Disclaimer: I am neither the owner of "Yu-Gi-Oh!" nor the King of Games… so yeah, there's that.

Author's Note: And with that proclamation of not being the King of Games, I'm going to beg you all to be forgiving of me if I wrote something that duel wise does not completely make sense or work in the standard game in this chapter - I primarily play off of Duel Links, so if it works on that system, that's how I write it. There are also going to be 'jumps' in the game, where moves will be happening while other things are taking place. My hope though is that the duel is still understandable with how I've set it up. In any case, long time no see! Will likely update sooner next time - holidays always mess with my time tables. But for now, let's get on with the story! :D

Terms -

None, save for the title again. Today's chapter title means "ally", "friend", or "supporter".


"Saw you from the distance,

Saw you from the stage,

Something 'bout the look in your eyes,

Something 'bout your beautiful face,

In a sea of people,

There was only you,

I never knew what this song was about,

But suddenly now I do." - Touch My Hand by David Archuleta

Chapter Twenty-Six: 味方 (Mikata)

The whole audience seemed rooted to their seats in anticipation. This was almost better than being able to see the new Duel Disk Saikou. They were about to witness something legendary.

Seto began to laugh, "Finally. Let's do this, Yugi!"

"Alright, it is-"

"It is on! Ladies and Gents buckle up for the ride of your lives! Seto Kaiba versus Yugi Muto. The title of King of Games on the line!" Mokuba finished, interrupting Pegasus.

He smirked at the creator of the game before jumping down and continuing, "Let's make sure you all have the best seats in the house or in other words... none at all!"

Kisara saw behind her, the chair begin to buzz and a little light on the arm rest reading 'seat retracting in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...' and suddenly her chair along with the others around her began to sink into the ground, prompting everyone to stand. All the rows now gone, there was a sudden rush of kids running up around her and those in her immediate area were all pushed forward. Soon, she was all of a foot away from the stage surrounded by adults of high society and kids frantic to get the best view for watching the duel.

Pegasus handed Yugi the other portion of the new Duel Disk, which he equipped to his arm before pulling out a deck box from his pocket. His back to her, Kisara couldn't tell what Seto was really doing, but she recognized instantly that this was important, practically vital for him. It was what he had been dreaming of for years, happening right in front of her. The two shook hands with one another, but the shake was short. They turned, Yugi heading for the left side of the stage, Seto to the right while Pegasus vacated off the stage and down into the stands.

As Yugi passed by the sides of the stage, kids reached out hoping for anything, any acknowledgement. He bent down slightly, his fingers lightly brushed them, giving them a thrill of the pulse of the room emanating from him and Kaiba. In contrast, Seto turned, completely focused on the duel at hand, when he saw in the crowd, her, again - her brilliant blue eyes practically glowing in the crowd, focused on him. As he got close, he briefly bent down, also brushing his fingertips against the hands of children, but when he got close to her...

Instinctively, Kisara's hand rose.

Please, be okay.

Their hands touched and they squeezed one another's tightly for all of a second as though be instinct, before he stood back up completely, turning to face his opponent again.

Finding Yuzu in the crowd down below, Mokuba gave her a wink before continuing, "Alright, duelists, lock and load; let'ssssssss duel!"

Yugi produced his deck, shuffled it quickly, and inserted it into the duel disk, which sprang to life. His duel disk alerted him to the disk having connected to Seto's and the disks battled over who would go first. It was Kaiba.

Seto smirked, "Alright, don't blink, Yugi..."

With a speed unlike anything Kisara had ever seen, Seto produced a hand of cards and quickly made a play.

"I'll start this duel by summoning Assault Wyvern in attack mode," He said, his voice completely echoing throughout the stadium, "And set two cards face down and end my turn. It's your move, Yugi."

Yugi eyed Kaiba's monster, which had materialized and held an impressive size as it floated in the air. He was less concerned about that and more concerned about the two trap cards as the monster roared at him. This was nothing new to him. A hologram, whether tangible or not, was nothing he couldn't handle. In fact, it reminded him of his time in Atem's memories, where everything was very real. He felt as though a strength was swelling up in his chest as he drew five cards.

"Kaiba, I summon Sangan in attack mode and play the spell card 'Tribute to the Doomed', which allows me to destroy any monster on the field if I discard one card," Yugi said, instantly allowing a card of his to go to the graveyard, when Kaiba halted the action.

"Fat chance," He said, "My trap card activates, negating the effect of your spell once this turn."

