It was just another day at Academia. Classes, training, intersected with reminders of the next attack on the Xyz dimension coming. A lifestyle that Sora is used to knowing since he was a kid.
With a bit of luck, he will take part of this wave, along the Obelisk Force. Like Yuri or Dennis. He dreamt for so long to be their equals. Like Serena too, once she will convince the Professor.
“Earth to Sora ! Man, you’ve been daydreaming all day.” complains Dennis, as they were eating at the cafeteria.
Food was actually quite good and balanced. Sure it wasn’t as good as the sweets he earns with his hard work, but enough to satisfy his growling stomach.
“I can’t help myself. The next attack is coming soon and it’s been a while since the last one. How can you not be excited ?”
Dennis leans slightly on the table, his hand near his mouth like he will tell a secret.
“My dear Sora, I’ve already been there much more times that you have eaten lollipops. I can even tell you the name of the town you will go first, if you’re a good boy.”
“I don’t need you to know this, you know.”
“Sora, you hurt me ! Did you have another confidant that has taken the place I was holding so dear in your heart ?” Dennis put his hand on his heart, his mouth forming a perfect “o” like he was utterly shocked.
“You know, if I were you, I would quit the dramatic course. It only makes you more of a drama queen that you already are.”
“Can’t help it : I’m a melodramatic man from birth.” Dennis sighs, amused. “At least, I’m not made of stone, like a certain someone we know.” he adds with a ton of confidence.
“At least I’m not a clown that will ridiculate our army.” replies a voice from his back.
“Yuri ! We were talking of you just right now, what a coincidence !”
“Come on Dennis, we all know that you knew he was coming, by judging the look of the other people.” says Sora, who was unwrapping one of his lollipops.
“Guess you caught me red handed. Tell me your secret, Yuri : how can you attract the attention of everyone without saying anything ?”
“By not being melodramatic, first of all.” The answer comes with a bit of malice, and Yuri begins to eat his meal. There is always a cup of tea on his tray. Today, it’s grey tea with lemon.
“I would make you spill your secret one day. Anyway, I speak a lot about my day but you didn’t tell me a single thing with all your daydreaming !” exclaims the orange headed.
“You know it by heart : classe, training, lunch, classe, dinner.”
“Don’t have too much time for fun. Do you want to duel after this ?”
Since they both knew that Yuri takes a lot of time to eat, (to properly appreciate his meal, unlike all of the heathens that he’s surrounded by in the cafeteria) Sora and Dennis set down their own trays before leaving the room.
They both go to the room of the elder one, since it’s more isolated. Dennis shares his room with Yuri, on the right wing of the Academia, not so far away from where the dormitories of the Obelisks are.
“Get ready to face your defeat !” proclaims Sora, as he shuffles his deck, before putting it on the mat. They will not use the duel disk today.
“As if ! Did I have to remind you who leads the score ?” replies Dennis, smirking. “You can begin.”
“Duel !” they both shout.
Sora was in deep thoughts. On the field, there are his Frightfur Bear and Frightfur Tiger, and the two ace monsters of Dennis, Performage Trapeze Magician and Witch. He also has Toy Vendor on his side of the field, while Dennis has a set card. Sora didn’t use his normal summon yet, but he only has Edge Imp Chain in his hand.
“You will rely on Toy vendor to draw a Fluffal monster, then summon it on the field, raise the attack of Frightfur Bear to 3100 and crash into my Performage Trapeze Magician.” announces Dennis.
“How did you …”
“Come on Sora, we’re used to dueling like what, three times a week ? Or maybe you have Suture Rebirth in your hand, and you think of which Fluffal you want to bring back.”
Nevertheless, Sora groans before activating the effect of Toy Vendor. He discards Edge Imp Chain and draws a new card. Fluffal Sheep.
“I summon Fluffal Sheep on the field, according to the effect of Toy Vendor. Since I’ve discarded Edge Imp Chain, I can add Frightfur Patchwork to my hand. I use it to add to my hand another Edge Imp Chain and Fusion. And without further ado, I activate it to perform a Fusion summon !”
