defeat his opponent on a screen. “But we have to head out now.”

 

Reiji then looked down at Reira -- who had been quiet the entire time, to the point that neither Yuto nor Yugo noticed he was there -- and nodded his head. “Stay here until I come back.”

 

“Okay…” Reira whispered with a slight nod of his head.

 

Reiji began to walk off, with Yuto following him. Upon noticing Yugo just standing there, Yuto turned around.

 

"Yugo?" he asked. 

 

"Um, just...just go without me. I'm not needed," Yugo said, waving Yuto off. 

 

"Are you sure?" 

 

"Yeah, totally," Yugo replied, but Yuto wasn't convinced. 

 

Go Yuto, I'll take care of your brother, but make sure to make contact with En-Moon.   Zarc said, patting Yuto’s shoulder.

 

The Xyz user sighed. "Yes, Father," he answered before giving Yugo one last glance and following Reiji to where En-Moon was.

 

As Yugo watched them walk away, Zarc wrapped his arms around the Synchro duelist, sending him emotions of love and worry. What’s wrong, my crystal? Zarc asked, sensing Yugo’s frustration.

 

Yugo sighed. “It’s just...Father, I feel… so left out right now. Yuya got new cards and Yuto has a treasure of his own. I...I’m afraid that I’m not strong enough. I just want to be able to go out there and help! Yuya and Yuto have always been closer to one another, that kiss Yuya gave Yuto is proof enough. I want to do that with them, or with Yuri...” There was a small blush on his face. Zarc couldn't help but smile at that and kiss Yugo's cheek. "I want my treasure back, I want my Rin!” 

 

Tears of frustration started to fall down Yugo's cheeks, it's been so long since he had seen her beautiful face, or hugged her. Since he held her hand or wrapped her in his arms and twirled her around only for her to giggle and tell him to stop. Since she got mad at him whenever he did something stupid. Since they argued over small things. Since they dueled against each other to hone their skills, practiced taking turns riding their D-Wheel, stared at the poster of Jack Atlas in the hopes of challenging him one-on-one at the Friendship Cup. He missed her so much. 

 

Oh, my Yugo, Zarc sighed as all these sadness and frustration came from his beautiful son. He did not mean to ignore his plight or make him feel like he was in a lesser place than his younger brothers. Yugo shined so brightly, his presence is always loud that you can't help but see him, couldn't help but love the beautiful child once you knew him. To see that, unlike Yuya or Yuto, he only had one person that was close to him just broke his heart. To feel Yugo’s frustrations of having to struggle to live day after day as a Common made him want to topple that stupid class system and have his son appointed as the prince of the Synchro Dimension so he never had to feel that sorrow ever again.

 

I'm so sorry, my darling treasure, he kissed Yugo's forehead, before placing a kiss on his lashes, his nose, his chin, Please be a little more patient, Yugo. I know what it’s like to feel that way. But there are pressIng matters to attend to. 

 

“I want Rin...I want Rin by my side right now!” Yugo screamed. “Why can’t I go rescue her? WHY CAN’T I SEE HER?! WHY?!”

 

Because Akaba will come right after her with wave after wave of his Obelisk Force soldiers to haul her back to the tower and then fling you out of his dimension without a way back. But with the bracelets that have our power stored within them, and with Yuri there to fool that idiotic man, we will have allies behind enemy lines. We'll have Rin and Ruri protected as should be, and they will return to you and your brother’s arms. You will get your darling treasure back in your arms when the time is right. 

 

“...Fine. I’ll be patient, Father.” Yugo spat out in defeat.

 

I'm sorry dear one, I know I'm asking a lot of you. Zarc kissed Yugo's forehead again, the kiss lingered for a few moments. Trust in me, my beloved Yugo. Everything is going to be okay.

 

But Yugo did not reply, and went to catch up with Reiji and Yuto. 

 

***************

 

Serena wanted a challenge.

 

That Xyz duelist she faced hours ago was a complete pushover. This was one of the refugees from the Xyz Dimension? Ha! If they were really that easy to defeat, it was no wonder that Obelisk Force took over so easily. 

 

With enough duelists under her belt, perhaps this will be just enough proof that she needed to finally tell Professor Akaba to put her in the front lines. She has grown so goddamn sick and tired of him telling her to stay, to the point that she had been beating up some of the more...misogynistic students of Academia for whenever she found that she was to be stuck on the island.

 

But now she had a chance. And she wasn’t going to waste it.

 

And sure, she needed to have a babysitter stay by her side -- she never bothered to learn their names because they all acted and sounded the same in the end -- but he didn’t question her heading off to this dimension. He would keep an eye on her yes, but she wanted to duel all by herself.

 

So at the very least, she did make a note that his name should be remembered.

 

She was also tired of facing the same Fusion monsters over again. Many of the boys she fought didn’t even have Fusion Archetypes and were thus using generic Fusion monsters like Giltia the Dark Knight, Flame Swordsman, Rabid Horseman...ha! In the end, they all fell to Lunalight Cat Dancer one way or the other..

 

If anything, Serena wanted a challenge. And what better way than to satisfy both the approval and challenges she desired then going after these Xyz Duelists?

 

One of the contestants that used Xyz summoning, from what the announcer said, he was known as “Yuu Sakuragi”, was leaving from backstage of the stadium. Just when Serena has arrived to confront him.

 

The Xyz user Sakuragi looked surprised to see her, but Serena was just waiting impatiently for the chance to duel him.

 

“Huh? Are you the one who called me here?” Sakuragi asked, confused. 

 

Serena removed her overcoat, smirking, and extended her hand ready for battle. A voice stopped her in her tracks, as a 16 year old boy with silver hair arrived from the side.

 

“The one who called you here was me.”

 

“President?” Sakuragi asked, wondering why the CEO of Leo Corp., was also here. He dismissing the Xyz user after complimenting him on his previous duel, and the boy headed to leave.  

 

“Hold it!” Serena yelled, not wanting her prey escape that easily, but this “President,” stopped her, grabbing her arm and not letting her go. “Let go of me!” she yelled. She wasn’t gonna get bossed around that easily, as Sakuragi left. 

 

Serena glared at the intruder who had stopped her from her goal and released her arm from his grip. “If you’re gonna get in my way then I’ll take you out first!”   

 

“No, Serena. Leave this to me.”

 

Serena turned around to the taller cloaked figure, who imitated her and removed his own over coat. He was a man with short teal hair spiked up, burn marks over his left eye and an eyepatch covering it. From the looks of him -- the black shirt and green jacket covering a muscular build and the expression on his face -- he looked like someone who has had experience fighting in a war.

 

“Stay out of this, Barrett,” Serena ordered. This was her chance to prove herself, and she would take everyone that came in her way herself. She didn’t need some man to tell her what she could or couldn't do!

 

“The duty given to me by the Professor is to protect you from any sparks that may fall upon you,” Barrett clarified, voice calm as if he was used to Serena’s impatience.

 

She tisked, glaring at him but let it go knowing he won’t back down. Her goal was to get rid of any and all Xyz duelists in his path. So she could give this duel to Barrett and she’ll just destroy her own targets herself. Seren then took notice at the boy that appeared alongside the president, who was glaring at her back with grey stormy eyes that looked at her with rage and hatred. 

 

“What’s wrong?” asked Serena. “Afraid that your little friend is gonna lose?”

 

Shun is far away from you, En-Moon. Yuto thought, knowing that Shun was in another stadium. He didn’t want to warn Shun when he was in the middle of an important match; it was already taking everything he had from clawing this girl’s throat out.

 

“Stand down, Yuto,” The President stated.

 

‘Yuto’ glared at said president from the corner of his eyes, not giving his back to her. 

 

‘Who the hell do you think you are ordering me around, Reiji?” Yuto thought, but said nothing, keeping most of his attention on En-Moon. He had to heed Father’s words and commands, En-Moon wasn’t to be killed, and if possible should be recruited to their cause by any means necessary. 

 

“Fine, but I’m keeping my eye on her,” he said, eyes not leaving the girl with Ruri’s face. Selena glared back. She could feel it, a proper challenge from this boy. She couldn’t wait to duel him. 

 

Barrette and Reiji readied their duel disks. “Seal off this area, let no one in unless I order it otherwise,” Reiji commanded.

 

Selena and Yuto stood to the side, both of them anxious to see how the duel will play out and how they wanted to be at each other’s throats once it was over.

 

“Duel!” 

 

***************

 

Yuzu’s opponent, Mikiyo Naname, stood little to no chance against the might of Yuzu’s Fusion Summoning.

 

That is what Yuya thought as he watched his childhood friend fight off against Mikiyo’s simplistic use of two Freya, the Spirit of Victory and Gellenduo. No matter what monster Mikiyo would summon next -- most likely something involving Tribute Summoning --  it would not compare to the power of Bloom Diva, the Melodious Choir. Anything that Mikiyo could unleash, the angelic Fusion monster would send it right back.

 

And that was what Yuya loved about Yuzu; despite things going south, she never gave up. How did she react after losing to Masumi the first time? She felt sad for a while, but then decided to teach herself Fusion Summoning. Not just to one-up her rival, but because she wanted to be of good use to the school. 

 

(Of course, she had to ask Sora of all people how to use a simple Polymerization card, but Yuya had to admit that Sora did something good despite all of the atrocities he committed)

 

When she showed off her Fusion skills in her second chance against Masumi? Yuzu displayed much more confidence in herself. Here, she shone bright with her Melodious monsters by her side. The way she played her cards, the way she proudly stated the summoning chants for Sonata the Melodious Diva and Bloom Diva the Melodious Choir was a far cry from the girl who was chasing illusions and had her ass handed to her in three turns.

 

And despite this growth, Yuzu was still a kind and compassionate duelist who cared for her opponent. Showing Masumi how she mastered Fusion Summoning was one thing. But having her newly summoned monster save Masumi from a nasty fall? That was the true spirit of an entertainer right there.

 

Even prior to her learning Fusion was she there for Yuya. Of course, there were times where she was flustered by him or how she’d hit him over the head with her harisen , but that didn’t lessen all of those moments they shared together. She was there when he needed it the most, and he wanted to pay her back somehow.

 

It was right there when Yuzu Fusion Summoned Bloom Diva onto the field that Yuya realized something.

 

Yuzu Hiragi...was his treasure .

 

This must have been what Yuto and Yugo felt around Ruri and Rin. This indescribable need to keep these girls safe from harm and hold them in their claws against anything that could hurt them.He could feel something bloom in his chest, the need to keep, the need to protect, to hold on to something precious and never let go. He wanted to reach out to Yuzu, go to her, spread his wings protectively over them and claim her as his very own precious treasure.

 

“I want her,” he thought, lips parted, and eyes never leaving Yuzu’s excited happy face as she entertained the crowd. She was his best friend, she wanted to do anything to protect him, even facing an unknown Darkness, worried and cared about his brother Yuto and Shun and their tragedy, he was sure she’ll love Yugo  and Yuri as well. 

 

Zarc chuckled in the back of Yuya’s mind and ran his hand through his hair. Yuya purred in delight as he told his Father how he now had a treasure that he wanted.

 

Yuzu is my treasure, my preciouspreciousprecious treasure... Yuya stated. I want her, protect her, shield her from Professor Akaba. She is mineminemineminemine!

 

As this was going on, Yoko saw the sparkle in her son’s eye. She knew that Yuya and Yuzu were close, but she also felt concern as to what Zarc had in store for Yuzu.

 

Or better yet, just what Zarc had planned in general.

 

As she shifted through everything that she learned this morning, Yoko recalled how Yuto and Yugo wanted to buy those silver bracelets on the day she brought them shopping. They said that the bracelets were “gifts”, but upon seeing the bracelet Yuzu always wore on her right wrist, that’s when Yoko started to get suspicious.

 

What would Zarc want with a couple of bracelets? He could already possess his son after all! What could he even accomplish with them in the first place? These girls were the keys to bringing back this “Ray Akaba,” so why go all this distance when he can simply kill these girls to neutralize this threat? If by all means even one girl was gone, wouldn’t that insure Zarc is never defeated or challenged again? What’s his angle? 

 

For one thing, if Zarc did kill Yuzu, then it would break Yuya’s heart. Zarc did say that he’d put his sons’ safety over his own. The man did seem like a doting father, so she could believe that he would keep the girls alive simply for his sons’ sake..She remembered seeing Yuto and Yugo’s heart-breaking fear on their faces when Zarc mentioned that the girls would die if Ray is revived,  and she knew that she never wanted to see that look again. 

 

She knew she could trust one thing at least; Zarc loved their boys more than anything. And he would simply do anything for them, of that she was sure. 

 

But ‘anything’ was a tall order, and she herself didn’t know what Zarc is capable of, physically or even morally. 

 

For the time being, she would see where this would go. And she did have an appointment to keep with Himika Akaba...

 

When the duel was over, she placed a hand on her son’s shoulder, gave him a smile, and motioned with her head that it was time to go. Yuya nodded his head, hastily telling everyone that he was going to help his mother cook dinner for tonight, and mother and son left before anyone could question why Yuya would be so eager to cook.

 

After all, it wasn’t like he was hosting anyone at the moment.

 

***************

 

Yugo had arrived mid-duel before going to his brother’s side as they watched Reiji and the big guy, Barrett, duke it out. He tried not to show his distress or displeasure the moment he was close to Yuto. And considering the duel that was going on along with the situation with En-Moon, it was easy to get distracted from thinking about Rin or how much he feels tossed to the side by his family at the moment. 

 

Looking at the duel, Yugo was, to say the least, impressed at what he saw..  

 

Barrett, on the other hand, thought he had seen it all throughout his years under Professor Akaba’s service.

 

Reiji’s latest move proved him wrong.

 

The teen, now at 200 lifepoints, unleashed something known as Pendulum Summoning , allowing him to summon multiple monsters in his hand and then used those to Xyz Summon a new monster onto the field.

 

Barret was used to fighting off three or four Xyz Duelists at a time. That didn’t surprise him.

 

What did surprise him was that Dark Contract of the Swamp King Reiji offered for the Fusion Monster that stood in front of him: D/D/D Oracle King D’Arc.

 

This boy was an experienced duelist, that he could tell.

 

But Barrett wasn’t going to let him win. He had sacrificed too much for the promised utopia of the Professor. And he would give up his life if it means to protect Serena from danger.

 

“D/D/D Oracle King D’Arc attack Beastborg Panther Predator to end this duel!” Reiji commanded.

 

The feminine Fiend flew towards her target, sword glowing with a violet light. But Barrett was already prepared for that.

 

“Trap Card activate, Beastborg Medal of Honor!” Barrett announced, revealing his face-down card of a silver medal that showed two crossed lances piercing a yellow star. “Because my Panther Predator is targeted for an attack, I can destroy it then Special Summon its Fusion Materials back onto the field.”

 

The robotic Panther Warrior was covered in a golden light before it shattered. Then, a black hole materialized on Barrett’s side of the field before Panther Warrior (2000 ATK) and Dark Sentinel (1500 ATK) appeared once again.

 

“Medal of Honor’s second effect activates!” Barrett continued. “Now, both of us take damage equal to my monsters’ total attack points, so this shall end in a draw!”

 

Both Panther Warrior and Dark Sentinel shrunk into two orbs of red and yellow light. They danced and swirled into they fused into a humongous fireball ready to incinerate Reiji where he stood.

 

“That’ll show him,” Serena smirked.

 

“...Oh really?” Reiji asked, adjusting his glasses.

 

“What?” asked Barrett.

 

“I activate the effect of D/D/D Oracle King d’Arc!” said Reiji. “Any damage either of us would take from a card effect is converted into lifepoints instead!”

 

d’Arc smirked as she raised her sword into the air, absorbing the dual fireball and increasing Reiji’s lifepoints all the way to 7200. 

 

“Much better,” Reiji smirked, seeing the look of shock on Barrett’s face. “And with that, the battle resumes! Oracle King d’Arc attacks Panther Warrior! And Marksman King Tells attacks Dark Sentinel!”

 

Barrett was unable to do anything but watch as his own monsters were defeated by Reiji’s, his lifepoints plummeting to 0 and him thrown back and rolling across the floor when Dark Sentinel exploded.

 

He’s...a monster... Yuto thought, seeing Reiji’s skills.

 

What a disappointment... Serena thought, seeing Barrett’s body laid out in front of her. She then began to walk off. But it’s time for me to head off and find those other Xyz refugees.

 

“Not so fast,” Reiji stated.

 

Serena stopped walking, but the glare in her eye remained when she turned around to look at him. Reiji, in return, just observed her...noticing the differences between her and a girl with pink hair.

 

“So,” said Reiji. “You’re Serena...yet you look similar to Yuzu Hiragi.”

 

“‘Yuzu’?” Serena repeated. “Who’s that?”

 

“She is a girl who looks just like you,” Reiji explained. “But that is not important right now.”

 

“Then what’s so important that you’re making me waste time when I could be going after my prey?” Serena snarled.

 

“Because we met each other years ago,” Reiji answered. “Don’t you remember me, Serena? I am Reiji, son of Leo Akaba.”

 

Remember him? Yuto asked, a bit intrigued. These two know each other?

 

“It’s been a long time since then,” Reiji continued. “My father said that you had the most potential. Have you grown since we last met? Are you here by my father’s orders? Are you here to scout out my dimension for the impending invasion.”

 

“Hell no!” Serena spat out. “I came here by my own will. No one tells me what to do or where to go. I do what I want!”

 

Very rebellious. said Yugo.

 

“And as for that first question, yeah I remember you,” Serena said. “I was sick and tired of being trapped in that castle, so I decided that I was going to leave Academia and head towards the Xyz Dimension by any means necessary.

 

“What do you mean?” asked Yuto.

 

Reiji sighed. “Three years ago, I stumbled upon a machine in my father’s laboratory and it hurled me into the Fusion Dimension. Of course, I didn’t know that it was another dimension; all I knew was that I wanted to know why my father vanished.

 

“I found myself in a strange castle courtyard and that is when I saw Serena being cornered against some old men who summoned Ancient Gear Soldiers. She herself played a unique archetype called ‘Lunalight’.”

 

“I only got around to summoning one monster,” Serena said. “Then Reiji came with his attack dog as a distraction, helping me escape toward the harbor in the hopes of escaping Academia. I didn’t know back then that he was from another dimension; all I wanted was to get out of there, be part of the squad that will invade the Xyz or Synchro Dimensions. Then, the good old professor showed up.”

 

“He did,” Reiji said, gritting his teeth. “With his loyal bodyguards strapping a device on my arm to expel me out of the Fusion Dimension and self-destructing so I could never go back. And the only answer I received was that Academia was what he needed for his goals to ‘unify the dimensions’.”

 

“And the only answer I received was that it wasn’t ‘my time’ to fight,” Serena spat out. 

 

“Ever since then, I have been working on creating a division of duelists to fight back against my father’s twisted desires.” Reiji continued. “And I want you to join us, Serena. You’re ready for the front lines.”

 

Serena snarled; all this time she was waiting and waiting for that moment. But it was too little, too late.

 

“As if!” Serena huffed. “I’m only here because I heard rumors that there were fugitives from the Xyz Dimension in this city. But all I’ve found so far are weaklings .”

 

As she said this, she pulled out a card from her pocket and tossed it to Reiji. Reiji narrowed his eyes when he saw the image of the person carded. 

 

“This duelist you carded, Hokuto Shijima, is an Xyz Duelist...but he does not hail from the Xyz Dimension,” Reiji stated.

 

“Oh don’t you start lying to me now!” Serena snarled. “I know there’s a fugitive who defeated one of my colleagues in this city so you’re going to tell me now or else!”

 

(At this point, Yuto wanted to go to Shun right now to protect him from Serena)

 

“A duelist from the Xyz Dimension?” Reiji feigned. “I don’t think I -- “

 

Reiji tilted his head to the side to dodge one of Serena’s punches. Serena retracted her hand, but gave a look that said, “Want me to try again?”

 

“My patience is wearing thin, girl,” Reiji stated even though he never raised his voice. “You may not have been sent by my father, but I will not allow you to stir up trouble. So listen well...if you are not an ally, then I shall declare you my enemy.”

 

It is at that declaration that Barret finally gathered the strength to lift his head. No one, no one would hurt Serena while he was still breathing!

 

“You won’t get a chance to do that!” he snarled, reaching out towards his duel disk. A red light began to flash as he added, “I just sent them a signal about your current location. Academia soldiers will be here soon to get Serena back! And know this, Reiji...I will return.”

 

With a press of a button, a blinding light shone around Barrett and he disappeared. Serena stared at the spot where Barrett was and frowned.

 

“He’s gone back to Academia,” she muttered.

 

“And my father will be sending troops to make sure you come back safe and sound after your little adventure here,” Reiji mused.

 

“But until then, I’m going to use all the time I have to find that fugitive, card him, and then show him off so that the Professor has no fucking choice than to acknowledge my skills,” said Serena.

 

And at this, Yuto decided to put his two cents in.

 

“What happens after that ? You’re willing to help unleash genocide on an innocent dimension?” he questioned just as Serena began to walk away.

 

Serena paused. “Genocide?” she repeated. “All I want to do is bring glory to Academia! To the professor!”

 

“He wants you to hurt innocent people for a selfish cause,” Reiji stated, glaring.

 

“What? No...that-that can’t be true!” Serena shook her head in disbelief. “The soldiers of Academia were meant to bring glory, to fight for a united utopia, not...not harm innocent people! How could...how could they?” 

 

She clenched her hands. “I...I..,” she shook her head. War raged within herself at their words. “It can’t...it just can’t be true!”

 

“It is true!” Yuto said and Selena took a good look at him. “I was there. Our beloved Heartland invaded and destroyed...nothing left but rock and rubble, most of the inhabitants were carded. Man woman or child, no one was safe, no one was spared . We lived in fear, separated from our families. We lived day in and day out fearing which would get us first; Obelisk Force or the lack of food and water. That’s what you call ‘bringing glory’ to the Academia? Being heartless bastards who would kill and destroy all who come in your way?!”    

 

Serena’s eyes widened. This sounded nothing like the tales she heard of Academia students who entered the Xyz Dimension. This...this sounded like a massacre .

 

She dropped to her knees, feeling the room spin. No...this can’t be what she’s been striving for. She...couldn’t...she wasn’t...

 

Reiji sighed at seeing Serena looking like she was going to faint. “Come with us. We’ll explain more on the way.”

 

***************

 

Shun smiled as he was announced the winner of his duel.

 

As the audience cheered him on, all he could feel was pride swelling in his chest. He sent these emotions to Yuto, hoping to feel Yuto’s own happiness on his precious treasure being victorious on this day. Not even the glares from three duelists in knight’s armor could dampen his spirits.

 

“I hope I made you proud, Yuto…” Shun thought to himself. 

 

He was still beaming with pride, a skip in his step -- something that scared the hell out of Masumi in the audience, momentarily distracting her from why Hokuto hadn’t appeared all day-- as he made his way back to the Security Room. When the door opened by Nakajima -- who raised an eyebrow at the smile on Shun’s face but said nothing -- he wasted no time being by Yuto’s side.

 

“I won,” Shun stated, eyes shining in adoration to Yuto. “My victory was dedicated to you, my love.”

 

“I know, I saw it,” Yuto beamed at Shun happily, and motioned for him to come closer. The moment Shun was in reach Yuto wrapped his arm around Shun's waist, pulling him close before gently running his hand up Shun's back, resting it over his mark. 

 

Shun shuddered, remembering each and every stroke Yuto gave to draw this mark. Oh how he wished his prince was touching his bare back, his skin, to truly feel Yuto's touch, and not through a wall of clothes. Every single stroke made him feel like he wanted to sink deeper and deeper into his prince’s embrace and never leave it.

 

"You've done beautifully my lovely treasure." Shun shuddered at the praise in his mind. "Come now," Yuto said, his voice like a siren's song in Shun's mind. "Let me reward you." Yuto's index finger guided Shun's chin, bringing the older boy closer for Yuto to reward and kiss. 

 

Shun moaned in ecstasy. The kiss was like fire and he wanted to burn and be consumed by the flames of Yuto’s love for him. He never ever wanted this feeling to end.

 

“What the FUCK?!”

 

The female voice caused Shun to turn around, ready to fight off whoever would interrupt this precious moment between him and his prince. 

 

“Academia!” Shun snarled, preparing his Duel Disk to defend Yuto from the red-coat wearing girl with his sister’s face. “What are you doing here?!”

 

“What were you doing kissing a guy?!” Serena shouted, cheeks red. Reiji raised an eyebrow in confusion while Yugo looked on the verge of punching a monitor. “Boys...that’s not possible... Boys don’t kiss other boys!”

 

“Tell me, Shun,” Reiji began. “Were you...always this affectionate to Yuto?”

 

“Until just recently I found myself understanding my love for my close...friend,” Shun stated. “I lost my sister already; I can’t lose anyone else. Yuto was nearly lost to me, so I can’t help but feel worried about losing him.”

 

"Yeah, hi excuse me… why are they kissing?!   Is that allowed?!" Serena asked genuinely fucking confused. “Boys don’t kiss in public...boys don’t…they don’t...”

 

Yuto gently tapped Shun's face twice, bringing his attention back to the lavender haired boy. "It's alright Shun, she's on our side now," he said before running his hand in Shun's hair, and the older boy melted in Yuto's arms as the gray stormy eyes looked and focused only on Shun. 

 

"I have several questions!" Serena yelled in Reiji's face, her own red. 

 

"Yes so do I, but I imagine yours are different from mine," answered the silver haired boy, crossing his arms as light fell on his lenses again. He considered himself asexual -- his work running a company and stopping his father’s atrocities meant that there was no time for a relationship. He then turned to Yugo who at this point was facepalming. “Your thoughts on this?”

 

“I have none,” Yugo stated, gritting his teeth, resisting the urge to bite someone. He concentrated more on giving mental signals to his brother who was lovingly gazing into Shun’s eyes.

 

"Yuto for fuck's sake reign your little pet in. I’d honestly take the glares back if you stopped acting like a love sick puppy in public, because someone , namely. Reiji ‘smug asshole who is the same as his bastard of a father’ Akaba is GONNA NOTICE SOMETHING IS OFF!" 

 

"But it's fun," Yuto sounded like he was pouting, Yugo did not have sympathy for his brother, considering said brother had just shoved his tongue down Shun's throat at the moment. 

 

"YUTO!!!!!!"  Yugo snarled.

 

"Okay fine fine fine fine." 

 

"Father, you have made a great mistake." Yugo thought to himself and Zarc. 

 

Oh I don't know, dear. It is quite fun to watch. Zarc laughed, and a shiver went down Yugo's back. I can imagine you’d do this to Rin if she was here right -- 

 

“Don’t mention her name like that.” Yugo hissed.

 

Like what, dear? Yugo felt Zarc's claws run through his hair, and the boy shivered again. Don't be jealous of your brother, Yugo. You'll get your Rin back soon. 

 

"...Soon is too long."

 

After Yuto released Shun from their kiss, Reiji spoke up.

 

“Shun Kurosaki,” he said, motioning to Serena. “This is Serena of the Fusion Dimension. She is on our side now.” 

 

The stoic, almost raging, mindset of Shun’s was back. "Really?  And what changed her mind?" he asked, all the love sickness drained out of him. 

 

"Well, that's whiplash inducing," said Serena at Shun's attitude. 

 

"Thank you," thought Yugo to his brother, rubbing his temples.

 

“I told her about what Academia did to our home,” Yuto explained. “Apparently, the good old professor didn’t have the heart to tell his precious baby girl about what this invasion to the Xyz Dimension meant.”

 

"Baby girl?" Reiji raised an eyebrow at the moniker. 

 

"The professor said that we would build a Utopia, that this war was necessary and would bring us all glory to fight it. Attacking innocent people who did nothing wrong… I'd… I never thought such a thing would happen." Serena stated, still shocked from learning this horrible truth. Now she felt horrible at what she did to that Xyz Duelist hours ago.

 

"Can we really trust her?" Shun asked all three.

 

"She does seem genuine with her words. But I suppose we can give her the benefit of the doubt," Reiji stated.  

 

"I'm keeping an eye on her, though,” said Shun. “After all, Academia's students are nothing but monsters." 

 

Serena glared back, standing her ground. "Then I guess I'll just have to prove it to you," she said with determination. 

 

Zarc smirked. En-Moon, Serena, sounds quite interesting indeed. 

 

"By the way, Serena," Yugo said. "Do you know someone called Yuri from your dimension?"

 

"Yuri?" Serena repeated, blinking a few times. "Yeah, I've heard of him."

 

"Heard of? You've never met him?" asked Yuto.

 

Serena shook her head. "The professor made my contacts with most of the students limited. Even then, most of the people I dueled was after I ran out of my room. What I know about Yuri is from rumors and gossip I picked up along the way."

 

"And what sort of gossip is that?" Reiji asked. 

 

Serena folded her arms over her chest. "I heard he's a strong duelist. Too strong. No one in Academia has ever defeated him. Not the teachers, not the students, not even the top members of Obelisk Force have scored a victory on him. He’s decimated every last person who challenged him with sadistic glee; some of his opponents would even go as far as to call him ‘demonic’." 

 

Reiji had an unreadable expression on his face. Shun was quiet and Yuto and Yugo couldn’t help but smirk inwardly.

 

"Sounds like our Yuri alright," thought Yuto. " Remind me to kill the bastards that would call our brother a demon."

 

"Heh, happily." Yugo replied.

 

"I've always wanted to duel him though," said Serena, turning everyone's attention to her. She now had an excited smirk on her face. "He sounds interesting and strong, not like all the other weaklings in Academia. I bet it would be one hell of a duel," she said closing her hands into fists, the smirk still there as she relished the battle the two could have. 

 

"... I like her!" Yugo said with a grin.

  

Yuto laughed in delight. "Agreed. En-Moon is quite interesting! Isn't that right, father?" 

 

Oh, most certainty, they could hear the smirk in their father's voice. Akaba is quite the fool, keeping such a gem locked away when she could be more useful in the frontlines. His stupidity will be his downfall.

 

“There’s still the warning Barrett gave,” said Reiji. “Obelisk Force will arrive to bring Serena back to Academia. And they’ll also be going after Yuzu Hiragi too.”

 

"Then we prepare for battle," said Yuto. 

 

“I already prepared duelists from the LDS Youth Division that will keep Obelisk Force distracted,” Reiji continued. “I’m also considering to have the final round as a Battle Royale around the city to disguise the invasion.”

 

"Shun and I can back Yuya up,” said Yuto. “Serena and Yugo, maybe stick to Yuzu, she's good, but against the Obelisk Force she would need back up." 

 

Yugo looked alarm, remembering what Zarc said about Yuzu. "But what abou… "

 

As long as it's one of you at a time, you can be close to Yuzu Hiragi. Simply be careful and crush those who presume to stand in our way.  said Zarc.

 

"Of course Father." Yuto and Yugo exchanged a look smirking at one another. "Right, looks like we have a plan," said Yugo.

 

"Wait, hold on," said Serena. "Who is this Yuzu, and why does the Professor want her?" 

 

" Telling her the truth might be a good idea… you know, when Reiji isn’t around." Yugo suggested looking at Serena's determined face. She looked so much like Rin and yet the differences were clear. Not just in her hair and eyes. It was her attitude, a determination to fight for glory and honor, unlike Rin, playful yet serious, with the spark to look enemies bigger than her in the eye and yell "fight me, assholes!” And both of them stood tall and proud to be who they are…

 

And yet Akaba wants to destroy these girls, remove everything that makes them unique and who they are, as if they're nothing but ingredients, just to bring back one girl. One girl was worth the destruction of these dimensions, of livelihoods, and the corruption of the minds of innocent children and converting them into killing machines?! 

 

Selfish, cruel, apathetic, unforgiving, relentless...Akaba represented the worst of the worst of human nature.

 

“We’ll explain later,” said Reiji. “For now, Serena you shall be staying in the LDS Tower.”

 

"When is this Battle Royale?" Serena asked. 

 

“Tomorrow,” Reiji answered. “So we should all get a good night’s rest.”

 

“Understood,” said Shun. “Just one more question."

 

“What now?” Serena groaned.

 

Shun looked at Serena, trying his hardest to not see his little sister in her place. “Do you know anything about my sister, Ruri?”

 

"Ruri? Should I?" Serena asked, confused. 

 

"She's a girl that looks just like you, and your so called Professor sent Yuri to kidnap her," Shun explained. 

 

“And Rin too!” Yugo added.

 

"He did?! But...but why?" This wasn’t good if there were girls that looked similar to her.

 

"You haven't even met them? Or even heard about them?" Shun asked, about to panic.

 

Serena shook her head. "Not a word. The Professor keeps his plans for himself. I'm not even considered a soldier, to him. And like I said, I wasn't told a thing about the war except it would bring a utopia to all the dimensions."

 

At the three's crushed expressions, Selena couldn't help but feel bad that she couldn't do more. "I'm sorry."

 

“It’s not your fault,” said Shun. “You’re in the dark about all of this.”

 

“I was,” said Serena. “And despite how things turned out in regards to me hunting you and Yuto down...I'm quite glad I came. Now I know what I’m fighting for." 

 

“And with that said,” Reiji nodded his head. “Any other questions?”

 

“Yeah, just one,” said Serena. She then looked at Yuto and Shun, noticing how the two were holding hands, Yuto rubbing his thumb over Shun’s own. “Just...what was with you two earlier on?”

 

Yuto and Shun blinked. "Huh?" 

 

"Well the the touching and the kissing...what was that?!"

 

“That type of behavior isn’t common in the Fusion Dimension?” asked Yuto.

 

“No,” Serena stated. “Any type of bonding is just how students become a well-oiled machine like the Ancient Gear monsters Obelisk Force wield to crush the opposition.”

 

“In other words, they’re just mindless robots following my father’s ideals without a second thought.” Reiji mused.

 

"So?  What was it?" Serena asked, crossing her arms. Shun and Yuto just exchanged looks. 

 

"Umm…" Yuto stammered.

 

“It’s...complicated,” Shun began, remembering that he needed to know what the brand Yuto put on his back. A small shiver fell down his spine, recalling his Yuto marking him like that. 

 

“It’s best that we explain this behind closed doors,” Yugo snarled, glaring daggers at his brother. He could tell that Yuto wanted to go to Shun’s room quick for some more “time” together.

 

Yuto raised an eyebrow at Yugo's tone.

 

"I uh… ok," said Serena, unsure. She was already confused on the idea of guys kissing each other

 

“And with that, I think we should get going,” said Yugo, grabbing Yuto’s arm and practically having to drag him away from Shun. “Let’s go.”

 

"Wa- hey Yugo! What the hell?" Yuto exclaimed.

 

“Yuto!” Shun shouted.

 

“Get some rest,” said Yuto. “We’ll see each other in the morning. Sleep sweet dreams of you in my arms, my treasure.”

 

But he said out loud, "Yugo, what's the matter wit-"

 

Yuto was cut off when Yugo's eyes, that have turned into slits looked back at him with fury, he could even hear a growl coming from the older boy. 

 

"... Yugo.. "

 

“We’re going.” Yugo stated firmly. Yuto couldn't fight him on that. 

 

***************

 

It wasn’t difficult to find a place for Yuya to shift into Zarc’s form (going into a public restroom near the Leo Corp. building). But for Yoko, it was still strange to see this man, someone with her son’s face yet more mature in appearance, and exuded power even in his normal clothes.  

 

“So,” said Zarc, raising an eyebrow at the former gang leader. “Are you ready for our date?”

 

“...”

 

“Oh, don’t give me that look” Zarc chuckled. “I mean, as long as your husband is out and about in the other dimensions, I’m the closest thing you’ll get.”

 

Yoko chuckled. “Don’t push your luck, your highness,” she said tapping Zarc’s cheek twice. “You might be handsome, but you certainly aren’t my type,” she added, before motioning ahead. “Shall we?”

 

“Hmm, she’s certainly a keeper,” whispered Zarc to himself as she walked ahead of him, and he followed her to the LDS tower. He could sense Yuya’s worry from within his mind about how long he could hold the illusion together but Zarc just sends waves of reassurance to calm Yuya’s nerves.

 

Yuya just Xyz Summoned for the first time; how hard could maintaining a glamour spell be?  

 

They entered the tower and headed to the front desk where a young woman in a suit looked up from the monitor to see Yoko learn on the desk. “We’d like to have a word with Himika Akaba,” Yoko stated.

 

The receptionist looked at the pair that walked in, both holding a certain air of entitlement. She tilted her head at the silver haired man for a moment. looking him up and down with a small smirk, before returning to Yoko. “Do you two have an appointment?” she asked in a bored tone. 

 

“Don’t play that game with me, girl,” Yoko snarled.

 

“I can schedule an appointment with her for next Wednesday,” The receptionist replied, not at all afraid at this housewife. Zarc, on the other hand... 

 

Yoko was about to start scolding the young woman, before Zarc intervened, taking the receptionist’s hand in his, and looking at the woman straight in the eye, his own golden ones glowing. 

 

“I’m sure we can be an exception to the rule, my dear, wouldn’t you agree?” he whispered huskily, drawing circles on the back of the young woman’s hand.

 

“I...um..I’m sure I can find you a closer time slot…” she swallowed.

 

“Oh no, that just wouldn’t do,” Zarc tisked gently. “We simply must meet her now you see,” he said voice still husky, a smirk on his face. 

 

The receptionist shuddered, her glasses falling down her nose a few inches so that Zarc can see the distant gaze in her eyes. “I..well...yes, certainly, please follow me.”  

 

So Yoko thought as she and Zarc followed the entranced woman towards the elevator, back to horror movies 101. Category: Monsters. Special abilities: glamours, seduction, hypnosis, all that good stuff. All to take control and simply play with the helpless maiden who is now in the monster’s thrall. Now you have your typical vampires, sirens, shapeshifters, and more. And she had to admit that Zarc filed the “Vampire” quota to a T -- a dark, handsome stranger with power and charm, ready to allure, corrupt and take the sweet maiden for his own before sucking the life out of her.

 

And Zarc, just in front of her eyes, charmed or even hypnotize a woman to let them in with no fuss in record time. And you should never trust men like that. Sure they might have tragic backstories, or you may sympathize with them, find them charming, and alluring, and again Zarc was all of that and more. But ultimately they are a selfish breed, never to be trusted. And with that, Yoko wanted to know a way to resist Zarc when the time comes and he unleashes his charms and tricks upon her. 

 

Yoko tried to distract herself by watching the lights in the elevator slowly indicate each floor that she, Zarc and the dazed receptionist passed until, with a slight *ding!* , the elevator opened its doors at the top floor.

 

“This way, “ said the receptionist in a soft monotone, motioning Yoko and Zarc down the hall. Zarc smirked, licking his fangs all while Yoko took a deep breath, mind focusing on the right words to tell Himika about her and her son’s “actions” during the past few weeks.

 

She finally led them to the right door and knocked on it twice.. “Himika-san,” the receptionist stated. “Someone is here to see you.” 

 

“Who is it?” Himika’s voice questioned on the other side.

 

"You may go," Zarc dismissed the receptionist before opening the door himself and he and Yoko entered the office. "Oh, us? Just some concerned parents you see," he grinned showing his pure white fangs. As he stared at the woman, he did his best not to tear out her throat. After all, it would not be good to accuse his son or his mother for committing murder.

 

When both women locked eyes with one another, it took all of Yoko Sakaki’s willpower to not tear into that heart-shaped hairstyle Himika sported.

 

“Yoko Sakaki,” Himika began, noticing Yoko’s green top and denim jeans. “How has the life of a housewife been treating you?”

 

“Pretty well,” Yoko stated. “What about you, though? Have you been getting any action in bed lately? I can see how the stress on not having any sex in the past three years is causing wrinkles to form on your face, Queen of Hearts.”

 

Zarc choked on air and leaned against the door while Yuya’s jaw nearly dropped. This…. Oh this is going to be a fucking massacre and he didn't even need to left a finger… damn it where's a good bag of popcorn when you need it?  

 

Himika resisted the urge to snap back. Instead, she cleared her throat and looked at any weak points she could exploit. “Well, that’s a pot calling the kettle black right there. What about your coward of a husband, Yoko? I don’t see him returning to your arms with fireworks, music and a bouquet of flowers anytime soon.”

 

“He’ll come back when he comes back,” Yoko stated, not wanting to tell her about Yusho’s adventures in another dimension. “But right now, let’s not talk about our husbands...let’s talk about our sons .”

 

Himika noticed Zarc there as well and smirked. " Our sons?  Very well then. But I must say, that young man over there who looks like the spitting image of your child should be quite the story.” She eyed Zarc with his silver hair with green highlights and dark eyes. “Quite strange...I’ve never seen him before. Who is he? Your secret love child?" 

 

"... Father, I don't wanna be a part of this conversation anymore," Yuya whined, pretty traumatized by Himika’s implications at the moment. 

 

“I could ask the same thing about that child you picked up from the streets,” Yoko retorted. “What was his name again...Reira?”

 

Himika clicked her teeth. “Leave Reira out of this.”

 

“I wish I could have said the same thing about leaving Yuya out of whatever revenge scheme you cooked up in regards to the warehouse attack with Shingo Sawatari,” Yoko snapped. 

 

"There were multiple eyewitnesses that confirmed it being your son who did the assault."

 

“Did the person who attacked Shingo have the same red and green hair and red eyes as my Yuya?” Yoko stated. “What type of deck did they use? Why exactly did ‘Yuya’ decide to attack Shingo when Yuya already kicked that haughty mayor’s son ass already? Yuya had nothing to prove by beating that dead horse again.”

 

“...Are you saying that there are other boys with the same face as your son, Yoko?" Himika inquired with a raised eyebrow. “I mean, I know you’re pining for Yusho but this is quite a hare-brained idea that a lonely housewife can cook up if she isn’t lusting over Michio Mokota’s fine cooking.”

 

Oh, that woman did not just…

 

"Just answer my questions, Himika,” said Yoko. “Did these eyewitnesses described in detail just who attacked Shingo or not?”

 

"They all stated that it was your son, Yoko. I simply had to do something in retaliation, after all Shingo Sawatari is a respected member of the Leo Duel School and the son of Maiami City’s mayor. it would just not do that the culprit got away with such a travesty.”

 

Stubborn ass! Yoko snarled. There was no way to make Himika change her mind about what Shingo and his stooges said.

 

“But did it really need to escalate to you buying out my husband’s Duel School?” she asked.

 

“Face the facts, Yoko,” Himika stated plainly. “That little dream school of Yusho’s is not pulling enough students to pay for the fees. I mean, there was that influx of students who wanted to see your sons new monsters but out of all of the eager-eyed students who came to see him shine only one child decided to enroll. I know you’re quite an optimist, but optimism does not pay the bills.”

 

"Was that supposed to be you showing kindness or something, Queen of Hearts?” Yoko asked. “Because you need to work on your act just like you need to work on your flimsy excuse in pinning the blame of Shingo’s assault on my Yuya!”

 

“Is that all you’re here to talk about or should I call security?” Himika barked. “This conversation is leading us nowhere. Unless of course...your love child has anything to say?”

 

At this, Zarc smirked. Oh was this woman going to regret asking him to step in. Yoko knew this too. Threatening a person possessed by a demon was going to end with them traumatized or injured at best and dead at worst.

 

"Well to start with,” Zarc hissed, approaching the two mothers. “If I had the time, I would be flaying you alive at the moment for causing any distress for my Yuya alone.” Zarc chuckled as Yoko did her best to not smirk. "Well, flaying you alive is a start at best." Zarc’s eyes shined with malice and concealed rage, despite his calm and deceptively pleasant tone. 

 

Himika stayed calm. Death threats were common and this was no different. 

 

“Oh? That not good enough for you?” Zarc asked with a tilt of his head. ”Very well. How about this?”

 

Like a whip too quick for the two women to have seen, a black and green tail lashed out and wrapped itself around Himiki's neck. Yoko’s eyes widened; she wasn’t expecting that!

 

"Ever heard of the little torture dance?” Zarc suggested, seeing the look on Himika’s face when she saw that scaly appendage close to squeezing her neck.  “Oh, I'm quite familiar with that technique. For you see, I've had years upon years to perfect my art.” And it was here that Yoko could tell that the demon was going to start his monologue on how he was going to inflict pain on his victim. “I can make you writhe and scream and beg. I'd break you within minutes. And I wouldn't even have lifted a finger.  A weak willed woman like you? No, you're just no fun ." 

 

The tail tightened its grip around Himika's neck and now the businesswoman began to look in alarm. "But you see Akaba ,” Zarc stated, narrowing his eyes as his nails grew into sharp talons. “For my Yuya, it is my duty to protect him, punish those who would hurt him. And clearly , it is quite obvious that you intend to hurt him with this stubborn idea that he would hurt such a coward like this Shingo Sawatari.” The tail lifted Himika off the ground and she started whimpering in terror, eyes darting toward Yoko in attempt to ask for some help against this monster.

 

But Yoko wasn’t going to help Himika yet. While it goes against Horror films that she should be stopping the monster from torturing an innocent human, Himika was not innocent. Not by a longshot. But just one look at Zarc's face was enough to send shivers down her spine. He looked gleeful, grinning with cruel joy and, to be honest, she did believe that he could break this haughty woman within minutes! 

 

Supreme Dragon King Zarc…How long had this man been alive?  What horrid things did he learn to do? 

 

More importantly, what type of things did he teach Yuya ? Was Yuya going to become just like Zarc? Some monstrous demon who showed delight in hurting people?

 

No, that is not what she wanted. She wanted her sweet innocent boy who made people smile...She wanted the boy who sat attentively at Yusho’s teachings and wanting to use dueling as a way to bring people together. 

 

Zarc answered Yoko’s questions at that moment. "But what I do is certainly not for children's eyes, and I would never subject my baby boy to see such things.” He then had his tail bring Himika close as he ran a claw down her cheek. “So let’s get a few things straight… You are never to come after this family again, any thing dear to us that you presume to touch with these filthy hands of yours you will be punished for. And believe me, once I'm done with you… you would be begging for a swift and painful death , " he hissed.

 

Himika whimpered as she reached out towards Yoko. “Yoko...please...I beg you…”

 

“You’re begging?” Yoko questioned. “Oh, now you start begging?! Didn’t my son and his friends beg you to not buy out the You Show Duel School? Or to listen as to how he said that he didn’t attack Shingo?”

  

"I'm sorry!  I'm sorry please!  Please help me! Someone! Anyone!" Tears began to fall down Himika's face. 

 

"Then answer my question: what did the person who attacked Shingo look like ? Describe his eyes, his hair color, the deck that they used !” Yoko snarled. She wanted to hear it from the woman herself that Yuya did not attack Shingo that day. “And while you’re at it, why were you really trying to buy out the You Show Duel School?! What are you and your son plotting, Himika Akaba?”

 

Meanwhile, Yuya just watched in horror at how violent his father and mother had become. Yes, he did want the Akabas to pay. Yes, he wanted clarification as to what they were planning. Did he want Himika Akaba dead? Absolutely not.

 

“I’m only repeating what Shingo and his friends told me,” Himika gasped as Zarc threatened to tighten his grip. “He said that the person...looked like Yuya. You have to...go to him for more details.”

 

“We will,” said Yoko. “Now, if you don’t want either of us screaming ‘Off with your head!’ in the next five seconds, answer my second question. And you better make it quick; I don’t know how much longer I can restrain my love child .”

 

Zarc was honestly torn between laughing his head off or biting someone's head off. He definitely liked Yoko’s spirit!

 

“Reiji...he’s trying to help build an army…” Himika stated hastily. “To fight off my husband’s army in the Fusion Dimension! We...we wanted to buy the school so that we could...enhance the curriculum and train your son and that of Yuzu Hiragi to fight off invaders who would want to destroy our dimension…”

 

“Is that what you’ve been doing to other Duel Schools across the globe?” Yoko questioned, recalling reading the multiple mergers and acquisitions in the newspaper.

 

“Y...Yes!”

 

“And it never occurred to you that you should explain that little detail before signing the contracts?” Yoko stated. It was one thing to buy the school under a flimsy excuse, but the fact that the Akabas have bought out other schools without fully explaining what was going on ?

 

For all of Reiji’s accolades on being a CEO at the tender age of 16 and how he’s mastered multiple summoning methods, he was incredibly short-sighted.

 

Zarc rolled his eyes at their stupidity. Short sightedness seemed to be the biggest inherited trait of the Akabas. 

 

“It...never occured to Reiji to tell you or your son about the deal he made with Yusho either!” Himika blurted out.

 

And at that little nugget of information, Zarc’s tail dropped Himika onto the floor.

 

“...What did you say?” Yoko stated, eyes wide. 

 

"W-what deal?" Yuya sounded distressed again. Reiji had something to do with his father being in the Xyz Dimension?!

 

Yoko, on the other hand, was silent...and then she was absolutely pissed. 

 

Oh, this...this has just changed everything .

 

This was set during the climax of the film, when the foolish human antagonist blurted out such vital information that changed the course of the monster’s wrath. The monster, who was fixated on attacking an innocent victim, now knew the truth and who to inflict its anger out on.

 

Yoko curled her hands into fists, marched towards Himika and then grabbed onto the front of Himika’s magenta suit. “You know what happened to my husband...start talking now before I beat you up black and blue!”

 

"A-all I know is that Reiji told Yusho about Academia and what my husband was planning planning.Reiji wanted Yusho to stay here and train a squad of soldiers called the Lancers. But Yusho wanted to go talk to Leo personally,” Himika stated. 

 

“Yusho went alone ? You didn’t send backup on him? He didn’t even tell me or Yuya where he was going?!” Yoko was hysterical at this point. Any good person who loved a horror film knows that confronting the monster without help was considered suicidal !

 

“Yoko! Calm down," Zarc said more gently, before pulling Himika away from the irate housewife, his tail swishing around behind him, signs of anger still present. “I know you’re concerned about Yusho, but this is not the right time to panic. I mean, it’s not her fault that she didn’t decide to break the news all these years ago. It’s not her or her son’s fault that they didn’t plan ahead sooner. And it’s certainly not their fault for causing your son’s agony because they thought something like that was so smart it wasn’t worth telling you this information sooner! Isn't that right?” 

 

Yuya was silent throughout the entire thing. This entire time Reiji knew about Yusho’s disappearance...no wonder he told Hokuto and Yaiba not to insult Yusho…

 

Yuya was getting too distressed, his glamour almost fading. Zarc tisked. Hold it a little longer shooting Star, for me, just a bit longer. 

 

“But why Yusho?” asked Yoko. “Why did Reiji personally ask him to join you on this entire scheme?!”

 

“Your husband...was the best duelist in this dimension and helped my husband fine tune the Real Solid Vision used for Action Duels,” Himika explained. “If there was anyone who could change Leo’s mind...it was Yusho.”

 

Zarc had to laugh at that. "Are you serious ?! Oh, because it's so easy to talk a megalomaniac out of their desires to take over the world, right? Because by that point, said manic hadn't set his mind to do it, hadn't set his sights on what he wants, and oh just talking would fix everything right up, wouldn’t it? What the hell is wrong with all of you?! Forget short sightedness; you Akabas are just plain idiots !”

 

Himika whimpered as Zarc continued to cackle, trying to find her cellphone to call for help. Just as she was about to do so, Zarc suddenly stopped laughing and had a murderous look on his face, an angel of death that has arrived to pass judgment unto those before him.

 

“Thank you for revealing all of this to us,” he said with a serene smile on his face. “This has been a wonderful day for Yoko and I. Now, we have to get going so we can spend some time preparing for the finals.

 

"However, I can't let you remember any of what happened today.” Yoko’s eyes widened, but Zarc raised a hand before she could say anything. “But don't worry Yoko-san, I'll make sure the regret and fear stay in that haughty mind of hers, to remind her that she will never mess with us again." 

 

Zarc stomped closer to Himika and a sharp black taloned touched her forehead. Himika's eyes widened, her mouth open as if she was about to scream, but she choked in the last second. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and it was a second or two later before Zarc let's go uncaringly, and Himiki crumbled to the floor. 

 

“Father…” Yuya sobbed. “Reiji...caused Yusho...to vanish…and never told us!”

 

Yoko showed no pity to the unconscious businesswoman; Zarc was being merciful on her after all.

 

She didn’t know who to feel angry at: Yusho for leaping off to stop Professor Akaba, Himika for using Yuto’s attack on Shingo to buy You Show and train her son and Yuzu into soldiers, Reiji for keeping this all secret or Professor Akaba for unleashing this entire mess in the first place .

 

Zarc's image became static and it wasn't long before Yuya's body stood there. But… the black and green tail was still there, a hand on Yuya's heart. He turned back to her and it was Zarc's eyes in place of Yuya's ruby red ones. "Let's go then, no one would remember that we were here," he said calmly his tail retracting. 

 

"Is Yuya alright?" Yoko asked, concerned. She knew that this was a lot to take in. It was amazing how she hadn’t collapsed yet.

 

"... He is thinking." Zarc stated. “He isn’t taking the news well.”

 

Yoko sighed. "Let's go home then. You know, you make a good interrogation partner, your Highness," she said with a chuckle.

 

“Well, I have to admit that you did a good job riling her up,” Zarc said. “It reminds me a lot of Yuri. He loved pushing other people’s buttons.”

 

“Really? I’d love to meet him one day.” 

 

"If all goes well, you two will meet soon enough. I miss my thorned Rose so… " Zarc then tilted his head to the side. “Oh? It looks like Yuto and Yugo have completed their mission and are heading home. It seems like we will have a lot to talk about at the dinner tonight.”

 

Yoko nodded and the two headed home, Zarc still not giving control back to Yuya as his son was a one word away from breaking down. 

 

***************

 

It had been…another long day to say the least. Starting from Yoko learning the truth about Zarc, Yuya's inner Darkness being unleashed, Yuto claiming Shun as his precious treasure and encounting En-Moon along with learning how she first encountered Reiji, pulling her into their side against Akaba and the Fusion Dimension by simply telling her the truth (even though they will have to face off Barrett’s warning on Akaba summoning Obelisk Force to bring her back in 24 hours) Yoko and Zarc learning what happened to Yusho and giving Himika a warning that she will never forget … imagine that. 

 

When everyone arrived home, Yoko wasted no time gathering everyone in the dining room. At this point, Zarc relinquished control to Yuya...and Yuya was sobbing his eyes out as everything he had learned from Himika came crashing down upon him.

 

“Yuya…” Yuto whispered. “What happened?”

 

“It’s about Yusho,” Yoko stated. “Three years ago, Reiji asked my husband to train duelists to fight off against Professor Akaba from invading the dimensions. Instead, my loving husband decided to go directly to the Fusion Dimension to talk things over. But, given how Yusho landed in Heartland, he somehow got stuck in the Xyz Dimension before…”

 

“Those Akabas are the reason that we all are suffering…” Yugo thought.

 

Yuya was still crying, even when Zarc embraced him. I’m so sorry that you had to learn this. Even I had no idea that this would happen.

 

“...” Yuya stopped crying and wiped the tears from his eyes.

 

“Yuya?” asked Yoko, sensing a dark aura surrounding her son. “Sweetie?”

 

“...They have to pay,” Yuya snarled, balling his hands into fists. “Reiji, his mother, his father...they all have to PAY!”

 

He slammed his hands on the table as he stood up. The shadows caused his hair to stand on end, his eyes glowing with anger and hatred. Tears fell down Yuya’s cheeks at this. He has never felt so enraged, terrified, hurt, shattered ...all of it made him want to scream!

 

“Y-Yuya,” Yugo whispered seeing the anger and Darkness as it surrounded his younger brother. 

 

Yoko came closer, and hugged Yuya to her, which made the young boy freeze. “They will, for everything they did, for everything they took, for every mistake they made.”

 

“Mom…” Yuya whispered, the dark aura fading. 

 

Yoko just cupped his face and looked at his shining eyes lovingly. “I know sweetheart,” she kissed his forehead and wiped his tears. “And as much as I’d like to go to all three of them now and make them pay, as a matter of fact I know Zarc can do it no problem, we can’t charge half cocked without a plan. A plan to attack, a plan to retreat, or even a plan to hide what we’re doing. You need to calm down, and bide our time until the time is right and perfect to get what we want.”

 

“What about Reira?” asked Yuya. A part of him felt sad about the poor kid. It seemed like Reira was just a victim to the Akabas’ schemes, forged to tag along without giving his own opinion. The way he looked so sad in his duel against Ayu was heartbreaking. What could have happened that caused Reira to become such an empty shell?

 

“Hmm…” Yoko replied. “Well, perhaps I can adopt them after this entire mess is over. After all, if Zarc is going to be unleashing retribution on the Akabastards who harmed all of you, we just can’t leave poor Riera alone like that. We’ll find a way to keep him safe from our combined wrath,” she ruffles Yuya’s hair with a soft smile. 

 

“She’s amazing…” Yuto thought.

 

“I wish she was my mom growing up…” Yugo added.

 

She is yours now , said Zarc before kissing Yugo and Yuto’s foreheads. And she shall never leave you.  

 

“But until then, we need to prepare ourselves for what will come,” said Yoko. “Now, fill me in on all the details.”

 

“How do you know so much about planning?” asked Yuto, bewildered.

 

“Like I said, I lead a bike gang in my youth. And in that life, you always have to be planning because you never know when a riot is gonna break out. Now then...” Yoko pulled out her phone and opened the notepad app. “Details please.”

