Familiar blue skies had turned a chilling shade of grey as dark storm clouds rolled into the city. With them came a howling wind scattering leaves and garbage about the now-empty streets of Maiami. The warning sirens had ceased hours ago as the last of the city’s occupants made their way out.
Zarc, the Supreme Dragon King, had finally reached the Standard Dimension. The massive beast soared ominously in the skies above, the size of its wings stretching from one end of the city to the next.
On the main bridge leading to the stadium, a lone girl with long, curly red hair stood facing the city. Her dress billowed wildly in the wind as she stared up at the dragon, a lone sound amidst the growing silence of Maiami City.
“So this is what it was. This was what I saw.”
The evacuation order was sent out immediately once Himika, LDS Chairwoman and acting president of Leo Corporation, had judged the current situation was taking a downwards turn. Through the distortions in the skies, they saw faces both familiar and unfamiliar taking on the beast and falling one by one. She effectively organized groups of elite duelists to help with the evacuation process and under pressure from worried parents, allowed only those willing to stay behind to help protect the city. The rest left with their families to a safe location, though how long that safety would last was a question left unspoken.
Long before the distortions appeared, however, there was unrest at the Unno Divination School—a shared sense of foreboding. The foresight divining allowed made it difficult for much to unruffle its students. However, that morning, every reading of the future was the same: darkness, destruction, a dragon descends--there is no hope, it is the end—the city will fall. Upon arriving, Mieru only had to meet her principal’s eyes to know what was coming. What she saw of the future told her no differently.
‘Fate was predetermined’--all who enrolled at Unno understood this principle, but with the risk of harm befalling their home and lives so near at hand, it was difficult to remain calm. The principal did her best to keep order within the school, then calmly sent students home in groups to prepare for an evacuation order she knew would soon be coming. Mieru was the last student to remain as they locked the gates behind them.
“Mieru. You must leave as well.”
Mieru paused, then shook her head firmly.
“Mieru…” her principal began warningly before Mieru cut her off.
“Sensei. My predictions have never once been wrong.”
“There is nothing you can do.”
“I’m going to stay.”
Yes, her predictions had never once been wrong.
Even back then, in her duel against the Entertainment Duelist Sakaki Yuya…
She held up a coin with a smile. “Heads is a dragon, tales is a demon. If you choose correctly, I’ll allow you to go first.”
He had incorrectly guessed the dragon, but they were two sides of the same coin.
“You chose the dragon. That is the expression of you desiring a strong power that will break you out of your current situation. Right now, you are at a standstill, unable to see where you can move forward.”
He had been startled by her words, and soon fell into her pace. A brick hand? Bad luck. It was too easy. Setting cards facedown only served to unnerve him further as he struggled to guess at what she was aiming at. That flustered state made his every move predictable and she could only shake her head in pity at him. She had wanted to determine if he was her Fated One or not, but this made it clear he was not even close. All that was left was to finish the duel.
With Crystal Undine on the field, she went ahead and determined his fortune, “I see it. Dark clouds of an enormous power are enveloping you.” It was… a strange thing to see, but she had waved it off as his current series of misfortune and went ahead with a Ritual Summon.
On his next turn, Yuya had used that strange summoning method of his to bring out five monsters at once. Once again, she could only shake her head at the omen his monsters portrayed, “You will face a large failure, and then your future will become engulfed in darkness.” She was certain, then, that the omen spoke of his loss to her, and the inability to qualify for the Maiami Championship.
Perhaps that would have been a blessing.
With her victory ensured, she focused only on guiding the duel to its natural course until seeing the card Tarotray revealed: the Tower in Upright Position, an omen of collapse, falling, and disaster.
Sakaki Yuya’s life was in danger. It was rare for people to get injured during a duel, but not entirely impossible. If this duel continued, something terrible would happen.
“Just stop. If you continue what you’re doing, your life will be at risk.”
But he refused. And so, she could only grit her teeth and try to bring the duel to a quick end.
“If you don’t want to be seriously injured, hurry up and surrender!”
Again he refused, and continued his (futile) struggle against her deadlock. A stubborn boy.
“Your fate has already been decided. Do not avert your eyes and look at the truth presented in front of you! The fate of destruction that awaits you! To save yourself from your own destruction, surrender now!”
Refusing to believe her words, he continued running to find an Action Card as if that would save him somehow. How stupidly stubborn!
Panic creeped into her voice then as that sense of dread grew stronger, “If you continue struggling like this, you’ll do something that can’t be undone!!” Was winning more important than his own life!?
There was the clink of a chain breaking from above and Mieru’s face paled.