Sora places in the graveyard the cards used for the summoning of Frightfur Sheep.
“Since Frightful Tiger raises his attack to 2900, it can attack Trapeze Magician and destroy it.”
“Oh no !” exclaims Dennis. “I can’t activate the effect of Trapeze Witch, since Frightfur Sheep prevents it.”
“I now declare the Battle-”
“Hold a second ! Before the main phase 1 finish, I activate the effect of Trapeze Magician. I target your tiger.”
Why would Dennis offer his monster a se cond attack, in exchange of his destruction at the end of the Battle phase ? thinks Sora. Well, he can’t do anything else, aside trying. Even if he has a bad feeling about it.
“I use Frightfur sheep to destroy Performage Trapeze Magician.”
Dennis sends to the graveyard the monster, taking 400 points of damage.
“I now use Frightfur Bear to destroy your witch.”
“And I use my trap card, Negate attack ! Now that the Battle phase has ended, could you please send your dear tiger to the graveyard ?”
Dennis makes a little movement with his hand toward the pile with Fluffal Sheep on his top, smiling.
“I knew there was something odd when you activated the effet back then.” sighs the blue headed.
In the end, Dennis succeeds to bring back Trapeze magician and defeats him.
“It seems you need a little more training, before being sent to the Xyz dimension.” declares Dennis, as he was flipping through his deck.
“Why are you using Xyz summoning ?” asks Sora, still chewing a lollipop. The third of the evening.
“You don’t have homeworks to do ?”
“I’ll do them later. Not like there's a lot to do. Filling some dumb assignements. Like heck we didn’t know that Counter trap can be used after counter trap !”
“At least it’s not maths or physics.”
“Math is funny. But don’t change the subject ! It’s been a while since you have those Xyz monsters with you. Why don’t Academia teach us how to use them if they're useful ? Teachers repeat that Xyz users are only scums that don’t have the right to be called duelists.”
Dennis raises his head, a soft smile on his lips.
“You know, the better you know the enemy, the quicker you can defeat them. And it’s not like I use them regularly, I’m still testing if I can take something out of this.”
“Why ? You won’t use them. So why waste your time trying to make them function with other cards ?”
“If I tell you the whole story, you will be satisfied ?”
“Of course ! So tell me, what happened there ?”
Sora took place on his bed as Dennis put back his deck into his duel disk. He then stands up, and takes a seat on the chair at his desk.
“So, back to when I was first sent to the Xyz dimension …”
Dennis passed through the portal, along with Yuri. On the other side, he was welcomed by the warm sun and the stunning vision of a bright and vibrant city.
“Heartland so. It seems a good place to have a good time.” smiles Dennis, as Yuri checks their position.
“Hurry, we don’t have the whole day.”
“Hay hay, killjoy.”
They roamed through the streets, looking for a particular someone.
“A girl that looks like Ray, huh ? How does he hope that we can find her in a single day ?” asks Dennis, as they were walking toward the tower.
“It will take a lot of days, indeed. But I’m sure you will perform this task with success.” replies quietly his partner.
“Why do so many people have to gather there ?” He snarled, making his way through the crowd.
“Look, there is some street show down there !”
“WAIT DENNIS !”
The orange headed pretends to not hear him, as he goes toward the source of the gathering.
“Dueling is not only a question of who will be the winner. It also requires entertaining the public !” shouts a man, perched on the hoop of his monster.
“My most loyal companion here and I will do our best to make you enjoy it the most !”
The crowd cheers for them, as the monster soars to the sky.
“Sky Magician, attack his monster !”
The humanoid flies in a circle, leaving a rainbow trail with glitters that illuminate the already bright sky.
“The stage is now set ! I activate Smile World !”
Dennis didn’t remember his effect. He was too entranced by the way the monster and the duelist were moving in the sky, in symbiosis. The climax comes with an explosion followed by a big pink smiley, and the defeat of his opponent.