 

For the next hour or so, Yuto and Yugo explained everything they could (well, Yuto did have to omit how he ‘marked’ Shun and all) in regards to Reiji’s plan with the Lancers, the Battle Royale and Serena. Yoko asked one or two questions but mostly just typed everything she could on her phone.

 

“Right,” she said. “So, it looks like I’m going to be on patrol too. There’s no way I’m going to be on the sidelines for this.”

 

“What!?” asked Yuya.

 

“I know this city like the back of my hand,” Yoko stated. “And I know how to get myself out of a fix. Just focus on what you need to do.”

 

“M-mom, you can’t! It’s too dangerous!” 

 

“Says the fourteen year old child possessed by a dragon king ,” she said crossing her arms.

 

Yuya opened and closed his lips like a fish out of water. Zarc was just laughing in his mind. He liked Yoko more and more. 

 

“Thought so,” she kissed Yuya’s forehead. “I’m gonna be just fine Yuya, you need to focus on your duels tomorrow. Break a few legs for me, okay?” She winked. 

 

With that in mind, Yoko then went to the kitchen to prepare dinner, a tablet propped up by a bowl to give her the latest news about the tournament. She was screaming at how Michio Mokota was going to be in the finals all while happily preparing some of the recipes he emailed her just for the occasion. Meanwhile Yuya, Yuto and Yugo were in the living room watching the news as to who else would be in the Top 16.

 

Yuto and Yugo weren’t too surprised to see Yuya, Yuzu or Shun in the finals. But one of the participants caused Yuto to freeze.

 

It was the one the news anchor named Dennis Macfield.

 

“What? Wh...what the hell is Dennis doing here?!” Yuto asked surprised, eyes widening. 

 

“You know him Yuto?” Yuya asked. 

 

Yuto nodded his head. “Yeah, he was one of my classmates at my Duel School. He had an air of showmanship just like Yusho and used a similar deck to his called ‘Performage’.”

 

“Really? Wait, so what is he doing here if he’s from the Xyz dimension? And why is he in the tournament in the first place?”

 

Yuto didn’t answer and Zarc frowned; for some odd reason, he thinks he’s seen Dennis before.

 

Or rather, he thinks he’s seen a different side of Dennis.

 

That revelation with Sora has him on edge; it’s always the innocent ones that hide the darkest secrets. He didn’t want to learn that those close to his sons were responsible for giving them pain and suffering.

 

Still, he needed to keep a good eye on Dennis; he knows that he’s seen that face in the past...

 

“Father?” Yuya asked sensing Zarc’s trepidation. Zarc ran his hand through Yuya’s hair still thinking, the red and green haired boy shivered. 

 

Don’t worry about me. Zarc stated kissing the top of Yuya’s head, eyes fixated on the picture of Dennis on the television. 

 

Minutes later, the announcement ended and dinner was served. It was a quiet affair with everyone tired from today’s events. But for some odd reason, the most quiet of the four at the dinner table was Yugo. 

 

Yugo’s attitude was...off, to say the least. He had been quiet all of dinner, even eating at a snail's pace. His face just looked hardened, his eyes sad. Not even Yoko giving him an extra slice of an apple pie she baked could lift his spirits. Yoko wanted to question what was going on, but that would be pushing it. She herself was going through a lot of things, such as learning that her boys are actually dragons and that ... one of their dads is possissing Yuya, and could potentially kill whoever he liked and probably no one would be the wiser. 

 

Yeah, she had quite the information overload, not to mention worry as she had no idea what the extent of Zarc’s powers are or if there is a way to negate them or stop them. She sighed and ruffled Yugo’s hair.   

 

“I’m here if you ever want to talk,” she whispered. “I do want to know the story about that bike of yours anyway.”

 

Yugo looked up at her and gave her a small sad smile, but nodded, happy for the attention, especially since it was about his D-wheel too; he’s quite proud of it. He still gave a small sigh, rubbing his arm, but said nothing else for the rest of dinner.  

 

After cleaning the table, the three boys headed up to Yuya's room. There was a bit of difficulty in having to shoo Core, Kilo and Watt away -- each of them snarling and hissing just like En did the night before and having Yoko to carry them downstairs one by one -- before they changed into pajamas and fell into their nest. But unlike other times when they laid down together, Yugo sat away from his brothers, having his back to them and his shoulders hunched.

 

The red eyed boy approached his older brother, trying to wrap his arms around him. Yugo just shrugged Yuya off and turned away again. 

 

“Yugo?” Yuya questioned, noticing how Yugo resisted his embrace. Yugo never did that before. “Is...is everything okay?”

 

“Yeah, everything is fine,” Yugo grumbled, still not looking at Yuya. He clenched the bedsheets underneath him as he added, “Everything is just so fucking fine !”

 

“Yugo…” Yuto whispered, noticing how distant Yugo, at stating that he “wasn’t needed” before Yuto went to go after Serena. "Yugo, just tell us what the hell is wrong," he said, not liking Yugo's attitude or Yuya's sad face. 

 

Yugo growled, body trembling. "What's wrong? You wanna know what's wrong?!" He yelled and stood up, turning back to his brothers, his fists shaking with rage and frustration and sadness. 

 

His fangs extended, tears of anger filling his beautiful blue eyes, claws extended so much that he had to stop making a fist else he'll hurt himself. Scales appeared under his eyes, glowing brightly, eyes transformed into slits, his black and white long tail hit the ground like a whip. his wings extended, shining like glass. A harsh wind began to blow outside, startling Yuya’s pets and causing them to yelp in terror.

 

(And Yoko, who had just gotten out of the shower, narrowed her eyes. This was just like that random thunderstorm the night before) 

 

“IT’S NOT FAIR! YOU'RE BOTH SO...SO…  SO SELFISH!” Yugo screamed as howling winds blew outside, rattling the windows, sounding like a chorus of banshees warning that someone will be approaching Death’s door very soon. “WHY DO THE TWO OF YOU GET EVERYTHING?! The attention, the focus on your problems...I...I just want Rin back!" he sobbed, tears falling down his face. "I want cards that will help me fight off against those who could harm her, a treasure for my own...Why the fuck do you two get what you need while I’m tossed to the side like I’m some sort of...some sort of pawn ?”

 

He hated that word, ‘pawn’, just some fool being used for someone else’s bidding. Shun’s nickname still lingered his mind. He wasn’t a pawn, he was a prince. The prince of Synchro! The one who will topple the Tops and Commoners and unite them under his rule. Everyone would be treated as equal, Security will only go after those who truly deserved justice. 

 

And Rin...Rin would be by his side. His precious Rin would never leave him again!

 

Yugo sat back down with a thud and clutched a pillow, "Father is no help either," he said, biting his bottom lip. "He can-he can't…te-tell if she's really alright, or if someone harmed her. He tells me to be patient but I feel so weak and useless. I can't do anything ! I can’t sit around doing nothing! I NEED RIN BACK RIGHT NOW!”

 

He buried his face in the pillow, sniffling a little, his tail curled around his legs as if hugging himself. He just wanted Rin right here and now, waking him up because he overslept or telling him to actually focus instead of having his head stuck in the clouds. He wanted cards like the ones Yuya received or a home like Yuya had, he wanted a treasure like Yuto’s or the bond he had with Shun….

 

All his life he wanted and wanted and wanted and no matter what he did, he could never get those things. Was this how he was going to live his life? Chasing after dreams that will never ever come true?

 

Oh my little boy. It broke Zarc's heart to see his child this broken like that. His sons should want for nothing, had he truly failed one of his treasures that badly? 

 

Zarc sent a stream of love and affection to Yugo, but to his surprise Yugo resisted the gesture, shaking his head. He sobbed away, now hiccuping into the pillow, his claws threatening to open it and toss its contents onto the floor

 

“Oh, Yugo…” Yuya said, tears filling his eyes. “I’m so sorry…you don’t deserve this.”

 

“...” Yugo said nothing and curled himself into a tighter ball.

 

… Yuya, Yuto show him how much you love him. Zarc whispered to his two other boys. 

 

The two younger boys looked confused for a second before Zarc showed them the memory of Yuya kissing an enraged Yuto the night before. 

 

Your brother feels left out of your affection. He wants to be loved; show him that you do love him. Remind him of how much his family adores him. 

 

Yuya gasped lightly, at a loss for words. Yuto felt a little guilty, having given so much affection to Shun while his brother was there, blatantly showing discomfort at the entire thing. If he had known that Yugo felt like that… Yuto bit his lip. 

 

He was so worried for his treasure that he forgot that he had something more important than that. His family.

 

With teary eyes, Yuya approached Yugo again. He kissed the top of Yugo's head gently. "You're right., We really were selfish, weren't we?" Yugo lifted his head up a fraction, showing his sad eyes. "We took you for granted," Yuya continued before rubbing a sensitive spot on Yugo's back, where his wings were. 

 

Yugo gasped, arching his back, and Yuya tossed the pillow hiding him to the side. Yuto crawled closer to them, giving Yugo a sweet and apologizing smile. The older boy looked at them with teary eyes. Yuto came forward and kissed his cheek, licking the tears away. 

 

All Yugo could do was whine. Especially after Yuya's lips trailed down his neck with loving kisses. "We're so sorry Yugo," Yuto whispered. "We love you, truly."

 

"Unquestionably," whispered Yuya to his ear. 

 

"We're yours too you know," Yuto caressed his cheek and Yugo's hand came up to keep that hand there, as he rubbed his cheek there. 

 

"We shouldn't have placed anything above you. We were wrong, and we hurt you so much our precious Yugo." 

 

"What can we do to make it up to you?" Yuto whispered kissing behind Yugo's ear. The older boy gasped. Yuto's lips trailed down Yugo's cheek, and down his neck, where Yuya kissed the other side. Yugo was about to break down, especially with Zarc's fingers gently trailing down his cheek, and sends him more tendrils of love and possessiveness into his mind. 

 

"I don’t...I don't know," he wailed. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry I love you all! You're not selfish, you're my precious family," he sobbed, hugging Yuya and Yuto to him. Yuya hovered over him, and ran his hand through Yugo's hair, before giving him a sweet kiss on his lips that took Yugo's breath away. 

 

The moment Yuya broke the kiss, another pair of soft lips met his own. Yuto broke the kiss making Yugo gasp. "I don't think that's enough. Do you, Yuto?" Yuya asked playfully. 

 

"No, our beautiful Yugo needs even more love," Yuto answered with a grin. “So let’s give it to him.”

 

Yugo squirmed in their arms, wanting more. His brothers giggled at the reaction and spent the next few minutes kissing and caressing every part of Yugo they could reach lovingly. 

 

But as the boys continued with purrs, mewlings and soft moans, Zarc’s eyes widened. Could it be...could he truly sense...?

 

….The last of his sons is in the Standard Dimension.

 

His precious lily, his beautiful rose, the eldest of his sons.

 

Yuri...Yuri is finally here!

 

Glee filled Zarc's heart, making his emotions intensify. He wanted to go to Yuri now, hold him in his arms again, make him smile again, and promise that his family would not leave him alone again, remove any sign of Akaba's clutches on his sweet boy. Yuri did not deserve to be treated like this!

 

Had he had a physical form, Zarc would have been trampling with anticipation. His child was here after so so long of not seeing him. Yuri! 

 

Mineminemineminemine! He shall be mine once again! This was what Zarc thought, so excited, so giddy at finally having his little treasures in his arms once more.

 

His children gasped at the emotions Zarc was projecting. Too intense, too consuming. The boys’ eyes rolled to the back of their heads and they were panting and whimpering at the downpour. 

 

"P-papa," Yugo whimpered and all three shivered before Zarc realized what he was doing. He chuckled, running his hand through their hair, trailing his invisible fingers over their cheeks. 

 

Forgive me my loves. But can't you sense it? Our precious Lily is finally here! Again the boys trembled. In excitement and awe.

 

But Yuto and Yugo still had their doubts; Yuri did take their treasures away and had no idea who he truly was. All he was told was “take these girls,” and he did without a second thought.

 

Yuya was also nervous; how would Yuri react to seeing him after all this time? 

 

Do not forget my precious ones that you didn't remember your own selves before as well. You almost killed one another were it not for Yuya. Zarc reminded them. Guilt gnawed at Yuto and Yugo. Father was right; they were just one second from destroying each other, or worse, hurting Yuya.

 

If you could only see our precious Yuri, my loves. So alone and sad, crying and having no one that loves him in that dimension, where the only recognition he gets is from that accursed Akaba, who's only using Yuri for his skill and then planning to kill him after he was no longer useful. All because Yuri is part of our family.

 

Anger filled the boys' hearts at the Professor’s cruel desires for his daughter to return, at the world for putting Yuri in a position like that. Their beloved brother deserved nothing less than adoration and love. And once he's back in their arms they'd erase every mark Leo Akaba had inflicted and tainted Yuri's soul and heart, and they shall give Yuri all the love that he wants and needs. No matter how long that takes. 

 

Always and Forever. 

 

They're a family after all. They are eternal

 

“What can we do though?” Yugo thought, wondering where Yuri was right now so he could drive his D-Wheel to that location, pick him up and then lead the two of them home, into the arms of their brothers.

 

Zarc thought about it for a minute. While he wanted to just go to Yuri directly, he didn’t want to alert Akaba of his presence. Plus, summoning himself so soon would give Yuri a heart attack from how sudden this is. A more subtle approach was needed.

 

Come closer my treasures. Close your eyes. Search for that bond between us all, grasp it, focused on it, and search for the one that leads us to Yuri. 

 

The three closed their eyes and when they opened them, they were in a dark realm surrounded by multiple strings of light. These were their bonds, shining beautiful and radiant. They wanted to grasp them, feel them in their hands. All the strings were shining except one was a little dimmer, grey, dull and lifeless. It looked cold and lonely; none of them liked that. They wanted to make it shine again. 

 

Excellent my darlings. Now, focused on a sweet dream, a memory, and send it to your brother. The connection is dim and tired, but you have to try to make it wake up, and fill it with life once again like how Yuri would bring his garden to life with love and care.  

 

They all nodded closing their eyes and focusing on what they wanted to send Yuri. Love, hope, understanding, a promise that they will see each other soon. The bond began to sparkle with life as Zarc focused on Yuri’s location, projecting a dream for his eldest son to dream of. To hope for.

 

Hang on, my lily. Father is coming...

 

*************

 

If you asked Yuri if he can recall his dreams, you’d either get a blunt “No” or, “Why would I even dream of something?” and that's if someone was foolish enough or brave enough to look Yuri in the eye for five seconds and ask him that. No one usually was. 

 

He wished someone asked this though, at least, the past few nights, this was a secret wish that only Starve Venom knew about. Yuri has always been alone. An empty feeling of something missing inside his heart, as if he was only one part of a whole. And these dreams. He could remember not feeling the emptiness that had been a part of him ever since he could understand what emptiness felt like. He remembered feeling warm, happy, whole, loved

 

And Yuri hated it !  Because it was one more thing life has fucked him over with, taunting him with these feelings and then having him wake up to return to the cold isolation. It made Yuri want to scream.  

 

But he wasn’t doing that right now, sleeping on a bed in preparation for capturing Yuzu Hiragi for the Professor the following morning. He was trying to sleep; instead, his mind was currently in a separate realm from his body, projecting him into a dream not of his own making.

 

...

 

He could see himself walking in a strange yet familiar garden. Yuri looked five or six years old. He was walking alone in the garden, smiling happily, looking at all the plants, running around and picking flowers for them. 

 

After he had a little bouquet of flowers with colors like sparkling gems, an idea came to mind as to how to surprise everyone. He eyed a large tree where he could shower the flowers on everyone’s heads! It would be so much fun!

 

With that determination, Yuri climbed one of the trees, it was so giant, especially to little Yuri. He was always told to be careful though, and he had snuck out of his lessons so his usual companions and chaperones weren't around this time. And without the grown ups telling him to stay away, he could do whatever he wants in this garden! 

 

And so he started climbing, inching his way to the lowest branch for him to sit on it. But before he knew it, just as he was about to grab onto that branch, he slipped.. 

 

The dream went in slow motion for the real Yuri. He'd never had anyone else but himself to rely on, no one to protect him, help him, hold him. When he got hurt, he always had to help himself. So he had expected nothing else from this dream. It was his normal life. 

 

Suddenly. a pair of arms caught the little boy before he could fall, bringing the child to his chest and cradling Yuri as if he was such a precious thing. 

 

"My sweet lily, are you alright?" The man asked. A voice… so familiar, so beautiful and soothing and loving. Yuri wanted to go to him, hug him, beg him to never leave Yuri again. 

 

The child looked up from the man's chest, and had the most sweet and loving smile on his face, Yuri never remembered smiling like that in his life. The next words from the child shocked him to the core.

 

"Papa!" The young child squealed in delight, nuzzling into the man's chest. "It was so scary Papa. I almost got hurt," the child pouted, tears in his eyes. 

 

The man hugged the child closer to him, his face was obscured by shadows so Yuri couldn't see it well. The man kissed the child's tears away, running his hand in the little one’s hair. "Papa has you in his arms right now. But you have to be careful, my sweet Lily. Papa never wants anything bad to happen to one of his precious treasures." 

 

Yuri couldn't help but feel a blush coming to his cheeks, his heart beating too fast. He has never been in his life considered precious to anyone. And yet this man had referred to the little child, Yuri himself, as one of his precious treasures. 

 

The scene changed now, and it was a hauntingly familiar scene to Yuri. The little child sat in the middle of a bed, curled up in a ball all alone, crying his eyes out, hiccups escaping his lips. The bed looked far too big, making the child look smaller and more helpless than he actually was. 

 

Yuri wanted to turn away from looking at this. That situation happened way too often, his heart clenched inside his chest so bad he wanted to yell and cry himself as if he were a child again. 

 

A knock on the door snapped him out of his desires to let his sorrow burst forth like a broken dam. 

 

"Yuri?" The voice called. It was the voice of another child. It seemed just as young as Yuri himself was. That development was…new.  No one ever came to check up on him.

 

The little child raised his head from his knees and glared at the door. "Go away!" He yelled, tears in his eyes. "I don't wanna talk to you!" He yelled pouting. The knocking stopped and little Yuri's head fell back on his knees. But that wasn't the end of it. 

 

The door swung open and another child came in. He looked like Yuri too, but he had cerulean hair, yellow crescent bangs and crystal clear blue eyes. 

 

Wait...that boy looked familiar...

 

The familiar boy tried climbing onto the bed. He failed a few times but didn't give up. With a determined pout, he clutched the sheets and climbed and climbed and climbed until he finally reached the mattress. The boy's name was...

 

"Yuri…"

 

"Go away, Yugo!" Little Yuri yelled glaring at…at Yugo. Both of the boys were pouting, both held tears in their eyes. Yuri looked angry, and Yugo's eyes looked guilty and apologetic. 

 

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, my Lily. I didn't mean to say those things to you!" Yugo begged. But little Yuri looked away still angry.

 

Yugo wrapped his arms around little Yuri, hugging the child tighter. 

 

Yuri struggled in his hold his little fists hitting Yugo wanting him to let go. "No, no let go of me! You're stupid, you're so stupid Yugo!" 

 

The younger Yuri cried harder before his fists loosened and clutched onto Yugo sobbing into his shoulder. Little Yugo began crying too, hugging little Yuri to him like the boy was a pillow. A time later when both boys had stopped crying, Yugo reached for him and gently wiped little Yuri's tears away before kissing him under his eyes. 

 

Yuri's heart clenched at that scene so tender and loving. No one, his age or otherwise had ever been this sweet to him.  Not even the Professor showed signs of affection to him. Perhaps a “Good job” whenever he accomplished a task, but never something like this.

 

"I really am sorry, Yuri," Yugo said before getting something from behind him. It was a lily flower, with bright pink hues like a heart. Little Yuri's eyes widened before getting a loving happy expression on his face. "I was very stupid and mean. I didn't mean it."

 

Little Yuri looked at Yugo and gave him a small smile and nodded. "...I know." 

 

Yugo smiled at little Yuri and tucked the lily into his hair. The pink haired child smiled brightly at this gift. 

 

The door swung open once more and two little boys with the same faces as Yuri and Yugo approached them, one with red and green hair the other with lavender and raven locks. They tried climbing the bed too before someone else, the same man from the previous dream grabbed both in his arms --which made the two of the squeal in delight-- and sat on the bed as well, the two boys in his lap. 

 

The man… Father… opened his arms wide, invitingly, lovingly beckoning all of his children to reach for him. 

 

Yuri's eyes widened when he realized that he himself had extended his hand to reach the man, to reach them all. The man's shadowy face turned to him, and Yuri froze in place. The man extended his own hand back and Yuri just wanted to take it, grab it, hold it, please let him stay, pleasepleasepleaseohplease stay with him.... 

 

"Now sweet Lilly, my thorned Rose, my most cunning love.” The person whispered. “Come home, come to me, my darling."

 

Yes! Yes, Yuri wants to be home. Please let him come home!

 

The shadows slowly disappeared, showing him a pair of soft adoring golden eyes looking at Yuri like he was far too precious and loved… 

 

And that’s when he woke up.

 

***************

 

His eyes snapped open. Cheeks wet from crying, Yuri sat up, clutching the sheets before screaming in frustration. Heartbroken that he'll never get that. He'll never have a loving family, never have a father or brothers that love him. Never be precious to anyone, never be kissed with such love and affection…. 

 

Why?!  Why was Starved Venom doing this to him?! He had never been cruel to Yuri! He was the only partner Yuri could ever rely on, the only thing that ever showed care for Yuri in a heartless world of poisonous intent. 

 

He grabbed his deck, looking for the card before glaring at his most beloved monster with tears and sorrow in his eyes. 

 

“IS THIS SOME SICK JOKE TO YOU?!” Yuri screamed at his prized monster. “Do you think you have the right to fuck with my mind like that? Teasing me with things that won’t ever exist?!

 

Upon receiving no answers of any kind from some ink on cardboard, he slammed Starved Venom Fusion Dragon onto the bedside table face-down before snarling in anger. This was too much; why wouldn’t these feelings just go away and leave him alone?! Better to live with the isolation because at least that was real compared to these fantasies that would never be!

 

He laid in bed, doing his best not to cry. These dreams were more painful from the isolation of other Academia students. At least he understood that the students hated him, but he couldn’t tell the intentions of these dreams!

 

Why would someone show him horrible memories of his past and attach these additions onto them? Additions that he wanted so much to happen yet never did?! 

 

As Yuri placed a hand on his head to calm himself down, he felt something out of place…

 

He picked up the item that was tucked into his hair and pulled it out. HIs eyes widened in surprise when he saw what was in his hand.

 

It was the same pink lily from the dream.

 

No, this was from a dream. This wasn’t real. Whoever was doing this was going to pay when Yuri finally caught them! He had half of mind of crushing this flower in his hand right there and now.

 

My beloved Yuri. The boy gasped, the lily falling on the bed out of surprise and shock.

 

"Who's there?" He asked getting out of bed so fast. looking around for any danger. 

 

You can hear me now, my beloved child? And Yuri gasped with a realization striking him like lightning bolts. The voice in his head, whispering words that Yuri could not understand but could feel the affection and love in, the same voice of the man in his dream his younger self had called father. It was the same melodic beautiful loving voice. In his mind, the shadows on the man's face had disappeared and he could see him clearly. A face just like his own, a little older, with the most loving tender smile aimed at Yuri.

 

But it sounded too good to be true. And Yuri had grown used to seeing his hopes die like flowers in winter.

 

No no no no it’s not real. This isn't real you're not real. It’s a lie, just another figment of my imagination caused by Starved Venom or my desperation or loneliness. Go away go away go away! IhateyouIhatyeouIhateyouIhateyou….

 

Loving arms enveloped Yuri in them, causing him to gasp. He also thought he felt someone nuzzle his cheek. We will come for you my thorned Rose. Please wait for us.

 

“...We?” 

 

The answer to that was a simple kiss on Yuri's cheek. And the boy couldn't help but tremble. Childishly, he jumped back into the bed, wrapping the covers around himself, as if hiding there would keep the boogie man away. Even if said boogie man was the most wonderful thing Yuri had ever been gifted with. He trembled for a bit more before realizing the presence was no more. He poked his head out of the covers, only to notice the lily that had been in his hair now laid gently over Starved Venom, who was now flipped face up. The dragon was...cooing, when Yuri usually heard it growl or roar in reply, the words Master and beloved one floating in Yuri's mind. 

 

"... Starved Venom?" He asked in wonder at his monster's reaction. 

 

But the card was silent once more.

 

**********



It broke Zarc's heart, truly it did. His own child in a state such as this. Rejecting even him and accepting this cold and cruel reality than the warmth and love he would give the poor boy so soon…

 

The sadness and heartbreak was felt throughout his other sons. They had no idea Yuri suffered like that; they wanted him in their arms right now, in their little nest, away from Academia, Akaba and his troubles.

 

Yuya, may I take over? Zarc asked softly, Yuya's lips trembled before nodding, and loving Darkness enveloped him. 

 

Through the body of his youngest son, Zarc opened his golden eyes and looked at his other two sons before him. 

 

"Father… " Yugo trailed off. 

 

Zarc gave them a smile before opening his arms to the two of them. Yugo and Yuto didn't hesitate, falling into their father's arms. With no physical form Father's touches had always felt too light, like a phantom, to both him and his children. Being a soul and using his powers didn't compare to having a physical body, but it was the only way to touch and interact and show love to his children. 

 

"Soon," Zarc said. "Soon you will all be in my arms again," he whispered, hugging Yugo and Yuto tighter. Both boys sighed in bliss, eyes closed as they buried themselves in their father's neck. 

 

*********

 

"Feeling better Yugo?" Yuto asked as he snuggled close to his brother. After Zarc had given Yuya's body back to him, the two younger brothers agreed that it would be best to put Yugo in the middle of them tonight. 

 

Now they laid there in their nest, Yugo lying comfortably while Yuto and Yuya lay on each side of him. 

 

"As much as I still miss Rin, and I need new cards for my deck...I'm glad to know I wasn't tossed aside by my family," he said, his now cheery grin back into place. 

 

"Yugo… " Yuto whispered worriedly. 

 

Yuya kissed Yugo's cheek gently and snuggled to his chest. "Never, we love you forever Yugo," Yuto nodded his head before adding, “Forever and ever.”. 

 

And with that in mind, the three of them fell happily to the loving Darkness of sleep. 

 

Chapter Text

Serena couldn’t sleep.

 

Then again, she always had trouble sleeping thinking about why she was never given the attention she wanted from the Professor. The only thing she could think about at night was what she needed to do in order for the Professor to finally look at her as a soldier, not a princess. The strategies, how many victories against the weaker students who tried to hide their abilities with fake bravado...anything she could do to finally get the Professor to listen she would take it.

 

But this was different. Much more different than that. Her talk with the Professor’s son Reiji, and the Xyz user from Heartland Yuto had her entire world flipped on its head. Her fellow Academia students would harm, card and hunt every citizen in the Xyz dimension as if it was a game and even now after talking more with the Xyz user his friend or… boyfriend.  Ugh, one more thing Serens needs to wrap her mind about. 

 

That’s when she felt something was off. Sitting up in her bed, and feeling the wind breeze come in from the open window, her eyes turned to the window to see someone there. A man sat there on her windowsill, wearing a cloak, white and green with black outlines. He also wore a similar colored mask that covered his sparkling golden eyes. All in all, he looked ready for a masquerade instead of trying to...

 

...Wait a second, how did he get in here? Wasn’t she on the 31st floor? 

 

“How the hell did you get  -- ?!” Serena began to yell, searching for her duel disk and  ready for a fight...before she took a good look at the stranger underneath the moonless sky. She squinted. “What the...who the hell are you?”

 

The strange masked figure chuckled.  ”Hello Serena,” he said, voice quite pleasant and soft. “I’ve heard quite a bit about you.” 

 

Serena gasped. “W...what?” she asked, hopping out of her bed and now in a defensive stance. “How did you get here? How do you know my name? What do you want?!” 

 

He chuckled and put a finger over where his lips would be in a hushed gesture. “All in good time, little luna. Just be a bit more patient with me, please.”

 

Serena blinked. “Little what?” No one ever gave her a nickname like that before. The usual ones were “Princess” and “Kitty”, but those were all mocking used by Academia students due to her status as the Professor’s “baby girl” or the fact that she frequently mauled her opponents with Lunalight Cat Dancer.

 

The cloaked figure smirked, giving Serena a feline grin like the one on the face of Lunalight Blue Cat. “You see, Yuto and Yugo told me about you, told me how you were treated like a fragile princess by that Professor Akaba and how you wanted a chance to prove yourself. I can see it just by looking at you. You’re strong, I see a lot of potential in you,”  he came closer and kneeled to be at the same level as her, giving her a soft charming smile. 

 

“So did Reiji…” Serena muttered, looking away.

 

The cloaked stranger nodded his head. “But unlike him, I want to make you stronger. Help you walk your own path. Prove yourself to everyone whoever doubted you. For you see…” The expression on his face turned grim, as if he had just heard news of an execution. “You are in danger, Serena.”

 

“Danger?” Serena frowned. “So what? I can handle danger just fine. Nobody can hold me down.”

 

But when she saw the stranger’s golden eyes soften, this caught her off guard  

 

“Serena, do you know the reason why the Professor kept you locked up and hidden away?” The man questioned.

 

“I...I always wondered about that.” Serena admitted. “Why...does he though? Does he think I’m weak or something?”

 

“No, it’s something even more despicable than that. It’s because he didn’t want to lose his sacrifice.”

 

“Sa-sacrifice?! What are you talking about?” 

 

The man sighed. “Before the world split into the four dimensions you know today, Professor Leo Akaba had...a daughter, Ray, whom he loved like no other. When the world split into four pieces, she was the center of it, and from that you along with three others make the four pieces of Ray Akaba, each of them forgetting your past life as her and gifted with one of her bracelets. The professor wants to gather you and the other counterparts; Yuzu Hiragi, Ruri Kurosaki and Rin in order to bring Ray back to life. 

 

“You already know that Obelisk Force will be chasing you down, but the Professor now knows of Yuzu’s existence and will be tasking Yuri to retrieve her.”

 

“And the Professor already has Rin and Ruri,” Serena added, remembering what Shun, Yuto and Yugo told her. “But...but if Obelisk Force gets their hands on me and Yuri captures Yuzu...then that...that means…” 

 

It all came crashing down on Serena.

 

“He...wants to...the Professor...he…wants to...” Serena stammered. 

 

Then it felt like Serena’s heart stopped beating.

 

No...no….nononononoNONONONONONO!!!!

 

Serena gripped her head in shock, feeling her heart pounding in her chest as she came to the realization just what was coming to her.

 

In the eyes of the Professor, she was not a warrior, not a princess, not even a human being. She was nothing more than an animal about to be slaughtered.

 

The man sadly nodded his head. “He cares for no one except himself. He uses the idea of a ‘united utopia’ as an excuse to bring back this one girl. One girl he will offer up the lives of you, Rin, Ruri and Yuzu. For one girl he made a school into a training camp and converted wide-eyed children wanting to duel for fun into soldiers who have fun hunting people down for sport. For one girl, he destroyed Heartland and placed a tyrant in that of the Synchro Dimension. For one girl, he will turn all those who are carded into an energy source! Is this the man you seek approval from now, Serena? Is he ?!”

 

Serena’s pupils shrank and she backed away from the man with fear. No, this can’t be...this can’t be!

 

“The Professor...no…” she said in one of the few times she has ever shown fear.  “No…!”

 

“Yes,” The man stated sadly. 

 

Serena looked down at her bracelet. This bracelet was the only possession she ever had before she was ‘adopted’ by the Professor. And now she wanted to chuck it out of the window and hoped a car ran through it, crushing it into pieces. Instead, she shook her head.

 

“If what you’re saying is true, that means...Barrett….he’s also deluded,” she said, now pitying him. She knew bits and pieces of his past -- like how he obtained the burns over his left eye -- but to find that he was also a blind fool to Akaba’s schemes, protecting her until she was ready to be sacrificed to the gods…This made her want to go to Barrett and warn him about what he’s done.

 

Serena was breathing hard now, almost as if having a panic attack. Everything, everything she thought she knew was now proven a lie. And the man who she wanted to impress the most, to get his approval, cared nothing for her, but saw her as a sacrifice for someone else. 

 

Strong arms wrapped themselves around Serena, and she couldn’t help but cling to them, trying her hardest not to show the tears forming in her eyes. They were the only thing keeping her steady and felt real around her right now. “Shh, I know, I know how scared and angry you must be feeling right now. I got you, it’s ok.” The stranger ran his black gloves through Serena’s hair. “I know it’s not fair, you don’t deserve this, to be hidden away, only thought of as a tool, sacrificed and not even thought of as your own person.

 

“But I don’t see you like that, I see you for who you are, Serena. Not as a delicate flower, or a fragile princess, not a sacrifice for a cruel and uncaring god. I see you as a true warrior, one who can fight beside the dragons themselves, and I would love it if you joined me in battle against the Professor. You can grow stronger, and be protected by your own powers from Academia, from the professor. Be free of the walls he imposed on you for so long.”

 

“...” Serena hugged this man tighter and sniffled a bit.

 

“You don’t have to give me your answer now. However, I do have a special gift for you. Consider it a show of my faith in you,” the man reached into his belt where a pouch was before producing a card, giving it to Serena. “I hope he serves you well,” he said as she took the card from him with shaking hands.

 

“T...thank you…” she whispered.

 

“You’re welcome.” The stranger turned and headed towards the window. Just before he was about to step on it, he paused. “Oh and one more piece of advice.”

 

“What’s that?” Serena wondered, afraid to ask just what type of news she was about to hear now.

 

The figure turned around, his face appeared stern. “Do not trust any of the Akabas, Little Luna. Not the Professor, not Himika, not Reiji. They will lead you astray.”

 

“Wait, what do you mean by..”

 

But before Serena could finish, the cloaked man jumped out of the window which made Serena’s eyes widen in more shock, considering how high they were. She jumped up and went to the window, looking everywhere for the man...but he was neither on the ground in a crumpled heap of broken bones and blood nor was he clinging to something on the building.

 

Serena took several breaths to calm herself down before looking at the card she was gifted with by the stranger. Blood Moon Fusion Dragon.

 

Something about this card called to her, like she could hear the ocean from a seashell (which she never did, given where she lived, but it did sound kind of nice). She placed it close to her heart as she laid down in bed, recalling what the man told her.

 

  “I see you as someone who can fight beside dragons themselves.”

 

And that phrase was still on Serena’s mind as she drifted off to sleep.

 

****************

 

Morning came too soon for everyone. 

 

And as soon as everyone freshened up for the day and Yoko prepared a meal in her slow cooker and fliped enough pancakes to feed an army, she and her sons would begin finalizing the plans for the Battle Royale.

 

“Morning Mom,” said Yuya, heading downstairs to the dining room, excited to eat breakfast. “Pancakes smell…”

 

He stopped when he noticed how his mother was already seated at the dinner table, waiting for him. She wore a red top along with a long white jacket and matching pants with a red belt. She also wore black leather boots and was currently looking up something on her tablet. She looked out of place in comparison to the set table, the three plates of pancakes, the syrup bottle and bowl of berries and the pitcher of milk.

 

“Mom…” Yuya whispered, eyes wide.

 

“Yoko-san…” Yuto said, Yugo behind him. “We’re ready for...whoa…”

 

Yoko looked up from her work and then took notice at the astonished looks on their faces. “How do I look?” she asked, giving her sons a wink.

 

“You look amazing !” Yugo said in surprise.

 

Zarc was laughing in agreement. It seemed as if Yoko was like a matryoshka doll -- revealing outer layers to show a brand new side of her. Yuya, your mother is just full of surprises!

 

And he was still laughing as everyone had breakfast; it was going to be a light affair since Yuya would be running about and didn’t need to be distracted by throwing up everything at the side. Yugo happily indulged in pancakes and Yoko was happy to see his humongous appetite after how solemn he was the night before.

 

Yoko finished early -- she always ate light before she got on her motorcycle; a habit she had because one never knew when she had to be out in a brawl -- and showed her tablet to her sons.

 

“All right then,” she said, showing a drawing on her tablet that was a rudimentary sketch of the city. “The Battle Royale will take place throughout the entire city with an Action Field divided into four quarters, right?”

 

“Yes,” said Yugo.

 

“And while the duelists go out and collect Pendulum Cards to bet again, Reiji has you, Yuto, Shun and this…’Serena’ go out to keep an eye out for these Academia soldiers before they cause any trouble.”

 

“They call themselves, Obelisk Force,” Yuto explained. “They’re all about attacking in packs of three and using Ancient Gear monsters to prevent the opponent from using Spell or Trap Cards when they attack.”

 

Yoko nodded her head. “But they can’t do anything in regards to monster effects...ugh, it’s times like these that I wished I decided to pick up an online dueling course.”

 

“And while I’m out dueling and you’re out patrolling, Yuri will be nearby,” said Yuya.

 

“But how are we going to locate him?” asked Yoko. “I mean, Reiji is going to be monitoring the city, but he’ll be more concerned about people being kept in the dark about the invasion than finding your brother. He...doesn’t know that you’re all brothers, right? Nor does he know that I’m in the know about this?”

 

“No,” said Yuto.

 

“Good. Now...how are we going to figure out where he’s hiding?”

 

The four thought about it for a moment; Yuri would be looking for Yuzu, but he’d be discreet about it and wait until the pink haired girl was alone so that he can get her without much of a fight. By the time they figured out where he would be, Yuri would have returned with his target to the Fusion Dimension. So they have to make sure to find Yuri long before he could locate Yuzu. 

 

But how will they be able to locate him in such a short time? Who could help them --

 

Then, Yuya’s eyes widen and he slammed his hands on the table. “Mieru!” he shouted.

 

“Mieru Hochun?” Yoko asked. “The girl that you dueled with the crystal apple? The one who lost her duel to Tsukikage on the first turn?”

 

“She has the ability to track people down with her crystal apple,” Yuya explained. “Yuzu told me that Mieru used it to locate me before the tournament started.”

 

“But considering what Zarc said about Yuri, not to mention those soldiers running about, is it a good idea to keep her out in the open?”

 

“I’ll tell her to hide as soon as she helps us locate Yuri,” said Yuya. 

 

“Then it’s settled,” said Yoko, clapping her hands. “Now then, Yugo. After breakfast, perhaps you can explain how you built that bike of yours?”

 

“Of course, kaa-san!” Yugo said cheerfully without thinking.

 

Yoko raised her eyebrow. “ Kaa-san ?”

 

“Y-yeah,” Yugo said, realizing just what he said. “I...never had a mother before. And you treat us and call us your sons. I thought...I thought it would be okay if I called you that. Y-you don’t mind do you?” 

 

Yoko smiled and shook her head. “Of course not, dear,” she said, ruffling his hair, causing Yugo to smile in response. She then turned to Yuto. “It’s okay, you can call me ‘Mom’ too.”

 

“...I will, kaa-san ,” Yuto said with a small smile on his face.

 

And Yoko just watched as her sons happily finished off their breakfast.

 

***************

 

After breakfast, the four entered the garage. That’s when Yoko pulled off the tarp off of something that had been hiding in the corner for years...revealing a white motorcycle with red trim.

 

“Whoa….” Yuya whispered. “You rode on this?”

 

“Yep,” Yoko smiled. “ Ningyo has been by my side ever since I was old enough to ride.” She then turned to Yugo’s D-Wheel with its silver body and black stripes. “Do you have a name for her?”

 

“Uh…I was going to let Rin name it,” Yugo answered, recalling how he and Rin dueled over the right to name their life’s work. “She...she’s the one who was better at stuff like this.”

 

“You really have high praise for Rinrin, don’t you?”

 

“Yeah I -- Rinrin?!” Yugo asked with a blush.

 

Yoko chuckled. “Tell me about her. She really seems so precious to you; she must be something else.” 

 

“She...she is,” Yugo said, looking at the D-Wheel. Was it really three years ago when Yugo first showed off the crayon drawing to Rin about what they wanted to build? The days reading through manuals, bargaining for the best quality parts, the days where Yugo would duel in order to obtain as much cash as possible...and just when they were about to make their dreams come true, Rin was taken away from him!

 

“Yugo,” said Yoko, noticing the look in his eye. “It’s going to be okay,” she said, hugging the boy to her. “You’re going to be reunited with her soon I’m sure of it.”

 

Yugo threw his arms around Yoko, hugging her tighter as tears started to fall down. “I miss her...so much, I just...I just want her back, safe in my arms forever. She’s always, she’s always been so strong, and stubborn and beautiful! The look in her eyes could kill, or freeze you in place but I loved it so!”

 

“From how you describe her, I could imagine that she’s a proud maiden of the ice. I’d love to challenge my skills in dueling against her one of these days.”

 

Yugo sniffled and wiped his tears on Yoko’s blouse. He chuckled. “No, not ice. She’s like...like a raging storm, powerful, always moving. Nothing stands in her way, beautiful and deadly all in one.” 

 

Yoko placed a firm pat on Yugo’s shoulder. “She’ll be back. I’m sure your Father is already planning on something that probably has to do with that bracelet on your wrist.”

 

Yugo’s eyes widened as he looked at his bracelet. ‘How did she…?” “Wh-what do you mean by that?” he asked tilting his head  

 

Yoko sighed. “Rin, Ruri, Yuzu and Serena were all based on Ray. They have two things in common from what I noticed: similar faces and a silver bracelet on their right wrist. Right?”

 

“R...right…” Yuto began, also looking at his bracelet. ‘ She already…’

 

‘Figured something out?”

 

Zarc couldn’t help but smirk. Nothing escaped Yoko’s watchful eye.

 

At the awkward silence, Yoko sighed. “Now what exactly would your Father want to do with a bunch of bra--

 

“Oh darling~ I came as soon as I -- WHAT THE?!”

 

Everyone in the garage turned to look at the person who had arrived. Mieru Hochun with her crystal apple looked in confusion upon seeing Yuya and then at Yuto and Yugo.

 

“T...two more...darlings?” Mieru stammered, noticing Yuto and Yugo. “W...what...the?”

 

Yuya smiled and rubbed the back of his head. “It’s...kind of a long story. Mieru, the one with purple hair is Yuto and the one with blond bangs is Yugo.”

 

“S...so that’s what my tarot reading was warning me about!” Mieru exclaimed. “The card I drew for today was The Sun that means that whatever I am searching for is about to come soon. That, combined with Five of Wands that talks about people coming together for a goal of some sorts….”

 

Yugo and Yuto blinked as Mieru rambled on and on about her fortune reading. “She’s really that good?” asked Yuto.

 

“Yeah, you should’ve seen my duel with her, just the coin toss itself had a meaning. Looking back at it, the dragon and the devil from her coin flip...it really should have triggered something back then.” Yuya replied, sensing Zarc searching through the memories of that particular moment.

 

This girl has talent, that is for sure. Zarc admitted. If I had her skills back when Ray roamed the Earth, that would’ve been able to save us plenty of heartbreak.

 

“This is our second chance, Father, we’re not going to waste it,” Yuya thought back, and Zarc smiled, kissing his forehead. 

 

That’s right, my little Shooting Star, that’s exactly right. 

 

“Mieru,” said Yuya, approaching the fortune-teller. “I need you to listen very carefully.”

 

“Anything for you, my love!” Mieru exclaimed. “But first, could you explain why there are two more people that look just like you?”

 

“It’s kind of complicated,” Yuya explains. “But that’s not the point. Mieru, there is another boy that somewhere in this city who has my face.”

 

“Haah? Another one that looks like my Darling! How amazing !” Mieru squealed.

 

“Is she mind controlled too?” Yugo asked with a bit of annoyance. 

 

“No...sort of...she has a crush on me. She’s been acting like that ever since I beat her in a duel, she’s just...mostly controlled to not fear Father’s Darkness.” Yuya explained.

 

“Oh, that’s just swell…” Yugo muttered.

 

“What does he look like? What are his favorite interests? What type of monsters does he duel with?” Mieru questioned.

 

“Um, he has purple hair and pink eyes, he likes gardening and he uses Fusion,” Yuya hastily answered.”Anyway, I’m gonna need you to locate him during the Battle Royal, okay?” 

 

“Yes of course! Anything for you, Darling!”

 

“But be very careful,” Yuya added. “He’s very dangerous. The minute you locate him, contact one of my...brothers or my mom. Once we find Yuri, get as far away as you can. Things are going to get dangerous.” 

 

“Brothers... dangerous ?” Mieru looked at both Yugo and Yuto and then back at Yuya. “Oh...alright, Darling, if you say so,” she said with a nod. 

 

Yoko raised her eyebrow. Mieru seemed too accepting of the idea that alternate versions of her son were really brothers, crush on Yuya or not.

 

Nevertheless, despite the high probability that Zarc probably charmed the little girl, that wasn’t the issue at hand.

 

“Right so, the plan is Yuya duels like he knows nothing, Yuto is there for back up while Serena and I back Yuzu if she needed us. Meanwhile, Mieru-chan looks for Yuri and, in that case, Yuya duels him, that right?” Yoko clarified.

 

“Essentially yes,” said Yuto with a nod. Yuya nodded as well. 

 

“Let’s head out then,” Yugo said, putting his helmet on and getting on his D-wheel, Yuto riding behind him (and still refusing to wear that pink and white helmet Yugo offered him. He instead gave it to Mieru to protect her from injury). 

 

“Do your best, Yuya!” Yugo shouted.

 

“Don’t you dare lose!” said Yuto playfully. The two of them resisted the urge to give Yuya a good luck kiss, and sped off to the LDS tower and to Reiji’s office.  

 

Yoko revved her motorcycle, loving the purr it gave off. “You want a ride to the stadium, sweetie?” she asked, slipping her helmet on.

 

“No, I’ll walk,” Yuya said. He always liked walking and running anyway.



“Shame. I mean; back when you were younger, you always wanted a ride with your babysitters…”

 

Yuya blinked. “Huh?”

 

“Oh, it’s nothing,” Yoko muttered. “Come on Mieru, ride with me.”

 

“Right! Thank you Yoko-san,” Mieru replied, hopping onto the motorcycle..

 

She slipped her crystal apple into the coin purse strapped to her side. She then turned to Yuya, a blush on her cheeks.

 

But just as Yoko sped off, Mieru thought she was seeing things...but did Yuya’s shadow…grow larger?

 

No...she was just seeing things...wasn’t she?

 

***************

 

Amongst the other finalists for the duel -- Michio, Tsukikage and another ninja, two exchange students from LDS and two students from Ryozanpaku School who looked ready to lynch Yuya, a fisherman, three knights, Dennis, Gongenzaka and Yuzu -- Yuya felt jittery being stared at by the entire audience.

 

Even though he’s had the audience stare at him before, this was different. He knew that Yuri was out there, that Obelisk Force was coming after Yuzu, that Dennis Macfield, someone Yuto knew from the Xyz Dimension, was somehow a student of LDS, that Reiji wanted Yuri apprehended and his memories erased…

 

To quote Futoshi, Yuya Sakaki had “the shivers”.

 

Yuzu took a glance at her friend, at the smile on his face and the worry in his crimson eyes. Something was wrong, and she still had her doubts about what happened that night with Sora. Not to mention that there were no signs of Yuto...

 

“Yuya…” Yuzu began, turning to her friend. “Have you…”

 

“Hmm?” asked Yuya. “Have I what?”

 

“I...remember what I said about Yuto?” Yuzu began. “I haven’t seen him in days. Have you heard anything from him?”

 

Yuya blinked, she was really worried about his brother. He wanted to tell her, but he didn’t feel like it was the right time yet, besides if he said anything now, all the new information would overwhelm Yuzu and she wouldn’t focus on the battles ahead. “No, I don’t think so, but I’m sure Yuto is just fine, There’s no need to worry,” he said with an encouraging smile. 

 

“Yuya…”

 

“Hey,” Yuya said, putting his hands on her shoulder and giving her an encouraging look. “Don’t worry about anything except winning and entertaining the crowd, ok? This is a Battle Royal and I know how bright you can shine! It’s time to show the world what Yuzu Hiragi can do.” 

 

“Yu-Yuya,” Yuya stammered, her cheeks went red at the praise. She smiled gratefully, her eyes shining as she nodded. “Right!” 

 

And Yuya’s smile widened. This must have been how Yuto and Yugo felt about Ruri and Rin. About their treasures...Yuza Hiragi was such a beautiful treasure, Yuya’s treasure, and he’ll do anything to keep her. 

 

“Oh, speaking of Yuto…” said Yuzu. “Yuya, that dragon you summoned...Black Mirror Xyz Dragon…”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“How did you obtain that monster? When did you learn how to Xyz summon?”

 

“Oh… Well I was...secretly practicing, and found Black Mirror in a booster pack. That’s all,” Yuya answered, darting his eyes back and forth. “Uh...why do you ask?” 

 

“O-oh...well, it’s just it was a really powerful monster, and it just looked so much like Dark Rebellion and it had a similar effect too…”

 

Quite the curious little one isn’t she?  Zarc noted, sensing his son’s guilt and worry.

 

“She’s just worried for us. I’ll tell her eventually.” Yuya answered.

 

She might not accept what she hears, my Shooting Star, and you refuse to use any method of...persuasion on her. She is a part of Ray after all; she might turn on us. 

 

“But you said it yourself; Yuzu, Rin, Ruri and Serena...they’re not Ray. Yuzu is my treasure Father! Please let me handle it myself.” 

 

Zarc sighed. Very well…  

 

Yuya nodded his head as Zarc took a glance at Dennis Macfield. There was something familiar about this boy; he knows he has seen him somewhere else other than the Xyz Dimension. But...where?

 

Yuya blinked, Father was worried again...but just as he was about to ask why, the timer counting down reached zero and the door to the stadium opened.

 

Don’t worry about me, shooting star. said Zarc. Go. Duel. Perform and make people smile. Make me proud. 

 

Yuya shivered as he readied his mind for what was about to happen. “Yes Father.”

 

Zarc chuckled and ran his claws through Yuya’s hair. I know you. You’ll do great.

 

And that was the last thing Zarc whispered before Yuya raced out of the stadium and into the city.

***************

 

Once Yuto and Yugo reached LDS tower, and got off of Yugo’s D-wheel, Shun was standing outside waiting for them to arrive alongside Serena. who still looked troubled with the events and information that she had received last night, not to mention the lack of sleep.

 

Yuto’s eyes had zeroed quickly in on Shun, as he smiled and walked immediately towards him, giving him a kiss, which Shun had immediately and happily returned. 

 

“Hello my treasure,” he greeted the older boy. 

 

Shun smiled. “My Prince, I missed having you in my arms.” Yuto broke the kiss and caressed Shun’s cheek lovingly. “I saw the mark you placed upon my bare flesh last night. It was glorious .”

  

Serena shivered at the display, eyes wide as she looked at both of them. 

 

Yugo sighed coming to stand beside Serena. “It’s best to just ignore them while they’re in that mood...which has become always,” Serena glanced at Yugo who removed his helmet with a sigh and nodded. Yugo tilted his head sensing something...different yet familiar about Serena.  .

 

“Are you okay?” he asked. “You look...rattled, I suppose.”  

 

“It’s...it’s nothing,” Serena answered, a hand behind her back, clutching the Fusion monster she received the night before. “I’m just...thinking about what I learned about the invasion of the Xyz dimension. I can’t believe I was fed those lies!”

 

Yugo put a hand on her shoulder and gave her a smile. “It’s okay, you’re better off now, and you don’t have to live with the guilt of doing anything wrong yet...Furthermore..” he leaned in to whisperer, “Now you can take your revenge on the professor, and he would be none the wiser, right?”  

 

Serena nodded her head, but she still looked somewhat worried. “Yeah...he won’t be.” Yugo smiled and patted her shoulder once more. 

 

The four entered the office and rode the elevator in silence. Yuto slipped his hand into Shun’s and gave it a squeeze, but other than that, none of them were in the mood to talk.

 

Inside Reiji’s office were Reiji himself, Reira, Nakajima and the nine members of the LDS Youth Division. Shun, Yuto, Yugo and Serena knew what they had to do -- to move out and patrol the city for any Obelisk Force soldiers that could cause any trouble while the finalists of the tournament distracted the audience with the Battle Royale. Reiji boasted that the LDS Youth Division would be able to fight off the invaders...

 

But Yuto didn’t know whether to laugh or to look in shock at the nine students that would be ‘fighting’ Obelisk Force.

 

“These are going to be the guys stopping his father’s soldiers?” Yugo questioned, looking at the nine duelists. This is Reiji’s great plan?”

 

“He spends three years planning for an invasion and he only has this as a result?!” Yuto agreed. 

 

“Father…All of the Akabas are idiots.” Yugo grumbled.

 

You have no idea, my dear.

 

Yuu Sakuragi took a glance at Shun and sneered. “Just make sure you don’t chicken out.”

 

At that comment, Shun wished that he could be like his prince and transform into a dragon. If only to use his claws to slice that smug bastard’s throat out. 

 

“I’m betting that he’ll be the one to run away like a coward, my prince.” Shun snarled.

 

“You’re betting? My, my...what will you bet if you lose, my treasure?” Yuto asked playfully, his hand sneaking up on Shun’s back and resting right under the mark

 

Shun shivered, wanting the current of pleasure to pulse through his body. “Perhaps you’d...want me to...dance for you?”

 

Yuto blinked. “Dance?”

 

“I...had a strange fantasy last night…” Shun began, recalling the dream he had the night before. “You on your throne in your glorious dragon form, me adorned in silks and veils and gold, the room smelling of frankincense, drums and cymbals clanging, me dancing and twirling, staring at you with golden eyes, doing all I can to get you off your throne so you can run your hands all over my -- “

 

“YUTO WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO TALKING ABOUT NOW?!” Yugo shouted sensing the lust that was building inside Yuto. 

 

Both of them froze and Yuto blinked, taking a deep breath and releasing it in order to gain a little control. “Uh...nothing?” 

 

Gods! Just please contain your urge to fuck yourselves stupid at bay for one second!” Yugo fumed, gritting his teeth. “Yuri is out there and so is Obelisk Force. We have to get ready!”

 

“I know, I know.” Yuto replied with a groan.

 

“If you know what we have to do, then WHY THE HELL ARE YOU -- “

 

“Would you guys just stop it!!” Serena snapped. “Shun still has to play his part in participating at the Battle Royal, we don’t need any distractions.”

 

“Did she just…” Yugo took a good look at Serena before his eyes widened. “Oh...oh!” 

 

“What is it?” asked Yuto.

 

“Well aside from the fact that she noticed you, me and Shun talking, there’s a faint aura that feels like Father around her, it’s not strong at all, but it’s there, almost accepted.”

 

“What?!” Shun thought. “Lord Zarc approached her?”  

 

“He seems to...can’t you feel it, Yuto? It’s faint but it’s there.” 

 

“I…yeah, I do see it, she’s not Father’s yet, but he has plans for her, I feel it.”

 

“Right,” Yuto nodded. “You’re right Serena, we should focus.” 

 

She glared but nodded, satisfied, the nagging feeling in the back of her head gone now. 

 

Reiji raised an eyebrow at the interaction between the four of them, feeling like he was out of the loop on some cosmic joke. But that would come for later. Stopping whatever his father was doing was the top priority at the moment. 

 

Reira gulped; the aura surrounding Yuto and Yugo now spread on Serena and Shun.. A shiver fell down her spine. Something wasn’t right…

 

Yet, why was she the only one who noticed this?

 

***************

 

Yoko didn’t realize how much she missed traveling the streets on her motorcycle until today.

 

After dropping Mieru off at a safe place between the Jungle and Ancient Ruin quadrants, Yoko sped off to the Volcano quadrant to watch her son duel. She was confident that Yuya was going to win, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t concerned over what was going to happen next.

 

The Ryozanpaku School of Dueling was notorious for having some of the most savage duelists leave its doors. And just because Yuya didn’t turn violent in his battle against Kachidoki, that didn’t necessarily mean that it wouldn’t happen again.

 

Yoko watched as her son was gang up by Makoto Takeda and Ken Umesugi of said school, gritting her teeth. These two made Kachidoki act like Shingo with the way they ganged up on her son in obtaining Action Cards. If she had her way, she would personally beat them up with a steel pipe until they apologized...and then beat them up some more so that they learned their lesson.

 

Yuya was down to 200 lifepoints and just one turn away from losing. But before the effect damage of Makoto’s Fujin the Breakstorm Star could hit Yuya and deplete his lifepoints to zero, the boy was rescued by Dennis Macfield entering the duel...and being electrocuted due to the Battle Royale’s “intrusion penalty”  for doing so.

 

(Somewhere Yuto’s eyes narrowed as he sensed Dennis come onto the scene)

 

What?! Dennis Macfield? Yoko gasped, eyes wide. I didn’t know he was going to be in the finals too! And his dueling style reminds me of…of...

 

Her eyes widened as Dennis’s image was briefly replaced by that of Yusho. “Did...did Yusho teach him too? But ...how?” her eyes narrowed at the LDS student from America. Something didn’t add up at all. 

 

She watched as Yuya and Dennis won the duel, thanks to Dennis’s ability to Xyz Summon and Yuya’s use of Black Mirror Xyz Dragon (the baby dragon chirped happily upon “playing” with Makoto and Ken) and Yuya ran off to another duel. Yoko kept her distance, something not settling in her in regards to Dennis’s dueling style.