"It was only once, Kaiba - I continue my move by playing 'Soul Exchange', allowing me to sacrifice one of your monsters to tribute summon one of my own. I believe you're familiar with the Dark Magician Girl," Yugi countered, with Kaiba's monster shattering and reshaping on Yugi's side of the field to reveal a curvy blond girl with a moon shaped hat on her head. Glancing up at her, Yugi had to admit, Kaiba's graphics were indeed, not just impressive, but... getting even better - more realistic - the Dark Magician Girl looked so similar to… but there was no time for that, "With that, I end my turn."

Seto was now down a monster, but at least he still had all of his life points. It was still early in the game and Sangan's attack was barely half of the majority of his various monsters' attack. Better yet, it was his turn.

"My draw," Seto announced, pulling a card. One Blue Eyes. He only had one other monster card under 4 stars though. He'd have to wait.

From below, the audience clapped over Yugi's play, while a few eyes in the stands watched the two carefully. Already a strong play from both of them on the first two turns. This would likely be a long duel if the game continued on this way. Kisara's heart beat rapidly in her chest, when suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder and jumped to see Bakura.

"You alright?" He asked, "I saw you got pushed forward by the crowd."

"Huh? Oh uh, yes, I'm fine," She said, turning to see Seto summon another monster. She bit her lip.

"There's nothing to be worried about," Bakura said to her, "It's not like anyone's ever died from playing a duel."

"I... I know," Kisara relayed, "But I... I just know how much this means to him."

"To Yugi?"

Kisara glanced over to Bakura, "Uh, no... Seto."

"Seto?" Bakura repeated, the answer intriguing him, "I didn't realize you were on good terms with him."

Catching herself, Kisara looked down as Seto's turn ended and Yugi's turn began again, "Uh... well, we know each other, yes..."

"Not surprising."

Kisara's eyebrows came down in puzzlement. Bakura's voice...

"What?" She said.


"No, what, why is it not surprising?" She asked, turning to him fully, her question now a bit more stable and elaborate. But eyeing him, something seemed… off. Like there was a slight dizziness in his eyes.

"I... I didn't say that," Bakura said, stuttering slightly, his eyes seeming to come back to focus on her.

Kisara's eyes narrowed, "Yes, you did."

On the stage, Kaiba drew another card. Fusion Gate. He'd rather not use it, wait for polymerization if he could help it. He grit his teeth, weighing his options. There was no better time to attack.

"I equip Dragon Treasure to Ancient Dragon and attack Dark Magician Girl," Seto announced, to Yugi's surprise.

Even then, Ancient Dragon wasn't strong enough to... No, he was going to-

"And I activate Tyrant Wing, causing Ancient Dragon to gain 400 attack points," He yelled.

"I activate 'Ready For Intercepting'," Yugi yelled, "Dark Magician Girl changes back to Defense mode-"

Right as the words escaped him, Dark Magician Girl switched to defense position right as Ancient Dragon attacked. She screamed and before Yugi knew it, he saw her figure being slammed right out of the air towards him. It only occurred to him that if she didn't shatter right away - He felt the impact of Dark Magician Girl falling into him and they rolled on the ground. Instinctively, he covered her head, protecting her from the impact of the fall. Shaking his head and opening his eyes, he found himself crouched over her. Her eyes twitched and she looked up at him.


That's the feeling that he had in that moment. What he felt for Tea, but this wasn't really him was it... And then it hit him.

"Mana..." He whispered.

She smiled before slowly dissolving into holographic glass and then, into nothing.

He whipped around, glaring at Seto. He wasn't going to lose. Atem had entrusted him with the title of King of Games. He wasn't going to just give it away, especially after losing Atem's valued friend... After losing Mana.

Below, Bakura found himself still confronted by Kisara, who had completely rounded on him, "I... I don't know what you're talking about."

Kisara found herself taken aback. Was he lying to her- and then she watched him smirk, an uneasy feeling settling in her stomach.

"But then again," He continued, "Neither do you."

"Wh-what are you talking about?" She demanded.

"What does it matter to a peasant like you?" Bakura questioned, turning to leave the crowd.


"Wait, what do you mean by-"

But at this point, Bakura was already well away from her, heading towards the back of the crowd. She glanced back up at Seto. It was his draw phase again and Yugi had summoned another monster, in defense position. It was still likely less in defense than Ancient Dragon's attack now but still... he drew another card.

Seto smiled, another Blue Eyes, but still, he couldn't even summon the first...

Kisara pulled at one of the strands of hair by her face, biting her lip, before turning to go after Bakura.

"I play Magical Mallet which lets me shuffle however many cards I choose back into my deck in order to draw the same number of cards," Seto explained, more so for the audience, than for Yugi, who he was sure knew what Magical Mallet did.