“Thanks everyone for coming today !”
More clappings and Yuri, annoyed, finally says.
“What kind of duelist can say in their right mind that winning is not important ? And with his Smile World, I think I need to puke some unicorn right now. Entertaining, for what purpose ? It’s most interesting to frighten your opponent and make him regret dueling you, right ?
Yuri turns his head toward Dennis, waiting for an answer that wasn’t coming.
“I think I know what I want to do after the war.”
“So basically, you see an old man performing some tricks and then you say that you wanted to become like him ?”
“It was sheer magic Sora. If you’ve been there, you would understand me. Besides, I needed them to melt in the mass. You know, I used to do some street shows too, back then.”
“I can imagine this well.” laughs Sora.
“I wasn’t the only one send there at that time. But it takes us a long time to eventually find the girl.”
“Why would the Professor want her ?”
“Don’t know. When I asked, he told me that it was a personal matter. Anyway, we found her but she managed to flee. It would be a miracle if she’s still alive. The Professor has given orders to capture her, in exchange for a really good position but since it’s been a while, her physic might have changed too much. We might have carded her without knowing. If she didn’t die from some disease or lack of food.”
Dennis takes out of the pocket of his jean the image of Ray and the girl in question. Sora grabs them delicately.
“They are pretty. Do you think they are relatives ?”
“Relatives across the dimensions ? Don’t be silly Sora. Besides, Ruri doesn’t know who Ray is.”
“The girl with long violet hair. She has a big brother, but I haven't met him yet sadly.”
The more Sora looks at the photo or Ruri, the more it seems … familiar.
“You met her in person ?”
“Of course I did ! It was the most effective way to quickly gather information. I had to create a new life. I pretend to be a student overseas. You know, with my accent and all, she believes me.”
“And you didn’t succeed in capturing her ?”
“Heartland was much more secure than we thought. When we had to cartography the cameras of the city, there wasn’t a single place where I could corner her, knock her out and bring her to the portal. The ability to teleport back to Academia only exists since last year, and we haven't seen her since the beginning of the war.”
“Why didn't the Professor send the Obelisk Force to help you ?”
“For whatever reasons, he didn’t want to create a commotion before we started the war.”
Dennis lies at this point, but Sora didn’t need to know all the details.
“I have a son in the Standard dimension. His name is Reiji. He might have already been in contact with the Xyz dimension and if this is the case, he would know the moment the Obelisk Force landed there.”
“He’s an obstacle to the creation of our Eden so ?” asks Yuri.
“He would not approve our methods so yes, consider him as an enemy.”
He left his family for the project of Arc-V. thought Dennis. That must mean a lot …. Unless there is something aside that he didn’t tell us about.
“And the Professor didn’t say anything in regards to your Xyz monsters ?”
“Since I’ve been one of the most efficient agents on the field, no. He lets me keep them as a reward.”
“A reward you’re using. You could be so much more powerful if you stick to the Ancient gear deck.”
“Did I have to remind you that you’ve lost to them ?”
“It won’t happen twice.” replies harshly Sora. “I won’t lose against Xyz monsters and their users.”
“So let’s go for the return match.”
This time, Sora was declared the winner.
“What do you want to do after the completion of the project ?” asks Dennis, laying back on his bed.
They switched places at some point.
“What do I want to do ? Becoming the best duellist of the Academia, of course ! And eating every single candy that exists in this dimension.”
Dennis smiles fondly at the last remark.
“You don’t have other dreams ? Like you know, find who is your family ?”
“It was so long ago Dennis ! Besides, my only family is Academia.”
“But you don’t have those dreams anymore ?”
“Not since the last time I told you about them. Academia saved me from war and if the project can prevent others from happening, I would gladly dedicate my life to it.”
“Even if this needs to actually create a new war ?”