 

Not to mention that he used Xyz Summoning ...and Yusho Sakaki was last seen in Heartland…

 

Yoko grit her teeth as she texted something to Yuya. “Yuya, did Yuto say anything about Dennis being in Heartland?”

 

Seconds later, she got her reply.

 

“Yeah. Dennis was a street magician in Heartland and was really inspired by Yusho’s way of dueling, even becoming a student under him. Why do you ask?”

 

Yoko narrowed her eyes; why would Dennis coincidentally be in this dimension as a student of LDS? And better yet, with how long Shun and Yuto have been about -- and with Shun being in the tournament -- why didn’t Dennis make contact with these two sooner?

 

Better yet, how the hell did Dennis even transport himself to this dimension? Unless…

 

“You! What are you doing here?” 

 

Yoko’s head snapped to the sound. Approaching her was a girl in a red jacket and brown shorts, a silver bracelet with a dark blue gem on her right wrist. She had indigo hair tied up with a yellow ribbon and fierce blue eyes. That face reminded her so much of... 

 

“Yuzu...no, Serena, right?” Yoko asked. “Of the Fusion Dimension?”

 

Serena froze, readying her Duel Disk. “Wh...how do you know that? Who are you?!”

 

“I’m Yoko Sakaki, mother of Yuya Sakaki, Yuto and Yugo,” Yoko began, shaking her head in disbelief. It was already bad enough to know of Yuto and Yugo looking similar to Yuya but seeing a copy of Yuzu changed a lot. She could hardly imagine Shuzo’s reaction to seeing another girl with his daughter’s face. “I’m on your side. I’m keeping an eye out if Yuri or the Obelisk Force arrives.”

 

“You are?” Serena asked. “Wait, you know about Yuri and Obelisk Force too? About the other dimensions? How?!”

 

“Let’s just say that I’m open-minded about these sorts of things. Now listen, do you happen to know anything about him?”

 

She pointed to Dennis Macfield currently engaging in a duel with Yuzu on the bridge. Yuzu was about to fall into the lava, had it not been for Performage Trapeze Magician saving her in the nick of time. 

 

Serena looked back at Yoko before shaking her head. “He’s an Xyz user right? Shouldn’t he be warned about Obelisk Force coming? Sora...you know about Sora right?”

 

Yoko grit her teeth, trying to push the sweet innocent boy who gobbled up her pancakces out of her mind like shoving an old car off a cliff. “Unfortunately.”

 

“He said there are refugees from the Xyz Dimension hiding here. This guy could be a target.”

 

“I would have to agree with you but,” Yoko sighed, shaking her head before looking back at Dennis and Yuzu shaking hands. Normally she’d be gushing at how handsome he was and how he dazzled her with his dueling; now she just wants to slam him against the wall and ask him some questions. “I just can’t shake the feeling that something is off about him.”

 

The two watched as Dennis and Yuzu shook hands, along with Yuzu handing Dennis a Pendulum card before Yoko continued. “So I think the best thing to do is -- hey! Serena, what are you -- “

 

As Serena approached the two, Yoko stopped. Something passed through her peripheral vision. Hopping off of her motorcycle, Yoko peered behind a large rock and raised an eyebrow.

 

“What the…” She whispered, watching several lights appear. Then, people started appearing from said light. From a glance, Yoko couldn’t distinguish one from the other because they all wore the same blue jacket, had  similar builds and wore the same mask with the only variation being the color of the jewel in the center. But from what Yuto told her, this could only mean one thing.

 

“Obelisk Force…” Yoko whispered and cracked her knuckles. She wouldn’t be carded without putting on a fight and Serena would be there to protect Yuzu if everything went wrong. Her suspicions about Dennis would have to wait.

 

And besides, it’s been a while since she had a good brawl.

 

***************

 

In the Ancient Ruins section, Yuya ran towards one of the pillars,  seeing Shun fighting students wearing knight costumes. “They’re from the Knights of Duels Duel School” he remembered from what Nico Smiley said at the beginning of the tournament. Shun seemed more than capable of taking on all three of them, going by how he had Raid Raptor - Rise Falcon deal damage that knocked their lifepoints down to 0. 

 

“And stay down,” Shun muttered. As he was about to walk away, he sensed a presence and snarled. “Show yourself…”

 

Yuya gulped as he approached Shun. He heard stuff about him from Yuto, and remembered how he first appeared to Yuzu and mistaking her for Ruri...but this would’ve been the first time they actually met face-to-face.

 

Shun’s eyes widened a fraction when he saw who it was. “Prince Yuya,” he greeted, bowing.

 

Yuya blinked. “W...what did you just say?” he asked, hoping that there weren’t any cameras recording this. 

 

“Your name, my prince,” Shun answered. “You are Yuto’s…Prince Yuto’s brother, after all.”

 

Yuya’s eyes widened as he dragged Shun to a nearby pillar. “Dear gods...how much do you know about us? How much did Yuto tell you?!”  Father what is going on here?!

 

Shun sighed, golden eyes darkening slightly. “Prince Yuto told me everything, more specifically your lord Father did,” he explained

 

“WHAT?!” Yuya yelled. “Father, Yuto...I’d like someone explain now please!” he sounded just a bit hysterical even to his own ears. “Why would you tell him?” 

 

“Shun is ...my treasure now,” Yuto answered. “He had to know for his own protection.”

 

Yuya shivered. “Why do I have a foreboding feeling about that answer?” 

 

“Be glad you didn’t actually see Yuto claim Shun as his treasure, Yuya.” Yugo said. He was currently exploring the Iceberg section of the Action Field, or rather he was stuck in a duel against those smug Ryozanpaku duelists whom dueled Yuya earlier. “Or sensed just what type of sick and depraved things are in his mind.”

 

“...Huh?” Yuya asked, tilting his head. 

 

“Oh stop it, it’s not that bad! We’re just having fun, he’s my treasure after all! And I get to do anything I want with him. Shun is mine now...Mineminemineminemineminemine~” 

 

“ ...And I’m suddenly scared for my brother’s mental health. Yuto! Focus! That does not answer my questions. I’m now even more at a loss.” Yuya stated.  

 

“Don’t worry,” a voice whispered behind Yuya’s ear. “I’ll explain everything.”

 

Yuya’s eyes widened as he felt a firm yet gentle grasp around his waist. “Y...Yuto?”

 

When Yuya turned to look at his brother’s face, he was puzzled. Yuto looked normal, even had a gentle smile on his lips as if he hadn’t just had a litany of possessiveness going through his head… was that what Yuya himself sounded like when he thought about Yuzu? Or when Yugo thought about Rin? 

 

Shun looked up, golden eyes glowing upon seeing his Prince. “My prince,” Shun whispered with a tender voice, filled with love and affection before leaning in over Yuya to give Yuto a kiss, which Yuto gladly returned. 

 

Yuya’s face turned red as he blushed at the display, the two Xyz users not caring who sees them.

 

“Yuto! Explanation now!!!!” Yuya whined. Yuto rubbed Yuya’s side to pacify him, hugging him closer to his side. 

 

“Well, Shun’s mine and Father helped me keep him.” Yuto replied, wishing to rest his claw against Shun’s mark here and now.

 

“I still don’t understand what that means and would YOU JUST BREATHE!” Heat was rising up making Yuya’s head spin. Yuya could feel his brother’s desire and lust like fireworks going off in his mind but now wasn’t the time! 

 

Eventually, Yuto broke the kiss and licked Shun’s lip. “Our bet’s still on, right?”.

 

“It is,” Shun stated. “Sakuragi has no right to call himself an Xyz user. I’m going to love laughing at seeing him fall.”

 

“Shame~ I really did want to see you in that fantasy with the silk and veil and --”

 

I AM NOT HEARING THIS RIGHT NOW!!!!!! Yuya screamed, covering his ears with his hands, blocking the flirting with an old song he used to focus when it came to dueling, trying to look past Shun and onto the details placed into this Action Field. He had to admit; a city-wide Action Duel for the finals was ingenious and lots of fun. He hoped that this could be used for future tournaments.

 

As Yuya did his best to ignore these sensations and the mental images of Shun adorned in silk and a veil, he saw something behind Shun. Three soldiers in blue military coats and Duel Disks racing down the highway…

 

And Sora following behind them.

 

Something about those four caused Yuya to grit his teeth. Sora for betraying his trust, and those soldiers for destroying Yuto and Shun’s home...

 

Those monsters! Yuya growled. He’s going to pay...he’s going to pay, they’re going to pay! The Fusion Dimension and every single resident in it are ALL GOING TO PAY!”

 

The anger from Yuya snapped Yuto out of his lust filled haze, which in turn made Shun do it as well. Yuto followed his brother’s line of sight to see Sora and three Obelisk Force students 

 

Academia...”  Yuto growled low and dangerous, his pupils subtly changing into slits. “They’re here…”

 

“And they have to pay!” Yuya replied, teeth lengthening into fangs, his nails growing into claws..

 

(Thankfully Reiji was too busy cutting off the feed of the Ancient Ruins to the stadium to notice the transformations)

 

“Yuya, Yuto... what’s going on?!” Yugo questioned, having just defeated those Ryozanpaku students and now feeling the double force of both his younger brothers being this angry and wrathful. This blend of dark emotions hit him full force and this worried him. Yuto. he could understand...but Yuya was never this angry before. Not even in the past when Yugo accidentally broke one of Yuya’s toys after crashing into them by flying around their bedroom was he ever this pissed off.

 

“It’s Obelisk Force,” Yuto answered, voice cold and harsh like a blizzard. “They arrived.”

 

“They have? Shit! Gotta tell Yoko kaa-san now…”  Yugo muttered. His side of the link went silent for a few seconds. “Damn it; she’s not picking up my calls! I’m gonna make sure she’s okay.”

 

“Be careful Yugo,” Both his brothers warned as one, making him shiver, their voices were...priming with power...it reminded him so much of Father. 

 

...R-right I will.”

 

The boys’ eyes returned to the four Academia students, Yuya took Yuto’s hand in his and squeezed it tight to comfort him. 

 

Shun turned around and noticed the familiar cyan hair of Sora, understanding just what made his princes so furious. He could feel that fury too; how Sora betrayed Prince Yuya’s trust, how Obelisk Force was coming back to card them…

 

He wanted to do something...he had to do something.

 

“My prince,” said Shun. “Go after Obelisk Force. I’ll take care of Sora myself.”

 

Yuto exchanged a glance with Yuya who nodded. “Go,” Yuto commanded. “Make sure to make the little candy troll pay with his life.” 

 

Shun nodded, “As you command,”  he answered, going after Sora.

 

As Shun chased towards his target, Obelisk Force was already making quick work on their targets: Ashley, Bram and Carl. The Knights of Duel were unprepared for the relentless attacks and had nothing to defend themselves when they became carded.

 

Yuya’s eyes widened. No...how... how could this be happening?!

 

He could feel it. Yuto’s emotions of hurt, agony, pain, rage...images of people running in fear before they were transformed into cards...Ancient Gear monsters turning buildings and roads into rubble...and for what?! For some claim that this was all for a mighty utopia?! 

 

Was this all fucking worth it?!

 

Zarc watched his sons approach Obelisk Force, narrowing his eyes. His children’s minds were becoming clouded with rage and hatred. He grit his teeth, making sure not to amplify the anger in their hearts so that they transformed into mindless beasts wanting to tear into these foolish humans and become coated in their blood. It wasn’t worth it. 

 

He closed his eyes; they will have their vengeance later he was sure. Now Yuya and Yuto should defeat these three with a clearer mind than they have right now.   

 

“Academia! You’re gonna burn for all that you’ve done,” Yuto snarled, as both him and Yuya approached the Obelisk Force students activating their duel disks and snarling. But this threat didn’t do much to intimidate Obelisk Force.

 

“We won’t allow you to do what you want,” Yuya added, baring his fangs.

 

The three Obelisk students chuckled and smirked activating their duel disks as well. “That’s fine then, lets see what you can do,” the soldier with the red gem taunted.

 

Yuya and Yuto narrowed their eyes. They were going to have so much fun showing Obelisk Force, and by extension Academia, just what they could do.

 

 “DUEL!”

 

Yuya: 4000

 

Yuto: 4000

 

Obelisk - Red: 4000

 

Obelisk - Green: 4000

 

Obelisk - Yellow: 4000

 

***************

 

“Is that all you got?”

 

That’s what Yoko asked as she caught a punch from an Obelisk Force soldier with the red gem on his mask. She grinned before she delivered a swift knee to his stomach, sending him flying.

 

“Come on, you pansies!” she said, cracking her knuckles. “I haven’t had this much fun in a long time, so make it good!”

 

And back in the stadium, Nico Smiley gulped as everyone in the audience wondered what was going on just before the feed was cut off.

 

“Yoko-san?!” Ayu gasped.

 

“She’s...she’s a fighter?” Tatsuya added.

 

“She’s making me shiver all over!” Futoshi shuddered.

 

“Who...are you?” The Obelisk Force soldier with a green gem asked. Sure they were trained to fight off any and all combatants, but this was on another level.

 

“You can call me ‘Shooting Star Yoko’,” Yoko replied with a smirk while cracking her knuckles. “And I can call you ‘target practice’.

 

Just as Yoko was about to take a step forward, there was a loud explosion. She turned around; at the bridge where Serena, Dennis and Yuzu were at, now there was smoke covering them.

 

“What the --?” Yoko asked, just as her instincts told her a punch was coming her way. She moved her head to the side just in time before grabbing the punching arm and lifting the soldier over her head. The scream and thud when he landed on his back was music to her ears.

 

“Come on, boys...if you’re all boys,” She stated, beckoning them with a hand. “You’re starting to bore me !”

 

(If Zarc was there to watch this, he would honestly take Yoko into his arms and kiss her. She just kept surprising him more and more!)

 

“You, fall back now!”

 

Yoko turned around, seeing eight or nine duelists approach her. She looked at the one with the red and black diamond handkerchief sticking out of his pocket and raised her eyebrow. “Yuu Sakuragi, was it?”

 

“This is our fight,” Sakuragi explained, narrowing his eyes. “Get to safety.”

 

Yoko glanced at the three Obelisk Force soldiers gritting their teeth at her before looking at the ragtag bunch of duelists that were about to be sent to their doom. “Fine. I’ve gotta cool off anyway. Have fun, boys.”

 

She then returned to her motorcycle, slipped her helmet on and sped off, keeping an eye on things. Whoever threw that smoke-bomb meant that it was there to protect Yuzu and Serena from Obelisk Force. 

 

Now she needed to find them and make sure Yuzu and Serena were really protected. Dennis would, once again, have to wait.

 

Yoko rode across the bridge and noticed a missed call notification on her Duel Disk. From Yugo.

 

Returning the call and placing it on speaker, Yoko lifted the visor of her helmet to make it easier to talk. However, when all she got was the answering machine, she sighed.

 

“Yugo,” she said. “If you’re getting this, Obelisk Force is at the Volcano section. Get there. Now.”

 

Then she hung up, slapped the visor back on, and continued following her targets. 

 

***************

 

“I’ll take the first move,” said Yuto, drawing a card. “And I start by summoning The Phantom Knights of Ragged Gloves in Attack Mode!”

 

A black portal appeared in front of Yuto. Rising from it was ghost of blue flames with grey armor, large round pauldrons and massive metal gauntlets. It groaned like a creaky gate that lead to a haunted house. (LV 3, 1000 ATK)

 

“And that’s not all,” Yuto continued. “Now that I have a ‘Phantom Knights’ monster on the field, I can Special Summon The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots!”

 

Emerging from another portal of shadows was a ghost in a ragged black cloak decorated with skulls on its hood. Its body was made of cyan flames with two eyes peering back at Obelisk Force And, just like its name stated, it also wore a pair of leather boots. (200 ATK)

 

“And now that I have two Level 3 monsters, I’ll use them to unleash the Overlay Network!” Yuto exclaimed.

 

The Overlay Network appeared in front of Yuto, spinning round and round as his two monsters turn into black plumes of fire and enter it. Yuya knew what Yuto was planning; after all, he saw this move for himself three days ago.

 

"Souls of knights who fell on the battlefield. Revive here and now, and become the light that breaks the darkness! Xyz Summon! Appear, Rank 3, Phantom Knight of Break Sword!"

 

Then, in a pillar of azure flames, Yuto’s Xyz monster rose. It was a headless knight in streamline black armor on a mechanical horse, wielding a massive sword in his right hand, ready to carve Obelisk Force’s monsters into pieces. (2000 ATK)

 

“When Ragged Gloves becomes an Overlay Unit for a DARK Xyz Monster, he increases that monster’s attack by 1000!” Yuto added, ready for anything Obelisk Force could unleash.

 

The spirit of the Phantom Knights of Ragged Gloves briefly materialized before a black aura manifested over the Xyz monster.. The Phantom Knights of Break Sword cackled, its attack score now at 3000. 

 

“I end my turn with two cards face-down,” said Yuto, slipping two more cards into his Duel Disk. “Your move.”

 

“Alright Yuto!” Yuya cheered as his brother Xyz summoned easily. But then he frowned as he heard the Obelisk Force cackling, all of them having an identical smirks, as if mocking both of them. Yuya’s eyes narrowed, he could feel his brother’s rage and weariness rise and intensify. Father watched with a solemn expression, quite letting both his sons fight. 

 

“That pathetic monster is nothing against us,” The one who had a green jewel on his mask said, Yuya and Yuto both wanted to rip it off of their smug faces. 

 

“We’ll show you what true power is. My turn!” The one with the red jewel yelled drawing his first card. 

 

Both brothers gritted their teeth, taking a ready fighting stance, their bodies were reacting as one without noticing. 

 

“First, I play the Spell Card Ancient Armageddon Unit,” Obelisk Force - Red announced.

 

A Continuous Spell Card appeared, showing some strange tank that towered like a birthday cake and covered in cannons instead of candles.

 

“And next, I summon to the field my Ancient Gear Hunting Hound!” 

 

Rising onto the field was a mechanical hound colored a military green color. It had sharp white bottom fangs and fierce white claws on each paw. (1000 ATK)  

 

“And when Ancient Gear Hunting Hound is summoned, I can inflict 600 points of damage! Go after the Xyz user! Hound Flame!”

 

The mouth of Ancient Gear Hunting Hound opened, revealing a cannon that fired a blast which struck Yuto’s Duel Disk. Yuto dropped to his knee, gritting his teeth.

 

Yuto: 3400

 

“It’s going to be fine,” said Yuya. “They can’t Fusion Summon without Polymerization...right?”

 

“That’s the bad part.” Yuto replied. “They can!”

 

“Wait WHAT?!”

 

“I activate my monster’s effect,” Obelisk Force - Red continued. “Once per turn, I can Fusion Summon an ‘Ancient Gear’ Fusion monster! So I fuse the Ancient Gear Hunting Hound on the field and the one in my hand!”

 

A second Ancient Gear Hunting Hound appeared before the two leapt into the air. Yuya’s eyes widened in fear; that must have been how Obelisk Force was able to decimate Heartland.

 

"Mechanical hounds who carry on the ancient spirits, flock together and become one with new power! Fusion Summon! Appear now! Level 5! Double Ancient Gear Hunting Hound!"

 

With two howls, the new monster appeared: a larger two-headed version of Ancient Gear Hunting Hound. (1400 ATK)

 

“When Double Ancient Gear Hunting Hound is summoned, I can place a ‘Gear Counter’ on any monster on the field. And there’s only one now.”

 

A gear appeared above Phantom Knights of Break Swords’ head.

 

“Then I attack! And if my Double Ancient Gear Hunting Hound attacks a monster with a Gear Counter, that monster is automatically destroyed!”

 

“NO!” Yuya shouted.

 

But he could do nothing as both heads of the Fusion Monster clamped onto Yuto’s own, tearing it apart like the target was a steak.

 

“When Phantom Knights of Break Sword is destroyed, I get to Special Summon two ‘Phantom Knight’ monsters in my graveyard,” said Yuto. “And when they’re Special Summoned, I get to increase their levels by 1. So come back from the dead Phantom Knights of Ragged Gloves and Silent Boots!”

 

The two Phantom Knights monsters rose onto the field, three small blue fireballs circling around them quickly becoming four. (LV: 3 -) 4 x2, Ragged Gloves: 500 DEF/Silent Boots: 1200 DEF)

 

He’s going to try and summon Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon on his next turn! Yuya thought. But how will he protect his monsters if he can’t activate Spell or Trap effects when Obelisk Force attacks?

 

“So you’re trying to Xyz Summon again?” Obelisk - Red questioned. “That’s only if you get a next turn. The effect of my Ancient Armageddon Unit activates! Since your monster was destroyed, I can inflict damage to your lifepoints equal to that monster’s attack!”

 

Yuto’s monster had 3000 attack points! Yuya gasped That means!

 

Yuto was hurled back by a large fireball launched from the Ancient Armageddon Unit Spell Card, flinging him back a few feet as he screamed in pain.

 

“YUTO!” Yuya screamed, seeing how low Yuto’s lifepoints were. 

 

Yuto: 400

 

“You...won’t…win!” Yuto grunted, rising to his feet. This was nothing compared to the agony of seeing his home destroyed. 

 

“We’ll see about that,” Obelisk Force - Red replied. “I end my turn.”

 

“My move!” Obelisk Force - Green shouted, drawing his card. “And I summon my Ancient Gear Hunting Hound!”

 

A second copy of the mechanical canine appeared, baring his fangs. (1000 ATK)

 

Oh no….! Yuya thought. He’ll use that monster’s effect on Yuto to -- 

 

“And you, tomato head!” Obelisk Force - Green snapped, pointing to Yuya. “You’re about to lose 600 points of damage!”

 

Yuya: 3400

 

“What?” asked Yuya, confused. “Why didn’t you do it on Yuto? You could’ve dropped his lifepoints all the way down to 0.”

 

“I could, but that means less fun for my partner here,” Obelisk Force - Green answered, pointing to Obelisk Force - Yellow. “It makes the hunt much more fun .”

 

At the word ‘hunt’, Yuya’s eye twitched and the pupils shifted into slits. Not that Obelisk Force noticed this.

 

“Now, I activate my monster’s ability and fuse it and the two Ancient Gear Hunting Hounds in my hand!” Obelisk Force - Green continued.

 

Two more copies of Ancient Gear Hunting Hound, glowing red and blue, appeared with the one on the field burning with a yellow aura. They leapt into the air with a trio of howls.

 

"Mechanical hounds who carry on the ancient spirits, flock together and become one with new power! Fusion Summon! Appear now! Level 7! Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound!"

 

Then, two heads emerged on the sides of the on-field Ancient Gear Hunting Hound, the six eyes of the monster glowing white, electricity coursing through its body. (1800 ATK)

 

“Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound is allowed to attack three times per turn!” Obelisk Force - Green. “Now go and destroy that Xyz duelist’s monsters!“

 

Two of the heads of the monster began to glow with power as Yuya looked in fear. After this attack, he would be defenseless!

 

But before the monster could attack, a loud roar caused it to whimper in fear.

 

“What?!” Obelisk Force - Green shouted. “But how?!”

 

“My face-down card, Threatening Roar!” Yuto proclaimed, pointing to one of his face-down cards, flipping over to reveal Manticore of Darkness roaring at Behemoth the King of All Animals. “When I activate this card, you’re not allowed to attack this turn.”

 

“Tch,” Obelisk Force - Green spat out. “That won’t save you for long. I end my turn.”

 

“My move,” said Obelisk Force - Yellow, drawing his card. “And I play -- “

 

“Your Ancient Gear Hunting Hound, we know,” Yuya interrupted with a snarl.

 

Obelisk Force - Yellow frowned as he summoned his Ancient Gear Hunting Hound (1000 ATK) and wordlessly commanded it to fire its attack on Yuya. Yuya blocked the attack with his Duel Disk, gritting his teeth at how annoying these attacks, and the duelists, were starting to become.

 

Yuya: 2800

 

“And I’ll fuse my Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound now! Come forth, Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound!” Obelisk Force - Yellow added, ignoring how both brothers were becoming irate.

 

Two heads emerged on the sides of Obelisk Force - Yellow’s Ancient Gear Hunting Hound, the Fusion Monster preparing to end the duel with its triple attack. (1800 ATK)

 

“Before you get any ideas,” said Yuto, looking at Obelisk Force - Red’s Ancient Armageddon Unit on the field. “I play my other face-down card, Mystical Space Typhoon!”

 

Yuto’s other face-down card flipped, and the well-known Quick-play Spell Card formed a blue tornado that struck the Ancient Armageddon Unit, shattering it into pieces.

 

“That won’t stop me!” Obelisk Force - Yellow snarled. “Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound, attack The Phantom Knights of Ragged Gloves!”

 

The mechanical Cerberus opened its mouth as beams of blue, red and yellow light formed in its mouths. Then, the beams converged and struck Yuto’s monster, knocking it off of the field.

 

“When you destroyed my monster, this allows me to Special Summon The Phantom Knights of Fragile Armor from my hand,” said Yuto. “And his defenses are too high for your monster to penetrate!”

 

With a loud cackle, a set of navy blue armor with silver trim rose onto the field, held together by a large ball of azure flames. The remains of a green cape was draped upon its shoulders. (2000 DEF)

 

Obelisk Force - Yellow clenched his teeth. “Fine! Second attack, lock on The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots!”

 

Another beam struck Yuto’s second monster. Thankfully it wasn’t doing Piercing Damage else Yuto would’ve lost there and then.

 

“And third attack…” Obelisk Force - Yellow glanced at Yuya. “Attack him directly!”

 

NO! Yuto thought.

 

But he could do nothing but watch as Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound’s final attack flew straight towards Yuya, and Yuya was thrown back a few feet, rolling backwards until he landed on his back with a groan.

 

Yuya: 1000

 

“YUYA!” Yuto yelled at his brother in worry all while Obelisk Force laughed. That’s it, they were all going to pay!

 

“....is that all you got?” Yuya growled as he rose to his feet. “If that’s it, then fine! I draw!” 

 

Yuya drew a card, his pendulum glowing madly with a bright teal light that it was almost blinding. Upon seeing what he drew, a crooked grin formed on his face before he revealed two cards to Obelisk Force.

 

“I set the Pendulum Scale with my Scale 3 Dragon Mage of Determined Winds and Scale 8 Dragn Mage of Sorrowful Waters!” he shouted.

 

Yuya swiftly placed the two Pendulum Monsters onto his Duel Disk and the word PENDULUM lit up in its rainbow font. Then, rising onto the field were his two monsters with the numbers ‘3’ and ‘8’ shining beneath their feet.

 

Yuto looked at the two monsters Yuya had set in the Pendulum Zones, his eyes widened as he saw who these two resembled. The Dragon Mage of Sorrowful Waters looked exactly like him, with tears streaming down his face, fog surrounded his feet, black wings, and gnarled horns hidden under a silver cloak with black highlights. In his right hand was a black iron staff with three small silver crystal balls imbedded in it. His wings surrounded him, shielding him from some otherworldly horror like he was a child afraid of the monsters hiding under his bed.

 

The Dragon Mage of Determined Winds on the other hand, looked exactly like Yugo. His cloak was a shade of pale green, the colors resembling Clear Wings’ own wings along with black stripes all over, hiding the white ice-like horns beneath, and bone-white wings spread as if ready to attack, a white and black striped staff in his hand. 

 

Yuto’s breath hitched a bit. They were beautiful .

 

“Swing, pendulum of my soul! Draw an arc of light across the ether! Pendulum Summon! Appear now my Level 7 Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and Level 4 Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames!” Yuya chanted as a large version of his pendulum swung back and forth between his Dragon Mages.

 

Two bolts of lightning struck the field. The first one revealed Yuya’s faithful dragon, red and green eyes glowing. The second one was the more interesting one: A boy with a bright smile on his face with a red cloak trimmed with orange covering red horns, and matching red wings spread as if on display, with a sparkler in his hand that he was playing with, red and green sparks showering him. (Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon: 2500 ATK/Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames: 1500 ATK)

 

Yuto gasped softly when the mage that was on the field turned around to look at him over his shoulder with his mismatched eyes of green and red, like beautiful jewels. The mage looked just like Yuya, and Yuto could also see the hints of a silver circlet placed delicately over his forehead like he was a prince.

 

“I activate the effect of Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames!” Yuya shouted. “When it’s summoned to the field while I have a Pendulum monster in play, I can inflict damage to your lifepoints equal to half of the attack of an Extra Deck monster you control! That means one of you is going to lose 700 lifepoints and the other two lose 900!”

 

Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flame let out a childish giggle before the joyful expression on his face swiftly morphed into an expression of crazed glee. The sparks from sparkler in his hand exploded and in its place was now a mighty wand, topped with three jewels of red blue and green. Cackling at how he was going to set the world on fire, he twirled the wand and aimed it at his targets. A tornado of flames struck the Obelisk Force soldiers, knocking them off of their feet.

 

Obelisk - Red: 3300

 

Obelisk - Green: 3100

 

Obelisk - Yellow: 3100

 

The fiery Dragon Mage bowed in a showmanship fashion as the other Dragon Mages applauded him. Jubilant Flames smiled, sending both of his brothers air kisses before he appeared beside Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon once more, scratching the dragon’s scales.

 

“Now Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon,” Yuya said. “Attack Double Ancient Gear Hunting Hound! Spiral Strike Burst!”

 

Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon unleashed a large blast of fire that easily disintegrated the target, shattering it into pieces.

 

Obelisk - Red: 1100

 

“Wait,” said Obelisk Force - Red. “I should’ve lost 1100 points on that last attack!”

 

“Any battle damage I inflict with Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon is doubled,” Yuya explained. “Which means that your lifepoints are low enough for my Dragon Mage to deplete!”

 

“What?!”

 

“Go Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames! Attack directly!” 

 

With a sweep of his wand, Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames unleashed a whip of flames that hit the Obelisk Force member directly, sending him flying until his back struck a pillar. 

 

Obelisk - Red: 0

 

“I end my turn there,” said Yuya. “Finish this off, Yuto!”

 

Yuto nodded his head, feeling his rage rising throughout the duel. Sparks of anger hit his bond with Yuya and ignited their emotions like a bonfire. The more they dueled the more painful emotions and memories from Heartland hit both, threatening to consume them! 

 

“I draw,” said Yuto, drawing his card. These bastards; they were all going to pay! “And I’ll start by banishing my Phantom Knights of Silent Boots to add a ‘Phantom Knight’s Spell or Trap Card from my deck to my hand.” 

 

The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots briefly appeared as a ghost before Yuto took a new card to his hand.

 

“Then, I summon The Phantom Knights of Cloven Helm in Attack Mode!”

 

Appearing on the field was a knight’s helm with a red feathery plume. It ‘wore’ a red scarf around its ‘neck’ and a pair of metallic hands surrounded by blue fire. (1500 ATK)

 

“And again, with my two Level 4 monsters I shall unleash the Overlay Network!”

 

Another Overlay Network appeared in front of Yuto and his two loyal monsters entered it. Yuto’s eyes glowed lavender, feeling his dragon wanting to appear on the field to unleash vengeance.

 

"Formed from pitch-black darkness, to fight those foolish enough to oppose it with its treacherous fangs! Now, descend! Xyz Summon! Rank 4! Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon!"

 

The dark violet dragon with purple wings and whip-like tail emerged, lightning crackling around its body. (2500 ATK)

 

Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon took a glance at its Xyz sibling and roared in approval. Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon roared back. Both Dragons’ roars sounded together, and electric shots went through Yuya and Yuto’s veins, all the memories and emotions, anger the hatred, it went from one brother to the other, the anger, the sadness, the hurt, the worry, the uncertainty, the need to protect, the need to defeat, the need to destroy. 

 

Inside their minds, a pendulum swung between them. They felt it, the bond intensifying, memory and thought becoming one. 

 

Both the brothers’ eyes snapped open, eyes glowing red, a black aura surrounded them both, their hair raising up, both brothers looked at the two remaining Oblesk Force soldiers and grinned, their appearance radiating with malice and murder. 

 

“Wh-what’s going on?” the one with a green jewel asked. 

 

Yuya giggled, doubling over, his entire body shook with it. The laugh...it was both sinister and childish like he was having too much fun stomping on an anthill. He raised his head, and stood as tall as Yuto, both boys sprouting identical manic smirks. The Obelisk Force soldiers began to back away...something was wrong. 

 

The Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames looked between Odd Eyes and Dark Rebellion several times before he snapped his fingers as if finally getting what’s going on. Both the Dragon Mages of Sorrowful Waters and Determined Winds also looked at Yuya and Yuto, getting in on the little joke.. 

 

“It’s time to teach these scum a lesson isn’t that right, Yuto?” Yuya asked, grinning madly and licking his fangs in anticipation.   

 

Yuto’s smirk widened before picking a card from his hand -- the one he took from The Phantom Knights of Silent Boots’ effect -- and slamming it into the slot on his duel disk. “I play the Spell Card Phantom Knights’ Possession! This allows me to give my Xyz Monster the same level as another monster on the field!”

 

“Wait, did you say Level ?!” Obelisk Force - Green gasped.

 

“That’s right!” It was Yuya who had said that in a rumbling voice. “So Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon changes from a Rank 4 to a Level 7 like Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon!”

 

Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon roared as a spectral image of its card appeared above its head. Its black border became orange, its black stars indicating its rank moved to the right and three more stars were added.

 

“It’s time to unleash the Overlay Network once more!” Both brothers yelled as one, extending their arms as if giving a command. 

 

The two dragons became black streams of light as they entered the Overlay Network that swirled around and around. Then, a burst of darkness and flame erupted and a roar could be heard throughout the area.

 

“What the?!” asked Reiji, noticing the strong Xyz Summoning energy appearing from the duel. Reira shivered in fear; she could tell something dark and dangerous was about to emerge.

 

Dragon with dual colored eyes! Resurrect from the deep darkness and burn everything in the world with flames of anger! Xyz Summon! Come forth, Rank 7! The blazing dragon called by calamity! Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon!”  Both Yuya and Yuto had insanely gleeful grins on their faces, remembering how they channeled their anger to create this fearsome monster.

 

Rising onto the field was a dragon, red as blood and sharp pincers instead of fangs. Its wings and horns gave it the appearance of a demon, especially with its black talons and green eyes staring into its targets, just waiting to devour flesh and bone. (3000 ATK)

 

“Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon’s effect activates!” Yuto shouted. 

 

“By detaching an Overlay Unit, it can destroy as many cards you control -- ” Yuya carried on.

 

“And then gain 200 attack points per card destroyed!” Yuto finished. 

 

An Overlay Unit shattered as Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon opened its mouth before its wings stretched out, burning bright as the sun. Glowing tendrils struck the Fusion monsters, the two exploding into shrapnel. (3000 -) 3400 ATK)

 

“W-what?!” Obelisk Force - Gold whimpered.

 

“Now Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon,” Yuya commanded, extended his claws clear as day. “Direct Attack!”

 

Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon roared, its wings glowing like that of a bonfire, ready to swallow its opponents whole and burn until nothing remained but ashes scattered in the wind.

 

“You’re not going to win,” Obelisk Force - Yellow stated, sweat falling down his forehead. “We...we have the cards needed to destroy you on of our next turn! You won’t win, Xyz Scum! YOU WON’T WIN!”

 

 Yuto and Yuya turned to each other, tilting their heads in confusion. Then, they chuckled, and the Obelisk Force soldier took a step back before the two started laughing once again. Before suddenly turning to look at their opponents.

 

“There won’t be a next turn,” Yuya stated, that mad smirk still on his lips. 

 

“What do you mean?” Obelisk Force - Green asked. “You can only attack one of us!”

 

 “If Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon is Xyz Summoned, he can attack twice!” Yuto explained with the same grin like his younger brother.

 

“Wait WHAT?!”

 

“GO! Odd Eyes Raging Dragon, end this duel! Destruction Burst of Rage!”

 

The dragon roared, lifting its head to the sky as flames wrapped around its body. Yuya and Yuto grinned, the flames giving their faces an ominous glow that made them look like they were demons rising from the pits of Hell itself. The two brothers pointed at their targets and shouted,

 

“Off with their heads!” 

 

And the dragon complied, covering the entire area in a bonfire.

 

Obelisk - Green/Yellow:  0

 

***************

 

Mieru panted for breath. She had been searching throughout the entire city for three hours and there was still no sign of this boy, Yuri, her Darling wanted her to search for, going from street to street and through several corners as she raised her crystal apple over her head and in several directions. All she could see was static. 

 

“Why is my apple not working now?!” she whined. “Where could he be hiding?! WHERE ARE YOU HIDING YU -- GAH!”

 

She finally bumped into Noboru Gongenzaka, which stopped her in place.

 

“Watch where you’re going, you big oaf!” Mieru snarled. “You nearly made me drop my --”

 

She stopped when she looked at what Gongenzaka was staring at. It was the scene of both Yuya and Yuto dueling Obelisk Force. 

 

The two watched in horror as Yuya and Yuto started acting in scary synchronization, anger and blood lust. Shivers of fear went down their spines when Yuya summoned his new Pendulum monsters -- Dragon Mages that, if Mieru didn’t know better, looked similar to Yuya’s  “brothers”!

 

There was also the two monsters Yuya Pendulum Summoned: Odd-Eyes, Mieru was familiar with. The Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames? Not so much.

 

“D...darling?!” Mieru gasped, seeing the Dragon Mage grin with absolute glee at setting Obelisk Force on fire. The look on that monster’s face mirrored the one Yuya gave. “W...what’s going on?”

 

it wasn’t the Darkness surrounding Yuya that she feared. No, the Darkness was fine. It was the ruby blood mixed with stormy grey eyes and the manic smirk mirrored on both boys’ faces that made her feel like she wanted to run. Now.

 

“That’s the same look Yuya sported yesterday,” Gongenzaka muttered, recalling how Yuya’s duel with Kachidoki ended with Yuya unleashing that Xyz Dragon to chase the smug Ryozanpauk student around in a twisted game of “Fetch”. “And who’s that boy who looked similar to him?”

 

Gongenzaka briefly took his eyes off of the duel to take a look at Shun in the temple being knocked back by some attack.

 

“What? What’s Shun doing here?!” he asked.

 

Everything came to a halt once the two boys Xyz summoned… and it was terrifying. Swiftly making a win, the phrase “Off with their Heads!,” shouted by both boys made Gongenzaka even more worried for his friend. This was not like Yuya, not like him at all. He needed to find someway to help his friend snap out of it and return to normal.  

 

“Mieru,” Gongenzaka said, turning to the girl, his voice calm. “Get going. This isn’t safe.”

 

“I can’t!” Mieru exclaimed, looking at her crystal apple. “My darling is in danger...and there’s something I have to do!”

 

“What do you mean?” Gongenzaka asked. “What type of danger could Yuya be in right now?” 

 

***************

 

Yugo’s observations about Reiji’s ‘attack force’ could be summed up in two words.

 

Utterly abysmal .

 

One by one, Obelisk Force’s hounds tore through each of their best monsters with a combination of Ancient Gear Double Hunting Hound and something called Ancient Armageddon Unit and then carding the defeated duelists with glee. Then, all that was left was the ringleader, Yuu Sakuragi alone with his Xyz monster..

 

As much as Yugo disliked how Sakuragi claimed how Shun would chicken out, he knew that stopping Obelisk Force was more important.

 

So without wasting any time, Yugo had stepped in beating the Obelisk Force by using their own tactics against them with Clear Wing Synchro Dragon and the Synchro Cracker card Rin gave him for his birthday a few months ago. Even when they were apart, she was still looking after him.

 

Upon seeing the defeated Obelisk Force soldiers, Yugo sighed. “That could’ve been worse.”

 

Yuu Sakuragi trembled in fear, seeing eight cards in front of him. This...this was not what he was expecting at all!

 

“Hey,” said Yugo, turning to the panicking Yuu Sakuragi. “You okay?”

 

What Sakuragi said next surprised him and Reiji.

 

“No...g...get away from me!” Sakuragi cried, running away, nearly stumbling on his feet all while screaming his head off.

 

(And Reiji couldn’t help but facepalm. This was last year’s champion ?!)

 

Yugo sighed as he stared at all of the carded duelists scattered across the bridge. “...Yuto?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Sakuragi bolted. I think you and Shun had a bet or something?”

 

“Damn it! I really wanted that dance.” 

 

“WHAT?!”

 

“Do I wanna know?” Yuya asked. 

 

“...Well...”

 

“No!” Yugo shouted. “You know I wouldn’t even care what you and Shun do in private but please just stop doing it infront of people!” 

 

“...”

 

“Got nothing to say? Well, that should -- “

 

Yugo groaned as he felt more and more emotions through the link. Emotions of happiness and pride and desire…

 

...Oh...oh that was just swell.

 

“YUTO!!!!” he yelled. “What are you and Shun going through now?”

 

“....Yugo...What did Yuto do to Shun?” Yuya asked bewildered.

 

“...Are they making out again?”

 

“You could say that…”

 

“How...HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!”

 

***************

 

In the Ancient Ruins, Sora and Shun were reaching their limits.

 

The duel was intense and both duelists were down to their last play. Sora at 300 lifepoints, Fluffal Mouse and Edge Imp Sabers on his side of the field while Shun was at 2100 lifepoints and had two copies of Raidraptor - Vanishing Lanius, two copies of Raidraptor - Fuzzy Lanius and one Raidraptor - Force Strix on the field currently at 2100 ATK. He had one card in his hand left.

 

“This duel ends here,” sais Shun. “I play the Spell Card Rank-Up-Magic Skip Force and offer up Raidraptor - Force Strix to summon an Xyz Monster two ranks higher than it!”

 

“You’re going to summon Revolution Falcon again, huh?” Sora questioned, seeing a Spell Card with two Raidraptors logos, cyan and red, surrounded by lightning..

 

“No,” said Shun. “I’m summoning something else, something better. Now, go! Time to build the Overlay Network!”

 

The black Overlay Network emerged as the Raidraptor Xyz monster leapt into it. Lightning and fire erupted from its center as Shun smirked and Sora grit his teeth.

 

“Prideful falcon, prepare your arsenal to lead us all into a glorious revolution! Xyz Summon! Rank 6! Raidraptor - Revolution Falcon - Airraid!”

 

Rising onto the field was Shun’s newest monster. It looked similar to Revolution Falcon except its body was a jet black color and it looked ready to bomb everything in sight. (2000 ATK)

 

“You just Xyz Summoned a weaker monster,” Sora laughed. “And you can’t attack this turn so what’s the point of going all this way to summon it?”

 

“Airraid’s effect activates!” said Shun. “When he’s Xyz Summoned, I can target one monster you control and destroy it! Then, I inflict damage to your lifepoints equal to that monster’s original attack. I shall destroy Edge Imp Sabers!”

 

No! Sora thought, eyes wide. I only have 300 lifepoints left! That means -- 

 

“Go my monster!” said Shun. “End this duel!”

 

Raidraptor - Revolution Falcon - Airraid flew as far as it could without hitting the ceiling before dropping three bombs onto Sora’s Edge Imp Sabers. Sora could do nothing except scream when smoke engulfed his field, he was knocked onto his back and his lifepoints dropped to 0.

 

“How...how is this possible?” Sora said as the holograms faded. “I lost again to the same Xyz scum?!”

 

Shun descended on Sora before kicking him in the stomach. Sora coughed. Even after going some medical check-ups at Academia and all the training he had to go through, that still hurt.

 

“Let this be a warning, Sora Shiunin,” Shun said with a snarl. “I will not show mercy to those who anger my prince or those he cares about.”

 

“P...Prince?” Sora repeated. Shun grabbed Sora by his ponytail before slamming his head onto the temple floor and stomping on it for good measure. Sora cried in pain as Shun pressed his boots on Sora’s head over and over again.   

 

“You have no right to talk about my Prince in such a manner!” Shun barked, eyes glowing. The mark on his back pulsed, causing him to shudder. “You must pay for your crimes against Yuya Sakaki.”

 

“What crimes?!” Sora spat out. “I’ve done nothing to him!”

 

“You lied to him, tricked him, took advantage of his heart and wormed yourself into his and his mother’s good graces. But all you were was a spy, Fusion Scum. You pretended to care about him, yet cared nothing for him. That is what you have to pay for.” 

 

“...”  

 

“Oh?” asked Shun. “You did care for Yuya?”

 

“I...I told Yuya not to get involved in my affairs with Yuto,” Sora stated. “T...that’s caring right? And I taught Yuzu how to Fusion Summon, no strings attached! I was really proud of how she kicked Masumi’s ass! She did it like a pro!”

 

Shun grit his teeth. “You wouldn’t know what caring is if every single person in Academia was carded and your little school transformed into rubble! You don’t care about anyone except yourself! How would you like to be on the receiving end of every single person that was carded as part of your little hunting game ?”

 

Shun lowered his Duel Disk and pressed a few buttons. Sora’s eyes widened as he struggled to stand up, but Shun pressing his boot on Sora’s head prevented him from moving. In just a few seconds, he was going to be turned into a card and no one would be there to save him!

 

But just as Shun was about to finish Sora off, he paused.

 

He felt something in his mind, something powerful, strong, rising into his mind lie and causing him to shiver as if he had been washed by the tide. It was a familiar feeling...He noticed his Prince’s mind was clouded, that he could realise. He ran and left Sora in order to find his prince, to know that he was alright. 

 

After scrambling down the steps of the temple, he rushed out to hear the roar of dragons that seemed to shake the earth. What he saw shocked him, sent electric shocks through his entire body, his jaw become unhinged, eyes widened, as he exhaled at the exhilarating scene. 

 

Prince Yuya and Yuto stood side by side facing three Obelisk Force soldiers. Yuya’s eyes redder than blood and Yuto’s eyes like a storm across the ocean at sunset, shining with fury, hatred, a need for destruction and chaos it radiated power , the will to kill and destroy all which stood in its way. 

 

Shun’s knees felt like they couldn’t support him much more. He shivered as the brothers spoke in unison. It was uncanny, raw, their voices rang in his ears as if a bomb has gone off. Then that smirk they both wore, their laughter of utter dominance at how they destroyed their opponents. He swallowed, wanting to fall on his knees in praise and worship even more, he let out a shuddering breath...

 

“Off with their heads!” Both brothers commanded their dragon, who gave a mighty roar and decimated the Obelisk Force with no trouble. 

 

 And the duel was over, his princes won with a beautiful blood-red dragon that seemed to radiate with power.  

 

“So beautiful…” Shun thought, seeing the fury and hatred surrounding Yuto and Yuya. His eyes grew wide at the fiery attack that defeated the last two Obelisk Force soldiers. They never stood a chance! “MusthavemusthavemusthavemusthaveIwantwantwantwantwant….”

 

Both princes still acted in unison, as they both snapped out of whatever they were in, clutching their heads for a few seconds, eyes half laid as they fought the pain. Shun marched towards them, heading straight to Yuto, a glint in his golden eyes. 

 

“What the -- “ Gongenzaka questioned. 

 

The chanting from Shun inside his mind, the feeling of lust need and desire were a little...overwhelming for the Xyz Prince, especially since he had just woken up from resonating with Yuya, not that he ever knew he could do that. Oh well, live and learn. But the emotions from Shun, oh they were delicious . He had no defense against them; a shiver ran down his spine, and he didn’t notice when Shun had arrived by his side.

 

The Raidraptor user reached out in awe to his prince. “Sh-Shun? What is it?” Yuto questioned, confused. “Why are you so…?” 

 

And the older boy crushed their lips together. He broke the kiss only to look at Yuto as if the Xyz prince was his everything . Yuto shivered in delight, when he saw the lust in Shun’s eyes. He wants that look on Shun’s face every time he looked at him, always…

 

“I saw you both, my prince,” he whispered huskily. “After defeating that Academia spy, I watched you and your brother unleash your wrath upon Obelisk Force. Both of your dragons forming a beast that embodies the rage of the people that were carded against those who destroyed our homes. The look in your eyes filled with blood lust...the way your lips curled in utter delight at the carnage...how you laughed at their pathetic attempts in trying to save themselves like trying to stop yourself from falling to your death! It was breathtaking …. intoxicating…” 

 

Shun shivered. “Please my prince, I need you. Unleash that fury unto me, let me feel your passion and wrath. Let me burn with the ecstasy of your will made from the fires of hatred and rage!”

 

Grey eyes grew wide, lips parted as Yuto processed what Shun had just told him, he let out a shaky breath, before his hand shot out and grabbed Shun’s hair, pulling it hard making Shun gasp, and fall on his knees. 

 

“Yesyesyesyes please, pleasepleaseplease take me yes!” Shun’s mind chanted with more need and a wanton desire to be taken, ravished, owned. 

 

“MinemineminemineMINE!” Yuto thought, pulling on Shun’s hair harder...much to the shock of the three people watching this.

 

“Y-Yuto…” said Yuya, surprised at what he saw. A shiver went down his spine as he felt his brother’s pleasure and anticipation, how pleased he was at Shun being so...submissive. This was definitely not how Shun acted in the past, not even around Yuto when they were alone. Let alone other people. 

 

“Yes?” Yuto purred and Yuya flinched. It reminded him of...it reminded him of those times Yuri and Father were in that mood -- where one of them would put the siblings in an utter haze of pleasure and control. The boys would always gasp and writhe and lose sensation of everything except Father or Yuri. He doesn’t remember Yuto having that side to him before.    

 

“There...are people watching…” Yuya reminded him. While in normal circumstances Yuya would never deny his brother any sort of enjoyment or pleasure, he really didn’t think it was a good idea to do it in the middle of the streets. He shivered again as Yuto’s eyes turned to him, his mouth went dry, his cheeks red.  

 

“...So?” Yuto asked, looking at Shun’s flushed face, glassy golden eyes, how he was panting for breath. “Look at how beautiful he looks right now, Yuya. How could I resist?” A primal growl sounded before Yuto attacked Shun’s lips and the older boy moaned with no restraint.

 

(And in the Volcano section, Yugo was screaming his head off)

 

“Y-Yuto...” Yuya shivered. “When did you…”

 

Yuto could not hear anything, nor did he want to. All he focused on was giving Shun what he wanted. With every kiss, lick, or touch he gave, he could hear Shun beg and whine for moremoremoremore more !

 

“Tear me apart, my lord!” Shun pleaded, hands nearly ripping Yuto’s shirt in half. “Please, I wish it, I wish to see it again! Your rage, your wrath...but upon me and only me, your beloved treasure! Pleasepleasepleaseplease!!!”

 

(And in Reiji’s office, many of the female workers were doing their best not to show off their bleeding noses at the scene. Reira was hiding her face in Reiji’s scarf and Reiji just glared, that really did not seem anything like the Shun Kurosaki that he’d met before.) 

 

“What in the name of -- “ Gongenzaka questioned, covering Mieru’s eyes with a hand.

 

“What are those two doing?!” Mieru exclaimed, trying to move to the side.

 

“I, the man Gongenzaka, request that you do not ask,” Gongenzaka answered.

 

(This didn’t stop Mieru from getting her phone out to record everything; she had to contact Yoko on anything that happened to Yuya and his brothers)

 

Sora, who had hidden behind a pillar, looked in utter confusion. This Xyz scum was acting like a lovesick puppy in front of Yuto. Where was that duelist who utterly decimated him minutes ago?! Why was he calling Yuto his “prince”?

 

But that wasn’t what scared Sora the most. It was the fact that he saw how Yuya and Yuto looked so terrifying against Obelisk Force with their dark auras and their Xyz monster. That... that was the power of Xyz Summoning?! 

 

And Yuya now looked confused more than horrified at the way Yuto was acting rather than Shun as the other boy’s eyes were on his look alike.

 

Sora shivered. It was best to go back to Academia for the time being; if this is what Yuya was like facing Obelisk Force, who knows what would’ve happened if the two made eye contact? 

 

A part of him froze; he didn’t mean to lose Yuya’s trust. He liked being friends with Yuya and Yuzu. He liked not having to worry about being part of Academia. He loved eating all those sweets and having Yoko make him breakfast whenever he entered the Sakaki residence...

 

But at the same time, there was that anger to go after those from the Xyz Dimension, for the glory of Academia! For the goal of unifying the dimensions! There were no need for friends, only success in the Professor’s goal and destroying the enemy!

 

Yet...why couldn’t he just get rid of the guilt in his heart?

 

….

 

Sora pressed a button on his Duel Disk and teleported himself back to Academia. He’d think about this later.

 

“Yuya,” Gongezaka began with a firm voice that was like a growl, and Yuya jumped out of his haze  “Would you mind explaining why there is another boy with your face and why this boy is making out with Shun Kurosaki ?!”

 

“WHAT?!” Mieru stated, pushing Gongenzaka’s hand to see exactly what he was saying. It was true. Yuto was currently roaming his hands over Shun, kissing him, licking him, biting him and Shun was gasping, pleading, begging with tears in his eyes at how good it felt that he was Yuto’s valuable treasure. At how he wanted Yuto to unleash this rage without a care in the world.

 

“Eeeehhh!!!!” she screamed as her face turned red. She could see something in her crystal apple though, as she raised it towards them...there was a symbol of some sort. It looked like a black coat of arms, a shield with a serpent biting its tail and crossed with a feather and spear. “What the -- “

 

“YUTO!!!!” Yuya yelled and rarely does he ever raise his voice in situations like these.

 

“Yuya!” Gongenzaka yelled, “Just what exactly is going on?” 

 

“Darling, can you explain what this symbol in my crystal apple?” asks Mieru, raising her crystal apple into the air.

 

Yuay began to splutter; he had no idea how to explain this. “Well I... I mean...I...” 

 

He shivered again. His link with Yuto was raw and his brother was out of control. Yuya felt lightheaded from the feedback he was getting. He shook his head trying to clear it, but it just kept on coming as if he was being washed down by waves and waves of undiluted pleasure. Yuya whimpered; he needed his brother to stop immediately before he lost it! 

 

“Papa!” Yuya screamed, almost on the verge of collapsing from these feelings.

 

Yuto, that’s enough playing around!  Zarc stated with a firm voice.

 

The Xyz prince froze immediately and stopped, panting for breath. At this point, he already had Shun’s scarf in his hands, and the coat was already pulled apart so he could tear into Shun’s shirt. Mieru’s face was so red that one could see it reflected on her crystal apple. 

 

Shun whimpered when Yuto stopped touching him, and tried to move closer. “M-my Prince,” he said, hand reaching out towards Yuto. “W...why did you stop?”

 

Yuto panted, trying to take control through all the lust clouding his mind. “Father commands us to, Shun,” And Shun immediately understood. Lord Zarc’s commands were absolute, never to be disobeyed. His body and mind still cried for Prince Yuto’s touch though, and he just needed more and more and more…. 

 

“I know, I know,” Yuto caressed Shun’s face tenderly, and Shun leaned into the touch with a soft smile on his face. “We will play later my darling, I promise.”   

 

“P...play…?!” Mieru repeated. “They’re gonna…play...la...”

 

At this point, Mieru had fainted. Thankfully, Gongenzaka had half a mind to snatch her crystal apple before it shattered, but he was also curious about that strange seal that she kept talking about.

 

Yuya regained his breath. “Thank you Father,” He looked back at Gongenzaka and Mieru. Just what he needed; his best friend and the girl with the huge crush on him seeing all of this and he himself had no clue just what the fuck Yuto did with Shun ! If Father hadn’t stepped in Yuya was pretty sure he would have done something he regretted. 

 

“I, the man Gongenzaka, am waiting,” Gongenzaka stated, tapping one of his steel getas with impatience. 

 

“Ok first I can say with all certinity I have no idea what the fuck is up,” Yuya grumbled. “But I’d fucking like an explanation now, Yuto!” He yelled at his lookalike with...annoyance. Gongenzaka blinked.   

 

“Wait -- “ he stated, raising an eyebrow. “How do you know that lookalike’s name is Yuto? Hold on; wasn’t he the one who attacked Shingo at the warehouse?”

 

“Yeah, yeah that was him,” Yuya answered with a sigh. “In his defense he really had no idea the repercussions of his actions. And Reiji is just an all around bastard anyway. He would’ve found any excuse to try to buy the school.” Yuya spat out, still angry at learning at how low the Akabas would stoop to get what they want.

 

(At this, Reiji narrowed his eyes. He was going to have a personal talk with Yuya after this was over)

 

At this point Yuto joined back to Yuto’s side, Shun right behind him. Yuya gestured wildly at him, as if he was yelling at Yuto whose face became red at how he acted.

 

“WHAT DID YOU DO?” Yuya screamed.

 

“Well…” Yuto began.

 

“Yuto, I swore for a moment I saw Yuri instead of you with how Shun was acting! I want some explanations RIGHT NOW!!!!!” 

 

Shun on the other hand, calmly began to button his coat and tie his scarf back on as if none of this ever happened. (Although he was excited for when he and Yuto could be like that again)

 

“And another thing,” said Gongenzaka. “How did you learn to Xyz Summon like that?” Yuya was snapped out of his screaming at his older brother to look back at his best friend. The bonds between him and his siblings were making him more irritated especially with Yuto’s anger and lust and fear and Yugo's...everything else. His eyes were glowing red, the murderous aura surrounding him, incisors sharpened into fangs and nails morphed into talons…

 

And Shun was so close to asking Yuya to unleash it on him. So so close.

 

“That...is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, NOBORU GONGENZAKA!” Yuya roared with enough force to knock a lesser man off his feet. But Gongenzaka was not like that. He noticed the fangs and talons and looked with wide eyes at Yuya, wondering what had happened to his friend, he even swore his red eyes became slited...like a monster... 