This could be critical. He had to draw the third Blue Eyes at the very least.


Close, but no cigar.

Pushing through the crowd, Kisara found it becoming increasingly more difficult to get through. People were becoming more intrigued by what was happening on stage and even she felt a tug to return. She felt guilty for leaving when this was so important, possibly even life changing, but she had to know what Bakura had been talking about. As she pushed through, finally the throng seemed to thin, but she then realized, there was no sign of Bakura at all. Perhaps he had left? She ran up the steps, taking them two at a time to get to the top. Maybe she would see him from up there...

On stage, Seto steeled himself. How had he shuffled his deck? Why was he getting nothing but spell and trap cards? And worse, he was down to one trap card which he couldn't activate until Yugi's next turn at best and none of his spell cards were quick effects. At least he could still attack this turn.

"I sacrifice Ancient Dragon to summon Wattaildragon. Go Wattaildragon, attack Muto's face down monster!" He yelled. It roared and obeyed, when Yugi revealed the card.

"I activate 'Blast Held By A Tribute' which allows me to destroy your tribute summoned monster and inflict 1000 damage points to you, Kaiba," Yugi countered, not about to let his Kuriboh be destroyed. No, his cards were precious. He wasn't going to lose any of them this time. Atem would have protected them, so he would too.

The move not only destroyed Kaiba's one monster, but it left him wide open for a direct attack. The crowd gasped and Kaiba gapped. No... not such a simple...

"I... end my turn..." He breathed, not believing the situation he was in.

"My turn then," Yugi called out, "I play 'Double Summon', allowing me to summon two monsters to the field. So I'll take the chance to summon one card face down. Now, I tribute summon both of my monsters to summon Ma- The Dark Magician!"

There was a smoke that seemed to fill the arena and a dark electric buzz fizzled, creating a sand pit that rose up, from which with a sharp electric like snap emerged the Dark Magician Girl's teacher, a tall, thin man, carrying a long staff from which a deep purple mist uncurled from. Seto could take a hit like that. That wasn't- wait, Yugi still had one card left in his hand. No-

"And finally, before my battle phase, I play 'Monster Reborn'," Yugi revealed, something that had already begun to fill Seto's gut with dread, "Come forth again, Dark Magician Girl!"

Returning from her shattered form, the Dark Magician turned to see his apprentice, who he outstretched a hand to. Upon taking it, the two flew up into the area, intricate beams and mists stringing together around them from their staves. There was a gasp of delight in the air. From off center stage, Mokuba gasped, realizing the same thing... Seto... he hadn't even had the chance to summon... how... Seto's deck was always structured to be evenly balanced, so...

Nii-sama... he thought, suddenly realizing the end result of what was about to happen.

From above, Kisara turned around to see the situation below. Seto still had a good number of life points left but... she knew those attack points, what they totaled. Seto had taught her. He was... no... he was going to lose.

"Now, my magicians, unleash Dark Magic attack!" Yugi cried, and in a moment, the attacks of the two merged together. Seto was about to get a head on hit. He knew it. Everyone knew it. He braced for the impact, shutting his eyes, as she did as well…


A blast sounded, but...nothing came, nothing hit him. Rather, a sharp crackle of an electric wave sounded back, muffling a boom that would have most definitely hit him otherwise.

He opened one eye to see a light blue shield had formed around him, redirecting the high majority of the attack outward towards the audience, who gasped in fear, but ultimately were uninjured. This wasn't... a malfunction was it? Even as the shield kept the attack from striking him dead on, it didn't prevent the life points from draining his Duel Disk reader until he heard the inevitable ping, signaling his defeat.

There was silence for a moment. Finally, Mokuba found the capability of producing sound from his throat and spoke, "The winner, Yugi Muto!"

But the announcement was forced, weak even. While the crowd cheered, seeming to not notice how Mokuba had struggled a bit with the statement, Mokuba kept a close watch on his brother, who seemed stone faced, unreadable. How could he have lost so easily? His deck, he'd planned for this for years. Every time something hadn't gone wrong at work, when he was stressed, couldn't focus... he'd spent his time strategizing. How could his deck be so... even if he couldn't pull a third blue eyes, how could he have not drawn more monsters? How could the majority of his draws be all spell and trap cards that would be no good together? It was so uneven, unbalanced, like every card he needed in his deck had eluded him, and ultimately it had led to a humiliating downfall. The color drained from Seto's face. He had to... keep going... even as he felt completely and utterly shattered by the loss.

