Rematch: Yugi vs. Kaiba
By Cere

Chapter 6: The Last Monster

"Enough!" someone shouted. Everyone turned to see Yugi amidst the dissipating smoke, still standing and still with a determined expression. "Sorry to break up the party," he continued, "but I still have one last Trap card to play."

"You can't," Kaiba objected (K LP: 1100). "You have no more Life Points!"

"Which is exactly the condition needed to activate this card," Yugi replied. His facedown card swung up to reveal Relay Soul. "Now I can summon one monster from my hand, and I will only lose the game when that monster leaves the field."

"What?" Kaiba said weakly.

This is my last monster, he thought as he grabbed the last card in his hand. It will not fail me!

"I summon the Dark Magician of Chaos (2800/2600)," he said, slapping the card onto his Duel Disk. The holographic card image appeared before him, and from it sprang a leather-clad magician wielding a deadly chaos staff. His long hair billowed behind him as he glared at Kaiba.

"All right, Yugi," Tea cheered.

"You're definitely still in this one," Joey shouted.

"This is a new version of my old Ritual monster," Yugi said. "He's been given a few new abilities. First, when he's summoned, I can bring one Magic card in my Graveyard back to my hand." He thought for a second and then looked up at Kaiba. "How many cards are left in your deck?"

"Seven," Kaiba said after a quick count.

"Same for me," Yugi said. "Then let's bring an end to this quickly. I return Card of Sanctity to my hand."

"That's fine with me," Kaiba said, grinning his determined grin. "If you make me draw more cards, you'll give me more options to destroy your monster."

Yugi drew a card from his deck and barely glanced at it before directing his attention towards his monster. "Dark Magician of Chaos," he said, "attack Kaiba's XZ-Tank Cannon."

The mechanical contraption fell to a blast of chaos (K LP: 700). "Now my Chaos Mage's second ability activates," Yugi said. "When he destroys a monster, it is not sent to the Graveyard but is removed from play."

"Wait," Joey said. "Why didn't he play Card of Sanctity before attacking? He could have drawn more monsters to attack with."

"Because, Joey," Yugi said, "if I had, Kaiba could have summoned them with Ultimate Offering to protect his Life Points. So now is the best time to play it."

He slipped the card into his Duel Disk and pulled five more from his deck. Kaiba also took his six cards. Yugi scanned through them and saw what he needed to do. "I summon Electromagnetic Turtle in defense mode (0/1800)," Yugi said, "and set four cards facedown on the field."

I see, Kaiba thought. He needs to if he wants to protect his monster. He took the last card from his deck and added it to his hand. He felt the blood rushing through his veins, the same feeling he felt every time when one of his duels with Yugi was nearing its end. Let's see if it's enough to save you.

"It's time for my last combo," Kaiba said, "the one that will finally defeat you."

"Let's just wait for my facedown cards to decide that," Yugi said with a grin.

"I'll start with the Magic card Soul Absorption," Kaiba said. "Now, every time a card is removed from play, I gain 500 Life Points. Then I continue with another Magic card, Soul Release."

"I see," Yugi said. "Now you can remove up to five monsters from either player's Graveyard."

"Don't worry, Yugi. Only my Graveyard will be affected. Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, Chaos Emperor Dragon, and my three Blue-Eyes will be removed from the game." His Duel Disk selected those cards in his Graveyard and ejected them while Soul Absorption sent strings of blue energy to Kaiba's Life Point counter (K LP: 3200).

So that's what he's planning, Yugi thought.

"And my final Magic card is Dimension Fusion," Kaiba said. "For the cost of 2000 Life Points (K LP: 1200), I can summon as many monsters that I have removed from play as I can."

"We both can summon monsters," Yugi said. "My Beast of Gilfer (2200/2500) was removed by my Altar of Restoration, so I can summon it to the field in defense mode."

Kaiba laughed. "That makes little difference to me. I summon my Ultimate Dragon, my three Blue-Eyes, and my XZ-Tank Cannon."

Yugi's dark fiend crouched on the field as Kaiba's army assembled on his: the three-headed behemoth, its three components, and the armed robot. Why XZ-Tank Cannon? Yugi wondered. Ah, I see now. Good move, Kaiba.

"Hey," Tristan said, "why did he summon that cannon monster?"