“This will be the last one. Everything will go back to his primer form, when everything was … perfect. Besides, the Professor had said that those Xyz scums would be revived after the end of the project.”
“That’s the spirit. I didn’t see that it was so late !” adds Dennis, glancing at the clock on his nightstand.
“I have to go before the curfew. You’ll see me in Heartland with you, Yuri and Serena.”
They exchange their goodbyes, before Sora returns to his room.
Since he was still a normal student, he shares it with five other students from his year and above. Sora passed quickly to the shower, after retrieving his pajama. They were all already there when he came in. He finishes his homeworks without any trouble. After closing his arithmetic book, he climbs to the upper bed in the right side of the room, lies on the mattress, and closes his eyes.
I wonder what the Eden will look like. Will it be made with pieces of all the dimensions ?
His thoughts drifted to Ray, then Ruri.
Why does she seem so familiar ?
He tries to remember in which occasion he could have seen a similar face, but after a quick research through the classmates he used to know, he concluded that he sees her not in Academia, but somewhere else.
He abandoned the idea, to think back about the last words he had with Dennis.
Won’t hurt to take a dive into those dreams again. Not like I can meet those people again.
As far as he remembered, Sora only knew desolated areas during his childhood, before Academia. The older memory he has was linked to the first meeting with those he could no longer recall their face.
Sora was hiding inside some deserted house. He knew he was flying those men in blue. But he also knew he was really hungry, and that he had to somehow, go out of his hideout and find some food. His stomach was rumbling loudly, and he feared for a moment that they would find him.
He noted that the building was slowly trembling, but assumed it was because of the giant machines that destroyed his house. So when a violent shaking made some part of the roof fall, Sora knew he had to go out quickly, if he didn’t want to be buried under the roof tiles. He didn’t have time to reach the exit : the house crumbled on itself.
When he woke up, Sora knew he was injured. His lower half was under two pieces of the roof, pressuring his legs and preventing him to move. He tried his best to get out of this trap, but his arms didn’t make him move a single inch. Tears were slowly gathering at the corner of his eyes, as he didn’t see any way to escape, before his pursuers got him. Something hit the wall in front of him and he closed his eyes.
Next thing he knew, there was a silhouette in the hole created in the wall. The person didn’t look like the ones he feared. He recalled it was a man, a young adult to be exact, stepping on the rubble.
When he spotted Sora, he shouted something - two words that Sora can’t remember - before bending down, and lifting the part that was blocking him. Two other persons entered inside the house and soon, he was free.
Sora tried to run - even if those people saved him, he didn’t know what they were going to do with him - but his legs gave away after a single step.
“Kid.” had said the older. “We’re not here to harm you. We’re going to bring you back to one of the resistance camps, and maybe we could find your family.”
Sora, still afraid - he remembered too well his heart pounding violently in his chest - tried to retreat, but he was cornered by the rubble.
When another explosion erupted outside, he thinks they were briefly panicked. The two younger persons left promptly and he shouted.
“We don’t have time to argue ! Climb on my back, you can’t run with your actual state.”
He remembered hanging on for dear life, to the shoulders of the man, as he was running across the city.
This was the end of his first memory.
The next one was more blurry, as he only recalled waking up in a gigantic green tent, with a lot of people around him. There was a girl that explained to him that it might take a while to find his parents. He remembered that she gave him some bread.
The three people that he met this day took care of him. As he was part of their little family. It felt nice.
The two youngest hung regularly together, so Sora remembered spending a lot of time with his savior. He’s pretty sure he was a duelist too. He always saw him with a duel disk, not the same kind Academia provided him, but a duel disk. He doesn’t remember the cards nor if he ever saw him duel.
“.... ! Would you teach me what does that mean ?”
He thinks he was brandishing a card. A dark color. Purple maybe ?
“Maybe when you will be older,” he replies.
“... ! Why can’t I fight with you too ? I could be useful ! I’m not weak anymore !”
“When time comes, you will stand with us. But for now, take care of the other kids.”