He glanced to his left.

She wasn't there.

An odd kind of relief came over him. For all his bragging and gloating, at least she hadn't seen this... He glared up at Yugi, who stood there standing tall. Even though logic dictated that Seto should be looking down at him, he couldn't help feel that he was being looked down upon, because he could swear the look in Yugi's eyes was that of pity.

He was only half right. While Yugi knew that Kaiba had likely dreamed of this day to come again for years, he felt an odd sense of sadness at his win. Seeing Mana and Mahad looking so life-like, it just reminded him that much more of Egypt, of Atem, and of his duty. One that he felt head strongly that he had to keep. He had to protect the honor of the ultimate King of Games, his predecessor. He had to win for Atem. He had wanted to win for Atem. So he did. But his unwillingness to compromise, to let Kaiba have this one… it just made everything that much more difficult. Not that he thought Kaiba would appreciate a win just handed over but… it had been a rather easy duel… He half wondered what that was all about. More importantly now though, Kaiba wasn't going to be inclined to listen to him at all. But he still had to talk to him tonight, somehow. He'd promised Kisara. He'd promised. And he was and would be a man of his word.

It was figuring out how he'd do it now, that right there, was the problem.


Gasping for breath, Bakura fell back against the fence in a desolate part of theme park. His brain was on fire, literally squirming inside. His eyes hurt, his nervous system seeming to carry a venom down the path of his skeleton.

"Excuse me, sir, are you alright? Is there anything I can assis-"

"Get away!" He yelled violently, knocking the girl away, before crawling a bit and getting back to his feet.

He ran into a bathroom, also vacant, and grasped the sides of the sink, his whole body shaking violently.

"No... go away..."

"What? No welcome party? I would have thought that you would have missed me."

Glancing up, Bakura gasped back at his appearance, which seemed to take on a more rigid, jagged structure, like he had aged five years or so. Even his skin seemed to feel rougher, sanded, cracked... it was an illusion, it must be, but...

A laugh. He heard it, but he knew no else could, that's how this always was... He reached for his pocket, pulling out the tiny fragment again.

"You kept me, didn't you? And you had every chance to throw me away again, get rid of me..."


"You want my power, don't you?" The voice rang in his ears and Bakura shut his eyes tight. No...

"Don't lie to yourself!" It screeched in his ears and he gasped, dropping to his knees, barely hanging onto the sink. A small moan escaped him.

"No? Well, perhaps I can help you and then you'll never have to see me again..."

"No!" He knew how this was going to end, "I don't want your help!"

Quickly, he threw the piece across the floor away from him and he leaned against the tiled bathroom wall, watching it, like some kind of evil entity might rise from it. Slowly, the pain in his body began to recede, his mind becoming completely his own again. This was why it had to be destroyed. No one seemed to understand that... why couldn't they understand that? His eyes fluttered open, landing on the piece. How had Pegasus even gotten that thing anyway? What was he trying to accomplish by giving it to him. He had to tell Yugi about it. Between the two, at least Yugi understood how dangerous that thing was. How it had to be...

But wait... how did it still have any power at all? It was practically obliterated, scattered, so how... a terrifying thought occurred to him. Slowly, he crawled back over to the piece. He watched it on the ground for a second, before biting his lip and picking it up. If it still worked the same way... He held it on his palm and waited. Slowly, without any help from himself, the piece rotated, pointing south east. Towards Domino.

"So I see you have need for me after all."

He shut his eyes, before clasping his hand tightly around the piece, "Think what you'd like. I'm going to figure out why you're still here and then, I won't let you hurt anyone ever, EVER again."

He heard nothing, but then a sly laughter, a hum almost seemed to spread to his ears. No. It wouldn't be like before. He was stronger than him and he... was nothing. He'd hold onto this thing long enough to find the threat it was indicative of and then, he and Yugi would stop it. That was the plan and he was sticking to it.

No matter what.


A/N: Oh my gosh writing duels is so hardddddddd. Seriously, I don't begrudge any of the writers in the series if they don't get something right. Mostly wrote the duel as I understood the rules of the game as I said before, so please forgive me if I made an error somewhere - checked it several times, but like most games, I feel like Duel Monsters' rules are somewhat at the discretion of who's playing, particularly if cards are not explicitly clear… either way, hope you enjoyed it! (Aside from the obvious outcome of who would win haha). Anyone catch how Kaiba's luck was halted particularly when Kisara wasn't focused on him? Eh? Eh? Little nugget there for anyone wondering and a little hint as to what exactly happened at the end there… :3 Anyway, please review and let me know what you thought!