Ever since Yugi won the duel against Panik and claimed back her star chips she had been duelling many opponents with all her ksill to collect the star chips she needed to pay him back for his great deed.
It had been a long time since she last saw Yugi or the rest of the group and wondered what they were doing at t hat moment. She looked out onto the open field into the distance, breathing in the fresh air of the outdoors and admiringi the peaceful scenery.
A small smile spread across her face with satisfaction. All she needed to do was find Yugi Mutou, to hand him the star chips she had gathered then she'd go into the castle to face the best of the duellists on the island.
She went off in search for Yugi and his friends in hope that she'd bump into them soon. It felt like she had walked for ages when she realised that for a while she had been walking uphill. Mai looked up to see the castle where Maximillion Pegasus would be and realised that she had been walking towards it the whole time. She saw a flight of steps and headed towards them when she saw Yugi kneeling on the ground with a shocked, almost blank look on his face. His friends, Joey, Tea, Tristan and Bakura were with him, they seemed to be trying to comfort him with not much success.
This was odd behaviour for the short boy. Last time Mai saw him he stood tall (despite his stature) and confident. Looking at him then made him appear weak and insignificant. It just was not right, and she knew it.
The others had told her that she had been defeated by Seto Kaiba in a duel and had lost his star chips. His friends were staring in surprise at her hand holding the star chips. She reassured them that she was alright with star chips by showing them her duelling glove that had all ten stars required. Seeing this his friends urged him to accept the star chips. Yugi, however didn't seem to notice, completely lost in his own world. Mai sighed. She had come all this way to find him just to see him in a miserable state. It was ridiculous.
Suddenly Tea, the 'sweet' girl stepped towards Mai and challenged her to a duel to win the star chips for Yugi. Her friends Joey and Tristan thought she was crazy and tried to talk her out of it. Mai didn't blame them, after all, compared to herself, Tea was a rookie duellist who wasn't even competing in the Duellist Kingdom. Tea seemed serious and would not take 'no' for an answer so they headed to the nearest arena and tool their places.
As usual, Mai used her reliable Harpy lady who crushed many of Tea's cutesy monsters. Tea was determined and despite appearing afraid of losing kept putting her cards on the field. Her friends cheered for her, except for Yugi who still had his blank expression. Tea's next monster wasa the cute but weak 'Shining Friendship' this seemed to remind her of the support she had from her friends. Eventually the Shining Friendship was annihilated but by then Tea was more determined than ever and had the courage to duel.
Seeing this Mai was touched. Tea had drawn a powerful monster who's attack points were higher than her Harpy Lady. She looked at her hand and noticed the Harpy's feather duster which could have been used to get rid of all of Tea's magic and trap cards on the field. Mai hesitated to use it and instead surrendered to Tea.
She watched as the girl jumped with joy. She also looked in Yugi's direction to see that he was back to his normal self. She handed the star chips to him and he asked her about the feather but she pretended not the heard and said they should head for the castle.
Together they ran up the steps to the entrance of the castle Mai realised at tha moment that this group of people, Bakuram Tristan, Tea, Joey and Yugi were all her friends and she felt comfortable every time she was with them. This was a nice thing to know and she smiled with satisfaction.