 

“Yuya Sakaki…” Gongenzaka stated with a voice like ice and a grip on Mieru’s crystal apple that could’ve crushed it if he wasn’t careful. It was rare for anyone to call him by his first name like that, let alone Yuya of all people. That’s it, something was wrong here.

 

Yuya panted, the aura and glow in his eyes dying out. “I...I’m sorry,” he tried to calm down, feeling like he was going to collapse. “Just everything...everything is…” Yuto’s claws ran in Yuya’s hair, caressing his red and green locks, making Yuya have some semblance of peace. They weren’t Father’s claws but they calmed him down all the same.

 

“There is a lot we are going to talk about,” Gongenzaka stated, kneeling down and placing the crystal apple in Mieru’s hands. “Unless you want me to knock some sense into you with a duel.” 

 

Yuya shook his head, and breathed out a sigh. “No, no, I can explain but..I need you to have an open mind Gongezaka. Trust me, even I myself didn’t believe it at first.” 

 

At this point, Mieru slowly woke up, hand on her head. “Darling...I just had this really crazy dream…about your brother and Shun making out…”

 

At the utterance of that word “Brother”, Gongenzaka narrowed his eyes. “Brother?” he repeated. 

 

Yuya sighed. “Brother, counterpart, one of three others. Recently I learned that we live in one of four dimensions, Standard, Xyz, Synchro and Fusion. No one knows why they were separated like that.”

 

(Well, that’s a lie but Yuya digresses.)

 

“In each world, we discovered Yuzu and I have counterparts. We’re not sure about why yet either. The dimensions never crossed over but everything changed when the Fusion Dimension, suddenly launched an invasion. The leader, Leo Akaba, waged a war on the Xyz Dimension where Yuto and Shun are from. Now they’re here to look for allies against the Fusion Dimension -- also known as Academia -- and are looking for a way to bring Shun’s sister back, Ruri who, like Yuto to me, is identical to Yuzu.”   

 

“...Is this true?” asked Gongenzaka, not sure which was the real Shun: the stoic warrior who fought off Sora or that...one who got turned on by whatever Yuya and this Yuto unleashed.

 

Shun nodded. but Yuto was the one who spoke up.

 

 “We needed help.” he said.  “And after I was attacked by Sora, who is also from Academia, Yuya offered it.” 

 

“We were grateful, but he was too kind. He made me and our other counterpart stay in his home, so we started to jokingly refer to ourselves as brothers.” Yuto looked down, still running his hand (claws) through Yuya’s hair. 

 

Other counterpart?” Gongenzaka repeated.

 

Yuya nodded. “Yugo from Synchro, and we’re looking for the fourth, Yuri, from Fusion. Yuri was the one who kidnapped Ruri and Yugo’s friend Rin, now he’s going after Yuzu too.”

 

“What? Yuzu?!”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“What are we waiting for? We have to get to her now!”

 

“No,” said Yuya. “There might be more of these soldiers coming. You and Shun have to stop them before they start carding the other duelists. Mieru, have you located Yuri yet?”

 

“I was trying to, then I bumped into Gongenzaka, then I saw you duel…and then this appeared!” said Mieru, pointing to that black seal that made Yuto and Shun uneasy. “What’s this all about?”

 

“...Yuto...explain what the hell you and Shun have been doing right now or I swear I’ll be plotting something deadly tonight!!!” Yuya stated, growling at his brother.  

 

Yuto stuttered before running his claw in a certain place that made Yuya freeze and calm for a moment. Yuya’s eyes lowered half-way and it looked like he had just ‘deactivated’ -- not even aware of his surroundings, half-asleep. Yuya smiled a little, loving how his mind had just blanked out for a moment in this strange state of tranquility.

 

“It’s...it’s not important right now,” Yuto explained in a hurry. “Mieru, is Yuri here right now?”

 

Mieru looked into her crystal apple, eyes almost glowing .“I...I think he’s going to the Iceberg area,” Mieru answered. “And last I checked, Yuzu was in the Volcano section. Oh wait!” she looked at her crystal apple, the image of Yuri vanishing and now showing her Yuzu located at... “Yuzu’s also in the Iceberg area!”

 

“That’s bad.” Yuto thought. Most likely Yuzu somehow traveled there all by herself. And without backup, who knows what that bracelet of hers would do to Yuri! 

 

“Right, we need to confront Yuri,” Yuto removed his hand from Yuya’s hair before cupping his chin gently, which made him flinch and snap out of the nice haze he was in, and shook his head to clear it.

 

(Reiji’s eyes narrowed at that interaction, Gongenzaka and Mieru probably did not fail to notice Yuya’s reactions either)

 

“We have to trust Serena and Yuzu to get out of trouble themselves while Yugo, Yuya and I confront Yuri,” said Yuto. “Come on Yuya, Mieru. Let’s go.”

 

“Never do that while we’re in public, Yuto!” Yuya screamed at his brother and was about to actually scream out loud at him, before taking several breaths to calm down. 

 

“Ok, I’m sorry, I just wanted you to calm down.”

 

“...Just so you know, you are going to pay for this.”

 

Yuto gulped. Yuya’s powers were creating illusions be it in the real world or just in a certain person’s mind...He’s probably screwed if Yuya stays angry at him.

 

 

...Scratch the probably, Yuto was definitely screwed once he revealed the truth.

 

***************

 

“W...what?!” Yuzu gasped under the setting sun. “That’s what’s going on? That’s why they’re here?!”

 

Serena nodded her head, looking at her Standard counterpart with pity. She took a glance at Tsukikage standing there, not once turning around to question or comment about her story before continuing. “If we don’t do something soon, the two of us and Rin and Ruri are going to end up…”

 

She let the sentence hang in the air as Yuzu dropped to her knees, tears in her eyes. 

 

“But why?” asked Yuzu. “Why did Yuto and Shun have to go through this? Why would someone do such a thing?!”

 

“I’m not sure myself,” Serena answered. “All we can do is fight against him,” She firmly placed her hands on Yuzu’s shoulder, shaking her, and make her look Serena in the eye. “We have to stay strong, got it? We need to survive, and fight with everything we got.” 

 

“Dueling...dueling is supposed to be about having fun and making people smile…” Yuzu sniffled. “Why would someone preach that dueling is used to destroy people ?”

 

Looking at her own counterpart crying like that didn’t set well with Serena at all. All she could do was hug Yuzu close before looking her in the eyes once again. “We can’t change what happened, but we can fight it, Yuzu. We have to. Got it? Pull yourself together and get ready because the only choice we have is to fight.”  

 

Yuzu wiped the last of her tears away, remembering what Yuya said to her before the Battle Royale began. That it was time for the world to know what Yuzu Hiragi was capable of.

 

“Good,” said Serena, looking around. The hairs on the back of her hair stood up. “Because we’re gonna be fighting very soon.”

 

Dennis watched this with a frown on his face. Bad enough seeing Serena so soon, but now she was spouting out nonsense about the Professor’s plan?

 

This certainly wouldn’t do at all.

 

Suddenly, a violet light made him turn. When it died down, he could only smile at who stood in front of him.

 

“Well, well, well,” he said. “About time you showed up, Yuri.”

 

“Dennis, update?” Yuri asked curtly.

 

Dennis pointed to Yuzu and Serena about to confront three Obelisk Force soldiers. “It seems as we’ll be killing two birds with one stone soon enough. Be careful though; Serena isn’t the only girl who can Fusion Summon.”

 

“Oh~ that’s just fine,” Yuri smirked. “Soon, it will be time for me to play~”

 

Dennis chuckled, eyes darting back and forth. While he never really met Yuri, he heard all the rumors of the Professor’s watchdog. How no one has ever won a victory over Yuri; how he slaughtered his opponents without a care in the world. Dennis was very glad he was on “good terms” with him else he’d be also on the list of people who have been critically injured by Yuri’s sadism.

 

“Well, save me a seat then,” he said. “I do love a good show.”

 

And while the two conversed, neither of them paid attention to the biker with a white coat recording this on her phone, her hand trembling at what she saw and heard.

 

That son of a bitch! Yoko snarled. She was gonna kill Dennis herself, and she would not allow Zarc to step in. He’s not from Standard or Xyz at all...that no-good kiss-up is from FUSION!

 

She had half a mind to upload the video so that everyone knew the truth about Dennis, exposing him for the person he truly was. He was no better than Sora; using his looks to make people turn the other cheek, only to backstab everyone who cared for him when their defenses were down.

 

She looked at the ‘Share’ button...just one press of it and Dennis’s cover would be blown.

 

...No.

 

There were several holes in this plan, and as Yoko took a deep breath, she began to list them.

 

First, there was the fact that there were only a few people who would understand what this conversation was about. Only she, Yuya, Yugo, Yuto, Shun, Serena, Reiji and whoever else is in the know about the Four Dimensions and the attack on Heartland.

 

Second, there was the fact that Yuri’s face looked similar to Yuya’s. If she uploaded it, people would question why Yuya Sakaki was dressed up in some military getup and might not understand the idea of there being other dimensions.

 

And third, uploading this clip would probably put her sons in danger. Obelisk Force could come and hunt her down, card her up, or even go after her boys!

 

And after everything she has learned yesterday, that is something she would not allow!

 

Yoko saved the recording and sent a message to Yugo ( “Yuri’s in the Iceberg section. Come here now.”) . Once it was sent, she watched as Serena and Yuzu were locked into battle, praying that these girls would make it out okay.

 

But nothing could prepare her for what happened next. 

 

**************

 

Serena glared at the three grinning Obelisk Force soldiers and their Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hounds on the field, while Yuzu had Bloom Diva on hers. And Serena had already tried Fusion Summoning Lunalight Cat Dancer with Lunalight Fusion, but Obelisk Force was prepared with a De-Fusion, splitting her back into Lunalight Blue Cat and Lunalight Purple Butterfly.

 

And with Tsukikage gone to who knows where, there was no way to get back-up in time. 

 

This is bad... Serena thought. From her observation of Yuzu’s duel against Dennis, Bloom Diva would be able to destroy those Hunting Hounds with ease. But Serena? No, she had nothing she could use to defend herself.

 

  “I see you as someone who can fight beside dragons themselves.”

 

Serena’s eyes widened as she recalled that phrase from the night before, that man in the cloak…

 

“Time to play the card, little Luna.” 

 

She heard his voice again in her head and then remembred his gift. Yes, why shouldn't she use it?  It was her monster now; it didn’t matter where she got it. She looked at the cards in her hand and made her decision.

 

“You may have stopped my favorite Fusion monster, but I still have a trick up my sleeve!” said Serena. “I play Polymerization and fuse Lunalight Blue Cat and Lunalight Purple Butterfly once more!”

 

“Big deal,” Obelisk Force - Red huffed. “We know all your moves, Serena. There’s nothing you can use to stop us.”

 

At that, Serena smirked and her eyes…somehow flickered to the color of gold.

 

Yet Yuzu was the only one who noticed this.

 

“Let me prove you wrong ,” Serena hissed.

 

As her two monsters turned into beams of cyan and purple light, the Polymerization portal behind them suddenly changed color. Instead of soothing shades of blue, it changed into a red like a setting sun. Serena smirked as she clasped her hands in front of her.

 

“Dragon that bathes in the crimson glow of the night, come forth and let us turn the tide of battle into a glorious victory! Fusion Summon! Come fourth Blood Moon Fusion Dragon!”  

 

From the fusion summon a dragon appears, black scales with red stripes like scars all over its body, a pair of horns that looked like a crescent moon and topped with a crown of a large red circle and matching red eyes that seemed to cover the field with a light as if everything was bleeding. Its wings stretched out, black with a pale yellow membrane that seemed to sparkle as if sprinkled with stardust. (1800 ATK)

 

Serena’s eyes widened as she looked at the dragon the she had summoned. It looked powerful, glorious, terrifying. She smirked looking at Obelisk Force, how their hounds looked like they wanted to run away with their tails between their legs.

 

“Surprised?” she asked. “Oh well, looks like the cat’s out of the bag now.” 

 

A shock formed in the back of Yuri’s head as soon as the new dragon was summoned. Something felt off, and since when did Serena use anything but Lunalights, let alone a Dark Attribute Dragon like this one? Something just didn’t add up. Yoko also had the same realization too.

 

“Now then!” Serena announced, her eyes turning into a very familiar shade of gold. “ The fun has just begun !”

 

**************



Dragon Mage of Jubilant Flames/ FIRE / LV 4 / Spellcaster / Pendulum / Effect /1500 ATK / 1200 DEF/ Scale 1

 

Pendulum Effect: To be revealed

 

Monster Effect: When this card is Normal or Special Summoned while you control a face-up Pendulum monster, target one monster your opponent controls that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck. Inflict damage equal to half of that monster’s ATK.

 

**************

 

Dragon Mage of Sorrowful Waters/ WATER / LV 4 / Spellcaster / Pendulum / Effect / 1000 ATK / 1800 DEF / Scale 8 

 

Pendulum Effect: To be revealed

 

Monster Effect: To be revealed

 

**************

 

Dragon Mage of Resolved Winds/ WIND / LV 4 / Spellcaster / Pendulum / Effect / 1800 ATK/ 1000 DEF / Scale 3 

 

Pendulum Effect: To be revealed

 

Monster Effect: To be revealed

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Serena stood in the icy wasteland with a smirk on her lips, and a confident look on her face. Her duel disk was raised to her chest and she was ready for a bloodbath .

 

Blood Moon Fusion Dragon stood beside Serena, proud and protective of the young girl, and Serena could feel herself being filled with power. Her dragon unleashed its powerful wings that glowed with a bright yellow aura like moonlight.

 

Where did she get a card like that? Yuzu thought. This was like Yuya and Black Mirror Xyz Dragon... 

 

“W-what the hell is that thing?!” The Obelisk Force soldier with the green gem, asked resisting the desire to run away. His own legs were trembling at the sight of the scarred black and red dragon. Serena grinned at the fear she inspired

 

“Oh what’s wrong? You boys don’t like my new pet?” she asked mockingly before patting the dragon’s scaly side. Blood Moon Fusion Dragon purred, even crouching down so Serena could ride on his back which made Serena even more giddy as she actually climbed over it, standing proudly on top of its head, hands grasping its horns to keep her stable.

 

“Now then,” she said, head snapping back to look at Obelisk Force with a grin on her face. “Let’s continue, shall we?”  

 

Blood Moon Fusion Dragon grinned, exposing his sword-like teeth that was ready to grind the Ancient Gear Hunting Hounds into powder.

 

“Blood Moon Fusion Dragon’s effect activates,” Serena stated. “Once per turn I can take an opponent's monster summoned from the Extra Deck and use it as an equip spell for my dragon! And then, Blood Moon Fusion Dragon gains half its attack points along with its special ability. So let’s see what I want...oh, I know!”  

 

Blood Moon Fusion Dragon swooped down and crushed the Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound that belonged to Obelisk Force - Green, before its scattered parts glowed and attached themselves like a suit of armor to the dragon. The three heads of the mechanical Cerberus, in particular, became the breastplate for Serena’s monster.  (1800 -) 2700 ATK)

 

“So that means that my Blood Moon Fusion Dragon can attack three times whenever it battles, and you can’t activate any Spell or Trap cards when it does,” Serena smirked. She always loved using the opponent’s strategies against them!

 

“Even with the attack boost, you’ll only be making a dent in our lifepoints,” Obelisk Force - Red pointed out.

 

“Oh really?” said Serena, revealing a card in her hand. “Not even if I equip my dragon with Fusion Weapon?

 

There was a gasp as Serena played her card, revealing Dark Flare Knight obtaining a weapon to defend himself.

 

“This nifty spell gives any Level 6 or lower Fusion monster equipped to it an additional 1500 attack and defense points. And what do you know? My dragon is Level 6!”

 

The image of Ritual Weapon hovered above the dragon’s head for a moment before it unleashed a mighty roar that caused the Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hounds to back away in terror. (2700/2700 -) 4200/4200)

 

“All right, my lovely pet,” Serena grinned. “Ready to play Fetch?” The dragon roared in response to his mistress, fangs bared and ready to strike. 

 

The three Obelisks Force soldiers looked up at the dragon and Serena in fear and horror. They weren’t sure what was more terrifying, the dragon itself or Serena with her terrifying grin. 

 

“First attack,” Serena commanded. “Attack Greenie directly! Red Lunar Eruption!”

 

Blood Moon Fusion Dragon’s body became covered in red light as if burning hot before the red aura was converted into a large red beam of light the size of a medicine ball. It fired the attack straight at Obelisk Force - Green, dropping his lifepoints to 0.

 

“Second attack! Go after Red Bull clear as day!”

 

A second attack formed, striking Obelisk Force - Red’s Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hound and knocking his lifepoints down to 1600.

 

“Third attack! Massacre Goldilocks' little mutt!”

 

With a malicious grin, the Fusion Dragon complied in firing one more attack at the only monster on the opponent’s side of the field. Obelisk Force - Gold was whimpering like a dog when the Hunting Hound exploded into shrapnel and his lifepoints also dropped to 1600 as well.

 

The three elite students of Academia looked in fear. They were so overconfident about winning against these two girls that none of them planned to play any face-down cards to defend themselves.

 

“Take it away, Yuzu!” Serena said with a grin.

 

“R...right,” said Yuzu. “Since I control a ‘Melodious’ monster, I get to Special Summon Sonata the Melodious Diva from my hand!”

 

Rising onto the field was the green haired Melodious Diva in a blue dress and matching cravat. She glared at Obelisk Force, blue bangs covering one of her eyes. (1200 ATK)

 

“And when Sonata is Special Summoned, all Fairy-type monsters I control gain an additional 500 attack and defense points!”

 

Sonata clasped her hands in prayer and sung a series of notes that let light shine above her and Bloom Diva, raising their stats. (Sonata: 1200/1000 -> 1700/1500, Bloom Diva: 1000/1000 -> 1500/1500 ATK)

 

“Go! Sonata, attack the one with the gold gem! And, Bloom Diva you’re next on the one with the red gem! Wrecking Refrain!”  

 

Both Melodious monsters rose to the air and began to sing in harmony, unleashing their attacks at the two remaining Obelisk Force members with a wave of sound that knocked them back into a wall of ice.

 

“Wait a sec,” said Serena, doing the math. “If you attack directly, one of them will still have 100 lifepoints. That means they have a chance to -- HEY! Where are you going?!”

 

Yuzu practically skated across the ice as she ran towards an Action Card sticking out from a pile of snow. She leapt, sliding on her stomach like a penguin before she snatched the card. 

 

“I play my Action Card - Winter’s Cry!” she said. “And now you lose an additional 500 lifepoints!”

 

“Wait what?!” Serena exclaimed, seeing the ‘A’ on the back of the card. “You can do that?”

 

“It’s an Action Duel,” Yuzu explained, playing her card. “Wait...you don’t have Action Duels where you come from?”

 

“...No. Duels are all about destroying your opponent, not about making a show out of it.”

 

Yuzu said nothing as the image of the card, depicting three snowflakes glowing with a rainbow aura, fired three large snowflakes like shuriken at Obelisk Force - Yellow . Obelisk Force - Red was already down for the count, and Bloom Diva’s attack combined with the Action Card caused Obelisk Force - Yellow to fly off and join his defeated partners in hitting an icy wall behind them.

 

“We did it!” Yuzu cheered, raising her hand in the air towards Serena. Serena blinked; she never ever shared anything like that before.

 

Not sure what to do, Blood Moon Fusion Dragon dipped his head low, sniffed Yuzu’s hand...and then licked it. Yuzu looked in alarm and stepped back as if she had been electrocuted. Blood Moon Fusion Dragon whimpered slightly, and it looked like it might cry.

 

“Was that the right thing to do?” Serena asked, slightly unsure. 

 

Yuzu blinked before looking back at Serena and then her dragon who, like Black Mirror Xyz Dragon seemed to be friendly despite his looks, at least to her and Serena. And Serena did seem genuinely confused over the entire situation. Nevertheless, the pink haired girl smiled, petting Blood Moon with a gentle hand. 

 

“You’ve...never High Fived before?” she asked Serena. Was that not a thing in the Fusion Dimension? 

 

“Never,” Serena answered, voice dropped low. “I...never really had anyone to ‘high five’ with, let alone a friend. Friendship isn’t really a thing at Academia. It’s all about power, being the best, winning...one single lost and it would destroy you. Make you look weak, pathetic, useless .”

 

(Upon hearing that, Yoko couldn’t help but recall a song that could relate to the philosophy of Akabastard’s pet project. Something about “feeling like the worst thus always acting like they’re the best”)

 

“What?!” Yuzu asked horrified. “That’s... that’s awful! Absolutely awful,” she looked unsure before trying to climb Blood Moon, which the dragon allowed. With a hesitant step, Yuzu found herself on the dragon’s broad back before she stepped up the dragon’s neck like a ladder and looked Serena in the eye. “You don’t have to worry anymore. I’ll be your friend from now on!” She said with a smile taking Serena’s hands in hers. 

 

Serena blinked and two fat tears fell down her cheeks. “R-really?” she asked, still unsure. Yuzu gave her a confident nod, grinning. Serena’s smile became bigger as she squeezed Yuzu’s hand and hugged her again. “T...thank you, Yuzu…” 

 

The Dragon groaned under them, and Serena pet his head affectionately. “Oh don’t worry, I still love you very much, Blood Moon. Thank you for your help.”

 

Yuzu tilted her head. “He really does seem like a good dragon..” she said out loud. (And for a moment, she thought she could hear him purr in reply).

 

Both girls got off of the dragon by sliding down its back like they were on a playground slide (something that Serena never had an opportunity to do, but she couldn’t help but want to do that again next time). Blood Moon looked so happy to see his mistress act so cheerful. It was just so infectious.

 

“Good boy~” Serena cooed. “Who’s a good dragon? You are, you are~!”

 

The dragon was purring in her ear, happy to have served so well, and that she had liked him in return.  Serena deactivated her Duel disk along with Yuzu, before turning back to the three Obelisk force members and approaching them with a confident step. 

 

“Now then,” said Serena, a hand on her hip. “Before you all go back to Professor Akaba, tails tucked between your legs and all, I’d like you to give him a message for me.”

 

The three of them flinched back but tried to remain confident, unfortunately for them Red’s voice came out shaking when he asked. “Oh Y-yeah? And what’s t-that?” 

 

Serena grinned and her eyes flickered gold. “Tell Professor Akaba that I’m no longer part of Academia,” she said, removing her coat and letting it fall onto the icy ground. She stomped her foot on it and added, “And if he wants me back then he’s gonna have to do it himself. Now get out of my sight before I summoned my dragon again to feast upon your flesh !”

 

Lightning flashed behind Serena at the declaration, and the Obelisk Force soldiers immediately teleported out of there. All that was left was Serena and Yuzu, exhausted but victorious.

 

“That was…” Yuzu couldn’t find the words for it. So she only said one word. “Unexpected.”

 

And from where she hid, along with her recording Serena’s warning, Yoko couldn’t help but agree. First Yuya with Black Mirror Xyz Dragon, and now Serena with a brand new Fusion Dragon? And both of them acting very similar in terrifying their opponents while having their dragons attack like they were playing a game?

 

Horror genre checkpoint: unexpected powers coming from a dark force always equals bad news. Step 1: First use of the power. Step 2: Continued use of said power. Step 3: Tolerance. Step 4: Dependence. Step 5: Full addiction. Step 6: Possession/Corruption. Step 7: Death or a fate so bad that death seemed like mercy.

 

And with Serena so naive about social norms, never having a friend or family and always striving to obtain the attention of that bastard of a human being, she was even more susceptible to Zarc’s dark influence. Staying with Yuzu might keep his influence away or at least lessen it (but for how long, Yoko wasn’t sure).

 

At this point, if she found Yuzu obtained a dragon of her own, Yoko would definitely have a talk with the goddamn Lord of Darkness himself. She really had no idea what Zarc was planning, but she knew she didn’t want him corrupting the mind of a child. Corrupting Yuya, Yuto, and Yugo she wanted even less after seeing how much ‘control’ Zarc had on them first-hand.

 

Back with Yuri, he himself had no trouble with the idea of talking and cooing at their own dragons, after all he does do that with Starving Venom (albeit less treating him like a pet)...Serena never seemed like the type to do it, all her monsters were from the Lunalight archetype and she always used Lunalight Cat Dancer to win her duels. So this new development again was mind boggling…

 

Well it wasn’t his job to deal with this; his job was to get Serena and Yuzu back to the Professor so he really shouldn’t care. 

 

But something about the dragon just kept...nagging at him, and he couldn’t place it. 

 

Dennis, on the other hand, was shivering. And it wasn’t from the cold. That brand new dragon was goddamn terrifying , and Serena was acting like it was some cute pet ? Where did she even get a monster like that? He was suddenly very grateful she didn’t duel him with something like that up her sleeve. Not to mention her new attitude is even scarier than her dragon... 

 

“So…” Dennis began, pushing his pointer fingers together like the corners of a tent. “How are we going to confront them?”

 

Yuri looked at Dennis and raised a pink eyebrow, bemused. “‘We’?”

 

“Yeah...we…” Dennis began. “I mean, because there’s two of us and two of them and we need to bring both back to the Professor or else he’ll have our heads....”

 

Yuri chucked, baring his fangs. “Oh how cute of you to think I need you to get these two. No, I can do it on my own. You...just go be useful somewhere else like in Heartland or whatever.”

 

(Yoko’s eye twitched. So Dennis, from Academia, was in Heartland for whatever reason...perhaps he had the same role as Sora in scouting out the dimension and searching for Yuzu’s Xyz Counterpart? Ruri, was it?)

 

“Um...r-right…” he said still terrified of Yuri even after Serena’s display of brutal dueling. “S...see you later…”

 

Yoko wanted to go chase after Dennis right there and then, but if she did so then Serena and Yuzu would be defenseless. So she decided to stay and keep an eye on when Yuri would strike them. She tilted her head, seeing Yuri having a strange look in his eyes and holding a card of a Fusion Monster (a dragon, to be precise...which was more than enough proof for her that Yuri really was one of Zarc’s sons). She wondered what was going on inside his mind right now, seeing as she never bothered to ask just what was going on with Yuri this morning.

 

Yuri was...confused at best. The sight of Serena and Yuzu Hiragi hugging each other on that dragon stirred something inside his heart that felt too good that it started to hurt. He thought he saw himself and a boy with red and green hair and red eyes on top of Starving Venom Fusion Dragon, laughing and hugging each other as if they were the kings of the world…

But that couldn’t be right, it should only be Yuri standing tall. Alone, without anyone else besides him. That’s how it’s always been. He didn’t need anyone: no friends, no family...just himself

 

Yet why did it feel good to see him smiling with someone else by his side? Why did his heart flutter upon seeing those girls get so close? Why did he desire having that companionship?! And with a boy that he saw in his dreams nonetheless?!

 

Why, why, why, why, wh- -

 

Suddenly, Yuri noticed a giant sleigh approaching him...

 

****************

 

“Serena...where did you get that dragon?” Yuzu asked once the three Obelisk members had left in a hurry looking like they wanted to fall on their knees and beg to not be eaten alive.

 

Serena blinked. “Well, I…”

 

Lie” A voice said inside her mind. 

 

“Huh?” Serena thought, not sure where that voice was coming from. 

 

“She would think that you were insane if you told her about a man coming into your room at night handing you cards. So lie, little luna. Just this once.”

 

“I’ve, uh always had it,” Serena hastily answered. “I’m from the Fusion Dimension. remember? Everyone has fusion cards; finding one isn’t that hard or complicated.”

 

“If that’s the case, why did those ‘Obelisk Force’ guys look like they never saw it before?” 

 

“That’s because I’ve never used it before. I used Lunalight Cat Dancer so Blood Moon was quite a shock to them,” That wasn’t untrue…

 

“It sounds like you were quite friendly with that dragon,” Yuzu pointed out. When she saw Serena happily ride the dragon into battle, all she could see Yuya on the head of Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. Or better yet, the way Serena interacted with that dragon was like Yuya on Black Mirror Xyz Dragon commanding him to “play Fetch” with Kachidoki...

 

“Yes, he’s certainly my new favorite,” Serena said with a smile as she looked at the card in her hand. 

 

“At this rate, maybe I should get my own dragon too,” Yuzu giggled. “I mean, I always wanted to ride one of those in battle.”

 

(And somewhere in the Darkness, golden eyes glowed with mirth and amusement, very pleased with the results) 

 

Somehow Yoko could sense a dark presence and a chill fell down her spine. That didn’t bode well for either Yuzu or Serena.

 

Pray that day never comes, Yuzu...that you stay innocent and care-free just a bit longer. Yoko thought before she glanced down and noticed Yuri was gone. What?! When did Yuri --

 

Serena and Yuzu turned when they heard heard someone clapping slowly; for some reason a chill ran down both of the girls’ spines. The two turned around as someone approached them 

 

“That was quite the duel, girls,” someone said with a sinisterly evil smile. “Now then Yuzu, Serena,” his purple eyes opened and his smile turned into a predatory smirk, “It’s time to get you two to the Professor/”  

 

Serena and Yuzu turned to see Yuri approach them. Serena narrowed her eyes while Yuzu looked in horror.

 

“Y...Yuya?” she gasped.

 

“No. That’s Yuri,” Serena clarified. “He’s from the Fusion Dimension like I am.”

 

“Indeed I am,” Yuri chuckled. “But my, that was quite a show you gave me back there. Both of you with your Fusion monsters going after those pathetic soldiers just gave me shivers!”

 

To emphasize this, Yuri squirmed around, running his hands over his body. Yuzu flinched; never has she thought Futoshi’s little phrase could make her feel uncomfortable.

 

“Now then, I do hope you entertain me,” Yuri chuckled. “For the last two duelists I fought were...well~”

 

He then pulled out two cards from the pocket of his coat before revealing their images. Yuzu gasped, hand over her mouth in shock.

 

“Halil...Olga!” she stammered out. “You...you turned them into cards ?!”

 

They were absolutely boring ,” Yuri replied, pocketing the cards. “Are you two going to be more fun?” He asked, licking his lips while he activated his Duel Disk.

 

Yuzu felt her heart pound in her chest. As Yuri kept approaching them, all she could see was Yuya.

 

But that was impossible; there’s no way Yuya would ever become as monstrous as Yuri...right? 

 

Serena grabbed Yuzu’s shoulder and grit her teeth. “Run.”

 

“What?” Yuzu asked bewildered. 

 

“Run!” Serena repeated, grabbing Yuzu’s wrist and bolting out of there dragging Yuzu with her who started to run once she regained the ability to think. 

 

Yuri chuckled as he looked at his dragon. “Oh dear, the princesses think that they’ll be able outrun the dragon. Let’s prove them wrong , Starving Venom!”

 

That was her cue.

 

Yoko slipped her helmet back on and gripped onto the handles of her motorcycle hard. With a steady purr, she sped down a slope right where Serena and Yuzu were headed with Yuri slowly approaching them and stopped. Yuri gained a dumb-founded expression on his face and both Serena and Yuzu looked confused.. 

 

“Who the hell are you?!” Yuri exclaimed.

 

Yoko narrowed her eyes. Yeah, she could totally see the similarities to Yuya, Yuto and Yugo in him. She could also tell by the smile that he was just like his Father. Whether he was always this sadistic or that was just a product of Akabastard raising him would have to come later.

 

She turned to the two girls, briefly taken aback at seeing two girls with Yuzu’s face staring back at her before nodding her head. Both Serena and Yuzu immediately hopped onto the motorcycle without hesitation.. Anything was better than Yuri being near right now. 

 

“You two okay?” Yoko asked.

 

“Yeah, we’re...W…wait a second. Yoko san?!” Yuzu gasped in surprise. “You can ride a motorcycle?!”

 

“You know her?” Serena replied.

 

“She’s the mother of one of my close friends. Wait... you know Yoko-san?!”

   

Yoko chuckled. “We’ve met before, Yuzu-chan. Now, hold on tight. I’m taking you someplace safe.” 

 

And both girls clung to her for dear life as she sped away from Yuri. 

 

***************

 

Yuri had no idea how or why a motorcyclist was there to take those girls away from him. But it mattered not; he would find them, come hell or high water.

 

But just as he was about to chase after them, a white D-wheel jumped down also (Okay what  was up with that?) causing him to step back. Said D-Wheel screeched to a halt in front of Yuri blocking his path yet again.

 

“Are you that previous biker’s son or something?” Yuri asked with a tic forming in his left eye.

 

“Or something, and I can’t let you go anywhere near them, Yuri,” said Yugo, getting off of his D-wheel.

 

“Hm?” Yuri asked raising an eyebrow, a bit amused at the boy coming near him. Who was he again? Oh right, he’s the boy from the Synchro dimension!  He must be here for the girl he took, Rin, was it?

 

“...”

 

“Well it seems you have me at a disadvantage here,” Yuri said with an innocent smile full of venom. “After all you seem to know my name, but I don’t know yours~” 

 

The boy gave him a sad smile, shaking his head. “You do know my name, Yuri,” he took his helmet off showing his blue hair and blond crescent bangs and crystal clear eyes. “Don’t you remember?” 

 

The minute those eyes gazed into his own, Yuri saw a younger version of that boy and familiar words enter his mind.

 

"Go away, Yugo!"

 

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, my Lily. I didn't mean to say those things to you!" 

 

"No, no let go of me! You're stupid, you're so stupid, Yugo!" 

 

"I really am sorry, Yuri. I was very stupid and mean. I didn't mean it."

 

"...I know." 

 

“Yu-” Yuri shook his head as memories of that dream assaulted him, he took one step away before stopping himself. That was all from a dream, nothing more.  

 

Yugo gave him a soft smile offering his hand to Yuri. “My lilly,” Yuri’s eyes widened in shock, his heart had stopped beating for a moment before it began to hammer in his chest. 

 

No nononononono, What..? What the HELL IS GOING ON?

 

The pink lily that was tucked in his hair that night was kept in the pocket of his jacket, hidden from sight. Yet Yuri couldn’t help but take a glance at it. How could it exist if it was from a dream?

 

And why did he still keep it on him when he should’ve tossed it in the trash?

 

“Yuri?” Yugo asked trying to step further towards. “Hey, look at me,” he said softly, with a smile just as soft, looking at Yuri. “It’s going to be okay….”

 

“Oh yes, it’s going to be okay,” Yuri replied. “Once I get rid of you!”

 

Yugo froze and his smile turned into a sad frown which made Yuri’s heart hurt too much, making his anger at himself rise. 

 

“Stop looking at me with those eyes!” Yuri snapped, wanting that look removed both because it hurt tp see, and because it just made his annoyance at himself rise for falling for something so beautiful and loving and kind.... 

 

“Yuri…” 

 

Yuri activated his duel disk and narrowed his eyes. “Enough. Lets duel.”

 

Yugo looked into his brother’s eyes, then at the Duel Disk attached to his D-Wheel before giving his reply. “...No.”

 

“No? NO?!” Yuri repeated.

 

Something inside Yuri snapped. This person was refusing to duel?

 

“Why aren’t you going to duel?” he snapped. “Aren’t you mad at me? I took away that girl...Rin, right? Don’t you want revenge? Don’t you want me to give up what’s going to happen to her?”

 

“I want a lot of things back. I want Rin back, along with you. And you will duel...but not against me,” Yugo said, shaking his head.

 

“What the hell is that supposed to…”

 

“Did the lily make you happy?” Yugo asked suddenly

 

Yuri froze in place. “Wha-what?” he asked bewildered.

 

“Did you like the lilly I gave you as an apology?” 

 

Yuri choked.  How the hell did he know about -- 

 

“Bright pink, and I tucked it in your hair,” Yugo sighed. “I still remembered what happened that made me give you the lily in the first place I was unleashing my dragon magic and it accidentally destroyed a patch of flowers you were working on. You got mad, and we started fighting and I called you something stupid and slapped you. You ran away with tears in your eyes and I felt really bad.

 

“So I left our castle in order to find a flower that would state my apology. I didn’t tell anyone; not Father, not our brothers, not our dragons. I had to do this in order to show how much I cared.

 

“I eventually found a beautiful pink lily by the lake and raced all the way home so I could give it to you.”

 

Yuri’s mouth opened and closed, eyes wide, his heart was beating too fast. He couldn’t remember any of that but it sounded right, too right, it sounded like the truth to his ear. 

 

“Do you remember what I said after that? When we were falling asleep?” Yugo whispered softly, somehow in front of Yuri and now gently grabbing his wrist. 

 

You make that lily more beautiful by just having it,” Both of them whispered at the same time.

 

And upon realizing what he just said, Yuri backed away as if he had just touched a hot iron, clutching the hand Yugo grabbed in disbelief. 

 

“What’s going on?!” He yelled, face filled with rage and eyes filled with tears. “What are you doing to me? You’re tricking me, somehow, you must be!”

 

Yugo shook his head and took one more step towards Yuri.  “My lily...”

 

“STOP CALLING ME THAT! I am not yours! You can’t talk to me as if you’ve known me your whole life! You know nothing about me! Yuri screamed. 

 

Yugo just smiled, and opened his mouth as if he wanted to speak.  

 

“Yugo!” Both of the boys’ attention snapped to the two new arrivals. 

 

“Yuya! Yuto!” Yugo yelled back happy his two brothers arrived, sliding down the icy slopes before placing their hands on his shoulders. Both Yuto and Yuya gave warm smiles before all looked back at Yuri.

 

“Yuri..” the one with red and green hair stated with wide and hopeful eyes. Yuri rathered he not learn (remember) his name. Instead, he just activated his duel disk, gritting his teeth. The other three boys looked at each other and nodded before both Yugo and Yuto stepped away to the side, letting Yuya activate his duel disk.

 

“Ugh finally,” Yuri said, regaining his smirk and composure. “I was starting to get bored of that one -- Yugo, was it? -- talking. I’d be glad to sink my teeth into something to entertain me until I get my hands on Serena and her bubblegum bitch counterpart.”

 

“So you do remember,” Yugo said with a small smirk, which made Yuri’s eye twitch.

 

“It doesn’t matter if I remember you or not, Fusion Pawn,” Yuri taunted.

 

“It’s not Fusion, it’s Yugo!” Yugo clarified. 

 

“It’s okay, Yugo,” said Yuya. “This is between Yuri and I. I’ll bring him back I promise, okay?”

 

Yuto and Yugo stared at their baby brother and the determination in his eyes. They smiled and nodded their heads.

 

“Good luck, Yuya.” said Yuto.

 

“Bring our lily back to us.”   Yugo added.

 

Yuya nodded his head, hand clutching his pendulum. “Father...please be by my side. Help me bring our brother back.”

 

“Okay Yu~ya,” Yuri teased. “Let’s get this show on the road then!”

 

*************

 

“You got them to safety Yoko-san?” Mieru repeated on her phone. “Right, I’m in the Jungle section right now.”

 

“Nice work, Mieru-chan,” Yoko replied on her phone. “Stay right where you are. I’m going to drop Yuzu and Serena right here then drive back to the Iceberg section to keep an eye on Yuya and the others. Contact me if Obelisk Force appears again.”

 

“Right. I will.” Mieru nodded her head as she hung up. She exhaled and leaned back against the tree, knowing that today has been such a long day and she could use the rest.

 

Thankfully she had found Michiyo and his “partner” Teppei Tairyobata  -- although a quick glance through her crystal apple showed that he wasn’t as nice as he appeared -- meaning that she could have a hot meal and someone to guide her should Obelisk Force make it by.

 

“Why are you even out here in the first place?” asked Michiyo, looking up from the pot of stew he was cooking to stare at the fortune-teller.

 

Mieru looked up before staring at her crystal apple. “If I told you, I highly doubt that you would believe me.”

 

“Try me,” Michiyo replied with that kind smile on his face.

 

Mieru sighed. “People from another dimension that specialize in Fusion summoning are invading ours, and if we stand in their way, they’re gonna trap us all in cards. At least that’s the short version I learned from Yuya,” she answered. 

 

Michyo and Teppei looked at each other before looking back at the fortune-teller to see that she was 100% genuine. They had no idea how to feel about that.    

 

Well, one of them knew how to feel.

 

“That is absolutely out of our league!” Teppei exclaimed. “Why not let someone else take care of them? We’re no match for those guys!”

 

“That’s the problem,” Mieru sighed. “Apparently there were duelists from the Youth Division that were supposed to go stop them...only one of them survived being carded and not because of his own skills either.”

 

“This is serious,” Michiyo frowned. ”And Yuya’s not one to lie about such things.”

 

“HOW DARE YOU ASSUME DARLING WOULD LIE ABOUT THIS!” Mieru shouted. “Yuya is many things, but he’s not a liar!”

 

“Yeah he’s not a liar...he’s a humongous clown,” Teppei replied with a chuckle, which Mieru replied with smacking her crystal apple across his face.

 

“NEVER INSULT MY DARLING AGAIN!” she shouted in the fisherman’s face. 

 

“Really now?” Teppei grinned. “And who’s gonna stop me if I don’t? His mom ?” He then barked like a seal fat on fish at that remark...just as Mieru and Michiyo saw someone in a white coat on a motorcycle approach their campsite from behind.

 

“Indeed. I would,” said Yoko sitting on her motorcycle like a queen on her throne, still having her helmet on covering her face, Yuzu sitting in front of her and Serena clutching her waist. “Now, care to try calling my son a clown again? In front of my face ?”

 

Goosebumps ran down Teppei’s body as he saw Yoko, who took her helmet off and glared at him. Her piercing green eyes were like metal rods skewered through his body.

 

“N...no, ma’am!” Teppei stammered, mouth turning dry. “I...I meant that he was a clown in a good way in making people smile and laugh. Not in the way that he was an utter fool and all…”

 

“Just as I thought,” Yoko said with a grin and patting Teppei’s shoulder. “Just be glad I had my fill in fighting off blowhards today, else you’d be feasting on a knuckle sandwich right about now.”

 

Teppei gulped, shaking about like a fish out of water. Note to self: Never insult Yuya in front of his mom ever again!

 

“T...this is Yuya’s mom?!” Michiyo gulped. This was entirely different than the housewife who requested all those recipes!

 

“Yeah, I’m surprised about that too,” Yuzu added as she got off the motorcycle. Serena followed suit and when she looked at the three duelists at the camp, they all gasped.

 

“You...you look just like Yuzu!” Mieru stated, pointing a finger back and forth at Yuzu and Serena.

 

“Yeah seems I do,” said Serena, seating herself down next to Teppei. “Name’s Serena. I’m from the Fusion Dimension.” 

 

“FUSION?!” Mieru gasped. “You mean you’re also from the same place as Yuri?”

 

“Yuri?” Michiyo questioned. “Who the heck is that?”

 

“Fusion Dimension?” Teppei stated, scooting away from Serena. “That same place with those soldiers Mieru mentioned?!” Yuzu nodded. 

 

“She knows about Yuri too?” Serena hissed at Yoko, jerking a thumb at the fortune-teller.

 

“Without her, I wouldn’t have located him, you or Yuzu in the first place,” Yoko explained. “How did you get there anyway?”

 

“Some ninjas threw a smoke-bomb and carried us there,” Serena answered.

 

“Ninjas?” Mieru repeated. “Ooooh...that must be Hikage and his brother Tsukikage...I will never forgive Tsukikage for defeating me in my duel to honor darling!”

 

Mieru began to stew in her defeat as Michiyo began adding some herbs into the stew. It was just about ready.

 

“So Yoko-san,” said Michiyo. “Would you mind staying for a meal?”

 

“As much as I love to, I have to get back to Yuya. By the way, I am going to need to make him something good after he duels Yuri, any tips?” 

 

“Yuya is DUELING YURI?!” Yuzu shouted. “W...we have to go back for him right now! He could be in danger! He carded Halil and Olga, Yoko-san!”

 

“So that carding thing was true too?!” Teppei gulped once again.

 

“Yuya will be fine Yuzu-chan, trust me,” Yoko said with a smile. If nothing else she trusted Zarc not to let their son be harmed by his brother. She still believed in Yuya, but he wasn’t aiming to win. He was aiming to reach Yuri’s heart, which would be hard enough as is. But she trusted her son. So that demonic father of their better stand up to her expectations or else. 

 

“Hmm…” Michiyo hummed. “Something simple on the stomach should do. Knowing Yuya, as long as it’s made from the heart then he’ll take anything.”

 

“Something simple...knowing Yuya...from the heart…” Yoko muttered, rubbing her chin in thought. She then snapped her fingers. “Perfect, I know just the thing! Thanks again Michiyo-kun!” She placed a kiss on his cheek before she raced back to her motorcycle.

 

“Call me if anything happens, Mieru!” she said. “And make sure to be wary of any guys in blue coats who summon Ancient Gear monsters okay?”

 

“We will,” said Mieru. “Take care, Yoko-san!”

 

Yoko nodded as she sped off back to the Iceberg quadrant, feeling like she was the leader of the Maiami Queens again, owning the fucking roads without a care in the world.

 

As Mieru turned her head back to Michiyo ladling stew for everyone, her crystal apple began to glow. She raised and it and waved it over the others...before she stopped at Serena and saw a black fog forming inside.

 

Her too?! she thought, seeing Serena taking a bowl of stew for herself. Just...just what is going on here?  

************

 

Yuya and Yuri stood facing each other in the icy wasteland, the red and green haired boy looked worriedly at his counterpart who had a deceptively confident smirk on his lips. He remembered that smirk, when it was real, so full of confidence and mischief, it meant nothing good to any who stood in its way. He looked beautiful and deadly, and Yuya missed him. He wanted to run to his big brother’s arms, to hug him, kiss him once more, tell him how much he loved him and missed him. 

 

Yuri was, in a few words,...pissed, infuriated, wrathful! He hid all these emotions behind a mask of confidence and a smirk, an air of calm and pride in order to deceive his prey and unsettle them. And it usually works. He knows that it does, if Yuri was in the mood he would chip away at his opponent's confidence, break him down bit by bit.

 

But he somehow knew… in terms of emotional stability, his standard counterpart had the advantage here. 

 

Because Yuri truthfully was about ready to scream and break and cry, and the only thing keeping him standing is the hope of destruction, to unleash his based desire and raise hell. Nothing felt so good like hurting the people who would presume to see themselves above Yuri, those who were a part of a world that tossed Yuri aside and kept him alone.

 

But not today. No, everything that had happened to him in the past few days was chipping away at his sanity. The dreams of hope, of family, the promise of unconditional love and tender affection from the one who called him “Lily”, Yugo. The boy beside him from Xyz -Yuto- and his opponent...Yuya Sakaki, were those who promised him such things in his dreams, and now Yuya who always looked at him with that loving smile of his, innocent love shining in his ruby red eyes. 

 

Yuri wished that look would leave his eyes already! Even now, as he stood facing Yuya, the look in his eyes did not change from his dream. Reality merely added sadness into them, and something treasured in Yuri’s heart wanted to open his arms to the boy, to do anything to make him smile, that it was his job to never let Yuya’s smile fall. 

 

And Yuri did his best to keep stomping on that part of him that just wouldn’t shut the fuck up!

 

“Well then Yu~ya, let’s do this,” his smirk straining against his cheeks, and it felt like he’d either break down crying or laughing at any second.  

 

“Yuri,” Yuya called softly, and Yuri balled his hands to fists. No! Fuck no, not the tenderness and love in that one word, he can’t handle this! He nodded his head as he drew his cards. “Let’s duel!”

 

Yuya: 4000

Yuri: 4000

 

“Since this is your dimension, you get the first move,” said Yuri. “Make it count.”

 

“I will, I draw!” said Yuya, drawing his card. 

 

Upon looking at the cards in his hand, Yuya frowned. He didn’t want to win; just get Yuri to remember who they were. It wasn’t going to be easy, but if anyone could get Yuri to return then it was him.

 

“For my first move,” Yuya announced, showing off two familiar cards. “I’ll set the Pendulum Scale with Scale 1 Stargazer Magician and Scale 8 Timegazer Magician!”

 

He placed both cards on the furthest sides of the Duel Disk. The word ‘PENDULUM’ lit up in multiple colors before the familiar magicians rose into the air, the numbers ‘1’ and ‘8’ shining beneath their feet.

 

Upon seeing the magicians, Yuri felt something in him...he...he knew them, right? Timegazer and Stargazer...they were…

 

“It’s them!” Yuto gasped.

 

“Our teachers!” Yugo cheered.

 

Yuya looked at his magicians and soon realized the connection. Of course, it was just like Yugo said. Timegazer Magician and Stargazer Magician used to teach him, Yuto, Yugo and Yuri all about magic! He could remember enter their studies, the ceiling decorated with constellations, looking up star charts and books with sienna ink drawings of clocks, trying to fiddle around with Timegazer’s pocketwatches, listening with wide-eyes at the lectures when it came to controlling the shadow magic each boy contained.

 

You two... Yuya said, remembering how they and Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon were always there for him, even though they felt out of place with his Performapal monsters. Now he understood why he felt so close to them.

 

Timegazer Magician looked down at Yuya, his eyes were soft and filled with affection and pride for the young prince. “I’m glad you finally remembered us, my young lord,” him and Stargazer had been the boys’ favorite teachers, it was their duty to take care of the young masters and shape them and their magic into the best it could be. Yuya’s eyes now filled with even more affection for the two magicians who always stood by his side and aided him in his duels.  

 

Stargazer Magician also nodded his head and chuckled, and Yuya’s grin widened. Now he was more confident in what he had to do.

 

“With these two in my Pendulum Zones, I’m allowed to Pendulum Summon monsters from my hand whose levels are between 2 and 7,” Yuya continued. “ "Swing, pendulum of souls! Draw an arc of light across the ether! Pendulum Summon! Appear now Level 4 Performapal Bowhopper and Level 6 King Bear !”

 

Appearing on the field under a spotlight were two animals ready for a show. Performapal Bowhopper was a crescent-shaped grasshopper wearing white gloves on front legs and orange ones on its hind legs where a pink bowtie with cyan polka-dots rested. It also wore a tuxedo with a red bowtie and an orange star was painted over its left eye. Resting on its nose was a blue bow where a little cricket rested on the grip of the bow, wearing a tiny suit and holding a top hat in one of its legs. King Bear  was a bear standing on his hind legs with bright orange fur, wearing an ermine trimmed cape a violet doublet with a green bowtie and a silver crown. On its left leg is a black star. (Bowhopper: 1500 ATK, King Bear: 2200 ATK)

 

“I end my turn with a face-down card,” said Yuya, slipping a card into the tray of his Duel Disk. “Your move, Yuri.”

 

“Very well,” said Yuri, calmly drawing his card. “I think I’ll start with the Spell Card, Seed Cannon!”

 

He played the card, a Continuous Spell Card depicting a large plant with an orange flower firing a round of bullets (or seeds).

 

“Now whenever a Plant monster is summoned, this gains a ‘Plant Counter’,” Yuri explained. “It can only hold up to 5 Counters but each counter allows me to knock off 500 lifepoints per counter once I offer it up.

 

“So let’s not keep you waiting. I start by summoning Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio in Attack Mode!”

 

Yuri’s first monster appeared, looking exactly like a scorpion made out of a black root and cyan lines running down his body like veins. At the end of its tail was a green orchid flower with a black middle and a small stinger, ready to poison anything that came in its path. (1200 ATK)

 

“And that’s not the best part,” Yuri said with a grin. “If I discard a monster from my hand to the graveyard, Ophrys Scorpio allows me to Special Summon another ‘Predaplant’ monster from my deck. I send Predaplant Cordyceps to the grave so I can summon Predaplant Darlington Cobra in Attack Mode!”

 

Slipping a card into his graveyard, Yuri watched as his next monster bloomed. It was a serpentine plant, with two heads: one head being a closed purple flower and a single red eye glaring at Yuya and the other one being a purple flower in bloom (1000 ATK)

 

As this happened, two glowing orbs circled Yuri’s Seed Cannon.

 

“Oh, one more thing Yu~ya ,” Yuri drawled. “When Darlington Cobra is Special Summoned by the effect of another ‘Predaplant’ monster, once per duel I can take either a ‘Polymerization’ or ‘Fusion’ related Spell from my deck to my hand!”

 

Yuya’s eyes widened the minute he heard ‘Polymerization’. Yuri was going to…

 

Yuri’s twisted smile as he snatched the Polymerization card from his deck snapped Yuya out of his thoughts. Oh, yes...this is going to be so much fun .

 

“I play Polymerization and fuse my two Predaplants together!”

 

With that familiar swirl of cerulean and cyan behind him, Yuri looked excited as his two monsters wirled behind him. Yuya could hear the roar of a dragon, that dragon, ready to be unleashed.

 

“Two flowers with an insect-alluring fragrance! Now become one, and from the hell beneath your petals, give birth to a new terror! Fusion Summon! Appear! Poisonous dragon with hungry fangs. Level 8! Starving Venom Fusion Dragon!" 

 

From within a portal growing with vines, Yuri’s dragon emerged. Purple like poison with thorny vines and glowing red orbs like closed flower buds, it screamed “danger” and “death” to those who looked at it. The dragon growled at Yuya’s Performapal monsters, ready to swallow them whole. (2800 ATK)

 

“Starving Venom…” Yuya whispered. 

 

He remembered the fearsome dragon that slumbered within the gardens. Yuri was his favorite between the four boys, Yuya, Yuto and Yugo would scratch its scales or be allowed to slumber by its side, the brothers would slide down his back. It was very protective of the garden; anyone foolish enough to trample on the flowers or cut down its trees would have to face its wrath.

 

“Starving Venom Fusion Dragon’s effect!” said Yuri. “I select one of your Special Summoned monsters and Starving Venom Fusion gains attack points equal to that monster’s attack. So I think I’ll choose...your Performapal King Bear!”

 

Starving Venom grinned as the bear shivered in place. Then, a violet aura surrounded the dragon as its attack shot to 5000!

 

Not good... Yuya gulped.

 

“Go my monster,” said Yuri. “Attack that overgrown teddy bear now! Voracious Assault!”

 

The wings of the dragon suddenly opened to reveal sinister maws. Its tail lashed out, the end also revealing a hungry mouth that swallowed Yuya’s monster whole.

 

Yuya: 1200

Yuri: 4000

 

“I activate my face-down card, Performapal Revival!” said Yuya, gritting his teeth. He wasn’t going to lose, not now!

 

Yuya’s face-down card flipped, revealing Performapal Turntoad popping out of a collapsed box and a puff of smoke, his top hat in its webbed foot.

 

“When one of my monsters is destroyed, I can Special Summon a ‘Performapal’ monster from my hand or graveyard. So I Special Summon Performapal Longphone Bull!”

 

Rising onto the field was a teal colored bull in a white shirt and red waistcoat with a phone balanced on its pink horns. (1600 ATK)

 

“Performapal Longphone Bull’s effect activates! When he’s Special Summoned, I can add a ‘Performapal’ monster from my deck to my hand!”

 

The phone on top of the bull’s head rang and he picked it up to take the call.

 

“Fine, gather as many friends as you want,” Yuri hissed. “They’ll all fall in the end.”

 

 Yuya began to think about what monster would be the best to get through to Yuri, except none of them were particularly strong enough to fight off Starving Venom Fusion Dragon.

 

Yuya...use this one.

 

A card popped out from the deck and Yuya took it. Upon seeing its image, Yuya’s eyes widened in shock.

 

“This...this is…”

 

Use it to call out to your brother.

 

Yuya nodded his head as he stared at Yuri. This had to work. This had to work.

 

“My move,” said Yuya, drawing his card. “First, I start by playing the Field Spell Sky Iris!”

 

The Field Spell appeared, showing an aurora borealis in the sky. There was also a strange magic circle where a...familiar dragon was emerging.

 

But...Yuri had never seen that dragon before. Why did he know it was familiar?

 

“As long as this Field Spell is on the field, you cannot target any ‘Magician’, ‘Performapal’ or ‘Odd-Eyes’ monsters in my Pendulum Zones with card effects,” Yuya explained. “It also has another effect I’ll save for later.

 

“Next, with my Level 4 Performapal Bowhopper and Level 4 Performapal Longphone Bull, I construct the Overlay Network!”

 

The Overlay Network appeared in front of Yuya and his two monsters leapt into it gleefully. Yuya inhaled as he prepared the chant.

 

“Dragon who traverses through darkness and mirrors; emerge from the looking glass and reveal the dark desires that lies within my opponent's heart! Xyz Summon! Rank 4! Emerge Black Mirror Xyz Dragon!”

 

Rising onto the field is the wrought-iron dragon with the diamond on its forehead and eyes similar to cracked mirrors. (2500 ATK)

 

“What now?” asked Yuri. “Going to use one of its Overlay Units on me?”

 

“...No.” Yuya answered.

 

Yuri raised an eyebrow in confusion. Was his counterpart that incompetent?! “No?”

 

“I Xyz Summoned him, yes, but it was more to support this monster I’m going to summon next,” said Yuya, feeling his heart race. “Now put your hands together for his on-stage debut, I summon... Performapal Empyrean Magician !”

 

Rising onto the field, cocooned by a pair of black dragon wings and showered with black and green stars, was a sorcerer in a silver robe with black and green trim. In his black gloved hands, he wielded two curved blades colored silver and lined with green. His head was covered by a hood where two black horns stuck out, his face framed with hair as silver as his clothes. (1500 ATK)

 

But it was his face that made Yuri pause. It was so...familiar. His heart stopped again, just as it did when he looked at Yugo, only now his heart hurt even more, and he had no idea that that was possible. 