“..Yu .. ! Did you eat ?”
“I already did. So eat quickly your meal, unless you don’t want your night story.”
“..Yun ! Did you take care of … and … like me ?”
“Of course. She’s my sister and he’s like a brother for me.”
The more he repeated those sentences, the more he thinks he remembered a name he used to say daily. Myun ? Tyun ? Syun ?
Yes, it was Syun. Syun, who fought against those robots like it was nothing, who comforted him when he had nightmares, who protected them at that time.
Sora used to remember the first nights he spent alone in Academia, the warmth they shared in the cold night. He wasn’t the most comfortable pillow of all time, but he felt safe. Like a chicken under the wing of his mother bird.
He was his hero.
Maybe he is a member of one of the branches of Academia ? It would be highly probable. From what the Professor told him, when he arrived at Academia, he came from a far, far away country.
Or maybe that he died during this attack. The Professor told him that Obelisk forces saved him, as he was caught in the crossfire.
Either way, Syun would be proud of him to work for the everlasting peace.
And that was the end of his dreams called memories. He dreamt of them so vively and so many times that he couldn’t shake out the feeling that he lived through this. And that would explain why he didn’t have a lot of memories. Trauma did a pretty good job to erase the rest.
The next day, Sora waited impatiently before the billboard. At noon, the list of those who could go with the Obelisk forces will be revealed. He was pretty sure, with his scores, that he would be selected.
“Just display it, for the love of Fusion !”
“My my, someone is excited.”
“Dennis ! I waited for it for so long, of course I am !”
“Don’t worry, you will be part of this … Ah ! There is it !”
A giant message displays on the screen, before the list appears.
“Let me see … There you are ! Under division 3. That’s where I am.”
Sora checks three times to be sure that it was indeed his name on the board, before jumping from joy. He is going to the Xyz dimension !
“Alright, we will need to hone our skills more than ever ! We can let those Xyz scums think we are under them, are we ?”
Tomorrow will be the day. Sora flips through his deck, mentally performing his usual combo, before going through the Extra deck. His Frightfur were all there, ready to shatter any monsters that would stand in their way.
"Frightfur Bear, Frightfur Tiger, Frightfur Kraken … “ he says, as he displays them on his desk.
He does the same with his cards of his deck, and after redoing three times the best way to bring Frightfur Chimera on the field, he takes out his Side deck.
People tend to forget about it, but Sora learnt with Dennis and Serena its precious value.
“Your deck can’t counter everything. The side deck will be there to help you to make the most versatile deck possible.” had said Serena.
“Plus, during the tournament, you have access to your side deck during the match. So think about it !” had concluded Dennis.
As he was putting down a copy of Mystical Typhoon, he saw a card he almost forgot about.
What does this thing is doing in my Side deck ?
It is a black card, with a mechanical bird for the art. The name is half erased, without doubt because it has been used too much time. Sora can only read “RR” at the beginning and “Falcon” at the end. Same for the effect, he will have to decipher what’s written down below.
As far as he can remember, he found it a long time ago. When he was younger, he didn’t understand what was written on it, and the monster wasn’t in the database. So he has kept it as a treasure, a mystery he has to solve alone since no one ever heard of black cards. But now, he is fully aware of this meaning.
An Xyz monster.
Sora can’t remember the exact day where he picked the card, nor where. Maybe that was someone like Dennis who kept it as a trophy and the card slipped through his pocket. But unlike his mentor, he can’t use it. If Sora understands well the system of Xyz summoning, he needs three winged beasts type monsters on the field, all level 4. His deck is only made of fairy type.
He would take care of it later. Burn it somewhere isolated so nobody will ask questions.
Someone opens the door of the room. Sora quickly gathers the cards, afraid that the person may see the Xyz monster.
“There you are. We have a meeting with the Professor and since I didn’t spot you in the main hall, I assume you were either here, or in the library.”
“Shit, I’m late ?”