As the sirens trailed off, Mieru swung herself out of her seat in the empty stadium and stood upright, heading down to a nearby exit. Her parents working overseas had caught wind of the situation and called her earlier in worry, urging her to get somewhere safe before the “storm” hit. She had assured them she was out of the city already. A small lie.
After ending the call, she had peered into her crystal apple searchingly, recalling that event in the Jungle Area near the end of the Maiami Championship. It had taken four people to pin Darling down after he summoned that strange Xyz dragon of his, a devastatingly powerful force that sent shockwaves through the air. He was screaming in anger (in pain? Perhaps both), fighting against his restraints.
“It’s almost as if he’s possessed!” That Gongenzaka person had said in concern.
“Then first we should determine what’s possessing him.”
It wasn’t outside of her ability. She was Hoechun Mieru after all, the top fortune-teller of her school.
And she saw…something. Something that made a chill run down her spine. Two souls in disarray and deeper inside, something…terrifying. A dark, shadowy something that was trying to overwhelm the other two. Something told her to stop looking—that seeing this was wrong, that it would see her in turn, and if it set its eyes on her… She tore her eyes off the crystal apple just in time to see her darling rear his head up in pain again before collapsing onto the ground before them.
The events after that were a train wreck.
Lancers? Other dimensions? A war? And her darling was at the center of it all.
The strange men in blue uniforms were from Academia. They were invading other dimensions for an unknown reason, each with the power to turn people into cards. A girl with Hiiragi Yuzu’s face and clothes hailed from the same dimension. Hiiragi Yuzu herself had gone missing. Many people had been lost.
Watching her darling’s duel with Akaba Reiji, she came to understand just how important Yuzu was to him. How shaken his heart was now that she was gone, and how much he blamed himself for not being strong enough to save her.
‘But darling!’ She wanted to cry after seeing him summon Rune-Eyes and Beast-Eyes, ‘Darling you’ve already grown so much!’ but she knew those words would fall on deaf ears. They meant nothing, not after Leo Corporation’s president had so thoroughly beat him. Until Yuzu was home safe and sound, he wasn’t strong enough, he wasn’t enough—and it hurt to see him think like that.
What could she say? What could she do? How could she support him at a time like this?
'I’m sorry for your loss.' Hiiragi Yuzu wasn’t dead. Their friends had been carded, but...that wasn’t quite death, was it?
'Good luck!' No. The way his heart was wavering, that kind of encouragement wasn’t enough. He needed something to guide him. A wish? A dream?
His mother in gangster-wear running him down on a motorbike? That was new.
Shooting Star Yoko brought tokens of wisdom only a mother could bring in her own unique way.
‘Win or lose, what matters is having fun and enjoying the duel!’ Of course, no one enters a duel intending to lose.
Duels were a battle of wills; the stronger of which would lead to victory.
“So Yuya, what is it that you want to do?”
His mother continued to press him, patiently waiting for him to form an answer of his own.
In the end, he pulled off a magnificent performance with a smile and flair. Seeing that brought a smile to Mieru’s face as well.
Yoko reminded him of the dream he shared with his father to become an Entertainment Duelist, and made a wish that he would always be smiling. She entrusted that hope between Yusho and her to Yuya in the form of a card fittingly named ‘Smile World’.
While Yuya hadn’t given a clear answer to her question, he had strengthened his resolve to save Yuzu while sticking to his Entertainment Dueling.
Outrageous as she was, Mieru was glad Yuya had her as his mother.
At the same time, her principal’s words echoed in her ears, prompting her to walk forward, ‘Fortune-telling is a light meant to guide them.’ She knew what she could do now, something she alone could do for Yuya.
“Everyone’s wish will be granted. That is what my fortune-telling says to me.
That’s why you should believe in yourself, as the duelist Sakaki Yuya.”
‘Just as we believe in you.’
The crystal apple had fallen apart in her hands with the dragon’s arrival. She held its remains close and breathed in deep, closing her eyes and willing her shaking hands to still. Her heart beat loudly in her ears, but with every breath, in and out, it eventually slowed into a firm and steady beat. Slowly, she opened her eyes and smiled ruefully at the crystal pieces. It had been a reliable partner to her for years. Even now, shattered as it was, the pieces of her crystal were showing her a multitude of futures being closed off.
All save one.
After placing the remains of her crystal apple gently on the ground, Mieru activated her duel disk. The Supreme Dragon King was descending to her location, sending high waves crashing onto the sides of the bridge. She watched its descent with apprehension but stood resolute, focusing her eyes on a small figure at the dragon’s heart.
“Darling… you’ve changed the future once before.
I know you can change it again.”