 

Yuri took several gulps of air trying to calm himself down as best he could. No, how could a monster be so familiar to Yuri? This was...this was a trick. This had to be!

 

Yet as he stared at this magician, Yuri felt like... like  it was... real . Tears filled Yuri’s eyes but he shook his head, removing them.  

 

Yuya looked in awe at the monster he summoned. He looked so similar to Father that he wouldn’t be surprised to hear Father’s voice speaking through it. The magician opened his eyes, golden and shining with love and affection. He had that familiar adoring smile on his face, the one he only reserved for his precious children.

 

“Father…” Yuya thought in awe

 

“Beautiful,” thought Yuri, he felt his legs shaking just from looking at this monster. 

 

Empyrean Magician lifted his head and, with a tender smile on his lips, spoke.

 

Yuri… The magician whispered, soft and gentle as an ocean breeze.

 

It was everything Yuri could do not to fall on his knees and drown in the emotions clogging his throat.

 

 “W...Why is that monster talking to me?” Yuri stammered, almost whimpering. 

 

Yuri, my beautiful lily...I've missed you so. Empyreal Magician stated, still with that smile on his face. Despite being a DARK monster, his form gave off such a warm light. The rays kissed Yuri’s face tenderly, and the pink haired boy wanted to cry. 

 

That was the man in his dreams, his father, and Yuri wanted to go to him,to open his arms and embrace him, to never let go, to beg him to never let Yuri go again. Please he didn’t want to be alone again! And he felt so good. Father’s light and love felt so good he wanted it so badly. 

 

Yuri shivered, and clenched his fists further. Crescent moons now marred his palms. If Yuri thought any more about this monster and his feelings and he was gonna actually draw blood. 

 

Do not be afraid, Yuri… Empyrean Magician extended a hand out to the scared boy. Take my hand and be in my arms once more.

 

Master ...A low voice growled.

 

“Starving Venom?” Yuri asked in alarm.

 

Empyrean Magician looked up at the Fusion monster as if staring at a gentle cat instead of a dragon who could swallow him whole. Starving Venom purred and nuzzled his head against the magician who laughed happily at the affection. Black Mirror chirped and purred when Empyrean Magician scratched his scales lovingly.

 

No....no...nonononononono! Yuri thought. None of this was making sense!

 

Hello my dear Starving Venom, The magician laughed softly. I’ve missed you too. Thank you for taking care of my Darkest Bloom for me. 

 

Always... The Fusion Dragon replied, licking Empyrean Magician. The magician’s fucking wings --‘Why does a magician have such magnificent wings?!”-- unfurled in reply like sails catching wind.  

 

“Starving Venom, no...why...Why do I always end up alone?! My ...my own dragon,” Yuri whispered, clutching his hair with trembling hands. He glared at the magician with those loving golden eyes stared Yuri once more. Yuri growled. 

 

“What..what’s going on?!” he screamed at the magician. He looked at Yuya, wanting to shout for his opponent to jump off a cliff and all he could find was worry, love and sympathy in those ruby eyes, as if Yuya had the need to embrace him...as if it hurt Yuya to see him as he was hurting. 

 

Well, what the hell did the other boy expect?! He was hurting Yuri.  

 

“Why do you look at me like that?! Stop looking at me like I'm so precious... because i'm not… I’m gonna fucking destroy you! You hear me?!” 

 

Yuri dropped to his knees as tears spilled down his face. Everything, everything was too much. The magicians, Yuya, his dreams, his other two counterparts who looked at Yuri with identical expressions to Yuya (don’t pity me, please stop pitying me! I don’t want your pity, damnit!) 

 

“Yuri, you are precious to me, and to our brothers and especially to Father,” Yuya explained, heart shattered like Black Mirror’s eyes. He offered his hand too. “Please, come home, back into our arms,” he whispered tenderly. 

 

Listen to your brother, my precious lily...

 

“I don't have brothers!” Yuri snapped. “And I don't have a father! Stop spouting out these lies!”

 

I would never lie to you. Please forgive me for taking so long to return to you. I wish I could’ve done more for you, given you the love you deserve and crave. 

 

“It's not fair! It's not fair!!!” Yuri sobbed, shaking his head.  ”Why would you do this to me?! Why give me hope?” 

 

At this Starving Venom was trying to comfort Yuri but Yuri looked away. This caused the other boys to look in horror; Yuri never ignored Starving Venom when it showed concern for their older brother.

 

“This is BULLSHIT!” Yuri screamed. “ALL OF THIS! I'M GONNA MAKE YOU ALL PAY FOR MAKING ME FEEL LIKE THIS!”

 

“...I'm sorry,” Yuya whispered, knowing he had to do this the hard way. “Empyrean Magician’s effect activates! On the turn I summon him, he gains a different effect based on the type of monster I control. Since I control an Xyz monster, his attack is doubled!”

 

Black Mirror Xyz Dragon growled as Empyrean Magician nodded his head, a black aura surrounding him. (1500 -) 3000 ATK)

 

“Empyrean Magician...ATTACK STARVING VENOM!”

 

Empyrean Magician bowed his head before he summoned his silver sickles into the air. An orb of silver light formed above his head before he brought his weapons down. Starving Venom Fusion Dragon screeched as the orb struck its chest, disintegrating him.

 

Yuya: 1200

Yuri: 3800  

 

Yuri’s eyes became hidden by shadows as he bit his lower lip hard enough to bleed, before looking up with a manic look on his face, one Yuya also knew well, on both Yuri and Father’s faces.  it was a sadistic glee that came during punishments. Yuri was vengeful now. He started cackling, lifting his head to the air, his voice was the only thing that could be heard in this arctic landscape.

 

“You said that you were my father,” Yuri hissed, raising his eyebrow. “And yet you destroyed my precious monster! See? You lied...YOU LIED TO ME!” 

 

Yuya never thought that look, that tone would ever be directed at one of them. And to be directed at Father of all people...

 

Empyrean Magician said nothing, but...for just one moment, the four boys thought a tear fell down his eye. 

 

“I’m sorry for this,” Yuya apologized. 

 

“I’m not sorry for what I’m going to do next,” Yuri sneered. “Since Starving Venom Fusion Dragon was destroyed, so are all of your Special Summoned monsters!”

 

Thorny vines rose on Yuya’s side of the field before they wrapped themselves around Black Mirror Xyz Dragon. The dragon whimpered as the vines constricted against its body, pulling it until it was destroyed and shattered into black pixels.

 

“HAHAHAHAHAAAAA!” Yuri cackled. “How does it feel, Yuya? How does it feel to find your hopes absolutely crushed like glass beneath my feet?!”

 

Yuya shivered; Yuri’s laugh was so loud, frantic and absolutely hurtful. Not just to him, but also to Yuri himself.

 

My thorned Rose, Zarc tried once more, and Yuri’s head snapped to him, pink eyes full of anger, hurt and hatred. We're only trying to reach you . It hurts me to see you like this. Every tear you shed, word you shout...it's like a blade slicing my soul. It shatters my heart, my Dark Bloom, that you closed yours to me. 

 

“Shatters YOUR Heart?!” Yuri yelled, voice on edge, seconds away from breaking down and sobbing.  “WHAT ABOUT MINE?!” He screeched, taking deep breaths before regaining his composure, and flicking a strand of hair from his face, the image of confidence and eerie calm on his face. He chuckled, shoulders shaking.

 

 “What am I saying?” He shook his head, that confident smirk back on his face. “You're not even real...you're just a monster ! How are you even talking?” His hands were trembling, and a twitch appeared in his eye. “I’m going crazy, aren't I? I must be! I haven't had a good night’s sleep in days! All because of those dreams of false hope !“

 

Yuri snickered as he added, “But it’s fine, because once I’m done with my mission, I wouldn’t have to waste my time thinking about any of you. You’ll all be out of my hair forever !”

 

Yuya reacted as if he had just been burned. He took a step back, eyes wide in shock and fear. His brother was so far gone, he looked like he was about to snap. Yuya opened his lips to say something but all that came out was a whimper of horror. Yugo and Yuto were in a similar boat to Yuya. Oh how they wanted to comfort their eldest brother, but he was like a caged tiger hungry for blood and carrion. 

 

Yuri… Zarc whispered, not ready to give up hope in reaching his eldest son. Not yet. Never. He was going to get his treasure back, he knew Yuya can do it, he had faith in his Shooting star, his flames reached everyone’s hearts. He will get through to Yuri he knew it. No, you're not going crazy, my Thorned Rose. It's truly me, your father...speaking to you right now. I sent you those dreams to give you hope that you will return to us.

 

Yuri panted, tears trickling down his face as he looked at his surroundings: Yuya, Yuto and Yugo looking at him with sympathy. Yuya’s magicians floating in the air, gazing at him with solemn stares like angels watching if he shall sin. Empyrean Magician looking at him with love, warmth and patience and a hand extended.

 

This...this was too much. 

 

And he was going to end it right here, right now.

 

”...Yuya, was it?” Yuri asked, so soft that the others thought they were hearing things.

 

“Yes?” Yuya replied, not liking how soft Yuri’s voice became.

 

“Get that...that thing OUT OF MY SIGHT!” Yuri screamed with enough force to knock his brothers flat on their backs. Yuya flinched back, wanting to whimper. “I'm gonna beat you, card you and then get you out of my life!” Yuri swore, hands trembling. “I don't want fake promises! I don't want dashed hope! You're...you’re going to fucking pay! Everyone is gonna pay with their fucking lives !” 

 

When he said that last exclamation, Yuya swore Yuri’s eyes turned into slits. Yuri was so angry, his dragon form had manifested slightly without Father awakening that part in him. 

 

“Yuri…” Yuto said, knowing that look so well.

 

“We just want to help…” Yugo whimpered, crushed to see his lily this corrupted by his anguish and despair.

 

Yuri clutched his head hearing both Yugo and Yuto in his mind ( “How is this even possible? Why can he hear them too?!”) . He glared at both and snarled. 

 

Stay out of this! he hissed. “After I’m done with him, you two are fucking next!” Both younger brothers flinched back. 

 

”...Father…” Yuya whispered, turning to the magician.

 

Do what you need to do, my shooting star. If words were not going to reach Yuri, then let the pieces of his soul brought together do it. Empyrean Magician closed his eyes in acceptance. Both Timegazer and Stargazer looked solemn, knowing what the black-winged magician was implying. 

 

Yuya nodded his head, his bangs covering the tears forming in his eyes. “I activate the effect of my Sky Iris Field Spell. By offering a face-up card I control, I can take an ‘Odd-Eyes’ card from my deck to my hand. And the monster I choose to offer is...Performapal Empyrean Magician.”

 

Empyrean Magician smiled sadly before he was struck down with a bolt of lightning. Yuya then took another card to his hand and looked at it: Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon.

 

Yuri bit his tongue, and stopped himself from crying and screaming in horror as the magician was struck down by the lightning, tried hard not to yell and beg the magician to come back. He had unconsciously extended his hand to reach for him, now...not when Empyrean Magician offered it to him freely. 

 

“Please come back. I need you, pleasepleaseplease comeback!” Yuri pleaded the minute he realized just what Yuya was planning. 

 

He closed his eyes shut and shook his head, anger returning to him, clutching his hands and teeth once more. 

 

“Don't worry Yuri, we'll prove that our love isn't a lie…” Yuya promised. “I'm not offering you false hope, big brother. Feel it in your heart, Father's very soul and ours are crying to you.” 

 

”...”

 

“Now it's time to Pendulum Summon once more! Come to the field, Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and come back Performapal Empyrean Magician!” Yuya called.

 

Two bolts of lightning struck the field as two monsters appeared: the magician in his silver cloak with green highlights and black wings and the red dragon with dichromatic eyes appeared, looking happy to see Yuri on the field. And, Yuya might have been imagining things, but perhaps it was excited in seeing Starving Venom Fusion Dragon once more. (Performapal Empyrean Magician: 1500 ATK, Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon: 2500 ATK)

 

Yuri's heart and body felt like he had been set on fire. “How is that possible? You destroyed Fa...you destroyed him! How is he back?”

 

“Pendulum monsters that leave the field go to my Extra Deck,” Yuya explained. “Then I could Pendulum Summon him back. See? Father came back...he came back for you, Yuri. He always will. Just as he came back for all of us.”

 

Yuri stayed silent, biting his bottom lip so hard that blood was trickling down his chin. The three brothers and trio of magicians noticed the blood drop onto the icy floor in horror, it hurt them all to see Yuri like this. Yuya, Yuto, Yugo and their father wished to wipe away the blood, kiss the boy better and keep him forever in their arms. 

 

“I end my turn there,” Yuya looked at Yuri with pleading eyes, begging him to open his heart and listen to them,  “Please Yuri, no more fighting, come home...come back to all of us,” he said, extending his hand.

 

 “No…” Yuri shook his head, tears falling freely down his face, heart hammering away in his chest as he kept looking at Empyrean Magician. He wanted the monster gone, but he needed that magician to stay. He wanted to beg this monster to stay and never leave, wanted to believe the lies he was hearing because the thought of it sounded too sweet, too beautiful, too good compared to everything else he’s endured. At this point, it was stubbornness and fear that prevented him from doing any of that. 

 

“I won't stop,” Yuri stated, practically tearing the card off of his deck.  “Until you're beaten to the ground! I offer up my Seed Cannon here and now! And since it has 2 Plant Counters, I can inflict 1000 points of damage!”

 

The Continuous Spell Card shattered and fired the two Seed Counters onto Yuya’s Duel Disk. The Pendulum duelist screamed as he was flung backwards before he fell on his stomach, smoke rising from the attack.

 

Yuya: 200

Yuri: 3800

 

“YUYA!” Yuto and Yugo screamed.

 

As Yuya stood up, he was utterly confused at his brother’s strategy, “Why do that if you could just summon another Plant monster and give it a third counter?”  he asked, vexed at what Yuri was planning. “That way you could have offered it to knock off all of my lifepoints!”

 

“Because I want to PERSONALLY destroy that magician so that I never have to feel like this again!!!!” Yuri shouted, slamming a card into the tray of his Duel Disk. “I play Re-Fusion to revive Starving Venom from my graveyard for the cost of 800 lifepoints!”  

 

Yuri played his next Spell Card, a purple void with a white in the center where a lavender demon and yellow dragon circled each other, before Starving Venom was revived once more ready to kill. (2800 ATK)

 

Yuya: 200

Yuri: 3000

 

Yuri’s dragon lifted its head to the sky and roared, Odd Eyes responded in kind, and the two synchronised their roars which echoed in the night. 

 

“What the...Starving Venom, what are you doing?!” Yuri asked, never seeing his dragon respond like this before.

 

The two dragons called to each other, happy to see one another after so long, reunited at long last. Dark Rebellion and Clear Wing joined in. Empyrean Magician couldn’t help but smile at this. The dragons of Fusion, Synchro, Xyz and Pendulum all reunited, just like how all of his sons have returned. He closed his eyes as if he was hearing beautiful melodies, but opened them again looking at Yuri happily once more extending his hands for the boy to go to him and take, to be once more in his arms.

 

Yuri took a good long look at Odd Eyes, he knew that dragon, just like he knew that magician’s face and loving eyes. The amount of love he could see in Empyrean Magician’s eyes, it hurt too much, and Yuri kept refusing to believe it, and having the Magician destroyed then revived hurt him more than anything he had endured in Academia, it pulled more and more at his heart...it hurt too much, what was wrong with him?  

 

Starving Venom, help us reach into Yuri’s soul, help him return to us, let us reunite once more. Empyrean Magician commanded, approaching Starving Venom once again.

 

 “Stop that! How dare you talk to my dragon as if you know him! The one thing that is mine, and you would take him from me like that? How dare you…” Yuri shivered before screaming and running at the magician, wanting to place his hands on that monster’s neck to make him stop talking. “HOW DARE YOU!”



The magician just chuckled, melodious and happy and full of love and affection even as Yuri had tackled him onto the ground, hands on his throat, ready to squeeze the life out until Empyrean Magician laid dead. 

 

My darling lily, he is mine . Empyrean Magician lifted his hand, wiping the blood away with his thumb. You both are, my sweet treasure.

 

Yuri choked again, heart hammering in his ears, head throbbing. His. 

hishishis...Father’s...Father’s...

 

No! NO! NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!

 

“I’m not a treasure at all…” Yuri whispered, hands still on Empyrean Magician’s neck. “I’m nothing...I’m NOTHING!”

 

At this, Yuri’s hands shifted into claws and he placed one hand on his neck, reading to wake himself up from this never-ending nightmare.

 

“Don’t do it!” Yuto shouted. 

 

“Please don’t do this!” Yugo begged. “Please don’t do this, Yuri!”

 

Empyrean Magician just calmly embraced the boy into his chest before placing a kiss on his forehead, which made Yuri freeze and whimper, letting his hand fall as if he himself had been deactivated. Then another kiss was placed on his cheek, another on the side of his eyelids, and even a small peck on the nose. 

 

It’s alright my little blossom, Papa’s got you. he hugged Yuri to his chest and started rocking him slowly, humming softly like a swarm of happy bumblebees. Yuri just...couldn’t resist this. He let himself slump against the magician for just one moment, just one. One is good.  Starving Venom, please tell our sweet lily that everything is going to be okay.

 

“No…” Yuri whispered even as Starving Venom roared. “You’re...taking my dragon away…” his tears fell harder and harder. “You’ll take...everything away from me...selfish, absolutely selfish bastard!” He removed himself from the magician’s hold, stumbling away. But he could still hear the soft lullaby in his mind, making him feel drowsy and he soon fell to his knees in exhaustion

 

Yuya shook his head. “You’re wrong, Yuri. We’re not trying to take Starving Venom from you, we’re trying all we can to get you back, to convince you that your family is here. We’ve missed you, we’ve missed you so much,” and Yuri’s heart clenched at Yuya’s loving smile.

 

 “You missed us too, didn't you? I can see it, sense it.” Yuya put a hand over his heart, as if it would connect to Yuri’s, and Starving Venom screeched in agreement with Yuya’s words.

 

“Stop this, stop this, stop this, stop this!” Yuri clenched his teeth, tears falling down his face, his heart so in pain, so hollow, it hurt. He began slamming his hands onto the icy floor, hoping to feel something other than these feelings of hope and awe and belief that he’ll finally be happy.

 

“Yuri... Why do you fight it?” Yuya asked, his voice cracking slightly. “Why do you reject our love? Father's love? Our hearts are broken seeing you like that. Please come back to us.”

 

“We have all missed you,” Timegazer Magician whispered. “We had so many happy times together. Like that one time you wanted to use one of my special clocks to make your flowers grow faster.”

 

“Or how you broke my astrolabe and blamed it all on Yuto.” Stargazer Magician chuckled, causing Yuto blink.

 

“That was Yuri the whole time?!” he exclaimed, remembering how he was grounded from going to see the shooting stars that particular night even though he stated that he didn’t break the astrolabe in the first place. 

 

“Who loves me? Who wants me? Who cares for me?!” Yuri screamed, shivering, wanting this all to end and why can’t he just end it all ?! “All my life I've been neglected, isolated...and now you show me love? Not when I needed it most?! Not during those days in Academia when everyone hated me because I was so skilled in dueling?” 

 

Yuya shook his head as he approached his older brother. “We weren't there, none of us remembered, just like you don’t remember now. We were separated, but now we're back together. Yuri... We're here, come home,” Yuya extended his hand once more. 

 

“No…. NO! I don't want your hand!” Yuri shouted, slapping Yuya’s hand away. “I want nothing to do with ANY OF YOU! Just go away, leave me alone!”

 

At this, Yuri just fell to the side and curled himself into a ball. He didn’t care if he was weak, if someone from Academia knew that the brilliant watchdog of the Profesor was reduced this. All he wanted was this to go away.

 

 “I know you're lying,” said Yuya, sitting down next to Yuri and patting his shoulder. Yuri didn’t try to fight it; instead he just covered his face in shame. “It just feels too good to be true, doesn't it? But you want us, crave us. Your heart and soul call for us, and we call back to you. Come back to our arms, please.”

 

 ”No…” Yuri whimpered, tears in his eyes. “Please...it hurts, Yuya...”

 

Yuya wanted to just take Yuri into his arms and cry too. No matter what he did, no matter how hard he tried, Yuri just couldn’t accept it. Nothing he could do was getting to him. What was he doing wrong?!

 

“Father...I can’t reach him!” Yuya sobbed. Yuto and Yugo were also crying; their brother was too far gone now. “What...what do I do?!”

 

Let me take control... Empyrean Magician said, approaching Yuya and placing a hand on his head. Rest up now. It has been a long day for you. You’ve done well, my Shooting Star. 

 

Yuya saw the magician’s eyes glow before he felt so tired, felt the loving Darkness enveloping his mind. His duel disk was deactivated, causing the three Magicians and Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon to vanish. ...

 

And Zarc smiled sadly at his eldest son looking so sad and weak and lonely.  

 

Zarc patted Yuri’s arm, before wrapping his arms around the boy’s shoulders and putting him in his lap, he cradled Yuri's face in his hands and caressed Yuri’s cheek with his thumbs. “I know it hurts, my Dark Bloom. But it will all be better soon. My eldest child, precious lily of my life. Your family is here.”

 

“What family?” Yuri laughed weakly, tears still falling down his face. “I have no family!” He said weakly and began to thrash around with the last of his strength, wanting to use his claws to make this person bleed, wanting to get away from…

 

From... 

 

His breath hitched as he saw the tender and loving golden eyes on Yuya’s face, Yuri placed a shaking hand tentatively on Yuya’s face. If he didn’t feel anything, then he was dreaming.

 

But when Zarc leaned his cheek into that touch, it was all Yuri needed to know that he was awake. He was in reality. All of this was really happening.

 

Zarc kissed Yuri's hand, then leaned forward and kissed his forehead tenderly, cradling Yuri’s face to his chest. “I can hear your soul crying for us, my Lily. Come, let me in, let me Awaken you, remind you of who you truly are. It’s alright now. You’re in Father’s arms again, everything will be better all too soon for you. Trust in me, like you used to.”

 

Yuri sobbed, tears freely falling down his pale cheeks, his eyes red and puffy from all of the crying. “No...I don't want to be in pain anymore. I just...I just want this all to end…

 

Zarc shushed him tenderly, running his hand through Yuri’s hair. “It won't be pain, my love. No, never pain. It will be nothing but bliss, and you will never be alone again.”

 

Yuto and Yugo came closer, wrapping their arms around their older brother. The Fusion user flinched, unwittingly pressing further into Zarc’s embrace, loving how warm it was. 

 

“It's going to be all right,” Yuto whispered hugging Yuri closer, eyes closed as he pressed to his brother, burying his head in Yuri’s shoulder and nuzzling to him.. 

 

“We forgive you for what you did. You’re home now, in father’s arms, our arms, where you belong.” Yugo added.

 

Yuri sobbed louder, his body shaking violently. “No...No no no..”  he gasped for breath. “Please no more. You two...you’re supposed to hate me! I went and kidnapped those treasures of yours! You should want me DEAD right now!”

 

Yuto looked shocked for a moment before he smiled and caressed Yuri’s face. “How did you know to use that word, Yuri?”

 

Yuri paused; he had never used that term to describe those girls before. “ I...I…” 

 

“You're starting to remember,” Yugo whispered happily, and kissed Yuri’s cheek, which made Yuri flinch and whimper. It broke all of their hearts; he shouldn’t be reacting like this. “And it's true you took away our precious treasures.” He continued. “But we understand my Lily. We understand that you couldn't have remembered us, remember your love for us, our love for you. To you, you simply had to obey the Professor. But no more. No more, that man will never hold any control over you again.”

 

“No...the Professor...he...he was the only one to not fear me, not hate me,” Yuri stated, clutching at Zarc and burying his head in the man’s chest, craving more affection, even if he thought that he should be trying to fight back against this love and kindness that they were giving him, he didn’t deserve it after all, yet it was given to him so freely.

 

Zarc shook his head. “He cared nothing for you, my love and we all know it, don't we? You're just a tool for that cold-hearted Professor. But no more, no more. My Yuri, my beloved first born.” 

 

Yuri was too afraid to hope, to believe that any of this was real. This was nothing more than some beautiful fantasy that he will never ever obtain, he was sure. After all that he did, all that he said, this couldn’t possibly be reality. “Please...stop this…” he begged, because it will hurt more once the dream ends. It will hurt so so much.

 

“Shh now, my lovely bloom. You're home in my arms again. Oh how we've missed you.” Zarc kissed Yuri’s forehead, and cheeks, it made the younger boy gasp, it felt so so good, please...this was tourture, it was too good, but it wouldn’t last, he knew it would never last. “Come now,” Zarc whispered in Yuri’s ear, soft and melodic and saccharine sweet. These sensations, Yuri could get addicted to them. “It’s time to remember everything, to return to us, and forever be mine again.” 

 

Yuri’s eyes glazed over, panting softly, his mind so dizzy. “This...feels...so warm…”

 

“That’s it my child, let me in, My Lily,” Zarc cooed, closing his eyes. “Let me remind you of who you truly are. My precious Yuri. My beautiful treasure.” 

 

Yuri’s breathing slowed down as he closes his eyes, feeling a gentle push at his mind and soul.

 

 “That's it sweet one,” Zarc breathed, pleased with his son calming down at last. ”Finally ours once more.”

 

 “Remember us, Yuri, and all that we’ve been through together...” Yuto whispered.

 

“Remember our love, our life...and our hatred of Akaba,” said Yugo, kissing his forehead. 

 

“Reunited with us, finally truly happy,” Zarc whispered in Yuri’s ear. “Reunite…”

 

“Reu...nite…” Yuri whispered, eyes finally closed shut.

...

 

Yuri soon found himself in another dream, one where he, Yuto, Yugo and Yuya were having a picnic in the garden with Empyrean Magician, wearing clothes that resembled hooded cloaks and...were those horns and wings too? On all of them?

 

They sat underneath some of the trees, on a blanket with different types of food laid out for the five of them. There were cups of tea, slices of fresh fruit, sandwiches, slices of bread with jam spread on top of them, and a stack of pancakes topped with syrup and fresh berries! Yuya couldn’t wait to devour those!

 

“Mineminemine!” Yuya shouted, taking three pancakes from the very top and placing them on his plate. He licked his lips. “MINE!!!!”

 

“Yuya, you have to share those with your family,” the magician chuckled, taking the top pancake all covered in syrup and biting into it.

 

“PAPA!!!!” Yuya whined and pouted as his brothers laughed at him. The man kissed Yuya’s nose, a wide smile on his face. 

 

Yuri watched the family as if this was an old movie pulled from inside his very soul. His breath hitched, and tears filled his eyes once more. He never experienced that at all. Never eating with friends in the school’s cafeteria or in the garden. He always ate alone, always jealous whenever he saw students eating together, laughing, talking and experiencing things he would never receive.

 

Zarc stood behind Yuri, hands gently resting on his shoulders as he walked the boy through his memories. Memories of the four boys being taught magic by Timegazer and Stargazer Magician, reading books in the library, all of them taking a warm bath with Empyrean Magician washing mud and other substances like flour or glue or whatever they decided to play around with out of their hair with such gentle hands, or how he would tuck them all to bed and kiss them goodnight, whispering how much he loved them.

 

“See this, my lily?” Zarc whispered softly in Yuri’s ear, lulling him deeper into what felt more and more like the sweetest of dreams. “Did the Professor ever give you this sort of happiness?”

 

Yuri could only shake his head dazed, happy memories returning to him, slowly but surely, weaving an entire new --old-- life for him right in front of his very eyes, with a voice so sweet it felt as if it was casting a spell on Yuri’s mind

 

“Did he ever hold you tight? Did he wipe your tears away?” 

 

No, that man never did any of those things.

 

“Leo Akaba and his daughter Ray separated us, took us away from each other. But now, now we are together once more. Remember, my sweet Prince of Fusion. The nights we slept together, the days we played together, rode our beloved dragons, how you flew with your own wings for the very first time.”

 

“Remember the Midnight Blue roses you would give to Yuto, the kisses and games you would give Yugo, the adoration and utmost love you gave our little Yuya.”

 

Yuri shivered as he kept remembering, the happiness he felt, the sweet smiles on the faces of the other boys (his brothers), the smiles of love, care and devotion for him and only for him! 

 

“Remember the promise we made to be by each others' sides. Remember the stories I read you, the determination in your eyes to protect your brothers from harm,” Zarc continued. “How you used to go to that secret place in the garden where you only allowed your brothers in, how you cared so much for your plants as if they were your friends. Remember it all Yuri, and come back to us whole, because it is time for Akaba to pay, for you to get your true treasures back.”

 

His golden eyes were glowing as he stated three words into the mind of his eldest son. Awaken, my son.   

 

That phrase echoed in Yuri’s mind, over and over and over again. It was an order, a command . We do not disobey Father, we follow his every word. For Father’s love, we obey.  

 

A shiver ran down Yuri's back, before finally looking at the man behind him, over his shoulder, it was...

 

“Wait...you're…” he whispered 

 

“Do not worry yourself," he said with the same loving smile that he'd had throughout the duel. "Just remember...remember everything, my sweet bloom,” Zarc whispered, and Yuri’s breath hitched. 

 

All sorts of memories and names filled his mind, an overload of a life that was once his. And in the center of it all was him, this figure that loved him and who he loved back. 

 

Yuri's eyes widened as he realized...as it finally dawned on him. He felt so foolish to have resisted, to have fought, to have disobeyed

 

 “Father…” He breathed and raised his hand as if to touch the man’s face once more, to confirm that he’s real

 

“You remember now, don't you?” he asked with a tender smile on his face. As more and more memories rise, more tears fall down Yuri's face

 

He launched himself at Father,  wrapping his arms around the man’s waist hugged him tightly “Papa! Papa don't go away again! Please. Pleasepleaseplease, Papa…please stay...” Yuri whimpered he finally reached to father, finally could ask and plead and beg for his father to not leave him. Pleasedon’tleavepleasedon’tleave please don’t leave!

 

“I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry I didn't know any better…” He yelled, body shaking. “How...how could I...I threatened Yuya, wanted to hurt him, hurt my brothers, how could I be forgiven after that?! I'm sorry Papa! I’msorryI’msorryi’msorry I didn't mean to let you down. I didn’t mean to hurt them!”

 

 “I know my love, I know. It's gonna be alright,” Zarc shushed him. 

 

“I said such horrible things to you, to my brothers,” Yuri whimpered and kept on crying. “You...you must hate me, don’t you?”

 

“Yuri,” Zarc whispered softly. “Shh now, look at me,” He gently cupped Yuri’s chin, and raised his head up. Golden eyes glowing. Yuri’s breath hitched; the more he looked into Father’s eyes, the more he could feel himself calming down, relaxing more and more. “That’s it my Darkest Bloom. Relax for me, let my voice calm your mind.” 

 

Yuri nodded, his eyes glazed over. He was breathing slowly and steadily, Father’s love filling his mind. It felt so good, numbing everything around him, only feeling Father’s love and will. Yuri panted slightly, he felt Father’s thumb running softly over his lips. He felt so happy, so relaxed.   

 

“I'm not mad or disappointed,” Zarc whispered, Yuri’s eyes glancing down at his lips as he talked, fangs stretched, so sharp that they would probably tear through his throat. “I will never be angry at you, my lily. You were manipulated by Professor Akaba. He preyed on your loneliness and twisted it so you became his pawn doing his bidding just for a simple iota of kindness he would give you.” Yuri’s eyes watered at that. It hurt for him to know that, no, the Professor never cared for him at all. “You’ve come back to me. You’re mine again, aren't you my Lily? Only mine.”

 

That’s right...he was Father’s precious treasure. The most beautiful possession of his father, Supreme Dragon King Zarc. Loved, protected, covered, possessed...just thinking of being such a blessed thing made him shiver in delight.

 

“Yours Papa, yours! Always and forever!” Yuri whispered, through the fog of bliss and love that drowned his mind. Zarc chuckled at ruffled Yuri’s hair. Yuri beamed at the touch.

 

“Just as it should be,” Zarc licked Yuri’s tears away and kissed his cheek. The younger boy gave a sigh. Zarc patted Yuri's back and kissed his forehead. “Come now, we need to return. Your brothers are waiting.”

 

“Please,” Yuri whispered, and Zarc looked at Yuri once more. “P...please don't leave me again, Papa.” 

 

“Never,” Zarc said with a loving smile. “I'm always a part of you, my lily. I promise.”

 

“Papa?” he asked softly, almost afraid to say anything after all that had come out of his lips before. 

 

“What is it, my lily?” Zarc questioned, ever so patient.

 

“K...kiss me more? Once more, please?” He whispered softly, hands shaking and clinging to his Father’s tunic. He wanted the affection, craved it, needed Father’s love once more. 

 

“Oh my sweet boy,” he said with a soft smile, hugging Yuri closer to him, kissing the top of his head, his forehead, down his cheek, all over his face, and Yuri relaxed more and more sighing happily, his knees became weak once more  as he melted more and more in his father's embrace. 

 

 “I…” Yuri said in a daze. “I love you, Papa. So… so much.”

 

Zarc kissed Yuri's forehead tenderly and lovingly, stroking his face gently “I love you too, my lily.”

 

And he held onto Yuri as the memories gave away into light.

 

..

 

Yuri’s eyes slowly fluttered open, returned back to where they were prior, with Starving Venom staring at him and him back in the arms of his brothers with six pairs of teary eyes were staring at him, waiting for his response.

 

Yuri looked around at the faces around him, and gave them, he was still held in their arms, and a soft loving smile formed on his face. “Hello, my treasures.”

 

His brothers all had tears in their eyes and big smiles on their faces. 

 

“You're back now. You're back, Yuri…” Yuya sobbed. 

 

“I'm back, my little ruby. You didn’t give up on me,” he kissed Yuya's forehead, “How can I ever repay you, ever make it up to you, the horrible things I said...”

 

Yuya shook his head, a tender loving smile on his face. “You’re back to us now, that’s all that matters, Yuri,” and the pink haired boy crushed his baby brother to his chest.  

 

He turned to Yuto, and caresses his cheek, “My Shadow Knight…” Yuto pressed his hand further into Yuri’s touch. The oldest brother turned to look at Yugo, “My summer breeze...please forgive me. I'm sorry for what I did, taking your treasures, confusing you for each other...I...I had no idea what I was doing…”

 

“We know,” whispered Yuto, kissing his brother’s palm

 

“We forgive you, Lily, we love you.” Yugo added, kissing Yuri’s cheek. 

 

“Cry it all out, Yuri. It's okay,” Yuya cooed, seeing the tears trickling down Yuri’s face. Tears of remorse, happiness, sorrow all blended into one.

 

Starving Venom Fusion Dragon purred, happy to see Yuri so happy. Yuri looked up and smiled.

 

“Thank you,” he whispered, removing his deck from his Duel Disk. 

 

And before Starving Venom vanished, it looked like, for just a moment, he smiled back.



“That bastard is gonna pay for what he did,” Yuri assured them. “It’s a good thing that mysterious biker stopped me from going after Serena and your treasure, Yuya. Else I would never have Awakened and remembered all of you.”

 

“Mysterious bi -- Mom?!” Yuya gasped.

 

Yuri blinked, “...Mom?” he asked confused.  

 

“She’s the coolest!” Yugo exclaimed. “She used to be part of this biker gang and she’s super nice and caring and cooks the most delicious breakfasts ever!“

 

“Why thank you, dear crystal.” A voice chuckled, causing the five to blink. They turned to see Yoko on her motorcycle above them, a smirk on her face. They all blinked up at her. The older woman got off of the motorcycle and removed her helmet. 

 

“Hello Yuri,” Yoko said with a kind smile on her face. “it’s so nice to meet you, in...better circumstances than you trying to kidnap Yuzu and Serena.”

 

Yuri just...really wasn’t sure what to say to that. 

 

“You’re...not mad at me for that?” he asked, bewildered.

 

Yoko sighed. “You? No. Professor Akabastard? Yes. Now come on; we should be getting out of here before we have Obelisk Force chasing us.”

 

Yuto looked around at the destroyed cameras, Reiji didn’t know what’s going on yet, but would’ve detected the large spikes of Fusion summoning emitting from Starving Venom Dragon, and they have to stick to the plan.

 

“I dropped Serena and Yuzu off at a campsite in the Jungle area,” Yoko said. “But we need to get going and find a place to rest.”

 

“Going? Where?” Yuri asked. 

 

“We had a deal with Reiji, mostly to get him off our tracks and have an easier time bringing you back,” said Yuto. “Reiji wants to use you as a source of information and as a bargaining chip.”

 

“And once he’s done integrating you, he would’ve tried to rewrite your memories so that you’d think you’ve always belonged in this dimension and in the LDS school,” Yuto added, not liking the idea of another Akaba messing with his older brother’s mind.  

 

“Hmm, I see,” said Yuri, a thoughtful look in his eye.

 

“You’d be protected from the memory thing of course thanks to Father, but...maybe we should find a way to hide you, maybe tell Reiji that you escaped…” Yugo trailed off. 

 

“Oh no no, no, I can work with that, actually.” Yuri said, tapping his chin in thought.

 

“Work with it? What do you mean by that?” Yugo said raising an eyebrow, which got him Yuri’s usual mischievous smirk. Yoko raised an eyebrow; she could see the similarities to that of Zarc.

 

“Don’t worry about it, just let me meet this Reiji and I’m sure we can...work something out.” Yuri smirked, licking his fangs. 

 

“R-right,” said Yuya, still a bit confused on what his brother was thinking. Yuri gave him a soft smile. 

 

“Well then brothers,” he said.  “Do lead the way,” he whispered.  

 

“Hold on,” said Yoko, pulling out her cellphone. “Yuri, I need you to clarify something.”

 

“What’s that?” asked Yuri.

 

Yoko played the video she recorded on her phone, of Yuri teleporting and how Dennis smiled at seeing the purple-haired doppelganger of Yuya. “Dennis Macfield is from the Xyz Dimension according to Yuto...so why was he acting so chummy with you ? I also heard you tell him, and I quote, ‘Just go be useful somewhere else like in Heartland or whatever/‘”

 

Yuri blinked at how astute this woman turned out to be before looking at Yuto looking at the recording of the two talking in absolute horror . Zarc widened his eyes; not so much in Yoko being so amazing but finally making the connection that was like an itch he just couldn’t scratch. So that’s why Dennis was so familiar…

 

Zarc’s wrath immediately rose, shadows danced in anger and hatred, burning like a raging fire as the winds howled around them.

 

Yoko knew the signs around her; the monster realized it had been fooled and now it was furious.

 

The four boys’ eyes widened as they all felt their father’s anger rise, and Yuri couldn’t help but flinch in fear.

 

“W...well…” Yuri began. “Because he’s from Academia like me. We talked a little before he was sent on his mission a while back.”

 

Yoko narrowed her eyes, looking ready to crack her phone with how tight she gripped it. “What mission?”

 

“To be a spy in the Xyz Dimension and, when the time was right and once Ruri was found, signal to Obelisk Force to invade and then…” Yuri stopped talking as he realized what that meant.

 

Dennis green-lighting the invasion meant Obelisk Force entered his brother’s home, leaving it in ruins, carding anyone in their path for a “game” and leading Yuri to kidnap Yuto’s treasure!

 

Yugo looked wide-eyed in fear, afraid for his younger brothers’ sanity. Neither of them was going to take the news well.

 

Yuya felt sick to his stomach. Dennis lied about being a big fan of Yusho and just pretended to get on his good side. Just like Sora...

 

Meanwhile, Yuto looked like he wanted to kill someone, his eyes had turned to slits his fangs, claws extended and scales started appearing on his face. Dennis wasn’t from Xyz at all...but from Fusion ? From Academia ?!

 

“....”

 

“Y...Yuto?” Yuri asked, seeing the transformation. He could feel Yuto’s anger and wrath rivaling Father’s and he flinched again. And then he noticed Yuya’s eyes glowing. “Y...Yuya?”

 

Yuto’s fangs bit into his bottom lip and blood trickled down his chin. “THAT TWO-FACED SMUG BASTARD!!!!”

 

The ground seemed to tremble and quake as Yuto roared to the sky, tears forming in his eyes. Storm clouds formed above him, thunder roared loud enough to be heard across the city. Lighting flashed seconds later, causing people to question the sudden change in weather.

 

(And in the Ancient Ruins section, where Shun was dueling two Obelisk Force soldiers alongside Gongenzaka, he could hear that roar in his mind, and a shiver ran down his spine.)

 

Yoko wasn’t scared at Yuto’s transformation; she knew what this was about. And she didn’t blame Yuto for being so pissed off at the revelation. Seeing as she herself was a huge fan of Dennis -- for being so much like Yusho and just as handsome -- she couldn’t believe that she could’ve been so easily fooled by him if she acting like an ignorant protagonist of a horror film.

 

Yuto panted, and Yuya put his arms around his shoulders to calm him down. “Shh, Yuto, it’s okay, it’s okay, you’ll get your revenge on him later, I promise,” he whispered softly, attaching his forehead to Yuto’s. The Xyz prince hugged his little brother closer, tears of rage and regret falling down his face which Yuya wiped gently. 

 

“That bastard…” Yuto gritted his teeth. “How...how could he do such a thing ?”

 

“It’s not like we can ask him why out of the blue,” Yoko stated. “If he could teleport to the Xyz Dimension and to this dimension, he could easily teleport back to his if his cover is blown.”

 

“That’s true,” said Yuri. “We need to be careful and not let anyone know what exactly transpired tonight, or that I’m on your side, at least to anyone other than Reiji.” 

 

He looked at his little brother, still a little scared. Yuto was wrathful, and Yuri deserved any and all punishments Yuto and Yugo would want to give him. But he wanted to help. He placed his hands between Yuto’s shoulder blades right between where his wings would be, Yuto stiffened for a moment before relaxing his shoulders completely. 

 

“Yuto, I am sorry, no matter how little that is worth I truly am, and I will do everything I can to fix things.”

 

Yuto turned to him, eyes more sad than angry. “I know,” he said with a nod, extending his claws and placing his hand tenderly on Yuri’s cheek. The older brother flinched but didn’t move away, ready for Yuto to scratch his face into a bloody mess...only to have those claws caress his cheek tenderly. 

 

Yuri looked at his brother in surprise and shock. “You’re...you’re not mad at me?”

 

Yuto shook his  head.“I’m happy you’re back with us now, Yuri,” 

 

At the sincerity of those words Fusion prince cried, looking at the love and tenderness in his brother’s eyes the one he had wronged most of all, still loved him, and cherished him. He placed his own hand on Yuto’s, pressing it into his cheek and nuzzling to it.   

 

Yuri then took a glance at Yugo, knowing how important Rin was to his summer breeze. “What about you, Yugo? You’re...not mad at me either?”

 

“No, my lily. I’m not,” Yugo answered, placing a kiss on Yuri’s cheek. Yuri’s cheeks turned bright pink at the gesture. “You had no idea; it wasn’t your fault.”

 

Yuri warily looked at Yoko and the stern look in her eye. He shivered; Yoko could be just as angry as Father! “You’re...not mad at me and what I did, are you?”

 

“Depends,” Yoko answered. “You also know that Sora Shiunin was sent here too?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“You have the intel on the more prominent figures looking over the Xyz Dimension?”

 

“I do.”

 

“You know of anyone from Academia that’s hiding in Synchro?”

 

“Indeed.”

 

Yoko smirked. “Good, because you’re going to tell us all of this over dinner.”

 

Yuri blinked. “Di...dinner?” 

 

“Yes that’s right,” she said with a firm nod. “Come on boys, and Yuto do put those claws of yours away for now. Save it to when you actually need to tear some bastard’s throat out.”

 

Yuto chuckled weakly. “Yes, Yoko Kaa-san.”

 

“All right!” Yugo cheered. “Kaa-san is making dinner!”

 

“Wait, how are you going to do such a thing?” asked Yuya.

 

“Simple,” Yoko chuckled. “We’re going home and you’re all going to help me cook some omelet rice.”

 

“Omelet rice for dinner?!” Yuya gasped. Aside from pancakes, Yoko made delicious omelet rice whenever he had Yuzu or Gongenzaka over for a sleepover. He was so excited; his brothers would get to eat mother’s sleepover omelet rice!

 

Yuri still looked skeptical about following but Yugo took his hand and squeezed. “Hop on, my lily,” he whispered softly and Yuri couldn’t help returning the loving smile and blush a bit. The five of them headed out. Yuri riding with Yugo on his D-wheel, while Yuto and Yuya rode with Yoko. 

 

Yuri wrapped his arms around Yugo’s waist and buried his face in his brother’s back, and now that the bond with Yuri was fully open, all four brothers happily sent each other loving and comforting emotions.  

 

“It’s okay. We’re here. We love you. We’ll never ever leave. We’re family. Always and forever.”

 

Yoko sped off, winking at Yugo and Yuri as she did. Yuya waved good-bye and Yuto nodded his head.

 

And Yuri hugged Yugo tighter, placing a shy kiss on his shoulder. “My summer breeze…” he began shyly.

 

“Yes, lily?” Yugo asked, confused.

 

Yuri pulled out the pink lily from his pocket, lifted the visor of Yugo’s helmet and tucked the flower in Yugo’s ear before kissing his cheek. "I really am sorry, Yugo. I was very stupid and mean. I didn't mean it."

 

And over the roar of the D-Wheel engine, Yugo smiled, placed the visor back over his face and replied. “I know.”

 

A tear fell down Yuri’s eye burying his face back in Yugo’s back, as the two followed Yoko back home.

 

Chapter Text

 

If there is one word to describe what Rin has been through in the past four months, it would be hell. Absolute fucking hell , and the green haired Synchro duelist was sick of it. 

 

First she was kidnapped by a bastard with the same face as her best friend, with a dragon that looked just as fearsome as Clear Wing and it looked like it wanted to eat her whole. She swore if she saw that smug face again she was gonna say “Fuck dueling!” and just bash his face in. Then let’s see him duel her. 

 

She was locked in a motherfucking tower like a princess, with some guard calling himself Apollo, with a deck based about the sun and a personality that boasted that he was bright as it, and it had so much Fusion and ugh! Rin was gonna explode of how repetitive this has been: escape, duel Apollo, make a run for it, get captured, scream obscenities before she was thrown back into her prison. Rinse, lather, repeat. She did kick the bastard in the dick for good measure the last time he won their duel, and she does not regret that decision. Especially since the man always grimaced every single time they locked eyes now.

 

This was the sixth time she got out of the fucking tower and was running in the forest. And at this point she had made certain marks either on the trees or rocks to paint a certain path and hiding places away from the soldiers that keep being sent after her. 

 

If she met the piece of shit responsible for all that she’s been through she promised herself they wouldn’t be alive any longer. She’d find a way to make her monsters freeze him to death before taking a sledgehammer and turning them into shards that she would crush beneath her foot.

 

And then she would find a way back to the Synchro Dimension, back to her home, back to Yugo, make their plans to enter the Friendship Cup, win every single duel they had to go to in order to win, defeat Jack Atlas and then have their happily ever after as part of the Tops.

 

She missed Yugo! So much, so so much. She wanted to cry and tell him that she should’ve asked him to be with her on that night where she was captured. She wanted to apologize for being so annoyed with him sometimes, she wanted to sleep in his arms and he’d promise that nothing could ever separate them again. She missed everything about him:  his bright smile, his unending energy, the stupid funny faces he makes, that pretty blush and freckles on his cheeks, the way he suported her, his stupid and rash decisions. She wanted him back in her arms so badly. Her Yugo!

 

But crying would have to wait. She could cry in Yugo’s arms after she got out of wherever she’s been trapped in.

 

As she was racing towards the forest, turning back to see if any Obelisk Force members were chasing her, she turned around to find herself crashing into someone. The two smacked into each other with a loud groan.

 

“Shit!” The second person stated. “We gotta hide!”

 

“We?” Rin repeated. “What do you mean by -- “

 

She never got a chance to finish that sentence as she was dragged into the bushes, just as three Obelisk Force soldiers arrived, began talking about splitting up, and then left. Rin sighed. That was too close.

 

“Hey,” said the person, helping Rin stand up. “Are you okay?”

 

“Get away from me!” Rin said, grasping the arm of whoever grabbed her. “Who the hell are you?!”

 

“I’m just about to ask the same thing myself,” the person answered. “And...why do you look so much like me?”

 

The other girl was right, she did look so much like Rin. Similar face, similar eyes, even having a bracelet on their right wrist!

 

The green haired duelist narrowed her eyes, her expression mad. Everyone on this island had only been an enemy; even the boy with the same face as Yugo had put her in this mess, so a girl with the same face as her could very well also be her enemy. 

 

“So? Are you a pawn of fusion too?” the girl who looked like her asked, twiddling with a long strand of violet hair.

 

“‘Pawn of fusion?’” Rin asked still not trusting the girl. “Um, does this look like something from Fusion?”

 

Rin pulled out a card, Windwitch - Crystal Bell , her most treasured monster, and handed it to the other girl. Said other girl inspected the card before handing it back to Rin.

 

“Just wanting to be sure,” The other girl answered. “What is that monster anyhow?”

 

“It’s a Synchro monster,” Rin answered in a tone that would announce the weather. “Wait, you don’t know anything about Synchro?”

 

“Synchro? Where I come from, we only use Xyz monsters.” 

 

“What the hell are Xyz monsters ?” Rin asked raising an eyebrow. The other girl with her face took a card out, and showed it to Rin, the card was black, and the stars where the level was stated were Grey and in the opposite side. Lyrical Luscinia - Assembly Nightingale. 

 

“Oh, huh, they look cool,” Rin said, handing the card back. “So I take it the two of us are in the same situation, running away from Fusion Bastards and most likely got chased by a boy that looked similar to one we knew and he had a giant fucking dragon that wanted to eat us whole, right?.” 

 

“That seems to be the case, yes, I’m Ruri Kourosaki,” the girl replied, extending her hand out. “And you are?”

 

“Rin, nice to finally meet a friendly face around here, even if it was my own.” Rin chuckled. “So, let me guess...you have a boy from where you’re at and you mistook the one who kidnapped us as them, right?”

 

“That’s...correct,” Ruri replied. “I was so scared, thinking why Yuto was in that cloak and trying to terrorize me with that dragon of his…”

 

“When I saw that bastard, I was gonna punch Yugo in the face for pulling that kind of sick stunt on me,” Rin admitted. “So...what’s this Yuto like?”

 

“Yuto? Oh he -- “ There was a small blush on her cheeks thinking of him. “He’s so nice and sweet and like a knight in all those stories I read.”

 

“I could say the same about Yugo on his D-Wheel like a knight on his trusty steed, riding on the roads without a care in the world,” Rin sighed. “I miss him so much.”

 

“I miss Yuto too,” Ruri added. “And Shun and Sayaka and Allen and Kaito too. I wonder how they’re all doing…”

 

“There you are!” 

 

The two girls turned to glare at the newcomers approaching them, more Obelisk Batards preparing to summon those Triple or Double or “how many heads are there?!” mechanical mutts. Those sons of bitches just couldn’t stand unleashing a pack of bitches on these girls.

 

“You shitheads again?” Rin growled. 

 

“Ugh, they just never give up,” Ruri said. “Looks like we’re going to have to get rid of them the hard way.”

 

As she said that, she activated her Duel Disk and drew five cards. This wouldn’t be the first time she fought these guys and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

 

At least, this time, she wouldn’t be dueling alone.

 

“So, Ruri?” said Rin, activating her Duel Disk. “Think you can give me a lesson on how Xyz summoning works?”

 

“Depends,” Ruri replied. “You mind giving me a lesson on Synchro 101?”

 

She answered Ruri with a grin. “Only if we survive.”

 

“LET’S DUEL!” 

 

*************************

 

“So Yuri,” said Yoko as she scooped a plate of hot steaming rice out of her rice cooker. “I’m glad that you’ll be staying with us for the night.”

 

Yuri nodded his head as he, Yuto, Yugo and Yuya were helping Yoko prepare dinner in the kitchen. Yuya was the one who helped his brothers point out where the ingredients were all while avoiding the animals in the house growling and yapping at them. Yuri didn’t know how to feel about all of this; everything to him from food to clothes to cards was handed to him on a silver platter. So the fact that he was going about, setting the table, figuring out how to chop and peel vegetables for the first time, even trying how to crack an egg, was all so new to him. 

 

Yuya winced a little when Yuri slammed the egg on the counter, causing it to spill its contents out. He didn’t know whether to laugh or feel so sorry for Yuri picking out egg shell out of his palm.

 

“You have to do it gently,” said Yuya, taking a fork to lightly tap an egg so a crack formed on the shell. Then, he split the shell and an egg plopped onto the bowl, the yolk gold like the sun. “Try it out.”

 

Yuri nodded his head as he followed Yuya’s example. Two taps of the fork and an additional egg was added to the bowl. There was a soft smile on his face as he continued to do this for four more eggs.

 

Yuto smiled a little as he started grating cheese with a sturdy hand (“A secret ingredient I add to the omelette to give it a better umami flavor”, Yoko explained) when he heard someone sniffling. “Yugo?” he asked, seeing Yugo chopping something with a knife in hand. “Are you crying?”

 

“It’s the onions!” Yugo bawled, turning around to show that he was mincing a large onion. “That’s all it is! I swear!” He tried wiping his tears with his shoulder, his eyes burning. 

 

“Shh…” Yuto replied. “I’m not mad. It’s okay to cry…”

 

Yugo sniffled as he did his best to chop the onion as best as he could with blurry eyes. Thank goodness he was wearing gloves, else his fingers would be bleeding by now.

 

“That’s enough, Yugo,” said Yoko, seeing how perfectly minced they were. “You’re a natural at this.”

 

“Rin and I didn’t have that much money for groceries,” Yugo admitted, tilting the chopping board and using the knife to scrape the onion into a bowl. “So we had to learn not to waste food and learn to make do with whatever we could get our hands on...which usually wasn’t a lot.”

 

“You’ll always have enough food as long as you’re with me,” said Yoko, patting his shoulder. “Now, you mind helping me slice some bacon?”

 

And soon enough, the five quickly had all the ingredients needed to make the omelet rice ready and waiting. Yuto and Yugo looked in awe and Yuri looked in curiosity. He never had omelet rice before; nor did he ever actually see how it was cooked.

 

Yuya then noticed the slow cooker in the corner. “What’s in there, mom?”

 

“Oh, I asked Michiyo what type of food would go great with omelette rice a while back and he showed me this recipe from the Philippines,” Yoko answered, placing a pan on the stove and turning it to medium heat. “Pork adobo -- when pork is marinated in soy sauce, pepper and vinegar!”

 

“Smells good,” said Yuya with a sigh.

 

“And it’ll taste great when I get these omelets finished,” said Yoko, putting a bit of butter onto the pan. “All right, I can handle the cooking on my own; why don’t you help clean up the trash and wash the dishes? Then you can all watch The Haunting Hour until dinner is ready.”

 

“Really?” asked Yuya. 

 

“Yeah, but not the super scary episodes like Dreamcatcher or My Old House or The Perfect Brother or Brush With Madness or Afraid of Clowns or Scarecrow or Sick or  --”

 

“Can you tell us with episodes we can watch?” Yuto asked, not liking what type of horrors could come from the titles.

 

Yoko paused. After the fiasco with the last episode she chose at random, the last thing she needed was to traumatize them with some of the more...darker and depressing episodes. (Like that time Yuya suggested they watch Catching Cold ...and then started screaming every time he heard the jingle of an ice cream truck as it passed by or “Pop goes the weasel!” for about a month)

 

“... Uncle Howee ?” Yoko suggested with a shrug. "It’s a goofy little episode that will defintiely won’t make you act like a bunch of zombies. After all, I really don't want what happened the last time to happen again.”

 

Yuri raised his eyebrow. "What do you mean 'last time'?"

 

"Ah you know, the usual possessed horror tropes of kids deciding that they’ll just off themselves so they could re...turn to their families in the afterlife and all.” Yoko answered, still trying to get the image of seeing Yuya, Yuto and Yugo’s...reactions to the ending of that particular episode of her mind. She picked up the sliced bacon and watched it sizzle in the pain before adding the onion.

 

Yuri looked shocked at the answer and none of his brothers were looking her in the eye. 

 

It's not as bad as Yoko-san is making it out to be... Yuri heard Father say with a soft chuckle before running his claws lightly in Yuri's hair. The simple action made the oldest boy shiver in delight, something he couldn't suppress, making him gasp out loud not used to that treatment yet

 

"Yuri? Something wrong?" Yoko asked, turning around to see the boy’s reaction. Yuri looked at her with red cheeks, embarrassed at the sound he made, but he couldn't help but close his eyes as Father kept running his claws through his hair, body trembling with pleasure. 

 

"Y-Yuri?" She asked worried. 

 

"It's fine," Yuya answered, noticing how Yuri was close to collapsing from these sensations.

 

Yoko frowned all while she kept stirring the onions and bacon in the pan with a wooden spatula. "Yuya, what’s fine about Yuri looking like he’s in the throes of ecstasy?" 

 

"It's just Father. He's running his claws through Yuri's hair, at the moment" the red and green haired boy explained.

 

Yoko raised her eyebrow. "You boys never reacted like that…" 

 

"Well, not in front of you," said Yuto. "And this is new to Yuri, his reactions are gonna be uncontrolled since he's not used to Father's touch anymore." 