“Not yet. Besides, it wouldn’t matter since you’re with me.”
“I don’t need special treatment. Let’s go.”
He puts back the cards in his duel disk, before following Dennis down to the main hall.
“Thank you everyone for being here.” Began Sanders. ‘Tomorrow will be our 54th attack. I hope you will do your best to collect as many cards as possible. Glory to Academia !”
“Glory to Academia !” shout out the students.
“And now, the Professor will begin his speech.”
The giant screen behind him lightened, with the image of the director of the school on it.
“Good afternoon. Indeed, we need as much energy as possible to complete the Arc-V project and then, merge all of the dimensions to make them recover their primal form. That will require a lot of work to reach our Eden, many people will be injured, some even been carded. But to those who are worried about it, know that at the end of the project, everyone will be revived.
The people of the Xyz dimension wouldn’t understand our motives, but I believe that once they see the Eden, they will forgive us for our sins. It's necessary to go through this, if we want to make a new world without any war, disease or misery.
Never doubt that we are doing this for the greater cause. You represent the future guardian of our world. Good luck to everyone.”
“The Professor sure knows how to fire up the spirit.” says Dennis, once the last instructions were given. “It’s the same speech every time Dennis.” replies Yuri, slightly annoyed. “But I’m more preoccupied with the reaction of Serena since she will not take part of this.”
“Man, what did she have to do to convince the Professor to let her go ?” complains Sora.
“I don’t know. She can easily sweep off the floor the majority of the Obelisk, so that’s a mystery that he kept her lock here.”
“RAAAAAAAAAAH ! I swear I’m going to find a way to switch my identity with someone else and sneak among those who are going to the Xyz dimension !”
“Calm down Serena. One day, you will be part of this.”
“It’s been so many years Dennis ! I swear I’m going to find him in person, and make him understand that I’m more than ready !”
“What did he give you to do ?” asks Yuri.
“Training the newbies, as always. Like the hell I wanted to. They’re the worst, believe me.”
“But you wouldn’t have met me back then.” adds Sora.
“You were basically a toddler to me when I first saw you.”
“Come on Serena, I was like 6. It’s not because I didn’t know how to read that I was a toddler !”
“Anyone who can’t understand the basics of dueling is a toddler. I learnt to duel before even walking.”
“Lunalight were created just for you after all.” jokes Dennis.
“Exactly ! Anyway, I need to find a way to deactivate this surveillance system.”
“Nevertheless, he will find you easily in the Xyz dimension with the tracer.”
“I need to find a way to remove it. It’s a pain in the neck, literally.”
Sora remembered very well the first time he met the woman. Months after his arrival at Academia, he was sent to a room, gathered with other kids like him. And Serena clearly pissed off.
“Attention to everyone ! Silence is required when I speak, you will address me as Senpai. I have an entire week to make you understand the bases of duels. And if you don’t pass through the expectations of the instructor by the end of the week, you will be expelled. Crystal clear ?”
“Hai senpai !”
For an introduction, it was harsh. But he remembered that the women - an adolescent at that time - did her best to teach them what she considered essential.
At the end of the week, each of them had to answer questions from the instructor. Sora didn’t remember seeing his classmates ever again.
“You know if you have an affinity with the cards. If not, Academia doesn't think you’re worth being trained.”
That was one of her answers, as Sora asked her what became of his classmates.
It’s not a surprise that later, he only hangs out with her, Dennis who becomes like a brother for him, and Yuri. No one of his age was around.
And the first time he met her, Serena gave him the feeling that he could be safe with her. She reminded her of someone he met long ago.
“Guys, I don’t have any class for the rest of the day. What can I do to prepare myself for tomorrow ?”
“Not a lot, I’m afraid. Check your strategy and that’s all.” answers Yuri. “And go to sleep early. We won’t accept latecomers.”
“I would have proposed another duel, but I have my own assignments to do.” says Dennis. “Have to go.”
“Same here. See you later.” says Serena.
“See you later.”