"It has a special ability," Kaiba explained. "Not as powerful as the complete Dragon Cannon, but just as useful here. I can discard a card from my hand to destroy a facedown Magic or Trap card on the field. So I discard a card to destroy your leftmost card."

The Tank Cannon powered up its lasers and blew apart Yugi's Spider Web Magic card.

"Hey, Joey," Tea said. "What does that card he just destroyed do?"

"If I remember correctly," Joey said, "it lets him bring to his hand a card that was sent to Kaiba's Graveyard during the previous turn." A thought occurred to him. "Kinda a weird card to set if you think about it."

"Indeed," Kaiba said, "which only means one thing: it was a decoy."

"Huh?"

"Yugi only had one Trap capable of protecting him," Kaiba said, "but he knew that I had ways to destroy Trap cards, so he set a bunch of other useless cards to make it harder to destroy the real one. But, my XZ-Cannon can use its ability as long as I have cards in my hand. Go, destroy the middle one!" Yugi's Sage's Stone was wiped away. Kaiba grimaced and sent another card from his hand to his Graveyard. "Now, the one on the right." This time, he was satisfied to see Magic Cylinder destroyed.

"Now I see," Kaiba said. "That card could have directed my attack right back at me. But now it's destroyed, and you have nothing left to protect your Dark Magician of Chaos! Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, use Neutron Blast to win the duel!"

The ball of terrific energy formed between the three mouths. Kaiba's eyes were wide open and a grin stretched across his face as he prepared to annihilate Yugi's monster.

But Yugi's words stopped him. "You may have figured out my strategy," he said, "but you made one key mistake. I didn't have one Trap hidden; I had two."

Ultimate Dragon's attack was released, and Yugi's hand moved towards his last remaining facedown card. "I activate the Trap card Shift," he said, "which lets me exchange the places of two monsters on my field. So, instead of my Chaos Mage, your dragon attacks my Electromagnetic Turtle."

Oh no, Kaiba thought as the mechanical turtle was wiped out by the attack.

"Now my Turtle's effect activates," Yugi said. "During the turn that it's been sent to the Graveyard, I can choose to end the Battle Phase whenever I want, and I choose to end it now!"

The crowd roared with excitement. "Now the rest of Kaiba's monsters can't attack," Tristan said.

Kaiba closed his eyes and bowed his head. As good as always, Yugi, he thought, the traces of a smile still on his face. He opened his eyes and turned them to the last card in his hand. "I set one card facedown and end my turn," he said.

"My turn," Yugi said, drawing the last card in his deck. "I could let you lose by running out of cards to draw, but I won't get a chance to defeat your Ultimate Dragon again. I play the Magic card Pump Up, which doubles my monster's attack strength for one turn."

Chaos Mage roared as waves of chaos energy swirled around him (Dark Magician of Chaos: 5600/2600). "Now, Chaos Mage, attack the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon." Yugi's monster yelled and leapt at the enormous dragon, a sphere of black and white swirling energy forming from the end of his staff.

Kaiba smiled. "Not this time, Yugi," he said. "Activate Ring of Destruction."

The Chaos Mage halted as a metal ring with grenades bolted to it snapped around his neck. He tugged at it with one hand but couldn't remove it in time. Both exploded in a cloud of fire and smoke in the air between Yugi and Kaiba (K LP: 0).

"You lost all your Life Points," Yugi said with a smirk.

"But I destroyed the monster you summoned with Relay Soul," Kaiba said with an equal smirk. "It's a tie."

The holographic images faded as the audience erupted in cheers and crowded around the contestants as they walked towards each other. Yugi offered his hand to Kaiba, and he took it.

"Congratulations," Yugi said, shaking his hand and then letting go. "It was a worthy send-off."

"I still don't believe that was our last duel," Kaiba said. "I still haven't beaten you."

Yugi chuckled and turned around receive his friends' congratulatory gestures (Joey's and Tristan's seemed to be more physical than Tea's were) as Kaiba turned around to face the numerous duelists clamoring to challenge the one who had tied the King of Games.

Note: Well, since several of you asked, this is the last chapter in this small story arc that I plan to write. However, I do have another larger idea in the works. There's no telling when it'll be ready, but rest assured that I have many more duels to write for you.