 

“You do know how you constructed that sentence doesn’t make it any less creepy…”

 

“What do yo….oh….” Yuto said, cheeks turning red.

 

By this time Zarc stopped the gentle strokes. He then gave Yuri a kiss on the forehead, loving how he looked in a happy daze, one of the happiest he’s ever felt in a long time. Yugo chuckled, walking to his older brother before giving him a small peck on his lips, making Yuri's smile widen and making him purr in delight and nuzzle to Yugo who happily nuzzled him back.

 

Yoko clicked her teeth; cats when they purr are cute. Boys purring due to invisible shadowy fathers hugging and cuddling them are not !

 

“OK...how about we go old school with the traditional Goosebumps ?” she said. “They’re the comedic cousin compared to the Haunting Hour .” She added the diced carrots and rice into the pan as she thought about what would be the perfect episode for them to watch all while her sons began washing dishes and putting food away in cabinets above or below their heads.. 

 

“Let’s see… The House of No Return is a classic. Stay out of the Basement! is a horrifying concept that will leave you traumatized about plants. Piano Lessons Could Be Murder? Nah, that will make you be afraid of disembodied hands...” Zarc raised his eyebrow on that one.

 

After Yoko went on and on and on about different episode titles in the time that it took the boys to finish cleaning up, she snapped her fingers as she turned around. “Oh, Shocker on Shock Street ! That’s a classic and the ending was much better than the book’s. Much better.”

 

“Does that one contain evil mummies or the like?” asked Yugo, looking terrified with each and every title that came out of Yoko’s mouth (He didn’t like the sound of the episode called “Welcome to Dead House”).

 

“It’s basically about a girl and her close friend who love horror films and get to ride the rides of a famous park based on a horror movie company,” Yoko replied, adding ketchup and soy sauce to the fried rice. “Of course, they soon find out that maybe , just maybe , the monsters are real.”

 

“And…” asked Yuya, knowing that there was a twist to all of this.

 

Yoko’s eyes sparkled just like Yusho’s did whenever he was dazzling a crowd. “You’ll have to see it for yourself. DVD is on the middle shelf, third one on the right. First episode of Season 3. I’ll have dinner finished by then.”

 

“Okay then…”

 

Yoko smiled to herself as she heard the boys enter the living room, turn the television on and quickly heard the familiar piano tune that introduced every episode of Goosebumps

 

Hopefully this wouldn’t end as a tragedy (especially since the characters at the end of the episode turn out alive).

 

******************

 

“Boys,” said Yoko, entering the living room with a smile on her face twenty minutes later. “Dinner’s ready!”

 

She took a glance at the television -- it was at the very end of the episode where Mr. Wright was in his lab, having taken the main characters of the episode (his daughter Erin and her best friend Marty) back there since they ‘malfunctioned’. The scene had Mr. Wright already preparing two replacement robots to test the rides…

 

Only for the original Erin and Marty to suddenly activate on their own. The scene then changed as they confront their “creator” about the idea of being discarded as the ‘robots’ stating that they didn’t want to be deactivated. 

 

“Everything wants to live . ” Erin proclaimed with an unclipped tinny voice.

 

“Even robots .” Marty added with a hiss.

 

And despite the episode ending not quite where Yoko wanted, (It should’ve ended with a shot of Mr. Wright in fear as shadows reach out to him, damn it!) she was more concerned at what her sons thought of the episode as the credits rolled.

 

Yuya was clapping in mirth, Yuri and Yuto both had small smiles on their faces and Yugo had a satisfied grin on his. 

 

"So...I take it you liked the episode, huh?" Yoko asked, seeing the grins on her boys' faces. 

 

Yuya nodded happily. "We loved it ." 

 

“That mean old dad deserved everything that’s coming to him,” Yuto said. 

 

“Everything…” Yugo growled.

 

“Every last thing… ” Yuri said with venom.

 

“O...ok then…” Yoko said. “Uh...let’s all go and have dinner then before I decide whether or not you should be watching either Click or The Girl Who Cried Monster next...”

 

With a nod, the boys followed her into the dining room and looked down at their meals: an omelet stuffed with rice with that pork adobo from earlier. Each omelette had a specific design drawn in ketchup just for them: a star for Yuya, a lightning bolt for Yuto, a diamond for Yugo and a rose for Yuri.

 

“Something I used to do whenever Yuzu or Gongenzaka joined us,” Yoko explained, sitting down at her own seat. Her omelet had a symbol of a winged heart on it. “Now come on, don’t look at me like that. Itadakimasu !”

 

A blush dusted over Yuri, Yugo and Yuto's faces, the latter two still not used to how great and sweet Yoko was and Yuri just being plain bewildered by how nice she really is. Especially after he saw her jump down on her motorcycle and grab both Yuzu and Serena and then the entire conversation on the Ice in regards to Dennis being a traitor to the Xyz Dimension and most likely how she saw him breaking down in Father’s (Yuya’s) arms like a child. It was all a little too much for Yuri to wrap his head around. 

 

"Hey don't worry about it, " he heard Yuto said, and Yuri's head snapped to him to see the younger boy giving him an encouraging smile. 

 

"Yeah, Kaa-san is just awesome like that, and her food is the best!" Yugo stated. 

 

"Don't be shy Yuri, eat," that was Yuya. 

 

A small smile stretched on Yuri's lips as he took the first bite. It was really good!  

 

He hadn't realized how hungry he was before this, and the four boys started devouring their omelets making Yoko smile. Michiyo was right; something from the heart was the best thing to cook for her boys.

 

The next few minutes were spent with everyone eating in silence, all while Yoko kept a firm eye on Yuri. She arrived back at the Iceberg section right around the time Yuya summoned the monster that looked like Zarc with the hooded robe -- Empyrean Magician Yuya called him -- and watched as Yuri went through a mental breakdown ala Black Swan (a movie that she was not going to show Yuya until he got older) as he tried to downright strangle said monster with his bare hands and even try to claw his own throat out, believing the kindness and love that Yuya and Zarc were giving him was fake.

 

She would have jumped in to stop before Yuri permanently broke down, but she might have made things worse so she stayed away for most of it. The kid obviously had issues, big ones. And she wasn't sure how best to handle him yet. She might need a talk with Zarc about him later. 

 

Just the thought of Yuri screaming and crying like that broke her heart even more. At least when Yuya cried it was based on the adoration he had for Yusho. Yuri cried because he never had anyone show him love, kindness, affection...this made her goddamn sick to her stomach. Just what type of person was Professor Akaba to not even give Yuri emotional care? Yuri was worse off than Serena being unsure what a “high-five” was!

 

But if she wanted to open his heart to hers, she had to do it slowly...carefully.  And then she would extend that hand to Serena after she became more comfortable with Yuzu. These kids shouldn’t have to suffer just because they were pieces of someone else.

 

“So, Yuri,” Yoko began. “What exactly do you know of Professor Akaba’s ‘plan’ to resurrect his daughter, Ray?”

 

Yuri spat out the water he was drinking and slammed his glass onto the table.

 

“Wait...daughter…?” He asked. “He’s going to resurrect her?!”

 

“It’s all true,” Yoko answered. “Your Father told me everything -- your mission to go after Ruri and Rin, and now Yuzu was because they all shared the same face and bracelets like that of Ray Akaba.”

 

Realization hit Yuri then and there and rage soared inside him. His eyes turning to slits,  his face hardening, fangs and claws growing. "All this… " he growled. "For his bitch of a daughter?! And he used me for it…" he growled again, before pressing his hands on his head, as he felt an urge to rip into Professor Akaba’s throat. 

 

Seconds passed before his face twisted into a sadistic smile. "Oh, oh ho ho ho, that bastard ," he whispered his sharp fang on display as a cruel smirk appeared on his face, making a certain sound that sent chills down Yoko's spine. "He's gonna pay for this."

 

“That will have to be for later,” said Yoko. “Seeing as you didn’t know what Professor Akaba’s true plan is, what type of lies has he spun in you and everyone else’s head that involves invading dimensions and turning people into cards?”

 

Yuri swallowed, glad that he didn’t decide to go back to eating else he’d be throwing up at the side with what he was about to say next.

 

“It’s known as the Arc - V project,” he explained calmly, the image of the raging boy now gone and replaced by a calm and collected soldier. It made Yoko shiver how he could flip into these different personalities like that. “All I know is that the Professor needed the ‘natural energy’ of humans beings, so he developed a technology that could convert them into cards, like so.”

 

He pulled out two cards and set them on the table. Yuya gasped at who he saw.

 

“Aren’t those two exchange students from LDS?” he asked. “The same ones that were taking part in the Battle Royale?”

 

“Yeah,” said Yoko, recalling the horrified looks on Halil and Olga’s faces before a purple light consumed them and they were transformed into cards. She herself wanted to save them, but knew that would risk blowing her cover.

 

“That’s not the worst of it,” said Yuto. “Serena also carded another LDS student named Hokuto Shijima a couple of days ago.”

 

“That explains why he didn’t show up in his duel against Michiyo yesterday…” Yoko muttered.

 

"Akaba basically told us that by collecting this energy he will be able to reunite all the dimensions into one, creating a Utopia that he calls Arc - V. And that the four girls, Serena,  Yuzu, Rin and Ruri are the key for it all to happen,” Yuri finished, looking at his brothers with sad pink eyes. 

 

"He already has Rin and Ruri," said Yugo, clutching his fists. “If he got Serena and Yuzu then we’re doomed!”

 

"It gets worse, Yugo," Yuri whispered, and all eyes turned to him. 

 

"How… how can things get worse?! " Yugo asked bewildered and angry. 

 

Yuri looked at Yugo and Yuto with sad eyes. "Your girls Rin and Ruri are… quite the persistent type. The Professor locked both of them in separate towers with a brother-sister duo to keep an eye on them. But despite that, the two of them have managed to escape at least 5 times each, and by the time I've been here, I just bet they managed to do it again."

 

Yugo and Yuto kinda looked proud and awestruck at the two girls. They knew that they were tough, but to face off against their guards that many times? 

 

"But…?" Yuya coaxed. 

 

Yuri sighed sadly. "But… their rebellious streak was getting on the Professor's nerves and has one of his followers someone by the name Doktor carry on his research in making this type of parasite that can basically mind control you, and he plans to use it on both of them."

 

“Wait...but if he could do that then...then…” Yuto felt like his heart was going to stop beating.

 

Yuri nodded his head. “He plans to inject parasites into Rin and Ruri’s brains, effectively turning them into his puppets and most likely use them to attack the two of you once they make it seem like they ‘successfully’ evaded capture.”

 

Yugo and Yuto couldn't breathe. 

 

“That means…” Yuya gasped. “If Yuzu was captured, then she’d...she’d also be…" 

 

Yuri said nothing, but that was all that was needed for Yuya to come to that horrifying conclusion.

 

And it was that moment that Yoko began to slowly back away from the table. She’s seen enough horror (and wrestling) to know that someone was about to flip the table and go berserk. She kept a good look at the glowing eyes of Yuto, Yugo and Yuya...at how their fangs grew so quickly like a bamboo shoot grows into a bamboo stalk, the claws that were scraping the tabletop and how it felt like all of them were kettles just ready to release their steam all while tears trickled down their eyes.

 

Lightning and thunder sounded, and the wind howled angry and destructive outside. They shook the entire city once more, waking up the people in the stadium covered in blankets all while Nico Smiley tried to explain that it was probably ‘technical difficulties’ with the Solid Vision.

 

(The noise was so loud that everyone that was in the Battle Royale looked around. From the little camping group to Gongenzaka and Shun, the latter of which was feeling like some sort of cord was about to snap in Yuto's mind, to Dennis and even Shingo who was desperately trying to prove his worth by searching for invaders)  

 

Yuri gulped. Never had he ever seen his little brothers so angry, so hurt, so sad before. It hurt him, it hurt him so much. He was the older brother that was supposed to protect his little brothers from harm. And he failed them by going after their treasures and giving the enemy a chance to unleash his resurrection scheme.

 

He didn’t deserve any of this. Not Yoko-san’s love and affection or cooking. Not Yuto or Yugo’s forgiveness. Not even Yuya’s smiles . For once, he wished he was back at Academia in his room; never had he felt like he truly wanted to crawl under the sheets into a tiny ball and hoped that he just disappeared from this world.

 

Yuri… 

 

"Ye… yes father?" He swallowed and shivered. 

 

When were these parasites supposed to be put inside their minds? Are you aware? 

 

"I think… in four days. But with the two of them escaping it would probably take longer." 

 

I see...Good, then all will be well. Father  said running his claws through Yuri's hair once more before he sounded a command. Enough.

 

The glowing eyes stopped and the three raging boys froze in place eyes wide. The storm ended quickly, and the three boys collapsed back on their chairs, just frozen. Yugo was the first to react, burying his head between his arms and resting it on the table as he began to sob softly, tears spilling down the table like water.  

 

"Wa… what just happened?" Questioned Yoko as all three suddenly lost all their rage, at least outwardly. “Oh wait, Yoko. Zarc just happened…  He really has that much control…?”

 

Claws ran through Yugo's hair and the boys gasped straightening up, and looking up to see Zarc there. 

 

"Papa…" Yugo sobbed and threw himself at his father who hugged him and started shushing him softly, before opening his arms to Yuto who gladly threw himself at his father, crying on his shoulder and sobbing in his embrace. 

 

"It's alright, it's alright, I'm here, I'll fix everything I promise," he murmured softly prepping Yugo and Yuto's faces with kisses, hugging them tight. 

 

The boys stayed in Zarc's embrace until their sobs died down, and the two were just lying in Zarc's arms cuddling him, eyes still sad, as if any moment they'll break down again. 

 

“I can’t lose...I can’t lose Rin like that,” Yugo sniffled. “No, please...we have to do something…!”

 

“Ruri...Ruri…” Yuto mumbled. “How...how could this happen ?”

 

"Shhh, my beautiful boys, Father has a plan. Don't worry, I promise I know exactly what to do," he said softly rubbing the boys' backs gently.  

 

Yugo sniffed again. "Y-you do?" He asked looking at his father's eyes with his own, pleading his father to be honest. He didn’t want to believe only to find out that Rin was now working for Akaba and didn’t care for him anymore. Zarc's soft loving smile greeted him, and the bracelet on Yugo’s wrist winked for a moment. Yugo and Yuto's eyes glanced back at them and realized what their father was referring to. 

 

"Are…are you sure it'll work?" Yuto asked. 

 

"Of course I am," Zarc assured his sons, wiping Yuto and Yugo's tear stained cheeks. "That Doktor and Akaba might like to pretend that they're mighty animals. They like to see themselves kings of the jungle and that all must bow before their will. But insects are insects, and they will be crushed." 

 

“So those bracelets are involved in this,” Yoko muttered, recalling Yuzu’s own bracelet. 

 

“Indeed they are, Yo~ko-san,” Zarc chuckled, taking Yuto’s wrist and lifting it in the air. “Yuya, you’re fully aware that Yuzu’s bracelet was glowing whenever you were in close proximity to Yuto, right?”

 

Yuya nodded; now that he could see into Yuto’s memories, it made much more sense that Yuto was always vanishing right around the time he would appear. Like when Yuya entered the warehouse that first night and Yuzu thought that he was already there and having kicked Shingo’s ass in a duel. The bracelet always reacted whenever they were in close proximity...most likely it was Ray’s wish so that the boys never knew about one another.

 

So that’s why Yuto and Yugo aren’t allowed to go near Yuzu then. Yoko thought. But are there any powers in Serena’s bracelet too?

 

"So what will these bracelets do?" Yoko asked raising an eyebrow. 

 

Zarc smiled. "They're a sort of protection, each one enhanced with my power, which will protect the girls from harm. And unlike their bracelets from Ray, these ones will be useful." Zarc explained omitting how these bracelets would protect the girls. 

 

“So they’re like magical amulets used to protect innocent girls from demonic possession or something?”

 

"Yes you could say that," he said with a chuckle. There was Yoko and her horror analogies. "I promised my boys to return these girls to them safe and sound," he rubbed his nose with Yugo's making the young boy giggle. "And I intend to keep that promise," he ran his claws in Yuto's hair, who pressed himself to Zarc more. 

 

Yeah…no, something didn't add up to Yoko. 

 

Innocent maidens usually wore amulets that were blessed with holy magic and spells of protection. Why would Zarc want to give bracelets that were enhanced with darkness ?

 

First the dragons given to Yuya and Serena, now pretty little trinkets given to innocent maidens? That usually summed up as possession, corruption or mind control, or perhaps they’ll drain the life force out of the girls… no wait Zarc doesn’t want to harm the girls’ whatever the case is he does love their boys and would never do anything to hurt them.

 

But even without that last one, Zarc was no better than the Professor in what he wanted to do with Rin and Ruri!

 

"Is there something about the bracelets that I don't know?" Yoko asked narrowing her eyes at Zarc, Yugo and Yuto both had rested thief heads on the crock of their Father's neck looking happy and content for now. 

 

“Just because I’m based on darkness, you automatically label me as evil , don’t you?” Zarc questioned. “Oh, that’s so common of you humans. Given your love of horror, wouldn’t I immediately call you evil,, Yoko-san?”

 

“Leave my hobbies out of this!” Yoko snapped. She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Let's just say you embody far too many tropes for my liking. So I do have to wonder..."

 

"The bracelets are perfectly harmless for the girls, and unlike these parasites, the girls will have their own will, not be mindless slaves to my whims. Does that ease your mind Yoko-san?" He placed another kiss on Yugo’s forehead. 

 

“What about the dragon you gave Serena and Yuya?” Yoko questioned. “Why exactly would they have dragons that don’t fit their decks?”

 

“Ohhh...that…” Zarc replied. "It's simply monsters to empower their decks and make them stronger. Yuya needed an Xyz monster to fight off against Kachidoki’s Level-based Fusion monsters, so I gifted him with Black Mirror. Serena always used the Lunalights monsters, so all her strategies are known to Academia;  the new addition to her deck simply gives her an advantage.”

 

"What about the other dragons? Odd-Eyes, Dark Rebellion, Clear Wing and Starving Venom...why do your sons even have dragons in the first place?”

 

"I am the Supreme Dragon King Yoko, it's in my name. Those four were by my side when I ruled the Spirit World.They were my constant companions and friends. And when my sons were born, these dragons imprinted themselves toward them and promised to protect my little ones with their lives."

 

“Speaking of which…” Yoko said, flashing back to Yuya’s unexpected win against Strong Ishijima. “Was this ‘Pendulum Summoning’ your doing too? There’s no logical way for Yuya to just unexpectedly unleash that type of summoning before. And it’s caused us a lot of grief with the Akabas since they wanted to essentially use our school as a factory to produce even more cards and make themselves even more powerful than they are because they’re the only school in the world to teach Fusion/Synchro/Xyz. Selfish bastards... .”

 

“Ah...nothing ever escapes your watchful eye, Yoko~” Zarc purred. “Yes, Pendulum Summoning was a method I recently created in order to fight off against Ray. She herself was a brilliant duelist, mastering Fusion, Synchro and Xyz...but if she should ever find herself resurrected, then I have a secret weapon for her that not even she would be able to defend against.”

 

“Well, given how much suffering she’s causing I guess that makes sense. Although it would’ve been nice if it came with an instruction manual.

 

“Glad that you see things my way…” Zarc chuckled as a soft blue light shone over his heart. 

 

“Oh, one more thing,” said Yoko, pointing to the pendulum over Zarc’s neck. “That pendulum is Yusho’s. If I ever find that you either replace that or fill it with dark magic...I will end you . You may be Yuya’s original father, but Yusho was the father who raised him in this life.”

 

Zarc raised the pendulum to his eye level. "What a nice gift," he mumbled, seeing into Yuya’s memories of when he received this for his fifth birthday, how Yusho swung it back and forth over a sunset, that one time it somehow got stuck in a tree. "And don't worry,  I promise that this pretty little pendulum will not be a factor in any of my plans." 

 

“And if I ever see you use that pendulum to hypnotise anyone... .” 

 

Zarc simply smirked; Yoko watched too many movies. 'As if I would ever need it for that, "  he replied as he nuzzled Yuto who purred in response hugging Zarc tighter. 

 

Zarc turned his smile to his fourth son, hiding in his chair, looking so small and pitiful, wanting to be in that embrace and being kissed and petted and soothed...but he felt like he didn’t deserve it. He didn’t deserve any kind treatment at all. All he wanted to do was use his Violet Flash card to disappear somewhere, anywhere that didn’t involve these five looking at him with sympathy and empathy and forgiveness.

 

"Yuri," Zarc called to the oldest boy. “Are you all right?” 

 

But Yuri’s reaction was to suddenly rise out of his chair and run upstairs, hoping to find a bedroom to hole himself in. Seconds later, everyone could hear a door slam loud enough for the animals to, again, run around in terror. Yugo and Yuto's heads snapped back looking at Yuri run away and both whimpered, wishing to tell Yuri that everything would be all right.. 

 

"Shhh, it's okay," Zarc whispered, patted their heads. “I know exactly how to make our lily happy again," both boys got off of their Father's lap. He then turned to Yoko and sighed. "If you'll excuse us Yoko-san, I think we'll retire for the night. Thank you for all that you’ve done today." 

 

“I guess that means no more Goosebumps tonight,” Yoko muttered, seeing Yuri’s empty plate. The boy ate everything; not a single scrap of food was left, so at least he appreciated her cooking. “I’ll stay here and clean up. Why don’t all of you go upstairs and keep Yuri company?”

 

“Thank you, kaa-san ,” Yugo whispered.

 

“Oh and before you go Zarc,” Yoko placed a hand on Zarc’s shoulder and stared into his eyes. “I would like a personal talk with you in regards to Yuri tomorrow morning while Yuri is off being ‘interrogated’ by Reiji.”

 

“What for?”

 

Yoko sighed. “I want to know exactly what happened to him to make him feel like he’s been living with an abusive parent all these years. If there’s anything you can give me, do so. He’s not my biological son, but I want to love him like he is. So please, at least do this if not for me, but for Yuri’s sake.”

 

Zarc smiled softly. "Of course Yoko-san, anything for my son's happiness. Now then, it is time for us to go to bed. Good night then." 

 

He took Yuto and Yugo’s hands into his own and lead them upstairs. Yoko watched them as they stood in front of the door to Yuya’s room, feeling uncertain, anxious, hopeful, weary…

 

She knew that things had gotten much more complicated now that she knew just what Akaba had in store. If Reiji and his mother ever heard about this, well, given how their cruel business practices and their apathy, she could tell that they’d want to turn these boys into their personal weapons against the threat of Academia.

 

They already made Yusho go off on this idiot spree and look where it got him! Three whole years and no success in telling Akaba to stop what he’s doing, a destroyed dimension and three years of grief in her and Yuya’s heart.

 

So if their initial plan didn’t work out, what’s to say that this one would?

 

Yoko sighed. There wasn’t anything she could do now except make the house spic and span and then get some sleep. So she set herself to work in cleaning up the dishes, putting all the food away as leftovers for the morning, washing the dishes until they were nice and dry, and then going to the living room to turn off the television. As she stared at the Episode Guide still pointed at the episode the boys finished watching almost an hour ago. She clicked her teeth as she picked up the remote control.

 

“This has been quite a Shocker on Shock Street .”

 

And with a press of a button, the television turned black.

 

*********************

 

How Yuri easily found Yuya’s bedroom was beyond him. But he wasted no time in entering it, slamming the door shut, locking it tight and then placing his back against the wall.

 

“Yuri!” said Yugo, knocking on the door. “Open up!”

 

“It’s us!” Yuto pleaded. “Please let us in…”

 

“Go away!” Yuri shivered, sliding until he sat against the door, hugging his knees tight. “I don’t want to talk to any of you…”

 

"Yuri, open the door, darling, Father wants to talk to you," Father called soft but firm. 

 

Yuri whimpered, clutchIng his head. Struggling between obeying Father and the stubborn desire to be alone again. No, he didn’t truly want to be alone, but that’s what he deserved. Because he didn’t deserve Father’s love, or his brothers’ love or Yoko-san’s care. 

 

He deserved to be locked up like the animal he was. Snarling, mad, to be mocked at, to be laughed it…

 

“Yuri. I want you to open the door for me, now,” Father’s voice sounded, powerful, consuming and compelling. Not at all angry, never ever angry at his sons, but firm. “I am coming in either way my precious. But I want you to open the door for me.” 

 

No more, Yuri couldn’t disobey any longer. He rose on shaky legs and unlocked the door opening it, face stained with tears as he was face to face with his family. Yuto and Yugo smiled and Father knelt down with wide arms.  

 

Yuri couldn’t stand the look on the faces of his father and of his brothers. Those eyes shining with pity and understanding...he hated that look, absolutely hated that look ! He wanted to jump out of the bedroom window just so those haunting looks could all go away!

 

The hand grasping on the door knob trembled, unsure whether to keep the door open or to slam it shut. Zarc caressed his face gently wiping the tears away and Yuri broke sobbing harder, falling to his knees. 

 

This was too much for Yuri. Too much kindness, too much love and care and softness and he shouldn’t have any of this. Not after what he’s done! 

 

Zarc stood up and picked Yuri from the ground before he settled them both in the nest. Yuto and Yugo decided to forgo the pajamas so that they could be there to give their older brother the love he deserved.

 

“Father…” Yuri sniffled, wrapping his arms around Zarc’s waist. “I...I'm so sorry...I...I said horrible things to you and Yuya and...and took Yugo and Yuto's treasures away so that Akaba can revive Ray...I don't...I don’t deserve your forgiveness or love. Not Yuya’s, not Yuto’s, not Yugo’s and not...not...”

 

Zarc wrapped his arms around Yuri back, hugging the crying child to his chest, and kissing his forehead. “Shh…” he said  “No more tears, Yuri...this is a happy time for us… You’re back in our arms now, father is so happy you’re back,” he said before kissing his neck softly and licking Yuri’s pulse point, making the boy shiver.  “Come my lily…” he cooed, stroking the boy’s violet hair in an attempt to calm him down. “Here, let me take you to a happy place…” 

 

Licking his fangs, Zarc bit Yuri's neck, and the younger boy arched his back and gasped as he felt all conscious thought slipping away, his body becoming numb from Father’s fangs sinking into his neck. It felt so good. A smile formed on his face as he felt his Father’s love, protectiveness and possessiveness towards him fill him up like his mind was an empty glass. 

 

All Yuri could do was pant at the sensation, his eyes were glowing and there's already drool trickling down his lips. He couldn’t even say anything; he's just so happy right now

 

Zarc chuckled as he ran his claws through Yuri’s purple hair. “You were always Papa's most obedient child, my little Bloom. And you still are, aren’t you?”

 

“Y...yesssss...Papa~” Yuri replied, slurring his words.

 

“That's my little boy,” Zarc smiled and kissed his cheek. “You did some bad things, but don’t be sad. Papa forgives you, Yoko-san forgives you, and your baby brothers forgive you too. We love you my dear lily, and we’re so, so happy you’re safe now.”

 

Yuri gave a sigh, snuggling further into Zarc’s chest and whimpering softly.  He didn’t deserve such love, kindness or affection yet it was given to him unconditionally. Yuri always strived to gain even a smile from the Professor’s hardened face and nothing ever pleased him.

 

“Boys,” Zarc called to Yuto and Yugo,  “Why not give Yuri a hug to show you that there are no hard feelings? And to show him how much his family still adores its beautiful bloom?”

 

Yuto and Yugo complied, embracing their older brothers, letting their hands and lips give comfort in their own way. Both boys kissed Yuri, lips trailing feather light kisses all over his cheeks, hands roaming his slender body, trying to give comfort and love to their older brother. 

 

Zarc licked Yuri’s ear like it was a sea-salt caramel. “Papa missed you my little Bloom, and so did your baby brothers,” Yuri shivered, tears started falling down his face. “It was always your job to help me take care of them remember? You always helped papa keep them happy, just like they and papa always made you happy.”

 

“But I...made them so sad…” Yuri whimpered, tears in his eyes. “I hurt them. I failed in protecting them,  I took away their treasures and put them in the hands of Akaba. I yelled at you, I tried to strangle you...I wanted you all gone! I'm a bad older brother, a bad son ! I’m the worst, a demon, a monster …like everyone at Academia said...” he sobbed.

 

Zarc just gave Yuri’s forehead a small kiss, resisting the urge to appear in Academia to torch the place alive for how it treated his son. “You’re not a monster, my precious lily. You are my brave and powerful son. Yes, you did some wrong things, but you can fix them. You can always make your baby brothers happy again, and you’ll stay forever in our arms where you belong. Everything, everything will be okay, and you’ll do perfectly . I know you would. ”

 

Yuri nodded his head, believing in his Father’s words that he could make things right again. “Y-Yes Papa,” he gasped as Yugo kissed down his neck.

 

“Good boy…” Father whispered and gave him another kiss. ”My Darkest bloom, my Lily, my precious boy.” Father kissed his cheek, again, and again and again, delivering even more love and possession through the bond, it made Yuri gasp and arch his back, it felt so good so so good, back, back in Papa’s arms, in his brothers’ arms.

 

Yuto licked down his neck, and started taking off the  cape and shirt he was wearing. Yuri gasped and panted, unable to think straight. All he could feel was pleasure as if he was floating downstream in a river of pure love and bliss.  ”Ah...I....ahhhh…” 

 

“Hmm?” asked Zarc, tilting his head. “What is it, my Lily?” Father gave more and more kisses. His forehead, his eyelids, the back of his ear. 

 

“Ahhhhh…” Yuri sighed, eyes glazed over. “So...goood....”

 

He faintly heard Father’s beautiful voice chuckle. 

 

“Sooooo happpyyyy…” Yuri replied. It was getting harder and harder to talk.

 

“Just as it should be, Yuri…” Yuto replied while Yugo kissed his cheek.

 

Zarc ran his hand through Yuri's hair. “Do you now remember what to do to make your baby brothers happy Yuri? To show them that you love them dearly?” he whispered huskily into Yuri’s ear.

 

Yuri tried to concentrate, but it was like all the sparks in his mind were starting to dim. “I...ah...must....”

 

Feeling these sensations for the first time in years was overloading him. He was not drowning in them, he was completely submerged, unable to breathe. Fourteen years, fourteen years without even an iota of affection, and now he was back to father’s arms whose love knows no bounds, nothing could compare to Father. Yuri knew deep down that soon enough he was about to break.  

 

And he would love it .

 

Yuto and Yugo did not let up on the kissing and touching and nuzzling, sending him their own feelings of love and understanding and forgiveness. And Zarc's bond added to the feelings just pulsing in his mind and he's crying and he's so happy.

 

So good...so gooooodddddd....

 

His family was quick to reply on giving him affection. Zarc swiftly licked his tears while Yugo and Yuto continued their kisses on his lips and neck.

 

Yuri’s eyes rolled to the back of his head. He couldn’t speak now, but in his mind he could convey exactly what he wanted even though he wasn’t physically aware of what he was thinking or why or how except he just wanted everything.

 

Sogoodsogoodsogood, moremoremoremore lovelvovelovelove….

 

More? Yugo asked with a wry grin.

 

More~ Yuri whined with a nod of his head.

 

Yuto chuckled. Sure, we’ll give you more.

 

MORE~~~ Yuri replied.

 

As if on command, Yuri’s mind became flooded with more feelings from Father and his brothers. He wanted to call them something else, but the names were just out of reach.

 

If Yuri could, he'd be screaming, but he just thrashed about, his mind unable to form coherent sentences. All that was in his mind were the same thoughts of wanting more, wanting love, wanting his brothers, wanting Father, wanting to stay happy and full of beautiful beautiful bliss.

 

Yugo was swallowing his screams and kept on kissing him until Yuto took over and did the same, tongue entering Yuri’s mouth, ravishing his older brother, removing any stray thoughts that weren’t ‘more, or love, or treasures or them’ . When Yuto finished, Yugo would return. They’d keep kissing him over and over and over again to ensure that Yuri’s thoughts were on his family giving him this love without any strings attached.

 

Moremoremoremoremoremore…. That was all Yuri’s thoughts were, one word that eventually transformed into a throbbing rhythm that needed no translation to what he wanted.

 

Yuya wished he could do that to Yuri, but he just sent his mental thoughts of how happy he was to see Yuri again. He just wanted to make his big brother happy.

 

“There, that's a good boy. Your baby brothers are showing you how much they love you. You're going to show it right back. Won’t you, precious thorned rose of mine? Your treasures are here by your side to love you forever and for you to love them back just as equally,” Zarc whispered. 

 

Yuri nodded his head...Well, he would've nodded to anything just as long as he felt this pleasure

 

You know how to, back in your mind, you remember how to right? Zarc inquired. You'll show your brothers just how much you love them, not just by getting them their treasures back but just like old times in our castle. You’ll show how much you love them, love me above all. just like I love you boys. You will, won't you my Yuri?

 

Yuri nodded his head, tears in his eyes, clawing onto Yuto or Yugo or whoever it was kissing him at that moment. He was just in his happy state of mind and he never wanted to leave. It’s been too long, too long. 

 

Zarc pressed his forehead onto Yuri’s. “That's my good boy, my first Heir. The most beautiful Rose in my life. Papa's so happy he got you back.” 

 

Feelings of satisfaction and possession entered Yuri's mind. More love from Father. more more more being sent to this beautiful lily, thorned rose, dark bloom.

 

Yuri was so close to passing out at this point, but he held on, because he wanted MORE. His eyes rolled to the back of his head and he just has his hands roaming about for anything to touch while Yuto and Yugo licked his neck, his chest, his cheeks wanting to make sure Yuri burned it in his mind that he is loved and forever will be loved.

 

Finally, after so much teasing,  Zarc placed a soft kiss on Yuri’s lips...and that breaks him.

 

Yuri was screaming in his mind, like glass shattering. This bounced back into the minds of his brothers; they could feel how intense Yuri has felt everything.

 

Zarc moaned in satisfaction. His lily’s mind was blank and  free of thoughts, only sensations of love and desire remained. “You did so well, my perfect boys.” Zarc purred praising his sons. 

 

Yuto and Yugo laid beside Yuri, panting, feeling the aftereffects, cheeks flushed, eyes glassy, smiling dumbly.

 

Zarc chuckled again. “Your big brother is all ours now, safe and sound. You showed him so much love.  I'm proud of you my darlings, you did so well.”

 

“Thank you father…” Yuto replied, still panting. 

 

“Anything for Yuri…” said Yugo much in the same state as his little brother. 

 

Zarc sighed in satisfaction, seeing his sons blissed out and their eyelids about to drop. “Rest my babies. You all deserve it now

 

Yuri’s eyes were half-mast, mouth open with a  big wide grin on his face and drool trickling down his chin.  “ Soooo...goood...papa~”

 

Zarc smiled and patted Yuri’s head.  I’m so happy to see you happy, my precious lily...

 

“Get some rest Yuri,” Yuto said placing a kiss on Yuri’s cheek.  

 

 “You deserve it,” Yugo whispered nuzzling to his brother’s chest. 

 

Yuri shook his head. He didn’t want to sleep just yet. ...Pa...pa…’ he called out.

 

‘Yes my Yuri? What is it? ’ Zarc asked, patting Yuri’s head.

 

‘B...brothers~ Goood~ Want to make them feel good~ ’ Yuri whined.

 

Father licked Yuri's neck. ‘ Soon. You’ll get to make them feel as good as we did to you very soon.’

 

Yuri whimpered. ‘ Papa~ Nowwwwww~ wanna make brothers feel good now….’

 

Zarc chuckled before licking Yuri’s neck again and kissing it. ‘But I don't think you can even move your fingers right now, dear Lily.’

 

Yuri pouted before trying to move a finger and prove Papa wrong that he can make brothers feel good. But no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t as if his body was made of lead. ‘ PAPA~~~~’ he whined.

 

Zarc chuckled. Yuri could be so stubborn sometimes! ‘Yes lily~?’

 

‘Brothers~~~~’ Yuri replied, reaching out for his brothers. 

 

Yuto responded to the cry with a kiss on the other side of Yuri’s neck.’ Don’t worry.’

 

‘We're here, Yuri.’ Yugo replied, trailing his tongue down Yuri’s chest.

 

Yuri panted. ‘ Yes~

 

‘Good boys, making your brother feel loved, and adored that’s it’ Zarc praised, giving Yuto and Yugo a shower of approval that made them shiver.

 

I wanna give Yuri happiness too! said Yuya, wanting to hug and kiss his older brother.

 

‘Why yes of course, my little shooting star! Father gave up the control and Yuya was back mind and body, dispelling the illusion and bringing back the youngest brother of the four..

 

It was enough to snap something in Yuri’s mind. ‘ Ruby~ Ruby~ ’ He was so happy and grateful to have his ruby back. Ruby is back! Ruby is back! Missed Ruby so so much!

 

Yuya mewled in happiness as he felt Yuri’s love and glee at seeing him back. The youngest boy attacked Yuri's lips, kissing him deeply. ‘ Big brother big brother... Bigbrotherbigbrotherbigbrother!’

 

‘Rubyrubyrubyruby…’ Yuri replied just as happy. 

 

What about us Yuri? asked Yuto, pretending to feel like he was being left out.

 

What did you call us? Yugo added.

 

Yuri whined, struggling to remember. His mind was hazy with pleasure and love lovelovelovelove. Words were so hard to remember! So he concentrated hard, picturing his brothers and what he said to make them happy. ‘ Shadow knight, my summer breeze! ’ He finally got it! He was so proud of himself.

 

' Good job Yuri!' Yuto cheered. 

 

' We're so proud of you~!' Yugo nuzzled Yuri's face happily, Yuri giggling in delight. He wanted his brothers, to hug them closer, kiss them, bite them, make them feel good and loved. 

 

Want brothers...want hug~ want kisses, Want papa want all please want everything wantwantwantwantwant want treasures...want treasures! Yuri stated, his mind overloaded with so much desire for his family..

 

Yuya giggled and placed soft kisses all over Yuri’s faces. He remembered the times when the roles were reversed, when Yuya asked Yuri for kisses whenever he got scared.

 

' Yay~!' Yuri squealed, wanting to move and hug and kiss his beautiful ruby so bad. 

 

Yuto proceeded to run his tongue over Yuri’s body until it was resting at his hip. Yugo decided to pepper his older brother’s chest with sloppy kisses.

 

Brothers make me feel good~ Yuri thought, sighing at all of the affection.

 

'Y es we do .' Yuto agreed.

 

'Y ou always made us feel so good too!' Yugo added.

 

'We can't wait for you to make us feel good !' Yuya stated excitedly.

 

' Want to make...treasures...brothers...good so good .' Yuri panted in his mind, his thoughts short circuiting even more as his brothers kept kissing him and purring in his ears. 

 

Yuya kissed behind his ear once more, licking it softly like it was a sweet candy. ‘ You don’t remember how to do it, though. But don’t worry...we’ll remind you.’

 

' You’d bite us, make us feel so good and remind us of your love and father's love. Then we'd turn into puddles of pleasure all lost in a haze of lust and love. All thanks to you …' Yugo moaned in Yuri’s ear, reminding him of what he would usually do to them. He licked his fangs and nibbled Yur’s neck a little, teasing him and demonstrating just what Yuri would give to them.

 

' Bite~ Wanna bite~' Yuri said in a hurry, wanting to make his brothers feel good and love him more. If he gave them pleasure too, they'll never ever leave him! 

 

' I highly doubt you can bare your fangs right now' Yuto teased. 

 

Yugo and Yuya laughed and Yuri whined before he opened his mouth as wide as he could.

 

BITE!!!’ Yuri shouted, wanting to prove that he had his fangs out.

 

Yuya took a good look at Yuri and tilted his head. Sorry Yuri, I don't see fangs right now.

 

BITEBITEBITE WANNA MAKE TREASURES FEEL GOOD SO GOOD WANNA BITE LOVE LOVE LOVE’ Yuri whimpered, wanting to show love to his brothers too. Tears filled his eyes as he flailed about, sad, confused, filled with love and pleasure and wanting to give this love and pleasure to his treasures.

 

' Shhh...we're not going anywhere…" Yuya whispered softly in his ear. 

 

'Wanna show treasures love. Want brothers to stay. Mineminemine . Brothers mine, ruby mine, Knight mine, breeze mine. ALLMINEALLMINEALLMIIIIIINNNNNNEEEE!'

 

Tears filled Yuri’s eyes as he tried to bite Yuya’s neck. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t make his ruby feel good. He whimpered, tears filling his eyes, wanting to cry. Why couldn't he make his treasures feel good?  Why why why? 

 

Yuya shushed his older brother softly, kissing his cheek before nuzzling his face. He then proceeded to give Yuri’s neck a few kisses as he licked his fangs. Yuri looked at those fangs before they sank deep into his neck.

 

The bite was another shock to Yuri's system. While there is nothing special about Yuya's fangs unlike his, biting to the Dragons was one of the biggest forms of love and comfort, and Yuya gladly gave it to his brother. 

 

It’s okay, Yuri. Yuya stated. We love you so...

 

Following Yuya’s example, Yugo found a spot to graze his fangs before biting Yuri there. Yuto followed suite by biting Yuri’s exposed shoulder.

 

Yuri moaned and arched his back. ' Bite! Bite! Brothers bite!'

 

' Love you love you love you' the three younger brothers chanted into Yuri's mind. 

 

Brothers love love brothers love treasures treasures love … Yuri replied back, relishing the love from these bites.

 

It felt like it ended too soon as Yuya, Yuto and Yugo began to lick their bitemarks, soft tongues lapping against pale fresh like kittens lap cream. When they finished, they left with a lingering kiss to their bite marks. 

 

Yesyesyesyesyes~ Yuri purred, feeling tingling sensations across his body.

 

With a content sigh,  Yugo nuzzled to Yuri's chest, hugging him close. Yuri was feeling so sleepy, but he wanted more and more of his brothers. 'Brothers...happy...father...love…'

 

Yuto and Yuya kissed their brother softly and nuzzled to him sending Yuri soothing thoughts

 

Don't....wanna...sleep...not...tired Yuri pouted, eyes feeling heavy. Want....brothers....stay....

 

Brothers will stay, brothers will stay forever Yuya promised.

 

Forever.. .Yuto whispered. 

Always ...Yugo added.

 

But something about that didn’t settle well with Yuri. He felt so afraid, so lonely, so scared..

 

Brothers will leave...Yuri whimpered. Won't have treasures anymore...wake up...bad dream....hate bad dreams...hate them...hate them! Brothers stay treasures stay please stay..

 

'We love you Yuri, love you always, we'll be here. But you need to sleep now." Yuya said, trying to soothe his brother and get him to rest. 

 

' Not tired...not sleepy…' Yuri shook his head but yawned.

 

“Okay, we'll just stay right here like this see?' said Yugo. The three hugging and snuggling Yuri, but the older boy saw behind the little trick. Or rather his fear didn't allow him to believe that they won't leave. 

 

No you won't....I'll wake up...and you'll...you’ll all go away.. .Yuri shook.

 

'Just be in our arms, Yuri.' said Yugo softly. 

 

' And I'll be...in that...horrible castle… ' whimpered Yuri not listening to his brothers anymore. All he could see was him alone in his bedroom, dark, afraid, no one there to hold him or say that they loved him.

 

Castle? Yuya asked, confused.

 

Castle...so alone...no friends, no brothers, no love, no treasure...Everyone...everyone there hates me. I'll wake up there, you'll all leave me! Yuro explained. crying. 

 

No, no we're here! Yuya exclaimed, kissing Yuri’s cheek to calm him down.  See? You’re in our arms where no harm can reach you,

 

No hatred can reach you. Yugo added

 

No thought to hurt you . Yuto finished.

 

So alone...was so alone...No brothers, no Father, no love, no bites, no treasures...I don’t want to be alone…' he whimpered. I don’t want to be with that evil king anymore...I want Papa...I want my brothers...

 

"Yuri…. " Yuya whispered scared for his older brother. 

 

Yuri….  Said Yugo, on the verge of tears himself. We're so sorry...

 

But we're here now . Yuto reassured him, nuzzling  him and kissing his bite mark again. 

 

We’ll be here when you wake up. Yuya promised, voice soft as tears appeared in his eyes.  But please, you need to sleep Yuri . You need your rest big brother

 

  Noooooo... Yuri replied, shaking his head. I don’t want sleep!

 

His brothers began giving soft kisses over Yuri’s body to calm him down. If anything, Yuri just felt like shrinking into a ball.

 

Please....let me...stay...awake...I...I don't like sleeping...Waking up...hurts…Evil king hurts...Evil king doesn’t love me...

 

Zarc's heart broke in two. Phantom claws ran through Yuri's hair soothingly, and Yuri gasped amid his sobs. 

 

Was it that painful lily? Zarc asked, knowing that yes. It was that painful. Seeing his son’s memories of being alone while other children had fun, how everyone feared and rejected his precious boy, how Professor Akaba forced him to become cruel and sadistic to hide the lonely boy who wished for someone to love him...it made him want to go back in time and incinerate those heartless humans for making his lily so lonely. I'm so sorry...

 

Papa~ PAPA!!! Don't goooo...don't leave me! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!!!!! I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT EVIL KING!!!! I’M SORRY I’M SORRY I’M SORRY IMSORRYIMSORRYIMSORRY….

 

Yuya, Yuto and Yugo could feel the anguish, the hurt and guilt in their brother’s heart. Yugo felt it the worst; at least he had someone in his life. Yuri...had no one.

 

A part of Yugo wondered if he would end up like Yuri if Rin wasn’t there. The same with Yuya with Yuzu and Yuto with Ruri. If Serena was able to interact with Yuri, he’d be much better off.

 

Hush my Lily, Papa's here. It’s okay, there’s no need for apologies. 

 

Stay with lily...stay with lily please! Yuri begged.

 

Of course I'll stay, I'm right here, right here. Zarc promised.

 

Stay....please...

 

Zarc sighed, not wanting to cry in front of his sons. I'm sorry for what happened. It was that evil king's fault. Evil King Leo and his heartless daughter Princess Ray. They thought they could slay the dragons for good. He gave a small pat then kissed Yuri's head. It's okay my Lily, Papa's here. And he's gonna take good care of his precious hatchlings. No evil king or heartless princess will get their hands on the little dragons again.

 

Yuri sniffled, body shaking with how much grief he had. 

 

Papa has you in his arms my sweet prince, has all of you in his arms. And you'll be safe and happy forever. But you are exhausted my precious boy. You need to close those heavy eyes and sleep. Come now, close those pretty eyes for Papa. 

 

Don't...want…

 

Father hummed  a sweet lullaby for all of them. The brothers all relaxed, eyes heavy with exhaustion and bliss and love.  Please Yuri...sleep now. Sleep my little Prince. Papa has you forever.

 

One by one, Yuya, Yuto and Yugo fell asleep in the nest. Yuri was left, trying to resist sleep a little bit longer. But Zarc just pushed Yuri into the arms of his brothers and send him waves of promise, waves of love, waves of hope, and placed a lingering loving kiss on his forehead. 



I have you my sweet boy, I'll never let you go. You are mine once more, always and forever. 

 

Yuri nodded his head, feeling so sleepy. Yes, it was time to sleep and he’ll have his brothers and Father and even a mother when he woke up. He’d never be alone again.

 

For...e....ver.... He thought before he finally fell asleep.

...

Yuri woke up at midnight, but kept his eyes shut. Yesterday he had such a wonderful yet exhausting dream. It was the best one he ever had, but it was just a dream nothing more. His first thoughts were to resent the dreams and that he was back in Academia once more, all alone... 

 

But the shuffling around him made him pause.

 

He sat up quickly, eyes snapping open and looked around at where he was. He was in a bedroom with a desk and posters of Duel Monsters. This...this wasn’t Academia…

 

His mouth fell as he saw three other boys sleeping beside him in their cozy nest. These boys...his brothers…

 

Everything came back to him. Dueling Yuya, hearing that magician in the grey cloak and black wings speak, his dragon knowing the other one (Odd-Eyes…) and then...

 

Tears fell down Yuri’s face, and he started sobbing. The sounds made Yuya wake up, he looked around to find out the source of it only to see Yuri covering his face with his hands, trying to stop crying. 

 

“Y-Yuri? What’s wrong?” Yuya asked, coming closer to him. Yuri grabbed his baby brother before pulling him towards him and continued to cry into Yuya’s shoulder, hugging the younger boy tighter as if he was too scared to let him go. As if Yuya would disappear at any moment.

 

“I...I thought I was dreaming again…” Yuri answered. “I thought I was all alone in Academia in my empty room and there was no one...except me...and I don’t want that! I don’t want that anymore, Yuya! I don’t want to be alone again! Don’t leave! Please tell me that I’m not dreaming… Please tell me that everything that happened yesterday was real...that Father was there and you and Yuto and Yugo and...and….”

 

“You’re not dreaming,” Yuya reassured Yuri. “Shh...look at me. It’s okay…” Yuya cupped Yuri’s face gently with both his hands, before giving him a soft kiss on his lips. “You’re not alone anymore Yuri,” he said with a sweet smile, caressing Yuri’s cheek with his thumb and wiping his tears. “You’ll never be alone again.”

 

Yuri whimpered and and in a flash dragged Yuya back to his chest for a hug. Thoughts of fear and relief filled his mind and soon spread onto Yuto and Yugo, causing them to wake up in alarm.

 

“What's wrong?” asked Yuto, as he woke up along with Yugo who rubbed the sleep out of his eye. 

 

“Yuri?” asked Yugo before crawling closer to his brothers and hugging Yuri too.  “It's okay….we’re all here for you.” Yuto wasn’t far behind with a hug of his own.. 

 

Yuya smiled, burying his head in Yuri's neck. “It's okay big brother. We got you now, remember?”

 

“And we'll never let go again.” Yuto added. 

 

“Welcome home. Our Dark Bloom.” Yugo whispered.

 

Yuri’s tears fell harder “Please don't…” Yuri whispered. “Please don’t leave…I’m afraid that this...this is just a dream and I'm going to wake up alone again.”

 

His brothers responded by placing soft kisses on his cheeks, lips, forehead, eyelids.

 

“Did that feel like a dream?” asked Yuya.

 

“That…didn’t...” Yuri answered.

 

“Do you remember us in the garden at night?” asked Yuto, 

 

 How you would always sweep me off my feet?” Yugo asked with a soft loving smile, caressing Yuri’s face before  taking Yuri from the other two and he starts dancing a familiar waltz with him. 

 

Yuto and Yuya sit on the bed as Yugo hummed a familiar tune. Yuri's eyes turn dark as he hummed along. As the older brothers danced, Yugo attached their foreheads gently, and pulled Yuri closer to him, their lips inches apart. The soft melody began to lull the younger brothers to a trance, minds envisioning the song playing in their castle where Father would invite people to dance and dance and dance until they dropped dead. 


“I missed you so much my Lily,” Yugo whispered. He gave Yuri a peck on his  lips which made the older boy gasp “Come back to us fully, don't be afraid, we're yours again,” his voice was seductive, hypnotic and loving, Yuri couldn’t help but fall under the familiar spell.  

 

“Yuto and I forgive you. Yuya is so happy to see you're okay,” Yugo continued to whisper, Yuto and Yuya humming the melody now. 

 

“Yugo,”  Yuri breathed, tears falling down again, even though he was smiling. Yugo shushed him softly and kissed his tears away. 

 

“Remember the picnics or the games we played?” asked Yuya, eyes softly glowing like blood.

 

“How you told us to be careful not to trample on your plants? Or how you decorated the castle with colorful bouquets?” Yuto brought up, eyes glowing like storm clouds about to release lightning upon the land.

 

“Every year on our birthday you would wake us up with a bouquet of our favorite flowers,” Yugo whispered, still twirling him and Yuri around amongst blankets and pillows. “You remembered which ones were our favorite, right?”

 

Yuri nodded, eyes glazing over at memories returning at a faster pace. “Yuya was always given red roses,” he whispered as they kept dancing. “Yuto loved seeing orchids hanging outside his window and Yugo...you loved the birds of paradise because they reminded you of your hair.” 

 

Yugo lifted Yuri gently off the ground and spun him around as they continued their dance “And remember how we'd show you our love?”

 

Yuri nodded his head as he remembered. it was a horrible horrible day; some human children entered his garden and destroyed his plants. He scared them off good with Starving Venom, but it couldn’t bring the plants back to life. “Yes… that night I returned to my room and you all appeared there, covering my bedsheets with rose petals. I remember Yuya putting a crown of roses on my head -- black, red and white, each to represent my brothers' love for me. And golden roses to represent Father's.” He breathed, tears of happiness continued to fall down.

 

“Our Darling Yuri. Beloved big brother,” Yuto whispered.

 

“Rose amongst the thorns…” Yuya added.

 

Yugo kissed Yuri gently “You are back in our arms once more. Forever ours again. And we will never let you go. Our precious precious lily." He grabbed Yuri’s wrest gently and kissed the back of Yuri's hand, then his fingers one by one.

 

Yuto and Yuya joined in on giving Yuri affection, leaving the bed to wrap their arms around him. Their lips began kissing his neck, cheek, forehead.

 

Yuri trimpled and cries but they could sense he's being overwhelmed with happiness and love. “My brothers,” he gasped softly, “My treasures. Please don't leave me; stay with me forever.”

 

Yugo kissed him “Forever,” then another  “forever..” 

 

“For all eternity…” Yuto added with a kiss of his own. 

 

“Always,” Yuya smiled. He hoped that this song played again when they were back in their castle, dancing their cares away.

 

Yugo lowered  his arm so it rested under Yuri's knees. With another one behind his back, Yugo lifted his lily up bridal style before gently lowering him to their nest.

 

Yuri blushed “Y-Yugo!” he stammered.

 

“Yes my Lily?” Yugo teased.

 

“This is so embarrassing!” he said hiding his face between his hands. 

 

Yugo nuzzled Yuri’s neck. “But I love seeing you blush. it is such a rare thing to see, like catching  lightning in a bottle. Such a divine sight,”

 

“ ….” Yuri wasn’t sure how to respond to that.

 

“We haven't seen such a sight in a while,” said Yuto.

 

“Please big brother…” Yuya begged, crimson eyes wide.

 

Yuri tried to bury his face in Yugo's chest. This was so embarrassing!

 

“Come now, we're just getting started,” Yugo said  then placed Yuri down on the nest before he, Yuto and Yuya lay down and hug their brother, nuzzling him,  help getting Yuri comfortable, stroking his hair and hugging him tight. Yuya kissed him soundly as Yuri leaned into the touch.

 

 “So good...so warm…” Yuri stated with a sigh.” I never...felt like this before in Academia...no one stayed by  my side. No one held me close...no one comforted me like this. No one cared about me.”” 

 

 “We care.” said Yuya. “More than, that we love you, we adore you. Every last perfection and flaw for us to see and cherish.”

 

“ We're your brothers and treasures,” Yuto said.

 

“My treasures,” Yuri breathed in wonder. He blinked, an urge coming over him, and sat up, “ Can I...mark you?  I don't want to lose you...never again,” he said hugging them close, recalling in his haze the night before. How he wanted to bite them and bring them closer to him.

 

The younger boys shivered, wanting to feel Yuri’s venom numb their senses and make them feel so good. It had been a long time since they felt the sensations of Yuri’s fangs on their skin.

 

“... Yuri,” Yugo breathed.

 

“Please...please let me do this…” Yuri begged. He never wanted his treasures to leave him. Never! he wants to give them pleasure and happiness, place them under his thrall, and keep them forever in his arms in perpetual bliss.

 

Yugo, slowly trails butterfly kisses down Yuri's neck. “Of course, Yuri..”

 

Yuto smiled softly and nodded, “Anything for you.” 

 

 “Do you remember what your fangs could do? The times you bit us and made us writhe in your arms, begging for your kiss, your touch?” Yuya questioned.

 

“...I do,” Yuri smiled.

 

Yuya tilted his neck and smiled. “Bite me first, lily.”

 

“Y-yuya,” Yuri breathed. 

 

“It's okay,” Yuya said with a smile. “Do it…”

 

Yuri licked his fangs before he ran his tongue down Yuya's neck

 

 “Go on,” Yuya moaned softly. “Show me how much you love me Yuri.”

 

Yuri opened his mouth and sank his fangs deep into Yuya's neck.

 

“Yu...Yuri…”  Yuya moaned.

 

Yuri ran his hand down Yuya's back and side.

 

Yuya was becoming light headed as the venom spread through him. Of course wouldn't kill him unlike a regular human. The other quality of Yuri's venom would affect him for a time.

 

Just enough time for Yuri to give him everything he wanted.

 

“ Yuya…” Yuto breathed.

 

“He looks so happy…” said Yugo with glee.

 

Yuya shivered and moaned, mind ready for any command Yuri gave him.

 

“Let the venom do its work, Yuya…” Yuri whispered in his ear. “Big brother loves you little Ruby.”  Yuya moaned at the nickname. “ And you'll do as I say and feel nothing but pleasure.”

 

Yuya gasped and arched his back as Yuri ran a hand over his chest. Yes, he would do anything for Yuri, for the pleasure.

 

“Yes my blood ruby that’s it. Let my venom run in you, fall into my love and control, and only feel bliss,” Yuri licked his fangs. Yuya writhed and moaned before nodding fervently. 

 

“Your turn, my shadow knight,” said Yuri turning his sights to the second youngest. 