That night, Sora dreamt again. He dreamt of war, of monsters, of a giant falcon, the same that was on this card. He remembered flying, before falling. He woke up at this moment.
“Alright ! Once you will go through the portal, gather with your division and wait for the instructions of your leader. Division 1 will go first, then the 2, while finishing with 3 with me. As they say, keep the best at the end !”
Dennis finishes his speech, before jumping out of the platform he was.
Sora sees him going to talk to Yuri and Edo. He turns his head to see Serena, among other students, waving goodbye. When he locks his gaze with her, she makes a thumb up.
“I won’t disappoint you.” he whispers, before putting in line with his comrades.
The blue portal engulfs his vision
“Division 3, follow me !”
Dennis makes big waves with his hand, and Sora follows the motion. Shivers of apprehension run through his body. He’s really here, in the Xyz dimension ! He made it !
“We are in Heartland, the capital of this country. And the main battlefield of Academia since last month. Recently, they’ve been reports of activity around the Tower. This is the building you can see over there.”
Dennis makes a movement toward a half destroyed building.
“The heart shaped construction at his feet used to be at the top. What a shame it was destroyed. Remember, you can only card other duellists once you defeat them. Civilians are okay too. Now, I would like everyone to look at their duel disk.”
Sora opens the interface.
“The map will show you in which area we are working on. Don’t go over the limit, unless you wanna face the wrath of Yuri. The mission begins now, and will end in three hours. Meeting point is here. May the soul of the cards be with you !”
Sora was running through the city. In two hours, he only met three duellists that he defeated with ease.
Carding was not an easy task, but he comforted himself in the words of the Professor, as the bright violet flash sparked. He collected the cards that he put in a pocket of his trousers, before continuing his exploration.
He can see there were harsh fights here and there. Most of the buildings are in the state of rubbles, walls painted in black by the explosions. So far, he hasn't seen any Chaos Ancient Gear Giant yet, so nobody has encountered too much trouble to defeat the Xyz scums.
After he turns at a corner of a street, he sees a woman, collecting water in a jerry can. When she spots him, she screams, knocking over the jerry can when standing up, before running. But she was weakened by the lack of food, so Sora catches her pretty easily.
“Let me go ! Let me go !”
“I’m not going to card you, if you tell me where I can find other duellists.”
“I don’t know where they are ! I don’t know anything !”
“That’s a shame. But don’t worry, you will take part in the Arc-V project. Now, sleep well.”
As he was going to push on the button, someone landed behind him.
“If you’re searching for a duellist, I would be your opponent !”
Sora reports his attention to the voice, letting the woman go. She quickly runs once she is free.
“You sure take your sweet time to come. Let’s duel.”
The man has violet and black hair, arranged in spikes. He wears a leather mask with goggles that hide the true color of his eyes. Sora can feel the fiery determination emanating from him.
“I won’t let Academia card anyone else ! DUEL !”
A drop of sweat slides down his temple. The duel was just so thrilling ! It’s been a long time since he ever struggled against someone that wasn’t Dennis. And the man he was facing was pretty good. Extremely good.
His dragon - Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon - gives him a hard time. His entire archetype too. How many times, the man counters his play with a new card, his ghosts coming and leaving in a blink of an eye ? Currently, his Frightfur Chimera is locked down by Phantom’s Knight Fog Blade. Thankfully, his Xyz monster already used all of his Overlay unit, so he can’t defeat his Chimera yet.
“Don’t think you can ever defeat me, Xyz scum ! My turn !”
As Sora drew a new card, he heard noises coming from his back. Obelisk forces appear, all prepared to come into the well engaged battle.
“Don’t … !”
Too late. He can already hear the sound of the Intrusion Penalty. It was now 21 against 1.
Sora ends his turn reluctantly.
The man in front of him didn’t seem to be affected by the new opponents, and remained silent as more and more Ancient Gear Hunting Hounds flooded the field.