 

Yuto nodded his head as he leaned towards Yuri, shuddering when Yuri hugged him closer to his chest and  swiftly bit him. Yuto gasped and threaded his hand through Yuri's hair pressing him further into his neck making his fangs sink deeper

 

“Please...more...I need it…” Yuto moaned, his back arching 

 

“My sweet knight,” Yuri whispered and licked his lips. “Yes, dream a dream of you protecting your kingdom from those who would destroy it.” Yuto panted, eyes unfocused with a smile on his face

 

“What about me, my lily?” Yugo asked

 

Yuri chuckled. “Yes of course my most dearest Yugo, come to me,” he said, opening his arms for Yugo to come closer. 

 

Yugo approached his brother with bright blue eyes. “Make me feel good…”

 

“Why of course,” Yuri promised. He licked Yugo's neck and kissed his pulse point before sinking his fangs there hard. 

 

“Ah...yes...Yuri!” Yugo moaned, panting as the venom began to make his head feel so heavy. “Please...harder...more...venom…”

 

Yuri ran his hand through Yugo's hair, and bit harder. “Do you want to obey me, my lovely crystal?”

 

“Yes...I want to...obey you…” Yugo’s crystal blue eyes faded as the venom in his blood spread fast and the pleasure and lust increased slowly, steady, warming his body until there was a red blush on his cheek.

 

Yuri licked the shell of Yugo's ear “Good boy. Such a good boy, my Yugo.” He looked down at his brothers, heads filled with lust and ready to fall into mindless pleasure. “Now, tell me brothers, who do you belong to?”

 

“ You…” Came the answer from three voices filled with love and obedience.

 

Yuri shivered in pleasure, loving how mindless his brothers sounded under his control. “And What do you desire most, my precious treasures?”

 

“Your touch,” Yuya moaned.

 

“Your kisses…” Yuto sighed

 

“Your love,” Yugo whined.

 

“Your wish is my command,” Yuri chuckled before approaching Yuya. He pulled his little ruby onto his lap and kissed the back of the red-eyed boy’s neck. “You're so fun when you're like this, my dearests. My oh my what shall I do with you all?” he chuckled in delight.

 

“Anything…” Yuya moaned.

 

Yuri stroked Yuya's hair. “Anything?” Yuya nodded eagerly which made Yuri purr in happiness. “Oh yes, I'm going to enjoy this. But for now, Yuya I want you to tell me how much you miss me, how much you love and adore me.”

 

Yuya smiled.  “I missed you so much. So much, big brother. I missed your touch, your kiss, your gifts. I missed sleeping beside you, hugging you, loving you.  When I heard from Father what happened, I was heartbroken. I wanted you... Needed you by our side again, in our arms again, letting us show you how much we love you, we'll always love you. Need you, desire you. Our dark bloom, our precious lily... We will shower you with love until you drown in it and we will never let go, forever together.” 

 

“Yes…that’s exactly what I wanted to hear,” Yuri hissed and kissed Yuya's forehead. Yuya mewled and went lax in Yuri's arms, happy that his response made his older brother smile. “My little blood ruby, doing his best to cheer me up. Oh how it amazed me that you would follow Father's footsteps in performing.”

 

Yuya shivered. “I always wanna make you happy,” he slurred his words. “To...make you smile...It hurt me to learn you were so sad…”

 

Yuri smiled. “My precious Yuya, It's okay now. You can start preparing your shows once more.” Yuya buried his face in Yuri's chest and nuzzled him. “Just imagine it for me. The lights, the music, the performers. And us in the audience cheering you on.”

 

Yuya sighed happily, contently, doing just as Yuri commanded. There he was, on stage with lights shining down on him and his Performapal monsters by his side as he prepared a grand show for his family and his family alone. He could picture it as if it was truly happening right now.

 

“Keep falling into this lovely dream for me, my ruby.” Yuri commanded. “Be happy,” he added, giving Yuya another kiss on the forehead and the red eyed boy nodded. “Obey me.”

 

“ I obey.” Yuya whispered, still in his dream of a beautiful performance of shadows and light and everything that would make his family smile. Yuri placed Yuya down on the nest, making the boy’s head rest on a pillow before he approached Yuto next.

 

“And you, my Shadow knight, tell me, what would you want me to do for you?” he asked, crawling over his lavender haired brother.. “Well my sweet?” he whispered coaxing gently.

 

“Kiss me…” Yuto whispered. “Please….” 

 

Yuri ran a finger down Yuto's cheek and leaned in, whispers against Yuto’s lips “Is that all?” 

 

“No,” Yuto answered on the verge of tears. “Kiss me, tell me how much you missed us. And how you will enact vengeance on those who destroyed my home.” Yuto’s tears fill his eyes. “ Heartland...it didn't deserve this... I want my home back... please Yuri,” he sobbed breaking Yuri’s heart. He knew what Dennis had done, giving the command to let Obelisk Force wreak havoc on the home Yuto had, filling his once peaceful life with despair and leading Yuri to take his little brother’s treasure away. If only he could’ve done something about this sooner, if only he’d known better.

 

“ Shhh,” he shushed Yuto gently caressing his hair before leaning down, he kissed his neck gently and bit him again. Yuto stopped sobbing and was now shivering as the venom pulsed through his body. “I'll make it all better, I promise. Now, focus on the pleasure…”

 

“ Yuri~” Yuto whined thrashing around.

 

“Obey my command Yuto,” Yuri whispered softly. “Forget everything but me right now. Focus and remember you belong to me. Doesn't that idea make you happy? Make you feel so good?”

 

“ It...it does~,” Yuto moaned his body relaxing at the commands.

 

Yuri wrapped his arms around Yuto’s body and nuzzled his cheek. ““Good boy, Yuto, I'm proud of you. Now, why don't you stay by Yuya's side? And while you’re there, I want you to dream of happier times, before Academia came to ruin everything. As you dream, why don't you kiss Yuya? And with every kiss a new happy memory comes back to you. Only think about those happier times right now. Nothing else matters right now.”

 

Yuto nodded his head before Yuri released his embrace. Tilting his head to the side, to Yuya still dreaming of his beautiful performance, Yuto smiled and crawled on his hands and knees to where his little brother rested. Smiling, he laid down and began placing kisses all over Yuya’s face: over his cheeks,  eyelashes, eyelids, forehead, nose, lips, chin, neck.

 

Yuya writhed and moaned the more Yuto kissed him. The older boy’s hands grasped Yuya’s hips as the red eyed boy squirmed underneath.  A smile formed on Yuto’s face as he kissed Yuya more and more, his brother’s sounds of happiness on being covered in kisses and the happy memories of Heartland back when it shone like a jewel at night fueling him to carry on obeying Yuri’s sweet command. All while Yuya dreamed of his beautiful show with its bright lights, music and the smiles on everyone’s faces as he amazed them with his performance.

 

Yuri could only smile as he saw his little brothers be happy in their dreams before turning to Yugo, the boy with clear blue eyes smiling and waiting for Yuri’s commands and words to lull him deeper and deeper into the sea of happiness and love that Yuto and Yuya were sinking in. Oh how he missed his little crystal; how he would tease Yugo at night, dipping him low in the garden and kissing him on the nose, the lips, the cheek as a sign of how much he loved him.He always adored the red that spread over Yugo’s lovely cheeks, his pout, his little scowl, Yugo did always chase him pretending to be angry, it was their little game, and both loved it. 

 

“And you, my loveliest summer breeze, it's just been too long hasn't it?” Yuri asked with a feline grin on his face. “Oh what to do with you, my Yugo?” he questioned, running a finger down Yugo’s neck.

 

“Anything...you want,” Yugo said gasping. 

 

“ Yes anything,” Yuri chuckled softly, delighted at all of his brothers’ reactions.  “You're all under my thrall, and you all look so beautiful like that. Under my control, happy, in perpetual bliss,” he shivered in delight. ”Mine. All mine.  But how to play with you?” he wondered allowed running his hand through Yugo’s blue locks. Aha! He knew just what to do.

 

“ My pretty little crystal…” Yuri cooed, licking Yugo’s cheek. "You are my treasure, right?”

 

“ Of... course,” Yugo replied, his voice soft and distant.

 

“Hmm...that's not enough.” Yuri teased, licking the side of Yugo's eyelid. “ How are you my treasure? How do I care for you?”

 

Yugo sighed, trying to find the right words to answer Yuri all while he could distantly hear Yuto and Yuya kissing each other. “ You protect me, care for me, hold me close,” he began. “You make sure I and our brothers...are held in your arms, And we make sure you are happy, to keep you in our arms for eternity and in return, you shower us with love and flowers. 

Yugo shuddered. “Please Yuri...make us yours. Keep us yours forever. We've missed you, our beloved older brother. Our Darkest bloom, our beautiful Lily. Never let go of us. Stay like old times where we drowned in each other's love. In Father's embrace in bliss and happiness.”

 

Yuri paused as he ran his claws through Yugo’s crescent bangs. “...Always, my shining crystal. I missed you all so much,” he said with a smile kissing Yugo's ear. 

 

Yugo shivered and arched his back with a gasp. “Tell us you love us,” he begged. “Touch us, remind us of your love, my Darkest Bloom.”

 

“Yes, I love you, I love you, I love you Yugo,” Yuri proclaimed as he kissed Yugo's cheek. “I missed my little brothers so...hugging them, kissing them, promising to protect them I made an oath to be strong like Father to protect you all,” he said remembering his vow.

 

“ You did, you're so much like father Yuri.” Yugo stated. “Your love is intoxicating, consuming, addicting. We want more, we need more. We’ll always love you, my Darkest bloom, forever. Please...just give us more of your love, consume us with it, swallow us whole.”

 

Yuri shivered, hearing Yugo praise him like that. It never ceased to make him feel so proud of his accomplishments on making his brothers become mindless love slaves to him.  “Yugo, my dearest Yugo.”

 

“Yes Yuri?” Yugo asked, his voice empty and monotone.

 

Yuri wrapped his arms around Yugo, tears in his eyes as he missed Yugo’s embrace and how he smelled like lemons warmed in the summer. “Please stay in my arms.”

 

“Yes. Forever,” Yugo reassured him hugging Yuri back and kissing his forehead.

 

My Lily? Zarc whispered a small wicked smirk could be heard in his voice. 

 

'... Yes Father?' Yuri knew that tone… 

 

Two days ago, our precious Yugo was feeling quite left out from his brothers' love and affection.  Zarc explained, giving Yuri a memory of how Yugo cried and was hurt from how he missed Rin, how Yuya got cards and how Yuto’s problems with Shun came first.

 

Yuri blinked… well that just wouldn't do. He knew that Yugo sometimes felt that way because he was always the middle child; Yuya and Yuto were the baby brothers and Yuri the eldest. Sometimes that need for attention is what caused Yugo to be so reckless.

 

And while your brothers have amended their mistake, I know how much better you were at teasing your brothers until they were nothing but puddles of love mindless with happiness and bliss. Father purred and Yuri shivered, feeling that rush of pleasure fill his mind once more. 

 

'I learned from the best.' Yuri replied with a smirk.

 

Zarc chuckled as he sent overwhelming tendrils of love through the bond. Yuri's baby brothers panted, their cheeks flushed with blissed expression, the venom and Father's love was simply an intoxicating blend to say the least.  Yuri himself moaned, doing his best to resist so he could give more and more commands 

 

So my Darkest Bloom, do you mind… showing our precious Yugo once again how treasured he is? After all with Yuya and Yuto kissing like that, he just might feel left out again… 

 

Yuri looked over his shoulder at his youngest brothers and shivered in delight. Yuto had captured Yuya's lips and was kissing him feverishly as if both would die if they would stop. Yuya was clinging to him kissing back just as feverish, Yuri licked his lips and looked at Yugo in his arms. Covered neck to toe still in his one piece riding suit, Yuri thought it a shame… all that beautiful pale skin just hidden from them like that. Yugo's eyes faded and filled with pleasure, and with Yuri's venom still coursing through his veins, he would do anything Yuri commanded despite any embarrassment. 

 

Yuri chuckled, knowing exactly what he needed to do. 'Why yes father… it would be my pleasure.'

 

Zarc smirked. Good boy.  He said running his claws through Yuri's hair. And Yuri gasped as more waves of affection hit him again and again. He hadn’t felt anything like this in such a long time, and all he wanted to do was be petted like that forever.

 

But that would be for later; Yugo being turned into a puddle of mindless goo came first.

 

After getting over the pleasure that Father has sent, with one last shudder he looked at Yugo, who still had his arms around him, Yuri smirked. "Let go of me, Yugo dear," he commanded softly. Yugo whined having to lose his brother in his arms. But it would be momentary.

 

Yuri stood and headed to Yuya's closet. He rummaged through it and noticed the paper bags of clothes Yoko bought for Yugo and Yuto earlier -- even labeled with their names to make it easier to remember --  and pulled out the clothes in Yugo’s bag. Yes, this would be perfect.

 

"Yugo dear,” Yuri cooed. “Stand up, come to me.”

 

Mindlessly Yugo obeyed and went closer to his brother.  Yuri then handed the clothing into Yugo’s hands. "Now, I want you to go to the bathroom and change into these clothes. Once you're done, come back and stand before us, understood?"

 

"Yes, Yuri," Yugo nodded robotically with a dreamy smile on his face,  taking the clothes from Yuri and heading out of the bedroom with a smile on his face as he did as was commanded. Yuri watched Yuya and Yuto oh so happy kissing each other, wanting the scene to continue but knowing that there was something better in store for them.

 

"Now, Yuya, Yuto, stop what you're doing," Yuri commanded in a firm voice. Both brothers groaned, disappointed that they couldn't keep kissing and cuddling each other more.  Yuri couldn’t help but chuckle at that. "Now, now don't be like that, I have a special treat, so sit still until our dear Crystal comes back." 

 

"Yes Yuri… " Yuya and Yuto said as one.

 

Yuri smiled as he ran a finger down the cheeks of both of his little brothers. “Good boys~” They shivered in delight, both of them smiled up at Yuri with such dreamy, loving and adoring eyes like newborn kittens who were just about to see the world for the first time.

 

The bedroom door opened and closed again, and all heads turned to the one who came in. Yuri licked his fangs and both Yuya and Yuto shivered at the sight. Yugo was now wearing a lemon yellow shirt that exposed his midriff and slid off one shoulder along with dark blue short shorts. His beautiful pale skin full on display, his arms held together behind his back, a look of vulnerability to him. Yugo was absolutely gorgeous

 

"Brothers, tell Yugo what you think of him right now,” said Yuri, licking his lips. He could just imagine tasting Yugo and think of lemons in summertime.

 

"Beautiful," breathed Yuya. 

 

"Breathtaking," said Yuto with the same awe inspired tone. 

 

Yugo was shivering, a part of him was resisting the venom with a need to blush. Yuri smirked; this was exactly the reaction he wanted. "Now, how about we show Yugo how truly beautiful he is? Kiss him anywhere you want.”

 

Yuri thought he could hear Yugo's gasp, but Yuya and Yuto didn't pay attention to it. Yugo's body was trembling with the need to move or cover up, Yuya's and Yuto's hungry eyes trailed over him deciding where to go.  

 

Both younger brothers crawled over to Yugo, each of them taking a side on their knees, their hands trailed up Yugo's pale toned legs, and over his exposed waist.

 

Yugo whimpered as he anticipated what was to come. Yuto stood up, and started kissing Yugo's neck, while Yuya stayed on his knees kissing and licking Yugo's exposed thigh, both their hands exploring the beautiful pale skin on display. 

 

"That's it, good boys, show him more love, more and more and more," Yuri purred, hearing father chuckling in the back of his mind, proud and pleased. Yuri shivered in delight, combined with the look on Yugo's face made him moan. 

 

Yugo squirmed and whimpered he tangled both his hands in Yuya and Yuto's hair, desperate for something to hold on to. His legs were about to give in. 

 

But neither boy let up, lips kissing and tongues licking all they could reach, hands roaming lovingly over Yugo’s body, as if worshiping him. 

 

Yugo arched his back, gasping, tears falling down, all his senses overwhelmed. Yuri grabbed him, licking the tears away, making Yugo whimper. Yuri then put his hand on Yuto's head and pushed down, giving him the silent command and Yuto complied dropping to his knees and wrapping his arms around Yugo kissing and licking his stomach and hips. Yuya still trailed kisses and licks and touches over Yugo’s legs. And now Yuri took over Yuto's place placing kisses all over Yugo neck, and every once in a while he'd scrap his fangs over his shoulder. 

 

"Such beautiful skin, Yugo," Yuri whispered to Yugo's ear who was panting. "Such a shame you insist on hiding it even from our eyes," he mock pouted.

 

Yuri bit him again and Yugo screamed mind shattering like glass, his legs couldn't support him anymore and he fell into Yuri's arms. Yuto and Yuya whined. 

 

"Shh, it's okay, we'll just put him in the nest and we can both keep showing him how much we love him yes?" Both boys nodded eagerly.  

 

Yugo was placed on the soft pillows on the nest, and true to Yuri's claim all three kept kissing and showering Yugo with love, kisses and touches, still overwhelming him more and more. He had a small smile on his face, a trail of drool down his lips, eyes empty mind only filled with pleasure and bliss. 

 

Good boys. Zarc praised, loving the little show of affection and love from his sons.

 

Yuri stroked Yugo’s hair and wiped the drool off with the corner of his own shirt before kissing Yugo’s lips. Yugo groaned as the fog in his mind began to lift. Something...something was wrong. 

 

Yugo flinched, trying to sit up before a hand on his chest stopped him, and Yuri licked his ear making him shiver. 

 

“Yu-Yuri...what…” was all he could say before moaning and arching as a pair of lips trailed down kisses all over his body. With a bit of struggle he opened his eyes, cheeks flushed and eyes hazy with lust. “Yu-Yuya, Yuto...what are you two doing?” he struggled to ask before Yuri kissed his neck making him cry out.

 

His younger brothers didn’t answer and simply kept kissing him, and running their hands over his soft skin. Yugo squirmed at the attention. “Yu-yuri, please make them stop ,” he could hear both of them whine, which made him blush even more. He didn’t have the energy to even attempt to remove them from himself.

 

“Make them stop ?” Yuri gasped in surprise. “Now why would I do that, Yugo dear? We just wanna show you how much we love you. Besides, it’s Father’s will. And I can’t disobey him.” 

 

“F-father?” Yugo asked confused “W-what do you mean...Ahh!” he yelled as Yuya sucked on the skin of his arm. 

 

“You make the most wonderful sound, my beautiful Crystal,” Yuri sighed in pleasure. Yuya and Yuto kept on kissing him more, making Yugo arch his back and throw his head back, his body feeling more sensitive than usual. 

 

“Don- Don’t dodge the question...wha-what do you mean Father...I don’t get...I don't get it,” he sucked in a breath and moaned. 

 

“Father told me what happened, how you felt so lonely and overlooked,” Yuri explained with a deceptive sweet smile as if waiting patiently for a child to walk. “So Father tasked me with making you feel good and loved and treasured like I used to.”

 

“Bu-but...It’s okay,” Yugo whined. “I f-feel fine now. I don’t need…” This was interrupted by another cry. Yuri kissed Yugo’s lips passionately swallowing his sounds.  

 

“Father commands it Yugo... “ he said softly with a small smirk. Yugo’s eyes widened and blood rushed to his ears. “We never disobey Father, do we Yugo?” he whispered to Yugo’s lips huskily, and the blue haired boy sucked in a breath. “We belong to Father after all, and we always obey.”

 

This felt all too familiar, all too nostalgic, ‘We belong to Father after all.’  was always repeated by Yuri in sessions like this, engraved into their minds and souls by both Father and Yuri themselves. He, Yuya and Yuto and Yuri belong to Father, will forever belong to Father. They will never disobey him, never stop loving him, always, always be Father’s. Yugo’s mind began to cloud over at the old mantra, feeling those moments fill his mind.

 

“I still don’t….” he began to protest weakly before sucking in another breath.  

 

“Ah ah ah…” Yuri cooed, wagging a finger. “Not another word out of you, Yu~go~”

 

“Yu..ri…” he breathed, body going lax, cheeks still red at the attention he was getting. He let out another sigh. “Feels good,” he clutches the sheets under him. If Father desires this, he’ll happily do it, and his brothers are showing him love. Yes he was a little too embarrassed at the moment, he knew his cheeks must be as red as Yuya’s eyes right now which is why he struggled to begin with. It felt too good. 

 

“Mmm…” Yuri purred, licking his lips. “I bet you taste divine after coming out of a shower. What type of shampoo have you been using? It smells so good…”

 

Yugo couldn’t help but shut his eyes and whimpering, hands clutching the sheets of the nest tighter. ‘Too much, too much...too good .’

 

Yuri chuckled. “Too much Yugo? I wonder what would happen if Father joined us like he used to. How far gone would you be then?”

 

Yugo shook his head. “You’d be too far gone to pay me attention,” he gasped. “If Father was here, you’d be a mess like the rest of us.” 

 

Yuri frowned. Yugo did make a good point. Zarc raised an eyebrow. Still, that didn’t stop Yuri from moving his index finger under the loose shirt up his chest, and began playing with one of Yugo’s nipples. “Yes, it would be a true shame, Father always was too good at what he did, and he always did it to me first. ‘For all your hard work when I’m not around,’ he said, ‘You’d be the first to be lost in the haze and pleasure, my thorned rose.’” 

Yuri licked his fangs. “I wonder how addicted we’d be if he used his venom on us more often,” Yuri’s hand moved down Yugo’s chest stroking the milky white skin softly before placing a kiss on his waist. Yugo whimpered. 

 

“So beautiful Yugo,” Yuri whispered all while Yuto and Yuya mindlessly continued their touches and kisses. Yuya licked the inside of Yugo’s thigh as if he was licking an ice cream cone, and Yuto was sucking on his hips as if sucking on a lollipop.  “So delicious . I wonder what you taste like? What do you think, ruby? Shadow knight? What does Yugo taste like to you?”

 

“Sweet and sour lemons,” Yuya said with a big smile. 

 

“Lemonade…” Yuto sighed.

 

“Hey, can we bite him Yuri?” Yuya asked, eyes wide and filled with desire..

 

“Please bite, please bite!!!” Yuto said with the excitement of a child wanting to go to the carnival. 

 

Yuri chuckled, “Hmm, I don’t know. Yugo dear, what do you say? Do you want our brothers to bite you? Just like all three of you bit me yesterday, would you like that?” 

 

Yugo gave another cry. "Yes!  Yesyesyesyes. Bite me, bite me please. I need you, brothers!"

 

“Who are we to say no?” Yuri asked chuckling. “Okay then, ruby, shadow...you can bite Yugo now!”

 

"Yay~," both brothers cheered before crawling up Yugo's body, each giving him a deep kiss before as if one person, they lowered their lips kissing the same spot on either side of Yugo. Mirror images of each other, grey and red eyes clouded with lust before clamping their fangs on each shoulder. Yugo gasped and screamed, hugging his brothers closer, pressing their heads firmly, bringing them closer to him. 

 

"I love you, I love you, I love you so much!" Yugo cried. “Ah, it’s so good!”

 

So good, so good, so good. 

 

They heard Zarc chuckle in the back of their minds and all shivered at his delight. When Father was happy, so were they. It was a never-ending loop of love and pleasure and bliss from Father to sons to Father again. A sense of euphoria hit all of them, making them all shiver in delight. Yuya and Yuto removed their fangs from Yugo’s shoulders and began licking his wounds, loving how that lemon shirt had the shoulder Yuya was biting exposed.

 

The two wrapped their arms around Yugo’s waist and began kissing his neck, and nuzzling to him, all while Yugo panted, eyes glazed over from the pleasure. Yuri chuckled and wrapped his arms around Yugo as well, kissing his exposed taught stomach and licking the pretty skin. Yuri grabbed Yuya, and gently cupped his chin, kissing his lips and letting him fall on Yugo’s side then did the same for Yuto. 

 

“My brothers, my treasures, my loves…” Yuri whispered. “I’m happy to be with you again…”

 

He rested his head on Yugo’s chest, and they all fell back asleep in peace and tranquility. 

 

“Love you brothers,” came the answer from all three of the boys, and Yuri smiled falling asleep.

 

***************

 

It was dawn when Yuri woke up still snuggling to Yugo. He sighed and nuzzled to the exposed stomach where he had laid his head the previous night, before placing a kiss on the beautiful milky skin, tongue dipped into Yugo’s navel teasingly, only to have Yugo run his claws through Yuri's hair, making him purr. 

 

The feelings were interrupted as he felt a mix of anger and slight fear coming through the bond and turned around looking for his little brothers only to see them still in the nest. He looked in confusion at what he was seeing: Yuya straddling Yuto, glaring at the Xyz prince, arms crossed while Yuto was looking away trying not to look at Yuya's face and burying it in a hippo plushie.. 

 

"Tell me, Yuto, what did you do?" Yuya asked slowly and Yuri was honestly perplexed at the interaction. He never recalled Yuya acting like this before.

 

"Yuya…" Yuto began. “Well...I...uh….it’s...

 

"Tell me!" The red and green haired boy snapped, red eyes briefly glowing like a fire in a paper lantern. “WHAT DID YOU DO TO SHUN?!” 

 

Yuri wasn't so sure who Shun was or what had happened to make Yuto blush and Yuya be that angry and snappy at Yuto. This scene just never transpired in their past… much. 

 

It took a few moments for Yuto to make a decision. He moved away from the plushie before looking at his little with a serene smile on his face. 

 

"I made him mine," Yuto answered and placed a claw on Yuya’s temple. Yuya flinched slightly, eyes wide as he stared into space and images began to form in his mind.

 

"I made Shun mine," Yuto repeated as he started lightly running his hand over Yuya's body, over the gray shirt, down his back, up his sides, and his leg. 

 

Yuto shared the memories that happened starting when Yuya left for You Show Duel School three days ago: hypnotizing Shun, the desire to keep his friend safe and in Yuto's arms, to keep Shun his, to make him his treasure. The happiness and elation these actions and memories caused coursed from Yuto and into Yuya's mind and the younger boy shuddered. 

 

"I claimed him," Yuto whispered. "That mark I branded on his back is my crest.” His hand traveled up Yuya's back and caressed between his shoulder blades all while the memory of Shun pressed to the wall, shivering and moaning as Yuto drew that specific mark with a claw.  "It was glorious, he was glorious. All of that passion and loyalty and love for me. Mine, my treasure, always and forever.” All the kisses they shared, all the desire and passion in them, it all exploded in Yuya's mind. How happy Yuto was, how his mind was at peace that one of his precious treasures would never leave him no matter what, not by human fear or time itself. No, Shun was Yuto's, and he would show Shun just how much that was true, how much Yuto loves him, adores him. 

 

Yuto sighed, eyes softening like stiff fabric in soapy water. "I know I've been… a pain to you and Yugo about it, but I can't help it , Yuya. I love him , and he's mine. Minemineminemine. I need to touch him, to love him, play with him, he's so beautiful Yuya. So beautiful !" 

 

Yuya's arms uncrossed and were placed on each side of Yuto's head. Yuri couldn't see Yuya's eyes, hidden by strands of his beautiful evergreen and cherry hair. Instead, Yuya lowered himself, his slender body now lying on top of Yuto instead of straddling him. Yuya smirked and started kissing Yuto's chin, which made the Xyz user arch his neck back, letting Yuya kiss him, softly and slowly. 

 

Yuya felt it, the happiness the elation the possessiveness and love Yuto held for Shun. How happy Yuto was to see Shun all his and his alone, to see Shun's loyalty, love and lust only be directed at Yuto and no one and nothing else. And that he would keep Shun for as long as they lived. Yes, Yuya could feel it all. The heady feeling, the desire, the lust that was so new to Yuto he himself couldn't control. And it didn't really help that he and Shun never really spent a night together; Yuya and Yugo keeping Yuto all to themselves these past few nights.

 

Yuto was happy to possess a treasure, that was his right and desire. And now in the safety of their own nest with no prying eyes or questions being asked, who was Yuya to tell his brother what not to do? Yuya's lips fell down, licking Yuto's neck, the memories of what Yuto did to Shun created a loop of lust and desire between both of them and Yuya couldn't help but want to touch Yuto like how Yuto roamed his hands over Shun’s body out in public. 

 

Yuri heard a moan, and looked up to see Yugo looking at their brothers’ faces flushed and a happy smile. He looked at Yuri opening his arms for his big brother, and Yuri happily crawled over, giving Yugo a kiss. The younger boy wrapped his arms around Yuri's waist and ran his claws again in Yuri's hair, making the older boy purr in happiness. 

 

“Don’t you see, Yuya?” Yuto sighed. “Wouldn’t you want to be that way with someone close to you? A treasure that you want forever in your hands? To never let them go?" 

 

Yuya shivered at the thought, and his lips descended on Yuto's. Yes, he wanted Yuzu to be with him forever. She was always with him, through good times and bad. Yuzu couldn’t be taken away by the Professor; and she would not be offered up just for his daughter to be brought back to life.

 

Ray Akaba died to destroy them. Now it was up to Zarc and his sons to ensure that she stay dead

 

The two younger brothers rolled around in the nest, happily kissing and running their hands all over each other. 

Yugo sat up drawing Yuri into his lap, Yuri's back pressed to his chest, as he started kissing down Yuri's neck while they faced their kissing brothers. Yuri gasped as Yugo bit gently on his bite mark, and kissed it a few times. 

 

“Gods I missed this,” he said, nuzzling to Yuri. “Welcome home, my Lily,” he whispered lovingly. 

 

Yuri shifted around enough so he can rest his head on the crock of Yugo’s neck and nuzzle to him more. “It’s so good to be, my sweet Summer Breeze.” 

 

**************

 

“HI, Yoko-san. In case you get this, I’m still in the stadium with everyone else, upset at how the cameras just cut off everywhere! We all tried to leave to see how Yuya and Yuzu were doing, but Himika-san told us to stay in our seats. Also, we all saw you beating up those strange guys in blue coats in the Volcano section all while you were in your ‘Shooting Star’ attire. Is there something you’re not telling us?

 

“This entire thing with the Akabas ever since they blamed Yuya for the attack on Shingo has been in the back of my mind. Yuzu even questioned where she got that bracelet for some reason when she knows and I know and you know that she’s had it since she was a baby. Why she would even question something that should be as obvious as her own name is beyond me.

 

“Something is up. I’m not sure what, but please be careful. I don’t trust the Akabas one bit.

 

“Tatsuya is about to fight Reira in a few hours. While I don’t want to doubt Tatsuya’s skills, I don’t think he’s going to win against Reira considering how he (I think Reira is a he) defeated Ayu and Futoshi with Fusion and Synchro. Either way, I hope that this tournament brings an influx of duelists for the school in the future.

 

“So, uh, see you when we can finally leave this place. And if you see Yuya and Yuzu, tell them I said ‘hi’.

 

“Oh and you don’t mind if you make something for us to eat when this is all over, right? The people in the stadium are just giving us some oatmeal and an apple and that’s hardly filling after sitting in these seats for more than twelve hours.”

 

Yoko placed her cellphone down on the bed and sighed. The past few hours was going through message after message on her phone in regards to the Battle Royale and whatever schemes Himika cooked up to make sure everyone were ignorant sheep to this.

 

Mieru gave a message in that she was awake and that there had been no signs of Obelisk Force at all through the night, but that didn’t necessarily mean that there was a high chance of more soldiers coming in to finish the job. Michiyo somehow had the time to upload a picture of himself, Teppei, Mieru, Serena and Yuzu enjoying their meal together. Even Yuzu sent a photo of herself and Serena smiling to the camera, albeit Serena looked slightly flustered at being photographed.

 

Mieru had also sent Yoko a video that made her eyes bulge out of her sockets. Upon seeing the entire recording, she wasn’t sure if she needed a talk with Yuto or talk with Zarc first. What with Shun Kurosaki on his knees in the streets begging Yuto to ravage him and calling Yuto his ‘prince’ like some god-awful live-action yaoi fanfiction roleplay...and that’s the clean version of what she was seeing!

 

What was the relationship between Yuto and Shun anyway and when did it start? He’s calling Yuto his “prince” and as far as Yoko was clear on the matter, Yuto didn’t know a thing about the whole dragon thing until he faced Yugo while they were in this dimension just a few days ago !

 

And does Shun even know how intimate Yuto and his brothers are? Would he even care ? What type of spell did Yuto or Zarc or whoever transformed this stoic, cold, anger-filled boy who mercilessly attacked Sora in their Action Duel (with the field most likely bringing up bad memories for Shun, seeing as it was called Neo-Heartland and Sora’s taunting and the fact that he was from the Fusion Dimension didn’t help matters) into some sort of... love slave ?!

 

Aren’t my boys and Serena enough for you, Zarc? Yoko thought. Now Shun is involved in this madness?!

 

Yoko had half a mind to go to Yuya’s bedroom and demand Zarc to explain this. How Mieru was able to be conscious to record this spectacle is nothing short of a miracle.

 

And at that thought, another question popped into her mind: what was her role in all of this?

 

She knew too much now: her sons possessed by the shadow of their father, Professor Akaba’s schemes to resurrect his daughter, the different dimensions, Reiji’s plans, her husband’s disappearance...She was living in a personal horror movie and there was no solution to any of these problems (She tried looking up anything about Zarc but nope, he just didn’t exist...well, didn’t exist in this timeline anyway).

 

What the fuck could she, “Shooting Star Yoko” of the Maiami Queens, do anyway? If she tried telling anyone about this, they would look at her as if she was crazy! Teppei, annoying as he was, did have a point with how he reacted to Mieru’s explanations. And soon enough she knew that fighting Obelisk Force with just her fists wouldn’t be able to cut it. Even her deck, as good as it is, probably wouldn’t work against those who had mastered a Summoning Method.

 

She only wished that things could be settled by her riding her motorcycle with her monsters by her side, kicking ass and taking names. Why couldn’t things just be as simple as that?

 

Yoko laid back in bed, staring at a framed picture of her and Yusho on her wedding day on the table. At times like this, she would think about her husband’s philosophy to smile and keep moving…

 

Yeah, as if a simple smile was going to change everything considering that three years in Heartland didn’t stop Academia from invading it!

 

Yoko Sakaki had to do something. She had to be by her sons’ side. She had to fight off Obelisk Force, find her husband somewhere in either the Synchro or Fusion Dimensions and smack him over the head for abandoning her and Yuya, perhaps relive her days as Shooting Star Yoko as she tore the roads with her motorcycle by her side, protect Yuzu and Serena before they ended up being sacrificed.

 

She had to do something. She wanted to do something!

 

….

...

 

Well...what was stopping her from doing what she wanted?

 

Yoko sat up, picked up her phone and typed “Synchro monsters” in the search bar. Seconds later, she was looking at the variety of archetypes that used Synchro summoning.

 

From seeing the duels Gongenzaka participated in, she already knew how a Synchro Summoning worked. It actually took a lot of planning since you needed monsters with the exact combined level in order to bring it out. And there were various combinations of adding levels to consider and the effects of the Tuners; she gotta remember those too.

 

And the thought of dueling with these monsters on a motorcycle like Yugo was capable of doing sounded too exciting. Calling out her monsters while shouting “Synchro Summon!” sounded too good to be true.

 

But what type of Synchro archetype would work with her?

 

Yoko began scrolling through the different variety of monsters that had Synchro monsters in them: Ice Barrier, Ally of Justice, Aroma, Cryston, Gusto...all of them had interesting designs and gimmicks to go with them. But there was something missing .

 

She wanted an archetype that connected her to her sons. The dragons that they were inside, burning with anger and rage at all who would stand in their way. Dragons that were ready to fight off against those who took their treasures. Warriors who would ride into battle alongside these mighty dragons. She wanted to find herself like Yuya and Serena, proudly riding the dragons into battle without a care in the world.

 

And as that scenario played out in her mind, she noticed the card she stopped at: one of a knight riding on the back of a massive dragon...

 

Hmmm... Yoko said with a smirk. This one might be interesting.

 

With a press of a button, she clicked on the link for “Dragunity”.



Chapter Text

After Yoko finished reading through the article about Synchro summoning, she showered, got dressed (in some normal clothes; there was no need to be “Shooting Star Yoko” again) and entered Yuya’s bedroom. She sighed. She would never get used to seeing her sons on the floor cuddling like kittens while their dark demonic dragon of a father used his ‘claws’ to comfort them.

 

But she needed to speak to Zarc right now; so pushing her discomfort aside, she opened the door, expecting the worst.

 

“Zarc,” Yoko said, poking her head inside. “Can I have a word with — “ 

 

She paused at what she was seeing. Instead of her four boys in each other’s arms, kissing and whatever else they would do to each other, she found them staring back at her with Duel Monster cards in the center of their circle.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry…” said Yoko. “Is this a bad time?”

 

“Mom?” said Yuya blinked. “Why do you need to talk to Father so much?”

 

“It’s...a personal matter,” Yoko said, flicking a glance at Yuri as she said that. Yuri somehow understood what she meant and gulped.

 

“All three of you, get dressed,” she said. “Yuya is supposed to be shown dueling once the Akabas finally decide to turn on the cameras connecting the Battle Royale to the stadium. Plus I don’t know whether or not Professor Akabastard will be sending more reinforcements; I highly doubt our display is going to deter him from getting Serena and Yuzu by his side.”

 

All the boys shivered at the prospect of the girls anywhere near an Akaba, Reiji included, especially after the news Yuri gave about the disgusting parasites, but they sighed and nodded their heads. 

 

Yoko did blink at something though. “Yugo, what are you wearing ?”  The boy’s face became as red as Yuya’s crimson eyes before he hid behind Yuri’s shoulder. trying to hide the lemon shirt and blue shorts from her..

 

“Y...Yuri made me wear it,” Yugo stammered.

 

“Oh blame it on me, why don’t you?” Yuri snorted. “I think you looked rather nice in that outfit, Yugo,” He licked his lips. “You look like a delicious lemon popsicle I just want to — OWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!”

 

Yoko had begun to pull on his ear with annoyance. “No talks of eating your brothers in my house, got it?”

 

“I do blame you because you literally made me wear it, Yuri!” Yugo exclaimed, crawling away from Yoko. Zarc narrowed his eyes, not sure if he wanted to come out and tug on her ponytail until her neck was snapped.

 

“Okay okay, no talking about it I promise,” Yuri said in a hurry. Yoko narrowed her eyes at the phrasing of it but let Yuri’s ear go. 

 

“Good, now then,” Yoko turned to Yuya. “I want a word with Zarc, right now.”

 

“WHAT?!” Yuya shouted. Never had his mom be so direct about talking to Father. “But...but…”

 

“Now , Yuya.”

 

“But...but…”

 

It’s all right, Yuya. I know what she wants. Just let me do the talking.

 

“I…. well... alright,” Yuya eyes glowed as he transformed into the image of his father before Zarc immediately took control. Yoko shuddered; it never ceased to frighten how Yuya could shift into Zarc like that, as if he was shedding off his skin to expose something else underneath.

 

“So,” said Zarc, raising an eyebrow. “What does the great ‘Shooting Star Yoko’ wish to address?”

 

Yoko just grabbed Zarc’s hand. “In the dining room, now.” She pulled him out the room, but not before looking into the eyes of her other sons and said, “Don’t stay too long up there.”

 

With that, she closed the door and practically dragged Zarc downstairs until they were in the dining room. 

 

...Yeah okay, by this point Yoko knew she was pushing her luck with Zarc. She knows that this guy could probably snap her neck, and he was letting her drag him. She had no idea how far Zarc would let her get away with, and even that ear pull with Yuri might have been the most she pushed her luck with the overprotective and highly possessive Father of a Dragon King…

 

In hindsight she was being almost stupid , like all those protagonists that she lambasted over. But for now, he was letting her have a modicum of power over him. It is by his will that she has that power, so she has to be careful in keeping it, because at any moment he could take it away from her. 

 

After seating Zarc in one of the chairs, Yoko went into the kitchen and brought back a teapot and two small cups, setting them on the table.  By this time the animals kept barking and yowling and growling at Zarc before looked at them and spoke one word.

 

SIT .

 

And the animals suddenly stopped talking and did as he commanded. Yoko sighed; now she’ll have less of a headache without these animals warning her of the obvious evil that was in her sons.

 

“Well, that did the trick,” she mumbled before pouring the tea. 

 

Zarc turned to her and gave her a pleasant smile. “Well Yoko-san, ask away,” he said. adding some sugar to the tea and holding the cup. 

 

 Zarc’s smile kinda unnerved Yoko, as if he always knew something she didn’t, hiding his sinister intent behind a pretty face and a smile just as pretty. It was like Dennis and Sora...smiling so sweetly but hiding evil beneath the surface.

 

She once recalled that when a primate smiled, it wasn’t because they were happy; instead they were actually fucking pissed off . This is what Zarc reminded her of: some ape ready to go berserk at a moment’s notice.

 

“Zarc,” Yoko began, looking at the claw marks on the table. “Just tell it to me straight...what type of past did Yuri have in Academia? Professor Akaba didn’t treat him well, did he?”

 

Ah, so that’s what this is about.

 

“He wasn’t abusive, but he didn’t show any compassion to Yuri either,” Zarc explained, running a finger down Yuya’s pendulum. “My Yuri in this life grew up an orphan, all alone with nothing but Starving Venom Fusion Dragon as family. By apparent decree of Akaba, every child in the Fusion Dimension is to be sent to Academia at a certain age, so they would learn to wage war through dueling,” he took a sip of tea as Yoko gripped her cup in anger. “Yuri was good, too good, even as a child. He never suffered a single loss, be it from a student or a teacher. And the other children ostracized him for that skill. He became even more alone and isolated; even in Academia where the strong rule. 

 

“Then Akaba offered him a high position in his Arc-V project, and he became even more isolated. Companionship was replaced by the desire to destroy, and to obtain more and more power. When no one cares about you, you don’t care about anyone else. You and your desires become the priority above all else. It might end with you destroying yourself — after all, there’s nothing to lose when you’re lonely and friendless. By that point he refused to hope, refused to believe anything could change. He was alone; that’s how it is and that’s how it will always be. It’s why he resisted so much, he didn’t believe anyone would find him worthy of love and affection.” 

 

(At this point, Yoko knew that song was going to be stuck in her head now whenever it came to Yuri: deciding that only success mattered over companionship, hiding the loathing you had for yourself with a facade of being better than others only to find your self-loathing growing and your “superior” facade having to grow to hide the cracks about yourself that you couldn’t cover up so easily until it feels like you wanted to kill yourself instead of confronting the ugliness that was yourself)

 

“Is there anything else you’d like to ask, Yoko-san?” Zarc asked, taking another zip of the tea and waited.

 

Yoko nodded her head. “I...I want to know what I can do to make him feel as if he can trust me. I don’t mean to pry, but I heard a bit of what he said last night. That he didn’t deserve the love that he was given. Not mine, not his brothers’...not yours . No child should have to feel that way, withdrawing from love like that and putting on a faux act of not needing emotional support like this before it becomes an endless cycle they can’t escape from.” 

 

Zarc smiled at her again, and it was actually genuine. “Yuri just...needs to acclimate back into the idea of being loved. Treat him like you treat our other boys, and don’t let him refuse your kindness, or he’ll be convinced that you only pity him and don’t truly care for him.” 

 

Yoko smiled back as she placed her hand over Zarc’s. “I’ve raised Yuya for three years without a father, and all I gave him was kindness and love and support during those times when he felt like should hide in his room forever. Yuri isn’t so different; he’s like a mirror, reflecting the path Yuya could’ve taken if he had no one by his side. Speaking of which…”

 

“What is it now?” Zarc asked.

 

Yoko sighed. “All of Ray’s pieces gravitated to your sons so easily: Yuzu to Yuya, Rin to Yugo and Ruri to Yuto. If the Professor didn’t try to isolate Yuri from Serena...perhaps Yuri would’ve been better off, right?”

 

“Right...so?” 

 

“So...Serena is here right now in the Standard Dimension and she’s not going back to Academia anytime soon. Maybe it’s not too late for the two to bond?”

 

“Hmm, Serena said she would’ve loved to duel him, I suppose, but do you really think it’ll be easy for two socially awkward kids to get along and open up that easy?”

 

“I never said that they were going to bond alone ,” Yoko clarified. “With Yuzu and Yuya by their sides, perhaps they could...oh wait.”

 

Yoko should’ve facepalmed herself right there and then. There was no way Yuzu was going to accept Yuri so easily; after all, Yuri did introduce himself by threatening to take her to Academia and showed off the cards of Halil and Olga (both of which were now on the living room table as a reminder of what Yuri had done; she would have to tell Yuri to hand those in to Reiji when he was ‘“interrogated”) to show off that he wasn’t as nice as Yuya. Plus, if Zarc had instructions for Yuto and Yugo to not go near Yuzu, that also applied to Yuri too.

 

Great. Just great

 

Zarc could see just what Yoko was planning and shook his head. “I wish there was time for them to bond too, but Yuri needs to go back to Academia to prevent Rin and Ruri from becoming puppets to Akaba. As much as I loathe sending my Yuri back there, we don’t really have a choice if we want the girls safe.”

 

Yoko sighed. “I understand. I just wish there was a way to physically show that I do care for him.”

 

Zarc chuckled. “You’ll figure something out, Shooting Star Yoko,” he winked at her and set his cup down. 

 

Before she could say anything else, the three boys slid down the firepole and into the dining room. Yuto and Yugo looked okay, in their normal attire, but it was Yuri’s attire that made Yoko curious.

 

Instead of his military outfit and cape, he looked quite...different. Of course the clothes he wore had purple hues just like his hair but he didn’t look like a soldier what with the coat that was essentially if Yuri decided to follow Yusho’s footsteps instead of Yuya. The coat had golden piping and he also wore a pair of black breeches and a top hat perched on his head in a crooked angle. He looked quite charming this way.

 

Zarc smiled at his boys, giving the three of them a warm hug. He’s not nearly enough in a physical body as much as he likes, so he takes what he can get, and gavr Yuri an especially long hug. 

 

“I’m guessing after breakfast, you’ll be heading to Reiji so he can interrogate Yuri, is that right?” Zarc said, petting Yuri’s head as an emphasis.

 

“Yep,” Yuto sighed.  “We have no choice on the matter.”

 

Zarc shook his head, still smiling. “It’s alright. You four play along with Reiji’s plan. And soon enough we’ll get exactly what we want,” His smile turned sharp, as he licked his fangs. “Be careful, alright my treasures?” 

 

“Yes Father,” they all said in unison, which just brought more alarm into Yoko’s head. After all in all horror movies she’s watched, no matter what the situation is, if people talked in unison, especially twins, it always meant something bad. 

 

Well, the something bad was sitting on the counter across from her, so maybe she really shouldn’t be that surprised or alarmed; but she couldn’t help but think of that specific horror trope.

 

“I bid you adieu, Yoko-san,” Zarc said with a smile, bowing like a showman who just finished his performance and is saying goodbye to his audience, before Yuya was back with a small sigh and a pout. Yuya let out a sigh before turning to his mom with a big smile on his face.

 

“So...what’s for breakfast mom?” he asked.

 

“You mind leftover sleepover omelet rice?” Yoko suggested.

 

“I guess none of us mind,” Yuya answered with a smile.  

 

And so, after Yoko reheated the rice and cooked more omelettes, they sat down for breakfast (apparently sleepover freed rice was much better reheated in the microwave given how everyone devoured them heartily). But just as everyone finished eating, Yoko suddenly remembered something very important she wanted to discuss with one of her sons.

 

“So, Yuto,” Yoko started. “I have something to ask.”

 

Yoto blinked, along with the other three boys. “Y-yes Yoko Kaa-san ?”

 

“Honey, what did you do to your friend?” 

 

“Uh...what do you mean?”

 

“Yuto…” Yuko said with a stern look in her eyes. “What exactly did you do to Shun Kurosaki?”

 

The lavender-haired boy actually went pale. Yuri raised an eyebrow; that was the second time someone brought Shun Kurosaki. And Yugo wasn’t meeting anyone’s eyes.

 

“I’m...uh...not sure what you mean,” Yuto said, also not meeting Yoko’s eyes. 

 

“Ohh, is that so? Then can you explain this for me?” she asked taking her phone out searching for that specific video and playing it. “Mieru was lucky enough to record this while on her way finding Yuri.”

 

Yuya didn’t need a reminder of this  Yugo on the other hand — who wasn’t told what specifically transpired — had his jaw fall into the floor, while Yuri watched with interest. 

 

“In my defense…” Yuto’s voice squeaked as he heard Shun begging to have his “prince” ravish him with his fury and passion.. 

 

“Oh, you have no defense for this,” Yugo mumbled, voice low, eyes still on the video as it showed Yuto tackling Shun on the ground and unbuttoning that coat of his prepping kisses all over Shun's face, and running his hands over his chest… Oh gods were these claws? 

 

“It...was actually... Shun’s desire…” Yuto’s voice was weak.  “To...be…”

 

Snogged to death?” Yoko finished.

 

Yuto’s face was red, and he tried to hide it between his hands. Yuri just whistled while Zarc was roaring with laughter, clutching his sides.

 

Now I understand why Father likes her. Yuri thought.

 

“So I’d like to repeat Dragon Prince of the Xyz Dimension ,” said Yoko as the video continued to play and it focused on Yuya’s face turning a shade of crimson as his eyes. “What did you do to Shun?” 

 

Huh, no wonder Yuya was so angry this morning. thought Yuri looking back at the video before smirking very amused at what was happening, ooh if he only had the time…. He licked his fangs in anticipation as wicked thoughts went through his head; thoughts which he sent to all his brothers, making them shudder (which Yoko noticed immediately as the video still had another minute of content to go through).

 

“No, Yuri. You can’t have him!” Yuto growled, glaring at his brother. “ Shun. is. Mine!”

 

The older boy raised an eyebrow. Oh he was gonna enjoy this. He might be yours my dear Shadow knight, but have you forgotten? You are mine, aren’t you? Yuri purred in his mind.  Oh, the idea of both you and your little treasure under my control...just imagine it, Shun looking in awe as I have you needy and filled with desire to obey me...and you have no choice but to! Oh how he would beg to see you like that while I ask you to kiss him and touch him and…

 

SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!!!! Yuto screamed in his mind. I don’t need this right now! I don’t need this I don’t I don’t I don’t!

 

Yugo and Yuya’s faces were aflame mostly because at this point they feared their mother could hear them. Yoko couldn’t, but the expressions on their faces were enough to reveal the entire story.

 

“We don’t leave until someone tells me the truth,” Yoko growled.

 

“It...all started when Yuto and I fought off some Obelisk Force soldiers,” Yuya hastily began. “Sora was with them and Shun decided to take care of him.”

 

“Uh-huh…” Yoko nodded. Why Sora decided to show his face wasn’t important, but of course he’d go after Shun in the off chance he could get a victory over the Raidraptor duelist.

 

“So...we’re not sure what exactly happened, but while dueling the Obelisk Force, something went through Yuto and I and it was like the two of us became one, as close to…”

 

Yeah, Yugo did remember sensing something like that, a connection intensifying between his younger brothers so much it became hard to recognize one bond from the other. 

 

“We just...I’m not sure what happened but we became, I suppose a little bit...unhinged. Shun must’ve seen that, and he acted like you saw in...that video,” Yuto answered, staring at the videow that was still being played by the way. 

 

“Please turn it off,” Yuto whined, Yuri glanced at him smirking still highly amused. “I’m begging you ! Please turn it off, kaa-san .”

 

“Fine, fine I’ll turn it off...if you promise me no more public displays of affection from now on,” Yoko promised.

 

Yuto whined. Yoko just made the volume higher so the dining room was ringing with Shun’s passionate moans and Yuto’s lustful growls. 

 

“I’ll try I’ll try I’ll try I’ll try!” Yuto promised.  

 

“Such a pretty treasure, my Yuto,” Yuri purred again.  “You mind if I play with him once I get a treasure of my own?”

 

“DON’T YOU DARE YURI!!!” Yuto roared, lunging toward his older brother with a loud thud when they hit the floor.

 

Yuri was heard giggling. “My, my you don’t sound so pissed off about Ruri being captured (barring those disgusting parasites, but I can’t blame you). But why are you so defensive about her big brother anyhow?” he asked, a smirk in place and eyes half laid as he gently cupped Yuto’s chin.

 

“As much as you don’t want me to agree with him, Yuri makes a good point,” said Yoko. “Yuto...tell me the truth, you used some mind control magic on Shun to make him like this. But why did you make him act like this?”

 

“I...I couldn’t lose him, kaa-san, ” Yuto answered. “Ruri was taken away and if Shun got carded, I’d never forgive myself. Father promised that I’d get Ruri back safe, and I trust Father’s word, always. But even I can’t guarantee Shun’s and I never wanna lose him to anyone or anything. The thing in the streets, that was… um well it was unexpected to be honest, the whole, turned on by me going berserk was actually a surprise...  ” 

 

Yuri tilted his head at the explanation before giving Yuto a peck on the nose. “Oh I’ll never take Shun from you, my phantom. That I promise...But you know the games I like to play, don’t you?” Yuto shuddered, Yuri’s smirk widened. 

 

“Going berserk?” Yoko repeated, ignoring the type of ‘games’ Yuri mentioned. “Did this involve unleashing some strange dragon that you never had before?”

 

“Uh……” Yuto eyes locked with Yuya’s. “...Yes?” 

 

Yoko groaned; she was kinda getting sick of Zarc making dragons out of thin air. “What was its name and how do you summon it?”

 

“Um...Supreme King Violent Dragon Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon and it’s an Xyz/Pendulum monster,” said Yuya, pulling a card out from his Duel Disk and placing it on the table. “We Xyz Summon it using Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon.” 

 

Yuri smirked. The dragon was absolutely deadly ; he couldn’t wait to see what would happen if Odd-Eyes fused with Starving Venom.

 

“So that’s a thing now?” Yoko asked, knowing that Yuya had two Fusion /Pendulum monsters under his belt: Rune-Eyes Pendulum Dragon (from when Yuzu recapped Yuya’s duel with Mieru) and Beast-Eyes Pendulum Dragon (which she saw for herself when Yuya dueled Gongenzaka). “And let me guess, your father gave you that dragon, right?”

 

“Well...not exactly?” Yuya answered. “He more or less guided us to create it.”

 

“What?! When did this happen? How did this happen? And wait...don’t you need to use monsters with levels to Xyz Summon?!”

 

“This happened two nights ago, the night before I was supposed to duel Kachidoki,” Yuya explained. “After I made Black Mirror Xyz Dragon…” A tic formed underneath Yoko’s eye. “It represented the darkness in my heart that showed that it could be used for good . Mom, you already saw him in the Action Duel. He’s not evil, just very...playful.”

 

“And to be more specific on Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon’s creation,” Yugo interjected. “It happened after these two went into rage and basically wanted to murder Sora and Serena. Father told them to channel that rage, and they...made that dragon.”

 

“....I’m sorry, I’m still stuck on the two of you actually making dragons,” Yoko apologized, feeling a migraine about to form. “Since when do you have that power?” 

 

“Um, we don’t know, just Father told us to do it…” Yuto explained. Yuya and Yugo nodded. 

 

“But what about my third question: you used an Xyz monster to Xyz summon it. You can’t Xyz Summon with an Xyz monster!”

 

“Normally you can’t,” Yuto clarified. “Not unless you have a ‘Rank-Up-Magic’ Spell Card like Shun does or you use an effect that can change a Rank to a Level, like this card.”

 

Yuto showed Yoko a card, Phantom Knights’ Possession. Yoko read the text carefully before nodding her head.

 

“It’s also possible to do it with these Pendulum monsters I have — Xiangke Magician’s Pendulum effect to make an Xyz Monster have a level instead of a Rank and then Xiangsheng Magician’s effect makes that level equal to another monster’s level,” Yuya added. “Yuto just had a better way of doing so.”

 

“Are there any other monsters I should be aware about, Yuya?”

 

“Well...I do have these — “

 

Yoko looked at her watch; damn it, they wasted a lot of time. “Tell me later; we need to hustle.”

 

“Oh right,” Yuya said. “Time to head to Reiji, Yuri. Meanwhile, I still have to ‘participate’ in this Battle Royale.”

 

Yuri grinned. “Actually no. I have a plan and you’re coming with me,” he told Yuya. 

 

“What?!” Yuya shouted. “B...but, what about…the tournament...”

 

“What’s more important, Yuya? A shitty tournament or stopping the Akabas?”

 

“But...what if…”

 

“I’ll convince Reiji to lie, after all he’s been doing it enough and about practically everything else. Telling people you’ve been dueling all this time shouldn’t be a problem, right?” Yuri winked and kissed Yuya’s cheek. 

 

“Yuri, don’t forget your ‘trophies’ on the living room table,” said Yoko, pointing to the cards on the table. “You do owe it to Reiji.” 

 

“...Right…” Yuri said, his mood getting a bit sour with guilt. He didn’t really need to card them. Scaring them with Starving Venom Fusion Dragon would’ve been enough to get his point across. Still, he got out of his chair to take the cards to pocket them. Thank goodness these two were exchange students.

 

“Shouldn’t Yuri be wearing his military outfit again? So Reiji wouldn’t be asking more questions than needed?” Yugo asked. “We don’t...want you to get involved in whatever he’s planning, kaa-san .”

 

“It’s already too late, given how your Father and I confronted his mom the other day,” Yoko replied. “Just say that he found these clothes lying about and he obtained a liking towards them or whatever.”

 

“But what about Obelisk Force?” asked Yuto. “They could — “

 

“There are at least ten competent duelists that should be able to team up against them,” Yoko sighed. “They’ll be fine.”