“We now caught you, Phantom ! You won’t escape us this time !”
“You ever dare call yourself a duellist, while you don’t hesitate to corner the weak and fight in mass against a single duellist ! Don’t think I will let you continue this !”
Two other persons join the fight, their faces covered by a red scarf. Sparks covered them, as their life points were depleted. They also wear the same goggles.
When the three are standing, tall and proud, Sora can’t shake the feeling he already sees this image somewhere.
“I won’t let you lay a single finger on him, Fusion users !” shouts the newly comer.
“We will stand together as one. My turn !” adds a female voice.
“It’s not two pipsqueaks that would make us back down !” cackled one Obelisk.
But he isn’t followed with his taunt by the others.
“You didn’t hear about them ? The Phantom, the Falcon and the Nightingale. They are the most fiery duellists of the resistance here !”
“They say that one of them has already defeated an entire battalion by himself.” whispers another.
“And they aren’t alone !” shouts another person.
A younger man with a poncho, followed by a woman of the same age, activates their disks. Once again, the Intrusion Penalty came.
“Kaito is on his way. He has to deal with another group that was rummaging through the Spade branch.”
“Kaito ? The Kaito with the Galaxy Cypher Dragon ?”
As an answer, the cry of a dragon is heard through the city.
“They can be one or a million, I will defeat them.” says Sora, clicking his tongue.
The woman continues his play, summoning a myriad of monsters of level one, before going into Xyz summoning.
“Appear, Lyrilusc Assembled Nightingale !” She says, after performing her chant.
“And I activate Rank up Gravity !” shouts an unknown voice.
“Kaito ! “
“The Resistance already took care of the Spade branch, so I thought the best thing to do was to join the fight.” replies the man, who jumps from his monster.
When Sora raises his head, he sees a big dragon watching him with his galaxy eyes, alongside … Another one ? Wait, it seems he has three heads instead of one …
“Rank up Gravity forces you to battle my Neo Galaxy Eyes Cipher Dragon, unless you want your monsters to be banished at the end of the Battle Phase. You will have to go through this before even thinking of hurting my comrades.”
That begins to be troublesome. And the other duellists didn’t even make their own moves yet. How can they manage to pass through the wall of 4500 atk ?
“Come forth ! Chaos Ancient Gear Giant !”
The infamous machine war appears next to them, his cannon already aiming toward the torso of the dragon.
So, the rest of the Obelisk forces are making their move now.
It charges his laser, and Neo Galaxy Eyes Cipher Dragon mirrors him. Both of their beams collide, creating a giant burst. Sora protects himself with his arms, but is projected on his back.
When he woke up, Sora notes multiples things :
- He is injured. His back hurts so much that he doubts he can properly walk by himself.
- His duel disk was turned off, so the duel ended because of the explosion.
- Why does he have the feeling he knew who was Phantom, Falcon and Nightingale ?
The young boy moves to his side, grimacing. He needs to go back to the meeting point. He needs to contact Dennis too.
Sora folds his arm, searching through the options, the calling.
“I was beginning to think you were carded. What happened to you ?”
“Caught in the crossfire of Chaos Giant and a monster with the same level of power. My back hurts like a bitch. I’m doing my best to come.”
“Don’t move, I’m coming. The others are already at Academia anyway.”
The call ends.
Sora is a bit disappointed he couldn’t finish his match with Yuto. He will make sure to cross his path again, and have a rematch.
He rolls again, until he lays flat on his stomach. Pain burns his skull and something clicks inside his brain.
He was back to this moment, when he was blocked under the roof. His head was throbbing, his palms were sweaty. He couldn’t open his eyes, the sun blinded him. Until something created shadows.
For the first time, he remembers having actually raised his head to face the man.
Sora swears he never ever sees more beautiful golden eyes. The stare of a bird of prey.
The voice of Dennis makes him go back to reality. Some students accompanied him and he was carried on a stretcher. He lets him be lulled by the quick steps, as his mind begins to shut down.