 

“Yes Kaa-san,” Yuto said with a sigh. 

 

With that, the four boys and Yoko entered the garage, where Yoko pressed a button on the wall to open the garage door.

 

“Shun? Are you alright?” Yuto asked making sure no harm has come to his treasure. He knew Shun was strong, and he has been feeling him in the back of his mind all this time, but he could feel the annoyance and anger in Shun right now. 

 

“Tsukikage, Serena, Gongenzaka and I are...not doing good...thanks to some dumbass named Shingo Sawatari whose smart move has actually decreased our lifepoints significantly !” Shun growled.

 

Yuto hissed and his brothers felt his anger. “Where are you now, Shun??”

 

“Volcano section.”

 

“Are there any shadows around you?” 

 

“I uh...yes? Why, my prince?”

 

Yuto growled before turning to his family. “I’ll meet you all at Reiji, I have to be somewhere,” he told all four before heading to a corner in the house and disappearing into the faint shadows. 

 

Yoko’s jaw dropped. “I’m sorry since when can he do that? Can all of you do that?” 

 

“Umm...no, just Yuto,” Yuya said, “We have other powers, like me shapeshifting.”

 

Yoko shook her head. “Ok, I’m gonna need a list of all of your powers, later. Now let’s get you three to LDS.”  

 

“Yes mom,” Yuya said with a sigh. This was gonna be a long day.

 

*************

Even with Shingo’s blunder, Obelisk Force went down thanks to Gongenzaka (who had his own set of Pendulum monsters) handing Shingo’s Abyss Actor Pendulum monsters to Shun so he could Xyz Summon Raidraptor - Revolution Falcon to turn the trio of Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hounds into scrap metal. Shingo was immediately boasting that if it weren’t for him , “Yuzu” and the ninja would’ve been toast.

 

And they weren’t the only group to be victorious. Yuzu, Teppei and Michiyo were somehow victorious in their 3 vs 3 match against Obelisk Force despite being totally unprepared for such a thing. Teppei and Michiyo’s decks meshed well and Yuzu’s use of Aria and Elegy to prevent her Melodious monsters from being destroyed acted like a huge buffer against Obelisk Force’s relentless assault. And while Mieru didn’t get involved in any duels — since she didn’t carry her Duel Disk on her — her scrying skills did make it easier for everyone to gather at the Volcano quadrant.

 

(And as this was going on, Tatsuya had accepted his loss to Reira, even complimenting how Reira used different types of summoning methods like Reiji. Reira looked taken aback at the compliment and smiled at the praise)

 

In the Volcano section, Yuzu, Serena along with Michiyo, Teppei,  Mieru, Tsukikage, Shingo, Gongenzaka and Shun, were exchanging stories of what they went through and how they were filled in on the Obelisk Force, and the other dimensions (barring Serena’s eerie resemblance to Yuzu).  Shingo was boasting that this victory would grant him a position in the Lancers…

 

Which was the wrong thing to say because everyone was hounding on him.

 

“Lancers?” asked Gongenzaka, narrowing his eyes. “I, the man, Gongenzaka, demand an explanation to this ‘Lancers’ you just mentioned.”

 

“We all want an explanation,” Michiyo growled.

 

“I...would rather stay out of this,” Teppei noted, raising a hand.

 

“O-oh the Lancers are nothing, you see?” Shingo waved his arms around trying to deny anything, in case Reiji wanted him to keep his mouth shut. 

 

“Nothing?” asked Serena. “The Lancers aren’t ‘nothing’. They're supposed to be the elite task force heading off to stop Professor Akaba from his plans of uniting the dimensions together!”

 

“I was gonna say that!” Shingo whined. “Wait, how do you know about such a thing?”

 

“Because she and I were in on Reiji’s plan for a while now,” Shun answered. 

 

"Oh so that's the dumbass," A voice made all of them jump in place, even Shun, came from behind them. 

 

Shingo turned around and screamed. “YOU! The guy who attacked me at the warehouse!”

 

Yuto snarled, baring his fangs. This made goosebumps run down Shingo's skin, and him to jump in place. “And you’re the one who accused Yuya Sakaki of attacking you, right?”

 

“He did!” Shingo explained, body shivering like he was dunked into a pool of ice water. “I mean, you did, and I — I….“

 

Yuto grasped onto Shingo by the collar and pulled him close. “Let me make this clear you absolute moron; you are going to apologize to Yuya Sakaki and his mother about your blunder or I will make sure you never pick up a Duel Disk again! Got that?”

 

“This guy did what?!” Shun thought. 

 

“Yeah, he and the Akabas caused Yuya a lot of grief over what I did.” Yuto sighed. 

 

“What is it that you want?” Shingo stammered. “If it’s money you’re after then...wait, why are you so obsessed about Yuya anyway? Hell, why do you even look like him?”

 

“I’m not the one who wants the money,” Yuto clicked his teeth. “But perhaps if your daddy offered to write a check to give You Show Duel School money so it could pay for renovations, maybe I won’t decide to kick your teeth in, you clown!”

 

Shingo whimpered as he saw what looked like Yuto’s eyes glowing. He was going to die, he was going to die, he was going to — 

 

“YUTO!!!!” Yuzu screamed, summoning her harisen to slap him across the back of the head.

 

Shun got a shocked look on his face, not sure how to react to that. It was too fast and too sudden and Yuzu still had Ruri's face. But he knew that Ruri would never hit Yuto like that.  And Shingo silently thanked Yuzu for saving his ass.

 

“I’m fine.” Yuto answered. “Yuya gets hit with it all the time and it doesn’t hurt.”

 

“Yuto!” Yuzu gasped, the hand holding the harisen trembling. “Where have you been?”

 

"More importantly, where did you even come from?" Serena asked. 

 

“None of that matters right now,” said Yuto. “What matters is that we all have to prepare for when Reiji makes his big announcement about the Lancers.”

 

“Where’s Darling?” asked Mieru, staring at her crystal apple. “I don’t see him roaming about the city.”

 

“He’s...busy with something important,” Yuto answered.

 

"Does it have to do with Yuri?" Serena asked and Yuto blinked looking at her. Father's powers around her, faint but there, hugging her like a protective aura. 

 

He nodded. "It does. Oh Mieru -chan can you tell if the Obelisk force has retreated fully or is that too much?" He asked the little soothsayer, as Shun came to stand firmly by his side, putting a hand over Yuto's shoulder, Yuto leaning to the touch, giving Shun a soft smile. 

 

Mieru nodded her head, ignoring Yuto and Shun’s signs of affection (as she was still traumatized from yesterday’s “show”). “There are no more signs of Obelisk Force in the city; after their humiliating defeats, I think they want to go back to Academia to lick their wounds.”

 

“So the mission was a success; Yuzu and Serena are safe and we’ve only had minimal casualties,” said Yuto.

 

“Minimal casualties?” asked Michiyo. “Wait, Halil and Olga! I haven’t seen them after I dueled yesterday. They...they got…”

 

“Turned into cards?!” Teppei finished, teeth chattering.

 

“That also happened to the Knights of Duel too,” Yuto said. “And they’re in the hands of the Obelisk Force soldiers who turned them into cards.”

 

“My brother returned to Reiji to deliver the news,” said Tsukikage, arms over his chest like panels of a folding screen. “But I have seen no signs of Dennis or the Ryozanpaku students either.”

 

“Wait! I’m right here!”

 

Rage flared in Yuto at hearing both the name and voice making Shun wince at the assault on his senses. This also was felt by his brothers. Serena shuddered slightly when she noticed the glare in Yuto’s eye she also thought she heard Blood Moon whimper in fear. Yuto making something as fearsome as her Dragon whimper? She didn't expect that.

 

"M-my prince?" Shun whimpered and Yuto was trying extremely hard not to slit Dennis' throat with his claws right now. It was actually a miracle he didn't slice his own hands trying to keep his claws at bay. 

 

“Dennis!” Yuzu gasped, seeing Dennis approach them from a large rock. “Where have you been?”

 

“On the run from those strange blue soldier guys,” he answered. “And...you’re not going to believe this but…”

 

No one said a word as he pulled out two cards from the pocket of his vest. When he flipped the cards over, they gasped.

 

“Those guys are from Ryozanpaku Academy!” said Gongenzaka. “As much as I hate those guys for playing dirty, even they don’t deserve a fate like this.”

 

“How did this happen?” asked Teppei. Even if he himself can be a bit of a jerk, he admits that he doesn’t go around acting like a smug prick or pummeling his opponents in order to obtain an Action Card.

 

“It’s a bit of a long story,” Dennis said. “You see, it all started with me venturing into a deeper part of the Jungle section. I was on the run from any of those ‘Obelisk Force’ soldiers, hiding in a tree so they couldn't get to me. But then, I noticed those two bullies being carded so I high-tailed it out of there.”

 

“We’re just glad your safe,” Yuzu said with relief. “That could’ve been awful, don’t you think?”

 

“Indeed,” Dennis smiled.

 

But on the inside, his smile had a whole different meaning. Like beneath the surface was a sinister beast biding his time before he devoured everyone in sight.

 

If only you guys knew the real story ...he thought to himself, recalling what truly happened.

 

 

“Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.”

 

Isao Kachidoki muttered this as he looked at the carded forms of Makoto Takeda and Ken Umesugi. The fact they lost to some flamboyant performer with wavy hair and freckles was unacceptable. 

 

Those blue-coats, on the other hand? Well, after those two lost, it was quite easy to rip apart those Hunting Hounds thanks to Idaten the Shooting Star’s effect dropping their attack down to 0. A dog with no fangs would have no ability to bite back.

 

Plus, the fight against those three was a good distraction from what was going through his mind.

 

It was already bad enough that he was shunned by his fellow students at Ryozanpaku Academy, but now he had nightmares. Nightmares of being chased by a humongous black dragon whose eyes reflected a scared panicking Kachidoki. No matter how fast he ran or what types of obstacles he set up, the dragon continued to pursue him.

 

And worse, the thing that kept him up at night was him

 

That boy with crimson eyes and a devilish grin who rode upon that dark dragon’s back and laughed! Laughed, at Kachidoki as this was all a joke.

 

“Oh Kachidoki~” The demonic boy teased. “Let’s play FETCH!”

 

And Kachidoki screamed, punching a tree so hard that it fell with a loud thud. But it did nothing. It did nothing to rid himself of these feelings of fear and anxiety plaguing him.

 

“Let me guess, it’s about Yuya Sakaki isn’t it??

 

Kachidoki snarled as he turned to see Dennis Macfield approaching him with a smile on his face.

 

“What do you want?” asked the Ryozanpaku student.

 

“I’m here to give you an offer, Isao Kachidoki,” Dennis chuckled. “I've seen the way you duel, your absolute ruthlessness. What happened with you and Yuya's duel was an absolute tragedy. Using that Xyz dragon of his, I mean where did he get that?"

 

"Get to the point!" Kotchidoki roared angrily at the Academia spy.

 

 "You have a lot of potential, your use of fusion is especially admirable, as good as those of us from Academia, even better. So I'm here with an offer. You see, these soldiers here were absolutely pathetic. But you? I can bring you to a place that would make your dueling skills even better, and then, you can have that rematch, and destroy Yuya Sakaki at the same time. 

 

“What do you say? Do we have a deal?" Dennis asked extending his hand. 

 

Kotchidoki narrowed his eyes at the Academia spy, it sounded too good to be true.

 

But then again, what choice did he have? If his own school abandoned him, and he could not see his family until he was champion, who did he have left to turn to?

 

He wanted to face that darkness head on. He wanted to rip that smile out of Yuya Sakaki’s face

 

Kachidoki smirked and shook hands with Dennis. “Lead the way.”

 

“Oh I always do…” Dennis snickered, baring his teeth.

 

… 

….. 

…. . 

 

Yuto had his head buried in Shun's chest taking deep breaths, and hugging Shun as he tried to calm his rage down. It was too hard to do it now that Dennis was so close to his claws and all he had to do was just one swipe of his hand and that treacherous bastard would be dead

 

He took deeper and deeper breaths, trying to get lost in Shun's scent which was soothing and familiar and he loved it . He nuzzled to the older boy's chest, Shun's arms were around him, running up and down his back and they felt oh so nice. 

 

"My prince?” Shun asked, wondering what had caused Yuto to look close to breaking down. "What.. " 

 

Yuto cut him off. "Shhh, later my treasure, later," giving Shun a loving peck on his lips before burying his head back in Shun's chest. 

 

“Uhh…” Shingo said, noticing the display of affection. “Is anyone going to comment on that or what? Am I the only one noticing that or something?”

 

“Give them a break!” Serena snapped. “I mean, you’d be acting like that too if you were afraid of losing someone close after your home got destroyed and you're alone in another fucking dimension!”

 

"Besides," Gongenzaka pointed out. "Considering earlier events, this is rather tame." 

 

“E...Earlier events?” Yuzu repeated.

 

“I, the man, Gongenzaka request that you do not ask me to expand on that, Yuzu,” Gongenzaka replied.

 

Mieru’s face turned bright red at that. Yuzu raised her eyebrow at that reaction, considering how MIeru fawned over Yuya and all.

 

Yuzu then turned to see both Shun and Yuto walking away. "Wait, where are you two going? We should stick together!"

 

"We have to leave," Yuto said, turning back to her now looking calm, even though deep down rage boiled like the volcano's lava. Which only Shun and Yuto's three brothers could sense. "We have something important to talk to Reiji about," he told her. 

 

"Well...can't it wait?" Yuzu asked, really worried for these two. “You still haven’t told me where you’ve gone…”

 

"I’m sorry, Yuzu," Yuto said before squeezing Shun's hand lightly and the two of them left the Volcano section. When everyone's prying eyes were away and Yuto was sure all cameras around him were disabled, he walked through the shadows pulling Shun with him. In a matter of seconds were at the LDS tower just as Yoko had parked her car. 

 

“H...how did…” Shun asked, trying to process just what happened. He shivered; those last few seconds was like he dove into the ocean without a lifejacket. The icy feeling numbing his soul.

 

Yuto kissed him. "I'm sorry, my love. I guess I should have warned you. Was walking through the Shadows too unpleasant?" He asked caressing Shun's cheek lovingly. 

 

Shun couldn't help but to shiver in delight and press more to Yuto's touch. A part of him was really happy, so many small loving touches from his Prince were so nice and comforting. He wished for more; especially the all consuming pleasure Yuto could give him. But he was also worried. Yuto was acting strangely, yesterday twice and right now anger and rage have flared in him, and Shun didn't understand. He wasn't told anything, and his worry for his prince, and his inadequacy to protect him like a knight should didn't set well with him. 

 

“Yuto,” Shun began. “I felt your anger within my mind and I heard storm clouds forming. Something troubled you...please tell me. How can I help you?”

 

Yuto shook his head. "You're doing perfect, just being there for me. I know how you react and if I'm consumed with blinding rage, I can only imagine how badly you'll react. That’s why I need us to be alone before I tell you more," Yuto explained. 

 

"But… Yuto…" 

 

Yuto kissed two fingers and placed them over Shun's lips, effectively stopping him from talking more, and hugged him, taking a deep breath of Shun's scent now that both of them were relatively alone. 

 

“Please...please tell me…” Shun thought. “What’s going on? Is it about Ruri? Is she okay?”

 

"Tonight, I'll tell you everything tonight. I promise."

 

And that's when his three brothers arrived. Shun took a glance at Yuri and snarled. This...this was the same bastard with Yuto’s face that kidnapped his sister !”

 

"You okay?" Yuya asked, putting a hand on Yuto's shoulder. 

 

He gave a sigh and nodded. "I will be." 

 

“You…” Shun stated, pointing a finger at Yuri. “What are you doing here?!”

 

“He’s with us, Shun,” Yuto said, placing a hand over Shun’s. “Father helped him remember. He’s sorry for what he did; Yuri didn’t know any better.”

 

Shun was still shaking with rage and hatred . “My prince…forgive me for this.”

 

“Wait, what do you — SHUN!”

 

Shun wasted little time, charging towards Yuri and punching him square in the jaw. Yuri stepped back, hand on his cheek. Military training at Academia made him able to stand his ground, but he knew that he deserved Shun’s rage.

 

“You think...that you coming here is going to bring her back?” Shun hissed, golden eyes glowing as he kept punching and slapping Yuri. Yuri did not defend himself, nor scream. He just took each and every blow even though his cheeks were turning red and he was seeing stars. Back and back and back until Yuri hit a wall and Shun loomed over him like a hungry lion. “My sister...my home...everyone and everything I cared about is gone...ALL BECAUSE OF YOU ACADEMIA SCUM! And you’re the worst of them all, Yuri! You’re that Professor’s little bitch , doing what he says without a shred of sympathy in your heart! Why? Why my sister? Why Heartland?! WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MAN WANT? HUH? ANSWER ME!”

 

Yuri said nothing, licking the blood pouring out from a cut on his bottom lip. He deserved to be attacked; he deserved this punishment. He ripped a family apart without even knowing why Ruri was so important and was going to have Professor Akaba offer her up for his selfish desires.

 

"SHUN!" Came both a yell from Yuto's lips and one from his mind that made Shun clutch his head in pain, and fall to his knees. “ ENOUGH!”

 

Tears were falling down Shun's cheeks as he slammed a fist onto the cement ground in fury. It didn’t matter if Yuri had the same face as his prince; Yuri caused all of this suffering and it was okay for Yuto to forgive him?!

 

“Yuri, are you all right?” asked Yuya, seeing the tears that were falling down his older brother’s face. “Yuri...it’s okay…” Yugo put his hands on Yuri's shoulder and started inspecting his face. 

 

"Of course it’s okay, Yuya, Yugo…” Yuri laughed a little. “I mean, I did do all of that. I was the reason why Ruri was kidnapped. I...I caused so much damage, even more than I realized. And to think that I was truly forgiven for all of this…”

 

Yuri broke down into tears once more as Yuya and Yugo hugged him tight, sending him their thoughts of love and forgiveness, feelings that Yuri didn’t want as he turned his face away from them.

 

Yuto felt conflicted: Shun had every right to be angry at Yuri for what he did, but Yuri truly was sorry for what he did. If Shun was not considered his treasure, then this would’ve been a crime worthy of death, in regards to assaulting one of the princes.  “Father...how do we ease Shun and Yuri’s minds about all of this?”

 

Why should I ease the mind of the one who assaulted My son?! Zarc roared in Yuto’s mind and the Xyz prince winced, eyes filling with tears . Give me one good reason why this bird should not have his wings clipped right here and now!

 

“Because Shun is hurt and angry at this!” Yuto pleaded. “Shun lost his own sister! Yuri had no idea why she was needed until we told him. And if Shun ever finds out about Dennis or Professor Akaba’s plans to place that parasite into her mind he’ll hurt Yuri even more! Please Father, I can't lose my treasure. Please don’t make me lose Shun. I’ll take any punishment you want but pleasepleaseplease I DON’T WANT TO LOSE SHUN! Please Papa don't take him away from me !” Yuto whimpered in the end. 

 

Yuto still remembered how Shun carded Fusion users all over Maiami CIty, feeling as if that by doing so, it would ease the anger in his heart over Academia’s assault and losing Ruri. But no, it just made him feel worse in the end. Even after defeating Sora was he still not satisfied.

 

Zarc narrowed his eyes. He understood Shun’s anguish; he was a father after all, and he would massacre anyone who would try to take his sons away from him. He also did not want to distress Yuto more by taking his precious treasure away, not after everything he's been through, and after all he did to get to keep Shun by his side. 

 

And yet the little bird harmed his Yuri. One strike would have sentenced him to death in Zarc's eyes and yet he continued to strike and harm his son several times over. That was unacceptable. 

 

No, Shun Kurosaki will live for Yuto's sake, but he will also be punished in retaliation for harming Yuri. 

 

Very well... Zarc growled. Your Bird shall live, my specter...but I will return with his punishment at a later time. Is that understood? 

 

"Yes, Father. Thank you. Please forgive me for what he's done."

 

All is forgiven, Yuto. This was not your fault. I should’ve expected that your treasure would have such...volatile reactions to Yuri.

 

“What do we do about Yuri though? He’s...he’s not emotionally prepared to answer Reiji’s questions.” 

 

Do not worry precious, your brother is very mentally prepared when it comes to manipulating an enemy, he will be alright. 

 

Yuto put his hand on the back of Shun's neck. "What you did Shun," he said voice steady and angry. "Is a crime worthy of execution."

 

Shun clenched his fists. "I understand. If I am to die, so be it, my prince. Do as you wish.”

 

“You will not die, my treasure. Father decrees that you shall live. However, you will be punished for the assault on my older brother…. By my hands, whatever punishment Father desires.”

 

Shun swallowed. “Yes, my Prince.”

 

Yuto let out a shaky breath and wiped his tears. "Never attack Yuri again, that's an order. He is on our side. He is sorry for what he did."

 

“Yes, Yuto.”

 

“Apologize to him right now.”

 

Shun bit his lips, he was still on his hands and knees, head cast down, with Yuto's claws around his neck. How..how could he apologize to the one who caused his agony? Captured his sister, causing him all this grief? Him! Apologizing to someone from Academia ?!

 

" Apologize , Shun," Yuto repeated, his claws drawing blood from his neck. “ Now .” he growled in Shun's ear. 

 

Shun nodded his head as he rose to his feet, staring into the face of the boy who took Ruri away...and instead of that sinister, smug boy who stood so tall, so proud…

 

He was in the arms of Yuya and Yugo, looking so sad and full of guilt. A stark contrast to the one with the sadistic grin on his face.

 

"For- forgive me, Prince Yuri.” Shun began, forcing the words out like he just swallowed glass. “I should...should not have struck you, harmed you, or touched you in anyway. It was wrong of me to attack you." 

 

Yuri waved him off, wiping away the remaining tears in his eyes. "It's alright. You did have every right to be angry. I took your sister away; I know how I'd react now if my precious brothers were taken from me. I truly am sorry, Shun Kurosaki. You might not forgive me now, but I swear to you, I'll make sure your sister stays safe." 

 

Shun really wasn't sure how to feel about that but, there was really only one response. "Thank you." He took a deep breath before turning to Yuto, dropping to his knees. "Forgive me, my prince. I've failed you, I'm not worthy to be yours. I don’t deserve your mark at all..."

 

Yuto sighed, covering his face with his hands. This was a mess. He was angry at Shun, he was angry at himself for bringing Shun. But he understood what Shun was going through; if Yuri wasn't his own brother he would not have had any sympathy for the one who took Ruri away. Father was livid, his own brothers were just as angry, and he didn't know what to do.

 

"This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen," he sighed in dismay, tears in his eyes. 

 

"Well," Yuri started. "Since I was the one assaulted, I think it's only fair if I get some retribution from this, and it can ease your mind on forgiving Shun." 

 

Yuto and Shun looked at Yuri. Yuto blinked. "What is it you want, Yuri?" 

 

He licked his lips. “Remember that little thing we talked about at breakfast?”

 

“Oh no….” Yuya and Yugo thought, realizing just what Yuri was planning.

 

Yuri sauntered towards Shun and knelt down. “Let me see your pretty neck, treasure?”

 

Shun only had enough time to gasp before Yuri’s fangs sank deep into his jugular. Yuri grinned, knowing that his venom would be much more potent on a human in comparison to his little brothers.

 

“Thank goodness mom’s not here right now.” Yuya thought, recalling that Yoko would meet up with them after the interrogation was over.

 

"Yu-Yuri, you can't be serious right now," Yuto stammered, watching Shun collapse onto his side.

 

"It's retribution Shadow knight,” Yuri chuckled. “What do you say? We do that and no hard feelings. Father probably will have you punish him separately, but I wouldn’t mind giving him a warning of my own." 

 

“...Fine,” Yuto sighed. “But make it quick; Reiji’s waiting for us and I’m not sure if this place has cameras or not.”

 

(They did, but thankfully Reiji was out of his office to talk to everyone about the Lancers Division, Nakajima was talking to Hikage about the situation and Himika was announcing Reira’s victory to everyone’s face in the stadium. Shuzo looked like he was going to puke, even though Tatsuya happily had his 2nd place trophy on his lap.)

 

“We have all the time in the world,” Yuri purred, half-mast eyes looking at Yuto all over. That video Yoko showed this morning gave him so many ideas that he wanted to implement now. “Now then, you don’t mind if I take a bite, do you?”

 

Yuto gulped as he watched Shun panting for breath, a sheen of sweat forming on his face before Yuri stood in front of him, blocking his view of his treasure.

 

“All eyes on me,” Yuri commanded, pink eyes glowing. He licked his fangs. “Don’t blink.”

 

Yuto’s eyes widened when he felt Yuri bite him once again. He gripped onto Yuri’s shoulders, mind slowly clouding over as if a sudden fog has just appeared. 

 

“Keep looking at me, my phantom,” Yuri purred, running a finger down Yuto’s neck. “Only at me. Obey me.”

 

“Uh...we’ll just go wait for you at the elevator,” said Yugo, he pulled Yuya away and the two of them ran. They still weren’t comfortable with being so out in the open where people could possibly see, and this was Yuri and Yuto...and Shun alone. 

 

The three didn’t pay attention to Yuya and Yugo leaving. Shun was filled with lust, warring inside him for both Yuri and his Prince, and both were increasing incredibly strongly.  

 

Yuto let out a shaky breath, as the lust in Shun’s mind affecting him even before Yuri bit him. “Yu-Yuri…”  the light in his eyes quickly faded, and a small loving smile on his face appeared. “Yuri~” he said dreamily. 

 

Yuri smirked in delight, licking his fangs.  “Shun, stand,” he commanded. “Now stand against the wall like a good soldier, and don’t take your eyes off of the two of us.” 

 

Shun’s mind and will were long gone by now, he shivered hearing Yuri’s voice and sighed before doing as he was told. Gold eyes glazed over at how Yuri stroked Yuto’s cheek. His lips parted seeing that; oh how he wished it was him being touched like that. 

 

“Good,” Yuri purred and Shun shuddered at the praise. “Now you, my dear Shadow knight, face your treasure, I want him to see your face as you drown in ecstasy at my hands, while he stands there unable to do anything else,” he said huskily and licked Yuto’s cheek, making the younger brother moan and arch his neck, before doing as he was told. Neither of them had any thought except doing as they were told...and it felt so good to obey

 

Yuri started working Yuto up, touching him, petting him, kissing him anywhere his lips could reach, unbuttoning his shirt, and ravishing him senseless and mindless with pleasure, he has been commanded not to hide a sound. Oh yes, this would be the perfect way to torture Shun, seeing his beloved prince transformed into a mindless puppet for Yuri to command for as long as he wants. Yuto was flushed, panting and shivering with one word on his lips.

 

“Yuri.Yuri... Yuri.” 

 

“Burn this image in your mind, Shun Kurosaki,” Yuri cackled, unbuttoning the top two buttons of Yuto’s shirt. “Yuto may be your Prince, but he is my treasure and he obeys me .”

 

Shun’s breath was ragged, lips dry, body trembling with the desire to move go and touch, but all his body could do was stand there as he watched, and as commanded the picture of Yuto writhing in pleasure, flushed and mindless was now in his mind. 

 

Yuri purred again, pinching Yuto’s nipple underneath his shirt and the boy whined and couldn’t help but to move about. “Now Yuto dear, place your claws over Shun’s neck. ” 

 

He didn’t hesitate at all; he couldn’t hesitate even if he wanted to. With a ragged breath Yuto walked to Shun and placed his claws over the boy’s neck, the tips of said claw pricking the pale skin. Shun’s eyes widened slightly, not sure what Yuri was playing at but that fear was replaced with the need to follow any and all of his  commands.

 

Yuto trembled as he obeyed and kept his claws there all while Yuri hissed in Shun’s ear. “Now, let’s get one thing straight Shun Kurosaki, the only reason you landed so many hits on my face is because I allowed it . I’m a dragon just as my Father and brothers and had I chose, you would no longer have an arm, or as Yuto can demonstrate...” he guided one of Yuto’s claws lightly over Shun’s neck. breaking the skin, letting a small trail of blood fall down. “Simply slash open that pretty neck of yours.

 

“I am stronger than you, and more powerful than you will ever be.” Yuri continued, lapping up the blood. “You are a knight, a treasure, and right now I am your master. More than that I am your master’s master, isn’t that right Yuto?”

 

“Yes,” he answered immediately, and Yuri pressed to Yuto’s back. 

 

“Who do you belong to Yuto?”

 

“You.”

 

“Who do you love ?”

 

“...You,”  Yuto answered. With a wicked smirk, Yuri licked his neck and Yuto let out a strangled moan. 

 

“Good boy,” Yuri purred before kissing Shun. The fog faded from Yuri’s venom but the lust still lingered. “Have I made myself clear, Shun Kurosaki?”

 

Shun swallowed. He couldn’t nod, or really move an inch with Yuto’s claws still on his neck. “Yes... Prince Yuri,” he answered.

 

Yuri smirked; it felt good to put people in their place. “Good boy. Now you can let him go Yuto,” Yuto put his arm down and backed away, still under Yuri’s control. 

 

“Y-Yuto?” Shun asked hesitantly. 

 

Yuto didn’t acknowledge being called, merely stood there, mind waiting for more commands.  

 

 “How long...will he stay like that, Prince Yuri?” Shun questioned.

 

Yuri tilted his head looking at Yuto with a smirk, before running a finger down Yuto’s exposed chest, making the boy shiver. “Well, my venom naturally runs its course on my brothers but...I can always bite him again and again and again to prolong this state. Would you like that, Kurosaki? He is beautiful like this, is he not? Now be honest, how does your prince look in a tranquil state of trance?”

 

All Shun could do was swallow hard. Yuto had a peaceful happy smile on his face, and Prince Yuri had done more than a good job in making him look debauched and ravished. He couldn’t help but think Yuto was so gorgeous. 

 

Yuri chuckled at the hungry look in Shun’s eyes. “Yes, he’s so tempting like this, isn’t he?” Yuri asked as he grabbed Yuto’s chin and made him face Yuri who was by his side now. He sighed running his thumb over Yuto’s lips “Oh I’m so tempted to keep him this way, mindless and obedient and all mine~ but we can’t have all that we want, and we do need to visit Reiji after all,” he said with a regretful sigh.  “Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Now then my sweet phantom,” Yuri ran a finger down Yuto’s cheek. “Time to wake up~” 

 

And Yuri kissed the Xyz prince. Yuto moaned before breaking the kiss panting, Yuri licking his lips in delight. 

 

“Satisfied?” Yuto asked as he started to indignantly button up his shirt, his face still flushed and him not looking at either Shun or Yuri. 

 

“Plenty,” said Yuri. “Now, we can’t keep our little ruby and crystal waiting. I’ve got to give Reiji what he wants after all.”

 

As he began to walk, he passed by Shun and whispered, “Know your place, treasure. That was just a warning .”

 

“It was,” Yuto reaffirmed, and Shun’s head snapped to Yuto. “He could’ve done worse.” 

 

“Oh don’t forget that Father would’ve been even worse than me, Yuto~” Yuri added as the three began to walk to the elevator. “Pray that you never go that far again, Shun. 

 

“Because Father’s known to have a lack of mercy .”

 

Shun just nodded his head, and said nothing else. Not even when Yuya and Yugo asked what happened.

 

**************

 

“Thanks Solomon! These will really help out.”

 

Waving the owner of the game shop goodbye, Yoko walked down the street, smiling at the new deck of cards and four or five booster packs recommended to go with this new Synchro based deck. She had a lot of studying to do if she wanted to know the ins and outs of this deck.

 

From what she read online, Dragunity monsters were a variety of WIND attribute Winged-Beast and Dragon type monsters with the former being equipped onto the latter as Spell Cards (hence why it only had one Spell and Trap Card altogether). It was if you armed children with guns and told them to shoot the first thing they saw. 

 

It was a really good deck to make a variety of Synchro Summons. And with Yugo being the expert on Synchro Summoning — no offense to Gongenzaka, although this deck and its lack of Spell and Trap support was quite similar to his Superheavy Samurai monsters — she’d be riding the streets as Shooting Star Yoko again in no time!

 

As Yoko walked down the street, she paused. Turning to the shop window, she noticed that she was standing in front of the same jewelry store where Yuto and Yugo asked to buy those bracelets a few days ago.

 

The same bracelets that were going to be used to save Rin and Ruri somehow. Through dark magic instead of protection spells. Yoko didn’t remotely trust Zarc; nothing good ever came from dark powers and deals with the devil. And while Zarc seems to only be able to possess Yuya, either that or Yuya is his favorite son to possess, a thought which made a shudder run down Yoko’s spine. But as far as she knows, Zarc’s powers are the only thing that can protect these girls, and he did promise that Rin and Ruri would not be mindless puppets to him, which is leagues above what Akabastard was going to do to them.

 

Yoko sighed, recalling the day when Yuya turned five years old and he was gifted the pendulum from Yusho. He never took it off, always keeping it as if it was a lucky charm that would keep his heart in the right direction no matter the cost. She wished that it had a magic spell to protect her son from harm, but that was just wishful thinking.

 

And then, her mind went back to Yuri. The poor boy had never been given affection. She didn’t know that her homemade omelet rice would’ve been much more impactful. It was probably because Yuri never had a mother figure in his life; all he had was the Professor and a dragon to keep him company. Zarc’s words to keep giving Yuri love even when he didn’t want it wavered in her mind...but there had to be something she could give him since she didn’t know when she would see him again.

 

Then, something else caught Yoko’s eyes. It glittered and shone like stars dancing in the moonlight and hung on a pretty silver chain like strands of spider silk. 

 

This would be perfect . Looking throughout the shop window more, she found several other things that she could buy. The wheels in her mind spun like the wheels on her motorcycle.

 

Yes, this would be just the thing she needed!

 

“Excuse me,” said Yoko, turning to the jeweler finishing up a display of pretty earrings. “I’d like to make a few purchases right now.”

 

“Certainly,” The jeweler said. “What has caught your eye today, madam?”

 

Yoko looked down at the earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces. Each of them called out to her all set in silver and gold. She just couldn’t choose!

 

But as she looked at the prices, something...felt off.

 

With Yusho gone, funds from the You Show Duel School have essentially vanished. And whatever money he saved up was used for bills and to pay for Yuya’s tuition for the past three years.

 

Despite this, Yoko has never had any financial problems. Whether it be for food, or clothes or medicine for the animals, there was always enough for a rainy day. Hell, most of her horror collection came from deals but the money she paid to buy them accumulated very quickly.  And now that she had two extra mouths to feed, along with practically a new wardrobe for them both, her bank account should be suffering. 

 

So...where was all this money coming from?

 

...Reiji!

 

Perhaps Reiji felt sorry about how he made Yusho enter on this cockamaney and was giving money into Yusho’s bank account? With all the money he had, a few thousand yen wouldn’t be missed. It’d be easy for Reiji to funnel this money and state this as “other purchases” in the company financial reports or whatever it would’ve been placed under.

 

She gave a sigh, she wasn’t going to protest, or look a gift horse in the mouth at this point. This didn’t make up for him asking Yusho to go on a fool’s errand, or the fact that neither he nor her husband told her and Yuya about what the two ‘planned’...and she says “planned” in the loosest sense of the word because both Reiji and Yusho were, in fact, idiots

 

Brushing that thought out of her mind, Yoko immediately picked out which items she wanted. The jeweler did question who these purchases were for, but Yoko simply answered that they were for “some of the most important people in my life” and left it at that. And as she waited for the jeweler to box up everything nice and pretty, she looked at the time on her phone and smiled.

 

Looks like she has a few gifts for her sons after all.  

 

*************

 

Yuri was ready. He knew what to say, how to act, and how to attack any weak points Reiji might show off.

 

Oh and he had Yuya on his lap, his venom running through the red and green haired boy’s veins, and Yuya was deliciously squirming there. Was he going over the top? Maybe, but he’d been separated from his family and brothers for 14 long years all devoid from any love and affection, so Yuri thinks he is owed all the fun and love he can get out of his brothers. Especially since he’ll be back to Academia soon enough.

 

Yuya whined in his ear and began to nuzzle his older brother’s neck. He was not ordered to do anything at all, his urges and desires simply guided him at the moment, and Yuri was enjoying the effect it had on Yuya oh so very much. 

 

You jerk! Yugo screamed face red, he couldn’t run away from this one.

 

Yuri smirked at Yugo and licked his fangs. “Oh what’s the matter, Yugo dear? I’m just showing Yuya my gratitude for bringing me back. After all, he did such hard work, don’t you agree? Doesn’t he deserve to drown in pleasure as a nice reward?  

 

Not like this and not right now ! Yuto growled. Yuya, say something!

 

“So good~ feel so good, Yuri, want more, more more more~ please?” Yuya begged wanton and filled with lust as he nuzzled to Yuri. “Please more, command me, touch me, anything please~” 

 

NOT THAT! Yuto groaned. 

 

Oh...what about our brothers watching us, ruby? Yuri purred. Don’t you want them , too? I know you do. I know you want our shadow and summer breeze in here too…

 

“Yes yes yes yes want brothers, want them, I wanna be touched and kissed and loved by all my brothers,” Yuya moaned, arching his back at the thought and the images filling his head. “Brothers always feel so good~.” 

 

YURI!!!!! Yugo and Yuto growled, baring their fangs.

 

The door swung open and Reiji walked in, Reira swiftly behind him. Yuri’s attention went to the newcomers, so did Yuya...for all of three seconds before burying his head in Yuri’s shoulder nuzzling him and running his hand over his arm and back. 

 

“Reiji Akaba,” Yuri began, observing how...normal Reiji looked. He was expecting suits, ties, a golden watch. Not a long-sleeved shirt, a scarf, and slippers . “So, you’re the professor's son...who apparently likes to stay up binging on movies or something.” 

 

Yuri, don’t antagonize him! Yuto growled.

 

Reiji’s attention went to Yuya, whose face looked pretty flushed even from that angle, and how he was being...quite friendly with the Academia...high up? Reiji wasn’t really sure what Yuri’s rank is, to be honest. All he knew was that Yuri worked for his father, that he kidnapped two people close to Yuto, Shun and Yugo, and that he looked similar to three individuals.

 

“I must say, I was a little surprised when you agreed to be quite cooperative with us,” Reiji said unnerved at the way Yuya was acting. 

 

“Well, I did have my own conditions~” Yuri chuckled, running two fingers down Yuya’s cheek making the red-eyed boy let out a choked moan and shiver. Reiji, in return, narrowed his eyes. 

 

“Yes, but the conditions of having your three counterparts here seems rather easy to do and superfluous for someone so important from Academia.” 

 

“Oh I had my reasons,” Yuri said, running his claws lightly in Yuya’s hair, making the younger boy whine and nuzzle more to Yuri and causing Yuto and Yugo to look like they wanted to smash the glass separating them. Shun just stood to the side face red, not wanting to comment on anything he was seeing. Yugo and Yuto were trying very very hard to contain the lust that they were getting from Yuya and Yuri, and they honestly had no idea how Yuri can keep a straight face while Yuya, cute and adorable and so very lustful and pretty and wanton all while was squirming on Yuri’s lap, begging for more. It was hell just looking at their baby brother like that; they weren’t sure how Yuri was fairing this well. 

 

“More please, please, please~! Want more touches~” Yuya begged, giving Yuri a pleading look with his eyes, quivering his bottom lip which Yuri resisted the urge to kiss and bite.

 

“What happened to your face?” Reiji asked seeing the bruises that were left there, it seemed like someone had beat Yuri up. 

 

“Oh, Shun Kurosaki and I had a small meeting, and he took his frustrations out on me that’s all,” Yuri answered nonchalantly. “But that’s not important. Ask me anything you want.” 

 

Reiji raised an eyebrow at the careless reply; Yuri didn’t even sound angry at Shun at all. After all, Shun had every right to be pissed off since Yuri kidnapped his sister. Shouldn’t Yuri be so ticked off about being punched like that?

 

Whatever the case, that would have to wait till later. 

 

“Why exactly are Academia personnel turning people into cards anyhow?” Reiji questioned, recalling Shun’s personal rampage on LDS faculty and Serena’s beatdown on Hokuto.

 

“Professor’s orders,” Yuri answered. “Oh, which reminds me, I have to give you these...” 

 

Yuri pulled out the carded forms of Halil and Olga from the pocket of his coat. Reira flinched upon seeing the horrified looks of the Scandinavian and Arabic exchange students. “Please tell me that their parents weren’t watching the livestream or something.”

 

Reiji took the cards, looking at them with an unreadable face. “Most of the feeds were cut off. No one saw you aside from those who were in the Iceberg section.” 

 

He then flicked a glance at Reira to leave the room. Immediately. Reira just nodded his head and shuffled his feet towards the door, closing it as softly as she could.

 

“I see,” Yuri,mumbled, running a hand lightly over Yuya’s back making the boy gasp and arch his back wanting more.   

 

Reiji adjusted his glasses, still with the stone-like expression on his face. “If you don’t mind me asking...why is Yuya reacting to you in such an...unsightly manner?”

 

“You can say it’s a...counterpart thing… we just have this...urge you might call it, to be close.” 

 

“And are Yuto and Yugo the same way? They do seem in a better condition and control than Yuya seems to be, aside from that I have seen the two of them, and they never acted like the two of you do now.” 

 

“Oh?” Yuri asked, tilting his head. “You’re saying you never saw them be close? A touch there, a look there, tenderness or chemistry that seems far too practiced for people who have only met a few hours or days prior?” 

 

Yuri, what are you doing?! Yuto growled. Are you trying to give us away?

 

Now calm down dear Yuto. Reiji Akaba can call bullshit all he wants, but he can never really reach the true conclusion of what’s going on. 

 

Yuya began to kiss Yuri’s neck and lick the pulse point making Yuri shiver in delight. Oh what a good boy Yuya, that’s the spot, Yuri sighed in delight. Yuya giggled; he was making his older brother so happy!

 

Reiji placed a hand over his face, wanting to get the information out of Yuri while simultaneously making sure Yuya didn’t collapse from...whatever he was afflicted with. “Perhaps we should remove Yuya from you in order to make this a...better environment for us to talk.”

 

“Uh uh uh, Reiji, I’ll only be this cooperative if Yuya gets to stay right here. And he wants to stay here. Don’t you Yuya~” Yuri cooed, kissing Yuri’s ear.

 

All Yuya could do was whimper and nod. Wanna stay with precious lily...wanna feel good by Lily’s side~!

 

Yuri. please for the love of all that is good and Dark in this world STOP!!!!!! There were knocks on the glass; these knocks were Yugo slamming his head against said glass. 

 

Reiji observed Yugo’s odd behavior. “Is that a counterpart thing too?”

 

“No that’s a Yugo thing, I think he’s trying not to strangle me,” Yuri answered nonchalantly.

 

“HE’S! NOT! WRONG!” Yugo roared, loud enough to nearly shatter the glass. Strange wind actually stormed the room, most of it directed at Yuri himself who only looked more amused.

 

“I love you too, Yu~go ,” Yuri teased, blowing Yugo a kiss and adding a wink for emphasis.

 

“FOR THE LOVE OF DUEL MONSTERS, MY NAME IS NOT FUSION!” Yugo snarled. 

 

Reiji sighed in annoyance. He’s not gonna get anything out of this carried on. Now he knows why Yuri asked for his three counterparts; it’s to both distract him and drive him insane. His best option is to ignore all the teasing that has been going on. 

 

“Come now Yugo, are you jealous?” Yuri asked with a tilt of his head. “Is that it? Did I do a bad job and yesterday wasn’t enough~?”  

 

“Ohh want big brothers to come inside and play with us~” Yuya squealed.

 

“AGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!”

 

And as Yugo was snarling and Yuto and Shun pulled him away from the glass, Yuri was laughing on the inside, making Yugo scream even louder .

 

“Ignoring these ‘distractions’,” Reiji muttered. “Yuri, what exactly does my father want to do with these cards? And why did he task you with kidnapping Yuzu Hiragi and her counterparts? The ones named Rin and Ruri Kurosaki? And what about Serena’s role in all of this?”

 

Yuri sighed. “Yeah...that’s one complicated to answer,” he said, shifting about to be more comfortable, making Yuya squeal a bit, before Yuri secured him in his arms. “Alright, so as you may or may not know, children in the Fusion dimension after a certain age are sent to Academia to be trained as soldiers. I’m sure you’re quite aware of what happened to Heartland.”

 

Reiji nodded, some of that was new information, but he didn’t comment on that and he let Yuri continue. “See the professor had all of us from a young age brainwashed into believing in his plan which he called ‘Arc-V’’ a plan to “reunite” all the dimensions into one to create a unified utopia. For doing so, he created a machine that can fuse the dimensions, fueled by what he calls the natural life energy that he can harness through the souls trapped in these cards.” 

 

Reiji’s eye twitched. Bad enough he landed in Academia three years ago, bad enough he saw and heard from Serena back then on the ‘invasion’ in the Xyz Dimension, but this ...this was going too far .

 

This made him recall the file he found on his father’s computer — one that involved images of a younger Yuri and Serena. Why exactly were they on the monitor? Why those two specifically?

 

“Still why kidnap the girls, and why did my Father specifically chose you to kidnap them?” Reiji inquired. There had to be something special about Yuri that made Professor Akaba raise him to be the older man’s watchdog.

 

Yuri shrugged. “All I know is he told me that these four maidens were ‘The Key’ to unlocking his utopia. Now to be fair I am pretty high up...but I think he kept the reason of why he wanted these girls to himself, or known only to a chosen few. 

 

“As for why it was me, well, I am quite literally the best student he has, wouldn’t it be the smart thing to do to send your best choice to collect the most integral part of the plan? At least, that’s the answer as far as I know.” 

 

That did make sense, with as limited information as all of us seem to have. “Although I am quite curious Yuri,” Reiji said and watched as Yuri rubbed his and Yuya’s noses affectionately. “Why are you giving me all this information practically for free? You said it yourself you are pretty high up. Why betray Academia that easily?”

 

“Because,” Yuri replied, voice grim and hiding the utter rage and contempt he had for that man. “Once I obtain everything the Professor desires, he finds no use for me. Isn’t that the case in times of peace? If there’s no war to fight, there are no need for the weapons used to slaughter and massacre soldiers by the dozens.”

 

"Are you saying my father will get rid of you? The Academia students are as much a tool as you are, does that mean you think he'll get rid of them too?" It didn't make sense at all. Why kill just Yuri? Is it because he's in a high possession and knows too much?  Well it can't be, because as he demonstrated he doesn't know everything ...so why would his father want to destroy him? Why would you desire to destroy something so valuable? The three answers to that were either you hate it, it's too dangerous or you fear it. Something about Yuri's belief which was genuine didn't set well with Reiji. 

 

“I don’t think, I know he’ll get rid of me. Why else would he single me out and make me his personal bitch in the first place? That I’ll follow his every word like he’s hanging a bone in front of my face, blindly loyal and obedient to him until I don’t realize that he’s ready to shoot me in the head when I’m no longer of use to him.”

 

"And again, I ask, what makes you so special from other Academia students?  Like you said, you are the strongest, it would make sense to use you. So why get rid of something useful? Does he fear you?  Hate you? Thinks you're too dangerous? Which one is it?" Reiji pushed the frame of his glasses up, the light stopped reflecting on the glass. "Or is it all three? And if so, whatever did you do to make him feel that way?"

 

“I beat every single opponent that came to me without mercy,” Yuri explained. “And with someone with a love of seeing their opponents squirm, what’s to say your Father realizes that once I wasn't up to what he’s planning to do with me that I’ll be facing the executioner sooner than I expected?”

 

"But you used to be in favor of it, weren't you?"

 

Yuri shook his head. "I didn't care one way or the other," he sent an apology to Yuto and Yugo, begging them for forgiveness for stalking and kidnapping Ruri and Rin. "I simply followed orders and revelled in the fear and pain I was unleashing. Feeling powerful was, well, a way to stop feeling so empty inside. Filling the hole that was in my soul with power and crushing people beneath my feet, but it only made me feel worse in the end… but now it's no longer there,” Yuri said looking lovingly at Yuya before kissing his lips tenderly closing his eyes and looking quite happy. He slowly broke the kiss and Yuya was panting for breath, the pendulum duelist leaning his head on Yuri's shoulder looking dazed before his eyes regained focused one which he had been lacking for the entire session. He looked at Yuri with sad pitying and loving eyes. 

 

Yuri... Yuya stated. 

 

Yuri's eyes were tender and loving as he looked back at Yuya, as if Yuya was something all too precious and loved and to be kept in Yuri’s arms forever.. 

 

Yuri ran his hand through Yuya's hair, and the red eyes boy snuggled to him with a happy smile. The earlier show of unrestrained lust all but gone. It unsettled Reiji, for not knowing what caused it, and for it ending so quickly. 

 

“Are you...feeling okay now, Yuya?” Reiji inquired.

 

Yuya blinked before he turned his head to Reiji as if he'd just noticed the older boy now, and something in the vein of embarrassed horror filled his eyes. "Y...yeah I'm fine, thanks," he said dazed as he rubbed his head before turning to Yuri with a sharp look and a hiss. 

 

“What...did you DO TO ME?!” Yuya snarled, thinking of a proper punishment to give to Yuri with his illusion powers.

 

Yuri gave him an innocent smile, but it seems Yuya wasn't buying it.  

 

"Yuri I am so getting back at you for this!" Yuya growled and tried to get out of Yuri's hold, but the Fusion duelist wasn't having it. 

 

"Come on...stay with me?" Yuri pleaded.

 

"No," Yuya replied bluntly.

 

"Stay in my arms, Yuya. Please?"  Yuri nuzzled to him in a show of affection which made Yuya finally let out a groan and slump against Yuri, who happily kept nuzzling the boy, Yuya on the other hand had an angry pout on his lips and had his arms crossed 

 

Yuto patted Yugo's shoulder, who had a sharp grin on his face. "Well Yuri's screwed, he's got Yuya's ire now."

 

Shun admittedly was quite confused at that statement, considering all he'd had about Prince Yuya from the other duelists, he wasn't anything dangerous. But it's not like he could know as he had just met Yuya yesterday and all that he has known about him was from seeing the boy duel, and him summoning that dragon with Prince Yuto.  

 

The interaction confused Reiji even more, and looking back at Yugo and Yuto showed them quite gleeful. This was a “Counterpart” thing...wait a second...

 

“Serena! Yuzu!” said Reiji. “Yuri, do you think that there is a slight chance that these girls may also exhibit strange reactions if in close proximity?” 

 

“Perhaps,” Yuri surmised. “Why do you ask?”

 

"Just in case the two of them were alone together," Reiji answered, realizing that the two have been together for the past few hours. 

 

Yuri shrugged. "It's a thing between us as far as I'm aware."

 

"No! It's a you thing! Because you just like to tease and play and just embarass us in every fucking way!" yelled Yugo. 

 

"Well you can't really blame me for that dears, you should see yourselves, faces red, eyes unfocused and filled with lust and lost in pleasure. All of you are simply gorgeous... like candied fruit I want to devour~. You can't expect me to resist temptation like that. Right Yuto~"

 

And Yuto's eyes finally grew clear with realization. 

 

… Oh.

 

Yugo rested his head against the glass and he weakly uttered, "I hate you both so much." 

 

**************

 

The audience’s reaction to the multitude of duelists entering the stadium was...mixed.

 

Most of the heat was inflicted on Shingo, with the audience believing that he used his daddy’s money to get back into the tournament when it was clear as day that he was no longer welcome. Some were confused why Mieru was with them — since she was defeated by Tsukikage, the ninja saying nothing at all — and more than a few heads turned to see Yuzu and Serena standing side-by-side.

 

“Why are there two Yuzu onee-chans?” Ayu questioned.

 

“Does she have a twin sister?” Tatsuya assumed.

 

“Maybe that’s her doppelganger !” Futoshi shivered. “If you see your doppelganger, it means you are about to die soon!”

 

“DIE?!” Shuzo screamed. “Futoshi, please tell me you’re joking or I will not buy you candy for an entire month!”

 

Futoshi gulped as Shuzo watched the girl next to Yuzu. If you changed their hairstyle and color and perhaps even their clothes, there would be no mistaking it; this girl would look like an alternate version of his own daughter !

 

Nico Smiley was also at a loss for words; there were supposed to be eight finalists from the Battle Royale. And without any clue from Reiji or Himika — not to mention the feeds cutting out — he had no idea what to say.

 

Fortunately, he had to say nothing as Shingo took the microphone to give the audience a few words.

 

“I don’t care what you have to say about me,” he said. “But I’ve obtained my spot in the Lancers fair and square! So take that, unbelievers!”

 

The jeers stopped as everyone started to question what he meant by “Lancers”...all while Serena looked ready to clock him over the head.

 

“Is he always like this?” she questioned Yuzu.

 

“Sometimes,” Yuzu admitted. “Then he’s off accusing people, stealing people’s cards and never admitting his faults.”

 

“I’d like to put his money where his mouth is...and then shove that money down his throat until he croaks.”

 

Before anything else could be said, or before Nico Smiley had to improv on what Shingo announced,  the monitor then revealed Himika Akaba addressing the crowd.

 

“Ladies and gentlemen of Maiami City,” she said, emerald eyes in a firm stare similar to her son’s. “As of this moment, the Arc League Championship tournament shall be postponed indefinitely.”

 

The reaction was obvious; people were annoyed, angry and confused at how the tournament had just ended without any continuation.

 

“I am sorry for those who were waiting to see how it should end,” Himika continued, voice calm. “But it has come to our attention that invaders from another dimension that specialized in Fusion summoning have assaulted various duelists and turned them into cards.”

 

“Cards?/What the hell?/That’s ridiculous!/What kind of bullshit is the Leo Corporation spewing out now?” 

 

“I know that you think I am making this up,” Himika stated. “But we have proof of this attack. As seen here.”

 

The monitor then showed the feed of the three students from the Knight of Duel covered in purple light before they transformed into cards. Said cards were taken into the hands of strange duelists in blue jackets and helmets, the trays of their Duel Disks similar to swords.

 

“Carded?!” Masumi gasped. “You don’t think — “

 

“Hokuto ended up as one of them…?” Yaiba finished.

 

Yuzu took a glance at the two duelists and the empty seat next to them. It is strange that Hokuto didn’t appear for his match and how he hasn’t been seen in two days.

 

(And while she focused on them, she failed to see the look of guilt in Serena’s eyes.).

 

“But fear not!” Himika stated proudly. “Thanks to our brave duelists in the tournament, they were able to drive away the threat for the time being.”

 

Then everyone watched as Shun successfully used his Raidraptor - Revolution Falcon to bomb the trio of Obelisk Force soldiers’ Triple Ancient Gear Hunting Hounds, dropping their lifepoints to 0 without breaking a sweat.

 

“And it was all thanks to me!” Shingo boasted. “My brand new Pendulum cards were what swung victory our way. You’re welcome~!”

 

No one in the little group of duelists was amused. Neither was anyone in the audience.

 

“But this was just the first wave,” Himika stated. “As of now, all students of Leo Duel School all across the globe will be undergoing training in order to permanently drive these invaders from our dimension.”

 

As many students from LDS and the general audience began to whisper this to themselves, Reiji soon appeared on the screen with a smirk on his face. 

 

“I can see that you’re all on board with this,” he said. “That is why we, the first lancers who shall pierce through the dimensions, will be guided by me! I will not sit by while these knights \ travel alone. As the leader and founder of the Lancers Division, I shall lead the fray into a new era of our dimension’s history!”

 

Then, footage became replaced with Yuya Sakaki summoning his Pendulum monsters for the first time. “Thanks to Yuya Sakaki, the pioneer of Pendulum Summoning, Leo Corporation has been able to create the cards needed to fight off against the Obelisk Force,” Reiji stated. “And we will soon be offering a course for those who wish to learn this particular dueling style.”

 

“WHAT?!” Shingo exclaimed. “I’m the master of Pendulum! Not that son of a coward!”

 

“TAKE THAT BACK!” Mieru shouted, kicking Shingo right in the crotch. “Darling is not a coward!”

 

“We shall leave in two days time” Reiji finished. “And just like the knights of old, we shall fall into battle and end the fight once and for all! Join me, citizens of Maiami and be the lancers that pierces through the enemy frontlines!”

 

The audience cheered at the announcement, chanting “Lancers! Lancers! Lancers!” with glee, many of them deciding to join in protecting their dimension from these invaders...

 

And Yoko, upon seeing the announcement on her phone, clenched her teeth.

 

Yuya always wanted to shine, but to be used as propaganda for LDS’s schemes of essentially sending duelists to their deaths ?! 

 

Was it bad enough that Reiji took her husband to do what he should’ve done and talk to daddy about stopping this war? He already sent duelists to their doom into being carded, hid these mergers and acquisitions with other dueling schools to be built into military camps and even tried framing Yuya for Yuto’s actions in order to have full access to Pendulum summoning.

 

It was times like this that she was a monster masquerading in human skin. The anger and hatred bubbling in her made her want to ride into Reiji’s office as Shooting Star Yoko and ram that smug bastard’s face in with the front end of her motorcycle. She wanted to tell it to his face that she would not forgive him for this foolish error, and the fact that he tried to cover it up by giving her all that money for the past three years.

 

So it’s so easy for Reiji to give money away but not to be able to say “I’m sorry I sent Yusho to another dimension?!”

 

Yoko snarled as she turned her phone off, hands grasping onto ba